Carter Reed (Carter Reed #1) by Tijans Books

CHAPTER ONE

Douchebag’s here.

That was the first thought that went through my head as I crept into our apartment. It was my apartment—mine—and I had to slink inside because my roommate’s boyfriend was a pervert. I always snuck in when I saw his car in the parking lot, but this time was different. They were in the living room and my roommate cried out. I heard the slap next as he backhanded her and that stopped everything. I couldn’t move, but I could see them. Then he growled at her to shut up before he went back to his business. She still whimpered, but quieted as he kept thrusting into her.

I couldn’t look away.

He was raping her.

Sickness blasted me. I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me.

He kept thrusting as he held her down in front of him. His legs held her trapped and he was leaning over with one of his hands holding both of her wrists together. He kept going. My roommate lay there in surrender. He had defeated her, broken her, and I was witnessing it all.

Vomit and hatred spewed up in my throat, but I clamped them down. They wouldn’t burst out of me, not when I had a chance to do something that I knew I would regret. But even with that thought, the decision had already been made in my mind.

Mallory cried out again. Her agony was heart-wrenching. My hand trembled before he ordered her to shut up again. Then he thrust harder, deeper. He kept going, clueless as to who else might’ve been in the apartment.

This was my home.

This was her home.

He was not welcome, but he didn’t care. He kept going into her. Then he growled in pleasure. The sound of it went straight to the pit of my stomach. I wanted to spew my guts once more, but instead my eyes hardened and I went to the kitchen. There was a whole drawer of knives, but none of them would do. Not for him.

I went past the kitchen and knelt at the floorboards of our patio. I removed one of them and gripped the box that I knew my brother would’ve hated to know I had. Another scream ripped from behind me and my resolve grew.

My arm didn’t shake.

I found the gun my brother had never wanted me to know about. I gripped it and lifted it free from the box before I put the floorboard back together. Then, with my heart going slower than it should’ve been and clearer eyes than I should’ve had, I turned for the living room again. The sounds of his thrusting continued. The couch slammed against the wall with each thrust. My roommate cried out with each movement. It never seemed to stop, but I held on tighter to the gun before I turned the last corner.

He had readjusted them. He sat her up against the wall as he kept pumping into her. Now her head bounced against the wall. She was pale as a ghost; fresh tears fell over the dried ones. Her eyeliner streamed down with them so that her face was streaked black, with bruises starting to fill in the rest of the space on her face. Her cheek was already swollen and red from where he had slapped her. There were cuts at the top of her forehead. Blood streamed from them. He had sliced her and pulled her hair out so much that it bled.

Her eyes met mine over his shoulder. A whimper left her again, but his hand slammed over her throat once again. He squeezed with more and more pressure, her mouth gaping open for oxygen. As he gripped tighter, his hips jerked even harder. He was getting off on it. Then she started to thrash around—she couldn’t get any air.

He squeezed harder.

When her eyes started to glaze over, I saw a flash of something in them. It was meant for me. I knew it. And my hand held even tighter to the gun as I lifted it in the air.

I felt his gurgle of release before I heard it. I felt it in the air, through the floor, through my roommate. It didn’t matter. I knew he was near to climaxing and nothing had ever disgusted me more, but my hand was steady as I held the glock. Then I removed the safety and I cleared my throat once.

He froze.

He didn’t look around. He should’ve, but he didn’t.

I waited—my heart starting to pound, but he just started thrusting once again.

“Jeremy.”

My voice was so soft, almost too soft, but he froze anyway and twisted his head back to look at me. When he saw what I held, his eyes went wild—and then I shot him.

The bullet hit the center of his forehead. I wasn’t surprised when Mallory started to scream, still in his hold. His body held her against the wall even as he slumped. He would have kept her in place if not for her frantic hands pushing him off. His body fell to the ground, as much as the bones and tendons allowed. His knees were still bent, but the blood seeped from him slowly. It formed a pool underneath, and as I stood there, it grew and grew.

Still screaming, Mallory scrambled from him and collapsed to the ground not far from his body. She scooted against the wall until she found the farthest corner and curled into a fetal position. She was sobbing, hysterical, as more screams ripped from her throat.

I went to her, but instead of soothing her like I should’ve, I put my finger to my lip and made a ssshing sound. When she quieted, I whispered, “You have to be quiet. People will hear.”

She nodded but gulped for breath as her sobs grew silent.

Then I turned and slid to the space beside her. I couldn’t look away from him. The pool of blood encircled him now. It seeped under the couch.

Absentmindedly, my hand found Mallory’s exposed and bleeding knee. I patted it to soothe her, but I couldn’t tear my eyes from him. I had killed him. I had killed someone. I couldn’t think it or comprehend it, but everything was wrong. I should’ve been at the gym. I should’ve been trying to flirt with the new trainer, but I had been tired. I skipped the gym, just this once, and came home instead. When I saw his car, I almost turned around. I hated Jeremy Dunvan. He was connected to the local mob and he treated Mallory like crap. Still, I hadn’t gone back to the gym. I figured I could sneak inside. They were always in her room anyway.

Jeremy’s face had fallen towards us somehow. I remembered that she had shoved him away from her so his body bent at an awkward angle, but his eyes looked at me. He was dead so they were vacant, but he could still see me. I knew it. A shiver went down my spine as I looked the guy I had murdered in the eye. He was damning me to hell with those eyes.

“Em,” Mallory sobbed.

This time her crying broke through my walls. The sound was now deafening to me. My heart picked up. I worried that they could hear in the next apartment, maybe below us or above us. They were going to call the police. We should call the police, but no—I had killed someone. No, I had killed Jeremy Dunvan. We couldn’t call anyone.