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    Headstall
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Treading Water - 2. Chapter 2 Flood Warnings

Overwhelmed, but clinging to the slippery bank.

Treading Water

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

Craig was left staring at an open doorway, unsure of what he was supposed to be thinking… or feeling. Then it hit him. Un-fucking-believable. Jared was gay? He had to be because… goddam… that kiss spoke volumes. The dark-haired man had held nothing back, and Craig had answered him. His fingers were back to touching his lips, as if by doing so he might conjure up that unexpected experience again.

What the hell did all this mean? Vulnerable? Is that how Jared saw him… because of Harlan? Oh, fuck. Carly’s anger. A wave of guilt washed over him at what she’d seen. That could not have been easy for her, but she sure as hell hadn’t been surprised that Jared was kissing him. He, however, was surprised… shocked, more like it. It hadn’t stopped him from fully engaging, though. The remembered feel of Jared’s thick dark hair in his fingers made him shiver as he realized just how quickly and completely he became immersed in the kiss... and the man.

How must that have looked to Carly, to see her own brother kissing her ex? All those things she’d screamed came back to him in a rush. Stuff about Jared getting into his pants and being after his ass. Holy fuck! She knew. She knew a lot of things he didn’t. One thing for sure, Craig needed to find out more, but he had to get a handle on his guilt first, because he couldn’t face her yet.

Harlan. What would his take be on this? He used to say you should never shit where you sleep. Is that what he’d be doing if he had anything more to do with Jared? Something he was sure he could count on was that Carly would never forgive him. She wasn’t an understanding person at the best of times, and he had no doubt she’d meant what she said. Besides, why was he even considering Jared in such a way? Yes, he was stupendously handsome, something he’d thought from the moment he'd laid eyes on him, but the man had eventually become Carly’s husband. Five minutes ago, he’d only wanted to help Jared and be his friend. But that kiss had turned everything upside down, opening up almost unfathomable avenues of thought. Liquid courage… Jesus… that was liquid heat.

The overload of it all was getting to him. The need to calm down and sort through this became apparent as he felt the trembling in his hands. If he wasn’t careful, he could hyperventilate. Opening his car door, he sat in the front seat, staring ahead but not focusing on anything. Deep breaths again. He couldn’t let this send him back into hiding, as much as the temptation for avoidance pulled at him. He could do this. Harlan would insist he could. And, it would be wrong to ignore the fact his friend needed help. It had turned out there was other stuff he couldn’t ignore either.

Jared had kissed him with undeniable passion. There were feelings there. Powerful ones, if he was any judge. Did they have anything to do with his slide downward? He must have had that booze in his truck, and that worried Craig. It worried him a lot. The man had never been a drinker before. Were those feelings the reason his sister’s marriage ended? Craig had to know. Before he could determine what the kiss actually meant to him, a talk was needed with his twin.

And then he had to face Jared. Jared. God, he hoped the man was alright. He had never thought of him as anything but strong and capable, but that too had gotten turned upside down. He was wasting time, and decided it was now or never. One of Harlan’s favorite sayings came to mind… “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Swallowing down some dread mixed with a little bit of shame, Craig exited his car… and the garage.

 

“Carly, we need to talk.”

“I have nothing to say to you.” The barely controlled venom was unmistakable in her hissing tone.

Craig hesitated for a second, but he was on a mission. “Well, I have something to say to you. Do you want me to say it here? In front of all these people?”

“Leave me alone, you bastard. You betrayed me, so just get the fuck away from me.”

Craig studied his sister for a minute, thinking how repulsive the hateful look on her face was. “Speaking of bastards, you called Jared a fucking faggot bastard. Is that what you call me when I’m not around?”

“Keep your voice down. This is Bailey’s party, for God’s sake.”

“Don’t pull that shit with me, Carly. You sure didn’t keep your voice down in the garage, did you? So answer the damn question. Is that what you call me?” Maybe he was being unfair, but with Carly, normal rules didn’t apply. He had to fight fire with fire, so he ignored the curious faces turned in their direction.

“Oh my god, of course not.” Her denial didn’t soften the disgusted look on her face, though. “You’re not going to quit, are you?”

