Getting Dirty, p.1part #1 of Dirty Series by Cheryl McIntyre / Young Adult
Olivia takes my arm, clenching it to her side for warmth. Nose red and cheeks circles of pink—I’ve never seen her look more beautiful. My beanie hugs her head, keeping the wet snow from soaking her dark hair. She shivers, her teeth clicking together quietly. A puff of foggy air bursts from between her lips as she laughs.
“It’s freezing,” she pants. “Why are we doing this again?”
I stop walking, sliding my cold hands into her coat and around her waist as I spin her to face me. “I thought you wanted pancakes?”
A tremble rocks her body when I slip my fingers under the hem of her shirt. She gasps and smacks my chest. “Damn it, Link,” she hisses. “You’re hands are like ice.”
I grin at her and she caves instantly, her mild irritation dissipating. The girl’s crazy for my smile and I take full advantage of it. “I’ll warm you up,” I murmur. I tug her against me, her body pressing into mine. Thighs to thighs. Hips to hips. Chest to chest. Even with the bulky coat and scarf, she’s still the sexiest woman in the world. I’m so in love with her, and I show her with my mouth, my teeth, my tongue, as I kiss her deep and long.
She moans into my mouth before pulling back, her fingers splayed across my now heated cheeks. “God, I love you,” she says.
I smile, taking her hand and entwining our fingers. “You want to skip pancakes?” I ask hopefully. I want to take her back to the dorms and show her more love. The kind where I get to peel away the layers covering the gorgeous body she’s hiding underneath.
“I need fed, baby, I’m sorry. I’ll eat quickly, I promise.” She holds up her index finger and carefully crosses her heart before pressing it to my lips. I wrap my hand around hers and nibble her fingertip. She squeals, but doesn’t try to pull away, so I open my mouth and suck her whole finger inside, caressing it with my tongue.
“Mm, your mouth is so warm. I want to crawl inside.”
My eyebrow pops up and I slowly slip her slender finger from between my lips. “You’re welcome inside my mouth anytime, Olivia. All you need to do is ask.” Just thinking about it has me forgetting the cold and twitching against my jeans. “Damn baby,” I rasp, “that’s my favorite place for you to be.”
“Food first,” she says, her voice low and breathy now.
I throw my head back and groan. “You’re killing me. You got your phone? I’ll call an order in and we can eat in bed.”
“I didn’t bring it. Use yours.”
I groan again. “Mine’s dead.”
“You need a car charger.”
“I need a warm bed and an even warmer body.” I lift my brows as I add, “Sandwiched between the two.”
She laughs and pulls me forward. “We’d be in a nice warm bed by now if you hadn’t insisted on the movie,” she reminds me.
“Bruce Willis, Liv. You don’t pass up a Bruce Willis movie. Ever. It’s sacrilegious.”
She makes a face at me, crinkling her nose and crossing her eyes. I press my lips together to keep from laughing. God, this girl. This girl is amazing. And she’s mine. And I’m the luckiest son of a bitch to ever walk this planet.
I’ll always be grateful to my asshole brother for making me late my first day of high school. If I hadn’t been running down that exact hall at that exact moment, I never would have met her. And Mr. Haydon, my new principal, if he hadn’t forgotten his lunch, his only daughter wouldn’t have been walking out of his office after dropping it off to him on her way to her own school.
It wasn’t until I slammed into her, shoving her into the lockers, that I even noticed her. But when I did, damn, I was hooked. It didn’t take much to finagle a name and number from her. It was the smile, she’d told me.
She’s always been crazy for the smile.
“Just remember, I get to pick the next one.” She smirks at me, her lips curving wickedly. “And, oh, yes, it will be a romantic comedy. Or,” she adds, “just a plain old chick-flick full of anguish and heartache.”
I shrug indifferently. “As long as there’s nudity.” Really I don’t give a shit what we watch as long as she’s sitting beside me, and she knows it. Hell, I’ve sat through three-hour independent, foreign films for her. I may have fallen asleep once or twice, but I was there.
She scoffs. “No. No nudity. Just good old wholesome angst.”
I pout my lower lip out and blink my eyelashes sadly. She sighs. “Fine, I’ll try to find a chick-flick with some side boob.”
