Control by Kayla Perrin

Book: Control by Kayla Perrin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kayla Perrin
what I expected.”
    “What—not as good as all the professionals you’ve seen?”
    “You don’t have to go to these lengths.” He gestured toward the pole. “I love you as you are. Actually, I prefer you as you are. No wigs and stilettos and props.”
    I couldn’t help it, I was hurt. Because I sensed what he wasn’t saying—that he disapproved. “You didn’t like it.”
    “No, tell me.” I had turned him on, he had fucked me, but now that he was satisfied he was criticizing me.
    “If you want the truth—no. I didn’t. It was trashy. And…”
    I drew in a deep breath. “And what?”
    “It’s not important, Elsie. Just know that you don’t have to do anything like this again.”
    “And what?” I repeated.
    “If you must know, it made me think of something your mother might do.”
    I bolted upright, my stomach tightening. “How could you say that to me? I was trying to turn you on. To spice up our sex life. How could you—”
    “You wanted my opinion. I gave it to you.”
    “You sure did.” I jumped off the bed and ran to the bathroom. Tears were already streaming down my face.
    Robert knew how much his comment would hurt.All my life, I had run from the stigma of my mother’s behavior. To compare me to her…
    Even though my mother had married my dad, she had never been faithful to him. She had slept with man after man. And then she’d left my father—moving from Ohio to Philadelphia with some truck driver she’d barely known.
    That relationship hadn’t lasted. A succession of men had come and gone through my life. Some for a few days. Some for longer. Some who seemed as love struck as my father, only to end up brokenhearted.
    Once I’d been old enough to understand my mother’s behavior, I had been able to separate her from her actions. I guess it was a coping mechanism. I loved her. She was my mom, even if she was emotionally vacant. Even if she was more concerned about snagging her next boyfriend than about taking me shopping, or to the movies. But when she’d left my dad and brought other men into my life in his place, I had grown to resent her.
    All I could think about was the father who was no longer in my life, and how hurt he must have been after standing by my mother despite her behavior for so many years. I’d lost my dad—and it was all my mom’s fault.
    There have been many times when I’ve thought back to that day when I was fourteen and my father suggested we take a trip to Texas. My mother had run away with me only days later. Maybe she feared that my father wanted to make a clean break from her. Had that been his intention? Had my mother’s running away with me been a panicked reaction to the thought of losingme, or had she been planning to abandon my father all along?
    I would never know the answer. All I knew was that my life had only gotten more difficult.
    At my new high school in Philadelphia, my mother slept with the principal and caused the breakup of his marriage. Word got out, and I was teased endlessly by other students. Humiliated by what they said about my mother. It was a truly awful time in my life. My mom had never been there for me emotionally the way other mothers were for their kids—cheering for them on the volleyball court, sitting in the audience, beaming, at the school play. I came to understand that it was my mother’s emotional unavailability that had led me to suffer from low self-esteem, making me a prime target for bullies.
    At least when my father was around, I hadn’t felt as alone in my suffering. But without him, the bullies who teased me in high school, spreading rumors that I was easy just like my mother, succeeded in sending me running from Philadelphia as soon as I was old enough. I followed Treasure, my one good friend from high school, to North Carolina.
    I dated, but I didn’t trust men. Or perhaps it was myself I didn’t trust.
    I didn’t want to become my mother.
    Then I’d met Robert. And he’d offered me

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