Bruised

“Everyone says he’s bad, but to me, he’s been nothing but good.”

Everyone says Wynn is bad news, but from the moment he came upon me crying, he’s been nothing but good to me. He took me home, comforted me… and he took me to bed. Which I technically shouldn’t have done, but the kindness he showed me makes me wish for something I’ve never had before.

I’m afraid to tell him the truth though like I’m afraid to tell everyone the truth. The whole stipulation of my abusive relationship is to keep it a secret, and no matter how much I want to get away, it’s hard to talk about something I’ve had to keep quiet about for so long.

They say Wynn doesn’t have a heart, but I know it’s not true. I know Wynn has a big heart, he’s just protecting it well—and maybe, just maybe, he can help me out of my unbearable situation before it turns violent.

June 9, 2017

41K

202 pages

high heat

Excerpt

“See you tomorrow, Kaz!” Adam lifted a hand in a wave and hurried down the sidewalk towards the tube station before the rain drenched him through.

I watched him go and only when he was out of sight did I sag back against the brick wall behind me, the tears I’d held back all night overflowing. They streamed down my cheeks, mixing with the rain, and I bent over as my body shook with the force of the sobs I tried my best to keep inside.

Eyes closed, teeth clenched, arms wrapped around my middle… it was all I could do to keep myself in check, but it didn’t work. The tears kept coming and my body continued to shake.
A door closing made me freeze—all of me but the tears, anyway, they kept on coming. A pair of black boots entered my line of sight and I slowly lifted my head to stared up at whoever had remained behind after us. I’d thought Adam and I had been the last ones leaving the club after we finished cleaning.

It wasn’t a colleague. It was my boss.

“Kasey?” He eyed me carefully.

I bowed my head quickly, horrified at being caught crying my heart out by my boss. My very scary boss who everyone tip-toed around. “I’m s-so-sorry,” I managed to get out, but I couldn’t for the life of me stop crying. My chest and stomach hurt and it only made it worse, because I couldn’t stop and the pain only added to all the shit.

“What’s wrong?” He was at my side now, looming over me to the point he blocked out most of the rain.

“I d-didn’t g-ge-get in!” That’s what hurt most of all. I’d dreamt of going to the London Contemporary Dance School for years and now I’d had my chance, I’d failed. I had to apply again, wait a year for auditions, and then another year again to start at the school if I did get in.

“School, huh?” he scoffed, and for a second I thought he’d walk past and leave me there—but then his hands cupped around my face, bringing my head up so he could look at me. “It’s not the end of the world, surely?”

It was. I was supposed to go to school, make something of myself, but like I failed everything else, I’d also failed this. “Auditions a-are a y-year in a-ad-advance.” Two years at the most… and what if I failed to get in next year too? That would be yet more years where I wouldn’t be making something of myself.

What would I do? Keep working at the club? A job I was shit at because I was clumsy and always dropped glasses or bottles. I couldn’t do anything right. Dance was the one thing I was good at—but clearly I wasn’t good enough.

Other books in the series

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Book 1.1