Something to Believe In (Renegade Saints #4) - Ella Fox

This is for everyone who came on this Renegade ride with me. Thank you for caring about these characters! I can never fully express how truly grateful I am for all of you. Your messages and emails have pushed me forward and it means the world. Never doubt how much YOU mean to me. It’s everything.

A million thanks

Xo

Ella

Rock bottom was an alley in New York City where I, a strung out junkie asshole, pissed myself and twitched like a bitch as I lost control of my body. It seemed fitting considering how I’d lost control of everything else. My path had always been leading me to a busted piece of concrete beside a filthy dumpster of rank smelling garbage.

For me, being a junkie was all about one thing—the fucking sound that defined my life. It was a return to home, but getting there was a raging bitch with sharp claws and razor-like teeth. It hurt like a motherfucker and broke what was left of my spirit piece by miserable piece, but I did it anyway. Pay to fucking play, I reasoned.

Honestly, back then I’d have shot up battery acid if the end result was five goddamn seconds of peace.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

I could feel my heartbeat of course, but when I was high, I could hear it, too, thump-thump-thumping in my ears. It was a steady series of bass notes that reminded me of better times. Of home. Of safety and laughter. Later my home became the stuff of nightmares, a prison of terror and mind-fucking cruelty that could never, ever be forgotten. That part of my life I was able to tap into without drugs, since it lived and breathed inside of me every minute of every day—until I started shooting up. Once that shit hit my veins I’d cruise to numb before floating off. It fucking sucked, especially the aftermath, but those few seconds of nothing were like an oasis in the desert of my life. It was killing me, but I didn’t care. Of course, I’d been banking on my lifetime not being very long at all.

Which is why I wasn’t even a little upset as I twitched on the sidewalk and sensed death hovering over me.

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

I hadn’t just raced toward my own demise; I’d also been busy inviting it in. Hell, I’d all but sent out engraved invitations and by my estimation, death had been passing me over for far too long.

As I twitched on the pavement, ready to have it all be over, I felt something around me shift.

I knew she was there because I’d smelled her Loves Baby Soft perfume. When she spoke, she was right next to me, close enough for me to feel the warmth of her hand on top of mine. I also felt her head as it set down on my chest, just over my heart.

“I love this sound,” she murmured.

For a moment, her sweet voice warmed the coldest place inside of me. My eyes were at half-mast as I tried and failed to let her know I remembered how much she loved the sound of a beating heart. It wasn’t something I could ever forget.

“Dad always said the rhythm of the heart was musical.”

My heart, which I imagined was like a sandbox made of broken and worn down glass, cracked in my chest. I wanted to respond, but words were too difficult to form. My tongue wouldn’t cooperate.

“I know what you’re doing, and you have to stop,” she whispered. “This isn’t okay. It’s almost too late.”

God, I hoped so.

Ba…dum.

Ba…dum.

Ba…dum.

“It doesn’t sound good.”

She was right. The sound was slow and