Thank you all for visiting again!! I wanted to include something fun with Part 2, so I copied the playlist I've used to write On My Mind so far. It's really good (at least to me!) and I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy. XOXO NIGHTTEMPEST P.S. Leave me a comment!!!! OR an EMAIL!!! <3
~~~On My Mind Playlist~~~
Come Around - Rosi Golan
~~~On My Mind Playlist~~~
Come Around - Rosi Golan
Make You Feel My Love - Adele
Sweet Disposition - Temper Trap
What If You - Joshua Radin
Re: Stacks - Bon Iver
This Years Love - David Gray
Welcome Home - Radical Face
The Girl - City and Colour
Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Over the Rhine - Anything At All
Let's Get Wrecked - honeyhoney
Calgary - Bon Iver
Lost in My Mind - The Head and the Heart
Won't Let Me Go - Amos Lee
Let It Be Me - Ray LaMontagne
World Spins Madly On - The Weepies
That Western Skyline - Dawes
The Freshmen - Jay Brannan
ON MY MIND PART 2
Whacking branches and brush out the way with his arm, Jamie stumbled off the path and down the wooded hill. He didn’t want Merna to see him like this or anyone for that matter. He paused with a slight wobble and tilted back the fifth of Jack. It burned and Jamie grimaced but the taste was getting easier to handle the more he drank. Continuing his journey, he slowly and with a lot of effort, crossed a log and kept walking.
Everyone had seen his face. Everyone had heard what a monster he was, because Dee Pierson was right. How could he do that to someone’s family? For what though? Twenty acres out of the two hundred of their family’s land? All the fuss was over nothing but Jamie and his step father had caused the family a hell of a lot of grief. He wasn’t sure how Norman Pierson had passed but he knew all too well what it was like to lose your dad. It sucked and nobody would ever replace him, not even that fat sack of an excuse for a husband his mother had remarried. He hated Jerry with every bone in his body. He hated that he was turning into his step-father and now Jamie hated the bastard even more. The look on Dee Pierson’s face made Jamie hate himself.
Another guzzle and he stared at the bottle with fuzzy eyes. He’d never been much of a drinker but Jamie was pretty sure that there wasn’t much left in the fifth and that wasn’t good. All at once, the realization that he was very drunk hit him and Jamie grabbed onto a branch to steady himself. His cheeks and ears were burning and his mouth tasted like…something rotten. He found his way to the ground and took a few deep breaths on all fours. The bottle slipped away from him and the remainder of the whiskey leaked downhill. “Oh shit,” Jamie slurred and reached for it but fell to his side. Turning to his back, the trees started to spin—or so it seemed—and he could see the sky from his new, more comfortable position.
Jamie wasn’t sure how long he’d been gone but it must have been a while. Fireworks lit up the sky and his mouth opened with awe at how pretty they were. His body relaxed into the dirt and he let his arms rest out to his sides—the cool dirt felt good on his exposed skin. Things began to blur at the edges of his vision and he groaned and reached for the lights that seemed to dance above him. They were calling his name, over and over they called for Jamie. Something dark blocked out the lights and strong hands brushed his face and shoulders.
“Jamie? Jamie, can you hear me?” Noah tried to get him to respond but the blonde kept trying to look around.
“I want to see the lights,” Jamie whined and pushed against the darkness that blocked the beautiful bursts of color above. “Move.”
“The fireworks?” Noah snorted and looked up. “That’s what you want?” Noah looked down and for the first time, saw Jamie completely relaxed. Even if he was drunker than drunk, he looked so innocent and Noah couldn’t help but brush the dirty hair out of Jamie’s eyes. “Alright then.”
Noah laid out next to Jamie and put his hands behind his head to watch the show above. Jamie sighed and kept trying to blink away the sleep. “My daddy loved the fireworks.” Noah smiled. “They were his favorite part of the summer. He helped Henrie and the boys pick em out every year.”
Jamie heard the word daddy and scooted away, making Noah glance over with a frown. “Just be quiet,” he whispered and folded his arms over his chest. Jamie knew who had come for him now and his wonderful bliss was currently churning into a storm of emotion in his chest.
