Home > Beautiful Thorns (Boys of Bellerose #4)

Beautiful Thorns (Boys of Bellerose #4)
Author: Jaymin Eve

In the moments after shots rang out, and before I could even see who had fired those shots—or if anyone had been hit—Angelo threw himself on top of me, completely covering my body with his own. As I went down under his bulk, my pulse raced to epic levels, and my damn life flashed before my eyes. The fucking cliche of that happening, when I’ve always thought it was a bullshit line used in books, was infuriating.
Maybe it was that I’d just hallucinated my dead father that brought everything to the forefront—these brief and random glimpses of my life.
Like the first day I met Jace, both of us scrawny, missing teeth, and with more attitude than any fucking child should have. He called me a brat and I called him a butthole and we were soon best frenemies, hanging out and happy one minute, fighting and name-calling the next.
The toxicity of our relationship would be disturbing, if part of me didn’t absolutely live for that shit. I couldn’t lose him. I couldn’t lose us. Not when we were almost back to the happy again.
And then the next memory was the day I met Angelo. My Angel. The next boy to come into my life and turn it on its fucking head. Our first meeting had been similar to mine and Jace’s, on the top of the hill where we’d all lived. But we hadn’t really talked until our second meeting. That was at the local playground, one of the few times I’d gone there without Jace, and these two bullies were chasing me around trying to push my face into the dirt. My mom had been busy on her phone, not looking in my direction, and I’d been doing a pretty good job evading the assholes, when Angelo stepped out of what felt like thin air and pummeled them both.
He’d been my savior from day one, and even now, in what might be our last moments, he was throwing himself in between danger and me. I couldn’t lose him. I couldn’t lose my guardian angel when I’d only just gotten him back.
As the shots faded briefly, I heard Grayson’s roar, the sort of roar that spelled out a complete loss of control, and it shook me to my core. Was he okay? My silent, strong, protective Gray.
He was the one who stood in the shadows so the rest of us could exist in the sun, and in truth, I wanted to live in those shadows with him. At least some of the time. The rest of the time I’d pull him into the sun with us because he was equal parts light and dark.
He’d come into my life at a time when I’d had nothing, and now he meant everything. I couldn’t lose him. Not when we were repairing our bond and building a stronger foundation.
Or was his roar about Rhett? My knight. My savior. There was no way I could imagine living in a world without his selflessness. Without his kind heart and wicked sense of humor.
I couldn’t lose him either.
I couldn’t lose any of them and survive with my soul intact.
It was fucking ridiculous that any one woman could have four true loves. Four men that filled her metaphorical life-well with love and music and laughter, but here the fuck I was.
On top of the world.
About to lose it all.
My breathing grew shallower as I remained motionless under Angelo. My brain was screaming at me to push him off, get up, do fucking something to ensure that my life wasn’t over now. But I couldn’t make myself move. I was frozen in fear. Not knowing what had happened was scarier than guns pointed in my face as men attempted to kidnap me and cut my head off.
Even worse… was that truly my father out there in the mask? Or did the high-tension situation have me imagining things?
Something to discuss with Dr. Candace. That was if we survived this day, of course.
Angelo’s weight was yanked off me quickly, too fast for him to have moved, and that was the moment adrenaline finally did its fucking job and kicked in. The hazy memories of the past faded, and once again I was reacting like someone in the middle of a dangerous situation. Jumping to my feet, I took in the scene.
Holy fuck. The scene was… a lot.
Firstly, Vee was in the room.
She was the first person I saw, dressed all in black, brandishing a gun, and looking all sexy rebel. Bitch. The fact that I didn’t immediately know if she was on our side or against us cemented how deep the trust damage was between us. If she was on our side, she was going to have a hell of a time explaining her fucking part in all of this. Because without Vee’s betrayal, we wouldn’t be in this position right now. Double-crossing bitch.
And if any of my boys were hurt, she would be dead to me. No matter what she said.
There was no evidence of where the earlier shots had come from, and I wondered if maybe it had been Vee on her way in to distract the assholes in the room. To my relief, it looked like everyone was alive at this moment and fighting with various black-clad individuals. The man who’d looked so eerily like my father wasn’t in my immediate vision, so I focused on my boys.
Grayson threw punches, still letting out a grunting roar every now and then, his face carved from stone. He never looked around or broke eye contact, and I would say he was a man with a mission as he took down the first gunman and then the second almost as fast. Beside him, Rhett was swinging a guitar case around quite successfully, though he did almost take out Jace, who had chosen to go the same route as Gray and use his fists as weapons.
There was too much close-contact fighting for weapons to come out, but as more of Vee’s people poured into the room—at least I hoped they were hers and she was on our side, since she was waving them on—those who’d attacked us earlier started to figure out they were in trouble.
That was when the familiar man reappeared in the corner of my vision—I refused to believe my own delusions that it was my father—carrying Angel over his fucking shoulder. He held a gun and crept along the edge of the room. I had no idea how he’d managed to take down that six-foot-four beast of a man, but I would guess some sort of sedative or stun gun, since Angel was completely motionless.
He couldn’t be dead, though. Right?
You wouldn’t carry a dead body… unless you needed evidence.
That surge of adrenaline shot higher, followed by panic, and I raced toward the same exit the man was heading for, even as Vee started screaming behind me to stop. “Wait!” I snarled at the man, ignoring Vee completely. He paused as he looked back over his shoulder at me, and I stumbled to a halt with my hands raised. “Is he dead? Did you kill him?”
He pointed the gun straight at me and smiled, and unless my father had a damn twin, a dead man was standing here in this room.