Chapter 1: Not the beginning but still a start
Life has a crazy way of working out, or not in some cases. It’s crazy how it is for some people though the only thing we all have in common is struggle, pain, and compassion. We feel these things the most besides anger and frustration that is. Most of us the main thing we all have in common is at some point we are all lost. We get lost and alone until we’re found, strange thing is though we don’t know when we’re found until someone special finds us. What happens when two people who are lost get found together at the same time though. Guess I’m about to find out.
“This day is taking forever I want to go home!” Trevon whined. “We only got five minutes you dork and everyone is gone.” Tess said taking off her gloves as she got done cleaning out all the patient rooms. The doctor came out with a stick of string cheese giving it to Tre’. “What’s this Dr. Corban?” He asked curiously. “Oh you know a little cheese to go with you little whine.” He answered back flipping over the chart he was done with. The other two girls in the office laughing at him. “Alright fam. Is that how you say it?” Dr. Corban asked Tess. “Yes.” She whispered back with a smile. “Alright fam let’s lock up it’s Friday go let loose or whatever it is you do I don’t care. Just don’t call me to come bail you out, until Monday.” He said making everyone laugh.
“You want to go straight home or do you want to go meet up with the girls outside?” He asked Tess. “Let’s meet them out side.” Going into the parking lot they met up with three other girls. “Hey you guys, I’m so excited three days off! So are we going out to the bar tonight?” “How about the little quiet one in town they got billards and dancing that doesn’t get that crowded but still pack enough to cover the floor.” Tre’ said.” Perfect well meet you two there. Let’s say about 6?” They nodded.“Hop in handsome Tess said as she unlocked her Navigator. “So what time you think I should have the Uber meet us outside about 5:30?” “Yeah that sounds good.” “You need me to curl your hair?” He asked her. “No, I’m going half up half down natural tonight.” “You wearing a dress or Jeans?” “I was going with my black halter top dress and black little boots.” “Ohhh, sexy.” He purred. “I swear you should be gay because you would rock it hard.” She laughed. “I would be offended if you weren’t so right with all these cay ass females hitting me up I just might start jumping on that pogo stick. You females be crazy as hell.” Tre’ said shaking his head.
Trevon Walker was Tessenia Aldermans best friend since she could remember. Her other best friends Aria Brooks, Ellie Echo Wheeler who they sometimes called E-E, and the ever sassy Gabrielle Turner all became fast friends in nursing school and stayed close ever since all being twenty-five years old. Tess, and Tre’ work for a general doctor names Dr. Corban Holden the most sought out doctor and surgeon. The other girls work at a family practice across the street her other friends ran another general practice like an urgent care center but she tried to spend less time with them as they came on a little stronger than she would like.
After getting dressed they finally got to the bar it wasn’t too crowded but it was a good crowd. Walking over to one of the many pool tables she started to rack on of the empty ones. “Alright boo let’s see what you got.” Tre’ said as they waited for their friends. She just slid in the last shot. “Pay up bitch! Tess said as Tre’ gave her a twenty. “You straight up evil. You want a drink girls are here.” Tre’ said. “I want a cherry coke please.” “Will do.” Tre’ said as he blew a kiss to her hugging the other girls. “So you want to play teams or go dance?” Tess asked them When a song they all loved came on they didn’t even need to ask they all just quickly made their way to the dance floor not realizing they were being watched the whole time.
“Guys girls are here let’s hurry and make a move before someone else does. Enzo said hoping out of the booth. His friends quick behind him Xavier hesitated before getting out the scars on his left side of his face he knew people were afraid of him but not Tess she always joked with him, and treated him like he was everyone else. He looked forward to Fridays when he knew he’d be able to steal a hug and dance from the angelic woman. Always to scared to make deeper move.
Xavier Medina, Enzo Knight, Ryder King, and Jayden Torres retired army mechanics twenty-eight years old now, and the towns local mechanics. They made a decent living, and been friends since grade school. Each of them looking for more than dating around was hoping they finally found it, but they’ve been wrong before. Hoping this time they could find something that would finally want them all back.
