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Skin of a Sinner: Chapter 12


Roman: 19 years old – Isabella: 17 years old.

She’s more than a dream. She doesn’t compare to my wildest imagination.

I’ve always known I have the addict gene in me, and I’ve found my vice. I’ve been addicted to Bella since the very beginning. Whether just by looking at her or hearing her voice, it fired off little signals in my brain that had my whole body craving my next hit of anything her.

I thought I knew what obsession was.

I very obviously did not.

Whatever I thought I felt before is fucking peanuts in comparison.

Now that I know what she tastes like, how she sounds when she moans, and the way her flesh molded so perfectly to me, I’m hooked. This girl was made for me, my own princess. I would give up everything for a single hit—my perfect drug. What she does to me hits like nothing else. And, fuck, if that doesn’t drive me insane just thinking about it.

That cute little whimper she made when I stopped kissing her?

The way she clawed at my back like she was as hypnotized as I was?

Don’t even get me started about how she was bucking her hips and practically begging me to take her.

Even how she looks wearing what I gave her, the earrings, necklace, and shirt. I wanted to know what the first two would look like against her skin without the last thing getting in the way. Naked, under me, and begging me to ruin her while she wears my marks.

I don’t think Bella understands the magnitude of what I just did, and she’s not nearly as impressed with me as she should be.

I stopped.


Me? I fought against my urges and let her walk out of there in one piece. I tore myself away from her when I only wanted to consume her whole. If I could live in her skin, I would. I don’t think she gets that.

Impulse has gotten me where I am today. Lack of control is the reason why Bella has had to patch me back together more times than I can count. Everything clicked into place when she was beneath me, looking up at me with her beautiful brown eyes. I’m her loyal servant, always have been, and always will be. She’s my purpose, my home.

One more year, and she’s all mine. She won’t have stupid shit like homework and exams to worry about. I won’t have to drop her off at home every night and watch that fucker Marcus look at her in a way that has my blood boiling.

I’ll probably still have to share her with that little shit Jeremy, but ultimately, nothing will get in our way. Not Maxim or Mikhail. And they’re going to know it.

As I drive away from her house, every voice in my head is telling me to turn around and finish what Bella and I started in that shed.

But our first time isn’t going to be with that seedy Marcus in the other room, or on the floor in a decrepit, abandoned shed. There will be flowers and candles and pretty things everywhere, like in those romantic movies she’s made me watch. She’s my delicate princess.

Tonight was meant to be perfect. There were meant to be no tears—the unhappy kind—and the only thing she was supposed to do today was smile, laugh, and be happy. But those two idiots ruined everything.

Mikhail and Maxim Androv.

Never heard of them, and I don’t care to know more than just their address. The only thing they will need to know is not to be in the same vicinity as Bella ever again. After I’m done with them, they may need to get wheeled out of any place where she is.

I asked Damien for their address, since Lord knows he owes me for all the times I’ve given out favors for him and the cartel he’s running with. I re-check the GPS on my phone. The blood roaring in my ears increases. They only live a few blocks from her.

And she sleeps with the fucking window open. Anyone could climb in.

Fuck it. I’m going to install bars on that window.

The thought only unsettles me more as I park my bike several houses down from where they live. I take a couple of steps away, then glance back at my bike. My only other love. It could be the last time I see her. She might not be in one piece by the time I get back. It’s a shitty neighborhood, and she could get sold for parts.

I stole those wheels from someone who owed me money. Someone else might steal the same set of wheels because they need money. It’s almost like the circle of life.

I check that she’s locked tight one last time, give her a pat, then I’m off on my merry way to fuck up those two pricks.

My body buzzes with anticipation. I can already imagine what their blood will look like on my riding gloves, and I hear the sounds of them begging me to stop. I don’t care how old they are; I’m putting them in their place. They didn’t pick on someone their own size, so why should I?

After the high of kissing Bella and all the built-up frustration that came with it, this is going to be the cherry on top. I thought I’d have to reach out to Damien, my contact, and find a place to let off some steam tonight, but I guess everything works out for me, eventually.

The street is dimmer with the helmet visor down, but there’s no missing their duplex and the two lookalikes sitting on the deck, smoking a joint. They look like idiots.

The twins look like their names sound: short, blonde with a number two cut, and brawny.

Cold sweat gathers down my spine from excitement. I’ve met their type before. Guys like them wouldn’t be sitting outside in this neighborhood without carrying a gun. My lips twitch up at the corners. No one in this area would care if one goes off, but guns mean cops. I’m not in the mood to deal with pigs.

Clad in black, I creep along the side of the house, sticking to the shadows and keeping my footsteps light. I don’t do many of these outings while wearing a helmet. The anonymity is great, but it fucks with the senses. I won’t be able to see or hear as well.

