Cruel Hearts

Cruel Hearts

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

Kinley is the bottom of the social ladder and has been under neighborhood bully Logan Kingston's thumb since they were kids. She just wants to live her life, but there wouldn't be a story if a wrench got thrown in that plan. When a new man starts messing with Logan's favorite toy, he comes possessive, or maybe just protective? Is it enough to make this man-child grow up?

Summary

Kinley is the bottom of the social ladder and has been under neighborhood bully Logan Kingston's thumb since they were kids. She just wants to live her life, but there wouldn't be a story if a wrench got thrown in that plan. When a new man starts messing with Logan's favorite toy, he comes possessive, or maybe just protective? Is it enough to make this man-child grow up?

Chapter1 (v.1) - Cruel Hearts

Author Chapter Note

Kinley is the bottom of the social ladder and has been under neighborhood bully Logan Kingston's thumb since they were kids. She just wants to live her life, but there wouldn't be a story if a wrench got thrown in that plan. When a new man starts messing with Logan's favorite toy, he comes possessive, or maybe just protective? Is it enough to make this man-child grow up?

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 06, 2015

Reads: 3936

Comments: 3

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 06, 2015

A A A

A A A

A chapter in which there is a world wide orgie, during which aliens take over the world and that's why we can't have world peace dammit. Just kidding, but I got your attention, didn't I? A chapter in which I introduce to you Kinley and Kingston 

Don't come in, don't come in, don't come in. Cheerfully jingling bells tolled for my doom as the 'wolf pack' came into the cafe. That's what I called them, anyway, the group of kids that were Logan's followers and my tormentors. Why did they even have to torment me? What about trampling on me made them the kings and queens of their little worlds?

It didn't matter. I did what I always do and put my head down and work. Except that there was nothing to do, really, but scrub the counter harder. The wolf pack pulled chairs from other tables so that they would have enough to sit by the window. They were howling and yipping and barking, or so it sounded like they were. Certainly, they must be annoying the other patrons, but never enough so that my boss would kick them out.

It was Logan who came to the counter. "What's up, Shiloh?" 

"That's not my name," I returned tiredly. It was a name he gave me sometime near the end of elementary school and I never knew why. He just started calling me that one day and Logan might as well have been king of the school, so everyone started calling me that. It was a relief to start working at this cafe, where I went by my last name, Kinley. Then he showed up and convinced my boss that I was just ashamed of my name. 

It's not like my real name wasn't on all those proof of identifications you have to provide as if that affects my ability to pour a cup of coffee. My boss, who was not a brilliant guy and who really liked Logan, changed my name tag and refused to change it back, because Shiloh was a pretty name. Was it even masculine or feminine? The only time I ever heard the name was in that book series about that dog that I read in elementary school. Was that where Logan had gotten the idea? Because of a stupid dog? 

"Then what's that?" Logan tapped my name tag.

"A cruel joke," I answered. Was I actually talking back today? Usually, these thoughts just swirled around my head. Was there an extra shot of courage in my coffee this morning? 

No, I didn't even drink coffee, but I did feel myself turning red with anger.

I must have taken that expression a little too literally, because Logan smirked and asked, "Too much blush, Shiloh, or you that excited to see me?"

Fervently, no, vehemently, I hated that smirk and today, I hated it like it was my religion to do so. It was sexy, but it meant cruel, cruel things for me. Then I realized he didn't mean blush, like blood rushing to your cheeks, but the powder blush that you put on your face. 

"What?" I couldn't help, but become self-conscious touching my face, despite the fact that, "I don't wear make up." 

For a second, I could have sworn that Logan exhaled a quiet, "Beautiful." But that couldn't have been right. Logan was my tormenter, a jerk, asshole and overall bastard king of the 'wolf pack.' It didn't help that he could turn on the charm so teachers and parents never believed me. For some reason, I had stumbled into his crosshairs as a kid and he bullied me like it was his sole purpose in life. Another spike of anger ran through me, just because he could toy with my emotions like this. Just his mere presence had me burning hot with anger and shivering cold with a self-conscious awareness that made me question myself. It made me want to hurt him back and toy with him the way he toyed with me. Lamely, I added, "And I'm never excited to see you."

Could I have said any thing more kindergarten? Like we were back on the playground and the girls were defending the monkey bars as their territory and the boys were commandeering the slides and we fought for the no man's land that was the swings. 

"Ouch. Ice queen," Logan's eye brows raised and a delightful smile took over his lips as he mocked my childish response. Really, I was going to have to up my game to get to his level, though ultimately, I just wanted him away. Playing his game was exhausting when I wasn't trying to match his level and I probably just seemed childish trying to do so. Dramatically, he placed his hands over his heart.  "I am just trying to get some service here from the most beautiful girl in the place. Shouldn't you be nice to your customers, Shiloh?"

"I'm sorry," I looked down. I was much better at taking the higher road, I just had to get my temper under control. It wouldn't do me any good for him to demand my manager and he had done it before. He liked to remind me that he had control, not me. "What can I get you?"

"Better, but one more time with enthusiasm," Logan joked. 

I didn't actually know if that was a joke, so I said in my best preppy impersonation, "What can I get you this wonderful day, Logan?"

It made his lips twist cruelly, which I guessed meant I pleased him in some way. "I want four of those and this banana walnut thing." Logan picked the muffin off the stand and bit into it. Customers aren't really supposed to do that, but I also couldn't talk back to them, so it's not as if I could stop him. Mouthful, he said something like, "And two green teas and two lattes." Plopping a twenty on the counter, he said smoothly, "Keep the change, Shiloh."

"You still owe five," I answered, while putting the other four pastries on the tray. He always did this, which forced me to cover the difference with my own tips. Normally, either he or his best friend David made up for Logan's dick antics by leaving a ten on the table, but not always. When he did, it was typically enough to cover the rest of his bill with one or two dollars left as tip.

He scoffed, "It's never enough for you, is it, Shiloh?" 

"It's literally not enough," I pointed out to no effect, "Your total is twenty five forty three."

"Hey, hey Bobbie G," Logan leaned over the counter, trying to see if my manager's door was open. Logan smacked the counter to get the man's attention.  Great. One of these days Logan was going to get me fired. "G-man, you back there?"

The overweight, middle aged man strutted behind the counter. "Our Shiloh giving you trouble again, Mr. Kingston?" the manager asked in his gruff voice. He winked. "You know what that means when a pretty girl acts like that?" 

I couldn't decided if I wanted to gag or melt into the floor. Either way, I would be expected to clean the mess up. 

"Yeah," Logan smiled that irritatingly smug smile as my mouth fell open in silent protest.  So much, did I want to protest the verity of that statement, but my voice was literally paralyzed at the bottom of my throat. I couldn't even breath. Insinuating that I could ever like Logan was a terrifying prospect. I might be poor and struggling to clamber out of poverty, I might be Logan's toy sometimes and I might let him get the better of me, but I had too much self-respect to ever like him. I was better than that. 

I don't think I enjoyed his presence since we were really little. We always lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same schools. He wasn't always a dick. Once he was friend, I think. 

His eyes turned onto me with a meaningful look and I was paralyzed with anxiety. What was he going to say or do to get me in trouble? "Shiloh's always a handful, but I can manage her."

My name isn't Shiloh! 

Once he had drilled in the silent threat that he could get me in trouble, Logan looked back at Bob and said, "No, I just wanted to see if she could have off open-mic night. I know it's super crowded and you need all hands on deck, but see, I'm having a party that night. Shiloh really wants to go, she's just too humble to ask you."

Desperately, I interjected, "No!"

"Oh, sure," Bob said. "She should have some fun. No problem. I'll schedule Carly instead."

Logan flashed a smile. "Thanks, Bob."

"No," I said again and started after my boss, but Logan grabbed my hand and pulled me back. 

"It's done, Kinley," Logan answered. I think I stopped, just because I was so surprised that he actually used my real name and not that stupid nickname of his. "I'll see you at nine. Not showing up is not an option, I think you remember where I live."

My jaw dropped again and I was paralyzed. Logan was always going to get his way, but why did he need to butt into my life so much? Why did he think I was going to any party of his? He didn't even like me. 

"I know you're grateful, but you don't need to offer such an open invitation," Logan drawled. 

What did that mean? Grateful? Was he insane?

Logan raised his brows. "Seriously, Shiloh. Keep looking at me with your mouth like that and I'm going to put something of mine in it." 

My jaw snapped shut, my teeth making a loud sound and my face felt like it turned an impossible shade of red that he didn't know was possible. Did that joke mean what I thought it meant?

"Do you have any idea how much I begged for those hours?" I demanded. "I was literally on my knees."

At the time, I hadn't thought I could sink any lower in life and now here was Logan, making all that effort wasted. 

Nonchalant and oblivious to the situation he placed me in, Logan shrugged. "No need to thank me."

"Thank you?" I gaped and then remembered his crude joke and snapped my mouth shut again. Tears were actually springing to my eyes and I felt out of breath. "I need those hours, Logan." Putting my elbows on the counter, I put my head in my hands. "My next tuition check is going to bounce."

"I know," Logan said. He knew? He fucking knew? I wasn't sure if the look I shot him was disgust at him and his antics or in me for being so easily pushed around, for how low I let him sink me. 

Of course, he knew. From first grade to my senior year of high school, I had to sit next to Logan in just about every class, because the teachers always sat us alphabetically. It was fine when he started skipping classes in high school, but I never dreamed that he would start taking classes at the local college, just somehow deciding to join the same major. They didn't even sit alphabetically anymore, but he was always close enough to flick rubber bands and tiny paper balls at me. One time, he got me to shout stop it really loud during lecture. I never forgot the look on the professors face. The whole class laughed and I wanted to curl up into a coma. 

