- Author: Terri Browning
Book online «Her Shelter (Angels Halo MC Next Gen Book 6) Terri Browning (color ebook reader .txt) 📖». Author Terri Browning
Terri Anne Browning
Copyright © Terri Anne Browning/Anna Henson 2021
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Terri Anne Browning, except as permitted under the US Copyright Act of 1976.
Angel’s Halo MC Next Gen Book 6
Written by Terri Anne Browning
All Rights Reserved ©Terri Anne Browning 2021
Cover Design Sara Eirew Photography
Edited by Lisa Hollett of Silently Correcting Your Grammar
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Her Shelter is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book can be reproduced in any form by electronic or mechanical means, including storage or retrieval systems, without express permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.
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Family Tree: Rockers
Family Tree: MC
Family Tree: Mafia
MC/Mafioso Kids Birth Order
Timeline Reading Order for The Rocker…Universe
Hunger twisted in my stomach, gnawing on my insides, making it hard to focus on anything but the empty feeling. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a full meal, just a vague memory of a small serving from the soup kitchen in Oakland.
I hadn’t gotten to finish it because I’d thought I’d seen one of Uncle Tony’s men outside the shelter, and I knew I couldn’t chance being found.
My uncle wasn’t a good person. There was a reason my parents had never talked about my dad’s sister and her husband. But when they died, I had no choice but to go live with them. When the social worker dropped me off, sticking around to make sure I settled in, Aunt June and Uncle Tony had been so nice and welcoming.
The moment she left, however, things had changed drastically.
I shuddered, not just from the chilly spring night air on my bare arms, but from the memories of having spent the last eight years under the same roof with those two evil monsters. I was ten when my parents died. We’d been on vacation in Belize when a gas line had exploded.
Our hotel was right on the water, only a quarter of a mile from the gas line. Dad and Mom were standing on the balcony of our hotel room enjoying cups of coffee when the line blew up. I’d just walked out onto the balcony, already begging them to take me down to the beach.
Dad saw what happened and jumped up, scaring me more than the sudden loud noise. There wasn’t time to react, but he’d tried so hard. He pushed Mom and me into the hotel room, using his own body to protect us from the blast.
I was knocked unconscious from the force of the explosion and didn’t wake up for nearly a week. When I opened my eyes, it was to discover I was not only an orphan, but also completely deaf.
By the time Aunt June was tracked down and I arrived at her house, I knew some sign language to help me communicate, but I mostly got by with reading lips. My aunt and uncle treated me like I was an idiot, and I was placed in a school for the disabled. Most of the kids in my classes were just as deaf as I was, but the majority of them had been born not being able to hear.
The silence I was suddenly enveloped in every moment of the day made me feel alone in the world, even when I was surrounded by people. Aunt June and her husband didn’t even attempt to learn sign language to try to communicate with me. When I wasn’t at school, they kept me in my room. Their housekeeper brought me meals and washed my clothes, but other than that, I had no human contact with anyone if I wasn’t at school.
Then, the day before my eighteenth birthday, Marta, the housekeeper, appeared in my room with a bag in one hand and fear in her eyes. She grabbed my face and spoke slowly, knowing I could read lips.
“You have to run, mija,” she’d mouthed. “It’s not safe for you here.”
“Why?” I’d asked, confused.
“They are bad people.” The urgency I’d felt vibrating off her only made me anxious. “Please, Delaney. You must go. You’re not safe.”
“But…” I’d started to argue, but she’d pushed the bag into my arms.
“I gave you some money and food. There are clothes and things you will need. Run, mija. Run, run, run. Please.” She wrapped her arms around me, and I felt her tears on my neck. When she pulled back, her eyes were already swollen. “Run and don’t ever let them catch you.”
I didn’t understand why she was making me run, but I knew she was right. Aunt June and Uncle Tony were evil people. From my bedroom window that overlooked the driveway, I’d seen some of the men who came and went. I’d also seen the women they brought with them.
I ran, and I kept running. From one town to the next, keeping my head down, living in shelters and eating at soup kitchens when my money ran out. Something that happened all too quickly because Marta hadn’t given me much cash. In my heart, I knew she’d given me what she could, but it hadn’t been enough to last even a week.
From Oakland, I’d hitchhiked north. The trucker who’d dropped me off the day before had stopped in some little town called Creswell Springs, and while he’d been in the gas station just off the interstate, I’d made a run