Authors: Alexia Purdy
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Urban Life, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Two Hours or More (65-100 Pages), #Contemporary Fiction, #Urban
A Serial Novella
The Fall of Sky
Copyright © November 2014 Alexia Purdy
All rights reserved
Lyrical Lit. Publishing
Cover Design by Alexia Purdy
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, duplicated, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this novel are fictitious and are products of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual events, or locales or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.
You can never go back. At least, that’s what they say…
Liv and Audrey Westing have found something they’ve chased their entire lives, but could never quite reach. Love. It comes with the steepest of prices. One they both know they might not be able to pay, even with their hearts.
Jonas wants more than Liv can give.
Saul can’t watch Audrey save her sister anymore.
Emilio, Saul’s brother, is hiding his own secrets buried deep inside. Secrets that are the difference between life and death…
With the Jonas’ Cartel watching their every move, Liv and Audrey know there’s no place to run anymore. No place to hide.
Maybe the fall is worth the pain…
Table of Contents
Audrey wasn’t back at the motel. I could tell because our station wagon was nowhere to be seen. I wondered what she was up to as we pulled around the back of the building. We’d had a gig for a few weeks here in L.A., and the steady money was really nice. Staying put for more than a few days was nice, too. Jonas hadn’t asked for his portion of our earnings yet, but I think he was too distracted by me to notice or think about it for now. That was fine; I wasn’t anxious to give him anything yet.
Emilio pulled his truck into one of the many empty spots along the back wall that enclosed the parking lot. It was near noon, and most people had checked out. The ones checking in wouldn’t even be here until later, so the entire place was basically ours and deserted. I glanced around, frowning at the desolate look of the place. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be alone yet right now.
Talking with Audrey and Saul would’ve been nice after my night with Jonas, but it wasn’t going to happen.
“Looks like you’re the only one who lives here.” Emilio chuckled and let his hands drop from the steering wheel before turning the engine off. “Which one’s yours?”
I pointed toward the number forty-seven and wondered why he was even curious which one I was staying in.
He didn’t say anything else, so I reached down for my bag to leave. Before I could grab it, his hand slipped onto my arm and pressed softly. I gasped, surprised to feel his skin on mine again. I glanced over, widening eyes at the sudden contact.
“Tell me something, Liv.” Emilio’s eyes speared into me and sent all kinds of nervous energy tingling along my body.
Straightening, I rubbed my lips together as I studied his face, bag abandoned at my feet.
“What is it?” Tugging at my dark brown hair, I felt the sweat rising on my neck. The cab of the truck was starting to become warmer, but it wasn’t hot enough to be unbearable just yet. It was like the air was being sucked away into a vacuum, causing the atmosphere to shrink around me.
“I know you don’t love Jonas, and I know he means nothing to you.”
The faint taste of blood lingered on my tongue as I unwittingly bit my lip. Not liking where this was going, I let my face go blank with a touch of frustration. I tried my best to look convincing, as though his question was absurd.
“And what makes you think that?”
“The way you look at him. The way I see you when you’re not around him.”
I laughed, but he wasn’t easily angered. In fact, my heart was racing as panic replaced my amusement. What if he did lose his temper with me for not loving Jonas? What if the cruel streak that ran through his brother, ran in the family and through Emilio too? I stopped and cleared my throat.
Emilio’s dark eyes looked like an oily slick, shining black and sharply against the white of his eyes. They were filled with amusement, a slight smirk on his lips taunting me.
He wasn’t mad; he was enjoying my discomfort. I’ll be damned.
“Well, what you see isn’t always what you get.”
He cocked his head to the side and watched me with his eyes partly closed. “I see lots of things others don’t. It’s a skill Jonas hasn’t refined quite as much as I have.”
I bent down and grabbed my bag. “Well, that’s great. Glad to hear that. Thanks for the ride.” I reached for the door, and his hand was on my arm again, his grip slightly tighter than before but not enough to cause any pain. It was enough to send a jolt of panic through me.
“You don’t have to go yet.”
