Secret Chapter – Claim Me Hard

© 2017 by Vanessa Vale

PROLOGUE

HANNAH

Their hands were on me. Yes, their. Two sets of large, rugged palms skidded over my bare skin, awakening every nerve ending in their paths. I could feel them, one on each side of me. I was sandwiched between two hard, well muscled bodies, their erect cocks pressing against my hips. They wanted me, that was obvious.

But two men? I was a doctor. My social life consisted of an hour long dinner break at midnight between trauma cases. The only variation in my wardrobe was whether I would wear green or blue scrubs with my white doctor’s coat. My makeup had expired in the second year of med school and my hair hadn’t been in anything but a ponytail to keep it out of my face for just as long.

I couldn’t lure one man in my bed, let alone two. Well, I’d lured one asshole, but it had never been like this. Never been hot and needy, frantic and…naughty. One found the back of my knee, pulled me wide. The other matched actions so I was on my back, my legs spread. With their hands holding me open, I was at their mercy, available for whatever they wanted to do. And that included a finger very gently circling the top of my clit.

You’re soaking wet through your panties,” the voice said, dark and rough. He seemed very pleased that I was aroused for him. I was wet; I could feel the silk cling to my folds. Rough stubble abraded my neck as I was kissed. Angling my head, I offered him better access.

I felt a tug at my hip, then heard the rip of my dainty underwear. That was my only feminine concession. Fancy undies. That pair was now trashed, just a wisp of discarded fabric, but I didn’t care. A guy just ripped my panties off. I was not going to complain.

Ever had two men before?” The words were whispered in my ear. It was the second man, his voice rougher, if that were possible. Goosebumps rose on my flesh at the sound.

I shook my head, bumped his forehead.

You’re going to love it.”

A hand brushed over my bare nipple and I gasped. My body was so responsive, the tip hardening immediately. I arched my back, eager for more. That light caress was not enough.

Yes, I was going to love it.

A finger circled my entrance, round and round, but not slipping inside.

Please,” I begged. I knew what I wanted and it was them, it was everything they would give me.

Patience. Good girls get just what they deserve,” the voice said as his finger slipped inside.

Yes!”

All at once, I was chilled, the gentle and ardent hands were gone. I no longer felt them surrounding me. I was alone. It was dark and instead of feeling desired, I felt dirty. Scared. Exposed.

Bad girls get just what they deserve.”

That voice.

Oh god. I knew that voice.

It hadn’t been the voices of the other men. No, it was Brad.

He was mad. Irate. I cringed, curling up into a ball to protect myself.

I smelled the familiar, cloying cologne. “You’re mine. You’ll never get away from me.”

I sat bolt upright in bed, gasped as I struggled against the sheets tangled about my legs, trying to get away.

A dream.

God, it was all a dream.

No hot men. No Brad.

I was in my new apartment over the diner. Alone. Free from Brad, but hardly free.

I was covered in sweat, my t-shirt damp, my breath coming in harsh gasps. My skin quickly chilled, my nipples hardening. My pussy ached, remembering the way I’d been touched in the dream. My hand slid down beneath the covers, beneath my panties. I was wet and needy from the dream. I wanted those fingers getting me off, even with the crazy idea of it being a threesome. Insane. Unreal. But it had been nothing but a dream. A hot, sweaty dream, but Brad ruined it. Not just in my sleep, but in my waking hours, too.

He ruined everything.

I might have fled LA and his cruel fists, but the voice in my dream had been too true.

I would never get away from him.

CHAPTER ONE

HANNAH

The diner’s pale green uniform was hardly fashionable, but it was comfortable…and comforting. I ran my hands over the polyester blend, took a deep breath. It was a far cry from the scrubs I was used to, but the simple dress with its clean white apron was a throwback to another era, just like this town I’d ended up in. Bridgewater. How the hell had I ended up here? Not just here, as in Montana, but here as in hiding out. Putting my real life on hold because of an asshole ex. Running scared.

That question seemed to run on a constant loop in my brain ever since I stopped in this tiny, blink-and-you’d-miss-it town two weeks ago. While it sat in a picture perfect valley, it wasn’t exactly London. It was far from a vacation destination, and waitressing at a local diner was the polar opposite from the dream career I’d left behind. No one just walked away from ten years of schooling, residency and internships. No one except me. But a woman on the run couldn’t be picky, and Bridgewater was as far off the grid as any town could be. And that was the point, wasn’t it? I wasn’t here on vacation. I wasn’t seeing the sights. I was here to hide, pure and simple.

