All i want is you, p.3
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       All I Want Is You, p.3

           Tetonia Blossom
 
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  “Jason, you’ve seriously been calling me for idea’s every year since you two met. You already know I know.”

  “Thank god.” He sighed. “I hoped so, but you know how she is sometimes.”

  “Well you’re in luck. She wants a couple’s massage and a nice dinner at a busy restaurant.”

  “That’s…specific.”

  “Kind of.” Nina giggled.

  “Oh god, she told you, didn’t she?”

  “All she said was that she’s afraid being alone with you will result in another baby.”

  “Trust me. I love my kids to death, but we’re done having babies.”

  “Maybe try pampering her a little. Give her a day where she doesn’t have to lift a finger.”

  “That’s actually a good idea.”

  “Okay, so now’s my turn to ask for advice. I’m trying to think of a gift for Jack.”

  Jason laughed.

  “What’s so funny?”

  “I’m pretty sure Jack wants what every guy want’s on Valentine’s Day.”

  Nina laughed. “I know that, but I want to buy him something special like a new watch. The one he has is always in the shop.”

  “Please don’t buy him a watch,” Jason said.

  “Why?”

  “You don’t wanna know.”

  “Okay, now I gotta know.”

  “The watch he wears was one of the last gifts our mom gave him and he’s really attached to it.”

  “As he should be,” Nina said admiring the ring she wore in memory of her own mother.

  “Anyway, people have tried to buy him a new one over the years and let’s just say it’s the reason I have such a large watch collection.”

  “Okay, no watch. What about tickets for a game or something?”

  “Yeah, he might like something like that. We both love the Bronco’s.”

  “Then that’s what I’ll get him.”

  “Okay, but don’t tell him I helped you.”

  “Why not?”

  “Because he doesn’t want you buying him gifts.”

  “But he gets me stuff all the time. Just like you do for Angie.”

  “That’s different, it’s our job to spoil you two.”

  “And what’s our job?”

  “Cooking, cleaning…”

  Nina gasped.

  “I’m just kidding. Look, I can’t speak for Jack, but I already have everything I could ever ask for.”

  “Maybe, but I think you both deserve a little outing.”

  “Wait, I thought you were talking about the two of you going to a game.”

  “No. I want to get him something for himself, and I’m sure he’ll want to take you.”

  “Nina, the only thing Jack wants to do these days is be with you. What’s this really about?”

  “Nothing.”

  “Nina?”

  “Okay, okay. I’m just worried about Jack getting overwhelmed.”

  “Did he say something?”

  “No, I just worry that he wouldn’t tell me even if he was. I want him to still have a life of his own.”

  “Nina, what’s wrong?” Jason asked with more concern in his voice.

  “Nothing’s wrong.”

  “Are you feeling okay?”

  “Jason, I’m fine.”

  “Then what makes you think Jack isn’t?”

  “I just want him to do something for himself every once in a while. He never asks for anything.”

  “Sounds like someone I know.”

  “Okay, maybe, but I know I have everything I need.”

  “Then stop worrying. Jack is happy, you’re happy. The world is happy.”

  Nina grinned. He was right. She just couldn’t help worrying about Jack.

  “You’re right. Thanks for talking me down.”

  “Anytime.”

  “Okay, so you got what you need for Angie?”

  “Yeah, I’ve got a plan cooking. Thanks for your help. I’ll see you at dinner.”

  “Oh, not tonight. I promised Jack we’d spend Wednesdays at home from now on.”

  “Cool. We’ll see you tomorrow then.”

  “Okay.”

  ***

  Jack stared at his whiteboard. He’d mapped out his Valentine’s Day plans, but he was missing something.

  “Eve?” he called.

  “No, I do not have the Lambert’s tile samples yet,” she said as she entered.

  “It’s not that. Wait, where are they?”

  “My tracking number says they were delivered, but they never came here. I’m waiting on the shipping manager to call me back. Push comes to shove, I’ll have the supplier overnight new ones.”

  “Oh…well, good work. Take a look at this for a second.”

