Chance of a Lifetime (Anderson Brothers)By: Marissa Clarke
Andy barked a laugh. “Well, she knows now! It’s pretty random you were the one she selected to kiss.”
“Random. Yeah.” He shook his head and drank the rest of his soda. “Incredibly random.”
“So big brother asked you to keep an eye on her?”
“Something like that.” Chance and Walter weren’t as close as they had been in high school, but they still met up a couple of times a month to run in the park. They never talked about Genny. Ever. But two months ago that changed. As they jogged past East Green, Walter said his sister had moved out of their parents’ house and into her own apartment while he was out of town on business. Chance had never seen his friend so worried.
Wanting to be sure she was okay, Chance waited outside her building in Midtown the next day until she left work, and then followed her to this bar. He took the corner seat, telling himself he was only making sure she was safe, but he knew at that moment, he wouldn’t be able to stay away. Walter would blow a gasket if he discovered that Chance hung out in a bar every Tuesday to catch a glimpse of his little sister.
“You seem like a good guy, Chance. So what if I tell you I know where she is right now?”
He tried not to let his excitement at that news show. He’d been coming to the bar every week, but had never allowed himself to seek her out beyond that. “I’d be very grateful if you’d give me that information.”
“There’s a price.”
“There always is.”
“I’ll tell you where they went if you put in a good word for me with her friend, Sherry.”
He had to be kidding. Genny had just slapped him and stormed out mad. No word from him would be good. “Sure. No problem.”
On step thirty-seven, Gen knew she was within half a block of the corner. Even this late at night, the traffic on Broadway was heavy and loud. “Chance Anderson is a total jackwagon, I tell you.”
Sherry barked a laugh and fell into step beside her. “He’s a hot AF total jackwagon.”
“Don’t let his looks fool you. I don’t,” Gen said.
Enjoying her mini rant, she continued. “He’s a royal asshat. All bow down to King Asshat,” she shouted, knowing full well that nobody in Times Square gave a shit.
They reached the corner, and Sherry busted out laughing. “I volunteer! I’d totally genuflect before that guy. Holy shit, Gen, he’s gorgeous. And those eyes! The bluest I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe you actually know him. And damn, girl, you guys were really into it. I’m going to have to go home and find some batteries after watching that.”
Why did the guy she kissed have to be Chance? She couldn’t even get reckless down right. She heard the traffic shift, and she tapped the curb with her cane.
“All clear,” Sherry said, lightly touching her elbow as they crossed the street.
When they’d first started hanging out together, Sherry had hovered too much and had pulled her around like she couldn’t find her way on her own. Sighted people tended to think being blind was like a sighted person wearing a blindfold. So not true. Her other senses were fine-tuned and came close to making up for the lack of sight. She could tell where alcoves, alleys, and doors were from the sound of her cane taps rebounding off the buildings as she walked. She could even tell what material the walls were made of from the taps. Wood sounded different from glass, and metal sounded nothing like brick. She was good at predicting age and gender from footfalls in passing, and with her adaptive technology on her phone, she could use apps for location and even to identify objects.
Before long, her new friend realized how well she functioned and backed off, treating her like a person, not a disability, which is exactly what she needed—especially in light of her parents and brother still treating her like she was helpless and hopeless. Something Chance had never done, which was why his betrayal had hurt so much.
Fuck that. Fuck him. She inhaled a deep breath, taking in the familiar city smells. Car fumes, assorted food odors, and a tinge of garbage from the late-night pickup.
Yeah, “fuck him” was right. That was the problem. That’s exactly what she wanted to do—what she’d wanted to do from the moment she knew what that word meant.