Home > Over the Moon

Over the Moon
Author: K.K. Allen


Prologue

 

 

Sylvia

 

 

Steam from my shower envelops me as blood washes off my skin and circles the drain. I’m not sure how long I stand there and watch the crimson swirl like an endless ball of unraveling string. I’m not even certain how much, if any, of the blood belongs to me. While my skin is welted and bruised and a permanent knot continues to tighten in my gut, I don’t see or feel a single open wound on my body.

The desperate need to scream claws up my throat, and tears prick the backs of my eyes as they threaten to burst all over again. The anger comes in waves, pushing me toward the riptide, no matter how hard or fast I fight to swim away. It’s the darkest battle I’ve ever faced, yet somehow, I know it’s only the beginning.

When the red finally fades, I tear my eyes from the drain and shut off the water. I reach for a folded towel, and my injured arm screams in pain at the simple motion. Still, I manage to get the stiff fabric around my body before daring a look into the mirror. Fog over the glass blocks my view, but that doesn’t matter. I can still feel the map of scars that cover my body.

Seventy-two hours have passed since I ran away. It’s been bus stop after bus stop, evidence of my injuries cloaked under a big gray hoodie and baggy sweatpants. Now, I need to figure out my next move. While leaving was always the plan, I didn’t expect it to go down like that. Still, running away from home was easy. Settling into somewhere new… That will be the challenging part.

After easing my aching body into a fresh set of clothes, I open the bathroom door and am instantly blasted with icy-cool air and a brightly lit hotel room. I’m alone, and everything is where I left it, save for the manila envelope that’s currently sliding through the crack at the bottom of the hotel door. I hurry over to the envelope and stuff it inside my duffel bag—there’s no need to look inside since I already know what it contains. I lift my bag over my shoulder, wincing through the pain, then head for the door, stopping only long enough to catch a glance at myself in the long mirror.

The girl staring back at me isn’t the same one that walked into this hotel room hours ago. Not a stitch of makeup appears on her face. Her once-brown long locks are now blond and frame her chin with a sloppy cut job. The clothes that hang from her scarily thin frame consist of nothing more than light jeans and a long T-shirt. The change is simple, yet I’m unrecognizable even to myself.

While this girl has been stripped down to the barest bones of herself, her soul shattered, her heart broken a million times over, at least she’s finally free.

 

 

PHASE I

 

 

NEW MOON

 

 

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” — Mark Twain

 

 

SENTENCED

 

 

KINGSTON

 

 

Football. Playing in the NFL has always been my number one goal. My final destination. The be all, end all of my life. It’s also the one thing I’ve always been able to control. My blessing when everything else around me seems cursed.

Or maybe it’s me who is cursed. At least, it feels like I am at the moment. My head aches, I’m stiff from sleeping all wrong, and I can’t for the life of me peel my eyelids apart to see where I am.

A door slams in the distance, and the fog that clouds my memory of the night before begins to clear. Images slowly filter through the haze, my grin growing with each visual of my night at one of my favorite bars in downtown Seattle.

Long red hair wrapped around my fist. A fair, freckled cheek pressed into the bathroom sink counter. Skirt pulled up around a trim waist. Me, pumping into the beautiful stranger from behind.

I’m not surprised I don’t remember the woman’s name. What does surprise me is the memory that pummels me next.

A bathroom door bursting open. A furious bouncer planting his body at the entrance. My head hitting tile as I’m thrown against a bathroom stall. A fist connecting with my jaw.

Then…

My grin fades, and an ugly pit grows in my gut. Shit. I look around to find myself in a loaded jail cell with a dozen others. The aftermath of my bad decisions slams me in the chest. The woman who’d lured me into the bathroom without an ounce of resistance from me was the bouncer’s wife. Apparently, he doesn’t like to share. After he tossed me to the curb outside the club, I was arrested for public intoxication. Now, here I am. My home away from home. It’s only a matter of time before one of my teammates I was with last night bails me out of this shithole.

Just then, the familiar sound of steel sliding across a track gets my attention before the sound of my name does. “Kingston Scott, you’re free to go.”

A laugh muddled with relief shakes through me. I stand from the bench, taking one sweeping glance around the cell, and the corners of my mouth curl back into a smile. “See ya later, suckers.”

Angry curse words of my cellmates fly at me as I strut toward the exit, completely unfazed. Another night in the drunk tank isn’t going to be enough to alter my future. The memory of last night will be gone before I even step foot outside this place. I’m confident in that knowledge… until I spot Coach Reynolds standing at the counter with a look on his face that no fellow Seattle football player wants to see.

Disappointment.

Most other men on the team would grovel in shame at his feet, but not me. After three years playing football under the man, I know he has a soft spot for thugs like me. There has always been a silent understanding between us. I help him win football games, and he stays off my back when it comes to my personal life. But I can’t help but wonder if this time is different. While I know he isn’t blind to my previous misdemeanors, he’s never been the one to bail me out of one. And by the look on his face as he waits for me to collect my belongings, he sure as hell doesn’t look like someone who wants to do me any favors.

“Nance rat me out?” I practically spit my sour words while tearing my eyes from Coach and pushing toward the exit. “Or was it Balko? That son of a bitch.” I shake my head, fuming at their betrayal. Nance, Balko, and I have always been like the three amigos, bailing each other out of whatever shit we stir up for ourselves. Apparently, whatever loyalty I thought we had died somewhere between my bathroom romp and my night behind bars.

“Does it matter?” Coach quirks a brow as his dry tone grates against my ego. “You’re free to walk. Your record is clean. You get another chance to fuck it all up. Congratulations, Kingston.”

Instinct kicks in, and I want to gloat. That growing pit in my stomach has already shrunk back down to nothing, and a rush of adrenaline takes its place at the thought of avoiding yet another lawful consequence for my actions.

“Are you smiling?”

Coach’s enraged voice breaks through my thoughts, and my lips flatten back down as I meet his deadly gaze. I swallow my glee as he slams a hand against the glass door and swings it open, allowing me to walk out first.

I step outside, squinting and raising a hand to shield my eyes from the sun. “What time is it, anyway?”

“Noon.”

I detect annoyance in his tone, and I flip him a gaze and quirk a brow. “It was just past midnight when they threw me in here. You’re just getting me now?”

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