I walked into the kitchen and didn’t see the kids, who were supposed to be here. Justin came in and looked around, noticing the missing children and Fluffy.
“Are they still upstairs?” I ask.
“No, I sent them down here to wait for us.” Justin tells me.
“Nathan knows it lunchtime, right?” I ask, because Nathan is like Justin, never misses a meal.
“Yes Brian, I told him, and Penny, before you ask.” He tell me.
“YUCK.” Penny yells from the laundry room.
“There is a part of me that just doesn’t want to know.” I tell Justin.
“Yet there’s the bigger part that says we need to know.” Justin tells me, going to the laundry room. “Nathan that isn’t for you.” Justin says as he walks in.
I followed, just hoping there wasn’t a complete mess in there. I looked at Fluffy, then at Nathan.
“Why Nathan?” Justin asks, as Nathan crunches away on Fluffy’s food.
“He said it tasted good. There is just something wrong with boys.” Penny tells me, wrinkling her nose at Nathan.
“Nathan, why are you eating the dog’s food?” Justin asks, pulling his hand out of Fluffy’s bowl.
“I eat it for snack.” Nathan tells us, trying to grab another handful.
“Snacks are in the house, not Fluffy’s bowl.” Justin tells him.
“You moved my stool.” Nathan tells us, glaring.
Mel and Gus were off for the wilderness, and Lindsay was thrilled not to have to go. She told me that she, like Brian, just couldn’t stay somewhere without running water. Gus turned the pleading eyes on Brian and of course Brian ended up saying yes. I made sure to pack matching flannel for him and Mel, while unpacking anything that he thought should be worn in the great outdoors. He tried so hard to convince me to go in his place, but like I told him, he’s the sportsman, not me.
Lindsay and I were going over to Alex’s with Jenny, Nathan, and Penny. I planned to take lots of pictures to send Brian. When we got to Alex’s house, Emmett came running out to hug Penny and Nathan. Jenny was copying Gus, not wanting to be hugged.
“I made all your favorites, then we can play while Papa works today.” Emmett tells us.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“They ran into a problem with some graphic, they need to see if you can find a way to make it work.” Emmett tells me.
“Emmett, the program ran perfectly.” I tell him.
“I throw the parties, not write the programs.” He tells me, taking the kids and Lindsay with him.
I went to Alex’s office to see what could have changed in the last two days. Grant was laying on the couch throwing a ball in the air and Alex was pacing back and forth.
“Guys, we ran it two days ago and it worked, what happened?” I ask them.
“Nothing, Dad is all nervous.” Grant tells me.
“Why? The game has already sold enough that you don’t need to worry.” I tell Alex.
“The game is fine, I just didn’t want Emmett to wonder why I wanted you to see me alone.” He tells me.
“Are you okay?” I asked, when he kept pacing the room.
“Dad wants to marry Emmett.” Grant tells me, smiling.
“Emmett is going to say yes, he’s been waiting for you to ask him.” I tell Alex.
“Emmett saying yes isn’t the problem.” He tells me.
“Then what is?” I ask.
“I mentioned it to him and he said he wanted a prenup, so no one ever thinks it’s about the money.” He tells me.
“Did he say why he’s even worried about it?” I ask.
“He dated someone once and people treated him as if he was in it for the money. He doesn’t want anyone to say he married me for the same reason. We ended up at a party where someone said that I should watch out for Emmett, he overheard the bitch.” Alex tells me.
“Then have him sign one, and after the wedding tear it to shreds. It’s not easy when your partner comes into a relationship with more than you have.” I tell Alex.
“It didn’t bother you?” Alex asks me.
“Of course it did, but Brian pretty much told me that if I marry him, I accept who he is and what he has. It helped that he didn’t act like my contribution wasn’t important.” I tell him.
“You think that’s the problem? Emmett is always offering to help out, but I don’t see any reason for it.” He tells me.
“Dad, talk to the man you want to marry. Tell him that you’ll do the prenup but you just don’t see the point when you never see it ending. Tell him I’ve always wanted to be Cinderella with the wicked stepmother who makes me clean the chimney.” Grant tells him.
“Or just tell him that you and Grant don’t put conditions on love.” I tell him.
