Chapter 2.50 – Bonding

09-10-18_7-13-24 PM.pngClasses continued until summer was almost upon them, and with that, the last summer break before graduation. To say Cole was both excited and nervous, was an understatement. He was terrified and uncertain, so he tried not to think about it. He and Yasmine were still friends, only now they had benefits again. They spent a lot of time together working, studying, playing and, of course, enjoying the benefits of their now exclusive relationship.

09-10-18_6-57-53 PM.pngOne of Cole’s favorite times was when they took Duke for walks out to the pier on Saturday mornings. This morning, however, Duke didn’t make it far before he stopped and lay down.

“Hey boy, what’s wrong?” asked Cole.

09-10-18_6-55-09 PM.png“He’s probably just tired? Right?” asked Yasmine, her worried tone belied her words.

09-10-18_6-55-49 PM.pngWhen Duke continued to lay on the ground panting, Cole automatically went into vet mode, and knelt down next to the yellow lab to examine him. When Duke slowly got up to come to him and limped on his hind legs, Cole wished he was just tired.  “He definitely doesn’t feel well. I don’t want to make him walk back. I think maybe he’s in pain. Can you go get the car, and I will stay here with him? We need to take him to the Clinic and let Dr. Martin look at him.”


09-10-18_7-33-41 PM.png“It is hip dysplasia,” said his professor at the clinic, as both he and Cole looked over the X-rays. “You were right in your diagnosis. He’s lucky it wasn’t worse before now.  So, Mr. Murdock, tell me, how would you treat him?”

09-10-18_7-37-39 PM.pngCole swallowed hard and took a deep breath before replying. “Well, given his age, hip replacement surgery isn’t really an option. I would recommend various meds to make him comfortable and no more walks or vigorous activity.”

09-10-18_7-45-09 PM“Excellent Mr. Murdock, that’s exactly what you should do. It’s not worth putting him through more suffering when his life expectancy is only a couple of more years at best.”

“Thank you Dr. Martin,” said Cole, fighting to swallow the lump in his throat. Yasmine, put her hand on his shoulder. He reached up and held her hand in place. It was comforting.

Dr. Martin clapped him on the back. “I know this is hard son, given he’s your companion. I’m really sorry. You’re compassionate. You’ll make a good vet. I’ll get some meds prescribed to make him comfortable. Now, which ones do you think we should try?”

09-10-18_7-54-22 PM.pngCole smiled and began to rattle off a few meds that he thought might help.


09-10-18_9-52-32 PM.pngCole sat back on the sofa with his eyes closed. When he felt the seat next to him shift. He knew it was Yasmine without even opening his eyes. The sweet smell of her vanilla and lavender body wash preceded her into the room.

She gently brushed the hair back from his forehead, and at her touch, Cole looked up at her.  “Cole, I’m so sorry,” said Yasmine softly. “It’s hard to know he’s in pain. But the meds make him comfortable, right?”

09-10-18_9-53-33 PM.png“Yes,” he said, “He seems to be doing better. I just keep thinking how hard it’s going to be when he’s gone.”

“Oh baby. I know,” said Yasmine and leaned in and kissed him gently. Cole caught his breath. Something in her voice and the haunted look in her own eyes, swimming in unshed tears, said volumes. She understood his pain. Her loss must have been greater than he thought. Maybe her lover died. The thought made him sick.

09-10-18_10-18-31 PM.pngHe sat up and pulled her to him for more. It was a kiss meant to ease her pain, as much as it was to ease his. It felt like that one kiss somehow bonded them together and she was giving him back everything he had been giving her.

09-10-18_10-36-23 PM.png“Yasmine,” he said gently, as she laid with her head on his chest, “when you have someone to share your pain, it only hurts half as much. My mom said my great-grandmother used to say that. And I know it’s true. Sharing is healing, and makes the pain bearable. Thank you.”

09-11-18_9-49-10 PM.pngBoth exhausted, they lay down together on the couch. As Cole held Yasmine and listened to her soft, even breathing, he no longer doubted what he felt for her was love and he knew, she felt the same, even if she wouldn’t admit it. They had somehow connected on a level they hadn’t before.  Beautiful Yasmine. His Yasmine.  They had one more year together for him to help her come to terms with her feelings for him. He just had to get through this last summer without her, unless he could convince her to come with him this time.


