Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 33


"Nothing to sniff out," Tanya smiled. "All the plans were in my head. I didn't have a single list lying around. Davida had all the physical evidence in her possession. Morgan won't even talk to her."
"Why not?"
"Have you ever met Davi?"
"No."
"You will tonight," Molly laughed. "Oh, will you ever!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Duke was dying of curiosity now.
"It means, you'll be meeting her tonight," Molly laughed again. "Don't worry about it."
Everything had been planned carefully and assignments were given to each member of Molly's family. Cullen and his band were on time and set up on the lanai. The girlfriend was a pretty, petite girl with multicolored hair and lots of piercings in her ears and eyebrows. She was a friend of Duke and Finn, as well as their uncle. More than once Tanya caught Duke watching her with something akin to longing.
"You okay?" She leaned over, asking him as he unplugged the vacuum.
"I dated her for about five minutes. She met Cullen and shwing! He snagged her right out of my arms. I wanted to deck him."
"Why didn't you?"
Duke's expression was tortured. "He doesn't ever do it on purpose," he sighed. "Chicks dig rock stars. Admit it, if you had met Cullen first, would you have looked twice at Morgan?"
"Honest opinion?"
"Yeah."
"He'd have been a great self-destructive fling of hot sex and a crazy, wild ride. I'm much happier with what I have, thanks. You know what your problem is?"
"Do tell," Duke sighed, prepared for the worst.
"You let him do it."
"I what?"
"You expect and anticipate that the girls will like him better, so you don't try to compete. Have you looked in a mirror lately?"
Duke gave her a quizzical stare. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means, Duke, that you're gorgeous and if I'd met you first, Morgan and Cullen both would have had a fight on their hands." She smiled, nudging him with her knee. "So lighten up on yourself, huh?"
"For real?"
"Absolutely," Tanya smiled, kissing his cheek. "Now come help me blow up more balloons."
A few minutes later, Molly took her aside. "What on earth did you say to Duke? I haven't seen him smile that much since Sabrina hooked up with Cullen."
Tanya told her and Molly laughed heartily. "Oh, no wonder he looks like a fluffed up peacock! That was clever, Tanya!"
"And true," Tanya said with a giggle. "I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice, your sons are very attractive."
"Aren't they a tad young for you?" Molly gave her a sidelong look, not sure what to think.
"More stamina," Tanya said. "But I'm not interested in a younger man. I like the one I've got just fine."
"Good, otherwise I was gonna have to smack ya." She winked.
Molly liked Tanya, and thought she was the best thing that had ever happened to Morgan. In fact, she was one of the best things to happen to the entire family. For a close knit group like theirs, someone like Tanya fit right in by making her own space. She didn't mind their eccentric ways or ridiculous humor. Tanya was fast becoming the sister Molly had always wished for.
The guests started arriving at six thirty, careful to park far away from the house. By the time Hal's car pulled up in the driveway a few minutes after seven, family and friends had all gathered. They found hiding places and waited.
Morgan walked in first. Tanya greeted him with a hug and kiss. He looked around expectantly.
"I thought you were fixing dinner."
"I changed my mind. I thought we'd eat out. Hal would you like to join us?"
"Love to," Hal raised an eyebrow.
"Great! I want a drink first."
She kissed Morgan again, leading him into the living room. Hal trailed in their wake. When they walked into the other room, everyone came out of hiding, yelling, "Surprise!"
Morgan's jaw dropped open, his eyes bulged and he nearly fell on the ground laughing. He was well and truly surprised for the first time in his life.
"No one has ever given me a real surprise party! I mean, they tried! How did you do it?" He drew Tanya into his arms, kissing her deeply, regardless of anyone around them.
"I had help," she giggled when he finally stopped. "I couldn't have pulled it off without Hal, Davida and Molly."
"Hal? You knew about this?"
Hal blushed, accepting a beer from Duke. "Yeah, well, I got suckered into it. I thought for sure we'd lost the element of surprise, when I didn't get to the right house this morning. Then she started talking about it right in front of you!"
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

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