Fear You, p.1B. B. Reid
Broken Love Series
Copyright © 2015 by B.B. Reid
All rights reserved.
Editing by Rogena Mitchell-Jones
Proofreading by AmiLynn Hadley
Cover Design by Amanda Simpson of Pixel Mischief Design
Cover Photo by Improvisor 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
Dear Diary . . .
Dear Reader . . .
Sneak Peek — Fear Us, By B.B. Reid
Sneak Peek — Project: Killer, by J.L. Beck
Also By B.B. Reid
Contact the Author
About B.B. Reid
This book is dedicated to every heart out there that believed in this book, this series, and in me.
Dear Diary . . .
It’s been a long time now and I miss my parents. I wish they would change their mind and not leave me behind. Every day I go to my new school and every day he makes me cry. I think I’m supposed to hate him, but all I want to do is help him.
Three Weeks Ago
The first forty-eight hours were spent in an interrogation room trying to persuade the moronic detectives I hadn’t tried to kill my own brother.
They were convinced if I didn’t put the bullets in him myself, then I was somehow responsible for what happened to him.
I told them all to get fucked.
The last forty-eight hours were spent looking for Mitch. My fucking father.
I slipped from the black leather seat of my car, and before I could even close the door, I was swarmed.
Endless condolences and questions.
Pats on the back.
It was all unwanted.
The exposure was even more annoying.
My desperation for a distraction overshadowed my better judgment, and before I could rethink it, my attention turned to the nearest hopeful notch.
She batted her eyelashes for the hundredth time, officially going into overkill. She was perfect for what I had in mind.
One flash of a smile and she was instantly on me. Her breasts pressed against my chest when I caught her. My hands instantly sought out her ass, and when I felt the soft globes under my hand, disappointment flared.
Not even a twitch.
This chick made my dick want to deflate and die.
I was thinking of ways to change my mind without embarrassing her because I wasn’t a complete dick… at least not to people who didn’t affect me. It was backward, and it would only make sense to someone who walked in my shoes.
It was a good thing I had lifted my hands when I did, or I would have lost them when the blonde was snatched away and thrown on the ground.
My eyes refused to believe what was taking place before me, but when her fist reeled back, I snapped into action, saving the face of the wide-eyed girl who wasn’t expecting to get her face pummeled for being groped by me.
“What are you doing, Lake?” I managed to keep my tone level while holding onto her wrist for dear life. The rage in her eyes was not to be mistaken. If I hadn’t been so surprised, I would have been turned on.
“What am I doing? What are you doing?” She snatched her arm away and shot me a look meant to maim. My dick jumped in my jeans.
Ah, there it is.
“You disappear for days, and the first time I see you, I find you with your hands all over the nearest skank?”
“It’s not that big of a deal.”
It was a lie. I knew what I was doing when I grabbed the girl who had already run off, clutching her head in pain. Who knew little Lake was a scrapper?
“The hell it isn’t, asshole.”
Now that pissed me off. My nostrils flared and the beginnings of a headache stirred. I just needed to do what I came to do and leave. That was the plan. Not feeling up random chicks in the school parking lot and fighting with Lake in the open for everyone to see.
I walked away without looking back, knowing she would follow, and didn’t stop until I reached one of the empty classrooms that served more as an oversized storage closet. I can remember over the years wanting to pull Lake in one of those very rooms and committing forbidden and uncensored acts against her body.
“Where have you been?” she asked as soon as we were inside. I willed my hard-on away and released a breath for patience before responding.
“Look, I’m sorry I disappeared. How are you?”
“Pissed and I don’t know… maybe hurt? Where were you?”
“I had to figure shit out.” I didn’t want to tell her about the two-day interrogation and then my endless search for Mitch because worry was the last thing I wanted to see in her eyes. She had managed to make me care despite my best defenses.
The look she gave me was full of disappointment. “But how could you just leave Keenan alone like that?”
“He isn’t safe as long as my father is out there and he has John.”
“But he needs you too, you’re his bro—”
“Don’t. Don’t say that.” I’ve known since the beginning Keenan was my brother, but it didn’t make others knowing any easier. Especially now. I may have been cold and cruel, but I never wanted Keenan to find out the way he did. Now I was forced to wait while my brother died in some fucking hospital to see how much damage I’d caused or if he would forgive me.
