Ever feel as if the world is conspiring against you?
“You’re fired, Reign. I’m sorry.”
I blink rapidly with my mouth on the floor, say again? Is the old shrew joking? “W-what?” I bark at the old lady who I used to work for.
Crescent Bookstore was going to fall, it was only a matter of time, but I didn’t expect that time to be now. “You can finish your shift and I’ll pay you for the week but we’re closing.”
“What about my loft upstairs?” I basically shriek at her. The musty smell of books burn my nose as the August heat blazes down on my skin.
“That’s up to the new owner.” She shrugs apologetically but I continue to glare at her.
“Fine.” I spit and turn back to the books, after three years you would think that there would be some loyalty, but no, I’m tossed in the trash. Again.
The hours tick by as I help a grand total of three customers, my fingers ache from reordering the shelves. I lean my head on the hot wooden shelf and I sigh deeply, everything is running out of my grasp. The bell upon the door rings out, I straighten my posture and draw the fakest smile I could muster. I look out to the open door and my eyes widen.
“Hey guys.” I choke on the words and I think they notice.
“Nerd.” Dicarius grabs me in a headlock and ruffles my hair.
I cough a laugh and squeeze his side as he lets me go, “Brooding Dumbass.”
“Dicarius let her go.” Vienna chuckles and hugs me tight, a small real smile graces my lips. It’s been over three months since I’ve seen my best friend.
Ever since Vienna and Dicarius ended the fight last year we’ve drifted apart. I’m happy my best friend is safe, I’m happy that Dicarius is out of his coma. But ever since last summer I’ve slowly disappeared from them. Vienna left her demons in the past but when she left the past behind, she left me too. Not to mention they got engaged last week.
I’m brooding, that’s Dicarius’ job.
“I’ve missed you.” I breathe.
“We just saw each other.” Vienna smiled at me and my insides churn.
I guess she hasn’t missed me much.
“Yeah, right.” I laugh dryly and smile, “So,” I start but I notice Dicarius staring at me with a curious expression. “why are you guys-”
“What’s wrong?” Dicarius blurts and my fingernails dig into my palms.
Everything is wrong, I want to yell. I don’t have a job anymore, I probably won’t have a house to live in, I have to take care of a seven year old by myself, I can’t go to college, my step brother is a criminal.
“Nothing, why?” I stay cool and collected.
Khol stalked them, hurt them, attempted to kill them. Yet here I am throwing myself a pity party. I feel like the end of Infinity Wars right now.
“You sure?” His gray eyes glare at me and I roll my eyes.
“I’m fine.” I smile, but me and my fake ass are shaking.
I’m not scared of Dicarius, I know he’s whipped from the inside out because of my best friend. His tan tattooed skin and angry face do nothing to me anymore. I remember hating him all throughout high school, oh have I changed.
Maybe for worse.
“You know,” I go off topic and Dicarius knits his black brows together, “I saw this pizza place down the road.”
“Say no more let’s go,” Vienna turns her back, long wavy brown hair swished with her, but then she stopped and turned to me, glaring. Oh boy, “There is something wrong, isn’t there! Don’t use my true love against me.”
Dicarius growls, lovesick puppy.
I roll my eyes and deadpan, “Please, if you’re going to do some sappy romance shit, leave the store.” I say and take off my apron for the last time.
“Khol isn’t going to hurt us anymore, Reign.” Vienna says so quietly as if she’s talking to herself.
I shake the thoughts of my stepbrother out of my head and shoot her a look. “I’m not worried about him, Vi. Just feeling out of place, that’s all.” I lie.
I lie like I breathe, maybe that’s why I am so good at it.
I lied when I said I was fine, everyone left me. Vienna and Dicarius go off with their group. Kylie is abroad for a few more days, it’s been over a year since I saw her. Atlas, well, I don’t know where he is. Alexandros and Louis, Vienna’s triplets are away at college. A place I could have went to if every responsibility wasn’t hanging on my back.
I’m not fine, far from it.
I lied when I said this whole problem wasn’t my fault, I lied when I said that Khol doesn’t affect me. My feelings are lies, I don’t even know what my real feelings are.
“I know,” Vienna grabs my hand, “Girls night out with the gang, what do you say?” She smiles at me, Vienna’s dark blue eyes shimmer with hope that I can’t reject. Her sun kissed skin is lightly freckled at the nose and her dark brown hair waves around her chest. I feel like a potato next to her. When she use to have aphasia, temporary mutism, we were together all the time. But things change, people change, and I’m still me.
But it isn’t our gang, it’s her friends, her life, not mine. Never mine.
Once again, I’m depressed as hell. Great.
I’m going to hell for the all the fake that I provide, I smile with the lie waiting to come out. “I don’t know, you guys go ahead. You know it’s not really my scene.”
“Lies and slander.” Vienna huffs, she throws my bag at me with a smile and opens the front door.
I feel hands press against my back and I groan, looking up with a smirk. “E tu, Brutus?”
“What my girl wants, she gets.” Was all Dicarius said as he shoves me out of the old bookstore.
Sometimes I wish I had someone like that too.
“No.” I blurt, “Absolutely not.”
“Yes.” Vienna kicks her legs off of her bed at the Hunter’s residence. I ignore her signature intimating stare and throw the clothes on the bed.
“I look like a stripper.” I gawk at the outflit on my body. I’m not pretty, I can’t pull something like this off. It’s official, Vienna has gone insane.
The white and black checkered dress hugs my pale thighs, the straps are too tight and my breasts are binded painfully. The high black heels on my small feet are taller than the Leaning Tower of Piza.