09-12-18_7-59-59 PM.pngWhen Cole asked Yasmine to come home with him this time, she once again began to get upset, so he quickly changed tactics, and instead asked her to take care of Duke for him, promising he wouldn’t be gone long – 5 weeks again – unless Duke took a turn for the worse.

09-12-18_8-58-04 PM.pngWhen he finally arrived at home for his last summer as a student, his dad had him working with both Avery and Noah to get to know the nuts a bolts of the company. The day-to-day activities that made it work. He liked working with Avery. She made him comfortable.

When it came to time to shadow Noah, he felt like he hadn’t earned the right. Noah had worked hard to get where he was, and the fact that someday, Cole might be his boss, felt wrong. He shouldn’t have worried.

09-12-18_10-20-05 PM.pngNoah was excited to show him what he was doing. Cole could tell he took great pride in his job. The men that he managed seemed to get along well with him too, probably because he wasn’t afraid to get right in there with them when needed. Cole was humbled at how much his friend had accomplished.

09-12-18_9-59-23 PM.pngToday, he was spending time with Avery. They had gone over which lots were remaining to finish out the first section. Then they would soon begin selling the larger lots in the back of the subdivision where more expensive, luxury homes would be built. “How about we drive out and I can show you. Some of those lots have gorgeous old trees and are really nice. They will bring a premium. Then, we can go grab some lunch,” explained Avery.

“Yes, that sounds great. I’m starved!” said Cole eagerly.

09-13-18_7-08-32 PM.pngAfter they toured the lots, the couple had to drive to Willow Creek to find a restaurant. Once seated he asked Avery, “How long do you think it will be before we have a restaurant nearer to Newcrest?”

“Well, definitely when we build out the larger homes, we may start to see retail begin to move in,” she said, “right now there isn’t enough population to make it profitable.”

09-13-18_7-10-55 PM.png“True. I hadn’t thought of that. I was thinking about maybe opening a veterinary clinic, but it probably wouldn’t be successful yet either,” replied Cole.

“No. But why would you want to do that?” asked Avery.

“I was thinking that Yasmine would be a good addition to the C&M staff and if she agreed, then I would want to have a practice nearby and maybe live in Newcrest.”

09-13-18_9-00-26 PM.pngAvery frowned at his comments. “Don’t tell me you and Yasmine are still together. I thought that girl was cheating on you – and had commitment issues.”

09-13-18_9-02-54 PM“We worked most of it out. I want to ask her to move in after we graduate. She’s will likely graduate magna cum laude.  She has a minor in accounting. She could probably get her CPA if she needed.  Then she could take some things off Dad’s plate. Plus she is a marketing major and could maybe help with that too.”

09-13-18_9-05-50 PM.pngAvery gave a smug look. “Sooo. You think you have it all worked out. And what does Ms. Yasmine have to say about this plan of yours?”

Cole felt his face get hot. “Well, I haven’t exactly told her yet.”

“Have you guys even talked about what happens after graduation?” asked Avery.

09-13-18_9-03-54 PM.pngCole took a drink to think about his answer. “Well, yes and no. But why do you care anyway?”

Avery just arched an eyebrow in response and shrugged, so Cole continued. “She said she wanted to be just friends at first. Friends that go their separate ways after college. But that was before we became – more than friends. She said she would give me until graduation and no promises after that.”

“I see….”

09-13-18_9-00-04 PM.png“What does that mean? You think I’m being stupid? I love her and I’m pretty sure she feels the same way.”

“But she won’t say it. Have you told her how you feel?”

God, when he said all of this out loud, he sounded like a total fool. It’s just, when he was with Yasmine, he didn’t care. “I sound like a lovesick puppy don’t I?”

09-13-18_9-06-48 PM.pngAvery began to laugh. “I’m sorry Cole, sweetie, you so do. Why is she so non-committal?”

“Well, that’s where the problem is. I don’t know exactly, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with a bad relationship. I told her about one of my exes and she said her break up was 1000 times worse. But I got no details and she won’t talk about it.”

