Fear Us, p.1B. B. Reid
Broken Love Series
Copyright © 2015 B.B. Reid
All rights reserved.
Rogena Mitchell-Jones, Literary Editor
Proofread by Ami Hadley
Rogena Mitchell-Jones Manuscript Service
Cover Design by Amanda Simpson of Pixel Mischief Design.
Cover Photo by Paul Marinis and Jacob Lund from Shutterstock
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the author or publisher constitutes unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use the material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained from the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, are coincidental.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LETTER TO KEENAN
BUT WHAT ABOUT…
INTERVIEW WITH KEENAN
ALSO BY B.B. Reid
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT B.B. Reid
Happy Birthday, Tae.
This one is for you.
LETTER TO KEENAN
I hope by the end of this book you come back to us.
I miss the lighthearted you.
The one who would do anything for his friends and wore his heart on his sleeve.
Though we didn’t like your cheating and lack of respect for women, we still loved you.
P.S. Don’t let the darkness swallow you.
ELEVEN YEARS AGO
I KICKED THE basketball ball around the grass like I’d seen on TV. My father had asked what I wished to have for my birthday. I couldn’t tell him my deepest wish without being locked away, so I requested a basketball. In the end, it was all spoiled by the revelation that he forgot to get a hoop. I could only bounce or kick the ball around, but even that small fortune wasn’t allowed. Sometimes, I would bounce it anyway just so they would talk to me even if it were to scold.
Maybe today he would be nice, and we could get a hoop so he could show me how to play. It was already noon, and he wasn’t gone, so maybe he would finally have time for me. I ran into the house with my new idea, hoping today would be the day. Excitement built with each step as I ran around the house as quietly as I could.
They never liked when I made noise. They would never get angry, but they would send me away to my room, and sometimes, they would forget about me. When I would get hungry enough, I would finally come out only to find a plate of food left waiting.
After searching the entire house, I finally found him in his office sleeping with his head down. He didn’t wake when I walked in so I moved closer to stand beside him.
“Daddy.” When he didn’t answer, I tugged on his pant leg while clutching the ball to my chest.
“Keenan.“ My mother’s voice drifted from the doorway. She sounded sad again today, but then she always sounded sad.
“Mama, will Daddy teach me how to play?” I held up the ball nervously.
The solemn look on her face had told me the answer before she spoke, but it wasn’t the answer expected. “You know you’re not supposed to be in here.”
“I know, but I didn’t know when he would come out.”
“We’ve told you to keep out of sight and inside.”
“But you won’t let me play with it inside. Why did Daddy buy me this stupid thing if I can’t play with it?”
“Keenan.” This time it was a deep but drunken slur of my father to call my name. I turned away from my mother to see that he was now sitting up in his chair. Though his hair was ruffled and his clothing wrinkled, he still looked strong. He also looked annoyed judging by the blank look on his face. “Don’t talk back to your mother.
“Will you play with me today?” I didn’t intend to beg, but desperation had snuck in and now I was shaking with it. He blinked once—slowly as if clearing something before shaking his head.
“Go to your room.”
Rejection stung, but it cut much deeper when it was your parents who were constantly rejecting you.
“Why do you hate me?” I cried and threw the ball down. My temper had gotten the best of me, but it was just my hope for attention, even anger, but as always, I failed. He had already turned away and began typing on his computer as if he wasn’t just passed out drunk after consuming the entire bottle lying next to his hand.
“Come,” my mother called. She too had already turned away, expecting for me to follow. I turned back to plead with my dad once more but caught him staring after her. Pain filled his eyes just before they darkened.
“Go, Keenan.” This time I obeyed and wondered if they would notice if I disappeared forever.
“Son?” Hope flared once again as I whirled around.
“Don’t come back in here and stay out of sight.”
Defeated, I nodded and finally walked away with my head down.
That was my deepest wish.
To feel wanted.
By anyone who would care—even if for only a moment.
I’M A FUCKING masochist. I steered my bike into the expansive driveway. I hadn’t realized just how much it rang true until I shut off the engine and dismounted.
It’s too late to turn back now.
The last remnants of daylight faded away, but I kept my shades on as a shield. The last thing I needed was for her to see just how much she hurt me. It was one of the vows I made to myself when I lay dying in a hospital.
Never let them see. Never let them close. Never let them in.
