The Starkest Truth (A Breaking Insanity Novel Book 2) (23 page)

BOOK: The Starkest Truth (A Breaking Insanity Novel Book 2)
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My knees buckled, making standing difficult. Steadying my hands on the counter, I stood. “Eric, I-I—”

He grabbed my shoulders and slammed me into the opposite wall. His bottom lip spasmed in anger as he pressed his form against me. With a crushing grip on my wrists, he restrained them against the wall. He brought his face down, his nose near to touching mine. “You…are a dirty fucking whore,” he said with a menacing whisper. “I was so…wrong about you. You’re no different than any of the others. You…repulse me, Nikki.”

It felt like his words were jammed down my throat, strangling me.

His shadowed amber eyes wildly searched my face. “Do you have anything to say about disobeying me again? Do you have a goddamn thing to say about supposedly fucking an ex-associate of mine while you’re married to me…while you’re carrying my child?” His stirring contradiction of lividity and calmness unnerved me.

Preston went forth with a lie. For some reason, Eric believed him. He had very convincing—albeit false—picture proof I had done something to betray him.

“Say something right fucking now, Nikki.” The calm beneath his turbulent mood was ever present. It was more frightening than his unbridled anger.

I remained silent.

“Is that how you want to play it? Are you really, really sure you don’t want to come clean?” He pressed his body closer to me, crushing me. “Be very fucking sure.”

I shook my head with vehemence.

“Fine.” He slammed me into the wall with his hand around my throat closing in, restricting my ability to swallow. “The fact that you’re carrying my child is your saving grace. Had you not been, I would make you pay for what you’ve done. I wouldn’t give a shit about the consequences.” He leaned closer with his eyes glimmering, his hands closing in, restraining my swallow. “You’ve fucked up with me, Nikki, in a way you can’t come back from. You wanted to be Estelle for me once, right? Congratulations. You got your wish. You came down hard from the pedestal I placed you on. Thanks for showing me you never deserved to be there. You. Dirty. Fucking. Bitch.” He slammed me against the wall again and let me go.

I slipped to the ground in a flurry of tears and sobs, clutching my neck as it burned with agony.

WITH HER EYES wide, April huddled in the corner of the guest bedroom and kept her attention trained on me.
 

Her confidence would’ve been humorous if I wasn’t so pissed off. She was beyond the realm of stupid to think she could practice defiance with me. She was now lower than the category I placed her in when I first met her. The shit she pulled took the fucking cake. In my book, she was done.

“What did you say to her?” She suddenly threw her hands up to halt my approach. It didn’t work until she shouted, “He raped her!”

I stopped dead in my tracks. “Come again?” I asked, slightly entertained by her creativity.

“Whatever you thought, she didn’t do it willingly. I locked that back door before I left to get us food because Nikki always forgets when she takes Kifo out. I guess Nikki forgot to lock it again when she let Kifo out after I left. It happens. When we’re tired, we’re not thinking clearly.” Her eyes darted to the window. “Don’t blame her because Preston is a rapist bastard.”
 

Here’s my slight problem. After I calmed down, I looked at the picture again. Nikki was sopping wet. Not wet in the way the body naturally defends itself against pain, but wet in that she either enjoyed it or he made her come.
 

April’s adamant retelling was pretty interesting. She couldn’t take a hundred percent of the blame. I believed part of her story—it was the only part I believed.
 

Her throat was in my hand and her back was against the wall, halting her from saying anything else. What could I say? When all else failed, choke the bitch. It’s the quickest, easiest, and most fear-evoking thing I could do. I especially enjoyed watching the body’s reaction to the deprivation of oxygen; it was a beautiful thing to witness.

She clawed at my hand; her eyes bulged and her pale complexion went bright red as she struggled for air. I strengthened my grip, holding her still in my narrowing eyes. I wanted her to die. I wanted it so bad I could fucking taste it. “I know about your deal with Preston,” I spat at her through clenched teeth. “Is money worth so much to you that you’d go back on your word to me?”

Through her watering, red eyes, I saw a glint of recognition. It bothered me enough to strengthen the pressure on her trachea. Infraction number one. Noted.
 

Something stopped me. My future was inside Nikki. Noticing I had lost my carefully arranged authority, I had to rethink my endgame. Killing April in the moment would’ve fucked up a lot of things for me. There was a better alternative than killing her to make her pay.
 

As I loosened my grip, I became curious about my reasons. Killing a person Nikki liked slightly bothered me. No, it
really
bothered me. This wasn’t the first time I’d been stopped by a conscience I didn’t know existed. Another person she’d taken up a friendship with met my wrath after I found out she betrayed me, not once, but twice. I meant to kill her…but couldn’t.

I’m damned to feel something for Nikki, in spite of the things she does to me. I didn’t want it. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t plan for it. Still, it was there. Something no one thought I was capable of feeling, and felt the need to continuously tell me when I had to enact extreme tactics to show them the kind of monster they were dealing with.
 

I had to admit, it was very unexpected. And I didn’t even know what it really was. It continued to dismantle the carefully crafted man I became.

