Unbound the torqued tril.., p.1

Unbound (the TORQUED trilogy Book 3), page 1


Unbound (the TORQUED trilogy Book 3)

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Unbound (the TORQUED trilogy Book 3)

  Table of Contents

  Title Page




  1 Cold Desert – Rawley

  2 Lost– Rawley

  3 Undertow – Rawley

  4 Sucker for Pain – Rawley

  5 Mercy – Sophie

  6 Gravity – Rawley

  7 Buckle – Rawley

  8 Be Still – Sophie

  9 I Can Barely Say – Rawley

  10 Can’t Anymore – Sophie

  11 Waste a Moment – Rawley

  12 Clouded – Sophie

  13 This Town – Rawley

  14 The Noose – Rawley

  15 Cold and Ugly – Rawley

  16 The Blue – Sophie

  17 Reflection – Rawley

  18 Undertow – Sophie

  19 Pulse – Rawley

  20 Luck – Sophie

  21 Brothers – Rawley

  22 Unbound – Sophie

  23 Reborn – Sophie

  24 Seattle – Sophie

  25 It’s Different – Rawley

  Author Acknowledgments

  Meet the Author

  Thank you for purchasing and reading Unbound. To be notified of new releases join my mailing list on my website at: www.sheystahl.com

  Copyright © 2016 by Shey Stahl


  the TORQUED trilogy

  Printed in the United States of America

  All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of Shey Stahl.

  Certain phrases, quotes, and/or lines from the author’s previous works may appear in this book and are copyrighted by the author. This book is a work of fiction. Names, sponsors, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, dead or living, is coincidental.

  Copy Editing: Becky Johnson, Hot Tree Editing

  Proofreading: Janet Johnson & Ashley Schow

  BETA Reading: Lauren Zimmerman

  Cover Image: Copyright © Sara Eirew

  Cover Designer: Tracy Steeg

  Interior Formatting: A Designs

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  For anyone who’s ever made a mistake and learned from it.

  It’s early. I shouldn’t be at her apartment, but I am. After last night’s show in Portland, I haven’t slept and neither has Beck, but here he is, driving my drunk ass around to the one place I can’t stop myself from going to. I tell myself a thousand times to leave her alone but I can’t, my head insistent I should be here.

  “I don’t understand why you can’t just fuck that chick at the bar tonight,” Beck mumbles, throwing the car into park.

  Lincoln’s asleep in the backseat, passed out with a hoodie over his face. I turn and look over my shoulder at him when the car comes to a stop and he mumbles something indecipherable.

  Drawing in a deep breath, I want to tell Beck to leave. Drive away and never look back, but I can’t. As much as I wish this was about wanting her, it’s not. It’s need. I need to see her.

  Opening the door, I drag my feet as I walk, loose gravel scraping over pavement.

  I knock once, twice, three times, and she opens the door still wearing her nightgown, barely awake.

  “Jesus.” She shakes her head, rolling her eyes. She’s used to this, the moments where I come knocking. My liquor-glossy eyes searching in the blue dawn glow for something. “Why are you here again?”

  My breathing kicks up.

  Drunk on ego, I step inside and she backs up two steps. I tower over Sophie’s small frame, staring down at her beauty. Her blonde curls are tied up in a messy knot on her head and I struggle to not reach out her.

  I fall, not in a literal sense, but looking at her, I do, again and again. “I think you know why I’m here.” Like I’m relaxed, I sit down on the couch to the left of the door. I’m not relaxed. I’m anything but relaxed.

  She follows, standing before me, searching muddy water for answers she knows she’s not getting.

  Her posture straightens, tensing. She’s tired—of this, of me, of everything. I’m tired of her too. I don’t want this. I want to let go.

  I grab her hands and pull her down so she’s sitting on my lap. My right hand moves up her thigh, and she stops it just as quickly, white fingertips gripping a bloody knuckled embrace. “You’re drunk.”

