“Where did all that stuff come from?” I asked once we were in the hall.
“I had my people pick some stuff out,” he said with a wink.
“Your people? How very Hollywood of you,” I replied giggling.
“Ya, cuz I’m all about Hollywood.” He tugged on the belt loops of my jeans to pull me closer to him. My arms twined around his neck as his wrapped around my waist. Into my hair, he mumbled, “Hey.”
“Hi,” I said smiling and dropping my head to his shoulder. We stood that way in the hallway for a while. When Patrick had hardly moved for a few minutes, I nudged him. He gave a little jump. He had been dozing off. I laughed. “Come on. You’re exhausted. Let’s go to bed.”
He nodded and led me down the hall. As he pushed through the door he said, “If this were an episode of MTV Cribs, this is the part where I’d say ‘And this is where the magic happens.’”
I laughed and he flipped on the lights. In three steps he had made it to his bed. He fell back onto it, still holding onto my hand.
“I love my bed,” Patrick sighed. I was still giggling and once he realized I hadn’t also collapsed onto the bed, he tugged on my arm. “Seriously, you have to come appreciate the awesomeness of this moment with me.”
I allowed him to pull me down onto the mattress. “Oh. My. God,” I sighed. “I never want to get up. Ever.”
“Right?” We lay there for a while before Patrick said, “You know what’s even better?”
“What?” I murmured, eyes closed.
“Sleeping in this bed. Like head on the pillows and under the covers.”
“That would require me to move.”
“I promise it’s worth it.” He was now starting to stand. I reluctantly let him pull me up.
Our bags had been stacked by the door. I found my bag and dug through it for something that would suffice as pajamas. As Patrick went through his own bag next to me, I asked, “Bathroom?”
He pointed me to a door on the opposite side of the room. I went and changed and brushed my teeth. When I got back out into the bedroom, Patrick was standing there in boxers and a tshirt. When I raised an eyebrow, he said, “I need to brush my teeth, but if I got into bed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make myself get up.”
I laughed as he walked toward the bathroom. On his way, he caught me around the waist and pulled me in for a kiss. Before I could register what had happened, he had continued on. I was sitting on the floor putting away my clothes and desperately searching for a hair tie when he returned.
“Can we go to bed now?” He asked, pitifully.
I turned and grinned at him. I stood up and pulled back my hair with my finally found hair tie and said, “I thought you’d never ask.”
Patrick gratefully fell into the bed, pulling the sheets up around himself. He turned on the television while I flipped off the lights. I slid under the sheets as he channel surfed. “I can’t even express how much I missed sleeping in an actual bed.”
“If you remember correctly, I shared that tidbit of information with you before we left for tour,” Patrick said lazily as he reached over to me with one arm to pull me closer.
“And television!” I said, letting my head settle on his chest. “I don’t think I’ve seen anything but Dora, video games, and movies for months.” I paused as he continued to change the channel. “But I thought you were tired? Are you gonna stay up and watch something?”
“Nah,” he said finally settling on something. “It always takes me a while when we get back from tour to get used to the quiet. I sleep better the first couple of nights with the television or something on.” I nodded my understanding and closed my eyes. I heard Patrick turn the volume down on tv. He kissed the top of my head, “Night, Laur.”
“Night, Trick,” I mumbled back, already half asleep.
The next thing I knew, Alison’s voice was whispering in my ear, “Lauren, Collin’s awake. He was crying.”
I cracked open a still sleepy eye to see Alison standing next to the bed. I took a deep breath,
not really wanting to get up, but I knew I had to. “Ok, sweetheart.”
I managed to untangle myself from Patrick’s embrace without waking him and I got out of bed. I took Alison by the hand and we walked down the hall to Collin’s room.
Once I had Collin out of his crib and I was changing him on the changing table, Alison asked, “Should we wake up Uncle Patrick?”
“No,” I said, velcroing the diaper in place. “Uncle Patrick is really tired from the trip we’ve been on. We’ll let him sleep. Let’s go see if there’s anything for breakfast.”
We were walking down the stairs when I realized I had no idea where anything was, but luckily the stairs landed in the kitchen. There were groceries on the island and after looking in the fridge, I could tell Patrick’s “people” had made sure his house was well stocked before he got home. I giggled to myself. I asked Alison, “Pancakes?”
“Yes, please!” She said and she sat down on the table.
“Can you run upstairs and get something for Collin to play with and one of his sippy cups so I can cook?”
She scampered off to do as she was told. I made up some formula for Collin while she was gone. I checked the clock; it read 9 AM. The kids had slept late. Alison returned after a minute or so, handing me Collin’s cup and giving him his favorite shapes game. I filled up his cup and gave it to him where he sat on the floor.
“Where is everyone?” Alison asked while I started to mix ingredients together.
“Well our big trip is over. Everyone is going home. This is Uncle Patrick’s house. You get to live here now.”
“But what about Uncle Joey and Pete and Andy and Evan? And what about Krissy? Don’t they live here too?”
