Halfling (Black Petals Book 1)

BOOK: Halfling (Black Petals Book 1)
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Halfling

 

A Black Petals Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Tarisa Marie

Published by Tarisa Golby

© Tarisa Golby – 2016

 

The purchaser of this book is subject to the condition that he/she shall in no way resell it, nor any part of it, nor make copies of it to distribute freely.

This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and situations within its pages and places or persons, living or dead, is unintentional and coincidental.

Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

“You must be my partner. I’m Blayk. Nice to meet you,” a deep, Australian-accented, male voice says from behind me, frightening me. I turn to meet the brown eyes of a dark-haired, tan-skinned man wearing dark wash jeans and a black V-neck t-shirt.

“Oh! Yeah, I am. I’m Megan,” I sputter quickly and extend my hand.

He shakes it and smiles kindly.

“I just got our map. We’re assigned to Madison Street West,” I inform him in a fake happy tone. I honestly just want to get this over and done with, so I can go home and binge watch TV.

He raises his eyebrows. “
Nice
, it’s one of the shortest streets in the city. I guess we lucked out,” he approves gratefully. I toss him a couple of empty garbage bags and a pair of blue rubber gloves.

I’m not too sure about picking garbage all day with a random stranger, but my workplace has volunteered us all for the semi-annual city clean up. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping out and volunteering, but I just wish I would’ve been paired with another girl or put in a group of more than two. Not that I have anything against guys. I just grew up in a family where they were nothing but unreliable pig heads. My dad was never around, and my mom brought more men home than eggs. None of them stuck around of course.

“Yeah, I guess we did. Do you want me to drive or…” I trail off, getting distracted by the many people buzzing around us in the community centre. I rip down the paper sign from the wall with our group number on it and crumple it up. We’re all here. All two of us.

“I can drive,” he suggests hastily, as if he’s scared of my driving or something. I
am
a terrible driver, or so I’ve been told, but obviously he would have no way of knowing this. I toss the crumbled sign that’s in my hand into a nearby garbage can.

He nods towards the double doors on our left-hand side and begins walking towards it.

I follow him. He’s tall. Probably nearly six feet, whereas I’m a mere five feet in height.

As we exit the community centre, I can’t help but gawk at some of the people around me. I’m new to the city. I was born and raised in a small town. It would be an understatement to say that moving to the city was a big change. There are people
everywhere
.
All kinds
of people too. Some with purple hair, others with piercings in their lips and eyebrows. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, because it’s definitely not. It’s the reason that I moved here. Diversity.
Freedom.

In Manson, my hometown, there were no more than a thousand people. All of which, were Caucasian, and most of which, were prejudiced in some way, shape, or form. Here, no one
cares
what you look like or who you are. It’s liberating, and I absolutely love it.

The loud hum of voices, created by the many people around me, fills my ears, as I struggle to keep up with Blayk. Why is he walking so darn fast? Hasn’t he noticed that I have short, little legs? I finally break into a sprint to catch up to him. In doing so, I nearly knock a woman and her toddler off of their feet, as I rush by them. I mutter a breathless apology, as I continue to zip through the crowd, careful not to lose sight of Blayk. When I finally reach the outside of the building, I’m huffing and puffing. He’s in a hurry apparently, and I’m obviously dangerously out of shape.

“Sorry, was I walking a little fast?” he apologizes as he takes in my condition. I have to struggle not to glare at him. He looks amused and clearly not sincerely apologetic.
Men
.

“Just a little,” I say exasperatedly and fix my ruffled hair.

“Sorry, I’ll slow down,” he promises, a grin lighting up his face. He finds this funny. I certainly don’t. Okay, maybe if I saw how I looked right now, it might be a little amusing, but he better not walk that fast while we’re picking garbage, or he’ll leave me in the dust.

“So, uh, what company are you with?” I ask him, changing to subject.

His grin disappears and he nods towards the left parking lot. I follow him, glad that he’s now slowed his pace to something manageable.

