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    Mark Arbour
  • Author
  • 5,624 Words

Black Widow - 49. Chapter 49


September 7, 2003

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

New York, NY




“God, that’s good,” I moaned, as Patrick thrust in and out of me slowly. We were lying on our sides, and I could feel his abs against my back as he exerted himself. His arms were both wrapped around me, with one holding me tight to him, and the other poised to allow him to stroke my cock in time with his slow, measured penetrations.

“I’m gonna fucking flood you,” he said. His deep voice would have been enough to totally turn me on, but when he got excited and got into sex, his uptight Eastern accent relaxed and let out the more casual Alabama boy that was underneath his polished façade.

“Fuck yeah,” I said, and just gave myself over to his control. It was so awesome, the way he read my body and my reactions perfectly, and he used that skill to bring both of us off at damn near the same time. When we were done with our orgasms, and after we’d finished panting, I rolled over and lay on my back, with him still on his side. I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 7:00am, but amazingly enough, I wasn’t upset about being up so early. Probably because I hadn’t slept all night. This guy was an animal.

“I have to head out,” he said, and started to leave. He seemed annoyed, which kind of surprised me.

“In a little bit,” I said, and leaned up to give him a kiss.

He frowned at me. “So what was this deal? Some big plan to fuck up JJ and get back at El?”

“This deal? You mean you spending the night and us having amazing sex damn near all night long?” I asked. My words were pointed, but I smiled to take some of the sting out of them.

“Well, that, and the deal at the ball,” he said. It was both cute and irritating that he seemed annoyed that I’d been just using him to get back at Ella and piss off JJ. Like he was as pure as the driven snow.

“JJ’s been a little bitch, treating everyone like shit,” I said. “He wasn’t listening to anyone.”

“So you rocked his world to get his attention?”

“I’ll bet it worked,” I said, confirming his question and making both of us chuckle.

“I went out with him once,” he said. That freaked me out, worrying me that I was once again fucking around with a guy JJ was into, but I shut those fears down by rationalizing that I didn’t know anything about that, so I couldn’t be blamed for it.

“Did you fuck him?” I joked, sort of.

“Thought about it,” he said, giving me a lopsided grin. I waited for him to go on. “He’s cute, he’s smart, and he’s got an amazing gift with colors, but…” his voice trailed off, like he was trying to think of a way to phrase things that wouldn’t offend me.

“But what?” I prompted.

“He’s like a kid,” he said. “It would almost make me feel like I was a fucking pedophile.”

I thought about that, and it made sense. “He matured more slowly than Darius and I.”

“Darius is the guy I can’t figure out,” he said.

“He’s a wolf,” I said. “I figured you’d get that, and feel like he was a kindred spirit.” I jabbed him playfully with my elbow to show him I was giving him shit.

“If he were a wolf, he wouldn’t be pissed at me for being with Ella,” he said firmly.

“You’re right,” I said, pretending to agree with him. “You ever been in love?”

“What the fuck does that have to do with anything?” he asked, but in a relatively pleasant way.

“Just answer the question.”

“Once,” he said, and grimaced. “Dated this chick in high school. We broke up when we went to college.”

“It still bugs you,” I said. He ignored me. “When you see her with another dude, how do you react?”

He gave me a dirty look. “Not real well.”

“Then you understand Darius,” I told him succinctly.

He blinked at me. “My impression was that he dumped Ella,” Patrick said. “That she was just one of many girls he’d been with.”

“That’s bullshit,” I said vehemently. “I can see why you’d think that, though.”


“Because that’s how Darius is,” I explained. “He doesn’t let people get close to him, and he really keeps his distance from women. But with Ella, he let himself go, let himself fall in love with her.”

“Then why did he dump her?”

“He didn’t dump her, she dumped him, supposedly to come to New York. He even offered to come here with her so they could be together, but she told him no,” I said. “Now after 9-11, he did dump her, but that was kind of a different deal.”

“I didn’t know that,” he said, thinking about things.

“Are you guys exclusive?” I asked. That really got me a dirty look.

“Obviously not,” he said, and continued his nasty glare.

