Heart Recaptured (Hades Hangmen #2)

Written By: Tillie Cole

Heart Recaptured (Hades Hangmen #2)

Tillie Cole




Authors Note


As with the first novel in this series, ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’, ‘Heart Recaptured’, was inspired by the testimonies of ex-members from several New Religious Movements, Cults and Sects and the leaders that abused the power they had over their members—especially the women.

The female protagonist in this novel, ‘Delilah’, endures situations inspired by survivors of such groups. This novel very heavily focuses on the concept of ‘Brainwashing’, and how coercive persuasion can impact victims’ lives.

‘Heart Recaptured’ is a work of fiction, and as such, some situations have been exaggerated. But the doctrines, practices, punishment techniques (very extreme at times) and experiences of ‘Delilah’, her sisters, “Salome’ and ‘Magdalene’, and The Order in this novel, are inspired by academic research collected on ‘unorthodox’ and extreme New Religious Movements.




Prologue


“Come sister, we must to go now!” Mae urged as she hurried to pull Maddie and I through our decimated commune, her lover’s men leading the way ahead.

“No! I told you I will not go!” I cried, my legs stumbling in shock as I caught sight of the disciples of The Order lying unmoving on the vast ceremonial ground, their bodies ripped apart by bullets and their lifeless, glazed eyes telling me they had passed.

“Lilah, please!” Mae begged, and pulled on my hand, her ice blue eyes pleading with me to follow.

I tried to move but screams from frantic and scared women of The Order pierced my ears and I watched them running wildly without a course, no longer having the disciples to guide and protect them. Lone children of all ages were screaming at the frenzy of moving bodies, some rooted to the ground, crying for their mothers who had been swept up in the panicked mass. My people were trying their best to out run the devilish men dressed in black leather who had forced themselves on our faith.

It was carnage.

A scene straight from pages of Revelation.

“Lilah!” Mae shouted again, her hand cupping my cheek to gain my attention. Her face was concerned for me, but determined, as she tried to drag me in her wake.

“I…I do not want to leave…” I whispered and glanced to Maddie who looked numb as she followed dutifully behind Mae…like a willing lamb to the slaughter.

“I know you do not want to leave, sister. But this place is unsafe. We need to leave. We have to go outside.”

“Outside?” I screeched, my eyes wide and I began to shake. “No! NO! I cannot go outside! It is evil. I must stay here. To be saved I need to stay here! You know this. Please, do not deny me my chance at salvation!”

I ripped my hand from Mae’s and began backing away.

“Mae! Get your fuckin’ girl under control, we need to split!” The man with long blond hair who had killed Brother Noah, my redeemer, shouted behind Mae, his blue eyes harsh in his command. He kept watching me, his blue eyes intense. From the minute I had left the cell, he had stared at me, continued to stare at me still.

Mae’s dark lover whistled from beside him and indicated for us to follow with a wave of his hand, but fear seized my heart, and instinct caused me to flee.

“Lilah!” Mae’s voice screamed as I darted into the throng of terrified sisters. My head whipped from side to side as I tried to find a place to hide, and seeing an entrance to the forest, I lifted my feet and scrambled in that direction.

But before I had moved a few steps, a large body wrapped me in his arms and lifted me off the ground, preventing me from getting away.

I screamed and screamed as a strong, unyielding arm clad with leather wrapped around my waist. I was terrified, tears pouring down my face as his legs picked up speed and started running.

“Please…please let me go!” I begged, but a mouth suddenly placed at my ear cut off my voice, long blond strands of hair—not belonging to me—falling on my cheek.

“Nope. You’re coming with us, sweet cheeks, so stop trying to run this sexy ass away. Although, I could watch that fuckin’ perfect peach of a view all day long and never get tired of it. But Mae wants you at the club, so you’re fuckin’ coming to the club.”

My breathing hitched at how this blond outsider spoke to me and I froze in his arms, not daring to move, worrying that if I did, I might meet the same fate as the slain brothers on the ground. Then, as I carefully tuned my head, I saw who held me in his arms, carrying me as though I weighed nothing—the blond man from before. The one who kept staring at me like I was something he wanted to devour.

The same man, who when my eyes first met his, an ache throbbed within my chest.

We approached Mae and Maddie, Mae looking at me with relief, Maddie with sympathy. The blond man never let me go, pulling me close until I was flush to his chest, and I did not fight him as I was forced into a large vehicle with my sisters, him and other evil men crawling in behind… the blond man’s blue eyes still fixed on mine.

A deafening silence reigned and I stared out one last time at my home, then everything I knew was suddenly blocked out as wide doors trapped us inside, plunging us into darkness.

I fought back a scream, and I felt Mae take my hand. It offered little comfort, so instead, I closed my eyes and began chanting out my prayers. I held steadfastly unto my faith. Vowed to the Lord that I would not lose my way and I began rocking back in forth on my hands and knees as I cemented my faith to the Lord, feeling the Holy Spirit fill me with its warmth.