Below you will find the first four chapters of my newest novel, due for release before month end. The erotic love story is one of loving, living, and learning to accept life on life’s terms. Three very opposite people learn to accept change, love, and live life in an unselfish manner.
A love stronger than any they’ve ever experienced.
I hope you enjoy….
I shifted my gaze upward as a man hustled down the sidewalk toward the parking lot just past the intersection. My new bench of choice proved to provide a broader choice of entertainment than any previous perches I had chosen in the past. An old warehouse district had been modified and updated, allowing Generation Xers and a few well-off Millennials to live amidst their respective workplaces. Strangely, from my observation, it seemed the people working here were a different group than the ones who inhabited the swanky lofts and spacious studio apartments in the buildings behind me.
Each side of the brick street was outfitted with park benches, flower filled planters, and displays of very odd works of art. From what I could see, my bench was the only bench along the two blocks – at least within my view – to have the comfort of shade. The shade was my only relief from the 95 degree temperature and high humidity of this particular Kansas day.
Prime real estate indeed.
A twenty-something year old woman and an extremely feminine man ran out of the front door of the adjoining brick building, across the street, and into the parking lot. I watched as they quickly opened their car doors, got inside, and sped off into the sparse afternoon traffic.
What the fuck?
I wasn’t certain what day it was, but I knew it wasn’t Friday. The weekend had just ended a few days past, as the district was filled with drunks, hopefuls, bar-hoppers, and party-goers, all of which were overly dressed and far too willing to drink the $5-a-bottle beer specials until 2 o’clock in the morning. Whatever was causing the people to rush away from their offices wasn’t immediately apparent.
After a few moments of wonder, a wave of people rushing from the many offices toward the parking lot captured my attention and provided me with a fairly accurate time of day. This was the beginning of rush hour. It was 5 o’clock.
They’re saying golf ball sized hail and tornadoes, a man said over his shoulder as he rushed past. The man behind him shook his head and waved as he stepped across the street and unlocked his Mercedes-Benz
For fucks sake. Again?
I hate this state.
I stood from the bench, walked beyond the edge of the building behind me, and gazed southward. A dark sky filled with a low layer of marshmallow clouds boiled along the horizon. A signature Kansas summer thunderstorm was brewing, and the obvious reason everyone was in such a hurry to get out of their offices and to their cars. I glanced toward the bench and gazed at my pack. The walk to the bridge was a little more than three miles, and considering the weather, it would be overrun with people trying to get out of the rain and under the protection the overpass provided.
As people continued to scurry past, I walked to the bench, shoved my pack to the end and flopped down. After nestling the back of my neck into the canvas pack, I closed my eyes and crossed my arms.
Fuck it, I need a bath anyway.
Living in the largest city in Kansas was similar to living in the suburbs of a city in a normal state. Kansas was where I was born, and where I had spent my entire life, but not where I intended to stay forever. Living in one of the lofts in a downtown high-rise had become far more of an attractive manner of living than I had ever expected, and I enjoyed it more and more as each day passed.
No yard work, no maintenance, and no real estate taxes meant minimal worries. It allowed me more time to do what I felt was important; riding my motorcycle, planning my future, and forgetting about my impossible to satisfy high maintenance ex-wife.
I couldn’t decide if seeing her from time-to-time on the back of my buddy’s bike made matters better or worse. It provided confirmation she was gone, and gone for good; but did little to comfort me that she left for the reasons she said she did.
“You can’t provide me with what I want,” she had explained.
“What is it you want, Chloe?” I asked.
“A future,” she snapped.
A fucking future.
So much for love and loyalty. Chloe’s happiness could be measured in the countless hours she spent shopping, and not much of anything else. The deterioration of our relationship left me with little doubt that gorgeous women were nothing more than avid shoe collectors with a love for buying clothes they couldn’t afford on one salary alone, leaving them no other alternative than to find a man with a desire to finance their spending sprees while he admired their beauty from afar.
Good fucking riddance.
I inhaled a shallow breath of the cool humid air. In the twenty minute ride home, the temperature had changed from a calm sweltering heat to an almost cool breeze. No surprise for Kansas in late April. Living in Tornado Alley during tornado season was a crap shoot for a guy on a motorcycle, but I had no other alternative.
