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I’ve never killed anyone – not singlehandedly, and Reggie unfortunately, didn’t count.
I have however, wounded a few people only because they had it coming. . .but to kill without the threat of feeling any remorse?
I never thought it could have been possible up until now with Bree standing not more than a few feet from me with not much ground separating us, yet just enough to do some serious damage, particularly with the knife I had been holding teasing my conscience. But to be honest, I was fucking scared out of my mind because in that moment, in my heated confrontation with Bree, I wasn’t aware what my own strength could possibly bring but based on the rage gutting me from the inside I knew it wasn’t going to be good. . .I hated Bree. I hated everything she stood for. I hated the grief she had caused me and my family. I hated that her own greed had consumed her to the point of betraying me and my family, and now I wanted her dead, twelve feet under and without the possibility of her ever making it to Heaven.
But in order to achieve that, I would have to set aside all emotions and take form into something only Bree and I could understand but judging by the weight of her repulsed gaze situated solely on me and not those around her, I realized there was nothing I could do or say to make her feel any form of regret or make her beg for any kind of forgiveness; it was as if she was void of every human emotion except for hate.
“I’m sorry, Bree,” I said with every sentimentality I had left within me for her as it was all I was capable of giving since I couldn’t give the past back to her. And just for a moment did I feel weak and submissive as I dared to sink to the level, to the mentality of a fourteen-year-old girl who clearly had me dangling from her pride like the puppet she obviously had intended for me to be all along, and only if it meant I was to have Lola Jayne back in my life; I was willing to do anything.
“You should be, Jane,” Bree retorted mechanically. “And you should also be ashamed of yourself because as of this moment DiamonDs are NOT a girl`s best friend but their own worst enemy.”
“I don’t understand,” I said staring at Bree semi-incomprehensibly. Bree smirked and snapped her fingers at one of Montoya’s guards standing closest to the main door. He quickly stood at attention.
“Bring her in,” Bree then ordered the guard who nodded and quickly opened the door. And to my appalling surprise, Slim walked into the room with Lola Jayne right by her side.
“Oh, my. . .oh, my God! Slim?!” I couldn’t help but to gasp as I stared at both my daughter and Slim with convincing surprise. Slim then slipped me a wink while Lola Jayne just stood there staring at me partially scared, partially confused because even she knew she had recognized blood – Lola Jayne knew I was her mother. But before I could bend to a seemingly wounded knee and take Lola safely into my arms, Slim quickly leaned into Lola’s ear and pointed in the direction of Shane.
“Go,” Slim then urged Lola, giving her petite body a stern shove toward Shane. And like the good and obedient girl Lola obviously was, she nodded and sprinted passed me, toward the direction of Shane who quickly swept Lola up into his arms and swiftly whisked her out of the room through the door located opposite the direction of the room where two of Montoya’s guards were also guarding; something Bree did not foresee which prompted her on the defensive, particularly with the guards who made no attempt to stop Shane.
“What the fuck?!” Bree bellowed as her eyes lit up in horror because she had not anticipated for Lola Jayne to have been taken from her like that. Bree, in a state of contemplating rage, attempted to confront me but it was Slim who had quickly grabbed Bree’s arm and held her back. “What the fuck are you doing?!” Bree demanded, shifting her rage to Slim. “We had a fucking agreement, you backstabbing little bitch!” Bree then spat accusingly at Slim. And when Bree saw that Slim had no intention on answering her, shen then shifted that same rage onto Montoya’s guards, yelling, “Why the fuck are you guys just standing there for?! Go and get her, goddamn it! Now!”
“You’re wrong, Bree,” I countered as I slowly stepped to her thus forcing her to balk at my sudden intrusion. Bree then stole an unnerving glance from the guards before settling that same unnerving look onto me.
“Wh – what?!” Bree then staggered in a state of daze and confusion while that fear of defeat began to overshadow her confidentiality as she realized she had just been betrayed, and not by Slim or Montoya but by the coercion of The DiamonD; Montoya’s guards had proven that very fact because neither one of them made an attempt to protect Bree from me. . .they just cocked back their guns, leaving Bree completely vulnerable.
“DiamonDs,” I replied towering over Bree’s fear, “are a girl’s best friend.”
“You. . .fucking bitch!” Bree cursed with every sentiment of disgust her words could fathom right before she hocked up some spit and spat it at me. “You-goddamn-fucking-backstabbing – b – bi – bitch – ” and instead of Bree’s words flowing easily and relentlessly off her tongue they had instead staggered jaggedly, particularly when she had touched the left side of her torso. Bree pulled back her hand a second later and noticed that it was fully covered in blood and she began to panic.
