This is an excerpt from Switchy (Suncoast Society 34, MMF, BDSM). It’s available for pre-order from BookStrand, and it releases on 5/30/2016.
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Em Woodland’s parents moved in with her three years ago, and it wasn’t her idea. Her mother’s meddling has killed Em’s love life. After her busybody mom calls the cops on two new guys next door, Em has apologies to make.
Jarred and Garrison are thirteen months into grieving the death of their love and Owner, Janis. Then Jarred inherits his uncle’s house next door to single cutie, Em. They’re willing to overlook her mom’s antics for the welcomed distraction Em brings to their life. As the three grow close, the men admit their desired dynamic to independent Em.
She’s willing to try it. Two hot and sexy Alpha hunks at her beck and call? Yes, please!
But family drama and deadly close calls take Em over the edge and leave her unable to care for herself. Can she let go and let her two switchy men take the reins and prove to her that they want her for life?
Em forced herself not to break into a mortified run as she strode across the yard to her house.
Prison orange is not my color. Also, she’s my mom.
Her mother was standing by the front door and waiting to pounce when Em walked in.
“Well? Why didn’t they arrest them?”
Em ducked around her and headed back to the couch. “Because they own the house.”
“What? No, they don’t.”
“Uh, yeah, they do. One of those guys is Mr. Simonson’s nephew.” Em sat and grabbed her laptop. “He inherited it. They’re going to move in after they get it cleaned out.”
“So don’t go calling the cops on them again.”
“But no one told me he died.”
Em logged into her laptop and tried to get back to work. “Then I guess you weren’t as close to him as you thought you were.” Which Em knew was not at all, but it wasn’t worth fighting that minor skirmish with her mom.
“Well, how did he die?”
“I don’t know.”
“When did he die?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, for heaven’s sake, why didn’t you ask?”
Em glared at her. “You want to know? Go over and ask those two very nice men. After you apologize to them for calling the cops on them and wasting taxpayers’ money on a needless 911 call.”
“Well, are they brothers?”
“I don’t think so.” Em was trying to focus on her work, but it was obvious her mother wasn’t going to let her.
“Then who are they?”
“They’re really handsome serial killers, Mom. Who will hopefully murder me tonight in my sleep. If I’m lucky. They’ll probably be conducting ritual sacrifices and sex orgies in the backyard. I’m sure I heard them planning a black mass when I walked up. Good thing we don’t have a cat, although they did ask me if I had a goat.” She focused her glare on her mom.
“You don’t have to be such a cranky smartass.”
“You know what? You’re right. I’m a total bitch to live with. I think tomorrow you and I will go out and look at condos for you and Dad. We’ll get you moved out this week. That way, you won’t have to put up with me and my bitchiness anymore.”
Her mom looked horrified. “No!”
“Why not? It’s not like you can’t afford it. Since you’re refusing to let me get any work done in my own house—”
“Fine! Be that way.” Her mom stormed over to the kitchen and—loudly—started rattling cabinet doors and pots and pans.
I refuse to feel guilty about this.
It was also the fastest way to derail any kind of argument with her mom. A low blow, sure, but it was a trigger Em was finding easier to pull every time she had to use it.
Sure enough, twenty minutes later, the noises had stopped in the kitchen and her mom returned, looking contrite. “Meryl?”
Oh, gawd. The “forgive me” tone.
Em fought the urge to roll her eyes. She’d long since given up trying to get her mom to stop calling her that. “Yes, Mom?”
“I’m sorry. You’re right that I overreacted. We really like living here.”
Em stared up at her mom. “I love you both, but this has got to stop, Mom. If you won’t let me work, and you won’t go to the doctor for a checkup, I honestly don’t know where to go from there.”
Her mom, predictably, ignored the doctor comment. “Do you want us to contribute more every month to expenses? We can.”
That wasn’t even the problem. They paid her five hundred every month, even though Em had tried to refuse to take it at first in hopes that she could quickly get them moved somewhere else in a few months. Plus they frequently bought the groceries. But while Em wasn’t rich, she could still make all her expenses on her own even if they weren’t contributing.
And she had been doing just fine before they moved in.
