Friday, March 14, 2014

Chapter 6-12: It Ain't Over

          "Why don't you sit down," Miles led her to the couch sitting beside her once she'd settled down. "Now, how about you tell me what you're doing here," he prompted.
          "I wanna know the truth," she slurred.
          "The truth? About what?"
          "I should've known you wouldn't tell me. It's just a game, a silly game, but I'm good at games and I can still win. I just have to understand the rules. Why won't you tell me the rules?" Miles pressed his lips together, trying not to laugh at her. He failed. 

          "Fine, I'm gonna just go home, except...Miles?" No sooner had Evangeline stood up than she started to sway and fell flat on the floor. She'd passed out and wouldn't be getting anything more tonight; not the truth or a cab ride home. 

          She woke the next morning in Miles's bed, dressed in one of his shirts. She crawled out of bed, squinting and trying to ignore the pounding in her head. 

          She found Miles seated in the living room. "Did you carry me upstairs last night?"
          "Yeah, it didn't seem right to leave you just lying in the floor."
          "I'm sorry for just showing up here, unannounced. I'd had too much to drink."
          "No, you're not."
          "Excuse me?"
          "You're not sorry. It's just easier to blame the alcohol than admit, sober, that you wanted to talk to me." 

          She rolled her eyes at him and groaned. "I'm too hungover to argue. Yes, I wanted to talk to you. Where are you going," she asked as he headed up the stairs to his room. 
          He came back down a moment later, dressed for work. "I have to head out and don't have time for this conversation right now."

          "I promise, we'll talk. Meet me at Rainbow Connection tomorrow around nine. We're starting late tomorrow afternoon so I can meet for a morning coffee."

          Back at home, everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the last few days of autumn. Hanley and Hal were out throwing a softball around while Renata played Frisbee with Gemma.

          That night, Evangeline tossed and turned in bed, trying to decide if she should meet up with Miles the next morning. Obviously she wanted answers. But do I trust him to tell me the truth? Some kind of explanation would be better than just wondering for the rest of her life, right? 

          "Okay, I'm here, you promised the truth." She settled into the chair across from him, ignoring the looks from the barista who wasn't happy that they were sitting in her shop but not ordering anything.
          "I did. What color were they?"
          "What? What does that have to do with anything?" She should have known he'd skirt around real answers.

          "The underwear you say you saw, what color were they? Just humor me."
          "Blue. Navy blue. A color I would never wear." She remembered seeing them scrunched up by his pillow like it was yesterday. A small smile played across his lips. "Oh, I'm so glad this is funny to you."
          "It kind of is, a little. So navy blue. Like the color of my warm-up gear?"
          She thought for a minute. "Yeah, pretty much. Oh, so they weren't underwear, they were cheerleader spankies. Whatever! Close enough."
          "Evangeline, they were part of my uniform." He saw her eyebrows furrow and lift in disbelief. "Really. I can show you a pair if you like. The shorts have a built in 'brief' that I hate. It's uncomfortable and pinches in all the wrong places. So I always cut them out and just wear my own."

          "You're not going to believe this are you? Lies, so many lies! You can smell the lies," a random woman shouted at them as she stood by their table. Evangeline looked at Miles who shrugged.
          "I have no idea who she is."
          "Excuse me, but do you know him?"
          "No, but it's all lies! They tell you they love you but they lie, they lie about everything!"

          Evangeline rolled her shoulders and rubbed her temples, trying to ease the tension she felt. If he was lying, it was a preposterous story. So preposterous it may just be true. But if he was telling the truth, that was a harder pill to swallow. Because it meant that she had been the one to mess up by assuming he cheated. "I need some air," she announced, getting up and walking out to one of the benches behind the coffee shop.

          After a few minutes, Miles followed her. "I know it's a lot to process. And it sounds ridiculous. But I swear, it's the truth."

          "I," she paused, trying to choke out the words. "I believe you." She scooted over to him, letting him put his arm around her. After all the time they had spent apart, she was surprisingly pleased to find that it still felt right. "I messed up. I'm so sorry. We've lost so much time."

