Uncaged_A Fighting for Flight Short Story, page 1
Table of Contents
UNCAGED: A FLIGHT SHORT STORY
BONUS FIGHTING SERIES SHORT STORIES
A Christmas to Remember
UFL Training Center
Table of Contents
UNCAGED: A FLIGHT SHORT STORY
BONUS FIGHTING SERIES SHORT STORIES
A Christmas to Remember
UFL Training Center
THE FIGHTING SERIES
Fighting for Flight
Fighting to Forgive
Fighting to Forget
A Father’s Fight
Fighting the Fall
Fighting for Forever
Fighting for Honor
The Final Fight
STAND ALONE ROMANCE
Copyright © 2018 JB Salsbury
All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. All characters and storylines are the property of the author and your support and respect is appreciated.
This book is a work of fiction. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Formatted by The Last Step Proofreading
Cover by Amanda Simpson of Pixel Mischief Design
To every Fighting Girl.
UNCAGED: A FLIGHT SHORT STORY
She’s a thing of beauty.
The cold metal of my Milwaukee tool cabinet presses against my shoulder as I lean back and take in the view.
A ’77 Pontiac Trans Am in phantom black. The firebird on the hood and all the pin-striping done in gold pearl giving it that classic look with an added flare that’ll only be seen close up or when the sun hits it just right.
I take one more walk around it making mental notes on what more needs to be done—exhaust, 15x8 gold snowflake wheels, and—
I whirl around to find Sadie’s head popped in through the cracked door to the garage.
Her face is a little flushed and her eyes sparkle with panic. “You promised you’d help!”
The clock says six fifteen. I always lose track of time when I’m in here. “Crap, I’m sorry.” I wipe my hands on the thighs of my overalls and head toward my seething seventeen-year-old daughter.
Tonight’s a big night. Her very first real date.
Jonah told her she couldn’t date until she turned thirty.
Sadie argued it down to eighteen.
After months of carefully manipulative persuasion I got him down to seventeen.
Her birthday was yesterday.
“I can’t believe you forgot,” she grumbles as I pass by her through the door.
“How could I forget when it’s all you’ve been talking about for the last two years?” I rock my hip into hers and manage to crack a smile in her lovely face. “You look great already. I don’t think you need my help, I can’t imagine making you look any more beautiful than you already do.”
She’s dressed in a pair of faded blue skinny jeans and a thin black sweater that hangs off the shoulder ever so slightly. She paired it with a crisp new pair of black high-top Vans—the epitome of understated beauty. I think she got her taste in fashion from me. She’s never been much of a girlie-girl, new skate shoes is about as dressed up as she gets.
“Mom,” she hits me with the side-eye as we cross the yard to the main house. “I don’t need your help getting myself ready.” She slides open the back door and points to the large foyer at the front of the house. “I need your help with that!”
I frown at the two men—one quite a bit larger than the other—who’re sitting in dining room chairs placed about three feet from the front door. Even from the back I can see the tension in their bodies. Shoulders squared, arms most likely crossed at their chests, intimidating scowls firmly in place.
“Go finish up.” I move to squeeze Sadie’s shoulder but she ducks and darts out of reach.
“Eww, your hands!”
I don’t have to look to know they’re covered in grease. “Sorry.” I motion toward the boys. “I’ll take care of this.”
Her shoulders ease up their tension and she smiles. “Thanks, Mom.” As she walks away I hear her mumble about how embarrassing this is going to be.
Yes, baby girl, it will be.
I knew this day would be torture for Jonah, seeing his little girl grow into a young woman hasn’t been easy on him.
I stride across the room and watch their shoulders further tense when they hear the squeak of my Converse against the marble floor.
“Don’t waste your breath,” Jonah growls to the front door as I stop right behind him. “I am not okay with this.”
“Me either,” the smaller but no less threatening voice at Jonah’s side pipes up. “I hate the way he looks at her.”
I ruffle my son’s black hair and then smooth it away from his face. “Carey…”
“Our boy has a point.” A quiet buzzing comes from the pocket of Jonah’s shorts, but he ignores it. “He does look at her funny.”
I circle around them and lean back against the huge front door noticing neither of them move their matching hazel eyes off the door’s handle to look at me. A smile pulls at my lips, so big that I have to cover it with my hand. Jonah’s dark eyebrows cut across his face in a menacing slash, his full lips thin from the weight of his scowl, and Carey is his mini-me, the perfect clone in both looks and hard stare.
I clear the laughter from my throat. “Boys, you know the way he looks at her means he likes her.”
Carey grimaces and finally I get his eyes. “Yeah. Gross.”
“So fucking gross,” Jonah mumbles
Our son’s gaze darts to his Dad. “Swear jar,” he whispers.
“Would you guys rather Sadie go on her first date with a boy who doesn’t like her?”
