Zane & Lucky’s First Christmas
“Which book would you like us to read tonight Skylar?” I pulled the bed sheets and duvet over her, before sitting down in the new armchair Lucky had bought for the room.
“Not Goldilocks and the three bears.” She yawned. “Or Cinderella. Something new.”
“Okay,” I laughed. “We can read something new.” I stared at her face as she looked at me with wide eager eyes. A swell of love filled my heart as she stared up at me with an open and loving face. She had only been living here as my adopted daughter for a month, but I could already see a huge difference in her appearance and her demeanor. She was happy 90% of the time now. There were still times when I would see her thinking hard, and she looked downcast. Whenever, I saw her looking too sad, I would go up to her and tickle her until she couldn’t stop laughing and then we would have a quick cuddle. “What about The Jolly Postman?”
“Yes, yes.” She sat up eagerly. “I want to read it to you please.”
“I’d be happy for you to read it to me.”
“Noah,” she said my name slowly. “Do you ever think about Palm Bonita?”
“Sometimes.” I smiled at her slowly, and my stomach lurched. So far, we hadn’t really had any conversations about Monica and I was worried that she was going to have a bad delayed reaction. Lucky had suggested that we go to a child therapist together to make sure that no issues developed but I hadn’t thought that was necessary. “Why?”
“I was just thinking about the day that we first met.” She blinked at me. “Do you miss Monica?”
“No.” I felt heat ride in my face. I could still remember the first time she had seen me, while I had been in bed with her stepmother. I was praying to God that she wasn’t talking about that incident, but rather about the more formal introduction. “Do you?”
“Not really.” She shook her head and bit her lip. “Does that make me a bad girl?”
“Of course not, sweetheart.” I stared at her innocent nine year old face and I felt tongue-tied. I really didn’t know what to say? It wasn’t like I could tell her that there was no way in hell I missed that bitch Monica and that no one would ever call her a bad girl for hating the witch. “Monica loved you in the best way that she could,” I took a hold of her hand. “But she didn’t really know how to love.” Anyone but herself. “She loved you in her own way, but needed to take care of her own issues.”
“I’m glad she left me with you.” Skylar’s eyes were wide and I could tell that she was trying not to cry. “She said that if you didn’t give her money she was going to make things bad for you.”
“Do not worry about what she said darling. She’s gone from our lives together.” I pulled her towards me and stroked her hair. “We’re a family now.”
“You, me, Uncle Zane, Aunty Lucky, and the new babies.” She grinned as she pulled away from me. “I can’t wait to have brothers and sisters.”
“They won’t be your siblings.” I laughed at her and pinched her cheek. “They will be your cousins.”
“Oh, okay, yeah. I can’t wait to have cousins.” She lay back in the bed and yawned again. “And then one day, I can have brothers and sisters as well.”
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”
“And a mommy.” She closed her eyes and her words were slightly slurred. “I’d like to have a real mommy as well.”
“I know darling.” Robin’s face flashed in my mind and I felt a wave of sadness fill my soul. Nothing had been the same after the day I had left Robin’s apartment to rush home without telling her what was going on. She had said that she was willing to move past everything and try again, but we’d only seen each other twice in the last month and both times had been awkward. Every night, I thought about her and making love to her. My body ached to touch her and be touched by her, but we hadn’t slept with each other since that incident. I knew that she was hurt by what happened, but I wasn’t sure what else I could do to get her to open up herself to me, and to give me a new chance. A real new chance. I sighed as I thought about the fact that Skylar was as far away from getting a mommy as I was from figuring out Robin. I was about to stand up and get the book when I realized that Skylar was sleeping. I looked down at her sweet face as she slept and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before turning the light off and exiting the room.
I walked back down the stairs and into the kitchen to see if I could find something to eat as I had forgotten to make myself something when Skylar had been acting up.
“That was quick,” Zane looked up from the fridge as I entered the kitchen. “Want a beer?”
“Yeah, thanks.” I nodded. “Skylar fell asleep already. Long day I guess.”
“I bet.” Zane opened the bottles and handed me one. “Lucky was right though, you’re doing a great job.”
