- Author: Theodora Taylor
Book online «Victor: Her Ruthless Crush Theodora Taylor (fantasy books to read TXT) 📖». Author Theodora Taylor
VICTOR: Her Ruthless Crush (Ruthless Triad, Book 1)
50 Loving States, Rhode Island
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VICTOR: HER RUTHLESS CRUSH
by Theodora Taylor
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Copyright © 2021 by Theodora Taylor
First E-book Publication: March 2021
Cover Design: Qambar Design & Media
Editing: Authors Designs
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Also by Theodora Taylor
About the Author
I should've known my life was about to change as soon as I spotted my dad standing outside the gates of Tokyo Progressive, our international high school. We'd been living in Tokyo for three years, and our father had never picked us up from school. Not once.
"Shit," Byron signed when he saw Dad. "Think coach called him about the fight?"
My heart swelled with pity for Byron. I hated that Jake Nakamura and his friends ganged up on him today after basketball practice. Again. But I knew he still wasn't ready to tell dad why.
"Don't say anything to him about what happened," Byron signed as if confirming my conclusion.
"I won't," I signed back.
"Promise me," he insisted.
"I promise!" I put extra emphasis on the sign for PROMISE to reassure him.
Then we both stopped signing because we were getting too close to the gates. Dad's signing wasn't the best. Weirdly, he’d picked up Japanese much faster. Half the time, he depended on my mother saying everything she signed out loud.
But just in case, we didn't want to risk him seeing our conversation. If dad knew what was going on with Jake Nakamura, he'd insist on solving it. And Byron didn't want that.
My brother ducked his chin as if tilting his head at just the right angle would keep dad from seeing the purple and yellow bruise already developing over his left eye.
"What happened to your eye, Ronny?" Dad demanded as soon as we walked out of the school gates.
"Basketball game," Byron mumbled. "Caught an elbow."
Dad took Byron by the chin, his expression concerned but skeptical. "You want me to talk to your coach? Back in my day, laps were the only way to get guys to stop throwing them elbows."
Byron let out a weak chuckle. Dad had rigid, sky-high expectations for both of us. But he was also nice and pretty funny in a dad way. Neither of us ever wanted to disappoint him. Especially Byron.
"What are you doing here? Is everything okay?" I asked to save my brother from answering Dad's question about calling the basketball coach.
Dad let go of Byron's chin. "You okay with going on the subway by yourself today? I've got to take your sister somewhere."
Okay, vague. A weird prickle of foreboding popped off in the back of my head. But I guess Byron wasn't nearly as loyal to me as I was to him. He took dad's question as the perfect chance to escape.
"Okay, see you at home," he said in a rush. And then he was out of there. So fast, I imagined animated cartoon plumes of smoke coming off his feet as he headed toward the station that would take him back to Adachi-ku, the ward where we lived.
Dad started walking with me in the opposite direction.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"The Roppongi district," Dad answered. "What happened to your brother's eye?"
I shrugged. "It was like that when he came outside."
"And you didn't ask him about it?"
God, I wanted to tell my dad the truth. Maybe Jake would stop terrorizing Byron if I just told him everything. But I promised Byron I wouldn't, and the fallout would be huge if I did. It could totally upend our lives.
"No," I decided to reply.
That answer was true if you stood on your tippy-toes and stretched a little. I hadn't asked Byron what happened because I knew what went down as soon as he met me in the hallway outside the gym.
Dad went quiet. For so long, I thought for sure he was thinking of ways to grill me even harder.
But then he said, "You're good at keeping secrets. That might come in handy. I need you to do me a favor. Actually, it's a favor for one of Mr. Nakamura’s associates.”
Mr. Nakamura was Jake's grandfather and Dad's boss. I'd learned early in my childhood never to ask questions about what Dad actually did for his bosses. But when we lived back in New Jersey, he worked for a bunch of Italians with a lot of tattoos who always wore suits. And now that we’re living here in Tokyo, he worked for a bunch of Japanese men with a lot of tattoos who always wore suits.
I wouldn't say Mr. Nakamura was yakuza—especially not out loud. But I wouldn't not say it either.
"A favor,” I repeated, my voice as careful as careful could be.
Why did I have a feeling this had something to do with last weekend when Byron and I accidentally ran into Dad at that club in the Roppongi district?
He'd been in full guard mode, coming down the steps from the VIP section in front of Mr. Nakamura and a few other Asian guys dressed in suits. Dad was one of those guys who was always scanning, especially when he was on the job. So he’d spotted us before we’d even had a chance to think about trying to turn away and hide.
We’d given him a guilty wave. But he hadn’t waved back, just stared at us both angrily, “like what the hell?”
Technically, the club was only for people over twenty, Japan’s legal drinking age. We probably wouldn't have gotten in if Byron weren't so tall. He also had that cool, vaguely brown foreigner look