Authors: Sawyer Bennett
is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
A Loveswept Ebook Original
Copyright © 2016 by Sawyer Bennett
by Sawyer Bennett copyright © 2014 by Sawyer Bennett
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Loveswept, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
is a registered trademark and the
colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.
ebook ISBN 9781101968123
Cover design: Sarah Hansen
Cover photograph: Pandorabox/Shutterstock
“Come on. Up you go. Time to get you home.”
A hand grips me at my upper arm and pulls me from the bed. My head spins and bile rises in my throat. I’m dizzy and hurt everywhere.
“Hey now,” he chides me. “You forgot to button your jeans.”
I look down through blurry eyes and watch in a daze as his hands work at my zipper, pulling it up and then fastening the button. I sway back and forth, my legs feeling like they’re filled with Jell-O.
“There now. You’re all presentable,” he says with a dark laugh, and his hand is back on my arm. He guides me down a long hallway. I stumble twice, but he hauls me back up, his fingers digging into my flesh painfully. He leads me to a large, curved staircase and my right hand goes out to hold on to the wrought-iron banister. I stare in odd fascination at the dark ring of bruises around my wrist, which causes me to miss the first step and I almost go down.
“Easy now,” he says in a gentle voice as he uses his grip on my arm to catch me. “Don’t want you falling down these stairs and breaking your neck now, do we?”
A surge of fear wells up inside of me and I drop my eyes to my feet, watching as he carefully escorts me down the staircase. Blaring music, the chatter of maybe a hundred voices and people laughing.
My head is so heavy that it’s a monumental effort to lift it when we reach the bottom, and my heels practically slide out from underneath me when they hit the slick marble tile of the grand foyer. I remember thinking it was so pretty when I first walked in.
“JT…man, she is a mess,” someone says…a man. I recognize his voice. I call on every muscle in my neck to cooperate and raise my head, swiveling it to the left.
Ice-cold, pale blue eyes laugh at me. Thin blond hair so colorless it’s almost white. Skin almost as ghostlike.
He’s smirking at me. A knowing look.
“Oh, fuck, she feels good,” he moans as he slams in and out of me. I try to push him off me but I can’t move my arms. I lift my head, first connecting my gaze with pale, evil blue eyes as they squint in grotesque pleasure, and then tilt my head backward. Someone…can’t really see him…holding my wrists down.
I shake my head, trying to clear it of the horror.
“Let me dump her in a cab and then she won’t be our mess anymore,” the guy holding my arm says. I force my head to turn his way, my vision still going in and out of focus.
Really tall. Dark blond hair.
That’s all I get.
My tongue feels so thick and I’m not sure my words come out right. “Who are you?”
“Baby,” he says with what I think is a grin. A gray haze clouds my eyes and I see what I think are a row of sparkling teeth flashing at me. “I just made all your fantasies come true. Don’t you remember?”
The guy with the pale eyes laughs hysterically, but I can’t muster up the energy to look back at him. My head drops and I stare at the white and black diamond tiles and the tips of my red heels.
More pressure on my arm and I’m guided across the foyer. The music is so loud it hurts my ears and the laughter…is everyone laughing at me? Even though I’m not sure, I feel my cheeks burning with embarrassment.
“Allow me to get the door,” a deep voice says, and I struggle to lift my gaze…narrow my eyelids to focus, and see someone reaching for a heavy, black iron door with a scroll design over frosted glass. On his wrist…that tattoo.
“Think she’ll suck my dick?” Tan hands work at a belt buckle, slips the leather free, and pops the top button. A red bird on the inside of his wrist.
Pain shoots through my scalp as someone grabs my hair. I can feel a deep-seated scream start to push up from my throat, but it’s so dry, it never makes it out.
“I don’t know,” a man says with a laugh from behind me, gives my head a shake. “She might bite it. I’d fuck her somewhere else if I were you. There’s two other holes.”
Pain…terrible, horrible pain in my ass…
I’m finally able to scream, but it’s cut off as something is shoved in my mouth.
I think it’s my panties.
The door swings open slowly and the faceless, blurry man leads me through it. Three concrete steps down and my feet hit gravel. My ankles immediately roll from the uneven terrain and my knees start to buckle.
The man hauls me up again and then slips a supportive arm around my waist.
“You really are a mess,” he says almost tenderly.
The cool night air helps to clear my mind a bit. I turn my head…easier now, and look at him again.
He has brown eyes.
How did I not notice that before?
He must sense that I’m looking at him, because he turns and tilts his head to look down at me. His eyes roam over my face and he gives an almost apologetic smile as he releases my arm to lift his hand. I close my eyes briefly as his fingertips come up to my hair just near my temple.
“Damn, baby…sorry…looks like we left some spunk in your hair,” he says with a taunting laugh.
My own hand raises and I touch my blond locks in confusion. There’s something in my hair…stiff and brittle-feeling.
“I’m going to come,” he grunts as he rams in and out of me so hard it feels like my hips are going to dislocate. “Hold her mouth open.”
