Savage Rhythm

By: Chloe Cox


So why did he get the feeling Molly Ward thought it was just as inevitable that she’d get him to talk?





chapter 3



Molly had triple checked everything around the house, making sure it was ready for her friend Shauna, who would be housesitting. Molly hadn’t felt comfortable leaving it empty for eight weeks, and she couldn’t stop worrying. She told herself that it was because Robbie and his boys still loved to fuck with her on occasion, and an empty, unguarded trailer would probably be too tempting, but really it was her own tendency to stress. Shauna had been too willing to step in, needing a break from her own situation. Besides, Molly needed someone to deliver the rent for her, in cash.

Yeah, not sketchy at all. She couldn’t wait to get out of Pleasant Valley Park. There was just nothing pleasant about it.

Good thing she didn’t have much stuff, and neither had her mother. After her mom died, Molly had wondered if eventually the trailer would start to feel like it was really hers, and she’d hated the thought. Feared it. She just wanted out of that place, and now she was gratified, in some small way, that she’d managed to stay emotionally detached, if still a little bit obsessed with making sure everything went the way she had planned. It made leaving easier. She’d packed up for eight weeks in no time.

The only thing she was really attached to was far, far away, anyway.

Molly stared into the eerie blue glow of her laptop and hit refresh. Really, this was kind of pathetic. Facebook stalking your own sister? Yes, that was definitely somewhere on the sadness scale, with possibly a creepy factor thrown in. But this was the only contact she had with Lydia, at least until Molly could make enough money to offer her a decent place to live, away from this horrible trailer park where the Ward girls would always be fair game. And away from their father, who Lydia lived with now.

But Lydia would be eighteen soon. The only thing she needed was somewhere to go.

Molly tried to pretend it didn’t worry her that Lydia hadn’t answered her last message. Or that she hadn’t posted anything in…four days. Socially active teenagers had things to do besides chat with their sisters, especially when they had to do it behind their dad’s back. She shouldn’t freak out.

It was probably nothing.

But of course Molly had spent all afternoon obsessing about that scene at the dock and why she’d let those frat bros get to her, so much so that she had started off her association with Declan Donovan by fighting with him—really, what the fuck?—and the answer, once she thought about it, was Lydia. Of course it was.

Molly hadn’t been humiliated like that in front of someone who mattered to her since Robbie and his boys had detailed all the reasons that she was a slut for her baby sister. She hadn’t felt that weak, or that powerless, or that out of control in a long time, possibly because she hadn’t let many things matter to her in a long time. And because she knew she had to always be in control.

But this job? Getting this right? This mattered. Which meant that Declan mattered. And she felt like she had zero control with him. Molly’d given herself a year to make something of herself writing before she had to go get a real job, something that would provide a steady paycheck for her and Lydia, and the Savage Heart gig alone might cover her last credits at night school and provide enough cash to get a real apartment big enough for both her and Lydia.

Except, of course, that she’d just fucked it up.

Probably.

Honestly, she couldn’t tell. Declan Donovan obviously wanted to do her, but that wasn’t what she was going for. Or at least that wasn’t what she was going for right now. And she’d been kind of a bitch. She couldn’t get that old cliché Robbie used to say out of her mind: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” blah blah blah. She hated that Robbie still had any real estate in her head, but she had to admit, as clichés went, that one had some truth to it.

Didn’t help that Savage Heart had been one of Robbie’s favorite bands and Declan Donovan one of his idols. Molly really needed to get some new mental associations. She couldn’t afford to have flashbacks to her dickhead ex and traumatic past while interviewing Declan.