So, here it is. My David Story.

A little background...

I participated in an interactive fan fiction on a friend's site, and my character ended up with David. I spent so much time immersing myself in his music and stories about him (which are hard to find, by the way) that he took over my thoughts for quite some time. I couldn't get him out of my head. He's still in there, rattling doors and opening drawers and such, but he's behaving himself. Mostly.

This story came out as an outlet for me to try to get through my little obsession. I told some of the girls from the other fan fic exercise, and they thought it was hysterical that I got so wrapped up, that I couldn't think of anything but him.

They convinced me to "go public" with the story, so here it is.

I hope you enjoy it. It starts here.

~ Hath

Chapter 88: Aftermath

Friday, March 28, 2008

“HATH!” David shouted, his voice clogged with emotion. Ang was by his side in minutes, and the two of them were running up the platform as far and as fast as they could go. There was no sign of Hath anywhere, though they did see her car in the lot.

Ang and David saw people staggering up the embankment, took one look at each other, and took off running full-tilt toward them. They scoured the faces of everyone they passed, but no Hath. They ran for what seemed like a mile, and when the got to the train, David cried out when he got a view of what had happened. There were no fatalities, but people were laying in the grass, some were loading onto buses, others were just standing, shell shocked.

David looked at each of their faces. “I can’t see her, Ang,” he said, his voice approaching panic. “Where the Christ is she?” David ran up to an EMT with a clipboard. “Hello, I’m trying to find my wife,” he said.

“What’s her name?” the EMT answered calmly. David wanted to wring his neck.

“Gengras,” David said, “Hath – Jenilee – Gengras.”

He scanned the sheets on his clipboard. “She didn’t get on any of the buses or into any ambulance, Mr. Gengras.” The EMT looked over at the train. “Everyone is out of the train, she must be over with the others who haven’t been picked up yet, or she’s headed back up the tracks to the station.”

With a strangled curse, David took off with Ang right behind him. As they rounded the front of the train, Ang stopped him. “THERE!” she shouted, and pointed halfway down the car.

David swore. “What the fuck is she doing?” he asked.

He saw his Hath, kneeling on the ground next to a woman who was bleeding. Hath had blood all over her skirt, and as he watched, she held her arms up to a tall man who tore Hath’s silk sleeves from her blouse. Hath poured water onto one of them, and gently mopped blood from the woman’s face. With the other sleeve, she gently patted the woman’s face dry.

Hath smiled at the woman and touched her hair, and the woman pulled Hath into a hug. Hath, not caring that the woman was bleeding all over her, held the woman close. The EMTs finally took the woman gently from Hath’s arms, and David watched as she picked up the woman’s belongings, and followed her to a bus. Once the woman was on board, Hath went back to another person sitting on the ground crying and just put her arm around her. The woman leaned into Hath, and his girl kissed the woman’s forehead. She said something to her that made the woman laugh, and David smiled.

Then he got angry.

David ran toward her. “HATH!” he called.

“David,” she said, giving the woman on the ground a squeeze before standing. She held out her arms, and started forward, but stopped. “I’m all bloody,” she said, holding up her hands.

“Get your ass over here,” David said, and pulled Hath in close, crushing her to his chest, lifting her wholly off the ground and spinning her around. “Thank God you’re okay,” he said. He held her at arm’s length and searched her face. Her beautiful face was covered with dozens of little cuts and there was a big bruise on her temple. Her hands and arms were cut too, but weren’t bleeding, and ironically, none of her nails were broken. Her nylons were torn, and one sleeve was torn from her blouse. She looked like she’d been through a war. He pulled her to him again, and gave her a long, sweet kiss, and just held her close.

“David, baby, I’m okay,” she said, crying with relief that he was there. “How did you find me?”

He pulled Ang in with them. “Ang drove to the train station. We followed the trail of people back here, and Ang spotted you.”

Ang gave Hath a hug, then pulled back to look in her face. “Are you really okay, sweetie?”

Hath nodded. “I’m okay. Just a few cuts scrapes and bruises, and,” she laughed, motioning to her clothes, “a suit that will never be the same again.”

David wanted to shake her. “What were you doing? Why didn’t you get back to the station or get on a bus or --”

Hath put up a hand. “Baby, I wasn’t really hurt,” she said, “and others were.”

“You’re not a nurse! It’s not your responsibility --” but Hath cut him off.

“David, please don’t yell at me for doing the right thing.” Hath’s voice was soft and soothing. “I may not be a nurse or EMT, but I can hold someone’s hand or clean blood off her face. And it is my responsibility, my moral responsibility, to be a decent person.”

David gently traced his hands over her face. “You are something else,” he said. “Did you get checked out by the EMTs?”

Hath shook her head. “No, I was OK, and didn’t want to bother them.”

“Well, I’m gonna,” David said, and brought her over to the man with the clipboard he had spoken to a few minutes ago.

“Mr. Gengras,” the EMT said. “I see you found your wife.”

Hath looked at David, eyebrow raised. David just smiled, and answered, “Yep, sure did. She’s pregnant, and I’d sure feel better if she got checked out.”

The EMT’s eyes went wide. “Pregnant? You should have told us right away. How far along are you? Any cramping?”

“A little over ten weeks,” Hath said, “and no.”

“She’s pregnant with twins,” David added.

The EMT made a note on the clipboard, and said, “You want to ride the next bus to the hospital? Or get there on your own?”

“I don’t need --” Hath started, but this time David interrupted her.

“Well get there on our own. Thank you,” he said.

Hath rolled her eyes. “Where are the buses taking everyone here?”

“Caritas,” the EMT said. “You may want to go to Good Samaritan, it’ll be less crowded.”

They turned to leave, and started the walk back up to the station. “Where’s your stuff, sweetie?” Ang asked.

Hath looked around. She had no earthly idea. “Probably over near where you found me,” she said, and Ang went off. She came back a few minutes later with Hath’s backpack and laptop.

“The woman you were talking to had them,” Ang said. “She said to thank you and that she saw what you did for that other lady.” Ang laughed. “She wants to buy you a new shirt.”

Hath laughed at that. She laughed good and hard, and had to either sit or fall down, so she dropped gracefully to the ground. She put her head in her hands and was hysterical, and couldn’t get herself under control. Ang and David looked at each other, then dropped down on the ground next to her. David gathered Hath into his arms, and Ang rubbed her back. After a few minutes, Hath’s laughter turned to great gulping sobs, and the tears flowed. It was a good long while until she had control of herself. “You feel better?” David said.

Hath nodded, sniffling. “Let’s get out of here,” she whispered, and they started back to the station.

David drove Hath to the hospital, and Ang followed in Hath’s car. “There’s no way I’m not coming with you,” Ang said. They pulled in to the emergency room, and went inside. A nurse caught sight of Hath and sucked in a breath.

“What happened?” she said. “Where are you bleeding?”

David explained everything as best he could, and the nurse relaxed a little when she realized the blood wasn’t Hath’s. She handed David a clipboard full of papers, and told him a nurse would be with them soon. Ang took the papers from David, and Hath’s purse from her, dug around until she found Hath’s insurance card, and started filling out the papers for her. She had to ask Hath a few questions, but got most of it done on her own.

When they got called back, Ang started to go with them. The nurse stopped her. “Just you and your husband, please,” she said curtly.

Hath spoke up. “She’s my sister, I want her.”

They trouped back to a curtained area, and Hath got up on the bed. She was so tired, she thought she could sleep for a week. That was shock, the nurse told her, wheeling around an ultrasound machine. “Let’s see what’s what,” she said, swiping the wand through the cold gel she squirted onto Hath’s belly.

Hath didn’t realize she was holding her breath until she let it out when she saw the two babies thrashing around. “Are they okay?” Hath asked.

“They look just fine,” the nurse said, peering at the screen. “They have good motion, and nothing looks swollen or bruised.” She flipped a button on the machine, and a whooshing sound filled the room. Then, the sound regulated, and they could hear three heartbeats: Hath’s and the LJs’.

Hath had tears in her eyes. She reached out a trembling finger to touch the screen, tracing the babies. “Hi guys,” she said softly. “Mommy loves you.”

The nurse looked at the screen again. “Do you want to know their sex?”

Hath didn’t but she looked to David. He just shook his head. “Not now,” he said. “We just want to make sure they’re ok.”

The nurse nodded. “OK,” she said . “They’re fine. Now,” she wiped the gel from Hath’s belly. “Let’s see how Mom is doing.”

Hath’s blood pressure was elevated, which was to be expected given the circumstances (“No shit, Dick Tracey,” Hath answered under her breath) but other than that, everything looked good. With an admonishment to get some rest, and a very mild sedative to help her if she needed it, Hath, David, and Ang headed for home.

It was nearly eleven, and Hath just wanted a hot bath and to go to bed.

“You have to eat something,” Ang said. “I’ll make some tea and toast, and David will get you into a hot bath.” Leaving no room for argument, she dropped a kiss on Hath’s cheek, and went to the kitchen. David brought Hath upstairs to the bathroom, and got the water going. He put in some bubble bath he found under the sink, and soon a white, frothy tub awaited. He helped Hath get undressed and into the tub.

The hot water felt like heaven. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this messed up. My body hurt and was sore, and I felt the fatigue, but I couldn’t sleep now if my very life depended on it. My mind was racing with a thousand thoughts, and though I know this wasn’t that bad an accident, all things considered, I couldn’t help think “what if”.

What if the engineer hadn’t stopped the train, and we barreled into that cargo flatbed car going forty miles an hour?

What if it was a fuel car instead?

What if the grease fire had caught under the engine?

What if… what if… what if…

The tears came again, and David reacted quickly. He knelt by the tub to hold me while I cried. He held me for a long time, rocking gently with me, and that soothing motion along with the warm water made me feel better. When my sobbing subsided, he let me go, and wiped my face gently with a soft towel. “Are you okay?” he asked.

I nodded and sunk back into the tub. There was a discreet knock on the door, and Ang poked her head in. “Want your tea, honey?” she asked.

“Come on in, Ang,” I said, and she did, sitting on the edge of the tub. She handed me the tea, and I took one of the little sedative pills with it (at David’s insistence), and the warm liquid felt good going down my throat. What I really wanted was a shot of bourbon, but with the LJs on deck, that wasn’t gonna happen. I nibbled on some toast, but all I really wanted to do was go to bed. With David.

Ang took my plate from me, and looked at David. “Wash her hair,” she said softly to him. She said something else I didn’t catch, then she left.

“What did Ang just say to you?” I asked him as he unwound my twist and started working lather into the locks.

“She just said that your hair smells a little of smoke,” he said gently, “and you wouldn’t want your pillows smelling like that.”

My eyes filled with tears again, and I nodded. “She’s right,” I said.

When he was done, David let the water out of the tub, and helped me into the shower to rinse off the suds. Then he wrapped me in a towel, stripped off his stained shirt, and carried me into the bedroom. He lay me gently on the bed, shucked his shoes and pants, and crawled in beside me, snuggling into me. I reached for him and drew him in for a kiss. “I love you, David,” I said. “Thank you for coming for me.”

