Im nothing the family bo.., p.1

I'm Nothing (The Family Book 2), page 1

 

I'm Nothing (The Family Book 2)
 


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I'm Nothing (The Family Book 2)


  Evernight Publishing ®

  www.evernightpublishing.com

  Copyright© 2016 Sam Crescent

  ISBN: 978-1-77233-876-8

  Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

  Editor: Karyn White

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

  This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  I’M NOTHING

  The Family, 2

  Sam Crescent

  Copyright © 2016

  Prologue

  Tonio, fifteen years old

  “I don’t want to do it.” Tonio stared at the crying boy, hating what his father was asking him to do in their basement. His mother was already knocked out by the booze and drugs that she liked to take. It kept her silent, so his father was more than happy for her to do it.

  “You’ll do it.” His father tightened his grip on his shoulder. “You filthy piece of shit. If you want to see your precious little friends again, you’ll do it.”

  The cameras were rolling, and Tonio’s stomach turned. He couldn’t keep doing this, but he didn’t see a way out of the pain and mess. Whenever he thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. His father’s depravity knew no bounds, and it wasn’t just in this moment—it was in all moments.

  “Leave my friends alone.”

  The slap across the face stung, but he’d had worse.

  “What do you think Donnie is going to think when they know the truth about you? Do you think Jake is going to want to know you, scum that he is? What about Luiz? He’s never going to want you around his sister knowing what shit you do.”

  “I do it because you tell me.”

  His father’s fist slammed into his gut, making him fall to his knees. He held in the tears as he’d learned long ago not to cry. Crying never solved any problems, and if his father ever caught him crying, there was always a stiff beating to follow.

  Tonio hated the beatings more than anything as his father knew where to hurt so the bruises were never seen. The last thing he ever wanted to happen was for his friends to know how fucked up his life was. The life of The Family was about being strong, but right then, Tonio didn’t feel strong. He felt weak.

  None of his friends showed any sign of the trauma The Family caused him. He didn’t know if it was just him, or if his friends each had to suffer. The only person he doubted ever had a problem was Jake. His father was part of The Family, but he was more a minion than an actual member.

  Most of the time, their fathers didn’t want him, Donnie, and Luiz around Jake, but they refused to be parted.

  “This boy is scum. He means nothing. Now, a lot of people are paying for the privilege of seeing his miserable existence end, bloodily, violently, and my son is just the man to give him his death sentence.”

  Tonio covered his mouth, trying to stop the flow of vomit that was about to happen, but nothing could. Vomit spilling out of his hands, Tonio moved to the corner, throwing up all over the floor everything that he’d eaten.

  “You filthy, no good, nothing, piece of shit,” his father said, moving toward him. The blows started on his back, and Tonio didn’t have a way of protecting himself.

  He’d rather take a beating and black out before he took another innocent’s life. Tonio had lost count of the number of boys and girls he’d killed, not to mention the men and women. His father would bring them all to him, and make him kill, fuck, and do whatever despicable thing was on the menu.

  The worst of it was the fact his father filmed it. Everything was filmed so some sick fucks could get their rocks off on what they saw.

  His father grabbed the back of his neck, slapping his face, and then smearing his face in the vomit, all the time telling him how useless he was.

  “I tell you what, you little shit,” his father said. “How about I get Maria here, huh? Get her down here and use one of our soldiers down here to test that virgin pussy. You know I can make it so her life is fucking ruined, right?”

  The mention of Maria was all it took. Finding strength Tonio didn’t think he had, he lashed out at his father, slamming his fist against the man’s nose and breaking it.

  “Stay the fuck away from Maria.” He yelled every single word, not caring how he gave away his feelings.

  The Family didn’t care about their women, or their children. The women were just pawns to be used or sold as they saw fit. Maria was going to be marrying a guy who would help the family name. It was probably going to be some old fucker who had dozens of mistresses, and who stank half the time of stale sweat.

  Tonio knew how it all worked. There was no room for love in The Family, not for anyone.

  Several of the soldiers who worked for his father caught him, holding him down.

  “I always knew you had a hard-on for that little slut. You’re not going to get near her. She’s too good for you, and besides, her family already has a man ready to take that little cherry. There’s no way out of this, but I will hurt Maria if you don’t do as you’re told.”

  “The Family are going to find out about this,” Tonio said.

  “They find out what we’re doing, and it’s the fucking end.” His father knelt in front of him, wiping away the blood that had dripped from his nose. “Before you go shouting your mouth off, maybe you should realize that if I ever go down, you little shit, I’ll take you, and everyone that you hold dear. I won’t die alone.”

  All he saw was the death of his friends. Tonio believed his father as he’d seen firsthand the kind of monstrous shit he could do.

  Staring at the boy who was bound, Tonio didn’t have a choice.

  Wiping the vomit from his mouth, he took a step toward the boy.

  What had this boy done to earn the death that was about to befall him? Tonio didn’t know, and he never asked questions.

  He should have asked those questions long before today, but there was no time. If his friends ever found out, they would cast him aside.

  Tonio was not clean. He wasn’t good. He was evil.

  This boy wouldn’t be the first one he had killed, and he wouldn’t be the last. The boys, the girls, their faces were all starting to blend in together, and he couldn’t make sense of any of it.

  Moving toward the boy, Tonio watched as he cowered. This was the worst thing of all. There was no fight inside the stranger, the boy that meant nothing to him, and he’d still have to fight him.

  “Make it look good, Tonio,” his father said.

  ****

  “What the hell are you saying, Tonio?” Maria asked.

  “I can get us both away from here. We can be free, Maria. It will be hard, but I’m a good worker. I can give you a good life.”

  “A life away from all of this?” Maria asked, gesturing around her room. They were both naked from making love. Maria had been on top, riding him, and he loved it when she did that. Tonio didn’t like to be on top. For the most part, he didn’t know what he was doing, and Maria always knew what she was doing. Now, he was spent, and he wanted to go ahead with his plan.

  He’d miss his friends, but he was willing to do anything for the woman he loved. Tonio couldn’t handle anymore, not his father, not the beatings, or the rapes, or the murders. None of it, he was dying inside, and he needed Maria to run with him.

  “What would we do for money?” Maria asked.

  “We’d earn a living. Both of us could work, and we could m
ake this happen. Everyone else out there is living life the way they want.”

  “A lot of people struggle, Tonio.”

  “You love me right?”

  “Of course.”

  He frowned as she sighed. Tonio had never heard her say the words to him. It was always “me too”, or “sure, yeah”, or “of course”. Maria never said the words.

  “I don’t want this life, Maria. I love you, and I want us to have a life together without fear.”

  “What about luxury?” Maria asked.

  “What?”

  “Our life isn’t perfect, Tonio, but I like the luxuries.”

  “They’re going to marry you off to someone.”

  “Yeah, so?”

  “What?”

  “So I marry some boring old dude. I like this life. I like being able to buy what I like, Tonio. You’re asking me to give that up for what?”

  ****

  Tonio gasped awake. The two dreams melded together from throwing the first punch to Maria choosing this life. Reaching over the bed, he flicked on the lamp to make sure he was home, he was safe. He was as safe as a man who’d just murdered his father could be. The Family, they weren’t happy with the sudden turn of events, but he didn’t give a shit. He lived with a gun beneath his pillow, and he always faced the fucking door. Each night before he went to bed, he made sure he would know if someone broke into his apartment. He’d been known to tie string around two chairs, just to make sure he heard what shit went down.

  “Fuck!” he said, rubbing a hand down his face.

  He was bathed in sweat, but it didn’t rid the sick feeling that was consuming him.

  “It was all a dream.”

  This time it was all a dream. The last time, he had to live through it.

  Taking a deep breath, he climbed out of bed and made his way into the shower room. Getting beneath the nozzle, he didn’t care as the freezing cold water hit his skin.

  Tonio gasped out from the cold, relishing it as it made him realize that he was alive.

  “It’s not real. It’s not real. It’s not real.” Tonio kept on repeating the words. All the time, he knew it wasn’t true. The dream wasn’t real, but the memories were.

  Climbing out of the shower, he wrapped a towel around his hips while walking toward the laptop he’d left set up. He was trying to locate all of his father’s old files, to find the traces of those ugly tapes.

  There was no way he was ever going to let it go. His father didn’t give him a choice growing up, but now, he was going to find them, and destroy them. Opening up the emails, he started to go through his father’s correspondence. He had everything from his father’s house, including the apartments, stashed in boxes around him.

  Tonio wasn’t going to stop until he found out the truth. There was no point trying to be around Maria. The one woman he’d ever loved didn’t want anything to do with him, and he wasn’t going to force her to see him. Luiz didn’t know about what they’d done together. She was his first and only love. His father had known, and set out to destroy what little happiness he had.

  Running a hand down his face, he tried to clear his thoughts.

  Maria was not his problem. She was pregnant with another man’s child, another man whom Luiz had also killed.

  There had been a lot of killing in the last couple of months, and it all started with their fathers. The Family had many enemies, but they were all working together to create a better world.

  The very thought was laughable.

  The Family being better, it was stupid for them to even try.

  Donnie knew what he was doing. They all held their places in this newfound leadership.

  Tapping his fingers on the keyboard, Tonio kept going through each mail in the search of the files, the hard copies of the videos that showed the monster inside of him.

  Still nothing.

  His father had always promised him that if he went down, he’d take Tonio with him.

  “I guess I’m fucked then.”

  Tonio jumped as his cell phone started ringing.

  Blowing out a breath, he answered.

  “Tonio here.”

  “It’s Donnie.”

  Glancing at the clock, he saw it was a little after three. “Shouldn’t you be with Paige?”

  “I am with Paige. We’re in the hospital.”

