Chapter 5.12


August & Beau, Briar: 39, Lexie: 22, Brayden Blackwell-Day: 3, Darius: 32, Seth: 65 Siobhan: 63 (and yes, Winter and Pax are dead now. Ghosts in my game. ;D )


I’d been working on this animation project for weeks. I’d even brought some of it home with me. As my Uncle Darius always complained, I was basically married to work. I’d been living with him and his wife, Bernadette,  ever since I started college four years ago because:

  1. Two dads who were always hot for each other made me very uncomfortable. It was bad enough I had to suffer through their honeymoon phase, shuffling between my mom’s and their penthouse. But once they got a kid? I was out of there.
  2. Mom was just as bad since she got married to Jack. He moved here a few years ago since he was a lawyer and could basically live anywhere. He popped the question and now, yeah. Make out city. I was so done with all the smoochy stuff floating around me. And for some reason, I wasn’t interested in dating. Not after Cory. I mean, who could measure up to him? No one. Plus, I didn’t have time. With all my art classes, computer projects, plus a side job working at a comic book store, I was not about to shoehorn in a boyfriend. And then I landed my dream job at Chicken Tooth Animation Studio and the rest is history.

Yeah, I was pretty much living like a nun. A 3-D animator nun.

I’d been meaning to move out, but hey, the rent was free and I was too cheap and lazy to get my butt out the door to look for a place. (And I hated thinking about what kind of cockroach infested apartment I could afford in this city.)


Thinking back to my little brother, I’d never forget how ecstatic my uncle and Dad were when my dad’s cousin, Lacey Day (my Great Uncle Eli’s daughter), surprised them with the opportunity to be their surrogate. I thought they were going to rip off each others’ clothing right there. OMG!


I’d never seen such a beautiful woman. Talk about good genes. It seemed she’d just split with her cheating husband of nine years and needed some money. My grandmother put the idea into her mind and she said yes! Cousin Lacey had a nine year old son, Camden, which was an easy birth. (God, I had cousins out the ears on my dad’s side.)


Long story short, a procedure, nine months, and many fretful nights from Uncle Beau’s worrying, out popped a son, Brayden (who was now three years old). He was such a cutie pie. I didn’t mind babysitting for them.


Even though my brother could be a little monster from time to time.


Both Uncle Beau and Dad loved him so much. And sometimes, I felt a bit jealous since I totally missed out on those growing up years with Dad.


But those awful feelings didn’t last very long because I was mostly happy for the kid.



Brayden wasn’t going to be my only sibling, though. Just the other day, I was visiting Mom when I walked in on the two love birds. (I had a knack of doing that for some reason!)


Mom waved her hands like a banshee and gushed, “Guess who’s going to have a baby?” They’d been trying since they tied the knot. Mom was really old for a mother now.


I arched an eyebrow and said, “Of course, Mom. You’ve had that pooch for about a month.” I was thrilled for her, though, even though she was going to be a granny when the kid was my age.

She laughed at my joke then Jack went in for another kiss.

Omg, people. There’s bedrooms for that kind of stuff. It didn’t matter how old I get, I seriously don’t like watching my parents get it on.


Zoning into the present, I slapped my hands on my computer desk. Grr!

Trying to get this computer to obey me was like pulling teeth. I sighed. Then my phone buzzed. Saved from death by annoyance.



“Lex!” my Brindleton bff, Gabby Cook’s voice rang in my ear. “We’re here! Let us up.”

Damn. I totally forgot Gabby and Mariana Sala were coming into town. The reason I forgot? They practically forced me into saying yes to going to a Heartthrob concert. They both would fly out every time the boy band would come to San Myshuno.

Do NOT get me wrong. I’m no Throbber–what’s a Throbber? You know, those weird, maniacle teenyboppers who cry and worship at the feet of five twenty-something, over fluffed guys. They were all chosen based on looks, not talent, so yeah. Not a fan.

I clicked the button and said, “You’re buzzed.”


In a few minutes, Gabby burst into my room. “Oh my LORD, Lex. What the hell are you wearing? You CANNOT be seen looking like that. It isn’t done, my dude. Isn’t done.”

“What? This is my sexiest outfit.”


“Heheheheh…um, Lexie…that is soooo not sexy. Let us into your sanctuary, babe.”


“Aw, c’mon. I know you’ve got good stuff in there.”

“Yeah, Lex,” Mariana chimed in. “This is your first outing and we might get to meet them!”

Snapping, Gabby said, “Straight up! My cousin is going to get us an in with them. We totally could meet THE HEARTTHROBS! Okay…let me at it. Now, girl, before I have to get my ugly on.”

Rolling my eyes and sighing, I relented. “Fine. But I approve before you touch.”

My sanctuary was my huge closet full of thousands of dollars worth of cosplay costumes. Dresses, boots, stilettos, wigs, you name it, I owned it. But some of that stuff was so trampy, I’d never wear it out (well, except at an anime con.)


After several wardrobe changes, we finally agreed on this ensemble. “Lexie, I do NOT know why you won’t wear contacts. Those glasses hide that barbie doll face of yours, hon.”


“I like her in glasses,” Mariana defended.

“Thanks, Mariana,” I said. “Gabs, I feel like I’m walking around naked without them. Just be thankful I’m allowing this. I’m only using these cosplay contacts just this once. They’re kind of scratchy. I hate it.”


“Well, you look like an A Plus Throbber,” Gabby sang.

“Great,” I said, trying hard not to gag.

“Just think. We’re going to meet some famous guys. Maybe we’ll get them to autograph our boobs.” Gabby waggled her eyebrows. “Wouldn’t that be fun?”

“Yeah,” Mariana cheered with a strange look in her eye.

Throbbers. They were the weirdest fandom ever.

“If one of them even tries to look at my boobs,” I hissed, “I’ll deck ’em.”



Wading in a sea of overmade, oversexed teenagers, we milled toward the front. Gabby showed off the front row tickets nearly sticking her tongue out at some of these maniacs as they threw scary darts from their jealous eyes.

I stared at how narcissistic these guys were. I mean, we could see them on the stage, right? Why did they have a huge, 100 foot banner of them right behind? It just didn’t make sense visually to me. And then giant, pink stuffed animal teddy bears loomed over us as decorations. Creepy.

Omg…I couldn’t believe my friends who had grown ass jobs actually were throwing themselves, screaming to tunes like Baby, Baby, Oh Baby, Baby, Baby Love.

Brilliant writing. Right?


Now their dancing wasn’t half bad. I had to admit it. In fact, I’d think I’d died and gone to heaven if I could pull off some of the girations these clowns did. No way was this awkward body ever going to be able to do that.


