Always: Broken Series Book Four (8 page)

BOOK: Always: Broken Series Book Four
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Thirteen

T
hat night
, since it was Friday, I asked mom if I could have my friend Tisha over. Mom told me I could, of course, so I called her and asked her if she wanted to spend the night.

“I’d love to,” she said. “Let me ask my mom, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. You missed all the drama today at school, by the way. I’ll have to fill you in on that. It’s juicy.”

Juicy. Tisha thought that everything was juicy. Truth be told, nothing dramatic had ever happened at my school. It was a private school, and we all had to wear uniforms, even though my school wasn’t religious. They just made us wear uniforms because that was the easiest way to make sure that we didn’t show up in little halter tops, short shorts and baggie jeans for the guys. Baggie jeans was a fad that just never went away for some odd reason. Since we didn’t have the option to wear whatever we wanted, we didn’t have the same clothing problems that other schools did.

“Are you guys going to join us for dinner?” mom asked. “I’m making your favorite – southern fried chicken.”

I smiled. Southern fried chicken was always my favorite growing up, but, since I started teaching myself to cook, other things took its place. I liked that she was really trying, though, and I still felt bad about snapping at her earlier. “I’d imagine that Tisha will probably want to have dinner with us and stuff. I don’t know, though. Maybe we’ll just get a pizza or something like that. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Of course not.” Mom smiled. “I mean, of course we don’t mind. Just let us know.”

“Mom, you don’t have to be so accommodating. Just tell me what you usually do – I’m going to eat dinner with you guys or else.” I rolled my eyes. I hated that mom was letting me get away with stuff that I never used to. She was always so adamant that dinner time is family time. I was testing her with the getting a pizza thing, and she failed miserably. “We’ll be down for dinner. I love your fried chicken.”

Her face flushed red, and I felt sorry for her again. She was trying to hard to get normal right, and, somehow, she just wasn’t. I went over to put my hand on her shoulder. “Nobody ever taught you about what to do when your daughter has been diagnosed with cancer. You don’t have to feel embarrassed.”

She started to wring her hands, and I knew that I was stepping in it. “I know,” she said. “That’s true. Nobody ever taught me about how to act. I’m trying, though, Addison. I really am.”

I nodded my head. “Well, I’m going up to my room. Tisha will be here at 6.”

I went to my room and surfed the Internet while I waited for my friend to show.

T
hat night
, after dinner, which went well, considering how weird my parents tended to be anymore, Tisha and I hung out in my room. “So, tell me all about the juicy thing you were going to tell me about,” I said to Tisha. She was sitting in my enormous Papasan chair, curled up with the two dogs on her lap. They were snoring, as usual, their little bellies pointed towards the ceiling.

She raised an eyebrow. “Tad and Jenna broke up,” she said, referring to the golden couple of the school. Jenna was the head cheerleader, while Tad was the most popular guy in school. He played, and excelled, in all sports, and everyone generally loved him. “And there was a rumor going around school that Tad is behind some real doomsday stuff.” She lowered her voice into a conspiratorial whisper. “I heard that there’s going to be an attack at our school. Or there was, but the FBI broke it up. I heard that Tad was right in the middle of it all. The mastermind.” She nodded her head knowingly. “What do you think about that?”

I rolled my eyes. It seemed that every week there was some rumor going around about our school being attacked. I wondered if it was that way for all schools, or if we were the “lucky” ones. “What else you got?”

She laughed. “I know, I know. This kind of shit happens all the time, huh? But Tad being in the middle…” She shook her head. “Who woulda thunk?”

“What are the chances that Tad actually is in the middle, and what are the chances that this is just another baseless rumor that floats around then is called bullshit?”

Tisha sighed. “10%. If that. But it’s certainly fun to discuss, isn’t it?”

I shrugged my shoulders. I had more important things on my mind than whether or not Mr. BMOC Tad was, in actuality, a nihilistic mad bomber intent on watching the world burn. “I guess.”

She looked at me sympathetically. “What am I saying? I guess I was trying to catch you up on what happened today, because I know that you missed the drama. But I really should be asking you how you’re doing?” She looked shy all of a sudden. “I don’t really know how to talk about all this.”

“You don’t have to run away from it or be afraid to talk to me. I’ll just tell you what I know and leave it at that. As you know, I have bone cancer. Whether or not it’s spread isn’t yet known. How they’re going to be able to treat it isn’t yet known. There’s not a lot known except that I won the cancer lottery at a young age, and I need to face it the best way I can.”

