FROM THE RUINS(A Satan’s Knights Novel)
by Janine Infante BoscoPublication Date: September 26, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, MC, Romantic Suspense
Excerpt From The Ruins © Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved by Janine Infante Bosco.
Excerpt: Pipe confesses some of his truth.
Sitting on the floor next to Oksana’s shoes, I reach for the bottle beside me and take a hefty swig. The liquid slides down my throat, burning my belly. I embrace the pain. I relish in it and wish for more. If I had any balls whatsoever, I’d take a knife to my own throat and feel the pain she felt when her life ended.
“Hey, babe,” I mutter. “You with me today?” I ask the shoes, praying that by some miracle of God they’ll answer me. They won’t. They never do. But tonight, more than anything, more than whiskey and pain, I need her. I need to believe that she stills walks beside me every day. It doesn’t matter that she’s unseen or unheard, just as long as she’s near. It’s selfish of me to want her with me considering everything I’ve done since she’s left this earth. The booze, the nameless women, the list is fucking endless.
“I forgot,” I confess as I close my eyes and take another gulp. “For a little while I forgot and it wasn’t because I was shitfaced or because I was too busy getting off to think of anything else. For the first time since you died, I distracted myself with a woman and didn’t fuck her. The shit thing is, it felt worse than sinking my dick into some faceless stranger. I came home, saw the shoes and felt guilty for playing you dirty.”
Placing the bottle on the floor next to me, I lift my hands to my face and rub vigorously.
“I’m losing it, Oksana,” I mutter. “I’m losing my fucking mind trying to live when all I want to do is die. What’s the point in living when everything I ever loved—you, the club, everything—is gone.”
Taking a deep breath, I draw my hands away from my face and lean my head against the wall.
“I forgot,” I whisper. “I forgot I had nothing because at the hardware store I was the guy who had everything. In the grocery store I was the man who had too much, and in Layla’s kitchen I was the man who wanted more.”
When Layla’s friend Joey showed up and set me straight, I walked away. One glance at him and I remembered who I was and what I was worth. There is a reason men like him have everything and men like me have nothing. It’s nothing new to me. In fact, it’s something I’ve learned through the years, through the loss I’ve experienced myself and the loss I’ve witnessed through the eyes of my brothers. It’s the reason Wolf has three ex-wives and Jack buried his son. It’s the reason Riggs almost lost his woman and his child, and it’s the very reason Bones died. It’s why Blackie brings Christine flowers on a Saturday and I’m sitting here talking to a pair of shoes.
It’s the choices you make when you’re young, the choices you think have no consequences. I’d be willing to bet my life that guy Joey doesn’t live with a mountain of regrets. A man like that rides on the right side of the law. He works hard for everything he has and that’s why he gets to keep it. He is rewarded for the choices he made when he was younger, when he fought against temptation and struggled instead of taking the easy way out in life. It is men like that who work a nine to five who never worry about bombs and bullets, and who live life to its fullest potential.
I used to call those men pussies.
But I’m the one sitting here with a half empty bottle of booze and a pair of shoes, looking for the courage to end my nightmare.
The excessive knocking on the door jolts me away from my pity party and forces me onto my feet. Without wondering who it might be, I pull open the door and stare at Layla’s pretty face. Lifting the plate in her hands, she smiles warmly and a fire spreads throughout my chest. It’s the pain I’ve been looking for, the sweet satisfaction of my punishment.
“Hi,” she murmurs. “You left kind of abruptly before—”
“Why are you here?” I sneer, cutting her off.
“Well, I thought if you couldn’t stay for dinner then I could bring dinner to you,” she explains, extending a dish toward me.
Too fucking nice.
I can’t handle nice.
I can’t handle good.
She made me forget today. She made me wish for more. Now I need her to remind me of the truth. I need her to lash out at me and give me the rawness of pain. I need her to prove to me I’m not worthy of her spit. I need the bitter, angry Layla who isn’t afraid to tell the guy next door he’s a bastard.
“Look, lady, I fixed your fucking sink, played bitch to you and your kids all day and started the repairs on your car. Now I thought we were done for the day. What more can you possibly need from me? The roof cave in and you need some jerkoff to patch it up for you?”
