Imperfect Truth(5)

By: Ava Harrison

Lenore appears before me in all her superiority, her shoulders pulled back tight with the poise of a ballet dancer. Her tall, lithe body standing erect, She looks down at me. “Your behavior, Ava. I saw you out to dinner last night with your friend. You are a member of this family now. Some decorum, please. It’s not appropriate to laugh and act like that in public.” Lenore turns and walks to the other side of the room.

I turn to Alexandre, catching his eyes briefly and silently pleading with him to speak up in my defense. Under my breath I speak in a hushed whisper, “Alexandre, she can’t just show up at our apartment and tell me how I should act. I feel as though I’m locked in a cage, and your family has thrown away the key. Please, say something to her.”

He touches my hair ever so gently. I lean into his body seeking his warmth. Lenore turns back to us and unease descends upon me.

Engulfing me.

Silence falls upon us like a dark haze, suffocating me the closer she gets. Once upon us, Alexandre says nothing just steps away.

My body becomes cold.

A part of me snaps and breaks.

I. Am. Hollow.

A throat clearing awakens me from my daydream, and I notice Lenore stand to depart.

“This was lovely, Alexandre, I shall see you next week. Ava…maybe next time you’ll be courteous enough to prepare for my visit.” My mouth hangs open as she walks out of the room.

As if on cue, Delia, Lenore’s maid, steps into the kitchen with a stern look on her round, sun-kissed face as she takes me in. Her hands are tucked into the white apron on her black uniform. She shakes her head in judgment, reminding me how my friend Jules jokes that Delia is the spy hired by Lenore to make sure I’m on the straight and narrow.

As Delia clears the table, I excuse myself from Alexandre and make my way to the den. Grabbing my laptop, I power it up and sign on to Facebook. I click on my blog page and post the buy link for Changing Faces, making sure to tag him in the post, hoping he will see. Ryder Matthews is starting to become my new guilty pleasure. I head back to his profile to “stalk” him a little. He doesn’t supply much information. Closing the icon, I click on his pictures. There are a ton of pictures of his book covers and teasers, but only a few of him. Well, none of him, per se, just of his perfectly tailored suits. I secretly decide that all male authors are really females trying to cash in on female adoration to increase sales. Not Ryder, of course, but all the rest. A window pops up on my screen.

Ryder Matthews: Hey, you posted my link. Much appreciated.

Ava Readsalot: You’re welcome.

I stare at the computer, trying to formulate what to type next. I don’t want to stop talking to him. Even though we had only messaged a few brief times, I’m completely intrigued by him.

Ava Readsalot: I started reading Changing Faces: Blinded Lies today ;-)

Ryder Matthews: and?

Ava Readsalot: LOL

Ryder Matthews: What does that mean?

Ava Readsalot: It means Laugh Out Loud.

Ryder Matthews: I know what LOL means, smart ass!

Ava Readsalot: What does what mean?

Ryder Matthews: Wow are you going to make me explain the question?

Ava Readsalot: Yeah, I think I just might.

Ryder Matthews: Ava, how do you like my book?

Ava Readsalot: It really is a completely unique concept.

Ava Readsalot: The main character is interesting, dark. He is so devious and perverse. Where did you come up with the idea?

Ryder Matthews: Art imitates life sometimes ;-)

Ava Readsalot: I highly doubt that. No one can be that wicked.

Ryder Matthews: You never know…

Ava Readsalot: Well anyway, so far I’m loving it ;-)

Ryder Matthews: Good I’m glad.

A strange feeling rushes through me. I know it sounds crazy, but knowing that he is happy makes me happy.

Ava Readsalot: What else makes you “glad”

Ryder Matthews: Why? You taking notes?

Ava Readsalot: Maybe.

I start to type then stop…thinking of what I should write next. My hands on the keyboard, I finally decide to type exactly what I’m feeling.

Ava Readsalot: For some reason knowing something makes you happy makes me happy.

Ryder Matthews: Well I’m ecstatic to hear that.

Ava Readsalot: LMAO you’re silly.

We discuss his book some more, and within minutes, I’m hysterically laughing. It feels so good to laugh. After such a stressful beginning to my day, I feel revived by the reprieve Ryder has given me.

Ava Readsalot: I’m hysterically laughing right now. Thanks I needed this.

Ryder Matthews: ?

Ava Readsalot: Rough day!

Ryder Matthews: Want to talk about it?

For the next twenty minutes, I tell him all about the “Ice Queen.” His answers are concise, constructive, and supportive.

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