She had a dream about Royal again. They were in an empty classroom at the community center on break from renovating it. He'd pushed her against the desk, slid his hands to unsnap her jeans and pull them down. She bit her lip as she heard the rasp of his own fly ride down its track and braced herself for the first thrust of his cock inside her body.
Delicious and urgent, nothing sweet about it or him…in her dreams he seemed larger than life. But when she woke up from them, they confused her. After all, he was back with Lynette and if he were screwing around, it wasn't with her. She'd heard rumors from inside Lacey's store that Wyatt had wanted to push up the engagement announcement so he could get more clients for his future son in law.
Elena sat sorting clothes in the boutique while Lacey spoke with an old friend, Brock who'd come in shopping for his latest girlfriend. His good looks attracted her attention but she was so off men right now.
Except for Lucky who'd been so good to her as her closest friend. Sometimes when things quieted down inside her head, she thought what it'd be like if he were more than that. But no, he clearly didn't see her that way, maybe as a younger sister who couldn't stay out of trouble.
Someone who needed rescuing but she didn't want to be that for anyone…not anymore anyway. She'd been thinking about it because Lulu had been driving her crazy with wanting to come back and stay with her and Buck. Elena held firm with her mama that she was happy enough to stay with Lacey who said she could stay there as long as she needed.
It was hard enough to try to figure out her lost memories of that night without having to worry about Buck wanting to get his hands in her pants. She knew by the way he looked at her that he wanted her so no, she wasn't going to go home and repeat old mistakes. Besides, she enjoyed working in the shop once she got over being shy about the products sold there. She didn't know if she'd ever be totally at ease trying to comparative sell different brands of crotchless panties or the merits of battery powered vibes over those plugged into a wall.
But she made some money, part of which she put back into the bills and the rest she socked away for getting a place of her own someday.
"You ready for some lunch?"
She looked up where Lacey had been pointing out some massage oils including favored ones to Brock who smiled and winked at her.
"I'll go get some Thai takeout if you'd like," Elena said, "The lunch special's curry chicken today."
"That sounds great. I'm not anticipating a crowd today but I've still got all that inventory to register this afternoon."
Elena knew that Lacey had been busy with all the new additions to her most popular product lines. Plus she had some passion parties lined up including one tonight. Lynette had wanted to bring some of her future bridesmaids to it and so they'd be meeting at the back room. Plenty of snacks, some wine and candles lit to make a more ambient environment.
She looked forward to it, even though she didn't think of it beyond being a saleswoman. It'd be a great opportunity for Lacey to increase her profits.
It seemed much safer to confine her thoughts to that.
Lucky looked over where Phil had picked up their orders. Lynette and Betty one of her friends were eating in a booth where Lynette had showed them some jewelry she'd bought herself.
"I need to keep Royal interested," she said, "Soon he'll have more money to buy me things."
Betty just chuckled.
"Just offer to you know…get him off if he'll buy you some nice earrings. It works for me and Brad."
Lucky shook his head. Lynette's greed mixed with her sense of entitlement to the best of everything would get her in big trouble some day. The man she'd picked to marry was dangerous enough in Lucky's mind. He knew that Royal had been the last man Elena had remembered seeing before her attack. Would Royal really hurt a woman? Lucky believed it was possible as he'd known Royal to get in a fight or two when they were younger.
He'd checked in with the police and the desk sergeant told him that the investigation into Elena's assault still led to it being a random transient who crossed paths with her when he was most likely high on meth or the latest rage, bath salts. It couldn't be one of the town's very own residents; it had to be an outsider who had likely moved on after beating up Elena.
But that never made any sense to Lucky because it still didn't explain why Elena had been on the golf course so late at night in the first place. Someone lured her there or perhaps invited to meet her and that brought him straight back to the punk in front of him.
Royal ignored him and didn't pay Lynette or her friends much mind either. Lucky waited for the cashier to get some change for him out of the safe while Phil checked the food to make sure it was all there.
"Hey Lucky…fancy seeing you here."
Lucky just looked coolly at Royal, not easy to do considering he wanted to smack his ass right out of the building right now. His hands tensed at his sides but he kept calm.
"I'm just here to pick up some lunch for the guys."
"Must be tough working for the fire department for days at a time."
"It's just 36 hours a week," he said, "Leaves me plenty of free time to work the ranch."
"Why do you do all that work," Royal said, "Your daddy being loaded and all."
Lucky just sighed. To him, no other way of living made any sense.
"Because I was taught to earn my way in the world and not live off of others…it's always worked for me."
"I can see that but why make your life so difficult?"
