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The Probability of Violet & Luke, Page 8

Jessica Sorensen

  “Leave her the fuck alone,” Luke warns as he follows me through the crowd with his fists raised. “She’s way better off not being here—she deserves better—and you’re going to let her go or else I’m going to have to make you let her go you sick son of a bitch.”

  Preston gives a sharp laugh and there’s something almost psychopathic about it, so uncontrolled, so irrational. I know what’s coming before he even says it. “You think she’s better than me.” He laughs again, his voice following me as I rush toward the hall. “You want to know why I call her a whore? Ask her how she pays her debt to me and she can try to tell you that she doesn’t like it, but by the moaning I can tell that she does.”

  I cover my ears and run back to the room, not wanting to see or hear Luke’s reaction to what Preston tells him next, not wanting to feel the shame on the inside. When I get to the room, I head for the closet to get my bag, but then realize that Luke may not want me to come with him, now that Preston’s let that cat out of the bag.

  “Fucking douche,” I curse under my breath as I stand in the darkness of the room, unsure what to do. I want to grab a razor and slit my wrists, but am I ready to go that far?

  Finally, I sit down on the floor, bring my legs to my chest, and rest my head on my knees. “Why, why, why, can’t I ever stand up to him? I’m a badass to everyone else, but to him, I’m so weak.”

  “It’s not your fault.” The sound of Luke’s voice makes me stiffen. Great, he heard me in a weak moment. So weak. “He abuses his power as a parent and makes you feel helpless.”

  I smash my lips together and lift my head to look up at him. He’s just a shadow in the darkness, unreadable and I shove my emotions down, wanting to be unreadable too. “Are you speaking from experience?”

  “Yes,” he says simply, inching across the room toward me. “My mother abused her power a lot.”

  It’s something that’s haunted me since the day I walked out of the apartment—walked away from him. Luke hated his mom, something I learned early on when I first met him. He’d told me a few vague stories about how she’s made him shoot her up with heroin. I’m sure that was barely getting to the surface of the problems that woman caused and part of me had felt bad for blaming him for something she did. It wasn’t Luke’s fault my parents are dead, but he painfully reminded me of what happened—still does.

  “Maybe I shouldn’t go with you,” I say heavy-heartedly. “It probably wasn’t such a good idea in the first place… you and...” I shake the thought out of my head, because I want it too much. It’s better if I don’t go, although, I don’t really have anywhere to live anymore unless I’m willing to sacrifice my dignity and more.

  He pauses, then he backs up to the light switch and flips it on. I blink against the brightness of the light as he searches my face for something—I have no idea what—then he says, “No, you’re coming with me. There’s no way I’m going to leave you here.” He glances over his shoulder at the door. “With him. It’s not healthy, the way he treats you, and looks at you.” His gaze collides with mine and a flicker of safeness rises inside me, but it only makes me ache more. “You need to stay away from him, Violet. You deserve better than that.” His lips drop to my mouth, but it happens so quickly my brain can barely register it before he’s speaking again. “Much, much better.”

  I want to argue with him, not just about what he said but about how bad it is for me to go with him. Luke and I have yet to even begin to confront the major thing that tore us apart two months ago, so taking off without dealing with that seems like such an impulsive, potentially disastrous thing to do. But I’d rather deal with Luke then deal with Preston anymore. Living with him has been a nightmare and I need to breathe without feeling like my lungs are crushing me, if only for a moment. So I get up and pack my stuff, knowing that I’m only running away from my problems and avoiding the ones in front of me. And eventually I know it’s all going to crash down on me.

  It always does.

  Chapter 6


  We leave Violet’s house with a little more confrontation from Preston, but I can tell the guy is a total pussy, backing down when I challenge him because he knows I can beat his ass. He makes me sick, how he treats her, uses her lack of family as a weapon against her. It’s like an obsession—a sick obsession like my mother has with controlling me.

  But I try not to think about that as we drive out of town and onto the highway. It’s late, the moon bright in the sky as we head in the direction of Vegas, which is about a twelve-hour drive from Laramie. Violet is by my side, sitting quietly. Well, sitting in the same truck as me since she’s managed to put as much distance between us as possible, leaning up against the passenger door. Space. There seems like so much of it between us, even though I could reach over and touch her.

  For a while, I think she’s fallen asleep, her head resting against the window, her weight leaning against the door, her chest rising up and down as she breathes softly. I’m reaching for the stereo to turn on some music, when she abruptly sits up, looking very much awake.

  “So what exactly did he say to you?” she asks, turning toward me and bringing her leg up onto the seat.

  I return my hand to the steering wheel. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about.” Actually, I am, but I don’t want to talk about it… don’t even want to think about it.

  “Preston.” Her voice is flat—emotionless—like when I first met her and it kills me on the inside hearing it again. “In the living room, when I walked away, did he tell you what I’ve been doing for the last two months while I was staying with him?” She’s trying to remain indifferent, but her voice cracks at the end, revealing how much it hurts her and makes me want to hurt Preston more than anything.

