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Authors: PJ Sharon

Savage cinderella

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Savage Cinderella




PJ Sharon


This book is a work of fiction. Names,characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’simagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actualevents, locales, business establishments, or persons, living ordead, is coincidental.


All rights reserved. Except for use in anyreview, or as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, nopart of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, ortransmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database orretrieval system, without prior written permission from the author.Please respect the hard work of the author and do not supportpiracy.


Cover photo purchased through Big StockPhotos, cover design by Addy Overbeeke.


Edited by Jane Haertel


© 2012 Savage Cinderella by PJ Sharon


Smashwords Edition




I’d like to thank Jane Haertel for coming tomy rescue and editing at the last minute, my beta readers, LoreleiBuzzetta and Gina Beach, for your invaluable feedback andencouragement, and the supportive and brilliant Addy Overbeeke,without whom none of this would be possible.


Huge shout out to the Connecticut Chapter ofthe Romance Writers of America, who are ever faithful in sharing myjourney and cheering me on. Belonging to this group and makingfriends with the talented and loving individuals I’ve come to knowhas been the most unexpected gift of this journey.


I also have to say that without the supportand constant flow of information I receive from my online family, Iwould have no clue as to how to go about this indie-publishingcareer. Thanks to all of the fabulous people with the WG2E (WritersGuide to E-Publishing), Indie-Romance Ink, Young Adult RomanceWriters of America, and We Are Not Alone (WANA minions). You folksare an indie author’s best friends.



I wrote this story in the summer of 2009after hiking in the woods with my dog and imagining what it wouldhave been like to grow up living in the wild. I immediately sawBrinn and the questions began to flow. The answers that followedtook me on an amazing journey of discovery and healing I hadn’texpected.


Brinn’s story of survival, of overcoming herfear, and of finding a way to triumph over her past was as much ofan inspiration to me as I hope it is to you, my dear readers. Iwanted so much to do justice to the experiences of abuse survivors,but I also wanted to express what I know to be true about the humanspirit. I believe that a person can overcome any obstacle if theycan find a way to open their heart to love and forgiveness. In noway do I want to minimize the horrific effects of abuse or thescars it leaves behind, but my hope is that Brinn’s story leavesyou with the understanding that where there is courage to face yourtruth, there is hope for healing.


This book is dedicated to abuse survivors,kidnap victims, and the families who refuse to give up on love.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15


Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40




He lifted the limp body out of the trunk,wrapped the girl in a woolen blanket, and tossed her like a ragdollover his shoulder. She was still warm, but if she was alive, shecertainly wouldn't be for long. He had promised her that if shetried to run away, she would be punished.

Why did they all insist on running? They knewthat he always kept his promises. He was, after all, a man of hisword. Pa had taught him the importance of that particular trait ata very early age.

Surrounded by blackened woods, he yanked aflashlight from his back pocket and closed the trunk, eliminatingthe only light that pierced the pitch of predawn darkness. With theclick of a switch, a yellow beam broke the night and wavered acrossthe hardened gravel.

He glanced warily around once more. Therewere no signs of life on the stretch of dirt road that extendedendlessly in either direction. He shifted his burden and turnedtoward the woods. As he climbed, the cold spring mist in the BlueRidge Mountains settled over him. Perspiration soaked his clothesand the chill reached deep into his bones, bringing a shiver to thesurface.

He made his way up the overgrown trail,recalling how simple it had been to take her nearly two yearsbefore. It was at a bustling dog park in Atlanta. The racket ofbarking dogs, chattering women, and noisy children createdsufficient chaos for him to remain unnoticed as he watched andwaited. When the girl's mother, caught up in conversation with theother uptight suburban housewives, turned her back on hereight-year-old daughter, the girl was left ripe for the picking.She was easily misled. A story about him losing his puppy drew heraway from the crowded playground without a second glance back ather mother. Cloaked in plainness, his polite and pleasant demeanordeceived the unsuspecting child. A thrill ran through him at thememory. It was easy.

“Not like this path,” hemuttered, which was treacherous in the darkness. His feet slippedon the rocks, and he stumbled on the steep slope. He was miles fromanywhere. Even the dirt road that led him here was narrow andrutted from spring rains and flooding. Her body might not be foundfor months or years, if ever, he mused with grim satisfaction. Heshifted his bundle again, securing his hold around the backs of herknees, her shoeless feet poking out from under theblanket.

