If lovin' you is wrong: nine months, two reasons

Disclaimer/Author's Notes: Kim Possible and all the characters of the show are owned by the Disney Company. The original lyrics to the songs referenced in this story and the music are the property of the respective authors, artists and labels. All other characters can be blamed on the author (he, however, is not responsible for all of their actions at all times, being barely responsible for himself most of the time).

This is a strictly not-for-profit, just-for-fun work.

Enjoy! Please read and review.

A/N Forward:

Tara, Wade, Kathrine, and more to come…including Ned and Bonnie...

Thanks in advance for reading, and please review.


Chapter 2: ...and one to three...


If Bonnie Rockwaller-Rorem had been any happier, she would have exploded.


She had walked into the gynecologist office, worried that she was going to hear that her father's 'play' was going to cause her more pain, and she walked out on air.

James Rockwaller IV ('After Kim told me her father's name, I laughed, and she didn't know why: how could two men with the same name be so different?' she thought, walking into the doctor's office) had almost killed her: not literally, but emotionally, with what he had done to her from the time she was five years old, just after she started kindergarten and was given her own luxurious room in the re-done basement , until she was 13, when the scars and burns couldn't be hidden in the middle school showers. His constant abuse began the first night she had moved into her bedroom ('he had called it 'christening the room,' she remembered his exact words) and continued, turning her into a self-centered 'Queen B' towards all of her friends, but it took her 'worst friend/best enemy,' Kim, to turn her around. That trip to the Lazy C was the turning point, and meeting Rebecca Jane Casey was the catalyst that began her redemption.

If having Rebecca Jane as the 'big sister' she'd never had in Connie and Lonnie wasn't good enough, having Rebecca Jane teach her 'what's important' opened her eyes to the man of her dreams: Ned Rorem, the then-assistant manager at Bueno Nacho. She had been driving through every morning for months her junior year and never consciously realized that he was always there with a smile and her coffee or juice. It took her until November of her senior year to realize that she had more money than she was supposed to, based on her budget, and it took her reviewing her charge cards to realize that she had only been charged for about 10 per cent of her items at Bueno Nacho over the past 15 months, even though she had given Ned the same card each time.

She went to the store, intending to confront and scream at Ned for screwing up her credit.

What she got was an entirely unexpected response from him.

She pulled up, stopped her car, got out, and stormed into the store.

"Good morning, Bonnie," Ned was behind the counter, and the only customer in the store was leaving as Bonnie entered. "What can I get for you this wonderful morning?"

"Some answers," she held up her credit card bill, and Ned gulped: he knew it was going to happen, sooner or later, but he still wasn't ready for the look of anger on her face.

"Where are my charges? What have you been doing to my credit card, Ned?" The other employee pushed Ned away from the counter and toward the opening that separated the serving and dining areas.

"Bonnie," Ned began, but Bonnie was on a roll.

"What the heck were you thinking? Where's the manager-on-duty? I wanna file a complaint!"

"Bonnie, shut up," Ned's calm voice shocked Bonnie, and he reached up and guided her to a table and a seat, where he held the chair out for her to sit. He took his seat across from her, held up his hand to stop her from talking, and he began.

"Bonnie, I bought your coffee and things," he started, and Bonnie's jaw dropped.

"You did WHAT!"

"I paid for your coffee, your Danishes, your juice and your bottled waters, Bonnie. The only times I didn't were when the manager was around and I had to charge your credit card, otherwise I would have bought them all," Ned's response shocked Bonnie, and she couldn't think of anything to say except:

"Why?" and her voice was significantly calmer and softer, and Ned smiled.

"Bonnie, you are so beautiful, that the first one was easy: you smiled when I handed you your coffee, and I fell in love with your smile in an instant. The next day, I handed you back your credit card and no receipt: you didn't notice, and I charged my card with the bill.

