on August 6, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
Amazon • Goodreads
Change is never easy.
For seventeen year old Nicolette Vanelle, life is about to change...
Relocating to California, Nicolette finds herself starting over. A new high school. New friends. New life.
Attending her first Hollywood event, Nicolette meets bad boy Michael St. Clair, and unknowingly becomes the object of his obsession.
Feeling overwhelmed by Michael’s attention, she escapes the party to go to the beach where she meets Simon Paulson. He takes her breath away, an inevitable connection leading to romance between the young couple.
Nicolette and Simon’s happiness is short lived and their relationship is put to the ultimate test when tragedy befalls Nicolette.
Can Nicolette find the strength and courage to emerge from the darkness she fell into? Will Simon's unconditional love be enough to bring her back into the light?
Life can change in an instant, leaving you changed forever.
I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed between Michael and Nicolette. I wanted to punch something, and his face was my intended target. What the hell does he think he is doing? Michael is still trying to take my girl out from under me after I have warned him over and over again to back off. I cursed at myself because I knew I had no right to be mad especially after how I left her last night. I don’t actually have any claim to her, and that was entirely my fault for not making her mine sooner. I guess I thought she already knew. I have to tell Nicolette how I feel about her, but first I have to handle Michael.
“What are you doing here, St. Clair?”
“Hey, Simon. Lovely to see you too!”
“I told you to stay away from Nicolette. She’s off limits.”
“Why because you said so? I think based on the conversation I just had with Nicolette, she is single and very available. Again, she’s fair game, and if I want to pursue her, I will.”
“Not if my fist has anything to say about it. You will not see her again, Michael.”
“Be careful, Simon. You don’t want to go there again with me.” I feel my anger rising through every fiber of my body, and I wanted to kick his ass all over this campus. I go to strike at him and suddenly, my hand is being pulled back by Sam.
“Dude, chill the hell out. He’s not worth it, Simon.”
“Stay out of it Sam, this is between us.”
“Yeah Sam, I think Simon can fight his own battles, don’t you think?”
“Stay away from her man; I’m not going to tell you again.”
“Sure Simon, whatever you say.” Michael laughed as he stepped into his Mercedes and drove off.
“Sam… what the hell man! I didn’t need your help back there. I can handle Michael just fine on my own. The son of a bitch was with Nicolette, Again! He doesn’t get it, she’s my girlfriend!”
“Does she know that dude?”
“That’s she’s your girlfriend? What the hell do I know man, I’m not even seeing anyone at the moment. If I had a girl like Nicolette, I would let her know who she belongs to, but since you are too much of an ass to tell her how you feel, St. Clair’s right, she’s available.”
“The hell she is Sam! I love her. Oh shit! Did I just say that out loud?
“What was that, Simon? I don’t think I heard you; you what?”
“Shut up Sam. I love her and I’m telling you straight, fucking St. Clair is not going to get another girl of mine. I’m going to tell Nicolette exactly how I feel about her today.”
In an instant, life can change forever. How true this was for my beautiful girl, Nicolette. I watched her changed right before my very eyes. From a vibrant and self-assured seventeen year old, to a broken and shattered girl who had no light left in her caramel brown eyes. If I had only known sooner what she had been dealing with…I could have prevented the unforeseen act of brutality that awaited her. I allowed her to go to her mother and my brother while I lived my life in Chicago with no knowledge of him… the psychotic attacker, Michael St. Clair.
My world had been shattered with one phone call. All I saw was red! I wanted revenge on the person who hurt my girl. My hand was forced and that is something that never happens. I made a promise to my brother to believe that justice would prevail and the animal that hurt Nicolette would suffer for his crime. After months of watching her, existing and not living, trying to gain back some semblance of her life… was excruciating for me. She left us…her family, to find the strength she needed to be whole again. He took something from her that can never be replaced. Nicolette, as young as she was, was strong and determined. Although it broke my heart to say good-bye to her, I knew we had to let her go. She was battling through days of darkness and nights of despair. On the outside to others she appeared to be getting better but, on the inside she was struggling through darkness and pain.
She beguiled us all with her strength and courage. She found her light again, and returned home to us. She was not the same girl I said good-bye to months earlier. Nicolette was fearless, stronger, and determined to right the wrongs of what happened to her. I was too and I knew the promises I made to her father and my wife would have to be broken. I sat in the courtroom and listened to my girl re-live the events of that horrible night. She never cried, she just told her story all the while I clenched my jaw and tightened my fists. I wanted him dead, and that’s exactly what was going to happen…promise or not, he was going to die!
The judge issued the sentencing. He was handcuffed and taken back into custody. He dared one more glance at Nicolette and then turned his head down and followed the guards. Did he think this was over? No way in hell!
Nicolette was beaming with happiness. She did it. She faced her fears head on and was able to start to finally put this nightmare behind her. I watched her leave with Simon, the boy who captured her heart and loved her unconditionally. My brother and his wife were smiling for the first time in months. This was over for them, but just beginning for me.
I excused myself and pulled out my cell phone. I knew once I set this in motion, there would be no turning back. I hit the speed dial on my phone, and gave my orders. “He’s on his way. He is not to be touched, and will remain under the protection that I have provided until all is in place. Do I make myself clear?” I heard him answer, “Yes” and then I shut my phone.
I made sure he was unharmed in prison and never allowed him to be confident in knowing that he was untouchable. His first warning was waiting for him when he entered his cell for the first time.
Anticipation of death is worse than death itself.
I had several of these delivered to him over a course of several months. I wanted him to look over his shoulder… be afraid like the coward I knew he was. Then they stopped, and I was ready to strike.
I cashed in all my chips that were owed to me for this favor. I had only one chance to make this happen and today was the day. He was on laundry detail. The room was located on the lower floors of the prison, surrounded by loud sounds of the industrial machines. He was taken and bound to a chair with his mouth stuffed with a rag to silence his screams. Nestled out of sight in a dark corner of the room, I slowly crept in and approached him. His eyes were red from his cowardly tears that fell down his cheek and moaning for his life.
I leaned in to his ear and whispered. “Do you remember me?” He shakily nodded his head. I took in several deep breaths and began what would be the last words Michael St. Clair would ever hear.
“I could have ended your life that day in the hospital, but I didn’t. Every day Michael… I could have but, I didn’t. I watched you in the courtroom as you sat there, confidently thinking that you would get your sentence and still be able to live your life one day. Did you think that, Michael?”
He sat there with no emotion, and just listened to me. I circled him round and round, he didn’t move. “You made my girl bleed, you PIG. Do you remember what I said to you? Hmm…Pigs get slaughtered! You preyed upon an innocent girl, infected her with your seed and caused her undeniable pain. You robbed her…YOU BROKE HER! I can’t let you live one more day knowing that life awaits you outside of these walls, because they don’t.”
I removed his gag and I asked him one last question. “Do you have anything to say before fate comes for you?” He looked directly into my eyes, and said… “Do it! I can’t have her… I’m already in hell.” I plunged my blade into his heart with one strong thrust. He gasped, as his eyes slowly closed.
I watched as he bled out, and I let out the breath that I was holding. I swore I would never return to this life again, but after what happened to Nicolette, I knew there was no way I could ever live with knowing that the animal that hurt her still had breath in his lungs.
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