Innocence Taken – Pray He Kills You Quickly by Victoria M. Patton
Two dead girls, another one missing, and a secret that will rip a tight-knit community apart.
When a missing teen’s body shows up dismembered on the side of the road, Lt. Damien Kaine must crush her parent’s hopes of her safe return. The parents are pushing for details and answers. Two things he can’t give. The abduction of a second girl brings only one clue. The girls look like.
As Damien searches for a sadistic killer, a disturbing pattern emerges. The more he digs into the community’s history, the more missing girls he finds.
With the lack of evidence or movement forward on the case, a quirky FBI profiler is pulled in to assist with the investigation. Damien wrestles with disdain for the agent and an equally strong sexual attraction to her, as he deals with mounting frustrations.
Tensions rise with the abduction of another girl. Damien and his team are in a race against time to save her. But the case is about to take a frightful turn. What they uncover will not only rock them to their core, it will haunt them forever.
Targeted Age Group:: over 18
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
At the time I wrote this story, I was a stay at home mother and I needed an outlet. I decided to put my Forensic Chemistry degree and my Law Enforcement background from the Coast Guard to use. I had this story in my head for a while, and thought instead of burying my teens in the backyard, I'll just write this story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I took my Italian and smidge of Irish heritages and crafted Damien Kaine and Joe Hagan. In a lot of ways, they both embody me. My sarcasm and my sense of injustice in this world and the want to protect those who need it most. And I get to bring a little vengeance to those who hurt others. My female character, Dillon McGrath embodies what I would've done with my life had I chosen a different path. In some ways she allows me to do my dream job, being a profiler. Life has a way of redirecting us, I settled for giving myself my dream job through her.
He straddled her chest—for leverage. His hands tingled as his fingers curled tight. He had to apply just the right amount of pressure. Her jerky movements increased as he squeezed her neck. The girl’s chest hardened under his weight, holding on to the last bit of air in her lungs. The beautiful smoky brown color of her eyes faded, replaced with a dull gray cloud that crept from one side to the other. A gleeful smile tugged at his mouth when red dots popped on the sclera. Her bladder released, announcing the end. His fingers uncurled from her neck, and a heavy sigh escaped his lips. He stared down at her as the stillness and quiet of the room engulfed him.
The corners of his mouth twitched as his trip down memory lane was interrupted. He heard the begging from the far side of the room. He stared at the girl he held captive. He’d chosen this one because she resembled HER, but she didn’t live up to his expectations. None did anymore. He wondered if he would ever find another like HER. The one thing all these girls had in common, they all begged—eventually. He turned away and fin-ished the preparations.
The thin mattress offered Becca little comfort. Leather straps bound her ankles and wrists to the bed. The slow melodic tune he whistled bounced off the cold concrete walls and pierced her eardrums like a hun-dred tiny pinpricks. Becca flinched at the sound of the chain hitting the floor as he hooked it to a ring in the ceiling. She closed her eyes. The man didn’t care about her pleas. He had no plans to let her go.
She thought about how she got here. Becca’s parents had given her a reprieve from her month-long grounding and allowed her to go to the mall with her two best friends. They chortled and bounced from store to store as they flirted with all the cute boys. The smell of freshly baked cookies and pretzels wafted through the air. Becca and her friends stopped for a snack and to chat with the boy behind the counter. That’s where she met him, outside Cookie Crumbs. She bumped into him and then spent a few hours walking around the mall with him. Her stomach fluttered when he asked her to leave with him. What seemed like the best way to spend the remain-der of her one day of freedom turned into the start of her worst nightmare.
Becca rocked back and forth muttering to herself. She watched him and prayed that he planned a quick death for her. As if he knew she stared at him, he glanced over his shoulder and winked at her. Becca shook uncon-trollably, gasping for air as she clawed at the straps around her wrists.
Her eagerness to push her parents and their rules aside landed her here, in a cold, damp basement. Becca spent the last few months pushing as hard as she could to get away from her life. A life that seemed filled with endless chores and babysitting her little brother. As bad as she thought her life had been, these last few days were nothing short of Hell. She wanted that life back.
She cried out. “Oh God, please help me—please help me. Please, please help me.” The sobs that choked her now burst out as her begging erupted into broken wails. The man turned and glowered at her, but she no longer cared. He planned to kill her. What did she care if he beat her before he did it? Becca leaned forward and wrapped her arms around her thighs. “I’m so sorry Mom, I’m so sorry.” She hiccupped between the sobs. “I love you, Mom—Dad, I love you…” She repeated the mantra until her throat ached.
Becca saw the man turn and walk across the basement towards her. Her eyes widened; her prayers and pleas stopped. The man leered at her. She noticed the light as it bounced off the blade. Becca screamed.
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