The Hunt Read Online Nichole Greene

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 84
Estimated words: 77392 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 387(@200wpm)___ 310(@250wpm)___ 258(@300wpm)

Three years ago my tormentors kidnapped me from my bed with the promise of ending our longstanding animosity. During the two days on that mountain, disturbing secrets were revealed and heavy feelings exposed. In one night, everything I thought I knew shifted. Regardless, I couldn’t stay in their twisted world. Maybe I broke their hearts, but they had hardened mine.
Now West, Blake, and Cody are back for their pound of flesh. Debts will be paid, consequences be damned. What I didn’t realize when I walked away from everything was that I would forever change the course of their lives, just as they had mine.
But as complicated feelings resurface and lines are blurred under the guise of my own safety, another threat emerges. Can I count on them to have my back after everything we’ve put each other through, or will they toss me to the wolves in a final act of revenge?


Part One


Chapter One

The world is too big to stay in one place. The words from our valedictorian roll around in my head, taunting me as I stand and walk down the center aisle to accept my diploma. I don’t bother to look at the stands in hopes of seeing a familiar face there for me as I shake the principal’s hand.

Uncle John is probably passed out drunk on the couch. I learned a long time ago not to hope for any type of warm, fuzzy declaration of pride or love from him. He’s barely tolerated my presence over the past seven years since my parents were killed in an avalanche and he became my begrudging guardian.

He manages to hold himself together during ski season while he works as an instructor and ski patroller, but as soon as the snow melts, he’s drunk or high day in and day out. He tried to be a parental figure the first year, but his resentment seemed to grow with each degree of the summer heat. He would rather be down in the Andes, chasing powder year round than saddled with a sad orphan.

“Way to go, Violet!” Mr. and Mrs. Rosenbluth, my best friend’s parents, shout as my name is called. If it weren’t for Rosie and her family, I don’t know where I’d be. They are the closest thing to a real family that I have had in years, and my stomach sours as the guilt from my earlier thoughts hits me.

Mrs. Rosenbluth reaches down to hug me as I walk past. “We’re so proud of you, sweetie. I want you over for family dinner tomorrow.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I squeeze her back gratefully.

Mr. Rosenbluth is next to embrace me. “Greg and Anne would be so proud of you. They’re looking down on you right now.”

“Thank you,” I say as my eyes sting with tears I’ll never allow to fall.

My cap is flicked off my head as I walk back down toward my seat and I feel him before I see him. West Larson. My bully. My first best friend. My nemesis.

“Have you fucked Rosie’s dad yet, Violet? Maybe you should have put a rhinestone ‘A’ on that cap.” He speaks just loud enough to draw the attention of our other classmates in the vicinity.

Angry heat erupts over my cheeks. “You wish I’d give you the time of day. The way you’ve followed me around since we were kids. You weren’t good enough then and you aren’t now.”

“I don’t need mounty trailer trash.”

“Come on,” Cody Matthews, one of West’s best friends and the second third of their triad of terror, wraps his arm around West’s shoulders. “Let’s finish this shit and find some pussy to pound before we go hunting.” The look he gives me with those honey brown eyes of his sends chills down my spine.

There’s a rumor going around that West, Cody, and Blake Adamson are planning a hunt this summer. I’ve heard everything from a regular hunt to picking a person to drop in the woods, chasing them like an animal. It could be nothing. I try to avoid those three as much as possible, but they make that really difficult because I’m their favorite target.

They make sure to remind me of my place at every possible turn. Painting ‘mounty trash’ on my locker, slashing the tires on my piece of shit car, and after one stupid, stupid night where I drunkenly got on my knees for Blake, photos were posted all over the school the next day. I was called into the counselor’s office and given a long talk on ‘respecting myself.’ The only thing I got out of that talk was that the patriarchy is alive and well in Roaring Forks, Colorado.

As the ceremony wraps up, I find myself staring off at Cascade Peak, the mountain my parents died on. I think about the platitudes I still hear regularly, about them looking down on me from above, being proud of me. But it doesn’t help. They’re still gone. I’m still alone.