Wednesday, 25 July 2018

~*CHAPTER REVEAL*~ Wilde About Alec by Care Faircloth





































































































All Alec Wilde wanted was to disappear.

Running from his past and the secrets that haunted him landed him in the chocolate box town of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

With nowhere else to go, Alec rents a room from local florist, Mia Lane. A witty and driven beauty who wastes no time capturing his heart – though she’d never know.

Alec keeps his cards close.

Not getting attached means not getting hurt – and not having to tell Mia the painful truth about exactly who he is.
































Alec

I stare down the sea of black in a trance that leaves me cold despite the sun being out. Dad wasn’t an evil man, he didn’t ever do anything to make people think he was. Either way, I expected it to rain on his funeral day, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon.
The funeral director, short and stubby, ushers my family and me to the first row of chairs. It takes a little bit with eight of my nine brothers here. Soon, we’re in the padded chairs facing the open casket lined by flowers Dad wouldn’t even like.
The ceremony goes on, our eldest brother, Brant, speaks, but the look in his eyes is anywhere but here. I don’t say anything. I’ve said enough to last my lifetime just in the last week before everything came apart.
“Alec, honey, you haven’t said a word.” Mom grasps my arm later on during the wake.
I look into her eyes and try to see her the same way I did before everything changed, but I can’t. Her blue eyes are rimmed red, fresh from tears. Her dirty blonde hair is cut short, and her dress is plain and black—I’m not used to seeing her this way.
“Not much to say, Mom,” I lie. There is plenty. To her, to Dad. But he’s gone now.
“Oh, honey. You must feel horrible.” She cups my cheek and forces me to look at her. I feel stiff in my suit and shoes I borrowed from Holden, my older brother.
“I’m all right. I’m just worried about you.” And I mean it, even though I feel so impartial to her at the moment.
She holds my gaze, and something flashes in her eyes leaving me to wonder if she is about to tell me now. Her sigh is short and forced away by her fake smile—I know it well because I’ve seen it at every soccer game and social gathering we’ve gone to. But she knows she can’t fool me, and instead, she turns her lips down.
“I’ll be fine.” Her voice is steady, but I feel the lie in it like I feel the gloomy sadness in the air.
My parents were one of the few couples their age who were still in love and didn’t just love each other because they had ten kids together. I saw it growing up and never questioned it until I confronted my dad about the papers I found in his office just three weeks ago.
I stand in the corner of the room accepting condolences and avoiding the sad stares. I recognize every one of my brothers despite them all looking the same in matching black suits. We all know Isaac hasn’t come, and no one has even been in contact with him, but he’s been gone for years now.
My family is on its loosest thread, and I bring it closer to snapping when the funeral ends. I make sure Mom is okay, and that she doesn’t need me as much as I would like before I pack my things to leave in a few days.
* * *
Turning around and never coming back only works when you have something to turn toward. After the funeral, I left everything behind to gain what seems like nothing because all I left was family—lies, secrets, and all—they’re family.
I close out the email from Holden, the third one he has sent about my father’s will. Holden is my older brother and the most incessant. I haven’t spoken to him in four months, but I haven’t spoken to any of the others either. This turning around and never coming back thing was working on that front, at least.
I send back a vague email saying I’m busy and will get back to him before I shut my laptop and phone off in case he calls. At first, I feel bad about it, but the bouncing around from town to town has kept me busy and helped me forget why I had left my family behind. And so, I checked out of the motel in small-town Connecticut to find a place to really live. Since I had gotten a real job with direct deposit set up, I figure I should settle down here.
The only place available, according to the eccentric realtor I hired, is this two-by-two condo in the middle of the town square. Apparently, small towns don’t have a surplus of places to rent.
“This is only a spare key.” Monica hands me a dingy gold key in her wiry fingers. “You can make a copy of the one from the current tenant when you get it. You can drop this off at my office after you get settled.” She starts for her smart car shoving the paperwork in her small bag as I step over her words.
