This week’s theme has the hero is the dog house! How about a scene from NEVER ENOUGH?
Gillian shuffled through the kitchen as Miles zoomed around. She’d called and begged Mary not to come over for crepes. She had to hold herself together for Miles, and if anyone showed her any pity or kindness just then, she’d lose what composure she’d managed to find at about five thirty that morning.
There was a knock on the door, but she was on the phone with a client so Miles rushed off, Claypool weaving through his legs like a fluffy road hazard.
She heard his voice and then Miles’s surprised, happy response. It made her smile even as it broke her heart. She used to be part of that and now she wasn’t.
She continued speaking, focused on her client and shutting out the beautifully sad sound of Adrian’s walk through her house. She’d gotten used to it.
“Mum’s on the phone,” Miles explained when they came through.
She kept her back turned and headed to her office, shutting her door.
But that small peace was cut short when Miles barged in five minutes later, well after she’d hung up.
“Mum! Dad brought doughnuts and bear claws and stuff. Come on. I saved you one of those goopy lemon ones you like.”
“No really, Miles I can’t, I have work to do today.”
She looked up to find Adrian in her doorway looking a little rough. Served him right.
“Everyone needs a good breakfast. I know you tell Miles this all the time. Have some coffee. I brought you some.”
She noted the box and the cup were not from Tart. He must have known the reception he would have received. Hmpf.
“I made a pot already.” How dare he use the ‘it’s good for you’ against her.
“Come on, Mum.” Miles grinned.
“Fine. For a few minutes, and then you and your dad should go to his house for a while. Or away for the afternoon. Whatever.”
She followed Miles out, avoiding Adrian’s gaze and his proffered cup of traitor coffee. She’d have to hide those cups deep in the recycling or Jules would have her head if she saw them.
The doughnut was probably quite tasty, but not just then, with everything she’d ever wanted just across from her.
Miles was seemingly unaffected by their tension as he chattered about all the fun he and his friends had had the night before and an upcoming band concert at school.
“Be sure to reserve enough tickets for everyone.” Adrian spoke and that drawl of his caressed her skin, made her crazy to touch him so much she glared at him just for good measure.
But he was looking at her and caught her gaze. One corner of his mouth quirked up and she had to lick her lips. Which only made his smile bigger. The cad.
“Do you know what? We should jam while I’m here. I’ve been working on something new and it’ll help if you two noodle around with me.”
“Really?” Miles’s eyes widened at the suggestion. “That would be awesome. Like how you and Aunt Erin do it?”
“Yeah. Only she and I have been making music together since I was eleven, so she and I have a distinct sort of rhythm. I though it would be good to change it up with other people I trust and love.”
She made to leave. How dare the man, really? Last night it was some vast conspiracy that she could sing and today he wanted to jam with her?
He preferred the fire in her gaze to the numbness he’d gotten earlier. Preferred anger to sadness. Fire he could deal with. Fire was something they did well together.
He’d been sort of annoyed at first to walk in and see her chatting on the phone as if nothing had happened. She’d turned her back and left the room even. But when he and Miles had interrupted her, he saw how wrong he’d been. Far from being unaffected, she had dark circles under her eyes to match his own, he’d bet.
“Please, Gillian? I really need you . . . to help me.”
“Mum, please?” Miles already had his bass in his hand and he noted the way Gillian saw that too and her spine relaxed as she accepted the inevitable.
They all moved to the living room and she sat at her piano, waiting.
“This one I’m calling ‘Indelible.’ Starts off like this. You two just go with it.” He started to play, falling into the song he’d written over the last several hours.
Looks can be deceiving
Fragile can hide strong
Her roots dig in
Dug deep like the rest
Scratched into my skin
Her scent on my fingers
Taste on my tongue
Yeah, try to forget, but you can’t
He paused because he noted Miles staring at him and then back to his mother, who made a big deal out of not looking at Adrian.
“I need to call Jason about something. Be back in a while.” Miles stood and took his guitar before bending over again to whisper in Adrian’s ear. “Just say you’re sorry and buy her something nice. But not like your nice. Normal nice.”
Which made Adrian laugh because not only would Miles say something like that but Adrian understood it.
He ran from the room on thundering feet, leaving Adrian filled with so much love he thought he’d burst.
This is what she brought to him. This is what she was to him. Family. He could do this. They could do this.
He put his guitar aside and took her hand, pulling her to the couch. She settled at the far end and snatched her hand back and he simply scooted over and hemmed her in.
He took her hand back, holding it firm with both of his. “We need to talk, English, and you’re going to listen to me.”
Be sure to visit today’s other Snippeters!