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He stood and slowly approached me. “You stay away from that family.”

“Don’t tell me what to do,” I growled, my anger building.

“No, I absolutely will tell you want to do! You are my son, and you live on my property. You will do as I say. You stay away from that girl,” he barked, shoving my chest.

I allowed it the first time.

“Dad, keep your hands off me,” I warned.

He shoved me again. “What are you gonna do? Huh? You gonna hit your old man? You gonna fight back?!” he snapped, slamming into me again. I took a deep breath as my hands formed fists. “Fight me, Jackson!” he hollered. “Fight!”

Still, I wouldn’t lay a hand on him. Not once had I ever laid a hand on my father; no matter how many times he had put his on me. If I did, I would be just as bad as him.

“You’re drunk,” I told him.

“You like that girl, don’t you?” he asked, narrowing his eyes at me.


“Well, shit,” he huffed, stunned. “You fell for a Harris? I shouldn’t be surprised because you’re weak. You’re a piece of shit, and you’re fucking weak,” he hissed. “I shouldn’t even be shocked that you’re screwing a Harris,” he barked. “You’re a no-good lowlife.”

“Shut up,” I warned.

“You’re a dumbass for thinking she’d ever truly want you.”

“Stop talking,” I told him, but he wouldn’t. He couldn’t.

“She’s never going to choose you, Jackson. People who live in the heavens never fall for the ones in the slums. You think she’d actually fall for a monster?”

“Go away.”

“No. You think she’d ever want something like you? A lowlife? Scum? A monster?”

“I’m not a monster.”

“You are,” he said, nodding. “I guess you get that from your old man.”

“I’m nothing like you.”

“No—you’re even worse.” He took a deep breath. “I treat people like shit ’cause I’m a fucking drunk. What’s your excuse?”

He began to stalk off toward his bedroom, and I closed my eyes, taking deep breaths.

“Stay away from that Harris girl. I mean it.”

I inhaled deeply and snapped the band on my wrist. My mind was spinning as I tried to wash my thoughts away. He was the worst one for me, the only person who was truly able to get under my skin and make me doubt every choice I’d ever made.

I want to use…

My heart was racing fast, and my vision began to blur as I paced back and forth.

I want to use…

I snapped my bracelet.

Powerful moments, Jackson. Stay strong.

My father was my worst nightmare, and I hated that when I stared into his eyes, I saw my own reflection staring back at me.

I want to use…

“Fuck!” I barked, raking my hands through my hair as I sat down on my father’s couch. My foot tapped rapidly against the hardwood floor, and I pulled out my cell phone. I began scrolling through my old contacts, the people who were so good at supplying me with everything I needed to keep me high and fucked up.

That was all he thought I could be. Maybe that was all I ever would be…

I want to use…

I dialed the number. I listened to it ring, and when the voice answered, I swallowed hard.


I sighed. “Hey,” I whispered, feeling a knot in my stomach. “I need you.”



Jackson’s voice sounded so broken over the phone, and it only took seconds for me to slide on my shoes.

When I made it to his house, he didn’t say a word. He pressed his lips hard against mine, kissing me deep, kissing me long, kissing me as though he hadn’t yet kissed me before.

He pulled my shirt over my head, and with one snap of his fingers, he had my bra unhooked. Our bodies tangled together, and as he moved on top of me and slid in, I almost cried out from the way he took over my body. Each thrust felt like a broken part of his soul intermixing with mine. He was low that afternoon, yet I welcomed the feeling. The truth was, it wasn’t a good day for me either. I needed him to roll inside me, needed it hard, fast, rough, painful…

His hands wrapped around my wrists, and he pinned my arms over my head as he thrust deeper inside me, making me moan out his name as ecstasy overtook my body. We dripped in sweat and misguided emotions as he lowered himself on top of me and whispered into my ear. “I want you.” He sucked my earlobe. “I need you.” He slid in deeper and pulled out slowly. “I want you.” he repeated as he slammed into me, making me gasp for air. “I need you.”

My hips arched up, begging for more, and more, knowing it would never be enough.

The way we used one another was more than just sex, more than just wants or needs…