Style and Disgrace
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Caitlin West
Word Count :20959
Publication Date :2014-03-11
Series : Avalon Nights#3
Heat Level :
Category : Paranormal Romance
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-827-9
A dangerous present, a frightening past, an uncertain future.
Abigail Wright has learned a lot about her family’s history in a few short days. She’s also landed an amazing boyfriend, been reminded of how great her friends are, and knows her future should be brighter than ever. Unfortunately, Ian Preiss seems hell-bent on throwing a wrench in all her carefully laid plans.
The arrival of her mother encourages the Pillar representative to come clean on a variety of topics, not the least of which may be more shocking than Abby’s potential inheritance from her father. As one evening goes from strange to uncomfortable, a revelation might just be enough to alter Abby’s perspective on whether or not she can leave her destiny behind or embrace it fully.
“I’ve been standing here for nearly ten minutes! Are you ever going to open up?”
“In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s past midnight!” I cracked the door, but did not immediately offer to let her in. “After twelve years, you think it’s okay to get huffy I didn’t get to the door quick enough? Seriously?”
She was dressed in a black wool suit jacket and skirt which might have not been all that bad had she not coupled it with a white fox fur resting on her shoulders. Being overdone was her specialty, but this was particularly embarrassing. Gaudy wooden earrings made her ears droop and a matching bracelet rested on her hand.
The bag was a knockoff of some kind. The cheap faux leather was a serious contrast to the poor dead animal hanging out on her upper half. She had nude hose, black heeled shoes, and a ridiculous hat that could’ve been cool on just about anyone else.
Hell, especially Godzilla.
“Are you going to leave me in the cold or invite me in?” My mother was capable of ignoring the most pointed questions in the world as if I never spoke. Half of me wanted to slam the door and tell her to go to hell, but my curiosity got the better of me.
I stepped aside and she entered like a queen, giving my living room a royal appraisal. Her judgmental aura seemed to fill the place and when she let out a sigh, I could tell something had offended her sensibilities. I wondered if I should have been ashamed of just how much satisfaction I got from her lack of approval.
“So what the hell do you want?” I asked. “Since you ignored my first questions.”
“Aren’t you going to offer me anything?” she asked.
“What? What do you mean? Like what?”
“Coffee, tea, a soda…water. You’re a terrible hostess, Abigail. I thought I raised you better.”
“You didn’t raise me at all!” I let the full force of my voice carry, not quite a yell, but with all my vocal training I could speak louder than most people could scream. “You can’t claim any of my qualities, good or bad.”
“And I’m still waiting for you to offer me something.”
“Jesus! Fine, what can I get you? Do you want something? Something soothing? Can I make you a damn espresso?”
“No, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.” She wandered into the kitchen and looked around before taking a seat at the dining room table. The plates were still out from my meal with David. “Wow, and you don’t clean up after yourself either?”
“If you came here to criticize me, then you can just take yourself right back out the door.” I gestured for the exit. “Maybe you didn’t notice I’m not thrilled to see you.”
“Really, Abigail, I’m shocked!” She sniffed indignantly. “I am your mother.”
“A biological accident, I’m sure.”
“We have a great deal to discuss. You must believe I came here for a reason.”
“I’d be lying to you if I said I cared, but since you’ve decided to interrupt my life, bring it on. What the hell do you want?”
“This is about your father. He made me promise something before you were born.” She picked at her jacket, keeping her eyes averted from me. “He told me if anything happened to him, then I was to give you some things when you turned thirty. I thought he was being ridiculous, but here we are.”
“My father wanted you to give me something.” I folded my arms over my chest. “People are coming out of the woodwork about dear old dad. What were you supposed to give me?”
“I don’t know, I lost it a long time ago.”
“And so ends another useless conversation with my mother.” I filled the honorific with as much sarcasm I could muster.
“There was more to it than just giving you something,” she replied, “and since I left, I’ve learned a great deal about him…about you…and about the man who killed him.”
My eyes widened. “This is all very ominous.” I was too shaken to be flippant, but I recovered quickly. I didn’t want her to see it. “I really need you to get to the point.”
“I understand you might have met him already. Ian Preiss is his name.”
“What?” My concern turned to skepticism. “How do you even know about him? Who put you up to this? Do you need money? Are you working for some tabloid?”
“This is not a laughing matter, Abigail.” The authority in her voice made me laugh.
“This reminds me of the time you were out on some drunken bender with one of your asshole boyfriends, came home after a week, and decided to scold me about a curfew you never told anyone about. Remember that? You always had a habit of being gone and expecting your made-up rules to be obeyed.”
“You really should be listening to me.”
“What I find most sad about this is that I trust Ian Preiss more than I trust you. I don’t know what your motivation is beyond proving you’re an irresponsible bitch. Trust me, I got that memo a long time ago. You don’t have to reinforce it now.”
“Will not listen to anything else. Get out!” I pointed at the door. “You’re not welcome here. Not now…not ever. If you show up again, I’ll call the cops.”
“You didn’t even come to your father’s funeral.” I shook my head. “Why should I care about anything you have to say?”
“This is important!”
“There were plenty of things you should’ve considered important. Now you get to live with the consequences…those being that I want nothing to do with you. I’m an adult now that made it despite you. Now…don’t make me tell you again.”
Mother set a card down on the table and tapped it. “In case you change your mind, that’s where I’m staying. Call me at any time…day or night. I’ll be there for another week.”
“You might want to make other plans.”
“I’ll go.” Mother stood up, pacing slowly across the living room. “I…I am proud of you. You’ve done very well.”
“Too bad it took you thirty years to give a shit.”
At the door, she cleared her throat, looking at me expectantly.
“Are you kidding?” I stormed over and threw it open. “Go!”
“We’ll speak soon, Abigail. Good night.”
The moment she was clear, I slammed the door and started to pace. She had always been a master of pissing me off, but this was literally her command performance. Someone must have put her up to it and the fact she brought up Ian made it all the more suspicious. Money had always been a problem for her, so it probably wouldn’t have taken much to convince her to mess with me.