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Authors: Stacey Quinn

Seduced by Lies

BOOK: Seduced by Lies
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Seduced by Lies
Stacey Quinn
Sam and Sienna share certain similarities. They've both loved and lost,
both been forced to grow up and become adults before their time, and
both are hiding a big secret. So when Sienna transfers to Sam’s College,
he thinks he’s found just the girl to get his miserable life back on
track.
But Sam isn't too good at first impressions, and Sienna, the rebellious
but intelligent loner, has no interest in becoming involved with one of
the College’s renowned, dumb Jocks. Sam thinks of a way to dispel his
bad boy image. So, in a desperate attempt to prove his intelligence,
maturity and worthiness to her, Sam makes a fake Facebook profile,
posing as Lewis Stowell, an accomplished, intellectual English Tutor,
who befriends Sienna and woos her online with his charm, wit and
kindness.
But the deeper their online relationship gets, the more and more
dangerous Sam’s game becomes. They both begin to learn that some secrets
should stay hidden, and that the past doesn't always stay in the past.

Seduced by Lies

Stacey Quinn

CHAPTER 1 – EARLY DAYS

 

              The early morning September sun shone through the bedroom window and shattered into a thousand sparkling rays of light as it hit the dressing table mirror. Sienna squinted at her reflection through the offending glare, scouring her face for any sign of the girl she had been just a year earlier. But no matter how hard she looked, there wasn’t a single remnant of that young, naïve girl left to be found. Eyes that had once been wide and eager now glared back at her, cold and untrusting, rimmed with thick black eyeliner, and her once smiling lips had become a harsh red line of disdain across the bottom of her face. She tousled her short, uneven, bleach blonde hair, remembering her previously long, thick mane and how good it had felt to slice through it with her mother’s sewing scissors.

             
Sienna sneered at herself miserably and cast her eyes downwards, dragging herself away from thoughts of the past and focusing once more on the cigarette she was rolling on her dressing table. Despite her uncaring demeanor her hands shook with nerves as she carefully placed a clump of tobacco into a rizla, followed by a filter. She silently scorned herself as she tried and failed to finish rolling her cigarette, the delicate paper crumpling between her trembling fingers – not the best way to start her first day at a new College.

             
But what was she so afraid of? Grades weren’t going to be a problem – she was an intelligent girl, and had always been an A* student, that was the one thing that hadn’t changed over the last twelve months. This year she’d chosen to study art – a world away from the text books and Shakespeare she was accustomed to, but Sienna was sure she’d succeed just as well at any subject she chose, so that couldn’t be what was bothering her. And making friends didn’t concern her, quite frankly she didn’t want friends. She’d had friends before and look how that had ended – they had driven her out of her old college, out of her old town and out of her old life. They’d even started turning her own mother against her. They didn’t talk about it, but on certain days Sienna could see it in her mother eyes, and she secretly hated those days. No, she definitely wasn’t interested in making friends – she had learned quickly not to need or want anyone. But no matter how much she reassured herself she still couldn’t stop her shaking palms becoming slick with sweat, making it even more impossible to roll. She simply couldn’t shake the feeling that her rollercoaster ride had only just begun, and that today was the start of something huge.

             
She growled with frustration after another futile rolling attempt, and flung the pouch of Amber Leaf tobacco towards the bedroom floor, where it bounced off a pile of dirty clothes and landed on the edge of a week-old dinner plate, crusty with dried bean juice. She grimaced at the molding sight before turning quickly back to face the dressing table and the mirror. The reflection of her bedside clock told her that she had seven minutes left before the College bus would arrive – she had wasted as many minutes as possible procrastinating, and now it was crunch time. Her stomach churned once more with dread and anticipation as she reached down for her rucksack, which was already heavy with paints, charcoals, pastels and sketch pads. Sienna knew the College would have supplied her with all the necessary materials for her art course, but she had chosen to bring her own so that she wouldn’t be forced to share with anyone, thereby continuing to avoid any unnecessary human contact (which was good forward-thinking in her opinion). She carefully and gently slid her laptop, the only thing she had left that was close to a friend, off her bed and into her backpack, gently jiggling the contents to make room for it.