David smiled. “Baby, don’t you know all you ever have to do is call for me, and I’ll drop everything to be there? I’m just glad Ang was here to help me get to you, or I would have had to call your mother.”

“My mother!” I exclaimed sitting upright. “David, this accident is going to be on the news; I have to call her.” David dialed and handed me the phone. My mother was shocked and alarmed, and wanted to come over to see for herself that I was okay, and I looked to David pleadingly. He took the phone from me.

“Mom, she’s okay,” David said. “I took her to the hospital and she and the babies are fine. She’s a bit battered, but nothing serious, and she’s about ready to pass out.” He waited a minute while my mother said something to him. “If you come and see her tomorrow morning that would be better. She’s going to sleep now.” He laughed. “Yes, Mom, with me. Alright, see you tomorrow then. Good night.”

David closed his phone and put it on the nightstand. “OK?” he asked, and I nodded.

I pulled him to me and kissed him. “Make love with me?” I asked him, needing the affirmation that I was okay.

David tenderly traced his hands over my body. He kissed each of the little cuts and scrapes on my face, neck, hands, and arms. He slipped his shorts off, and rolled over on top of me. Gently, he pressed into me, and I moaned. The adrenaline was starting to wear off, and the numbness was going away, and feeling David inside me was just what I needed. He started stroking gently and tenderly, and I eased up and over the edge slowly. As I came, David kissed me, drawing my tongue into his mouth. He tensed, then emptied into me, moaning into my mouth. He lay on me a long time, joined with me and kissing me, and it was just what I needed. He broke the kiss after a long while, and said “I love you.”

“I love you too, David,” I answered, and my eyes started to grow heavy.

“Sleep now, my love,” David said, and rolled off me.

He wrapped me in his arms, pulled the covers up and over me, and that’s just what I did.

Chapter 87: Train Wreck

Tuesday afternoon, Hath was elated – she was going to be able to take an earlier train home than expected. David and Ang had been calling her all day, giving updates on who was doing what to whom, and they had her in stitches all afternoon. Ang had told her that their latest endeavor was making the triple-fudge brownies that Hath loved.

“Mmm, that sounds good,” Hath said. “Make sure David saves me some.”

“He will,” Ang said, and Hath could just picture Ang leveling a stare at David. “If he knows what’s good for him.”

“Brownies are good for him,” David shouted loud enough for Hath to hear him.

“Back off, Curly,” Ang said back.

“Children,” Hath said, “play nice or Mommy is not going to be pleased when she gets home.”

Ang laughed. “So, what time should we expect you tonight?”

“If I can get out early,” Hath said, “then around 5:30. Otherwise, 6:30.”

“OK. See ya then.”

After Hath settled onto the train in her usual spot (first car, near the middle on the bottom level of the double-decker train) she plugged in her iPod and fired up the laptop. She had taken to working on the train rides to and from work; the extra time really made a difference. She smiled as the woman who sat next to her took out her own laptop, plugged in her own earphones, and started typing as well. A kindred spirit. After the first few stops, all the seats were full, and there were people standing in the aisle. The train began to get warm from all the bodies, and Hath took her jacket off.

About halfway through the trip, the train stopped. It stopped far short of the station. Everyone was looking around at each other and out the windows, and muttering, “What now?” This train line was infamous in the Boston area for having signal and switch problems all the time. Usually, though, it was just when the weather was bad; today was a clear day, and it wasn’t too cold. Hath took out her Blackberry and checked the commuter train’s website. The one thing they were good at was keeping the website updated in the event of delays. Nothing was reported. Shrugging, Hath put her ‘berry away, and resumed working.

In the engineer’s cabin, Ron just stared at his control board. A little white light blinking on his dash told him there was another train on the tracks. But that can’t be, he thought. The signals were all clear. Still, better to err on the side of caution, he brought the train to a halt, and called in, as procedure dictated. As he suspected, nothing should be on the tracks. Still, Ron thought this was strange, and he craned his neck to try to see up the line.

Ron saw something small in the distance, and it was getting larger. Rapidly. Finally, he was able to recognize what he was seeing. What he saw made his blood run cold. He got on the radio again and called in, asking for fire and rescue equipment to be sent out then bolted from his chair, intending to get out into the car to warn the passengers. No way did he want to be in the engineer’s cab when the inevitable happened.

Hath jumped when the door at the head of the car burst open, and the engineer came running through. “Brace yourselves!” he shouted, and aimed for the intercom at the back of the car to repeat the warning for the rest of the train.

After sitting dazed there for a moment, Hath shut her laptop, and bent over in half, cradling her abdomen. Her insides ran cold, and her stomach roiled. She saw the woman next to her still typing, and she reached out to touch the woman’s arm, but before Hath could get her attention, a terrifying bang followed by a horrific explosion sounded. The next few moments seemed to stretch for hours.

Hath was flung backwards in her seat, and the glass in the window she was sitting by shattered, showering her with tiny shards. Hath instinctively raised her arms to shield her face, but not before she could feel tiny pinpricks of pain where the glass pierced her. Luckily her eyes were spared, but she could feel little points of heat all over her face, neck, hands, and arms.

The woman sitting next to Hath screamed as she was thrown backwards, her head roughly snapping back against the low seat before slamming into the seatback in front of her. The woman’s nose broke, and Hath could hear the ‘snap’ of her cheekbone shattering.

The people who were standing in the aisle were thrown violently to the floor; coffee, bags, books and newspapers were sent flying around. Hath took a book to the side of the face, and was grateful it was a paperback. The blow still made her see stars.

All around her, Hath could hear people screaming and crying and it took a minute for the smell of smoke to register. Someone in the very front of the car screamed, “Get off the train, the engine is on fire!” and panic ensued. Hath, being near a window, used her jacket to break away the remaining glass from the frame and looked out. There was no fire this far back, but she could see black smoke up at the front of the train. People were pushing and shoving, trying to get out of the train’s doors, and Hath could smell the abject terror of her fellow travelers.

She looked to the petrified woman next to her. “Can you stand?” Hath asked. The woman was dazed and didn’t answer. Hath shook the woman’s shoulder. “Miss, can you stand?” Hath asked louder. The woman nodded slowly, and Hath climbed up onto the seat. “Come on, climb out the window,” she said, and helped the woman ease her legs out the window, and watched her jump down. The drop was only a couple of feet, and after Hath tossed first the woman’s then her own bags out of the train, she followed suit. She landed hard on the ground, but stayed on her feet, and scrabbled up the incline next to the tracks.

Hath looked in amazement at the front of the train. There was a flatbed car, at least 200 feet long, piled high with bundles of lumber. The front of the engine was crushed, and boards were scattered for hundreds of feet all up and down the tracks. The wood remaining on the car was smoking and there was a small fire under the car, where grease had ignited. Two of the conductors had thought to grab the fire extinguishers on their way out of the train, and they were trying to get the fire out. All around her, people were on their cell phones, or laying in the grass moaning.

Hath pulled out her own blackberry from her purse and dialed David.

“Hey baby,” he said with laughter in his voice. “Are you almost home? Ang won’t let me eat any more brownies, ahd you gotta make her.”

“David,” Hath said with a shaky voice, “I’m okay, but my train wrecked. I need you to come to my station and get me.”

“WHAT?!” David yelled. “ANG! Hath, baby, are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m cut and bruised, but got out of the train just fine, and really, really want to come home now.” Her voice was small and childlike, and David’s heart squeezed in his chest. He could hear the fear in her tone, and wanted nothing more to take that away for her.

“We’re coming, God, baby, I love you, we’ll be there as soon as we can.”

“I love you too. Hurry.” Hath clicked off.

“What the hell are you on about now?” Ang said, coming out of the kitchen smiling. She stopped when she saw the look on David’s face. He was gray as death, and his eyes were shining with unshed tears. He was struggling to put on his shoes with shaking hands, and looked like nothing Ang had ever seen. “What happened?”

“Hath’s train wrecked,” David said, not able to hold the tears at bay any longer. “We have to go to her train station. FUCK!” he shouted. “Where is that? Where do we go?”

Ang told him not to worry, that she knew the station where Hath parked her car. They were out the door in a flash, and Ang gave him a quick hug. “She’s ok, right?”

David nodded. “So she says, but I won’t believe it until I see her.”

“OK, but you talked to her and she’s alright?” They were climbing into Ang’s car now. David nodded again. “Good,” Ang said simply.

They had to park a couple blocks away from the train station. The parking lot was full with ambulances and buses, and there were police cars everywhere. People were milling about, looking confused and stunned. David got out of the car before Ang could even put the transmission in ‘park’ and started running for the station. He didn’t see Hath in the crowds of people that were wandering the parking lot, and with a curse, started up the platform.

Chapter 86: Happy Easter

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter was a fun day. My parents and my brother’s family descended for the day. I had gotten a call from Richie earlier that morning, and needed to talk to my brother in private. I pulled him aside into a spare room to have a chat.

“John, I need to tell you something.”

“Oh, really?” he smirked, pulling foam peanuts out of his pocket and dropping them on the floor.

“What the hell?” I asked, trying hard not to laugh. It worked, because he looked all confused.

“Oh, nothing,” he said, picking up the little foam bits. “What is it?”

“You know how you’re playing at the wedding?”

“Yeah…” his eyebrows furrowed and he frowned at me. “You aren’t taking it back, are you?”

“NO! Of course not,” I said. “I was wondering, though, if you would mind playing with someone.”

He shrugged. “It’s your day, you can do whatever you want, as long as I get to play,” he smiled. “Who is it?” I didn’t say anything for a minute, and Jon’s eyes narrowed. “I asked you a question, sis. Who is it?”

I smiled. “Richie.”

“Richie? Who the hell is – ” he cut himself off. “No fucking way.” The color drained from his face, and the poor baby looked like he was going to collapse.

I just nodded. The color came back into his face slowly, and I relaxed. “Is that okay? He said if you don’t want to, that’s fine. It’s just that he’s David’s friend, and he offered, and I thought you would be okay with it, but if you’re not, I can call him and tell him and…” John put his hand over my mouth.

“Shut it,” he said. “You mean to tell me that Richie fucking Sambora wants to play with me at your wedding. No lie?”

I shook my head.

“HOLY SHIT!” he shouted, and had everyone coming down the hall to see what was going on. When he told them, Sue paled.

I looked at her. “What?” I said. “Oh, c’mon, you had to know they were coming,” I said. “Tico is standing up for David, and the guys are coming to show their support…What?”

“Tico is David’s best man?” She was paler than usual.

“Yeah…” I had no idea where she was going with this. “His kids are coming, of course, and will be part of the day, but he wants his friend to stand up for him. What’s the problem?”

“You know that your wedding pictures are going to be all over the ‘net…”

“No, they won’t. Our photographer is Ang here,” I said, pointing to her. “You haven’t seen any of Jon’s wedding pictures, have you? Other than the one of him and Sam that BJM released?”

