December 1, 2016

Jason: Week Thirty-two, Day Four

Moudy woke up with his arms wrapped tight around Liz.  He kissed her bare shoulder and rested his head against her pillow.
A sound from the other side of the room had him slipping from his warm spot against his wife.
"Shhh.." he whispered, lifting Jackson from his crib.  "Don't wake mama."  
Quickly he changed Jackson's diaper & prepared a bottle for him to drink.  Thankfully Liz was a deep sleeper and was able to sleep through the slight fussing that Jackson made.

"Wanna go for a walk with daddy?" he asked, putting him back in the crib so he could dress.  
Before he left, Moudy grabbed the new stroller they bought and strapped Jackson into it.  
He knew that Jackson was still only a few months old, but it was amazing to see how alert and curious he was about the world around him.  
 "There's a whole world around us, son," Moudy said as they walked.  "The best time to enjoy it is early in the morning!  Mama and Uncle Jason don't know what they're missing!  Look at that sunrise!" he exclaimed with awe, looking up as the pink hues shifted across the sky.

Jason was up early with the girls.
He knocked on the door and waited.
When his phone starting ringing, he had to juggle Lacie around until he could get to the right pocket, but he finally answered.

"Hello?" he asked, not recognizing the unknown number.

The caller cleared their throat.  "This is Butch, the head fitness instructor at the Stadium.  We'd like to see you reach the pinnacle of your athletic perfection.  Your challenge is to attain the most muscular body shape possible through careful sculpting and unbroken fitness regime."

"And...?" Jason pressed.

"There's a large cash reward if you're able to pull it off," Butch admitted.  "Think of the advertising!"

Jason considered it quickly and agreed.  He had a stake in the stadium & if there was anything he could do to punch up business - he was all for it!
Just as he hung up, the door swung open and Rio stepped out with a large grin on his face.  "JASON! Glad you could make it!" he effused in greeting.  "It's been too long!"  He pulled Jason into a friendly hug.

Moudy headed up the walkway after their morning stroll.  Jackson was quietly sleeping in the stroller.
When they were inside, he threw a baby blanket on the floor and carefully laid the sleeping baby on top of it.  Quietly, he backed away, hoping he didn't disturb Jackson's nap.

Time to do some chores while he could!

"Come on in!" Rio said as his wife, Nadine, followed him out and helped gather the girls.  "Let's take Lacie and Macey to the nursery!"
"Besides, there's someone I want you to meet!" Rio added, lifting his newborn Jeremy from his crib.
"Look at this little guy!" Rio said proudly.

Liz finally pulled herself from bed and saw the magic ball staring at her from her bedside table.  She chewed her lip, but snaked a hand out to grab it anyways.

"Should I learn a new skill today?" she asked out loud, carefully shaking the ball.
She glanced down and scowled - Decidedly not.
She hung her head with chagrin.  Why did she put so much stock in these things, anyways?  But she knew deep down that she wouldn't be learning a new skill today!
Brushing her bangs from her face, she headed towards her dresser to get ready for the day.  Moudy was trying to be quiet, but she could tell he was having a cleaning fit.  That meant that she should attempt to look busy, too.  Otherwise he would get annoyed!
After breakfast, she decided her herb garden was looking a little sad, so she watered and weeded the growing plants.
"I'll get Jackson!" she said when the little boy began whimpering.  All he needed was a quick bottle and snuggle before falling fast asleep.
Now she could practice making some killer drinks!

"He's adorable. I'm really happy for you guys," Jason said. 

Nadine walked away.  "I'll go get lunch ready," she called over her shoulder.

"So, 10 years together! That's pretty huge!" Jason said with a grin.  "I always knew you two were perfect for each other!"
Rio returned Jason's smile with one of his own.  "Yeah, it was pretty rough having a baby so young, but I can't imagine doing anything differently.  We have a good life."

"If you want to celebrate your Anniversary, let me know.  I'll take the kids for you for a long weekend," Jason offered.

"Thanks, Jason!" Rio said, cuffing his boyhood friend on his shoulder.
Just then the door flew open and Caitlin stomped into the room.  "Mom said I had to come play with the babies," she pouted.

"Caitlin..." Rio cautioned, sending his daughter a stern look.  "Be nice."
Sighing, Caitlin sat down beside Lacie with a flourish.  Only seconds later, she screeched in outrage.  "SHE'S EATING MY DOLL!" she cried unhappily.  "IT'S RUINED!"

"Lacie!" Jason called out, "Stop!"

Much later...

"Don't worry, Jason. The girls are all going to have fun together," Nadine assured him.  "Aren't they, Rio?"

"Yeah, definitely," Rio agreed.
"Thanks guys. I hate to leave them overnight. But, since the game is out of town, it's better that way.  Liz and Moudy would've watched them - but I feel guilty having them watch my girls and their Jackson."

"I'm looking forward to it!" Nadine said, then reached out and touched Rio's hand.  "We really consider you and the girls family.  I'm glad the girls are going to get more time to know each other."
Jason stood.  "Me, too," he said.  "I'll see you guys tomorrow morning, then.  Call me if you need anything! And if you can't get a hold of me - you can call Liz!"
 "Good luck!" Rio called after him.

Moudy sighed as he walked through the house, collecting dirty clothes that were just thrown on the floor.  Was it really too much to ask that Liz throw the dirty clothes in the hamper?

He headed downstairs to start a load.
 ...and found a big mess.
Grumbling, he dropped down to his knees to try to diagnose the problem.  Liz had been complaining that the washer was too old and that they needed to buy a new one.  She was right, it looked like it was about 20 years old.  But, he was pretty hand with repair, so he should be able to fix this hunk of metal. 
...Or not.

 "Alright babe, we're buying a new washer," Moudy said a little dazedly as he walked in the front door.

