“Dad, where are you going?” Vittorio asked Ezio.
“Out. I’ll tuck you in first and Ms. Wilkerson is going to be here if you need anything.”
“Dad, I don’t need a babysitter anymore. Are you going out with Melissa again?”
“Yes. And yes, you do. You will have a babysitter until you have a well paid job, so if you break anything, you can actually pay for it … ha ha ha” Ezio laughed and poked his son.
“Are you going to dinner again?”
“Yes. And the theater. Why?”
“Just, maybe you can do something without food. Melissa’s belly is getting big.”
“Vittorio Auditore! That is not nice of you and not true! She looks great. And you are a brat!”
“Whatever, it is true though …”
“Bed. Now. I’ll be up in 10 minutes to tuck you in and you better be washed up and changed!”
After they had been seated, Ezio inquired, with the waiter eagerly on standby.
“Would you like an aperitif, dear?”
“Ummm, no, just some water would be good.”
They ordered, talked about the day.
The food came, smelled delicious as always, but suddenly Melissa jumped up and ran towards the bathrooms.
As she returned, a worried Ezio sat in front of his food untouched as well.
“Are you all right, sweetheart?”
“Yeah, just my stomach acting up a bit.”
The doorbell was ringing off the hook, my cell phone, which I always took into the coffin with me, much to Blaine’s delight as it gave him plenty of fodder to tease me with, was buzzing like crazy till I finally pried my eyes open and came out of hibernation to see what was going on. Ezio. Urgent. Outside my door. Urgh. Not more drama. I opened the lid and exited my coffin. From Blaine’s closed coffin I heard his drowsy voice.
“Is the house on fire or something?”
“No, Ezio. At the door. I’ll check it out. You just sleep.”
As I was stiffly walking up the stairs I heard Blaine’s coffin opening as well.
I made it to the door, it was mid day. Felt blinded by the little sunlight that still seeped in through all the covered windows. Had to slide Spunky aside who was eager at the door waiting for it to open to greet the visitor. That dog had to be the friendliest dog on this planet.
I stepped behind the door and opened it.
“Ezio, the light, too early!” I mumbled
Ezio came straight in, threw the door shut and hugged me, lifting me up to spin me around, kissing my cheek, which caused Blaine, who had made it to the hallway to cross his arms and pull a face.
Finally Ezio put me down. Looked at Blaine and started towards him, which Blaine dissuaded by raising both hands
“Dude, I swear if you kiss me, I’ll punch your lights out!”
Ezio turned back to me
“You would not believe the news!”
“You won the lottery? Cos we sure didn’t. Again.” Blaine mumbled
“What? No. Well, I kinda did! I’m having another baby!” Ezio beamed
“Oh!” I exclaimed
“Well, you carry it well.” Blaine grumped.
I hugged Ezio who was more excited than a child at Christmas. He always did love kids and if he had his way, we would have had a good dozen during our marriage, probably.
“Let’s go sit in the living room. Blaine, get some sparkling wine, we need to celebrate!”
“Sure babygirl. I’ll start the calligraphy on the gender reveal party invites while I am at it. Since that’s probably what’s expected of the new husband of the ex-wife these days.”
“Sorry, don’t mind him, Ezio. He is either grumpy from waking up early or on his period!”
“Well, I ain’t expecting a kid, that is for sure.” Blaine shuffled towards the kitchen.
Eventually we all sat down and Ezio boiled over with the entire story of finding out, when Blaine interrupted his flood of words.
“So when’s the wedding?”
Ezio’s smile froze, then faded.
“Well, yours, you ding dong. Isn’t that what you usually do? Knock them up, then slap a ring on it?”
“Blaine!” I tried to reign in my hubby’s candor.
“What? Tell me I am wrong.”
“You are wrong. Julia was never pregnant.”
“Not that we know of …”
“Shut up!” I slapped his arm. Since when was Blaine such a Grinch?
“You have to go with me!” Ezio stated.
Both men were confusing me. Ezio was never this roweled up, always composed and controlled, and sweet, funny Blaine had traded his boyish charm in to be one of those old grumpy guys from the Muppet show.
“Go where?” I asked, still at a loss.
“The jewelers of course. Help me find the perfect ring! Now.”
