If Love Were By Design, page 30
“Your sister, the girls, and Colin are coming over for dinner. They’re bringing Chinese Food.” Veronica informed him.
“Oh?” William took off his shirt. “When?”
“In maybe twenty minutes. You’re early.” Veronica said.
“I had a hard day. I had to fire someone for being constantly negative. It was throwing everyone off. So, I came home early.” He turned to go to their room and change. Veronica followed him still cradling Hope.
“Jim?” She asked.
“Yeah.” He said.
“So, I shouldn’t have invited them?” Veronica asked.
“No, it’s fine.” He changed into a white t–shirt and jeans. “Although, I did want to watch a movie, and relax. I’m tired, and I’m tired of constantly being around people.” He laughed, but Veronica knew he was serious. He mentioned preferring being alone with her and not with groups of people. He grabbed her and they fell onto the bed. He started to remove her shirt and kiss her neck. He knew it drove her crazy. She arched her neck and moaned. He took a deep breath, “You smell so good.”
“I’m not wearing perfume.” She confessed.
“I know.” He said and looked at her with a smile. He propped himself up on an elbow, and continued to unbutton her shirt with one hand. He looked into her eyes. “You know I want to make love to you before they come over here, right? We could hurry.”
“I’d rather wait until tonight and do it properly.” She said.
“We could do both.” He proposed with a grin. Veronica jumped off the bed, and quickly started to undress. “I have the best fiancée in the world. I love you!”
“I love you, too!”
At seven o’clock there was a knock on their door. William ran out of the bathroom and threw on his boxers, jeans and a white shirt. “Zip them up!” Veronica said laughing when he started to leave the room.
“You need to fix your hair.” He replied with a grin.
“Go!” Veronica shooed him out of the room. She was still naked in bed.
“I’m sorry I forgot the condoms, again. I’ll get some tomorrow morning. I promise!” He said.
“Just go!” Veronica laughed and waved him out of the room. He closed the door and she quickly changed, fixed her hair, and then made the bed. When she came into the living room, they were setting the table and the girls were talking to William about the trip to Texas, although Cleo was whispering about it.
“Veronica. There you are.” Nora said and pulled her into a hug. “Thanks for inviting us.”
“Nice to see you, again.” Colin said with a smile.
“I’m glad you’re here.” Veronica said. “So, how long are you staying?” She asked Colin.
“Hopefully a while.” Colin said. He looked to the twins. “But at least until Monday.”
“Will! I don’t want that.” Cleo complained pointing to broccoli. “Do I have to eat it?”
“Yes, Cleo. I already told you that.” Nora responded.
“At least five bites.” William said. He watched Cleo take a small nibble. “No, that wasn’t a bite.” He laughed. “A big bite, like this.” William took his chopsticks and picked up an entire piece of broccoli and then stuck it in his mouth. He smiled while he chewed it. When he finished, he patted the chair next to him, “Come sit down, Babe.”
Veronica sat next to him, and Nora and Colin sat across from them. Claudette got up and went to Colin and brought one stick from her chopsticks. “You gave me a dud. I want a fork.”
Colin laughed, picked up a fork from the middle of the table and then handed it to her. “Here you go, Sweetheart.” He said. He lovingly rubbed the top of her head, messing up her hair. Claudette grinned, leaning into him a little. She then went back to her chair, and carefully climbed up it.
“So,” Veronica looked at Colin and Nora confused, “you’ve been around Claudette and Cleo before I take it.”
“Oh, yeah. Loads of times.” Colin said. “And for weeks while down in Texas.”
“Yeah, we,” Nora paused, “are spending a lot more time together now we’re dating again.”
“And not secretively.” Colin said. “Although we haven’t explained it to the girls yet.”
“We’re taking it slow. He’s going to commute for a while, and then move up here in a couple months. We’ll hide it as best we can from little eyes (which we’ve done before—hide it I mean). Then maybe in a year we’ll ask them how they feel about him living with us.” Nora said.
