I know, it's been way too long. I'd love to actually have time to post more often. Sorry!
"Luke, ya want some lunch?" Daisy called to him in the living room.
"I've only got about a half hour before I have to leave for therapy." He appeared in the kitchen. "Have ya heard from Bo?"
"He'll be here. He's been taking ya to therapy everyday since he got here, and he ain't missed an appointment with ya, yet, has he?"
Luke shook his head. "I just thought he'd be back by now." He tried to move his wheelchair around the table, but the chairs were in the way. Frustrated, he bumped the wheelchair into one of them a couple of times until Daisy moved it out of his way.
"You've got some time. How about I make ya a sandwich?"
"Believe it or not, Daisy I can make myself a sandwich."
His tone was sharp, and Daisy turned to him. "Then, Honey, I guess your therapist is a miracle worker. She taught ya to do somethin' ya couldn't manage to do in all the years ya lived here. I'm standing here makin' sandwiches. Do you want one or don't ya?"
Her tone matched his and they glared at each other. Luke knew that Daisy could stand there glaring at him all day while he starved, so he gave her the most sarcastic smile he could come up with. "Yes, Daisy. I would love a sandwich, thank you."
She took a large glass that had been purchased for Luke in front of him. He had use of his arms, but the coordination in his hands was still coming along slowly and the larger glass was easier for him to handle. "What do ya want to drink?"
The attitude was gone from her voice, but Luke knew he'd pushed her.
"Coke. Please?" His tone was soft, and she poured some from the one she'd been drinking in his glass.
"Last one. I'll split it with you." As she moved away from the table, Luke reached for her hand. His fingers couldn't close tightly around hers, but he made an effort and she sat down next to him.
"Don't worry about it, Luke." Before he could object, she continued. "Don't expect
me to just take it, I don't think I can do that, but I ain't gonna hold it against you."
"I appreciate that. Actually, I appreciate everything you and Jaime Lee have done for me, Lise, and Mike. And now Kristina. I know I don't say it enough."
"Actually, it's been kinda nice having you around. I love watching Mike and Jess together." She laughed. "Jess will like Kristina a lot better when she can do more then lay around."
"Mike, too. He was all fired up about a younger sister. Till he found out that she wasn't an instant playmate." He laughed. "He keeps asking me what else she does."
"Three year olds don't understand four week olds." Daisy shook her head.
The kitchen door opened and Bo appeared. Luke's expression made him laugh. "What, ya think I forgot ya?" He moved to the table, grabbed the Coke can and drained it.
"BO!" Daisy tried to get it back from him before he finished it, but he was too quick for her.
"I was thirsty." He shrugged. "Get another one, Luke and me gotta go."
Sighing, Daisy looked at Luke, who smiled at her. "Last one, I'll split it with you." He pushed his glass in her direction and they both laughed.
"Hey, cuz, we need to get goin'. We're gonna be late." Bo looked up at the clock before looking at Luke.
"Since when are you so worred 'bout watchin' a clock?" Daisy turned to her younger cousin, but looked back at Luke when he answered.
"Since the new therapist is a real pretty blonde." Luke grinned.
"Maybe I just don't want ya to be late. Seein' as how you're getting down to your last few sessions at the center." Bo tried to defend himself to his laughing cousins.
"Doesn't hurt that this new therapist is the one that's gonna be comin' to the house three times a week, does it." Luke wasn't about to let Bo off easily.
Finally, Bo gave in. "Nope." He grinned at Daisy. "She's really cute. Wait till ya see her."
"Don't go startin' something that Luke has to finish, Bo. We need her to keep comin' around." Daisy poked his ribs playfully before she finished fixing their sandwiches.
"That never stopped him before." Luke laughed. "'Course, I do get the feelin' she thinks he's just as cute."
"I get that feelin', too." Bo grinned at him.
Sighing, Daisy put two sandwiches on the table for the men.
Lisa and Daisy put the full plates on the table just as Bo and Jaime Lee entered the kitchen.
Before Bo's hand could even reach to the table, Daisy smacked it. "When aren't ya?"
"We've been busy." Bo started to defend himself until he realized Daisy was holding a warm piece of fresh bread out to him. Then he grinned at her.
