Chapter 3.22 – Armless

Reagan sat at the table waiting for her mother. When she walked in, she looked a lot different than she did last time. Reagan stood up and hugged her before they were seated across from each other.

“I missed you,” said Avery, “Where’s your handsome brother?”

“I missed you too,” said Reagan as they took their place at the table. “Ryan is home babysitting Connie. Dad and Dannie took Taylor to Paris, so they are staying a couple of days longer for a delayed honeymoon.  They didn’t want Connie tagging along so we are watching her.” Then she blurted out, “You look – different.”

“Different better or different worse?” said Avery and laughed. Something she hadn’t done the last time they saw each other.

Reagan was a little embarrassed. “Your hair is longer . . . and . . .”

“And getting gray. I know,” she cut in and chuffed out a sad laugh  “It sucks getting old and not having access to a salon.  I think that’s the first thing I will do when this is over.  Go to a spa and get pampered.”

“But Mom, you look better too, maybe happier I guess, or just like you have more energy.  Of course it’s been about 9 months since we’ve seen each other.”

Her mom smiled again. “Thank you. I did beg for a little mascara since I knew you were coming. And I’ve been exercising more too. Now that the weather has been nicer, I’ve been able to get outside to get some fresh air and sunshine.  I feel like I have something to look forward to now.”

Reagan suddenly remembered the pictures and gingerly slid the book towards her mother. “Oh . . . I brought pictures of the wedding, but didn’t know if you wanted to see them.  There are others too though . . . Ryan playing basketball, and just us, and stuff.”  She’d been afraid she’d upset her mother with pictures of the wedding but she’d asked for them.

Thanks,” replied Avery.  She fingered the book with a faraway look on her face, like she was trying to decide whether or not to open it. She took a deep breath and offered Reagan a little smile.  “Did you know, your father and I got married in Vegas. It was so exciting. We bought rings and clothes after we got there. It was very spur of the moment. I brought him a puppy. You remember Phil? The black lab. It felt like family, so Cole called Ami and she came over and dog sat for us and off we went.

“Well, Ami promptly called her parents and everyone was at Cole’s house when we got home.” She stopped and chuckled and shook her head. “Ben was fuuuurious. But Cole, he stood up to his dad for me…” She paused again, this time to sniff back her tears while trying to cover it up with a little laugh. “Sorry for reminiscing. I’m glad he’s found someone new. I know I hurt him.” She closed her eyes and sighed before continuing, switching gears. “Sooo….How’s work? And did Ryan get a scholarship yet?”

Hearing how her parents had been truly happy once, made Reagan sad but she didn’t want to upset her mother so she plastered on a smile, swallowing back her emotions, and quickly answered her questions. “It’s too early for an offer, but Ryan thinks he should get one by Christmas break. He’s hoping for Brindleton Bay.  Scouts have been looking at him. Believe it or not, his grades are good.”

Avery smiled and it lit up her face.  “I’m so proud of him, but what about you?”

“Work is fun! Ami has me interning with their sales guy. He also does design consulting. He remodeled the offices.”

“Hmph,” said Avery as a sneer replaced her smile,  “my replacement.” One eyebrow shot up and she crossed her arms. “You know, I helped your grandfather make that business what it is today.”

“I know Mom,” said Reagan embarrassed, “but you can’t blame her for needing to change it up.”  Somehow,  she felt the need to defend Ami, maybe because she had been so nice and had never said anything bad about her mother.  “It’s still called C&M Development though.  She isn’t changing that. The brand thing.”  Stupid, like that helped, thought Reagan. 

“Well, it wasn’t me, it was Spencer,” she said her tone still defensive. Then in a whisper she asked, “You haven’t by chance heard if they found him, have you?”

“No…as far as I know, he just disappeared. I’m sure they would let Ami know.”

Avery quickly replaced her grimace with a sweet smile. “I’m sorry if I seemed bitter. It’s hard not to be. But, let’s talk about something that’s less of a downer. Where are you going to college?”

Reagan smiled, relieved her mother wasn’t upset any longer. “Well, I think I’m just going to take a few online design and marketing classes at SMU after I graduate and continue to work for Ami.”

