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Authors: Natasha Thomas

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Floating

BOOK: Floating
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FLOATING

A Devil’s Spawn MC Novel by – Natasha Thomas

 

Copyright © 2015 by Natasha Thomas
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

 

eBook Published and any subsequent Printing done and developed in Australia

 

First Released, February 28
th
2015

 

ISBN 9781310416583

 

Natasha Thomas
Sydney, Australia

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

To those I love more than life itself…

My Children

Sarah, Christian & Chloe

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

Nate

 

Eighteen Years Ago…

 

             
I fucking hate this place already. We just moved to Patterson, Texas, two days ago and I hate it. It’s nothing like what I’m used to. Not that where we came from was anything to write home about to begin with, but coming here means I have to start all over again, and at the moment I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing.

 

Maybe it isn’t right to judge the place seeing I haven’t had much of a chance to see much, go anywhere, or meet anyone yet. I probably shouldn’t have such a strong reaction to the place, I should even possibly give it a fair chance, but being here symbolises a new beginning and there is nothing more I want than an end. I can’t wait to get out from under my parents, and this feels like starting all over again. That’s what I hate.

 

Dad worked in a lumberyard, three states over, from the time I was born until a few months ago. Not a huge surprise that he didn’t last there. What was a surprise was, he’d lasted as long as he did.

 

He’d been a fucking drunk for longer than I’ve been alive. Whisky or bourbon were his poisons of choice. Dad was showing up to work hammered, at least twice a month, and hung over almost every day. He was a mean, nasty drunk too, not like those guys you see laughing and joking, having a good time. Drunk wasn’t a good look on my dad, it probably wasn’t a good look on anybody, but my dad, he was worse than most. Alcohol seems to fuel his frustration, and as alcohol ferments becoming more potent with time, dad’s frustration ferments too, but it turns into anger and rage.

 

His boss gave him plenty of warnings, chances to dry out and get it together. Dad didn’t take any of it to heart; he never listened to anyone, ignored the warnings, and the consequences if he didn’t follow directions. Eventually, his boss got sick of his shit and fired his ass saying he was a safety risk and to get himself some help. I don’t blame dads boss for what he was forced to do. He’s a good guy and had helped us out enough already. He gave dad advances on his pay when we were short, paid to fix our truck when we couldn’t afford to, stuff like that, but eventually everyone comes to the end of their rope and this was the end of his.

 

Living pay check to pay check meant we couldn’t keep living in Crestwood, Missouri. My mom, (being a stay at home mom, never having worked a day in her life), and Dad had no money lying around, no savings, leaving us with pretty much no options. They skipped on paying rent and utilities meaning we had to move and move fast. It wouldn’t be long before the landlord sent the police around to forcefully evict us.

 

I’ll never forget the day, about four days after he was fired, Dad beat the shit out of me for the first time. It was overcast; rain was threatening and it looked like we were in for our first Texas storm. I was hanging out in my room reading comics, texting my friends, and listening to music. It was the same as any other day to be honest. I heard a massive crash come from the kitchen, so I stuck my head out of my room to see what was going on. It wasn’t like dad stumbling into shit was anything different to any other day, but this sounded louder than usual and I was worried this time he might have hurt himself. I shouldn’t have been concerned over his well-being, I should’ve worried about my own.

 

Making my way into the kitchen, I saw Dad leaning heavily against the bench like it was the only thing holding him up. In hindsight, it probably was. He smelt like bourbon and needed a shower like last week. That was nothing new either, he always needed a shower last week. He turned to me, eyes narrowed and screamed at me for not taking out the trash. Sure, I’d forgotten but what was the old man’s damage? It would get done eventually. I was a teenager. What teenager remembered that sort of crap? I was more worried about starting school and having to make new friends than taking out the damn trash.

 

Stumbling over to me he cocked his arm, pulled back his fist, and punched me right in the jaw. I dropped like a fly, hitting the tiled kitchen floor hard. I swear he hit me so hard I would have passed out cold if he’d done it while he was sober and put all his weight into it.

 

My dad wasn’t a huge man. At about five foot ten, 240 pounds; most of which is a beer gut he’d been working hard on growing. He’s made up of untoned muscle, and flab he shouldn’t have been able to knock me down like that. It must have been the element of surprise because I couldn’t come up with any other explanation for it. Especially seeing as I was already his height and about 160 pounds of athletic, compact muscle thanks to Karate and Jujitsu lessons I’d been having twice a week since I was five. I wasn’t slow or too bulky, I should’ve been able to get out of the way. I could defend myself for Christ’s sake. At that moment, the second he hit me, I felt like nothing more than a little kid again, and embarrassed didn’t cover how it made me feel to be unable to fend off an old drunk.

 

The shock set in after the surprise faded. My dad might be an asshole, but he’d never actually put his hands on me before. He’d yelled, screamed, threatened, but had never taken that last step, crossing the line into violence. If someone asked me six-months ago if I thought my dad would ever hit me, I would have told them hell no. Clearly I would have been dead wrong. Picking myself up off the floor, I grabbed the trash and took it out as quickly as I could. What else could I do? I didn’t want to set him off again and take the risk of him hitting me again. I wanted to get away from him; curl up in my room and hide out until he calmed the fuck down. I wouldn’t cry though. I wouldn’t let him see he had gotten to me, he’d probably get a sick thrill out of that, but fuck if I didn’t want to do exactly that.

 

When Mom came home from the grocery store and saw the state of my face, she looked stricken. I’d heard her pull up in the driveway about an hour after Dad hit me. It was my job to help her unload the groceries, so I came out as soon as I heard the trunk of the car open. Thankfully, I managed to avoid detection by slinking silently down the hallway. Mom was pretty upset about what dad had done. She told me she was sorry, he shouldn’t have done it, and asked me what happened. What she didn’t do was stick up for me, yell at him, or warn him never to do it again. She simply unpacked the groceries, handed me a bag of frozen beans, and sent me to my room while he cooled off. The fact that he was currently half way through what was a full bottle of bourbon signalled he wasn’t going to be cooling off any time soon.

 

That day I lost a little of the respect I had for my mom. I loved her to death, and I’d do anything for her, but I no longer had her on the she-can-do-no-wrong pedestal where most kids put their parents. I learnt a hard lesson that day; I learnt that the only person I could without fail depend on was me.

 

Almost three months later, and we hadn’t spoken about what happened. We’d never spoken of all the other times he’d hit me since, either. It became a weekly occurrence, almost like a sport. Dad would try to drown himself at the bottom of a bottle and then take his anger and frustration out on me. The routine was set in stone; it was predictable, and it went like this. After searching for jobs and being turned down for every one of them, dad would bring home a cheap bottle of bourbon or whatever was on sale that week. He’d drink it in the span of a few hours, turn bitter and nasty, and then find something to target me for. His yelling and cursing would quickly escalate to punching, kicking, or throwing shit at me. When he burned his fury out he’d pass-out for twelve or so hours giving me blessed relief to nurse my injuries. Then the cycle would rinse and repeat, week in week out. My life truly fucking sucked…

 

Joining the unemployment queue didn’t bring in enough to cover our daily necessities so we got our eviction notice after not paying rent for over three months. It’s fucking scary being a teenager and terrified that you’ll have nowhere to live, or worry what you’d eat, if you could the next day. Luckily we caught a break this time. Mom had friends who’d moved here about fifteen years ago, a few women she went to school with, apparently. With both sets of my grandparents gone and no aunts or uncles, there was nowhere else for us to go, and no one to take us in if we had decided on elsewhere, so this seemed to be a good a place as any in our current predicament.

