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Unedited scene from Book 3!

Book 3 featuring Mateo coming Fall 2022!

**Scott is Janey’s younger brother/friend of Mateo’s

 As Scott walked past, he shoved Janey into the fridge, even though there was plenty of room for him to pass. He sorted at her gasp of pain and continued on to his room.

Janey held her arm close to her side and went back to the stove. She didn’t realize that his new friend had not followed Scott until he touched her shoulder.

“Show me.”

His face was blank, but his voice was soft. Janey tilted her head so that her long, thick hair hid her face.

“It’s nothing.” she whispered, blushing with embarrassment. Even young, this friend was cute and she had no experience with guys like that.

With hands that were shockingly gentle, he lifted her arm and held onto her hand. He then slowly pulled back the sleeve of her sweater. His only reaction to seeing the bands of purplish bruising was an in drawn breath. He then carefully lowered her sleeve and let go of her band.

“Was it Scott? Your father? Someone at school?” he demanded, raising her face with a hand under her chin.

“No!” she protested in a panic. “It was an accident!”

She flinched as his brown eyes filled with fury. It wasn’t directed at her. He actually cared that someone had hurt her? Janey wobbled, feeling as if the floor had shifted under her feet.

“Who, Janey?” he demanded.

He knew her name? Had the kitchen tilted again? The sound of her name on his lips set free something inside her . Blinking back tears, she lowered her head and whispered, “Dad.”

She didn’t see his nod, just his feet as he headed for Scott’s room.

As soon as the soup was done, she ran to hide in her own room. She was too afraid to see this Mateo when he left. 

The next day, she came home to find her father with a fresh black eye. Her heart stopped. Maybe it happened at work? He sneered at her, ordering her to get dinner ready. Before he stalked off, she saw a flicker of fear in his eyes. He never touched her again.

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