“Taking after your mother! Nice!”

Reagan felt a pang of sadness.  Her mother should be around to help her and guide her.  “Mom? When do you get out? I can hardly stand seeing you here anymore.”

“I’m sorry baby,” said Avery and hung her head in shame. She sighed and looked up a little hopeful. “I’m eligible for parole in three years. They should grant it, but maybe you could come and put in a good word?”

“I can?” asked Reagan.  She had no idea she could do that.

“I think so. You’ll be what, 20?” asked her mother.

Reagan was thrilled.  “Yes!” she exclaimed with joy, “That would be wonderful! I could help you!”

“You’re so sweet. I’m lucky to have you.” Avery looked thoughtful for a moment. “So, what about you? Is there anyone special right now, for either of you?”

“No,” said Reagan sadly, and thought fleetingly about Archer. “I just broke up with my last boyfriend. He was jealous of Jason.  Jason’s my best friend, outside of Ryan. In fact, he drove me here today since Ryan couldn’t come.”  If only Ryan had been able to come, thought Reagan, he would realize, Mom really does want to get to know us.  She’s not just trying to hurt Daddy.

“Jason Blake? Mickey and Nicky’s kid?” she asked.

“Yes. You remember him?”

“Of course.”

“His parents split up,” said Reagan sadly, “Jason’s really bitter about it. And then, his grandfather died not long ago and his grandmother too. I feel so bad for him.”

“Wow…interesting. I heard through the grapevine that Garret Blake died – suddenly. Didn’t know about his ex-wife though.”

“Yeah, it sucks,” replied Reagan sadly.

“Of course it does, give Jason my condolences,” said Avery sweetly.

They continued small talk until the guard came to get her. Reagan hugged her mother one last time before she had to leave. “I love you. But I don’t know when I can come back.”

“Don’t worry about it sweetheart,” said Avery as she held her in her arms, “I love you too. Just knowing you are rooting for me has given me a purpose.  Just, please, don’t rock the boat at home.  Cole wouldn’t be happy to know you were here.”

*****************************************************************************

The rest of the summer flew by and school had started up again. Reagan and Jason continued to hang out, mostly because they were just two lonely people that needed a friend. Oftentimes she would sit in his studio while he played music. His band had long since disbanded when Link and Camden had graduated. That just left Ryan and he was way too focused on basketball to bother with a two man band.

Basketball started back up and Ryan was a star player.  He was attracting attention from a couple of colleges. He hoped by Christmas he would have a full scholarship offer.

In anticipation he had been working out more and more. Reagan felt that Ryan was driven more by the need to get out of Willow Creek than the probability that he may one day go pro.  He just wanted that scholarship.

Right before the Christmas break, it finally happened.  All of his Ryan’s hard work had paid off. A scout for Brindleton Bay attended the game and had a meeting with Ryan’s coach afterwards.

When everyone was leaving, Ryan’s coach told him to wait and shared the good news. The scout wanted him to come tour the campus in Brindleton Bay.  If he accepted, they were offering a full scholarship, since his grades were good as well.

*****************************************************************************

Summer after graduation……

Graduation had been bittersweet for Reagan. She was now working full time at C&M, which she loved, but Ryan was leaving in a week and Taylor was in Paris. Of all people to still be living at home after graduation, she never thought it would be her, still living in the same bedroom she grew up in.  Regardless, it was her space and she spent most of her spare time in that room working on her college studies. It was only temporary. She could deal.

However, when Jason called, Reagan jumped at the chance to get out of the house and see him one more time, before he too was gone out of her life.  He was moving to Del Sol Valley in two weeks, chasing his dream of becoming a musician, while working at one of the Dreamer’s nightclubs his mother owned.

She and Jason were just friends, but he had been a huge help to her over the past year. Neither was ready for a relationship, so it had been easy to spend time together with no expectations.  Jason was changing though, and his music had gone a little darker, as had he. She hoped the change of scenery and something constructive to focus on would be good for him. She knew underneath the grunge, he was still the same, at least she hoped so.

