The Last Goodbye coming December 22 2020

Hi! I’m so excited to share with you that The Last Goodbye will be releasing on December 22nd 2020. If you are a blogger or influencer, I’d love for you to sign up for my release blitz which will be with the amazing PR company Give Me Books. http://bit.ly/TheLastGoodbyeRB

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Hang Le is doing the cover on this one! She has done all of mine and I think she is one of the most talented graphic designers in our industry!

Add this to your TBR on Goodreads

Lincoln was my addiction. He was the only man I’d ever been with. Loving him had been like a drug, complete with all the nasty side effects. When I had him, it felt like the greatest high. When I didn’t, it was like my world fell apart. Over the years, I’d realized so much of my time had been a craving-praying for the next hit. Was there a support group for this—In Love Anonymous? If so, I suppose I was working through my steps. I admitted I had a problem, and I wasn’t using anymore. Maybe I was delusional that there was a cure for this kind of sickness?

I met the love of my life at fifteen. He left for the Army when I was sixteen. We dated long distance. Made love for the first time on leave. We married on leave too. So much of our life had been spent apart, so when Linc made a decision that took him away from me for years, sending him to prison, I was done. How many times could our life be put on hold? I knew I deserved to live my life with a partner; not love one who couldn’t stick around.

Now, Lincoln is out and I have to finally put an end to this… to us. A family tragedy forces us together again and we confront what tore us apart. I’m faced with the hardest decision of my life. Should I forgive or should I finally let go and let him have this last goodbye?

This is sure to be my most angst-filled book to date.

Fight You on sale for 99 cents


Fight You is on sale for 99 cents!!! This book hasn’t been on sale for several years! Check out this heart-wrenching MC.
Audrey is on the run, pretending to be someone she’s not when she finds herself working for an MC.
Amazon-> http://amzn.to/1ywPbnM
blurb
Daws is a Devil Crusader, born and raised a bad boy. He’s sick of superficial, meaningless relationships. Fate throws him a curveball when Aubrey begins working for his dad’s motorcycle shop.

Aubrey is damaged and scarred.

She’s running from a past that has the ability to destroy her. It’s not just herself that she needs to protect. She’s fighting to save her sister. She needs to keep the monster away and she’ll do everything in her power to keep her sister safe.

She wasn’t expecting to meet Daws, the man who would change their lives. Dangerous, strong and completely hers, her heart never had a chance.

Is Daws capable of protecting her from the monster who haunts her? The monster who will stop at nothing to get to her? He wants her back, that much is clear.

She just hopes that when the time comes, she’s strong enough to save them all….

Please Note: This is the second book in the Wrecked series. It can be read as a stand alone and it is not necessary to have read Wreck You, however reading Wreck You first may give you some background to Daws. This book is intended for mature audiences as it has graphic scenes involving sex and child abuse. The use of the F bomb is frequently thrown around so if that offends you, I wouldn’t recommend reading this.

My story with racism and overcoming it

be the change

In light of George Floyd’s vicious murder, I can’t help but reflect on the way racism has affected me and how if things were different I could be racist. What if my dad didn’t die and I stayed in that community where racism was rampant? What if something changed me along the way with all of that hate and I didn’t have my glass half full, see the best in everyone’s attitude?

I was raised on Cleveland’s east side in a neighborhood called Collinwood. From Collinwood High School and east for maybe fifteen blocks or so there was a very Italian neighborhood. (Movies have been made about this neighborhood including one called Collinwood starring George Clooney or To Kill an Irishman starring Val Kilmer)

As a young child, we swam at a public pool called Mandalay.
Black people were not allowed to swim here.
During the Summer, huge festivals at Holy Redeemer, the Catholic Church where the Italians went to school, were the highlight of the year.
Black People were not allowed to attend this festival.

My parents weren’t around that often and my three siblings and myself had free reign over our community. I remember swimming at the pool, which at only seven-years-old I often went to on my own when two young black teens rode their bikes near the pool and some Italian teenagers ran them off screaming N*gg*r. They carried baseball bats and chased those black people away. This was just how it was.