“I’ll say whatever I damn well wanna say.” Noah beamed. “You’re just drunk as a skunk and don’t want to deal with it,” Noah countered and propped up on his side.
“Just go away. I don’t want to talk about fathers or liquor or people hating me. I just want to lay here and watch the lights. So go away.” Jamie sniffled and turned away. Noah had dealt with drunks his whole life. Hell, he had been wrecked a time or two but never had he seen the alcohol bring out the pain like he saw in Jamie Ford. The poor guy was a tortured heart and Noah had a soft spot for helping out those in need. Even though Jamie was the enemy, he was just a guy with problems right now. He was human after all.
“Why don’t you want to talk about fathers? You seem to like talking about mine just fine.” Noah scooted closer to Jamie.
Jamie shot up and gripped his head as his brain sloshed in his head—or at least that’s what it felt like. “I never ever said anything about your father! I would never disres…fuck I’m dizzy.”
“Here.” Noah reached out and helped the guy lay back down. Jamie’s head rested on Noah’s thigh. “Come to think of it, you didn’t say nothing about my daddy, did you? Damn. What the hell did those people teach you back north Jamie?”
“To hate myself,” Jamie whispered and closed his eyes. “I miss mine too. I think he would’ve liked these lights.”
“Your what?” Noah looked down and smoothed a hand over Jamie’s head.
“My daddy.” And then Jamie was quiet. The guilt of his own mama’s words cut deeper and Noah turned Jamie’s face to him. Tears wet his cheeks and Jamie’s dark brown eyes shied away from Noah’s gaze.
“Jamie,” Noah began but Jamie tried to get up on his own again, only to fail miserably. He stumbled and fell to his knees with a groan. “Ah hell.” Noah crawled over to Jamie and gathered the poor soul in his arms. “I’m not trying to embarrass you or nothin. I know how it is and well…”
“Well what? Is that what you’re trying to do here? Make me feel weak? I know I’m a loser Noah! Just go ahead and say it. You know you want to.” Jamie turned away. This moment had been a long time coming and he knew it was for the best that he got Noah Pierson out of his system. He knew the hick wasn’t going to give up that land to Oil Works for any price. Jamie knew that he was too different from Noah to ever make anything happen between them—no matter how much his gut fought him on that. He knew that when he left here, Jerry would fire him and he’d have to use all his inheritance to get by. He knew that his mother wouldn’t take him back in because he was gay and that wasn’t good for business or for grandchildren apparently. Not to mention Jerry wouldn’t approve and we couldn’t have that.
“I ain’t about to say nothing of the sort. You ain’t a loser Jamie, just lost.” Noah crept forward until he was a foot from Jamie. “I see you Jamie.”
Jamie turned around and Noah pulled him close before he could speak. Sealing his lips over Jamie’s, Noah groaned and gently lowered them to the ground. His thighs went to either side of the city boy’s tight denim covered hips and Noah softly worked Jamie’s mouth. Jamie didn’t even try to resist—his hands slipped under Noah’s shirt that was un-tucked and for the first time, Jamie felt the hard earned muscle of the country boy’s chest. The liquor made Jamie dizzier than a merry go round but he clung to Noah’s mouth because he wasn’t sure if this was real or not.
Maybe Noah was messing with him and trying to get something from him but Jamie had wanted this kiss for a while now and he wasn’t about to miss out. But didn’t that make him pathetic? Why was he doing this to himself? Jamie thought. Noah was kissing him while he was piss drunk. Didn’t that say something to him about what Noah really wanted from him?
Noah bypassed the smell and taste of sweet whiskey in his noise and on his tongue and indulged his hands with the feel of Jamie’s hair and the sound of the innocent moans that the blonde was making. It was just a kiss, Noah told himself. Jamie was just another guy that he would share a minute with and purge the other stuff from his body. It was just lust, it was just those jeans underneath him, it was the way those dark eyes softened whenever Jamie looked at him.
Fireworks exploded and the sound made Jamie jump—effectively breaking the kiss and leaving a dazed Noah kneeling over him. “Hey,” Noah murmured and Jamie scrambled out from under the guy.
