Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Little Something Different

Another Wednesday and another blog post I forgot to write. So, here's the first part of a very short story from my WIP files. It's a bit different from what I usually post, but I hope you like it.

~ Rebecca


Davis Patrick McGillicuddy III had been doomed to become cop by virtue of being a McGillicuddy. His whole family had been Boston cops for the last six generations, ever since the first McGillicuddy got off the boat in Boston Harbor back in the 1800s. His name alone might have been enough to brand him a Boy in Blue back then when the Irish mob was running the streets. If you were Irish, you were either going to end up living a life of crime or fighting it. By the time that stereotype died out, enough McGillicuddys had been cops to make it a firm family tradition.

Being born a female in that family didn’t spare one being a cop, either. Not since 1921, when his great-grandfather's older sister Irene took the civil service test and joined the department. Great Aunt Irene had walked her beat in plain clothes because the first woman cops weren’t allowed to dress in the typical uniform of a beat cop. Her primary duty had been keeping the streets safe for young girls to walk to school or work or to go to the movies without fear of being molested. Ally knew all of this thanks to her best friend Casey McGillicuddy.

Ally knew a good deal more about Casey’s family than was probably necessary but the only way she could pump her friend for information about her cousin Davis without letting Casey know she was being pumped for information was to get Casey talking about her whole family. It wasn’t hard or even boring. Ally was an only child and both of her parents were only children. Ally simply told Casey that she loved the insight into what life in a big family was like and Casey ran with it.

Ironically, that was how she first met Davis. And it was “Davis”, not Dave or Davey. There were two other Daves in the family, so Davis, as the third in line, didn’t get his name shortened. He’d have probably been called by his middle name except there were far more than three Patricks. Anyway, that was how she met him. Sort of.

Casey had invited Ally to a McGillicuddy family barbeque the summer both of them were thirteen. Ally, who’d been left home with the housekeeper yet again while her wealthy lawyer parents hobnobbed in Martha’s Vineyard, had jumped at the invitation. She had never been to a family gathering of any sort before and it sounded like a lot of fun. In the back of her mind, Ally was hoping that with so many other kids around, maybe the McGillicuddys wouldn’t realize there was an extra and just treat her as family rather than as a guest.

Unfortunately, that hope hadn’t stayed in the back of her mind. The moment Mary McGillicuddy, Casey’s grandmother and the current matriarch of the family, laid eyes on Ally, that wish came tumbling right out of her mouth. Or not so unfortunately. She’d gotten her wish. Mary McGillicuddy had practically adopted her as an extra grandchild that day. The unfortunate part was that her tongue got the better of her one more time that day.

Casey had introduced the future love of Ally’s life as “my annoying cousin, Davis.” Ally looked at the cousin in question and her mind just kind of shut off. He tongue had not. Without thinking, Ally gave a dopy smile and parroted back, “not Davie or Dave but Davis the third.”

She had tried to call the words back. She then tried to melt into a puddle or something. She was blushing hard enough that she could have passed for a melted cherry popsicle, surely. Everyone laughed, of course, even Davis. But he also gave her a funny look, almost as if saying, what kind of weird stalker girl did Casey bring home?

That was truly unfortunate because try as hard as she could, Ally could not stop staring at him. He was, quite simply, perfect. He had been eighteen to her thirteen—five years is the perfect age gap, right? He was tall and muscular. He had medium brown hair and blue eyes, a perfectly even smile, perfectly white, straight teeth, dimples in his cheeks but not in his chin. He was a teenage girl’s dream come true. And he had thought she was a dweeb, probably because she had been acting like one.

Over the years, Grandma Mary, as she’d taken to calling Casey’s grandmother, had invited Ally to a lot of family get-togethers. Before long, most of the McGillicuddy clan forgot that she wasn’t actually one of them. Ally herself forgot most of the time, too. But not when Davis was there. That initial foot-in-her-mouth crush never waned, though she did manage to teach herself not to act like a dweeb in front of him.

And then there was their high school graduation party, the one that was thrown for them by “the cousins”, not by the older members of the family. The McGillicuddy clan was huge and by some trick of fate, there were five of them, including Ally, graduating that year. The one condition her parents had insisted on for Ally to go to this “cousins only” party was a chaperon, which was total bunk since they weren’t even in town for her high school graduation, but whatever. Grandma Mary had thought it was a good idea to have someone over the age of twenty-one present, too, so no one got mad. The cousins elected Davis, who was by this time was a twenty-three year old cop with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a year of experience on the force. Most importantly, he was a cousin.

But not to Ally. Oh, no, she never mistook him for a relative in any way. This was high school graduation, her time to shine, to become a woman instead of a dopy kid. It was her time and the party was going to be the place, she had decided. It was time for Davis to learn that he was perfect for her and she was perfect for him.

It worked out about as well as she might have guessed, if she’d have taken the time to think about it before hand. She made an ass out of herself. While everyone else had smuggled wine coolers to the party, she had had to make due with vodka. (Her parents hadn’t had anything else remotely wine-like in their liquor cabinet.) While everyone else got a little toasty on watered down wine, she had gotten alcohol poisoning. Davis had not been impressed, since instead of kicking back with his cousins, he’d had to take the drunk dweeb girl to the ER to have her stomach pumped.