Chloe had taken my car during our separation. She demanded it in the divorce decree, and I chose not to fight with her. I’d never describe myself as a pushover, but having her explain her version of the divorce to our mutual friends didn’t appeal to me much; unless it included her departure being an uneventful one. If allowing her to have my car made her happy, so be it.
As I slowed down to turn into the entrance to the loft’s underground parking, I noticed a familiar body sleeping on the bench below my seventh floor bedroom window. Of all days to be sleeping on the bench, today wasn’t the one. The forecast called for 90 mile per hour winds, rain, and hail the size of ping pong balls. After a short hesitation, I pulled in the clutch, downshifted, and slowly rode past the bench. I gazed over my left shoulder as I waited for traffic to pass.
Dressed in Khaki cargo style pants, a green canvas jacket, and a black beanie, she was wearing the same clothes I’d seen her wear for roughly a month.
Yep. Same girl.
I sped through the intersection as the traffic broke, and rode to the parking garage a block away. After maneuvering into an open stall, I switched off the ignition and pulled my cell phone from the sleeve of my riding jacket.
Although the homeless citizens of the city did not live in the downtown area, they frequently spent their days wandering the eight square block area, typically looking for handouts of food and money from the patrons of the local bars and restaurants. Daily, almost like magic, they all disappeared into the bowels of the city during the evening hours.
With the exception of one.
I recalled the first day I had seen her walking down the block, surveying the buildings as she walked past. It was difficult to tell from seven floors above, but I believed when I initially saw her glance upward that she was an extremely attractive girl. Shocked that she was homeless at her age, I decided she couldn’t be, and convinced myself she simply looked the part. On that very first day, as I observed her through the window for no less than 20 minutes, I felt sorrow in the pit of my stomach as I watched her wander the street looking for a place to rest.
For the past month, I had seen her on the bench almost every day when I rode home, and always made it a point to look out the window and under the large Bradford Pear tree after I ate dinner. Typically, by 7 o’clock in the evening, she was gone. The few opportunities I had to see her up close provided confirmation to my early belief in her appearance.
She was extremely attractive.
And she was very young.
The thought of her lying under the tree and being pummeled by hail large enough to kill her was more than I wanted to try and comprehend. Although I had no experience with homeless people, my instinct told me she would probably be far too prideful to accept my offer even if Cade agreed.
“Hear me out before you start bitching, okay?” I said as soon as he answered.
Cade was my roommate, and resembled a woman trapped in a man’s body in many respects. He was extremely neat, codependent, loved to cook, was constantly cleaning, and looked like he belonged in a dance show on the Disney channel. His hair, clothes, and shoes were always perfect. His job as a mechanical engineer seemed like an awful mismatch to his looks, but it suited his personality quite well. Although he was very close-minded to change of any sort, and given the opportunity to decide he’d certainly choose the status quo, I felt I at least needed to ask.
“What?” he sighed, “What’s going on? You know we’re getting a huge storm in a few minutes, right?”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m calling,” I paused and wondered what the girl on the bench would do if she didn’t agree to come in out of the weather.
“Dinner’s almost ready, are you close?” he asked.
“I’m a block away, shut up for a minute,” I breathed.
“Okay, what’s going on?” he asked.
“Remember the girl on the bench downstairs?” I asked.
“With the beanie? Yeah, she was there when I came home, why? She get hit by a car or something?” he chuckled.
I rolled my eyes and shook my head, “No, asshole, the storm. She’s laying there with her head on her back pack, asleep. It’s getting ready to hail like a motherfucker and I was thinking of inviting her over for dinner, you know getting her out…”
“No,” he interrupted, “she’s not some puppy or something. You’re not bringing her home with you. Jesus, Ethan, she’s some random homeless chick.”
As he spoke, I realized I knew all along what his response was going to be. Maybe not the exact wording of it, but the end result, yes. Before he had a chance to finish speaking, I butted in. After all, the call was more of a courtesy than a necessity.
“I’m going to stop and talk to her. If she’s willing, I’m bringing her in with me,” I said.
“Ethan, I swear, I don’t want her…”
“I’m not asking. If you don’t want to be around her, she can sit in my room until the storm passes. She probably won’t agree to it anyway, but I’ve gotta offer,” I snapped back.
“Fucking great. Whatever. I hope the ratty little bitch likes enchiladas,” he responded.