Regardless, my nature can’t be completely eradicated. “April,” I started gently, the anger and hatred I had for her was palpable with every word. “Take the dirty money you got from Preston for your deception, pack your shit, and leave. If I were you, I would run and never look back. Because a conversation will be had with your parents and Dr. Longo. This time, I can guarantee you will never be released. That’s mercy. If I’m pushed…this scenario will occur again. The next time it does, you won’t be able to so much as crawl away from it. Got me?”

Her eyes, welling up with tears, darted up at me. “I’m—”

I briefly held my hand close to her face, stopping her. “I made myself clear, didn’t I?”

Her countenance told me she wouldn’t push the boundaries of my kindness. She seemed surprised by it, as she should’ve been.
 

I caught onto something else in her expression. She’d put my words together and figured out the reason why she remained at Parkland for so long. It wasn’t that her parents wanted her there. No. They needed an incentive by way of a cash deposit to keep her there. And at this minute, she figured out the truth.

I sucked in a breath, getting high off the air of the detriment to her fucking soul. “There we go,” I drawled softly with a smile. “I can see you breaking. I told you I would break you completely down, you stupid bitch. I warned you. I’m the reason your parents kept you in Parkland for so long. Yes, they needed reminders every now and then, after their moral sense got the better of them. They were easy to convince. Dr. Longo was easily convinced as well.” My smile turned up at the corners. “Don’t. Fuck. With. Me.”

She scampered up, crying like a baby. “You’re a monster.”

“Yeah, because it never gets old.” I straightened the lapel of my Royal Oxford shirt.
Shit, I shouldn’t have let Preston’s blood dry onto the fabric.
“You better get gone. Right about now would be good, April.”

“I am! I will be. I’m never—
ever
—going anywhere near you, Preston, or Nikki ever again.”

“Good.” I smirked. “But before you go. You owe me something.”

“Eric—”

“No,” I shut her down. “You owe me something for my leniency and my kindness, don’t you think, April?”

She sobbed and got on her knees. She tried to reach for my zipper but I stepped back and pinched her chin between my fingers. “Words, April, not a blow job. You were shitty at multi-tasking the suction and deep throating needed to be good at sucking my dick. You remain number one in ranking as the worst cock-sucker who’s ever had the privilege of having my dick in her mouth. While it’s intriguing that you’re so eager to suck off the husband of a woman you claim is your very best friend”—I clucked my tongue—“I’m not interested. Give me something I can actually use.”

She sniveled and sobbed for too long. Long enough to push at the limits of my patience.

“Today, April,” I growled.

“I-I’m s-sorry. I disappointed you. I’m sorry I betrayed you. I will leave and you’ll never see me again. I promise.”

Satisfied, I gave her a nod and left. My satisfaction didn’t last very long. I could hear Nikki’s sobs from the hall, stopping my stride down the stairs. I’m never usually wrong. But something in the way she was crying told me I might’ve been.

“Fuck,” I muttered, running my hands though my hair. I’d never admit a mistake or defeat, but I had to fix it the only way I knew how. Knowing the truth, there weren’t words severe or colorful enough to describe what I’d do to Preston when given the opportunity.

I went downstairs to contend with Kifo, but I could still hear it, and I felt forced to do something…now.
 

The woman altered the man I have to be when things are fucked in the worst way.

AFTER WHAT SEEMED like an hour of sitting on the tile floor in the bathroom, I finally stood up. I felt as though I was moving about corporeally when I walked down the hall to be met with April outside of the door to the guest bedroom.
 

“He’s crazy!” April exclaimed through tears.

I stared beyond her, unable to feel anything. Emotional pain overloaded my body and forced my mind to shut down in a way I hadn’t been forced into doing in quite a long time. It was a familiar sensation; it could only be solved with a sharp, cutting edge. I longed for the way it made me feel, but truthfully, I missed the replacement much more. Since the replacement seemed content with keeping me from what I’d grown to desire, I needed the original source again. Anything to help me escape the fast-closing walls of emotional pain.

“I’ll be a phone call away if you need me.” Walking toward me, she dragged her rolling bag behind her. She stopped in the doorway and touched my face. The way her words were stated, without a perceptible amount of hope, I couldn’t help feeling they weren’t ever going to ring as true.
 

Eric likely used the threat of death to make her disappear. I’d never see her again. I wished I knew what transpired between the two of them.
 

“Don’t do anything crazy because you’re alone,” April pleaded with me. “If you do anything, divorce that asshole. You don’t know all the things he’s done, Nikki.”

“I’ll consider it,” I responded, disconnection made my voice sound light as air and robotic.

She unexpectedly kissed my forehead and slipped something in my hand. “Because I know it makes you feel better. Just don’t go too deep or too crazy.”

When she left, I looked down at my hand. She’d given me a small plastic container full of brand new straight edge razor blades.
 

Fully thrust into reverie, I didn’t realize I was inside my bathroom until I looked in the mirror.
 

As I fingered the single blade in my hand, I wondered if it would succeed in bringing about the feeling it used to, or if a new one would surface in its place. It had been so long since I found the complete comfort and escape through physical pain offered by my own hand. My despondent mental-state contributed to my decline. I was at the bottom, and I couldn’t fathom how or when I’d ever see the peak again.
 

BOOK: The Starkest Truth (A Breaking Insanity Novel Book 2)
5.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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