I felt like I kicked a puppy. Daisy was as close to a human-puppy hybrid as I’d ever known, easily excitable and overly affectionate.
But I couldn’t live with her anymore.
I couldn’t even look at her without thinking of Bas. Of course I blocked his ass after that disaster of a date…not that he’d ever text me again.
He knew where I worked. If he really wanted to talk to me, he could’ve dropped by the studio… But he didn’t.
I was done with him anyway. And it wasn’t like this was the first time he got tired of my shit and walked away. Maybe he thought he could handle me now, or that I’d changed, or…it didn’t matter.
Rent in Starlight Shores wasn’t cheap, but luckily I had a Fairy Princess Penthouse Fund that I hadn’t touched until now–and bought myself a house that suited me better than Daisy’s apartment ever did.
I couldn’t stomach my dad’s direct influence, but apparently I wasn’t too proud to use his money to get rid of my problems.
But I paid the animal shelter’s adoption fee with my own money. I was turning into a cat lady…
Out with the old, in with the new or some shit. Maybe I went for him because he was a boy calico kitten, which wasn’t supposed to be a thing unless they were messed up somehow. Or maybe because he looked like he’d grow up to be an ugly, pissy little fucker.
Rubbish would fit right into my freakshow of a home.
I didn’t know why I picked this house. Probably all the turquoise and blues and greens.
It was mine. My sanctuary, and in my name only. I wouldn’t have to deal with Daisy or Finn or Dad or anyone else if I didn’t want to.
And I could shit in peace, though sometimes I saw the next-door neighbors fucking through the window.
And I could swim like a manatee in the privacy of my own backyard.
Daisy would probably like swimming. She probably had a floral bikini–much smaller than mine.
But she didn’t text me asking to come over…maybe she was done with me too.
Meals were a lot quieter now…and not as good. But she didn’t need to know that.
Trash got his dirty little paws all over the pristine glass dining table…
And Garbage did the same with the fancy countertops.
Some things never changed, apparently.
It was really nice to not have any shared living space. I could close the door to my bedroom at night, and I didn’t have to wake up to the sound of Daisy cooking or showering.
I did wake up to the sound of Garbage clawing the furniture and Trash yowling to be fed, though.
Daisy usually fed them.
Did they miss her…? Could cats really give a shit about anyone?
“Sorry you’re stuck with me,” I told them. And I was, a little.
And now I had another little fucker who could demand food and find me lacking too.
Daisy had probably forgotten about me already. Maybe she got a new roommate, who’d instantly become her favorite.
At least work was a distraction, shitty as it was. The actual morgue was out due to privacy or hygiene laws or something, and now we were shooting at some chess-themed house so braindead viewers wouldn’t forget that the Bishops in Blood and Bishops stood for chess.
And the set designers made a makeshift morgue in the basement, complete with “corpses” that they cobbled together from random shit. (Ms. Chick got sick of flaky extras and the show was already working under major budgetary constraints.)
Tearing Rhys a new one and ad-libbing my lines was the highlight of my day. It was a pretty decent stress-reliever.
And then after the shoot one day, I saw someone I never expected to see again.
He looked pretty pleased with himself. Maybe he really liked chess–I could see it. He seemed like the type who could play with himself for hours.
I wasn’t sure if he’d like being accosted by ex-patients, but… “Dr. Puck?”
For a moment, he didn’t look up. And then: “…Yes?”
He didn’t sound–or look–thrilled to see me.
I sat down across from him. If he didn’t want to talk to me, he could get up and leave. “Do you still practice? Therapy, I mean. Not chess.”
He eyed me warily. “I…do?”
I let out a sigh of relief. “Okay, first off–sorry for offering to suck your dick that last time. I mean, I would’ve done it, so I’m not sorry about that, but I guess it was inappropriate. So…sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”
“…You did what?”
Maybe his memory was shot to shit, but he looked the same. He was fae, after all. For all I knew, his true form could be a bean burrito with wings.
“Forget it. I just…I have a lot of shit going on in my life, and I have to deal with one of my asshole brothers every day”–normally I would’ve exempted Finn, but not anymore–“and I grabbed a guy by the junk to see if I could get him off in a restaurant, and I just moved, and I’m pretty sure I alienate everyone I meet…”
I took a deep breath. My eyes stung. “So I was wondering if you were taking on any new patients. Clients. Whatever.”
“…Tell me more about this ‘asshole brother’ of yours…question mark.”
“Rhys? God, he’s just as fucking full of himself as ever. Finn and I used to be close, but then I found out he was living up my dad’s ass like some kind of anal parasite–” I waited for Dr. Puck to tell me I’d gone too far, but he was focused on my answer. “Anyway, I’m only dealing with Rhys because I have to–just like everyone else.”
Dr. Puck inhaled and exhaled slowly. “And why do you harbor this completely excessive hostility toward your eldest brother? Are you jealous of his good looks? His fame? Something else, because he has everything?”
“God, you sound like a Rhys Straud fanboy.” How could I put my hate for Rhys into words? If Dr. Puck knew him, he wouldn’t have to ask for a reason. “I guess…I guess he reminds me of my mom.”
“…Not your father?”
“Nah. I mean, they’re both full of themselves and love to fuck everything in sight, don’t get me wrong. But Rhys and my mom…they’re actors. If you took that away, they’d be nothing.”
At least Dad was open about what he wanted–well, when he wasn’t pulling some shifty shit to get what he wanted. I couldn’t tell what my mom wanted, or Rhys–aside from hair gel.
“I…see you have a great number of issues to work through?” Dr. Puck made a show of moving a chess piece on the board. “Would you like me to take you on as a patient?”
“Sure,” I said, feeling relief wash over me. “I could use some therapy.” Bas would definitely agree.
What a weird coincidence, to meet Dr. Puck here. Maybe he worked for some whiny celebrity. Not that he could tell me–therapist-patient confidentiality and all that.
No matter why he was here, I was glad–and I walked away from the set feeling more hopeful than I had in a long time.