© 2022 by Sara Leanne Adams
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Warning: this book contains sexual content not suitable for persons under 18 years of age.
This is a five chapter excerpt. The remainder of the book can be found on Galatea (Soul Sisters Book 1)
My eyes watered, the heavy smoke burning my throat. The pungent odor of skunk grass hung in the air, my head spinning from the combination of too many gummies and second-hand pot inhalation. My boyfriend had moved on to the hard stuff, hunched over the coffee table, snorting his welfare check up his nose.
I must’ve passed out. When I woke up, he was leaning over me, pawing at the button on my jeans.
“C’mon, baby,” he urged. “Get on your back and spread your legs.”
“No, Bert!” I yelled, jumping off the sofa. “I’m not in the mood!”
“Because you’re stoned.”
“So what?” he laughed.
“I think I’m gonna take off,” I said, grabbing my purse from the kitchen table.
He pounced on me, twisting my arm behind my back. “You’re not going anywhere, bitch,” he whispered, spinning me around. “Not until you suck my cock.”
I kneed him in the balls, dashing for the front door when he dropped to the floor.
“Get back here, you cunt!” he roared, catching me before I could get the multiple deadbolts released.
“Let me go!” I screamed.
“Not until I teach you a lesson!”
He threw me to the floor, his fist plowing into my right eye. I tried to crawl away, but he grabbed me by my hair, dragging me across the worn carpet. I curled into a ball, trying to protect myself from his boot. He got one half-assed kick in before a loud crash saved me.
The next few minutes were a blur. There were cops everywhere. And not one of them was concerned that I was injured. They dragged me to my feet and cuffed me. A female officer led me out to a waiting cruiser, forcing me into the backseat.
“I didn’t do anything wrong!” I cried. “He beat me up!”
“You’ll have to sort that out when you get to county,” she said before slamming the door.
It must’ve been a slow crime day in Miami. Maybe all the prostitutes took the day off. I had a cell to myself in the county jail. They took my picture and fingerprinted me. A kind lady cop gave me an ice pack for my eye. But nobody asked me any questions.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I muttered when I heard a familiar voice coming down the corridor.
One of my dad’s business partners appeared with a cop, a scowl planted firmly on his mouth.
“Where’s Jake?” I snapped. “I didn’t call you.”
“Jake is busy,” Evan explained in his trademark, condescending voice that I loathed so much. He was always grumpy. He’d yell at little kids in the park if they were making too much noise. And he was always mean to Jake’s cats.
“I’ll wait until he’s available,” I huffed, returning to my chair in the corner.
“We aren’t charging you with anything,” the cop said, sliding open the cell door. “You’re free to go.”
“I don’t want to go.”
He wrinkled his brow, rubbing his bald spot while he tried to figure me out.
Good luck, buddy.
“Let’s go, Vada,” Evan barked. “I don’t have all day.”
I followed him outside to his Audi A6 All Road fucking station wagon.
What a loser.
It was the ugliest fucking car ever.
And brand new.
Evan traded in his car every couple of years. We were in the classic car business, and he never drove anything that was more than two-years-old.
“Did you tell Dad?”
“Not yet,” he grumbled, adjusting the rearview mirror.
I rolled my eyes while he went through all his checks before placing his hands at ten and two on the steering wheel.
“Are you going to?”
“Don’t thank me, Vada,” he said with an annoyed sigh. “You’re going to tell him.”
“C’mon, Evan! Can’t you be a decent human being for one day of your life?”
“Yes. I’m looking out for your best interests. That is what a decent human being does.”
“I didn’t get charged with anything. Why does Dad need to know?”
“You’re making bad choices!” he yelled. “Look at your face, Vada! The cops said you were high when they brought you in!”
“I was not.”
“That scumbag boyfriend of yours was dealing cocaine!”
“He doesn’t deal.”
“Why do you think the SWAT team broke down his door?! Because he was using?!”
“I didn’t know he was dealing,” I said quietly.
“C’mon, Vada. This isn’t the first loser you’ve gone out with.”
“Stop yelling at me, Evan.”
He pulled into the lot, sliding the gear shift to park before turning to face me.
“Stop settling for losers,” he said, his voice softening as he ran his finger gently under my black eye. “You deserve better than this.”
I stared at the man I’d known my entire life. Evan was one of my dad’s three business partners. He was sexy, but the permanent pickle up his ass, and his three-piece suits, were major turn-offs for me. And I wasn’t really into guys that combed their hair back, and kept it in place with hair products. Not to mention the fact that he was always clean-shaven.
Evan never made an appearance in any of my sexual fantasies.
Now, the other two?
My dad had been friends with them since public school. When my mother passed away, they rallied around us, running the business while my dad struggled through his grief. Evan, Jake and Garrett had always been there for me.
Evan was my least favorite of the three. We didn’t get along. Which is why I called Jake to come and bail me out of jail. I wasn’t prepared for kind, caring Evan. It was a side of his personality that rarely made an appearance.
“I think I’m gonna swear off men and relationships for a while,” I whispered.
