I, Porn Star (I #1)(5)

By: Zara Cox


I spot the familiar name of the top bidder and I sneer.

Once bidding ends, I close down the application and call up another list. Dozens of charity websites showing pictures of starving children flood my screen. Within minutes, fifty charities are the grateful recipients of seven million dollars.

I may be Quinn Blackwood, occasional user of prescribed meds to keep the demons in check, who moonlights as Q, porn star to an exclusive few who pay millions for my work.

And I may be an unhinged asshole with serious daddy issues.

But no one said I wasn’t a giver.





2



PRE-PRODUCTION



“How are you feeling today, Quinn?”

I sigh. “I’ll pay you a hundred thousand dollars, if you promise to drop that question from our sessions.”

Adriana Nathanson regards me silently for a full minute from the top of her rectangular glasses. She looks good for a woman in her mid-forties, would even pass for a decent blonde-and-blue-eyed MILF, although I glimpse signs of a burgeoning Botox habit. “Why do you want me to drop it?”

“Because we both know whatever answer I give will be a lie.”

“Here’s an idea. Why don’t you try the truth for once?”

“Here’s an idea. Fuck off, Dr. Nathanson.” My pulse barely rises, but there’s more than a hint of venom in my response, which surprises even me.

Her thin lips purse. “I thought we were past the hostility stage, Quinn. Making progress.”

“Did you?” I query with zero interest. “And why would you think that?”

“Because you haven’t shown signs of it in over a year.” She scribbles in her notes.

I remain silent.

Eventually she looks up. “Quinn?”

“Doctor?”

“Did something happen since our last session? You appear…agitated.”

I crack my knuckles loudly. “No. I am not.”

We stare at each other. We’ve played this game a thousand times.

“How are the nightmares?”

The space between my shoulder blades twitches. Have to hand it to her. She has her moments. They’re not many or I wouldn’t have been coming here for ten years. Although, technically there’s no cure for what I have.

I lean back, rub the twitch against the leather chair. “They’re still three shades above garden variety.”

“There’s nothing garden variety about them, Quinn. Tell me about the last one.”

The twitch intensifies. I shrug it off. “It was no different from the one before that. And the one before that.” No matter what I do, how loud I scream, she still dies in the end.

Her lips purse again. “It’ll help to talk through it.”

“I’m absolutely sure it won’t.”

She sighs, lays her Montblanc pen on top of her notes and removes her glasses. I’m hit with a set of determined baby blues. “Your father is back in town. Have you seen him yet?”

I freeze. The twitches abruptly cease. Before it manifests, I sense it. The abyss. It’s like a deadly virus, worming its way through me. It starts in my left wrist. Feeds through my veins and takes root in my brain. It’s not easy to control it, but I give it a shot. “No, I haven’t.”

“And your stepmother?”

I crack a sinister smile. “That’s a stupid question, Dr. Nathanson.”

She has the grace to look ashamed. We both know my stepmother has been banned from seeing me without my father present. Ergo…

“How do you feel about his return?”

“Half a million.”

“You can’t bribe me not to ask you questions, Quinn.”

“Then ask me different ones.”

Her head tilts. As if I genuinely puzzle her. I know I don’t. She knows exactly what I am. What lies beneath this mockery of civility.

“Don’t you want to get better?”

Another idiotic question. We resume the staring match. She uncrosses and re-crosses her legs.

“I called your office earlier today. Your EA said you left early.”

“Is there a question in there?”

She shrugs. “It’s not like you to leave the office until at least ten o’clock.”

“Again, I’m not hearing a question.”

“I was in the area. I thought I might join you for lunch.”

“Why?”

She gives a nervous laugh, the first sign she’s about to crack. I almost laugh. She’s so predictable it’s boring. “Why does anyone eat lunch?”

“No. What makes you think I’d want to eat lunch with you?”

“Because it’s what normal people do.” She immediately realizes her slip and grimaces.

“But I’m not normal, am I, Dr. Nathanson? Isn’t that why I’ve been seeing you every week for the last ten years? Isn’t that why you’ve been letting me come in your mouth since I turned eighteen?”

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