RUSH (Montgomery Men Book 1)(4)

By: C.A. Harms

Bile began to rise in my throat. All I could do was shake my head. This was getting bad fast. His villainous, condescending tone was one I knew well. It dared me to argue with him, to give him one more reason to strike. It sent chills through me and made my heart race in fear.

“I think you want Isaac.” He hooked the other strap and pulled it down, and the dress fell from my shoulders, exposing my bare breasts.

“No I don’t, Jase, I promise. I only danced with him because you asked me to,” I said, my voice shaking. I knew I was giving him what he wanted by not remaining silent, but panic mode had kicked in. I hoped by some miracle that something I said would somehow reach the man inside of him that he once was.

“So you’re saying this is my fault?” he asked.

My words had the opposite effect, just as I knew they would. They had not calmed him in the slightest. In fact, he only looked angrier now.

“No,” I said in a rush.

“I think that’s what you meant. It appears it’s time to remind my wife of how seriously I take my possessions and how I hate to share.”

My chest felt tight and my stomach coiled. Tears filled my eyes even though I had fought against them with every bit of strength I still had. But it wasn’t enough, and he knew he had broken me.

“That’s right, darling. After tonight there will be no question in your mind that you belong to me.” He began to lower the zipper beneath my left arm, and my dress slowly slid down my body and pooled at my feet. “You will always be mine, Kinsley. I hope you understand the lengths I will go to in order to assure that. Nothing will stop me from having you. No one will get in my way.”

He gripped my shoulder and turned me to face the bed as his fingers dug into my flesh. Before I had a chance to regain my balance, he placed his hand in the center of my back and shoved me forward. The front of my body landed hard against the mattress.

Jase chuckle as if this was a game. And I guess in a way it was to him. He gripped my legs and herded them apart before crawling up the bed. The moment he yanked my panties to the side and covered my body with his, I faded out and went to a place where life wasn’t so scary, just like I did every time this happened.

I would imagine I was happy and free, loved and adored, and far away from the man who destroyed me daily. In a place where I no longer feared being the woman I once one, and where both my father and I were safe. Even as my husband aggressively forced himself on me, I would try with everything inside me to imagine that better life. It was all I had to get me through these times.

Most would call me pathetic and weak for staying. But the people who said things like this didn’t know the battles I faced. Jase had done an amazing job of breaking me, and I knew I’d given up.

So yeah, I guess I was pathetic and weak.

I HAD BECOME A GHOST. I was lost so deep in hate and sadness that I was no longer sure if I could ever heal. I feared everything because everything I did had consequences, and those consequences only led me further away from the woman I barely remembered being, who had been so happy and so full of life. Now it was hard to find the happiness in anything.

The dark bruise on my cheek would heal, but the psychological damage would forever be embedded in my soul. I pressed my tongue against the split in my lip, because the pain reminded me that I was still alive. Once again, I thought of running, but just like every time I did, I remembered what was forcing me to stay.

Arthur Palmer, my dad.

He was the most loving, caring man I had ever known. We had lost my mother to breast cancer when I was only six and fought through that loss to develop an unbreakable bond. But when I was sixteen, tragedy struck again when he was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. But he seemed to be doing fine until I was twenty-two. Right after I graduated with a degree in marketing, his health took a turn for the worse, and I blamed myself for focusing on my own life when I should have been taking better care of him.

By that point, I had already met Jase, who’d been a guest speaker in one of the business classes I took during my senior year of college. He wowed me from the start and flirted with me to the point that I had no hope of resisting. His dad was even a bigger charmer, and in the end my father and I were convinced they were the definition of perfection. They knew the best doctors and the best treatment facilities, and money was no concern for them. They took care of my father, for which I was grateful.

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