A/N: Hello, faithful readers. As a celebration of me and Reyaa knowing each other for exactly one year, we present the first chapter of a new story, one we swore would never happen as we were done with fanfiction. But...thank goodness for vacations:D Hope you enjoy this and we'll see you in a week for more.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Dublin! The local time is 4:45 pm with temperatures at about 13 degrees Fahrenheit and with slightly cloudy skies. We thank you for flying Ireland Air, and please enjoy your stay." Smirking up at the small speaker above my seat, I quickly glanced around trying to gauge exactly how awake everyone else was around me.
It would make my departure a lot quicker if they would just let me jump past them, but after witnessing some poor guy get whacked in the face by an old blue-hairs purse, I thought I might be better served just waiting for everyone else to get the hell off.
The seats weren't too uncomfortable and I sighed as I leaned back and checked my contact info one last time before getting off the last little bit of comfort zone that I clung to. The moment I got off this plane, there was no turning back when it came to this job. An au pair. Which, come to find out was not some sort of groundskeeper or even handyman. No, basically what the nice older guy sitting next to me had told me was I could look forward to babysitting 70 percent of my day; the rest spent cooking and cleaning for said babysitting charge.
I swear, if I got my hands on that career agent, I was gonna sock him one. But, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I glanced over and noticed that the front half of the plane was now gloriously empty, so I jumped up, grabbed my duffel bag and quickly fell in line and made it off the plane in less than four minutes.
Breathing in the fresh air or as much as would pass through the small space between the door and those tunnel things that extend to the plane, I decided that so far, this wasn't all bad. My shoulders were jostled slightly from behind as I made my way towards the exit area so I could find myself a taxi.
Thank goodness I didn't have to wait for any baggage; everything I owned at this moment was in my duffel bag, including my sadly dwindling wallet. Hence this wonderful new job. It costs money to stay in Europe and if this was the only way to do it, then so be it.
"Hey, can you take me to this address?" I asked a cabby, who reminded me instantly of a ferret, and showed him the slip of paper with Ms. Aerith Gainsborough's address on it. Hopefully, if I understood correctly, she would be paying for my ride from the airport to her house as she was unable to pick me up herself. Let's hope that was true cause I highly doubted that I had enough for half a block, let alone to another city.
After giving me a once over, which I tried not to flush under, the cabby nodded once and opened the door to his car. And I know I'm going to look back now and laugh about this, but was it my fault when he opened the fucking RIGHT side that I forgot about them driving on the wrong side of the road and almost made a fool of myself by getting in?
He shot me a scathing look and I quickly flushed and opened the back door and hopped inside. I rolled my eyes at myself for forgetting something like that. I sure as hell hope this wasn't some sign that this whole thing was going to be some sort of crazy idea gone wrong.
"Holy fuck..." My voice sounded small to my ears after almost an hour inside the small taxi. With my nose pressed against the window, I got my first look at the Gainsborough home. Home? Holy shit, the place was a fucking ESTATE! Like straight out of Beverly Hills - mansion size! This was where I was going to be living and working? For a small town kinda guy like me, it was almost unreal.
The gates opened and I continued to stare like an idiot as we drove up the driveway and stopped in front of some kind of fountain. I blinked as a very nice looking woman stepped down from two very giant doors, smiling as she waited for the taxi to stop. I gulped and gripped my duffel tightly and took a deep breath before opening the door.
"Hayner?" I assumed this was Aerith, her hand up in the air as she waved my way, offering me a kind and gentle smile. Not quite sure who else she expected me to be, but all right. "Hayner Allen, yes?" Her voice was laced with a barely present Irish accent, thankfully, as I'd heard the accent could resemble to sounds of aliens sometimes. She quickly walked over to the cab, sending me another smile as she handed the driver the money before turning so she could give me all her attention.
"Did you have an okay trip? Must have been tiring. I've only flown to America once, if I didn't do it twice it's because it's so very long."
I offered her my hand and gave her my best professional smile. "It was long, but worth it. You have a lovely home." Lovely home? The place was a fucking palace. I tried to keep my self-satisfied smirk off my face, but it was hard. I could totally rock this place.
She pointed her smile up at the mansion, "It was my parents, inherited it along with one of those pots of gold you find at the end of a rainbow leprechauns help you find your way to." She then gestured for me to follow her to the entrance, "I suggest you avoid playing hide and seek with Penelo until you find your way around the place, otherwise she'll win every round."
