Undone, page 1
Copyright ©2014 Rebecca Shea, LLC
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This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and storylines are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
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Cover design by: Regina Wamba, Mae I Design
Edited by: Beth Lynne, Hercules Editing
Formatted by: Angela McLaurin, Fictional Formats
Follow your dreams and never take no for an answer.
Sifting through the clothes that are strewn about my darkened bedroom, I find my boxer briefs and slide them on. Collecting her bra, panties, shorts, and shirt, I reflect that this is never the fun part of my evening, yet I feel no guilt in asking her to leave. She fell asleep shortly after I fucked her senseless and, for the last hour, I’ve been contemplating how long I should let her sleep before I kick her out.
Sidling up to the edge of the bed, I nudge her shoulder gently. “Hey, Maria.” I keep nudging her until she shifts slightly. “Time to go.” I drop the pile of her clothes on top of her. Giving her some privacy to get dressed, I walk to the bathroom connected to my master suite and close the door behind me.
I turn on the cold water, lean down, and splash my face with it. Grabbing the hand towel from the hanging towel rack, I dry my face and look at the man staring back at me in the mirror. I hear her moving around my room, so I toss my towel onto my bathroom counter and open the bathroom door. The light from the bathroom illuminates the dark bedroom. She is sitting on the end of my bed, leaning down to fasten the straps on her sandals.
Leaning against the doorframe while she finishes up and collects her purse, I can’t help but feel nothing for her. This is not unusual for me; I don’t connect emotionally with most women. I let a woman “in” once—to a place in my heart I really didn’t know existed, but I let her go, knowing she needed something I could never be. I don’t do romance, I don’t do relationships, and I definitely don’t do love.
“Ah, thanks for coming by,” I offer as I walk towards my bedroom door to usher her out of my house and out of my life. I never sleep with the same woman twice; it complicates things. Walking her down the hallway and through the dark, yet modern living room, I open the front door for her, holding it open so she can leave.
Planting herself in front of me, she leans up to kiss me, but I turn my head and successfully dodge her lips—I rarely kiss women either, just not something I like to do unless I care about them, and there’s only been one I’ve cared enough about to kiss.
“Bye, Maria.” I nudge her towards the open door.
“Maria?” She laughs a bitter laugh. “It’s Mariana, asshole.” Just as she says that, a hand connects with my face. I deserved it; I usually do.
“Mariana… Maria, same thing,” I say, closing the door behind her. For a brief moment, a flash of guilt washes through me before it all but vanishes and I feel nothing—again.
“So this one slapped you too?” he bellows. Matt Kennedy is my partner; we ride patrol together for the Wilmington, North Carolina Police Department and have for the last four years. In a sense, Matt is family. He is my “brother”, my partner, but he is also my closest friend. There are very few people that know the real me—Matt is one of them.
“Yeah, you know they tend to get a little pissy when I don’t want to snuggle and I ask them to leave,” I snicker.
“What were you thinking, bringing her to your house?”
“I wasn’t,” I admit.
“Dude, when she gets all Fatal Attraction on your ass, I’ll be the first one to remind you that you brought her to your house.”
Sighing in frustration, I rake my hands over my face. “Yeah, yeah. As always, thanks for your support, man.”
Shaking his head at me, he continues to laugh quietly to himself. Matty, as I call him, is easily entertained. He claims to enjoy living vicariously through my fucked up life. Matt grew up just outside Wilmington, North Carolina, in the seemingly perfect family—mom, dad, and a younger brother. I love listening to stories of his perfect life, how his dad would take him and his brother fishing, or coach their little league teams, and how his mom made dinner every night. My life was a far cry from little league and home-cooked meals, so I revel in his stories, as much as he revels in the stories of my non-parental upbringing and currently non-committal sex life.
Pulling into the drive-thru at the Starbucks that we frequent every shift, Matt places our order. Working the swing shift, we never know what to expect, but we are always busy, so fueling up on caffeine is always our first line of business. Handing me my venti dark roast—black, I laugh and give Matt hell for drinking an iced Frappuccino.
“You always going to drink those pussy drinks?” He has a temper and if I push him just far enough, I can see the vein in his neck start to bulge. It’s how I can tell just how much I’ve pissed him off.
“Fuck off,” he fires back, pulling out of the drive-thru. “I’ll stop drinking pussy drinks when you finally settle on one pussy instead of a different one every other night.” I can’t help but laugh.
“Looks like you’ll be drinking pussy drinks for the rest of your life, Matty.” He sets his Frappuccino in the cup holder and flips me off.