Jaime Lee smiled at the exchange between the cousins before he moved behind her and wrapped his arms around Daisy's waist. "Smells good."
"Lisa did most of the work."
"I was talkin' about you, but the food smells good, too." Laughing, he leaned in and kissed her neck softly.
Shivering, Daisy leaned into her husband and sighed. "I need a nap."
"That's wasn't quite the reaction I was lookin' for." Jaime Lee laughed.
"Well, that's about all I can give ya right now." Daisy smiled and pulled away from him. "Luke's therapist is gonna be here in about an hour, lunch is ready, the kids are up, and Bo's hungry."
"Don't go dragin' me into this." Bo sat down and wiped his hands on his jeans.
Lisa appeared, carrying Kristina while Mike and Jess followed. Bo put Mike in his high chair while Jaime Lee put Jess in hers. Taking Kristina from Lisa, Luke watched the family gather around the table and sit down.
Lisa and Daisy finished the final touches and joined the rest of them at the table. They all waited for Luke to finish saying Grace before starting to eat.
Jaime Lee watched Daisy feed Jess for a moment before turning to Luke. "Everything's ready for……" He forgot her name and Luke nodded.
"Sandy. Thanks, I forget sometimes to thank ya'll for doin' all this."
"I just hope everything is put together right."
Jaime Lee sounded worried, but Bo laughed. "I reckon Sandy'll let us know quick enough."
Lisa sighed. "I wish everything had gotten here sooner. For all of the equipment for Luke's therapy to show up the day before it starts wasn't really good planning."
"Wasn't that bad." Bo tried to make it sound better then it was, but Luke knew the truth.
"I know you two and Cooter were up half the night puttin' it all together." His voice betrayed how bad it made him feel and for a moment they were all quiet.
Finally Daisy laughed. "Ya should'a seen 'em. Standin' around tryin' to decide if they needed another beer or a hammer."
"Yep. Another twelve pack and we could'a put together three of them things." Bo smiled.
"Yeah, three more that would've resembled a picnic table more then what it's supposed to look like." Jamie Lee laughed. "Blind, lead blind and get drunk to make it more interestin'."
Finally everyone at the table, including Luke, laughed.
Lunch lasted a bit longer then everyone had intended, so they only had a few minutes to clean up before Sandy arrived for Luke's first in-home therapy session.
The second Sandy stepped out of her car Daisy knew exactly why Bo liked her. Standing only a couple inches shorter then Bo, Sandy had long blonde hair and big blue eyes. The smile she gave Bo when she saw him told Daisy that Sandy apparently thought the same of Bo that he thought of her.
After brief introductions, Bo pushed Luke's chair to the barn while Sandy followed. As soon as she'd given her approval to everything the men had put together, Bo returned to the house alone.
"So she's the one that can do it, huh?" Daisy stared at Bo, smiling.
"Yep. She says she can get Luke back on his feet."
"I meant she's the one that could actually make you WANT to be on time for SOMETHIN'."
Bo tried to stare at Daisy seriously, but finally he gave up and grinned at her. "She's three years younger then me, likes to watch NASCAR, never been married, been a therapist for over ten years, has four brothers, and has a '70 Chevelle convertible in a garage."
"Wow. That's more then you usually know about a girl after dating her for three months." Daisy shook her head.
"Sounds like love to me." Lisa leaned towards Daisy and whispered loud enough for Bo to hear.
"Love?" The word made Bo choke, which sent both women into a long bout of laughter.
He shook his head. "That ain't what I'm lookin' for."
"Never is, Sugar. It never is." Reaching for Jaime Lee's hand, Daisy pulled him closer to her. "Who would'a thought that Christmas Eve you guys snuck in the kitchen door that we'd all be sittin' here with our kids around the table years later?"
"I would'a thought you'd be using the table to build me a coffin from the way Bo looked at me back then." Jaime Lee laughed.
Bo shrugged and looked down. "I…. I just….."
"Bo, I'm kiddin' ya. I know exactly why you looked at me that way. It's over."
Taking a deep breath, Bo looked at Jaime Lee. "No, it ain't. Not till I tell ya how glad I am you didn't let me scare ya off. You done made Daisy happier then I've ever seen her, and you've done more then your share for our family."