“Huh.” William uttered not liking the sound of her idea. “Cleo, do you like Colin?” Cleo looked to Colin and smiled.
“He tells good bedtime stories.” Cleo said.
“Would you want to live with him, like you lived with me?” William asked.
“William!” Nora snapped. “Don’t ask her that.”
“He can sleep in my bed if I throw all my animals on the floor. Except Lamby!” Cleo said.
“And what about you, Claudette, would you like Colin living with you?” William asked.
“William! Stop. That isn’t funny.” Nora said but an overly enthusiastic Claudette interrupted her.
“You are over thinking this. They are three! You can’t let them dictate what you do. Come on, you’ve waited years for this. Quit torturing my best friend, and ask him to move in.” William said.
“Yeah, mom!” Claudette said and then laughed hysterically thinking it was the funniest thing in the world.
“Don’t talk to me like that, either of you. William you’re teaching my girls to talk back to me.” Nora said. William pretended to zip his lips shut. “Fine. Stay in New York Colin, and in a month maybe we’ll move to your condo—maybe.” Colin grinned.
“Kitty!” Claudette screamed from the table and made everyone jump. She hopped down from the chair, but too late, Hope had run back into Veronica’s bedroom.
“Kimmy, these are seriously good. I would wear this wedding dress! Or this one.” Veronica said, looking through a sketchbook portfolio. “These are great!”
“Yeah, they are. They are really good.” William acknowledged with a nod. “But how is your sewing? You should make one of these. And if I were you, I would make that one.” William said pointing to the most elaborate dress with a bell–shaped skirt with ripples, satin roses and no shoulder straps. It looked like it belonged to a princess.
“That would take forever, William.” Kimmy groaned. William shrugged and turned to pick up Hope who was meowing at him for attention. He wasn’t going to push her to do it if she wasn’t driven.
“Yeah, but you should make it.” Veronica persisted noticing William give up. She wasn’t about to. “Then when you graduate it will be finished, and you’ll need to show your work to get hired. William is right; you need to show how well you sew.”
“I was thinking of making a simpler dress.” Kimmy conveyed. “Besides I’m not going to make every single one of my wedding dresses. No designer does. I don’t think I need to show off my sewing.”
“William is right. They will want to see your stitching, and making a more complex wedding dress could be the difference of getting a job, or not. If anything, people can see how serious you are.” Veronica encouraged her while pointing to his choice.
“I’m so busy, though.” Kimmy grumbled. “I’ll think about it. I’m great with sketching. I’m okay with sewing. I’m perfect at designing wedding dresses, right?”
“You are.” Veronica said and gave up trying to convince her anymore. “These wedding dresses are very beautiful.”
“I’ll show you my favorite one.” Kimmy said and turned her book to the last page revealing a dress that was form fitted with thin, fluffy feathers around the collar that hugged the shoulders. “It’s a winter wedding dress.”
“That’s pretty, Kimmy. You’re really good at this. You’ve found your niche.” Veronica commended her. “You should make my wedding dress.”
“Okay, now that I would spend the time to make.” Kimmy s
“I like that one. Make me that one.” Veronica implored.
“Oh, okay.” Kimmy said. She wasn’t thrilled about having to making the hardest dress she had, but she smiled nevertheless and promised she would.
“And we’re talking about getting married around May or June.” It was a bold–faced lie, but Kimmy didn’t need to know that. And to Veronica’s relief William didn’t immediately disagree. “It will be perfect for an early summer wedding.”
“That soon!” Kimmy murmured, but she shook her head and added, “Alright. At least I’ll try. I’ll go get everything I need today. It might be a while on ordering some of it though. But, I should have enough time.” Kimmy looked at her watch. “Well, my professor will be happy I’m making the dress. Last week he encouraged me to do the same. I’ll make it for my exams, too. Why not kill two birds with one stone.”
“I wouldn’t mind, at all!” Veronica said.
“Okay, so I’ll go to the warehouse and get the satin I need. I’ll need to take your measurements.” Kimmy acknowledged and dug in her purse. “I don’t have my tape measure.”
