This is love, baby (war & peace #2)

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This is Love, Baby

Copyright © 2016 K. Webster

 

Cover Design: All By Design

Photo: Dollar Photo Club

Editor: Premier Romance Editing

Formatting: Champagne Formats

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information and retrieval system without express written permission from the Author/Publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Books by Author K Webster

Dedication

Warning

Quote

 

Part One

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Part Two

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Epilogue

 

Playlist

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Books byAuthor K Webster

 

 

THEBREAKING THERULESSERIES:

Broken (Book 1)

Wrong (Book 2)

Scarred (Book 3)

Mistake (Book 4)

Crushed (Book 5 – a novella)

 

THEVEGASACESSERIES:

Rock Country (Book 1)

Rock Heart (Book 2)

Rock Bottom (Book 3)

 

THEBECOMINGHERSERIES:

Becoming Lady Thomas (Book 1)

Becoming Countess Dumont (Book 2)

Becoming Mrs. Benedict (Book 3)

 

Alpha & Omega

Omega & Love

 

WAR&PEACEDUET

This is War, Baby

This is Love, Baby

 

STANDALONENOVELS

Apartment 2B

Love and Law

Moth to a Flame

Erased

The Road Back to Us

Give Me Yesterday

Running Free

Dirty Ugly Toy(Dark Romance)

Zeke’s Eden

 

 

Warning:

This is Love, Babyis a dark romance. Strong sexual themes and violence which could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. Terrible, terrible things happen to our poor heroine, so you’ve been properly warned. This story is NOT for everyone.

ItWILLcross lines.

ItWILLbreak the rules.

ItWILLmake you sick.

And itWILLstress you out.

But…

There is also light.

Once you get past the darkness, you’ll find something pure and whole.

Something lovely.

Something happy.

You’ll find love.

And itWILLbe worth the journey.

 

 

“Of course you know, this means war.”

~ Joe Adamson,Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Grey Hare

 

IPACE THEliving room and let out a rush of relieved breath when I watch the green flashing light on my phone app start making its way back toward Oakland.

He has her. He fucking has her.

But not for long.

Stalking over to the mantle, I tug a framed picture down. The prick smiles back at me and my anger explodes. That motherfucker…

I stop that train of thought and remind myself I need to save my energy. Having a meltdown and destroying the house because of what he did won’t do any good. I need to preserve my anger. For Gabe. Because when I get my hands on that asshole, I’m going to fucking gut him.

Run along to your stupid cabin, old man. When you least expect it, I’m coming for you.

My phone chimes and I close the GPS app that shows the movement of his car to check my texts.

Mom.

I swallow down my rage. Where was she months ago when I needed her most?

Mom: Could you at least come home to have dinner with us, Brandon? We miss you.

Fuck her. Growling, I type back my response.

Me: You know I won’t rest until I find her. I’ll take a raincheck.

She fires back a nasty retort. Always the same with us.

Mom: Son, you’re going to have to accept that she ran away. If she’d been stolen, like you said, it would have been all over the news. A broken nose doesn’t mean she was taken. You know my stance on this.

The rage bubbles up inside of me again—I’m angry all the time these days. I don’t think I’ve smiled aside from when I look at pictures of her. Baylee Winston. My girlfriend.

Me: Fuck you, Mom.

This time, I smile. After months of searching for her and following Gabe’s every move, I will finally have her back with me.

I press a kiss to her picture in the frame and set it back on the mantle. Then, I stalk over to my duffle bag. I throw some of her clothes, a few bottles of water and some snacks inside, and the 9mm pistol I’d stolen from Tony.

For over four months, I have worried about her.

For over four months, I have wondered if she was suffering.

For over four goddamned months, I cried myself to sleep over her.

Gabe stole that time from me—time I’ll never get back with her. He stole my girl right out from under my damn nose and with it, he broke a part of me I’m not sure can ever be fixed.

Now, it’s time to show him how much he underestimated me. That I’m not some kid who can be pushed around. He’ll live to regret he ever stepped foot in her bedroom that night. Regret he ever took my love from me.

