All I Want Is You, p.1Tetonia Blossom
ALL I WANT IS YOU
Copyright 2015 Tetonia Blossom
The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products or copyrighted material used throughout this work of fiction, including the following: Chef Boyardee, Ugg Boots. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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“Hurry it up,” Jack yelled as his crew filled their small conference room. “I’ve only got twenty minutes. Eve, Pam, and Liddy up front.”
The ladies took their seats as Dale was the last to squeeze in.
“All right, looks like I have everyone. First off, I want to thank you all for the hard work you’ve been doing. This quarter is shaping up to be our best ever, and I’m so proud to be a part of such a dynamic team. Naturally, you’ll all understand why you were the first people I thought of for this very special project.”
Jack turned to the dry-erase board and wrote “VALENTINE’S DAY.” The crew grumbled.
“Not another promotion,” Dale said. “We’re still recovering from Christmas.”
Jack turned back to the crowd with a smirk. “It’s not a promotion. I need your help coming up with ideas for Nina.”
A second of silence was followed by flying Styrofoam cups. Jack failed to dodge them all.
“I cannot believe you pulled us off our jobs for this,” Richie said as he stood. “My team, get back to work, now.”
“Guys, come on. It’s our first Valentine’s Day outside of ICU. I really wanna make it special.”
The guys all paused.
Richie took a second to think about it, before sitting back down. “You’re lucky I like Nina way more than I like you right now.”
“Thank you.” Jack turned back to the board. “Now, let’s hear what you’ve got.”
“How about a vacation?” one of the guys suggested.
“That would be nice, but Nina’s appointments don’t really leave her with much time to travel. What else you got?”
“A romantic dinner,” Dale said. Jack wrote it with a red marker.
“Okay, that’s a start. What’s the best restaurant in all of Colorado?”
“Ooh, Michel’s in Vail,” Liddy said, and the girls agreed.
Jack figured anything that could get the three of them to agree was worth looking into so he wrote down the resort name.
“I heard they have a private terrace and the best view in the entire state,” Eve said.
“And a helipad,” Pam added.
Jack wrote down “HELICOPTER.”
“This is good. Helicopter ride, dinner. What else?”
“Well what has she done in the past?” Pam asked.
Jack paused when he realized he’d never even asked Nina about her past valentines. There was still so much he didn’t know about his wife, but he tried not to bring up anything that would make her mind travel back to the life she had before him, especially the memories with her ex.
Jack wanted to love her enough to erase those years and most days he felt pretty confident he was succeeding, but the holidays were something he wanted to make the most memorable of all for her. He’d almost lost her so many times: The car accident on Christmas, her open heart surgery, and then the scare last spring with the blood clot.
It felt like they’d been through a lifetime of tragedies in less than three years and now that Nina was well enough to remember it, Jack was determined to make this the best Valentine’s Day of her life. Jack rarely let his mind travel to his fear that this could potentially be Nina’s last holiday. Her heart was much stronger now, but he’d deluded himself into thinking that before.
“Jack?” Eve called snapping him out of his dark thoughts. He turned to find them all staring at him. They were all aware of Nina’s heart condition and were great at keeping the remorseful glances hidden whenever she dropped by, but they couldn’t hide them from Jack.
“Guys, she’s fine,” Jack said when he noticed the worry on some of their faces.
The girls all sighed.
“Do not scare us like that,” Liddy stated.
“Yeah,” Pam added.
“I just really wanna do something out of this world for her.”
“Ooh, a shopping spree,” Eve shouted as she bounced in her seat. “Shoes, jewelry, and you could hire my cousin Stacey’s glam team for the day.”
“Eve, I’m trying to plan Nina’s dream Valentine’s Day, not yours.”
“What girl wouldn’t want a shopping spree?” Eve forced Jack to think about it.
“Jack, Nina is a simple girl,” Pam said. “I’m sure anything you decide will mean the world to her.”
“Have you asked Angie?” Dale asked.
“No,” Jack said. “I want it to be a surprise.”
“Sounds to me like you have some pre-work to do before you go booking helicopters,” Liddy said. “First you need to talk to your wife, ask her about her favorite Valentine’s Day so you know yours is original. Then talk to Angie, I guarantee she knows exactly what Nina wants.”
“Come on, slow poke,” Nina said as she stopped for Angie to catch up with her on the track.
“You try pushing these two and go any faster,” Angie panted as she jogged pushing LJ, and Niya in their double stroller.
“Here, I’ll push and you run.”
“No, you’ll strain yourself.”
“Angie, move!” Nina shoved her and made a run for it with the stroller. The weight from the stroller seemed easier once she reached a good speed and the twins giggling meant they enjoyed it too.
“Slow down?” Angie yelled running after her.
“I will when you catch me.”
