Life without Jeff has become easier for me. I finally feel as if I am no longer mourning the relationship I had with Jeff. If you can call what we had a relationship. Brian and I were still randomly hooking up with one another but never have progressed to a sexual relationship. There is a small part of me that’s not ready to share my body with anyone else. In some ways my body still belongs to Jeff. I knew one day I would move on but that day was not going to be soon.
The last month of school went by quickly for us all and we were excited to be out of school for the summer. It also happened to be Lance and mine’s 17th birthday. I was excited to celebrate our birthdays this year. Our birthday celebration started with a family dinner. Uncle Tony was in town for our birthday as usual. I wondered what Lance and I would get this year that would top our cars from last year. In some ways I wish I had not thought nothing could top the cars. My parents and Tony decided to go into together for one big present for Lance and I. This is not to say Lance and I didn’t get a tons of presents from our parents but it was mostly clothes, gift cards and jewelry for me. After our dinner Tony instructed the limo driver to take us to where Lance and I would get our big present. We drove just a few miles down the road and soon pulled into a marina and I couldn’t help but feel excitement course through my body. I knew the present was going to be good. It didn’t take long before the limo parked in a special area of the marina. I noticed a sign that said Santiago Launch and realized we had our own private area in the marina. Then I noticed that there was a huge yacht in the water. I looked at my parents and Uncle “No way you got use our own yacht?” I could see grins break out across their faces. Lance was beside himself “Forget the club tonight we party on our yacht.” I laughed as I yanked Lance out of the limo with me. I noticed our boat was named double trouble. Lance and I walked onto our yacht where a full staff was waiting on deck for us. There was the captain and first mate, a butler, a chef and four maids. The staff all stayed on the lowest deck, which was the 4th of the yacht when we were traveling. The third level was where all the bedrooms where. Lance and I each had a master suite with master baths. Then there were six other bedrooms. The second level was a living room, game room, a party room, dining area and kitchen. The upper level or top deck had a swimming pool and a large outdoor party area; there was also a full gym. Lance and I were like little kids again as we ran around the yacht looking at everything. I looked at Lance and told him “We need to go home and pack. Call our friends and tell them to pack and lets go out for the weekend” “Sounds good to me little sister.” I could tell my parents and uncle were enjoying our reaction to the yacht. My uncle and dad talked to the captain and helped to set up a weekend trip. My uncle made sure the maids stocked the boat fully and told the staff to prepare to set sail in two hours.
As soon as we got back in the limo Lance and I began sending texts out to those we wanted to go with us on the yacht. We had to keep the number to fifty as that was the max allowed. Arriving back to our house we could not get out of the limo fast enough. I went running to my room to begin packing for a weekend trip on the yacht. It took me about an hour to pack and once I was done I sat down on my deck and lit up a joint to get my party started.
As I sat out there thoughts of Jeff came to me again. I wish he were here to go on the trip with me. I knew it was stupid to keep thinking about him. I didn’t know how to completely rid myself of these thoughts. I grabbed my phone and sent a text to Brian asking him if he was bringing a girl on the trip with him. He quickly sent back a reply of no. I told him good he was going to be my date for the weekend trip. Again I got a quick reply I was planning on it. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Cocky bastard was sure of himself. Maybe this weekend Brian and I would take our relationship to a new level. I wasn’t making any promises but maybe it could happen.