"I appreciate that, Bo." Jaime Lee shook Bo's outstretched hand. "Like I told ya back then, I've always loved her."
"But the rest of us kinda became a really big package." Lisa shrugged. "Bo's right. Just 'cause ya married Daisy didn't mean ya had to jump in and do everything you've done for me, Luke, and the kids."
"Now, stop. Family is family." Jaime Lee smiled at her. "I like havin' a lot of family around. I never did before. I'm sorry for what brought ya here, but I'm glad you're here."
A crash interrupted the moment just before Jess and Mike started crying. The adults left the kitchen and stopped when they reached the living room. Both children were standing around a broken vase. When they realized all the adults were watching, they pointed to each other.
"She did it."
"He did it."
Bo and Daisy turned to each other, both remembering how many times Uncle Jesse had heard the same words from the two of them and started laughing.
"What's on your mind?"
Lisa's voice startled Luke and he shook his head. She was sitting on the bed feeding Kristina and he'd been watching her quietly.
She smiled at his blank stare. "I know, you, Luke. That look. Something's on your mind."
"I'm thinkin' about us. All of us."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that we need to do some thinkin' and figure out some things." He sighed. "We need to start figurin' out what we're gonna do. Sandy says I'll get back on my feet, but we both know that my options for makin' a living aren't gonna be that great."
"Luke, we'll be fine."
"We live in my uncle's house with my cousins and three kids. That ain't fine."
"Luke, you know that Daisy, Jaime Lee, and Bo have-"
"I ain't talkin' 'bout what they done. I know what they done and I know what we owe them. I'm talkin' 'bout the fact that Daisy is sharin' her room with her husband and daughter. We're living in one room with two kids. Bo offered to give up his room to the kids, but that won't solve the fact that we need to decide what we're gonna do. Daisy and Jaime Lee need their own room, we need our own room, and even though Bo's gone a lot, puttin' three kids in one room ain't right, either."
Nodding, Lisa could see where Luke was coming from. "So what are you thinking?"
"I don't know." He shook his head. "We need to start figurin' out a way to get a place of our own."
"And how are we gonna do that?" Her tone was sharp and she shook her head. "I didn't mean it that way. But Luke, we have to be honest with ourselves. You're gettin' a bit of pension, but it barely pays to put in for groceries. Jaime Lee, Daisy, and Bo are the ones payin' the bills around here. We can't afford to just up and move."
"I know that." His tone was also sharp. "Sandy says there's a rehab center in Capital City that I might be able to get work from. Workin' with other people that have been through what I been through. Said she'd put in a word for me if I'm interested. The land here is mine – well, all three of us. But if we wanted to build somethin' for ourselves on it, Daisy and Bo'd be alright with it." Moving his chair closer to the bed, he put his hand on her leg. "I'm not sayin' we'd be able to do it tomorrow, but at least it could be a plan if that's what you think you could live with."
"Of course I could live with it." Lisa smiled and took his hand with her own. "I wasn't jumpin' for joy at the thought of leavin' Colorado, but I love it here. Everything you told me about growing up here was true."
"Then we get started on it."
Over breakfast Luke told Bo, Daisy, and Jaime Lee what he and Lisa had decided. As he expected, they were more then happy for him and Lisa. In a matter of minutes, they were discussing plans for the house and how they were going to start building.
"Now, hold on a sec." Luke held his hands up and silenced his cousins and Jaime Lee. "I'm not asking ya'll to spend all your time and your last dollars for us. You've already done that for us and that's more then enough."
"We don't mind, cuz." Bo shrugged. "You and Lisa want a place to yourselves, so that's what we're gonna do."
"I mind, Bo." Luke shrugged and his voice lowered. "I feel like ya'll been carryin' us for too long, now. Sandy's gonna help me get a job in a rehab center, and we'll start carryin' some of our own weight around here."
"Now Luke," Moving to stand beside him, Daisy put her hand on his shoulder. "Stop thinkin' like that. We're family. Bo and me can't count the times you've helped the two of us."
"Daisy's right." Bo nodded. "Way we see it we're just doin' what we always done. What Uncle Jesse taught us. We take care of each other."
Hopefully I'll get at least another chapter of Waited Too Long up in the next few days. I'm sorry it's been so long.