“I love side boob,” I announce, my voice echoing off the surrounding buildings. Olivia hushes me, looking around the empty street. I shake my head at her. It’s one in the morning on a Wednesday and we’re too far from campus. The streets are damn near abandoned, less for the twenty-four hour diner a block up. I can just make out the neon lights from here.
“There’s nobody around,” I say before continuing on with all the reasons I appreciate side boob, which is plentiful.
Four guys come around the corner and Liv shoots me a look as if to say, “I told you so.” I wink at her and nod at the group as they pass by.
It doesn’t register that I’ve been hit until I’m lying flat on my stomach, my chin bouncing against the cement sidewalk. I hear Liv scream before it’s abruptly cut short. The suddenness of her silence has panic rising, seizing my limbs. I slide my palms, pushing myself up. I make it to my knees and then someone’s in front of me. He grabs a fistful of my hair, dragging me around the corner and into the alley.
I scramble to my feet, planting them on the ground, and yanking out of his grip. I don’t know how much hair I rip from my own head. I don’t even feel it, but I hear it. Like peeling Velcro.
I spin around, searching for Liv. My eyes land on her—held securely around the waist, arms pinned at her sides. A stranger’s hand is cupped over her mouth. And her eyes. God, her eyes. They’re full of horror and tears.
I rush toward them, toward her. That’s all I’m thinking about. I have to get to her. Something—someone—hits me in the back and I stumble, but I catch myself, my hand landing on broken glass. I push myself up once again and lurch forward.
He slams into me again and this time I fall hard on my knees. This one knocks the air out of me and I can’t find my breath. I stare up at Olivia as I try to make my body work. She struggles against the stranger until another man takes her legs. They lift her and I lunge after them. My fingers make contact with the man’s red Cleveland Indians coat, but find no purchase. They slide down as I fall.
I’m hit again. I hear the tearing of fabric.
Liv screams, muffled behind a hand.
Another hit. I toe myself forward an inch, maybe two.
“Shut the fuck up,” somebody hisses angrily.
Then laughing. They’re laughing.
I’m struck again. I reach for Liv.
One of the men drops on top of her and I hear the all too familiar sound of unzipping. If there is a God, please. Please don’t let them do this to her.
I pick up a piece of the broken glass and shove myself up, getting my chest off the ground just to have it shoved back down. A boot presses into my back and I try to yell, but I still can’t breathe.
Liv’s gaze meets mine and I know the exact moment the fucker defiles her. Her blue eyes widen and then she stops crying. She pinches her eyes closed and I try, God I try, to get up. I’m going to kill him. I’m going to fucking kill them all.
Another strike to my back. This one sounds wet. I barely feel it. My vision blackens around the edges. Spots trail in front of me, looping and dancing.
I nudge myself forward. The man finally gets off of Liv. Her eyes pop open and she extends her arm, reaching out to me. I push harder, force my body to move another inch. My fingers are red as they touch the tips of hers. Cold. Icy cold.
She’s crying again. Her teeth chatter and little whimpering sounds bubble out of her blue lips. Someone—another one of the men—kicks my hand away as he lowers himself on top of my girlfriend. My life. My heart. My whole reason for living.
God, please, no. Please help her. Don’t let this happen. Please, God. I’ll do anything. Anything. Please.
I take another hit. Metal warmth fills my mouth and everything goes black.
Four years later
As soon as the door is shut and locked, I lift my skirt, hiking it up to my waist. His eyes follow my movements like a panther watching its prey. The heat from his gaze burns my skin in ways I both love and detest. I caress the silkiness of my panties and he licks those ravenous lips. God, he has a great mouth. That’s exactly why I’m here in the bar bathroom, flashing my thong to some guy who’s name I don’t know. Don’t care to know. Will never know.
I just need a few minutes with that gorgeous mouth. As soon as this cowboy wannabe turned that damn smile on me, I knew I wanted to fuck it.
I hook my thumbs into the straps just below my hips and start to wiggle out of my panties. They’re wet, sticking to my most sensitive places at the moment. I suck in a breath as I pull them clear and kick them across the floor. They slide under the door of the only stall.
The cowboy in front of me rubs his hard-on through his jeans, groaning at the sight of me, bare from the waist down. I touch myself, letting my fingers trail through my moisture. My fingers come away slick with my juices and he groans at the sight.
“Come here,” I direct him with the same fingers.
