Pierced, p.1
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         Part #1 of Lucian & Lia series by Sydney Landon
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Pierced


  PIERCED

  Lucian and Lia Trilogy

  Book One

  SYDNEY LANDON

  PIERCED

  Copyright 2014 Sydney Landon

  Amazon Edition

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  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this ebook with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this ebook and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. All rights reserved.

  The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorised electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, establishments, organisations, and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously to give a sense of authenticity. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Graphic Content Warning:

  This novel contains depictions of violence, sexual abuse and child abuse.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Also by Sydney Landon

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  About the Author

  Acknowledgements

  Also by Sydney Landon

  The Danvers Novels

  Weekends Required

  Not Planning on You

  Fall For Me

  Fighting For You

  Betting on You (A Danvers Novella)

  No Denying You (Coming 12/3/2014)

  Always Loving You (Coming 2/15/15)

  Chapter One

  Lucian

  “If I don’t have a date with me tonight, Monique will have her hand on my cock before the first course is finished.” My friend and employee, Aidan Spencer, tries unsuccessfully to hide the smirk on his face at my prediction. Unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it, we both know I’m right. Monique Chandler is always on the prowl and right now, her sights are set on me…again. Fucking her was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made recently. No pussy is worth that kind of Hell, especially when it was a sub-par fuck, at best.

  “Yeah, that must be a tough problem to have. I guess I could run interference for you. Do you think she would have her hand on my dick by the end of the evening?”

  I laugh saying, “Be careful what you wish for. That is one bed-hop you might want to rethink. She’s a fucking viper. As much as I want to discuss your future sexual conquests, right now I need a date.”

  “Maybe you should have thought about that before you dumped Laurie last week. You couldn’t put that off until after dinner tonight?”

  I prop my legs on the desk, crossing them at the ankles. “No, Laurie punched her own ticket when she laid down the ultimatum. I grant you, the timing was less than perfect, but I have never caved to threats, and I’m not going to start now. The only thing she gave a damn about anyway was the balance in my bank account.

  “Well, at least you didn’t have to waste a lot of time moving her out of your place. Did she ever actually see the inside of it?”

  I stare at my friend before answering, “You know better.”

  Aidan shakes his head. “I don’t understand that, Luc.”

  “What’s to understand? My home is mine. I don’t intend to spend my life with any of these women, so why complicate things?” Shooting him a smirk, I add, “You’re not exactly playing ‘happy home’ with any of your women, either, so why bust my balls?”

  “There’s a difference between me and you, my friend,” Aidan says. “I’ve actually had women in my home and in my bed. You dated Laurie for months, and she never even walked through your place? Fuck man, how did you even explain that to her?”

  I raise a brow at the question. “I don’t explain myself to anyone, Laurie included. She will have someone else on the hook by the end of the month, anyway.”

  Aidan rocks back in his chair smiling. “I think you are giving yourself too much credit, my man; she will have someone else by the end of the week. Of course, he will probably be well-advanced in years, but if the money is there, I’m sure Laurie can overlook everything else.”

  Smiling at his accurate assessment of Laurie, I nod in agreement because it’s more than fucking true. I mentally brace myself. Damn, this next question is going to hurt. “I really hate to ask, but do you know anyone who would be available to accompany me tonight and not think I’m going to be picking out china with them next week?”

  Aidan looks surprised but recovers quickly. “I know I’m going to catch Hell for this, but I do know someone. Well, not really a specific someone, but I know a place that can help.”

  Another of Aidan’s whores, just perfect. They are strictly women you keep behind closed doors. “Do explain that statement. If this involves anything that’s going to get me five-to-ten years, I’d rather pass.”

  “Please reserve your judgment until I’m finished. I…um, have on occasion had the need of a date at the last minute. A friend of mine recommended a service that provides dates for executives. It’s mostly college students. I have never had a problem with them.”

  I’m momentarily speechless, which doesn’t happen often. “You mean an escort service, don’t you?” Has he lost his mind?

  “Yes, but it’s not what you think. There is nothing illegal about it. They don’t provide lap dances or sex; it is strictly business. Although, I wouldn’t object to the other things if they wanted to throw that in.”

  “I can just see how this would look if word got out that I had to resort to hiring my dates. Surely, you know of someone else? You go on a different date every night, man.” Now I know where all the dates were coming from. When did he start buying women, for fuck’s sake?

  “Yeah, I know a lot of women Luc, but none who won’t chase you for months after the date. You just got rid of Laurie; I don’t think you want to jump right back in the shark-infested waters so soon. I’m telling you, this is the perfect solution for tonight. I’ll even set it up if you want.”