They went to the floor and popped up behind the girls stealing in their dance making the smile deeply. They were fond of them and loved coming here Tre’ wasn’t blind and knew the reason they only came here every Friday was just to get close and rub on the sexy mechanics he didn’t mind to much as he always found someone knew to go home with hoping they weren’t crazy. Hell one lady stole his cat the next day as she left without him noticing.
“Hey there Angel?” He said in his deep toned voice. “Hey there handsome.” She said in happy tone. It always drove here crazy to wonder how she could be so in sync with someone. Hated all the looks he would get when people saw or went past him. It made her self conscious about her own scars not many people knew about she preferred to keep it that way. After about two dances. They came to a stop Tre’ handed her coke. “Hey Xav how’s it going?” He asked happily. “Busy bro how you been?” H asked back with a smirk he like Tre’ he was funny and down to Earth. “Hey do you think you guy can squeeze me Monday I’m off and my truck is just all kinds of fucked up I think something got cracked again. Tess has been carting my ass around last couple of days.” Tre’ said “Dude you got to start staying away from the crazy chicks man, the last one cracked your damn radiator because and I quote she thought it was the motor that made go vroom vroom.” Xavier said laughing deeply. Tess was starting to get addicted to that sound.
“Hey I can’t help it one of them is going to be the one you know I can’t risk an opportunity of happiness on the off chance that one might tor might not be crazy. Look at Gabby, Gabby is crazy but in the good way.” Tre’ said Fuck you Tre’.” Gabby yelled making everyone laugh hard. “See she crazy in the I don’t take your shit way. I can’t pin point the good type of crazy from the Lucy type I’m going to steal your cat crazy.” Everyone was laughing still dancing with each other. “Did they ever find snuggles?” Enzo yelled.” “Nope I got posters out but no one can find his ass. I’m hoping he still alive.” Tre’ said in a sad voice. “Your remember the girl two weeks ago stole is air fryer.” Ryder yelled over the music. “I liked the girl who stole his toilet paper and bath towels.” Ellie yelled. “I love hate all of you right now. I’m going to talk to the sexy red head in the corner. You know what they say lucky number 42.” He said as he danced away from them.
“How long has been counting?” Xavier asked. “About end of eighth grade.” She said with a laugh making him smile with her. Xavier’s face quickly turned to a normal glare for him as he saw him behind her. “Hey Tess, how bou you let me steal you away for a spin.” Keith said a little loudly as his friends went around to the other girls making the other guys a little mad they never came in here seeing as they thought they were too good for the local car they normally went to the club next town over. Keith Morgan a doctor form across the street, along with his friend Travis Stone, their other tow best friends who were cops Hunter Hall and Antonio ‘Tony’ Newman. They made more than the mechanics did but not by that much. They were crazy for their girls because Tess and her friends were humble, kind, smart funny, and most important not like most the sluts in the town who fawned all over them. Xavier and his friends looked at other knowing just why they came her for the first time in months it’s because of the lovely ladies they been dancing with for about two months.
“You know that sounds good but I was just about to take Xavier over there for a couple games and show him how it’s really done, aint that right?” She said with a big smile finger pointing to Xavier’s chest, he saw the pleading look in her eyes and he was loving it. “That’s right Angel, maybe next time Morgan.” Xavier said as he put his arm around her waist and lead her to the pool table. “Mind if I cut in?” “We would but Ryder and Jayden we’re just about to buy us drinks and catch up maybe later?” Gabby said as she and Aria walked off with Ryder and Jayden who just had big shit eating grins on their face. “How about you let me take you for a swing Ells?” Hunter said with a seductive look. Ellie was a sweet quiet always happy girl. Enzo was a territorial man who no problem scaring off anyone who looked at her wrong. “No.” Enzo said as he lifted her into a spin and danced off with her making her laugh at the silliness.
Tre’ laughing hard in the corner popping out of no where. “You ok man?” Xavier asked as Tre’ was trying to catch his breath starting to snort. The red head laughing with him at his laugh. “These…” He took a deep breath. “These fools trying to come to these ladies who trying to duck them.” He had to take a deep breath. “Than you got the second scariest brother in this place besides you… “ He started laughing even harder as he spoke out the next part. “He just straight up so NO and spinned her off. Y’all trying to make up excuses to be nice, he straight like NO!” Tre’ said as he took the red to the dance floor wiping away his tears from laughing.
“Ya boy a trip you know that though right Angel?” He said in that voice she was starting to love. “Ya but he’s like the brother I never asked for.” She said making him laugh. Xavier was dark skinned and built like a mountain so where the rest of his friends guess they kept up the army work out, it wasn’t just milk that did a body good she always told herself. Keith and his friends were dark skinned but a lighter version of Xavier and his friends they were nicely built but at least half the size they were. “So you going to just stand there undressing me with your eyes or were you going to show me how it’s done?” Xavier asked stepping outside his comfort zone not knowing where the new confidence came from. Maybe it was the idea to losing out on a chance to someone like Keith but Xavier realized if he wanted things in his life to finally start getting different than he needed to start making the changes.
He was in a rut he was lonely and he did the same things all the time, he wanted to be able to finally have someone who looked forward to him coming home he was never going to get there if he didn’t start with baby steps first. So tonight he was going to push himself to do just that. “Well I don’t know it is a lovely view in my head but if you want to be spanked so badly I guess we can start with the game?” She teased back shocking herself with the words coming out of her mouth. Yeah like a guy this sexy would really want to be with you she told herself. She had a habit of talking herself down and out of things because she was worried if anyone saw what she looked like with her little scars they would look at her like some freak and run for the hills. She could never out live the memory of them or how she got them, but she could start taking control of her life again. That’s exactly what she wanted to start doing. Maybe she could be something for a great like him. She was never going to know if she never tried.
After the flirting and a couple of games they were tied. As she made the last shot into the hole Xavier shook his head laughing. “Well I have been officially spanked.” He said scratching the back of his head. “Yup, I should make you a shirt that says that I got spanked hard by Tess and I liked it what size do you come in again large XL, Sexy beast maybe?” She said pretending to think of sizes as he started laughing stepping up to her putting a hand next to her on the table caging her in a little laughing at her. “Sexy beast really?” “Eh took a guess.” She said smiling deeply. They were staring at each other for a minute or two just enjoying the company when he heard the familiar annoying voice.
“Tess, hey I was hoping to catch up with you before the guys and I headed out I was hoping if your free Tuesday when we’re all back from the conferences and everything if you come to lunch with me?” Keith said. “Uh yeah sure it’s always to have lunch with good friends. Just meet me outside your office about twelve.” She said with a smile. Xavier smiling as Keith face dropped a little getting friend zoned when he was trying to score a date. “Sounds good. Hey do you need a lift home.” “No actually I’m good Thank you though.” “Ok, see you around Tess.” He tried to smile that million dollar smile as she waved him off. “Bye.” Turning to look around everyone had already left. “Damn everyone’s gone she said looking down at her phone the guys all gave them a ride home, and Tre’ went home with the red head. Well at least they can’t damage his shit if his at their place right?” She said making both of them laugh.
“Hey you know if you need a ride I could take you home. You know I haven’t been drinking.” Xavier said. “Are you sure I don’t want to bother you or put you out of your way.” Tess said. “You aren’t a bother Tess, beside it’s getting late it’s already twelve and it would drive me nuts thinking of you all alone waiting for Uber or Lyft, or whatever it is y’all call. Come on I won’t take no for an answer.” He said with a small smirk that made her knees weak. “Ok, than. Thank Xav. I appreciate it. I would be able to drive myself home but on the off chance I would drink I didn’t want to chance it. Hell Tre’ was plowed.” She said laughing out the door. Ellie and Tess had the quiet, sweet girl thing in common they just wanted to make people around them happy because they knew what it was like to feel bad. It wasn’t hard to see why Xavier and the rest of the guys were now obsessed with these girl’s who were like them yet still so opposite.
“Opening up the lifted trucks door she looked at him for a minute. She was about 5’1 weighing in about one hundred and thrity-five pounds she was the smallest of the girls Ellie was 5’3 Gabby was 5’5 and Aria was about 5’4. All of them were curvy woman. They weren’t fat they weren’t skinny but they were blesses on the top and the bottom all with the thick thigh problem. They worked out when they could. Other than that they were still midgets compared to these men. Xavier was a good 6’5-6’7. Enzo being about three inches under him. Jayden and Ryder coming in around 6’4- 6’4.5’.
“That is a big step there.” She giggled out. “How do you expect me to get up there you got a step or.” She was cut off when his hands went around her waist and lifted her effortlessly in the truck and buckling her in. “Like that he said with a smirk and shut the door.” Going into the other side he was a little nervous, and excited she trusted him enough to let him get her home. That’s got be a good sign right? He thought to himself. “You can put on whatever you like for the radio I listen to everything.” He said softly. “I’m good thank though. So you know the houses that everyone rents over there on Westwick Drive?” “Oh yeah ok.” “I’m the one second one to the end, Tre’ actually lives next door.” “That’s cool that’s why he said you dragging is ass around than huh? You guys work in the same office too right?” “Yeah, we’re nurses for Dr. Corban Holden.” “Damn y’all must stay busy than.” He laughed shaking his head. “Little bit.”
“I actually live about ten minutes away over there on Fairway Drive. All the guys live across the street from each other.” He said. “That is so cool I bet the bbq’s you have could be epic.” She laughed. “Sometimes but the pick up games are ruthless.” He laughed out. “So you off for a couple days than huh? Well from what Keith was going off about.” “Oh yeah this weekend starting tomorrow all the doctors are going to these medical conferences so they’ll be back about Monday evening so we get the day off.” “That sounds nice you got anything special going on?” “Well the girls and maybe Tre’ going to meet up and have brunch at the café in town, do a little food shopping. Than I was going to go home and watch my thighs expand on the couch maybe clen up a bit. I know I should slow down with my crazy life style right?” She said making him laugh hard.
They pulled up to her house. He got of the truck and went to her side to help life her down so she wouldn’t fall. “Maybe if you have a little time tomorrow night you could come out to dinner with me.” Xavier said looking down at her hands in his pockets as he was feeling completely vulnerable. “Before I answer that, would this be a date, or a meal between two friends?” Se asked looking at him. “I would like it to be a date Angel but I’ll take whatever your given.” He said honestly. “I would love to go on a date with you Xavier. Can you put your number in my phone?” She asked handing it over. “Just swipe it up I don’t lock it.” She said to him. He didn’t like the idea of just anyone getting into her phone, but he put the number in there anyway saved as sexy beast with a heart in the front and the back of he name. He saved her as Angel.
“Can I hug you?” She asked. He just wrapped his arms around and leaned down a little to hug her deep. She kissed his cheek leaving both of them in a bit of surprise. “Thank you for the ride Xav.” She said as she turned and walked into the house and locked the door. Getting back In his truck and drove off. As he got ready for bed he was getting excited. He had a huge grey pittbull that he considered a rescue service dog of course he always that the dog was the one who saved him. “Hey Arlo, how you been buddy. You ready for bed? You got your teddy?” As big as Arlo was he loved his small little teddy bear that he slept with since he was a pup. He found him on the army base and snuck him home when they finally got back he was a tiny thing than. He was well over hundred pounds and full of muscle. He didn’t like anyone except they guys and Xavier.
Running off to his bed in Xavier’s room with his little teddy he curled himself into a little ball and stretched. Xavier had a very tall fence in the backyard where there was a special dog house and food system set up in case he couldn’t get home on time so Arlo would always be ok. “Night Arlo.” Xavier said as he stripped down to his boxers. Laying down thinking of his Angel he went to sleep with a smile on his face.
