I am excited to share this excerpt with all of you. Fighting My Affections has been a work in progress for what fells like an eternity and I can't tell you the feelings involved with finally typing the end. Here's a look at the prologue and don't forget to add FMA to your TBR. Trust me, you don't want to miss Riley's story.
My cheek is chaffing from being pressed against the rough weave of the carpet. The slightest push to my head and it may leave rug burn on my face, but I don’t want evidence of tonight. I want to wake up tomorrow and forget the feel of his knee pressed into my spine as he holds me to the floor. I want to wake up with no recollection of the burning in my muscles from him pulling my arms tight behind my back.
The room is quiet except for his breath against my ear, or the occasional whimper from my lips. I hate the sound of them. I hate that they make me sound weak and that he has the ability to hurt me. He was once my savior, my escape from all the bad. Now I realize how wrong I have been.
I thought I was doing better, not letting just any man into my life, but this man made it past all my defenses. I let him into parts of my life where no other man has been. He met my daughter. She fell in love with him.
The warmth of his breath crosses my cheek. I can tell by the bitter smell, he’s been out with his friends drinking expensive bottles of bourbon and puffing on cigars that cost more than my monthly rent. My eyes burn as I fight back the tears begging to be let free. I won’t let them win.
“You won’t make a fool of me, Ri.” His voice is a low, menacing tone.
His knee digs deeper into my back, and he tugs tighter on my hair, before pulling my head back and away from the floor. “You are mine. Don’t you dare forget it.” His eyes are piercing as he focuses in on mine. Searching. Looking. Waiting.
I try to calm my erratic breathing before speaking a word. I don’t want him to know that he has the power to break me. I don’t want him to know that I fear him in this moment. I don’t want him to know that his assumptions are correct. I want him to believe the next words that leave my dry, cracked lips.
“I would never leave you.” My voice is a whisper, but it remains even. “I need you, and so does Kiley. We love you.”
He tugs on my arm, increasing the pain in my shoulder. It’s strained enough that I am afraid he might dislocate it. “Why am I hearing these things about you then, Ri? My colleagues saw you with him and the way he looks at you.” His hand leaves my hair, and my face lowers to the floor. My skirt hugs my thighs, but it tears easily as he forcefully pushes it up to my waist.
My breath catches in my throat. “Wha…”
“Has he touched you?” His hand reaches down and cups me between my thighs. “Here. Has he had a taste of what’s mine?”
I struggle to turn and face him, but it’s useless against his strength. I shake my head frantically. “No, I swear. Please.”
He grips me tightly and moves his hand forcefully against me. “I won’t give this up. It belongs to me. You belong to me.” He lowers his head again, painfully nipping my neck. His knee moves off of my back until he’s straddling me. His weight lifts and he rolls me until I’m on my back. “Do you understand?”
My heart is pounding, and my breath passes my lips in rapid succession. I look into his blue eyes; ones I used to find myself getting lost in. Now they are full of pain and anger. His jaw is covered in a five-o’clock shadow, but the way it’s clenched is what really catches my attention. I’ve never seen him like this. His nostrils are flared, and his face is red. There is a building pressure inside of him, and I know if I don’t answer soon, he’s going to snap. I can feel it. I just can’t find my words amongst my fear.
“Do you understand?” he says, through gritted teeth.
I need to agree, but I don’t want to. I’ve finally decided to fix things with him, but now I understand why a life with him was hard to accept. He’s just another Dave. He’s just another man out to control me.
I thought he was the perfect catch. I search his eyes again, trying to find that spark. The one you feel when you share a deep connection with someone, but it’s not there. I shake my head slowly back and forth, as my lips part to speak, but I can’t form the words. Tears prick my eyes, and I can’t keep them at bay this time, and they roll out of the corner of my eyes.
He grunts in anger at my silence, and before I know what’s happening, there’s pressure against my throat. It’s difficult to breathe. I take in the monster before me. Panic builds in my chest as he rips and pulls at my clothes, tearing them from my body. I dig at his hands and arms trying to break free, but it’s no use. My legs kick and flail. This is not the man I know. He would never risk everything in a fit of anger.
“Please stop.” My words strain with lack of air. There’s a pressure building in my head as I struggle under him. I need more air.
“Mommy!” Kiley hollers from the steps.
In an instant, I’m gasping for air. The harsh ragged sounds of my deep inhale of breath fill the room. It seems like an hour goes by before my breathing evens out to a normal rhythm. I roll over onto my hands and knees, silently thanking my daughter for never listening when I send her to bed.
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