By Janice McCrostie
Maeve pulled up to the house and threw the Beamer into park. She hadn’t seen his truck waiting in the driveway until it was too late. She laid her head against the steering wheel wishing the cool leather was enough to calm her down. It didn’t work. How had all this happened? A year ago she had been living in
with a life that should have been perfect. But it wasn’t. New York City
Maeve had come to
not knowing who she was or how she’d come this far not knowing and now somehow it seemed to all make sense. She was slowly becoming a stronger person, but this was not the place to do it. Maine
“Jesus!” The tap on her window made her jolt and hit her head on the wheel.
She looked up at Keaten. He looked seriously pissed.
“Where the fuck have you been?” He said through the window.
She gave him the one minute index finger and leaned over the passenger seat, wiping the leftover stained tears from her eyes.
“There’s no reason for you to be here,” she said as she opened the door and climbed out.
“Stop being such a stuffy bitch.” No one had ever spoken to her like that before.
“I…” Maeve stopped, how could she explain to Keaten that she had to stay way from him? Self preservation. “I’m just sorry and tired so…”
Maeve pushed past him and walked up onto the porch, stumbling on the top step. She almost fell apart right then, in front of him, in front of the dark woods around them. That was the mystery of Maeve’s life. Her mantra had always been to never let any man see her cry, not one of them deserved it. When Sam had left her that night on the beach, she hadn’t cried, not there. Not until her automatic lock didn’t work on her car and the alarm began to sound. Then she leaned against the car and sobbed for hours, listening to the waves hit the shore as her entire plan collapsed. It was the tiny moments when life just seemed to be twisting the knife in her side that pushed Maeve over the edge. Not now.
Her hand shook as she put the key in the door; she only had to get inside.
But he was right there.
“I think I deserve some sort of explanation.” His lips were inches from her ear.
She pulled away and put her things down on the futon.
“What would you like to know Keaten? Please tell me how I can make you feel better?”
She turned to face him straight on.
“You can start with the fact that I haven’t seen you in weeks.”
“Before that it was eight years and you didn’t seem to have a problem with that.”
“Stop being funny Mae, I’m not in the mood.”
“I’m not trying to be funny I’m just trying to…”
“What, what are you trying to do?”
There was more silence then, because Maeve really didn’t know how to answer this question so that he would understand. What was she trying to do? Mostly keep her sanity. Could she tell him that? Could she trust him with that piece of her?
“I had to figure some stuff out in my head.”
“You about done?”
The corner of his mouth perked up in a half smile.
“Keaten it’s just…”
“Let me tell you what I’ve worked out in my head. In my head, you’re there, all the time, even when I don’t want you to be. You’re there when I’m out on my boat working, you’re there when I’m eating dinner with Pop, having beers with the guys. And, you were there most recently when Rachel called telling me she missed me.” He stood at the door seeming to be a permanent fixture. And that, Maeve knew, was half the problem.
“I don’t need to hear this.” She walked towards the door and gestured to the open space.
But he was faster and whipped her around slamming the door. He wrapped his arms around her waist, brushing his nose gently against hers.
“Don’t you see? I’m done Maeve. You’re it for me. And I think I knew that when I was thirteen and your sister dared me to kiss you. And that engagement eight years ago was an attempt at being whole, I should have known. I should have followed you that night, but I waited and the next morning you were gone. Now you’re here again and I can see you and touch you and smell you whenever I need to. Three weeks was too long, don’t do that to me again.”
And then his lips were on hers, with urgency and softness in complete contradiction. His right hand moved up to gently cup her face, but his left gripped at her hip pressing him against her and Maeve against the cool door.
“So?” There was more confidence in his voice then would have been expected for someone who basically just poured their heart out.
“What would you like me to do Keaten? Swoon over you? Fall dramatically into your arms?”
“That would be a nice start.” His shirt was off in a matter of seconds.
“What are you doing?” It was drawn out by Maeve’s complete shock. She just stared as his hands began unbuttoning her jeans.
“Eight years.” he started pulling her towards the bedroom. “Eight years since I’ve been with you, I’m done waiting.”
Maeve’s hands dropped, but he kept going into the room. She waited, he’d realize eventually that she wasn’t behind him. When he popped his head back out she said the first thing that came to mind.
“I love you.”
“Well that’s good.” he was nearly glowing as he walked towards her, which was an odd shade for a Lobster man. “Cause I’m never letting you go.”
The next morning Maeve woke to noises of her sister stumbling in the sliding door. She looked over at Keaten sleeping next to her and a smile broke across her face. This was really happening. After kissing Keaten’s cheek, she slipped out from under the sheets and opened her door just in time to see Clare slip upstairs.
“Good to see you’re alive.” Maeve said as she tapped on her sister’s door. Clare had her duffle back on her bed and she was quickly stuffing clothes inside. “Where are you headed?”
