AFFLICTION by Jenika Snow
I’ve let the world weigh down on me; pull me under until nothing makes sense anymore. Maybe that’s how I let myself get into the mess I’m currently in? Maybe that’s how I’m in my current situation with a man I knew could save me from a fate worse than death. Even if being with Cameron, giving him the very part of me, the only part that’s worth anything—my body—might very well ruin me, I have to survive.
Drug lord. Crime Boss. Murderer. I should fear him, be horrified by what he wants from me, by who he is. But instead, I find myself wanting to please him, wanting to give myself over completely.
Because I know that gives me control over him.
Cameron Ashton reins over the gritty underworld, the danger and violence of depravity, from his throne. A pistol is his sword, and apathy is his second-in-command. I know he’s dangerous, know he’ll break me and not think twice. But he’s my only chance, the only way I’ll survive.
He’s possessive and controlling. And he does own me, every part of me. The darkness in him runs stronger, deeper than it ever had in me. Maybe we’re not so different? Maybe giving up my control to Cameron, giving him my very soul, makes me the powerful one?
Maybe, in the end, I’ll be the one who owns him.
Warning: This is a filthy, dark romance. There may be subject matter and triggers that are sensitive to some readers. In the end, this IS a romance, albeit a twisted one. If you’re looking for a story that gives you the warm and fuzzies, this is not the book for you.
“You want to be free of this pain, of this nightmare?”
Still I couldn’t speak. I glanced at Ricky. He watched me, one eye swollen shut, blood covering his face. He didn’t seem strong now. He knew his number had been pulled and he’d be dead before the night was over. I knew that, too. I also didn’t give a shit. He deserved this. Ricky knew who and what he was up against, and he knew this was the end of the road for him.
Maybe that makes me a monster, too, because I don’t care. I want him to suffer, to be afraid.
“Sofia,” Cameron said my name softly, urging me in that deep, commanding voice of his.
“Yes,” I whispered, my voice empty, just like my soul. I turned and faced the man who’d ridden in like the very devil himself. But then again, wasn’t I the match to this gasoline-saturated scene?
“Say it. Ask me for it.” Cameron’s voice was eerily strong, collected.
I looked at Ricky again, a man who would have done horrible things to me, trying to push my humanity down.
“Ask me to take your problem away.” Cameron’s voice was low, a little seductive. I glanced at him again, feeling like I was lost at sea.
Cameron was powerful and wanted to exert that, wanted me to be on my knees as he showed me what he could do—figuratively and literally—what he could solve. I was at his mercy, the same as Ricky. And a part of me knew that once I said the words, everything would change. I told Cameron what I wanted, that I wanted Ricky gone, dead, the life I once knew, albeit shitty, would become something else.
I’d be the epitome of darkness, embracing it because I’d taken a life in my hands and extinguished it.
“I want my problem to go away.” The words that came from me were cold, detached…just like my soul in that exact moment. I saw the way Cameron’s lip lifted, this sardonic, sadistic smirk coming into play. He would have killed Ricky without my prompt, without me begging. But here, now, making me ask, that was him showing me the control he had over me.
It was the promise of what he’d show me once we were alone and I had to pay my dues.
“Say it,” Cameron said again, harder this time.
I swallowed, squeezed my hands into fists, and said the words that would change the very person I thought I was. “I want him dead.”
It happened in slow motion, the world rewinding, the air being sucked out of the room. Cameron lifted his hand, his hold steady on the gun, his body seeming corded, tighter. Ricky begged, pleaded. He cried and shook uncontrollably. It didn’t matter, because his fate had already been sealed.
He knew what it felt like for me, how his life was now in someone else’s hands. Good.
And then the sound of the gun going off filled me, surrounded me. It was an echoing in my head, rocking me to my core, shaking everything inside of me. Warmth seeped over me, seemed to seep into me.
Blood. Hot, viscous, life-sustaining fluid covered my face and chest. I was frozen in place, my body numb, the feeling of that liquid dripping from my chin, from the very ends of my hair and onto the floor, stunned as much as it disgusted and pleased me.