Read Addicted After All Online

Authors: Krista Ritchie,Becca Ritchie

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Adult

Addicted After All

 

ADDICTED AFTER ALL

KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE

 

www.kbritchie.com

 

 

Addicted After All   Copyright © 2014 by K.B. Ritchie

 

All rights reserved.

This book may not be reproduced or transmitted in any capacity without written permission by the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the authors’ imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Cover image © Depositphotos.com/olly18

Cover design by Twin Cove Designs

 

 

ADDICTED SERIES

RECOMMENDED READING ORDER

 

Addicted to You
   (Addicted #1)

Ricochet
   (Addicted #1.5)

Addicted for Now
   (Addicted #2)

Kiss the Sky
   (Spin-Off: Calloway Sisters #1)

Hothouse Flower
   (Calloway Sisters #2)

Thrive
   (Addicted #2.5)

Addicted After All
   (Addicted #3)

Fuel the Fire
   (Calloway Sisters #3)

Long Way Down
   (Calloway Sisters #4)

 

More information about the reading order can be found on
Fizz Life
.

 

 

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS

 

Due to the 2-year gap between Addicted for Now (Addicted #2) and Addicted After All (Addicted #3), you must read Thrive (Addicted #2.5)
or
the Calloway Sisters spin-off series before reading Addicted After All.

 

 

{ 1 }

LOREN HALE

 

In the pitch-black of night, I run as fast as rage will carry me. Gravel from the suburban road digs into my bare feet, February’s cold biting my flesh. I had no time to slip on shoes, a shirt or even grab a coat.


Motherfuckers
,” Ryke growls through gritted teeth, using his full power, endurance—everything that made him a collegiate track star—to chase after dark-clothed figures that bolt down the street. I never thought I’d be able to match my brother’s speed. No longer weighed down by self-pity and hatred, I can go farther than I dreamed.

And I do.

My legs pump forward in sync with his, our muscles sharpening in the same way. Our veins bursting and heating with blood-red fury. Because we thought these stupid fucking guys shot one of the girls through the window.

A minute ago, Ryke and I were upstairs and heard a few loud bangs, followed by Lily and Daisy’s panicked screams. As we rushed to the main floor, Daisy was ghostly pale. Lily was holding her little sister’s hand, and my gaze dropped to Lil’s stomach, a noticeable bump at eighteen weeks pregnant.

I fucking ran on instinct. Only this time, I’m not the one being chased.

Ryke was right by my side, no hesitation, no questions asked. He took one look at Daisy’s horror-stricken face, and he just lost it. Our fame and notoriety shouldn’t put
either
of the girls in harm’s way. It’s complete bullshit.

All six of us—Ryke, Daisy, Connor, Rose, Lily and me—now live in a rich, gated Philadelphia neighborhood. Only these so-called “gates” surround the neighborhood, not our eight-bedroom house. Sometimes, the real shits are the ones right down the street, and for the past two weeks, they’ve egged our door, toilet-papered the yard and forked the grass.

This is the first time we’ve heard them scamper away, and so this is the first time we’ve ever tried to catch them.

We gain on them, and their muffled cursing becomes louder, their panic clearer in their hurried steps, and half of the guys scatter towards a brick mansion with floodlights illuminating a massive door. About three guys continue to sprint ahead.

Then they spin around and point their paintball guns at us. A series of
pops
split the air before a couple shots connect with my shoulder and ribs, like a two-second punch.

Jesus.
I want to shout until my throat bleeds and shake them until they get it. Until they realize that we’re not board games they can play with—when they’re sitting in their rooms with nothing to do.

We are people. Real. Living breathing things that have breaking points. I want to scream it all, but I can’t utter one single goddamn word. Everything is caged in my lungs.

The guys stop shooting at us when they realize we’re much closer. “Go, go, go!” they scream at each other. One guy in a hoodie glances over his shoulder, and then he trips over his own feet. Right as he stumbles, about to eat the asphalt, I grip the back of his black sweatshirt. My pulse sky-rockets with my adrenaline.

Ryke slows to a stop with me.

“Let me fucking go!” the guy shouts, thrashing in my grasp. I feel my heart bang against my chest, my brows furrowing at his scrawny build.
He’s young.

In a matter of seconds, his friends leave him, racing further into the darkness. He notices his buddies sprinting away, and he redirects his anger. “HEY! YOU PUSSIES! YOU’RE GOING TO LEAVE ME HERE?!”

I rip the paintball gun out of his hand and toss it to Ryke, and then the guy whips around on me, swinging his fist haphazardly at my face. I easily dodge it, but he’s squirming so much that it’s hard to hold him upright without him slipping in my hands.

“Get a grip,” Ryke growls at him.

He tries to elbow my ribs, and I grasp his arm, adding with a sneer, “You’re the one who’s been fucking with
us
.”

“And you’re the cuntbag who’s called the cops like a little bitch,” the guy snarls back. That’s when the hood falls off his head, and I stare directly into his venomous gaze. Tousled brown hair and a young, soft face. He can’t be any older than seventeen.

My blood chills. And I crane my neck at Ryke. “Do you see any cops?” I ask him with a mocking tone.

“No,” Ryke says, his voice rough.

I turn back to the guy in my clutch. “See, it’s just you and us—”

“That’s great,” he cuts me off with a short laugh, “let’s have a fucking tea party and celebrate the new year. And then when I leave, you both can go
fuck
the same girl and knock her up again.”

I shake, my heart slamming into my ribs. A million different insults burn my brain, the malicious ones trying to take hold.

