Into the Darkness (Book 1)

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A New Start

Addi

I woke to a pounding headache. I could hear my pulse rushing in my ears. I felt like a bus hit me. Worse, I felt like a train going at full speed over a damn cliff hit me. What the hell happened? The last thing that I had remembered was rushing to the bathroom to empty my stomach once again, feeling feverish and then the room spinning. Shit, I passed out in the bathroom. How the hell did I get back to bed though?

I looked over towards the nightstand. There was yet another note with my name scribbled across the front.

Bella, you’ve been out for a few days from your infections. Amelia and I bought you a whole new wardrobe. Get dressed and join us down stairs. –Adrian

What did he mean I was out for a few days? How many days had I been sleeping? And what the hell did he mean by a whole new wardrobe?

I kicked the comforter off my lab and groined as I sat on the edge of the bed trying to get my bearings. I was no longer light headed or dizzy. I wasn’t in the clothes I remember being in the last time I was awake. Now I was just in an oversized shirt. Too big to have come from Amelia’s closet… Adrian’s I assumed.

I pushed myself forward nearing closer to the edge of the bed. My feet hit the ground. A fluffy white rug that lay under the bed came into contract with my feet brushing in between my toes. It was comforting. I swung my legs back and forth, forcing my feet to rub against the rug. I really hadn’t had too much time to look around closely to the room before. I was awake for maybe five minutes between puking and passing out. I remember the furniture, the bookshelf, the fireplace the large bed. But now the colors came to my attention. Everything was lavish, more than what I could ever afford. I stood on my two feet gasping as my feet left the comfort of the plus rug for the frigid marble floors that now brushed against my feet as I walked over to the fireplace. The stone that build up the wall to the mantle was beautiful mixture of white and grey natural colors. I brushed my hands against it as I continued walking to the alcove with the oversized grey loveseat. I plopped down on the plush cushions kicking my legs up on the ottoman just to take the room in from another angle. My gaze met with the bookshelf to my right. I quickly stood up and grazed my finger over each book, cocking my head to the side to read the spines. There were many books I had never heard of before, but many I had. I swiftly pulled a book away from the others. A thin film of dust followed the book wafting up in the air making me sneeze. I held the book closely to me as a smile seeped onto my face. It was one of my favorites, For Whom the Bells Toll, by Ernest Hemingway. Call me a Romantic. I opened the cover and began paging through the book walking aimlessly in the bedroom back to the bed. I placed the book down on the table reminding myself that I need to read it again later.

My mind crept back to the note and what Adrian wrote, ‘whole new wardrobe’. My eyes quickly shifted towards the closet door I had yet to explore. The patter of my feet against the marble floors filled the silent room as I made my way towards the unknown. I flipped the light switch on that reside next to the door, took a breath in and pushed the door open.

“Oh-oh my god!” My hand came up to my mouth to hide the smile that instantly began forming. In front of me stood a large walk in closet, practically the size of my bedroom in my small apartment. To my left there were racks of clothing from ceiling to floor. There was every kind of article of clothing any girl could only dream of having; cocktail dresses, formal clothing, formal dresses, sporty clothing, light clothing, jeans in every shade and color, blouses, regular t-shirts and clothing I didn’t even know existed. All of it in every style and color I could have ever needed. The back wall was filled with racks of shoes, so.many.shoes. There were boots, heels, wedges, sandals in practically every color and shape to match the unlimited supply of clothes I had just gained. The wall to my right was filled with two columns of multiple rows of drawers. I opened one up. Oh.. my. Each drawer was filled with some kind of undergarment, lingerie, panties, bras, all in multiple colors and styles. There were lace matching sets, plain, simple sets, sets to match some of the formal dresses that hung across the room, every color ranging from nude to red. The next column over was probably my favorite. Each drawer was filled with pajamas all made from different material from silky to fuzzy, shorts to pants, short gowns to robes, literally everything.

I quickly found the plush bench that sit in the middle of my ‘new wardrobe’, just sitting and taking it all in. Who are these people? How could they afford all of this just for me, some stranger? I didn’t deserve this, any of this. I did deserve a hot shower though.

I quickly grabbed a pair of dark skinny jeans with holes over the knees, a white loose fitting v-neck t-shirt, and a grey sweater cardigan and headed to the bathroom.

As I undressed in front of the mirror I could see all my wounds, none of which were healed completely yet. My cast still wrapped around my arm. I felt ashamed of each gouge that asshole took out of me. I was ashamed I didn’t fight back harder. I was ashamed that he took my dignity away from me. My head fell from the reflection in the mirror and the tears started to fall, rolling off my cheeks to the white lavish rug under my feet. I couldn’t look at my body anymore. All I could see was what the men in my life had done to me. I wasn’t beautiful. I was used and broken. They broke me, just like they wanted to. That way no one would ever look at me and think I was beautiful ever again.

