- A Serialized Novel -

Sorting out Carson's legacy only leads to more questions.

Author’s Note: Mostly just a fun moment. Everyone deserves them.

Suggestions, Jokes, and Unwanted Advice

“Truck working?”

“I think so, but the real test will be driving it around with a car in the trailer. It needs a stress test,” Mackenna told her grandfather, looking up to the mirror as she tried to get the grease off her hands. She wished that it was easier to get that stuff off, since most of the cleaners that claimed to do it made her nauseous by smell alone, sometimes giving her bad reactions if she tried to use them. She was stuck with plain soap, and she just never seemed to get clean.

“No joyride?”

She laughed. “I let Carson drive it around some of the roads he knows. He took me out by his family’s farm and showed me a few things, and we took it down to the interstate and pushed the speed a bit, but no, I didn’t load up any of the cars, and I didn’t take the trailer out. The Woodsman is running again—that’s the important thing.”

Mac nodded. “It is. You put those tires on the one that belongs to him?”

“Yeah, Phantom has tires, just for the sake of moving her around. Why?”

“Load her up. We’ll go down to the Legion. Maybe someone will recognize it. Might know about Henry and the past. Might not.”

“Good idea. You want to back the truck into place while I find Carson? I think he disappeared somewhere when his brother called. I don’t know that he wants me to hear any part of that since they keep teasing him about me.”

Mac grunted. “You’re not doing much to discourage those kind of rumors.”

She sighed. “You know me better than that. I’m not dating him. I just… He’s a friend. He’s like a brother to me, too, and I always wanted someone like that. So sue me. I’m weak. I needed someone other than you to talk to, someone my age—I think he’s a bit older—someone who needs me back.”

“You think I don’t need you?”

That made her laugh. “The Great Mac Gilreath doesn’t need anyone, remember?”

Her grandfather shook his head as he walked away, and she let out a breath as she leaned over the sink. She hadn’t meant that, but then again… She had. She didn’t want to fight with him, but she also didn’t need anyone giving her crap about her friendship with Carson. What they had helped both of them, and it wasn’t for anyone else to judge. Why was it that everyone had to be obsessed with the idea that since she was female and he was male they were attracted to each other? It wasn’t about that with them, and it wouldn’t be.

She shook her head as she grabbed a towel, drying off her hands before she left the room. She walked over to the other doorway, leaning in. “Carson? Mac wants to go to the Legion. You okay with coming with? He thought that maybe someone down there would recognize the car or know your grandfather. Might help. Might be nothing.”

Carson nodded, grabbing a shirt off his bed. She didn’t know that he’d need it—looked like a warm night—but it couldn’t hurt to have an extra layer just in case. “The Legion has a bar, yes?”

“I thought you were a lightweight and avoided drinking.”

“I do, usually. It’s just… Nick said something that pissed me off, and I hung up on him, so then Larry called me, and he ticked me off, too. I want a drink. Just a let off steam type deal. I’m stopping at one. You should, too.”

“Oh, you be careful. They’ll buy you rounds faster than you know what to do with down there. If they like you, that is.”

“Hmm. Maybe I should make it so they don’t like me.”

“That’s not funny.”

“It isn’t? I thought that was pretty good.”

“You need better jokes.”

He rolled his eyes. She grinned, and he reached over to tug on her bandana. “You need better clothes. You’re not planning on going in your dirty overalls, are you?”

“What, don’t you think this look is sexy? I mean, it’s the height of fashion because filth is free, stains are sensual, and crud is chic.”

He shook his head. “That time you should have stopped when you were ahead. It’s a shame your one shirt never got washed. That would be a perfect choice, since you’re about to see all your guy friends at the Legion.”

“They’ve seen it. I think they’ve seen them all. I’ve got some you haven’t seen, though, so I suppose I could change…”

“Surprise me.”

She grinned. “Don’t worry. I will.”

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