Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)- Kristy Cunning

PROLOGUE

When Marta Portocale rose from the dead…

VIOLET

“Okay, we finally have a moment completely alone, since Idun has them in a full panic. Start talking,” I tell my mother, while crossing my arms over my chest and giving her the sternest look I can muster.

“Not now, Violet, I’ve—”

“I put a pin in it, but that pin is popping out. I’m generously offering you a chance to explain yourself, because I love you and trust you. But you owe me the truth. I’ve waited long enough, because you sure have kept a whole lot from me,” I tell her, my voice growing shaky toward the end, as tears cloud my eyes.

She exhales harshly, and her shoulders sag in defeat.

“I’ll tell you what I’ve figured out so far. My late brother and cousins tormented BoBo, and it escalated to the point where they damn near killed him. When he was on the brink of dying, he panicked, and his survival instincts kicked in. He killed them, and you retaliated by hanging him and destroying his family’s name, as well as painting an even bigger target on all the Simpletons. How am I doing so far?”

“So far, you’re being incredibly insensitive…but fairly accurate,” she says on a long, exhausted breath.

“Tension gathered, fear grew pretty suffocating, and before you knew it, war broke out. You got vicious. They got vicious. Idun got worse than everyone because she wanted at the top of the food chain,” I carry on.

I pause, waiting for her to comment.

She narrows her eyes. “Don’t oversimplify this many centuries of history. Just because you have no emotion tied to the topic, it doesn’t mean I’m not still emotionally invested.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re tired all the time. You keep clinging really hard to every grudge collected over the centuries. Dad always said you were going to die young if you kept doing that to yourself.”

She snorts. “Your father stopped saying that once I showed him the difference between an immortal and a human. He’s also still terrified to come too close to me. Clearly, the real me is even more intimidating than the watered-down version of myself,” she grumbles, glancing away from me, as her cheeks turn pink.

“Don’t be cute right now,” I scold, pointing a finger at her. “Seriously, Mom. You kept all of this a secret. Why?”

She sighs harshly.

“The other day, when your pests were watching us inside the soundproof box, I told you Pandora visited me the night I took hold of Marta’s body. I woke up to spot her, just as she was leaping out the window,” she confesses.

“Stop rehashing. You’re just stalling,” I tell her.

She goes quiet, and I glare at her.

“You also said Pandora hated you so much that she sided with Idun. Why would she let you keep a child you weren’t supposed to be able to carry?” I prompt.

She shrugs, not looking at me.

“Mom…”

“I couldn’t give two shits about what she was up to,” she says without looking at me. “You’re my daughter. I decided what was best for you, and it had nothing to do with Pandora. For all I know, she was just simply spying. She does that a lot.”

“I need to understand why you kept this colossal secret from me. I mean, this is pretty big. I’m trying to remain rational, but it’s all I can do not to hate you for this.”

She slants her gaze to me.

“Hate me if you must. But if I had to choose, I’d do it all over again just to keep you from Idun’s clutches,” Mom says with a hollow tone.

That has me calming my temper a