Read Threat Online

Authors: Elena Ash


BOOK: Threat
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Elena Ash

© 2015 Elena Ash

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 noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Developmental Editing –
Beta Reading –
Lexi Whitlow

– Gabriel Georgescu
thanks to HB, DD & Kaylee Song

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“I have something to tell you, and you’re probably not
going to like it.”


I’ve heard those words from my father before. At this point he
might as well tattoo them across his forehead. “Impulsive”
is practically his middle name. I mean, he’s a performer on the
Las Vegas Strip. Lucky for him, moving to Sin City over twenty years
ago and taking a risk worked out. He’s had a decade-long career
as a comedian-slash-magician that’s still going strong.

His other risks have been hit or miss, at best.

I’ve been taking care of my dad and cleaning up after his
messes since before I can remember. So when I hear him say those
familiar words, “I have something to tell you, and you’re
probably not going to like it,” I’m prepared for the
worst. More than prepared. Because I can handle it.

“I’m married and your new stepmother and stepbrother will
be moving in with us.”

Okay, that I wasn’t expecting.

I sit on my bed in stunned silence, mouth agape as I try to process
it all.

“Wait... what?”

“I thought that was pretty self-explanatory, but we can try it
again if you want. Married,” he says slowly like he’s
talking to a child. He holds up his ring finger, flashing a thick
black band wound tightly around it. “Stepmother, stepbrother.
Moving in. Here.”

I roll my eyes hard. “Yeah, I get it. I understand the words
you’re saying I just... how the hell

“Language,” he says to me. Seriously? He has the foulest
mouth around, but yet he hates it when I curse. Probably because I'm
a girl.

“How the heck could you?” I correct myself, feeling like
a sixth-grader all over again in the process.

He looks pleased. “I could because I love her. Wait until you
meet her and you’ll understand. She’s...everything,”
he beams. “She’s beautiful, smart, witty. We have the
same taste in just about anything you can think of.”

I can’t help but crack a smile at how happy my dad is. I mean
he’s an upbeat guy in general but I haven’t seen him this
happy with his personal life in ages. It’s like seeing a new
side of him.

But then I realize that he’s not just dating a woman he loves,
but that he’s actually already married to someone I’ve
never even met, and my smile fades again. “And I’m glad
but, I’m just a little bit…”

“A little bit what?” he asks, arching an eyebrow at me.


He folds his arms. “How many times have I told you to stop
using those fancy words around me? Not everyone is Stanford bound, ya

I chuckle. He knows good and well what the word perturbed means but I
play along anyways. “I’m a bit disappointed. That’s

His shoulders slump and his whole mood shifts. He steps inside my
room and takes a seat next to me on my bed. “I was kinda hoping
you’d be happy for me. That
be happy.”

And now I feel guilty. The last thing I wanted to do was bring him
down from his high. “I didn’t mean it like that. If
you’re happy, I’m happy—always.”


“But I’m not going to lie and say I don’t wish you
had at least told me you were dating someone first? Maybe even let me
meet her?”

“I know, it all just happened hella fast.”

I furrow my brows. “How fast are we talking?”

He shrugs. “A few days ago we were just talking and I was like,
I love you, and she was like, I love you too! And then I proposed,”
he says with laugh. “I mean the last three weeks with her has
just been wild.”

My face drops in horror. “You’ve been engaged for three

“What? No, weren’t you listening? I said I proposed to
her a few

I stare at him deadpan, waiting for the punchline. My dad loves
practical jokes and I hate them. This is the first and probably the
last time in my life I’m hoping to God that it’s just one
long, elaborate joke.

“So three weeks ago you…”

“Met her at the club,” he adds with a proud smile.

I bury my face in my hands. “Oh God…”

“You okay, Leah?”

“Mmhm,” I mumble against my palms. In reality
I feel like my whole world is crashing down. It’s just been my
dad and I since I was a kid. Mom skipped out on us before my fifth
birthday; I barely even remember what it’s like to have another
woman around the house. And I’m not opposed to it, but knowing
my dad’s taste in women, I’m not expecting much.

“Then why are you face down, sweetheart?” he asks.

“Please tell me you at least got a pre-nup.”

“Well, shit,” he says. I shoot back up to sitting
position, my eyes flared and my hands ready to ring his neck. He
falls back on the bed, laughing so hard that his belly jiggles.

I let out a long breath of relief.

“Believe it or not hun, your dad isn’t a total idiot.”

“I don’t think you’re an idiot.”

“But you

That’s true.

He sits up again and claps his knees. “I do have good news for
you though.”

There’s more?
I guess I should brace myself

“You get to meet your new stepbrother tomorrow after school!”

That’s right. I was so focused on his marriage and this new
step mom that I didn’t pay the stepbrother part any mention.
That’s going to be different, having a kid around. But how much
damage can a kid do? “Okay, cool, should I pick him up from his
school or something?”

