Meet Kalila Martin and Michelle Donnelly in the following crossover pair. Get a preview of the first chapter of Secrets Revealed and A Sinner’s Past below. OUT OF STOCK FOR SIGNED COPIES OF A SINNER’S PAST.
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There is nothing like being kept up all night the day before major finals because your roommate wanted to have a ten-round fuck fest. Even my headphones could not silence the moans that sounded like a dying cat. Knowing Michelle, she was on some molly trip. No one fucks that long with a one pump hitter.
Ugh! Not enough coffee in the world will help me get through this day. Suck it up cookie!It felt like cement blocks were on my feet as my movements became zombie-like as I made my way to the lecture hall. I swear professors get enjoyment out of watching their students sweat bullets, knowing that the majority of them stupidly partied the night before. I knew I forgot those toothpicks to hold my eyes open. An essay style final? For the love of god! Why?
With a pencil in hand, I muster all the energy I can and let the words flow across the paper. Granted the words could be nothing but gibberish dancing on the line of bullshit. I doubt they give grades for effort these days. All I have to do is make it through finals and then I can remove myself from the grasps of stress and join the train of relaxation with my crazy family.
Walking out into the crisp fresh air was a heap of relief from the mind-bending torment of Ancient History and English Lit. I should have chosen Modern or Pop culture. That way, I would have no issue acing current events. Yes, the times of Caesar and Rome supplied a moral lesson, but this girl was having a snooze fest with the details.Oh, history is necessary, since I hope to be a top journalist one day. Yeah, it is a dying breed but there is nothing more satisfying then exposing truths and digging for that story that is tingling at the tips of your fingers waiting to be written.
My father always told me I was an inquisitive girl and that even Barbara Walters needs to watch her back. Never has my father ever stopped encouraging me to reach new heights or let his hopes of me falter. Daddy’s little girl I will forever be and the excitement of seeing him this weekend cannot be described in words.
Until then, a trip to the coffee stand sounds heavenly. A nice dark roast with no additives to ruin its robust flavor is just the medicine I need. They always say plain is better. Or was that simple is better? Oh, either way, all this fru-fru flavored shit is for the birds. I’m one of the few rare that did not jump on the bandwagon of the whole luxury coffee trend. Gee, I guess if you dress it up with a bow, smack a fancy name on it, and then add a squirt of essence; you would think it was a line for a major concert starring the new people’s crack. Crack is whack! Remember that!
Walking back to my dorm, I take joy in remembering my first time in Boston. As if it was yesterday, my nerves wrapped in anxiousness and my heart pumping with fear of being on my own. Family is my backbone; my everything. Entering the door of adulthood was letting go of the hand that guided my every step. A hand that reached out to me when I had my first tumble on my adventure without training wheels and that wiped the tears from my eyes when my crush pulverized my feelings into bite-sized pieces. The hand that always signified that everything will be okay. The University was an intimidating view as my family dropped me in front. My dad gave me a big bear hug with a shield of steel protecting himself from the flow of emotions. My aunt Shay staring at me with a smile that was brighter than the morning sun with tears of joy falling down her cheeks. You would have thought she herself brought me into this world.
I had to hold my chuckles in when my father refused to help me take my things to the dorm room. I could only assume he would feel as if he would not be the strong man he has always shown to be if he let down his barriers and breakdown. Aunt Shay gave me decorating tips for the shared space I would call home for a while. It was a movie moment when Auntie Shay sat me down on the twin size bed, taking my hands into hers with a glistening coat over her pupils.
“Your mother would be so proud of you,” she said. Smiling as if she reminisced about a moment in the past, she continued. “We are all so very proud of you Kalila. Your mother is probably looking down on us now, rolling her eyes at my decorating advice and wiping away a tear she would never admit to having.”
I longed to know the sound of my mother’s voice. I longed to know who she was but all I ever got was bits and pieces to an incomplete whole. An accident when I was a baby is the answer I always receive of my mother’s departure in life. Never did I dare to push for more than an empty answer.