A now-familiar anger welled up and I took a deep breath to get my emotions under control. I glanced at myself in the bathroom mirror. Only a hint of makeup—something had to hide the bags under my eyes—and hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail. Residency didn’t offer any time to primp so I was used to going natural. I was also used to the sleep deprived look. But I wasn’t pushing a forty-eight hour shift in the ER. I looked like shit now because I was afraid. And that made me so damn mad! He’d reduced me to this. Half scared, half mad. Honestly, these days I wasn’t sure who I was more angry with—my ex for hurting me or myself for running away like a coward. Or for even being interested in the asshole to begin with.

Brad Madison had been the ideal boyfriend… at first. Handsome, attentive, even sweet. But I guessed that was the way it always started. No one got together with a guy she knew to be a monster. They were always sweet and charming, loving and doting. Brad didn’t change overnight, either. His downward spiral was slow and insidious. He’d gradually grown more controlling, and over time his words had turned cruel. After several weeks away, it all seemed so obvious. The way he’d manipulated me and made me doubt myself—textbook emotional abuse. I’d seen it all the time in the ER, women who “ran into a door” or “tripped.” But that was the beauty of hindsight, it was always twenty-twenty.

I hadn’t seen it at the time, even with all the time I spent at the hospital working. The change—in Brad and in our relationship—had occurred so gradually that I’d lost all perspective.

Until he hit me.

Only once, but that was part of the problem. My initial reaction after the shock and fear wore off was to tell myself that it had been only once. I found myself wanting to believe him, that it was a one-time deal. That he really did feel sorry and that he actually would change. That his suddenly kind demeanor was the real him. Worst of all, I found myself falling into a classic trap. I started to blame myself. I’d burnt the eggs. The moment I realized I was making excuses for him was in the ER. I had on plenty of foundation and concealer to hide the bruise on my cheek when a woman came in who’d been beaten up by her husband. I’d begun to tell her the standard lines about the signs, getting out, how there was help available, if she wanted to press charges. Then she looked at me, pointed to my cheek and asked me what had happened. I’d opened my mouth to tell her a lie, then realized, like a light bulb going off, that I was her.

I told her the truth, that I’d been hit by my boyfriend—over eggs!

Vowing to her, I said I’d end it with Brad if she walked away from her cruel husband. I’d left the ER that night to make a clean break from him. Or tried to, at least. It took all of my courage to tell Brad it was over, afraid he’d hit me again as I did so. If he’d hit me over burnt breakfast, what would he do when I said I was leaving him? By that point, I was well and truly scared of the man I’d thought was the love of my life.

I had no idea what happened to the patient in the ER. I had to hope she’d gotten help, gotten away. Me? I’d gotten away, but there was no help. Only hiding.

Looking around my bare bones one-bedroom apartment above the diner, I tried to feel appreciative rather than resentful that I’d been forced out of my old life and career. And I was grateful. The space was spartan, but clean. The rent was cheap and the commute to work was only a flight of stairs. I’d been lucky to find this place, with its friendly residents. Bridgewater was picture perfect, a western Norman Rockwell town. The fact that there had been a job opening at the old western-themed diner on Main Street had been a stroke of luck. I needed money, money that didn’t come from an ATM or credit card that were traceable. I sure as hell hadn’t had time to set up a new life for myself before I ran, so I felt lucky.

I picked up my lip balm, swiped it over my dry lips, my thoughts returning to Brad.

After I’d told him I was leaving him, I walked out of his apartment naively thinking that I would never see him again. I’d been relieved. Liberated. What an idiot. Of course, he wouldn’t let me go that easily. A few hours later he showed up at my place. I knew he’d been drinking from the glazed look in his eyes, the scent of whiskey on his breath.

You’re mine and I’m never letting you go.

Those words still echoed in my skull at night when I should be sleeping. Like the weird dream the night before. A mixture of a hot sex dream and my worst nightmare. The possessiveness of his tone that night, and the sneer—it still gave me chills. The situation had spiraled from bad to terrifying after that. He’d showed up at the hospital when I was on shift, drunk and angry, shouting about how he was watching me. How he’d never let another man have me. Who knows what would have happened if security hadn’t arrived?

And then there had been the flowers on the doorstep with a note of apology, followed by threatening messages on my voicemail. His behavior had turned erratic and I knew it was just a matter of time before he crossed the line again from emotional abuse to physical. I’d been trained to talk to women about this, seen firsthand what an abusive guy could do when pushed.

I’d tried to talk to the police, but since nothing had actually happened, their hands were tied.

I knew then that if I stayed in LA, the next time wouldn’t end in more than a bruised cheek. And so I’d fled.

I turned to face the full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door. Saw myself now. The uniform, the apron. Goodbye Hannah Winters, hello Hanna Lauren.

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