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.•´✶COVER CREDITS¸.•´✶ Cover Designer: Jennifer Bosco Cover Design
Models: Fred DiBella and Tiffany Marie
Photographer: Wander Aguiar Photography
#propertyofparrishforever #jackandreina #brandedbythebulldog
It’s not a wicked world that drives a man to sin, it’s a deranged mind. Baptized in dirty water by Satan himself, I’ve spent my whole life fighting the good fight, searching for the light in the darkness of insanity. Now, the light I’ve basked in for so long is finally dimming and the time has come for me to take my final bow before the curtain closes on my sanity. After making a deal with the district attorney and providing my club with full immunity for the crimes we’ve committed, I have twenty-four hours to remind my wife, Reina, why she fell in love with a bastard like me before I turn myself in and break her heart. But twenty-four hours isn’t enough. Not for me and certainly not for the Devil. Tragedy strikes, and my world implodes. It’s lights out for Jack and Reina and a man can’t survive without his sunshine. Engulfed in darkness, consumed by the crazy, I’m a weapon of mass destruction, ready to wreak havoc on the wicked world. Word to the wise—proceed with caution, motherf*ckers. The Bulldog is back!
© Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved by Janine Infante Bosco.
“I didn’t realize you would be joining us today, Mrs. Parrish,” the district attorney, Matt Ritzer, says, tearing his eyes away from me to glance thoughtfully at my wife. Turning my head, I watch Reina lift her head and stare at the man looking to lock me up and throw away the key. Without responding, she tucks a golden strand of hair behind her ear and for a split second I forget we’re in a room full of attorneys and federal agents. I forget we’re teetering on the edge of a sentence and imagine fisting those locks as I bend her over the table and fuck her raw. Raw and hard. Wild and reckless. Like a ruthless savage, branding her over and over so that long after those iron bars close in on me, Sunshine feels me between her legs.
“I go wherever he goes,” she says calmly, forcing me back to reality. Without looking at me, she reaches for my hand and laces our fingers together. “Until you take him away from me and I no longer can.”
To the room full of suits, her voice is strong—her words cunning but I hear the despair laced with every syllable and I feel her hand slightly tremble against mine. It forces my gaze downward. Dripping in faded ink and silver rings, my fingers intertwine with hers. Pale, dainty and perfectly manicured—that’s my Sunshine. The beacon of light in my dark and cruel world. Lifting my head, the voices around us fade and I just stare at her profile, cementing her delicate features to my failing mind. I remember the first time I saw her face, the first time she acknowledged my existence. Her dull eyes called to me, beckoning me to dig deeper and discover the heart and soul of their owner. Her soul was broken, that I knew but, her heart—I never expected it to be as generous as it’s been and I sure as fuck never thought I’d be the bastard she gave it to. She saved me the trouble of stealing it because come hell or high water I would’ve taken it, anyway. I’m selfish like that. Always taking what I don’t deserve. Dirtyin’ up the clean. Tainting the pure. Corrupting the innocent. Playing God with everyone who comes into my life. Reina never stood a chance with me as her acting messiah but, fuck if I don’t love her. For every bit of wrong I’ve done in my life, I must’ve done something right for her to stick with me. You can say it’s because she loves me but, I’m no fool and I’ve lived enough life to know love isn’t always enough. Another woman would’ve run for the fucking hills. Another woman would’ve committed my mentally deranged ass. And another woman wouldn’t be sitting next to me holding my hand as I break her heart and destroy our lives all for the sake of brotherhood. It’s more than love. It’s salvation. It’s knowing you were born to complete the other half of someone. It’s finding the remedy to heal your fractured soul, to piece together the broken parts and make them whole.
“There’s always visitation,” my lawyer whispers to her. That’s when she breaks her stare with the district attorney and turns her eyes to me. I watch them fill with tears and I lean into her, lifting my free hand to her face. I pull her closer, touch her forehead to mine and give her what she needs to hear.
“You,” I murmur, taking us back to the beginning. Back to basics when two words defined a lifetime. After a beat, she nods slightly and returns the gift, giving me what I need to serve my impending sentence.
“Me,” she assures. Always her. Clearing his throat, Ritzer commands my attention. Releasing a growl, I pull back and slice my gaze to the man sitting across from me. “We’ve gone over the deal legal counsel has proposed and are willing to negotiate the terms,” he says, sliding a stack of papers across the mahogany table. Before I can lift a finger, my lawyer reaches over and takes the proposal. Still holding Reina’s hand, I lean back in my chair and watch intently as my five hundred dollar an hour lawyer skims the deal.
