All for maddie, p.1
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       All for Maddie, p.1

           Jettie Woodruff
 
All for Maddie


  All for Maddie

  By Jettie Woodruff

  This book is a work of fiction. References to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locations are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity, and are used fictitiously. All other characters, dead or alive are a figment of my imagination and all incidents and dialogue, are drawn from the author’s mind's eye and are not to be interpreted as real.

  Copyright © 2013 Jettie Woodruff

  Cover Design by Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs

  Cover photo © depositphotos.com/© mtoome

  Back Cover photo © Depositphotos.com/© yeophotostudio

  All rights Reserved.

  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.

  Dedication

  All for Maddie is dedicated to my husband, who after 24 years still drives me crazier than anyone on the face of this earth. The one person who can push every button I have, get on every nerve, and cause me to want to scream at the top of my lungs. He is also the man who puts up with the hours and hours that I spend in front of a laptop, listens when I babble about imaginary people that are real, and tries hard not to roll his eyes when something devastating happens to one of them.

  Through the years, the many arguments, the tantrums we can both still throw, the heartaches, raising our children, the holidays, the laughs, intimate parts of our lives that only he and I share, through the good times and the bad, he is still my rock, and the one and only person that someday when I am one hundred and three, I will be laid to rest by his side.

  Table of Contents

  Table of Contents

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  EPILOGUE

  Prologue

  I knew my dad would be furious if he found out. He thought I was staying with Kylie, not going to some party in the city. I was safe as long as he didn’t call Mrs. Docherty, or she didn’t call him. Kylie was presumed to be staying with me, as well. They never called to check on us, but I was still nervous. I had never been to a real party before. Our dumb little sleepovers, painting our nails and listening to music, didn’t really count as a party, not like this anyway. This was a real party with real college boys, alcohol, loud music, and no parents. I would be grounded for a month if my dad found out, for sure.

  “Stop worrying, Whitley,” Kylie scolded, jerking my freshly painted nails from between my teeth. I couldn’t help it. My dad would kill me. I was sure of it. My dad was a well-built man that could easily take me out of this world. I was sure of that fact. Kylie’s dad was a dentist, not that that had anything to do with his size, but kind of, I guess. I never saw a six-foot-three dentist before. Mr. Docherty was not much taller than my own five-feet-five inches. I barely had to look up to him. It hurt my neck to look up to my dad.

  “Whitley, this is my last weekend here. Who knows when we’ll get to see each other again. We’re doing this,” Kylie demanded. Kylie’s dad had just purchased a new office in Lincoln. I was jealous of the fact that Kylie would be living in a big city, going to a big high school, and living in a beautiful new house with a pool. Not just any pool: it had a diving board and a slide. I would be stuck at the campground, swimming in the river. Ugh, how I hated my life.

  Kylie wouldn’t be that far away. Lincoln was only about an hour and a half drive, but to a seventeen year old with a parent as strict as my father and no driver’s license, she may as well have been ten hours away. I was never going to see her, not for another year anyway. Then I could do what I wanted, maybe. My dad would probably still tell me what to do.

  Don’t get me wrong. Growing up at a campground had its rewards. There was always food, new people coming and going constantly, and if I was lucky, even some cute boys. I loved it growing up, but as a seventeen year old, it had its drawbacks. Like the work. There was always something to do around there. Summer at The River Resort wasn’t summer vacation at all. I was happy that my dad finally trusted me to ride around on the tractor and mow now. It was way better than being on bathroom duty. People could be downright disgusting, and that’s putting it mildly.

  “I’m not sure about this skirt, Kylie,” I whined. My dad would surely kill me had he seen me in this thing. It wasn’t mine. It wasn’t even Kylie’s. She borrowed it. Well, maybe she just snatched it from her older, nineteen year old sister’s room. It was a short, well-fitted black mini skirt. My shirt was a tight, sweater type tank top that showed more cleavage than I had ever shown in my life. I couldn’t quit thinking about my dad. I was going to get into so much trouble. I could just feel it.

