© 2018 by Sara Leanne Adams
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
This is book one in The Unbroken Series. Each book can be read as a standalone.
Trigger Warning: Gelasia Unbroken contains subject matter that may be disturbing to some readers, including domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Bright orange leaves danced in the cool October breeze as students hustled across Killian court in warm jackets, coffees in hand. The Great Dome of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology presided over the expansive lawn, blanketed in a sea of colour.
I made my way across the crowded courtyard, anxious to get to the fitness centre and work out. In a few hours, I would make my debut as the starting goalie for the MIT Women’s Hockey Team.
I spent two seasons as a backup goalie, sitting on the bench for most games. The number one goaltender finally graduated, and it was my chance to shine. I would start every game. Some other girl would sit on the bench, waiting for me to screw up or get injured.
The gym was packed with muscleheads. I cursed the person who designed the layout. While I was grateful for the private women’s only gym, I resented the fact that I had to walk past the free weights section to get to it. It was always populated with brawny, ripped guys, grunting and bragging about how much they could bench.
As I walked past, a musclehead smiled and winked at me. I glanced behind me, expecting to see a hot blonde, but there was no one else.
Hm. That is new.
I was paying more attention to my appearance, and wearing contacts and makeup.
Is that all it takes?
I didn’t consider myself hot. I wasn’t ugly, but I didn’t often garner the attention of male strangers.
I smiled back with a shy giggle.
Good grief. You sound like a flirty airhead.
“What are you doing, man? Can’t bench that much?”
I groaned at the sound of the familiar voice just before the owner emerged from behind the weight stand.
My childhood bully.
He didn’t go to MIT. Why did he have to work out there?
“Hello, Gelasia. Are you lost?” His eyes roamed up and down my body, an amused half smirk forming on his lips.
“No,” I snapped. “I go to school here, which is more than I can say for you. Doesn’t Harvard have a place for lunkheads to grunt and stare at their muscles? And my name is Lacey!”
“You know her?” his friend asked with a seductive grin, his eyes fixated on my breasts.
“Yeah. She’s my kid brother’s friend. You don’t want to hit on her. She’s a dork.”
I bared my teeth and clenched my jaw, ready to hurl insults at the guy who’d been tormenting me most of my life. He crossed his arms in front of his immense chest, waiting for the angry outburst he was accustomed to.
Well, I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction. I held my head high and made my way to the women’s change room, ignoring the laughter behind me.
Marty’s younger brother, Mitch, was the male member of a dynamic threesome that included myself and another girl, Whitney Nelson.
Inseparable since the first day of kindergarten, we remained steadfast to our sandbox pact to always stick together. All through elementary, junior high and high school, we did everything together. When Whitney and Mitch started dating in our freshman year of high school, we remained close despite my new role as the third wheel.
Marty was four years older than us. He was an obnoxious jerk as a kid, and nothing had changed in adulthood.
I ran home in tears so many times after letting him get to me. Puberty was a rough period for me. I suffered through an awkward phase of acne, glasses and braces, and my chest was flat until I was almost seventeen. All of which provided Marty with ample ammunition when he felt the need to pick on me.
I fought back tears as I marched into the gym and started my run on the treadmill. My days of letting Marty Dawson upset me were behind me. I had too many good things in my life to let an arrogant asshole ruin my day.
“Great game, Lacey!”
Several girls offered high-fives as I pulled my pads off. My first full game as a goaltender, and I netted a shutout. An unbelievable start to the season. I could barely contain my excitement while I showered and dressed.
“Great game, girls!” Laura Lannis, our assistant coach, called out as she walked through the door. “Is everyone decent? Chet wants to talk to you for a few minutes.”
Chet Bailey was the head coach of the team. The tall, lanky man of six feet, with blonde hair and blue eyes, had literally charmed the pants right off of me. The attraction had been mutual and instant when I showed up for the first tryout.
We went on three dates before ending up in bed together. He asked me to be his girlfriend after that night, and he had been a dream ever since. The boyfriend that girl’s fantasies are made of. Flowers, cute gifts, sweet text messages and phone calls filled the first weeks of our relationship.
He smiled at me as he congratulated the team on the first win of the season, before talking about some things that we needed to work on.
A senior named Gabriella approached me, hoisting her bag over her shoulder. “Some of us are going out for drinks. Did you wanna come, Lacey?”
“We have dinner reservations,” Chet said before I had a chance to respond.
I smiled and shrugged. “Maybe next time?”
“Sure, honey. Take care.”
I stared at my menu with an exasperated sigh, searching for anything that sounded even remotely enjoyable.
Chet brought me to a vegetarian restaurant.
What was he thinking?
