Cautious (Disastrous 2) - Page 14

“What?” He asked.

“Don’t play dumb with me, Jimmie. I know you. You were shitting bricks in there. Care to explain?”

“What do you think, Marcus? When he said someone was hiding something, I instantly thought about Michael. He’s going to find out sooner or later.”

“No, he won’t.”

Jimmie tossed his hands in the air and rolled his eyes. “Come on, Marcus! You can’t be that naïve? If he doesn’t know already, Lou is going to figure out that Mia is Michael Sullivan’s sister, and when he does, Lou will begin to piece together the fuckin’ puzzle. It’s only a matter of time. Al wasn’t the rat. Lou was trying to send a message.” Huffing out a deep breath, he sank his head back onto the headrest. “The one person that crossed my mind while we were in there was my little girl. I can’t be a failure to her. And I know you love Mia. I truly understand, but now you have to think about her too. We need to dig deeper and get more info. There had to be someone Michael was working with besides us. He was too smart to have done it any other way.”

With one last glance at him, I turned in my seat, started the car, and pulled off.

What the fuck was I supposed to do now?

***

That night I lay in bed, staring blankly at the white ceiling. My mind was sprinting with all of the chaos. I wasn’t being naïve as Jimmie insinuated. I knew that eventually Lou would figure it all out. I guess I had been in denial, keeping that thought tucked away in the back of my mind, hoping it would all go away. My main focus for so long had been Mia, but I couldn’t stop Jimmie’s words as they trampled through my head.

I fought back the urge to grab a drink. There was always something soothing about having liquor course through my bloodstream. It made everything seem to vanish in that moment. It was another weakness of mine along with Mia.

I was becoming weak, and that was the one thing that I couldn’t become while managing that lifestyle. Weakness was a sign of failure. I’d come too far to fail. Mia was my greatest weakness and I knew that. I had to find a way to juggle it all, because if I kept going about everything the way I had been, she’d be the death of me.

CHAPTER SIX

MIA

“What’s wrong, Mia?” Megan chirped from the other end of the clothing rack.

I hadn’t realized that I was dozing off. Yawning, I forced a smile. “I’m just tired. I stayed up all night studying for an exam.”

“Sorry, I promise I won’t keep you long. This is the first date Jeremy is taking me on, like an actual date.” She smiled as her eyes glistened. “I’m nervous.”

“It’s normal to be nervous. Do you know where he’s taking you?”

“Yeah, the restaurant is called La Matrix d sover?”

I bit back a laugh. “La Maître de saveur?”

Megan’s eyes widened. “Yeah, that place.”

Not able to help it the second time around, I burst into a laugh. “It’s French for ‘The Master of Flavor.’ It’s a very nice restaurant.” I was beyond impressed with Jeremy. He never took a date to an elaborate place. That was a definite sign that he appreciated and respected Megan.

Megan clapped her hands excitedly and jumped in place as her long light brown waves bounced along with her. “Oh, I’m so excited. So you know what’s appropriate to wear for this restaurant?”

“Oh yeah, come on, we are off to search for the perfect cocktail dress.” I winked.

***

Several hours later, we found the perfect dress for Megan’s date. We went our separate ways as I went home and she went to her place, well, the place that she shared with my mother. Sara had come a long way since the day she waltzed back into my life. Our mother-daughter relationship wasn’t perfect, but we were working on it. We had made it a priority to meet up once a week, despite our busy schedules. Tomorrow, we had plans for dinner.

In the meantime, Marcus was coming over that night, so I had to prepare for our evening. It was our fourth date night. An entire week had passed since we made up. As much as I would have loved to have spent every single day with him, our hectic schedules just didn’t allow it, unless we had been living together, and that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. After a long, exhausting week for the both of us, we decided to stay in and watch movies.

I had set up the living room so that we could have an indoor picnic, with an oversized blanket and pillows spread across the floor, along with all the junk food known to man. As I stared down at my grand attempt to romanticize a regular night at home, a hint of disappointment ran through me. I hadn’t exercised in weeks, and all the junk food and late night take-outs were beginning to show—on my ass and hips. Tomorrow, I thought to myself. Tomorrow I’ll begin working out again.

“So, what do you think?”

I swirled around, and my earlier concerns about my rapidly increasing weight vanished. Jeremy looked positively handsome in a black suit, light grey shirt, and matching silk tie. His curly blond hair was well kept and blue sparkly eyes glistened.

“I take it by the huge smile on your face that you like what you see?” He raised a brow.

“Jeremy, you look amazing!” I stared at him in awe for a few seconds before padding my way toward him. Resting my hands along his chest, I ran them across his suit jacket. For some reason, I wanted to make sure every single crease or wrinkle was smoothed perfectly. I felt like a proud mom, which was an odd thought. I loved that he and Megan were becoming closer, though I hadn’t had the chance to discuss their relationship with him. “Jeremy?”

“Yes?” He whispered.

As I adjusted his tie, I quickly glimpsed up at him. He was staring down at me with a slight grin. His aqua blue eyes sparkled with humor. Nerves pricked through me, and I began to fiddle with the tie. I brought my focus back down to my fingers. Wetting my lips, I cleared my throat. “So, you and I really haven’t had time to talk.”

He shrugged. “Talk about what?”

Letting out a soft sigh, I pressed my hands along his shoulders. “Well . . . about you and Megan.” I looked up. His expression grew serious. “We don’t have to talk now. . .” I quickly added.

“What do you want to know?”

“How are you feeling? What are your intentions? Are you taking this seriously?” I blurted all out at once. His lips twitched aside. “Look. You’re my best friend, Jeremy. Hell, I see you as more of a brother than a friend. Megan’s my cousin. I just want to make sure that neither one of you gets hurt. I’ve never interfered with your relationships unless I was asked, but I feel as if I need to know what’s going on between the two of you, for my sanity.” I laughed once.

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