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Just Carry On

I don’t usually attend parties like this. I mean, it’s just never been my thing. Most of the time, I would rather spend the night at the 24-hour bookstore, curled up in a chair with a good book or magazine. But, tonight was a night that I needed away from home...far away. Luckily, one of my friends found out about this party that was an hour away from our hometown and I jumped at the chance to go. Anything to get me away from all the pain of my house.

“Brookey,” my friend, Sara, slurred as she swung an arm around my shoulder. I cringed as the stench of whiskey hit my nose. Sara had been drinking...a lot. And it was only ten.

“How much have you been drinking, Sara?” I asked distastefully, wrinkling my nose. Sara giggled and slumped onto my shoulder.

“Jus’ a couple of shots,” she hiccuped. I grimaced and slid out from her hold on me. She stumbled a bit before righting herself.I was about to take her back to the car to take her home when she ran off down a hallway. I hoped she was going to find a bathroom to puke all of that poison out.

Sighing, I took another sip from the cliche, red, Solo cup filled with stale beer. I winced as the rancid taste slid down my throat. At that moment, I decided that I did not like beer. Gross.

“Well, well, well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you around here.” A sickly sweet voice rumbled in my ear and I shuddered. Turning, I find that I am face to face with an unfamiliar guy. He smirks, seeing my obvious discomfort. “Where are you from sugar?”

“I don’t think that it is any of your business,” I shot back, crossing my arms over my chest. His eye flicked down to my chest and then back up. His smirk grew.

“Well, sugar, don’t be acting like that. I’m sure if you sweeten up a little, I could show you a real good time,” he whispered. I swallowed hard and narrowed my eyes at the drunkard.

“I could never be drunk enough to let you screw me,” I hissed. Fire flashed in his eyes and he wrapped his fingers around my wrist. Red lights went off in my head and immediately I felt my heart rate pick up. I will not be a play thing for another guy...

“Now, now, let’s not get snarky,” he said coldly, staring at me. I drew in a breath, ready to scream when another set of fingers lightly grazed my neck. I winced visibly and swiveled my head to see a tall, muscular man behind me.

“Sorry that I’m late babe. Couldn’t get out of the house to save my life,” he murmurs and leans down across a considerable height difference (since when did I become so short?) and touched his lips to mine. At his touch, my knees weakened and I gasped. My eyes closed without my permission and I felt the other perv take his hand away. I curved into the stranger kissing me and then, to my embarrassment, let out an audible whimper as I moved to grip the front of his shirt. I never wanted it to end.

His hands moved to my shoulders and gently, he pushed me back until our lips were no longer touching. It felt like someone just woke me up from the most amazing dream. My eyes flew open and my hand lightly touched my lips which were puffy and just a little sensitive. I looked back up at the stranger, to find him grinning slightly.

“You’re welcome,” he said in a low, rough voice that almost made me want to grab his face and kiss him again. I was quickly brought back down to reality and I looked around frantically for the perv who had grabbed me. He must have disappeared into the crowd.

“Um...thanks...I think,” I replied and lifted a corner of my mouth.

“I’m Aiden. I don’t think we’ve met before.” He lifts a hand and without thinking about it, I flinch away. Aiden’s eyes widen and then take on an almost protective look. It was kind of sweet, if not really hot.

“Um, Brooklyn,” I said and tried to relax my position. It was beginning to get loud in the room as more people began to show up. I felt a cold sweat break out on my neck and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Aiden motioned towards the back door and I hesitated. I really needed to check on Sara before she drank anything else tonight, but the sexy, mysterious stranger won the fight in my head.

I took a hold of his outstretched hand and he led me through the crowd and out the door. The cool, evening air hit my face and I sighed in relief. Inside, it had been hot and sweaty and I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. Aiden led me over to an empty porch swing and sat down, patting the space beside him. I sat down, but put a good twelve inches between us. He pretended not to notice.

“So, Brooklyn,” he began, “Why haven’t I seen you before tonight?”

“I, um, don’t live here. I live an hour away in Clarksville.”

“So, you aren’t a city girl, then,” he surmised. I laughed and shook my head.

