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 Shit! My father thunders as he slaps his hand down onto the table, and now he looks as if he
wants to kill my mother, too.
My body goes numb. My stomach turns into lava, and vomiting doesn t sound like such a bad
idea.
Here my father is back, and, instead of appreciating the moment, instead of accepting it for what
it was, I threw every form of misery I had ever encountered into my parent s faces.
 I m sorry. I bolt out of the house, and Holt appears beside me on the porch.
 Come here. He wraps his arms around me, and I lose it. I bury my face in his warm, familiar
chest and sob for what feels like weeks. It s safe like this with him. Holt is the only real and tangible
thing in my life right now.
 I m sorry. His voice cracks as he takes in a quick breath.  I m so sorry about what happened
to you. He presses his lips over my ear, panting into me with his grief.  Just say the word, and we
can be anywhere.
 Little Bit? My father s voice resonates from the living room as he makes his way over, and I
melt straight down to my soul.  I ve waited twenty long years to see your pretty face again. He
chokes on his words.  I understand if you don t want to see me. He steps outside, wiping down his
cheeks.  But I d sure appreciate it if you d stay a minute longer.
Here he is, alive and in the flesh. He s real, not some figment of my imagination. This is
happening. It s no dream.
Holt and I head back into the house together. We sit for hours listening to my mother and father
tell stories about the past, filling Laney in on a world she never knew.
My father thought they had locked him up and threw away the key. He and my mother were
simply trying to protect us.
I take in the beautiful man by my side, and the beautiful man in front of me. I have two wonderful
men in my life Holt and my father, the only two men that I ve ever really needed in order to breathe.
And here I am wondering if I should let either of them back into my world.
Holt
The night before the wedding, Cole and I take Ryder and Bryson out for their last meal as free men.
The Carving Board is a ritzy steakhouse that sells cow carcass for the price of gold per ounce.
 Where the hell do they get their cattle? Middle earth? Cole nearly passes out as he scans the
prices.
 Take it easy, Ryder says it calm while perusing the menu.  Tonight it s my treat.
 No it s mine, I offer.  You two are the ones putting your balls in a noose. It s the least I can
do.
 Balls in a noose? Bryson shakes his head.  Say one more boneheaded thing around Izzy, and
you ll be begging her to noose your balls as she s walking out the door.
 What s that supposed to mean?
 It means she s sensitive, in the event you haven t noticed. And I d like to see you make things
work, so put a muzzle on it.
 Got it. For once it seems he s right.  We ve spent the last few days and nights together, and
she still hasn t opened up to me about what happened. I guess I got the rough and dirty side of it. I
thought she might want to have a private conversation about it. I don t need a lot of details. I just
thought we should at least try to process it together.
Ryder tips his beer in my direction.  Laney said his name was Chuck Dupree. Said he was a
crazy fucker who drank the day away while their mother slaved at the studio.
Chuck Dupree. I tuck the name away for later.
 So tomorrow is the big day, huh? I change the subject. I m in no mood to share my thoughts on
what I d like to do to Chuck the Fuck. Things are going to get fucked all right. He single handedly
destroyed the woman I love, and I plan on returning the favor after the wedding of course. No use in
screwing up the wedding day photo-shoot with a black eye in the event Chucky plans on fighting back.
 Big day is right. Cole slaps Bryson over the shoulder.  We ve come a long way from the
scoreboard era.
 Damn straight. Bryson knocks back half his beer.
Bryson and Cole once had an infamous monument to the chicks they bagged, etching them on the
wall by way of tally marks. But Baya and Roxy cured them of that. Laney cured Ryder of walking
around like he was a big shot, even though he sort of was one. And Izzy, well, I do believe she cured
me of not believing in fairytales. I think I might deserve someone might even deserve a happily ever
after with Snow White herself.
Bryson knocks me in the shoulder.  What s the goofy grin for?
 I think I m finally settling into the idea of being with someone. I feel empty without Izzy, and
the thought of doing this life thing without her makes me sick to my stomach. She s the one and I m
damn glad about it.
Bryson lifts his beer, and everyone at the table does the same.
 To finding the one. By some miracle we all seemed to find her.
 To the one. We toast and spend the rest of the night laughing our asses off at the stupid fucks
we used to be.
The girls made us better people.
Something tells me they always will.
Saturday, the sun is bright, the weather a toasty seventy-nine degrees as we stand in the perfectly [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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