  Eve looked over his elaborate schedule.

  “You’re gonna do all this in one day?”

  “Yep, but it’s missing something.”

  “Yeah, food. You can’t have Nina out all day without feeding her.”

  Jack checked the list again and grinned. “You’re right. I need to find some treats that she can eat. Can you help me find an organic bakery?”

  “Sure.”

  “Thanks Eve, you just saved my life.”

  “Have you run this by Angie?” Eve asked.

  “No.”

  “You should. What if she knows what Nina wants? Do you really want to spend all this time and money and leave out the one thing she was hoping for?”

  Jack guessed she had a point. Jason was always consulting Nina on gifts for Angie.

  “I’ll think about it,” Jack said.

  “Okay, let me know if I can help with anything else.”

  “Thanks. Hey, I’m sorry I never even asked what you have planned.”

  Eve laughed. “I’d have to have a guy to plan a Valentine’s Day.”

  “I thought you and Steve...”

  “Do not mention that asshole’s name!” Eve rolled her eyes.

  “You two broke up again? How many times is that now?” Jack had honestly lost count.

  “I don’t know, why don’t you ask your friend?”

  “Hey, don’t get mad at me. Jason and I both told you not to date him. I even stopped him from coming by the office after the whole windshield incident.”

  “You didn’t stop him from coming to the holiday party, now did you?”

  “I thought you two were cool when I saw you at thanksgiving together.”

  “We were never together. His mother invited me. Anyway, I don’t want to talk about him unless you’re ready to schedule another keg Wednesday.”

  The entire crew needed a drink after their first breakup. Jack loved Steve like a brother, but he was nowhere near ready for a relationship. Still, Jack felt bad for dragging Eve into his Valentine’s Day plans when she was nursing a wounded heart. “Eve, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to force all this Valentine’s Day stuff on you.”

  “How about you make it up to me by cloning yourself?”

  “I would, but I’m not sure he’d be your type.”

  “Yeah, cause all this…” she pointed to his whiteboard. “…it just screams worthless husband.”

  Once Eve was gone Jack wrote in three time slots for food. He hated the idea of telling Angie about his plans, but he grabbed his phone and called her anyway.

  “Hello,” Angie answered. Jack could hear LJ screaming in the background.

  “Hey Angie, it’s Jack.”

  “Hold on. LJ get down from there right now. Where’s your sister? Niya, get back in here.”

  Jack looked at the clock. Nina wouldn’t be home for another couple of hours and Angie sounded like she needed help. Jack was on hold so long he was beginning to think she forgot about him.

  “Jack!” she finally yelled as she sounded like she was coming back to the phone. “I’m back.”

  “It’s all right. You okay over there?”

  “Yeah, they’re just bouncing off th
e walls today, or more like climbing them.”

  “Do you need anything? Have you eaten?”

  Jack used to give Angie a hard time, but now that he watched her wrangle four kids every day he couldn’t help but pity her.

  “No, I’m fine, really,” she said before Jack heard a loud crash followed by cries.

  He was on his feet and grabbing his keys by the time the call disconnected.

  “Eve, I’ve got to run home really quick. I might have to push back the Gianni consult. I’ll call you and let you know.”

  Jack rushed home and let himself into Jason and Angie’s.

  “Angie?” he called as he came through the door.

  “Jack?” she called from the family room. “We’re in here.” He could hear the tears in her voice. He ran down the hall and turned the corner to see her cuddling LJ in her lap. They were seated in front of the fireplace with a sea of shattered picture frames around them.

  “Mommy,” Niya cried from the couch.

  “No baby, stay there.”

  Jack grabbed Niya and calmed her down. “Is he okay?”

  LJ cried against Angie’s chest.

  “I don’t know, but he won’t let me touch his arm.”

  Jack kicked some of the frames away and lifted Angie and LJ with his free arm. She rushed him to the kitchen and Jack followed.

  “No!” LJ cried when Angie tried to open his hand.

  “Please, sweetie let mommy see.” Angie was in tears.

  “Mommy’s crying,” Niya said.

