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Take My Hand Chapter 3

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This chapter contains graphic material regarding rape and violence that may be inappropriate for some readers. If this is offensive, please do not continue reading.


Chapter 3

            Jocelyn awoke at seven in the morning. She had only gotten about three hours of sleep, but she was used to that by now.

            Wake up.

            Go to class.

            Go to work.

            Go to sleep.

            Do it again.

            That was her usual schedule. She was a music major with an emphasis in voice and music therapy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Music had always been her passion and she’d never wanted to do anything else with her life. It wouldn’t be an easy life, but she was used to that. After her two morning classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays she had about two hours to get some lunch and homework done before heading to work at the diner. On Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays she worked at a book store not far from the University of a morning before heading to the diner that evening. Her life was a nonstop roller coaster of school and work. But that was the price she was paying for trying to make it on her own.

            Jo had not had a particularly pleasant home life. She had lived with her stepfather Andy after her mother had died when she was seven. She had run away at 16 and found a cheap, run-down apartment that she could afford while working full-time and finishing high school. She didn’t want to think about why she had run away, but no matter how hard times had gotten, it had never been bad enough to make her go back to him.

            Jo slowly opened her eyes, slammed her hand on the alarm clock and threw her feet out from under the sheets to the cold floor of her apartment. She tried to keep the heat low to save on energy bills. November in Chattanooga wasn’t exactly a warm time of year, but she didn’t have any other choice. She was barely making it as it was. Her toes didn’t appreciate the ice-like floor of a morning though, but it certainly helped to wake her up. She drug herself sleepily to her closet to grab a pair of worn black skinny jeans and her favorite lace shirt. It was silvery in color and hugged her curves perfectly over the teal camisole she had on. She slipped into her black ballet flats and walked to her bathroom to finish getting ready. Looking in the mirror, she shook her head at how tired she looked. It was nothing she didn’t see every morning. She washed her face, brushed her teeth, and grabbed a brush to try and make something of the mess of hair on her head. It reached to her lower back and curled softly the entire way when it had been brush. Right now it was a tangled mess from her tossing and turning during the night. She brushed it out and pulled it into a pony tail. A few curls still fell around her face. She applied light makeup to hide the dark circles under her eyes and left the bathroom.

            Jo threw on her leather jacket before she grabbed her morning coffee and bagel, eating it hurriedly as she grabbed her books and her bag and left for class. She didn’t live far from campus, but it was still a good fifteen minute walk from her apartment. She hated the walk, but it provided some time to think and to get a little exercise in. Today, her thoughts kept drifting to Carson. It was absurd as she didn’t even know the man, but something about him drew her in. The coldness in her spirit seemed to warm as she thought of him and those diamond eyes. And his hands had been so gentle. She usually couldn’t stand to have a man touch her, but his hand grazing her cheek had left her skin feeling like it had been kissed by fire in an entirely new and pleasurable way. She wanted to see him again, but he had left with little more than a thank you and she had nothing more than a single name, not even sure if it was his first or last. Carson.

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