Home > Black Hearts (Sins Duet #1)(10)

Black Hearts (Sins Duet #1)(10)
Author: Karina Halle

Now Ben looks extra alarmed. “What about them?”

“Nothing,” I say as I undo my ponytail, my hair feeling too tight now. “I just hope they’re actually who we think they are. Gus married Mimi after we were born. Mom never talks about her real birth mother much. The few times she has have been in passing, and when I was younger I used to ask but she said she was raised by Gus and didn’t remember much about her mother. That never sounded right to me. I don’t know why.”

“Because you’re paranoid.”

“There’s that word. Now you see that maybe I have a reason to be?”

He exhales loudly, his eyes following every move of a hot redhead as she walks past.

“Ben,” I chide him. “Focus.”

He rolls his eyes back to me, unimpressed. Though brilliantly smart, Ben has ADHD, which he keeps under control with medication. That said I think most men are distracted when it comes to women. “I am focused,” he says. “It’s just a lot to make sense of.”

“Yeah, well. It makes me wonder what else they’re hiding.”

He’s silent for a moment, mulling it over while I take a sip of my drink, the delicate aroma of the lychee having a calming effect. Well, the alcohol too.

“I think we should say something,” he finally says.

“What? Why?”

“Because they’re Mom and Dad, Violet. I want to see what kind of excuse they could possibly have for this. They might just give us the truth. And maybe it’s not the truth that we want, and maybe they were protecting us from our real grandfather for a reason, I don’t fucking know. But I do know I want to hear it from them.” He pauses. “After I finish snooping around. When I find the real truth before their truth.”

I exhale slowly, glad for that. I don’t know, I hate having to hide something from them. I’m a good liar even though it takes a lot out of me. But I also don’t want to have to confront them either. I just hope we can figure this out on our own.

We stay at the bar for another drink before we head back to the house, but our conversation is stunted. We’re all furrowed brows and gnawing lips and there isn’t much else to talk about. I know he’s thinking the same as me.

What does this all mean?

And what’s going to change?

Chapter Four


America is somehow better than I imagined it would be.

Growing up in Mexico, hearing the tense and turbulent history between the two countries, I imagined a hostile place full of greed and corruption. Ironically, a place a lot like Mexico. I was all ready for it, ready for a fight.

But for what it’s worth, at least in the state of California, it’s an open, friendly place. Not without a good dose of fear of course, but certainly not what I expected, and I’ve been to many countries. In some ways, California is no different than Germany or Italy, except the women here are more…friendly.

And fucking gorgeous. Can’t forget that. It must be the sand and sunshine, because as I landed in Los Angeles and spent a few days looking around and soaking up the atmosphere and making plans, I nearly lost my mind with all the choices.

The women are forward, mixed with a self-conscious coyness that hits straight to my dick. Luckily I didn’t have to go further than the bar of my hotel on Sunset Strip before I was bringing them back to my room.

Even more lucky that Tio and Nacho decided to retire early. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to survive having them shadow me everywhere. I’m used to it—I’ve always had bodyguards, even though I knew well enough how to take care of myself—but this is a whole new country and if I’m going to do what I want to do, what I need to do, I can’t have them shadowing my every move.

They may be armed, glorified babysitters, but like most babysitters, they’re also snitches. They’re already reporting back to my father on my daily activities. Well, I took a dip at Laguna Beach, then fucked two tanned bitches with grating accents and fake lips, followed by a plate of tuna sashimi. Happy your son is living life to the fullest?

The next day I bought a car. Paid cash. My dream car. A Mustang, my coveted American muscle car from the 1960s. Sleek red, like the glossy lips around my dick the night before.

There was no point in trying to lose Tio and Nacho on the interstate heading up to San Francisco. I tried. Couldn’t quite get to that speed, not with so many police drones in the area.

Despite that though, the drive felt quick. For a while there it was just me and the car and the empty brown plains stretching out on either side, whirls of dust stirring up what was once farmland. For the first time in my life I felt free.

I’m holding on to that feeling even now, despite Nacho and Tio trailing me as I walk up San Francisco’s infamous Haight street, searching for the tattoo shop.

I take a drag of my cigarette and look down at my phone, the GPS signal blinking closer. It should be right here. I’ve seen tourist shops, bars, restaurants, marijuana stores, and the wrong tattoo shops. None of them have what I’m looking for.

Then it’s right in front of me, next to a shop with clouds of patchouli wafting out so thick that it nearly obscures the sign.

Sins & Needles.

This is the place.

A retro, blinking sign with burnished bulbs, shining through the haze of smoke and the darkening sky.

I don’t bother looking over my shoulder at Nacho and Tio. I know they’re there, twenty feet back, pretending to be tourists. When we checked into the W Hotel I told them I wanted to check out the famed and historical Haight Street. They didn’t object. That’s not their job.

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