Loving the Broken

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Chapter 19-Cleaning My Guns

Song: Cleaning This Gun-Rodney Atkins

Emily

Damien is mentally and physically exhausted so I wasn’t surprised when he fell asleep, after he asked me to not leave him. I hadn’t planned on leaving him, even his he kicked my ass to the curb. I don’t know what it is going to happen with us but first and foremost we need to be Michael’s parents.

I quietly try to wiggle my way off Day, but his arms squeeze my hips so I can’t move. “Stay.” He’s still sleeping but his word comes out as a gentle plea.

“I’m not leaving, just trying to get more comfortable.” I reassure him. He loosens his death grip on my waist and I slide off his body and lay next to him. He lifts his arm and moves it behind my head, this settle in on his shoulder. His arms comes around and lands on my hip and I place my hand on his chest. Soon I find my eyelids getting heavy and eventually I give in and drift off to sleep.

****

“Emily, Damien’s here. Are you ready?” My mom yells up to me. I glance in the mirror and take last one look at my outfit. I want to look perfect for our first date without my brother and his handsy girlfriend. I’m not sure what we’re doing but he said to dress comfortably. So I put on a white of the shoulder sundress with ruffled sleeves and gold sandals. This isn’t something I would normally wear but since I’ve started Damien I’ve been trying to explore new things.

“I’ll be down in a minute.” I fluff my hair and check my make-up before I leave the room. I head down the stairs and my heart stops when I see my gorgeous guy standing at the bottom waiting for me. He glances up and a giant flirtatious grin spreads across his face.

“Hey, baby.” His voice is above a reverent whisper. “You look radiant.” Red hot heat creeps up my neck and stains my cheeks. I tuck my hair behind my ear and tilt my head towards the ground. Compliments are still hard for me to accept but when Damien gives them I find myself feeling shy and embarrassed.

I feel his fingers caress my face and I can’t help but lean into his hand. “Emily, Please don’t hide from me. I understand compliments are hard to for you but please understand I sill never stop giving them. You are an amazing girl Em and I will keep doing what I need to get you to see what I see.”

He removes his hand from my face and softly cups my chin and bring his face face to his. Butterflies fill my belly when his lips brush my forehead. “Baby, you look extremely kissable and if we don’t leave right now I might be liable to do something remarkably inappropriate in front of your parents.”

I find my inner southern belle and grin back at him while twirling my hair. “Well, now that’s a downright predicament to find yourself in. My, oh, my whatever shall we do?” Damien chuckles.

“You are becoming quite the vixen aren’t you?” I shake my head no while he starts to tickle his my sides, eliciting a burst of high pitched squeals and giggles.

“No, don’t!” I squeal though another fit of laughter. “I take it back.” He continues to attack my hips with his traitorous fingers.

“Not until you say Damien Reed is the most sexist man alive.”

“I’m not going to feed into your ego, dude.” I can’t stop laughing and my body is failing around like a rag doll.

“What on earth is going on in here?” My Dad’s booming voice sends up both flying to opposite sides of the room. I burst into another fit of giggles while Damien looks likes he’s about to pee his pants. “You look like you just got caught with your hand in the cookie jar and my daughter laughs as is she’s the tattle tale.”

“Um...I...” Damien stutters. I’ve never seen him so nervous with my Dad, I find it adorable.

“Daddy, relax.” I run over to him and throw my arms around his neck. “We where just getting ready to leave.” Dad’s eyes never leave my boyfriend and Damien gulps.

“What are your plans with my daughter, young man?” A small snicker comes out of me because my Dad has known Damien his whole life and knows he’s a good kid. He works and studies hard, is a straight A student and has never been in trouble. Well, none that he’s been caught doing. Like that time him and Dan got bored and decided to go spray paint cows. You’ve heard of cow tipping right? Well, they upped it and spray painted them all black, he did get busted but he was let off with a warning. It was actually quite the site when the farmer’s all woke up to black cows.

Those two are always up to no good and just became experts at not getting caught. We’ll just keep that between us. “Well, sir,” he folds his hands behind his back and rocks on his feet. All while Dad is fighting a grin. “It’s...um...a...surprise.” Dad places his finger on his chin,

“Hmm, I don’t know if I like that so come over here and tell me the plan.” Damien swallows air, his eyes flip to me and I shrug my shoulders.

“Okay.” He walks over to Dad and quietly tells him. I try not to eavesdrop, oh who am I kidding? Of, course I am. I hear something about food, and drive. “I’ll have her back by ten.”

Wait...what? My curfew is midnight. Dad burst into a full belly laugh and sets his hand on Damien’s shoulder.

“Relax, Damien, I’m just giving you a hard time. It’s not everyday I get to send my only daughter on her first date. I trust you with her but know I will be waiting on the porch cleaning my guns.” My boyfriends caramel pools widen with unease.

“Daddy!” I holler.

