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22 March 2011 @ 02:31 am
the last summer ;; chapter one  
Title: The Last Summer
Summary: It was the summer of 1981, the last summer when things would be the same. And who would have known that it would all end with a stain.
Authors: eatenalive and disith
Disclaimer: Obviously we don't know them but this is how it happened in our heads. DWI.
A/N: Also, we're both very busy women and cannot update every week although we'd love to! Reviewing is not required but greatly appreciated!



CHAPTER ONE




It was the summer of 1981, the last summer when things would ever be the same again.

He was rushing to get to work, his curl bounced in the wind and he was on the receiving end of countless swears. It didn’t matter to him though, he was laughing, enjoying the rush of wind that hit his face each time he hit a corner. He sang out and gave a loud ‘WOO’ when his bicycle came to a screeching halt just in front of the store.

Lo and behold, his brother was hardly working but managing to do the only thing he seemed to be good at.

Eating.

"Michael, man you are always late," Tito was leaning on the counter, munching on a candy bar, as usual and there seemed to be no customers whenever he worked either.

"And you are always eating," Michael slipped out of his jacket and placed it under the counter.

Tito popped his collar and chuckled, "Ladies love a hefty man, Mikey. You might want to try and put some meat on your bones if you want to -"

Michael held up a hand to stop him. He rolled his eyes. "The last thing I need on my mind at work is a mental image of you and your chubby body smothering some poor girl."

Tito smacked the back of Michael's head and Michael tried to hit him back but was losing this battle as Tito was bigger, meaner, and uglier. He grabbed Michael by the leg and pulled him around the entire shop while he hopped on one leg. If someone had walked in, Michael would have died from embarrassment. If Joseph had walked in, he would have just ...died.

"Come on, Tito! You're supposed to be going home now! You don't even go here!" He tried to snatch his foot away from his older brother but squealed like a girl when Tito began to tickle him.

"STOP IT! STOP IT!" He protested loudly, whatever baritone he did have in his voice immediately disappearing.

He was now squealing with laughter and neither Tito nor Michael heard the bell to Jackson's Family Cleaners ring and their new guest walk in.

"Tito, please!" He wished he’d known some Bruce Lee technique to swing his leg up and kick Tito in the remaining existence of his neck. Feeling bold, he attempted it and fell flat on his ass. But the vision before him made him lay there looking sort of like some dumb fool.

The first thing he'd seen was hair, just hair and it was the wildest, curliest, and most beautiful mess of hair he'd ever seen.

"Are you alright?" She asked in a soft voice and gave him a small smile.

He saw stars in that smile and his heart thumped wildly beneath his chest. His eyes trailed up long legs to a small waist and the most beautiful face he'd ever seen. He'd like to think he'd just found the future mother of his children.

And here he was, lying on his back like a jackass. This would be the most embarrassing story they would tell their children.

The story of how they met...

Tito dropped Michael's foot and his heel thud painfully against the floor. Michael sat up and felt the stinging sensation in his backside. Tito took him by the arm and yanked him off the ground, nearly dislocating his shoulder. He dusted his jeans off and straightened his pink Mickey Mouse shirt and immediately ran/hobbled behind the counter. She was cradling a long red, sparkling dress in her arms.

"There's a wine stain right there at the bosom and I was hoping I could have this dress ready by tomorrow night."

"We can do that." Michael spoke to her but he didn't look at her. He kept his eyes down the entire time and he was ignoring that stupid smirk Tito shot his way. "Um, it usually takes us just an hour to finish it so you can come back in around then if you want."

He still wouldn't look up.

She dipped her head down to get eye contact with him and he slowly lifted his face so that they were at eye level. He knew if he had been any lighter, he'd be blushing and it would be the end of him. She was giving him that little smile again. He wish she'd stop so he could at least try and not look like an idiot.

"What's your name?" She asked him, sounding generally curious.

"Michael," he said so softly she barely heard it.

"Well, Michael, I'm Diane. Or Diana. Whichever you'd like to call me."

Michael nodded his head and smiled. Whichever he’d like to call her.

Diana held out her hand for him to shake and he took it in his and for what seemed liked forever.

For the life of him he could not control his actions.

He lifted her hand slowly up to his lips and pressed them softly against the top of her hand. Her skin was soft and she smelled so sweet.

This time, Tito couldn't control his laughter. This had to be one of the most awkward greetings he'd seen in his life. He doubled over and hid behind the counter, pretending as though he were looking for something. Michael kicked his shoeless foot in Tito's direction.

Diana couldn't help but giggle at his antics. But she seemed more flattered than annoyed; or at least that's what Michael wanted to think. He hoped she wasn't thinking of him as some creeper. Oh God. Oh God.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." He put his hand to his forehead in embarrassment and reached over to take the slinky, sparkling red dress.

She shook her head and laughed, "Don't apologize! You were just being a proper gentleman is all. I think it's sweet."

She thought it was sweet. He thought she was beautiful. Should he tell her that? No, the very thought was mortifying and so, he pulled a notepad from the counter and in a messy scrawl, began to take her order.

"So, you're going to pick it up?" Michael asked, now using his serious business voice and expression. Tito was killing him with his sideways smirk.

"Yes, just put down Diana Ross."

"Dianaaa Ross," Michael said slowly, almost in a sing song voice.

Diana. Miss Ross. Diane Ross. Diane Ross Jackson. Mrs. Jackson.

No, that was crazy.

His handwriting was a mess because Diane was making him nervous and Tito was pissing him off. It was just too much emotion for one person. He looked up at her and smiled. "All right, Miss Ross, your dress will be ready for you in one hour."

This time, it was Tito that kicked him.

"I'll see you then, Michael." She said his name so perfectly.

"My name's Toriano," Tito added but sulked when she didn't reply, already sashaying out of the building.

When she left, Michael swallowed the lump that formed in his throat.

"Is this real life?" He asked, watching her drive off and wishing he could go with her.

Tito shook his head, finished his bag of chips and grabbed his jacket. "Mikey, you gon' daydream all day about some woman or are you gonna' finish up that dress?"

Michael ignored him. Diane Ross. That was a name he'd never forget for as long as he lived. And what a beautiful name. Diane.

Finally, when Tito did eventually leave, Michael held up the red dress and buried it under his nose. He could have just about died from the heavenly scent. Chanel No. 05? This was bliss and he didn't even know where to begin.

He should have felt some sort of guilt from the sudden thoughts running through his mind, all involving her, her hair, and that red dress.

But he didn't.
 
 
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