There were many wet faces that day, yet the sun dried up the flow of tears and brought warmth to the next page of my life. I had to adjust quickly to the new change. I had an arrow over my head, pretty much screaming “look at this freshman”, as I wandered around campus pretending I knew where the hell I was going; asking every stranger on the street where the location of this or that place was. Nothing could be worse than getting so entertained by the Boston lingo and accents that you end up forgetting full conversations as you have the deer in the headlights look of “oh shit” what did they say reaction so clear on your face, even a blind man could see it.
Now three years later and marking off the end of my junior title, Boston has become a part of me. It has invaded my heart with its charm and made me a true believer in the bonds of sportsmanship. Fenway Park, the Freedom Trail, and the bar party finger food atmosphere; how could you resist? So many friends I have made here. Yeah, college would mean wild experiences but not for this girl. I am not impressed by the lack of maturity in the dating pool. Hell, I wouldn’t even touch it with a ten-foot pole. Look I’m not saying I’m an angel sitting with a chastity belt on or anything. Nobody talks about their first time because the first time is like a car wreck you couldn’t turn away from. You know…tragic but hypnotizing?! Those my age often feel the need to have someone on their arm and sure who doesn’t want someone to the tango with. My personal life is just not on the top of my priority list these days.
I crossed my fingers hoping Michelle was not occupying the room at the moment. At least an hour of uninterrupted sleep would be appreciated. I may even kill someone if I don’t get to close my eyes and drift off into a peaceful slumber. Of course, I meant that in a non-physical only in my head way. Thank the sandman gods for granting me this one wish. The pillow has never been so soft and the blanket was a cloud of sheep putting me to sleep.
Not sure how long I slept, but I woke up feeling rejuvenated. Much better than this morning. Never do I have spare time to waste. Carrying items out to my ford escape to get ready to hit the road, in the spirit of wanting to surprise my father, I calculated an evening drive knowing I will get an ear full about it. “It’s not safe for females to drive alone at night” are the words my dad drilled into my head anytime I wanted to go somewhere. One day he will open his eyes and see I am no longer a child. Okay, last thing in the car. I put the key in the ignition to realize that I forgot the one thing I need, my purse.
Nice going dumbass!
No big deal, right?! As I enter my dorm room for the millionth time today, something felt off. I walked in so fast that I did not register the sobbing in the dark.
I flick on the light and my eyes widen in total shock. Michelle was trying to hide her face. I quickly approach her.
“What happened to you?” I said as I try to get a better view of her face. She knocked my hand away with a hint of craze.
“Get your hands off of me princess. Stop acting like you care.”
Have I given off the impression I don’t give two shits about my roommate?!
“Regardless of what you think, I am not a compassionless bitch. Now stop being a brat and let me see,” I mumble as I move her head up.
Eye swollen, lip busted, bruised cheek, and noticeable bruises forming on her arm. As if someone held her with force and anger.
“Who did this to you?”
“Was it your marathon fuck last night?”
“Fine. I am calling security.”
“Stop! You can’t,” yelled Michelle as she snatches my cell out of my hand. “He will do much worse than this if I report it.”Red alarms go off in my head. Something smells stank and it isn’t last week’s pizza.
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Never in a million years did I think I would see his face again. I saw him die. Hell, it was my hand that held the knife that slashed his skin. My hand that jabbed the blade into his flesh.
I was sixteen on major pms with a mental head trip similar to a soldier at war ready to break free from the chains that held me down. It wasn’t like all the others, like the ones used as a one-time test dummy to my crash course in murder one-o’-one.
It was personal.
He was standing in the kitchen, coffee in one hand and paper in the other. It was his morning routine, right before he switched off his Mr. Rogers next-door neighbor act and turned on his right-hand man of the family getting down to business role. He was so damn good at making you feel welcomed all while putting the grip of fear in your heart. The problem: you never knew which side you would get.
I remember the knife on the counter, winking with its sharp edges like it was waiting for me. My hand shaking and my heart pounding in my chest as I held it in my hands. Fear and exhilaration jolted through my body.
What if he turns around? He has to know I am here, right?
Panic sets in as he turns.
If I don’t get him first, he will get me.
