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Authors: R.B. Hilliard

Tags: #romance, #erotic, #Fiction

Keep It Simple (MMG Series Book 4)

BOOK: Keep It Simple (MMG Series Book 4)
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KEEP IT SIMPLE

R.B. Hilliard

Copyright © R.B Hilliard, 2015

Kindle Edition

MMG IV

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

Warning: This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Names, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any similarities to real persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

*** This book is meant for audiences of 18+ years. Anyone under the age of 18 should check with a parent or guardian before reading.

Editor: C. Brose

Cover: Libros Evolution

Formatting: BB Books

Dedication

To my husband who wanted to keep it simple.

Love is never simple…

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Acknowledgements

R.B. Hilliard Links

Chapter One

Sarah


January 2014

M
y big brother
is tying the knot. He’s finally marrying Ellison Davis. I’d spent years dreaming about Max marrying Ellie. It was hard to believe it was actually happening. I wonder if she’s changed much in five years. Duh, of course she has. I mean seriously, do I look the same? Does Max?
I thought back to the gawky kid I was five years ago.
Nope, I definitely don’t look the same.
As I sipped my drink I stared out the airplane window and thought about the last time I saw Ellie. It was the day before my entire world fell apart.

“Promise me you won’t leave me, Ellie.”

“I still have one more year of high school to get through, silly. I promise I’m not going anywhere.”

Five years ago, my father got mixed up with a local drug dealer. He was caught dealing pills. In exchange for leniency, he agreed to help the police set up a raid. The night before the raid, I slept over at my neighbor friend’s house. She got sick in the middle of the night and her mother sent me home first thing the next morning. Dad wasn’t around when I got there and Max had already left for work, so I used the spare key from under the back door mat and let myself in. When Dad arrived home and discovered me in my room, he flipped out.

“What the hell are you doing here? You are supposed to be at your friend’s house. You can’t be here right now, Sarah.” The unfamiliar edge to his voice made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

I quickly stammered out an explanation. “S-she got sick. Her mother made me come home first thing this morning.”

“Fucking hell! You are not supposed to be here, damnit! Get to your room, and whatever you do, do not come out.”

I was used to my father yelling at me. However, his frantic pacing and hair pulling that specific morning scared me. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Dad always let me stay by myself. In fact, back then I spent most of the time in my house alone. I took another sip of my drink and reflected back.

“W-w-hat’s wrong, Daddy? Did I do something wrong?” I stupidly asked.

He wrapped his beefy fingers around my arm and yanked me to his chest. Dropping his mouth to my ear, he harshly whispered, “Don’t ask questions and don’t breathe a word of this to your brother. You hear me?” I tried not to gag at his rancid smelling breath, but it was hard. A lone drop of sweat trickled down the side of his face and onto his neck. I focused on it, instead of my roiling stomach. Why he was acting this way? Did I do something wrong? “Look at me, Sarah. I need to know you understand what I’m telling you.”

I stared down at my empty drink and shuddered. Just the thought of my father made me sick inside. Needing a quick diversion, I pulled out my e-reader and powered it on. As long as I lived, I would never forget my father’s hateful tone of voice… or the power behind his hand as he struck me on the side of my face that day.

Why am I thinking about all of this now
?

The answer was easy. I was finally going back to where it all happened.

When I was seven and Max was thirteen, our mother passed away. The doctors said it was an aneurysm. One minute she was there and the next she was gone forever. I only remember her from pictures and stories Max would tell. I have few memories of us as a family. I remember every second of my life after her death, though, especially my horrible father. Instead of stepping in and taking charge, our father fell apart. Max used to tell stories about how much we were loved, but I don’t believe him. When our mother died, our father checked out and never checked back in. He never cooked me dinner or watched television with me. He never let me have friends spend the night. He made Max do everything, including father me.
Poor Max.
In the blink of an eye, he went from a normal teenage boy to a kid strapped with school, a job and another kid to take care of. When Dad was home, he smoked cigarettes, drank beer, watched television and shouted at both of us. Max called him unreliable and unpredictable. I called him big, scary and mean. I learned early on to shut my mouth and duck my head. If I was invisible, he was more likely to leave me alone. That day was not the worst, by far. It was just the last.

“I said look at me, Sarah!”

I protectively held the side of my face where he struck me and slowly looked up at him. Anger and hatred radiated from his piercing blue eyes. Why does he hate me so much? I always try to be a good girl and do exactly what he asks. Why is it never enough?


No matter what happens, do not come out of your room. If I don’t come for you, your brother will. Do you understand?”

I nodded my head in understanding. “Y-yes, Daddy, I hear you.”

“Good, now go.” With the snap of a finger, he dismissed me.

I sprinted to my room, tore open my closet door and let out a quiet sob. One day I will be strong like Max and tell him exactly how I feel.

