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A Touch Of Lust

By:Michelle Horst

A Touch Of Lust
Author: Michelle Horst





Acknowledgements

I thank God, who has been my pillar of strength every step of the way.

Ronald and Sheldon – I'm thankful for the two men in my life.

Kristine, my #crazytwinsie and super-amazing PA, I'd be lost without you. Thank you for never giving up on me <2

Leigh Shen, you're my rock star. Thank you for helping me through my darkest night. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for being such a beautiful soul.

My Beta readers Kristine, Kelly, Morgan and Sophie – Thank you for being the Godparents of my paper baby.

To my book bestie and Editor, Karen, thank you for always being there for me.

Give Me Books Promotions and Enticing Journey Book Promotions, thank you for taking care of the promotional side of things.

A special thank you to every blog that took the time to take part in the cover reveal and release day.

Love ya all tons ;)

Dedication

To the outsiders, the rejected, the broken – to you.

Authors Note:

Please note that Liam and Mila are not from the same cult.

(Age Sixteen – Name of cult - Miller Clan)

Liam~

"I don't want to go," Rosie whispers miserably as we watch the truck come up the drive.

"Sorry, kiddo." I brush my fingers gently over her hair and immediately hate that it's caught in a tight braid. I can't stop from pulling a disgusted face as my eyes run over my baby sister. I hate that she has to wear the stupid blue dress and that she has to wear her hair in a tight braid. I hate that she only gets to be a kid two weeks out of a month, and the other two weeks she lives in fear of the cult.

Rosie is only thirteen. She shouldn't have any worries. She should be able to wear pretty things and play with her friends. She should be free to be a kid.

I hate the cult and that we have to go to there. Rosie has to work in the kitchen while I have to clean all the gardens. I feel like it's all they use us for - cheap, manual labor.

We weren't born into the cult, not like all the other kids there. Mom got this crazy idea to join them when I was a twelve-year-old boy. Rosie was only nine back then. I still remember how carefree Rosie was. She was a bubbly kid once, but it all changed. Slowly, she started to lose her sparkle and she smiled less and less.

Where Dad would work on his truck on a Sunday morning, Mom would drag us to church with her. Before anyone knew what was happening, she got sucked into the cult. When that fake Prophet, Elijah, said that we all had to move to the property he secured for his followers, it was too late for Dad to try and change Mom's mind.

Mom and Dad got divorced the same year, and then Mom moved to the tiny house the cult gave her.

We are still trying to get used to our parents living in two separate houses, never mind how a cult operates. It's been hard on both of us, but especially on Rosie.

Rosie slips her tiny hand into mine and I give it a squeeze.

"We're going to be okay. It's just for one week, and then we'll be back home with Dad."

"Why do we have to go?" She looks up at me with the biggest green eyes. I hate seeing Rosie so upset.

"Just three more years and you'll be sixteen. Then we won't have to go anymore."

Rosie's shoulders slump in defeat.

"Three years feel like forever," she whispers as her bottom lip starts to quiver.

I slip an arm around her shoulders and draw her into my side.

Going to visit Mom is so much harder for Rosie. The cult looks down on women. They're not even allowed to use their own names. All the single girls are called daughters. The married ones are called sisters. The elderly women are called mothers. They aren't allowed pretty things. Everyone has the same hairstyle, long hair that's to be braided at all times. Come summer or winter, they all wear the same plain blue dresses that cover every inch of their bodies. They have to sleep on hard floors, because the beds are to be kept pure and holy for the men.

The cult believes that all women are sinners. They have to repent daily for their sins if they want to go to heaven.

We don't have a choice but to go visit Mom. At least we get to stay with Dad every other week. Dad always showers us with love and attention.

But then the week comes to an end and we have to go back to the stupid cult. We're forced to live two totally different lives and it's confusing to Rosie.

Dad tried to fight the system, but he never won. The best he could do was to get joint custody. It didn't matter that we wanted to stay with Dad all the time.

At the age of sixteen, I don't have to go with Mom anymore, but I keep going for Rosie. I can't let her be there all by herself. Those perverted men are circling her like vultures.

She just turned thirteen last month – the ripe age to be courted, according to the law of the cult.

I don't pay much attention to their teachings. I don't want to give them a foot in the door.

Dad comes out onto the porch and sighs heavily as the truck stops in front of the house.

"Just switch off," he says. He always tells us this. I think that deep down, Dad is scared that we'll join the cult. "Don't let them get to you. Look after Rosie, Liam."

There are deep lines etched into Dad's face. It's hard for him to let us go.

"Yes, Sir," I say with determination.

Prophet Elijah is a self-proclaimed god and his followers believe all his lies.

Personally, I think some of the men just pretend to believe in him. I think those men are only there for the sex. They can have many wives. The older I become, the more I realize that the cult is only an excuse to oppress women and use them for sex. It's nothing more than a sick craze. I hear them all talk while I work in the gardens. People think I'm not a threat, just because I'm quiet. I've heard how the men talk about the girls

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