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Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Three (King #7)
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The bowtie is BACK!
Dre was just a beautiful stranger when Preppy saved her the first time around. Now, he has to save her again, but she’s no longer some stranger, she’s family, and he has no idea who or what he’s up against.
What he does know is that putting his family back together is the only acceptable outcome.
Preppy’s to-do list?
He’s alive…and he’s out for BLOOD.
Preppy Part Three is the third book and conclusion of Preppy and Dre’s story. It’s also the 7th book in the King Series, which should be read in order starting with KING & TYRANT.
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“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy
and vague. Who shall say where the one ends,
and where the other begins?”
-Edgar Allen Poe
There’s the type of evil that dwells deep within men’s souls, the kind that makes them do cruel things because they’re driven to do so by the demons whispering inside them.
Evil can be subjective.
At least that’s what I’ve learned in my time with Preppy.
Not all acts of malice are created equal. Not all men who have those demons choose to unleash them into the world. There are those like Preppy, like Bear, like King, who’ve chosen to channel that need, compartmentalize it into something they only draw upon when needed.
Preppy is capable of both cruelty and mercy, of both murder and salvation. He’s been the victim, the villain, and the hero. What I don’t think he’ll ever realize is that this gives him a power most men would dare not aspire to. Throughout his entire life, he’s walked a fine line between heaven and hell, between sinner and saint, between endless love and hardened hatred.
Then he died.
And although his death didn’t include ceasing to breathe, he still found himself in a living hell.
Preppy had every reason to harbor resentment so deep there would be no coming back from that dark place. He could have let the devil turn him into one of those men who answers his demons without question.
I don’t want to say Preppy had been tamed. Tame is the last word I’d use to describe him. He’s too wild. Too unpredictable.
Taming Preppy would be like trying to put a leash on the wind.
However, he did have this eerie sense of calm about him. He became focused. Precise. If you looked past the smile and jokes, you’d see someone who held his cards close to his chest and knew when to play them.
With the echoes of my son’s cry playing over and over again in my head I knew Preppy would come for me. He’d play those cards.
And he’d win.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The way back will be paved with blood.
I was jolted into consciousness, my head slammed against the side of whatever confines I was trapped in. I opened my eyes, but nothing but blackness stared back at me. The occasional bump and hum of an engine made me realize I was in some sort of vehicle, but I wasn’t in the cab.
I was in the trunk.
My hands and feet were bound together. A gag was tied so tightly around my head the fabric prevented my mouth from closing, so I was forced to bite down on it.
My heart was beating a million miles a minute. I felt my fingers turn cold. I felt dizzy, and when I tried to swallow, I found that I couldn’t.
I took a deep breath and set a mental image of Preppy and Bo in my mind. An acute sense of focus took over. A determination to get out of that trunk and back to my family.
But how? Eventually, someone was going to open the trunk, I had to be ready.
I felt around with my fingertips and bare feet for anything I could use as a weapon but disappointment set in quickly.
It was empty.
Out of frustration and fear I pounded my bound wrists against the coffin on wheels, pausing when I remembered something.
“Andrea, how did the cat end up in the trunk of the car?” my dad asked.
“I dunno,” I sang innocently, twisting from side to side as my dad hit a button on his key chain, popping the latch. Mr. Wiggles hissed, springing out as if he’d been shot out of a catapult. He looked back at me with his own special brand of cat-like contempt as he pranced back into the house, no doubt to hack up a revenge hairball on my pillow.
“Well, don’t do it again, okay?”
“I swear I’ll never do it again.” I’d have to find another place to play bomb-shelter. A place that didn’t automatically lock when it shut.
“Good.” My dad nodded, seemingly satisfied with my promise. He bent over at the waist and yanked lightly on one of my braids. “Because I don’t think the emergency release latches were designed with cats in mind.”
Immediately after remembering my dad’s words I felt around with my fingertips, growing more and more frustrated with my bound hands.
I didn’t know where I was being taken, but I knew my time was limited, and if I didn’t act now, I’d end up on the wrong end of whatever plans had been made for me by whatever psycho was stupid enough to abduct me.
Preppy would find this asshole, and he’d stop at nothing to make sure he paid. That thought fueled me as I continued my search. My frustration grew. I flipped over onto my stomach and shoved my fingers down as far as they could go into the crease on the floor lining in the backside of the trunk. I gasped with delight through my gag when my fingers hit something plastic. I grunted, reaching down further and further until I was finally able to fit my fingers through the loop.