A huge thank you to everyone who stuck with this and sent feedback--both are much appreciated. This is the end of this one, with another starting in a day or two.....Pat
Fajitas and Margaritas
Note: This is the seventh in the series including A Bagel and a Beginning, Chili with a side of 'The Jackal', Dinner and Dancing, Darts and Dresses, Josh and Donna's Weekend Getaway, and Would you hold me? (All of these can be found on our web page Http://www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb)
Remember our stories are about the personal lives of these people. So if you're looking for political intrigue, or don't want to know what they're doing when they're NOT in the big white building, bail now!!
From Part 9--
"Lucas, Gina we're up. I'm supposed to tell you" Charlie knocked at their door and then without thinking pushed it open. His mouth fell open and he froze in embarrassment. "I am so sorry" he got out. "I just didn't....I didn't know you were....I thought you two didn't......Please god let the ground open up and swallow me."
"Fajitas and Margaritas" part 10--
Gina smiled, "Charlie it's okay," she said slowly emphasizing each syllable, "just get used to this. Now turn around and walk back out and relax and we'll be out in a flash." As soon as Charlie had closed the door she jumped from the bed and amazingly enough was immaculate in five minutes.
"Charlie what's wrong?" Zoey frowned, seeing how uncomfortable he was looking when he came back to her. "There wasn't someone out there in a white sheet was there?"
"I could pay to watch that performance again" Lucas grinned, pushing himself from the bed and landing next to her. "Hey this was great. I hope it's the first of many more nights like this."
"As do I," Gina finally admitted with a smile, "as do I Lucas."
"No..." Charlie drawled, "Gina and Lucas were in bed together, that's all."
"Oh is that all" Zoey shook her head and opened her arms for her husband to rejoin her. "One more snuggle love and then we'd best make an appearance. Besides I need you to help me get food to your son."
"Hey are we going to go check that house or not?" CJ squeezed Caroline's hand in support of her revelation. "Getting late."
"Well Abbey and I are going to get back home. I'm sure the detail is getting antsy to get me back to the prison where I can be well guarded" Jed sighed. "Camp David is a go then I'm assuming and we're outta here." He helped Abbey to her feet and kissed her lovingly. "Let's you and I go get dressed, though motorcading in my pajamas would be a new experience."
Abby gave Jed 'the look' and they laughed and smiled lovingly at one another as they made for their suite and dressed. They returned as dignified and formal as when they had arrived.
Meanwhile Charlie had scooped Zoey up into his arms and gracefully and carefully carried her down the stairs. She bid her mom and dad farewell from her husband's arms before he gently set her in the wheelchair she called home momentarily.
Everyone said goodbye to Jed and Abby and then began to get ready to go look at the house. CJ actually had on a soft pink sleeveless sundress which shocked everyone. It was her first time to wear pink around them. Donna had on a soft sage green skirt and a cream colored blouse with a beautifully draped neckline. "Let's go," Donna said grabbing up a couple more donuts and CJ did likewise as they were once more munching.
"Oh look at this" Toby teased. "Fortifying themselves. We're just going two blocks. Not on safari." "Hey I'd be careful--you might end up on the sofa tonight mister" Josh laughed. Leo and Caroline walked ahead, each with a hand on a twin. Suddenly Belle broke free of Caroline and ran back toward Josh and Donna, and then inexplicably into the busy street. Donna began to sprint after her. "Donna No" Josh screamed and dashed past her, grabbing Belle just as a taxi careened around the corner. He yanked her back out of the way, the force of his movement sending them both sprawling onto the pavement as the others watched in horror. The taxi sped off, the driver unaware of the havoc he had caused.
"Josh!" Donna screamed out in horror. She rushed the few feet to him, being quickly followed by the others. "Josh are you okay?" she begged tearfully. Meanwhile Belle was screaming at the top of her lungs. Her legs and her arms were horribly scraped up and bleeding. "Daddy!" she wailed
"I'm OK, the road broke my fall" Josh groaned and touched her cheek, his finger dabbling in the wetness there. "Is Belle all right?" Leo let go of where he had been holding tightly to Caroline and lifted the little girl into his arms. "Daddy's got you" he said softly. "We need to get your legs and arm washed up." He turned to Caroline. "I think she's OK sweetheart, just scraped."
Caroline exhaled audibly with relief. "Oh baby girl it's okay." she tried to comfort her small daughter. The little girl continued to wail tough not as loudly. Toby helped Josh to his feet and Donna was immediately buried against him. "I could see that terrible taxi hitting you and Belle. I was so worried." she sniffled.
"All I could see was it hitting her and her flying through the air" Josh murmured. "Doesn't seem like anything's broken." He leaned over to where Caroline and Leo were crowded over Belle. Brighton was being held tightly to by CJ. "Is she OK?" Josh asked anxiously. "I tried not to hurt her when I grabbed but I didn't exactly have time to be delicate."
"She's a little scraped up but nothing major thanks to you," Caroline smiled and then she moved over to Josh and hugged him warmly. "Thank-you for taking care of my little girl. You could have been seriously hurt but you went after her anyhow. God bless you."
"I had to" Josh said simply, "couldn't let Donna and I was closest after that. I couldn't let this adorable child be hurt." "Caroline have we looked seriously into leashes?" Leo demanded, only half teasingly. "For their own safety. They're starting to scare me. What if Brighton had run too. Not likely he could have grabbed both." "Later Leo" Toby urged. "We need to get Belle cleaned up and Josh has a big scrape on the backside of his elbow that needs washing too?" "I do?" Josh frowned and looked to Donna for confirmation.
"Yeah," Donna curled up her nose, "and it's bleeding bad." She turned then and searched frantically, finding a culvert to be ill in just in time. "Okay, cleaned up and then to see the house," Donna said recovering quickly from her brief bought of illness.
Josh watched her anxiously, at the same time trying to see his scrape. "OK but I don't want you being sick over this. I'll just wash it good and put some kind of covering on it and we'll try this again." He looked at Belle still in Leo's arms and tickled her belly. "Sweetie you scared us all." Belle giggled and reached out her arms for Josh to take her. "OK back to the house. I'm glad only Gina and Lucas are there. The regular detail would start thinking we'd been attacked or something."
The others laughed and they headed back to the house. Chloe, Tucker, Charlie and Zoey were all downstairs in the den playing Nintendo and barely noticed that the others had returned. Caroline quickly got Belle cleaned up and bandaged and then helped Josh. "Okay....shall we try this again. The going to look at the house part I mean," CJ spoke up, heading for the door.
"Please" Josh begged, noting with amusement Caroline had attached wrist leashes to each twin. "You did have them after all" he teased. "For shopping malls mainly" she laughed, "but they're getting so mobile now and Leo's right, it's scary. Not just that they could run into the street like Belle did, but in a crowd they could disappear in a heart beat." "Leo take the pink one, it's you" Toby teased.
The walk to the house was accomplished easily this time and with a push on the buzzer they were admitted through the gate. "I already like the security system" Josh smiled, squeezing Donna's hand, and thinking of late nights if he was gone and she was home. "Wow these are beautiful gardens" Caroline observed, "need some tending, but still..."
"Oh my goodness!" Donna exclaimed, "the house is two story, look at how beautiful!" "Oh wow, this is impressive," CJ smiled, "rod iron fence perimeter, stone home, lots of windows. I love it so far."
"Folks come in" a man's voice called from the wide front porch which the two houses shared, their front doors about five feet apart. "I'm Peter Breck, the selling agent for the owner. "Which half do you want to see first? There's actually not much to see since they're empty of furniture. They're just painted a little different. The left half has a bedroom in Peter Rabbit is the main difference, and the right half has more of a gourmet kitchen. But of course you're going to want to have the floors redone, paint and wall paper, drapes and so forth. Otherwise it's sound. Built about 1920. Al Capone visited here so they say."
"I defer the right half to CJ," Donna smiled and CJ smiled a thank-you in return since everyone knew she loved to cook and was good at it. They decided to tour the right side first. As they stepped in the were immediately greeted by a dark wooden paneled room, there was a set of double doors on the right and they opened those to see a cozy yet spacious living room. It had a very large picture window that opened onto the gardens in the front. Donna was thrilled already. Then they came back into the darkly paneled hall, cheery as they were later informed and the house was all hardwood floors on the first level as well. They walked just past the squared staircase with it's arched doorway and followed the hall right into a nice kitchen with black and white tiled floors, countertop and backsplash. "Pretty," CJ commented and Donna seemed to agree. The kitchen led into a cozy dining room which had a large window that opened onto the side gardens. They back tracked through the kitchen and up the short hall again to continue along the main entry to the back room which was by far the largest and had floor to ceiling windows the length of it as well as French doors which opened on to a brick terrace which made it's way down to the beautiful pool area surrounded by gardens. CJ and Donna gasped. Turning back they made their way up the stairs and opened the first door on the left which led them to a bedroom with a window seat and a view of the back garden. The closet was spacious. The room had its own bath attached as well. The next room was on the right hand side and it was interesting in that it had a bed built in the side of each wall with slide out spacing beneath them. The bathroom for that room was across the hall, modern plumbing with antique handles. The space at the end of the hall was a massive master suite. It had a sitting room at the front of the house and then a private hall which gave to the spacious master bath with a jaquzee in it and a spacious shower as well as a skylight. Finally the large master bedroom was facing the back of the house with doors that opened onto a rod iron balcony. "Oh Josh," Donna said obviously in love with it.
"I swear my apartment would fit into the master bedroom alone" he smiled. "It's like Leo's house only with less rooms and smaller of course." He put a quick arm around her. "You're falling in love with it aren't you?"
