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    FrankD
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Fourth Down: Second Quarter - 2. Chapter 2

It’s only been a few weeks since we moved into our new home, and so far it has been pleasant settling into the new town. Perfect strangers came up to us and welcomed us to the town. The local church minister also made himself known, complementing our family, and saying we were welcome to join in the church services if we so wished.

“Are you going to be ok with the twins today? I would take them but I am going to be swamped with client calls all day,” Dale said, looking at me via the mirror as he was getting ready. I was still in bed.

“I should be fine. There’s some coloured chalk in my desk, so they can draw on my blackboard while I get things planned out for the coming school term.”

Crash! Our bedroom door slammed open into the wall and a red blur rushed the room, jumping onto our bed. I reached out and grabbed the giggling little red head around the waist and pulled her down to both cuddle her and to make sure she did not hurt herself. In the doorway, Ethan stood with his thumb in his mouth, holding his blanket he went to bed with. All I had to do was hold out an arm to invite him in. He struggled to climb on the bed with me, due to him still sucking his thumb. Dale, seeing what was happening, walked over to Ethan and picked him up, placing a kiss on his chubby cheek, causing him to giggle around his thumb. Dale plonked him down on the bed. He proceeded to climb into my free arm.

“You two are up awfully early,” Dale said, as he straightened his tie.

“We is going to school. Ian says you has to gets up early for school,” Mia said, rolling her eyes.

“Yes, you do,” Dale confirmed, while ruffling her hair. “But it is still the school holidays, so your Daddy will be going in a little later than usual.”

“If it’s the school holidays, why does Daddy need to go to school, Papa?” Ethan asked confused.

“Because, I have some work I need to do before I meet my new students.” I tell him.

“So we not going to school?” Mia asked, looking like her balloon was deflating.

“You are coming to school with me,” I reassure her, squeezing her tight. “But, you won’t be starting just yet.”

“Ok, I am heading off,” Dale says, as he places a kiss on each of our kids heads, before placing a chaste kiss upon my lips. “Now you behave, and listen to you Daddy. Okay?”

“Yes Papa,” The twins say in unison. “We wove you Papa!”

“And I love both of you, too,” He smiled, placing another kiss on their heads. “And I definitely love you.” He smiled lovingly at me, before granting me a not so chaste kiss this time.

“Go, or you’ll be late,” I say, reaching over so I can gently spank his fine ass. “And I love you too, Dale.”

***

“I’m bored, Daddy!” Mia winged at me for what felt like the sixtieth time, but was probably more around four or five.

“I’m almost done, Sweety. I just have a few more things to finish, then we can go outside to play for a bit.”

That seemed to placate her as I did not hear a peep for the next half hour. I used that time to finish what I came to do, or so I had thought. When I looked up, she was gone.

Oh, fuck! Where did she go off to?!

“Hey Buddy, where is your sister?” I asked Ethan, who was drawing a pretty picture on my board. I looked like our little family having a picnic on a nice, sunny day.

He looked up at me with his big blue eyes, and shrugged his shoulders. Looks like we were so involved in what we were doing we failed to notice her leave the room.

“Come on kiddo, let's go look for her,” I say as I pick him up and place him on my hip. Hopefully the rising panic did not show in my voice.

Keep calm, she’s ok. She couldn’t have gotten far, and only staff are allowed in.

We spent what felt like an eternity searching high and low for my little girl. Every empty room just elevated my panic that was slowly trying to escape. We had just turned a corner towards where the new school nurse would be stationed, when I heard, “how do you know my name?”

Mia! Thank fuck she’s ok.

Walking into the room, I see Mia sitting on the desk in the nurse's office talking to a woman roughly my age who looked vaguely familiar.

“That’s because your Mommy talks about you and your brother all the time,” The woman smiled at my daughter with fondness.

“You know my Mommy?!” Mia asked, amazed.

“Sure do. She’s one of my best friends.”

“Mommy is best friends with my Daddies too.” Mia gushed. “Do you know my Daddies?”

“I sure do. In fact I was a close friend of your Daddy, Hunter.”

That made it click. “Olivia?” I tentatively asked, as I stepped into the room.

“Hunter!” Olivia says, standing up from behind her desk to embrace me. “It’s been far too long. And you!” She beamed at the boy on my hip. “You must be Ethan! My, aren’t you the splitting image of Dale,” she smiled.

“Olivia! It’s good to see you, but what are you doing here?” I ask, completely confused as to what was going on.

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m the new school nurse!” She laughed.

“Wait… What? That’s so awesome!” I said, “Does Vicky know you are here? She didn’t mention that you were coming.”

“She does... I just asked her not to say anything.” She said. “I was originally intending to pop over tonight, and surprise everyone after I finished up here. I was not, however, expecting you to be here with your adorable children in tow.” Shebruffled Mia’s hair, who had been quietly standing there, inspecting this new person.

“Well then, all the more reason to fire up the grill and celebrate our reunion!” I told her.

We caught up a little longer until Mia's restlessness caused us to go our separate ways, with promises of catching up more that evening.

***

It was around five when we heard the doorbell ring. Once again, joyfully entertaining our friends, including Belle as she and her kids just seemed to fit so well into our group. Ethan was also benefiting, it seemed, as he would become more outgoing when Ian was around. Ian was also good with the twins, and often encouraged Ethan to be a little bit more adventurous. Ruth would often interact with the adults of the group, but always stuck close to her mother.

“Do you think that’s her?” Dale asked. Even though he was happy for our group's reunion with Olivia, they were never exactly close, especially with the way they left things.

“Only one way to find out,” I smiled, then pecked his lips before getting up.

Before I went inside, I noticed Evan take Madox’s hand, and whisper something in his ear. Ever since he heard that Olivia would be joining us, you could tell that he was left anxious over their reunion, as he kept fidgeting and jiggling his leg with nervous energy.

“Come on, let's go meet our friend,” Vicky said, as she took my arm and led me toward the front door.

No sooner had we opened the door to reveal Olivia standing there with a man I had yet to meet, did Vicky elicit an ear piercing squeal. As did Olivia, who thrust a bowl she was carrying into the hands of her companion, and lept into Vicky’s arms with both of them saying how long it had been since they last saw each other, and how much they missed the other.

“Bruce! It’s so wonderful to see you again!” Vicky smiled at the stranger.

Well at least now I have a name for this handsome man on my doorstep. He had a rather slim build and had an uncanny resemblance to my Dale. Were they related in some way?

“Vicky! It’s great to see you again too.” Bruce smiled as he took Vicky in his arms, then placed an arm around Olivia’s waist once he released her.

“Uh, Hi!” I greeted. “I’m Hunter, and welcome to our home.”

“Oh sorry, Hunter. This is my husband, Bruce Havelton.”

“Husband? Congratulations!” I say as I take her in my arms, giving her a congratulatory hug. “When did this happen?”

“A few years before we finished our nursing degrees.”

“Wow, that's awesome. Uh, come inside! Let me get you guys a drink. Vicky will lead you to where everyone is sitting. What will you have?”

“Beer is fine,” Olivia said after she looked toward her husband who just merely nodded his consent.

“Great, won’t be a sec.” I smiled, before making my way towards the kitchen.

Stepping outside with their drinks, I noticed Olivia and Madox embracing to one side of the garden. Both had moisture in their eyes.

“Are they ok?” I enquired, as I handed Bruce his drink and placed Olivia’s on the table.

“They should be...” Bruce said. “It must be hard on them after the way they left things. By the way, you and Dale have a lovely home.”

“Thank you,” I say as I take my seat next to my husband. “Do you know much of their story?”

“Only what she told me. That they had a falling out over yours and his sexuality, that she was jealous that Dr. Smith--”

“You can call me Evan, you know.” Evan cut in. “Just because we work together in the ER does not mean we can’t be friends outside of there,” He added with a smirk.

