Lipstick and Lies

Lipstick and Lies by Debbie Viggiano Read Free Book Online

Book: Lipstick and Lies by Debbie Viggiano Read Free Book Online
Authors: Debbie Viggiano
turned my attention to Eddie. Hauling myself out of the water, I wrapped us both in a big bath towel. Thanks to the cats’ antics, Eddie had missed out on a decent afternoon nap. He was now struggling to keep his eyes open.
    Ten minutes later my baby was fast asleep in his cot. I checked his alarm was on, that no cats were in the room, and quietly shut his door. Time to get to work with my hairdryer. That was the easy bit. Attempting to do the same thing with my face wasn’t so straightforward . My forehead looked as though havoc had been wrought with a sharp fork. All around my eyes were tiny puncture wounds. The swelling had subsided slightly, but everything looked red and angry. Liquid make up was out of the question. I stroked some mascara onto my eye lashes and opted for a bright red lipstick . Hopefully this would draw attention to my mouth , rather than my forehead.
    Smells of home cooking drifted upwards. I sniffed the air appreciatively. It certainly wasn’t my culinary special – beans on toast. My relationship with the vast range in our kitchen was a standoffish one. I didn’t ask too much of it, and it didn’t give me much in return. Whereas Edna would have all the ring burners blazing, double ovens stoked , and – before you could say Jamie Oliver – produce a week’s worth of home cooking.
    I riffled through my wardrobe. What would Selina be wearing? Something fabulously chic and tailored? Or smart-casual? I swished coat hangers this way and that, appraising everything with a critical eye. I swept half a dozen pairs of identical joggers to one side and considered a red velvet dress. I’d bought it in the Sales last year before discovering I was expecting Eddie. By the time an opportunity to wear it had come along, my baby bump was well and truly established. I removed the dress from its hanger and let it slither over my head. It was a snug fit, but not enough to restrict breathing. I stood in front of the mirror. Not bad. Not great, but definitely not bad. Rummaging around in the wardrobe, I found a pair of shiny black boots and a matching clutch bag. They would do. I finished off with a liberal squirt of perfume. If nothing else I might just manage to smell nicer than Selina.
    Jamie came into the bedroom. ‘That’s a lovely dress darling. Give me thirty seconds in the sho wer, and I’ll be ready to go.’
    I smiled. ‘See you downstairs.’
    I grabbed a coat and walked across the landing. The aroma of furniture polish and cleaning fluid jostled with cooking smells . The house was positively sparkling. I found the children in the TV room, glued to some ridiculous reality programme.
    ‘Hey kids.’ They glanced my way. ‘Thanks for helping clear up all th at mess.’
    ‘That’s okay Cass,’ Petra smiled. ‘You clear up after us all the time.’
    ‘We didn’t mind doing it,’ said Toby, ‘but don’t expect me personally to do it again. It’s a woman’s work.’
    Just eleven years old and my son was already a chauvinist.
    ‘Where ar e you going Mum?’ asked Livvy.
    ‘Out to dinner with Ethan and his fiancée.’
    ‘Oh yeah. That’s ironic,’ Jonas snorted. ‘The fia ncée used to go out with Dad.’
    ‘Did she?’ Petra ’s brow furrowed. ‘What’s her name?’
    ‘Sabrina.’
    ‘Actual ly, it’s Selina,’ I corrected.
    ‘That’s right,’ said Jonas. ‘I remember her. She was a milf .’
    ‘A what?’
    ‘Jonas!’ Petra chided.
    ‘What’ s a milf?’ I asked, perplexed.
    Livvy and Toby had gone a bit pink.
    ‘It’s, um, a sort of modern compliment,’ said Toby.
    ‘ E nlighten me ,’ I said. On the screen a woman with fake breasts and a mouth like Donald Duck was talking about her life being incomplete unless she had bum implants. ‘Jonas? Spill the beans. What’s a milf?’
    Jo nas shifted uncomfortably. ‘ I can’t remember exactly. But it’s, well, like Toby said, a sort of compliment. But a bit, you know, racy.’
    ‘Racy?’ I eyed my step-son. Not

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