  I run my hand through my hair, wanting to growl in frustration. Has my life gotten to the point where I am seriously considering Aidan’s suggestion? Recalling the last dinner I attended where Monique cornered me outside the men’s room, practically sticking her tongue down my throat, makes me look at Aidan and say, “Do it. Get an address for me to pick her up. I don’t want to spend all evening hunting a stranger in the parking lot of the restaurant. If this turns out bad, you’re fired.”

  Aidan smiles, knowing my threat doesn’t hold substance. We have been friends for most of our lives and always have each other’s backs. We first met back in elementary school. He was getting his first-grade ass kicked by a third grader when I jumped onto the back of his tormentor. I grabbed Aidan’s hand and jerked him to his feet, and we proceeded to deliver
a few kicks of our own to the bully before we were pulled into the principal’s office. From that moment on, we were inseparable. I’d never admitted to Aidan that I almost pissed my fucking pants that day when I jumped on that asshole for him. I’d been scared out of my mind and was grateful the bastard had tripped from the surprise attack and done most of the work for me.

  Aidan had grown up with the standard house, dog, and white picket fence. He was an only child whose parents doted on him. I lived with my Aunt Fae; my parents died in a car accident when I was five, so my dad’s sister had taken custody of me. When I reached twenty-one, I took the sizable inheritance from my parents and bought my first company, an ailing software firm that was operating in the red. Within a year, I had turned it around, and Quinn Software was born. Back when the other kids were reading comic books, I was reading Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. At twenty-nine, I was at the top and everyone wanted a piece of me, especially the women. With the weight of responsibility I carried, sometimes twenty-nine had never felt so damn old.

  Our brotherhood had taken a small shift the day Cassie Wyatt moved into the neighborhood and enrolled in our school. Like us, Cassie-or Cass, as we soon started to call her-had been a social outcast and easy-pickings for the mean girls. She had taken to following us around on her bike even when we tried to shoo her away. After a while, her sheer determination to make friends had won both of us over, and she was officially in the club. Her father, who tended to drink too much and work too little, had raised Cass. She always put off going home until the last possible minute. As a teenager, she would fall into what I later would recognize as a manic-depressive state where she would cycle from off-the-chart highs to almost-suicidal lows.

  Aidan had been in love with her for most of our childhood and all of his teenage years. Cass, though, only ever had eyes for me. Sure, she loved him as a friend, but as we grew older, she saw more in me, and eventually I returned her feelings. If I hadn’t been such a competitive bastard, I would have backed off and hoped she turned to Aidan. Would it have changed anything? That question had haunted me for years. We dated through high school and were still together in college until one night changed all of us forever. Shaking off the feelings that threatened to choke me, I tune back into Aidan’s taunting.

  “For you, my friend, I will request the best they have. Maybe a nice, chubby blonde?” Aidan jokes.

  At that moment, my assistant comes in to let me know my next appointment has arrived. “Thanks, Cindy. How about dragging Aidan out of my office so I can stay on schedule?” I sit back in my chair and smile as Cindy-always a sucker for punctuality-literally removes Aidan from his chair and hustles him out the door. God, I love that woman, and she deserves a bonus just for putting up with my moody ass every day.

  She is in her mid-fifties and has been with me for five years. After her two sons left home for college, she returned to the workforce, and I am grateful to have her. She runs my office like an army sergeant, and I suspect she has moved me firmly into the role of another son. She is a good judge of character and had never liked Laurie; I caught her rolling her eyes behind Laurie’s back on more than one occasion. As she ushers in my next appointment, I have to wonder just what in the hell I am getting myself into, letting Aidan hire a date for me from an escort service. I imagine some bubble-gum-chewing Barbie doll showing up tonight. Knowing Aidan, she will have huge tits and very little upstairs. If it keeps Monique off me for the evening, though, who cares if the only current events the woman knows are the words to the latest Britney Spears song.

  Lia

  I walk into my apartment and promptly fall down onto the couch. My roommate Rose looks up from the book she is buried in, asking, “Bad day, kid?”

  “Ugh, yeah. I barely slept at all last night thanks to this cold, and now I have an assignment tonight from Date Night.” Rose grimaces as I blow my nose and settle back against the cushions.

  “Why did you take the job when you feel like shit?”

  “Why do I ever? I need the money. At least this one is just for some dinner meeting. God, I hope he’s not a playboy like the last one. He kept thinking he could buy his way into my panties if he offered enough. What is so hard to understand about “escort?” Nowhere in that word does it insinuate stripper or hooker.”

  Rose throws her head back and laughs. “I’m sure it’s a common misconception. You’re lucky that most of the men know the rules and abide by them. I don’t care what your occupation is; you always have some butthead who thinks he is special. A guy came in the coffee shop last night and pinched my ass when I handed him his espresso. When did men start thinking it was okay to feel their server up? If it weren’t for Jake freaking out, I would take a job with you in a minute.” Jake was Rose’s boyfriend of two years, and Lia knew he would indeed freak if the love of his life was out escorting other men around town.

