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Authors: Syd Parker

Made to Love

BOOK: Made to Love
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Made to Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

Syd Parker

 

 

 

2014

© 2014 Syd Parker Books

 

Made to Love

Copyright © 2014 by Syd Parker

All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the original purchaser of this book only. No part or entirety of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any form without the express written consent of Syd Parker Books.

 

Cover Artist
: Syd Parker

 

Published by
: Syd Parker Books

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Dad…I hope
I always make you proud!

AUTHOR’S NOTES

 

When I started this book, I had a rough idea of the story line, at least with the main characters. It was a follow-up, though not technically a sequel
, to
Someone Like You.
I would revisit the women who realized they never stopped loving each other, while introducing new characters who didn’t know they were ready for love. The premise of the story rested on one of the character’s mother passing away and leaving the house to her. Part way through the story my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away a mere week later. I struggled with whether or not to change the circumstances as I didn’t want the story to mirror the ache and emptiness I felt at my father’s passing. In the end, I left it the way that it was as a nod to my dad, who would have wanted us to carry on, to laugh in his memory and greet each new day with a smile. His wishes regarding his services were simple. He wanted to be cremated and did not want a funeral. Instead, we had our own celebration of life as we carried his laughter beyond his final days. His passing reminded me that for every time you go to call someone you love and decide to wait till tomorrow, that tomorrow may never come. I regret all the times I could have called my dad or gone to see him and didn’t. I try to focus on the time we did have and for everyone I love, I strive to tell them every day, in case it’s my last. Each day, I remember something funny that happened with him and I laugh. I tell him constantly that he really picked an inconvenient time to die and that next time, I hope he is a little more considerate. I know he appreciates the sarcasm. I hope for my mom and siblings that each day they remember how much he loved us. For this tale, I hope I captured the spirit of living just like my father did, no matter what life has handed us. This is my small way of letting him know I love him.

 

Grief comes in all shapes and sizes and is prompted by so many things. The one lesson I’ve learned through this heartache is that one way or another, you have to find a way to create a new normal and to live that to its fullest. My father wouldn’t want us to stop living the life he gave us. That wasn’t his style. Thank you for teaching us to laugh and to love and to lean on each other during the hard times. It is only by remembering how you lived that we are slowly learning how to live without you.

 

To Sarah, for reminding me that we shouldn’t live our life weighed down by regrets. Rather, we should embrace the wonderful times that we have had.

             

Terry, my friend and confidant. You have listened to me and supported me through so much. Your friendship is one I will cherish forever.

 

To my mom, you have such a calm and hopeful soul. Your strength amazes me. I love how you greet every day with a smile.

 

To my brothers and sisters, I love you forever. Magnificent 7!

 

Chapter 1

 

Lex Tataris tugged on her ponytail and squinted at the directions lying on the floor. She couldn’t figure out how End A was supposed to fit into Side C, or where on earth a cam bolt came into play. She flipped the sheet upside down then right-side up again.

“How’s it coming?” Aspen Lane-Tataris bent over and kissed Lex on the head. She glanced at the instructions over Lex’s shoulder and stifled a giggle.

Lex shot her a glare. “What?”

“Nothing.” This time Aspen couldn’t hold it
in, and she snorted. “It’s just…” She paused and pointed between what Lex had finished so far and what the picture on the box looked like. “…that mess on the floor looks nothing like the picture on the box.”

Lex’s eyes flicked between the
two, and she groaned loudly. “Seriously? The directions are no help at all. I’m not sure what genius wrote these, but they might as well be in Greek for all the good they are doing me.”

“Umm…” Aspen held up her finger to make a point.

“Yes, I am Greek.” Lex growled and flopped back on the floor. She stared at the ceiling. “It doesn’t mean I speak it.”

“Hmm, shame.” Aspen nudged Lex’s leg with her toe. “Good thing I can make heads or tails of most things. Besides, Nikki is on the phone for you.”

