Home > There's Wild, Then There's You (The Wild Ones #3)(10)

There's Wild, Then There's You (The Wild Ones #3)(10)
Author: M. Leighton

“I do have time for things that make me happy.”

“Name one.”

“I baked a caramel apple spice cake last weekend using a recipe I found online, one I’d been dying to try. You know how much I love to bake.”

“Yes, I know that. But why were you doing it? Why were you baking rather than us going shopping like you had planned for three weeks? Who was the cake for?”

I pause. I know that telling her the truth will only make her point for her. “It was for me. And Dad.”

“Viii,” Tia warns, looking at me from narrowed eyes.

“Fine. It was for a new landscaping client Dad is trying to sign.”

“See? Everyone and their crisis comes before you. Everyone.”

I don’t bother to mention that I do a lot for Tia, too. She definitely benefits from my desire to help people and fix their problems.

“There’s nothing wrong with that, Tia. It doesn’t make me a monster.”

“No, it just keeps you from finding your own happiness in life.”

“Helping people does make me happy.”

“But I know you want more. You have to want more.”

“What if I don’t? What if this is all I’d like to do for the rest of my life? Is that so terrible?”

Sadness fills Tia’s eyes. “No, it’s not so terrible, Vi. I just hate to see you end up alone. That’s all.”

“There are worse things than ending up alone, Tia.”

“Don’t you ever want to fall in love?”

I look closely at my best friend and, for once, I’m brutally honest. “I don’t think I do.” She gasps in outrage. I knew she would never understand. “Maybe I don’t want to pin all my hopes and dreams and happiness on one person. Maybe I don’t want to give them the power to destroy me. Maybe I don’t want to need someone like that. Maybe I want to be strong enough to stand on my own.”

Tia’s brow wrinkles. “You think love makes you weak?”

“Doesn’t it?”

“Of course not. Look at me and Dennis. Look how happy we are.”

“Are you, Tia? Are you really? Is Dennis? Do you know what it does to him every time you cheat on him? Do you know how much it hurts him? Can’t you see how crushed he is when it happens?”

Tia tilts her head and looks at me like I’m being a difficult child. “That’s not the way it is, Violet, and you know it. Dennis knows that I’m not really interested in another man the way I am in him. Those were just . . . they were just . . . flings.”

“To you maybe, but Tia, they’re killing Dennis. Why do you think the SAA meetings were even suggested? Did you think he was just trying to be mean? To get back at you?”

“No, I . . .”

I can see by the look on her face that she’s never really considered Dennis’s true feelings. Not really. And it’s not that Tia is an awful person, or that she’s heartless. She’s just weak. She’s addicted to attention and approval, both things she never got from her dad. And getting them from Dennis just isn’t enough, not when she’s feeling low. Like most addicts, there’s a physical component to the addiction, but most of it is psychological. Emotional.

The mood in the car is somber and serious, even more so than what is usual for me. I feel the need to lift it. And lift Tia. This is not why I brought her along. Yes, I want her to open her eyes and really see herself and her . . . proclivities, but I would never hurt her to do it.

So I change the subject.

“Well, Miss Social Butterfly, now’s your chance to show me how the fun half live. Let’s go get me into some more trouble.”

I say the last with as much playfulness as I can muster, but it’s too soon. Tia is still stinging.

“That’s my fault, too, isn’t it, Vi?”

Her chin trembles like she’s on the verge of tears. As is my nature, I want to make her feel better. I reach over and grab her hand, wiggling it back and forth. “Nah. I was getting bored with my deception-free, sex-addict-free evenings. I needed a little som’n som’n.”

Tia’s smile is tremulous, but I know by her teasing that she’ll soon be over this little setback. “Well, you’re in luck. I just so happen to know a guy who can give you a little som’n som’n.”

“Geez, Tia, the guy’s a sex addict. Isn’t that kind of like shooting fish in a barrel? Singling out the weak one in the herd and all that?”

“Hey, I’m only looking out for you. I’m not worried about the weak one or the herd. I’m your friend. The least I can do is get you an orgasm before that thing freezes up on you.”


“Don’t ‘Tia’ me! I remember how things were with you and Connelly. He fired you up about as much as an Eskimo in midwinter. But not all men are like that. And if I was a betting girl, which I’m not because I don’t need to add gambling to my list of problems, I’d bet you anything that Jet could make your panties spontaneously combust with a snap of his fingers. From across the room.” She’s nodding her head to emphasize her point.

I just shake my head. “You’re one twisted girl. And I like my panties just the way they are, thank you very much.”

She sighs and rolls her eyes like I’m a lost cause. “That tells me all I need to know.”

“And what, exactly, is that?”

“That this is an emergency. Tonight is more than just an outing with my bestie. Tonight begins the ‘Save the Vagina’ campaign.”

With a nod, Tia unfolds her long legs from my passenger seat, gets out, and closes the door behind her. I see her dig her underwear out of her crack before she turns and bends down to smile at me through the window.

I hear her muffled words as she mouths at me, “My ass loves these things like a fat kid loves chocolate.”

Again, I shake my head. I do that a lot around Tia.


I see her the instant she walks in. Obviously, I’ve been watching for her, but I would’ve spotted her anyway. There’s something about Violet, Sex Addict that just draws me. I don’t know what the hell it is, but I’ve got a pretty good idea that it has at least a little something to do with her favorite pastime.

I weave my way through the crowd toward her. She and her friend haven’t moved beyond the door. They’re just standing in the entrance, looking around with wide eyes. Tia looks like she’s about to laugh. Violet looks like she’s about to bolt.

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