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Authors: V.C. Andrews

Forbidden Sister

BOOK: Forbidden Sister
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Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Epilogue

Roxy’s Story
Excerpt

About V.C. Andrews

Prologue

My mother wasn’t supposed to have me. She wasn’t supposed to get pregnant again.

Nearly nine years before I was born, she gave birth to my sister, Roxy. Her pregnancy with Roxy was very difficult, and when my mother’s water broke and she was rushed to the hospital, Roxy resisted coming into the world. My mother says she fought being born. An emergency cesarean was conducted, and my mother nearly died. She fell into a coma for almost three days, and after she regained consciousness, the first thing her doctor told her was to never get pregnant again.

When I first heard and understood this story, I immediately thought that I must have been an accident. Why else would they have had another child after so many years had passed? She and Papa surely had agreed with the doctor that it was dangerous for her to get pregnant again. Mama could see that thought and concern in my face whenever we talked about it, and she always assured me that I wasn’t a mistake.

“Your father wanted you even more than I did,” she told me, but just thinking about it made me
wonder about children who are planned and those who are not. Do parents treat children they didn’t plan any differently from the way they treat the planned ones? Do they love them any less?

I know there are single mothers who give away their children immediately because they can’t manage them or they don’t want to begin a loving relationship they know will not last. Some don’t want to set eyes on them. When their children find out that they were given away, do they think about the fact that their mothers really didn’t want them to be born? How could they help but think about it? That certainly can’t be helpful to their self-confidence.

Despite my mother’s assurances, I couldn’t help wondering. If I weren’t planned, was my soul floating around somewhere minding its own business and then suddenly plucked out of a cloud of souls and ordered to get into my body as it was forming in Mama’s womb? Was birth an even bigger surprise for unplanned babies? Maybe that was what really happened in Roxy’s case. Maybe she wasn’t planned, and that was why she resisted.

Wondering about myself always led me to wonder about Roxy. What sort of a shock was it for her when she first heard she was going to have a sister, after having been an only child all those years? She must have known Mama wasn’t supposed to have me. Did she feel very special because of that? Did she see herself as their precious golden child, the only one Mama and Papa could have? And then, when Mama told her
about her new pregnancy, did Roxy pout and sulk, thinking she would have to share our parents’ attention and love? Share her throne? Was she worried that she would have to help take care of me and that it would cut into her fun time? Although I didn’t know how she felt about me for some time, from the little I remember about her, I had the impression that I was at least an inconvenience to her. Maybe my being born was the real reason Roxy became so rebellious.

My mother told me that my father believed her complications in giving birth to Roxy were God’s first warning about her. However, despite her difficult birth, there was nothing physically wrong with Roxy. She began exceptionally beautiful and is to this day, but according to Mama, even when Roxy was an infant, she was headstrong and rebellious. She ate when she wanted to eat, no matter what my mother prepared for her or how she tried to get her to eat, and she slept when she wanted to sleep. Rocking her or singing to her didn’t work. My mother told me my father would get into a rage about it. Finally, he insisted she take Roxy to the doctor. She did, but the doctor concluded that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Roxy. My father ordered her to find another doctor. The result was the same.

Roxy’s tantrums continued until my mother finally gave in and slept when Roxy wanted to sleep. She even ate when Roxy wanted to eat, leaving my father to eat alone often.

“If I didn’t eat with her, she wouldn’t eat, or she’d
take hours to do so,” my mother said. “Your father thought she was being spiteful even when she was an infant.”

According to how my mother described all this to me, Roxy’s tantrums spread to everything she did and everything that was done with her or for her. My father complained to my mother that he couldn’t pick Roxy up or kiss her unless she wanted him to do so at that moment. If he tried to do otherwise, she wailed and flailed about “like a fish out of water.” My mother didn’t disagree with that description. She said Roxy would even hold her breath and stiffen her body into stone until she got her way. Her face would turn pink and then crimson.

“As red as a polished apple! I had no doubt that she would die before she would give in or get what she wanted.”

I was always told that fathers and daughters could have a special relationship, because daughters often see their fathers as perfect, and fathers see their daughters as little princesses. My mother assured me that nothing was farther from the truth when it came to Roxy and my father.


Mon dieu.
I swear sometimes your father would look at Roxy with such fire in his eyes that I thought he’d burn down the house,” my mother said.

Although she was French, my mother was fluent in English as a child, and after years and years of living in America, she usually reverted to French with my father and me only when she became emotional or wanted to stress something. Of course, I learned to
speak French because of her. She knew that teaching it to me when I was young was the best way to get me fluent in the language.

“Your sister would look right back at him defiantly and never flinch. He was always the first to give up, to look away. And if he ever spanked her or slapped her, she would never cry.

“Once, when she was fourteen and came home after two o’clock in the morning when she wasn’t even supposed to go out, he took his belt to her,” my mother continued. “I had to pull him off her, practically claw his arm to get him to stop. You know how big your father’s hands are and how powerful he can be, especially when he’s very angry. Roxy didn’t cry and never said a word. She simply went to her room as if she had walked right through him.

“She defied him continually, breaking every rule he set down, until he gave up and threw her out of the house. You were just six and really the ideal child in his eyes,
une enfant parfait
. Why waste his time on a hopeless cause, he would say, when he could spend his time and energy on you instead? He was always afraid she’d be a bad influence on you, contaminate you with her nasty and stubborn ways.

“Your sister didn’t cry or beg to stay. She packed her bags, took the little savings she had, and went out into the world as if she had never expected to do anything different. She didn’t even look to me to intercede on her behalf. I don’t think she ever respected me as a woman or as her mother, because I wouldn’t stand up to your father the way she would. Sometimes she
wouldn’t even let me touch her. The moment I put my hand out to stroke her hair or caress her face, she recoiled like a frightened bird.

“Maybe your father hoped she would finally learn a good lesson and return, begging him to let her back into our home and family and promising to behave. But if he did have that expectation, he was very good at keeping it secret. After she left, he avoided mentioning her name to me, and if I talked about her, he would get up and leave the room. If I did so at dinner, he would get up and go out to eat, and if I mentioned her when we were in bed, he would go out to the living room to sleep.

“So I gave up trying to change his mind. Sometimes I went out looking for her, taking you with me, but this is a very big city. Paris is a bigger city, but more people live here in New York. It was probably as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack.”

“Didn’t you call the police, try to get her face on milk cartons or something?”

“Your father wouldn’t hear of it for the first few months. Later, there were newspaper stories and a magazine article about lost girls, and your sister was featured. Nothing came of it. I used to go to other neighborhoods and walk and walk, hoping to come upon her, especially on her birthday, but it wasn’t until five years later that your father revealed that he had seen her. He told me only because he thought it proved he was right to throw her out.

“He was at a dinner meeting with some of his associates at the investment bank. After it had ended, one of
them told him he had a special after-dinner date. They walked out together, and a stretch limousine pulled up. The man winked at your father and went to the limousine. The chauffeur opened the door, and your father saw a very attractive and expensively dressed young woman inside the limousine. At first, he didn’t recognize her, but after a few moments, he realized it was Roxy. He said she looked years older than she was and that she glared out at him with the same defiance he had seen in her face when she was only five.

“Later, he found out she was a high-priced call girl. She even had a fancy name, Fleur du Coeur, which you know means ‘Flower of the Heart.’ That’s how rich men would ask for her when they called the escort service.

BOOK: Forbidden Sister
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