Authors: Nikki Groom
[email protected] Nikki Groom
Cover design by Hang Le / byhangle.com
Editing and proofreading by Raw Books Editing / rawbooksonline.com
Formatting by Brenda Wright
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission.
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For my mum …
The strongest woman I know.
I love you millions
“IF YOU’RE not ready in ten minutes, I’m leaving you here,” Damien yells up the stairs of his three story townhouse. It’s not the first time he’s called up to me and I’ve managed to ignore him until now. “Megan!” he yells louder.
“Alright,” I yell back with annoyance. “Keep your fucking hair on.” I huff and mutter expletives under my breath, he’s only been back an hour, barely gotten through the door and already he’s ordering me about like I’m one of his monkeys. I take one last look in the mirror and decide I need another blast of hairspray to keep my mane of hair in place for the whole evening. I also want to make him wait and antagonise him a little more, because at the moment he pisses me off
much. We’ve been together for five years, college sweethearts. He was the quiet, unassuming geeky kid that sat at the back of the class, and I was the loud, mouthy girl that didn’t study hard enough and fell for his shy, untouchable persona. Little did I know that I wouldn’t need a ton of A+ grade exam results to find my dream job as a tattooist’s assistant and chief piercer in the Skin Deep studio in the heart of Brighton city centre. I also didn’t know that there was a drug dealing, megalomaniac control freak underneath Damien’s quiet exterior. It took a couple of years for that person to rear his ugly head. I actually think it happened by chance but by then we had lived together for so long, and I had adapted to him and his ways without seeing the road we were stumbling down. I don’t even know when it really happened. We morphed from a young couple in love with our future ahead of us, to what we are now. I don’t know how long it can go on like this, going nowhere. Something is changing, maybe it’s already changed.
I spray my hair in place, gloss over my lips with a rich red stain, and take a deep breath before grabbing my leather jacket from the hanger and slipping in to it as I walk downstairs.
“Fuck me, girl. You take longer to get ready every fuckin’ week,” Damien grumbles as I negotiate the narrow stairs in my five inch spiked heels. He has showered and is ready to go in just a half hour. He’s dressed in his trademark jeans, shirt and a blazer. His blonde hair is styled so the top falls over to the side, and he’s so cleanly shaven, his skin looks softer than mine. Despite being pissed off with him, I can’t deny that he’s pretty damn gorgeous. Such a handsome exterior with charm to match, but I can't deny that I don't get those tingles in my belly when I look at him anymore. I don't feel the flutters that I used to when he says my name.
“Well, you’ve been away for three weeks, so I’ve got a lot of nights out to make up for,” I mumble bitterly as I walk. When I’ve touched down at the bottom of the stairs he grabs my waist and pulls me to him, pushing his face in to my neck and inhaling deeply.
“Jesus, Megan,” he sighs. “You look fuckable. It feels so long since I was inside you. I want to mark that perfect pale skin of yours. Who cares if we’re late?” He growls and bites my neck hard enough to make me wince. Pushing away from him, I pull up the collar of my jacket in an effort to cover at least some of my skin. He’s high, and when he’s high, he’s rough with me. It’s usually cocaine. The purest cocaine he can get his hands on, uncut of course. He wouldn’t take something that was mixed. Cocaine is a clean drug as he would call it. Clean, pure, uncut and the best shit you’d find throughout most of the country. Unlike the ecstasy and ketamine he has his minions selling. Who knows what the fuck is mixed in with that. As I walk away, he laughs to himself “You wanna line before we go, baby? Might take the edge off that shitty attitude you’re giving me.”
I stop with my hand on the door frame and sigh, part of me loves to stay sober and watch what goes on around us. He loses some of the control he likes to have when he’s buzzed, he doesn’t know it, and it’s the only time it happens, but the other part of me can’t handle a whole evening of him high and arrogant and rough, without being buzzed too. I stride back toward him and snatch the rolled up fifty out of his hand. “You know, I wouldn’t be so shitty if you hadn’t been gone so long,” I huff, scowling at him. He responds by lifting the mirror off the side cabinet and holding it up for me with a cocky smile. He knows I’d struggle to resist. I press my finger to my nostril and sniff sharply, moving along the pure white line of oblivion, savouring the last piece of total control I have over myself this evening.
The taxi pulls up outside The Cabin nightclub, our usual haunt, and Damien exits before extending a gentlemanly hand to help me out. My fingertips are already sensitive as the cocaine works its way through my veins, seeping out to the rest of my body and as I place my hand in his, the touch of his skin sends shivers up my arm. My body hums. I’m warm and tingly, and shit … that was good stuff.
Damien nods at the head doorman and enters ahead of the crowds. There’s always a huge queue here but luckily the boys on the door know us well, and we walk straight through.