“So, Andy, this is what you settled for? The daughter of Travis. Freaking. Jones.” She looked Danae up and down with disgust. “I’m surprised at you, slumming around with her.” She clicked her tongue and shook her head. Kait couldn’t have been more condescending if she tried.
Andy spotted the huge diamond and wedding ring on her left hand. “I thought you weren’t the marrying kind, Kait? What happened?”
“Oh, I didn’t say I wasn’t the marrying kind, Andy. I was never, and I mean never EVER, going to marry you.”
“Andy—” Danae began, but he cut her off.
“Yes, I’m sorry, my love.” He took Danae’s hand and squeezed it. He clenched his jaw and took a deep breath. “We have business to discuss with you, Mrs. Reyes, concerning our young children.”
“Yeah, about that. You told me yesterday, Mrs. Murphy, that your five and seven-year-old children were left behind after the field trip to the mausoleum. How did we come up with an accurate headcount of children when the buses returned from the cemetery?”
“You’re going to need to ask your bus driver and chaperones that question, Kait. Elyse called my phone. I have the call log right here.” Andy pulled his phone from his pocket and scrolled to her incoming phone call from a payphone near the cemetery.
“Psh,” Kaitlyn rolled her eyes. “This only proves you received a phone call from that number. That doesn’t prove the call was from your daughter.”
“LOOK,” Andy stood angrily. His right foot pushed his chair hard enough to knock it over. His hands gripped the desk in an aggressive stance Danae had never seen him take before.
“My children were left behind on that trip. I don’t care how it happened. I don’t care who did it. But my only daughter was in the hospital with the flu for TWO NIGHTS because of someone’s negligence. YOU are the one in charge here, so it’s YOUR responsibility! I don’t want to hear your excuses, Kait. I want you to make it RIGHT!”
“You haven’t changed a bit, Anduin,” Kait taunted him. “You still have a superiority complex, and you’re still an angry, bitter little boy.” She got up from her desk and paced back and forth behind it. “I pity you.”
Danae tried to speak some sense in the chaos. “Kaitlyn, do you have children of your own? Can you begin to understand the panic a mother feels when her children aren’t where they are expected to be?”
Kait looked at Danae with disdain. “Who, me? I don’t even like kids. People like you and Mr. Doofus over here can have all the kids you want. I’ll keep my body perfect, just the way it is, thank you very much. You were a knockout too before you started pushing babies out. What a shame.”
Danae had heard enough. “I don’t know who you think you are, or who you think you are talking to, but we pay tuition for our children to attend this school. That means, our money pays your salary. You work for us, Mrs. Reyes, not the other way around.” Danae had a long fuse, but Kait poured accelerant on it. She was hot and itching for a fight, by either words or fisticuffs. It mattered not to Danae.
“Now I see it,” Kait nodded her head and continued. “You two are perfect for each other. A rich, entitled shrew and a self-important ignoramus.” Her laughter sent a cold chill down Danae’s spine.
“Come on, Danae” Andy took her hand. “I’m filing a complaint with the owner of the school.” Andy pointed a finger at her and threatened her.
“Don’t get comfortable here, Kait. Your days in this job are numbered.”
“I’m not afraid of you, Anduin,” Kait called to him as they left the office.
Andy hadn’t been this angry in a long time, and never in front of Danae. It was senior prom all over again, and regretfully he let Kait get the best of him. But this time, he would have the last laugh.
When they got into the car, he sat in the driver’s seat, shaking. Danae truly didn’t know what to say. But when she touched him, he flinched and knocked her hand away.
“Andy?” She touched him again, and he took her hand.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he apologized. “I didn’t mean to push you away. It’s just that… well, I wasn’t prepared for that. To see her again.”
“I get that. She’s hardly a pleasant person.” Danae stroked his cheek tenderly. “It’s over, and we’re okay.”
“Oh, baby, it’s far from over. You know who owns the school, don’t you?”
Danae shook her head. “No, I don’t.”
“Rae Kemp. This was the benevolence project she started when she married Kirby years ago. The fact that Rae adores our children, and you by extension doesn’t bode well for Kaitlyn.”
