Dare to Love(3)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

“Me, too,” Taylor told him and then they both put down their empty beers.

“When is Warner going to get back? It’s been four weeks,” Taylor said.

“Beats the fuck out of me. He does what he wants. Not much can hold him down,” Kurt responded.

“He’s running away from his feelings for Mercedes. He doesn’t think he’s good enough for her,” Taylor whispered.

Kurt took a slug of his beer.

“Can’t blame him. Sometimes I feel the same way.”

“But neither of you should feel like that. You deserve to be happy. After the kind of shit you guys do for a living, this could be the opportunity to settle down and make some changes. I worry when you guys are gone on some fucking mission or whatever you call it,” Taylor told him then took a slug from the new beer the bartender just put down. He looked toward the bar, appearing uncomfortable for admitting his feelings. But Kurt could read it in his brother’s eyes. He worried that something would happen to Kurt and Warner.

“You’re assuming that Mercedes has the same feelings and would be interested in being shared by us. You’re also assuming that she as well as us will be so compatible and so into one another that she’s the one. That’s a lot of assumptions and you can’t even get her to hang out with you never mind go on a date. I’m just not sure about all the risks.”

“I hear what you’re saying, Kurt, and I’ve been over it in my head a thousand times at least. But I keep coming back to the same thing. The simple facts when it comes to Mercedes.”

“And what are those, bro?” Kurt asked then took a slug of beer.

Taylor held Kurt’s gaze.

“All three of us are attracted to her. We all worry about her, keep an extra eye out on her whenever she’s nearby, hell, you and Warner have gone out of your ways to be in the same places as her just so you can get a glimpse of her, maybe say hello, or just like I said, make sure that she’s safe. That isn’t normal behavior. It isn’t being good men of Chance and watching out for one of the single women of this town. It’s wanting her. Wanting to get to know her, hold her, kiss, hell, make love to her and claim her all ours. That’s the difference. That’s why she’s special. Mark my words, she’ll be ours. She’ll be Mrs. Dawn. You, and especially Warner, just need to get your heads out of your asses and admit it.”

Kurt didn’t know how to respond to him. Anything he thought of saying would be lies, words spewed from his lips that he didn’t mean and that were plain bullshit. Instead he looked away, took a sip from his beer, and thought about what Taylor said. He was right, and as soon as he worked out his personal reasons for trying to keep Mercedes at arm’s distance, maybe he could take the chance, too, and be a family, just like what their mom and dads had.

Chapter 1

Mercedes was in the supermarket doing some shopping. She had her list, everything budgeted out, and even had her coupons. She had the routine down pat, and many locals had asked her how she saved so much and where she found such great coupons. They thought she was being savvy. But it was way more than that. For most of her life she was poor. Her parents were both disabled and very ill. She had been their caregiver and they were on a very fixed income. What they could save they did for her to help assist her for school. When they passed away, she was only eighteen years old. High school was just ending. Her parents hadn’t lived long enough to see her graduate or to be accepted into college.

The little money they put aside for her wasn’t enough to help her with school. So she took a job as a secretary in the local college campus and worked as a bartender on weekends. She sold their house and broke even. She rented an apartment and for the first year she just made the payments at the end of every month.

As Mercedes looked at the beautiful fruit and delicious salad bar, she thought about the many times she went hungry. Having one meal a day and trying to keep up the energy to work, go to school, study, and pass had been difficult to say the least. But she did it for her parents. Her only family. The two people who cried because they believed they failed her as parents.

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