10. Bruises

1.1K 29 0

"I seriously can't believe you don't have condoms anywhere," Luca says, cuddled next to me. "Isn't that something every 20-something single person should have in their household?"

"I just don't think about it. It's been so long since I've needed any. I haven't slept with anyone since my divorce--" I internally scold myself. Luca and I had managed to avoid the topic of exes entirely until now.

"Since you brought it up, what ever happened between you and the idiot?"

"Actually, Jason isn't an idiot. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from business school."

"Shell, trust me, if he let you go, he's an idiot."

I'm thankful the room is dark and he can't see me blush. "And I am so not in the mood to talk about him."

"Fair enough. But I am having a hard time not pinning you down and ravaging you right now, condom or not, so say something that will take my mind off the fact that I'm lying in bed, naked with Shelley McDonald."

"Okay. How's your brother doing? I haven't seen him in years."

"Wow, that might be the best question you could have asked to ruin the mood. Congratulations." I laugh and Luca sighs. "But, alas, I can't answer it. I haven't seen or spoken to him in about eight years."

My head popped up. "Eight years?!? What happened?"

"Well, about eight years ago, all my family stopped talking to me actually. That was when my drug habit was out of control, and had been for awhile. I barely even remember our senior year of high school, Shell. The guys I was hanging out with were into some heavy stuff." He took a deep breath before continuing. "My mom, Steve and Beau sat me down one day, when I was high off my ass of course, and told me it was either the drugs or them. They weren't going to watch me kill myself any longer."

"Oh no."

"Yep, I chose the drugs, but when you are in as deep as I was at that time, nothing is more important. Nothing."

"I can't believe your mom never told me any of this, maybe she was trying to shield me, I guess. But what happened? I mean, you obviously talk to her now."

"Going to jail was the absolute best thing that could have happened to me. I didn't think so at the time, of course. While I was in there, though, I went through a tough detox, the worst pain I'd ever experienced. When my head was finally clear, I called my mom, begged her to forgive me. I didn't think she would; I put her and Beau through some tough stuff, unforgivable really, but when she came to visit, she told me this was my last chance. If I got out and started using again, that was it."

I nodded my head. That sounded like Nancy.

"I decided I needed an extreme lifestyle change. I got my GED and vowed to stay away from all my old friends. I knew I couldn't be around them."

"So what did you actually do to go to jail?" I ask, looking up at him, rubbing my hand along his chest.

He laughs softly. "The ironic thing is that I was actually innocent of the crime that put me away. I didn't sell drugs. I had some sort of code of ethic, I guess, but I knew how unhappy I was, being addicted. I couldn't aid someone else in becoming like me."

He grabs my hand, interlocking our fingers. "I was riding in a car with a 'friend' who was making a huge delivery. I didn't know what was in trunk, although I doubt I would have cared considering the state I was in at the time. The judge took one look at all my prior drug convictions and knew I was guilty."

"That's awful, Luca."

"No. Like I said, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Shell, I have no doubt I would have died otherwise."

That thought made me tear up. "Okay well then I'm glad it happened too. But I'm guessing Beau was never able to forgive you?"

"I've still got hope. I want to meet my nephew. My mom has shown me pictures from when she visits them in Arizona, but they don't come here. I think because he doesn't want to risk having to see me."

"Oh, Luca, I'm so sorry."

"It's fine. I don't blame him. And anyway, now I've dished my secrets, it's time to give up yours. Why'd you get divorced? You and Jason seemed happy online."

"Online? Have you been cyber stalking me?"

"Only slightly, and don't try to change the subject."

I sighed, and my mind went back to the day that changed my life.

Feels like HomeRead this story for FREE!