          He kissed her then. The kiss was full of relief and pent up frustrations all at once. "We've got time still," he answered, finally pulling away.

          Soon, winter came to St. Claire, bringing snow with it. 

          "Hey mom, happy birthday," Flynn shouted over his shoulder as he and Hal played their video games.
          "Happy birthday to me, yet I'm still the one making breakfast," she muttered. She was not liking the idea of turning old.

          "Snowball fight!" All the teens in the house bundled up and ran outside to enjoy the thick layer of snow that had settled on the lawn overnight. 

          "Oh, hi dad. I almost didn't recognize you," Hal greeted his father. Miles had recently aged up himself. Meanwhile, Gemma was busy enjoying jokes with her father.

          "Oomph, Em, what are you doing," Renata pushed him off her. He had found her upstairs in her bedroom, getting ready for the birthday party.

          "C'mon Ren, one more time, for old times's sake. We'll be old soon."
          "Oh, what the hell?" They quickly stripped and climbed into bed.

          "Guys! Seriously? That's MY bed," Evangeline had run upstairs to look for Renata so everyone could blow out their candles at the same time. She shuddered and left, slamming the door behind her.

          However, it didn't take long before her brother and best friend joined her in front of the cakes. Evangeline had to head to work as soon as she blew her candles out so she rushed the process along.

          Renata aged gracefully.

          Gemma was glad both her parents could stand to sit together at the dinner table to enjoy cake. She was lucky that her parents got along, even though they weren't together. She fostered hope that maybe they would reconnect now that they were older. "So, dad, um, maybe we can all go out for dinner some time. Or to a movie?"
          "Now look here young lady. I know what you're thinking. Your mother and I are grown and we can make our own decisions, without any help." Seemed that Emerson was quick to catch on and discourage Gemma's hopes.

          Avendale household. Now that he was an elder, he had officially retired from pro sports and had plenty of free time to spend with his family. 
          "You all are on your phones all the time," Miles commented after arriving one evening to see the twins both deep in conversation and Flynn texting.
          "But look! I can even take pictures with my phone. Smile," he pulled his dad in for a quick selfie.
          "Just how old do you think I am son?"
          "Um, did you even have cell phones when you were my age?"

          "Hi Evey," Miles greeted Evangeline when she met him at the door another evening.
          "Hi yourself."

          "I think you look beautiful with this short cut."
          "Thank you. Would you like to stay the night tonight?"

          After the evening meal was over, Miles followed Evangeline up to the bedroom. The changed into their pajamas and crawled into bed. It had been a long time since she'd spent the night with anyone but, just like this kiss before, this felt right. "I've been thinking, we wasted so much time already. What would you say to moving in?" 

          Miles had no arguments on the matter and it would be nice to finally spend time with his children before they moved out on their own. "It will take a little time for me to sell my house and figure out what to do with my stuff. I'd really love to move in though so I'll start making arrangements."

Chapter 6.11                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.13

Now for a funny story. My husband and I hadn't been married very long. As some of you may know, he is in the Marine Corps. They get issued these short green PT shorts (not my husband in the pic) that they wear for PT. My vehicle was broken down at the time so I had taken him to work and had his truck for the day. Picked up some stuff at the store and went to a friend's house. When I was unloading my groceries, I found a pair of (huge) black underwear on the floorboards. I flipped, called him at work, yelled at him. He was (obviously) at work and couldn't talk and hung up on me after denying everything. He called me back about an hour later and the lightbulb had flipped for him. He told me to go back out to the truck and look again. After he insisted, I finally went out and looked and, sure enough, the cut line was pretty damn obvious. Luckily, he was amused rather than insulted and makes me fun of me for it to this day.

Anyway, so, the great panty mystery has been solved and everything is happy happy between Miles and Evangeline. Sorry Reya, I know how much you hate happy endings.

Also, for anyone that hasn't checked, Hanley won the heir vote. The next chapter will be a teensy bit of a time skip as she prepares to move off on her own.