To get ready for the release of Broken in just over a week how about I release the Prologue?
Here y'all go. Release date is November 19, 2013
“Oh, sweetheart, you look beautiful! Roger is going to go nuts when he sees you in this dress.”
I turned and looked at my mother and then back in the mirror. I smiled at my reflection. I’m so blessed. I was blessed with wonderful parents, with the greatest best friend in the world—who had picked out this dress for Roger’s graduation party—and with the handsomest and sweetest boyfriend ever. Roger was the love of my life.
“Mom, you know Roger is leaving right after graduation to work for his dad’s company in New York City. He wants me to go, and I really want to.”
My mother sighed. “College, Whitley.”
“Mom, I want to learn all about the party-planning business. I want to have my own company someday. New York City is the best place for me to get started. I rotated and faced my mother. “Don’t be mad.”
“Ah hell, Whit. That usually means I’m going to be mad.”
I let out a small laugh. “Mom, I talked to Michelle Durkin. She said I could start working under her as soon as possible. She’ll teach me everything she knows about parties, weddings, birthdays, and reunions. Everything. Mom, this is something I really want to do. And who better to learn it from than your best friend from college?”
“Whit, you’re so smart. You can get into any college you want. Your father and I are both doctors. Why don’t you want to go to med school?”
“Ugh, Mom! I don’t want to be a doctor. I can’t even stand to see a paper cut. Please, Mommy, I really want this. Plus, I can be with Roger. I love him more than life, Mom.”
My mother smiled and glanced over my shoulder. I turned to see my dad standing there, smiling.
“Do we let her?” my mother asked my father.
When he looked at me, his smile grew. I’d already talked to him about New York. I hated to say it, but I had my daddy wrapped around my finger. He would do anything if he thought it would make me happy. I tried not to take advantage of that, but this time, I used it for my benefit.
“I guess we let her. You know, Whit, if things don’t work out, all it takes is one phone call. One call, and I’ll personally come take you away from that hell
of a city.”
My father hated New York City. We lived in Rhinebeck, New York, and my parents loved the country and small-town life. I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to leave Rhinebeck and move to New York City. I loved the country life, but right now, I needed to be a city girl for a bit.
I jumped up and down and clapped my hands. “Don’t worry, Daddy! Nothing would ever make me want to come back here! Roger is going to make me so happy.” I ran into my father’s arms.
“He better, baby girl. He’s promised me that his only goal in this life is to make you contented and keep you safe.”
I smiled as I thought of Roger talking about New York City and how wonderful it was going to be. His dad was starting him out with his own condo in Manhattan and a more than generous pay to learn the family business. It would be nothing but parties, shopping, and more parties. I can’t wait to start my new life with Roger!
Life couldn’t get any better.
The moment his fist hit my face, I felt extreme pain in my jaw. Tonight might be the night he finally kills me. The force of the blow had been so strong that I was literally seeing stars. I stumbled backward, and I started to fall down the cold steel stairs that I hated more than anything. I saw the look on Roger’s face. Is he smiling? Then, all I could see were the metal beams across the ceiling as I felt my body fell back.
My head slammed against one of the stairs.
Holy shit! My head…oh God, it hurts.
When I hit the bottom landing of the staircase, I slowly stood up, and the room started spinning. I saw Roger walking up to me.
He grabbed my arm.
“This is your fault. goddamn it! If you had just listened to me, Squeak, none of this would have ever happened!”
It was always my fault. Always.
“I didn’t do anything wrong.”
I felt his grip tighten around my arm. My head was killing me, and my jaw felt like it was broken. He’d never hit me this hard before.
“You didn’t do anything wrong? You were flirting with him, Squeak. I saw the way you were touching him and dancing with him. Did you flirt with him just to piss me off?”
When I looked into his eyes, the anger caused a chill to run up and down my spine. I tried to pull away from him. I knew I shouldn’t have talked to Nick, let alone dance with him. He was Roger’s biggest competition, and they were both up for the same job promotion at work.
Roger had been dancing and hanging all over Lucy Waters, and he hadn’t so much as said two words to me all night. At one point, I’d seen him grab her ass and whisper something into her ear. I got pissed, so I’d sought out Nick and started to talk to him. We’d danced only one time, and as I was thanking him for the dance, I’d placed my hand on his upper arm. The moment I did it, I knew I’d made a drastic mistake.
“It was just an innocent dance, and I was thanking him for his kindness since you seemed to making plans with Lucy for later.” I attempted to jerk my arm out of his grip.
He pulled my arm so hard that I heard something pop. I dropped to my knees and let out a scream. When I looked up, I saw the expression on his face turn from anger to hate.
Oh my God, he’s going to kill me.