My family was poor. Poorer than most. My parent were addicts who often spent food money on other nefarious things. Needless to say, we could not afford to go to Holy Redeemer. I remember people assuming I was Italian because of my dark features and I didn’t want to correct them because of how I might be viewed. As an adult, I see how ludicrous and ignorant this was.

We went to Cleveland’s public schools. I remember kindergarten at Kenneth W Clement. I was one of three white girls in my class. I remember lining up to go into the building and black kids spitting on me and calling me honkey.
By first grade, I’d already had my share of physical confrontations.

In the ’80s the city of Cleveland was ordered to desegregate the public schools more so they bussed white kids in from the west side to even it out more. To the west side white kids, I was beyond trash. A bunch of black kids hated me because I was white and then the west side white kids hated me because I wasn’t white enough. I was in second or third grade when I got into my first real fistfight with a west side white kid who wanted to fight me just because.

Fourth Grade was going to be a total change for me. Cleveland had specialty schools and I was accepted into Cleveland School of the Arts. My sister Katie was already there and I knew it was going to be a needed change. Cleveland School of The Arts was 4th-12th that specialized in all of the arts.

There was a black girl on the bus, Willamena, who bullied me and I remember fighting with her as well. A High School across the street from our school, John Hayes, was extremely violent. I remember large chains hanging at every door. We were locked in with huge chains and padlocks so that the John Hayes kids couldn’t get in. Could you imagine that today? Locking students in so that other violent students couldn’t come in to fight them?

In 1990 my father died of a drug overdose. My mother, who was 31 became a widow of four kids and we moved out of Collinwood. The new city we moved to was much more diverse. It wasn’t black vs white. We were much more integrated. Instead of being as poor as we were, we now had my father’s SSI, that helped raise us. My mom was working and life improved. I had black friends. I had white friends. I also had a white girl that did not like me. Oh, she wanted to fight me all of the time. I remember in seventh grade, I decided you want to fight, let’s fight. And we did. Later she tried to escalate it again and do you know what happened? My black friends approached her and told her that they had my back and that if she messed with me again, she’d have to deal with them.

I remember when the black girls all took my back and it was something that stuck with me. It was such a change to my earliest experiences. They were my friends and somehow, luckily, I was able to be open-minded enough that I didn’t let my previous experiences change me. I was able to see past it, and I’m incredibly fortunate that I was.

My journey with racism is not unique. My early years, bred racism. It was everywhere. It was taught from all sides and in all directions. White vs black. Black vs white. It wasn’t one-sided.

As an adult, I’m forever grateful I had more positive experiences than what I experienced in my elementary days. I know people who lived in that neighborhood for far longer and racism was still embedded into them.

As an adult, I’ve had to actively look at the way racism has affected my life and I’ve had to consciously think about it and think better.

When racism is taught it’s like a disease and one you need to heal from. I was lucky to find black friends who quickly taught me about acceptance.

Acceptance became a much stronger voice in my world as my mom became open in the gay community. I had these experiences that made it so I learned to be accepted and to accept everyone for who they were not by the color of their skin or their sexual gender.

But I think about those days where the Italian guy chased that black guy from the pool. I think about if he stayed in that community for his entire life. How he is probably forty-five years old. Did he break the cycle? Did he get away from it? Did he spend the rest of his life dealing with racism? Did he teach his children to be better than that?

And it stays with me, that this world has to be better. To change and to be better, you have to acknowledge what has been done, where you fell in that racist scope and you have to be the change. Teach the change.

Our world is in a battle right now, one where years and years of oppression have caused immeasurable amounts of hurt and damage. Protests throughout the world are happening and it’s been sparked because of George Floyd’s murder. It’s also all of the ways I was raised. It’s decades upon decades upon centuries of racism. It’s going against racism that was taught and bred into people. It’s time for equality in income and healthcare and food and the justice system. It’s time for inclusion and for every school, and municipality to teach and reject racism.

It’s time for people to actually vote for change. I read an article this morning from President Obama that talks about the importance of voting locally. Do that! Be that!

Explosive is now live! Read the second book in The Bleeding Scars MC today!

Explosive, the next standalone in Abby McCarthy’s emotional and action-packed Bleeding Scars MC series is NOW LIVE!

