Ages of characters: Liam–16, Zack (his brother)–11, Brandy–5, August & Beau, Briar: 61, Lexie, James: 43
My friends sidled up to me, Rosalin taking my hand.
“See what the cat brought me, guys?” I asked. “Two rats.”
“Oh good God,” Destiny said. “Does she have no shame?”
Suddenly, the two love birds shouted at each other and both were on their feet.
“Mala, please don’t go. I’m sorry,” the douchebag yelled.
My friends crowded around behind me.
“Guys,” I whispered. “They can’t see us–their backs are facing us.”
I couldn’t hear a word they said. Dammit! But Mala was blasting a finger in Oliver’s chest.
Then he spit something back at her. If only I had a microphone on them. I wanted to hear every juicy detail.
Then Mala pushed him away, like she was breaking it off. NO! This skank was not about to get rid of her adulterous lover. Was she doing this to be with Liam?
But then the heaven’s parted and God literally shone all his glory onto them. (Seriously, the sky grew the most beautiful shade of pink.)
Oliver was about to kiss Mala!
My girlfriends started squealing behind me as Mala and Oliver’s lips met. So, I did the only thing someone could do in this situation.
I got out my phone and snapped.
Destiny hissed, “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Ginny?”
I put my fingers over her mouth. “It’s called fate, Des. And if Liam won’t believe what a skanky ho his girlfriend is, I might have to show him.”
“You know he could get mad at you for not minding your own business.”
Des was always a worry wart.
“Oh, God. Poor Liam,” Justine said. “When I let Drew in on this…he’ll definitely tell Liam.”
“I hope he kicks her to the curb,” Rosalin mused behind me.
“Hey, guys, let’s go!” Ally whispered. “I don’t want to get caught.”
But I wasn’t moving a muscle until I got the full blown goods on a thot that needed bringing down.
I told Mom and Dad about my decision to stay in Brindleton Bay. They were totally cool with it and said Grandpa and Granddad would meet me at home. I had school the following day, so I needed to book it if I wanted to get back at a decent hour.
When the time came for me to leave, I had a hard time saying good bye. Especially to my siblings. We like hadn’t been apart ever in our whole lives. In fact, I was with them way more than either of my parents had been. Little Brandy didn’t really understand what was happening either. I bent down and took her tiny hand. “Hey, baby girl, you be good for Mom and Dad, okay?”
“I will, Lee Lee.” I was going to miss her sweet smiles and dimples.
“Your limosine is here, sir,” Marcus said, waving me to hurry up.
Both Zack and Brandy rushed over, giving me hugs.
I was shocked Zack was taking it this hard. “I’m going to…miss you,” he said into my shoulder.
Then Brandy’s lip quivered. “Don’t go, Lee Lee!”
“Hey…I’ll be back in a few weeks. Don’t worry.” Squeezing them, I whispered, “I love you guys.”
The plane ride was freaking long and I took a Suber home. When I walked in, I was blasted with my grandparents kissing.
I smiled. I guessed even old folks still got it on?
Clearing my throat, I called out, “Hey, Grandpa and Grandad! I’m home.”
They both shot up and ran over to me. “You’ve grown a foot since the last time I saw you, Liam!” Granddad slapped my back. I guessed I had grown a lot. I was almost as tall as he was.
Grandpa enveloped me in a squishy hug. “You’re looking good, kiddo. So happy to see you.”
“Me, too, Grandpa.”
I sat down to chat.
“So…how’s Del Sol Valley?” Granddad asked.
“It’s amazing. No joke, my folks’ place has a pool the size of the whole town of Brindleton Bay.”
Granddad laughed. “Well, your grandpa and I are here for you, Liam. If you need anything from us, don’t hesitate to ask.”
“And let me know your favorite dishes, too, Liam,” Grandpa added. “I’ll have it ready whenever you want to eat supper.”
Did I just die and go to heaven? They didn’t know I was the one who usually cooked around here and it was mostly mac and cheese and nachos. “Thanks, Grandpa. Sounds awesome. And thanks for staying with me like this. I know it must be an inconvenience.”
“Are you kidding?” Granddad said. “Us old guys live for this stuff. What else have we got to do? Next weekend, we’ll show you around some places we used to go when your mom was little.”
“Awesome, Granddad. Sounds fun.” This already turned out to be the best decision I’d ever made. For once, someone was going to take care of me for a change.