So, I ignored the cheesy props, cheesy lyrics, and well a whole boatload of cheesy screaming fans and just concentrated on enjoying their dancing.


Then I noticed one of the guys bebopping around in a cute, trendy hat and chic glasses.


My heart seemed to jolt right through my body.

It was like I knew him. Like something was telling me he had some sort of weird connection to me. I mean, I had no idea what this strange feeling was but it was a knowledge. I didn’t know, but it was there like a magnet pulling at my heart.

And then I couldn’t look at anyone else.

He was…



And I found myself screaming right along with all the nutjobs around me.


I’d never tell the guys at the office. They’d laugh me to death.


James Sanderson (lead singer of The Heartthrobs)

Just one more hour of sweat, aching muscles, tight throat, squeezing lungs from dancing AND singing, and ear splitting screaming from a whole host of teenaged girls jumping and crying.

I fucking needed a break.


And I’d get one. Just had to gut through this performance. I was going on a six week sabbatical soon.


The lights of the city streamed down beyond the huge, raucous crowd. I did enjoy San Myshuno. The fast pace. The food. The shopping.


Normally, I liked hanging out with my bros, but lately, I’d been feeling stressed out. I was the main producer. The one everyone looked to for inspiration.


But after a six month tour, I was lights out. Nothing creative was coming from me. I’d been reading a self help book about “reimaging”, getting away from everything, and just giving yourself a break from normal life. It sounded radical, but something had to give or I was going to find myself checking out, quitting the band, and sinking into depression.


When I was first chosen to lead The Heartthrobs, I thought all my dreams had come true. Money. Fame. Girls. Yeah, mostly girls. But I found the opposite was true. It was like I’d been handcuffed to work with little time for anything more than sleep, writing and producing songs, constant rehearsals of dance numbers…the list went on.


Only two more songs…that’s what I kept telling myself. And then it was vacation time. A time to hide out and enjoy life incognito.

I couldn’t wait.

















Next chapter Monday, June 4th

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Chapter 5.11


“But I don’t want to leave,” I whined into Cory’s warm shirt like a petulant child. How could I say good-bye? It literally made me feel ill. I mean…this was not how we were supposed to break up. One of us was going to get tired of the other or we’d start fighting and throw cuss words at each other or…we’d live happily ever after, making tons of cute blonde and brunette babies. And if one of the rotten munchkins messed up at all, we’d say it was the others’ fault like a funny, cute old couple.

But no.

It was like someone was about to rip off one of my fingernails. Pure torture.


He tried to comfort me like always. “Listen, Lex, I’m sure we’ll go to the same college and that’s only two years from now. So, it’s not forever good bye.”


I sniffed. “But you’re going to find another girl who’s way prettier and smarter and who won’t fall over her big feet all the time.”


Stroking my cheek, he said, “There’s no one prettier or smarter than you. And I like catching you when you fall.” He blinked then said, “If we’re meant to be, Lexie, it’ll happen.”


“You sound like my uncle.”

“Well, it’s true.”

Tears pooled in my eyes. “And if we’re not meant to be?”


Eyes glittering, he whispered, “Then I got the privilege of knowing the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl who I love more than myself.”


He gave me a salty kiss as our glasses clinked but I didn’t care.


And then both of us cried for a bit until my mom called for me.


“Bye,” I said as our hands parted. It was like a ribbon that attached us was snipped by some evil scissors.


I knew I’d never see him again.





I wanted to be bitter. To blame Uncle Beau and my father for ripping me away from Cory, but as the weeks passed, and I saw how happy they were together, I couldn’t stay mad.

Fast forward to their tiny wedding, and I wholeheartedly was a fan.


The pure love I saw in my dad’s eyes made me extremely happy.


I hoped one day, I’d find someone who’d love me the same way.


My mother burst into tears when Uncle Beau said his vows.


It was such an awesome day that I couldn’t even crack one joke about it.

Now that’s saying something!


Congratulations, Mr. & Mr. Blackwell-Day.

My two dads.




















Next chapter Wednesday, May 30th

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Chapter 5.10


My life wasn’t a goofy, bubblegum, teen romance novel. It was a melodramatic horror story tragedy with a windstorm of angst.

I hated it.

My mom tried to talk to me, saying some crap about “protecting me from getting attached” to people she dated until she knew he was “Mr. Right”, which, by the way, was the asshole she was mugging down at the movie theater. Woo. The jerk’s name was Jack Bennington. I wanted to ask her if she thought it was a bit twisted that he looked just like Dad.


Dad went on to give some lecture about me living in my own dreamworld and that I needed to figure out that he was never meant for my mother. Uh huh. Thanks, Dad. That really made me feel better. It was like I was some big rando accident and all of their lives would have been better if I’d never been born.

I was pleasantly crying on my bed, throwing myself the best pity party of the century (I had a right to do this, you know…) when Uncle Beau knocked on my door.

“Dammit, just leave me alone!” I cried.

But my uncle never took hints. Even in-your-face yelling, so I felt him jiggle my bed while I tried to ignore his presence.


“Baby girl, I owe you a huge apology.”

Sniffing, I asked, “What? That you like to fuck my dad? I already knew that when I was a kid.” I wouldn’t look at him. I couldn’t.


I heard him sigh then he said, “I shouldn’t have run away from our family. I just couldn’t believe your father would really want someone like me. Not when he had your mother and you…I thought if I left, you would get your dream. And so would my sister. I honestly believed you would have that happy family you always craved and maybe a sibling or two down the road.”


Wiping my eyes, I said, “So…you left…because of me?” I knew I was the whole reason Dad  and Uncle Beau broke up. I never really wanted that to happen. Not back then anyway.


“Well, it wasn’t just about you…my sister…your mom…was in love with your father. Always had been. It was like we were rivals, vying for his love almost the whole time we’d been friends. But when we were reunited, I couldn’t make Briar sad anymore. I thought I’d lost her …and her heartache was too much for me witness…so I left. I truly wanted her happiness. And yours.

“But what I didn’t realize and honestly didn’t believe in was fate. But I do now.”


I looked at him, glaring. “Oh, please don’t give me ‘it was fate’ crap or I swear, I’ll throw things.”


“Hey, I never believed in it either, Lexie, but…I do now. How can you explain how someone like your father would love me all this time? Even when I ran away and dated other people. It’s been six years. Six! We’re meant to be and neither me nor him nor you nor my sister can stop it. We should have gotten married right away back then. I regret that, but I can’t change the past.”

I shook my head. “So was it fate that brought me into the world?”

