This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
It’d been several weeks since Lacy Summers, and her mother had moved into the smaller town of, Shelter Bay. She was used to the city, but this hideaway bordered the large skyscrapers, rurally. She had to admit she enjoyed the quietness and the privacy, she liked the way the houses here had backyards and a fair few metres between one another. In her short twenty-one years she’d become accustomed to moving, it never really phased her. Ignorantly believing the only reason they kept moving was based on free will, but every family has their secrets and this one forced a constant change in scenery.
Pushing through the front door of a small two-bedroom house, Lacy called out to her mother. She shook her head at the non-committal grunt that came in response, from the kitchen. Stepping out of her boots she made her way to the voice. “I brought eggs,” she placed a plastic bag on the counter and watched her mother rush around the kitchen.
“How was work?” Jiya smiled down at her daughter as she collapsed on the dining table.
Lacy loved children, but working in a day care centre really played with her energy levels. The kids were more than active, almost too much for the five workers to handle. Luckily, Gregory— the owner— and his partner are always around to help when the children get out of hand. “Tiring,” the young woman replied while pressing her head to the wooden surface.
“Go take a shower,” She heard her mother laugh, “dinner will be ready in thirty.”
Sluggishly, Lacy stood from the table and trudged down the hallway and entered a room to her left, grabbing her towel and a set of clean clothes she entered the bathroom opposite her bedroom. Reaching into the shower she felt around for the valves before locating the hot and cold switches. She yanked her arm back just in time. Cold water blasts out of the showerhead, she removed her clothes while waiting for the chill to turn to a nice steady warm rain.
Her shower was quick, honestly, she just wanted to eat something and hit the sack. Wrapping the towel around her wet hair, she dropped her dirty clothes in a hamper before exiting the small area. From the kitchen she heard her mother set the table, the strong scent of curry invaded her nose, she could already taste the spices. Lowering onto a seat, she watched her mother dish out the food, they both dug in without a second thought.
“I’m on night shift tomorrow...” Jiya stated cautiously, she knew her daughter disliked her working late.
Lacy lowered the glass in her hand and glanced up at her mother, “call in sick, it’s too dangerous.” She worked in reception, the front of the hospital, not even in a separate ward. Too many wack jobs lived in the world for her to trust her mother in that kind of setting. Especially with their personal circumstances, she wished her mother would be more careful.
“Calm down, it’s only Thursdays and Fridays.” Jiya ran a hand through her dark curly hair, rising from her seat she piled the dirty dishes and headed for the sink.
But Lacy couldn’t calm down if they were any other family she’d have kept it together. Unfortunately, they had a past that refused to stay in the past. “We’re not discussing this again, ma.” She stood and helped her mother with the dishes.
Wisely Jiya kept quiet, she couldn’t help but feel like she’d let her daughter down, she didn’t like the way Lacy guarded herself so fully. Always had metal walls gated around her. She decided then and there that she’d change this isolation Lacy seemed to adopt.
Lacy dried her hands and finished placing the dishes in their designated cupboards, she gave her mother one last warning before heading to her room. Her mother was too at ease; every time they let their watch down, he found them. This time, she was determined to remain as hidden as possible. Falling to her bed, Lacy pulled her phone from the charger she set an alarm and allowed sleep to consume her.
Lacy woke early the next morning, the sound of heavy rain had her tossing and turning all through the night, the downpour hadn’t let up. Groggily, she pushed her covers down her legs and practically crawled to the bathroom. Washing her face, she brushed her teeth and headed back to her room. Tugging on leggings and a loose shirt she paired it with a dark green parker. Grabbing her bag and phone she quietly closed her door behind herself and headed down to the entryway. Pulling on her boots she locked up and walked to her dodgy car.
The rusted paint could really do with a second coat, but who was she to complain, the machine did its job and that’s all she needed. Yanking the door close after herself, she felt around for the keyhole. Pressing the break, she changed gears and slowly back out of the driveway. Cringing as the engine stuttered, she continued down the road to the day care centre.
At first, the vehicle hiccupped, it then jerked before coming to a full stall.
Groaning, Johann clenched his fists together in his lap. They had to be kidding, he’d just gotten out of this kind of life. He wasn’t about to work for the bloody bastards that locked him up. “You’re lucky enough to get out, Johann. I wouldn’t get too cocky.”
“I have a job.” Johann stood to his full height as if the damn Italian wasn’t intimidating enough without showcasing his build. Travis muffled his laughter as his mate glared the sheriff down, he swung his keys on his finger and humoured himself with the scene.
The sheriff needed the bastard as an alliance otherwise, the head of the department would have his ass on a golden platter, “Fuck Johann, help me out here.”
Taking pity on the cop, Johann wrote his number down on one of the documents in front of him. “Don’t get too excited,” he grunted out before turning and giving Travis a nod. “I’m not up for Greg, man,” Johann muttered as they walked out of the station and down to Travis’ car.
“Abbi’s cooking... how long has it been since you’ve had a good meal?” Travis bargained appealingly. It’s been too fucking long; Johann couldn’t remember what proper food tasted like. Prison wasn’t a five-star restaurant, that’s for damn sure. Bland mush was too innocent and kind of a description.
Johann changed the topic, not too keen on reminiscing, “how’s Mary and Kyton?”
“Pissed!” Travis chuckled, “She’s angry with you, says Kyton doesn’t even remember what you look like apparently.” He finished.
Johann pursed his lips, “she’s being dramatic. I didn’t want Kyton in that kind of place.”
“You didn’t let anyone visit,” Travis grumbled.
Johann dropped the conversation. He wasn’t much of a talker, to begin with, this already was becoming too much for him. He wasn’t about to lie, the man missed his family, especially his nephew. However, with a tainted reputation he believed distance was a necessary evil. Rain showered the car and Travis had to squint just to keep on the road.
Despite Johann’s distracted state, something forced him to keep his eyes on the road, and that’s when he saw her.
Frustrated and beyond pissed at her current situation, Lacy glared at her piece of junk car. Sure it was three years old and that is after she bought it from the second-hand dealer ship, but she expected more from the ten grand lump of metal. Not only could she not afford a repair, but she had no one to call except her mother and she’d rather avoid worrying her.
It was just her luck that the rain decided to keep up, in fact, she felt it had gotten heavier just to piss her off further. As if it couldn’t get any worse, she quickly realised that the road she was on seemed dead, she hadn’t seen a single car pass in the last ten minutes. Kicking one of the front tyres she frowned, knowing for sure that by the time she arrived at work, she’d have a killer headache and runny nose. She felt and most probably looked like a drowned rat. Not one of her most attractive moments, that’s for bloody sure!
Running a hand through her long hair she calmed herself down. Getting angry wouldn’t fix anything, despite it being highly satisfying. She wasn’t an idiot, surely if she opened the hood of her rolling piece of trash, she’d know what to do. With a confidence boost, Lacy made her way around the car, quickly opening the driver’s door and pulling the leaver, regardless of her fast pace a portion of the interior got drenched. She took a deep breath and settled on investigating the smoke leaking bonnet.
Lifting the metal up, she ducked under and took cover from the bastard who seemed to continuously piss down on her. Truthfully, she tried. Tried to find out what had caused the car to breakdown, but she was no mechanic and to be frank that was the first time she’d seen the insides of her vehicle. She dropped her head and decided the next step would be to go through her narrow list of contacts and find help.
The sound of gravel crunching behind her sent a shiver down her spine. Please be a nice old lady and not some psychopathic serial killer! She’d even take a couple of teenagers... Mentally she went through several self-defence moves that she’d wisely learnt off the neighbouring full-time gamer back in the city. Her chances in fending off anyone were slim, even she acknowledged that. Maybe if she didn’t turn around, they’d keep driving. And chance waiting another twenty minutes on this back alley road, fuck no! Her subconscious grabbed a bottle of pepper spray.
Guarded, Lacy slowly turned to face where the sound had come from. What she wasn’t prepared for was the brute of a man that made his way to her. “Fuck...” the curse slipped from her parted lips, unintentionally. Almost immediately, the woman in her head dropped the bottle of spray and smacked on a dark coat of lipstick. There was no doubt about it, the man was dangerously attractive.
He was the kind of man fathers told their daughters to avoid; the kind of man you’d expect to run underground fighting rings. The man walking to her had no boyish charm, instead, he oozed sex appeal. She swallowed hard and grabbed onto the frame of the vehicle behind her to keep from collapsing. It was embarrassing, to say the least, she was a grown fucking woman, she had control... and yet there she stood with wet panties and shaky knees. And, it had nothing to do with the rain.
Her mind had run a mile, and within that time he’d closed the distance between them. “Move,” he grunted out.
Now if that wasn’t an orgasm worthy voice, she’d be damned. Then the command registered, “I’m sorry!” She squinted up at him, forcing a glare to take the form of her features. Who was this man and why was he ordering me around?
“Move,” he repeated, looking down at her.
She had the right mind to tell the ignorant prick where to stick it, except her body had other plans. Lacy felt her lower regions quiver, she clenched her legs together and prayed the sudden arousal wasn’t displayed on her face as it was beneath her clothes. “Do I know you?”
“Not yet...” He muttered taking another step forward.
It was the perfect set up for a horror film, any minute now he’d pull out a machete and chase her through the woods. She hated to admit that she wasn’t creeped out, as long as it was him chasing her through the thick forest, she groaned at her dirty thoughts.Then he touched her and any lingering rational thought went flying to the curb...
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