Be My Hero(8)

By: Linda Kage

But my father didn't know that. He leapt at me.

I squeaked out a scream I hadn't meant to let loose and flew off the settee. My scramble toward the doorway was deterred when my bare feet slipped on the polished wooden floor. I went down and banged my knee against a solid plank. The pain made my stomach rebel, but I was so desperate to escape, I kept going anyway.

He beat me to the door.

Surging in front of me, he pressed it shut with his back, successfully trapping me inside the office with him. This was his way. He liked playing spider and letting me get caught in his web before he actually pounced.

I slammed to a halt, breathing hard as all my hair flew into my face. Shoving it out my eyes, I stared up at him while he sent me a triumphant sneer.

"Now, what were you saying again about not fearing me?" He stepped away from the door toward me, and I couldn't help it, I shrank backward. "And what was that about not being intimidated?"

I clenched my teeth and lifted my chin as I backed up for every foot he came forward. "Fuck you. You're an evil, disgusting old lecher, and you make me sick."

The insult only caused him to chuckle. I was down to my last bag of defiance, and he knew it. "Where were you tonight, Eva?"

"Out of this house," I growled. "Away from you. That's all that matters."

Realizing he'd backed me into a corner of bookshelves, I let out a whimper that only made the foul glint in his eyes brighten. He was taking away my attitude, my bluff. The only things I could control were slipping through my fingers.

"You drank at this party," he said, hovering inches away and making my breathing spike out of control. "I can smell it on you. Did you have sex too?"

I wanted to keep being Brave, Defiant Eva and hiss something like, "What? Are you jealous?" but with him this close, my courage fled with my smart-mouth and my insolence. I was nothing but a pathetic quivering ball of distress. And I hated him for that.

His gaze dropped to my cleavage. Shuddering, I bowed my head and wrapped my arms over my chest. I also hated being an early developer. I hated my d-cup breasts. And I hated how he always looked at them.

"I know what you're trying to do, baby doll." The whiskey on his breath choked me and made my eyes water. "You think being with all those boys is going to wipe me off you, but it won't. I'll always be there. I'll always be your first. My touch has forever stained you."

When his fingers grazed over my shoulder and down my arm with a soft, slimy caress, I lost it.

"No!" With nowhere to run, I fought, swinging out and catching him across the face.

I'd forgotten I was still holding my sandals in a death grip. The hard, pointy heels caught him in the cheek, jerking his face to the side and slashing open a gash that had my eyes popping wide and my jaw dropping with shock.

Oh, shit. I'd never struck him before. He was so going to kill me for this.

He roared out an enraged bellow and lifted his palm to his cheek. As his attention slowly rotated around to focus on me, I backed more snugly into the corner, cowering from him. He lowered his hand and looked at the blood on his fingers. When I saw his arm tremble, hope surged to life inside me. I'd scared him . . . or something, something shocking enough to give me a slice of hope. A slice of power.

Brandishing my sandal in a threatening manner, I lurched forward, making him stagger away.

"You will never ever touch me again, do you hear me?"

"You little bitch." Seething, he brought his fingers to his face and applied pressure to the wound, making blood gush out the sides. "You're just like your mother. I'm the head of his household and if you do anything to embarrass us, I'll see that you regret it for the rest of your life. Do you . . . hear me?"

I didn't answer. I was too busy circling around him until I was the one closest to the door. Then I turned tail and raced for the exit. Once I made it out of his office, I dropped my shoes and dashed up the stairs. I didn't slow down until I reached my room and locked myself inside. Backing away from the closed door, I brought my hand to my mouth, waiting for and expecting him to come pounding and shouting. He had a key; he could get inside if he wanted to.

But he didn't.

After nothing happened for a solid five minutes, I sank onto my mattress and hugged myself, shaking uncontrollably. Then I curled into a ball and nestled my head on my pillow, allowing myself to drift away and dream. I wouldn't be here forever. Someday I'd leave this house. I'd leave Florida. And I'd be free. I'd be whatever the hell I wanted to be.

I just had to be patient and wait. But it would happen.

It had to, otherwise, what was the point of suffering through this day in and day out?

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