“Lazy thing,” someone said.
The couch shifted under me. I sat up hurriedly. “Oh, hi, Pete.”
“I’m hurt, Lo,” he replied. “You haven’t seen me in twelve hours and all you can say is ‘oh hi?’”
I stuck my tongue out at him then said, sarcastically, “Oh Peter Pan! I missed you so much! Don’t ever leave me again!”
“That’s better,” he said with his trademark smirk. “So how’s your first day off tour?”
“Busy? I did laundry, or I was doing laundry.”
“I see,” Pete said.
“What have you been up to? Why are you here? No offense, but I expected you to be sleeping all
“I was sleeping, but then Trick called. He said Alison missed us, so Joe and I are gonna take her and Collin to the park and pizza.”
“You can come if you want, but I figure you might need a break from the whole 24-hour nanny thing.”
“It’ll be good for them to hang out with you and Joe,” I hedged.
“That’s what I thought,” he said with a laugh. “Joe is changing the baby and Patrick is up helping Alison pick out something to wear.”
I nodded. There was a loud clattering down the stairs. “UNCLE PETE! WE’RE READY TO GO!”
“Excellent,” Pete called back. Alison was still coming at him full speed. She launched herself into his lap. “Hey kiddo.”
“Lauren’s awake! Uncle Pete and Uncle Joey are taking me and Collin to the park!”
“Collin and I,” I corrected, gently. “And I heard. Sound’s like fun.”
“And guess what?!”
“They’re gonna take us out for pizza!”
“Awesome!” I said matching her enthusiasm.
“Hey, Laur,” Joe called. “Can you come make sure I’ve got everything?”
“Sure.” I got up and went over to Joe in the kitchen. After making sure he had all the necessary items, I gave them the green light. Alison gave Patrick and I hugs and we all said goodbye. I was back to sitting on the couch when Patrick sat down next to me. My head fell on his shoulder and his arm went around my shoulders. After a few minutes, I sighed and moved to get up. “I have to finish the laundry.”
“No you don’t,” he said, not letting go of me. “I finished the laundry while you were sleeping.”
“Right now, that’s like the best thing you could have possibly said to me.”
“What can I say, I know how to make the girls swoon.”
I laughed and said, “I heard that about you.” I sat back and got more comfortable on the couch,
my legs over his, leaning into the couch cushions. “What time is it?”
“Mmmh,” I responded. Patrick flipped through the channels. After we watched a couple of episodes of That 70s Show, I sat up again. “I should put the kids clothes away.”
“Maybe,” Patrick mumbled.
“No I should. As much as I don’t want to right now, I know I won’t do it later. Then it’ll never get done.” I sighed and stood up. Patrick moved to grab me around the waist to make me stay, but I jumped out of his reach, sticking my tongue out at him. I laughed at the puppy dog face he gave me.
When I didn’t give in and walked over to the piles of folded, clean clothes on the other couch,
he exasperatedly sighed, “I guess I could help.”
“I sure would appreciate it.” We took the kids’ clothes upstairs and put them away in the new dresser, arguing playfully about whether socks should go in the top or bottom drawer. Once that was finished, we gathered our own clothes and went to Patrick’s bedroom. On the way up the stairs, I said conversationally, “Alison asked me when I was leaving.”
He looked up at me in surprise. “I didn’t know you were leaving…”
“Well,” I started, thinking. “I do live in Texas you know…”
“Ya, but…” Patrick trailed off, obviously thinking too.
“Listen,” I said as we walked into his room, “I know we haven’t talked about this. You know, the whole ‘after’ thing. But I love Alison and Collin, and after being with them constantly for a couple months, I’m not sure if I can just walk out of their lives. And then,” I paused, set my clothes down on the bed and looked up at him. He was standing in the doorway. My eyes dropped again. “Then there’s you. I really like you, Trick. And it’s been fun, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on this by asking to stay.” When Patrick didn’t say anything, I continued to babble. “But…but I really think it would be hard for Alison, especially, if both Krissy and I left. I just really don’t know what to-“ I was cut off as Patrick’s lips crashed into mine,
pulling me closer. When we broke apart, I looked up at him, “What was that for?”
“Because you’re awesome.” He kissed me again. “Also, for the record, I agree. It’d be rough on the kids if everyone left.” He tucked some of my hair behind my ear. “Which is why, I’m asking you to stay. For however long you want, ok?”