I sulked into the shower letting the scalding hot water cascade over all of me except my casted arm. On the ledge of the shower sat multiple types of shampoos, conditioners, and body washes. From what I could recall most of these were not here the night Amelia bathed me. But I was grateful they were now.

I brought each bottle up to my nose smelling each individual scent. I didn’t think it was possible for something to smell expensive, but every bottle smelt like it cost a pretty penny. I managed to scrub my hair with one working arm and quickly clean myself up. I never wanted to get out of this shower. It was peaceful, beautiful really. Ever since I had become a nurse I always looked forward to showering after my shift was done. It was my me time. Each shower I took washed away all the things that happened at work, it washed away every emotion, every hard memory leaving me feeling like a blank canvas ready to find slumber and wake to start a new day. That’s what this shower felt like. With new clothes, a new cleaned body, wounds that were fixed, I felt like I got to start over.

After standing in the shower for so long my fingers began to prune. My body was bright red for the heat of the water rushing over my skin. I stepped out of the comfort of the warmth behind the glass doors. The room was filled with steam. The mirrors were glossed over with particles of water making my reflection hard to distinguish. I quickly averted my gaze as I stepped off the rug to the cold floor. My hairs stood on end as water trickled down from my long hair to my arms and down my back making me teeth chatter against themselves. I pulled a towel off the back of the door and quickly wrapped it around my body. I grabbed a smaller towel, flipped my head upside down with my hair dangling towards the floor and wrapped it around the wet strands twisting the towel and flipping it back over my head.

I took my time drying off, not feeling any rush. I cautioned myself around each cut, each stitch, and each spot where my flesh was pulled from my body. Normally I would take the towel and dry off rather quickly but I knew I would start to bleed if I rushed and hit a spot wrong.

Once completely dried I sat on the edge of the whirlpool tub, slipping a pair of underwear on and pulling my jeans on to my still slightly moistened legs. Somehow, they fit perfectly. I had always had a problem finding jeans that fit me, but who ever picked these out managed to find one that hugged all the right spots. I clasped a matching white bra behind my back and threw the shirt on over. The sweater cardigan was welcoming to my cold skin as I tugged that on last.

I let my hair fall out of the towel that wrapped on top of my head. Searching the drawers under the sink for a brush, I soon found more than I bargained for. Inside each drawer was makeup upon makeup. The next drawer down filled hair accessories, bobby pins, hair ties, clips, headbands you name it. The third down held the brushes and combs and the last drawer held curling irons, flat irons and a blow dryer. Everything that I possibly could have ever wanted and needed.

I really didn’t feel the need to blow dry my hair so I pulled the brush through small sections of my hair yanking occasionally though knots that had formed from sleeping. I never really did much with it on normal days. I had chocolate brown hair and a while back I had it dyed with caramel balayage tones. It was one of the only things I really loved about me. My natural hair was down to my mid back and when it dried it held perfect waves to it sometimes even making a slight curl. If only my body matched my beautiful hair.

I had spent nearly an hour in the bathroom. I figured it was time I go face my saviors. I slipped on a pair of black slippers, because I wasn’t going to wear something uncomfortable just for fashion around the house. I made my way to the door leading to the hallway. Suddenly the nerves in my stomach bunched up. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. Why was I so anxious? Adrian had shone me nothing but kindness and so did his sister. I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to just stay in this room where I knew I would be safe. But I knew that wasn’t a possibility.

I opened the door and took a left once I reached the hall. I grabbed the sleeves of my cardigans with my hands pulling it down over my fingers. I continued walking until I meet a set of six steps with a wooden handrail to my left and a larger set of stairs just beneath the railing. I looked forward as I began my descent. I had no idea were I was going, but I figured I would follow the smell of bacon and pancakes. There was a huge family room directly in front of me just a few feet away from the stairs. Three white leather couches sat gracefully untouched with a rustic wooden coffee table sitting right in the middle. Another fireplace resided directly in front of the couches with the TV mounted once again above the mantle. A set of huge windows that covered the entire wall from floor to ceiling rested just beyond the family room. The countryside’s breathtakingly beautiful in the distance.

I climbed down a few more steps stopping at the second to last one. There was an island connected with a huge stone podium made out of the same stones as the fireplace adjacent to the living room. The grey granite countertops sparkled from the rows of lights that floated just above it. I could see someone moving just beyond the podium but couldn’t make out who it was. But I could hear her humming while banging around pots and pans. The sizzling of food was just distant in the background. I turned my head to the left to see a narrowing between the podium and the wall. Directly beyond it was a large dining table, a familiar back faced towards me holding a newspaper with his leg crossed over the other, his ankle resting on the opposite knee. He was dressed immaculately. His hair was brushed back and lightly gelled giving it some volume while showing his natural part on the side. His blue blazer and pants were spotless and creased in the right areas. His brown leather shoes wiggled as he moved his feet while reading. He hadn’t even heard me come down.

