My Best Friend's Ex(5)

By: Quinn & Meghan Quinn

Smalls chuckles behind me, his broad frame shadowing me from the lights. This man is anything but small, more like Thor’s bigger brother. “Dickhead already forgot about Manny being on paternity leave? Sounds about right.”

“It’s frightening that he owns the top construction company in the area when he’s so fucking clueless.”

Racer opens a Mountain Dew, the crack of the can echoing through the night. Everyone else has gone home for the night but since we are the three bachelors of the company, we tend to stay later and hang out, or finish up any projects that might need a little extra in making the timeline we promised. We don’t mind because we have nothing pressing at home calling our names and we would rather hang out than sit alone at home like a bunch of dickheads.

“Not for long,” Racer says, a wiggle to his brows.

Fucking Racer. He’s convinced the three of us are going to break off and start our own construction business. We would be damn good at it, but stability is good for me right now; it’s the only fucking thing I have. After everything I lost just over a year ago, I’m not ready to venture out on our own yet. I’m comfortable with sticking to slaving for the man. Someone else can own the responsibility of running a business for now. I’m only twenty-four. My time will come.

“Still caught up on starting our own thing?” I ask. “Dude, you realize how unrealistic that is, right?”

“The fuck it is. We have the talent, the business skills, the contacts, and the men who would follow us in a heartbeat. You’re just scared.”

“Damn right, I’m scared.” I lean back on the truck bed, my hands propping me up. “Julius might be a drunk, but he’s a nasty drunk. You don’t think he wouldn’t be out to get us if we left and started our own thing? He would bad-mouth us around town, never even giving us the chance to stand on our own two fucking feet.”

And that’s the truth. I’ve known the man for a decade, I’ve seen the shade he throws people’s way when he doesn’t like them. I’ve seen him destroy other contractors, fucking with their job sites, paying off workers to mess up a project, paying city officials to earn bids. He has no moral compass and if I become his competition, there is no doubt in my mind he would set out to destroy me.

But fuck . . . to have my own company with my two buddies? That would be living the dream.

“I’m not giving up.” Racer opens another Oatmeal Pie. “One day. We’ll be sitting in our own pimped out trailer, looking over plans together, making our own goddamn decisions over electricians, and showering our employees with Little Debbie snacks. Hell, that curly headed broad, Debbie, will be our sponsor. Our company could be called Debbie’s Dicks.”

“Orrrrrrr something else,” Smalls chimes in. “Something catchy like . . .” he pauses and then snaps his finger, “Tight Squeeze Construction.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I ask, slightly disgusted with the suggestion.

“Three Erectors,” Racer says with a laugh.

“Butt-Swell Builders.”

“Log Jam.”

“Proud Penises.”

“Manufacturing Man-ginas.”

Looking at Racer now, I deadpan, “Yes, let’s fucking call ourselves the Manufacturing Man-ginas and get a logo with three men wearing hard hats and sporting massive moose knuckles, because if that doesn’t say credible construction, I don’t know what does.” I shake my head at my idiot friends.

They’re both silent for a second before Racer calls over to Smalls, “Hey, at least he’s considering the idea of us going off on our own.”

For fuck’s sake.

I hop off the tailgate of my truck and stretch my hands above my head. Turning to my friends, I say, “I’m going home, so get the fuck off my truck. I’ll see you two tomorrow.”

They both scatter, chugging the rest of their Mountain Dews and then putting their cans in the recycling bag I keep in the back of my truck.

“Think about it,” Racer calls out, backing up as he talks to me. “Man-ginas could be a good way to brand our company. Man-gina stress balls for prospective new customers, doesn’t get much better than that.”

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