Spending the last thirty minutes of our shift filling out paperwork in the empty parking lot of a strip mall isn’t my idea of “fun” for a Friday night, but at least it’s been a fairly quiet evening. As we sign the last few papers, dispatch announces, “Unit 142, disturbance at 500 East Franklin.”
“That’s us,” Matt announces, and responds to dispatch, “Code three, Unit 142 en route from 800 Main Street.” Tossing his cell phone into the center console, he flips on the lights and siren on our cruiser. Pulling up to the small brick building with “Mac’s Bar” illuminated on the side, Matt shuts off the siren and lights, and double parks behind two pick-up trucks. Matt radios our arrival while I take in the surroundings as I always do. I notice the parking lot is quiet and there doesn’t seem to be any disturbance outside of the building.
Matt enters the bar first through the main door, and I f
I stay near the entrance, monitoring the crowd. This place is standing room only with every pub table, booth, and barstool taken. A band is playing country music on a small stage in the far corner of the bar, with a parquet wooden dance floor full of people, young and old, dancing to the sounds of the live music. I maintain my position at the front entrance and continuously scan the crowd, looking for any signs of a disturbance, when I see her. Dark wavy hair lies just past her shoulders and she’s wearing a tight pair of blue jeans and a black tank top.
Carrying two pitchers of beer in each hand, she maneuvers through the crowd with ease. Smiling and greeting each person she passes, she owns the room. I follow her every move, watching her weave through the sea of bodies from table to table and booth to booth. The crowded bar is hot and stuffy, and I can see a small sheen of sweat across her chest as she sets a pitcher of beer on the table directly in front of me.
“Here you go, boys.” She smiles at the four older men sitting at the high-top table. “Sorry it took so long; it’s crazy in here tonight.” She picks up some empty beer bottles that had been discarded in the center of the table.
“Thanks, darlin’.” One of the men hands her a crisp twenty-dollar bill. Shoving the bill in her back pocket, she picks up two more empty bottles and starts toward the bar.
“Reagan!” the older man hollers, stopping her as she turns back to look at him. “It’s good to have you back! Keep the change, darlin’.” She smiles and nods at him as she begins weaving through the crowd. Matt makes his way back to the front entrance and stands next to me, scanning the crowd.
“Something catch your eye?” He smirks as he follows my eyes, which are fixed on the dark-haired beauty.
“When doesn’t someone catch my eye?” I smile as I watch “Reagan.”
“Good point. Clearly, there is nothing going on here. Let’s go; we have to clear this call and finish up this damn paperwork.”
I nod and Matt heads out the door behind me. I stay put, leaning against the doorframe, watching Reagan for a bit longer. An older man at the bar hops off his barstool and takes her hand, spinning her around to the music. She throws her head back and laughs as he pulls her to him, giving her a quick hug before releasing her. Something inside me stirs, a hunger from within as I watch her smiling, laughing, and talking. There is something about her, something different from most of the women I’m attracted to. I’m intrigued.
“Coming, bro?” Matt hollers from outside the door.
“Yeah, I’m coming,” I yell over my shoulder to him as I turn to leave. Stepping out into the cool night air, I slide into the passenger seat and glance at Matt, who has already started working on the paperwork.
“I think we should swing by here tomorrow night for a couple of beers,” I toss out to see what Matt will say. He fights a smile, but continues filling out paperwork, never stopping to acknowledge what I’ve said. I keep my eyes fixed on the entrance to the bar, wondering as people filter in and out if maybe I’ll catch one last sight of her.
Tossing his paperwork between the front seats, Matt starts the car and drives slowly through the parking lot.
“Never took you for the country music kind of guy.” His tone is snarky and a giant smile is spread across his face.
“As of tonight, I fucking love country music.” I laugh.
“All right, we’ll come back tomorrow night. Just promise me something.” Matt’s tone is serious.
“I don’t make promises, you know that.”
Matt sighs and thinks about what he’s going to say. “Okay then, just try something for me, will ya?”
“I’ll try lots of them for ya, but I prefer brunettes.” I glance sideways and see him grimace.
“Fuck, Landon. Be serious for a just a goddamn minute, please.” He turns his head and fixes his eyes on me.
“Sure, whatever,” I respond coldly. I know I’m about to get one of Matt’s famous lectures on how unhealthy my casual sex life is, and that a fulfilling relationship is what I need. But damn if the fucker doesn’t love my stories. I know he does.
“Just…” He pauses, again choosing his words wisely. “Just, I’ve seen this look on your face before. It’s different.” He pauses. “Don’t try to sleep with her on the first night. Or hell, maybe even the second night…”
I actually bust out laughing. “Okay, that’s pushing it.”
