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PLAYING DEEP

By A K Love


Copyright © 2017 by Author A.K Love. All rights reserved.


No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission request email to amandalovewrites@gmail.com


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Cover Art: Addendum Designs


Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.








To my wonderful family ... love you to the moon and back.



PROLOGUE











My father is on the warpath again. I’m not sure what I’ve done this time but whatever it is, I know I’m in for a beating.


Unless I can find a place to hide.


Where are you, you little fucker?”


I haven’t had much time to check out all the potential hiding places in our new house yet, so I panic and crawl into the nearest - and most obvious - hiding place in the closet under the stairs. I pull the door closed behind me and wrap my arms around my knees as I sit in the dark, trembling, hardly daring to breathe.


The floorboards creak as he pauses outside the door and then continues past. I slump in relief.


Sometimes I can hide until he’s calmed down and forgotten why he’s angry with me.


And sometimes he finds me.


Like today.


The door is suddenly flung open, nearly coming off its hinges as he drags me from my hiding place by my hair.


Where is it, you little shit? His fingers dig painfully into my arms and he shakes me until I feel like my brain may be permanently damaged. “Where’ve ya hidden it!”


Before I can reply, he back-hands me. The force of the blow throws me into the opposite wall and I crumple to the floor. Pain explodes in the right side of my face and I taste blood in my mouth.


He grabs a fistful of my shirt and lifts me clean off the floor. He’s a big man and I don’t stand a chance against his superior strength. He pushes his face so close to mine that I can smell the fumes on his breath.


Where. Is. My. Shit?” He enunciates every word, which is nothing short of a miracle as he’s only been home from work an hour and has already burned his way through the half bottle that was left from last night.


I know better than to argue - it’ll only end one way. “I know where it is. Put me down I’ll go get it right now.” I try not to let him hear the fear in my voice.


Thankfully, my words seem to appease him and he grunts and drops me back to my feet. “Make it quick!”


We’ve only been here a few days but I already know which grocery stores have a liquor license. If I run I can get to the nearest one and back in less than ten minutes. I grab my jacket - I’ll need somewhere to hide the bottle.


Eight minutes later, I’m back with a full bottle of whiskey, breathing hard from exertion and adrenaline. I’ve stolen for him before - and for myself when the cupboards were empty of food - but each time it’s getting a little harder. I’ve grown a lot over the last year which makes it harder to slip in and out unnoticed.


I take the bottle into the living room and find my father has already passed out in his chair, his mouth slack. He’ll wake up here in the early hours of the morning and drag his sorry ass to bed - hopefully his - for a few more hours before getting up for work. I still don’t know how he manages to hold down a job.


He moves from one casual job to the next, getting work when and wherever he can. He’s managed to get work here as a laborer on a construction site. I guess it pays enough to cover the bills, feed his drinking habit and if I’m lucky, put a little food in my stomach. Once or twice I’ve wondered why he is the way he is but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and not ask questions.


Being careful not to disturb him, I leave the bottle on the table next to him and make my way to the bathroom.


I inspect the damage to my face in the mirror. I already have the beginnings of a nasty bruise over my right eye and my lip is split where I face-planted the wall.


He’s done worse.


It’s usually the belt across my back or legs so that the welts it leaves are hidden under my clothes. He got careless today, marking my face. I’ll have to come up with a story about my ‘clumsiness’ for my new school on Monday. I can’t risk what he'll do to me if anyone finds out.


I’ve been looking after myself since my mother left. For a while, I kept thinking she’d come back and get me but she never did. The anger and hatred I feel at her desertion has already started to hollow me out. I don’t understand how a mother can leave her only kid with a madman. Although, I must admit I don’t feel like a kid anymore. I’m very different to other twelve-year-old boys. I’ve had to be.


I clean myself up, splash water on my face and dab some antiseptic on my lip, wincing at the sting.


I’ll heal.


Physically, at least.


TYLER











I park the Harley, cut the engine and remove my helmet, still straddling the bike.