  “Will you stop worrying? Come on, we have to meet Becky at the gas station,” Kylie demanded, pulling me from the McDonald’s bathroom where we dressed in our sexy outfits to keep our parents from knowing what we were up to.

  I couldn’t stop worrying. I worried even more when we finally pulled up to the massive house almost an hour away from the resort. Ah, man. My dad was going to freak. The cops were going to show up and raid the place, and I would be grounded for the rest of my life. I just knew it. There were cars and people everywhere.

  “Kylie, I don’t know about this,” I moaned again. I had a bad feeling. You know, like that feeling of dread when something bad is about to happen? I was dragged from the car by Kylie. I knew she was getting upset with the bottled up nerves spewing from my mouth. The clouds agreed with me, they were a dark gray and swirled around right above us. “A storm’s coming,” I spat out as if that was going to get me out of there.

  “Hey, there’s Tessa,” Kylie excitedly called, pulling me along and ignoring my storm comment. It was going to rain. I could tell as I looked toward the clouds and followed Kylie and Tessa to the back yard.

  Tessa and Kylie giggled like idiots as they met each other half way. Tessa didn’t like me. I’m not sure why. I never did anything to her. She hadn’t liked me since I took the lead role from her in the Christmas play in the third grade. I gazed around at all the people that I didn’t know. There were at least fifty people there. I wondered if they were all college kids or if some went to Cage West High. We didn’t have that many kids if you added the juniors with the seniors.

  “Here, drink this and lighten up for God’s sake,” Kylie scolded, handing me a cup of something in a red plastic cup. It was good. I could taste the alcohol but mostly the red punch.

  We ended up in a circle of Tessa’s friends. I didn’t know any of them. She introduced Kylie to the group as I stood back, ignored.

  “Who’s this?” one of the boys asked.

  “Oh, she’s Kylie’s alibi for the night.”

  That’s how I was introduced, as the alibi

  “How ya doing, Alibi?” the boy asked, walking towards me. He was cute. I’ll give him that, but I wasn’t sure why he was talking to me. I mean, Tessa was way prettier than me with her flowing, long blonde hair and too big for her body boobs. Why would he care about me? My hair was too long, I had these annoying little freckles on my nose, and my boobs were not even close to the size of Tessa’s. She looked annoyed that I was getting attention from this boy. Did she like him?

  “I’m Alex Wesson, and you are?” he asked, holding out his hand for me to shake.

  Alex Wesson. I would never forget th
at name or that face. He was dreamy. “Um,” What was my name?

  “You forget your name?” he teased, sensing my nervousness.

  “Whitley Bradshaw,” I was finally able to reply. He laughed and I pulled my hand from his.

  “Come on, Kylie. I want to introduce you to Peyton. She is the coolest chick at Cage West,” Tess assured, dragging her away. I stayed, awkwardly standing by the table of drinks with Alex.

  “She’s not really the coolest chick at Cage West,” Alex smiled. I smiled back, sort of. Why didn’t he go with them? I didn’t know how to talk to boys. I was never around boys, except for the thirteen in my class. I had been around those boys since kindergarten. They didn’t count. I could scrap with any of them, and I did too. Not now that I was older, but I sure did when I was a little girl.

  “You didn’t go to Cage West, I never saw you around there. I would have remembered a pretty girl like you,” Alex teased. I blushed, hoping he couldn’t see it.

  “No, I went to Spirit River,” I explained, lying my ass off, and letting him think that I was no longer in high school. I had to; it’s what Kylie had rehearsed with me to say. We were both freshman’s at community college in Hinckley.

  “Ah, I played basketball there once outside on the court. That school is so tiny. I can’t imagine going to a school that small.”

  “Yeah, well, it wouldn’t have been my first choice either.”

  “Why didn’t you go to West?”

  “There is no way the county would bus us to West, thirty-seven miles from the school. Did you go to West?”