  “I don’t care what he said,” I say, gripping the steering wheel tightly as I attempt to focus on the road instead of the anger burning inside me. “I only care what you say.” I pause, waiting for her to tell me. It’s not like it was a new revelation. I’d seen them kissing in the parking lot earlier today, but still, it feels like there’s so much more to it, or maybe that’s just me being stupid and naïve, something I never thought of myself as before. “Do you want to talk about it?”

  She shakes her head. “Nope.”

  God, she’s so hard to read when she’s this closed off. “Do you want to talk about anything at all?” Like the big old stinking elephant sitting between us, taking up most of the room in the truck. Are we ready to go there yet?

  She considers what I said, her eyes wandering upward toward the night sky. “Do you still have that sex tape in here?”

  What the hell? “Sex tape… I’ve never made a sex tape.” That’s a lie. I did once when I was eighteen and there was this girl who was really into some kinky shit. But Violet shouldn’t know about that nor do I want her to.

  Her gaze lands on me, but it’s too dark to see her expression. “You’re totally lying to me right now—you’ve made one.” Her tone is light, curious. “You know, I’d like to say that I’m surprised but I’m not.”

  I relax a little as her playfulness emerges. “Okay, I’m trying to decide whether I should be offended by that or not. Like you think I’m some kind of man-whore.” Which I am—was. Not anymore though.

  “You don’t need to be offended,” she promises with a hint of amusement in her voice. “Besides, I’m sure it was an excellent tape.”

  God, what I would give to see the expression on her face as she sits back in the seat, tucking her legs under her, her thighs barely covered as her dress rides up and makes me want to slide over and finish what we started back in Geraldson’s bathroom.

  Now is not the time to get a hard on.

  “And besides, I wasn’t talking about an actual sex tape,” Violet continues. “But that music tape I found in here once that was labeled fuck me or something like that.”

  Hearing her say fuck me makes my dick go rock hard. But there’s no trust between us anymore, no basis for her to want me to touc
h her, no nothing except my longing to get through her impenetrable wall so all it’s going to get me is a severe case of blue balls.

  I try to discretely adjust myself. “Oh, I think it’s still under the seat from…” From when you were with me and we were in this very truck, heading out on our very first date. My chest tightens, air constricting, and all I want to do is drink until I can no longer feel my body.

  Violet leans forward, lowering her head toward the floor as she reaches under the seat. She rummages around until she finds the tape. “Yep, right were you threw it.” She sits up and reads the label. “My Fuck Tape.” She turns it over in her hand, a smile tugging at her lips. “It’s funny you actually have tapes. Hardly anyone knows what they are anymore.”

  “The truck came with a tape player and I’m too cheap to put a new stereo in,” I explain. “Maybe one day though, I’ll change it out.”

  She shakes her head as she feeds the tape into the deck. “Don’t. It gives the truck character.” She presses play then sits back, waiting for the song to come on. For the life of me, I can’t remember what the hell’s on there.

  Seconds later, I cringe as the first song thumps through the speakers. Violet instantly suppresses her laughter as she covers her mouth with her hand. She stays that way, listening to the lyrics until finally she lowers her hand. “So… is that what you call your special man part?” she asks, choking back her laughter as she slaps her hand over her mouth again.

  I shake my head at her and playfully reach over and give her a little shove, knowing I’m being flirty right now, but hey, she started it. “Even if I did have a name for my cock, trust me it’d be a lot better than that.”

  She continues laugh, her hand over her mouth, her shoulders shaking as she uses her free arm to shove me back. “I can’t believe you’ve had sex to this song.”

  “Hey, I never said I had sex with anyone to this,” I protest, even though I have no clue if that’s true. I’m trying not to grin, because I never thought this would be happening again, things being so light between us and I don’t want to get all excited when I know it’s going to crash down at any moment. “And they’re not all bad. Some are actually pretty good.” I reach forward and fast forward to the next song. Nine Inch Nails “Closer” comes on and I let it play, relaxing.

  She lowers her hand to her lap and absorbs the lyrics silently. I’m guessing if she wasn’t so good at shielding her emotions, she’d probably be blushing, but it’s not her style. I remember when she told me she was a virgin, back before I took her virginity. She said it so bluntly, so unashamed, that I ended up spitting my drink out on the floor in surprise. The only time I’ve ever seen her show her raw emotions was the one and only time we had sex. It was the first time I didn’t try to hold any emotion back too, which made the moment perfect until a few hours later when everything fell apart. Another time, another place, where I wish I could have stay, because for a moment everything was perfect, but it was just the calm before the storm.

  “Okay, this one’s not so bad,” Violet remarks as she lets her head fall back against the seat, her lips part, she’s so relaxed. “In fact, I could see how having sex to this could be good.”

  God, what I would give to have sex with her right now. Right here. To this very song.