Sue shook her head. “I keep forgetting that you’re part of all this now,” she said sheepishly.

I just laughed. “Me too, sister. Me too. Anyway, it won’t be a problem. And you’re part of it, too. You gonna be okay with that? You don’t have to stand up for me if this makes you uncomfortable.”

“Shut up!” she said. “I’m not backing out of this, uh-uh. Just, I keep forgetting, that’s all. Once the initial shock wore off, David’s always been just David.”

I smiled. “And the other guys are the same way. Oh,” I said, looking at my family. “Don’t be surprised if Jon calls me ‘Jeeves’ the whole time.” They knew about the Chicago trip and the bet, and thought it was hilarious that I had to wait on someone, but didn’t quite believe me when I told them who. Sue got all the details, and saw the pictures, but the rest of them didn’t.

“No, he won’t,” my mother said in her ‘end-of-discussion’ voice. Oh yeah, this was going to be fun.

I shooed everyone out of the room and told them to go do something else. The men went out to the game room. I smiled sadly. Tomorrow, someone was coming to dismantle everything and take it to the Jersey house. David’s table stayed with April’s house during the divorce, and he’d never gotten around to getting a new one. Now he didn’t have to. He was also inheriting an air hockey table, foosball, and dart boards.

We girls went into the kitchen and while I basted the turkey, we made salad and just talked. It was so nice and sad at the same time. I excused myself and went to stand out on the deck, looking over my yard. The trees were still dead, the barbecue pit was cold and dark, and the lawn hadn’t started to green up yet, but I was going to miss all this.

I heard the patio door slide open and close behind me, and quickly wiped the tears from my eyes. I felt a warm hand on my shoulder, and I covered it with mine. “Mom, why is it so hard to leave? I mean, I am insanely happy to be getting married and having these babies, and living with David is going to be wonderful, when he’s actually home. So why is this so hard?”

My mother pulled me into a tight hug. “All your life, you have been independent. You have done what you wanted, gone where you wanted, and been who you wanted, but you did it here, close to family, where it was safe. Now, you have people dependent on you,” she said, touching my abdomen, “and you are dependent on someone else, and it’s scaring you.” I started to protest, but Mom was having none of it. “It does no good to argue; you are completely dependent on David. Not for material things, but you let him into your heart, Hath,” she said, and my eyes went wide. She’d never called me that before. Not once in thirty-seven-and-a-half years.

“Yes, Hath,” she said. “You let him in, and now you can’t live without him. Even your father can see that. You are finally moving on with your life, as it should be, and you are terrified. I can see it in your face. But you have a wonderful man who loves you, you have great friends who will support you and we are not all that far away.” Mom wiped a tear from her eyes. “And from what David said, you have lots of room in your new house, so we can visit whenever we want.”

“I am a little scared,” I admitted.

“The word I used was ‘terrified’,” Mom corrected, making me laugh. “It’ll all work out fine,” Mom said. “You will go and get married and make a home with David, and raise my grandbabies, and live your life. And as long as you need me, I will be here or there to help and support you.”

I sniffled and wiped my eyes. “You called me ‘Hath’.”

Mom just smiled. “’Jenilee’ is my little girl. You’re moving on with your life now. You’ve chosen your husband, your career, and your home. I guess you can choose your name.” I smiled through my tears and hugged my mother.

“I love you, Mom,” I said, snuffling.

“I love you too, baby girl. Now, let’s get back in there before you freeze to death.”

We went back inside, and Ang looked at me. “You ok, there?” I nodded. “Good, I’m going to go beat the pants off your dad in pool then.”

“Good luck with that,” I said. “He’s hustled more money shooting stick than you make in a year.”

Chapter 85: Nathan Arrives

Saturday was Nathan-is-arriving day. I made myself scarce, like I promised, heading over to my brother’s house after breakfast. “I mean it, Ang,” I said. “I’m staying away until you call me and tell me the coast is clear.”

“Alright, I’ll call you later,” she said, with barely contained excitement.

Shaking my head, I left for my brother’s house. When I pulled up, I tooted the horn to set the dogs to barking. They were beautiful Siberian huskies, and I love and spoil them to distraction. I parked in the driveway and went around to the front door, where my brother met me.

“Hey, Jen,” he said. “What’s up?”

“I told Sue I was hanging out here this morning; Ang’s boyfriend is coming in today.”

John rolled his eyes. “Does she treat him like she did me?” he said, rubbing his back.

“You big faker,” I said, and punched his arm. Ow. Baby bro’s been working out. “When did this happen?” I asked him, poking his arm.

He laughed. “When you announced you were marrying a rock star,” he said. “NO way am I gonna let a bunch of guys from JERSEY look better than me in a tux.” I laughed. “What?” he said, annoyed. “It’s a matter of pride.”

I shook my head at him and hip-checked him aside so I could get in. “Where are my babies?” I crooned, and the dogs came running. I knelt down on the floor, and let them sniff and lick my face and I hugged them. “Auntie’s here!” I said to them, and they backed up and sat down, butts wriggling with excitement.

I laughed and pulled some treats from my pocket. I held them up, and the dogs followed with their eyes. “Wait,” I said to them, and put them on the floor in front of the dogs. The pups looked at the treats, then at me, their eyes pleading. “Gentle,” I said to them, holding a hand up in front of their faces. Gingerly, the dogs bent their heads and took the treats in their mouths. “Eat,” I said to them, and they gobbled up the treats and did a little happy dance, then disappeared into the house.

John laughed. “Why don’t they do that for me?” he asked. “They just ignore me.”

“You live here, I don’t,” I said. “Besides, I have a way with kids and animals. Speaking of kids, where’s yours?”

“Sue took her to lunch; they’ll be back soon. I have to go to work; you gonna just hang out here?”

“That okay with you?”

“That’s fine.” He kissed my cheek. “See ya later, sis.”

“Later.” I’d tell him about meeting Coach later. Right now, I just wanted to chill.

Sue and Joanna came home some time later. ‘Auntie Jen?” I heard my little niece call.

“In here, Bean,” I called from the kitchen where I was making brownies. The dogs were sitting at my feet, just waiting for me to drop something. They were adorable.

Joanna came running in and flung her arms around my knees. “Hi, Auntie Jen! Where is Uncle David?”

I laughed. “He’s at his house in New Jersey,” I said. “He’ll be back on Monday.”

“Can I come over and see him?”

“Absolutely.” I greeted Sue with a hug. “We’ll be leaving on Friday or Saturday,” I said. “You guys can come over any night you want.”

“We will,” she said, giving me another hug. “I can’t believe you’re moving to New Jersey!” she exclaimed.

“Just be glad I’m in love with David and not Richie,” I quipped, making Sue choke on her water. “Then I’d be moving to LA.”

We burst out laughing, and laughed until we cried. “I’m going to miss you, my sister,” I said to her. In the ten years she and John had been together, we had gotten extremely close.

Enough of that, I thought to myself. “So, you guys have plans tonight?” Time to do some recon.

“No,” Sue said. “We’re hanging out here tonight, why? Something going on?”

“Nope,” I said innocently. “I’m just making conversation.”

Sue looked at me. “What are you plotting?” She knew me too well. I told her about what Ang and I were going to do tonight in payback for resetting my house alarm and having the cops come out to my house. She laughed. “Oh,” she said. “He is SO going to kill you.”

“Only if he knows it was me,” I said. “This is close enough to April Fool’s, that he won’t be sure if it’s me or one of the Brothers.”

Sue laughed. “You are evil.”

“Nope, just a Goddess scorned.” Sue rolled her eyes at me. But I knew she wouldn’t tell.

Joanna brought me my purse. “Auntie Jen, your bag is singing.” I took out my cell. “London Calling” was playing. “That’s my friend Angel,” I told her, pulling out the ‘Berry. “Hey Ang,” I said, looking at my watch. “Holy Hell, woman, is he dead?”

“Fuck you,” Ang said laughing. “No, he’s fine. Better than fine, actually, and it’s safe to come home now.”

“Are you sure? I mean, it’s only been five hours.” I was razzing her, and she’d probably kill me later, but for now, I was having fun.

“Yeah, I’m bloody well sure,” she said.

“Alright,” I said, laughing. “I’ll be home soon. What’s for dinner?”

“Fried stuff,” Ang said. “We’re heading out to the store. If you beat us home, start the oil.”

“Will do,” I said, and clicked off.

Sue and I chatted for a bit while the brownies baked, then I got ready to go. “Now, don’t say anything to John,” I said to her.

“No way,” she said. “This goes into the Vault.” We laughed, shared another hug, and I left.

When I got home, the place was empty. I went out back and fired up the fryer, then went inside to change out of my jeans and into lounging clothes. I was just coming downstairs when the front door opened, and Ang and Nathan piled inside. “Hey you two,” I said, going to help them with bags. “What the hell is all this?”

Nathan gave my cheek a kiss. “This, my dear Goddess, is supper. I’m gonna fry up a mess of catfish we found at the store, and you and my Angel are going to make some onion rings and cut some spuds.”

I raised an eyebrow. “We are, are we?”

Nathan just nodded. “You sure as shit are.”

We sure as shit did. And everything was delicious. I hadn’t had fried fish in forever, and had forgotten how damned good it was. After we cleaned up, we hung around for a bit, just chatting. It was nice. When 9:00 rolled around, Ang and I stood up and stretched.

“Time to get going,” I said, and headed upstairs.

“Where are ya’ll going?” Nathan asked.

“We are going to play a prank on my dear, sweet brother,” I said, winking. “You want in?”

Nathan looked at us suspiciously. “What do I have to do?”

“You just have to be the lookout,” Ang said. “ Just let us know if anyone is coming our way.”

“Will we get busted?” He was thinking of how to explain to his boss just what it the hell he was doing if they got caught.

“Not if you do your job right,” I said, and flounced up the rest of the stairs.

Ang and I met up a few minutes later, dressed head to toe in black. Nathan laughed at us. “Now, if THAT isn’t suspicious, I don’t know what is.”

“Put a cork in it, Natalie,” Ang said, and gave him a smacking kiss. “Are you in or not?”

“Hell, I’m in,” he said. “Let’s go.”

We drove over to my brother’s neighborhood, and parked a block away, then snuck over to his house. My brother drives a brand-new quad-cab, full-bed, testosterone-driven gleaming black Ford, and he loves that truck. Ang helped me fill it with foam peanuts from Mailboxes, etc. It took four ginormous bags, and every last ounce of self-preservation not to burst out laughing! When we had the truck full, we eased the door shut and took rolls of bubble wrap and wrapped the whole truck, and taped it together. It's a wonder we didn't get nailed.

Nathan did a piss-poor job of being our lookout! Ha ha. Love ya, Nathan. The neighbor from next-door just walked right up to us and asked us what in the hell we were doing. When we told him, he helped! Anyway, when we got back to the car, I set off the alarm on his truck remotely and when my brother came out, the neighbor took a picture of his face.

