Hidden Obsession (The Club #2)

BOOK: Hidden Obsession (The Club #2)
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Hidden Obsession

By

Missy Johnson

Copyright© 2015 Missy Johnson

All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

First Printing: Feb 2015

 

Chapter One

“Shit,” I mumble as I realize the front door isn’t locked.
He’s been here again.
Every instinct tells me not to go inside, to call the cops and wait for them to arrive, but it’s minus five degrees and I’m freezing my ass off. Besides, he hasn’t stuck around the other dozen times he’s broken into my house—why would he start now?

Just in case, I call 911 as I’m walking inside.

“Hello?” I call out. I’m greeted by silence, which isn’t surprising. You’re not exactly going to announce your presence if you’ve broken into someone’s house, are you?

“Miss?”

The voice on the phone makes me jump. I put it to my ear and report the intrusion. I roll my eyes as I’m told not to touch anything until the police arrive. As if I haven’t been through all this before. They probably have my photo on their wall at the precinct, they’re here that often.

I throw my purse down onto the counter and go in search of a sweater. Walking into my bedroom, I stop dead in my tracks when I see my bed.

“Oh, eww, that
so
better not be what it looks like.” But I know it is. The sticky white substance can only be one thing. I cover my mouth and grab my jacket, then turn and bolt out of the room, crashing into a wall of muscle. My fighting instincts kick in and I attempt to knee him in the balls.

He chuckles, turning me around and pressing me against his body. “The assailant would want to be glad he was gone when you got home,” he laughs.

I blush, realizing he’s a plain-clothes detective.

“Do you have some identification?” I ask, my voice cold. “Excuse me for not being too trusting at the moment.”

He flips open his badge and I examine it until I can no longer deny how close I came to assaulting a detective.

“Did he take anything? Any damage?” he asks, walking around the living room.

“Just the little party he had in my bedroom,” I mutter, rubbing my head. “It’s the same as usual, detective. This is about the fourteenth time I’ve had to call you guys in the past two years.”

I thought moving to a new town would put a stop to all this, and for a while, it did. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.

He looks up at me with interest. “What do you know about him?”

“Not much. I know he follows me. He’s never actually hurt me. But then again he’s never masturbated all over my bed until tonight.”

“He could be escalating,” he agrees. “Or he could be angry you’re not acknowledging his attention.”

“Maybe,” I agree. “But he’s pretty much left me alone since I moved here two months ago. I moved from my hometown to get away from him.”

“Then it probably took him this long to find you again. The message he left on the bed, it’s likely retaliation for you moving.”

It makes sense. I groan and rub my temples. How did he find me? I was so careful to cover my tracks, even going as far as changing my name and limiting contact with my family.

My parents were killed when I was a teenager by a drunk driver. I was taken in by my aunt— my mother’s younger sister—who is really the only family I have left. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for Carmel, Andre, and my two cousins, Ally and Paige.

Limiting contact with them had been hard. Being in a new place where I didn’t know anyone was difficult enough, but only sending the odd email and making one phone call every couple of weeks was so far away from what I was used to. And to think it was all for nothing: he’d found me anyway. I feel so pissed off and cheated.

“So, what now?” I ask, deflated.

“I can put a car outside your building for a few hours, but to be honest, there isn’t much we can do at this stage.”

“Great,” I mumble, my voice glum. “Thanks for your help. I appreciate you coming out here…” My voice trails off as I realize I didn’t catch his name.

“Conrad,” he replies smoothly.

Chapter Two

I open my eyes and wince as I try and sit up, pain searing through my neck. Sleeping on the sofa hadn’t exactly given me a restful night’s sleep, but I was fucked if I was going to sleep in that bed, no matter how many times I washed it.

The first thing I do is order a new mattress, to be delivered this morning. On my way out, I let the doorman know to expect it, resisting the urge to ask him where the hell he was yesterday. What was the point in moving into one of the most secure places in the fucking city if anyone could get in and out?

Calm down. The cop told you he most likely came through the fire escape window.
Then why leave via the door? Was that his way of showing me what he is capable of?

Frustrated, I walk outside, glancing up and down the street before I head for my car. Annoyingly, my three thousand a month in rent apparently doesn’t allow for a parking garage within the same building as my apartment. They had more apartments than spaces, meaning they put me in one of their sister complexes two blocks down.