  “What are you doing in the hospital?”

  Paige was expecting their first baby. They were only eighteen, like Tonio, but Donnie was absolutely devoted to her.

  They were young, but they were all fucking monsters. Each of them had been initiated into The Family at a young age. They were all young in body, but in the mind, they were much, much older.

  “Maria’s dead, Tonio.”

  “What the fuck?” Tonio asked, unable to breathe. He stood up, the chair clattering back onto the floor as he did so. Leaning forward, he gripped the table.

  Donnie was talking, and he couldn’t make out any words. It wasn’t possible. No, Maria couldn’t be dead. They had saved her. She was alive, and pregnant.

  “Tonio?”

  “What? How?”

  “Didn’t you hear me? She killed herself. Luiz found her by a bottle of pills and vodka. He drove her to the hospital, but she didn’t make it.”

  “The baby?”

  “No, I’m sorry.”

  “I’ll be there soon.”

  Closing the phone, Tonio let it drop to the floor. Gripping the edge of the table, He counted to ten, trying to make sense of the shit that had just been said.

  Maria was dead.

  Her baby was dead.

  Everything he cared about, everyone he loved, was dead.

  Lifting the table with the laptop, he threw it against the far wall, watching it splinter apart. The destruction wasn’t enough.

  He reached for whatever was closest and started to tear apart his apartment. Tonio had been baby proofing it in the hope that one day Maria would remember the love they had once shared.

  All of it was gone.

  Grabbing the fridge in the kitchen, he tugged, toppling it over. Around his apartment, he destroyed everything in his wake until there was nothing left. Once he was finished, he stared around him, and went to his bedroom. Putting on a suit, he slicked back his hair, and left his apartment.

  His friends needed him.

  For the time being, he still had them.

  Chapter One

  Tonio stared down at the grave. It had been three weeks since they had buried mother and daughter, side by side. Luiz had made sure she had a proper burial. The gravestone was beautiful, surrounded by all of her favorite flowers, daisies, daffodils, and even plain white roses. She once told him she loved white roses as she believed nothing in her life would ever be pure. Maria and her baby wouldn’t be tainted by the presence of their family.

  “I hope you can find peace now, Maria,” he said.

  “What are you doing here?” Luiz asked.

  Turning around, he saw one of his best friends coming toward him. Luiz was Maria’s brother, and he was also carrying some roses, white ones.

  “Just coming to talk to her.”

  “She’s dead. She can’t hear you.”

  Gritting his teeth, Tonio stared at the ground, refusing to bite to the callous comment.

  “You loved my sister,” Luiz said.

  “Yes.”

  “She loved you.”

  “Not enough.” Tonio shoved his hands in his pockets as the chill in the spring air was starting to get to him. It should be warming up soon, but at the moment, it wasn’t showing any sign of doing so.

  Luiz placed the roses at the head of her stone, throwing away the dead ones as he did. Out of all four of the gang, Luiz was always the cold one. Nothing seemed to break through his icy shell.

  “Yeah, Maria was fucking selfish right now, but then again, she always was.”

  “Don’t, Luiz. You don’t need to make me feel better.”

  “I’m not trying to.” Luiz sto
od up, leaving the dead foliage around Maria’s grave. “I’m not blind. I knew you two were into each other. At first, I thought I should stop it, but then, Maria was going to marry someone else. I wanted my parents to get a royal fuck you. They married her off. I should have been the one to protect her.”

  “You knew?”

  “That you were screwing my sister? Yes, I knew.”

  “You didn’t do anything about it.”

  “In our family, we do what we can to survive. Look what happened to Maria. She was always the good girl, and yet, they still passed her off to some bastard who abused her. We do what we can to survive, Tonio. We all do. Maria, she got a little bit of happiness.”

  “And she would rather die than come back to me.”

  “I never said Maria was all that bright. She did what she had to do. What you never seemed to get was the fact Maria was selfish. You never saw it, but she was. She knew she was getting married, and yet she still played around.”

  “Don’t talk about her like that,” Tonio said.

  Luiz held his hands up. “You’re one of my best friends, Tonio. I care about you, I do. You’re going to have to face the facts that Maria used you, and she just couldn’t handle that kind of guilt.”

  He shook his head. “I need a drink.”

  “Tonio?”

  “No, I don’t need to hear this right now.”

  Maria had been a selfish bitch. In the early days of their relationship, Tonio had done everything he could to try to make it so they could run away together. They could have made it, too, so long as they both worked together, and they had each other. Maria wouldn’t go with him. He was prepared to fight for her, and she didn’t want to live with a boy who didn’t have much money.

  “Our life isn’t perfect, Tonio, but I like the luxuries.”

  “They’re going to marry you off to someone.”

  “Yeah, so?”

  “What?”

  “So I marry some boring old dude. I like this life. I like being able to buy what I like, Tonio. You’re asking me to give that up for what?”

 
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