“I’m just volunteering myself,” he announces. “Just moved here a couple months ago from out of country with my younger brother, and I thought this would be an excellent way to meet people. What about you?” He fishes in his pocket for his keys.

I nod. “Cool. Uh, I work with seniors at a lodge on the west side,” I answer with a yawn. I had a long night last night. I spent it babysitting my elderly neighbour’s new puppy while she was out of town, and it cried and whined all night.

Blayk runs a hand through his thick, black hair and pulls out his car keys. “Oh, sounds like a blast.” He grins and stops in front of what looks to be a brand new, black Mercedes.

When he unlocks the doors and jumps in, I nearly have a heart attack.
This
is
his
? I robotically open the passenger door and jump in, careful not to track mud in.

“Wow, nice car,” I admire. I’m not much of a car person, but if I was, I know I’d be gushing about this ride for the rest of my life.

“Yeah, thanks. I just got it a few weeks ago,” he states blankly and starts the engine. Unlike my car, which sounds like an angry bear when starting, his car hardly makes a sound. Looking at him now, I can’t imagine that he is anything over twenty. How can someone so young own a Mercedes? Rich parents maybe?

“How old are you?” I ask, hoping that I don’t sound rude. I buckle my seatbelt and straighten my thin, black jacket.

“Twenty-five,” he tells me with a weak smile. “Yourself?” Twenty-
five
? He must be joking. I’d guess he was fifteen before twenty-five.

“Twenty-two.”

He raises his eyebrows. “You look younger.”

“So do you,” I agree.

He smirks but doesn’t say anything. We pull out onto the street and head west.

We’re both silent as we pass through the city. He reaches into the center console at a red light and pulls out a pair of sun glasses. He puts them on carefully. I should have brought mine. I didn’t think it was going to be so sunny today, as the weatherman called for rain. I guess sun is far better than rain for picking trash.

He turns up the radio just as his cell phone rings. He presses a button on the dash.

“Hello?” he answers sternly. “What do you want, Landon? I told you I’m busy
volunteering
today.” He sounds down-right annoyed with the caller.

An Australian accented voice erupts through the speakers of the car. “Yeah, I know, mate. I’m just letting you know that our father is on his way here. He just called. He’ll be here tomorrow morning.”

I glance over at Blayk and see him swallow hard. “You must be joking. Now is not a good time,” he replies, sounding even more irritated.

“You know him, Blayk. He doesn’t care if it’s a good time.”

“Okay, thanks for the news, but I have to go. I’ll talk to you
soon
,” Blayk mutters through clenched teeth and ends the call. Apparently I’m not the only one in this car with daddy issues. “Sorry about that. Family drama.”

I smile reassuringly and look out the windshield, careful not to make awkward eye contact with anyone on the street. I hate making eye contact with people, especially strangers.

“Is your family here in Toronto?” he asks me while making a right and then pulling to the side of the road to park. This is not Madison Street. I swallow hard. Why are we stopping here? Should I be concerned? We’re parked in front of a large brick house in a neighborhood, which I don’t recognize.

“No, my only family is my mom, and she lives in Alberta,” I admit. “She’s in jail. I haven’t talked to her in years. She killed a bunch of kids while drinking and driving a couple years ago.” Maybe that was a little too much information to give a stranger. I cringe at my own words. I talk a lot when I’m nervous.

He gets out of the car. “One second. I just have to grab something from my house.”
His
house
?
This
is his house?! I live in a boot compared to this mansion.

I exhale sharply, not realizing that I’ve been holding in a breath. He probably just wants to change his shoes or something. He
is
dressed a tad fancy for garbage picking, isn’t he? I’m dressed in a band t-shirt and sweatpants, topped off with a ripped jacket. I look like a total slob.

In all honesty, I tend to majorly over react around strangers, becoming fidgety and paranoid, because growing up in a small town, I was constantly warned how untrustworthy people are. I was basically told that people are crazy, especially city people. You could say that
this
, getting into a car with a total stranger, is a fair ways out of my comfort zone.