  “I’m high,” I whisper into the curve of her neck. “Fly with me….”

  She says nothing and her body tenses.

  There’s a subtle shake to her head when I raise my hips, my erection digging into her side. “Please, baby… nobody gets me off like you do.”

  “What about Berkley?” Both hands move to my chest and she’s pushing back, trying to get away. “Or Jessie or whoever else you fuck? Were they busy?”

  “C’mon.” I push forward, ignoring her. Sophie’s hands fall away, but she’s not giving in. “You know you want to. It’s what we’re good at. Fucking and fighting,” I tell her.

  “No, we’re not. You’re good at using me when you want something.”

  There’s truth to that for sure.

  I shift my weight and flip her over so her back meets the soft leather cushions. “Are you going to or what? I ain’t got all day.” I press my hips into hers. I know she feels what she does to me. The hardness, the want, the desire to lose myself in her, even if it’s just for a few minutes. For me to ever truly escape from anything, it’s inside her.

  I kiss her neck, shoulders, hands wandering up her side, my body shaking with the need to be with her in this way.

  “Rawley….” I know by that long pause, it’s a no. She’s not going to let me in and she’s certainly not going to let me fuck her.

  It pisses me off and she knows it, reaching for my hand, as if that will make the denial easier.

  “I’m supposed to be at your mom’s house tonight. Why don’t we go. Together.”

  Together? Why would she want to go anywhere together with me?

  With a heavy sigh, I sit up and then I reach around the back of her and take a fist full of her hair in my hand and make her look at me. I blink heavily, fighting what I’m about to say to her. “Why would we do that? You fucked someone else.”

  Anger swells in her eyes and she knocks my hand away. “I’m so tired of this shit, Rawley. Grow the fuck up. Who cares if I slept with someone else? It was three years ago and you’ve fucked half the goddamn town since then so stop acting like a piece of shit and grow up!” She slaps me across the face. Hard. She might as well have closed her goddamn fist because my ears ring.

  Blood pools in my mouth and I stand, needing distance. “I’m not going to that stupid fucking party.”

  “YOUR MOM IS gonna beat your ass if we go in there and you look like this.”

  I look down at my wrinkled gray T-shirt and jeans. At least my clothes are clean. They may smell like stale beer and weed, but they’re clean.

  Sighing, I stare out the windshield and reach for the handle of the car door. I don’t want to be here, but Mom texted me and I know what that means. If I don’t show up, I’ll hear it from her too.

  “When did you become a fuckin
pussy all of a sudden?” Blackness glares back at him and Beck shuts up.

  He turns the car off and we get out, weaving between cars to get to the backyard. I’ve got no business being here, but I am. Charcoal smoke and the sweet tang of barbeque ribs fill the air. Just the faintest smell of food makes my stomach roll.

  Raven notices me first when I open the back gate, then Mom. My steps hesitate and I contemplate turning around. I don’t belong here and they know it. They see right through me, the coked-out stare and shaking posture. I’m barely standing, barely fucking breathing right now, but here I am.

  I didn’t bother going in through the front door. I usually never do if the house is full of people.

  Raven shakes her head, dejection spilling from her blank stare in my direction. My eyes sweep past her to the only one that matters. There can be people all around me but if Sophie Cunning is anywhere near me, my mind and body gravitate toward her. She has no idea what it’s like to be in the presence of someone who has that much pull over you.

  I think back to what she said to me when I left this morning and I want to run over to her, grab her by the shoulders and shake some goddamn sense into. Why can’t she fucking see she’s the reason I can’t stop this. It’s her. It’s always been her.

  Mom steps in front of me, hands on my chest. She dips her head, trying to find me in the blackness that’s become my eyes. “What are you doing here?”

  I lift my stare to hers, tension rolling in waves over me. My shoulders hunch and I lick my lips. “What do you mean what am I doing here?” I see her watching me, waiting for the scene. Blinking slowly, I shake my head and force a smile. “Isn’t this what you wanted, a nice family party? Well, I’m here. It’s what you wanted, right?”

