Title: Breathe In
Author: Michelle Bellon
Release Date: June 27, 2017 Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Breathe in, breathe out. This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.
The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.
Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die...is still out there somewhere.
Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.
Standing closer than I want to be, I can’t stop my muscles from trembling. He sneers down at me. His teeth are crooked. His jaw is wide. His skin is covered in acne, and I’m sure he takes steroids on a regular basis to gain his bulk. His scent is heavy with sweat. It mixes inextricably with the smell of frying pork.
He holds a finger in front of his face in warning. “Do not play with me, little girl.” He gives the rope another jerk. “Do you understand me?”
“Y-y-yes,” I whimper.
“Good. Now let me explain a few things. You see that camera over there?”
When I don’t take my gaze from his to look toward the camera, he moves faster than I can react and clutches my chin in his large hand, his thumb and forefinger digging into the flesh of my jaw. My lips pucker out. He jerks my head to the right so that I’m facing the camera. He points to it with his other hand. “There. Do you see it now?”
Face still in his grasp, I nod adamantly to show I’m listening now. This man is frightening beyond measure.
His thumb and fingers squeeze harder. “Good. That camera will watch you day and night. You hear me?”
I nod, unable to suppress the incessant whimpering that bubbles from my core.
“You will not go near it. You will do as you’re told. Or I will hurt you. You got it?”
He releases my chin and slaps me across the face. My head snaps hard to the left and my right cheek flashes hot where his palm connected. Instant tears stream down my face. He grabs my chin again and hauls me upright.
“Answer me when I ask you a question. Understand?”
“You and that camera right there are going to make me a lot of money. Do you understand?”
I don’t understand at all. I’m afraid to. “Yes.” I nod over and over again.
“Good. Now sit your ass down.”
Before I can do as I’m told, he gives me a shove. I topple onto the bed. Unable to catch myself with my hands behind my back, I fall to my side, then scramble to sit upright.
He gives me a look of disgust before walking out the door and slamming it behind him.
Defeated and scared beyond words, I’m paralyzed. I need to escape, but I fear this man’s wrath if he catches me. I bite my lip and earnestly try to fight back the tears. But they are relentless and gush forth anyway. I give in and let them come. Racking sobs engulf my body. I look toward the camera, no longer innocuous. It stares at me menacingly, my only witness.
What will it see?
Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.
She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards. You can visit Michelle’s website at http://www.michellebellonauthor.com/
Leave a Reply.