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"I wonder who is gonna love you if it ain't me..."

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This wasn't fear.

I knew what fear felt like. I knew what it tasted like. I knew what it smelt like, and this was not fear. Fear used to run through my veins like adrenaline. Fear dripped in the back of my throat, intensifying my high. Each day of my youth was spent dreading the next. I was afraid each day that I wouldn't have a place to sleep, food to eat, or someone to care.

As I got older, I was afraid of not waking up at all.

Fear molded the shell of me that cracked the second I walked into rehab for the first time.

So, in this moment, with my foot in my mouth and my heart on the line, I stare down this blonde bombshell with killer legs not feeling fearful. The old Cash would be shaking in her boots with her nails between her teeth. She would cower into a corner and use anger as a mask.

However, right now, all I feel is motivated.

I don't spend a second over thinking the situation, in case regret causes me to retreat to my hole. I shove my dark thoughts deeper beneath the surface and harden my exterior. I'm prepared for war.

Helene stares down at me with hazel eyes before cocking her head to the side. She tightens her silk rob as she speaks, "Excuse me, do I know you?"

Words were robbed from me as I examined her high cheek bones and long blonde hair. If I hadn't known who she was, I would have never assumed that she'd be old enough to teach college students. Her youthful face and stunning figure only made me feel smaller as I tried to stand high.

"Were you one of those kids egging my home?" She accused with a twisted tone.

I blinked and shook my head.

Helene scoped me out up and down before placing her hands across her chest. She pursed her lips waiting for me to actually speak.

I chapped my lips together and tied up my insecure thoughts with a bow before standing straight. "I saw a few kids running down the block a few seconds ago. They were too quick for me to stop them."

She stopped investigating my appearance to glance down the block into the abyss. I was thankful that she didn't catch sight of me and Carl. With him barely out of juvie, I couldn't afford him getting into more trouble this close to the North side. I'll continue operation Carl later, right now, I have to finish this.

"Do I know you from somewhere?" She finally asked with furrowed brows.

Before I could muster up some story as to why my face was familiar and why I was on her doorstep, she put a hand up. I pursed my lips and bit my tongue.

"Wait," She said with realization glowing on her face, "You're the girl from the street. Lip's friend. What was your name again?"

The girl from the street. Awesome identifier.

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