Falling Hard (Hidden Secrets Book 6)

BOOK: Falling Hard (Hidden Secrets Book 6)
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Falling Hard

Hidden Secrets, #6

 

 

P. J. Belden

 

© P. J. Belden, 2015

Falling Hard (Hidden Secrets, #6)

Copyrighted © P. J. Belden, 2015

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

 

Cover Designer:
P. J. Belden

Formatter:
P. J. Belden

Final Editor:
Mechelle Jackson

 

 

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No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without permission from the author.

Warning:
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/). Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author’s rights and livelihood is appreciated.

 

ISBN-13:
978-1507664421

ISBN-10:
1507664427

 

Prologue

 

 

 

 

Thirteen year old Nathan…

 

She was stupid and he was an asshole. To hell with both of them! I don’t need them. They can kiss my ass. One day, I’ll be gone and they will… Oh, who and the hell am I kidding? They wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t come home. If they did, they’d probably just throw a party. Swiping at my cheeks, I ran faster. Maybe if my feet could carry me fast and far enough, I could escape this life?

“Running in front of a car could do the same thing and it’d be quicker,” I said aloud as I started to slow down.

“You shouldn’t talk like that.”

I was so shocked to hear someone talk to me that I tripped over my own feet, falling face first into the ground. My whole body hurt, but my face hurt the most.

“Oh man, are you okay?” The voice came again, and a hand touched my shoulder.

“Get off me!”

A man walked up from behind the boy that stood in front of me, looking guilty. He was tall and looked a lot like the boy. It had to be his father. He leaned down and looked at my face.

“Come on son, let’s get you cleaned up.”

“He’s not even hurt,” I responded completely confused.

“I was referring to you. Come on.”

The whole stranger danger thing played in my head, but I pushed it aside. If these people aimed to kill me then let them. It’d be better than going home. My mom or her boyfriend wouldn’t give two shits if my face fell off. In fact, that’s what would happen before they spent any money on me.

We walked up to this old farm house. The floorboards of the porch groaned under my weight. How that man made it across without falling through, if they made noise with me walking across it, was beyond me. Inside the house was completely different to its outside appearance. It looked almost new. Walking right into the living room, there were several pictures of a happy family hanging on the wall. My chest tightened and anger boiled inside of me.

“Mom, there’s a boy here that got hurt. I think I scared him by accident,” said the boy from outside.

A short, kind of plump lady came out into the living room. Her hands flew to her mouth. “Oh dear, you did hurt yourself. Come here dear, I’ll get you cleaned up and good as new.” She turned to the boy. “Take your friend into the kitchen sweetie and I’ll be there in a minute.”

“I’m not his…” I started to say, but the kid cut me off.

“The kitchen is this way.”

The first thing that hit me when we entered the kitchen was the smell of food. It was a smell I’m not overly familiar with, but definitely loved the smell of it. My stomach rumbled. Honestly, I’ve forgotten what it was like to eat a decent meal. I was lucky to sneak something more than a sandwich from the kitchen while mom and her boyfriend were screwing.

“We could be, you know?” The kid’s voice broke into my thoughts.

“Could be what?” I grunted.

“Be friends. If you wanted. I’m Jason,” he held his hand out to me.

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why would you want to be my friend?”

“Because you look like you could use one and I know I could. It gets pretty boring here alone all the time.”

“Don’t you go to school?”

“Yes, but I’m homeschooled.”

“Oh,” pausing a moment. “I’m Nathan.”

“Can I call you Nate?” He asked, wrinkling his nose at my name.

“Only if I can call you J.”

“Sure!”

Just then his mom walked into the room, she set something down on the table and pulled out a chair, then sat in one across from it. Patting the chair, she told me to sit. Nervously, I walked over to the chair and sat down.

“Jason, baby, can you get me a bowl of water and a wash cloth please?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

A few minutes later, he was back with a wash cloth and setting a bowl of water on the table.

“Okay, I’m just going to clean you up a bit with only this water and rag first, okay?”

Nodding my head, I braced myself for the sting, the burn, the yelling at me to grow up and stop acting like such a baby. When none of that came, I slowly began to relax. She explained everything she was going to do before she did it. It helped a lot knowing what was coming. After a few more minutes, she pressed a soft kiss over my bandaged cheek, smiled, and said that I was done.

“Mom, can Nate stay for dinner please?”

“I suppose. If it’s okay with your mother.”

Faking a phone call to my mom, I pretended to ask for permission. Then I told her that she said it was fine.

“Okay, well it will be a little bit yet. Why don’t you boys go out and play for a little bit and I’ll call you when it’s ready.”

“Yay!” Jason cheered practically dragging me outside.

We ran around chasing each other and climbing trees for a little bit, before Jason stopped and turned to me.

“Nate, can I ask you something?”

“Uh, sure.”

“Why did you lie?”

“What do you mean?”

“You didn’t call your mom. Why did you lie to my mom?”

“I might tell you when we become best buds, but not yet. Okay?”

He nodded his head. “Yeah, okay.”

We were called not long after for supper. I ate three helpings worth before I was so full breathing posed a problem. The time at the Gold’s was the best day I’ve ever had. Maybe now that Jason and I were friends, I could come here more and have more good days?

Months passed and I was at the Gold’s almost every night. I had actually started putting on weight from eating so much. Mrs. Gold laughed and joked about my being there so much. It was six months later when the questions started from Jason again.

“I think we are beyond best buds, Nate. There’s something wrong. I want to help, but you have to tell me what’s wrong.”

