I know many of you have been waiting very patiently for me to release the next Breaker's Point book. I had plans for it to be out long before now but with the deteroriation of my health over the last few months what's that saying about best laid plans?
Anyway, things are finally beginning to level out and with the release of Precious last week, I'm hoping that I'll be back to my usual release schedule very soon and that means Breaker's Point Beau will be out very soon :)
In the meantime here's chapter 2 to help whet your appetite for the arrival of Riley and Holly.
Copyright M.G. Morgan.
Sitting in the driver’s seat of her black sports convertible, Holly dug her fingers into the smooth round leather surface of the steering wheel.
Tears streamed down her cheeks, smearing her eyeliner and causing her normally immaculate mascara to run in rivulets down her face. She’d done so much crying lately that she was rapidly starting to believe she needed to invest in waterproof make-up.
Get a grip, Holly.
Crying was a waste of time. All it ever seemed to achieve as far as Holly was concerned was to make her feel even more weak and out of control than before. And yet it was the only thing she felt she actually had any control over.
With the back of her hand, Holly swiped at the tears that continued to leave dark tracks on her face.
If he saw her like this then he would want to know why she was crying. If she lied, he would know, especially if he really was the one who had taken the pictures from the top of the hill over looking the terrace that night.
Why couldn’t it have been Riley?
Sweet, charming, handsome Riley…
He was everything a man should be and simply thinking about him brought a fresh flood of tears trickling from her eyes.
With her vision blurred, Holly struggled to keep the car moving forward down the winding hill on her side of the road.
The sound of a car horn blaring had Holly swerve the car back over the line onto her side once more.
Her tyres sprayed gravel as the car bumped onto the hard shoulder and Holly slammed on the brakes making the engine groan.
The high pitched scream of metal on metal as it twisted and buckled under pressure as the side of the car slid along the metal barrier filled her with dread.
The car skidded to a stop and Holly was left holding the steering wheel in a death grip, her knuckles white and bloodless.
The faint sound of the engine ticking over as it waited for her to make her next move pulled her from the shock of a close call.
And it was a close call.
She released the steering wheel, her hands stiff and cramped with the force that she had held onto the wheel with. Pressing a button the seat belt zipped free and Holly pushed the driver’s door open, her expensive heels crunching on the hard, sharp gravel that lined the edge of the road. Expensive heels that helped create the image she needed to maintain. An image that was now more of a prison than anything else.
It had after all contributed to the direction her life had spiralled into.
A cool breeze rifled through her hair and for a moment Holly closed her eyes, her mind immediately conjuring a memory of Riley’s hand on the back of her neck.
The feel of his fingers in her hair as he had drawn her against him.
The crush of his mouth against her own stole her breath.
The taste of the fresh sea breeze reminded her of the salt on his lips as their kiss had deepened, igniting a passion within them. Igniting a fire within Holly that still yearned for him.
She couldn’t have these thoughts. These were the thoughts of a woman on the verge of doing something very stupid and she couldn’t allow it.
Holly swallowed back the sob that threatened to escape her and pushed all thoughts of Riley from her mind. It was safer for him if she didn’t think of him.
Moving around the car she stared down at the damage her carelessness had caused.
She didn’t even like driving and she tried to avoid it whenever possible.
The passenger side of the car was dented, the black paint ripped and ruined from the barrier she had struck as the car had skidded onto the hard shoulder.
Marcus wouldn’t be happy when he saw the damage, it wasn’t his car and it shouldn’t have mattered but he was the type of man that seemed to think that everything was his.
Holly swallowed back the bile that threatened to crawl up the back of her throat at the thought of him.
How had she gotten into this mess?
She climbed back into the car and restarted the engine. If she thought of nothing, simply pushed everything from her mind then perhaps by the time she made it back to the house he wouldn’t be able to see through her lies. She’d be calm and he’d leave her alone.
Of course if she was really lucky he wouldn’t even be there.
Holly drew the car to a halt outside the house she had once called home.
A house that had once belonged to her parents, it never ceased to amaze her how easy it was for something so precious to become something so terrible. How a gambling debt could destroy everything she had ever worked for.
Sliding her finger across the remote control, Holly watched as the garage doors slowly rattled upward. Icy fear slid down her spine as a man staggered into view but it wasn’t Marcus.
The fear she had felt just moments before vanished and Holly was left with a hollow pit of despair low in her stomach.
Niall McCombe staggered into view, the empty bottle of whiskey still clutched in his hands.
Holly’s heart sank in her chest as she caught the glassy eyed confused look in his eyes.
It was the only thing her father knew how to do these days.
