The attic door flung open as Shelly clambered up.
"What the hell, Reese?" she shouted even before she had Reese in her sight.
Her angry tirade died on her lips when she saw her second shock for the evening: Reese frantically masturbating on the attic floor.
Shelly had been looking for Corbit when she heard voices from the basement.
"God is your fucking co-pilot?"
"Yeah, Jesus loves me and he loves you too." Corbit sounded about ready to cry.
Alarmed Shelly rushed in to see a distraught Corbit cornered and holding on to his guitar like it was a lifeline. Reese was hovering over him, a diminutive bully in a checkered shirt. It was almost comic, but the traumatized look on Corbit's face floored Shelly. She couldn't tear away her eyes from his face even when Reese made her escape.
When she broke out of her shock and ran after Reese, she managed to follow Reese’s stomping through the house, and sighted a sneaker before it disappeared up the attic, with the door banging behind it.
Reese looked up at an open-mouthed Shelly, yanked her hand from her pants, which she had not managed to do more than unzip, and scrambled to stand up. "What the fuck, Shelly?! Where you going to stay for the whole show?!"
Shelly felt her hackles rise. "You apologize to Corbit right now!"
"Apologize? I was doing him a favor! He probably hasn't seen a vagina since the day he was born!"
Rage bloomed in Shelly's chest and her hand shot out with a slap. Reese's head snapped back. "You should be so honored if Corbit deemed it..." Shelly was saying hotly, when Reese retaliated by biting her on the shoulder.
She got a mouthful of Shelly's gray jacket, but she bit down hard.
"ARGHH! JESUS H. CHRIST, REESE!"
Reese reveled in Shelly's pain. She wanted to destroy Shelly's civilized veneer. She wanted to tear away her tea and crumpets do-goodery that was so surreal in this "one big museum of suffering". She bit down harder.
Shelly grabbed a fistful of Reese's hair and yanked hard. "GET OFF ME, YOU BRAT!"
Reese had Shelly in a bear hug and when she gave a small cry, releasing Shelly's shoulder she went for the alabaster column of Shelly's neck. All her rage and frustration from her confrontation with her father channeling in her need to annihilate her idea of Shelly's purity. Shelly, who brought grace to the table. Shelly, whom her father lulled to sleep by tenderly stroking her hair, that was so much like Reese’s and his wife’s. It was something that he did to Reese when she was small. One of the few signs of care that Reese ever received. Shelly who cut her father's steak into little bite sized pieces. Shelly with her charming English accent and her quaint English phrasings. Shelly who did laundry in unremarkable rubber boots, but looked like she just came in from tromping around in the moors.
She raked that delicate creamy neck with her teeth.
Shelly tried to dislodge the vise like grip that Reese had on her by pushing her against the walls of the attic. As all the corners were piled to the rafters with assorted junk it was futile and served only to put them off balance. They slid to the floor. Reese maybe slight but she had adrenaline, fury, and desperation on her side and managed to get the better of Shelly.
They were now screaming at each other.
"You selfish, self-absorbed, over-indulged..."
"Do I have your attention now? Huh, Shelly? Does the little actress have your attention now..."
"...go back to Narnia..."
"...leave my father alone..."
Their vitriol melded together into an unintelligible wall of noise.
Suddenly insanity struck. They were propelled to this point by one of the most screwed up weeks in the annals of domestic life. For Reese it was her repressed emotions unleashed. Years of dealing with emotionally disconnected parents. She didn't count on discovering that her unhinged father had created his own little Addams family when she got home to cash in on some letters, nor was she prepared to uncover the truth about her mother's death. The tenderness she didn't expect in her parents correspondence...tenderness that didn't extend to her. This fucking little hick town that didn't have any crack, and which its nearest decent fuck wore eyeliner. But most of all, finding her father already had a perfect surrogate daughter. It would have been better if Shelly were actually fucking her father. Reese would have been able to deal with some starry eyed fan girl who wanted to mooch of her father’s literary vibes and fading celebrity.
Reese swooped down and clamped her mouth over Shelly’s with one hand forcing Shelly’s jaw open. Reese ravaged that mouth.
Shelly was undoubtedly attracted to Don…as a mentor. Her love for him was completely platonic and wholly centered on his brilliant mind that was able to create such beautiful words. What Shelly had for Don was fuzzy and grandfatherly.
Reese, though she herself would deny it, was wholly her father’s daughter. Just as acerbic with a dry wit, a sharp mind, and the promise of an equally brilliant talent, but there was no way in hell you’d mistake her for your grandfather.
Shelly felt blindsided by a spike of arousal. Shelly succumbed to the storm. She felt buffeted from all sides. Reese for all her lost-girl-angst was elemental. Her well-phrased abuse, despite its childishness, only enhanced her lone-wolf appeal. Shelly wanted to be the one to penetrate that loneliness. At first, she couldn’t fathom her repeated attempts to reach out to Reese. She wondered at her new-found motherly instinct that bordered on masochism. She wasn’t any bloody Florence Nightingale. Still, there was something in Reese…something she wanted to yield to.
Reese was working her way down her torso and was lifting her loose old shirt over her breasts, when Reese stilled. Reese was staring at her stomach. Her scar.
Shelly turned away from Reese. After a moment, she whispered tentatively, “Do I look hideous to you?”
Reese froze, unsure of what Shelly meant.
“Is it revolting?”
Reese realized that Shelly was talking about her scar. She’d read somewhere that some people experience crippling insecurities after undergoing “sensitive” surgery, wherein their loss and scars become disfigurements in their mind. Shelly thought no one would want her anymore.
“I’m sorry, Shelly. It’s not the scar… I could have hurt you. I…” Reese trailed off uncomfortably. “Um, does it hurt… still?”
Shelly looked searchingly at Reese looking for truth. Reese was withdrawing into her own world once more. Reese was systematically repressing the tumult of her feelings. It wasn’t about Shelly at all. Shelly felt a pang of disappointment.
“I don’t know what came over me. It’s like I’m some kind of animal…” Reese broke off, shame consuming her. “I’m gonna go,” she said before fleeing.
Shelly looked blankly at the ceiling, fighting the tears welling in her eyes.