"Everything I'd heard about you was wrong, Bonnie," Ned continued. "Everyone said that you were mean; that you were a real 'Queen B', but you treated me with respect: heck, Bonnie, you were nice to me, and it happened," he reached his hands across the table and took hers

"I had fallen in love with Bonnie Rockwaller, and I couldn't tell her how I felt," he admitted, and Bonnie's brain went into total confusion overdrive. "I experienced Heaven when you drove up, and it was Hell when you left. So, I figured that the only way I could experience Heaven here on Earth was to pay for your coffee.

"Yes, Bonnie, I fell in love with you, and I wanted to tell you for so long, but I was scared of what you'd say, and saying 'I love you' isn't appropriate across a drive-through window, don't you think?" he laughed, and she laughed with him.

"I figured that you thought that I was a loser, working in fast food," he smiled sadly, "so I wanted to make sure before I told you anything.

"I'm a student at Upperton University's College of Business Administration, working on my business degrees. I plan to get both my BBA and MBA at the same time, in the next four years: I've been going to college and working, so it's taking me a bit longer, but meeting you has made it all worthwhile. I want to open a restaurant, maybe two or three: I know what will sell, and I've been in the business since I was a sophomore in high school.

"So, Bonnie, when can we tell your parents that we're a couple?" Ned laughed, and Bonnie was in too much shock to even speak.

'How could I fight his logic?' Bonnie laughed to herself when she opened her car door. 'Besides, he was sooo cute,' she giggled as she started her car and backed out of the parking space with a song in her heart and Ned on her mind…

She remembered the dates she'd had with Ned in high school ('and, Zowie, could that boy kiss: he put Brick to shame on the first date!'). Then, she had moved out of the house after graduation, got an apartment of her own ('no sisters: YOWSAH!'), and started college in Middleton, staying close to Ned so she could have someone to encourage her. She transferred to Upperton College so she could have a good reason to move to Upperton, 'like I needed a good reason to move closer to him,' she laughed when she pulled up at the stop light.

Ned had moved up in the ladder at Bueno Nacho. By the time the two of them were finishing up their final years in college, Ned was the Regional Manager for the Southern Colorado Region for Bueno Nacho, with five district managers reporting to him and over 30 stores reporting to them. He was having fun at work, busy at school, but his heart, he told Bonnie, was with her for the rest of his life.

She rolled over and kissed him. She had had a hard time trying to get him to sleep with her, but he had agreed only if all that they did was sleep, with some occasional kissing and snuggling. He had finally gotten her to tell him what her father had done to her, one long night that started at seven pm. and had them watching the sunrise on his balcony in Upperton, Bonnie's blouse totally ruined with both of their tears.

"I'll kill him, Bonnie," he said so matter-of-factly that Bonnie was frightened.

"Don't worry, BonBon, I won't, but it felt good to think it, if only for a moment," he pulled her to him and kissed her forehead. "You never have to go back there if you don't want to," he assured her…


…but, he was with her when she rang the doorbell, wearing her engagement ring, Ned holding her hand.

Lonnie opened the door.

"What do you want, loser?" she snarled, and Bonnie smiled.

"Is Dad home? Ned and I have an appointment to meet him here at 2:00 PM, and it's." she looked at Ned, who nodded, "that time."

"He's in his study: you know the way," Lonnie ignored Ned, and he smiled and nodded at her as walked in, his future in one hand and a small, thin, leather portfolio in the other.

Bonnie looked scared, and Ned squeezed her hand.

She knocked, and he opened the door.

"Bonnie!" James Rockwaller IV smiled and hugged his daughter, and Bonnie resisted the urges to flinch and spit in his face.

He looked at Ned quizzically. "And, you are…?"

"Ned Rorem, sir," Ned extended his hand, and James dutifully ignored it.

"What do you need, Bonnie: money, car, clothes? My checkbook is open, you know that."

