Tiffany sighed as we sat in our bikinis by the pool. The morning started blazing hot with a hint of humidity and no relief in sight.
"Damn it's scorching," she said, after getting out of the pool, "I wonder if it's going to be like this all week."
I sipped my iced sweet tea.
"Probably…we're hitting the hot days…"
Tiffany chuckled, rubbing more sun lotion on herself.
"In more ways than one…though the nights are hotter."
She had that smirk in her voice and I knew she'd been doing the hot and heavy with Lars. Chad being of course relegated to a distant memory by now.
"Lars and I…we were in the Jacuzzi and it got plenty hot in there."
"I'll bet… you're really that into him?"
I'd thought he might be another passing thing. Tiffany smiled and shrugged.
"He's plenty hot…he's not around enough to get insecure…not that he seems the type and he's working with your boy toy."
I arched a brow. A lot of words came to mind when thinking about Brock but boy toy wasn't on that list. Tiffany continued.
"But no, I don't need Lars all that much, I just enjoy him. He does know how to fuck a woman good along with other things…so what about you and Brock?"
I paused. I had been thinking about him a bit since his conversation with Caroline. He'd taken off again on a job but he'd be back soon enough.
"Things are…what they are. We enjoy each other when he's around…but it can't be serious. We're going back to school in the fall."
Tiffany pursed her lips.
"Isn't that when Caroline's coming back from her gig in London?"
I narrowed my eyes.
"Maybe…maybe not. She told Brock she might be staying there longer."
Tiffany widened her eyes.
"Wow…maybe she's been busy over there not thinking too much about him. How does he feel about that?"
The question annoyed me. It wasn't any of my business after all and Brock and I…we didn't discuss Caroline much.
"I don't know…he'll have to deal. But we don't…I don't think about her much. I'm just enjoying the here and now."
Tiffany smiled as if she approved.
"Good on you…that's how it's with me and Lars…no point in getting too attached to him. I'm sure I'm another notch on his belt but it's been damn good."
I didn't think Brock worked that way. I didn't know what I meant to him…the guy was quite a bit older than me…old enough to be my father. Yet he did seem to care sometimes…like last night when he asked me questions that I didn't want to answer.
"Brock's good too but we'll be saying our goodbyes soon enough. I have a life to go back to at school."
"Me too…but the college guys they're just so boring…so tame compared to Lars."
"You'll get over it. We both will…my course load's going to be so damn heavy I probably won't have much time to miss anybody let alone replace them."
Tiffany seemed to digest that.
"It'll be great to get back to school in some ways…my parents are driving me nuts. It's not been a great summer in that way."
"Your parents love you. That's something I can't even imagine with my own."
"Yeah but my dad's a cheating dog fucking a girl my age," she said, "God he disgusts me even now and yet I have to make nice because if my mom suspected…"
Ice filled by veins then, cold enough to make me suck in my breath. Tiffany only knew about the girl on the beach that day, she didn't know that Devlin and I had been fucking each other behind her back…or under her nose in the cabana. Thank god, I'd finally told him to get lost.
If he'd just stay lost but there was no way I'd ever let Tiffany find out.
I blinked my eyes.
"It'd kill my mother to know the truth about my dad," Tiffany said, "but she's been in her own world lately."
"She's been busy working on the Midsummer Ball."
"Yeah but I think she's using that to avoid dealing with Dad…it's been that way for a while. God, my parents can be so fucked up."
I didn't think Tiffany knew the meaning of what it meant to have fucked up parents. If she spent a few days let alone a life with mine…she'd know what that really meant.
"Maybe they're going through a rough patch…"
Tiffany shook her head.
"For my Dad to cheat so brazenly…he must have been doing it for years."
I felt that chill again.
"You don't know that. Maybe he just weakened and regrets that it ever happened."
Tiffany's mouth curled into a sneer.
"Maybe he's fucking some other young thing right now," she said, "He left early this morning on some errands."
I didn't know how to respond to that. I knew from what we'd witnessed that day at the beach that I was hardly the only one in his bed.
"God I wish he'd just go away sometimes and never come back," Tiffany continued, "I wonder if my mom wishes that too."
I wondered about Gloria…sometimes when Brock talked about her but he closed up about her much more than Caroline.
"Does Brock ever talk about my parents?"
I looked at her, seeing the question in her eyes. Nothing I could say would please her. If she was asking…obviously she suspected.
So I shook my head.
"Not much…I mean they were friends long ago right? Close than they are now…but not all friendships stay the same over time."
Tiffany bit her lip.
"Yeah but he and my dad had more than that happen. Something must have really gone bad between them."
"Maybe not. Maybe they clashed over work and went separately with that."
"Maybe he got too close to my mom…"
I froze when I saw her face when she said that in a casual tone. She'd been thinking on this for a while whatever this was.
"Tiffany why would you say that?"
"I don't know…I guess it was the pictures of when they were all together before I was born and then just after…in the baby book."
Yeah that had been interesting. But it didn't necessarily mean anything until…Brock had told me about a child of his he hadn't raised.
No, that had to be some other part of his life. Tiffany pulled her hair back off of her face, still thinking.
"There's something going on here that I need to find out…with all three of them," she said, "I just don't know how I'm going to do it."
My throat dried. I knew if there were any secrets to be uncovered, rarely ever were the family kind ever pretty.
"Tiffany…you can't be serious."
She shot a resolved look back at me.
"Oh I am…I will find out what the hell's going on in my own family. Something's terribly wrong here."
I closed my eyes knowing she was right.