Thank you LaLa!!
was raining as Clark navigated the streets of one of the older sections
of Los Angeles The windshield wipers had a hard time keeping up. The
defrosters were going on high as well, but it was still hard to see.
didn’t often rain like this in southern California but it was making up
for it today. His GPS started talking to him, telling him to turn
right to his destination and he was thankful about that.
left Dorothy at home, curled up with a blanket with a cup of hot apple
cider and the fireplace roaring merrily. She’d seemed a bit out of
sorts today but said she felt okay so he hoped she was being truthful.
She hadn’t slept well last night, he knew, because she’d tossed and
turned a good portion of the night, but she was having a harder time
sleeping lately. With two active babies inside her he could understand
that. Sometimes, when she lay nestled against him, spoon fashion, he
could feel the babies kick her so hard that it almost hurt him.
Women were amazing, of that he was positively sure.
hadn’t been all that moody during the pregnancy, as most of the
pregnancy books warned and he put that down to Dorothy herself because
she was so strong and determined. She’d felt amazingly well during this
pregnancy and said she’d enjoyed it.
After Clark parked the
Cherokee he made a quick dash for the church but it was enough time to
see that Beth was right about the building. It was missing mortar and
even a few bricks here and there and had cracks in the foundation,
although they weren’t too bad, he realized, cosmetic mostly. He
wondered what condition the inside was as he stepped through the
doorway, the large wooden door sticking in the dampness of the day.
was in what probably used to be the sanctuary and now was a day room of
sorts, with various tables and chairs scattered around the room. It
was dark in here to be sure, with only a few lights on, and he wondered
how the people who were sitting at tables playing cards could even see
them. At the far end of the room a table was set up and Clark could see
a large coffee urn with Styrofoam cups sitting next to it.
tall man with dark blond, wavy hair spotted him and headed his way. As
he got closer Clark could see streaks of gray here and there, belying
the man’s, at first glance, youthful appearance.
“Hi, may I help you?”
“Yes, I’m looking for Henry. Is he available?”
“I’m Henry. What can I do for you?”
uh, Clark Griffin, Beth’s father, and she told us about her visit here
yesterday. She said the place needed a few things and I’d like to chat
with you and see what we could do?”
“Are you looking to volunteer?” Henry asked, a bit confused.
in a manner of speaking. I own a large construction company and it
seems to me that this place could use a few repairs.” Clark looked
around the large room that had several buckets collecting water from the
leaking roof. “Say, a new roof?” he asked with a smile.
“Well, yes I can’t deny that, but we don’t really have a budget for that, Clark.”
you misunderstand me, Henry. I’d like to donate materials and labor to
see if we can get this place in better and safer shape. Are you
Henry’s face registered shock at the offer. He
pulled out a chair at a nearby table and sat down, offering the other
one to Clark. “I - I don’t even know how to, what to say, Clark.
That’s very generous of you. I’m not at all sure that you understand
how very dilapidated this building is. It might not be worth all the
time and money.”
Clark grinned and looked around him. “Her guts
still look pretty good,” he said. “Why don’t you let my inspectors be
the judge of whether it will be worth it? I’ll have them out here next
week, but they’ll call you first. Will that be okay?”
“Mr. Griffin, I don’t even know what to say to this offer; it’s amazing.”
then just say yes!” He handed Henry one of his business cards with a
smile. “This is a legitimate offer, Henry. You helped my daughter and
that is worth more to me than whatever it would cost to get this place
into shape.” Clark stood up and held out his hand to Henry who did the
“This is an incredible offer, thank you so much!”
“No problem, Henry. Good day!”
watched the dark, good-looking man leave and felt like yelling with
glee. Instead, he made his way to his office and sat down to pray. He
had certainly been blessed this day and so had this old building. But
more than that, the people who so desperately needed this facility would
benefit as well.
He couldn’t ask for more than that.
afternoon it was cloudy but at least it wasn’t still raining. Robbi
looked out the window in the front of the house, thankful for that.
Lani and Brianna were setting the gift table with decorations and it
made Robbi smile.
Lani was going to be a mother, with a vampire
husband even. That rock on her finger must have cost a fortune and Lani
seemed so happy. Still, in times past, none of them would have
imagined Lani wanting babies or even being married.
the being married part was on hold, apparently, and that made Robbi sad.
There was something about being married to the right person that made
your soul happy. She couldn’t imagine life without Kev, she knew he was
the one from the very first. He just ‘got’ her and she knew that he
saw who she really was, deep down inside that he loved her anyway.
Robbi thought that Josef was the perfect man for Lani. He was secure
enough to let her be the person she needed to be and while she was
trying to support Lani, she wanted them to get married before that baby
made an appearance. Maybe Lani would change her mind, in time.
“Lani?” Bri asked her auntie, a sweet smile on her face.
“What, my darling girl?” Lani asked, kneeling down so that she was eye level with Brianna.
