1 Kylie

My legs are numb, I can't feel the fresh blood seeping through my jeans. I try to push myself up, but it's no use, my legs were both fucked. One bullet lodged into my right thigh, the other my left calf. I should scream, I should curse. I should've done lots of things differently.

“I warned you to stay away, I told you what would happen.” He snarls, spitting on the ground.

“You rich kids are too fucking spoilt, thinking you can have it all.”

I groan,

My body aching,

I can feel the blood, hot and pulsing through my thigh.

I don't swear him,

I don't curse.

I'm not stupid,

I know he'll finish me,

I know my limit.

My only hope is that the cops would find me. They knew where I was, I had barely managed to call them before the first bullet echoed through the air.

My hair matted to my forehead from the sweat drenching my skin. But I don't move my hand, I don't dare move it from my shoulder. I have to keep the pressure on the wound or I am going to die.

The sound of a helicopter approaches, lights flickering over head. It's so bright, that if I didn't believe in God already I am going to now. It isn't long after I hear my assaulter’s shoes rushing off that I hear the car speed by.

Relief floods me as I allow the pain to rush through me tenfold and finally break screaming.

Life was unfair, it was fucked up. I curse as the pain takes over me, I welcome it.

Our parents never told us that the monsters were real, they never warned us that there is no happy ending.

Only death and heartache.

I thought love could conquer all.

I thought I could overcome any hurdle to be with the one man I love.

The man who stole my body and possessed my heart.

But life had a different plan for me.

It is evident as I'm lying on the ground of an empty dock with three bullets stuck in me bleeding to death.

There is no familiar person here to console me,

no savior to protect me.

It is just ME.

I thought I had all the answers.

I thought I was strong enough to walk unscathed on the path of darkness.

The only person I was, the only one I ended up being, was a foolish twenty-year-old who thought she could play with the big boys and got fucked up her ass in the process.

He told me to walk away, he warned me that it wouldn't end well.

I knew Vincent Stone was a bad person. I just didn't know how bad he really was until I was already too deep, lost to the maze of OBSESSION.

Now,

I can't find my way out, no matter how hard, or fast I try because now I have sealed my fate. Now he has claimed me, tainted me, marked me as his knowing, he would never be mine.

He was a made man, and I was his muse.

2000- Liston Hills

“Kylie Bray gets your bee-hind in here young lady, don't make me come get you.”

I climb out from under the dining table, “I said I ain't eating it!" Putting my hands on my hips I crease my lips together.

"Kylie you are too, your mama s on her way back. Don't make me call her."

I stamp my rubber-covered feet, "I'm eight I can do what I want and I ain't eating it, Aunt Milda, I ain't eating that meat. I saw them cut cows last week, papa said that’s where mama buys her meat from, I ain't eating it.”

I turn and run through the front yard, the green lawn crunching under my feet. My aunt screaming, but I don't care, papa said she needed the exercise, and I agree. If those dresses of hers got any smaller her boobies were gonna pop out. I turn my head, and laugh as her yellow flower dress creeps up her thighs, I know she's coming after me,

“Kylie,” She yells so loud, “you love meat, Tanner made it just for you, Kylie, come on, I don't wanna run, KYLIE.”

I run faster, laughing because there is no doubt in my mind that my aunt could catch me.

I jump on the cemented frog, then on the fountain bowl. I'd done it so many times with not a care in the world.

Big hands haul me up and spin me around. Giggling hysterically.

I shriek, "Put me down Stone."

He doesn't listen, he never does, instead, he throws me over his shoulder.

"Michael I'm so tellin’ your papa." He laughs, jumping up and down, causing me to flop on his shoulder.

"You need to be careful Ky, didn't I tell you about jumping on the fountain," he scolds me.

My small fist drum on his back, "You tell me a lot of things Stone it doesn't mean I'ma listen."

Michael is my second eldest stepbrother. He has ten years on me, with a brain that is unmatched, he is a genius. Whatever my Michael reads he memorizes it.

My mama always says he is a thinker and even though she isn't really his mama she treats him just like he is her own.

One time I was on the way to the stables when I saw them talking alone. I snuck around the side of the barn so they wouldn't see me. My mama was crying, and Michael just held her, he said it didn't matter what David thought, he said she was special.

I didn't understand it then, I know David doesn't like my mama, no, he actually hates her.

I wonder why though, because he loves me, he tells me everyday when he calls just before bed.

David is my eldest stepbrother and is currently I quote ‘suffering’ in Harvard University studying law. He is the opposite of Michael, he hates studying, despises reading, and lives for partying, but he loves his family, except mama.

They argue for everything and Uncle Hector has to often get involved. I hate those times because David has a temper like Uncle Hector, bossy, bossy, bossy. But like Uncle Hector I know David would be there if I need him, he would fix anything. Which was how he chose what to do with his life. From a young age, he wanted to study law and become a politician.

I'm not sure what that is really, but Kevin said David would be able to run for president one day and I know that the president is bossy. I mean he has to be to control a country, right. And who is bossier than my David?

Vincent, who is the third eldest in the family, just turned fourteen a week back. He lives with his mother in Seattle. I hardly ever see him and when I do, he pretends that I'm not there, like I care, psst.

Last week Uncle Hector told us during lunch that Vincent wouldn’t be allowed to visit much anymore because he had ‘stuff’ to do. Uncle Hector didn't seem happy about that ‘stuff’ but I was like whatever, I have lots of brothers.

Then there's Kevin, my half-brother who is twelve going on thirty. Once, I watched him fall off the acorn tree and hurt his back, he shed one tear and was so quiet I cried for both of us.

I remember thinking maybe the fall made him lose his emotions.

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