Authors: Darby Briar
Copyright © 2015 Darby Briar.
Published by Darby Briar 2015
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, and locations is purely coincidental. Darby Briar is in no way affiliated with any songs, brands, musicians or artists mentioned in this book. This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
For Mature Audience 18+
Contains Adult Sexual Situations & Language
Please, even if you are a personal friend, if you are offended by the word
FUCK or GRAPHIC SEX . . . then PUT THE BOOK DOWN NOW.
This is a biker romance novel and as such it contains no princes, unicorns, or rainbows.
Thank you (:
Romantic Book Affair Designs
Chris York and Megan RaNae Nall
Hot Tree Editing
Interior Design, Formatting and Proofreading:
To my SS (my Marky Marc) and my minions. If it wasn’t for your patience and love, I would have never finished this book. It was such a huge undertaking. I appreciate you letting me disappear for hours at a time so I could focus on this obsession of mine. I love you with every crazy bone in my body. xoxo
Table of Contents
When your life burns to ash before you, it’s hard to find hope within the embers of what remains.
The overwhelming scent of gasoline invades my nose. The stench rises from my clothes and skin, blocking out the smell of the fiery inferno blazing before me. Heat licks at every exposed surface of my body and my eyes have grown as dry as the Mojave.
Still, it’s impossible to look away.
Not only is the contrast of the orange-yellow flames against the midnight sky mesmerizing, but I’m too desperate to witness every inch of the basement burn. With each second, the proof of the depravity I’ve lived through turns to charcoal, and a piece of
world crumbles, giving me peace.
The heavy cry of the fire truck siren grows louder, telling me I’ve run out of time. Even though ash falls like rain around me, blending me in with the night, it’s not enough. I need to disappear before they catch me here. Before they find out what I’ve done, and
discovers I’m still alive.
Stepping back into the shadows, I lift my hood, afraid my hair will draw too many unwanted eyes even in the dark. But as I lower my arms, the throbbing pain in my wrists registers. The gashes on each are now screaming for attention. Looking down, a ripple of awareness rockets through me.
No. God, no
My gut twists on itself.
I’ve been so locked in this out-of-body daze, I hadn’t realized I’ve been leaving evidence of my escape all over the grass.
The siren wails in my eardrums saying,
Go! Now! While there’s still time.
Sucking in a shaky breath, I pray I’ve given myself enough time to get out of the city, maybe even out of the state.
With one last look at the rising flames, I hitch my duffle over my shoulder, tuck my arms in close to my body, and walk away.
The warmth of the fire disappears and shivers race over my limbs as the cool, oceanic breeze rushes over me. For a moment, the air I breathe is filled with the scent of tropical flowers and salt water. But all too soon, it’s gone, replaced once again by the acidic smell of gas.
My heart feels heavy inside my chest as I say goodbye to the sunny place I’ve always called home. I’ll miss it. The beach, the bay, the hub of the city. The ocean and the sun on my skin. To think I may never return physically pains me.
How did it come to this? How did I
let him steal away everything important to me? My home? My family? My freedom?
I’ve asked myself a million times if I could have prevented this. Did I miss any warning signs early on? Hints that where I saw an angel, a monster lurked beneath.
There had to have been. However, I ignored or missed every single one.
Either way, it won’t happen again. I won’t be fooled by a pretty face and a gentlemanly facade a second time. And I sure as hell won’t allow anyone to control me like
did. For the rest of my days, however many there may be, I’ll have my freedom, if nothing else.
I won’t be locked up for one more second of my life.
Not. One. More. Second.
I may no longer be a saint, but at least I’m a survivor.
The most dishonorable deed is taking advantage of another person’s desperation.
Something heavy lands on top of me, expelling the air from my lungs, and my eyes snap open. I’m stunned for a moment, not sure if I’m still dreaming or awake.
A shadowy figure looms over me in the dark. It takes me a second to realize the musky, sweet scent invading my nose is body odor. That the sour stench hitting my face is someone’s breath and the weight pressing on top of me is that of a man.
Oxygen fills my lungs as I suck in a breath to scream. But before I can release it, a large, sweaty palm covers my mouth and fingers dig into my cheeks. Panic and adrenaline course through me as I thrash, kick, and push. The man above me growls his displeasure, but I don’t stop. I rake my nails down his skin, anywhere and everywhere. Planting my heel into the mattress, I thrust my hips up, trying to buck his body off, but with him being twice my size, he barely moves. He’s a damn anvil on top of me.
His fingers fumble with the button of my shorts for only a second, before he violently yanks at them, forcing them down over my hips.
The idea of taking this foul creature into my body has nausea crawling its way up my throat. It also opens the iron box inside my head. The one full of long ago locked away memories. Memories of my time with Warner. And I’m reminded that fighting my captor only made the sex more brutal . . . more painful. Left me with scars.
The more you fight me, the more this is going to hurt. Let me in, Em. Let me in.