“Yes! Especially you, Lexie. You’re the best thing that’s happened to our family. My sister and your father were meant to be together in that special moment of time for, if nothing else, to bring you into this world. I have no doubt about that now. You don’t have to believe it. It’s not something I can talk you into. It’s faith. You either have it or you don’t. But I know there’s someone out there for you who has been chosen just for you and nothing you do or don’t do will stop that relationship from happening. Mark my words.”


I sat there with my mouth open like a fish flung out of the water and didn’t say anything.

Finally, Uncle Beau lifted his hand and changed the subject.”Hey…you want some ice cream? I bought your favorite–Sin City.” He flicked his fingers, beckoning. “Come on.”


Who could say no to the delicious combo of cashews, Brazil and hazel nuts swirled up in a bow with luscious sinful caramel and chocolate fudge? Not me.

My mouth watered, so I let him lead me to the ice cream trough.

Bribery was a good thing, I’d decided.

As I walked out of my bedroom, I thought about it. I mean, I loved my uncle. And inside, I wasn’t too upset about all of this because deep down, I knew my dad loved him. I’d just wanted the fantasy. I’d bought the tickets, sat in the front row, and thought for sure I’d get to watch. But the show was cancelled. Was I sad? Disappointed? YES! With dozens of exclamation points!!!!! But the consolation wasn’t too terrible.


Or so I thought.

Unfortunately, fast forward a few weeks and my parents (all three of them), sat me down to drop a bomb on Lexietown.

We were moving to San Myshuno.

I was incinerated on the spot.

I’d texted Cory that I had some bad news and to meet me at the skate park. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it was going to rain.

Just add that to my “Sucks-to-be-me” list I’d been keeping. That piece of paper was about a mile long. I was cold, shivering in the pouring sheets of rain.


I saw out of the corner of my eye my boyfriend walking toward me. I just couldn’t look at him or I’d burst into a puddle of tears and the whole place would flood.

“Lexie? Are you okay?” he asked. Why didn’t fate want me to be with him? I finally found someone who I loved being around. Hell, I’d never had any boy like me so just that fact made him obscenely perfect even without his self-sacrificing-knight-in-shining-armor qualities.


“I’m moving.” There. I said it.


“Where?” Cory asked.

His face made me wince. Why did he have to look so sad? It was like I’d kicked a helpless kitten. I tried to change my parents’ minds and make them stay. It was just for two more years! But they were adamant that they should have left a long time ago and they weren’t waiting one more month.

I was doomed.


“To San Myshuno,” I answered. “My folks are from that city. All my family lives there, too, so, yeah…it sucks.” The rain seemed to pick up right after I said “sucks”. Thanks, God. Way to make my life even more miserable.


Suddenly, the rain stopped pelting me. I looked up to see my sweet boyfriend giving me a half smile and reaching his hand out all the while letting the umbrella shield me while he got drenched.


“Come here,” he said. He didn’t whine at me about how life bites or tell me he was out of his mind miserable at the news. He just simply held out a comforting hand and kept the rain from soaking me even further.


I stared at his hand. It was a hand I wanted to hold me for the rest of my life. I felt that way only in that moment and probably wouldn’t feel that way again. So, I didn’t want what was going to happen once I took it because I knew I’d have to say good-bye to him.


But he didn’t take it back.

Biting my lip, I grasped his fingers and looked into his eyes. My vision blurred.

The sky darkened as I heard thunder rumble in the distance.


Pulling me toward him, he said, “Don’t be sad.” Then he kissed me trying to make me feel better.

In that moment, I prayed that somehow God would work a miracle of fate. That Cory and I could be together forever one day.

If Uncle Beau could believe in fate, why couldn’t I?



















Chapter 5.9


Warning: sexual content

For UNCENSORED PAGE click here



Cory and I took our sweet little time going to the movies. That was my idea. I did NOT want to go home and “visit” with my uncle. I wanted to make out in a dark theater with my so-cute-I-can’t-stand-it boyfriend. So I begged Cory to take me to the dog park for a little while until the 8 pm showing started.

As the moon rose over our little theater, I smiled. The awful events of the worst day in the history of Alexis Bianca Day’s life seemed to melt away.


And then I saw Mom and Dad making out on the sidewalk right in front of me as Cory got our tickets.


I blinked, arching an eyebrow. So…no wonder they’d been smiling at each other so much lately. They were a thing! A couple! And they didn’t want to get my hopes up so they hid it until the big reveal.

Aww…how ADORBS!


Throwing his arm around her, Dad cooed in Mom’s ear. Could they be SO GROSS and yet so awesome at the same time?


As they ducked into the theater, I had to do some spying on them so I hit Cory’s back and said, “I’ll meet you inside!”


Spotting them in the crowd, I weaved through bodies until I caught up.


But as I got a closer look, it felt as if they both kicked me in the gut. “Shit,” I hissed.

“Hey, babe, want some popcorn?” Cory asked. “Butter is calling your name.”


That imposter was not my father. My mom…was dating someone else. And she didn’t even have the decency to tell me about it.


Reality slammed me hard. All of a sudden my face heated up as my eyes watered. “Cory,” I rasped. “Take me home.”




When Beau arrived, he gave me an awkward hug then didn’t mince words. He motioned to the couch for us to talk.

God, I didn’t want to hear what he had to say, but I figured I might as well get it over with so I did as he asked.

Twiddling his fingers, he started, “Um…so, I’ve been thinking a lot about…us.”


Us. I hadn’t heard that word in years. “I thought ‘us’ died out a long time ago,” I said bitterly.


“I know, August, and I-I’m sorry. I just…I couldn’t take it.”

“Couldn’t take what? My family? Lexie? The fact that I’d always be tied to Briar? Save your breath, Beau, I’ve heard it from you before.”


God I didn’t want to do this again. Was he going to apologize for what happened to us then lay me out with the fact that he was now engaged to someone else? I was the one who couldn’t take it. “Is this leading somewhere because if it isn’t, you’re wasting my time? I honestly don’t want to hear it, Beau.”

He sighed, fooling with his fingers again.


“I just…” he stopped then took a deep breath.

Get it the fuck over with already, I thought.


“As you know, I’ve been dating Bucky Hollister, the big Starlight Shores producer.”

“Yeah? So?” Why the hell did I have to sound like a huge bitter asshole? Here it was…the confession of his engagement. I braced myself.


“So…I mean…well, he asked me to marry him.”

I let out the breath I was holding. This was it. The end of “us” for good. I had to get over him, but damn. It hurt. Hurt like someone just ran me over with a semi. I willed the tears not to prick my eyes, but they didn’t listen.


