|Scarred for Life
Author: StarvingLunatic PM
Femslash. F/F. Dane is a loner, having lost all faith in people...until she accidentally meets Nicole, a heavily put-upon lawyer who seems to have too much faith in people. Reposted.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 16 - Words: 120,276 - Reviews: 136 - Favs: 139 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 04-02-13 - Published: 04-16-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2661038
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Welcome to an original story by this lunatic. The story is mine and the characters are mine. Please do not use them without my permission. Also, any and all characters, events, and situations found in these stories are fictional. If there are any similarities between these things and real people, events, and situations, it is purely a coincidence.
General warning: This story will eventually involve a sexual relationship between two women. There will also be extreme language and descriptions of drug use, so if that's not your cup-o-tea, move on.
Special thanks to my betas, Ken-zero and Faioxromokitoma, who made this story the best it could be. Many thanks to you guys. You are the best.
A/N: This Lunatic has good news and bad news. Bad news first: I'm back at square one with trying to get Scarred for Life published. I'm sorry for everyone that's been waiting for this. You can check my Facebook page for updates on what's going on with the story. I'll do my best to keep readers posted here, too. There's a link on my profile for my FB page. I would like to continue to thank everyone for their support, especially the people who fav'ed and reviewed this story. Please, continue to bear with me. I really want this to work out. Until I figure out what's going on with it, the story is back! I hope you enjoy it.
Scarred for Life
1: The end. Already?
An early spring typically makes people think that the year had promise. The beauty brought on by the bright greens of the grass and leaves, the cheerful songs of all types of birds, and the caress of the light breeze makes it seem like everything was fine in the world. It was as if everything was right everywhere and nothing could ever go wrong.
Keeping up the façade that everything was right was the look of the neighborhood, holding just as much promise as the day. Well-kept, two-story houses lined the spotless streets. If fences made good neighbors, everyone around must have gotten along rather well since either a fence, gate, or hedge separated each home. Each house had a large front yard with lush green grass, as if no one dared to mess up the perfect picture by having a piece of grass out of place. Some yards did have children's toys or bikes littering the walkways or the lawns, but those flaws added a soft touch to the scene, making everything seem almost sickeningly sweet.
Would everything be so sweet if they knew a former predator roamed their fair streets? If they knew a Wolfe was wandering about their picturesque little neighborhood? If they knew that the Great Dane was outside their doors and could later on be picking up their daughters? Well, could, but more than likely would not.
Dane shook those thoughts away, continuing down the street of the pleasant looking neighborhood, a noticeable limp in her step. Quaint was the word that came to mind; it seemed like some place comfortable, and even held the possibility of being… real. She had not had the opportunity to spend time in many real places, but she was willing to bet that the quaint-looking neighborhood was just as phony as other environment she had had the displeasure of walking through.
Dull grey eyes glanced around each house, Dane liked to think that each held a happy family that was doing the right thing to an extent, but she was certain that was just a dream—the last shred of human hope held in her withered, tired heart. From her experience, she was sure that every house, every individual, had more secrets than most would fathom. Some of those secrets were quite benign, she would give them that; any healthy life racked up a few mild secrets. But, others…others could mean jail sentences, children taken away, property lost, excommunication, and exile from the community. She had met and kept her fair share of both.
Dane liked to think that she was not completely jaded with the world, as her eyes were grey, not green. She figured that somewhere in all of those prim yards, tidy driveways, and well-kept houses there was a family that was generally all right. Somewhere in the pile there were people that actually cared for each other and others and tried to do the right thing more often than not, no matter how insignificant matters might seem. It was the law of averages, she supposed.
But, all in all, she could guess the story of the suburban neighborhood. The beautiful façade was draped over everything, hiding the real show from the world like curtains on a stage play. All the world was a stage, she knew, but some places wanted to hide their show more than others. The show had stopped interesting her years ago; the masks were better left off, and all the actors naked before her to let her know that everybody was more fucked up than they wanted to let on. Herself included, of course.
