I am sharing this as a favor to readers who asked what the big deal is about this series. Anger Management is just that, real emotions, real reactions, no political correct worries. There will be offensive names and cruel language, because once again, these books are about people when they hit the bottom, have had life turn its back on them and they react accordingly.
They also get the life that they deserve as well as the happily ever after that they deserve.
So, if you are at all sensitive, can’t take offensive language, or real emotional anger for whatever reason, this may not be the series for you and this warning will be on all the Anger Management books.
These books like all the rest will have romance, humor and people that you can fall in love with and root for.
That’s my promise.
Carly pulled the lollipop out of her mouth with a soft “plop” as she leaned forward to whisper to the woman who was a cross between Mary Poppins and the Pillsbury Dough Boy. “Is she making you nervous?”
The Mary Poppins/Pillsbury Dough Boy straightened to her impressive height of five-foot-one and with a huff, put her nose up in the air as she pointedly ignored Carly. Not that Carly could blame the woman. With the insane amount of money that was being offered for this particular job she was willing to overlook the fact that their potential employer, a woman in her mid thirties, wearing a rather tasteful suit who seemed unable to move from her spot in the doublewide driveway, had apologized a grand total of twenty-three times for a man that none of them had met yet.
“Again, I’d like to apologize for how we’re doing this interview today,” Mrs. Harris said, bringing the apologies to a grand total of twenty-four times.
Two of the four women applying for the job looked nervous while the other two looked ready to bolt.
If Mrs. Harris was able to scare off two of them, Carly was sure that she could help the other two come to a similar decision. She’d pretty much do whatever it took to get this job. Well, almost anything. She did have lines that she never crossed. She would never kiss anyone’s ass or put out for a job.
Patients were a job, nothing more and that’s how it had to stay if she wanted to continue working in the home nursing field. If she allowed herself to get close she’d die a little inside every time she had to move on or lost a patient.
Other than her two major rules, she would do anything to get this job, including scaring off the competition. It wasn’t because she was desperate to work with this patient. To be honest, she didn’t know much about him other than he was a thirty-two year old who’d been paraplegic for less than a year and was not adapting well to his new life. The other thing that she knew about him, which really didn’t matter to her except that it meant that her pay check probably wouldn’t bounce, was that he came from a very wealthy family.
No, her reasons for wanting this job were very simple. She was returning to the area, her hometown, after five years and she had nowhere to live. Well, there was that offer from her parents and brothers, but they would just end up driving her out of her goddamn mind so it was probably for the best if she didn’t take them up on their offer. She had more than enough money in the bank to find her own place, but she preferred to work as a live-in and save her money for the future.
So, here she was at one in the afternoon, standing in a driveway of a large one level home, sweating, hungry and determined to do whatever it took to get this job while her potential employer repeated herself between shooting nervous glances back at the house. Interesting. It seems that she wasn’t the only one to notice either.
Good, very good…
The faster that she got rid of her competition, the faster that she could move in. She really was not looking forward to sharing a super pink bedroom with her eleven-year-old niece and her unnatural love of boy band posters if she didn’t land this job today. If she had to hear little Emily cry one more time because some pop star she was destined to marry was seen kissing another girl, Carly was going to kick her brother’s ass for not sending the kid to a convent.
“Are we going to interview with the patient one at a time?” a woman, who reminded her of her fourth grade teacher, asked.
Mrs. Harris shuffled her feet, trying not to look nervous, but by this point it was really a lost cause. She cleared her throat and then did it again, trying to find the right words and failed. “No, I think it will be best if the five of you were to meet my brother all at once instead of stretching this out,” she announced with a bright smile that looked brittle and failed to comfort them.
There was an awkward pause before she continued. “Once again, I’d like to apologize for my brother. Since the accident he’s been…isolated. He’s a little rough around the edges, but once you get to know him, he’s a real sweetheart.”
Several of the women shared a look while Carly had to bite back a smile. It sounded like the patient was going to be a terror. That didn’t bother Carly. She welcomed a challenge. She’d rather have a feisty patient than someone who just lay in his bed, waiting to die. Judging by the looks of the other women, they didn’t share her sentiment.
