Fear Me (Broken Love #1)(5)

by B.B. Reid

Our first reunited moment told me everything I needed to know – he still hated me. Those beautiful eyes never lied to me. Even when his lips said I was nothing in the past, I’ve come to know his eyes well.

I couldn't do this. It was too soon.

Maybe if I disappeared quickly, I could escape with my feelings intact. With my new plan in mind, I jumped to my feet, forgetting about the slippery mess under me and I was falling again. This time, I crashed into his hard body. My humiliation just wouldn't end.

“Oh look Keiran, she fell for you. Was it love at first sight?” I heard Keenan’s snide voice somewhere off to the side.

I closed my eyes, wishing for the ground to open up and swallow me but then I felt strong hands grab me. They felt large and heavy against my frame and I bet if I looked down his hands would completely circle my waist.

I sucked in a breath, prepared for him to shove me away in disgust or anger but it never came. Confused, I chanced a look up at his face. He was standing at least six inches taller, the top of my head reaching just under his chin. My hands were planted lightly on his chest while I stared up at him. The simmering heat in his eyes that threatened to boil over made me think that he was having the same reaction I was. But that couldn’t be right. Not when he despised the very fact that I even breathed.  I know because he told me so almost everyday for the last ten years.

There was anger in his eyes, but there was also…confusion? I could understand my own because we’ve never been this close, never before touched like this. I could smell his scent as it washed over me—strong, male...virile. It was an aphrodisiac. His eyes lowered with what could be mistaken for lust, but I knew better. This was the beginning of a verbal attack; I recognized the signs over the years.

He leaned closer, his hands tightening around me while he inhaled deeply. “Fuck,” he growled, speaking for the first time since he entered the aisle and came back into my life. His voice caused my body to tremble as always. Or was I just shaking in fear? I couldn’t tell the difference.

Keiran turned his head to his cousin, still holding onto me. “Leave,” he directed to him. Keenan slowly straightened from the shelf he was leaning against, and left with a smirk.

He watched his cousin walk down the aisle until he turned the corner and only then did he turn his gaze back to me, letting it pass over my body slowly. He looked as if he’d been starving and I was his feast.

Definitely not ready for this.

He looked around quickly but no one else was around. The only employee in the store was probably still outside smoking a cigarette, I thought grimly.

Suddenly he flipped me around until I was pressed against the shelf. I froze but then came to my senses and tried to push myself off, but he was quicker. He grabbed my hands with one of his larger hands bringing them up over my head. I felt his chest press against my back as he leaned in close to my ear.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I would do once I caught you alone.”

I tried once again to free myself, anger rising that he was holding me against my will… in a pharmacy of all places. I’ve allowed Keiran to torment me over the years, but I promised myself that I would never allow him to touch me or physically hurt me again.

His arm wrapped around my waist as I continued to struggle frustration building inside me as he locked my body to his. I finally found the courage to speak. “Let me go or I’ll scream,” I threatened. He chuckled, but I had the feeling he didn't find the situation humorous.

“Yeah?” he taunted. “Scream and I promise you I will make your life a living hell; the shit I’ve done to you before was child’s play. I can give you much worse and shatter your perfect, porcelain world and you will know real pain. Scream.”

The force of his threat shook my body, his words coming out viciously and I felt his grip tighten further. I hoped I wouldn’t find bruises in the morning.

“What do you want?” I asked, although, I was pretty sure I knew what it was. This wasn't everyday bullying. He was after something. So I waited, anticipating his response. I felt his body tense right before he flipped me around to face him again, our bodies now aligned while he still held on tight.

“I’ve watched you…” He leaned closer, our lips touching lightly in an almost kiss. I felt a warm hand slide beneath my dress and stop just before my thigh. I suppressed a moan, surprised at the quick reaction of my traitorous body. “I’ve watched you and I’ve studied you,” he began again, breathing deeply. “I memorized you. I know what makes you hurt…I know what makes you sad…I know what makes you cry. But all your deepest fears, I will know. I’ll take your so-called strengths and I’ll make them your weaknesses.”

If Keiran scared me before, he terrified me now, I admitted with a tear burning a hot trail down my face.

“I’ve got a whole year with you,” he stated, finally releasing me. I slowly slid down to the floor, my legs too weak to hold me up. “I’m going to break you. But most importantly, I’m going to make you pay.”

* * *

10 Years Ago

“I hate you,” he whispered.

I was tugged to the ground by the pretty, ballerina bun that my aunt helped me do this morning. My hair fell around my shoulders and I cried out in pain when he stepped on my hand.  “B—but why?” I could barely speak around the sobs and trembles that wracked my body.

“Shut up and stop crying. You’ll get me in trouble if someone hears…you don’t want me to hurt you, do you?”

I shook my head and looked up at him fearfully. He wasn’t that much taller but to me he seemed like a giant. Maybe it was because I was sitting on the floor because of him.

I had just come out of language class and was distracted by the bad marks I got on my essay about what makes me happy. I guess Mrs. Peterson didn’t like that I wasn’t happy…not anymore. Not since my parents disappeared. Every day I hoped it would be the day they would come to rescue me.

Maybe they’re lost, I thought. Mommy said she would “see me soon” when she left so she had to come back. Mommies were supposed to keep promises, always.

Not long after my parents failed to show up, Aunt Carissa decided to enroll in me in the local school. My first day was today and all day I’d been wondering about the mean boy who pushed me off the monkey bars. Earlier, I saw him again for the first time, during recess. Our eyes met across the play area and I knew he recognized me. The empty look in his eyes filled with hatred when he saw me. Just as he started forward, the bell rang, and I practically ran for safety. I wasn’t expecting to see him again so soon, but he found me. Little did I know this would become our ritual.