"It's not the first time I saved you, remember?" Logan asked, his voice low and demanding. 

At first, I protested, but then I realized that he wasn't wrong. When I was a waitress at that Italian place down the street, he chased down one of my dine and dashers. When asked why, he shrugged and said it was because we lived in the same neighborhood. A couple times, he let me stay over when I was unable to go home and had no where else to go. The first time, I begged him to leave me alone, just for that night. I didn't care if I fell asleep next to garbage cans in an alley or under an overpass, but I wasn't going to be in debt to Logan Kingston. Not like that. 

I forgot that when Logan Kingston was concerned, any free will or choice I had was thrown out the window and it was raining. I didn't really want to sleep outside. Logan told me to just do what I was told. When I realized he really was just giving me a place to stay that night and even an old gym outfit of his to sleep in while my clothes dried, I asked why he was being nice. Relax, Shiloh. It's not fun to pick on you like this.  

While that was maybe one of his few redeeming, white knight moments, the week after had been terrible for me. I lost my waitressing job at the Italian place and no one would tell me why. Someone told my step-father where I had stayed that night he kicked me out and he laid into me really good, calling me a tramp, slut and whore and being unable to do anything made my mother take a bunch of pills. 

Why did I think of that just then? Those things weren't Logan's fault. I think he tried to help me even during that week and I just withdrew from him like he was poison. Every time he did something nice, something bad happened after. I couldn't ignore that pattern. 

"I don't need saving," I looked back up at him. What I really meant was that I didn't need any favors that were going to give me whiplash when something really bad happened after. "I need my job."

"Just do what you're told, Shiloh," Logan muttered to my ear in a quiet, steely voice. "Trust me. I'm looking out for you."

"Why?" I whimpered. 

I couldn't look at his eyes. They were burning hot at my insolence, at my constant questioning of his motives. I should just have chirped a yes, sir and kept my head down, like usual. "We're from the same neighborhood. I gotta look out for you." 

Of all the asinine, nonsensical things for him to say. It was his justification for everything these days, which didn't make any sense to me. If he wanted to look out for me, why did he bully me?

Trying to point this logic out to him, I demanded, "Were you looking after me when you dyed a strip of my hair blonde in sophomore chemistry? And when you put that cicada down my shirt in gym class?"

"All harmless things. I thought the blonde stripe would look sexy and you ran a faster mile that day, didn't you?" Logan defended, though really, I think he was hoping that cicada prank would get me to flash my boobs. He might think they were harmless pranks, but I couldn't help, but to feel violated. Logan might have seen that thought flit across my face, because he conceded, "Maybe my methods are twisted, but I make good things happen for you, Shiloh."

"All I know is I'm losing an entire shift of work, Logan. Stupid little boy pranks are one thing, but stop fucking with me like this," I begged.

"Just trust me, Shiloh. It's fun to watch you squirm, but you are from my neighborhood, so it's up to me to look after you," Logan teased, then became serious and commanding again. "But if you are so much as a minute late, I will punish you. I'll leave it up to your imagination to ponder how."

"I'm not your fucking serf," I insisted, struggling to shove back down those tears. I was just panicking about my finances and I didn't know how to make myself stop. 

Apparently, Logan did. 

"That's one," Logan promised. Well, it sounded like a promise. "For language."

I swallowed and peered up at him wide eyed. "One what?"

"I haven't decided yet," Logan said, "But don't make it two for disobedience. Nine. My place. Saturday. Wear something sexy."

I don't own anything sexy. 

"Repeat it back to me, Shiloh."

I rolled my eyes, but gave in. "Nine. My place. Wear something sexy." 

Cheekily, he grinned. "Well, that's a little forward, but if you're good, I'll think about."

My mouth dropped open again. "No! You know what I meant."

He gave me suggestive eyes. "Maybe that'll teach you to be contemptuous with me. Just do as you're told, because if you're so much as a minute late, you will reap the consequences."  

Ugh, he was so full of himself. Still, I swallowed and felt myself chastised. Logan wasn't someone to be crossed. In high school, he made the transition from bully to crime lord. His 'wolf pack' was basically his inner circle. As he said, I was in his neighborhood, so I was his pawn. He could make things very difficult for me. He saw the look of submission on my face and gave a smug smile of victory. He picked up the tray of pastries. "Don't forget the drinks, Shiloh."

 

It was a pretty nickname, but why? Why did he chose it for me? I could look up the word and it meant to everyone else, but what did it mean to him?

writer's note: I originially wrote this in third person a while ago, but I think it actually works better in first person, even with switches in pov. I only tell you, because if you've read something else that I've written, you know that I'm too lazy to edit and I apologize if I didn't catch all of the first person. 


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