I smiled and nodded my head, knowing he had accepted it as being what it was. Cade was six years younger than me, but for being 26 years old, he wasn’t willing to stand up for himself or argue with another man. In many regards he was similar to a little boy, unsure of his position, and easily swayed with a harsh tone or the threat of opposition of any kind. We were truly opposite in almost all respects. I often wondered if it was the single biggest reason we got along so well.
I stared out the opening between the concrete pillars of the parking garage. Although it hadn’t started raining yet, it looked like it could begin at any minute, “Alright. I’ll let you know what happens. I’m at the parking garage.”
“If she stinks…”
“See you in a few,” I said as I hung up.
I pushed the phone into the pocket on my sleeve and bent down even with the rearview mirror. A few days growth of beard with my hair grown out to one length – down to my chin – made me look like I was either homeless myself, or preparing to do a Harley-Davidson commercial. I ran my fingers through my hair and wondered if she’d even be there by the time I got back.
As I began to roll to a stop at the intersection, I sighed nervously at the sight of her still lying on the bench. A quick check of traffic produced no one on the one-way street, so I released the brake, killed the engine, and rolled across the street and along the sidewalk. As my bike came to a stop behind the bench, I kicked kickstand down with my left foot.
“Tree’s not going to keep that hail from pounding that pretty Harley of yours to death. Why don’t you park in in your garage?” she said flatly.
I glanced over my shoulder and down at the bench. She was lying on her back with her eyes closed.
“How’d you know it was a Harley?” I said under my breath as I stepped off the bike.
“Says it on the side of the gas tank,” she responded as she opened one eye slightly.
“But your eyes were closed,” I said with a laugh as I walked around the corner of the bench.
“They sure were. But you ride it past here every night about this time. After all these people rush out of here, you come home and park in the basement. Heard you ride past a few minutes ago. Guy in the Benz across the street said it’s going to hail pretty bad, probably ought to park that thing in the garage,” she said under her breath as she slowly rose into a seated position beside her pack.
“I’m going to in a minute,” I responded as I pointed toward the empty portion of the seat beside her.
She nodded her head as she scooted along the bench and closer to her pack. As she pulled her black beanie tightly onto her head, she narrowed her gaze and looked up into the sky.
“Looks bad,” she sighed.
“It’s why I stopped. I was wondering. Well, with the weather, I was wondering if, uhhm…”
As I stammered for words, I realized I was actually nervous. There wasn’t a situation in the last ten years that I could think of which made me feel apprehensive, but for some reason, asking this homeless girl if she wanted to get in out of the rain was making me feel uneasy. I quickly dismissed it to my recent divorce, and the anticipation of the girl with the beanie rejecting my offer, further proving there was something about me women didn’t like. As I mentally stumbled for a way to sugar coat my offer, she spoke.
“You were feeling sorry for me and wanting to know if I needed a ride somewhere more suitable for this fucking weather that’s coming, right?” she shrugged.
Her dirty blonde hair hung from underneath her beanie and down to past her shoulders. Sitting on the edge of the bench, I gazed over my shoulder and began to admire the facial features of what appeared to be more than just a slightly attractive homeless woman. As she dug through the pockets of her pack, I continued to stare. She was nothing short of beautiful.
Dirty, but beautiful.
I swallowed, pushed myself into the back of the bench, and exhaled.
“You like Mexican food?” I asked over my shoulder.
“Si,” she responded without looking up.
“You hungry?” I asked.
“I’m always hungry. You got a name?” she asked as she pulled a floss pick from her bag.
“Ethan,” I said as I extended my hand.
She gazed down at my hand, hesitated, and shifted her gaze upward, “Mine’s Rain.”
I cocked my head to the side slightly as I pulled my arm back and rested my hand in my lap, “Your name is Rain?”
She nodded her head once in confirmation and glanced down at the pick, “So have you got some tacos in that cool little jacket of yours, or you have something else in mind?”
I pressed my palms along the thighs of my jeans and glanced over my shoulder, “Well, to kind of back up a little bit, I’ve seen you down here for about a month. When I came home tonight, with the weather and all, I just…I uhhm…I wondered if you wanted to come up for dinner and let the storm pass. My roommate made enchiladas.”
She shifted her eyes up from the floss pick and gazed at me for a long moment, “Take your glasses off.”