Jonah’s gaze slides from the door handle up the bib of my overalls to my face. His expression softens a little while he takes me in—my hair piled high on my head, red bandana holding it all back, and I’m sure there’s black grease smudged somewhere on my skin. His eyes fire with an expression I’ve come to know well. One that says, “I want you.” My pulse kicks a little harder, my tummy tumbles in the way it still does when he swallows me up in his stare. Even after eighteen years of marriage he manages to make my knees buckle and my cheeks go instantly pink with one look.
“Yeah! That’s the one!” Carey points at his Dad, which has Jonah blinking heavy eyelids as he pulls his gaze away. “That’s exactly how that punk looks at my sister!”
Jonah’s upper lip curls back with a snarl and the phone in his pocket picks back up with the buzzing. He glares down at it but makes no move to answer.
I hang my head and sigh. “Don’t you think you should just talk to him?”
“Don’t give a fuck what—”
“Swear jar!” Carey points to the kitchen where the Mason jar filled with most of Jonah’s money—penance for his dirty mouth—is kept.
Jonah shakes his head and leans his elbows on his knees. His biceps and forearms flex so hard I fear he’ll rip through the sleeves of his shirt. He puts his hands in prayer position, the tips of his middle fingers touchin
“I don’t have to have a sleepover with Henry, Dad. You’ll need me here to help you.” The way he says it makes me almost burst into tears, as if his tiny ten-year-old self could genuinely be a help to his six-five, two-hundred and fifty pound heavyweight champion father, and yet his conviction is hard to argue.
Jonah grins, but it’s slight and he tucks it away before Carey can see it. “Not gonna lie, son. It’ll be difficult doing this without you, but I’ll try. Besides, Rex is taking you to the skate park and you know how much he sucks so if you don’t go then Henry’ll be shredding alone.”
Carey’s eyebrows pinch tightly together. “Good point.” He seems to mull that over for a bit and then nods and slaps his dad on the shoulder. “Alright, but…text me if you need backup.”
“Will do, kiddo.” Jonah hooks our boy behind the neck and pulls him in to drop a kiss to the top of his head. “Now go, and make sure to pack a toothbrush.”
Carey throws one more glare at the door handle then jogs down the hallway that leads to his bedroom.
Jonah’s phone buzzes again. I take the seat next to my husband and slide my hand inside his pocket. His thigh is tense beneath the fabric of his shorts and I’m tempted to run my nails along it but remember I need to save my daughter from social humiliation first.
I hand the vibrating phone to Jonah who refuses to look at it. “Just talk to him.”
“Why the hell would I do that? It’s his fault I’m even in this fucking nightmare.”
I bite down on my lips to keep from laughing. “How is this his fault?”
He glares at me, but I don’t miss the way his eyes gravitate to my cheekbone which confirms I definitely have grease on my face. “How? Have you been paying attention at all? He’s the one who—”
The phone buzzes in my hand earning a groan from Jonah.
I hit Accept and place the phone to my ear. “Hey.”
“Rave, what the fuck!” The male voice barks back.
“Listen, I think if we all just calm down for a minute we’ll see that this is actually a great thing for—”
“Great thing?! Did you just say this is a great thing? Please tell me I heard you wrong and you did not just say that shit to—I know, Mouse, but he threatened my son!”
My eyes dart to Jonah who must hear Blake’s voice through the phone because he averts his eyes. “Jonah, did you threaten Jack?”
“He deserved it.”
“Oh my gosh,” I shake my head and sigh. “Blake, I’m sorry, you know we both love Jack—”
“Not when he’s dating my daughter I don’t!”
“You listen to me, Vajonah,” Blake yells into the phone, “I swear to all that is good and holy in this world, if you flip your switch and lay a finger on my boy—”
“No one is going to lie a finger on anyone!” I say to both men.
Jonah grows even more tense. “You bet your ass no one is going to lay a finger on anyone!” He leans close so Blake can hear him. “You warn your boy that whatever he does to Sadie he can guarantee I’ll do to him with my fucking fist, you hear me?!”
Blake and Layla bark at each other in the background and Jonah’s ears turn red as he spews threats to anyone who’ll listen.
“Blake, everything’ll be okay, I promise.” I don’t wait for him to respond as Layla tries to calm him down. “Okay, bye!”
I hit End and grip the phone between my palms praying for patience before I end up smacking some sense into my husband. “Jonah.”
He’s still mumbling a string of profanity, throwing in phrases like, my baby and my life followed by gruesome threats of bodily harm.
“Jonah!” I place my hand over his and squeeze. “You need to calm down.”
He turns to me, his eyes glistening with anger.
“What is wrong with you?”
His thick black eyelashes make a slow pass over his eyes and he stills. “She’s my baby girl…”
I shake my head. “She’s not a baby anymore. Her and Jack have been best friends for years. He cares about her, like really cares about her.”
His expression softens. “I know, but—”
“You’ve put the fear of God in both her and Jack, I don’t think you need to worry about them spending a little time together.”
It seems to take great effort, but he finally nods.
