Home > Falling Fast(4)

Falling Fast(4)
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He pats my shoulder. “Your grandmother is like family to us, to most of the folks in the town. They have all been worried about her and her future, so knowing you were coming has filled a lot of them with relief.”

“Gia, darlin’, have you ever had ribs?” Nina asks, and I pull my eyes off my grandma, who is now sitting at the kitchen table, writing on a piece of paper, to look at her.

“Yeah, a few times.”

“Real southern ribs?” she asks, and I shake my head. This is the first time I have ever been to Tennessee. When I was younger, Grandma would always come to Chicago to visit us. “Well you are in for a treat, because the Purple Daisy Picnic Café has the best ribs in Tennessee, and that’s where we’re going for dinner.” She smiles at me. “I just need to run over to my house and freshen up. While I’m doing that, Ned and you can go on and empty your car. I saw you brought quite a bit of stuff.”

“That works for me,” I agree, and she smiles.

“Genevria, I’m going to go home for a few minutes, okay?” she says to Grandma, who looks up at her and nods. “I’ll be back.” She glances at me and Ned then leaves out the sliding door in the kitchen that leads to what looks like a screened in sun porch.

“She’s bossy, but you’ll get used to it,” Ned promises, and I look at him and smile then go about helping him empty my car, which doesn’t take us long. By the time we are done getting my stuff into the house and stacked up against the wall in the living room, Nina is back and changed into a simple pair of jeans and a sweater.

“I had a few of the ladies from my book club help me clean out Genevria’s storage room yesterday and pack it all up in the garage,” Nina says, pulling one of my bags with her down a short hallway, and I follow along behind her, trying to take everything in. “There’s only a bed in there now, but I have a dresser Ned will bring over later on, and Monty a friend of mine said she has some curtains she’d bring over and hang for you today.”

“Thank you,” I say to her back as she pushes open the door to the room at the end of the hall.

Stepping into the room with her, I look around. The room is tiny, with one double window over the full-sized bed pushed up against the wall with a familiar looking quilt on it. There isn’t really room for a dresser, but there also isn’t a closet, so I’m going to need somewhere to store my clothes since my suitcases will just take up more room.

“Your grandma’s room is right next to this one, and there is only one bathroom in the house, which is across the hall.”

“That’s okay. Back home in Chicago, I have a roommate, so I’m used to sharing,” I tell her, and her eyes soften.

“I’m glad you’re here, and I want you to know Ned and I aren’t going to be jumping ship just because Genevria has you now. We will help out however we can.”

“Thank you. I really appreciate that,” I say softly, and she looks like she is going to say something else, but instead she looks away, clearing her throat.

“Are you two ready to go?” Ned asks, and I give him a nod then follow him back down the hallway and into the living room, where Grandma is sitting on the couch, putting on a pair of beige shoes with Velcro instead of laces. “I’ll drive. I’m sure the last thing you want to do after driving all day is to get behind the wheel.”

“That works for me,” I agree, helping Grandma stand before I grab my purse from the coffee table. Leading her outside and across the grass following behind Ned, I help her into the back seat of his truck then go around and get in on the other side behind Nina, who on the way tells me all about the town and some of the people who live here. Thankfully the drive isn’t a long one, but when we get to the restaurant, it’s packed, and I mean packed. The parking lot is full of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It looks like everyone in town came here to have dinner tonight.

“What on earth is going on?” Nina asks as Ned pulls into the lot and parks on the grass next to a large tree.

“It looks like someone is having a party,” he says as I look out the window at the stone-colored building with a purple sign on the roof, and daisies painted on it.

Hearing someone shout, my attention is drawn to a group of men standing in front of a row of motorcycles—or actually to one guy standing in profile amongst that group. Taller than all of them by at least a few inches, his dark hair is a mess of waves on top and cut low on the side. A plaid shirt is firmly fitted over his broad shoulders that taper down to a slim waist, worn blue jeans, and boots. Even in profile, he’s handsome.

“I’m hungry,” Grandma says, and I reluctantly pull my attention away from the guy to look at her. “I think the wait will be too long here,” she continues, and I reach over and take her hand in mine when I see it start to shake.

“Is there a second best place to get ribs in town?” I ask toward the front of the cab, and Nina turns in her seat to look at the two of us.

“Sure there is. We’ll come back here another time. Is that okay with you, Genevria?” she asks grandma, who nods. “Good.” Nina smiles as Ned puts the truck in reverse to back out of the spot he parked in. Turning back toward the window as we drive out of the lot, disappointment fills me when I see the guy who caught my attention earlier has vanished.

CHAPTER 2

All Tied Up

Gia

LOOKING AT MY REFLECTION in my visor, I press my lips together making sure my pink gloss is spread evenly over my lips. I let out a breath and say a silent prayer that I will be offered a job after this interview. I didn’t expect to have to start working so soon, but the last two weeks here have taken a toll on my finances and me.

I ended up spending most of my savings my first week to have the trees trimmed back away from Grandma’s house since Ned told me there were more than a few limbs that he was worried would fall if we had a bad storm. I knew it was either spend the money now to try and prevent that from happening, or spend more money when a tree came through the roof. I also spent a little money having a gardening service come out and weed out all the flowerbeds and trim back the bushes in front of the house. I probably could have done the work myself, but seeing how it was only a hundred and fifty dollars to have it done and I have never gardened in my life, I saved myself the trouble.

The reality of the situation with Grandma has also been sinking in. I thought I understood what would happen when I got here, but in actuality, I had no idea. The day I got here was apparently a good day for her. She remembered who I was throughout dinner and when we got home, but when she woke up the next morning, finding me in the kitchen making us breakfast, she freaked out. It took me at least forty-five minutes to get her to calm down, and even then she was still on edge and leery of me. Nina and Ned have been amazing though, and I really don’t know what I would do without them.

Yawning, I come out of my thoughts and pick up my coffee to take a sip, needing the caffeine to kick in already. I’ve been up since seven and have already applied at two different locations. The daycare center I went to this morning would have been my ideal job, since that’s what I was doing in Chicago, but the woman who interviewed me didn’t seem to like me very much. The second interview I went to at a grocery store in town would be okay, but the hours would be at night doing stock, and since I can’t work nights, I knew that wouldn’t work. But the man who interviewed me did promise to call if something opened up on days.

Which brings me to now, at the Rusty Rose—a biker bar at the base of Ruby Falls. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be considering working at a biker bar, but I needed a job, and since Nina called to tell me she got me an interview, I couldn’t pass it up. Taking one more long pull from my coffee, I drop it back down in the cup holder then open the door and jump out, grabbing my bag as I go. Slamming the door shut, I curse when it swings right back open. I don’t know what the hell is going on with my Jeep, but I need to get it looked at, and it probably should be a priority even though it isn’t.

After I know the door is firmly shut, I head toward the front door of the bar, wiping my suddenly sweaty palms down the front of my pants. Putting my hand to the door handle and pulling it open, it takes a second for my eyes to adjust to the dark interior, and when they do I scan the bar, noticing it’s completely empty, which fits the whole biker lifestyle I’ve built up in my head. It consists of scary giant men with too much facial hair rolling out of bed sometime around noon, having a beer for breakfast, and then hitting the bar sometime after it’s dark. Definitely not before.

   
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