Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Photography By: Perrywinkle Photography
Models: Teale Shawn Murdock & Aaron Lesue’
Cover Design: RedbirdDesigns
Sergeant Jeremiah Abbner died in the line of duty serving his country. Or at least that’s what the newspapers said…
The US Government handed him a new identity, and strict orders not to make contact with anyone from his past. As far as society was concerned Sergeant Jeremiah Abbner was dead, and buried six feet under.
Not having contact with his ex-wife would be easy. She was a manipulator and a cheater.
Not seeing his daughter on the other hand would devastate him…
Beau Morgan, aka Jeremiah, settles down in a town far away from everything he’s ever known. Coping with the trauma he’s experienced and discovering a new life Beau finds himself the most aggressive he’s ever been. His blood simmers with rage while his fists are thirsty to let it all out .
In the middle of his own living hell he never expected to run into an old familiar face. And to top it off, one who recognized him as Jeremiah.
He’s vowed never to love again, but as circumstances land him in the arms of a woman, Jenni Lee, this time he may not have a choice, as she rarely takes no for an answer.
Can Beau Morgan control his temper long enough to settle into his new life? Or will resentment taint him forever?
Streetlights whiz past my peripheral vision as I roar down Main Street to the restaurant. The familiar rage inside me begins to boil. Just the mention of that name can do dangerous things to me internally. I never want to hear it again. Everything was taken away from me with that name.
I try to focus on Michelle’s face instead of the rage. She looked so different, yet it was the same girl. I could tell from her tattoo. What a mysterious mind fuck that girl is. I searched everywhere for her after the night she abandoned me at the tattoo parlor. Her wrist. Holy fuck. It hits me if that’s Michelle, I knew then she’d have a lump on her wrist, because I can guarantee she never visited a hospital.
The night we spent together was something magical. There aren’t many things in my life I’d classify as magical—my gran’s baking, the birth of my child, and that night with her. She had a serious effect on me, but ran. She literally ran off into the night. I deployed two months later. End of story.
My thoughts occupied me while loading the food and heading back to the reception. As I step out of the delivery truck, a sound catches my ear. It’s not one many would pick up on, but I do easily. Someone is being beaten. The darkness of the night with the faraway lights makes it easier for me to detect the sound of bones being beaten. I spent many nights this way.
The ground is uneven, with little paths leading in every direction. Being unfamiliar with the lay of the land is making it beyond difficult to maneuver my way to the punches. A desperate plea sounds, making me damn near desperate to find where it’s coming from. Instinctively, I reach for my gun, but only find keys in my pocket. Army life is still so second nature that even after years I find myself reverting to old habits.
“You fucking cunt.” The voice becomes clearer, and the surroundings light up a bit. Finally rounding a corner, I spot a petite blonde cowered down on the ground with a brooding man standing above her. It’s clear by the sheer size of the man he would be able to snap her neck in a second. The pale pink color of the wedding party catches my eye, and instantly I wonder if it’s Michelle. There’s way too much blonde hair. It’s not her.
The blonde lifts her face up from the ground, and this is when I lose it. Blood is flowing down her face, making her features difficult to recognize. Her hair is pulled out of its fancy up-do. The man jerks her up by the hair to a standing position.
Everything inside me boils. Clearly, the situation is exactly what I think it is.
“You’re going home with me right now, Jenni. I’ll fucking drag you if I have to.” The man pulls the helpless woman closer to him, tearing her pink dress with the action. “You’ll never hang around the Wilks boys again.”
Stepping into the slice of light covering the duo, I ask, “Is there a problem here?”
I feel the rage inside me boil further, if that’s even possible, when her brown eyes reflect back at me. She’s beyond desperate and scared. I’ve seen this look on civilians before, and every time it turns on a switch within me. I’m not playing the hero card. It’s more like knowing the difference between right and wrong and acting on it. It takes someone to make a stand.
The blonde is pulled even tighter into the man, and the sound of her dress being completely ripped from the top of her body fills the air.
“We’re fucking fine, man. Leave.”
I move in closer to the situation, watching her reaction as I do. Once I make eye contact with her, I don’t break it. “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the young lady.” My gaze bores holes into her desperate eyes. “Are you okay?”
She begins to speak, but the man rips on her hair again. This time is enough. I don’t wait for an answer or another moan of pain from the woman. Before I know what is happening, I step up and hammer the man in the face. Taken by surprise, he lets go of the girl. I grab for her and push her behind me to safety. However, my need to punish this man isn’t nearly satisfied. He’ll pay for every single ounce of pain he’s inflicted on her.
My fists fly into action, nailing him with each blow. Now the sound of crunching bones is caused by me and well deserved. I leave him with one final kick to the ribs. I’m fairly certain he’s unconscious, as his moans and begging have now stopped. I wipe my bloody knuckles on the back of my pants before turning to face the woman.