“I mean, my gosh, they’re going to dinner and a movie, what could possibly happen.”
The moment the words are out of my mouth I wish I could suck them back in. I watch in slow motion as Jonah’s expression hardens and he sets his eyes on mine. He tilts his head as if he’s trying to implant memories into my mind, and just like that the visions flood in.
Sadie was a baby. We’d finally get a date night out.
Dinner and a movie.
Sex in the backseat of the truck.
A nice dinner.
Our hands down each others pants on the way to the theater.
We’d pick the worst, most boring movie knowing the theater would be empty so we could sit in the back row and make out like it was our last chance to do so before the apocalypse.
Once we even lied about going to a movie all together and drove out to Shepard’s Lookout and had sex in the backseat.
My face feels flushed and my breasts heavy as images flash through my minds eye. Jonah’s colorful forearms braced on the back and side window covered in a sheen of sweat as he moved between my legs. I’d have one foot on the center console and the other hooked over his hip while we stayed hidden behind tinted glass and the steam our bodies made together.
I suck in a breath as Jonah pulls me over to straddle his lap right there in our foyer. Even through the thick denim of my overalls I can feel him hard between my legs and roll against him on pure instinct. He groans and drops his forehead into my neck, his lips running kisses up to my ear. My hands slide up his massive shoulders and into his hair.
“We have the house to ourselves for a few hours after Sadie and Carey leave,” I whisper against his temple.
“This is so fucking weird.” He licks at the spot on my neck where my tattoo peeks up over my shoulder. “I can’t believe it’s even possible to get hard right now with how pissed I am about Sadie going out with Jack.”
“Shhh… just let her go. She’ll be fine and we can be alone.”
“I don’t know, I still don’t like it.”
“Don’t you think—”
We both whirl towards Sadie’s voice.
She looks thoroughly disgusted but ready to go out with her hair in long silky flat-ironed panels and a fresh coat of pink-tinted Chapstick. “Why are you guys being gross right by the door? He’s here!”
“I’m distracting your Dad.”
“Hey!” He squeezes my ass and then pushes me to stand, following behind me. He does a quick adjustment to the front of his shorts and then moves the chairs back into the dining room.
“Did you talk him out of doing anything stupid?” Sadie asks in a whisper.
“He’ll be fine.” I kiss her forehead. “And you look stunning. Jack won’t know what hit him.”
She blushes. “Thanks, Mom.”
“Shit. Fuck, shit.” Jonah throws open the door to catch Jack just as he rounds the front of his white 4-Runner.
Jack has a small bouquet in his hands.
My husband frowns.
Sadie’s eyes grow big and she flashes all her perfect white teeth in a stunning grin.
I stand in the middle hoping I’m not lying to my daughter and that there won’t be Daniels blood shed on our front doorstep.
No motherfucking way am I allowing my daughter to go on a date with this kid in that fucking car.
Not only is there a backseat big enough for two, but there’s enough room in the very back for a damn orgy.
No, nope, a
“Jonah…” Raven whispers at my side and squeezes my bicep. “Shh.”
Shit, did I say that out loud?
I’m about to ask when Sadie pushes past me and throws herself into Jack’s arms. A growl bubbles up from my throat which has Raven pinching my tricep so hard I yelp and glare at her. She winks and turns back toward the handsy teenaged boy wrapped around my baby girl. He looks up at me over the top of her head and I wonder when the little shit got so tall. He’s easily six-foot. Not that it matters. I’d still kick his puny ass—
“Uncle Jonah.” He releases Sadie—smart kid—and crosses to me offering me his hand. “I mean, Mr. Slade.” He’s a prettier version of his dad, all the hard angles of his face softened a little with the addition of Layla’s DNA. Where Blake always looks like a threat to all womankind, Jack’s friendlier more approachable features makes me think he’s an even bigger threat.
Raven rocks into my right arm practically shoving it forward to take the kids hand. I do and notice his palm isn’t sweaty and his grip is firm. Why isn’t this kid nervous? He should be terrified to be alone with my only daughter.
I release his hand after a quick shake and he smiles up at me. “Mom said since this is a formal date I should refer to you as Mr. and Mrs. Slade.”
Raven wraps the kid in a hug. “I will always be Aunt Raven to you, kiddo. Not Mrs. Slade. Please.”
“Cool.” He looks between us, and God, his grin makes me want to throat punch him. He got his Dad’s cocky confidence but his mother’s gentle charm which does not bode well for me if I plan on my daughter fighting off his hormonally charged advances.
“Come in.” Raven tries to shove me aside so he can come through the door but I remain right the fuck where I am. He can stay outside as long as I tell him to stay out—
“Dad,” Sadie whispers, her big gorgeous eyes the color of her mom’s shining up at me with urgency. “Please,” she mouths.
Fuck. I never could say no to her.
I step aside and Jack comes in. He’s wearing a button up, collared shirt and jeans with blue Vans and I wonder if he wore my daughter’s favorite brand of shoe just to impress her.
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