Just thought I would give a little preview to the first book of my new series Destiny that is about to come out in June. This is chapter 1. The prologue is on my other web site if you are interested.
On to chapter 1 of Destiny.
Two years earlier.
When Jamie Kessler saw Emma Givens walking down the hall on his first day of school, he thought she was an angel. Her long dark auburn hair, her beautiful green eyes that sparkled like emeralds when she smiled at something someone said to her as she passed by entranced him. Introducing himself to her sounded like a good idea, until someone next to him saw what he was looking at with obvious longing.
“I wouldn’t,” Joe Wallace warned as he started to work the combination to his locker next to Jamie’s. They had been introduced in the office. Since they had the first class together Joe was given the privilege of showing Jamie around.
“Why? Is she taken?” Jamie asked his eyes never leaving Emma. His answer came when a tall blonde, obviously one of the local jocks, walked up behind her sliding his arms around her waist pulling her back against him. It was a possessive move, and when Emma smiled up at the boy, Jamie noticed that the light had gone out of her eyes.
“That’s Marc White with her,” Joe answered Jamie’s frown.
“She doesn’t seem very happy to be with him,” Jamie said.
Joe looked at the couple and sighed. “She’s not,” he said quietly. “But there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“Darren Mackenzie, me, and a few other friends Emma used to hang out with,” Joe answered turning his attention back to his locker and its contents. “Marc has made it very clear she belongs to him, and we are to stay away from her,” he finished angrily throwing his books into the locker.
Jamie frowned at the couple who were now walking towards them holding hands. Emma glanced at Jamie, giving him a small smile. When he returned it, Marc pulled her tightly against his side glowering at him with a look that promised violence if he even tried to talk to her.
“Wow,” Jamie breathed.
“Yeah,” Joe agreed slamming his locker shut. “It’s killing Darren that he can’t help her.”
“Were you both close to Emma?”
“Darren and Emma have been inseparable since birth. I moved into town when I was ten. We’ve been a team, for lack of a better word, ever since. We did everything together. Now Marc won’t let either of us anywhere near her. Even threatened to hurt her if we tried. Hurting her is the last thing we want to do, but it’s hard to just sit and watch him control her. And Darren….”
As if conjured by his name, Darren Mackenzie rounded the corner almost running into Marc and Emma. Instantly the tension in the hall rose to a level that had everyone’s attention as the two men glared at each other from only a foot apart.
“Shit,” Joe hissed moving towards them.
Jamie stood where he was, watching as everyone in the hall unconsciously moved back, forming a loose circle around the three.
“Mackenzie,” Marc practically snarled. If a name could be a threat, Marc had just managed it.
Darren’s eyes narrowed dangerously at Marc before he turned them to Emma. Instantly they soften. “Emma?” he said quietly, as if he was begging with her to listen to some unsaid plea.
Emma clutched her books to her chest pointedly looking at some spot on the floor. Jamie could see the look of helplessness in Darren’s expression, in his eyes. He wanted to help her, but by refusing to acknowledge he was standing in front of her, she was telling him she did not want his help.
The smile on Marc’s face as he slowly wrapped his arm around Emma drawing her closer to his side was the most evil thing Jamie had ever seen. Darren stiffened, his eyes darting back to Marc’s in hatred. Suddenly Joe was in-between them.
“Don’t, Darren,” Joe warned putting a hand on Darren’s chest. “It’s what he wants.”
The expression on Joe’s face told Jamie he was not happy about what he was seeing anymore than Darren was, but if Emma did not want their help there was nothing they could do.
It took a few moments before Darren’s body finally relaxed and he let Joe turn him around, pushing him back down the hall away from Marc and Emma.
“It must kill you Mackenzie to know she’s mine,” Marc called, his voice taunting. Darren froze. Joe let out a low hissing curse. “That’s she’s mine to hold, to kiss, to…fuck.”