This has “MasterCard commercial” written all over it…

Foam peanuts....$75 on MasterCard
Bubble wrap...$175 on MasterCard
Packing tape...$15 on MasterCard

Seeing your brother rant and rave like a lunatic because you bubble-wrapped his truck?


Chapter 84: Sighseeing with Ang

David walked the strippers out, and handed them an extra envelope. “You guys went above and beyond. Thanks.”

“No problem,” Marc said. “That was fun. Even the Mom got into it; that doesn’t usually happen.”

Ben piped up. “I just wish that one girl hadn’t grabbed on quite so hard,” he said, wincing. “Not that I minded having her hand on me, but…” he stopped when he saw the look on David’s face. “Sorry, man, she yours?”

“Completely,” he answered.

Ben shrugged. “My loss then.” He and Marc turned to leave and surreptitiously opened the envelope as they were walking back to their truck. They looked at the money, then at each other – the guy had paid them double what their usual rate was.

David shut the door behind the men, and turned to find Hath and Ang standing there, arms crossed over their chests. “What?” he said with a charming smile. “I had to pay the guys.” He looped arms around the two girls and steered them back to the party.

After everyone had left, and the mess had been cleaned up, Ang, Hath, and David were settled in watching an old James Bond movie on TV. Ang was curled up on one end of the couch, and Hath was on David’s lap on the other end, curled into his chest. David’s arms were wrapped around Hath, and every once in a while, he’d press a kiss onto the top of her head, and she’d respond by rubbing his chest.

Ang looked at them and sighed. They were really cute together. A couple more days, and she’d have her own chest to cuddle into. She also knew that she’d want to be left alone with him – at least for a while. Smiling, she stood and stretched. “Well, I think I’m going to head off to bed,” she said with a wicked grin. “Don’t stay up too late, Hath, we have some serious sight-seeing to do tomorrow.” With that, she gave each of them pecks on the cheek, and went downstairs to her bedroom.

David looked at me and winked, and turned off the TV. “I’m feeling a little tired myself,” he said.

I smiled evilly, and turned the TV back on. “Then you should go to bed. I’ll try not to wake you when I come in – I’m not tired.”

“You brat!” he hissed at me, tearing the remote from my hands, and scooping me up into his arms, making me giggle. He stalked down the hall to my bedroom, and kicked the door closed behind him. He sat me on the edge of the bed, and started to strip off his clothes. I scooted back and just watched, as bit by bit, his skin was revealed to me. When he was gloriously naked, he looked at me. “So?” he said.

“So what?” I asked, puzzled.

“So, are you getting naked or do I have to do it for you?”

I just smiled and raised my arms over my head. David smiled and gently pulled my sweater up and over, tossing it on the floor behind him. He laid me back and undid my jeans, pulling them and my panties down my legs and off. He hauled me up by my hands and crawled on the bed behind me to unsnap my bra and push it off my shoulders. His hands came around to cup my breasts, and I leaned back into his embrace, tilting my head so he could nibble on that spot that makes me crazy.

David’s fingers were lightly pulling and stroking my nipples, and the sensations were so very strong. My skin was over-sensitive now, and his light touches and caresses were driving me wild. He gently sunk his teeth in to my neck, and I groaned loudly. “Shhh,” He said into my ear. “We aren’t alone in the house.” I giggled and bit my lip and tried to remember that.

But when David’s hands roamed lower to caress my abdomen, and his fingers snaked into my curls to caress my clit, I totally forgot, and called out. David clamped his hand over my mouth, and being held like that, against his chest with a hand clamped over my mouth while he did things to me… well, let’s just say if I didn’t feel totally safe with him, it would have freaked me out. But the things he was doing with his fingers…

I bit down on his hand to keep from crying out when the first orgasm hit, and David hissed. “I need those you know,” he said, then bit me back. He held me tightly to him until he brought me up and over the edge again, then moved from behind me to push me down and push into me, groaning as I fisted around him. “God,” David said quietly in my ear. “You feel so damned good.”

He stroked slowly and gently at first, and I was in agony. I raised my hips to his, matching his rhythm, in a silent plea. “Harder,” I begged, and it was all I could do to not yell. David complied, and I saw stars. The pressure was building and a low keening started in my throat I could not hold back. David mashed his mouth to mine, to try to capture the scream before it got out, and he was barely successful. I arched from the bed and almost threw David from me, but he had me pinned good, and all the shift in angle did for me was make my head explode.

I collapsed to the bed in a quivering heap, little tremors and aftershocks twitching along my arms and legs. David kissed me and rolled to the side, gathering me closely. “Hi,” he said softly, smiling down at me.

“Hey,” I said, and snuggled up close to him. David hooked the blankets with his foot and pulled them up over us. I inhaled the sweet scent of David, and drifted off, secure in his arms.

Friday was a blast, except having to say goodbye to David AGAIN. Ang made smart-ass remark about hearing strange noises last night, but being afraid to investigate. Bitch (said with love, sweetie).

I took Ang to all my favorite touristy places, starting with Gillette Stadium. We pulled into the parking lot near the Pro Shop, and got out to have a look around. I showed her where we tailgated, and where Jon had the roo-suit man dance for me. We went up to the gates to look through, and I pointed out my seats; wa-a-a-a-ay up at the top of the stadium. Ang laughed. “God, I SO want to come to a game with you someday,” she said, linking her arm with mine.

“That won’t be a problem,” I answered. “I already told David I was NOT giving up my season tickets, and I was NOT switching teams.” Ang laughed at me. “I mean it. I’ll move to New Jersey and go to Giants games with him, but I’m NOT cheering for Manning. Uh-uh.”

“Well now, that’s good to hear,” a voice said from behind us. We squeaked and jumped a mile. Usually, I’m very attuned to my surroundings, and would have noticed someone coming up behind us, but I was so engrossed in our conversation, I didn’t notice the man until he was right on top of us. My eyes went wide when I saw who it was.

“I mean it, too, Mr. Belichick,” I said, hardly believing I was talking to him. I’d met him once in a restaurant some time ago, and of course, I had my pass to spring training camp, and couldn’t wait to come back for that. I held out my hand. “Hath Gengras,” I said, “and this is Angel Jamieson.”

“Call me Bill,” he said, then narrowed his eyes. “I know you,” he said. “I know your name at least.”

I blushed a little. “Yeah, I get that a lot. It’s an unusual name, and it sticks with most people. We have a mutual friend, which is probably how you know the name. He arranged for me to come to training camp this year?”

“Oh yeah,” he laughed. “The Giants fan.” He pulled a face. “That’s OK, Jon is a good guy. How do you know him again?”

“I’m marrying his keyboardist,” I said, grinning.

“And she’s having his twins,” Ang piped up, patting my belly.

“Well, congratulations!”

“Thanks. And though you guys didn’t win the Superbowl, congratulations on a fantastic season,” I said.

Coach just shook his head. “Thanks. That was a tough one.”

“Tell me about it,” I said ruefully, remembering the week in Chicago.

Ang laughed when Coach looked taken aback. “Bill, she bet Jon that her boys would beat his, and when they didn’t, she had to cater to him for a whole week.”

Bill laughed. “My dear, now I am even MORE sorry that we couldn’t win that one. How did you survive?”

I rolled my eyes. “It wasn’t that bad. Well, yeah, it was, but not really. And hey, I got a job out of it, so I can’t really complain.”

“Well,” Bill said, “even still, the least I can do for your ordeal is to buy you girls lunch in the clubhouse.”

I laughed, and Ang looked at me funny. “Ang, the clubhouse dining room is free for the coaches, players, and club seat ticket holders.” I looked at Bill. “We’d be honored.”

We had a fantastic lunch, and GOD, sitting there talking football with my coach and my friend was just out of this world amazing. Our table was on the 50-yard line, and although the field was covered in deference to the weather, it was still great. After lunch, we went out into the outdoor seating area and sat for a while, continuing our chat. These seats are amazing. If they weren’t $2500 per seat per season, I’d be all over it. When we felt we had wore out our welcome, I got him to autograph a napkin for me, made out to my Dad, and I now had the best birthday present for him.

After buying some swag at the Pro Shop, we headed into town. We went all over the place. I took her on much the same tour I took David, though we started off at the Cheers bar. The pub owner in her wanted to see the Cheers bar, so we went in. It was cute and everyone was friendly, but it was just a bar, and we left soon after we arrived. We trolled the shops at Quincy Marketplace, went to the Museum of Science (though we didn’t do a Planetarium show) and stayed at the MFA until they threw us out. We had dinner at Maggiano’s in the North End, and stuffed and happy, got home really late. It was a great day.

Chapter 83: The Movers are Here?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

“Yoooo Hooo!” a voice called from the front door. Ang smiled. Hath had warned her about her Mom popping in.

“I’m here,” she called, and came down the hall.

“Angel? Is that you, sweetie?”

“Yes,” Ang said, as she came to the entry way. She laughed when she saw an older version of Hath standing there, arms laden with trays. “Let me help you with that, Mrs. G,” she said.

“Thank you,” Pauline said, handing half the trays to Ang. “Let’s get this in the kitchen, then we can have a proper hello.”

They brought everything into the kitchen, set it down on the counters, then Pauline brought Ang in for a hug and a kiss on both cheeks. “I’m so glad to meet you,” she said. “Are you one of her online friends?”

“Sure am. Angel Jamieson, at your service,” she said.

“Ah,” Pauline said. “You’re the Londoner. How’re you enjoying your travels? Jenilee’s been showing me the pictures you’re sending her. They’re gorgeous.”

Ang and Pauline chatted on about the places Ang had seen and where she still wanted to go, and it turned to Nathan and their budding relationship. Never one to leave her two cents’ worth out, Pauline said, “sounds like you have some tough decisions to make about what you want to do. Let your heart guide you, but make sure your brain chimes in.”

Ang rolled her eyes. “I know that, Mrs. G., but how do I trust what my heart is telling me?”

“You just do,” she said with a shrug. “The heart knows,” she said, patting Ang’s knee.

Pauline put on coffee and unwrapped one of the parcels she had brought. “I just made these,” she said, and Ang inhaled deeply.

“Anise cookies!” She picked one up and took a bit out of it. “Mmmm, these are fantastic!”

“Jenilee likes them, and her sweet tooth is firing on overtime with these babies, so I thought I’d bring her some.”

“Which box is hers, then?” Ang asked with a smile.

Pauline pulled one from the stack on the counter. “This one,” she said, and put it in the freezer. They packed the fridge with delicious food, and Ang just gaped. “You do know she’s only here another week, right?”

“Yes,” Pauline said, “but I can guarantee most of this will be gone tonight.” Ang’s eyes went wide. “My son’s friends put a swarm of locusts to shame. Thank you for helping keep this party a surprise. I really appreciate it.”

“It’s my pleasure, Mrs. G. Believe me, shopping with Hath is no hardship. That girl knows how to hit the stores! In fact,” Ang said, looking at the clock, “I’d better get my rear in gear and get in the shower. David’ll be here soon, and I want to be dressed when that happens.”

Pauline’s eyes went wide. “What do you mean?”