When I finally make it to my car, I slump into the front seat and rev it up, praying she’s going to start. She does, and I cheer. Every day is a gamble as to whether my car will get me to and from work, which is not ideal considering my hours have me leaving work in the middle of the night—or the fact that I have a madman after me. One thing I know is a must is to have a reliable car. Unfortunately, that requires money—something I’m pretty short of after my cross-country move.

Pushing my long, dark hair out of my face, I tie it back with a band and then reverse out of my parking spot. My work isn’t far away, but far enough to make walking uncomfortable—especially when you’re as unfit as I am.

**

“Hey, Raven.”

Billy, one of the guys I work with, smiles at me. I smile back, my guard staying up like it does in all interaction with the opposite sex. It sucks analyzing everyone, wondering if they’re my stalker, and it makes friendships in a new town damn near impossible. My heart pangs as I miss Carmel and my other friends from back home.

“Hey, Billy. How are you?” I ask, trying my best to be friendly.

“Yeah, good. How are you settling in?”

We engage in small talk for a few minutes until it’s acceptable for me to slink away. I don’t want to come across as rude, but my anxiety levels are sky high. I make my way down to the staffroom, where I dump my stuff in my locker and change into my uniform. It takes me a good five minutes to push my way into the skin-tight black leggings and fitted black corset that make my uniform. I gather my hair behind my head, fastening it with a clip, and put on a little lip gloss and mascara. Satisfied with my reflection in the small mirror fixed to the inside of my locker, I head out to start my shift.

I’ve been working as a suit at an exclusive club in Karim since I moved here two months ago. If you’re wondering what a suit is, think secret service. My job is to blend in with the clientele and make sure everything is running as it should. Anything out of the ordinary I report to security for them to deal with. Most of the time I enjoy my job and disturbances are pretty rare.

Most of my shifts are spent ensuring the private rooms are being used appropriately. Not that they have any rules at the club other than keeping your mouth shut, but they are very serious about making sure everybody is safe. Tonight, I’m on the top floor. I exit the elevator and walk around the perimeter of the space, doing my best to blend in with the clients.

Ninety-nine percent of my nights go by uneventfully. I don’t do much other than be aware if a problem arises. I love it and hate it because it gives me time to think. Some nights I’d prefer something would happen just to distract myself from my own mind.

I make my way down toward the bar in the far corner of the club. I stand back, watching a couple of guys trying to smooth-talk an attractive woman with long, dark hair. The way she’s flipping her hair all over the place, I can tell she’s enjoying being the center of attention. It doesn’t take long before one of the men is leading her to a private room with the other guy trailing closely behind. A hint of a smile on my lips, I focus my attention on another couple. I can tell right away that they’re married.

Every now and then the woman leans over and whispers to her partner, nodding in the direction of a female. It clicks what they’re here for, and when her eyes lock with mine, I smile politely and move on. It’s not the first time a member has mistaken me for another member. As a suit, the point is to blend in, but sometimes blending in can create its own set of problems.

 

After my shift, I head back to my apartment. It’s nearly
five a.m. and the sun is just coming up. The best shifts in the world are the ones that have me home after the sun has risen. There’s nothing worse than walking the few minutes from my parking lot to my apartment complex when I can’t see who is around me. I always think the worst. Sometimes I convince myself I’m being followed when I know there’s nobody around.

When I’m safely inside my apartment, I check that all the doors are locked and forgo my usual nightcap. I’m tired and craving a good night’s sleep. It takes me a few minutes to make my new bed, but even then, lying where I know he’s been makes my skin crawl. After a few more minutes tossing and turning, I take my blankets and pillow back out to the sofa.

At least I’ll get some sleep out here. 

Chapter Three

The knock on the door the following afternoon is unexpected, especially since the doorman is supposed to alert me to any visitors. I grab a shirt to cover up my sports bra and walk over to the door. A quick look through the peephole tells me it’s Conrad. A shiver races through me, taking me by surprise. Sure, he’s hot, young, and the spitting image of Liam Hemsworth, but I’m not usually one to go gooey over guys.

Opening the door, I can’t help but smile when he holds up a coffee.

“Well, this in inappropriate.” I grin, taking the cup. I push my hair out of my face, wishing I’d had time to wash it last night.

“Inappropriate?” he repeats, his lips parting into a grin. “I promise you I’m here strictly for business. I was hoping you could spare me a few minutes to run over your history with this stalker.”

“Isn’t it all in my file or something?” I ask, not exactly sure how it all works.

