Coming Home

He came home, and she knew hell would break loose...


5. Carnival


We were running though our whole set over and over to make sure every little detail was perfect. We could not risk it going wrong with all that we had added; it needed to be spot on, perfect. I was sweating bullets and Haylee and Bee looked like they were dying and Taylor was going back and forth between us and helping Carol out elsewhere.

“You girls really kicked it up a notch this year, huh?” Carol said walking over with Taylor.

“Of course; I wanted to change it up.” I said. “Even though it is only just adding on to what I already do normally.”

“Well having Bee and Haylee really makes it special.” Carol said, nodding. “Are you girl’s hungry?”

“Yes!” We all said and Carol smiled.

“Of course you are. Come over here in the shade and I’ll bring you out your dinner.” We all went over to a table with a tree and umbrella for shade and scarfed down our food and were still inhaling bottles of water to try and cool off even more.

“Again, another late day for you 2.” Peggy said when Taylor and I got home.

“Oh yeah; it’s been crazy in town.” Taylor said. “Carol has so much she needs done.”

“She must; it must be one big event this year.” My mom said.

“Of course; there’s no other way to do it.”

The rest of the week flew by and by the time Monday rolled around, Bee, Haylee, and I were ready and we could not wait for our show tonight. We knew we were going to kill it and I knew my whole family, and Kane was curious as fuck since Taylor told me he was peppering her with questions and since she kept her mouth shut, he knew something was up.

“This is pretty fucking cool.” Jake said when we all got into town, late afternoon.

“Yeah, it’s nice.” I said, looking around. “Taylor, you killed it with helping Carol out with everything.”

“Oh believe me, her food made it worth it.” I started laughing as Bee and Haylee walked up.

“Hey guys.” Kane said and waved, still staring at me.

“We need to get ready; Carol is looking for us.”

“Cool; see you guys later.” I said before running off with Haylee and Bee, knowing this was going to be the best show ever.



For the rest of the afternoon, my friends and I wandered around trying samples of things and actually buying some stuff. I was surprised how much I liked this since it was so different than what I was used to doing back home but it was just…so cool.

“Sam!” I called, finding her with Dean and Jackson.

“What’s up?”

“Where is your sister? I haven’t seen her all night and it’s starting to get dark.”

“Hey there!” Haylee said, running over with Taylor and Bee. “Sam, there you are; we were looking for you.”

“Let me guess, Bethany needs me?”

“Of course.” Bee said. 

“Right; see you guys later.”

“Uh, what’s going on?” I asked, turning to Dean and Jackson.

“You don’t know?” Jackson asked.

“No; those girls have kept quiet about whatever is going on all week.” Tommy said.

“Yeah, that means shit is going down.” Dean said, laughing. “Come on, let’s go. You’re not going to want to miss this…”

“Miss what?” I asked as we followed Dean and Jackson towards the stage.



“What do you want?”

“Slut me up, sis.”

“Now that’s one request I would love to help you with; about damn time you tried to get Kane to start looking. Not that he hasn’t been anyway.” Sam said, going through my clothes.

“Fuck off.” Sam smirked and pulled out a black, lacy crop top with short shorts and of course, they matched my boots.

“You know, just because you love your boots. Plus, with all the shit you’ve been doing this week, I’m sure this is gonna be big. Sex up your hair.”  

“What?” I asked, confused as I pulled the clothes on.

“Here…” Sam grabbed my head and started tossing my hair around. “There…and keep playing with it as you sing; it’ll drive him crazy. He tells me it does all the time.”

“What the fuck, Sam?!”

“Do you want my help or not?”

“Thanks…” I said slowly and smiled. “Best sister ever.”

“I know. I’m keeping my mouth shut.”

“Even better sister.”

“I know. Kill it tonight. I think Dean and Jackson have them right up front and close too but if not, I’ll get them there.”

“Thanks!” I said. Sam smirked and shook her head before walking off.

“Damn girl…are you trying to give my brother a stroke?” Taylor asked, walking around backstage.

“This is all Sam’s doing.”

“Of course it is; she was always the crazy sister. But hey, he likes black and you have got all the right parts showing.”

“Damn my girl is hot!” Haylee yelled as her and Bee came running over.

“It’s time though, are you ready? They need us side stage.” Bee said.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I said, shaking off the nerves.

“Cool; we’ll be in the crowd waiting for you to jump down.” Haylee said, smirking. “Good luck.” I nodded and smiled as they walked off.



“Did you guys change?” I asked as Haylee and Bee appeared.

“Yeah; it’s party time; it’s what we do.” Bee said, shrugging.

“Jesus…you can’t be serious….” Jackson said. I looked over at him and Bee was shoving her hand in his face and I just slowly turned back to the stage.

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to our carnival this year.” Carol said, taking stage. Everyone was clapping and hollering and I was still confused, looking around. “As always, we have our one and only perform; the best of the best, who went above and beyond this year…Bethany Walker!” Everyone started screaming again and my eyes went wide.

