Penny felt at ease knowing that her Father was back in her life. She would take the bus down to his house and they would eat lunch together.
"I kissed him on the box. That was how Mamma found out." She admitted and Arthur cracked up, shaking his head.
"No you did not. Oh, no wonder she was mad." He chuckled and Penny smiled a little.
"But of course, she should have never done what she did." He followed up and Penny smiled, placing her hand over his.
Seaweed was so glad that Penny had reconnected with her Father. Of course, he was glad that he accepted him and his relationship with Penny. But that was not the most important part of it. He saw her smile more often, and she was more confident in holding his hand when they were out in public. All of this was good news for Seaweed, almost as if her Father validating their relationship made Penny more comfortable.
Penny was so excited to go to college. It was coming up quick and everyday they got closer, she became more excited.
"I can't believe I'm actually going!" She squealed as she got her timetable through.
"You're gonna be a college girl, baby." Seaweed pecked her on the cheek and she smiled. She wondered if being a college girl might give her the confidence to take things to the next level with Seaweed, physically. She wasn't sure, but she hoped so.
Tracy was so happy to hear about Penny's Father and her timetable for college.
"I have something to tell you." She prepared Penny.
"Link and I are going to be living together!" She cried out and Penny felt herself gasp.
"By yourself?" She asked and Tracy nodded.
"I'm going to be able to cook for him, and do his laundry. All the things a man wants from a woman, you know?" Penny nodded, enjoying the moment, but feeling a seed of self doubt being planted.
Tracy was moving so fast with Link. Penny felt as if she was being left behind. She thought about what Tracy had said. Did Seaweed want her to cook for him? She had never been a very good cook, but she supposed that that was what part of being a wife was, cooking for your husband.
She thought about it for a long while, and Maybelle could see that she was troubled.
"What's up, baby?" She asked when they were alone.
"Do you think I should start cooking?" She asked and Maybelle had to laugh.
"Now what a silly thing to ask. Why, baby?" Penny shook her head and sighed.
"It's just, well Tracy is moving in with Link and she's going to be cooking for him and cleaning and doing all the things a wife does, and I feel like I am lacking in that area." She sighed and Maybelle smiled down at the girl.
"If you wanna cook baby, we can cook. But that doesn't make you a better partner. It is all about who you are, not about what the world tells you a wife is." She told her and Penny nodded, but Maybelle knew that it was still bothering her.
Penny laid awake with Seaweed that night. Their sex life had been pretty non-existent recently. Seaweed was so busy, and Penny was working, and preparing for college, so once they got to bed, they usually fell asleep straight away. But this night, Penny laid with her eyes open and Seaweed looked down at her, playing with a strand of her hair.
"Do you think I'm a good girlfriend?" She asked and Seaweed had to sit back for a minute.
"Now, why would you ask that, baby?" He asked, feeling worried that Penny would ask such a question.
"Well, I don't cook and I don't satisfy your needs in other ways. I feel like I'm not doing an awful lot." She sighed and Seaweed kissed her on the cheek.
"Baby, you don't need to compare yourself to others. You are perfect as you are. I don't need you to cook, or be jumping on my bones all the time." He smiled against her skin as she chuckled, placing her hands over her face to hide her embarrassment.
"Although having a beautiful lady like you jumping on my bones would never go unappreciated." He added and she laughed, shaking her head.
"Honestly baby. So many women can offer the simple things: cooking, cleaning, sex. But you offer me so much more, and we can do those things together. You ain't lived until you've tried my chicken." He winked at her.
"It's a date." She whispered and he sighed, looking down at her small smile, feeling embarrassed for feeling insecure.
"It sure is baby." He leant down and kissed her and Penny felt fully reassured.
Despite their talk, Penny still wanted to be a better girlfriend in some ways, and Inez was more than willing to help. They made Seaweed a lunch box of bacon sandwiches and a cookie.
"You're such a good girlfriend, Penny." Inez beamed up at her sister to be.
"Why thank you, Inez. I couldn't do it without you." She smiled and Inez blushed, loving the compliment.
Penny walked down to the studio on her day off. She knew that Seaweed had his lunch at midday, because Tracy told her. So, Penny made sure that the sandwiches were still hot by the time that she made it down to the studio.
Seaweed was in the line in the studio's cafeteria when he saw Penny. She was all green dress and bouncy curls, carrying two bags with her.
"Now, what a surprise this is, baby." He smiled down at her, wrapping an arm around her waist.
"I thought I would bring you lunch." She smiled and he raised his eyebrows.
"Now, that was thoughtful of you, baby." He kissed her on the cheek and left his friends and their jealous looks as he left the line.
"Now that is the dream, a pretty girl bringing you a fresh lunch." One of the dancers said as they walked outside.
"That is what happens when you put a ring on it." Another retorted.
"I think it would be worth it for a girl like her." He replied.
"But there aren't many girls like her." His friend chuckled and shook his head.
Seaweed sat with Penny out in the sun.
"Honestly baby, you didn't have to come down here on your day off." He told her, delving into his lunch.
"I thought I would surprise you." She smiled and he pecked her on the lips.
"Well, consider me surprised, in the best of ways." He beamed and Penny felt her confidence boost.
Seaweed begged Penny to stay and watch the filming. But, she had her reading.
"I can't abandon the group." She told him, pulling away from his hand.
"I know you can't baby." He pulled her back in and kissed her deeply.
"Tell Momma not to cook tonight. I'm gonna make my chicken for you." He told her and then watched as she walked away. He turned to see that he was not the only one.
"You looking at something?" He asked and they sniggered as they dispersed.
"You're one lucky man." The dancer said and Seaweed nodded.
"I know it."
Penny had seen Seaweed dance, sing and all manner of things. But there was nothing more sexy than seeing him in the kitchen. He danced around to the radio and seasoned the chicken. Penny slid her hands around his waist from behind and whispered in his ear.
"You going to tell me what you're doing?" She asked and he chuckled, still dancing in her embrace.
"I could, but then I would have to kill you." He jested and she smiled.
"Well, I am not sure it is worth that." She told him and he chuckled.
"You aint tasted it yet, baby." He told her and she squeezed him a little tighter.
When they sat down to eat, Inez beamed.
"He must be in love. He hasn't made his chicken in years." She laughed and Maybelle shook her head at her daughter's lack of manners.
"Try it baby. You gotta try it first." Seaweed told Penny and she took a bite as she felt all eyes on her. Her eyes fell closed as the flavours exploded in her mouth.
"It's good." She covered her mouth and nodded and Seaweed was more than happy with the response.
They continued eating and Penny had seconds and even finished off a little of Uncle Jack's leftovers.
"You sure know how to eat, baby!" Uncle Jack called over the table. Penny smiled and blushed, biting into another chicken leg.
"I'm glad you like it baby." Seaweed whispered in her ear as he rested his hand on her thigh. Penny smiled over at him, it had been so long since he had touched her in this way.
After dinner, Penny and Seaweed laid in bed, covers off and bellies full.
"Why didn't you tell me you could cook like that?" She asked and he smiled down at her.
"Well, I can't reveal all of my talents straight away, can I baby?" He asked and she chuckled, shaking her head.
"You're the most amazing woman, Penny, the best woman I could have." He told her and she blushed.
"I don't need you to do all of those things that Trace will do for Link. Because we will do them together." He told her and she smiled and turned herself away from him, snuggling in, feeling reasured and loved.