Always: Broken Series Book Four

BOOK: Always: Broken Series Book Four
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Always
Broken Book Four

C
opyright
© 2016 by Annie Jocoby

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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One
Scotty

T
he light was streaming
through the windows of mine and Nick’s cabin in the woods. We were taking a much-needed break from the world. Our lives were filled with our children and work, and it was seeming, more and more, that these things were the only things our lives were filled with. That made me sad, to say the very least, so Nick surprised me on Friday by putting a blindfold over my eyes and whisking me to this gorgeous cabin that was situated high in the Pocono Mountains. There was snow on the ground, a fire in the fireplace, and life that weekend was magical. Just like it was when we first met all those years ago.

God, was it really 23 years since we first set eyes on one another? I shook my head. Not really, because I was his student well before we got together. It was more like 24 years since that fateful day when I went into his class and was immediately mesmerized. At any rate, we had been together for a long time, far longer than I had ever thought was possible when I first met him. These years hadn’t been all rosy or perfect, of course. There were many challenges and there were even times when both of us wanted to call it quits. Falling in love was much, much easier than being in love. Of course. We weren't that special. But we had managed to weather every storm, and had also managed to stay right where we were all those years ago – in love.

I was sitting up in bed, and Nick was laying next to me, snoring. His hair was askew, and his face was peaceful. He was completely naked, and I admired anew how he had managed to keep his early-fifties body so rock hard.
God, I’m a lucky woman.
Just looking at him still managed to get my juices flowing, and we had made love many times since we got to this cabin. Making up for lost time…

He finally opened his eyes and stared at me. His eyes were so beautiful, so hypnotic to me. Even after all these years. He smiled and brought me next to him. “What you doing?” he asked with a smile.

“Nothing. Just thinking about you. And me. And how much this little vacation was sorely needed in our lives.”

He raised his eyebrows and brought me into him closer on the bed. “Well, we are on vacation, crazy girl. That means that we don’t have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn.” He stroked my hair as I felt his warm breath on the back of my neck. “That means that I want you to stay right here with me until I let you go. Which won’t be for many hours.”

I smiled as I felt his fingers running through my hair. “You’re right. This cabin should be sacred space for us from now on. We leave our troubles behind when we get here.”

“Damned right,” he said, and then kissed me passionately on the lips. He put his hands on my breasts and stomach. “God, I still want you so much,” he said, positioning himself so that his cock was right around my opening.

I turned so that I was facing him on the bed. He was looking at me with those dreamy eyes, a smile playing around his sensuous lips. I put my hand on his cheek, where there was already stubble. He kissed me again, and got on top of me and entered me slowly. “Good morning Mrs. O’Hara,” he said. “I wish we could do this every morning.”

As I threw back my head while he filled me up, I managed to breathlessly croak out the words “me too.” I meant that, because sex with him was still so goddamned amazing. As it always had been.

As he thrust in and out, I felt the familiar high of a powerful orgasm that shuddered throughout my body. I cried out as he moved faster and faster and he finally climaxed inside of me. I was still on the pill and had been since we had our third daughter and decided not to have anymore children, so it was totally okay that he came inside of me.

I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him some more. “I love you so much,” I said, realizing that it had been awhile since I said that to him. “So very much.”

“I love you too. I don’t say it often enough, but it’s true. It’s more true now than it ever has been.”

I sighed and wrapped his arms around me tightly. Was it possible that this cabin was our sanctuary from the world? That there really weren’t any deadlines or issues with our children, or any of that? There was only us? We weren’t the wealthy partners of one of the most prestigious architectural firms in the world here. We weren’t the acclaimed architects who had won many awards between the two of us. We were only Nick and Scotty, and that felt absolutely wonderful.

As the weekend unfolded in front of us, filled with snugly movies and making love by the fire, I thought that there was no way the real world could possibly intrude on us until we made it back to the city.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Two
Addison, Age 15

O
livia
, my sister, was staying with me and Chloe, because my parents decided that it was time to get away from us to do God-knows-what. I didn’t want to even think about that one. All that I knew was that they told us they were going away for the weekend, and, since they apparently decided that I was still a baby, they enlisted Olivia to come and watch us. Watch us, as if we were 12.

Actually, Chloe
was
12, but I was perfectly capable of staying around and watching Chloe myself. I was a good cook, and besides, Olivia wasn’t exactly the model of responsibility. She might have been 22 and just out of college, but I knew the things that she did while she was in college and, if my parents also knew, they would never let her watch us again.

Yet, there she was, blue hair and nose rings and all, sitting across from me at the dinner table, looking like she wanted to be anywhere but right where she was. She raised an eyebrow as she picked through the food that I made for dinner.

“How is it?” I asked her as she dug into the roasted chicken casserole that I managed to whip up. My dream was to go to culinary school after I got out of high school. Her dream apparently was to get high and drunk as often as was possible, judging from how hungover she had been this entire day.