  I could act on it, but I don’t, trying to be the decent guy she was turning me into a couple of months ago. The one who took better care of himself, who didn’t drink so much, who wasn’t so angry.

  As I struggle to keep my horniness to myself for the next hour, this weird sexual tension builds between us as she insists on going through the entire tape. Deftones “Change” Nickelback’s, “Something in Your Mouth,” “Addicted” by Saving Abel, the list of songs goes on and on, getting hotter and sexier with each one. It reminds me more and more of the one and only time Violet and I had sex. God, I want her again. Seriously, who’s idea was this? It’s getting so hot in the cab of the truck I crack the window, pretending it’s because I’m going to smoke, when really it’s to cool the hell down, otherwise I’m going to end up having an orgasm while I’m driving.

  I’m saturating my lungs with nicotine when finally Violet slides forward on the seat to turn the music down. “You have a really dirty mind, Luke Price. Seriously. Where did you find all those songs?”

  I shrug. “I was bored one day, so I made the tape. Took a while, but I was pretty proud of it.”

  Her eyes glide to me and twinkle mischievously in the moonlight shining through the windows. “How many times have you had sex while the tape was playing?”

  I squirm uncomfortably in the seat as I ash the cigarette out the window. “I feel a little uncomfortable talking to you about this,” I admit.

  “Well, it’s a lot easier than talking about all the things we aren’t talking about don’t you think?” She sighs tiredly as she slumps back in the seat.

  “We could talk…” I take a long inhale off my cigarette and gradually let it out, smoke circling my face. “If you want to.”

  She tenses as she shakes her head and stares out the window to the side of her. “I’m not ready to just yet.” she says quietly. “I want to play make believe for just a little bit longer.”

  God, I’ve never felt my heart shatter for someone else more than I have at this moment. I want to pull the truck over, wrap my arms around her, and just hold her. But that’s not really what she’s asking me to do, is it?

  So instead I eject the tape and toss it up onto the dash. “You know I have three more of these in the glovebox.”

  A smile touches her lips as she sits up and gets the tapes out, going back to playing make believe, pretending that everything is okay, when it’s not.


  I fall asleep sometime around two o’clock in the morning and crash right into my nightmares. The one where I’m in the basement, hiding, listening to the sounds of what I think are fireworks but turn out to be my parent’s deaths. The nightmare has changed over the last two months into something I don’t like.


  He’s the one who comes into the basement that night, just a boy my age, but he’s not there to hurt anyone. He wants to help me—always wanting to help me.

  “Take my hand,” he says as he stands in the middle of the basement, looking right at me hiding in the corner, surrounded by boxes and toys. I don’t understand how he can see me or how he can tell that I’m afraid, but he can. “Don’t worry. I won’t hurt you—I’ll protect you.”

  I shake my head, not daring to move. “I can’t.”

  “Yes, you can,” he encourages, stepping toward me. “It’s going to be okay.”

  “But I’m too scared,” I whisper in horror as sounds fill the house, one’s of pain and destruction.

  He kneels down in front of me, his hand still extended out. “She scares me too, but if there’s two of us, maybe things won’t be so scary.”

  I hesitate, then finally place my hand in his, crawling out of the corner. There’s a moment where I feel safe as he holds onto my hand, but then I hear the bang. I jerk back, my fingers slipping out of his and the safeness slips from my body as he’s pulled away from me. Stolen by his mother as she starts to sing that stupid song, the one that ruined my life.


  My eyelids snap open as I suck in a large breath of air, fighting my lungs to keep breathing, my body to keep thriving, my mind to stay intact as I grasp into the edge of the seat.

  “Violet, breathe,” Luke says from beside me. The truck has stopped moving and the sun is up in the bright blue sky, so I can see the worry on his face. He opens his arms to lean in and hug me, but I can’t let him right now, not when the feelings from the nightmare still linger under my skin.

  “I’m okay,” I say in a hoarse voice, leaning back against the door and catching my breath. “I was just having a nightmare.”

  Luke is the one person in the world who knows what my nightmares are about and I can tell it’s difficult for him not to say anything about it, b
ut he manages to keep his thoughts to himself and grabs the door handle to get out of the car. “The truck needs gas,” he mumbles, trying to shake off my refusal to let him help me. “Why don’t you run in and get something to eat?”

  I nod and then wait for him to get out before I climb out myself. I still have my dress on and heels on from yesterday, which are getting really uncomfortable so I grab some fresh clothes from my bag that’s in the back of the truck and head inside the gas station bathroom to change. I put on my Nirvana T-shirt and a pair of jeans, then slip on some flip-flops and pull a beanie over my head so I don’t have to waste time doing my hair. I don’t bother with makeup but I do put some deodorant on before heading out.

  I wander up the aisle, checking my phone messages before deciding to call and ask Greyson if he can fill in for me at work, despite how much I don’t want to because it’s asking for a favor. But I don’t have another choice right now.