Authors: Stacy Claflin
GONE - BOOK TWO
by Stacy Claflin
Copyright ©2014 Stacy Claflin. All rights reserved.
©Cover Design: Cormar Covers
Edited by Staci Troilo
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events, or locales is purely coincidental or used fictitiously. The author has taken great liberties with locales including the creation of fictional towns.
Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited. Do not upload or distribute anywhere.
This ebook is for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be resold or given away to others. If you would like to share this book with others please either purchase it for them or direct them to StacyClaflin.com for purchase links. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.
Receive book updates from Stacy Claflin:
sign up here
NOTE: This book follows
, the first book in the trilogy.
Macy Mercer woke up shivering. She rubbed her eyes and then looked around. Once again she was locked inside Chester Woodran's truck bed. Everything was quiet, meaning he was still in the hotel room where he had slept.
At least Chester had allowed her a sleeping bag and pillow, which was a far cry from the last time she had been in there. He had even let her use the bathroom and eat a meal before going to sleep for the night.
It was pretty full back there with everything they had packed for moving to their new home. As usual, she didn't know where they were, or even where they were headed. She actually didn't mind being in the truck bed this time. Not only because of the pillow and sleeping bag, but because she knew Chester wasn't going to kill her. If he had wanted her dead, he would have done it already.
No, he was serious about turning her into his daughter, Heather. Macy was already used to answering to Heather and calling Chester "dad." She felt traitorous to her real dad, but it kept her alive. He would understand.
Also, being in there gave her a break from Chester. He talked nonstop, giving her headaches.
She stretched and sat up. Though it was dark enough in there to not be able to tell whether it was day or night, she could see a little light trying to get inside. This was the day she would see their new home…and meet her new "mom."
What would she be like? Would Macy be given more freedom? The farmhouse had been locked up tight with no neighbors in sight. Would Chester continue to lock her in the new house, or would she have the chance to make friends? She wanted to talk to someone her age more than anything. Well, that wasn't true. What she really wanted was to get back home to her parents and brother, Alex. Then she wanted to run down the street to see her best friend, Zoey.
Macy ran her hands through her hair. It was getting greasy after so long on the road. What had it been? It felt like five days, not that she'd been marking anything on a calendar. It felt like they had been going in circles. She wouldn't put it past Chester to try to confuse her. He didn't want her knowing where they were going.
Not that it mattered since she didn't even know where they had started. She had never been able to figure out where the farm was located. Had they crossed one of the borders and moved into Canada or Mexico? She hadn't seen or heard any Spanish when outside of the truck, so they probably weren't in Mexico, but Canada was a possibility. The times she had been there, it had been pretty much like home.
Would Chester even attempt to cross the border? What if they wanted to search the truck? If they found her, he would be done for. No, he wouldn't do that. He had everything planned down to the last detail, and he wouldn't leave something like that up to chance. Not unless he knew someone who would let him pass, no questions asked.
She grabbed her travel bag and pulled out her last set of clean clothes. She got dressed as fast as she could and then ran a brush through her hair, sure that it didn't do any good. She felt gross and wanted a shower, but she knew better than to complain. She didn't want to find out if the new home had a place for him to lock her up again.
Macy put the brush back into the bag and rolled up her sleeping bag. She sat on it and leaned against some boxes, listening for sounds outside. She heard a car door in the distance, followed by muffled conversation. Chester wouldn't be much longer. He was eager to get to their new home.
Everything was quiet for a while, and then finally, she heard the familiar noise of the lock. She sat up straight, waiting. Was he bringing her breakfast? Most mornings he had. As long as she did what he said, he gave her regular meals and didn't tie her up or hit her.
Bright, morning light assaulted her eyes as he opened the back of the truck.
"You're already dressed? We're going to go into the hotel room so you can take a quick shower—and I do mean quick." He pulled his coat away from his side, letting her see a gun. "Don't try anything funny."
"Don't make eye contact with anyone, and whatever you do, don't talk to anyone."
"Breakfast is already up there. You can eat after you get cleaned up. Then we need to hit the road again. Like I said, today's the big day, Heather."
She climbed out of the truck, carrying the overnight bag. A light covering of snow crunched under her feet. That had to have been why she woke up cold. She looked up to the sky, seeing that it was clear and sunny. She saw pine trees in the distance, reminding her of home—her real home. Her heart ached. Would she ever get to see her family again?
"Come on." He glared at her. "We're not here for sightseeing." He closed and locked the back of the truck, and then led the way to the hotel room. It was a generic, cheap room. He pointed to the bathroom door and then patted his jacket where the gun was.
