Their love was forbidden and doomed to failure.
A romance set in a world where slavery is government run and slaves are fitted with microchips.
Savannah, fleeing a turbulent relationship, seeks solace at her brother’s country farmhouse. It’s there that she meets Kayden; her brother’s slave who's considered less than human. These two damaged souls form an unbreakable bond, one that’s about to be tested, because Kayden is her brother’s property and he will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
Please note this book contains some sexual scenes, violence and strong language.
We’re in the corner of a large field. A rusty old caravan rests on bricks, there’s cardboard where a window should be, the glass must have got smashed I guess. In front of the caravan is a large bonfire and from the light of the flames I can make out two men and a woman sitting around it.
The woman stands up and runs towards us. Even dressed in rags she’s beautiful. Curvy, with long legs and a tiny little waist, long ebony curls tumble down her back. She flings her arms around Kayden and he lifts her off her feet and spins her around, then smiles down at her.
Oh I’m so stupid. I thought he liked me but she’s obviously his girlfriend. If she isn’t I can see he wants her to be. Why did I come here? I should have gone to the movies. Turning around I start to walk back the way we came. He’s too busy talking to her; he won’t even notice I’m gone. I don’t know how I’m going to get home in the dark, I’m going to get lost and Simon will have to send out a search party, they probably won’t find me until morning. My eyes fill with tears as I stumble blindly. I hear footsteps behind me and then Kayden is in front of me, his hands on my shoulders. “Where you going Savannah?”
“Home. Enjoy the picnic.”
“What’s wrong? What have I done? I’m sorry.”
Ugh, I don’t want to tell him. I’m too ashamed to admit that I thought he liked me. Maybe I can pretend I’m not feeling well but then he’ll have to walk me back and I’ll know that he’ll wish he could’ve stayed here with her. That’ll make me feel even more stupid. I’ve got no choice, I’m going to have to put a brave face on this. It’ll only be for a couple of hours, then I can go home and cry. I’ll avoid Kayden after tonight. “I’m fine.” I put on my best fake smile. “I thought I’d left something at home but now I remember it’s in the bag.”
He puts his arm around my shoulder and we walk back over to the others. This is the last time I’ll ever feel his hands on me. Maybe I should be making the most of it, but I can’t. We sit down around the fire with them. They’re looking at me but no one is saying a word. Finally Kayden speaks. “This is Savannah. She’s my owner’s sister.”
The beautiful one looks at him, her eyes wide. “You call her by her name Kade?” Oh they are so definitely dating. She’s shortened his name; I can never call him that now. She obviously thinks we’ve got close. So did I. We’re both wrong.
“She told me to call her that.”
I close my eyes. I don’t want to hear anymore. He was obviously happy calling me Miss and keeping his distance. I should have left things as they were. I should never have asked for his help with the eggs. Should’ve, would’ve could’ve. I tune out the rest of their conversation and look around at my companions. The guy sitting opposite looks a couple of years younger than me. He has the same blue and brown eyes and dark hair as Kayden but this guy’s hair is longer, wavy and flopping into his eyes. He notices me looking at him. “The names Trent. Nice to meet you Miss.”
I’m about to tell him to call me Savannah but I made that mistake with Kayden, so I keep my mouth shut. “Nice to meet you too.”
I look to the other guy. He’s about my age. He’s shirtless and lean and toned like Kayden. His hair is shaved close to his scalp but what distinguishes him the most are the scars and bruises all over his face and body and the thick metal collar around his neck. There are scars on his arms that look like someone has carved letters into his skin with a knife. Looking closer I see they are in fact letters. FUK on his bicep and U on his forearm, is it supposed to be ‘fuck you’. I quickly close my mouth, suddenly aware that I’ve been gawping at him. He’s glaring at me. His eyes are hard and glacial. Nervous, I turn towards a friendlier face, Trent’s.
He’s pouring liquid from a plastic bottle into some tin mugs and he hands one to me. Putting it to my lips, my eyes water, it smells like paint stripper. I can’t get past the smell to be able to drink the contents. “What is this?”
Trent sniggers. “It’s home-made potato wine Miss. It’s ninety percent proof, so go easy.”
