Thirteen (Love by Numbers Book 4)

By: E.S. Carter

To G for being my soul mate and best friend; trust I seek and I find in you.

To L, G & A for inspiring me to be better.

To P for being the best big brother a girl could ever want. I miss you.

The whole ‘Love by Numbers’ series, including this book, is set in Britain and has been written using U.K. English. It contains euphemisms and slang words that form part of the British spoken word, which is the basis for this book’s writing style.

Please remember that the words are not misspelled, neither are any of the words that use U.K. spellings.

If you would like further explanation, or to discuss the translation or meaning of a particular word, please do not hesitate to contact the author. Contact details can be found at the back of the book.

Consciousness knocks against the back of my eyelids like an unwelcome cold-caller who is banging the shit out of your front door on a Sunday morning and trying to sell you double-glazing.

“Fuck off, leave me alone,” I mumble. Only the words never actually leave my lips. They rattle around the inside of my foggy brain, leaving me to wonder what kind of night I must have had, to emerge with a hangover like this.

I slowly force my eyelids open past the dryness. The caked on sleep feels like little grains of sand, ones that are scraping against my sensitive eyes, with every minute blink.

Strip lighting.

Stark white walls.

The sterile smell of bleach.

I attempt to roll over and get a better view of my surroundings, but my limbs won’t move. Have I been tied down?

Oh, fuck! I’ve been abducted by a sex-trafficking ring.

They are going to force-feed me poppers and Viagra and sell me off to a sadistic, wealthy old lady, who smells of mothballs and has a penchant for pony rides.

Oh, fuck! She is going to make me her pony!

“Brian, come quickly. He’s awake.”

The voice comes from somewhere in the blinding whiteness. It sounds familiar. Some fucker I know has sold me. Sold my body to the highest bidder.

Hang on, I know the name Brian, that’s my Dad’s name.

No. They wouldn’t dare.

A gentle hand brushes the hair across my forehead, and I can’t help but flinch at the touch. My parents have betrayed me. How dare she pretend to soothe me. Selling their only child to geriatric, sex perverts.

“Harry, how are you feeling?”

I don’t offer a reply, my eyes still can’t focus on her face, and my lips refuse to peel away from my teeth.

“Brian, get the nurse. His eyes are open, but he’s not looking at me. Something’s wrong.”

Movement from the corner of the room is what finally breaks through the haze. One more blink brings my mother’s face into focus. Her brow furrows with worry, and her usually smiling eyes are glassy.

“There you are, where did you go, Harry?”

I attempt to swallow but dry, sticky spittle coats my tongue.

“Take a sip, only a little one to wet your mouth.”

A straw is pressed between my lips and tepid water, which tastes faintly of antiseptic, washes over my arid mouth.

“D…don’t sell me. I don’t want to be some old biddy’s living, breathing, dildo pony.”

She squints a little, trying to decipher my garbled words.

“All I heard was dildo and pony.” She brushes her hand over my hair again, “I’m going to assume you’re dreaming, and if that’s the case, I really do not want to know how that dream ends.”

So I’m not going to be sold. It was all a weird dream. Thank fuck for that!

Hang on… if that was a dream, “Where am I? What day is it?”

Before she answers, more people enter the room.

“Mum, I’m freaking the fuck out.” I grab her arm, surprised when my limb actually moves at my command.

She turns back to me, just as my father and an unknown man reach the bottom of my bed.

“Why, Darling, don’t you remember?”

I shake my head.

“You’re in the hospital; it’s just gone half past seven on Friday the 13th. You had your operation this morning, and everything went well. You just took a little longer to wake up than normal; that’s all.”

It all comes rushing back to me.

Friday the 13th.



No more nuts.

Fuck. I think I preferred the thought of being a sex pony.

Friday the thir-fucking-teenth.

Unlucky for some.

Including me.

The writhing mass of bodies on the dance floor would normally inspire me to break out some of my patented, H, booty moves, but tonight, I just want to sink a few bevvies with Isaac, Josh and Liam.

With my best mate, Jake, flying around the world and fast becoming an A-list star, thanks to his lead role in the Vampire’s Bite series, I have been spending more and more time with his brothers.