Her eyes flash and her nostrils flare as she glares at me.
There it is.
Give it to me, killer.
Show me the truth.
“Have you been drinking?” she asks, clenching her teeth.
“What’s it to you?” I fire back. “I ain’t on the clock again until tomorrow.”
Silently, she stares at me and I figure she’s getting a glimpse of the devil until her features soften. She cocks her head to the side and the fire fades from her eyes.
“What’s happening here?” she whispers. “I thought we were okay. I mean, today—”
“Today, nothing. Today I fucking bent over backward and took it in the ass because I felt bad for you.”
“You felt bad for me?” she repeats.
Come on, give it to me.
“I pitied you. Look, lady, I get it. You’re lonely. Your husband left you, probably for a woman half your age. That would explain why you’re so fucking bitter, but I’m not looking to lick your wounds and play Daddy to a bunch of brats,” I sneer. “Maybe you can get that Joey character to pity fuck you and take on your tribe.”
Suddenly, she drops the plate and rears her hand back. Her palm connects with my cheek and I grin devilishly at her.
Make me burn.
“That the best you got, killer?”
“Fuck you,” she shrieks, pushing her hair out of her face as she clenches her jaw. “Not that it is any of your fucking business but Joey is my best friend’s husband! As for my marriage, I’m the one who left. My children have one father and one mother and that’s all they’ll ever have. You ever talk about my kids like that again, so help me Jesus I will fucking gut you. And as far as looking for someone to fuck me, I have standards and a vibrator, and even if I didn’t I’m pretty sure you’d be the last man I’d want to satisfy me. I wasn’t looking for anything. I came here because you were helpful to me and my children and I wanted to return the favor but you can…” Her words trail off.
“Don’t stop there,” I growl.
Following her gaze, my eyes zero in on Oksana’s shoes.
“Of course,” she laughs sarcastically. “I should’ve known you’d have company. You must be slacking though since there is only one pair of shoes tonight,” she shouts as she goes to reach for them. “You’re a fucking pig,” she seethes.
Snapping, my control flees and I reach for her wrist.
“Don’t you fucking dare,” I scold, foaming at the mouth. “Those are my wife’s shoes,” I holler as I lose my footing and stumble back. Falling on my ass, Layla pulls her hand free from me and takes a step backward. Her eyes widen and she looks appalled.
“You’re married?” she asks with her voice full of disgust. “Oh my God, you’re fucking married? I didn’t think it was possible for you to be a bigger piece of shit but—”
“She’s fucking dead,” I shout, unable to listen to her anymore. I thought having her tell me I was a worthless piece of garbage would make me feel better, but having her think I’ve been stepping out on my wife is too much. Call me all the names in the world, blame me for her death, but don’t tell me I wasn’t devoted to her.
I’m a lot of things but I’m no fucking cheat.
“Lee,” she whispers hoarsely.
“Get out,” I order, combing my fingers through my hair. Angling my head back, I meet her pitiful gaze and I shake my head. “Don’t look at me like that.”
“I’m sorry,” she murmurs.
Instead of taking a step backward, she takes two forward and kicks away the broken plate. She bends her knees and crouches down in front of me.
So fucking wrong.
I don’t want her pity.
Fuck her and her sorrow.
“Go away,” I plead.
Leave me to my hell.
Leave me to my grief.
Leave me alone where I’m meant to be.
“I didn’t know,” she explains.
“It doesn’t matter,” I say, turning away from her.
“Lee—” she whispers.
Then I feel her.
Her hand touches mine and an electric current passes from her fingertips to mine. It’s too much and I snap my hand back. My eyes find hers and the burn in my chest deepens as the tears roll down her cheeks.
“Get the fuck out,” I growl.
She doesn’t move for a moment before she wipes her eyes and whispers her apologies once more. Without another word, she stands, but before she turns around she glances at the shoes.
The truth is in those shoes.
They’re the reminder.
For those red shoes don’t only symbolize the sharp knife of a short life.
They prove the worse consequence of all is waking up every day in a world you’re unworthy of living in.
That’s the fucking truth I forgot.
The truth Layla made me forget.
A truth I’m unworthy of forgetting.
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong-willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.
She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.