The air held a surprising warmth for an early June morning in Onset. Jon Brooks sat on the deteriorating balcony of his third-floor apartment. His long, sandy brown hair was uncombed. Wrinkles creased his denim shirt and his muscular knees poked through his worn jeans. He held a burned-out cigarette in one hand and the latest copy of Fashion magazine in the other.
His sister’s face stared up at him, mocking him. Jon fumed silently. Samantha, the little sister their father had worshipped and toyed with. The girl whose beauty turned heads everywhere she went. The chosen one.
Jon dropped his cigarette butt over the edge of the balcony and reached for his coffee. Here he was, living in a lousy three-room apartment, busting his ass doing steel work every day. He had nothing, not a damn thing to show for all his hard work.
And there she was, on the cover of a damn magazine. Making millions on her looks. She’d left them to become rich and famous.
Jon heaved his glass against the brick wall. It shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces. That’s what he wanted to do to Sam. Shatter her world, just like she’d done to him. Now he knew she was alive and well. He’d find her.
Pamela, a pretty thing three days past eighteen, slid open the balcony door. She was naked, eyes glazed from sleep and drugs. “I heard something smash,” she said. “You okay?”
“Fine,” Jon said. “Get back inside.”
The girl dutifully did as she was told. One thing his father had taught him was how to keep a woman in her place. Jon stared down at his sister’s image and gave a cynical laugh. Too bad their father hadn’t been able to handle Sam.
Jon snorted. Stupid old man.
He’d spent his life in Sam’s shadow. Maybe now he finally had a way to show his father who was really the better man.
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