“Just…just go.” Jamie grabbed the empty bottle and swayed but stayed up right this time. His head was killing him, his heart was pounding, and he was trying like hell not to look at Noah.
“So that’s it? You let me kiss you like that and then nothing? You got a switch I don’t know about because the man who just kissed me back was all sorts of into it. Now I don’t know how you go about doin things but when I kiss someone they don’t usually act like I’m some kind of trash they picked up off the ground and tossed away afterwards.” Noah stood and put his hands on his hips.
Jamie balanced his weight on the other foot and exhaled. “I’m trashed Noah. Fucking done for and you kissed me. That’s what you meant right?”
Noah whistled low and chuckled. “You tryin to say something about me city boy? Go on, out with it.”
“You know what you did. You all know what you did. From here on out,” Jamie slurred as his body started to really give out. “No more nice Jamie. I’m done playing games with you and this whole damn town.”
“I did exactly what you wanted me to do and the way you perceive the going ons around ya is all on you. You go and get wrecked and blame me for it. For a minute there Jamie…” Noah shook his head. “I thought I did see you. But I was so fuckin wrong. You’re exactly what you think you are. You should hate yourself.” Noah waved Jamie off and turned around. “Find your own way back you drunk ass.”
Jamie’s lip quivered and tears left his eyes again. “Wait! Noah!”
“To hell with you Jamie Ford.” Noah walked away and left Jamie in the woods to bawl his eyes out.
“Noah…” Jamie whispered. The fireworks still erupted above the treetops but Jamie didn’t care about the lights anymore as he cried softly and fell to sleep.
Noah kept on walking to the parking lot where he hopped in his truck and screeched out of the parking lot. He took the ten minute drive home in four and slammed on his breaks in front of his daddy’s old barn. What the hell was wrong with that crazy son of a bitch? Noah raged, trying to say I took advantage! Jamie had wanted it, Noah shook his head. He’d make that little city slicker admit it, then he’d send him on his way. That’s what he’d do.
Pulling open the barn doors, Noah flicked on the light and took a gander at what was left of his father’s love. A basket lantern hung from the rafters and strings of colored glass spun as the breeze wafted in from outside. Coils of wire and poles made of Iron were propped in the corner and mason jars full of this and that were now organized on the wall. What had daddy loved so much about this junk? Noah pondered and made his way over to the bench. His hands began to think for him as he threw on a pair of goggles and gloves and started bending wire that was thrown onto the work table. Plopping down on the stool, Noah’s tongue peaked out of his mouth as he tediously began to spin the wires into hollow spools.Over and over his hands created these perfect coils about six inches in length until the table was covered in them. His hands trembled as he laid them on the table and looked out the picture window from the work bench. Fireflies blinked in and out of the darkness, fueling Noah’s anger into something
constructive. An idea began to take shape and his fingers flew over his daddy’s old supplies. It was well into the wee hours of the morning when Noah set down his tools and stepped away from the table.
He held up his creation and felt something peaceful replace his long gone anger. Out of his rage had come something so beautiful, Noah couldn’t really do much but thank Jamie for being such a jack ass. He hung his work on the pole above the work bench and shucked off his leather gloves and goggles. Turning off the light, Noah walked out into the first glimpse of the rising sun and a part of him yearned to go find Jamie and say he was sorry. But the bigger part of him won out as Noah walked up to the house. Jamie Ford was still on his mind as Noah’s head hit the pillow.
One week later, Jamie had managed to avoid Noah Pierson and make himself a social outcast in town. Only Buzz and Merna had talked to him since the morning after the Noah fallout when the Olivette brothers had thrown his drunken ass on Merna’s lawn after he’d fallen asleep in the woods. That was fine by him though. With Noah out of sight, he was also out of mind except for the new plan that Jamie had drafted to get that land. They hated him for being a monster? Well he might as well play the part right? But his conscience and that slice of his heart that was still with Noah begged him to stop.
“Baby, I brought you some lemonade,” Merna sang and sat the glass next to Jamie on the porch. “What are you up to now?”