“Good,” I said. “I didn’t plan this out to get you in trouble. I just think you’re really hot.”

“I am,” he said, being cocky. It was cute.

“I’m mad at Ella for how she treated Darius. My brothers and I have a tight bond, so if someone picks a fight with one of us, they end up fighting all of us. But I really don’t have major problems with her other than that.”

“I’m like that with my brother,” he said, “but you don’t seem that way with JJ.”

“I love JJ,” I said to him firmly. “I’d fight like hell for him. I have, and I will. But if he’s going to be a total little douche, I’m going to explain that to him. That’s my job. That’s what I’m doing.”

“I can see that,” he said.

“So will you get a bunch of shit for not coming home last night?” I asked, turning the microscope back onto him.

He shrugged. “She’ll get over it, or she won’t.”

“You don’t sound too worried about it,” I said, probing.

He sighed. “I think our relationship has just about run its course. I know that, but she doesn’t.”

“What changed?”

“It’s not new anymore, and quite frankly, she’s more of a liability than an asset to me.” I found his mercenary attitude disturbing, but that was offset by his honesty.

“So you need new blood all the time?” I teased.

“It’s either that, or the other option is to fall hard. I don’t want to get hurt like that again.” I could see the pain he still carried from his big foray into love.

“I tell myself that it’s worth the risk,” I said philosophically.

“OK, I really do need to go,” he said. I got up with him, and drug him into the shower for an intimate but not erotic cleansing. He put on his clothes from last night, even as he frowned. “Now I have to do the slut walk.”

“The walk of shame,” I joked with him. He had to go out in the morning in his outfit from last night, broadcasting that he’d stayed out all night. “Thanks for staying over. You were awesome.”

“So were you,” he said, and gave me a nice kiss. “Call me when you’re in town.”

“Only if you promise to do the same when you’re in California,” I said.

“Deal,” he said, and then he left. I finished getting dressed, packed up my stuff, and called Darius.

“You ready?” he asked me crisply as he answered the phone.

“I just need food,” I said. No way I could deal with JJ on an empty stomach.

“We’ll grab something on the way,” he said. “Meet me in the lobby.”

We took our bags down and found the car waiting for us. They loaded our bags in it, and then took us by a patisserie where we got some croissants, then we whisked down to Tribeca.

I’d waited until we started eating before I bugged him about last night. “Dude, Bellona is old enough to be your mother.”

“Hypocrite,” he snapped at me, and then took a bite of his croissant.

“So what was with that? That wasn’t part of the plan,” I said. We were just going to show up, be charming, and show JJ that he wasn’t living in a bubble.

“Neither was you hooking up with Patrick,” he said.

“How do you know that I hooked up with Patrick?” I asked.

“Dude, I saw you go into the bathroom with him,” Darius argued.

“You never have to pee?”

“Right,” he said, skeptically.

“So how was it?” I persisted.

He gave me a really nasty look, but that didn’t bother me at all, then he sighed. “It was awesome.”

“Really?” I asked, surprised.

“You never been with an older guy?” he challenged.

“Not that old,” I said. “Yet.” He chuckled, frowned, then got that look of resolve, the one that told me he was about to spill his guts.

“I’ve been with lots of women,” he began, telling me something I already knew. “They’ve all been hot and around my age, and it’s been fun, but they mostly hold back and are a little insecure. It’s like they don’t want to be too slutty.”

“I can see that,” I said, just to encourage him.

“Last night I was with a woman who knew what she liked, knew what she wanted, and she didn’t really give a shit what I or anyone else thought about it. She didn’t treat me like some guy trying to work his way into her pants, she just appreciated me and my skills,” he said with a leer.

“So it was like you were the object of worship?” I teased.

“I usually am,” he joked back, cracking me up. “That was pretty hot, though, to know how attractive she found me.”

“I’ll bet,” I agreed, smiling at him. “So are you going to move out here and fulfill your destiny, and take JJ’s place at her side?” I asked, doing a really bad impression of the Emperor from Star Wars.

“No, but if I get a chance to fuck her again, I’m taking it,” he said emphatically. I just raised an eyebrow. “So you were with Patrick?”