 

 

Alejandra

There’s
been one truth in my life-one thing that I’ve always known. My body is not my
own. I’m a bargaining chip, used by my family’s business to seal a deal or
impress a client. I’ve never had a real family, no mother to wipe my tears.
Sure, I have a sperm donor, but he’s only seen me a handful of times and not a
single time was he fatherly. One day, he shows up and offers me a gift, my
freedom for informing on my brother. I had no clue I even had a brother. I want
to know him, but the idea of freedom is something I’ve longed for.

Ace

As a former Marine, going into a hostile situation and retrieving a target was a
specialty I excelled at until I was captured and held as a POW, cutting my
military career short. Adjusting as a civilian was difficult until I met my
“brothers” and we formed The Bleeding Scars MC. When my VP, Gunner, discovers
he has a sister, I know it has to be me that saves her. Not only do I need to
rescue her for Gunner, but once I see her picture and learn how she’s been
locked up most of her life, I can relate to the lost look in her eyes. Rescuing
Alejandra is the hardest mission I’ve ever had to accomplish.

No
war has ever been won alone. The battles we face will be more than a little
difficult, they’ll be explosive. Once the dust has settled and the war is finally
over, I know deep in my soul, that it will all be worth it.

Download your copy Today!
Read for FREE with
Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: [amazon_link asins=’B084YX1V71′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’bbauan-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’44f9253e-f14c-4e20-8d4d-fbcb36f11011′]

Grab Cut Wide Open on sale for 99 cents, the first standalone in the Bleeding Scars MC! Check out our 5 star reviews of Cut Wide Open.

Louisa’s 5 star review

Wow…this book is action-packed and an exhilarating read!
Ace and Alejandra (Alex’s) story has been a long time coming! I am so exciting it’s finally here.  Abby McCarthy has given her all with this book.
From the first page to the last – this book had me on the edge of my seat. Ace is Gunner’s (from Cut Wide Open) right-hand man and Alex is Gunner’s sister.  And at the end of Cut Wide Open, we learned of Alex’s existence. Gunner NEEDS to get his sister back and Ace is just the man to do it.
Ace’s ability to find his way to Alex is amazing, he’s a man on a mission to find her.  From the moment their eyes meet, even with the overwhelming threat to both their lives – there is a connection. Their connection is deep and more than just physical.  These two, unbeknownst to each other have so many similarities and I believe that was the pulling force between these two.
Not only is this a slow burn but we see these two have a connection, from friendship to a deep love connection.   With Abby McCarthy’s beautiful writing, you watch this unfold in the midst of chaos, explosions and bad guys!
Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Amazon: [amazon_link asins=’B06XDWYZTP’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’bbauan-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d6f6c8b7-bdae-4d53-bffb-e86d04e791e5′]

 

Check out this sample of Explosive!

 

The sun was beginning to set, and the sky had started to turn. I
returned to where Alejandra was still sitting in that contemplative way,
absently staring out at nothing. 

I sat behind her with one leg on each side of her. It was
intimate, more so than I deserved, more so than I should’ve taken. We’d shared
two kisses—one she took because she was proving something to herself and the
other I took because I was proving something to her. Who was I kidding? I was
scared out of my mind that something could’ve happened to her because she
didn’t listen to me by staying put, so I had no other choice than to kiss her.
I wanted—no; I needed to feel her lips against mine. It was either that or turn
her around and spank her. She should’ve done what I told her. There’s no way
she should ever put her life in jeopardy for me. If something had happened to
her… No, I couldn’t go there. 

“Where are you?” I whispered to her, hoping to pull
her thoughts out of whatever darkness they seemed to be stuck in. 

She sat motionlessly and eventually let her head fall against my
shoulder. I couldn’t help but smell the faint scent of flowers in her hair.
Moments ticked by where all we could hear was the lapping of waves against the
shore. It took her some time to answer me, and as I waited, the sun slowly
began to sink into the sky.

“I’m not sure. I’m out there on a boat in the sea. I’m in a
room by myself waiting. I’m bound with leather cuffs, designed to keep my skin
free from marks.”

She was baring her pain to me, and all I could think to do was
remind her she was free. Remind her we were almost home and almost safe. We
would make it.

