Still Holding On

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Chapter Four

I wake up the next day in my bed from the hot sun shining in through my windows. I should've closed them.
I groan as I stretch and then I remember I blurted out to Will and Amelia that Susie cheated. "Shit." I hiss knowing I'm going to have to go see Will today to make sure he doesn't say anything.
I hate Susie but I still love her. I don't want it spread around town that she's a cheater. The people here can be cruel and her family still live here, I don't want to ruin more peoples lives.
After showering and inhaling some toast I head off to Wills house.
I jog up the four front steps and knock on the door waiting for him to answer it.
When Amelia swings the door open I take a step back in surprise. Maybe James was right and they are hooking up.
"Mornin'." I nod. "Morning." She replies leaning against the door. "Is Will in?" I ask noticing she's dressed in pajama shorts and a tank top. Must be serious if she's got clothes here.
"Yeah." She says before leaning in closer to me. Her scent filling my nose and I have to subtly adjust myself in my jeans. "So is James. They're planning an intervention for you." She whispers.
"A what?" I frown. "Something about your wife." She shrugs almost sounding bitter when she says wife. "Lord save me." I mumble looking at the sky. "William! Your friend is here!" She yells holding the door open for me.
"Tag." Will nods sitting at his dinner table. "Will." I nod back. "James." I say to him who's sitting next to Will both looking very serious.
"Please take a seat." Will says gesturing to the empty seat across from him making me raise my eyebrows.
"It has come to our attention that Susie cheated on you." He says clearing his throat while Amelia is opening and closing cupboards in the kitchen.
"We're here for you." James says sadly. "We will be here for you no matter what." He adds and I snort while Amelia slams another cupboard.
"Will you go away?" Will snaps at her. "Nope. I haven't watched reality tv in a month this is the most interesting thing going on." She smirks pressing a button on the coffee machine and leaning against the counter.
"What happened?" Will asks ripping his eyes away from her back to me. "I caught her cheating, she wouldn't tell me why and left town." I shrug. "Who with?" James asks biting his nails, a habit he's done forever when he's nervous. "I ain't saying." I shake my head. "Why didn't you tell us? We know all about your..." Will begins shooting Amelia a glance who's sipping her coffee watching.
"Past. We could've helped." He finishes. "She wouldn't have told you why anyways." I mutter. "But we could've got him to tell us." James counters.
"He wouldn't say shit either."
"You spoke to him?" Will gasps and shares a look with James. "Amelia go to your room." He states looking at me. "This is getting good though." I look over at her and she's still leaning against the counter smiling.
"I'm going to yell." He warns and she just shrugs. "I don't care." She says as he pinches his nose. "I might punch Tag in the fucking face." He adds. "Why am I getting punched in the face?" I ask slightly amused. "Cool, I always wanted to see if you hit like a bitch." She smirks.
"Okay you can shut the fuck up!" He yells pointing his finger at her. "And you can start fucking talking! Why the fuck are you still trying to protect this fucking bitch?" He yells jabbing his finger at me.
"And don't tell me it's coz you're still in love with her because we all know that ain't true."
"It was Billy fucking Cole?" James asks standing up letting his chair fall to the ground. "Who's Billy Cole?" Amelia asks putting her mug down. "The Pastor's son." I answer before looking back at my friends. "Think about it. Who's the one person Tag wouldn't beat up for sleeping with his wife? Who else moved away when Susie did?" James tells Will as he begins pacing his fists shaking.
"I'm going to fucking kill him." He says through his teeth. "Why didn't you tell us?" Will asks frowning. "I like her grandma. You know how people are round here." I sigh leaning back in my seat. "You can't say anything." I state.
"Oh if I see her I'm going to ask her what the fuck is wrong with her." James says picking his seat up. "Not worth it. I just want to know why." I shake my head.
Both Will and James fall into a silent understanding on why I need to know.
"Amelia if you say a word to anyone I'm kicking you out." Will says breaking the silence. "The only people I talk to are you three and Missy." She replies rolling her eyes.
"You talk to Missy?" Will asks raising his eyebrows. "Yeah. She's nice." She shrugs looking down at the floor and turning red.
"Right, thanks for the intervention. I'm gunna go." I say standing up. "Beers tonight?" James asks. "Can't. Maybe Friday." I decline. "Lunch?" He suggests. "I can't." Will says sending Amelia a glare who is rolling her eyes.
"I'll ring Missy and see if she'll cook us dinner." Will says snapping his fingers. "She never says no to the poor orphan boy." He jokes.
Both Wills parents died in a car wreck seven years ago, he was a wreck and ended up living with us for almost a year.
"Cya." I laugh clapping both my buddies on their shoulders before leaving.

