Note

This story is told in multiple points of views, mostly rotating between the two main characters: Katerina and Dash. On rare occasions, other minor characters will take charge. The title of the chapter will indicated who's POV that chapter will be in. Please just give my story a chance. Thank you for reading, and enjoy.

- steampunker Kelly.


Chapter 1: KATERINA


PROLOGUE

January 9, 2015

My whole life has been nothing but a lie.

I used to be a simple nobody from a small town near Philly. The highlight of my young life was going to baseball games, skate parks and rock concerts with my three older brothers Gus, Tony and Kevin. I had a five year plan of all the goals in my life: graduate college, get a job, take care of my father and start a family. But the pretty little life that I planned for myself means nothing now because ever since I stepped foot in California, my life has changed.

Now I've been exposed to reality.

The truth is, my mother was an absolute bitch and a whore. And to think, all these years I put her on a pedestal like a fucking saint.

My father thinks Dash is ruining my life. Introducing me to fast cars, underground fights, more money than I can possibly spend... but here's the thing. He's the only one that gets me. I don't want to spend the rest of my life in Pennsylvania, marrying a boring lawyer and living in the suburbs. I want Dash because he makes me feel more than just the typical emotions. He doesn't just make me happy, he makes me feel fucking intoxicated with just one touch. No matter how much I have, I can never get enough of him. He treats me like a woman, unlike the other men in my life.

Face it, I'm not that little girl from Philly anymore.


.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..


May 21st, 2014

"Katerina Cabrera!"

I leap up from my seat with my cap almost slipping down from my loose, sleek hair. While marching over to the large stage and podium, I grip onto the silky material on my sides. My face is a red, hot mess and I can only blame it on two things: the hot sun beaming down or the embarrassment.

I'm pretty sure it's the latter.

Mentally thanking God, I reach the stage without tripping over on my gown, shoes or the soft grass. I'm ecstatic and I can tell that my smile fills my entire face. Approaching my school's headmistress, she gives me a handshake and I accept the diploma wrapped with a silk red ribbon.

"Congratulations, Kat, I know you'll do great things in the future," her voice is low and she covers the mic so only I can hear. I mutter a thanks and she hugs me tightly before moving onto the next name on the list.

"WOOHOO, GO KAT!"

Before leaving the stage I peer out into the crowd of neatly positioned white picnic chairs. There had to be over 1000 guests, but I spot my boys almost immediately. They're all standing up, waving and shouting. The twins are holding up a huge red and blue sign that reads "GO KITTY!". For pete's sake, I'm graduating, not playing a soccer game! Kevin holds up a camera and snaps a picture of me before I even have time to pose.

Even more embarrassed than before, I quickly retreat down the steps before they humiliate me any further.


.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..


"So, Kitty Kat, how does it feel to be a college graduate?"

I stuff a forkful of pasta in my mouth, "I'm starving."

"Ah, words of wisdom from a newly certified accountant."

I look up at the twins and roll my eyes. Even though they're almost 30 years old, they're the most childish people I know. They're both big, muscular and older than me, one with long hair pulled into a low ponytail, and the other with short, neat hair. Their opposite hairstyles make it very easy to tell them apart.

"Boys, stop teasing your sister."

I look to the side of me, my father sits at the head of the table. His dark hair is graying at the edges and a light layer of mustache covers his top lip. His deeply tanned complexion contradicts the pale gentlemen sitting around him.

My father was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York during the 1960's from an Italian mother and a Puerto Rican father. At the time of his birth, the slums of New York was controlled by different mobs and it was impossible for my grandparents to be together due to their cultural rivalry. So after my father was born, they moved to Pennsylvania where they could get away from the city life and raise their child in peace.

When he was twenty years old, my dad met my mom, a blonde-haired-blue-eyed Californian beauty attending college near Philadelphia, the same exact school I just graduated from. Her name was Emily Garner, but my father always called her Emmy.

The twins, Augustus and Anthony, came first. They both share the same shade of blonde hair and blue eyes that my mom had. Gus always has his hair perfectly neat in the back and artistically spiked in the front. Tony, on the other hand, hated being confused for his brother, so he grew his hair out for years and now it stays in a ponytail at shoulder length.

Seven years after the twins, Kevin was born. With messy light brown hair and almost translucent blue eyes, Kev is the perfect mixture of both of my parents. His complexion is not as pale compared to the twins, and his hair is definitely a darker shade. To me, he just looks Italian.

