Anyone But Him 2: Maddox

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This Has to Stop

Monday turned out to be a whole shitshow of a day. I had been out with the wrecker before I usually was even up in the morning. Stupid kids doing stupid things and one ended up with his truck wrapped around a tree. He was lucky to be alive.

By the time I had taken the truck to the lot to be dropped off and made it back the shop had already opened. I had hoped to at least get a glimpse of Willow as I returned the wrecker keys but she wasn't in the front, the girl was probably trying her best to stay away from me after this weekend.

Around 1 dad and I were looking at an engine and he was showing me some tricks of the trade when we heard mom yelling. Dad was like a pitbull standing up straight to make sure it was her then he was gone. I, not wanting to miss anything was behind him the entire way.

Funny thing about my dad, when he walked into the room, he gained attention without even having to talk. I had that ability too, but in my opinion, it was nothing like his was. We both stood the same. Legs apart, arms folded. AKA ready to fight.

As the man turned to look at us I noticed it was the same guy that had been bothering Willow at the race the other night. Mom's voice caught my attention, "I don't know what he said to Willow but she just left here like a bat out of hell. I've asked him to leave repeatedly."

I stepped forward but dad held his hand out, "go find Willow, I'll take care of him."

Shaking my head I wanted to tell him that me and this guy had unfinished business anyways but I knew that dad would go just as hard just because mom was so upset. Walking outside I looked around for Willow, her car was still in the back so she had to be close.

I walked over to the shop that we kept my racecars in and when I got closer I heard her crying. Her back was to me as I hit the far corner. I didn't even bother speaking to her, I just wrapped my arms around her.

She jumped at first but realizing it was me she turned around and buried her head in my chest. " I don't know what to do Maddox. I'm trying and it's not good enough."

"Tell me what's wrong. What does he want?"

Willow looked up at me, "money Maddox, I told you he wants money. He let him borrow again! It's even worse now. I don't know what to do."

I frowned, "what? He let who borrow money?"

She shook her head, "my dad, my dad had gambled everything we have away. I promised to settle up for him but I can't anymore. I can't do it."

I rubbed her back, "how much do you owe?"

Willow shook her head not answering. I knew it had to be a lot. Why else would he be here bothering her? I sighed reaching down pulling her face up, "I promise you he won't come back here to bother you."

Even as I spoke I heard tired screech off and I knew it's was him leaving. I sighed, "why don't you take the rest of the day off. I'm sure mom won't mind."

Willow shook her head, "I probably don't even have a job anymore Maddox. He just made me look like an idiot in front of her."

Hearing footsteps I turned seeing dad walking toward us. He nodded his head at me so I told Willow to hold on as I went and spoke to him. He looked past me at her, "she's in some shit Maddox. Guys like that are nothing but trouble. I can protect her here but that girl has a mark on her back."

"I know she owes him money. Something about her dad and gambling." I turned back looking at her, "she would be trouble."

Willow was turned away from us. Dad shook his head, "you need to decide what you are going to do with her and fast because that girl could be a whole trainwreck of problems Maddox."

I tilted my head letting out a breath as Dad turned walking off. Walking back to Willow I kicked rocks trying to figure out if she was even worth figuring out. It was true I liked her, I liked her a lot, she kept me on my toes, but she was the single most stubborn person I'd ever met.

She turned around looking up at me, "so what? I guess he wants me to leave."

I shook my head, "no, you don't have to worry about that guy coming back here.'

Willow tried to walk past me but I reached out grabbing her. "Maddox I can't ok. He's not going to stop. I don't need or want your help. Go play with one of your other girlfriends."

Letting out a deep breath "I shook my head, "you have got to stop this Willow. You can trust me."

Pulling out of my grasp Willow looked over at me, "let go of me Maddox. Just let it go."

"Damn it Willow stop. Every single time I try and help you, you fucking run off."

Crossing her arms she shook her head, "then take it as a hint. I DO NOT WANT YOUR HELP."

Willow let out a gasp of shock as I reached out grabbing her shoulders taking the step I needed to be completely in her face. "If you are stupid enough to do this on your own then fine. I’m telling you I will help you but I can’t I’d you don’t talk to me. Stop running when you have somebody willing to protect you.”

With that I let her go turning around. Willow needed to come to me on her own. I couldn’t keep doing this back and forth with her. I needed her to make up her mind.

I had thought she would leave for the day but at five I saw her walk through not bothering to look at me. So she was choosing to ignore me. That was fine I had a race to get ready for. One that was a little more dangerous than any of the others I’d ever raced in.

Seeing mom in dad's office I went to speak to her. She looked up from the papers in front of her and sighed. “Be free this Sunday night. Your Aunt Maggie is coming to town.”

I sat down across from her, “ok. Was Willow ok when she came back.”

Mom lifted her eyes to me before shrugging, “she was quiet. Give her some time Maddox.”

I frowned at her, “time for what?”

Mom tilted her head, boy I wasn’t born last night. I see the way you watch her. The damn girl turns red every time I say your name.”

Rolling my eyes I sat back, “I don’t know what you are talking about woman.”

She looked up and I couldn’t help but grin, “mom, she’s stubborn as hell.”

Mom snorted, “baby have you met yourself?”

Dad walked in coming to stand behind mom. He squeezed her shoulders, “leave the kid alone J, he will figure this out.”

Mom looked over at me, “don’t get in over your head.”

I nodded looking down, “I know what I’m doing.”

She snorted, “baby I’m grown and I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. Take one day at a time. Keep your head straight and follow your heart ok."

She looked up at dad, "this one right here always thought he knew what was best and if we would have listened to him we wouldn't be here now."

I looked up at dad who was rolling his eyes. He looked up at me grinning, "I couldn't shake your mom off with a stick."

She laughed looking up at him, "keep on Blaine and I swear to God..."

He silenced her with a kiss before smirking, "ain't going to do shit."

"She keeps pushing me away."

Mom and Dad both looked up at me and I instantly regretted the words that came out of my mouth wishing I could take them back.

"Maddox you have to work to get something special. It's not just going to fall into your lap." Mom stood up beside dad, "she's pushing because she's scared. Just be there, prove to her you aren't running. Stand by here through all of her little mood swings. Just make sure that's what you want."

Dad nodded, "Your mom's right. If it's meant to be then you'll figure it out. Life's not easy, never has been, but one day things will settle down for you and you will understand.

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