             
With her rucksack swinging off one shoulder and the loosely-tied laces of her Doc Martens flapping around her feet, Sienna marched out of her bedroom without a backwards glance, and stomped heavily and loudly down the varnished wooden stairs of the 2 bedroom ex-council house she shared with her young mother. Each pounding, purposeful footstep sounded like a gunshot, and Sienna felt cruel satisfaction as her mother’s sleepy groans of protest emanated from the second bedroom. She allowed herself a little chuckle, but continued marching quickly through the kitchen and towards the back door, afraid that if she stopped, then those pesky, unexplainable nerves would get the better of her. As her hand reached for the handle of the front door, her attention was caught by something glinting weakly at the corner of her eye – her mother’s hideous, baby-blue, pvc handbag, left open on the old pine dining table. As much as it pained her to even go near the plastic monstrosity, Sienna sidled over to it and rummaged through its contents, her fingers fumbling over lipsticks, keys and empty sweet wrappers, until they fell upon the smooth, straight edges of the unopened box of Richmond King Size cigarettes that her mother always kept in there. She smiled in victory and liberated the carton from its pvc prison, tucking it into the pocket of her leather jacket and dashing out the front door, taking care to slam it as hard as she could behind her.

             
Summer wasn’t quite ready to give up its grip on the world just yet, and Sienna was made all too aware of that as she made her way down the street, angry eyes squinting against the 8 am glare that bounced off cars and windows, feeling uncomfortably clammy under her oversized leather jacket. The sky seemed overly blue and cloudless, the streets were suspiciously litter-free, and every garden border looked too straight and organized. The outside world seemed all too bright and real, and Sienna felt like a dark fragment of some other dimension, that had unknowingly fallen through a hole in space and time and had landed in a world where she did not belong – there was no place for her here.  She pushed up her sleeves and powered on, staring downwards and watching her dark purple Doc Martens lead her inevitably towards the bus stop. After a couple of minutes pounding the pavement, her dutiful feet brought her to a small crossroads at the end of her street. To her right was one of the few patches of greenery that could be found in the area, home to a stunningly magnificent oak tree whose leaves were just starting to turn the rusty, copper colors of autumn. While straight ahead and down the road a little, Sienna spotted the bus stop and the small gaggle of her fellow College-goers who were waiting there.

             
Sienna figured she had a few minutes to spare, and so stepped to her right and slumped under the shade of the majestic oak, leaning back against its strong, sturdy trunk and sparking up a Richmond. She stared out from under the curtain of her jagged, white-blonde fringe, preferring to watch her fellow-students from a distance rather than actually having to interact with them. Her gaze flicked back and forth between giggling girls in tight tops and short-shorts, and jock types in skater shoes and baggy surfer shorts. Even if she’d wanted to intermingle, there wasn’t a single person there whose company she could even remotely enjoy. They were all kids – stupid, young, ignorant, foolish kids, and though Sienna was the same age as them, she somehow felt older and wiser, as if she’d skipped ahead a few stages in the ‘growing up’ process, and was now looking down upon them from her pedestal of experience and knowledge. Her experiences had made her considerably more mature, no doubt about it, and now the only company she could appreciate was that of other like-minded, intelligent adults.

“Not that there are any of those around here.” Sienna muttered snidely to herself, breathing out a steady stream of smoke and glowering at the group of kids as she did so.

              She’d finished about half of her cigarette by the time she spotted the bus cresting over the hill in front of her. But she didn’t jump up or hurry like her fellow students at the bus stop did – They clamored and pushed to get on, laughing and shoving as Sienna took a few more drags on her cigarette, grudgingly slung her bag back over her shoulder and slouched towards the bus, tousling her hair once more to hide her face as best she could behind the roughly-chopped locks. She timed her slow stroll across the cross-roads carefully, making sure she was the last person to board the bus, and coldly refusing to acknowledge the backward glances of those in front of her. She chose the third seat from the front – nobody ever bothered the quiet people at the front, the noise and activity always occurred at the back of the bus. And sure enough, the rest of the students headed straight for the furthest seats, continuing to shove and shout and flirt, without a care in the world. Sienna was completely alone at the front of the bus, being the only person sat in the first nine rows of seats, it seemed she was the only ‘outcast’ on this journey. Not that she minded that at all. She happily reached for her headphones and slid them gratefully into her ears, drowning out the immature, adolescent babble with the powerful, classical notes of Clint Mansell’s ‘Lux Aeterna’. The rest of the 45 minute journey was taken up by Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’, and by the time the bus rolled up outside the main entrance of the College, Sienna felt just a little more ready to face the day, though still not entirely enthusiastic.

