Authors: Marie Coulson
Copyright © 2012 by Marie Coulson
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and for review purposes.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and events are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblances to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead, are entirely coincidental.
The use of artist and song titles throughout this book are done so for storytelling purposes and should in no way been seen as advertisement. Trademark names are used in an editorial fashion, with no intention of infringement of the respective owner’s trademark.
Dedicated to the Russian Princes, Bohemian Rock Chicks, American Beauties, Canadian Queens and British Lords and Ladies that make my life worth living and my stories worth writing.
Table Of Contents
The turkey sucked. No, it more than sucked. It was fucking awful. I couldn’t tell if it was the bird itself or just the bitter taste I seemed to carry in my mouth these days. But either way, I was not eating another bite of it. My mom, bless her soul, had tried her best to make our first Thanksgiving special but I just wasn’t feeling it. It had been almost two months since I’d spoken to
and it still made my guts twist.
. How did I constantly keep finding myself in this position? It was ridiculous.
She doesn’t fucking want you Ollie, get over it and forget her. There are a million other women out there who would happily ride your brains out and scream your name. Why are you so hung up on this one?
Because she’s her. Because she’s supposed to be with me and because even after all she’s put me through, I still love her.
I couldn’t help it. She’d made her choice and every day I got a sharp reminder that I wasn’t it. My mom shook her head as I mindlessly poked my dry, tasteless turkey around the plate. “Oliver, I tried my best today and the least you could do is crack a smile for crying out loud.” I snorted and shot her a sarcastic grin. She glared at me and exhaled loudly making sure I knew I’d pissed her off. Whatever.
Grabbing Patrick’s hand, she held it tightly and offered her other hand to me. I rolled my eyes but gave her what she wanted. “Patrick, honey, why don’t you start us off. What are you thankful for?” He gave me his usual smirk and I poked my tongue out at him playfully.
“I’m thankful for Ollie. I’m thankful for my big brother. And I’m thankful for you Mom.” She beamed back at him and I have to admit even I kinda felt a little fuzzy inside.
Closing her eyes, she proceeded to give her thanks also. “I’m thankful for our health. I’m thankful for our home. I’m thankful for my boys and most of all I’m thankful to God for bringing Ollie back into my life. He’s a blessing I thought I’d never have again.” I stared at her, not really knowing what to say. I didn’t have anything to say. We were making it work and whatever it was we had, it was functional but she didn’t come under my list of things to be thankful for just yet.
They both gazed at me expectantly. “I’m thankful for my guitar. I’m thankful for my talent. I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for my smoking hot motor cycle. I’m thankful that I still have my youth and I’m thankful for my rocking hot bod that I take such good care of. I’m also thankful that the
soul sucking bitch is finally thousands of miles away from me.”
“Oliver! Mind your language around your brother. Aren’t you forgetting something else?” I rolled my eyes.
“And I’m thankful for this food, family, my home; insert generic sentimental crap here, blah, blah, blah. Amen”
She tugged her hand away from me sharply and shoved her chair back. Throwing her napkin on the table she shook her head. “I can’t win with you Oliver. I’ve tried over and over again to make you feel a part of this family but you’re so caught up in your selfish little world and the things you don’t have, that you neglect to see everything that you do. I’m done trying.” She began collecting the dishes from the table and I should have felt guilty but let’s not forget that this was the
woman who left me alone, at six years old, with an abusive, asshole father so that she could spend her life jacking up with her boyfriend. It was hard to feel bad for her and I couldn’t even if I wanted to.
I leaned back in my chair and watched her slam, stomp and huff between the dining room and kitchen. I really wasn’t buying into her tantrum. I had other things to think about. My cell chirped in my pocket. Sliding it out, I grinned at the caller I.D. “Amy! How’s it going hottie?” She giggled.
“Hey rock star. What are you doing?”
“Not much. Just ate. What about you?”
“Same. Wanna come and visit? Have a few drinks?”
“Amy that’s like a ten hour ride and it’s one in the afternoon.”
“What’s your point hot stuff?”
I laughed at her.
“Nothing. I’ll be there as soon as I can. Okay if I stay a few days with you guys?” She snorted.
“No. We thought you might enjoy the luxury of Pasadena’s wonderful sidewalks. Of course you can stay.”
I hung up and moved from the table. Crouching in front of Patrick, I smiled and tousled his dark hair. “I’m going out of town for a few days but I’ll be back. I promise. Practice your guitar while I’m gone okay? We can pick it back up when I get home.” I always made it a point to reassure my brother I was coming back whenever I went away. Maybe it was because I had my own abandonment issues. Mostly I decided it was because he reminded me of myself at that age and I hated to think he would ever feel unwanted or neglected. If he could count on just one person to always be there for him, it was me.
My mom walked in just as I was about to head for the stairs.
“Where are you going?” I turned around arching an eyebrow at her. “Pasadena. I’m visiting Mel and Amy for a few days. Problem?” She closed her eyes and sighed. For a tiny, miniscule moment, I felt bad for her. But it was a fleeting moment.
