Be My Hero(7)

By: Linda Kage

I'd gotten my wish too, but now it seemed to be coming back to bite me.

It didn't matter to me that all my friends called me a slut behind my back, or that I was only fourteen, a month shy of entering high school, but had a more active sex life than most twenty-year-olds. It wasn't like I was pure by any means and needed to preserve the sanctity that was my untouched body. Dear old Dad had made sure I was no longer a virgin.

I just craved the blissful void that came over me whenever a boy got me alone. I could escape into the safe place in my head where nothing touched me while fumbling hands did whatever they wanted. For a short time, I felt free in that place. Free from everything. Especially him.

"I said sit down," Daddy snarled.

My nerves rattled under his harsh tone, but I made damn sure that outwardly I appeared unruffled. He could physically hurt me all he wanted, but I still had something he couldn't touch. Attitude.

Tossing my blonde hair over my shoulder, I sauntered to the couch against the far wall and settled onto the soft cushion. When his gaze skimmed over my legs as I crossed them, I wanted to vomit all the beer I'd chugged earlier before I'd let Jimmy Santos explore under my skirt.

I sneered and picked at my cuticles. "Whenever you're done ogling your own daughter, I'm ready for the lecture I know you're just dying to give."

Even as I smarted off those words, my heart leapt into my throat. I'd never been quite so smarmy and bold with him. With everyone else, yes. With him, no. But I don't think I'd ever been quite so intoxicated when he'd caught me alone before either.

His jaw went hard. After picking up his drink and tossing back the rest of the contents, he slammed the tumbler down on his desktop. "I thought we'd already been over this. You're not really mine, remember?"

Ah, yes. He'd made that quite clear the first night he'd stumbled into my room, right after having an argument with Mom and learning one of her faithless encounters had brought me into the world. The whole thing had been to exact revenge against her. And it had pissed her off. I'd heard them arguing about it many a night, but it never prompted her into leaving him, or getting me out of his clutches and saving me.

A marriage in our respected, affluent neighborhood wasn't supposed to end in divorce. Husbands and wives simply had bigger closets built so they could hide away more of their skeletons and dirty little secrets.

And so Mother kept sleeping around, Father kept drinking and visiting my room because I guess once he got a taste of little girl he just couldn't stop. And I turned into someone I didn't recognize or like.

I sent him a little smirk. "Yeah, because calling it molestation and pedophilia sounds so much better when you don't tack on the incest."

The rest of the world thought of him as my biological father, and he was the only father figure I'd ever known, so to me, it was just as bad. Just as disgusting. Just as traumatic.

Eyes narrowing, he drummed his fingers against his empty glass. "Be careful, Eva. Or I'll put that smart mouth of yours to better use."

I gagged a little on my own puke. Despite wanting to back off and curl into a ball until he finally left me alone, I kept my back ramrod straight as I glared back.

No. I wasn't going to fold to him anymore. And the liquor flowing through my veins had already provided me with all the courage and bluster I needed. So I just kept digging my own grave with more attitude.

"Oh, I'm sorry." I set my fingers over my chest with sarcastic regret. "Did my honesty offend you?" I dropped my hand as well as the fake cringe of apology and shrugged. "I guess you've exhausted all your intimidation tactics on me. I'm just not that scared of you anymore."

"Is that so?"

When he rose slowly from his chair, air hissed from my lungs, replaced with a fear so thick I couldn't breathe. Fuck attitude. This wasn't funny anymore. But I wasn't sure what to do now, so I remained seated in my casual, who-gives-a-fuck pose, even though my head went dizzy from terror and my instincts told me to run.

"Well, let's see." I twirled my finger through my long hair and tilted my head in thought. "You can no longer tell me everyone will know what a naughty, naughty girl I am if I tattle on you. They already think I'm the slut of the century. And you can't use Mom against me. She's never really cared what you did to me." As I rattled on, he crept out from behind his desk and inched unnervingly closer. "I guess you could stop putting money into my account, but then I'll just go to the police. And even if they didn't believe me, the mere hint of such a scandal would probably ruin your career. So you see, old man, I hold all the cards now."

I was mostly bluffing. I would never go to the police. I didn't want anyone to know what had happened to me, least of all a bunch of officials who'd make it public.

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