Dark Lonely Lies by Sam Crescent

Chapter One




“I’ve already cleaned up one of his messes. You’re going to have to take care of this one,” Rick Denton said as he sat down at an Italian restaurant in the heart of London. It was a rare hot summer’s day, and his wife was due to arrive any minute. He hadn’t seen Mandy in over a year. Not since Landon decided he wanted to kill his father and then start a blood bath all around the city. Rumors were hard to kill once they began and he’d decided he’d cleaned up enough of Landon’s issues and needed to see his wife.

“We need you home,” Jacob said.

“Listen up, fuckwad, I am home. I don’t live there anymore and I’ve already cleaned up enough shit in the last year. I want some time alone with my woman. Surely you can contain your little brother until then. If not, then you really need to think about if you should be head of the fucking house or give Gabriel a turn.” He hung up, pissed off, even angrier than before.

He’d taught Landon a great deal in the past couple of years. With Sarah’s help, he’d been able to tame the beast living within the youngest Denton boy, but now, he was a monster unleashed.

Rick ran a hand down his face. He knew he didn’t have time to be with Mandy but he gave up on the legacy to be with his woman. She was the only person to make him feel anything. If it hadn’t been for her, he would’ve been nothing short of the devil. Killing left him with no guilt, no remorse. The fact he was now a doctor was kind of a miracle. He was used to breaking bones, slashing and dicing people up. Now that he was a doctor, his skills in torture had improved.

He was no longer the family torturer though, Abel was, or at least from what he saw, Landon had soon taken the lead.

This was all fucked up and Maddox, his now-dead brother, was to blame. He shouldn’t have killed Sarah. Landon’s woman was the only person keeping him calm. Now they all had nothing. No way of keeping him in control.

He’d already caused a war with the Castillo family. Maddox, Landon’s father, had killed Sarah in order to free Landon up to marry the young Castillo girl, Jade. Instead, he’d somehow gotten through all the security and kidnapped her. The girl hadn’t been seen in months, apart from one phone call to her parents, and of course to his brothers. A single scream, filled with pain and the warning. If they came hunting for him, he would start to tear her apart, piece, by piece.

They hadn’t stopped looking.

A piece had been sent to the family, a single finger, but it hadn’t been sent with any way to guarantee it was hers. The pad of the finger had been cut off. Just a single ring that a Castillo wore had been left on the finger.

It was fucked up.

With anyone else, he’d have been proud, but this little shit was making him work twice as hard. Away from his woman, he didn’t exactly do his best work. If it wasn’t for Landon constantly waving a green flag to piss people off, there was also the problem with the bounty. It would appear their plan of removing all evidence, burning the body, and making it look like Maddox Denton had disappeared hadn’t worked. Nope. Rick still didn’t know how his brother managed to do it, but Maddox had a bounty put on the person who murdered him, and those same bounty hunters had been going after Landon. No matter what he did, or who he negotiated with, this bounty was blood-deep. This was the result of a bunch of favors owed to Maddox Denton. Rick had no doubt his brother only created this kind of death sentence as a way of avoiding dying, but he clearly hadn’t dealt with a man who had lost everything. Landon had lost everything because of Maddox’s greed and now had to pay the price. They were all paying it.

He needed to be around Mandy to think.

“Welcome to this shitty restaurant. How may I serve you?”

He’d been so deep in thought he hadn’t heard the woman approach. Glancing up, he saw a woman with black hair, deep brown eyes, and damn it, he was looking right at Sarah. No, that couldn’t be. Clearly, he was way too tired, probably jet-lagged.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“I don’t have to give you my name.” She went to cover her badge but he saw it. It didn’t say Sarah on the badge. Tulip was her name.

“Sarah, is that you?”

“I don’t know who you are, sir, but you’re kind of freaking me out and you know, I don’t have to serve you.”

“I’m guessing you do. In this nice restaurant, you’ve got no choice but to do as the customer says.” He reached into his jacket, pulling out a couple of twenties. Tulip raised her brows, and he watched as she smirked.