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Authors: Katie Graykowski

Getting Lucky (The Marilyns)

BOOK: Getting Lucky (The Marilyns)
2.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub




Getting Lucky


Katie Graykowski



Copyright © 2014 by Katie Graykowski

All Rights Reserved.


No part of this work may be reproduced in any fashion without the express, written consent of the copyright holder.


Getting Lucky
is a work of fiction. All characters portrayed herein are fictitious and are not based on any real persons living or dead.




For all the dreamers…it’s okay to believe in the fairy tale.







Getting Lucky
wouldn’t be a reality without the love and support of many people. For my husband, thanks for doing all of the cooking and giving me the support to make my dreams come true. For my darling daughter, thanks for making me smile, especially when you weren’t trying to be funny. For my fellow writers—Emily McKay, Tracy Wolff, Robyn De Hart, Hattie Mae, Shellee Roberts, and Sherry Thomas—thanks for being my fairy godmothers and not banishing me for being the wicked witch of West Austin. Thank you, Penny Poalson, for answering my numerous questions and being willing to read crappy first drafts. Thanks, Mom, for dropping everything, driving six hours in the freezing cold, and coming to my rescue when life got in the way of writing. You are the best mother in the world. And thanks to my fans. Y’all are the reason I write. I hope you like Lucky’s story, and may your dreams come true!




Chapter 1



Lucky Strickland logged onto her eBay account and nearly cried. Whether the tears were due to grief, despair, elation, or gastric upset from the Big Mac and super-sized fries she’d just wolfed down, it was hard to say.

Her prized black Manolo Blahnik alligator boots had just sold for a whopping seven hundred bucks to one of her best customers, WABROCKS101. Not eighteen months ago, she’d paid fourteen grand for them and hadn’t batted an eye; now that seemed like another lifetime. In the last year and a half, she’d lost—in no particular order—her husband, her house, her cars, her dignity, and now her Manolo Blahniks… It was the pointy-toed, straw-thin heel that broke the camel’s back.

Shifting on the hard, plastic yellow bench at the back of the McDonald’s in Bee Cave, Texas, she slurped the last of her Diet Coke and didn’t make eye contact with the three teenaged girls sitting across the aisle from her. They huddled around an iPhone and giggled between not-so-surreptitious glances.

Having been through this at least a gazillion times, Lucky could practically hear the questions running around their empty heads:
Are you really Lucky Strickland? Did you really not know that your husband had three kids with his mistress until he introduced them to you on live TV? Did your husband really die in a car accident, or was it staged for ratings?

Good thing the police were sure the car hadn’t been tampered with or Lucky would have been the number one suspect.

Being famous hadn’t been Lucky’s dream, and neither had the reality show that had been her life.
Rock -My World
was supposed to advance her husband’s music career, not turn her into a worldwide laughingstock. Thanks to her dead husband’s bizarre will, she only legally owned all of the contents of her bedroom closet—not the house, only her closet. If she’d known this when he was alive, she’d have shopped more and bought bigger diamonds. After two full years of probate wherein any/all of Ricky’s illegitimate children could come forward and be considered for their share of his estate, she got everything … sort of. As it stood, she had to share his estate with three illegitimate children, but God only knew how many more were out there.

Lucky closed the lid on Lana, her MacBook Pro, shook her cup, clamped her teeth around the red straw, and repositioned it to get the last molecules of Diet Coke. She stood. Since free refills were all she could afford, it was a good thing she was dining in. On her way to the drink machine, she paused at the teenaged girls’ table.

“The answers are: yes, no, and hell yes, dead as a doornail … really.” She sauntered over to the fountain drink machine and didn’t look back.

Gawkers she could deal with; it was the sympathetic looks on the knowing faces of other wronged wives that made her want to pull the covers over her head and never get out of bed again.

A short man with an obvious comb-over headed her way. His brows rose as his eyes slithered down her body. Lucky, at six foot even and size fourteen, was all boobs and butt. In Dolce and Gabbana black skinny jeans, black motorcycle boots, and a Marc Jacobs red sequin tank, she wasn’t hiding, but she wasn’t flaunting it either. After leveling a don’t-even-think-about-it glare at the comb-over, she tossed her long chestnut hair over her shoulder and double-dog-dared anyone to pity her. As long as the world still believed she was the ultra-wealthy party girl who didn’t give a shit that her cheating husband had a family with another woman, she could keep her head held high.

“Excuse me.” Someone tapped her on the shoulder. Clearly the comb-over hadn’t taken her glare seriously.

“Yes, I am; no, I didn’t know about the mistress; and yes, he couldn’t be deader if he’d wrapped his car around that tree twice.” She kept her eyes on the cup, filling it to the tip-top.

“I know Ricky’s dead.” Will Brodie’s voice was so like her husband’s, only more controlled. “I’ve missed you, Lucky.”

Rage and longing rolled through her. What she wouldn’t give to hear Ricky say her name just one more time. She’d savor the sound of it rolling off his lips while wrapping her hands around his throat and choking the life out of him.

Will touched her shoulder again. “You can’t avoid me forever. There are things to deal with… The production company is suing you, me, and anyone else associated with the show. They want their twenty million back.”

People didn’t always get what they wanted. For example, she didn’t want to be the penniless widow of a cheating bastard, but when the shoe fit… Too bad she’d had to sell most of her shoes.

“If Ricky’s property wasn’t tied up in probate, they’d have taken everything.” No emotion—no highs or lows, no drama—just the opposite of his half brother, Ricky. How two such different people could’ve come from the same womb was a mystery.

Taking her time turning around, she debated the idea of throwing her Diet Coke in his face. But she was thirsty, and the value meal was the last of the cash she’d gotten from the sale of her favorite Judith Lieber evening bag. Steven Tyler had given her that bag—she should have slept with him when she’d had the chance. Out of respect for Steven, she resolved to drink no less than nine more free refills.