When Blayk returns a few seconds later, he has someone with him. I can see in the man’s features that the two of them share the same thick, bushy, black eyebrows and nearly the same sharp jawline. This must be the brother that he was speaking to over the phone. What was his name? Was it Landon? The two could be identical twins except for the difference in their hair styles. Where Blayk’s is short and tousled, Landon’s is short and spiky.

My car door swings open and Blayk grabs my wrist harshly. The other brother reaches in and unbuckles my seatbelt. My heart hammers in my chest, as I push and scratch at both of them. My instincts were right, I should never have gotten into a car with this man. I manage to bite one of the men. I’m not sure which. They don’t seem fazed. I attempt to scream, but a hand quickly covers my mouth, before I can let out any noise. A feeling of sickness washes over me, as I succumb to immense fright.

“Calm down, woman,” Landon says in a serene voice. Calm down? He must be joking.
Calm
down? I’m being yanked out of a car against my will!

Suddenly, I’m over one of their shoulders, the car behind us. I kick and punch rapidly. Surely one of the neighbours will see me and call the police, right? Megan, you’ve really done it this time with your lack of thinking and common sense, you idiot. This is so me, getting abducted by two men I’ve never met all because I didn’t think any of this through. Did the people running the cleanup not conduct background checks?

Against my will, I am carried into the large brick house and tossed onto the floor harshly.

“Who sent you?!” Blayk shouts at me angrily, his casual expression becoming hard and cold. He adjusts his sunglasses.

I look up at both men, confused. No one sent me. I mean my company sent me to do city cleanup, but I know that’s not what he’s talking about. I feel tears well up in my eyes and drip down my cheeks. I am completely and utterly terrified. I’ve never felt this kind of fear before. Is this seriously going to be how I die? If not, this is the last time I’m ever volunteering for city cleanup. I can tell you that much.

“Answer me!” Blayk shouts again. This time he sounds impossibly angrier. I glance to Landon. He looks just as pissed off as his brother, but there seems to be a touch more warmth in
his
facial expression.

I wince and attempt to stand up, only to be kicked in the ribs and sent back down to the hard tile floor again.

“No one
sent
me! I swear. I don’t know what you’re talking about. My boss just volunteered us all to help!” I rattle off in a rush. I feel myself sweating. Do I dare scream now that I’m in the house? What if they just decide to kill me to shut me up? Do I risk it? Maybe I’ve watched too many horror movies.

Landon sighs and his angry expression falters. Suddenly he’s looking at me with what looks to me like pity, and I’m not sure why. My heart skips a beat when I get a look at his eyes. The irises are totally black, like pitch black which makes them blend into the pupils entirely. I gasp. Why do people these days insist on wearing those dumb colored contacts? He looks like a freak which really doesn’t help my situation. For some reason, it actually makes me impossibly more freaked out and scared.

“She’s telling the truth. She’s not one of them,” Landon says calmly to Blayk.

“She wears their ring,” Blayk argues, pointing to my hand.

Who in the hell do they think I am? A drug dealer? Part of some gang? What do they want?

“Where did you get that ring on your finger?” Landon huffs and glances down at my right hand. I don’t have to look to know that he’s talking about the fraternity ring that my father left behind. Why I even wear it, I don’t know. I was so young when he left that I don’t even remember the guy at all.

“I-I got it from my father. Well, I mean, he left it when he left my mom when I was a baby,” I answer in a quick, confused rush. What if what my mom thought was a fraternity ring from college is actually some kind of gang related token?

“What was your father’s name?” Blayk thunders, having no patience what so ever.

I wipe my tears from my cheeks and glance at the door. There is no way that I’m going to be able to make a run for it. Either one or both of these men will catch me in an instant. Why don’t I carry around pepper spray like they tell you to on those ads on TV?

BOOK: Halfling (Black Petals Book 1)
7.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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