“Please let me help with the dishes,” Becca asked.
“Nope, this is our dinner and everyone is a guest tonight. We really wanted to give everyone a break,” I answer, pulling out a barstool so she can at least sit with me while I work.
“You know, he’s still got her in there…” Becca says softly.
“In case you haven’t noticed, he’s in love…” I chuckle, thinking about how Elliot has barely put Emerson down all day.
“Have you guys talked about all that stuff yet?” she asks quietly.
“Yes, and no. I know that we both want kids…” I answer.
“He was never like this with Alex, something is different about him,” she comments as both Jenna and Helen enter the kitchen.
“Becca, will you please tell Elliot that he can’t hog her all night?” Helen laughs, but I can see the twinkle in her eye watching him from the doorway.
“Hey, I don’t care who the baby hog is, as long as I get a break,” she jokes.
Jenna goes right into the fridge and pulls out the berry tarts I made and starts to set it all out on the table.
“Jenna, I can get that, I’m almost done here,” I scold.
“Taylor, you won’t let us do anything and it’s freaking us out,” she says with a smile.
Wheeling into the mix, Elliot pipes up, “Tay, please keep them busy, they keep hovering around and standing in front of the game.”
“You’re just afraid that they are going to take her off of you if they continue to remain idle, I’m on to you buddy!” I tease.
“Elliot give me my granddaughter!” Helen says reaching around to try and snatch Emerson from him.
“Alright, alright! I surrender!” he says lifting the squirming little girl from his lap.
I watched him all day with her, his face bright and full of joy. It’s amazing that this is the same man who nearly bit my head off in a Starbucks parking lot. As soon as that little girl is anywhere near him he becomes mesmerized, it’s incredible to see. They all see it too, the complete turnaround he’s made over the last months. He still has bad days, days where I can tell he wants to just throw in the towel, but he keeps getting up in the morning, keeps pushing forward. I often find myself in awe of him, I know that some days for me, my demons creep out and it’s hard to just move ahead, so seeing him succeed gives me hope that one day I won’t look over my shoulder so much.
“Taylor? Earth to Taylor?” Elliot says softly.
“Huh, oh, what?” I answer with a laugh.
“Where were you just then?” he asks.
“Just thinking…” I respond, leaning down to kiss him.
“Thought I smelled something burning!” Ethan says from behind us, breaking up our kiss.
Before I can even get a word out, Elliot reaches for the sprayer on the faucet and nails him in the chest with the water.
“Oh, it’s on…” Ethan replies, wringing out his now soaked shirt.
While I’m pinned behind Elliot at the sink, I watch as Jenna, Becca and Helen quickly make their way out of the kitchen and whatever is about to happen.
“Taylor, get out of there!” Jenna yells with a laugh, as I try and dodge an orange that was intended for Elliot.
“You asked for it, now little brother…” Elliot says as he swipes the towel from the dishrack.
“Please, I’ve got you both cornered, what are you going to do about it?” Ethan taunts.
“Leave Taylor out of it, she didn’t do anything,” Elliot says trying to give me an out.
Little do they know I have two cans of whipped cream sitting next to the sink, and if I time it just right I think that I can get both of them at once as I sneak out. I’m watching, just waiting for an opportunity as they stare each other down. Suddenly, Elliot pushes forward and tries to snap Ethan with the wet towel, only to have him catch it and yank him even closer. Just as they are about to tug of war over the towel I reach around and pop the caps off the whipped cream, only briefly thinking about having to clean up the mess I’m about to make. They have turned from tug of war now to smacking each other and I see my opening as they move to the right. I quickly dash forward shaking both cans before I press the nozzles into action.
“Cornered? Not even close Ethan!” I yell as I successfully slide past them, covering them in the whipped cream as I go.
Becca is howling with laughter as Helen just shakes her head. Once I’m clear I turn to look at them, what a sight they are dripping with whipped cream both stunned into stillness. I don’t think they even knew what happened. I nearly double over with laughter as Everett and Mark join in the group of us watching them.
“Do I even want to know?” Everett asks with a chuckle.
Ethan and Elliot are just watching us, watching them and then without warning I’m being lifted over Ethan’s shoulder as he darts out of the house with me. I’m squirming and still shooting the whipped cream at him as he launches me into the pool. I stay under for a minute because I can only hope that Elliot didn’t think to get the cold hose, it’s what I would do. When I slowly come up for air, I’m cringing, waiting for their next move.
“Cupcake, you okay?” Elliot says sneakily as I look around at the trail of whipped cream down the porch.
“I’m good, nice night for a swim, don’t you think?” I answer, not willing to give them the satisfaction.
I finally spot him and the dreaded hose, but Ethan is nowhere in sight. Taking what may be the only chance I get I put everything I have into a huge splash and douse Elliot, the look on his face is priceless as I’m blasted with the hose.
“Ha!” Ethan hoots coming from behind Elliot.
Next thing I know Mark is shoving Ethan into the pool and Elliot turns the hose on him this time. I’m still laughing as I finally climb out and catch the towel Becca tossed me, still not daring to get too close. I high five Mark as I make my way back into the house.
