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XXXIX: Riches to rags to riches.

Taking a deep breath, Peyton let her gaze drop to her lap with her fingers intertwined safely holding each other “I ... when you found me, I was nearly dying of starvation and on the edge of being kicked out because I couldn’t pay rent,”

She can feel Sebastian stare at her, but she doesn’t waver “it wasn’t always like that; not for me anyways. I grew up as the daughter of Amelia and Carl Hart.”

She hears the smile and surprise in Sebastian’s voice when he speaks “them? Lovely people!! I just love them! I knew your surname rang a bell!”

Peyton looks up at him with a soft smile playing on her lips “they do come across that way to people don’t they?” Immediately Sebastian’s smile fades completely and instead he sits silently to hear more about the story.

“Whenever we went to functions was my favorite,” a sparkle lights up in Peyton’s eyes “we would get dressed up all fancy and smile at everyone and there always used to be a table just for us kids to play at.You used to be there too.”

Surprise fills Sebastian “me? I mean, I remember those silver eyes, but really? Wow!” He was astonished as he watched Peyton nod.

“My favorite was the way my parents changed when we went out.They were ... they were nice. ” Peyton’s hand travels to the scar on the back of her head and tears prick at her eyes.

“At home they used to abuse us. My dad, he would alway hit us and my mom would do the emotional breaking or the slapping, it was never nice at home and we always used to run away when we could.”

Peyton feels Sebastian grab her hand when a tear falls down her cheek “Luca was two years older than me and promised me that when I am old enough we can run away together.The two siblings.”

Peyton started to shake her head as her tears ravished her at the memories.The abuse wasn’t as bad as you’d expect, it was more what they allowed.

“One ... one day they took us out to a gala that their friends were having. I was 16 and Luca was 18 so when we got there, the other teenagers had planned to go drinking instead of the gala.When they offered ... we immediately said yes. Obviously we couldn’t wait to get away from our parents.” Peyton falls completely silent for a second before she breaks down crying “I-I couldn’t find Luca anywhere and then someone grabbed me. He took me outside.”

The flashbacks flash before her eyes and she shuts them tight with her fists clenched to help her shaky hands “he wouldn’t stop and then he-he ...” Peyton places a hand over her mouth as she starts sobbing.

She feels herself being swooped up by Sebastian after he put a sleeping Sasha in her small bed before he places her in his arms and is filled with anger as her holds her close.

Once Peyton has calmed down, she is left sniffling and decides to carry on with her story. “About a month later, I had found myself constantly cutting my thighs and so on to try and get rid of him.To get rid of the truth, and it was unhealthy for me. So I went to my parents, I told them what happened and they didn’t believe me. Luca did though.”

She looks down at her lap “my mom said she doesn’t believe me because I am to fat to even want.” Peyton snorts and laughs at the memory as she hears the words echo in her mind.

“The bitch. She got into my mind, I stopped eating as a whole because I constantly saw myself as fat. I turned anorexic and Luca had me booked into rehab while telling my parents I was at a camp.” She laughed “it was two days after my birthday, I turned 17 and was released from rehab, still skinny and ugly though, and Luca decided we should run away, forget about me being old enough and just run. So when we got home, I started packing my stuff while Luca filled up the car, but my parents walked in on me.”

She closes her eyes and clenches her fists tight again as Sebastian adjusted his hold on her “my dad grabbed me by my hair and he swooped me around to the stairs where he through me down. Luca came and punched my dad sick before grabbing me and taking me to the car where we fled. He said we could buy clothes for me

because he knew some people. It wasn’t until about ten minutes later that I passed out and Luca rushed to a hospital.”

Peyton’s hand goes to her scar again and she cries “they said I had three broken ribs and a fractured wrist, the worst was my head, it was cut open at the back and I had a slight concussion.Though after fixing me up, they demanded to know how it happened and when we didn’t answer,they through us out,”

Peyton takes a deep breath and shakes her head from the memories “when we arrived here, Luca got us an amazing apartment in Manhatten. It was beautiful and he refused to tell me how we got it and after a while, I accepted that maybe he took the money from our parents.”

She looks Sebastian in her eyes “I was wrong. He snuck off at night after making sure I ate and one day he was put buying groceries and I was cleaning the house.There was a knock on the door and I opened to see this tall, scary man with tattoos. He asked to enter and when I said no,he just passed me.”

“He asked for Luca’s room and I told him where it was while he went in and asked me a bunch of questions that I couldn’t answer.Then suddenly he stormed out of his room and grabbed me pushing me against the wall. I remember his slimy odor and when he forced his mouth on mine I started crying, I knew what was happening, but not why.” Peyton’s hands start to shake and she feels Sebastian hold them close.

“He took a picture and sent it to Luca when he ... he violated me.” When he was done and I was left on the for, I didn’t move for hours. I only cried and when Luca got home, he found me on the floor exactly like that man had left me, but the moment he touched me, there was a bang and he fell limp on top of my body before I screamed. I saw the same man in the doorway with a gun and shouted even more.”

Peyton shook her head and closed her eyes again before crying with her head in Sebastian’s neck “they killed him because he owed them money and from there, I lost everything.”

Peyton sees the pictures and can’t stop feeling the man on her, his sliminess etched into her memory as she cries and Sebastian held her close with tears in his eyes “since then,I was the burden that I am today.”

Sebastian brought her face up so that she can look at him and then he kissed each puffy eye “you are perfect, beautiful and not nearly a burden.”

Peyton shakes her head and closes her eyes “you are just saying it so that I can move on and leave with my money.” Sebastian was taken aback and shook his head as he placed his hand on her cheek.

He slowly leaned in and placed his wanting lips onto her soft, plump pink ones and it was magical.There was an explosion between them and Sebastian felt his hunger for her diminish as she kissed him back with passion.

Sebastian turned so that she was laying under him and he starts to kiss down her neck softly, lovingly.The moans that Peyton lets out turns him on even more and he stops himself before and gets any further and then he looks at Peyton who was watching him “I love you Peyton.There is no doubt that I love you and you are not a burden, not to me.”

She watches him for a few moments before she takes a deep breath “I love you too.” She then reconnects to his smiling lips and feels relief knowing he feels the same.

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