Chapter Seven: Operation, success. Lunch, awesome. Now what? or- I think I love you. It's good news for George, so Vin takes Ari, Leeni and Roy to lunch. The man does have connections.....
No one says much for the next half an hour, and when I notice that Leeni had actually dozed off, I quietly move over to the other side of Roy. “Can I ask you something?” I try to put my serious face on, but it’s not working. I’m practically bouncing like a giddy schoolgirl. “I need to know something, from a guy’s point of view. And since you’re one to LOVE telling me that sort of thing, well, can I?”
“Sure sweety. You know I will always attempt to caveman anything you need to know.” He smiles, as he turns and gets ready for the onslaught.
“Ok. Well first, there’s Dr. Dave.” I get a head tilt at that from Roy. “Ok, well, what else do I call him? He’s a doctor, and his name is Dave. He’s drop dead gorgeous, and I would let him eat crackers in my bed any time of the day. Or night. Preferably night-“
“TMI” Roy said.
“Well, I’m just saying. Anyhoos, he’s married. You know that, right? He is, with two girls. Twins. And, luck be a dirty gnome, he has an even HOTTER brother, who just so happens to be currently single. I meet both of these amazing men, and it’s like I turned around, and WHAMMO! I get hit full-faced with the biggest banana cream pie ever made, and I LOVE IT!”
“Just as long as it’s banana cream, and not egg custard.” Roy mutters, as he gets up to walk over to the window to look out. “You know I’m just watching out for you, right? I still want to strangle that asshole Jake, and now, I hafta watch this Vin character. PLEASE don’t make me kill someone here in Florida, Ari. The jails down here suck big time.” He says this while staring at something outside.
I walk up behind him, and give him a big hug. With my arms still locked around his waist, and playing with the front edge of his tee shirt, I say “I know and thank you. I won’t have you visiting the jails, I swear. Besides, it’s not like anything can happen. As soon as George is able, we’ll be heading home anyways. Why tempt my heart to be broken, when I won’t be here long enough to get to that point?” As soon as I said that, I think it actually happened. I felt a pang in my chest, and I really don’t know why. I mean, one conversation on the beach, and one coffee/bike ride, and I’m in love? I don’t think so….
I let go, and go back to the table, and grab both our Dews. We tap them, and together, pop open the cans , and start chugging at the same time. Roy lets out a big burp after downing two thirds of his dew in one up-ending of the can. “Excuse me.”
Giggling, I attempt to do the same thing, and just as I let loose with an even bigger and longer burp, in walks Vin. OF COURSE. As I sink down into the chair as far as I can in embarrassment, he looks at me with wonderment and surprise. “Wow. I never knew something like that could come out of someone so pretty.”
“You, my man, have never gone drinking with her then. Wait til she gets a few bottles of Yuengling into her.” Roy just smiles his ‘I’m so innocent’ smile.
“I guess I’ll keep that in mind for later, then,” Vin says, as he turns to face Leeni, who was startled awake by Roy’s, then my burps. “I just saw my bro outside in the hall. He has asked me to relate to you that things turned out to be better than they had figured on. George only needed two pins, not the four originally thought. So, Dr. Jones is finishing up right now, and your son will be in recovery for a few hours, then back to his room by about 3. You can see him then. I’d suggest that the three of yous come with me and get some lunch, then we can come back in time to visit. Dave told me to add ‘Doctor’s orders’.”
“That’s rather kind of you, but I think I’d rather just stay here in case I can go in early.” Leeni said, as she goes for her Iced tea on the table.
As she takes a sip, Vin waits until she is done, then politely states “there will be no arguments. I know this really neat little place, not two blocks from here that is just what yous need. Not as good as Paul’s granny, but it’s nothing but home cooked food like you’d expect for Sunday dinners. Come on, my treat.” With that, Vin holds out his hand to help Leeni and me up from our seats.
Roy looks at us both, then just shrugs as he gets up himself. “I’m game for some stick to my ribs food. Besides, this way we don’t have to either get fast food or clean up the mess ourselves back at the cottage. Come on gals, let’s let the man lead the way. Do we need the car, or can we walk?”
“Walking would probably be best, since it’s hell finding a parking place any closer than we already are. Did I mention that this is one of Miami’s worst kept secrets? Everyone goes here. BUT, I called ahead, and the owner is holding us a table, so we’d better hurry.”
“Oh, so you already knew we would just go along with this,huh?” I joke, as we all walk down the street.