I twisted my shoulders to the left and studied her. She sat quietly, still gazing into my eyes, and toying with the pick.
“The glasses, take them off and I’ll give you an answer,” she said under her breath.
I removed my sunglasses, rested my elbow on the back of the bench, and began to twirl the sunglasses between my thumb and forefinger. She slid the pick past her lips, held it with her teeth, and lifted her chin slightly.
“Green. I’ll be damned, would have figured you for blue. Yeah, sounds good, but I’ll warn ya. I can’t make many promises, but I’ll promise you this,” she hesitated and raised one eyebrow.
“What’s that?” I asked as I stood.
“If you can’t already, when we get inside, you’ll smell me,” she said as she pulled the pick from her mouth.
“I don’t smell anything,” I shrugged.
“You will,” she said as she reached for her pack.
My useless mother didn’t cause me any grief that followed me from adolescence to adulthood. My stepfather, however, was a much different story. Although I never had an opportunity to meet my biological father, I never had much of an opportunity to escape my stepfather. His repeated sexual abuse started at age six, and never let up.
When I was roughly twelve, I confided in my mother what he had been doing to me. Her shoulder shrug and explanation of his provisions to us as a family completely crushed what little faith I had in my mother’s capacity or even willingness to protect me from harm. At fifteen years of age I left and never really looked back. Although I lived only a few blocks away with the family of a high school friend, neither of them made an effort at all to ever talk to me again.
After I graduated high school, I felt obligated to move out of my friend’s house, and did so promptly. I quickly found out the difficulty associated with being an adult, providing for myself, and acting responsibly. After six months or so of an honest attempt at what seemed impossible, I finally threw my hands in the air and became a statistic. For the first two years, I did what I had to do for money and food, and slept mostly in random unlocked cars. I upgraded to playhouses and treehouses in the back yards of the east sides upper crust, and then to abandoned buildings and garages on the south side.
The south side proved to be far more than I was prepared for, and after a year of threatening to leave, I finally developed the courage to do so. As far as I was concerned, my move to downtown Wichita was a significant change, and I hoped it would act as a transition period in my life. It seemed everyone on the east and south sides of town knew me as that cute little whore, but downtown no one had any idea who or what I was.
Now in the heart of the city alongside every other homeless person, it was as if the reality of it all had hit me. After a month of living downtown, and attempting to stay as far away from the masses of homeless as possible, I was twenty-two years old and afraid of what my life had become.
As I rode up the elevator with Ethan, I had yet another fear; my inability to say no to sex. If someone was nice, paid attention to me, or provided so much as an ounce of care, it seemed I let them have their way with me sexually. I didn’t look at it as a requirement or payment of sort, but more of a way for them to express a greater degree of concern for my well-being.
For me, sex provided a feeling of comfort. During and after sex, I felt as if my partner had become my guardian, and along with it came tremendous rush of relief. I realized the feeling was false, but it lasted far beyond the physical contact, often for months afterward. As a result, I couldn’t count the amount of people I had sex with – it would be impossible.
I had never, however, known or felt love.
On any level.
“Here we are, number 7,” Ethan said as the bell rang and the elevator door began to open.
I glanced toward the keypad and pushed the door close button. The door stopped mid-way and began to close.
He shrugged his shoulders and scrunched his nose, “What are you doing?”
“I like pushing the buttons, and watching the door open and close is fun,” I sighed, realizing I probably looked like an immature child in doing so.
Ethan reached for the keypad and pushed 8, 9, 10, and 11. As the elevator began to rise, he pushed 7. The elevator raised one floor and the door began to open. He glanced in my direction and tilted his head toward the keypad. I reached for the door close button and pressed it. As the door shuddered and bean to close, I turned toward him and grinned.
So far, I like you.
Ethan was an extremely attractive man. His hair was almost to his shoulders, brown, and clean. Although his face was covered in stubble, it wasn’t enough to hide his strong jawline or the fact that he was also in good physical condition. Overall, his face was well constructed and he was a far above average portrayal of the male species. As the elevator stopped at each floor, I wondered exactly what it was he expected from me. No one had ever given me anything and expected nothing in return.
“So, if I was some 60 year old homeless man, would you have offered to feed me Mexican food and get me out of the weather?” I asked as the elevator reached the seventh floor.
