Read The Starkest Truth (A Breaking Insanity Novel Book 2) Online
Authors: Courtney Lane
The Starkest Truth
Copyright © 2015 by Courtney Lane
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
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 or scholarly journal.
This book is licensed for your personal use only. Sharing, copying, reselling, or redistributing this eBook is strictly prohibited. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, download it through a legal lending service, or receive it as a gift through an approved vendor, please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author, and enabling them to continue to publish their works.
For Emma and Annmarie
This work of fiction contains themes that some may find offensive. If you are not a fan of
erotic, dark, twisted, and dimensional
stories, this story may not appeal to you—it also deals with
mental health issues, sadomasochism, abuse, murder, sexual assault, self-harm
, and the like.
Please note that this book is a work of fiction and is only meant for entertainment purposes. It is not meant to be a manual for relationships, condone the activities portrayed, nor serve as inspirational literature for any of the topics listed here, or contained within.
Thank you for reading.
Courtney Lane, Author
I began writing this continuation of The Sordid Promise in March of 2014 before The Sordid Promise was released. It mostly consisted of the end (what is now the end of Book 3) and contained around 90 pages in Eric's point of view. I had an outline for Eric’s back story while writing The Sordid Promise, but because I wanted him to remain a mystery, I didn’t include much of it in the story.
I was on the fence about releasing this followups, because I knew it would be expected to be similar to The Sordid Promise. I cannot write the same story twice, and I will always stay true to the characters and their journey.
I continued to write even though I didn’t exactly love the way things were going. I knew certain things had to happen, and I included other things based upon expectations. I felt, sadly, that too many external opinions affected the story. In the end, I became very unhappy and disconnected with the finished result. To avoid disappointing readers and myself, I shelved the story completely.
After some time away from Nikki and Eric's world, I reworked the story and I can now say it is 100% my vision for the story.
The continuation is not a romance—it is arguably a nontraditional love story. What it is at the core, is the dissection of Dr. Eric Brenton. It won't be smooth-sailing and there will be many detestable, heartbreaking scenes, but it is all
necessary to the journey.
Mild spoiler alert
: If you are someone who needs a tidy hollywood ending to enjoy a read, then I implore you to pass on reading this novel.
Thank you for reading.
I KNEW WHAT Nikki was thinking when I slipped her coffee in her hands. She had a million questions, and I wasn’t going to answer a single damn one. She obeyed her mother when she was told to give us few minutes alone.
After the door closed, I turned to Mrs. Givens, who mirrored my smile.
“Come here, young man.” As I crouched over her bed, she kissed me on the forehead. She held my head, looking at me as though she thought her daughter’s future was going to be as brightly gray as it could be with me at her side. “Thank you for bringing my daughter back.”
I pulled up a seat to sit close to her bedside. “I…,” I chewed on my bottom lip, trying to frame the thought without sounding like I’d lost my shit over Nikki. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t know if I want to do this anymore.”
“Because of your past? Or because you’re scared of the feelings you’re developing?”
I was kidding myself. Mrs. Givens was some kind of a clairvoyant. It didn’t matter what I said, she knew before I uttered one damn thing—nothing gets past her. I’d never met a woman who almost equaled me in the way she could sway all situations. It was a dick-slash-pussy swinging contest that never ended. I should’ve been scared of her—it was a good thing I wasn’t capable of the emotion. “You see all, right?”
“I see a light shading over your heart that needs a closer look.” She squinted at me like she was waiting for a reaction; she wouldn’t get one. “She’s getting in there, isn’t she?”
Keeping up my stone-faced expression, I checked out the drop ceiling and tossed my head back on the headrest of the chair.
“Keep your secrets, Dr. Brenton,” she chuckled like an evil witch concocting my demise. “You and I both know they aren’t truly secrets.”
I dropped my head and searched her face to see if she was serious. “You really don’t know shit about me,” I shot back.
“I know you kill people, Eric.” She flourished her hand in the air and shifted in her hospital bed. “I’m not speaking of your ventures with Suicide Angels. I’m speaking of your adventures with Victor Mejía—a man with a real estate investment business that serves as a cover. He grew up in Turbo, Colombia, didn’t he? He fled here for some reason or another. It’s very interesting how he’s never tripped the FBI’s radar.”
She didn’t know all of it, but she knew too much. Victor fled to the States to escape extortion, and well, death. Due to some of his family members already being in the States, he was protected here. The protection he had in Colombia ran out pretty fast when he crossed someone he shouldn’t have…It beats the fuck out of me who that person is; Victor only disclosed what he wanted you to know. If you tried to dig, you’d wind up on his bad side. Getting in good with Victor was an ideal place to be—his enemies tended to have a very short expiration date. “How the fu—how the hell do you know any of that?”
“Don’t worry. There are no paper trails.” She dismissed me. “I have resources and research skills. I knew of some things, drew conclusions on the things I didn’t. You recently confirmed the unknown.”
Fuck. The woman was tricky. I folded my arms and curved a brow, because I didn’t believe her. As usual, she was fucking with me.
“Don’t forget who my husband was, Dr. Brenton.”
“You were vague.” I leaned forward, crossing my hands over the edge of her bed. “Being a hustler can mean a lot of things.”
“Then, I will speak plainly. He was a high-level drug dealer disguised as a legitimate hustler. His former connections are what led me to some of your well-guarded secrets. Granted, they were tiny morsels of truth that any normal person would think nothing of. I dug into what I knew to be true and formulated my own opinions.
“While my husband was into the illegal, he never willingly allowed his less savory activities concerning the law to touch me.” She toyed with her hands and muttered something so low I could barely hear her, but I was glad I caught it. “It touched my daughter once, and it will never touch her again.”
The moment she reengaged eye contact, I cleaned up my expression so she wouldn’t know I’d heard her little slip up. I’d find out what she meant on my own.
What I thought I couldn’t do earlier became something I had to do.
“Will you allow it touch my daughter?”
I sat up with my best posture, making sure she saw every inch of how deadly serious I was before I said the word. Nothing would hurt Nikki. I meant it more now than I did when she asked me about it several months back. “Never.”
“How can you be sure?”
“I gave you my word I would protect her my way,” I assured her. “You bet your ass I meant it.”
She pointed a shaky, bone-thin finger at me. “She’s never to know or involve herself in those activities, understood? You are in her life to curtail her darkness, not exacerbate it.”
“I understand completely,” I asserted.
“Careful around Victor, Dr. Brenton,” she warned me with a stark expression. “There is no camaraderie amongst criminals. I’d go so far to tell you if you haven’t gotten yourself straight at this point, now would be the time.”
“Can’t wrap my mind around how…” I shook my head, slightly fucked over the fact I had yet to figure the woman out. “…no matter how deep my secrets are—how dangerous they are—you never once said something to draw me away from your daughter.”
“Sacrifices. We all have to make them a time or two. Am I concerned about what you do, and if it may, in fact, involve her? Very much. It certainly has more to do with the man you speak of with stars in your eyes, than what you promised me.” She paused for effect.
I was hanging on her every word. Because…what the fuck did she mean? There went the feeling of being lost in the sauce. Fuck, I hated that feeling. It seemed like since I had met Nikki, I felt it a lot more than I’d like to. Shit, that’s hard to admit.