Understanding Alice Du-Kane, page 1
Understanding Alice Du-Kane
First Edition, 2018
Copyright ©2018 by Riley Walker
Editor: Erica Collins, EDC Editing
Cover Designer: Ashley Leanne Pelham
Formatter: Zoe Parker
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors rights. Thank you for respecting the work of Riley Walker. Don’t be a jerk.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Smoke pot at your own risk.
To the pot lovers all over the world:
May your plants be bushy,
and your edibles chocolatey.
This book is also dedicated to the only man we know who reads our smut,
and actually enjoys it.
Tyler Riley….you go boy
1. Victory Is Mine
2. I Need You
4. Meeting The Competition
5. The Ayes Have It
6. Bad News Brothers
7. Sisters Foreva’
8. Little Discrepancies
9. Vagina Tandoori Indian Cuisine
10. Adopting Dobey
11. Day On The Lake
12. Morning Surprise
13. What Are Your Intentions
14. Baked Barbie
15. Save The Balls
16. Ice Queen
17. Bubble Gum Pink
18. Puff N’ Stuff
19. No He Didn’t
20. Sally From The Block
21. Illegal To Illegal
22. Movin’ On Up
23. Shiny New Toy
24. The Rules
25. Sharing Is Caring
26. Farther South
27. Coming Clean
28. Escape Room
29. Liar, Liar
30. Duff To The Rescue
31. Dog Poop (Zoe POV)
32. Bruised And Broken
33. Boots Suck
34. Finding Their Paths
35. Book Him Danno
36. Hot Tub
37. Moving In
Also by Riley Walker
About the Author
Find Us Here
Marc Cohn, “Walking In Memphis”
Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”
Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like you Do”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name”
Alias, “More Than Words Can Say”
Alan Jackson, “Chattahoochee”
Joe Nichols, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”
Was (Not Was), “Walk the Dinosaur”
Rachel Platten, “Fight Song”
Katy Perry, “Part Of Me”
Bob Marley, “No Woman No Cry”
Richard Marx, “Hold On To The Nights”
Mandy Moore, “Have A Little Faith In Me”
Afroman, “Because I Got High”
Pitbull (ft. Trick Daddy), “Melting Pot”
Sineade O’Connor - “Nothing Compares”
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton - “Islands In The Stream”
Victory Is Mine
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.
I chant these words as I look myself over in the tall, freestanding mirror in my bedroom. My skirt is a knee length, black pencil, and my top is white, crisply ironed with a wide neckline. I slip into my favorite pair of black Jimmy Choo pumps and add a pair of small diamond studs in my ears. The only other piece of jewelry I wear is my mother’s delicate silver cross around my neck. It’s the only thing I have of hers and I never take it off.
My dad gave me the cross necklace on my sixteenth birthday. I never had the privilege of meeting my mother. She died of a hemorrhage shortly after I was born. Dad has a few pictures of her still hanging in his house, but several have been removed over the years. I’m not sure if these reminders are too hard for him to look at everyday, or if it’s his way of trying to let her memory go and moving on after all these years.
Dad never did remarry, and I rarely saw him with any female companions. It has been just the two of us, taking on the world together. My dad, Daniel Du-Kane, has never been an overly involved parent. He took good care of me, and I always knew he loved me, but as far as being present for softball games, dance recitals, and school award banquets, I was always accompanied by my nanny, Sofia. When I turned thirteen, he sent me off to a boarding school in Knoxville, eight hours away from our home in Memphis, Tennessee. Once I graduated, I immediately moved back home and began college at Bluff City University for my undergrad. Now I am in my third year of Bluff City Law School.
Today is my first mock-trial. Normally, I show up to classes in my well-worn jeans, whatever shirt I have that is clean, and my faithful chucks. The mock-trial is the only reason I’m dressed up today. It’s August, and in the south, that’s still considered summer. It’s hot and humid. The idea of walking outside to the classroom in a skirt and heels is not my idea of a good time.
I take one last look at myself to make sure everything is in place. My ebony hair that I usually throw up in a messy bun, has been straightened and falls to the middle of my back. My dad’s deep brown eyes stare back at me. My makeup is simple except for my lips. Blood red lipstick is my weakness. I never leave home without my mascara and red lipstick on. The pumps I put on give my 5’8” height an additional two inches. Everything seems to look okay. There’s no toilet paper hanging out of my skirt, don’t ask, no coffee stains on my white shirt, and no lipstick on my teeth. I’m ready to kick some butt.