  “Yes, I’m surprised you never heard of me,” he teased, shooting an imaginary hoop. I go to Dixie State now.”

  “Really?” Why couldn’t I talk to this guy? Everything I said sounded like it was coming from some ridiculous teenager. “You play basketball there?”

  “Nope,” he replied, with nothing more. I didn’t know what he was going to school for or what year he was in. I was afraid to ask.

  “You could have done open enrollment. Didn’t you drive?” he asked, getting back to why I never went to his school.

  “No, my dad made me wait until I graduated to get my license. He said I didn’t need a license to live where I do.”

  “Which is?” Alex asked, with raised eyebrows.

  “The River Resort.”

  “You live in a cabin?”

  I snickered a little. “Sort of, but not in one of the rental cabins. I live in the main house with my dad and step mom.” Dumb. He didn’t ask who I lived with.

  “Where’s your real mom?”

  “Um, she lives in South Sioux City.”

  “How come you don’t live with her? That’s a huge city.”

  I shrugged my shoulders, not about to go there with a boy that I just met. “It was nice meeting you. I’m going to catch up with my friends.”

  I should have stayed with Alex. Kylie and Tessa were doing shots of something. Kylie was going to get sick, Becky’s mom would hear her throwing up, she would call my dad, and I was going to be dead in the ground. Where was Becky? I hadn’t seen her since we got to the party. Oh, there she is in the beautiful pool, kissing all over some boy.

  I mesmerizingly gazed at the pool as it put on a light show, changing from purple, green, red, blue, white, purple, green, red – my thoughts were interrupted by Alex.

  “Pretty cool, uh?”

  “Yeah, it is,” I agreed, pulling my eyes away from the hypnotic lights, dancing in the pool.

  “My dad just put those in this summer.”

  “You live here?!” that sounded way too excitedly stupid.

  He laughed at my surprised response. “Yeah, this is my house.”

  “It’s nice,” It’s nice? Really? It’s nice? The house was a freaking mansion and I say it’s nice? Grrrr.

  “Maybe I will show you around later,” he offered.

  “Okay,” I replied, trying to be nonchalant about it this time. I could be cool. Ha ha, I wanted to laugh all of a sudden. Maybe it was the stuff in the red cup. I needed more.

  I did have more, and more, and more. By eleven o’clock I had the alcohol nerve going on. I was dancing with people I didn’t know, grinding with Becky and Kylie, and singing at the top of my lungs. I was drunk and I could no longer find my dad in my brain. He wasn’t there anymore. I was having a blast.

  Alex never left me the whole night. I could tell that Tessa was furious. Becky had informed me that Alex’s parents were the sole owners of Determination, the movie theater chain plastered all over the state of Nebraska and Utah. No wonder he lived in a house like that. She also informed me that he was a star quarterback, star basketball player, star pitcher, straight A student, and played the drums in high school. And he was interested in me?!?! What? Why?

  I felt my nerves returning when he asked me to slow dance. Could I do that? I didn’t even dance at the stupid little dances we had at my school. It was too much like dancing with my brothers. All of them.

  I was suddenly heated and could feel the warmth radiating from my skin. I was sure that Alex could feel it too. He held me tightly against his lean body, while his hands wandered along my back and hips. It felt good, and I didn’t even care that I was dancing with this popular guy from Dixie State, with all the envious eyes on us. I’m sure it was the alcohol.

  “Where are your parents?” I asked, wondering if they knew their son was throwing a party.

  “They’re at some convention in Chicago,” he whispered hot words to my neck.

  “They know you’re having a party?”

  He snickered. I felt that on my neck too. “Not exactly. That’s what the porta-johns are for. It’s easier to clean up out here.”

  Porta-John? I needed that, I suddenly realized. Why did he have to mention the porta-john? Now I just wanted the song to be over so that I could go pee. My feet were swaying with his, but not because I was dancing to the beat of the music. I had to pee. How many drinks did I consume?