“Had I known Rae owned the school, I would have called her first. Andy, why didn’t you say anything?”
“I know that she prefers parents to work out differences with school faculty directly, but when the principal is this shameful, she needs to know directly. I’ll call Kirby when we get home.”
“You don’t seem like you’re okay to drive, Andy.”
“I’m not right now.” He held his hand out, and he was visibly shaking. “I shouldn’t have let her get to me. And above all, I should have defended you, baby. I’m so sorry.”
“You did fine, Andy. I’m proud of you for holding it together. That protective side of you. It was, dare I say it, sexy.”
“Let’s save that for later, honey. I have plenty of tension to work out right now, it’s just not the time.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that, Andy. You’re not in the mood? Really.” Danae chuckled. First time for everything.
“I didn’t say I wasn’t in the mood. It’s just not the time. We need to get home, and in broad daylight, there is nowhere to go.”
Danae thought for a moment. “Your office is right here, is it not?”
His expression brightened. “You are brilliant, baby!” He opened his car door and walked to her side. “I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.” Arm in arm, they walked into the stadium, which sat adjacent to the academy.
He walked to his office and then right past it. Danae stopped at his door. “Ahem,” she said softly, and he turned around.
“What? Kirby is in his office. I’m taking care of this Kait thing right now.” Danae rolled her eyes. It wasn’t what she meant when she suggested his office. She shrugged her shoulders and followed him, running to catch up.
“Wow, you walk fast when you’re angry,” she gasped, almost out of breath. He continued his quick pace, his eye trained on Kirby’s office door some 100 yards away. “Andy, wait!” Her voice echoed in the hallway, her footfalls chased him to no avail. He was already knocking on the door.
“Come on in Andy. How’s Lysie?” Kirby greeted him. The patter of Danae’s feet sounded in the hallway, followed by her pants and grunts of exhaustion. “Danae?”
“Yeah,” she heaved. “Hi… Kirby…”
Andy pulled a chair out for her to sit, and she collapsed it in. “Sorry, my sweet.” He reached into Kirby’s mini-fridge and grabbed a bottle of water for her.
“What can I do for you guys? It’s odd to see you here together.” Kirby was intrigued.
“We have an issue with the Academy, Kirby. I know this is Rae’s baby, and I know she would rather us deal with faculty on our own, but we have a situation where mediation might be required.”
Kirby sat forward in his chair, listening intently. “You know there isn’t much I won’t do for you guys. How can I help?”
Danae caught her breath enough to speak. “A couple of days ago, Lysie and Eamon went on the field trip with the K through 6 classes to the mausoleum. Somehow, at the end of the trip, the buses left without them. Lysie called Andy from a payphone near the property to tell him, and I went to pick them up. It was the day he hit his knee on the desk.”
Kirby nodded. “Okay, I remember that day. I wasn’t aware that your children were left behind, though. I couldn’t imagine your panic when they didn’t come home.”
“Well, they were at the cemetery, huddled under the oleander bushes on the far side of the property trying to stay dry. Kirby, they were both shivering, soaking wet and scared when I found them. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. Then Lysie ended up in the hospital with the flu for two nights, which brings us to today.”
Andy took over. “Danae called the school to complain about them being left, and at first it seemed like the new principal was willing to make it right. That was until we met with her face to face. Kirby, Rae hired my ex-girlfriend from Dragon Valley, believe it or not. She is… well, let’s just say she hasn’t changed very much from when I knew her. She’s crude, unnecessarily hurtful and uncooperative.”
“Wait, so Kaitlyn is your ex? How small of a world is this? Dragon Valley is a couple thousand miles to the north of here.”
“Yes, she’s my ex, and it’s clear she has every intention to fight us on this issue, Kirby. She is going to try to absolve the school of any wrongdoing. This isn’t right.” His emotions got the best of him, and he broke down in tears. His frustration was obvious. Andy didn’t want justice for himself, but for those two precious babies at home. Danae knelt down beside him to comfort him. “Baby,” he whispered to her. “I’m so humiliated.”
She rubbed his back and kissed his temple. “You’re okay, honey,” she whispered in return.