She’s cowered back down on the ground with her face buried. Her blonde mane is splayed out over knees and is dappled with spots of blood. I’m pretty sure she’s past the point of being cleaned up to go back to the wedding.
“Are you okay?” I mentally berate myself for asking such a dumbass question. Of course she’s not okay. My hands fumble a bit before they finally grab for her and rest on the top of her knee. I push away her loose hair before I find her exposed kneecap, which is scraped up too. “What can I do?”
She doesn’t respond with words. Instead her body shudders as her tears flow. She’s beyond talking and clearly not okay.
“I’m going to get you out of here.” I pat her knee, finding a piece of her flesh that’s not damaged. I run my hand up and down this spot trying to comfort her. “I’m going to pack you to my truck and take you where you need to go. Would you like me to let anyone know you’re leaving?”
I watch as her long hair sways back and forth, signaling no.
“No to me helping you, or to letting someone know?”
She slowly drags her head up to look at me, with her hair matted to both sides of her face. Her left eye is swollen shut, while most of the blood has started to dry up.
“Don’t tell anyone, please. I need to leave,” escapes her cut lips.
Without any further questioning, I stand and go back to the man who caused all of this and give him a little more of what I think of him. This time the sound of his bone crushing under my fist feels even better than last time.
I don’t take long because I don’t want to leave her in too much pain and in front of her assailant. Slowly and with more ease than I’ve used in years, I pick her up in my arms. The top half of her dress falls away from her body, while the skirt portion barely hangs onto her. She’s tense in my arms, not one bit relaxed or comforted.
I’ll never understand the urge to lay a hand on a woman. I’ve been pissed before at the opposite sex, but using my fists to solve the problem has never even crossed my mind.
With each step I take toward the parking lot, I feel her become more panicked. Her tiny hands grab at my biceps, clenching tight.
“It’s okay. I’m just going to take you to my truck, and then to wherever you need to go.” She finally makes eye contact with me, and I think she might believe I’m not the enemy, but I want to reassure her. “I won’t hurt you. I can even call the cops right now and get you help.”
Music fills the dark night air as we close in on the parking lot. When she hears the music, she begins to sob in my arms.
“Do you want me to go get one of your friends?”
Her sobs continue as she clings harder to my arm, but the rest of her body begins to relax a bit. I desperately want to keep talking to her, or even hold her longer to show her I’m not the enemy and will never hurt her. I’m not sure how to act in this situation. We are two strangers in a very difficult situation.
“Okay, this is my truck. Are you sure you don’t want me to go get someone?”
This time she struggles from my arms and tries to stand on her own. Of course her fragile little body can’t handle it. I steady her and keep her from collapsing to the ground. Her bare chest is exposed to the world, with a dainty, baby blue bra covering her. I pull off my white button up staff shirt and cover her up with it.
“Please don’t tell anyone. Please? They’ll just think I’m an idiot.” She fiddles with the hem of my shirt as she sits in the front seat staring at her feet. “And they aren’t that far off.”
“Don’t.” I grab her hand, stopping her from fiddling and berating herself. “Don’t you dare think that way.”
“Beau.” I turn to see one of my co-workers in a frantic state. “Where is the truck with the food? We are almost out of everything. Boss man, Juan, is going nuts.”
Standing in front of a co-worker in a white wife beater is somewhat awkward, though no more than having a beaten woman behind me, but the last thing I want to do is expose her to anyone. Before I have the chance to speak, a very red faced and pissed off Juan joins the small crowd.
“Beau, where in the fuck is the food?” He pauses, with an odd expression covering his face. “Where’s the company truck?”
I nod in the direction where I parked the company truck, loaded and ready to go with food for the reception. His beady black eyes follow my nod and then turn back to me.
“And what do you think you’re doing?” Juan throws his hands behind his head in a fit. “Get back to work now, Beau, and get your fucking shirt on.”
The woman behind me lets out a light groan as she tries to get out of the truck. Her shoes are missing, dress ripped, and she’s obviously in an insane amount of pain.
“Fuck you, I quit.”
The words come out effortlessly. The way I see it, there was no other choice. I round the front of the truck, moving as fast as I can to get next to her. She needs help.
“I’m going to take you to the hospital.”
She faces me with a desperate plea before any words leave her mouth. I know what her next words will be, but the thing is, I’ve already let one woman in need of medical attention escape me. I’m not repeating the same mistake. She will go to the hospital.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: HJ BELLUS
I am an independent author excited about releasing my first novel very soon. A big dream coming true!!! I'm all country...the kinda country where green grass grows and corn pops up in rows....love Miranda and her bad ass music!!! Just a simple country girl getting one story out of her head at a time...I always fall hard for a trucker style hat...especially if it's a John Deere hat....loves me a good ol' farm boy!!!!!!Follow HJ Bellus