Rush (Gods #2)

By: Samantha Towle
“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

I glance up to the sky. Big, fat raindrops splash on my face. Dark clouds have rolled in from nowhere and opened up to let out water like it’s the sequel to the Great Flood.

“Jesus effin’ Christ,” I grumble to myself as I quickly dig through my bag, looking for my umbrella…which isn’t there. “Crap. Shit. Crap.”

This is just perfect. Frigging perfect.

I don’t even have a jacket on. I’m wearing my new white silk shirt, black skinny jeans, and black heels.

The forecast was for warm weather, and when I got on the bus at Port Authority half an hour ago to travel to East Rutherford, the sun was shining.

Global warming for you. Sigh.

My first day at my new job—the job that my dad got for me—and I’m about to turn up, looking like a drowned rat.

Perfect.

I quickly start walking away from the bus stop, heading toward my new place of work. The New York Giants headquarters and training facility. My dad is Eddie Petrelli, the head coach of the Giants, and he’s hired me to be an assistant to the team. Basically, I’m a lackey. And my dad has totally made up the job, no matter how he denies it, and he did that because I’d lost mine at the gallery, due to me being a total screwup.

I was surprised that he wanted me working here. I’ve embarrassed him enough as of late. But I guess he wants me where he can keep an eye on me.

I’m an alcoholic. A sober alcoholic, thanks to time spent in a detox and rehab facility and the ongoing support of Alcoholics Anonymous and my sponsor, Luke.

The push to rehab came because, a little over six months ago, I was arrested for driving under the influence after I caught my ex-boyfriend, Kyle, in a compromising position at a house party. Basically, his pants were around his ankles and someone I’d thought was a friend was on her knees in front of him. I’m guessing you get the picture.

I left the party, climbed into my ex’s car, and took off. I was drunk off my ass and upset, and I crashed his car into one of the neighbor’s garden walls.

I lost my license—hence why I ride the bus now—and was charged with criminal damage and received a hefty fine.

The gallery sacked me. And trying to get another job since I got out of rehab with a criminal record was nearly impossible.

Not that I didn’t try because I really did. But no one wants to hire an ex-drunk.

So, when I started running out of money to pay my bills, I took the job my dad had offered. I also need to pay my dad. He hasn’t asked for the money he spent on putting me through rehab or paying my fine, and he rebuffs me when I tell him I’m going to pay him back. But I need to start taking responsibility for my actions.

Getting sober was the first step. Paying my dad back is the next, and now that I have this job, thanks to him, I can start doing so.

It takes me fifteen long, rain-soaked minutes to walk to the Giants headquarters.

When I finally get there, I’m drenched through to my underwear, and my hair is plastered to my head. The hour I spent this morning putting on makeup and styling my hair was a total waste of time.

I fish the ID badge that my dad gave me out of my bag as I approach the security booth.

The glass on the booth slides back, revealing a middle-aged guy with a kind face.

“You got caught in the downpour, huh?” He gives me a grin.

“Can you tell?”

He chuckles. “I’d offer you an umbrella, but I don’t think that’s going to help you now.”

“No.” I laugh. “But I might need to borrow it later, if it starts back up.”

“You got yourself a deal. So, how can I help you today?”

“I’m, uh, starting work here today. My name is Arianna Petrelli.” I hand over my ID badge.

“Coach Petrelli’s daughter.” His voice booms with a smile. “Of course. He told me you’d be coming in today.”

At his pleasant greeting, a knot I didn’t realize I had in my stomach eases a little.

I guess it has been on my mind a bit—how people here would treat me. Without a doubt, they all know about my DUI and rehab stint.

My dad wouldn’t have talked about it. Man of few words, my father.

But the daughter of the coach of the Giants charged with a DUI was a journalist’s dream.

Since it happened—aside from the people in rehab, who were pretty much all like me—normal folk are generally disgusted by my behavior, and some aren’t afraid to let me know. Don’t worry; I’m disgusted with myself. I could have killed someone that night.

That’s what I remind myself of when the urge to drink gets too strong.

It’s just hard to have people look at you like you’re a piece of shit, reminding you of what you already think of yourself. And I worried it would be the same here. So, it’s nice for the first person I encounter to look at me with nothing but a smile in his eyes.

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