Unforbidden (Forbidden Trilogy) (Forbidden Series Book 3), page 1
Copyright © 2018 S.R. Watson & Ryan Stacks
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, actual events or locales is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction. The publication of these trademarks is not associated with or sponsored by the trademark owner.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without the express written permission of the author.
Cover Design: Sommer Stein of Perfect Pear Creative Covers
Editor: Jenny Sims Editing 4 Indies
Formatter: Stacey Blake of Champagne Book Design
Table of Contents
Other Books by S.R. Watson
About the Authors
* * *
Kiss Me—Ed Sheeran
Domestic Scene—The Radio Dept.
Torn to Pieces—Pop Evil
Next to You—Of Rust & Bone
Do I Wanna Know?- Vitamin String Quartet
Another Sad Love Song—Toni Braxton
Solid Ground—Alex Vargas
I Want to Love You—Lenachka
* * *
Footsteps sound above me, but that is all I can decipher. My eyes strain to take in my surroundings, but I’m in pitch blackness. The smell of urine is so prevalent, I struggle to keep down the bile threatening to come up. I feel around the springy fabric I’m lying on, guessing I’m on a mattress. I get up on all fours and crawl slowly until I’m completely off the pungent smelling thing. I come in contact with cold concrete. Where the hell am I? A sliver of panic crosses me as I come to the realization I have to be in a basement of some sort. There are no basements in California. Oh God, how will anyone ever find me? I let my guard down, and my stalker got to me. How many days have passed? I’m scared and pissed off at the same time. What is this sick fuck going to do with me? So many questions are going through my mind at warp speed. Surely, Grayson has realized I’m missing by now, and I’m sure Jordan will tell him and my mother everything.
The footsteps grow louder. Someone is coming. I swallow the lump in my throat as I gather my courage. Maybe I can run once he opens the door. Only I don’t know which way the door is yet, so I’ll have to be quick. He won’t be expecting me to be awake or running. The door creaks open, and I get ready to make my escape.
Holy crap! There are two of them. My moment of hesitation relinquishes my perceived advantage. I attempt to sprint past them anyway, but I’m easily caught. The door ahead seems miles away.
“Not so fast,” the blond man chastises. His grip on my arms tells me he means business. His lip curls as he snarls. “There is nowhere to run to, doll. Even if you manage to escape this house, we’re in the middle of nowhere.” I pull against him, and he belts out a hearty laugh.
“That’s enough, Roc,” the dark-haired man warns. “Let her go. She isn’t going anywhere.”
So the blond’s name is Roc—not a real name, I’m sure. Hell, what does it matter? I’ve seen their faces. What is their plan for me? More importantly, what will they do with me after I’m no longer useful?
“Why am I here?” I manage to speak.
“You’re going to make us a lot of money, sweetness,” Roc says as he caresses the side of my arm with one finger. I shiver at his dirty touch, and then I see it. The scorpion tattoo on his hand. It looks familiar to me.
“Cut the shit, Roc. Let’s do what we came down here to do.” The dark-haired guy seems more sensible, but then again, he is a part of this kidnapping. I guess I’m being held for ransom. “Put this over your head, Siobhan,” he says as he hands me a pillowcase.
Dark-haired man, who has yet to be identified, knows my name. What the fuck? “How do you know my name?” I challenge.
“I know a lot. Now just put the pillowcase over your head so we can take you upstairs,” he says.
“Fuck this!” Roc snatches the pillowcase from me and puts it over my head before pulling my arms behind my back. “You’re being too nice to this bitch, and she doesn’t respect her situation.” I pull against him, but his grip tightens.
“You don’t have to be a dick, Roc. Let’s just take her upstairs.”
Dark-haired guy is both taller and more muscular than Roc, but Roc seems to be the one in charge. Roc nudges me forward to start walking. I can’t see where the hell I’m going, so he is guiding me with one hand gripping my arm and the other holding the pillowcase so it doesn’t slip off. We go up some stairs to another level of the house and then another couple of flights after we’re inside. The fucker purposely let me bump into a couple of corners, and it hurts like a bitch. After a few turns, I’m shoved into a room, and the door is slammed shut. I hear a few locks being turned from the other side of the door. After a few seconds, I take the pillowcase off. There is actually light in here. I look around to assess my surroundings. It’s a bedroom, if you can call it that. It has a single twin-size bed with sheets, a comforter, and a pillow. Disney Princesses stares back at me from the girly pink comforter. How ironic? I damn sure don’t feel like a princess right now.
Anything is a step up from that smelly mattress in the basement, though. I’m so glad I couldn’t see what it looked like in the darkness. Aside from the bed, there’s not much else in here. A single chair sits against the wall, and the one window has boards over it. What was the point of bringing me up here? I walk over and sit on the edge of the bed, wired with unanswered questions. Time seems to stand still, yet I don’t know how many days have passed. My thoughts are interrupted when I hear the door being unlocked. Blondie walks in and pushes the door closed ominously. His sneer is threatening as he motions toward the chair.
