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Tiny Dark Deeds
***Unedited teaser chapter***
24 hours before the news broke…
“What do you mean you found her?” Ramses’s voice drifted into the air, and I think it gave us all pause.
And froze the shit out of Wolf.
He’d been the one to call him. Well, I’d been the one to call my god dad for him.
Wolf was on my phone.
I’d connected my buddy to the person he needed to speak to and right now, he wasn’t speaking. He started to and actually had done pretty well.
Wells, Thatcher, and I coached him on. Thatcher had his hand braced on Wolf’s shoulder, his expression grim, serious. He kept squeezing Wolf’s shoulder, his elbow hooked across the top of Wells’s beside him. Wells stood tall in front of Wolf, hands buried deep in his coveralls. He pulled one out and touched Wolf’s other shoulder.
I held the last position, the one where I was taking Wolf’s hand and making him physically bring that phone speaker to his mouth.
He’d lowered it.
I stepped back after that, but not far. My own shoulder didn’t leave Wolf’s. They touched, and I wasn’t going anywhere.
None of us were.
“I’m going to repeat myself, son.” Ramses’s deep tone edged differently now. It encompassed an unease when it was normally lax and easygoing. Out of all my god dads, Ramses was without a doubt the one most relaxed. He was the peacemaker, the one all of us went to (adults included) for a level head and reason. Ramses didn’t have his own problems. Even when he had them he didn’t have them. He brushed that shit off like nothing. “Ares, what do you mean when you said you found her?”
Wolf had given him that. My friend had gotten at least that out.
Wolf’s lips moved, but no speech passed them. Face red, eyes haunted, he looked like he’d be sick right in front of us. He dampened his mouth. “I said I found her, Dad. I did. I swear to God I did. I found her, Pilar.”
The name gave me pause, my swallow hard. I closed my eyes but only gave myself a moment.
Get your shit together.
Now, wasn’t the time for me to break down but I noticed more than one eye on me in that moment. Wolf was completely distracted, but both Wells and Thatcher were looking at me.
“You okay?” Wells mouthed, and I barely kept eye contact before I was squeezing Wolf’s arm.
I covered the phone. “You can do this.”
He had to do this, had to for her.
Wolf waited patiently for his father’s response, his face aglow, and the brick fireplace did that. We were still at his house, pizza boxes open. The pies had grown cold when none of us had the stomach to fucking eat them.
Ramses sighed into the line. “We’ve talked about this, son,” he stated, another breath in his voice. He’d regained his calm, my godfather so collected. “You can’t find Pilar. She is gone, and we will not be getting her back.”
He probably thought he had to say such things. Wolf had a history. Ares thought for a while he could find her and actually to the point where he became obsessed.
He’d even ran away.
It’d been a dark time, a real dark fucking time and put the fear of God in all of us. We thought, for a time, we might lose our best friend, Thatcher, Wells, and me. Ares had gone into a deep depression and even his parents couldn’t pull him out of it, his parents who had so much love and support just like the rest of ours.
Thatcher, Wells, and I had a lot of regrets back then. Regrets that we let Wolf go as deep as he did into that dark cloud. His depression started during the countless days in which he’d searched for his long lost sister, the days which turned up empty each and every time. Why the guys and I felt responsibility for that was because we covered for Wolf. He’d run away quite a few times dating back to as young as elementary school.
He’d been searching leads.
That last time he’d left, left to find her had been so fucking bad. Ramses and Brielle ended up finding him in California of all places. At twelve-years-old, our buddy had hopped a bus and traveled thousands of miles because some chick over there simply had the same name as her. He’d done things like this… rash and crazy things to chase the memory of a person he never got to meet. It never was Pilar in the end.
His searches always came up empty.
Wolf’s anger signaled the end of his searches. He’d never been Mary Sunshine, but without his searches… without hope his depression unfurled into something else. He got real mean, nasty and self destructive, and I think a part of him hoped that he’d been the one taken from the hospital that day instead of Pilar.
If only so his parents didn’t have to deal with him.
Of course, he’d never say that, but all of us knew him. We knew his heart. He was shit at hiding it just like the rest of us.
That was why I was especially being so rigid now, refusing to feel anything. I couldn’t. I couldn’t break fucking down when my best friend was trying to tell his dad something way bigger than me. It was bigger than what I was feeling.
Stop being a bitch.
I realized I wasn’t breathing. It hadn’t been until Wells cuffed my arm, the other still on Wolf. I wanted to shove Wells away. I wasn’t a bitch. I was fine.
So why the fuck did I let him stay?
I said nothing, letting him do that shit but I didn’t look at him. I refused, squeezing Wolf’s arm.
