Love Realized (The Real Love Series)
Author:Melanie Codina

chapter FIVE

“All right, Little Bitch, let’s do this!” she said with enthusiasm while she rubbing her palms together like she was ready to tackle some major task. It would’ve been funny, except it just dawned on him what she called him.

“What the hell did you just call me?”

Allie smirked at him. “Little Bitch … It’s your sidekick name.” At his shocked and blank stare she continued, “Super Bitch is my superhero name, so I figured that my sidekick needed a name, too. So, Little Bitch seemed to fit.”

She said it to him like he was dense for needing an explanation. “Wait, why are you the superhero and I'm just a sidekick? Why can’t we both be superheroes?” he grumbled to her. There is no way that I'm only a sidekick!

“Well what would your superhero name be then?” she inquired. He thought for a few moments, and then it came to him. A big smile came across his face while he looked at her and unabashedly said, “Super Dick, of course!”

After a few moments of silence passed between them, while they just stood there staring at each other, Jake could see Allie trying to contain her amusement at what he said, but she didn’t last long. Allie burst out laughing and grabbed onto his shoulder for support as she doubled over in front of him. Was it really that funny? She couldn’t stop laughing. Okay, guess so.

“Okay, why is it that funny?” he basically growled at her, growing annoyed. Allie stood and looked him square in the eye with a big smile on her face. “It’s funny because that name means one of three things.” She had to pause to catch her breath a little before continuing. She put up one finger to count the three things she planned to point out to him. “One, you are a dick.” Putting emphasis on the word are, she then paused another moment to take in another breath, because apparently she still hadn’t recovered from her laughing fit. Putting up a second finger, she continued, “Two, you have a super dick.” And finally, finger number three. “And then there’s number three, the one that most people will assume is most likely the case. That you think you have a super dick, but really don’t.”

Oh hell! Clearly they were getting off track with what their mission was supposed to be right now. He rolled his eyes at her as she continued to laugh, but tried to keep it from bursting out. She failed miserably. At least she wasn’t doubled over and holding her stomach anymore.

“Come on Al, it’s not like anyone else is going to hear our superhero names, just humor me.” He pleaded his case as he started to see the hilarity of the whole conversation. The look on her face straining to hold it in made it even funnier, making him laugh a little. Then she tipped the scales further by saying, “Actually, I was planning to have shirts made. I just can’t decide if I want a black shirt with pink letters or a pink shirt with black letters.”

Jake couldn’t control it then, the vision of him wearing a pink shirt that said Super Dick or even Little Bitch was too much. He burst out laughing and threw his arm around her shoulders as they laughed at each other.

“Just for the record, I don’t think it, I know it …” he paused then continued, “I sure do miss having you around all the time, Al,” he admitted as he kissed her on the top of her head as they slowly started to calm down. His statement sobered her up a bit causing her to look up at him, giving him a weak smile. “I know … me too. I'm doing better, though, so anything’s possible.” He didn’t mean to cause her any pain so he changed the subject back to the important issue of Gillian’s escape.

“All right, how do we rescue our girl?” he asked and they both turned to search out Gillian.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

With the party winding down and people taking their leave, Gillian could feel her restlessness and anxiety begin to climb. And it wasn’t at a steady pace; no it was at a full sprint. Slowly, families that had come to celebrate Dylan’s birthday were packing up their stuff, collecting their kids and saying goodnight. She should be feeling relieved that the evening was coming to a close, but she wasn’t. She felt like a caged animal. Her need to pace back and forth was strong, but she held it back, mainly because she would look like an idiot doing so. She really needed to get the hell out of there. Where is Allie? Looking around she spotted Allie with Jake—they were laughing at something. She was jealous of that, not jealous of them laughing together, but jealous that they were not feeling pain like she was. Not that she wished this on anyone, but she wanted to laugh, too.

What she wouldn’t give to go back to the day she invited Adam and his family to the party right now and not do it. Ignorance was certainly bliss in some cases. Of course, the fact that she even had that thought irritated her. Telling herself that line of shit was unacceptable. But let’s face it: she was only human after all. And the fact that she would prefer to avoid knowing something rather than face the knowledge that her husband had once again brought her so much pain, only enforced that. She was stronger than this, and it pissed her the hell off that she was thinking that way. Of course, she would want to know that he was violating every promise he had made to her! But, damn it really hurt.