It’s time to make him pay.

And, it’s time to get my girl back, once and for all.

 

MY CHEST ACHES.

The living, beating organ that seemed to pump only for War has begun to shrivel up and die along with him. No more pattering from simple touches, stolen glances, or murmured words. The strong cadence has dwindled to a sad, irregular beat that will never again be counted.

My heart is dead.

Crushed.

Flat lined.

He didn’t deserve this!

Tears burn my already irritated and swollen eyes as memories from our time together flash by me. My heart has shut down and my brain has taken over. Memory after perfect memory of the man I loved flit by like a horrible slide show meant to mentally torture its victim.

I’m that victim—a victim of my own memories.

They slay and cut me with each passing thought.

His lips which were always moving. Always counting.

Those wise, navy-colored eyes—eyes that held so much pain but were kind and pure.

The soft, tender touch of his fingertips along my breasts and ribcage as he explored my flesh with a mix of hesitation and wonder.

Pain threatens to rip me in two. This useless heart of mine is pounding. Thunderous. And excruciating. Now I understand how one could die of a broken heart. It’s happening to me. I’m drowning in despair.

The devil slayed my heart when he killed my War.

And now I’m back. Withhim. Gabe, the monster who haunts my nightmares.

We hit a bump and I attempt to focus on the present. To focus on a way to get away from the man who has stolen me for his own selfish perversions—again—and to push down the pain I feel over losing the man I loved.

It’s dark in the trunk he forced me into. When he shot War and then dragged me out of the house, I’d been hysterical and tried to bolt from his grasp. Since I was behaving like a rabid animal, he treated me like one by trapping me in here for the drive to who the fuck knows where. A stale, stagnant odor lingers in the stuffy air, choking me. And, though I’ve never had a thing with small spaces, I swear if he doesn’t let me out of here soon, I’m going to wig out.

Nausea overwhelms me again and my stomach grumbles. I fan my face in an effort to cool down and not throw up but it only makes matters worse. For several minutes, I retch and retch until there’s nothing left but despair in the pit of my belly. Slobber runs down my chin, mixed with the countless tears I’ve shed, making my face wet and sticky. The acrid taste of vomit lingers on my tongue, and my now soaked hair sticks to my face. The stench overtakes the trunk and I shakily roll to my other side in an effort to escape it.

When Gabe dragged me away from War, I was hysterical. I’d clawed his face and ripped my way through the flesh on his cheek with vicious delight, nearly catching his eye in the process. It earned me a dizzying backhand to the face that still has my head pounding but it had been worth it. I’m no longer the docile child he once knew. The frightened animal he thinks he so easily trained and subdued.

I’ll make his life a living hell.

It’s only fair since that’s what he’s done to mine.

I’ll hurt him in every way I can.

I’m jolted when the car picks up speed and I roll forward inside the trunk, knocking my head against something hard and metal, from what I can tell. It only serves to dizzy me further, which doesn’t help my roiling belly.

I pick at the carpet lining some more in hopes of accessing the taillights. I’m craving air—anything other than the sour smell of my vomit that hangs there instead. Mom and I watched a movie on Lifetime once where a girl had been stuffed in a trunk. She’d managed to tear away the lining, break the taillight, and wave to motorists behind her, which in turn saved her.

Problem is, in the movie, the girl made it look easy.

In real life, the carpet is really wedged under the metal and in my weakened state, I’m finding it difficult to—

Riiiip!

I let out a crazed laugh when the material finally gives and I gain access to the bright, red light of the taillight. With all my might, I push, beat, scratch, punch, kick, and pick at the stupid plastic. It doesn’t budge. It doesn’t give in the slightest little bit. So, it definitely doesn’t break off and fall into the road as we drive.

No, that would be too easy.

This isn’t a Lifetime movie.

This is a horror flick starring the devil himself.

Defeated tears stream down my cheeks and I lie back, trying to catch my breath. In all of my efforts, I’d become drenched with sweat and now my muscles ache from the exertion. A horrifying thought claws at me.

