Pain exploded in my hand and I fell back onto the scuffed wooden floor. I stared down at the blood dripping from my shredded knuckles, and it took me a moment to place the shrill noise coming from behind me.
“Knox!” a girl screamed.
She knew my name, but I couldn’t remember hers.
The girl’s voice wasn’t familiar. Probably because we hadn’t done much talking when I brought her home last night. I wondered if the screams and moans she let out during sex would be more familiar to me. Probably not; I was pretty wasted when we’d gotten here.
Through blurry eyes, I looked at the girl for the first time, trying to remember where I’d picked her up. At the moment she was topless and wearing only a glittery pink thong. Images of her shaking her ass in that thong flooded my brain.
Tears welled in her eyes and she crept closer to me. “Are you okay?”
The G-string she wore jogged my memory. Lap dance…dollar bills…shots of Cuervo burning a wicked path down my throat until my mind was just where I needed it. Oblivion.
“Knox, oh my God. What did you do?” She looked down, inspecting my hand more closely.
I closed my eyes for a moment, willing her to quiet down before she woke up my brothers. When I opened them again, I looked down and took stock of myself, naked and sitting sprawled on my bedroom floor. It wasn’t one of my finer moments. I straightened my fingers, then hissed through clenched teeth as I inspected my injured hand in the dim light. Shit. I wasn’t sure if it was broken, but it throbbed like a bitch.
“I’m fine,” I bit out. My heart pounded in my chest and I was breathless, as if I’d just finished running a sprint. Blood smears painted the wall where I’d taken out my aggression, and a ragged hole gaped in the drywall. As I took deep breaths, trying to calm myself, I realized I’d been having a dream about what I would do to my father if I ever saw him again.
“Do you want me to get you something for the pain?” the girl asked.
A distant memory flooded my brain, probably what brought on the nightmare in the first place. Images of my leg, broken and twisted when I’d fallen from a tree as a boy, suddenly came back to me. I remember putting on a brave face when my dad referred to pain pills as “bitch mints.”
I shook my head. “No, I’m fine.” I didn’t need them then and I didn’t need them now.
The girl sucked her lower lip into her mouth, her eyes welling with tears. There was nothing I hated more than seeing a girl cry.
“Come here.” I reached my good hand toward her.
Her expression wary, she crawled over to where I sat on the floor. When I rose to my knees and stroked my lengthening dick, her eyes locked onto my movements, darting back and forth between my face, my bloodied hand, and my cock, trying to understand what I wanted.
“Come suck me off.” Yeah, it was a dick move, but it was the only thing that would calm me down right now. It was either that or liquor, and I knew my cabinets would be empty. If I’d gone out earlier, it was most likely for alcohol, pu**y, or both.
She frowned. “What about your hand?”
“Fuck my hand,” I ground out. “I want your lips around my cock.”
Wordlessly she obeyed, crawling the rest of the way toward me and leaning down to take me in her mouth. I fisted my bloodied hand in her hair, watching the curve of her back as she moved up and down over me, liking the feel of raw power and satisfaction it gave me.
Within minutes, I tapped her on the shoulder and she moved away as I finished with my hand, spurting into her open mouth. “Good girl.” I petted her hair and she blinked up at me.
I rose and headed into the bathroom to clean myself off. “You can go now,” I called out to her where she still sat on the floor, looking confused.
“But it’s three in the morning.”
“I don’t care. Get the f**k out. You got what you came for.” I tossed the bloodied towel to the bathroom floor and inspected my hand. The skin was torn at the knuckles, but nothing felt broken as I spread my fingers apart and rotated my wrist. I’d live.
“You don’t have to be such an ass**le,” she yelled, gathering up her clothes and dressing hastily. “There’s something wrong with you, you know that?”
Her hurt expression should have caused me to feel something. Remorse, regret, sympathy…something. But my battered body and f**ked-up mind had stopped responding to normal human emotions years ago. I lived according to my baser instincts now. It was just easier that way.
“I know,” I murmured. There was more wrong with me than she’d ever know.
The following morning I woke up late, my hand still throbbing. Crawling from bed, I twisted open a bottle of Jack that I’d found conveniently tucked under my pillow and took a healthy swig, then tucked it back under my pillow for safekeeping. I might be a mess, but I didn’t want my younger brothers to pick up my nasty habits.
My cell phone vibrated from the rickety table by the door. The cell phone was new, as was my number, so I couldn’t figure out who might be calling me. I glanced at the screen. Fuck. It was my therapist’s office, reminding me of my appointment that afternoon. The last thing I wanted to do was go in and talk to some dickhead therapist about my feelings. But it was all part of my plea bargain. I had my choice: therapy or jail. Fucking DUI.
It just didn’t seem fair. I’d tried to do all the right things since our father left—I worked hard all week, took care of my brothers, and paid the bills. But when I sought a little relief during my free time, I always found myself in a pile of shit.
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