As she continued on down the dark grey sidewalk, she came to a street with children playing. She chuckled a bit to herself; she used to think that children did not do that anymore, but apparently she was wrong. Well, it was either that or she managed to get sucked back in time ten years. Not being high, she leaned more toward the former than the latter. It was nice to see kids playing outside, on a block, almost like a television show.
Youthful eyes stared at her as she came through. She suspected that she might have had the word "outsider" branded to her copper-tone forehead or they just knew that she did not belong. This time, she was sure it was the latter; she liked to think that she was alert enough to notice if someone branded her sometime in the last twenty-four hours.
It seemed like the type of little neighborhood where everyone knew everyone else, at least in passing. Of course, no one knew her. She was new, she stood out, and she carried herself in manner that she doubted was fit for the pure-and-simple area.
There was the chance that she might be mistaken for a delivery person. She was pushing a ratty, rusted bike. In fact, the bike was disturbing the peace and quiet because it squeaked rather badly. She had a bag; sure, it was a book-bag with one strap broken and duct tape covering the bottom as well as a hole on the side. She doubted that anyone was going to think that she was delivering any kind of food and if she was, they were probably going to urge the recipient not to eat it. Destroying any chance of being mistaken for anything but the weirdo she knew they thought she was, she was carrying a worn guitar case.
She doubted that it helped that she had piercing on her face; there were two bars in her left eyebrow. She was also wearing a worn-out pair of sky blue shorts that went past her knees; some puffed-up scars poked out from underneath the right cuff while light scars cut cross both legs. She had a clear limp that seemed to beg people to stare, at least for a few seconds. A chain dangled from her pocket to her belt loop, and the movement seemed to catch some of the attention that she was getting. The noise of the chain hitting against her slim thigh also deflected some attention from directly on her.
Having become an expert in ignoring people and shutting out the god-forsaken world whenever she wanted to, Dane pressed on as if she walked these streets a million times in her life. She crossed a street and noted the sign telling her that she was now on 23rd street. She went into the pocket of her large, blue jean shorts and pulled out a wrinkled sheet of yellow paper. Written on it was simply, "23rd and Jordan ave. 23-07."
She checked the deep green and perfect white street signs to make sure she was on the right track. As far as she knew, she was. She scratched her head, mussing her already wild mop of ebony hair, with the hand that held the paper. She then put the paper away, pushed her bike onto 23rd street, and began scanning for the house in the fading light of day.
She came to the middle of the street and thought that she had finally come to the house that she was looking for. It was a clone of the houses around it, but painted a deep red while most of the other houses were white. The short, verdant lawn was divided in two by a walkway leading up a clean, long porch. There was a tree on the left side of the lawn that her gaze lingered on for a moment, thinking about how she would have loved to climb the long, thick branches when she was a child. She quickly rid herself of that thought, knowing that it would take her to dark, dark places.
She dropped her bike at the bottom of the steps at the porch and scaled the five low stairs to the porch. She glanced at the two windows flanking the door and saw that the house was dark. Still, she decided to knock before assuming that no one was home. When the loud knocking was not answered, she figured no one was there or she was not wanted. Either way, she was not getting in the house.
She glanced over at the driveway and noted the luxury black sedan that was parked there. She was a bit curious why the car was in the driveway, but no one was home. She considered that someone might be back quickly. There were stores, restaurants, and take-out places not too far from the house, so a person walking was not farfetched.
Dane was about to sit down on the stairs and wait, as she had nothing better to do with her life. She could use a break too; her leg was practically screaming for her to take a moment to stop. A grumbling noise halted any plans that she had for resting. She glanced around and when she did not see any angry bears around, she gathered that the noise had come from her stomach. She glanced down at her growling belly, seeing nothing but her torn black, short-sleeve shirt.
"All right, monster, I'll feed you. I just need to see how much money I have," she muttered as she went into her pocket. She pulled out her worn leather wallet, which was connected to her shorts by the long chain at her side. When she opened the wallet, she was surprised that a moth did not fly out of the thing because it was so empty. "Hmm…couldn't even buy a stick of gum right now. Isn't that always the way?"
She chuckled a bit at her own question and shook her head while placing her wallet back into her pants. She gathered her bike and proceeded to make her way off of the property. Her stomach voiced its displeasure again, much louder than before, and she just laughed again.
