Precious Angel (Alpha Province #4)(2)

By: Becca Van

She didn’t see the blow coming but the hard punch to her head was too much. Darkness invaded her mind and this time instead of trying to keep it at bay, she embraced it.

When Kenzie tried to open her eyes, she couldn’t. It took her a few minutes to work out that her face was so enflamed and bruised, her eyes were swollen shut. Her head was throbbing so bad she felt sick to her stomach and each shallow breath she took sent agony ripping into her side and lungs. She moaned as she rolled onto her other side and whimpered when her bare feet connected with something solid. There was a familiar droning sound in her ears, one she’d heard before, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint it. And then it hit her.

It was the sound of tires on a road. The surface beneath her was hard and she was so cold she was shivering. She didn’t want to move again, but she needed to work out where she was and who was with her. After inhaling another shallow breath, she bit her lip and tensed her muscles, trying to mentally brace for the pain she knew was coming. She leveraged up onto her elbow and cried out when her head hit something solid. She clutched at her throbbing skull and whimpered as she flopped back onto the hard floor.

Kenzie started to shake when she realized she was in the trunk of a car. No wonder she was so cold. Her arms and legs were bare, as were her feet. She had no idea where her shoes were, but she was too tired to care. Winter was over, and spring had arrived, but the nights were cold and there was still snow on the ground in places. She now wished she hadn’t taken her sweater off the moment she’d entered the house after she finished her shift at the supermarket. She also wished she’d worn her normal pair of jeans instead of the skirt she’d chosen.

She’d foolishly been trying to catch the eye of the young man who came in to stock shelves, hoping he’d ask her out on a date and eventually take her away from all the abuse her father had dished out.

They’d been foolish childish dreams. Tears welled and rolled down her face.

Her father didn’t own a car, nor did she. There hadn’t been enough money for such luxuries. Had he hired someone to take her away and kill her? Had he called one of his drunk friends to get rid of her?

Kenzie tried to stifle the sobs ripping up from her aching chest, but there was so much pain in her heart, it wouldn’t be quelled. Each time her body shook, searing agony shot through her until she was so light-headed she reached for the darkness again. A sigh of relief escaping her parted lips just before she passed out.

She woke to silence. There was no more sound of tires droning on asphalt. She whimpered with pain as she rolled from her uninjured side to her back and tried to stretch her cramped legs out as far as she could. When her feet didn’t connect with anything, she sighed with relief as her cramped muscles lengthened when she extended her legs. Slow awareness returned, and she realized she was no longer lying on the cold hard floor in a car trunk, but on something soft. She forced her swollen lids up and surreptitiously gazed about from under her lowered lashes. She was in a huge, cavernous room of what looked like a warehouse, and she was alone.

After listening intently, she slowly eased back onto her side and pulled her legs up toward her chest. She stopped all movement when her ribs burned and throbbed, and sucked in small amounts of air. She didn’t notice her eyes were closed until she heard the distant murmur of voices and footsteps heading her way, and while she wanted to see who was coming toward her, she kept her eyes shut. She didn’t want them to know she was awake.

“What are we going to do with the girl?” An accented male voice asked.

“Leave her. I doubt she’ll be any trouble,” another man with a gravelly voice, replied. “Who beat her? It’s a wonder she’s still breathing.”

“The bastard posing as her father did,” Accent Voice answered.

“Fuck, what a prick,” Gravelly Voice said, before asking, “How did you end up with her?”

“Said he hated her guts and wanted to sell her. He married the bitch’s mother when she got pregnant by some other sap who took off. He was hoping to get a son from the slut, but ended up with a girl instead.” Accent Voice sighed. “It’s going to take weeks before she heals enough for me to put her to work.”

“I’ll bet she’s a looker. All that blonde hair is amazing,” Gravelly Voice said.

“She is, or was. I saw her when I went to the supermarket in Bismarck, a few weeks back. I planted the suggestion to the bastard father about using her to pay off his debts.”

“Good idea. When she’s recovered she’s going to be popular with our clients. Will you let me train her?” Gravelly Voice asked.

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