I grab my briefcase, compliments of Sofia, and head out of my apartment, that’s courtesy of my dad, and jump into my trusty silver Honda Accord. Dad wanted to buy me something flashy, but everyone already knows who he is, therefore knows who I am. I’m trying to make a name for myself, on my own, without his help in any way.
Why does everyone know who Daniel Du-Kane is? Well, he just happens to be a well-known entrepreneur, of marijuana. That’s right. My dad is the owner of the largest Grow-Op in the country. He grows and sells pot. The business has been in our family for generations, long before it was ever legal. The family business and its nefarious ways are the main reasons I decided to become an attorney. Someone needs to be morally straight, and it definitely isn’t going to be my dad.
I make it to the room the mock-trial will be held in with half an hour to spare. That gives me just enough time to review my notes once more. I open my briefcase and take them out, thankful that I had the foresight to number them just in case. I may be a little klutzy. Okay, I am a lot klutzy. Last week I spilled my coffee all over myself when I fell going up the stairs to my Human Rights class. Yeah, I was walking up the stairs and tripped. How is that even possible?
Tap tap tap…. That sound is distracting me from my notes. I’m taking on the part of the defense council today, and the annoying pen tapper, North Michaelson, is the prosecutor.
North Michaelson is the who’s who of Bluff City Law School. He’s tall, lean, and always impeccably dressed. His hair is brown with natural blonde streaks, he always has a stubble that partially covers the dimpl
I try to ignore the persistent tap of his pen, and study my notes before the trial begins. I get to page three when I hear a door open. Someone clears their throat loudly, and then tells us to rise, Judge Holland, better known as Professor Holland, enters the room and the mock-trial begins.
I square my shoulders and walk out of the courtroom with my head held high, while trying to contain myself from jumping up and down and yelling all over campus.
I beat North Michaelson!
It was a beautiful sight. All the days and hours of studying finally paid off. I took down the King of Bluff City Law School and it feels so good. I hop in my car and head home, stopping by the neighborhood liquor store first for a bottle of celebratory wine.
As soon as I step into my apartment I kick off my shoes, and shimmy out of the skirt while trying to open a bottle of Pinot Grigio. I take my full glass over to my balcony doors. Damn, I have an amazing view. I live on the thirtieth floor in the penthouse. I know I said I don’t do flashy, but when Dad bought this apartment for me, I couldn’t turn it down. The view I wake up to everyday is that of the Mighty Mississippi River. On the weekends, I curl up in a blanket, watch the tugboats go by and wonder how I got so lucky. It’s moments like those that I think my life couldn’t get any better.
I finish off my glass of wine and put the remainder of the bottle in the built-in wine cooler under the kitchen cabinets. Once in my bedroom, I take off the crisp, white shirt and put on my oversized BCU t-shirt. I crawl into my bed with a sense of peace. This feeling I have won’t last long. The phone call I receive in the middle of the night will make sure of that.
I Need You
He’s gone. My Uncle Richie said he died peacefully in his sleep, but is death ever truly peaceful? Oh, I’m sure if I make it to ninety or a hundred, death would be a peaceful blessing, but Dad was only fifty-five. I haven’t really ever thought much about what happens to you, the whole life after death thing. If it is true, I hope Mom is there to meet him. These are the thoughts I have while driving through town and toward my dad’s house.
It’s raining now, and I feel like the universe is crying with me. I’m gripping the steering wheel, focusing on the road, and listening to the latest pop rock station. The conversation with my uncle keeps playing in my head. One minute, Uncle Richie is telling me that my dad, the only parent I have left, has died, and the next he’s informing me that he’ll take care of everything. I doubt I will ever forget that conversation.
“I am so sorry, Alice, but your daddy has passed away.”
I’m still asleep when I answer his phone call, so what he’s saying doesn't quite register with me. “Who is this?”
I hear a throat clearing in my ear, “Alice, this is your Uncle Richie. I’m calling to tell you, your daddy has died.”
“What?!” I jerk up in my bed, finally catching on to what my uncle is telling me. “When? How?”
“We were supposed to meet for dinner at the Country Club and he never showed. I got worried when I couldn’t get him on the phone, so I came over to check on him. I found him in his bed. It looks like he passed the night before, in his sleep.”
I jump up and start searching for clothes to throw on. “I’m on my way over now. Just give me a few minutes to get ready.”
“There’s no need for that, Alice. I already called the police and coroner. I’ll take care of everything. No need to worry your pretty little head about any of this. I can handle the funeral arrangements and make sure his wishes are met. I’ve got the business taken care of, too. You just rest and be over here tomorrow to greet the mourners that will stop by, like the sweet little daughter you are.”