Reagan sighed softly as she curled up on the couch in her ‘regular’ spot.  She let her mind wander as she listened to him play. 

Jason was completely lost in his soulful song. She fleetingly considered just forgetting about working at C&M and maybe going with Jason to Del Sol Valley. But she wouldn’t be able to see her mother if she did that. She would be out in a couple of years.  Plus, she really was excited about her job at C&M and her classes at SMU were already paid for.

Jason stopped playing and looked at her with his crooked grin. “That bad?” he asked.

She immediately plastered on a smile and turned to face him. “No, actually, it’s quite – emotional.”

Jason’s grin turned into a laugh as put his guitar down.  “I guess that’s enough for now.”  He scooted next to her, and slid his arm around her affectionately.  “I know you Reagan,” he said as he hugged her, “You didn’t like it. You’re a terrible liar. That’s okay. I know it needs work. But, you were thinking about Ryan weren’t you?  I’m really pumped for him.”

Reagan snuggled into Jason’s embrace and sighed. “Yes, and you too, to be honest. I’m super happy for both of you. It’s just, I’ve never been separated from Ryan before, you know. We were always there for each other. For the good and the bad. It’s like my right arm is getting cut off. With you leaving too, I’m gonna be armless.”

“Hey, I get it, but you’ll be okay, you have family,” said Jason and kissed her gently on the forehead. “I lost all of mine.  Even though my grandmother was some kinda crazy, insane bitch and I didn’t really know her, I still felt empty when she was . . . when she died.  And now with Liv at school and Mom working so much to keep herself busy, I feel even more alone, or armless, as you put it.  So really, nothing is keeping me here. I might as well take advantage of the opportunity in Del Sol Valley and start over. Make a new beginning.”

Reagan turned to face him. “Oh Jason, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to whine …”

“It’s okay Reagan. You’ve helped more than you know. Just being here….” Jason stopped talking and looked at her differently, like maybe he wanted to kiss her.

“Unless, maybe, there was a reason to stay…”  he whispered, then closed the distance between them and began to move his lips softly across her own.

Reagan felt … weird … and very uncomfortable, so she quickly pulled away.  “I’m, I’m sorry Jason,” she said, wincing a little, “I guess I wasn’t prepared for that.”

“No… my bad,” he said and tried to laugh it off, although Reagan could tell he was sorry she didn’t respond differently by the hurt look in his eyes. “Not sure what came over me. I guess I just needed to know.  Hell it’s only history repeating itself, my mom and your dad couldn’t make it work. Now me and you. Karma I guess. Just not fucking meant to be.”

“Jason … I … “ she stammered. She felt really bad for hurting his feelings, but didn’t know what to say.

She saw a hopeful look before he was able to mask it. “It’s okay Reagan. I figured it could never work with us. We grew up together, more like brother and sister I guess. Can we just forget it and stay friends? I’m going away and I would hate it if I left with things weird between us.”

Reagan let out a small breath. “You will always have me as a friend. You don’t know how much you’ve helped me this past year too. I could never be upset with you.  Why don’t you go practice some more, so when you get famous, I can say you’re my best friend.”

Jason laughed, picked up his guitar and began to play.  He sang a funny song he made up on the spot, just for her, making her laugh.  Reagan would miss him, but she knew, after that kiss, she would never be with him.  He was another brother.  Her other arm.

Go To Chapter 3.23>>>>>

Go back to Chapter 3.21

A/N:  OMG!  The end of the teen years!  I am jumping for joy.  The young adult arc for this generation will thankfully begin next chapter with a short time jump.  And chins … they have chins now!

Thank you for hanging in there with me through all of these hormonal teenage years. Shew! Teenage girls!  Gahhhh. I don’t wish them on anyone…. Wait… I used to be one… Sorry Mom and Dad! 