Our house was a nineteen thirties red brick bungalow with a huge front porch. I had both a bathroom and a closet in my room, while Max had to use the hall bath. My closet was huge and I loved it. It was my refuge; a place to lock the world out when it became too much to handle. When Dad’s creepy friends started coming by the house a few months back, I dragged my sleeping bag and pillow to the back of my closet and made a fort behind my hanging clothes.

Quickly closing the door behind me, I locked it. Darkness enveloped me. That was another thing I loved about my closet. It locked from the inside. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I dropped to my knees and heard the doorbell ring. My father’s voice, as he welcomed his friends, boomed through the house and my heart shot to my throat. Dad’s friends were here early today. Normally they visited at night. I couldn’t recall them ever stopping by during the day. I scurried to the back of the closet and crawled into my sleeping bag. I felt around for my lantern and, once I got my hands on it, turned it on. Light filled my small shelter and I smiled at the friendly shadows that danced across the walls.

Max went to work for Leroy Benny right after our mom died. Leroy was a friend of my parents and owned a garage somewhere in town. Leroy knew Max was having a hard time with our mother’s death and asked if he wanted to earn some money. Around that same time, I started having terrible nightmares. Max took money from one of his first paychecks and bought me a battery operated lantern. The thought of that old lantern made me smile. I slept with it beside my bed for years. Then I used it to light my fort. Max made me leave it behind when we ran.
He let me take blanky and pillow, though.

A crash from the other room was followed by loud shouts of laughter. My stomach churned as I searched the floor for blanky and pillow. Not seeing them anywhere, I started to panic.

No!

I never, and I mean ever, went anywhere without blanky and pillow. They were given to me by my mother when I was a baby. I didn’t care if I was too old for them, like Daddy said. They made me feel close to Mom. I sucked in a deep breath and held it. Then I placed my ear to the back wall of my closet and listened. I could make out three voices. I bet they are drinking and watching naked women on television. Max didn’t know it, but when he wasn’t
around, Dad would send me to my room so he could watch naked women on the television. The last time I caught him, he threw a beer bottle at my head and screamed for me to stay in my room. Closing my eyes, I tried to remember where I’d last seen blanky and pillow. Please let them be on my bed. I had a sneaky suspicion they were still sitting on the kitchen chair where I must have left them after breakfast this morning.

Please let them be on my bed, I quietly chanted in my head.

Slowly, I crept back to the closet door and unlocked it. Fear raced through my body as I cracked it open and pressed my eye to it. When I saw the room was empty, I pushed the door the rest of the way open, slid out and ran across to my bed. My heart dropped. Blanky and pillow weren’t there. The rumbling sound of the men laughing in the other room was a good sign. I bet if I slip around through the dining room, I can get in and out of the kitchen without them even noticing.

I raced across the room to my bedroom door, quietly pulled it open and peered down the hall. A pungent odor slammed into me. Yuck. Dad and his friends were smoking that nasty smelling stuff again. It reminded me of dirty socks and mildew. Oh so carefully I snuck down the hall and glanced into the living room. Dad was sitting in his usual chair with his back to me. A dark haired man was in the chair across from him and another was on the sofa. They were passing around one of Dad’s nasty smelling cigarettes and watching naked women on the television. Just as I thought. I was about to make my move for the kitchen, when Dad stood up and offered to get the men a beer.

No!

He told me not to leave my room. I knew if he caught me out in the hall, he would punish me. This time it would be much worse than a slap to the face. Adrenaline coursed through my body as I bolted down the hall and back into the closet. Right as I flipped the lock, a loud booming noise echoed through the house. I slapped my hands over my ears and whimpered. One of the men started yelling something in a language I could not understand and I panicked. Dropping to my knees, I crawled to the back of my fort and burrowed deep into the sleeping bag. Another loud bang roared through the house. I held my hands to my ears and fought back a scream.

I rarely thought about the day my dad was murdered anymore. Every now and then I would wake up screaming from the nightmare of it, but as I got older, it happened less and less. The day those men killed our father, Max became my everything. I’d been through years of therapy, but no amount of professional help could erase something like that from my head. I had to learn how to compartmentalize the bad. Otherwise, it would all run together and the bad would taint the good. I’d gotten good at separating the two. I was still, however, working on some of the other stuff. One of which, was feeling like a burden. When Mom died, I was a burden to my father. He couldn’t deal with me, so he pushed me off on Max. When Dad was killed, I became Max’s full time burden. My big brother stepped up to the plate, though. Even though he was hurting inside, he took care of me. Then he sent me away. That was a little over three years ago. I was so angry at Max for letting the agents send me away that I refused to allow him to explain. I knew what he was going to say. I broke the rules and put us in danger, therefore I had to pay the price. Still… why he didn’t stand up for me and tell them no, I would never understand. At first, I refused to speak to him. That lasted a little over a month. In the end, I refused to come home to visit. The day Max told me I had to go to Scotland I vowed to never be a burden on anyone ever again. So far I had managed to keep that promise.

BOOK: Keep It Simple (MMG Series Book 4)
4.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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