The Naz & Roz Blog Series - Chapter 12

Hey, loves!

Even though it is release day for Privilege, and if you haven't grabbed your copy, what are you waiting for? -- It is still Monday, which means a new chapter for the blog series, which is currently Naz & Roz (and Penny).

Want to catch up?
Naz and Roz Blog Series



Okay, now onto Chapter Twelve: 

Penny: Part One
Penny POV

Penny hated airports. Maybe it was the bad memories that she had locked away in the dark recesses of her mind that brought on those strong feelings whenever she as much as saw an airport sign, never mind being inside one, but she didn’t like it. And knowing what was best for her mental health, she tried to avoid, as much as possible, anything that had her anxiety flaring.
Except she didn’t have a choice today.
Avoiding the people flooding the corridor of the airport leading away from arrivals, she kept her head down. It was Penny’s thing—no eye contact meant no invitation to come near. People liked to say she had permanent resting bitch face, and that was fine.
As long as it meant people left her the fuck alone.
What was the problem?
A man holding the hand of a toddler boy veered a bit too close to Penny as she walked by, and she had all she could do not to turn into a block of ice. The man hadn’t given her a reason to feel that way, but that was the thing about the mind.
Muscle memory.
She’d been hurt by enough men that they all started to look the same from a distance. It was better for her not to trust them all, than to let even one in and be hurt again because she allowed one to become too close.
Right?
That was the story she was telling herself, anyway.
She was all too aware that it was a bit too hot for her to be wearing a long sleeve shirt, and black skinny jeans, but Penny didn’t care. She ignored the stifling heat, and the way her clothes stuck to her skin. Black allowed her to blend into a crowd, and people were far less likely to notice the teenager with the sad, haunting face and the big, doll-like eyes when she kept her appearance muted.
No makeup. Her hair either down to cover her face, or pulled back into a messy bun. Dark clothing all the way, and always long sleeves or pants to make sure no one would ever see the scars that covered her body from the cuts that allowed her to remember she could, in fact, feel something. Even if that something was nothing more than pain. Little to no jewelry. Even the messenger bag slung over her shoulder wasn’t something that would draw attention.
That was all she cared about.
She didn’t want people to look.
She didn’t want them to see.
She didn’t want to be.
Except here she was, in this fucking airport walking through arrivals at New York, because for some fucking reason, Penny was still here.
Being.
Alive.
She couldn’t even kill herself right.
Fucking perfect, huh?
That was Penny’s life in a nutshell.

***

“Where is your shadow today?”
Roz glanced over at her, and Penny did her best to meet the woman’s gaze. The thing about Roz was that she didn’t have to give a single shit about Penny, but for some reason, she did. And Penny really didn’t know what to do with that, so she was trying.
She wasn’t sure what she was trying for, or what it might mean in the end, but she still found herself doing it. That was why she asked to live with Roz when the officials called with paperwork to transfer her back to the States. It was the reason why, when it could have been the polite, sweet-natured female investigator who was handling her case asked if she wanted to be picked up by her at the airport, Penny still asked for Roz.
The woman cared.
For no reason.
They didn’t even know each other.
She just did.
Penny was still trying to figure out what that fucking meant, and maybe that was the only thing about it that she didn’t like. Which in itself was pretty strange because she didn’t give a shit about anything anymore.
Weather?
Whatever.
Food?
Did she have to eat?
Life?
What was the fucking point?
But Roz …
She kind of liked Roz.
“Do you mean Naz?” Roz asked.
Penny sighed as their number was called, and the two of them approached the counter at the cafĂ© Roz said they had to stop at before going home. “Yes, him.”
She didn’t know what to make of Nazio, either. He was quiet, but imposing. Except he didn’t impose himself on Penny, he was simply there. It was clear he cared a lot about Roz, and Penny liked that.
This was all very confusing for her.
“I asked that he stay at home,” Roz said, “so I could pick you up, and we could chat for a bit before we go back to the penthouse together. Did you want him to come?”
Penny took a second to think about that. “I don’t know.”
Like most of her life.
“Can we get a decaf coffee, medium, and a hot chocolate, plus a dozen mixed pastries to go, please?”
The woman behind the counter nodded. “Absolutely. That’ll just be a couple of minutes.”
“No worries.”
With her order in, Roz and Penny stepped to the side, allowing the person behind them to go up to the counter while they waited for theirs to be filled. Penny stayed quiet, unsure of what to say and not entirely sure about how she felt being back on American soil. It felt like she had been running for so long because at least that kept her away from home.
Away from pain.
Now, she was back.
Penny knew … that pain would be coming soon, too.
Roz shot her a small smile. “Just for the record, if you feel uncomfortable with anything, Naz or otherwise … all you have to do is say, okay?”
“Really?”
“Pardon?”
“All I have to do is tell you something bothers me?”
Roz shrugged. “Yeah. Why not?”
“Usually, when I told people something was wrong, they ignored me,” Penny said, staring up at the chalkboard hanging overhead that described all the different drink options. “Or if I told someone that something they did was hurting me, they dismissed it as me being overdramatic, or worse, attention-seeking.”
“That won’t happen with us.”
Penny glanced back at Roz.
She smiled back.
“Huh,” Penny murmured.
“I’m sorry that’s strange for you.”
“I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, Roz.”
“What do you want, Penny?”
That was not an easy question.
Because … “I don’t know.”
“Let me know when you do, okay?” Roz turned a bit, facing the counter so that she would be ready when their order was finished. “Because that’s all we’re here to do—help you to get what you want, Penny.”
Hmm.
“Oh,” Roz added, glancing back at Penny, “that thing I wanted to talk about before we go home …”
“Yeah?”
“I’m pregnant, Penny.”
For the first time in a long time, fear sliced through Penny’s heart. She really wasn’t sure why, or rather, she couldn’t pinpoint exactly what caused the feeling. It was a mixture of things. Like the fact that every time she saw a young child, a part of her always wondered if someone was hurting that kid like people had done to her. Another part of her wondered if once the baby came along for Roz, would Penny have to leave to live with someone else?
“But the baby changes nothing,” Roz said, “I just wanted to be the one to tell you.”
“Oh, okay.”
She was feeling something else, now.
Curiosity.
She’d never held a baby. 

Comments

  1. Omg! I can't wait for more! More please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts