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Adam Hughes is pure danger, every pore of his body screams it, and not exactly because of the outrageous scars on the side of his face. He's the kind of guy you don't want to get involved with because you know, above all else, he'll tear you apart. He's the kind of guy who keeps a terrifying amount of secrets disturbing enough to make you want to run away from him as fast as possible. He's the kind of man who's capable of making you touch the sky with a kiss..... I know I have to put as much distance between me and him as possible because his world will end mine if I don't put an end to what I feel..., but I can't do it. I can't run away from him. Not when I love him like I do....
"Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry...". I think, but I can't stop the hot, wet stream of my desperate tears.
I get a lump in my throat as I mentally count the money I have hidden in the little box in my room. I press my cold, trembling palms to my eyes and stifle a sob.
It's almost midnight and I don't have the courage to enter my apartment because I know what I'll find there. I know who is waiting for me and I am not ready to face him. .....
I'm huddled in the hallway of the horrible building I live in, my eyes fixed on a spot on the floor and a knot of nervousness in my stomach.
I am pathetic.
I know he is sober. I know he hasn't had a drop of alcohol, and I know there is no other time I am more afraid of him. God knows how much I need him to be drunk so he won't try to hit me. So he won't try to touch me.....
My heart is pounding furiously against my ribs and I can almost swear it's trying to punch a hole out of my body.
"Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry. Cry..."
I close my eyes and breathe deeply. I have to calm down.
I smooth the creases of the white shirt I'm wearing, only because I need to buy myself time to work up the courage to get up from the floor.
I wipe the wetness from my cheeks with the backs of my hands and press my palms against my bent knees in a feeble attempt to calm the shaking in my body, but nothing works.
"You can do it, Lucy." I cheer. "You can do it. Buy her a beer and lock yourself in your room."
But I know it's not that easy. He's not going to get tired of one drink. He'll break down the door and hurt me again.
The bruises he gave me last week still mark the skin on my arms, but the swelling on my right cheekbone has gone down considerably. But I don't know what I'm going to do to justify the new marks at work. I don't know how much longer they're going to believe this pathetic story I made up " the one where I tell everyone I'm the clumsy one?
The tightness in my chest increases a little more and I slowly sink. I can't help it. I can't ask for help either. I can't do anything because he's my father. ....
A sob rises in my throat. I can't breathe. I can't shake the weight I feel on my shoulders right now. The despair is so great that I can barely stand to be in my own skin.
I'm about to burst. I can't take it anymore. I can't take it anymore. I'm going to lose it.
The footsteps on the stairs bring me back to reality. I focused my attention on them again, trying to compose myself, when I noticed someone walking slowly and indifferently up the stairs. Humiliation seeps through me like moisture.
I try not to look up, but my curiosity is too great because I know who it is.
I have only seen my upstairs neighbor a few times since he moved in. He arrived months ago, but he is not very sociable.
I can barely see her back as he walks past me to the next flight of stairs. He wears a knit cap on his head, but some caramel-colored hair escapes the fabric and covers his neck and part of his collar. He is wearing an oversized sweater and tight jeans. He is quite tall and imposing.
The guy doesn't talk to anyone, but I heard two ladies on the second floor say he was scary. Despite his lack of concern for the people who live in the same building as him, I can tell he's doing pretty well, considering he was able to afford to buy and renovate the entire top floor. He is the only tenant who owns an entire floor in the most horrible apartment complex in the entire city of San Francisco. I don't understand how anyone in their right mind could buy anything here. The building is falling apart, but the neighbor upstairs has invested in it.
The familiar creak of the door to the apartment I live in jolts me back to reality and I sit up as quickly as I can. I try to put some distance between us, but it's too late.
My father is already there, pulling roughly on my wrist. I sigh and jump. All the blood seems to have drained from my face in an instant. All my psychological preparation seems to have been for nothing.
My jaw clenches as I see the reddened eyes staring back at me harshly and angrily. I clench my fists so tightly that I can feel my fingernails digging into the tender flesh of my palms. A lump burns in the back of my throat and fear grips my insides with overwhelming force.
I want to cry and beg him to let me go, but I'm frozen in terror.
Cold gray eyes stare back at me and a shiver runs down my spine as I try to swallow the lump that has formed in my throat.
I could almost swear I'm about to throw up. The fear exploding in my system is so great that I want to scream. I want to run away from here. I want to hide and never come out again.
" Where have you been? " he asks, firmly. I try to keep my nervousness at bay, but it's impossible. I'm scared, I'm not kidding.
" "Dad..." I beg him in a whisper.
"Not here. Please, not here."
WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN? " he spits out a cry.
"At work! "
"Yes, it does! You won't see my stupid face! "I need money! "Where the hell did you get the money, Lucy?
"I stutter and try to slip between his body and the door frame, but he bangs the wood hard to block my way.
Alarm bells go off in my head, but I force myself to look him in the eye.
If you're looking for the money that was in the music box in your room, it's gone,' he says with a mischievous smile. It was returned to me a few days ago.
That was the rent money. That was all the money I had.
"What am I going to do?"
Courage mixed with fear and anxiety.
I have nothing left," my voice is shaky and hoarse.
Then he pulls me roughly and my chest collides with his. His hands grab my biceps and his grip is so tight it hurts. Disgust and revulsion wash over me as I feel his hot, poisonous breath on my cheek. I want to scream at him to let go, to put some distance between us, but I'm frozen.
"I'm sorry," a small, husky, bristly voice says behind me.
At that moment, my father's gaze fixes on a point behind me, and I take advantage of his distraction to move away a little.
I take a few steps back when my back suddenly collides with something warm and soft. My eyes close at the mere touch and I feel shame take over my body. I want to dig a hole in the ground and crawl inside, never to come out again.
A large hand appears in my field of vision and I can see the fifty-dollar bill folded between the middle and index fingers.
My father stares at the offering for a few seconds before abruptly taking the money and walking down the stairs without a word.
Tears flood my eyes, but a sigh of relief escapes my lips. I feel humiliated, ashamed, angry, and grateful. All at the same time.
I step forward to give the person behind me some room to breathe while I try to compose myself. I know it's my upstairs neighbor. He's the only one who was there. It must be him.
I don't want to look at him. I don't want to face him after what just happened, but I know I should thank him for what he did. I know I should apologize and assure him that I will repay him.
So, without further ado, I turn on my heels and look at him at ........
The sight of his face hits me like a whip. He also looks surprised, his jaw clenches and his head turns to the side to avoid looking directly at me. I know he's trying to hide something I've seen before. ....
The left side of his face is furrowed with rough, jagged scars. I could barely see the scandalous marks, but it was enough for my whole face to betray the impression he made on me.
I clear my throat, as I try to pull myself together from the shock of the astonishment of a few moments ago.
“I'm going to pay you," I force myself to say, and I want to beat myself up for sounding so scared.
Suddenly, the boy in front of me fixes his gaze on mine and I gasp.
A pair of stunning emerald green eyes stare back at me. The dim lights from the hallway shade his face, so that the left side of his face is partially hidden from me. The curly hair sticking out of the cap helps make the markings barely visible, but the angle of his jaw makes him look dangerous. The image is devastating. He looks like a wounded and enraged animal. It looks terrifying...
“It's not necessary," he says in a neutral voice, but there is a tense, defensive tone.
“No," I say decisively, "I'm going to do it.
His brow furrows slightly at my response and his expression hardens, but he says nothing more. He merely nods awkwardly before
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