“You know there are only a handful of people I trust, and you’re one of those people. I’ll try my best.” The drive back to the station is quiet as I consider his suggestion.
Unlocking the door, I step inside the quiet house. The living room light is on and I can see my sister Lindsay sitting on the couch with her back toward me.
“Hey, Linds,” I announce, letting her know I’m home. It’s almost one in the morning and honestly, I’m surprised to see her here on a Friday night. Tossing my keys on the kitchen counter, I kick off my shoes and step into the living room.
“Hey, Linds,” I say again. Again, she doesn’t reply. I finally notice the ear buds stuck in her ears. She’s leaning forward with her feet propped on the coffee table and she’s painting her toenails. I sneak up behind her and pull the ear bud out of her right ear just as I yell, “boo!” She jumps and I notice she smears nail polish all over her big toe.
“Goddammit, do you always have to be a dick?” I can’t help but laugh at her reaction.
“What are you doing home? I thought you’d be out with your new boyfriend,” I say sarcastically.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” she says, wiping the dark polish off the side of her toe. “Plus, I kind of wanted to just lay low tonight.” I throw myself down on the couch next to her and stretch my legs out onto the coffee table as well.
“Take off your socks. I’ll paint your nails ‘Midnight in Moscow’ to match mine.” She laughs and lifts her toes, wiggling them in my face.
“Fuck off, Lindsay.” I push her leg away, causing her to laugh even harder. We are so much alike, it’s comical.
“You totally deserve it after scaring me like that. I was just about to watch a movie. Want to join me? I have Pitch Perfect. It’s your favorite,” she says sarcastically and laughs again. She’s really busting my balls tonight.
“How about Fight Club?”
“I hate blood and hitting, plus, you love Fat Amy,” she laughs, and I roll my eyes.
Knowing that we will never agree on a movie, I let Lindsay have her way. “Pitch Perfect it is, but if you tell anyone I watched this movie, you’re going to have to move out,” I joke with her, jumping up to go make some popcorn.
“Yes,” Lindsay says with a little fist pump. She starts sorting through the pile of DVDs on the coffee table, until she finds the one she’s looking for as I bring back a large bowl of popcorn. I made sure to sprinkle Milk Duds and Mike and Ikes in the popcorn, just like Lindsay used to love when she was little. I’m actually glad she’s home tonight. It always takes me a few hours to unwind after work, and normally I do it with a woman, a stranger—but movies with my sister is a nice change.
I set the bowl of popcorn down on the couch between us and she reaches for a handful. Pulling out a half melted Milk Dud, she mutes the TV and turns her body towards me. “You always did this for me when we were little.” She swallows hard. Her voice falters and her face loses color as she brings up painful memories. We’ve gone for years dancing around the topic of our shitty and chaotic childhood, and I’m really hoping to avoid this conversation tonight.
“You always liked candy in your popcorn,” I remind her.
“It was the only way you could calm me down after…”
“Linds, let it go,” I cut her off. “I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories by tossing some candy into your popcorn bowl, okay? I just knew yo
“Lan, you know I would have done anything to help you, right?”
“Linds,” I warn her again.
“Thank you for always protecting me,” she whispers. I can still see the fear in her eyes, just like when we were young.
“I would do it all over again if I needed to. Plus, I kind of like you, kiddo.” I reach out and tousle her hair.
She smiles and turns back to the TV, unmuting it. My stomach drops in remembrance of the shit we went through as kids. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on the movie, so I lay my head back on the cushion and try to push the bad memories out. The visions of those days and nights so clear, so ingrained in my memory, it’s as if it happened last week. I feel the sting on my skin from the belt, and I still see the red marks and bruises from his fists. There are times that I believe I can actually still feel the pain he inflicted to this day.
I feel my heart rate increase as those buried memories resurface. Trying to shake them from my thoughts, I close my eyes and, with three deep breaths, I focus on the vision of Reagan floating around that little bar tonight. I think about her bright smile and the sway of her hips. I catch myself smiling when I think about what she’ll feel like lying beneath me. She will be lying beneath me.
“Aca-Landon, are you up?” I hear her giggle as my door squeaks open.
“Are you going to aca-everything for the next fucking week, Linds? Because I’m not sure I can handle it.” I groan and roll over onto my back. I fling my arm over my eyes to block out the bright morning sun that is making its way through the French patio doors in my room. Lindsay is standing in my doorway, wearing a bikini top and a pair of denim shorts. I glance at the clock on my nightstand and notice it’s almost eleven in the morning.
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