Everyone else is drinking it, so I hold my nose and take a mouthful of the foul smelling liquid. Oh God, my throat is on fire! Coughing and spluttering I can feel Kayden rubbing my back. “It takes some getting used to Savannah.”
I take another mouthful, not looking at him. I’m in the mood to get drunk. His hand still rests on my back. What’s his game? Is he using me to make his girlfriend jealous? Now I’m being ridiculous, I couldn’t make her jealous if I tried. I guess the alcohol has given me confidence and I tell him to take his hand off my back. He does but now he’s frowning at me.
“I’ve brought some food.” I open the cool bag. “There’s eggs, crisps, peanut butter sandwiches and muffins. Help yourselves.”
Kayden leans towards me. “Thank you,” he says softly.
I just nod. I’m still not looking at him but I can feel his eyes burning into the side of my face. Trent and the beauty queen dive into the food. The guy with the collar just looks at it, he seems pissed off. Kayden isn’t eating anything either. I had no intention of having any, I can get food anytime.
Kayden leans in towards me again. “The girl’s name is Kaci and-”
I don’t let him finish. Standing up I walk away from the fire and light a cigarette. I don’t want to know her damn name. Kaci and Kayden, even their names are perfect for each other. Pinching the bridge of my nose I want to go back home more than ever. I finish smoking, put out my cigarette and walk back over to them.
Kayden is hanging his head, his shoulders are slumped and he’s picking at his fingers. Then I spot the source of his misery. Kaci is sitting on the lap of the guy with the collar, feeding him egg. Unrequited love. I know how that feels. I should be glad that she’s not his girlfriend but watching him mope over her is actually worse. Trent has disappeared.
I turn the radio on, I need a distraction. The DJ announces it’s the love hour. Oh great! Kayden raises his head. “Will you dance with me Savannah?” An hour ago I would have jumped at the chance, but not now. He only wants to dance with me because he can’t have Kaci. I shake my head. His eyes drop to his hands and he resumes picking at his fingers.
Trent returns with another plastic bottle full of hooch. I hold my mug out to him for a top up. Kaci is now snogging her boyfriend, Kayden is still moping over her and I don’t want to watch this anymore. I mouth to Trent, “Do you want to dance?”
He nods his head and grins as he takes my hand. Kayden’s head snaps up and I hear him gasp as Trent and I start moving to the music. I can feel tears pricking at my eyes but I’m not going to make a fool of myself by crying in front of him. I lose myself in the music, the hooch is certainly helping, I’m beginning to feel better and am starting to enjoy myself. The song ends but I don’t want to stop, so I keep swaying with Trent till the next song begins. I’m not in the mood for conversation but he starts talking and I can’t ignore him. “Thanks for the food Miss.”
“I hope Clay didn’t upset you Miss. It’s not you, he doesn’t like any humans.”
“Is Clay the guy with the collar,” I whisper. He nods and I glance across at Clay. He’s wrapped himself around Kaci and he’s actually smiling.
The song ends and I bend down to pick up my mug of hooch. I’m still holding Trent with my other hand; I’m not ready to stop dancing yet. I take a big gulp of the hooch and put my arms around Trent as the next song begins.
“TRENT!” We both jump and look towards Kayden who is now standing up, his fists clenched and glaring murderously at Trent. He snarls at him, “Trent, sit the fuck down.”
Trent looks at me. “I’d better not dance with you because…,” he nods towards Kayden.Sitting down I knock back the remainder of my hooch. I should be feeling drunk. I wish I were, but I’m not. Trent throws more logs on the fire. He doesn’t seem bothered by the way Kayden spoke to him. He’s laughing and joking with Clay. Kayden is staring into the fire, his face sullen.
Michelle Abbott lives in the UK and hates describing herself in 3rd person. She's a self-published author of new adult romance, and likes to write about heroes who begin as the underdog and are protective of their girl. She's an avid reader of romance, is addicted to coffee and loves wine and chocolate, so yeah, not the most healthy eating and drinking habits :-) She spends way too much time online when she should be writing. She collects teddy bears and occasionally knits a couple of rows on a sweater she started years ago, which she may eventually finish in time to wear for her funeral :-)