Read Heller's Regret Online

Authors: JD Nixon

Tags: #relationships, #chick lit, #adventures, #security officer

Heller's Regret

 

Heller’s Regret

by JD Nixon

 

Copyright JD Nixon 2014

 

Smashwords Edition

 

Smashwords Edition, Licence Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal
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of this author.

 

This book is a work of fiction. All
characters and locations in this publication are fictitious and any
resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or real locations, is
purely coincidental.

 

JD Nixon is an Australian author and
Australian English and spelling have been used in this book.

 

Discover other titles by JD Nixon
available at many ebook retailers:

 

Heller series

Heller (free ebook!)

Heller’s Revenge

Heller’s Girlfriend

Heller’s Punishment

Heller’s Decision

Heller’s Regret

 

Little Town series

Blood Ties (free ebook!)

Blood Sport

Blood Feud

Blood Tears (to be published)

 

Cover design by
Infinity
Rain

Find her on
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~~~~~~ ###### ~~~~~~

 

Chapter 1

 


Psst.

I wondered if I’d only imagined the low
hissing sound from the person standing next to me, until I heard it
again.


Psst.
How long are you in here for?”
she whispered.

I slid my eyes to the left, careful not to
incline or shift my head even a fraction from facing directly
forward. There were consequences for doing that.

A woman, wearing the same ill-fitting, dull
grey tracksuit that we were all forced to wear and which made us as
washed out and frumpy as each other, stood dead level with me, in
perfect alignment with the rest of the row. There were consequences
for being out of position too.

I couldn’t see much of her from the corner of
my eye; only that she was shorter than me. But at six feet tall, I
had to admit that not many women in the world matched my height. I
thought I recognised her voice as the older, small, plump woman I’d
met briefly when we’d arrived.

What was her name?
I’d heard her say
it to a few people on that first day.
Glenda? Freda?
Hilda?

We hadn’t had a chance to talk before, but
during joint events such as this parade, I hadn’t missed the
sparkle in her bright, interested blue eyes that I’d caught more
than once canvassing me. Nor that her obviously vibrant nature was
as stifled and constrained every bit as much as her sunburst of
curly red hair was tightly pulled back into a neat bun, as was mine
and every other female’s here. There were consequences for untidy,
unrestrained hair. In fact, there were consequences for pretty much
any infraction you could ever imagine, including some that would
only occur to the imagination of the most twisted sadist ever
born.

“Four weeks,” I whispered back, trying out my
best ventriloquist impersonation to keep my lips from moving.

It failed.

Assistant One, who’d safely walked past us
after giving us both a sneering appraisal with her soul-less eyes,
stopped in her tracks. Glenda-Freda-Hilda and I froze, each
resolutely staring ahead, as mute and detached from each other as
commuters on a packed morning train.

The Assistant stood stock-still in her place
for the briefest of moments. I willed her to continue walking past
the other unfortunates lined up with me on this cold, bleak
morning. I held my breath as she took another step forward, giving
every indication she was moving on.

I should have known better.

Like magic, the next thing I knew she loomed
in front of me, her nose only several centimetres from mine, close
enough for me to count every one of the dark hairs poking out of
her nostrils, close enough to smell her sour breath.

“Something to say?” she asked me in a
deceptively quiet tone.

I usually don’t like to judge people on their
looks, but by anyone’s measure, the Assistant was an ugly woman. At
least I think she was a woman – it was hard to tell. Her solid
square frame, shoulders as wide as her hips, harsh buzzcut, deep
voice, and relentlessly androgynous fashion made me suspect more
than once that we had a cuckoo in the nest. It wasn’t so much any
individual facial feature contributing to her ugliness, but a
combination of all, resulting in a permanently mean and gloating
expression. She seemed the type who’d enjoy pinching a baby to make
her cry just for giggles.

She waited an excruciating thirty seconds for
me to answer. But I knew better than to do that. I continued to
stare at her, stonily silent.

“I don’t think you heard me,” said the
Assistant with the twisted grimace that passed as a ‘smile’ for
her. “Perhaps I’d better repeat myself. Do you have something to
say?”

I remained quiet. I wouldn’t let her goad me
into answering. There were Consequences for doing that, as I’d
learnt to my detriment on my first day here.

The Assistant considered me for another
thirty seconds. Sick of looking at her face – an unavoidable horror
as she blocked my view with it – I stared over her shoulder,
wishing once again that I was back home, even if Heller was
currently away on one of his secret assignments. A strong wave of
homesickness threatened to engulf me, almost forcing a groan from
my lips. I caught it in time because – you guessed it – there were
consequences for even
thinking
of home.

Disappointed at not getting any reaction from
me, which would immediately allow her to evoke a Punishment, she
looked down at the clipboard she carried with her everywhere.

“Hmm, let’s see,” she said, pretending to
scan the document, though she read it so many times each day that
she must be able to recite it in her sleep. “Ah, here we are.
Chunky Chalmers.”

She peered over the clipboard to judge my
reaction to the nickname she’d given me after our first
encounter.

She continued. “So, Chunky Chalmers, why are
you here again?” She raised her voice loud enough to be heard by
the other nineteen people who almost trembled with audible relief
that someone else was her current target. She knew perfectly well
why I was here – she taunted me about it every day. “Oh yes. Chunky
Chalmers was sent here by her boss –”

Supervisor, not boss
, I protested in
my mind.

