Home > Fix Her Up (The Fix, #1)

Fix Her Up (The Fix, #1)
Author: Carey Heywood

1

 

 

Finley

 

 

Every adventure has a beginning. I assumed mine would be more glamorous than fishing around my glove compartment for something to blow my nose with. This is the real world though, and viruses could give a crap.

Success! A napkin!

The relief that comes from blowing my nose is short lived. The leaky faucet that has taken up residence front and center on my face does nothing but drip, drip, and drip some more.

My brakes make an embarrassing screech as I pull into a drug store parking lot, narrowly missing a truck.

Finley Reeves, you need to get your shit together.

And while you’re at it, stop referring to yourself in the third person.

The truck successfully avoids me and I lift my hand in a lame apology. It’d be just my luck to get into a car accident this close to the end of my journey. Driving cross-country with the head cold from hell has zapped all my energy. If I didn’t need medicine to kill whatever it is I’ve got, I’d already be at my new house.

I park toward the back of the lot to leave room for the trailer packed full of all my earthly possessions hooked to the back of my car.

Grabbing a cart from the entrance, I zombie walk to the medicine aisle and load it full of store brand meds and tissue. On the way to the register, I pause to add a bottle of cheap wine. Sure, I’d rather celebrate with some fancy champagne or something like that. Unfortunately, for the time being, with all of my savings going to buy my house and now to fix it up, spending five bucks on wine is more in my budget.

When I turn back to the register, I’m annoyed to see the guy I almost hit in the parking lot has beat me to it. If I hadn’t stopped for booze, I’d be on my way by now.

Instead, I’m waiting behind a guy buying… I lean to one side to see what he set next to the register then force back a groan. He’s buying condoms, two boxes of them.

That’s just perfect.

It’s not just perfect; it’s fucking poetic considering why I’m in this predicament. My eyes move to the clerk and I see her attention is fully focused on the guy in front of me. I squint, is she actually drooling? If she offers to help him use all those condoms I’ll be forced to guzzle this bottle of wine right here, right now. That, or knock myself out with the bottle.

My inspection of her is interrupted when I feel a massive sneeze brewing.

“I’m opening these now,” I mumble, reaching into my cart and grabbing a box of tissues. “I swear I’ll pay,” I mutter loud enough for the cashier to hear, before loudly blowing my nose.

The condom guy turns to stare with piercing blue eyes.

I frown up at him. He unfortunately looks like someone who should be buying lots of condoms. Tall, I’d guess at least six foot, big broad shoulders, framing his athletic build. He’s the All-American dream man with thick light brown hair, just the right amount of facial and a fantastic ass. In fact, he’s almost too perfect. Are hallucinations a side effect of a head cold?

When he doesn’t start ripping off all of his clothes, I decide he must be real.

“Do you mind?” I grumble.

“Feel better,” he replies, and then turns back to the register to take his bag.

“Thanks,” I mutter.

The clerk working the register regards my purchases with understanding. “Head cold?”

I give her a pitiful nod.

“Can I see your ID?” She asks.

Head cold or no head cold, I’m still flattered so I don’t argue that I’m thirty-five as I dig it out.

“So, Finley Wiltshire, what are you doing in New Hampshire?”

“It’s Reeves, not Wiltshire,” I correct.

A wrinkle forms between her eyebrows as she points to my license. “It says Wiltshire.”

My shoulders sag as I shove my used tissue into my pocket. “I just got divorced and haven’t changed it back yet.”

“Ahh, sorry,” she mutters, handing it back to me.

“Yep,” I reply bitterly, suddenly in the mood to share. “My ex got a girlfriend and a sports car while I got bronchitis. Sounds fair, right?”

She lets out a shocked laugh and then offers, “We also carry soup.”

“Is it laced with whiskey?” I joke.

Blinking at me, she doesn’t reply and I must be susceptible to suggestion because soup doesn’t sound bad.

“I’ll hold your stuff here if you want to grab a couple cans,” she says.

With a longing, I glance over my shoulder to where their grocery type aisles are. Why are they so far away? It’s embarrassing how tired and crappy I feel.

The clerk takes pity on me. “I’ll grab it for you. Do you want one can or two?”

I try to smile but the longer I stand, the worse I feel.

My face hurts, pain radiating from my cheeks to my eye sockets. “Chicken Noodle. Two if you have it.”

She gives the counter a rap with her knuckle before saying, “I’ll be right back.”

She comes back with two cans of soup and a can of ginger ale. “The ginger ale is on the house. It’s made by a local company and you’ll need something to take all your medicine with.”

“Thank you,” I murmur, grateful, but feeling guilty for assuming she was drooling over condom guy, maybe she’s just nice.

It doesn’t take long to pay for my things. Once I’m back in my car I open the cold meds first and wash a dose down with my free ginger ale.

I lift the can to study the label. Woodlake Ales. That clerk wasn’t joking about it being local. Since this is Woodlake, New Hampshire, my new home.

All right, it’s time for me to go home.

It was sold as is. The price was a steal, or highway robbery depending on who you asked. Where every other buyer saw the broken, falling down mess of a house, I saw nothing but potential. I’ve spent the last decade having every decision I made criticized. Here, sink or swim, there will be no one second guessing me.

It’s my fresh start.

Now I get to explore the space I’ve memorized from the pictures I clicked online.

It’s an old Federal style house, its worn siding a sad gray. Seems perfect for me since I’m a bit worn and sad myself.

The symmetry of the exterior is what called to me, that and all the windows. I can already imagine how light and airy it will be someday.

If I can do this, fix up this old house, I’ll be giving the both of us a new lease on life.

My parents are convinced it’s going to be a money pit but I don’t care. It’s all mine. I’m going to fix it up bit by bit even if it takes me a decade to do it.

It wiped out a good chunk of my renovation budget, but I had the place rewired right after I closed on it. It was the only way I could convince my parents I wasn’t going to die in an electrical fire.

Soon the cable company is coming to get my internet hooked up. The company I work for approved me to work remotely as long as I have internet.

Once I found out I could work anywhere, I decided it was time to make a move. My only requirement for my new home was it had to be a house I could buy outright and fix up someplace far, far away.

Woodlake, New Hampshire was about as far away from Springfield, Texas as I could manage.

My new to me place has a long drive on the right side, long enough to park my car and the trailer I’m pulling, without it hanging over the sidewalk.

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