Page 11 of Before (After 5)


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Her presence made him feel at ease; the fire in his heart was cooled and he was becoming addicted to her. He craved her until he had her, and once he took her, neither of them could stop. Her body became his safety, her mind his home. The more he loved her, the more he was hurting her. He couldn’t stay away, and through their struggles and growth, she became the normalcy he’d craved his entire life.

His relationship with his dad continued to grow slowly into something close to familiar. A few family dinners, and he had begun to chip away at the hatred he felt toward the man. He was seeing himself differently, and that helped him see the wrongs of his father in a different light. And that’s when he needed her to anchor him, as his life changed again and his family shifted. He was growing to care for a houseful of strangers in a way that he swore he never would.

It wasn’t easy for him to fight against twenty years of destructive patterns and base animal reactions.

He had to fight each day against the liquor calling to his blood, against the anger he was trying to let go of . . . but didn’t know how to. He vowed that he would fight for her—and he did. He lost a few battles, but never lost sight of winning the war. She taught him laughter and taught him love—and he has expressed this time after time to her, but he will never stop.



one

The last few days of summer break are always the best. Everyone is fucking frantic, living out their last-minute summer plans and wishes. The parties get more crowded, the girls get more wild . . . but even so, I can’t fucking wait for the semester to start. Not because I’m some idiotic freshman, excited for the wondrous world of university. No, I’m anxious because if I play my cards right, I’ll be graduating in the spring, a full year ahead of time.

Not bad for a delinquent no one assumed would even attend university, much less graduate early.

My mum was so terrified for my future that she sent me halfway across the damn world to the grand state of Washington to live near my father. She used the bullshit excuse that she wanted me to “reconnect” with him, but I wasn’t fooled. I knew she simply couldn’t and didn’t want to put up with my shit anymore, so off to America, like some colonial Puritan of old.

“Are you almost done?” Pink hair and swollen lips look up at me from between my legs. I had nearly forgotten she was here.

“Yeah.” I wrap my hands around her shoulders and close my eyes, letting the physical pleasure she’s giving me take over. A distraction, that’s what she is. They all are.

The pressure in my spine builds, and I don’t bother to pretend that I enjoy her company for more than sexual pleasure as I release into her warm mouth.

Seconds later, she’s wiping at her lips with the back of her hand and getting to her feet.

“You know . . .” Molly reaches for her purse and pulls out a tube of dark lipstick. “You could at least pretend to be interested, asshole.” Her lips pucker, and she wipes a finger across the excess crayon painted onto her mouth.

“I am.” I clear my throat. “Pretending, that is.”

She rolls her eyes and raises her middle finger to me. I’m interested—sexually, at least. She’s a good enough fuck, and she’s okay company sometimes. We are a lot alike, her and I. Both rejects of our families. I don’t know too much about her past, but I know enough to know that some bad shit has happened to her to make her run all the way to Washington from some rich-bitch town in Pennsylvania.

“Dick,” she mutters, pushing the cap back on her makeup. She looks better with naturally pink lips, lips that are swollen from having my cock in her mouth.

Molly is an acquaintance of mine. Well, a friend with benefits, I would say. Our “friendship” isn’t exclusive, not in the least, and we both have full freedom to do whatever, or whoever, the fuck we want. She hates me half the time, but I’m okay with that. It’s mutual.

The rest of our friends give us shit about it, but it works. I’m bored and she’s here. She gives good head and she doesn’t stay around long after. Perfect situation for me. Her, too, it seems.

“You’ll be here tonight, for the party?” she asks.

I stand, too, pulling my boxers and jeans up my legs. “I live here, don’t I?” I raise a brow at her.

I hate it here, and daily I find myself wondering just how the fuck I ended up in a fraternity in the first place.

My shitbag sperm donor. That’s how. Ken Scott is a grade-A fuckup, the worst type. Alcoholic fuckhead who destroyed my entire childhood, only to magically turn his life around and move in with some lady and her son, a loser only two years younger than me.

His do-over, I suppose. Ken Scott gets a fucking do-over, and I get to be in a stupid-ass fraternity at the college he’s basically in charge of. On top of this, he practically begged me to move in with him, as if he thought I would actually live under his roof, under his control. When I refused, I had assumed he would get me an apartment, but of course he didn’t. So here I am, in this stupid house instead. It really pissed him off that I chose this shithole rather than his clean, pristine palace.

The stupid-ass fraternity does have its perks, I guess. A massive house with parties almost every night, a constant stream of endless pussy. And the best part of all: no one fucks with me.

None of the pissant frat boys seem to mind the fact that I don’t do shit to actually represent the house. I don’t wear their stupid sweatshirts or plaster their stupid bumper stickers on my car. I don’t participate in any of the volunteer shit, and I sure as hell don’t go around yelling the name of the shit. They do some okay shit for the community, but they don’t actually give a fuck about the community, and none of that matters.

When I glance around the room, I realize I’m alone. Molly must have left without me even noticing.

I get up and open the window to air the place out before it gets used again tonight. All of these empty rooms in the house work in my favor since I can’t stand to have people in my own. It’s too personal or something, I don’t know, but I don’t like it, and everyone has learned one way or another not to come in here. Molly and whichever other girls come around know we’re bound for these empty rooms and not mine.

As I approach my door, I see Logan stumbling down the hall, a short, curly-haired girl under his arm. She isn’t quiet about what she wants to do to him, and I’m not quiet about my disgust.

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