"Nothing material, Daddy: in fact," she opened her purse and pulled out a wad, "here are all of the credit cards back. I have my own, now, and I won't need these anymore.

"That, Daddy, and we have something to tell you and Mommy," Bonnie continued, and James pushed a button. A few moments later, Mrs. James Rockwaller IV opened the door.

Bonnie turned when she heard the door open. "Hello, Mother," she smiled a faux-smile.

"Bonnie!" Mrs. Rockwaller walked over to her daughter and hugged her.

"And, who is this young man?" She asked.

"His name is Ned Rorem, Momma, and he's my fiancée," Bonnie replied calmly and held out her right hand.

James paled at the ring, and he glared at both Bonnie and Ned. Then, he got a self-serving look on his face.

"So, you want to marry my daughter, eh? You know you'll need to sign a pre-nup; you can't sponge off of our family, and you can't have any of Bonnie's money, of course," James smiled as he returned to his chair behind his mammoth desk.

"That won't be necessary, sir," Ned replied, and James stared at him.

"And, why, pray tell, is that?"

"I have a job, sir, and I'm finishing my BBA and MBA this spring. I have offers, and I have a business plan for my own future, as well.

"Where do you work, son?"

"Bueno Nacho, sir."

"Fast Food flunky isn't enough to support a family, son," James smiled, "or didn't you learn that at your fancy-shmancy college?"

"Ned's Regional Manager for the Southern Colorado Region of Bueno Nacho, Daddy," Bonnie retorted.

"So? A low five-figure salary still won't be enough to live on, BonBon," and Bonnie winced.

"Actually, sir, it was mid-five figures base last year, and low six figures last year with bonuses," Ned replied, and Bonnie was more than a bit surprised at Ned's revelation. She knew that he didn't live like most college students, but she had never asked how: she assumed that he was getting help from his family.

"So, you have a job," James smiled, "but, what's your backup plan, your 'Plan B' for the economic hard times, just in case, or didn't your parents teach you that you needed one?"

"Yes, sir, they taught me well, and so did my uncle."


"So?" James pressed. "What's your plan, son?

"My Naco royalties, for one," Ned replied, and Bonnie's head snapped in Ned's direction.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you, Bonnie, but it was part of my agreement with Bueno Nacho that I can't tell anyone but family, and I just got their approval this morning to tell you and your family since we were engaged."

"How much?" James asked, and Bonnie looked on, curious.

"I've paid for college and graduate school at Upperton University with five percent of my royalties, sir," Ned held up the portfolio in his hand. "I have financial information in here, if you're interested, but my attorneys and accountants told me to tell you that 'I have to see your same information;' some sort of a quid-pro-quo, I was told," he opened his portfolio and pulled out a single sheet of paper. "I have the document here for your signature, sir, if you wish to take care of this now," and James snatched the paper out of Ned's hand, read it, and ripped it neatly in two.

"I guess that answers your question, son. Now, let's see those numbers," James grinned.


Bonnie was shocked, both by her father's actions and Ned's response.

"NO?" James' voice was louder; not a shout, but forceful nonetheless.

"No, sir, you may not see them."

"Then, you may not marry my daughter: case closed," James sat back in his chair, a smug look on his face and a very small gasp coming from his wife, who was now at his side behind the desk

"Then, sir, the rest of this will have to become public," Ned replied.

"What will have to become public?"

"What you did to my Bonnie," Ned replied calmly, and Bonnie braced herself for the explosion.

What came was not expected.

James and his wife laughed.

"Bonnie, you know that everything we did was out of love," her mother laughed.

"Mom, you beat me when I told you what Dad was doing to me and told me not to tell anyone," Bonnie's tears had blown the dam, and she was yelling and sobbing at her parents. "Dad, you told me you loved me, every time you raped me: that's not love for a seven-year-old!"

"Well, it happened," James stood and shrugged his shoulders, "and no one will believe you if you say anything: it's the word of a lonely, sick, broken-down girl who had too many bed partners in high school, and now she's looking for someone to blame her illnesses on."