She took a deep breath. “Are you….” She shrugged her shoulders, apparently unable to come up with the next words.

“Going to die?” I asked her, and she nodded her head silently. “I surely hope not. I have too many plans. Not that I think that it’ll be the end of me if I do die.”

“Meaning?” Tisha looked stunned that I would say something like that. “Are you talking about the afterlife or something else?”

“I mean that I’ll come back. You will too. My theory is that there are a finite amount of souls that keep getting recycled again and again. How you live in this life dictates how well you’re going to do in the next.”

“Really? Is that what you believe?”

“Yeah. And I also think that I must not have been good in one of my previous lives, because this is really a sucky thing to happen.”

“Is that what you think? You’re being punished for being bad in a previous life?”

“That’s the only thing that makes sense. Why else do some people suffer from bad diseases and poverty and whatnot, when they’re completely innocent? That’s hardly fair. It must be some kind of punishment.”

Tisha raised an eyebrow. “You sure sound like you’ve been thinking about this one for awhile.”

“I have. But, regardless, these are the cards that I was dealt.” Then I went into one of my drawers and brought out a deck of cards. “Speaking of cards…Wanna play Spades or Hearts or something?”

“Sure.”

I dealt the cards and the two of us tried not to talk about my cancer for the rest of the evening. We made popcorn, drank a lot of pop, watched movies on Netflix and generally had a good time.

I hoped that this wasn’t the last good time I would have for awhile, although I couldn’t be sure.

Fourteen
Scotty

T
he weekend just flew by
, and, somehow, our family managed to keep it all together. Addy had a normal weekend, as normal as possible, as she spent time with friends and hung out around the house playing video-games and surfing the Internet. Nick and I went out with Jack and Zane to the theater on Saturday, and Sunday was low-key. Everyone in the house studiously avoided the elephant in the room. We had to, really. We didn’t know anything yet, so we all decided that talking about this or that or the other wasn’t going to be healthy.

On Monday, after Addy got out of school, we ended up in the office of Dr. Jensen. He had the result from the PET scan back, and he wanted to speak with us. While I dreaded this visit, I also looked forward to it. We would know better what we were dealing with, so this office visit could only be an improvement over our current situation – hoping for the best, bracing for the worst.

“Okay,” Dr. Jensen said. “We have the results of Addy’s PET scan, and it seems to be good news. There’s no indication that the cancer has spread.”

I realized that I had been holding my breath, because, the second Dr. Jensen told us that the cancer hadn’t spread, the air from my lungs expelled in one long tendril. I gripped the side of the desk and felt tears coming to my eyes. Nick was sitting next to me, holding my hand, and, when Dr. Jensen informed us that Addy’s cancer hadn’t spread, he squeezed that hand. Hard. I put my arm around Addy, who was also crying.

“Thank God,” I said, looking up to the heavens. If He was up there, he was looking after Addy. I was breathing heavily, trying to process what the doctor had just said. “So, what does this mean?”

“I’m not going to die after all?” Addy said, her blue eyes getting wide. “I might actually realize my dreams of being a popular chef?”

The doctor cleared his throat. “At the moment, I would say that you have a 90% chance of going into remission. Now, we can schedule surgery for as early as next week. When would be a good time?”

“As soon as possible,” I blurted out. I was absolutely dying to get the show on the road. Get Addy’s cancer cut out and get her into rehab, and then everybody could get back to normal. “Tomorrow if possible.”

The doctor smiled. “Okay, let’s scheduled the surgery for Monday of next week. One week from today. At 9 PM.”

At that, he handed me a handout that detailed how Addy was going to get prepared for the surgery, and we headed out the door.

Once we got out into the fresh air, we all three hugged. “I’m so relieved,” I said to Addy. “I was so scared.”

“Me too, mom. Me too.”

At that, we headed home.

N
ick
and I lay on the couch after dinner. We made a little “date” to watch a movie while Addy hung out upstairs, ostensibly studying, but I had the suspicion that she was actually talking on the phone. I interlaced my fingers with his while we both lay on the couch. He had his hand in my hair, and he caressed it while we tried to concentrate on the movie. It was tough, though. We had such good news from the doctor that day that both of us were feeling a sense of relief. Because we were feeling less stress, we both felt more desire for each other.

