Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls by Hanna Peach

Book: Paper Dolls by Hanna Peach Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hanna Peach
so.” Liar, liar, liar.
    “So he’s not some weirdo stranger who just spotted you on the street then waltzed into your sex store so he could meet you. Good to know. Wouldn’t want my Rosey-girl getting involved with the wrong guy.”
    It was like she knew. Did she know? She always seemed to know when I tried to lie, even as a kid.
    “No, of course not.” Unable to take any more of her scrutiny, I stood up and walked into the kitchen, placing my empty bowl and spoon into the sink.
    When I turned around she was standing there staring at me from the edge of the kitchen.
    She grabbed my arm as I tried to walk past her. “It’s good to be back,” she said, but her eyes were hard as steel as she stared at me. “Good to be back with my sis. The only one who’d never lie to me. Right?”
    “The only one I could ever count on. I can count on you, can’t I? Sis?”
    “Of course.” I forced a smile back at her even though my skin was prickling. “I…I need to go to the bathroom.” I pulled my arm out from her too tight, almost painful grasp. When I turned my back on her the hairs on my neck rose.
    As I closed the door to the bathroom, I caught her staring at me from the living room, something close to menace in her eyes.

    “Are you sure you’ll be okay here by yourself?” I asked Salem for like the fiftieth time.
    “Go, be with loverboy. I’ll be fine.” She waved at me from the couch, her eyes focused on the flashing images, some animated movie that was showing on Friday night TV.
    “Are you sure?” I said as I paced the living room, checking the clock, making sure I had everything in my bag − keys, wallet, phone, lip balm, and at Flick’s insistence, condoms − then checking the clock again. “I can cancel. He’ll understand.”
    She snorted. “What, and have to spend a night with you wishing you were with him getting some? No thanks.”
    I flushed. “I am not going to get some , as you so eloquently put it.”
    “I have fresh groceries.” I opened the small fridge and stared inside. “Veges, chicken, some cheese. And I have sauce for a stir fry in the cupboard or there’s wholemeal pasta.”
    “Ew, who eats wholemeal pasta?”
    I spun around, slamming the fridge door shut. “I eat wholemeal pasta.”
    She made a face.
    I walked to the couch and stood there, worrying my lip. “Will you be alright for dinner?”
    “Yup, I know the local number for pizza delivery by heart.”
    “Salem, pizza’s not good for you.”
    “What are you, my mother?”
    I was about to reply but I heard three sharp blasts of a horn from the street. “Okay, that’s him.”
    “He’s not going to come up?”
    “Um, no.” I turned to grab my bag from the kitchen counter, hoping she didn’t see the flush that was most definitely on my face given how hot my cheeks had gone.
    “You haven’t told him I’m here, have you?”
    “No, but I will.”
    “Are you ashamed of me?”
    I gasped and spun, my hand still stuck in my handbag. “I’m not ashamed of you. Clay and I, we’re just… I’m just waiting for the right time.”
    “Uh-huh.” She jumped off the couch and stalked over to the window.
    “Get back from there. He’ll see you.”
    Salem just kept staring outside through the blinds. “Please, even if he does, he’ll think I’m you.” She sniffed. “It’s too dark for me to get a good look at him anyway.” She returned to her couch and the movie.
    I found what I was looking for in my bag. “I almost forgot. Here.” I held out a key. It was a copy of mine and at the end was the other half of my key-chain pair, the other half of my heart. “I had a second key cut for you.”
    She laughed at something on-screen. “Just put it down on the table.” She made a nudging motion with her chin.
    I shoved away a sliver of rejection and slipped it on the table before straightening. “Okay, I’m off.”
    Salem made a solemn Queen-wave at me, her eyes still on the

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