“Having me followed?” Lucky stared directly into Will’s milk-chocolate eyes. He had three times the amount of eyelashes as a normal person, and she’d forgotten how tall he was. She had to look up a good five inches. “That’s beneath even you.”

His eyes lingered on her face—like he was drinking it in so he could store every detail.

She swiped a hand across her mouth in case there was some mustard or secret sauce on her upper lip.

“Don’t flatter yourself. Several people tweeted that you were here working on your laptop. You don’t exactly blend in.” He’d always said that if a Victoria’s Secret model and Xena the Warrior Princess had a lesbian love child, Lucky would be it. Even if she’d been wearing mom jeans and a PTA tee shirt, she’d stick out.

His level stare was starting to piss her off. Why didn’t he yell? Not that he was justified, but it would have felt good to make him lose his cool … just once. “We need to talk.”

Her eyes were beginning to sting, but she refused to blink first. “No, we don’t. I’m done with you.”

He blinked.

She took a victory guzzle of her drink. “If I never see you again, it’ll be too soon.” Stepping left, she tried to go around him, but he blocked her way.

“I can have you arrested. There are several bench warrants with your name on them.”

“Wow, that’s the best you can do? All those years of law school… What a waste of money. Go ahead”—she shrugged—“arrest me. Since the mighty Bee Cave Police Department doesn’t have a jail, I suppose they could handcuff me to the bike rack out front of the station.” She made to push past him, but he didn’t budge. “Get out of my way.”

“Not until we talk.”

“That’s what we’ve been doing.” She rolled her eyes. “In case you missed it, you threatened me, I insulted you. If your mother were here trying to force-feed us potato salad and vodka martinis, it would be just like the last decade of Thanksgivings.” She took a gulp. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to finish this and nine more before I head out.”

To where was anyone’s guess. She needed to wait until dark before burglarizing her own house and stealing her own stuff so she could pay her cell phone bill and keep a roof over her head. It didn’t matter that the roof was the convertible top of a ’68 Camaro SS that was permanently rusted in the down position. Thank God Central Texas was in a drought, because rainy nights made living in her car problematic.

“All that Diet Coke isn’t good for you. The chemicals leech calcium from your bones.” His self-righteous heath-nut habits had always inspired her to find the nearest box of Froot Loops and knock back a couple of handfuls.

“You should encourage me to drink more. Because the sooner my bones turn to dust, the faster you’ll get my husband’s money. Make no mistake, the only way you will ever see a dime of it is over my dead body.” Lucky would hate Will until the day she died. He’d known about Ricky’s infidelity. For her entire fifteen-year marriage, Will had let her cry on his shoulder after she and Ricky had one of their infamous fights, all the while knowing that after Ricky had stormed out, he was on the way to

Will had never told Lucky.

What was worse, the bastard who’d cheated on her or the best friend who hadn’t told her the truth?

Betrayal just about squeezed the life out of her.

“There is nothing you can say that will ever make things right between us. You can sue me, you can threaten me until you run out of hot air, but the fact of the matter is, in six months when Ricky’s probate is finished, you will be out of my life … permanently.” It couldn’t come soon enough.

Will folded his arms across his chest and stepped out of her way. “In all the years I’ve known you, I would have never taken you for a coward.”

“A coward? Meeee?” Her voice turned high and squeaky. Maybe he’d been drinking buckets of Diet Coke and it had leeched the brain cells right out of his head. “I’m the one who refuses to back down. A coward…” She shook her head. “Wanna see a coward, look in the mirror.”

He didn’t even flinch. “You have responsibilities. You need to face them.”

“I don’t need to face jack shit. Those three”—she threw up some air quotes—“responsibilities aren’t mine. I ain’t birthed no babies.” She pointed to her lower abdomen. “Hysterectomy, remember? Cervical cancer.”

“Do you really think I could forget?” A muscle ticked in his jaw. “While you nurse that ball of hate, try to remember who drove you to chemo and held your head while you were sick and who carried you back to bed when you couldn’t walk. It wasn’t your precious Ricky. While he was on tour doing God knows what, I was there for you. You may hate me”—he leaned closer—“but you owe me. And you know it.”

Her bravado was melting faster than the ice in her cup. It was true she owed him big-time. “That’s the only reason I haven’t broken your pretty nose.”

His eyes softened, and they both knew he had her.

“You get five minutes. Follow me.” She headed back to her table and plopped down on the bench. “Welcome to my office.”

Will grabbed a couple handfuls of napkins from the dispenser on top of the trash can, wiped down the seat across from her, attempted to fit his stilt-sized legs under the table, and settled for sitting sideways. He turned his head toward her. “You need to meet the girls.”

“Time’s up.” No matter how caring he’d been while she was sick, being in the same room as the mistress and her children wasn’t going to happen. Lucky sucked up a healthy mouthful of Diet Coke and opened her laptop. She could ignore him for the remaining four minutes and change.

Beef patties sizzled on the cooktop, and fries popped and bubbled in hot oil. If heaven had a smell, this would be it.

Since she was running out of clothes to sell, it was time to move on to home furnishings. What were couches going for these days? Would anyone notice that one of the living room sofas was missing? How was postage figured on something that big? Clicking in the search window, she made it as far as “cou” before her laptop was whisked away.

With his absurdly long arms, Will held it above her head, just out of her reach. “I still have four minutes and thirteen seconds. Ignoring me won’t work.”

Leave it to him to know exactly how much time he had left. Details… He’d always been the details man. She grabbed for Lana the Laptop, but he snatched it away. Lucky sighed long and hard. “Real mature.”

BOOK: Getting Lucky (The Marilyns)
2.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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