Inked in Lies - Giana Darling

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This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

To everyone who has known the exquisite agony of unrequited love.

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”

–– Ernest Hemmingway

“Dark Night” ––The Blasters

“Bad Company” –– Bad Company

“Holdin on” –– Flume

“The One That Got Away” –– The Civil Wars

“Hurts”–– Emeli Sande

“Bury a Friend” –– Billie Eilish

“Free Fallin’”––Tom Petty

“Watch Me”––The Phantoms

“Lie”––NF

“I Hate U I Love U”––gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien

“Sex on Fire” ––Kings of Leon

“Tattooed on My Heart”––Bishop Briggs

“Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”––Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

“Closer”––Nine Inch Nails

“Not Above Love”––Aluna George

“Gypsy Woman” –– Jonathon Tyler & The Northern Lights

“Mixed Signals”––Ruth B.

“Four Walls”––Broods

“River”––Bishop Briggs

“Bounce”––Timabland ft. Missy Elliot

“Kisses Down Low”––Kelly Rowland

“Closure”––Vancouver Sleep Clinic ft. Drew Love

“If You Want Love”––NF

“Dark Night”––The Blasters

“No Good”––KALEO

“You Shook Me All Night Long”––AC/DC

“What Have I Done”––Dermot Kennedy

“Last Resort”––Papa Roach

“Miracle Love”––Matt Corby

LILA

The greatest love and greatest loss of my entire life moved into the house next door when I was five years old. I was only a kid, so it might be hard to understand exactly how profound my underdeveloped brain understood that moment to be, that moment when Jonathon Booth unfolded his long, lean teenage form from his family’s minivan and stepped onto the lawn fifteen yards from where I sat playing in the grass with my brother, Dane.

But I got it.

Even then, I knew the absurdly pretty man with a thatch of perfectly tousled golden-brown hair and a gait so fluid he moved like water even in his gangly teens would become the epicentre of my life.

I believed every relationship could be distilled down to a handful of moments.

My complicated friendship with the man who would come to be known as Nova began the very same day he moved in.

Dane was trying to entertain me and failing. I didn’t like doing childish things like playing with the cheap, permanently stained toys he bought me from Value Village or reading from any of the books we checked out from the library.

Not even half a decade of life under my belt and I was already an adventurer, eager to drag my older brother from exploration to exploration. We walked through the woods at the back of our property discovering abandoned fox dens and families of deer grazing in meadows between the seams of the trees. I liked to dive into the icy waters that pooled beneath the craggy rocks of the mountains, running down the middle of the province from tip to toe like one great, boney spine and collect the wild flowers that bloomed on the grassy hills until I was coated in pollen and fragrant as wine.

But that day, Dane didn’t want to explore.

He usually gave into my whims, especially because exploring meant we didn’t have to stay in the small cracker box house with our father and his cast of criminal friends.

But that day, one I remember vividly from the exact cerulean blue of the sky overhead to the feel of the silken blades of grass tickling my bare thighs, something was happening in that house that I didn’t understand.

Dane did, and therefore, he’d decided we should stay close.

I wasn’t worried like he was about the sketchy man with the twitch and the leer, pockets bulging with cash and waistband distorted by the press of a gun who was inside with our papá, ‘doing business.’ I didn’t remember that he’d been by before, that he owed Papá a lot of money, and even the bulge of bills in his pockets wouldn’t have been enough to repay him. I wasn’t old enough to notice, as my brother did, that Papá, Ignacio, was the kind of man who exacted payment in the flesh.

Dane barely noticed when the grey minivan rolled to the curb across the street carting a U-Haul nearly as big as our house.

But I did.

All at once, as soon as the engine stopped, the car exploded