Wanted 2 – Release date TBC
Excerpt – Unedited…very rough and subject to change.
Just a taste if you will…
“Are you breaking up with me?” My voice catches, and I get a sudden and completely expected burst of tears on my cheeks. There’s a flurry of movement, and I’m closeted on all sides by the men who mean the world to me, each trying to assuage my breaking heart.
“Sweetheart.” Tug kisses my hair.
“Sugar, that’s not what we’re doing. We’re just trying to explain.” Toxic strokes my cheek, and Pink is on my other side.
“Explain what, though?” My head is shaking away this new reality, but I can see this is very real for them. The game has changed.
“Look, we love you, we all love you. And as much as we had planned for us to remain a unit, things have changed, and you can’t un-change them,” Pink states softly.
“And none of us would want that anyhow. We’re happy for Charge and you, couldn’t be happier,” Tug adds, and Toxic finishes their collective thought.
“But we can also see what we’re missing, and we talked it over, and we want the same.”
“Charge, did you know about this?” My chest is heaving with emotion, and I’m calmed when he shakes his head.
“First I’ve heard of it, angel, but I understand. It’s not like this was planned. I don’t believe any of us thought this would happen, but I know I definitely feel different when I know you’re with one of these guys, than I did before we were married.” He shrugs.
“So I’m responsible for breaking you all up. I hate this, I don’t want to be Yoko.” I sniff back the tears that are now trickling down my face, my nose running so much I have to swipe the back of my hand to stop from leaking onto the counter top. I’m a mess, and their comforting touches and words are just making things worse.
“Princess, you’re not Yoko. We’re not in any rush. We still have you, just not in a sexual way.” Pink tries to soothe me.
“So you’re becoming monks?” I wail dramatically, which causes a burst of laughter. It strangely helps to ease my spiraling sadness.
“No.” Tug chuckles.
“Then what is the plan?” I dry my tears with my palms and suck in a steadying breath, exhaling when I feel I have gathered myself enough to hear what they have clearly been mulling. “How do you see this panning out, because this sounds a lot like ‘Oh, don’t worry about her, she’ll just sit in the corner of the studio with a triangle while we make a few more albums’.” I snort.
“That’s cute, angel, but I that’s not what this is,” Charge states, clearly on board with this idea far quicker than me, for obvious reasons.
“It didn’t work before, because we were all dating for our own ends. We just assumed the girlfriends would get on.” Toxic explains, and I scoff out an unladylike laugh.
“Yeah, exactly,” Pink agrees, and joins me with his own laughter. “Anyway, I think if we approach it the same way we did finding you, it will help.”
“You’re going to advertise for another wife?” I can’t hide the shock in my voice or the hurt when it catches.
“God, no! Sorry.” Pink rushes to clarify. “No, not at all. We want you to find us each a wife.”
“What?” I gasp, and any hint of humor dies in my throat at the earnest expression on each of their handsome faces. They can’t be serious.
“We figure the only important thing is that they get along with you. Once that’s a winner, then it’s just a question of our own personal chemistry,” Toxic chips in, and I start to shake my head as their idea begins to sink in and not quite settle.
“This sounds all wrong,” I counter, but they wave off my concern.
“It’s a prototype, but the principle is sound. We just have to iron out the wrinkles.” Toxic winks.
“So you are breaking up with me,” I state, because no matter how they sugarcoat this conversation, that’s the net result
“Darling, we just want what you have, and since we can’t have it with you, we’d like a little help finding our one.” Pink takes my hand and holds my gaze. I look at each of them, and my heart swells but also aches for them. Because they are right. What I have with Charge is more, and I love them all enough to want that for them too.
I’m sad too, but I can’t blame them. It’s not fair for them to never be able to experience what Charge and I have, all because of this situation we originally planned. Plans change
“There’s no hurry. We’re just putting it out there,” Tug adds. “And don’t forget, it took us two years to find you.”
“Well, good, because this is a shock, and I need time to process.” I sniff. “Besides, they would have to be pretty much the best thing since sliced bread to be good enough for any one of you. So I’m not holding out much hope, okay?” I’m only partially teasing.
“Okay, sugar, like we said. It’s just an idea.” Pink calls back over his shoulder because there’s an almighty knock on the front door and the sound of retreating tires on the gravel drive. He opens the door and calls for me.
“Finn, think this one’s for you,” he hollers back into the house. I turn to the commotion on the doorstep but Pink is blocking the view. I step around him and I’m assaulted by a glass-shattering, high-pitched scream.
“Hope?” I stutter, as my mouth drops open in shock.
“Hope?” I repeat, my tone perfectly matching her announcement .She screws her face into a mocking scowl and I realise I am still standing far too far away and not squishing the living breath out of my best friend like I damn well should be. She never made it to the wedding and I haven’t seen her in over nine months. She makes the first move, nearly knocking Pink flat out as she barges passed and sprints toward me. We collide into an ear piercing garbled mess of squeals and cries that are usually only heard in school playgrounds, on rollercoasters or maybe from some species of African bats. We hug the breath from each other and only break when my arms start to spasm. We both have tears streaking our faces and when I turn to face my men we both burst out laughing at the identical expressions of utter confusion, mixed with a tinge of fear; the latter is much more appropriate.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I turn back to face her. I can’t believe she’s here. We talk all the time and until recently managed to Skype call at least once a week. Still, I miss her face and I miss her hugs even more. As if sensing the very same thing we crash together, arms wrapped tight with warmth and love. I didn’t realise how much I missed her until she’s back here hugging the life out of me.