“– because her uniform didn’t fit. Is that
right?”

I didn’t respond.

“Chunky Chalmers couldn’t squeeze her
enormous arse and fat stomach into her work pants. Is that
true?”

In a perverse way, I wanted her to continue
to humiliate me. Every derogatory comment she made, every
Punishment she doled out, only served to feed my burning rage
towards the man responsible for sending me here to this hellhole –
Clive.

I’d been so excited waking up on the day I
was due to return to work at
Heller’s
as a security officer.
Heller had been called up for a last minute assignment, leaving for
parts unknown at breakfast the previous day. He hadn’t given me
even the slightest hint of what he’d be doing, where he’d be going,
or when he’d return. I only hoped that he did return. Nothing he’d
said about this second job assuaged my fears for him. And to be
honest, I still carried a level of hurt about him not discussing it
with me before he made the decision to start doing those extra
jobs. In my mind, that wasn’t the way a relationship should
work.

All that was far from my mind that morning,
however. I’d wished he’d been at the Warehouse so he could see me
back in uniform. I think that secretly he would have been pleased,
though he’d probably never show it.

But when I’d dressed in my uniform, I was
suddenly glad he was far, far away in parts unknown.

Oh geez
, I’d thought to myself in
despair as I’d viewed my reflection in the mirror. No matter which
way I’d angled my body, or how much I’d held in my stomach, the
stubborn fact remained that my cargo pants wouldn’t zip up. And as
they formed a rather essential part of the
Heller’s
uniform,
I knew I was in trouble. I had no choice but to abandon them and
don a pair of black jeans that I’d bought more recently and which
were a little roomier.

Dreading the forthcoming encounter, I’d
strolled with fake nonchalance through the door of the security
section. As I’d entered, I’d breathed in the terrible, but
familiar, odour of a place where multitudes of big men congregated
regularly.

“Hey, Tilly,” called a few of the men in a
friendly way, while I’d greeted others with the traditional
Heller’s
palm slap.

Simultaneously eager and nervous, it had
excited me to be back there again, surrounded by well-muscled man
mountains. I’d only hoped none of them noticed I wasn’t in full
uniform.

What a hope.

My supervisor, Clive, the hardarse from hell,
had barged out of his office, his meaty fist closed over a stack of
papers. He’d pulled up sharply when he’d spotted me.

“What the hell are you wearing?” he’d
demanded, his voice more gravelly than normal, but his eyes their
usual cold flatness. Obviously he didn’t have an eye for
fashion.

“My uniform,” I’d replied with a winning
smile. “I’m starting work here again today, remember? I’m really
looking forward to it. I hope you have a great assignment lined up
for me.”

His expression had indicated he didn’t share
my enthusiasm for the recommencement of my security career.

“That’s not the
Heller’s
uniform.
Where are your cargo pants?”

“Well . . .” I’d equivocated, glancing around
me at the surrounding men. Flames of embarrassment had crept up my
neck to my cheeks. I’d appealed to him. “Can we talk about this in
private? In your office?”

I might as well have saved my breath. Trying
to coax a concession from Clive about
anything
was like
attempting to mop up the Pacific Ocean with a roll of paper
towels.

“They don’t fit you anymore, do they?” he’d
interrogated, not without some triumph as my blush deepened. Didn’t
he know how rude it was to comment on a lady’s weight? Especially
in public.

“I wouldn’t exactly say they don’t fit. It’s
more that they’re a little snug at the moment. I’m sure a couple of
sessions in the gym will fix it.”

“When was the last time you did a
workout?”

Oh man, why’d he have to ask that?

“Um . . .” I’d prevaricated while I’d
desperately tried to think back to the last time I’d set foot in
the gym.

Without another word, he’d spun around and
lumbered back to his corner office. A couple of sympathetic pats on
the shoulder later, the men had filed out to collect a fleet
vehicle and head out to their assignments, leaving me standing
alone in the middle of the empty section, unsure of what I was
supposed to do.

Clive had pounded on his keyboard, staring
intently at the screen. He’d picked up the phone, punished the
keypad with his jabbing, and waited a few ticks before speaking
into the receiver. As a man who spoke only when necessary, all I’d
heard of his side of the conversation was a series of what sounded
like inarticulate grunts, but which I’d assumed was an intelligent
conversation.

He’d hung up and forcefully pushed back his
seat, stomping out of his office. He’d thrust a piece of paper at
me.

“You’re lucky. They’re able to take you for
their next course at the last minute. Report there today, ready to
start tomorrow,” was all he’d deigned to say before returning to
his office, slamming the door, returning to his computer and
ignoring me.

I’d looked down at the piece of paper. In
Clive’s virtually illegible scrawl was written the address for the
Lake Tranquillity Boot Camp. My flush of embarrassment had morphed
into one of fury. I’d marched to his office and entered without
asking permission.

“I’m
not
going to any stinking boot
camp,” I’d insisted hotly, throwing the piece of paper on his desk.
“You can’t make me.”

“You’ll do what you’re told.”

“I’m not going there.”

“Then you’re not working here,” he’d said
flatly, summarily dismissing me by turning back to his screen.

“You can’t do this.”

“Yes, I can. I’m your supervisor. Heller left
you in my care when he isn’t here.” His expression had suggested he
considered that a thankless task.

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