I lunged at him, pushed the knife deep in his upper back. I positioned myself like a koala hanging on a tree, pulled the knife out and stabbed him repeatedly. He grunted as he swung me into the wall, bucked like a wild horse. Strong, he was so damn strong. He knocked me off and my head hit the floor.
I can’t black out, get up. Get up now! My head hurt, but I couldn’t surrender to it. I pull myself up.
I didn’t see him, see him anywhere.
I followed the blood trail that led to coughing through a shallow voice. I moved in small steps, my eyes peeked around the corner, my body trembled from an adrenaline high. There was mumbling, but clearer then the shallow voice I had heard moments before. A phone?
I screwed up.
“Fear dresses in bravery, causing our judgment to become unbalanced.”
His voice made my skin crawl as his grip around my neck cuts off my pathway to air. His arm a boa constrictor tightening every time I moved.
“My buttercup is not so little anymore, yet she foolishly attacks her master with no thought. Should’ve ended me the right way.”
He thought he had me, still controlled me. I once thought was true, but not anymore.
“What fun would that be, when I can just do it now!”
Being brave sometimes comes across as stupidity. I was young, full of rage, so I didn’t know the difference. My fingers dug into my front pocket for my compact knife and when I knew my grip was solid, I jabbed it into his arm. It was just enough to loosen his hold and wriggle away from him.
I grabbed the lamp that sat on the nearby table and slammed it across his head. It stunned him for a moment but not enough for me to avoid a betrayal of my pocket knife across my arm as I turned.
“I made you. You will never last out there without me,” he said as he lunged for me.
He missed me and I ran—right up the stairs.
All time stupid move when the door was right there.
My face slammed into the stairs as he pulled my legs from underneath me. I tried to kick him off, but end up with a stabbing pain.
He stabbed me, stabbed me in the back of the leg.
My options were slim, so I turned to see his face. He was over me, standing tall like the nightmares he generated.
“This face is the last thing you will see, I promise you that. Remember what you created. Let it burn in your mind as you burn in hell,” I said. Disdain wrapped around my words.
For a moment, the flicker of the kind man that took me in appeared in his eyes. The disappointment, the hurt. Then it went away.
My kick came with a scream. A scream and a look of hurt that no doubt set in his mind as he fell back. A crack rang through the air as his body lain lifeless at the bottom of the stairs.
I catch my breath.
Did I do it? Is it over?
I closed my eyes and opened them not once, but three times to make sure it wasn’t some figment of my twisted imagination.
He didn’t move. Not even a breath heard.
I pulled that bastard pocket knife out of my leg and ripped a piece of my sleeve to tie around my wound. Ignoring the pain, I stepped over my nightmare and grabbed my bag. A bag I had prepared for weeks. My hand touched the knob of the door that signified my freedom.
I look back once more.
“I once thought we could be a real family, but all you wanted me to be was one of your soldiers. Rot in hell, you son of a bitch.”
Once I closed the door, I never looked back. I never had a reason to. The fresh air of freedom hit my nose with the same effect of a delicate perfume, leaving my senses craving another sniff.
My legged throbbed as I watched, through the window of the bus, my past becoming further behind me. I was exhausted, so I clutched onto my bag and closed my eyes. But it wasn’t long until he found me in my dreams. His face was there every time I wanted to find sleep.
I didn’t know much but how to steal, kill, and fight. I had an education and knew how to manipulate people. Sure, they were considered skills, but I didn’t want to just be a human machine that only worked off of orders. I wanted to live life by my rules, have relationships and enjoy what teenage years I had left.
Didn’t I deserve that?
My mind wasn’t clear or had a set destination to where I should begin, then something caught my eye. A billboard with the words New York, concrete jungle where inspiration and interaction create a land of dreams. New York City?! All those movies I have seen and shows make it look like Disney World for the struggling artist or the savvy business person ready to make a quarter into a million dollars.
What would I be?
I looked around at the passengers, wondering how many were lost. Not lost in a way of needing directions or missing their stop, but just a wandering soul in this world with no purpose. One with a dead-end job and people who give them false love. Used and abused, physically or mentally. Masking their pain with a pathetic life.
Never will I be that. Never will I not have a seat in this disastrous world.
I didn’t. My journey started on that bus with a determination to never become a lost soul.