"I'm not taking your monkey, Daddy!"

"That's not what you said, all those nights, Bonnie: remember?"

Ned was squeezing his portfolio; he was afraid that, if he dropped it, he would attack James: right then and there.

"You used to like 'playing with the monkey,' as I recall," James smirked as he continued. "You liked it for several years, if I recall correctly, so don't go blaming me for your problems, child: you made your own bed, so to speak," he crossed his arms on his chest.

Bonnie ripped away from Ned and ran, sobbing uncontrollably, from the study toward the front door.

"I assume that she won't want to return, after that performance, so I will say good-bye, Mr. And Mrs. Rockwaller. Thank you for your daughter," Ned smiled. "She's a wonderful young woman, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with her.

"Not without showing me those financials, Nerd," James snarled and stepped from behind his desk and toward Ned.

"I don't think so, sir, and it's Ned, sir, not Nerd," Ned replied, taking steps back to the study door.

"You aren't leaving here without showing me those numbers and signing over half to me," James took steps toward Ned.


"If you want to ever see Bonnie again, that's why: I can make sure you never see her again."

"And, Daddy, just how to you expect to be able to do that?" Bonnie's voice made Ned turn his head in the direction of the speaker.

James' face lost all color. Bonnie was standing in the open study doorway, but she was not alone. Four uniformed officers, two female and two male, from the Middleton Police Department, one uniformed individual from the County Sheriff, and two suited members of another organization, were all flanking her.

"James Aaron Rockwaller, IV?" One of the uniformed Middleton Police officers stepped forward, holding an open pair of handcuffs. "You're under arrest for multiple counts of statutory rape, child abuse, and the rest I'll leave to the DA, sir," she snapped the handcuffs on James' wrists with a loud 'CLICK.'

"Based on what evidence?" James' voice was a bit softer, but he was still defiant.

"On this, Daddy," Bonnie reached into the top of her dress and pulled out the microphone and thin wire, and James' head sagged, but shot back up.

"It'll never stand up in court," he replied with a smile.

"It will, sir: Assistant District Attorney James Jefferson," the other plainclothes individual spoke. "Although, after hearing what I heard over the past few months and today, I may have to change my name: you, sir, have sullied the name of James."

"Anita Kerry Rockwaller?" Another Middleton Police officer stepped forward, and he snapped the handcuffs on Mrs. Rockwaller's wrists. "You're under arrest for multiple counts of conspiracy…"


'…Momma didn't care,' Bonnie's eyes moistened as she turned onto the road heading to BonNed's. 'Connie and Lonnie were shocked, surprised, and then they cheered after the police left. They told me that Daddy had done the same thing to them, and they were both happy to see me come along so he'd leave them alone.

'They both kissed Ned's cheeks at the same time, and Ned blushed even redder than Kim's hair!' Bonnie laughed. 'They even asked Ned if he had any older brothers!'

She pulled into the parking lot and her parking space, stopped her car, got out, unlocked the unmarked front door, and went in, locking it behind her.

"Bonnie? Is that you?" The soft masculine voice with that slightly nasally twang that she loved so much came from underneath the bar, and Bonnie's heart both jumped and melted at the sound.

"It's me, Ned: I'm going to order the last of the food for the party, so I'll be in the office," she headed for the restaurant office.

Ned came in 15 minutes later, and Bonnie was sitting at the desk, going over the final items for the order before shipping it off to BBGG Wholesalers.

Ned came up behind her, kneaded her shoulders, groaned when she pushed his hands back up to her shoulders instead of where they were heading down front, and squinted at the screen. "Bonnie, isn't that an awful lot of buffalo for the party?"

"I thought we could use some extra, especially with what's gonna be happening after the first of the year," she continued to review the order and smiled.

"But, that much: what's happening after the first of the year?"

