Read Freeing Her Online

Authors: A. M. Hargrove

Tags: #Thriller, #Mystery, #alpha male, #thriller and suspense novels, #broken alpha male, #broken characters, #steamy adult romances, #dark pasts

Freeing Her

 

 

 

 

Published By A.M. Hargrove

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2014 A. M. Hargrove

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication
may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by
any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic
or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the
author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical
reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright
law. For permission requests, write to the author, addressed
“Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at
[email protected]

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to
peoples either living or deceased is purely coincidental. Names,
places and characters are figments of the author’s imagination, or,
if real, used fictitiously.

 

 

Cover art licensed from
Shutterstock image number
170353634.

 

 

 


From the deepest desires
often come the deadliest hate.”

 

Socrates

Chapter One

 

 

Gabby’s breath
wheezed
in and out as his words sent
needles of fear racing down her spine. “You’ll never be free of me.
You think you can hide behind your fancy title and a big city?
Think again, sweet thing. I can find you. I’ll
always
find you. It’s gonna take a
hell of a lot more than New York City to keep you from me.” Then he
laughed.

Eidetic images slammed into her as she
stumbled backward, smashing into the wall. It had been years since
she’d seen him or heard his voice, yet the odors, textures, and
visions that surged from old memories made it feel like he was
standing right in front of her. Bile choked her as she fought to
regain control.


What? Did I shock
you,
Gabs
? Isn’t
that what your friends like to call you?”

Her hand clutched her neck as she processed
what he was saying. How could he know that? Unless …


Aren’t you going to
answer me, sweet
Gabs?
Don’t worry. There’ll be plenty of time for you to do that.
I’m here to stay so I’ll be seeing you around. And
Gabs,
remember how much
you loved it when I fucked you? There’ll be more of that to come in
the future.” His disgusting taunt made her tremble. “See you
around, sweets.”

He ended the call, but she was glued to the
wall by some invisible force. No, it was no force. It was sheer
terror.


No!” A primal scream
ripped through her, followed by a series of full body tremors. She
wanted to throw her phone across the room, but the grip that held
it was unyielding.
Shit! Oh God, he found
me! What am I going to do
? The real
question she should’ve asked herself was how long was she going to
put up with that prick. He’d already stolen sixteen years of her
life. How much more of it did he want? But Gabby wasn’t courageous
enough to fight him. She’d run from him all these years and thought
he’d lost interest in her. But now she knew she’d been
wrong.

She blinked rapidly for several moments and
looked around her tiny apartment. She had to get away from there.
At least for a little while. Maybe grab a drink somewhere to get
her mind off the call. Why in the hell had she answered? She knew
damn well why. Her patients. She had an open-door policy as far as
they were concerned. Maybe she would get that answering service
after all.

Shoving her shaking arms through her trench
coat, she grabbed her handbag and hurried out. The elevator took
its sweet time, but when it finally arrived, she rode it down to
the lobby. That phone call had confirmed she was correct in
choosing an apartment in a building with a doorman. There was no
way she’d risk living anywhere without one. Not with Danny stalking
her. She didn’t care if she had to eat once a day in order to
afford it. Her peace of mind was worth the sacrifice.

Though, in reality, Danny could find her if
he put his mind to it. That thought made her shudder. She extended
her arm and peeked at the scars on one of her wrists … her little
reminder of how Danny had fucked up her head.


Hello again, Doctor,” the
doorman said as she exited the building. She jerked her head in
response and walked briskly out the door. Thoughts of Danny had her
head swimming. Her heels clicked along the sidewalk. She had no
particular destination in mind, as long as it was somewhere that
sold strong liquor.

Spying the martini glass in the window, she
ducked inside and took a seat at the bar.


What can I get you?” the
bartender asked.


Double martini, dirty,
extra olives.”


Coming right
up.”

Gabby’s nerves were raw as she took in her
surroundings. The place was fairly empty. Only one other man sat at
the bar and there were a few other people scattered about. Once
satisfied that Danny wasn’t anywhere around, the only thing she
cared about was soothing the tension from her body. Alcohol was the
fastest method to do so.

The bartender slid her the martini. She
guzzled it like water and picked up the tiny plastic sword of
olives, plucking them off one by one.


Care for another?” the
bartender asked.


