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Authors: Elaine Breson

Keep Me Safe

BOOK: Keep Me Safe
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Copyright
© November 2013 Elaine Breson

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced

or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or

mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any

information storage and retrieval system without written

permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief

quotations in a review. The characters and events portrayed

in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons,

living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

 

License Notice

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

This book may not be resold or given away to other people.

If you wish to share this book with another person, please

purchase an additional copy for each person you share it

with. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

I heard the doorknob turn and wondered why he was here. I could’ve sworn he said he was going to be late getting home from the office. I had been sewing a button back onto one of my work shirts and just finished cutting the thread off when he came storming in. I stood up to take the scissors back downstairs when he came around the corner, blocking my path to the doorway.
Shit, he’s mad. What did I do now?

“What’s with the bag of clothes and stuff in the trash outside?”

“Oh,” I was trying to think of a quick response, “I just cleaned out the closet. I didn’t need any of that stuff anymore.” He stood there staring me down; I was bracing myself for what I thought was coming next but it didn’t. He turned around and started walking away. I let out a sigh of relief and followed behind him. I figured I’d go cook something for dinner, but when we got to the staircase, he suddenly turned around and grabbed me by the wrists.

“Are you thinking of leaving?” he gritted between his teeth.

“No baby, why would I do that?” I said sweetly. I needed him to think he was in control as much as possible. He seemed to stay calmer if I didn’t resist him.

“Good, because I’d hate to show you what would happen if you thought you could leave me.”

His grip on my wrists tightened and I winced from the pain. I didn’t mean to let him see that he was hurting me. I had gotten pretty good at hiding emotions on my face, but this time I couldn’t help it.

“Oh, does that hurt? Don’t ever fucking leave me, Sadie. I swear to God, I’ll-”

He looked past me to where our guest bedroom was. I saw the fire ignite in his eyes before I jerked my head around to see what he was looking at.
Shit!
I left the door open when I was in there earlier. Sitting beside the door was the box that I had been putting my important papers in. He never went in there, so I didn’t even think to hide it, but I managed to leave the door cracked and now he’d figure out what I was really doing.

“You fucking liar!” Before I had a chance to make up a story, he slapped me right across the cheekbone. “Didn’t I tell you what would happen if you ever tried to leave me?” Forcefully yanking my body around, he grabbed me around the neck in a choke hold. He took one step towards the bedroom and I tried to elbow him in the stomach, hoping it would give me enough time to run. I knew this might be the only chance I had. When I did, he moved out from behind me and I felt the ground fall away from under my feet.

When I came to, I was lying on the floor. Everything in my mind was fuzzy. I had no idea how
long I had been
laying there. I tried to push myself up but felt a sharp pain radiate all the way through me. I squinted and struggled to see through my blurry vision. Using the last step, I pushed myself up against the wall.  When I sat up and didn’t hear anything, I realized he probably wasn’t here anymore. Sighing as I dropped my head, I noticed the massive amount of blood soaking through my shirt and the scissors lying beside me on the floor.

I heard the faint sounds of sirens, but then the room faded and went black.

 

 

One

 

 

Really? Now? I just wanted to get home and enjoy a nice hot bath and a bottle of wine after my long day of teaching. I had been the band teacher at the local high school for three years.

“License, registration and proof of insurance, please.” All I could hear was the man’s voice and see the flashlight that blinded my vision as I rolled down my window. 

I didn’t think I was speeding, but at that point it was hard to tell. My brain had been so foggy from my late night at school that I was pretty much driving home on autopilot. My new house was further than my previous house and the new forty-five minute commute was already becoming tedious.

I loved being a music teacher, but sometimes the hours were enough to make a person crazy. I’d always had a love for music and found it difficult not to share my musical knowledge and joy with others. My parents even named me Sadie, after my grandmother who was a musical legend in her small town.

She grew up singing at all of the festivals and functions her small town had to offer. By the time she was thirteen, if you had an event you needed music for, you asked for Sadie Montgomery. She handpicked the best kids from the neighborhood and school to play the instruments for the band, and it just continued to grow.

By the time she was eighteen, she was playing state fairs and opening for much larger bands that came through town. I rarely met anyone without them asking me if I was related to Sadie Montgomery. It really was an honor, and I was thankful that some of her music talent had passed onto me.

When I became the band teacher at Prine High School, I knew it would be a challenge. High school students could be difficult and they were on a daily basis, but they also had the most passion for music and soaked it up like sponges. Thanks to the movie
American Pie
, I’d heard a lifetime’s worth of “this one time at band camp…” jokes, but all in all, I loved my job.

It seemed to take forever, but finally the officer came back to my car holding my paperwork out to me. I glanced up as I grabbed my papers from the officer’s hand and my eyes met the most ruggedly beautiful face I had ever seen.
Is it wrong to call a guy beautiful?

“Miss Montgomery, you were going forty-seven in a thirty mile an hour zone. Let’s just consider this a warning." As I continued to stare, I noticed he had the beginnings of a five o’clock shadow and a well-defined square jaw.

“Um, I’m sorry Officer Stevens." I said as I glanced up at his nametag. "I’m just really tired. I guess I wasn’t paying attention like I should have been,” I managed to mumble.