Ang laughed at Hath’s Mom’s reaction. “No, no, no, just that he’d be a pain in the ass rattling doorknobs and such. It’ll be fine, I swear it.”

“Alright,” Pauline said. “I’ll leave you to it. See you tonight, and leave some food, huh?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Ang said, snapping off a sharp salute.

David arrived as Pauline was leaving. In fact, his car pulled in as she was leaving the house. “Mom!” he called, genuinely pleased to see her.

“David!” she beamed, and descended to him. Giving him a big hug, she said, “It’s so good to see you.” The she smacked him sharply on the ass. “That’s for getting my daughter pregnant before marrying her.”

David laughed, and rubbed at the sting. “It wasn’t on purpose,” he said.

“I know, and it wasn’t all you. Believe me, Jenilee got her ass smacked for her, too.” Pauline smiled. “But, at least you’re giving me TWO grandbabies to spoil.” Now she pouted. “But you’re taking them away from me.”

“Aw Mom,” David said, looping an arm around his future mother-in-law’s shoulders. “You know you’re welcome to visit anytime, and it’s not that far – I’m sure Hath will be…”

“Busy!” Pauline interrupted. “She told me a little about what she’ll be doing for that Jon, and it sounds like he’s going to keep her busy.”

“Well, probably,” David said sheepishly, “but that doesn’t mean she won’t have time off.”

Pauline flapped her hand at David. “Jenilee isn’t home, you know.”

David blushed. “I know, I just came back from lunch with her. Is Ang here?”

“Yes, she is. Lovely girl, and so tall!”

“And she eats like a horse, too,” David added, which earned him another smack. “Ow! Now I know where Hath gets it from,” he groused, rubbing his arm.

“Be nice, David.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered with a grin.

“And don’t be a smart ass to me, mister,” she admonished, but her eyes twinkled with laughter. “She was heading for the shower when I left, just so you’re warned.”

“Thanks for the heads up,” David smirked. “She’s heading into town shortly to get Hath out and shopping. She’s going to call when they’re on the way back here. Everything all set?”

“Yes. Susan and John with his frat friends will be here at six to help decorate, and the others will be here by seven.” She clapped her hands together. “I think she’ll be surprised.”

David thought of the payback he had lined up and smiled. “I think you may just be right.”

* * * * *

Ang and I had a fantastic time shopping. Ang said David had behaved himself for the most part, though he did rattle her doorknob when he went past, and actually sent his credit card with her for us to use. He told her to tell me that we were to buy something on him. What a sweetie. Nieman Marcus, here we come! We must have tried on everything in the store. I settled on a few maternity outfits for when the LJs get bigger, and found the cutest little “I heart Boston” rompers that were ridiculously expensive, but too cute to pass up. Ang bought a shitload of stuff, too, but we were good and only used David’s card a little.

Laden with bags, we took a later train home than I had anticipated, and my stomach was growling. I seriously hoped Ang was kidding when she said that she ate all the food my mother had sent over. Ang made a quick call when we got back to the car and I looked at her, puzzled.

“Just checking in with Natalie,” she said, smiling.

“When’s he coming again?”

“About ten minutes after he gets to your place,” Ang answered with a devilish grin.

I poked her HARD in the ribs. “TMI, girlfriend, ick!!”

Ang just laughed. “He’ll be here sometime late Saturday morning. Uh, what are your plans?”

“I’m going to my brother’s in the morning to subtly find out about his plans for the evening and to hang out with the puppies and my niece. Call me when it’s safe, and I’ll come home.” I stuck my tongue out at her, and laughed when she turned eight shades of red.

We pulled onto my street, and I commented that the neighbors must be having a party because there were so many cars. “Should we go crash?” Ang asked.

I just shook my head. “Nah, I’m kinda looking forward to a lazy night at home,” I said. I should’ve known better. We pulled into the garage and trudged up the stairs with our parcels and bags, and dumped everything on the floor. “We’ll deal with this shit in the morning,” I declared, and led the way through the game room into the house.

I opened the door and called, “David, baby, where are you?”

“Living room, sexy Momma,” he called back.

I trudged down the hall, shedding my jacket on the way. “What do you want to…”


I nearly shit myself, and I did jump a mile. “What the hell?” I turned around and there were my parents, my brother and his wife, the FratPack, and my girlfriends with their husbands. “What are you guys doing here?” I asked as I passed out hugs and kisses.

Mom said, “We wanted to throw you a surprise going away party, and, well, surprise!”

Tears sprang to my eyes as I looked at everyone I was leaving behind. That set my girlfriends off, and we had to hug again. We broke apart and wiped our eyes, and I went to David, and melted into his embrace. “This is wonderful,” I said, kissing him tenderly. “Thank you.”

I looked at Ang. “And you,” I said, going to hug her. “You were perfect. I didn’t suspect a thing.” I gave her a smacking kiss on the cheek.

David looked at us. “Speaking of which…”

Ang smiled and took David’s credit card from her pocket; along with a receipt she sweet-talked the salesman into doing up for us. It was completely bogus; we didn’t spend nearly that much, but we wanted to see his reaction.

He glanced at it, and shoved it into his pocket without saying a word.

“Wait a second,” I said, reaching into David’s pocket and pulling out the receipt. “This receipt is for more than seven THOUSAND dollars, and you didn’t even raise an eyebrow?”

My father looked at me. “You spent seven thousand dollars today?” He went white. In my whole life, I’ve never done anything THAT irresponsible with money (even when it wasn’t my own), and he was shocked.

David just shrugged. “What? I told you to buy what you wanted.” He colored a little and said in a low voice, “it’s not like I can’t afford it.”

“You are no fun,” Ang complained. “That’s totally fake. We didn’t spend that much. Spoilsport.”

My dad relaxed, we all laughed, and I introduced Ang to everyone she hadn’t met yet; including my darling little brother. He looked Ang up and down and smiled. “She said you were tall…”

I knew what was coming. I made sure nobody was too near John and Ang, and when he put his hand out to shake hers, she stepped into him, threw her shoulder into his chest and heaved. He landed with a thunk and looked at her.
“What the fuck was that for?” he groused.

“Paybacks are a bitch, aren’t they alarm boy?”

John just looked at me. “You told her to do this? How could you?” He’d gotten up, but was walking gingerly, the faker.

“You had the COPS out to my house!” I answered. “You’re lucky this is ALL I did!” Little did he know, that the real payback was yet to come.

Laughing, we dug into the spread my Mom had laid out. The LJs were hungry – everyone outta my way!! We were laughing and talking when the doorbell rang. I looked around; everyone seemed to be here. Shrugging, I went to answer it.

There on the front porch are two men with clipboards, dressed in movers’ uniforms. “You Hathor?” one of them, Ben according to his name patch, asked.

“Yes, can I help you?”

“We’re here to drop off the truck for you? You asked for it a few days early.”

He was right, I did ask that, but that was for next week. “Next week,” I said. “I’m not moving until next week.”

“Well, shit,” the other (Marc) said. “Sorry, ma’am. Uh, could we come in and use your phone to call in? It’s a toll-free number.”

I was just so shocked that the moving company screwed this up. I mean, it isn’t that hard, is it? But, it wasn’t these guys’ fault. “Sure,” I said, “Come on in. Phone’s in the kitchen.” It never occurred to me to wonder why they didn't have radios or cell phones or anything, and why they smirked at me when they came in. They passed into the kitchen. I had just gotten back to the living room and was bitching about the movers when the music started. Not just the regular music I had on the trusty iPod, either. This was raunchy, porno-soundtrack quality music.

Shocked, I turned around, and those two moving men are dancing in my living room! Jesus Christ, my parents are here! Dad grabbed his beer and took off for the relative safety of the kitchen; my brother was right behind him. David followed behind them, but I think he was laughing.

My Mom is just sitting there, too shocked to move, which is a mistake because CockBoys’ packages are right at her head level. Ang is just floored, and her mouth is gaping open. Ben handed me a card that says, "We have your bubble wrap, baby! Love, Ang". I looked at her.

“YOU did this?” I said, and handed her the card. The shock on her face was real.

“No fucking way,” she said. “I swear it.”

At that moment, the dancers ripped away their velcro-ed on coveralls to reveal these little bubble-wrap underwear. Oh my God, it was so fucking funny. My mom just about fell off her chair. These guys were truly, erm, equipped for this particular job. Wow. My girlfriends were all cheering and laughing and even the FratPack was enjoying themselves, though that may have been the liquor talking.I was still glaring at Ang when the light bulb (spotlight) went on. “DAVID!” we shouted together. The little shit just burst out laughing. The BAHSTID! He got us back but good. Ben danced over to me, and waved his plastic-wrapped weenie at me. I looked right at David, smiled sweetly, and grabbed Ben’s dick. I squeezed it hard enough to pop some of the bubble wrap, and David’s eyes went wide.

“Jenilee!” my mother shouted, mortified. “Go wash your hands. You don’t know where that thing has been!”

What? Mom? Well, I’m one to listen to her momma -- I went to wash my hands. When I came back, I heard another *pop*. Mom had just pinched Marc’s ass (I am NEVER getting that image out of my head, unfortunately) and more bubble wrap met its doom. Eventually, everyone popped a bubble or two (well us girls anyway) and we had a whole lot of laughter, to the point of tears. The now naked dancers tried to hug me before they left, but I wanted to wait until they were dressed.

Chapter 82: David Arrives

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday morning, my alarm went off at 4:30, and I groaned. I showered and took great care with my hair and makeup. I was wearing a long red watch-plaid wrap-around skirt, and the black cashmere sweater Ang had made me, along with my CFM boots from the Newark show. My hair was swept up, held in place by black chopsticks, and I had black pearl drop-earrings my grandmother had given me a zillion years ago.

I was trying to be quiet, as I didn’t want to wake up Ang, but she was already awake. And in the kitchen. And had coffee going. And breakfast cooking. I swear to God, I love this woman.

“D’ya have time for a bite?” she asked me.

I checked my watch. “Just,” I said. “You are amazing,” I said, shoving a forkful of eggs in my mouth. “Are you sure you don’t want to spend April with me at David’s house?”

“You mean your New Jersey house, right?” And leveled a gaze at me.

“It’ll feel more like my house when I’m there. Right now, it’s still David’s house.”

“Hmmm,” was all Ang said.

I finished breakfast, put my dishes in the washer, and left for work. “I’ll call ya later, but why don’t you plan on coming by around 3? David’ll be here sometime before that, so watch out.”

Ang laughed. I was halfway out of the kitchen. “What,” she said. “No kiss?”

I laughed and pecked her on the cheek. “By dear,” I said. “Have a good day.”

“Have a good day at the office, sweeting,” she called to me.

She’s a nut, and I love her.

When I got to work, I could hardly concentrate. David was coming in a few hours (well five), and he was taking me to lunch. Ang and I were going to go shopping this afternoon then I’d get to relax and have a nice dinner with my friend and my man. David came to my office straight from the airport, and called me when he got outside my building. “Baby, I’m here.”

