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Rook (High Rollers MC #2)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
No one hurts Tenley.
Rook is the second book in the High Rollers MC Series.
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Thirteen years ago
The kitchen in my childhood home was probably the most significant room in the house. I remembered the dim orange glow exactly, the shade covering the flickering bulb was covered in dust which cast a shadow around the room. It was dusty not because Mom was lazy and didn’t clean the house enough, but it was too far out of her reach. And she couldn’t dare to ask him for help.
I was fifteen years old, and sometimes while I sat eating recently thawed potato waffles for dinner with ketchup, I’d stare up at the ceiling and watch the shade sway. Back and forth. It was a hypnotic motion, my only entertainment since the TV broke several months ago. And we wouldn’t dare ask him if we could fix it.
Even though it was him who broke it. Mom didn’t say it, but I knew. I’d seen it happen with my own eyes.
I’d laid awake in bed, listening to the sound of his truck pull up and then the front door slamming shut. Mom had stayed up with the dinner in the oven, waiting to heat it up the moment he walked through the door.
I could hear raised voices. His raised voice, more like. Hers was just a meek murmur. I knew she kept her head down around him, spoke only when she was spoken to, and then there was the sound of the crashing of plates. He’d broken his dinner I thought and sat up in bed, pulling the covers tightly around me.
I may have been fifteen, even considered to be grown in some circles, but I was shivering and shuddering as I sat there in the darkness of my room. I wasn’t scared for me, I was scared for Mom.
Her voice was so soft that I didn’t even hear her shriek when he hit her. When he threw her to the ground and screamed and cussed at her. I jumped out of bed, clenching and unclenching my fists in anger and frustration.
I tiptoed to the top of the stairs, half afraid of what I might see. Through the bars of the staircase, I could see Mom’s crouched outline in the corner of the kitchen, huddled with her knees up to her chin. I could see her shuddering, trying not to cry too loud and wake me.
He was striding around, picking up an old lamp off the floor and before I could run down the stairs, he’d crashed it into the TV screen, shattering it into a million pieces. A part of me was glad he hadn’t crashed it into Mom.
But then he was rushing up to her, growling unintelligibly. He caught a fistful of her hair and tried to drag her up his leg. I could see him more clearly now. His bulging bloodshot eyes, his forehead soaked in sweat, spittle flying from his mouth as he made garbled drunken angry sounds at Mom.
A sort of war cry came out of me. I didn’t know what it even was. I was lunging towards them, running in his direction, flinging myself at his bigger more muscular body.
“No!” I heard Mom squeal because she knew what was going to happen next.
I’d barely touched him and he let go of her hair and lifted me up in the air. I was too weak, or at least I felt too weak to react to him. He grabbed me by my shoulders, my legs flailed in every direction. I felt helpless. I couldn’t help Mom. I couldn’t even help myself.
He pushed me against the wall, choking me now with one large hand till I turned blue in the face. I was beginning to feel dizzy, and then Mom hit him on his head with a frying pan. He yelped and roared like a caged animal, releasing his grip on my neck so I crashed down to the floor in a heap.
He took a swing at mom again, but because he was drunk, he missed. She dropped the pan from her hand and for the first time that night, screamed “Sorry!”
What was she apologizing for? I wanted to tell her to stop apologizing to him!
He grabbed her again, pulling her by her hair, dragging her along the floor while she tried to hold on to the legs of chairs and tables and any furniture along the way. He dragged her into the small room at the back of the house. I could hear her whimpering and his raging sickening voice.
I was old enough to know exactly what he was doing to her in that room and it made me sick.
I threw up on the floor, where I was lying on my stomach. I couldn’t hear their voices anymore and I poked my fingers into my ears to make the thudding sound stop. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t hear my own voice.