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Authors: Sara Wolf


BOOK: Flawless//Broken
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Chapter 1


A novel by Sara Wolf





Book One of the
All Things Sullied And Pure








“Screw them,” I snap. “They don’t know anything about anything. Do what makes you happy.”

Darius whirls me around, then pulls me back to him, pinning my chest tight against his.
We’re so close I can see the streaks of copper - exactly the color of prima materia - in his golden eyes. He leans in, his lips inches away from touching mine and our gazes locked. I can’t think, or move. In the chandelier light he’s so undeniably handsome and close I can barely breathe. The music fades, the people fade, the only thing left his aching expression and the hardness of his body against mine.

He leans further in, to my ear.

“I can never do what makes me happy,” He murmurs.

“Wh-Why not?”

I feel his fingers tighten on my hips oh-so-slightly, and suppress the shiver that runs through me.

“Because it would get people hurt.”








Sara Wolf



Copyright ©2015 by Sara Wolf

All rights reserved. This work or any portion thereof may not be utilized or reproduced in any way, with exception of review purposes, without the written consent of the author.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblances to real persons, events, names, or locations are coincidental and a product of the author’s imagination.

For questions, concerns, or comments, please contact the author at [email protected]
























If there’s one thing I hate more than moving, it’s moving.

Luckily for me, I've done it twice this year.

"Mia!" My roommate Ellie shouts from the other room. "Stop murdering that box!"

I stab the taped-up cardboard box that holds my winter four more times for good measure with the kitchen knife. I'd use scissors, except then it wouldn’t satiate my infinite lust for mindless, pointy destruction.

"I can't. Call 911." I shout back, my voice echoing in the empty, wood-floored room. Sunlight streams in, fresh and clear through the single window. Outside of it a quaint San Francisco hill looms - steep, blanketed in fog, and hedged with cute, gingerbread-like houses in all colors of the rainbow. And beyond that is the beautiful bay, the waters steel gray.

It's a miracle two college Sophomores scored someplace this nice. Ellie has a good lease track record, but mine is, to put it nicely, shitty. I’d only ever lived with Dad in a trailer park, and that didn’t exactly fly well with people looking to rent. For a long while, it seemed like we'd never find a place, but a miracle came in the form of a little old grandma who took pity on us. The place smells like cats, but it’s cheap and close to the farmer's market and the toilet isn't falling off the wall, and in the sunlight the wood floors are beautiful, so we call it a win.

It’s even more of a miracle anyone from my tiny farming hometown in Idaho wanted to move to California with me, despite my reputation. Despite my scars.

I touch the one on my face, just below my jaw. It’s jagged and still a little raw – I took the bandage off on the car ride here. The doctors said it would heal, but it would take time, and I laughed and said ‘it’s permanent, isn’t it?’. And they nodded.

I glance up at the long mirror hanging on my door.

No. This is a fresh start. The freshest start, nearly two thousand miles away from what I'd done.

"Ahem," Ellie’s suddenly in my doorway, flaming red hair pulled back with a bandanna and her overalls spattered with paint. "I thought I'd inform you the bathroom is now extremely pink."

I groan. "Oh god, anything but pink."

"Bright, hot pink!" She asserts cheerfully. "Now leave that poor box alone and put on something decent."

"Are we having guests?" I stand, wiping my hands on my jeans. "If it's not a british boyband member, I don't care."

Ellie rolls her bright green eyes. Back in Barton, with her long tan legs and fox-eyes, she was undoubtedly the prettiest girl. Guys used to come from high schools miles away to watch her volleyball practices and games. She went through cosmetology school and learned the ins and outs of makeup, and that only made her prettier. And now that she’s going to San Fransisco University for law, she’ll get even smarter. San Francisco’s about to be taken by storm of blue-balls.

"We are, obviously, going to have a night out,” Ellie says. “This is our first night ever here and we should start it off with a bang, don't you think?"

"Remind me again what your idea of fun is?"

"Getting drunk around a bunch of overdressed people."

"See, that is also my definition of fun, except for the 'around any sort of living person' bit."

"Mia, I love you, but you need to suck it up. Puh-lease? Just this once. I'll never have a better excuse to drag you to a club ever again!"

She shoots me her gorgeous puppy dog eyes of death. I’d much rather stay in and drink cocoa and watch bad Netflix. But Ellie’s done me a huge favor. She’s taken a chance on me when no one else in this world would. My sigh is hard enough to start a hurricane halfway around the world.

"Alright, fine."

Ellie squeals like she's ten, then bounces out of my room. Her enthusiasm is practically contagious. She comes back a second later, her expression more somber.

“And don’t…don’t worry about your face, okay? I’ll do your makeup.”

She means my scar. It’ll take an entire counter of Maybelline to cover it, and even then she probably won’t be able to hide it all. But it’s the sweet thought that counts. I smile.

“Thanks, El.”

She retreats down the hall. I stab the box one last time, tearing it open and rummaging around in it. I find what I'm looking for almost instantly - a black dress with sequins on it. A dress I never thought I'd have the chance to wear. A dress I don't really want to wear. Mom got it for me, the first - and last - time she visited me in my freshmen year of high school before she disappeared off the face of the planet again with a new husband.