“Nope. I have nothing to hide… do you?” Wow, that struck a chord, and Craig watched his sister go from angry to fuming. She took a quick look around the yard before striding in barely controlled fury toward the house. Craig followed, after seeing Bailey was in the responsible hands of his Aunt Helen.

He found his sister in her upstairs bedroom, closing the window. It was a smart move given her penchant for yelling, and Craig anticipated there would be plenty of that. “So you knew Jared was gay, and didn’t think to tell me?”

“Oh, that fool doesn’t know what he is. And why would you expect me to tell you anything that goes on between me and my husband?”

“Ex-husband.”

“Yes, smart-ass, thanks for pointing that out," she said with snarling sarcasm. "Is that why you thought it was okay to crawl all over him in the garage? I can’t believe you would do something so hurtful to me. You’re my fucking twin, but obviously that means nothing, you selfish prick. He should be off-limits to my own brother, but no, like everything else, Craig gets his way. Mister perfect son can do whatever he wants, take whatever or whoever he sets his sights on, and Mom will side with her precious little boy. Do you really think every guy in the fucking world belongs to you?”

Craig found himself sputtering before he found his voice. “What the hell are you talking about? I’ve been with one man in my whole life, and he’s gone.”

“Oh, fucking boohoo. I’m sick and tired of hearing about Harlan. He’s dead and buried. Let it go, for Christ’s sake. Stop playing the sympathy card, and stay the fuck away from my husband! You lost yours, but that doesn’t give you the right to go after mine.”

The cruel look on her face made him want to both hit her and throw up. He restrained himself, but barely. “We never got to have our wedding, but trust me… I don’t expect any sympathy from you.” He took a couple of deep breaths as they glared at each other, and then got back to why he was there. “Look, I’m sorry for what you saw. It was a surprise to me too, but it did happen, and I admit to kissing him back. But, Carly, I never went after him and I never would have.”

“That’s bullshit,” she spat out. "You were after him before Harlan was even in the ground. It was disgusting the way you two hung onto each other. You were practically glued together, and the sight of it was beyond embarrassing. Anyone could see what you were up to, brother dear. You really didn’t think I would let that go on, did you?”

Craig was dumbfounded. In all honesty, he didn’t care for the way his sister was a lot of the time, but he loved her. This, what she had just implied, was a new low for her. Looking at her defiant expression and seeing the derision in it made him feel hatred at that moment. Harlan had been his life, and his death had almost finished Craig. He could never have done what she inferred. How could she not know that? “Carly, I… you know what… you’re a fucking bitch.” He turned away from her, and headed for the stairs.

“How dare you!” she screamed. “You stay the fuck away from Jared, or l will….”

Craig turned around to see she’d advanced to the hallway. “You’ll what? What will you do?” He was surprised at how calm he sounded, because inside, it felt like he’d been gutted.

She seemed caught off guard by it too as she lowered her voice. “If you care about me at all, you’ll do as I say. I forbid you to have anything to do with him.”

Craig looked at her coldly. “If you cared about me at all, you would never have said what you did. Forbid me? Go fuck yourself, sister dear.”

Craig walked slowly down the stairs, feeling numb. He expected the last word to follow him, but none came. The only sound was the slamming of her door. His mother was at the bottom of the stairs, waiting. “I’m sorry about all that, Mom.”

“Oh, my poor boy. You have nothing to apologize for. Frankly, I think that man has loved you for a long time. Jared and your sister were a terrible mistake. I could tell that right from the beginning. He was never truly happy.” She looked at him for a moment. “These are things you and he should be discussing, and you need to give yourself a break. Whatever happens, I’m behind you.”

Craig was taken by surprise once more , and he sputtered. "You think he loves me?"

Watching her nod, reality sunk in a little more, and he had to swallow a few times before he spoke. "Mom, I care about Jared, but I’m not ready yet, and Carly’s right that he should be off-limits, but I am worried about him. You see how he looks, and he kept me going when I didn’t want to. I owe him so much.” He looked into eyes so like his own, pleading for something he couldn’t name.