He’d given her fair warning about attemptingescape. Where the hell had she thought she was going anyway? He’dconvinced her that her parents were dead—killed in an accident. Whyelse would no one come for her? He told her that no one was lookingfor her, no one wanted her, and no one would come after her—exceptfor him. He could manipulate a child into believing anything—eventhat he was a cop. His night watchman’s uniform and handcuffsinstilled fear and mistrust of police into the mind of the girlthat he had kept locked away in the tiny room of his secludedfarmhouse.

A tremor of doubt ran along his skin in thecold rain. Her mind was strong. She’d resisted more than theothers. Then he smiled, remembering the look of disappointment andfear in her eyes when he’d caught her. The image brought a flush ofwarmth back into his bones. A spike of adrenaline raced along hisflesh. Driven by her fear, his need for power consumed him. She’deventually believed everything he’d told her. Repetition was thekey. But she was getting older and smarter. That look of fear wasturning to one of defiance. If she had succeeded in escaping, itwould have ruined everything.

Winded by the hike into the hills, he decidedhe had come far enough. He shone the flashlight around the clearingin the dense stand of pines and dropped the body into a smalldepression in the ground. A small groan escaped the girl’slips.

He stared down at the motionless form, thegirl’s long black hair obscuring the lily-white face and sharp blueeyes that often held a mutinous rage—a look that screamed thatthere was a part of her that he could never have. He wiped the rainand sweat from his brow, and zipped his jacket up under his chin,surveying the small clearing to ensure he’d left no evidence of hispresence. The ground was soft and thick with wet pine needles anddecaying leaves. She wouldn’t last long in this weather. Theelements or the animals would finish her off.

He took one last look at the bruised andbattered body and grumbled. Kicking dirt and leaves over her, heturned his back on the small mound. He headed back down themountain, already planning his next abduction and relishing thethought. It was May. The kids would be out of school in a few weeksand the parks would be teeming with fresh young faces. Shruggingoff the image of wide blue eyes and long dark hair, he remindedhimself that he didn’t need her. There were others.

His clothes were soaked through by the timehe reached the road. He could always count on the rain up inGeorgia's Northwest High Country. His trail would fade beforemorning light and the body of the girl he had taken would disappearfrom the world forever.

Chapter 1

Catch Me If You Can

Eight Years Later


Icy water lapped at Brinn's legs. She sat onher heels, motionless in the shallow stream as the current tickledalong her skin. She watched and waited. Trout moved slower at theedge of the creek. Some days, they hovered between her hands as ifoffering themselves up for her dinner. Today was not one of thosedays. She had been here all afternoon, and her stomach growled andcramped from hunger.

"Be patient," she chided herself as thecurrent shifted and flowed around her calves, the icy water fillingher boots. Her feet and hands had long since gone numb from thecold, and she was about to give up when she saw a fat trout shimmerin the afternoon sunlight only two feet away.

Her fingers drifted over the sandy bottom ofthe pool, a worm-like lure for the unsuspecting fish. She waitedfor it to take the bait. The trout settled along the bottom of thecreek bed, nibbled gently on her fingertips, and then, with oneswift movement, Brinn raked the fish up in her hands and tossed itonto the bank. She grinned with pride and satisfaction as the fishflopped helplessly on dry land.

"You will make a fine meal, Mr. Fish."

She lifted the squirming trout by the tailand set it on a stone. She drew her knife, about to cut off itshead and gut her catch, when a sound snapped her to attention.Brinn whirled around and tipped her nose into the air, catching afamiliar scent.

A twig cracked. Another second passed beforeshe heard the metallic click from the edge of the trees. Shedropped the fish and dove behind a stand of shrubs. Knife in hand,she crouched between the briars and watched as her dinner floppedwildly and then disappeared back into the stream with a plunk.

More frustrated than frightened, she turnedher attention back to the origin of the sound. She associated theclick of metal on metal with hunters taking aim at their prey andwaiting for the perfect moment to shoot. But this soundeddifferent.

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