Nina loved being faster than her little sister; even if it was just because Angie was out of shape. The girl hardly had the energy to do anything other than chasing after the twins now that they were walking and climbing out of their cribs.
She looked over the stroller shade to see LJ trying to unlatch his belt.
“Hey, little escape artist. Cut it out,” Nina said. He stopped and went back to bothering his sister. The kid seemed to break out of everything lately. It was Jack’s fault, teaching him how to undo his own diaper. She and Jack tried to help out with the kids as much as possible. Jack even convinced Angie and Jason’s neighbor to sale them her home. Hands down the best wedding gift ever, next to having Jack for a husband.
Nina had never felt more loved in her life. Being married to a man who continued to exceed her wildest dreams and getting to spend every day with her family. Jack wasn’t thrilled with the nightly family dinners at first, but now that they’d redesigned the backyards into one large space, he and Jason spent practically every night together in their shed/man cave.
Having a life she now cherished made Nina even more determined to do whatever it took to keep it, including dragging Angie’s lazy butt around the track enough times to tire her out before dinner. She was less argumentative when her endorphins were high.
“Just a few more minutes then we have to get back to start dinner,” Nina said as she rounded the track for another lap.
Both LJ and Niya started to wa
“Hey, hey, no fighting,” she snapped as she caught Niya scratching LJ.
“Who wants to go for a little run?”
Nina unbuckled them, and they both perked up the second their cute little Ugg boots touched the ground. LJ spotted his mom and ran toward her while Niya hung back with her auntie.
Nina and Jack were beyond honored when Angie and Jason named the twins after them. LJ certainly lived up to his namesake. He was the tiniest ringleader of the four kids. But Nina couldn’t bear the thought of Niya being stuck with a name that would bring the family such heartache after Nina’s death, so she begged them to name her Niya. Only one letter different, but all her own. The two were so inseparable, Niya cried every day the last time Nina was in the hospital.
“Come on Ny, let’s go catch them.”
She jogged behind Niya who squealed as she tried to catch her brother.
“If they fall asleep early, I’m bringing them to your house when they wake me up in the middle of the night,” Angie said. Nina rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“Complain, complain. Can’t you shut up for five seconds and just have fun?”
“No, you’re not.”
“Oh yeah, I’ll show you fun. Who wants to play hide and seek?”
“Me, me!” The twins jumped up and down.
“Okay, cover your eyes and count to five.”
LJ and Niya covered their faces, pressing their foreheads together, and Angie stopped to admire them before running to hide behind the stroller.
“One…two…three,” Nina counted as she rushed to join Angie. “Four, five. Find mommy and Ni-Ni.”
Nina and Angie watched the twins look around and then at each other.
“Do they think we left them?” Angie asked. “What if I scar them for life?”
“Angie, it’s just hide and seek,” Nina whispered.
“Maybe we should make a noise or something.”
“Caw!” Nina shouted.
“Not a scary noise.”
Niya turned in their direction and grinned before running toward them. LJ followed.
“Aww, you found us,” Angie said as she picked up LJ and spun him around. “Good job.”
“You know your Ni-Ni’s voice, don’t you?” Nina asked as she picked up Niya who nodded.
“Eat, eat?” Niya asked.
“Yep, it’s time to go home and get ready for dinner.
Angie pushed LJ in the stroller while Nina carried Niya to the car.
“So what’s the plan for Friday, do you need Jack and me to babysit?” Nina asked as they buckled the twins into their car seats.
“Um, hello? It’s Valentine’s Day.”
Angie paused. “Oh my god. I completely forgot.”
“We just made sixty valentines last week for Alice and Justin’s classes.”
“I know, but I didn’t even think about it.”
“Well, now you know.”
Nina broke down the stroller and put in the trunk while Angie started the minivan. She was in total planner mode by the time Nina climbed into the passenger seat.
“I’ve got to get balloons and decorations for the house, bake some treats for the kids. I haven’t done anything. How could you let me forget?”
“I’ll be sure to remind you from now on, and don’t worry. You’ve got me to help you with the kids this year, but you’re on your own when it comes to Jason.”
“Oh my god, Jason. He’s gonna wanna do something, or more like do it. I need a wax, and my hair done.” Angie took a deep breath. “I’m too tired for this.”
“Angie, would you stop worrying. It will be fine. I’m sure Jason will handle the plans as soon as you tell me what you want to do.”
“I’d take anything at this point if it meant I got an hour of peace and quiet.”
“How about a massage?” Nina suggested.
“From Jason, no way. No more babies.”
“I meant a couple’s massage. You two could go to a nice spa and maybe to dinner.”
“Yes, that’s what I want. People, public places, where he can’t lure me into doing it.”
“Yeah, right. You forget I know the mall bathroom story.”
“That was before the twins, and it had been like two weeks.”
“Oh, boo woo, you poor deprived woman,” Nina laughed.
