“Where’s KC?” Everleigh looked around the plateau of the train station after hugging her grandfather.
“At work. Left early this morning. Your parents are trying to get off work early, we’ll all have dinner together then with your brother and grandmother.”
“No, I think he has plans.”
On the ride home the anticipating smile Evey had worn the entire four and a half hours of the train ride had faded, given way to a worried look. KC had dropped her off and picked her up every single time since she started college. Except today. He had been really weird when he dropped her off last time, too. She was disappointed and her good mood was gone for the entire rest of the day.
It turned out that she would not see KC for two whole days until that Saturday. After spending nearly all day with her cousins, also home on a break, all ended up at the grandparents’ home. They all had left now, Evey had stuck around pretending to wanting to ask her grandmother for something, when in reality she was waiting for KC to finally get home.
‘Finally!’ Evey thought when she saw his Jeep fly up the driveway. She checked her appearance in the hallway mirror, then waited for the so much anticipated big greeting.
“Hey stranger!” she beamed when the door opened and he ran in.
“Oh, hey Barbie, forgot you were coming home. Sorry, I am kinda in a hurry, catch ya later.” he continued up the stairs.
Shocked at the lackluster greeting, Everleigh fought to keep herself composed.
He always had hugged her before. She shook her head and was about to follow when he already came back down.
“Where are you going?” she asked when it dawned on her he was going to leave again.
“Out. Just needed to change my shirt.”
“Wait! Can you drop me off at home? Please?” an excuse, but at least it would buy her time to talk to him one on one.
“Fine. If you make it quick…”
Evey told her grandparents good night and left. When she wanted to get into his Jeep she saw that there was already someone in the passenger seat. A girl!
She climbed into the backseat as KC started up the car, not really sure how to continue functioning like a sane person after this shock.
“Ummm .. KC?” the girl addressed him, pointing at Evey in the backseat.
“Right. That is the granddaughter of the people I am staying with, just dropping her off at her home, then we’ll go. Evey, this is Patricia.”
“Right, Tracey is who that is.”
Evey said nothing more, too busy trying to digest having been downgraded from friend to ‘granddaughter of the people I am staying with’.
After he dropped her off, for the first time not even waiting till she was inside she leaned against the front door from the inside when the first tears fell.
Situations like that one happened a few more times, always with different girls, other that that, Evey barely saw KC anymore. Finally she had enough.
She went over to her grandparents’ home early one Saturday, well aware he would be home. She gave him however long it would take her to drink two big mugs of coffee very slowly, hoping he would get up and come down to the kitchen.
When he didn’t show up, she just went up to his room. She considered knocking, but instead just marched right in.
He was still asleep.
“Morning!” she chimed, after opening the blinds, watching a blinking, moaning KC scramble out of bed.
“What the hell…?” he mumbled discontent
“It’s almost 11!” she told him.
Moaning he fell back onto his bed.
“So? I have today off and no plans until tonight. What do you want?” he asked ask he was rubbing his face.
“Why are you ignoring me?”
“I am looking directly at you!”
“You KNOW what I am talking about! And who are all those girls all of a sudden?”
“What girls?” the corners of his mouth crinkled upwards ever so slightly.
“The Traceys, Patricias, Heathers, Melanies and all the other ones, whom you barely ever even remember the names of!” Everleigh was not amused and it showed, his carefree shrugging did not help improve on it.
“I date. I am a man in the prime of my life. What exactly is your problem?”
“You are forgetting who your REAL friends are.”
“Am I? Do tell.”
“KC what the hell is this?!” Evey had been looking around his room as they were talking, and now picked up a glass jar, apparently filled with folded up notes, handwritten phone numbers and girls’ names on them, sometimes with a lipstick kiss or brief, raunchy note.
“Personal stuff is what that is. Put it back.” he grinned, now got up, and was on his way over to her obviously to take it from her.
“No.” she held it behind her back, he tried to take it, she broke away and ran to the other side of his room.