He slipped his hand over mine. “And I said no.”


I thought I didn’t hear him correctly. “What?”


“I’ve been running away from you all this time, August, and I’m sorry. You can kick me out and tell me to go to hell, but…I just…” He shrugged and swallowed, squeezing my hand.  “I love you…I will always love you. If you want me to leave you alone, I will, but I just can’t do it anymore. I want us again. I’ll do anything to make it up to you. I know I don’t deserve it, but…I really want another chance.” He hung his head and whispered, “Please.”

Stunned, I sat there processing what he’d just said.


And then like a tidal wave crashing over me, relief, joy, anguish consumed me and I grabbed him, not being able to say a word. I cried like a fucking baby into his shoulder.



My Beau was back.




Could my life get any crappier? First Emery Straud not only stole my best friend, but she pitched me down a flight of stairs. Then when I thought things might be looking up, my mother stabs me in the back with some tall, blonde Dad wannabe. I told Cory I was sorry and I’d make it up to him. Like the sweet person he was, he told me not to worry about it and that he’d check up on me later. He was the warm bright sun after a cold, dark rainstorm. Unfortunately, Hurricane Lexie-Day’s-Life was still pounding.

And then I walked into my house.

I couldn’t fucking believe it.


My dad was doing my uncle in our living room!



“Oh. My. GOD!”












Next chapter Wednesday, May 23rd

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Chapter 5.8


“Damn, I’m getting old,” I thought to myself as I combed my hair in the mirror. I had to get ready quickly. I was picking Beau up from the airport in an hour.


And I shouldn’t have felt old at only 32, but I did. Ever since Beau and I’d separated, I thought Briar and I would naturally get together.


But that didn’t happen.

Not that I didn’t try. Hell, we even went out on a few dates.


Lexie was over the moon with that even though we’d thought we kept it secret.

“Oh. My. GOD!” she squealed.


“I’m not dreaming. Pinch me, please. Oh, wait! Don’t mind me. If you need to stay out all night like at a hotel or something, I will be JUST FINE!”

“Lexie…” I groaned at her.

“Just ignore,” Briar said in a hushed tone beside me, but I could tell she was embarrassed.

Our daughter. I smiled inside. She could always make us laugh.

She went on, “Go for it, guys! This is your last chance before you turn REALLY old!”

Lexie was my treasure. I didn’t want to disappoint her.


But when we’d kissed on the second date, I just knew it wasn’t going to work.


Honestly, I felt like I was kissing my sister by that time. We’d been living like that for so long.



She felt exactly the same way. Thankfully.



Sighing, I trimmed my beard as tingles jumped around my stomach the way they always did when Beau visited.


I’d never get over him.

Sure…I’d wanted to. Even ran the gambit of girls (and guys) here in Brindleton Bay, but because of Lexie, I just wouldn’t bring anyone home.




And so, each relationship fizzled out.


No one could compare to what I’d had with Beau. Why wouldn’t he give us a chance? Allow us to move Lexie to Starlight Shores, if that’s what it took? Briar said she’d do it. But his crazy jealous fears swallowed him whole.

Over the years, he’d been in and out of relationships. I tried not to care. I even acted interested when he’d visit and talk about some hairdresser or actor or stunt double he was dating.


I was being “adult” about the whole thing, but inside I wanted to fly to Starlight Shores, punch out whomever he was dating then sweep him in my arms and force him to see reason. Silly, I know.

He’d called me last night, saying he wanted to talk to me. He wouldn’t tell me what it was about. I worried that he was engaged and he wanted to tell me first so I wouldn’t get sucker punched when Briar told me.

Big of him.

I tied my hair back since he liked it loose. I’d never wear it like that in front of him. Petty? Yeah. So sue me.


I hated sounding bitter, but that was how I felt. I tried getting past these feelings, but something inside me just wouldn’t move on.


Maybe it was this godforsaken town. I vowed I’d move as soon as Lexie graduated. Briar needed her privacy and God knew I needed mine. I was destined to become like my Pongan uncles. I guessed there could be worse things in this world. At least I had my daughter.



Beau’s flight was delayed so he said he’d take a youber over instead of me picking him up. I decided to play on the piano a little while I waited to get out the nervous jitters.

I heard the door shut behind me. “Hey, sweetheart!” I called out.


Bouncing up from the piano bench, I asked, “How was your day?” Then gave her a huge hug.


She shrugged, mumbled something about going on a date then sauntered upstairs. She didn’t look excited to go out.

When her boyfriend came over, I ignored him and lectured her. She’d only been dating the little guy for about a month but I knew all too well how horny teenaged guys were. “So, you’re coming straight home after the movies, right? Uncle Beau is coming in town and it’d be rude if you missed seeing him tonight.”


Cory interjected, “Yes, sir. The movie is only about an hour and a half. I’ll make sure we come straight back.”


I turned on him, using my height to intimidate. I knew exactly what was percolating in that foul mind of his. “Just make sure you treat her with respect,” I said in as deep a voice as I could muster.

“Oh, Dad, don’t be such a neanderthal,” Lexie said. “Cory is the best boyfriend ever.”


Without missing a beat, I added with a glare, “Got it?” He knew exactly what I meant. I would never allow my daughter to go out with someone like me. If he tried anything, I’d wipe the floor with him, so I wanted to make that crystal clear.


I think it worked. The guy’s voice squeaked, “Y-Yes, sir. Of course.”


“Oh my God, Dad,” Lexie protested. “Come on, Cory, before he handcuffs you and sends you to jail until we’re 30.”

“Hey…that’s not a bad idea,” I joked.

“Good bye, Mr. Day,” Cory added as Lexie grabbed his ass.


“Watch your hands, Lex.”


Sighing, she said, “Bye, Dad.” And dragged the kid out the door.


I shook my head.


















Having to go to two updates a week.

Next chapter Monday, May 21st

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Chapter 5.7


I could NOT believe it.

Emery the-Brindleton-Bay-High-clique-queen was at it again, using my bff, Serenity Grzenda, to do her homework. Serenity loved the attention. I couldn’t blame her. Hanging around someone like me wouldn’t get you street cred. I was that “weird girl” who loved anime and did cosplay for kicks. I’d get “weeaboo” thrown at me on a daily basis. Mostly by guys whom I wanted to punch but didn’t because I wasn’t my dad. He could kick someone’s ass in like five seconds but me? I’d inherited my mother’s athletic prowess which was basically nonexistent.

I’d warned Serenity about this piranha. As soon as Emery was done with her, she’d toss her in the trash like old fish bones.


Fuming, I tried to concentrate on the painting I was doing for art club. We were meeting at lunch every Friday. Unfortunately, Emery decided to join us.