Lex stared at the phone in Aspen’s hand as though it were going to grow a tail. She hadn’t spoken to her cousin Nikki since the wedding and couldn’t for the life of her figure out why on earth Nikki would be calling her now. Nicole Castellanos, better known as one of the seven Nikki’s, spent her time jet-setting around the globe with whatever sugar momma was the flavor of the month. Lex rarely spoke to her and saw her even less frequently. She crinkled her forehead and pushed herself off the floor. She grabbed the phone, palmed the receiver and whispered to Aspen.
“I’ll just take a break for a second, while I handle this.”

“Uh-huh.” Aspen smiled and waved her fingers at Lex jokingly. She shook her
head and knelt down slowly, the extra weight making her awkward and slow-moving. She scooped up the instructions and rubbed her belly subconsciously as she read them. Two minutes later, she set them down and sighed heavenward. The mess in front of her barely resembled the beginning of a crib. She shook her head and chuckled at Lex, who really had no skills for hands-on projects. Aspen found a Phillips head screwdriver and started to disassemble the wreckage, so she could put it together the correct way.

“Well…” Lex returned thirty minutes later and plopped down in the rocking chair. “That was Nikki.”

“Uh-huh, I know.” Aspen screwed a bolt into one of the sides of the crib as she listened. “I answered the phone.”

“Oh yeah, right. She, umm, well she might be…” Lex fumbled with the words. She and Nikki had never been close, so the request was rather p
eculiar. They grew up together, but Nikki always aspired to bigger things than Lex, and once she was old enough, got as far away from the family as possible. Counting their phone conversation today, Lex had spoken to her cousin probably a total of an hour in the last ten years.

Aspen pulled a screw out of her mouth and found the next hole with her finger tip. “She?”

“Ugh.” Lex scrubbed her palms over her face. “She’s coming to visit.”

Aspen looked at Lex with astonishment
. “Say what?”

“I offered her the bunk house for a while.”

The pained look on Lex’s face was almost comical. Aspen tried not to laugh at her a second time. “So, Nikki, your
all about town
cousin, is coming to the backwoods of Vermont to hang out?”

“Not exactly.” Lex tugged at her ponytail again.

“What is it then exactly?” Aspen put her hands down and lowered herself onto her butt. She stared at Lex expectantly.

“Nikki’s latest paramour left her for some twenty-one-year old in Venice. Apparently, this opened her eyes to some truths about herself.  She’s starting to feel her age. I think she’s coming here to lick her wounds and reassess her priorities.
It might be okay. Nikki used to be fun.”

“Used
to be?” Aspen sighed loudly. She wasn’t at all sure about Lex’s news. The baby was due in less than a month and there was still so much to do. The added stress of having company wasn’t a welcome thought.

Lex searched Aspen’s face, reading her thoughts. “It’s a bad idea. I’ll just call her and tell her. She’ll understand.”

“No.” Aspen waved her hand dismissively. “It’s fine. I’m sure she will be bored with this tiny town fairly quickly.”

“Ah…” Lex hesitated. “She’s planning on staying through the fall.”

“She’s what?” Aspen shook her head and exhaled audibly.

“I’m sure she won’t really. Knowing Nikki, she will have had enough of us by July.”

“If you say so.” Aspen calculated the time. July would still be two months. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad having the extra help. “How’s Nikki with changing a diaper?”

Lex shook her head skeptically. “About as good as I am with cribs.”

“Cool.” Aspen’s tone was only mildly sarcastic. “We should be totally fine. I mean the baby will be sleeping upside down the way you had it put together, and I’m sure we will find a diaper or two on our baby’s head when Nikki babysits, but that’s perfectly okay. Who wants a normal kid anyway?”

Lex opened her mouth then closed it quickly. Her eyebrows knitted together. She glanced back and forth between Aspen and the half-finished crib. “I
kind of wanted our kid to be normal.”

Aspen burst out laughing. “Babe, there is absolutely zero chance of our child being normal. Do you remember who the grandparents are?”

Lex buried her face in her hand and groaned loudly. “You’re right. We’re screwed.” She came over and knelt beside Aspen and kissed her belly. “You hear that? You’re gonna be a freak like us. Your grandma Maria will see to that. And just wait until you meet your uncle, Nicky. Whatever he tries to tell you about the facts of life, don’t listen. He’s a sweet boy, but not so smart like your mommy.”