“I miss you.” I exhale and she nods manically with her lips pressed together to prevent a sob escaping. I have the exact same thing clawing at my throat.
“So what’s with the ‘what the hell’ comment?.” She scoffs and uses our slight break apart to wipe her face dry and re-plaster her face pale face with a brilliantly bright, wide smile.
“Oh H, you know you’re always welcome it’s just a little warning might’ve been helpful.”
“Don’t be so British, whatever happened to Mañana and Me Casa Su Casa?”
“Me Casa is your Casa. I’m sorry, just in shock that’s all.” My face is starting to ache from the face splitting smile I’m sporting but eases back to non-existent when I remember the other shock I’ve had this morning. “Actually you’re not the only surprise I’ve had today so you may have to cut me some slack because honestly I’m ridiculously excited that you’re finally here.” I look over to where the men are nodding their agreement on my behalf for the time being at least. No, I just know they’re gonna end up loving her as much as I do either that or they’ll end up killing her. She’s very much your Marmite kind of friend. You either lover her or hate her, there’s absolutely no shades of grey with Hope. “I can’t wait to show you around. I’m gonna show you such a good time.” I clap my hands together, excitement lifting my feet from the ground in a series of demented bunny bounces.
“Treat me so good I’ll never want to leave eh?” She beams and I almost explode at the mere notion of her joke.
“Something like that, God I’ve missed you.” I take both her hands and turn her awkwardly toward my men, I don’t want to let go just yet and we both are still unable to keep our feet rooted, the pent excitement is just too much. “You remember everyone?”
“Sure do. I know we haven’t seen much of each other recently but I’m still never likely to forget these Adoni…is that the right plural for Adonis?” She cocks her eyebrow high, purses her lips in the perfect pout and taps her finger lightly at the corner of her mouth seemingly musing the grammar issue. all the while dragging her gaze deliberately from one man to the next.
“Wow!” I drop my mouth open at her brazen and suggestive play.
“I know I know,” She waves her hand dismissing my astonishment. At least it’s good to see a little bit of money hasn’t changed her. She’s still the no–filter-all-flirt Hope I adore. “I know the no sharing rule Finn, still a girl can dream.” She mock swoons, the back of her hand laying theatrically across her forehead as she dips her body in a backbend. Charge’s reflex is such, he’s hitting the deck to break her fall before Hope’s knee even began to fake quiver. “Oh my God Finn, it must be like having four knight’s in shinning armour all day, everyday, with moves like that.” Charge jumps to his feet and gives a light shrug because Hope is still drooling comically with her jaw gaping. I tip it closed with my finger.
“Something like that.” I chuckle. I feel the burst of warmth hit me like a wave when she let’s out a filthy laugh; jutting her hip hard into mine she knocks me two feet sideways and this time Charge’s reactions don’t go to waste.
“Yes, I know everyone.” She straightens herself when the ridiculous fit of giggles that ensued from nothing remotely funny subside, she stiffly holds out her arm toward Tug. “Tug I presume?” He takes it lightly in his meaty hand and bends as if to kiss the back. Since pretending to be a pompous arse seems to be the name of game today, I giggle at his dramatics. He pauses before contact and winks at me and pulls her hard against his chest. Hope huffs out a pained groan at the impact.
“Come here.” He says after the fact, giving her a hug to make any mama bear proud and holds her by the shoulders when she sways a little on release. “Happy to have you here honey.”
“Yeah, really glad you got your Brit arse over here. I thought you two were supposed to be best friends and you don’t even come visit her new husbands.” Toxic teases from over my shoulder. He moved behind me as he spoke, slipping his strong arms around my waist. I get a painful pinch in my chest that this will change.
I know this makes me a selfish, only I’m not sure I’m quite ready for everything to change. I try to comfort myself that they’ve had a little longer to reconcile this mornings revelation. Perhaps, I’m not a completely selfish bitch, I just haven’t had enough time to come round to the idea, perhaps… Hope interrupts my musings.
“-I still can’t get over that whole poly thing you’ve got going on Finn. It’s exhausting loving just one person, mind-blowing sex is one thing but how do you manage the actual emotional stuff with four men?”
“Hope, are you okay?” Her face has lost the last of the feint colour from her rosy cheeks. The fiery freckles across the bridge of her nose and high along her cheek bones fade and seem to blend with her impossibly pale complexion. I hold her gaze when she tries to dip from my eye contact. I’m just waiting for anything resembling her standard response to any reference to my four to one living situation. There has not been a single incident when that wouldn’t illicit some sassy quip or a witty retort heavily laced with double entrendre.
Not today, today she’s uncharacteristically silent on the subject.
“Sure, why?” She hesitates and narrows her eyes cautiously since my tone immediately flipped from playful to concerned.
“You’ve just mentioned ‘love’ and ‘emotion’ in one sentence.” I air quote the key words but really they needed little emphasising. She looks just as shocked as I feel, although judging by the slight distasteful curl in her lip I think she is more disgusted than surprised. I clarify my observation with a perfect example. “Something I’ve only ever heard you use once before, and that was when you were describing the benefits of adopting a tiger in India with the World Wildlife Fund.”
She snorts out and her laugh is so stilted and sharp the abrasive tone makes me wince. I take her hand and pull her toward the stairs. She falls into step behind me only giving the slightest resistance.
This looks like a girl-talk is long over due.
I yell over my shoulder but keep the urgency in my pace as I hit the stairs running.
“Don’t wait up!”