“Did you know all this time?”
“Yes.” I could tell it shocked her.
“I saw her picture on Keenan’s nightstand the day John brought me home. He said she was his mother.”
My heart started pounding just as it had the day I discovered my mother had another child. One she loved enough to
“What did they make you do?” The drastic change in subject didn’t go unnoticed. Parents were a sore spot for her though she cared enough to hide her pain.
Just like her parents were a taboo topic for her, talking about my days of enslavement was or should have been forbidden. After spending time in my father’s company, I felt like I owed her at least a condensed explanation. I would never be able to bare myself enough to reveal everything. Besides, after today, I was letting her go.
“I guess it doesn’t matter anymore, anyway.” I ignored the increasing pain in my chest. No amount of mental preparation could make what I had to do any easier. “I made my first kill for them when I was six.”
“How? You were so young.”
She stared at me in disbelief. I wasn’t surprised by her reaction. No one was willing to believe in anything other than the perfect image of innocence that children projected, but with the right conditioning… anything was possible. After all, ignorance is a person’s greatest enemy. It makes you weak and vulnerable, but it’s better received than knowing because no one wants to allow the darkness of the world to enter their lives. So, instead, they choose to ignore what’s happening right in front of them.
“It’s amazing what you’re willing to do when you’re starving and don’t know a way out. They used anything they could in order to control us. Before long, I stopped noticing the hunger pains or thirst, and the scars healed before I knew they were even there.”
The way I grew up those first eight years put a new meaning to the idea of a privileged lifestyle. Compared to what I endured, kids on the streets near our homes were considered privileged.
I could see the questions in her eyes along with the pity, but thankfully, she didn’t interrupt. “They started me off small. First, it was other kids they wanted me to punish until I made my way up to adults. After two years of training to be a murderer, I became one of their best students. I was a fucking eight-year-old kid. I stopped thinking, and I stopped feeling. It kept me alive.”
“That isn’t living,” she argued.
“How would you know?”
My defenses went up at the look in her eyes and the way she spoke those words. She was judging my choice to live rather than die. Sometimes I wondered why I didn’t give up. Was it hope for a life that I’d never known, but only heard of from the others that kept me going?
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
I could only nod and continue. Looking at her standing there, I could picture Lily. Always Lily. Lake was her ghost and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t disconnect them.
“She came in the middle of the night like a bad fucking dream.” I stared at her, imprinting her to memory as I recounted the night my fate was sealed. “Just like you, except you were much more real. I spent weeks ignoring her while they beat her endlessly. She was so small and so innocent. I thought she was weak when she wouldn’t do what she needed to survive. One day, I guess the hunger overrode her fear. One of the runners caught her digging through the trash for food and he beat her. He beat her so badly that day, I finally did something I shouldn’t have.”
“What did you do?”
“I stopped him from caving her head in with the heel of his boot as if she was nothing.” I shook my head to escape from being trapped in the too real memory. “Two years of work went down the drain because of one wrong move. I still didn’t regret it, at least not at first. She clung to me after that and looked to me as her protector. Every day I took her beatings and mine and often, I was too weak to make any kills so they became crueler. I began to hate her after a while. I blamed her for making me weak again even though all she wanted me to do was care about her. I didn’t want to care so I don’t know why I helped her. I just did.”
I was sitting down at a desk before I realized I had even moved. I dug my fingers in my fist for the pain—to remind myself that I was alive.
“What happened to her?”
“One day after a run, they told me I had a job to do, one that would cost me my life if I didn’t do it. What they didn’t know was I didn’t care if I lived or died, but I accepted anyway. They took me to a room I’d never seen before. Lily was there, waiting. She was naked and crying, and I saw the bruises and gashes all over her body.”
“Why was she naked?”
“They wanted me to—we had—they wanted me to fuck her for some sick fantasy a lot of sick, old fucks were paying a shit load of money to get on camera.”