Everyone scrambled to get out of the way as Darren launched himself at Marc, slamming him against the nearest lockers. Jamie found himself helping Joe pull Darren off of Marc and across the hall into the adjacent lockers, but not before Darren had managed to get in a few good hits. Two others held Marc who was snarling and spitting blood.
“Let me go!” Marc roared.
“I will kill you if you touch her again,” Darren snarled trying to shake off the ones that held him.
Suddenly Emma was between them.
“Stop!” she commanded holding her arms out, palms up toward them. “Please,” she added to Darren her eyes imploring him to do as she asked.
Darren stopped fighting to get free but his body remained tense. “I won’t allow him to talk about you like that,” he said glaring at Marc.
“You can’t allow me anything,” Marc sneered. “She’s mine, Mackenzie. I can do whatever I want to her. Emma!”
The last was a command so sharp Emma jumped. The fear on her face as she slowly lowered her arms turned all three men’s stomachs. The look she gave Darren was so lost that Joe and Jamie had to use their entire body to hold him to the lockers so he would not interfere. Then she turned and walked to Marc.
Shaking off the men holding him, Marc wiped the blood from his mouth as he watched her with such ownership Jamie heard Darren grind his teeth in anger.
When Emma was close enough, Marc reached out and pulled her harshly to him. Wrapping one arm around her waist and tangling the other hand in her hair, his eyes found Darren’s as he lowered his face to hers. The kiss could only be described as Marc demonstrating to everyone in the hallway his dominance over Emma. She was his therefore he could kiss her as if he would climb down her throat, no matter who was watching.
The act was so sudden, so shocking, that all anyone could do was watch, until Emma began to whimper in pain. Before Darren could react Marc released her lips. His eyes daring Darren to say something as he held Emma to him, her body visibly shaking.
“Stay away from her,” Marc warned his eyes narrowing in hatred. Then he looked at the girl in his arms, his voice and eyes softening. “Are you all right?” he asked.
Emma slowly nodded her head.
Sliding his arm around her waist in support, Marc helped her to where they had dropped their books. Making sure she was steady on her feet, he let go to pick them up. Holding both stacks in one arm, he once again slipped the other around her waist and they disappeared around the corner.
“Shit!” Jamie breathed into the silence that followed.
“You going to be okay?” Joe asked Darren his voice full of concern as he and Jamie stepped back to give him some room.
Darren just nodded his head. Leaning back against the lockers, hands on his hips, Darren closed his eyes and hung his head. He knew Emma wanted to be free of that bastard, but Marc had tied their hands. Unless they found something to get the police involved it was too dangerous to try and take her from him.
“There must be something you can do,” Jamie said echoing his thoughts.
“Not unless there is some physically abuse that we can prove, but he’s too careful,” Darren said tiredly.
“And he won’t let any of us near her,” Joe added. “The only time he leaves her alone is at night when she’s at home, and that is starting to become rare. If he is not on the phone with her, he is on the computer with the web cam on so he can see she is alone.”
“There has to be something,” Jamie said. He did not know these people very well, but he knew abuse when he saw it. Marc may or may not be physically abusing Emma, but his possessiveness, his need to control her every move was a form of mental abuse. Usually the physical stuff came soon after.
“I may have found something,” a new voice said quietly. They turned to see Kim Harmon – another friend Marc had managed to push away from Emma – walking up to them with a grim look on her face. “You need to see this.” She handed Darren a piece of paper.
“Shit,” Darren said standing straight, horror in his eyes. “Where did you find this?”
“I was in the library working on a paper for CWP. I got distracted by this website about wanted criminals. This came up while I was looking through the wanted posters,” she answered grimly.
Grabbing the paper from Darren, the color drained from Joe’s face as he read the fine print. “We need to show this to the principal,” he said.
“No,” Darren answered. “If Marc gets wind that we know about this he’ll run with Emma. With this we can finally go to the police and free her in a way that won’t end with any of us, or her, dead.”