She shrugged her shoulders. “Surprisingly not puke-inducing. And I only say surprisingly because everything today has made me want to puke.” She shook her head. “Must stop drinking tequila. At least the bad tequila.”

I had to admit, she looked a little bit green. “You should drink water,” I said. “Lots and lots of water.”

She rolled her eyes. “As if I don’t know that. I feel like every cell in my body is filled with that shit. That tequila shit. And my pee smells like rotten Lucky Charms.” She shook her head. “That’s the only way I can describe it. Lucky Charms gone really, really bad.”

“Maybe you should go to the hospital.” I worried about her more than I should. Sometimes I felt like I was the big sister and she was the younger one.

She started to laugh. “The hospital? You’re funny. You’re just a riot.”

“Why? You have amazing insurance, thanks to mom and dad, so it wouldn’t cost you a thing. And they can give you IV fluids and stuff.”

“I don’t need IV fluids, I just need to get into bed and try to sleep this off.”

“Sleep it off? It’s 7 o’clock in the evening. You got wasted last night. I think that you should be feeling better by now.”

“Then you don’t know about tequila. It sneaks up on you. It does. One second, you’re drinking shots and not feeling a thing. The next second you’re passed out on somebody’s couch and it’s the next day.” She smiled. “And I have to say that the first thing I think about after drinking tequila or any kind of hard liquor is
who do I need to apologize to?
Because I know that I have to apologize to somebody from the night before.”

I sighed. “Maybe it’s time to try to stop drinking so much. You know, so you don’t have to apologize to somebody every weekend or whatever.”

“Every weekend? Try every other day.” She raised her eyebrows. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not an alcoholic. I just got into the college ritual just a little bit too much.”

“Yes, but you’re out of college now.” I got up to clear the table. “Would you like some dessert? I made chocolate lava cake. It’s my first time, and I think it turned out really good.”

“You sound like mom sometimes, you know that?” Then she mockingly mouthed the words
you’re out of college now.
“Yes, I’m out of college, but so what? All my friends are too, and we’re all just trying to make it. Trying to make it in the city.”

“Aren’t you working on producing a documentary right now?” Olivia had actually graduated from film school at NYU, surprisingly towards the top of her class. She really seemed to have a knack for producing documentaries, whatever that entailed. One of her shorts was even featured at Sundance and had won an award. That was one of the only reasons why my parents weren’t riding her ass more – she was undeniably successful in her chosen field.

That said, she wasn’t exactly wealthy. She shared her Manhattan loft with five other girls – three of them were in graduate school at NYU and two of them were models. Olivia was the only one of them who actually had a real job, unless you consider modeling to be a “real job,” which I really didn’t. She was apprenticing under another film maker, and producing her own films on the side.

“You know that I am. What kind of question is that? I’m always working on a film. That’s my
raison d’etre.

“Well, then, isn’t it hard to concentrate and work when you’re always feeling like shit?”

She threw a green bean at me. “Such a little moralizer. Listen, if I wanted to listen to a lecture, I would have visited this place when mom and dad are here. But, guess what, toad? I don’t want to hear it. So off my ass.”

I took a sip of water, wishing that Chloe was around. She wasn’t, as she was out for the evening with her soccer friends. She’d be home soon enough, and I felt like she was almost an ally. She was closer to my age than Olivia was, even though there was still a three-year difference. I often wondered why mom and dad staggered their children so much, but I figured it had something to do with how much they were always working. They were both acclaimed architects, and they were always in demand. I guessed that they just didn’t have time for a bunch of kids all at once.

“I’m going to bed,” she announced.

“It’s 7:30.”

“Yeah? So what? I feel like crap, so I’m going to watch some TV and hope that I feel better tomorrow.” She got up from the table. “I’m never drinking again.”

“Yeah, right. Heard that before. Heard that every time you’re this hungover.”

“You know what, toad? Sometimes I hate you.” Then she smiled. “But most of the time I love you.”

I sighed, clearing the table. Olivia didn’t bother to help me clean up the kitchen, of course. She never did. I did all the cooking and had to clean up as well whenever she was around, but it was what it was. It was easier for me just to do everything than it was for me to try to get on Olivia about helping me out a little.

T
hat night
, as I lay in bed, I felt the familiar pain in my knee. It was something that happened usually only at night, so I never said much about it to anyone. I had no idea what it was, because I had assumed that I had stopped growing, so it wasn’t necessarily still growing pains.

I felt my knee with my hand, and it felt really warm. I massaged it, but the pain didn’t go away. I finally just got up and took some aspirin and crawled back into bed. I knew that when I woke and actually moved around that the pain would go away. But, right at that moment, it was becoming just a little bit unbearable.

