Visit our website at www. He lingered on the last page, hand trembling. Next to him stood an open bottle of vodka and an armada of pill bottles, lined up in a neat little row. Not for the first time in the last hour, Brody swiveled around in his chair to stare up at Archer, pleading.
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Visit our website at www. He lingered on the last page, hand trembling. Next to him stood an open bottle of vodka and an armada of pill bottles, lined up in a neat little row. Not for the first time in the last hour, Brody swiveled around in his chair to stare up at Archer, pleading. His bloodshot eyes ruined the effect. But honestly? Karma is a cruel mistress. Archer wrinkled his nose. While Archer was no pushover, Brody was built like a bull and could have plowed him over if he tried.
Brody was simply too high to realize it. Too bad it took the threat of impending death for Brody to realize it. Brody watched him blearily from behind the great wall of medication separating them. Archer plucked one of the bottles up with a gloved hand. He slammed the bottle onto the table before Brody, pills rattling. The problem with pills? They took forever.
Whoever said overdosing was a quick or painless way to go had never watched somebody try it. It was getting late, and Archer had classes in the morning, but he waited. Brody chased most of the medicine cabinet down with liquor before staggering to his room. Whether he wanted to or not, Archer forced himself to watch Brody crawl into bed.
Watched him slip in and out of consciousness. Watched him toss and turn. What did him in before the actual effects of the drugs in his system was the way he vomited and proceeded to choke on it, and Archer forced himself to watch that, too. He was taking a life. The least he could do was suffer through witnessing it. Soon Brody was gone, and Archer tried not to feel nauseous. The apartment was silent.
Not the sort of silence when one was home alone, but the smothering silence that followed death. An all-encompassing, heavy feeling. Human instincts, maybe. The little warning bells in the back of his head quietly whispering run away because death meant danger. He could take his time sneaking out of the apartment building. It would be days or weeks before the neighbors complained about the smell and kicked in the door. No one would even mourn his passing. Maybe some would say they saw it coming.
Just another suicide. How tragic. Brody made three down…and three to go. He also knew she would call him the second she found out. She hiccupped and whimpered.
Of course he would. Viv answered the door with her hair a mess, eyes red and puffy. Some girls could look gorgeous when they cried. Vivian was one of them. Archer slipped inside and set the coffee on a small end table in the living room. Her silence was enough. Mickey, such a loving and concerned boyfriend, was nowhere to be found.
That was why she called Archer. Like Mickey could hold a job. Mickey was a jackass. An unattractive one, at that, unless you liked the pothead look. When people saw him and Vivian walking down the street, they stared only because they were wondering what the hell a gorgeous girl like her was doing with a waste of space like Mick.
She could have done better. Much better. Why not him? The one guy who would never ditch her, never hurt her. Archer opened his mouth, thought better of saying anything that might result in an argument, and sat beside her instead. Vivian tore at a tissue between her fingers, eyes welling with a fresh onslaught of tears.
No, no no no! The cops were supposed to find Brody. Hell, even a neighbor. Not Vivian. He scooted up to her side, slipping his arms around her. She twisted and wound her thin arms around his neck and buried her face against his chest. A familiar position. How many times since grade school had Vivian cried all over him?
Like he always did, he pet her hair and let her cry until the sobs died down to sniffles and whimpers. All the while keeping his eyes locked on the opposite wall at an old family portrait. Vivian, Brody, their parents. Before her dad bailed and her mom, Marissa, got sick. Before Brody started popping pills like candy while letting his buddies feel up his little sister.
The thought made his jaw clench. What made you go over there? Left this long letter about how sorry he was that he lied to everyone, about stealing from Mom… Everything was in there. Gliding away from him like a ghost, across the room to the bay windows. Hoping he, like, got drunk and drove off a bridge. Her guilt, her shame, her happiness. The purpose was to help Viv, not screw her up further. But never more so than that exact moment. With those words.
With the moonlight wrapped around her body in gentle blue-white caresses that made her hair shine. She should have exuded self-confidence, but Brody and his friends had ruined that for her. The depth of the scars they left behind had never been more obvious. Her brother was dead, and all she could express was relief. Archer was a step closer to freeing her. He allowed a crooked smile and got up. Nothing wrong with that at all.
But he liked it here, where he felt a little distanced from the outside world. There, in Candle Bay, California, he knew people. She did a poor job of it herself. Which was why Archer was stuck in the cold.
The last of the students filed out, but no Vivian. When they started college and Vivian told him she wanted to major in some kind of nursing program, Archer made bets with himself on how long she would stick with it.
Not because she would get bored but because, undoubtedly, Mickey would screw it up. If not him, then some other guy. Viv was infamous for letting her boyfriends ruin every good thing she had going for her. Not that he bothered going with her for support or anything. Archer waited a few more minutes just to be sure before hiking his backpack up to his shoulder and slinking across campus. Staying angry at Vivian?
Review: Hushed by Kelley York
The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is. I discovered Hushed back in September while looking through Halloween reading lists. Archer was a really strange main character, almost unlikable but then he had these out of the blue qualities that made you not entirely dislike him. Vivian on the other hand, I flat-out hated. She just was nuts. I have a hard time trusting anything a manipulative character puts out there so I always had my back up when Vivian came up.
Hushed by Kelley York
Two other doors led in, one from the hall, another from what he assumed was another bedroom. Less smothered and cleaner. He turned the shower on as hot as he could tolerate it. The burn of it against his skin made him hiss and sigh all in the same breath. He fought to get a few stubborn bits of blood out from under his nails, scrubbing his skin raw, not relaxing until he was as clean as he could possibly get shy of soaking in bleach. He leaned into the wall, head bowed while the water beat against the tense muscles of his back and shoulders.
He lingered on the last page, hand trembling. Next to him stood an open bottle of vodka and an armada of pill bottles lined up in a neat little row. Not for the first time in the last hour, Brody swiveled around in his chair to stare up at Archer, pleading. His bloodshot eyes ruined the effect. But honestly? Karma is a cruel mistress. Archer wrinkled his nose.