Home > Beautiful Nightmare (Dark Dream Duet #2)

Beautiful Nightmare (Dark Dream Duet #2)
Author: Giana Darling

 


1

 

 

TIERNAN

 

 

Dreams are funny things.

For years, I’d dreamed of destroying my father.

I spent hours concocting schemes, planning his demise in so many of my waking and sleeping hours.

It was something I longed for so intensely that the desire followed me into the dark of my subconscious. I went to bed with it and woke up to it, a taste on the back of my tongue, a message burned into the inside of my lids.

I was consumed by this dream and it became my life.

But that’s the funny thing about dreams.

They don’t always translate well in reality.

As the gun ricocheted in my grip, spitting a bullet into the barrel chest of my father, all my dreams should have been a hair’s breadth away, as close as the bullet was to Bryant’s black, corroded heart.

Instead, I couldn’t seem to blink away the nightmare my life had become in only a few powerful minutes.

Bianca was gone. Ripped from me by the ruthless hands of the truth I’d hidden successfully for so long.

She was gone in a way where I knew she wouldn’t come back.

Not willingly.

It twisted up something in my chest so tight I couldn’t breathe.

Though, the fact that my father had pulled the trigger a sliver of second after I did might have had something to do with that too.

I staggered back as pain tore through the top of my shoulder, the bullet carving out a path through my trapezius muscle. Through the pain, I wondered if he’d missed his target on purpose from some lingering sense of paternal obligation, or if I’d thrown him off his mark by shooting him first.

“You fucking shot me,” Bryant grunted as he pressed a hand to the seeping wound, his breath a wet rasp.

I blinked at him as I breathed slowly through my nose, forcing myself to control the pain of my own wound.

“You’ll survive,” I said blandly, as if I didn’t care.

Inside me though, a storm raged. I wanted him dead on the ground. I wanted the security of knowing he would never come after the Belcantes, after The Gentlemen, after my siblings ever again. Six feet of earth and a locked fucking casket could keep Bryant Morelli from exacting revenge against those he thought had wronged him.

And it was irrefutable now.

I was no longer just the black sheep, the disappointing son only good to use as tool for his darkest deeds.

No. Now, I was the enemy.

All because of one angel-eyed girl.

He sneered at me through the pain, his expression curdled with absolute hatred.

“You’re a bigger disappointment than I could have imagined, Tiernan. And trust me when I say, I didn’t know the bar could be lowered further.” He hissed as he shifted to step forward, blood seeping through his fingers, staining the crisp white of his dress shirt like spilled wine. “It was foolish of me to think you could ever be worthy of the Morelli name.”

Something creaked and groaned in my chest, the sounds of a structure about to collapse.

All I’d ever wanted was acceptance and unity.

All I’d ever been was alone and a tool of chaos.

I told myself this was different, this was my choice.

But as blood seeped from the bullet he’d put through my shoulder, I felt as if I was losing more than just his acceptance. I was losing everything I’d ever wanted and everything I’d never known I needed.

“I don’t need you,” I told him, my voice somehow unwavering, as cold as I felt inside. “I never did. It was my mistake in thinking your opinion mattered to me.”

“My opinion matters to the most important men in this country for a reason,” Bryant snarled as he holstered the gun to take out his phone, fingers trembling just slightly as he dialled. “Yours matters to no one. Not your mother, not your brothers and sisters, and now, not even the pathetic bastard offspring of Lane Constantine.”

“You know fuck all about what really matters,” I said as fury worked itself like a sliver under my horrified numbness.

I stalked forward so abruptly, he fumbled his phone before he could lift it to his ear. The grin that possessed my face was manic, so wide it was almost painful. I clasped Bryant strongly by the shoulder, ignoring the pain in my own, and dug two fingers into the gaping wound I’d shot out of his hide. He made a horrible, painful keen in the back of his throat and struggled to find leverage to push me off. I stepped closer, pressing harder. His blood poured over my fingers with every pulse of his corroded heart.

“I hope it hurts,” I whispered as I leered into his face, watching sweat pop out across his skin, brow crumpled and damp like a used napkin. “I hope I nicked your goddamn heart because it’s the only time I’ll ever come close to making you feel something for me. You used me like a tool. You made me believe heavy-handed force and negative reinforcement was some fucked-up love.”

“That’s all you’re good for,” he grunted, twisting to get away but only increasing his pain. “Killing men and doing dirty deeds for real blue bloods.”

“I would have done that and more if you’d loved me,” I said, realizing the truth of the words as they fell from my mouth.

I was light headed with pain and blood loss, with the agony of losing my father and Bianca in one swift blow. It nearly killed me to realize I’d been the orchestrator of my own heartache.

Why was it that everything seemed so clear now––Bianca, Brandon, my true desires and needs––when it was too late to grasp them?

A bitter laugh escaped me like a cough. “Now, I’m done. I’m not yours to use or know or even fucking look at anymore. You’ll have to get your own fat, weak hands dirty for a change.”

“You still haven’t learned. I’m the one in charge, not you.”

“You’ll never learn,” I hissed as my fingers knocked against the bones of his ribcage and slid deeper. “So you’ll die alone and hated by your own flesh and blood. But I can learn and I will.”

“I’ll destroy you,” Bryant said and even shot through the chest, wobbling on weak knees, he managed to be haughty and threatening. “I’ll destroy them. That bitch Bianca and her little brother. That disgusting group of miscreants who are the only people you can even pay to associate with you. I’ll end them all.”

“That’s an awful lot of blood on your hands,” I quipped blandly, but I was a predator and my young had been targeted. Adrenaline surged through me and my hand found Bryant’s throat of its own accord, squeezing so tightly, he turned pleasingly purple in the face.

“There are more ways to end a man than death,” he rasped.

There was.

I knew all of them because Bryant had taught me well.

Fear skittered down by spine, but I steeled myself and focused.

Leaning so close I could feel Bryant’s wet, rattling breath against my scared cheek, I made sure my eyes were all he could see. I wanted him to read the savagery there, the pure, cold intent of the killer he’d created.

“You touch a hair on the Belcantes, I’ll finish the job and shoot you through the head, do you understand me?” I said slowly, clearly. “You forget, dear dad, I know where all your skeletons are buried. I put them there myself.”

“Mutually assured destruction,” he whispered, his bloody hand scrambling to peel mine off his thick neck.

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