Never Too Far (Chapter 4)


It was my mother's birthday. Nan had called me twice already asking me to call our mother. I couldn't do it. She was on a beach in the Bahamas with him. This hadn't affected her at all. Once again she'd run off to enjoy her life while leaving her kids behind to figure things out.

"Nan's calling again. You want me to answer it and tell her to leave you the hell alone?" Grant walked into the living room holding up my cell phone in his hand while it rang.

Those two fought like actual siblings. "No, give it to me," I replied as he tossed me the phone.

"Nan," I said in greeting.

"Are you going to call Mother or not? She has called me twice now asking me if I talked to you and if you remembered it was her birthday. She does care about you. Stop letting that girl ruin everything, Rush. She pulled a gun on me for God's sake. A gun, Rush. She is crazy. She – "

"Stop. Don't say anything else. You don't know her. You don't want to know her. So just stop. I'm not calling Mom. The next time she calls tell her that. I don't want to hear her voice. I don't give a shit about her trip or what she got for her birthday."

"Ouch," Grant muttered as he sank down on the couch across from me and propped his legs up on the ottoman in front of him.

"I can't believe you'd say that. I don't understand you. She can't be that good in – "

"Don't Nannette. This conversation is over. Call me if you need me."

I pressed end then slung my phone on the seat beside me and laid my head back on the cushion.

"Let's go out. Drink a little. Dance with some girls. Forget this shit. All of it," Grant said. He'd suggested this several times over the past three weeks. Or at least since I'd stopped breaking things and he felt it was safe enough to speak.

"No," I replied without looking at him. There was no reason to act like I was okay. Until I knew Blaire was okay, I was never going to be okay. She may not forgive me. Hell she may never look at me again but I needed to know she was healing. I needed to know something. Anything.

"I've been real good about not prying. I've let you go crazy, roar at everything that moved and sulk. I think it's time you told me something. What happened when you went to Alabama? Something had to have happened. You didn't come back the same."

I loved Grant like a brother but there was no way I was telling him about the night in the hotel room with Blaire. She'd been hurting and I'd been desperate. "I don't want to talk about that. But I do need to get out. Stop staring at these walls and remembering her… yeah I need to get out." I stood up and Grant jumped up from his spot on the couch. The relief in his eyes was obvious.

"What are you up for? Beer or girls or both?"

"Loud music," I replied. I really didn't need any beer and the girls… I just wasn't ready for that.

"We'll have to leave town. Maybe head to Destin?"

I threw my car keys at him. "Sure, lead the way."

The doorbell rang stopping both of us. The last time I'd had an unexpected guest it hadn't ended well. It very likely could be the cops coming to arrest me for bashing Cain's face in. Oddly enough, I didn't care. I was numb.

"I'll get it," Grant said, glancing at me with a concerned frown. He was thinking the same thing.

I sat back down on the sofa and propped my feet up on the coffee table in front of me. My mom hated it when I put my feet on this table. She'd bought it during one of her international shopping trips and had it shipped back here. I felt a sudden pang of guilt for not calling her but I pushed it away. My entire life I'd made that woman happy and taken care of Nan. I wasn't doing that anymore. I was done. With all her shit.

"Jace, what's up? We were just headed out. You want to come with?" Grant said stepping back and letting Jace walk into the house. I didn't get up. I wanted him to leave. Seeing Jace reminded me of Bethy who then reminded me of Blaire. Jace needed to leave.

"Uh, no, I uh… I needed to talk to you about something," Jace said, shuffling his feet and stuffing his hands in his pockets. He looked ready to bolt out the door.

"Okay," I replied.

"Today might not be the best time to talk to him, man," Grant said, stepping in front of Jace and focusing on me. "We were gonna head out. Let's go. Jace can bare his soul later."

Now I was curious. "I'm not a loose cannon, Grant. Sit down. Let him talk."

Grant let out a sigh and shook his head. "Fine. You wanna tell him this shit now, then tell him."

Jaceglanced over at Grant nervously then he looked back at me. He walked over and sat down on the chair furthest from me. I watched as he tucked his hair behind his ear and wondered what he had to say that was such a big deal.

"Bethy and I are getting kinda serious," he started. I already knew this. I didn't care. I felt the pain crack open my chest and I clenched my fists.I had to concentrate on forcing air into my lungs. Bethy had been Blaire's friend. She'd know how Blaire was. "And uh… well Bethy's rent went up and that place was shitty anyway. I didn't feel safe with her staying there. So, I talked to Woods and he said that his dad had a two bedroom condo available if I wanted to rent that. I uh, got it for her and paid the deposit and everything. But when I took her to see it she got pissed. Big time pissed. She didn't want me to pay her rent. She said it made her feel cheap." He sighed and the apologetic look in his eyes still made no sense. I didn't care about his fight with Bethy.

"It's twice as much… or, at least, Bethy thinks it is twice as much as her last place. It is actually four times as much as her last place. I swore Woods to secrecy. I'm paying the other portion without her knowing. Anyway. She, uh… she… took off to Alabama today. She loves the condo. She wants to live on the club property and on the beach. But the only person she would even consider having as a roommate is… Blaire."

I stood up. I couldn't sit.

"Whoa man… sit down." Grant jumped up and I waved him off.

"I'm not mad. I just need to breathe," I said, staring out the glass doors at the waves crashing against the shore. Bethy had gone to get Blaire. My heart was racing. Would she come?

"I know the two of you had a bad end. I asked her not to but she got real mad and I don't like to upset her. She said she missed Blaire and that Blaire needed someone. She, uh, also talked to Woods about giving Blaire back her job if she can get Blaire to come back."

Blaire.Coming back…

She wouldn't come back. She hated me. She hated Nan. She hated my mom. She hated her father. She wouldn't come back here… but God, I wanted her to. I turned my head and looked at Jace.

"She won't come back," I said. The pain in my voice was undeniable. I didn't care about hiding it. Not anymore.

Jace shrugged.

"She may have had enough time to deal with things. What if she does come back? What will you do?" Grant asked me.

What would I do?

I'd beg.