Busted Steel (Steel Crew #6) by M.J. Fields

Prologue





I always loved summer, until the one before my junior year of high school … the summer everything changed. The summer where my life turned upside down and inside out, and I was left feeling as if I were on the outside looking in through a window of a house, a beautiful house that had suddenly become … ugly.

Mom cried a lot, my younger sister, Tris, yelled a lot, my brother Amias … well, he would have rather been anywhere else, and Dad, my first love, didn’t smile anymore.

My extended family, once closer than any siblings I have met, were no longer under what was obviously a magical spell, a spell that had clearly been broken.

I never wished a summer away … until that one.

Over the next two years, everything changed.

Everything.





Playlist





To the reader:





This book can be as deep as you allow yourself to “feel.”

Subjects that could be triggers are very delicately brushed over, but they are mentioned necessarily so that you, my dear readers, can understand certain characters.

Speaking of characters, there are some you will definitely crave more from, and I promise they are coming. As a matter of fact, they’re already here.

Can you feel them?





XOXO

&

Forever Steel,

MJ





Italy





Sense Vs. Sensibility





Brisa





Eyes closed, I breathe in, counting one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and hold. Exhaling; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine.

Opening my eyes, I step out from under the pavilion and am temporarily blinded by the bright, setting sun. I close my eyes and blink several times as they adjust to the light, allowing me to finally take in the beauty of my surroundings. Well, things up close, anyway. I opted to give my eyes a rest today from the contacts I wore for over twenty hours while traveling. I didn’t want to wear glasses because, hello, no need for a glare in pictures. And let’s be honest, I look hotter without them. Thankfully, I’m nearsighted and get to take in the beauty that’s right before me.

The green, leafy vines are tethered to wooden fence posts on either side of me for a good hundred yards. Slowly, I begin walking down the hard packed brown earth beneath my shoes, making sure to step on the spots that appear to be the hardest so that my heels don’t sink into the dirt and ruin the Sergio Rossi metallic sr1s that my sister, Tris, gave me as a gift.

I inhale as the wind gently blows the scent of the salty sea air and the vine ripening grapes that mix together with the bouquet of tea roses that I carry in my hands.

Stalling for a moment, eyes open this time, I do it again—I breathe. But this time, I do it as I walk, using all my senses. I breathe in the beauty with my eyes. I breathe in the sounds of the galls above, the pianist and cellist playing Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” in the distance, and the whispers of the crowd just beyond the vine path. I breathe in the winds gentle touch against my skin, while lifting the flowers, inhaling the scent of the roses. And then I lick the grape flavored gloss from my lips.

Once again, I am learning to find beauty in everything around me and turning a blind eye to what it is that I can’t change.

God, I wish I brought my camera. It’s stunning here. Then again, pictures here may not spark great memories, though I’m hopeful things turn out the way they should.

Breathe, Brisa, just breathe, I tell myself while imagining it’s Marley’s voice I’m hearing in my head.

Never in a million years would I have thought I would be seeing a shrink on a weekly basis. Yet, for the past two years, that’s exactly what’s been happening.

I was thrust into therapy when Tris’s breakdown was in full swing and I lost my tits. Like, literally went from a D cup to a B.

When I realized I dropped fifteen pounds, I hid it by wearing layers. I didn’t say anything to my parents, regardless of how worried I was. I wasn’t going to cause them any more problems than they were already dealing with. In fact, I was sure they were on the brink of a divorce. Instead, I turned to Google for answers.

Let me tell you, no one should ever travel that path. I was convinced I either had cancer or an intestinal worm eating my body from the inside out. I looked like a twelve-year-old boy from behind and pretty much the same from the side.

When I overheard my grandmother, aka Momma Joe, informing my father that he best pay some attention to his eldest child, he asked her what the hell was wrong with Amias, my brother.