“Is your baby a girl baby or a boy baby?”
“Well, I don’t know yet.”
“I hope it’s a girl baby and she looks just like you. You’re beautiful,” Bri said with a smile.
Lani pulled her into her arms and hugged the little girl tightly. “Thank you, Bri. So are you!”
grinned, pleased with the compliment because she was in her Barbie
fairy princess dress, complete with tiara and magic wand. Brianna
touched Lani’s head lightly with the wand and said, “Girl baby!” with a
Lani watched as she ran off as something else caught her attention and went to set down on the sofa with Robbi.
“So, how far along are you?”
I’m about two months. The baby is due June 15th.”
“I’m really happy for you, Lani. Are you feeling well?”
“Yes, pretty much. I was tired for a few weeks but that seems to have passed. No morning sickness either. I think I’m lucky.”
nodded and took a deep breath. “Lani, are you sure you want to wait
until after the baby is born to get married? Do you realize how crazy
busy you’re going to be then?”
“Yeah, Robbi, I do or at least I think I do. It’s the best thing for us, to wait.”
“Lani, do you have doubts, about you and Josef I mean?”
I don’t. I can’t imagine my life without him, Robbi. I can feel him,
when he’s near, you know? I know what he’s thinking often times, it’s
“Then why wait? Really?”
Lani sighed; she knew
she was going to get this question a lot. “I don’t want to have some
huge, society wedding but I’ve always wanted - THE dress, you know? You
and Beth with me, and I don’t want to walk down that aisle in a
pregnancy wedding gown, I just don’t! It might seem silly to everyone
else, but it’s important to me. You ought to understand that; you and
Kev had the wedding of your dreams.”
“Yes, well, getting married
on the cliffs at Big Sur was our dream but not really anyone else’s. I
do understand but, Lani, after you give birth it takes a while to get
back into shape and you’re going to be tired, so damn tired, unless you
have a nanny or someone to help. And what about a honeymoon? You two
aren’t going to go off and leave a baby, I know.”
issues that Lani hadn’t really had time to consider yet and she didn’t
want to have to admit that to Robbi. “This gives us time to plan and
make sure it’s exactly what we want.”
“And what does Josef want?
There are two of you involved in this, you know.” Robbi had already
talked to Beth and knew that Josef wanted them to be married now. He
did not want his child born out of wedlock, a rather antiquated mindset
but one that Robbi agreed with completely.
“He - he doesn’t want to wait. But, Robbi, I don’t want to get married because I have to!”
that’s stupid! You aren’t marrying him because you have to, you’re
marrying him because you love him, because he’s the only man for you.
Seriously, are you sure that is true?”
know I’m pushing you a bit, but I want you to be sure about what you’re
doing. You have to admit that in the past you’ve had a tendency to be
impulsive. While the decision to wait to get married sounds like a good
idea now, in the long run it might not be so.”
“Robbi, I’ve done little else but think about it, you know?”
nodded, letting the subject go. It was upsetting Lani and she didn’t
want to make her sad. She looked up in surprise when Lani asked the
“Robbi, will you and Kev ever be turned? You know what I mean.”
“It’s not like we haven’t talked about it, Lani but we both know that we don’t want that.”
“Ever? What - what if you have it, you know, the disease?” she said, referring to Huntington’s disease.
“Even if I do. And you may as well know that I’ve decided to be tested. After the first of the year, I think.”
“Oh, my gosh, Robbi. Are you sure you want to know?”
I do. If I have it, I want to live as much as I can, until, until it
gets too bad. If I don’t have it, then I can just enjoy my life. Lani,
I am with the man of my dreams, my soul mate, however you want to put
it. We, Kev and I both, believe that when this life ends, whenever it
ends, that we’ll be together. So we’ll have forever as well. We just
want to be with our kids and grandkids someday, hopefully, and share
this life together.”
Lani swallowed down a lump, her throat
aching sharply. She hated this, positively hated that Robbi and Kev
wouldn’t be with them in the future. She could only hope that they’d
change their minds at some point. She knew that however long forever
was, she wanted to spend it with Josef. She couldn’t imagine a life
She was hurting him, by making him wait for the
wedding. She knew it and yet she didn’t want to get married under these
circumstances. How many times in her life had she heard her father say
to her mother, “If it weren’t for you being pregnant I wouldn’t have
had to marry you. I’d have had a good life.”
Those words hurt
and were only one of the many scars she carried from her childhood. She
needed to be able to let that pain go because until she did, she’d
never really be whole, no matter how much she and Josef loved one
Beth pulled the
Prius into the driveway at Audrey and Logan’s house, Mick sitting beside
her. Audrey greeted them at the door as they walked up the steps.
“Hi! Come on in. Mick, Logan is in the office.”
thought we were going to have a guy’s afternoon, not play on the
computer!” Mick exclaimed, heading into the office to pull his one-time
fledgling out of there. Today, he was going to teach Logan about
Audrey and Beth followed along, with Beth grinning.