  I am in my fourth and final year at St. Claire’s University, located in Asheville, North Carolina. St. Claire’s is a smaller school and, therefore, very hard to gain admittance to. The tuition is steep, and the scholarships hard to come by, but the level of education is second to none. When I got accepted, I was over the moon… until I started trying to figure out how to pay for it.

  At eighteen, my mother had packed my bags and pointed to the door. After years of doing anything I could to avoid my stepfather’s unwanted advances, it was almost a relief to leave.

  I never knew my father; my mother was neglectful at best and crazy angry at her worst. To say I am unlucky in the parental department is a real understatement. When my mother married Jim Dawson, though, things went from bad to oh-so-much worse. Oh, I never had broken bones like some who are abused; my mother always preferred slapping and backhanding. Occasionally, she would throw in a belt when she was really mad.

  Sadly, Jim’s arrival made me long for the days when I just had my mother to fear. I was fifteen and, as Jim was constantly pointing out, well-developed for my age. It started with lingering, seemingly-innocent touches and quickly escalated. He started coming into my room at night.

  He would twist my arm behind my back until I agreed to remove my top. He would sit or lay beside me, pinching my nipples painfully while masturbating. After a while, my breasts weren’t enough, and he wanted me completely naked. The first time, I fought him until he put a hand around my throat, cutting off my air supply until I blacked out. I woke to find one of his hands fondling my sex while he jacked-off. Each night he went further, taking more and more. I feared that soon he would no longer be content to just touch me. I knew without a doubt that my mother was aware of what was happening; I tried to talk to her more than once, and she would either walk away or backhand me until I shut up.

  After having to endure his touch at every available opportunity, I heard him say something that saved me from certain rape. He was ranting to my mother about how she had better not gain any more weight because he hated heavy women. That night, I started eating everything I could hold without puking, and by the end of the month, I was fifteen pounds heavier. This continued until I gained almost fifty pounds. It was obvious my size was a complete turn-off to Jim. He stopped touching me and instead insulted me at every turn, but I didn’t care if it meant he no longer snuck into my bedroom at night.

  I had no real friends in school, and my size made me the target of constant taunting. The upside of being a social outcast was I had a lot of time to study and graduated from high school at the top of my class. Even having no idea how I would afford it, I applied to every local college, desperate to escape the Hell I was living in. The day I received an acceptance letter from St. Claire’s was also the day my mother kicked me out. I should have been brave enough to leave before then; she would have never looked for me.

  On my last night at home, I was in the laundry room ironing clothes when my mother stomped in, looking pissed at the world. Jim followed closely behind her. As they argued, I sat the iron down and tried to slink out the door without being noticed. When Jim s
uddenly yelled, “Fuck,” my spine stiffened and I looked over my shoulder to see him shaking his hand and pointing to the iron. “Look what the fuck you did, you fat ass! You left the iron sitting right in the middle of the floor and caused me to burn my hand. I bet you did it on purpose, you conniving bitch!”

  I closed my eyes, feeling tears prickle behind the lids. “I…I’m sorry.” Suddenly, Jim’s anger switched from my mother to me. I was terrified and started trying to back away from him.

  “Where the fuck you think you’re going?” As Jim advanced on me, my mother slid by and out the door, never looking back. I knew there would be no help from her. When had there ever been?

  When Jim grabbed the bottom of my t-shirt, he jerked so hard I felt the thin cotton tear. As I tried to hold the shirt together, he ripped it from my body; snapping my neck painfully. I crossed my arms over my bra, repeating over and over, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

  “You’re not sorry, you lying cow. You intentionally left that iron there, hoping I’d burn myself.” Spittle flew onto my face as he spat the words at me. When a cruel smile turned up the corners of his mouth, my blood ran cold. Oh, God, I knew that smile. My arms tightened around my breasts, trying to cover myself as I shook in fear. “Don’t you worry about me touching those big tits; you disgust me. What I’m gonna give you, girl, is a reminder of what happens when you fuck with me. You want to burn me and think you can get away with it? It’s time you learned a lesson you’ll never forget.” He turned me away from him, keeping a strong arm around my waist before leaning over to pick something up. He jerked my long ponytail aside, making my scalp sting. Suddenly, my back between the shoulder blades was on fire. I gasped in agony, trying to pull away. The smell of something horrible stung my nose, and as the room started spinning, it hit me; he was burning me with the iron. As oblivion rose, I heard him whisper in my ear, “Cows are always branded so they know who they belong to, and you’ll always belong to me.” I never felt my body make contact with the floor, and when I woke later, my back was still on fire, and I was alone. The bastard had marked me, and the years would never remove his brand from my body or my mind.

 
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