A/N Happy National Mushroom Hunting Day! (I don't make this shit up, folks. If I did, I don't think even my mind would go there). More importantly, it's also International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia. I think that's something we should all get behind!
This week in the NFL...nope, don't wanna go there. Is the offseason over yet? No? Well, damn. I guess I'll just have to keep writing then! And seeing movies, bc it's that time of year. Saw PP2 the other day, was not nearly as good as the first one, sadly, yet I'm oddly happy that it's going to win the box office. Go musical girl power!
So, last week, several of you volunteered yourself for Sammy, which was quite sweet of you. The boy does need someone, I agree. Let's see what we can do about that! See my below for a word on next week. Happy reading and have a great week ahead!
Getting Blitzed Chapter 36
House hunting was a lot different than condo hunting. It just was. Houses in the area were way more traditional, not at all sleek and modern like our place was. Of course, that was the point. We weren't going to be the partying power couple I had kind of envisioned before the baby news broke. Not that I was complaining, because I wanted our house to feel like a place a kid could run and play and have friends over and shit.
For one thing, the houses weren't new. Some were as old as the early 1900s. Of course, in our price point, they were renovated and had all the new amenities that we wanted. It was different from Florida, too. The floors were all wooden, the houses were all different, not cookie-cutter subdivisions. That was good, for the most part.
"That house looks like a barn. No fucking way," I muttered to Reed Girl, making her giggle as we walked up the drive.
"It's not my taste from the outside, either, but it doesn't hurt to look," she murmured, making sure our realtor didn't hear. I didn't give a shit, though. I'd told him what we wanted, and he'd brought me to a barn? Fuck that noise.
"This delightful colonial is four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and three thousand, seven hundred fifty-nine square feet."
"So it's small, too."
Reed Girl laughed. "Only you would think that was small."
It was compared to the places I'd been looking at. My ten bedroom house was over six thousand square feet. Just saying.
If the outside hadn't been a turnoff, the inside was. Now, of course the owner couldn't be faulted for not having their furniture out of the house, but they damn well could be faulted for their crappy taste. It was old-fashioned and gold leaf and fussy beyond belief. They may have upgraded some shit, but it didn't look like it with their stuffy furniture. Reed Girl wrinkled her nose before plastering on a giant fake smile.
"As you can see, the kitchen-"
"Joe, this isn't for us. Sorry, but there's nothing about this place that I like." I had to interrupt him. What the fuck was wrong with this guy? He knew our style. He'd helped us find our condo, for fuck's sake. Reed Girl elbowed me, but really, what was the point in looking at the whole place? We hated it.
He looked a little shell-shocked, but he shrugged. "Okay. I didn't think so. I just thought I'd start at the lower end of what you were looking for."
I smirked. "So that the more expensive houses look better? Trust me, they do. And I'm not going cheap on our house. Take us to the good stuff."
He laughed. "I forgot how blunt you are."
Reed Girl sighed. "I'd apologize for it, but then I'd be doing nothing else for the entire time we spend together today."
"Whatever, baby. You like my honesty."
"Most of the time," she muttered, shaking her head.
"It's actually kind of refreshing," Joe said, leading us out of the crappy house. Seriously, who would pay one point one million dollars for that place? Certainly not us.
"At least I know where you stand. I don't have to wonder if you're going to make an offer on anything, for sure."
"I offer to take a sledgehammer to this one," I told Joe, making him and Reed Girl laugh.
"Okay, then, moving on."
The next house was on the same street and much better-looking on the outside. The first floor was wood and stone, the windows were nice, and it looked more like a place we could live.
"This is a Dutch colonial, six bedrooms, four baths, three thousand six hundred and ninety square feet. It's fully upgraded, with a fireplace, French doors, and an updated kitchen. Let's take a look."
I looked. And I knew right away it wasn't the place for us. Not without some work. While the floors were shiny and nice, it was closed off. Cramped. The kitchen wasn't open, which I knew Reed Girl wanted, so that if she was cooking, she could still be part of whatever else was happening in the house.
Joe took us upstairs, and the bedrooms were somewhat strangely shaped. The roof sloped in areas, and if I didn't watch it, I'd hit my fucking head on the ceiling in certain parts of the room.
"I don't think this house was designed for tall people."