I was glad when Marco came into my room and told me it was time for us to head out. He grabbed my bags for me and loaded them into his escalade. Lance was already waiting in the car so I quickly hopped in and Marco took off for the marina. As we pulled up at the marina I noticed that our private launch area was filled with our friends and some of them had brought dates. We were going to have a ton of fun on this weekend trip. I noticed as Lance got out of the car he walked over to Mandy and I thought to myself “When did he hook up with her again?” but it was whatever I was not going to let a gang whore ruin my birthday celebration. I scanned the crowd and finally saw Brian standing with Connor and some other girl and made my way towards them. As I got closer I noticed the girl with Connor move closer to him and put an arm on him in a way to claim possession. Silly girl if I wanted Connor I knew I would be able to get him. However I only had eyes for Brian this weekend. Brian saw me headed towards him and he turned to face me with a grin on his face. As I reached him I threw my arms around him in a hag and said “You were pretty sure of getting to spend the weekend with me weren’t you?” He laughed and said “A guy has to be confidant when it comes to you Lacey.” I told him he would be rooming with me for the weekend in my suite and I noticed he looked at me strangely. I gave him a grin and said “it’s all good Brian what happens well it happens.” Just as I finished saying that I felt myself being grabbed from behind and spun around and lifted into the air all at once. I was greeted with a smiling Steve. “I can’t believe your parents and uncle got Lance and you a yacht for your birthday. That’s insane.” “I know right. But you have to admit its epic and we are going to rock it this weekend” Steve set me down and asked me “Where is Lance” I know a look of disgust came across my face as I said with “Mandy the whore” The girl with Connor huffed and said “excuse me but Mandy is my friend. I turned and looked at her and said “I care why?” and turned back to Steve and pointed out where I last saw Lance then I told Brian to follow me and I would show him to my suite. I saw him grab his bag and he followed behind me as I walked toward the yacht. I motioned for Marco to follow and introduced him to the butler and asked Marco to help make room placements with the butler. Just as I was about to move away I heard Beth and Amy hollering my name. I turned toward their voiced and saw them running up to me. I hugged both of them and told Marco to make sure they got a nice room and told them I would meet up with them later. Brian and I made our way to the elevator and got in and I pushed the button to go to our floor. I could tell he was taking in the boat as we walked but I also sensed nervousness about him. I was going to have to figure out what that was about once we got in my room. I opened the door to my room and motioned for him to follow and I heard him let out a low whistle as his eyes took in the luxuries of the suite. I showed him where to place his bag. As he was setting his bag down I shut the door to my room and locked it behind me and turned back to Brian and said, “What is going on with you?” I saw a look of shock cross his face and he asked, “What do you mean?” “I can tell you are on edge so tell me what is going on with you.” “Lacey” he began before pausing “Look I know you and I have been having fun hooking up and yes I want to keep hooking up with you and hell I would be stupid for not wanting to bed you but I worry you aren’t ready for all of it.” I looked at him thoughtfully. “Brian I can’t make any promises to what is going to happen this weekend, but I like how it feels when we mess around. I made up my mind before I left my house tonight I am not saying yes or no to anything but whatever happens happens. I can’t keep living in the past or waiting for the guy I love to come back to me. I am a girl with needs too you know” I saw him give me a sad smile “Jeff is a douche, he shouldn’t have run from you when you got shot. I know it’s none of my business but He was a better leader when he was with you, he was just better period. He is a fool to think he did you a favor by leaving.” I smiled tentatively at Brian “Thank you for saying that but let’s not talk about him any more this weekend. It’s my birthday and I want to have fun. My uncle arranged for a DJ to be on this trip with us and we have enough alcohol on board to sink this boat. I say we get the party started” Brian came closer to me and pulled me into his arms and gave me a kiss on my cheek and said “Whatever you say princess” I laughed at him calling me princess but brushed my lips against his then grabbed his hand and we made our way back to the upper deck where everyone was beginning to hang out once dropping their bags off in their assigned rooms. We soon caught up with Lance and of course Mandy was hanging all over him. I grimaced and just told myself to grin and bear it, as it was his birthday too. “There is my little sister” I noticed him eyeing Brian and I standing close together. I raised an eyebrow as I looked at him daring him to say anything. “So Brian are you my sister’s date for the weekend?” “I am she asked me very nicely to be her date” Lance gave me a glance then looked back at Brian and said “Keep her out of trouble, because you know she is going to be trouble” “I am not the one who always winds up in jail dear brother” Everyone standing near us laughed at Lance and I joking with each other. Beth and Amy soon joined us, as did Steve and Connor. I found out the Connor’s whore’s name was Candy. I couldn’t help it but I began laughing “Candy and Mandy and they are BFF’s this is going to be so much fun” I noticed that Beth and Amy were laughing with me and the guys were trying hard to cover their laughs but they didn’t pull it off very well. Marco soon came up and said we had left the marina and were headed out to sea and that the DJ would start the music in about thirty minutes. The bar was open and the party had begun.
We spent the whole weekend drinking I am not sure I was ever really sober during the trip. I am not sure anyone was sober during the trip. I do know I had lots of fun. Brian and I made it down to my suite several times for private make out sessions and some oral sex but we never crossed the sex barrier and I knew that soon I was going to have to stop these hook ups with Brian and go back to random guys because I knew Brian wouldn’t be happy without sex in the relationship for long. I would make sure once we were back home to tell him that we had to stop fooling around. I also wondered if I need to seek professional help how was I a 17 year old still not over a boy after three months of him being gone. I know he was my first love but shouldn’t I be able to move on by now. This was really beginning to bother me. Why couldn’t I be like my brother and become a player? Was it the difference between a boy and a girl or was there more to how I felt.
