I’M SO EXCITED… I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT!!!
Here’s a little sample of how the arrogant, beautiful character SEVEN MOREAU-MADDOX thinks…
I’m able to resist the urge to follow Morning from the room—to chase her down and make things right—only because of what I realize I’ve done to Renzy by stealing his silence. He’s curled up on the floor, his eyes closed and his body far too still. I drop to my knees, right into the nasty mess for which I’m responsible, and place my hand on his chest to see if there exists even the slightest rise and fall.
“What did you do to him?”
Still groping his chest for the swelling that indicates life, I turn and stare at a brown-haired girl, barely a teenager, who is looking at me with a bleak combination of curiosity and condemnation. “I didn’t do anything to him, little girl,” I lie as my hands find his neck. “He just got sick. Make yourself useful and go get some towels.”
“I’m not a little girl, and you aren’t the boss of me. I’m gonna go get Mom,” she declares but doesn’t turn around or make a move to leave.
“No. No, don’t do that.” Ah, here it is—a pulse in the carotid artery. He lives. “What’s your name, little girl?” Shit, I’m channeling Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“I’m Flora… and are you the boy who was kissing Renzy in the car?”
Well, she certainly knows how to get to the heart of the matter. “I’m Seven, and—”
“Ha! You got named Seven? Like, between six and eight, that kind of seven?” She’s pointing at me and laughing.
I need this girl’s antics like I need a new pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Python loafers.
By this point, however, the dampness of Renzy’s stomach contents is soaking through the python leather so it seems I actually do need a new pair of Salvatore Ferragamo’s. “Just go get the towels, please, Flora.”
And now, here are a few words from the sweet Renzy…
I’ve listened from the edge of this group before. The leader also leads several others, including Gaming Addiction and Cancer Survivors. I think she lets me stay in the Take Back Our Power group because she wants the women to know they don’t have to be afraid of all men. Or maybe she thinks they won’t notice me.
I pull my sketchbook out of my bag—it’s a little wet at the corners, and the ink on one of my better pieces has blurred. I stare down at the wet spot. Maybe that’s what I should get for my first real tattoo: an ink blot.
I touch the wet page, and black stains my fingertips. I press it against my arm where faded ballpoint pen stains my skin.
It isn’t long before the women begin to wander in. Some of them are nervous and quiet, clutching their purses like shields; others are chatty and easygoing. Like normal, I get a few looks, but most don’t even mind me. They know I’m nobody.
Then she walks through the open door.
A whole room of stimuli and the first thing this girl does is cut her eyes over at me and tighten her thin arms around her even thinner frame. Then she looks away.
Everything about her is long and elegant, like she’s a handblown glass pipette. She has sharply cut white-blonde hair that bounces around her waist, pale skin, cheeks that are either flushed or swiped with blush, powder-pink nails, a giraffe’s neck, and legs that have been pulled like taffy. She is the definition of sorrowful elegance.
She’s like those perfume bottles my mother used to collect.
She is a blue swan. She is the scent of midnight.
Except instead of gathering dust in our garage like Mom’s
collection, this glamorous, strange girl is picking lint off her skirt and pretending she never saw me.
If I were into girls, I would be in love with this one. I’d fall instantly, head-over-heels in love. Instead, I’m in fascination.
“We’re glad you came back, Morning.”