Chapter 8 - Night skies
“Jesus, would you take it easy? That’s the third time you’ve beaten me tonight.”
My brother whined while picking up the last bean bag.
“I know, now I’m wondering when you’re going to stop playing against me. Someone else can play this round, I’ve got to check the cookies.”
I smiled while walking back into the house.
Beau was sitting on the couch with my book in his hand but he looked like he was about to fall asleep more than anything else. What was he even doing here if he was that tired?
I took the cookies out of the oven and put them on the cooling racks that my brother has recently added to his ever-growing collection of kitchen tools and gadgets.
Taylor asked as he walked into the room.
“They smell amazing.”
“Tried a new recipe?”
Beau’s deep voice bombarded Taylor’s as they spoke at the same time.
He seemed to have woken up completely.
“Yep, strawberry crinkle. Do you want one?”
I asked him even though I already knew the answer.
He grabbed a paper plate from the counter and held it out toward me. I slid the spatula under one of the cookies and placed it on his plate, expecting him to pull it back toward him but he kept it suspended in the air waiting for another cookie. I laughed but added one more and he raised an eyebrow at me.
Geez, could these guys eat any more cookies?
I added one more on his plate and he was finally satisfied.
Within ten minutes the first batch of cookies was gone. I suppose they all approved of the new recipe.
Taylor and I found ourselves out front, away from the music and drinking happening in the backyard.
“Edie and Cayson are bitches.”
He blurted out.
“Wow, Taylor tell me how you really feel.”
I laughed. Edie and Cayson were the mean girls.
“I’m serious, I’ve known them for almost three years and they have always loved messing with people. They will move onto something else soon.”
I could tell that he actually believed that but I knew something about mean girls that Taylor didn’t. They didn’t stop until they broke you. Then, and only then would they would move on.
“Yeah, you’re probably right.”
I said while taking a seat next to him on the swing.
“Do you like North Carolina, Taylor?”
“It’s not bad.”
I knew that he had lived in a few more states than I had. Jackson called him a military brat, I guess I kind of was one now too.
I leaned my head back onto the swing, I knew that if we pushed back hard enough and locked our knees, I would be able to see the night sky peeking out from the eve of the roof. I used to love staring at it, but now for some reason, I preferred a cloudy sky in the middle of the day instead. There was just something about watching clouds pass overhead that mesmerized me.
A cloudy daytime sky wasn’t an option at that moment, so the night sky would have to do.
“What are we looking for?”
What was I looking for?
The front door opened and we both popped our heads up.
“There you are.”
“Beau is taking us fishing tomorrow morning. Taylor do you want to join?”
He grinned and I noticed Beau lingering in the doorway.
“I can’t. My little sister has her first soccer game, she will kill me if I miss it.”
Beau walked onto the porch and turned around when he was halfway down the stairs.
“I’ll be here at 7 am.”
My brother nodded and I wondered how drunk they actually were.
7 am on a Saturday? Ugh.
Taylor left a few minutes later and I went inside to wash the dishes that were left from all the cookies I’d made.
“I’m going to bed Jack.”
I told my brother before I headed to my room he nodded and titled his beer back, listening to one of his friends ramble about football.
I showered and slipped back into my favorite pajamas before looking for my book.
Where did I have it last?
Then I remembered that I wasn’t the one who had it last. I walked back into the living room and grabbed it off the coffee table where Beau left it.
When I started thumbing through the pages I looked for my bookmark but couldn’t find it. It was just a simple leather one that I carved my name into when I was probably about eight years old. I could just get a new one.
But then something else caught my eye. Tiny things scribbled here and there and I brought the book closer to my face so I could make out the words.
This better be in the movie.
They could leave this part out.
Hermione for president.
I couldn’t believe Beau wrote in my book. The audacity. But there it was, in perfectly uniformed capital letters.
I laughed at all the little notes he’d left. Beau was funny, he just didn’t focus on words so much. I’d noticed that he was more of a thinker.
I ran my fingers over his words and imagined him sitting in the living room doodling away which made me laugh all over again.
My alarm went off a 6 am the next morning and I wondered if Jackson was awake yet until I smelled coffee. I slid down the hall in my PJs and socks and Beau stepped out at the perfect time for me to ram the side of my body into his.
I said, holding my shoulder.
He just grinned.
“What happened to 7 am?”
“Jackson wasn’t answering his phone, had to make sure he was awake.”
Oh, so he liked to take care of everyone. I wanted to think that I was relieved by that but I wasn’t.
“What does one wear to go fishing?”
I asked pouring coffee into a mug.
He pointed to my pajamas.
“Jeans and a t-shirt are fine. Nothing you like too much though.”
I walked back to my room to get ready and I heard my brother grumbling about waking up so early but Beau only laughed at him.
The day should be fun with one of them hungover and the other one who was so unpredictable as far as his moods.
I never knew which Beau I would get.
I watched the trees pass from the back seat of Beau’s truck, wondering when in the world we were going to get to wherever it was were going.
I didn’t have to worry much longer, he pulled his truck over and and we all got out, grabbing the fishing rods. I had no idea how to hold the thing much less how to use it to catch a fish.
Why did I agree to this?
After a few instructions from my brother, I tried it out but I could not get the thing to release right. The steps weren’t confusing but for some reason my fingers weren’t willing to cooperate.
Beau laughed as he came up behind me, putting one hand over mine and the on my back before he pulled the rod back.
“Don’t let go of the button until you get here.”
He stopped our movements midair, letting me get a feel for exactly where.
He moved his hand from my back, wrapping it around me so that he could hold onto the rod too. It was weird to have someone that close to me, my back pressed to his front.
He pulled the rod back and I released the button when I felt his finger leave mine. The line fell far away from the pier.
“Now reel it in a little.”
He said, stepping back.
I did and he picked his own rod back up, casting it out far beyond where mine landed but I was barely paying any attention.
I was trying to talk my heart out of beating so hard that it busted through my rib cage. He was only helping me cast a fishing rod, what was wrong with me?
That was when I realized that I was walking a thin line with Beau Holmes. One false move, one toe over the line and it would all blow up in my face.