All rights reserved.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the author and publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
LOVE ME TO DEATH is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright ©2016 by Charlene Antrobus
by Charlene Antrobus
by Nichole Strauss (
by Marla S. Esposito
by Charlene Antrobus
To Dad …
Because you survived, this story lives …
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
“Go away,” I grumble into my pillow.
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
“Open this damn door, Brennan, before I kick it down!”
Great, it’s Larry, and he’s mad. I growl into my pillow in anger before lifting my head and feeling a dizzy wave wash over me. I think I’m still drunk. Last night must have been a good night, shame I don’t remember a damn thing about it.
I flip over onto my back and cringe at the patch of dribble gathered on my pillow.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
“You’ve got thirty seconds, kid!”
I blow out a puff of air and jump when something moves next to me. I move too fast, and before I know what’s happening I hit the floor. I’m lying flat on my back, staring up at my ceiling and trying to pretend that my spine doesn’t feel like it just crumbled into a thousand pieces.
I crawl up on my knees and peer over the edge of my bed. Blonde hair is draped completely over the pillow next to mine, and other than a thin, pale arm lying diagonally on my mattress; the rest of the unknown body is covered in sheets.
Either I killed someone last night, or I’ve been a really naughty boy. I’m definitely going with the latter. I grab the jeans I was wearing last night off the floor, jump to my feet and put them on. I creep quietly out of my bedroom, trying not to wake up Miss No Name.
I move slowly down the hall, toward my front door where landlordzilla is still banging. Seriously, it’s Saturday! Doesn’t this dude know that Saturdays are my hangover recovery days?
I cut off Larry’s words just as I swing the door open.
“Larry, what brings you here so early this morning?” I ask with a fake smile on my face as if I don’t already know.
“You know what the hell I’m here for!”
Probably because of the late rent and eviction notice stuck to my door.
“Nope, no idea, do enlighten me,” I offer, leaning casually against the door frame. His round face goes red with anger, and I’m pretty sure the swell of his belly just popped the third button off his shirt. I desperately want to tell him that it is, at least, two sizes too small, but it’s probably not the time or place. Besides, he’d only point out that he could afford a new shirt if I paid my rent on time. He is most likely right.
“Are you listening?” Damn, I wasn’t, but I nod anyway.
“Look, I’m not playing games with you, Brennan. I’ve tried to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but you’re missing three months rent, and your broken promises aren’t cutting it anymore.”
Four months actually but I won’t remind him.
“Look, I will have it all to you by next week; I’ve got some money coming in—”
“Nuh uh, I’ve heard it before, Brennan, it’s not gonna wash. I want my money in twenty-four hours or you’re out.”
“Seriously? You’d just throw me out on the street?”
“Yup, I’m running a business, kid, and you’re becoming a major pain in my ass and pocket. I can’t sustain it anymore. Either I get my money in the next twenty-four hours or you start packing your bags, we clear?”
“Great,” he states before spinning on his heel and walking off. I watch the back of his head in anger as he stalks away. I slam the door and cringe when I realize that I might have woken up “no name.”
I can’t be too mad at Larry; he’s a pretty decent landlord. If I have a problem he comes and fixes it as soon as he can. He’s just become a major headache since my whole lack of paying rent moment started. What he doesn’t understand is that I’m not intentionally holding back money from him, I just haven’t got it. That might not be a good excuse but it’s an honest one.
Something gets caught on my foot as I stroll back to my room, stretching along the way. I bend down to pick it up, and a pleased smile fills my face.
Ah, last night was a good night. It seems that little Miss No Name was stripped and ready before we even reached my bedroom.
I reach down and grab the rest of her clothes, not that there’s much there. She would have been just as warm if she’d worn a piece of string.
“Time to go, princess,” I say as I throw her clothes onto the bed next to her. I got things to do, and I don’t need this chick thinking I do “morning afters,” so she needs to leave.
“Mmm,” she grumbles as she turns around and looks up at me. She’s pretty but nothing special. “What time is it?” she asks, batting her eyelashes at me.
“I don’t know but I got things to do. Your clothes are on the bed. You need money for a taxi?” I ask.
“Really, you’re just throwing me out like this?” And there it is, the morning-after chick’s glare I’m so accustomed to seeing. Yup, I was over that a long time ago.
“Look, babe, I nearly got thrown out of here just seconds ago and it’s my place, so don’t think you’re going to get any special favors.”
“What a jerk!” she screeches as she scrambles out of the bed and starts to put her clothes on, angrily.
Smoking hot body.
Yup, I can see why I brought her home now.
“It’s what you all say.” I chuckle before picking my phone up from the floor and calling Layla.
I watch Blondie as the phone starts ringing. It’s like an un-strip show as I watch her get dressed. If I wasn’t so terrified that she’d castrate me, I might have gone for round two before sending her on her way, but I never put my best guy in danger.
“Yes,” Layla answers unenthusiastically.
“Layla, is that any way to answer your phone?” I smirk.
“You’re seriously calling another girl before I even leave?” No Name growls as she puts one of her stilettos on.
“Look, Blondie, dudes don’t dig angry chicks. You really need to chill.”
“You called me while one of your one-night stands are still in the room with you?” Layla asks in disgust.
“Damn right I am!” she says before storming past me. She slams my front door, and I laugh. I fall down on my bed. Great, it smells of cheap perfume.
“Now, back to you. Is that any way to say good morning?” I chuckle.
“It’s not the morning; it’s twelve in the afternoon. What do you want, Brennan?”
“Can a guy not call his big sister without wanting something?” I ask, feigning innocence.
“Nope, not where you’re concerned, are you in some sort of trouble?”
“Not exactly, but I need a favor.”
“Just meet me at Gigi’s in thirty.”
“Brennan, just tell me what is going o—”
“Gigi’s, thirty minutes, don’t be late. Love you, Sis.” I cut in before hanging up. I’ve learned one thing about Layla over the years, asking for stuff over the phone gets you nowhere. Now, face to face is where you can pull on those heart strings of hers. I’m going to need all the luck I can get because I’m about to ask her for fifteen hundred dollars. I already know it’s not going to go down too well.