The Billionaire's Secrets (The Sinclairs Book 6)

By: J.S. Scott

PROLOGUE

XANDER



Over a year earlier . . .

I had no idea what it felt like to be dead, but I was starting to wonder if I’d died and was paying for my life on Earth in the depths of Hell.

Every muscle in my body was twitching and burning with pain, and I couldn’t control the thoughts—or maybe they were memories—bouncing around in my brain. I tried to open my eyes, but it was too damn painful, so I was stuck with the images I couldn’t make go away.

I could remember how badly I’d needed my fix, and how I’d gone to some low-life drug dealer to get the heroin. I’d gotten home and mixed up the injectable version of the drug, unwilling to settle for the effects of smoking or snorting it. I’d been so damn desperate that I had to have immediate relief.

I’d found the vein, and recalled the feeling of intense relief once the drug almost immediately hit my system.

After that, most of what happened was a blank until the damn paramedics had given me the mother of all shocks to my system . . . the opiate antidote.

Shit! I hated that medication. It had ended my oblivion, shocked my body back to being alert and hurting again.

How could those fuckers spoil my high?

“You almost died this time, Xander. What in the hell were you thinking?” a husky male voice muttered at my bedside.

I recognized the voice. It wasn’t my brother Micah who was here with me this time. It was Julian. What in the hell was he doing here? My middle sibling should have been out on a movie shoot. He wasn’t supposed to be back here in California.

I forgot all about what brother had come to be with me for this particular overdose. It didn’t matter. There had been plenty of others before this one, and Micah almost always was the one who bailed me out of trouble.

Unfortunately, my brain wasn’t that functional, and all I could really think about was the intense pain of withdrawal.

Fuck! All I needed was to be high, and for everybody to leave me the hell alone. I wanted to forget my life and live in a world where all I needed to do was to get my next fix.

I was a junkie, and I was pretty sure I’d already hit rock bottom, but I’d never felt the collision because I’d been too stoned to give a damn.

My body started to shiver, and the pounding pain in my muscles traveled to my head. I hurt fucking everywhere, all because some asshole had decided to bring me back to reality.

Fuck reality! It was something I’d been trying to escape from for several years now.

“Xander! Can you hear me?” Julian asked in an urgent tone.

“Yeah. Now shut up,” I insisted in a graveled voice, knowing from experience that talking was only going to make the pain worse.

“This is bullshit,” Julian said angrily. “Why didn’t I know that you were an addict?”

I opened my eyes painfully from the hospital bed and tried to focus on my brother. “Because Micah usually comes when something happens,” I answered flatly, not caring who knew I needed drugs to survive.

I’d tried alcohol to dull the pain after my parents had been murdered and I’d pulled through my own injuries. But it wasn’t working as well as it used to, and I preferred the total oblivion of drugs. I wasn’t averse to drinking, but it took several pints of hard alcohol these days to forget who I was and what had happened.

Honestly, I’d really rather have had the prescription medications I’d taken for so long after my injuries three years ago, but the doctor finally decided I had to stop taking them, and refused any further prescriptions. Since then, I’d bought them on the street. When I got really desperate, I had to mix up heroin. Today had been one of those “desperate” days. Or had it been last night? Hell, I had no idea how much time had passed, but what did it matter?

“You have to stop this shit, Xander,” Julian said fiercely. “Hell, you used to hate drugs. I remember you telling me how many of your rocker friends were using, and you used to think it was moronic. What happened to you?”

I looked at his anxious expression with a twinge of remorse. Yeah, I used to hate doping. “That was in another life,” I answered.

“It’s the same damn life. The only one you have,” Julian said as he brought his fist down on the bed rail. “And it’s still idiotic.”

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