Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 

     

    Headstall
  • Author
  • 3,660 Words
  • 6,625 Views
  • 66 Comments
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.

Treading Water - 4. Chapter 4 White Water Rafting

The trick is to stay afloat as you navigate the treacherous waters.

Treading Water

 

 

Chapter 4

 

 

Craig attempted to sort through his emotions as he headed toward the old white farmhouse, and his Jeep. As soon as he’d left the magical glade, he felt a loss. Not exactly bereft, but it had been a long time since he’d experienced such a connection. He wasn’t lying when he told… no… reassured Jared he hadn’t forgotten his feelings for the man. Because of Harlan, and the wonderful life they’d begun to share, Craig had said farewell to his unrequited love for the supposedly straight man, but fate had intervened, and Harlan was gone forever. Over the past year, he’d learned to accept it; still, it was a lonely place he’d been residing in. Something deep inside him, something he’d kept at bay, was finally feeling a resurgence, and telling him there was a cure for that isolated existence in the woods behind him.

Glancing back, the solitary figure of a man was discernible in the distance, watching him. Craig smiled. No, that wasn’t loneliness back there… the potentially perfect answer for it was intent on his progress, and he let the reality of that sink in. Jared was in love with him. He’d made that clear, and Craig’s previously guarded heart had responded to it. Was it telling him he was ready to move forward? Turning around and walking backwards, he waved heartily, and received the same in return. He could do this. When he got to his car, he took an item he needed out of the glove-box.

 

Instead of pulling into his mother’s garage, Craig parked in the driveway. There was a good chance his stay would be abbreviated, if Carly became unbearable, but he was determined to see his plan through. Prepared for possible fireworks, he headed for the front entrance. Opening the door and stepping inside, he looked to the right, straight into the kitchen. There sat his sister and his mother, both staring at him with different expressions. While his mother looked at him with simple curiosity, Carly’s tear-streaked face couldn’t hide the calculated examination of her brother.

“You went to him, didn’t you, after I told you not to?”

“Hello to you too, Carly.” Craig intended to keep his cool, no matter what his sister threw at him. “If you mean Jared, then yes. We had a good talk. And you don’t get to tell me anything.”

“Did you fuck him?”

“Carly Larkin! Don’t be so crass. It’s disgusting,” her mother admonished, looking sympathetically at her son.

“Let her say what she wants, Mom. I really don’t give a shit.” He said it calmly and quietly as he met his twin’s glare. “Not that it’s any of your business, Carly, but we just talked.” The kiss he’d left Jared with was theirs alone.

“Right, like I believe that. You couldn’t wait to get to him. And you think I’m disgusting, Mother? After what I saw today, it’s your son who’s disgusting, running after the man his sister was married to.”

“Why must you say such a thing, Carly? You haven’t heard a word I’ve said. Your brother kissed a single man. Yes, you were married to him, but you have been parted for over a year now. There are just the three of us, and Bailey, so for the sake of our family, I’m asking you one more time to please let it go.”

“God, Mother! Let it go? It’s so like you to take his side. You’ve done it our whole lives. Craig is your little darling, and he can do no wrong. I will never accept that my own brother is fucking my husband… yes, I know he’s my ex-husband. It’s not right!”

Ignoring her, Craig turned to their supremely frustrated mother and gave her a commiserating look. He could think of no other way to do this. “Do you happen to know where the yearbooks from high school are, Mom?”

Carly looked at him in disbelief, and he could see her rage rise. Nobody ignores Carly. “What the fuck… do you really think now is the time to take a trip down memory lane? Do you think this is funny, Craig? You think you can just move in on Jared with no regard for my feelings? Trust me…it’s not going to happen, brother dear.” The sneer on her face was exactly what he wanted.

He walked past her and leaned against the kitchen counter, forcing her to turn. “Oh, really, sister dear? Do tell. What would stop us from doing what we want? You have no control over Jared, and certainly none over me.” He knew the lack of concern he presented would escalate her anger, and he was right.

“Oh, you think so, smartass? If you insist on seeing Jared, or if he keeps seeing you, he won’t be having any more visits with his daughter. I have full custody, so don’t tell me I have no control over my husband.” Craig wanted to laugh at her smug expression, but his mother’s reaction took all of his attention.

“Good Lord, child. What has happened to you? I do not favor your brother, but he has lost his fiancé, and yet you would deny him even the slightest chance at finding happiness again? If you do such a thing to a good man and a good father like Jared, you will not be welcome in this house any longer. You would be depriving my granddaughter of her daddy. That is something I will not overlook.” Marian Fletcher looked shaken by what her daughter had just threatened, but Craig also saw a fury there. It was clear his mother had reached her breaking point.

