Melancholy Page 1

Author: Bella Jewel

Series: Jokers' Wrath MC #2

Genres: Romance


To truly understand a story you need to start from the beginning, but to start from the beginning you have to go back, further than just you. After all, our stories don’t start with us, do they? Our stories start with the person before us, and the person before them. We are created from the stories of those people—from their mistakes, from their achievements, from their love, and their hate.

No one’s story is ever truly their own.

I tried to create my own story, my own path, and my own actions. I’ve seen things people only see in their worst nightmares, but I never let them beat me down. I never let that become who I was. I picked myself up, and I kept going. Everything was what it was. There was no point analyzing what it could be.

Could be didn’t matter.

Until Maddox came into the picture. He saved my life. He changed my world, giving me the second chance some of us only dream about. There was only one thing missing in my second chance, and she was the reason I fought so hard to survive.

My sister.

My sister who is supposed to be dead—well, at least, that’s what I thought.

That’s what he told me.

Now is where my story changes, but to understand this story, you have to start at the beginning . . . where it all began . . . and before.


2007 – Santana

My breathing comes in short, hard bursts as I press my body against the cool wall. My skin is clammy, but I’m too afraid to lift my hand to wipe it away, desperate to remove the beading sweat from my forehead. I squeeze my sister’s hand as I close my eyes; if I close my eyes, I won’t be so afraid. I can take myself to a world he isn’t in.

When I close my eyes, I remember a better time. A time when my parents were alive, a time when my sister’s smile lit up my life—a time when nothing hurt. Now everything hurts, my sister never smiles, and my parents are dead. My world went from beautiful to hell in a matter of hours.

That’s all it takes to change a life—a mere few hours.

My first memory as a child is one I’ll hold with me for a long, long time. It’s where I go when fear takes over. I smile when I think of my sister’s happy face as my father led her outside, his brown eyes twinkling. I held onto his hand, and he squeezed mine tightly. My sister’s eyes were firmly shut, but her body thrummed with excitement.

The moment she was able to open them, her squeals filled the silent air around us. Her face lit up as she saw the cubby house Dad and I had spent hours putting together for her birthday. Her blond ringlets bounced as she spun around, throwing her arms around Dad, then me. It was the best moment of my life.

Then an accident stole my parents from me. There was no family—well, none that wanted us anyway. We were sent into foster homes, constantly separated. Finally, when I was fourteen, we were put in together. That family was torture in its purest form, and our time there quickly became hell on earth.

Now I spend my days trying to protect my sister, putting myself first because I can’t bear to see the pain in her face when he hurts her. Each day is a battle, and we’ll fight that battle until I can get us out of here. I’d rather live on the streets than be at the hands of this monster any longer, so that leads me to the here and now, my sister and myself crushed against the wall, holding our breaths as he leaves the room.

Waiting. Praying. Hoping.

My fingers slide over hers, letting her know I’m still there, letting her know I won’t let her go. Not ever. When I open my eyes and turn to her, she’s in her happy place, too. Her eyes are tightly closed, her breathing steady. I taught her how to live in the beautiful space that lies in her mind—nothing can hurt her there.

“Girls!” Oscar barks, his heavy footfalls coming towards us.

I press myself further against the wall, praying with everything I have inside me that he won’t open the closet. I pray he’ll think we’ve gone to school. I squeeze Pippa’s hand when I hear her breathing becoming deeper. She squeezes back, a silent answer to my question. She’s okay. We’re okay . . . for now.

“Girls? Where the fuck are you? If you’re ignoring me, so help me God, I’ll fuckin’ make it hurt!”

He will, too. He doesn’t abuse us sexually, which I’m thankful for every day. Instead, he has an obsession with control. He likes the feeling of power he gets when he holds us down, and brings his fists to our faces. He’ll do anything he can to call us out on a lie so he can have the satisfaction of carrying out the punishment.

His footsteps get closer and we both stop breathing, our hands squeezed so tightly my fingers ache. He stops, grunts, and then stomps away down the hall. I let the breath I was holding out, and tears prick my eyelids with relief. That relief grows when the car starts up, and skids off down the road.

We open the door quickly, stepping out. We only have a tiny backpack that contains enough for us to survive and keep warm. We’ve stolen money during the past six months, gathering around five hundred dollars in that time. He suspected we were stealing, of course, and we dealt with the beatings he dished out because of it. He never found our stash, though.

Another small miracle, I’m sure.

“We have to hurry. He’ll be back in less than ten minutes.”

Pippa nods, tucking a strand of faded, ratty blond hair behind her ear. Her once chocolate-brown eyes are now dull and lifeless. Pippa and I are two completely different girls – she’s just like our father and I’m more like our mom. She’s fair, with blond hair, lighter skin and brown eyes, while I’m dark. My skin is olive, my hair is dark brown and there are days my eyes seem nearly black.