Authors: Patricia Puddle
Copyright © 2012 Patricia Puddle.
All rights reserved, including the rights to reproduce
this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever without the prior written
consent of the copyright holder.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places
and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or person, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to my sweetheart, the teenage
boy I married, my best friend and husband, whose endless support and
encouragement has helped me to learn what I never learned at school. Thank you
for doing all the cooking so I could write this book, honey.
And of course, a big thank you to my wonderful writing
pals: Chrissy Peebles, Elizabeth Swigar Imbesi, Irene Kueh, and Carol Ann
This book contains sex scenes and
violence and is aimed at adults and older teens or (New Adults). It is not recommended
for younger teens or children.
I cling onto my seatbelt as we screech around
a steep bend, the headlights cutting through the fog like a knife. Why on earth
is Tom driving so fast when we can hardly see out the windscreen? A movement to
the right catches my eye.
“Watch out,” I yell as a kangaroo hops across
the road in front of us.
Tom hits the brakes, missing the animal by
inches. “Jeez, that was close.”
“Well, slow down,” I say, blowing out a big
He pulls up at the bottom of the valley and
parks his Ford next to a decrepit, two-storey house. “It’s a bit hard to avoid
wildlife in this neck of the woods, Elle. Anyway, we’re here now.”
Though the house is old, the garden has neat
flowerbeds and the path to the front door is peppered with tiny coloured solar
lights. I step out into the damp air and glance around. The full moon is
shining through the mist above a large lagoon at the side of the house. I
shudder. What an eerie place.
“Beautiful here, isn’t it?” says Tom, wrapping
his arm around my shoulder. “It used to be a dairy farm when my grandfather
I sniff the air, but can’t smell any manure. “Do
you still have cattle?”
“Not anymore.” He points to a bush track. “Wanna
go for a stroll?”
I stare at him.
You’re just trying to
He laughs. “Don’t worry. I'll protect you
Smiling, I jab him in the belly. “You're the
only wolf around here, so who’s going to protect me from you?”
“Aw, don't be like that, babe.” He pulls me
close and brushes his lips across mine. “You know you love it when I kiss you,”
he murmurs into my mouth.
Leaning into his black leather jacket, I
inhale his pungent cologne as I let him kiss me. An owl hooting from a nearby
tree makes me flinch.
Tom grabs my hand. “Come on. Let’s go indoors
where it’s warmer.” He leads me up the driveway to the porch, but after opening
the door, he pulls me inside and pins me against the wall. “Now, I've got you.”
My heart jumps and I push at his chest. “Stop
it,” I whisper. “Your mother will see us.”
He grins teasingly, his brown eyes crinkling
at the corners. “She can’t, she’s not here.”
“What?” I scowl. “But you invited me here to
Bending over, he kisses my cheek. “You're so
adoringly gullible, Eloise.”
I squint at him. “You mean you
“Well, not exactly,” he says, unbuttoning my
jacket. “She’ll be home in a few hours.”
“A few hours?”
I slap his hand away and glance
at my watch. “It’s eight o’clock already and I have to be home by nine.”
“That’s okay, I’ll drive you. Just tell your
folks you had dinner at my place.”
“I can’t. My parents have gone away and they’re
phoning me at nine.”
“Can’t they call your cell?”
I shake my head, wondering how he can be so
dense. “No. They don’t want me out late while they’re away, stupid. That’s why
they’re calling on the house phone—to check up on me. It was hard enough convincing
them to let me stay on my own for two weeks.”
His eyes grow wide. “You’re home alone for
“Yeah, but they only agreed
because I got that job at the pet shop.”
“Okay, let’s watch a movie, and if my
mother’s not here by eight-thirty, I’ll drive you home.”
Taking my hand, he leads me up a rickety staircase
and into a room. When he turns on the light, my stomach flips. Crap. It’s his bedroom.
I glance nervously at the closed door. “Why don't we watch it downstairs?”
He takes my bag and puts it on the floor.
“Because there's more privacy in here if my mother turns up.”
I bite my lip. “What will she think if she
finds me in your room?”
“Don't worry, babe, she won’t be home for
hours. Anyway, we’ll hear her car pull up.” He shrugs out of his jacket,
helps me off with mine. After hanging them over a
chair, he sits on his double bed and pulls me onto his lap. “It's a pity you
start work on Monday. You'll miss out on our two-week break from school.”
Gazing into his eyes, I brush his hair from
his forehead. “I'm not going back to school.
My job is permanent.”
“Shucks, now I’ll never get to see you. I
guess we’ll have to make up for it tonight.” He lifts me onto the bed and lies
across me, crushing my ribs.
Oh cripes. I should push him off, but he’s
looking at me so lovingly and my heart is pounding. As his lips meet mine, I wrap
my arms around his neck and close my eyes, but instead of his usual soft kiss,
he’s pressing down hard and kissing me feverishly. His teeth are cutting into
my lip and I can hardly breathe, but when I turn to gasp for air, he grabs my
chin and kisses me harder. I’ve had enough. Shoving him away, I try to wriggle
from under him. “Stop it, Tom.”
Ignoring me, he pulls me back. Then as he
holds my gaze, he shoves his hands under my jumper and fumbles with the
fastener on my bra.
I move his arms away. “Don't,” I murmur.
