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Craving Hawk: The Aces' Sons
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn




Some days it felt like high school was slowly sucking away any individuality I’d managed to hold on to for the past sixteen years.

At least I still looked like me. Half of my head was shaved to the scalp and the other half was lime green. Before that it had been powder blue. Before that—platinum. I could never decide on a color I liked, and why should I have to? There were millions of colors in the beauty supply store just waiting to be opened. I wore what I wanted, applied makeup the way I liked, and generally didn’t give a fuck.

But lately… well, I’d begun to think that fitting in would make things easier.

“Hey, Heather?” a voice called from behind me as I stuffed my bag into my locker. “Your name’s Heather, right?”

I turned toward the voice and found a kid from my class, who knew my name was Heather.

“What’s up, Silas?” I asked with a small smile, highlighting that I knew his name.

“I was wondering if you want to go out sometime?” He said it so confidently that I had to lock my jaw to keep it from falling open in surprise.

“Go out with you?” I asked suspiciously. “Go where?”

“I don’t know. To a movie or something,” he replied. His voice had lost the almost cocky tone, changing to nervous.

“You want to take me to a movie?” I replied slowly.

“Yeah, and then maybe…” a sly smile spread across his face just before his tongue pressed hard against the side of his cheek, giving the impression of a blowjob.

“Oh, fuck you, limp dick,” I snapped. I jerked my arm back in preparation to hit him in his laughing face, but before I could swing broad shoulders were blocking him completely from my view.

“Get the hell outta here, Silass,” my favorite person in the world ordered, the muscles in his broad back flexing as he pushed Silas down the hallway. “You want a blowjob you’re gonna have to find your tiny dick first.”

I dropped my arm down to my side and spread my fingers. They’d been clenched so tight they felt almost cramped. I shook my head as Mick turned back toward me, still scowling.

It wasn’t the first time a guy had propositioned me in the hallway at school. Shit, it wasn’t even the fifth time. I wasn’t sure why they’d singled me out, but I knew it was super fucking creepy. I’d turned every single date down. Every single sexual favor they’d wanted. And yet, they still kept coming to ask, like at some point my answer would be different.

“Thanks,” I mumbled as Michael Hawthorne threw his arm around my shoulder, pulling me in close to his side as he walked confidently down the middle of the hallway.

Mick and his older brother and cousins were practically untouchable at our school. They weren’t super popular or anything like that… but there was just something that set them apart. They were cool. Way cooler than anyone else. And because they were so cool—and in the boys’ case a little scary—no one messed with them.

“Did you finish that English homework?” I asked as Mick led me around a group of people clustered on one side of the hall. “You know it’s worth like fifteen percent of your grade, right?”

“I got it covered,” he answered, squeezing my shoulder. “Why are you always up in my shit about school?”

“Because I’m your tutor.”

“Nah, we’re friends.”

“I’m also your tutor.”

“You’re a friend that occasionally helps me with my homework.”

“See also, tutor.”

“You wanna hang out after school?” Mick asked, changing the subject as we stopped just outside my next class.

“Oh, not you, too,” I joked. I laughed a little until I met Mick’s unsmiling eyes.

“Don’t lump me in with them,” he ordered, his arm dropping away from my shoulders. “That’s bullshit.”

“Mick,” I murmured, embarrassed. “It was a joke.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

I felt my cheeks heat as he stared at me. Mick was two years younger than me, and if that wasn’t enough… I knew he wasn’t into me. It was clear in every interaction we had. I’d given him every opportunity to make a move, but he hadn’t. He’d kept things strictly platonic, never once treating me like more than a buddy.

“I’ll see you later,” I said quickly, turning on my heel.

“Heather,” Mick called in frustration, making me stop just inside the door. “We’re cool, right?”

“We’re fine,” I replied, waving over my shoulder as I moved farther into the room.

He was one of my best friends, and by far the goofiest, kindest, and most protective guy I’d ever met. I wasn’t going to ruin our friendship by trying to make it something it wasn’t.

After that interaction, I never made another joke about us dating. It wouldn’t be until later that year that I’d understand why Mick wasn’t into me. I’d find out purely by accident, and I’d never say a word.



Chapter 1



“The fuck are you doing?”

I opened my eyes and turned my head, looking up at the dark shadow blocking out the night sky. It was big and looming over me threateningly. I closed my eyes again.

“I’m enjoying this little piece of freedom,” I murmured, running my arms and legs through the grass like I was making a snow angel. “Grass against my skin, stars above me, I can almost pretend I’m in the field behind my apartment building.”

“Christ,” the shadow muttered. I heard the flick of a lighter, then got a whiff of the first puff of his cigarette. “You do this shit behind those apartments you live in? Just waitin’ around for some junkie to come lookin’ for some cash or pussy?”

“That’s a poor view of the world around you,” I replied, opening my eyes again. “I’ve never been approached by a junkie, thank you very much.”

“Only takes once. What are you gonna do? Fight ’em off with those claws you got?”

“What’s wrong with my fingernails?” I snapped, sitting straight up.

“Nothin’ if you’re plannin’ on diggin’ up a corpse or some shit. How do you even get yourself off without needin’ stitches?”

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