“You’re still such a young man, Craig, but I understand if you tell me you’re not ready to move on from Harlan’s memory. I want to say, though, I really don’t think Carly’s right about this… we don’t own people. She doesn’t own Jared... she never has, and you have to make up your own mind. Don’t let Carly and her bitterness make any decisions for you. Go talk to him, and help him if you can, but listen to what he has to say… and please keep an open mind. No one has the right to sit in judgement of you. He is such a fine man, and you need to pay attention to your heart. I heard every word between you and your sister, and don’t you be thinking you betrayed her. She has some growing up to do, and that’s not your problem. Now, do you know where he’s living?”

Craig absorbed every word his mother said, like a sponge. He was thirsty for a direction that would make some sense. “Yeah, I think I do. He has his grandparents’… his grandfather’s old place on Harmony Road. He showed it to me once when we were driving around, after he insisted I get out of my bed and leave the house.” Craig paused as he recalled Jared’s determined persistence. “He told me he was going to inherit it one day, and I know his grandfather passed away. It was in the paper. I called him at the time, but I got no answer. I ended up leaving a message,” he said reflectively. “I assume he’s living there now?”

“Yes, that’s exactly right. I saw his sister at the Saveway, and she mentioned he’d taken over the old place. I think it’s been about three months now since his grandfather passed. Don’t worry about the party. I have way more help than I need, and I imagine your sister will be making an appearance soon. Call me if you’re going to be late, please.”

“I will. God, I have no idea what I’m going to say if I find him. I’m feeling a little shook up,” he admitted as he gave his mother a hug and headed out to the garage.

“You’ll be fine, dear. Just hear what he has to say,” his mother called after him. As he neared the garage, he heard another door slam, indicating his sister had been listening to their conversation, and didn’t like what she heard. He really didn’t know what to think about Carly anymore. People always talked about how twins were so close, but nobody could be close to his. Lord knows he’d tried, too many times to count.

 

He arrived at the intersection of Harmony and Reach, and couldn’t, in the state he was in, remember how to proceed. He possessed the worst sense of direction at the best of times… something Harlan used to have a field day with. Which way took him to the outskirts? Shit. He should have asked his mother if she knew the address. He’d passed the bank where he worked part-time, a little ways back, but he hadn’t been out to this part of town in a long time. His phone was in the back seat of his beat-up Jeep Cherokee on purpose, so he wouldn’t be able to use it while driving. A honk from the rear pushed him to make a decision, and he turned right. There was nowhere to pull over so he kept going, and in a short time, he started to recognize a few landmarks. He saw the Dairy Barn he and Jared had stopped at for ice cream, and immediately knew where he was. Instant nerves. He had ten minutes at the most to get his shit together. Nearing the edge of town, his stomach started to sicken. Only a few open fields to go, and he’d be there. He slowed at the row of six massive maple trees, spotting the driveway situated after the second one. There was no turning back now, and all Craig could think of was the liquor-flavored kiss he had chosen to return in equal measure. This could get very awkward.

The driveway was long, and at first no vehicles were in evidence, but as he neared the house, the back of a pickup truck entered into view. When the sign for Jared Larkin Construction became visible on the side of it, Craig didn’t understand why he felt a flood of relief. Was it because Jared had made it safely home or did he truly want to do this? Filling his lungs with the fresh country air, he let it out slowly as he got out and walked toward the side porch of the pretty but rundown home. There was no door on the screened structure which kind of defeated the purpose, he thought wryly. A timid knock on the most assuredly original house door got no results, so he attempted a louder one. Either Jared wasn’t inside, or he didn’t want to see his ex-brother-in-law, and Craig knew it might well be the latter. The only other building was a long driveshed he had a clear view of, and it was completely empty. Walking a little toward the back, and looking down the long, rough, bush-hog-mowed lawn to a stand of trees, he could see no sign of him. Trying the door one more time proved fruitless. Giving up, he returned to his Jeep, struggling to keep his disappointment to a minimum. The arrival of a new vehicle, a Jeep more beat-up than his own, gave him pause. Squinting, he tried to see through the dirty windshield, but couldn’t. It was only when it pulled alongside him that he recognized Jared’s sister.

“Hi, Trina.”

“Hey, Craig, how ya doing?”

“I’m good. I was looking for Jared, but I can’t seem to roust him. I was just about to leave.”

