Reclaim Me (Taken Series Book 3)
by Whitney Cannavina
Release Date: April 21st, 2017
Freedom hasn’t come easy for Sierra.
She may have finally escaped her captor but the demons of her past are hot on her heels. It’s just a matter of time before they capture her again.
Only this time, she’s no longer that innocent girl she once was.
There’s a monster that lurks beneath the surface and it’s itching for a fight.
Can Sierra fight her demons from her past and come out in the end intact or will she succumb to her darkest desires and become the one thing she tried to escape from?
Forrest finally has her but she’s no longer the same woman he fell in love with. With the threat still out there, Forrest needs to save Sierra in more ways than just her life.
*Reclaim Me is not a standalone. Please read Save Me and Break Me in the Taken Series.
*This series is a dark and gritty with the occasional sex scene and abuse so please take caution before reading.
*Due to language, sex, and scenes of abuse, this series is for readers 18+
The air is cool and crisp, puffy white clouds filling up the night sky, hiding the twinkling of the stars from everyone giving this night an ominous feeling. I can feel the cold seeping into my bones, giving my body a chill that’s bone deep even though I wear layers of thick, warm clothing.
As I stand on the balcony, staring off into the yard that is eerily quiet and void of any life, I wonder where the eyes are that I can feel caressing my skin with their heated stare. I can’t see him but I know he is there, lurking in the darkness behind the trees waiting for the perfect moment to attack.
He’s evil, I can feel it somehow and I am like a deer in the headlights. I can’t move. It’s as if he has paralyzed me. Then I see him. In the distance, his large form moves slowly at first, as if testing me. It’s like he is waiting for me to take off in the opposite direction but I cant. I am unable to move, stuck in a trance just waiting for the devil to strike and I crave it as much as I fear it.
It feels as if I have been standing here for ages, waiting for him to finally reach me. Once he is in front of me, with no space between us, the world fades away. We are no longer on the balcony but standing in front of my bed, in my childhood home. He is faceless, just a blur, but I know him. I’d know him anywhere.
When his hands slowly glide over my arms, I moan in appreciation loving the feel of his skin upon my own. I know it’s wrong. I should fear him, and in some ways I do, but for some reason when he is touching me, I crave his touch. A shiver races through me and soon, I am heating up to unbearable heights. I can feel the flames as they lick up my legs, soothing, before melting my flesh and making me sweat. What started as heated pleasure quickly turns torturous. I hold back the scream that is clawing its way up my throat, not wanting to show him an ounce of my pain. I look deeply into his blurred face silently asking him why?
“Because you have abandoned me. You were a very bad girl, and bad girls get punished.”
I shake my head furiously wishing I could speak, wanting to tell him that he was wrong. That he had abandoned me, but the pain is too much and I know that if I try, all that will come out would be an earsplitting scream and I refuse to give him the satisfaction of hearing my pain.
“Scream for me,” he whispers. “I said SCREAM!” he bellows.
Sweat breaks across my forehead and just before I break, his blurred face becomes clear and the fear I had been trying to hide, and the scream I have been holding back break free when Jeremy speaks again.
“That’s my girl.” The malicious smile turns his handsome face evil like the devil he is.
My piercing scream causes me to jolt out of bed, feeling panicked and scared. I’m drenched in sweat from head to toe and my heart is pounding so loud I’m afraid it will wake the neighbors. Forrest wraps his arms around me in his comforting embrace but it does nothing for me. My shaking body, heavy breathing, and heated skin causes him to worry unnecessarily about me. He can’t save me from my nightmares no matter how he tries to help. I can’t escape them and they seem to be coming more frequently as of late.
I sigh, feeling horrible for putting Forrest through this nearly every night. “Maybe…maybe you should sleep in your room again. My waking up like this nearly every night has to be exhausting for you. I don’t want you to lose sleep because of me.”
I can’t stand to look into his face as I say these words, knowing I am probably hurting him. I can’t help it, though. Lately, it hasn’t been just the dreams that are bothering me. It’s the looks everyone gives me. I feel as if they are all waiting for me to break. Like I am going to fall apart and become a shell of my former self. Or when someone touches me. I flinch every single time and I don’t even mean to. It’s so confusing because they are not injuring me in any way. My skin isn’t sensitive to the touch. I don’t fear them, but every time it’s as if they scorched me with their touch. I can’t stand it. I can see the tortured looks on their faces and it pains knowing I put it there unintentionally and that there is nothing I can do to fix it.
Intimacy is about the only thing I can handle. And by intimacy I don’t mean cuddling, kissing, and holding hands. Sex has been the only time I can truly let go and clear my mind enough to be touched, caressed, and kissed. I lose myself in the pleasure and it’s exhilarating… until it’s over. Then things go right back to the way they were before.
Forrest always wants to hold me afterwards as he caresses my skin with his lips and fingers but it feels like tiny little ants are crawling all over my skin biting me, and it’s almost painful. I always make excuses to him that I have to go run an errand or that I need to clean something in order to leave the room so I can slow down my erratic heart and avoid pushing him away, but I think he is on to me. Forrest always knew me better than I knew myself and I have no doubt he knows something is wrong. I’m sure it pains him that I am feeling like this but it hurts me just as much knowing I am putting this confused and hurt look on his face.
“Baby, girl. I don’t plan on going anywhere. I am staying right here with you and we will get through this. I don’t care that you wake me up because of your nightmares. I want to be here for you and help you overcome them.” He tries to pull me to his chest but I just can’t stand the idea of anyone touching me right now, so instead I quickly hop out of bed and pace the room as I try to figure out what to say.
“Sierra, tell me what’s going on in that pretty head of yours?” I know he means well.
“I can’t do this Forrest.” I continue pacing. It helps me from completely falling apart. As it is, I can already feel the tears threatening to fall. They burn the back of my eyelids but I breathe deeply several times, hoping to keep them at bay.
“Can’t do what, baby? You’re worrying me right now. Maybe if you just take a seat and talk it out with me…”
“No. I… I just need some space. I need time to absorb everything. I can’t think with you around. You consume everything around me that I can’t focus. And you treat me as if I am about to break.”
“I’m just worried about you. I don’t want anything happening to you again. I failed you before and I won’t fail you again. “
“You didn’t fail me Forrest. There were things that were out of your control.” I stop in front of him and give him my full attention so he knows that I am serious. “I need a break from you and from my family. I know you are all waiting for me to have a meltdown but it’s not going to happen. I’m already broken. You can’t fix me like you did when we were kids and someone hurt my feelings by calling me names, or when I fell and scraped my knees when I feel off the skateboard. My soul is shattered to pieces. The girl I used to be is gone now. I’m no longer that naïve princess you all treated me as. I have darkness in me that I’ll never be able to erase.”
“Baby girl…” Forrest chokes out my nickname and my heart bleeds a little knowing that after this night, I will no longer be his baby girl. I will just be Sierra, the girl who was kidnapped. The girl who is trying to find herself.
“Forrest… I’m sorry but I can’t do this… Us.” I gesture between us to emphasize my point. “I’ve seen some gruesome things when Jeremy had me. I watched him and his men rape and beat children, each taking their turn before repeating their fun on me. I stood on the sidelines as one child or woman after another was auctioned off like cattle to the highest bidder. I watched them cry and beg to be taken home to their families and I stood there and said nothing. I did nothing to help them. I could have done something… anything to stop the bidding. Instead, I just stood there like a robot watching it all happen.” The tears I had been trying to hold back come flooding down my cheeks but I pay little attention to them as I try to get through this last piece of my speech.
“That wasn’t your fault, Sierra. There was nothing you could have done to help them. They would have killed you and them if you had tried to intervene.”
“I lost two babies, Forrest.” I whisper. “Two babies that I wanted. That I loved and I never even met them.”
“Those were the offspring of a monster. You can’t seriously want that monster’s children?” I understand Forrest’s anger but he doesn’t understand what it’s like and it hurts and angers me that he could say this.
“I wanted them, Forrest. Even if they were his, they were still a part of me. They carried my blood in them. I would have loved them no matter who their father was.”
“If you wanted a baby so badly, we could have one. I could give you as many as you want. But I want you to be healthy physically and emotionally and right now you’re talking nonsense.”
“I’m not talking nonsense. These are my feelings. I’ve changed Forrest. And maybe, what we had started is no longer right for us. Maybe I’ve changed too much and now our chance is gone.”
“Don’t say that, baby girl. You can’t mean that. You know we have always belonged together even if we didn’t always acknowledge it. I’m yours in every way just as you are mine.”
“No Forrest, I am not yours anymore. I’m his until I can break his spell over me. I’m broken, Forrest. And maybe I will never be fixed. But I can’t fix myself with you constantly treating me like I’m fragile. I’m not fragile. I’m stronger than you give me credit for and in order to become even a shadow of my former self, I need to do it my own way. Without your help and without you hovering.”
Forrest stares at me with a blank face, giving nothing away as to how he is feeling but I know. I know him as well as I knew my soul before all of this shit happened. He’s dying inside. He wants to rebel against me and force me to listen to him and not let him go. But I also know that he won’t argue any more about this. Not because he doesn’t want to, or that he doesn’t care. He’s out of his element when it comes to fighting with a woman to stay with him.
“Do what you want, Sierra.” Forrest climbs out of my bed and walks to my door grabbing the knob without turning it. “I love you, baby girl, but I am out. See you around.”
I plop on my bed feeling numb. It’s the only feeling I need right now because if I let myself feel anything else, I would never be able to recover from his devastating blow. I expected him to agree to give me space. But to give up on me is something new and I don’t know how to feel about it so I choose numb. It’s easier and it will help me get through what I am about to do next.
- Other Books by Whitney-
Starting Over- http://a.co/hfNdFVl
Looking For Love- http://a.co/4pSSvxu
Romance Series Bundle- http://a.co/9knQRZN
Save Me - http://a.co/afi8O7z
Break Me - http://a.co/7F9LWjT
Picking Daisies- Releases 2017
- About Whitney -
I am an author, blogger, and mom to the best kid ever. On the days that are not hectic (which is hardly ever) I spend my time writing what I can. I write mostly contemporary adult romance but I think I will venture out just a little and write a few for teens to broaden my reader spectrum. I have always been imaginative making up stories and friends when I was younger, and once I had a teacher tell me how horrible a story I wrote was, that I didn't write until just a few years ago. I realized I don't care what her or anyone else thinks, as long as I love what I write then I am happy. That doesn't mean I don't want readers to love my books, I am just understanding that not everyone will love what they read and I am ok with that.
I also run a blog with two other awesome ladies called The Club and I hope that you would take a look and see what we have going on. I was just kind of thrust into it but I love exploring new genres, finding new authors, and reading a range of books I might not have heard of before then. It also helps I love to tell other readers about some great authors.
I grew up in Southern California, and on top of being and author, blogger and mom, I also love to watch movies, read excessively, go to hockey and baseball games, and relax with just my friends and family.
I hope you take the chance to check out my books and hopefully enjoy them.
- Author Links -
Twitter- https://twitter.com/ @ashtonsmom2012
Personal Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/AASII5XSU40TS…#