How convenient.

But I couldn’t see my art. I only heard Emery’s syrupy whispers. For some reason all the paint turned into a distinct shade of blood red.


“You do realize your face will stay like that if you’re not careful.” Cory’s voice broke me out of my violent thoughts–mainly what it would look like if Emery’s perfect face was smashed into my fist.


“I’m sorry,” I said, “But…Emery is making me so mad. I can’t help it.”


Shrugging, Cory reasoned, “You can’t control your friends.”


Ugh. Why did he have to make so much sense?

“Concentrate on this pile of glop I’m creating instead. I need your artistic eye, Lexie. Is there any hope for it? God, I’m horrible at this.”

I knew what he was doing but it just wasn’t working.


Before I could change my mind, I found myself next to my best friend.

“Serenity,” I said, trying not to die inside just being next to Emery. “I need your help with my piece. Could you come over and take a look?” My voice blared out in a weird, unconvincing tone. Oh why couldn’t I be more like Emery–so sure of myself that everyone wanted to do my bidding?

“Not so fast, Serenity. Weren’t you going to help me?” the witch crooned.


“Er…y-you want me to help you with your art?” Serenity asked. She was like a puppy who ‘s master waved a delicious treat under her nose.

“Mmm? Oh…yes…” Bitch-for-brains never took her eyes off me. “Lexie doesn’t need your help. She only draws a bunch of cartoons anyway. There’s nothing to it.”


My nostrils flared to ten times their normal size. She did NOT just say that to me. I was going to be a computer animator one day. Art was art no matter the process. She didn’t have an artistic bone in her perfect body. “What would you know about art, you…” I stopped myself. It was social suicide if I threw down with THE Emery Straud.


“Serenity,” Emery whined, “I’m getting tired of this. Do you want to help me or not?”

Wincing, Serenity seemed caught between me, a cringeworthy geek, and the thrill of being Miss Popular’s minion. “Well…I…er…”


Then Emery switched tactics.”Oh, check this out, Serenity. I saved it on my story in CrapChat. You will LOOOOOVE it!”

And just like that, I lost my best friend.



When the bell rang, I shot one last glare at Emery. We were like two bulls facing off. She glared back only she lifted the edge of her mouth in a snarky smile. What was she up to?

Cory kissed me good-bye then slipped out of sight. I had science next period and I needed to get into my locker and grab my calculator.

As I walked toward the edge of the stairs, I felt hands push me.

“Oh no!” Serenity cried.


Helplessly, my body sailed downward as my heart literally stopped.

“Emery, you BITCH,” was the last thing I thought when the floor rushed at me.


My body crunched painfully as I tumbled down some stairs and onto the floor. I didn’t even know some body parts existed, but they screamed at me at that moment. I wouldn’t move for fear that appendages would bend at strange angles. And I was a total baby when it came to blood. Especially my own.


“Are you okay?” came a quiet voice whom I thought was Serenity’s. “Yeah. Your ho did this to me. You really want to hang with her?” I yelled in my head.

Dusting off my knees (No broken bones!), I went to grab her hand.


But it wasn’t Serenity’s.

“That was a nasty fall. Do you need to go to the nurses office?”


I looked into Naomi Escobar’s face. President of the student body, nicest person anyone could ever meet. She was a cross between a St. Bernard and Mother Theresa. There could have been worse people to save me.

“No, I’m fine. T-Thank you,” I said, although my ass was crying out in pain. Maybe scarfing down that tub of icecream the other day had its uses.



Mortified, I felt as if everyone for the rest of the day was snickering. My flailing body was the butt of every joke I’d heard whispered through the halls and in every class. Did anyone say anything against my assailant? No. Word was I’d tripped because, you know, geeks were spastic doofuses, always stumbling over their own shoelaces.

As soon as I saw Cory, he came over to me and held my face. “God, are you okay? I heard you tripped down the stairs.”


My throat pinched. Even he’d heard the ridiculous rumors. It was so humiliating. “Bitchtastic pushed me.”

“Are you sure, Lex? I mean…that’s totally…whack.”

A tear dribbled down my cheek as he wiped it off with his thumb. I nodded.


Pulling me toward him, he said, “God, I’m sorry. We should tell Principal Jenson. She’ll get her ass tossed off the cheer squad.”

I cried into his shoulder. “No. Then she’ll have her fucktwats jump me when I walk home. Let’s just leave it.”

“Okay…” Hugging me, he said, “Listen, let’s go out tonight. Just us. The Revengers, Eternity Combat is out.”

I shook my head, sniffing. “Everyone dies. I’d go into depression for five hundred years.”

“Spoilers, Lexie,” he whispered, rubbing my back.



He kissed my cheek. “That’s okay. I kinda figured that from all the odes to fill-in-the-blank superheroes I saw on Fumblr.”

“Well, who freaking waits two weeks to see the movie of the century?”

He chuckled. “Yeah. My bad…hey…let’s see another movie. I’ll even watch one of those awful, cheesy rom coms you blab about.”

I perked up. “Really?”

He snorted. “Yeah…but only because you almost died. This is a one time deal.”

“I’ll take it.” I squeezed him tight, thanking God I had the best boyfriend on the planet. Snotty Bitch Straud couldn’t even say that.


















Next chapter Wednesday, May 16th

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Chapter 5.6


“Aack, Lex!” my other best friend, Serenity Grzenda, squealed. “How are you not freaking out that Cory might break something?”

My friends and I were hanging out with Cory’s friends. They were like these professional skateboarders. Or at least that’s what it looked like to us. They all were a cross between Simmy Hawk and that flying tomato guy from the olympics.

“Yeah,” Gabby chimed in. “I’m biting my nails watching this. I can’t believe they all haven’t broken at least seventeen bones.”


Cory jumped up on top of a rail in front of us. He teetered so much, he looked like he was going to face plant at any moment.


I couldn’t help it. My maternal instincts took over and I yelled, “Do you have a death wish, Cory? I would like to have a boyfriend for more than like two weeks.”

In a non-chalant way, Cory glanced at me as he sailed over the pipe and said, “Don’t worry, Lexie. I’m good.”


At that moment, his friends totally missed the ramp and did a nose dive into the concrete.


We all groaned in unison, but then Cory’s friend, Wyatt, waved his hand at us and acted like he “meant” to use the cement as his own personal kleenex.



Just then, Cory came over and asked, “Want to skate with me, Lexie? You brought your board. Right?”


I arched an eyebrow. “So, are you done trying to dance with death? Looks like Wyatt got a nosebleed. Blood looks good on him, but I don’t think it’s your color.”