He takes the two steps separating us, eagerly, and I shove my fingers into his mouth. All my girly parts twitch, tighten, and tingle as he sucks every last bit of my flavor from my skin. He grins around my fingers, pulling away with a pop.
The feel of him this close, chest to chest, makes me want to puke on him or punch him, so I smack the cowboy hat off his head, grab handfuls of his thick hair, and push him to his knees. He makes a noise, somewhere between pissed off and aroused. I could give a shit as long as he makes me come.
I lean my back against the door—it’s cold on my naked ass and the feeling is exquisite. The cowboy looks up at me, waiting for my next move. It makes me smile. I love this part. Watching a grown man, on his knees in a filthy public bathroom, awaiting my next command. I could almost come right now.
Without warning, I hook a leg over his shoulder and yank his head into my pussy. He makes that same sound he did before, but his tongue begins to lap enthusiastically. I angle my hips so that I can see every sweep of his tongue. Fuck. That’s beautiful.
I tug him closer and grind into his lips. His nose jams into my pelvic bone and that just makes my smirk widen. I start a pace, thrusting my hips in time with his tongue. I’m humping this cowboy’s face like we’re at the rodeo, and he’s loving every second of it.
His fingers trail up the inside of my leg just as someone bangs on the door. I moan at the same time I flick his hand away. I don’t want him touching me with anything but his mouth. Mm. Shit. I’m close.
“Open the fucking door. People need to piss.” More pounding on the door as I pound the cowboy’s lips.
“Don’t you dare fucking stop,” I breathe through gritted teeth. I need this. I need to come. It’s been too long and if I don’t get this release, I might go insane.
Cowboy’s a good listener. His tongue thrashes at me, moving faster, pressing harder. I close my eyes, cutting off my view, and I come hard. I ride his tongue, milking every second I can. Normally I’d keep going just to see how many orgasms I can ring out, but the asshole at the door is breaking my concentration.
I shove the cowboy away firmly. He falls back on the floor, staring up at me. My fluids are all over his face from the nose down, making his scruff glisten. I hope my smell stays on him all night. His cock is about to Hulk out of his jeans. I almost feel bad that he’ll be heading back to his beer with a massive set of blue-balls.
I straighten my skirt, smoothing it down with the palms of my hands. “Thanks for the ride, Cowboy. I’m pretty sure we just saved a few horses.” And then I flip the lock, tugging the door open. The guy on the other side practically falls into me.
“Wait,” Cowboy calls. He’s probably wondering if his jollies are going to be getting off any time soon. Maybe he wants my name, my number, whatever. It doesn’t matter. He isn’t getting any of that from me. I keep walking. The combination of his saliva and my arousal is sliding down my thigh, slowly making its way along my heated skin.
I relish in the feeling.
I can’t wait to get home and shower it away.
I’m always split. Two opposing sides within one body.
This is who I am. I deal with it the best I can.
I make it to my car as the cowboy saunters out the door of the piece-of-shit bar. He stands there, watching me as he adjusts himself. I notice my pink panties hanging from his pocket. He’s pissed, I can tell, but he doesn’t make a move in my direction. He just watches me with that predatory gaze.
Looks like it’s time to find a new bar.
The world has no idea what it’s lost. People just go on, living each day, none the wiser that someone so beautiful was taken from the world. Murdered at only nineteen.
On certain days, it’s difficult to get out of bed. I’d rather bury my head under the pillows and sleep the pain away. Maybe pain isn’t what I’m feeling. I think I’m more numb than anything. Which is good. I prefer it. But there is the distinct sensation that something vital is missing. I never contemplate it too long because I’m afraid I’ll realize it’s her. Olivia.
It was hard enough when she died. I can’t lose the memories, too.
It’s been taking a little longer to recall her features. I forgot about the little scar above her eyebrow. I didn’t realize I forgot about it until I noticed it in a picture the other day.
Since then, I’ve been trying to summon the images of all her distinctive markings—the set of freckles on each shoulder, the birthmark on her left ass cheek, the tiny mole on her neck. I know there’s more, but it’s fading. If I can’t see it in a picture, I’m losing it.
I try to focus on my day. I have too much going on to stay in this bed.
There’s a new guy starting at the gym. Ex-marine or some shit. Knows how to handle himself. I think he’ll be a good addition, but I don’t feel like answering the questions all the new guys ask.
