I know this may be my only chance to get out of here alive. Moving to the door, I press my ear to it. Hearing nothing on the other side, I put my hand on the knob, turn it, and say a silent prayer when the door clicks open. Peeking out the small crack, I find nothing but hallway and dim light. Ducking low, I scoot into the hall, close the door, and look both ways, debating what way to head. I don’t know where I am, but if I had to guess it’s an old warehouse.

Tugging my T-shirt down, I creep silently on my bare feet along the hall, then feel a surge of adrenalin and hope course through my veins when I spot another door. As soon as I can reach the knob, I place my hand on the metal, turn it, and push, breathing in a deep breath of cold night air as it skims across my face. Opening the door another inch, I want to scream as it clanks and I see a large chain on the outside. Looking back down the hall to where I came from, I feel my eyes widen as I see the guy head into the room I just left. Knowing I don’t have a choice, I push the door as far as it will go, get my head out through the space, and scream as I hear him running toward me, roaring, “What the fuck?” Getting my shoulders and arms out, I use the doorjamb to push myself the rest of the way through, and scream in pain as my chest is crushed as he pulls on the door. “You fucking cunt!” he snarls, tugging me toward him as I kick as hard as I can, refusing to give up now.

“Fuck you!” I kick and twist wildly, and finally, by some miracle, get free from his hold, falling hard to the ground just outside the door. I don’t pause. I don’t take a chance to look behind me. I run as fast as I can toward the woods, letting the darkness engulf me and keep me safe.


Hearing the name Trent Denton, I turn and watch the small television on the wall across the room. A clip of Trent being escorted into a police station with his hands cuffed behind his back appears on the screen before the newscaster reappears, shuffling the papers in her hands, speaking. “Trent Denton, an upstanding citizen, a doctor, and a man many people in the community looked up to, is also the man police arrested today for six murders in the Nashville area over the last three months, along with the attempted murder and kidnapping of a Murfreesboro woman. The FBI was called in to assist the police with the case after four of his victims were found to be linked together through the website Dominate Me, a fetish website the accused used to find his victims. Tonight at eleven we will have more on this story, along with the interview of Trent Denton’s still missing fiancée’s mother.” Finding the remote I turn off the TV, not wanting to hear more. Resting my head on Ashlyn’s stomach and my hand over her chest, I let the feel of her heartbeat remind me she’s here with me and safe.

“Dillon.” I lift my head and watch Lilly walk toward me. “Why don’t you go on home and shower, I’ll sit with her while you’re gone.”

“I’m good,” I mutter, pulling my eyes from hers when Ashlyn’s hand resting under mine tenses. Sliding my hand up her chest to her cheek, her body relaxes and I study her beautiful face, making sure she isn’t having another bad dream. For the past four days, sleep for her has been a struggle and I finally convinced her a few hours ago, after getting word that Trent was arrested, to take a sleeping pill. Thankfully, it seems to be helping.

“Honey, you need to shower and you need to eat something,” she says gently, almost pleadingly, and my jaw clenches.

“I’m not leaving her side.” I try to keep the bite out of my tone, but it can’t be helped. The woman I love is lying in the hospital, having suffered from a fractured larynx, two broken ribs, and hypothermia, after being kidnapped by a serial killer and hiding in the cold over night, wearing nothing but the T-shirt she went to bed in.

“Honey.” Lilly’s hand rests lightly on my back.

“He took her from our bed and I couldn’t do one goddamn thing to stop him.”

“He drugged you,” she reminds me quietly. “He drugged both of you.”

“I watched him take her, I watched him take her right from my arms and I couldn’t even move.” My throat burns as I think about the moment I saw him lifting her limp body from our bed. I thought it was a bad dream. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. I could only watch him carry her out of the room while I lay there completely helpless to do anything to save her.

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