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Shame (Shameless 0.5)
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Five years ago my brother was killed right in front of me and I was forced to make a decision that has haunted me ever since. I lost one protector but I gained another. Noah has always taken care of me.
Then I find out that he’s keeping secrets.
*Contains an exclusive excerpt of Shameless*
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Lucia DeMarco had to resist the urge to roll down the window and stick her head out to enjoy the summer breeze. After a day of listening to her grandmother’s lectures, she’d been rescued by her favorite person in the world. Her big brother, Rafe.
She glanced over at him in the driver’s seat. As usual, he looked gloomy and serious but when he noticed her looking, he smiled. She was the only person besides their Nonna that he smiled at, something her best friend JJ was constantly trying to change.
Lucia frowned at the thought. It was so gross that her friends all thought her brother was hot but she couldn’t exactly disagree. Rafe was gorgeous and Nonna DeMarco was always saying he looked just like their father, who had been Nonna’s only child. Lucia didn’t really remember her parents that well anymore since she’d been so young when they died but it must be true since all the pictures Nonna had shown her looked like faded pictures of Rafe.
As if he could hear her thinking about him, Rafe reached over and tugged on the end of her ponytail.
“Ready to have fun, Lulu?”
“Yes! I can’t wait. I’m going to eat funnel cake until my stomach explodes.”
“Sounds gross. But whatever you want.”
Lucia grinned at the thought of having an entire funnel cake to herself. Whenever she went with Nonna, she had to share it but Rafe always let her eat the whole thing.
“How long do we have?”
“All day. I took the whole day off.” Rafe grinned at her squeals of excitement. “I guess that was the right move.”
When they got closer, Lucia pulled her lip gloss out of her small purse and pulled down the mirror in the visor. She wasn’t allowed to wear makeup at home, Nonna would have a fit, but JJ had given her the lip gloss the last time she’d slept over. It was the perfect petal pink color and made her gray eyes stand out against her dark, curly hair. It made her look slightly older too which was awesome. She hated being the youngest one of her friends. JJ was sixteen already and actually needed her bra. Lucia could only hope that the little peach pits on her chest weren’t finished growing yet.
“What are you doing? You don’t need that crap.” Rafe pushed the visor back up before she’d finished slicking the gloss over her lips.
“Hey! I wasn’t done.”
“Where did you even get that? Does Nonna know you’re sneaking makeup on as soon as you leave the house?”
Lucia raised an eyebrow. “Does Nonna know that you have a pair of some girl’s panties hidden under your mattress?”
Rafe swore softly. “You are way too nosy for your own good, squirt.”
“I’m observant. You can’t hide from me, Rafael DeMarco. I know you better than anyone.”
He pulled her close and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You know everything that matters. And you don’t need that crap. You’re the most beautiful girl in the world.”
“You have to say that. You’re my brother.” She caught herself pouting and tried to train her features into the nonchalant, sophisticated expression that the older girls in her school always wore.
Stefani Waters, the most popular girl in school, wouldn’t be caught dead pouting like a little kid.
They bickered all the way from the parking lot up to the admission booth. Then she gave up on being cool and sophisticated. Lucia had always loved Coney Island. Since their parents died, they hadn’t had much money for things like going out to eat or to the movies. But somehow, Rafe used to always find a way to bring her and Nonna to Coney Island. It had been their special time together. As the years passed and she got older, they’d stopped coming. Rafe was so busy that it was hard to find time. He was always working extra shifts for the security company he owned with his friend, Noah.
After he got their tickets, Lucia gave Rafe a quick hug, ignoring his curious look. Then he stuck out his tongue and she giggled. He was so serious most of the time but when he was with her, she saw a side of him she suspected he never showed anyone else. Her brother could be something of a goofball when he didn’t think anyone else was watching.
“Okay, what do you want to do first?”
Lucia made a face. “Duh, I want to ride the Cyclone.”
Rafe blew out a breath. It was always funny to her that her badass older brother was kind of a wimp when it came to roller coasters. “Okay, I guess it’s better to do that before the funnel cake.”
Lucia took his hand and pulled him along. “Oh, I’m riding it again after I have funnel cake, too.”
“Brat. You just want to make me puke again.”