Holly hopped out of the car and moved towards him, catching him as he swayed in against her body, his eyes filling with recognition as she came into view.
“Holly… What are you doing out here?”
His words although a little slurred were surprisingly clear and it instantly made Holly wonder how long he had been locked in the garage.
“Dad, how long have you been out here? How did you end up the garage?”
Holly wrapped her arm around his waist, pulling his arm over her shoulder in an attempt to move him in the direction of the house.
“That bastard left me out here…”
Holly struggled to hold onto him as Niall made a sudden drunken shuffle forward as though to take a swing at someone only he could see.
It didn’t take much for Holly to guess at who had locked him into the garage.
“Marcus locked you out here?”
Holly moved around her father and stared up into his face in an attempt to get some sense from him.
He stared down at her, his eyes suddenly unfocused.
He didn’t get any other words out as he doubled over towards the ground, taking Holly with him as he started to vomit.
The smell was pungent, burning at the back of Holly’s nose and throat as her eyes watered and she fought to not be sick herself. That was the last thing she wanted to do.
He continued to heave, the vomit pouring out of him like water as he knelt on the ground. It didn’t shock Holly, the sad truth was that she was used to her father getting sick now.
Instead she held him, like he had held her when she was a child and found herself ill with the flu.
He clutched at her hand, the movement filled with desperation and pain.
“I’m sorry, Holly, I’m so sorry for everything… I didn’t mean for this to happen…”
A moment of lucidity.
The more his guilt seemed to eat away at him the more he seemed to be slipping away from her and Holly was at a loss as to how she could help him anymore.
“Come on, Dad, we need to get you inside.”
He clutched at her arm a little harder.
“Always.” She said, plastering a smile on her face in an attempt to bury the pain filled emotions that threatened to swell within her and drown her in tears.
He climbed unsteadily to his feet, letting the empty whisky bottle drop from his hands and shatter on the drive.
Holly ignored it as she wrapped her arms tightly around his body and struggled to walk him slowly towards the house. They made it to the steps before he hesitated and his legs buckled beneath him once more.
“I can’t go back in there.”
“Don’t be daft, Dad, we’ll get you inside and cleaned up, a shower and some sleep will do you the world of good.”
Niall shook his head and let his gaze drop to the steps. “I can’t… He said I belonged in the garage like the animal I was, he banned me from the house, Holly, from my own god dammed house.”
She stared down at her father in horror, bile rising in the back of her throat. Marcus was a vile excuse for a man, she’d often wondered if he was even a human or just pure monster but this was a new low even for him.
“I’ll take care of it. You’re not banned from the house, Dad, please just come inside with me.”
Her father started to sob on the steps, his cries pitiful and childlike as he clutched at her legs and Holly inwardly cursed Marcus’ cruelty.
“I’ve made such a mess of everything and I don’t know how to set it right.” Her father’s words were garbled but Holly had listened to enough of his drunken pleas over the years and she understood him.
“Dad, if you don’t get up then I’ll have to get one of the guards to come and help me and…”
Holly’s insides twisted, her words stuck on the tip of her tongue as though her mouth was coated with glue. There was a time when asking for help from the bodyguards wouldn’t have filled her with such horror but not now, not since Marcus had arrived.
Now asking the guards for anything was like speaking directly to Marcus. It wasn’t something she ever wanted to do but she also knew it would be far worse for her and her father if Marcus found them both on the steps.
Her unspoken threat seemed to have its desired effect and she watched as her father scrubbed the back of his hand across his face. His tear stained face was mottled with anger as he stared up at her.
“You know what those bastards would do, Holly, and you’d still draw them down on me. Where’s my daughter gone? The kind and beautiful little girl who always wanted to protect me.”
“Dad, please, I didn’t mean it, I…” She trailed off as he staggered to his feet brushed her hands away.
“Don’t Dad me, I stopped being your father the day you agreed to marry that bastard, Marcus.”
Holly let him push her away, tears stinging the back of her eyes as she hugged her arms to her body.
He’d slipped so far, sometimes she wondered if he’d slipped so far from her that the man she’d loved and looked up to was completely gone.
She didn’t want to care, if she was utterly honest with herself, he’d loved the bottle more than he’d ever loved her. It was his fault they were in this mess to begin with and now he couldn’t even remember what she’d done to protect him, the reason she’d agreed to Marcus’ proposal.
Niall slipped on the top step, his body going down hard on the cold cement steps.
Holly started towards him but the look he gave her over his shoulder was enough to halt her movement and she froze. There was a hatred in his eyes that she’d never seen before.
He climbed to his feet once more and started into the house without a backwards glance, leaving Holly to stare after him, the ache in her chest spreading through her body until she was completely numb.