“Nah, he works with his dad on the other side of town at a
tattoo shop called Tatter'd Ink. Janet said you can pop in any time
and meet him there.”

Huh? Did I just hear that right? “He works? As in, he has a job

Dad nods. “Yup.”

I grow even more confused. “As a tattoo artist?” I mean,
don't you have to be eighteen to even get a tattoo, let alone give
people tattoos?

“Yes that’s generally what they do in tattoo shops.”

“How old is this kid?”

“He’s around the same age as you.”


He scratches his chin and looks off into the distance. “Yeah I
was kinda surprised too. She totally forgot to mention him until
after the ceremony.”

“And he’s going to move in
?” I freeze
up just thinking about it. I would never admit it, but I'm totally
not comfortable around guys, well except for my dad. Especially guys
my own age, having been teased by most of them for so long. Having a
male peer in my personal space is going to be a bit awkward.

“Yup. She’s been trying to spend more time with him
anyways and he finally wants to move back in with her.” Gee, I
wonder why? Maybe it has something to do with his new stepfather’s
6,000 square foot house with a Jacuzzi? Dad pats my back. “We’re
finally going to be a family. Just like you’ve always wanted.”

I force a tight smile across my face. I haven't cared about being a
traditional family since I hit double digits in age. “We’ve
always been a family, you and I.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I hope you’re not too
unhappy about this.”

I shake my head, even if I’m denying the truth. Making sure my
dad is happy is more important than my feelings. I can make this

“I’m fine. Like I said, if you’re happy, I’m

His eyes light up. “That’s the spirit, champ,” he
says, nudging my chin with knuckles. He stands back up and says,
“Well, looks like I’ve got to go pack.”

I furrow my brows. “Pack for what?”

“I’m taking the missus to the cabin for an impromptu

“Wait, so you’re leaving tomorrow?”

“Even better—tonight.”

Sheesh. I start to wonder if my dad has ever done something
thinking about it.

“You’ll be okay here, right?”

I nod, brushing my long black locks behind my ear. “Yeah, of
course,” I say, waving him off. Me staying alone is the last of
my worries. Besides, I’m used to it.

“Okay, well I’ll have my phone on at all times, feel free
to call me even if you’re just feeling lonely. You know you
always come first, right?”


“And I’ll text you the address for the tattoo shop.
They’re open until midnight and Janet said you can stop in any
time before close.”

“All right,” I reply, still perched on the edge of my bed
trying to process it all. “Hey, what did you say her son’s
name was?” I ask. If he’s my age then maybe I know him,
or maybe one of my friends does.

“Oh, that’s right. His name is Threat.”



“That hurt?” I ask her as I press the needle into her
skin. I glance up at her face and she's grimacing like a

“Like hell,” she practically shouts back.

“Yeah, it's gonna. I'm going over your shoulder blade right
now; it's all bone.”

“Don't worry about me, I can take it.”

I smirk, watching the tiny needle in my tattoo gun bob up and down,
piercing her skin with tiny bits of ink. It's like a high, watching
my masterpiece come together like this. When I finish the final
detailing I can't help but just sit back and stare at it.

It could be better. But I'm damn proud of myself for finishing.

Tiffani looks back at me. “Done?” she asks.

I shrug. “Maybe. Not sure.”

She rolls her eyes and reaches back to slap my arm. “Asshole.
You know I'm dying to see it.”

I slouch back in my chair and chuckle as I watch her jump up, throw
her hands over her naked tits and bounce over to the mirror to check
herself out from behind. I bite my lip just looking at her—she's
sexy as hell and exactly how I like my women: naked and tatted.

I like it even better when it's my handiwork.

“So?” I ask, ignoring the butterflies in my stomach as I
eagerly await her reaction.

“So? So what?”

I cock my head to the side. “Come on, you're torturing me

A wide smile spreads across her face. “It's awesome and you
know it, asshole.”

I chuckle. Tiffani is a longtime client of the shop. My dad's been
doing her tats since before she was legal. She's the first one who's
let me do a tattoo of this magnitude—it's a giant skull
covering her entire back, with a snake weaving in and out of the eye
sockets and mouth. The detailing on the snake scales were a bitch and
the whole thing took five sessions to complete.

I bandage her up and she throws on her shirt. “You know you're
in for a flood of new clients, right?”

“I dunno, am I?” I ask.

“Dude, I'm submitting photos to a new magazine as soon as this
shit heals. If they get picked up...
explains, rubbing her fingers together greedily.

I don't make a big deal about it. It's a big “if,” and
the chances of getting my first major work in an actual publication
are pretty slim to none. Still, it feels good to know she thinks I
have a shot.

BOOK: Threat
7.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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