“Have a seat over here,” he says as he pulls the chair to the center of the room. I stare at him blankly, wondering what the heck he is up to. “Hurry up, bitch. I’m not Alex. I will not tolerate disobedience.”
Ah, the dark-haired guy finally has a name. This disclosure worries me because I know too much. I watch television. I know how these things end. They’re probably going to kill me after they get what they want. I get up and walk slowly to the chair. If they’re going to kill me anyway, why make things easier for them? My defiance is met with a body slam into the chair. The chair tips slightly as my weight is thrown against the wooden frame.
“Don’t test me!” Roc spits. My arm aches from the blunt force of the chair. I try not to wince and give this fucker the satisfaction.
Roc straddles my thighs, putting his weight on my lap. His hand tangles in my hair as h
“I will fuck you up, doll, or I could just fuck you?” he threatens. His free hand trails down between my cleavage, and it makes me feel sick.
“What the hell are you doing, Roc?” Alex booms. His entry into the room is commanding. I thought Roc was the one in charge, but now, I just don’t know. For now, I’m glad he’s here. Was Roc about to rape me? “Get the damn burner phone so we can record. Let’s get this shit done.” Wait, what? Roc eases off me but not before winking.
“Later,” he mouths. He leaves the room, returning two minutes later with a simple black phone. For the first time, I see the newspaper in Alex’s hand when he shoves it at me.
“Hold this with the date showing,” he says dryly. I do as he says, waiting to see what they’re going to do next. I look at the date and see that it has been exactly two days since I was taken from Grayson’s house. I can’t believe I was out of it that long. “Hold the paper at chest level and look directly at the phone,” Alex instructs.
Again, I comply, and he starts the video. The recording goes on for a few minutes without a single word spoken. Weird as shit. No demands were made. Alex turns off the phone and doesn’t look in my direction as he exits the room.
Roc walks stealthily toward me with a huge smile on his face. “Now that he’s gone, we can play a bit.”
He pulls me up from the chair, and the paper I’m holding slips to the floor. Hell no, this is not happening without a fight. I begin to buck against him, but he just laughs. Dragging me across the room, he throws me onto the bed.
“Fuck you, cocksucker!” I scream.
Climbing on top of me, he pins my hands above my head with one hand. His other hand comes down hard against my cheek. Tears slide down my face, but I don’t give him the pleasure of hearing the sobs escape my mouth. I squirm wildly, trying my best to buck him off me. When his hand is close enough to my face, I bite the hell out of him. He grunts incoherently. That stunt earns me a punch to the gut. Air rushes out of me, and I can’t breathe. The tears fall harder.
“You fucking little cunt. You’re going to pay for that.” As he inspects his bite mark, Alex walks back into the room. His eyebrows knit together in anger.
“Roc? What the hell, man?” Roc jumps off me like a guilty person caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
“That little bitch just bit me,” he explains.
“What were you doing? From the looks of things, you were trying to have sex with her,” Alex huffs. “I’m not into rape, Roc. I didn’t sign up for this shit. We do the ransom, get the money, and that is it. I won’t be a part of anything else or have it on my conscience that I let it happen in my presence.”
“Well, it wouldn’t be in your presence if you’d stop coming to her damn rescue,” Roc argues. “I was just having a little fun. Nobody asked you to participate. Don’t act all holier than thou. You’re just as much a part of this kidnapping as I am.” In the midst of their argument, my eyes are drawn to Roc’s right hand where he is rubbing his bite mark—specifically the tattoo. That freaking scorpion tattoo. Oh, God! How did I not make this connection before?
“It’s you,” I accuse, pointing at Roc. “You were the pizza delivery guy who came to my house a couple of weeks ago. I remember the tattoo now.”
He had a cap on that day, but I can’t say that I paid enough attention to him to notice. I was too busy trying to tip him so I could get him out. He creeped me out then, and I didn’t pay attention to my instincts. I was distracted by Liam’s unannounced visit. The grin Roc is sporting right now tells me that I’m right. It was him.
“Kind of slow there, doll.” He chuckles.
“Just stay the hell away from her,” Alex warns, bringing the conversation back to Roc’s attempt to rape me. “Say what you want, but I will not let you harm her while I’m here. I can’t have that shit on my conscience too. You don’t have to like it, but you will respect it.”
“Whatever,” Roc replies dismissively. “Oh, and if that douchebag wouldn’t have been there that day, I would’ve taken you then. You were almost too easy. When I did come back for you, this one was with me,” he says, pointing over at Alex. “So don’t let his white cape fool you. He wants this money just as much as I do. He won’t give a shit what happens to you after he gets it, and I’ll be waiting.”
He laughs as he walks out of the door. My heart drops because I know he is right. I try to scoot back farther on the bed as Alex walks toward me, and a pain shoots through my stomach where Roc punched me. I bend over to hide my face.
“Are you hurt?” he asks.