“Evey .. you know I am stronger than you. Just give me the damn honey pot.”
“HONEY POT!? Oh heck no!” As he was slowly coming towards her, smirking, she reached in, took the entire fistful of numbers out and stuffed them into her bra, dropping the jar, then stood, chin out and arms crossed.
“I’d like to see you take them now.”
“Is that a challenge?” he grinned.
“Maybe. I think it’s more of a gamble for you, of what would knock you out first, my kick in the balls or my grandpa strangling you for fondling me.”
“Good point. Fine, you keep them. You know I can always get more numbers where those came from? And already have a date set up for tonight.” he shrugged again, reaching for a shirt which he pulled on after it passed his smell test.
“Screw you!” Evey stomped out of his room, went downstairs and into the kitchen, him right behind her. Leonie had just concluded emptying the dishwasher and looked at her, the smiled faded when she saw the angry look on her granddaughter’s face.
“Oh, honey .. what is going on with your shirt up here?”
Leonie pointed to Evey’s décolletage, which was all bumpy and odd looking.
“Yeah, Evey, what is going on there?” KC grinned.
“I tell you what’s going on there, grandma. A bunch of KC’s hussies. Tons and tons of them. If I were you, you would Lysol the heck out of wherever he sits down!”
Evey was pulling all the papers out of the top of her shirt and piled them up on the counter. When KC attempted to take them, she grabbed them first and threw them in the trash.
“Where they belong!” she hissed at him, her cheeks bright red, before she stormed out of the room, on her way to the front door she overheard her grandma tell KC that she had just moved his laundry from the washing machine into the dryer while she was in there anyway.
Evey stopped, looking over her shoulder, when she was certain nobody was following her, an evil grin appeared on her face.
“Oh, I think I’ll help you with your dating game, you moron!” she mumbled to herself on her way to the laundry room.
At the same time KC stood grinning in the kitchen, looking at the trashcan.
“Yikes. That girl was upset. I assume that was the idea…” Leonie was barely able to stifle a laugh.
“Mayyyyybe. Part of the plan. You know the mountain and prophet thing.”
“Careful KC, don’t gamble too high.”
“Too high? I started out with nothing. Mostly invisible. Looks like that I have a least a little bit to work with now.”
“Just don’t take it too far. Your birthday party is coming up. Make sure you get to live to see it, kiddo. No greater wrath than a woman scorned. And remember, that she is my granddaughter!”
“Yes Ma’am. I think I am getting pretty close to where I want to go with this.” he smirked, winking at Leonie.
“You lil devil.”
“Just making lemonade …”
“Oh KC, honey, I am so very sorry. I really do not know how this could have happened! I have been doing laundry for over 50 years now and this has never happened to me! It seemed fine coming out of the washing machine … and now … I think I will call someone to check on that dryer! If this had happened to Liam’s clothing … oh, he would not be happy!” Leonie looked shocked when she handed KC his laundry basket.
He looked at it, and grinned.
“Oh, no worries Mrs. C. That was my fault. I am pretty sure I know what happened here. Definitely not your fault and I am sure the dryer is fine – and thank you very much!” KC smiled gratefully at Leonie.
She left, and KC looked at the laundry basket filled with his underwear, socks and shirts, all of them in varying shades of pink and extremely fragrant and soft.
“You little beast!” he broke into laughter.
“Combat Barbie strikes again. At least now I know for sure I am onto something here.” he chuckled to himself.
“So are you going to KC’s party next week?” Everleigh asked Heath, sitting next to him on a sofa he now had in his underground room beneath the fake shed in her grandparents’ backyard.
“I doubt he would want me to. Besides, way too much exposure with all the people there who do not even know I exist, so I probably should not. I am not much for parties anyway.”
“Maybe I’ll hang with you down here. Something tells me he won’t even notice if I weren’t there.”
“Why wouldn’t he?”
“Too busy dating flocks of floozies. He is never even home anymore. No more time for his real friends now.”