“Oh, God, Keiran…”
I didn’t let her finish. I rushed through so I wouldn’t have to hear her words of pity. I didn’t need another reminder of what I almost became wasn’t supposed to happen. “She looked so broken, and I could tell she had nothing left. I couldn’t do it. Out of all the jobs and people I’d hurt, this was something I couldn’t do. That’s why I was relieved when she asked me to do it.”
“To save her.”
“But you were in danger, too.”
I finally met her eyes. “I didn’t care what happened to me.”
“How could you have saved her?”
“The only way that mattered.” The horrified look in her eyes told me I wouldn’t have to explain.
“I took away her pain, and I took away her fear. I went to her, and I laid her down and closed her eyes. In that space of time, I tried to find another way, but in the end, I kept coming back to the same answer.”
“You were only a child.”
“I was never a child, Lake. For ten years, my decision has haunted me. When I saw you for the first time, I thought you were Lily, and then I thought I was hallucinating. You looked just like her. But when I finally realized it wasn’t her, I knew I was being punished. You reminded me so much of her.” I couldn’t stop myself from asking my next question. It didn’t matter how much it exposed me. “Are you here to punish me?”
“I never wanted to punish you, Keiran.” I didn’t miss the look of surprise that flashed over her features.
“I think I was punishing myself and looking for someone to blame.” That was only partly true, but how did I tell her I had punished her because of a ghost?
“Did you love her?”
What the hell?
It took everything in me not to scream my denial. What I felt for Lily was the need to protect the small light I had in my dark, dark world. What I felt for Lake was… indescribable but I knew without having to define it that it was dangerous.
“Because you don’t believe in love?”
Wrong. It was because someone like me would never be capable of love, but still I asked, “Would you?”
“How did your father get you back?” she asked instead. “Wouldn’t they have killed you when you ruined their plans?”
“I wasn’t killed for disobeying them by a stroke of luck named Mario. It seems his only vice was child prostitution and pornography. He saved me from being killed and severed his business ties with his partner shortly after. However, not before leaving me a way to contact him if I ever needed anything or, more so, if I ever wanted to work for him. I didn’t fool myself to think he cared.”
“And your father?”
“A couple of weeks after Lily died, I was snuck from the compound by one of the runners my father had in his pocket.” It just went to show anyone could be bought for even the smallest of prices. If my father was broke, then I knew what he paid the runner was next to nothing.
“I was with Mitch for a week before Sophia showed up, though. I didn’t know who she was—not at first. He told me who he was right away. I didn’t know who she was until after she died.”
“Did you really kill her?”
“Yes.” I watched the hope die in her eyes and gritted my teeth. She wasn’t supposed to have any expectations of me. I am still the monster hiding under her bed.
“Because she was innocent.”
“Was she?” Lake spent hours with Mitch, and in that time, I knew he talked. At this very moment, I probably knew less about my mother than she did, but it didn’t mean she knew her enough to proclaim her innocence. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t interested.
I cut her off, causing her to jump at my harsh tone. “There is no such thing as innocence. How many mothers do you know who would let their child be taken without even trying?”
“So you killed her because of it?” she snarled.
“I didn’t know she was my mother when I put the fucking bullet through her fucking skull.”
She shook her head and looked away. “Are you even sorry for it?”
“I don’t regret what I can’t fix. She’s dead.” I felt my breathing quicken and my palms grow steady. I needed out and fast. “You don’t come back from that.”
I stood up and rushed for the door. She quickly caught on to my intention to leave and attempted to stop me.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m done talking.”
“But what about Mitch? He knows where you are now. He knows where all of us are.”
“I know.” My hand was on the door, ready to escape, but I couldn’t resist looking at her one more time. “You were almost killed because of me. I do regret that, which means I can fix it.”
“How are you going to fix it?” I could hear the suspicion in her tone.
I opened the door and finally forced out the words that before had been caught in my chest where a heart was supposed to be. “I’m letting you go.”
I quickly closed the door causing it to slam. I wouldn’t be able to look into her eyes and follow through. My fist gripped the doorknob once and finally let go. It was done. I could walk away now.
I should have known she wouldn’t let me.
I was barely five feet from the door before I heard her voice full of pain shout at me.
“So that’s it then?” Those in the hallway, along with time, stopped to watch us unfold.
Fear You by B. B. Reid / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes