Home > More Than Her (More Than #2)

More Than Her (More Than #2)
Author: Jay McLean

PROLOGUE


 -Past-


 End of Summer Party, Pre-College

 

 

 "What the hell just happened?" Cam said.

 "Dude, I have no fucking idea."

 Micky's ex just proposed and they both left the party. Jake was on his phone calling a cab before anyone could talk sense into him.

 The rest of us sat back down, dumbstruck. I kept looking around for her. Hopefully she was okay, and she wasn't going to marry that guy; He was an asshole and she deserved better than someone who was going to treat her like shit.

 "You worried about her?"

 I slowly turned to face Cam who was sitting a few feet from me, his legs straight out in front of him and crossed at his ankles. He looked me curiously, eyebrows drawn together.

 "Yeah, I am." I said, looking straight at him. I almost felt like I knew what was going to happen next. I subconsciously sat up and straightened my shoulders, waiting for the challenge, because I knew what his next question was. When he asked it, I was prepared.

 "You love her, don't you?"

 And even though I was expecting it, hearing him say the actual words was like a kick in the gut. I watched him, looking for any sign of what his judgment might be when I told him the truth. "Yeah, man. I think I do."

 He stared at me for what felt like hours, but it was only seconds. Then he blew out a breath, pulled the cap off his head, ran his hand through his hair and replaced it.

 "Yeah," he sighed out. "Me too."

 "What?!" I almost yelled. I looked over to where Lucy was standing, only a few feet away from us, making sure she hadn't heard what her dick of a boyfriend had just said.

 "Me too," he repeated. I glared at him. "I mean, not the love love way. Not the way I love Lucy."

 I continued to gape at him, confused as all hell. He kept going. "Micky—she's one of us now, and I get that you feel something for her. It would be hard not to, especially after what she's been through. But I don't think you love her. Not in that way. I think you love her the same way that you love Lucy, or Heidi. Kind of like a sister, like you want to keep them safe, protect them, you know? Or at least ... I mean, if anything were to happen to me, I'd want you to be that way with Lucy." He paused. "I'm not making any sense am I?"

 I slowly shook my head no.

 He blew out another long breath, then sat up in his chair a little and looked up at the sky, thinking about his next words. After a little while, he faced me.

 "Has Lucy ever told you how we met?" His eyes quickly went to Lucy, who was standing by a cooler, talking to a few girls.

 "She just said you helped coach her little brothers, and that after her mom died you started coming round to help out."

 His eyes came back to me. "That's what she thinks ... I actually noticed her the first time I saw her. She was in the stands with a couple of her brothers. I remember seeing her for the first time. She had a book in one hand and the other was constantly attending to one or more of the boys." He chuckled a little. "They were always bugging her for something and getting in her face, but she never took her eyes off the book. And I remember just standing there watching her for pretty much the entire game. I mean, I'd seen her at school a few times, always thought she was kind of cute, you know? The quiet kind of cute."

 I nodded my head in agreement. She was that kind of cute.

 "The first week, I said nothing to her. And the weeks after that, and every day at school, I tried to talk to her, but I'd be a nervous wreck, you know? And it was so weird because in every other aspect of my life I was this cocky asshole, standard semi-popular jock. Here I was getting wound up over some quiet bookworm I'd never spoken to before.

 "So a few weeks passed and I remember looking in the mirror one day, keep in mind I was like, fifteen at the time, and I remember saying to myself 'Today is the day. You will talk to her.' When I got to the field I expected to see her in the stands, but she wasn't there, and neither were her brothers, and that was the day I found out about her mom. The cancer, and the dying, well, by then, it was the death.

 I continued to listen, taking in everything he had to say.

 "I went to the funeral and just watched her. She sat at the front of the plot, surrounded by all her brothers, holding this tiny little baby in her arms. Her brothers were crying, but she didn't. She held their hands and wiped their tears, but she never, not once, shed a single one. When I went to the wake at her house her brothers were being taken care of by other people and that's when I saw her. She was in the laundry room, her back turned to everyone and she was crying, not wailing, not sobbing, just quietly crying. I remember going up to her, my palms sweating, still a nervous wreck. I could hear the blood pumping in my ears and my whole body was shaking ... I got closer to her and she must have heard me coming because she turned around, looked up at me, her eyes filled with tears, and then just hugged me out of no-where. And I hugged her back, but all I could get out was my goddamn name.

 "Every day after that for months I went to her house after school, and weekends—whenever I could—to try to help out. Because even though I wanted to protect her, and help any way I could. It was more than that. I wanted to be around her, too. Like, all the fucking time. And I know this is going to sound cheesy as fuck—" He stopped talking when Lucy came back over. She sat on his lap and he adjusted them so they were more comfortable. He kissed her once on the cheek, and then continued, "I really enjoyed just being with her, you know? Hanging out, talking, goofing around, whatever. And all of this was before the making out and the sex. The incredible fucking sex." Lucy just smiled.

 "What I guess I'm trying to say is—is that unless you feel those things for Micky-" Lucy's head whipped to face me. Cam pat her leg a couple of times. "Unless you feel those things, the nerves, the want to be with them all the time, the missing them when they're not around...all of that shit ... then it's not love you feel. Well, not love love. It's uh..." He thought for a moment, eyeing the sky. "It's the Logan-Lucy Love," he said.

 Lucy grinned at me.

 I was silent.

 In shock.

 Then finally, "Where the fuck were you months ago when I needed that speech, asshole."

 "Fuck you." He laughed.

 Then Lucy chimed in, looking out in the distance, raising a fist in the air and started pumping it ... she started singing quietly, to the tune of 'Macho Man', "Lo-gan Lu-cy Loove..."

 

 ***

 

 An hour later, I was walking back to our group after talking to the DJ when I saw her. It was the first time I'd seen her since that night. I figured she might be here, but actually seeing her was harder than I thought. She was with a few other girls, standing a little away from where James and his friends were. Of course, they went to the same school.

 I needed to talk to her, maybe try to explain what happened without going into too much detail. I walked towards her, and wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans. I cracked my knuckles with my thumbs. It was a nervous habit I've tried to break. I basically had, I only did it when I got really nervous. And apparently with girls, or a girl, I should say.

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