"Tag Humphrey you take that damn hat off in my house." Granny snaps the second I walk in from putting the horses away. "What's wrong with my hat?" I ask as I take it off and hang it up on its hook in the kitchen.
"We have visitors for dinner. Go shower and make yourself look presentable." She orders. "Yes ma'am." I smile. I'm not surprised Will actually rang Granny whenever he's hungry and wants a 'real home cooked meal' he shows up and she fawns over him.
"Hurry up Tag, I'm starving." Will says from the door way between the kitchen and living room making me jump. James pushes past him and sits down at the counter to watch Granny and Amelia is standing next to Will looking at me with wide eyes.
"I'm sure you can cook yourself." I tease snagging a bit of carrot Granny is chopping and stuff in my mouth. "I can't." He sighs. "That's why I'm still friends with you two. He gives me from meals at the diner. And you for Granny." He winks at her.
I go grab another piece of carrot but quickly pull my hand away when Granny slams the tip of the knife into the wooden board right next to my fingers.
"Go shower now." She orders. "Yes ma'am." I mumble and squeeze past Will and Amelia and run upstairs afraid for the safety of my fingers.
In the shower I start thinking about Susie and how much fun we used to have. And the sex. Fuck the sex was good. My mind begins drifting to Amelia and the way she was looking at me just now. Eyes wide, mouth slightly open. I wonder what she'd look like on her knees in front of me. I need to stop thinking about her like this! She's sleeping with my best friend for fucks sake. I turn the water on cold to get control again before getting out and throwing on a clean black shirt and jeans and go back down to the kitchen where everyone is sitting.
"Hey Missy?" James asks when I sit down next to him. "Yes sweetheart?" She asks pulling plates down. "What's Tags real name? None of us can remember and he won't tell us." He asks pulling a puppy dog face. "Oh. Won't he?" She asks sending me a little smirk. "No, I think it's actually quite mean." He pouts. "Oh gosh let me see it's been so long I don't know if I can remember." She says pursing her lips and tapping her chin.
"Nope. Can't remember sorry." She says throwing her arms in the air. "What about Sissy?" Will asks. "Savannah." She answers without missing a beat. "What about you?" James asks spinning in his bar stool that I'm tempted to push him off. "Melissa." She answers as she begins dishing out the meat and vegetables.
"Take your plates." She orders and us boys all snatch a plate and make our way to the table. "Pigs." Granny mutters loud enough for us all to hear.
Will sits across from me, James next to him, granny at the head of the table on my right and Amelia on my left, although I kinda wish she was across from me so I could look at her.
"God you really are pigs." Amelia says as we dig into our food. "We're not used to being in lady company sorry." James apologizes and starts eating nicely as do I.
"And what I am if I'm not a lady?" Granny teases. "The best lady ma'am." He gives her a sheepish smile. "How are you liking Carolina so far dear?" Granny asks Amelia.
"So far it's been great. I mean other than living with Will, he's a slob." She answers and I frown slightly. That boy moves fast.
"You live with Will?" Granny asks sounding as surprised as I feel. "Yeah. I really should find my own place." She answers. "You live with Will? You only meet him like a week ago." James says screwing his face up.
"We meet like twenty years ago." Will says screwing his face up too. "We're cousins." She adds making James burst out laughing. Suddenly I don't feel as guilty about my fantasys.
"I thought you two were screwing." He manages to get out through his laughter. "James. That's not language for the dinner table." Granny scolds but she is also smiling.
"Oh that reminds me, Young Mary wants to come riding again this Sunday." She says and I groan. "Do I have too? I can't stand her, she's always trying to touch me." I whine.
"Sign your divorce papers and then she can saddle you up." Will laughs and James high fives him. "I'd rather stay married than be with her." I grumble.
"Oh come on, judging from what she was saying last week she sounds like fun." Amelia teases. "What was she saying last week?" Will asks leaning forward with a glint in his eye.
"It's not appropriate for the dinner table." She smirks back. "I bet it was about sucking Tags." James doesn't finish his sentence as Granny cleared her throat.
"So Sissys pregnant again." He says changing the subject. "Minnie's named this baby Tigger." She smiles. "Let's hope that name doesn't stick." Will laughs. "Oh no Rosie wants it to be called Santa." She laughs.
"I still don't think this Tanner guy is real. I mean I still haven't meet him." Will shakes his head finishing off his last bite. "He is. He's a good guy." James says putting his empty plate onto Wills.
"I ain't marrying no pastor's son I'm marrying me a real man." Will says mimicking what Sissy said when we were younger before pushing his lips together.
"Sorry." He tells me. "No skin off my nose." I shrug leaning over and putting my plate onto the pile in front of him.
"He told you?" Granny gasps. "Put your plate on his or you'll be stuck doing the dishes." I whisper to Amelia. "What?" She whispers back as Granny does what I just said. "Whoever the pile is in front of does the dishes." I whisper nodding to the pile. She looks at dishes before grabbing hers and leaning over me, her boob brushing my shoulder the slightest as she gently places her plate on to the top.
"Are we done talkin' about me like I ain't here?" I ask clearing my throat making the three heads snap to me and looking like they've just been caught doing something they shouldn't have been.
"Right sorry." Will mutters looking down at the plates in front of him. "What the fuck? When did this happen?" He asks looking over to Amelia who I reckon if her plate had been in front of her he would've dumped them to her.
"You guys suck." He mutters grabbing them and sulking off to the skin. "Tag put in a dishwasher." Granny tells him. "James you go help him." She orders which he does only after pouting.
"Did you enjoy riding?" She asks Amelia. "It was so much fun, the company sucked though." She laughs and I inwardly groan. I'm going to be in trouble now.
"What did Tag do?" Granny sighs sending me a dirty look. "He just, quiet. Mary was awful." She says faking a shiver. "Her Nanny is the same." Granny agrees.
"Was she at the diner?"
"Barbra." Granny nods. "The one with the grandson." She adds with an eye roll. "I'm going to help with the dishes." I excuse myself not wanting to be involved in this conversation.
"Oh Tag." Granny stops me. "Amelia would love to see the horses again." I nod and start heading towards the kitchen door.
"Ah you've come to help." Will smiles as he scrubs a pot. "I've been told to show Amelia the horses." I answer making the smile drop off his face.
"With Missy?" He asks narrowing his eyes slightly. "Granny! Are you coming?" I call out. "No!" She calls back as Amelia walks into the kitchen.
"You alright?" He asks her lifting his chin slightly. "I'm fine." She answers with an eye roll. "Alright. Have fun." He shrugs. "Ready?" I ask her, when she nods I open the door and step to the side to let her go out first.
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