09-13-18_9-07-45 PM.png“I know you don’t want to hear this, but you really should cut your losses. Cole, that girl is going to break your heart. You mark my words,” said Avery.

“It’s not that easy. When I went back two years ago, I was determined that I was going to call it off. We even avoided each other for awhile but we eventually began to talk again. Then last summer, she went through a hard time and I helped her through it. We got back together, and have been ever since. That’s when she said she would give me through the end of next year. I figure have about 9 more months to get her to admit that she has deeper feelings for me.”

09-13-18_9-07-56 PM.png“Whoa, you do have it bad. Lucky girl,” Avery sighed and shook her head slowly. “What any girl would give to have someone so devoted to them,” she said dreamily, “If she can’t see what a catch she has by now, then I hope you realize, she’s probably bad news. That chick obviously has some deep seated issues.”

“Well, I think if she begins to see I’m not going anywhere, she will open up. She just needs to share it with me and then we can work through it together,” said Cole.

“You trust so easily, maybe too easily for your own good. Things aren’t always that black and white,” said Avery with a sad smile.

09-13-18_9-22-56 PM.png“What does that even mean?” asked Cole.

“Nothing. Just that you are very sweet and any woman that finally says yes to you will be lucky indeed. I must say, I’ve never met this Yasmine, but I am very jealous of her.”

09-13-18_8-59-52 PM.pngCole’s ears began burn again at her remark. But he suddenly felt the need to defend Yasmine. “Avery, she’s really very nice. Ami adores her, and she only met her once,” he said.

09-13-18_9-27-04 PM.pngAvery laughed. “Then, I’m sure she is, especially if she passed the Ami test. Come on. Let’s get back before your father decides we abandoned him and has a heart attack!”

“Wait! He’s not….” asked Cole.

09-13-18_9-31-03 PM.png“Nooo! Ben’s fine! Maybe a little stressed since Leroy retired, but definitely fine. I swear Cole! Scouts honor!” she added when he looked skeptical.

Go To Chapter 2.51>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 2.49

51 thoughts on “Chapter 2.50 – Bonding

  1. I wish Yasmine would just go ahead and talk to Cole. Avery really has the hots for Cole. Who can blame her? She just needs to forget Cole he is taken. Yasmine you better claim your man before someone else gets him. Is something wrong with Ben?
    Ami and Noah, hurry up and grow up girl!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Back off, Avery. Do not make me send my simself after you. I do not think you want to become part of the meatloaf.

    Maybe if Yasmine sees Cole with someone (I’m not saying being all lovey dovey) she will realize her own feelings for him. Maybe Laney needs to pay Cole a visit…or Danni…or Nicky. One of those old FRIENDS that could play in Cole’s favor.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. We are seeing all this right now from Cole’s POV. Of course he wants to commit more in their relationship, he makes plans/dreams as if they are a couple. And these plans take place after graduation. Yasmine’s non verbal communication, helps him dream more in that direction.
    Some suggestions Audreyfld, the return of big bad sperm donor salesman (preferably unhappily married and roving). drama drama drama. Yasmines daughter is old enough and finds out the truth and comes a visiting wanting to know why Yasmine dumped her. Drama Drama Drama. Yasmines parents show up for Graduation. Frankly my impression is that Yasmine was an only child. Parents did not invest time and not want the complications and lifestyle changes a child brings into their life and especially NOT want another child complicating their life (Yasmines daughter). Maybe make Yasmines mom a sociopath and Yasmines dad Bipolar. Anyway Drama Drama Drama. All the above are ways for Cole to realize what it was Yasmine was hiding from him.
    And he can then tell her straight out all the past stuff does not change how he feels about her and maybe then she can believe him. Thank you for a well developed and well crafted realistic story and believable and sympathetic characters.
    Avery is a rare gem, hope she find happiness (I am an idiot and think that marriage is happiness, LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cole’s so into it, but Avery is right I’m afraid… I hope he won’t get too burned! It’s funny, he got so heartbroken with Laney, one would think he would be more cautious now… but I guess he’s a true hopeless romantic!
    But omg, what is wrong with Ben??! I hope he’s not sick or something! O.o

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ben is fine. They had an issue with Leroy awhile back but he was okay so they didn’t tell him. So Cole is just skittish that they are keeping things from him.

