Saige Ingalls has just broken up with long time, live in boyfriend Ben. After a long and heated argument, he threw her out of her apartment and tossed her belongings onto the street below. Thanks to her kind neighbors, her things are safe, but what about her heart?
Julia’s three grandsons loaded her belongings into her blue Cooper Mini. Those things that didn’t fit went into the Cross’ apartment for storage. Chas, Romany and Dexter were about the same age as Saige. She’d had the feeling they all wanted to ask her out, but there had always been the problem of Ben in her life.
The middle one, Romany leaned in the window as she turned on the car. His brown eyes twinkled, his black hair was wind tossed. “You call if you need anything, right? Chas and Dexter said they’ll break the fooker’s legs for ya.”
“Thanks, Rom.” She kissed his cheek fondly. “You guys are the best. Don’t bust him up too bad. Maybe he’ll grow up and we can work things out.”
“I hope not,” he chuckled. “I want ya for myself, Saige. Girl like you is hard to come by. He’s a stupid twat if he hasn’t figured that out.”
“Who knows. Maybe?” She pouted, not sure she believed him.
He laughed loudly, kissing her on her pout. “Yeah, love, when his balls start going blue, he’ll wish he’d treated you better.”
Giggling, she pulled into traffic and drove away. They stood on the curb and waved at her until she was out of sight. Trying hard not to cry, she drove to her mother’s house across the river and on the other side of the lake.
It was a picturesque home perched over the water. Very in tune with the environment, it was designed by a an artist and an architect for their summer residence back in the sixties. After a nasty divorce, the wife lived there until her death in 1990 when Saige’s mother bought it. She’d lived in it ever since.
If Blair Ingalls was surprised to see her daughter, she certainly didn’t show it. She welcomed her in with hugs and kisses, waiting patiently for an explanation. It came in the form of a tearful recitation that made very little sense. The gist of it was that there had been a horrible fight and Saige walked out.
“You should have tossed the bastard out of his ear.”
“I know, Mom, but I was so angry, I had to get out of the apartment. Then he handed me an armful of clothing and threw the rest out the windows.”
“What a pig! I should call and give him a piece of my mind!” She picked up the phone.
“No, please. Don’t.”
“Don’t tell me you still love him?”
“He can’t help what’s happened. When he has a job, it’s so great!”
“When he doesn’t he takes it out on you. That’s not so great, Saige.”
“He’s never hit me, Mom.”
“If he ever did, I’d break his balls,” her mother frowned. “I did it to your father, I can do it again.”
Saige’s father abused and beat her mother. She stood for it until her daughter was five. When he raised his hand against Saige, Blair fought back. She hit her husband in the testicles with a baseball bat, took her daughter and left.
Together, Saige and her mother unpacked her tiny car and got her settled in her old room. Flopping down on the bed, she tried not to cry again.
“How long are you staying?”
“I don’t know, Mom. If we get back together, I’ll be out of your hair soon. If not, I’ll have to find an apartment. I can’t be making this drive every day.”
“You’re welcome as long as you need a place. But you’re right about the drive. If I didn’t work from home, it would be hell.”
“It helps to be a wealthy author,” Saige giggled, tossing a pillow at her mother.
“Not wealthy, but comfortable,” her mother replied.
She had written a series of self-help books for women in abusive relationships. The first one, her autobiography, was called, “Breaking His Balls, the Story of How One Woman Got Away.” It had seen only moderate success until she was featured on Oprah, then the sales skyrocketed. Now it was a national best seller and really starting to rake in the cash.
Saige lay on her bed staring at the ceiling. She thought about her life. She loved her job, but hated what it had done to her and Ben. Her boss, a successful architect named Malcolm Brodie, was a great guy. He was handsome, friendly, personable and a player.
Ben worried that Saige would hook up with Brodie, but she never had. Not that Brodie wasn’t to die for, but she loved Ben. Besides, Brodie had a policy not to date women he worked with.
“It gets messy when there’s a breakup,” he told her once.
She and Ben had a terrible argument shortly after Brodie’s latest relationship had done a sickening crash and burn. She took him out for drinks and dinner. He’d needed a friend badly and Saige was there to help.
He told her that night as she drove him home, drunk and heart broken, “If I dated you, I’d have to fire you. And I really need you, Saige. No one else can keep up with me. Besides, you love Ben. I’m not coming between you.”