You bet.”

Gabby didn’t pay attention to the man
sitting two seats over from her. He observed her suck down her
drinks like a siphon. If she didn’t go easy, she was going to end
up face planting on the bar. But that was her problem and he had
enough of his own to contend with.

When the bartender handed Gabby another
martini, she held it up to him. “Bottoms up.”

The bartender eyed her with concern. He’d
never seen her before and he’d worked at the place long enough to
know most of the regulars. Her pristine appearance set her apart
from most of his customers. His intuition made him believe this
wasn’t her usual thing, either. Especially the way she was knocking
down those loaded martinis. She was breathing heavily and a fine
sheen of perspiration covered her upper lip. Her jerky movements
made him question what was going on. He looked at the guy sitting
close to her and they both shrugged. It was her business if she
wanted to get wasted. As long as she had the money to cover her
tab, he didn’t care.

She tossed back the contents of her second
double. “Ahh,” she said when her glass was empty. Then she rubbed
her hands together.


How about an ice water?”
the bartender asked.


Nah, not yet.” Gabby
shook her head. “Not potent enough.”


You must’ve had some kind
of rotten day.”


No, the day was pretty
good. It was the last twenty minutes that sucked.”

The bartender eyed her as she started
rubbing her arms.


Well, don’t let it ruin
your night. What’s twenty minutes?”

She raised her head and a pained look
settled over her. Brow creased, she suddenly looked thirty years
older.


Please, mister, don’t
ever say that to anyone again. Twenty minutes can take your life
from joy to pure hell. It happened to me and here I am, sixteen
years later, still living the nightmare.”

The bartender clamped his mouth shut as he
stared back at her. Must’ve been some ordeal to elicit such a
response. He nodded and asked her if she wanted another martini.
“Make this one a single. And more olives too,” she said.

The other man at the bar overheard her. He
normally didn’t give a shit about others, but the tone of her voice
clawed at him. He recognized something in it that he was all too
familiar with.

Turning to her, he lifted his glass. “Here’s
to better days ahead.” Caramel brown eyes fringed in thick black
lashes locked onto him. He noticed she had dark brown, almost black
hair. It was twisted up in a messy bun that she wore at the nape of
her neck. Her nose would have been perfect had it not been for the
slight bump on the bridge. It looked as though it may have been
broken in the past. A mouth a tad too wide drew him in, and he
couldn’t stop staring at her full pink lips. It was they way they
moved when she spoke, and how lovely they were shaped that made him
want to take them in his mouth and suck on them. He had to force
himself to listen to what she said and stop ogling her mouth.


Well, I’ll certainly
drink to that.” She lifted her glass and clinked it against his.
Her words were already slurred, as well they should be. She was on
her third martini. If she didn’t stop soon, she’d be in serious
trouble.

He watched as she wrapped her lips around
another olive and slid it off the tiny plastic sword. That’s when
his dick got hard. He decided he needed to stop looking at her
because there was no way he would let himself fuck a messed-up
piece of work like she was. And a shitfaced one no less.


So, what’s
your
story?” Gabby asked
him.

He never should’ve opened up that
conversation line.


I don’t have a story. I
have a fucking saga.”

She grinned. “Well, isn’t that a
coincidence. So do I.”


Listen, precious, you
couldn’t come close to what I have.”


Ha! That’s what you
think, Skippy.”


Skippy?”
Who the fuck is Skippy?


Yeah. Skippy. You look
like a Skippy to me.”


You think I resemble a
jar of peanut butter?”

She leaned into him and sniffed. “Nope. And
you don’t smell like peanut butter either.”

He couldn’t stop the rumble of laughter that
escaped his lips. “Well, that’s good, because I wouldn’t want a
troop of rabid squirrels chasing me.”


Do you have a name?
Unless you want me to call you Skippy.”


You first.”


Gabby.” She stuck her
hand out and he shook it.


Nice to meet you,
Gabby.”

Her head listed to the side as she tried to
focus her eyes. “Well?”


Well what?”


Ah, I get it. I guess
it’s just gonna have to be Skippy, then, isn’t it?”

The bartender interrupted and asked if they
needed another round.


You betcha,” Gabby
answered.

Skippy raised his brows. “Don’t you think
you’d better slow it down a bit?”

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