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Chapter 2

You’d think after being in a jail cell for the past four years that I’d be able to just pass right out, no second thoughts.

A warm, relatively comfortable bed and a pillow that wasn’t as thin as a cutting board was a luxury should have put me right to sleep.


The bed was fine, the blankets were fine. Everything was the way I had left it. Except it smelt like her, which normally wouldn’t have been that big of a deal; but being away from girls for years had given me some issues that were going to have to be solved soon or I was going to knock someone out from my sexual frustration.

I tried to dream, even though I normally didn’t. My sleep was black, endless and sometimes scary when the demons in my head started to taunt me.

Instead, I thought of her. I remembered what we had used to be and how I had seen her the way nobody else had- naked and trembling underneath me. Vulnerable. Which was something Nicolina Romalotti was not, or so she seemed to think.

Shit, I remember when she used to be scared to even speak; especially when she was just a kid coming around with different bruises on parts of her body. She was scared of men for the longest time.

I thought I heard a door shut and instantly I jumped up to look out my bedroom window to see who had left.

Being in jail for so long, whenever I heard a noise in the middle of the night I was so used to jumping up; ready to fight. Usually when you heard some shut a door that meant you were going to get cut up or even killed.

Sure enough, Nikki was walking down the street where she opened the door to Scar’s tiny house, three figures in the window.

I felt weird watching from my own house, but it was right across the street and it was two in the morning, so I was curious as to why she was going over there of all places.

When she walked out with Mark trailing behind her, I found out why; which made my almost non-existing heart sink deeper into my body.

Of course she wouldn’t want me. Why should she? I was the asshole that ruined her, that made her the way she was now. I wanted her to hate me for long to make things easier on myself, but now that she did, I didn’t like the way it made me feel.

But Mark?

The thought of someone else’s arms around her, someone else being able to see her the way I used to look at her so many times was enough to make me sick to my stomach.

A girl was making me sick to my stomach and I was a cold blooded killer.

It was almost laughable.

I lit a cigarette.

Now I really couldn’t fucking sleep. I couldn’t even jerk off to her, knowing she was down the street having someone else make her moan.

I stayed up until I saw her walking down the street again, hands in her pockets and her hood up; attempting to sneak into the house unnoticed. It wasn’t even twenty minutes later which made me laugh out loud.

Over already? The best Mark could do was fifteen minutes?

We used to go for hours.

Man, if I had her for the night I could make her forget everybody else but me. Not this twenty minute bullshit.

A part of me waited for her to come padding down the hallway and climb into bed with me, but she was stubborn and it would take a lot more than just talking to her for five minutes to finally get her to trust me again.

We used to be unstoppable, back in the day. We trusted each other inside out and I relied on her most in gang fights as opposed to anybody else.

She had just fucked someone else, but a part of me wanted to just wrap my arms around her and find what we used to have.

How fucked up was I?

Grabbing one of the blankets off of my bed, I opened my door slowly and quietly as she slept curled up on the couch, her hair in tangles and her eye makeup slightly smudged. I covered her with the blanket before going back to my own room preparing myself for the most sleepless night I’ve had in a long time.


Who in the hell was up this goddamn early was going to get a smack upside the head from me. In all the years I’ve lived there nobody was ever up before the sun was. Never.

Not to mention it’d take a while for me not to wake up at the slightest noise again.

I flung my door open; stomping down the hallway only to find Nikki at the stove with a kid sitting on one of the chairs that was so worn down it looked like it was going to fall over.

“Can I help you?” She snapped at me and I bit back a million different remarks that would have left her in tears.

Instead, I just said “No. Who’s this?” nodding towards the kid who I swore I had seen around before.

“My brother,” She said in her bitchy tone, “Who else would I be making breakfast for?”

Me? I almost said but I had a feeling my jokes would make things worse. Something was irritating her and it was probably something to do with her twenty minute quickie. She probably didn’t off, that’s what was making her cranky.

“Carson?” I asked, “Holy shit you grew up.” The kid who ran around in his diaper, constantly chasing after Nikki was now almost as tall as her, but that didn’t mean a whole lot seeing as she was about the size of a smurf. “What the hell are you doing up so early?”

The kid that Nikki always had on her hip since day one, not letting anyone or anything near him. I remember she told me she’d cut me if I tried to hold him.

He looked nothing like her, his big brown eyes trusting as he looked at me like he did so much when he was younger, trying to make sense of who I was. He probably didn’t remember me in the slightest.

“He has school, obviously. Not everyone can be the neighborhood drug lord, you know.”

“Nikki what’s a drug lord?”

“You never mind.”

It had been so long since I’d been in school I’d completely forgotten some people actually went.

“So where’d you run off to last night?” I asked casually, crossing my arms over my bare chest.

“What’s it to you?” The hint of a blush crept along her cheeks.

I couldn’t help myself from snapping. “I never knew you and Mark were together.”

She handed Carson his breakfast before slamming the pan into the sink. He flinched a little bit before digging into his scrambled eggs.

“We’re not.”

“Then why’d you run off to meet him?”

“None of your damn business that’s what.”

Holy, someone was sensitive.

“What, Nikki? Tough gangster looking for some love? Is he the one who knocked you up?” I asked in a mocking tone. I couldn’t help it. Why couldn’t she have come to me looking for love? I would’ve gladly given her what she asked.

I immediately felt like an ass, the way her face faltered, the tough mask cracked.

But she hated me, and within a half second the mask was back up.

“Not even.” I could tell by the way she was gripping the counter so tight that her knuckles were going white that she was trying to keep her psychotic temper in check. Or else she was going to cry.

Everyone was scared of her, except me. Her temper and mine were one of the same. In fact, her angry was getting me all kinds of hot bothered. If Carson wasn’t sitting in front of us I might’ve slammed her against the wall, letting her take out all her frustration on me.

“Then why are you screwing him?”

“Who said I was?”

“You don’t go running off at two in the morning just to see a boy.”

“Shut the fuck up. I haven’t seen you in four years, don’t come around and act like you know me.”

“Don’t you respect yourself Nikki? I never thought you’d let someone use you like that.”

“I don’t screw to get respect, I screw to get off.” Now she was just trying to convince herself of that.

My temper got the best of me and I spit the words out before I had a chance to taste them. “You say that but you’re just a lonely girl looking for male attention. Nothing more.”

Her face faltered a bit and she looked at me as if I’d broken her beating heart. Before I tried to say I was sorry, the back of her hand met my face, snapping hard as she recoiled it. There was a stinging sensation from where she had slapped me.

“I don’t need anyone.” She said her voice low as if she was trying not to break down in front of me.

“You say that, but you don’t mean it, Nikki.” I softened my voice, but she just turned her back to me and walked with Carson out the front door, slamming it behind her.

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