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Heartless (Merciless #2)
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From USA Today bestselling author W Winters comes an emotionally captivating and thrilling, romantic suspense.
At first, his words were harsh and his touch cold.
That’s not what he wanted though. It’s not what he needed.
It’s so easy to get lost in the touch of a man who’s powerful and unattainable.
Yes, it’s easy to fall into a haze of lust and desire.
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Rain is coming. The kind of rain that makes your bones ache. The dark gray sky is streaked with dry lightning that splinters the crack of pain even deeper.
There’s only so much a man can take. Only so far he can be pushed to the brink and still want to survive.
First, my mother lost her fight with cancer.
Then Tyler, my youngest brother, was struck and killed by a car.
And now, my father has been murdered in cold blood.
The blame for my father’s death is easy to place. A group of thugs who wanted the highest high, and they were willing to do whatever it took to chase it.
They didn’t fear my father. Not like they fear me.
I know that’s why they waited for him to be the one on the street corner, instead of me dealing from the back of the truck. When my mother died, selling drugs was what we needed to do to pay the bills. But months have passed, and it’s more than an income stream now. Dealing, and the fighting that comes with, it is now my obsession.
I’m not just peddling dope or selling off stolen prescriptions. The drug trade is lucrative beyond anything I could have ever dreamed.
But Talvery taught me more than anyone else could.
He taught me where the boundaries were. Taught me what fear is capable of.
He showed me what it takes to make the pain go away and replace it with something more addictive than heroin. Power is everything.
And I feel it flowing through my veins.
Crack! Lightning strikes again, followed by a boom and shaking of the ground.
Rain is coming, but I’ll stand here for as long as it takes.
The priest’s voice is a dull monotone and the cries from distant family members, who I’ve only ever seen a handful of times in my life, numb me.
The casket in which my father’s body lies reflects the first droplets of water. The sprinkling is just the beginning of the downpour threatening to fall any minute now.
He would still be alive if they’d had the same fear of him that they have of me. If he’d learned the hard lesson Talvery had taught me months ago.
Revenge will come for the pricks who killed my father. Not because I love him. Or loved, rather. I think I hated him in the last few years. Truly and deeply despised the piece of shit he became when my mother got sick. The realization is freeing.
That’s not why I’ll hunt down each and every one of those assholes and take a baseball bat to them in their sleep, or a gun to the side of their heads as they creep through dark back alleys, or a knife along their throats in the restrooms of their favorite bars. One by one, I’ll kill them all.
It’s not because I want revenge or because I don’t want my father’s death to go unanswered.
No. I’ll murder them because they thought they could take from me. They decided it was worth the risk to take from me. Anger rises in my chest, heating my blood and forcing my hands into white-knuckled fists. I have to clench my teeth in an effort to hide the rage.
No one will ever take from me again. They won’t take more of my family. They won’t take a goddamn thing from me. Never again.
The day my father was laid to rest, the demon who had long slept inside of me awakened and destroyed whatever bit of goodness that had lingered in my heart. From that day forward, I decided that everyone would fear me. Simply because it was easier to survive that way, obsessing over the power that fear would bring me.
I craved their fear the way I used to pray for the pain to go away.
It was all-consuming and only the tiniest slivers of this new armor ever broke off. Only when painful memories forced me to confront who and what I used to be. But even the smallest shards of my armor were so easily replaced by the blood of those who dared to threaten what I’d become.
So long as everyone feared me and those closest to me, I would not only survive, I would thrive.
They needed to fear my brothers.
And now they need to fear her. My songbird.
They will. I refuse to let anyone take her.
No one will take her away from me. No one.
I can’t stop shaking. My entire body is consumed by fear and I’m trembling all over. My hands are shaking chaotically, and I can’t make them stop.
The heavy knife is gripped tighter than I’ve ever gripped anything in my life. I don’t even feel like it’s my hand holding the weapon. Another person’s hand, on top of mine, is forcing it to stay in my grip. To hold it tighter and tighter until it hurts so much that my body begs me to fall to my knees in agony.