“Joe, Pete, and Andy live close, I think. But Evan and Krissy live in Texas.” I started to heat up the griddle.
“Are you gonna leave?” I heard tears in her voice.
Surprised I looked up at her. I forgot that she might be upset at the thought of everyone leaving. After all it would be like an abrupt loss of her foster family. “I’m not leaving today,” I reassured her, coming over to hug her. “I’m not sure when I’ll leave, but I’ll make sure I give you plenty of notice, ok?” She nodded and wiped tears off her face. “And as for Joe, Pete, and Andy, I bet you’ll get to see them all the time.”
She nodded, slightly comforted. I kissed her forehead and went to make her pancakes. When they were done, I cut them up for her and Collin, and watched them eat. The kitchen opened up to a giant living room with a television and a couple comfy couches and chairs. I turned on something for the kids then went upstairs to grab some more of their toys. Once they were settled, I made myself some pancakes and ate them standing at the counter keeping and eye on the kids. Collin was half-heartedly playing with his shapes and Alison was lying on the couch like a zombie watching Sesame Street. They were tired, and now that tour was over and the excitement had calmed down, they were showing it. It would be a quiet day. Smiling, I put the pancake batter in the fridge in case Patrick wanted some later and did the dishes. Then I discovered a room off the kitchen with a washer and dryer.
“Alison, I’m gonna go upstairs and get some laundry, keep an eye on Collin, ok?”
“Yes, Lauren,” she answered.
After a few minutes of trying to sort through Collin’s clothes, I realized that everything was dirty, so I brought down the suitcase with his clothes and then I retrieved Alison’s suitcase too. I sorted the laundry then put a load in. I looked at the clock again. 10:30. I must have been tired if it took me that long to figure out laundry. It was only then that I sat back down, sinking into the couch next to Alison. I looked down at Collin, who was sitting up facing the television not plying with his toys anymore. He was swaying back and forth, so I picked him up and sat him in my lap. He let his head fall heavily against my chest and he put his thumb in his mouth, his eyes closing halfway. Alison scooted over to me and put her head in my lap. Collin was asleep in minutes.
“Hey sweetie, sit up for a second, I’m gonna go put Collin down for a nap, ok?”
She nodded and sat up. When I stood, she stood too and took my hand. “I’m sleepy too. Can I take a nap?”
“Sure. Let’s go.” We climbed the stairs. I put Collin down and left his door open, making a mental note that Patrick would need baby monitors.
“Is Uncle Patrick ok? Sometimes mommy would sleep late when she was sick. Uncle Patrick isn’t sick is he?”
“We can go check on him, if you want.” Alison didn’t answer, she just started dragging me down the hall. When we got into the room, Alison climbed into his bed. I said, “Quietly.”
“Uncle Patrick,” she said softly, tapping him on the shoulder. When he opened his eyes, she asked, “Are you sick?”
He was still groggy from the sleep he had just been woken from, so he looked at her with confusion. “No, Ali. I’m fine.”
“Good,” she said and she hugged him. He hugged her back.
It was too cute, and I thought that based on Alison’s mood earlier, spending some time with her uncle would be good for her. “Alison, do you want to watch Sesame Street with Uncle Patrick in stead of taking a nap?” She nodded and I changed the channel for them. Then to Patrick, I said,
“I’m doing laundry. Do you want me to do yours too?”
“You don’t have to,” he replied.
I smiled at him, “It’s fine. Might as well get it all over with at once.”
“No problem.” I shouldered my bag and left the room.
When I returned a few minutes later to retrieve Patrick’s bag, Alison was already asleep on Patrick’s chest. Patrick beckoned me over. “Where’s Collin?”
“Also asleep. They’re exhausted,” I told him as I reached his bed.
He grabbed my hand and pulled me down for a kiss. “When did they get you up?”
I smiled, “Nine. Not too early. We ate breakfast and they watched tv while I started laundry.”
“Thanks for that, by the way.”
“Collin literally had no clean clothes, so there really wasn’t a choice.” I was sitting on the bed next to him now. He reached up and brushed some of the hair out of my face. “Oh, by the way, Alison’s a little upset that everyone doesn’t live together. So you might want to watch out for that.”
“Good to know.” He gave Alison a kiss.
“I gotta go do laundry.”
“I can help,” Patrick replied, “She’ll sleep whether or not I’m here.”
“It’s fine. You should stay.” I leaned down and kissed him. “Try to get some rest yourself.”
He smiled and pulled me down again. When I pulled away, I got up to go change the laundry around. Then I sat down on the couch and flipped through the channels. I found Maury and was stoked to find my guilty pleasure. However, I didn’t last very long. I was asleep before I found out if Jarrel was the father of his prostitute girlfriend’s baby. The buzz of the dryer woke me and I went to change the laundry again. I folded the dry clothes and left them out on the other couch, promising myself I would put them away later when everything was done. Again, a few minutes into Jerry Springer, I fell asleep.
A/N: Saturday afternoon present for youuuuuuuuuuuuu. Hope you like it! Alsoooo review! I want to know what you think!