My eyes wander to the front of the church and I grimace as the memories bombard me. It’s been years. Too many and not enough. The pain is still there, burning like an acid in my stomach and a cancer in my brain.


Every Sunday morning my father would drag me here so he could spout his three Hail Mary’s and repent his sins before we returned to our shitty life.


Fucking hypocrite.


I run my finger under the collar of my shirt. I hate suits and it doesn’t feel right to be wearing one on the Harley. A Harley is meant for jeans and leathers.


A movement captures my gaze and I see her as she walks into the church with her father. She’s the reason I’m here….and the reason I left in the first place.


Her long, dark hair is swept up into some fancy do, exposing the delicate sweep of her neck and jaw. Her dark brown eyes and pretty lips are seared into my brain. My cock springs to life as I remember those lips on mine - our first kiss had very nearly become our first time and the heat of those memories still has the power to bring me to my knees.


I take in her long legs and the shape of her exquisite ass in the form fitting skirt suit. Just looking at her from a distance gets me hard and I’m already imagining the things I’d like to do to her … with her.


She’s always had this effect on me - she just never knew it.

Until one night five years ago. And then I left - without so much as a goodbye or even a note.


Five long years I’ve stayed away, giving her time to grow up and have the chance to make her own choices - even if those choices don’t include me.


Five years spent running away from my feelings. I couldn’t let her know back then - she deserved so much more than I could give her. She was too young and I was too fucked up. Maybe I still am.


I had to be here today. The day that she’s burying her mother. It won’t be easy - I’m pretty sure she hates me for leaving. But I’m back now.


Back to claim what’s mine.



JENNA











The church is full of people who’ve come to pay their respects, a testament to the kind hearted and generous woman my Mom was.


The brain hemorrhage that robbed her of life so suddenly has taken her from us far too soon. Every death of a loved one is too soon. Our hearts are broken and our lives have changed forever but I’m grateful that it was quick for her, that she didn’t suffer.


I glance at my Dad who sits next to me at the front of the church, his face composed but pale. Mom’s body lies just feet away in the oak coffin with a single red rose laid upon the top that Dad gently placed there earlier. His heart must be breaking in two - he’s lost the woman he loved. His friend. His wife. His lover.


My mouth lifts in a bitter little smile. I’d once thought I could have what they’d had together but that dream had also died a sudden death five years ago.


I’m lost in my grief as the priest begins the service. Words and hymns are a dull hum in my ears as tears spill down my

cheeks and I say a silent goodbye to my Mom. Dad’s tears leave silvery streaks on his face and he reaches for my hand. He’s not an overly demonstrative man so the unexpected physical contact is even more poignant.


After the service, we file outside and her body is lowered into the ground to rest next to my grandparents. The priest says a few more words and I step forward, gently tossing another rose on top of her coffin to join the first.


Dad and I receive the condolences of fellow mourners in a blur of hugs and handshakes as people drift away, back to their own lives.


“I’ll go get the car,” Dad says.


“Okay. I’ll just be a few minutes.” My gaze is drawn back to the fresh earth covering the coffin at my feet.


Dad nods. “Take as long as you need.”


I sink to the ground as the tears fall freely again.


“I always hated seeing you cry.”


The familiarity of the deep timbre has my head snapping up, shock and disbelief sliding through my veins.


“Tyler?”


God, I hate how broken my voice sounds as his name escapes my lips. I’m torn between throwing myself into his arms or kneeing him in his soft and dangly parts.


He looks amazing. He’s a beast of a man now, all broad shoulders and overwhelming masculinity in a sharp gray suit - a far cry from the boy I first met with a black eye and a split lip.


Feeling at a disadvantage, I rise to my feet, smoothing my skirt down with shaking hands. He's even taller than I remember and towers over me despite the heels I’m wearing.


His blond hair is neatly styled, replacing the over-long, careless way he used to wear it. My fingers itch as I recall what it was like to run my fingers through that hair, how his mouth felt on mine after so many years of loving him silently.


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