Page 32 of Hate Like Ours

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My eyesslowly open and it only takes a second for me to realize that I’m lying on the ground in the woods still. My head is foggy and it aches so bad.

My mouth is dry as hell and it literally feels like I went through hell. A groan slips past my lips when I sit up. I have no idea how long I’ve been passed out. Who knew taking a tumble in the woods would hurt this much?

“You know, I could bury you here and no one would ever find your fat ass. Plus, the bugs would have a feast, gnawing on all that fat,” a voice says out of the blue. I shriek before turning my head so fast in the direction the voice came from, only to find Knox standing there, leaning against a tree, looking at me with a bored expression on his face.

I look around and realize that everyone is gone. It’s just the two of us here right now. Geez. The guy really is an asshole. He didn’t even help me. Maybe he really does want to murder me or something. That thought causes me to swallow and I become aware of how dry my throat is.

“How long have I been out for?” I question. He doesn’t answer, just stares at me like I didn’t just ask him a question. When I give up, thinking he won’t answer, he finally does.

“A few minutes,” he says, shrugging.

“Where is everyone and why am I still here?” I ask as I crawl over to the log that’s a few feet away from me and sit on it. I hope to get situated for a few minutes before I even attempt to get out of here.

It literally feels like someone is banging away inside my skull and I want it all to go away. Damn it, I can’t believe that Kinsley and I drank so much.

“Stop hanging around Kinsley,” he says suddenly in a harsh tone, and I have to look up at him again. What the hell? He did not just tell me to stay away from my friend.

“Excuse me?” I question.

“You heard me,” he says, clenching his jaw.

“Hate to tell you this but you have no say in my life, especially not who I can be friends with,” I snap at him.

“We’ll see about that. All I have to do is tell her not to be friends with you anymore and she’ll do exactly what I tell her to. You want to know why? Because we’re her family and you’re nothing,” he sneers at me.

“Please. You don’t have that kind of power and she’d never do that just because you said so, asshole!” I snap at him. I’m tired of him and his asshole ways. Who the hell does he think he is?

“In case you’ve forgotten who I am, I’m the fucking king in this town. And when I say jump, they all jump without even so much as a peep from them,” he says as a smirk crosses his face.

“Is that supposed to scare me?” I grumble.

“Yes, because you’ll get everything coming to you soon,” he says, curling his lips into a sneer.

“Why the fuck are you even here right now then? For someone who doesn’t care about the fat girl, you sure do make it a point to be around me a lot,” I say. I instantly see that my words anger him further because they’re the truth, but I don’t care right now. “If you can’t stand me so much then just stay the fuck away from me. It’s not fucking rocket science!”

Before he can even respond to my outburst, a scream rips out of me when I feel something slither across my hand. I look down to see a snake’s tail by my hand. I jackknife up and off the log in an instant and run right up the stupid hill that I fell from.

I end up running right to where Knox is, not caring since I’m scared as fuck of anything that crawls or slithers. Clearly my flight-or-fight response is broken because he’s the last person I should ever run to for help.

“There’s a freaking snake there!” I gasp, trying to catch my breath. Oh my God! It could have bitten me if I was moving or if its head was in my direction. A shiver runs through my body as I think about that. Well, this is the last time I ever venture out into the woods.

“Welcome to Texas,” he says dryly.

“Gee, thanks,” I mumble.

The air around us suddenly shifts when he grabs me by the collar of my shirt and I realize my mistake. I ran from one predator right to another one.

He pulls me in closer to him so that he’s now crowding my space. He pushes me back until I’m pressed up against a tree.

“We should go. The others must be wondering where we are,” I say, and hate that my voice has a shaky quality to it. In all honesty, us alone here in the woods makes me kind of scared.

I mean, I wouldn’t put it past him to actually murder me and bury me right here in the woods. Who really comes into these woods? Which means that no one would ever find my body. I’d disappear with no trace. It’s like he can hear my inner thoughts because he smirks at me evilly.

“I could snap your neck right here and right now, and no one would even bat an eye. In fact, they’d never know because my friends won’t tell anyone,” he tells me, smiling now. I try to get rid of the fear but it must show on my face because a second later, he’s laughing in my face.