“The current tenant?” I stop her just before she gets in her car.
“Yeah, some woman. She’s nice, though.”
“She?”
“I gotta go, Alec. Call me if there are any problems.” Monica slams her door and rushes off the curb parking spot.
My single duffel bag hangs off my shoulder as I walk up the grass patch to the door. I hope she meant the person is moving out. The last thing I want to do is live with someone. I want to come home from a day of ignoring everyone and not have to try and ignore anyone else.
I reach the old wood door and find the entryway to be half flowers, half unpacked boxes. I can’t tell if they’re new or part of the weird décor because they have things stacked on them like they are side tables.
I shut the door, and peer inside cautiously. I don’t hear anything, so I drop my bag by the small mail table and try to find my way around. It’s a generic place, so it’s easy enough to find the kitchen on the other side across from the living room. The whole place is minimally decorated, so I can’t say I didn’t expect more from a woman.
I have no idea which bedroom is which, so I think of staying in the living room until whoever it is I am living with arrives, but that would be a little creepy I think—some man, sitting on the couch. I don’t have any groceries, so I head to the fridge but decide to get water from the tap. I’ve been called a few things, but ignorant isn’t one of them.
I look around from my spot behind the high island. The window over the kitchen sink has flowers in a pot, and most of the centerpieces or decorations are with flowers in different colored pots. Good thing I don’t have allergies or those would have to go.
My ears hadn’t picked up any sound, so it was a shock to me when a sudden voice like a flute broke through the eerie silence.
“Who the hell are you, and why are you in my home?”
I pivot on my heels to find—
The smallish woman doesn’t match the fire behind her brown eyes—wide and crass, but somehow still the prettiest thing I have ever seen. I never noticed stuff enough for it to really measure up, but her beauty makes a category of its own. With my mouth hanging open, I stare at her. This stranger in a gray velvet dress that belongs twenty years prior holding what I can only describe as a gardening tool has made me feel beyond my two emotions of the past four months.
“Let’s put the weird, serial murder looking thing down first.” I hold my hands up in plain sight and try to smile. She does lower her hands, but her face stays hard and calculating.
“How did you get in here?”
“I have a key, I’m—” I get cut off when I hear sirens in the background. I scowl as I look off toward the window. “Did you call the cops?”
“You’re an intruder. Yes, I called the cops.”
I close my eyes, inhale sharply, and try not to yell. “Great. So once I explain to these cops that I live here, I’m sure you’ll feel a lot different about thinking I’m an intruder.”
“Live here?” You don’t—” She doesn’t finish before heavy knocks ensue followed by police.
She walks over to the door instead of staring me down, and I follow her. We find two cops at the door, one short and one tall, both looking like they’d rather be somewhere else.
“We got a call about a home invasion.”
I can’t help but snicker at the man and step in front of—whatever her name is.
“There has been a mistake, sir. I just moved in, and my… roommate hadn’t been informed about it yet. Sorry for any inconvenience.” I fake a smile.
They shift on their boots and kind of survey the situation. When they focus on her, I do too, and she knows she has to clear the air.
“It’s true, officers. It was my mistake.”
Their groans of disapproval are no surprise before they leave, and I shut the door behind them.
“Glad you came to your senses.”
“Whatever. I’m still pretty pissed that you just barged in here.” She starts to walk off, and I follow her. “You should have knocked like a normal person instead of just letting yourself in when you knew someone lives here.” She stops in the laundry room and drops the weird looking gardening tool on the ground.
The small space brings us close, and as I stare down at her, I see how smooth her face is, how soft her pouted lips are, and I’m distracted long enough to lose focus and make the air around us tense.
“I’m sorry about that. We can start over. I’m Alec Wilde, and I’m moving in with you.”
































I have been a romantic all my life; in books, movies, television, and anything that brings happiness into the world. Though I love reading and avoiding daily responsibilities, I am also an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, a flag ship university for writing and creative freedom. I love connecting with all my readers, and sharing the stories that dance around in my head.













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