I would live by that from now on, but first, I had to give in one last time.
My feet pounded the steps leading to the front door. If I had to be honest, I was nervous as fuck. This was not how I pictured this night. I never pictured it much at all, but I always knew it would be with her. That was when I believed in the fairytale I’d been bitched into believing. My hand lifted, but I froze before I could knock, realizing I was being sucked back into the same bullshit.
I wasn’t about to do this again.
I was already backing away, but before I could turn to leave, the door opened. Dash, dressed in a richly tailored dark gray suit, greeted me with first, surprise, and then a wary lo
I stared through the open portal, taking in the extravagant foyer well aware of everyone’s uneasiness.
When did I become the bad guy?
I sensed my brother’s glare and the dangerous energy that traveled across the room. I would have returned it if she hadn’t chosen that moment to walk in.
I experienced what they called tunnel vision as I drank her in. She looked too fucking perfect, and even now, I could feel my anger abating.
Hurting her had become second place to the need to bend her over the nearest flat surface and restate my claim.
But why should I have to restate my claim? She was already mine and should have fucking stayed that way.
But she didn’t. She left me.
Can you imagine how much it fucking hurt to feel as if each breath you took might be your last but always using the little you had to beg the one person who claimed to love you unconditionally just to be there?
It fucked me up.
But most of all, it changed me.
And I hated her for it.
My conscience whispered to me that it wasn’t right to blame her, but the darkening part of my heart wanted to rip her apart and destroy her completely—and I would.
She had no idea what was coming.
“Keenan… How—how are you?”
* * * * *
There were moments when I believed surviving being shot and losing my lungs were a big mistake. I thought maybe I would have been better off by taking the plunge than spending the next sixty years or so wasting away.
It had been a few hours, and I managed to call myself every name in the book. There was no one at this moment who thought lower of me than myself.
Sheldon looked stunning.
Her hair had been glossed.
Her dress fit perfectly.
She looked ready for the fairytale night with a Prince Charming.
I had tried to ruin that by making her feel guilty. But of course, I couldn’t stop there. I was dead set on hurting everyone in my life, starting with the one person who would ensure that I couldn’t turn back.
“Keenan, why are you doing this?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Not to me,” Lake whispered demurely. I fought the urge to laugh. Despite the bravado that she’d shown over the last few months, she was still a scared little mouse. And now, my brother had her in his grasp and he would eat her alive.
“Because my brother doesn’t deserve a happily ever after.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“Why don’t I?”
“Look, I know you’re hurting, and it was a lot to take in, but you have to remember Keiran was just a child. There is so much you don’t know. If you would just talk to him—”
“My brother,” I bit out, “had eleven years to tell me the truth.”
“Keenan, he didn’t know she was your mother. She was his mother, too.” Her lips trembled on the last, and I wondered who she felt sorrier for—him or me?
“It doesn’t really matter, does it? She’s dead. Nothing is going to change that. I hardly even remember her… I would say Keiran is the lucky one. He never had to look into his mother’s eyes every day and wonder why she didn’t love you, why she wouldn’t hug you, or what you did wrong. Most days, she barely acknowledged me. My father wasn’t any better. I was alone for seven years. There was no laughter or warmth. The silence was almost frightening. I think I hated it the most. When she left and never came back, I never even shed a tear. I almost wished she had been cruel, and then maybe it wouldn’t have meant as much that she left and never looked back.”
“But you had Keiran. You had each other.”
I shrugged. “Keiran was very much the same then as he is now—distant, moody, and violent. You were right that day you asked if I was afraid of him. I was for the longest time, and I guess I always was. He wanted nothing to do with me. I just wanted a friend.”
“But you got through to him.”
“Your brother loves you, Keenan. He may not know how to show it in a healthy way, but it’s true, and I know you love him.”
“Neither one of us knows what love is. He’ll hurt you, Lake. It’s his nature to do so. He may think he wants this with you, but one day, he’ll crack under the pressure.”
“Is that what you did with Sheldon?”
I felt my shoulders lift, but couldn’t fully process the weight resting upon them. “The idea of love leaves a bad taste.”
“Sheldon didn’t deserve what you did. Why did you sleep with that teacher? It’s a bit ridiculous even for you. It’s downright ludicrous.”