Em closed her laptop and set it aside. Taking a moment to make sure she kept her tone gentle, she said, “Mom, I have had no life since you guys moved in with me. I can’t go out to a movie or dinner with friends without you calling me five times to check on me.”
“That’s because I worry.”
“I’m forty-two. I’m not a teenager. Do you remember the last guy I dated? Mike?”
Her mom frowned but didn’t answer.
Em pressed. “Do you remember what you said to him the first night I invited him over to have dinner with us?”
“Well, that was several months ago. I—”
“You said he looked like he needed to get his back waxed. Who the hell says that to someone?”
Her mother put on a pouty face. “I was just kidding. Geez.”
“The guy before him, you asked him if his family swam across a river from Mexico!”
“Well, he was Spanish.”
“He was from Spain, Mom! Madrid. And let’s not forget that your comment was not only completely out of line, but it was bigoted to boot.”
“So what are you trying to say?”
“That I have zero privacy now. When I take a phone call and go to my room, you start knocking on my door in less than two minutes. Every time.”
“I do not!”
“Yes, you do. Even if it’s a business call. Your interruptions are always for stupid stuff, too. If I leave my bedroom or office door open, you stand there hovering and listening to me on my call and then play twenty questions with me when I’m done. It’s like if I’m out of your sight and you’re alone in the house, you can’t stand it. If you don’t have control over me or Dad, you go nuts.”
“Well. This is the first I’ve heard you say that.”
“No, it’s not. I’m telling you the same things I’ve said for the past three years. That the three of us living under the same roof is a really bad idea. I don’t understand why you sold your house to begin with. Dad said he didn’t want to move.”
“I told you. I didn’t like the way the neighborhood was starting to change.”
“You mean you didn’t like that a very sweet couple who happened to be black moved in across the street from you.”
Her mom didn’t answer at first. “I don’t think I like your tone, young lady.”
Em bitterly laughed. “Young lady? You’re going there? Okay. If we’re going to play that game, I’m out.”
“Don’t talk to me like that!”
Em went for the nuclear option that Mitchell, had suggested a few weeks earlier. “Fine. Since obviously nothing’s going to change unless I take the initiative, this is what’s going to happen. You and Dad can live here. You like it here. I’ll find a new place to live and move out. Then you won’t have to move. I’ll have the landlord transfer the lease into your name, I’ll get the utilities changed over to your name, and everyone will be happy.”
Now her mother looked horrified. “You can’t do that!”
“Because…because we can’t live alone!”
That was still a bullshit excuse, and one that Em did not understand why her mom always fell back on as a last resort. “Then go move in with Don or Amy.”
“Why not, Mom?”
Her mom’s mouth flapped open and shut a few times before she let out a huffy noise, turned, and retreated to their bedroom…
Where she slammed the door behind her.
Em slumped on the couch. In a way, it felt freeing to have finally put it out there.
She didn’t understand her mom’s insistence that they couldn’t live alone, either. Both of them could still drive. They were completely independent. Her mom could do chores around the house when she chose to. Her dad was still in great health. As far as Em could tell, her mom was physically in pretty decent shape.
Except for acting batcrap crazy at times.
More frequent times.
Em was tired of being treated like her maid, though. Hell, even growing up, one of her mom’s favorite phrases was, I’m not your maid.
Yet when it came to chores and maintenance around the house, if she or her dad didn’t do it, it rarely got done. Just last night her mom had made herself a late-night snack of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and not only left everything sitting out on the counter, including the loaf of bread which dried out, but she’d managed to smear jelly and peanut butter all over the place.
When she’d asked her mom about it that morning, she’d blamed it on not turning on the light and forgetting to put stuff up.
And it wasn’t the first time something like that had happened, either. It was more like the thousand and first time.
Then there were the less-than-veiled insults and potshots her mom took at Em about everything from her choice in jobs to her personal appearance.
Yes, her dad tried to take up the slack with housework, but Em wanted a life.
She was done.
She was tired.
And she hated that it made her feel like a horrible daughter, but it was impossible for her to see the positive side of her mother any longer. If she didn’t want to start hating her mom, she needed her parents not living under the same roof as her.
Now I remember why I moved out when I was nineteen and married Ronnie.
The fact that it had been for a doomed marriage that led to a divorce four years later notwithstanding.
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