Home > Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)

Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)
Author: Kristy Cunning

PROLOGUE

 

When Marta Portocale rose from the dead…

 

VIOLET

 

“Okay, we finally have a moment completely alone, since Idun has them in a full panic. Start talking,” I tell my mother, while crossing my arms over my chest and giving her the sternest look I can muster.

“Not now, Violet, I’ve—”

“I put a pin in it, but that pin is popping out. I’m generously offering you a chance to explain yourself, because I love you and trust you. But you owe me the truth. I’ve waited long enough, because you sure have kept a whole lot from me,” I tell her, my voice growing shaky toward the end, as tears cloud my eyes.

She exhales harshly, and her shoulders sag in defeat.

“I’ll tell you what I’ve figured out so far. My late brother and cousins tormented BoBo, and it escalated to the point where they damn near killed him. When he was on the brink of dying, he panicked, and his survival instincts kicked in. He killed them, and you retaliated by hanging him and destroying his family’s name, as well as painting an even bigger target on all the Simpletons. How am I doing so far?”

“So far, you’re being incredibly insensitive…but fairly accurate,” she says on a long, exhausted breath.

“Tension gathered, fear grew pretty suffocating, and before you knew it, war broke out. You got vicious. They got vicious. Idun got worse than everyone because she wanted at the top of the food chain,” I carry on.

I pause, waiting for her to comment.

She narrows her eyes. “Don’t oversimplify this many centuries of history. Just because you have no emotion tied to the topic, it doesn’t mean I’m not still emotionally invested.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re tired all the time. You keep clinging really hard to every grudge collected over the centuries. Dad always said you were going to die young if you kept doing that to yourself.”

She snorts. “Your father stopped saying that once I showed him the difference between an immortal and a human. He’s also still terrified to come too close to me. Clearly, the real me is even more intimidating than the watered-down version of myself,” she grumbles, glancing away from me, as her cheeks turn pink.

“Don’t be cute right now,” I scold, pointing a finger at her. “Seriously, Mom. You kept all of this a secret. Why?”

She sighs harshly.

“The other day, when your pests were watching us inside the soundproof box, I told you Pandora visited me the night I took hold of Marta’s body. I woke up to spot her, just as she was leaping out the window,” she confesses.

“Stop rehashing. You’re just stalling,” I tell her.

She goes quiet, and I glare at her.

“You also said Pandora hated you so much that she sided with Idun. Why would she let you keep a child you weren’t supposed to be able to carry?” I prompt.

She shrugs, not looking at me.

“Mom…”

“I couldn’t give two shits about what she was up to,” she says without looking at me. “You’re my daughter. I decided what was best for you, and it had nothing to do with Pandora. For all I know, she was just simply spying. She does that a lot.”

“I need to understand why you kept this colossal secret from me. I mean, this is pretty big. I’m trying to remain rational, but it’s all I can do not to hate you for this.”

She slants her gaze to me.

“Hate me if you must. But if I had to choose, I’d do it all over again just to keep you from Idun’s clutches,” Mom says with a hollow tone.

That has me calming my temper a little.

“I went back and forth on bringing you out to Shadow Hills,” she says as she looks away. “I couldn’t tell you were a monster, Violet. Not until you were thirteen and there was no denying it. I knew you were certainly not going to be human, but honestly, all I wanted to do was love you and protect you for your whole life.”

“So why come to Shadow Hills if you wanted to keep it all a big secret? Why even put the place on my radar?” I ask her.

“I couldn’t help but wonder if they’d notice. I needed help figuring out what to do, because you simply couldn’t stop searching for answers, and it was consuming you,” she gripes.

“How am I possible? Why have you always called me the perfect storm?” I ask her, leaning forward.

“I’m not telling you,” she chirps, smiling over at me.

My jaw grinds. “Why not?”

“Because I don’t trust you with this information. You’re too young, impatient, headstrong, and stubborn. For now, why don’t you tell me how you can stand four of the worst monsters alive touching you without recoiling?” she growls. “Since we’re pulling pins out of things.”

“Maybe because my mother left me super desensitized to everything, since she wanted me open-minded enough to one day forgive her for the fact she’s been a pretty ruthless monster. Also, I’m sure you wanted me to forgive myself, fairly easily, for the lives I took during my panics. I really enjoyed killing that one time, back when I apparently scared you—the night I lost my head. I’m not appalled too easily. Sad, but true.”

My elbows prop up on the counter, and I gauge my mother’s reaction to that confession. There’s no fear in her eyes.

Did I only imagine it in the past because I assumed she feared me?

“You’re not afraid of me, are you?”

She snorts, and then she doubles over with laughter. “Why on earth would I fear you?”

“Because I’m a really powerful and scary monster!” I gripe. “I’ve lived with that as a burden, and you’re laughing, yet have the audacity to call me insensitive!” I say, my voice growing louder and louder.

She laughs twice as hard.

My mother is a huge asshole.

She sighs as her laughter tapers off, and she looks over at me, smiling almost sadly.

“I’m sorry. You’re right. You’re a powerful, scary monster. Tell me, how silly do you feel knowing what you really are?” she muses.

I bristle, because now that I think about it, I do feel sort of silly. I’ve been terrified…of a monster everyone else mocks as weak.

It’s a bit surreal.

“I really am soft by comparison to all of you, aren’t I?” I mumble, starting to feel sillier, now that I realize they patronize the hell out of me.

“You’ll never have an ounce of respect from the four of them,” she says softly. “They only respect strength. They’ll coddle you, placate you, and treat you like a glass doll. I know better than to think that’s the way you want to be treated. They’re not going to let you be you, Violet. They’re going to treat you like a woman who needs soft gloves and gentle care.”

“Are you saying they’re out of my league in the monster realm?”

“I’m saying you’re in a different league altogether. A good beta, who respects and enjoys being a beta, will be the perfect male for a girl like you. Someone on equal footing, and someone who can appreciate your softer attributes, without seeing them as weaknesses,” she supplies, speaking like this is great wisdom.

I narrow my eyes on her. “You spent years begging me to be a dirty slut, and now that I finally am, you’re trying to make me single.”

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