“No, not exactly.” I smiled up at him and he seemed at a loss for words for a second.

“You certainly dress the part. I mean, you look like Nashville threw up on you the minute you stepped out of the car,” he chuckled and I couldn’t help but feel a little offended.

It was my first high school party and I tried to go all out for it. I bought a pair of daisy duke shorts and bleached them myself. I then found a green button up which I tied off at my waist. And to top it off, I wore my brown cowboy boots. I felt good coming to this party. I felt sexy.

“Gee, thanks,” I mumbled. Aiden laughed and my insides constricted at the deep, throaty sound spilling from his lips.

“I meant it as a compliment, darlin’,” he managed between laughs and I felt my cheeks warm at the term of endearment. Gah, he was adorable.

“Are you a city boy?” I shot back, hoping to get the subject off of me. Aiden nodded, humor still evident in his eyes.

“Born and raised,” he drawled. I smiled slightly at his southern accent and he winked. “Not to alarm you, but you’ve got an eyelash on your cheek.”

He reached up with a hand to wipe it off, but I shrunk away from his touch and pulled my knees up to my chest. Rocking back and forth, I tried breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. My head was swimming with so many emotions that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was losing my mind. But, I couldn’t freak out here. Not at a party. And especially not in front of a really cute boy.

“Brooklyn,” Aiden said. “Brooklyn, darlin’, I need you to relax for me. Close you eyes and breathe deeply.” I did as I was told. “That’s it. Good girl. Now put your legs down and rest your arms by your sides. That’s it. Breathe for me, Brooklyn.”

I felt hands on my shoulders and tried my hardest not to shrink away from his touch. Warm breath tickled my ear. I struggled to keep my breathing even as Aiden pressed closer to me. His hands rubbed circles down my back and over my shoulders as he worked to relax my muscles.

“In and out,” he whispered into my ear and I obeyed. All of a sudden, my mind cleared and my heart rate slowed immensely. I opened my eyes to find Aiden smiling softly at me. “Good girl.”

Tears pricked at my eyes; I couldn’t remember a time where somebody had shown that much care for me before. My bottom lip trembled and Aiden wiped at a tear that had escaped down my cheek. A sob broke from my chest and I threw myself into his arms, crying violently into his shoulder. He continued to rub circles on my back as he comforted me. I couldn’t feel any pain as he pressed into my fresh bruises, one after another. The pain that mattered the most was the one ripping at my heart and soul that very moment. The memories of last night rushed back to me all at once.


“How dare you speak to me like that! I am your father and you will treat me as such!” His piercing screams pinned me to the bed I sat on. I shook under his harsh glare and quickly looked down to my clasped hands.

“I’m sorry, daddy,” I whispered. He laughed maniacally.

“Sorry won’t cut it this time, missy,” he growled. I swallowed loudly and continued to stare at my hands. “You will look at me when I am speaking to you! Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.” I lifted my head reluctantly and met his eyes. They blazed with fury and disappointment.

“You will be taught a lesson on how to respect men. And I am going to be the one to teach it to you,” he said and closed the door behind him. I sucked in a breath as he locked it and moved closer to me.

“What are you going to do to me?” I whispered hoarsely as if I didn’t already know. He has been punishing me the same way for years now. He began to unbutton his shirt and tossed it aside. As he undid his buckle on his belt, I began to shake even harder.

“I am going to teach you a lesson about how to respect men. How to bow before them. How to serve them,” he hissed and reached out to grab a chunk of my hair. I whimpered as he brought his face close to mine. “And you will obey me.”

Tears began to course their way down my cheeks and I let out a sob.

“Please, don’t do this. Please don’t,” I cried, my chest constricting with every sob.

“Too late,” he said, gripping my hair even tighter. “You brought this on yourself.”


“Shh, Brooklyn. It is all going to be okay. It will all be okay. Whatever is wrong, you can and will get through this,” Aiden murmured into my hair as he rocked me back and forth. I stayed hidden in his shoulder and continued to cry, letting my tears soak his shirt.

“You don’t know,” I whispered raggedly. “You will never know.”



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