Trina got out of her Jeep and came around to greet Craig properly with a hug, and a kiss on the cheek. She pulled back and eyed him speculatively. Craig could see a question in her expression. “We haven’t really talked since the funeral. Is the worst of it over for you?”

There was real sincerity there, so Craig replied honestly. “I think so. Your brother made me pull my head out of my ass when I was at my worst… it’s been a struggle, but I don’t have bad days like I used to… just bad minutes once in a while.”

“I’m so glad to hear that. What brings you out here? Jared says he doesn’t see you anymore.”

Craig had trouble figuring out how to answer. “I, uh… I saw him earlier at Bailey’s birthday party….”

“He went? Oh, crap on a cracker. How did that go over with her highness?”

Craig couldn’t help it. He burst out laughing. “Yeah, not well at all. Her highness… I like that.”

“Is Jared okay? Did he keep his cool?” She was watching him intently, waiting for his answer.

“Yeah, he did, but her highness didn’t. That’s kind of why I’m here. Something sort of happened, and I was worried about your brother, but he’s not answering the door.”

“He’s not in there. What happened, Craig?” She spoke softly, but she moved a step closer, the worry evident in her eyes.

He could feel himself turning red. “I think he should answer that question. Do you know where he is?”

“Yes, I do. Did he tell you? He told you, didn’t he… he finally came clean?”

His head shot up and he returned her scrutiny. “You knew? Goddammit! And no, he didn’t tell me anything… he didn’t get the chance. But he did sort of show me. Where is he, Trina?”

“Down there.” She pointed to the trees at the far end of the lawn. “So he showed you, huh? About frigging time. He’s been a mess since forever, and he’s not getting any better, so if you’ve come here to hurt him, I suggest you leave now.” Her words were blunt, but her delivery was kind. “He’s at a breaking point, Craig. I check on him every chance I get, but it’s always the same. He doesn’t drink a lot, but he drinks a couple of beers almost every day. He just sits down at that damn pond. He’s been hurting so long, he can’t figure out how to make it stop.”

“Because of me?” He knew he sounded incredulous, but that’s because he was struggling to wrap his head around this new reality.

“Yes… because of you. So what are you going to do? I mean, he was married to your sister. Is that a deal-breaker?”

“Fuck, I don’t know. Maybe not. I have to talk to him because right now, no matter how he feels, I’m not sure how I do. Jesus… this is all new to me, but you know I care about him, and I would never want to hurt him. Right now, all I can say is I want to help him if I can. What that turns out to be, I just don’t know.” His voice was shaking and his stomach was churning again, but he needed to see this through.

“Fair enough. I trust you. I know you’re nothing like your evil twin.” She grinned at him, but he didn’t grin back.

He looked her in the eye. “No, I’m not. I’m nothing like Carly, and I never could be.”

“Well, if you want to see him, you better start walking. He’ll be inside the trees a ways, near the artesian pond. You’ll hear the water running.”

“Thanks.” He grabbed his phone from the back seat of his car, and started walking. He got about thirty feet before he turned around to see that Trina was watching his progress. “Any advice?”

“Get him to talk. Lord knows I can’t.”

Craig nodded, turned back around and continued on.

Thanks to my editor, Timothy M., and to all those who have joined me on this journey.

I'm always around the COTT forum if you want to talk:

www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/39932-cards-on-the-table-by-headstall/

Copyright © 2016 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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I don't have the best of relationships with my brother, but it's nothing compared to Craig and Carly. I mean, I get that sibling rivalry occurs, but at the end of the day brothers and sisters love each other and will always stick up for one another when needed..

 

It seems Carly has focused so much on that rivalry, she forgot about the love :( and from her tirade, I can understand how she could be so bitter. For her, she has always gotten the "short end of the stick" in most things, with Craig being more loved and the favorite child in her eyes. One of the only things she felted she had finally gotten the other end of the stick was marrying Jared. I mean she got a handsome, caring, and loving man as a husband. So, she must've been happy for something to finally go her way... and then she finds out her husband has feelings for her own brother.
Honestly, I think that pushed her over the edge. The one "success" she had, was once again taken from her by Craig, no matter how misguided her view is.