Less than a year after Kev, I was born. And lo and behold the only child that looks related to my father. My skin has a nice and natural tan color that looks like I sunbathe during the winter, and makes it easy for me to get even darker in the summer. Instead of the blonde and light brown hair that my brother's inherited, I took after my fathers dark and thick locks.

One thing that I can't stand about my appearance are my eyes. Unlike my brothers, I have the most boring set of plain brown eyes.

"Kitty?"

I peer up at my father's face. His accent is thick as my pet name rolls off his tongue.

"Si?"

Once upon a time he tried to teach all of us both Spanish and Italian, but gave up on the boys because they didn't have the patience. Luckily, he continued to teach me because I really enjoy speaking both languages.

His large face broke out into a smile, "Are you ready for dessert?"

I nod my head, forcing the last gulp of spaghetti down my throat. Everyone knows dessert is my favorite kind of food.

When my father gestures towards Kevin, I instantly know that it's something he made. Kevin is an amazing chef and aside from myself, he's the only one in the family that can cook without burning the house down. After high school, his dream had been to attend a culinary school in New York City. He didn't get a full scholarship as planned, and at the time it was just too expensive for my father's budget. Instead, Kevin stood home and worked at different diners and local restaurants.

"Close your eyes, Kat," Kevin's voice wafts from the kitchen.

"I wonder what it could be," I say rubbing my hands together as thoughts of molten chocolate cake invade my mind. I had a certain weakness for chocolate that was both unhealthy yet very persistent.

"Okay, open!"

My lids fluttered up as my eyes adjusted to the huge cake in front of me. Multiple candles were sticking up, all lit at the top.

"What the-"

At the center of the cake, in big, bold handwriting, it read: "Happy 21st Birthday and Congrats Grad!"

I covered my face with my hands, "Oh my god."


"California?"

My father places two plane tickets in the palm of my hand. They're followed by a brightly colored brochure of tropical beaches and spa resorts. It's a whole one-week vacation package, complete with hotel itineraries and recreational activities. He watches me intently as I skim through all the sections, growing more and more confused.

"Dad, what's all this about?" I gesture towards the pamphlets. He sighs as we sit in the living room together, tuning out the boys in the back fighting over who should clean the dishes.

"You've never been on vacation before, mija. You always work so hard, you graduated high school early and at the top of your class. You earned a bachelor's degree at the age of twenty one. If anyone deserves a vacation, it's you. I'm so proud of you, Kitty."

Tears threaten my eyes. I never did all of this for some kind of recognition; I did it because I love pushing myself and working hard. I enjoyed studying finances and accounting. I wanted to do this so that I can get a good job and take care of my father the way he took care of me.

"It's where your mother grew up," he mentions. I nod, willing the tears to stay in my eyes and not to fall. My father takes something out of his pocket, it's a small white envelope, "Before I forget. Here's your last letter."

Katerina's 21st Birthday is written in a pretty handwriting in the front.

The letter is from my mother, and I know this because she wrote me one every year for my birthday. Although she couldn't be here with me physically, she always wanted to pass down her wisdom through pen and paper.

My mother died twenty one years ago.

She was warned by her doctor during her second trimester that her baby, me, was positioned incorrectly in her womb. She ignored his warnings and decided that the life of a new child was more important than her own. Despite the pleadings from my father, she went ahead and gave birth.

A miracle happened.

Both my mother and I survived the birth, I guess she was stronger than the doctor assumed. She left the hospital three days later, holding her new bundle of joy in her arms.

Then, it got bad.

According to my father, my mother coughed up blood every night and vomited often. She wouldn't eat anything for days and had on-and-off fevers. A week later, she was admitted into the hospital where the doctor ran more tests on her. They informed her that after she gave birth, her body shut down internally from the stress and aggravation.

Her kidneys failed. Her veins and arteries were clogged.

The specialists at the hospital claimed it was because she got pregnant too quickly after having Kevin.

Kevin and I are only ten months apart. My mother had gotten pregnant almost two weeks after she gave birth to him, which was too soon according to the doctors. Her body's internal organs weren't fully prepared for another child at the time. They say it's a miracle that I wasn't a stillborn or miscarraige.

Emily spent her last days on a hospital bed until the inevitable eventually happened. She died two months after I was born, leaving my father behind with stubborn seven year old twins, a baby and an infant.

When I'm ready, I lock myself in my bedroom, open the envelope and begin reading.