I was a meat and potatoes girl. When he told me he was a vegan, he assured me it wouldn’t be a problem. He felt comfortable watching me eat meat, and most regular restaurants offered ample vegan options.
“Is something wrong, babe?”
I chewed on my lower lip. “I’m just having a little trouble finding something to order.”
My nerves twitched when a brief flicker of anger passed over his face. I held my breath until he smiled, reaching across the table to take my hand.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think you would mind going out to a vegetarian restaurant.”
“It’s okay. I’ll get a salad.”
Chet handed his menu to the waiter without making eye contact. “I will have the vegan bean taco, hold the tomatoes.”
I smiled at the waiter, trying to make up for my boyfriend’s rudeness. “I will just have the meal-sized caesar salad, please.”
Chet raised his glass, tapping it against mine. “To a great start to the season, babe.”
We made small talk until the waiter brought our food. I dug into my salad while Chet inspected his tacos. He shook his head as he signalled the waiter to come back.
“Is there a problem, sir?”
He glared up at the server. “Yes, there is. There are tomatoes on my tacos. I specifically said, hold the tomatoes. Is your job too hard for you?”
I stared across the table at Chet, a knot forming in my stomach. My boyfriend, the sweet, kind guy that swept me off my feet and treated me like a queen, was not present that evening.
Where did this rude, mean side of him come from?
“I’m sorry, sir. Let me get you another plate.”
“How long will that take?”
“About ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes?!” Chet yelled, attracting the attention of nearby diners. “In ten minutes, my girlfriend will be finished her stupid fucking salad, and I will have to eat by myself!”
I cringed. Why was he making a scene? Couldn’t he just pick the tomatoes out and move on?
“I can just wait to eat my salad until your food arrives,” I said, setting my fork down.
“No,” he sighed. “Let’s just get out of here. I’m not hungry anymore.”
A man in a suit approached our table. “Excuse me, sir,” he said politely. “Is there a problem?”
“Are you the manager?” Chet asked, staring at the man with wide, angry eyes.
“Well, I specifically said to hold the tomatoes. And guess what? There are tomatoes on my taco. I can’t pick them off. They’ve already left disgusting tomato snot all over everything!”
“I’m very sorry, sir. We will gladly bring you another plate and cover your bill for the inconvenience.”
“Don’t bother. We’re leaving.” He stood, grabbing his coat from the back of the chair before he stormed out.
I pulled on my coat, heat burning up my cheeks as I exited the restaurant with my head down.
I walked through the parking lot to Chet’s car. At least he didn’t leave me there.
“What took you so long?!” he barked, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel.
I glared at him before turning away to look out the window.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, reaching over to rub my thigh.
I brushed an imaginary piece of lint off my skirt while I debated whether to say anything about his behaviour at the restaurant.
“Are you mad at me?”
“No. I just think you overreacted a little bit back there at the restaurant.”
“You do, do you?” he sneered, his voice dripping with condescension.
“I think you’re the one who is overreacting, babe.”
I stared out the window as we drove in silence for a few minutes.
“Where are we going?” I asked when he went in the opposite direction of my dorm.
“I thought you were spending the night at my place?” He reached over and slid his hand under my skirt. “I’m horny. I wanna fuck you.”
I swatted his hand away. “I don’t want to spend the night at your apartment.”
I hated staying over at Chet’s place. His nerdy roommates always stared at me like I was a piece of meat. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stood outside Chet’s bedroom door and listened to us having sex. But Chet didn’t like staying in my dorm room. I had a single bed, and it got pretty crowded in there.
“Well, it’s too late now. We’re almost there. You should have said something earlier.”
“I’ll just get a cab back to my dorm.”
“Lacey, you’re acting ridiculous. Do you have your period or something? You can just suck my cock all night, if that’s the problem.”
I gritted my teeth as he pulled into his parking space. “No. I don’t have my period. I just don’t want to spend the night here. I’m upset with you.”
Chet’s neighbourhood wasn’t one of the better ones in Cambridge. A couple of sketchy characters were loitering in the parking lot, so I got out of the car and followed him inside.
He slid my coat off and pulled me into his arms, nuzzling my neck as he ran his hand up my thigh and inside my panties. “Oh, babe. It’s like the Mojave Desert down there. Don’t worry. I’ve got lots of lube.”
I tried to pull away, but he had a firm grip on me. “Don’t resist, babe. Relax, and you might actually enjoy it.”
One of the roommates emerged from the bathroom, clad only in some superhero boxer shorts, his man boobs covered in a thick matting of black hair. “Hi, Lacey,” he said. “Are you spending the night?”
“Apparently,” I replied, scowling at Chet.
“Cool,” he laughed as he wandered into the kitchen.
