Moonlight Mile

Chapter One
PART I. You Seemed So Real

Chapter One

On a bright, unseasonably warm afternoon in early December, Brandon Trescott walked out of the spa at the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod and got into a taxi. A pesky series of DUIs had cost him the right to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the next thirty-three months, so Brandon always took cabs. The twenty-five-year-old trust-fund baby of a superior court judge mother and a local media mogul father, Brandon wasn't your run-of-the-mill rich kid asshole. He worked double shifts at it. By the time the state finally suspended his license, he was on his fourth DUI. The first two had been pled down to reckless driving, the third had brought him a stern warning, but the fourth had resulted in injury to someone besides Brandon, who escaped without a scratch.

This winter afternoon, with the temperature hanging just below forty degrees, Brandon wore a manufacturer-stained, manufacturer-faded hoodie that retailed for around $900 over a white silk T with a collar dragged down by a pair of $600 shades. His baggy shorts also had little rips in them, compliments of whichever nine-year-old Indonesian had been poorly paid to put them there. He wore flip-flops in December, and he sported an insouciant mop of blond surfer's hair with an adorable habit of drooping helplessly over his eyes.

After drinking his weight in Crown Royal one night, he'd flipped his Dodge Viper coming back from Foxwoods with his girlfriend riding shotgun. She'd only been his girlfriend two weeks, but it was unlikely she'd be anyone's girlfriend ever again. Her name was Ashten Mayles and she'd been in a persistent vegetative state ever since the top of the car compacted against the top of her skull. One of the last acts she'd attempted to perform while she'd still had use of her arms and legs was to try and take Brandon's keys from him in the casino parking lot. According to witnesses, Brandon had rewarded her concern by flicking a lit cigarette at her.

In possibly the first brush with actual consequence that Brandon had ever known, Ashten's parents, not wealthy but politically connected, had decided to do everything in their power to ensure that Brandon paid for his mistakes. Hence the Suffolk County DA 's prosecution on DUI and reckless endangerment. Brandon spent the entire trial looking shocked and morally outraged that anyone could get away with expecting personal responsibility of him. In the end, he was convicted and served four months' house arrest. In a really nice house.

During the subsequent civil trial, it was revealed that the trust-fund baby had no trust fund. He had no car, had no house. As far as anyone could tell, he didn't own so much as an iPod. Nothing was in his name. Things had once been in his name, but he'd fortuitously signed them all over to his parents one day before the car accident. It was the before part that killed people, but no one could prove otherwise. When the jury in the civil trial awarded damages in the amount of $7.5 million to the Mayles family, Brandon Trescott emptied his pockets of the nothing that was in them and shrugged.

I had a list of all the things Brandon had once owned and was legally prohibited from using. Use of said items, it was deemed by the court, would constitute not just the appearance of ownership but the fact of it. The Trescotts protested the court's definition of "ownership," but the press beat the shit out of them, the