He pulled me up, and tears started rolling down my cheeks from the pain in my jaw, head, and now, my shoulder. As he put his face right up to mine, I could smell the alcohol on his breath. It turned my stomach, and I tried to turn away.
He grabbed my jaw and turned my face back to him, causing me to yell out again.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you, you fucking bitch! You. Don’t. Touch. Other. Men. Ever! You are mine, Whitley. You’ve always been mine, and you always will be. You need to be taught a lesson, so you’re not whoring around like you were tonight. You showed up at that dinner party, looking the part. I told you, no strapless dresses ever!”
He yanked the top of my dress so hard that the fabric tore and fell off my body. I watched as he looked me up and down and licked his lips.
No. Please, God, no!
“I wasn’t flirting, Roger! He asked me to dance, and I didn’t want to be rude.” My jaw hurt more with every word I spoke.
Roger threw his head back and laughed. When he finally peered at me, he shook his head. “Did you want him, Squeak? Did you want to fuck him?”
What in the hell is he saying? How could he even think that?
“Answer me, Whitley!” Roger yelled, causing me to jump.
“You’re lying to me. That beautiful dress you had on tonight—the only reason you can afford to dress like this is because of me. These nails…” He pulled my hand up to his face and then bent my hand back, causing me to drop to the floor in pain. “These nails are possible because of me, Squeak. Your hair, your sweet-smelling soft hair—this belongs to me. It’s all because of me. This beautiful condo in Manhattan—this is all me, baby.”
He grabbed my hair and dragged me back up. I couldn’t even call out in pain anymore. All I wanted was for the pain to go away. I needed to get away from him.
“You’re hurting me, Roger.”
Usually, if I said he was hurting me, he knew I was at my breaking point, and he would stop. That normally meant he would leave and go drink until he couldn’t walk, and then he’d stay at the Ritz for the night. The next day, he’d come back, beg for forgiveness, and tell me how much he loved me and how afraid he was of losing me.
Yanking me closer to him, he reached down and tore my panties off, and then he began touching me.
“Did. You. Want. To. Fuck. Him?” he slowly whispered in my ear. “If you want to, Whit, I can arrange it. Maybe I could even watch the two of you together and then join in.”
I sucked in a breath of air and looked into his eyes. He’s gone crazy!
“I heard Nick likes threesomes. We could have a little fun, Squeak. You would like that, wouldn’t you? You’re such a dirty little whore. You’d like to be fucked by that asshole, wouldn’t you?”
I shook my head, the pain growing twenty times worse. I tried to open my mouth to say no, but Roger started to penetrate me with his fingers.
“Hmm…you’re not very turned-on, baby. Let’s get you good and wet. Do I need to call Nick to help out with that?”
I pushed him away from me and found the strength the talk. “Don’t ever touch me again, you sick bastard! I don’t want Nick, and I don’t want you!” I felt my skin starting to crawl with the disgust I felt from being near him.
The look in his eyes changed. I didn’t even see it coming until it was too late. He slapped me across the face, and then he grabbed my hair. When I saw Roger’s fist coming straight toward my face again, I closed my eyes and waited for the blow.
I’m going to die tonight.
“Is he ever coming back, Mike?” I asked my older brother as I watched him gut a deer.
“No, Layton. I don’t think he’s ever going to come back.”
“He might.” I started the fire and zipped up my jacket. It was such a cold night out, and all I wanted was a warm bed. It wasn’t uncommon for it to be cold in Texas in October.
Shit, I’m just so sick of being cold.
Mike stopped gutting the deer, took a deep breath, and turned around to look at me. “Layton, he’s been gone for almost two years. He only sends us the tax money, so we can keep the ranch—the only damn thing he ever cared about. We couldn’t even afford to keep the cattle on this place. I’ve just about used up all the money we got from selling them off. He left us. He left us in a house that wasn’t finished with no heat and no air conditioning. And no fucking running water! He doesn’t care about you or me. He never has. All we are is a reminder of Mom.”
I thought about my mother. She had passed about two and a half years ago from cancer. My dad had started to build her dream home on top of one of the hills on our ranch, and when they found out she had cancer, we’d moved to Austin to be closer to the doctors.
She’d lived six months to the day when they’d sat Mike and me down on the sofa and told us she had breast cancer. I thought my world had ended there. I was wrong. It had ended two more times after—with her death and then our father leaving us.
I glanced over toward Mike and watched him work on the deer. We had pretty much learned to survive on our own. Our dad had moved us back to Llano to our ranch after our mom passed away. He’d raised cattle, and he had also been big into racehorses. He’d made good money at both, so it made no sense to anyone why he would up and just walk away.
He’d said he was going to New York to look at a racehorse, and that was the last we’d heard from him. The only thing he’d done for us since then was provide the tax money on the ranch, so it would stay in the family, and that was sent through his lawyer.