“C’mon, babe.” Chet grabbed my arm, dragging me into his bedroom and slamming the door behind us. He pushed me onto the bed and climbed on top of me.
“Chet, I’m not in the mood tonight.” I squirmed as I tried to get out from underneath him. “Get off me.”
He rolled over on his back with a frustrated sigh. “What’s the problem, Lacey?”
“Nothing. I just don’t feel like having sex.”
“Are you seeing someone else?”
“Good. You belong to me. I don’t know what type of relationships you had in the past, but when you agree to be a guy’s girlfriend, you have sex with him. It’s an expectation, babe.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to have sex with you,” I explained. “I just wish you would make love to me, like you did the first night we were together. I’m not really into all that rough stuff, and sometimes it would be nice if you’d ask me what I like.”
“Lacey, you need to grow up and stop reading romance novels. That’s not how sex is in the real world. I’m tired, and I don’t want to be bothered with foreplay. I just want to fuck you and go to sleep.”
When he climbed back on top of me, I didn’t resist. Maybe he was right. My experience with men didn’t amount to much.
I had a boyfriend during my senior year of high school. Daniel was a nice guy that treated me well, and we lost our virginity to each other. When high school ended, we decided to part ways. He was heading to California to UCLA, and I was staying on the East Coast. We both agreed that a long distance relationship wasn’t in the cards.
During my first two years at MIT, I dated a few guys. But I never slept with any of them, or met anyone that I could envision having a relationship with.
Chet was so charming and sweet when we first met. He was older and more experienced, and I thought that was something I needed. Maybe I was overreacting to the incident at the restaurant. Everyone was allowed to get angry sometimes.
While he was putting on a condom, I considered running away.
But where would I go?
It was late, and my dorm was a twenty-minute cab ride away. It would cost me a fortune.
I wanted to have a relationship with Chet. We had a lot in common, with similar life goals and plans. I liked having a boyfriend instead of being alone. Most of the time, he was okay. I had to find a way to try and enjoy sex with him.
He pushed up my skirt, yanking my panties down. After he squirted some lube on his fingers, he shoved them inside me. He nudged my thighs apart, lining up his cock before he entered me with one hard thrust.
I closed my eyes, praying he would be done quickly. My legs were tired, and I wanted to put them down, but he held them firmly by the thighs while he slammed in and out of me, grunting before he finally came and let me go.
I didn’t have any pajamas with me, and I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping naked. So, I curled up in my clothes and eventually fell asleep.
The smell of bacon drifted up my nose. I opened my eyes, momentarily disoriented.
How could I forget that I stayed over at Chet’s?
The discomfort between my legs was an unpleasant reminder of the rough sex that took place the night before.
The door opened and Chet entered, carrying a tray. He kicked the door closed behind him, smiling brightly.
“Good morning, babe. I thought you might be hungry.” He set the tray on the bed in front of me, before climbing in beside me.
I stared at the plate. He’d prepared scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, with some fruit on the side. The steaming cup of coffee smelled heavenly.
“Thank you. It looks delicious.”
“You’re welcome. And I’m sorry about last night. I don’t know what got into me. It won’t happen again. I promise.”
I wasn’t sure if he was referring to the incident at the restaurant or the sex.
What was the point of asking?
He would probably get angry. I’d have to let it go.
He leaned in, kissing me softly on the lips. “Eat up, babe.”
“Tell Leon I said thanks.”
“What makes you think he cooked it?”
“Because you’re vegan, and you wouldn’t enjoy making bacon and eggs.”
He nodded, a guilty grin spreading across his face. “Busted.”
That was the Chet I fell for. Sweet, kind and fun. I finished my breakfast, ignoring the little voice in my head that was desperately trying to plant seeds of doubt about him.
“So, babe. I need to discuss something important with you before I take you home.” He took the empty tray and sat it on the floor, before taking my hand and kissing my knuckles.
“What is it?”
“I would like you to come home with me for Thanksgiving.”
“To your parent’s house? In Rhode Island?”
Wow. He wanted to take me home to meet his parents. Our relationship was getting serious.
I was twenty-one-years-old. It was time to grow up. My best friends were in long-term relationships. Whitney and Mitch had been going out for six years. And my other friend, Carla, was engaged to be married.
“Okay. I will come.”
“You will? Awesome. My mom will be thrilled.” He pressed his lips against mine briefly. “We better get up. I’ve got class at nine, and I have to drive you home.”
I watched him strip off his boxers, wrapping a towel around his waist before he headed to the shower.
I stared at myself in the mirror while I brushed my hair. I had a serious boyfriend who wanted to take me home to meet his parents. I should’ve been elated. But I couldn’t turn off the warning light flashing in my brain.