Chapter 16

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Sara was excited at the thought of seeing Roy again. She hoped he meant it when he would see her at the rink that day. He wasn't like the other boys around town. He had a maturity about him they did not possess. Maybe that was the reason she was smiling when she woke up that morning.

She stood at the sink, washing her plate that had held her breakfast of buttered toast and jam. Her mother had left for work before Sara had gotten up. Her sister was still in bed asleep. She hoped she stayed like that so she could go to the rink by herself. All she needed was the talkative sister getting in her way of a good time.

The sound of a door opening caused her to freeze. Sara's heart began to race. It wasn't her sister. The footsteps came from her mother's room. That meant it was...

Looking over her shoulder, she watched as Tom entered the room. His hair was mussed from sleep. Stubble covered his face. The clothes he wore looked like he had worn them the day before and slept in them - wrinkled and stained with beer and who knew what else. He ran a hand over his yawning face and then noticed her.

"Well, look who is up already." He smacked his lips in an attempt to rid himself of the alcohol fuzz left over from the night before.

Sara did not respond. Instead, she focused on rinsing the plate and picked up the towel to dry it. Tom moved to table where a plate of stale banana bread sat. He took a large bite out of one while his eyes rested on Sara.

She could feel them on her. She could always feel them. Anytime he was near, his eyes would roam over her, leaving her a feeling of being dirty. Most of the time, she tried to stay out of sight so she wouldn't feel so invaded. At that moment, she wanted to rush from the room, but she didn't want him to know how much he rattled her. She refused to give him that much power.

The plate dried, she reached to put it in the cupboard. As she reached up, she felt something against her back. Whirling around, she came face to face with Tom. His powerful breath caused her to lose focus for a moment.

Sara leaned back against the counter until it bit into her back. She shook her head and tried to avoid smelling his noxious fumes. "What do you want?"

"Now is that anyway to talk to your ol' dad?" His hands rested on either side of her against the counter.

With no hesitation, Sara bit out, "You are not my father. My father is dead."

His lips pulled up on one side. "Yeah, that's right. He's dead. Cold as ice. Probably all bones now."

Sara glowered at him but remained silent. The sound of the mantel clock filled the silence around them. How she wished her sister was up.

"Such attitude. Mars your pretty face." He took one hand and touched her cheek with his finger tips.

Sara jerked away, but that only left her more exposed. He moved his hand down to her neck and laid it heavily on her. The pressure against her skin sent a loud message to her. She froze.

"Yes, very pretty." His words came out barely louder than a whisper. His fingers rubbed against the soft skin of her neck.

Sara's heart raced. She was only fifteen and had never had anyone touch her so intimately. Her gut told her it was only going to get worse. It did.

Tom leaned down. His breath burned her cheek. The other hand left the counter and held her arm tightly. He pressed his body against her.

Sara fought the nausea that assailed her. She fought the urge to hyperventilate. She would not let him win. Her eyes roamed the kitchen for anything that could help her. She could push at him, but he was stronger than her even in his hangover state. She could scream, but that would only bring her sister down. Would he do something to her? She couldn't chance it, but she couldn't let him touch her anywhere else.

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