Tales of the Forbidden - Book One
Devon Noved isn't the kind of man to turn a blind eye to a beautiful woman or to turn away from a challenge. Growing up in Treece, he knows every girl and every family. That is, he thought he did.
Kera Zoe was taken from school and placed in the Compound until she turns twenty-one. With the title of a runaway over her head, she's guarded closely until the celebration. She doesn't want a husband and fights within everything she has when Devon proclaims her as his wife.
Now a temptation is before her, one that is very forbidden. Can Kera keep fighting what is growing between them, or will she give into her heart and love the man before her?
Kera looked up as shivers went up her spine. Two men in dark suits stood in front of the only exit in the room, both looking right at her. She knew who they were; men from the Compound.
Kera was reading in the public library of Treece, the one and only place in town a poor girl with the hopes of getting the hell out of town could go. At twenty-one she held out the small hope that she was too poor and too old to be considered for the Compound. College was her chosen course in life, and getting into a school far away before her father tried to sell her to the Compound was her goal. Because even though she might be twenty-one, she wouldn’t put it past her father to sell her. Only when she turned twenty-two would she be truly safe from the Compound, or anything else.
The Compound, now there was a thought to make her snort and turn her nose up in the air. The place had been designed to produce elaborate match-made marriages for everyone, but somehow the rules had been changed, and then lost throughout the years. Families of good blood and money walked out through those doors. Not too many poor girls. Girls such as her might be sent to work there, but they rarely ever walked out as brides anymore. Maybe one in a thousand got married but ninety-nine percent of the time girls like her worked at the Compound as whores or slaves, nothing more.
One of the other students in the library pointed at her, and Kera reluctantly stood up. Her heart beat rapidly. Fear wrapped its arms around her body, preventing her from breathing or moving at all as the two masculine, suited figures headed for her table.
“We are here to escort you to the Compound.” One of the men handed her an envelope.
She ripped it open and quickly read the official letter inside. Her father had left town and sold her to the Compound. How the hell could he sell her? She was twenty-one! Too old to go, too poor for consideration as a wife. And to add more injury to the wound, she would be labeled a trouble maker and kept under lockdown to preserve her virtue for her future husband. All of this she read in the letter.
Kera’s mouth went dry in fear.
One of the men took both of her arms firmly and she was walked out of the library and to a waiting car. Stunned, Kera didn’t even give a thought to trying to escape. All she thought about was how in the hell her father could’ve done this? The Compound was set up for the upper and middle class, not the poor like her!
“There has to be a mistake,” she pleaded. Boxed in by both men she felt like a prisoner going to her execution.” My father can’t do this. I’m twenty-one—too old for this shit!”
They didn’t say a word. Both faced straight ahead, as if made of stone.
Located on the outskirts of Treece, the Compound, a very large, four-story building with bedrooms on each floor, was much like a myth to Kera. Thick concrete fencing and tall iron gates surrounded the grounds, which were always locked.
Once the mansion came into view, Kera began to truly panic. She had heard rumors from other young girls who’d gone in and come out married, but without proper information, she wondered, could it really be that bad? But there had to be some truth in the rumors, and seeing the place made it all very real for Kera; all too fucking real.
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