Joe laughed. "Not super-tall ones, apparently. What do you guys think of it, other than the ceiling heights?"
I glanced at Reed Girl, who shrugged. "It's nice," she said. "I like the fireplace, but I'm not a fan of the kitchen."
Ha! I knew it.
"I don't think we'll keep this one on the list, unless my husband here is hiding his like behind that scowl."
I laughed and gave her a smacking kiss. "It's too closed off for us. Not our style at all."
Joe grinned. "Okay, let's try something else."
The next house was kind of cool from the outside. There was a long-ass porch that stretched almost all the way around the house. It wasn't screened in for Rainbow, but that would be easy enough to do, probably.
"This is a Queen Anne Victorian built in 1890."
Holy fuck. This was an old house.
"Fully renovated, five bedrooms, three and a half baths."
That always cracked me up. What the fuck was half a bath? Yes, I knew it meant toilet only, but it sounded stupid.
We went inside, and it was more of the same. The rooms were smaller than I liked, more closed off than I liked, and I knew Reed Girl felt the same. I mean, I could get this house, but we'd have to take out a few walls and shit. I didn't really want to deal with that crap if I didn't have to.
Joe didn't even bother to ask how we felt about this one; he just steered us out.
"Okay, we have two more places today, and I think you'll like these the most."
Then why not show us those first, dumbass? I didn't get realtors. It was like on that show that Reed Girl was fucking obsessed with. They were always showing people shit that sucked first, then taking them to something they couldn't afford, just to show them what life could be like if they had more money, and then back to a shitty place they'd have to settle for because they had no money. Well, I had money, damn it, and I didn't need to see the shitty places at all. Find me something I couldn't afford. I dare you to try, Joe.
"You're getting annoyed, aren't you?" Reed Girl asked as we drove to the next place.
"Sort of. I mean, why show us that shit when he knows we'll hate it?"
She laughed. "First, he didn't know that for sure. And second, it's to build up anticipation, I guess. If these final two are the ones that he thinks we might go for, then we'll forget all about the others."
I pulled up behind Joe and checked out the house in front of us. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't like the outside overly much. Two stories, of course, and it was yellow and white. We got out of the car, and I took Reed Girl's hand in mine.
"This one was built in 1902, and it's a Classic Revival Craftsman."
Whatever the fuck that meant.
"It's got seven bedrooms, five baths and it's just about thirty-four hundred square feet. They're asking one point three five million."
"I like how private it seems," Reed Girl observed.
I agreed with that. It was set back from the road quite a bit, and there were lots of trees and shit around. It felt almost private.
"The garage is detached." Well, that was kind of annoying, but I could live with it.
Joe took us inside, and I had to admit, this was much better than the last one. The kitchen was on the small side, but everything was well done. There were a lot of windows, and I really liked the formal sitting-room area. It was cool for socializing, anyway.
The back porch was screened in, which made me smile.
"I could see Rainbow sitting out here for hours on end," Reed Girl murmured.
She totally fucking would. "Yeah, this would be her space, for sure."
There were porches all over the fucking place, which was pretty cool. Some were even attached to a couple of the bedrooms.
"There are really two masters here, and they connect. You might like something like that with your baby at first."
At first, yeah. Not so much when she was mobile and shit, though. I didn't want her walking in on her mother and me fucking or anything.
"It's really pretty," Reed Girl said when we were done.
I had to agree. "Much better, Joe. The kitchen was a little small, and I'm not overly fond of the master bedrooms being connected, but it's definitely something I could live with."
Reed Girl smiled at me. "We could keep this one on the list?"
"Good! I'm glad you liked one, finally. But I am saving what I think is the best for last. This is the one you seemed to like, Edward."
My gray house? Hot damn. It was way bigger than this one, too. We hopped in the car and followed Joe to the house.
"Wow. It's really pretty. And I love the circular drive," Reed Girl observed as we pulled up.
"Yeah, I thought that was nice. We'll have plenty of room if we have people over for sure."
"This one is a lot more modern than the other houses we've seen. It's a Colonial and was built in 1957, renovated this year. It's six bedrooms, five and a half baths, and fifty-five hundred square feet."
Yeah, way bigger than the other houses we'd seen today.
"It's huge," Reed Girl observed as we headed inside.
I kept my thoughts to myself as Joe did his spiel. I'd known before we came that this was the house I wanted, but it was really up to Reed Girl. I'd never get anything she didn't like. It was just…this place was just much better. The rooms were wide open, with the formal dining and family room part of the same big space. Of course, we didn't have to put a table there if we just wanted to have a huge living area.
The kitchen was fucking huge, and while it wasn't completely open, it was mostly open, with two large walkways that led into the living areas.
"Oh, look at the little breakfast-nook space. It's built-in!" Yeah, my wife sounded fucking reverent right now. She loved things like built-in seating and window seats. And this place had both. But I'd let her wait and see that when we got there.
Both the living and family rooms had fireplaces, which was fucking awesome as far as I was concerned. The best thing about living in the cold was having fireplaces in my mind. This room was wide open to the kitchen, unlike the formal living room. This is where we'd likely spend most of our time and where the current owner had the TV above the fireplace. That's what we'd do, too.
There was a guest bedroom with a private bathroom on the first floor, which would work well when parents were visiting.
Reed Girl gasped when we got to the second floor and she saw the huge window seat lining the hallway. It was legit like ten feet long, under an arched window.
"Oh, Edward," she murmured. I knew, like me, she could totally see herself curled up reading a book in front of the window. And one day not too far off, reading to our daughter. It was an awesome fucking picture in my mind.
Joe smiled but wisely didn't say anything. Why talk when the place was selling itself?
The master bedroom had a set of French doors leading out to the porch. The top part wasn't screened in, but the bottom floor looked to be so. There was some random white decorative crap up that I planned on ripping down. That would be perfect for Rainbow and still give us outdoor space if we wanted.
"There's a sitting room," Reed Girl said, eyeing that little area to the side of the master.
"A perfect place to put a crib, if you were so inclined."
From the look on her face, I could tell that she was so inclined. We'd have to talk about that one. It'd be fine when she was really little, but what about when we wanted to have sex? I would not be comfortable doing that with my daughter in the room, even if she was just a baby.
"The closet is huge," Reed Girl said, again sounding like she'd walked into the Sistine Chapel. I wanted to yell out in triumph, but I held back.
The master bathroom was fucking awesome, with a standalone tub that looked like it belonged at some fancy spa. The shower had two huge waterfall heads, which meant plenty of room for both of us at the same time, which of course I loved. The floor was marble or some shit, and everything was light and clean and just phenomenal in my mind. But still, I kept my mouth shut.
We went down to the basement, which was fucking huge. It was perfect for a gym and had two other rooms that could be bedrooms, or offices, or whatever the fuck we wanted, really. We ended the tour with the backyard, which was mostly fenced. I'd probably extend it a little bit, once our baby was mobile, just so she couldn't wander. There wasn't much in the way of landscaping, but that was easy enough to do.
"So, that's the tour. What do you think?"
"It's beautiful." Reed Girl looked at me. "You've been awfully quiet. What do you think?"
I pulled her close to me. "I think it's home, if you like it. There's hardly anything we'd have to change. I'd want to get this backyard fully fenced once the baby is ready to play back here, and plant some trees and shit, but that's about it."
"Yes. It's perfect, isn't it? I can just see us in there, eating breakfast on that cute little built-in bench or playing with the baby on the floor in front of the fire. And the window seat! I mean, it's got to go on the list, right?"
I tugged her away from Joe, giving him a nod to let him know we needed a minute.
"Baby, as far as I'm concerned, this is the list. We can keep looking, if you want, but this place was the one I liked the most from my online searches, by far. It's more us than those other places."
"It is." She looked up at me, hope shining in her beautiful brown eyes. "You want it, then?"
"I want it if you want it. I'll be content anywhere. You know me."
She laughed. "You wouldn't have been content in that first house."
I snorted. "That's because it fucking sucked. Okay, let me amend my statement. I'm content almost anywhere that isn't cramped and old-fashioned and barn-like."
She grinned. "That's more like it. So, should we make an offer?"
"Let's. This is our house, Reed Girl. Let's make it happen."
She gave me a smacking kiss. "We're going to make an incredible life here."
"We'd make an incredible life wherever we were, but I'm glad it's going to be here. I love you, Reed Girl."
"I love you, too, Champ."
So, we walked back Joe and I told him to make it happen. I'd pay full ask if they wanted, one point eight five million, but since they'd just reduced the price, I had a feeling I could get a better deal. We needed to call in an appraiser and all that shit, but this was it. This was our home.
"I can't believe you guys found a place that fast." Sammy shook his head. "I can't believe you're only twenty-one and buying a house. I feel like such a slacker."
"That would be because you are." I snagged the ball that he chucked at my head out of the air. "I knew when I saw it online that that was the one for us. It has everything we wanted, it's located in a good spot for kids, there's like three parks close by, and it just feels right. It's a little overpriced, but the realtor is pretty confident they're going to accept my offer, or at least counter a little lower. If I have to step up, I will. That's our fucking house."
"And there's plenty of room for your favorite teammate, should he need to crash after a Monday Night Football game?" He batted his eyes at me.
"Oh, yeah, Paul can stay over anytime." I snickered as he swung at me. "Just kidding. Yeah, there's a ton of space. Bella's in love with it already." She'd been perusing furniture stores last night while we chilled in bed. Well, until I interrupted her for sex, that is. We had a lot of rooms to fill with furniture, and she was thrilled about it. Not a surprise.
"She had her first charity thing today, right?" He bent to stretch his legs. Practice had been fairly light after our Rams' victory on Sunday. We'd be amping up tomorrow though.
I nodded. "Yeah. Well, it was just meeting with a principal and teachers at a local school. I need to give her a call and find out how it went."
We headed into the locker room, and I grabbed my phone. Sure enough, I had a text.
Meeting is running long, and I'm not in the mood to cook. Would Sammy mind terribly if we met somewhere for a bite?
"Hey, man, do you care if we go out to dinner instead of my place? Bella's stuff ran late."
"No problem. Food is good anywhere. It's the company I'm after. Our girl is going to be there, right?"
I texted Reed Girl back, asking where she wanted to meet.
I rolled my eyes at his mischievous grin. "My girl is going to be there, yes. You need to get your own, loser."
He sighed. "I know, I know. It's hard out there for a handsome, rich athlete like me. All the good ones are taken. What's a guy to do?"
"Get really familiar with his hand, I guess." I snickered when he tossed his sweaty shirt at me. "Sorry, I'm taken."
"Dick. Just for that, I'm going to doubly enjoy your wife's kisses and hugs when I give her the baby gifts tonight. You can stew in your jealous juices."
I was very tempted to enlighten him on the juices that I'd be partaking in once I got my wife alone, but I bit the comment back. I just couldn't share the shit that Bella and I did. She was better than locker-room talk, which was ironic, considering our first time had been in a locker room. Still an awesome memory.
"I'll get way more than that once we get home, buddy. So enjoy the little bit you do get. I'll be thinking of you when I…wait, no I won't." I headed to the showers, shooting a grin over my shoulder.
"You're mean, Cullen. I don't think I like you anymore."
I shrugged. "Okay. I'll head to dinner alone, then."
"Dick. I'm coming."
"No, you're not. Isn't that the problem?" This time, he managed to nail me in the back with a balled-up towel because I wasn't looking. It was clean, so I picked it up. "Thanks."
He laughed. "Anytime. I'm going to go clean up so I can look good for the ladies."
"I didn't know they'd invented magic showers that could change a person's looks. Good for you."
That comment earned me a flip of the bird, but he headed to his own shower. Good. I wanted to get cleaned up and get to my wife.
After my shower, I dressed and checked my phone.
We stopped by Buffalo Wild Wings after we got done. Still here. Just wanna meet here? I brought one of the teachers with me. She's cool.
"BW's okay with you? Bella's already there with some teacher she met today."
"Is she hot?" At my look, he shrugged. "I had to ask. Yeah, that's fine. I could go for some wings and beer."
I texted back, and we headed out. We walked into the place, and the volume level, which was quite loud, dropped to pure silence other than the TVs.
"Two New York Giants walk into a sports bar… Sounds like the beginning of a pretty good joke," Sammy muttered, making me laugh.