“I have one. I’ll be right back.” William said, and disappeared into the guest room. He came back out a few minutes later and had Veronica stand. Kimmy wrote down everything he told her. He finished by saying, “And, of course, you’ll have to make shoes to go with this, Veronica.” He smiled.
“Oh, I will.” Veronica said.
“Are you going to make my wedding shoes? I’ll show you the tux.” He said with a smile and winked at her.
“I can.” Veronica said making a shallow promise, but made it sound convincing for Kimmy’s sake.
“Oh, good.” William grinned and added, “Maybe we should pin down an exact date—so Kimmy knows. Like June first.” He pulled out his cell phone and corrected himself, “No, June fourth. That’s on a Saturday, so it would be perfect. And right before my birthday. I like that idea.”
“Saturday is a good day to do it.” Veronica consented and eyed him for challenging her deceptive story. He was clearly teasing her, with no intention of making Veronica honor it, but she still glared at him.
“I’ll write that down so I don’t forget.” Kimmy said and quickly jotted down the date.
“Oh, don’t worry—I’ll remind you, Kim.” William said, smiling. “So, that’s what, five months away? We will have been together for seven months, and known each other for over a year. But it doesn’t bother me, if it doesn’t bother you, Babe.”
“Why would it?” Veronica asked. “I just said we already talked about May or June, Sugar Lips. Why didn’t I think of pinning down the date before? Good thinking.”
“Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought you wanted to wait until August. Or was it later than that . . . anyway. I’m happy to be wrong. So, June fourth it is.” He quickly kissed her. “Sugar Lips.” He flashed a mischievous grin.
There was a knock on Veronica’s door. William went to answer it. Nora quickly came in with the girls, and Colin. “I’m so sorry, William. I tried to call . . . I hate to do this to you but I need you to watch the girls.” She said and dropped a suitcase full of clothes onto the floor. “Their F–A–T–H–E–R is in the hospital. Stupid man . . . his parents called me. His fiancée is nowhere to be found (of course). So, we need to go to Philadelphia. I’ll be back by Sunday, no matter what.”
“But you’re divorced. You don’t have to go.” William said as he picked up Cleo and Claudette.
“Apparently, I must. His parents asked me to come down, because they don’t think he’s going to make it. They want to talk to me about legal rights. They want to make sure I don’t cut them out completely. They want to buy their way into the twins’ lives. Can you believe that? And who drives a motorcycle in the middle of the winter? That stupid man!” Nora kissed her girls.
“Well, on the bright side, Veronica and William are getting married June fourth.” Kimmy announced. William looked at Veronica guiltily; he hadn’t meant for his prank to spread.
“Really?” Nora beamed William. “That’s good news. I needed good news. I never wanted to see them again, but here I go!” She kissed William on the cheek. “I’ll be there! Front row and center. I’m thrilled for you!” Nora pointed to Kimmy and then Veronica. “And we’re going to shop for dresses together when I get back.” Nora told the girls she loved them and then took Colin’s hand.
“Everything will be fine. Don’t worry about us here. We’ll have fun.” William assured her.
“Thank you. I know they’ll be fine. But we have to go, so . . . thanks again. Love you, William. See you Sunday, girls. Mommy loves you. Love you too, Veronica. Bye, Kimmy!” Nora and Colin quickly hugged and kissed the twins goodbye, then left.
“Well, I should go, too. I’ll be insanely busy now. I’ll call you when I’m ready for your fitting, but give me a while.” Kimmy added, “I hope her ‘friend’ is okay.”
“I’m sure he will be.” William said. Then turned to the girls, “Okay, did you eat dinner?”
“Yes, but I’m still hungry.” Claudette said.
“Okay. I’ll make you grilled cheese sandwiches.” William said.
Cleo hugged his leg. “Where’s kitty?” She asked.
“In our room, probably on my pillow.” William said, and the girls ran down the hallway. “That poor cat. At least she’ll be desensitized for when we have kids.”
