Abuse: The Complete Trilogy

Copyright
2015 by Nikki Sex

This
book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any
reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is
prohibited. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands,
media and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously. All rights reserved.

 

Table of Contents

Abuse: Prologue

PART ONE—The Monster

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.

Chapter 13.

Chapter 14.

Chapter 15.

Chapter 16.

Chapter 17.

PART TWO—The Mouse

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.

Chapter 13.

Chapter 14.

Chapter 15.

PART THREE—The Monster and the Mouse

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.

Chapter 13.

Chapter 14.

Chapter 15.

Chapter 16.

Accuse: Prologue

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.

Chapter 13.

Chapter 14.

Chapter 15.

Chapter 16.

Chapter 17.

Chapter 18.

Chapter 19.

Chapter 20.

Chapter 21.

Chapter 22.

Chapter 23.

Chapter 24.

Chapter 25.

Chapter 26.

Chapter 27.

Chapter 28.

Chapter 29.

Chapter 30.

Chapter 31.

Chapter 32.

Chapter 33.

Chapter 34.

Chapter 35.

Chapter 36.

Chapter 37.

Chapter 38.

Chapter 39.

Chapter 40.

Chapter 41.

Chapter 42.

Chapter 43.

Chapter 44.

Chapter 45.

Chapter 46.

Epilogue

Avenge: Prologue

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.

Chapter 13.

Chapter 14.

Chapter 15.

Chapter 16.

Chapter 17.

Chapter 18.

Chapter 19.

Chapter 20.

Chapter 21.

Chapter 22.

Chapter 23.

Chapter 24.

Chapter 25.

Chapter 26.

Chapter 27.

Chapter 28.

Chapter 29.

Chapter 30.

Chapter 31.

Chapter 32.

Chapter 33.

Chapter 34.

Chapter 35.

Chapter 36.

Chapter 37.

Chapter 38.

Chapter 39.

Chapter 40.

Chapter 41.

Chapter 42.

Chapter 43.

Chapter 44.

Chapter 45.

Chapter 46.

Chapter 47.

Chapter 48.

Chapter 49.

Chapter 50.

Chapter 51.

Chapter 52.

Chapter 53.

Chapter 54.

Chapter 55.

Chapter 56.

Chapter 57.

Chapter 58.

Chapter 59.

Chapter 60.

Chapter 61.

Chapter 62.

Chapter 63.

Chapter 64.

Chapter 65.

Chapter 66.

Chapter 67.

Chapter 68.

Chapter 69.

Chapter 70.

Chapter 71.

Chapter 72.

Chapter 73.

Chapter 74.

Chapter 75.

Chapter 76.

Chapter 77.

Chapter 78.

Epilogue

 

Abuse: Prologue

At six-feet two
inches tall, with a powerful frame, and weighing in at one-hundred and
ninety-five pounds, Chester Wilkinson was an imposing figure.

He was also
drunk.

Absolutely
hammered. Making little sense, unsteady on his feet, shit-faced drunk. Habitual
and excessive use of alcohol—also known as alcohol abuse, was Chester’s thing.

As a fully
functional alcoholic, getting
this
drunk wasn’t easy. But real
dedication and a bottle and a half of bourbon, will do it every time. As he was
celebrating fifty-five years of life, and toasting the possibility of fifty
years more, excessive alcohol seemed reasonable. Unfortunately, he wasn’t
destined to live a day past his birthday.

Chester had heard
it said that before you die, your whole life passes before your eyes.

But that didn’t
happen to him.

A free falling
object will
increase speed
at the rate of 32 feet per second per second.
That means after one second, the object has fallen 16 feet. After two seconds,
it's moved 32 feet, and so on, until it reaches terminal velocity—which is when
resistance equals acceleration.

As Chester fell a
distance of just under thirty feet, he never reached terminal velocity. All
one-hundred and ninety-five pounds of him hit the ground, traveling at about
fifteen miles per hour, in less than one and one half seconds.

Chester didn’t
have time for his whole life to pass before him. As he landed on his head,
directly onto concrete, whatever passed went by rather rapidly and stopped
quite abruptly.

He did have time
for one hurried thought:
Never trust family. How could

But that was it.

That’s all she
wrote.

Chapter 1.

“It requires
the feminine temperament to repeat the same thing three times with unabated
zest.”

― W.
Somerset Maugham

~~~

Three years
later…

I jerk into
consciousness with foreboding. After a typically lousy sleep, once more I wake
before my alarm goes off. Exasperated, I refuse to look at the clock—mainly
because I already did that half the night.

Bright sunshine
trails through a crack in my curtains, spilling splashes of gold onto the
cluttered trophy case in the corner of my bedroom. First prize reflects toward
me with blinding, eye-stabbing brightness.
‘Grant Wilkinson, Champion
Marksman’
the plaque on one rather ostentatious golden cup says.

I received it
when I was sixteen years old.

I roll over and
shut my eyes. Damned if I know why I’ve kept my trophies. What once gave me
pleasure, now represents a number of somewhat melancholy memories.

I grew up here in
Highland Park, Texas, where the average price for a home is over a million
dollars. My father was a successful property developer, who bought an indoor
and outdoor shooting range, due to his mad passion for taking out a target. Dad
was a local legend after winning a silver medal in the Olympics for the men’s
fifty-meter rifle event.

Publicly, he was
pleased as punch.

Personally, he
was seriously pissed off to have come in second.

They say Olympic
medalists who win gold or bronze are happy, but silver medalists tend to be
depressed and disappointed because they were so close to winning gold. If
you’re wondering, it’s absolutely true—in my father’s case, at least.

I don’t think my
dad ever recovered from the ‘failure’ of not winning gold.

When he died, his
shooting range came to me. I’m the oldest and more importantly, the only child
interested in shooting.

I know guns. More
specifically, I know rifles. I enjoy the unique sensation of the stock against
my shoulder and the hard metal on my trigger finger. Sighting the target, the
sound and feel of the explosion as it fires. The power of the instant recoil,
the smell of gunpowder and the pleasure of hitting a bullseye. All of these
things are as familiar to me as my own hands.

I can’t recall
when I first learned to shoot. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to discover
an old photo of me, loading and firing a pistol before I could walk. Shooting’s
second nature, a part of who I am.

I sigh and
consider getting out of bed. It’s Saturday morning and the start of a two-week
vacation.

Any normal person
would be overjoyed.

On the bedside
table, my cellphone rings. I give in and finally check the time. Green
illumination from my digital clock happily proclaims it’s seven fifteen. My
alarm’s set for seven thirty.

Shit.

Only one person I
know would call at this hour.

I sit up, put my
feet on the cool floor and pick up. “Hello?”

My mother’s
strident voice shoots through the phone with all the rapid, automatic fire of
an assault rifle. With a heavy sigh, I shut my eyes for a long moment.

“Grant, what are
you doing today? I really need you to attend my charity function. You’re a
patriot and a soldier—you have nothing to be ashamed of, except of course,
those disgusting tattoos you keep covered with long sleeved shirts, thank the
Lord. Why you should mutilate yourself is a mystery to me. But just because
you’ve left the Army, doesn’t mean you no longer have a duty to others. Don’t
you want to help those who are less fortunate than you?”

A phone call from
my mother does nothing to improve my mood. The woman barely draws breath while
my stomach churns with a combination of anger, irritation and inexplicable
guilt.

We’ve already had
this conversation at least three times this week.

They say men will
punch someone to make their point, but women instinctively turn to nagging in
an effort to get their way. There are no truer words, to my mind. In fact, I’m
pretty sure my mother might’ve been where this saying originated.

“I’m fixin’ to
leave town today, you know that, mother,” I say. “I’m not gonna be here.”

“Oh, Grant, I was
counting on you. It’s a shock to see you at first, but people will get used to