“If you’ll follow me,” Mrs. Harris said with a forced smile as she gestured towards the house, “I’ll introduce you to my brother.”
As they followed her into the house, Carly couldn’t help but notice the anxious looks the other women were shooting each other as they entered the small foyer. She also couldn’t help but notice the stench of body odor, old food and layer of dust covering everything. The dirty clothes thrown everywhere along with old pizza boxes and Chinese takeout boxes lining the walls was a nice touch and probably just made her job of getting rid of the competition that much easier.
“As you ah, can see there will be some light cleaning involved with this position,” Mrs. Harris said with another one of those forced smiles that actually looked like they were starting to hurt.
Carly barely stifled a chuckle. Light cleaning? She was going to need a dumpster and some bio-hazard suits to clean this house. Ah, but that was no problem for Carly. That just meant job security, which was a good thing in her book.
“Bret?” Mrs. Harris called out, still trying to maintain that smile. “Bret, there are several people here that I’d like you to meet.”
A man in a wheelchair rolled backwards into the foyer and glared at Mrs. Harris while Carly quickly looked him over. Dark hair, shaggy and unkempt, a week’s worth of whiskers hiding part of a thick, ugly scar that ran from the right side of his temple to his jaw, a wrinkled shirt that looked slept in and a pair of boxer briefs that definitely needed to find a new home, preferably in a dumpster somewhere, far, far, far away.
“Get. Out,” Bret said firmly.
When no one moved he clarified his point in case here was some sort of misunderstanding.
“GET THE FUCK OUT!” he roared.
Two of the women jumped and made a fast retreat. Cool. Two down and two to go. Sighing softly, Carly leaned back against the wall, waiting for the patient to do the work for her. With the way things were going, it looked like she’d be sleeping in a boy band free room tonight.
Bret watched as two of the women scrambled for the door and tripped over their orthopedic white shoes in their rush for freedom and probably fresh air. Not that he cared. He was used to the smell by now. Even that weird odor coming from the corner in the living room was starting to grow on him.
He threw a glare at his sister as she glared right back at him. When the hell was she going to move on and forget that he existed like everyone else had? It was really starting to fucking annoy him. He’d accepted his new life and so should she. The sooner the better. He wanted nothing more than to live in peace and quiet while the rest of the world went and fucked itself.
His glanced at the two women trying to hold their ground in front of him. They looked like the nurses at the hospital and the rehab they’d stuck him in with their starched white uniforms and bleached sneakers. They looked boring and bitchy. There was no way that he was having either one of them in his house, not that he planned on accepting any of them. He didn’t need anyone. He shook his head before moving his eyes to the woman casually leaning back against the wall, looking incredibly bored.
Now she definitely didn’t look like any of the nurses that he’d seen in the past year. She had short spiky black hair, killer green eyes, tight black blouse that ended just above her belly button, leaving a section of perfectly tanned skin bare above her waist hugging jeans. He gave her a dismissive look before returning his attention back to his sister. She was definitely gay. Not happening. He didn’t need to sit in his chair and watch someone else, a woman no less, get more pussy than he did. Fuck that, a man has his pride after all.
“Take the two ice bitches and the girl and get the hell out of here, now.”
Melissa sighed heavily as she crossed her arms over her small chest. “No.”
He narrowed his eyes on her as he considered her response. “What do you mean by ‘no’?” he demanded, daring her to say something that was going to get her thrown out on her ass along with her trio of bitches.
“Exactly what I said. No. You’re no longer living alone. You’re not taking care of yourself. You can’t get out of the house without help. This place and you reek. I’m done with this whole mess, Bret. You either accept the person I hire or you’re going into a nursing home,” she announced firmly, letting him know that she wasn’t playing around.
Everything in him stilled at the threat. She wouldn’t………
“I already had Michael start up the paperwork. If you don’t accept help we’re pushing to have you declared incompetent. You’re unable to take care of yourself and we have over twenty witnesses who will swear to that. You either accept this new situation or you’re going to be living in a nursing home by Friday.”
He looked her in the eye, searching for any evidence that this was a bluff. It wasn’t.