Personally, she just couldn’t see Logan as being an avid football fan
like Mick, but then again, you could never tell. She looked down when
she felt a paw tapping her leg and then knelt down to pet Travis. It
didn’t take long for Plato to get to the action and she rubbed both of
them behind the ears and scratched their cheeks just for good measure.
Their purrs sounded like heaven to Beth since she hadn’t been sure that
Travis would ever make up with her.
“Hey guys, how are you, huh?
Do you like your new home?” she asked as both cats tried to push the
other away from her hands so that they could be the sole recipient of
her attention. She laughed and said, “None of that you little attention
Logan was actually looking up information on the game of
football while eating a popsicle. Audrey laughed at his cold lips as
she kissed him goodbye. “Have fun!”
“Yeah, you too,” Beth told Mick and kissed him as well.
While the girls were gathering up purses and jackets Beth heard Mick say, “You really think you can taste that, Logan?”
“I can taste it!”
smiled and knew that Mick would never believe that, but it was okay.
“Goodbye!” she called out and heard an echoed response as she and Audrey
climbed into the car. The drive to Dorothy’s only took a minute since
it was only two blocks away. They pulled into the drive way and headed
to the door.
“Hey, Mom!” Beth said, kissing her mother on the cheek. “Are you ready?”
in just a minute. Want to make one more quick bathroom stop since it’s
about 45 minutes to Robbi’s house. Your dad’s in the den, go say hi.”
“Aren’t you going to watch football with Mick and Logan?” Beth asked, watching as Clark worked at the computer.
later. I’m working on some ideas for the old church. The inspectors
are going in on Tuesday and I’ll be interested to see what they say. It
needs a roof for sure and that will probably be the most expensive
thing to do. It has those old terra cotta tiles on it and it is
impossible to find the right replacements, I think, which means a whole
new roof. And, the building itself might fall under the historical
society’s protection act and that could cause a few issues as well.
Lots to figure out here.”
Beth grinned, knowing that while he was
grumbling about this he was also excited because he loved restoration
projects. “Still, football, Dad!”
He leaned back in his chair
and grinned, stretching. “Yeah, us trying to explain the difference
between offense and defense players, what a quarterback does and downs.”
He chuckled and continued, “Mick will have his hands full with all
that, I know, because I’ve tried to explain it all to Logan in the past.
He’ll sit there and roll his eyes and it might just be more than I can
“Chicken!” Beth teased.
Dorothy walked into the room and Clark grinned at his beautiful wife. “Hey, you ready for your big day?”
am indeed. I’m actually looking forward to it. We’ll have cake and
lots of fun, I’m sure, and it’s all going to benefit the women’s clinic.
Doesn’t get much better than that!”
“Yeah, well don’t forget your poor old husband here - he likes cake too,” he called out as the girls headed to the door.
“We’ll see,” Dorothy laughed. “Hey, don’t forget your dinner is in the fridge. No cake though!”
He joined them in the foyer and gave her one more kiss. “Have fun, girls!”
will!” they all said and he watched as they climbed into the Prius in
preparation for the journey to Long Beach where Robbi lived. It was
going to be quite an afternoon for them he thought as they pulled out of
the driveway, waving at him.
He loved that woman so much, she
was more precious to him than anything else in this life. He’d paid his
dues over the years, waiting for her but it had been worth it. She was
everything he could ever want in this life. He’s somehow always known
that they would be together someday. He also knew that they’d have
forever together as well.
turned on the heater in the car because it was a bit chilly. Not that
she was cold but she had two human passengers to think of. They chatted
all the way to Robbi’s and the time passed quickly. Off in the
distance they caught occasional glimpses of the Pacific, gray and
choppy, in the chilly afternoon. Beth sighed, she really hated it when
it was so gray outside. Give her sunshine and blue water any day. Some
vampire, she thought, with an inward laugh.
There were already a
few cars at Robbi’s house but they’d left a spot in the driveway for
Beth’s car in consideration of Dorothy. Brianna ran out the door to
greet them and patted Dorothy’s tummy. “Hi babies!” she said with a
Beth scooped the little girl up and gave her a kiss on the
cheek. “Hey, Brianna! You look like a princess today! I wish I had a
Barbie fairy princess outfit too!”
“You can wear my tiara,” the little girl said generously.
“No sweetie, that’s okay. I have one of my own! Remember my wedding?”
Bri nodded and then looked around before saying, “Where is Mick?”
is a girls only party, Bri! And we’re going to have fun!” Beth said as
she stepped into the house. She sat Brianna down and greeted Robbi and
Lani and some of the other guests. “Robbi, the house looks great!”
“Yes, well I had help you know,” she laughed as she took their coats. “Wait until you see the cake, Beth! It is fantastic!”
“Well then, let’s go see it. I’m ready to get this party started!”
To be continued…