“No, Evey. Unless he dates during the day. He is home every night normally. Just since you came home he has been going out more. I assumed you two had a fight.”
“Not that I know of .. and oh really?”
“He is home every night. We all started binge-watching a new TV series together that is already 8 seasons long, meaning a lot of episodes and we only ever manage two or three a night. So yeah, pretty sure he is not dating that much. Ask your grandparents, they watch with us.”
“Interesting. So why the charades? He told me he was dating all the time now. If he does not like me anymore, why doesn’t he just say so? He usually never has a problem saying what’s on his mind.”
“Don’t you think he does that BECAUSE he likes you?”
“You mean like .. nah, KC isn’t like that. Right?”
“I am not the one to give advice on dating, but to me it looks like he is trying to make you jealous.”
“I don’t get it. Why the ado? If he likes me, why does he not just ask me out? He is a lot of things, but shy is not one of them.”
“Same reason that I would bet all I own on him standing by the kitchen window right now, shooting pseudo-lethal glances at this shed, knowing you are down here with me.”
“I’ll go talk to him.”
As Evey exited the shed she saw KC’s face disappear from the window. Once she got inside, he was not anywhere to be found downstairs, but she saw light from underneath his room door when she arrived upstairs.
“Can I come in?” she asked as she was closing his room door behind herself.
“Looks like you already finished coming in. Ever heard of knocking? I could have been busy with very personal matters in here.”
“Well, ever heard of locking your door?”
“What do you want?”
“OK. It will not be easy, and you may want to sit down for this, but … Santa isn’t real. Neither is the Easter bunny. There, it is finally out.”
“Oh so funny. So you are trying to prove some point by dating some hoes?”
“No, I am dating some hoes because I am a man, with needs.”
“Don’t you think you’d get tired of banging all those girls?”
“That’s why I rotate them. So it stays interesting. And no, men never get tired of banging.”
“Aha, ok. So where do you take them? I mean, I am home now, I like going out. Recommend a few hot spots, since you are constantly out on hot dates now.”
“You know, the same old. You haven’t been gone that long. Not that much changes in a few months.”
“So, like where? The old Octagon Club in Newcrest?”
“And the Water’s Edge in Willow Creek?”
“Yeah definitely a favorite.”
“Are they any good?”
“They are awesome.”
“Really? That is surprising, considering I made both of them up. So what the heck is this?”
“You tell me, smart ass, since you think you have all the answers. Or do you need to go love on Heath some more first?”
“So that’s it. You really are jealous.”
“What if I were?! Would you drop him like a hot potato and only have eyes for me all of a sudden because now I am so fucking pitiful or is that treatment only reserved for me? I am so sick and tired of being your stand in. Always second best. Every single time!”
“KC .. you are not. Never have been …”
“Bullshit! I have eyes. And a brain.”
“Then use it!”
She walked over to him and kissed him. Intensely.
When they finally separated he shook his head in disbelief, smiling big.
“Whoa! What the hell what that, Barbie?”
“A kiss. A REAL one. By a REAL woman, not a hoe. Although I should probably gargle with Lysol now after seeing what you usually sink that tongue into.”
“Look who’s jealous now.”
“Wasn’t that the idea?”
“Worked like a charm too.”
“You are an idiot.”
He grinned wide.
“Is there more where that came from?”
“Can be. Eventually. If you deserve it …”
He pulled her towards him, and before she knew it she was in his lap on his bed with him.
“I imagined what this would be like so many times, but honestly, never even came close.”
“Hold your horses there. I am not one of your loose girls. You’re gonna have to work for it. And just so we are clear, I don’t put out on the first date. And this isn’t even a date.”
“Wanna go out tonight?” he grinned.
“I thought you had plans…”
“Those just got cancelled.”
“Ok, but you have to call the girl and not just stand her up. Even hussies deserve respect.”
“I would, if someone had not thrown away the numbers. Unless you would let me search your bra just in case one of them is still in there …”
“Don’t you dare getting your grabby fingers anywhere near my bra!”
