eeth gnashed together. I search his eyes for some flash of recognition, but it wasn't there. I knew by the deadened look in his eyes that it wasn't me he saw, to him I wasn't even there. He squeezed my throat tighter. His hips pinned me in place. I grew weaker and weaker by the second. There was no fighting back. There was no way to win.
Dear fantabulous reader,
Preppy and Dre have a lot of story to tell. That’s why I broke it up into parts. It’s not just a love story between two people, it’s a story about family, loyalty, and the kind of love that goes BEYOND romantic love.
For Preppy it’s also about being thrown back into a world he hasn’t been in for a long time and trying to find what his roll is now that everything has changed.
For Dre it’s also about finding her way on her own and learning who she really is by learning what she really wants out of life.
I’m telling you all of this because not every scene is the two of them together. There is too much I wanted to tell you to just focus on the romance part of the story, and because you love Preppy so much I wanted to give you all of him, not just one side of him.
Don’t worry, there is plenty of romance, but there is also so much more.
I love you all. Thank you so much for your support and for allowing me to live my dream. I hope you love Preppy Part Two as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it and I really look forward to bringing you the third part soon.
There’s this light in the distance. It’s bright, burning, and blinding as fucking hell. It’s just out of my grasp. A whisper away. I can talk about it. I can think about it, but it’s almost like it’s not real. Like it’s not really fucking there, and it drives me insane because all I can think about is reaching for it.
Reaching for you.
Because as my letter said, YOU are my light when I’m surrounded by nothing but dark.
I try to ignore it, the echoes of my name being called between time and space, because FUCK death.
Fuck anything that tries to keep me from finding my way back to you. If and when I'm liberated from the shackles that keep me tethered to the gates of hell, have no doubt, I’m coming for you, Doc.
Because YOU are what has kept me alive all these months.
Kept me WANTING to be alive.
Which is fucking hard sometimes because when death calls out to me, he sounds like an old friend offering comforts that would be so fucking easy to take. But you know me, probably better than anyone, and I’ve never been a man to take the easy route. Maybe that’s why I’ve chosen instead to take the road back to you.
To the US.
The Reaper came for me, and he demanded that I take his hand and he told me he was my friend, my companion in death.
I couldn’t help myself when I laughed in that fuckers face and told him his sister gives good head. Luckily he sent me right back across the river on my merry fucking way.
Back to LIFE.
Back to POSSIBILITY.
A long time ago, when I was just a skinny little nothing being beaten up by a bully in the school yard, I met someone who defended me when no one else would. We made a plan to be our own bosses that very day. It didn’t matter that we were just kids because we meant it then, and I mean it just as much right fucking now.
Which is why, when faced with the fucking end of my life, I spit in the Reaper’s face.
Because my name is Samuel Clearwater, and I take orders from no one.
Not even death
“What does he mean by that?” Ray asked, coming over to stand next to me at Preppy’s bedside. After his sudden outburst he’d passed back out, leaving me more disoriented than when I walked in the door to find him ALIVE. “Why did he call you his wife?”
I shook my head. “I...I’m not really sure,” I answered, not able to focus on her question, still consumed with the fact that Preppy was alive. Battered and looking nothing like his former self.
“It was probably just nonsense,” Bear said from the doorway. “He’s been muttering a bit over the past few days. One of the doctors thinks it’s a sign that his body’s healed enough to start fighting his way out of the coma. He said it might still be a few weeks, but it’s a decent sign.”
“Yeah, but those other two quacks think it could be just reflex’s, and it don’t mean shit,” King added, looking every bit skeptical.
“How...how is this...how is this even possible?” I asked, covering my open mouth with my hand. I leaned over his body like I was checking to see if he was real or if my teary eyes were deceiving me. His chest rose and fell, and it sounded like the most beautiful music I’d ever heard.
Ray paused as she was about to answer like she was considering my presence with a new kind of skepticism. She stared hard at where my hand was touching Preppy. Apparently, she was the only one who questioned my intentions, because the other three that were with her had disappeared from the doorway, leaving the two of us in the room alone.
I squeezed his hand and let out a sigh of relief, sending out a few thank you’s into the universe along with a few choked sobs.
“He was...” Ray looked at the floor and shuffled her feet. She crossed her arms over her chest. “He was here the whole time. In Logan’s Beach,” she said, like she still couldn’t believe it herself.