Will I suffocate in here?

The air suddenly seems too thick. Too hot. Too limited.

How many breaths do I have left?

If War were here, he’d calculate exactly how much time I have left. He’d tell me the precise number of breaths to take so I’d have plenty to spare. He’d hold me and comfort me, telling me I was safe with him.

A loud, all-body quaking sob rips from me.

The loss of my lover, my friend, my safety—it’s too much to bear. A piece of me is gone. Forever. Not just my heart, but my soul. It’s been fractured and stolen from me. I’m no longer a whole person—just a broken, leftover mess.

Gabe finally ruined me once and for all.

I’ve been abused and tortured by this man—and it’s far from merely physical. Whereas before, he’d wrecked my body and my mind, he’s now obliterated the very parts of me that make up who I am. I’d actually managed to right myself after how much he wronged me. War’s love was crucial in that healing process.

But now?

Now, he’s fucked with my head to the point that I don’t even exist anymore. Gabe has managed to flay my heart and rip away every good part of me.

I’m a cold, lifeless shell.

And my War is gone.

A wave of sickness washes over me and I close my eyes. I pray for God to just take me, too. To take me to a place where War and I can live free of afflictions and psychopaths.

Exhaustion plagues me and I let it steal me away. I want to get lost in the blackness of unconsciousness and block out the misery. But every time I relax and give into it, blue eyes are at the forefront of my mind.

Darting back and forth.

Concerned.

Loving.

Hungry.

Beautiful.

He’d been shocked as he clasped a hand over his chest, blood blooming over his pale fingers, staining not only his skin and clothes, but his mind too. I cringe to think of what his last thoughts must’ve been like. The horrifying demons in his head. Laughing at him. Mocking him. His final memory of me was to stand there idle, having to watch Gabe brutalize me in front of him. The realization of his own impending death growing imminent, and the uncertainty of what would happen once he was gone.

It’s all my fault. In a moment of carelessness, I opened the front door and let that bastard right in. And he killed the love of my life.

I’d finally been able to help War live again.

Only to watch him die.

I’m not sure how long we drive for or how long I remain frozen, War’s blood gushing on replay in my mind. It feels like eternity—a sentence I’m being tortured with. Nobody should have to watch someone they love die before their eyes. It isn’t something I’ll ever be able to erase from my mind.

Madness will kill me in the end.

Another wave of queasiness has me gagging.

Just breathe, Baylee. Calm down.

One, two, three, four.

I slow my breathing and focus on what I can control.

My fingers slide under my T-shirt and I rub my abdomen. I hadn’t confirmed it, but I recently missed my period. Since then, I’ve battled the occasional upset stomach and my breasts are always sore. Deep down, I know I’m carrying War’s baby. I just know it. When Land came over, I was going to ask him to set up an appointment for me with his doctor friend, so I could confirm.

A child with War. It was a blessing. Something created from the purest love. Age is no matter when two hearts connect and become one. It was soon, but it was right. Conceiving his child in love was something natural and beautiful. I’d been eager to confirm and share the news with him.

I know War. He’d have been over the moon with excitement. He would have taken care of me and been a perfect father. I would have married him and everything would have eventually fallen into place.

But now he’s gone.

I cling on to hope, though, that there is a baby growing inside of me. His baby. A baby that looks and acts like him. Something to remember him by.

And with a baby comes great responsibility.

I’m responsible for protecting an innocent being from that monster.

I will do what needs to be done.

Nagging thoughts invade my mind. What if I’m not pregnant? What if it’s all for nothing? What if I make it through to the end—this idealistic baby being the prize—only to find out there is no baby?Then what, Baylee?

Bile creeps up my throat again and I swallow it down, running my fingers over my sore breasts.

I’ll hold on to the hope anyway. War would want me to fight that beast, not roll over and die. He’d want me to smile again.

But I can’t take this!