42 thoughts on “Chapter 3.22 – Armless

  1. When Avery snapped, it was apparent to me it’s been a facade all along. I had hope for her, but now I refuse to believe that she changed. She totally did not.
    Ah, so Jason still has feelings for Reagan… But well, it’s better that she tells him how it is instead of trying to make it work without any attraction on her side.
    Teenage years are over, woo! It feels like they were damn long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spencer is certainly a sore spot she’s going to have to deal with. I imagine it’s hard for reminders that life to go on while she sits in prison for 15 or more years. The best years of her life…wasted. She totally knows it’s she messed up, but obviously thinks her punishment doesn’t fit the crime. As does Reagan. Ryan has moved past his mother. Or is trying to anyway.

      Poor Jason. 😢😢😢. I felt super bad writing her rejection. I just wanted to hug him so bad. He’s in a bad place right now, and she never pretended to have feelings for him. But at least it’s out there with no doubts. 😢 Maybe he’ll come back someday in a better place and a famous.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reagan stay away from that evil witch you call a mother. I could tell she has not changed at all, especially when she ask Reagan to speak for her at her parole hearing. Avery knows that Reagan speaking for her will cause trouble between her, Cole, and her family. Even in prison she wants to cause trouble. I bet secretly she is happy Jason family members have died and his parents have split. It is a little sweet revenge for Avery and should put a little spring in her foot steps.
    Ryan looks so much like Ben and Jason looks just like his dad. Glad to see Ryan and Jason following their dreams, even if they are leaving town. I sure we will hear from them occasionally. I am glad Jason and Reagan remand friends. Maybe or maybe not there will be a future for them later. I am still rooting for Archer, even though he had a little bit of a tendency to like to control a situation, he is older now and hopefully grown out of his controlling nature. Everyone is leaving Reagan and she is feeling lonely making her a more easy prey for Avery. Reagan better grow some balls and fast if she is going to have to lock horns with her mom. Maybe, that is how you plan on bringing Archer back in the picture, he will come back to take care of Avery once and for all. That should when him some brownie points with Cole and the family, getting him in their good graces.
    I actually proof read before I posted. Want my English teacher be proud of me. I HATE ENGLISH.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s got to be frustrating being stuck in prison! Hopefully that is all that’s going on with her and she truly wants to be better. 🤷‍♀️ I can’t blame everyone for not believing she wants to be a part of her children’s lives and make up for all the harm she caused, even if she thinks it wasn’t all her fault. 😬. Reagan is wanting this relationship so badly, she can easily overlook those little outbursts.

      Ryan! 😍😍😍. He does favor Ben a bit! It’s the Murdock lips and hair I think! Lol…And Jason is almost a clone of Mickey! They look a lot alike. I’m so excited for Ryan. Getting out of Willow Creek and away from everyone for awhile will be good for him. Jason too.

      Reagan really does care for Jason, but for sure like a brother and they’ll stay friends but he’s gonna be a very long way away. Archer…I miss him so much! I hope to see him again too! All grown up and yummy! Lol…❤️.

      Poor Reagan…they are leaving her. So maybe she’ll bond a little better with her Dad and stepmother and Connie too. Ohhh. And Avery wanting to prey on her loneliness…that’s just not very nice!

      Archer coming back to take care of the she devil…🤔🤔🤔 lol…and get brownie points in the meantime?

      Yay for proofreading! Boo for English. I hated it too and here I am writing stories! Lol. Shoulda paid more attention….. good luck with your class! ❤️

      Like

  3. Bad feelings about Avery. I just can’t imagine she’s suddenly such a loving mum after the way she treated her kids. And Reagan is just eating it up. At least, Reagan is getting older, so hopefully she’ll start making some better choices, lol. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Reagan was almost 17 when she went to see her. So still wanting very much to have her mother and forget all the times she ignored them. She clings to the few times she was around. And as she gets older, I wonder, will she begin to look at her mother differently. Cole messed up so bad when he shielded them from the worst of what she did. They just think she had an affair and got in trouble because he did bad things. Reagan is willfully ignoring all of that. Besides, she’s served her time right?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Omg…what a great chapter!

    First of all…Avery. Trying to get sympathy points for letting her hair turn gray before she’s 50. Please. 🙄🙄🙄 It it’s working. Reagan is her number one fan!