“Why am I not surprised you would be like this? Jared is not the goody-two-shoes you all think he is. That’s fine with me, though.” She wasn’t fooling Craig. He could see the impact his mother’s threat had on Carly. “Bailey and I will find somewhere else to live. I don’t need your charity.” She sneered at her twin. “Of course, I’ll have to go after Jared for spousal and child support. I’m sure Mr. Perfect didn’t tell you he’s in arrears to the tune of ten grand?”

Craig enjoyed the look on her face when he responded. “Don’t worry, Mom. She won’t be doing any such thing to Jared. And I believe he’s in arrears for only $9,900.” He pulled out the cheque he’d written once he’d gotten into his jeep, and threw it down in front of the smug-looking bitch he now detested in a way he never imagined he would. “All paid up, and I don’t need a receipt. The documentation is on there. So, Mom, where are those yearbooks?”

“I’ll get them, dear.” Her eyes had a slight twinkle as she rose from the table and went into the living room. Craig heard her open a cabinet door.

“You’re paying his fucking bills now? Isn’t that just so sweet. I’m not cashing that. It’s up to him to pay me what he owes.” She was livid as she looked at the cheque with disdain.

“No problem. Do what you want, but that is legal payment. Mom witnessed me giving it to you, and she is aware of what it’s for. If you don’t cash it, it’s your loss. You can’t hang this over Jared’s head too,” he goaded her.

Carly was beyond furious. “I don’t need to hang anything over his head. I promise you, if you even talk to him again, you will be responsible for him not seeing his daughter.” The fiery gleam in her eye told him just how much she meant what she said, and he’d had enough.

His daughter?” He watched his sister closely, and saw the slightest widening of her pale eyes.

“Yes, and I mean it, Craig.” He got what he was looking for in that brief moment before his mother came back with the yearbooks he’d requested.

“Thanks, Mom.” Unhurriedly, he walked over and sat down across from his sister, opening up the book for their senior year. He knew exactly what he was looking for, and stopped on the spread titled ‘Rally Days.’ Looking across the table at his twin, he saw her eyes were glued to one spot on the page. “Here it is. This car rally sure was a big deal for the seniors every year. Do you recall this guy, Carly?” He pointed to a reddish-haired guy standing in front of a black Honda Civic.

“No,” she stammered at the same time her mother leaned over to look at the very clear picture of a smiling, brown-eyed guy holding a trophy. Her heard Marian Fletcher’s sharp intake of breath.

“No? Carly, that’s Ronnie Chilton. Remember? You complained he wouldn’t leave you alone. He had a huge crush on you that year, but you didn’t want to be seen with a pothead? You don’t remember him?”

“Oh, yeah, I didn’t recognize him at first,” she lied, badly. “But I don’t see the point of this. I told you what would happen if you keep seeing Jared, so it’s on your head. I can’t even look at you anymore,” she said as she rose to leave.

“Sit. Unless you want me to post what I know on Facebook, I suggest you park it. And I mean it, Carly. See, you’re not in control here now… I am, and you have really, and I mean really, pissed me off. You played with my life, and you played with Jared’s, and if you aren’t careful, I’m going to play with yours just as badly. I swear I will destroy your reputation so completely you’ll have to leave town.”

While Carly stood uncertainly with her mouth open, their mother asked what was going on. Craig felt bad for putting her through this, but he felt he had no choice. Jared was trusting him. The thought of the blue-eyed man, and the damage Carly had done to him, gave him the strength he needed. “I’m sorry, Mom… this isn’t how I wanted things to go, but there are things you really should know about.”

He watched his sister slowly sink back into her chair. “I don’t know what you’re up to, Craig, but I don’t take threats lightly,” she said with a more subdued tone. He’d rattled her, for sure.

“I don’t either. It’s up to you how we play this.” He looked pointedly at the open book in front of him, and when he looked back up at her, she blanched.

Craig came close to full-out laughter at her attempt to take some control back. “I suggest we talk in my room. There’s nothing to be gained by bickering in front of Mom. It’s not fair of you to do that. Can’t you see you’re upsetting her?”

“Bickering? Really?” Craig shook his head at his twin’s audacity. “This is happening here and now, Carly. No more dirty little secrets in this house.” Looking at his mother, he saw she was still focused on the picture. Once again, he felt a little guilty at the way his mother was having Carly’s dirty laundry revealed to her, but he dove in anyway, trusting that she would want to know. “Three nights in a row, after the Sadie Hawkins dance, you snuck out of the house as soon as Mom went to bed. Who were you with, Carly?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I didn’t….”

“Stop, Carly. When we were in high school, mine was the bedroom at the front of the house, remember? I saw you, so don’t deny it.”