“Thanks.” I took a chug and sighed. “It’s a lot harder than it looks.” I opened a cupboard and looked for some chips. “Want to share a pizza?” I closed the cupboard door and walked over to the fridge.
“Sure.” Zane grinned. “You call and I’ll go ask Lucky what she wants on her slices.”
“I thought she liked ham and onions?”
“She does,” He rolled his eyes. “But she’s on this thing about not assuming she wants what she wants.”
“What?” I laughed, slightly confused.
“We all know she wants ham and onions on her pizza, but we can’t order that until she says that’s what she wants.” He made a face at me. “I think it’s the pregnancy brains, it’s made her all crazy.”
“Don’t get married, bro. It will save you from many gray hairs.”
“You’re not married yet,” I laughed. “You can always walk away and give a better guy a shot.”
“Why do I feel you’re not joking?” He half-smiled, and stared at me. “Everything okay with you and Robin?”
“There is no me and Robin.” I looked away. “Go and get Lucky’s permission and I’ll call. You want pepperoni, peppers, onions and extra cheese right.”
“You got it.” He laughed. “I’ll be right back. Why don’t you give Robin a call and see if she wants to come over.”
“Give her a call anyways. Just to see.” He gave me a look. “If you like her, you’ll need to pursue her a bit harder.”
“I’m trying, she’s just getting over what happened.”
“Can you blame her? She let you into her life, into her bed and maybe into her heart and you held the biggest secrets you could from her.”
“It wasn’t because I wasn’t falling for her.” I said defensively. “In fact, she’s the only girl I’ve felt that connected to.”
“Does she know that?” He looked at me with a stern expression.
“I don’t know.” I sighed. “She doesn’t care.”
“Stop being so defeatist, Noah. I know you think you’re the savior of the world and the keeper of all of mankinds secrets, but you’re just a human like the rest of us. You do make mistakes, and while I know your heart does what you think is best, sometimes you get it wrong.”
“Okay, tell it like it is.” I made a face at Zane. “I know I fucked up. I just thought¾.”
“Stop thinking already. I know what you thought, I’m sure Robin knows what you thought, but sometimes you have to think about what the other people are thinking as well.”
“So I’m a screw-up, huh?”
“Basically.” He laughed punched me in the shoulder. “But I still love you. Just call her and see what happens. I’ll be back after Lucky tells me what I already know.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll call.” I turned away from him and pulled out my phone. I stared at it for a few seconds before pressing the numbers into the phone. I held my breath as the phone rang, and I could feel the disappointment seeping out of my pores as it kept ringing. I was about to hang up, when she answered the phone.
“Hello,” her voice was soft and my heart ached at the sound of it.
“Robin!” I said brightly and too eagerly. I stifled a groan.
“Hey.” I answered and then there was a moment of silence. “How are you?”
“I tried calling you a few¾.”
“I was busy.” She said abruptly.
“I see.” I bit my lip, unsure of what to say next. “So Zane and I were about to order pizza and I was wondering if you would like to come over and share some with us.”
“Really? It’s 8pm.” I could tell she was feeling feisty by the tone in her voice.
“Yeah, we’re having a late dinner.”
“Am I the dinner?”
“What?” I frowned into the phone.
“You call me out of the blue at 8pm at night and ask if I want to come over for dinner. And I want to know if I’m the dinner. Is this a booty call?”
“Of course it’s ¾.”
“Of course, if it is, you wouldn’t tell me. I’d be the last one to know right?”
“Robin, this is not a booty call.” I sighed. “Honestly, I think a booty call would be if I had called you at midnight. And then I wouldn’t ask you to come over for pizza.”
“Oh, you’d ask me to come over for some dick.”
“Uhm,” I tried not to laugh. I knew that she hadn’t intended to be funny, but for reason I couldn’t stop myself from finding her last statement really funny. “If you want to.”
“What?” she screeched and I knew she was surprised at what I had said. But I was too tired to mess around anymore. Either she liked me or she didn’t. Either way, I wasn’t going to play games.
“If you want to come over for some pizza, then that’s fine. If you want to come over for some dick, preferably my dick, then that is also fine. Big Noah was talking to me the other day and he did tell me that he misses you, so I’m sure you’re be very welcome.”
