Authors: Elizabeth Finn
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Paranormal, #Vampires
The Immortals, Book 3
Published by Liquid Silver Books, imprint of Atlantic Bridge Publishing, 10509 Sedgegrass Dr, Indianapolis, Indiana 46235. Copyright © Published 2013, Elizabeth Finn. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Liquid Silver Books
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
Abigail Danner is the victim Dr. Quentin Bremmer never forgot. Held captive and abused by a monster for years, it is only a chance encounter with Quentin that finally sets her free.
But then she disappears…
Though she is out of sight, Quentin can’t get her out of mind, and it isn’t until she is found sitting in a jail cell months later that Quentin finally gets the chance to help the beautiful, frightened woman he’d met.
But captivity comes with a price…
The frightened young victim has turned into a hyper vigilant fighter who can’t seem to let her guard down—or stop being arrested on one assault charge after another. And her most recent charge promises to derail her future even further.
Her life is spiraling out of control…
But Quentin is incapable of walking away from her, saddling himself with the beautiful spitfire whose distrust in men promises to be a challenge. Her criminal record is an issue, her irrational need to defend herself against anything she perceives as a threat is another, but there are worse things than even that lurking in her future.
She really is the unluckiest woman in the world…
Can Quentin gain her trust in time to help her overcome her obstacles and finally find the life she was always meant to have, or is the deck simply stacked too high?
Thank you Nickster, for loaning me your husband’s name, and thank you Quentin, for going along with us! Your name rocks!
Seven months ago
Suffocating madness. So much so Abigail thought it might kill her one day. But it never did, not even when she wanted it to. She usually wanted it to. He was torturous, never kind, frequently cruel, always angry, and sadistic as fuck if he could be. He thrust as though her mouth was nothing more than a wet hole made of pliable forgiving rubber. He didn’t much care the back of her throat was a dead end that would have her vomiting if he pushed too far, and she’d vomited more than once as a result.
She couldn’t remember the days of the week anymore. Hell, she could barely remember her own life. She was certain she had one … once, but it seemed long ago, fuzzy, detached. It was as though she knew the life, but it didn’t belong to her. Hadn’t she been in college once? Didn’t she have friends too? Abby could swear she had even been popular, well-liked, smart, Dean’s List even. Now, she was just … alive … if you could call it that. But for how long?
The room the man kept her in was clean, sparse, sterile, and she hated it. It was all she saw anymore. There was nothing beyond the room … except of course his room. She hated it more than even her own. There was nothing to be done about it though. He was different. He was very different. She could nearly feel her mind being pulled apart at the seams when he looked at her. Not always, but when he did hold her eyes, her mind went foggy. It took a long time for her to see the pattern, but she figured it out. And when her mind went blank, she lost what she’d figured out, that realization altogether, and if the realization stayed gone permanently, she was certain she’d easily have stayed in the dark forever. But there was no permanence to it. He was sadistic after all, and one of his favorite torments was making her forget him, just to show up pretending to rescue her from the room she was being held in. That lasted only as long as he chose to toy with her sensitivities before raping her and releasing her memories of him all at the same time. But that was how it worked; just as easily as he could make her mind fuzzy when he looked at her, he could just as easily make it become clear again. And that’s when she saw what he was doing to her brain. That’s when she realized it, knowing well she’d lose the understanding once more when he chose to take her mind again.
She could almost find her real self when he released her memories, but after a while even her real self began to fade, and every time he gave her mind back, there was a bit more missing. She hated the man. She imagined killing him sometimes. She imagined biting down when he stuck it in her mouth, tearing it clean off his body, but she’d seen what happened when one of his women defied him, and she didn’t want to see it again, much less be on the receiving end of those teeth.
He wasn’t human, that was for certain. An animal more like, but with a cruelty you’d never see in an animal. When he left his room on this night, he left her there. Said something about a “treat.” That couldn’t possibly be a good thing. He’d left the door open, knowing full well he didn’t have to worry about her leaving—not with his men guarding the door. She’d had to tolerate them as well, and they were nearly as bad as him. But then there was a commotion. Sounds were all she heard from her place in his room, and she couldn’t tell what was going on. He’d unfogged her mind when he’d pulled her from her room, and in her clarity, she knew it was time to run. Run fast, run hard. She liked to run, didn’t she?
As the men who guarded the door bolted down the hall toward the noise, she grabbed the gown lying rumpled on the floor, and without giving herself time to reconsider, she started moving forward. She focused on her feet, she focused on pumping her legs one after another, and she focused on tuning out her brain that was shrieking like a damn bitch in fear and panic. She felt like a ghost was sneaking up behind her. She waited for a hand to clamp down on her shoulder and pull her back to the hell behind her, but she kept pushing her feet forward … until she ran smack into a man.
