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The Deep of the Sound

Cover of The Deep of the Sound

The Deep of the Sound

A Bluewater Bay Novel
by Amy Lane
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Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer's, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He's got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they're killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf's Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he's worried he'll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal's fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery "until we can't" — and the cost of changing that to "until forever" might be too high, however much they both want it.

Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer's, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He's got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they're killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf's Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he's worried he'll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal's fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery "until we can't" — and the cost of changing that to "until forever" might be too high, however much they both want it.

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    Going Out

    "You going out today, Calladh?" Uncle Nascha sounded surprised. He'd slept in the battered recliner the night before, and the corduroy wrinkles obscured his face so much Cal hadn't seen his eyes were open in the dark of the living room.

    Cal had just come in from the boat dock to grab his forgotten lunch, and he didn't state the obvious: he was wearing his hip waders and old slicker, and it was five o'clock on a misty, freezing morning in February. There was nowhere to go but out.

    "Yeah, Nascha — if I can catch enough freshwater cod, the chef at the Global'll buy 'em from me." Nascha knew this. Cal worked two jobs — one was as a busboy at the Global Restaurant and Casino and the other was his own independent fishing business. Between the two of them, he could just barely afford the payments on Nascha's ramshackle beachfront house and someone to come look after Nascha and Keir.

    "Your brother will miss you when you're gone."

    Cal closed his eyes. "I know, Nascha. But you need to make him take his pills anyway." Keir didn't listen to Nascha quite like he listened to Cal, but Cal couldn't help that. Cal had set the meds out in the little weekly plastic thing, the white one for day and the black one for night. God, he hoped he'd gotten it right. Adderall, risperidone, Cymbalta — ADHD, Asperger's, anxiety, OCD, possible bipolar — it was a powerful cocktail, and they'd gone through…hell, vehicles, teachers, sheriffs, and half the kitchen to get it right. Keir was prone to hitting things with rocks and fire when he was anxious or upset. Nascha used to be able to deal with him, but Nascha had his own drug cocktail now, Exelon ranking high on the list. Nascha didn't always remember that Keir needed his medicine — morning and evening cocktails — without Cal or a caregiver around. He also didn't remember to turn off the stove or take the bread out of the toaster or keep Keir inside the house.

    Mostly, he didn't remember that Keir was no longer a little boy running down the street screaming in a voice that would shatter glass. Keir was twenty now, with a powerful body and a fondness for all of Cal's fishing knives (which Cal kept locked in the safe out by the boat), and a disturbing habit of tracking the girls in their neighborhood.

    "Cherry's rounding the corner, yellow dress, shows her ass when she bends over. Stop yelling, Cherry. Stop yelling, it leads to hitting."

    Keir's fixation on girls wasn't limited to the extremely young, but what was Cal supposed to do? He'd told the doctor who dispensed the meds, but his only response had been to up Keir's medication.

    Cal knew — just knew — that his parents would have been able to deal with Keir. His mother and father had been so…capable, had such pure hearts and such practical joy in dealing with their fractious, damaged son. But they'd gone for a drive after heavy rains six years ago, and their battered pickup had been washed off the side of a mountain in a mudslide.

    Cal's dreams of college, of playing sports, of meeting a boy the way his mother had met his father — all of that had been washed down the mountain too. At barely eighteen, he'd been left in charge of keeping things together, and part of that was making sure Keir had his medication, and Uncle Nascha got his too. And living with that gnawing worry, every day, from dawn until dusk, past dusk, until he was just too tired to see anymore.

    "I don't mean go out to work," Nascha said, snapping Cal back to the present through eyes gritty with lack of sleep. "I mean go out tonight. It's Valentine's Day this week, Cal — don't you have a school dance to go to?"

    Oh. Okay....

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A Bluewater Bay Novel
Amy Lane
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