Why is my gym named after a chick?
Who is Livie?
Where is Livie?
They always ask. And I can never answer.
Damn it. Maybe I should call Augie, let him fill the new guy in.
I rub my face, trying to scrub away the sleep. Fuck it. He can handle it. I palm the nightstand in search of my phone. Peering out of one eye, I wince against the harsh white light from the screen as I shoot him a quick text before placing my weekly order with the flower shop. It’s the same thing I do every Monday. One dozen roses—red and white today—and specific instructions: vase placed in front of Olivia’s headstone, a picture taken to ensure delivery. I won’t go to the cemetery. I never have. I never will. But I keep every picture they send. I can’t find it in me to delete them.
Maybe if I hadn’t missed her funeral, maybe then I could force myself to visit her grave. Maybe if I had been conscious. Maybe if I hadn’t been in my third?, fourth? surgery at the time of her service—maybe then I could have visited her and told her how much I missed her. But it didn’t happen that way, and now it’s been too long. I just can’t. I can’t look at a stone and say all the things I want to say.
Like how I miss her every single day. How I’m weak, so weak, without her. How four years have passed me by and I’ve felt nothing but loss, and pain, and anger each of those days.
After I end the call with the florist, I notice the missed call icon and slide the screen down. My adrenaline kicks in, pulsing through my veins and making my hands shake.
The missed calls are from Byers—the detective handling my case. That fucker never calls me. Not once in four years. He’s never needed to. I call him weekly, checking in and making damn sure the investigation is kept active. The fact that he called so many times can only mean one thing.
I squeeze the phone, pressing it to my forehead. Four years. I waited four years for this moment. And now that it’s here… I sit up and plant my feet on the cool, hardwood floor.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel right now. Not happy—definitely not happy. Not excited, or content, or nervous…
I place the call.
“I’ve been trying to get a hold of you all night,” Byers says. No greeting, no formalities. Just straight to the point. Exactly how I like it. “I’ve got a guy here, came in on an assault charge last night. Linken, he looks a lot like the police sketch of suspect number two. I need you to get down here and ID him.”
“What’s his name?” I ask. Surprisingly, my voice is calm, quiet, deceptive.
“You know I can’t tell you that right now. Just get down here.”
I flex my back, feeling the scars pull tight on my skin.
Eighteen. That’s how many times I was stabbed with a flaying knife. I remember eight.
Five. That’s how many surgeries it took to repair all the damage. The damage caused to my body. Not my mind. Not my heart. There’s no repairing those.
Ten. The number of months I spent in the hospital.
Four. Months in rehab.
Fourteen hundred and sixty. That’s the number of days I shouldn’t have been living. If this is living. I feel dead inside.
Three. This is my number. It’s the exact sum of reasons I continue to go on. One: To strengthen my body. Make it strong. Make it a machine. Make it so that what happened before can never, ever, happen again.
Two: To help others find their own strength so that what happened to me, what happened to Liv, doesn’t happen to them.
And three: My favorite—to find the bastards that took my life away and make them pay for what they did.
This is what my life is now. A dead man, inside a scarred body, living only for revenge.
“I’ll be right there,” I utter.
“Good.” The call ends, missing the same decorum as when it started.
I was supposed to be a boy. When I was still baking in my mom’s tummy, the ultrasound tech told her I had a penis. My dad was thrilled. My mom not as much. Although she swears up and down all that mattered was my health, it’s obvious she wanted a girl by all the pink dresses I grew up wearing. I can’t blame her. She already had my brother and he was Dad’s little boxing buddy. On a good day, they’re hard to handle.
Mom never got a second opinion on my gender because I shocked the shit out her by making my appearance two months early. And then I surprised them again when I didn’t have a penis. What can I say? I’m an unconventional girl.
Dad had already picked out my name—Rocky Marciano Cutrone—and he wasn’t willing to change it just because I had a vagina. Dad had three names predetermined because my parents had planned to have three children. But after my early arrival, the doc broke the news that Mom couldn’t have any more kids. Dad considered giving me his third and final name, Sugar Ray, but Mom, thankfully, encouraged him to stick with Rocky. I’m not fond of the name, but it’s better than the alternative. He bought a dog a few years later—just to name her Sugar.