“I need a mechanic.” another soldier sounded out as he waited for one of them to get their gear and come with him and a couple of hummers. Xavier and Enzo looked at each either and rock, paper, scissors, Xavier lost let out a deep breath grabbed a bag of gear and hopped quickly into the car. They only had four more days and they were able to go home. Their duty was up and they would be free men. They snuck off the night the last one of them turned eighteen, not at about twenty-five they were done. The soldiers went out and took him to fix whatever a couple of the broke down vehicles needed.
On the way back the hummer in front of them trigger some type of mine and blew up completely casing their hummer to tip tuck and roll guys were hollering and slammed down in a hill where they got trapped with enemy firing at them from about every angle He grabbed the only other guys still breathing and a gun and his gear bag and got him out to a safe point. Don’t move he said as he radioed for help By the time help came the other guy was about to step back on another trigger, Xavier shoved him off and next thing he knew he was waking up to medics and doctors pulling metal out of his face and left side his friends hollering at him. Still being able to see out of his left eye he will always have the scratches. He felt himself tumbling back down in the hummer when all of a sudden he saw her. His Angel.
“Get up Xav. I need you to get up now?” She said giving him her hand to pull hi out. “Angel what are you doing here?” He said looking around for danger. “I’m here for you Xav.” She said sweetly taking her hand and cupping his face. Holding her hand to his face. “You’re not suppose to be here Angel.” He said looking at her. “Neither are you Xav, I need you to get up now Xav.” She said.
Popping up trying to catch his breath with Arlo on the side of his bed licking him in a crying tone it was the first time he hasn’t woke up screaming for all the past pain he felt flowing threw him. They only gave him a fifteen percent chance to live worried one of the metals were to close to his heart and lungs and infection would take over. Yet here he was still breathing perfectly fine except every now and than when he found himself back there going in it all over again. This was the first time though he ever had a dream about her. She was glowing and beautiful and pulled him out. He didn’t know if this was a good sign or not. He was only worried what would happen if she saw he small dose of PTSD he gets randomly how fast would she run. Maybe she was different. “Only one way to find out right boy?”
The next day Xavier and the guys were working hard on the cars that got pulled in Xavier’s grandpa had started the shop he ran it now. He’s granddad was built like a beast too being an retired vet himself opened it and called it Beast’s Mechanics.” Xavier left everything the way he had it. It was just an ordinary day except the crazy guy who zipped through so fast almost couldn’t see him into the shop. Xavier and the guys looked around. “Tre’?” Jayden asked. “Dude you alright why you only in your draws man?” Ryder asked.”What the fuck is on your chest bro?” Xavier asked.
“Man it’s true what they say dude them red heads have no souls. The crazy red head from last night we had a great time right we had a great time went back to her place and only fooled around we both too drunk to seal that deal. Woke up, thinking of maybe I should take her for breakfast before I could open my eyes she poured hot candle wax in the shape of a Pentagram star thing talking up in tongues. I just grabbed my wallet my phone and hauled some major ass out of there. Do you mind if I stay here until Tess comes to get me she got my spare key since I left them at home anyway.” Tre’ said as the guys looked at each other and just laughed. “Could only happen to you dude I fucking swear.” Enzo said as the guys were starting to laugh so hard they had to wipe tears from his eyes.
“Here man I always keep some spare work out clothes here.” Xavier said tossing a pair of joggers at im. Trevon was about 6’4, and very well built. The clothes almost fit him just had to tighten in some. “Thanks man. Bitches are crazy.” He mumbled to himself dialing Tess number. “Hey love bug have I told you how much I loved you today.” He said in his best sweet voice. The guys all listening to him. “No, I’m not still drunk. Now I do not want food. Wait yeah a little bit. I. No. No I did not lock myself outside the damn restaurant again. No I did not glue myself to anything else, girl can you just please come get my ass. I’m at the guy’s mechanic shop. Yeah Xaviers. Ok hold on.” He said putting the pone to his chest.