“Just finishing the last details on this proposal for the Pierson’s. If Noah doesn’t accept this time, then I’ll have to resort to calling in the state and claiming a biohazard on the premises. When they drilled for samples before Noah’s father passed, the tests came back clear for oil but they were never able to seal the test sight properly. It’ll give us an in and if the state seizes the property, we can buy them out and do the work ourselves on contract. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. This is just me being nice. One last chance and all that.” Jamie never looked up from his laptop.
“I know why you didn’t think of it before,” Merna stated flatly. “Because the Jamie Ford I know would never be that heartless. Cheating them out of their own land like that is despicable and you’d never do that. I know you wouldn’t.”
“I wouldn’t?” Jamie finally looked up.
“No Baby, because I would be disappointed in you if you did,” she returned and kissed his forehead. Jamie felt his heart flutter at the thought of hurting Merna, but realized he was twenty seven not four, and things had never been love and sparkles or sweet tea for him.
“I’m sorry you feel that way Merna. But this was the reason I was sent here and I have a job to do.” Jamie began typing up the proposal again but Merna lifted his chin to meet her green glassy eyes.
“Reasons change, jobs change, and people change. Ain’t nothing wrong with what your heart tells you is right.” Merna shook her head. “When you came here I thought you’d be a hand full but what I wasn’t counting on was how much I’ve come to love having you around child. You are a joy to me and I have a feeling that you’ve never been told that before. I don’t know who them people are back home that you have to please so badly but know that you always have a home here. You are good people Jamie Ford and you’re better than them.”
Jamie put the laptop and the file with his state research on the wicker side table and stood without hesitation. He wrapped Merna up in his arms and just held her tight. That was exactly what he’d needed to hear after the battle he’d fought all morning writing the awful proposal but all that was ruined as he looked over Merna’s shoulder and saw Noah Pierson watching him across the street with a large box in his arms. He let go and watched as Noah looked both ways before crossing the street and walked up the lawn.
“Miss Merna.” Noah nodded and Merna smiled. Jamie waited for a greeting that never came and had to keep his face neutral as that familiar hurt wavered inside of him. Seeing Noah after the kiss he surprisingly remembered wrecked Jamie’s heart and he turned back to his laptop and picked it up. When he went to go inside, Noah whistled.
“Where you goin? I need you to see something.”
“What makes you think I wanna stick around and listen to anything you have to say?” Jamie raised a brow and Noah’s lip quirked.
“Because I’m tellin you to.”
“And what if I don’t want to?” Jamie snorted.
“I didn’t ask if you wanted to.”
“Alright boys, that’s enough. Now baby, get on over here and talk to Noah a minute. Then you can get back to that thing you weren’t gonna do.” Merna chuckled and Noah eyed the laptop with a scowl before opening the flaps on the box.
“Ugh fine but I ain’t sticking around for the rest of the show.” Jamie rolled his eyes and Noah laughed.
“Speakin hick again?” He smiled but didn’t look at Jamie. The blonde couldn’t help but grin and his stomach butterflies settled down a bit.
“It was one word and you can’t blame me for picking it up here or there,” Jamie challenged and was met with blue eyes and a wide smile.
“No. Guess I can’t,” Noah rumbled in a low voice and Merna cleared her throat.
“So what did you bring me Noah? More of them rose clippins from your mama?” Merna peered into the box and her eyes softened. “Oh Noah, it’s beautiful.”
Out of the box, Noah pulled his first ever creation and Jamie looked it over. Noah’s heart leapt when the blonde took a few steps closer and fingered the tiny mason jars that hung from the iron circle up top. Glass beads were welded inside the coils that held the jars and inside of them were tea lights candles.
“Where did you buy this? It’s amazing,” Jamie whispered. He could just imagine the colors the mobile would give off when the candles were lit. It was honestly one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen and he wasn’t too pussy to admit it. Noah smiled and a twinkle cast in his eye.
“I made it,” he stated proudly.
“Hold on. You made this?” Jamie was stunned.
“Actually I made it for you.” Noah gave Jamie one of those intense stares of his before reaching up and looped it on one Merna’s plant hooks. Jamie smiled so big, it hurt. He couldn’t help it. Noah chuckled. “Just wanted you to know that every time you piss me off I’ll always come back ten times stronger. Nothing you can say or do will ever take that away from me.”