“It was either that, or I would have rounded up three of the nurses somewhere to go with me.” He smiled, and poked me in my side playfully. “Just kidding. Nah, I was hoping that you’d come, but if not, I’d gladly take the table by myself, and pigged out on my own. Ever since I did the addition a few years back for my cousin, it’s my favorite place. I come here at least once every weekend, when I’m not busy, so it’s semi-tradition. Man, I am going to miss this place when I go home.”
We get to the restaurant, and Vin’s cousin, the owner, is very nice and outgoing, taking our orders personally. We all have a very delicious lunch, with several tall glasses of some of the best tasting iced tea I’ve ever had. Before too long, it was time to head back to see George. We all sat at the table, looking from one to the other, trying to decide who was going to carry whom back. “Ugh, I ate way too much. Where’s one of those Segway thingys when we need them?” I state, as I attempt to get up for the second time, only to sit right back down.
“I’m right there with ya, hon. I really am anxious to see George, but right now, I don’t think I could get out of this chair, even if someone lit a fire under my butt,” Leeni groaned. “The food was awesome, Vin. How did you find this place?”
“My uncle calls me a few years back. He’s getting ready to retire, and his daughter-“ he points to the good natured and pert twenty-something that had taken our order earlier. “She wants to put a tiki deck out back. I’m still reeling from my last divorce, and thought ‘hell, better than sitting here all bumming. Sure, Miami in the summer?’ Between here and Pinky, I’d say I’ve gained ten pounds in the past four months. Thank goodness for my little bro, and the doctors’ gym at the hospital, or I’d be ready to tie the ropes on for this years’ Macy’s parade,” was his reply.
“I am right there with you on that one,” Roy said, as he discreetly tried to refasten his top button on his jeans as he stood up. “I’m going to go wash my hands, and then come back out here and peel these ladies from their seats. Be right back.” He left to go to the men’s room, and the three of us just sat at the table, watching as people strolled by on the sidewalk.
“So, after seeing George, what’s on your agenda for the rest of the day?” Vin asks both of us.
Leeni said “ I’m going back to the cottage, and making some pies and cookies to bring in for everyone who has worked with George to make him better. After that, I was thinking of lounging by the pool with a good book. Hopefully, Roy will just order a pizza for dinner, so we can just stay in and veg for the night.”
He looks at me, and asks “And you?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I would try to help Leeni with the baking, but having done that before and got smacked on the ass with a dishtowel as I was being shooed out of the kitchen, I know better than try to.”
“Hey! That was only because you were eating more of the cookie dough than putting onto the cookie sheets to bake!” Leeni exclaimed.
“Well, so sue me. I love your extra choco chip dough. Anyways, I really don’t have anything planned. Maybe go out to the beach and build a castle to send a picture of to Suzi.”
“Want some help? I have been known to build some pretty wicked castles in my time.”
Just, then Roy comes back from the bathroom and says “Did I hear castle contest?” with that twinkle in his eye. “ Are we sending photos to Suzi , cause if so, mine is soooo going to win.”
“Oh, you’re both on” I reply, knowing how the afternoon was going to progress. Roy, acting like my big brother trying to scare off the new boyfriend. Did I just refer to Vin as my boyfriend? Geez….. if only. “ but I must warn you, I’ve learned from a pro.”
With that, we all heaved ourselves outside and slowly strolled back to the hospital. After spending a few minutes each in with George, who was extolling the wonderfulness of finding his belly button, and trying to kiss the nurse that came in to take his blood pressure, we decided to leave him to the very nice drugs, and headed out. I was about to get into the back seat of the car when Vin came rolling up next to us.
“I know this is a rhetorical question, but do you want to ride back with me?” his asked, as he held out the helmet in my direction.
“Uh, does Shamu live at Sea World?” I smile, as I swing my leg over the back and snuggle down behind him. “Lead on, McDuff.”
And with that, we all head back to the cottages, with me waving like a giddy schoolgirl to Leeni as we fly by the rental on one stretch of the road. We’re both just taking off our helmets when Roy pulls up. “Man, that is one sweet bike, and you two look awesome riding it. Now, last one to get their suits on and meet back here has to carry all the castle making-wait, we don’t HAVE any castle making tools. How are we supposed-“
I cut him off with “-we use what we’ve got. I told you, I learned from a pro. All he had was a five gallon bucket, a small plastic bowl, and several kitchen tools. Leeni, what can you spare from your baking adventure?”
“I’ll go get some things for ya’ll while you change. I think I know where you’re going with this. You’re doing the dragon, aren’t ya?” Leeni smiles at me, then disappears into the cottage.