“Hey y’all want anything from the café before she leaves?” “Seriously?” Enzo asked. “I’d like one of them mango strawberry smoothies.” Jayden yelled. “Make that two. Ryder hollered back. “Just grab us two sweet teas please.” Enzo said. “Did you get all that? OK hey I want a tropical smoothie and a cupcake. Hurry up I’m cold. Now I’m not. I got some joggers from Xavier. NO I did not set myself on fire gain can you just please get here. Ok than love you too.” He said shaking his head looking up at the rest of the guys. “What?” He asked looking around. “Dude on eof these days you got some serious explaining to do.” Ryder said all of them nodding along.
“Don’t go judging on me now. At least I take chances which is more than I can say for any of you.” He said crossing his arms. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Enzo asked. “Kinda hard to take you seriously right now when you come running out of now where almost buck ass naked dude.” Jayden said as they all laughed. “I aint blind, and I aint dumb you all are crushing hard for my girls and have yet to make an actual move on them. “That’s a lie I asked Tess last night.” Xavier said everyone a little shocked. “Dude really?” Tre’ asked Happily. “Damn man I thought it would never happen he said. “Yeah and Jayden and I got a double date tonight too.” “Well than spank me twice and call me Shelia you guys actually grew some balls and I wonder why that is maybe because some of the other dogs come sniffing around you tree, because you know they’ve been barking up it for awhile now.” He said in a mocking voice what you guys all got dates what about you?” Tre’ asked.
“What about me?” Enzo asked he was scarily the strong silent type just like Xavier. “What about Ellie?” HE asked. “What about Ellie I’m sure she knows on some level she all mine.” He said flatly. “Did you ever tell her that?” Jayden asked scratching the back of his head. “No.” Enzo said in flat tone. “Than how she know man?” Tre’ asked raising his eyebrow?” Enzo just gave him one of is stares that normally shut anyone up. Maybe he should tell her he started thinking to himself. “Maybe you should start opening up to her Zo.” Xavier said in a quiet voice. “ I don’t know man she like crazy smart, how a girl like that want to give an orphaned, retired army mechanic time of day when she has so many possibilities to do better?” Enzo said between the two of them as he was cleaning the tools off to put away.
“You know you say all that but when she around man she lights up, and so do you bro. Hell you don’t let any other male near her except for Tre’ and us. You know damn well you wrapped around that little finger. You know she too good hearted to be with anyone else but you. You know how guys like to abuse personalities like her you really want to give up your chance to fucking tool like Hunter fucking Hall?” Xavier asked. “FUCK NO!” He said a little too loudly for everyone to hear. “I’ll talk to her.” He said in I give up huff. “Hey guys hope you don’t me popping in.” Tess said as she started to give them their drinks. Each one gave her a kiss on the cheek which caught her by surprise but only Xavier’s made her beat red. “You’re cute when you’re flustered.” He said pulling out his wallet to give her a twenty for the drinks. “No, that’s ok, please kept it think of this as a thank you for taking care of Tre’ where is he by the way?” She asked looking around.
He popped into view with the shape on his chest, and she laughed so hard she even let out a squeal and was stomping her foot and patting her knee bent over a little bit. The guys couldn’t help but laugh with her. “What the hell kind of hook up you having when she trying to summon something out of your ass?” She said as she let another little squeal. Xavier couldn’t get enough of it. They waved them off, as Tess took Tre’ home. The guys looked at Xavier with a shit eating grin on their faces. “You think I’m wrapped man.” Enzo said chuckling walking away. “Man you got it bad bro hella whipped already.” Ryder said laughing. “Yeah because y’all aint?” Xavier said shutting them all up. “So were you taking her tonight?” Enzo asked. He thought about it for a minute. He was hoping to take her to a place where he wouldn’t drag to much attention, but that wasn’t going to happen. SO he figured might as well go somewhere they can enjoy themselves. Hopefully he can learn more about her. This was the start of something big he could feel it after his dream form earlier. He could only hope she felt the same way.