Kirby sat back in his chair. “I will talk to Rae tonight, though chances are she’s already heard Kait’s side. However, she will be fair and impartial. Well, maybe a little partial. She adores your babies, and she is very fond of Danae. Look, don’t worry about this, guys. Rae and I have your back. And you’re correct, Andy. It’s not right. The faculty messed up, and whoever did it needs to be reprimanded.”
“Thanks, Kirby. I hope you don’t think I can’t fight my own battles, but when the deck is so obviously stacked—”
“Come on, Andy. I know you better than that. You have never let me down. Ever. Let me take care of you.” He shut his computer down for the night. “Go home, get some rest, and take care of that precious little girl. She needs her mother and father.”
Danae smiled. “I can’t thank you enough, Kirby. Please hug Rae for me, and let her know we’ll get together for tea or coffee someday soon.”
“Will do, Miss Danae.”
They walked together to his car, and both were feeling better. “You did good today, my sweet. I know seeing Kirby wasn’t what you had in mind, but it played out well. I’m still worked up enough for later anyway. Let’s stop and bring something home for dinner. We’ll get some soup for Lysie, and some fresh fruit juice for her at that little stand downtown. What do you think?”
“Andy, it sounds fantastic. You always know how to take care of me just right.” She smiled. Andy truly did dodge a bullet by not marrying Kait, she thought. Emmitt was right all those years ago.
Danae was wrapped around Andy after dinner as they laid in bed together talking. “Life has a funny way of working out, doesn’t it, love?” she said.
“Well, now that I’ve met Kait, I know you either would have been divorced by now or locked in a loveless, horrible marriage with her. I’m sure at the time the breakup didn’t feel so good.”
He huffed. “No, it sure didn’t. My dad was right, though. He told me he had a bad feeling about her. He never cared much for Kait. She was the reason I never saw myself being a father. I didn’t think I could trust a woman after her. But you…” he caressed her cheek softly, “baby, you showed me what love is. Without you, I’d have never known. Every day I’m thankful for you.”
She snuggled closer to him, feeling secure. “I would never have known what love was without you, either. Dave was a piece of work. You met him. Dishonest Dave. If he was my standard, the bar wasn’t set very high.”
“If you hadn’t met me, baby, I’m sure someone else would have come along and swept you off your feet. You were ripe for the picking. What surprises me is that you didn’t have a waiting list. Danae, you’re perfect in every way. Smart, kind, generous, sensitive but tough as iron when you need to be. You’re nurturing, sweet, sexy, beautiful. If we wouldn’t have met, you’d have found someone else. But me… I wasn’t looking for someone, baby. I would probably be a confirmed bachelor, living a lonely life of privilege, probably not unlike what Devin is doing, but without his attitude. Or maybe I would. Who knows?”
“Oh Andy, I don’t believe for a second some beautiful woman would have passed you up. The Shores was full of gorgeous, eligible women. And you’re a very handsome, sexy guy.”
“If I truly am sexy, Danae, it is your influence that has made me so. You have given me confidence I only professed to have before. And it’s because you believe in me so thoroughly, so completely. When I interviewed for the job with the Llamas, I was pretending so hard. I gave myself the biggest pep talk. My dad tried to build me up, but inside I felt like that eighteen-year-old boy who lost everything two weeks before graduation. It wasn’t just the relationship with her that I lost. I lost my self-confidence, my self-worth, everything I knew that was good and right. All of the security I had in my youth disappeared when I found her and Liam in bed together. I knew I’d been taken for a fool, and I vowed it would never happen again.”
“My mom died when I was 14 years old…” his voice trailed off as he collected his thoughts. “In some ways, dad died with her that night. The man I knew as a boy, that man was long gone, buried with her in that pine box six feet under in Dragon Valley. Dad was an empty shell of a man for so long until we moved to the Shores. Nae, that was the happiest he had been in almost ten years, being reunited with your dad. I felt like I finally had him back. And then, they died young, too. Both of them.” Andy sighed deeply, fighting back tears.
Danae hadn’t seen him this emotional about his dad since he had passed away. And it was one of the first times he’d really spoken about his mother. “When was the last time you visited your mom, Andy?”
