She grew up with love but tragedy took everything away from her.
He was forced into a life that he hated and was drowning in darkness.
They both lost hope…
They both looked for ways to numb the pain…
To him, she was unpredictable and alluring.
To her, he was a dark knight with a shady past.
What happened next was unexpected. Their chance encounter was not chance anymore.
As their worlds collide and their impenetrable walls are infiltrated, these two dark souls are forced to face the one thing on earth that scares them the most…
“Well, let’s go,” he ordered. I looked up to him, knowing that I was giving myself away by the fear that took hold in my eyes. I got out of the limousine, hoping that I wouldn’t lose my lunch on the ground. That would be a sure sign of weakness in front of his men, and my father would make me pay for it, dearly. We made our way into the abandoned warehouse. It was dark except for the rays of sunlight sifting in through the broken glass at the top of the building. The place smelt old and dusty. Remembering the stale smell of urine in the hole caused my heart to hammer in my chest.
As we made our way further into the building there was a group of young men sitting in a line on the floor with two of my father’s goons sitting on chairs in front of them. The men looked like they must be only a couple of years older than me. He clearly brought them here because they defied him in some way, and he was going to show them what it meant to defy Maurice Blanchard. We walked up to the group of men with our own entourage following in the distance. My father’s men were heavily armed because there was always another family or gang trying to get the power or connections my father had.
“So what do we have here?” my father asked. All the men stood and looked straight ahead, careful not to make eye contact or any other wrong move that would result in their death.
“They didn’t follow orders,” my father’s goon, Mauricio, cut in with a twisted smile. “Their idiocy resulted in the Dubois sweeping in and lifting five hundred grand.”
The Dubois family were rivals of the Blanchard’s, whatever gains or whatever money my father made, the Dubois tried to slither their way in and steal. Unfortunately the Blanchard family was also tailing the Dubois. We had spies infiltrated in their organization, and when something big was happening we always found a way to get a nice cut. Too bad for these men that the Dubois swept in and stole a nice chunk of my father’s money. Money was very important to my father. In fact, I think it was the most important thing in his life. To take his money or be responsible for losing it was, to a normal person, equivalent to killing their child. I now understood what I was doing there and my blood simmered to a dangerous level under my skin. I had threatened to walk away again, and my father was about to give me the ultimate initiation into the organization. I had two choices. Do what my father said and kill one or all of these men or get shot in the head myself. I knew which option I needed to take, it was my only way out of this. A bullet between my eyes and my misery was over.
“Okay Luc, you need practice and here it is. Practice shooting and try to hit every single one of your targets.” He nodded his head and urged me on. He was a sick, sick man. These were young guys. They probably came from troubled homes or needed the money to get by and my father was paying well. This wasn’t fair. I narrowed my eyes on my father, wanting to lift the revolver and shoot him instead. For me, for my mother, and my brothers, our life had turned into a living hell, and he was the demon at the root of it all. My father saw my hesitation and grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. I was just as tall as him and my body was strong, but I was still an adolescent and I had not filled out yet compared to his bulky physique.
With his face a mere inch from mine he spat in my face. “You will not shame me in front of my men. You will do as I say, or I will kill those boys at home you call brothers.” My eyes turned wide and I thought my father had completely lost his mind. Those boys, my brothers, were his sons. Did we mean so little to him? Is that all we were, a means to an end? I knew my father. I knew if he made the threat he would follow through. I already had a picture in my mind that he would shoot them in front of me to teach me another one of his infamous lessons. I faced the revolver at my first target. I closed my eyes and opened them hoping at some point to wake up from this nightmare. This was my reality and I was wide awake. I took a deep breath and prayed for forgiveness before pulling the trigger. I shot the poor guy square in the chest. He fell instantly to the ground. I once again felt the need to lose the contents of my stomach, but I did everything in my power to stay standing on my own two feet while I watched too much blood leave his body. If I fell now, it would show weakness in the eyes of his men. After how I felt shooting the first guy I didn’t know if I could go through with it again. My heart turned cold.
Loud clapping pulled me out of my daze, I saw my father smiling bright. He walked over and patted me on the back. “That’s my son. You see this, men? It was his first shot and he killed him spot on. This is a Blanchard.” The pride in my father’s voice was crystal clear and his men stood around grinning. I feared having to do it again. I counted and there were nine more men.
Then my father stood and glared at the nine men standing and waiting for their lives to end. They looked pale and they were shaking just as hard as me, only I was doing my damndest to hide it.
“You men better be careful the next time you are in charge, or else, you will end up the same way as your friend did here. I am sure my son will get you in between the eyes next time.”
I blew out a huff of air, I had the blood of one man on my hands, but I didn’t know that I would have made it through nine more shootings. My father smacked me on the back and I jolted forward. He then ordered his men to take care of things. We entered the limousine and drove for a while, until we stopped in front of a local strip joint he owned. I could barely walk as I made my way inside, my legs felt like they would give out on me. He sensed my unease, got me a drink, and asked one of his girls to show me a good time. I thought I was going to be sick. I wanted to get home to my brothers and my mother and make sure they were okay. I wanted to ensure that my father hadn’t tricked me and ordered their death anyway. I also needed a shower because I felt dirty after I killed that man.
My father never took me on another shooting mission again. He said to leave the shootings for the goons that worked for him. He liked to keep his hands clean, although I don’t know how he could think they were clean. He wanted me to kill the guy to teach me a lesson. I wasn’t leaving. I would never be free and I needed to face that fact.
My last year of high school I spent less and less time in school and I didn’t graduate. I was stuck learning “the business.” I was lucky when my father took notice of my superior computer skills and hired some famous hacker to teach me the trade. It was for the benefit of the organization. I was lucky that I became an asset for laundering international money transfers because it meant no more taking me to beat up men or even worse, shoot them. In my early twenties, I was responsible for transferring money, amounting to hundreds of millions, without a trace.
This is my story, but my words are not proud. Every day I lived with a burden put upon me by a man that I loathed. I lived with PTSD and I had to hide it because the danger of being weak would result with a bullet to my head. My father knew I wasn’t happy, my father knew I didn’t have what it took to run the organization, but he didn’t care.
Henri, my middle brother, grew up and proved to be very brutal. I honestly think he behaved that way to gain my father’s acceptance, which meant the world to him. I didn’t understand it and I couldn’t accept it. My mother got worse and worse over the years. I think it was the thought of her sons being so cruel that sent her off to that dark place where she couldn’t return. My family disintegrated in front of my eyes, and yet I only craved the simple things.
I had women at my beck and call, but I wanted a woman to love and cherish. Two things I knew my father didn’t know anything about and would never let me have. The problem was like a fool I kept hoping…
R.C. Stephens was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from York University with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
R.C. loves to write about ever lasting love and tortured souls. As a fan of angst and drama she enjoys a good twist.
Her debut novel Bitter Sweet Love has been nominated for a Darkest Romance award. Twisted Love book two of the Twisted Series will be releasing May 31st.
R.C. is an avid reader, so when she isn’t cooking for her clan or on her laptop writing, she’s snuggled tight with her Kindle devouring any romance novel she can. Okay, with the exception of Thursday nights. She makes time for Scandal and Vampire Diaries. She’s a fan of drama and suspense but she’s also a sucker for a happy ending.
Her husband was her first teenage love. They live together with their three children in Toronto. Loving Canadian winters she could never think of living anywhere else.