Imperfections, page 1
Table of Contents
Chapter One Cat
Chapter Two Cat
Chapter Three Nick
Chapter Four Cat
Chapter Five Nick
Chapter Six Nick
Chapter Seven Cat
Chapter Eight Nick
Chapter Nine Cat
Chapter Ten Nick
Chapter Eleven Cat
Chapter Twelve Nick
Chapter Thirteen Cat
Chapter Fourteen Cat
Chapter Fifteen Cat
Chapter Sixteen Nick
Chapter Seventeen Cat
Chapter Eighteen Cat
Chapter Nineteen Cat
Chapter Twenty Cat
Chapter Twenty-One Cat
Chapter Twenty-Two Nick
Chapter Twenty-Three Cat
Chapter Twenty-Four Cat
Chapter Twenty-Five Cat
Chapter Twenty-Six Cat
Chapter Twenty-Seven Nick
Chapter Twenty-Eight Nick
Copyright © 2014 by Shaniel Watson
Published by Shaniel Watson
First Edition March 2015
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 permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover by © Sarah Hansen Okay Creations
Interior Design by Amy Eye, The Eyes For Editing
I'm the mother of two beautiful little girls, Sania and Kyeara; they drive me crazy at times with their arguments, but as much as they drive me crazy, I love them even more. This book is dedicated to them along with my sister, Nicole, my brother-in-law, Errol, my mother, father and my cousin Andrea. They believed in me and my ability to write this book before reading a single word I had written. Thank you for all your love and support.
Here we go. I can't believe I'm at my sister's wedding getting ready to watch her walk down the aisle, to my best friend. I'm the maid of honor and I'm in love with the groom. This is so wrong on so many levels. I watch her walk down the aisle on my father's arm, she is so beautiful. She looks like she's walking in a field of white-and-pink roses in an off-the-shoulder lace and satin form-fitting gown. Suddenly, the whole room freezes and everyone turns to me in slow motion and my sister mouths to me, "You want him? You can't have him. You're too late."
That's the furthest I get in the dream or I should say, nightmare, I have my first night back home. The longest night of my twenty-four years on this earth. The moment she said those three crushing words, "We're getting married." My heart almost stopped.
Welcome freaking home to me!
I'm back in New York after four years and no one came to meet me at the airport. I know I said I didn't want anyone picking me up, but they haven't seen me in over a year and I was only in New York for two days. I can't wait to see everyone especially my niece, my eldest brother James's three-year-old daughter. She is so cute with chubby cheeks, lots of curly long hair that reaches her shoulders, big dark brown eyes with sun-kissed skin just like her mother and a smile that would melt anyone's heart. I also can't wait to see Kaitlin and Christopher, my twin brother and sister.
The one person I missed as much as my family is my best friend, Nicholas Alexander. For a few years, Nick, my brother Chris, and I were like the three musketeers; we always had each other's backs. Even though they were four years older than me, they never treated me like a little kid.
While I'm in my thoughts the cab pulls up to the front of the house.
"This is your stop," the cab driver says.
I open my bag and he looks up at the red brick house that I grew up in.
"You live here?"
"Yes, I've been gone awhile, but I'm back for good now."
"Mind if I ask you something?" He turns his head and looks at me.
"No," I say, trying to find my wallet in my huge bag that would seem contains my whole life.
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
I smile to myself, finding my wallet. I look up and realize he's kind of cute but not my type. His deep brown eyes do draw you in and his full head of brown curly hair is begging to be touched. He's the cutest cab driver I've ever had but there's only one guy I'm interested in.
"Not exactly. He's a boy and he's my friend but I'm hoping to put the two together real soon," I answer truthfully so I don't have to shut him down if he asks for my number. He smiles at me and shakes his head.
"The pretty ones are always taken; nice house and here's my number just in case it doesn't work out with your friend or if you need a ride. I'll be more than happy to pick you up anytime."
I take the card he hands me as I step out of his cab and I flash him a smile. "Thank you," I say, closing the door as an unusual cold blast of air for this time of year hits me, and I get my suitcase out of the trunk.
I forgot October could get this cold in New York. I climb up the seven steps that will lead me to my parents' front door and get my keys out of my bag. I should have checked the weather and worn pants instead of my coral pink cable-knit sweater dress that only catches me mid-thigh and three-inch calf-high black leather boots. It's so cold I can see my own breath. Thank God I wore my long red-skirted pea coat that catches me just above my knees and my black cashmere scarf. Man, this suitcase is heavier than I remember, I thought I packed light. I'm glad I had the rest of my stuff shipped here. I should have worn my hat but of course I didn't want to mess up my curls. I turn the key in the lock and push the door open.
A room full of family and friends yell, scaring the shit out of me. I'm scared speechless while my mom and dad rush toward me.
"Baby, were you surprised?" My mom says.
Hell yeah, but I'm so happy to see them.
"Yes, I'm so surprised I almost wet myself."
My dad grabs me from my mom's arms. "Come here, baby girl." He gives me a bear hug lifting me off my feet. "My kitty Cat's home," he says in his deep voice.
"I love you too, Dad, but please let me go I need to breathe."
I'm so happy I'm smiling from ear to ear and so is he. I feel like a spinning top for the next ten minutes while everyone hugs me. James starts teasing me about my height as usual because my mother and I are the shortest ones in our immediate family at five three.
"Damn, girl, I see you finally had that growth spurt, when did that happen?"
"As soon as I bought these two-hundred-dollar boots." I lower my voice. "Smart ass."
We start laughing, like old times.
"Watch your mouth, little girl, I'm still your big brother."
"How can I forget when you're always reminding me?" I say, rolling my eyes. "Jay, where's Sasha, that cute niece of mine?"
"My little angel fell asleep waiting for y
"I wanted to see her. I guess I'll look in on her later. Where are Chris and Kate?" I ask at the same time the doorbell rings.
"They're running late but maybe that's them."
I turn around and see them walking into the living room looking nothing like twins at all but that's nothing new; they were always opposites. I always thought Chris and I should have been twins, we are more alike when it comes to sports and our personalities. He always had time for me no matter how small or big my problems were. Kate was the opposite of us both; she was always into girly stuff when we were younger. She had tons of girlfriends and was basically a social butterfly. She never understood why I wanted to hang out with Chris and Nick.
"Oh my God, Cat!" Kate says when she sees me.
We both rush forward to give each other a hug.
"You look great, Cat, when did you get this hourglass shape? Don't tell me it's been that long or is it because you took my advice and stopped wearing your clothes two sizes too big?"
"Don't start that, I never wore my clothes two sizes too big, they were just roomy and I was on the thinner side."
"Well it looks like you've gained some weight in all the right places. You look fabulous and I love this outfit, I've never seen you look so sexy."
"Watch the sexy talk," Chris chimes in. "That's my baby sister."
"Chris, please shut up and give me a hug." I wrap my arms around his neck and he twirls me around once before putting me back on my feet.
"Your style has changed, and I approve," Kate says, giving me a nod of approval.
"Yes, my style has changed since you last saw me, and I owe it all to working out four days a week and eating right." I pull out of Chris's hug and take three steps back, give them my best model pose, sultry eyes and head tilting pouty lip, while both my brothers look at me. At the same time they both shake their heads and say,
Kate looks at me with her almond-shaped dark brown eyes. "Is this new look for anyone in particular?"
"Can't a girl take care of herself? You know what they say—when you look good you feel good. Besides, sometimes change is good; it gives you a new start. So what's new, guys?" Kate looks at me like she has something to tell me. I know that look; she definitely has something to say.
"I can't wait to tell you, Cat; you and everyone else!"
"You mean no one else knows why you're beaming like a one hundred-watt light bulb?"
"No, we wanted it to be a surprise."
"We?" Before I can ask who "we" are, the doorbell rings again. "Is everyone coming over to welcome me home tonight? Give me your coats I'll hang them in the closet while I get the door. You can get Mom and Dad from the kitchen and get everyone together so we can all hear about this surprise." I walk out of the living room, pull the door in a little and open the closet door. Putting the coats in I ask, "Who is it?" I get a welcome surprise from the other side of the door in the form of a deep, rich, smooth voice.
I run as fast as I can to the door in my three-inch heels and jerk the door open.
"What are you doing here? Your e-mail said you weren't going to be able to come over tonight." I smile up at him and he's staring at me like he's never seen me before. He grabs me and pulls me into his arms. I throw my arms around his neck as he lifts me off the ground. He smells so good, like I remember, maybe even better. A clean, crisp, fresh scent, all male and sexy. I missed that too.
"Kitty Cat…I would never miss your homecoming," he whispers in my ear as he slowly lets me slide down his body. Smiling at me, his hand reaches up and gently tugs on one of the curls lying on my shoulder. "I'm glad you're back, I missed you. Don't stay away that long again."