“Way before the crash. I didn’t figure I’d ever get back there to see her again, not after I left SVP. First, I never wanted to chance running into the wicked witch of the north. The stupid thing is, Danae, Kaitlyn only got more beautiful as she’s aged. She took my breath away when she turned around this afternoon. But her ugly shined right back through all of it.”
Hearing him speak of Kaitlyn in this manner hurt more than she thought it would. “She took your breath away?”
“She was always a beautiful girl, and now she’s a stunning woman. I definitely would have known her if I met her on the street. She didn’t change a bit.” He saw her eyes glistening with tears. “Baby, you don’t have to feel threatened by her. There is a less than zero percent chance of that ever happening again. Trust me.”
“Do you think she’s more beautiful than me?”
“Of course not. Baby, you are the most drop-dead gorgeous woman I have ever known, and your beauty comes from the inside out. You are my first and only true love. And I mean that, Danae. I’m not just blowing smoke up your backside.”
“Sometimes, I still wonder why you chose me. What did you see in me, Andy? I had no self-confidence, no job, no future.”
“No, see that’s where you’re wrong, my sweet. You had a future. You were going to be a star. You were destined for greatness, honey. You have the look, you have the sound, all you needed was your big break. And I stole that from you.”
“Baby, where is all of this self-doubt and regret coming from tonight? I hope not from Kait.”
“Some of it is today’s events. Seeing her again, and being with you made me realize I never loved her. I forgot how awful she is. My friends tried to tell me she was no good, even Liam did and he wanted her for himself. But my infatuation blinded me. I was a fool, Danae. I believed I had changed her. But I see now she will never change. She called you entitled, but she is the epitome of entitled. From a rich family, she never wanted for anything. And she still believes the world owes her everything.”
“Babe, don’t let her win. Look at what we have built here! Our love. Our children. Our life together. Your job, our friends. Our family. Andy, you are the foundation I built my house on. You are strong. Faithful. Steadfast. Hard-working. By myself, my house would have crumbled years ago. But in you, I found a firm, solid footing. Together, we make it stand and flourish. You are more than enough for me.”
She kissed his neck, trying to bring him out of his funk. “Andy, please don’t give her any more thought. In the end, you made the right decision all those years ago. You walked away.”
He shook his head. “If Liam hadn’t opened my eyes, I probably wouldn’t have walked away until it was too late. My dad couldn’t talk me out of her, and I couldn’t see it in her. It makes me ill. What if I would have married her? I would have never met you. It’s depressing.” He fiddled with her hair restlessly.
“But you didn’t marry her. Andy, I am right here, willing and ready to love you. Please come back to me, babe.” She tucked some hair behind his ear and stroked his cheek. “The ‘what ifs’ don’t matter, not tonight. What matters is what’s right in front of you.” She wiped a lone tear from his eyes. “Andy, I love you.”
His expression softened. “You’re right, Danae. Oh, baby, why am I concentrating on what would have been when I have you in my arms right now? I’m so sorry.”
“Love me, babe. I need you.”
“Oh honey, you know I will. I need you too.”
The next morning, Danae’s cell phone rang as she was finishing up breakfast with Emmitt. It was Rae Kemp.
“Hey, Danae. It’s Rae. Kirby told me you two had some problems with our new principal at the school yesterday. I want to assure you I am personally looking into the incident with her.”
“Oh, thank you, Rae. I don’t know what she is like when Andy isn’t in the room with her, but the two of them together were like gasoline and a match. There is some bad blood between them, and if she remains in an administration position at the school, I fear for our kids, Rae. What will she do to punish Andy? That scares me the most.”
“She interviewed very pleasantly. Her husband is a native of Isla Paradiso, in fact, I went to school with him. He asked me to give her a chance, but I have no loyalty to them. My first obligation is to the children with whom we’ve been entrusted, and their parents. Danae, I’m so sorry that Lysie and Eamon were treated badly on our time. It never should have happened. If Kaitlyn refuses to make it right, then I will.”
“I ordinarily wouldn’t ask you to terminate someone in this situation. Rae, I have to tell you if she isn’t gone, I can’t leave Lysie and Eamon there in her care. I don’t trust her.”
