Authors: Alyson Raynes
Book 3 of the Fixer Series
By Alyson Raynes
By Alyson Raynes
Published by AR Publications
Copyright © 2014 Alyson Raynes
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 copyright owner except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places, events, business establishments or locales is entirely coincidental.
This book is intended for readers eighteen years and older. Contains strong sexual content and profanity.
Table of Contents
This book is dedicated to Cecil Fox.
August 5, 1949 - January 13, 2014
You were a great friend to those who you knew you, but to me, you were my best friend. You were always there to lend a listening ear, a kind word, and tough love when needed. I always admired your ability to be yourself, never giving a shit what others might have thought. I was devastated when I received that call, informing me of your passing. I miss you so much. Our lunches, the arguments over politics, but most of all...your smile that lit up the room when you were in it. You will forever be in my heart. Cancer may have taken your life, but your soul lives on through those who knew you. And, thank you for your service to this great country, I love you my friend, I will one day, see you again.
I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun of happy memories, that I leave when life is done.- Cecil
This book is also dedicated to all of the victims and survivors of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
To my readers and fans...THANK YOU! Thank you for loving the characters and the stories. Without you, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am so grateful for each of you!
To Lori, you have been my rock while writing this book and I couldn't be more grateful to have such a wonderful friend in my life.
Thank you for everything that you have done as my personal assistant, I will be forever grateful. I love you lady.
To my street team,
Aly's Cats. You are the coolest, most amazing group of women a woman can ask for. Thank you for all of the laughs, the constant pimping and all the love you show to me on a daily basis. I couldn't do this without you and I cherish each and every one of you.
To Kari at K23 Designs for the amazing photo shoot and cover designs for all three books in The Fixer Series! You are amazing lady, and I thank you for everything.
To Dylan Prescott (JN) my cover model for being gorgeous and for gracing the cover of my books. You are truly an amazing person.
To Ying Chua for doing a fabulous job on editing The Fixer Series. I am so grateful to have you in my life and appreciate everything you have done to make my books great. You Rock!
To the numerous bloggers that have read, left reviews and support my work by sharing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Last, but not least...a huge thank you to my family and friends for all of your love and support through this adventure. Words cannot express how much I love each and every one of you.
You all know who you are.
I laid there, writhing in pain as Brooke held my hand. I had so many thoughts running through my head abo
ut my father and his betrayal towards me, my sister and our family. It made no sense as to why he would’ve gotten involved in such troubling affairs. It was his love of money that would inevitably destroy my family, once and for all. Something my father never had to worry about a day of his adult life, which is why I still had trouble understanding his motives, other than the fact that he was a sick fuck, just like the Governor and Thomas.
I released Brooke’s hand and clutched my stomach, groaning in pain. I was still bleeding
, and I hated the Russian, shit-hole hospital I was in. I knew it was going to be a rough and painful night, because when I arrived, no operating rooms were available. The nurses hurried to clean my wound, get me stabilized and pumped me full of pain killers through an IV drip. I was supposed to be next when an operating room opened up, so the surgeon could remove the bullet my father had put in me.
I looked around the
cold, stark room. The paint on the walls were chipped, the bed uncomfortable, as the smell of bleach and blood lingered in the air. I knew that blood had an odor, but I'd never really paid attention to the smell, until now. That metallic odor would forever, be engrained in my senses.
I opened my mouth to talk
, but no words came out. I was paralyzed, a prisoner in my own body. This must’ve been how Brooke felt all those months when she'd been missing, not remembering a damn thing. Her not remembering
hurt, more than anything. Even more than what I was feeling at this moment, which hurt like a motherfucker. It felt like someone had taken a red, hot spike and plunged it into me with a sledgehammer, repeatedly.
I turned my head in Brooke and Tristan’s direction.
They both sat staring at me as I began to drift away, while my body went limp. Tristan stood and headed for the door as Brooke leaned in, taking my hand in hers, once more.
“Dylan, are you okay?” she asked, touching my forehead with her other hand.
I didn’t answer…I couldn’t answer. I was growing weaker by the second, and then everything around me went silent… dark. I felt nothing. No pain, no emotion…nothing.
It no longer mattered how I would explain my father’s death to my mother and brother
, or to anyone else. I didn’t care how the crime scene was cleaned up or if it even had been. It was by far the strangest feeling I’d ever experienced. I supposed maybe I was dying, or maybe I was already dead. That had to have been it. I couldn’t hear anyone or anything and everything was dark, except for a small streak of light that would flash every couple of seconds. Perhaps that was God coming to take me home, to absolve me of all of the pain I had been feeling.
My life flashed before me, like a dream, and visions of my childhood came flooding back. It revealed a time that I’d celebrated Christmas with my family as a youn
g boy. A freshly cut, ten-foot tree my father had taken Luke, Danielle and I to cut down when I was five, stood like a grand statue in our family’s large living room. My mother was standing there, handing ornaments to each of us to hang on every tree branch. Danielle hung the reds, Luke, the blues and me, the whites. Yes, our tree represented the all American family, and that’s exactly what we were.
It was a time when there were
no secrets, no pain. We were one, big, happy family, smiling and laughing without a care in the world. And since I was the youngest, Dad would always carefully climb the ladder with me and hold me up, so I could place the beautiful, white angel with golden wings on the top.
The vision faded and another appeared from that same Christmas. It had been snowing all night and when I woke up the next morning, presents were scattered all beneath the tree. Luke and I rushed over to the two trucks that were left for us by Santa. Luke had gotten the dump truck and I, the bull dozer. Luke loaded his dump truck full of Legos, and then dumped them on the tree skirt. I paid careful attention to each one, as I sat for what seemed like hours, building my skyscraper in preparation for demolition with my bull dozer.
Danielle sat next to us in her pajamas, playing with her Barbies while singing
“Jingle Bells”. Luke whined and begged her to shut up, simply because she couldn’t carry a tune. But, she didn’t stop. She continued her assault on our ears, every time she opened her mouth to sing. I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry while remembering, but I was trapped in my own body, unable to move anything as the memories continued to take over.
Next, I remembered the time
my dad had taken our family to Aspen and insisted that we all have snowboarding lessons. It was a beautiful, snowy day as the snow glistened off Ajax Mountain. I had worn my powder-blue ski pants and matching thermal coat to ensure I stayed warm. After six hours of ski school, we were ready to hit the slopes and enjoy the fresh powder. Luke and I were naturals, or maybe we were just adrenaline junkies, and had left Danielle with Mom and Dad, then went off on our own to explore. It was a wild ride down that mountain, one that every nine-year old boy should experience at least once in his lifetime.
After a long day o
f snowboarding, Luke and I met Mom, Dad and Danielle at the ski lodge at the base of the mountain. It was getting dark, and the snow was beginning to fall heavily and the temperature was dropping drastically. It was quite a scene, as I watched my family interact with each other over a nice, quiet dinner in front of the lodge’s large, stone fireplace. Mom and Dad were nestled close to one another, as he whispered in her ear, causing her to giggle from time to time. Seeing them this way, only reaffirmed that they were very much in love.
I looked around, hoping to a get another glimpse of my family
, but the memory soon faded and I was on to another. I was lying on the beach, the warm sun beating down on my skin as I listened to the waves of the ocean crash along the shore. It was the summer that my parents had taken us to Hawaii. After a day of surfing, Danielle and I had retreated to the beach and spent the remainder of the day building sandcastles. The smell of the sea tickled my senses as water rushed up on the beach, wiping out parts of our grand palace. We sat for hours building that thing, and Danielle barked out strict orders on how she wanted her castle to look. I loved my sister, so I tolerated her bossiness, even when she insisted that I was the evil villain. It was always that way when we were on the beach building a sandcastle. She was the princess and I was the evil one, who was trying to kill the prince. Of course, as we got older, this became quite the joke. She was a beautiful girl, inside and out. Her time here on Earth was cut much too short, and I missed her more than I would ever care to admit.
I felt my body move, but knew it had to be a dream. I was sure I was dead. This had to be the part where parts of my life were shown before I could enter Heaven. I wasn’t ready to go, but I knew that my time would be up one day, especially in my line of work as a
. It wasn’t the safest job, but I was an adrenaline junkie and fed off the adventure that it provided. That was until I met Brooke. I wanted to give up all of the bullshit crime-fixing for her. Instead, I put her in danger and in return, risked losing her, forever. I should have walked away when she asked, but I couldn’t. I was too selfish, a man on a mission to save the world. I wanted to save those that needed saving and destroy those that no longer deserved to breathe air. However, the
business was different. I found myself protecting and serving the wrong side, going against the very thing that I had set out to do in the first place, save those that couldn't save themselves. I was mixed up with the wrong people, and unsure of how to get out without risking everyone I loved in the process.