Authors: Brittainy C. Cherry
by Brittainy C. Cherry
Copyright 2014 By Brittainy C. Cherry
Interior Book Design By: Integrity Formatting
Edited By: Mickey Reed
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, brands, places, media, and incidents are either the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced to in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the permission of the above author of this book, except for when permitted by law.
All Rights Reserved.
©2014 Brittainy C. Cherry
To all of the Tonys of the world.
And you are not alone.
~ Twenty Months Ago ~
I don’t know what to tell you,
I don’t know what to say.
I only know that caring for you brings on more pain.
~ Romeo’s Quest
Absorbed in a stream of murky thoughts and annoyance, I parked the Jeep near the alley. I’d never been to this part of town. I hardly knew it existed. The night’s sky was drunk on darkness, the late winter chill affecting my level of irritation. My eyes shifted to the car’s dashboard.
Five thirty a.m.
I’d promised myself I wouldn’t show up for him again. His actions had created a vast crater between our relationship, destroying all that we used to be. But I knew I couldn’t keep that promise of staying away. He was my brother. Even when he fucked up—which he did often—he was still my brother.
It was at least fifteen minutes before I saw Jace come limping out of the alleyway and holding his side tight. I sat up in my seat, my eyes locking with his.
“Dammit, Jace,” I muttered, hopping out of my car and slamming the door closed. I moved in closer, allowing a streetlight to shine down on his face. His left eye was swollen shut, his bottom lip sliced open. His white shirt was stained red with his own blood. “What the hell happened?” I screamed in a whisper, helping him to the Jeep.
He tried to smile.
He groaned again.
I slammed his door shut and hurried back into the driver’s seat.
“They fucking stabbed me.” He wiped his fingers against his face, only spreading more blood across it. He laughed once, but his appearance showcased the significance of the situation. “I told Red I would have his money by next week—”—he cringed—“and he sent his guys to handle me.”
“Jesus, Jace,” I sighed, pulling away from the curb. Dawn had broken, yet it somehow seemed darker than before. “I thought you were done selling.”
He sat up, and his one opened eye found me. “I am, Danny. I promise.” He began to cry. “I swear to God, I’m done.” It was clear that he wasn’t only selling, but he was back to using, too.
“They were going to kill me, Danny. I just know it. They were sent to—”