Anyone But Him 2: Maddox

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The Call

Pulling up at the shop I let out a sigh. It figured after not being able to sleep over half of the night I’d sleep in this morning. While I still was arriving before the shop opened my dad had beat me here. He had an annoying habit of showing up before 7.

Parking in the back I slid under the bay door that was as about halfway open and looked around. Not seeing my dad I made my way to the stairs thinking my cost was clear.

“Late night?”

I paused closing my eyes. Expecting the worst I glanced over my shoulder watching as my dad rolled out from under a truck. “I guess you could say that.”

I turned watching him stand up. Walking toward him I handed him a rag. “Your mom will be here today so if you're hungover you better find your ass a corner to hide in before she gets here.”

I laughed, “shit you know that won’t be till around 9. Mom doesn’t do early.”

Dad tilted his head but smiled. He was in a good mood and I wasn’t about to question it. “So how’d your race go last night?”

“I won, almost lost it in the end but I made it,” I responded following dad to his office.

“Cause you insist on driving that piece of shit Ford. You have a whole garage of better cars to chose from and you go with that.”

I shook my head, “give it a rest old man my car could take your's any day.”

Dad laughed, “go change. I don’t have time to listen to your momma today.”

Nodding I turned around, “I could always tell her you overwork me and I was so tired I fell asleep as soon as I made it upstairs.”

“You go ahead and tell her that,” dad said sitting behind his desk, “see how fast she calls you out on your bullshit.”

Laughing I made my way upstairs. He wasn’t lying mom knew better and she would indeed call me out if I tried to throw dad under the bus. One thing my parents didn’t play about was each other. We had a customer try and get loud with my mom one day and my dad stopped what he was doing and without even having to say a word had the man apologizing to my mom.

Even though I had showered at Rosalyns I still jumped in and took a quick one to wash off all the sweat I was sure I slept in last night. The girl needed to learn how to put her thermostat on 68 at night. It wasn’t till I was leaving that I saw it and the damn thing was set to 75. I don’t know if she was trying to save money or what but she will be a hard no from me for that reason alone.

Once dressed I opened my fridge expecting to see it empty but couldn’t help the grin that popped up on my face. Mom must have gone shopping for me because I had a whole refrigerator full of groceries. As I pulled out some grapes I had to admit I was a little spoiled. I had threatened mom a million times that I was going to take her key but I kinda liked all the little surprises she would leave me. Yesterday it has been my laundry, today she had brought me groceries. I loved her.

By the time I made it downstairs some of the other guys had already arrived. I frowned making a face as I saw Presley walking in the door. She had been working in the office with mom for a couple of months now and had been nothing but a huge annoyance on my part. She liked giving orders just a little too much.

Presley was in her last year of college. She was majoring in some kind of criminal justice field and had dreams of being a youth probation officer. I didn’t get it but she was mean enough for it. She liked to joke and tell me she chose that field because she had a feeling my children would need her.

“Why are you here so early?” I asked watching as she walked toward me.

Presley cut her eyes at me, “I have class and I left my books here last night.”

I shrugged at her watching as she went behind the counter and started digging pulling out all kinds of random things of hers. Mom had noticed how she had started stashing things at the shop and had questioned her on how things were going with her roommate. She had lived with Anna for the last year and a half and it was clear they were having disagreements.

"You know you could always move back home. I'm sure Harper misses you." I said leaning up against the counter watching her.

Shaking her head she laughed, "no. I mean I love that girl and all but she can't stay out of my closet."

I shrugged, "well you can't live with me so..."

Rolling her eyes Presley walked past me, "even if you had the room no. A, every boyfriend I've ever had has been afraid of you. B, I'm not about getting woken up to all this racket." Presley turned to look at me, "C, and this is the best one yet, I can't stand your ass."

Laughing I walked off, "you know you love me."

I had been goofing off at the front counter when mom walked in. Even at 9:30 you could tell she wasn't in the mood to be up. I shook my head at her as she walked in with her Starbucks in hand. "Your late, you keep this up and you're going to end up fired."

Mom raised her sunglasses, "I'm sleeping with the boss, I can do what I want."

Scrunching up my nose I shook my head holding up my hand, "I don't need to be hearing that."

Mom winked at me taking a sip of her drink, "perks of the job dear."

Dad appeared out of nowhere, "what are you talking about perks of the job?"

Mom stood on her tiptoes kissing dad, "your son here told me I was going to get fired if I kept coming in late. I informed him that I could do what I want since I am sleeping with the boss."

Dad smiled down at her before looking up at me, "don't you have things you need to be doing?"

"Probably," I said giving them a smirk. The look on both of their faces told me that I most certainly did and I needed to go do it. Laughing I held up my hands, "Ok shit, I'm going."

"Your welcome by the way," mom said as I turned around.

Looking over my shoulder I gave her a huge grin, "thanks for going shopping for me mom. Now for supper tonight I want..."

She smiled at me, "boy go on."

It had started storming again a little after lunch and part of me wanted to take the afternoon off and go crawl in bed and sleep. Mom had ordered us pizza for lunch and eating had only made me sleepier than I had already been.

Around 4 I had already called it a day. I had been talking to Peter, one of the mechanics that had been around since I was small when mom walked up on me.

"Hey I need you to go toward Brigsby and tow in a car for me. There's..."

"Mom it's raining, that shit can wait."

"There is a girl that's having car trouble and she doesn't think she can make it here. Just go take the tow truck and pick her and her car up." Mom said walking closer to me.

"Are you fucking kidding me," I said shaking my head looking at her like she was crazy. "It's almost 5 and I have shit to..."

Whap. I felt a hand pop the back of my head, " boy if I hear you yelling at your momma like that again..."

He didn't have to finish his sentence. I looked down. "Damn it. I'm sorry mom. I just...I'll go."

Dad reached down taking the paper out of my mom's hand and shoving it at me. Leaning down he kissed her lips. She looked over at me amused holding the tow truck keys in her hands. "Be careful it's raining pretty good now."

I opened my mouth but the look my dad was giving me told me he was just waiting for me to try him. Taking the keys from my mom I shook my head, "ya'll two get on my damn nerves."

Mom giggled looking up at my dad as I turned to walk out the door. Sometimes you had to know when to back down. My dad was one of the only people I would bow to. He demanded respect, demanded you respond to his authority. I had tangled with him once and it had only taken that one time to see that although he may love me he would kick my ass if he had to.






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