I stand in front of the mirror and hold the dress against my body. My hair is pitch-black and long. Unlike Ellie, I don’t have thick curves or rich amber skin. I blow my limp bangs out of my iron-gray eyes, my freckles obvious against my exhausted complexion. Moving takes a lot out of me. Everything takes a lot out of me, these days. The scar is a reminder I don’t need, a furious voice echoing in my head every time I see it or feel my hair glance against it.

‘You bitch! You think you’re just gonna up and leave me like your whore mother?’

It was easier in high school, when I didn’t argue with him. It was easier when I was miles away in Seattle for college. But it caught up with me – the drinking, the cheap and plentiful pills. Drowning my past out was easier than working through it with homework and a part-time job. So I drowned, deep and long and silent, until the university kicked me out, back to Dad’s. Back to the whiskey. Back to the yelling and arguing. Back to the muddy, misty trailer park and the miles of cornfields and beer-guzzling, gossipy neighbors. I sunk, hard.

And no one pulled me out. No one gave me CPR. They left me to sink deeper.

I raise my chin and pull my shirt and shorts off. The dress is tight on my skin, but I look different in it. I look like a witch queen dressed in sparkling night. I look…
. I look like someone not-me.

And I’d do anything to be not-me.



I had this plan.

And it was

It started out with me definitely not failing college and going back home. And then Dad definitely not getting mad at me. And then me definitely not getting shifty looks at the grocery store and post office where everyone knew my first, last, and middle name and had seen me shit my diapers, learn to read, and grow breasts. Not all at once. Because that’s not how growing up works. Thankfully.

Anyway, the point is at the tender age of six, when I concocted this master plan of success and world fame and fortune, I had no idea what life had in store for me. Life didn’t seem to have any idea what it had in store for me either. It just sort of threw shit at the wall and offered me whatever stuck, and because I was trapped in a tiny Idaho town doing community college and working the night shift at Dan’s Hardware Hell, I took it.

Until one night, nearly two months ago, when it all changed.

When I got the scar.

“There,” Ellie declares, turning me around on my makeshift salon chair – a pile of still-sealed boxes labeled KITCHEN. “You can’t even notice – I mean, you look great!”

She holds up a hand mirror for me to see my reflection. She’s drawn perfectly symmetrical liner around my eyes, with smokey shadow that looks like it belongs on someone else, someone sexier and living closer to Hollywood. My lips are tinted dark red, a vibrant dark red that almost,
, takes away the attention from the warped line of skin below my jaw. She couldn’t hide it, the dark purple tissue showing through the foundation.

“I like the distraction tactic,” I motion to my lips. Ellie looks embarrassed through her own flawless makeup and sapphire velvet backless dress.

“I thought it’d help,” She whispers.

“Nothing’s gonna help, El,” I sigh. “Except extensive plastic surgery and slash or making a contract with the devil.”

“You look like you already have,” she smirks, motioning to my dark dress. I can’t help my smile as I grab my purse with one hand and her manicured hand with the other.

“You know I’m the evil one, between the two of us.”

Ellie’s expression flashes with pain - pain she shouldn’t be feeling. Pain she wouldn’t have to feel, if she wasn’t my friend. She’s successful and beautiful and deserves better than a moody, drop-out, minimum-wage failure like me. I laugh it off, because that’s the only thing that’ll make it better.

“C’mon, let’s go. I’m starving.”

On our way here in the U-Haul, we stopped at a mom and pop diner with a fifties retro feel near the house, and that’s where we go to eat again. It’s Ellie-policy never to go out clubbing without eating something first, and I’d adopted the incredibly smart habit. The frizzy-haired, rosy-cheeked waitress with a nametag that reads RUBY shoots a huge smile our way. She gives off a distinct mom-vibe, the kind that makes the hole in my chest where my Mom should be ache.

“Well well, if it isn’t the two beautiful girls from this morning. Liked our pancakes that much, didja?”

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” I smile. “We came back for your hospitality.”

“Oooh, you terrible flatterer,” Ruby wags her finger good-naturedly at me, eyes lingering for a bare second on my scar, but she has the kindness to look away quickly. There’s no way she really thinks I’m beautiful like Ellie. I can’t be. Not anymore.

“This way, ladies. I’ve got a booth for two with a view.”

I follow Ruby as she leads us to a red-vinyl booth and plops two menus in front of us.

“So, where are you two off to all gussied up?” She asks. “Night on the town?”

“We were thinking about clubbing,” Ellie looks up from her menu. “Know any good places?”

“Oh that sort of thing isn’t for me,” Ruby chuckles. “I like me a square dance more than a dark, smokey little cage fulla handsy men.”

“Here here,” I bang my fork on the table in agreement. Ellie rolls her eyes. Ruby laughs.

“Alright, gimme a sec and I’ll be back with your waters.”

“What?” I try to fend off Ellie’s stare. “I think she’s nice.”

BOOK: Flawless//Broken
8.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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