Dirty Daddies

Page 55

I’d love to feel her broken pieces fitting back together again. Hell knows there’s enough of them. The girl has a list of issues a mile long.
“My ass hurts,” she says and I can’t help but smile.
“That’s the idea. I trust you’ll think twice next time you get the urge to drink tequila with a coke-dealing loser.”
She shrugs, and there’s that devilment in her eyes again. “Maybe.”
“Maybe you won’t be able to sit down for a week if you do it again. I’d count yourself lucky.”
I head back through to the kitchen and she follows me, arms wrapped around herself as her feet pad softly across the floor tiles. I get her a coffee, not a beer, and she doesn’t argue.
She looks thoughtful, pensive even. It’s not an expression I usually see on her.
“Why did you let me stay here?” she asks, and the question takes me aback.
“You needed somewhere to sleep. Mike would lose his job if he took you to his.”
“But the hotel. Mike said he’d take me to a hotel.”
“And I had a spare bedroom.”
Her eyes meet mine for just a second before she stares down at her coffee. “I’m glad you let me stay,” she says.
“So am I,” I tell her. “Even if you are a pain in the fucking ass.” I smile to let her know I’m joking, and she smiles too.
“Can’t help it. Born that way.”
“We’ll knock the spiky edges off you, young lady. Just give it time.”
Time. It’s only been a week, but it feels so much longer. It feels like Carrie Wells has been a whirlwind in our lives for an eternity already.
I finish up my beer as she finishes up her coffee and I’m done for the night.
Exhausted enough to sleep for a week, even if my balls are still tight enough to blow.
“Goodnight, Carrie,” I tell her. “I’ll see you in the morning. Tomorrow night is movie night. Me, you, Mike and some popcorn.”
She raises an eyebrow. “I don’t like movies. I don’t even like TV.”
“Then I guess you’ll have to make an exception, won’t you?” I smirk. “You can choose since you’re likely to be the awkward whiny one.”
She groans like I’ve just told her she has to shovel shit for a week and I’m smiling as I make my way upstairs.
Life feels strange in this house all of a sudden. Strange but not unpleasant, far from it. Even if I’m in some absurd triangle with my best friend and his runaway gypsy girl.
I finish myself off in the shower and it’s one of the best hand jobs I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving myself.
I put that down to the Carrie Wells effect, just like everything else this week.
I’m beginning to feel glad it was contagious after all.CarrieI can’t get settled in this squeaky bed. My belly is filled up with nerves, and I hate that. I hate the fear of losing people, so I’ve learned that the best way of going through life is not to get attached in the first place. It’s lonely but it’s safe. But this time is different. This time I’m already in deep.
I pushed them and they didn’t walk away. I made them mad and they don’t hate me for it. At least I hope they don’t.
Finding Michael was a lucky break I never thought I’d stumble into. Finding Jack too is more than I ever hoped for. Having both of them in my life is a crazy dream beyond anything I’ve ever dared dream before. Losing them? Well, that would be more than I could bear.
I toss and turn until I’m sticky and uncomfortable, thinking about what happened, wondering what happens now.
What if Michael doesn’t come back? What if he’s really had enough of me now?
What if Jack is in the room next door regretting ever offering me a place to stay?
I know my heart is playing tricks on me, making me doubt all the kindness they’ve shown. I know the thrum of nerves in my belly is just the end result of pushing people away over and over again and still crying when they finally give up on me. I know I brought a lot of this on myself. I know I always do.
But for the first time in my life, I’m daring to hope that this road leads somewhere else. Somewhere good.
And maybe, just maybe, in this house with these two men who’ve given me so much time already, I’ll find something for keeps.
When I was still a little girl being passed from one home to another, I’d get nightmares so bad they’d wake me up. I’d tiptoe out of my bedroom in the middle of the night with my heart racing and tears streaming down my face, and hover outside the bedroom of whichever new parents I had that month, and I’d want to knock so badly. I’d want to tap on that door and ask them to make the nightmares go away, just to feel someone there. Just to have someone’s arms around me and tell me I wasn’t alone.