Is it time to tell mom and dad about this?
I hated to worry them. They already had so much on their plates. Dad was going to Rome to design a new building over there, and mom was so busy with her various projects around New York. I was proud of both of them, and I was really proud whenever I saw one of their buildings. I knew, somewhat, what went into designing these enormous skyscrapers and other buildings, and I knew how hard they worked on these projects. Maybe they didn’t have all the time in the world for Olivia, Chloe and me, but the time they spent with us was pretty awesome. So, I understood their need to work all the time and I hated to bother them with my troubles.

I finally went to Olivia’s room, because Chloe wasn’t around. She had called me and told me that she was spending the night with a friend. I had informed Olivia of that fact, and she sneered “that’s just great. I thought that I was supposed to stay here because she needed to be looked after. So why am I here?”

“She’ll be back tomorrow. Mom and dad won’t be back until Monday.”

“Whatever. Don’t bother me anymore, worm-girl. I’m sick.”

So, when I went to knock on her door again, I felt apprehensive. She had told me not to bother her, but yet I was. I was bothering her, and I knew that there was going to be hell to pay for that one. “Olivia,” I said softly outside her door as I gently rapped on it. “Are you awake?”

I put my ear to the door but heard nothing but snoring.

I rapped louder. “Olivia, are you awake?” I felt stupid because no, she wasn’t awake, but she was soon going to be. Awake and pissed off.

I finally turned the knob, which surprisingly turned, meaning that she didn’t lock her door. I went over to her bed and shook her. “Olivia, are you awake?”

She continued to snore, so I shook her even harder. “Olivia, are you awake?”

She finally sat up with a start and gave me the stink-eye. “What the fuck?”

“Olivia, I want to talk to you.”

She looked over at the clock. “It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. What the hell?”

“I need to talk to you.”

She rolled her eyes but patted the bed next to her. “Sit down. I’m awake now, no thanks to you. Now, tell me, pray tell, why you would get my ass up at this time of the morning?”

“I think that I have to talk to mom and dad about something.”

She raised an eyebrow. “So talk to them. Why bother me?”

“Because they’re not here and you are.”

She crossed her arms in front of her. “Okay, this better be good.”

I brought my right knee up and I put one of my hands on it. “I have a pain in my knee. It mainly happens at night, but it’s gotten worse. I haven’t wanted to tell mom and dad about it, because they’ve got so many things going on with them. But I think that I have to.”

Olivia took one of her pillows and threw it at me. “Get out of here. I need my sleep.”

“Why are you acting like this?”

“Because you got my ass out of bed to tell me about a pain in your knee. You don’t suppose that all that soccer playing has anything to do with it, do you?”

I was on the soccer team at my high school, and I was pretty good at it. So maybe Olivia was right. Maybe it was just all the exercising I was doing all the time when I was working out with the team.

But why was the pain only in my right knee? Shouldn’t I have pain in other parts of my body, not just my knee? “No, Olivia, I think it might be something else.”

“You’re a little young for arthritis, don’t you think?”

“I guess.”

She sat back up. “Okay, I see that you’re not going to leave me alone, despite my asking you to. So, I might as well act like I’m a little bit concerned. How long have you had this pain?”

“For about six months. Mainly at night, but sometimes during the day.”

She ran her hands through her thick blue hair. “Okay, so why am I just now hearing about this?”

“I didn’t want to worry everyone.”

“But yet you’re telling me now.”

“I know. I thought it would go away, but it’s not. It’s getting worse.”

“What I’m getting at is that you’ve had this pain for six months, yet you’re treating it like it’s something really urgent. I mean, you’re getting me up in the middle of the night to tell me about it. If you’ve lived with it for six months, you could live with it until tomorrow morning at around 10, which is when I plan on actually getting up to face the day.”

I blinked back tears. I didn’t even know how to explain it to Olivia, but I had somehow reached the tipping point. The point where I couldn’t go another second without talking to somebody about it, even though she was absolutely right – I had gone this long without letting anybody know, so why not keep quiet for a few more hours?

“I’m scared.”

She sighed. “Munchkin, you can sleep here if you like. Like you used to when you were a little girl and was afraid of thunderstorms. Then tomorrow I can call mom and dad in the Poconos and tell them to come home and take you to a doctor. But right now, there’s not much that can really be done unless you want me to take you to the ER.”

“Could you? Take me to the ER?”

“You’re kidding, right? You’ve had the pain for six months, and you now want to go the ER? I think it ceased to be an emergency from the first time you ignored that pain.”

“I need to know. I need to know right now.”

“Go to bed.” She pointed to the door of her room. “And lock the door behind you.”

“But Olivia-“

“Get out. I need my rest and you do too. I’ll take you to the doctor tomorrow, but right now, you’re just going to have live with the pain.”

I left the room and called Uber. I was going to get some answers that very second, whether Olivia wanted to help me or not.

BOOK: Always: Broken Series Book Four
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