Authors: Sarah Marsh
By Sarah Marsh
Copyright © 2016 by Sarah Marsh.
All rights reserved.
First Print Edition: August 2016
Limitless Publishing, LLC
Kailua, HI 96734
Formatting: Limitless Publishing
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
First, I’d like to thank my incredible parents for always being there to support me—no matter what kind of shenanigans I get up to, I love you both!
And second, I would like to dedicate this book to my dear friend Sheri, you are such an incredibly strong woman and wonderful person. I am so honored to have you as a friend.
We both seem to have a similar unfortunate dating karma, but I still believe in real love—I mean, I must because I can’t stop writing about it, right?
I think the true goal is not just to find the one
need, but to find the one who needs
just as much as you need them.
one quit dawdling, move his ass, and find you already, because I can’t think of anyone else who deserves her happy ending more than you do. ;-)
Table of Contents
Eitan knelt down and carefully cleaned the blood off of his favorite blade using the cuff of the expensive pants that belonged to the man bleeding out on the marble floor.
“How does it feel to lie there completely helpless, knowing that you’re going to die, Mr. Garcia?” he murmured as he went to the man’s desk and finished downloading everything from the computer before he wiped the hard drive. “I don’t imagine you like it very much, seeing how much trouble you go to when you abduct and torture innocent women to get yourself off.”
Mr. Garcia coughed on his own blood as he tried to reply, but with his jaw severely broken, there wasn’t much he could do to alert the guards patrolling on the other side of the thick, sound-proofed doors to his “playroom.” Eitan knew this type of man. He knew the arrogance and hubris that came with money often culminated in a different kind of criminal, one that even other criminals were sickened by. He was willing to bet this waste of skin on the floor had never anticipated that
be the helpless one, broken and praying for mercy. Mercy that he’d never given and, therefore, would not receive in return.
Eitan looked back from the bleeding man over to the small, frail figure resting on the large opulent bed. When his boss had hired him for this job it was supposed to be a quick snatch and grab of a wealthy, corrupt banker who’d been cleaning cash for drug cartels. Eitan was supposed to drug the man, haul his ass back for questioning and interrogation, and that would have been the end of his role. His boss clearly wasn’t aware of Mr. Garcia’s extracurricular interests or Hays would never have sent Eitan to Columbia in the first place, because he knew there was no way he’d get the informant back alive after the shit Eitan had just seen.
The girl, now drugged and sleeping on the bed, was no older than seventeen if he had to guess. She was severely emaciated and abused, but Eitan could still imagine how pretty she would have been when Garcia had abducted her. When Eitan had broken into the house and found the bastard flogging her as she cried behind the gag in her mouth, almost unconscious from the pain, he’d lost his temper and immediately broken both of the abuser’s arms before he’d incapacitated him so Eitan could check on the girl. The wounds across her back were deep and layered over more open gashes and scabs, she’d barely been conscious when he lowered her from the chains holding her up. He used the sedative he’d brought for Garcia to put her out so he could spare her any more pain than she’d already endured.
Then he took his time…making certain Mr. Garcia knew what he was being punished for. With every broken bone, and every severed body part, Eitan was certain to explain how much he hated men who abused the innocent.
“Well, Mr. Garcia, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.” Eitan casually walked over and saw the man’s eyes were slowly beginning to droop. “Which would you like first?”
Eitan’s teasing brought a tiny spark of renewed hatred into the bastard’s eyes and when he tried to lash out with his non-broken leg, he groaned in pain―most likely due to his shattered pelvis.
“Bad news first…really?” he teased again. “Wow, you
a trooper, Mr. Garcia.”
“The bad news is that my exit plan only accounted for a party of two, so I’m afraid there simply isn’t going to be any room for you on the bus, my friend.” Eitan took the time to kneel down and slowly slip his blade in between a couple of broken ribs and then twist his wrist, causing the man to squeal once again. “But wait! You haven’t heard the good news yet. Due to your sick and twisted inability to get hard unless you’re torturing a woman, I’ve decided to take the girl back with me instead of you. Don’t worry, Mr. Garcia, I’ve taken all the info off of your computer so my boss can get whatever he gets from it. I don’t really care either way, but the good news for you is that
be dead and I won’t be torturing you for the next twenty-four hours that it would have taken for me to get you back to my own country. Doesn’t that make you feel better now?”
Eitan wished he could have taken more time, spending hours with this monster, peeling every inch of his skin until his heart gave out from the pain. Right now, however, it was more important to get the girl out of harm’s way and them both out of the country safely.
“Oh…and one more thing, Mr. Garcia…” he said as he took his knife and began to cut away the bastard’s pants, “…just to make it clear to everyone the exact nature of the crimes that led you to your rather undignified demise, I’m going to cut off your dick and shove it in your mouth before I slit your throat.”
