Authors: Laramie Briscoe
This is for anyone who’s coming out of a bad place in their lives. No matter how dark the moment seems – there will always be a way out of it.
To my family, friends, co-workers, and fans…thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Former enemy of the Heaven Hill MC.
Meredith Rager’s life completely changed the night she was attacked by an unknown person. Once a vibrant force that threatened everything about Heaven Hill, she is now under their care. The only place she feels safe is inside their compound. When she decides to take back the part of her life that her rapist took away, she discovers secrets that once again could tear the club apart.
Formidable force of nature.
Loved member of the Heaven Hill MC.
Tyler Blackfoot came into the world a John Doe. An orphan from the moment that he took his first breath, the only thing anyone knew was his Native American heritage. For most of his life, he’s been alone – except for the club that has taken him in as their own. When he rescued Meredith, a protective side of his personality came out that he never knew he had. Protecting her means everything – even when he discovers danger might be closer than either of them thought possible.
Together, the two of them are trying to make a life for themselves. Against everything they have, they’re hoping to see the light that will lead them out of darkness.
For services rendered.
eredith jerked awake as she remembered the dollar bill hitting her back. It was the same dream every night. She always woke up when he said those words and threw the money. Sleep never came after one of her nightmares, even when she took the pills the good doc had prescribed. Carefully, she pushed back the covers of Tyler’s bed and slid her legs to the side. Her heart caught, the way it always did when she saw Tyler asleep on the floor. Maybe one day she would be able to invite him into this bed. Quietly, she dressed and grabbed her running shoes. If she couldn’t sleep, she may as well get something accomplished.
Making her way to the kitchen of the clubhouse, she smiled and waved at those who had come to know her in the weeks she’d been staying here. It was easy to pretend with these people that nothing really had happened to her. She’d taken a leave of absence from her job and moved all her belongings into storage. Meredith had known without a doubt that she could never go back to the life that she had lived before. Any of it. Now her time was broken into two points – before the rape and after the rape.
“Going for a run?” Liam asked as he spotted her running shoes.
“Yeah, is Denise up yet?”
The look that overtook his face when she mentioned his woman made Meredith sad. At one time that was what she wanted, and she wasn’t sure she’d ever get back there again.
“Sure is, she was on her way up here. Just text her. I know she’d love to run with you.”
It went without saying that Meredith didn’t like to run by herself, and Denise usually went along whether she wanted to or not. Meredith was beginning to understand that it was a sign of a real friendship.
“Will you let Tyler know where I am?” she asked, grabbing a couple bottles of water.
“I will, but you and I both know that he
knows where you are.”
Not long after her attack, Tyler had installed a special tracking program on her phone. Before, it would have freaked her out. Now though, it made her feel safe.
“See ya,” she called to the VP as she made her way out the back door.
Stepping out into the sunlight, she looked up. It was coming upon mid-October in south central Kentucky and it should have been at least a little bit chilly, but they were in the grips of an Indian summer. For reasons she couldn’t understand, Meredith was glad. She wasn’t sure she could face a winter being cooped up right now. Being outside in this protected place was the only way she felt safe. The only time she felt alive other than when she wrote.
Writing had become her solace. She wrote something every day. The therapist had suggested it, and she had been amazed at how much she enjoyed it. Although she’d been a reporter, she’d never really been a writer. She loved it even more than the news.
“You ready, girlfriend?”
Meredith smiled, the first genuine one she’d had all day, as she spotted Denise walking towards her, pulling her hair into a ponytail.
“I don’t know why you do that. You always end up taking it down because it gives you a headache.”
Denise grinned. “Makes me feel like I’m a real athlete.”
A laugh bubbled up from deep within Meredith, and she put her hand over her mouth to cover it up.
“Don’t,” Denise admonished. “It’s good to hear you laugh.”
It went without saying between the two of them that Meredith hadn’t had much to laugh about for a while.
“It feels good
laugh,” she admitted softly.
The moment got a little heavy, and Denise did what she’d gotten best at with the other woman, turned the attention away from her.
“So how far are we going to go today? Are you going to give me a heart attack or just an irregular heartbeat?” she joked.
Meredith knew just how much Denise hated exercise, and that said a lot about the person that Denise was. That she came out here everyday, huffing and puffing her way through whatever run Meredith mapped out for them.
“Maybe just an irregular heartbeat. I don’t wanna kill ya just yet.”
“Thank God for small favors.”
With that, the two took off, jogging slowly, but Denise groaned because she knew that soon they would really start running, and that just plain sucked.
“Meredith go for a run?”
It unnerved Liam how quiet Tyler was when he wanted to be. Sometimes he could come in and out of a room and no one knew it, even if the room was full of people.
“Yeah, you could just track her, you know.”
“I know,” he said, grabbing the handle of his skull coffee cup. “But then I feel like I’m stalking her. It’s not a good feeling.”
“She still having trouble sleeping?” Liam asked his friend as he took a seat across the table from him.
“Yeah, she thinks I don’t know, but I hear her every morning when she wakes up. She’s having nightmares, but she won’t talk to anybody about them. I keep hoping she’ll talk to Denise.”
Gently, Liam reminded the other man. “She had a horrible thing happen to her. Maybe she doesn’t want to talk to
“I want her to talk to me about it. That way I can figure out who the fucker was and then scalp him like my ancestors would have.”
“You know how scary you are saying that as you drink from a skull coffee mug?” Liam deadpanned.
Tyler grinned. “I know. Keeps you on your toes don’t it?”
Denise gulped water from the bottle that Meredith had given her. “You love this don’t you?” she panted, putting her hand at the stitch on her side.
“Not at all. It’s sad that you’re having such a hard time with a simple run,” Meredith taunted as she grinned.
“Simple my ass, Rager. These are fucking hills. Hills, I say!”
“I know, and you’re doing a really good job. I really am proud of you.”
Denise took a moment to get her breath. “I’m proud of you too.”
The moment turned awkward, and Meredith turned so that Denise couldn’t see her face. “Don’t turn away from me. I am proud of you. You’ve found something that you like doing and you’re doing it.”
“Only because I know I’m safe here,” Meredith argued.
“I worried about you that week after it happened. I didn’t think you were ever going to get out of that room. You’ve made great strides.”
“But I still can’t let Tyler sleep in his own bed.”
Denise cautiously put her hand on Meredith’s arm. “Trust me, when you’re ready, he’ll be ready. No one even looks at you wrong for fear of him.”
“I feel like I’m using him,” she admitted.
“You’re not. You’re living your life the only way you know how at this point, and truthfully that’s all you can ask for. I can’t imagine going through what you went through, and I’m not saying that out of pity. It’s the truth.”
But that was the problem wasn’t it? All Meredith could feel, when she could actually feel, was the pity. The fear. The emptiness. When would it ever change?