Knives (Ruthless Kings MC #9) - K.L. Savage
To all the outsiders, the runts, the lonely souls, our Ruthless Readers,
We know what it’s like to be the ones looking in. We know what it’s like to feel isolated, hopeless, and so alone you don’t know where to go or how to get out of the bubble you’ve found yourself in.
There is always love. There are always people willing to welcome you with open arms. We are those people. You have us.
Pop. That. Bubble.
It feels good to be set free.
Fifteen Years old
Silence is the clearest speaker of all. Its words ring loud and true.
I read that somewhere a few years ago etched in a bookshelf in a library. I ignored it at the time because I didn’t understand what the statement meant. Silence doesn’t speak. Silence doesn’t make noise.
But silence spoke volumes when I started high school last year, and that’s when the understanding clicked in my mind.
It’s what happens in the quiet that means the most.
Teenagers are brutal. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are bullies, plain and simple. And even worse are the ones who stick around to watch me get my ass beat. Every damn day. No one says a word. They laugh, they point, they watch.
It’s because I’m a nobody.
I’m scrawny, I’m short for my age, I have long hair that’s dirty because I have no money to get it cut. I’m only allowed to shower once a week to save on the water bill because everyone else in the house has to bathe too.
I’m a natural target.
I’m the kid everyone avoids. I’m the kid no one trusts. It’s easy to be an outsider when I’ve never fit into any group, made friends with any kids, or have had a home to call my own. I don’t have parents, and the kids love to remind me every day that I don’t have a mom and dad.
As if I could ever forget that I’ve been on my own for a long time.
My caseworker found me living on the streets a few years back after running away and sent me back to another foster home. It’s my tenth one since I was eight. It used to bother me, not having that sense of family, but I’ve learned not even family is all that cracked up to be. My foster home has ten kids. Our clothes are always dirty. We go days without eating a proper meal. We get slapped around some, so it has skewed my idea of what family is. The foster parents are only in this for the paycheck.
I’ve learned to trust no one because everyone disappoints.
Well, I take that back. There is one person. My foster brother, Mason. He is a year older than me and takes the ‘big brother’ role seriously. He’s a protector. He’s always standing up for me when the kids at school call me a loser, a freak, a creep, a bastard. Other kids don’t make fun of Mason. They wouldn’t dare. Mason is already over six feet tall, and muscular, while I’m pathetic and weak.
It’s not like the kids at school are wrong about me. I’m all of those things because I don’t know how to be anything else, but it’s time for me to learn. Mason won’t be around forever to save my ass, so it’s up to me to make the change, to be my own protector. When Mason turns eighteen, he is going to be out on his ass because the system doesn’t keep adults, and where will that leave me?
And with no one in my corner.
It’s why I need to find a way to protect myself. A weapon of some sort. Something that’s quick, agile, and fierce. I want my weapon to say, ‘don’t fuck with me’.
Maybe then the bullies will see how serious I am.
I’m tired of always looking over my shoulder. It’s exhausting, and I want to be done being afraid.
Like right now.
I keep my head down and shrug the raggedy blue backpack up my shoulder. It’s torn, stained, and the straps are barely hanging on to the last bit of thread. I stuff my hands in the hoodie pockets and walk faster. The sooner I get off this back road and onto the main road, the better.
“Hey, freak, I’m talking to you.”
“Yeah, we’re talking to you. It’s rude to ignore us.”
“I bet he’s scared.”
The three of them taunt me, but I know better than to pay them any attention. I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t.
My breaths come out