~*~Nick~*~

Everyone else was excited. That felt great. I tried to stay there, and not think about the people who would be missing. It stung. Lee knew when it was getting to me and would just hold me. That made it better. I had the two of them.

Thursday night was party night. AJís house. Everyone we knew who was able to get there was there. People would be passed out all over by morning. They guys planned this, and I didnít get why we didnít just do this after the wedding as a reception, but Brian told me that having a reception with a bunch of people who werenít at the wedding would be weird and the reception should be just us. That made sense. Lee didnít care, she was too happy to worry about those things. That made me very happy.

Let me tell you what a fantastic bunch of friends I have. They had things covered. AJ made sure to let everyone know that they couldnít smoke in the house, and set up a smoking area outside. He also policed it and made sure that everyone didnít stay outside to party and smoke. It was too humid for Lee to be out there too long. He didnít want our party to be away from us. Everyone was drinking but Lee and I. Once most people got there the guys were going to toast us, and they all (with Tracie) started around with trays of sparkling cider for the toast. So Lee could drink too. Everyone let Lee cut in line for the bathroom. Everything was done without a word or an argument. Like this is what happened everyday. Really, I guess this stuff did happen everyday. We took care of each other. Sometimes it was a quiet thing, other times if involved yelling. I was really touched by the little things that happened that showed they had us in mind.

That doesnít mean that everyone didnít get out of control. The others still got drunk and stoned. Just not near us. It wouldnít be a party without watching Kevin and Tracie fight over some food.

I wanted to spend the next day with the guys. Lee and Tracie were going to do the whole girl thing and spend a day at a spa. I wanted to spend the day out on my boat. We headed out pretty early, and Kevin apologized for needing to leave around noon. Great. Now heís ditching me too.

~*~Kevin~*~

I felt like shit jumping ship like I had too. I could see he was hurt. Getting his brother and sisters there was more important. My plane left at noon. The other guys knew what I was doing and would cover for me. I held off as long as I could, but it would be the middle of the night before we got back to Florida and I wanted the security of another flight incase Jane pulled a fast one. My hope was that Aaron would keep that from happening. Iíd sleep on the plane.

~*~Tracie~*~

I did a great job keeping my mouth shut. It was a fight. I knew my baby was off to get them and I wanted to tell Lee, but weíd agreed we wouldnít. She didnít even know Kevin was gone. Thought he was on the boat with the others.

~*~Brian~*~

I thought what Kevin was doing was the best. Nick was obviously a little down about Kevin leaving his "last day as a single man boat party". We tried to keep things light. It didnít have as much to do with Kevin as it did his mom. He was doing a run farther out into the ocean and I went up on the fly bridge to talk to him, "You know he wouldnít leave if it wasnít very important."

"No big deal, Brian."

"Sure it is, Nick. I need you to trust me. He didnít want to leave, but this is for you, and he has to do it now. He didnít have a choice."

Nick smiled, "Is he getting me a present?"

Such a damn kid, "Yes, Nick, heís getting you a present."

"What is it?"

"Itís a surprise, Nick. Itís for the wedding."

He cheered up immediately, "Ok, cool, I love presents. It must be good. Will Lee like it?"

"I think so. Sheíll probably kiss him." I was laughing.

"Not my wife."

The rest of the day was good. We skied, tubed, and sat around talking. Very good day.

~*~Kevin~*~

No delays so far. I rented a car and headed out to the Carterís. My mind was racing by the time I got there. If she screwed this up I was going to hurt her. Iíd figure out a way to make it work, and dammit if that made me late for this wedding Iíd really hurt her. I pulled into the driveway and the front door flew open. Aaron was flying to me. He jumped on me and hugged me, "Does he know weíre coming? I canít wait to see Lee. Is she getting big and fat yet?"

I laughed, "I wouldnít call her fat. She might kill you."

Aaron was a good kid. Thank god he had Nick to mediate the shit his mom fed him. "Weíre all ready to go. I didnít let anyone leave the house all day. No chances."

We walked to the house. Jane was holding open the door, "Good flight, Kevin."

"It was fine. I slept most of the way."

"Youíve always done that. How are things back in Florida?"

Iíve never truly understood Janeís relationship with Nick. I donít get some of the things she does, but I do think she loves him. She may just be one of those who doesnít know how to show it. They go up and down, and have been on the outs since the whole thing with Pam. I didnít get into that. I figured that her question was the closest she could get to asking about him, so I answered the real question, "Nick is good. Heís happy. Heís going to be a good dad. Heís already in love with that baby. Heís like some damn kid heís so excited about getting married."

"Marriage is hard. Heís young."

"Thatís true. Sure you wonít change your mind and come? Thereís still time."

Aaron chimed in, "Come on, mom. Dad is going. You should."

"No, I have obligations here."

Aaron went past her, "Angel, BJ, Leslie! Come on Kevinís here, letís go!"

I shook my head, "Jane, itís a shame your pride has to stand in the way of you seeing your baby get married."

She turned and walked off, "Aaron is the baby."

I rolled my eyes and hugged the rest of the kids, "You guys ready?"

They hugged their mom and we were off. In the car BJ spoke up, "I donít know what the hell went on, Kevin."

"I donít either. Iím sad for both of them. But Iím glad you guys will be there. Heíll be very surprised and happy."

It was almost four in the morning when we got back to my house. Thatís only one for them, and theyíre young. They donít need much sleep. Iím old, I do. Tracie was asleep on the couch when we dragged in. The kids were starting to get tired too. I woke her up and headed on up to bed. She said sheíd take over. Bless her.

~*~Tracie~*~

Kevin looked rough, so I took over. They were starting to get tired, but still were excited. We hung out and talked for a little while then I showed them to the guest rooms. The wedding was at three on the beach. We needed to be gone from here by eleven.

I curled up behind Kevin. He stirred a little, "They all settled in?"

"Yep, cute kids."

"Theyíre not exactly kids anymore. I remember when they were much much littler."

"Youíre great with them. Bet you always have been."

"We need a houseful of our own."

That was the first time heíd ever mentioned kids. I knew he wanted them, but I think the idea scared the shit out of him now. He couldnít control that, and he couldnít take losing another one. I squeezed him, "No way buddy, you gotta marry me before you get me pregnant."

He rolled over and kissed me, "I can do that. Easily."

We shared a smile then fell asleep.

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