Crash Burn Sting by Alora Kate by Alora Kate - Read Online

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Crash Burn Sting - Alora Kate

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Kate

I hear voices in my head and I love that it’s totally okay.

~ Alora Kate

Copyright © 2017 by Alora Kate

All rights reserved.

Editor: Silvia Curry

Cover by: Alora Kate

––––––––

This is a work of fiction.

Characters, Names, Places, and Incidents

are products of MY Crazy Imagination.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in

any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording,

or other electronic or mechanical methods,

without the prior written permission of the publisher,

except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews

and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

––––––––

Copyright © 2017 by Alora Kate

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

To the ladies in my life,

your love and support mean the world to me.

These are just a few ...

Silvia Curry, Ella Winters,

Kim Sutton, Sylvia Volkmer Schneider,

Shani Kenny, Jen Taylor, Michelle Volk,

Tiffany Uran, Stephanie Bingham,

Emma Osborne and Sarah Darlington

Thank you to these amazing BLOGGERS...

Blogging For The Love of Authors and Their Books

Elusively Ella's Bookishness

The Chronicles of an Abibliophobiac

Belles, Books & Scandals

There are so many more.

I wish I could list them all.

And most of all, THANK YOU READERS!

I love hearing from you and reading your reviews!

Happy Reading!

Dedicated to

Everyone who’s been in love, has loved,

or is still waiting to find the love of their life.

This is for you.

This is for me.

This is for all of us.

This book contains graphic language

Rated R. Recommended for 18+

CRASH

BURN

STING

By

ALORA KATE

Prologue, Rawson ­Lorde

I’m fucking dead; send me to Hell where I belong!

I died two days ago, and Heaven and Hell were fighting over my soul.

The woman who sat next to me started coughing. I shifted over, disgusted. She did it again, but it sounded more like she was trying to cover up a snicker. Was my fate fuckin’ funny to her? I’m glad I could be a source of entertainment, but I didn’t see anything funny about this at all. I recently learned her name was Oath, and she was my Guardian Angel.

I didn’t want to believe it, especially someone like me. But here I sat, being judged by both sides.

They both wanted my fucking soul.

The Devil deserved my soul, but not God.

I hated him and had my reasons.

I didn’t even deserve to be judged. It should have been a simple, send him to Hell deal. I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be allowed to go to Heaven.

Never.

Not ever.

I didn’t belong in Heaven.

He cussed again, the man in the red suit said, who supposedly was the Devil but went by the name Johnny. His slicked back black hair held too much gel, and his skin was tan. Clearly, he belongs with me. He flashed me a smirk and a wink, and I immediately felt a cold chill deep within me.

I’ve done worse things than use profanity.

People use profanity all the time, Oath spoke up. She lifted her small arm up and pointed at God. "He uses profanity."

God shrugged his shoulder like it was no big deal. He was sitting next to the Devil and looked like he was a ten-year-old and went by the name Cash. His blond hair was almost white, and even though he looked like a child, he acted like a man. He didn’t glow, he didn’t have long hair, and he sure as fuck wasn’t tall. Johnny and Cash.

Johnny fucking Cash.

I sat here and listened to them debate over me with their ridiculous names, and I realized this was completely insane. But they explained to me that they appear to everyone differently. Every single soul on Earth had a different name for them and saw them differently. Apparently, this is how I saw them, and for some reason, I wanted to call them Johnny and Cash.

I had a feeling why, but those memories were dead to me.

Is this shit really happening?

Yes, it is.

The bitch could read my mind.

I flicked my gaze toward her and her hazel eyes. You’re my Guardian Angel, I hissed, and you let me die.

I’m not a bitch, and I have rules to follow. I can’t interfere with your actions. Especially when you-

Don’t fucking repeat it, I warned, and she continued to glare at me. I wasn’t sure what to make of her just yet.

