Sometimes in your life where you never realize that you aren’t living. You go through the motions of everyday life, but all the good parts of you have died. The morning after the rape, Gypsy laid in bed and knew one thing. She was a fighter, but even the best fighters lose at least once. Her breathing shallow, the breeze from the ocean brought a soft spray of mist to electrify her flesh with each wave across her. The sound of birds looking for a meal in the distance, and waves crashed against the shore. Any other day of the week, she would toss on the bikini and run for a baptism at sea. Not today. Her soul aches with a pain that even her father couldn’t cause. Something broke inside her, and no band aid would repair these wounds.
Her movements slow, she stretched her body, crying from the pain. Sitting on the edge of the bed, looking down at her naked flesh, bruises covered all that she could see. Handprints, fists, and even bite marks indented her skin. Never in her life had anyone touched her in this way, and she knew the pain was the least of her worries. Dominic had the book for at least 12 hours now. He wasn’t a stupid man and would realize that lies were all he received for this masterpiece he created. As much as she hated the thought of getting rid of the book, she had no other choice. Tracing a safe deposit box didn’t take rocket science. He would soon figure out that’s where she left her life insurance policy.
The next hour, a struggle to move, but sheer determination brought her to her feet. The marks worse when she stood in front of the mirror and let her mind re-enact the abuse. She swore to that cop that she would receive medical care, but right now, that was the least of her worries. The bank opened in twenty minutes, and she needed to be in and out as quick as possible. Going through the motions, she slipped on a pair of jeans and an oversized hoodie to cover the bruises. Someone would ask. She knew they would. It’s Southern California and already close to 100 degrees outside. Someone would ask if she lost her mind, and she would tell them she had. That wouldn’t be a lie.
The young blonde stood in front of the locked drawer for what seemed like an eternity. Inside of that metal prison was the only reason she was alive. A book. Not a normal one, but one that shared the highs and lows of her life as an escort. A book that could land her in jail, but more than that, one that would send her to an early grave. It listed each client worth a damn on those pages, and some, in detail. Men and women would be ruined if that small book of confessions landed in the wrong hands. Hell, it had her in a pickle that she didn’t know how to get out of now.
As her hands shook, Gypsy slipped the key into the lock, almost too afraid to turn the key. It was her second trip to the safe deposit box this week, but this time, she would leave the building with what could kill her. Today, she would seal her own fate by taking her prized possession out of her hands. Slowly, she pulled the box from the drawer. Sitting it down on the metal table, her whole body shook as she opened the 12×12 metal container. Inside, a black composition book with no label or nothing to tell the reader it was as scary as the darkest night. Piercing her lips, she lifted the item, not bothering this time to open the pages and take a walk down memory lane. Not this time. Her body still covered with the bruises that Dominic Paloma left on her flesh. Gypsy had no desire to take a glance at her life. Not now, not ever. She did what she did to survive.
Quickly, she slid the book into the manila envelope, not sealing it. Not yet, at least. A handwritten note would accompany the book, one that explained why.
“In your hands, I am trusting the only thing that is keeping me alive. I know that if anyone in the world can help me, it would be you. Some people have friends, but I don’t. I have family that doesn’t carry my DNA. Have you ever watched a lighthouse during a storm and knew the reason for its presence was to be a safe haven? Well, that is what I think of you. I know you will not allow this to fall into the hands of anyone else. I trust you with my life.
As she signed her name and slipped the book into the envelope, a sense of peace settled within her soul. Wrath was coming for her, but there were good people on those pages, and she would never allow it to fall in the hands of the greedy. Right now, there was only one person who she could trust, and soon, he would have her life resting in his hands.
“Miss Kennedy, the courier is here. Do you have the package?”
Nodding, Gypsy handed the book off to the man in the uniform as she trembled in fear. No matter what Dominic did to her, she now could never give him what he wanted. The smile on her face gave her some sort of satisfaction knowing that. Life was short, and the countdown had just started.