    JASON! He has that Jackson Day vibe going for him. Not going to lie…he looks hot! WHY, Reagan sweetheart, did you turn him down? He will probably become famous and worship you for the rest of your life! He’s the type who wouldn’t change with fame! So sad hearing about his family. 😢Alghough I’ve read about it, hesrimg it from his perspective makes it even sadder.

    And now onto the YA years! I’m ready for them! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it!

      Avery! Haha…she does have a number one fan in Reagan. Maybe her *only* fan at this point! She isn’t 50 yet, but getting there, around 46. She’s older than Cole. And I’m sure Prison’ll turn you gray as fast as rebellious teens! Lol…

      Jason is such a sweetheart. And you are right, he does sorta have the Jackson Day vibe. Fame likely will not change him and he would worship Reagan. 😢😢😢. I thought he looked especially hot too. 😍😍😍 Dang girl, what were you thinking saying no! His family situation is so sad. 😢

      You and me both! Ready for the angsty teen years to be behind us. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I AM SO READY FOR YA AND ALSO MORE AVERY (I’m calm I swear 😂)

    Looooved the talk with Reagan and Avery… it’s impossible to tell right now just how sincere she is… idk though. The cheesy story about her and Cole almost felt like a manipulation tactic 🤔 but then, I’m also #teamevilavery so maybe I’m just seeing what I want to 😛

    Jason is cute, but I think it’s good for Reagan to not be tied down to anyone right now. College guys await! 😛

    Liked by 3 people

    • #teamevilavery Lol… Glad you enjoyed the Avery talk. And the cheesy story was actually true! Lol… whether or not her motives for telling it were real, well – who knows. I think maybe she did love Cole at one point. And possibly feels bad for what she did. Possibly. You aren’t alone in taking everything out her mouth with a grain of salt. 🙄🤔🙄

      Jason was so cute in this chapter. I like him all broody and shaggy. A whole different side to him… It’s probably good Reagan isn’t juggled a relationship with trying to work and go to school.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Avery looked… motivated. 😀
    So the kids are going three different directions. I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to see how all of them are doing. Or do you plan to focus on some more than others?
    It could be an interesting read if Rea left with Jason. I would love to see her eke out an existence. She comes from money and didn’t have to worry about it at all so far.
    I’m excited to see what the YA years will bring! Reacher maybe?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I will have a chapter soon on Taylor and Ryan. So we shall see them as well. And Reagan will be on her own soonish.

      But Avery. Yes. Motivated. More drama around that too.

      The primary focus has been Reagan but all three will play into the adult years. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Chapter 3.21 – Tickle Monster | New Beginnings

  8. ohhh the old Avery is still under there somewhere huh? Poor Jason ❤ ❤ … she had a song too,
    "Long enough to say those words
    That all men are taught to fear

    I think we'd be better off as friends
    I think that should be where it ends"

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, I really don’t know ehat to say about Avery yet… I have no idea if she has changed, or uses Reagan for emotional support now that she’s still locked up, as well as help to get parole. I guess everything will be clear as soon as she gets out in a couple of years, right?
    Ah, I’m so relieved nothing happened between Reagan and Jason, but I felt bad for the poor guy anyway 💔 I hope he finds happiness soon, unlike his parents!
    Yay for adult years!! 🎉🎉 Although I greatly enjoyed the teen year arcs as well, I’m very curious to see how both twins – but especially Reagan – have grown up to be! ❤ Hopefully a little less emotional, that would be wise 😉 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Avery is and has always been a mystery. Prison can change people. Reagan is for sure providing emotional support. I’m sure Avery is thrilled she’s coming around. A couple of more years….we shall see!

      Aww poor Jason…carrying a torch for Reagan al this time. 😢💔. It was so sad and he was looking so good. I do hope he winds up happy.