Liz stopped watching Jason's game and turned towards her husband.
"OH MY PLUMBBOB, MOUDY!" she exclaimed.  "WHAT HAPPENED?!"  She worriedly ran her hands over his body, checking for any injuries.

"Ouch!" Moudy said, twitching when her hand grazed a particularly sensitive spot.

She grimaced.  "Are you okay? Should we go to the hospital?"
"Nah, I'm okay," Moudy reassured her.  "Just a few scorch marks.  Nothing to worry about it.  I was trying to fix that damn washer!"
Liz tsked worriedly.  "Be careful, sweetie.  I don't know what I would do without you!"  She stepped close and ran her hands down the side of his jaw then up into his poor, fried hair.  She wiped at the smudge of ash on his cheek.  "Are you sure you're okay?" she asked.

"Well, I could use some help washing my back in the shower," he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
"You're incorrigible," Liz breathed with a small smile before he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

Jason left the stadium, feeling pretty damn elated about their 14 - 3 victory.  Coach said he was unbeatable.

To celebrate their victory, the team made plans to meet at a local dive bar.
"You were amazing!" Cheri simpered, stroking Jason's ego.  "It's no wonder you're MVP!"

August made a face.  "It takes a team," he said, slightly defensive.  Years of playing second fiddle to Jason was beginning to make him cranky. 

Inside the bar, their team waited by the bar for some service and then they heard the doors burst open.
"Oh. My. God!" a snide female voice sneered.  "What are you doing here?"

Jason glanced towards the entrance and blanched.   "Ashley?" he gulped with dismay.  What were the odds that the mother of his child and he would wind up in the same town, the same bar at the same time?  "Plumbbob," he muttered darkly.
"Keep 'em coming," Jason muttered to the bartender.  He was going to need a lot of drinks to make it through this night.
Jason shot a look towards Cheri to see how she was handling the ex-factor while the bartender made his drinks.
When the drinks were put on the bar, Jason desperately turned and grabbed a glass, downing it in single swallow, then reached for another.
"Jason, you should talk to her," Cheri prodded him. 

He shook his head.  "No way," he said, feeling childish and spiteful.  But, plumbbob, he'd loved her and she'd broken his heart.  What was he supposed to say?  "I don't want anything to do with her."  No way, no how was he going to talk to...
"So? You think you're some sort of hotshot just because you win a few lousy games?" Ashley asked him, her hand on her hip.  

Jason's eye twitched.  "So, how's the stripper?" he heard himself asking bluntly.

Ashley pursed her lips and rolled her eyes.  "Ancient history," she told him.  "So this your new girlfriend?" she asked, nodding towards Cheri.

Jason shrugged.  He didn't want to let Ashley any more into his life than she already was. 
"Whatever," Ashley snipped, turning from him. 

No longer interested in celebrating his win, Jason pleaded with Cheri.  "Come on, let's go back to the hotel." He completely missed the look rejection that crossed Cheri's face after declining to introduce her to his ex-fiance.  He was just focused on getting away from that viper!

 "Jason, I said no!" Cheri said, elbowing Jason away from her.  "I'm not in the mood, okay?"
"I promise, babe, I haven't spoken with her at all! It was just a coincidence that we were at the same place!"  Jason said.

Cheri shook her head.  "It's not that," she frowned, pausing to sniff indelicately.  "It's just that.. you... I..."  A tear appeared near her eyelid that she furiously wiped away.  "Nevermind.  It's stupid," she ended firmly, turning away from him.

Jason rolled over next to her.  "It's not stupid if you're upset," he told her.  "Tell me. Was it Ashley?"

"No!" Cheri burst out.  "You didn't tell her we were dating! You're embarrassed of me!"
Jason was shell-shocked.  "Embarrassed?" he echoed.  "What?"

Cheri nudged him away again, annoyed by his response.  "I told you I didn't want to talk about it."

Jason scrambled to pull her back toward him.  "Why do you think I'm embarrassed?" he pressed.

Cheri turned around in his arms.  "Why didn't you tell her I was your girlfriend?" she demanded, tears gathered on her eyelashes.  "It hurt my feelings."

"I didn't want to tell her anything! Just seeing her took me back to those hellish months after the girls were born.  Nothing I did was right, nothing I said was right - it sucked!"

"Are we?" she asked softly.

Jason felt lost in the conversation. "Are we what?" he asked, bewildered.

"Girlfriend, boyfriend?" she asked, hurriedly adding, "I don't want to push you or anything, but... I just want to know where I stand with you," she said in a rush.

Jason felt his heart thudding in his chest.  He kinda already considered them a serious couple.  "Of course, if that's what you want," he told her. "You know I love you!"

"Nuh uh," Cheri said, shaking her again, her breath catching in her throat.  "You've never said it!" she accused him softly. 

This took Jason by surprise.  "I haven't?" he asked, thinking back.  How could he not have said it a hundred times by now?!  He'd known he was in love with Cheri when she went on a date with him and the girls!   
"Oh plumbbob," he grated, "I'm so sorry, Cheri. I love you," he said, pressing a kiss to her lips.  "I love you, I love you, I love you." Each kiss led to another, longer and more passionate kiss. 

Cheri wrapped her arms around his neck.   "I love you, too, Jason!"

"I'm such an idiot!" he told her.  "I love you. I love you. I. Love. You!"


  1. Jason and Cheri are such a lovely couple! And so are Liz and Moudy. All this time I've been rooting for Liz and Jason to finally get together, but now... they're both in such loving relationships. It's very sweet.

    1. I know! I didn't intend Cheri to turn out so nice! I guess I couldn't help it after Ashley. Lol. Jason deserved a happily-ever-after, too! Hopefully he gets it!

      Definitely not space in the house for 4 adults! ;)