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My Maddie (Hades Hangmen #8)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Tillie Cole

Language:
English
Book Information:

Not even love can conquer the demons of our pasts…⁣

Flame and Maddie have found solace and safety in one another’s arms, two fractured souls beginning to heal. But no matter how strong their love grows, it can never completely vanquish the demons of their pasts. These demons are dormant, not defeated.⁣

Now a new enemy threatens the Hangmen, and a new revelation threatens the peace Maddie and Flame hold so dear. Flame is fighting a multitude of wars – against the club’s new foe, against the horrors of his past, and against his fears – but the fire in his blood may be the only victor.⁣

As Flame begins to spiral into his own personal hell, it is up to Maddie to bring her husband back into her heart. To remind him that, together, they can face any obstacle standing in their way. To show him that no one and nothing can tear them apart again.

His Maddie.⁣
Her Flame.⁣
The fight for their forever.⁣

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up.

Books in Series:

Hades Hangmen Series by Tillie Cole

Books by Author:

Tillie Cole Books

Prologue

Flame

Years ago…

I was cold. So cold. But I was always cold. The rough, freezing wood of my bedroom wall scraped along my back, along the bones that stuck out of my skin. I hadn’t eaten in… I couldn’t remember. I pressed my hands against my stomach. It kept making sounds, telling me it was hungry. But my poppa said I would be having no food. He wouldn’t feed the devil.

I was naked except for my underwear. My poppa said sinners like me didn’t wear clothes. He said that the evil inside my veins was warm enough. I didn’t want to be evil. I didn’t mean to be, but my poppa told me I was anyway. That’s why other kids didn’t want to play with me, because they saw the blackness in my damned soul.

I looked down at my arms and chest. They were covered in snake bite marks. I felt even colder as I thought of the snakes, of their teeth sinking into my flesh, commanded by Pastor Hughes to try to make me clean. But it wasn’t working. Nothing was working. I was too steeped in sin. Irredeemable, Poppa said. I didn’t know what irredeemable meant, but it sounded bad.

I closed my eyes, but all I saw was poppa earlier tonight, staggering toward me as I sat in the corner of my bedroom. I had no furniture in here. Poppa had removed my bed weeks ago, so I slept on the floor. I had no blankets, no pillow. He said I didn’t deserve them.

The door to my bedroom slammed open. I could smell the alcohol on my poppa’s breath from across the room. He took off his belt. I had only a second to curl into a ball before the leather cracked loudly across my back. I gritted my teeth and squeezed my eyes shut. I knew I deserved this because I was evil. Because I had flames running through my blood. But it still hurt me…

My poppa hit me until I couldn’t feel the pain. But I wanted the pain. I wanted the devil to leave me alone. Poppa grabbed my hair and pulled me to my feet. I didn’t cry out. The back of his hand sliced across my face, and I tasted blood. “Look at yourself,” he slurred, yanking on my hair until I looked up. I saw myself in the dirty mirror on the wall. I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to see my face. The devil’s face. “I said look, cunt!” my poppa screamed, and I opened my eyes.

Poppa smiled. I didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand why people smiled or why they frowned. I didn’t understand anything. People confused me. I didn’t know how to be around them or speak to them without scaring them away.

My poppa hated that about me most.

“Retard.” He squeezed my cheeks until the blood from his slap ran down my chin. I breathed out in relief. The escaping blood would help take away the flames. I needed to bleed to be saved.

Poppa reached into his pocket and pulled out a pen. Tipping back my head, he began to draw on my forehead. My eyes watered. When he’d finished with my forehead, he moved to my back, my chest, my arms, then he put his mouth to my ear. “Retard.” His harsh voice made me shake. He prodded the tip of his finger into the word on my head. “Motherfucking retard!”

I didn’t know what that word meant either. I knew it was bad. Some of the kids I used to try to play with would call me it. My poppa always called me it.

“Get in the corner of the room and don’t move,” Poppa ordered. I heard him leave the house, heard his footsteps on the gravel path outside. I wrapped my arms around my legs. “Go,” I whispered to the fire in my veins. “Just leave me. Make him love me again. Make the flames in my blood go away.”

God didn’t care for me. I was the devil’s child now. That’s what Pastor Hughes kept saying. I froze when I heard my mama in the living room singing. Mama had had another baby. I had a brother. Isaiah. I hadn’t seen him yet. Poppa hadn’t let me out of the room to meet him.

I listened as my mama sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” When she sang, I didn’t feel the flames in my blood. I didn’t feel the demons in my soul or the devil watching me.

I held my breath when Isaiah started to cry. Mama just kept singing, and he eventually stopped. My mama was kind. Poppa was bad to her too. I didn’t like it when he hurt her. But I didn’t know how to stop him.

I heard footsteps coming to my door. My heart beat faster. I thought it was Poppa coming home already. But when the door opened, I saw it was my mama. I scurried farther back into the corner. Poppa had told me I wasn’t allowed to touch anyone. That my touch was evil and would harm others.


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