“No, of course not. How long will you be gone?”
I shrugged. “A few days. I’m staying with them.”
She nodded before hurrying over to me and wrapping me in a tight hug. I stood kind of rigid. I still wasn’t overly comfortable with being affectionate with her. It just didn’t feel right. In the spirit of keeping things nice for my brother, I hugged her back. “Drive carefully and call when you get there.” I gave her a reassuring smile.
I packed my overnight bag, stuffed it into the storage compartment of my monster and straddled it. God I’d missed riding. I’d been working so much lately I’d hardly had a chance to take my own baby for a spin. Ten hours on the road was going to be bliss. Pasadena, brace yourself. Here I come.
I’d barely climbed off the monster when I was ambushed by a squealing little brunette. If I wasn’t so damned stocky, she could easily have knocked me on my ass. Wrapping her arms around me tightly, Amy grinned.
“Oh it is so good to see you. Happy Thanksgiving!”
I laughed and hugged her back.
“It’s barely Thanksgiving anymore Amy. It’s like, eleven in the evening. It took me eight hours to get here. Lucky for you the roads are so clear since it’s the holidays. But you called and asked me to come, so here I am.” I had to practically pry her off of me.
“Amy, get off of me. You’re crushing my ribs and I can’t breathe.” She giggled and released me. I took in a big gulp of air in relief. The apartment building still caught me off guard. It was enormous. Amy’s dad really loved his baby girl. I nodded toward the door. “Where’s Mel?”
“She’s inside watching t.v. She said, and I quote, if mascara boy wants to see me, he can haul
ass up here. I’m not going down three flights of stairs just to climb back up again.” I snorted a laugh. Typical Mel.
I grabbed my bag and secured my motorcycle. Amy and Mel lived in a decent neighborhood but I wasn’t taking any chances with my baby. We walked into the lobby and I indicated to Amy that I’d rather take the stairs.
“Oh yeah, I forgot. You’re afraid of the evil elevator.” I gave her a playful nudge. “I’m not afraid of the elevator. It’s the horrible plummeting to my death that kinda turns me off.” She laughed hard as we climbed the stairs to her floor.
“So how are things with you guys?”
She bit her lip and grinned at me.
“That good huh?”
“I’ve never been this happy Ollie. Seriously, she’s amazing and we’re more than just a couple; we’re friends. We’re happy hanging out and just being together. It’s awesome.”
I couldn’t help but smile back at her as she beamed at me. If I’m honest, I was jealous. Amy and Mel were deliriously happy, I mean it should have been illegal to be that loved up but I wished I could have had the same. My heart gave a painful thud.
Forget her Ollie.
I could hear the tv from the hallway. Mel had a bad habit of turning up the volume to piss off their neighbor Bryn. He seemed like an okay guy but Mel insisted he was an asshole. I’d never seen it myself. He always seemed so pleasant and nice to her. I sometimes got the feeling he was into her though. But with Amy, being a possessive and jealous nut job with access to kitchen knives, I decided to keep it to myself. Too messy.
We got inside and I dumped my bag on the hall floor. Making my way to the living room, I grinned when I saw Nick and Eric sitting on the couch with Mel. They were watching the game on TiVo and yelling obscenities at the tv.
“No! Fuck. Well, this game officially sucks ass now.” Nick got up and came over to give me one of his ‘it’s strictly manly’ pats on the back.
“Hey dude. How’s it going?”
I patted him back and shrugged. “Okay I guess. Hey Eric, get me one of those will you?” I pointed at the crate of beers nestled between his and Mel’s feet. She immediately moved them away from him.
“Gotta greet the hostess first.”
I rolled my eyes and Eric stifled a laugh. “I did, Amy and I had a wonderful hug and hello. Your lazy ass couldn’t lift itself off the couch to come see me.”
“Damn right! Mascara boy!”
“Get your fat ass up of the couch and give me a hug.”
She grinned and grabbed a beer from the crate. Rounding the black finish wooden coffee table, she launched herself at me, gripping me tight around the neck.
“Hey rock star. We’ve missed you in Cali. How you been?” I shrugged and took the bottle of Bud from her. “Okay I guess. I’ve been working a lot and spending time with Patrick. I’m teaching him to play guitar. He’s actually pretty good. He still talks about you ya know.” She smiled and made an ‘Aww’ sound.
“He’s so fucking cute I was completely serious. One day, I will steal him away.”
I shook my head and smiled at her. “I bet you would. So what did you guys do today?”
Amy came out of the kitchen and offered me some of the nuts she had put in a bowl.
“Not much. We went to my parents’ house for dinner then came back here to kick back with these two douchebags.” Eric shot her a wounded look but said nothing. I chuckled and slumped myself on the couch beside him. I downed my beer in two big gulps. I was exhausted. The scene at my mom’s place and then the drive down had really taken it out of me. I leaned back on the couch and began to doze when the phone rang and woke me. Amy darted for it and as she answered, she gave me an anxious look.