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Authors: M. S. Brannon

Tragic Love

BOOK: Tragic Love
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Tragic Love

By: M.S. Brannon

 

Copyright©2013 M.S. Brannon. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission from the author. The exception would be in case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews or pages where permission is specifically granted by the author.

This book is a work of fiction and the events surrounding this book are fictitious. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any similarity to actual events, locations, organizations, or persons live or dead, is entirely coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Cover Design: Robin Ludwig Design Inc

 

http://msbrannonblog.blogspot.com

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ISBN-13: 978-1492188124

ISBN-10: 1492188123

 

And I swear to God

I’ll find myself

In the end

~ Thirty Seconds To Mars, “The Story”

 

Chapter 1

Presley

 

“Lie still!” His breath is hot next to my face as I try to walk through the cloudiness gripping my thoughts. My head is spinning and dazed from the last round of Uncle Robert’s belt lashing. I can feel the blood seeping into the mattress below me, it’s sticky and warm. “Stop moving. I need to get this perfect, my little worm. It’s all for a reason. I couldn’t have found better bait if it fell into my lap.” He walks away, laughing, digging into his pocket and pulling a fat, long cigar out before moving it to his lips.

He is studying me in deep thought—inquisitively. Plotting and treachery covers his face. Then, he moves back toward me, placing the freshly cut strands of my hair around my body.

Robert reaches back into his pocket and pulls a razorblade from its depths. When the blade extends the tip is covered in dried blood. My blood. The buckle of his belt shines in the minimal light, as he starts to pull if from the loops.

I’m scared to speak, but I need to understand what’s happening to me. I’ve been here for a week, and he’s told me nothing. All he keeps reminding me of is that I’m bait; for what I don’t know. I begin to whimper as I think about the boy I met only months ago. A boy who’s been my solace from all the loneliness living in my heart. For the first time since my parents’ death, I’ve felt alive. Happy, even. Until Robert took me away, strapping me to this bed. Once again, all that happiness I was feeling is ripped away from me.

Drake.

Drake, please find me.

Please save me.

“Stop that crying you little bitch!” The whip of his belt slices into my legs and I scream out in agony as he continues to tear my skin from my body. His breathing is labored while his eyes are murderous. “This will all be over soon. Once I have her in my hands, your pain will be over because you’ll be dead.”

I snap myself up in bed, breathing erratically as I try to gather my wits. My room. I’m in my room. It was only a nightmare. I lean forward, holding my head in my hands, trying to get my heart to beat normally again. My t-shirt is clinging to my body as the dampness of my skin covers every square inch of me.

They’re becoming so much more real. The nightmares I have almost every night, and some during the day, are melding with my reality. What is real and what is a memory are becoming impossible to decipher. I’m slowly dying inside. Every night, Robert is there haunting my dreams, readying himself to kill me. I can’t escape him and I can’t release him from my thoughts. He has become my demon. For the last two years, he’s been growing at an accelerated rate.

I look over to my side and see the love of my life fast asleep. Drake is naked from the waist up, hard chest shining against the rays of moonlight. He has become my only means of survival. If I can’t feel him—feel the high I get from him—then I hate to think what would happen to me. Being underneath Drake has become the only way I can suppress the evil drowning inside of me.

***

I pace back and forth in the living room while clasping my phone in my sweaty hands. Then glance out the living room window. I’m extremely nervous and can feel the small butterflies swarming in my stomach, but I’m also happy for the first time in a while.

It’s been almost two years since the torment started, since the first scar scored my body, yet his face is all I see at night when I shut my eyes. He may be gone from this world, but Robert is very much alive in my mind. I can still feel the blood on my skin and taste the cigar smoke in my mouth. He consumes my mind at night, drowning me in fear every time my lids shut from exhaustion, however I say nothing.

I can’t say anything. Reggie killed Robert. If I start to talk to someone, then the truth will eventually come out. Then life as the Evans family knows it will be over. After everything they’ve done for me—saving me from the torture of Robert’s hands—I could never expel the nightmare living inside me. Day after day, I feel it fester and expand with every breath I take. The demon is growing in my body, becoming my body. However, the guilt of talking about it tortures me more than Robert. If I talk, Drake would be devastated, Darcie would never forgive me and Jake would probably kill me. I could never betray the people who risked their lives to save me.

I rub the heels of my hands into my eyes and quickly shake my head of its wandering thoughts. I can’t think of Robert, not today, because today is going to be a good day. Two weeks ago, I found out my oldest friend from Memphis, Delilah St. James, is doing an internship for school and chose to do it in Sulfur Heights.

When she told me she needed this credit for her sociology class and wanted to work with disadvantaged children, I explained Sulfur Heights is a cesspool for the underprivileged and would be the perfect place for her internship. Reggie said it would be cool if she stayed at the house with us. Once I told Delilah, she jumped on the opportunity to move here for the summer. She will be sleeping in my room—Reggie’s old room—and I will be officially moving into Drake’s room—can’t freaking wait to be in his bed every night—while the twins will stay where they already are, in the basement.

Delilah is a year ahead of me in school and is enrolled at the University of Memphis starting her second year of college this coming fall. We’ve been emailing back and forth since I moved to this wonderfully shitty town and today, I can finally see her in person. I can’t wait to hug her. I’ve missed her so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Darcie—she’s been a great friend—but Delilah has known me since I was six-years-old and has seen me at my worst. And right now, my esteem needs a little uplifting that I think only Delilah can provide.

