Home > Breaking Her (Love is War #2)(10)

Breaking Her (Love is War #2)(10)
Author: R.K. Lilley

Today on Scarlett looking at the world with fear and pessimism: Oceans.

It also didn't help that it reminded me of a certain bastard's eyes.

But all I said was, "It certainly gives the world perspective."   

Which was true, and yet another thing about the ocean that I hated.  If you stared at it for too long, it made you think.  Reflect on your life.  Your choices.  Your state of well-being. 

My current state was clearly not well. 

My foul mood, uneven temper, and damn near steady drunk.  Is that who I was becoming?  Fucking Glenda?  Was I really letting myself turn into someone I despised?  Pitied?  And for him?

Not fucking likely.  

"Did you know about Demi getting that part?" I asked Leona. 

"Yeah.  It's so awesome, isn't it?" 

"It is, but I had no clue she even auditioned.  I'm such a shit friend."

"Stop that right now," she said sternly.  "You are a good friend.  The best kind of friend.  You found out a few hours later, so what?  Who was the first one to get on Anton about being an ass to her?  Who was the one that got him to come back and apologize?"

"That's just because I'm good at being the bitch."

"No.  No."  She was shaking her head.  "I don't agree with that.  You're a lioness, not a lamb, and you don't need to apologize for it.  You're overprotective and fiercely loyal.  None of those are bad qualities.  They're your strengths and I've always admired you for embracing them. 

The best kind of friend is one that makes you feel like a better version of yourself, and Leona was an absolute pro at that.  "Thank you," I said quietly.  I hadn't been fishing for a pep talk, but I realized just then that I'd sure as hell needed one.   


"Familiarity breeds contempt."




I was packing for a dreaded overnight stay with my dad in Seattle when I heard my mother yelling.

With a long-suffering sigh, I dropped what I was doing and went to investigate. 

Sure enough, there she was, laying into Glenda, Scarlett's grandma, with particular viciousness.  My mother was never nice to the staff, but sometimes she got truly out of control.  This was a case in point.  From what I'd gleaned as I made my way to the yelling pair, Glenda hadn't polished the silver properly, and now Adelaide was rapping her on the forehead, over and over, with a small spoon, each contact punctuated with an insult. 

"Useless woman.  Why do I keep you around?  No one else will hire you, but is that my problem?  Some people deserve to be out on the streets."     

The older woman was cowering away, looking pathetic. 

I used to like the way my mother treated her.  It was petty, I know, but it seemed fair with the way she treated Scarlett that she'd get a bit of it back. 

But as I grew older, and began to understand a bit more of how humans worked, I became more and more troubled by it.  Not because I had much pity for the woman.

It was that every slight she received seemed to only go one place.  She never gave it back to my mother. 

Instead, she passed it on.  To my girl. 

"Mother," I said loudly, my tone curt.  "Enough.  Get away from her."

"Stay out of this," she snarled at me, looking deranged. 

"No," I said firmly.  "Let the woman do her job and leave her be." 

"This woman is too stupid and simple to do her job," my mother told me tremulously, and I wondered which personality I was dealing with today.  "That is my problem.  This is what I get for hiring trash to clean my house." 

"Just stop.  Go to your room," I softened my tone, because sometimes that worked with her, though nothing inside of me remained soft toward my mother.  She'd stomped out every tender feeling I had for her a very long time ago.  "I think you need to lie down.  Maybe take something?  This isn't like you."  That was a lie, but sometimes lies worked with her too. 

My mother studied me like I studied her—like she wasn't quite sure how to handle me today. 

"Perhaps I will."  She dropped the spoon and moved to me, taking my arm.  "Walk me.  I feel a bit weak." 

I walked her dutifully to her room, because I knew well to keep up appearances, even in front of the staff.

I thought that was the end of it, but as I began to move down the hallway, she called me back into her room. 

"Yes, Mother?" I asked her.  She was lying on her bed now, looking like a delicate doll against the pillows. 

She smiled serenely at me.  "If you correct me in front of the help again you will be sorry.  Scarlett will be even sorrier.  I'll make sure of it.  You're little cum-dumpster will pay the price for your insolence."  

Fucking triggered.  I went for the jugular.  "Stay the hell away from Scarlett.  If I catch you saying or doing one fowl thing to, or about her, here's what's going to happen:  Your friends at the country club are all going to hear every awful thing you've ever said about them.  I've been paying attention, Mother.  I've been taking notes.  I'll tell them everything.  Who will even talk to you again after they've heard what you think of them?  It's bad enough you're stuck holding court in this rinky-dink nowhere town—you think if you get ostracized here, that you will ever live it down?"

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