I'll go wherever you will go
If I could make you mine
I'll go wherever you will go
University - 56 Mason Loop, Taylor rental: 10 AM
Nic quickly checked Rayne's car before heading across the thick grass. Mud oozed up with each step until he reached the walkway and taking the steps in two long strides knocked on the door before entering.
"Is Rayne up yet?" Shaking mud off his shoes, Nic headed into the kitchen and helped himself to what was left of the coffee. "I took a look at her car; she hit something pretty hard. It's going to need work before she can drive it."
"She's taking a shower." Randi quit cleaning the counter, hesitated, then carefully told him, "She called that guy she's living with; he's on his way here."
Disappointed, he had anticipated having that hour with her, looked forward to it, Nic muttered, "I could have given her a ride."
His sister smiled, shaking her head sympathetically. "She knows that, but he is her boyfriend, Nicky, and something's bothering her. She probably needs to talk to him."
Nic glanced up the stairs where he could hear water running. Following his gaze, Randi remarked, "She takes the world's longest showers. If you want to hang around until she's done, it's going to be a while."
"May as well explain the problem with the car when her ride shows up." He put the coffee down, the taste bitter and strong, it had probably been sitting there for hours, and wandered restlessly around his sister's little dining room. "What do you know about that guy?"
"Will you sit down or something? You're making me itch." Randi leaned against the archway, watching her brother. "All I know is that he's in a band. I saw him perform once; he's really good but he's kind of messed up. I mean, Rainie met him in rehab."
Nic sat down, shifted uneasily, gazing at the scuffed toes of his boots. "That's not good for her. You didn't let her get into your liquor last night, did you?"
"No, Nicky, I did not, but she didn't ask. She's knows better than to try that with me. Come on, cut it out; you're not her father."
A car pulled up outside, something with a rough and uneven motor that continued to rattle ominously after the driver cut off the engine. Nic got up, moving past his sister toward the door while she paused, letting him go with an exasperated sigh. "Yeah," Nic muttered, "but I'm her friend. I'll get the door."
He yanked the door open and stared at the man waiting on the other side. Tall and thin, long blond hair and wearing an overwhelming odor of cigarette smoke, the man stared back at him. He looked, Nic thought with satisfaction, very surprised to see him.
"Uh, maybe I got the wrong place," Jimmy said cautiously. "Is this here 56 Mason Loop?"
"Yeah," Nic said, and waited.
Jimmy peered around him, saw Randi, ran a hand through his hair and asked, "Is Rayne Stanfield here? I got a call...I'm picking her up..."
Randi shoved her brother aside and told him, "She's here. I'm Randi Taylor, this is my brother Nic. Come on in - Rayne's still getting dressed but you can wait inside."
He sauntered in, casting a long and somewhat dark glance at Nic, as Randi offered coffee. Nic thought about the almost undrinkable overcooked mess he'd tried to drink, hoped the man would accept it, but he shook his head and drawled, "Jimmy Breaux...no thanks, already had me too much coffee. How long you think Rennie's gonna be?"
"Rainie," Nic emphasized her name, "likes to take long showers." He avoided looking at his sister who, he knew, was throwing him a look of warning.
Randi started to lead the way up the stairs to the living room. "You can watch TV upstairs while you wait, and you're probably going to have to wait for about half an hour."
Jimmy looked at Nic, who looked back at him and showed teeth in a long cold smile and stood there, making it obvious he wasn't going anywhere. "After you," he said.
Folding his arms, Jimmy met that glare, glanced at Randi, then asked, "You got somewhere I can have a smoke? Not much on watching tv shows."
Randi turned and looked down, smiled, and said to her brother, "Nic, why don't you take him outside? I'll see if I can get Rayne to hurry up."
Nic moved past him toward the back door, deliberately brushing against the other man's shoulder as he passed him. Not much on tv shows...not much on books either judging from the way he talked. What in hell did Rayne see in this loser? She wouldn't crush on some jerk just because he could play a damned guitar, not Rayne.
Jimmy lit a cigarette, inhaled hard, gazed around the patio and looked up at the house while Nic yanked out one of the chairs, turned it around and settled down, crossing his arms over the back of the chair, watching him smoke. "Rayne did some serious front end damage to her car last night," he began, deciding he should at least attempt to say something; as long as he didn't use big words, maybe this idiot would understand. "She's going to need a tow truck."
"We can handle that," Jimmy tossed back at him, lingering on the word 'we'. "So you're what, her friend's brother? Hang around, fix her car, shit like that?"
Nic flashed another smile at him, it was almost too easy. "I don't fix her car. Is that what you do, fix her car? Damn...and you find time to do that while she's out? Impressive, I mean, I'm impressed, that's dedication."
Striding closer, Jimmy gazed down at him, blew a long cloud of smoke in his general direction, and grinned. "I got me plenty of time to fix whatever she needs fixing. Guess you got that right though, she don't need you to fix nothing for her."
A blast of anger shook him. Nic swung off the chair, glared up at the taller man. "I've known Rayne a long time, and I watch her back. She knows I'm here for her. You watch your fucking step; you do one thing that hurts her and I'm all over you, get it?"
The back door swung open and Rayne stepped out onto the narrow porch, her long hair blow dried and shining, earrings glinting against her skin. "Hi Toad," she said kind of absently, sweeping both of them with a quiet, enigmatic gaze. "I'm ready to go."
Jimmy tossed the cigarette onto the ground, ground it into the grass with the heel of a dirty sneaker, glanced at Nic, then walked up to her and put his arms around her. "Bout time, sweetheart. You trash your car?"
"Maybe." Rayne held on for a second, then pulled free, walked down the steps, looked into Nic's face, and abruptly hugged him. "Bye," she whispered. "I'll see you later, Nicky. Thank you."
NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 40
Bios for Nic and Randi. And, although we've posted it before, Jimmy. And ok...this
and more...because there's no better way to do it