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Chapter 1

“Serves the asshole right!” I heard that unmistakable snarl, and almost wanted to laugh when I realized she still sounded the same.

It wouldn’t surprise me if she was still going off about me.

So I opened the door which was always left unlocked; that much hadn’t changed in the four years I’d been gone.

Everything else, I was going into completely unknowing. Being away for years, I was prepared for everything and anything. Who was dating who, some of them might have even had kids by now. I might even had nieces and nephews running around, who knows.

The thought that I might have fathered a kid crossed my mind but I tried my fucking hardest to push that to the back of my mind. If I had gotten her pregnant, she probably would’ve torn the city apart trying to find me just to kick the shit out of me.

“I haven’t even been for two minutes and you’re already calling me an asshole?” I asked, stepping in the doorway.

The look on her face was priceless when I walked in, I had to try my hardest not to laugh at her reaction and ignored everybody else, who stood on guard, weapons ready because no one was expecting me to come back. I wanted it to be a secret, a surprise.

And damn it, if it didn’t work beautifully.

But I wasn’t focused on that.

My attention was on the only person in the room rolling her eyes at me. She had definitely grown up and wasn’t the same thirteen year old I had underneath me once upon a time.

She was now covered in tattoos, angry black ink looking so odd against her pale skin, like it didn’t belong there. Her clean, innocent canvas of skin was now covered in fucking ink, just like every other ratchet around the damn hood.

The only thing I could focus my eyes on was the fucked up tattoo that ran from her chin down the middle of her throat.

Whatever innocence she once carried with her was apparently gone as she gave me a glare that was mean enough to scare Satan himself.

At least her black hair was still the same; even if it was way longer like she hadn’t cut it since I’d been gone. It went past her tits and hung nearly to her waist. Speaking of tits, they had definitely gotten bigger as they peaked out from her tight little black tank top.


I wondered who had signed for her to get those tattoos ’cause I was gonna smash their skull in.

How could Tyler have agreed to that?

She wouldn’t even look at me. If she was bothered by me coming back, she didn’t show it one bit. I’d even go as far as to applaud her indifference. Not a lot of girls brushed me off.

Actually, she was the only girl who treated me like I was some incurable disease and didn’t want to come anywhere near me. All the other girls threw themselves at me; most panties hit the floor before I’d so much as ran my hands down their bodies.

Tyler was standing there, my oldest brother at a loss for words. His mouth was hung open slightly as he finally smiled.

“What’s good, brother?” I asked, smirking and the world around us kind of blurred as Tyler brought me in for a hug; just the two of us like it had been for years.

I’d been gone for so long I almost missed the fucker. Especially since the fucking penitentiary denied any kind of visits or phone calls what so ever for four fucking years. That was their way of getting under my skin seeing as I was such a cocky shit during my trial and banged the nurse that was on duty in the pen, but that’s a different story. They felt no contact was a suitable punishment.

“Shane!” Someone screamed and I looked to see Kristen running at me; my baby sister.

She was most certainly not the thirteen year old I had left behind, but to me she was my little sister and always would be; even though one of the first things I noticed about her was the god awful hickey on her neck.

At least she wasn’t covered in ink.

Kristen flung her tiny body at me, grabbing me in a tight hug, as if I were going to disappear again at any given moment.

Sometimes I wondered if she even remembered who I was. I was in and out of jail for most of her life.

I pulled back, and finally caught her eye again, just as she was trying to act like she hadn’t been staring at me. She just nodded, and then continued to be interested in whatever the hell Seth was talking about.

“You made it out, bro!” Ty said, patting me on the back, “Why didn’t you call? Coulda came and met you half way.”

“Obviously I made it out. This wasn’t my first time. And I had no phone, it was a four hour bus ride back here.” I chucked my bag in a corner and sat right beside her, “Hey Nikki.”

She looked at me once. “Hey.” She answered cooly, turning her attention back to Seth.