Jamie’s face fell and he looked at the mobile of mason jars. His heart had soared when Noah had said it was for him but now he felt like the dirt that was swept under the stairs—worthless. With a deep breath to keep his emotions in check, Jamie turned around and went into the house, leaving Noah with a stuttering mouth and wide eyes.
“What is wrong with you? He was tryin Noah Pierson and then you went and added fuel to the wrong fire. Shame on you boy.” Merna pointed a finger.
“He likes it when I mess with him! It’s our thing! I didn’t think he’d be so serious,” Noah defended. “I’m sorry, I expected him to give me one of his witty little come backs and play nice. I…”
“Well stop assuming things. That boy is making some rough choices right now. I don’t know what’s goin on with his people but it feels rocky at best. Lord, I shouldn’t even said nothin. Now I’m gossipin!” Merna threw her hands up in frustration. “Point is, learn to read people Noah. You saw his eyes light up when he thought you made him somethin, you saw the way he looked at you. Now I know it ain’t my place to be meddlin but he ain’t got much right now and you two seem to well…you know. Though as your elder it is my place to point out that you done wrong, so go make nice with him before supper is ready.”
“Miss Merna…” Noah fiddled with his hands behind his back and grunted.
“Noah Munroe Pierson you get your ass in that house before I go tell your mama you were sassin me.”
His blue eyes went wide and he all but ran past her and through the open door. “Yes Ma’am.” He followed the smell of Merna’s cooking and wandered into the large kitchen. Slices of ham and fresh snap peas warmed on the stove while a pan of cornbread cooked in the glass front oven. A stack cake sat on the counter with bits of apple preserves leaking out from between the layers and Noah licked his lips.
“Unless Jamie Ford turned into a cake, then I do believe he went that way.” Merna came up behind Noah and pointed to the open French doors that led to the backyard. A small stone pathway led down a hill and into the tree line. Noah took a deep breath and nodded to himself before he shoved his hands in his pockets and made the trip down to Merna’s watering hole.
Jamie rubbed his eyes of moisture and growled at his cell phone that was ringing again. Jerry was driving him crazy and the old jack ass only reminded him of how fucked up his life was every time he called. He hated his job, he hated that he had to go around ruining people’s lives, and he hated that Noah Pierson hated him. Answering his phone on accident, Jamie cursed and put the phone to his ear.
“Jamie!” Jerry shouted. It was the first time he’d answered all day. But now that he heard Jerry’s voice, Jamie wondered why he even answered at all. Looking out over the small pond of water in the woods, he wondered why indeed? He hated Jerry.
“What?” Jerry growled back.
“Go fuck yourself.” Jamie laughed.
“What did you say you little brat!” Jerry screamed and Jamie let out a loud yell to cleanse himself of all his stress. Hauling his arm back, Jamie threw his phone into the water and started to laugh. Footsteps pounded onto the small dock and Noah Pierson whirled Jamie around.
“Are you okay? Jesus of Nazareth boy! What’s wrong?” Noah checked over Jamie’s body and couldn’t find a mark. “Why are you screamin?”
Jamie stared at Noah while he caught his breath again. “It wasn’t a scream, it was a fuck you.”
“What?” Noah frowned and let Jamie go. “About just now, I didn’t mean it like you took it.”
“I wasn’t talking about you. I just told my boss to go fuck himself. I don’t want to do that anymore. In fact, I just can’t do it anymore.” Jamie sighed and closed his eyes. “It’s not all about you Pierson, contrary to what you might think.” For Noah to come and find him meant one thing to Jamie. That he just couldn’t deny this either.
“You what?” Noah gaped. Well that was not what he was expecting. Did that mean Jamie felt the same way? Did Jamie quit for him…or because he was leavin town for something else?
When Noah only stared at him and dropped his hands, Jamie’s stomach sank for the second time today. Well Noah two, Jamie zero. “Never mind, what did you need?” Jamie stepped back and crossed his arms.
