The Redemption of Roan (The Syndicate #2)(3)

By: Kathy Coopmans

Royal Diamond. I hate him. Just the mention of the word diamond makes my skin turn inside out. I remember that day ten years ago when I finally broke it off with him. He knew I was going to England to study. The lying asshole that he is, he told me he would follow me there, the thought of being separated from me was too much for him to handle. He could work for my dad over there. Fly back to New York when needed. That night I told him I was leaving the country earlier than expected to further my education in Pre-Med at Cambridge University in England was the night I saw the real Royal Diamond. Evil. The prodigy of the devil.

I’ve told one person of that horrible night when he beat me with a belt, leaving one long scar across my butt from the prong. My college roommate, Joelle. She stayed in her country of England after we both graduated from medical school. Joelle was a godsend. I believe her and I were meant to be friends for so many reasons. I owe her everything. Our weekly Skype talks keep me from missing her more than I do. It’s not the same as seeing her in the flesh though.

Royal drugged me after he beat me, tied me up, and then continued to get himself high on heroin. My heart beat faster than a rocker beating on his drums. I hated the feeling of not having any control over my body. I fought as hard and as long as I could not to succumb to the feeling of those drugs slamming through my veins. He laughed in my face. Punched holes in the wall. Destroyed anything he could get his hands on. I feared for my life.

Then he shoved a needle into my arm again. I tried to fight him, but he overpowered me in every way. I began to drift, my head full of fog. It wasn’t until hours later when I woke up to a sore body and a constant dull pain in between my legs that I knew he had raped me, the open condom wrapper on the floor was even more proof. I cried for hours at the loss of my innocence, wondering why and how this could happen to me. How I could have been so naïve. How he brain washed my entire family into believing anything he said. When I felt myself starting to gag, vomit coming up my throat only to have to swallow it back down for fear I would choke, I remembered that I’m an expert at weaseling my way out of a knot. Growing up with six older brothers who thought it was fun to practice the skills they were taught on their younger sister makes you either fend for yourself or tattle on them. I chose the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I did my fair share of being mean to them. I’m close with all of my brothers now that we are older. Especially my brother Anton, who is only eighteen months older than me. I’m twenty-eight, he’s almost thirty. All of my brothers work for my dad in one way or another. All of them are killers. Drug pushers. Pimps. You name it; every single one of them has done it. And I hate it.

I left the next morning for England. A bruised, battered shell of a gutless woman. My family saw me off. I proclaimed being tired and nervous for my newfound adventure being the reason why I looked like hell. The marks left on my body from the night before were hidden under my clothes. Somehow, I had managed to clean myself up and bandage my bottom. That part of me hurrying to escape is vague. I just knew I had to leave. My lifeless hair was pulled back into a haphazard ponytail. No make-up. I cried and cried in my parents’ arms. Both of them believing it was because I was leaving, me knowing it was for something I would never be able to tell them. I was afraid. Not out of guilt or shame, but scared a war would start amongst the families. Not just The Solokovs vs. the Diamonds, but all of them. Innocent lives would be slain. Children. I couldn’t let that happen. It’s been years since mafia families have fought against one another. I had no idea at the time that Royal had lied to me about why he really had no connection with his family at all. As a woman who was about to start her journey into training to be a doctor there was no way I would be able to live with myself. So I bared the burden of being raped. Went to bed every night and thanked my God for having been drugged so my heart wasn’t a constant open wound, reliving those horrid memories over and over again. Even though I was pretty sure he used a condom, I still went to a clinic in England and had testing done for every disease out there. My entire flight I worried to the point of dry heaving, chewing my nails to nubs and thinking he may have given me something.

Also By Kathy Coopmans

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