It’s been a few days since my amazing night with Mike, James, and Harry, and I’ve been living on cloud nine ever since. Even if being with the handsome billionaires was only a one-time thing, it was one of the best nights of my existence and I won’t soon forget it. Nor will I forget their generosity and how astonished I was when one hundred thousand dollars materialized in my account. I could hardly believe it, and actually let out a giant scream that rattled the mirrors and windows in my apartment.
But even better, I was able to wire money to my mom immediately, and now, Lynette’s face lights up the screen on my phone. I smile in response.
“Hey Mom,” I burble happily. “How are you?”
“Hey, honey,” she smiles back. “I’m well. How are you? Is something special going on?”
My eyebrows shoot up because how could my mom know about my dirty foursome?
“Um, what?” I stammer. “What makes you say that?”
Lynette merely laughs.
“Well, honey, you’re glowing, and I can’t remember the last time I saw you smiling so hard.”
I press my fingertips to my mouth, trying not to let loose with a big grin.
“I guess I’ve had a good week, that’s all.”
My mom throws me a knowing look.
“There wouldn’t happen to be a certain young man making you smile like that would there?”
I try to stifle my gasp because there’s no way I’m telling my mom about Mike, James, and Harry. Hell no. Even if it wasn’t a one night rendezvous resulting from an auction, I doubt my mom wants to hear about me being with three men at once, much less in bed. Dinner and a movie? Even that would be totally sketch, but there is definitely no reason to let the cat out of the bag when it comes to my amazing night pleasing them and letting them use my body. So I keep it vague.
“No, no,” I laugh, trying to sound nonchalant. “I’ve just had fun at work this week. I think I might have made a couple new friends among the staff, which is nice. And this new bar is such a huge step up from Le Coq Au Vin. Ugh, that place was terrible. I used to come home smelling like coq au vin and I couldn’t wash off the scent no matter what,” I shudder.
My mom nods.
“I remember that place and how much you hated it. But I’m glad you’re making friends, honey. You’re young and friends are important.”
I nod but then grow serious.
“How about you? How’s your arthritis today?”
Tears fill my mother’s eyes, but she’s smiling so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.
“Well, thanks to you, I was able to get on those new meds my doctor has been recommending. I just picked up the prescription yesterday, and to be honest, I feel like I’m already doing better. The pain is tolerable in my knuckles, instead of feeling like I was being stabbed with a thousand tiny knives in my joints.”
I nod quickly.
“That’s great, Mom! I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better, and I can’t imagine living the way you used to.”
“Yes, and so thank you again, Sierra, for sending that money to me.” She pauses, and my heart stops as I watch tears roll down her cheeks. “I don’t deserve a daughter like you.”
I have to take a couple deep breaths to try to keep my own tears at bay.
“You don’t have to thank me, Mom. I love you, and I’m glad to finally be in a position where I can help you the way you’ve always been there for me. We’re there for each other, remember?”
A quiet sob breaks free from Lynette and she covers her face and cries for a moment.
“Mom, please don’t cry,” I beg through my own sobs. “Things are better now, right?”
She uncovers her face and looks me in the eye.
“They are,” she sniffles. “Thank you again, baby girl. I knew that the best day of my life was the day I gave birth to you, and it’s only being reinforced now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know I kept trying to play the pain off like it wasn’t so bad, but the truth is the arthritis had been killing me for the past few months. The pain had become excruciating and it was negatively impacting my mobility. In fact, there were a couple days when I didn’t get out of bed, and just completely lost the battle. So you’ve been a huge help, Sierra.”
I press my hand to my chest as my heart breaks, knowing my mom was in so much agony. After all, Lynette is the strongest person I know, and if this knocked her off her feet, then it must have been terrible. The pain must have been unlike anything I’ve experienced, certainly. My breath hitches.
“I still didn’t realize it was that bad when we talked,” I say in a soft voice. “I’m so sorry, Mom. I wish I’d found a way to get you the money sooner.”
She shakes her head.
“Don’t be silly, honey. You’ve done more for me than most parents ever dream their adult children will do to help them. You’re a hard worker, and I know you’ve done nothing but work your tail off since you moved to New York.”
I smile at her.
“Well, I learned my work ethic from you, so it’s no surprise I like to work hard. It’s enjoyable.”