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Precious Angel (Alpha Province #4)

By:Becca Van

Precious Angel (Alpha Province #4)
Becca Van

       Prologue




Kenzie Howard screamed in agony as another kick slammed into her ribs.  Tears blurred her vision and even though she was huddled in a ball  trying to protect herself from the agony of another boot to her side, it  didn't help.

She'd done everything for the man currently beating and kicking her as  if she was a punching bag, and yet it hadn't been enough, would never be  enough.

"You're a fucking cunt of a slut just like your mother was."

She'd come home from working in the supermarket hoping and praying that  he would still be out with his buddies or in bed asleep in an alcoholic  stupor. She'd been hoping to sneak into the house and creep to her room  where she would be safe behind the locked door, but he'd been sitting at  the kitchen table drinking and staring at the clock. He'd been drinking  more and more and hanging out with bad men.

She had no idea what he was mixed up in, but there was no way she was  hanging around anymore. She'd promised her mom on her deathbed to look  after her dad, but she couldn't take another beating, that's if she  survived the current one.

Her father had become an evil monster.

The next kick was so hard something cracked. The searing pain was so  excruciating she couldn't even make a sound. Her arms were up around her  head, but they ended up around her ribs as agony ripped into her side.  She was in so much pain, she couldn't even take a breath. Finally, when  she was able to draw in a small gasp of air, the pain in her ribs  intensified and the tears flowed faster.

"You were supposed to be a fucking boy, bitch." Her father roared with  fury and kicked her again. There was so much hate in his eyes, and yet  she'd stupidly done everything she could to win his love. He used to be  so different, but her mom's death had destroyed him. However, he'd  hardly ever looked her way and Kenzie began to suspect that he wasn't  her real father. She had none of his features or coloring. In fact, the  man her mom had married had black hair and brown eyes. Her mother had  been auburn haired with green eyes, and although Kenzie's nose and eyes  were nearly the same shape her mothers had been, they were the only  similarities. The more he beat her the more she suspected she was right.  Her father always spouted profanities and cursed her deceased mother,  too. The first time he'd done that, she'd been so angry she'd trembled  with fury. She'd shouted back at him and he'd hit her so hard across the  face, her feet had left the floor and she'd slammed into the wall  behind her.

She'd put her own life on hold to make sure the house they lived in  remained theirs. She'd worked two or more jobs to make ends meet, to pay  the rent and the bills and for the food they ate. She'd cooked,  cleaned, washed and ironed his clothes, getting no more than four hours  sleep, only to get up and start all over again.

But for what?

He'd never once told her he loved her. The day her mother had died had  been the day her father turned his hate-filled gaze on her. Her life had  been a living hell for the last ten years, but Kenzie had had enough.

If she survived this night, it would be the last time her father ever laid a hand or foot on her.

"If I'd known you were a fucking girl I would never have married your  slut of a mother. I'm going to make a lot of money off you. You're going  to pay me back for all the years I've had to look at your ugly face,"  he yelled so close to her ear, her eardrum reverberated with pain. "I  know you've been holding out on me, girl. You think I haven't seen you  making cow eyes at that little shit you work with? How many times have  you let him fuck you? How many boys have stuck their cocks in your  cunt?"

She whimpered when he grabbed a handful of hair and shook her head back  and forth like a rabid dog on a killing rampage. The muscles in her neck  wrenched, causing her to moan with pain, but when he lifted her to her  feet by her hair, she screamed as her tortured ribs protested. She swore  she felt the fractured bones move.

A slap landed on her cheek and the afterburn seared into her skin.

"How many, slut?"

Kenzie opened her mouth to reply but nothing came out. He roared with  anger, spittle hitting her cheek as he shook her some more. There wasn't  a part of her body that wasn't bruised or hurting. She had no idea how  long he'd been beating her for this time-it could have been minutes, but  it felt like hours. Closing her eyes, she tried to remove herself from  the torment, the suffering cruelty at the hands of a man who was  supposed to love her.