"Well, not so much after the first of the year but for the eight months after that," she spun her chair around, grinning at a confused Ned

The confused look on Ned's face suddenly transformed into a massive smile as he added eight and one.

"You don't mean….?" He whispered, and she nodded.

"The doctor was wrong, I guess, Neddy: four weeks," she stood, and Ned wrapped his arms around his wife and pulled her into a hug that was incomparable.

"Baby, I'm so happy for you," he whispered, and he felt her tears falling onto his shirt.

"I'm happy for me, too," she giggled, "but you do realize what this means, don't you?" She pulled back so she could see his beaming face.


"Cravings," she grinned, and Ned paled.

"Oh, snap," he whispered.

"I'm thinking lots and lots of buffalo," Bonnie smiled, and Ned breathed a sigh of relief.

"Of course, there's no telling what I'll want with that buffalo, darling, and I know you'll be more than happy to cook whatever I want, won't you," Bonnie fluttered her eyelashes at Ned, and he laughed and hugged her at the same time.

"Anything, for my 'Queen B,'" he replied into her hair, and she punched him in the sides.

"Come home later tonight, and I'll show you 'Queen B,' all royally decked out, Ned-meister," Bonnie promised.

Ned grinned and thought, 'Oh, snap.'

Bonnie had never ceased to amaze him...


...'and now, I'm cookin' up more of Slim Possible's Five-Alarm Buffalo Chili,' Ned laughed as he stirred the huge pot in the restaurant.

When Bonnie kept asking Ned for hotter and hotter chili, Ned reached out to the 'net, and Slim Possible, of all people, responded with a recipe that Bonnie fell in love with. Ned had cooked up a big pot of it one cold winter's eve at the restaurant: so many customers asked for 'that wonderful-smelling dish' that Ned and his assistants had made five huge pots of it, and there was nothing left at the end of the evening.

"And, it wasn't because BonBon ate it all, either," Ned laughed, "although, I have no idea where she puts it."

Ned marveled at his wife, and he was amazed at the strength that she had shown during her father's trial. Anita Kelly Rockwaller had pled to lesser charges and testified against her husband, James Aaron. The District Attorney took each individual occurrence and shocked James' defense attorney by handing him a sealed indictment with over 1,200 individual charges of statutory rape along with a more-than-handful of charges of moral turpitude and injury to a child. The DA told Bonnie that her father would never get out of prison if he pled guilty, and he would likely get the death penalty if he went for a jury trial.

Ned witnessed the strength of his bride-to-be during all of the trial phase, but he saw her greatest moment when her father was being escorted from the courtroom after sentencing to his new 'home for life'…


"STOP!" Bonnie yelled, and she pulled Ned to his feet and through the bodies to reach her father, handcuffed and being guided by the court officials.

"Daddy," he lifted his head, his face no longer defiant but defeated, at the sound of his youngest daughter's voice.

"Daddy," she spoke softly, "I will always love you, but what you did to me was wrong. I can forgive you, and I already have, but I can't forgive what you did.

"Daddy, I may never have children because of what you did," and the silence in the courtroom was deafening by this time, "but you're the loser, here, because you won't have grandchildren to hold, to carry on your name, at least not from me," by now, Bonnie's tears were real and flowing.

"Bonnie," James said, and he lowered his head, then lifted it and turned to the officer. "Let's go," he said, and the officer led him away.

When the door closed, Bonnie's ears were assaulted by first the silence and then the applause of everyone in the room. Ned hugged her and held her and told her how proud he was of her, how strong she was.

"Only because of you, my future," Bonnie whispered through her tears, "only because of you."


"Only, because of you," Bonnie smiled as she stood, her veil down, facing her husband-three minutes, "was I able to grow and go further than I ever imagined. Ned, you have been my rock, my salvation, through my hard times, and you could have left at any moment.

"You didn't," she continued, watching the smile on his face and that of his namesake uncle, his namesake, in his wheelchair, his nurse with him. Ned told her that his uncle had wanted to 'live long enough to see his namesake get married,' but his uncle was ecstatic when he met Bonnie.

"Son, you'd better be glad I don't rob the cradle anymore," his uncle laughed, "because if you didn't marry her, I'd sure ask her to share time with an old man," he winked at Bonnie, and Bonnie rewarded him with a kiss on the cheek. He grabbed at his heart and yelled, "'it's the big one, Elizabeth!'" and laughed loud and long. 'Maybe I should write a song for you, dear,' he laughed, and Bonnie blushed.

"...You may kiss the bride," Ned lifted the veil to a vision in white, Bonnie's bronzed skin practically glowing under the now-lifted veil and her smile lighting the heavens, Ned thought.

"Welcome to forever," he whispered, "my caffeinated vision," he added as he placed his lips on hers.

The front two rows could have sworn they heard a muffled laugh coming from the happy couple when they kissed, but they just chalked it up to the moment...


"...and, now, it's chili for Momma," Ned laughed as he stirred.

"Neddy?" Bonnie came into the room, and Ned dropped the ladle into the chili.

"Bonnie, it's snowing outside!" he almost-shouted, because Bonnie wasn't dressed for winter weather in Colorado.

Bonnie was in her favorite swimsuit: the white one-piece that Rebecca Jane had gotten for her, version 4.0 (Bonnie had worn out the other three, but all, including this one were the same size, "and that vexes me so," Kim had told her the last time that they had decided to put their husbands into drool-spin), complete with the hand-prints in the proper strategic places on the back of the suit.

"So?" Bonnie smirked. "I won't get to wear it this summer, so I decided to wear it while I could," she reasoned, and Ned could find only one reason against her logic.

"But, Bonnie, it's cold outside," Ned countered, and Bonnie smiled and pulled her wrap down from her shoulders to keep her and 'the girls' warm.

"Ned, I have an idea for new business: after the response to the chili, I thought we could create a '…coming soon...' menu for women with child," Bonnie said excitedly, and Ned-

"What's on the menu, dear?" Ned's fears were coming to the forefront of his brain: he had already witnessed Bonnie topping her big bowl of the chili with jalapeños, feta cheese, a blackened tilapia fillet, and butterscotch whipped topping, and he's heard one horror story from Kathrine about her mother's meals...

"I'm thinking 'Open Season,' Ned," Bonnie smiled, and Ned's stomach did the Flippies onto his kidney and liver. "We could use the chili as the base, but the customer can have any base protein and toppings that they want from any ingredients on our menu," she grinned excitedly. "Just think, Ned: we'll be pioneers in the business: after hundreds of years, a pregnant woman can go out to eat and get whatever she wants!"

"Do you think it will sell, Bonnie?" Ned asked.


(Tri-Cities Mountain-Times, Friday, March 15, 2030)

TriCity Food Reviewer's corner

BonNed's: no need to 'Beware the Ides of March'

Five forks up

(note: the scale ranges from five forks down to five forks up, up being the sign of really good food)

by April Jennifer Gail

Ladies, it's your dream come true: your dream, that is, if you're pregnant and you have a craving for a buffalo Popsicle dipped in mayo and candy sprinkles. Gents, if you want excellent, real food (think meat, you carnivores!) and at reasonable prices, to boot, and you're looking to score points with the missus, you cannot go wrong with BonNed's, of Middleton: it's an exciting and new restaurant in downtown Middleton, and it's found the perfect combination of customers, marketing, and food that will keep it going for years to come.

It's a place to see and be seen, as well: when we walked in on Saturday night, we were met and greeted at the front by Ms. Bonnie Rorem herself, of the-now-infamous Rockwaller trial. It was obvious where the '...coming soon...' menu idea came from, as Ms. Rorem is just barely showing (and stylishly, I might add, in 1-inch khaki heels, matching the signature khakis that all the staff wore). My party of four, myself included, was seated promptly, and the table next to us was occupied by Dr. Lupe McBride, the President of the Middleton Institute of Science and Technology, her husband, Dr. Eduardo Josef Medrano, and the MIST newest-named Area Chairman, Dr. Wade Load, accompanied by his lovely-and-most-definitely amazing wife Tara Bluem Load and their daughter Kathrine. Ms. Bluem was most definitely here for the '...coming soon...' menu, appearing to be at least three-four months into her pregnancy.

The waitress was energetic and very knowledgeable in the menu options, recommending a pair of excellent and relatively inexpensive wines after listening to our discussions about our dining options.

We took her recommendation for the appetizers: the ubiquitous 'Exploding Onion' and the 'Oysters Rorem', a signature dish of BonNed's. Like everything else here, we were not disappointed: the Onion was easily the largest we'd ever seen, easily serving the four of us all the way through our main courses. Unlike most other locations, it was served on a sizzling plate, and that kept it warm the entire time. Others, take note.

The knowledgeable individual at our table had to explain what the ingredients of 'Oysters Rorem' were. After the gentlemen winced, they laughed and devoured their share when they arrived. The pregnant member of our group laughed and mumbled something about 'payback.'

We each had something different, but every dish that was served came out at the perfect temperature, including the salads, vegetables, and main courses. I ordered the 'Wedgie:' a quarter-wedge of iceberg lettuce that was artfully drizzled with a house dressing, cherry tomatoes and sliced green and red bell peppers, and liberally doused with black pepper. Fair warning: slow the waitress down if you're not a cracked black pepper fanatic.

My male friend drooled over my 10-oz buffalo chicken-fried-steak with, as the menu promised, a liberal dose of Uncle Ned's signature jalapeño-infused cream gravy and gravy served on the side, as well ("for dippin' and soppin,'" the waitress informed me). All it needs is a spoon, in my opinion, even though the buffalo chicken fry is an interesting take on the traditional. The buffalo chicken fry was delicious, but the cream gravy should be outlawed as a 'weapon of mass creation:' my waistline grew as I looked at it. Then, I tasted it, and I told my male friend I was leaving him for the gravy.

Our pregnant member drooled when the waitress explained what the '...coming soon...' menu entails: basically, you can order any protein from the menu and any combination of items that exist on the menu. Since we are a family news outlet, I can't tell you everything she ordered, but she started with a six-ounce grilled red snapper, added streamed red cabbage and boiled new potatoes, topped it with grilled Gouda cheese, and it got strange from there.

Our last party member ordered the Ned bone-in rib eye, and he barely left the bone on the plate. 'Nuf said.

Only one thing to be said about the vegetables: get them, no matter what they are serving that day. The chefs do things to vegetables that make one think that they are all vegetarians, but then the sirloin cut comes out and destroys that illusion. Their take on baby veggies, especially their ABC's order of grilled baby asparagus, beets, and cauliflower, was a favorite. Ned explained that the recipe was an opening gift from Chef Ron (need we say more?), and he treasured the gift of the recipe.

The homemade bread was wonderful, and the desserts were to die for, even after we'd stuffed ourselves.

I returned with some friends from out-of-town (Dallas, to be precise, and all male food critics, to be totally open and honest) for a Thursday lunch, having raved to them about the food.

First, Ms. Rorem was at the desk, and all three of the guys were basket cases (until they were introduced, after dinner, to Ned Rorem, the other half, Ms, Rorem's husband, and the executive chef, brandishing a major-league cleaver). Ms. Rorem received several compliments from these 'Southern Gentlemen' as she led us to our table.

These Dallas food critics went for the jugular: Ned's take on Southern Fried Chicken with cream gravy, Bar-B-Que Beef Brisket, and the Buffalo Chicken Fried Steak for main courses, the Exploding Onion, and dessert...but, we'll talk about that later.