“I think that my night was kind of like yours,” I told him. “Only we actually had a conversation.”

“Whatever,” he said, but he was too curious to leave it there.

“He said he didn’t get you,” I told him. I then relayed my morning conversation with Patrick to him, and watched him carefully to see how he’d react.

“I don’t think Ella’s all that into him,” Darius said. “I think she’s just using him.”

“Sounds kind of like that’s what he’s doing too,” I said.

Our conversation ended when we got to the condo. I looked at my watch and noticed that it was only 9:00, which was pretty good, considering I’d had a dick in my ass just 2 hours ago. The place was deserted and totally quiet in a creepy kind of way.

We walked down to JJ’s room and rapped on the door. “What?” I heard him say, in a really bitchy way. We smiled at each other. JJ hated to get up early.

“We’re here,” Darius said. “We’ve got a meeting in half an hour.”

“With who?” JJ asked, from behind his closed door. We ignored him and went into the main room, smirking at each other.

He came out ten minutes later, looking pretty together, at least for him. “What the fuck are you doing?” he demanded, as he stood there with his hands on his sides, looking furious.

“We’re here to meet with a contractor,” I said calmly.

“What for?” he demanded.

“We want to make some changes to the rooftop deck,” Darius said.

“This is bullshit!” he spat. When JJ was this mad, he was hysterical. It usually took all of my effort not to laugh at him. “You come in and embarrass the shit out of me at the party, now you want to redecorate my house? Fuck you!”

“We didn’t embarrass you at the party,” Darius said. “If anything, we made you look good. So don’t be a douche.”

“And it’s not your house,” I added.

“Well if you’re going to come in and change shit around, I’ll just move out and get my own place,” he said petulantly. “Then I won’t have to deal with you, or anyone else.”

“Cool,” Darius said. “That way we won’t have to worry about your bitching when they work on the deck.”

“What are you doing up there?” JJ demanded.

“What do you care, you’re moving?” I asked.

“You people do this to me!” he shouted, now completely losing it. “I get my life together, I’m doing great, and then you come in and fuck it all up. I don’t have to worry about enemies messing with me, I have to worry about my family stabbing me in the back!”

“No, you’re a bitchy fucking diva, and you need to fall off your high fucking horse and get a clue,” Darius said, getting in his face. That was hilarious, because as outraged as JJ was, he completely backed up in the face of Darius anger.

“You want people to treat you like a fucking queen, when you treat them like shit,” I added. “So if that’s your game, then yeah, you should watch your back.”

“Just because I wouldn’t let Maddy run around the kitchen like a demon from hell…” he began.

“You think that’s what this is about?” Darius challenged. “You can’t get along with anyone. No one wants to be around you. You’re rude, you’re bitchy, and you’re obnoxious.”

“I’m getting along with people just fine,” he objected. “I have friends.”

“Really?” I challenged. “Who?”

“All the people you embarrassed me in front of last night,” he said in a haughty way.

“They’re your friends?” I let him think about that. “If you weren’t a member of our family, and you didn’t have Stef, Grand, and Dad behind you, would those people be your friends?”

He stared at us for a second, and then Darius jumped in. “See JJ, this deal with the family, it cuts both ways. You can’t take all the cool things that come with it, then ignore the shit you have to do.”

“Whatever,” he said, and pouted. Darius was really pissed at his dismissive comment, but I knew JJ was just thinking about things.

“It’s bullshit that you’re not treating Carullo politely,” I said, changing the direction of our conversation. That was a really big deal to me because the guy was my friend, and I genuinely liked and cared about him.

“I’m nice to him,” he lied. It was so obvious it was ridiculous. “I’m rude just because I won’t go to gay clubs with him? If you think that’s what I’m supposed to do, you can go fuck yourself.”

“He asked you out, he didn’t ask you to go to the gay clubs,” I told him firmly.

“That’s what he meant,” JJ said petulantly.

“No, it wasn’t,” I said. “When he said ‘out’ that could be just for dinner. God, you are so stupid!” I was so frustrated with his neophytic social skills.