 

But, even after seeing where she's coming from, I still do not like Carly :no: Last chapter, I tried to withhold my thoughts on her because I didn't know her that well. But this finally tipped the scales, especially when Carly dismissed Harlan. :angry: She had the gall to tell Craig to "Let it go" I mean seriously! :o:pissed: She definitely needs to look in the mirror.
I digress, I'm not made to rant all the time, lol.

 

Gary, while I may not like Carly, I do hope she sees the light and finally lets go all her baggage: bitterness, anger, and resentment. And I give you props for being able to create characters that can love and hate :)

 


Thanks for another amazing chapter :hug:

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Oh Carly is a peach. You can live for other people or make other people happy. Happiness is within each us, if we want it, no one can make you happy or give you happiness. So I hope Craig stop worrying about what the dead would say or his blessed sister.
He needs to get himself straight and make his own life.
Thankfully mum has got some perspective. Let hope he listens.
tim

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Love this story, Gary. Don't love Carly...the character, not the way you've portrayed her. I'm pretty sure Craig and Jared will work their way toward each other, and I'm hopeful that there will be a HEA!
Keep 'em coming!

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I was going to write a review, but then I read Drew's. He summed up beautifully everything I was thinking...but I think he did it better. So, all I have to say is...ditto what Drew said. :thumbup:

 

As always, great chapter Gary. Thank you. :)

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Damn fine job of portraying the mess that Carly is--can you say, "unresolved issues"?
Remarkable that Craig's mom recognized what was going on, Carly figured it out, and even Jarod's sister--with only second-hand info--knew what was going on. Obviously Craig was totally caught up in his grief at the time, but when it was said he needed to get his head out of his ass, that was a valid assessment!
Craig's got a lot of analysis to do ... and I'm looking forward to the next chapter providing some of that! You've done well on the story here, buddy!

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Ok, so many thoughts going through my head about this chapter. I think the thing that's going to dominate everybody's thoughts here is Carly. Ok I get that she felt she didn't catch all the recognition and affection from the world and her family that she seems to think she deserves. Whatever that's sibling rivalry, you grow up and get over that junk or you end up being a nutball like Carly. She's so extremely self-centered and narcissistic, it's hard to imagine anybody trying to be close to her for long. Her marriage would have failed anyway, even if her husband wasn't possibly bisexual or whatever. She seems extremely paranoid too. I assume Carly will go through some kind of character arc as well and we'll eventually see a better side of her.

 

All I can say though is that sometime people burn bridges in life, and even though you try to forgive them and move forward the relationship is never the same. Sometimes you'll always have that thing between you. Of course in this case "the same" might not be so bad with Carly. She did cross a line in what she said.

 

Wow didn't mean to go off like that on Carly, it just brought some of my own personal experiences to mind. Otherwise, loving mom and her sensible advice. Loving Trina who also will be a much needed source of support. I'm rooting for Craig to figure out what's best for him and as someone else said, not to try living for others.

 

Also totally dying to read what happens next so I'll be anxiously waiting for next week.

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It constantly amazes me how much bitterness someone can carry, and I do know someone like Carly. They are so blinded by bitterness that they don't recognize the love that others are trying to give them. I get why Carly is upset about Jared. It had to be a blow to find out your husband is in love with your sibling, but it was out of line for her to dismiss Craig's grief or insinuate that he cheated on Harlen before he died. There are some things that should never be said in anger. I really like Craig's mom. She's an observant woman. I'm willing to bet she cautioned Carly to hold off on marriage because she saw that her and Jared wouldn't work.
I'm lukewarm on Jared's sister. I love the loyalty she has for her brother, but it's unfair of her to put so much pressure on Craig. There's no time limit on grief and she's making it seem like her brother's pain in Craig's fault and he has to do something to fix it. What if he really isn't ready to move on yet? What if he wasn't attracted to Jared in that way? (I know because of this story that he probably is, but what if he wasn't?) Is it really his fault that Jared fell in love with him when he was drowning in grief? Maybe I'm being to hard on her?
No matter how I feel about each individual character's actions, Craig has some major decisions to make. They're going to be tough decisions that will impact a lot of people. I don't envy him that process.
Another amazing chapter, Gary. Anxiously awaiting Chapter 3!