“I’m sure it will. I’m going to go.” Kimmy said, hugged Veronica goodbye and then left.
“I can make them the grilled cheese sandwiches, if you want.” Veronica offered.
“Thanks, I’m going to make sure they’re being gentle with Hope.” William said and then walked down the hall.
Veronica gathered the bread, butter, and cheese and started to make the sandwiches. There was a loud burst of laughter from the bedroom and it made Veronica smile. She left the kitchen to find out what was so funny. When she walked into the room William was holding Hope high in the air and Claudette and Cleo were jumping around him giggling while begging to hold her. Hope was clinging to William for dear life. The girls screamed out another giggle. “Alright, let’s get out of my room, girls. This room is for Hope.” William said.
“Come on.” Veronica said and held out her hand to take them out of the room. Claudette ran to the hallway, while asking William to bring Hope out; Cleo held on tight to Veronica’s hand. She didn’t let go even after they left the room. William closed the door with Hope inside.
“Up!” Cleo begged Veronica. Veronica looked at her for a moment. At first she had no idea what to do. They simply stared at each other as if it was a contest to see who would give up first. Veronica picked her up, and rested Cleo on her hip. “Will you bring Hope out?” Cleo asked her. She looked at her with big eyes. Veronica smiled.
“I will after dinner, okay. She needs to get use to how noisy you two are first.” Veronica told her. William walked past them, and turned into the kitchen. “I’ll make them.” Veronica said to him when he started to cook the twins a second dinner.
“No, it’s fine. You have Cleo.” He added, “Good luck putting her down, to try to make dinner.” He smiled. Cleo started to curl her finger around Veronica’s hair. Veronica was stiff and she knew how uncomfortable she looked holding Cleo. She wasn’t use to it. For a moment she thought about asking William to take her, but on second thought she decided she could handle it, or at least hoped so.
“I’m not hungry.” Cleo cooed softly. “I want juice.”
“I don’t have juice.” Veronica said. “I have water or milk.”
“I want chocolate milk.” Cleo said.
Veronica looked in the fridge and said, “I can make strawberry milk.”
“Okay.” Cleo said. Claudette came jumping into the kitchen. When she saw Ver
“Yum. What are you making?” Claudette asked when Veronica didn’t offer her some.
“Strawberry milk.” Veronica said.
“I need some!” Claudette said.
“Okay, you two go sit at the table and I’ll bring it to you.” Veronica said and put Cleo down on the floor.
The two girls ran to the table and together they yelled, “Ready!”
“You’re great with them.” William confessed as she stirred the milk. He smiled at her.
“I won’t lie. It’s stressful. And they haven’t been here long.” She stressed. “I have no idea how to care of children. I haven’t been around very many. You make it look effortless.”
“Believe it or not, so do you.” William said, and then gave her a reassuring kiss.
“Thanks, Honey.” She said. She kissed him once again, and then took the milk over to the table.
“Wow, you gave us a lot!” Claudette said and thanked her.
“Did I?” She asked, and now that Claudette mentioned it, they did look a little full. She took a gulp of each and then went into the kitchen. “Seriously, I’ll do that. What do you want to eat for dinner?”
“I don’t know.” William said. He let her take the spatula.
“And where are the girls going to sleep?” Veronica asked.
“The futon.” William said.
“What time to do they go to bed?” Veronica asked.
“Usually seven thirty, but eight at the latest. So any minute now.” Veronica put the sandwich on a plate and took it to the table. She gave it to Claudette. However, Claudette had finished most of her milk and was no longer hungry. “I’ll eat it.” William said. “Now you won’t have to make dinner tonight. This is fine.” He took a bite.
Veronica cooked another one, ate it, and then set up the futon for the girls while William had them brush their teeth and get into pajamas. It felt more like a marriage than ever. She wondered if William was picturing the girls as their own kids, because Veronica was, and it was scaring her. Once the girls were in bed, William met her in the hallway near their room. He smiled and then hugged her. “Now what do we do?” Veronica asked him suddenly clueless of the next step in parenting.