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Authors: Abigail Stone

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Women's Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College, #Contemporary Fiction

Save Me

BOOK: Save Me
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Save Me (Disciples Motorcycle Club Romance)

Copyright ©
2014 ABIGAIL STONE

[email protected]

All rights reserved.

 

This book is a work of fiction. All characters are a product of the authors imagination.

This book is dedicated to Adam, for the night in the firebird, the day on the beach, and the evening in jail—keep living the life, baby!

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

Present

"C
elebrities don't do crack,” she said, her heart shaped lips pursued into a familiar sarcastic grin.

"We do cocaine."

Her words were simple enough but they carried a familiar bite. One her therapist – the acclaimed S
tarlet whisperer
 Dr. Laura Sterling – was used to.

Wittiness had never been Layla Carter's strong point. But when you've acted in dozens of films, all before the age of 20 – you get kind of used to playing a character. This one? Well, it was one Dr. Sterling knew well. Jaded child star with a superiority complex and a coke addiction. She visited with dozens of patients every day and Layla was afflicted by the same demons they were. Lack of a childhood, daddy issues, mental illness. It was all there. Dr. Sterling watched from her spot behind her desk as the young woman rummaged through the black leather purse in her lap. She pulled out a pack of cigarettes, shaking one out.

"You can't smoke in here," Dr. Sterling interrupted, pointing to a sign that said just that near the door. They were on the fourth floor – the psychiatric ward – of the St. Vincent Medical Center. Layla’s bright pink lipstick, blood shot eyes and bottle dyed red hair were off putting against the off white scenery. She was better than this and she knew it, but that didn’t mean she wanted to change.

"You're a real bitch, lady," Layla sneered, her words sharp as they tumbled from her lip gloss stained lips. She rolled her big brown eyes. She believed authority was below her. The end of the cancer stick found its way between her lips and she stared at Dr. Sterling, daring her to object. When she didn’t, Layla lit it with a bright pink lighter. It said something on it but it was chipped and unreadable.

Layla with her doe eyes and flawless skin was a sharp contrast to Dr. Sterling. Her meek and weathered appearance was an oddity for a thirty-three year old woman in Los Angeles. It was only a hop and a skip away from Silicon Valley, a place where plastic surgery was more of a common decency than a choice. Sometime in her late twenties, Dr. Sterling had let herself go. Fine lines now covered her forehead – tiny graphs that led down to the crow’s feet she sported on the corner of each eye. Layla scoffed at her. It was obvious that the woman in front of her had been a natural beauty once. But it was true what everyone said about Los Angeles. It could age you if you let it.

Dr. Sterling reached down, picking up a small metal trash can and setting it on her heavy oak desk. Before Layla could protest, she snatched the half lit cigarette from between the Starlet’s manicured fingers, tossing it inside. Layla shot her a piercing glare, her plucked eyebrows raised in surprise. It had been years since anyone had challenged her like that, but Dr. Sterling remained unfettered. Layla’s contempt was all too familiar to her, as was her appearance. The crumbling young woman wasn’t any different than her peers. At least not within the confides of the hospital.

Despite her setting, Layla was dressed to the nines. It was the kind of attire most women would wear to a club on a Saturday night, not to meet with their Therapists. Layla’s soft, toned skin was more exposed than not. From beneath the rise of her bright pink crop top, Dr. Sterling could see a belly ring dangling from her abdomen. It glimmered in the sunlight, which poured through cracks in the blinds that hung in the large window behind them. Everything she was wearing was designer but like most has beens, none of it had been purchased within the last few years. She was pretty, there was no denying that, but it was in a dated way. She was rich, but just barely.

The word ‘bitch’ left Layla’s full lips a second time and Dr. Sterling shrugged. There were worse things a woman could be called. That’s what she told herself anyway.

“So I’ve heard,” she heard herself say, her voice dry and sarcastic. She tapped her ballpoint pen against the evaluation sheet in front of her. On top, Layla’s name was written in delicate cursive. Dr. Sterling recognized it as her boss’s handwriting.