  “Thanks,” I said, pulling away from him as soon as the song stopped.

  “Where you going?” he pulled back not letting me go.

  “Um, to the bathroom,” I replied.

  He laughed. “Come on. I’ll let you use the house restroom. You don’t want to go in there. I just saw Jordan get sick in there.

  I shouldn’t have gone. I had alarm bells ringing like crazy in my head, or was that just the alcohol? He never let go of my hand while he fumbled with the keys to unlock the door. I guessed he kept it locked to keep drunk teenagers out of his house. I followed him up the massive set of stairs. Why did I follow him upstairs?

  “Don’t you have a downstairs bathroom?” I asked the ridiculous question. Of course he had a downstairs bathroom. He probably had five of them.

  “You can use mine,” he replied, pulling me and my alarms up the steps.

  Holy cow! I had never seen a room so big in my life. It was plastered with sports paraphernalia, posters of football, baseball, basketball, and trophies everywhere. He even had a king size bed.

  One thing my dad forgot to lecture me on was never letting your drink out of your sight. Why would he? I was safe at the resort. I wouldn’t be attending any parties like this. Not there.

  “I’ll hold your drink,” Alex nodded toward the bathroom.

  I smiled, and entered the bathroom, twice the size of my bedroom. For real? A Jacuzzi tub?

  I opened the door to Alex sitting on his bed. He tapped the bed beside him, beckoning me to sit. I did. Stupid girl. He handed me my drink and I chugged it. I had to. It was the nerve thing again. I looked over to him and he smiled. A smile that puzzled me, like he just scored the winning touchdown or something.

  Whoa, why was the room all of a sudden blurry? I felt faint, like I could almost pass out. I couldn’t make sense of time. What time was it? Why was I thinking about the time? Was I naked? What was going on?

  Chapter 1

  I rolled over and looked at the neon green clock beside my bed. Wow, it was
almost nine. Maddie never slept this late. I rose up to see where she was. Oh no, she was in the kitchen. She wasn’t sleeping in at all. I knew what she was doing.

  “Madelyn Rae Bradshaw!” I yelled.

  “I did cook, Mommy,” Madelyn announced, twisting her pajama shirt nervously around her fingers.

  “You did make a mess! What is this?” I asked, looking in the bowl of Fruity Pebbles, milk, pancake syrup, ketchup, and either mayonnaise or ranch dressing. I wasn’t sure which.

  “You can eat it,” she offered.

  “I should make you eat it.”

  “My fingers all sticky,” she stated, spreading her little fingers for me to see.

  “The whole kitchen is all sticky. GO!” I demanded. “Get your butt in the bathtub before I spank your little bottom.”

  “Papaw be mad,” she assured me as her little feet pitter patted across the hardwood floor.

  “I’ll spank him too,” I threatened. She laughed at the thought of her papaw getting spanked.

  I started the bath water for my sticky little girl and lifted her shirt over her head. She slid out of the pull-up and I felt it.

  “Maddie! You didn’t pee the bed. YAY!” I clapped. “Good girl.”

  She giggled. “I free,” she smiled, trying to hold up three fingers. Why did little kids always try to hold up the awkward fingers? “I have a party a day.”

  “No, not today. Next month,” I said, lifting her to the warm water. How do you explain a month to a three year old? We had been playing that game every day since my dad told her she was going to be three and have a birthday party. She had been three every day for two weeks now.

  “Papaw buy me a tire for my birfday.”

  “What the hell is he buying you a tire for,” I asked, unable to stop my bad word before responding. She would tell my dad later. I was sure of it.

  “I wing on it,” she explained.

  I shook my head and walked out to clean up the mess. I watched her from across the open living area, trying to talk her My Little Pony into washing his hair. It wasn’t funny. I would be doing the same thing as soon as I went in to bathe her. She hated getting her hair washed. It was a job and a half, every freaking time. And, trying to get her to let me brush it out was just about as bad.

 
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