“You’re here with me. You’re not back there. You’re free,
Alejandra. They’ll never touch you again.

About Abby McCarthy

Abby McCarthy is reader and a lover of words. She is a blogger
turned author and released her first novel in May 2014. She is a mother of
three, a wife and a dog person. She has always written, sometimes poetry,
sometimes just to vent about failed relationships, however in parenthood she
has found her voice to help keep her sanity. Words have flowed from her, to
review and with the support of amazing friends in the Indie community she has
decided to pursue her dream of writing! She loves to write and read romance
because isn’t that something we all yearn for? Whether it be flowers and hand
holding or just the right tug on your hair. Isn’t that what life is about? The
human connection?

Follow Abby McCarthy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eeks, the cover for Explosive is here!!!

Explosive synopsis

Alejandra
There’s been one truth in my life-one thing that I’ve always known. My body is not my own. I’m a bargaining chip, used by my family’s business to seal a deal or impress a client. I’ve never had a real family, no mother to wipe my tears. Sure, I have a sperm donor, but he’s only seen me a handful of times and not a single time was he fatherly. One day, he shows up and offers me a gift, my freedom for informing on my brother. I had no clue I even had a brother. I want to know him, but the idea of freedom is something I’ve longed for.

Ace
As a former Marine, going into a hostile situation and retrieving a target was a specialty I excelled at until I was captured and held as a POW, cutting my military career short. Adjusting as a civilian was difficult until I met my “brothers” and we formed The Bleeding Scars MC. When my VP, Gunner, discovers he has a sister, I know it has to be me that saves her. Not only do I need to rescue her for Gunner, but once I see her picture and learn how she’s been locked up most of her life, I can relate to the lost look in her eyes. Rescuing Alejandra is the hardest mission I’ve ever had to accomplish.

No war has ever been won alone. The battles we face will be more than a little difficult, they’ll be explosive. Once the dust has settled and the war is finally over, I know deep in my soul, that it will all be worth it.

Releasing March 13th

Cover Design by Hang Le

 

Excerpt

“I sleep like shit. I have for a long time, but I’m not exactly sure what the trigger is. The VA gave me sleeping pills, but I won’t take them. I’d rather get up and work out than not have my senses about me.”

“What’s the VA?” I was guessing it was a doctor’s office, but I really was unsure.

Ace tilted his head to the side, and even though it was still dark, I could see his features soften. “You know, sometimes you seem like such an old soul, and then other times, there is this innocence about you.” 

I didn’t say anything to that. What could I say? I surely didn’t feel innocent. 

“The VA is a hospital for veterans. I’m just a dime a dozen there. Every soldier has some type of wound, whether it’s mental or physical, if they’ve been in the thick of it, then they’ve got scars.

“Your MC name?” I questioned because I’d wondered for some time why Bleeding Scars, but this conversation made me feel like I got it a little. 

“Yeah, babe. Shane, Gunner, and I, we all got a past. A past that’s left its mark but made us who we are. Our MC is about knowing our past and doing what the fuck we want, the way we want, because of it. The thing with scars, though, they leave a reminder not to make the same mistake twice. You look down at your scar and know you did something to mark you, you’re not doing that a second time.”

“Wow, that’s pretty deep for bikers,” I joked, running my free hand up and down his chest, stroking my fingertips along his scar. 

Ace grabbed my wrist and pulled me closer to him. “You want deep from a biker, you got to go deep. You might not like everything you find, but it won’t matter. You see me and my imperfections, you know I’m going to do everything I can to learn from my past and make sure what we’re building is solid. I’m going to get deep in you, Princess, in every fuckin’ way possible.”

He was kissing me. It was deep and hard. His tongue plunged into my mouth. Swirling. Creating desires, feelings, and want.

God, how I wanted him. 

I’d never wanted anyone. 

But so help me, I wanted him.

About the author


Abby McCarthy is an Ohio born reader and a lover of words. She is a blogger turned author and released her first novel in May 2014. She is a mother of three, a wife and a dog person. She has always written, sometimes poetry, sometimes just to vent about failed relationships, however in parenthood she has found her voice to help keep her sanity. She loves to write and read romance because isn’t that something we all yearn for? Whether its flowers and hand holding or just the right tug on your hair. Isn’t that what life is about? The human connection?