“Same circumstances?” he asked as he reached for the door.
I stood firm in the rear corner of the elevator as if his response might make a difference. I pulled my beanie down tight on my head and lowered my chin slightly as I glanced down at my shoes.
Tell me a lie if you have to.
“Yeah, same circumstances,” I said under my breath.
“I sure would have,” he responded.
I shifted my gaze from my feet to meet his. I liked looking at him much more with his sunglasses off. He seemed honest and caring. The tattoos on his knuckles made me wonder if he had a little story to tell as well. As the elevator began to buzz, the door started to close. He pulled against the it and tilted his head playfully toward the opening. As the buzzing continued, I grinned, shifted the weight of my pack, and stepped into the hallway.
“Follow me. 724, it’s at the end of the hallway on the right,” he said as he walked past me.
“You got it, boss,” I said as attempted to match his stride.
As he put the key into the lock and turned it, he tilted his head toward me, “Ready?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “Suppose so.”
He pushed the door open and motioned inside.
The home was immaculate and in no way what I expected. The furniture was obviously expensive and a combination of leather and various fabrics. Three couches, one large chair, and a loveseat filled the very large open living area. A leather ottoman sat in front of the couch facing the wall with the television on it. Although the television was mounted high on the wall, there were no visible wires.
Weird, maybe it’s just a decoration.
The bathroom door opened and a younger man stepped into the room. He smelled like sunshine and flowers, and looked like he belonged on the front cover of a magazine at the library. As I stood and stared at him, he smiled and held his hand outward.
“Rain, this is Cade. Cade, this is Rain,” Ethan said.
He was tall and thin, and had perfectly cut hair in a modern business style. I tilted my head in his direction, “Nice to meet you. This is a really nice place.”
“Thank you,” he tossed his head toward the bathroom door, “Not to sound pretentious or pompous at all, but if you’d like, you can shower before we eat. I just put a clean towel and washcloth on the sink. There’s everything you need in the shower, including a razor. Dinner should be done in twenty minutes or so.”
I glanced toward Ethan.
He grinned and nodded his head.
I was used to it. Almost always, men wanted me to bathe before they had sex with me. If they only wanted a blowjob, they never really cared if I was clean. If they wanted sex, they always wanted me get cleaned up first. As I gazed through the bathroom door, a small part of me hoped they’d both fuck me. A larger part of me hoped they were simply being nice.
It would be nice for things to be different for just one night.
“You sure?” I asked as I shifted the weight of my pack.
“Quite,” Cade responded.
“It’s fine,” Ethan added, “And when you’re done you’re more than welcome to use the washing machine to clean any of your clothes. Water’s free here, so don’t worry. I’m sure this storm is going to last a while.”
I turned toward Ethan and raised one eyebrow, “Free water?”
“It’s included in the lease. So yeah, free water,” he nodded as he removed his jacket.
Oh dear God.
You shouldn’t have done that.
A black tee shirt hung from his well pronounced chest. Both muscular arms were covered in multiple tattoos, and it appeared he had no gut whatsoever. His waist was significantly smaller than his chest, making it seem, at least from what I was able to see, that he had a very well defined V shape to his torso. He was definitely not the sloppy fifty-something BMW driving east side aircraft engineer I was used to.
“I’ll take you up on that,” I stammered as I turned toward the bathroom.
“Take your time, it’ll be about twenty minutes,” Cade said as he glanced at his watch.
I scrubbed myself in the hot shower, inhaling slowly; allowing the citrus scent of the soap to fill my nostrils. I opened my eyes and watched as the water washed the soap away from my stomach and down my thighs. As the suds swirled down the drain, I gazed down and wondered if this could possibly be a turning point in my life; washing away my past and stepping into a new stage of being, thinking, and living. I leaned away from the shower stream and realized as I squeezed the water from my hair that contemplating the possibility of change was nothing more than dreaming.
And as much as I desired change, dreams aren’t real.
They’re nothing more than far-fetched fantasy.
As Rain took a shower, I hung up my jacket, took off my boots, and washed my hands in the kitchen sink. The thought of talking to her openly, and finding out just what happened in her life to cause her to be homeless intrigued me. I wondered about her past, what her plans were for her future, and even where she came from. Anxious to learn as much as she was comfortable revealing, I picked up the remote and turned on one of my evening music playlists.