  “Angie, let me try while you call Jason.” Jack sat Niya on the counter and Angie held her close as she grabbed her phone off the floor.

  “Hey Bud,” Jack said as he dried LJ’s tears. “What you got in your hand?”

  “Ouchie.”

  “You too? I’ve got one.” Jack showed LJ his closed hand. “But you know what, it feels better when I open my hand, and I bet yours will too. Wanna try it?”

  LJ shook his head.

  “Come on Bud, not even for Uncle Jack?” Jack cleaned his runny nose.

  “He must’ve climbed the fireplace,” Angie said as she paced up and down the hallway.

  “Come on Bud, show Uncle. I promise I’ll make it better.”

  LJ slowly opened his palm and Jack saw the piece of glass stuck in his hand.

  “Angie, I need tweezers!”

  “Baby, I gotta go,” Angie said. She searched a couple of drawers before locating a first aid kit.

  “Is it bad? Does he need stitches?”

  Jack slowly removed the glass. “You’re doing good, Bud.”

  LJ was surprisingly quiet as Jack cleaned his wound with antiseptic.

  “Okay, take a look,” he said to Angie who got a good look.

  “Thank god, it’s just a small cut.”

  “Brother okay?” Niya asked.

  “Yeah, he’s okay. Right, Bud?”

  LJ nodded.

  Angie bandaged LJ’s hand and fed the twins ice cream while Jack swept up the glass.

  “Angie!” Jason came rushing in. “Where is he?”

  “We’re in here. He’s okay.”

  “Jason, can you grab the carpet protector from my truck? We can use the adhesive to lift most of the glass.” Jack said. “It’s open.”

  Jack and Jason went over the entire family room collecting glass particles before pulling out the shop vac. They finished just minutes before Nina arrived with Alice and Justin. LJ wanted to play with Justin upstairs while Niya and Alice played dolls. Nina made tea for the adults.

  “Thanks for rushing over?” Jason said.

  “Not a problem.”

  “Oh god, I completely forgot about dinner,” Angie said.

  “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got us covered,” Jason said kissing her forehead. He stood and grabbed his keys.

  Jack could tell by the look on Nina’s face that she wanted to talk to Angie alone.

  “Hey, I’ll come with you.”

  “I thought you two had plans tonight?” Jason asked.

  Jack wanted to spend the evening alone with Nina, but he knew she’d be worrying about Angie all night anyway. He gave Nina a peck on the cheek followed by a wink, and she got the message.

  “No, that’s next week,” Jack said.

  “Okay, sounds cool to me,” Jason said. “Who wants to go for a ride?”

  “Me!” Justin yelled from upstairs. “And LJ.”

  “Grab your coats.”

 

  ***

  Once Jack and Jason were gone with the boys Angie broke down in tears.

  “Nina, you should’ve seen him lying there in all that broken glass. I didn’t even think he could climb the stones.”

  “He’s a little boy. They’re going to get into all kinds of stuff. The important thing is that he’s okay. It was just a little bruise.”

  “But it could’ve been worse. I should’ve never left the room. It’s like I can’t take my eyes off them for a second.”

  “Angie, it’s going to be all right. We just have to do a little more LJ-proofing.”

  “I feel like such a failure. I almost forgot the holiday, my baby’s hurt. I can’t even take care of two kids on my own anymore.”

  Nina pulled her in for a hug.

  “Angie, you have twins now, on top of Alice, Justin, and Jason to take care of. It’s ridiculous to think that they’re never going to have a little accident. That doesn’t make you a failure. I think you’re an amazing mother.”

  Angie reminded her so much of their own mother. She gave every part of herself to providing for her family, and yes she might’ve complained the entire time, but there wasn’t a single thing Jason or the kids ever lacked.

  “That’s because you’re my sister,” Angie said.

  “No, it’s not. Even Jack says it all the time.”

  “Now I know you’re lying.”

  “He does. Why do you think we spend so much time with you guys? We both know that you have a lot to handle, and I know I appreciate you letting me be as involved with the kids as I am. But if you feel like it’s too much I can find another way to occupy my time.”