“Never mind? You just quit your fancy persecution job and you say never mind? Are you legit crazy?” Noah stepped forward and startled Jamie, who lost his balance and flailed his arms as he fell back into the pond. “Holy shit! Ford!” Noah half laughed and went to his knees to fish Jamie out of the chest high water.
The blonde sputtered to the surface and gasped. “What the hell!” He screeched and spit water to the side. Jamie looked like a drowned cat and Noah sat back on his heels and laughed.
“Oh my God,” Noah roared and slapped the surface of the dock. He gave a few shaky laughs to cool off and then noticed the thin white t-shirt and how it clung to Jamie’s sculpted chest. Noah looked up into Jamie’s dark eyes and the blonde narrowed his gaze and reached for Noah. Pierson had only seconds to realize what was about to happen and then he took a deep breath as Jamie pulled him—clothing and all—into the pond too.
Coming up to the surface after the warm water drenched him thoroughly, Noah shook out his hair and barked a laugh. “Oh you’re on city slicker.” Peeling off his drenched shirt, Noah chucked it onto the dock and went for his boots. He was gonna make Jamie pay for that.
Holy hell, Jamie swallowed when he realized what was happening in consequence to Noah joining him. That body was all muscle and a tan seemed to go all the way down from many long days in the heat. Jamie couldn’t find the switch to turn his brain back on when Noah looked back up at him. Both of Noah’s boots landed on the dock as the country boy stalked through the water like a knife to butter.
“An eye for an eye is my usual retribution but in this case, I know what I want instead,” Noah pulled Jamie to him and slowly peeled up the wet shirt from his torso. Lifting his arms, Jamie breathed deeper to make sure he was still alive. The shirt was pulled over his head and sunk into the water as Noah ran his hands over Jamie’s bare skin.
“What…what do you want Pierson?” Jamie stuttered. He felt on display to the confident man in front of him. His vulnerability was evident on his face but Noah didn’t seem to care.
“I want to try this again.” Noah bent down and paused just above Jamie’s lips with a grin before he kissed him. Jamie’s body molded to Noah’s and his hands sought to know every inch of the hard back under his fingers. He felt free in Noah’s arms—like nothing could touch him anymore. Not work, not Jerry, not the things he’d done in the past. Noah wanted him back and the lips that slowly moved over his felt so right, Jamie wondered why he hadn’t let Noah keep kissing the last time.
Noah had to fight the sissy tears he wanted to shed. He’d decided that the fourth of July incident wasn’t Jamie and that one of them had to break. Being the stronger willed of the two, Noah had fought with himself for days before he came to the conclusion that Jamie was someone that was going to be on his mind a lot longer than a few weeks. The city slicker had wormed his way into Noah’s gut and hell, his heart too. The sexy little weasel was the driving force behind his hands every time Noah had picked up his daddy’s old tools this week.
Every bead and wire, every welded piece of copper, and every bit of iron came from his…something for Jamie. Noah hadn’t quite figured that part out yet but he knew that Jamie wasn’t a monster. He also knew that Jamie didn’t deserve to be treated the way he had been by this town. And that too had been Noah’s fault—his mood influencing everyone else because he was who they knew better. Thank God for Merna though. It was hard not to notice the change she had brought out in Jamie. No more suits, no more formal dialect, a smile or two. Jamie was different and Noah liked the new man in his arms, the one whose morals were bigger than his pockets.
Jamie slipped his tongue into Noah’s mouth—moaning as Noah gently bit down then let go. “Jamie,” he murmured before kissing the blonde again. He made sure to pull the city boy tight to his chest so he couldn’t get away this time. The sun was going down, casting an orange glow over the pond and the bull frogs chorused along with the cicadas in the trees as Noah and Jamie finished the kiss that neither wanted to end.
“Boys! Supper’s ready!” Merna called from the end of the yard. Smiling, she shook her head and went back into the house. Merna didn’t need to go down to the dock to know what was happening. She hadn’t heard yelling for about fifteen minutes, so that was a very good sign. Turning the radio on, she hummed along to Etta James and let her skirt sway as she set the table.
