Tease (Page 52)

Tease (Take It Off #2)(52)
Author: Cambria Hebert

He stumbled backward, his hand going to his face. The glass of the jar was thick enough that it hadn’t broken, so I held it out in front of me like a weapon.

Brody looked up, the left side of his face already swelling. “You’re going to pay for that.”

“You’re the one that attacked my roommate, aren’t you?”

He snarled. “Stupid bitch. I thought it was you. The minute she opened her mouth, I knew it wasn’t.”

Oh my God. Roxie had been attacked because of me. She lived in even more fear of her ex because of me.

“How did you find out where I lived?”

He looked smug. “You wrote it on a napkin at the bar. Lover boy was too busy to notice that I walked right up and took it.”

I remembered that night. I had to give Cam my address again. Only he hadn’t thrown away the napkin. It had been taken.

My stomach turned violently and I felt like I was going to be sick. I needed to get out of there.

I threw the jar at Brody’s head and ran. I jolted past him as he knocked the jar away, and it landed on the floor, shattering. I could hear the uncooked grains of rice scatter across the linoleum, but I didn’t stop. I rushed to the door and yanked on the handle.

It was locked. He locked it when he came in.

Frustrated, I reached for the lock, unlatching it and pulling open the door.

He caught me around the middle as I was rushing out outside. I screamed, but he covered my mouth with his hand and towed me backward, my feet dragging across the concrete as he went. I kept my eyes trained on the parking lot, praying to God someone would walk by and see what was happening.

Then he slammed the door shut.

His hand was still covering my mouth so I bit him. I bit down on the tender flesh of his palm so hard that I felt my teeth grind together. He gave a shout of pain and shoved me away. I skidded forward, tripping and sliding across the top of the coffee table, and then the whole thing tipped over and I landed on the ground.

The table landed on top of me and I struggled to get my bearings to push it away. But I didn’t have to struggle long because Brody grabbed the table and flung it away. I heard some shattering and a crash, but I didn’t look to see what it was because I was too terrified by the look on his face.

Something had snapped inside him. Something had truly gone haywire. He wasn’t the same boy I remembered. He looked the same. His voice sounded pretty much the same… but his eyes… They didn’t hold the spark they used to. They were flat and lifeless… almost like his conscience had completely vacated his body.

“Don’t do this,” I begged, surging to my feet and rushing around the back of the couch to put it between us.

“That little strip tease you did for me last night turned me on,” he said, prowling closer. “You’re still as hot as you used to be. Although, that purple stripe you had in your hair… It made you look like a slut. I’m glad it’s gone.”

Slowly I backed away, trying to gradually get to the door. Once I got there, I was going to run like hell.

“Take off your shirt.”

“No.”

“Is that his shirt? The bartender’s? Is he the one you let have you? Tell me, Harlow, what’s he got that I don’t?”

My heart. Cam had my heart.

I wasn’t about to tell him that, though. Something told me that would only make things worse. There was a half-empty water bottle on the side table beside the couch. I picked it up and chucked it at him. And then I threw the TV remote at him too. I know one of them connected because I heard his grunt. I raced to the door, but once again he caught me, this time when I was just shy of pulling it open.

He yanked me back against his body. He gyrated his front into my backside. He was hard. I started to cry silently. A knife appeared out of nowhere. He brandished it in front of my face while he whispered in my ear. “You’re going to stop trying to get away. You’re not going to scream. If you do, I will kill you when I’m done.”

I’d rather die than be raped.

He grabbed me by the hair and swung me around, throwing me onto the floor. I started to get up, but he straddled me, pressing the knife to my throat. I froze and he smiled, shoving me back down.

There was a knock at the door. “Harlow, it’s me.”

I wanted to weep when I heard Cam’s voice.

“Tell him to go away or I’ll kill him,” Brody whispered, scraping the knife over the surface of the delicate skin on my neck. I felt a warm rivulet of blood swell and then drip down my skin.

I drew in a deep breath. “Now isn’t a good time, Cameron,” I called.

“What’s going on?” he asked, his voice concerned.

Brody jabbed the knife into my skin again and I whimpered. “I’m just not feeling well, Cameron,” I yelled. “I’ll call you later.”

Please, God, let him realize the reason I called him by his full name—a name I never used—was because I was in desperate need of help.

“Okay, call me when you feel better. I’ll come over.”

“Sounds great,” I said, trying to sound cheerful but failing miserably.

We both sat there for long moments, listening to the sound of his retreating footsteps. My heart fell. Fresh tears rushed down my cheeks. He didn’t realize. He was leaving. My chance at getting out of this was gone.

Brody gave me a sick smile and pulled the knife away from my throat and used it to slice open Cam’s T-shirt. Air brushed over my now naked, exposed chest. His rough hands grabbed me, squeezing.

I tried to buck him off and he laughed. “Oh yeah, baby, that’s it. I like it when you wiggle beneath me.”

I went stock still. I wasn’t sure what to do.

He picked up his phone and I heard the little sound of the recorder coming on. “Tell everyone how good I feel,” he instructed, training the camera on my bare chest as he reached out and twisted it roughly. I cried out.

There was a huge bang on the door and the wood cracked and splintered as it crashed in and hammered against the wall. Brody cursed and stood up, brandishing the knife once again.

“Watch out, Cam!” I cried, sitting up and scrambling away from Brody.

Cam’s eyes glanced at me and widened. Then they narrowed and he looked back at Brody. “You sick son of a bitch…”

He lunged at him as Brody took a swipe at him with the knife. I cried out, but Cam dodged it, chopping down on his wrist and knocking the knife away. It clattered to the floor and Cam kicked it underneath the couch.