Going into the bathroom, she let out a sigh of relief at the thought of taking an actual shower. The farmhouse had only had a bathtub, and even though it was stupid to complain about, given everything she'd gone through, she didn't like taking baths. She put her clothes on the counter and stepped into the hot stream of water. The farmhouse water never got very warm, either.
This was like a dream. She knew she was supposed to hurry, but she couldn't help just standing there, enjoying the hot water running down. It almost felt like a massage. She closed her eyes and just enjoyed the experience until Chester pounded on the door and yelled for her to hurry up.
Macy opened her eyes and grabbed the hotel brand shampoo, lathering it through her greasy hair until it felt normal again. Then she spotted conditioner. Conditioner! She hadn't seen that since she had been kidnapped. She took a huge glob and ran it through her hair. She let it sit while she washed up.
Chester pounded on the door again.
"I'm almost done!" Even though she never wanted to get out, she rinsed off and got out. She grabbed the bottle of conditioner to take that with her, just in case. She ran her fingers through her hair, loving how it felt. Once she was dressed again, she put some lip gloss on and took a deep breath before joining Chester.
He was already eating at the little table. She sat down across from him, not making eye contact. A little paper bag sat in front of her. She poured the contents: a plastic fork, a napkin, something wrapped in wax paper and some toast wrapped in plastic fell out. She picked up the mystery item and saw that "vegan" was written on the side.
Was he pleased with her? He wasn't forcing her to eat any animal products? She opened it and saw some kind of breakfast burrito. The smell made her mouth water and she bit down.
"Are you excited, Heather? We get to move into our new home. It's in a nice gated community."
What did gated mean? Macy couldn't shake the feeling that it didn't mean what she envisioned. She nodded, her mouth still full.
"Did you sleep well?"
In the bed of a truck? Macy nodded again.
"Not too talkative, I see. Well, I suppose you're nervous. I would be too, if I didn't know where my new home was going to be. You'll like it. You'll have your own room again. Oh, and you'll finally meet your new mom. I know it's a little soon, but since your mom is off in Paris living the high life with Jacques, we need to move on too. I need a wife and you need a mom. It's not right for a girl your age to be without a mom."
Macy was sure that Heather's mom was nowhere near France, and from what she had read from Heather's diary, Heather hadn't thought her mom was there either. Macy swallowed and kept her eyes on her food.
"Your new mom is so excited to meet you. She's never been married and doesn't have any kids of her own, so she'll be able to devote herself to us fully. She might want to have kids of her own. I'm not sure, since the topic hasn't come up. But isn't this good news?"
Macy's stomach flipped and twisted more than an Olympic diver. "I guess."
Chester nodded. "You're nervous. I get it. Once you meet her, you two will hit it off. Then you'll see how wonderful everything is going to be."
Was the new wife marrying him because she actually
to be with him? Or was he forcing her to be part of the "family" too? She couldn't imagine anyone choosing to spend time with him, but maybe he had her fooled. He could have put on some hidden charm, pretending to be a great guy. He had probably even used the single dad card to gain her sympathy. Maybe she was one of those people who liked to fix broken people.
Hopefully, this meant things weren't going to get even worse than they already were. Although, her friend Marissa from school had a stepmom—not that Chester's wife would be Macy's stepmom—and she never stopped complaining about her. Every day in Algebra, Marissa had a new complaint about the horrible woman married to her dad.
"We don't have much farther to go today. Would you like to drive in the front with me?"
She looked up at him in surprise.
His light brown eyes peered through the ugly glasses and bore into hers. The corners of his mouth twitched. "I'll even let you pick the music. I can stream any kind you want—no commercials, even."
No commercials also meant no clues as to where they were. Although if she could see signs, that would help. Not that their location mattered all that much anymore. She had given up hope of escaping to get back home to her family. The new house would most likely be as secure as the farmhouse had been. Maybe even more, although she didn't see how. He had mentioned a gated community. Did that mean there was no way out?
"What do you say? We haven't had much time to talk recently, Heather. Dear old Dad has really missed that."
"Finish eating that and then give me a hug."
Her heart sank. The only thing worse than acting like his daughter was being locked up in the barn's cellar. Macy ate as slow as possible, wanting to put off the hug as long as she could. He didn't seem to notice. He rattled on about how much she was going to like the new house and her new mom.
He was excited, almost bubbly. Macy noticed that he was sipping coffee. She didn't remember ever seeing him drink it before. Maybe that was why he was in such a good mood.