Noah might have kissed a few boys in his time but none of them compared to this one. Jamie Ford had lips crafted by the good Lord himself and a tongue that could send gooseflesh across Noah’s arms with a simple caress. It wasn’t just a kiss though, Noah also noticed the way his heart was cranked up like a jackhammer—pounding away in his chest like it was under construction. Somethin about Jamie Ford was stuck on him and Noah was okay with that. Pushing back Jamie’s hair and giving the blonde another peck on the lips, he was very okay with that.
“Come on Ford. I’m hungry.” Noah winked.
Jamie was dumb founded. He’d never been kissed like that before. Not even a good Friday night take-out session had kissed him that good. Looking around at the calm water and the golden sunset then back to Noah Pierson, Jamie decided this place was truly paradise. It had to be Shermin Heights and the country magic that came with it, Jamie decided. Even if everyone else hated him, Jamie could just look around and know that somewhere Noah was watching back. His image had become instant in Jamie’s brain every time he looked out over the landscape or smelled the fresh air or watched the sun fall down over the horizon. Noah was Shermin Heights and Jamie couldn’t imagine being any other place than here.
Jamie smiled shyly up at Noah. “Yeah, me too.”
(First Farm Inn, Idlewild, Kentucky) AKA the inspiration for Merna's B&B
Noah was sitting on Merna’s porch three days later, having a beer with Jamie, when Buzz drove his old station wagon taxi in from the main road and parked in the semi-circle drive. It had been a quiet evenin and Noah had worked on his newest work of iron all day, so he’d figured he’d drop by on Jamie and hang out for a while. They had been taking things very slow and hadn’t had any sort of official talk yet but he figured Jamie was on the same page as him. So when Buzz parked and a suited man and a woman in dark shades got out of the back seat, Noah’s stomach sank with dread.
Jamie shot to his feet and almost spilled his beer as his mother and Jerry slammed the doors to Buzz’s car and slowly strode up the walk with distasteful expressions. Karen Hobbs gazed around and kept her purse close to her body on her elbow as she clicked her pointy heels up to the porch and pulled off her glasses. “When you said smallJerry, I didn’t think you meant microscopic.”
“Now, now Karen. It’s just a few nights and then we’ll be on our way to Frankfort,” Jerry said and patted her arm before shooting Jamie a glare from hell.
“What are you two doing here?” Jamie took a step down and his fists shook at his sides. He couldn’t even look at Noah because he knew what the guy was thinking.
“I think the real question is what are you doing here Jamie? After the way you ended our last phone call, I thought I would come find out for myself.” Jerry grinned and Karen fanned her face.
“I thought I made it clear that I didn’t want anything more to do with you,” Jamie said.
“Well you can’t just get rid of your family now son.” Jerry put an arm around Karen.
“Don’t you ever call me son because you aren’t my family. Never have been and never will be.” Jamie crossed his arms as Merna came out onto the porch.
“James! Don’t talk to your father like that. He’s here to make sure nothing happened to you and you treat him like that. You should be ashamed with yourself. And how dare you just take off for the summer without getting your work done. That isn’t professional James and your father won’t be able to cover for you much longer. There’s a lot at stake with that Pierson land and a lot of Jerry’s money invested in that testing. How could you just be so lazy?” She rolled her eyes and Jamie threw his bottle near her feet—watching it shatter everywhere.
“You have no right!” Jamie shouted and a few locals paused across the street to stare. Noah made no move to help out and the lack of motivation wasn’t unnoticed by Jamie. He became furious with a fire that he didn’t know existed. Just the sight of his mother and that jack ass Jerry made him want to scream.
“Baby, why don’t you just go out back with Noah for a while? I’ll take care of this…” Merna tried but Jamie waved her off.
“This asshole is not my father.” Jamie pointed to Jerry and watched his mother squirm. “Kenneth Ford was my father but you don’t care about that anymore do you? Now that you got his insurance money and his estate? Oh and let’s not forget the new husband with an even fatter wallet.”
“You watch your mouth son!” Jerry took a step forward and Jamie met him nose to nose.
“Or what you fat shit? What are you gonna do about it? Pay someone to hit me?” Jamie growled and Jerry smiled.
