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“Why did you feel you needed to run after your father was arrested, Eve?” Dr. Woodrow placed a cup of hot tea on the table next to me before returning to her seat.

I picked up the delicate cup, bringing it to my lips, thinking about my answer. Jasmine tea. Light and calming. Of course, knowing where this conversation is going, I could use something hard and mind-numbing.

“Decided against the brandy?” I ask teasingly. I’m procrastinating, I know. I hate this part. The first time I spoke of my past to anyone was when I finally opened up to Lainey. I thought then that it was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. Until I had to tell Adam. You would think it would be easier by now, but just thinking of that time in my life depresses me immensely.

“Do you really need alcohol to get through this?” Dr. Woodrow asked, her pen poised to write my response and what she thought of that. Sometimes I want to take that notepad from her and see what her real thoughts about me are. “Are you worried about what I’m writing?” She raises her brows in question.

“Reading my mind? That is true dedication for a head shrink.”

“You’re not answering any of my questions, Eve.”

“Because I don’t want to,” I sigh. “I’ve never made it a secret that I didn’t want to do this, Doctor. This isn’t easy for me to talk about.”

“I can’t imagine it is,” Dr. Woodrow readily agreed. “But you need to let this go. Let me help you, Eve.” Dr. Woodrow paused, taking notes, then looked up at me again, holding my gaze. “You should be doing this for you, not because you feel it would make Adam and Lainey happy.”

“I am. Believe me, if I didn’t feel like I needed this, I wouldn’t be here. Needing this and wanting it are two different things.”

“Alright. Then back to my original question. Why did you feel you needed to run?”

“My father threatened me. He told me that no matter where he was, he would be able to get to me. I knew he had people within the authorities, I just didn’t know how far up they went. I ran because I didn’t know if I was safe.”

“You were so young. How did you know where to go? How did you even get past customs?”

“I am a very resourceful person,” I answer vaguely. “I just didn’t know he would be that cruel,” I snort derisively. Of course I knew he could be cruel. I was just too naïve to believe he would hurt me anymore than he already had.

My last statement was said so quietly, I wondered if Dr. Woodrow heard me. I knew she did with her next question.

“Why would you say that?”

“I found out that Tony orchestrated everything that happened to me in Paris. Just one more way for him to hurt me. He did the same to my mother.”

“Did the same?”

“Whored her out like he did me. Used us and our bodies to pay off his debts.”

Dr. Woodrow cursed softly, then laughed softly when she saw my raised eyebrow.

“Sorry. I try not to let myself get emotionally involved with my patients. But when I hear how a father put his daughter through so much pain, it . . . well, it pisses me off.”

“My my, Doctor. Don’t hold back,” I gave Dr. Woodrow my most charming smile, and a quick wink. I appreciate her anger towards what I went through. Anger for my father is much better than pity or even disgust towards me.

Dr. Woodrow chuckled. “I’ll try to refrain from personal dialogue while we’re in this room.”

“Fair enough.”

“Have you ever felt safe, Eve?”

I pause. “I do now. After Tony died, I started feeling safe and letting myself feel happiness. Lainey helped me with that. And when I decided to let Adam in, I found my safe haven in his love.”

“And when the latest problems occurred, you regressed?”

I shrug slightly.

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves. I want to go back to your time in Paris before we get into everything else.”

I sipped my now cold tea, closing my eyes, trying to get past the heartache I still felt when I thought of what Adam went through because of me.

“I was a whore. What more do we need to discuss? It’s over.”

“Eve,” Dr. Woodrow gave me a look that is normally reserved for mothers who are disciplining their child. “You know very well you were not a whore. You were forced to do things no woman, and especially a child should have to do.”

It was the same thing Adam and Lainey tell me all the time. I say it’s over, yet I can’t really let it go.

“Very well. What would you like to hear about it?”

“I don’t want details, Eve, unless you feel you need to discuss them. I want to know how you felt.”

My hands trembled as I set the tea cup back on the table. Dr. Woodrow surprised me when she laid a gentle hand on mine.

“Let’s continue this in the next session. I don’t want to push you too hard.”

“Afraid I’ll close up?”

“Honestly? Yes. It’s your defense. So, we’ll take this slow. I can’t offer you alcohol, but I can offer you my expertise and understanding. I can offer a sympathetic and non-judgmental ear. Will that be enough for you?”

“As long as you don’t put me on any medication, we’ll be fine, Doctor,” I smile, silently thanking her for making me feel safe within these walls.