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39339278-explosive

twitter @Abbemccarthy

website: https://www.abbymccarthyauthor.com

Email: abbymccarthyauthor@gmail.com

Pre-order Amazon US https://amzn.to/2P7VS18

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/books/explosive-the-bleeding-scars-mc-book-2-by-abby-mccarthy

[amazon_link asins=’B06XDWYZTP’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’bbauan-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b5c78d04-b249-4e03-911b-956181ff90c3′]

2020 The year of me

Hi, my beautiful readers. I’m still here. Still alive and still writing. I know I haven’t published in almost two years. Last year sucked. That’s my reason. It just blew big donkey balls.

But this year, 2020, it’s going to rock!

I’d been on a nerve pain medication (non-narcotic) and I missed two doses in a row. I sat down at my computer and I wrote. I wrote like I hadn’t in a long time. It felt good, no more than good, it felt amazing.

That night I took my medicine and the next day I sat down to write and I yawned and just couldn’t. So I didn’t take my medicine again. So, drats I’m in some pain, but I’ll deal because, after that day, I have been working my toosh off!! I finished writing Explosive and it’s currently with Beta readers. I have the Lay All Your Books on Me signing in March and my goal is to have Explosive published and out by then!

The signing is in Cleveland. Cleveland is where I’m from. (I feel like I hear a Bone Thugs in Harmony song in my head when I say that. It’s okay if you have no idea what I’m talking about.)

Explosive is the second book in The Bleeding Scars MC. It is Ace and Alejandra’s story. Add it to your Goodreads! Hang Le is working on the cover. She’s done all of mine and she is amazing.

Since I’m on a writing roll, I’m also working on The Last Goodbye. It is sitting at 20k, but not for long. I’m about to slay this book! I added that to Goodreads too so you know I’m seriously going to publish this year!! Add this to your TBR as well! Goodreads Link.

Also, I’m on an awesome weight loss journey. I know maybe you don’t care, but this, like my title, says is my year! I’m currently down 24lbs since October! That’s a huge number! I’m doing keto and if you have any questions please join me in my reader group. I talk about that sometimes. My group is called Abby’s Awesome Allies.

So, there you have it! I’m going to put out books! I’m going to get to a place where hopefully pain doesn’t bug me as much! I’m going to rock 2020. Join me in the journey!

With Love, Abby McCarthy

Free Book for a limited time!

Stronger Than This is free from today until the 27th. One-Click and share, please!

Link-> https://amzn.to/31ZrtGE

Blurb: Marie:
I married a monster — a member of a motorcycle club. I was okay with him blurring the lines until the lines he crossed turned against me. He wasn’t always a monster, or he hid it well. I wouldn’t have married him if I’d known. By the time his true colors showed, I was pregnant with no way out. Until one day, years of planning paid off, and I was able to run away with my daughter.
I found my footing in the foothills of Pennsylvania, thinking I would be far from any MC. I was wrong.

Mickey:
As a member of The Devil’s Crusaders, not much escapes me in Wakeman. Especially not the tiny, fiery redhead who strolled into town, so obviously hiding from something. She made my blood boil in the best way possible. I’d avoided taking an old lady, instead, choosing to spend my years raising my daughter. Not anymore. Not since Marie. I was ready, and she was it for me. I just had to find out what she was hiding from before it finally catches up to her.Our reviews

Stronger Than This by Abby McCarthy Now Live! #Silverfox #fivestarbookreviews

 

Hey, there, readers! Want to read something? Check this out!!

Hey there readers. I wanted to touch base with you. I know I haven’t posted a ton of book stuff. I know I haven’t been as vocal about where writing is taking me. I know I haven’t released in over a year. But, I’m not sorry.

Next week my youngest is going to kindergarten. That will mean all four kids are finally in school. This Summer has been filled with so many amazing memories with my babies. Just this week we went to a local amusement park, of which my biological daughter number one won tickets doing the limbo after we spent a week-long trip camping- in a camper, so not camping for a week in a tent. Even tonight I think I’m taking the kids to see a Prince tribute band. So while I’m counting down the days, I’m still trying to make the most of the few days we have left. So, I can’t apologize. Living my best life means spending time with my babies, before my last starts school.