“I’ll be right down,” I said, and grabbed my purse. I was smiling until I hit the hallway. Then I got waylaid twice by “problems” that “only I could help with”. I rolled my eyes at them and said to talk to Ethan. “Ethan is the new Hath,” I said. That’ll teach him to let strange women onto a SECURE floor.

I ducked into the ladies’ room to check my hair and makeup, and smiled. I still looked good. By the time I got downstairs, David had been waiting for more than ten minutes. I opened the car door and my skirt opened a little when I slid in next to David. His lips were on mine before I could say “hello”, and his hand found its way into the gap in my skirt. His method of greeting was MUCH better than what I had planned.

The driver pulled away from the curb, turned up the music, and took off for who-cares-where. David hadn’t stopped massaging me through my panties, and I was dying. I had to go back to work in these clothes! He didn’t seem to care, and truthfully, neither did I. I grabbed at the bulge in David’s jeans and rubbed, making him groan. When we finally came up for air, I noticed we were in front of my building again. “What’s going on, David?” I was totally confused and ready to pop.

“We can either have a pubic lunch at the Pru,” he said, “or private lunch at the Seaport.” David had named a swanky hotel with a gorgeous view of Bahstin Hahbah.

I stared at him. “You booked a room? You can’t wait until I get home?” I leaned in and licked at his neck. “I can put Ang off you know. She’s gonna be here for a while we can go out shopping tomorrow or Saturday.”

David shook his head. “She will slaughter me. Ang has her heart set on shopping. She told me so.” He looked at me. “Whaddaya say? Public or private?”

I rolled my eyes. “I have to be back at 1:30,” I said regretfully.

David pouted. “That doesn’t give me enough time,” he said. “I guess it’s the Pru.” David chuckled and leaned forward to tap once on the window. The driver headed off into the city.

I laughed and settled in next to him. David put his hand over the babies. “How’re the kids?”

“They’re just fine,” I said. “I have a new doctor in Jersey that my guy recommended, and I talked to him today, and the wedding plans are all done.”

“Yeah?” David said, twining my fingers in his.

We chatted about all sorts of house and kid and wedding stuff. We got settled at our table at the Top of the Hub, and ordered our lunch. While we were waiting, David took an envelope out of his jacket pocket and slid it across the table to me.

“What’s this?” I asked, opening it and removing a sheaf of paper. Unfolding it, I gasped. David had put my name on the deed to his house.

“What? How?” I was at a loss.

“Ang called me early,” David said, pulling a face. “She said you’re having trouble calling the place your own because you aren’t there yet. Well,” he said, taking a sip of his Merlot, “It’s yours now. Half anyway.”

A tear sprang to my eye. “You didn’t have to do that,” I said. “Really. Next week, I’ll be there, and it’ll be our house.”

“I want it to be our house now,” David said. “And so it is.”

I scooted my chair over so I was sitting next to David instead of across from him. He put his arm around me, and I leaned on his shoulder. “How did I get so lucky?” I asked.

David smiled. I couldn’t see it, but I could hear it in his voice. “You aren’t the lucky one,” he said. “I am.”

I got back to work a few minutes before 1:30, and went in to ping Ang, to warn her that David was on the way. She said my mother had shown up with arms laden with food, and had a nice chat with Ang. Ang said she ate everything my mother brought (which I don’t quite believe – nobody can eat THAT much; not even Ang), went jogging go jar herself out of the lethargy the food dumped on her, and was going to take a shower again. She said she was going to lock the door and put a chair under the knob in the back. Good call. Not that I don’t trust David, but he owes her for that phone call in the hotel.

Come to think of it, he owes me too, for the shirt. I’ll just have to be on my guard, that’s all.

Chapter 81: The British are Coming!

Wednesday, I got a ping from Ang; she had gotten in early, and was HERE! Ethan, trying to be helpful, let me know that he let my sister onto the floor, and ensconced her in an empty office until he could find me.

“I don’t have a sister!” I said to him, while we walked back to my desk. “What did she look like?”

“Well…” he trailed off and blushed. “She was real tall and dressed in this vest…”

“Angel!” I crowed, and smiled. “Where is she?” Ethan pointed down the hall, but I couldn’t find her. I looked all over the place. I went back to my desk, and laughed. My monitors, all three of them, were covered in layers of sticky notes.

“Alex,” I said to the guy next to me. “Who did this to my desk?”

He had the good grace to look embarrassed. “Well there was this really tall girl…”

“And you didn’t think to ask her WHY she was covering my monitors with sticky notes?” I asked, peeling the last ones away. I collapsed into my chair laughing when I saw my screen saver. She had blown up the picture from Newark of David showing his tat, so that just the tat and nip were showing. She had superimposed a shot of David’s mouth, sticking his tongue out at her, over the Joker’s mouth. That woman is a whiz with PhotoShop. It was hysterical.

“And you let her mess with my computer?” I couldn’t believe this. Whose minions were these, anyway?

“Well, Hath, she knew the password, I just assumed you gave it to her,” he said. I logged in and changed my password right away. I guess J0KER5WILD was just too easy. I saw she had flooded my inbox with photos from Chicago. I was gonna kill her. After I hugged her.

She pinged me on the boards, but I still couldn’t find her. I mean I called her, and went looking all over the damned place, but she was nowhere to be found. Finally, she gave in and came to my desk. I had to laugh. I walked past her at least a dozen times in my search for her. She was in a freaking disguise! She had on a slim back below-the-knee pencil skirt, a white oxford shirt, penny loafers for God’s sake, and a platinum blonde wig. She looked great. Totally different. We had a good laugh over that.

Since I wasn’t expecting her, I couldn’t leave early. I had also one of the worst days in a long time. Work was just awful, with problem after problem, and to top it all off, it was raining! That meant no outdoor shooting range: no .50 cal today. We’d have to settle for handgun target practice. By the time five rolled around, I was more than ready to go. Ang was waiting for me, and we went for the train.

We shared a double bench on the train and dished. That and played on the board. The crazy girl was on her laptop as I was on my ‘Berry, and we were talking to each other though we were sitting right next to each other. It was funny, and we laughed the whole way home.

Ang parked her car in the second bay of the garage. No offense to her, ‘cause I love her dearly, but David’s Nav looked much better there. No matter. In another week, it’d be empty altogether. When we got to the house, we went in to change. Ang called up from her bedroom, “You going Commando?”

“You mean without my undies or dressed like Rambo?” I called back to her.

“Either,” she laughed.

“Yes!” I yelled back.

We went down to the cellar so I could get my guns out of the safe. We were taking the nine mil and the .22. I swung open the heavy door and Ang whistled. In addition to the handguns and the .50, there was an over-under trap gun, a .22 rifle, and a pellet gun I’ve had since I was a kid.

“Jesus, Hath, waiting for a coup?”

“Not waiting for one,” I said, sticking my tongue out at her, “but ready for one.”

“How the hell are you getting this to David’s?”

“With the help of a hydraulic jack, and a big guy named Mitch,” I answered. “They’re coming next Saturday.”

We went out to my club, and I got us all signed in. It was pretty dead in there, but it WAS Wednesday night. We put a hundred rounds or so through the guns, and soon I felt a WHOLE lot better about my day. Nothing like a little recreational target practice to ease the stress. Now, it was on to dinner.

Wednesday night is my traditional ribs-n-ritas night at the barbecue place. Virgin ‘ritas for me nowadays, but still tradition. We got cleaned up, locked the guns in my locker at the club, and took off. I’d pick the guns up over the weekend.

When we got to the restaurant, I saw my friends’ cars here already. Arms looped together, Ang and I walked in. “Hey girls!” I called over, and my friends waved.

“Hey yourself,” Lisa said. “Who’s this?”

“This,” I said dramatically, “Is Ms. Angel Jamieson.”

“At yer service,” she said, bobbing a curtsey.

“Is this the one…” Krissy started, and I smiled.

“Yep the one that had a thing for David.”

Ang slugged me. “Bloody hell, woman, do you have to tell them everything?”

Uh yeah, I do. I made the introductions, and Krissy called out to her husband that we were ready to eat. “Hope you have a shitload of food,” I said to him, when he came out to say hi, bringing a basket of onion rings, “cause my girlfriend here is an eating machine.”

“Girlfriend?” he said, looking Ang up and down. “Cheating on me with someone ELSE, Jenilee?”

“Stuff it, RibMan,” I said, and Ang laughed. She looped an arm around my shoulders and kissed my cheek.

“It isn’t cheating, sweetie, if it’s with another girl,” she said. “Besides,” she winked at Paul, “David doesn’t seem to mind.”

“Yeah, Paul, David didn’t care that we slept together in Chicago.” That had the desired effect. Paul stuttered and stammered and I think he may have blushed, but he was so tanned, it was hard to tell. We gave our orders, and settled in to dish.

Ang told some great stories about things that had happened in her bar, and we were laughing so hard, we were starting to attract attention. We moved into the back room, where there was usually some musician or another performing, and continued our gabfest. The music was pretty good – a local country combo that did a good job with the songs they chose. We sang along, and even line danced a time or two. I started yawning around ten, and the girls laughed at me.

“You getting old or something, Hath?” Megan asked.

“Naw, the LJs are kicking my ass,” I answered. “I need a nap.”

We said our goodbyes and headed back to my house. Ang and I changed into our jammies, got all cleaned up (again), and hunkered down on the couch to flip through the channels and chat some more. We were pretty sure Nathan was coming on Saturday, though we didn’t know how long he was staying. I had invited him and Ang to stay through Easter, but Nate didn’t know if Sam was hosting or not. So, for good measure, I invited Sam and Jon too. I could just imagine the look on my sister in law’s face, and could hear my little niece exclaiming, “You’re Jon Bon Jobi!” and I hoped they could come. But, it was their first Easter together, and I had no idea if they had plans already.

David was coming in tomorrow, and flying out Friday to spend the long weekend with his kids. Ang and I were going to do some shopping tomorrow afternoon, do the touristy thing on Friday, hitting the museums and other hot-spots, and Saturday was gonna be a hang around day. Ang already said she would help me get things ready for Sunday, even if they weren’t staying. I was SO looking forward to this!

I didn’t even make it through the news. I was dead on my feet and had another long day ahead of me. I kissed Ang goodnight, and went to bed. I have no idea how long she stayed up, but she HAD to be tired. She hadn’t slept much the night before for missing Nathan (awww) and soon I heard her go downstairs. Content that everything was right in my little corner of the world, I curled up and fell asleep.

Chapter 80: April Fool's!

Jon and the guys were still laughing at Ang’s prank when David showed up at sound check, and showed them his new shirt. “Peace offering from the girls. Ang swears it was all her idea.”

“Yeah,” Richie agreed, “We’ve seen Hath’s paybacks and pranks, and it would be a bigger gesture than that.”

David said, “It can’t be any worse than parading around here in those outfits of hers.”

Steve heard that last. “Now that wasn’t bad at all, actually,” he said, grinning widely. “That absolutely didn’t bother me; though I thought Jon was gonna kill her.”