“You’re an asshole.”
“I’ve been told that once or twice.”
“You’re possibly the biggest asshole, I know.” She continued.
“Big Noah just told me that he wouldn’t mind exploring your asshole.” I joked and the phone went silent. “Sorry, Robin. I didn’t mean that. It was a bad joke. I have a problem of joking at the most inappropriate times.”
“Yes, you do.” Robin gasped and then burst out laughing and my heart soared with hope at the sound of her giggles.
“Let me make it up to you. Whatever you want on your pizza is all yours. I’ll even buy you your own.”
“I don’t know.” She hesitated.
“Please.” I begged. “I miss you.”
“I guess.” She sighed. “But I’m not staying over.”
“Fine.” I grinned into the phone. “You don’t have to stay over.”
“Big Noah better not try and beg me.” She laughed. “Cos I’ll tell him no too.”
“To his face?”
“More like he does.” I shifted my legs as I felt big Noah awakening at the possibility of coming out for the night.
“Big Noah and Small Noah both wish.” She giggled. “Though, I don’t know which one is in charge of the other.”
“No fair.” I groaned because at that moment, I wasn’t sure either. “Anyways, I’m going to hang up now, so that you can come over before you change your mind.”
“Scaredy-cat,” she laughed. “I’m not a flake you know.”
“Okay, I’m going to just go brush my hair and I’ll be over.”
“Don’t forget your toothbrush.”
“Nothing.” I said quickly. “See you soon.”
“Wait, Noah.” She almost screamed into the phone.
“Yes.” I held my breath, wondering if she had been playing me, trying to get my hopes up before changing her mind.
“Pepperoni and Jalapeno’s please.”
“On the pizza.”
“Oh yeah.” I laughed.
“There are going to be pizza’s right?”
“Of course.” I answered quickly, hoping her mind didn’t start jumping to conclusions.
“Okay, I guess….”
“I gotta go.” I said hurriedly. “See you soon.” And then I hung up. There was no way I was going to give her the option to change her mind. I stood there for a few minutes with a huge grin on my face and happiness in my heart as I realized that she was definitely coming. But that wasn’t the reason for my thudding heart and hopeful mindset. That was because she had sounded like she was open to really giving me another chance to make it up to her. It was crazy that I cared about her so much; we barely knew each other, but I already felt so connected to her. I knew that if I didn’t try to make things right with us. Scratch that, I needed to make things better than right. I needed her to give me a new chance, a fresh chance. Because I had a feeling that if she did that, things would work out for the best.
Ding dong. I ran to the door excitedly, only pausing to take a breath before I opened it nonchalantly.
“Hey,” I smiled, expecting to see Robin on the other side of the door.
“Hey, bro. What’s up?” Leonardo’s handsome mug grinned back at me before he reached over and gave me a brotherly hug.
“Leo,” I hugged him back and tried not to show my disappointment. “How are you?”
“I’m good, but I want to hear everything.” He stared at me and laughed. “Look at you all buff, I see you’ve been working out a lot more.”
“Well, you know.” I laughed as I let him in and we walked to the living room. “There’s not much to do when you’re in hiding.” I looked over at my brothers best friend and chuckled before becoming serious. “It was hard being away.”
“I bet.” He gave me a look. “We thought you were dead.”
“Zane was devastated.”
“Don’t do it again.” He gave me a look and I nodded understanding his unspoken words. I had nearly killed my brother inside and out. It had been selfish of me to disappear and not say anything; I still thought my reasons were respectable, but as time went by, I was starting to see that I didn’t have to be a Martyr in the situation.
“So Zane got himself a hottie.” Leo joked and broke the tension in the room.
“I heard that, Leo.” Zane came running down the stairs and into the living room. “Don’t you go getting any thoughts into your head.”
“Scared of a little competition?” Leo joked and Zane laughed.
“If Lucky’s a smart girl, I think we both know how this will end.” Leo winked at Zane and I laughed.
“Yeah, she’ll choose me.” I joined the conversation and Zane gave me a small glare.
