I’m on a roll

So I finished my second book today. After it’s edited I’ll publish this one for a dollar too. I’m going to start working on a full length novel next. I have a lot of ideas and I’m really excited about it. I won’t be able to churn that one out in a month like I did with this one but that will be the difference between a full length and a short.

Just like before, I’ll leave you guys with a sample.

For those of you who got the 1st book One of A Kind  ( I thank you again for that by the way) this story picks up where the first one left off. One of my Favorite characters from the 1st book, Eli is a main character in this book along with his girlfriend Ashlynn.The book is a coming of age story of sorts. I hope you enjoy it. You can also get One Of a Kind here.

                                                              

                                                                   Better off Friends

CHAPTER ONE

 Ashlynn

I don’t know how I ended up here. This time last year I was in labor with my baby, and today I’m preparing for her first birthday.

“Momma do you know where the balloons are? I can’t find them anywhere.” I said, frantically looking around the backyard.

“Calm down girl, I think you left them inside the house on the table.” Momma said, laughing at me.

“Momma this ain’t funny. I just want this party to be perfect.”

“I told you not to go all out. Bree won’t even remember any of it.”

I knew she was right. We had done the same thing for Tylor’s first birthday, and he slept through most of it. But this was different. It would be the 1st time I would be meeting some of Eli’s family from Samoa, and I needed to make a good impression.

Eli and I had a pretty good relationship. He was the best second daddy to Bree. We moved in together when she was about six months old. It just felt right, especially since we were already spending so much time together. Bree’s dad Marcus had been involved in her life too. He and I had become good friends, and he supports Bree financially on top of the few days a week he spends with her.

I feel like I’m doing everything right, but I can’t help but to think about all I gave up for this new life. Sometimes I crave my old lifestyle; the carefree young me. These days I feel more like a housewife, and I didn’t sign up for that shit. I’m only 23 years old.

“Babe, I got all the food we ordered out in the truck. Where you want it?” Eli said, coming into the backyard.

“On that table over there mom is setting up.” I said, pointing in her direction.

Eli shot me a wink, flashing his bright smile and dimples. That man loved me, and I appreciated him for it. But our 9 year age difference was quite apparent at times. I sometimes wonder if I’d even be with him if I didn’t have Bree. Eli was great most of the time, when he wasn’t treating me like a kid. I was working for Andrea and living on my own before I met him, and I didn’t take kindly to people telling me what to do. I may be young, but I’m grown. I sometimes think Eli forgets that. Otherwise, he treated me with kindness and respect. The longer we were together though, the more the adventure in our relationship started to dwindle. We stopped having that random, spontaneous sex we had when things were new. Like the time we did it in the back of one of the trucks in the lot of his trucking company. Or the time we ended up in the bathroom of this Mexican restaurant on a lunch break. Those were moments I lived for, now he worked so much, he hardly had time for me. I guess I never expected things to change from how they once were. I had never been in any relationship long enough to make it to this point.

Bree’s party would go on today without a hitch, but something with Eli would have to give soon. I couldn’t go on pretending like everything was sunshine and rainbows.

“Baby sis! Everything looks so good!” Andrea said, waddling into the backyard holding her belly. Her twins were due any day.

“Thank you fatty,” I said, kissing her cheek,” where’s Sean?”

“He’s inside talking to daddy, he’ll be out here in a minute.”

“Cool, he can help Eli set up the food.” I said, trying to avoid Andrea’s eyes. She always knew when things were bothering me.

“Is it just the party?” she asked.

“What?”

“That’s bothering you.” Andrea said, knowingly staring at me.

“Girl, yea, it’s just the party stressing me out. I’m good.” I lied. I didn’t want to talk about Eli right now. Andrea loved him, and I didn’t want her thinking anything was wrong between us. Especially when it wasn’t him, but me that had the issue.

“Okay, just try to relax. Things will go how they go, and Bree won’t remember it anyway.” She said, sounding like Momma.

The party went on, and everyone had a great time. Ty, Justin and Jamie’s girls had a ball in the bouncy house. Shelby sat with Andrea, Jamie, Janae, momma and Sean’s mom most of the party, and her new 3 month old daughter Jade slept in a wrap she wore. Daddy, Andrew, Sean and his dad sat around talking sports.