“J – Jane?” Bree then slurred suddenly as she stared at me in utter shock just as I took a dreaded step back and listened to the pin drop silence unfolding all around me. I mean there were no gasps of shock and awe or even a shred of sympathy when the knife had shanked Bree back-to-back beneath her armpit; nothing short or shy of your basic gang related stabbing. But it was when Bree had caught wind of the unsympathetic gestures had it occurred to her that she may indeed die alone and that began to scare her.
“J – J – JANE?!” Bree then repeated a second time only now she sounded agonized and desperate as if she were trying to hold onto what little life yet to escape her as both her hands reached out to me but I had refused to help her. Eventually Bree did fall forward. And instead of letting her fall to the floor I instead caught her. My knees then buckled and together Bree and I dropped to the floor with her blood literally spilling out of her.
“Wh – why?” she then sobbed as those despairing words gurgled out of her bloodied mouth. I didn’t have an answer. “Wh – why, J – Jane?” she then had the audacity to ask again; she was starting to feel cold, and again I don’t answer. Instead I just held her there in my arms, steadily rocking her body and running my fingers through her shiny blond hair which was starting to dull with every crucial second that passed her. Bree’s breathing was beginning to shorten into labored breaths because the end was nearing. . .and still yet, I had no answer for her.
“Shh. . .Shh. . .Shh,” I shushed. “Just keep breathing as long as you can, Bree,” I coached as I gazed down into her eyes, watching that bright spirit of life slowly distinguish into its infinite darkness. “Shh. . .Shh. . .Shh,” I repeated sweeping an impassive glance on the faces of those standing before me; faces looking just as impassive, yet I could feel the energy of their emotions burning through my flesh. And they couldn’t help those feelings really as it only proved that they were human. Me, on the other hand. . .“It’ll be over soon,” I then consoled a moment later and without the slightest bit of empathy simply because I didn’t have it in me. . .not for her.
Bree gave her last breath and I stopped rocking her body to stare down at her. And just for a moment did I feel like I was back in Vegas, back in that desert with Jenna’s lifeless body in my arms right before she slumped onto the hot sand, dead. And this was the exact way Bree had slumped onto the floor but in her own pool of blood. And instead of trying to make sense of Bree’s death the way I had tried to do with Jenna, I instead accepted it only because there was no sense when it came to death. It just happened the way many things happened and for reasons unexplained. I had come to the conclusion that when a person is born it is up to them to do with it however they pleased just as long as they understood the consequences, both good and bad. And this was the consequence Bree had chosen. And this was the consequence I had chosen. Now that we both made our beds, it was only fair to die in them. . .or so I had believed as I wasn’t the one with the knife in her hand.
As HUSH was coming to its final chapter I began struggling with – well not necessarily “struggling“ as I had a pretty damn good idea of the ending I was aiming for – whether to end HUSH with its original ending or with an alternate ending that would leave the story open for a sequel or even perhaps a series? It was after had I realized what a strenuous story HUSH was to write, due to its graphic nature, had I settled with the original ending as I had no plan on pushing forward. So in the end HUSH became a stand-alone novel.
When I first began pitching (querying) HUSH to Lit Agents, which was somewhere between 2009-2010, had I made a crucial decision to omit some parts and clean-up the story a bit as to not offend Agents with additional graphic scenes and language. I also decided to do away with the original ending and use the alternate ending in case an Agent offered representation and I could offer a sequel or a series in return.
Though I did garnish some interest with a couple of Agents requesting that I tone down the book (to which I had already done prior to querying), I denied the requests as I felt anything further omitted would only take away from the parable.
After 64 unsuccessful queries – minus a few successful ones – or in layman`s term “a shitload of rejections“, and having no success on finding HUSH a permanent home in the Big 5 Publishing Houses, in 2013 I ventured into the underworld of “Self-publishing“ and published the manuscript`s query version of HUSH with revised cover.
In the four years of HUSH`s inception, HUSH has underwent four revisions, meaning, I either added to the story, omitted from the story or touched it up some.
Now four years later, and with HUSH`s growing popularity and maintaining as a Top 10 and Top 50 Best Seller, and to the Fans who didn`t care for a series, I decided to publish HUSH: Revised, professionally edited with its original ending, and to include all that was omitted prior to querying – thus lengthening the story – for example:
Missing scene & dialogue from the Frat party.
Missing dialogue throughout the book including some missing scenes.
Missing sex scene between Jane & Henry Church.
Missing scene and dialogue of Dominic preparing Jane`s escape.
… just to name a few.
I don`t know if there is anyone as excited as I am to see where this revised edition of HUSH will go or as concerned if reading where it all started and where it all ends will even make a difference?
Either way, I`m sure it`ll all be good!
~Good Day to ya, Devlin De La Chapa