it. If you were a woman it’d be different, but you’re a man! Wear those scars
as a badge of honor!”

Her voice
continues in my ear but I’ve heard it all so many times before that I don’t
even wince. I’m kind of numb to the pain it once caused. I walk into the
toilet. She isn’t listening, so she won’t hear—not the distinctive sound of me
emptying my bladder and not anything I have to say.

Blah, blah,
blah.

She goes on
endlessly. I think my mother likes hearing herself speak. Unfortunately, I
don't. What would happen if I simply put the phone down and left the room? I
wonder how long it would take her to notice if I wasn't listening.

Hm, tempting.

My mind is
selectively deaf to her voice. As soon as the rhythm of her diatribe begins to
run down, I prepare to interrupt the flow. Until she's done, mentally or
physically she’s unable to listen, so why waste my breath? I've found it's best
just to wait for her to run out of steam. Eventually I'll get my chance,
although it probably won't do any good.

Just because she
hears my words, doesn't mean she'll
truly listen
, or believe I mean what
I say.

She never has
before.

“It’ll be good
for you,” she drums on. “Besides, Sally Ann is coming, do you remember her? I
think she’d be interested in something more permanent…”

That’s true.
Another good reason not to go to mother’s party.

“You’re not
getting any younger, Grant,” she admonishes me, as if twenty-nine years old is
over the hill.

An image of Sally
Ann, five years my junior and a friend of my sister, flashes into my mind. The
perfect Southern belle, Sally Ann is probably saving herself for marriage.
Wouldn’t that be a cruel joke? Imagine her waiting all this time, just to end
up with someone like me?

There’s no way
I’d inflict my screwed up self on someone as sweet and innocent as Sally Ann.
Just as I think that thought, my mother pauses to draw in an audible breath.

Now’s my chance.

“I’m catchin’ a
plane today, like I told you before. Sorry, mother. I’ve gotta go now,” I say
and hang up.

Shit.
Mother
is matchmaking again, just what I need. I frown, my mind heavy with
concentration. I honestly can’t remember the last time I even talked to a
woman. I don’t plan to
ever
marry, and as for kids? A shudder of
uneasiness flows through me.

No way.

For too many
reasons to count, I couldn’t wait to escape my home and family. The minute I
was old enough, I enlisted in the Army as a sniper. I was young, patriotic,
idealistic and fresh out of sniper school.

Four tours later,
I was still young and patriotic, but more realistic rather than idealistic. I’d
also discovered an unhealthy passion for the delightfully numbing effects of
alcohol. After leaving the Army, I found myself, not surprisingly, even more
confused about life than when I first joined up.

My father had
alcohol issues, as well. I hate to imagine that I could be anything like him.

My plane leaves
at noon. I turn off my alarm, get up and immediately hit the floor for
one-hundred pushups. I then do fifty squats and another hundred star jumps, but
there’s no time for a run.

This has been my
morning routine for years. Afterwards, I shower, dress, eat and pack.

I’m checking my
return ticket to Las Vegas when the phone rings once more. The ID says it’s my
sister.

Dammit. What
in the hell does she want?

“Hello?”

“Fuck you,
Grant,” my younger sister yells. “What did you say to mom? Now she wants
me
to come to her stupid charity event. What makes
your
time so God damned precious?
There’s no way she’ll get Alex and his gold digging, trailer-trash wife, Sky,
to attend—not with their new baby. Why doesn’t anyone have consideration
for
me
?”

I hold the phone
away from my ear as her outraged attack continues.

My younger
sister, Betty Jo, is a high functioning alcoholic who clearly learned her
annoyingly loud, quick-fire form of communication from our mother. She’s also a
real bitch who’s resentful, and I suspect jealous of my brother’s wife.

Sky, Alex’s wife,
is a nice girl who’ll never be good enough as she went to a—shock, horror—
public
school.

Betty Jo and my
brother, Alex, took over my father’s property development firm a few years ago.
That was right after dad got drunk and fell off the second story balcony of our
posh, local country club.

A broken neck
will kill you every time.

The coroner’s
verdict was misadventure. He died during his birthday celebration. The entire