“I had to haul my ass to New York just because you can’t figure out when someone is inviting you out to fucking dinner?” Darius asked, getting in JJ’s face again.

“I didn’t know that,” JJ said, and looked pretty confused. Before Darius could totally lose it, the door buzzer rang, announcing the arrival of the contractor.

“We’re going to meet with this dude, work out some plans, then leave,” Darius said. “You can go back to bed if you want to.”

“I want to know what you’re doing,” JJ insisted.

“That’s fine, as long as you keep your mouth shut,” Darius said, really pissing JJ off.


September 7, 2003


Charlottesville, VA




“Thank you both for coming,” I said sincerely, as I helped Tiffany out of the big Suburban limo.

“You owe me,” she said, but I could tell she wasn’t all that unhappy to be here.

“You owe me too,” Matt said, giving me a kiss. “I know how you can make it up to me.”

Tiffany rolled her eyes at us. “You two are like dudes in high school,” she said, giving us shit for being frisky.

“I still have that much stamina,” Matt told her. “Or don’t you remember?”

“There’s nothing wrong with my memory,” Tiffany snapped. “What’s on our agenda?” I ignored her briefly, while I helped Riley and Maddy out of the car, then took their hands and started walking them inside.

“Well since you got here at dinner time, I figured we’d get you settled in, then we’d eat,” I explained.

“Great idea,” Matt said. There was no one else here to greet them, probably since dinner was in fifteen minutes anyway. We got the kids settled into their nursery and hung out for a few minutes, and then we walked up to the dining room, to find it empty.

“Where is everyone else?” Tiffany asked. That seemed to presage the arrival of Mary Ellen.

“Well hello Matt,” she said, greeting him first. She gave him a big hug where she molded her body against his, trying to embarrass him and annoy me, but neither of those reactions happened. “And you came too!” she said to Tiffany.

“How are you doing?” Tiffany asked her cautiously.

“I’m doing very well,” Mary Ellen said, with just a hint of sarcasm. “Thank you so much for asking.”

“Good evening,” Mother said, as she walked into the room. She was dressed formally, in a sleek blue skirt with a matching jacket, and that just seemed to magnify her frosty mood. She’d largely stuck to herself since we’d gotten here, which was strange. I sensed that she was spending her time strategizing, and I wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing or not.

“It’s nice to see you,” Matt said, turning on his charm. It was funny to see it partially have an effect.

“It was so nice of you to bring Riley down,” Mother said, as we took our seats. “I will have to go see him as soon as dinner is over.”

“I’m sure he’ll appreciate that,” Tiffany said, trying to sound sincere, then turned to me. “What’s our plan?”

“We’re going to spend the week here and just enjoy Goodwell,” I said to her. “We can ride, swim, whatever.”

“Well that sounds positively boring,” Mary Ellen fumed. “You are welcome to go into Charlottesville with me.”

“I’ll think about it, but thanks,” Tiffany said nervously. I was pretty sure that Mary Ellen’s parties wouldn’t be Tiffany’s thing.

“On Saturday, Alex, the Duke, and Nana are coming in to meet with all of us,” I said. “Then on Sunday, we can go back to Boston.”

“So we’re just hanging out here, waiting for them to show up?” Tiffany asked in a pretty bitchy way.

“It’s called a vacation,” Matt said to Tiffany, giving her shit.

“Then why aren’t there any palm trees and hot people in bathing suits?” Tiffany challenged.

“Dude, there will be hot people in bathing suits when we’re in the pool,” Matt objected, making us chuckle.

“Undoubtedly,” Mary Ellen said, lusting at him. I just rolled my eyes at her. “And what are you going to do?” she asked Mother.

“I am going to try to figure out a strategy to save my reputation,” Mother said calmly, with a hint of sadness.

“Then this certainly won’t be a vacation for you,” Mary Ellen said, taunting her. “You’ve got some heavy lifting to do.” Mother glared at her, while the rest of us hid our grins.

“How are you planning to do that?” Matt asked her. Mother briefly gave Matt a contemptuous look, as if he were an unsophisticated idiot whom she didn’t have the time to enlighten, but she pasted her façade on quickly enough.

“My original plan was to check into rehab, but I can hardly do that and still be useful in fighting whatever scheme is headed our way,” she said. “So I am trying to think of an alternative.”

“I was thinking about that, and I had an idea,” Matt said to her. I smiled at Matt, and what an awesome guy he was, trying to help my mother with damage control even after all the shit she’d done to us. My mother tried not to look offended that Matt would presume to give her advice. Of course, Mary Ellen picked up on that.

“Well I would just love to hear it,” Mary Ellen said. My mother gave her a hateful glance, which just made Mary Ellen that much happier.

“I was thinking that when those pictures were taken, that’s when you were drinking pretty heavily,” Matt said to Mother.

“That’s a pretty safe bet no matter what pictures we’re talking about,” Mary Ellen said, throwing another barb at Mother.

“I am not following your point,” Mother said to Matt acidly. She wasn’t used to strategizing in a group format like this, and was clearly uncomfortable.

“I was just thinking that you could point to this as one of the horrible things that can happen when you’re an alcoholic,” Matt said.

“And how would that help me?” Mother demanded, but I’d picked up on what Matt was saying, and a look at Mary Ellen told me that she got it too.

“I think what Matt is suggesting is that you can set yourself up as a person who had a drinking problem, and who solved that problem. You can look at things in the past and lament them, while trying to use your story to help other people understand the pitfalls of that disease,” I said.

“You could be the poster woman for recovered alcoholics,” Mary Ellen said, then laughed.

“You could then talk about those pictures and apologize, and express real remorse, while noting that the alcohol poisoned your brain,” I augmented.

“You could even write one of those terribly interesting self-help books,” Mary Ellen told her.

Matt smiled at her, but talked to Mother. “Actually, I think a book would be a great idea. Talk about your struggles, and how you finally overcame them.”

“I’m not sure I see myself writing a book,” Mother said skeptically. I think it was even more unlikely she’d be willing to explain all the circumstances that helped her recover.

“Maybe an article or an expose in a magazine?” I asked.

“I can see that,” Mary Ellen said, actually in a helpful way. It was fascinating to watch my mother evaluate that idea, even though she said nothing.

“Only here’s the deal,” I said to her firmly. “If you go down this road, that means you almost have to set yourself up as a crusader for sobriety. This would become your life’s purpose.”

“I’m not sure I could do that,” Mother said. Her voice was distant, because her mind was processing Matt’s idea in a frantic way while she was still maintaining this conversation.

“I think that actually might get you off the hook, but only if you get into it,” Mary Ellen said. “If you don’t, then you will be ruined.”

We all ate quietly, in what had become a very strange and surreal dinner, while my mother sat there dining and thinking. She finally smiled, as she emerged with a whole new purpose. “Matthew, I think that is a wonderful idea. Thank you so much.”

“I’m glad I could help,” Matt said, surprised.

“I’m looking forward to watching you try to pull this off,” Mary Ellen said skeptically.

“You would sabotage me?” Mother challenged. Her outrage over being stabbed in the back by her family was so hypocritical, we all did a collective eye roll.

“I’m not planning to do anything,” Mary Ellen said to her. “I’m just wondering if you can keep your evil self hidden from everyone.”

“I think I can, but if I need to let my inner Satan out, I’ll loose him on you,” Mother said to Mary Ellen in a playful way, making everyone laugh but me.

“We are sitting here as a family, trying to help you work your way out of this situation. I am prepared to be as supportive as I can, but I want something for my efforts,” I said to Mother firmly. I was aware that I was wielding my power and position as head of the family, much as JP did with his unruly brood.

“And what is the price for your support, Wade?” she asked me, the dread evident in her tone.

“You have continuously tried to upset my life for the past five years or so,” I stated firmly. She was smart enough not to argue with me about that. “I’m not willing to put up with that going forward. You’re going to have to learn to be a loyal family member, and watch out for our backs as well as your own. And when that inner demon makes his appearance, he needs to be directed away from our family.”

“That is why I am skeptical,” Mary Ellen said to her, but in a very serious and icy tone.

“I would point out that for me, family includes our extended family in California,” I added.

“And that makes me even more skeptical,” Mary Ellen said, and then really zeroed in on Mother. “In the end, you really have no choice but to agree to Wade’s terms.”

“Why not?” Mother asked, more to probe Mary Ellen’s rationale than anything.

“Because with this strategy, if you take it, any one of us can hurt you by denouncing you,” Mary Ellen said. “And if you piss us all off, collectively we can and will destroy you.”

Mother swallowed hard. “It appears that I have much to think about, and much to plan.”

“This is a good place to do that,” I said, referring to the isolated peace and tranquility of Goodwell.


September 7, 2003

Tribeca, NY




My mind was reeling from the conversation I’d just had with my brothers, and from the events of yesterday. I instinctively rebelled against agreeing with them, since that would entail a long, drawn out apology from me, one that would extend to almost all the other members of my family. I sighed internally at how awful that would be. I distracted myself from thinking about that by focusing on the contractor who’d arrived. He was a nice enough guy, probably in his late 30s, named Joe Schmack. I almost rolled my eyes at how he looked like the caricature of his trade, with jeans, work boots, and a measuring tape affixed to his belt. He was one of those guys who probably seemed like they were covered with dust even if they just got out of the shower.

We led him up to the rooftop, with Will chattering to him in his flirtatious way that bugged the shit out of me. “We want to do something with this area,” Will said, pointing at the flowerbed that had been transformed into a lawn for Maddy.

“I was planning to turn it back into a garden,” I said.

“No,” Darius said to me rudely, shutting me down. I seethed inside at that, but decided to listen to their plan.

“We were thinking that it would be awesome as a pool,” Will said. He pulled out some plans and handed them to the guy, while I looked over his shoulder.

“Who drew these up?” I demanded.

“Geoffrey and some of his colleagues,” Will said to me in a dismissive way.

“This is pretty shallow,” Joe noted. “Three feet for the most part.”

“That’s right,” Will said. “The thought was that it could be used for just hanging out, but the key feature would be these fountains.”

“Hanging out?” I asked.

“You could get in to cool off, but that’s about it,” Will said to me.

“These are tall fountains,” Joe noted.

“They think that the pool is big enough to handle it,” Will said.

“It would work better with just one,” Joe noted.

“No,” Will said, in almost a snippy way. “There have to be two.”

“Because of the towers,” Darius noted solemnly, even as he nodded. We all flashed back to that horrible event some two years ago, and it was only with an effort that I was able to pull my mind back to the present. No one argued about the fountains after that.

“Let me look at these plans and take some measurements,” Joe said. “I’ll contact you later this week.”

“Sounds good,” Will said. “We have to get back to California. You can let yourself out when you’re done.”

“Here’s the contact info,” Darius said, handing it to Joe. I was irate that my name wasn’t on there, but I just stood there and said nothing. We all shook Joe’s hand, then went downstairs.

“We’re off,” Will said. “Hope you get your shit together.”

“Ditto,” Darius said. Then they just walked out the door, leaving me standing there feeling like a complete idiot. It was like I was frozen as I tried to digest all that they said, and I didn’t really bust out of my trance until I heard music. Carullo liked to listen to loud music when he was in the shower. They gave me crap about being rude to him, but even though that annoyed me, I didn’t bitch about it. I used that as a way to convince myself I was actually a nice guy.

My feet moved automatically toward his room, even as I focused on what my brothers had told me about him. I thought he’d wanted me to go clubbing with him; I didn’t realize he was just offering to spend time with me. I let myself think about that, even though it made me feel terrible. He must think I’m totally stuck up and a huge snob, which even if it was true, wasn’t something I wanted to direct at him. He’d been trying to get me to go out to dinner or whatever, and I’d just rudely shot him down. I paused at the door and listened to the song that was playing. It was “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon. The lyrics seemed to blast through his door and right into my brain:

Somewhere there's speaking
It's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it
Unless you were fed it
Now you're here and you don't know why

But under skinned knees and the skid marks
Past the places where you used to learn
You howl and listen
Listen and wait for the
Echoes of angels who won't return

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover
There's always something more you wish he'd say

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

But you'll just sit tight
And watch it unwind
It's only what you're asking for
And you'll be just fine
With all of your time
It's only what you're waiting for

Out of the island
Into the highway
Past the places where you might have turned
You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

I am everything you want
I am everything you need
I am everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
I say all the right things
At exactly the right time
But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why
And I don't know why
I don't know why

I’d completely rejected this guy who’d been nothing but nice to me, and just like the song said, I didn’t know why.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Sorry, I still don't like how this played out; although JJ does not seem really as upset as I thought he would be.  I think in some way Patrick actually got how easy it would be to really hurt JJ more than Will or Darius did. 


I do think JJ never even considered that Carullo could have been just asking him out, but I have to admit that there was nothing in how it was presented that made me think or believe that either.  I do hope this gives JJ pause to reflect on how he truly feels about Carullo. 


I don't know if I like the idea of the changes to the roof top or not, it might be hard for JJ to live there with a constant reminder that he can't escape from, but in general it would be an interesting tribute.


I am still pissed as hell at Will, Darius, JP, and Stef; I think they acted much more childish than JJ had been acting, sorry, I really do.


Loved how the scene at Goodwell went; it was funny that Matt actually had maybe the only idea that would help Elizabeth overcome her issue while keeping her available to help in the upcoming fight.  I do find it funny that Mary Ellen keeps going after her mother but it was her bringing her into Mary Ellen's fight with JJ that may have started most of this, or at least made it easier for whomever is really behind it.


Well done, Mark, the writing as always was first rate.

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3 hours ago, centexhairysub said:



I do think JJ never even considered that Carullo could have been just asking him 


Well done, Mark, the writing as always was first rate.


Dearest C-T-H-S, with both the above statements you hit nail squarely on head! Yeh! 1)  jj was bloody immature, but he has learned and 2) mark :worship: is first rate. We are in perfect and  unanimous agreement.  May your weekend continue as blissfully.

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😳 If JJ really has gotten the message then I suppose his face would be like the emoticon.   I hope as part of this realization and his apologies to family and acquaintances,  let me get to see the scene between Carullo and JJ...


 Bravo Mark and team Arbour for delivering in their usual fine fashion!

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This was a great follow up to the previous chapter! It was an excellent reminder of how little awareness JJ has of his own actions and their consequences. 


Thanks for the weekend entertainment! :hug: 

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JJ has a lifetime of self pity and insecurities to get over.  A good first step, but alone it won't be enough, its going to have to be a journey, punctuated with epiphanies.  Hopefully he will knit those together.  The writing and story continue to be first rate.

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I truly do love this story, which the only reason i cant keep myself back from engaging here. I know plenty of ppl disagree, but I'm  just throwing my two cents in. 


Here's my thing, i dont think JJ is perfect, i think he has made mistakes, and he should apologize for them. But his family (specifically in this case Will and JP) seems to be far more intentially mean spirited or vindictive. Maybe people will disagree but to me, a kid (everyone seems to agree JJ is less mature) being near-sighted, and as a consequence hurting people strikes me as a lesser sin (and more of a moment that requires parenting) then adults being the "mature" ones who knowingly hurt or bully someone.


Also, Will really strikes me as disingenuous when he'll tell a perfect stranger the things that are wrong with JJ, even after the guy said he had been interested in him, and still claims he is in JJs corner. 


But hey, no one claimed any of the characters are perfect people, it's what makes them so great. So it's certainly not a criticism that I disagree with a character, just my reaction to what happened. 


 I agree with those before me who said this is very well written and, as always, i do look forward to seeing how these guys move forward. 

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Nobody expects JJ to apologize. :rolleyes:  The family will be fine if he 'gets his shit together' and treats people nicer. He could apologize to Carullo and go out with him once, and if Carullo tells Will or JP he's staying and JJ is much nicer now, I think everything will settle down. 

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Okay, guilty here as I also assumed John C was asking JJ to go to the bars. 


I never could of guess he was just asking him out...   :o

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At lasT could this pain in the ass bitchy deva ,become a man even a sound emotionally strong bulwark for his family ?

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