I look at my phone as the screen goes black. Did he seriously just tell me not to worry my pretty little head? That son of a bitch. I ignore everything he told me and finish throwing on my jeans, a t-shirt that smells cleanish, and my chucks. I grab my keys and race out the door.
My uncle still sees me as the little rugrat running the halls, but I’m all grown up now. He’s mistaken if he thinks I’ll step back and let him take over everything. I can, no, I will, run Dad’s company myself. I want nothing more than to make him proud of me.
I take in my childhood home as I pull up the long driveway. The two story house is white with a full wrap around porch. A set of red doors and six pillars, evenly spaced around the front porch, that finish off the old Antebellum home. My dad bought this house for my mom as a wedding gift and they lived here as a family for seven years before I came along and she passed away. Being here, and knowing what lies ahead, fills me with so much sorrow that I’m having a hard time catching my breath. Before I get out of the car and face my uncle, I make a phone call to the one person in this world that understands me. She picks up after the second ring.
“I’m at my dad’s house. I need you.”
I wake up the next morning in my old bedroom under a mountain of blankets. I attempt to stretch my legs and am halted when I feel an arm around my waist. I take a deep breath and peek under the covers to look at the hand that is resting on my stomach. I let out a soft laugh when I realize who that hand belongs to.
“Zoe.” I grab her hand and throw it off of me. I hear a snort and feel her roll over. “Zoe,” I say a little louder this time.
“Shut up. I drove all night to get here. Let me get some sleep, Al.”
Zoe Duran, my best friend since we were assigned as roommates our freshman year at high school back in Knoxville. She is the complete opposite of me. She is shorter than me at 5’5”, slightly more round (don’t tell her I said that), she has mocha colored skin, and her black hair is worn in a myriad of dreadlocks. Where I am a Republican, Zoe is a Democrat. I love Elvis, Zoe thinks ‘Jailhouse Rock’ is the worst song ever written. I live off of coffee and ice cream, she thinks coffee tastes like dirt and ice cream is just stupid. Complete opposites, but somehow we just work. I haven’t seen her since we graduated. I came back to Memphis to study law, and Zoe stayed in Knoxville to work at the Botanical Gardens as a botanist. We keep up on social media and we talk at least once a week, but with my school schedule and her starting her new job, time just has not been on our side. However, when I received the call from Uncle Richie, she was the only person I even considered calling. She is the only one I knew would drop everything to be here for me and not expect anything in return. Zoe always knew what my dad did for a living, but she was the one person who didn’t care or try and exploit him or me. She’s my best friend, my ride-or-die, my soul sister in every way.
She is also the only person allowed to call me Al.
I roll over and face my very best friend, getting right up in her face and blow. “Damn it Al! Don’t be blowing your nasty morning breathe in my face. Get up, get dressed, and go brush your teeth.”
In spite of the circumstances, it’s a relief seeing her face and I can’t help but start to laugh. I have missed this crazy girl like mad. I get out of bed and head toward my bathroom. I have to pee, brush my teeth, and try to find some clothes in my closet that still fit. Once I find a pair of sweats and a shirt that doesn’t cut off my circulation, I head downstairs to start the coffee maker. While I’m waiting on the coffee to start, I hear something coming from my dad’s office. I walk out of the kitchen and into his office where I find my Uncle Richie going through Dad’s desk.
I clear my throat, loudly, before I announce myself. “Hey Uncle. What are you looking for?”
He jumps up so fast he hits his head on the corner of the desk. He rubs his head while giving me a nasty glare. “Alice, what are you doing here? I told you I had everything taken care of.”
I walk further into the room. “I know what you said, but h
“Daniel and I were discussing the purchase of a new storefront to sell edibles, but I lost the realtor’s contact information. I assumed I could find it in here. I know we’re all grieving, but we still have to man the ships.”
It’s barely seven in the morning, I haven’t even had my coffee yet, and I can see right through this man’s crap. “Do you really need it now? If you tell me what you need, I can find it later and have it sent over to you.” By this time, my uncle has moved from behind the desk, so I walk behind it and grab the chair I watched Dad sit in for years, and plop down in it. I push back a little and place both of my feet on the desk, crossing them at the ankles. I silently chuckle to myself at the anger I feel radiating off of him right now.
“It’s fine. I can come back later this afternoon and look for it.” He turns to go, but I stop him before he can walk out the door.
“Actually, this afternoon isn’t good for me. I need to meet with the funeral director at one o’clock. I’ll look for the realtor’s information and get it to you. Was there anything else you needed me to find?”
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