I suspected their reaction would be good when they met Ms. Rorem, but that was only the appetizer to their reaction to the food and drink. Only one of the three liked the Sweet Tea: one stated that it wasn't sweet enough, and the other complained that he could hear his dentist laughing maniacally in the back of his head whenever he took a sip about an upcoming trip to Aruba that my friend was paying for by his tea consumption.

Luckily for us, they all had the lunch portions, because Ned himself informed the restaurant that dessert was part of today's specials with the entrees, and today's dessert was Peach Fried Pie. These poor men had never had Sato's miracle food, nor had they witnessed women swooning over a dessert. They thought all the ladies (and, some of the men) were crazy.

Their minds were changed after the first bite, and their reviews in their home paper were amazing, to say the least: they were all begging for Ned and Bonnie to move to Dallas.

The only complaint about BonNed's is that its gotten too popular, too fast: their first restaurant, still open and thriving in Go City, does not have the traffic that this one has. Ms. Rorem, in an interview after this critic completed the review, told me that they had implemented simultaneous plans to mitigate the waits at the restaurant: one was to open up reservations and pre-ordering over the Net (to allow customers to arrive and be served almost immediately), and the other was to purchase the land and buildings around them for expansion.

If they do as well after expansion, I expect to see BonNed's as popular as restaurants by a certain Gentleman from Old New Orleans.

BonNed's: where the food is wonderful, the service is impeccable, and the chefs cry when they get an order from the '...coming soon...' menu (and Ms. Rorem laughs, she admitted, each and every time she sees the chefs crying).



Author's afterward:

(Kathrine Elizabeth Load) Well. Aunt BonBon, it looks like Uncle 'Neb kept his word.

(Bonnie Rorem) He sure did, li'l dar'lin (giggles). And April: thanks for that wonderful review.

(April Jennifer Gail smiles) It was my pleasure, Ms. Rorem, and congratulations, once again.

(Bonnie Rorem) Thank you.

(Wade Load) It's about to get even more interesting, folks.

(Kathrine Elizabeth Load scrunches her face) Yeah, Dad, like a root canal. Does it have to go like this?

(Tara Load) That's what happens, dear, when you are the smartest one in the class: there are always jealous students.

(Kathrine Elizabeth Load grins evilly) Dad, can I take the BE4700 to school for show and tell?

(Wade laughs) No, Kathrine, you may not vaporize your enemies or your classmates.

(Katherine Elizabeth Load sulks) Darnitall, Geritol, Oxydol, and Trix...

(Tara Load) No fair quoting from the 'Yale Lampoon,' dear darling daughter, just because your father does it all the time

(Wadebot) Bingo in the 'bot lounge, guys, (and the Wadebots all head for the lounge).

(Wade) Ned, are you all right after Bonnie's idea?

(Ned laughs) I'm fine; I had to install several fireproof tissue boxes and trash receptacles in the kitchen for the chefs, though: when they first would read the orders from the '…coming soon…' menu, they cried. They're much better, now.

(Kathrine leaves, and Tara grins) Wade, you laughed about the HFac with Kathrine at Christmas, and now…

(Wade smiles and groans) I know, Tara: she's growing up...but I don't have to like it!

(Tara smiles) Neither does she, hubby, but it's as certain as Jim, Tim, and the explosions we had back in high school.


Thanks for reading, please review, and fair warning: don't drop by either the Load or Rorem homes for dinner for a few months unless you have a very strong stomach… the restaurant is safe, however.


Mon-speak translations:

HFac – Hormone Factory

BonNed's – Chain of restaurants owned by Ned and Bonnie (Rockwaller) Rorem; the first opened in Go City, and the second is now open in Middleton.

QuarterVersary – the three-month anniversary after an event.

RMO – Rocky Mountain Oysters

MIST – Middleton Institute of Science and Technology