“You’re right I’m sorry. Okay here’s my story…”

I told him everything. How I had no idea who my dad was. That mom kicked him out when I was only a few weeks old then changed my last name to Lane so he couldn’t find me. That she cares more about her boyfriends than she did me. Even told him about the shortage of food and clothing, I told him everything.

“Come here a minute,” Jason said walking toward the house.

My stomach churned out of control the closer we got to the house. Mr. and Mrs. Gold sat on the front porch talking. They stopped when we walked up and Mrs. Gold was concerned immediately when she looked at Jason. It wasn’t until then that I saw he was crying.

“Tell them Nate. Tell them, please.”

“J. I thought that was just between us…”

“Not when we can help you. But they can’t do that if you don’t tell them.”

“What’s wrong, son?” Mr. Gold asked as he sat forward in his chair.

After looking at all of them for a moment, I told them everything. When I finished, things changed for me. I practically moved into the Gold’s house and Jason and I were the best of friends. He was my brother. We’d be brothers for life.

 

# # #

 

Fourteen year old Kristy…

 

Nights were getting colder. The clothes I had would no longer keep me warm enough. I needed to find some place to stay. Making my way across downtown, I avoided all the areas that I knew I might be recognized. If I were smart or brave enough, I might try to leave town, but the country at night worried me. No real shelter, no break from the weather that terrified me. Although, getting caught and being forced back into that house would be far worse than anything I could face out there.

Arriving at one of the shelters, getting in the line to be assigned a room and have a warm meal to eat and a safe(er) place to sleep. My body grew tired the longer I stayed there. The longer I just stood still my eyes grew heavy.

Oh please let me make it in tonight. Last night was hell out there.

It was my turn in line and the old lady with white hair looked at me long and hard. My heart hammered in my chest. I worried that maybe I hadn’t gone far enough across town. Those evil people were not all that well known, so I figured walking to the opposite side of our huge ass city would have been enough to not get noticed.

“Where are your parents?” She asked in a gravel like voice.

“Don’t know,” I simply replied.

“What do you mean you don’t know?” She retorted.

“I mean that I don’t know. They drove me out to this house, said it was my grandparents. They drove off, I walked up to the door. It was empty. They left me. So I don’t know where they are,” I lied.

In truth, I knew exactly where they were. They were in our family home enjoying my older brother and younger sister. Hell, they probably haven’t even noticed I’m not there. It’s been four months, two weeks, and five days since I left. Even if they noticed I wasn’t there, my parents wouldn’t care. I didn’t measure up to my siblings. I never have and according to my dad, I never will.

My brother, Aaron, was seventeen years old. He had black hair, green eyes, and was not only good looking, but he was smart too. From the last conversation I’d overheard, he was going to take over my dad’s company.

Dad ran a ‘family’ restaurant. The reason he called it that was because families came there, not because he cared to have his family there. Well, more that he didn’t want
me
there. Fuck him! He can kiss my ass! I didn’t want to work there anyway!

My brother was a good guy. He treated me nice enough, but only when my dad wasn’t around. When dad was around, he acted like I wasn’t even worthy enough to breathe the same air as him.

My sister, Rebecca, was ten. She had black hair and green eyes just like my brother. Her hair was a beautiful spiral curl like my mum’s hair. She was your average ten year old girl, but a little tall for her age. I’m sure though that she won’t remain that way. The big part that set us apart was the fact that there wasn’t an ounce of fat on her and she was a ‘girly girl’ kind of kid.

I’d much rather play hide and go seek or build sand castles, but apparently that wasn’t allowed. My sister was also smart like my brother. Now, I’m not stupid by any means. On the contrary actually, I was a genius. Many of my teachers have said so. Why don’t my parents approve? Because my name was not Aaron or Rebecca, that’s why. Eventually I just gave up trying to impress them. Then inevitably it led to my running away. I’d much rather be alone out here than be alone in a house full of people that ignored me or belittled me on a daily basis.

My parents were top notch parents if you were named Aaron and Rebecca. If you weren’t then you’re just screwed and need to get the bloody hell out of there. I do miss my siblings, but they are just as responsible for my leaving and miserable existence as the manufacturers were.

The woman looked at me sternly. “You’re telling me that your parents just left you at an abandoned home?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said with my saddest face I could muster.

She looked at me long and hard. “Room thirty four E. Grab your meal on the way. Fresh clothes and linens are laid out on the bed. You must leave after breakfast is served. Do you understand the rules?”

“Yes ma’am. Thank you so much,” I said eagerly.

She told me how to get to my room. Walking as fast as I could, I grabbed some food and hurried to my room. Okay so the meal wasn’t warm, but at least the place to sleep was. They only had so many rooms available and once they were full they shut and locked the doors. The last few nights, they filled quickly making it impossible for me to get in here. My luck was turning around. Smiling, I quickly ate my food, made my bed and slipped the pajamas they left on the bed, putting my clothes in my book bag and under the bed. The minute I pulled the blanket up over me, my heavy eye lids took over. Knowing I was safe for tonight, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

So much for safe…

“You don’t make a sound and I won’t hurt you,” a man growled above me with his hand over my mouth.

All I could do was to nod my head in agreement. What else could I have possibly done? Nothing. He over powered me in weight alone. My fate was sealed the minute I closed my eyes. The minute I gave into the illusion that safety really existed. That was naivety that brought me to this point. It was my fault.

The night went from a great one to one of the worst nights in my life. Right in one single moment, I knew my place in the world and it wasn’t the shoe… It was the dirt.

Walk all over me…

BOOK: Falling Hard (Hidden Secrets Book 6)
4.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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