“Oh, Taylor, they will always gang up on you…” Jenna says with a smile.
“Yeah, I thought they might, but it was worth it to see them covered in whipped cream right?” I remark.
“Definitely!” she answers.
As I’m wheeling down the hallway I can’t help but think that this is the most alive I’ve seen Taylor in a long time. The genuine laughter and brilliant smile on her face when she doused us stopped me in my tracks. I had to compose myself after that because it’s been so long since I’ve seen it. I knock softly on the bedroom door and when she says come in I enter.
“I started to change and then I realized I have whipped cream in my hair,” she says with a pout.
“You really thought you had us there didn’t you?” I ask.
“No, but it sure was fun,” she smiles before climbing onto my lap.
I softly brush the wet strands from her face and tuck them behind her ear as her arms circle my neck, “You’re sticky!” she says trying to pull away.
“And whose fault is that?” I say holding her tight so she can’t pull away.
“I know, you need a shower…” she breathes.
“So do you,” I say as I feel her tongue on my neck now.
“So sweet,” she says with another lick.
“Tay, everyone is still here…” I manage to get out before a groan escapes my lips at her teasing.
“I know…” she answers not letting up.
All sorts of ideas are swirling through my head as I wheel her closer to the bed and pop my brakes, “Get up there…”
“No…” she defies me, taking my hand and guiding my fingers to her sweet spot.
The heat radiating from her core warms my hand immediately as I rub. Finally, I look at her and she knows just what I’m after. Peeling the wet jeans and panties off she climbs back onto my lap, this time straddling me, leaning back against the bed. I offer her a smirk, as my fingers toy with her sensitivity. I try and lift her so my mouth can get in on the action but she resists.
“Tay, come on…” I nearly beg as I bury my fingers deeper.
“Not right now…” she breathes heavy.
“Just a little taste?” I whimper.
“We have to go back out there at some point, and I’d like to keep a little dignity, El,” she says writhing against my calloused hand.
“They won’t know…” I try.
“Yes they will, I’m sure they already know what’s going on in here,” she says nearly out of breath.
Finally, as she collapses into me, I wheel us both toward the shower. She looks at me strangely for a moment then as I come to a stop. This is something we haven’t done yet, I don’t often let her into this part of my life and I’m sure she’s a little baffled, even in her current state of bliss. Nudging her forward some I peel my own wet shirt off, careful not to bash into her. She is watching me now, her fingers do a little dance over my chest, and slowly find that line. That amazing line that can provide such a distraction. It takes everything in me to still those soft hands, but like she said we have company, and I didn’t anticipate this. As quickly as she started she’s off my lap and lifting her soaked shirt over her head revealing her beautiful body. No matter how many times I see her getting naked it always feels like the first time. Wordlessly she looks at me, then begins to unbutton my pants. I lift up and with a tug, she pulls them down along with my boxers. While part of me is a little disappointed that nothing popped up to greet her I have to chalk it up to just another aspect of life that I can’t control. Despite my lack of enthusiasm down under, she doesn’t falter for a second and before I can gather my thoughts her lips are crashing down on mine with such intensity I’m nervous for a moment that she’s going to tip us. Before wrapping my arms around her I pop my brakes so we aren’t wheeling around the bathroom. I revel in the feeling of her lips on mine and her breasts pushing into my chest and when she suddenly breaks her contact I shiver.
“You’re killing me…” I say my hands on her hips trying to bring her back.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself, but we really need to get back out there…” she says climbing gracefully off of me.
With a pout, I watch her for a second before I reluctantly move to turn the water on. What I think will be awkward actually ends up being pretty damn great. My self-consciousness falls away as we hurry to get cleaned up and back out to our company. The sexual tension between us has to be visible because with each glance, each little touch the rest of the evening there is an electricity. The seductive way she looks at me, or the subtle brush of her fingertips along the back of my neck as she passes by me are driving me more insane with each passing second and I can’t wait for this game to be over. I can barely think straight long enough to answer a few questions with more than a one-word answer. All I can think about is how I’m going to ravage her hot little body as soon as my family is gone. I excuse myself briefly and sneak into my bathroom for a little “pick me up” with only three minutes left in the game and return and start clearing the snack bowls.
“Dude, there is still a few minutes left?” Etan questions meeting my death glare.
“Yeah and some of us have an early morning…” I spit at him.
“Geez, I don’t think I like Sunday dinner at your house, even if Taylor’s fettuccine puttanesca was like nectar from the gods,” he says with a smirk.
Mark gets the hint and tells Alex to start getting his shoes on with a nod to me as I re-enter the room. As much as Ethan understands what I deal with, sometimes he is as sharp as a dull crayon. Mark, though, he writes my scripts most of the time so he knows a little deeper what the situation is like.
“I can’t wait for the day he asks me to write him a script for that and he realizes all the shit you deal with…” Mark whispers in my ear as they are heading out the door.
I chuckle, trying to imagine bonehead Ethan ever needing viagra, hell the kid was born with a little chubby, “He would never, he’ll come to me first.”
When I finally close the door I turn around and find her in just one of my button down shirts, a cheeky little grin on her face.
“You have no idea what you’re in for tonight cupcake…”