Lush green lawns spread out until the drop at an edge.
Neon and sparkling crystal lights lit up the entire backyard.
I was getting another glimpse into a world that was so far from the one I grew up in.
Kash led me forward, circling around to the back, and we turned the corner of the house. A couple was in the pool. His lips moved down her throat.
Kash walked past without a second glance. Like it was nothing new, like it was something he saw every day.
Going through the rest of the house, we saw other couples. All having sex.
Kash tightened his hold on my hand as he opened a door that led to the basement. The bass we had heard outside was louder here. We were headed right to its source, and a sick feeling overcame me.
I didn’t know what we were going to see down there. Kash did. His face was rigid and masked, and that told me enough. But I kept with him.
More couples. More orgies.
This place—Matt was here. And he was hurting and he was here and there were drugs and I didn’t know what state we would find him in, until finally, finally, Kash pushed open a back door.
Matt’s pants were undone. Shirtless. A girl was bent over in front of him and he was thrusting inside of her. Another girl was beneath her, her mouth on the girl’s breasts.
There was more movement in the back.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I recognized Chester, Tony, and the other guy from the tent earlier. All three were nailing a third girl.
Kash flipped on the main light.
No one reacted.
Well, that’s not true.
Matt looked right at us, and even through the glaze, I could see the ugliness. He didn’t stop thrusting. He grabbed her hips and pounded even harder until he came.
Once he was done, Matt pulled up his pants, coming toward us. “You come for the show?” He passed us by, going into the hallway.
Kash didn’t follow, not right away. His gaze was on the girls on the bed. His jaw clenched before he swung his head my way. His eyes met mine, and a look passed between us. He was trying to warn me, remind me again. Kids who grew up wanting nothing, who had the power to get anything.
They could use people for their games.
Anger was building in me. They didn’t know how privileged they were.
Kash saw it coming. “Bailey.”
A growl erupted from me. I couldn’t, I just couldn’t. Storming off, going blindly through the house. Down the hallway, through the room, up the stairs, through the door, and I was lost again. Kash’s fingers curled over my arms. Taking the lead, he tugged me the rest of the way. My head remained down now. I didn’t want to see what else was happening, where the moans were coming from, what was being snorted.
Matt was outside, waiting for us.
This world—I didn’t want it. But if things had been different, I would’ve seen this long before now. I was reeling, feeling like I was half stumbling.
Someone called out, “Francis. You leaving?”
Matt snorted. “Got in trouble. The ’rents found me.”
Someone else asked, “Who’s the girl?”
Kash’s hand tightened on me, and he didn’t pause in his stride.
“Wait!” Their voice picked up, excited. “Colello? That you?”
A female gasped.
“Kashton Colello? Where?”
Kash picked up his pace.
He ignored them all. Not pausing until we got to the cars, he held his hand out. “Don’t fuck with me. Not now.”
Matt rolled his eyes but dug into his pockets and tossed his keys to Kash. Kash caught them and almost immediately tossed them to someone approaching from the street. It was the security team.
Kash pointed to the back of our car, and Matt got in. He pulled the door shut, yawning. “And to think you almost missed all this fun. Right, Bailey?”
But he wasn’t looking at me. I was watching him in the mirror. His head was turned, watching a small group of people who had gathered at the gate and were watching us in return.
A harsh, clipped laugh from Matt, and he held his hand up against the window. “Look at them. Fucking trash.” He extended his middle finger, still laughing.
The vehemence in Matt’s tone, the superiority. My stomach curled in on itself again.
“Who’s the girl?” a guy shouted, gesturing to me.
Matt raised his voice. “Kash doesn’t give a fuck about you guys. Go and finance your own shit. You’re beneath us.”
Kash was reversing the car.
I expected a reprimand, something, but he said nothing. He remained quiet.
Matt let out a sigh, a last biting laugh leaving him. “You don’t have to say anything, Kash. I have your six. My turn, dude.”
His turn? For what?
Kash paused the car at an intersection, his head bent forward.
When he turned left, Matt burst out laughing. “He doesn’t trust me to be alone at my own place, and he doesn’t want to spend the night with you there. I can’t go to his place. He doesn’t want that, either, so we’re going back to the estate.” He laughed to himself, speaking to himself, “The fucking Chesapeake. Our dad is lame.”
If he was expecting a response, he would be disappointed. No one spoke. There were things to say, but it wasn’t the right time. After a while, Matt’s deep breathing was the only sound in the car. Maybe I would have fallen asleep, if it had been a normal night, but it wasn’t. I was wide awake, and when we slowed at the gate, it let us in.
After he parked, I didn’t wait for Kash. I got out, heading for the villa.
He called after me, coming around to Matt’s side, “Wait for a guard.”
I didn’t. “I’ll be fine.”
I slowed, half turned toward him.
Damn him. A soft request and my knees were melting.
He added, almost gentle, “Wait for a guard.”
I waited, but I was gritting my teeth as I did. A car pulled in behind us and three guards got of their own vehicle, another two getting out of Matt’s Lamborghini. Kash nodded toward me. “Two with her. The rest with Matt.” They broke apart. Three bent in, and Matt was shifted in their arms. They all carried him inside.
I was going to start ahead, now that I had my two bookends, but the main door opened. My father stood there, a deep frown on his face as he took in Matt. He was wearing a robe, a phone in his hand. Shifting back to give them space, he was putting his phone in his pocket, but the screen lit up.