Authors: Anne Leigh
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Sports, #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College
Fight or Fall
Copyright © 2014 Anne Leigh
This is an e-book property of Anne Leigh. All rights reserved, unless permitted by the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. This cannot be reproduced, stored, transmitted, or copied in any way, shape, or form, without the permission of the author.
All rights reserved.
This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to peoples living or deceased is purely coincidental. Names, pigments, and characters are figments of the author’s imagination. The author is NOT affiliated with real life sports commissions/organizations, rules, regulations, and international governing bodies.
The author respectfully acknowledges all registered trademarks and owners of trademarked products that may have been included in this work of fiction.
Cover: Okay Creations
Editing: KMS Editing
ISBN E-BOOK: 9781311695789
To my husband: For loving me. All of me.
To my readers: For waiting. All the time.
Bee got the Christmas gift she wanted again. Whatever she wished for, she just got it. She had just opened her present. Her blue eyes could not contain her joy, and excited shrieks of glee escaped her mouth once she saw the kitchen Barbie doll set.
“Milo, look! Isn’t she pretty?” she called out after messily tearing up the snowflake wrapping paper. Couldn’t she have opened it nicely? Santa must have taken forever to wrap that oddly shaped Barbie set.
“Yes, she’s pretty, Bee.” I nodded, rolling my eyes for the fifth time. Barbie’s pretty annoying, that’s for sure. How many dolls did Bee need? All of them looked the same; they just had different outfits on. She would make a mess of them and I’d have to help her store them back in their toy chests.
“Milo, son, come here.” Dad’s voice was commanding yet tender. He must have seen my eye-rolling.
I stood from where I was sitting on the floor beside Bee, wading through the mess that she’d made of the ribbons and gift wrap.
Dad’s green eyes were scolding. “Son, don’t roll your eyes. Bellisima’s excited to open her gifts.” Today Bee was Bellisima, yesterday it was Bella, the other day Bellini. Dad had too many nicknames for my sister, Brynn. It was hard for me to say her name when I was younger. Bee was easier.
“I’m not rolling my eyes…” I tried to get out of it, but dad gave me that look, the look when he knew I was lying.
“Because she has too many cooking sets already and she makes a mess with her toys!” I sat beside him on the small sofa. Bee was clutching the Barbie in her arms now. It was going to be her friend for the next week or two.
“Is that how you treat your sister, son? You roll your eyes because she got the toys she asked Santa for and she’s going to make a mess of them?” Dad asked disapprovingly, his eyes sharp.
“No,” I replied. Dad knew how much I loved Bee. I fixed her toys, tried to glue the broken pieces back together, and searched for the missing plastic kitchen utensils when she lost them, which was often. “I just think she has too many of the same toys already.”
Dad shook his dark head. “You have the same train sets, a lot of legos, and collection of car toys…do you see Bellisima rolling her eyes at you?”
I don’t know. Maybe Bee did. “No, I don’t.”
He placed a strong hand on my shoulder, “Whatever she wants, she gets, okay? You and I…we’re here to take care of your mom and your sister.” I knew this. I’d protect from sister from anything. No one would hurt her.
In her red Christmas pajamas and green socks, Bee walked up to me and dad. “Milo, let’s play. I’m making cookies today.”
She loved to pretend to bake cookies. She made me eat those plastic cookies, too. But for Bee, I’d eat anything. She clasped her tiny hand in mine before sitting on dad’s lap.
“Daddy, do you think Santa will give Milo the new Fewwawwi he wants?”
Dad’s eyes crinkled at Bee. “Why do you ask, Bellisima?”
Bee’s tiny voice came out, “Because it’s only fair, dad.”
“I got my wish. Milo should get his too. He’s my brother. Santa knows he’s the best brother.”
My dad reached over my shoulder and kissed the top of my head. “That’s right, Bellisima. Milo’s the best brother. I’m sure Santa has him up on the nice list.”
Bee leaned in to pull my shirt. “See, Milo? I know Santa will give you a Fewwawwi. I prayed for you, you know.”
Bee’s eyes sparkled like the flickering Christmas angel on top of our tree. She prayed for me so I could get the Ferrari 458 Italia model which was on the top of my Christmas wish list. She wasn’t selfish. She was the coolest sister ever.
I haven’t opened any of my Christmas presents yet. I was waiting for Mom to come out and join us in the living room. She was finishing baking my favorite chocolate chip cookies. Once Mom was here and I had my cookies and milk, I’d open them up. Not like my sister. She was impatient. As soon as we woke up, she ran to the Christmas tree, and when Mom and Dad gave her the go-signal to open them, she almost stepped on the other presents surrounding the white Christmas tree so she could get to the presents with the giant “B” on them. She knew those were hers.
“Okay, it’s time for presents!” Mom came in carrying freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on a plate, along with a small glass of milk for me. She was wearing her Santa pajama outfit that dad had gifted her with a few years ago. Her blue eyes twinkled as she neared the three of us. I reached for a cookie and she handed me the glass of milk.
“How are the cookies?” she asked, sitting beside me while pulling me into a hug.
“They’re the best,
.” I smiled. My mom always baked my favorite cookie. She even decorated it with a chocolate snowflake so it would go along with the sugar cookies she often baked for Christmas.
“Son, you want to open your presents now?” my dad questioned.
Bee clapped her hands and pulled my hand. “Come on! I wanna see your Fewwawwi!” She was pretty sure I got it.
My heart thrummed. I really wanted that red, one-of-a-kind model. It had left and right forward steering and a dashboard controller with multiple frequencies. Having it would complete my vintage car collection.
Mom and Dad looked on as Bee and I searched for my presents. After unwrapping a lego set from Aunt Margie, I carefully proceeded to open the big red and white striped gift. I glanced over at mom and dad as they looked on, their eyes glowing vibrantly like the silver giant star on top of our tree.
Mom asked, with her hands clasped in dad’s hands, “Did you get it, son? Did Santa give you what you wanted?”
I remembered my classmate Roy’s sad words before Christmas break. “You’re so lucky. Your parents are together. My mom and dad can’t even stand to be in the same room for two minutes before they start fighting.”
Seeing the love between my parents and the smile that lit up Bee’s face, I knew Santa gave me what I wished for every time. My unchanging wish. Porsches come in different colors and sizes. Ferraris come and go. But what I wished for every year was right here in this room. My sister. My mom. My dad. All together. My family.