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Stay by Emily Goodwin
One of you lucky ducks is going to win a copy of Stay. I had to buy my copy.
When I saw this cover I had to. This book is right up my ally.
Stay by Emily Goodwin
Publication date: May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
“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?
©2014 by Emily Goodwin
The street sides were hardly occupied so far down; we easily found a spot and sat down on a bench while we waited. I stretched my long legs out, wanting to soak up as much sun as possible before I was beach-bound tomorrow for Lynn’s family’s annual Memorial Day cook out. Next to Lynn, who went to the tanning salon four times a week, I was ghostly pale. I had intended on going tanning a few times with her, but I had spent my ‘fun money’ allowance on books. I pushed my sunglasses low on my nose, trying to avoid an awkward tan line.
I saw a blur of black out of the corner of my eye. It was moving fast and headed right toward the street that ran perpendicular to the one we were on. It wasn’t blocked off for the parade. I whipped my head around to see a girl race into the street, jumping off the sidewalk with such haste that she didn’t take the time to see if the coast was clear.
A horn blared and tires squealed as a car slammed on its breaks. Holy sh*t. My heart skipped a beat. The car missed her by just a foot. It wasn’t going fast being so close to the parade route, but it was fast enough to cause some damage.
“Did you see that?” Lynn stood and put her hand to her face, shading her eyes. “That was close. Dumbass isn’t looking where’s she’s going.”
“I think she’s crying.” I narrowed my eyes, watching her race across the street. She kept her head down and her arms wrapped around her chest. It was odd to see her in a long sleeved sweater in eighty-degree weather. When she was parallel to us, she whirled around, looking behind her as if she was scared of being followed. Whatever she saw made her pick up the pace. She dodged behind a building and out of sight. My eyes lingered in her direction, waiting to see if anyone else would accompany her down the alley.
I shook my head and turned back to Lynn and my sister, making lazy conversation and enjoying the sun. I was hot by the time the distant music and cheering from the parade floated down the block, and I had already drained my water bottle. I stood, told Arianna and Lynn I’d be right back, and dashed across the street to use the bathroom. I pushed my way through the crowded coffee shop and impatiently waited in line for the single stall bathroom.
When I was done, I left the ladies room and held my purse close to my body, prepared to side-step my way through the crowded cafe once again. But then I saw the back door. I looked at the crowded cafe and decided I’d rather go through the alley than wade my way through all the people. I put my hand on the knob and twisted, hoping an emergency alarm wouldn’t sound. Luckily it didn’t, and I emerged into the alley behind the coffee shop.
Then I saw her, the crying girl who almost got hit by a car, slumped over next to a dumpster. I froze, unsure of what to do. I knew it wasn’t any of my business. She probably didn’t want to be bothered anyway. But then I noticed the blood.
My heart pounded and my breath rushed out of me. “Are you okay?” I asked, my voice meek. I doubted the crying girl even heard me. I swallowed and asked again.
Slowly, she lifted her head, revealing a black eye and a fat lip. “Go,” she croaked and wiped her bloody nose.
“Oh my God,” I blurted and assumed she had been mugged. “I’ll help you,” I said and started to move in her direction. “I’ll call the police.” Just then, someone walked down the alley. I jerked my head up, heart racing. The young man slowed his gait when he saw me. Despite my fear, I couldn’t help but notice his extreme attractiveness. A black t-shirt stretched over his broad shoulders, tight enough to show off his muscular chest and arms. The perfect amount of stubble covered his face from his defined cheekbones to his strong jaw. Carefully tousled hair fell just above his beautiful blue eyes.
“Help!” I said. “I…I think she’s been mugged.” I shook my head, hands shaking. “ I don’t know what happened but she’s bleeding. She needs help!”
Another guy stopped short, staying behind the guy with the blue eyes. He was tall and robust with a head full of wavy, black hair that fell an inch below his ears. His eyes were a dark chocolate brown, and his full lips were pulled into a frown. His dark eyes flicked from me, to the girl, and then to the guy in front of him. They widened with fear, and he opened his mouth as if in warning when Blue Eyes elbowed him in the ribs.
“It’s okay,” Blue Eyes said and held up his hands, flashing me a smile. “I’m going to help her, don’t worry.” He took a step forward, and the crying girl picked up a handful of gravel and sprang to her feet.
“Go!” she yelled and threw it at Blue Eyes. His handsome face twisted into something hateful, and he lunged forward with alarming speed. His hands struck the girl on the shoulders, shoving her back into the dumpster. Her head hit, resounding against the metal, and she slid back down onto the ground. My fear turned into terror. Those guys weren’t going to help her. They were the ones who hurt her.
My pulse rose, and I scrambled to stick my hand into my purse, feeling around for my phone. I whirled around at the same time in a desperate attempt to get back inside the safety of the crowded coffee shop and call the police. I diverted my eyes when I felt the familiar rectangle of my phone, needing to look at the screen to unlock it.
I put my phone to my ear and reached for the door handle. My fingers graced the worn knob when he grabbed my wrist. His nails dug into my flesh as he jerked me forward. My feet caught on themselves and I toppled over, cutting my knees on the dirty alley ground. The phone flew from my grip and clattered on the pavement.
I caught a glimpse of the guy with the dark hair holding onto the crying girl. His body was rigid and his brown eyes were opened wide as he watched my struggle. The muffled voice of the 911 operator floated into the air.
“Help!” I screamed.
Blue Eyes kicked me in the side, causing me to fall flat on my face. Music from the parade began to grow louder. “Help me!” I called again. My cries were drowned out by the roaring cheers coming from the crowd. I stretched out my arm, frantically slapping at the ground in a desperate attempt to reach my phone. Bits of glass and tiny pieces of asphalt stuck to my palm. I drew my legs up underneath me and pushed myself forward and away from Blue Eyes. I planted my feet on the ground and sprang up, only to be knocked down again.
Blue Eyes laughed and walked around me. His intense eyes met mine before his foot came crashing down on my phone. The case cracked from the force. The screen shattered and little rhinestones popped off and rolled away. He stomped on it once more before picking up the broken device and throwing it into the dumpster.
Emily Goodwin is the author of the award winning Contagium Series published by Permuted Press as well as many independently published novels, including the internationally bestselling novel, STAY. Emily writes in a wide variety of genres, from horror to romance. She holds multiple degrees in psychology and nursing and has worked in mental health and general healthcare. Emily resides in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and German Shepherd named Vader. Along with writing, Emily enjoys riding her horse, designing and making costumes, and Cosplay.
Not Everyone’s Mama