Problem was, I couldn’t afford to fall for her, because I didn’t want to ruin her.
I didn’t want to destroy her, like the others that came before.
Too bad I had no choice.
Too bad she was my pawn and I had to use her.
Too bad, too bad, too bad.
Crimson blood dribbled from my left nostril down to my upper lip. “I love her, Dad.” I choked on the tangy copper that swam in my throat and gagged.
Dad’s thick fingers crushed my windpipe harder. “You’re seventeen, boy. You have no fucking clue what love is.”
I tried to suck in air, but sounded like a beached whale instead. There was so much pressure in my skull I wished it would just explode.
“What will your girlfriend say when I tell her?” Dad spat. “Cassie Sullivan, right? Or is it some other slut this week?” He loosened his grip and I sank to the ground, knees crunching. I wished a sinkhole could just open up beneath me and swallow everything: me, Dad, our house, and all the nightmares that came with it. “We—we’re not just s-screwing around, I s-s-swear. It’s not some f-f-fling.” I was dizzy from oxygen deprivation, and the stuttering resurfaced like an old friend. “Cas-s-s-sie and I b-broke up two weeks ago,” I added, as if that would make me a better man somehow.
“And when exactly did you start fucking Veronica?” Dad’s features were twisted like a mangled slinky. Every pock mark, scar and wrinkle on his face lit up like a battlefield. He wanted war.
We didn’t fuck, we made love, I wanted to say. Instead, I murmured, “We were planning to tell you next week.”
“Tell me what, exactly?” Dad scoffed. “That my whore of a wife is cheating on me with my son?” He yanked on a fistful of my black hair, twisting it so hard tears stung my lash-line. After the last time he beat me, I’d promised myself I’d never cry in front of him again. I refused to shed tears for this monster. I was worth so much more than the sunken, lost, motherless child he ridiculed and destroyed piece by piece, day by day. I was so much stronger now. Because of her.
“We’re moving out. I’ll be eighteen next month.” I knew exactly what he would say next: that we were making a huge mistake. That I was an ungrateful teenage asshole. A ‘retarded son of a bitch’. That the two of us would burn in hell for eternity.
We would never have his blessing; I knew that from the start.
“Like fucking hell you are!” he roared, his spit flecking my face like paint.
“We already put down a deposit.”
“No,” Dad growled. “What the fuck—How the fuck did you think this would pan out? That you two filthy cheaters would elope and I’d just crumple like a house of cards?”
JACKIE WANG lives in Vancouver, Canada with her real-life alpha hero and their rambunctious daughter. When she’s not writing, Jackie is binge-reading, gorging on expensive chocolates, or fiddling around with Photoshop.
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The sexy, action-packed first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Court of Thorns and Roses series from Sarah J. Maas.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.
At least, he’s not a beast all the time.
As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it, or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.
From bestselling author Sarah J. Maas comes a seductive, breathtaking book that blends romance, adventure, and faerie lore into an unforgettable read.
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