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Drew has a very valid point in the sibling rivalry and the loss of Jared to (ostensibly) her brother causing her to be pushed over the edge BUT it's got to be more than that. Carly is seriously f**kd up emotionally and I think it's way too much to be in the 'my brother always gets his way, territory.
Whew!

 

That being said, at length :P , Craig has his work cut out for himself re: Jared. Both because of Jared and because of himself. Each has his own unusual limits internally drawn.

 

OK Gary, you've given us enough issues for about 100 chapters. You said this was gonna be short? :o

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I wouldn't think that even fraternal twins could be so different, in appearance or demeanor. Carly's main problem is that she is a self absorbed pathetic bitch. Craig cannot be held accountable for someone's attraction to him......only his actions after said attraction has been acknowledged.
Excellent character development, Gary....I am eagerly waiting to read more...............:)Mike

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I really like the mum. If I was her I think I would have a few words for the daughter, that wouldn't be suitable for saying at a child's b'day party.

 

Great chapter as always Gary.

 

:hug:

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You really know how to write characters with extreme personality issues, don't you? And that's all the finger movement I'm giving to "Her Highness"!! I can wait to find out what Jared reveals. Will I need tissue?? :unsure2: Oh and no why in H*** is this gonna be a 'short' story. There's too much plot and stuff to resolve :D

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A little bit more information, but still waiting for more. A very unusual plot. Very intriguing. Eagerly anticipating the next chapter.

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Oh. My. You really know how to pack a punch Gary! Deep breath..

 

I am going to consider for a minute, that Carly very much believes that she was treated second to her twin for what ever reason. Think of how some one calls you a name and it hurts you, and all of a sudden you're thinking everyone sees you that way. It's not always true, but this would mean that she carried those feelings around through to adulthood. When you're a kid, these feelings can take root and grow to be unreasonable if not addressed or noticed. For years quietly or not, she's fostering this resentment toward her brother and mother too on some level, probably is very insecure and is fighting for her place in the family.
Im going to assume she hasn't sought help or talked to anyone about it. So naturally, when her husband falls for her brother, it's her brothers fault. She loses her shit cause she always loses to him. She's angry and bitter and lashing out at Craig where it hurts most. Harlan! Something had to happen to make her this way. She probably already knew that marriage to Jared was a bad idea, but I'm guessing jealousy, and the need to compete with her brother's success made her ignore the signs. In her mind, maybe a good husband and family would finally prove she was worthy.
Mom's reaction lends some truth to Carly's feelings. Great that she is supportive of her son, but clearly she's also dismissive of how this affects Carly. I'm sorry I don't care how much of a bitch my sister is, if my mom tells me calmly, to follow my heart and be with her ex, that's a problem.. There is more going on, I think there must be..
It's a delicate situation, you can't help who you fall in love with, and I think if we get to the core of what is driving Carly to this extreme, then she could have a conversation with her brother, and things could work out for all parties. I really feel for Jared who has been suffering silently.

 

So all that said (I was winded), I love that I'm this engaged in the story. I love the emotion and the turmoil, and I can't wait to see what comes next.. Awesome Gary!

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Another full on chapter, you do like the powerful characters :)
One word - intense!
Let's see what the trip to the pond reveals, bring on the next chapter

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On 02/02/2016 06:44 AM, Drew Espinosa said:

I don't have the best of relationships with my brother, but it's nothing compared to Craig and Carly. I mean, I get that sibling rivalry occurs, but at the end of the day brothers and sisters love each other and will always stick up for one another when needed..

 

It seems Carly has focused so much on that rivalry, she forgot about the love :( and from her tirade, I can understand how she could be so bitter. For her, she has always gotten the "short end of the stick" in most things, with Craig being more loved and the favorite child in her eyes. One of the only things she felted she had finally gotten the other end of the stick was marrying Jared. I mean she got a handsome, caring, and loving man as a husband. So, she must've been happy for something to finally go her way... and then she finds out her husband has feelings for her own brother.

Honestly, I think that pushed her over the edge. The one "success" she had, was once again taken from her by Craig, no matter how misguided her view is.

 

But, even after seeing where she's coming from, I still do not like Carly :no: Last chapter, I tried to withhold my thoughts on her because I didn't know her that well. But this finally tipped the scales, especially when Carly dismissed Harlan. :angry: She had the gall to tell Craig to "Let it go" I mean seriously! :o:pissed: She definitely needs to look in the mirror.