Something presses into the hinges of my jaw, forcing my mouth open. The cotton panties in my mouth are pulled out and I suck in air. The man on me…in me right now…blurred and shadowed.
Tears in my eyes making it even harder to see.
“That’s it,” he groans, slams into me one more time, then abruptly he’s gone. I can hear a snapping sound, someone straddling my chest, and then warm, wet liquid starts dribbling into my mouth, hitting my cheek…my temple.
I choke in surprise on the bitter taste, my tongue working to push it back out, but then a large hand is clamped over my mouth and nose, cutting off my air supply.
“Swallow it,” he says gruffly. “All of it.”
My throat contracts, releases, and then I swallow and choke. I blink the tears from my eyes as he rolls off me. I turn my head to the left and watch him pull his pants up. His chest is naked.
And there’s a huge red bird tattooed across his ribs.
I jerk back from his touch and almost fall on my butt. He chuckles and wraps his arm around my waist tighter.
“Easy now,” he says in a soothing tone, and starts to walk me down the gravel driveway to where a yellow car sits.
“Where are you taking me?” I ask, my own voice sounding like a faraway echo.
“I’m taking you home. What’s your address?”
I give it to him, hoping he can understand what I say, because I can’t.
“You were great, baby. Want to do that again sometime, come back and ask for JT.”
“I didn’t like that,” I insist in a thick voice. I’m starting to feel nauseous again. It hurts really bad between my legs…my butt…
“Doesn’t matter,” he says arrogantly. “You won’t remember it tomorrow anyway.”
The back door of the cab opens and I’m lowered into the seat. My head, which feels like it weighs five hundred pounds, falls back until it presses into the foam cushion. I can hear my address being given to the driver.
I close my eyes and surrender to the darkness.
“Come on, honey…wake up.” A large hand shakes me by my shoulder. I peel my eyes open, my head now pounding. I push up from the cold vinyl seat and realize I’m in a car.
The backseat of a car.
“Get going.” Pushing my hair out of my face, I see a portly Indian man staring at me with dark brown eyes. “I’ve got another fare to collect.”
Swinging my legs out, I exit the backseat, realizing I don’t have my purse. Did I even have it tonight?
“I don’t have anything to pay you with,” I mumble as I pat my back jeans pockets, vaguely remembering I had a large purse with me tonight but no clue where it is right now.
“Already taken care of,” he says, and I wonder who paid him. I sort of remember someone helping me into the cab, but now I’m not sure.
I look over the top of the cab and see my house with the cheerful yellow light awaiting me on the front porch.
“Thank you,” I mutter, and walk around the back of the cab. When I reach the mailbox at the end of my driveway, I hold on to it with one hand as I lean to the side and remove first one high heel, then the other. I leave them lying there. Oddly, my feet don’t hurt, but that might be the only part of me that doesn’t. I immediately feel steadier as my bare feet traverse the concrete driveway up to the small sidewalk that cuts across the front yard to the porch.
I make it up the four small steps and manage to reach on top of the doorframe for the spare key. The house is quiet when I walk in, both of my parents presumably sound asleep.
I try to be as quiet as I can as I walk down the short hallway, periodically reaching my hand out to steady myself on the wall. At my desk, I pull the chair out and sit down heavily, a pained cry coming out as another sharp stab of pain reverberates through my bottom. Tears well up in my eyes and I grab clumsily at my journal.
Opening the small spiral notebook, I don’t bother trying to find the next available page. I just open it up somewhere around the middle and pick up my blue gel pen beside it. I write slowly, disregarding the drip of tears on the pages beside my words.
Today is my 16th birthday.
I was raped.
I think I deserved it.
The pen falls from my fingers as I push up from my desk. I close the notebook and stand from the chair, feeling beyond weary. My soul feels dank. My heart fragile like spun glass.
Spunk in my hair.
I walk back out of my room, down the hallway and through the living room. Into the darkened kitchen where I don’t even bother turning on a light. What I need is in the utility drawer right by the entrance, and there’s enough moonlight coming in through the windows over the sink so I can see well enough.
It takes but a moment to pull the drawer open and for me to grab it with surety.
Back down the hall and into the bathroom.
I turn the light on and immediately raise my face to the mirror over the small vanity.
Golden-blond hair tangled with white crust at my temple. Denim-blue eyes bloodshot with dark circles underneath. Purple marks on my throat and at my jaw.
“You’re a real mess, Sela,” I whisper to my reflection.
For a bizarre moment, I think she gives a sad nod of agreement back at me, but I blink hard. It’s just me…the girl who wanted the attention and got it in all the wrong ways.
I grip the box cutter in my right hand, lower my face, and stare at it. My eyes flick to my left wrist and I see the purple bruises there that match the ones on my right. Slowly, I turn my left hand over, resting the back of it on the vanity. The pale skin of my wrist is exposed, the blue veins providing me a road map.
Taking the box cutter, I press the tip of the razor into my skin and look up into the mirror once more.
“You’re a real mess,” I tell myself again.
Then I push down with the blade.