“Who’ll choose you?” Lucky had a big bright smile on her face as she walked down the stairs in a simple white dress.
“These two fools think that you would actually give them a chance if I wasn’t in the picture.” Zane walked over to her and grabbed her hand. I smiled to myself as I watched him pull her into the crook of his arms. It was amazing to see Zane so protective and caring with Lucky.
“Oh, Leo. You’re here.” Lucky pulled away from Zane and ran up to Leo with a delighted face. “I didn’t know you were coming over.”
“Zane text and said pizza was on the way.” He laughed. “I couldn’t say no to that, plus I haven’t seen Noah since he’s been back. I wanted to lay my eyes on him.” He hugged her back tightly, and gave her a big kiss on the cheek. “You’re looking positively radiant, Lucky. Most probably the most beautiful mother-to-be I’ve ever seen. You almost make me want kids.”
“You’ll have gorgeous kids.” Lucky blushed and grinned and I laughed at the murderous look on Zane’s face, as he watched her with his friend.
“It’s a pity Zane got to you before me.”
“That’s enough, Leo.” Zane walked over and stood next to Lucky. “Maybe it’s time to get your own girl.”
“No thanks.” Leo shuddered. “I don’t have time for the stress and drama that comes along with relationships, no offense Lucky.”
“None taken.” She laughed and put her arms around Zane’s waist. “Trust me, sometimes I wonder how I put up with this guy.”
“Because you love me, duh.”
“I won’t love you so much if you keep embarrassing me.”
“Sure.” Zane laughed and walked into the kitchen. “You guys want a beer while we wait on the pizza?”
“I’ll take a bud.” Leo lounged down on the chair and stared at me. “So you dating anyone?” He gave me a quick look and I shook my head.
“Nah, not really. Not now I have a kid to look after.”
“A kid?” His eyes bulged wide open and I laughed.
“I adopted a little girl.” I smiled. “You’ll have to meet her.”
“Whoa, I go away for a few weeks and I miss everything.” Leo shook his head in wonderment and I was about to tell him more about Skylar when the doorbell rang. My heart thudded as I walked over to it quickly hoping to see Robin on the other side.
“Hey,” I opened the door with a wide smile and sighed when I saw the pizza deliveryman.
“Hey, pizza delivery.” He said in a monotone voice. I tried not to roll my eyes at him or say something smart like “I thought you were the paperboy.”
“What’s the damage?” I took out my wallet and pulled out some bills.
“There is no damage to your pizza, sir.” The pimply-faced teenager looked at me with a blank expression.
“What?” I frowned and then realized he had misunderstood my question. “What’s the total?”
“I didn’t total anything, Sir. I only tapped the back of that car. It wasn’t totaled at all.” He stammered as he held the boxes in his hands and it was at this point that I realized that he was either high or the biggest idiot I had ever met.
“How much money do I owe you?”
“You don’t owe me, oh wait.” He paused as he realized what I was asking. “A hundred should do it.”
“A hundred dollars?” I asked him incredulously.
“Yes, Sir.” He beamed at me and nodded. “A hundred dollars will take care of the bill nicely. Plus tip of course.”
I grabbed the boxes from his hand and handed him $40, before glaring at him. “You better believe I’m going to call your boss and report you. Now get out of here. And don’t try to pull this scam on anyone else.”
“But Sir,” his eyes widened in panic. “The bill is $55.”
“Then I suggest you find $15 from somewhere.” I smirked at him and slammed the door shut before he could say anything else. I turned around and saw that Lucky was standing right behind me, with a surprised expression, but laughter in his eyes. “Did that just happen?” I asked her and she burst out laughing.
“That was hilarious.” She grinned, while wiping tears away. “If I hadn’t just witnessed that, I would never have believed it.”
“They’re letting any old fool be a pizza delivery guy these days.”
“What is the world coming to?” She grinned and shook her head. And then the doorbell rang again and she smiled at me. “You go and take those boxes to the kitchen and I’ll take care of him this time.”
“Okay,” I grinned and walked back to the kitchen, sad that I wasn’t going to get to hear Lucky give dopey a piece of her mind. I put the boxes on the counter and pulled out some plates, while Zane opened up the bottles of beer.