I digress, I'm not made to rant all the time, lol.

 

Gary, while I may not like Carly, I do hope she sees the light and finally lets go all her baggage: bitterness, anger, and resentment. And I give you props for being able to create characters that can love and hate :)

 

 

Thanks for another amazing chapter :hug:

I love the reaction Carly is getting, and I'll just say you are right not to like her. The person she is based on took a long time to settle down. Ican't say too much more, other than I love your review, and I can't wait to hear what you think after the next chapter. Thank you, buddy... your continual support is awesome... cheers... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 07:53 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Oh Carly is a peach. You can live for other people or make other people happy. Happiness is within each us, if we want it, no one can make you happy or give you happiness. So I hope Craig stop worrying about what the dead would say or his blessed sister.

He needs to get himself straight and make his own life.

Thankfully mum has got some perspective. Let hope he listens.

tim

I think you keyed on something important,tim. I am trying to show that Craig is going through a process... we'll have to see if he lets others hold him back. I think Mom, like you say, has the right perspective... and I also think she's had enough... thanks for a great review, my friend... this gets a little intense so I hope you stick with it... cheers... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 08:45 AM, Coastguard said:

Love this story, Gary. Don't love Carly...the character, not the way you've portrayed her. I'm pretty sure Craig and Jared will work their way toward each other, and I'm hopeful that there will be a HEA!

Keep 'em coming!

Thanks, Coastguard! I don't like Carly either. She needs a reality check. I think we see there's a possibility there for Craig and Jared, but families can be minefields... it's alright to hope for a HEA... I always do... Great review, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 09:36 AM, Reader1810 said:

I was going to write a review, but then I read Drew's. He summed up beautifully everything I was thinking...but I think he did it better. So, all I have to say is...ditto what Drew said. :thumbup:

 

As always, great chapter Gary. Thank you. :)

Thanks, Reader! Can I just say ditto? lol. I love the conversation in the forum about Carly. She is a very polarizing character. Being vicious obviously comes easy to her... she leveled her twin... let's hope he doesn't fold up because of it. He is just getting his bearings after suffering his loss... thanks and cheers, my friend... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 09:38 AM, Robert Rex said:

Damn fine job of portraying the mess that Carly is--can you say, "unresolved issues"?

Remarkable that Craig's mom recognized what was going on, Carly figured it out, and even Jarod's sister--with only second-hand info--knew what was going on. Obviously Craig was totally caught up in his grief at the time, but when it was said he needed to get his head out of his ass, that was a valid assessment!

Craig's got a lot of analysis to do ... and I'm looking forward to the next chapter providing some of that! You've done well on the story here, buddy!

Hey, Rex! Yeah, unpleasant people populate the world. I've always thought the get theirs in the end... karma can be a bitch. I think, although this has caught Craig off guard... his grief has receded enough that he can handle this... although he appears to have a few doubts... thanks for the review, buddy... cheers... Gary...

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This is another of your well crafted stories. Carly can't see beyond the spiteful tip of her nose. You however, seem to have a knack for redeeming the seemingly irredeemable. I'm curious what magic you'll use here.
I could of course say so very much more but most of it's already been said and my time is short ...

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Flood Warnings is a very ominous title, but I guess Craig is reeling from the impact of Jared kissing him, his sister stabbing him with her evil words, his mother saying those things about Jared, and finally Trina warning him about her brother being at breaking point. Craig is going down there to poke a hole in the dam and who knows what will burst forth and what the consequences will be. :o

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On 02/02/2016 09:39 AM, spikey582 said:

Ok, so many thoughts going through my head about this chapter. I think the thing that's going to dominate everybody's thoughts here is Carly. Ok I get that she felt she didn't catch all the recognition and affection from the world and her family that she seems to think she deserves. Whatever that's sibling rivalry, you grow up and get over that junk or you end up being a nutball like Carly. She's so extremely self-centered and narcissistic, it's hard to imagine anybody trying to be close to her for long. Her marriage would have failed anyway, even if her husband wasn't possibly bisexual or whatever. She seems extremely paranoid too. I assume Carly will go through some kind of character arc as well and we'll eventually see a better side of her.