      And yes – adult years! 🎉🎉 I’m glad you enjoyed the angsty teens. ❤️ I was actually surprised by both Reagan and Ryan’s growth as I began to write about their young adult years. Mostly Reagan. I was trying to find that bitter teen and she had grown up! But she’s pouring herself into work. And seeing her mom! Lol… more to come soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I reckon we’ve seen Avery’s weak spot. All anyone has to do is talk about how great the company is doing and they’ll see the old Avery. LOL It felt to me like a lot of her interaction with Rea was put on, but that might be my dislike of her showing. lol

    It was awesome to see them YA. 😀 I wish them all success and happiness as they venture into the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Avery is upset about the company actually surviving without her! How dare they! Lol… I hope for Reagan’s sake it was real. And she really is trying hard to better herself.

      Young adults! *sigh* Get rid of the angsty teens and move on to hopefully healthy adults! We can dream right? 😇

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Omg, so excited for YA!!
    Ahh, I still believe in you Avery, don’t let me down!!
    I think a person can be reformed and still have residual bitterness, she’s only human! Prison hardly turns people into saints, but you can still make a lot of progress as a human ❤️

    I’m thinking a very complicated relationship with their mother is in the future for Rea and Ryan, but not wholly bad?
    I hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. For some reason my last comment didn’t post…Man Jason took that thing well, I think. No doubt he has something for Reagan, but I am pretty sure at this point he doesn’t know himself. The poor kid as to be confused as hell with everything he has been through.

    I want to be optimistic about Avery but I just can’t. I don’t trust her. Of course Reagan is eating right out of that succubus’ hand. I think Ryan has the better idea, move on. I hope Avery is truly changing but I just can’t trust her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reagan is certainly sad Jason is moving….maybe if he stayed??? But I’m not so sure. She reacted badly to that sweet kiss. I wanted to cry for him. He would have cherished her. I’m sure he is upset losing his grandparents and his sister plus his parents divorce. Not easy for anyone.

      Avery….it’s hard to think she might actually be learning something in prison. Reagan wanted approval so bad as a teen and she gave it to her. I hope she means it. Ryan is healthily skeptical! We shall certainly see.

      Like

  13. Pingback: Chapter 3.23 – Work | New Beginnings

  14. Seeing Avery in prison is kinda sad.
    Outside, everyone moves on, meets new people, life changes. But in prison time stands still, as it’s clearly visible since Avery still kinda “lives” with her old family 😦

    And yay, looking forward to the chins now!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Things are going to get good! And by that, I mean this poor character’s life are going to be real nasty in the future! >:)

    I’m conflicted when it comes to Avery. I feel like, deep down, she does have her regrets and *some* kind of emotion towards Cole and her kids, and that’s what she has been channeling it everytime one of the twins comes around. But, Like it was showe to us in this chapter, she’s still bitter. And the part where she talks Reagan into saying good things about her in court, only to make her exit jail sooner made me worried. Could this be her plan? Let’s see.

    I wouldn’t get past her to exit jail and go into a vengeful crusade looking for Spencer. She has years and years to build up anger, and she clearly feels as if she’s been wronged. Just like she still feels that the Corporation is hers…*gasp* Is there any way that she could get the company back, by exploding her own daugther…?Hopefully Ryan will show Reagan htheir mother’s true side.

    ”more like brother and sister I guess.” Did I hear…HaShTaG kIsS yOuR sIsTeR!?

    Jokes aside, too bad for both Reagan and Jason. Thought I’m glad it ended up in a nice way. Reagan relly grew for being the dependente love-searching girl she used to be.(Thought she still has some of that in her.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Things can get very complicated very quickly – this is true. Avery is extremely complicated and it’s hard to know for sure what her true intentions and feelings are. I hope she does care about them as much as she is showing them. It would be sad we’re it to be an act. She does have bitterness. I wonder if it’s Spencer or the company that might be her goal, or just living out her life free?

      Yes. Poor Jason…. HaShTaG kIsS yOuR sIsTeR! Reagan had definitely shown some growth. Working for Ami has certainly helped and having Taylor gone for awhile helps too. And yes, she’s grown but she isn’t grown!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well, poo. I was kinda hoping that would work. But then again, I miss Archer. Might be fun to see Jason and Archer duke it out. Ah well, not meant to be, as he said.
    Glad that Ryan got his scholarship.
    Maybe Reagan can finally start connecting with her family now. But I doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

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