So … the Chicago Cubs are fighting for a Wild Card spot for the World Series. Those of you who know me, know that I love me some Cubbies, even through all the heartbreak. I’m just gonna call it now … Cubs are going to win the World Series this year. How do I know? I wrote about it for NaNoWriMo … in 2011!!!!!
Here’s an excerpt from A Goat Walks Into A Bar: (please note this is REALLY rough. I haven’t done an edit since I wrote it in 2011 **WARNING: some adult language**)
Leo suspected Grace’s fumbling words were leading to a touchy subject indeed. April was fast approaching, and that meant one thing to a lot of people: baseball season.
Are you asking what I think you’re asking?”
She nodded and hung her head, almost looking like she was afraid to hear his answer. “North side? Or south?”
He thought before speaking, and realized she wore a lot of blue. Cubs’ blue, to be exact. He wasn’t willing to lie about his allegiances, not even for her. Nor was he ashamed of them. “South side. My family are Sox fans. Going back at least three generations. You?”
North … but it’s okay. My family…well, my parents, I mean, they’re … I come from a mixed marriage.”
Mixed? You look pretty damn white to me.”
Funny. And not what I meant. My mom is a Sox fan. My dad is a Cubbie. And they’ve made things work for more than thirty-five years.”
Now that’s impressive. How do they handle games?”
She shrugged. “The cross town is the only time we go to the games as a whole family. One game at each field. Otherwise we’re totally divided. My mom managed to snare my two older brothers early on, probably since she stayed home with them, but my dad got me. Guess he didn’t want to watch the games alone any more.”
So I guess you won’t be around much this summer,” he said, not entirely sure how true that might be.
Don’t worry. You’ll see plenty of me. I mean, I still have to work, of course, but my dad and I only go to one game a week.”
Sounds like you’re from a real baseball family …”
With a small groan, Grace rolled against his shoulder. “You have no idea. My mom even more than my dad. I mean, she argued with him that since she had to suffer through the pregnancy, she got to name the children. My dad must have thought this was a fair arrangement, but I think he got wise to her by the time I came along. Still, none of us got off easy.”
You’re not leaving it at that are you?”
I don’t think I know you well enough to spill such dark family secrets …”
Leo leaned in and kissed along her neck and up her chin until he was even with her lips. “Not sure you can know me a whole lot more after this.” Though I sure as hell hope I get to stick around and try.
Mmmm … Now that sounds like a challenge. Okay, fine. But you have to tell me your middle name.”
Well, you obviously know my first and last names, and um, my middle names are Ryne and Faber.”
Wait, back up. Your name is what?”
Are you really going to make me say it in full?” He raised his eyebrows and waited, she sighed. “Fine. Hi, I’m Grace Ryne Faber McKenzie.”
Because any two of those wasn’t enough?”
Don’t remind me. And before you say anything, no I wasn’t named after Mark Grace. It’s actually my Gramma’s name. She died a few months before I was born. But if you ask my dad, he claims I got two Cubbie names because my brothers both got Sox names and he had to level things out.”
Good Lord. So what did your brothers get stuck with?”
Grace laughed. “They got the shit end of the stick. Actually they aren’t so bad on their own, it’s just knowing where they came from. Even I didn’t get away Sox free…”
The Red Faber part. I get it, don’t you worry. And very appropriate.” He tugged at a stray lock of her auburn hair before brushing it away from her cheek.
So, my oldest brother is Charles Early, and my middle brother is Carlton Fox.”
He couldn’t help the low whistle. That was taking fandom to all new levels. “Your mom is a serious fan.”
And had a serious thing for Carlton Fisk as a teenager.”
She’d get along great with my mom, then. She literally coos any time his name is mentioned.”
Okay, spill!” She poked his chest. “Your middle name. Come on. I had to share. All of them. Is it really bad? I keep meaning to ask you what Leo is short for. Leonard? Or Leonardo? You aren’t named after a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle are you?”
As awesome as that might be, I swear I”m not named after a ninja reptile. It’s actually not short for anything. Just Leo.”
And your birthday’s in August, I bet.”
That it is. The 9th.” As she snuggled against him, he asked. “And yours is?”
January 21st.”
Now that’s too bad …”
Yeah, I didn’t have a lot of pool parties growing up.”
I meant that I missed your birthday this year. Now I have to wait months to get you a present.”
I think I’ll manage. Come on, no more stalling. Don’t tell me you don’t have middle name?”
Only a very common one: James.”
Leo James Elliot? My brothers might kill for names like that.”
So, um, about these two older brothers?” That thought made him a little nervous. God, I remember how I felt every time someone took Emma out. I was ready to kill the assholes who broke her heart. I hope nothing ever happens between Emma and Eric, because I really don’t want to choose between them. “Just how likely are these guys to kick my ass?”
A smile flickered across her face as she lifted part of the blanket and ran her fingers along his chest and halfway down his stomach. “I don’t think you have to worry about anything. You could take them both, no problem. Charlie is okay, I guess. He’s mostly all wrapped up in his own life and kids, so I don’t see him much. Carlton is a dick. I hope you never have to meet him.”
And I actually hope I do.
Leo felt his heart speed up as she gave him the perfect opening. It’s now or never. Just do it. Worst she can say is no. And then … and then … fuck. Things would be awkward. But you’ve been wanting to do this for days now.
Before he could talk himself out of asking, he ran a hand along her hair, loving the smooth feel of it under his hand. “So, okay, this might be jumping the gun a little, but spring break is in about three weeks. I’ve got a whole week off, and I was hoping … wondering …”