I was surprised that Uncle Tony was still in town when we got back from the weekend party on the yacht. Lance and I were quickly called into my dad’s office to meet with our dad and uncle. I couldn’t help but to be curious about what they wanted. It didn’t take long for us to find out. We were asked if we enjoyed our weekend and of course we did. Soon Uncle Tony was explaining he stayed behind because he wanted us to come back to Chicago with him. Lance and I looked at each other and then to our Uncle and with big grins we said we would love to go to Chicago. Marco would accompany us and we would spend three weeks there. Tony wanted us to have fun but he also wanted us to have a taste of running the Santiago family. He made it clear one of us would take over as head of the family at twenty-one and he wanted each of us to see what it would really mean to be in charge.
Maria came into my room later that night and began helping me pack for the trip to Chicago. We would be leaving in two days. I decided now was a good time to call Brian and end things. I sent him a text asking to come over and he said he would come in thirty minutes. I actually was on my deck waiting for him when he arrived he sat down across from me. I sent him a smile. “So I called you here because I am leaving for Chicago for three weeks and well after our weekend on the yacht.” I broke off trying to find the right words to say to him. He looked at me with no emotion on his face then I continued. “I think our relationship has gone as far as it can go. I have had fun with you but I can’t seem to move past Jeff and it hinders me from being fully in another relationship” Brian finally spoke “Lacey it’s all good. I knew we weren’t going anywhere but like you said it was fun while it lasted. Plus we will always be friends.” I felt my body relax at his words, I was more stressed about this then I needed to be apparently. Our conversation moved onto other things and soon an hour had flown by. Lance soon joined us on my deck and a bottle of vodka was brought out with shot glasses. The three of us sat there and did shots and just talked the night away.
Two days flew by and soon Uncle Tony, Marco Lance and I were flying to Chicago. I was hoping this time my trip to Chicago would be less emotional. Like hopefully I wouldn’t run into Jeff again and have sex with him in a nightclub. I told myself that if I saw him I would be stronger this time and I would resist him. Lance could tell I was deep in thought and because I had told him what happened during Spring Break he whispered, “It’s okay Lacey. If we run into him I will make sure he stays away from you. I don’t like how much power you let him have over you but then I know you are still in love with him.” I wanted to protest that I wasn’t still in love with him but I didn’t have it in me to lie to my brother. “Lance do you think maybe something is wrong with me? Why can’t I forget him? Why can’t I move on?” “I don’t know why you can’t move on but I really don’t think anything is wrong with you. I wonder sometimes if you two are soul mates because that’s what you remind me of.” I looked at Lance stunned, who knew he would believe in soul mates. I wasn’t even sure I believed in that but it could explain so much. I had read enough romance novels to know what they said about soul mates. I closed my eyes and leaned back in my seat and the next thing I knew was Lance was shaking me gently.
“Lacey time to get up we just landed in Chicago” I sat upright and found myself grinning I was looking forward to what the next three weeks would be like. I couldn’t wait to go shopping, clubbing and more in the City. I also was eager to see what Tony wanted us to see about the family business. There was a small part of me that wanted to just say give the job to Lance but I was too curious and maybe to strong willed to hand it over without knowing what I was handing over.
Uncle Tony talked our ears off as we drove toward his house. He seemed as excited as we were to have us there with him for three weeks. It made me think if my uncle was lonelier then I had ever realized. I mean he never married or had kids of his own. I don’t ever recall seeing him with the same woman more than once. Then a thought crossed my mind was there a time my uncle was in love? Did something happen? I made up my mind that sometime during my stay I was going to talk to Tony about this. There maybe a lesson in his story for me to learn that would help me deal with my situation with Jeff.
I was super excited as we pulled into Uncle Tony’s driveway to see Rocky standing outside. As I got out of the car I ran to him and hugged him. He hugged me back and I began talking “How are you? How is Rose? When do I get to see Rose?” Rocky gave me a chuckle “I am doing great. Rose is great and you can see her tomorrow” I was looking forward to hanging out with Rose again while I was in Chicago. Rose and I had really hit if off over Spring Break. Rocky was introduced to Lance and then he began helping Marco take our luggage into the house. Lance and I were giving rooms that were side by side. Marco was across the hall from us.
We spent a couple hours settling into our rooms and resting after our flight. Then we joined Uncle Tony downstairs for dinner. It was a quiet evening and most of our time was spent discussing plans with Tony. He had several areas that he wanted Lance and I to visit in anticipation of one of us taking over the family business. Marco of course would be there as my bodyguard and friend as he always was. Rocky would be joining us as he knew the area better and Tony trusted him to be around me. I noticed that since Jeff and I broke up the men in my life had become more protective of me where guys were concerned. I am not sure why because I had less desire to get mixed up with another guy then ever before. I know I had spent a few weeks hooking up with Brian but it was never serious and it never was going to be serious. I felt like my heart had frozen at some point after I was shot and Jeff left. I am not sure that it would ever warm up again. I was going to become the latest player in our group if I wasn’t careful.