Eli had arranged for his dad Sam and little brother Eddie to fly out to California for the weekend. Neither of them had ever been to Cali and he figured now was a great time, since everyone would be in the same place.  Eli introduced me to his family as they made their way into the party. Eddie was my age, and just as fine, if not finer than Eli.  He had the same football player physique as his brother, just shorter by a few inches, but with a deeper brown skin. I kept catching Eddie looking at me with those sexy ass hazel eyes that had flecks of gold in them. If this were a year ago, I’d be all over that boy. Sam was good-looking too. I could tell Eli would look just like him when he got older. Both guys were so sweet to me, and they fit in so well with the crowd.

Once everyone left, and Bree was down for the night, Eli and I cleaned up the backyard. We finished, and both went and crawled into bed. Even though we had a great time partying, I still had the urge to tell Eli how I had been feeling lately.

“Eli,” I said into the darkness, “you still up?”

“Barely, what up?”

“What’s happened to us?”

“What you talking about?”

“We’ve changed. It’s like we’re just going through the motions now. We don’t have nearly as much fun as we did in the beginning.”

“We still have fun Ash.”

“I guess,” I said, turning my back to him. I suppose he didn’t see anything wrong with how boring we had become. “if you call doing things with the baby adult fun.”

“Ash, we’re parents. Things change when you’re parents.”

“I need some excitement in my life. We used to be exciting.”

“I’m going to sleep babe. We can talk about this another time.” Eli said, yawning.

I didn’t respond, just laid there staring into the darkness. I didn’t appreciate being blown off like my feelings didn’t matter. I felt like I was 16 again, and I didn’t like it.

                                          ***

The next morning I awoke early while Eli slept. He couldn’t be bothered to talk to me last night, so I wouldn’t be bothered to talk to him today. I was happy to hear Bree wake up calling for me. I went into her room, kissed her, and got her dressed. I fixed her a bottle and we were gone. It was 9am on a Sunday, and I really didn’t know where to go. I called Marcus to see if he was awake, and wanted to see his daughter. Marcus said he was up and we could come to his house. He only lived a short drive away.

“Bree! How’s Daddies girl? I’m sorry daddy missed your party boo boo. Daddy couldn’t get the day off.” Marcus said to Bree as he took her from my arms. She smiled her wide smile as he kissed her cheeks.

“What you doing up so early? You’re off today aren’t you?” I asked him.

“I don’t know how to sleep in. I’m always up early. What are YOU doing up, and out so early is the question.” He asked, playing with Bree, not looking in my direction.

“My man was trippin’ and I didn’t want to be in the house with him.” I said, sitting on his couch.

“Yea right Ash, Eli is not the trippin’ type, so what did YOU do.” He said, finally turning his attention to me.

“I didn’t do shit, and fuck you for insinuating I did!” I spat.

“I’m just sayin’ I know you very well. If I’m going to be honest, the main reason we didn’t work out was because of you. You were never happy with anything I did. You always found something to complain about. That shit drove me crazy.” Marcus said, shaking his head.

“I can be happy! I was with you at one point. I was happy with Eli too. Things are just so boring now. I’m young. I still crave excitement, but he ain’t tryin’ to hear me.”

“You’re someone’s mom too. Just remember that.”

“Look at my baby, I don’t need any reminders.” I said, taking Bree from him.

“Don’t get mad Ash, I’m just telling you the truth.” He said, laughing.

“I don’t need your fucking truth! I came over here to get away. Now play with your daughter, and don’t talk to me.” I said, putting Bree on the floor. She toddled over to Marcus giggling.

“I won’t say another word. Just look at yourself before you start trying to blame Eli for anything. I wanted to not like him, but he really is a stand up dude. You just need to figure out your life, and stop having this pity party.”

I tuned Marcus out. I didn’t want to hear any of that. From my standpoint I hadn’t done anything wrong, aside from realizing I had hooked up with an old man. I needed to find some excitement in my life before I went crazy.