“Ahh.” Clare looked up and her face was kind of confused. “So, uhh, I love Jasper, there’s that.”
Maeve couldn’t help but laugh, not because of her sister’s admission but because it was crazy that it was all happening.
“Yeah.” Clare continued, “weird huh?”
“Not weird, I’m just surprised you realized it so quickly. I thought we’d have a least another month of this will they wont they junk.” Maeve curled up on the bed.
“Ha. Ha.” she disappeared into the bathroom and came back with her razor and makeup bag. “We’re getting out of here for a while, his family has a place in
and I’ve never been.” Clare watched her sister to be sure that Maeve wasn’t going to explode on her for leaving, but she just smiled. Chicago
“I think I’ll be ok.”
“Yeah I did happen to notice Keaten’s truck outside. Nice.” Clare threw her bag up onto her shoulder and there was a honk from below. “Gotta go!”
Before leaving the room Clare stopped and turned, “I never would have survived this without you.”
“No.” Maeve grinned, “Jasper never would have survived this without me.”
“True.” and Clare hoped out the door, yelling over her shoulder. “I’ll call you with our stats!”
“Amazing.” she heard the creaking of the stairs and Keaten’s half naked body popped around the corner. “Hey.”
“I say we get a shower,” he pulled her up off the bed, “then go pick up
Jackson and head to .” Bangor
“Why are we going to
?” he pulled her along, and for a minute she thought he wasn’t going to answer her. Bangor
“Well, my son,” he paused, “our son and I, would like to buy you a ring.”
Clare came bouncing down the stairs at an alarming velocity, luckily Jasper was there to catch her. “Hi.”
He took in her cobalt blue satin dress. “You look amazing.”
“Why thank you sir!” she put on her worst impersonation of a southern bell. “Is everyone here?”
“Yes, your parents and Grace just arrived.”
“Great.” Clare couldn’t hide her disdain at the mention of her mom.
“Clare, just stick to talking about me. Your mother loves me.”
“That’s the understatement of the century.”
Jasper wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in for a long deep kiss. “Now go.”
She groaned and skulked off to her sister’s room, where she would undoubtedly have to deal with her mother criticisms. But when she pushed open the door and saw her sister, her spirits immediately rose.
Maeve stood in a floor length off white dress covered with lace. It clung to her body in all the right places and she looked stunning. Her hair was draped over her shoulder and down her back in soft waves.
“You ready?” Maeve blurted out at her sister, which was ironic considering. “What Jasper didn’t tell you this is double wedding?”
Clare scoffed, but the deadpan look on Maeve’s face sent her heart fluttering. “What, I, are you? Shut the fuck up!”
“Clare, don’t use such language, your sister is joking.” Mommy dearest licked at her finger and rubbed something from her sister’s cheek.
“Jasper’s book is number one in the
“Oh that’s wonderful!” Mom turned towards her and her face fell, “you look lovely dear, that shade of blue is interesting.”
“Mom.” Maeve’s arm fell securely on Clare’s shoulders. “I picked the color and I think it’s fucking sexy as hell.”
They looked at one another. How in just under a year they’d come so far Clare would never know, but here it was the end of August and Maeve was getting married and Jasper was still around.
“You girls. Where is your father?! The ceremony starts in exactly 10 minutes.” and she was out the door like the wistful woman she’s always been.
“I’m really not getting married today right?”
“So gullible.” Maeve sang as she wondered toward the door. “I think you’re up, Jaspers at the front.”
She laughed as she stepped out of the room and Clare gave herself one more look in the mirror, she did look hot.
As she made her way down the isle her heart began to pound, but then her eyes met Jasper’s. He was seated near the front next to her parents and the look on his face was something that she would never trade.
Jasper was it for her, he didn’t put up with her shit and he made her laugh, mainly when he said something ridiculously white collar. When they said opposites attract, God must have had the two of them in mind.
Clare watched her sister say vows that a year ago she thought she’d never make. But even though the main event was 4 feet away, she couldn’t help but glance over at her man. He was watching her too and Clare knew he was thinking the exact same thing. Before the year was up they’d be doing something along the same lines as her sister and Keaten. Except if she had anything to do with it, an Elvis impersonator would be involved someway.
There were a few words exchanged to her left and Clare was making her exodus down the isle behind her sister’s new family.
reached up and Keaten lift the boy to his hip. He was getting too big for it, but Clare could see on his father’s face that he would do it until his son stopped asking. Jackson
“Mom!” he cried out in the disgust of an eight year old and wiggled out of his dad’s arms.
“What are you thinking right now?” Jasper was behind her and she turned to draper her arms around his neck.
“I’m thinking how I need a drink.” she kissed him once. “And you.”