She prayed the next blow would kill her and end her anguished agony and she'd finally find peace.                       
       
           



       

She didn't see the blow coming but the hard punch to her head was too  much. Darkness invaded her mind and this time instead of trying to keep  it at bay, she embraced it.





When Kenzie tried to open her eyes, she couldn't. It took her a few  minutes to work out that her face was so enflamed and bruised, her eyes  were swollen shut. Her head was throbbing so bad she felt sick to her  stomach and each shallow breath she took sent agony ripping into her  side and lungs. She moaned as she rolled onto her other side and  whimpered when her bare feet connected with something solid. There was a  familiar droning sound in her ears, one she'd heard before, but she  couldn't quite pinpoint it. And then it hit her.

It was the sound of tires on a road. The surface beneath her was hard  and she was so cold she was shivering. She didn't want to move again,  but she needed to work out where she was and who was with her. After  inhaling another shallow breath, she bit her lip and tensed her muscles,  trying to mentally brace for the pain she knew was coming. She  leveraged up onto her elbow and cried out when her head hit something  solid. She clutched at her throbbing skull and whimpered as she flopped  back onto the hard floor.

Kenzie started to shake when she realized she was in the trunk of a car.  No wonder she was so cold. Her arms and legs were bare, as were her  feet. She had no idea where her shoes were, but she was too tired to  care. Winter was over, and spring had arrived, but the nights were cold  and there was still snow on the ground in places. She now wished she  hadn't taken her sweater off the moment she'd entered the house after  she finished her shift at the supermarket. She also wished she'd worn  her normal pair of jeans instead of the skirt she'd chosen.

She'd foolishly been trying to catch the eye of the young man who came  in to stock shelves, hoping he'd ask her out on a date and eventually  take her away from all the abuse her father had dished out.

They'd been foolish childish dreams. Tears welled and rolled down her face.

Her father didn't own a car, nor did she. There hadn't been enough money  for such luxuries. Had he hired someone to take her away and kill her?  Had he called one of his drunk friends to get rid of her?

Kenzie tried to stifle the sobs ripping up from her aching chest, but  there was so much pain in her heart, it wouldn't be quelled. Each time  her body shook, searing agony shot through her until she was so  light-headed she reached for the darkness again. A sigh of relief  escaping her parted lips just before she passed out.





She woke to silence. There was no more sound of tires droning on  asphalt. She whimpered with pain as she rolled from her uninjured side  to her back and tried to stretch her cramped legs out as far as she  could. When her feet didn't connect with anything, she sighed with  relief as her cramped muscles lengthened when she extended her legs.  Slow awareness returned, and she realized she was no longer lying on the  cold hard floor in a car trunk, but on something soft. She forced her  swollen lids up and surreptitiously gazed about from under her lowered  lashes. She was in a huge, cavernous room of what looked like a  warehouse, and she was alone.

After listening intently, she slowly eased back onto her side and pulled  her legs up toward her chest. She stopped all movement when her ribs  burned and throbbed, and sucked in small amounts of air. She didn't  notice her eyes were closed until she heard the distant murmur of voices  and footsteps heading her way, and while she wanted to see who was  coming toward her, she kept her eyes shut. She didn't want them to know  she was awake.

"What are we going to do with the girl?" An accented male voice asked.

"Leave her. I doubt she'll be any trouble," another man with a gravelly  voice, replied. "Who beat her? It's a wonder she's still breathing."

"The bastard posing as her father did," Accent Voice answered.

"Fuck, what a prick," Gravelly Voice said, before asking, "How did you end up with her?"

"Said he hated her guts and wanted to sell her. He married the bitch's  mother when she got pregnant by some other sap who took off. He was  hoping to get a son from the slut, but ended up with a girl instead."  Accent Voice sighed. "It's going to take weeks before she heals enough  for me to put her to work."

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