Sometimes love isn’t enough…
Sometimes you’re required to be beautifully loyal.
If you think you know her… You’re wrong.
If you think you know her family… Wrong again.
If you think you know her story… You don’t.
Ashlynn Adorite is no stranger to the cruel and unusual world she was born into. In fact, she accepts it, understands it, embraces it. However, in her world, falling in love isn’t simply a choice. It causes problems, changes lives, disrupts business.
Sex, pleasure, carnal desires ... those things Ashlynn understands. Love ... not so much. Her world is turned upside down when she starts to feel something for not just one man, but two. The question is, can she have all that she desires, or will loyalty to her family interfere.
Ms Edwards has proven yet again that she is the queen of menage, I loved Beautifully Loyal. This story was powerful, hot and kept me glued to my kindle!
BEAUTIFULLY LOYAL (SOUTHERN BOY MAFIA, 2) - Chapter One
Friend? Okay, if you say so.
Seventeen years ago
“What the fuck’re you lookin’ at, asshole?” Leyton Matheson growled as he made his way through the hallway of his junior high school. All eyes seemed to be on him. No matter which way he moved, where he turned, they were all staring as though he were some sort of abomination.
Being the new kid sucked some serious ass.
God, he hated this place.
Really hated it.
“Dude’s got his panties in a twist,” someone mumbled from his left. Could’ve been a boy, or possibly a girl, but he doubted it was the latter. The gender of the high-pitched voice wasn’t all that discernible, though Leyton had a feeling he knew exactly who it was. The same asshole who’d been goading him since his very first day.
Leyton stopped walking and turned slightly, his eyes scanning the group of boys lining the lockers, the same boys who had been snickering and pointing when he approached. He had no idea who’d spoken up, but clearly they didn’t want him to see them, either, because no one stepped forward.
“You got somethin’ to say?” Leyton countered, watching each face, peering directly into every set of eyes. “If you do, then step up or shut up.”
He was so freaking tired of doing this same dance every day.
One of the bigger guys in the bunch took a step forward—a first this week—and Leyton smirked. The guy might’ve been taller than the others by several inches, but Leyton still had several more on him. At least four.
“What’re you gonna do?” the boy asked, glaring at Leyton from beneath his floppy red hair. “Huh?”
Leyton welcomed the adrenaline rush as he slowly advanced on the kid, causing the other boys to scatter to the side. Even as a group, they weren’t as tough as they’d wanted Leyton to believe, clearly.
“Come on, freckle face,” Leyton provoked. “You wanna piece of me?”
“Bring it on, pretty boy.” The kid’s words belied his actions, because instead of stepping forward, he moved back once again.
Leyton towered over every damn kid standing in the hallway, and he was only twelve years old. Earlier in the year, he’d skyrocketed in height, surprising most people who knew him, especially his father, who had taken Leyton’s sudden growth spurt to mean he could beat on him more than usual—which now meant sometimes twice a day. Although his father still had a good eight inches on him, Leyton was quickly gaining ground and figured it wouldn’t be long before he could meet the old man eye to eye. He was counting down the freaking minutes until that day came.
The old bastard had been knocking him around since he was little, shortly after Leyton’s loser of a mother had skipped out on them when he was only four years old. He didn’t know where she’d gone, and his father never seemed to want to answer his questions, so he’d finally given up, not caring. It was enough to put up with one fuckup for a parent; no need worrying about the other.
But Leyton had been making do until recently. If it hadn’t been for the fact his father was a no-good piece of crap, he still would be. It was his father’s fault he was here in the first place, which made Leyton hate him all the more.
Unfortunately, thanks to his drinking, Carl Matheson had gotten fired from his construction job, and in looking for something new, he’d found an opportunity in Dallas, which was how Leyton had ended up at this shitty-ass school with these shitty-ass kids. He’d been forced to leave all of his friends in Fort Worth behind, and now, based on the freckle-faced redhead moving his way, he wasn’t doing too hot in making new ones.
“Come on, chickenshit,” Leyton snarled, wanting to provoke the kid into hitting him first simply because it was a challenge.
“You got a problem?” the kid sneered, baring a mouthful of braces that glinted in the harsh fluorescent lights from above. “Or you just always an asshole?”
“Always,” Leyton confirmed. “You always that ugly? Or is it a special occasion?” Leyton snapped back, itching for a fight.
He’d been at the school for a little over a week, and he was ready to go back to Fort Worth with or without his asshole father. A surefire way to get Carl to pay attention would be by picking a fight and getting expelled, so Leyton had been doing his best for a few days, but until now, no one had stood up to him.
“Watch your mouth, asshole,” the kid advised, his fists clenching at his sides, his freckled cheeks turning redder with every breath he took.
“Or what? You gonna punch me in the knee?” Leyton glanced across the hall, noticing the door to one of the classrooms was opening.
A teacher, maybe?
Not waiting to find out, Leyton took advantage of the distraction, throwing a punch directly at the kid’s face, hitting him square in the jaw. Surprisingly, Red was resilient, returning the punches until the two of them were grappling, shoes squeaking on tile, bodies slamming into the lockers lining both walls while the other kids cheered and spurred them on. Leyton got in more punches than he took, trying to do the most damage, but unfortunately, the fight appeared as though it would be interrupted much too soon.
“Boys!” a woman yelled. “Stop that right this minute.”
A whistle sounded, but Leyton didn’t release his grip on the kid’s shirt, continuing to throw punches, some hitting their mark, some not.
