Read Rebelonging (Unbelonging, Book 2) Online

Authors: Sabrina Stark

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Rebelonging (Unbelonging, Book 2)

BOOK: Rebelonging (Unbelonging, Book 2)
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Rebelonging
(Unbelonging, Book 2)

 

Sabrina Stark

Copyright 2014 by Sabrina
Stark

Smashwords Edition

 

NOTE:

This is the second book in a two-part
series.

Unbelonging should be read first.

 

 

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This is a work of fiction. Names, places,
businesses, characters and incidents are either the product of the
author's imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any
resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events or
locales is purely coincidental.

Prologue
Lawton

I glanced down at my left wrist. The pain was
nothing. I wound the rope tighter and gave it another sharp, seesaw
tug. The coarse fibers chewed at my skin.

Not enough.

I gave the rope another tug, and then
another. I didn't stop until it came away slick and dark.

With a clinical detachment, Bishop looked
down at my wrist. "So
that's
what the rope was for?" He
shook his head. "You poor fucked-up bastard."

"Like you're one to talk," I said.

I'd grabbed the rope on my way out here. What
I should've grabbed was barbed wire. Except I didn't exactly have
any lying around.

Bishop looked unimpressed. "It's not gonna
win her back, you know."

"This?" I shrugged. "It's not about winning
her back. It's about penance."

He glanced toward the house, dark and quiet.
"If it's not about her, then why are we here?"

We stood side-by-side on the darkened
sidewalk, hidden in the shadows of a tall oak tree. I stared past
the long driveway to zoom in on the big two-story brick house.
Something in my gut twisted.

That was where
she
lived. The girl I
loved. The girl I lost.

Chloe.

There it was again, that gnawing ache where
my heart used to be. I glanced again at the driveway. Her car was
gone. Where
was
she?

A friend's house? A hotel? I swallowed. The
hospital? I gave the rope a vicious yank, and then another.

Bishop's voice cut through the mist. "That's
enough."

He might've been my brother, but he wasn't my
boss. I twisted the rope three times over and yanked twice as
hard.

"For fuck's sake," he muttered. "At least
switch wrists, will ya?"

Silently, I unwound the rope from my left
wrist and wrapped it around my right. I gave it the same seesaw
tug. And then another.

Bishop shook his head. "My brother, the
psycho."

"Half brother," I said.

"Yeah. And all psycho."

"No," I said. "Not psycho. Fair." I glanced
over at him. "It's what we do, right?"

"No. I'm pretty sure this is a first."

"Get real," I said. "If I were some other
guy, this is exactly what we'd be doing to him. I know it. You know
it." I tugged again, savoring the burn as it tore into my flesh.
"Why should I be different? Like I’m so fucking special."

His voice was quiet. "You didn't know."

"That the cuffs were tearing up her wrists?"
I heard myself swallow. "Yeah? Well, I should've known." I looked
down. "And what kind of monster does that shit? You know how long I
left her there, in those fucking handcuffs?" My voice broke.
"Hours." I gave the rope a vicious tug. A strand of rope splintered
from the rest, drooping slick and loose at my side.

With a sound of disgust, Bishop snatched the
rope and moved it out of my reach. "That's it. You're done." He
coiled the rope loosely around his wrist, but he didn't tug.

He didn't need to. He wasn't a monster.

I was.

I didn't deserve her. I never had. And she
sure as hell didn't deserve what I'd put her through.

Chloe had it all. Looks, money, and the kind
of class I'd never have, no matter what my bank account said. I'd
known her,
really
known her, just a few weeks. But I'd loved
her for years. Not that she ever knew.

These past weeks, I kept waiting for her to
put two and two together, to come up with my face, to remember. But
she never did. And I never told her.

"My guess?" Bishop said, "She's at work."

I gave him a look. Why the hell would she be
there? To forget what happened? To forget about me? She sure as
hell didn't need the money. That much was obvious.

"No." I shook my head. "She's not there. Not
after what happened."

At the memory, I felt a dull, deep pain that
had nothing to do with my bloodied wrists or bruised knuckles. God,
I'd been such an asshole. Why?

But I knew why. I'd been so damned determined
to not be played that I'd fucked up the only thing that had ever
given me peace.

Peace, now that was a foreign concept. I used
to watch her when she slept, curled on her side, or curled in my
arms. The memory made me want to scream.

I blew out a breath. Sleep. That had been
scarce too. Until Chloe.

For her sake, I should walk away for good.
She'd be better off. She already had it all – looks, personality,
probably a nice family too. Not that she'd ever brought me around
to meet them. I knew why. She was ashamed. And who could blame her?
Shit, at this point, I was ashamed of myself.

And now she was gone. But for how long?

Best-case scenario, she was at some friend's
house, telling her what an asshole I was. Worst case – My stomach
twisted. I didn't want to think about it.

"Just in case," Bishop said, "we'd better
find a new drop point."

But what if she
was
at work? Would I
be able to see her? Make sure she was okay?

"No," I said. "The drop point stays."

"So you
want
her to see this thing? Is
that it?"

I shrugged.

"You know what you're acting like? You're
like some cat who just tore up the couch," he said. "So what you do
is drag home a couple of dead mice and fling 'em at the owner's
feet. Look, a present. But I'm telling you, it's a mistake."

"Fuck you," I said. "Our mice aren't
dead."

"Yeah. And you sound
real
happy about
that." He gave me a serious look. "But about that cat, you know
what happens, right?" He paused. "The owner freaks. Especially if
it's a girl."

"Yeah? So what's your point?"

"If Chloe's there," he said, "she's gonna
freak."

"No, she won't. Besides, she deserves to see
this." A cold rage washed over me. "After what those guys did to
her."

