Author: Emily Goodwin
Publication date: May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
BLURB supplied by Xpresso Tours
“I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.”
Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn’t supposed to see.
Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.
Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Since I typically write paranormal/horror, my usual writing playlists are filled with epic songs from soundtracks with lots of NIN and Marilyn Manson thrown in. With STAY, I needed something different. While this novel is just as dark—if not darker—than the books I usually write, it’s a different kind of dark.
STAY is the first book I’ve written with a contemporary setting and no elements of fantasy. And yet it was one of the scariest books I’ve ever written. After all, the truth is often worse than fiction. Unlike ghosts, demons, and zombies, being kidnapped and forced into human trafficking is something that really could happen.
I needed music that set the mood for not only fear, but a sense of hopelessness and utter despair the characters felt. I am not a fan of slow, sad music, so this is as close at it comes for me. Here is the playlist I listened to on repeat while writing STAY.
Imagine Dragons- Demons
Of Monster and Men- Little Talks
Imagine Dragons- Bleeding Out
One Republic- Counting Stars
One Republic- Come Home
Animals- House of the Rising Sun
Tom Petty- Free Fallin’
Tom Petty- Mary Jane’s Last Dance
One Republic- Secrets
Coldplay- Fix You
Goo Goo Dolls- Iris
Tom Petty- I Won’t Back Down
Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up
Katy Perry- Unconditionally
Something slammed shut above me, clicking into place. The noise brought me back to consciousness, waking me up into an instant panic. My eyes flew open and my breath came out in ragged huffs. I was lying on my side, and it was dark. Too dark to see anything. My heart hammered with fear, and I felt like I was going to get sick. Beads of sweat rolled down my face and the hard surface I was lying on hurt my hip. Where the hell was I? What was going on?
Rough carpet rubbed against my cheek, irritating my skin. I reached up above me, stretching my stiff arm. My hand hit the ceiling. I pressed my palm against it. It was solid. I pushed, straining my muscles. The air was hot and stale. No. This wasn’t happening, it couldn’t be happening. This isn’t real, I told myself. I was in the trunk of a car. I flipped over onto my back and began banging on the roof of the trunk.
“Help!” I pushed against the roof. I balled my hands into fists and pounded. Frantic, I banged on the roof until my hands hurt. “Please, help me!” There had to be a way out. I rolled back onto my side and began to madly search for a release. I reached out in front of me, feeling for the metal latch. “Please,” I cried. “Somebody, help me!”
My fingers fastened around something hard. My eyes widened, and I sucked in a deep breath. Was it the trunk release? There was no way to tell, but I pulled it back anyway. Nothing happened. I curled my fingers around it and yanked it back with all my strength. My sweaty hands slipped off the little piece of metal and flew back. The top of my hand hit the roof of the trunk. White pain webbed across the bones in my hand, tingling along my fingers. I cradled my hand against my body, waiting for the sting to pass.
I was going to die. I knew it. I would swelter and die in this trunk. I kicked my legs against the side of the trunk and screamed. Oh, God. I would suffocate. The air was going to run out, and I was going to suffocate and die. It would be a slow horrible death. I swallowed a sob and clamped my mouth shut. I needed to save the little oxygen I had left.
As soon as I was still, I heard muffled voices coming from outside the car. My muscles ached as I struggled to keep calm while everything inside of me wanted to scream for help. Whoever was outside the car would have heard me, and they hadn’t helped me. And they wouldn’t. They had to be the two guys who put me in here. I moved my trembling hands over my mouth, pressing then against my lips to silence my chattering teeth. Hot tears silently rolled down my face, soaking the rough carpet beneath me. I moved to the end of the trunk, pressing my ear to the side to listen.
“Bitch saw the whole thing and called the cops. What the hell was I supposed to do?” he spoke. I recognized his voice right away. Terror turned my blood cold, and his face flashed through my mind. Eyes as blue as the summer sky. High cheekbones covered in day-old stubble. Tousled brown hair and full lips. I had been so taken aback by his good looks that I hadn’t suspected him of being anything but helpful. I was so fucking dumb.
“You could have left her,” a deep voice responded. I had yet to hear him speak but I was certain that voice belonged to the man with the dark eyes. “There’s no way she could have turned us in.”
“And that’s a risk you’re willing to take? I don’t think Nate would be too happy with that.”
“N-no,” he nervously stammered. “But bringing her with? She’ll slow us down. W-we could have…” he trailed off. “There are other ways.”
The guy with the blue eyes laughed. “Other ways?” His voice got louder as he leaned on the car. “You’re a fucking idiot, Jackson. Killing her on the street is too obvious and messy.”
Killing her on the street? A painful stab of horror pierced my heart. What kind of people were they? Cold fear crept over me at a dizzying rate. They wanted to kill me? Fuck the lack of oxygen. I needed out. Now. I pushed off the side of the trunk and started kicking, blindly aiming for the brake lights.
“Help me!” I screamed as loud as I could. “Help! Get me out of here! Help!”
Someone hit the car. “Shut up, you stupid whore!” Blue Eyes yelled. “No one can hear you!” he taunted. Panting, I became still. I sucked in a gulp of hot air. Nausea twisted in the pit of my stomach. How far was I from the city? What kind of a place were we in? It had to be secluded if no one could hear me screaming. Then again, he could be lying.
I took in another breath, coughing from the hot air, and screamed. I extended my arms and desperately clawed at the top of the trunk.
Blue Eyes hit the car again, though this time he began rocking it. “I said SHUT THE FUCK UP!” he screamed.
“Zane!” the guy called Jackson yelled. “Stop it!”
Zane must have taken his hands off the car, for it suddenly stopped moving. I heard shoes scuffle on loose gravel. I took in a ragged breath and listened. “Don’t tell me what to do, you worthless piece of shit!” Then I heard the sound of a fist smacking flesh. A second later someone huffed in pain.
“This is your mess,” Jackson muttered before making a strangled noise of pain. “If you hadn't roughed up Phoebe in the alley this all could have been avoided!”
“Goddamn it!” Zane started. “I swear to God I’m going to—” he cut off when a phone rang. I swallowed hard and realized that I was shaking uncontrollably. I pulled my arms to my chest. I couldn't see a way out of this. I was stuck in the trunk. Zane and Jackson were not going to let me out in time. I was going to die.