"Cry all you want, but it damn sure isn't putting food in you and it ain't putting no fucking money in my wallet either," she remarked, but her empty belly missed the joke. It grumbled again and she ignored it, like the rest of the world. She could get some money, but she just was not in the mood to search for a bank right now.
A pair of car doors slamming echoed through the quiet neighborhood that was now blanketed in a comfortable spring night. The bright moon overhead, shining down on the world like a spotlight, was witness to the loud clicking of high heels that moved in annoyed stride up the stone walkway. The heels were quickly accompanied by the soft sound of leather shoes.
Pink-painted, glistening lips twisted into a frown when the sound of the other shoes echoed through the night. The high heels clicked quicker for a few seconds before resigning to fate and returning to the original, but tense pace. They clicked up the wooden stairs and were followed by the patter of the other shoes.
Keys jangled mirthlessly as they were freed from the small black handbag that had been their prison for hours. Before they could do their job, they had a meeting with gravity and ended up on the wooden porch. A groan followed the plummet; the groan did not come from the injured keys.
"Come on, babe, it's cold," the owner of the leather shoes commented. He was a slightly tall man with dark brown hair combed back, but a few strands fell into his equally dark brown eyes. He had a sort of baby face with his deep brown eyes and rounded jaw. He was wearing a white oxford shirt and black slacks. He had left his jacket because it was so nice when they left. He did not assume that it would be a few degrees cooler when night rolled around.
"Yeah, I hadn't noticed that all, Tyler," his companion answered as she leaned down to pick the keys. To help the matter, Tyler checked out her ass as her black dress rode up her lovely legs a little more.
If she saw his "help," she did not say anything about, but she did roll her emerald green eyes; eyes that were fiery and hard as the gem they were colored after. She picked up the keys and put them in the lock. She quickly opened the door and almost shut it before Tyler could come inside. She caught herself, as well as the door, before it slammed into Tyler's perfect nose.
"It was great to go out, wasn't it, Nikki?" Tyler asked as he shut the door. He failed to see her visibly flinch when he said "Nikki."
"It was all right," Nicole, as she preferred to be called, answered in a flat tone. Really, the only way the evening even ranked "all right" was if she was truly fine with picking up the entire check at a restaurant that she did not even like to eat at after seeing a movie that she had never wanted to waste her time on. If she was going to be honest with herself and rank the evening on a scale of one to ten, she would give it a two and the only reason it got such a good score was because she was able to check her email while she was at dinner. She was going to have a light day at work on Monday.
"It was more than all right," Tyler insisted while wrapping his arms around Nicole's slim waist and pulling her to his taller form. He nuzzled her olive-toned neck, breathing deeply on her skin. "You smell so good…" he whispered in a seductive voice.
"Yeah, well, I'm tired," she replied in a clipped manner while pulling out his embrace.
"Babe," Tyler said as he reached out for her. She made sure to get out of his arm length as quickly as she could.
"I'm going to take a shower," she informed him and did not have to look back to know he was fixing his mouth to say something stupid. "No, you can't join me," she added.
Tyler's shoulders slumped and he pouted as she retreated from the room, going upstairs. After a few seconds, he marched up the stairs too. He heard the shower going already and he went to the master bedroom. He started unbuttoning his shirt before he even turned on the light. He flicked the switch and dropped his shirt to the floor.
By the time Nicole came into the room, dressed in a complete plain, light blue pajama set, the first thing she noticed were clothes on her otherwise clutter-free floor. She growled, low in her throat, and cast her eyes on Tyler. He was reclined on the bed, watching television in his boxers.
"I guess you're staying the night," she commented in a controlled tone. A vein throbbed at the side of her head.
"Yeah, I thought it would be a nice end to a nice evening," he replied with what he wanted to be a sexy smirk. She frowned at the sight and pushed down bile as it rose in her throat.
"Well, I'm tired," she stated soundly, hinting strongly that she just wanted to go to sleep.
Well, she thought that she was hinting strongly. Tyler apparently missed the whole clue because he leaned over to her side as soon as she lied down. He reached over, large hand caressing her thigh before she even completely settled in. She shuddered, but he mistook it for a shiver.