“Does it matter now? It all worked out for the best.” I took another swig of the bottle that was nearly empty now. Her eyes, full of reproach, looked from the bottle and back. I was still recovering from the lung transplant and wasn’t supposed to be drinking, but no one could ever accuse me of giving a shit and be right.
“How can I make this right?”
I laughed despite the bitterness settling in the pit of my stomach. I needed an escape. I needed to hide. Hiding is what I was good at.
I lowered my head and let my next words float over the skin of her neck. “You can start by letting me kiss you.”
She jumped and slapped her hands against my chest when I pushed closer against her. “Keenan! What are you doing?”
“Did you know that I had a crush on you in the ninth grade?” I asked, ignoring her struggles.
“It’s true. I made the mistake of telling Keiran one day how pretty I thought you were.”
“Well, what did he say?”
I let out a laugh but felt none of the humor. “He threatened to break every bone in my body if I ever talked to you. I thought he might have gotten over his vendetta against you and wanted you for himself.”
“Well, we all know that wasn’t true.”
“Maybe not, but he always wanted you. He was just good at hiding it.” I lowered my lips closer and her eyes nearly bugged out of her head.
“I—I think I should go.”
“Am I making you nervous?” I smiled down at her and conveniently placed my arms next to her head, caging her in.
“What a stupid question. Of course, you are. This is wrong.”
“At the risk of sounding cliché, can I just say doing wrong can feel so damn good?”
“You’re right… You do sound like a cliché.”
“You are too fucking sexy for words. Keiran doesn’t know what he has yet, does he?”
The slam of the door interrupted her response, and I felt my resolve collapse at the icy chill of the presence behind me, and the low, threatening growl.
“I know exactly what I have. My only question is what the fuck are you doing touching her?”
“Keiran,” Lake shouted nervously. “He, uh—I, um—”
“Lake, go upstairs and don’t come down no matter what you hear.” He never spared her a glance, but he didn’t have to. She quickly slid from my grasp. She was no sooner out of sight when I had taken her place against the wall. Keiran’s arm pinned me to the wall by my throat making breathing hard. “Do you want to die that much?”
His menacing voice was enough to make the average person cower and beg for mercy, but I had practically been raised by him. I threw my head into his and stunned him long enough to deliver a hard blow to his jaw. He quickly recovered and managed to hit me two times, once in the face and the other to my gut before I could get another hit in.
Keiran might have been stronger, but I was quicker.
We were each deadly in our own right.
We wouldn’t stop until the other was dead.
I flipped Keiran over my shoulder and onto the coffee table. It broke under his weight, and he hit the ground hard. Unsteadily, he bounced back to his feet and delivered a severe kick to my chest, sendin
Slowly, I slid back up the wall, my gaze locked with his. We waited only a heartbeat, but the time seemed to stretch into forever before we crashed into each other once more.
“Son of a bitch. Grab them before they kill each other,” a frantic yet familiar voice shouted.
I was thrown backward and Keiran in the opposite direction. I recognized Dash through my blurry vision with his arms wrapped tight around Keiran’s chest. He struggled to hold on but managed to keep him subdued.
“Keenan, man, pipe down before I put you out,” Q growled. It was only then I realized I was struggling just as hard. My gaze was still trained on him, and my mind was still corrupted by the need to murder.
Neither one of us were recognizable to the other. Blood poured from our wounds. Everything in the vicinity was either broken or shattered.
Lake suddenly appeared and ran through the room, crying hysterically, throwing herself onto Keiran.
I had only one guess as to who called them.
“My girl, Keenan.”
“My mother, brother.”
It was the last words I would speak to him for a long time.
* * * * *
I should have left town when I walked out of that house and away from my only family, but I was hell bent on a course to wreak havoc, which is how I ended up in Sheldon’s bedroom. “Keenan, why are you doing this? This isn’t you!”
“Yeah?” I stared down at her body splayed out for me as an offering I had just recently finished devouring. “You think you know me?”
“What?” She looked around disorientated. “Of course, I do,” she whispered softly. I didn’t like the way she gazed up at me with love in her eyes.
Her love was a lie.
Love was just that.
“But you don’t know me. You never did.” She tried to lift up, but the belt wrapped around her neck and tied to the rails of her headboard stopped her movements. “I watched him do this to her one night.”
“What?” I ignored the confusion in her eyes and continued.
Fear Us by B. B. Reid / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes