Chapter 1: A Drunken Introduction
I had gone to a party that night and was sipping my cranberry juice and watching the masses turn from buzzed to belligerently intoxicated. A girl danced against the corner of the room to a song in her head. It played slower than the pulsating techno beat from the speakers. I wondered if she was thinking of the smooth and sensuous sounds of Mingus or Coltrane. I felt a twinge of jealousy followed by a deep respect for someone not afraid to break the norms of society.
She wore a neon yellow tutu and top crafted with caution tape. Her hair was adorned with various shades of blue and green extensions and a pair of cyberpunk goggles acted as her headband. Her movements were smooth and fluid, like the ebb and flow of the ocean. She was captivating.
A chill traveled up my spine as I realized that someone had been watching me. I turned my head slowly to catch his gaze. The man had a permanent five o’clock shadow that was only emphasized by his shaggy dark brown hair. His blue eyes were framed by humongous eyelashes and small crow’s feet. His grin shone a brilliant and flawless white. His lips were full and the bottom curled out slightly in a permanent pout, a cigarette dangling. He stood at less than six feet and his body was hard and soft, like granite wrapped in silk. Any other night, this was my type of guy.
I glanced down at the black high top converse hidden under a pair of well loved jeans that displayed the strength in his thighs and molded to all of the right places. My gaze traveled up to his shirt and I couldn’t help but laugh. The black t-shirt had the words “I’m not wearing any underwear. My phone number is” followed by a number that, judging from the incessant ring emanating from his pants, I could only assume was his.
His lip twitched as I laughed and he slid the cigarette from his mouth after a long drag. A ring of smoke popped out and he granted me a half grin before standing up. I felt my tongue dart out to catch a bit of cranberry juice left on my lip. Unintentionally. I swear it was unintentional.
I felt a jostle next to me and a terse apology before I looked up and into the face of the man that abused my sister. He had grabbed an abandoned shirt and was wiping off whatever he had just spilled on me. I saw the man continue to approach and stood quickly, putting my arms around Cameron’s neck.
“Pretend to be my boyfriend,” I slurred. I asked for his name and he whispered it into my ear.
“Evening,” the man spoke with a lilting Irish accent. “You’re a Greco, right?”
“Uh, yeah.” I was flabbergasted.
“I love your father’s restaurant,” he said with a wide smile. “You probably don’t remember me. I use to go there all of the time when I was in school. You used to be my waitress.”
“Oh,” I said, still unaware of whom he was. “I’m Maria.”
“Yeah,” he replied. “Cormac Pierce.”
“I’m her boyfriend, Cameron,” the man beside me said. He extended his arm over my shoulder to shake the man named Cormac’s hand. He took it graciously while lifting his brow.
“So sorry to have disturbed you,” he said with a wink. “I figured I would stop and pass on my condolences for what happened a few months ago. If you ever need to talk about it, my number is… Well… On my shirt.”
My entire body stiffened. The look on his face indicated that he had heard about the incident that had happened all those months ago. I swallowed thickly, and forced a smile on my face.
“Thank you for your concern,” I replied. He smiled sadly before turning on his heel. He stepped across the room towards the dancing crime scene. “Douche,” I muttered.
“What was that all about,” Cameron asked. I shrugged as I reached for the closest glass and chugged it down. I wiped my mouth and pulled the cup from Cameron’s grasp and downed it.
“Long story short, my sister was attacked and went comatose,” I said after letting out a hearty burp. “Hand me another drink.”
And so it continued. I choked down drink after drink that Cameron brought me. I didn’t care anymore. The memory of my sister dripping blood from her damaged forearms, the ID in the pocket, the accused getting off scot free, the weekly visits to visit my poor younger sister. It hit me hard.
With each drink, the pain faded. Everything made less and less sense, but my inhibitions left me. I was intoxicated to the point that a part of me wondered if someone had slipped something into the countless drinks I was throwing back with reckless abandon.
My voice became as loud and belligerent as those that were offending me earlier in the evening. At one point, Cameron and I had a sing-a-long. He wasn’t that bad a guy, I thought as he escorted me from the party. I sobered up a little at that point. This was the man that raped and tortured my little sister and here I was thinking that he wasn’t such a bad guy? I was intensely disappointed in myself.
Then he started kissing my neck and pushed my back against a brick building and everything went dark.
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