“Okay, fine. I was with Jared. Are you happy now?”

“Yeah, that’s what you told me back then when I asked you. I remember how you bragged about it when I mentioned I saw you sneaking out. It’s funny, though, because the car you got into was a black Honda Civic, and I found out today Jared never went out with you… ever. He only went to the dance with you as friends.”

“He’s a goddamn liar.” Her retort was edged with panic, but he felt no sympathy… none at all.

“A liar? Seriously? You know what, Carly? I’m sick of this so I’m just going to say what went down. You tricked Jared. He told you he was gay, and that he had a crush on me, and you went after him anyway. When he asked if you thought I would go out with him, you told him no, because I was in a very serious relationship. You fucking lied, Carly! You’re the goddamn liar!

“No, I didn’t. Are you forgetting about Harlan?” Craig had expected her to fight back, but that was feeble.

“Do you think I don’t know when I met Harlan? It was six weeks later… six fucking weeks, and you knew I was in love with Jared. You knew I went to all his games for almost three years. You took away our chance… you had no fucking right, Carly. And you told me he came after you... that he asked you out… another fucking lie!” He was seething, and his anger was impossible to keep a lid on.

“So what? Just because you were in love with him? Why should you get him, and not me? You think you’re so much better than me,” she screamed.

He froze. It became crystal clear in an instant. “Oh my God. I was wrong. You didn’t go after him because you were snubbed by Monica and those girls. Maybe they were a small part, but you went after him to hurt me… to take something from me. That was your goal, wasn’t it? You heartless, evil, fucking bitch.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. We were in love, and he married me, not you!”

“So it was sheer jealousy,” he muttered, both stunned and relieved. He had never seen his sister so starkly exposed before, and it didn’t hurt as much as he would have expected. He’d felt her resentment for as long as he could remember, so this wasn’t as mind-boggling as it should have been. Maybe it would hit him later, but for now, he wasn’t done yet. “Was it jealousy that made you tell him I tried to commit suicide and that I was in intensive therapy? Was it jealousy that had you telling him he had to stay away from me because he might ‘trigger’ me to spiral downward?” He heard his mother’s groan of dismay, but there was no softening this for her.

In typical Carly fashion, she glossed over her despicable lies like they were nothing. “Whatever. I was just trying to protect you. You’re the one who’s jealous, and now you’re trying to steal him.” Jared’s earlier words came to mind in that moment. His sister really was a piece of work.

“I can’t steal what you never had, Carly. If anything, you stole him, and he’s been miserable ever since. The only reason he ever stuck around was for Bailey, and that poor man has no idea he was duped. He hasn’t a clue that he’s not Bailey’s father.” Saying it out loud brought momentary despair for Craig.

“How dare you! Of course he’s her father. How can you say that?” She looked at her mother for support, but her mother was still too stunned to say anything. “You’re the heartless one, to be spouting such horrible lies.”

Craig laughed at her ridiculousness. “Look at the picture, Carly. Bailey is the dead spitting image of Ronnie Chilton. The hair, the eyes, the smile, the chin… they’re identical. He looks different now. The word is he’s a crackhead, and I believe it. I saw him a few months ago sitting on the street. I gave him ten dollars, but he was too high, or too far gone to recognize me.”

“No, you’re wrong. You’re just trying to make me look bad in front of Mom.”

“Mom, was Carly on the pill in high school?”

“What? No, she couldn’t be because of… problems.” His mother was much more engaged now that the shock of the picture had worn off.

“You got Jared drunk at that dance. You borrowed my flask, remember?” He shot his mother an apologetic look. “You wouldn’t take no for an answer. But he said no, didn’t he, sister dear?”

“That’s not true,” she protested, but he ignored her lie, pinning her with a cold glare.

“You told Jared you were on the pill, and he didn’t need to wear a condom, but he was smart enough to wear one anyway. He insisted, so there went your plan. When you asked him to have sex again, he said ‘no way’ which meant you had to come up with something else. Enter, Ronnie. All you had to do was call him, and he came running. Three nights in a row, sister dear, and it did the trick, didn’t it. What did you do? Dump Ronnie like a piece of garbage when you were done with him?”

“Mom, don’t believe him. It’s not true… he’s making all this up,” she pleaded, her voice trembling.

“Carly, how do you explain that picture? It looks so much like our Bailey.”

“No, Mom, it’s just a coincidence. He has no proof of any of this. He’s doing this to justify betraying me.”

Craig shook his head, and he couldn’t help but feel genuine sadness. “No proof? Come on, Carly. When I tell Jared this, I’m sure he’s going to want a DNA test done. That will be the proof.”

