Home > Axel (Reapers MC #17)

Axel (Reapers MC #17)
Author: Elizabeth Knox

 

Prologue

 

 

Strong souls aren’t just born. They’re built by forging through the most fucked up perils in life and still having the ability to shine.

~ Unknown

 

 

Rosa

Age Fifteen

 

 

Outrage boils my blood at his words. He promised me this would never happen, and yet it is. My mother always called him a liar and now I wonder if she’s right, if he’s a man who constantly lets people down. From the age of ten she’s been telling me how my father is nothing but a pig, someone who does what he wants and doesn’t care if others are impacted by his decisions.

“You . . . you promised me this would never happen,” I say while straightening up my spine, I look into the same dark eyes I inherited from him. He’s the one who’s always taught me to be strong, to stick up for what I believe in and what I want in life. But he’s so quick to falter to her pathetic demands.

He takes a seat in his pleated chair and grabs my hand, still looking into my eyes. “I never wanted this to happen, mija. Don’t think I did, because you’re the most important thing to me. Don’t you understand that?”

Tearing my hand away from his I stand, about to give him an earful. “If I am, then why are you doing this to me?! I don’t want to go back to Arizona! I don’t want to go back with her. You know what she’s like and you still want to send me there. It’s not fair. It’s not . . . I don’t care what you try to say to me, but it isn’t fair! Why would you do this to me?”

He sighs and closes his eyes, shaking his head. “This isn’t up to me, mija. Listen to me, will you?”

“If it’s not up to you then who is it up to?” I snap, though it comes almost out as a scream.

The door to my father’s study begins to close and I watch as Gloria gives me a saddened look. Even she knows I’m being sent away. God, this is ridiculous.

“Your mother has gotten your grandfather on my case, so I need to—”

“You don’t need to do anything! You’ve always said that to me, haven’t you? Haven’t you always told me how nothing in life is ever required, how it’s optional and we have the power to make our own choices?” I throw his words right back in his face and wait for some sort of apology, some sort of way to get out of this and the sad part is I don’t think there is a way to get out. I don’t want to go back to America, I want to stay here with my father. At least he doesn’t view me as a cash cow like my mother does. In his eyes I’m a diamond, but in hers I’m a task, something she never wanted and was forced to give birth to.

She’s told me many times how she told my father she was pregnant out of decency, but that she wanted to get an abortion. He of course stated she couldn’t do such a thing, and he offered her a million dollars to give birth to me. She only had me because he paid her. She’s about as good as a surrogate, and for the last year while I’ve lived with my father, he hasn’t paid her a dime. It’s the only reason she wants me back and I know it. If I go back to Arizona, he’ll continue to pay her to ‘provide’ for me, but I never see a dime of the money. It goes straight into her body in the form of pills or a syringe.

The grandfather he’s speaking of is my mother’s father and he knows people in high places. Considering he works high up in border control, I know for a fact he uses my grandfather to get his drugs into America. Ironic, considering he doesn’t use but my mother does.

“Mija, choose your words wisely. Remember who it is you’re talking to,” he sneers, glaring at me from across the room. I walk over to the window and suck in a deep breath, place my hands on the wall and exhale. After a moment of calming myself down, I turn around and lock eyes with him.

“I don’t understand how you can honestly believe she gives a damn about me. She wanted to abort me. All the money you send her goes straight to her drugs. She’s not a good person. She has issues and she lets those demons overrun her life.”

“The money I’m giving your mother doesn’t even matter. I have something set up to take care of you when you turn twenty-five, which far surpasses the money I’ve given her. Everyone has demons, Rosa. When you’re an adult you’ll understand.”

“Maybe, but I highly doubt I’ll be doing drugs.”

“Never say never,” he murmurs under his breath and I’m not even surprised. This is the guy who snaps and says the stupidest shit whenever he gets upset.

I shake my head, knowing he won’t be doing anything except shipping me back to my mother. “You don’t give a crap about me either. What you care about is your precious contraband getting across the border,” I seethe.

Within an instant, he’s risen from his chair and he’s wrapped a hand around my throat. He proceeds to shove me against the wall and his nostrils flare. If anything’s for certain, I got my temper from him. “How dare you say such things. You are my blood, Rosa, but no one speaks to me in this manner, not even my own daughter.”

“If you’re going to send me anywhere, send me to Uncle Alejandro. He’ll take me in, and he won’t treat me like my mother does. I’m fifteen, almost sixteen. I’m not a child and I have a voice, a voice that needs to be heard. I can go to Canada and live with him and Leti and—”

“Enough!” he roars, slamming the wall beside my head he releases my neck and walks away from me. “You act as if you know what’s going on, Rosa, but you don’t. You are a child. You don’t understand how the world works yet and for your own sake I hope you don’t have to know for a long time. I hope my position will protect you from the cruelty of it all.” He grows quiet and shakes his head, sits back down in his chair and picks up his glass of tequila sitting on the table next to his chair. He’s always drinking tequila, calls it the cure, the way to settle any problem.

In actuality, I think all alcoholics say that type of crap.

“What are you going to do with me?” I question, wanting some sort of answer. I need to know my fate so I can do whatever I need to ensure I won’t go back to my mother. I don’t want to be around her and I’ll do anything to stay away from her.

After taking a sip of tequila, he stares at me dead in the eyes and for the first time today I believe he’s being honest. “I don’t know, mija. I don’t fucking know.”

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