The exhaustion weakens me, once again, and I’m no longer able to even think anymore. The darkness invades and I let it steal me away—hopefully for forever.

God, I miss War.

“Come on,” Gabe says with a growl when he opens the trunk. “You need a shower before you get in my bed. You smell like shit.”

I squint at the late afternoon sun pouring down on me and sit up. I’m not sure how long I was passed out for—must have been hours. Fighting to keep my eyes open in the bright sunshine, I attempt to take in my surroundings. Trees, trees, and more stupid trees. We’re back at his cabin—no surprise there. He clutches onto my elbow and helps me out of the car. My knees buckle—stiff from being stuffed in a trunk for hours—and he holds me up by my arm.

“I missed you, baby.” His voice is saccharine sweet and it makes me want to claw at the other side of his face. “Did you miss me?”

He must be even crazier than I thought.“No.”

He jerks me around to face him, his strong hands now gripping my shoulders, and shakes me. His fingers dig into my sore muscles and I yelp out in pain. Gone is War’s gentle touch. Gabe’s harshness momentarily stuns me.

“What, did you grow some backbone while you were with that freak? He’s in a body bag now, Baylee. Accept it. You have no one but me. We can either do this the hard way or the easy way. Personally, I sort of get off on your struggles, so you’d only be making me happy. Having a hot blonde tied to your bed is what most men dream of.” He barks out a derisive chuckle.

I glare at him, tears welling in my eyes.Fuck youis on the tip of my tongue, but the words would probably give him a hard-on. And he’d probably hit me again. Instead, I bite my tongue and grit my teeth as a single, hot tear rolls down my cheek and drips from my chin. Gabe is too powerful for me. I would never be able to overtake him, which is exactly why I have to be smart about this. “Can you at least make me some toast while I shower?” My voice is low and scratchy. I guess screaming for hours in a trunk will do that to you. My question is an attempt to drive the conversation elsewhere—into more amicable territory. “I’m not feeling so well after that ride in the trunk. You know how I get motion sickness.” Another tear streams down my face. “Please.”

His gaze becomes soft and he strokes my hair. “Of course, angel.”

I swallow down the bile in my throat and let him drag me into the small cabin. A faint scent of bacon lingers in the air and the mere whiff of it makes me queasy again. But I have to get it together. The thought of Gabe suspecting even for one moment that I’m pregnant with War’s baby is a horrifying one. I shudder to imagine what terrible things he’d be capable of doing with that information.

He guides me through the bedroom that still gives me nightmares and into the tiny bathroom. Once there, he finally releases the death grip he had my arm locked in. “Make it quick and don’t try anything stupid. I don’t think I have to remind you of the rules, do I? Every step, baby. Every step.”

I shudder and nod, rubbing some circulation back into by arm. He smiles and leaves me alone in the bathroom. The shower is quick, even though I want to stay there for hours, and soon I’m dried off. My toothbrush is still here so I brush my teeth quickly and redress, pulling the same T-shirt I had on over my head. War’s T-shirt.

Sounds from the kitchen alert me to the fact that Gabe must be preparing food. I creep over to the doorway and cast a glance down the hall to the front door. If I could manage to steal his keys, I could make a run for it. I’ve been training every day for two months on the beach. Some days, I would even run barefoot. I never want to be helpless again like I was in those woods not long ago. It is possible for me to make it. Especially if he were incapacitated.

But if I don’t?

There are easily over seventy-five steps between where I’m standing and the car.

Seventy-five lashings would be brutal.

I shiver and turn toward the kitchen, resolving to devise a better plan later when I have some time to think. A plan that includes making a run for it while he’s asleep or in the shower. Anytime other than now when I can barely stand on two legs. Right now I need my strength.

“Smells good,” I tell him and slide into a kitchen chair that wasn’t here the last time I’d been here. My eyes graze over the familiar open cellar door in the floor, in the middle of the kitchen. A shudder passes through me remembering the time I spent tossed down there and I force myself to stop looking at it. Why is it open? Had he planned on putting me in there had I not been compliant?

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