Frantiska Oliver
Author
A Man's Promise


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Excerpt from Ashton's Promise:
 

His sun-kissed skin ran smoothly across his chiseled body, and as his emerald eyes met mine, I was lost forever.

 

            “Hello beautiful,” Ashton whispered, greeting me with a kiss. “I've been waiting for your return.” His heavenly aroma surrounded us. His voice, like music to my ears, allowed me a moment of the peace I craved.

            “Sorry it took me so long to get here, but Krishna….” I paused to swallow the vile taste his name left in my mouth. “He was drunk again.”

            The temperature started to climb and the gentle waves of the ocean began to rise higher as they lashed at the shore.

“How bad is it, Mikayla?”

            “No worse than the others, but I think this time he cracked three ribs instead of just one.”

            Ashton closed his eyes and titled his head towards the burning sun. “One day I will meet him face to face, and when I do….” His eyes flew open and locked on to mine. “He will never harm you again.”

            His fierce look—the rage and disgust—should have sent me running, but my heart never skipped a beat.

“I do wish you could make that happen," I mumbled as I placed my hand on his cheek. "But I know your hands are tied, so let’s not talk about the horrors of my reality. Let’s just enjoy the short time we have together.”

            Touching him was all it took for the waters to calm and the air to drop to the perfect temperature.

“I’m sorry, my love," Ashton said. "I didn't mean to get so upset. It infuriates me that he'd take such a precious woman and treat you with such brutality. But, you’re right, let’s not allow him to spoil our time any longer.”

            Ashton placed his hand on top of mine, but before our fingers could intertwine, the agonizing pain of something being pushed into my fractured ribs snapped me awake.

 

            Krishna roared when I cried out in pain. “I woke up expecting to have a hot cup of coffee waiting for me, but instead I find this empty cup and you asleep on the couch.”

            I knew my second mistake as soon as the cry reached my ears and the ceramic mug shattered against my head.

            “Make another sound like that, and I’ll cram what’s left of this cup down your throat.”

            “I’m sorry, honey,” I whispered through hidden tears.

            Krishna bent down and gripped my shoulders with his steel-like hands, wordlessly demanding me to look at him.

            “Please,” I begged, my eyes meeting his.

Krishna’s twisted smile revealed the raging flames behind is hazel eyes. “Had you preformed your morning duties, none of this would have taken place. But! You chose not to! So, lose those tears and self-pity because they don’t work on me.”

            In a split second, the couch disappeared from beneath me, and I sailed across the room, colliding into the door frame between the kitchen and living room. I not only felt another rib crack, I heard it too.

            “Krishna, please,” I begged, cringing into the door frame as he took a step towards me.

            His foot collided into my wrecked body, sliding me across the stone floor as smears of blood trailed behind me.

            “Now that you’ve finally made it to the kitchen, I expect to have a hot cup of coffee ready for me when I return.”

            I didn’t dare ask him where he was going or how long he'd be gone, partly because his short auburn hair wasn’t combed to perfection and his grizzly whiskers had made their morning appearance, but mostly because I didn’t want any more pain inflicted on me.

            “I’ll fix you some bacon and eggs to go along with your coffee too,” I whimpered, knowing that if I didn’t, another beating was sure to come.

            “Don’t forget about the pancakes and make sure there’s enough for Chance. He’s supposed to be here in about 45 minutes or so.”

            “I’ll have it ready,” I moaned, using the counter to pull myself up.

            “It better be,” he demanded.

 Avoiding his eyes, I grabbed a dish cloth and wiped up the ceramic shards of the mug, collecting the broken pieces together in a jagged pile

            The raging pain coursing through my body was nothing new to me. My whole life was full of one kind of pain or another, but that didn’t mean I wanted it. I just learned how to swallow it down and continue living, one miserable day after another.

            “And make sure everything’s presentable before Chance arrives" he hollered as he walked away. "I don’t want my friends thinking you’re sloppy and unworthy of my affection.”

            He wasn’t just talking about the house; he was talking about me, too. Krishna made it a point, on most occasions, to keep my wounds in locations that I could easily cover, but there were a few times where he didn’t—this time being one of them. Every movement was excruciatingly painful and having to breathe made it even worse, but I knew if I failed... 









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