The twins are completely oblivious to the intruder in their midst. I can smell the weed through my helmet, and I might not be able to see their bloodshot eyes this far out, but I’m sure they will be.

Shielded by the darkness, they don’t see me coming, too spaced out to hear me stretch my neck from side to side before the first crack from my fist carves through the night. Fucker Number One tips to the side, bringing the chair with him. Fucker Number Two scrambles for his gun behind his back, but not fast enough to avoid being hit in the jaw by my riding gloves.

God, that felt good.

His head snaps back, hitting the wall behind him. He groans as his hands instinctively snap up to stop another assault.

“What do you want?” Fucker Number one recovers in time to draw his gun, but it flies out of his hands before he has a chance to use it. Then, someone from inside the house starts screaming, raising my hackles.

An old woman comes running out of the house with a baseball bat, tripping over her slippers and nightie as she goes.


I don’t hurt old ladies.

Goddamnit, I have to somehow take her down without laying a hand on her.

“This isn’t about you,” I yell at her.

Fucker Two suddenly remembers he has a gun, and Fucker One uses the distraction to launch himself at me, hitting me square in the chest. “You cunt.”

A laugh rumbles out of me right before I bury my fist into the prick’s ribs and swing my head forward, using the helmet’s weight to connect with his forehead.

He rears back with blood spurting from his nose, the bottom half of his face drenched in the beautiful crimson.

“Get away from my sons!” their mother screams. I don’t get to appreciate the sight of the dark red splatter over his pale skin, because I stumble forward when pain tears through my back.

Helmets are great for anonymity, but fucking shit for visibility.

“Fuck off.” I throw my hand back with a snarl and yank the bat out of the culprit’s hands. The lady yelps from being thrown off balance. But then her screams turn into words. Only a single word, Help.

Fucker Two aims his gun at me. “Don’t you fucking touch her.”

They can’t see my grin as I say, “That’s my line.” I tilt my head to the side, eying the gun. “You weren’t planning on using that on me, were you?”

I swing the wooden bat before he manages to pull the trigger. Those things are great, but they’re shit for close combat, which is why I prefer my fists. Using a gun doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as pummeling someone’s head in until they’re an unrecognizable pile of flesh and bone.

He cries out as the weapon is ripped out of his hands and lands by their mother’s feet. Fucker One returns, hunched over, charging forward like a raging bull. I lift my leg before he makes contact, sending him careening backward just as Fucker Two swings his arm.

From the corner of my eye, I watch as the woman runs toward the gun on the ground.

And then red and blue lights flash.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

One of the twins lands a hit on my ribs, making me grunt. I grip the bat, raise it in the air and aim it at his head.

“Stop!” she screams.


Another scream.


But my arm never moves. The bat doesn’t come crashing forward. I’m frozen. I just stare at Fucker Two as he gapes at me. Then slowly, questioningly, he drops his gaze to my chest.

And then I feel it. A prickle at first, like static along my skin.

Suddenly, it’s a burn, scorching hot, searing into my flesh as if I’ve been set on fire, though I never saw anyone light the match. The pain thunders through every molecule of my being, setting every hair and cell in my body ablaze. I feel so cold.

I look down to find my hand already on my chest. Trembling fingers pull away to a liquid sheen that catches the light on my leather gloves.

My body gives out beneath me, and my knees crash against the concrete. The pain is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Pure agony. The basement was better than this. The belt hurt less.

The burning worsens, swirling, until dots dance in my vision. As the world turns bright, something rough hits the back of my head. It’s not so dim anymore. The sounds are clearer. But I can’t make out any of them. Something presses against my chest. I want to scream, yell, yank this pain out of me.

I can’t breathe. It hurts too much. I can’t—oh, God. I’m going to die.




Who’s going to watch over Bella?

Who’s going to take care of my princess?

I can’t die. I need to take her to school. I have to make sure she’s okay. I have to be there for her. What if she forgets to bring her inhaler again? What if she doesn’t have enough money for lunch, or has a nightmare?

No. I can’t leave Bella. We finally kissed, and in one year, it’ll be just us. We’ll be going around the country to camp by the beach and see New Orleans, just like she always dreamed of. I’m meant to take her back to Disneyland and give her everything she’s ever wanted.

We haven’t gotten our high energy dog that’s been trained to protect Bella. Or flown to Italy so she can have authentic pizza, and to Greece to relive our ancient history obsession. I’m meant to be putting three kids in her, and we’re supposed to have an unconventional wedding, where she’d wear a white dress and start crying as she walks down the aisle.

I can’t die. I won’t.

But I can’t fight it.

The last thing on my lips when the lights go out is her name. ‘Bella.’


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