“Slow down.” He grabbed her as she ran smack into him after she rounded a corner, and the shrieking in her head burst forth from her mouth. He grabbed her shoulders and shook her gently. “Whoa. Settle down, girl. You’re safe.” Her voice left her as she focused on his face. He was one of
. She could tell by his pale and perfect skin, his odd cool and calm countenance, and the tips of his fangs were visible between his slightly parted lips. Those teeth were only visible when they were getting ready to rape her. He was dangerous. He must be. “You have to calm down. I’m Quentin; you’re going to be okay.” It was the first time she looked down and realized she was still naked, and as her eyes drifted down to her body, his did too. His jaw clenched, but his eyes returned to hers quickly. “You’re safe, but I need you to stay calm. Now tell me your name.”
“Abigail.” She could barely hear her own voice.
A shot rang out. It was near, and the moment they heard it, his eyes flashed down the hallway. He looked back to her, contemplating, deciding. Finally shaking his head, he released her shoulders. “Forget me.” Her brain felt fuzzy again, but she didn’t lose herself, or did she? She was standing still as a statue in the corridor, confused at why the hell she’d stopped running. Why the hell had she stopped running?
She huffed a deep breath as she threw the gown over her head and bolted back down the hallway. It had been months, or was it years—since she’d come to this building, and finding her way out was a challenge. But she was fast, and as she burst from the entryway door into the cool night beyond, she started to cry as she ran. She ran and ran, never looking back, always looking straight forward. She lost track of the distance, but it was significant, and when her lungs started to burn, she finally stopped to catch her breath and the cold of the night hit. She’d thought it was summer … but then nothing she thought seemed to be right anymore. This was definitely not summer.
The moment she’d caught her breath, she moved forward again, and when she stopped, it was simply because she was too exhausted to move farther. She sank against the side of a building, letting her back slide down the wall, scraping the skin as she went. She wasn’t dressed for the weather. She was naked beneath the satin gown with its slinky fit and thin straps, her feet were bare, and the cold had sunk to the core of her body. But her mind was fading. It wasn’t fuzzy like he made it, it was just tired. She wondered if it was hypothermia. Most likely, but it left her too tired to fight, and she didn’t want to fight. If she was going to die, this was a good way to go. She’d prefer a death such as this to a death at his hands any day.
A hand touched her skin. It was warm compared to the frigid temperature of her own, but as she turned and saw the man smiling down at her, she panicked, she raged, and she struck. She screeched at the top of her lungs as she lunged toward the man’s face. In truth, she’d barely taken the time to see what he looked like. She was just moving, pouncing, fighting, defending herself for the first time in … forever? She punched, she slapped, she clawed, she fought … she tried to kill.
But he was strong, and as he pushed her up against the wall, it was to slap handcuffs on her wrists. He panted as he tightened the restraints, and she was crying. It was happening all over again. She was being taken again. One of his men had found her. It was as it had been when they pulled her from the street and into a car so long ago. As this man shoved her into the backseat of the car, she braced herself for pain. There was always pain. She didn’t know what kind it would be, or how it would be inflicted, but it would hurt and leave her wishing for death. But nothing happened, and when she finally worked up the courage to open her eyes and see the monster she’d been fighting, she dropped her head. “Miss, you’re under arrest.”
Fuck. But she wasn’t sure she cared. She was free. Finally free from Mason.
“We found her, Bremmer.” He looked up to see both Brit and Ember standing in front of him, but it was Brit who spoke. She was holding a piece of paper out. “She’s apparently been bouncing in and out of the system regularly since you came across her half a year ago. Struggling to keep herself out of trouble since then. She’s been sitting in county lock up for a few days on another assault charge; apparently can’t find anyone to make bail for her. For a girl with an impeccably clean record until seven months ago, she’s turned into quite the spitfire.”
“I’m not surprised.” He muttered as he dropped the book he was reading on the sofa and stood. When he took the paper from Brit, she was there. It was a mug shot, and while her hair was a long, stringy, blonde mess, she was still captivating. “Can you get me in to see her?” He looked at Brit as he spoke.
“Sure. But she’s being uncooperative and refusing to say much of anything at all.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Perhaps bail money will get her mouth moving.”
Brit smirked. “Perhaps.”
When Brit left, Ember hung back. “So, that’s the first time I’ve actually seen a picture of her. You failed to mention just how beautiful this gal is.”
He looked up from the picture that had once again caught his attention. “And you assume that’s my reason for wanting to help her?” Ember was smiling, but she said nothing and waited for him to continue. “I’m not trying to pick the woman up.”
“I see. And how do you think this will affect your celibacy? I mean, she is beautiful.”
He should have known this would come up with her. “I don’t expect it to affect it in any way. It isn’t about that.”
“Are you sure?”
“It took months to figure out who she was and longer to figure out who she had been prior to her time with Mason. She was a college student, Em, 4.0 GPA, Dean’s List, normal all-American young woman. The night we rescued you from Mason and I ran into her, she was arrested for assaulting a police officer. And then she was just gone. I’m not so naïve to think she’ll thank me for reintroducing myself to her, but she deserves a shot at happiness if anyone does, and she’s obviously struggling with believing that right now given her new lifestyle of crime. Sounds like a spiral into oblivion if I’ve ever heard of one. Not that she hasn’t earned her crazy. What’s so wrong with trying to help her?”