I see you have one too. Korech kept smiling. His teeth were perfect and white, and his sweater was fitted, so I could see his muscles underneath. I thought we’d gotten the last of them.
Last year for my birthday, she got my initials waxed into her bush. I was touched. Talk about a great gift—creative and practical. Anyway, with mild curiosity I open my eyes and ask Delores, What are you giving him?She grins smugly. Only the greatest gift a woman can give the man she loves.
Dee-Dee’s smile turns into a scowl. No—pig. I’m giving him the gift of health. My acupuncturist cleared her schedule. She’s going to work on Matthew the whole day.I laugh. Because this explains so much.That’s your gift? Really? It’s the guy’s birthday and you’re gonna make him get needles stuck in his face all day? What are you gonna get him for Christmas—a colonoscopy?
Kate clarifies, Drew, the acupuncture is to get Matthew to stop smoking.Yep, Matthew’s a smoker. Statistically, if you don’t start by the age of eighteen, you never will. But my buddy’s the exception to this rule. His habit began in college—during a particularly stressful game of Madden NFL football.
Matthew’s kept it in the closet, however. His parents don’t know. Because Frank sucks back two packs a day—and like any smoker, he’d break every one of his kid’s fingers if he found out he was doing it too.
I put my hands up in surrender. I take it back, Dee—it’s a stupendous gift. Anything to help Matthew kick the cancer sticks is a good thing.She flew up the staircase, leaving me all alone. I linked my fingers, lost. I was an intruder in this amazing home, asking a hugely successful man to stop being an ass**le, and take me back. To show me his ruthlessness. His compassion. To give me the life I truly wanted.
A sound rustled from the lounge. I spun to face a woman in baggy track pants and a sweater three times too big for her. She walked with an air of rejection and sadness. The moment she made eye contact, she whimpered and fell to her knees, bowing.Time screeched to a halt. I could only stare.
My hands curled. This was slave fifty-nine. My replacement. Where had she come from? Jealously cramped my stomach, but I forced myself to relax. Franco said Q never touched other slaves. I was the first. His last. His f**king only if I had my way.It’s okay. You can stand, I said softly, inching closer. Brown, straggly hair hung with grease, huge shadows ringed her eyes. Her wrists were brittle thin. Aura beaten and trodden. Everything screamed abuse.