“Er... Thanks.” Bruce blushed, but smiled gratefully towards my friend. “Uh so… She was basically jealous that Dr Sm… Er… Evan, was making him happier than he was with her.”

“And how do you feel about us? Being in relationships with other men?” Dale asked.

“I have no opinion on the matter really. You all seem like cool people to me, and if any of the stuff that Olivia has said about you is true, then I’d be more than happy to be friends with you all. That, and it would be rather hypocritical of me seeing how I am bi.” He smiled.

“Really?” Dale asked, clearly surprised.

“Hey, Olivia has done a lot of growing these past years.” Vicky defended her friend.

“Well I only just met you, and you’re good in my books.” Belle said.

“Thanks.” Bruce said, clearly relieved. “Belle right? I don’t think you were friends with Olivia in college.”

“Nope, was born and raised here. Only met these lovely people a few weeks ago.” Belle smiled.

“So where is your husband at tonight?” Bruce asked.

Both Belle and Ruth suddenly had a far different look in their eyes. They were no longer the eyes that were enjoying themselves earlier.

“There is no “Husband” or “Dad” in our lives,” Ruth said, before getting up and storming off.

“I’m sorry about that.” Belle apologized for her daughter. “My husband... My ex-husband walked out on us when Ian was five.” She said, with a sad look on her face.

“I’m so sorry... I should not have asked.” Bruce tried to console.

“It’s okay, really. Ian barely remembers him,” she said looking toward her son who was playing with the twins in our pool. “As for Ruth… Well, she took it quite hard.”

“Were they close?” Dale asked, taking her hand in his in an effort to comfort her.

“They were.” Belle sniffed. “It was just unexpected, really. He was away on work, and we had a horrible fight over the phone, which Ruth overheard. Then after that... Nothing.”

“He just... Disappeared?” Evan asked.

“Yeah. We tried the motel he was staying at, only to be told that he had checked out. We tried the police, who only told us that he more than likely left. To try and start a new life.” She spat out those last few words.

“I’m so sorry,” Vicky said sadly, rubbing the shoulder of Belle’s that was closest to her.

“I’m ok, really...” She smiled weakly. “Thanks. Now enough of that, let's enjoy this happy reunion!”

Madox and Olivia soon joined us, and we spent the next few hours laughing, drinking, and just catching up. Around eight we put the twins to bed, so Ian decided to join the adults.

We were just setting up a board game we decided to play, when Mia came running outside and beelined for me.

“Daddy!” She said to me with some urgency. “Ethan is making those bad whistling sounds.”

“When he breathes?” Evan asked, while getting ready to stand.

Mia looked at him and nodded. With that Evan was already rushing into the house and calling for Bruce to assist him, while we all followed him inside.

I hope you all enjoyed Chapter 2 of Second Quarter :D 

Also a very special thanks to my friend who edits for me.

Please feel free to offer any suggestions that may help with my writing.

FDudney
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Chapter Comments

OH NO - that sounds serious!  Is Ethan asthmatic??  So happy to see book two.  Thanks Frank!

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9 hours ago, KayDeeMac said:

OH NO - that sounds serious!  Is Ethan asthmatic??  So happy to see book two.  Thanks Frank!

Thank you ^_^ Poor little Ethan doesn't seem too well at the moment

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I'm so happy there's a continuation of their story. This has been a great start. Love the intros of the new characters Belle and Bruce. 

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8 hours ago, Indigoskye said:

I'm so happy there's a continuation of their story. This has been a great start. Love the intros of the new characters Belle and Bruce. 

Thank you so much :D

 

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I'm sure Evan  in the past has told the guys what to do to minimize Ethan chances of getting pneumonia but when it seemingly comes out of nowhere like this what can you do?

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There is one  time you use the preposition 'at' where it is not required, and that makes the sentence awkward sounding:  'Where is your husband at tonight'…. Mia winged at me for what felt like the sixtieth time Did you mean 'whined'? Both examples, not really faults, just places you could improve your writing.

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Winge and whine mean the same thing here :) Thanks for pointing it out though :D

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