One runaway. One social worker. Two lives searching for redemption.
Kai Akiyama never expected to love again. Not after one horrifying night that landed his best friend and lover in the hospital. The worst part was he knew he screwed up and the damage could never be repaired. When the dust settled, Kai resigned himself to a life of secrets and loneliness.
Liam Kroll needed something to cling to after those he loved had thrown him away. He wanted something more than a life in the ghetto. When Kai pulled Liam from death, both know they couldn’t hide from the thing they want most. Each other.
In that one-time meeting, Kai, knowing he was no savior, let Liam go to recover from his life-altering experience.
After years of searching, a handful of mistakes, and following cold leads, Liam finally reunites with Kai with the intent of forcing the social worker to make good on a broken promise. But all that brings them together will also rip them apart.
While the two get to know each other, their sordid pasts catch up with them that results in a tangled struggle to find each other through their own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, if they want to be together, they must move into the future by facing the past.
Excerpt from Redeeming Senpai
SOME PARENTS JUST—aren’t.
Meaning, there are people in this world who were never meant to take care of any child. Even their own.
Liam Kroll had a warrior’s name and enemy combatants for parents. The kid could have a better future when he grew up, but right then, the twelve-year-old boy looked like he’d been part of a bar brawl. The truth was worse.
I could not stand for that boy to be in that house any longer. Because I was a childcare service provider, I could do something about Liam’s situation. In my right jacket pocket was an order from the State of California. In the left, a warrant. Two police officers stood at my side.
“Mr. Akiyama. We’re waiting on you.” Officer Glen DeSoto and his partner Officer David Corey were assisting me for that night’s extraction. I had been waiting for them to show up before I knocked on the door of 8211 Labrador Street. Other pockets in the grand city of Reseda were worse. Right then, I could only think of two neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley that could not be described as better.
“Tonight, we will be removing Liam Kroll. He is twelve years of age. Male. Caucasian…”
“We get it, Kai.” Officer Corey, his jaw tense, stared at the house. “Can we just get him out of there?”
I turned my head and bored my eyes into the second officer. He refused to look at me.
On many occasions, I had been told my cold stare was unnerving. People found my visual contact with them distressing. The man refused to look at me, therefore he must have agreed.
If these officers knew what I was capable of, what kind of past I lived, the family I had, they would beat me down like a filthy hog. My only saving grace was the lives I had saved along the way. I was not looking for redemption. Redemption was for thieves. For adulterers. For murderers. But not for me. All I could have was an acceptance of past actions I could never take back.
“I would like this to go smoothly. Losing him to a technicality is not acceptable.”
“Yeah, yeah…” Officer Corey shrugged. “Are we going to get him or not?”
Glass shattered inside the house making us all stand at attention.
This type of commotion was routine for the Kroll family. Every night the parents would fight. Every night, their child would be the one who suffered. Tonight, would be the last time they dealt Liam bruises to cover up the next day.
“Jesus,” Officer Corey huffed. “Go, man…”
But I was already walking across the street, alone.