Nick kissed me while I lay in his arms. We were in the dark, in our den, and I suddenly felt that it was only him and I in the world. Just like when we first started dating – the whole world, and all its stress, faded into the background. “We aren't out of the woods yet,” Nick said as he gently stroked my shoulder. “But today was a very good day.”

I just nodded. “Why don’t we go and watch some television in the bedroom?” I asked him. This was code, of course, for us going up to the bedroom and doing stuff that have nothing to do with watching TV or anything else like that.

He picked me up in his strong arms, and I was once again struck by how strong he still was. He certainly did keep in shape, unlike most men his age. I wrapped my arms around his neck as he made his way up the stairs. “I’m such a lucky woman,” I said. “To have somebody like you by my side.” I really felt that way, too. Nick never let me fall too deeply into a hole. He always brought me back, right when I needed to be. He was a great dad and a great husband. Thinking back to how it all began, I couldn’t believe that we had come this far and still were deeply in love.

He opened the door to our bedroom, and laid me down on the bed. He unbuttoned my blouse, one by one, agonizingly slow. My breathing came faster and faster as his nimble fingers deftly made their way down my breasts and to my waist. His sensuous lips brushed my belly button lightly, making me giggle. I was just a little bit ticklish in this particular area of my body, but it still felt absolutely wonderful. He smiled at me while he slowly made his way to grazing my thighs, making all the hairs on my body stand at attention. The familiar burst of electricity coursed through my body as he expertly pulled down my pants and underwear, and his lips found my clit. I felt my netherparts swell while his lips and tongue expertly caressed my opening.

He placed one leg carefully in between my own as he grinded into me. I unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his chest, which was still rock-hard, and his shoulders, which were just as hard. It was amazing to me that he was still made of steel, and he was still so drop-dead gorgeous that women, even women in their twenties, turned around to stare at him as he walked down the street. That had to do with his confidence, too, because his walk was purposeful. When he approached you, you knew it. Everyone could feel his heat, especially me.

He kissed my lips as he entered me. I gasped, because he was filling me up. I breathed through my nose and mouth, and I took him into me deeper and deeper. I put my hands on the small of his back, willing him to go as deeply inside me as he possibly could. I wrapped my legs around him as he stroked in and out, kissing me the entire time. His hands were lightly brushing my breasts and my abs and my clit. I was being driven crazy with desire.

He came inside me and then lay down beside me. He kissed me lightly on the forehead as he stared at me. “You’re amazing, you know that?” he asked me.

“No. You are. You’ve been so able to keep it together. I had my moment of crazy, and my moments of breakdown. You haven’t. You’ve been unwavering and just so strong.”

His head lowered so that I couldn’t see his eyes. “No. You just haven’t seen my breakdowns. They’ve been internal. That’s how I’ve always had them. What can I say, I was raised to not show my feelings. I didn’t when I lost Michelle, and I barely did when I lost Abrianna. So, yeah, I was terrified. I was as terrified as anybody else in this family. You just didn’t know it, because I guess I do a wonderful acting job.”

I smiled. I did know that about him. I knew that was how he was – that was how he always was. He was strong and not-so-silent, but you never saw him sweat.

“Well, we have this week now to try to get some normal back in the house,” I said. “Because as of next week, it’s going to get kind of crazy. We’re going to have to help Addison through rehab, and help her adjust to maybe not being as active as she was. And, of course, we’re going to have to be diligent with her for the rest of our lives – make sure that she never misses a doctor’s appointment, that kind of thing. But hopefully we can all get past this and everything will be just fine.”

“Ah, don’t curse it. Never think we got this, because the second you do, things go sideways. It’s the same kind of concept as making plans for God to laugh at. Let’s just look at it this way – things aren’t as bad as they could be. Not by a long shot. But we’re not out of the woods, and we may never be. But that’s okay. That’s life. You can never be too sure about anything in this crazy life, so we’re never going to be sure about Addy.”

“But we can still celebrate this little victory.”

Nick smiled. “That we can. And I like celebrating things with you. I really love celebrating things with you.”

He was hard again, and he slowly made love to me once more. As I pulled him closer into me, his breathing warm against my neck, I said a silent prayer – that Nick and I could feel this good, this happy, no matter what.

This, of course, was to be sorely tested.

In the worst possible way.

BOOK: Always: Broken Series Book Four
10.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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