Knox Bonus

Knox Bonus Scene

In Her Defense

“Ma, I’m home.”

I toss my backpack to the floor and search the refrigerator for something cool to drink.

“I realize that, and I think that everyone within a five-mile radius knows you’re home. How long is this motorcycle phase going to last, Knox? That thing is entirely too loud.”

“You said you were cool with the bike?”

“I never actually said the words cool with it.”

“But I work at a bike shop and Uncle Stone helped me build mine.”

“What in the world does that have to do with anything?”

“My bike has sentimental value.”

My mother turns the side of her mouth up.

“Boy, you don’t have a sentimental bone in your body.”

I gotta laugh. She knows me too well.

“Where’s Pop?”

“Your father is working.”

“On something interesting?”

I love hearing about the work that my family does. Few kids can say that their fathers are as badass as mine.

“Never mind about what he’s doing. Did you finish your essay for your college applications?”

“I’m almost done,” I lie.

“Is that so? Because that’s what you told me last year and look at where we are. You’re working for your Uncle Stone and eating up all my groceries when you should be in your freshman year of college somewhere.”

“I’m taking my time with the essay. It needs to sound authentic, right?”


“I know, Ma. I’ll get it done.”

“You better. I don’t mind that you’ve taken a gap year, many kids do, but I didn’t pay a gazillion dollars for you to go to that fancy private school and not go to college. That was the whole point of going there. It was a frackin’ college preparatory institution of higher learning, for Pete’s sake.”

I can rip a stranger a new asshole any day of the week, but I still don’t have the heart to tell my mom that I have zero interest in going to college. Me taking a gap year is just me stalling but she doesn’t know that. Personally, I think college is just one big hustle unless you want to become a surgeon or something. I mean, I get that she’s proud of her University of Penn education, but I bet she could have just as easily taught herself computer programming without my grandparents having to fork over a fortune to pay for it.

“I’ll finish it in the morning.”

“In the morning? Why can’t you do it right now?”

“It’s Friday night.”

“And your point is?”

“I just got off of work and I have plans.”

“Plans are for people who take care of their responsibilities first.”

“How about I get another two paragraphs in before I leave?”

She walks over and pats my head like she did when I was a kid, except now she has to reach high up to do it. I’m practically a full foot taller than her now.

“I don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

“Ma!” I protest her blowing me off.

“What are these plans that are so important?”

“A party over at Temple.”

My mother stops dead in her tracks.

“You’re going to a college party?” she asks almost wistfully. “Are you interested in Temple University?”

I’m not the type to go to school events. In fact, I never went to any high school ones, but it’s the only way I can corner the kid who owes me money. The jerk will probably be half drunk and easy to get to. The little deadbeat, John, owes me seven -hundred-bucks for fronting the money for his fledgling drug business. He basically sells pre-rolled joints to sorority girls. Based on his big idea, I was supposed to get my money back in two weeks, but six weeks later, the asshat is still ducking me.

“I thought I’d check out what the social life is like down there.”

“Temple is a fine school and very diverse. I’m sure you’ll make a lot of friends there,” she says hopefully and I almost feel like a dick for leading her on like this.

“So, I can go?”

“You’d be going by yourself?”

I’m a loner and I like it that way.

“Yep, but I’ll know people there.”

“Oh, good.”

“So, I can go, right?”

“Yes, but Knox–“


“If one more thing happens, your father is going to kill you. He already thinks I’m too easy on you, so don’t get into any trouble, okay? ”

“Me?” I say incredulously. “Never.”

Temple University Night

Blue Moon Grill

There’s a full moon, and the air has a bite to it tonight as I exit the highway and onto Broad Street towards Temple University’s campus. As my bike roars underneath me, I can’t help but draw attention from students on foot, especially the girls. They come in all shapes and sizes and tonight they are looking especially hot in their itty bitty tops, skinny jeans, and a few of them have on skintight cat suits. I can practically see the outline of their pussies from here. 

