He was my foster Brother.
He swore to protect me.
They all failed.
I’m the past he tried to forget and he was the future that I needed.
When he left 4 years ago, I screamed for him every night. But then it all stopped. My screams were suddenly muffled by cruelty and further coaxed by pain. But he has come back. He’s not the cute big brother I had a furtive crush on, or the bad boy, rich brat that I hated to love. He’s the ruthless vice president of The Wolf Pack MC and he doesn’t answer to Ryan Carter anymore. He answers to Psycho.
~~4 Years Ago - Ryan’s Perspective~~
There was a woman. She stood a whole foot shorter then my 6′3. I wanted to study her at close range to understand why she fascinated me so much. But the rustling of leaves that were falling around my feet distracted me enough to forget to ask my questions. I was too busy thinking about the circumstances that led me to this point in my life. Rock fucking bottom with no foundation to rebuild on.
I squeezed the gas hose tight. ′Who the fuck is this woman?′ I asked internally. I couldn’t get a good look at her face. Figured she wanted something since she hasn’t moved from where she’s staring, her body perceptibly turned towards me. I nodded my head at her politely when I figured she wasn’t going to stop gawking. I was fucking paranoid too. After what just fucking happened and what we had endured, I needed to get the fuck out of here fast. I watched as her face peeked up and her big green eyes zeroed in on me. She glanced into the back of my car before coming back to me.
“You on the run, handsome?” She asked. Her voice was husky, as if she had smoked cigarettes her whole life.
I chuckled, “Somethin’ like that...” I replied. For a second and I mean a very brief fucking second, darkness momentarily flashed over her eyes. Almost like a cloud that shaded over the sun on a clear summer day. As quick as it was there, it was gone.
The corners of her mouth tilted up in a smile. “Well, there’s a place on the outskirts of downtown LA... The bar is called Patches...” She assessed me. “No promises that they’d let a pretty boy like you stay, but you could always try...” She said after looking me over again.
“Uh... Thanks... I think... But who are you, ma’am? And why are you telling me this?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“One day, you’ll know... Maybe...” She said. Her words made me even more confused. Just as I opened my mouth again, she turned away and left.
“Ma’am!” I called to her, but she didn’t stop.
~~Several Days Ago – Faith’s Perspective~~
I wish I could remember the day I was welcomed into the Carter Family, but I was barely old enough to create vivid visions inside of my head. I was days old, dumped and left on the front doorstep of the local orphanage in a seedy area of San Francisco. I don’t know much about what happened, not because the Carter’s didn’t want me to know, but because I’ve never wanted to ask. Being discarded as a baby by my parents is all I needed to know. I was lucky that Mr. & Mrs. Carter were there the next day. They wanted to find their brat of a son, a little brother that he could play with. He got a sister instead.
Ryan was 3 when I came home and boy, he wasn’t impressed about getting a sister instead of a brother. Apparently it took him 45 minutes to talk to me, but then after that, we never stopped. Now I’m 15 years old. You could say things have changed.
“Ryan!” I yelled at my frustrating brother as he circled the basketball court in our back yard, holding my phone up in the air. “Give it back to me right fucking now!” I shouted at him.
He laughed so hard that I want to shove my foot in his mouth. Ryan has become increasingly annoying over the years. But I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I need anything, it would be my big brother who I would ask first. He must have stopped mid-run because I slammed into him, my face squished against his back before I was falling to the ground. The blue sky swam above me amidst the yellow rapture of the sun.
An arm hooked around my mid-back, bringing me safely back to my feet. “Nah uh, you don’t get to die on me yet, Kitten... You still owe me that 20 dollars...” I hear Ryan say with a chuckle as he held me close to his chest.
My head is still spinning, so I stay where I am, nestled in the crook of his arm. At least, that’s what I tell myself. But honestly, even if my head wasn’t spinning, I would still want to stay here. No matter how much Ryan annoys me, frustrates me, and infuriates me, he’s still my big brother, and I feel safest when I’m with him. His arm hooked around my waist, and it’s protective, almost possessive. He looks down at me, and there’s a coy smile on his face.
“You okay there?” He asks, his smirk ever so present. I try to infuse my voice with the right amount of annoyance, but it probably doesn’t have the right impact given that I’m staring up at him like he’s the sun.
“I’d be better if you just butted out of my life...” I said through grit teeth. But of course he laughs, obviously not taking my words seriously at all.
“Who else would kick the asses of the boys chasing after you then?” He said with that damn cocky ass smirk.
“No one... That’s the point!” I snapped.
“Don’t be so naive...” He said with a roll of his eyes. “Even if I weren’t around, I’d find a way to watch over you and make sure any man who looked your way would get their ass handed to him... Now, clear something up for me... I heard one of these little freshmen at school wanna take my sister out on a date...” He teases, and it’s then I hear another voice behind me.
Owen’s whistle pierces through my eardrums. “Damn, someone new to the rules? Didn’t know that you can’t take little Miss. Faith Carter out on a date without going through her big brothers?” Owen teases with an equally annoying smirk.
