Title: Breathe In
Author: Michelle Bellon
Breathe in, breathe out. This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.
The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.
Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die...is still out there somewhere.
Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.
“That’s it,” Jake yells, releasing my hair. Suddenly the car slams to a stop. Tires slide against gravel. My head tips forward, and my vision tunnels. Vance’s grasp loosens. With my head free, I twist toward him and aim my flailing arms in his direction. Hitting him over and over again, connecting with cheek, arms, chin, chest, anything I can that might possibly cause him enough pain to release me. I need to hurry. Jake is now out of the driver’s-side door and rounding the front of the vehicle. I’m screaming. The sound escapes from deep within my diaphragm and rattles my bones, echoing within the confines of the vehicle. Desperation seizes my senses. Time slows, as if I’m stuck in a bad dream. Maybe I am. But the pain shooting up my arms as I hit and punch tell me this is all too real. Vance blocks my blows, trying to protect his face while simultaneously attempting to seize my arms again. The door behind me swings open. Hands, stronger and larger than Vance’s, grip my waist and haul me out of the vehicle. Fingers bite into my flesh. Frantic, I kick and thrash every limb I have. I arch my back, hoping to somehow wriggle out of his grip. No chance. He’s too strong. He sets my feet on the ground, then wraps one muscled bicep around my throat. Instantly, I lose the ability to pull oxygen into my airway. I kick my feet back, connecting with his shins. I claw and scratch at the bulk of muscle around my neck. His skin curls under my fingernails. Stars dance before my eyes. First, tiny white bursts, they quickly morph into frightening red blotches. Breathe in. No air will pass. I’m…going…again. Please…help…
Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.
She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards. You can visit Michelle’s website at http://www.michellebellonauthor.com/