I nodded and followed her up the stairs, trying to keep my jaw from dropping as the doors opened into a giant foyer, the gay side of me informing me that the flooring was oak and the walls were probably marble. I wasn't too sure about how the Irish viewed homosexuals, but I'd learned to play it close to the vest anyways.
"How old is Penelo?"
"She's eight years old." Halting, she turned towards me again, "Now, I could lie and tell you she's an angel, but she'll make sure to uncover said lie in the first five minutes you meet her." Noticing the eye twitch, she gave me a toothy grin, "Don't get too worried now, she might not be the most behaved child, but she's far from extreme. Currently she wants to become a singer." And now she cringed, "Do you have any idea how hard it is for a mother to tell her daughter she sings off key? My windows shiver every time she belts out a note."
Chuckling at that, I noticed the pictures that hung along the far wall above the fireplace. A small girl, with blonde pigtails mostly, seemed to be the main focus of it all. She was pretty cute, for a kid. And thank goodness she was older, because I wasn't about to be changing diapers and shit.
"She's adorable, ma'am." I said, hoping to look sincere and not like a creeper. Clearing my throat, I went ahead and asked the main question on my mind and hoped not to reveal my complete ignorance about this job. "What can you tell me about my duties?" That should be professional right?
"Oh!" She shoved the duffel bag off my shoulder, taking my arm then and quickly dragging me off to wherever, "Just Aerith, no Ma'am." She instructed, "We're going to the garden. I'd give you a tour, but I'd rather just tell you were everything is located and let you wander off on your own and become familiar with the place at your own pace. Now," She let go off my arm, opening a wooden door further along the wall where the chimney was. Once open, she stepped in, telling me to do the same, and when I did; I realized we suddenly were standing in a garden. She chuckled at my frown.
"The house is shaped as a square, the middle of cut out, so to speak, making space for the garden, so basically you'll find all the rooms circling the garden. Every room has a door that leads to, well, here."
She gestured at the large square shaped garden, cherry blossoms planted randomly around the place, the grass freshly cut, flowers blooming here and there, small benches to sit on and a pond with a couple of fish for a center piece. Walking over to one of the benches, she then started to pour two cups of tea, making me realize she'd already prepared for us to talk.
"Kitchen and living room are on the left. My quarters and Penelo's are at the back. The second living room which we mostly use as an entrance truly, is at the front, which we just came from, and you'll find the guest rooms, one of them yours with a bathroom, on the right side of the square shaped castle, as Penelo likes to call it."
I dropped a couple of sugar cubes from the tray into the tea, hoping that I'd sweetened it enough. It was hard to understand the whole tea concept, and the only way I could down the stuff was super sweet. Nodding along, I glanced around as she was describing things and became more and more anxious about the job. Would I be expected to clean it all or something? And most important, did my room come with a TV?
"I have a maid, her name is Jenny, she comes in twice a week, and a gardener, Jack, who comes twice a month, so you're not expected to do any of that, although I naturally do ask you to clean up after yourself and supervise Penelo when she puts her toys and such away."
She sipped some of her tea, sighing contently, "I go to work early in the morning, but get off at a reasonable hour late afternoon, so while I'll expect you to take care of Penelo in the mornings, getting her up, feeding her, making sure she's got all she needs for school and that her clothes are clean? The moment I get home I take her off your hands." She nodded firmly, more at herself than me.
"You may eat dinner with us in the evening if you'd like, but don't worry, I don't expect you to do this every single evening, or ever if you really don't want too." She smiled at me then, "But I hope you'll be comfortable and find my little family fun enough to hang out with us from time to time during your time off if you've got nothing else to do. I just want you to feel at home."
I could only nod at that, not sure how I felt about it. What did I know about feeling at home with someone I'd just barely met? I was sort of curious about Aerith's husband and the part he played in all of this, but I figured I'd meet the guy whenever. Plus, this actually sounded like something I could handle, feeding and taking care of a kid for a bit in the mornings and what not. Thinking about it a moment longer, I wondered about the downside of this...
"It sounds very good." I said. "I do have my driver's license, so I am able to drive Penelo to school if need be."
"Yes, I do expect you to do this." She placed her cup of tea on the tray before leaning backwards to grab her purse, pulling out a small notepad and a key. "You'll have your own car, it's nothing fancy, but it's in good working order and will do the job. I'll cover the expenses for gas when it comes to driving Penelo to school. I'll need you to pick her up and get her started on homework, entertain her a while until I get home, which is at four thirty in the afternoon. Penelo gets off school at three, and she goes in at nine in the morning."
She handed me the keys. "Don't use it right away, I'm going to have my ex husband, Penelo's father, show you how to work a car on the left side of the road as it may take you a time or two before you get comfortable with the gears."
Then she gave me the notebook, "I wrote down all I expect you to do in here so you can look over them, if you disagree with anything, come to me and we'll discuss it and I'll see what I can do to change it."
She sighed then, looking a tad overwhelmed, "I've only had one sitter before, a girl a year younger than you, and it didn't go so well, so I'm a bit nervous. The company I spoke to that recommended you managed to make me feel a bit more sure about this fit though." She bit her lip, "Okay, enough rambling. Do you have any questions? Anything you'd like to know? Penelo will be home shortly, she's out with my boyfriend right now, and I wanted us to have a moment to speak without interruptions before you met her."
"Um, if you are divorced," I cleared my throat, trying to figure out how to ask this delicately, "Will Penelo be spending time with her father? And if so, will my services be needed there?"
She chuckled, "Yes, I'm divorced. We're on good terms though, so you won't need to worry about any issues there." She shrugged, "My ex husband lives close by, so Penelo spends one week here with me, one week at her dads, back a week with me, etc, etc."
Another sip of her tea, "I personally need you as I just started working, I wasn't before, which is why I hired you. My ex hubby is a farmer, so he's always in close proximity and tends to drag Penelo out into the fields and among the animals, but she's eight now, so he'll soon realize he won't be able to keep her occupied very long by pointing her gaze at a cow. Her attention span has shrunk down to zero."
She grinned, "Basically, it is up to him. If he feels he needs an au-pair, then, much like Penelo, you'll move back and forth between the two houses with her, if not, then you'll stay here and well, wait till she gets back from her dad's."
"That sounds good." Thank goodness there didn't seem to be much drama about the divorce from what she was saying. I didn't really wanna be caught in between that sort of mess. Suddenly, I yawned. Blushing, I covered my mouth and tried to explain. "Er, sorry. I guess it was a longer flight than I thought."
"Jet lag." She nodded knowingly. "Evil bugger, truly. All right, well, I didn't expect you to start working right away, and since it's the weekend, I'll be here to look over Penelo myself while you get to know her a bit before school and work start again." Standing, she pointed at the four doors on the right side of the square, pretty much behind us from where we were located.
"Pick whichever room you prefer, towels under the sink and there's plenty of closet space." Patting my shoulder, she gave me another smile, "I'll leave you to yourself. If you're hungry, don't be shy, find the kitchen and raid the cabinets. Food is included along with the roof over your head, and before I let you go, I was thinking a hundred Euros a week should be good for the job you're doing. Now that I've told you all you'd most likely needed to hear, I shall go off and continue to read my lovely book before my daughter comes home and starts playing that karaoke game of hers again and makes it impossible for me to read another word." And then she was off.
Wow, that woman sure could talk. But I guess it made sense. This was essentially my orientation for a new job and who knew when I'd really be able to talk to her again. She sounded pretty busy. Grabbing my duffel, I picked a random door, and took in a sort of walk in suite with a small couch, TV, and an open door to a bathroom to the side. The giant bed that I could see further in called my name however, and the last thing I remember was kicking my shoes off and hoping the sun wasn't gonna set through my window.
Seifer - the following weekend
Frowning deeply, I stared through the small kitchen door window Aerith's house offered, giving view on the garden.
"When my daughter called me to tell me how excited she was for me to finally meet her new friend you hired to be her babysitter, I thought I had to go and call up a child therapist to have them check her out for imaginary friends, since I know you well enough to know that you, Aerith, never were for babysitters. Yet here I am-" I pointed at my daughter sitting on the grass, talking animatedly at a young fellow listening to whatever it was she was saying while I pointed my own confused gaze at my ex wife standing beside me, "looking at earlier mentioned imaginary friend. Please tell me Penelo lied when she said you imported him from America."
Aerith rolled her eyes at me, and nodded. "He's from America, but it's not like I called over there looking for him. I had the agency send me a couple of applications and his stood out. And Penelo loves him so far, so you be nice."
My upper lip crinkled up, "Well, all right..." A mutter. "You could have just asked me to watch her, you know?" Then again, I had all these cows to milk, sheep to shave and horses to teach how to behave. "Then again..." I puffed out some air, knowing she'd point all that out to me the way I said it in my own head. "Fine. Still though, you could have, I don't know, used the phone? I'm that girl's father, next time warn me when you decide to bring in a-" I frowned, "au-what-you-call-it?"
"Au-pair. And when was the last time you actually answered the phone?" A glare was sent my way as she said that. "I called you twice last week, and all I got was a very long annoyed voicemail message; too long to actually give a care and leave one." She handed me a cup of tea.
I handed it back, "You know I hate tea, Aerith, have ever since I stepped foot in this godforsaken wet country. What is with the weather?" I shouted at the roof, gritting my teeth as those damn rain drops had become a sound I was much too familiar with today. "And I hate the phone too, you know that as well, but my house is what? A ten minute drive away? You could have just come over." I muttered stubbornly, grabbing the freaking tea cup anyways and gulping it down, smacking my lips and pulling a grimace as my tongue felt kinda hot now.
"Seifer, relax. He's been wonderful so far, and it's not like you two will clash or anything. Oh, on that note, I'll need you to give him some pointers about driving on the left side of the road and anything else along those lines. You have all weekend, and don't give me that line about working all the time. I know you hired some help now that you're doing better." She gave me a knowing look.
I snorted, "Teaching a Yankee how to drive on the CORRECT side of the road? What's going on in that brain of yours, woman? My death?" I imitated her father, having overheard him when Aerith's mom told the man to teach me how to drive on the left side when I'd come here in Ireland years back now.
She laughed and shook her head. "Just make sure you leave Penelo with your foreman while you do it. I don't want her to pick up on any questionable language you two might run into." She glanced at her watch. "I've got to get going, call me if you need anything." She kissed my cheek and waved me off.
"Woah!" I shouted, reaching out to grab her arm and stop her, "You just gonna leave me with him and fend for myself?" I nervously looked back at my daughter and the au-something. "What am I gonna do with him?"
"Dear lord." She gently removed my hand. "He's not a child. Man up, and just collect them both. He knows what is expected. Just, talk to him. I'm sorry, but I've really got to go. Good luck!"
Eyes wide, I watched her walk off willy nilly, "See, I had good reasons to divorce your ass!" I shouted after her, which only got me another laugh on her part. Rolling my eyes at her retreating figure, I put the freaking tea cup away and pursed my lips back at the scene that created a large obstacle in my very comfortable routine. What the hell was I gonna do with him? Grumbling under my breath, I pushed the door open, stepping out into the garden. If I couldn't figure it out, I'd just leave him in Penelo's capable hands.
"Hey baby girl!" I called out, forgetting my discomfort for the moment as I grinned at the little thing with two blond pig tails for a mop of hair, her pants as always, twice her size.
"Daddy!" She squealed, and jumped up to give me a hug. Thank god she was still at an age that it was deemed okay for her to still hug me. I knew it couldn't last forever and I dreaded the teenage years. "Are we going to your house now?"
I held her close, closing my eyes and breathing in deeply. Weeks were forever without her. "We sure are. You got all the things you wanna bring with you?" Giving her a quick kiss, I set her back down, smiling as she nodded at me and pointed at the bag the au-thingy was holding. Okay, now, I had to be nice. Aerith said I had to be nice. I was gonna be nice. Determined, I tried to make myself look friendly as I stuck my hand out towards him.
"I'm the dad. Would have introduced myself sooner had the ex wife told me you were here in the first place." Wait... I frowned at my most likely rude sounding tone, my daughter giggling at my side.
"He's not very good at meeting new people." Penelo said, saving my ass.
The young man gave me a pleasant smile, and stuck his hand out in return. "Nice to meet you. I'm Hayner, Penelo's au pair, as I'm sure you've heard." He had soft brown eyes, with seemingly wavy but at the same time short dirty-blond hair. Dressed in simple cargo shorts and t-shirt, he didn't really seem the babysitting type.
"Hayner. I'll remember. Au-" I wrinkled my nose, "Why the f don't they just call you a babysitter?" I shook my head, not needing an answer. "Right, so I'm Seifer Almasy, the dad as I said earlier. I'm not good with new people, but as the situation has it, I'm sorta gonna have to try. Excuse me if I misstep on occasion, I'm sure my smart ass of a daughter will correct me when I'm being rude." Giving him a nod, I pointed towards the exit. "I'm supposed to bring you along so I can show you how to drive on the wrong side of the road."
He laughed, and nodded, grabbing a small duffel bag as he prepared to follow me to the car. "It wasn't too bad when I tried it on my own this week, but I could certainly use the practice." He pushed his hair out of his face and asked in a slightly hesitant voice, "So, um, I'm not sure what to expect at your place. Can you give me an idea about what you'll need me to do?"
"Well, I didn't actually know I was bringing you along when I came here to get Penelo." Picking up Penelo, I tossed her onto my shoulders, happy to hear her laugh as she settled herself there comfortably, pressing her nose against my forehead when I bent through my knees to make our way through the door. Making my way out of the house, I gestured for him to step out first before locking up and shoving the key onto the outdoor lantern. "I figure we'll just start with the driving and, err, well, you can tag along while-"
"We feed the horses, ride the horses, milk the cows, shave the sheep and shovel the stables!" Penelo declared loudly, leading me to pat her on the leg, looking over at Hayner.
"That. I never had a babysitter before, so I don't know if I actually need one, but you're welcome to stick around and see if I do."
Giving me another smile, he nodded. "And I don't mind helping out if you need it. Mainly, I'm just here as a sort of child monitor while you work, I guess. Keep her occupied with parent approved activities. And I'll take her to school during the week and everything."
I pursed my lips, the frown fading some, "Your own personal driver, eh?" I tickled Penelo, "Not bad. Well, my house is certainly not as huge as Aerith's, but I got a room you can stay in. You won't get your own TV and bathroom though, but so long you don't tell me what happens before it happens in movies..." I said pointedly, smirking up at my daughter, "We can share the TV."
He cleared his throat and added, "I don't mind running any errands you need me to either. Just think of me as a glorified lackey."
I chuckled, "Yeah, I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that. Aerith is the one that grew up with the maids and the gardeners and the au-what the hell and you know the shebang and jazz?" Lifting Penelo off my shoulders, I opened the door of my truck, tossing her in the way she liked it, earning me another laugh before I pointed at the seat belt and went on to surprise myself as I opened the door for Hayner before moving over to the driver's side of the car.
"I do think you driving her to school will come in handy, her hours sort of bump awkwardly with my working schedule."
"Well, it's the least I can do. I sometimes feel a little under-used. She's a pretty awesome kid." He grinned down at Penelo and gently pulled on a pigtail. "We're already friends, right kid?"
She nodded vividly in my direction, "He runs really fast and found really good hiding spots and when I'm being really good and I'm very, very tired? He sometimes gives me the answers to my math homework." I raised an eyebrow, smothering a smirk.
"All that, huh?" Starting the engine, I drove out of the driveway, happy to take my girl home.
"Dude..." Hayner groaned, and shot me a hesitant smile. "Totally outed to the parents, kid."
She smacked her hands over her mouth, "Oh! I wasn't supposed to tell that, was I?"
I laughed, "She really sucks at keeping secrets, so if you don't want to get ratted out by accident, just don't tell her." I couldn't help but notice how often Hayner seemed to smile at me. Seemed like a pretty easy going guy.
"Noted, thanks. So, you own a farm?"
Following the road somewhat automatically as I'd driven it so often, I nodded, "Yeah. Started working there right before the squirt was born and I'd just gotten married to Aerith. The owner was pretty old, didn't have any family and so when he died, I got the surprise of the farm being mine all of a sudden." I shrugged, glad for it now as it gave me a stable place to be, allowing me to stick around in Ireland and remain close in Penelo's proximity. "Hard work, but nice too. How'd you get in the kid business?"
"Well, to be honest, I wasn't sure what exactly an au pair was. And I really needed a job at the time. Things just sort of aligned this way." He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Probably not the best way to start a job, but I've had some experience with kids in the states and I figured Irish kids couldn't be that different, right?" He glanced at me, eyebrows raised.
I grimaced, "Oh, no, they're horrible." Penelo smacked my shoulder. "Don't worry, sweetheart, you're only half horrible."
Hayner perked up and asked, "So yeah, you're from the states? Where?"
"California..." I sighed, "I so miss the sun..." I whined. "God-"
"forsaken rain!" Penelo finished.
Rolling my eyes with a smile, I looked at Hayner quickly, "How about yourself? Not home sick, right?"
He shook his head quickly. "Not even close. Ireland is amazing." His smile was huge as he glanced out the window. "I mean, look at all this green!" Waving his hand out the window, he shot me a sympathetic smirk. "Must be all the rain."
I chuckled, "Oh jeez, a rain lover." Had he not answered me on purpose? Now I wanted to know where he was from... "Oh, hey, Penelo, Princess Sparkle Bubblegum got her baby." Hayner glanced over her head at me, an eyebrow raised in question. "Err, that's a cow... She named it and I can't remember why I let her. She made me put it on the leather neck holster and everything, so now every time I got clients coming in to check out the merchandize, I have to man up and introduce my cow named Princess Sparkle Bubblegum."
I could tell he was trying not to laugh as his teeth were holding onto his bottom lip and his eyes were crinkling around the edges. "Um, that sounds like an awesome name. Really." He snickered.
"Oh sure, side with her, that'll make my life easier." I grinned, nodding at Penelo when she started pulling on my sweater sleeve rather hectically. "Yeah, don't do that, you know I don't like it, it makes me nervous, what, what?"
"Can I go see the baby?"
"Yeah, otherwise I wouldn't have told you." Sliding the truck to a halt before my house mainly made out of wood and large stone bricks, I laughed softly as Penelo shot out of the car, suddenly no longer finding the seat belt too complicated. Getting out of the car myself, I waited for Hayner to do the same, "The house isn't too big, but the land and stables are, sort of what counts on a farm."
"Wow. It's really awesome!" Ah, the American way of looking at things. Turning to look at me, he grinned. "I've never really been on a real farm before, so forgive my total ignorance of it all."
He's so cheerful... How's he do that? "S'okay. You're legal age right? Want a beer?" It's only after I suggested it that I realized Aerith would kill me for offering a drink to our child's babysitter, but, eh... "Come on in." I added, making my way across the gravel path, throwing my front door open and quickly stepping aside so the two great Dane hounds could rush out. "They're cool."
Hayner paused, thinking about something. "Oh yeah! I'm totally legal here." He chuckled. "Forgot about the whole younger age limit here in Europe. Pretty nice, but I'll wait a bit til Penelo goes to bed, if that's okay. Not sure about drinking while she's awake." I nodded, stepping inside while patting the dogs their heads as I went for the kitchen.
"I'm not sure what to do with you." I confessed, pulling the fridge door open to see what else I had for him. The house was pretty much one big large open space, bedrooms and bathroom aside, which found themselves on the upper floor, otherwise the living room, kitchen and dining area were all downstairs, no doors separating them.
"Well, I'm pretty low maintenance. If it makes you feel any better, I usually wouldn't work the weekends and I can stay out of your way if need be." I could tell he was feeling slightly awkward about it now as well.
Closing the fridge I turned to give him my attention, crossing my arms and leaning back against the kitchen counter while kicking off my shoes, knowing Penelo would be back sometime soon. I frowned at the hole in my sock, revealing the tip of my large toe. Anyway.
"You know what, it's all good, we'll just focus on the driving thing, and you can just hang around here and check out the farm." I didn't want to make him uncomfortable. I remembered when I'd gotten here as an exchange student, kinda weird being in a foreign country, surrounded by people you don't know. Back then I knew I wasn't in any kind of position to do much about it, except hope the people around me would make an effort. Which is what I found myself in now, I needed to show him I wasn't too bothered with his presence here. Be nice.
"Don't worry about the squirt; she knows her way around here. She'll be back after she's checked out the baby." I assured, "You can just relaxed a bit, or try to anyway, I promise the couch is as comfortable as it looks." I pointed at the thing planted in the middle of the room, several blankets thrown haphazardly across it, coffee table in front of it, Penelo having decorated my TV with hello kitty stickers to break the earth tone coloring I had going on in my house.
He glanced over at the couch and nodded, letting me know that he understood. "Um, actually, can you point me to where I'll be staying? I'll put my stuff away, and if you want, I can give you a hand with dinner?"
I grinned, "Upstairs, second door on your left. As for dinner? It's pizza night, if I break the tradition of getting a pizza delivered, Penelo will throw a hissy fit."
He gave me another one of his frequent smiles. "Sounds good. I'll be back in a minute. Thanks." Turning, he made his way up to his room. Tilting my head up, I scratched my neck absently, raising an eyebrow as I caught myself checking out his behind. All right then, that might be a tad nicer than Aerith wants me to be. Clearing my throat, I quickly went to find the phone for the pizza.
Hope you are liking it, and look for chapter two, next week:D