David shot him a glare. “It didn’t bother me, either,” he said angrily. “And forget Jon, I was gonna kill her.”

“And Chris sure did like her outfits, too,” Jon added, smirking. “He wanted to know if she was really with you or if that was something she said to fend people off.”

“Yeah,” Richie piped up. “Even Bobby noticed, and he never looks over my side of the stage.”

“That’s ‘cause you’re ugly,” Jon told him. He looked at David. “Does she dress up for you all the time? Or just on special occasions?” Jon asked, but snapped his jaws shut when David pointed at him.

“Enough,” David said, and walked away.

“Sorry, man,” Jon called after him.

“What the hell was that all about?” Richie asked.

“Aaah, I can’t tell you.” Richie was taken aback. Jon shrugged. “Sorry, bro, it’s not my secret to tell.”

“Aw, c’mon,” Richie wheedled.

Jon just shook his head. “Ask David,” he said.

Richie went to find David. The keyboardist was sitting at his hair station, just staring at something in his hands. “Hey man,” Richie said, and David straightened, and put his phone back into his pocket. “Sorry, were you talking to Hath?”

“No, just, never mind,” he said, and got up.

“Hey, is everything alright?”

David blew out a breath. “Yeah, Jon just rubbed me the wrong way, that’s all. It’s nothing. He just forgot he was supposed to keep his big mouth shut.”

“About what?” Richie grinned.

“None of your business. Besides,” he said, smiling a little, “Hath’d kill me if she ever found out.”

“I’ll never tell a soul,” Richie said seriously. “I swear it.”
David considered his friend, then tossed Richie his phone. “Scroll down to Hath,” he said, and turned away. He smiled when he heard Richie’s intake of breath. Hath’s icon was one of the bare-back shots from his birthday.

“How’d Jon find out about this?” Richie asked. As far as he could tell, David was never without his phone. David told him about the gift he had made for Hath and how she had outed herself inadvertently with Jon in Chicago. Richie laughed when David told him about her obvious embarrassment.

“Why the hell would she be embarrassed?” Richie asked. “I mean look at her. I can see why you don’t want Steve or Chris ogling her. You want to keep her all to yourself.” He laughed. “You do know that she does all that completely for your benefit, right? I mean, she doesn’t even look at the others. It’s you she’s dressing all…” He whistled, and David just gave him a look, then snatched the phone from Richie’s hand.

“Don’t go there, man,” he said, “or I’ll tell Lucy.”

Richie just shook his head. “Nope you won’t. ‘Cause Lucy will tell Hath, and Hath will kill you. Then me. Uh-uh. You’re not gonna do that.” He got serious. “Don’t worry. I won’t say anything. I can’t believe she has this siren inside her, though.” He grinned. “I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Way to go, D.” He winked at David. “But mine’s hotter.”

“Fuck you,” David said.

They got through sound check fine, and Jon apologized to David, who just shrugged him off. He was just missing his girl. Soon enough he’d see her, and soon after that he’d be married to her. He couldn’t wait. He showered and changed, admiring the cut of his new shirt in the mirror. He couldn’t quite figure out what the pattern on the back was, but it was subtle, and when the lights hit it, it looked cool. He grinned. He’d have to see what kind of ugly stuff he could come up with so he could get the girls to shop for him more. He thought it was sweet.

The guys (all but David) had sent Ang a backstage pass and front row ticket for tonight’s show, in thanks for the laugh her prank gave them this morning. They had also talked Nathan into coming, though one mention of Ang, and he was agreeing before the question was even out of Jon’s mouth. Ang was in Richie’s pit for the first few songs. Then, she'd be taken up to the side of the stage, where Nathan was wating. She didn't know that yet. She had no idea he was here.

The band launched into Bad Name, and the crowd went crazy. “Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame…you give love…” Jon waited, and was rewarded with thirty thousand people singing, “A BAD NAME.” Jon gave his customary, “Here we go!” and Richie’s riff got the crowd screaming louder than before.

The house and other stage lights, including the black light, were flashing on all of them, and while they were singing the chorus just with Teek, it happened. The lights hit David just right, and Jon saw the writing on his back. He meant to sing “I play my part and you play your game,” but what came out was “I play my pa- ha ha ha.” He had to pull the mic away from his mouth; he was laughing too hard. He strutted over to David and whispered, “The girls strike again,” and David nearly missed a note trying to see what was on his back. He caught Ang’s eye and pouted at her. After the song, he hid his hand and flipped her off. He was gonna kill her. Hath too.

Ang was finally taken up to the side of the stage where Nathan was there to surprise her. David smiled as they wrapped themselves around each other, and both Richie and Jon went over to tell them to cut the shit. Ang and Nathan were having a great time, and she must have taken a thousand pictures, when she wasn’t mauling Nathan.

When the guys finished the set, and went to change shirts before the encore, Jon slugged David. “Nice shirt,” he said.

“I told you the girls bought it for me,” David said. “Why didn’t you warn me? What the hell does it say?”

“FLASH BANG!” David yelled to Hath later, who was laughing hysterically at the photos Ang had just emailed her. “I can’t believe you did that!”

“I can’t believe you fell for the peace offering trick,” Hath said, tears streaming down her face. They were on Skype, and David could see the joy in her face at pulling off a prank on him. “Look,” she said, holding up a picture. David squinted. He had to give them credit; unless you knew what it said, you couldn’t tell.

“How the hell did you do it?” David asked.

Hath just shook her head. “Nope, a Goddess has to have some secrets from you mere mortals. So tell me,” Hath started laughing again. “Did Jon really start laughing in the middle of a song?”

“Toward the end, actually, but yeah,” David said.

Hath sobered. “Is he very pissed?” She knew that Jon didn’t like anyone messing with his businesses.

“No, the rat bastard,” David said, “he thought it was great.”

Over the next couple of days, David tried to think of a good payback for Hath. Something that would trump what she did to him. She did a public-but-not-too prank on him, and he wanted to respond in kind.

Monday night he hit on something, and checked with Lucy on the boards. Once they determined she wouldn’t kill him, he set the wheels in motion. This was gonna be good.

Chapter 79: Paging Mr. Bang...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday Night, David was ready to call in the doctors -- he was pretty sure he was losing his mind. Like just a few minutes ago, for example, he saw a tall red head that from the back looked remarkably like Ang. He rubbed at his eyes with a tired hand and looked again. "Ang?" he called out, but she didn't turn around. He shook his head. He was losing it. All day, it seems all he's seen was babies. Everywhere he turned there was another mother or father jostling one or more little ankle biters. And to his friends' chagrin, David felt the need to stop and peer at every last one of them.

In the hotel lobby, one woman he stopped, a fan from Denver, asked him if he missed the days of diapers and drool, and he laughed. "So much so that I'm gonna do it all again this fall!" he gushed, then remembered where he was. "Uh," he stammered, and the woman laughed.

"Don't worry about it," she said. "Who am I going to tell? This little girl here is the only person I seem to talk to these days."

David had gone to his room after that, just to try to regroup. He checked his online messages, and was glad to see that Ang was going to be able to get Hath out of the house Thursday afternoon. Hath's mother, Pauline, had called him a couple of days ago. He'd been having lunch with the guys when his phone trilled "Funiculi Funicula" and he laughed. "Hath's mom," he told his friends, who all gaped at him.

Jon and Richie exchanged a look when David answered with a, "Hi, Mom! What's news?"

"David, are you busy right now?" Pauline was always conscious of his time, and while he thought it was sweet, she knew that he'd always take her calls, no matter what.

"Never too busy for you, Mom. I’m just eating lunch," he said. "What's up?"

"You're coming into town next week, still, right?" She sounded nervous, which wasn’t like her.

"Yeah," he said, "I'm hitting Boston Thursday morning and heading over to Hath's office. Why? Everything OK?"

Pauline sighed. "Well, her friends want to throw her a going away party that night, and she all but told me that she was locking herself in her house with you Thursday night..." As Pauline went on, David's color got high. He couldn't believe she was saying this to him.

"Mom, wait, please," he said, taking a drink of water. "Look, if you want to have the party Thursday night, we'll work something out. One of her other friends was thinking of swinging by that week, let me find out if I can get her to help." He thought for a moment. "I could change my plans and fly directly to Jersey on Thursday, which would take that out of the equation."

David had to hold the phone away from his ear when his soon-to-be-mother-in-law shouted at him. "DON'T YOU DARE DO THAT!!!" Jon and the others laughed.

“So that’s where she gets it from,” Richie said to nobody in particular.

David covered the mic on his phone. “Shhh,” David hissed. “Mom,” he said loudly – she was still yelling at him. “OK, OK, I won’t change my plans. Ang’ll help me,” he said, or I’ll kill her, he added silently.

“Oh thank you,” Pauline gushed, obviously relieved. After a moment, she said, “You know, when Jenilee told me about being pregnant, I was very concerned. You know, with you being who you are and all.”

David didn’t think he liked where this was going. “Yeah…” he said, prompting her to continue.

“Then when she told me she out and out refused to marry you, I thought it was because of your lifestyle and that she didn’t want to be a part of that, and while I didn’t agree with her, I understood.”

David shot a look at his friends, and half-turned away from the table. “That wasn’t it, Mom; or at least that’s not what she told me. She said it was because of the way I went about it,” he said. “I got her to change her mind, though,” he finished.

“Yes, and frankly that’s the only reason I’m keeping my nose to myself about this whole moving to New Jersey thing,” she said. “You make her so happy, David,” Pauline said softly. “Thank you.”

David smiled. “She makes me happy too, Mom. More than I thought I could be.”

“Certainly more than you deserve,” Pauline said, with humor in her voice.

“Of course,” David agreed. “I’ll let you know for sure what the plans are for Thursday, OK?”

“Sounds good. Have fun with your friends,” she said, making David laugh.

“Will do. Bye, Mom,” he said.

“BYE MOM!” the others yelled, and David could hear Hath’s mom laughing in his ear.

“You boys are too much,” she said, and hung up.

Now, back in his hotel room, David saw that Ang had responded to his plea for help. He knew she’d do it. She loved her girlfriends and the girl loved a party. Thank God. He’d hate to have to call Pauline back and tell her bad news. He did call and left a message on her answering machine (not voicemail, but the little machine with the teeny tiny tapes) that Thursday was all set. After he hung up, he realized he shouldn’t have left a message at all – if Hath happened to be at her mother’s house today…well, it was too late now. He looked at the clock and saw it wasn’t even dinner time yet. Hell, it wasn’t even quitting time for Hath yet. He called her anyway.

“This is Hath,” her distracted voice answered.

David didn’t say anything right away. He was just losing himself in his woman's voice.

“Hello?” she said, starting to sound annoyed. “This is Hath, how can I help you?” She always asked that. It came from years of operations and customer service experience. He smiled. She’d be doing that for Jon too, once she started her other job.

“Baby, it’s me,” David said.

“Oh! Hello there,” she said, her attention completely on him now, and her voice softening. “Where are you today? Pittsburgh still?”