  This guy, the one barely standing in front of her wasn’t what she asked for, but it’s who she gets.

  Mom shakes her head, disappointment in her eyes and a set frown on her lips. I’ve become accustomed to this look over the years. “Don’t give me your crap. You know damn well I didn’t mean like this when I said I wanted you to come.”

  I throw my arms up and walk backward away from her, forcing a smile. “Well, this is what you’re getting so take it or leave it.”

  Hendrix steps toward me, always the fucking man around me, his hand on my shoulder, warning me with that ignorant I-could-be-your-father judgment. “That’s enough, Rawley. Why don’t you go get some food and sober up? You’re drunk.”

  No, man. I’m high. There’s a difference.

  I want to laugh in his face. “I’m always fuckin’ drunk. It’s what I’m good at.” I shrug, shaking his hand off me. “And you’re not my fucking father. You can’t just step in and try to act like my father. It’s enough I get it from Red what a fucking loser I am. I don’t need you doing it too, old man.”

  Adjusting his hat, Beck nods to the keg and I follow. I’m by the beer now, filling a red plastic cup to the brim. My stomach rolls. I haven’t eaten all day and beer is the last thing I need, but it’s my attempt to calm down and not make a scene.

  I hate this. I fucking hate it more than anything. I can’t get her out of my head.

  A dictating love, a used and abused, fuck-me-over love focuses her callous stare on me. She puts her hand on her hip. “You said you weren’t coming.”

  I bet you were counting on it, weren’t you, you fucking bitch.

  “It’s my family’s party.” Winking, I bring the beer to my lips, talking around the plastic cup. “Why are you here? You’re not family and the last time I looked, this was a family thing.”

  Sophie’s eyes narrow. “Don’t you dare come over here and try to apologize.”

  She thinks I want to fucking apologize to her?

  She lays into me, her voice somewhat hushed but still, we’re standing far enough apart everyone fuckin’ hears her anyway. “I know this is what you expect, fuck up and then you can apologize but not this time. This is the kind of shit I was talking about this morning. You know that, right? You refuse to grow up.”

  I bite back a laugh. “Oh, I’m not here for forgiveness. We’re way past forgiveness, don’t you think?”

  “I can’t believe you’re acting like this just because I wouldn’t fuck you,” Sophie spits back at me, like that’s the reason. It’s not and she knows it. She just forgets to fucking see it for what it is.

  I face her, my blood draining from my face. It’s like someone’s splashed ice on me. Nodding slowly, I run my hand through my hair, fisting the ends between my fingers. “Sweetheart, I’m not looking to fuck you tonight.” I nod to her best friend but don’t bother looking at her. “Ask Kate.”

  The second the words leave my lips, Sophie looks like she wants to throw up. I hate seeing the expression, but it’s for the best. Sophie whips her head around to Kate. “Oh my God, Kate…. Is he serious?”


  Like always, Kate remains silent, keeping her beer at bay to mask her betrayal.

  Casually, I laugh and step toward Sophie with my beer in hand. I’m holding it because if I wasn’t, I’d reach out to her, and I can’t. Not here. “Hey, I had to get it somewhere. She puts out.”

  She dumps her beer on the front of my shirt and gives me a hard push. “You’re such a fucking asshole, Rawley!”

  If you ever want to set me off… push me. If you want to piss me off completely, hit me. She’s done both today.

  Beer soaks the front of me, seeping through the gray cotton and onto my skin. It takes me a second to find my footing and then I send my own beer sailing toward the fence. Ripping my shirt over my head, I toss it at her feet. “Pick it up, Sophie,” I tell her slowly, growling out a breath. It’s everything I can do right then to keep from pushing her up against the fence. I don’t know why either because I’ve never once wanted to lay a hand on her in anger, and I’ve been pretty fucking angry with her a time or two. I point to the ground. “It’s where you left my heart, so go ahead, pick the fucking thing up.”

