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Mayhem (Deathstalkers MC #5)

By:Alexis Noelle

Mayhem (Deathstalkers MC #5)
        Author: Alexis Noelle

Chapter One


I look up at the man in front of me and can't control the huge smile on my face.

The pastor looks down at me. "Do you, Jasmine Burke, take Dylan Hunter to be your husband?"

"I do." I'm on cloud nine as I look at the man I love.

"I now pronounce, for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter."

Our family and friends cheer as we join hands and walk down the altar steps. I'm so happy, it feels like I'm almost floating down the aisle, our photographer following us down the large church steps, her camera clicking in sync with my heels. The limo waits to take us to our reception hall. The driver opens the door for me. "Thank you so much."

I climb into the car and slide over so Dylan can sit next to me. Once the door closes, I relax against the back of the seat. "I can't believe we're married."

I turn to him, smiling, but his eyes are narrowed.

What could I have done?

"Even on our wedding day you can't hold yourself back from flirting with random men?"

I have no idea what he's talking about. Before I can respond to him, he's on top of me, pressing me into the hard leather. "You're gonna give yourself to me right now and you will be loud enough so that asshole can hear who you belong to."

I jump from the sound of the alarm.

Today is the day. Everything hinges on this interview. I need to get this job and contribute to the family.

I get up quickly.

By the time Dylan's alarm goes off, I've already showered-quietly-and dressed, and breakfast is sizzling away in the pan. The overhead fan is on so the room doesn't smell too fatty. Dylan doesn't like it when I smell like fried food. A chill runs up my spine when the floorboards overhead creak and my eyes dart to the table: knife to the right of the fork, coffee-not too much milk-at two o'clock.

I pop the bread in the toaster and turn the sausage. Dylan only eats the premium brand sausage and I need to make sure that the pan doesn't turn the white of the eggs brown. I try to think about what I might be asked and prepare answers. I have almost no work experience and no education after high school.

When I hear footsteps coming down the stairs, I thank God that my timing is right. With everything neatly on the plate I walk into the dining room and place the dish down. A few seconds later Dylan comes stalking into the room. I smile at him. "Good morning."

"Hasn't been a good morning since I met you," he says, the sneer tugging at his lips, curling it. "Not in the mood to choke on the slop you call food today." He doesn't stop, just continues walking into the kitchen. I hear the fridge open, then the slam of the screen door to the porch. 

This morning, just like many before, I push down the growl of my stomach as I scrape the meal into the bin, making sure to rinse the dish before it goes into the dishwasher. Tears prick the back of my eyes. Why do I always get it wrong?

Upstairs, I look at the clothes Dylan has laid on the bed. They're old but not worn looking. I haven't had much call for fancy clothes over the last few years. Pulling them on I pray that whoever is interviewing me doesn't notice the way the blouse swamps me, or the way the skirt hangs loose around my waist. The belt I'm using to hold it up rubs against my hip, making me wince. It's been three days but I still ache. I look into the mirror and practice my smile. I need to make a good impression. I need to make Dylan happy.

My fingers shake as I gently apply foundation to my gray skin. It's years old and beginning to dry out but I use it sparingly, knowing it won't be replaced. What do I need to wear makeup for? I don't need to impress other people. I dab the pad over my cheeks and behind my ears, paying special attention to the yellowing skin. I'm lucky it's faded.

After giving myself one last glance in the mirror, I slip my feet into the heels I wore at our wedding, the only ones I own, and square my shoulders. "Hi," I say to no one. "I'm Jasmine. It's very nice to meet you."

I walk down the stairs and freeze when I see Dylan sitting in the living room. my shaky hands smooth my blouse while my eyes focus on the floor. "Can I have the keys to the car?"

He glances at me before getting up and handing me the car keys. "Hopefully whoever you're meeting is blind." He reaches up, fisting his hand in my hair, squeezing. My scalp burns. "Don't fuck this up." He releases me, shoving me backward before turning his back and walking away.

I run my hands through my hair, trying to fix it. I fight back the tears and tell myself that I can handle this. I take a deep breath. I'm getting out of the house, interviewing for a job. Anxiety shoots through my body like lightning bolts, threatening to make me collapse any minute. The tiny dots dancing in front of my eyes make me scared that I might pass out, when my heads swims with a dizziness that makes me feel like my feet aren't touching the ground.