Just One Chance (Oh Tequila Series Book 1)(5)By: C.A. Harms
Lifting my hand in the air, I offered a “whatever” kind of wave. “I don’t need help, I got this.”
But on the inside I was starting to think maybe I had pushed Red a little too far. The idea of being drunk in his presence tonight was asking for all kinds of crazy shit to take place.
Toby lit up with delight the moment Marcus handed him his freshly scooped bowl of ice cream.
No one cared that he leaned in and put his face directly in the bowl, opting out of waiting for a spoon. Instead we laughed, as did he when he lifted his head to show off his new self-made mask.
“Isn’t that cold?” I asked him.
His grin was wide and mischievous as he shook his head and did it all over again.
By now my mom was used to his unpredictable ways; she no longer batted an eye. Instead she simply lay the rubber-gripped spoon beside Toby’s bowl and ignored the fact that he showed no signs of grabbing it.
“Do you two have big plans for the night?” she asked as she took a seat in the only chair still left at the table.
She looked tired, and for a moment I just looked at her. I wished there was something I could do for her. A way I could relieve just a small amount of the heaping stress both she and my father felt.
“I’m forcing your daughter to go out tonight,” Marcus stated, causing me to focus on the present instead of being lost in wishful thinking. “She hasn’t had a free night since she started working at the Sub Shop and I’m making her take advantage of it.”
He seemed pleased with himself.
“Yeah, by making me go to some college party,” I said, wrinkling my nose and making my mother laugh.
“Marcus.” She fought the smile I knew she wanted to share and tried to maintain that motherly expression she used often. Marcus was like one of her own. “I think we both know that Morgan hates parties. Do you plan to babysit this evening?”
“Yes,” he said without hesitation. “I fully intend on making sure that no one gets in her way. But I do, however, think she needs to relax a bit. We both know that stick up her ass cannot be comfortable.”
At that point my mother had no hope of hiding her smile any longer. I narrowed my eyes at the both of them and had a flash of “I’ll show them stick up my ass” moment.
“You two are awful,” I said as I leaned over toward Toby. “Do you think I’m difficult?” I asked him and he took a small break from his ice cream to nod his head, agreeing with the other two.
“Toby,” I said, trying to act offended, “I thought you were on my side.”
He laughed, Marcus chuckled, and my mother sat back with humor in her eyes. It looked good on her.
And in that moment I made a mental note to set aside a girls’ day she and I could share.
Marcus could sit with Toby if my father was at work. I knew he would.
We drove by the house where the party was first. A slow pass, just to get a feel for what was to come.
The front porch held entirely too many people as they stood sandwiched together. Laughing, talking, and some—well, let’s just say they needed to take it inside. Preferably behind a secure door that hid their goodies from the rest of the world.
“You ready to have some fun?” Marcus asked, pulling my attention away from the house and back to him.
He chuckled, and it was then I realized I was sneering in disgust.
“Does one ever get ready for that?” I asked, pointing over my shoulder back toward the house. “I mean come on, doesn’t a nice quiet movie sound better than…” I waved my hand, unable to think of a proper word for what was going on behind me.
“You are such a prude,” he said, shaking his head as he proceeded to look for a parking space.
“No, I just have an allergic reaction to dumbasses,” I said in defense. “And something tells me there are a whole lot of those—in there.”
Again I pointed over my shoulder.
He didn’t answer me, he didn’t try to fire back with any type of smartass remark. Instead he simply parked the car and pulled the keys from the ignition.
I sat in shock as he climbed from the car, shut his door, and began walking across the street, leaving me behind.