“I thought he said it was solid?” Reina whispers. Squeezing her hand, I don’t respond. Instead, I clench my jaw and wait for someone to tell us what’s going on. The room goes silent as my lawyer continues to flip through the pages and then it happens… The voice of my maker calls in the distance. You’re fucked Parrish.
“Fifteen years?” Reina shrieks, releasing my hand. Her outburst drags me away from my mind and the two words that we weren’t expecting to hear. “No one said anything about fifteen years,” she cries, turning her attention to me. Not willing to see the heartache reflected in her eyes, I cowardly keep my attention focused on my attorney, hoping he pulls a rabbit out of his hat or creates a miracle of some kind. Jeffrey Holden has gotten rich over the last two decades but he’s also kept my ass out of prison. Every dog has its day, Bulldog. Closing my eyes for a moment, I struggle to fight the voice inside my head. That vile bitch who loves to drag me down to hell any chance she gets.
“Jack,” Reina croaks next to me, demanding answers. Blinking, I slice my eyes back to hers, watching as she angrily wipes at the tears falling down her cheeks. I know the thoughts running through her head because they’re exactly the same as mine. Like me, she’s calculating the age our son will be when I’m released and already mourning the years I’ll miss of his life. My chest starts to ache as I picture the boy I’m leaving behind and the grown man he’ll be in fifteen years. I’m losing out on all the moments I never got to share with his brother who was taken from the world too soon. Then, there’s also the promise to teach him all the things in life a boy needs to learn in order to become a man that going away will force me to break.
Reina’s also thinking about my daughter Lacey, wondering if her mind will withstand this latest blow to our family and acknowledging the fact that the baby, she’s carrying won’t know its grandpa. Again, I close my eyes and allow myself a moment to recall walking my daughter down the aisle, kissing her cheek and giving her hand to the man I trusted most in the world. My throat constricts with emotion just as it did on her wedding day and one cherished memory bleeds into another, taking me back to yesterday when she shared her sonogram photo with me. I finally let myself look at Reina—really look at her. I memorize her features and pray to whatever god will listen that while I’m alone, rotting in my cell my mind will allow me to remember all the many expressions her beautiful face has gifted me over the years. May I always recall the sound of her laugh and the sweet fucking sounds she makes when she comes undone. You’re going to lose her, Parrish. She’ll never wait.
“Ten years,” my lawyer counters. “Or we go to trial and leave it up to a jury to decide.”
“That’s fine with me,” Ritzer fires back. “We take it to court and your client can wind up doing anywhere between fifteen to life.”
“Jack,” Reina whispers, reaching for my face. “Are you with me?” she questions, searching my eyes for a sign that I haven’t drifted over to the darkness.
“I’m with you,” I rasp, wrapping my hands around her wrists.
“Your client is being charged with murder in the first degree. Now, we’re being generous here. The deal is fifteen years and full immunity for the club.” Prying Reina’s hands off me, I glare at the suits sitting across from me.
“Do I need to remind you of my client’s medical condition?” When in doubt, pull the crazy card.
“Twelve years, full immunity for the club and his private doctors are allowed to treat him inside,” Holden continues. Mulling it over, the Ritzer leans back in his chair, quietly conferring with the two assholes sitting on either side of him. Knowing these men hold my fate in their hands is enough to get my blood boiling and the wheels turning inside my deranged head. I envision inflicting pain on them and tearing their world apart. I want their wives to cry at night and their kids to wonder when and if they’ll ever see their fathers again. Once a fucking sinner, always a sinner.
“Thirteen years and full immunity for the club. As far as his medical treatment goes that will be up to the warden to decide. However, I assure you, Mr. Parrish will be treated for his condition.” Thirteen years is better than fifteen and I turn my gaze toward my lawyer, waiting for him to agree or disagree. He looks at me then Reina and back to me, giving me a slight nod.
“Take the deal,” he says. Thirteen fucking years. One hundred and fifty-six months. Four thousand, seven hundred and forty-five days. Turning once more to my wife, I brush her hair away from her eyes and watch as she lifts her tear stained face. This woman. This beautiful woman I never deserved, saved me. Day after day, night after night, she provided me with a steady place I could let go of my defenses. When the darkness consumed me, she brought the sunshine. Part of me wonders if she regrets it. If she looks at me and sees all the consequences loving me has brought to her life. After all, doesn’t every good woman eventually tire of giving their love to someone who does nothing but chip away at their spirit. It’s only a matter of time before my good woman realizes she was drowning trying to save a man who only kept pushing her head under the water with every bad decision he made. “We’ll make it work,” she assures.
.•´✶ABOUT AUTHOR JANINE INFANTE BOSCO¸.•´✶
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong-willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself. She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.
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