I scanned the staring crowd, my eyes lighting on my wife in one of the back booths. I had a feeling her choice of location was to give us some semblance of privacy. I nudged Sammy, and we made our way over, although we got stopped several times by people wanting autographs. I signed hats and shirts and napkins. Reed Girl just grinned at me and shook her head.
"Guess I should have rethought the venue," she said when we finally got to her.
"Don't worry. We like to bask in the adulation. Hey, beautiful." Sammy kissed her cheek before handing her a gift bag. "This is for you and my future daughter-"At my elbow in his ribs, he broke off. "Daughter-in-law, provided I ever procreate, thank you very much."
"We both know you weren't going to say that." I nudged him out of the way and kissed my wife. "Hi, baby."
"Hi, Champ. Thank you, Sammy. I'll open this later. Edward, Sammy, this is Emily Sutton. She teaches second grade at the school I'll be starting the music program with. Emily, this is my husband Edward and his teammate, Sammy Maddux."
"It's nice to…" I glanced over when Sammy's voice died off. He was just gaping at the chick like he'd never seen a woman before.
I looked her way for the first time, and I got why he appeared to be struck dumb. She was, as he'd hoped, hot. She had long black hair and light blue eyes, tan skin, and what appeared to be a pretty killer body. Not that she had anything on my wife, but she was beautiful.
"Hi." I offered my hand. "Excuse my teammate. He's taken one too many hard hits in practice."
She shook my hand and smiled. "Are you sure it was practice? Because I saw that hit Slater put on him on Sunday. It looked brutal."
Sammy's expression was comical. It morphed from stunned, to disbelieving, to dazed all in the course of a few seconds.
"It was. I mean, it is. I mean, you like football?" His voice got so high, it sounded like his balls hadn't dropped yet.
I slid into the booth next to my Reed Girl and prepared to enjoy the show.
"What's not to like? I bleed blue," she told him, throwing her hair over her shoulder. He gulped when she adjusted the strap of her dress.
"I think Sammy really needs to get laid," I whispered in Reed Girl's ear.
"I think Emily might accommodate him," she murmured back. "She has a little bit of a crush."
I raised an eyebrow at her as Sammy slid into the booth next to Emily. "Is this a setup, baby?"
"It's a chance meeting. What they do with it is up to them." But from the satisfied smile on my wife's face, she was feeling pretty good about the chances.
Then again, so was Sammy, it appeared. He'd recovered his ability to speak and was grinning at Emily. He relived the hit with her, taking her through the play step by step.
"It was incredible that you managed to hold onto the ball," she complimented.
"Strong hands." He held them up, and I snorted out a laugh. It was like he was saying, Look how big my hands are. So are other parts of me, wanna see? Thank fuck I didn't have to play that game anymore. Reed Girl knew what I was packing.
"So, Emily, you teach at the school where Bella's going to be volunteering?" I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from his appendages. I wanted to hear about how things had gone for my girl. Obviously pretty well, since she'd made another possible friend.
"Yes. We're really excited about it. I teach second grade, and several of my kids plan on being part of the program. I passed out a bunch of permission slips today. The parents are pretty psyched as well."
The waitress came over, and we ordered our drinks and appetizers to get started.
"So it went really well, baby?"
She grinned. "It was great! To start, we're talking about me doing an after-school program two or three times a week. Several of the teachers, including Emily, volunteered to help with it. I've got a line on a company that's willing to provide some instruments, provided I pimp them to parents who might want to buy their kids their own. I think it's going to be really wonderful."
"It really is. We've had to cut way down on the arts in schools. Teachers spend their own money on supplies more often than not. I'm picking up some glitter and paint for holiday projects when I leave here tonight."
I laughed when she used finger quotes around the words holiday projects. "You can't call it Christmas anymore, huh?"
She rolled her eyes. "Nope. Instead of being all-inclusive, which would be good and actually teach the children about other cultures, we have to ignore them all. So we're making snowflakes and snowmen and such, rather than Christmas trees or menorahs. Times have changed since we were kids."
"How long ago was that?" Sammy blurted suddenly. "I mean, how old are you?"
I shook my head at his lack of smoothness.
Lucky for him, Emily just laughed. "I'm twenty-five. How old are you?"
"Twenty-four. What I meant to ask was how long you'd been teaching."
