Twisted Mind (Chequered Flag #2)

BOOK: Twisted Mind (Chequered Flag #2)
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Twisted Mind

 

Chequered Flag, Book 2

 

 

Mia Hoddell

 

 

Twisted Mind

 

Copyright © 2015 by Mia Hoddell.

All rights reserved.

First Print Edition: March 2016

 

 

Limitless Publishing, LLC

Kailua, HI 96734

www.limitlesspublishing.com

 

Formatting: Limitless Publishing

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-68058-528-5

ISBN-10: 1-68058-528-2

 

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.

 

Dedication

 

For Lauren

Thank you for all of the support over the years. Whether it was to listen to me drone on in History or to be one of the first to buy my books, it means the world to me. I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Dustin

 

“Elora, open the door.” I hammered on the cherry red wood and the door rattled under the constant pounding. “Elora!”

I ceased all movement for a second, listening for the slightest sign of life on the other side. I knew she was in there. Her car was the only one left on her parents’ driveway and Elora never walked anywhere. If she refused to let me in I seriously considered breaking the damned thing down because what I needed to say couldn’t wait.

I’d driven straight from Teo’s race at Silverstone. Seeing Raine fight her fears for my brother brought everything in my life into perspective.

I wanted what they had.

I wanted someone worth fighting for, and Elora wasn’t that person.

Hell, I’d tried to make her the one. I really had. However, it wasn’t working and I was stupid if I thought it ever would. Seeing Raine with Teo over the last few weeks only forced me to confront what really remained between me and Elora.

Nothing.

That was it.

There may have been lust at the start of our relationship, but it soon fizzled out. The only thing left now was a doomed relationship filled with violence and an unhealthy rate of break-ups and make-ups. Everyone else saw it, yet I had been dumb enough to believe her capable of change.

If it wasn’t for the baby I’d have cut all contact weeks ago. I knew, however, that I couldn’t leave my child—born or unborn—alone with her. That wasn’t a risk I could ever take with a life so innocent and fragile. If I wasn’t around to take the hits, then who would?

Regardless, I could no longer be the victim. I wouldn’t leave my child defenceless or without a father, and if I had to fight for custody I would. However, I’d reached my limit of the amount of abuse I could take. I had enough evidence to prove how abusive Elora could be and I refused to put my child in a situation where it would grow up in a household with parents who despised each other. I didn’t want it growing up hearing what violence sounded like, and I definitely didn’t want my child to
ever
become the victim.

He or she wasn’t even born and already I had begun to adjust my life to accommodate the child. A protective desire stronger than anything I’d ever felt burned within me and whenever I thought of harm coming to my baby my rage became uncontrollable.

The fucked up situation between us needed to be resolved before the baby was born, and that was why I found myself standing on Elora’s doorstep, demanding she answer me.

“Elora, I know you’re home. Open the damned door!”

Finally, muffled cursing and the shuffling of feet came from the other side. When the door opened, tortured eyes greeted me. Pain-filled and sleep deprived, faint red rings circled them like she had been crying. For once her body looked frail. Her arms hugged her mid-section, though all of the actions appeared feeble.

My mind shot into overdrive, blowing my prepared break-up speech out of my head.

“What’s wrong? Is it the baby?”

Elora stiffened. It was only a minute difference, yet since I’d been deliberately scrutinising her movements I noticed. I studied her intently, trying to figure out what had happened in the space of a day and a sliver of guilt filtered into her gaze before a single blink erased it.

“Elora, what’s going on?”

“Uh…we need to talk.”

A sickening apprehension churned in my gut. Nothing good ever came of those words.

Dustin, we need to talk about our relationship. I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

Dustin, I’m sorry I hit you. I’ll never do it again.

Dustin, please take me back. I promise I’ll never do it again.

The past phrases that all started with the words ‘we need to talk’ wouldn’t leave me alone. Although, this time it felt worse than all of them. I couldn’t explain why, only the uneasiness seizing my joints warned me Elora was about to turn my world upside down yet again.

Stepping around her, I walked cautiously into the living room. Not able to bring myself to sit down, I folded my arms, widened my stance, and fixed Elora with a steely glare.

“Tell me what’s going on.
Is
it the baby?”

She stalked over to the sofa and dropped down onto it with a huff. “There’s nothing for you to worry about anymore.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means I’ve taken care of everything.”

Icy tendrils started to creep around my heart, smothering it in paralysing fear as her words sank in. “What have you done, Elora?”

She waved a hand at me dismissively. “You can go now. I’m no longer your concern.”

I straightened my lips into a tight, thin line and my nostrils flared. “What about the baby? That sure as hell is my concern. If you think for one second I’m allowing you to keep me from my child then—”

“There is no baby, Dustin.”

I sucked in a sharp breath. My entire body tensed and I pressed my balled fists against my legs. Blood pounded in my ears, a rapid thundering to push the rage through my body so not even an inch remained left untainted.