I didn’t know if she was actually interested in him or if she was trying really hard to ignore the fact that I was sitting right next to her.

Those fucking bright scary blue eyes of hers looked at me again, and damn it if they didn’t see right through me. That’s what I had loved about her, and what caught my attention to her in the first place.

I relaxed a bit, seeing as I hadn’t been on anything comfortable in a long time and didn’t even realize I had slung my arm across the couch, where she was sitting.

Nikki nearly jumped back in reaction when my arm accidentally brushed hers as she leaned into Scar, just to get away from me.

I smiled, smug. Oh, she still wasn’t over it. She wouldn’t be jumping at my slight touch if she was over me. It got my mind to thinking what her reaction would be when I actually did touch her, everywhere. I wondered if she still made the same sighs and gasps, or if her neck was still her spot.

I had to think of blood and gore to get rid of those thoughts because if I walked around with a hard on, those fuckers would never let me live that down.

Thankfully, my sister made my stomach churn and whatever hard on I felt go away when she announced that she needed to get laid.

Tyler rolled his eyes, and then proceeded to glare at Seth; who I assumed was responsible for the hickey.

Damn shaggy haired skater kid.

“That’s one of the first things you’ve got to say to me after I haven’t seen you in four years?” I frowned in disgust.

“Kristen, shut up.” Ty said, putting his cigarette out.

“Nobody needs to fucking hear that.” I muttered, my big brother instinct coming out, “In my mind you’re still thirteen.”

She argued with Tyler who just responded with, “I’m an adult I’m allowed to talk openly about my sex life.”

Sorry bro, but I sure didn’t want to hear anything about you and Michelle. That was one thing I didn’t miss about being in jail- you didn’t have to hear your brother and his girlfriend getting it on at all hours of the night.

I wondered if they finally came clean about their relationship. Everyone knew they were banging back in the day but those two would deny it until their very last breath.

“Who said anyone wants to hear about your sex life?” Nikki asked.

I smiled a bit. Her attitude still hadn’t changed. She was still a mouthpiece.

“Who doesn’t?”

Michelle awkwardly coughed, and Scar looked as if he wanted to excuse himself.

“So where’s Landon at?” I broke the awkward silence, wondering about my younger brother, who was always called the black sheep of the family.

Landon chose to distance himself from us; last I’d heard he was living at the scuzzy apartments with the heroin addicts.

If he was shooting shit, I’d kill the fucker myself.

“He moved in the apartments with Shay,” Kristen answered, “He probably has herpes or something.”


“Makes sense.” Seth said, nodding and I almost laughed in that kids face.

“Didn’t you sleep with her, Seth? Or have I missed out on some stuff that went down?”

Seth thought for a minute.

“Yeah, but that doesn’t count.”

“You could still have herpes.” I pointed out.

If he was sleeping with Kristen, I hoped to God Tyler had given her the lecture about safe sex.

“No, I don’t. I’m done with this conversation.” Seth crossed his arms over himself, but I could tell he was second guessing himself.

I remember we had all made bets on how long it would take for his dick to fall off.

“Nikki, who’s the guy living with your mom?” Michelle asked, turning the attention over to Nikki; who looked like she would rather be anywhere else but here with everyone. “I saw him in that piece of shit car.”

Nikki shrugged.

What guy?

I could tell it was bothering her the way she acted like she didn’t want to talk about it. Usually she deflected something with a smartass remark but she just sat in silence, her eyes on the carpet.

“Some guy she brought home, apparently he needs a place to stay.”

If I remember anything, her mother wasn’t around at all, and when she was, all she did was bring home loser boyfriends. I remember beating the shit out of one of them when he raised a hand at Nikki.

“I need another drink.” She mumbled, reaching for the bottle of whiskey on the table. Everyone else thought they had her figured out, but I knew her better than that.

Just because she didn’t talk about something didn’t mean she was okay.

Because unlike everyone else, I didn’t forget the shy, damaged thirteen year old who had been used and abused by random men her drunken mother brought home, who was cursed into this lifestyle and who didn’t have a prayer.

If I hadn’t gone to jail, could I have kept her safe and innocent?

Should have, could have, and would have.

Fuck, now I needed a line to get my mind off of it.

“Oh, and by the way Shane,” Kristen said, who was clearly already a few drinks in, swayed back and forth before finally sitting on Seth’s lap. “Your room’s taken.”

“By who?”

“Nikki.” Tyler answered for her.

“Oh yeah?” I asked, wondering what the hell happened to her at home that she would need to stay here.

“I can sleep with Kristen, its fine.” She said, her defensive tone coming right back up again.

No, it’s fine. Actually, it was more than fine. If she wanted to spend all night in my bed, that was good enough for me. I felt my hard on coming back as I thought about her lying in my bed tonight.

“I was just teasing,” I said, “So who were you calling an asshole if it wasn’t me?”

“Looks like Rick’s gonna be in jail for a while,” Seth cut in, “He got caught with meth. Heavenly said he’ll be there for a few months.”

Who the fuck was Heavenly?

“What the hell? Only three months for possession of meth?” Kristen asked.

“He’s technically not an adult.” Scar made air quotations, “Man, I would give my left nut to be underage; I could fuck around and get little to no jail time.”

“Fuck, I wish.” I said, resting my head against the back of the couch.

“Forgot you weren’t young anymore.” Scar laughed.

The guy had to be at least ten years older than me and I was twenty two. He was the kind of person that still looked the same even if I had known him since I was maybe ten or younger.

“I’m a legal adult now, can’t just bang anyone anymore.” The words left my mouth before I even realized what I had said as Nikki’s eyes widened. “Uh, Nikki can you pass the whiskey?”

“Yeah because god forbid you got one of those girls pregnant underage and then just fucked off.” She snapped.

If looks could kill, she would’ve had me on the floor, dead.

Wait, what?

“What?” I turned to her, but Tyler cut in, shooting her a look.

“Well,” Tyler said, standing up, Michelle following suit. “We’re off. Shane, Nikki can fill you in on all the gang shit you missed.”

Oh, I couldn’t wait to get her alone. She could put on a front for everyone else, but me. Scar and Mark pretended to make up some bullshit excuse about having to go somewhere, and finally I was able to turn to her, asking her the question that had been burning in my mind since I had gotten released.

“So what happened between you and Rick? You guys still together?”

She shook her head. “Nope.”

I smiled. “Finally kicked him out, eh? Or do you have any little Rick’s running around?”

Fucking loser. Never liked that kid, the scrawny little meth addict.

“He cheated, actually.” She muttered. And I could tell the alcohol was wearing off. Good. “And fuck you Shane, like I’d have anything to do with his crack babies.”

“Then who knocked you up if it wasn’t him?”

“Nobody, just fuckin’ forget it.” She crossed her arms over her chest.


Suddenly, I felt sick to my stomach.

“Nikki, do you have to tell me something?”

“Fuck off Shane.” She snapped again but I didn’t miss the quiver in her voice.

I’d let it go for now, just because there were still people in the room. But I was going to get the truth out of her sooner or later.

“So who’d he cheat on you with then?”

“Some Heavenly girl, I don’t know. Your sister said she looks like an obese unicorn.”

“She does!” Kristen muttered from where she was hanging off of Seth.

“Never liked that scrawny kid to begin with.” I told me. “You got some new tattoos.” I touched her arm where the blood symbol she had was, and I had to pretend I didn’t feel her shudder under my fingertips.

“I guess so.”

“You’ve grown up.” I smirked, resisting every urge to run my fingers through her hair.

“I’m going to bed, Kristen.” She told her, standing up. And then to me, “You can have your room back, I’ll sleep in Kristen’s bed.”

Before I could say anything else, she had disappeared down the hallway.

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