My Wicked Virgin

Page 4

“I think you’re doing a great job so far. I like honesty. I’m very, very good at detecting bullshit, so I appreciate it when you tell me the truth, even if it’s an ugly truth.” Leaning forward, she played with the lacy black hem of her shirt, avoiding his gaze. “The ugly truth is my mom loves drugs more than she loves me. For five years, she’s proven over and over again that, if it comes to a choice between me or getting high, she’ll pick drugs every time.”
She waited for him to tell her she was wrong, but he nodded instead. “Same with my sister. Before I found out about it, she drained my mom of every dime she had. Robbed her, conned her, stole her checkbook and credit cards. My mom was about to be evicted before she admitted to me that she had let my sister get away with all that shit. She was afraid to tell me because she thought I’d press charges against my sister, and then she would go to jail. For my mom, that was a fate worse than death. Her uncle had gone to jail in the early sixties for stealing a car. While inside, he’d been beaten to death by one of the guards. She was convinced that would be my sister’s fate as well. But what she didn’t realize was that, by funding my sister’s addiction, by covering it up for her, she was helping my sister dig her own grave.”
“That’s messed up. My mom moved without telling me when I was in my senior year of high school.”
His perfect mouth dropped open a little. “What?”
“Yep. I came home after school, and my key wouldn’t work in our apartment door. I had to find out from our neighbor that my mom had packed up all our shit and taken off. She was three months behind on rent and about to be evicted anyways. All my stuff, or at least whatever she hadn’t already stolen and pawned, was left in a garbage bin behind the apartment complex.”
“What did you do?”
“I saved what I could and, for two months, I stayed at various friend’s houses until I turned eighteen. At that point, I inherited a decent amount money from my grandparents. And guess who should appear out of nowhere right after I moved into my own place?”
“Your mom.”
“My mom,” she kicked her legs out, crossing her boots over each other. “Good old mommy dearest gave me a huge sob story about leaving her pimp and trying to get sober. I was stupid and believed her, so I gave her some money for rehab.”
He winced. “Ahhhh, shit.”
“Yeah. In my defense, she is really good at scamming people. She’s one of the best liars I’ve ever met. I inherited a hundred and eighty thousand dollars from my dad’s parents. To a big movie star like yourself, that may not seem like much, but to me it was a fortune. If I could use some of that to help her kick the habit, could somehow get my old mom back, I would—and I did. Or at least I tried to.”
“How much did she get from you before you finally cut her off?”
“Close to thirty thousand.” She looked away again, her face heating with a mixture of anger and shame at how stupid she’d been. “She wrote herself a big ass check from my bank account, then she took off. I was going to prosecute her…but she’s my mom, you know? At the time, eighteen-year-old me felt like I owed it to her. That my dad wouldn’t have wanted me to get my own mother arrested. That he’d be mad at me.”
“How old are you now?” Hawk asked with an odd look on his face.
“A month shy of twenty, but I feel like I’m sixty-five after all the crap my mom’s put me through. How old are you?”
“Old,” he muttered.
His expression was so surly that she couldn’t help but laugh. “Come on, how old are you?”
“Ouch!” She gave a pretend wince, unable to resist teasing him. “You are old.”
“Hey now!”
Giggling hard, she flapped her hands at him. “Just kidding. Sheesh, sensitive.”
He slumped back in his chair. “You said you feel like you’re sixty-five? Most days I feel like I’m a hundred and five.”
The door opening broke their shared smile, and his grin dropped off his face like it had never been there.
People began to file in, and she noticed the strangest thing happening with Hawk. The more attention he got, the quieter he became. No one really bothered him, but she observed how everyone seemed to gravitate in his direction. People gave her curious smiles, which she returned, but she made it pretty clear with her body language that she didn’t want to talk.
After the lady leading the group gave her welcome speech, she made everyone turn over their phones and put them in a basket on the table next to the coffee. When the introductions came around to Sunny, she stood, nervously wondering what they saw when they looked at her. She wasn’t easy to define, her style an eclectic mix of whatever tickled her fancy. Her clothing tended to run toward either dark and romantically gothic, or bright and floaty hippy garb. Her midnight black hair was cut short, a spiky, curly doo which required a half hour and a lot of gel, and contrasted against her pale skin. Normally, she wore black eyeliner with a cat eye sharp enough to cut a bitch, but today she wore sparkling gold eyeliner along with a glittery lilac purple lipstick that matched one of the hues in her skirt.