  “No, you can’t leave me alone with them. They have us out numbered and they know it!”

  Nina was relieved to know that her sister still wanted her around. Helping Angie with the kids had given Nina a greater purpose. Her heart disease practically ensured she would never be a mother herself, and with her unstable health, she was afraid adoption would be out as well. Being the favorite, all be it the only, aunt helped fill the void Nina had but would never share.

  “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere any time soon. Now, you dry those tears and let’s have some fun with the girls.”

  ***

  Angie was in much better spirits by the time the boys returned. The house was covered in pink and red balloons and streamers. They all hung the last of the garland and balloons, except for LJ, who destroyed more than he actually helped. The kids enjoyed their pizza for dinner, while Jack brought Nina her favorite Italian salad.

  “Thank you,” she said when he brought her a fork.

  “Not a problem.”

  He was just about to bite into his extra-large slice of Mega Meat when he saw her glaring at him. He took a fork full of her salad and grinned.

  “Fine,” she said. “I suppose we do have our run this weekend.”

  Jack happily chomped his pizza having gotten her blessing. Nina had to be so careful about her diet that he felt bad eating junk around her. She always said it didn’t bother her, but she could never hide that hunger in her eyes when a pizza box passed her face. It was yet another thing her heart deprived her of.

  “So Angie, Jason and I got to talking and we think we have a solution to your problem,” Jack said pulling out his tablet.

  “A straight jacket?”

  “For you or them?” Nina joked.

  “Both.” They all laughed.

  “I’m
talking about an addition. If you add a playroom off the living room, the twins will have a safe place to play in the winter. Check it out.” He showed them all the layout of the room on his tablet. “It’s got a rock climbing wall, a wet area you can just wipe down, even a place for storage,” Jack said.

  “Jack, that’s amazing, but I’m not sure the twins and I could survive the construction time,” Angie said.

  “I thought about that too. Look, we can pre-fab the walls in the warehouse and it will only take a few days to assemble.”

  “And you and the twins can hang out at our house while the crew is working,” Nina added.

  “I guess it would give them a safe place to play downstairs,” Angie said.

  “Totally, I’m talking rubber floors, padded walls, and shatter proof glass so you can watch them from the family room. And I can set up wireless cameras you can stream on your tablet. It would actually be a good test run for the team,” Jack said. “I was thinking of adding some family friendly renovation ideas to our portfolio. We could use before and after photos for a new brochure.”

  “What do you think, Babe?” Jason asked.

  “If it’s as easy as you say, I’m in,” Angie said.

  “Awesome, Jason, I’m gonna need you to make this pretty.” Jack handed Jason his tablet.

  “No problem, I’ll have it back to you tomorrow,” Jason said.

  “Thank you,” Angie mouthed looking like she could cry.

  “You are amazing,” Nina whispered in Jack’s ear.

  Jack was just trying to help in the only way he knew how. He pulled Nina into his arms once she looked to be done with her salad.

  “Okay, homework and bath time,” Angie announced as she started to clear the table.

  “Babe, I got it,” Jason said. “Alice and Justin grab a twin and meet me upstairs in five.”

  Angie sat back down looking stunned. Once the kids left the room, Jack gave Nina a proper kiss, pulling her into his lap.

  “Would you two get a room already?” Angie asked.

  “You read my mind,” Jack said as Nina stood and took his hand.

  “I’ll see you tomorrow,” Nina said as Jack grabbed her purse and coat and pulled her toward the exit.

  Chapter 5

  Valentine’s Day had finally arrived. Nina had been cooking dinner and treats for the kids most of the morning and her kitchen was a total mess.

  “Okay, everybody in!” Angie shouted once Nina heard the front door open.

  “Ni-Ni?” Niya called.

  “I’m in here,” Nina answered and seconds later she and LJ can running in still wearing their puffy coats.

  “I’m taking their overnight bags up to the guestroom,” Angie said.

  “Okay,” Nina said as she helped the twins remove their coats. “Are you two ready to have some fun?”

 
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