Temple girls tend to go all out for TU night at the Blue Moon Grill. It’s the highlight of the year for them. I know because many of the dorks I went to high school with would sneak into this party with the goal of getting laid. It didn’t take much. Scantily clad party girls with three drinks in them will bang just about anyone even high school nerds.

As I saunter into the grill, I see a few kids I went to high school with and, of course, they notice me right away.

“Wassup, Knox.”


“You go to Temple now?”

“Nah, just looking for a friend. Have you seen John Gorman?”

“Oh yeah, he’s in the back at a booth.”

I nod in appreciation of the information and start making my way back. The music is ridiculously loud, and the restaurant is packed with bodies. Everyone is drinking, laughing and basically have a good time.

I spot John talking to two hotties at a booth but am stuck behind a group of people who are blocking my path when I overhear a conversation between two strangers that captures my attention immediately. 

I stand eerily still as I eavesdrop. 

Even though the music is at a high volume, it’s almost as if I have superhuman abilities and can distinctly hear only one voice once he says her name–Gigi King.

“So you’re saying you fucked Gigi King?”

“I fucked her raw, man. I mean, she probably won’t be walking for a week after the way I pounded that pussy.”


“I swear.”

“What’s she like?”

“Dude, she’s wild. She may be all prim and proper in school, but she’s crazy in bed. She loved that shit, man.”


“Pussy was super tight, and she was scratching the shit out of my back just the way I like it.”

“You think she’d be into a threesome?”

“Hell yeah, that bitch–“

All I feel is a white, blinding rage envelop me as I claw my way through the crowd toward those two voices. I don’t know them, but I recognize their faces. They are definitely seniors at my old high school where Gigi currently attends and one of them is lying through his fucking teeth (or at least I hope he is).

Before he can finish his sentence, I pull my clenched fist back and punch him square in his jaw. He immediately crumbles to the floor, holding his face with glassy eyes.

“Dude!” the other guy scolds but then they recognize me. “Aww, shit man, we’re sorry.”

I bitch slap the “sorry” second guy with an open hand. He wants to have a threesome with Gigi? Is he fucking kidding? I’ll burn this fucking city down before I let that happen.

“Yo, Knox, I was just–“

The dude who was talking trash about one of the biggest pain in the asses of my life speaks again, and it only makes me angrier (only I’m allowed to talk shit about Gigi).

So I hit him again.

And then I slap the other kid again.

And then back to kid number one.

And then again.

And then again.

And I feel like I won’t be able to stop until one of them begs me too.

Before I know it though, a crowd around us forms. Some people are laughing, some are yelling at me to stop, but most of them are capturing the beat down with their phones.

That’s not good.

Masterson lesson 101 is “don’t get caught”. My father taught me that pretty early on, but for some reason the lesson hasn’t stuck. I just don’t give a fuck when it comes to certain things, especially Gigi.

I’m almost out of breath as I point to both of the douchebags, who are basically splayed across the dirty floor of the Blue Moon.

“If I ever hear either of you speak her name again, I promise you, there will be consequences.”

There are whispers about me among the spectators.

That’s Knox Masterson. 

His father’s a gangster.

Damn, those kids fucked up. That guy’s family is in the mob or something.

He was super scary in high school.

“Are we clear?” I say to them.

The bold faced liar vigorously nods his head as he wipes away the blood from his mouth.

The other guy at least gives me verbal confirmation as his eye swells, “Yeah, man.”

Satisfied with their responses, I glance back over at the booth and realize that John probably left a long time ago once he realized I was here. Dammit. If he keeps this up, I’m going to go have to go knocking on his front door and his mother will not like what I have to tell her when I do.

Before I can turn around to leave, I feel two pairs of meaty hands grab my arms and pull them behind me. The next thing I know, I’m on the same dirty floor the jerks are, wrists cuffed behind my back and a knee on my shoulder. Because this is a public place of business and not a campus building, I’m being arrested by the Philadelphia police instead of campus security. 

There will be a public record of this.

Fuck, my father is going to kill me.

The Next Morning

Both of my parents walk into my bedroom and shut the door. When they’re united like this, it lets me know that I’m in a shit ton of trouble. After my father picked me up from the police precinct last night, he was completely silent the entire ride home and hasn’t said a word to me until this morning.