“That seems like a wise plan, Vada.”
“Yeah,” I sighed. “I guess I better make sure I have lots of batteries for my vibrator.”
“And on that note,” he chuckled, opening his door. “It’s time to take you to your father.”
I followed him inside the office entrance, staring longingly through the large window that faced into the shop. Maybe I could throw on some coveralls and disappear out there. I liked working on cars. And I liked the sexy bodies that worked in the shop. But none of them would touch me. I was the boss’s daughter.
My dad’s office door was open. Evan put his hand on my lower back, giving me a light shove when I hesitated in the hallway.
“Vada!” Dad exclaimed, jumping up from his chair. “What happened?”
“It’s nothing, Dad.”
“Vada May Collins, you have a black eye. I want to know who did that to you? Was it that punk, Bert?”
“He’s a dead man,” he bellowed, rounding the desk. “Give me his address.”
“He hit you, baby.”
“It’s over between us.”
“I would certainly hope so,” he said, pulling me into his arms. “Are you sure you’re okay? Do you need to go to the hospital?”
“Are you going to press charges?”
“Why in the hell not, Vada?”
“He’s already in jail. I don’t think he’s getting out anytime soon.”
“What did he do?”
“He was dealing coke,” Evan said.
“Oh, Vada,” Dad sighed. “How did you get mixed up with someone like that?”
“I don’t know.”
“Honey, why do you keep going out with men who bring you nothing but heartache?”
“Bad boys are usually really good in bed,” I explained with a sheepish grin.
“Vada, we’ve talked about this before. Sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship.”
“I know, Dad,” I groaned, rolling my eyes. “Like I already told Evan in the car, I’m going to take a break from men.”
“I think that’s a wise choice.”
“Will you buy me a Wanda?”
Two things you need to know. I had a unique relationship with my dad. Before you go thinking that, stop. It wasn’t a sexual relationship.
My dad wasn’t a child molester. There was no incest or anything like that going on in my house while I was growing up. Chris Collins was a great man. And a fantastic dad. The thing was, there were only eighteen years between us. We were more like best friends after my mother died. And we always had an open dialogue about sex.
And Wanda was a dildo. That was the second thing you needed to know. Not just any dildo. A top of the line, all bells and whistles, expensive as hell dildo, with a price tag just shy of a grand.
“I’m not buying you a thousand dollar dildo, Vada,” he sighed.
“Because you have lots of sex toys. You don’t need any more.”
“I’ll tell you what I will pay for. Sex therapy!”
“I don’t need to see a therapist!”
“I agree with your dad,” Evan said.
I turned around to glare at him. “Why are you still here? This is a private conversation between me and my dad. You don’t need to know about this, unless you’re willing to cough up the money for my Wanda.”
He exchanged a strange look with my dad. I narrowed my eyes, glancing back and forth between them. They were keeping something from me. And I didn’t like it.
“What’s going on, Dad?”
“I need to have a meeting with the guys first.”
“Call them in right now.”
“A private meeting.”
“No way. We don’t keep secrets in this family.”
“Nobody is keeping secrets, Vada,” he said.
“Then why are you having a private meeting?”
“Because there are some things I need to go over with my business partners before we bring you in on the plan.”
“Plan? What plan?”
“Vada!” Evan snapped. “You’re giving me a headache.”
“You’re free to leave, dick head,” I bit back.
“Vada!” Dad yelled. “Enough! Don’t talk to Evan like that.”
“I always talk to Evan like that. That’s what we do.”
“You need to stop, Vada,” he said. “It’s time to grow up. You’re twenty-four-years-old. Start acting like an adult.”
“You don’t want to be an adult?”
“Yes, you do,” he sighed. “Now, go out to the shop and send Jake in here. And stay out there until I call you back.”
“If you want me to act like an adult, you need to start treating me like an adult,” I said, clenching my fists while I worked hard to keep my temper in check. I hardly ever argued with my dad. But he was really starting to piss me off.
“Vada, please just go,” he said. “Let’s not fight. That’s the last thing I want to do with you today, sweetheart.”
“What’s so special about today?”
“Vada!” Evan bellowed. “For fuck’s sake. Stop arguing. You are the most infuriating woman I’ve ever met!”
“At least I’m not a miserable drain on life, with the world’s largest pickle wedged in my tight ass.”
I whirled around when my dad started laughing. My dad rarely laughed. He’d been grieving for my mother for fourteen years. She was the love of his life, and he never moved on. Never dated. Not to my knowledge, anyway. The sadness hadn’t left his eyes since the day she was buried.
“Dad? Are you okay?”
“What’s so funny?”
“You, baby girl.”
“Okay,” I said slowly. “I’m not sure what’s happening here, so I’m just gonna go out to the shop. Let me know when you’re ready for me to come back.”
“Thank you, Vada,” Evan said, reaching out to squeeze my shoulder when I passed him.
I shivered as I hoofed it down the hall to the shop door.
What the fuck is happening?
Dad doesn’t laugh.
Evan doesn’t say thank you. And he certainly doesn’t touch me.