“Did you smell her?” Cade whispered as I walked into the kitchen.
Although she didn’t stink, while we were in the elevator, I noticed she smelled dusty. Similar to what I remember the attic space in my grandmother’s house smelling like, it wasn’t anything I found repulsive, but it wasn’t necessarily a desirable odor either.
“Didn’t smell a thing,” I lied, “I thought dinner was ready when I called you from the garage?”
“It was, but I wanted her to shower first. It’s in the oven staying warm. I hope the cheese doesn’t get dry,” he said as he opened the oven door and peeked inside.
I nodded my head and turned toward the counter.
“Well, she smelled funky,” he sighed.
I shrugged my shoulders and glanced at the food he had on display. A bowl full of a corn and cheese mixture he often cooked, a large bowl covered with aluminum foil, and smaller dishes filled shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes sat on the island separating the kitchen from the entry. To the side, a tortilla warmer full of tortillas reminded me more of dining in a Mexican restaurant than eating at home.
Cade was different, that was certain.
“She’ll smell like Axe body wash here in a minute,” I chuckled over my shoulder.
“I wonder what happened,” he said as he closed the door of the oven, “She’s really cute.”
“Dude, poverty is blind,” I said as I reached in the refrigerator and got a beer.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Just what I said,” I responded as I twisted the lid from the bottle, “It doesn’t matter if your cute or ugly, being poor isn’t a choice people make. Do you think she sat in school as a kid and said damn, I can’t wait to graduate, I want to be a homeless girl? I seriously doubt it.”
He shrugged his shoulders, “I guess not. But she’s really cute. The shower stopped, move so I can grab the enchiladas.”
He waved his arms, attempting to get me to move away from the oven. As I stepped aside, I heard the bathroom door open.
“I really hate to ask, but I’m going to,” she hesitated and pressed her face against the four inch wide gap between the door and the frame, “Do you have a pair of sweats or shorts, maybe a really long tee shirt or something I can wear while my clothes are washing?”
“Sure,” I responded.
“Give her one of your wife beaters,” Cade whispered as he reached into the oven.
I glanced over my shoulders and rolled my eyes as I walked past him. As I passed the bathroom, she grinned and closed the door. After a quick survey of my clean clothes, I found a pair of new sweats I had no idea were even mine. I looked in the waistband.
Medium. I don’t own anything that’s medium.
Considering the fact they were possibly my ex-wife’s clothes, I grabbed a clean tee shirt, grinned, and started walking toward the bathroom. As I reached he door, I hesitated, walked to the trash, opened the lid, and pushed the sweats down deep into the trash can.
“What are you doing?” Cade asked.
“They were full of holes. I’m going to grab something else,” I responded.
I walked back to my room and grabbed a pair of cut off sweats I had turned into shorts. Although they were large, the drawstring was intact. I held them at arm’s length and studied the size, wondering what they would look like on her. I walked to the bathroom, and tapped on the door.
As the door opened slightly, I craned my neck in an effort to see a glimpse of her. A very tan hand reached through the door opening. As I handed her the clothes, I glanced below the towel she was wrapped in and noticed a shapely but very pale thigh.
“Thank you,” she said as she closed the door.
“Okay, they’re fine,” Cade said as he peeled the foil from the dish of enchiladas.
I shook my head and chuckled as I walked toward the kitchen, “Glad to hear it, I’d hate for this chick to have to eat slightly overcooked cheese.”
“Table or here?” Cade asked.
“Table,” I responded.
He scrunched his nose and stared, “Seriously? We never eat at the table.”
“We never have company. And it’ll be nice for her,” I shrugged.
“Fine,” he responded as he carried the plates and silverware to the table.
She opened the bathroom door and stepped into the living room. Cade stood directly behind her, carefully placing the plates and silverware on the table. As she raised her hands in the air and smiled, Cade’s eyes widened as he covered his mouth with both hands.
“Ta-dah,” she said as she performed a makeshift curtsy.
As I stood and stared, incapable of speaking, I realized that she far more beautiful than my former high maintenance wife could ever be. Something, however, told me she had no idea she was as gorgeous as she actually was. I shifted my gaze from her to Cade, who still stood behind her staring with his hands covering his mouth.
Sorry, Cade, but if I have any say, this girl isn’t going to be leaving any time soon.