“Oh, come on, babe,” he says huskily. “You
know you like it.”
My pulse quickens and I press at the firm
muscles on his chest. “Get off me, you idiot.”
He stares down at me. “You look hot when
you're worked up.”
“Well, you don't, so get off me.”
His brown eyes gleaming, he thrusts his
fingers through my hair and kisses me again. His tongue is in my mouth and I
can't breathe. Squirming, I press my lips together and pound on his shoulders
with my fists. He breaks away and looks at me. “Come on, Elle, you want this as
much as I do.”
“Want what?” I say. “That wasn't very
“Aww, you know I love you, and all that,” he
whispers, kissing my neck.
I twist away from him,
I sit up and kick him with my foot. “No I don’t. You only say it when you want
something. And what’s with ‘all that’? You mean, ‘all that romantic bullshit’,
He takes hold of my hand. “Come on, Elle,
we’ve only got an hour or two. Don’t waste it. I promise to behave.”
With a big sigh, I lay back on the pillow. “Well,
put a movie on, then.”
He leans across me and kisses my cheek, then
he groans and his eyes glaze over. Suddenly he’s on top of me again, squashing
me into the mattress and pulling at my clothes. I grapple with his hands, but he
overpowers me and yanks my jumper over my head. I elbow him in the ribs, but as
I wriggle from beneath him, he drags my skirt down. As I try to hitch it back
up, he wrenches it from me, sending me toppling onto the carpet.
“Your promises suck,” I yell, leaping to my
feet. “What is wrong with you? Give me my clothes back.”
“Come and get them.” He grins wickedly and stuffs
them under his quilt.
My blood boiling, I snatch his iPad from his
desk and run to the open window. As I dangle it outside, I smile. “Give me my
clothes or I'll drop your precious iPad on the concrete driveway.”
His eyes grow wide. “Don’t be stupid, babe.”
He leaps off the bed and moves towards me. “Hand it over.”
I jiggle it. “Come any closer and it goes to
He gulps, his Adam's apple moving in his
throat. “Please, Elle. Don't drop it.”
Holding my other hand out, I wriggle my
fingers. “Give me my clothes, then.”
“Okay,” he yells, but as he shoves his arm
under his covers, he looks me up-and-down.
I lean further out the window. “Do you have
to perv on me?”
“Oh, come on, Elle.” He passes me my clothes,
but before I have a chance to give him the iPad, a loud bang comes from the
We both freeze.
It must be his mother and she’ll
think I’m a tart.
After tossing the
iPad on the rug, I run around in a circle, looking for somewhere to hide. As
Tom peers out the door, I pull my clothes on, then sit on the bed and try to
“Shit,” yells Tom, running out into the
I grab my coat and bag and follow him.
The window on the landing is broken and shards
of glass are scattered all over the carpet. Bending over, Tom picks something
up and laughs. “It's just a cricket ball, but it scared the crap out of me. I
thought we'd been busted.”
I shrug into my jacket. “What do you mean,
He wraps his arms around my waist and gives
me his doe-eyed look. “I’m sorry, babe, I don't know what came over me.
“You’re full of shit,” I say, pushing him
away. “You’re a jerk, so don’t try your ‘sorry babe’ crap on me.” I thunder
down the stairs and slam out the door. No way am I letting him drive me home.
Who knows what he’ll do. I hurry out the driveway and onto the foggy street.
Great, now I have to walk up a steep hill on a cold damp night.
Tom leans out of his bedroom window and
hollers, “Elle, wait. I'll take you home.”
I give him the finger,
take off running. When I hear the slam of his front door, I run even faster. No
way am I getting in his car. As I look for somewhere to hide, a bus rumbles up
the street. Hoping I’ll be spotted in the fog, I stand in the middle of the
road and wave my arms about. Luckily, the driver spots me and pulls up at the
side of the road. I hurry up the steps and pay my fare,
I sit in the back seat and peer out the window.
Tom is sprinting towards the moving bus, but
as it speeds up, he stops and stands with his hands on his hips. I wave at him,
as he disappears into the fog, I see my reflection
in the window and cringe. My hair is a tangled mess, thanks to him. As I comb
it, I start thinking about the cricket ball and wonder who would be playing
cricket on a night like this. It's too foggy too see anything, even in the oval
with the spotlights on. I scowl. Maybe someone threw it at the house on
purpose, but why? Surely no one could have known what Tom was doing? Unless he
told one of his friends what he had planned. I scowl. What a jerk he’s turning
out to be.
Chewing the inside of my cheek, I glance at
my watch. It's already 9:00 pm. Crap. My stomach churns. Hopefully, I'll get
home before my mother calls. As the driver pulls up at my stop, I grab my bag
and hurry down the steps onto the dark street. The fog is so thick I can hardly
see in front of me. Shivering, I dash behind the bus and run across the road.
The headlights of a vehicle are
coming straight at me, and as I leap away, a loud whoosh whizzes past me,
clipping the heel of my shoe. As I pray not to die, I fall in a heap on the
concrete footpath and the contents of my bag spill out. Dazed, I inhale short
raspy breaths as I start to hyperventilate. I check myself for broken bones,
and though I don't have any, my shins hurt like hell. Groaning, I gather my
things and shove them back into my purse.