I grabbed the hem of my sleeves again pulling down even more to cover up my hands. What the hell was I supposed to say to him, to Amelia. Uh thanks for saving me from dying, buying me all new clothes and informing me that I can’t leave. Yeah, don’t think I didn’t forget about him telling me that. I remember that part all too well. I crossed my arms over my chest still tugging on the hemline of the sleeve. I took a deep breath in and held it as I made my way over towards the table.

I slowly came up to his right side attempting to not startle him and stood behind one of the wooden chairs sitting next to him. I unfolded my arms and gripped onto the backrest causing my knuckles to turn white.

“Uhhh… hi.” I said meekly.

He glanced up over the newspaper at me un-phased and looked back down at whatever he was reading. I thought he didn’t care about my presents until he did a double take a placed the newspaper down on the table next to his coffee mug.

“Look who finally decided to come down. Looks like you found your new clothes okay. Hey Amelia, look who’s finally feeling better!” he raised his voice only slightly as I turned around to see the figure in the kitchen was her all peppy. She dried her hands off with a rage and rushed to me giving me a crushing hug.

“Oh, Addi. I’m glad you’re okay. How do you feel? Do you want something to eat, are you nauseous, in pain, do you need anything?”

“Whoa Am, give the girl a break.”

“Actually, I’m a little disoriented. How long have I been out for?”

“Oh sweetie, you’ve been out for about five days now. Prior to that you were in your room for about two and before that, well you were there for about a week.” Amelia chimed in with devastation settling in her eyes.

“What do you remember Addi?” his deep voice questioned.

“I remember a lot from Franco, if that’s what you’re wondering. Um as for the rest, I don’t really remember too much from the night you pulled me out of there just little pieces here and there. Then all I remember is waking up to you shaking me awake saying I was screaming and giving me breakfast. Shortly after I got sick and slept it off, until I woke up sick again but that time I remember getting to the bathroom and then things went dark. I don’t really remember too much otherwise.”

“Okay. Please, sit.” He motioned towards the chair. I politely did was he told me to do. “Do you remember what I told you the night I got you away from Franco?”

I shifted my head down to my hands as the wove themselves together on my lap. “Um from what I can recall you told me I had to stay here.”

“Okay, good. You do remember that.” An awkward silence fell between us. Amelia pulled the chair up next to me and sat placing her hand over mine.

“Sweetie, Dominic, the guy from the hospital...”Amelia began.

“Yeah, I remember him.”

“Well he wants you. He’s been killing to try to find you. He isn’t a good man Addi. He will do everything in his power to get you, do you understand that?” she finished with a grim look on her face.

“Why me?”

“We don’t really know. But it’s not safe outside of this house without one of us okay?

I knew something about Dominic felt off. Despite how handsome he was, I got a bad vibe from him. I didn’t know what he wanted with me and neither did Adrian or Amelia.

I looked to my left at Adrian. God he was gorgeous. His brown eyes glistened towards me even though his face remained hardened from speaking of Dominic. His hair was the perfect mixture of messy yet tamed. His arms were crossed over his chest as he leaned back on the backrest of the dining room chair. His muscles were bulging the seams of his blue suit jacket. Part of him looked dangerous and serious. But the other part of him looked soft and caring.

I must have stared at him too long because his soft eyes shut for a second as he brought his hand to pinched the bridge of his nose seeming as he was annoyed at my gaze. When he opened his eyes and placed his hand back where it had been crossed with the other his face went dark. His brown eyes seemed to fade to black, as his pupils grew larger. His eyebrows folded into the middle towards his nose furrowing upon the creases his forehead made. His soft lips grew stern and caved in towards his teeth. Adrian never broke eye contact with me even when his faced changed and seemed to get angry.

I remember the aura I felt when Dominic was near. My instincts told me that he wasn’t a good guy. That the things he had most likely done in his life would make my stomach cringe. But to the side of me stood a guy that anyone would have been terrified of. His gaze would be enough to make anyone quake with fear. The way he looked right now, if looks could kill, whomever he wanted dead would be. But for some reason I didn’t feel scare. My gut, my instincts knew I was safer here than elsewhere. They told me that even though this man looked murderous towards me presently, he would never actually do anything to harm me.

He quickly stood up buttoning his jacket back up, slammed the rest of his coffee in one gulp only breaking eye contact with me after he excused himself and turned to walk away.

“Is he mad at me about something?”

“No Addi, he just has business to deal with. Come, help me finish making breakfast.”

I turned my head and smiled slightly nodding my head to say sure. It was the least I could do. These two had saved me. There was nothing I could do to pay that back.

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