“This isn’t like before,” Wolf’s voice cracked into the line. His eyes pinched tight. “Dad, it’s different.”
Wolf shut down in that moment, his mouth moving again with no words. He scrubbed a heavy hand into his hair and I thought he’d ripped that shit out when he gripped it. That was when I took his phone, giving him a moment. Wolf backed up, his long wingspan and locked above his head.
“It’s me, Ramses. Dorian.” When I took over the guys all looked at me, and Wolf whirled around. I lifted a hand, letting him and the others know I had this. “Um, he’s not lying. Wolf. He’s telling the truth. She’s back. Pilar’s back.” It felt weird calling her thought. She wasn’t Pilar. She was my little fighter. She was… “You got to listen to him. He’s telling the truth. She’s back.”
Nothing but silence hit after what I said and at this point, Wolf had gone sheet white. He edged in closer, and Thatcher rubbed his shoulders.
“Put my son on the line, Dorian,” Ramses said, but Wolf had that look about his eyes again. The look where I didn’t know whether he’d be sick or spiral out.
I lifted a hand to him, again letting him know I had this. I had this.
Be like Charlie.
I channeled someone else in that moment, someone who had been that person for me. If Charlie was here, this shit wouldn’t have been a thing. He’d be the one talking, being strong for everyone else and getting shit done.
Stop bitching out.
I started to be that person, move my fucking mouth but then I heard a voice.
“Ramses?” My dad’s smooth voice drifted into the line. It made me stop full stop. Gave me pause. “What’s going on? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
I was at a loss now, my dad wherever Ramses was. I felt like a kid then. Like I’d gone from eighteen to four and couldn’t make my lips move. Like I’d destroyed the house and blamed it on Chestnut.
Like I needed my dad like little girl.
It was a weird place to be, as much comfort as much as unease knowing my dad was there. I wanted to talk to him as much as I wanted to hang up the phone.
“My dad’s there?” I asked, and Ramses said yes.
“He drove out for poker night,” Ramses continued, but his voice sounded so far away. “And I don’t know, Royal. It’s our kids, but they’re not making sense. They’re saying things and…”
Though Ramses clearly didn’t have the phone close it wasn’t hard to make out the struggle in his voice.
“Talk to him,” I heard Ramses say, but then I heard my name. I heard my father speaking my name.
“What’s going on?” he asked after and this time, I noticed my friends around me. I took inventory of each and every one of them. I noticed the pain in Wolf’s eyes and the plea in Wells’s and Thatcher’s. They all wanted me to do something.
Even if they hadn’t asked.
When this night began I’d planned to call my parents. I was going to call my dad, but Wolf’s family took priority. This was their family, this was them and when it came to me I should have only been there for support. I needed to just be supportive.
But how could I when I felt like I was dying?
“Dad,” I croaked, throat fucking working. “Dad…”
My chest tightened, my limbs heavy, and I felt cold while at the same time being hot. Like I was frozen but drowning in lava. Like I couldn’t breath.
“Dorian Riley,” Dad whispered and unusual in the sense. My father was never one to handle me with kid gloves. That was Mom. Never dad. “What is it, son? What’s wrong?”
I turned away from my friends. Why couldn’t I stop feeling so fucking cold and hot? “Dad, you’re going to hate me.” He would. How couldn’t he after what I had to tell him? I went behind his back. I lied to him. “I lied, Dad.”
“Lied about what?” The room was so quiet, on both our ends. “What did you lie about? Tell me.”
It was the ultimate lie, the ultimate betrayal. How could I tell my dad that I reached out to someone who hurt him so badly? How could I tell him that same person may or may not have Wolf’s twin sister? She might go to him. She trusted him and why shouldn’t she?
She didn’t trust you.
My chest caved again, ripped raw from the inside out. I felt like I was cut in two, bleeding.
“Whatever it is we’ll handle it,” Dad said, his words thick but steady. “We’ll fix it, and I won’t hate you. Just tell me what it is. Tell me the truth.”
The truth was madness, painful but it had to be done. All this was bigger than me.
My love for her was secondary.
Did you know Court Legacy is a spin off series to Eden O'Neill's Court High and Court University books?? Get caught up today before the new series drops!
Court Legacy is an all new series by Eden O'Neill. It's about the children of characters featured in the author's Court High and Court University books. Court Legacy can be read without reading any of the other series, but below is the recommended reading order for those who'd like to read the books in order of the Court universe's timeline.
Recommended reading order:
Court High Books (non-standalones)
They The Pretty Stars
Illusions That May
We The Pretty Stars
Court University Books (standalones)
5. Brutal Heir
7. Beautiful Brute
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