“I’m fine,” I lie.
“Siobhan, look at me.”
I would ask how he knows my name again, but of course, he does. Those fuckers were watching my every move. I don’t look up or answer him. Let my silence give him a hint that he can fuck off too.
“I’m not going to hurt you, and I’m not going to let anyone else hurt you, either.”
As a reflex, my head whips up at that statement. I stare him coldly in the eyes. Really, motherfucker? Because I’m already hurting from the blow your jackass partner delivered right before you came in.
“Really?” I answer sarcastically.
“Shit, your face, it’s all red.” He flinches. He moves my hair away from my right cheek, and I jump. “Roc fucking hit you.” He looks down and sees that I’m holding my stomach. He snatches my shirt up to get a look before I can protest. “Goddammit.” He gets up and begins to pace. He then leaves the room and closes the door behind him.
I can hear him arguing with Roc downstairs, but I can’t make out the actual words. I strain to hear, but it is no use. Wait, I didn’t hear Alex lock the door after he left. I can make a run for it. I desperately try to remember the route to this room when I had that damn pillowcase over my head. How can I get past them without being seen? Maybe If I can just escape to a room that has a phone, then I can call 911. Yes, that sounds more feasible. Once they ping my location, they can send help. I won’t have to try to get away. Just as I try to set this plan in motion, Alex walks in carrying two ice packs. Roc’s words about me being slow mock me.
“Here. One pack is for your face, and the other is for your stomach. This won’t happen again. He won’t be back in here without me.”
He sets the ice packs next to me on the bed and walks back out. This time, I do hear him locking the door from the other side. I count all three clicks. So much for that plan. I will just have to be more attentive. The next time that door is left unlocked, I need to be ready to act. I need to figure out a way to save myself before they get what they want from this.
The silence is deafening. The house is quiet now, and I’m left alone with my thoughts. The ice I’m using on my face and stomach is the only thing keeping me grounded in the here and now. I wish this was just a really bad dream. I wonder how my family is dealing with all of this. How Jordan and Grayson are holding up. A tear escapes as I think about my last memory of Grayson having Vanessa at his house. Our breakup crushed me, but still, he must be worried. Vanessa is probably glad to have me out the picture. Bitch. The thought that this may be how it all ends terrifies me. Roc’s words about Alex not caring once he gets the money replay in my mind. He promised to be waiting. Was that his way of saying that he is going to finish what he started before he kills me? This is the type of shit you see on soap operas or some other television drama. It’s hard to believe this is my reality right now. My parents have some money put away, but they’re not rich.
A light bulb suddenly goes off. Grayson is fucking ridiculously rich. They’re going to try to get the ransom from him. This was probably the plan all along, and I stupidly kept him in the dark about it all. He is going to be blindsided. If I had just told him, maybe he could have used his connections to catch these fuckers before they took me. Instead, I trusted that Officer Richards would fi
* * *
I guess at some point I fell asleep although I have no sense of whether it’s morning or evening. I’m lying in a wet spot from the melted ice. I shove the ice packs aside and sit up, wincing at the soreness of my stomach. I never did turn the light off in the room, so my eyes work to adjust while I rub them. Once they can focus, I notice a brown envelope near the door. The Hamburger Helper that Alex brought to me last night is still sitting in the chair because I was too upset to eat. My stomach growls, but the envelope now has my full attention. I ease out of bed and make timid steps toward it. When I pick up the envelope, I read the words “Enjoy” written on it with a black Sharpie. Butterflies flutter in my belly, and my heart quickens. Somehow, I know this isn’t good. My fingers tremble as I bend back the clasps to uncover whatever contents await me. I pull out 8x10 black and white photographs. I see the first photo, and I drop the whole lot. What the fuck?
The photos are of Grayson and Vanessa. In one photo, he is unzipping the back of her dress. In another photo, he is closing the curtains. There are various photos of them at some sort of cafe, museum, and wait … what? The fucking Eiffel Tower. They’re in Paris. The place he knows that I dream of seeing one day. A piece of paper is tucked between them, so I pick it up. Taken a few days ago. Thought you may want to see how much the professor misses you.
My whole world shatters. Grayson is in Paris while I’m being held captive. How can this be real? The photos don’t look photoshopped. If he is in Paris, does he even know I’m missing? What if he left before Jordan could tell him, and she can’t get through to him? This makes no sense. Surely, he would have seen my car in his driveway. Maybe he just ignored it. I sink to the floor and pick up each individual photo, committing them all to memory. I will never forgive him for this. If it is so easy for him to move on with Vanessa, then we don’t belong together. Surely, he doesn’t know I’m missing. He isn’t that heartless. That is besides the point, though, because it doesn’t make me feel any better. One sob wracks my body before I commence into a full-on ugly cry. The harder I cry, the louder I get. I can’t help it. I’ve held strong until this point, but now the dam has broken. I’m pretty sure this little gift came from Roc. He wins. If his plan was to break me, then mission accomplished.