“Danae, I understand. Technically, she is still in a probationary period, and we don’t have tenured positions at the Academy.”
“Would it help if I had a recording of what she did yesterday? Because when Andy figured out who she was, I sensed it would go badly. I caught her tirade on my phone. Andy doesn’t know about it. I’m not even sure why I recorded it.”
“I would love to hear it, Danae. Why don’t I come to your house, and I can play with Emmitt for a little bit while we talk? It will be good to catch up.”
“That sounds wonderful, Rae. Come at any time. I’m home all day.”
“How’s twenty minutes?”
“Perfect. Coffee or tea, so I can be ready for you?”
“Tea sounds lovely. I am looking forward to seeing you again, Nae.”
They hung up the phone, and Danae smiled.
As promised, twenty minutes later, Rae was at the call box, and Danae let her in. She greeted Rae at the door with a hug.
“It’s good to see you, Danae,” Rae chirped. “Where’s that baby boy?”
“He’s in Lysie’s room, probably playing inside her toy box. He’s discovered that’s a good place to hide when he thinks he’s in trouble.” Danae snorted. “He never gets into trouble. He’s the happiest little boy.”
“Well, business first.” Danae prepared two cups of hot water and brought the selection of tea and fresh, local honey to the table. She plopped an oolong bag into her cup, and Rae chose Earl Grey.
Danae retrieved her phone from its charger. “I had a bad feeling about the meeting when Andy said Kait was his ex, so I recorded the whole thing.” She set the phone on the table and played the video.
Rae listened in horror, not believing the things Kaitlyn had said.
“Oh Danae, this is disgraceful. I knew Andy was a man of great restraint, but how he didn’t completely blow his top is amazing. Thank you for letting me listen to this. Do you mind if I have a copy of it? Kirby will want to hear it. He sits on the board of directors at the school, and since she is an admin, it will require a vote from the board. This recording will seal the deal.”
“I will email it to you, Rae. Thank you.” Rae patted Danae’s hand.
“Mama!” Emmitt called to her, increasingly frantic. She hadn’t heard him calling for her over the recording, and he was on the verge of tears.
“Oops! Excuse me, Rae.” Danae sprinted for Elyse’s room and rescued Emmitt from the toy box. Crocodile tears rolled down his cheeks until he saw Rae. Elyse, who had been awakened by Emmitt’s cries, brought her blanket with her and settled on the sofa.
“Nana!” he cooed. Danae shook her head.
“No, Emm, that’s Rae,” she corrected him.
“It’s okay, Danae. He’s called me Nana since we’ve been taking care of him. I think it’s cute.”
“Well, he never knew his Memaw, so I don’t have a problem with it if you don’t.” Danae smiled as Rae cuddled her son into her arms.
“Of course not. He’s such a happy baby.” Rae cuddled and tickled him, his baby giggles filled the house. Danae loved to hear it.
They sat and visited for about an hour before Rae stood to leave. “I will be waiting for the email. As soon as I have it, I’ll call an emergency board meeting. Don’t worry, Danae. Kaitlyn won’t be at the school by the beginning of next week. In the meantime, keep Eamon home. It’s only one more day before the weekend, so he won’t miss much.”
Danae hugged her friend. “Thank you for everything, Rae. We appreciate it.”
When Andy arrived home from work, Danae was almost finished with dinner for the children. A pot of mac and cheese bubbled on the stove, and a saucepan warmed up leftover soup for Elyse. He took a sniff and smiled.
“It smells great in here, Nae. What’s for dinner?” He picked Emmitt up and snuggled him. Elyse was laying on the sofa, watching Eamon play video games. She was feeling better.
“For the boys, macaroni and cheese, and soup for Lysie.”
“And for us?” He sat on the sofa with Elyse and got a hug from her.
“It’s a surprise.”
“Go check the bedroom.”
Andy got up from the sofa and walked to their bedroom, Danae right behind him. “I don’t see anything, baby.”
He looked around the room and everything looked normal. And then he spotted an overnight bag and a garment bag hanging on the closet door. “Danae, what did you do?”
“Tomorrow is Friday, your day off. Eamon and Elyse will be home from school. You are I are taking a private jet to an undisclosed location for a weekend getaway.”