“No. I think I’ll just stick around and finish the job myself actually. You’re fired.” Jerry’s lips curled and then he looked past Jamie at Merna. “I’m Jerry Hobbs and I have a reservation.”
Merna looked at Noah whose mouth was hanging open. The B&B owner sighed and with a practiced professionalism, she faked a smile. “Come on in.” She waved at them and Jamie turned with shock. “It’s okay baby, you’ll see. Dinner is almost ready Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs. Would you care for some tea?”
“I…I guess,” Karen stuttered and shuffled past her son fearfully.
“That sounds just fine with me.” Jerry winked at Jamie and followed his wife inside.
Staring at Jamie, Buzz watched the poor boy deflate and those broken eyes slip back into place—the ones he’d first seen in his rearview mirror back in June. What must it be like to have a family like those evil people? How could a mama treat her own blood like that? Buzz shook his head and nodded at Jamie before putting the last suitcase on the gravel and getting behind the wheel.
Jamie was so angry he didn’t know if he could do anything about it. Frustration, rage, overwhelming sadness, regret all came in the same package and unfolded in his heart like mud on his brand new start. Noah came down the stairs and stopped in front of him. “Are you uh…you okay?” What did you even say about something like this? He knew Jamie but he didn’t know this Jamie. He’d never met Jerry or Karen but he’d heard plenty about them the past few days. Enough to know they were disgusting people.
“No. I’m not.” Jamie looked up. “I’m so angry right now, I could just…” He fumed and walked over to the abandoned case and kicked it down the lawn. The case opened and Jerry’s things scattered in the grass. Three old men were shaking their heads across the street in front of the corner store and Jamie’s eyes bulged. “What are you staring at? Huh?”
“Jamie! Be quiet.” Noah grabbed him from behind but Jamie wiggled out of his grip.
“No. You just stood there while they talked about your land like it was nothing but when it was me you jumped down my throat. Maybe I haven’t told you enough about Jerry but if you thought I was determined, Jerry will get what he wants. And just when I started to…he does this! God!” Jamie swallowed back a scream and hid his eyes from Noah.
“I didn’t say anything out of respect for you. That man may be the devil himself but he and your mama are your family and I…well I care about you. It wouldn’t be my place to give him no what for in this kind of setting and rile you up even more. If he comes on my property and tries to pitch me some grand deal or scheme me out of my own land, then that’s another thing entirely.
But this here, this thing going on ain’t about me right now, it’s about you Jamie. And this is still the start Jamie. He can’t take nothin away from you that you aren’t willing to give him, so don’t give him the pleasure of your anger. He don’t deserve even a roll of your eyes.” Noah pulled a slowly quieting Jamie into his arms and narrowed his eyes at the men across the street. Their newspapers flipped up and they hid their spying eyes from Noah, making him grin a little. “Come stay with me while they’re here. You can relax a little bit and maybe talk to mama. She’s a frettin mess that she ruined you for life at the cook out. She’s all sorts of sorry Jamie.” Noah kissed Jamie’s neck and the blonde leaned back into him. “Come on now. Let’s get you some clothes and get outta here.”
“You sure?” Jamie breathed in relief. Merna might be a little upset with him for leaving but Jamie needed to get out. He couldn’t be in the same room as them.
“I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t sure. Come on.” Noah spun Jamie around and pulled him up the lawn and into the house. Being here a few days with them people was sure to drive Jamie mad and Noah wasn’t havin it. Not when Jamie had made some tough choices lately and was coming out on top. He was smiling and laughing, drinking and having a good time. He was talking about himself, helpin Ms. Merna around the B&B, and talkin to folks about the weather. Jamie Ford was changing and Noah wasn’t about to reverse all that with the stab of some step-father’s angry words. Fuck that suit, Jamie was his boy now.
A few shouts and a scuffle involving a dresser drawer with an angry Jerry later, Noah and Jamie ran across the lawn howling in laughter with a suitcase and a case of beer. Merna crossed her arms and smiled as she watched the two boys pile into the truck and kick up dirt down the road. Jerry Hobbs stood on the porch angry as a bull with his poodle haired princess, Karen behind him. Merna smiled at them sweetly. “How about that tea?”
TO BE CONTINUED.......