Blaine laughed a brief, joyless laugh. I elbowed him again.
“Ezio, I cannot go to a jewelry store as I would pretty much burn to dust before we make it to your car right now. And if we go when I can, the stores will be closed. Sorry.”
“Oh, right. No problem! I’ll call Heathington’s. They are an old client of mine and I am of theirs, they will open after-hours if need be. I’ll call now. And you too, Blaine! You go too! I could use another man’s input.”
“You want me in a hoity toity place like Heathington’s? Dude, they call the police on me if I even walk past that store. Nah, as much as I would love to shop in some store where only moneybags can shop, where I would need help reading the price tags as they are probably really big, Imma gonna pass on this one.”
Ezio went into the hallway to make the call.
“Can you please tell me what is wrong with you? Did you sleep on a pea or something?”
“Vik, really. Why the hell is your ex coming to YOU for wedding planning help? I could sorta overlook that you two seem to love hanging out and confide your problems into one another like little school girls, but I think this is a bit too weird, even by my standards. You are not really going to go help him pick a ring, are you?”
“Ok, I am going back to sleep. You two girls have fun shopping at the ritzy store. Whenever you come back, you know where to find me babygirl.”
Blaine got up and left.
“Oh, you’re still up. Did you rest at all?” Blaine asked after finding me in the living room, watching a sitcom.
“Mind if I sit?”
“Your house too.”
“Uh oh. Somebody’s cranky.” Blaine tried to tickle me, I pushed his hands off.
“Straight back at ya, buddy.”
“What the hell was wrong with you today?”
“What do you mean?”
“When Ezio was here.”
“I thought I made myself clear. I have no desire being asked the be the flower girl for your ex-husband’s, let me repeat that, EX-husband’s wedding. Nor do I want to stand there in some fancy-ass store where I could not even afford to pay attention, let along even the cheapest item they have, while standing next to Mr. Moneybags picking out million dollar wedding bands, well aware I could barely afford a silver one for my own wife.”
“Oh, so that’s it.”
“Yes, that’s it.”
“Blaine, I do not need fancy things…”
“Great, cos I will never be able to give them to you.”
“Hey, come here you big baby.” I straddled him and began to kiss him. I felt him tense at first, then relax when he returned my affections.
And then the door opened, Vivian, Spunky and Roxy all busted in like the Kool-Aid man.
“Are you kissing AGAIN? Eeeh, gross!” she grinned at us.
I climbed off Blaine, as Vivian plopped on the couch next to him, Spunky next to her and Roxy jumped up on the back of the couch.
Blaine and I exchanged looks, eyerolls, when he whispered into my ear
“Let’s have another baby, and adopt some more pets.” he chuckled. “Eff you!” I whispered into his ear.
One day not long after this, it was still sundown and not yet fully dark, but Blaine and I were both already up. It was the day after Harvestfest. Vivian was doing her homework in her room, I was making her dinner, when the doorbell rang. I heard Blaine in the hallway speaking to someone, then he arrived in the kitchen with our guest. Melissa.
She held a very familiar ring under my nose, then under Blaine’s.
I hugged her, congratulated her, as did Blaine.
“Isn’t it just stunning? He invited his entire family and me to Harvestfest at his home and proposed in front of all! That ring blinded everybody during dinner!” she asked, looking at her engagement band again.
“Yeah, but does not like anything Vik would ever pick out.” Blaine smirked and winked at me. I stuck my tongue out at him, while Melissa was too engrossed in her new jewelry.
“I have more news!” she beamed suddenly.
Of course we all knew what that was, but we cheered with her, as Blaine pulled a half-full bottle of sparkling wine from the fridge.
As I was sorting through the mail, I found a cream colored envelope with gold print on it. The wedding invite. Evidently there would be a wedding Blaine and I would be attending soon.
Oh yeah, and there are yet more family additions. Our cat Roxy had two adorable kittens. One look at them and it was blatantly obvious that their father was Melissa’s cat Tigger, whom we had caught when he had snuck into our home one evening and was awfully cutesy with Roxy. Well, Melissa instantly offered to take one and Addy called dibs on the other, but had to talk her husband into it first. IF we are able to part with both, that is. They are awfully cute. But we finally did make a vet appointment to have Roxy spayed …