Lucky set his mouth in a straight line. Royal had grown up dirt poor compared to the likes of him and Lynette but he'd always wanted to get things the easy way. Lucky didn't give a crap unless someone like Elena got hurt as a result. Then Royal would find himself in more trouble than he could imagine.
"Royal…why don't you sit with us?"
Both men looked over to see Lynette smiling at them. Lucky noticed that her friend Betty looked less comfortable. She wouldn't even meet Royal's eyes but then he'd heard rumors that she'd sucked the future groom's cock in the ladies room here a time or two. One of the waitresses had gone there on her break and froze at the doorway at the sound of the stall rattling as two people banged against it fervently while a male's voice urged the other person to suck him harder because he was so damn close…
But Lucky knew that Lynette would overlook his screwing around on her if it'd get her what she wanted. She wanted all the money that her father had made and knew that he'd will it all to her if she got married and gave him a grandkid, an heir to everything. She'd stooped pretty low with Royal to fulfill her daddy's conditions.
"Royal…Betty and I will be going to Lacey's store tonight for one of her passion parties," she said, "I'll see you afterward."
Royal just nodded and Lynette returned to talking with her friends. Phil brought back the food and they headed back to the station. But Lucky noticed Royal looking at him intensely as he left the diner.
Elena helped Lacey pass around the small pink vibes that buzzed in three different speeds and smelled like new vinyl. That would pass after they were washed with the cleaning liquid, Lacey explained to the women. Lynette just rolled her eyes.
"I don't need a vibe. I got the real thing."
Lacey smiled trying to be patient.
"That's…nice Lynette but didn't you know that bringing a vibe into the bed can enhance one's sexual pleasure?"
Lynette fell silent not knowing that. Betty chimed up somewhat timidly.
"I really like the body paints," she said, "are they good for giving a guy…you know a blow job?"
Lacey handled that question deftly, Elena noticed. She didn't know how she'd do in her spot. It still made her uncomfortable to talk about sex even though she'd been doing it.
"Yes…raspberry and margarita are two of our most popular flavors," Lacey said, "You can take free samples when you leave."
All the women seemed happy about that. Lynette focused on Elena.
"So you going to be using any free samples Elena," she said, "You like vibes?"
Elena just stared at her not answering. Lacey smiled at Lynette.
"Sure she does…but you should be thinking about planning your bachelorette party as part of your wedding."
"Oh that…yeah I'll have one," she said, "You know Elena's mother worked for my father years ago."
Elena rubbed her forehead not knowing what the other woman was getting at by bringing Lulu up.
"I see," Lacey said, "A lot of people worked for your father. He provides a lot of jobs in this town."
"I know but Lulu used to clean our house," Lynette said, "and a few other things."
Elena went to go get some boxes of another brand of vibes while the other women looked at Lynette to continue her train of thought.
"I think she and my father got quite close…"
Elena's hands froze on one of the boxes but she couldn't show that Lynette had gotten under her skin. No, that's what she would want to do. Lacey cleared her throat.
"Lacey, I'm here to host a party and to get you to buy some of my products," she said, "Not to listen to a bunch of bored rich women gossip."
Lynette didn't look offended by the label.
"Oh it's not gossip. Everyone knows that Lulu will invite any man into her bed but I'm sure my father rebuffed her. She got fired after all quite abruptly."
Elena knew that but Lulu had always been fuzzy on the details of her employment in the Wyatt household. But Wyatt, Sr. had always been more than civil with her, he'd been almost friendly including when she'd been in the hospital.
"Well we're almost through here," she said, "Elena, why don't we get the ladies some more wine?"
Elena walked with Lacey to the kitchen area, relieved at the escape. She watched as Lacey uncorked another bottle of wine.
"God that bitch just really tries me with all her innuendo."
Elena had fallen silent as she went to fill another tray with some crackers and cheese spread.
"Who does she think she is casting judgment on anyone else," Lacey said, "half the time I want to smack her across the face since her parents didn't see fit to do so when it might have done some good."
Elena pushed a tendril of hair out of her face.
"People talk about my mama all the time," she said, "Doesn't bother me anymore. I know she hasn't told me everything about working for Lynette's father."
Lacey waved a hand.
"Don't worry about it," she said, "No one works for Wyatt long. I heard his wife's nearly as impossible as her daughter. Apples don't fall far from the tree after all."
Elena knew all that but she'd often wondered about her mother and why she didn't talk much about Lynette's family. Why she didn't tell Elena more than tidbits about her own daddy…who she wanted so much to at least have a face.
An identity too, a life that she could learn about to try to understand why he hadn't stayed to raise her. But she'd learned long ago there were no ways for her to get her answers.