Naturally, my annoying brother would also have annoying friends who also annoyingly have claimed my, so called, annoying ass. I’m untouchable at school. It’s not helpful when you wouldn’t mind being touched.
“He’s new... I will let him down nicely...” I plead with Ryan, watching as his thumb hovers over my phone. He wouldn’t actually go through my phone but if a text happened to come through while he was holding it, then I’m almost certain he would-
He tilts his head. I watch in sheer horror as his eyes fly over whatever words have popped up. He glares at me. “Who is this little fuck?!” My brother snaps.
“What’d he say?” I hear Owen ask.
Owen is a 6′6 half Mediterranean French, half American basketball god, and one of Ryan’s best friends. I’m not actually sure how they became so close, since Owen is talented and managed to graduate from high school top of his class. Ryan isn’t dumb, but he can be an idiot. Yes, there is a difference. Owen also got drafted into the NBA, which only adds to his ever growing list of reasons why so many girls want him.
I had a serious crush on him for the better part of my life, until I watched the girls he’d go for. All so beautiful, way out of my league. His smooth brown skin and dark eyes were killer, but when he flashed his pretty smile all the girls dropped dead. He and Ryan had that in common for sure, but that’s about as far as the similarities go.
“He fucking said that he wants her to sneak the fuck out with him!” Ryan snaps. His fingers flying over my keypad.
“Ryan!” I growled shaking my head. “I’m fucking 15! It’s a lot less than what you were doing at my age and you damn well know it!” I scolded.
“Besides the point...” He glares at me, his thumb hovering over the send button. “I lived through all of my shit so you didn’t have to... I’m a good brother like that...” He said his voice hard.
“Ryan...” I whine, stomping the sole my DC’s against the concrete.
Owen bounces the basketball between his legs and aims up at the hoop, shooting from the 3 point line.
“You guys will never stop picking on her...” Another familiar voice comes from behind me again and I turn to face the 3rd boy to make up the triple threat. Austin Cooper.
Ryan, Owen and Austin have all been best friends since elementary school. Which means, yes, I’ve known them practically all my life. Austin Cooper was nothing like Owen or Ryan. Austin was the smartest kid in our school and had an IQ to back it. He has never had a girlfriend, though plenty wanted him, and he always, always had his laptop near. You see, Austin was going to cure the world of all their problems one day, he just had to create the right app to do so.
Austin has Blonde hair, gray eyes. His eyelashes are thick and his teeth straight. He is perfection in a strangely odd package. I loved Austin, even if he never smiled. You get used to it after a while.
“Yes! Ryan is trying to scare a boy away that I had already said I would turn down...” I said looking at Austin as he rolls up the sleeve of his shirt.
“Because said boy is trying to get you to sneak out after dark...” Ryan sneers at me. The way his mouth curls has my mind drifting to how badly I want to punch him in the face. “I’ll give you your phone back later...” He said as he turns to walk away from me.
“Ryan!” I snap, but of course he doesn’t stop. “I mean it! I’m following you everywhere today until you give me my damn phone!” I nearly shouted at his retreating back. Ryan spins around and licks his lips. His lips have always been distracting. ′Bet they’re real fucking soft...′ I thought internally.
I remember Sophia Harper, last year slept with Ryan and then she went around the whole school talking about his, ahem, skills. She cried for months when he didn’t call her back after one night.
“Oh yeah?” He said in a taunting manner. He’s walking backwards with an annoying smirk on his mouth. The fact that my brother is painfully attractive is besides the point and not at all helpful when it comes to him and I fighting. “Then, I guess you’re coming on the boat...” I stopped in my tracks and narrowed my eyes at him.
Most older brothers can’t wait to get rid of their younger siblings, especially their younger sisters. But Ryan isn’t like that. He likes to keep me around, to keep me close. It’s flattering at times, but some times, like right now, it’s really damn inconvenient. I want a life separate from Ryan. Half the time I feel as though I’m living in his shadow, which honestly, I know I am.
“So, get your game face on and stop pouting... Because you’re not getting your phone back anytime soon...” He said making me want to wipe that damn smirk off his face.
“Fuck...” I grumble mainly to myself. He disappeared into the house and I turned to watch as Owen shoots yet another 3 pointer. I didn’t want to go out on the boat with them today because I did actually want to sneak out tonight and meet up with Carson.
“You know, you gotta stop playing with the boy...” Owen teases, bouncing the ball with skill between his legs. His arms come up as he flicks his wrist, shooting the ball through the chain basket. “You’re just dancing with the devil...” He added.
I scoff, “The devil doesn’t dance...” I said as I stuck my tongue out at him before storming back towards the house.
Boat parties are something that all the rich kids throw and always end in a disaster. I hate going to them. I don’t drink. I don’t sleep around with boys, you can blame Ryan for that, and for the most part, I’d consider myself a pretty good kid. Especially when you compare me to my best friend, Jenn.