Feeling this course of thinking bringing down her ability to keep up a strong front, she looked up again to try and signal Allie, in hopes that she would understand her need to go. Instead though, she looked straight into the eyes of Jody Spencer.

Her knees threatened to buckle under the shock of realizing that she was once again within an arm’s reach of this woman. She felt her breath catch in her throat and her lips began to tingle from the lack of oxygen. All that bravado she was boasting in her silent reverie took an immediate departure. Backup … we need backup over here! Anyone … please don’t make me do this alone! She flung her silent plea out into the universe hoping someone would just come and give her strength, hoping it didn’t boomerang its way around and nail her in the back of the head. She could really use a little extra support, because at this very moment, she felt like she was going to break.

As her strength continued to waver and the moments in front of this woman stretched, she felt the panic begin to rise to a fevered pitch. They just stood there, staring at each other. If she were an outside witness to this scene, she would think it was weird. But Gillian felt frozen in place, unable to move or talk, only stare. Jody’s face was also a mask showing her struggle over her emotions. Well good, I better not be the only one who feels strung this tight! That annoying buzzing, hollow sound was beginning to set in again as the numbness threatened to envelope her. Goddamn this feels pathetic. Just making eye contact with her can make me feel like this … so not cool!

The sudden touch of a hand at her waist jolted her for a moment, and then she instantly leaned into the body at her side, pulling whatever energy she could from this person. The arm snaked its way around her waist and secured her against a body as she felt another arm move across her upper back from the other side and settle down to rest on her shoulders. She was surrounded, and God, it helped tremendously. The numbness paused in its pursuit to take over. Breaking eye contact with The Whore, Gillian looked to her right to see Jake, and then to her left to see Allie. Back up had arrived.

Allie smiled at her and then Gillian heard Jake, “Jody and Adam, right … heading out?” he said as he extended his hand out to Adam, who she hadn’t even realized was standing there. Adam took Jake’s hand and shook it with gusto. Apparently Adam was enjoying being around her friends, or didn’t have too many of his own, because he sure seemed a bit excited from the attention. Too bad he wasn’t allowed back ever again. Not when he could have Slutty McWhore in tow! The little girl was sweet, though.

“Yeah. Jake, is it? Nice to meet you, but yeah, we’re ready to call it a night. Although I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to be mad at me for the rest of the night,” Adam said with a chuckle as he motioned to the sulking child at his side.

He looked to Gillian. “Thanks so much for inviting us; we had a great time. I do hope we can return the invitation to you and your family sometime soon.”

Gillian was silent. Wait, I'm supposed to respond to something. She felt Allie nudge her a bit on the left side. “It was our pleasure. We look forward to it.” Okay, got it out, and it sounded semi-believable. Good job! At that point, Adam’s daughter, Rachel, started whining. “Daaadddy … do we have to go?” She stretched out the word, daddy, in a typical Daddy’s Little Girl fashion. Gillian could totally relate because she had witnessed the same scene at least a million times between Maddie and Logan. “Sorry kiddo, it’s been a long day, and I'm sure these nice people want to have some family time now.” With that, Adam picked up his little girl and continued, “Now, be a good girl, and thank Mrs. Baxter for inviting you to play in her pool.” He nodded in Gillian’s direction, and the little girl took his cue and smiled at Gillian before she said, “Thank you for letting me play in your pool. I had fun … could I come and swim again sometime?” There was such triumph in her voice as if she had just figured out the key to getting what she wanted. This made Gillian smile. Kids were just so enjoyable sometimes. Gillian was about to answer the little girl when Jody joined the conversation.

“Rachel,” she scolded. “Don’t be rude! It isn’t polite to invite yourself places.” As the woman’s voice washed over Gillian, she felt her body tense up, and she barely held back the strong desire to wince away as though she had been slapped. Then, like a chain reaction, Jake stiffened slightly and pulled Gillian tighter to his side, while Allie squeezed her shoulder in a comforting manner. They gave her strength. Gillian cleared her throat to speak since it had dried out and filled with sand once again. “Don’t worry about it—it comes with the territory of owning a pool.”

