Taken by You

By: Carlie Sexton

Chapter 1

When Roger Wilkins pulled up to In Cahoots it was just past midnight. The parking lot was full and the bar was hopping with people enjoying themselves. The music was loud and the line dancing was in full swing. Roger walked up to the bar and ordered a Corona with a twist of lime. He needed a drink to calm his mind. He took a long pull, downing about half of the beer before setting the bottle down.

He was still reeling. He couldn’t believe Kate was gone. He had declared his love for her during their lunch date. She hadn’t rejected the idea of them seeing each other when he returned, so her disappearing act didn’t make any sense. Perhaps she was afraid of commitment or maybe he had overwhelmed her with his feelings. She certainly couldn’t be afraid of him. There was no way for her to know what he was or what he was capable of doing when he wanted something. He had covered his tracks well for all of these years and only his victims had seen the monster inside of him.

Kate had left and he had no idea where she was. But he knew where she worked and he would track her down in no time. His hunting skills would come in handy now. She wouldn’t be able to hide from him for long. If he couldn’t find her at Nordstrom, where she worked in the children’s department, then he would follow her hot roommate Charlie home from her office. He had Charlie’s work address on file with their lease agreement. He figured that they would still be living together. Otherwise, he would have to set up surveillance at San Diego State University. He knew Kate’s class schedule. It would take longer to track her down at school, but she was worth the effort. He would make her understand that they belonged together. He couldn’t lose her. He had done too much to make her his. If somehow the police had poisoned her mind against him, then he would make her understand that everything he had done was for her, so that they could be together.

Roger scanned the room at the bar, looking for some poor shmuck that he could use as a punching bag. Surely he would be able to find someone to alleviate his anger. It would be easy to pick out a guy who had had too much to drink – and even easier to beat him up with dulled senses. Walking through the crowd, he saw a few possibilities. But as his scan continued, he spotted a beautiful woman and he was instantly drawn to her. It was as if she was beckoning him to her. She was petite with long dark hair. She looked like a mix between Japanese and Hawaiian. She was exotic and one of the most captivating women he had ever seen, next to his Kate, of course.

He noticed the guy talking to her, drooling all over her. He couldn’t blame the guy. She was definitely drool-worthy. But her body language was communicating loud and clear that she wasn’t interested in the poor guy. Clearly, he couldn’t take a hint. Roger’s eyes locked on hers and he was mesmerized by this beautiful siren. She seemed to be calling out to him, and he was eager to save her. She smiled at him and Roger knew that was his cue to swoop in and save her. As he approached them, Roger kissed her on the cheek and hoped she would play along.

“Baby. I’m so sorry that I’m late,” Roger said confidently. “The gig ran way longer than expected.”

“That’s all right,” she said. “This nice man has been keeping me company.”

Roger nodded at the man and sized him up. Then he patted him on the back and said, “Thanks for looking after my girl. I was worried about her being here alone.”

“No problem,” the man said. They shook hands and he departed to find another woman to hit on.

Roger took her delicate hand. “Hi, there!” he said. “I’m Roger Wilkins. You looked like you needed to be rescued.”

“I’m Rose Nakama. And you’re right. I did want to be rescued. He wouldn’t leave me alone even after I lied about having a boyfriend,” she said coyly, looking up at him through her long lashes.

Hearing her name knocked him off balance for a moment. Another woman named Rose? What were the odds that he would meet another woman named Rose? This was a strange coincidence. Or was it? Maybe this is just what he needed right now. It looked like fate had stepped in and provided for him. Kate was nowhere to be found and this beautiful creature was right in front of him. She was definitely the most intoxicating of distractions.