I looked back to the counsel. Yes, they had a fucking council out in the middle of nowhere, in a room with tanned marble walls that were crumbling down around us as we sat here discussing something that clearly didn’t need to be discussed. Apparently, there had to be a Neutral Zone where God and the Devil could handle special cases, like mine.

Just let him go, Johnny said, making eye contact, "with me. I need him." Dark images flooded my mind while Johnny stared into my eyes like he was giving me a preview of what he had in store for me. I could hear his laugh in my mind, and I fought to look away.

I knew why he wanted me.

He wasn’t always bad, Oath defended me again.

There was a short silence, and then Cash decided to speak up, I agree with Oath, especially after his last good deed.

If I had known, I didn’t want to say the words, but I forced them out, "that good deed would have killed me, I would never have done it. I would have kept walking and finished the job I was there to do. I leaned forward in my chair. I belong in Hell, I jerked my chin, with him."

Johnny stood and buttoned his suit coat. I love it when I win.

You didn’t win anything! Oath was up and out of her chair, pointing her finger again. She stalked over to Johnny, and even standing on her tiptoes, she was no match for his incredible height. You know how this works, so get off that high horse.

You’re a spunky little shit, he tossed back.

"You already know that, Johnny."

Cash stood. That’s enough you guys. He walked around the long table full of men and women. They didn’t glow either. They didn’t sprout wings. They didn’t look special. But they all had eyes on me. Every time I looked at one of them, they were already looking at me.

Reading me.

Judging me.

Fucking assholes.

Cash stood in front of me. If you could refrain from calling my children bitches and assholes, I’d like to get this settled.

Oath smirked at me and then sat back down. Told you he cussed.

Despite the hour we’ve been in this room, you’ve been dead for two weeks. The police kept your body, trying to figure out who you were, and we kept you in Limbo trying to decide your fate. He stopped talking, but I knew he wasn’t finished. The whole room was silent, all eyes were on me, and I was going to ignore them but I couldn’t. I want to show you something, Rawson. Cash snapped his fingers, and I turned toward the movie roll that popped up in the middle of the room. It flickered a white light, then a picture came into focus. There she was; she held a small box and stood with her toes on the edge of a small hole in the ground.

She paid for you to be cremated and buried, Cash informed me and I kept silent.  

So, I guess I was in the box.

Her long, curly black hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and she wore a simple long sleeved black dress. She was looking at the hole in the ground, crying.

A man came to stand next to her, a priest I assume, but I couldn’t hear what he said to her because whatever I was watching didn’t have sound.

I didn’t want sound.

I didn’t want to hear her voice.

I didn’t care.

I want you to listen to this. Instantly, there was sound, echoing off what remained of the walls that were still crumbling and falling to pieces.

I could hear the slight breeze blowing through the trees, and the dead leaves sweeping at her feet. I could hear the traffic noise in the background, and I could hear her crying.

Fuck.

Why the fuck was she crying?

I was uncomfortable in this chair, this space, and with these people.

I ran my hand over my face and forced myself to watch.

She held the red box with care while she talked. You saved my life, and I don’t even know your name. I wish I could thank you for what you did. I wish I could show my appreciation. I wish someone else was here, but no one came for you. No one. You’re all alone, and yet you did the most selfless act any human could do. She sniffed a few more times. Whoever you are, you’re a good man. I hope you’re resting in peace and one day, we’ll meet again. She sat down with her knees in the grass and pulled out the bag of ashes. She slowly opened the bag and dumped the ashes into the hole. The whooshing sound of my ashes tumbling into the hole almost distorted her voice. She nodded to herself, telling the priest that she wanted my ashes to become one with the earth. She said I was too good to have to spend an eternity in a toxic box. As the last of my ashes collected in the hole, she silently folded the bag and placed it in the red velvet box. Closing it with a soft click, she took a deep breath before sitting it next to her. She wiped a tear from her face, then grabbed a handful of dirt and slowly poured it on top of my ashes. Thank you, she whispered again. Thank you so much.