“Undisclosed, eh?” He wrapped her in a hug. “I don’t know what you’ve planned, but I love the idea. When do we leave?”
“Tonight, as soon as Trixie gets here. All you need to do is change your clothes, and be ready to go when the limo arrives at six to get us.”
“A red-eye flight. It must be a long one.” He kissed her neck.
“A few hours. Maybe more. In fact, we might need to refuel on the way, so it’s not a direct flight.”
“Holy cow, Danae, where are we going?” His smile was bright. She knew he needed time away from Kaitlyn. Time to relax and recover while Rae and the Board of Directors worked their magic at the school.
“You’ll see, babe. You’ll love it, I promise. There might even be a sleeping section on the plane.”
His eyebrow raised. “Don’t mess with me, Danae. Really?”
She nodded. “It’s a long flight.” He kissed her tenderly. “I need to get dinner finished for the kids and get Elyse in the bath before Trixie gets here.”
“I’ll help,” he offered. He didn’t know how she knew he’d had a terrible day, but he was all over a secret trip.
Andy walked back into the living room and sat down with the kids. “How was school, Eamon?”
Usually, he loved it and was excited to go back the following day. But he shrugged his shoulders in indifference. “It was okay.”
“Just okay? What happened, sport?” Andy asked.
His eyes welled with tears. “I got in trouble and had to see the principal.”
“What got you in trouble, Eamon?” This wasn’t like him.
“I don’t know, Daddy. I thought I was being good, but she yelled at me. I really don’t know what I did, Daddy. I don’t like her.” Tears welled in his eyes.
Andy patted him on the shoulder and walked to the kitchen. He looked at Danae, troubled. “It’s starting already,” he said quietly.
“Well, you don’t have to go to school tomorrow, sweetie pie,” Danae comforted him. “Trixie is going to be here the whole weekend, and she is going to play with all three of you. How’s that?”
“Where are you going now?” Elyse asked, almost annoyed.
“Mama and Daddy are going away for a weekend. We will be home Monday morning.”
Elyse was obviously distressed, and she began to cry. “But I don’t feel good,” she protested.
“Sweet pea, you’ve been feeling better all day.” Danae took a seat next to her and took her hands. “Lysie, Daddy really needs a vacation for a couple of days. You want him to be happy, right honey?”
She nodded her head. “You can go, Daddy.”
Andy kissed her forehead. “Thank you, sweet pea.”
“Who’s hungry?” Danae called in a sing-song voice. “Mac and cheese for the boys, and soup for my princess.”
Trixie arrived at the house at five o’clock sharp, about fifteen minutes earlier than she was due. “Thanks, Trixie,” Andy said to her. “Can I get a bag for you?”
“Oh, no thanks, Andy. I have it.” She chuckled a little. “Would it be creepy to admit I leave clothes here in the upstairs bedroom?”
Danae laughed. “Not at all. In fact, I’m this close to asking you to move in and be a live-in nanny anyway.” She held her fingers a half-inch apart.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea,” Trixie said. “You’re pretty much my only client anymore.”
“We’ll discuss it when we get home, then,” Danae replied. “I was just going to get Lysie into our bathtub and let her soak. It helps her breathe before bed.”
“I can get that, Nae. In fact, I can get all three of them in the tub tonight if you’d like.”
“The boys like to play together in the tub, so that’s fine, if you feel you want to. Emmitt doesn’t need a bath, but he loves the water.” Danae rubbed Elyse’s back as she coughed.
“Is Lysie still running a fever?”
“Only slight. It’s been right around 100. Medicine breaks it, but it comes right back, so she’s still fighting it. I’ll call when we get in tomorrow morning.”
Trixie nodded. “The kids are home from school tomorrow, right?”
“Yes. Eamon had a problem with the principal today, so he’s been excused until we can straighten it out. Monday should do it, but I’ll let you know for certain if he will go back then.”
Andy looked around for anything last minute to put into the overnight bag. Everything he asked about, Danae already had packed.
At long last, the limo arrived to pick them up. Danae and Andy both kissed the children and gave them hugs, thanked Trixie one last time and waved goodbye as they walked out the door.
