“Here,” Alisha said, throwing me a ten-pound bundle of rope. Okay, I don’t know that it was ten pounds, but it sure feels like it. Sure, I’d gone running every day, but lifting weights wasn’t my thing, and my back sure took a hit already. And my head feels like crushed rocks. I check my facial expressions before my brain posts them on my lips, and Alisha thinks I’m some weak bastard, someone unworthy of her love. All of her love, not just a little bit, is what I’m after. Alisha wants to murder a guy, and I want to murder the wall she’s placed up. The wall that says all guys are the same and only want one thing. It’s not true.
“Woah… I thought we’d murder him or kill him or get revenge and be done with it,” I said. “You thinking about torturing the guy?”
Alisha searched through a backpack. “Listen, if you’re too squeamish, I can find another guy to help me. Maybe Mark Thompson isn’t busy.” Mark Thomson! Was Alisha serious? I took another glance at her lips and caught her tight-lipped stare burn my skin with shame—the shame of my insecurity. Mark Thompson was my nemesis and a cruel bastard, who stole Alisha from the grips of me asking her to our senior prom. I didn’t want Mark around her. Hell – I didn’t want to see Mark ever again.
“No”–I shook my head–“I just figured we’d get it over with. You know? In and out kinda thing.”
Alisha’s narrow eyes turned to crinkled slits. “And let the guy who raped me take the easy way out? I think not,” Alisha said. “If I have to kill the son-of-a-bitch myself, I will.”
“I didn’t say that.” I wanted to slap myself in the mouth for implying I’d been having second thoughts, but that wouldn’t be fair to me because I was having second thoughts. It’s not like you kill a man every day. You have to build up the courage, presumably. I felt like a hitman (because that’s exactly what I’d turned into). Dad would be so not proud of me. And my sister? My sister would change her last name if she knew I was helping Alisha Keagan cross the street, let alone kill a man for her. But I have to be honest; I’d wanted to get into her pants since I was a freshman in high school. What? Don’t look at me like that. I am only human. You know? We have needs, and my needs revolved around Alisha Keagan.
“Anyfuckingbody home?” Alisha said, waving both hands inches from my face.
“Yeah, what? I’m ready,” I said, shaking my head.
“Good… Now take the knife. I’ve got the gun.” Alisha smoothed her hand over the holster on her back.”
I used to run in high school, and I’d get nervous before runs, so nervous that I’d throw up my guts before a race. I knew the feeling. This feeling I’m feeling right now because it’s that bone-crushing, gut-twisting endorphin-fueled concoction racing through my veins. I didn’t know if it was nerves or me really having second thoughts; a large bubble formed in my throat. I doubled over and swallowed several times, and warm stomach fluid and coffee slapped the floor.
“Sick already?” Alisha folded her lips under her teeth to hide a smile. “Really, dude?”
“Sick? Me?” I pointed to myself. “I must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me.”
“Let’s get this over with,” I said, rolling my eyes. I shoved a pill in my mouth and swallowed hard, without water. I’d realized that was the first time I’d ever taken medication without a sip of water or Sparkling Ice water.
I”There’s his house.” Alisha lifted her arm, pointing her finger-shaking hand to the man’s home. “He must have stepped out for a minute.”
I parked the car behind a set of evergreen trees. “Gone to the store?” I said. I hoped he’d left town and become someone else’s problem. No, that’s not very noble of me, but still. I think she didn’t want him to be home any more than I did. Alisha was good at hiding things, except when her rage boiled to a crescendo, which wasn’t uncommon.
“Let’s hope he’s not bringing home another girl when he comes back,” Alisha said. “Let’s go.”
I reached out to connect my fingers over Alisha’s wrist. “Wait, you mean we’re going to barge in and wait for him?”
“Got a better option?”
I folded my lips under my teeth. Of course, I didn’t have a better option, but the finality of murder and assault had begun messing with my mind. I told myself this was a noble cause and if it allowed me to spend more time with Alisha, then good.
“I didn’t think so. Now, you ready?” Alisha’s ocean blue eyes pulled me underwater. I was drowning under her spell. I’d do anything for her, even kill a man.
“Go.” I rolled my eyes. Fuck Alisha and her goddamn sarcasm. I’d been used to Alisha’s sarcasm ever since Mr. Ellison’s ninth-grade second-period science class when she pointed out that I had what she sore was a piss-stain, but it was coffee. No, really, I swear it. See, you’re looking at me like that, too. Don’t. Anyway, seeing terror shook Alisha didn’t sit well with me. She was the strong one. Alisha would kick any girl’s ass yet dress to kill. And she slew me at least once a week. Okay, more like every day.