“Yeah. We’ll be in North Carolina on Sunday, Minnesota on Tuesday, then I’ll be home, well at your place at least, on Thursday.”

“I still don’t know why you’re bothering,” Hath said. “In fact, Ang wants to go shopping, and she isn’t sure when she’s coming, and she doesn’t want to stay for Easter, so Thursday is the only day we can do it. I’m gonna be home for dinner, though. I want to make you something special,” she said, her voice lowering sexily.

David chuckled. “Baby, that sounds wonderful, but don’t kill me,” he said.

“What did you do?”

“Well, I kinda told your Mom I was coming in Thursday, and she said she was going to make something and bring it over.”

Hath laughed. “Well, at least you’re keeping it in the family,” she said. “OK, then I won’t worry too much about getting home for 6. What are you up to?”

David laughed. “I’m going out of my fucking mind,” he said, and Hath laughed loudly. He told her about seeing Ang’s doppelganger, and she laughed with him.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get to see her soon enough,” she teased.

“You know we’re just goofing around, right?” David asked.

Hath just laughed. “You aren’t dead yet, right? Remember what I told you last fall. You fuck with me and I’ll kill you myself. I meant it you know.”

“I believe you,” David said. “Just checking.”

“Listen sweetheart, I need to get to a meeting before I can call it quits today. Skype you later?”

David smiled. “I don’t know, you going to be naked later?”

“Ping me and find out. Love you, sweet Papa,” she said softly.

“Love you more, sexy Momma,” David answered.

“That just isn’t possible,” Hath said, then hung up.

Saturday morning, David felt more like his old self. He wasn’t seeing familiar faces around every corner, and nary a baby in sight. He was sitting down to a huge brunch with the guys, and had just taken a sip of some wonderful, fresh-squeezed orange juice when he noticed a man walk in the room. The only reason he noticed was that he was beet red, and not from sunburn. He chuckled, and took another sip of juice.

“Phone call for Mr. Flash Bang, Mr. Flash Bang a call is waiting for you in reception.”

David was so shocked, he spit his juice across the table and Richie got a face full. “Fuck, David,” he said, laughing hysterically. “What the hell was that for?”

David was trying to sink under the table, but Richie was having none of it. “Get up you pussy,” he said, and shifted in his seat, like he was going to manhandle David to the phone. Reluctantly, David got up and left the table, muttering about how if he killed her now, would it be one count of murder or three? He got to the phone. “Hath, baby, that better not be you,” he said. Nothing. “Fuck,” he said, and went back to the table.

“Who was it?” Jon asked innocently.

“What do you know?” David asked, as a second man came into the dining room.

“Oh no,” David said. “Fuck me,” and he stood as this man made the same announcement. He didn’t miss the twitters of amusement from the other patrons in the dining room. This smelled of Hath and April Fool’s. He got the phone and muttered, “What?” Again, nothing.

“I’m going to fucking kill Hath, babies or no babies,” David said, as he stalked back to the table. When he sat back down, he leaned in, and the others leaned in to hear him. “I gotta believe this is Hath,” he said. “She’s going down, who wants to help me?”

Before anyone could answer, they heard a voice say, “Mr. Bang, can I have your autograph?”

The four of them whipped their heads up at the sound of her voice. “Son of a bitch,” David muttered, but before he could stand up, Ang took off. He wasn’t crazy. He DID see her yesterday! He shouted after her, “You're dead Angel, come here woman and take your punishment!” She was having none of it, though, and disappeared out the door. The others were laughing so hard, David couldn’t help but join in. He took out his phone and called Hath.

“Baby, it’s me. Hath, you and Ang are dead. Call me back,” he said.

Over the course of the afternoon, he saw the humor in the prank, and Ang had actually called his room, and let him know this was all her idea, that Hath had nothing to do with it. A short time later, there was a knock on the door. Someone had sent a present to his room. He smiled, thanked the girl who’d brought it up, and opened it. Nestled in the tissue paper was a beautiful green silk shirt with some sort of subtle pattern on the back. Under the shirt was a note.

D –

Honest, Hath had nothing to do with this morning’s little
prank. That was all me, darlin’. So to make nice, here’s a pressie for
you. Hope you like it, and WEAR IT man.


Hath still wasn’t answering her phone, so he sent her a PM.


Darlin' you are right to not answer your cell. I'm gonna get you. Do you know what Ang did? I can't believe you sent her HERE! Jesus, woman, there were other people around. I smelled you on this the minute that first guy came in all flustered. Huh, it was a little funny, I guess.

Man that woman can RUN! She took off outta there like a bat outta hell. Good thing too. She did send a peace offering up. It's yet another shirt (are you still trying to tell me something)? May just wear it tonight...

Call me back, yeah? I want to hear your voice. NOT your recorded voice. The real one.

Rub the LJs for me.

Miss you, Sexy Momma...

Sweet Papa

He smiled. It was a nice shirt. He would wear it tonight…

Chapter 78: Back to Work

Friday, March 14, 2008

Monday, David left when I did, and after dropping me at work, took the car service to the airport. I was going to have to try to remember that I don’t have my car at the train station – there’s nothing more embarrassing than calling the police to report a car being stolen, only to find that it’s right where I left it – at a different train station. Been there, done that. More than once.

It was a long few days at work. 7am meetings then working closely with my top guy to make sure that he could handle the things he was going to have to do in another few weeks, when I was in NY. My plan was to spend April finishing up the things I was personally responsible for, and the things that “the group manager” needed to do would fall to Ethan. He was more than ready, and was thrilled to be given this opportunity, even if it was by default. “You won’t be sorry,” he said to me on Wednesday, after another of our turnover sessions.

I shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter,” I said at the time. “Once I’m in New York, I’m officially a ‘short timer’ and will probably be acting as such.” He laughed at me, knowing full well that that wouldn’t be the case. I’d work just as hard as I usually do – except for the last day, perhaps. He was right.

“So,” Ethan said, “you never really told us what you were going to do.”

“That’s because I don’t really know myself,” I said. I didn’t get the chance to catch up with Jon to talk specifics, but I felt certain he’d be fair. “But, I’m sure it’ll be fabulous.” He just looked at me. I motioned him to follow me. We went into an empty office and closed the door. “I’m asking you to keep this to yourself until I’m gone,” I said, looking at him.

“You got it, Hath,” he said, eager to hear what I was going to say.

“I’ll be working for the Jovi machine,” I said, smiling. “I don’t know what exactly I’ll do, but as soon as David told Jon I gave my notice, Jon was offering me a job. He didn’t say exactly what, but I took care of a lot of things for him when we were in Chicago, and he knows I will do whatever I need to in order to do whatever he might ask.”

“You’re going to be his personal assistant?” Ethan was incredulous.

“No, no, no,” I said. “Are you kidding me? We’re too much alike. We’d kill each other inside a month. Nope, it’s something else altogether. I’ll find out later this week.”

Ethan laughed. “You know, all the girls will be asking you for tickets,” he said.

“Probably,” I said wryly. “So, once I’m ensconced in the New York office, you can tell anyone here who asks,” I said, “but not before then.” He nodded and went on his way, and I went back to my desk, sat down, and sighed. I looked around at the stuff I had accumulated in my tenure here. Five years means a lot of crap. I went to the copier room to grab the big locked “to be shredded” bucket we affectionately call “The Blue Whale” and wheeled it back to my desk. I started the arduous task of weeding through my stuff.

Personal stuff was easy; that went into a set of boxes to be couriered home. Another box of stuff for Ethan was set aside, and the rest fed the Whale. A couple hours later, it was time to leave. I dialed up “Goddess” on the iPod and settled in to my seat on the train to get home.

That evening, just as I was getting ready for bed (early, because I was exhausted), my Blackberry beeped. I didn’t get pages from our systems anymore, so this meant someone was paging me directly. I checked it, and it was David. He sent me an SMS message (text message to you) that said, “CALL U L8R WANNA TELL U SMTHNG” Oh great. I checked the time. Of course, it was about ½ hour until they go on stage, and there’s no way he’d answer the phone. Jon would kill him. Now there was no way in hell I was going to sleep.

I got on the boards, but nobody was around. I tried flipping through the dial, but there was nothing on. I didn’t want to start a movie, because then I’d have to stay up to see the whole thing. (If you’re type A, you’ll understand). I sat there looking around and decided I may as well start packing. I went down to the kitchen to get a drink first, and found myself opening the freezer. There was no fudge-ripple ice cream. I don’t know why I cared; mint chocolate chip is my favorite flavor. I went into the back room and started packing one of the many Rubbermaid containers I’d be filling over the next few weeks, but my mind kept straying to the freezer. Finally, around 11, I said, “fuck it,” grabbed my keys and my bag, and headed out. The LJs clearly were not going to let me rest until I had fed them fudge ripple ice cream.

Half hour later, and with a pint and spoon in hand, I sat down in bed, flipped on the news and waited for David to call. I had just started drifting off when the phone rang. Good thing too, or there would have been melted ice cream all in my bed, and I would have been PISSED in the morning.

“Hey there,” I said. “What do you wanna talk about?” I said, without preamble. I had to be up in another five hours.

“Hey yourself,” he laughed. “What would you think if I helped you get settled after you move?”

“WHAT!?” I screeched, sitting up straight. “You can’t do that. Jon would never let you.”

David laughed. “He may have no choice. Teek’s back is really bothering him, and Jon thinks he should take it easy, and is thinking about canceling a couple shows anyway.”

“No way,” I said, shaking my head. “Get on the computer,” I said, already walking to the office. I booted up and was on Skype in minutes. When I saw David’s face I hung up the phone.

“Look, baby,” I said. “I think it’s incredibly sweet that you want to do that, but you can’t.” He went to interrupt, but I put a hand up. “You simply cannot bail because of me. Uh uh. Now, if, God forbid, there was a problem with the babies, then OK. But moving? Baby, don’t you know I have a cadre of men just waiting to do my bidding?”

David’s eyes narrowed. “Oh really?” he asked.

“Oh yeah,” I answered. “My brother and his frat brats are going to help me. It’ll be fine. I promise.” He just looked at me. “Look, why don’t you come next week, and you can help me pack, and help me decide what I should bring and what I should give away.”

“I can do that,” he said slowly, then nodded. “OK, I can come out Thursday, but the kids have a long weekend, that weekend…”

“Yep, and I’m hosting my last Easter dinner here, so go. It’ll be fine. Then come back Monday, help me finish, we can pack up, and get outta here.”

“Any chance of leaving a couple days early if we’re ready?”

“Baby, my minions are throwing a surprise ding-dong-the-witch is-gone party; I can’t.”

He just laughed. “Well, now, that’s a shitty thing to do.”

“Nah, it’s tradition when a lady boss leaves. There’s a hat and everything,” I said.

He laughed harder. “That I’ve GOT to see,” he said.

“So come to work with me on Friday, and we can leave after lunch,” I said.

“Deal,” he said. We talked for a little while longer, but I was beat, and so was he. We said our goodnights, and went to bed.