Nina didn’t want to think about the months she’d spent lying in a hospital bed, wishing she could touch more than just Jack’s hand. It was so frustrating that her heart rate spiked every time he kissed her forehead. She fought like hell to get better so that she could finally be in his arms again, and no sooner than they finally did have sex again she ended up back in the hospital over a stupid blood clot.
It ruined everything, their wedding plans, their wedding night, even the surprise honeymoon he’d planned for her. They ended up being married by Judge Zimmerman, in her hospital room. She never got to wear her dress, or allow Jack to take it off of her, but in the end she still got Jack and that was something Nina would always be grateful for.
“I’m sorry, I guess I am a complainer,” Angie said.
“Well you need to stop sometimes and realize that you have a life to be greatly admired. You have four beautiful, healthy, and well-loved children. You have a husband who adores you. And around the clock daycare right next door.”
“And don’t forget an amazing sister, who won’t let me forget to be grateful for everything I have.”
“I’m sorry I’m such a ‘B’ all the time,” Angie said after looking back to check on the twins.
“You’re not one all the time,” Nina said rubbing Angie’s leg.
“This was actually good. I need to get out of the house more.”
“Then you should come running with me more often. We could run early mornings before the kids wake up. Except for Saturdays, that’s when Jack and I run together.”
“Yes, I know. I’ve seen you two through my kitchen window. You do realize that other people can see you two groping in your front yard, right?”
“We’re newlyweds, deal with it.”
“So what do you newlyweds have planned for Valentine’s Day?”
“We’ll do something another night. I think you and Jason could use the alone time more than us.”
“Oh please, like Jack is gonna give up his Valentine’s Day for us. I can hire a sitter.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, now tell me what you want, and I’ll make sure Jack gets the message.”
“Really, I just wanna spend a night up at the cabin,” Nina answered. Angie rolled her eyes.
“You and that stupid cabin.”
“It’s a special place for us.”
“For you, maybe.”
Going there did tend to depress Jack, but he eventually snapped out of it, especially when Nina reminded him of the better times they’d shared there. They hadn’t gone since construction on their house had finished. All she could think about was cuddling up on the sofa with him. She didn’t need a production or presents from Jack. He was the best gift she could ever ask for.
“Look, we can’t undo the past, but I want the cabin to be a place he loves again.”
“Nina, you wanted us to take you there to die. No amount of time can erase that memory.”
Nina hated that she ever made the request, but it was the one place she thought about after her heart surgery. When her doctor thought her heart was failing, all she wanted was to be with her family in a place that she felt safe and loved. She didn’t think about how it would affect them all. Angie hated the cabin even more after Nina got well and Jack, he’d fall back into bad memories anytime she even mentioned it. Jason was the only one who understood why she wanted to be taken there and he was the only one willing to do it when Jack and Angie d
Their stubbornness, and her new doctor, did end up saving her life. Dr. Sonjay was the one who found the clot causing all the trouble, and Nina had been moderately healthy ever sense.
“Look, you asked what I wanted and this is it,” Nina said.
“Fine, but you know he’s not gonna hear it.”
“I know, but if he asks…”
“I’ll tell him.”
Nina and Angie finished preparing dinner while Jason played with the kids out back. Nina kept checking her watch waiting for Jack to arrive. He was thirty minutes late.
“And you call me the worrier?” Angie called out when she spotted Nina staring at her phone.
“Shut up. I’m not worried. I just miss him. I haven’t talked to him since this morning.”
“Oh you poor deprived woman. Grab the potatoes.”
Nina knew she had nothing to be worried about, but it didn’t stop her mind from wandering to what ifs. Most days her life felt too perfect to live up to. She was happier than she ever thought possible which honestly scared her. There was always the underlying fear that her heart or some other misfortune would take it all away. She cursed her weak heart with every breath and the fearful thoughts that consumed her anytime Jack was running late, but she didn’t dare let him know it. Nina wanted to be the perfect wife for him. Well, as perfect as she could be with degenerative heart disease. Part of her felt like she had to be because of everything he put up with just to be with her.
Nina checked her hair and makeup in the toaster’s reflection before grabbing the bowl of roasted potatoes. She and Angie finished setting the table before calling Jason and the kids in.
“Alice and Justin, upstairs to wash your hands,” Jason said as he followed them inside with a twin in each arm.
“I’ll take the twins,” Nina offered, and Jason gave her wink before pulling Angie in for a proper kiss. “Come on you two, time to wash our hands.”
“I don’t wanna,” LJ said.
“But don’t you want dinner? You can’t eat with dirty hands.”
LJ wiped his hands on his sweater and showed them to Nina.
“Nice try, but no go.”
She ushered the two into the kitchen and wiped them down with a wet cloth.
All I Want Is You by Tetonia Blossom / Humor / Romance & Love have rating 2.7 out of 5 / Based on32 votes