"Those two nut jobs are spending the entire first quarter of the next school year in detention." Amanda declared as soon as she picked up the phone later that night.

David laughed. "And a fine hello to you too, milady."

"What were they thinking?!"

David inhaled and let the air back out slowly. As he walked into the living room, he rolled his eyes at his giant dog, currently taking up the entirety of the couch, and flopped down into the lazy boy.

"I've never known them to act like that before." Amanda said, puzzled.

"I've been thinking about it," David said slowly. "I don't have a clue. I wonder though if they weren't honestly trying to figure us out."

"What do you mean?"

He bit his lip, still speaking slowly. "The others are adults; mature enough that they'll probably leave us alone about this all being so… sudden. They get it. But Jade and Dylan? They probably sense that something is off, but I'd guess that they want to believe in love at first sight."

"They're smarter than that. They were just being stupid teenagers, I guess." Amanda sighed. "Really stupid."

"No great mystery there."

"Oh, hey, Daddy, somebody wants to talk to you. Do you have a minute?"

David smiled. "Always."

"Hi, Daddy."

"Hi, Princess. Are you all ready for bed?"

"Uh-huh."

"Good. Should we ask Mommy to put me on speaker tonight?"

"Yeah."

David smiled, because she never said no. So he sang along to Psalms one hundred and listened with Amanda to their daughter's prayers.

"Good night, Mommy. I love you." Olivia said, and David heard the rustle that meant that she was in bed now.

"'Night, sweetheart. I love you too."

"Good night, Daddy. I love you."

"Good night, Princess. I love you more."

Olivia giggled and the next thing that David heard was Amanda's voice. He was off of speakerphone now that Olivia was down for the night..

"Hey, David?"

"Yeah?"

"What Dylan said earlier in Aunt Bea's…"

David closed his eyes, resting his head against the back of the lazy boy, hand over his eyes.

"Did you actually say that?"

David took a deep breath. "At one point, yes."

This wasn't supposed to be a 'real' relationship anyway, so why did admitting this seem wrong?

"Well, I guess that he has us there, doesn't he?"

"Yeah well. Not really. I think that you threw them all off with what you did as we were leaving. And I know that you have Kayla and Victoria convinced. Were you really that upset about a little bruise?"

"A little bruise?" she repeated, her voice high. "That thing covers up half of your face!"

"Nah…" David gingerly touched the bruise in question. "I'd say it's just about a sixth."

"A sixth." Amanda repeated dryly.

He smiled because he could practically hear her rolling her eyes, and answered "Yep. We can handle stuff like that, right?"

"Just don't end up in the hospital, all right?"

"Yes dear." He answered sarcastically.

"Don't make me hang up on you."

"Yes dear."

"David!"

"Yes dear?"

"I will hurt you."

He smirked. "Yes dear."

She huffed. "What are you doing tomorrow?"

"Ye- I don't know. Why?"

"Do you want to come over again?"

"Or you two could come over here. I figured that it's your turn, and, I mean, I keep a dog in the house, but other than that, it's pretty much clean. And I think that Olivia and Duke would like each other."

"Yeah, that'll be fine."

"Great! Anything specific she'd want for a meal?"

"If you make pizza, you'll make her day."

David laughed. "That's my girl. What about you?"

"What about me?"

"We make pizza for lunch. What do you want for supper?"

"Oh, well, I'm fine with whatever."

"Amanda…" he coaxed.

He could just hear another eye roll as she shot off, "Grilled chicken and mashed potatoes, then."

"Deal."

She laughed. She thought that he was joking.

"Whatever is fine."

"All right." He agreed, and then changed the subject. "What time should I expect you here?"


June 9, 2012

David was waiting for them when they pulled up the next morning.

Duke sat next to him, watching with dull eyes. He was a patient dog, and good with kids, but at seven years old, he was old for his breed.

Amanda's mouth dropped open when she emerged out of her car. "David, that animal is huge!"

David nodded with a smile. "Uh-huh."

Duke's tail wagged as he walked beside David towards the two girls.

Olivia's eyes grew to the size of saucers when she looked up at the dog. She yelped and hid behind her mother. Amanda smoothed her hand over Olivia's hair, she herself looking none too certain.

"Don't worry." David said to the dog. "I got that same reception myself. They'll get over it."

Amanda smiled and offered her hand to the dog to smell, asking, "Are you sure that he's safe?"

"Absolutely harmless." David promised.

Duke took an eager step towards Amanda. Olivia squealed, and, deserting her mother, ran to cling to David's waist.

David grinned and hefted her up into his arms. "I promise that he won't hurt you. He's just a gentle giant, that's all." He raised his eyebrows. "And aren't Davids good with giants?"

"Only if they need killed." Olivia answered tersely.

The truth was that David was probably going to have to put the poor guy down soon, but he didn't bring up that fact.

"He's being nice to me." Amanda pointed out.

Olivia looked to be reassessing her opinion of David's pet, so David took a few steps towards Amanda and the dog with his daughter still in his arms. He ran his hand down the dog's back.

"See, he's really nice, I promise. You try petting him now."

Olivia bit her lip, watching Duke intently, although she no longer seemed afraid.

"Hey, I wouldn't let him near you if I thought that he'd hurt you. He's a good guy."

Olivia reached her hand out, but pulled it back in quickly and closely when Duke turned towards her.

"Here." David took her hand in his and ran his hand across the friendly dog's head with Olivia's hand underneath his. "See? What did I tell you?"

His little girl smiled cautiously. She squealed with delight and laughed when Duke licked her hand.

"Silly!" she squealed." He licked me!"

"Those are doggy kisses." David explained with a smile. "It means that he likes you."

"Yeah?" Olivia smiled down at the dog. "Well, he's nice too."

David and Amanda both laughed.


Thanks for reading; please review! Sorry that it took so long for me to get this up!

BTW, a couple of us writers for FictionPress are trying to get the powers that be for these websites to add a Christian Fiction category to FictionPress. If you support this idea, please email the guy at "support ". Thanks a lot!:)