Eli

When I woke up this morning Ashlynn and Bree were gone. From her tone last night I knew she would be trippin’ all day today, and I didn’t want to deal with that. I didn’t know what she wanted from me. I had been there for her and the baby since we hooked up. I took my job as a daddy very serious, even if I didn’t have a hand at helping create Bree.

Sean called to ask if I would help him with the nursery today. My God babies were due any day. Hanging with Sean would get my mind off my issues at home, if only for a little while.

“Ashlynn was trippin’ last night after the party bro.” I said, sitting down on the nursery room floor. I had come over to help him put the cribs together for the twins.

“About what?” Sean said, sitting down across from me.

“She said something about things being different between us. I don’t know what she’s even talking about. We’ve been together almost a year now. You know that’s a damn world record for me. “

“I know man. You shocked both me and Andrea.” Sean said, shaking his head laughing.

“I shocked myself bro. I just want to do right by Ash and Bree. I do sometimes miss my old life though. But, I’m not a young buck anymore, I can’t keep messing around.” I confessed.

“Well I’m glad you aren’t living your old life anymore. That was gonna get you in trouble one day.”

“But it sure was fun.” I said, smiling at the memory.

We finished with the nursery, and I headed out to meet up with my pops and little bro. I was craving some family time, and them being in town was a breath of fresh air. They were flying back home tomorrow, and I hadn’t been back to Samoa since my mom died 5 years ago. She left me and pops when I was 7. Drugs were more important to her than family. She was found dead of an overdose. I was talked into going back home to say good-bye.

Pops met Eddie’s mom a year after mom had left us. She was always good to me. A year later she was pregnant with Eddie, and I got a little brother out of the deal. I loved that kid more than anything. It sucked when I went away for college and had to leave him behind, but meeting my best friend Sean helped fill the void. He became my family.

Growing up, I always had a hard time truly trusting women. My mom had broken my heart, and it took her dying for me to figure out I was wounded. Due to my broken heart, I never treated women like they were worth much. I took advantage of the fact that they wanted me so bad. I used them for sex and companionship when I wanted it, but never connected with them emotionally. I was really good at separating sex from emotion that was, until I met Ashlynn. I had never met a woman so beautiful, and that sassy ass attitude was a turn on. I had never met a woman who wasn’t impressed by me, Ashlynn had been the first.

We began seeing each other, and I knew she was different. The chemistry we had was like nothing I had ever experienced. I didn’t even care that she was 9 years younger than me, although I wouldn’t normally go for a chick her age. A month or so later she introduced me to her new baby. I instantly fell in love with her. Right then, I knew I wanted to have a family. I did everything to show Ashlynn I was serious about her, about us. I’ve treated Bree like she was my own, not stepping on her biological father’s toes. I respected Marcus for stepping up and taking care of his responsibly, even though he and Ash weren’t together. I felt like a changed man. I even cut my hair, because Ashlynn told me I would look better without it. She and Bree had become my whole world, and for a change I was truly happy.

A few months ago, things picked up even more at work. I hadn’t been able to spend as much time with Ashlynn and the baby, and I could tell it was bothering her. I took good care of my girls though. I thought Ash would appreciate that. I guess me being responsible is where our age difference comes into play. She’s had such an attitude lately, and I really don’t have time for that bullshit.

Pops and Eddie were waiting for me at Joe’s crab shack on the pier. I couldn’t wait to hang with my guys to get Ashlynn’s trippin’ off my mind.

“Yo! Big bro!” Eddie said, hugging me.

“Hey Bro!” I said, hugging him back.

“E! Hey son.” Pops said, kissing me on the cheek.

“Pop! What up!” I said kissing him on his.

I joined them at their table, and we ordered our meals. We caught up a little while we waited.

“And your girlfriend Bro! She’s fine as fuck!” Eddies said, licking his lips. He was too much like me for his own good. If Ashlynn wasn’t already with me, I’d have to fight him for her.

“She is a looker E, and sweet too.” Pops said.

“Yea, you don’t know her yet Pop.” I said, laughing.

We ate and clowned around for a while before we left. Pops and Eddie were going to go sight-seeing, since it was their first time in California. I told them I would catch up with them later, but first, I needed to go deal with my woman.

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