“Country road 233, nothin’ on this white rock but little ole me, I’ve got two miles til he makes bail, and if I’m right, we’re headed straight for hell…” My jaw dropped as she started walking right towards me. I was trying to breathe but felt like I couldn’t.

“I’m going home gonna load my shot gun, wait by the door and light a cigarette, if he wants a fight well now he’s got one…” I snapped my head back and saw Haylee and Bee walking towards her and I looked back at Bethany who was still singing and everyone was dancing with them and smiling and clapping while out of the corner of my eye I saw Sam and Taylor smirking.

After the first song was over the 3 of them went back on stage and continued their set and everyone was grabbing dance partners and I was just still staring at Bethany. I had no idea she could fucking sing too and here she was, with a voice I had never expected to come out of her…

“Want to dance?” Sam asked me, half laughing.


“What? It’s a yes or no question. Bethany said you suck at it and need some work.”


“What? Is that a yes or no?”

“I guess so…” I said, looking back up at her and I must’ve caught her eye because she looked over and smirked at me. Sam grabbed my hand and pulled me towards everyone dancing and was trying to catch me up on what little Bethany already showed me. Yet, I was still tripping all over myself because I kept catching myself looking up at her.

“Sis, you fucking killed it!” Sam said, when her, Haylee, and Bee were done and made their way back over to our group.

“Oh why thank you!” Bethany said, sitting down next to Dean.

“Literally, fucking killed it.” Dean said. “I’ve never seen you come up with a set that good before.”

“A little extra work and some friends makes anything possible.” Haylee said, happily, sitting on Dean’s lap.

“It’s open mic now; are you going to sing?” Bethany asked Jackson.

“Nah, I can’t follow that shit up.”

“Kane, you go!” Taylor said happily.

“You sing?” Bethany asked, turning to me.

“A little…”

“A little? That’s a joke. You just finished that really good song; Lose It. They have a guitar for you too.”

“Come on, do it!” Bee yelled.

“No guys, really…I can’t follow that shit up.”

“Okay, I’ll cut you a deal; sing a song with me, and then you sing your song.” Bethany said, smirking.


“BRO DO IT!” Tommy yelled.

“Fine, fine…what song?” I asked, turning to Bethany.

“I’ll have them put the lyrics up for you. It’s a duet; come on.” I followed Bethany to the stage and everyone started clapping.

“Uh are you sure about this?” I asked, all nervous. Bethany nodded and grabbed the mic.

“Hey ya’ll!” Everyone started clapping again. “So I convinced Kane Brown here to sing a couple songs for us but before we get just him, we’re gonna do a duet.” Everyone clapped and screamed again and I saw my mom started to slowly walk forward, knowing how bad I got stage fright, looking confused yet happy and excited. “So here it is, What Ifs.” Bethany said, handing me a mic. We both got stools and they handed us both guitars and she smiled. I nodded to her and she started playing the song.

“You say what if I hurt you, what if I leave you, what if I find somebody else and I don’t need you, what if this goes south, what if I mess you up, you say what if I break your heart in two then what, well I hear you girl, I feel you girl, but not so fast, before you make your mind up I gotta ask…” I started singing.

“What if I was made for you and you were made for me, what if this is it, what it’s meant to be, what if I ain’t one of them fools just playing some game, what if I pulled you close, what if I leaned in and the stars line up and it’s our last first kiss, what if one of these days baby, I go and change your name, what if I loved all these what ifs away…” Bethany and I both sang. I looked over at her and she was just feeling the music and smiling and going with it.

When we finished the song, everyone was clapping and hollering again and I felt all the fears melt away and Bethany smiled at me and raised both her eyebrows at me as if to say good job.

“Thank you ladies and gentleman…now Kane here has a song he wrote himself he would like to sing for ya’ll.” Bethany walked off leaving me alone and I looked back out and saw my mom holding her heart like she couldn’t be more proud and I took a deep breath.

“Thanks everyone…uh this is a song I wrote myself called uh, Lose It.” I paused and heard everyone holler again and I waved some other musicians on since it was a bit more upbeat and went over the beat with them a bit and they nodded, getting ready.

“That little ringing, buzzin, good for nothing phone in your hands, the directions to the party that’s just started with that cover band, the old school radio station, let’s just drive until it’s faded, girl, let’s lose it, tonight cause when you do that thing right there, flipping your hair, baby I swear…” I watched as Bethany and her friends started coming on to the dance floor to dance and I suddenly could only watch her.

“I don’t think you know what you’re doing to me, you got my heart skip-skipping a beat, you’re not close enough so that space between, you and me, lets lose it. The way you’re dancing, swaying to the music, girl, I lose it, yeah I lose it, yeah I lose it.” Bethany was laughing and smiling as she was spinning around with Haylee and I almost wished it was me down there with her.

“Let’s start with them Luke Caseys baby, kick ‘em to the floorboard and bobby pins holding your hair up, girl you don’t need ‘em no more. That dress hanging off your shoulder as you move a little closer, yeah, lets lose it tonight, yeah, girl.” Bethany looked up at me and I smiled at her and she smiled back before spinning her way back around to Bee this time.

