Long Cold Winter: Chapter Fourteen

1982. The marriage had lasted only one year. Now, he was alone again. Belinda had been pregnant when they married and given birth to their son during the last month of their marriage. Thomas Lee had been the brightest spot in his life and in their marriage.

The divorce had been very messy. She insisted on full custody and alimony, but he only allowed for child support if she got full custody. He knew, if she got full custody, she would paint him as a worthless father if he didn’t pay a little so he offered her only child support. She would have to work for her own money, not that he thought Thomas would see a nickel of what he sent for him.

All that had been in 1981. She vanished without a trace, probably back to New Jersey where she had come from. She had got what she wanted. The honor of being his first wife. Well, that wasn’t how she saw it. She would paint it as the first to learn just how messed up his family was, though she would never say so in public. She was too much of a coward.

Hell. She couldn’t even admit that she had been the one who’d destroyed the marriage with her jealousy. She couldn’t see the importance of his family to him, even though they were all he had left. She’d seen to that.

Mama had died while he was away on their honeymoon and he had not had the chance to air his grievances to her or bury the past. It was still a deep cut on his psyche. It would probably never heal.

Now, his broken heart was beginning to heal, and he was back at the one-night-stand way of life. Young female groupies lined up in every city at every concert he played. And he accepted them without question. He didn’t care anymore.

At awards ceremonies, he could be seen with actresses and models. Or the occasional stripper or porn queen. But none of them were potential bed partners. Hollywood may be home, but the ladies were not his kind. He only allowed them to hang on his arm for publicity sake. Nothing more.

Well, maybe he couldn’t say no to all. The actresses were hot ticket items, so were most of the models. But the models had an attitude problem. And seemed even more shallow than most of the actresses. Not that all actresses were shallow. Just the ones he seemed to get stuck with in public.

And he hated shallow. Brains seemed to draw him to women quicker than beauty. Of course, a woman could be beautiful on the outside but be as ugly as could be on the inside. And the ugliest were those too shallow to see what was really important.

Of course, he would sleep with them, but never form a working relationship with them. After all, they were after the reputation of having shared his bed. Not for being able to entrap him in a marriage. Well, most, anyway. there was always that hand full who wanted to ensnare a man in hopes of gaining more money to waste on their shallow little dreams. But they were few and far between.

He didn’t know how many children he might have or where. At this point, he didn’t care. He was having too much fun. Maybe he would find out at some point in the future.

Not that he didn’t care about the children. He just had no idea. And without any idea, he didn’t have a care. He was oblivious.

He was a rock-god! He didn’t have to give a shit. He didn’t have to love the women he slept with. Hell. They didn’t have to love him either.

At least, if he didn’t love them, he didn’t risk his heart. At least his love wouldn’t be wasted on anyone who wasn’t going to stick around. He wasn’t gambling his heart anymore. At least not yet.

At least, not that he was aware of. But sometimes love grabs you unexpectedly, and he was about to meet someone who was more than a match for him. Someone who was just as much on the take as he was. One that aimed to trap him and make him hers.

Molina had come to Hollywood with only one thing on her mind. Catching the infamous Matt Morrow and making herself his wife. Yes, she wanted him. But not for him. She wanted his money. Nothing else mattered to her.

She didn’t care that he had his siblings to take care of. To hell with them. They could fend for themselves. She would see that they were out of the mansion and she was spending all his money. Eventually.

But Matt was smarter than she believed him to be. He was never going to evict his own siblings from the home he’d bought for all of them, nor was he going to just give over his bank account to someone just because he loved them. Sure, he would set aside some money for them-an account of their own-with money in it.

And when that ran out, it ran out. God help her if she did so before she divorced him. He liked to think of it as alimony before divorce. A limited, yet large, account to spend from as if it were his…but without the draining of his hard earned fortune. It was his insurance policy. It ensured that he would not be paying out the nose for a departure he did not precipitate.

And so, he allowed her into his life. But guardedly. And with good reason. He did not trust her.

She would have to earn that. But would she be around long enough? That was the question. Would she be willing to be more than a temporary lover?

He would play her game and find out. He could last as long as it took. He’d seen a life she could never dream of, even the nightmare part. she had not lived in fear of being sold for pleasure, whether it was for drugs or for sex. She had no idea what she was in for.

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