Her Personal Demons (The Seven Sinners of Hell's Kingdom Book 1) by Ginna Moran




Chapter 1



For All Things Unholy



RAVEN



I CAN’T BELIEVE I’m dying on the floor of a dirty bathroom. I know it. I feel it deep inside me, and I regret not sucking it up and cleaning the damn place. I don’t know what bullshit I’ve done in my life to deserve an end like this, but here I am, hanging onto a toilet, sweating and crying with no one around willing to save me.

I wish I could say my impending death was due to partying too much and drinking over my limit. At least then I’d have an explanation for my body betraying me. But no. This is something else. I’m sick without an explanation, and it’s been a never-ending cycle the last few months.

This time feels worse, though. My body can’t take it. I need help from someone who actually cares about me. If only my cousin would answer my calls.

Clutching my phone, I listen as my cousin sends me straight to voicemail for the third time. “Tamia, I’m sorry. I know I fucked up, but I need you. Please call me back. Please.” Closing my eyes, I disconnect the line and rest my head on the side of the tub.

I know I shouldn’t expect much after our last fight, but I thought that maybe she’d give me another chance if I apologized. I was just so mad at her for yelling at me for moving back in with my ex. She didn’t believe me when I told her we weren’t back together, and it just...it’s pointless to think about it now.

Dizziness washes over me in another intense wave. I blink through the strange haze in my vision and smear the sweat prickling on my forehead with my arm. Fuck. What is wrong with me?

Lifting my phone, I tap my finger on the screen and call my parents next. They haven’t answered since Christmas, but maybe today will be different. They can’t ignore me forever, right?

It goes straight to voicemail too.

I groan and lie on the bathroom floor.

“Joel,” I call, shielding my eyes from the vanity lights over the wall mirror. I didn’t want to have to yell for my ex-fiancé, but I don’t know what else to do. He’s all I have despite not wanting anything to do with him. “Joel, I need to go to Urgent Care. I can’t wait it out this time. I feel as if I’m dying.”

Joel’s voice muffles through the door, annoyance lacing his voice. I can’t hear what he’s saying, but he’s pissed. Maybe drunk. I don’t know. I’ve been in the bathroom for hours. He never took me seriously before we broke up, always shrugging me off like I make things up to inconvenience him on purpose, so I don’t know why I even try now.

“Joel, please,” I beg, groaning. “Please. Please. Please. I’ll do whatever you want if you take me.”

He mutters from outside the door too lowly for me to hear but doesn’t come in.

I sigh.

I’ve been feeling sick on and off for months now. At first I thought it was food poisoning or a stomach virus. Maybe too much drinking to deal with Joel’s asshole behavior over refusing to take his lying ass back and accept his engagement ring again. But even after I quit drowning myself in alcohol, the sickness still comes back.

Without medical insurance, it’s been tough. I can’t afford all the tests I know my doctor would want to run. Joel says it’ll be in the thousands. It doesn’t help that he also makes me feel as if I’m going crazy. He thinks I get sick because of the stress over losing my job as the office manager at Tony’s Construction and having to move out of my apartment in North Angel Canyon. It was always like him to brush me off, which is why even though I could make things easier and give him what he wants by taking him back, I don’t.

I don’t even like being here.

The shitty circumstances made me swallow my pride and call Joel for help. I didn’t want to, but I had nowhere else to go. He only hassled me over not calling him sooner and told me he loved me still. He claimed that our breakup made him appreciate me more and that he’d do better. That it was our destiny to overcome the drama that split us up...

My stomach clenches at the thought. I can’t think about it. I’m sick enough as it is. Joel’s been generous, allowing me to sleep on the couch, rent-free. He’s taken care of me, even when he didn’t have to, but I can’t imagine spending my life with him because he holds things over my head and makes me doubt myself.

It’s one of the things that always starts an argument between us. I’m too stubborn for my own good—according to him. I wouldn’t be in this situation if I’d accept his ring already. He claims he wants to take care of me, but I know it’s not about that. I see the shit he does more clearly, no matter how nice I know he can be. Things could be worse. They have been. If only he was a dick all the time, I wouldn’t feel so conflicted.