© 2015 Lisa Suzanne


I’m in trouble, Roxy. You’re better off without me. I won’t be back, but I will think of you every single second of every single day. Stay in this house if you want. If I stay, I put you at risk. If I tell you more, I put you at risk. This is a forever kind of goodbye. Please don’t hate me. I couldn’t take it.


Four hundred of my dad’s closest friends held their glasses in the air after the best man gave his speech.

I glanced at my new stepmother, Jadyn Snow, adult film star.

Who the fuck marries a porn star?

A rock star, that’s who.

Dear old Dad.

I had only attended the wedding because I loved and respected my father. I’d contemplated not attending, but my dad had texted me the night before. CC, I would love if you could accept my new wife into your life. I’m glad you decided to come.

At the rehearsal dinner, I considered keeping a tally of how many times I heard my dad’s bride-to-be talk about money, fame, or my dad’s band, Black Shadow. What she really cared about became pretty evident as I listened to her talk to their guests.

That’s why I was having a hard time raising my glass in the air to toast this couple’s wedded bliss.

It was his third wedding in the last ten years, and this one was even bigger and more extravagant than the last.

This marriage wouldn’t last any longer than the others, but at least this time he’d been smart enough to make his blushing bride sign a prenup.

My dad took the microphone after his best man finished his speech.

“First I must toast to my beautiful bride.” He looked over at her, and it was clear he had genuine feelings for her. Maybe I just didn’t know her well enough to appreciate that she really loved him, but somehow I doubted that. He held his glass up. “I love you, Jade. I can’t wait to spend every day showing you how much. And to everyone else, especially my baby girl CC, thank you for being part of our day. We love you all. Now let’s get fucked up!”

The crowd roared with laughter while I fingered a lock of my hair self-consciously. It got stuck in a knotty layer of hairspray. I tended to be low-maintenance. My almost-black hair naturally dried straight, but the stylist insisted on curly waves for the day, and then she’d lacquered those waves until they were shinier than the sun.

I felt like all eyes in the room were on me when my dad said my name, and I wanted a hole in the ground to swallow me up.

Although money and fame certainly had its perks, I hadn’t asked for the attention that was forced on me because my dad was a famous rock star.

“Why does your dad call you CC?” A male voice from a nearby table spoke to me. I turned my attention to the voice.

He looked familiar, but I didn’t know his name. He was in a band, maybe, or on some television show. I didn’t keep up with celebrities.

“My middle name. Cecilia. He wanted it to be my first name.”

“Your mother insisted on Roxanna?”

I nodded. Roxanna Cecilia Price was my full name. I looked nothing like a Roxanna, but my parents assured me that my name was musical. I was named after the muses of two famous songs—“Roxanne” and “Cecilia.” I wanted a normal name. I wanted to be called Anne or Jen or Megan or Katie. But instead, I was Roxanna Cecilia. The name was too big for my skinny frame.

“Roxy, we need you for more pictures.” Delilah, my dad’s wedding planner, pulled my attention from my short conversation.

I’d had my picture taken more times just driving up to the hotel than I’d had in the entire last year. This circus of an event had brought out Hollywood’s elite. Paparazzi clicked away, each hoping for a glimpse of any one of the celebrities attending, not to mention the groom himself.

Those pictures would be worth a fortune.

Growing up the daughter of Gideon Price wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Most kids grow up wishing that their parents were cool, rich, and famous. I had all of that, and I grew up wishing my parents were just normal.

My mom had slept with my dad when his band stopped in Miami on a tour. It was a one night stand, a ploy by my mother to find a way to set herself up for the rest of her life.

It worked.

My dad felt a sense of responsibility toward me, and he tried to work things out with my mom.

It didn’t work.

Sometimes it was hard growing up with the knowledge that I came from what only should have been a one night stand, but my dad always made me feel loved.

While my mom wasn’t a real part of my life, my relationship with my dad was the opposite. Even though he led an extremely busy life in the spotlight, and even though everyone wanted a part of him, he always put me first. He was my closest friend…my only friend, really.

After Delilah’s pictures and a visit to the ladies’ room, I was heading down a long hallway back to the ballroom when I heard voices. I glanced toward the doorway. It looked like a conference room, but the lights were out. The door was just barely cracked open.

“Do you think he’ll show up today?” I stopped in my tracks when I recognized the voice. It was Jadyn, my new stepmother. My dad’s bride.

“Maybe. We have everything in place for today.” It was a male voice—one I didn’t recognize.

“Don’t call me. I’ll get in touch with you.” I heard rustling, like someone was about to walk out of the room, so I slipped away before I was caught eavesdropping.

What the hell was that about?

I’d ask my dad.

While I didn’t want to needlessly upset him on his wedding day, I wanted to protect my father the way he’d always protected me. I had no idea what Jadyn had been whispering about. Maybe he already knew, but maybe he didn’t.

I had to walk past the hotel lobby to get back to the reception, and I saw my dad standing near the doors leading into the ballroom. He was facing the entrance of the hotel, his gaze narrow and focused. I followed his line of sight.
Men in black suits, who I assumed were part of my dad’s security detail, appeared to be tackling a man just on the other side of the glass doors. I couldn’t make out who it was from my distance, but there was certainly a commotion happening out front.

I watched as George, the trusted head of my dad’s security team, strode across the lobby. He met my dad’s eyes, and George nodded once. My dad nodded back in George’s direction before his eyes landed on me.

He looked anxious, but he smiled warmly at me as our eyes met. Clearly he was covering up the fact that something was happening out front, and it was enough to cause me to forget that Jadyn had just been mysteriously whispering with someone in what she thought was a secluded area. My dad waved me over and threw his arm around my shoulders. The two of us headed back into the ballroom.

He had people to entertain, so I went back to my table. I felt alone in the middle of four hundred people. I had no date for this event. He had left me nearly a year earlier.

I only had one constant that I held onto.

My job at Vintage.

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