Anger swelled inside him, making his hits that much harder as he thought about the way his father had slammed him against the wall that morning when Leyton had been trying to eat breakfast. Apparently he’d screwed up again, eating the last of the Cheerios and drinking the last bit of milk—both of which had come from the food pantry at the church down the street. Not that either had been enough to sustain him for a day, but he’d been starving since he’d been sent to bed without dinner last night because his father simply hadn’t wanted to look at him anymore. Or so he’d said.
Another whistle sounded, followed by another shout, this one from a different woman.
Leyton peered up, and while he was distracted, the redhead lurched again, but sensing the move, Leyton stepped out of the way, spinning quickly and helping the kid into the lockers. Headfirst.
Red’s posse didn’t seem to like the fact that their leader was now crumpled on the floor, but Leyton wasn’t too worried about them. He could take every last one of them down with his bare hands if he needed to. Defending himself had become second nature, considering he’d been dodging (and taking) punches from his alcoholic father for most of his life.
When the kid was back on his feet, Leyton beckoned him forward with his fingers. “You give up yet?”
Whirling around when a hand landed on his shoulder, Leyton was ready to take on the new threat, but the teacher he came up against wasn’t one of the women who’d been yelling at them to stop. No, this was the football coach, the big guy with the bald head, bushy eyebrows, and crooked nose who taught Leyton’s history class.
“That’s enough,” the man growled. “To the office. Now.”
Leyton glared at the redhead, pissed that they’d been busted, although it had been his plan in the first place.
“You, too,” the coach told the other kid. “It’s time to call some parents.”
Shit. That was the last thing Leyton had expected. He’d gladly take any punishment they wanted to dish out—in-school suspension, expulsion, hell, he’d even help clean the school—but dealing with his father hadn’t been on his list of possible outcomes.
He’d learned to avoid Carl at all costs.
The coach marched them down the hall while kids stared back at them, pointing and whispering as they moved past. When they reached the principal’s office, Leyton was ordered to take a seat while the coach took the other kid with him.
Dropping into the chair, Leyton let his head hit the wall behind him. He could feel his eye swelling up, and he figured it’d be black before school was out if it wasn’t already. He knew all too well what it felt like to have a bruised and battered face, though most of the time it was his father who delivered the punches.
“What’re you in here for?” a girl asked as she walked by.
“It’s apparent, ain’t it?” he countered, pointing at his face.
“You get in a fight?”
He nodded, not feeling it necessary to explain the obvious.
“Does the other kid look worse than you?” she asked.
God, he hoped so.
“Brittany, get back to class,” the receptionist at the desk ordered.
Brittany rolled her eyes but did as she was told, leaving Leyton sitting there by himself, waiting.
Leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees, Leyton stared down at his hands. His knuckles were busted and bleeding, but he couldn’t feel them. Hell, he couldn’t feel anything at the moment. The adrenaline rush was waning, leaving him tired and, yes, still pissed off.
A pair of tennis shoes came into view directly in front of him. Sitting back, Leyton looked up at a dark-haired boy who was staring down at him, golden eyes narrowed on Leyton. There was something about the kid, something that told Leyton not to fuck with him. He wasn’t quite sure what it was, but he got the feeling that mouthing off to him wouldn’t end in his favor.
Before either of them said anything, Red came waltzing out of the office, a stupid grin on his face.
“Looks like it’s your turn, pretty boy.”
The newcomer turned to Red, a stern expression on his face. “Don’t.”
The single word was spoken softy. Not a shout, not a whisper, but it had definitely gotten Red’s attention. Red’s face blanched, his mouth hanging open as he stared back at the boy. Leyton sat up straight, waiting for the inevitable confrontation, ready to defend himself again if it came to that.
“Tommy. Back to class,” the receptionist called out, peering at them from beneath the glasses perched on her narrow nose.
Leyton briefly wondered which of them was Tommy, but then Red answered that question for him. “I’m goin’,” he grumbled, glaring at Leyton.
“Back off,” the dark-haired kid told Tommy firmly. “And don’t let me catch you causin’ problems again. Feel me?”
Tommy nodded and then scurried out of the office, leaving Leyton staring after him.
Leyton noticed the receptionist wasn’t looking their way, as though she was pretending they weren’t less than two feet from her desk. Interesting since she’d ushered Brittany and Tommy out but hadn’t said a word to this guy.
Who was he? The principal’s kid or something?
The coach appeared, but before he said anything, he looked between Leyton and the stranger. “We got a problem here?”
“Not at all,” the kid assured him in a tone that seemed far too formal for someone his age. “I was just gonna make sure he made it back to class. You don’t need him anymore, do you?”
What? Leyton was confused. He was about to be suspended for fighting, or at the very least, he was going to have to deal with his father. Or so he’d thought.
But that wasn’t what happened.
“No,” the coach answered. “He’s good to go.”
The kid nodded at Leyton.
Getting to his feet, he stared around the office, noticing the adults in the room seemed almost scared of this guy. Which didn’t make a bit of sense. He couldn’t have been more than twelve, thirteen tops, if Leyton had to guess.
“What’s your name?” the kid asked Leyton directly as they headed through the door back into the hallway.
Leyton offered his first name, but that was all.
The kid smiled, still staring back at him.
“And you are?” Leyton inquired.
“Name’s Max. Max Adorite.”
“Is that name s’posed to mean somethin’ to me?” Leyton asked, still confused by the turn of events.
An older kid passing by chuckled.
Max’s grin widened. “Not yet. But it will. One day, it definitely will.”
Leyton would later learn that no truer words had ever been spoken.
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