night he’d been surrounded by friends and family who confirmed he’d been royally
drunk. Thankfully, no one considered it could be anything other than an
accident.

Our father was a
prominent member of the community with natural charisma that drew people to
him. He was so popular, that when he died, they named a local park and
recreation center after him. Physically attractive and charming, he’d been
loved by everyone—except his wife and children.

The humiliating
circumstances of his passing were quickly hushed up.

It astonishes me
how successful my brother and sister are, in terms of running the family
business. All I can think is that there must be a hell of a lot of fat on
that
steer. It’ll take years for them to run dad’s company into the ground, if
they do.

As I receive
lucrative dividends from the family business, I put a substantial amount away
in savings, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

“Not now, Betty
Jo,” I say without raising my voice. “Seriously. I’m on vacation. I’m flying
out today.”

“On vacation? Why
doesn’t anyone know about that? You’re such a selfish, secretive son of a
bitch—and always Dad’s favorite. Now, it turns out you’re
mom’s
favorite
too, right? You get away with everything just because of those stupid scars. I
don’t think…”

Yeah, yeah,
yeah. I’ve heard all this spite and vitriol before.

Without the
slightest hint of regret, I hang up on her and put my phone on silent. I snort
with grim amusement, not surprised when I see she’s already hit redial. By the
time I get to my car, she’s sent three long, abusive text messages.

Betty Jo has no
clue she's totally self-absorbed, mean and annoying. She wants people to like
her, but she doesn’t care about anyone else enough to make an effort to be
nice.

Nobody likes
me!
Is probably her inner, mental mantra. If I actually
talked
to
her, I’d be tempted to ask,
Why don’t you try being likable?
I’m pretty
sure Sally Ann is her friend only because she feels sorry for her. Sally Ann is
so damn sweet.

The absurd
behavior of my crazy family members never ceases to astonish me. No one would
guess the Wilkinson’s are anything less than perfect. How does such a
dysfunctional group of people manage to look so damn functional and even
superior to everyone else?

Appearances are
everything.

Every one of us
deserves an Academy Award for outstanding performance. In public, we
automatically act like a perfectly happy and well-adjusted family. It’s an act
we learned as children, from the moment we came into the world.

This deceptive
and attractive exterior hides a multitude of ugly, toxic secrets.

I place my
suitcase in the trunk of my new car, a Cadillac CTS/V. I wanted to buy an
actual
car,
not something big like an SUV. An SUV would feel too much
like I was still riding in a combat vehicle.

That’s something
I never want to do again.

Hopping in, I hit
the automatic garage door opener, back out and start the thirty-minute drive to
the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Mother is matchmaking
again. Crap.

Power, looks, and
wealth seem to be stimulating aphrodisiacs.

The Wilkinson
family is well known and has powerful connections. Our original wealth came
from oil wells. Considered as handsome as my charismatic father, I’ve always
been a target as an eligible bachelor, from a ‘good family’ with money.

Consequently,
women used to regularly hit on me and matchmaking mamas used to set me up with
their offspring until I was sick of it. I felt sorry for their daughters, but
power, looks and money were involved, so maybe their interest was genuine.

Being hunted
isn’t so much of a problem anymore. I took my good looks for granted. As the
song says, you really don't know what you've got until it's gone.

Everyone assumes
my disfiguring neck and facial wounds were the result of my military service
overseas.

They aren’t.

My scars are the
result of a shameful secret. A secret I don’t know if I’ll ever come to terms
with. A secret I plan to take to my grave.

Why the hell
did I end up with the overactive conscience? Is it a result of my upbringing or
something built into my DNA?

Whatever. I’m
burdened by a sense of emptiness, remorse and unresolved guilt, every single
damn day of my life.

Disfigurement is
my punishment.

It seems to me
that I deserve every single scar I have.

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