With Everything I Am(7)

By: Kristen Ashley



This was a problem. Considering, even as active as she was as a child, she’d always been slightly plump. And even as careful as she was now, and she was obsessively careful with diet and exercise, she was curvy and nothing she did shifted a centimeter off her bottom or her breasts, no matter what it was. And Sonia had tried everything.

Therefore, for Gregor and her own peace of mind (because Gregor could shatter it, something he did with great regularity) she was careful with her food and, once she became an adult, her drink.

She stood at her counter eating and flipping through catalogues, carefully folding down corners if she saw something she wanted to buy for Christmas for a friend, a neighbor or one of her shop girls. Next year, of course, as her Christmas shopping was well since done and wrapped for this year.

Once she was done eating, she tidied everything away and went to her office upstairs to check her e-mail and her Facebook page. She didn’t change her status. She never did. She had few friends on Facebook because she had few friends at all. This was because she knew was weird, not because people didn’t like her.

Then, as it was Friday and the cleaning lady came on Fridays and the house seemed fresh and lovely (and because she always did it on Fridays), she drew herself a bath.

Fridays meant facial, manicure and pedicure.

Every Friday.

Without fail.

Unless, of course, she had an appointment at a spa to have this done on a Saturday, which she also did, once a month.

This was because Sonia didn’t have friends who she went out to drinks with (very often) and Sonia didn’t date (anymore).

To get close to anyone, spend more than a small amount of time with them, meant they’d notice her gifts.

No matter how careful she could be, she’d always slip up. Friends or boyfriends had noticed in the past and it had been uncomfortable (to say the least).

So, Sonia Arlington spent most of her time alone.

Considering she was social, very social, this meant that Sonia Arlington spent most of her time lonesome.

As the bath was filling, she took off her clothes and put them away. She rubbed an exfoliating mask on her face and shaved her legs.

As her mostly-white, very clean bathroom filled with the fragrance of lavender coming from the salts in the bath, Sonia carefully body brushed every inch of her skin, even her back, with a handled brush. She settled in the bath and went through her extensive regime of different face masks, shampooing and deep conditioning her hair as she relaxed.

After, she alighted from the bath, toweled off briskly and donned her robe. Then she gave herself a manicure and pedicure.

All of this was done with practiced ease and precision.

When finished, she went to her medicine cabinet and pulled out the injection.

She had an extremely rare blood disorder inherited from her father. Every night of her life (and Gregor had done it until she was eleven when he patiently taught her how to do it herself), she took the injection.

She hated them but as her father told her, again, many a time, she could die without them.

She’d once, as a rebellion during her early teens, stopped taking them. This she hid from Gregor. He would have been livid if he’d known. He was very careful with her injections and was just as adamant as her father that she take them every day without fail.

When she didn’t, it was a mistake.

Two days after she stopped, while she was in bed asleep, she woke having the strange, terrifying sensation she was coming out of her skin.

Seriously.

As if, at any second, her tingling skin would split and she’d boil straight out of it, her blood felt that hot. She could feel it, every last cell of blood, boiling through her veins.

She’d crawled to the bathroom, so immense was the pain, to give herself the injection and, like now, as the needle pierced the flesh of her right buttock, she felt the injection invade.

There was no other way to put it. Just like the boiling of blood cells she’d felt that awful night, the injection invaded. Searing through her system, down to the ends of her toes, up, around and down to her fingertips, up through her scalp and out, even to the ends of her hair.

But this sensation only lasted minutes. Unlike that night where she’d fought it for hours before giving in.

As usual, when the burn ended, she clutched the basin, took deep breaths and gave her system several long moments to settle. The she disposed of the needle in a small sharps container and walked to her bedroom.

Gregor nor Yuri, although he’d very, very (very) much like to, had ever seen her bedroom.

This was because it was not sleek, modern and elegant.

It was comfortable, countrified, farmhouse splendor.

Mismatched, homey furniture. A colorful wedding ring quilt on the bed. Scalloped shams on the pillows. Vibrantly colored braided rugs. A poofy dust ruffle and even poofier shades in the dormer windows which had even poofier pads on the seats.

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