 

Another reason we moved here was because one of mom’s friends told her there were plenty of construction positions around the area. I had no idea how the hell he would hold down a job in construction, much less actually get a job to begin with. He was an alcoholic, out of shape, and unskilled having never even picked up a hammer or saw in his life. Call me stupid, but I wasn’t as optimistic as my mom and didn’t think his lack of experience would yield results. I could almost guarantee he’d fuck up any chance of work he got. He’s never going to change, I just wished mom could start to accept that instead of trying to make excuses for him. So with nowhere else to go and Patterson being our destination; we’d packed up a U-Haul with all our stuff, hooked it to our twenty five year old twin cab pickup truck, and driven straight through to, Texas.

 

The house we’d be living in was on a quiet, tree lined street filled with craftsman style houses, big yards, and minivans parked in driveways. I thought I’d entered the Twilight Zone when we pulled in. Seriously, it was like, ‘Meet the Walton’s.’ We’d never lived in somewhere so nice. I probably shouldn’t be an asshole about how much I hate the place come to think of it. Our old house was a simple three bed, two bath, brick place in a pretty run-down neighbourhood. Let’s be honest, the house was pretty run down too, but not nearly as bad as most of our neighbour’s houses. Kids didn’t play in the street because it wasn’t safe. A couple of rotten, spindly trees that looked like a good gust of wind would blow them down and rusted out cars sat in people’s yards was the scenery that greeted me every time I got off the bus from school. Mom told me her friend owned the house outright and relocated for work overseas. Apparently she needed someone to keep up the house, do the yard work, and maintenance on the place. In exchange, we would get to live here rent free. It was a sweet deal if you ask me however, I got to thinking, that this lady obviously doesn’t know my dad because he’s about as handy as a purple stick and more destructive than a bulldozer. If kind of felt sorry for her if she thought he’d actually make any improvements to the place. That brings us up to now…

 

For the last two days, Mom and I have been unpacking, setting up rooms, and generally settling in. I haven’t even had a chance do to anything until now, not even get my skateboard out of the garage. It’s my most prized possession and I treated it as such. I’ve been riding and perfecting tricks on it for six years now, since I’d gotten it for my eighth birthday. I like the feeling of freedom it gives me, and the opportunity to escape my old man for a while. Dad’s on the verge of another major freak out, so I grab my board and head out of the driveway as fast as humanly possible. Also, knowing that school starts for me the next day, and I won’t be able to get out as often I decide I’ll make it a good long ride too.

 

Gliding down the streets, I scope out my new neighbourhood. I take note that it’s only about seven or eight blocks to the high school I’ll be going to, and the town centre is only about twice that distance. I notice the park five blocks away from our house, and see the half court for basketball, sandbox, swings and bike path. It would be a good place to hang out when I need to get away from the old man when he’s on the warpath. Finally I make my way back, but I stop dead, nearly coming off my board. Sitting on the curb across the street from our house is a girl. A girl with fiery red hair tied up in a ponytail, wearing a pair of cut off jean shorts, a pink t-shirt, and a well-worn pair of black Keds. Her face is in her hands, and it looks like she’s crying. My heart breaks a little at the pitiful sight of her. She has to be only been nine or ten, and she was sitting out here all alone, crying.

 

Making my way over, I sit down next to her, propping my skateboard up on the curb next to me. I must startle her because her head snaps up and her eyes met mine. I’m struck dumb at the sight. Beautiful cat like hazel eyes study me curiously. They’re the most stunning, unique eyes I’ve ever seen on a person in my whole life. She dries her tears with the back of her hands and sniffles a little, but her head remains tilted in question. I swear it looks like she’s trying to work me out, dissect me, and see what makes me tick.

 

Putting out her hand she says,

“Hi. My name’s Veronica. You just moved in across the street, right?” Blinking quickly to clear my thoughts, I shake her hand and reply, “Yeah, we did. I’m Nate.” Then Veronica smiles at me, and damn if my world didn’t light up. Her smile is gorgeous, full and bright showing off her perfectly straight, white teeth. It makes me want to ensure she smiles like this every day. That’s when I vowed to myself, I’ll do something to make sure this girl has the chance to share her sunshine with the world every day.

 

Maybe Patterson won’t be so bad after all.

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