Yeah, nice save, dude. Not. What was with my teammates becoming bumbling idiots around women? Well, other than Paul, that is. He was smooth as hell. Then again, Sammy usually was. He'd had that blond chick from our wedding eating out of his hand, after all.
"This is my third year. I love it, truly. I wanted to teach younger kids because they actually enjoy learning. I don't think I could deal with teenagers."
Who could blame her there?
The beer, water, and nachos arrived, so we ordered our main entrees and dug in. Reed Girl and Emily fell into conversation about the students and some of the other teachers. Sammy wiggled his eyebrows at me and kept cutting his eyes toward Emily, like he was asking me something.
"What?" I demanded, causing the girls to look my way.
Sammy just shook his head and stuffed his face full of nachos. Idiot. They went back to talking, and Sammy continued his gesturing. I felt like I was back in junior high.
I got my phone out and sent him a text.
You look like you're having a seizure. What the fuck is your problem?
He took his phone out and started typing.
Do you see her? She's gorgeous. And she likes football. And kids. And she's gorgeous. What do I do?
Yep, I was right. Junior high.
You talk to her, just like you do every other girl. Have you been hanging out with Colin too much? Did you lose your game?
Reed Girl shot me a look, and I just shrugged and smiled. I ate some more wings and sipped my water while Sammy typed away.
She's not like other girls. She intimidates me. I don't know why.
I snickered. Been there, done that.
Maybe she's your Reed Girl. Ask her to marry you.
His mouth fell open when he read my text, and I laughed.
"Are you two texting each other?" Reed Girl asked.
It was then that I realized that the girls had stopped talking and were just watching the two of us. Oops.
"Uh, no. We're giving Jennings shit. He had to change his phone number because your mother wouldn't leave him alone."
Reed Girl groaned. "Oh my God, Emily, let me tell you about that." And she launched into the story of her mother's cougar ways while Sammy sent me a grateful look. I was going to make his day even more in a minute.
After the girls laughed over Renee's antics, I made my move.
"So, Emily, do you ever get to any of our games?"
She shook her head. "Unfortunately, no. Ticket prices are a little bit out of my price range, unless I want to sit way up. I'd rather watch from home."
Sammy didn't pick up the ball I'd passed him. Some wide receiver he was. It looked like it was up to me.
"I could hook you up with some decent seats. Baby, do you want to go to the game this week?"
Reed Girl smiled at me. She got what I was doing, at least. "I'd love to. Emily, do you want to come with me?"
"Really? That would be great. I imagine you can get good seats."
I laughed at that one. "I think I can manage that."
"And after we win, maybe we could take you lovely ladies to dinner to celebrate?" Sammy asked, finally getting in the game.
Emily grinned. "I like a confident man. Sounds like a plan to me."
He'd been anything but, thus far. But he gave me a thumbs-up, before sliding his arm along the back of the booth. "So, tell me more about you."
Reed Girl slipped her hand into mine. "Good job, Champ," she murmured softly.
"I never stop being his quarterback, even off the field. Gotta lead him everywhere," I said, making her laugh.
"He's lucky to have you." She leaned her head on my shoulder.
"He's lucky to have both of us, looks like. You did good, Mrs. Schemer."
"As did you, Mr. Schemer."
I kissed the top of her head. "Why do I get the feeling my teammates are all soon to be dating teachers?"
"We'll see. Everybody deserves a shot at what we have," she replied, tilting her head up and pursing her lips.
I gave her a kiss. "They can try, but we're pretty hard to beat."
"That's true." She smiled as she looked over at Sammy and Emily, who were deep in conversation. "We're unbeatable."
A/N They are indeed! Looks like Sammy might have met his match, and indeed, Edward's teammates might be dating a lot of teacher types in the future. Reed Girl is such a matchmaker!
Okay, now I know this story is our happy place the majority of the time, so I'm going to give a warning for next week. Tissues will be required. And for my alarmists out there, it's not E&B related. Those two, as always, are solid. I'm sure most of you can deduce what might be coming. Plan accordingly! This story isn't going to take a huge sad turn, and it will really only be the next chapter that should make you cry tears of non-happiness. I don't do what I do next chapter lightly, but it's part of life and the way I saw things playing out. So, anyway, just be prepared, don't hate me, and remember it's all got a purpose. Love you!