Authors: KL Donn
Tags: #romance, #Fiction
The Protectors Series Book 1
Copyright © 2015 Krystal Fahl
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication or any part of this series may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your respect of the author’s rights is appreciated.
This book is a work of fiction. The names of characters, places, brands and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and owners of various products and locations referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication or use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
Warning: This book is intended for readers 18 years or older due to bad language, violence, and explicit sex scenes.
If you or someone you know may be in a domestic violence situation please get help. No matter who you are, you are worth it. Keep on Fighting. You can find more information on domestic violence at The National Domestic Violence Hotline website here:
Cover design by Tammie Smith.
Editing done by KA Matthews from K&J Book Promotions.
Heartache and betrayal are two things Keeley Stone is very familiar with. Born into a life she never wanted, betrayed by her own parents, she never saw a way out. Until one day, two men who know nothing of her or her life step up and protect her when she’s in need of a savior.
Loyalty and respect are not just something earned for brothers Nathaniel and Tyler Maxwell, but a code they live by. A chance encounter with a gorgeous young woman has left them enthralled with her.
Can they convince her they’re worth fighting for? Or will she let demons of her past control her future?
Note: This is a stand-alone HEA M/F/M contemporary romance novel. There is no touching for titillation between brothers.
Thank you to my betas for all your feedback, and not telling me it’s a complete mess! Jeannie G, Jamie S, Yolanda B, Danielle M, Tracey S, Ashley R, Mindy M, Francesca A, and Tamra S, love you all to the moon and back! Your notes and messages kept me going and helped make Keeley as awesome as she is!
My editor KA Matthews for taking a chance on a newbie like me, it was such a joy to work with you! Tammie Smith for creating my cover, it’s stunning and perfect and I love it and you!
Sara Bartlett and Joanna Blake for always asking me how it’s going and encouraging me to continue, and making me laugh every time we talk, I love you ladies!!
Winter Travers, Annelise Reynolds, Veronica Garcia, Lana Robbins Hill and Lauren Martin, you’re enthusiasm to read Keeley has left me breathless at times and I can’t thank you enough for all your support!!!
Jordan Marie for all your recommendations and advice and everything in between! Everything you’ve done for me first as a reader, then as a blogger, and now as an author, I will never be able to repay you, and I sincerely hope you know how amazing you are as not just an author (Cause you do kickass!) But also as a person, I couldn’t ask for a better friend!! Love your face chick!
Honey Palomino, Autumn Jones Lake, Leslie Wilder, CM Steele, Sapphire Knight and Kaylee Song, for encouraging me even when I hesitated and telling me how excited you all are to read it!! Much love ladies!!
Sherri, my fellow Canuck, thank you for helping with well all the legal crap, it helped immensely!
Again to Jamie Sexton if it weren’t for you forcing me to send you what I had and telling me it was worth finishing I probably never would have done it, so I thank you from the very bottom of my heart!!!!
My awesome street team KL’s Fighters, you girls rock it!!!
Some amazing blogs as well, Sisi’s Book Whore’s, Just One More Page, Abbey’s One-Click Book Blog, One Last Page Book Blog, K&J Promotions, Life With 2 Boys and all the fans from my own blog, Not Another Damn Blog-Blog, you all mean the world to me!! Thank you for everything!!!
Finally to everyone who has taken a chance on me and buying this book, it means the world to me and I hope you enjoy Keeley, Nate and Ty as much as I did writing them!
To my husband who put up with endless hours of me writing and editing and basically ignoring everyone and everything. My Mom and Grandma for their unwavering support. Savannah, my girl, for telling me “that’s so cool, my mom’s an author” And my boys, for keeping the house loud making it easier to write :) I love you all more than you’ll know!!
The Protectors Series
By KL Donn
t twelve years
old, Keeley Stone knew three things about life. First, her family wasn’t normal. The things her parents did and said to her were not right. The beatings, the name calling, and the lies were all she knew. She didn’t know love or even friendship. When she was younger, she thought all moms and dads did these things to their kids. She was wrong. Second, her parents were monsters. They could act like normal people when they wanted, but she knew the truth behind the lies. Her mom cleaned the house and didn’t drink for a whole day. She made cookies and hung up some of Keeley’s most recent art work on the fridge that she thought they had thrown out when she showed them. Her dad was being nice, telling her how pretty she looked and how smart she was. Neither of them had been drinking all day. She was so happy, she thought things were finally going to get better. That they were going to stop with the drinking and beatings. How wrong she was.
Today was the day that would shape the rest of her life. After dinner, a meal her mom actually cooked, a nice older woman came to the house to speak to her parents and then her.
“So the school tells me that you plan on homeschooling Keeley now Mrs. Stone, is that correct?”
