Are you ready to start getting teased with some Take A Chance?
For those of you that read Our Chance, then you know Cole and Celeste are twins. You’ll notice that both of their stories start with the same screen, just different POV’s. Here’s the Prologue! Enjoy and come back for the first two chapters next week.
Cole looked up quickly when his father walked into the sterile room. Most people stopped what they were doing when Big Bad Tom McGuire showed up. He very rarely smiled, was tough as nails, and his voice could make a saint cringe. The nurse—who didn’t happen to be a saint—stopped checking Cole’s vitals and moved back to give them some privacy.
“How are you holding up?” his father asked in as quiet a voice as he could muster. It still seemed to echo off the walls, though. Cole was used to it, knowing his own voice, like his height and build, would most likely mirror his father’s.
“I’m fine. How’s Celeste?” Cole asked of his sister, holding his father’s stare. That was another thing: his father’s stare could turn a man to stone. Not Cole. He’d learned the same skill at an early age.
“She’s strong like always. Your mother is with her right now.”
“Yeah, I know. She just left here,” Cole said.
All their lives, his mother came to him first, his father to Celeste. After fifteen years, Cole expected no different…especially after the last year.
“You need to stay strong for this,” his father said, his voice stern, his eyes narrowing.
“I am. It’s going to be okay,” Cole said, returning the cold stare.
He didn’t need a lecture right now. He knew it was going to be okay. It had to be okay. Celeste was his sister—his twin—nothing could go wrong now. Nothing. They’d been through too much already.
Correction, Celeste had been through too much. He was just an innocent bystander that felt more than he should feel but kept it to himself, always wondering why it was her and not him. He was stronger; it should have been him.
“I’m sure you’re right,” his father said, but his tired eyes told a different story in the brief moment he dropped his guard. Cole could often read into his parents’ mannerisms. They tried to hide things from him and Celeste, but they didn’t always succeed. “Just remember, it’s your job to care for her. To protect her. To keep her safe.”
Cole had heard this before. His whole life, he was told he had to care for his sister. He had to watch out for her, he had to protect her. He didn’t need to hear it again. Not now, especially not now.
He knew his role. He didn’t need to have his father tell him anything he hadn’t felt or known since the day they were born way too early with Celeste tinier than she should have been. They’d both made it once; they could do it again.
“I’ve got it covered, Dad.”
“You always say that. I always say that, but the honest truth is, we can’t control much at all.” His father paused and looked around the room, gathering some composure. It was the first time Cole had really seen his father this raw, and that alone scared him silly. “I’m not always going to be around. We’ve talked about this. When I’m not, you have to step up and be the man of the house.”
“I do it all the time when you’re gone. I can handle it,” Cole said, reminding his father he’d been stepping up long before now. He pushed the bitterness away. It wasn’t the time to get annoyed that he had so much responsibility on his shoulders.
He’d been the big brother and stand-in “man” for a long time. Fixing things that needed to be done, and being there for his mother when his father was at work. Protecting the family at night, if necessary.
“You do a good job. I probably don’t tell you enough, and I should. I’m sorry for that.”
No, his father never told him before and Cole was surprised he did now. Nothing like a life-or-death situation to put things in perspective.
“I just do what needs to be done,” Cole said, his eyes unmoving, much like his father’s. Maybe too much like his father, his mother often said, and not in a good way. It seemed like lately his mother didn’t have a lot of good things to say about her husband.
“That’s the best attitude to have,” his father said, nodding his head.
When another person in scrubs and a white lab coat walked into the room, his father moved aside…for once in his life.
“We’re going to give you some happy juice right now,” the newcomer said. “You won’t remember much more, then you’ll wake up next to your sister.”
Cole blinked his eyes and swallowed quickly, then pulled within himself to push those fears away. Fears that he was being knocked out, that he had no control over what was happening to his body, what was happening to his sister or what the future would hold.
But if his sister could do this, then he could too. It wasn’t like anything she was going to go through. Nothing like what she’d been through already.
His eyes started to glaze over, but he could have sworn his father grabbed his hand quick and said, “I’m proud of you.