“We’re over crowded here enough as it is,” Erica, Dr. Sterling’s boss had told her just a few hours before. She was a robust African American woman in her fifties, with kind eyes that contradicted her domineering personality, 
“Look, she's still rich. She's still famous.”

“There are plenty of people who need to be here more than she does.”

Dr. Sterling disagreed. If there was anyone in Los Angeles in dire need of psychiatric care, it was Layla Carter. But Erica was insistent and Dr. Sterling wasn’t in any place to object. In only three shorts weeks, she’d be evaluated by the Southern California Medical Counsel for a prestigious job as a therapist in a new, private facility just outside of town. Her rate of pay would triple if she landed the position.

"I'm not telling you what to do Laura,” Erica finished, 
“but tread lightly. We don't need any 
more
 bad press."

There it was. The reality both Dr. Sterling and Erica knew to be true. She had emphasized the word more for a reason. Three weeks ago, the facility had admitted one of Hollywood’s biggest actresses on a 5150 hold for driving the wrong way onto Interstate 5. When Highway Patrol finally got her to pull over, she was under the influence of so many substances, she couldn’t speak.

“It’s a miracle she didn’t kill anyone,” Erica had said. “Hell, she could have killed herself.”

Of course, she was famous and what that meant was that the backlash – if any – was weighed heavily in Starlet's favor. The media painted her as a victim and the hospital received a cease and desist order within twenty four hours of the actress being admitted by state troopers. Two, actually. One from her agent and one from her production company. She was in the middle of filming a major summer blockbuster and the hospital was threatened with a heavy lawsuit if she was not released immediately.

Needless to say, they cooperated. The actress was released against Dr. Sterling’s better judgment the next morning with a prescription for lamotrigine – a mood stabilizer – and a firm order to attend therapy every Tuesday.

She wouldn’t. They never did. But that didn’t stop Dr. Sterling from insisting.

Erica shot Dr. Sterling a look before she left her office, one that solidified what she already knew. She was to keep the situation from happening again with Layla Carter.

The decision wouldn’t be an easy one. In all Dr. Sterling’s years of diagnosing and treating mood and personality disorders in celebrities, she couldn’t remember a single patient who had needed treatment as much as Layla did. In fact, she was begging for it. Two days ago, on a coke and heroin fueled binge, she had attempted to light her mother’s Mercedes on fire in her driveway. When asked why she had done it, her response was simply – “because I felt like it”.

It was the final nail in the coffin. Police officers admitted Layla into the hospital on a foggy Tuesday morning. She kicked and screamed, insisting that she “wasn’t crazy” but actions always spoke louder than words. Now, she sat across from Dr. Sterling with a bored expression etched across her delicate features. Her slender arms were crossed over her chest in protest of her confinement, but there was a glimmer in her eye. One that held a certain knowledge, making it clear to Dr. Sterling that Layla was aware of the fact that she’d be a free woman in just a few short minutes.

Dr. Sterling sighed. There was no use prolonging the inevitable.

“You are free to leave, Layla,” she said, capping her pen and clipping it onto her breast pocket, 
“although I’m sure you already were aware of that.”

Layla’s laugh was cruel and intoxicating, the most deadly of combinations. She chuckled as though Dr. Sterling had just told the funniest of jokes, gathering her belongings. She sauntered towards the door, her hips swinging to the rhythm of a nonexistent song as her heels ‘click, click, clicked’ against the tile floor. This entire place was below her. It was evident in the way she moved – her head held high, shoulders back, heel before toe. It was the walk of a model minus the runway but it was all a façade.

The only thing Layla cared about was the tiny dime bag of coke waiting for her. It was tucked away in her mother’s bathroom cabinet, hidden amongst pill bottles and high priced cosmetics. She kept it stuffed in an empty bottle of vitamins.

BOOK: Save Me
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