"I just said I'm tired," she snapped mildly while removing his hand. She actually thought his hand was small for someone his height. He stood just over six feet and she knew that he could not palm a basketball, so she assumed that meant his hands were small.
"Baby, you're trembling for me," he whispered before kissing her cheek and trying to turn around to him. She saved him the trouble and faced him.
"I don't want to!" she huffed, shoving him squarely in the chest, knocking him to the other side of the bed.
"Babe…" He looked incredulous, eyes wide with shock while glancing down at himself first as if making sure everything was intact. He then directed his gaze toward her. He glared at her, demanding that she explain herself.
"I said I was tired," she repeated in annoyed tone with a tight expression on her smooth face. Come on, she was wearing a full set of pajamas! Did it look like she was screaming, "Come and get me"?
"I thought you were just playing hard to get. The night was so nice, I thought we could cap it off," Tyler replied while reaching over to run his fingers up and down her arm, but she moved out of his range. She was close to falling out of bed now in order to get away from him.
A vein at the side of her bulged and throbbed. "I'm tired and I have work to get to in the morning," she stated in a deliberate manner.
"It's Sunday tomorrow," he pointed out.
She growled. "I had to bring work home," she informed him.
"Oh. But, I thought you had easy cases," he stated.
Nicole balled up her hands into fists, but then counted to ten slowly in her head to prevent herself from lashing out again. The vein at the side of her looked like it was ready to burst. She mentally asked herself why he was saying such stupid things. He knew that sometimes she had to take work home with her just like he had to take work home with him. They did have similar jobs, after all! But then again, she doubted that he was interrupted as much as she was when working.
"I don't have time for this. I'm going to sleep. Make sure you pick your clothes up off the floor," she said and she turned her back to him. Her tone held such finality to it, as did her move, that he knew better than to touch or any anything to her now.
Tyler grunted and frowned at the back presented to him. He looked at his offending clothes and decided to leave them where they were. She would get them when she woke up; he knew that as much as he knew the sun would rise in the east. He turned his attention back to his television show.
There were lights on upstairs and a familiar-looking, red sports car was settled in directly in front of the house. The knock was loud, needing to reach upstairs as far as she knew. Mumbled curse words let her know that the knock reached its designated target like a missile, and as if being hit with that missile, the target did not seem happy. Without bothering to ask who, the door was ripped open; if it was alive, the door would have winced.
"What?! Do you know what fucking time it is?!" Tyler demanded to know, standing in the doorway in his orange boxers and white v-neck tee shirt.
She blinked hard; actually, no, she had no clue what time it was. Knowing what time it was usually involved owning a watch of some kind. She had lost hers some time ago and never bothered to replace it. The best she could do right now was say that it was late and the only reason she assumed that was because it had been dark for quite a while now.
"No, Tyler, I don't know what time it is, but then again, I was always skeptical that you could tell time," she commented. Her brain scolded her, "Don't insult the person you need to ask for a favor." She ignored her brain; she would insult whoever she damn well pleased.
"Dane? The hell are you doing in here?" he snapped, brown eyes glaring at the woman on the porch.
"I need a place to drop for a couple of days. Nothing too long," she answered while tugging at the one good strap that her book-bag had.
Tyler's hand on the door shook with the urge to slam the door in her face. His tongue was ready to lash out at her, tear her apart, and leave her standing on the porch looking like the ass he thought she was. But, he knew that would be a bad idea for a number of reasons. Aunt Christine would never forget it.
"A couple of days, but that's it," Tyler stated soundly while stepping out of the way to let her enter.
"That's all I need," she answered with a shrug as she stepped in. It was all that she would take from him. It was much more than she wanted, though.
"Good." He slammed the door behind her. "You stay in the den over there. Don't come out until you're leaving, don't eat any of the food, don't touch anything, and make sure I don't have to see you anymore."
"Wow, such hospitality," she remarked sarcastically while looking into the dark room that he wanted her to stay in. It was off to the right side and she could not see that far in, but it did not look very big.