I gasped. “Why? How?”
“We don’t know a lot of the details. Just that he was being held close by and that the guy who was holding him must have had a lot of people in his pocket to make us all believe he was dead.”
“What did the police say?”
It dawned on me how stupid my question must have sounded when Ray cocked her head to the side. “How well did you know Preppy?”
“Well enough to know it was idiotic of me to ask about police involvement.” I flashed her a tight-lipped smile.
Ray nodded as if I answered correctly. “King and Bear are on it. They’re not trusting anyone to look into it but themselves. They’ve been up most nights until the sun comes up going over theories and retracing everyone’s steps to find out who else could be involved.” She pointed to Preppy, “But only he knows what happened down there, and there isn’t any way a single second of it was something good. The only thing we know is that he’s lucky to be alive. We are all so lucky that he’s alive.”
“Yes, yes we are,” I agreed, turning my attentions back to Preppy whose eyebrows were pointing in toward the middle of his face in a sharp V as if he were having some a nightmare he couldn’t escape.
“You said you were a friend of his?” Ray asked again like she needed more clarification than what I’d given her.
That makes two of us.
“We met a long time ago,” I said, not knowing what the right answer was. I had no clue what we had been, only what we didn’t become. “Preppy saved my life once,” I told her for the sake of giving her something about my connection to Preppy. “more than once.” I laughed and wiped a fallen tear from my cheek.
Preppy suddenly sat up with a startled roar, his arms shot out and before I could swallow down the frightened sob threatening to escape from my mouth his hands were wrapped tightly around my throat. Squeezing, squeezing, until I saw stars and my windpipe was closing under the power of his relentless hold.
The pressure behind my eyes was building until it felt like they were going to pop from my head. I felt the blood vessels exploding in anger under his relentless hold.
I couldn’t even scream. Preppy pushed me roughly. My shoulder blades stung as I crashed into the wall. A colorful plastic clock fell from its nail and bounced off the top of my head before falling to the floor. An eerie rendition of ‘someday my prince will come’ played slowly from the clock as Preppy stared intensely into my eyes with all the chords in his neck taught and his t
I was going to die, and if I could've laughed, at that moment I would've because my final thought was that at least I got to see Preppy before my death, even if he was the one killing me.
Using his grip around my throat as if his hand were a collar and his arm my leash, he lifted me off the wall and for a second I felt as if he were going to let me go.
Instead, he slammed me back, harder. This time it was a shelf of coloring books that rained down on us. There was shouting, an inaudible legion of voices both male and female, but they started to fade just as quickly as it came.
Suddenly, the pressure around my neck was gone, and I dropped to the floor, gasping for air I can't seem to find. The shallow breaths I did manage hurt like someone set fire to my throat. It was shitty breathing.
But at least I was breathing. My vision slowly returned and the voices that seemed so far away only moments ago were now right in front of me.
King and Bear had Preppy by the shoulders. They hauled him against the opposite wall toward the bed. He screamed, loud and awful. The sound shot right through me. It wasn't until they wrestled him back onto the bed when he spoke actual words. “Motherfuckers, get off me! I can’t. I can’t!” His screams turned into sobs, and I watched as his resistance slowly left his body. His eyes rolled back in his head, and his body went limp. After only a few seconds his chest began to rise and fall steadily, and he became a passed out pile of thin limbs hanging off the mattress.
The second I knew he was safe I darted from the room, my hands wrapped around my injured throat. I bolted out the front door, temporarily blinded by the sunlight, and by HIM.
“Wait!” Ray called from behind me, but I didn’t stop. One foot in front of the other until I was in the car and speeding down the road at twice the legal limit.
I pulled over into the first parking lot I came across. A drug store. I killed the engine and dropped my head onto the steering wheel. Sobs escaped me. Cries of both relief and confusion erupted from me like a volcano of pent-up emotion. After sitting there in the car for what seemed like only minutes, I finally gathered myself together enough to be able to sit up straight and check the clock. Nope, not a few minutes.
A few hours.
I wiped the tears from my cheeks with my fingers. Then, out of nowhere, as if I had no control over my emotions or reactions, I started to laugh. Preppy...was alive.
He was alive.