“Yes, but you’d be surprised at how many memories can be tweaked just by running through it all again. If you’re busy, come by the station—”

“No, now’s fine,” I interrupt. “Come in.”

As he walks past me and into my living room, the musky scent of his aftershave hits me. I study him for a moment. If I had a type, he is definitely the kind of guy I’d go for.

I haven’t been in a relationship or even dated since this whole stalker business began. My friends back home tried to set me up a few times, but it was hard letting someone in when you know you’re the obsession of somebody else. It’s hard to move past that. And the few times I tried to, it was hard explaining who was leaving me flowers and lingerie. Guys don’t like to be challenged; at least, not the guys I knew.

 

“Studying?” he asks, noting my open laptop and textbooks.

I nod and move forward to close them up, pushing them to the end of the coffee table.

“What are you studying?” he asks, leaning down to pick up one of the books.

I’m taken aback by his forwardness when it comes to touching my things, but then I remind myself that he’s a cop. It’s what he does.

“Business,” I mumble.

“Pretty nice place to be able to afford as a student.”

I gape at him. Is he for real? I don’t like the suggestive tone in his voice that hints I might be doing something illegal or dirty for income—though with some of the kink that goes on in the club, it wouldn’t be a far stretch.

“I didn’t mean to suggest—”

“Yes you did,” I interrupt, crossing my arms over my chest. “And though it’s none of your business, my parents help me out with rent while I’m studying. They wanted me to stay somewhere secure.” I laugh and shake my head. “Great lot of good that did.”

“Where are you from?” he asks, sitting down.

“Originally from San Francisco. I moved out here for college and to get away from…” My voice trails off. I sigh and turn around. “Do you want a drink or something?”

He points to my coffee and I blush as he takes a sip of his own.

“Sorry, I forgot,” I mumble.

“So, when did this guy first start bothering you?”

I sit down on the edge of an armchair, setting my drink down on the coffee table. “Back in January of 2013. To begin with, it was just flowers and chocolates. My friends thought it was cute, and secretly it made me feel good to have caught the attention of someone.” I pause, my cheeks heating up. Could I sound any more desperate? I glance at him. He doesn’t speak, but his eyes burn into mine. I shift in my seat and continue. “Pretty quickly, it became more than that. Letters declaring how I belonged to him, I’d feel someone watching me when I walked down the street…”

“That could’ve just been paranoia,” he points out.

“And I suppose coming home to find my cat dismembered on my front lawn was just paranoia too?” I ask, raising my eyebrows. His gaze drops and I sigh, rubbing my temples. “I’m sorry. It’s just talking about him puts me on edge.”

“Did he give a reason for your cat?” he asks.

“I was seeing somebody at the time.” I laugh, my eyes stinging with tears. “We went out on like two dates, but apparently that was enough to drive him nuts.”

“That’s pretty intense,” he says, putting his notepad down. “Have you ever seen him? Even just a glimpse, an idea of his height or build?”

I shake my head. “Never.”

He sighs, his eyes leveling on mine. “I’m not going to lie to you, Raven. We don’t have much to go on. Chances of us catching this guy are pretty poor, and even if we do, there isn’t a great deal we can do about it other than possibly charge him with breaking and entering.”

I know the drill because I’ve heard it all before: because this guy isn’t hurting or threatening me, there isn’t much that can be done.

“Right. I get it. So don’t bother calling you guys next time, right?” I say, forcing a laugh. The story of my life. What did he have to do to me for them to take notice?

“No, that’s not what I’m saying at all,” he argues. “You need to report everything this guy does because you really have no idea what he’ll do next.”

I stand up, crossing my arms over my chest. “Okay, well thanks for coming over. I have to get ready for work soon, so if you don’t mind…”

“Right, of course,” he murmurs, standing up. He gives me a half smile as he walks over to the door. “If you need me, call me anytime, okay?” He hands me a slip of paper. “That’s my personal number.”

“Thanks,” I reply, staring at the digits. His personal number? Is he flirting with me? I shake my head, which earns me an amused look from Conrad. Why the hell would he be flirting with me? And more to the point, I wouldn’t care if he was…would I? My pounding heart suggests differently. I resist the urge to laugh again. The first guy to pay any attention to me in ages is a goddamn cop.

“Take care of yourself, Raven.”

BOOK: Hidden Obsession (The Club #2)
3.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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