      And Cole so has everything all planned out. But he does need to take a step back. How long can they do what they are doing and it no cause problems. She needs to open up.


  5. Okay first off… DUKE 😭 He is not allowed to get old and sick. Dog immortality please 😭

    Also… Avery… *major side-eye* Still showing borderline-creepy interest in our boy, I see… though I fear she might be right about Yasmine breaking his heart :-/ Hopefully not, but… I know there’s lots left to this gen so it seems likely 😬

    I just want this kid to be happy and in a stable relationship, dang it! Is that too much to ask? (Probably 😛 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😢😢😢. I vote for Dog Immortality as well. Duke is such a loving dog! He follows Cole everywhere.

      Avery may be showing a little more interest, although I’m not sure now if it’s starting be less sisterly and more – hmmmm – I could totally do him 😂😂😂😂. But she could very well be right about Yasmine. She keeps overhearing all of his secrets and so he just trusts her and just tells her everything.

      A stable relationship is what he wants too. Maybe someday…. probably….I hope….

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another great chapter….you are really taking this in an interesting direction. Avery is just creepy as hell, and acts shall I say….I little too interested, I think Yasmine and Cole have a chance, he just needs to take his time and peel back the layers, and quit building all these grand plans in his head. I’ve fallen into that trap myself (especially having the imagination I do), having a plan is not a bad idea, but Cole seems to have all these plans, but even is she didn’t have the commitment issues, Yasmine might have other plans. Cole needs to cool his heels and instead of dreaming jsut ask her what she wants to do, then when ready find a compromise between what she wants and what he wants. Anyway, great story. It is sort of making me want to come back. (Likely will do a completely new saga though)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you are enjoying it. 😂 Avery is getting maybe a little too interested. Cole just has it all figured out! Yasmine just needs to go along for the ride. 😂😂😂. Not. He does need to listen to creepy lady. She’s got lots of good points. Slow down.


  7. Omg! I can’t stand Avery! She’s soooo weird! She asks way too many personal questions. Cole had it right—what’s it to her what he does in his personal life? She’s not even that much of a friend. Just his dad’s employee. Then she makes no bones about wanting him to the point of dissing his girl like she knows the situation? Oh, girl. Back off!

    Here, Cole. This is a spray can of “creep-be-gone” for you. Or better yet, I’d love to see a cat fight between her and Yassie where Yas kicks Avery’s ass! 😏😈👏

    Liked by 4 people

  8. OMG DUKE.
    Poor bean! He’s lucky to have an aspiring vet as his boy though ❤

    Man, Avery, what? She reminds me of that girl in school, what was her name? The transparent one that tried to aggressively 'trick' Cole into being her boyfriend. The locker one.
    Avery, girl, you is not dat boi's therapy, ok.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Pingback: Chapter 2.49 – Sealed With A Kiss | New Beginnings

  10. This chapter has me very worried for many reason. I know Duke is old, but it is still hard to see him like that.
    And Ben, he is getting old too, but he is not that old that he shouldn’t having health problems.
    And I am worried that Avery is right. Yasmine is going to break Cole’s poor heart. But he is in too deep to see it coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Uhum, Is it just me, or does Avery fall into the list of girls that fell for Cole while he is in a relationship? If it wasn’t for the way she talked about Yasmine, I would say she was just giving her own advice. I low-key agree with her, but then again, only if Yasmine yet again pushes Cole away.

    I’m not sure what I feel about her having, maybe, feelings for Cole, I mean, girl, you met him before he has seeing someone, and only *now* you want to date him?

    And just like Mia, Cole is as dense as a brick wall, and haven’t realized something is up…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Chapter 2.51 – Ice Cream and Sex | New Beginnings

  13. Awww, poor Dukie! 😦 I hope that sweet dog will be ok because that made me sad. Cole would be a mess if he lost his dog. I’m so glad he and Yas are working things out. I’m starting to like her more.

    Liked by 1 person

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