“Oh yes, there are just too many bad influences in that school for such an impressionable young lady like Keeley. We feel like she would excel more at home than there,” her mom said, and all Keeley could do was stare at her with her mouth wide open, in complete shock. What was she talking about? There was nothing wrong with her school. That was her salvation, the only time she could really cope with her life.
“Alright, and you have all the resources you need then? May I see them, please?” The lady, Carol she thought she said her name was, asked her mom and dad.
“Of course, I’ll be right back with them. Keeley, could you come and give me a hand?” Her dad asked her, making it out like a question for the social worker’s benefit.
Following her dad into her parents’ bedroom, Keeley still had no idea what was going on, but she soon found out. “Not one fucking word little girl, you hear me? You play along with everything we say, or the beating I’ve been itching to give you all day, just to wipe that stupid look off your face, will be so much worse tonight, ya hear?” He whisper-yelled to her.
Nodding her head vigorously, she grabbed the stuff her father told her to and walked out to the living room so that Carol could review them. “Well, everything looks in order here. I just have a few questions for Keeley before I go, if you don’t mind?”
Nodding their heads before leaving the room, Keeley caught the warning look in her father’s eyes before turning her attention to Carol. Trying not to fidget, she waited for the questions to come.
“How do you like school Keeley, did you find it difficult to concentrate there?”
“Not really, no. I like it well enough I guess.”
“How do you feel about being homeschooled by your parents?”
Remembering her father’s warning, she thought about her answer before speaking yet another lie to someone who could probably help her, but she was too afraid. “Well, I was shocked at first, but Mom made it sound like so much fun that I’m looking forward to it now. Plus, I’ll get to spend more time with Mom and Dad,” she replied to Carol with her fake smile firmly in place, and her heart breaking just a little bit more with each false word she spoke.
“What about seeing your friends? Do you think this will affect your relationships with any of them?”
“Oh… Ummmm… you see, I don’t really have any friends, so I guess it won’t matter.” She had to force the truth of those words out and look down, so that Carol wouldn’t see the tears in her eyes. It wasn’t that she didn’t want friends, she just wasn’t allowed to have them. Plus, she got sick of always having to lie about the bruising and broken bones, and whatever else was wrong with her.
Shocked, Carol inquired, “None, at all?” Shaking her head no, Carol moved on to the next few questions, which Keeley just lied her way through so that no one would ever know the truth about what happened behind the walls of her house.
After speaking with her parents a few more minutes, Carol finally left and Keeley tried to slink off to her room in the hopes that her dad would forget about the beating he promised her.
Luck wasn’t with her. It never was lately.
“You little bitch! Where do you think you’re going?” Her father yelled while grabbing a handful of her hair in one hand and holding a bottle of whiskey in his other. Taking a swig of the foul-smelling stuff, he lifted her up by the hair and smashed her face off the wall. She bit her lip so she wouldn’t cry out, because that only enraged him more for some reason. She kept her mouth shut and didn’t answer him. Closing her eyes and waiting for this to end was her only choice.
The third thing she knew, she had to get out or she was dead.
nother day gone,
another wasted day. It was all Keeley Stone could think about. She felt like she was wasting her life away. She worked to give her father, Mack Stone, all her money so he could drink it away. She had been working since she was fourteen years old. First, it was part-time at different restaurants or cleaning houses in the neighborhood. Then a year later her parents gave up the ruse completely, forcing her to drop out of high school altogether. That’s all her homeschooling had been, a scheme to keep the state off their back about what she was doing at home. It was a way for her parents to keep her there. She was just labor to them, a money maker, only doing the minimum required schoolwork to keep social services from investigating. She was a way to support their drinking habit, until her mother was killed in a car accident almost a year ago. Now, without the little income her mother did have from the gas station she worked at, it was up to Keeley to pay all the bills and support her father’s drinking habit. Since her mother’s death, she has been able to at least pay the rent and get a paltry amount of food so she wasn’t solely relying on handouts from her greasy, dirty, no-good boss. He was always trying to cop a feel. And even though the other waitresses had told him to back off and leave her alone, he still didn’t. She had been working at Fred and Eleanor’s Diner for just over two years now, and Fred had been hitting on her ever since. Eleanor, of course, blamed Keeley for it and made her life miserable every time they worked the same shift.
Lately, the abuse had gotten worse though. Fred cornered her in the big freezer one day, about a month ago, and even though you could clearly see her struggling and saying no, Eleanor walked in and blamed her. Again. Eleanor had slapped her across the face and told her this wasn’t a house for whores. Since then, Keeley has been avoiding the both of them like the plague. She always tried to make sure someone was with her when she had to go in the back, and it had mostly been working, too. But she knew her time was limited and she’d run into one, or worse, both of them, by herself sooner or later. And that’s when the shit was really going to hit the fan.