Home > Filthy Dark (Five Points' Mob Collection #3)

Filthy Dark (Five Points' Mob Collection #3)
Author: Serena Akeroyd

At some point in this book, you will come across terminology you won’t appreciate.

And I certainly don’t.

But many people, especially of Aidan Sr.’s generation, do agree with it. It’s a disgraceful standpoint, however, I’m of Seamus’s ilk. If we don’t open a dialogue, how do we get people to understand that hate is hate?

I make this warning only so you’re aware that I AM 100% anti-homophobia, and a full believer that love is love is love. So, don’t hate on me for raising a topic of conversation, one that might take place around any dining table around the world, and drawing light on it.

With kids like Seamus around, maybe, just maybe, we can make the next generation more understanding.

With that being said, much love to you. <3

 

 

Brennan

 

 

Sixteen years ago

 

 

Hunching my shoulders against the cold, I watched my breath mist out in front of me. It was either that or head into the convenience store opposite and grab some cigs, which I couldn’t do.

Ma’d already threatened to lop off my head if she caught me stinking of smoke, and while I wasn’t averse to a clipped ear, what with being twenty, I didn’t give much of a shit anymore. My wrist was fucked, thanks to how many times Da had broken it, and I’d been shot at twice. I could cope with her pulling on my ear like it was stuck on with Velcro. Dealing with Mariska’s repugnance, however, was another matter entirely.

Her man smoked. Heavy duty Cubans were his poison of choice, and whenever she smelled them on me because Da had a habit too, it always took her twice as long to get into it.

I needed to get off like a junkie needed a fix, so getting some smokes was only going to delay what my body craved.

Her.

It had been a motherfucker of a day. We’d lost two men in a stupid goddamn raid with the Haitians, and the waste of life as well as the futility of our work just made me wonder what the fuck I was doing all this for.

It wasn’t for Mariska.

She’d never leave her husband. I didn’t blame her either. It wasn’t like she was married to some shoe salesman. You married into the Bratva and you didn’t get out. Not outside of a body bag. And when you were the Pakhan’s woman, death was a kind fate.

Leaning back against the wall, I felt the bricks dig into my bones, but I was used to being uncomfortable, so I just stared straight ahead, patient as ever until, in my periphery, I saw about four or five kids running toward the store.

They had tights over their heads and were packing heat. The sight of them told me exactly what was about to go down, but I made no move to get involved. This was our territory, so technically, I should offer to help, especially since the convenience store paid us protection money.

Instead, I watched curiously.

Especially when one of the kids, in a pair of retro-ed Air Jordan XIIs, caught my eye.

My brother had just bought a pair of them, and they stuck out like a sore thumb. Not only had they been on a shortlist, so they were rare as fuck, but the white and red design caught my attention—Declan’s.

I scanned the guy, registered his height and weight, and knew it was likely, even if the fact he was jacking convenience stores blew my mind.

I’d warned Da that the crew he was hanging around with was no good. That Cillian Donahue gave me bad vibes, and that Jonny kid? He was messed up. Had weird-ass eyes that were the opposite of trustworthy. But my fucked up father insisted they were what Declan needed. “They’ll make a man out of him,” he’d told me the last time I raised the subject with him.

When the gang surged in and surged out, my initial impression was they did a great job. It was practically pro—no screaming, and at a moment where the number of patrons was low so there were fewer risks of casualties… this wasn’t their first time.

As I scraped a hand across my jaw, I watched as they headed out, triumphantly holding their winnings, before they rushed into the darkness.

I had no idea what kind of game Declan was pulling, but I wasn’t a snitch. We all got into shit, it was how we grew, how we figured out if our crew had our backs or not… it was an important life lesson.

While my mind ticked away as I wondered how deeply into this shit Dec was, a car pulled up.

Recognizing the Porsche, I slipped away from the wall, stooped my shoulders, and kept my face in my hood as I headed to the vehicle. Ducking into the car, I kept my gaze straight ahead. I didn’t even turn to greet Mariska, just rested a hand on her leg as a silent ‘hello’ as she revved the engine and we got the hell out of there.

Declan wasn’t the only one getting lucky tonight.

 

 

One

 

 

Aela

 

 

Now

 

 

Have your eyes ever met someone’s across a crowded room?

Have you ever looked into that person’s eyes, and somehow known you were theirs?

That they were yours?

I was fifteen when that happened to me.

It wasn’t the first and only time it happened either. It kept on happening, only with the same guy. Over and over and over, it occurred.

Our eyes would connect, and it was like the sun would peep out from behind the clouds on a dull day.

I knew it sounded like nonsense, but it actually wasn’t.

Every time my gaze was captured by Declan O’Donnelly’s, I knew we were meant to be together.

That was what made things so awkward.

I wasn’t his.

He wasn’t mine.

He was my best friend’s.

And that was only the start of all the trouble.

My father had been low down on the totem pole in the Five Points’ Mob for most of my life, meaning I’d been pretty much a nonentity. Only when he’d been promoted had I started attending a decent school, and that was where I met Deirdre.

She was the kind of girl who knew everyone and everything, and somehow, she’d taken me under her wing when I arrived at St. Mary’s Middle School for Girls.

Nearly twenty years later, I still wasn’t sure if that was the best thing that had ever happened to me or the worst.

Deirdre had been kind and sweet to me. Enough so that I hadn’t realized what a manipulative bitch she was until I was nearly seventeen.

You read that right—for nearly six years, the cow managed to pull the wool over my eyes. But I didn’t do what I did to get back at her.

No, back then I’d been too innocent to be so conniving.

I’d appreciated her friendship when I’d suddenly gone from a regular, run-of-the-mill PS162 school to a private Catholic middle school.

When St. Mary’s had been forcibly closed due to—and this always amused the hell out of me—abuse because the nuns used to get whippy with it when you were really bad, we’d had to go to St. John’s High School.

A mixed private high school.

For girls who’d only been surrounded by other girls all their school life, it had been groundbreaking. For me, it was just normal. Still, I’d been allowed to meet Deirdre’s Declan for the first time ever, and when we had met?

That was when the whole world crashed and burned to a halt.

All this time later, as I sat beside his hospital bed, I still couldn’t believe how powerful that moment had been.

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