Series: Clarity #1
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on February 23rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Fiercely independent Helen Winters was born completely blind, but she vowed never to let her disability keep her down. She did not expect a traumatic event to devastate her life and force her to drop out of college. Disillusioned by the cruelty of people, Helen retreated from society to live by herself as a reclusive writer in the woods—where no one could ever hurt her again.When a brilliant young doctor shows up on her doorstep, promising her that his new research can give her the ability to see for the first time, Helen stubbornly refuses. She has learned not to trust anyone, and to rely only on herself. But Dr. Liam Larson will not take no for an answer. He makes it his personal mission to rescue Helen from her loneliness, and bring joy into her world once more—the joy she has denied herself for so long.When Helen’s demons come racing back into her life, threatening to rip her apart and destroy the strength she has carefully rebuilt, Liam is the only one who might be able to save her.
Can he reach the broken girl in time, helping her to heal and see the world in a different light? Or will Helen’s grief send her spiraling out of control, lost to him forever?
“Be quiet,” he whispers. “No screaming, or I’ll rip your tongue out. I’m going to release you, but keep your mouth shut, okay?”
I nod. The silence in the room is deafening. My skin is prickled by rising goose bumps, and my heart furiously pumps hot blood through my body. As soon as his hands release me, I swivel and smash my fist into his face. He roars in pain, and I fling my foot outward, letting my heel connect with his knee. Feeling his leg beginning to buckle and crumple, I quickly duck away from him and lunge for the door. Grasping the handle, I pull the door halfway open before I feel it being slammed shut. The boy grabs a fistful of my hair at the back of my head and uses it to smash my face against the door. I cry out at the sharp pain in my nose, and my lip splits open against my teeth. I taste a bitter, metallic liquid against my tongue. My head spins and I grow dizzy. I feel my body being hauled away from the door and thrown to the ground amid boxes and other debris. I struggle to raise myself onto my elbows to fight against my assailant, but there is suddenly a heavy, crushing weight on top of me.
A large hand clamps around my neck and squeezes. He is suffocating me.
“I can make you feel better, Helen,” he says in a tender voice. “Shhh. Just relax. Relax and let me take care of you.” I feel his hand reaching down to slip under my skirt. “Relax and spread your legs.”
“Are you insane?” I hiss, clawing at the hand he’s holding over my throat. He’s too strong. Tears flood my eyes once again. “I thought you were nice.”
“I guess you missed one too many psychology classes, huh?” he says with a laugh. He leans down and puts his lips very close to my ear. “Just don’t worry, sweet thing. You can’t see me, so I’m not even really here. Out of sight, out of mind.”
“You monster!” I scream hoarsely, struggling against him. “How could you…”
He removes his hand from my neck and hits me across the face. My already bloody lip is swollen and pulsating. I am afraid for my life. Maybe I should stop fighting and let him do whatever he intends to do? My sister and father need me, and I can’t die. It would destroy them. They’ve lost too much already. I can’t seem to stop sobbing. I think of my mother. Maybe I should fight with the two-hundred-pound football player, and hope that he kills me so that I can be with her? My mind is a mess. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know if I’m going to survive this.
“Think about calm ocean breezes,” the man on top of me says in a soothing voice. “Shhh. My sweet Helen. Think about soft waves of the ocean. Shhh. That’s all we are. Soft waves of the ocean.”
His sadistic banter chills me to the bone. Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to me now? Why, at my lowest moment, has the universe found a way to drag me down even further—into an even deeper pit of despair? Is this some kind of sick joke? I must be dreaming. This can’t really be happening.
But his thumb and forefinger continue to press down painfully on either side of my windpipe. I gasp for breath as he steals the life away from me. This is very real.
“Helen,” he coos in a singsong voice as he moves on top of my body. “Helen, Helen, Helen. Such a pretty name, for such a pretty girl. My sweet, sweet Helen. The things I’m going to do to you.”
I am not sure what this man looks like, but I imagine that if I could see him, I would be staring up into the face of pure evil. Perhaps I should be thankful that I will never have to behold something so hideous. If I survive this, I inwardly promise myself, I will have to get stronger, somehow. I can never let something like this happen to me again.