BraxtonBy: Liberty Parker
I sigh as I pull my cab into the specially-built garage next to the townhouse. While we are working to get more brothers licensed with their CDLs, I am doing the bulk of the long-distance runs. I smile as I think about the first business we started as a club—Rebel Guardians Transportation. We do long, and short-haul runs, transporting everything from fruits and vegetables to medical equipment and motorcycle parts. I hate that I’m away from Lily so much. That’s probably the hardest part—she spends more time with her grandmother than me lately, something I hope will change sometime in the near future.
Locking the cab up, I realize that someone will have to take me to the office tomorrow to get my bike. I could drive my truck, but it’s too nice outside. I usually bring my bike home, but the late hour had me rethinking that since I know how loud my pipes are. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
Walking into the house, I notice a note from my mother—Brax, I know you’ll be getting in late. I’ll take Lily to school in the morning. You need your rest. Love, Mom. She has been my rock for more years than I can count. When Daria abandoned Lily as a newborn, I had just been freshly out of the Marines and clueless when it came to dealing with babies. My mom, a widow herself, had moved in and shown me the ropes, never taking over except when I was out on a run. Time to do something special for her.
Once upstairs, I check on Lily, quietly covering her back up and tucking her doll in next to her. Kissing her forehead, I whisper, “I love you,” and creep back out, closing her door softly. I know that even if my mom is going to take her to school, she will still come bouncing in to see me once she realizes I am home. Going into the master bedroom, I head straight to the bathroom and take a long hot shower to wash the road grime away. Damn, I’m lonely. What I wouldn’t give to have someone to curl up with when I go to bed. Someday. Now that I’m clean, it’s time to make something to eat.
I look around at my new place and grin. I was worried this townhouse wouldn’t be big enough, but it’s almost as big as a house, with a fenced-in area out the sliding glass doors for a small backyard! It is the first time I will be on my own with Luca since Graham my husband died, and I am equal parts exhilarated and scared to death. “Hey sis, where do you want this?” I hear my brother, Chandler, call out and I turn, seeing him come in the living room with the bedframe to Luca’s bed.
“Let me show you his room,” I reply to my brother as I go up the stairs. “I’m glad you and your friends were able to help me out today, and that Mom was okay with watching Luca. He would have been underfoot, and this way, I can get things mostly organized before he comes home later.”
“Anything for you and you know that by now,” Chandler says to me. “I know that things weren’t great with you and Graham, and I’m proud of how you’ve managed to overcome all the shit that was slung your way when he died.”
I shrug, there isn’t anything I can do about it now, why let it consume my thoughts? Graham’s parents hadn’t liked me at all, feeling like I trapped their precious son into marriage by getting pregnant. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I had loved my husband, but he had treated me like a possession, something to be seen and not heard. It wasn’t like that in the beginning, he truly loved me, but his parents’ treatment towards me had influenced him the longer we had been married. My love for him had died long before he drew his last breath and the only reason I had stayed as long as I had was for Luca. “They were assholes, Chan, and hated me anyhow. They’ve made their position clear and I know that if Graham’s will wasn’t so airtight, they would have challenged it in court. At least, with the money he left, I don’t have to work if I don’t want to, you know?”
“Yeah, I hear you but knowing you, you’ll find something because that’s just how you are,” he states. “Let me get little man’s bed put together so we can set his room up and then we’ll get yours set up.”
“Works for me. How much is left in the truck?”