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Bitten To Obey Ebook [PRE-ORDER]

Bitten To Obey Ebook [PRE-ORDER]

A Dark, Mafia, Stalker, Age Gap Romance

Estimated Release date: Fall 2024

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Prologue Look Inside

Catalina

From the moment I was born into this world, I was condemned as a killer. My father, Simon Herrera, was at a rally, campaigning for a seat on the Senate when my mother, Alana went into labor. By the time he arrived at the hospital, she had passed.

There were dozens of photos of her father's tears. He was heartbroken over the loss of his wife. How was he going to manage in a world without her, especially while trying to navigate life with a newborn? But Simon Herrera persevered.

He took his baby girl with him wherever he could. He pushed for new laws to protect children and their families, especially in low and middle income families.

The press went wild over him.

There were countless images of him holding a small, smiling version of me wrapped in expensive lace and lavish outfits. Everyone believed I wanted for nothing, that everything I could have ever desired would be at the palm of my hand. And it was those images that helped my father succeed in his goal. 

He became known as a pioneer, a "real man" who put his child and family first. He was an authority that women held their men against, saying, "If he can take care of his daughter while running for the Senate, why can't my husband take care of his kids for an afternoon?" Women supported my father. They believed in him, wanted him to win all because they wanted him. 

But it was all a lie. Those people didn't really know my father. They thought he was a good, just person, a man dedicated to family, someone who loved me more than anything in the world. They were wrong.

Simon Herrera was a monster. I didn't truly understand my fear of my father as a child. In fact, I hardly remembered anything before the age of four, only that the photos which hung in his office—his mementos—terrified me. But there was one specific instance that I did remember.

I attended a public rally with my father in the middle of summer. He'd dressed her in something heavy because it matched his outfit the best and had small reflective stones, but he didn't account for the heat. Sweat dripped off my brow, constantly getting into my eyes. I kept swiping at them, messing up my short brown bangs. I tried to tough it out for my father for as long as I could, but my headache turned into nausea. And then I committed the worst offense of all—I stopped smiling and waving, and began to cry.

My father took me home almost immediately after, but it wasn't out of care or concern for me. Instead, he loosened his belt, wrapped one end around his fist and said, "I'll give you something to cry about." And he did.

He beat me mercilessly, screaming that, "this was all my fault," and if I "would have just kept smiling," he wouldn't have had to resort to this. I begged him to stop, promised I'd never do it again, but he told me he wouldn't. Not until I learned how to smile through the pain and through my tears, as he expected of me.

True to his word, he didn't stop until I eventually passed out from the pain, covered in tears with the smile I'd forced onto her face.

I quickly realized that wasn't the first time he'd beat and abused me, and as I grew older I learned it wouldn't be the last. When I couldn't fit in the clothes he'd bought me at six years old, he called me fat. When I calmly tried to tell him they were simply the wrong size, he beat me and locked me in my room with nothing to eat for two days. After that, I started stealing snacks from the kitchen incase it ever happened again. It did, multiple times, but at least I always had something to eat. 

At eleven, my father found a love note tucked away in my backpack. He screamed at me that I was a "disgrace who would never be allowed to feel anything for someone" he "didn't approve of."

I thought he would merely beat me again, as he normally did, but he decided to push me down the stairs instead. I broke my arm trying to brace for the fall and wasn't able to write for six weeks.

The doctor and nurses tried to ask me what happened but my father kept reiterating that he'd simply come home and found me at the bottom of the stairs. He told them I was clumsy, always running into things, bumping into walls, showing up with scratches and scrapes on my golden skin with no explanation. They didn't seem to believe him though. Instead, they kept looking at me to say something, anything that would allow them to help me.

But how could I? He was a powerful senator. And even if I did say something, would they even believe me?

I had been his punching bag for years. He'd hurt me so many times that I rarely felt pain anymore. If I opened my mouth, if I told them what he'd done, what would they be able to do against him? And how far would my father go to keep his secret?

I didn't know the answer to that question, but I did know two things. My father would do anything to protect his image, and he was capable of grave violence. I didn't want anyone else to experience what I had, so I'd simply nodded along with his excuse that I'd been running through the house and tripped down the stairs.

Oddly, that response had given me some reprieve. Once I healed, my father removed me from school and forced to learn at home with a tutor.

On those days, he left me alone. It was like he'd gotten the confirmation he needed, that I knew exactly what I was to him—his doll, a pawn to morph and marionette into whatever he required that day.

That hurt the little bit of pride I had, but I knew the truth. I couldn't escape from him, not yet, but I would one day. I just had to survive to that point.

By sixteen, the beatings had lessened. Perhaps, it was because I'd become an expert in acting. In front of others I smiled, waved, danced at soirees where some of the men stared at me a little too closely, and told reporters how incredible my father was and how grateful I was to have him. But at night, when it was dark and I was by myself, I'd let everything fade away except the anger and the hate.

I resented everything my father stood for: the law, politics, government. Sometimes, I was jealous of my mother for dying, while I survived only to live a miserable life.

I was certain my father had abused her too. After all, my mother was known as an angel to the people, constantly praised and acknowledged. In every photo she was picture-perfect, the perfect wife, the perfect hostess at parties, the first person my father thanked at award speeches and always with a wide smile on her face—the same one I had been faking for years.

If my mother was alive, would my life have been different? Would someone have finally loved me? Would someone have saved me from this torture?

I wanted to believe at least one of my parents cared about me. It was the only comfort I had—until I found my mother's diary. Alana had been forced to marry my father and he'd abused her every single day of her life.

From broken ribs to marital rape, to constant threats upon her life, she'd gone through it all. Much as I had suspected, my mother was flawless because if she weren't, she would face unimaginable pain and terror.

My mother never had a moment of peace, and any hope she'd carried in her heart of finally obtaining it, had been drained out of her from the abuse she'd suffered. In that way, we were the same. But unlike me, she had chosen to take the easy way out.

In a little pocket, hidden at the back of her diary, was a detailed plan on how she would end her life. My mother couldn't do it while pregnant with me, but the moment she gave birth she swore she'd take her own life—and she did.

My mother had also left a letter for me. In it she apologized for giving birth to me. She said she never wanted to bring me into a world with that bastard as my father, but she had no choice. She hoped that one day I would find a way out. That someone would save me or I'd find the strength to save myself. She apologized for being weak, for not persevering for me, for being selfish. I didn't bother to read the rest, because she was selfish.

I understood she didn't have a choice, but I couldn't forgive her. She'd left me with my father. She knew that by dying, I would be in the same situation as she had been. And yet she still went through with the pregnancy, and still killed herself.

I wondered if she knew how that would affect me. If she knew how many times I would be called a killer. I'd been mocked, hurt, constantly reminded I was lower than scum by my father, and I'd believed it. I'd believed it was my fault, that I killed her, that I shouldn't even be alive! I'd taken the fall for something I never should have had to. That wasn't right. That wasn't fair. That wasn't love.

I had never been shown love for a single moment of my life, but I knew this wasn't how a parent was supposed to treat their child. They were supposed to care for, nurse, worry about, guide and protect me, but they never had. If it weren't that I'd become the perfect key for shaping my father's image, I likely wouldn't have made it past infancy.

But I was going to live. I was going to find a way out. If I had to keep acting, pretending I loved my father and life, I would. If I had to worship the ground he walked on, I would. If I had to hide his abuse, I would.

I would do whatever I had to survive, and when I was able, I'd leave him for good. He may be a senator, but he couldn't stop me once I was an adult. Then I'd escape. Then I'd be free.

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