Then Ryke charges forward, fists clenched. “You motherfucking—”

“Stop,” I tell Ryke, making sure to wedge my body between him and the teen. He can’t
hit
him. Not even if this guy spouts off a thousand rumors that’ve been circulating the tabloids. Not if he knows more about us than we’ll ever know about him. He’s a bored teenager, fighting his own battles that we’ll never see.

I get it.

I used to do this shit all the time. I was thrown in jail for vandalism more often than for underage drinking.

“What?” the guy feigns confusion, provoking Ryke. “Are you butthurt that you didn’t get extra time with the slut—”

“You want to play this goddamn game with me,” I interject, my voice so sharp that it physically pains me. “I can make you cry so hard, you bleed out of your eye sockets, so let’s rewind—
you
fucked with us first, and all we’re asking is for you to stop. We’re not your prep school friends.” I’m trying not to be condescending. I could have easily said “we’re not your little prep school friends,
kid
.” But if someone said that to me at sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen, I’d spit in their face and tell them to eat shit.

He breathes heavily with a curled lip, hatred spreading across his features, like he can’t stand to be here for more than a second longer. I stare right at him, not giving him an easy out. And he finally says, “We’re just joking around.”

Ryke steps forward and raises the paintball gun at the guy’s face. “This is not a fucking joke!”

The guy huffs and says to me, “Is your brother a moron? It’s only a
paintball
gun.”

 Ryke throws the gun across the road, and the casing shatters.

“Hey!” the guy shouts.

“My girlfriend has PTSD, you
fucking
idiot,” Ryke growls. “You point something that resembles a gun at a window, and there are people who’ll feel like it’s one.”

My ribs tighten. Daisy has been through more than Lily and I ever imagined, and it’s these facts—the ones that I desperately needed—that make it easier to see his happiness with her. I never thought I’d pray to every fucking god to ensure that their relationship lasts. It’s not even a selfish want.

I study the guy’s face, and any remorse is drowned by anger, his voice shaking with it. “Which girlfriend is that?” he sneers at Ryke. “The one you
raped
when she was fifteen or your brother’s fiancée?”

“Are you fucking kidding me?!” Ryke yells, his nose flaring. It fucking sucks. People will always know details about our lives before we even know their names. But I can’t blame
him
for it. It’s just the way it is.

I watch this teen glower at the ground like
let me go, let me fucking go.

Not yet.

I grip his jaw and force his face to mine. “Great,” I say, “you can believe those goddamn lies, you can spread them, whatever—but we see you around our house, scaring our girls, we’ll do worse than call the cops.” I release him with this threat, letting his own imagination frighten him. “I’ve met shittier fucks than you, so don’t think you’re something special.”

His chest collapses as he breathes heavily, shooting me a glare that can no way match mine. And then he spins his back on us and sprints down the road, stumbling for a second before he regains his speed.

He shouts back, “Go suck cock, you pussies!” And he waves his middle fingers at us.

Ryke lets out a frustrated groan. “I fucking
hate
these guys.”

“They’re just bored.” The neighborhood heard that “famous people” moved in down the block, and so these teenagers have been attracted to our house ever since. “We can’t call the cops,” I snap at him. “I hope you realize that.” For one, that guy in the hoodie could’ve been me at seventeen. And every time I was thrown in jail, it did nothing but piss me off even more. For another, it only gives them reason to retaliate against us. To return with more eggs, more paintballs, and maybe something worse down the road.

I’m smart enough now to recognize the pointlessness of this kind of feud and revenge.

Connor Cobalt taught me that.

My lips slowly rise.

Ryke groans again, puncturing my thoughts. “I wish there was an easy fucking solution to this.”

“Yeah,” I nod. “Me too.” We start walking back down the dark street to our house. I try to loosen my tense shoulders by rotating them. “Maybe the girls shouldn’t come to the meeting tomorrow.” Remembering my father’s phone call this evening binds my muscles again. I rub the back of my neck, this familiar agitation festering. After tonight, I’d like to fucking cancel on our dad. “I just don’t want him to drop more shit on top of us, not while we’re dealing with this.”

“I don’t want Daisy there anyway.” He extends his arms, and I can see splatters of blue paint on his shoulder and chest with reddish welts. “Why the fuck is he dragging the girls into his issues to begin with? It should be just you and me.” He gestures from his lean body to mine.

“We don’t know what it’s about,” I remind Ryke. “All he said was that he wanted to talk to the four of us.” I lick my lips, my breath smoking the air. I try not to shiver in the cold, especially at the thought of how he left out Connor and Rose. Whatever our dad is up to—it only involves Ryke, Daisy, Lily and me. I’m hoping it’s not about the rumors in
Celebrity Crush
—that Lily might be pregnant with Ryke’s kid, not mine. I hate even entertaining those lies.

I try to let out another long breath, but I feel my face contort in an irritated scowl.

“With Jonathan, that could mean fucking anything,” Ryke retorts.

“Yeah, and take it from someone who’s been to these ‘impromptu meetings’—you have to be
prepared
for anything.” I remember the one where he basically forced my proposal with Lily, right in his office.

I refuse to believe this is worse than that. So maybe that’s why I’m not as freaked by it as Ryke. My brother revived his relationship with our dad—and this is what comes with it. I step into the lion’s den every single time I enter Jonathan Hale’s mansion, and I just fucking pray that I leave without a deep wound. I pray that I’m strong enough to withstand everything he throws at me. And for the first time, I believe that someone out there, some godforsaken thing or spirit or madman, is listening to a fuck up like me.

I slow my pace as soon as headlights point in our direction. I raise my hand to shield the fluorescence. Ryke grabs my bicep and guides me towards the curb so we’re not hit in the dark. I’m not surprised when the Escalade brakes beside us. The tinted window rolls down, revealing the driver.

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