Turning toward the little girl she said, “I'm sure we can figure something out to make that happen sometime real soon, sweetie. I'm glad you had a good time; thank you very much for coming.”

The little girl smiled at Gillian and then leaned forward from her dad’s arms and wrapped her arm around Gillian’s neck, giving her a hug. It was sweet and innocent and totally took Gillian by surprise. She took one of her arms and reached around the little girl to hug her back. Even though she hated those stupid one-armed hugs, she wasn’t about to let go of her life support next to her. How strange it was to think that she was accepting a hug from the daughter of the woman who was most likely sleeping with her husband, while at a birthday party surrounded by family and friends who had no idea that said woman even existed. Oh my god! This is the shit that soap operas of are made of! Pardon me while I go answer the phone; I think Jerry Springer is calling. She inwardly groaned at that. When they let go of each other, Gillian smiled and said, “Thank you for the hug.” The innocent child just shrugged one shoulder and replied, “You looked like you needed one … Bye!”

And with that, Adam escorted his adorable and very intuitive daughter, along with his whore of a wife, out the side gate of the Baxter’s backyard. Gillian was still staring at the gate moments after they left.

“What the hell was that all about?” Allie said under her breath so only they could hear. “The tension radiating off you was palpable. Who was that?”

Gillian knew it was still not the time, but she had to give Allie something. Especially since she had moved to stand in front of Gillian with her hands on her hips and everything. Clearly, Allie was losing patience with her silence. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I work with Adam …” she paused, trying to figure out what else to say before opening her eyes and continuing, “And let’s just say that his wife is not someone I expected.”

“Do you know her?” Allie pushed on, knowing there was more. Well here goes nothing. Gillian looked her best friend in the eye, hoping she could convey the hidden message to her without having to say the words. For some reason, just the thought of speaking the actual words that would tell her who that woman was took Gillian’s breath away. “No, I know of her. But she knows my husband … very well.”

“Oh, okay …” Gillian watched Allie process what she said, and when her words trailed off and her eyes widened in shock, Gillian knew she had figured it out. It took about five seconds for Allie to go from being stunned into silence to one pissed off Super Bitch. If Gillian hadn’t been staring directly at her, she wouldn’t have been able to stop her from stomping directly over to where her brother stood and laying him out flat in one punch.

She grabbed Allie by both arms and held her in place. “Don’t do it, Al. I'm barely keeping it together, and I really need you to get me the heck out of here … please.” As the emotions were all brought to the surface, Gillian was having a hell of a time trying to keep the tears at bay. They continued to gather and started to trickle out the corners of her eyes as she looked at her best friend. Allie immediately softened, relaxed her need to kick her brother’s ass and nodded at Gillian.

“Sorry, sweetie, the lid is back on the can of whoop ass, but I want you to know that I reserve the right to open it again.” Gillian gave her a weak smile and nodded her assent. “I would expect nothing less from you. And thank you, but can we go now?”

Allie nodded at her just before pulling her into another hug. “Okay, so now that I know what the heck was going on, I could really give a flying fuck whether or not my brother likes it if you leave tonight … so we are going to march the hell out of here, and if he tries to follow, he’s getting a nut-shot from me. And believe me, he knows I'm capable of it.” She finished her statement with a slight growl, but with complete confidence. The two siblings were close in age and spent plenty of their childhood terrorizing each other. Gillian knew that Logan feared his little sister on a physical level because he always said that she fought dirty and used being a girl to her advantage. “Where are the kids going to be tonight?”

“Jonathan and Maddie are each staying at a friend’s house, and Dylan is going to my parents’ house. I believe Ryan is going too …” Her words froze at the mention of Ryan’s name because she had forgotten that Jake was standing there still, and he had heard everything. She may not have said it directly, but he wasn’t an idiot, so he probably figured it out. She turned to look up at Jake, who looked like an angry bear. He had a scowl on his face, his nostrils were flared, and his lips were pressed into a thin, tight line as he looked over at Logan. Oh shit! Time to get the hell out of here. “Jake … please calm down,” she said to him as she turned to face him. She put both of her hands on his chest in an attempt to soothe him. He had no tolerance for people who cheated and even less when it happened to someone he cared about.