Another snap of the fingers and her sweet, soft voice had died in the room. The walls that were crumbling around us were almost gone, and a gray fog swept over them and started to fill the room. I turned back to Cash but kept my gaze on the floor.

Whoever you are, you’re a good man.

I’m not a good man. I don’t deserve shit.

I do believe that’s for me to decide what you do and don’t deserve, Cash said as the smoke covered his feet and started to snake up his legs.

Rawson, you’re going back.

I snapped my head up. Going back?

To the Ground.

Ground?

Earth, Oath whispered with hope in her voice.

Don’t get too excited, Oath, Cash said without looking at her. He was staring into my eyes, and I got the feeling he was preparing himself for my reaction. You won’t be human.

What the fuck?

He snapped his fingers and the table of people disappeared. Johnny tried to speak and Cash snapped his fingers again, which made him freeze up.

The fog was filling the room and fast; we were all starting to disappear. I felt Oath stand at my side, and I felt like I had to stand also.

This was it.

My punishment.

We have an opening.

I heard Oath gasp and at the same time, she slipped her hand into mine. She held it tight, despite when I tried to pull away. I didn’t hold hands with people; my Guardian Angel was no different.

You’re going to the Ground... as Cupid.

Yes! Oath shouted out and spun in front of me. This is good, Rawson!

Cupid isn’t real.

You’re right, Cash said. He’s not human, and neither are you. We’re at a standstill, and this task will ultimately be used to decide your fate.

This will be easy then.

Cash smirked. If you think so.

Oath grabbed both of my hands and looked up at me. She was so short the fog was consuming her quickly. I get to go! Isn’t this exciting?

You’re shitting me, right?

She smiled at me with a twinkle in her eyes, and she held my hands tight. She looked so pleased and excited while I knew I wasn’t going to like what was coming next. I swear she started to glow but the fog consumed her; and when I looked back up to Cash, the fog filled my eyes and my world went black.

Chapter 1, Rawson

Get up! Oath yelled as she yanked the blanket from my naked body. Now!

You’d think that after a week together, she’d be used to this by now. Really, it’s the same shit, each and every day. I slept all day, and I drank myself into a coma every night. I could eat and drink, but I couldn’t die since I was already dead. They sent me here with the thought that I’d actually do what they wanted. I wasn’t going to be anyone’s hero, or make people fall in love.

Fuck falling in love.

Stupid soulmates.

It’s all bullshit.

It’s not bullshit! Oath yelled, while her small hands wrapped around my foot. Get out of this bed.

Stop reading my mind!

It’s my job!

Your job is to guide me, not read my mind.

Can’t guide you if I can’t read your mind, she grunted as she pulled my leg with all her weight, but it wasn’t doing a thing. She was short and thin, had a pixie haircut that changed colors daily, and was driving me fucking nuts. Apparently, our cover was that we were brother and sister, who were self-employed and lived in a dumpy apartment on the Southside of Chicago. As a Guardian Angel, Oath along with the others don’t eat or sleep, but now that she was Grounded, she had to take care of the body she was in. She’s not much of a drinking buddy, and even if she was, I could only imagine how obnoxious she would be drunk. I couldn’t imagine dealing with her drunk ass. She said it wasn’t the first time she was able to tag along; I never asked for more information, and she never shared. She loved to eat ice cream (peppermint bon bon), watch a mix of reality and home improvement TV shows, and we’ve been fighting the entire time we’ve been here.

I did nothing they sent me here to do.

I didn’t care.

I cared about nothing.

I cared about no one.

Soon enough, they’d send me to Hell and this would be all over.

You do care, she sang, pinching my leg.

Fuck this. I sat up and held myself together for the sake of all that was holy.

Turn it off.

No.

Turn it off, I grunted, twisting my hands together to keep my ass on this bed.

She put her hands on her hips. No.