Frozen in mid movement, I swallowed hard before I turned back to Emilio. My mouth had dried into a sticky patch while my breath quickened. His intensity was spilling onto me in waves of heat and desire, and I had to admit, it was catching. Locking eyes with him again, I could feel everything he wanted from me. Wanting, craving…it was sending sparks up my arm and into my belly as his wicked smile faded and his lips parted.
He was dangerous. I could feel it as plain as pleasure or pain as his fingers curled and rubbed soft, tiny circles across my arm. I wasn’t in mortal danger, the one that could kill me. No…this was the kind of danger that could turn my world upside down in a moment’s rush.
“I—I should go…really.” I didn’t pull away, but my eyes wandered down to his fingers. His light mocha skin looked smooth, taut, and I could see the veins underneath the surface. The same unbroken coloring followed up his arms and into his T-shirt. Where Jonas wore suits to appear more like a refined gentleman, Emilio was dressed in jeans and a plain red T-shirt, which clung to his frame in a deliciously snug way. I could see the curves of his biceps under it, and his broad, muscle bound chest.
“I mean what I say, Liv. I don’t want to go yet. The hacienda gets mighty quiet when Jonas leaves, which I love, but it’s too quiet. I don’t go out much, except when he requires it from me for work. Talk to me. I want to hear your voice.” His hand slid up my arm, tracing lines like drawings in the sand. It made my chest seize as my breath caught in my throat.
My lungs burned, and I remembered to breathe since I’d been holding it in for seconds too long. Surprised, I wouldn’t mind talking to him a bit to get to know him better, to know more about the Esperanza brothers. Maybe there was an ally here in Emilio. I’d never pit brother against brother, but I needed all the help I could get with Jonas. There was something to say with all the cards on the table when they favored me.
“Okay,” I managed to mumble. “It’s a bit hot in here. Want to come in?”
I hoped I wouldn’t regret this. There was so much up in the air inviting this man into my home. It was our temporary home, but it was home still, untainted by Jonas’ reach.
Emilio nodded, and his fingers let go of my arm as he pulled away. It was cool and moist where his hand had left an imprint of warmth on me. Somehow, I wanted to feel his fingers on my skin once more. I wondered if he was in the habit of grabbing people, but he didn’t seem to be the kind of person to get into people’s personal space unless he had to. I reached over to open my door, stupefied by the turn of events.
Emilio was already jerking the heavy metal door open for me. Definitely surprised, I gave him a small grin and stepped down, taking his hand to steady myself as I slid out of the cab. Once on the ground, he shut the door and faced me, still holding on. Switching hands so he would stay to my left, we turned toward the motel.
“Thanks.” A little confused, I headed toward the room. He didn’t let go for the short walk to the door, and I wondered if he’d allow me to open it by myself. Was he a possessive kind of man? Was he making a point somehow, holding onto me like this? I hoped it wasn’t the latter; clinginess was a turn off. When we approached the door, he let me go so I could fuss through my purse for the room key. Standing out here on the cement walkway with Emilio, I had a sudden feeling like we were two lovers entering the motel room to romp about it for the day and night.
Flushing, I peered over at him before swiping the card key and turning the handle. Emilio was glancing around, observing all corners of the motel and parking lot. He missed nothing, and it wasn’t until he was reassured of our surroundings being safe that he turned back toward me and followed me in.
“Paranoid much?” I asked. He closed the door behind him and shoved the bolt into place. Not only that, he swung the swivel lock closed too. That wasn’t comforting whatsoever. The place would feel overbearing with the locks tight and the curtains drawn.
“My sister has a key.” I wasn’t sure why I said that. Emilio paid no mind and began his meticulous study of the tiny motel room—two queen beds, an armoire, Flat screen TV that was already outdated glued to the wall, a small dinette, even an eat-in kitchen. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of a manhunt of a kill. Emilio was every bit a fierce hunter, and I bet he could track a man to the ends of the earth and kill him without hesitation.
The heat of the room shifted to frigid as I waited for him to speak again.
“So…do you approve or what?” I was out of patience and dropped my bag at the end of my bed before I gingerly sat down.
