Home > Breaking Her (Love is War #2)(5)

Breaking Her (Love is War #2)(5)
Author: R.K. Lilley


From my earliest memories, I had a complicated relationship with my mother. 

She taught me to knot a tie, play chess, and to never, ever turn my back on her.

I kept Scarlett from my mother as much as I could for as long as I could.  Hid the one I held most dear from the one I most feared.

I sheltered Scarlett from her.  Protected her as much as I could.  She had enough to contend with in her life without my terrifying mother adding to it. 

I kept her hidden as best I could, but of course, that couldn't last forever.  Scarlett and I were inseparable.  There was bound to be some overlap.

It was the strangest thing, if you ever caught my mother off guard it was like walking in on a corpse.  There was not one ounce of animation to her.  She was inanimate, staring off into nothing, and if you startled her, her face went on like an alarm going off. 

Like stepping on a snake, she struck before you fully understood what you'd done. 

I'd caught her like that once and learned to avoid it. 

Still, I thought about it.  It creeped me the hell out.  What did she do when she was so deep in her own mind that she seemed to leave her body?

I was young when I pondered that, very young, and the older I got the more apparent the answer was. 

She was plotting.  Always plotting. 

An enemy's downfall, a friend's humiliation, a rival's shame.

A husband's misery.

A son's ruin. 

She never lived in the moment.  She only lived for her latest trap to spring. 

And she always had some web to spin.  Everyone in her sphere played some part in the spinning, whether they knew it or not.    

There was one thing of value about being her only son; I did learn to deal with her.

Or so I thought. 

When I was young and stupid, I thought I'd gotten the best of her, thought I had the keys to keeping her in check for the foreseeable future.  

She let me think so, I later realized.  She was playing a longer game than I could have anticipated. 

The key when it came to my mother was control.  If you broke it all down that was all she wanted from anyone, to have power over them.

But that didn't work until you had a weakness to exploit. 

The answer to controlling me was always there, from the time Scarlett became my first and best friend, but I was too naive to see it. 

I thought I had it all figured out.  I thought I was in control.  I thought I was the one that had something on her. 

I found the thing my mother found the most important without even trying. 

For her, the woman who had no animation when she was by herself, it was all about appearances.  Her entire life was a sham, a play, and that's all she wanted it to be.  She cared more about what the world thought than she did the actual reality of it. 

Once I knew that it was a simple thing to figure out what she wanted from me.  And once I had that, I figured I had the power to keep her from taking what was important to me. 

She loved to bring me out at parties, loved to show off her strapping boy, with his perfect teeth, his good looks, his blond hair, blue eyes, and straight posture—the very image of his handsome father.  Thanks to her expectations, I was better at making conversation with adults than other kids, and her 'friends' found this endlessly charming.  

She was very happy with that. 

I let her have it for a while.  She'd taught me well.  I even went out of my way to ham it up, her charming little boy, but I made a note of how it pleased her, how she expected, needed my impeccable behavior to help illustrate how perfect, how complete of a person she was pretending to be. 

I kept that little card to myself until I needed it, because I always knew I would.

And I did.  It was the first time she got an inkling of how close I'd grown to what she referred to as, "That Theroux girl," in her most derisive tone.   

She didn't beat around the bush.  The day she found out we walked home together from school, she forbid me from ever speaking to Scarlett again. 

With a somber face I told her calmly and simply, "No." 

She smiled smugly, like she'd been expecting that.  "I'll talk to that little piece of trash myself.  I'll keep her from ever wanting to so much as look at you, that I promise." 

That set me off into the biggest rage of my young life.  I could see I even shocked my always a step ahead mother as I began to throw things, going from calm and somber to livid and violent between one breath and the next.

I did have a temper, and it was an ugly thing, but on this particular day there was more than a trace of calculation in it.  I'd been expecting this for some time. 

I'd been preparing for it.

Plotting it. 

There would be no do-over.  I'd only get one chance.  I couldn't risk not taking it far enough, so I let her have it. 

We were in her favorite sitting room.  Every single thing in the room was meticulously placed, chosen by her.  On a normal day, I knew better than to so much as misplace a pillow in this particular room. 

This was not a normal day. 

I began by reaching down and picking up a prized object on the glossy mahogany coffee table. 

It was a Fabergé egg, worth a lot of money, I knew.  It was possibly the most valuable thing in this room full of valuables, and that's why I went for it first.

Our eyes met, hers narrowed and disbelieving, mine full of pure, desperate spite.  I held her gaze for one meaningful moment just before I turned and threw the thing, with all my might, straight into the wall. 

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology