Title: Breathe In
Author: Michelle Bellon
Release Date: June 27, 2017
“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.
No air will pass.