“How much crap do you have?” Heather asked as she dropped an empty box and packing tape onto the floor.
“You’re lucky you didn’t have to help pack the whole house,” Olivia answered. “You’re helping with closet and that’s it.”
“Yeah well, when I took the day off from work to help you move, I thought I was going to watch hot movers move your stuff.”
“Sweetie, you live in a fantasy land,” Dean replied, sliding two suitcases towards her.
“And my fantasy land rocks,” Heather said as she began putting things into the empty box.
“Has anyone spoken to Susan or Ross today?”
“I did,” Olivia answered. “Both are doing well. Ross is taking Susan to her first therapist session.”
“Did you have any clues that Ross was gay?” Heather asked Dean.
Shaking his head, Dean sat down on the floor. “None whatsoever,” he answered and started to fold a pile of clothes, “but Kyle and I brought dinner to him last night and said we were there for him if he needed anything.”
“What did he say?”
“He thanked us, but said right now he was more concerned with being there for Susan than his own life.”
“We just need to be there for the both of them,” Olivia added. “I know they both are vulnerable right now.”
“Is that why you’re moving in with Susan?” Heather asked as Olivia walked into the closet.
“A little,” she answered, walking back out with a pile of clothes. “I think she needs someone to lean on right now.”
“What does Gray think about you moving in with Susan?” Dean asked as he put some of the folded clothes into the suitcase he had slid towards Heather.
“And you’re not going to move in with him?”
Olivia shook her head. “Not right now,” she answered. “I told him that I didn’t want his family thinking he was shacking up and that until I meet them, I’d live on my own.”
“Then you could be living on your own for a long time,” Heather said, closing the box she was working on.
“Why do you say that?” Dean asked.
“Chris and Ellie have known each other since college and they’ve never met Gray’s family. Hell, Ellie didn’t even know Gray’s sister name until I told her.”
“And when will you learn to keep your big mouth shut?” Olivia asked. “You just keep getting everyone in trouble.”
“When you guys stop telling me things or when you preface it with, don’t say this to anyone.”
“But there’s a difference with Olivia,” Dean said as he closed a suitcase. “He’s shared that info with her.”
“I just find it odd that after ten plus years that his two best friends have never met his family. We’ve all known each other that long and we can call up anyone’s family without hesitation.”
“Then that’s the difference between us and them,” Olivia said.
Olivia lit the candle in the centerpiece and took a step back to admire it. She might not have been the ideal Suzy Homemaker but she knew how to craft a centerpiece with what was readily available. The only things that Gray had readily available were unopened votives and an overpriced gift basket of home decorations he forgot to give Ellie on her birthday the year before.
“Wow,” Gray said as he walked into his dining room. “I’m amazed that you got that out of what I have.”
“I’m good like that,” she replied as he came up behind her and wrapped his arm around her. “Thank you for doing all this.”
“You’re welcome,” he said and kissed her neck. “I know you’re exhausted from moving. Besides, this gives me a chance to cook for you and your best friend.”
Turning in his arms, she wrapped her arms around his neck. “And thank you for wearing your glasses too.”
“If my lady likes, then my lady gets what she wants,” Gray said with a smile.
“The lady likes,” she said and kissed him. “I will also tell you that I’m sure Dean and Kyle will like as well.”
“They think I’m hot too?”
Olivia nodded. “With everyone coming out of the closet, they’re hoping you might join the new trend.”
Gray laughed. “I don’t think you have a thing to worry about.”
“That’s a great thing to know and they’ll be very disappointed know that you are one hundred percent straight too.”
“I can’t please everyone, and I really only try to please you.”
“Even better,” she said as a timer went off in the kitchen. “Come on, before dinner burns.”
“I’m the chef tonight, you don’t get to come into the kitchen.”
“Not even to assist you? Doesn’t every top chef have a great sous chef beside them?”
“We do,” Gray answered as they walked into the kitchen together, “but this top chef is giving his sous chef the night off. She’s had a lot going on the last few days and he wants her to relax and enjoy the evening.”
“The sous chef will no longer argue with the chef,” Olivia answered as she leaned against the wall near the dining room. “Heather said something to me today and it’s been bothering me.”
“Did you ask Heather when she was going to keep her mouth shut?” Gray asked as he opened the stove.
“I did,” she answered, “and this is was another Heather opened her mouth moment.”
Closing the stove, Gray reset the timer on it and looked at her. “What did she say this time?”
“I told her and Dean why I wasn’t moving in with you and she made the comment that Chris and Ellie haven’t met your family and that Ellie didn’t even know your sister’s name until she opened her mouth that night at Dean’s.”
Gray nodded. “Yeah, Ellie bitched me out about that, but I told her she never asked about their names.”
“Never. Maybe it’s my fault. I always refer to them as The Sis, The Twins, or The Sis and the Hubby.”
“Do you find it weird they have never met your friends?”
“No,” Gray answered. “Em’s never here and when she is, she doesn’t want to spend time with her brother and his friends. When she’s home, she devotes her time to Brian and the kids. She makes time for my mom and me when we ask. We don’t ask too often. We understand and know that everyone loves each other.”
“And you and your mother? Do you guys see each other often?”
“Not as often as she would like,” Gray answered, “but we see each other.”
“Are you sure it’s okay?”
Olivia nodded. “I was just curious. Heather thought it was weird that you guys have known each other so long but Chris had never met your family.”
“And you guys probably know everything about each other’s family?”
“Do you find it weird?”
“Not really. People are people and share what they want to share.”
Gray walked to her and took her hands into his. “It won’t take ten plus years for you to meet my family. When the timing is right, I’ll introduce you to them.”
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved | This is a rough draft and not the final version