She didn’t so much as flinch. “Just to let you know that whoever we hire will be under my employ so you won’t have the authority to fire her. If it doesn’t work out then you will be going to a nursing home. Do you understand?”
He understood all right. She had him by the balls. Her husband was a mean son of a bitch when it came to the law and Bret wouldn’t be able to find anyone good enough to defend him before he found himself in the geriatric ward.
There was no fucking way he was going into one of those situations. The rehab center they’d forced him into after the accident had been a nightmare. It was only by sheer luck that he’d managed to get released without Melissa pulling this shit before.
His eyes went back to the two ice bitches that looked smug. Fuck. If they knew that he couldn’t fire them, he was totally fucking screwed. He had no doubt that he’d be able to run either one of them off without a problem, but then he’d be back in the same situation in a day or two.
No, he needed to find someone he could handle, control even. Someone that would be here for appearances, but leave him the fuck alone so that his sister would hold off on this bullshit plan of hers. Someone like…
His eyes darted to the dyke by the wall. She looked bored, very bored. She also looked really laid back, like the type of person who went with the flow and would be more than willing enough to collect her check and keep her mouth shut. Yeah, this could work.
“Fine. I’ll take her,” he said, gesturing to the girl leaning against the wall. “The ice bitches can go,” he said, already pushing forward.
“Well, I never!” one of the ice bitches exclaimed.
“Uh huh, just don’t let the door hit you on your fat ass on the way out,” he said absently. His attention was already focused back on the television. His favorite soap opera was starting and he really wanted to see if Jack was going to discover that Janet had been fucking his father and brother for the past year and that the baby he thought was his son might really be his brother. Daytime drama fucking rocked.
There was a small commotion in the foyer followed by chattering. He rolled his eyes and raised the volume. Melissa was probably filling her in on bullshit like paychecks and duties, nothing he cared about.
He tossed the remote on the couch he had very little use for nowadays except for a place to throw his trash and settled in to watch his show. His beer was now lukewarm, but he was in no mood to roll into the kitchen. Maybe his new little helper would come in handy after all. She could do beer runs, he thought with a chuckle.
“What’s so funny?” Melissa asked as she stepped in front of him, but was careful not to step in front of his television. She’d learned that little lesson very well a few months ago.
His good humor instantly died away. “Nothing. Get out.”
“I’ll get out of your way in a moment. Your new nurse’s name is Carly Maxwell.”
“Couldn’t fucking care less.”
“She’s been hired as a live in caretaker. She’ll be sleeping in the room next to yours.”
“Whatever. Just tell her not to bring any women here, and we’ll be fine” he said absently, wondering how writers came up with this shit.
Melissa mumbled something under her breath. “Try to be nice to her. She actually comes highly recommended.”
“I’m sure we’ll be the bestest of friends,” he said mockingly.
She rubbed her temples with the tips of her fingers. “Look, I know this isn’t the ideal situation and I’m sorry that I’ve had to resort to doing this, but you need help, badly. You used to be one of the greatest guys I know, but now….” she shook her head sadly. “Now you’re angry all the time.”
Her hands dropped to her sides. “You’re alive, Bret. Isn’t that enough?”
“Yeah, it’s just fucking awesome being stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Really makes me appreciate life and all that shit more,” he said dryly.
“I’m sorry about Michelle. I know…I know it hurt when she walked out, but you can’t let that bring you down.”
He barely held back his anger. “I’m over that bitch.” And he was. It didn’t hurt that the bitch had gone and married his best friend and went on the honeymoon they’d planned two weeks after the doctor gave him the news that a wheelchair was going to be his new best friend for the rest of his life. Yeah, he was just fucking peachy about that.
She looked at her wrist watch. “Look, Michael’s going to be home soon and I want to go make sure the kids are okay.”
“Good. Don’t come back.”
“Bret…,” she said on a tired sigh.
“Fine. Be nice to Carly. Don’t cause any problems or you’re going to Pine Oaks,” she threatened coolly.
“Fucking bitch,” he grumbled.
She looked like she was about to argue, but didn’t. Well, she was smarter than he thought. He heard the front door close and sighed. It was time for more important things, like his soaps.
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