“Shit, that pizza smells good.” Zane groaned and opened up a box. “It tastes good too.” He mumbled through a mouthful of pepperoni.
“Thanks for waiting on us all to get a plate before you started greedy bear.”
“Whatever.” He laughed and handed me a beer. I took a swig of bud and then froze as I heard a tinkle of feminine laughter that didn’t belong to Lucky. Robin was here. I quickly placed the bottle back down and ran my hands through my hair. My heart started beating rapidly and I turned around slowly before walking back into the living room with a big smile on my face. Joy poured through me when my eyes fell upon her, she looked as beautiful as I remembered her and she looked happy as she stood there laughing. I stared at her for a moment, just memorizing her features, when a feeling of jealousy spread through me. Robin wasn’t just laughing at some random joke. She was laughing up at Leo, who was laughing down at her, and very obviously admiring her goods. I felt a surge of anger as I stared at handsome Leo flirting with her. He was a blond Adonis and I knew that to most women, he was one of the most handsome and charismatic men they had ever met. I was scared that now Robin had had a glance of him, that she wouldn’t be interested in me; especially as we had already had a bit of a rocky start. I stood there for a moment more just glaring at Leo and then I caught myself. I was being just like Zane, only I didn’t yet have the girl.
“Hi Robin,” I gave her a wide smile, trying to mask my jealousy and she turned to look at me in what seemed like slow motion.
“Hi, Noah,” she gave me a light smile and my heart flipped as our eyes met. All of a sudden, the room seemed empty. There was no one else in this moment than her and I, and very fiber of my body was aware of that fact. I walked over to her slowly, and she moved towards me as well until we stopped in front of each other and just stood there in front of each other, smiling like idiots.
“I’m starving.” Leo’s voice interrupted our moment and I looked up and saw a tinge of disappointment in his eyes.
“Me too.” Robin turned towards him and smiled and his eyes lit up again. I frowned as they exchanged a small look. What was going on here?
“You always did love pizza.” Leo laughed and I froze.
“You guys know each other?” I looked back and forth at them and noticed that Robin was blushing.
“Kinda.” She mumbled and Leo nodded.
“We went on a few dates.” Leo shrugged as he looked at me and I looked back at Robin.
“And then he just never called me again.” She laughed, but I could tell that she was still hurt. “I guess that’s what happens when you don’t put out right away.”
“That wasn’t why I didn’t call.” Leo’s voice was soft. “That wasn’t why at all.”
“Oh well, let’s eat before the pizza gets cold.” Lucky looked at Zane with a worried expression and ushered us all into the kitchen. “We can all catch up later after we eat.”
“Hungry are we Lucky?” Zane raised an eyebrow at her suggestively and she hit him in the arm.
“Yes, but not for you.”
“That’s hurtful.” He pouted. “You better not try and jump on me tonight, I have a feeling I will be too tired.”
“You’re never too tired.”
“Tonight I will be.”
“Children, children.” Robin grinned and walked past me and quickly into the kitchen behind them. I stood there for a moment and tried to control my breathing. Leo came and stood next to me and gave me a look.
“I didn’t know you were dating Robin.”
“I didn’t know you dated Robin.” I gave him a side look and his eyes looked pained.
“I didn’t dump her because she wouldn’t sleep with me.” He sighed. “I really like her.”
“Like or liked?” I frowned at his words.
“I don’t know.” He shook his head. “I didn’t expect to see her tonight.”
“I like her a lot.” I bit my lower lip. “I can see her in my life forever.”
“So could I.” Leo looked away from me and mumbled under his breath. “That was the problem.” I pretended that I didn’t hear him and looked away quickly.
“Well, it’s good that you’re a confirmed bachelor or this could have been a problem.” I faked a laugh and gave him one quick glance before I walked into the kitchen. I looked back at Leo, who was just standing there and my stomach flipped with worry. Leo looked like anything but a confirmed bachelor at that moment and I had a feeling that my attempt to win over Robin over was about to get a lot more complicated.
Are you ready for Zane & Lucky’s First Christmas?? Leave a comment below and let me know!