Chapter 38: Kat

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"Are you sure you don't want to share the bed?"

"Lay, for the last time, yes. I'm sure. Not my first time kicking it on the floor."

I was just fine sleeping on Layla's floor for a few nights and maybe more. Their house only had one spare bedroom and that went to Charlotte as it was her room for over a month recently anyways.

"God, I almost forgot how stubborn you were." She tagged her jab with a light chuckle and settled underneath her covers. I did the same on the floor, placing my head back against the soft cushion of pillow and stared up at the ceiling.

We both laid there in silence for a while. I wasn't tired. Well, my body was tired but my mind was racing with thoughts and scenarios just like it had been the last few nights. Thinking back, my last night of good sleep was my last night in the brothel. Now that I was back home, safe and sound, I couldn't find the peace needed to sleep. Yet, in a house where horrors threatened me everywhere I went, I slept like a baby most nights.

If that isn't cruel irony, then I don't know what is.

You slept so well not because of where you were but...

Suffocating the noise of my grumble back into my throat, I rubbed my hands up and down my face furiously as yet another intrusive thought messed with my mind.

My thoughts about Blake were constant and overwhelming.

"You okay down there?"

"Yup," I replied curtly. "Peachy."

The mattress Layla rest on squeaked a few times as she rolled herself over on it, positioning herself on her side to look down at me. "You sure you don't want to talk about your dad?"


Remember how Blake used to say that?

Another sigh expelled through my nose as I shut my eyes, frustration working its way across my mind as thoughts of Blake continued to brew. The pain they brought with them was crippling both emotionally and mentally, as well as nearly physically. My body had almost given out on me many times over the last few days thanks to lack of sleep, food, and memories of Blake.

"Okay, so what about you and Dom then? Wanna open that can of worms tonight?"

"Not really."

"Okay, but you guys are gonna work it out, right?" she pressed.

I hesitated. "Uh, probably? I- I don't know." The scariest part of that was, I wasn't just saying that to end the conversation.

I really didn't know.

"Kat," Layla called. "Is this just because he called your dad or...?" Even though she didn't finish her question, I knew what she was asking.

"No. That... honestly doesn't have much to do with it. I know why Dominic called him. I'm not even really mad that he did. It was just kind of the one thing that made it all... too much."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that being around Dominic right now is just too much." The words were harsh but that didn't stop them from being true.

"I don't think I'm following."

The ceiling to Layla's bedroom blinked rapid snapshots in my vision as I laid there, trying to figure out how to put what I was feeling around Dominic into words.

"It feels like when you're swimming in the ocean and a wave takes you under. You know instinctively that same wave will bring you back up to the surface again but, those few seconds under water where you didn't have enough time to hold your breath or close your eyes... Every part of you stings with panic. Being around him now is like those few seconds on nonstop repeat."

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