So where the heck am I with books and my writing career?

I have slowly been working on two stories. I am currently about 25000 words into Explosive, the second book in The Bleeding Scars MC. This book is all about Alejandra, (Gunner’s sister) and Ace. It’s a super high paced story so far filled with suspense intrigue and so far an intense attraction with Alejandra and Ace.

I am also working on another book, I haven’t settled on a name yet, right now I’m calling it Leaving Lola. It’s more contemporary and what the heck, maybe I’ll leave my prologue in this post for you. I’m at about 20,000 words into this story and heads up, I balled more than once writing this.

So what’s next? What’s the deal?

My plan is once my babies are at school, that I will go full speed ahead and actually get more books out! I’m also planning a sale or two for the near future.

Anywho, without further ado, here is the prologue.

Prologue Lincoln

“There’s still a chance. My lawyer says it’s slim, but he thinks we have a shot.” Even as I said the words, I didn’t fully believe them. It was a fucking hail mary and we both knew it. 

“I warned you Linc. I told you nothing good would come from you going with Alex.” 

“Lols he’s my brother. I couldn’t let him go in there alone.” 

“Yes! Yes, you could have. Or you could’ve talked him out of it. You could’ve walked away. Told him it was stupid and you couldn’t risk it. You could’ve done a lot of things. But you didn’t. You put him in front of our life together. Always. Everyone seems like they come first.”

“Lols. Love…”

“Don’t.” She put her hand up to the glass and I could see this look in her eyes. Something was dimming. I was losing her. I could feel it. I felt desperate. If I could hold her in my arms then I could make this right. But the glass that separated us was a barrier I couldn’t break. I desperately wished I could reach her. 

I watched as she clutched the phone to her chest. She was struggling. I could see that she wanted to break down. For the first time, I was questioning if I had any other options when Alex called. Could I have done something differently? I kept thinking that he would’ve gone anyways and he’d be six feet deep right now if I hadn’t taken his back. 

Lola took deep breaths in and out. There was a slight flare to her nostrils and her chin quivered. I’d fix this. We had our whole lives together. I could make it right. I had too. There was no other option. She was my air. We’ve gotten through so much. We’d get through this. I knew we would.

I placed my hand to the glass willing her to put the phone back to her ear. She took a couple of deep breaths and I watched as a mask slipped over her features. Her chin no longer quivered. Her eyes suddenly looked reserved. She held the phone to her ear.

“Lola.”

She cut me off, “Lincoln, I’m done. I can’t. No – I won’t do this anymore.” She hung the phone up. The silence was deafening.  

“Lola, no. Don’t do this,” I yelled. She couldn’t hear me through the thick plated glass. She didn’t turn to see the look on my face. She didn’t want to see how my heart was breaking. I had to get back to her. I had to make this right.

Later that night, I laid in my cell. The slate gray cement walls couldn’t keep my treacherous thoughts from getting to me. I was losing the love of my life and it was all my fucking fault.

Well, Schnucks. I made a boo boo.

I read a rather painful 1 star review today of Stronger Than This. It hurt, but it also helped.

With-in days of my release of Stronger Than This, I’d read quite a bit of criticism about how my Irish dialogue at the end of the book became overwhelming. This was a concern for me, and in the foreword of the book, I explained my dialect reasoning.

Because I am an INDY and I publish on Kindle Direct Publishing, I made changes to my doc and then resubmitted it.

This is one of the best things about self-publishing. You can correct anything/change anything whenever you’d like.

When I did this, I apparently made a mistake correcting some of my yers that were you’re’s to yours.

After reading this brutal review, I have corrected and resubmitted. If you have the auto-update feature turned on on your kindle then it should update shortly. My editor Nicole, probably has no idea I made these changes since I know she’d never let those slip by.

So, I wanted to explain if you read Stronger Than This and saw those errors, how and why they are there, and know that they have been corrected.

Edited books can have errors and it’s simple, because authors and editors are human and we make mistakes. **Owning mine**

Other NEWS

School is in session which means I am writing again. I spent the morning writing and then the afternoon, correcting my STT files on both createspace and Kindle.