 

All I can say though is that sometime people burn bridges in life, and even though you try to forgive them and move forward the relationship is never the same. Sometimes you'll always have that thing between you. Of course in this case "the same" might not be so bad with Carly. She did cross a line in what she said.

 

Wow didn't mean to go off like that on Carly, it just brought some of my own personal experiences to mind. Otherwise, loving mom and her sensible advice. Loving Trina who also will be a much needed source of support. I'm rooting for Craig to figure out what's best for him and as someone else said, not to try living for others.

 

Also totally dying to read what happens next so I'll be anxiously waiting for next week.

Thanks, spikey! I don't mind you going off on Carly at all. Her outlook is pretty skewed. Her mother is a good person who maybe indulged her daughter's behavior a little to long. Self-centered is the perfect way to describe her. Carly did cross a line, but maybe it has served to open Craig to looking at things differently. Is he ready to move forward? We'll shall see. Just be prepared that things might not be quite as they appear. Thank you for a terrific review, spikey... cheers... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 09:52 AM, LitLover said:

It constantly amazes me how much bitterness someone can carry, and I do know someone like Carly. They are so blinded by bitterness that they don't recognize the love that others are trying to give them. I get why Carly is upset about Jared. It had to be a blow to find out your husband is in love with your sibling, but it was out of line for her to dismiss Craig's grief or insinuate that he cheated on Harlen before he died. There are some things that should never be said in anger. I really like Craig's mom. She's an observant woman. I'm willing to bet she cautioned Carly to hold off on marriage because she saw that her and Jared wouldn't work.

I'm lukewarm on Jared's sister. I love the loyalty she has for her brother, but it's unfair of her to put so much pressure on Craig. There's no time limit on grief and she's making it seem like her brother's pain in Craig's fault and he has to do something to fix it. What if he really isn't ready to move on yet? What if he wasn't attracted to Jared in that way? (I know because of this story that he probably is, but what if he wasn't?) Is it really his fault that Jared fell in love with him when he was drowning in grief? Maybe I'm being to hard on her?

No matter how I feel about each individual character's actions, Craig has some major decisions to make. They're going to be tough decisions that will impact a lot of people. I don't envy him that process.

Another amazing chapter, Gary. Anxiously awaiting Chapter 3!

Thanks, Lit. I think things will be a little clearer in the next chapter. Trina is protective of her brother for sure, but she feels his pain, so I give her a pass. She was blunt but kind, and in the end gave Craig her blessing to try and help Jared. Craig is faced, like you say, with some pretty tough decisions, and I think he is showing he is able to think of Harlan without all the pain... I would take that as a good sign, possibly. Awesome review, as usual, Lit... cheers... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 10:24 AM, skinnydragon said:

Drew has a very valid point in the sibling rivalry and the loss of Jared to (ostensibly) her brother causing her to be pushed over the edge BUT it's got to be more than that. Carly is seriously f**kd up emotionally and I think it's way too much to be in the 'my brother always gets his way, territory.

Whew!

 

That being said, at length :P , Craig has his work cut out for himself re: Jared. Both because of Jared and because of himself. Each has his own unusual limits internally drawn.

 

OK Gary, you've given us enough issues for about 100 chapters. You said this was gonna be short? :o

LOL... short for me, skinny. Yeah, there are a lot of issues at play here, and I think someone has to stand up, but there is so much damage that it's tough to do. As I already said earlier, we'll get a better idea in the next chapter of the depths of, well... you'll just have to wait and see :) . Thanks for the amazing support and your review, my friend... cheers... Gary...

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On 02/02/2016 11:27 AM, flamingo136 said:

I wouldn't think that even fraternal twins could be so different, in appearance or demeanor. Carly's main problem is that she is a self absorbed pathetic bitch. Craig cannot be held accountable for someone's attraction to him......only his actions after said attraction has been acknowledged.

Excellent character development, Gary....I am eagerly waiting to read more...............:)Mike

Thank you, Mike... always awesome to hear from you! These two are like night and day, which must be tough for their mom. She is caught in the middle here. You're right about Craig's attraction, but sometimes things are not quite what they appear. I'm so glad you like the character development so far. It's not finished yet... cheers, buddy... Gary...

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