Authors: Theresa L. Henry
The Ties that Bind
By Theresa L. Henry
Copyright ©2014 Theresa L. Henry
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this book may be reproduced, stored or shared in any form, including but not limited to: printing, photocopying, faxing, recording, electronic transmission, or by any information storage or retrieval system without prior written permission from the author and copyright holder; excepting brief quotes used in reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. References may be made to locations and historical events. However, names, characters, places and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination and/or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business events or locales is either used fictitiously or coincidentally. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademark, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.
Adult Content: Contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language. This book is for sale to adults only. Please store your files responsibly, where they will not be accessible to under-aged readers.
Published by: Theresa L. Henry
Edited by: Danielle Harden
To my family
Table of Contents
“Daddy, the wedding’s off. I messed up bad this time… really, really bad.”
“What did you do, Hope?”
“I… I… can I come home, Daddy?”
“Of course you can come home, baby girl. You can always come home.”
Hope turned the key in the ignition of her little sports car and took one final look at the imposing house where she had just caused so much unrest. Her thoughts in a jumble at how she had managed to make such a complete and utter mess of what should have been her wedding day. What were these demons that drove her to do these things? When would she ever be able to relinquish the hold they had on her?
It seemed as though each time she reached a position where she might finally be happy, she ruined it. In the space of an afternoon, she had somehow managed to lose her dearest friend and the man she loved.
She actually liked Jason. In the period of time that she had known him, she had seen the bond he shared with Steve. How close they were. What they meant to each other. Yet that nameless something inside drove her to sever their relationship.
In the back of her mind, she knew what she was doing was wrong when she had approached Jason. She knew that in the time Jason had known Aviva, he was developing real feelings for her. She also knew that the bond Steve and Jason shared couldn’t be broken by what she had attempted. But she just couldn’t seem to stop the momentum of her actions once they had begun.
Hope understood that most people who didn’t know her, and because of the job she did, thought she was superficial. Their reasoning couldn’t be further from the truth. She knew she was a beautiful woman, how could she not. She was one of the world’s most famous supermodels. Yet in the end, she knew she could walk away from it all.
Revving the engine of her car, Hope dashed the tears from her eyes and eased the car towards the gate that would take her away from the new life that could have been hers.
Pulling into her parents’ driveway, Hope turned off the engine and sat staring at the house in which they now lived. It was a beautiful home, and she knew it contained only the finest of everything. She knew because she had paid for it.
She had fought a monumental battle to get her parents to accept the home. She knew they could easily afford the house without her help, but had wanted to do something nice for them. But they had fought her until she had felt she had no recourse other than to use unfair tactics to change their minds. Namely threatening to leave and never return. Telling them that the house they lived in embarrassed her. It had worked. She had gotten her way. When others expected the worst of you, it became increasingly easy to live up to that impression.
Alighting from her car, Hope noticed that her father’s car was parked in the driveway. Drawing in a deep breath she silently fortified herself, ready to tackle the questions she knew were about to be thrown at her.
Ringing the doorbell, it struck Hope as ironic that she didn’t have a key to her parents’ house. It had never bothered her before because she didn’t actually live there. In fact, she didn’t visit that often, but suddenly she felt the lack of that key. In her current state of mind, not having a key to her parent’s house made Hope feel as though she didn’t have a home, nowhere where she actually belonged.
The door was opened by an older replica of herself. Every time Hope saw her mother after a period of separation, she was assailed by their similarity of facial features. Her mother was still a beautiful woman. But the eyes that regarded her held not even the hint of a smile.
That was it, her mother’s one word of welcome. Hope could see that her mother was dressed for her wedding. They hadn’t been able to attend the party the night before as her father had decided to leave the celebration for the
as he termed it.
“May I come in, Mama?”
Taryn Richards expressionlessly regarded her daughter for a few more seconds before standing aside to allow her access. The dispassion of her mother’s regard caused Hope’s heart to plummet. She knew that look, she had grown up with it. She also knew that when she told her parents what she had done, her mother would silently turn away from her yet again.
At the sound of her father’s voice, Hope spun around and took him in. Tears springing to her eyes at the pleasure she saw registered across his face at the sight of her. So wrapped was she in the first glimpse of her father, that she missed the pain that passed across her mother’s face.
Rushing across the hall, Hope threw herself against her father and held on tight. Feeling safe in his arms, she allowed her tears to fall.
Pulling away from him, Hope looked at the man she knew still loved her, especially after the way Steve had ejected her from his home. Unable to help herself, she again found her eyes searching his face, eager to find some semblance of shared similarity. It was always the same, just as she was about to give up she found it. That one small feature that assured her she wasn’t entirely her mother’s daughter. There, it was the lift of his lips as he smiled at her. It was the only thing she could ever find. Apart from their shared smiles, she was her mother’s daughter.
Mason’s smile was all the assurance Hope needed. Resting her head against his broad shoulder yet again, she closed her eyes.
Taryn stood alone. The outsider, watching as her only child clung to her father as she wept. Knowing there was no place for her within their circle. Moving her eyes along her beautiful daughter’s back, Taryn took in each aspect of her. Reaching Hope’s head that was bent on her father’s shoulder, her gaze was arrested by those of her husband’s. What she saw there caused her to draw in her breath. Reflected back at her was cold calculation.
“Come on in, baby girl, tell Daddy what happened. Daddy’s gonna make everything right. You just wait and see.” Mason Richards cooed to his only child as he broke eye contact with Taryn and led Hope into the sitting room. So entirely was their attention turned towards each other, that neither of them gave Taryn another thought.
Following behind, Taryn observed them as both Mason and Hope sank down on the overstuffed sofa, her head still resting on his shoulder as he stroked her back. Feeling sick to her stomach, Taryn moved towards the bar, she needed a drink.
Pouring herself a glass of vodka she took a deep gulp. Only then did she become aware that the room had fallen into silence, they were both watching her. They always watched her when she had a drink in her hand.
So what, they had each other, and she had her vodka
, Taryn thought. Lifting her glass to the still embracing pair, she tossed back the remaining contents and poured another.
“So, Hope, I’m all dressed up, and it would seem I have nowhere to go. What did you do this time?”
“For God’s sake, Taryn, give the girl some space. Can’t you see she’s upset? She’ll tell us what happened when she’s ready!”
“Excuse me, Mason, wasn’t it you who was just asking
all about what had happened?”
“Ignore her, Hope, it’s the drink talking!” Mason threw out, his gaze capturing his wife’s and holding it.
“Well that’s where you’re wrong, Mason. This is my first drink of the day.”
“Then it’s the pills. Is it the pills Taryn, or are you going to tell me that you haven’t had any pills today?”
The level of sarcasm Mason directed at her was nothing new, but she could see it gave Hope pause.
In front of Hope, Mason usually acted the kind-hearted father, ever careful not to use the tone he reserved for when they were alone. Gone was the normal civility that normally existed between them when others were around. In its place were the elevated levels of hostility that usually passed between them.
“Go to your room, Taryn!”
“No. I want to hear what my daughter’s done. What have you done this time, Hope?”
“Taryn, I said go to your room… now!”
“No… not this time. This time I stay. I have a right to be here. I’m not going to let you push me away from my daughter anymore, do you hear me, Mason!” Taryn screamed at her husband.
“You’re a drunk and an addict, and you’re making a fool of yourself. Stop embarrassing yourself more than you already have, and go to your room!”
“No!” Taryn shouted emphatically. Rotating almost in a full circle, she threw her glass across the room, not even flinching when the crystal goblet shattered into tiny particles against the wall.
“There, no more drink.” Moving around the bar, Taryn continued her vent of destruction. Pulling bottle after bottle from its resting place, she threw each one to the floor in rapid succession.
Out of the corner of her eye, Taryn could see her husband was shocked at her behavior, and it felt fantastic. This controlled destruction felt incredible. Each time Mason tried to approach her to still her hand, Taryn threw another bottle.
Yes, she was a drunk, and in the past she had used prescription drugs as a means of coping with the wreck that was her life. But what her disdainful husband had failed to notice was that the pills were gone. Each time a new bottle of prescription drugs had appeared she pretended to swallow them to give the impression of continued dependency. At the same time she was watching, waiting to see when Mason would notice that she was no longer walking around in her normal dazed state.
Taryn hadn’t had a drink in days. But Mason, who rarely paid her attention during daylight hours, hadn’t noticed, and she was sorry she had succumbed in front of Hope. She was trying so hard. She wanted to be rid of the tools that had become so much a part of her life that at times, she had difficulty recalling normality. Taryn wanted her life back, she wanted her daughter back. Mason couldn’t have her baby any longer. She wanted her back.
Picking up the last bottle, Taryn looked down at her precious vodka and paused, her hands shaking, heart pounding. That bastard knew she was a drunk, but this house had enough alcohol to float a cruise ship.
Taking one more look at her drink of choice, Taryn made a choice, her daughter or the vodka. Vodka had been her only friend for more years than she could remember. In her moments of deepest need, she had never questioned its friendship. Reaching a decision, she threw the bottle directly at Mason’s head, missing him by only the smallest of margins.