A note on the dinette table caught my eye, and before I could even get back up to retrieve it, Emilio had swiped it, flipped it open, and began to read it.
“Hey! That’s probably for me!” I groaned and pondered whether to get up and wrestle him for it. No privacy whatsoever. Geez!
Emilio turned and held it out to me just as I was about to jump back up. “It’s from your sister. She’ll be gone until tomorrow.”
“What?” I snatched the motel room notepad paper and read the chicken scratch writing on it. Audrey’s handwriting was much nicer than mine, but it was still jagged and messy. Wrinkling my nose, my eyes widened as I read the message.
“Gone with Saul to the Sequoia National Park. Won’t be back until tomorrow. Spending the night there. Love ya! ~A”
“Well crap!” I muttered, letting out a long, hard breath. Audrey wasn’t usually the spontaneous one who took off for days. I was. She never did anything like this. She was steady, reliable, and calm, whereas I was turbulent, unreliable, and flighty. This was Saul written all over it. I’d bet on it. I didn’t yet know him well, but I could see her going somewhere with him.
“I take it she doesn’t take off too often.”
Emilio was still standing over me like a statue, looking at ease and much calmer than before we came inside. He obviously found the place adequate enough to turn off the Defcom Five high alert.
“Yeah. Saul’s this new guy we picked up outside San Diego at a motel. He’s blind but really cool. I think they have a thing for each other but haven’t admitted it to one anther yet.”
“Ah,” Emilio moved to sit next to me on the bed, the warmth from his body easing onto me since he sat so close. The alluring scent of his cologne mixed with his own musky aroma sent my senses on overdrive. He smelled amazing, and his proximity only did wonders to set my body ablaze in a chaotic little dance. Great.
“So…um. What do you want to talk about?”
“Why do you still live with your sister?”
I frowned. It was the last question I wanted to talk about—why Audrey and I were still living together. I shrugged. “We’ve always been there for each other. She keeps me in line, and I keep her life interesting. We’ve been on our own since I was fifteen. Us against the world. No other way to have it. Why not?”
“I see,” Emilio’s eyes moved down to my hands, sitting nimbly on my lap and fidgeting ever so slightly. He reached out to scoop them up and began to play with them. It was strange that this man, a killer, a mercenary, and body guard to his brother Jonas, could handle them with such care, such tenderness. “Have you ever fallen in love?”
What the hell? Why was he asking about love?
I straightened and shifted. I didn’t like where he was going with this.
“No. I don’t think so. Men are usually assholes…I’m not saying you are, but most are. All they want is one thing. When they get what they want from a woman, they leave. They never give a shit about them. Why fall in love with bastards?”
“Are you a lesbian?”
I gasped. “What? Me? You’re joking, right?” I chuckled but gave him a crazed look. “I have nothing against them, but I like to fuck men, not women.”
His hands stopped moving, and it made me look down for a moment to keep from losing myself in his eyes. He held my fingers firmly but didn’t dig in. I didn’t know what he wanted, or what he was going to do. I just knew he did things to me, tiny things, funny things, and stuff that made my blood boil with just one word. How? I didn’t like him for that…for making me feel vulnerable with one touch and a few words. No one could usually get to me so easily. No one got in…ever.
“I don’t mean to insult you. Just wanted to be sure.”
“Be sure of what?”
“That I can do this...”
His lips were on mine, and his kiss wasn’t quite harsh, but it wasn’t subtle like a man who was shy in asking what he wanted would give. I’ve had some shy ones before, which I had to lead into the room and do what I wanted to them. I’ve had the opposite too, the kind of guys who’d been around the block and knew what to do with their lips, tongues, fingers, and more. I’d had all types. It was my way of controlling them—with sex. It may not have been the best way to present myself, but I didn’t give a damn. I took what I wanted first, and to hell with what came next.
My tongue slipped out, pushing against his lips. He complied easily and pulled me closer to his chest. I wanted to kiss him harder, devour him. I didn’t know why he affected me this way, but I did know I wanted him to keep doing what he was doing and more.