“A hot stripper,” She winks at me and I roll my eyes. I should be home and watching Myles, not going to the underground club. “and then you’ll finally get laid.” She screams for all of Pineridge to here.
The bedroom door opens and Dicarius’ tan head pokes out, “Who’s getting laid?”
Of course that is the only he hears, I can feel his alpha male jealous vibes from here. “Come in, why don’t you?” I scoff.
“It’s my room, literally.” Dicarius deadpans before his eyes go to his Huntress.
“In three, two, one.” I mutter aloud as he slams the door and charges Vienna.
“YOU’RE WEARING THAT?” He shrieks with a red tinted face, aw he’s blushing, “IN FRONT OF ALL THOSE HORNY GUYS!”
Dicarius gapes at Vienna’s crop top and high waisted skirt, she places her hands on his shoulders and smiles. “Relax, Tuono.” She giggles but he only grumbles, Vienna kisses him and I gag.
“Get a room.” I shout as he kisses her back, did they notice I’m here?
“We’re already in one, thank you.” Dicarius retorts and I grumble.
“Dica.” Vienna scrunches her nose at him and he throws an eye roll at me.
“Fucking pussy whipped.” I snarl, marching for the door, “Vienna come on.”
A part of me is excited for this, a night with just me and her. Finally with my best friend, maybe I need this. Freedom, no responsibilities if only for a night. Or maybe I just need my best friend back.
“Coming.” She says as Dicarius kicks the door closed in my face.
I remember why I hated him in the first place.
I walk down the steps, nervously tugging at my short black hair. It whisps at my shoulders as I go through the back entrance and into the Royal Ring. The Royal Ring was the underground fighting club in the North East. Pineridge’s most well known ring for criminals and elite people of all kind.
Gag me with a spoon.
I go through the Shadow Hunter’s private area in their club and through the Archway to the bar. I lean against it and take in the scenery, black walls spray painted and postered. Three large rings filled with fights, cheers, betting and booing. Poker tables, seating areas, booths and the large bar are what makes this place so great. But I don’t see it.
I’d rather be home with a book, yes, I am the bookworm of the group. If there is still a group to begin with.
I wait for Vienna, five minutes turn to ten, one margarita turns to three after the two hour mark. I roll my eyes in annoyance.
So much for girls night.
I down the last sip of the burning liquid as Vienna walks out flustered. I roll my eyes once more and throw her a glare, “You’re bra is showing.”
“Oh,” She laughs nervously, “thanks.”
Rage, maybe it’s rage that I am feeling or maybe betrayal. I realize that the best friend I painted in my mind isn’t her anymore. She’s changed for the better, Vienna is better. She has Dicarius, her friends, her family. While there’s just me, the old string from the past that she still hasn’t completely severed.
Betrayal stings like tears in my eyes, I chuckle darkly over the blasting music. Vienna doesn’t really need me, nobody ever does.
Once again, I’m pitying myself and I hate it.
“Listen Vi,” I sigh with a sad smile, “I’m uncomfortable and I don’t belong here. I don’t want to say something I’ll regret so I’m just going to leave. You don’t really need me around here, go back to Dicarius. I’ll see you around, I guess.” I say the last sentence quietly hoping she wouldn’t hear me.
I walk away before she can respond and I shake my head with anger. Anger at myself. All of the problems on my plate and I just keep adding more.
I know I’m the responsible one, the careful friend. The boring one, the person who you want to get rid of. I’ve always been a loner, maybe it’s time to put that thought to the test.
I shove the large iron door open with an exhausted angry grunt. Looking up at the stars as I walk through the alleyway, when did I hit rock bottom? When did I become so lost?
I hit something hard and I fall, in a puddle. Of course there’s a puddle because why not? I groan, “I don’t remember a wall being there.” I mutter aloud.
Everything is going fucking fantastic!
“That’s because there isn’t a wall there, angel.” I hear him.
Of course, as if this day couldn’t get any worse. God is mocking me, isn’t he? Why couldn’t I have just one year of peace?
I look up with dread, my eyes connect with his and I sigh. He’s here, I remember him from high school, his play boy act, his craziness, he is everything I avoid. He’s everything I am not.
He smiles down on me and I glare, of course, why wouldn’t he be here? Why can’t life just give me a fucking break?
“Steele.” I say flatly, my toes curling.
Just my fucking luck.
Some of you guys may be confused, I recommend reading Wicked Secrets #1| The Silent Storm before but you don’t have to. It’s your choice, but just to clear somethings up...
•Vienna and Dicarius were the main protagonists in #1.
•Both Reign and Steele were in #1, and they have only met three times. Of course instantly disliking each other and not attracted, because where’s the fun in that 😏
•Vienna and Reign are best friends.
•In #1, Reign’s step-brother Khol stalked and kidnapped Vienna.
•In #1 Vienna had aphasia: a temporary mutism
•Alexandros and Louis are Vienna’s fellow triplets.
•Atlas, Kylie, Steele and Dicarius are the members of the Shadow Hunters fight crew. (no, not from the Mortal Instruments Series. I didn’t realize that people could have mixed that up. In that series it’s spelled as one word not two). The Hunters own the Royal Ring which is an underground fight arena and club.
•Steele is somewhat insane, (don’t worry, the story will go into deeper detail).
•Reign and Myles are biological siblings, her father remarried, hence Khol.
•Lastly! On my wall, I uploaded visuals of what Reign and Steele look like.
Thank you for reading, and thank those who are from The Silent Storm!