“Fuck, Elora! What were you
thinking?
What were you going to do when you were meant to start showing? Did you
honestly
think you could try to trap me with another fake pregnancy?”

Her gaze darkened. “That was
one
time! Are you really still hung up on it?”

“Let me think. My girlfriend claimed to be pregnant to try and get a ring out of me. Then when I failed to follow the plan she transformed into an abusive bitch. And now she’s at it again. What do
you
think?”

Crimson bled across her face. “No, Dustin. I really was pregnant this time.”

The tightness in my chest constricted further. “You said
was
…”

She fixed me with a nonchalant gaze, like she was talking about something as simple as a visit to a salon, and said, “I had an abortion.” 

Like Elora had physically hit me, I stumbled back and shook my head. While I wanted to believe she wouldn’t do something so life changing and vindictive, this was Elora.

“Tell me you’re lying. Tell me this is another fucked up game you’ve invented to give yourself a kick,” I ground out, trying to hold onto the fury rapidly burning away the shock to consume me.

“I couldn’t do it.”

I inhaled deeply, bringing a hand up to pinch my nose while I closed my eyes. When I reopened them I held Elora’s indifferent expression with a challenging glare.

“Tell. Me. You’re. Lying.”

“I can’t. I had an abortion.”

The words sliced into my heart, white hot pain ripping through my chest and spilling to the rest of my limbs.

“And you didn’t think to talk to me first? You just went ahead and
murdered
my baby?”

“It was my choice to make and I didn’t feel ready.” Not even a speck of remorse flowed from her words, the natural urge to defend herself taking over the tiny amount of humanity in her body.

“I can’t forgive you for this, Elora. I ignored everything else you put me through because of our child. What you’ve done…” I raised a hand to my hair, pulling on the roots and barely containing the desire to punch something as the grief snowballed in my chest. “We’re done. Stay the fuck away from me and my family or I will go to the police for harassment and assault.”

She gripped my wrist to prevent me from leaving. “I did this for you. I thought you’d understand.”

I whirled around, not realising she’d moved so close. Her body almost pressed up against mine, her face inches from me. I jerked my hand free from her hold.

“For
me?
How could any of this possibly be for me?” I roared. “And what the fuck is there to understand other than you’re completely bat-shit crazy and have no regard for anyone other than yourself?”

Her palm collided with my cheek and my head snapped to the side from the force of the blow. Instantly, a stinging pain radiated out from the point of impact.

“I knew you only stuck around because of that baby! I’m cutting you free because you never wanted me.” She curled her fingers against my cheek, her nails digging into my skin as she forced me to look at her.

I could have easily broken her grip. However, not once had I ever laid a hand on her, and even if I wanted to, I never would.

“So what if I didn’t want you? I sure as hell didn’t stick around to be used as a punching bag because I enjoyed it. Our baby was the
only
one who had my love.”

With a demented cry she drew her nails down my skin. A searing pain flowed down the trails she’d left. Then her fists found my chest. She pummelled them against me, pushing and shoving me backwards.

“You bastard!”

Hit.

“You fucking,”
shove
, “piece of shit!”

Smack
.

“I’m glad I got rid of it.”

Punch
.

“You’d have been a shit father.”

With palms outstretched she moved to push me and I caught her wrists loosely. I prevented them reaching my chest, circling them in one hand. Stepping forward, I used my extra height and strength to force her back to the sofa.

“Sit. Down,” I growled and when she refused to comply I hardened my voice further. “
Now
, or I’m calling the police.”

Her knees buckled and Elora collapsed on the sofa. Her eyes cleared minutely and she blinked to focus on me. I could feel blood starting to pool in the channels she’d clawed, yet I kept my focus on the woman responsible for more of my pain than a few bloody trails.

“Here’s what’s going to happen.” She opened her mouth to speak and I held up my free hand to silence her. “I’m going to walk out of your door and your life. You will not come near me, call, text, write, or any use other form of contact with me or anyone I know again. You will stay the fuck away or I will throw every penny I have into making you pay for all of the shit you’ve pulled, and I won’t stop until you’re behind bars.”

Apart from her complexion paling, she gave me no indication she’d heard me.

“Do you understand what I’m saying, Elora?”

She nodded grudgingly. I’d never been so cold or assertive and the shock was clear in her silence. Nevertheless, I had nothing left to protect and nothing tying me to the bitch any longer. I could say what I wanted.

“I’m going to let you go now. If you so much as raise a finger to me I will follow through on my promise. You know I can do it as well.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. She blinked hard, forcing the first one to break free. It always went like this. When anger didn’t work she broke down in tears.

“I hate you,” she spat.

Never again would I allow myself to be swayed by her act. I dropped my hold on her and took a step back. Satisfied she wasn’t going to lunge at me, I strode over to the door. “Go to Hell, Elora.”

BOOK: Twisted Mind (Chequered Flag #2)
6.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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