I hate mosquitos. I hate singing by the fire. I really hate the fucking flannel that seems to have every set of parents assuming that Mel and I are married. I love that Gus is thrilled to have me here. Unfortunately, Mel and I were stuck with the other lumberjacks.
“Isn’t it wonderful to be out here with the kids?” Soccer mom asks me.
“It’s all I wanted to do.” I tell her, when she keeps leaning towards me, showing me her enhanced breasts.
“My Lambchop just loves nature, more that five star hotels.” Mel tells me, trying to leave me with the single moms.
“Sweetcheeks, you know we always want to show Gus we love him.” I tell her, grabbing her and holding her on my lap.
“Now Buttercup, you know we agreed not to make everyone jealous that you can’t keep your hands off me.” Mel tells me.
“Keeping hands off me, is your job, my delicate flower.” I tell her, holding in the laugh when Mom to the left’s hands are stuck between Mel’s ass and my leg.
“Get your hand off my ass.” Mel leans back, whispering.
“Not my hand.” I whisper back.
“You two are just adorable, how long have you been together.” Soccer mom asks, after getting her hand free.
“Since college, wasn’t it Honeylips?” I ask smiling at Mel.
“Yes Love Muffin, but back then I thought you were such an asshole. He stuck around and I finally just gave in.” Mel tells them.
“Now Melly you need to tell the truth. She was always chasing my crowd around, and one day I had to get her out of the chess club and see if being with me would stop the nickname. I mean it was just awful that everyone called her Smelly Melly. I showed her deoderant was her friend.” I tell our audience.
“He likes people to believe that, but you know he was such a shy virgin when I met him. I made the mistake of thinking he could just be a one night stand, but he assumed that we were meant to be. I gave in when he got down on his knees in the middle of the campus declaring his undying love for me.” Mel tells them.
“Dad, why is Mama on your lap?” Gus asks, looking confused.
“They were just telling us about how they met. It’s so sweet to see a couple who seem so in love.” Soccer mom tells Gus.
“Gus how about we go fishing?” Mel asks, when Gus looks like he’s about to out us.
“Sure, I just love spending time with my loving parents. I can’t wait to tell everyone about how in love you two are with each other.” Gus smirks at us.
“I would love to tell everyone about you and pants.” I tell him.
Gus ran to get fishing poles and we followed him out to the lake. I sprayed myself down with the shit Mel handed me. Then tossed the line out and pulled off my shirt to tan.
“Dad, you know you have to have bait.” Gus tells me.
“Gus, I don’t catch fish, I buy it ready to eat in restaurants.” I tell him, closing my eyes. Did I mention I hate fucking sleeping bags too?
I finally saw one reason to be out here, I could get a tan. I turned over and fell asleep on my arms. I woke up to someone massaging my back.
“Mel, as much fun as it was fucking with the breeders, I really don’t think you have to take it this far.” I tell her.
“Fucking sounds so much better.” Soccer mom whispers.
“Can you explain why you’re hands are on my man?” Mel ask.
“I was just checking that he didn’t burn.” She tells Mel, taking her hands off me.
“Jesus Brian, women too?” Mel asks, after Soccer mom takes off.
I swear you’d think a lighter was the end of the world. I mean, I get rubbing your hands raw with sticks but hey, now we flick a bic for that. I just didn’t see the point in taking an hour to light a fire when I could just get the sucker going. And I will never get people wanting to eat twigs and berries when the restaurant in town was happy to deliver. None of the kids complained when the pizza arrived. It was either pizza, or the fish none of them wanted. The next morning I snuck back before anyone woke up. One of the delivery guys mentioned a hotel close by, and really, hot water is just a requirement. Mel came out of her tent and I wonder how seeing her like that didn’t scare Lindsay off. She took one look at me and demanded keys, apparently I’m not the only one who’s a five star around here.(Okay three and a half). Day two was a hike, and yeah I could deal with exercise, but the women kept having to take breaks to gossip when I wanted to run some of the pizza off. The kids were with the teachers, learning all about tree bark or something. We parents were supposed to stay in back to keep the kids from wandering off, but I didn’t think they meant putting a few miles between us. I started jogging again, but had to wait up for the rest of the group. Mel, who was running with me, rolled her eyes as they all called for another break. She then walked over to me and took off my shirt, whispering “Run Forest, Run” and wouldn’t you know it, the women chased me until we caught up. I left camping with number to call if I ever needed a running partner.