They’re cruel. Reckless. Impossibly fucked up.
The Sick Boys feed on the order they create. They rule Eastpoint University just as their families have for decades. But their power doesn’t stop there. The three of them are heirs to some of the largest fortunes in the world, and behind that kind of wealth lies an underworld of corruption.
On the surface, they’re perfect princes and he is their King. But underneath it all, they’re filled with blood, lies, and secrets. With all of their connections, they have the power to crush anyone who gets in their way. But just because they’re as warped as I am doesn’t mean I’m going to give them a free pass.
Because I, Avalon Manning, bow to no one, and I live to break the fucking rules.
I put my foot to the gas, and floor it. The wavering pointer on the speedometer jerks up and then inches over, slowly but surely making its way to the 100mph mark and then beyond. The headlights wash over the dark backwoods road. The longer I stare, the harder it is to see until I realize it isn’t that the road is hard to see, I’m just crying.
Sobbing, actually. Big, heaving sobs wrack my frame as tears slide from my eyes. They slip down my cheeks, dirty little things, leaving me with a salty taste in my mouth that’s tinged with a metallic edge. Tears and blood. How? Because I’ve bitten my lip so hard that I can feel where the skin has broken and blood seeps from the wound onto my tongue.
“Fuck him…” I whisper. I lift my fist from the steering wheel and bring it down hard. Hard enough that it sends a ricochet of pain up my arm. “Fuck them,” I amend, because it wasn’t just Dean Carter. It was all of them. All for one and one for fucking all. They would back him, I had no doubt. So fuck them all. “Fuck them. Fuck them. FUCK. THEM.” I scream until my lungs hurt.
It hurts. Fuck, everything hurts. The worst pain imaginable. Like being shredded open and left, gasping, in a pile of trash. That’s essentially what he’d done. Never in my life had I ever let anyone make me feel like I was just as dirty and disgusting as my mother—not even the bitch herself. But he’d done it. And why did I feel this way? Because I’d gone and gotten stupid. Oh, I told myself I was being smart but the second I gave in, the very moment I spread my legs, deep down, I’d known. I up and drank the dumb bitch juice he’d been handing out.
Had it been obvious? I wonder. Had I just not seen the signs? I didn’t think it was fucking possible for a girl like me to be dickmatized, but I’m not stupid enough to believe that doesn’t have any bearing on the betrayal I now feel. God, I can’t fucking breathe!
The sex had been amazing. It’d been filthy and rotten and for some fucking reason, when I’d been in his arms, I hadn’t been Avalon Manning, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. I’d just been me without all of the past shit to ruin it. And he’d just been a guy—as annoying as he could be, as controlling and as much of an asshole as he was—that I liked.
Liked—as in past tense. Because, the fact is, I’m not in love with him. To love him would be to ruin everything that I am. Because I’m not a girl that loves. I’m a girl that fucking destroys, and oh, Dean doesn’t know it yet, but he’s made one of the biggest fucking mistakes of his life with me. The snake of pure, unfiltered wrath breaks free and slithers up and around my throat. It blurs my reality as I lift my foot off the gas and just let the stolen ride be.
Eventually, the Mustang comes to a slow stop in the middle of the road. Darkness in front of me and darkness behind—much like my past and like my probable future.
Here I am … sitting in a stolen car in the middle of nowhere with blood and tears on my face. I laugh. It’s fucking funny as shit. Stupidly funny.
I laugh so loud and long and hard that my stomach begins to cramp. Something feels loose in my brain. Like whatever had been keeping me semi-sane has snapped and broken. The barrier is gone now and it. Feels. Fucking. Satisfying.
My eyes slide to the side and I reach for the seatbelt as they land on the glove box. I unbuckle myself, moving slowly as if my limbs have minds of their own. I press the button and it opens. My fingers find the handle of the gun I’d seen stashed in here the first time I’d ridden in this car. It’s easy to pick it up—too easy—and though the gun feels heavy in my grasp, it feels right too. I lift it and point towards the windshield. I picture the guys. One by one. Standing in a line in front of the twin beams of light pouring from the Mustang’s headlights.
What would I do if given the chance to kill him? Could I do it? Could I pull the trigger?
Right now, I feel like it’d be all too easy to blow not just his but each of their fucking brains out—because if it wasn’t for the other two, I might never have met Dean Carter in the first place. My finger finds the trigger in question and smooths over it, but I don’t press down. Instead, I lower the weapon, and after a moment, I put the gun back in the glove compartment, close it, and snap my seatbelt back into place.
No, I’m not going to kill them. I’ve got better things planned for them. More torturous things. What I am going to do, however, is go back. Not to Eastpoint, but to the place where it all began. There have been far too many people in my life who seem to think they have power over me and it all starts there.
First the past. Then the present. Only then can I finally face the fucking future.
Rules to live by. To look forward, I have to go back. Just once. Just this once. I put my foot back on the gas and this time, when I floor it, I know exactly where I’m going.
Those boys—those sick, twisted, disgusting, perverted assholes—think they can sweep into my life and drag me through the carnage of hell. What they don’t yet realize, though, is that I was born there and I know exactly how to not only survive, but to fucking rise.
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