4 Stories Up is a fictional, serial story that follows a talented, sexy female drummer as she seeks fame and fortune with a band. Tory is a woman making her her way in a male-dominated world of heavy metal. She is passionate in life and music and she plays for keeps. Her feisty nature often gets her in trouble but she fights on towards perfection in her love, her music and her life. – Find past chapters here.
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“Chris,” Tory laughed nervously, “this is Justin, a high school friend.”
“Good to meet you,” Chris said, looking anything but happy. Justin glared back at Chris, not backing down.
“Come on up and meet my parents,” Tory continued, chattering at a voice tone she was sure she had never used before. She willed herself to take a breath before leading Chris by the hand to meet her mom and dad.
“Chris, these are my parents,” she introduced quickly.
Chris held out his hand and after the slightest of hesitations, Mr. Wilson shook it. “Nice to meet you,” he sniffed.
“My dear,” Mrs. Wilson said stiffly, “would you be so kind as to take that…vehicle around back? Ruby will let you and your friends in the back door.”
“Mom!” Tory said, her eyes widening at the tone her parents were taking.
“Sure, Mrs. Wilson,” Chris said. “No problem.”
“Mom,” Tory started.
“Tory please take Justin back inside and show him your father’s study. He wanted to see the new décor in there and we were just on our way when your friends arrived.”
Tory looked around and saw all the other guests looking at her in a mixture of amazement and disapproval. She looked at Chris who was walking back to the van and gesturing for Doug to move it around back. Justin was waiting by the front door impatiently. Her first instinct was to run after Chris and walk with him to the kitchen door, but just then her mother touched her elbow. Her face was strained. “Please, Tory,” she said softly.
Sighing, Tory turned away from the van and walked back up to the front door. “Come on, Justin. I’ll show you the study.”
She didn’t see Chris glance back to see her stepping through the grand, wide door with Justin.
After leading Justin to the study, she went into the kitchen where she found Ruby fussing over her bandmates. She already had Doug and Jake eating cookies and she was setting her sights on Chris.
“You are a cutie, you are!” she gushed at Chris who blushed a bit at the older woman’s attention.
“Ruby!” Tory said, embarrassed.
“What, I’m too old to notice when a good looking man enters my kitchen?” she huffed.
“Guys, I can’t believe you’re here!” Tory smiled at her friends.
“Yah, me either,” Chris said dully.
“Chris, I’m sorry, I…”
“It’s fine. I know we didn’t drive up in a Benz. I just didn’t expect you to care,” Chris said hotly.
“I don’t care!”
“Not how it looked, Tory,” he said, turning away.
“Chris, this is my parents’ home. I…I,” Tory stuttered.
“You didn’t even come over to say hi to Doug and Jake,” Chris accused her.
“I wasn’t expecting you! I could have prepared my parents…”
“For your poor friends?”
“No! This place is just different…”
“Oh, I’ve met old money before,” Chris said heatedly. “No matter how much you have, it’s not as good because your great, great grandfather didn’t earn it. I know how it is.”
“That’s not what I meant. Why, how, what are you guys doing here?” she asked.
“Chris wanted to come to support you,” Doug interjected.
“We did too,” Jake said softly.
“I didn’t mean it that way,” Tory said, tears welling up in her eyes.
“We’ll get out of your way. Guys, let’s head out. I saw a motel back a couple a miles. We’ll stay there, my treat.”
“Fine!” Tory shouted. “God, you are so stubborn!”
“You will do no such thing!” Ruby interrupted with authority. “Tory Wilson, I raised you better than this. What are you thinking? Gentlemen, come with me and I will take you to your rooms right now.”
“What about mom and dad?” Tory asked, her eyes wide.
“Your parents may be a lot of things, but they are polite to a fault and they would not hear of turning your friends out when they came all this way to support you,” Ruby said, her eyes narrowed in anger at Tory.
“Ruby,” Chris started.
“Not another word!” Ruby commanded. “Boys, follow me!”
Tory sat down in the kitchen and lowered her head in her arms, crying softly. Ruby’s rebuke had her reeling. Her heart had leapt with joy when she heard that old van arrive and yet things had unravelled so quickly. It was her parents’ fault. Making them use the back door! Her mother wouldn’t even look Chris in the eyes.
She picked her head up and saw her reflection in the stainless steel fridge. She was wearing a little black dress and her hair was done like a proper lady. She was wearing pumps for heaven’s sake. This wasn’t her parents’ fault or Chris’ fault. Ruby was right. This was all her. She wiped her eyes with a napkin that was laid out with the appetizers. In one day she had lost who she was; who she wanted to be. She had gotten caught up in the luxuries of this life and a man who had been her high school crush.
She had come home to go to her grandmother’s funeral. Her grandmother who had believed in her; in who she had wanted to become. Her grandmother who told her to move to Florida to follow her dreams. Her grandmother who had told her she was better than all this. She was here to honour that woman and so far she had done everything but honour her memory.
Going upstairs, Tory found a pair of dress pants and a black, shiny tank top. She took off the pumps and put on her black sandals with wedge heels. She threw her head frontwards as if she was headbanging to Metallica and messed up her perfect hair. Looking in the mirror, she cleaned up her eyeliner and for the first time since arriving at her old home, she recognized herself in the reflection.
When she came back downstairs, Chris, Doug and Jake were back in the kitchen being pampered by Ruby. Ruby looked up and smiled proudly at the young woman entering the room.
“Guys?” Tory ventured nervously.
The three turned to look at her and Doug smiled widely.
“I owe you such a huge apology. I haven’t been myself since I got here and I’m just so messed up about my grandmother dying,” her voice broke.
Chris got up and walked to her side. She looked into his eyes and tears flowed down her cheeks. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“You should be,” he said gruffly and to her surprise, he leaned in and kissed her passionately in front of everyone.
Tory was shocked for a moment and then giggled. “You forgive me?” she smiled through her tears.
“I forgive you,” he laughed.
“Great,” she said. “Now I have to fix my makeup again!”
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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