I stood from the bed, but her tiny body never moved, never wavered. I was naked, but her eyes never glanced down.

I saw your head coming out of your mom’s vagina; so no, your junk doesn’t impress me.

GET OUT OF MY FUCKING HEAD!

That made her step back and she instantly disappeared. She could do that; I couldn’t. I couldn’t disappear, never to be seen again. But I wish I could.

I didn’t belong here. I hated this city. I didn’t belong back in the city where I died. I didn’t belong here where I did horrible things to even worse people than myself.

Don’t forget where you f-

Shut up!

The tiny bitch was still here.

You have to do something, today. You can’t keep drinking the days away. You haven’t helped anyone yet.

I started walking to the bathroom and did my best to ignore the little runt.

I needed a shower. A hot shower, and then I was leaving.

I go where you go. Her voiced bounced around the room even though I slammed the bathroom door shut and locked it. I turned the old radio on that I found on the street the other day and hit the buttons. I turned the dial back and forth twice, and horrid static filled the tiny bathroom. Not even a recognizable voice could be found on a station. Frustrated, I slammed my palm on the top of the radio and took in a shaky breath as a station finally came in clear.

I turned it up as loud as it’d go to drown out her voice.

I didn’t look in the mirror because even though I looked like myself, other people saw me differently. I had no idea how they saw me, but it must not be too bad because the women still threw themselves at me, while I awkwardly ignored them until they went away.

After I had taken a piss, I turned the shower on and stepped into the cold water, waiting for it to warm up. A few minutes later, a Johnny Cash song, his most well-known song, started to play.

I wasn’t sure if the universe was trying to tell me something, considering my past and what happened last week, with the guys fighting over my soul, but again, I didn’t care. However, I did take notice that it sounded like the part about burning and the ring of fire kept repeating itself, almost like a promise.

I’d rather listen to this song than Oath, so I took my time and did my best to ignore the song that seemed to be on repeat.

An hour later, I stepped outside of our building and lit a cigarette. The temperatures were starting to drop with winter coming, so I pulled my hoodie over my baseball cap.

I’m coming with you, Oath said, who pulled on a bright pink winter hat over her head and tucked her hands into her black coat.

You never come, I said as I took a slow drag. I drew the smoke out and watched the cold air carry it away.

I’m done waiting around for you to pull your head out of your ass. We have work to do and if we don’t start now, things will get messy. I kept walking and she kept talking. People need to find their soulmates, fall in love, and have babies. These things need to happen. People need this, Rawson; I can’t tell you how important you are right now.

I used to be important. Important in people’s lives. Doing happy things. Making people happy.

I crossed the street when the do not walk sign was blinking and listened to the assholes honk their horns. Oath apologized repeatedly like she thought it would make a difference. After I had made it to the sidewalk, I turned right and grabbed the metal handle on the first wooden door. Without a word, I went to my normal barstool.

You live to see another day, the old bald man said, grabbing a bottle of Bud for me. He popped the top and pushed it my way. I didn’t know his name. Never asked and he never asked mine. It was a great relationship between bar owner and patron.

I used to be good with people; I even had friends. But that life was taken from me, so I gave myself a new life. A life worth nothing, just like me. I am nothing. 

I’ll have water, please, Oath said sliding onto the barstool next to me.

Water? the guy asked, rubbing a thumb under his red suspenders.

Water, she repeated, way too excited while setting her hat down on the bar.

The guy looked at me and cocked his head to her.

I don’t know her, I said, then took a swig of beer.

He’s my brother, she announced patting me on the back. Don’t we look alike? She smashed the side of her face against my cheek to emphasize her point. Before I could turn and glare at her, she was leaning toward the old man, grinning wildly.

I guess, but I need to see your ID.

But I’m ordering water.

Don’t got water.

Everyone has water. It’s actually the world’s most popular beverage choice.

Not here, he said, snapping his suspender. You want a beer?

Everyone has water, she repeated, defensively. "Earth is covered