“What?”

“Leave Damien alone.” Dad guffaws and shakes his head in a teasing manner.

“Okay, fine, the third degree is over. You may leave, but Emily?”

“Yes?”

“You may want to take a sweater. It gets a bit chilly up there.”

“Up where?” He presses his lips together and shoves his hands in his pockets. I flip to Damien and he’s whistling.

“Ugh, you are both so incorrigible.” I stomp up to my room and pull down my knitted cream cardigan. I skip down the stairs and see my Dad deep in conversation. “I’m ready when you are.” Both guys cease all communication when they notice me in the room.

“I’m ready, let’s go.” He takes my hand in his and as always tingles make their way up my spine and through my body. “Thank you again, Mr. Woods.” Dad scoffs.

“Damien, I’ve known you since you were two years old so you’re like another son to me. I would do anything for my sons and daughter. Also, I’ve told you it’s either Henry or Dad.”

“Alright, thank you, Henry.”

“Anytime, son. Have a good time and be safe.” I caught his double meaning and hide my face in Damien’s shirt. If he noticed he didn’t acknowledge it. We leave the house and I gasp when I see, a beautiful black truck sitting in our driveway.

“Who’s truck is this?” Damien bought his Dad’s old car from him and basically rebuilt the whole things from top to bottom. His car was a two door so when we always having to drive with the nauseating couple.

“It’s mine.” He answers with a half cocked grin and I’m now concerned because he doesn’t make enough at the shop to pay for this.

“How?”

“I sold my car and my grandpa’s guitar. I also had some help.” His car was as sentimental to him but his guitar is. His grandpa Reed gave it to him when he was 14. It was his and signed by Hank William’s Jr. himself.

“Day, why would you sell something so precious?” I wanted to cry and hug him. I also don’t want to be that girlfriend but it breaks my heart.

“I needed something more reliable and now we won’t have to tag along with Dan.”

“You do make a good point but I’m just worried you’ll get in over your head.” He reaches over and opens my door.

“It’s alright, baby. I’ve got it all worked out.”

“You didn’t take Alfie up on his offer, did you?” Alfie is a known drug dealer who has yet to be caught. I walked in on him and Damien in a heated conversation, Alfie wanted Damien to sell for him. Day turned him down by saying he’s signing his own death certificate. His Dad would kill him if he was dealer, he would also loose me as well.

He laughs as he helps me into the truck. “No, you know me better than that. Your dad is helping me but with stipulations.”

“Which are?”

“I have to keep my grades up, no drinking and driving which isn’t even a problem. No going over the speed limit and I have to pay for my own insurance.”

“Those don’t sound unreasonable. My parents care about you Day. Like Dad said you are his son, you spend more time at our house then you do your own and we all understand why. We feel better when you’re with us because at least we know you are safe.”

He doesn’t say anything, instead he leans in closer and bring his lips to mine. I don’t let him kiss me for long because we could get carried away and I can guarantee my Dad is watching from the window. I place my hands on his chest and gently push him away. Hurt flashes in his eyes before he registers what’s going on. .“It’s time to go.” I giggle when he moves away from the door and closes it. He jumps in on his side and away we go. He jumps in on his side and away we go.

*****

We’ve been driving for about thirty minutes when curiosity got the better of me. “Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise, Emily.”

“I don’t like surprises, you know that.” For as long as I can remember I’ve hated surprises. When I was four my biological father would come home with a new surprise but wouldn’t let me have it until afterwards. I still remember my favorite one, it was a doll with blond hair and blue eyes. Daddy said her name was Emily and she looked just like me.

“I know baby, but didn’t your therapist suggest stepping outside your comfort zone?”

“She did and I’ve been working on it, but the unknown it what bothers me. I can’t control what I don’t know.” I’m not a control freak but I tend to go into panic mode if I can’t control my environment.

“Em, I know and I don’t want to ever put you in that kind of situation, I just want to help you overcome these demons that are holding you back.” I can’t help it when tears spring from my eyes. Damien is my rock, he’s always been there for me.

“What about yours Day? You push yours aside and focus on mine, that’s not healthy either Babe.” He reaches across the seat and pulls me closer to him. I lay my head on his shoulder while his fingers caress my bare arm.

“Just having you near helps, and boxing has been easing a lot of my anger. When I’m punching the bag all I picture is beating the shit out of my father. It’s a much healthier outlet then drinking and doing drugs. I will never touch and type of alcohol because alcoholism is hereditary and I refuse to become him.”

“That’s where you are already better then him.” He kisses the top of my head and goes back to the road. We fall into a comfortable silence, but to keep myself from freaking out I close my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

"Em, Emily.” I hear Damien softly say my name so I slowly flutter my eyes open.

“Are we there?“I feel the vibration of his chuckle on my cheek.

“Where are we supposed to be?” I open my eyes and realize we’re still in the hospital.

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