"
Almost
did to her," Bishop said. "And
even that –" He shrugged. "–wasn't as bad as we first thought."

I looked over at him. "You can't be fuckin'
serious. Wasn't bad? They tried to drag her into their car, for
fuck's sake. You think that's alright?"

"I never said that. I'm just saying, it's too
personal. You're all twisted up."

I glared over at him. "Wouldn't
you
be?"

He turned to study the house. "No."

"Bull."

"I don't get twisted up," he said.

I made a scoffing sound. "Yeah. You're a cold
motherfucker. I get it. But you're a fuckin' liar too. If it were
your
girl this happened to, those guys would already be
dead."

"No." A slow smile spread across his face.
"They'd just wish they were."

In front of us, the house hadn't changed. It
was still dark. Still quiet. There was nothing to see and no reason
to linger.

"Think the car's done yet?" I asked.

"Probably."

"Alright," I said. "Let's do this."

Chapter 1

I always knew Keith would show his ass
someday. I just didn't expect it to happen so literally. Standing
in the frigid parking lot, I stared at the foggy mess that was his
car window. Pressed up against the glass were two skinny cheeks and
a giant black squid.

The cheeks were real. The squid was inked.
Either that, or Keith had a serious problem on his hands. No, make
that another part of his unremarkable anatomy. I couldn’t see his
hands through the foggy glass, but I'd seen them often enough to
know they were squid-free.

About the rest of him, let's just say I was
getting a lot better view than I'd ever wanted.

Keith was the night manager at the Two-Bit
Diner where I worked as a waitress. That pompous dipshit had been
making my life hell for weeks. Just an hour ago, he'd called my
cell phone with an ultimatum. Come in to see him within the hour,
or lose my job for good.

Standing outside his car window, I pulled out
my cell phone and checked the time. I'd met his stupid deadline,
but just barely. Again, I glanced at the cheeks. The squid was
moving again.

Apparently, Keith wouldn't be returning to
his office any time soon.

I'd busted my butt to get here. I'd cleaned
up my tear-stained face, squeezed into my trampy uniform, and
plastered on the required makeup even thicker than usual, complete
with the bimbo-blue eye shadow and enough foundation to hide the
fact I was pale as death, with dark circles under my eyes.

My bare legs trembled in the freezing night
air. It was the cold, I told myself. Just the cold. Not nerves, not
exhaustion, and certainly not the remnants of the worst crying jag
I'd ever indulged in.

I'd had a hellish night. Yet somehow, I'd
managed to not only get ready, but make the twenty-minute drive in
just under fifteen. And now that I was here, I wasn't about to lose
my job because Keith wasn't actually in his office.

Screw it.

I knocked on the glass.

Instantly, the squid flew away from the
window. A moment later, Keith's surprised face appeared in its
place. From what I could see, he was utterly naked, except for his
standard striped necktie, hanging loosely around his thin neck.

Somewhere on the other side of the backseat,
a woman was squealing at top volume. I chalked it up to
embarrassment. Somehow I couldn't envision Keith causing the other
kind of squealing, even in the fanciest of hotels, much less a
Lincoln Town Car with a pine tree air freshener hanging from the
rearview mirror.

Keith's eyes were wide, and his thinning
brown hair was a disheveled mess. "Damn it, Chloe!" he hollered
through the glass. "What the hell's wrong with you?"

Me? I wasn't the one banging some strange
chick in the back parking lot.

Then again, that angle wasn't exactly
banging-friendly. Maybe their interlude involved more mouth and
tongue than –

I shuddered. This was Keith, after all.

Stop thinking about it.

I knew why Keith had demanded to see me.
Officially my shift began hours ago. Unofficially, I'd been too
indisposed to come in.

Tied up.

Okay, handcuffed.

And not in the fun way either.

True, I'd been nearly naked. And true, the
guy with the handcuffs was hot as sin, with perfect pecs, glorious
abs, and a face to launch a thousand fantasies. But all that aside,
the experience wasn't half as much fun as it sounds, even if a
million other girls would've gladly taken my place.

I'd been handcuffed because my jerk of a
boyfriend – correction, ex-boyfriend, if he'd ever truly been my
boyfriend at all – had mistaken me for some kind of greedy, lying
scumbag looking to exploit his fame for my own financial gain.

But I couldn't think about that now. I'd
rather kiss that squid a hundred times than cry in front of my
idiot boss and some random car hoochie.

I swallowed the pain and focused on Keith. He
covered his privates with both hands while the girl in the backseat
continued to screech. Keith leaned toward her and muttered
something I couldn't hear. A moment later, the screeching stopped,
and a second face appeared in the window. My jaw hit the
pavement.

It was Brittney.

The girl who tried to have me kidnapped.

The girl who almost got me fired.

And apparently, the girl who was screwing my
boss.

Chapter 2

Standing in the cold parking lot, I looked
from Keith to Brittney and back again.

I totally didn't see that coming.

"You are
so
fired!" Brittney hollered
through the glass. Her long blonde hair hung in surprisingly
perfect waves, but her dress was definitely off-kilter, like she'd
been wrestling a monkey in the back seat. Whatever she and Keith
were doing, she apparently hadn't bothered to undress.

I couldn’t really blame her. If I were doing
Keith, I'd keep most of my clothes on too.

"You can't fire me," I hollered back through
the car window. "You don't even work here."

Smiling, she reached a hand toward the door.
The car window slid halfway down, revealing both of them in all
their sweaty glory. No wonder the car had been running. Clothed or
not, the night was way too frigid for a backseat bang-a-thon.

BOOK: Rebelonging (Unbelonging, Book 2)
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