Filthy Sex (Five Points' Mob Collection #4) by Serena Akeroyd

Part One





“Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots.” – Rumi





One





1995





Brennan





Uncle Frank’s hand tightened on my shoulder, prompting me to peer up at him.

“Your da won’t ask, but are you okay?”

Was I okay?

I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, so I just stared at him in confusion.

Nothing about this situation was okay.

Ma was...

I swallowed.

She was in the hospital.

My already crazy father was close to losing the few marbles he still possessed.

The city was drenched in blood, and I was about to commit mass murder.

And my uncle was asking if I was okay?

I tilted my head back around, staring at a sight no fifteen-year-old should ever have to witness, but this was my punishment.

I should have gone into the dress shop with her. I should have gone inside. I shouldn’t have rushed off to catch the bus for school. I should have made sure Ma was safe. That was my job—to take her to her shop every morning.

My throat closed at what she’d endured because I’d fucked up.

I didn’t feel my own bruises, didn’t feel anything really. Just knew that nothing was okay about this situation. Nothing at all. And that was safer. Being numb right now was a hell of a lot safer than the alternative.

Surrounded by busted up cars, mountains of them, Da jumped out of the CAT tractor. Clouds of dust burst around him in eddying flurries that settled on his shoes when he moved to stand in front of a car crusher that diminished his larger-than-life frame. His arms were folded over his chest as he watched me, a bitter hatred etched into his features that I knew he’d always feel for me because of what I’d done to Ma, and that was when Frank nudged me forward.

“Go on, it’ll take a few minutes. You’ve killed before, Bren. This is just like that.”

This was nothing like before.

Nothing.

What was it with Uncle Frank today? Was he out for an award for Understatement of the Year?

Holding my arm tight to my side, the cast heavy thanks to my broken arm—one of Da’s first punishments for this mess and no less than I deserved—I swallowed, but stepped forward, knowing I had no real choice.

Suspended above the car crusher, was a thin concrete block about eight feet long. It reminded me a little of the clothes line on the rare occasions when Ma hung out some laundry in the yard, except, instead of clothes, there were seven men dangling down, their feet trapped in the block. Most of them were conscious, Da wouldn’t get his fun otherwise, but some of them were fortunate and hadn’t woken up yet.

They never would either.

“Get in the cab,” Da hissed, pulling me by the ear when I didn’t move fast enough, my head tipping back as I stared up at the men who’d defiled my mother.

I bit the inside of my cheek as I scurried away, darting into the cab before he could clip me again. A clunking sound echoed around it as my cast collided with the side of the door, and I almost howled as the pain slalomed inside me, winding me with its force.

Simultaneously, my nose began bleeding once more, and whether that was from the pressure of knowing the horrific fate I was about to let these men endure, or from the fact Da had broken it yesterday, I had no real way of knowing but I grabbed the paper towel I was carrying for this purpose and jammed a chunk inside each nostril.

As I plunked down in the CAT’s bucket seat, Da climbed up the ladder beside me, his feet hooked into the rungs as he hovered in place. Unsure of his next move, I held my broken arm closer to my side, the pain still ricocheting through me was enough to make me feel like I could pass out, so I didn’t need him adding to that by grabbing a hold of it or anything.

All around us, there were motes of dust and debris, shards of metal and boxy squares of wreckage that glinted under the hard glow of the spotlights. Uncle Frank was watching from a distance, while my da’s crew, Mark O’Reilly, Tony Hannaway, and Paul Claren, were somewhere in the vicinity, keeping the scene secured.

“All you need to do is release the pincers,” he told me.

Their deaths wouldn’t make up for what they’d done to Ma.

They wouldn’t pay for their sins by dying no matter what Father Doyle said. Da believed that bullshit, but I didn’t.

Knowing it was pointless to argue, I licked my lips and raised my other hand to do as he bid.