Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.
She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards.
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Breathe in, breathe out.
This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.
The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.
Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die...is still out there somewhere.
Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.
Eyes open. Darkness. Eyes close. Darkness. Where am I? I can’t breathe. I’m so hot. Memory floods back. Eyes open wide. The bag is still over my head. My heart thuds in my chest and my respirations increase. The humidity of my warm breath presses against my face. I really can’t breathe. Instead of flailing around, I hold still and hone in on my other senses. I’m sitting upright, and by the way my body bounces in the seat, I know I’m in a vehicle of some sort and the road is not paved. It’s rough. Over the sound of my desperate panting, I make out the hum of the engine and crunch of tires against rugged terrain.
Oh god! Oh god! Oh god! Where are they taking me?
“Slow down, Jake. We’re bumping around like crazy back here.”
I snap my head toward the left, following the sound of the man’s voice. Is it the man from the library or the other one who grabbed me from behind? Racking my brain, I think back to what his voice sounded like. I think the man next to me is the one from the library. He was in the club tonight too. So the driver must be Jake. How many are there?
“Hold tight! I just want to get there already,” a man barks from the front. His tone is much sharper, deeper. Dangerous. I’m not okay, I’m not okay. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Too fast. I’m breathing too fast. It’s too damn hot in this bag. My back and hips ache as I’m jostled about. The taste and smell of stale tequila wafts into my warm nostrils. A thick wave of nausea suddenly rises. Oh, no, I’m going to throw up. Not in the bag. I’ll choke. I can’t hold it down.
Sour, vile fluid bubbles up and bursts from my mouth and nose. I gag and retch inside the sack. Feels like I’m inside a microwave that has cooked too long and burst the contents. Vomit spews over my lips and down my face and neck, pooling up at the neck where the bag is cinched tight.
“Oh, shit, Jake. She’s puking. Pull over.”
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