Series: Deathstalkers 2nd Generation #1
Author: Alexis Noelle
She’d been hurt, destroyed.
I couldn’t walk away from her.
Little did I know that helping her would change my entire life.
Now she’s in danger, someone is after her and I need to protect her.
The only problem is that once I make her mine who will protect her from me?
Three Months ago
“Bad dreams bad dreams go away, good dreams good dreams come to stay. Close your eyes my little one, tomorrow will be lots of fun.” Amy giggles as I lean down to give her a hug and a kiss. “Love you princess girl.”
“I love you momma.” She smiles up at me and it makes all of the stressful moments worth it.
I quietly shut her door and walk out into the living room. Looking at the couch I think about grabbing a glass of wine and enjoying some time to myself.
Who are you kidding? You’ll be asleep after the second sip.
I decide against the wine, grab a bottle of water and head to my room. Sometimes I want to go get Amy and just pull her into my bed with me. I hate the loneliness that comes at night. Most nights I sleep with the TV on just so I’m not jumping at every noise I hear when the apartment is quiet. I turn on the TV and a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before is on, knowing I’ll be passed out soon I don’t even bother changing it.
Laying down my hand trails over the large empty space next to me. I’ve been so closed off since Amy’s dad screwed us over. I never wanted to put myself in that position again. Giving someone the power to hurt me was not going to happen. I still wonder how it would feel to have someone in our lives, a role model for Amy to see how a man should treat a woman. I’m thankful that she was young enough when everything happened with her dad that she probably doesn’t remember any of it.
We haven’t heard from him in two years since he came clean about his affair and walked out on us. I had been a stay at home mom, and had to scramble just to find a job to support us. I was just digging myself out of debt now because for two months we lived off of the credit cards I had. Some days I felt like I was drowning and others I thought I had my shit together. I wasn’t close with my family so I had no one to lean on but myself.
When your back is against the wall you really find out what you’re made of. I was able to see that I was so much stronger than I ever thought I was. I started out working at one of the local daycare centers and the director took me under her wing. I was now running the four-year-old classroom and also had just been giving the responsibilities of assistant director. I catch myself falling asleep even though I’m trying to stay awake and enjoy the little bit of alone time I have.
The bed dips beside me and I jolt from the movement. Amy must have had another bad dream. “Climb under the covers and close your eyes princess.”
When there is no response I open my eyes seeing a man hovering over me with one of my kitchen knives in his hand. I open my mouth to scream but he covers it. “You scream and your little princess might wake up. I’d hate to have to hurt her because her mother made a stupid choice. Understand?”
I nod and he takes his hand off of my mouth.
“You are so goddamn beautiful.” He uses the knife to pull the sheets down the tip dragging over my body. “I have been dreaming about this.” His fingers roughly pinch my nipple and I yelp. “Ah, ah, ah. Remember what I said about being loud Emma.”
He knows my name. Who is he? The ski mask on his face shows me nothing except for the small holes cut out for his eyes and mouth.
The knife slides under my shirt and he jerks it up quickly slicing through the thin fabric. Tears start to fall from my eyes but I make sure to stay quiet. He does the same thing with my pants and panties cutting them off until I am lying bare underneath him.
“Don’t cry, you’re ruining it for me. You don’t want me to be unsatisfied after this and go looking for more right?” His eyes move to the door. He wouldn’t, but even as I think that I know he would. “You will moan, tell me how good I feel, and how much you like this dick. Understand?” I nod, but I have no idea how I am going to get through this. His hands move down my body as he forces his fingers inside of me I bite down on my lip to keep from crying out. He pulls out of me and raises his finger to his mouth. “You are too sweet to just have once. I am going to enjoy you tonight and then I’ll be back once a month on this date. You make sure that you’re home or I’ll be back and I won’t be happy. If you think I’m a monster now, you don’t want to see what I’ll be like then. Understand?”
My stomach rolls and I have to fight the urge to throw up. He plans to come back.
“If you go to the cops, or you tell anyone. I will pay a visit to your little princess and you don’t want to know how that will end. Maybe I’ll even pick her up from Wee Care.”
My eyes widen he knows where I work, where Amy goes to school.
“Do you understand me Emma?”
I nod and silent tears fall down my face as he lowers his mouth to me.
“I get where you’re coming from, just make sure we cover our ass through all this shit.” I look over at Logan as he nods his head.
Growing up in the club everyone knew we would end up officers someday. For Logan everyone assumed it would be his older brother Carter, but when the time came for their dad to step down Carter didn’t want it. Logan jumped at the chance and named me his Sergeant At Arms. Our dad’s still try to give us shit like we’re kids but we have the club running like a well oiled fucking machine.
“I’m going to head home, the early run this morning fucking killed me. See you tomorrow brother.” I walk out of the office and through the main room. There is a party tonight, but hell there is a party every night here.
“Hey, Cain.” Trixie says as her hand grasps my wrist. “How about we head up to your room?”
“Not tonight. Go find someone else.” I pull my wrist from her and keep walking toward the door. She’s a good time when I’m bored but lately she’s been to fucking clingy. All the officer’s have rooms upstairs away from the brothers rooms, but I also have an apartment. Sometimes it’s nice to just to get out of here for a little. Plus the more I hang around the more the club girls are going to swarm. They all have this diluted fucking idea that one of us will fall in love with them and make them an old lady.
Fuck. That. Shit.
Not only do I not want an old lady but when I get one, she sure as fuck wouldn’t have ridden every other dick in the club.
I hop onto my bike and give the prospect a nod as I pull out of the compound. My apartment building is only about ten minutes away, close enough in case I need to get to the club in a hurry, far enough that I can get away when I want to. Walking into the building I check my mailbox but it’s empty as usual. I take the elevator up to my floor when I step out something catches my eye. A guy in a black hoodie is closing the door to the apartment near the stairs. His hood is pulled up and it seems like something might be covering his face.
I know the woman in that apartment. Quiet, pretty, always smiling and she has a little girl who is always bopping around with some doll in her arms.
I should go to my apartment and mind my own goddamn business. For some reason I can’t get my feet to turn around. I start walking toward the door and when I go to knock the door opens a little. Before I can even say anything I hear the muffled sound of crying.
“Hey, just checking to make sure—“my voice catches in my throat when I see her.
The happy woman who always greets me with a smile is on the floor huddled against the couch completely naked. Her knees are drawn up to her chest, her face is tear stained and red like she’s been hit. Even from fifteen feet away I can see her entire body shaking.
I close the door and grab a blanket off of the couch, placing it over her I kneel down in front of her. “Are you okay? I’m going to call 911.”
“No!” she screams and her face twists in fear.
“What do you mean no? Whoever the asshole is that did something to you needs to fucking pay.” I reach into my pocket for my phone but her hand grabs me tight.
“You can’t. I can’t” She is crying so hard each word seems forced. “He’ll…”
“Mommy?” a tiny voice fills the large room and I see her daughter standing there. She’s rubbing her eyes and gripping a raggedy looking teddy bear.
I look at the terrified woman in front of me. I can’t let her daughter see her like this. “Well hey there beautiful. What are you doing up?”
“I thought I heard something. Is mommy okay?” She starts to walk toward us but I stand up and move to where she is before she can get far.
“She’s okay, she just stubbed her toe really hard and yelled when it happened. Thinking that’s what you heard.” The little girl looks from me to where her mom is in front of the couch. “Hey, how about we get you a drink of water and you can show me your room?”
A huge smile breaks out across her face. “I’m Amelia, my friends call me Amy.”
I grab a bottle of water off the case that is on the table. “Well, my name is Cain. Can I call you Amy?”
She arches an eyebrow at me like she’s considering my request. “I haven’t decided yet.” Amy laughs before running down the hallway.
I follow her knowing I need her to get back to bed and stay away from her mom right now. Walking into the bedroom it looks like every little girls dream room. There are unicorn, rainbows, and princesses everywhere. “Well this has to be one of the coolest bedrooms ever.”
Amy laugh as she climbs into bed. “Goodnight Cain.”
“Goodnight Miss Amelia.” I close her door and walk out into the living room.
Walking over to the couch I look down at her. “Your little girl is back in bed and I doubt she had any idea anything was wrong. If you expect me not to call the cops you need to start talking. Let’s start with your name, if you didn’t catch mine it’s Cain.” I notice her clothes on the floor and pick them up to hand them to her, except their cut in half.
I walk back into the hallway and go into the room on the other end. Heading over to the dresser I grab the first pair of pants and t-shirt I can find. When I walk back out she’s managed to wrap the blanket around her body and she is standing up.
“Grabbed these for you.” I hand them to her and turn my back. To give her some privacy.
“Thank you.” I turn around and she is sitting on the couch. Her gaze is fixed on nothing and the color is drained from her face. I walk over and sit in front of her. “My name is Emma.”
She looks me in the eye and I can’t look away. Her eyes are a deep green and even though they look so fucking sad, they’re beautiful. I wait for her to say something but she has her eyes are trained on the tiny hands wringing in her lap. “I know you don’t know me for shit, but I need to know what happened. Especially if you’re saying to me that you aren’t going to the cops. I could help you more than you know.” Like castrating that asshole and making sure he never breathes again.
“I…I can’t tell anyone.” Her eyes don’t meet mine but I follow her gaze to the hallway where Amy’s room is.
“He threaten you?” She doesn’t answer. I dip my head down so my eyes catch hers. “Tell me.”
She nods as a few tears fall down her cheek.
She’s in no place that I’m going to get anything out of her right now. “Tell you what. Go to bed and we can talk this shit over in the morning. I’m gonna stay here on the couch.”
Her breath catches like my offer surprises her. “No, it’s okay. We’ll be fine. He never comes back.”
My head snaps up at that sentence. “What does that mean? This shit’s happened before?” No answer. “Emma, that’s the only question you need to answer tonight from me. After that go lay down and get some much needed rest but I need that answer.”
“Twice before.” He voice is so quiet I almost don’t catch the response.
What the fuck? He’s done this to her three times?
“I know what you must think of me, but you don’t understand.” Tears fall freely each one making small drops on her gray pants.
I take her hands and at first she jumps before looking up at me. “I think that you have an amazing kid back there. I think that whenever I see you, you’re always smiling. I think that whoever is doing this will regret the very day they were born when I’m done.”
“You can’t do anything. No one can.” She stands up and walks toward the hallway. I want to go after her. I want to tell her that somehow I am going to make this shit right. I let her go though, she needs to rest and I need time to figure out what my next move is.
I text Dom asking him to pull camera feeds from anywhere he can find, and let him know what he’s looking for. Anytime the club needs something tech wise we go to him. Best part is that he isn’t the kind to ask questions.
My hands scrub over my face.
Dom: What is her last name?
Me: Don’t know it
Dom: How do you know her?
Me: She lives in the building.
Dom: Watch where you choose to stick your nose brother.
I know he’s right. With all the shit the club gets into we don’t need any added attention. There is no way in hell I can just walk away from this situation though.
I need to help her.
To make sure that she’s safe.
And I don’t even know that I really understand why.
The sound of Amy yelling jolts me from my sleep. Throwing the covers off of me I run out into the living room to find her hitting Cain with a pillow. I’m about to tell her to stop when he shoots up yelling “boo” and scaring her. Amy starts to laugh and then runs over to me hiding behind my legs.
Cain’s eyes meet mine and I freeze. I know he said last night that he was staying, but I didn’t think he actually would. I have seen him a handful of times in the building but we have never spoken more than a ‘hi’ to each other. His eyes seem to scan my body like he’s making sure everything is intact.
“Mornin’” he says as he stands up. The hat he had on last night is laying on the couch, his buzz cut is a little bit long and his beard is a bit disheveled. I can’t help but stare as he seems to be stretching after being scrunched up on my tiny couch all night. His blue eyes meet mine and its almost like I can’t move under his gaze. “Hey Amelia, how about some breakfast?”
“Yes! I’m so hungry I could eat a cow!” Amy runs over to him jumping up and down in excitement.
“Well I don’t have a cow, but how about a pig? I have bacon and eggs. You can even help.” He winks at her and starts walking toward the kitchen with Amy hot on his heels.
“I actually don’t think I have any of that.” I usually grocery shopped on weekends so come Friday we are down to the bare bones.
“You didn’t.” Cain looks back at me and smiles. “I had it taken care of.”
What is that even supposed to mean? “Oh I didn’t realize you went out this morning already.”
He pulls a kitchen chair up to the table for Emma then walks over closer to me. “I didn’t. I told you last night I wasn’t leaving and I meant it. I had it taken care of. No big deal.” His hand rubs my arm and my skin immediately heats under his touch. “Now I’m going to make breakfast with Amelia, then after that we are going to talk about everything. Relax until then.”
He walks away from me and whispers something in Amy’s ear that makes her laugh. The two of them start cracking the eggs and getting pans out of the cabinet. Walking over to the counter I grab a cup of coffee and then sit at the table, just watching.
Cain interacts with Emma like he’s known her for her whole life. Looking at him I would have never assumed he would be like this. He looks so intimidating and serious. I watch them make breakfast enjoying a site I never expected I’d see, at least not any time soon. When Amy walks over with the plate for me she has such a proud smile on her face. “This looks amazing princess, thank you.”
She wiggles a finger at me and I bend my head down to her. “Cain did most of it, but he said I could take credit.”
I look over at him mouthing the words ‘thank you’. He smiles back at me and I swear it hits me right in my chest. We eat breakfast with easy conversation and lots of laughs. I look over at the man sitting across from me who as of last night was a total stranger to me. For some reason he’s taken an interest in us. He slept on my couch last night knowing I was scared. He helped me with Amy knowing I was in no place to last night. I’m trying not to be suspicious, and skeptical but I can’t help wonder what his motives are. Why would he want to help us the way he is?
“Mommy, I’m done. Can I go play?” Amy looks over at me and I nod my head. “Cain, do you want to play? I have lots of extra princess dresses and crowns.”
Cain chokes on the bite of food he had been chewing. “I need to talk to your mom for a little but maybe after that.”
“Okay!” she runs off toward the hallway.
I look across the table at Cain not ready to have the conversation that he wants from me. Do I owe him an explanation? He has put in so much effort, making me feel safer last night, the way he’s been with Amy “Thank you for everything.”
“It’s no problem.” He grabs our dishes off the table and puts them in the sink. I move to the couch and start fidgeting with one of the throw pillows. The couch dips when Cain sits down next to me. I glance up at him and meet his eyes that feel like they can see right through me. “I know you don’t know me but you can trust me and I can help you.”
“You can’t.” I want to believe he can, that anyone could. The things this asshole has done are straight out of my nightmares.
“I need you to just trust me.” His voice sounds so sincere.
This secret has been killing me. I’ve wanted to let someone in, confide in someone for so long. Am I really willing to confide in a stranger though? I look up at him and when our eyes meet I feel pulled to him. Like there are magnets drawing us together. “Last night was the third time. He comes on the same day every month. The first time he told me that he would be back every month, he warned me that I needed to make sure I was home.” My hands fist the pillow as the memories start to come back. “He said if I told anyone, went to the cops, or I wasn’t home that he would come after Amy. He mentioned the name of the school she goes to, and that I work at. Even after the first time I was contemplating going to the cops but the first week after I got notes from him every day. Some mentioned certain clothing I was wearing, or a place I had gone that day. He made it clear he was watching and I—“ a sob wracks my chest and I can’t finish the sentence.
His hands take my arms and pull me against him. I let myself sink against his chest needing the comfort he’s providing. After keeping everything in for so long it’s like I’ve opened up the floodgates. I let myself cry as Cain just holds me silently. His arms around me almost feel like a shield, like nothing can touch me when I’m there.
I don’t know how long passes but once my crying has slowed down I feel his arms tighten around me. I sit up some breaking his hold and noticing that his t-shirt is now completely soaked where my face was. “I’m sorry…” my voice trails off realizing how little I know him and how vulnerable I just let myself be.
“Don’t be. I couldn’t care less about my shirt.” His thumb swipes a stray tear from my cheek. “I am going to help you. This asshole will never lay a hand on you again.”
I shake my head. “I told you, you can’t. I won’t put Amy at risk. I’d rather deal with that monster every day then chance him coming near her.”
His fingers grip my chin to bring my gaze to his. “He won’t touch her, or you ever again. I will make sure of that. I know shit seems impossible but as long as you trust me you’ll see. This shit ends now.”
I take a deep breath trying to take in everything he is saying to me. “Why?”
A look of confusion crosses his face, “why what?”
“Why are you doing this? Why do you care?” I just can’t wrap my head around him being here.
“If I’m honest, I’m not completely sure why.” He takes my hand, “when I walked in here last night I would have done anything to fix what happened, to take away the pain that I saw inside of you. “
I just look at him not really knowing how to react to what he said or the fact that he is trying to be my knight in shining armor.
He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear. “I will be here every night, me or one of my brothers will also be with you wherever you go. You will not be alone.”
“Brothers? How many do you have? I don’t want a lot of people knowing about this.”
He laughs, “not those kind of brothers. I guess I should back up a minute and really introduce myself.”
I look at him so confused as to what he could be talking about.
“My name in Cain Marshall and I’m the current Sargent At Arms for the Deathstalkers MC.
I love reading romance books! I feel like being able to lose yourself in a book in one of the more exciting aspects. The books I love to read and write will be ones that make you feel for the characters. You should have an opinion on every character in a book. Whether you love them, hate them, or think they are up to something.
I live in Levittown Pennsylvania, with my two kids, and two dogs. On top of starting a writing career I am a full time teacher, and a full time mom. I love spending time with my kids, although I have to hide the computer from them when I am writing! I love being active and being able to do any activity outdoors.
I have always thought as an author the most important critic is your reader, so I would love to hear from you. If you read the book and loved it or hated it, tell me. As long as it is in a constructive way I will always answer and interact with you. I want fans to feel free to tell me what they want for the characters in the story and what they want to see happen.
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