He looks even better than I remember; six one, black hair, full lips that are totally kissable and grayish-blue eyes that are so intense at times. After all these years I still can't figure it out, his eyes are just hauntingly beautiful to me. And a smile you can't resist.
Damn, it's cold out here. I don't remember it being this cold earlier this evening. Good thing I don't have to look for a parking spot. Every time I walk up these stairs it brings me back to being a kid again. Some days I spent more time here than at my own house. My mother used to say, "Nicholas, are you going to your second home again? Tell your other mother I said hello." She always thought that joke was funny. I would smile and say, "Mom, you know I love you. I'll tell Mom number two if I see her you said what's up."
I ring the bell and wait. I can't believe Catherine's back for good. When she texted me and told me, I thought she was joking. Since she left New York we don't talk as much as we used to. We might e-mail and text each other once in a while but it's nothing like when she lived here. We would hang—at my apartment or go to lunch—least two or three times a week. Hit the clubs with some of her friends and mine including her brother but sometimes she didn't like that.
If she had more than two drinks or a guy kept coming on too strong, Chris always stepped in to let the guy know it was time to back off. Then he would lecture her about keeping her mind clear and that would put a stop to any idea she had about having a third drink. It used to bother me if a guy was all up in her face with his hands on her. At times I wanted to step in and say something to whichever guy was all over her but I knew she wouldn't like that. As long as they kept their hands to themselves and she didn't even think about leaving with any of them, I was cool.
The door opens and there she is. Looking like I've never seen her look before. Her hair was usually long and shiny straight down to the middle of her back with bangs. No bangs tonight, now it's parted in the middle with soft bouncing shoulder-length curls. I like it. Now you can see her almond-shaped warm light brown eyes better, her long eyelashes and perfectly arched eyebrows. Delicately high cheekbones, cute little straight nose, full pouty lips, heart- shaped face with a barely noticeable amount of makeup and shiny lip gloss. Damn, I missed her.
She used to be about ten pounds lighter, now she looks about one twenty-eight. I like it. The extra weight looks good on her, especially in this dress. Her smile is exactly how I remembered it, beautiful. I pull her into my arms and hold her; I hadn't realized how much I missed her. I hear Chris's voice as I'm taking my hand away from Cat's hair.
"Dude, you were out there for a while, how long does it take to park a car? It can't be that hard for you, you're one of the top lawyers in New York."
"I had to take an important call from one of my clients."
"Get in here, man, you two have all night to talk. Your girl's about to tell us something, she has everyone in the living room for some big announcement."
Shit, this fucking girl, I hope she isn't going to do what I think she's going to do. I should have told Cat about us but I didn't know how she was going to react…yes, I do, that's why I didn't tell her. Why tell her if she wasn't coming back? It would only have upset her. Then Kate tells me this shit days before Cat tells me she's coming back from Canada to live in New York.
I turn around when I hear Chris's voice. What does he mean by "your girl?" Since when has Kate been Nick's girl? The only time they used to talk is if they happened to see each other when he came over to the house. When we were kids they barely said two words to each other and those two words were hi and bye.
The three of us walk into the living room together like when we were kids. Chris on my left and Nick on my right. Everyone in the room except for Kate and my parents is sitting down. Kate is standing in the middle of the room with a smile plastered across her face and my mom and dad are standing next to her. I wonder what the surprise could be. By the look on my parents' face, they're wondering the same thing. Kate looks at me standing across from her and I smile back.
"Everyone, I have an announcement to make."
Across the room from her to her right, Jay says, "We know that, cut the suspense. What is it?"
Everyone laughs and I look up at Nick standing as still as can
"I'm getting married! Nick and I are engaged! Surprise!"
In the amount of time she takes to say those words I go through ten different emotions and the biggest one is a shocked, WTF did she just say?
It is a surreal experience. It's like I'm floating out of my body and watching the whole scene. Like, what the fuck just happened here, am I hearing right? I don't even see when Nick walks away to stand next to Kate. Everyone is smiling and congratulating the happy couple. My mother's beaming from ear to ear and my father and brothers are shaking Nick's hand. Someone takes out a bottle of Rose Moet Champagne. It's flowing everywhere in crystal flutes. I see Chris look at me and I make my way over to the newly engaged couple. I put a smile on my face looking at Kate then at Nick and tell them, "Congratulations."
I lean in to kiss my sister on the cheek. "So when's the big day?" Kate starts talking and puts her left hand on Nick's right arm.
"We're not sure, but I think in January."
"Wow! That soon?" my mom says. "That's only three months away. I think you're going to need more time than that to plan your dream wedding."
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