Home > Deathly : The Dillon Sisters(8)

Deathly : The Dillon Sisters(8)
Author: Brynne Asher

Hmm. I disagree, but will never express that aloud. As in never ever, for the rest of my days walking the earth. “No, I don’t. I’m also too busy to know you. See, I don’t usually attend auctions or any other type of social events because, as I said last night, I work a ridiculous number of hours building my practice. The way I see it, I did you a favor. You don’t have to go on an absurd, fake date, and I get the dog. Win-win and I’m the one who paid for it. Either thank me and move out of the way, or just move out of the way so I can get on with my Sunday. It’s my only day off and I’d like to enjoy the rest of it with Muppet.”

“Ruff!”

Feeling more powerful than I have in a long time, I hike a brow and smile. “See? He already knows his name. Get out of my way, Mr. Vitale.”

Despite the small space separating us, he breaks eye contact and examines my body. This is surprising for so many reasons. He didn’t do this last night when my dress screamed sex me up, but now, while in jeans and a hoodie, he takes the time to look.

“For someone who wanted no part of the auction, you sure are dragging this out,” I add.

He shakes his head slowly before drawing his gaze back, lingering on my lips before finally making eye contact.

Deliberate.

Scrutinizing.

And so very, very depraved.

For the first time, I witness a smile from Brand Vitale. It’s small but telling. Instead of feeling warmth, the way a human normally would from such a gesture, the small act of his lips tipping on each side chills my blood.

He lowers his voice. “I had a feeling you’d be interesting.”

“I’m really not.”

“Ruff!”

I’ve had enough. Allowing him to analyze me will make me go mad.

Damn my curiosity.

I tighten Muppet’s leash in one hand and push my hero out of the way with the other. Brand allows it and shifts. It doesn’t matter how much I workout, I’d never be able to move a mass like his on my own.

He follows as I escape.

I don’t look back. Not when I pass Moreland, make my way back through the empty reception area, out the door, and across the street. I ignore him the entire time despite knowing he’s still watching my every move.

“Up in the car, buddy.” Muppet jumps into the front seat, not at all concerned by who I am or where his journey will take him next. I could be a dog-napper for all he knows.

I don’t look back until I’m pulling out of the parking lot. There he is, Brand Vitale, standing in the middle of the wide drive, his heavy stare glued on me.

I steal one last peek before I whisper for only Muppet to hear, “I hope you have a happy life.”

Brand keeps staring.

“Or, happier.”

Traffic clears and I turn to leave.

I’m done.

And I don’t look back.

 

 

5

 

 

Shrink the Shrink

 

 

Aria

 

 

No sooner do Muppet and I get to my apartment, my phone vibrates. I unhook his leash and he takes off to explore his new home, as small as it may be.

Unknown – I’ve decided you’re going to get your fifteen Gs worth. Be ready tomorrow night, eight sharp. That’ll give you time to work your long hours.

My heart spasms.

No!

Me – No.

Unknown – Yes. And be ready on time. I don’t like to wait.

Shit. For once, I’m at a loss for words.

Me – No.

Unknown – Eight. Sharp.

Me – No. And I’m not going to tell you where I live.

Unknown – Finding you will be the easiest thing I’ve ever done. And wear a dress.

My breathing shallows.

Unknown – A dress as short as the one you wore last night.

I swallow over the bile creeping up my throat.

Bubbles appear and disappear on the screen.

Then, nothing.

My ass falls to my sofa and Muppet jumps in my lap, his tongue connecting with every inch of my face.

“What did I get us into?” I ask him, scratching and petting until he settles into my lap.

I look back to my phone and select a different text string. One I haven’t needed in at least a couple months.

Me – Do you have any time tomorrow? I’ll take anything you’ve got. I’ll switch my patients around if I need to.

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve spoken. He’s just like me and responds to his patients immediately.

Russ – My schedule is full and sounds like yours is too. Can you do Tuesday at lunch?

Me – Yes. Thank you.

Russ – See you then.

I lean back, close my eyes, and focus on deep, even breaths.

When I get to the point I need someone to shrink the shrink, I know I’m in trouble.

 

 

6

 

 

Gaslight

 

 

Aria

 

 

My time is split between Redmond Mental Health Center and my new private practice.

The center keeps me booked thirty hours a week. My five-year plan is to have my private practice going full-time, so I can quit the center. Seeing patients in my private office is more beneficial to everyone. I like working one-on-one. Sure, group sessions have their place—hell, I was in group therapy as a patient back when Briar was going through cancer treatments. There’s comfort knowing you’re not the only one living through your season of hell.

But private practice is my end goal. I rented a two-room unit the moment Briar and I rolled into town. It has a small reception area and an office where I get to do what I love most—help people help themselves.

My office is a beautiful space.

Serene, neutral, welcoming, comfortable. It has to be. My patients sit here for an hour at a time—that is if they’re not pacing or circling the caramel-colored leather sofa. I always sit in the same linen chair. The walls are a warm white, the window coverings are light and airy, and I put great thought into every accessory. It’s an extension of me and I want my patients to be comfortable in every way—physically and emotionally.

“You sound like you’re doubting your own feelings, Marin.”

Marin’s husband, Eric, runs a hand down his face before expelling the largest sigh I’ve ever heard from him. And that’s saying something.

She dabs one eye as she struggles to hold back her tears. “There are days I wonder if this is all my fault.”

“Here we go again,” Eric mutters.

I focus on Marin. “In what way is Eric having an affair with his co-worker your fault?”

“Are you fucking serious?” Eric clips. “I knew this was a bad idea. I’m paying you to take sides now?”

“I’m not taking sides, Eric. I’m simply stating the facts and want to know why Marin is owning responsibility for your actions.”

Marin lets out a small sob. “I wasn’t giving him the attention he needed. I’m busy with work and the kids and the house. It’s a lot but I could’ve tried harder.”

“This is new.” I jot this in my notes for later. “You’ve been coming to me individually and as a couple for over a month now and this is the first time you’ve expressed this. What’s changed?”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Sweet Temptation
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)
» Den of Vipers
» Angry God (All Saints High #3)
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Serpent & Dove(Serpent & Dove #1)
» ENEMIES
» Archangel's War
» Credence