“Don’t forget my mom
, and lord help us when Ginny gets a hold of you.” Aspen knew her mom and aunt would spoil the baby rotten. “Do you think we can leave the country now? Live under assumed names?”

Lex pondered the idea seriously. Between the two grandmothers, they may never actually have time alone with their son or daughter. Lex smiled mischievously. “I could make a phone
call or two. Put out the word. I won’t have anyone disrespecting us.”

Aspen shook her head and laughed. “Yes, Vito. I know you will protect your family.”

Lex propped her head up on her palm and rubbed her chin. “Don Corleone, I am honored that you have invited me into your home. May your first child be a masculine one. May she grow a full mustache and lead this family with honor.”

“Lex, stop. I don’t want a girl with a mustache.”

“You should have thought about that before you asked Nick to be the donor. Have you seen my mother? She owns stock in Gillette.” Lex pretended to shave her face.

Aspen groaned softly. “Oh God, we’re screwed.”

“Pretty much.” Lex looked up innocently. “Better start stocking up on razors now.”

“So wrong.” Aspen exhaled loudly. “We’ll let Nikki teach her how to shave.”

“She waxes.”

“Everything?”

“Everything.” Lex waggled her eyebrows. “And I do mean everything.”

Aspen shivered. “I can’t even think of that without my lady parts hurting.”

Lex rubbed Aspen’s thigh suggestively. “There are two solutions to that problem.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yep.” Lex smiled smugly. “You could not think about it or maybe…”

“Maybe?”

“I could kiss it and make it better.” Lex shot Aspen a dazzling smile and was rewarded with a kiss. “Of course, I opt for number two.” The pregnancy had been rough on Aspen, which meant that making love happened a little less frequently than Lex would have liked. She didn’t complain though, just missed the connection that they shared.

Aspen caught the
far-off look in Lex’s eyes, and she knew immediately where her mind had gone. She, too, missed Lex’s touch and hoped that after the baby was born and she healed, things would be back to normal. “I would like that.” Aspen leaned over and kissed Lex’s lips softly. She felt warmth effuse her body and deepened the kiss.

Lex felt the shift in Aspen’s
kiss, and her own body reacted immediately. She leaned toward Aspen and slid her tongue over her lips, eliciting a deep moan from Aspen. Pulling away, Lex searched Aspen’s face. “Does this mean what I think it means?”

Aspen licked her lips suggestively and cocked her head to the side, returning Lex’s heated gaze. “It does. As long as we can move this to the bed.”

Lex’s face broke into a huge grin, and she hopped up, extending her hands out to help Aspen off the floor. She pulled Aspen close and planted a quick kiss on her mouth. “I’ve missed this.”

“Me too.” Aspen bowed her head demurely. “More than you know.”

Lex’s heart swelled. She laced her fingers through Aspen’s and led them toward the bedroom.

Aspen put her hand on Lex’s arm. “When did you say Nikki was coming in town?”

“I didn’t.” Lex grimaced. “Sunday.”

“Oh.” Aspen looked surprised. “That’s…that’s two days from now.”

“Uh-huh.” Lex leaned in and kissed Aspen’s neck, hoping to distract her.

“The day after Saturday.” Aspen closed her eyes and moaned, the pleasure of Lex’s lips breaking her concentration. She shook her head. “You gave her directions to the farm, right? It isn’t the easiest place to find, and I am not sure she will remember how to get here. It’s been a long time since the wedding.”

Lex pulled away and snapped her finger. “Oh, shoot. I forgot about that. Maybe I will meet her in town.”

“Is there anything else you need to tell me?” Aspen eyed Lex querulously.

“Nope. I got it covered. I gave her the run down on the place and reminded her to leave the gun, pack the cannoli.”

Aspen rolled her eyes and kissed Lex. “It’s a good thing I love you.”

Lex smiled wickedly and lowered Aspen onto the bed. “It’s a good thing I’m good in bed.”

BOOK: Made to Love
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