He laughed. “Aww…you’re cute when you worry about me.”


Lifting the side of my mouth, I said, “Who says I’m worried? I just don’t want to have to take your ass to the hospital.” When his face fell, I grinned to let him know I was kidding. He often mistook what I thought was witty sarcasm for reality.


Throwing me a sheepish grin, he pulled out his phone. “I totally don’t do anything really dangerous. See, look at these maniacs. I could only wish I was this good.”


My eyes popped. I realized there was a whole world out there full of crazier idiots than my boyfriend. Who knew?

But then he started giving me that look. You know, the one that pureed me into a puddle of Lexie goo. I could stare into his baby browns all night.


Eyebrows raised, he said, “Come on, Lexie. Let’s go.”


He grabbed my hand and we skated, leaving my friends. All my anxieties about him getting perpetual strawberries all over his face, arms…well…body, flew away with the Brindleton Bay breeze. A warm hand can do that, you know.


I noticed Wyatt screaming at the moon like a frustrated werewolf. Poor guy. His nose had grown three sizes since his last wipeout.


Something I noticed as we zipped around the park: that cheesy pose from The Titanic was way less goofy when doing it with your boyfriend (on a shared skateboard). And without the impending (SPOILER ALERT, FOLKS) death as a melodramatic backdrop.


I couldn’t get this out of my mind–Me, Lexie Day, had a boyfriend! I wanted to shout it on top of all the lighthouses. Well, maybe just rub it in that bitch-for-brains diva, Emery Straud’s, face. Girl would not stop giving me crap. She’d been making fun of me since I was eight years old. But now, I didn’t care about her bullying. I had Cory who thought I was cool. Well…maybe at least semi-cool. Okay, fine. Awkward but lovable.

We took a break and rested in the middle of the park. I couldn’t stop grinning. My life was a goofy, bubblegum, teen romance novel and I loved it!



“Are you sure you don’t want to sit on the bench? I can make my friends leave,” Cory said. He was so sweet!!!

Patting his knee, I shook my head. “I love it right here. We can watch the moon rise. The benches are too close to the ramps to see it.”


Wrapping his arm around me, he said, “I didn’t know you were a romantic. I like it.”

Leaning into him, I threatened, “Tell anyone and I’ll force you to go to my art club tomorrow.” Cory hated art. He loved music, but made fun of my incessant anime doodling.


He kissed my ear then whispered, “I’ll go with you to art club tomorrow even though your secret is safe.”

Aww…did I somehow acquire a rabbit’s foot, four leaf clover, and horseshoe all at once or something? How did I get this lucky?

The moon was covered by clouds, but it didn’t matter. We cuddled in that romantic setting anyway.























I’m in full move lunacy! That means I won’t have another update until next Monday.

Next chapter Monday, May 14th

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Chapter 5.5





If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Dad was going to pop the question right now. It only took fifteen years and loads of prayers, but hey, I’d take what I could get.


Mom and Dad grinned at each other, not saying anything. Had no clue what the hell was going on, but it had to be something amazing. Right?


Earlier, we’d taken a family selfie. I was definitely going to frame it because, man, they STILL had that annoying family portrait in our living room of Dad, Mom, Uncle Beau and my goofy anklebiter self. I mean, hello, that was six years ago, people. Time to update. I’m like a giant now. (Kind of don’t like how I inherited all of Dad’s uggo traits like his huge Pongan size and lips to match. I mean, who wants to tower over the boys? Not me.)


I remembered like it was yesterday when Uncle Beau moved out. I kind of freaked because I truly loved him and was upset he was leaving. But after a little while, I liked it. We’d always go on walks right outside our house. We lived by the docks on the bay side. Way cooler than that catlady’s house or the bachelor pad my Dad and Uncle Beau used to live in.


I could tell Mom and Dad were getting close even then, and I wished every night they’d get together one day. Like married together.


Uncle Beau visited for a while from time to time (still did), but things had changed. He wasn’t draping himself over Dad anymore. They didn’t even kiss. Nothing. So yeah.

And then he’d leave and we’d go back to being that typical American family. Okay, well, almost typical. Parents didn’t have rings on their fingers and yeah, they never, like, held hands or anything, but it felt great. Something I needed back then.


And now they were just giggling about something. A secret between the two of them. I figured they’d clue me in sooner or later. Parents lived for making their kid’s dreams come true.

I could wait.



“Oh my God…don’t look now, but your awkward nightmare boyfriend is about to stroll over here,” my bestie, Gabby Cook, said.

Slurping down my delicious rainbow splizz, I mumbled, “He’s not my boyfriend, Gabs.” And he was no nightmare. If you cross pollinated a cinnamon roll with cutie pie actor Ham Tolland, you got Cory Clavane. But I didn’t want to say that to Gabby. She was in her hater phase at the moment. She always got like this after a big break up. Unlike me, she had guys zinging around her like flies. But I get one fly and she was ready to swat him into a pile of guts.


Okay, so I let it slip two years ago what happened in computers. We were Freshman. How did I know goofy Cory who sat by me was going to turn into handsome Cory two years later? I about died one million deaths when our twenty-something teacher proclaimed us “Ship Cexie”.


“Don’t believe me?” he crooned. “All my ships sail. Haven’t lost one yet.”


I whispered to the girl next to me, “Poke a needle in my eye if I ever date someone like Cory Clavane.”

Not a pretty moment in my past. I admit. But what do you expect from a dumb Freshman?


That whole Freshman year, Cory and I got to know each other and became friends. Fast forward to last week, we were hanging out. I liked him a lot because he had a strange family like I did (his mom basically banged a hot boy band guy–forget his name because that was like a gazillion years ago–and took off pregnant with Cory. So he didn’t know his father. I, on the other hand, had parents coming out of my ears. We laughed a lot about it.) And he shared my obsession with anime. I mean, that was like such a game changer. Most guys would never touch it. Too girly? But we both got into this one that was about a class full of superheros. Kind of cliche but it had some kick ass fight scenes.

“So, did you see last night’s episode?” I asked him, pulling up my Anime app. “I like watched it five times.”


Trying to find the latest episode of Your Hero School, I felt a buzz on my skin. You know, when someone was staring at you, it’s like your whole body was set on fire.


But before I could process what was happening, Cory kissed my cheek!


Shocked, I jerked my head up. “You did not just kiss me,” I said without thinking.


God, I was always saying stuff first before my brain could catch up.

“Sorry,” he said, wincing and turning his head away from me.