My goal is to finish and publish Explosive this year! We will see if that can happen. Just so ya’ll know though, I’m hard at work.

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Explosive Chapter One

I know many of you are anxiously awaiting the release of Explosive. So I thought I’d share the first chapter with you. **unedited **copywrite2018

Chapter One Alejandra
“What are you doing here?” I tried to keep my voice from shaking, but there was a slight lilt to it. Every single time I had been in the same room as Hades, I did my best to show him I was strong and worthy. Why I even cared what he thought, I wasn’t quite sure. It’s not like he ever showed me any decency. He surely didn’t use familiarities with me as one would expect.
“Alejandra, is that any way to greet your dear old dad?” Hades mocked as he moved around the villa, inspecting it. He lifted up the book I was reading and flipped through the pages holding on to it like it amused him. Like it was a joke. Like I was a joke.
The heavy stomping of his motorcycle boots on the pristine tile echoed around the open room. I slipped a robe on top of my nightgown and moved to the kitchen. His eyes were trained on me, and I did my best to show indifference to him as I poured a cup of coffee that automatically brewed at seven am every morning.
I had only seen Hades a handful of times, and that wasn’t saying much considering I was nearing thirty, well twenty-nine to be exact. To say my twenty-nine years had been a life well lived would be, well, it would be a lie. The truth was, I might as well have been Rapunzel. I’d been locked away, no, love, no family. At least I had been educated. I could read. And it was in books that I found the smallest glimmer of hope.  I lived vicariously through the pages of my favorite bad boy romances. If not for the stories I probably would have ended it long ago. I’m not saying that in some morbidly depressed way either. It was fact. My life, besides my books, was no life at all.
I grew up with my Uncle Enrico who believed sex was money and money was power. At a young age, I bore witness to a variety of sexual acts. When I was old enough, my uncle sold my virginity. I wasn’t allowed to be abused – so there was that. At least no visible marks anyways. I was the precious, coveted pussy. I was used to solidify business deals, and the only sense of happiness I have ever found was within the pages of my books, my book that was currently in Hades’s hand.
I studied my sperm donor. He looked to be in his sixties, although, I knew he was fifty-two. His beard was mostly white, and his slicked-back black hair was speckled with gray. His expression was emotionless. What kind of man would allow his half-brother to use me the way he had? Why not let me live a life? I suppose the worst part about the life I lead was that perhaps my face resembled my father’s. I masked my emotion and became numb to sex.
“Enrico’s dead,” Hades finally spoke. I stilled, and the only indication I gave that I was shocked was my white knuckles gripping my coffee mug. Hades’s watched me intently.
What would that mean for me?
Before I could contemplate it, his next words made me gasp. “I shot him after he killed your mother.”
I quickly snapped my mouth closed. I didn’t mean to show Hades emotion, an emotion as simple as surprise was still not worthy of him.
“Ah, I see you aren’t as rigid as you’d have me believe.” I straightened my back and squared my shoulders.
“I am merely the product of the life you have given me. After all, you have always been the one who was really in charge. I am not so naive to think that the person I am, was made this way by Enrico. I know who the real boss has always been.”
His eyes squinted at me, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overstepped or if I had garnered some respect by speaking up for myself.
He tossed my book down on the counter and approached me.
Do not flinch. Do not show him fear.
“Not only beautiful but smart too.” It was a compliment. I don’t know if I’d ever received one from Hades before, and as much as I loathed the man, a compliment from him was still something I’d always yearned for.
“This hasn’t always been an easy life for you has it?” He was talking to me like I mattered. It was both unnerving and endearing. I’d somehow longed for this, so the smallest amount of kindness from him felt mesmerizing, but I’d learned to maintain my cool.
I was shaken from finding out both my uncle and mother, whom I’d never met, were dead and now the mysterious Hades was paying me a compliment. I sipped my coffee and watched him. He obviously had a motive right?
“How would you like to be done with it all? To start over? I’ll give you money and set you up, and you will be free to do what you want.”
“I would say, nothing is free. What is the cost?”
“It’s simple really. I have a job for you. Your freedom for your brother.”