"I could just leave you on the streets, you bum," he pointed out in a gruff tone, making it obvious that he thought he was going to win the Noble Peace Prize for just taking her in for two days.
She rolled her smoke-colored eyes and marched off into the room, swallowed whole by the blackness and peace. Tyler rolled his eyes too and marched back upstairs. He crawled back into bed and looked at Nicole's back. She still appeared to be sleeping, so he continued to watch television for a couple of hours.
Nicole awoke to something poking her in the back. She groaned in disgust and moved away, only to find the annoyance following her. She ended up falling out of bed, which was quite the crappy wake-up call.
"Damn it," she muttered, rubbing the top of her wild, long, dark auburn hair.
"Nikki, what are you doing?" Tyler asked as he peered over the side of the bed.
"No, please, don't try to help me up," she commented sarcastically as she climbed to her feet.
"Come on back to bed. Let's have a little bit of fun," he proposed with a smirk.
"I've got work to do. I told you that," she reminded him in a sharp tone.
"It's Sunday, babe. You don't need to get to it right away. Besides, your parents own the firm. You know they'll cut you a break," he pointed out, still smirking from the confidence that he had in her getting back into the bed.
"That's not the point," she growled so deeply that her lips did not even move.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can do it later. Come on back to bed. We can start the morning off right and then you can make breakfast."
"And then let me guess what your plan holds, we'll go back to bed?" she figured. Her generally lovely face was twisted to the point of looking like a cartoon version of herself. The fact that her hair was going off in every direction did not help her look serious.
"Brilliant idea! So, come on, back to bed," he said while lifting up the blanket for her to crawl back into bed.
Nicole growled again; stray dogs would have run from her if they heard the noise. Tyler was either deaf or insane because he continued smiling as she glared at him. She knew that his expression was due to the fact that he did not take her seriously, which only made her glare harder, eyeing him as if she was trying to set him on fire. Nicole decided not to let him ruin her morning anymore than he did, so she walked to the bathroom in the master bedroom. She started brushing her teeth and then a thought came to mind.
"Who was at the door last night?" Nicole asked curiously with a toothbrush hanging from her lip.
"My cousin," he answered with a shrug as he sat up in bed.
"Oh. What did he want? Is everything all right?" she continued on, not thinking that it was all too strange for his cousin to come by. It was a little weird for the cousin to come by in the middle of the night without calling first, but there could have been an emergency.
"Everything's fine. The bum just needed a place to stay for a couple of days. I put her in the den."
Water continued to run, but the scrapping of the toothbrush stopped. Somewhere in the distance, there was the sound of a camel's spine shattering completely. Nicole emerged from the bathroom to stare at Tyler in disbelief. There was not even a hint of anger in her gaze, just sheer and genuine disbelief at the gall of the man.
"You're letting your cousin stay in MY den?" Nicole inquired in a stern tone. Her emerald eyes looked like they were trying to cut Tyler in two, vertically.
"What's wrong? It's just for a couple of days," he argued with a shrug.
"What's wrong is that it's MY house! You don't live here, so you don't just let your damn family crash in my damn den!" Nicole screamed.
"I live here too," he countered.
"No, you don't! This is my damn house! You have an apartment downtown and that's where you live and that's where you should have put your cousin! You're so damn selfish! You never take anything I want or how I feel into consideration! I'm not a fucking doormat and I'm not going to let you walk all over me anymore!" The dam was broke and her feelings were flooding out, and she was so happy for it.
Tyler blinked hard, in total shock. "Walk all over you?"
"Yes! It's always about you! Whenever we go out, it's where you want to go and what you want to do! You never ask me! You come here, you litter my house with all of your crap, not caring about how I keep house! You bring your dirty clothes over here and wait for me to do your damn laundry! You eat my food like a pig, never a word of thanks when I prepare meals for you and leave all of the dishes for me! You don't even bother to take the garbage out when you're here!"
Tyler scoffed. Take out the trash? How lowly did she think he was? All of that other stuff, well, he thought that was what a woman was supposed to do and he thought that she liked doing those things. The red fire in her face told him that he had better keep that thought to himself.