Once they were settled into the limo, Andy put the privacy partition up. “So, are you going to tell me what this is all about?”
“Nope. I’m keeping it a secret until we land. But we will have dinner on the airplane, courtesy of Kirby and Rae.”
Andy’s face was serene and happy. “If Kirby and Rae are in on this, it can only be good.”
“Well yeah, we’re using his new jet, and Rae helped me plan this.” She kissed him tenderly.
“He has a new jet? I don’t remember seeing a new jet in his fleet.”
“This is his personal one. In fact, we’re the first to fly in it. He told me it’s first-class, top-notch, luxury all the way.” Danae was pretty proud of herself.
Andy swallowed hard. “What kind of favors did you promise to pull this off, Danae?”
“I didn’t. Kirby offered when I told him why I wanted time off for you. I called him to clear it and mentioned you might be a little late on Monday morning. That’s when he offered this new jet. He had it built with a small sleeping area for his longer trips with Rae, and a different pilot flies it.”
“Baby, I-I don’t know what to say. You always know exactly what I need. I had a really awful day today.”
“Now that Kait knows where I work, and that we have a common thread, she would not leave me alone. Trying to get me angry, toying with me. And then I hear that Eamon had trouble today, and he didn’t know why. Baby, we’re going to have to change schools if she doesn’t get fired. I can handle her, but the kids… honey, they don’t deserve this.”
“I agree,” she kissed his chin, his neck, and ears. “I kinda already took care of it.”
“Wait, you did?”
“Rae called me this morning and asked me about what happened. And I might have given her some evidence that backs up our story with Kait.”
“What kind of evidence, Nae?”
“Well, when I heard you say Kait was your ex, I sensed it might go badly. So just before she began her tirade, I started video recording her, though you can’t see anything but the desk. But her voice is crystal clear.” She cringed, not knowing how he’d react.
“Danae, you’re amazing. I just want you to know that.” He kissed her deeply.
“You might not want to kiss me like that, babe.” She stroked his cheek.
“Why not?” he whispered in her ear, his warm breath on her skin felt delicious.
“Because I won’t let you stop,” she replied in breathy whispers. She felt the car cross the bridge, and they knew the airport wasn’t far away.
Five minutes later, the limousine drove up to a gate marked “Restricted.” The limo driver showed credentials and was allowed to pass. The short driveway led to a hangar painted with the familiar turquoise and melon colors of the Isla Paradiso Sharks, and Andy guessed it was Kirby’s.
The driver stopped the car and opened the door beside a brand new jet. A mechanic was finishing an inspection as the plane’s door opened. A waiter appeared at the top step and motioned Andy and Danae up into the plane. The driver retrieved their two bags and handed them to the pilot, who stowed them on board.
“I’m right behind you, my sweet,” Andy said as he allowed Danae to walk before him. At the top step, the waiter took Danae’s hand and helped her.
“Welcome, Andy,” the waiter greeted him. “And Miss Danae.”
“Hi Victor,” Andy returned the greeting. “Fancy meeting you here.”
“I know. I was expecting the boss man. Where are we headed this evening?”
Danae spoke up. “It’s a surprise. He doesn’t know where we are going.” She smiled at Andy. He was going to love this.
“You must trust this little lady, Andy. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to get on a charter flight when I don’t know where I’m going.” Victor chuckled. “Everything is ready to go once you are settled. We will be cleared for departure shortly.”
“Thank you,” Danae said as they took their seats. There were eight chairs and four tables on the airplane.
When the flight was in the air, the waiter served two glasses of wine and a piping hot serving of fried calamari to share.
“To you, my sweet,” Andy raised his glass for a toast. “For treating me like a king.”
“To you, my love. Because you deserve a weekend away for pleasure once in a while.” She clinked her glass with his and they both sipped. Hers was a semi-sweet blend, while Andy’s was the dry wine he loved so much.
They fed each other morsels of calamari, sipping wine and getting a little silly together. It wasn’t much, but just enough to whet their appetites for their dinner. The waiter returned after clearing their table with two specialties that Kirby knew they both loved: pepper-crusted Wagyu rib eye and blackened Mahi Mahi. Andy smiled.
“Now who is being extravagant?” he cooed as he cut a bite-sized morsel from the steak and fed it to her.
“Still you,” she smiled. “You’ve turned me. I used to be happy with simple things. But now I’m used to your taste, which is so refined, so elegant.”
They finished dinner, and the waiter informed them they had four hours before they needed to refuel, and an additional two hours beyond that. “You’re welcome to make yourselves at home, use whichever amenities you would like.”
“Thank you, Victor,” Andy said as he finished his last sip of wine. “I think I’m going to lay down awhile. Care to join me, Mrs. Murphy?”
“I thought you’d never ask,” she answered. They walked to the rear of the airplane to the sleeping quarters and entered, locking the door behind them.
Somehow, they slept through the refueling stop and a soft knock woke them with ten minutes until they landed at their destination. They got dressed quickly and walked back out into the main cabin of the plane and sat, still sleepy.
“Did you nap well?” Victor asked them. Andy nodded and yawned, and Danae spoke up.
“Very well, but not nearly long enough. It’s okay, though. Our resort room should be ready when we arrive in Sunset Valley.” She smiled at Andy with an impish grin.
Danae nodded. “When we are rested enough, we drive into Dragon Valley to spend the weekend. Babe, I wanted you to visit your mom again.”
Andy was completely overcome with emotion. It was minutes before he could collect himself enough to speak. “Danae, how did you think to do this?”
“When we were talking last night, you were talking about your mom. I’d never really heard you speak of her like that before. I really want to meet her.”
Andy wiped tears from his eyes. “You are just amazing, baby. My sweet, precious Danae. How I love you.”
“I love you, too.” She took his hand and squeezed it.
The plane was on its final descent into Sunset Valley, and Andy watched out the window. Everything was intimately familiar. He recognized the landscape, the surroundings. Many times he had flown into this airport, and he felt nostalgic. He knew it would be an emotional weekend, but one he desperately needed. He missed Dragon Valley in a way Travis never had. He had mostly good memories there, and he couldn’t wait to show Danae around his hometown.
A limo met the plane when they arrived and brought them to the resort on the outskirts of town, not far from the airport. In the morning, they would rent a car and drive the two scenic hours north into Dragon Valley and stay at a bed and breakfast on the river. Andy couldn’t wait to see what, if anything, had changed.
It was 4 am local time when they walked into the entryway of the resort and checked in. Their room was off the main lobby and overlooked the indoor garden. Hand in hand, they walked to the door, and Andy opened it.
“Ladies first,” he announced as he held the door open for her.
“Thank you, kind sir,” she replied. The room was beautiful and richly appointed with dark, mahogany furniture, rich, luxury fabrics and shiny, brass fixtures. Too bad we’re only here overnight, Danae thought. The accommodations were elegant. It was one of the nicer places she had ever stayed.
Andy stripped down and pulled the bed apart. “I don’t know about you, baby, but I need to sleep. We have a long drive tomorrow, and I need to be rested.”
“That’s the plan, sweetie,” she affirmed. “I am tired.” She followed suit and got ready to sleep, climbing into the bed with him. The softness of the sheets was unmatched, and she sighed deeply. “Ooh, this is nice,” she cooed, sleep quickly overtaking her.
Andy opened his arms and she snuggled up to him. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close. “Thank you,” he whispered into her ear as she fell asleep. “I love you.”
Credits for this chapter:
Poses By Bee, for her fabulous poses.
Anger, by Zhippidy at Zhippidy’s Custom Poses.
Girl Talk, by Zhippidy at Zhippidy’s Custom Poses.
Upset, by Zhippidy at Zhippidy’s Custom Poses.
Pose Player, by cmomoney at ModTheSims.
Around the Sims 3 for assorted office decor items.
The entire Rover Office Set, by Nynaeve Designs at TSR
File Folders by Living Dead Girl at TSR
Printer by Living Dead Girl at TSR
Leather Journal by Nynaeve Designs at TSR
Altara Books by Nynaeve Designs at TSR
Vertical Blinds by martoele at TSR
Sara Office Mixed Books by Flovv at TSR
Tipsy OMSP by newshoes at ModTheSims