Here is Abby's Chapter:
“I’m going to kiss him tonight.” From the back of the club, I point at the hot guy playing electric guitar on stage. He has gorgeous brown hair that’s a little longer than most guys wear it and a body made for sin.
Sitting beside me, my best friend Rachel squints through the haze of dry ice and dancing beams of light, and when she spots my prey, her mouth pops open. Rachel’s the anti me with her blond hair and blue eyes and this is her first time at a club. I’m dark hair and dark eyes and continuously walk the line of selling my soul.
It’s Sunday and we’re at one of those teen nights for the local bar. This for her is wild. This for me is tame. But kissing the guy who obviously can play a guitar in a way that causes me to blush can make this evening worthwhile.
“It’s either that or kissing Logan,” I say over the pounding beat of the drums and she laughs. She thinks I’m kidding, but I’m not. Talk about another guy built for sin, but I’ve been warned off of him by several friends of ours that I respect. Logan’s my type of crazy, but he’s also the type I can easily mess up in the wrong ways.
I’m not interested in jacking up anyone’s life other than my own. At least not the lives of the people I care about. Anyone else is fair game.
Rachel brushes away the strands of her hair sticking to her face. We’ve danced tonight, her and I. Not much, but enough that it’s worn Rachel out. An accident a few months back killed her stamina, and for a time her ability to walk, but she’s on her feet again and loved the idea of dancing and I love her enough to make her happy.
Next week, Rachel, Logan and I will start our senior year of high school and thanks to a custody battle that left Logan having to choose between two people who actually care enough to pay for lawyers to fight over him, he’s now attending school with Rachel and me. We only have a week left until life returns to completely complicated and chaotic.
Another glance at my cell and I scan the crowded room. Isaiah, Logan, and Rachel’s older brother, West, left a few minutes ago to bring Isaiah’s car around and they’re taking too long. I was banking on the four of them leaving by eleven-thirty, but West coming with us bought Rachel another half hour of time. Damn brother doing some damn interfering. She needs to leave because I have an appointment and I don’t like mixing my friends with my clients.
“Stay the night with me.” Rachel rests her water bottle on the seat beside her. “We’ll pick up tacos and maybe some queso on the way home.”
My eyes snap to hers at the mention of queso and I hate that my stomach rumbles. “I can’t.”
She knows why not. “I told you, there’s a boy up there that needs to be kissed. Just think how lonely he’ll be when no one kisses him on his upcoming break. It’s seriously a tough sacrifice on my part, but someone needs to boost his ego. No one wants to watch a sad and broken guitar player unless they’re a hipster at a coffee shop.”
Lying, for me, is easier than telling the truth. Plus, I’d rather live in a world where I was going to kiss the boy instead of crucifying my soul.
“If you’re going to kiss a boy, I’d prefer for you to kiss Logan.”
I laugh, but it fades when I notice she’s not laughing or smiling with me. At times, Rachel’s too serious for my taste. “Let’s do tacos tomorrow. I’ll buy.”
I won’t. I’ll con West or Isaiah into buying, but I’ll still take credit for the tacos because that’s how I roll.
“Logan’s a great guy, and even I notice how he looks at you.”
Logan looks at me like he also really likes queso, but he deserves better than what I have to offer. My cell buzzes and Isaiah informs me he’s outside and ready to leave. Thank freaking Jesus. “Let’s go before the boys stalk in here looking for you and ruin my chances with guitar boy.”
Before she can say anything else, I grab her hand and lead her through the crowd. A few times I turn in her direction and encourage her to dance with the beat. Rachel doesn’t mind using her body for the purpose of music and neither do I. My body is meant to be used, I just wish sometimes I used it a little less.
At school, a lot of people call me names, say that I’m evil, label me a slut and even a killer. Maybe it’s all true. Maybe it’s not. Regardless, I don’t have time to overthink anyone’s thoughts or judgments.
People who live in the luxury of a steady paycheck and food in their bellies get too caught up in right and wrong, good and bad, heroes and villains, even truth and lies. As if we’re all either one or the other. As if we all have a choice. As if I have a choice. But I don’t believe in choices. I believe in survival.
The moment we step outside, the heat of the August night hits us in a way that reminds me why I love being awake after midnight. It’s like walking into a warm bath surrounded by starlight. I was made for warm weather. Maybe that’s because I often feel emotionally cold.
Isaiah’s Mustang growls in front of the club and Logan hops out of the passenger side and moves the seat forward so I can enter the back. He eyes me like he thinks I’ll slide in. “Come eat with us, Abby. I’m buying.”
I tilt my head and he adds, “For everyone.”
I toss a glare into the backseat where West is sitting. If he told them that I only eat when his boss decides to share his lunch or dinner I will publicly castrate him. Because West doesn’t cower, not even to me, he meets my eyes and shakes his head that he’s kept my secret. Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.
“Tomorrow,” I say and pivot to the club.
Seconds before I’m about to step back in, a strong hand catches my wrist and Logan’s blue eyes bore into mine. “Doesn’t have to be tacos. It doesn’t have to be food at all. Just leave with us.”
Logan’s one of the good guys and my heart honestly twists with the silent expectation he has that I can be one of the good people, too. He’s a poor soul who believes I have a choice and that’s the reason why I won’t kiss him.
I look over at the car and see three other people who also believe I’m more than what I am. Three other people who see the world in black and white. What they want from me isn’t possible.
I fix my tank top over my jeans and straighten as if to pretend I’m just as tall as Logan. I’m no longer the Abby I wish I could be, I’m the Abby the streets have taught me that I am.
A shadow crosses over his face as I permit Logan to meet the girl the rest of the world is scared of. I hate this, but sometimes even I get tired of lying. “You need to go and I need to work. Don’t stop me again.”
“Doesn’t have to be like this,” he says like I expect of him. Even with jacked up parents, in the end, he gets to choose the hand that’s dealt to him.
Unfortunately for me… “It does.”
This time, Logan doesn’t stop me and a little part of the Abby I wish I could be dies as he lets me go.