I was dying inside. My face felt like I’d put it into a fire pit and I couldn’t say anything to make him feel better. It was like I was made of ice. Great. Just call me the Ice Witch of Brindleton Bay. How the hell was I ever going to start dating if I ran off every guy who thought my face wasn’t too horsy not to kiss?


That night was ruined. We didn’t talk about it later either.


Suddenly, my chest squeezed painfully from Gabby hugging the shit out of me. “Oh my God. Is that Wyatt Roth?”

Nudging my glasses up the bridge of my nose, I said, “Uh…yeah. They’re like best buds or something. How do you not know this?”


Gabby whispered, “Let me take it from here, babe. I do NOT want this fish to get away.”


So much for the hater phase. She was now in Hottie Hooking mode. Wyatt Roth, you were about to get snagged. Boy didn’t have a prayer.

She put on her best cute-girl smile and waved. “Hey, guys!”


They both went into some acapella rap about being our best baby boyfriend or some weirdness. They didn’t sound half bad either.


I snorted, laughing. They looked so funny.


Cory said, “What? No standing ovation? We’ve been practicing for the last five minutes.”

“We want to audition for Teen Idol,” Wyatt added. “This shit doesn’t get any better, ladies.”


“Shit is right,” I said, looking them up and down. Could not let it get to their heads. I liked my sweet Cory the way he was–not full of himself like the rest of the male population.

“If you two held a concert, I’d buy tickets,” Gabby gushed.

I rolled my eyes. She was laying it on thick and Wyatt was happily lapping it up.


Cory pulled me away from them and said, “Want to go skateboarding with me, Lexie?”

My stomach did a strange flip flop. And it got worse when I noticed all the cute little freckles peppering his nose.


This Ice Witch just melted. “Yeah,” I said. “Okay.”


When we got to the park, I hopped on his skateboard and was about to go ride when he wrapped his arms around my waist.

I gave him a look. “What ARE you doing?”

“Uh, um…helping you? Wouldn’t want you to fall or anything.”

Oh my God, could he get ANY cuter????


But still…I had to give him shit about it. “You know this isn’t my first rodeo. I do know how to use a skateboard.”


“Oh…okay…” he said awkwardly, pulling away.


But like the spaz I was, as soon as he let go, I slipped, falling backward. “Oh shiiiiiiiit!”


He caught me mid-flail and our eyes locked.


He pulled me upright and asked, “Are you okay?”

My mind went right into that yoga place of zen. Or maybe it was teen euphoria. Whatever it was, I was trapped in a sea of freckles and brown eyes.


He must have felt it, too, because he closed his eyes and inched toward me.

This was it! A real kiss. Not that off guard, awkward peck he laid on me the other day.


But then when he went for it, our classes clinked.


“Oh, God, I’m sorry,” he said, freaking out. “Did I hurt you? Geeze.”

I shook my head, not believing my luck. Awkward kiss number two. Ship Cexie was destined to stay docked forever at this rate.


But then I thought, “Screw it,” and I went for it anyway, laying one on him like I’d been practicing on my pillow for the past three years.


And you know what I’d decided after my first kiss ever?


I liked it.


I liked it a hella lot.















Next chapter Wednesday, May 9th

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Chapter 5.4


August asked me to go on a walk with him by the beach so we could talk about Lexie. Our little girl had been acting strange lately, suddenly crying one moment and then locking herself in our room the next. She wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. When I approached August about it, he asked to speak to me by ourselves.

As we ambled down the hill, he said, “God, I’ve missed this part of Brindleton Bay. I never get tired of walking near the ocean.”


The waves roared as they tumbled over the rocks near the sand dunes. Skittering over the beach, seabirds zipped out of our way as we neared the shore.


“So, you say Lexie hasn’t been herself lately?” he asked.


“I’ve never seen her so out of sorts, August,” I answered. “It’s making me worried. Even her teacher called to say she hasn’t been playing with her friends at school. She just sits on a bench by herself during recess.”


He nodded then said, “I guess she told Beau you were crying about me a while ago. Is that true?”

My insides flipped as my cheeks warmed. I’d explained to Lexie I was happy for August and Beau and not to think about my silliness. But reasoning with a nine year old wasn’t the best idea. I should have spoken with August myself.


“I…um…God, this is so embarrassing.” I shuddered inside having to tell him about that night. “I had a weak moment after we went to Simseyland. I…I guess I’ve just been feeling lonely lately, and she caught me crying. I tried to talk to her, but you know how she is…”


“Are you really that lonely, Briar?” he asked.

I did not want to talk to him about this. “Well…you know…I’ve been on my own with Lexie this whole time, always working and making sure she’s cared for. I just haven’t had time to…” I shrugged, not able to finish that sentence.

“Date?” he asked.


“Yes,” I said, letting out a breath. Why was it so hard talking to him about my love life? I needed to get over him. My head knew this, but my heart?


“You know…” he said, “I’m sorry the way things turned out…I mean, for you, Briar.” He glanced at me sheepishly. “I…um…would have liked to have been there for you from the beginning. You know that, right?”

I stopped him there. I didn’t need his pity. “No, please, August. Don’t. I’ve thought through it all, too. I mean, I was the one who broke up with you before I knew I was pregnant…I’m not upset with you or Beau or even with the way things have turned out. Believe me. I was just…” I had no words left for the way I’d been feeling. I had no right to them. August and Beau were meant to be. Probably from the beginning. I’d even felt it when we were teens.

“Yeah…um…” he scratched his head and went on, “I’ve been talking with Beau about this situation.” He lifted the side of his mouth. “Lexie has made it very clear how she feels. Beau isn’t happy either.”

When I heard that, my heart leaped. “Oh, no. He’s not freaking out is he?” My brother always jumped to the most negative scenarios. Many times I’d have to talk him down off ledges.


August laughed. “Oh, he did have a few freak out moments, but I calmed him down. I got a little angry, too, but we’re okay, so don’t worry.”

Relieved, I asked, “So, what can we do about our little monster? She’s never going to give up this plot of getting us together.”

“Yeah, well, Beau wants to relocate to Starlight Shores. He already has a few contacts  who really want him to bring a Mane Event there. Brindleton Bay is not exactly a good area for his salon. At least that’s what he says.”


My stomach sank. “So…you’re going to be leaving? Lexie will be crushed.”

He waved his hand. “No, no…I’ll be staying here. I’ll commute until Lexie is older. She can’t handle change right now. We understand that. We’re hoping you’ll relocate with us in a few years once Lexie gets used to the idea of Beau and I together. We figure when she’s a teenager, she’ll be more receptive to the idea.”

“You want us to…move?” The thought sounded incredulous. But not altogether implausible.


