'Til Death: Volume Two Page 1

Author: Bella Jewel

Series: 'Til Death #2

Genres: Romance

PROLOGUE

MARCUS

THEN

Agony.

It lives deep inside me. Every ragged breath I take is consumed by that one broken emotion. Time does nothing. It fixes nothing. It heals nothing. I never expected to feel love in my life, so it came upon me like a hurricane, swooping in and tearing my world to pieces.

Now I struggle to put it back together.

There simply is no glue strong enough to hold me in one piece.

“Marcus?”

Voices.

They all blend into a blur of nothingness. I no longer distinguish them, no longer care whom they belong to. I’m a man who ruined his own life, and there’s only one voice I want to hear. It’s also a voice I know I’ll never hear again. I destroyed a soul. I created my own nightmare. There is no forgiveness for that.

“Marcus?”

I lift my head, seeing Ulio standing in the doorway. He looks over me and shakes his head sadly. “Jesus, have you showered?”

“Why are you here?” I mutter, tilting my head back and swallowing the amber liquid in my glass. It burns, but it’s a feeling I’ve come to love. A feeling that sends fire deep into my soul until I can no longer feel.

“I’m here to tell you I put the money you requested in Katia’s bank account. It bounced.”

My entire body jerks and I lift my head, hating the way my heart lurches at the very mention of her name.

“What?” I rasp.

“It bounced. The account is closed.”

“What the fuck do you mean it bounced?” I roar, standing and swiping all the items off my desk. They crash onto the floor around me, my glass joining them. It creates a wet patch on the floor before soaking through the papers scattered around it. I don’t care. It could all burn and it wouldn’t matter.

“It means she closed her accounts. She’s gone. She’s packed up her mother, her life, and she’s gone.”

“Then find her!” I bellow.

“What for?” he barks. “This is what you wanted, isn’t it?”

My fists clench and unclench.

He’s right. I know he’s fucking right. I said those things to her that day, those horrible fuckin’ things to make her leave and never come back. I set her free. I gave her a chance at life without me. Now . . . fucking now . . . it hurts so fucking bad I can’t get it out. Desperation has become my new best friend.

“She’s got nothing,” I rasp. “Do you fucking understand? Nothing. Putting that money in her bank account was a way of making sure she lived easily after what . . .”

“What you did? After you fucked her life?”

I shoot him a glare so deadly he flinches.

He narrows his eyes, dropping his voice into a gentle yet low hiss. “You made choices here, Marcus. You fucked up. She’s gone. There’s nothing more you can do. Move on.”

“Find her,” I mutter. “I need to know she’s okay.”

“No.”

I jerk, and growl, “Excuse me?”

“I said, no. I’m done. It’s been a month. She’s gone. She’s not coming back. You need to pick yourself up and move on. It’s what you wanted. It’s why you sent her away, hating you. If you don’t, I’ll find someone else to work with.”

“Is that a threat?”

He turns, walking to the door. “No, it’s a fucking promise. Pull yourself together.”

Pull myself together.

How am I supposed to pull myself together when my glue is fucking gone?

~*~*~*~

KATIA

THEN

There is no worse feeling in the world than pain. Not pain from a wound, or an injury, but pain from having your heart broken. Pain is something you can’t describe until it delves into your soul and imbeds itself. You think you understand, you even watch others go through it, wondering at times why the hell they can’t just ‘get over it’.

But until you’ve been there, you’ll never understand pain.

Never.

Take your worst nightmare and multiply it by a hundred. You know that feeling that crushes your chest, taking your breath away? Double it. What about when your skin crawls, and every one of your limbs is numb, beyond shaking? Triple it. Then there’s your heart. Irreparable. Broken. Ruined. Damaged.

Shattered.

That’s what happened to my heart the day Marcus Tandem broke it. I could say that was where it ended, but it didn’t. I’m still bitter; I swim in hurt until it clouds my mind, and the person I was becomes a distant memory. She is no longer. There is nothing but a gaping, aching hole in my chest. He broke me. He took my life in his hands and he wrung it until it bled onto the ground, leaving nothing but an empty shell.

My life will never be the same again, and it’s him who will pay for that.

One day.

One day, when I find a way to breathe again.

CHAPTER ONE

KATIA

“Order up!”

I drag my feet, my worn shoes scraping across the bland wooden floor. I glance at the customers that pass me, their eyes no more than empty sockets in my broken mind. They mean nothing to me. I don’t see anything, feel anything, hear anything. My soul is a bottomless pit. My body moves only because it has to.

Time heals nothing.

I’m as bitter as the day I was when I walked out on the man I thought I loved.

He never chased me.

He never called.

He never divorced me.

He just let me go.

That almost makes me angrier than the fact that I fell in love with a man who was nothing more than a cold-hearted monster, out to keep his business. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what your past is—you make a choice to completely destroy a human being for your own satisfaction, your soul will go to the depths of the earth and deeper, and you, my friend, will burn.

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