Chapter 22

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I don't want to return to Alice's tonight. After coming home last night with blood on my clothes, I'm not sure she'll let me slip away without explaining why I now have cuts and bruises all over my body. I don't have the energy to hit up another crew for hash and cash either. 

Unfortunately, I can't show up at Nick's sister's birthday party covered in blood and wearing sweaty work-out clothes I've spent the night in, so I don't have any other choice. I catch the empty bus back to Alice's and sneak inside. I'm lucky that the two of them are already in bed.

I wince at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. I am covered in more bruises and tiny cuts than a street wrestler. The slice from Sage's knife that Andreaz stitched up is the worst, still bleeding through the bandage. I try my hardest not to get it wet in the shower and painfully dry my hair afterward. By the time I'm clean, I don't look as bad as I imagined. Apart from a scrape above my eyebrow and a few bruises on my knuckles, most of the damage can be covered by make-up. Satisfied, I crawl into bed and listen to sounds of Alice and Shane bumping the bed-head against the wall next door. Usually I cringe at their love-making sounds, but tonight it soothes me. I know that's disgusting but after the night I've had ... it's good to hear something normal.

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