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Macy Mercer only wants a little independence. Eager to prove herself grown up, she goes to a dark, secluded park. She’s supposed to meet the boy of her dreams who she met online. But the cute fifteen year old was a fantasy, his pictures fake. She finds herself face to face with Chester Woodran, a man capable of murder.
Distraught over his own missing daughter, Chester insists that Macy replace his lost girl. He locks Macy up, withholds food, and roughs her up, demanding that she call him dad. Under duress from his constant threats and mind games, her hold on reality starts to slip. Clinging to her memories is the only way of holding onto her true identity, not believing that she is Chester’s daughter. Otherwise she may never see her family again.
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Sitting in his warm truck across from the park, Chester Woodran watched her walk across the open field. An overhead light turned on as she passed under it in the dusk. Her long, dark hair swished back and forth behind her. She wandered around the playground, walking between the climbers and slides until she stopped in front of the swings.
He had spent hours watching her. Studying her. He knew her almost better than she knew herself.
The moment of truth would arrive soon. She’d come a few minutes early, but he wouldn’t deviate from the schedule. He would act exactly on time. He’d laid the groundwork. He wasn’t going to let her change a thing.
Chester pulled out his phone and scrolled through the pictures, stopping at his favorite. It was the girl in the park for sure, although he couldn’t see the details of her face up close yet. He would have to wait a few minutes.
From the phone, her light brown eyes shone at him. Her shy, almost insecure face smiled sweetly.
His heart sped up at the thought of many weeks of work coming together at long last. The waiting was about to end.
Clenching the steering wheel with all his might, he took several deep breaths to calm himself. Every precaution had been taken. Prepared with painstaking care. There was no chance of anything going wrong so long as he stayed with the plan.
The alarm on his digital wristwatch beeped. He turned it off and then leaned back into the seat, adjusting his over-sized glasses.
It was time.