He was actually astonished when his sister fell to pieces. It wasn’t pretty, and he didn’t know whether it was because she was beaten or maybe felt some remorse. Any money would be on the former.

When she could finally speak, after the wailing died down, she pleaded. “Please, Craig. You can’t tell him this. You can’t tell anyone. I never want Bailey to know what a mess her… her father is. She’s your niece… you can’t do that to her.”

“Carly, I never started this. Neither did Jared. You played with both of us, and you took something away from him and me that you had no right to,” he said softly as he studied her, watching involuntary shudders go through her body. “I might be willing to make a deal, though, if you’re interested?”

“What kind of deal?” The hope in her voice let Craig know the ugliness he’d just navigated through had served its purpose.

“I want you to draw up a new custody agreement that’s fair. Jared should get custody every other weekend, from Friday evening till Sunday evening, and all the holidays should be split down the middle. At least two full weeks in the summer, and he should be able to take her out for an hour or two, here and there, but that’s something you two can iron out. I’ll pay half the legal costs, but you have to do this right away. He’s an awesome dad, Carly, and he worships that little girl. You know that.”

Her crying had stopped as she listened. Her resigned sigh made Craig’s hammering heart leap. “And you won’t tell him?”

“I won’t tell him,” he lied. He had no doubts it wouldn’t change how Jared felt about his daughter.

“You won’t tell anyone?”

“No, but Carly, whatever happens between me and Jared, you have to accept.” He saw a flash in her eyes, but then it was gone and her shoulders slumped.

“Fine. I’ll stay out of both of your lives. You two do what you want. Just don’t expect me to like it,” she said with some of the fire that was Carly. “I suppose you’re going to go tell him now?”

“That’s none of your business.” He was drawing a line in the sand, and his tone carried a warning.

She sighed again. “Okay. You’re right, Craig. It isn’t.” Bailey let herself be heard at that exact moment, and Carly looked relieved to be able to head up the stairs. Craig was just as pleased she was gone from his sight. It would take him a long time to forget what his twin had done.

Looking at his mother, he felt a sharp stab of regret. “Are you okay? I’m sorry I had to do this to you.”

“Yes, I’m fine, dear. I must say I was shocked at first, and that’s hard to do where Carly is concerned, but I always knew something wasn’t right. I saw no love there, other than for Bailey. I’m glad I know now. You did good, son, so don’t you be worrying, or feeling bad about anything. Maybe this will turn out to be exactly what my daughter needs. I can only hope. Now, my advice to you is to go tell that man he’s finally going to get a fair shake. And Craig?”

“Yeah?”

“Don’t look so somber. From what I saw today, you might have just saved that man. Give him a kiss for me, will you?”

Craig laughed, relieving some of the built up tension. “Whatever you say, Mom.”

He headed for the door, but his mom called him back. “Just wait one minute.” In typical mother fashion, she transferred a bunch of food from the fridge to a cooler bag. “There’s fried chicken, potato salad, and some other stuff in there. Feed the man. He’s too damn skinny, and he loves my chicken.”

Craig laughed again, and he felt his face flush as he pictured ‘the man’ without his shirt. “He’s not that skinny.”

“I didn’t say he didn’t look damn good,” she teased, and then she snickered. It was good to see.

Craig picked up his pace as he headed to his car. The man did look damn good… that was for damn sure.

Thank you to my Editor, Timothy M. and all the readers who have shown their support for this story. Any comments can be made in the COTT forum:

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

Copyright © 2016 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 73
  • Love 11
  • Wow 3
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.

Story Discussion Topic

Open Club · 93 members · Last active

A fan club for Headstall to chat about his stories as well as home to CoTT House of Cards Chat Topic

You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments



Yay, go Craig :2thumbs:

 

I don't care how hard Carly thinks her childhood was, there is no excuse for what she did :pissed: I just hope she signs what she's meant to for the agreement they made.

 

Great chapter and very action filled, can't wait to read more.

 

:hug:

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I hope I never come across such hatred, such evil again in my life. Honestly started to feel ill reading that, it reminded me of my father's feelings for me. But he at least was straightforward in his hate, not like Carly. Nope she has him beat.
If thats what you were going for Gary, it worked.

 

tim

  • Like 1
Link to comment

What is it they say, Gary? Revenge is a dish best served cold? What did Craig accomplish? A better life for Bailey for sure, and a future for him and Jared. I feel sorry for his mum, but she knows what Carly is like.
I am impatient for more, although I think the end is near. Great story, Gary! Thanks.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

High 5's for Craig!! I KNEW that all of Carly's actions were motivated by jealously. Every-time she yelled at Craig, she would mention how he was the golden boy and Mom's favorite. I hope her Mom talks her into therapy cause she could really mess up little Bailey and we can't have that. No no no.
Go get your man, Craig!! :glomp: Fun times ahead???? :blushing:

  • Like 2
Link to comment

So again, the more I learn about this Carly person, the worst the picture looks. She's got a heart as black as coal. So not only did she lie, did she take advantage of a drunk gay guy, manipulate him into a marriage and all that, but the freaking kid wasn't even his? Holy hell take sweet little Bailey away from that harpy before she ruins her life too. I'm half surprised Carly didn't just fake a pregnancy and steal a kid from the hospital. I assume, Gary, that you might try to make Carly redeemable in the future, as it stands now they should just banish her back to the 27th coil of hell where she came from.

 

Ok but seriously, Craig is freaking awesom and I loved how he handled all that. He would do well though to make sure he gets literally everything in some sort of legally binding contract, because Carly is literally the lest trustworthy person ever. I see a light at the end of the tunnel for Jared, he's been victimized the most and that poor man needs love. His whole life was stolen from him.

 

Riveting stuff as always Gary. I look forward to every chapter and then get sad when they're over.

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 06:53 AM, Caz Pedroso said:

Yay, go Craig :2thumbs:

 

I don't care how hard Carly thinks her childhood was, there is no excuse for what she did :pissed: I just hope she signs what she's meant to for the agreement they made.

 

Great chapter and very action filled, can't wait to read more.

 

:hug:

I agree, Caz. Yay, Craig! I don't think Carly has much choice. How other people( outside the family) really matters to her. She doesn't want what she did to come to light, which shows she knows how wrong it was... I wonder if she, like my cousin, got carried away, and couldn't stop. Glad you liked this, my friend... thanks for the review and the support... Cheers... Gary...

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Great chapter!!! I'm so happy Craig let Carly have it with both barrels! Although a little bloodshed would have been acceptable too! Lol! J/K. Not so much surprised that Bailey isn't Jared's but amazed at what lengths Carly would go to. A definite sociopath!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 07:07 AM, Mikiesboy said:

I hope I never come across such hatred, such evil again in my life. Honestly started to feel ill reading that, it reminded me of my father's feelings for me. But he at least was straightforward in his hate, not like Carly. Nope she has him beat.

If thats what you were going for Gary, it worked.

 

tim

Hey, tim. That is exactly what I was going for. I want no sympathy, only horror for what Carly has done. No one has a right to play with another person's life, and dare to call or consider it love. This is sibling rivalry at its worst, and while it may have been goaded by a group of stuck up girls, it was her brother, and Jared, and Ronnie who paid the price. And now her mother. She blames Jared, her biggest supporter growing up, for all her problems. Foolish, evil little girl... but the jig is up, and she has been exposed. So was my relative, and it still took years for her to change. Sorry it made you feel ill, but the fact is there is ugliness in this world, and it often resides in people... you and I have first hand knowledge this is the case. Thanks so much for the review, tim, and for following along on this journey... it gets better now... cheers... Gary...

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 07:18 AM, Coastguard said:

What is it they say, Gary? Revenge is a dish best served cold? What did Craig accomplish? A better life for Bailey for sure, and a future for him and Jared. I feel sorry for his mum, but she knows what Carly is like.

I am impatient for more, although I think the end is near. Great story, Gary! Thanks.

Hey Coastguard. Thank you! We still have quite a ways to go, but the focus shifts a bit :) . As much as it hurt Craig, all he had to do was think of Azure eyes, and he maintained his equilibrium while he dealt with his despicable twin. Mom is a pretty tough cookie, and she deserved to know just how much help her daughter needs, and yeah, she already knew the basic shortcomings of Carly. Thank you, my friend, for the great review... cheers... Gary...

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 07:40 AM, LadyDe said:

High 5's for Craig!! I KNEW that all of Carly's actions were motivated by jealously. Every-time she yelled at Craig, she would mention how he was the golden boy and Mom's favorite. I hope her Mom talks her into therapy cause she could really mess up little Bailey and we can't have that. No no no.

Go get your man, Craig!! :glomp: Fun times ahead???? :blushing:

Hey, LadyDe! Consider the High 5 returned. Craig stayed the course and did what needed to be done. It's good that Mom knows now... Carly does need her... she lives with her, and has her as Bailey's caregiver whils she goes to work... so her mom does have some power over her. And know that the truth is out, none of them will let her screw up Bailey(and IMO Carly does love her daughter... it is her one decent quality). So... Craig is headed there now, so who knows what will happen... well, I do, but you have to wait to see if there are any fun times coming up :) . And you're lovely when you blush lol. Thank you, my friend for another awesome review. I am so glad you are enjoying this... cheers... Gary...

  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 08:45 AM, spikey582 said:

So again, the more I learn about this Carly person, the worst the picture looks. She's got a heart as black as coal. So not only did she lie, did she take advantage of a drunk gay guy, manipulate him into a marriage and all that, but the freaking kid wasn't even his? Holy hell take sweet little Bailey away from that harpy before she ruins her life too. I'm half surprised Carly didn't just fake a pregnancy and steal a kid from the hospital. I assume, Gary, that you might try to make Carly redeemable in the future, as it stands now they should just banish her back to the 27th coil of hell where she came from.

 

Ok but seriously, Craig is freaking awesom and I loved how he handled all that. He would do well though to make sure he gets literally everything in some sort of legally binding contract, because Carly is literally the lest trustworthy person ever. I see a light at the end of the tunnel for Jared, he's been victimized the most and that poor man needs love. His whole life was stolen from him.

 

Riveting stuff as always Gary. I look forward to every chapter and then get sad when they're over.

Thanks, spikey! I'm glad you referred to Jared as a victim, because that is what he is. Craig and Ronnie were too, but Jared has been reeling for a long time. We'll find out a little more about Jared soon, but for now, I think he is very lucky he has Craig to lean on.... that light at the end of the tunnel you speak of. Thank you for the kind words. You are spot on about Carly-a heart as black as coal- I'll see you next Monday, my friend... Cheers... Gary...

  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 09:00 AM, jaysalmn said:

Great chapter!!! I'm so happy Craig let Carly have it with both barrels! Although a little bloodshed would have been acceptable too! Lol! J/K. Not so much surprised that Bailey isn't Jared's but amazed at what lengths Carly would go to. A definite sociopath!

Thank you, jaysalmn! I'm proud of my man Craig. He's had a lot to deal with in the past year, but when Jared needed him, he held it together and did what needed to be done. Jared did everything right by insisting on the condom. Yet he paid a huge price. I think he's due for a break.. thanks for the great review, and for sticking with the story, my friend... cheers... Gary...

  • Love 2
Link to comment

I have to say this first, Jared may not be Bailey's father, but he is her daddy and that is what matters.
The phrase "cool heads will prevail" came to mind as the drama unfolded in today's chapter. Craig had a goal so he devised a plan to reach that goal. He put aside his emotions...which were churning angrily, no doubt...to make sure his plan was a success and it was, in spades.
I have to wonder if Ronnie's descent into oblivion was, in part, due to Carly's cruel treatment of him in high school. If so, that's really sad.
It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Will Carly attempt a counter attack?

 

As always, great chapter Gary. :)

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 11:09 AM, Reader1810 said:

I have to say this first, Jared may not be Bailey's father, but he is her daddy and that is what matters.

The phrase "cool heads will prevail" came to mind as the drama unfolded in today's chapter. Craig had a goal so he devised a plan to reach that goal. He put aside his emotions...which were churning angrily, no doubt...to make sure his plan was a success and it was, in spades.

I have to wonder if Ronnie's descent into oblivion was, in part, due to Carly's cruel treatment of him in high school. If so, that's really sad.

It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Will Carly attempt a counter attack?

 

As always, great chapter Gary. :)

Thanks, Reader! Exactly, with regards to being Bailey's daddy. I think it was a monumental struggle for Craig, but thinking of Jared got him through it.I would have to say I really believe Ronnie's spiral downward was in part due to being cast aside by Carly. He thought he had her, but he didn't... he had to have been devastated by what happened. Will there be a counter attack from Carly? Stay tuned :) . Thank you, my friend for another great review, and for your constant support... cheers... Gary...

  • Love 2
Link to comment

The fireworks were all in place here--and this chapter displayed 'em all! Carly may be down, but it's too early to write her off; she'll be back for more. (The only thing is, Craig needs to hold some ammo in reserve to keep her in her place.) Remarkably, mom took this so much in stride, I've gotta believe she somehow "knew" the real story regarding grandchild, but didn't want to face it, until forced to do so.
A fine chapter, now it's gonna be interesting to see how Jared is gonna react to all of this. Now, about that next chapter... <grin>

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Carly has lost any respect I might have been able to muster up for her. What she did... the way she played God with so many peoples' lives... no amount of jealousy can justify that. She trapped a man who she KNEW was gay into a loveless marriage using a child that wasn't even his. She played and slept with a young man who actually liked her just to become pregnant. She tortured the man by dangling a little girl in front of him and threatening to take her away if she didn't play along with her ever changing rules. How can someone like this sleep at night? I hold to my thoughts of her from last week... Carly is a psychopath. She doesn't care who gets steamrolled in her plans as long as she gets what she wants.
Without Craig's intervention, even if she loves her daughter now, it would only have been a matter of time until Bailey did something that would have caused her mother to turn on her too. Likely involving her wanting to see Jared.
I know Jared should know what Carly did, but my heart aches for him having to hear about this. I like how Craig handled the situation though. It's good that he realized she lied and remembered some of what happened back then. Hopefully they can get the new agreements drawn up quickly.
This was another great chapter, Gary! You are a master at touching a chord with your audience... even if that chord is wishing you could slap a character. lol

  • Haha 2
Link to comment

I am glad that Craig recognized he had to deal with Carly instead of reason with her black hole for a soul. I would have preferred the hitman or mall santa/frozen icicle to the heart route but she is his sister. I do agree with one of the other reviewers that there needs to be some ammunition still in the chamber because she is only wounded. Badly but most wounded animals become more dangerous. I hope I am wrong there and as you say, she hasn't much choice and her only weapons left are her awful personality and her awful parenting skills. I am glad for the family the secrets are out and I applaud Craig for doing what he thought was best for him, Jared, and Bailey and only what was best for them. However I only have two issues with this chapter, one is nothing really, just that it is hard to fathom that Jared really thought he slept with a woman once using a condom and she got pregnant and never questioned it further or asked for a paternity test back then. Of course that would lead me to believe either he is pretty simple minded or he is so good inside he doesn't see the world as it is or can be and trusts people because he is so trustworthy. I am betting on the latter, he seems to be pure in character. My second issue though is more of a moral dilemma. Maybe Ronnie was disposable to Carly when she used him and threw him away, and maybe he is a crackhead or a lost cause at this point (maybe or maybe not in part because of the way he was treated) - but the fact is he is te girls father and that is the flip side of yours and other reviewers point of Jared being her daddy because he loves her and has raised her. While I agree wholeheartedly that Jared is her father because of the situation and because of his love for her, and while I recognize that (at least in the US) legally she is his daughter as well if he and Carly were married when she gave birth and his name is on the birth certificate. So yes, it sure feels like legally what they are all doing is okay and that not having Bailey know about Ronnie or vice versa is what is in the best interest of all involved. The problem I have is that morally is this okay. Skip legally for a minute and if you assume that Carly had no right to manipulate Jared and Craig to keep them apart and she had no right to use Ronnie to get pregnant and then toss him aside - then I think that you have to ask do they all have the right to conspire and keep this information from both Bailey and Ronnie? Carly didn't do anything illegal either but she isn't moral and I would hate to think that Jared and Craig aren't at least going to wrestle with the moral dilemma that Ronnie has a right to know. I mean who is to say he wouldn't sign a piece of paper and give up all rights with payment if he is as bad as portrayed. And maybe is has no rights depending upon the law, but who is to say that these four people that know the truth aren't holding on to the only information that might help him? I'm not criticizing - remember, I am the one that would have used the money to hire a hit. And I know the story isn't over yet so I am keeping up faith it will all be unfurled in due time. However I have a weak spot for fathers and their rights or lack thereof when it comes to children. It is hard to reconcile a woman's right to their body and the decisions that grants her with the rights of the father some times and leaves us with the dilemmas like in your story.
I recognize it is at heart a love story however, and I cannot wait until the next chapter Gary.

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment

The "reveal" chapter, huh? Well, revealed to almost everyone.

 

I'll let the others continue their Carly bash and Carly worry and moral dilemmas, after all, dragons don't usually worry about such stuff.

 

We seek entertainment in irony and karma. Now, how many times has a mother lost a son-in-law she loved only for him to become the son-in-law she loves?

 

Thanks for a great chapter Gary!

  • Love 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment

Carly's a piece of work, no truer words have ever been spoken :thumbdown: okay...maybe I'm being dramatic :P
I'll take a leaf out of Skinny's book, and keep my Carly bashin' to a minimum :)

 

What I loved about this chapter, was how Craig finally decided to fight fire with fire. The way he tried to handle his twin before was simply not working. So taking Carly down a notch or two by making a threat here and a deal there was his last option

 

And... poor Ronnie :( If things were different, he could have known he was gonna be a father. Ultimately, I think he would have changed his ways, gave up drugs, in the face of fatherhood. Alas, he never found a reason to stop taking drugs and has hit rock bottom from what Craig said.

 


One final thing... one of my favorite things when it comes to your stories is how thematic they are, especially with titles :) With COTT, each chapter's title involved something with card games, SAD's chapters involved song titles, and TW the water. It's pretty amazing!

 

Gary, thank you for this awesome chapter! :hug:

  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 11:41 AM, Robert Rex said:

The fireworks were all in place here--and this chapter displayed 'em all! Carly may be down, but it's too early to write her off; she'll be back for more. (The only thing is, Craig needs to hold some ammo in reserve to keep her in her place.) Remarkably, mom took this so much in stride, I've gotta believe she somehow "knew" the real story regarding grandchild, but didn't want to face it, until forced to do so.

A fine chapter, now it's gonna be interesting to see how Jared is gonna react to all of this. Now, about that next chapter... <grin>

Hey Rex! Yeah, Mom knew something wasn't right, but there's no way she would have thought Carly would go this far. Faced with that photo of Ronnie though, she had to face reality. Her daughter is sick. Carly, with her secrets out, is no longer in control, so now we'll see how Jared handles what's coming. Thanks for the review and the support, buddy... cheers... Gary...

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 02/16/2016 12:20 PM, LitLover said:

Carly has lost any respect I might have been able to muster up for her. What she did... the way she played God with so many peoples' lives... no amount of jealousy can justify that. She trapped a man who she KNEW was gay into a loveless marriage using a child that wasn't even his. She played and slept with a young man who actually liked her just to become pregnant. She tortured the man by dangling a little girl in front of him and threatening to take her away if she didn't play along with her ever changing rules. How can someone like this sleep at night? I hold to my thoughts of her from last week... Carly is a psychopath. She doesn't care who gets steamrolled in her plans as long as she gets what she wants.

Without Craig's intervention, even if she loves her daughter now, it would only have been a matter of time until Bailey did something that would have caused her mother to turn on her too. Likely involving her wanting to see Jared.

I know Jared should know what Carly did, but my heart aches for him having to hear about this. I like how Craig handled the situation though. It's good that he realized she lied and remembered some of what happened back then. Hopefully they can get the new agreements drawn up quickly.

This was another great chapter, Gary! You are a master at touching a chord with your audience... even if that chord is wishing you could slap a character. lol

Hey, Lit! You say something really interesting here that I want to focus on. You say Carly knew Jared was gay, and you are right, but did Carly really believe it? He slept with her, and to someone as delusional and bitter as her, did that mean he wasn't. Jared said something very telling in chapter 3... he remarked to Craig... "did you ever notice carly doesn't believe what she doesn't want to. And before that, in Chapter 2, Carly says to Craig... "oh, he doesn't know what he is" referring to Jared's orientation. I think this shows how screwed up her thinking is, but it makes sense to her. If she didn't think he was gay, well, then he wasn't. The woman is callous, resentful, and twisted, but I don't think she is a psychopath... more of a sociopath.

With regards to Jared, he would have paid attention to Carly sneaking out, because no matter what he ended up doing with his feelings after he met Harlan, it had to have been hard for him to move on from loving Jared...he worshiped the guy. And I would like to do more than slap Carly lol. Like you said, she played God with so many lives... did it get away from her? Who's to say... the damage has been done. Thanks for an amazing review, my friend... cheers... Gary...

  • Love 2
Link to comment

Carly, Carly, Carly. My dear that girl is a hot mess. :no: Talk about a shrew. Kudos to Craig for standing up to her. I'm surprised she didn't break a leg when she fell from her high pedestal. :gikkle: I love Craig's mom. It makes me wonder...how did that wonderful woman give birth to such a sour child?
Fantastic chapter. Will wait patiently for the next. ;)

Link to comment

I see someone else is finally noticing and mentioning the wonderful thematic titles and chapter notes (Hi Drew ;) ). They are one of my favorite things about your stories, Gary. :worship:
Carly might have represented the treacherous waters at first, but Craig came well-prepared for his white water rafting trip. In the end, he and Jared are the ones to come out on top, and Carly is left floundering and trying to stay afloat.
She definitely needs therapy, although I bet she will refuse, because she prefers to wallow in her own stagnant pond of misery where she is the victim and everyone is out to duck her. Yeah, she may be more self-deluded than actively evil, but it amounts to the same as to the way her actions impact everyone around her. :no:

  • Love 1
  • Wow 1
Link to comment

Craig's response to his twins deceit reminded me of the term carpet-bombing that was used during the Vietnam War; unlike the surgical strikes commonly using during the Gulf War and later. He calmly and methodically neutralized his opponent.....but he should be aware that unless the snakes head is removed, it is still a threat....Even the detached head has been known to be of danger........Enough of that....lol
I am so excited to read this chapter....Craig finally taking charge of his life ....and moving forward after Harlan's death....the gutting of Carly was just icing on the cake.....Now go feed your man....he is too thin, but DAMN...........:)Mike

  • Like 1
Link to comment

No sympathy, only horror... if that's your goal then my goodness you got there in spades. Carly is definitely a piece of work :)
I'm not sure I breathed while reading that chapter.
I wonder if she will cash the cheque, hmmmm...

  • Like 2
Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..