My laugh grew louder. Manic. A high pitched cackle even I didn’t recognize. The entire situation was unbelievable. Unreal even. Absurd. Surreal. Beautiful.
A fucking miracle.
So much for closure.
I stood on Mirna’s driveway and inhaled deeply, taking in all the smells that I’d missed over the past few years. The salty water from the Gulf of Mexico in the not too far distance, the oranges from the dozen or so groves one town over, and the mouth-watering scent of bar-b-que that I could practically taste in the air from a nearby roadside pit.
All the smells of Logan’s Beach.
All the smells of home.
But it felt off. Like the sky shouldn’t have been so blue. There shouldn’t have been any picture perfect white fluffy clouds floating across it either. It felt wrong that stoplights still changed from red to green and back again, and that kids on rusted bikes chased the ice cream truck down the street, the broken speakers playing a haunting version of a typically upbeat tune.
Don’t even get me started on the fucking church bells.
The funny thing about life is that even though something entirely earth-shattering rocks you to your core, something that shakes you off your access, the world around you somehow doesn’t feel the impact.
Or it doesn’t give a shit.
Meanwhile, there I stood, out in the blazing sunlight, on the most beautiful mid-summer day, waiting to be hit by the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. I was on edge, twitching like it hadn’t been years since I gave into my heroin cravings. I loved everything about Logan’s Beach but couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it. Almost like I felt guilty that I could smell these amazing things while Preppy couldn't. Not now in that bed and probably not from wherever he'd been for the last year.
I had to put an end to my thoughts before they got ahead of me. Closing my eyes tightly, I shook off the thousands of bad things running through my mind.
Two little kids chose that moment to zip down the street laughing like rabid hyenas. One was on a bike, towing the other who was sitting on a skateboard. They reminded me of how much fun I used to have with my stepsister when I was younger.
I gave them my best mental middle finger.
Not because they deserved it off course, but because I had no idea how to put one foot in front of the other, and they were having the time of their lives.
Maybe I should hang out with them.
I guess it was a good thing the world went on, because if it paused to match what was going around inside of me, it would’ve looked a lot less like blue sky and bicycles, and a lot more like zombie and apocalypse.
Focus, Dre, I chastised myself. You have to focus. For dad.
“Hey, Dre, are you in there?” Brandon asked, waving his hand an inch in front of my face. “You totally zoned out on me.”
I slapped it away, and he laughed. “Sorry, I’m a little preoccupied.”
“We don’t have to do this today,” Brandon said. “It sounded like what happened was rough. Anyone would be struggling right now; you don’t have to...”
“No, I need to do this. I need to do something to occupy my mind, or I’ll go crazy wondering about...” I paused, bouncing from foot to foot.
“Him,” Brandon finished for me. He always knew what I was about to say and never let me get away with my instinct to keep things bottled up inside. “You’re wondering where you go from here, right? Now that he’s alive?” There was no judgment in his voice. Only concern.
I shook my head. “No, I mean, Yes?”
Brandon rolled his eyes and turned me by the shoulders to face him. He waved his fingers in a ‘hit me with it’ motion, and I knew he meant for me to continue because it was what he always did when I was stubborn with my words. I took a deep breath. “I thought that yes, I don’t know where to go from here, but the truth is that I don’t know if he’s going to recover just yet, the doctors don’t even know. So a part of me doesn’t want to think of him as alive just yet because it could all change again...” my voice cracked, and my eyes fell to the gravel.
“Hey, look up here,” Brandon said, taking my chin and directing my gaze back up at him. “Keep going.”
“And even if he does...” I cleared my throat. “Survive? It doesn’t change anything. He still drove me away. He still said things and did things to purposely hurt me, because he didn’t want me.”
“But he did want you. He wrote you that letter, and that was years after you left.”
“Yes, but that was still a year ago now. And Preppy's been through god knows what life-changing situation. And even if all of that wasn’t a factor, there is still one gigantic reason why we both know it wouldn't end with roses and sunshine, so can we please get back to talking about the house now?” I asked. Smiling in a ridiculously awkward way that exposed both my upper and lower teeth and made my face look like it got caught in a wind tunnel.
“Fine, but this isn’t over, we're still going to talk about it,” Brandon said, pinching my cheek to turn my face back to normal.