"Babe, come on, you're just nitpicking," Tyler said with a forced laugh as he stepped out of bed.
"I'm not! I'm so sick of you and how you never take anything about me seriously! I'm not your personal slave nor am I your whore and I damn sure am not your bank!"
"Is this about paying for dinner last night?" he asked while taking a step toward her.
"NO! And don't come near me, you ass! This is about everything! I pay for everything, even your bills on your apartment! Why is that? You work the same job as I do! In fact, you tend to have much bigger cases than I do based on the fact that you have family connections, so why the hell do I pay for everything? And why the hell is there money missing from around my house sometimes?" she demanded to know, stomping her foot hard on the floor, shaking every piece of furniture in the room.
Tyler sputtered his response, "You think I'm stealing from you?!"
"I think you're borrowing without asking and without intent to pay back, which sounds a lot like stealing to me!" she snapped like an angry alligator.
"Are you fucking insane? I don't need to take anything from you! Do you know the family I come from?!" he demanded to know. His face was now hard and his eyes were trying to match the fire in hers, but not coming close to her outrage.
"I don't give a damn! I want you out of my house! I want you out of my life!" In the back of her mind, she knew that last bit was roughly impossible because they worked at the same firm, but she just wanted him gone right now.
"Fuck you, you prudish bitch!" he roared and picked up his clothing off of the floor. "You'll regret this shit, Nikki," he promised her.
Nicole did not even wait for him to get dressed after that. She started shoving her boyfriend…well, now former boyfriend, out of the room and down the stairs. She was far from petite, but he was surprised that she could push him around so easily. He was almost six inches taller than she was, yet he found himself falling ass-over-head out of the front door. The door slammed shut before he even knew what the hell was going on.
"Hey, what about my stuff?!" he hollered while pounding on her door.
There was no answer, even after he punched on the door for over a minute. He grumbled incoherently as he dressed in his clothing from last night on the front porch. He then checked his pockets and realized that his car keys were inside on the stand by the stairs, where he always put them down. He tried the doorknob and was surprised to find it still open. He wondered if that was a hint that she still wanted him or if it was just an accident. He figured it was the former because he was irresistible…in his own opinion anyway.
Tyler stepped in and grabbed his keys. He then climbed the stairs, heading back to the bedroom. That door he did find lock and he started pounding on it.
"Go the fuck away, Tyler! I'm through with you!" Nicole screamed from the other side of the door.
"Goddamn it, Nikki! Be reasonable!"
"And stop calling me that! Only my parents can call me that!"
"Stop being such a fucking bitch!"
"Calling me a bitch isn't helping. Get the hell out of my house before I call the police!"
Tyler dared to grumble that five-letter word again, but he did it while marching down the stairs and out of the house. A yelp and what sounded like a bike hitting the pavement followed the slamming of the door. Nicole did not care what that was about and sighed in relief when she heard a car pull off, happy that Tyler was finally out of her life in a big way.
With that done, the auburn-haired woman finished her morning ritual of brushing her teeth and then she brushed her wavy hair. Her auburn mane fell just past her shoulders to the middle of her back when straight, but it always bounced up a little when she was done because of her waves, so it looked shorter than it was. She yawned and smiled as she finally exited the master bedroom and went to make herself some breakfast. She sat at her table with some pancakes, scrambled eggs, and a couple of slices of bacon. She was at peace until a strange voice called out to her.
"Would it be asking too much trouble if I could have some?"
Nicole spun around to see the owner of the voice and her heart pounded heavy as she saw a stranger standing in her doorway: a scruffy-looking girl with caramel skin that had a copper undertone to it, giving her a rich complexion. Her thick, jet-black hair was cut short, barely falling to her long neck, and there were traces of blond highlights thinly streaking through. She was tall, lean with grey eyes and two silver bars in her eyebrow. She looked like she could have been from the Middle East or possibly Hispanic or even an Aborigine.
"Who are you?" Nicole demanded to know.
"Oh, sorry." A sheepish laugh echoed through the kitchen. "I'm Tyler's cousin."
Nicole could have been knocked over with a feather. Tyler left the house and did not take his cousin with him? JACKASS!