“What do you have here, Briar? Starlight Shores would have more opportunities for work. We also wanted to offer up something, too, in the meantime. Beau and I’d like you two to move in with us so Lexie isn’t shuffled around so much. She can have the same bedroom and wouldn’t go between houses anymore. We found a house that has an apartment in the basement where you could have your privacy, but then we could spend time together as a family. It was Beau’s idea. I thought it sounded ideal. And a way better environment than that catlady’s house.”

Everything was coming at me so fast, I couldn’t even think straight. I’d been dying to get out of that filthy house for a while now, but I just couldn’t afford it on my own. And I’d always lived with my brother before. But it would just be me and August with Lexie most of the time. I didn’t know how I felt about that.

Casting my eyes downward, I said, “Well…that’s a surprising offer. I…um…will have to think about it, August.”


He put his hands in his pockets and pierced me with his green eyes. “I’d really like to be with Lexie a lot more, Briar. And it would help you out, too. You wouldn’t need to pay for rent. We’ll explain everything to Lexie so she understands what’s going on. I think just having us together under one roof would give her stability.”


It did all make sense even if it was rather unconventional. And I’d make an effort to really start dating. That way, I wouldn’t have those moments when I’d wish I was the one with August.

Before I talked myself out of it, I said, “Okay….I think that could work.”



Daddy, Mommy, and Uncle Beau had a family meeting with me. They wore their scary eyebrows, and I knew I was in trouble.

I blinked away tears, trying to read my book. But it wasn’t going so good.


They told me Uncle Beau was moving away. I knew it was all my fault.


I didn’t want my uncle to move to that movie star place. Who was going to do my hair for me? He was the best hair-doer on the planet. And he always picked out my clothes. Daddy was an ignoramous when it came to that, and Mommy was always so busy working.


Mommy and Daddy weren’t going to get married either and it’s just going to feel so empty without Uncle Beau.

Oh, why did I have to open my big mouth?















Next chapter Monday, May 7th

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Chapter 5.3


As Uncle Beau was doing my hair, thoughts of Mommy’s sad face made me H-O-T angry. Like those bees that swirled around me when I threw a rock at their nest. How the heck did I know it was a hive? Looked like a dirt clod hanging in the tree to me. Uncle Beau was like that. He didn’t know he was playing with an angry bee.

He patted my shoulder and said, “All done, baby girl.”


“Uncle Beau?”

“What, sweet thing?”

“What would have happened if Daddy wouldn’t have found you first and found Mommy? Would he be with her now instead of you?”

He didn’t say anything for a while but then said, “I-I don’t know…”

“Mommy is very sad about that. She cried about Daddy last night.”

“She did?”


I nodded then got up, crossing my arms. I didn’t want to make him sad, but he was hurting Mommy. “You and Daddy are like the mean girls at school. They always laugh in a together circle and they won’t let anyone in. That makes everyone else sad, looking at them.”

I heard him let out a bunch of air.


Next, all he did was shuffle out of my room. He didn’t talk to me like usual. He must have been so mad at me!

Worry darts shot me in the heart. Why did I have to say anything? I wanted to hammer nails over my mouth to keep it shut. But I was so upset. When that happened, even snotty Emery Straud couldn’t stop my mouth from flying open.

Now my uncle hated me. What if Daddy was going to hate me, too?



It was a frustrating day today. Sometimes my job got so monotonous. And I had to find creative ways to snoop. I didn’t have the huge data bases I used to when I was with the FBI. A lot of it was just neverending poking around on the internet with nothing to show.

My muscles were so tense by the time I got home, I just wanted to be with Beau. I spotted him in the living room and pulled him to me, whispering, “I’ve got you now. Want to meet me in the bedroom? I need some Beau-time.”


He leaned into me and chuckled. “I’d love to, but…”

“But what?” I cooed, swaying with him and rubbing his ass. He liked that normally.


“Baby, we need to talk.”



I didn’t like the sound of that. But I didn’t say anything to him until we got to our bedroom. He pulled into himself like he did when he was agitated. Damn. What the hell happened?

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“It’s Briar. Lexie said she cried about you last night. She said she’s very upset the way things have turned out.”


I blinked. “That’s coming from Lexie who is our number one anti-fan. Come on, Beau. Are you going to listen to a kid? She fantacizes that Briar and me are going to get married.”


“It’s not just that. I’ve seen it, too. Briar acts like she’s depressed. Her face is so melancholy. I can’t take it anymore, August. I hate this.”


His words boiled my blood. “So, what the hell are you suggesting? That we break up because Briar is depressed? That’s bullshit.”

He flung his hands up in the air. “Whoa, August. You don’t have to get so mad. We’re just talking here.”


“But answer me this,” he went on, “what would have happened if you’d found Briar first? Would you two be married right now? Lexie has a point.”


I pulled at my hair. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing from you. It’s like high school all over again. Are you really going to get jealous about your sister even though you’re my fiance? Even though we’ve been living together for over a year? That’s so fucking out of line, Beau, it pisses me off.”

“Then answer the damn question, August.”

“What fucking question?”


“What would have happened if you’d found Briar first?”


God, I was so mad I couldn’t see straight. Sitting back, I chewed on my nails, fuming. He didn’t get it. I loved him. I’d always loved him. The reason I got with Briar back then was because I was running away from the gay relationship. It was so new and strange to me. And unfortunately, I didn’t go with what I’d wanted to do in the first place.

And now I had Lexie. I was happy about that. But it didn’t mean I loved Briar in the same way I loved Beau. No way. But how could I ever convince him?


We both just sat there not saying anything to each other. It felt like the room was blazing with hot air–the tension was so thick between us.


Finally, I rubbed the growing headache that started to pound my forehead and answered, “You just want to think I’d jump at the chance at being with Briar if you weren’t around, but it isn’t true. And it’s not fair to me.”

“What if I told you I don’t believe you? What if I know deep down you would have married her because of Lexie, if nothing else. It’s the kind of person you are, August.”


“And so where does that answer leave us? Huh, Beau?”




Daddy and Uncle Beau were fighting. And all because of my dumb mouth. I could hear them yelling angry things at each other even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Both of them had very deep voices and it was so scary sounding.


I just wanted to go back to the way things were before I said that mean thing to Uncle Beau. Do a do over.

What if Uncle Beau and Daddy don’t love each other anymore like Carlie Hamlin’s parents who got a divorce and it was all my fault? What if Daddy didn’t like me because of it?


I’d have to go back to the catlady’s house forever.

And I’d miss my daddy and Uncle Beau so much, I definitely would have a heart attack and die before my ten year old birthday.






















Next chapter Friday, May 4th

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