Home > Deadly Affair (Deadly Love #1)

Deadly Affair (Deadly Love #1)
Author: K.A Knight


Prologue

 

 

LAYLA

 

 

“Mom, you have to slow down! You’re going to get us killed!” I shout at the top of my lungs, my heart jumping up my throat from how fast she’s driving.

She either doesn’t hear me over the piece of crap car we’re in as she speeds lightning fast or she chooses not to acknowledge me. It also doesn’t help that my baby sister, Zoey, and kid brother, Gage, are whimpering in fear in the backseat. Even above the roar of the engine, their fear-filled sounds reach my ears. I throw a quick glance at them to check if they are okay and find their faces pale and sweaty, suggesting they are about to hurl at any second.

“Mom, please! Zoey and Gage look like they are about to throw up,” I yell, holding onto my seatbelt like it’s the only thing keeping me from flying out of the car, which is a possibility given the reckless way she weaves across the road, her eyes continually going to the rearview mirror.

“Layla, look in the glove box. There should be an empty plastic bag in there somewhere,” she snaps, ignoring everything else I have said up until now.

Nevertheless, I do as she says, and I find the bag easily enough amongst all the clutter filling the tiny space. Holding it tight, I kick the glove box shut and suck in a deep breath, calming my nerves. My brother and sister need me right now. They are counting on me. So before I turn around, I put on my best comforting smile for my siblings.

“Zoey, Gage, if you feel sick, just use this, okay?” I tell them kindly, keeping my voice soft even as I hit my mom’s seat from the force of her turning a corner.

Zoey remains rigid in her seat, as if she’s too scared to move. Her eyes, which are silently begging me for help, hurt my heart. Gage, however, snatches the bag out of my hand and wraps his arms protectively around it.

“No one is yakking their chunks in this bag. This was a birthday present.” He pouts, narrowing his eyes.

It’s from the time Mom was able to take Gage to watch his very first basketball game in the city. One of her drinking buddies gave her two tickets—I shudder to think what she had to do to get them—and she surprised Gage with them as a birthday present. She wasn’t able to buy him anything there, but she did manage to purchase the plastic bag Gage is currently protecting so fiercely in his little hands. It’s unfathomable to me how that was only last month.

Our little family was happy.

Or at least our family’s version of happy.

And now . . . we’re in the chase of our lives.

Okay, maybe happy is a bit of an overstatement. We were content with what we had. Life hasn’t always been easy in my household, but we made do.

Until yesterday, that is.

I can’t help but remember why we’re in this situation to begin with, the real reason our lives have been a constant battle of survival. The only thing that ever puts a genuine damper in our humble lives is Gage and Zoey’s dad, Roy. His temper knows no bounds, and his fury is only matched by the hatred that fills his eyes.

Last night, he gave Gage the brand-new shiner he’s now sporting. Every time I catch a glimpse of it, I get angry all over again. It didn’t surprise me when Roy went berserk on my kid brother for messing with his things. What truly shocked me was my mother’s reaction to all of it. Seeing her baby boy all bloody and bruised must have somehow coaxed out the last remaining sliver of maternal instinct in her. All it took was one look at Gage and my mother decided to leave Roy’s sorry ass for good the very next day. It’s astounding, really, since she has been just fine with him using her as his personal punching bag for years. But for him to lay a finger on Gage . . . Well, I guess it was too much for even my mother to handle.

Of course, she never once batted an eye when the creep would put his hands on me, but that’s a different story.

My gaze flickers over to the woman in question, the very one who should have loved me and protected me but could never summon the will to do it. My mother’s love was never in the cards for me. She always resented the fact that she was tied to a baby when she was just a kid herself. One of her high school hookups was too cheap to buy or wear a condom, and unsurprisingly, nine months later, I popped out, an occurrence that my mother seems to blame me for to this day. Sad thing is, she’s all I’ve got in the parental department. I have no idea who my father is since she was too drunk when they were making me to even get his name.

Romantic, right?

After a slew of deadbeat boyfriends and dating more losers than I have fingers and toes to count on, Mom finally met and married Roy, and by the way they tell it, it was love at first sight. He had a dilapidated house big enough for the five of us, and she took the beatings like a trooper.

Win-win for everyone, huh?

Every time he hit her, she would always come up with an excuse that it was somehow her fault and that she deserved to be disciplined. She sang a very different tune, however, when people on the street asked her how she had gotten a big swollen lip and that gash in her cheek.

“Oh, this little thing? It’s nothing. I’m just so damn clumsy when I get a few beers in me. You know how it goes,” she lied, her first priority protecting the man who was abusing her.

I was only a child when it started, but even then, I knew what was happening in my home was wrong. I tried to protect her, to get her to fight, but all it got me was a slap across the cheek for my troubles. She funneled all the anger she should have shown her piece of crap husband and channeled it into me.

Instead of protecting me, she chose him.

Well, that’s Alice for you. She always knew how to pick the worst in the litter. I hadn’t met a guy in her life who didn’t either smack her around or treat her like a piece of garbage. Mom always did take falling in love with the bad boy to a whole new extreme.

Hence why we’re currently driving at one hundred and fifty miles an hour, trying to put as much distance between us and this last dirtbag. Everything was going swimmingly too. I was overjoyed she was finally leaving him and that I wouldn’t have to creep around the house, scared of every shadow. We waited until Roy departed for work at the factory, and then we packed up our stuff and left.

It was just bad timing that as we were about to turn left on a crossroad, we caught sight of his pickup truck directly in front of us. It was even worse luck when he stared into my mom’s eyes from a few feet away. He slid a finger from left to right across his neck in the universal gesture that if he caught her, she was as good as dead.

The silent threat was enough to spook my mom into panicked hysteria, so just like in the movies, this is the part where we cut to the chase scene. Mom has been driving like a crazy person for the past half hour, trying to lose his tail. I don’t even think she knows where she’s at. She’s just taking the first roads she finds in an attempt to escape the man she said she loved so much.

“Layla,” Zoey mumbles in the backseat, drawing my gaze to her and away from the road.

“Yeah, sweetie?”

“I think I’m going to be sick,” she whimpers, her big green eyes filled with unshed tears.

“That’s totally okay, baby girl. Gage, give Zoey the bag,” I implore, glancing out the back window to check the road.

“No,” he says, holding the stupid thing close to his chest.

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