  Stunned by my reaction, her eyes drop to the shirt, then to me. “I’m not picking it up. I won’t. Fuck. You.” Tears roll over reddened cheeks. Tears I’m once again responsible for. “You’re being a dick tonight. Just leave.”

  “Don’t go and try and act like a goddamn victim in this, Sophie! You did this. You fucking did.” I struggle against saying more, though most would think I’m saying enough. “You created this monster. That’s on you. I did everything I could to make you….” Every muscle in my body goes rigid. “You threw it back in my face. You broke me. You fucking broke me so this shit’s on you. Pick up the fucking shirt.” I’m struggling, emotion swelling up. My throat tightens and tears sting my eyes. I’m pissed at myself for showing sadness in front of her. All through this, every miserable fucking day of it, I’ve never cried. Maybe that’s how I know this is the end?

  But these tears, they’re not tears of sadness. At least I don’t think they are, but one of anger. I’m burning, rising and falling. Forever falling.

  “Jesus Christ, no! I’m not picking it up!” she screams with everything she has and then she slaps me. For the second time today.

  I see fucking stars with that one, my ear ringing. I’m sweating. My face feels like it’s a hundred degrees and I keep swallowing, trying… I’m fucking trying not to lose it until I do. It’s gone… and any rational thought I have disappears as if it were never there in the first place.

  My heart pounds but there’s no beat, only rushing blood and uncontrolled anger. I take another step toward her. It should be a warning to her, and I think she knows what she’s done when her eyes widen, landing on my red cheek.

  “Tyler, do something! Don’t let him touch her,” Raven yells beside me and pushes Tyler in my direction.

  Tyler puts his hand on my shoulder. “That’s enough, man. Walk away from her.”

  Walk away? I’ve tried. So many times.

  “This is none of your business, Tyler.” Scrubbing my hands over my face, I drop them and face Tyler. I’m so fuc
king done with everyone thinking they know what’s best for me. I just want to be put out of my fucking misery. Tyler, he has no clue. He’s just another one who thinks I’m a no-good piece of shit who’s acting like a spoiled brat. “You know… I know you think I fucked your girl. That’s why you hate me so much, isn’t it?”

  Tyler shrugs, his voice low and meant only for me. “I don’t hate you, Rawley. I may not like the way you act, but I don’t hate you.”

  Fuck him. He’s lying. He hates me.

  “Yeah, well—” My mouth pools with blood again. Mostly because I’d already been hit in the cheek once today and bit the side of my mouth. I spit to the side and straighten out my shoulders. “I didn’t fuck your girl. I’m not Sophie. Maybe she fucked Berkley and knocked her up.” I glance at the girl I can’t not love, despite what she’s doing to me. “Or did you take Berkley on vacation with you and show her how to be a cheating whore.”

  “Rawley, stop it!” Raven cries out, her hand over her mouth. If there’s anyone here I might listen to, it could be her or my mom. But right now, neither can get through to me.

  I smile at my sister. “Raven, stay out of this.” I stare at Tyler. “You don’t get to tell me how to handle myself. You led my sister on for months.” I shove him away from me. “Fuck you.”

  Just like any other time I’m in someone’s face, Red rushes out of the house.

  “What’s going on?” He stands between us, shielding my view of Sophie now. “Don’t do anything you’re going to regret.”

  “Regret?” I raise an eyebrow at him. Is he fucking serious? “All I have is regret so what’s one more thing?” Wanting distance, I push him away from me, my hands on the center of his broad chest. I wish I had more strength against him, but I’m well aware of the fact he could take me down in an instant if he wants. “Stay out of it.”

  He doesn’t back down and I’m not surprised. If there’s one person Red wants to hit, it’s me. He’s never done it, but given the chance, I bet he would. “I’m serious. Back off, Rawley. You don’t want to do what you’re doing.”

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