The things he did for his work. Good grief. The disgusting man was wearing leopard print bikini briefs. Eitan had never been more relieved that he’d worn extra thick gloves for this job than at this very moment. Safety first, rule number one. Rule number two? Don’t think about which body part you’re about to sever from a sick piece of shit like this guy―it was all just meat.
After he had finished making his statement and making certain Mr. Garcia was indeed dead, he gathered the tiny girl up and secured her in the extra harness. He attached them both onto the zip-line, and then out into the night they went. The only regret Eitan had was that she’d ever been here at all.
“Maddy will take care of you until your parents come and get you, Lauri.” Eitan led the still trembling girl into the foyer of the large house. He’d called ahead and let Maddy know they’d be arriving in the middle of the night, but she was always ready to help someone in need.
“Eitan,” said the middle-aged blonde woman with a warm smile as she came down the stairs and looked toward her new guest. “You must be Lauri. Welcome, sweetie.”
Maddy just opened her arms and Lauri flew into the embrace of the older woman, instantly sobbing and holding her tight. The young woman had been terrified when she’d finally woken up while they were crossing the ocean in the back of a cargo plane, but once Eitan had assured her she was safe and that he was taking her home, she pulled herself together in a manner that would have made the most stoic of soldiers proud. But he wasn’t surprised that she’d let her grief go with Maddy. There was something so nurturing about the woman―that was why he’d set her up with this boarding house to begin with.
“Shhh, now,” Maddy consoled the traumatized girl. “Your parents are driving to come and get you. They should be here by morning.”
Mentioning her parents seemed to make the poor girl cry even more. Maddy looked up to the top of the staircase where Eitan had noticed some of the older girls had been waiting, staring down at him with curious eyes.
“Eva will take you upstairs and help you clean up; then you can rest. She’ll stay with you the whole time.” Maddy gestured to the brunette, who looked vaguely familiar to him. “I need to speak with Eitan before he goes.”
Eitan was just about to follow Maddy into the kitchen when he saw the young woman stop halfway up the stairs and turn back to look at him with a tear-stained face.
“Thank you,” she whispered before turning back to let Eva take her upstairs.
Maddy saw the spark of emotion cross through Eitan’s eyes as the young woman thanked him, but there was no other outward sign of it affecting him as he sat down at her kitchen table and took the cup of coffee she poured.
“How did the parents take your call?” he asked as she poured her own cup and sat with him. “The girl said she’d been taken from the resort during spring break. She was lucky I found her when I did. I don’t think she would have lasted much longer.”
“They were still hopeful she’d be found. Most parents hold on for a long time if they can,” she answered, taking a closer look at the man in front of her. “Eva is recovering remarkably well. You didn’t recognize her, did you?”
“I’m glad she’s doing well,” he responded, then he paused and seemed to get angry, “Shit, Maddy, I
be able to recognize these girls, considering the state I find most of them in. I hope they never end up looking like that again.”
“I remember, Eitan,” Maddy said as she gave him a sympathetic look.
Of course, she remembered. Maddy was, after all, the very first woman Eitan had brought back with him from a mission that hadn’t gone the way it was supposed to. That had been over five years ago now. He’d saved her life, found her a place in this world, and now she gratefully took care of the other lost souls he brought to her doors. But she could see how this path he was on was beginning to change him and it worried her.
“Sorry, Maddy,” he answered, running a hand through his hair. “Of course you do, and I’m just being an asshole.”
“No, but I can see that you’re tired.” She took his hand and met his eyes. “How long are you going to keep doing this to yourself?”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t get me wrong, Eitan. Every single woman in this house owes you her life and we couldn’t be more grateful,” she said quietly, “but I can see how this job―this life―it’s changing you, friend. I’m just scared that one day you won’t come back to us at all, and your sister would never have expected you to keep on doing this forever.”
Maddy knew bringing up Tara would make Eitan defensive, but she thought this was important. Each time he brought another rescued girl back from a life worse than death, he seemed colder, more distant. Like seeing and dealing with the dredges of the world was sucking his soul away, piece by piece, and it was breaking her heart.
She knew he’d been looking for his missing baby sister when he’d stumbled upon her all those years ago and rescued her from the prostitution ring of a drug dealer in Florida. As far as Maddy knew, he’d never found out what happened to Tara, and he blamed himself. Now he lived a life in the shadows, working as a contractor for the CIA, punishing both the criminals and himself for what he was unable to control.
“How can you tell me to stop, Maddy?” He sounded tortured. “Who else will save them? It’s too late for me now anyway. There’s no going back after what I’ve seen. After what I’ve done.”
“Maybe one day you’ll meet a woman who can save you too, Eitan,” she whispered. “It’s never too late.”