“Really.” He pulled a mock serious face and said, “For the kids, obviously.”
“Definitely,” I said in the same tone. “Just because of the kids.”
This time it was me who reached up and kissed him. As our kiss became more…enthusiastic, we toppled over onto the bed. A few minutes later, I was straddling Patrick’s lap. I pulled away, briefly, “You knocked my clothes all over the place.”
“We’ll pick ‘em up later,” he said, laying back and pulling me with him. Our usual activities played out. Afterwards, my exhaustion hit me full on. I needed sleep. So, wrapped in Patrick’s arms and under his twisted bed sheets, I let myself fall asleep.
“Laur?” Patrick was gently shaking me awake. “Are you hungry?”
I rolled over, feeling a little bit more rested, and smiled up at him. “Ridiculously hungry.”
“Wanna order in or should we try and cook something?”
“Ummm,” I looked at the clock. It was five. “Let’s cook. I’ve eaten way to much take out
I went to get up, keeping the sheet wrapped around me because I seemed to have…ahem…misplaced my clothes. I looked around for them. “Hey, where’d my clothes go?”
“I didn’t think they were necessary anymore, so I threw them out,” Patrick answered, snarkily.
“Har har, you’re so funny. But for realsies. Where my clothes?”
“In the closet. You know, like where normal people keep their clothes?” I stuck my tongue out at him. “Andddd the clothes we had on…before,” he was grinning like an idiot, “I put them in the wash. I figured they needed to be washed too.”
“Aren’t I just the best?” He asked sitting next to me.
“I certainly think so,” I said leaning up to kiss him. My stomach grumbled. “But apparently, this adventure must be paused because I need to eat something before I perish.”
“I would hate to see you perish.”
“It would be a travesty.” I got up, pulling the sheets with me, and walked to the only other door in the room, which, as I assumed, led to the closet. I smiled to myself when I saw that Patrick had hung up most of my clothes and put my folded stuff into a couple of his drawers. After I changed, I ran back out into the room, the sheet still trailing behind me, and I threw my arms around a surprised Patrick and kissed him. “Thanks for putting my stuff away.”
“No problem,” he said, his arms falling loosely around my waist. “Boo, now I have to remake the bed,” he whined, referring to the sheet that was now tangled around our feet and strewn through the room.
“It’s not so bad. You can do it later. And maybe, if you’re really nice to me, I’ll help you put the sheets back on.” I winked.
“Are you trying to seduce me?”
“Maybe,” I said cheekily, turning away from him.
As I scurried down the hall, he yelled after me, “Hey! Where ya goin?”
“I thought you were hungry,” I called over my shoulder.
I had made it downstairs and had the fridge open before he caught up with me. He stood behind me, his head rested on my shoulder, his arms around my waist again. He murmured into my ear,
“Well, now, I’m a different kind of hungry.”
I laughed, turned my head, and kissed his cheek. “Later. I’ll even promise.”
“Deal.” He kissed me right behind my earlobe.
I giggled. “Now what do you want to eat?”
We made Hamburger Helper and ate it while we watched How I Met Your Mother. Between bites I asked, “When’s Alison’s birthday?”
“Next week, actually. I kept meaning to ask you and Krissy what we should do for it.”
“We’ll figure something out. What I was more concerned about was is she gonna be old enough to go to kindergarten?”
“Oh,” Patrick said, surprised, some of the panic that I hadn’t seen since the first couple days he had custody of the kids surfaced in his eyes. “I didn’t even think about that.”
“See, that’s why you have me around,” I reassured him. “We’ll look it up on the interwebs
Patrick nodded and continued eating. When we had finished dinner, Pete and Joe hadn’t returned yet with the kids. Patrick volunteered to do the dishes and I ran up to grab my laptop. I pushed myself up on the counter next to the sink and opened up my computer.
After googling a few things, I announced, “She’s old enough.”
“Should I put her in school?”
“I mean, probably. Unless you want to homeschool her…”
“I don’t even know how the schools around here are.”
“The internet is a wonderful thing,” I said, typing stuff into the search bar. I read some then
told him, “It looks like the public schools around here are pretty poor. Apparently most of you ‘Hollywood’ types like to put your kids in private schools.”
“Let me see.” He dried off his hands and I handed him the computer. He read through the website
then said, “Private school is looking pretty good.”
I laughed, “Ya…I kinda got that impression, too.”
A/N: Thanks for the review GACLive! Have another chapter friends =)