“I don’t think you know what you’re doing to me, you got my heart skip-skipping a beat, you’re not close enough so that space between you and me, lets lose it. The way you’re dancing, swaying to the music, girl that body and how you move it, every time you cross my mind, girl I lose it, yeah I lose it, yeah I lose it. Cause when you do that thing right there, flipping your hair, baby I swear…I don’t think you know what you’re doing to me, you got my heart skip-skipping a beat, you’re not close enough so that space between you and me, let’s lose it. The way you’re dancing, swaying to the music, girl, that body and how you move it, every time you cross my mind, girl I lose it, yeah I lose it, yeah I lose it…”

When I finished, everyone was clapping and screaming even louder than before and I was smiling. I thanked everyone and caught Bethany’s eyes one last time and she winked like she knew something I didn’t. I handed the guitar back and walked off the stage back to everyone.

“YOU KILLED IT, DUDE!” Travis said, shaking my shoulders.

“I had no idea you had that in you.” Jake said.

“You still got your little southern accent.” Bethany said, walking over. “Haven’t totally lost it, Kane.” I watched as she walked over to the bar set up.

“What does she know that I don’t?” I said, turning to Taylor. “She knows fucking something.”

“Yeah, she knows a lot of things. It’s a girl thing; but I ain’t telling you sir.” Taylor smirked and skipped off after Bethany.



“Girl, how did you know about the song?!” Taylor asked, skipping over to me.

“Sam told me about it. She caught Kane using my guitar and he cracked and told her about it and she told me.”

“Oh my god. How did you keep that shit quiet?” Taylor asked.

“Easy; he actually has a lot of love songs written with “dedicated to Bethany” written by the title.”

“Oh my god…what?! I didn’t even know this and I live with him!”

“Yeah, nothing is really a secret down here. You gotta work really hard to keep a secret.”

“No kidding…” Taylor said looking back at Kane who was still staring at us. “Are you going to talk to him?”

“I don’t know. It almost seems too easy for him.”

“You never let my brother get off easy.” Taylor said, rolling her eyes.

“Exactly, so why would I start now?”

“Good point; margarita please.” Taylor said, turning to the bartender.

I found Stella and went off with her and met up with Maggie, needed a change of scenery and people. I wanted to make sure Kane knew I knew something but I really wanted it to bother him. I’m not gonna sit here and make him cry like he did me, but I was sure as hell going to make him wonder and think and work for what he wanted even if I wanted it too.

“So you and Kane, huh?” Maggie said.

“Yeah, he just doesn’t know it yet. He’s gotta work for it.” I joked.

“Oh my god, I can’t with you. You never let him off easy. That poor boy is only here for the summer! I would think you’d want all the time you could get with him!” Stella said, smirking at me.

“Sure; but I like fucking with him since he made me miserable, I’m just returning the favor but in a different way.” I pointed out.

“I like it.” Stella said, smirking and shaking her head.

After a bit, I ended up hanging out by myself near the back, getting tired. This was a long week, the show took a lot out of me and I was honestly ready for a nap, or a really nice long sleep since I haven’t been sleeping much either. I looked up, feeling someone watching me and saw Kane heading my way and shook my head and stared back at him.

“Okay, what aren’t you telling me?” He asked, sitting down next to me.

“What makes you think I’m not telling you something?”

“You were not surprised at all I could play or sing. You seemed like you already knew.”

“Uh yeah, because Travis and Jake said you had written a song so it only makes sense.” I shrugged and took a sip of my beer.

“Yeah but that didn’t even surprise you.”

“So? Do I need to be surprised about everything I learn about you like you are with me? Do I need to drool over everything you do like you do me?”

“Hey, hold on now.”

“Oh please, Kane. You don’t hide it as well as you like to believe you do.”

“Okay so what? I like you, I’ve liked you since we were kids. Is that so unbelievable to you?”

“Eh, not really. Not since you got back anyway. Maybe when we were kids it would’ve been a stretch for me to believe but now, not so much. As I said, you don’t hide it very well.”

“That’s it? That’s all I get out of you for admitting it to your face?”

“Yeah, pretty much.” I shrugged and sipped my beer again. “I mean, I still haven’t forgiven you so I don’t know what else you want me to say.”

“What else do I have to do? I mean shit, ever since we’ve been kids I liked you. Sure, I handled it like shit when we were kids but like I’m older now and I want to show you how much you mean to me. I haven’t been able to think about anyone else, even after we moved, I always just kept thinking about you and how much I missed you and compared everyone to you as I got older.”

“Compared everyone to me? Like you even knew who I was and what kind of person I was as I got older.”

“I heard enough from my mom when our parents would talk that I knew enough. You are someone in a class of their own…”

“Thanks, appreciate it, but that doesn’t change anything.”

“What do I need to do?” Kane practically begged.

“Actions speak louder than words.” I shrugged and got up and finished my beer off. “See you at home.”

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