Resisting Temptation

By: K.C. Lynn

Men Of Honor Series



Song Citations




Withers, Bill. “Lean On Me.” Still Bill. Sussex, 1972.

Cohen, Leonard. “Hallelujah.” Various Positions. Colombia, 1984.

Petty, Tom, and Jeff Layne. “Free Fallin.” Full Moon Fever. MCA Records, 1989

Bacharach, Burt, and Hal David. “Wishin and Hopin.” Presenting Dionne Warwick. Scepter Records. 1963.





PROLOGUE




Cade


I’m lying in bed with my head clouded from alcohol, and my body still jacked with adrenaline from the fight I got into earlier tonight. That’s the last time I’m going to let Sawyer drag me to a fucking preppy jock party. I told him this would happen, but the guy is always in the mood to party, and for some reason he doesn’t feel he can do that without me.

I clench and unclench my hand, my tender knuckles aching from busting them open on Clay Rogers’ face. That asshole is lucky all he got was a broken nose and a busted mouth. Maybe next time he will think twice about opening his fucking trap about my family. Doesn’t he think I know my dad was an abusive alcoholic and that my mom is a pathetic junkie? I was at the receiving end of my old man’s fists almost daily. He did not need to fucking remind me.

I hate when people bring up my father, because then I’m reminded of who I am and where I come from. Sometimes when I’m out with Evans I let myself forget, or at least pretend to be someone different, someone I’m not. But then, on nights like tonight, I get a fucking wake-up call. Not only reminding me of who I come from, but that I also have the same darkness inside of me that he did. There are times I can feel it fester in me, waiting to be unleashed, always there but never surfacing. I bury it deep; hoping one day it will eventually go away if I ignore it long enough.

The last thing I ever want is to become like him, or hell, even my mother for that matter. No, not Mother… Maria. She doesn’t deserve to be called Mom. There are times when I think she’s worse than my old man. He would fucking beat me so bad, to the point of being bed-ridden for days from it, and she never gave a shit. She was never strong enough to stand up to him.

One of the best things that ever happened to me was when my asshole father drank himself stupid one night and wrapped his truck around a tree. I thought she would straighten out after that, and start being the mother she was always supposed to be, but nope. Up until recently, she rarely worked since she was always too busy latching herself to whatever fucking loser would provide her with her next fix.

“Cade?”

The sweet, small voice breaks me from my pathetic thoughts and has me glancing at the clock to see it’s one am. I swing my gaze over to the door and make out the tiny figure in the dark. Mia. The only good thing that ever came from my fucked-up parents and the only reason I’m still in this hellhole. If it weren’t for my little sister I would have left here long ago.

“Hey, squirt. What are you still doing awake?”

“I can’t sleep. Can I sleep with you again?” She’s already moving toward me before she even finishes the question, knowing I won’t say no. I’d never say no to her for anything.

This is the fourth night in two weeks that she’s slept with me. Normally I don’t even hear her come in; I just wake up with her plastered against my chest or back. It’s obvious something is bothering her.

I move over as she crawls her tiny body up beside my big one. For a fifteen-year-old I’m bigger than most kids my age; it’s the only thing I’m grateful that I inherited from my old man. Mia is the complete opposite of me. For a seven-year-old she is smaller than most. She’s also sweet, innocent and untainted. There isn’t an ounce of darkness in her.

Guilt begins to plague me, for not being able to do more to get us both the fuck out of here and away from Maria. She says things are going to be better because of this new guy she’s seeing, the one who’s going to help her get on a new path… God’s path.

Yeah right, the guy is a fucking kook, and Maria is even crazier if she thinks we are going to live anywhere with him. I overheard him trying to convince her to have us come live out at his place, which is in some compound that’s way out in the fucking boonies. I went and looked it up as soon as I heard them talking about it. The place is isolated and seems completely messed-up. I thought the guy was Amish or something, from the way it looked, but Maria said he isn’t. I don’t know what the hell it is; all I know is my sister is not living out there.

Mia curls in next to me with her stuffed pink rabbit that she carries with her all the time, the one I won for her at the fair two years ago. Glancing down at her, I see the thick, white ribbon tied in her hair that she has worn to bed every night for as long as I can remember. Her soft, innocent, little face is turned up at me, and her chocolate brown eyes are filled with sadness.

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