Keeping 6 (Rock Point Book 1)By: Freya Barker
I would like to apologize to those of you whom I’ve kept waiting for the release of this first book in the Rock Point Series. Life sometimes happens when you’ve made other plans.
As some of you know, this last year has been a tumultuous one, and my schedule for releases and public appearances was impacted.
Both my parents passed away in short succession. My father had been ill for quite some time and his passing was not entirely unexpected. My mother, however, was still a vital and strong woman who was the core of our family when she suddenly fell ill.
I had the honor and privilege to stand by my mother through her last months and as she transitioned from this life into the next. A heart-breaking, but also beautiful experience as my mother passed on; in her own living room, warmed by the late afternoon sun through the window, and surrounded and held by her children.
She was a most remarkable woman; a multi-talented, warm-hearted, generous and wise matriarch. A woman who will leave a void not only in the lives of her family, but far beyond.
My mother was a shining star.
To every single one of my readers who hoped for more books from the GFI crew in Cedar Tree. Thank you for loving those small-town Colorado characters that started my passion for writing.
This story and the ones to follow in the Rock Point series, are for you...and who knows, you might bump into an occasional familiar face.
You all inspire me with your love for my stories, and continuously encourage my apparent bottomless imagination.
I’m so very grateful for you all!
Two years ago...
I swear, these days any time I even look at a cup of coffee, I need to pee. It was probably not a good idea to snag that latte at the Starbucks on my way to the airport, since they’re about to start boarding and my bladder is making itself known.
One of the many, many pitfalls of entering my middle years. Gravity is another such annoyance, and one that, despite the promises that yoga is supposed to keep me high and tight, has my tits and ass plummeting to earth. I could add to that the abject horror I felt when I found a few strands of gray hair last month, but I promised myself I would eradicate them from memory as I carefully plucked them, root and all, from my scalp.
Bliss! The bathroom is empty and I shuffle into the accessible stall with my carry-on. I’ll only be gone for a weekend, but since it’s Vegas, my checked bag wouldn’t have been enough. I swear I packed my entire closet, wanting to be prepared for any occasion. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere by myself since Greg and I got married, and I’m giddy at the prospect. I’ve certainly not been anywhere of my choosing. I’ve been looking forward to Las Vegas with Kimeo and the girls.
Poor Kim has been stressed to the gills and really needs this break. Her quiet life had been turned upside down when her boss was killed right under her nose. Murder, shady land deals, mineral rights, and a very handsome, dark, and dangerous investigator, who has caught my girl’s eye, make for more excitement than she could’ve imagined.
I flush as I vaguely hear someone come in and take a stall on the opposite end, just as a barely distinguishable voice garbles from a speaker somewhere, announcing what I think is a final boarding call for flight 5620 to Las Vegas. I hurry to wash my hands at the sink, and barely have time to register the figure coming up behind me before I feel a crushing blow to my head and the world fades away.
I’M NOT SURE WHERE I am.
My hands and feet are hogtied and I’m on a concrete floor in a dark, damp space.
Thankfully, I’m alone. The man who was looming over me the first time I opened my eyes is not here. It’s hard to think when your head is throbbing from the knock it sustained, but from what I could glean from his questions, he’s looking for Kim. I safely assumed he’s not intending to send her flowers.
No way in hell I was going to point him to her. I didn’t hesitate to inform him of that fact, but I didn’t quite expect the first, swift kick that knocked the wind right out of me. By the time his fist connected with my jaw, and turned out my lights once again, I welcomed the dark. I’d been questioned, kicked, and pounded on for what felt like hours but was likely minutes, however, as I sank into oblivion, I did so with the smug satisfaction that I kept my silence. More brawn than brains I’m afraid, since I’m not sure how much more of these beatings I can withstand.
It may have been hours, or days. I’m not quite sure. At some point, I must have relieved myself because the strong smell of urine burns in my nostrils. After a futile struggle against the bindings around my wrists and ankles, I close my eyes, exhausted and hurting.