Happy Birthday, Jake Evans

Summary: A very short piece of how Joan planned to celebrate Jake's birthday.

Disclaimer: What About Joan? Characters belong to their creators. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is being made.

Rating: PG-13

Author: Tracy Diane Miller
E-mail address: Birthday, Jake Evans

The glow from a small host of candles illuminated the bedroom with a sexy dim. The two lovers were nestled on the bed. On the night stand, two glasses of champagne stood as silent witnesses to the romantic ambiance. Jake, his bare chest proudly displaying well-defined muscles (courtesy of a new and aggressive workout regimen), wore only boxers adorned with little red hearts. Joan dressed in a flannel nightgown that didn't exactly scream "love goddess", was all smiles.

A few moments ago, Jake had looked at her, his mud green eyes sparkling mischievously, and had called her "the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen." And the way that he had looked at her she had no doubt her mind that he had meant every word.

"Thank you for a wonderful birthday", he whispered. Then, he kissed her softly on the lips in gratitude.

That this man held a spell over her there was no question. He always had a way of touching her with his words just as his gentle, yet sensual caresses, left her body tingling with insatiable desire. Every time that he made love to her was another incredible journey.

"Wow, it's your birthday…so why is it that I got the present?" She asked.

He smiled, yet offered no response.

A brief silence.

"You know, I could have pulled off the best surprise birthday party ever. They don't call me "Joan Gallagher, Queen of the Most Excellent Birthday Parties" for nothing.

His smile was replaced by a more wistful expression, though he hoped that she wouldn't notice. Memories of the wail of fire engines, a couch set ablaze, and a semi-conscious Ruby being carried from the apartment by a fireman (as she called out her telephone number to her
nameless rescuer) flooded his mind.

"I know what you're thinking," she said knowingly, the sound of her voice shaking him from his reverie. "Just because we accidentally had a little' fire at your birthday party last year doesn't mean that you're forever doomed to having a birthday party. The ability to give birthday parties is my other gift from God."

"Would that be the same God who sounded like a cockney flower girl?" He mused to himself.

"I know," he answered praying that he sounded convincing, "but I much rather have this private celebration."

If his intent were to allay her insecurities, he had failed miserably. "It was your birthday, our first year as a couple and I wanted you to have a surprise party. I mean, after you told me of all those birthdays that you spent alone, in your room, with no party, no friends, no clown, no cake, your mother not wanting to celebrate your birthday because it reminded her of her water breaking and ruining her Dolce and Gabbana maternity wear, and her stretch marks, how that must have traumatized you as a kid, I wanted to erase all of that." She rambled in her animated and overly dramatic style that he found both annoying and endearing.

Joan Gallagher certainly deserved an "A" for effort. When she had learned that Jake never had a birthday party, she made it her mission to give him the most special and memorable party ever. She unintentionally fulfilled the last prong of mission after she accidentally tripped while carrying his birthday cake and sent the delicious creation flying onto the couch, the candles setting the furniture on fire. Of course, that was after the clown that she had hired for his party was a no show. Never once had she considered that a clown for an over thirty man's birthday party was oddly inappropriate. For her, she wanted his "inner child" to have its heart's desire. Well, her request was somehow botched and instead of a clown, she got a scantily clad stripper named Chantal. The birthday boy turned a bright shade of red when Chantal started removing her garments, her curvaceous body inching closer to his, and whispered in his ear all kinds of naughty things that she could do to give him a birthday he'd never forget.

The women were in the bedroom helping Joan with the finishing touches to Jake's present when the doorbell rang. It was Mark who had opened the door and allowed Chantal to waltz right in. When the ladies exited the bedroom just in time to see Chantal giving Jake a lap dance, they were rendered speechless. Alice, in a take-charge manner, sprung into action. Like a over-protective eagle, in one-felled swooped, Alice quickly collected Chantal's clothing, extricated the woman from the paralyzed investment banker, and ushered her to the door, promising the performer that the "check was in the mail" before slamming the door in Chantal's face.

The comedy of errors that was Jake's surprise birthday party culminated with the three-alarm blaze.

He gently cupped her face. "As I recall, the couch survived…sorta. And we did get a memorable night at the Hilton." He smiled at her wickedly.

"Yeah…I guess it was almost worth the near-casualty of the couch to take that trip to the Magic Kingdom."

Her last comment produced an even wider smile from him. "How bout we go back to the Magic Kingdom. There are even more sights we need to explore." He said suggestively.

"Lead on, tour guide." She replied.

He obliged, blowing out the candles as the two figures sank onto the bed. It was smoldering in one Chicago apartment this 17th day of September and the heat wasn't caused by a mishap with some candles.

Jake Evans was about to have a birthday celebration that he'd never forget.

The End