“How would you punish me if I tried? Do my laundry?” he crossed his arms and grinned.
“Oh, right …. that…” she blushed when she realized what he was talking about. “Well anyway. Normal people use the address book in their cell phone not pieces of paper.”
“Why bother? I wasn’t gonna call her again anyway.”
“Damn, you are an asshole.”
“Hey, decent girls don’t hand out their phone numbers like peanuts to strangers.”
“Ok, you may have a point there. I give you that. Kinda sorta.”
“All right, let’s take you home, so you can do whatever it is that girls do before a date. All I know is that it usually takes hours.”
“Umm, hello!? I came here by car, so, unless you want to drive me home in my car and then walk back here …”
“For a date with you I just might.”
“Well, I am going to go home now, cos apparently I need to do whatever to myself for a few hours so Mr. McCoy deems me presentable enough to be seen with him.”
“And that came right back to bite me. Before more of my boxers have to die the pastel laundry death, let me make this statement: no, you do not need makeup and hair stuff, I only said that cos for once I wanted to feel like I was special enough to you to go all out like that. Just once not be second best.”
“I am going to go now before the ‘nobody loves KC pity party’ starts. Pick me up at 8 … if you can manage to make it to my house without picking up some new girls.”
“Hmm…. sounds tough, but I’ll give it a shot. Would that be worth a kiss goodbye?”
“Nope! Bye KC…” she grinned and left.
“Brutal Barbie, that was just cruel ….” he smirked.
“MOOOMMMM!” Everleigh stormed out of her room and ran through all the rooms on the upper story of the house, finally made it down the stairs, calling for her mother continuously.
“MMMOOOOOOOOOM! Where in the world are you?! Mom I NEED to borrow your red dress? I have NOTHING decent to wear. Everything looks like I am going to be dropped off at a jamboree. I NEED your red dress, that sexy number that makes your butt look like a million bucks!!! Oh … hi daddy… awkwaaaaard.”
Everett’s facial expression was shocked and appalled.
“May I ask why my teen daughter would need such a dress?”
“A date. I just want to be really pretty …”
“You ARE really pretty. And your … umm .. butt does not need to attract more attention.”
“Oh daddy, you wouldn’t get it anyway. Oh .. mom, there you are… can I borrow…”
“Don’t give her your dress!”
“Guys, why are my adult husband and daughter acting like toddlers?”
“She wants you to make her butt look like a million bucks and I veto that!”
“Come again?!” Katie was more than confused.
“Your red dress… please say I can have it .. please!”
“What for? That was expensive… it’s for special occasions…”
“This IS a special occasion. I am going on a date! Important one. Like my-life-depends-on-how-I-look kinda date.”
“Date with whom?” Everett had gotten suspicious.
“A .. boy…”
“Everleigh Rose! I assumed you were not dating goldfish. Do we know him? If not, I want to get to know him.”
“Oh, you know him. He’s practically family .. but not really. That would be weird.”
“Famil…. oh no! NO! No no no no no!”
“Not that KC!”
“Katie, she will not get that dress. I will burn it before I deliver my beautiful little girl to that ….that …. horrible, awful kid.. on a silver platter! The very last thing I want that boy to concern himself with is my child’s behind!!!” he turned around and ran up the stairs.
“Everett Cameron! Don’t you dare touch my clothes or I will hurt YOUR butt!”
Katie ran after Everett.
“All righty, Plan B then. That red dress is not going to happen for me …”
Pulling out the phone she dialed then spoke with urgency
“Isabelle! Thank god! I need to borrow some kick ass dress for a date, it’s an emergency! Do you have anything that says ‘Dude, you totally want this’ without looking slutty? You know, some good advertising, while not saying ‘take one it’s free’. You do? I’ll be right over!”
“MOM, DAD, I am going over to aunt Natty’s for a bit! Be back later!” Evey yelled up the stairs and then ran to her car to drive over to her cousin’s house.