After we finished our meal Marco decided to turn in early since he didn’t have to be on duty. That left Lance and I alone to talk. This was the first time in a long time that it had been just Lance and I. We made our way into the lounge and Lance went behind the bar and poured us each a drink. Then we sat down on a sofa together and relaxed with our drinks. I was the one who started our conversation. “So is it crazy that part of me wants to run into Jeff on this trip?” “Yes you are crazy. I miss my friend but I don’t want him anywhere near you. He is the one guy who can destroy you.” “What do you mean he can destroy me?” “You let Jeff have power over you. You have given him the power to hurt you. I get that you are in love with him. But you didn’t even let Ken get away with this kind of crap with you.” “Ya I guess because I didn’t love Ken and he just annoyed me in the end. It is so weird because if any other guy had done me like Jeff has I would probably beat his ass. Not to say I don’t want to beat Jeff’s but I also want to have him back with me. I want him to come back home with us.” “I think even if we see Jeff on this trip getting him to go home with us is going to be out of the question. He is still fighting his demons and until he finishes.” Lance trailed off but I knew what he was trying to tell me. I needed to move on and forget about Jeff. Things had just got way to complicated for it to go back the way it was before I was shot. Who knew something as simple as me getting shot would change everything.
Lance and I spent the rest of the night drinking and talking with one another. It was great bonding time for us. He even told me some of what happened with him and Sandi. He said the main reason he kicked her out was she changed after losing the baby. She no longer let him near her he had been sleeping in a guest room etc. He finally had enough and told her that either they were together or she got out. He still gave her time until the night he blew up and kicked her out. It’s funny how we were all living in the same house and I never realized any of that was going on. How did I miss it?
The next morning I woke and realized that Rose was standing over me with a huge smile. I jumped up from the bed and hugged her and squealed. “I am so happy to see you. Rocky told me I would see you today and here you are” “Lacey I missed you too come on I was told to get you for breakfast and then your Uncle wants to go over the schedule for today.” I quickly got up and went to the bathroom and then Rose and I walked to the dining room to join the guys who were waiting for us. Four sets of eyes looked up as Rose and I walked into the dining room. I noticed two sets linger over my body, it was then I realized I was in my boy shorts and a tank top but I didn’t really care they covered more of my body then most of my bikinis so it wasn’t like I was indecent. Not to mention I wasn’t to upset by knowing that two twenty year old guys found my body worth looking at. It helped my self-esteem especially since it had taken a hit when Jeff left me. The maid began serving us breakfast and once we were all served and had begun eating, Tony began talking. He told us that the first thing he wanted us to do today was to visit one of the car warehouses he had so we could get an idea of what went on in that area of the business. I was excited because I love fast cars and knew I would love seeing the garage. After we visited the garage he wanted us to tour one of the strip clubs he owned. I wasn’t as excited about that visit as Lance appeared to be. It didn’t bother me to go to the strip club but it wasn’t going to be something I got over excited about. Tony then said after we visit the strip club we would come back to his house for dinner and then we were free to do as we pleased for the rest of the night. As we finished breakfast we made our plans for the night. Then we all went to get ready for our day out with Tony. I decided to dress in casual shorts with a t-shirt because who knew what kind of guys I would see as we were out and about. I knew not all the guys attached to our family business were hot some were creeps and I didn’t want to give the wrong impression to any of them.
I had so much fun at the car garage. I loved most of the guys I met there who worked with the cars and the cars were super hot. I even found out about street racing going on later in the week and made promises to one of the drivers that I would come watch him race. I could see that Lance liked the racing idea and we talked briefly about maybe getting into racing back home. The strip club was not a highlight of my day. Lance seemed to enjoy himself, but I couldn’t believe how many of the girls kept trying to flirt with the guys when we came in. Several of the girls kept giving me dirty looks not that it bothered me but I was praying none of them said anything to me because my temper was short these days and didn’t take much to get my fist flying.
Arriving back at Tony’s we went straight to the dining room for our dinner. Then Rose and I quickly headed to my room so we could ready for a night of clubbing with Lance, Marco and Rocky. After my shower I wrapped a towel around myself and headed to my closet to get dressed. I finally settled on a strapless burgundy dress and decided to go bare underneath it. I decided on black stilettos with diamond jewelry to top off the dress. My hair was curled and hung beautifully around me and I had done a wonderful job on my make up. Rose and I were soon done and walking down the stairs were the guys were waiting by the front door for us. I noticed Marco and Rocky both gave me appreciative glances and Lance took one look at me and sighed heavily.