“Look, if there’s something specific that you have to tell me about him, go ahead. Otherwise, shut up.”
“He’s arrogant and self-centered. He’ll hurt you.” (SVH #3, Playing With Fire, p. 35)
Jessica looked away, avoiding her twin’s penetrating gaze. The truth was that Bruce had already hurt her. Elizabeth, observant as she was (being a real reporter and all), had failed to notice that the bruises Jessica had been coming home with weren’t the result of a Lila-orchestrated fall from a cheerleading pyramid. No, they were the result of Bruce Patman’s anger, a terrifying force Jessica had first witnessed when she’d made fun of the Patman family fortune.
“Honestly, Bruce,” she’d laughed while they were headed to the beach in his Porsche, “who even buys Patman’s Peaches?”
“Everyone buys Patman’s Peaches,” Bruce growled in defense of his father’s successful canning business.
“Well, I don’t,” Jessica said. Of course, that’s because I don’t eat, she thought, sneaking a glance at herself in the side mirror. As usual, she looked perfect.
“What do you buy, the store brand?” Bruce asked, snorting in disgust.
“No!” Jessica gasped, horrifed. “We’re not, like, poor, you know.”
“You’re poor to me,” Bruce said, raising his voice in anger. “Patman’s Peaches bought the Porsche you’re sitting in right now, and Patman’s Peaches bought you that broke-ass weave, and Patman’s Peaches bought you the thong you seem to enjoy showing off to everyone in Sweet Valley when you cheer at the football games!”
And with that, Bruce slapped Jessica across the face.