We never had anyone come to the house. It looked finished from the outside, but if anyone knew that we lived in a shell with no running water or heat and air conditioning, they would put us both in foster homes. There was no way we would let that happen. We had a hot plate, a microwave, and a small refrigerator. We would hunt for all our meat, and we had a small garden, using seeds that we’d found in our mother’s box of stuff that our dad had packed up and stored.
We were doing okay though—Mike and me. All we needed was each other.
“You know, Layton, with a little bit of hard work and both of us working like we are, we can buy a few racehorses and get some more cattle. We can make a name for ourselves and build the kind of ranch our old man dreamed of,” Mike said.
I shook my head. “Yeah, I know, Mike.”
It was more Mike’s dream to have the ranch, especially the racehorses. He was just like our father when it came to that. He had a gift, too. He had a few older friends who placed bets for him, and we were doing pretty good with the amount of money we were saving.
He turned and smiled. “You should go hose off, Layton. Isn’t that party at the high school tonight?”
I smiled and nodded.
“You still like that girl?”
Mike laughed. “Yeah, Olivia, the barrel racer. You’ve only had the hots for her since…what? Fifth grade?”
I grinned and kicked the ground. “Fourth.”
“Go get ready, Layton. I’ve got this. There is some chili. Heat it up, and we’ll have some before heading into town.”
I turned and started to walk toward the house. I glanced back and looked at my brother. He was almost eighteen, and I was sixteen. I smiled and shook my head.
Yeah, we were going to make kick-ass cattle ranchers and raise some of the best fucking racehorses around. Then, when the old man came back, we could rub it in his goddamn face. I’d make Mike proud of me.
As I walked into the house, I thought about tonight. Maybe tonight, I would finally get lucky with Olivia. Damn girl is stringing me along. We’d almost had sex last night in her barn, but her damn brother had come in and caught us. Fucker. My jaw was still killing me.
Tonight though, tonight my dreams would come true, and I would finally be with the girl I knew I was meant to spend the rest of my life with—my blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty, Olivia.
That was all I needed in this life—Mike and Olivia.
I could keep working for Olivia’s daddy on his ranch and put the money away to have the biggest and best damn cattle ranch in Texas—with a little bit of Thoroughbred horses thrown into the mix.
I sat in the bar and downed another Bud Light. I was well on my way to getting drunk—again. I felt someone slap my back.
“What the hell, Layton? Again?”
I turned and saw my best friend, Reed, sitting next to me. He ordered a beer and flirted a bit with Misty, the bartender, who worked nights during the week. Misty wanted nothing to do with Reed, and all Reed wanted was a chance to get into her pants. All Misty wanted was a chance for me to get into her pants. She had practically begged me yesterday, and I’d almost given in. I’d do anything to make me forget about Olivia. If only sex would make me forget everything…and everyone…
“Fuck off, Reed,” I said.
Reed took a deep breath in and slowly let it out. “Dude, I know the last few months have been hell for you, but you have to snap out of it. Have you been to Lucky’s to check on the horses? He’s got…what? Three there that he’s training? Mike believed in those horses, Layton.”
Just the mention of my brother’s name caused me to feel sick. “I know what my fucking brother believed in. You don’t have to keep reminding me, Reed. I’m going to do him proud. I promised him.”
“I know you did, Layton. I know you did.” Reed took a sip of his beer.
“It’s just…I keep expecting him to walk through that door with a big ole smile on his face from winning a race. I keep waiting…but he never comes.”
I could tell Reed was staring at me, so I turned and looked at him. I smiled, winked, and finished off my beer. I looked up and saw Misty giving me that pathetic sympathy smile that everyone had been giving to me for months since Mike had died. I was sick of it.
“Misty, what are you doing after work?” I winked at her.
She slowly smiled and bit down on her lower lip. My dick instantly got hard as I thought about fucking her in the backseat of my truck.
“Going home with you?”
I casually gave her my dimple smile that I knew drove the girls crazy. “Fuck yeah, you are.”
Reed slammed his beer down on the counter and turned to face me. “You know, Layton, sometimes, you can be a real prick.” He grabbed his cowboy hat and headed out the door.
I watched him leave and nonchalantly back to look at Misty. It was just us in the bar now.
“Can you close up early?”
She smiled and walked toward the front door. She pulled the cord and the Open sign turned off. She locked the front door and shut off all the lights, except for the ones over the pool tables.
As she walked toward me, she started to take off her clothes. By the time she reached me, she was only in her bra and thong. She had a smokin’ hot body and looked hot as hell, standing there in her red lace bra and G-string. I stood, picked her up, and made my way over to a pool table.
Maybe for a few minutes, she can make me forget.
COPYRIGHT Kelly Elliott 2013