BY SARA V. ZOOK
Circumstance tends to bend our lives, sometimes in a direction of discomfort. Nicky Cain thought the favor he owed was a one time thing. Even a gun feels foreign in his hand. But now he’s been offered a new sports car, a beautiful home and a name for himself in the City of Haven. Having being raised with nothing, Nicky finds himself in the midst of temptations hard to turn down. All he has to do is toughen up his conscience and not question what he’s been told to do. He’s getting in too deep, and the circumstances keep presenting themselves including a beautiful woman who captivates his heart. Haven is sucking him in and becoming too much like a home. Nicky Cain has to face the fact that sometimes you don’t choose the mob life, the life chooses you.
An arm slipped around my chest. I looked over at the naked girl beside me and smiled. “You okay?” she asked as her fingertips lightly glided along my skin, her nails painted dark red. “Yeah,” I told her. “Just can’t sleep.” She smiled back as she snuggled up closer to me. I stared at her face. She had light blue eyes that wrinkled at the corners when she spoke. Her teeth were a little crooked, but I decided she was an okay looking girl, a little ragged, but not bad. She hadn’t talked that much. She closed her eyes as I continued to stare at her. “Hey,” I said, nudging her awake again. “What’d you say your name was again?” She smiled and sat up on her elbows, pulling the sheet up over her exposed chest. “Steph.” That’s right. Steph. I remembered now. “You said you liked it,” she reminded me, “you know, my name?” She grinned revealing those teeth again, which were a little frightening. Maybe I was wrong. The teeth completely changed my opinion about her being okay looking. I didn’t want to see that smile again. I turned my back to her and sat on the edge of the bed. I raked my fingers through my hair and put on some shorts. I thumbed through a few bills from the stack of cash Carmine had given me. “Yeah, sure. Steph suits you just fine.” I turned and handed her some money. “You’d better get going.” She pressed her lips together and frowned as she examined the money in her hand. “Stan, what the hell is this?” Stan? Then I remembered why she was calling me that. “What do you mean what’s it for? It’s for last night.” “I’m not a fuckin’ hooker you asshole!” she bellowed out. “You’re not?” “No!” Holy shit. I could’ve sworn she was a prostitute. I wanted to ask her if she was sure, but I figured that probably wouldn’t go over too well. “Oh, well, sorry then. You can keep the money just the same.” She glared at me with these huge eyes as if she didn’t know whether she was going to keep the money or punch me in the face. I deserved the punch in the face either way. She angrily got dressed and headed to the door as she slipped her heels on. “I have never been so insulted in my whole life.” I shrugged. I just wanted her to go. “Well, there’s a first time for everything.” “Don’t ever look me up again if you’re back in Haven,” Steph warned me. I turned my head away from her. “You don’t have to worry about that.” I could feel her eyes on me even though I wasn’t looking at her. “You fuckin’ prick,” she huffed out as she opened the door to the room and slammed it shut behind her. “Yes, I am,” I replied to the empty room as I stood up and locked it. I turned back around and headed toward the bathroom. I really needed a shower.
Sara V. Zook is a paranormal/fantasy writer. She is the author of the Strange in Skin Trilogy, Clipped, Evanescent, Book 1 in The Sempiternal Series and A Magic Within. She lives in Pennsylvania with her 3 small children and husband.