"The other side is similarly laid out, but with some decorating differences" Peter reminded them. "Now the owner has taken a job out of the area and moved out the tenant from this half so he's very anxious to let the whole thing go so he can put it down on his new place of course."
"These grounds will be beautiful in the snow too" Caroline pointed out as Belle and Brighton shrieked through the upstairs. She turned to Leo. "Tell me again why we're having another one."
"Of course I'm falling in love with it," Donna smiled, "what's not to love? Lots of windows for light and its spacious and close to Leo and Caroline and CJ and Toby will be right next door!"
"It's very nice," CJ told Toby, "I think we could be very happy here. I like the nice wide shallow stairs, very little chance of an accident."
"Because babies are love?" Caroline suggested a response.
"That sounds about right to me" Leo smiled. "Because I'm very much in love with their mother and I'm going to see this one born. I didn't even get to do that with Mallory. Dads were relegated to the waiting room in those days."
"Well I think we're sold" Josh smiled, taking Donna's hand. "Let's see the other half and see if it's something our counterparts can live with."
"Well you can be involved as much or as little as you would like with this one," Caroline smiled.
They exited the right side of the duplex and entered the left. It's entry was much the same only with the stairs on the right hand wall instead of the left. The front room was the same design only the owners had apparently been fond of pink. "I'm definitely redecorating!" CJ cringed and Donna had wrinkled her nose up as well. In this half of the house there was a beautiful power room under the stairs and it lacked a hallway instead going into a larger kitchen with an incredible tin ceiling that had everyone gasping at it's detailed beauty. The dining room was the same design as Donna's though the previous owners had left a beautiful chandelier in place. "I guess that's to make up for the safari brown walls here. They should fire their decorator," CJ commented. The back room was just as Josh and Donna's as well. They headed upstairs and the first door was on the left opening to a beautiful room with a window seat and its own bath. The door directly across the hall from it was obviously the nursery. It also had it's own bath. It was painted in a sky blue with the familiar Beatrix Potter scenes on all the walls. It had a set of French doors that opened onto this side's rod iron balcony. The master suite was much the same as Josh and Donna's with a huge bedroom opening onto their rod iron balcony and the sitting room overlooking the gardens in the front. "It's very nice," CJ commented with an approving smile.
"Can you picture us having evening pool parties and cook outs out there?" Toby said softly, "with inviting everyone of course. Or just quiet nights on our own." He leaned down to CJ's ear. "Maybe making love in the pool at midnight in the dark?"
"Pool" Brighton yelped and he was off down the stairs, Belle at his heels. "No" Caroline screeched starting after them. "We'll catch them" Toby assured her, smacking Josh's arm to get him to run with him. "They're going to make me an old man" Leo sighed. "Should have left them leashed" Caroline fretted, watching Josh and Toby sprint after the active twins. "Josh has nice buns when he runs" CJ teased.
"Hey what are you doing commenting on my fiancée's buns!" Donna teased. "Gotcha!" Toby declared snatching up Belle. Josh meanwhile slipped on the entry's wooden floor and slid all the way into the great room before a laughing Brighton sat on his back and bounced "gidyap! Horsey G'yap!" the toddler declared and Caroline put a hand over her face with a sigh seeing all the trouble her youngest two were causing. "And they behave so well for Chloe," Caroline sighed.
"She's part of the same generation" Leo laughed. "I like their spirit. Of course when I have my first stroke remind me what I just said."
"I've got this one" Josh yelled. "I think he's got you" Toby smiled, relieving Josh's back of its burden and holding both the twins now. "These are great kids" he enthused. "I hope we four get some just like them." "I'd better start working out" Josh panted, staggering to his feet in time to see Donna and CJ start down the stairs. "Be careful Please" he begged. "You know that's one thing about our apartments, no steps."
"We're taking it very slowly, we're fine," Donna replied. "The stairs are very easy to hold onto, the railings here, and they aren't slick," CJ added. "I'm sure they'll be fine," Caroline further sought to calm Josh. She was still white from Leo's stroke comment. A moment more of thinking about it and she burst into tears. "That was a horrible thing to say. You frightened me," she whimpered.
"Oh baby I'm so sorry" Leo gasped. "Never again. Listen now. I just had a physical last month and I'm in good shape. Nothing at all wrong with blood pressure or anything like that. I'm going to be around you and the babies for a long, long time." He pulled her to him, rubbing her back. "That was thoughtless and I'm sorry. I'm sure you are concerned about who would look after this growing family, but I promise you I'm going to be right here to do it."
Caroline sniffled her train of tears to a halt and hugged him a moment more before she composed herself. "I'm sorry I just that was so real and frightening. I couldn't bear to lose you." She kissed him, "I love you." She held to him then.
"Well it looks like we have a house," Toby commented. "Yes and I think everyone should come over and paint this weekend," CJ teased. "No really I'm going to hire someone and have it done in no time." Donna nodded her agreement. The three couples, plus the twins signed the necessary work and then walked from what would soon be their home.