 

              Sam had also spent a long time staring at himself in the mirror that morning. He’d woken up early, as usual, and after brushing his teeth had remained stood in front the bathroom sink, studying the reflection of his face. He wasn’t looking for any sign or remnants of the joyful boy he had been – he’d given up on that futile effort many months ago. Instead he was practicing pretending to still be that boy, like he had done for the final four months of the previous academic year. Nobody had seemed to notice, they had all been oblivious to the world of shit that had crashed down around Sam back in February, so he’d pretended everything was still fine and they’d bought it. He’d managed to hold on to his friends, his status and his image, while everything else had slipped away from him.

             
Faking it had been hard at first, unnatural, be he’d rather do that than drag the misery of his private life into his social life and sully both. So he’d kept at it and it had become easier after a while, sometimes even slightly enjoyable, though now, nearly seven months down the line, he was quickly becoming bored of the façade and exhausted with juggling two lives.

             
He had no idea how he’d managed to pull it off for so long, how he hadn’t been caught out in his lie or made a fraudulent slip. To himself, as he posed in front of the bathroom mirror, his smile looked pained and forced, his eyes seemed empty and incapable of feeling, and his attempt at a cool thumbs-up was lack-luster and corny. His emotionless, painted-on smile slowly melted into downturned lips and a stormy, furrowed brow. He sighed heavily and shook his limbs out vigorously, attempting to cast aside his growing frustration and centre himself before another attempt at a smile. But something had him particularly on edge today, and though he couldn’t place the feeling, he couldn’t shake it either, and no matter how many smiles he tried, he simply couldn’t convince himself. After nearly an hour of this, he was almost out of time.

Glaring at himself disappointedly, Sam switched his focus to his unusually unmanageable, flyaway hair. His chocolate brown mop was just long enough to curl around his ears, and was fluffy and feather-like at the best of times, especially first thing in the morning. But today it had taken on a life of its own, and even after a sizable helping of hair wax some strands were still refusing to obey the laws of gravity, while other small clumps fluffed up like candy-floss. He concentrated his frustration on smoothing out and patting down his hair, to no avail, and was reaching down into the backpack at his feet for more hair wax, when there came a sudden and violent pounding at the door.

              He should have been expecting it by now, but nevertheless this abrupt attack on his ear drums surprised him and made him jump up violently, thereby forcing the back of his head into a direct and speedy collision with the porcelain underside of the sink. Lightning bolts of white hot pain shot around his skull and he swore loudly, his outburst echoing around the room, followed by a few more desperate raps at the door, and a pitiful whining noise that grew louder and louder, until Sam angrily stood up, flicked the latch and threw the door open, to reveal his mother on the other side. She stood a foot shorter than him (though she was barely standing at all at the moment) and smelled just as bad as she looked. She pushed her way past her son, still whining agitatedly, squirming and eager to get into the bathroom. She stumbled over her own feet half way, and fell with a grunt, slumped over the rim of the toilet. Sam, still half blind from the pain in his head, stared down at the dirty, bony, heaving woman at his feet, with an expression that was a mixture of pity and disgust. After a few grim dry-heaves, Sam heard the contents of his mother’s stomach make impact with the toilet water, and the room instantly filled with the putrid, nose-wrinkling smell of warm spirits. Tequila to be exact.

             
“Jesus Christ mum!” Sam cried in ineffectual protest, backing away from both the sight and smell, one hand clasped around his mouth and nose. “It’s not even 8:30 am!”

“Don’t shout at your mother this early in the morning Sam, there’s a good boy.” Came the slurred, barely audible, emotionless response from the toilet bowl, as one skeletal, shaking hand rose up slowly to wave him away. He snatched his bag away indignantly, too low on patience that morning to deal sympathetically with the drunken mad woman, like he had to every other day and night. He stormed away in blind rage, stumbling and almost falling over the empty bottle of ‘Jose Cuervo’ his mother had so kindly left lying in the hall. He kicked the bottle across the passageway, sending it sliding and spinning through his mother’s half open bedroom door, where he heard it crash into the assortment of other empty bottles that decorated the floor of that dingy, grimy, room.

BOOK: Seduced by Lies
8.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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