No, he had not wanted to kiss her. Not that night or any other since. That afternoon had been their ten year high school reunion. Tonight, all the McGillicuddys were going to throw a ten year anniversary party, which Ally had tried to back out of. Casey wasn’t having any of that, though. She’d informed Ally that, as an honorary McGillicuddy, anniversaries were mandatory.

Ally was not looking forward to tonight. Davis still looked at her weird. Really, it had been ten years. When was he going to get over it? At this point, she’d settle for him just not watching her like she was about to sprout a second head!

* * * * * * * * * *

Davis was so nervous about tonight, he didn’t know what to wear. How stupid can a guy get? Going over to Grandma’s for a barbeque rated jeans and a t-shirt at best, but here he was, standing in front of a mirror, debating if he should change into his new White Sox jersey or just keep the vintage AC/DC shirt on. All because Ally was going to be there.

He had always had this reaction to her. She was smart and sophisticated and way out of his league, even if she did enjoy hanging around with his family. Ok, she more than enjoyed it. As far as his relatives were concerned, Ally was one of them. Her highbrow pedigree and polished manner fit in surprisingly well with their blue collar way of life. But every time he was near her, she clammed right up.

The first time he’d met her, she’d kind of smiled and blushed a bit, but she’d only been a kid then. He told himself that cradle robbing his obnoxious cousin’s best friend was not cool. Over the next five years, he’d watched the sweet, quiet girl grow into a very attractive young woman, but it had never crossed his mind that she was interested in him. Why would she be? She came from serious money and he was a cop brat who was just going to end up on the force, like all the rest of his family. And then, she’d tried to kiss him during the cousins-only graduation party.

He almost let her, too. God, how he’d wanted that kiss, but she’d been stinking drunk. No way was she in any condition to be kissing random guys! So he’d taken her to the hospital instead so that she didn’t get any more sick from swilling hard liquor and spent the last ten years kicking himself in the ass because now, she barely even looked at him. He should have let her kiss him, even if she’d been too drunk to know what she was doing. Instead, the ghost of that missed kiss had haunted him like the Ghost of freaking Christmas Past. “Look, Davis! You could have had a taste of this if you hadn’t been such a stickler for propriety!”

Ten years of wondering what she’d taste like. Would she kiss as sweet as she looked or did she have an inner wild child that would only come out and play for him? Probably not, he mused. She was still the quiet, dignified debutant she’d always been. Her strait black hair was cut in a pageboy bob that framed her classic heart-shaped face perfectly. Her slightly olive toned complexion showed that she never went out in the sun without adequate protection from the sun—quite a feat since he knew for a fact that Casey still dragged Ally to several ball games every year. He clothes were the best labels and always neatly pressed, even her jeans. She was everything a guy could ask for as so far out of his league that he didn’t have a prayer of catching her.

Yet, he was still trying to. Maybe if he’d let her kiss him that night, he could have called her his before she went off to college and discovered boys. That had been his only real chance, that she’d gone to an all-girl junior high and high school, but he’d blown it because he hadn’t realized what he was missing.


Pat C. said...

This is cute! And great characterization. Have you tried to market it anywhere?

Rebecca Gillan said...

I have toyed with the idea of submitting it but it's too short as-is. It's only about 8k words.

Pat C. said...

I think there are romance e-publishers that take short stories (less than 15K words). I don't really write short, at least not in romance, so I'm not sure which ones they are.

I'm more concerned about the market for contemporary mainstream M/F anywhere outside Harlequin. Eventually I'm going to write a non-erotic M/F and I don't know where to send it. I've heard from one of their writers that non-paranormal mainstream M/F doesn't do so well at Siren any more.

Rebecca Gillan said...

Mainstream M/F of any genre doesn't do so well at Siren-Bookstrand anymore. My third mainstream book with them sold less than half of what either of the others sold. That's why I put that series on the back burner to focus on figuring out this whole self-publishing thing.

Savanna Kougar said...

This is romantically cute, and I enjoyed it, especially from the heroine's pov. It should appeal to readers who enjoy this type of romance.

There's a new publisher, ... they specialize in shorter stories, but I think it's aimed toward the erotic romance/erotic reading crowd.

Anyhoo, Pat, I don't know a good mainstream M/F publisher, other than BookStrand... unless it's a western, then there are a couple of small print publishers who seem to be good.

To be honest, that's why I originally quit reading so many romance books -- before the paranormal onslaught -- because I couldn't tolerate those kind of stories anymore. But that's just me. I know there is a niche demand for that type of romance.

I don't know how solid Wild Rose publishing is these days, but they might be a possibility.

Rebecca Gillan said...

I don't read very much contemporary mainstream romance, not because I don't like it but because it's often silly. But I do like it if the author takes the time to formulate a strong, well researched plot and the H/h have a believable romantic connection. I like to call them my "stoopid books", something I can relax with that doesn't require a lot of emotional investment from me.

Savanna Kougar said...

Yeah, the silly factor, agreed. I like a certain kind of playful silliness, but can't abide it when it's just plain unbelievable. Besides, in my contemporary life I have paranormal experiences, so why would I resonate with a romance that doesn't include at least intuition, plus paranormal experiences a lot of people are having these days?

I used to read the old regencies romances for that reason, not much emotional investment per se.