Marks of Rebellion (Behind Closed Doors #2) - Maggie Cole



An internal prison can be worse than a physical one. Outer proof of the shackles doesn't exist. And the thief of your freedom doesn't always appear to the world as a monster. Oftentimes, they are loved and glorified in the spotlight.

But all around you, there are people whose freedom has been stolen. They are right under your nose. But most individuals never look close enough or have the courage to unlock the gates of hell for others.

She's a prisoner in plain sight.

And they all know it. Everyone in that house is aware and does nothing.

For almost two months, I've watched her through the windows of his fortress. The silhouette of her body gives me both comfort and an urgent, desperate feeling that crawls across my flesh and electrifies my bones. During the day, she sits on the balcony, staring out, as if she can see me.

But she can't.

Her prison is glamorous and stately but isolated from the main part of town. Men guard it with machine guns. And the warden who possesses her comes and goes as he pleases. More often these days, he takes her with him to adorn his arm like a prize he wants to show off.

And the entire nation watches as he fusses over her and plays the role of the dutiful fiancé in love.

Fiancé. My stomach pitches. The upcoming nuptials are all over the internet, and every time I see a picture with her standing next to him, and the emptiness in her eyes, my rage bubbles. I have to hold myself back from storming his house.

Rescuing her isn't going to be easy. She's guarded at all times. To the public, it looks like a normal political person's security. But it's not.

His deception may fool the outside world, but I know the truth. Love doesn't involve what he does to her.

He captured and took full possession of her. It was my fault for not protecting her. I let my guard down for one second and that's all it took for me to lose her. I should have listened to my gut. My mistake put her back in a situation she should never have had to go back to.

In the past, she received his mighty blows. Thoughts of what he might have done to her since she's been back with him create a nightmare that spins all day long in my head. And every moment she stays in his control puts her in further danger.

The wrath of his hand resulted in bruises and wounds she hid well in the past. So much could have happened to her, and she silently suffers. There's no one there for her to run to. Not one person who will go against him to help save her. They are all her enemies. Last time, she didn't know it. But the error of her judgement was a lesson she told me she would never forget. We were together in the jungle when she disclosed what happened, and that was the moment I knew that I would someday kill Carlos Garcia.

Some days, she sits on the balcony with tears flowing freely down her cheeks, softly sobbing. Witnessing her distress causes a sharp pain to reverberate in my heart.

I'm coming to get you, Flower, I tell her in my mind every night as she stands for hours, looking out into the dark sky.

But tonight is the last night I'll promise her that. Tomorrow, she'll wake up, and there will no doubt be a team of people fussing over her. Her hair and makeup will be done to perfection. They will help her put on the wedding dress designed for her and sewn at record speed.

Anyone of importance in Belize will attend the ceremony. They will all be ready to celebrate the joining of two souls in a prominent, Roman Catholic wedding.

Except he has no soul, and hers will never be his. He may have physical possession of her, but her soul is entwined with mine. And after tonight, his time on this earth will end.

The gates of hell are full of fire and ready to welcome him. If I could watch him burn for eternity, I would.

After tonight, she will once again be mine.



Three Months Earlier

Chains dig deep into my wrists and ankles. The scabs and bruises I have never go away. One area begins to heal only as another one develops.

How long have I been with them?

When the guerrillas first captured me, I counted the nights.

But then they transported me, and my head was