He leaned down and rested his forearm on the door, staring back into my eyes and taking his time to speak again. I noticed that he seemed young - maybe twenty-eight or so - thirty at the most. He had the most incredibly piercing blue eyes, his hair was roughly spiked and the color of espresso. Leave it to me to compare something to coffee.   “Will you be okay getting home or do you need a ride? Someone could pick your car up for you in the morning; no one should bother it here.”

I realized I was staring and quickly leaned over to put my papers back in the glove box. “No, I just moved to Radcliffe Street. I’ll be able to make it home okay,” I said as convincingly as possible, hoping he’d let me go without any further problems. It was only two blocks after all.

Officer Stevens giving me a ride home wouldn’t have been so bad either. I wondered what his body looked like under his uniform, never mind the fact that he was the reason I dodged the two hundred dollar or so ticket. A ticket was not what I needed right now since I just moved to my new house alone and finances were tight.
Get a grip Sadie. You’ve been free – err, single all of five seconds.

I sighed as I watched him stand up then lightly tap the roof of my car. “Be more careful on this street this time of night. This street is pretty dark and I would hate to see something happen to a pretty young lady like yourself. Have a good night Miss Montgomery.”

He strolled slowly back to his patrol car. I quickly put my seatbelt back on and checked him out in my side mirror until he was completely in his car. I had a feeling that Officer Stevens could be the undoing of my quest for independence that I kept trying to convince myself I needed. I’d spent a good portion of my adult life not being who I wanted to be, letting someone else decide that for me. I wasn’t going to waste my new opportunity to be exactly who I always thought I deserved to be. I had made a lot of major mistakes and bad choices in my life and it was finally my time to make up for that.

I finally made it home and dropped my keys and purse on the counter. One look around reminded me that I had way too many boxes left to unpack, but I had the whole weekend to do it. I couldn’t have been more excited that today was Friday.

My students had a competition the night before and the preparation for the last two months had been exhausting. Their efforts paid off because they won. Now we could finally take a break and I was definitely going to enjoy every bit of it.

My boxes could be unpacked tomorrow because tonight I was going to do nothing except drink the bottle of wine that I had my heart set on.  I took my first glass of wine upstairs and started the bath water. The hot water felt more soothing than I realized I needed. I knew I had been stressed, I just didn’t realize how tense I was.

I could hear the waves crashing against the sand outside and was so grateful that I made the choice to spend a little extra money and buy the house on the beach. Finally living on my own was going to be the best thing for me now.

As I laid my head back on the edge of the tub, I thought about the way my entire life had changed so drastically in such a short period of time. Brent and I had been together for five years. We started dating my junior year of college when we met during a Psychology class at the University of South Florida. 
How ironic.
He was beyond charming and not too bad on the eyes either. I always had a thing for guys with dark spiky hair and he was no exception. An inch shy of six feet tall, he had one of the most incredible bodies. When he started having trouble with his “mentality partner” in class, we switched partners and had been inseparable since. He definitely used his sweet talking ways to fit right into my everyday life.

When I graduated two years later, he asked me to move in with him. I was so happy; I thought he was "the one" for me. He called my parents back in Wisconsin and asked my father for his permission to marry me and proposed. "Marry me Sadie. Be a permanent part of my life," that was his proposal. Not exactly what I had envisioned since I was a little girl, but I loved him and looked past it.

We never argued and never even really seemed to disagree about any major life changes. We got married less than a year later in a small beach ceremony. He insisted that we only invite those that were “necessary”, and not make a big deal out of it. I happily agreed, knowing that the only important thing was that we were getting married. I didn’t have any clue at the time what I was getting myself into. I couldn’t believe how I went from in love and happy to miserable and scared. How did I let it get that far gone?

After my bath water turned cold enough to notice, I pulled myself out of the tub. I looked at the clock and realized it was already eleven.
Damn, so much for going to bed early
. I turned the alarm off on my phone and decided I was going to sleep in tomorrow. I couldn’t remember the last time I slept in on a Saturday since we had early morning marching practices since August, but I planned to take full advantage. I got into my pajamas and turned on my “sleep” playlist on my iPad. I fell asleep before the first song was even over.

 

 

 

Two

 

 

Something woke me from a dream that I couldn’t remember once my eyelids flew open. “Ugh, what the
fuck
?” I glanced over at the clock and realized it was only 7:30. The roaring grew closer towards my bedroom window and I realized someone was mowing my neighbor’s yard. I had only been in my new house for three weeks, but since I had been gone on Saturday mornings, I never knew that their lawn was mowed this early.

I covered my head with the pillow but it was pointless. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I screamed into the pillow. I’d never be able to get back to sleep now. I stepped onto the cool hardwood floor, threw my robe on, and went over to the window. A younger boy had his ear buds in his ears and was quickly getting through the mowing. He looked to be about the age of my high school students, maybe a little younger.

I quickly threw on my jean shorts, a racerback tank and went outside to see if I could remedy what might be my inability to sleep in for the next eight months. I walked over to the side of the yard and stood there waiting for him to see me. I hadn’t seen him before, but I can’t say that I really paid attention. I hadn’t met any of my neighbors, nor did I really have time to.

BOOK: Keep Me Safe
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