I will never forget the first day I met her. I was outside for recess, hiding under the slide to get away from Marcie Krantz, a snobby daddy’s girl who lived to torment me. Whenever the opportunity arose, Marcie would call me baby or make some off-the-wall comment about me wearing diapers and sucking on a bottle or pacifier. Sometimes she would go so far as to pull my hair just to make me cry then turn around and make fun of how my cry sounded like a baby’s. I freaking hated Marcie.

One day, she found me tucked away under the stairs of the slide and the taunting started. Soon after, all the kids joined in and the next thing I knew, I was crying—again. The southern twang of Delilah St. James’s voice rang out and Marcie was the one who left in tears. Apparently, Marcie had a bed wetting issue and was still wearing toddler training underpants. Needless to say, she never bothered me again and Delilah made a point to always keep me under her wing. She’s been taking care of me ever since and I thank my lucky stars she’s been in my life.

I’m still standing my post at the window when the back door slams against the wall. Jeremy and Drake make their way into the living room where I can see that they both have fresh grease spots on their clothes and the smell of dirt and oil wafts in with them. It’s a smell I’ve become familiar with since I moved in with the Evans family. Oddly enough, it’s a smell I’ve come to recognize as comfort.

In the short time I’ve been staying here, Jeremy and I have never shared more than ten conversations amongst ourselves. Drake explained to me that he’s simply a quiet guy, but the way he always looks in deep, calculating thought makes me wonder what’s really going through his mind. My thoughts are short lived, though, when I take in the man who’s been my lifeline since I moved to this godforsaken town. This is the man who instantly had me wrapped around his finger from a single flash of his dimple and a gentle touch from his hand. He is my beloved. He’s perfect and unbelievably amazing in every way.

In the last year, Drake has filled out to be quite the fine specimen of a man. Hitting a record breaking growth spurt, he grew to be six-foot-four-inches of walking eye-candy. His skin is smooth and the rich color of caramel. His body is strong with tight, lean muscles, while his deep, sexy, smooth voice sends me over the edge every time he utters a single word. However, it’s the killer smile, milk chocolate eyes and dimple I fall victim to whenever Drake flashes them my way. I’ve never been able to resist anything he does to me, especially when he looks right into my eyes.

It’s funny to see us side by side because we look completely opposite. He’s tall, dark and handsome where I’m barely five-foot-two-inches, pale, with long, dark brown hair, dull brown eyes and, looking like your average everyday teenager.

Drake is the center of my happiness. He is the
only
reason I’m happy most days. If it weren’t for him, it would be nearly impossible to function. I couldn’t bear it if we ever lost that dynamic. Right now, my life with him is perfect, and as long as I keep the demon inside me quiet, my life will stay perfect because I have him.

My breath hitches as I watch Drake cross the living room, his hips swaggering in my direction. When he wraps his long, lean arms around my small frame, I’m completely engulfed in his embrace; in my security blanket from the pain. He then leans down and presses a light kiss to my cheek and I can’t help standing on my tip toes in order to attach my lips to his.

He breaks our kiss and says, “Hey beautiful, are you getting excited to see Delilah?”

“Yes!” I shout a little too loudly. “Sorry…yes, I can’t wait for her to get here.”

“Well, I can’t wait to meet her. You’ve talked about her for the last couple of years. It will be nice to finally put a face with the name.” Drake runs his hands slowly up the curve of my back and my knees instantly become weak. His touch is hot and liquefies me into a puddle in his hands. Just like that, Delilah’s arrival is the last thing in my mind.

I release a deep breath and slip my hands under Drake’s shirt, mimicking his movements with my hands. His skin is warm, slightly wet with sweat and very kissable. I move my hands to the front and trace the pad of my fingertips along the ridges of his muscled abdomen then slowly walk them up toward his upper body. I can feel a light brush of fine hair under my fingertips as I run my hands across his chest.

My body is heating up with lust and I have to bite down on my lip to suppress the moan attempting to escape from my mouth. The palm of Drake’s hands cups my face. His touch is slightly rough from working at the steel recycling factory, but it’s very manly and very sexy. He bends down and kisses me deeply, making me react to his kiss by wrapping my arms around his waist, pulling him closer.

Drake suddenly pulls away with lust-filled eyes and I know what’s about to happen. It’s the same thing that always happens when he looks at me that way. The desire in his eyes causes my core to heat and inhibitions to dissolve into nothing. My arms quickly move around his neck and he yanks me up his body. I latch on with my legs while smashing my lips into his as we walk clumsily back to his room.

Drake and I fall onto the bed, immediately working at each other’s shirts. My hands are shaking with anticipation. I unbutton the confining fabric, dying to get his skin pressed against mine.

Once we had decided to cross this bridge—to be with one anotherintimately—we now always somehow manage to find ourselves naked. Every time with Drake is perfect and as amazing as the first. I crave his touch. These moments with him are when I feel completely content, whole again. I seek these moments out. Drake is my heroin and I’m a full blown addict to everything that’s him. When I feel my depression—the demon— starting to take me over, it’s Drake who takes it all away with a single, solitary touch. It erases all thoughts of Robert and, in that moment, I am happy.

BOOK: Tragic Love
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