“What are you doing?” My father asks. I’m sitting up in bed, working on my laptop, trying to atone for last night’s circus.

“Working on my essay.”

“Fuck that essay,” my father says icily. “You’re not college material.”

My mother’s head bows in what I can only assume is disappointment. This is much worse than I thought. My father is furious.


“You beat one boy within an inch of his life and you humiliated the other. Boys you went to high school with. Boys that didn’t do a thing to you. Why?”

I am hesitant to tell them the real reason I snapped last night. What if what they said was true, or at least partially true? What if Gigi really slept with that asshat? She wouldn’t want her obvious misstep to be public knowledge.

“I had my reasons.”

“I saw the videos that half of the kids in that place took. There was no reason. You instigated it. They weren’t even talking to you.”

“I promise you, they started it.”

“And you heard what I said, right?” My father asks. “There are videos out there in the world forever of you beating those two kids’ asses.”

I shrug my shoulders defeatedly. “I can’t do anything about that.”

“What is wrong with you, Knox?” My mother asks in a tone of utter exhaustion.

“Nothing, Ma.”

“Nobody goes around putting people in the hospital for no reason.”

“The hospital?” 

I didn’t realize I hit him that hard, but it doesn’t mean that he didn’t deserve it.

“Yes, Knox, you actually put one of those kids in the hospital. Did you totally blank out? Do you not realize your own strength? You are an adult because you’re over eighteen, Knox. Those families could criminally and civilly sue us and probably would have if your father hadn’t intervened.”


“I didn’t realize.”

“That’s the fucking problem,” my father spits. “You realize nothing you’re doing anymore. You’re just aimlessly walking through life, building bikes, and beating people up, and I will not sit here and watch you self-destruct.”

I close my laptop.

That sounded like a very real threat.

“What do you mean, Dad?”

“You’re going to Miami.”

“For a few days?”

Why would they send me on vacation?

“To live.”

My mom’s eyes become glassy.

“To live?” I say, confused. “You’re kicking me out!?”

“You’ll go to live with your Aunt Kat. You’re going to work for her too.”

“But I don’t even know her!”

“You don’t need to know her. We know her.”

“Ma!” I plead to my mother because I know this wasn’t her idea. This has my father’s handiwork written all over it.

“Maybe a change of scenery is what you need, Knox. We can’t keep cleaning up your messes. You are a child of privilege and you’re treating it like it means nothing. Like you don’t know better. I raised you better than this. Think of the example you’re setting for your brothers.”

I want to throw my computer across the room and watch it break into little pieces because that’s exactly how I’m feeling. I am seething mad. All this is Gigi’s fault. The minute I graduate high school and leave her on her own, she starts making bad decisions and now I’m being put on punishment for defending her honor?

“And before you think it, this isn’t just about what happened last night. That was simply the icing on the cake. This is about a series of bad decisions over the last few years. We’ve tried to be patient, and get you anger management help, but at this point your father and I feel you need some time to think about the choices you’ve made. Of course, we’ll bring you home for holidays and the twins’ birthday.”

I stare in a daze at an old framed photo of me, my brothers, and Gigi which sits on my chest of drawers. It’ll be weird not seeing any of them on a regular basis, but perhaps I need to look at this another way. I’ve always felt burdened by this expectation to protect Gigi, especially because our parents don’t have a clue of how she continually aligns herself with the worst people the city has to offer. If I leave Philadelphia, then I’m free and she’ll become someone else’s problem. Maybe that’s the best thing for the both of us. It’s not like she’ll care anyway. She’s been dying to be rid of me for years too.

“When do I leave?” I ask.

I hear an almost inaudible gasp from my mother, as if she wasn’t expecting me to agree with their plan so quickly.

“Tomorrow,” my father says without missing a beat. “Be ready to roll at seven am.”

And just like that, my world changes overnight.

A world in a new city.

A world without my family.

And a world without Gigi King.

I wonder what a world like that will feel like?