Hello! This is my new fic! Set in Carla's late teens, it tells the tale of how she met and married wealthy business-owner Paul Connor whilst rapidly finding herself falling head over heels for his little brother, Liam. It also focuses on her mother's dangerous addiction to Class A drugs and the antics of little brother, Rob, and Paul's sister, Michelle. This is in first-person, for a change, if too many people dislike the angle, I'll consider a rewrite. I hope you like it, let me know by dropping me a review!
The Drugs That Never Work
January 3rd 1992
'It was my seventeenth birthday. I was in the local bar with a few of my closest friends: Suze, Michelle, Hailey, Gemma and Alicia. I leant closer to Michelle so she could hear my question above the heavy, pounding beats of the music, instantly inhaling the rich waft of designer perfume – not something an estate girl such as myself could ever afford.
"I thought your brother were meant to be popping in?" I queried, my voice unnaturally loud.
"He is," Michelle confirmed, "Our Paul's picking him up from Dean's and dropping him off." Ah. Dean. Michelle's handsome boyfriend and the father of her unborn baby. Michelle had explained how, after eventually overcoming the shock of his underage sister's pregnancy, Liam had set out to befriend the perpetrator, two years his junior. The same could not be said for elder Connor brother Paul, whom I had never met, mostly due to our avoidance of Michelle's home and, more importantly, her supposedly nightmare mother. Right on cue, Liam Connor strolled into the lively bar, smug as ever.
"Omigod, it's him, it's Liam!" Hailey squealed, drool practically dripping from her glossy lips and making Michelle roll her eyes in irritation. I myself had never been particularly attracted to Manchester's ultimate teen heartthrob, though even I was rendered mesmerised as he approached, his shirt unbuttoned so low that it exposed his strong chest and manly chest hair. But then, in strode the man one could only assume was his brother. Paul was taller and his appearance more mature than Liam's boyish grin. He was suited and booted and although I was unaware of his chosen career path, his importance was evident. As soon as he'd reached our overcrowded table, Liam dropped a tiny wrapped box into my lap. We'd been friends for years; he'd been the first person I'd met when I'd started at Barnmount School five years prior. Eagerly, I tore off the wrapping and gave a gasp of surprise as I opened the lid of the box, revealing a pair of glistening silver earrings with little diamonds in the centres.
"Liam! You sh-"
"Shut up, Carla. You wanted them. You know you did," Liam beamed, clearly thrilled with my reaction. Paul stepped forward from the shadows and took my hand in his, bowing his head and pressing his pillow-soft lips against my skin.
"I don't come bearing lavish gifts, but why don't I buy the birthday girl a drink…?"
I returned to my seat opposite Paul in a fit of laughter, having been prancing around the dancefloor with Liam for the last ten minutes, his friends making rude gestures at us behind my back.
"He clearly fancies you rotten," Paul chuckled, raising his pint of beer towards his flustered little brother.
"Give over! He's well out of my league!" I exclaimed.
"He is not. I'm a better catch than our kid and I fancy you." My head shot up in surprise, my eyes quickly growing wide at his unexpected comment. Paul, however, was completely unaffected by his words, a small smirk appearing on his lips as he took another sip of his pint.
"Remind me, what is it that you do for a living?" I asked, conscious that my cheeks were beginning to blaze a hot scarlet.
"I run the local market. Well, I own it, anyway. Liam does most of the managerial stuff, he's just started working as my apprentice. Have you got a job?"
"Nope. There's nowt out there."
"Well, we're always on the lookout for receptionists…" he replied, shooting me an obvious, suggestive wink, "You could always, you know, come back to my gaff so we can sort things out…" 'I'm a virgin. I'm a virgin. I'm a virgin,' I thought to myself, an intense panic beginning to rise inside my stomach.
"I've, er... I've got to get home to my kid brother." And my mother, and her secret stash of cocaine hidden under the cushions piled up on the living room sofa. "Some other time though, yeah?" I stammered, fixing my eyes on the pint glass in his hands. I wasn't frigid, just waiting for the right man to come along and sweep me off my feet, clichéd as it were. Paul nodded, an aura of understanding in his expression.
"Yeah. Some other time."
June 8th 1992
And I hadn't lied. I smiled fondly at the memory, giving a content sigh as I felt Paul's familiar lips against the crown of my head. We'd been openly dating for around five months and, despite a lacking in the sexual intimacy department, our relationship was perfect. Of course, I'd yet to fill him in on my sordid history, even though I knew everything there was to know about his family, from his grandfather's way with women to his cousin Tom's upcoming eighteenth birthday bash, which was supposedly going to be 'a night to remember for all eternity'. At least, that was what it had said on the poorly-spelt invitations. How did you go about telling your new boyfriend that your mum smuggles crack into the house disguised as flour, or that your fourteen-year-old brother has an ASBO and is a brilliant disappearance artist, usually reappearing at the local police station the proceeding morning? Paul's family life was nearing rosy in comparison, with the obvious exception of Michelle's teenage pregnancy scandal which I was, selfishly, thankful for. At least his life wasn't completely flawless.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked, his voice muffled by my thick raven hair, "I like trying to guess your thoughts. It's calming."
"Just about my birthday. The night we met. You know, when I promised I'd give you everything…" I murmured, though my flurry of worries were put to an end as he pressed a finger to my lips.
"Which you will, when you're ready," he replied, shooting me a mischievous smirk as he slipped a hand under my head and entangled his fingers in my hair, guiding my to lay beneath him on my old, battered sofa, "Besides, we can still make out…" As he touched several featherlight kisses to my awaiting lips, I felt something stir deep down below, an indicator that I would soon, in fact, be 'ready'. I attempted to deepen the kiss by running the tip of my tongue across his lower lip, but stopped short at his next words:
"I told my mam I'd take you to meet her this afternoon."
"You did what?"
"Look, Car, I promise I won't leave your side, okay? I won't let anyone, not even my own mother, hurt my princess…" As always, I was instantly won over by his angelic words, though as we continued our passionate encounter on my grimy sofa, I began to wonder if agreeing to meet Helen Connor so early on in our relationship was a mistake I'd live to regret.