Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now!
“Hey, babe,” Jacqueline called as she came through the door to their new home. It had been a busy few days and the girls hadn’t had much chance to just sit and enjoy their new place. They had set aside this evening to talk and work out some details of their lives together, and maybe their wedding.
“Wine?” JR asked from the kitchen.
“Please,” Jacq replied. She dropped her bag that she took to work each day and collapsed on the couch in the living room.
“How was it today?” JR asked as she handed her partner a glass of white. JR joined her on the sofa.
“Too tired to talk?”
“Nope, we decided we would spend time together tonight and talk. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
JR smiled. “Who knew moving was so … hard.”
“They say it’s right up there with death and divorce for stress,” Jacqueline informed her.
“Yeah, that’s what the statistics say. Why?”
“Just strange that we’re not even married and the word divorce comes up,” JR said with some trepidation.
“That’s not us,” Jacq said squeezing JR’s hand. “We’re the ‘moving’ part of those statistics, not the ‘divorce’ part.”
JR relaxed a little bit. She still had moments of worry about the equality of their relationship, and about how committed Jacqueline was to it. She knew Jacqueline had spent years avoiding any kind of permanent or even semi-permanent relationship. She still could hardly believe that Jacqueline had chosen her and that they now had a beautiful house together.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Jacq said staring at her partner.
“Make it a million dollars and I’ll tell you,” JR said jokingly.
“Done,” said her lover.
“You have a million dollars?” JR asked with wide eyes.
Jacqueline chuckled and shook her head. “I wouldn’t have paid you the penny, so what makes you think I’d pay you a million bucks?”
JR studied Jacqueline’s face. That wasn’t exactly what she had asked. She had to wonder just how much money Jacqueline had. They had never really discussed it. JR decided to change the topic.
“That was such a great housewarming party,” she said.
“I think we already agreed that it was,” Jacqueline said with a frown. “Don’t we have something else we should discuss?”
“You’re sure you want to do that?”
“Why, aren’t you?”
“Of course I am,” JR said with a smile.
“You seem to have some doubts about my commitment though,” Jacqueline stated with a strange look on her face.
“Sometimes what?” Jacqueline asked
“Sometimes I can’t believe that you chose me. I keep thinking there must be much prettier and richer and nicer people than me that you would be happy with,” JR admitted. Then she held her breath to see what Jacqueline would reply.
“I keep telling you that there is no one for me except you. I love you, you dope.”
JR grinned from ear to ear and leaned over to kiss her partner. “Just keep telling me that,” she admonished.
“Always,” Jacqueline declared. “Now can we discuss our wedding?”
“Do you have a dream wedding/” JR asked in all seriousness.
“I don’t,” Jacqueline stated.
“Didn’t you even dream about it as a kid?”
“Can’t say that I did.”
JR was taken aback. Just because you were gay didn’t mean that you didn’t have dreams like everyone else. “Are you sure? I’d like to know.”
“I never thought about getting married or having a permanent relationship. I wanted to compete in the Olympics.”
“Really?” JR asked. She hadn’t known that.
Jacqueline nodded. “I saw myself speeding around the oval on my bike. Winning, of course.”
“Of course,” JR agreed with a grin. “Always bikes?”
“So, did you train for it?”
“Yeah, for a while, but I wasn’t half as fast as I thought I was once I went up against some good competition.”
“You quit?” JR asked in surprise. She couldn’t imagine Jacqueline giving up on anything.
“I like to think that wisdom is the better part of valor. I wasn’t good enough.”
“That must have been hard to admit.”
“It was, but I got past it.”
“So, you don’t have any wishes about the wedding?” JR asked deciding they should get back to the topic they had been discussing. She could see that Jacqueline didn’t like admitting there was something she wasn’t very good at, but she was extremely pleased that Jacqueline had confided that to her.
“Oh, I have one big wish.”
“Okay,” said JR wondering what that wish might be. “Tell me.”
Jacqueline smiled at her paramour. “I love you so much, and my wish is that this wedding be everything you ever dreamed of.”
“I have to make all the decisions?” JR asked.
“In consultation with me, of course.” Jacqueline gave JR a reassuring smile. “Would you like to have the wedding in a church, a ballroom of a hotel, far away in the Caribbean?”
“Wow, you have given this some thought,” JR said in surprise.
“I’ve thought about it, and I’m game for whatever you choose.”
“Carte blanche?” Jacqueline nodded. “Hm…”
“What are you cooking up in that beautiful head of yours?”
“What do you think about having our wedding on the lane?” JR asked.
“Edna’s Treasures Lane…in the country…in the middle of nowhere?”
“You don’t like the idea, do you?” JR said rather disappointed that her idea didn’t meet with more favor.
“It’s not that I don’t like it, but logistically…” Jacqueline didn’t finish the sentence.
“Logistically?” JR asked wanting to find out what was bothering Jacqueline.
“Where would you have it on the lane?”
“I was thinking about Uncle Brian’s garden. I’ve been to a wedding there and it was beautiful.”
“What is your father going to say about that?” Jacqueline asked.
“Oh? I hadn’t really thought about that,” JR admitted.
“He’ll want it to be at his place on the lane, won’t he?”
“Yeah probably,” JR said, somewhat deflated.
“Could we have it there?”
“You mean at the log cabin?”
“I’d rather have it in the garden,” JR said, “but maybe we could have the ceremony on the back porch and have the guests seated on the small lawn below.”
“But that isn’t really what you want, is it?”
“Not really, but I think it could work … if we had to.”
“What if you start with telling your father you want the wedding on the lane?” Jacqueline said.
“See what he says, and we go from there.”
“Sometimes…” JR mused.
“Sometimes if I tell my dad something, he has to modify it and make it his own.”
“So what are you suggesting?”
“If I told him I wanted the wedding at his cabin on the lane, he might decide that it was too cramped or too difficult to pull off.”
“Then it would be his idea to have it somewhere else.”
“Would he consider having it in Brian’s garden?”
“Not likely,” JR admitted. “He would want someplace more neutral.”
“No, but maybe…”
“Maybe what? You’re smiling,” Jacqueline said.
“Maybe down by the stream where the thinking rock is,” JR said grinning at her partner.
“Would you like it there?” Jacqueline asked.
“I think it could be perfect, and I’m sure Emmett would help us with everything.”
“If that’s what you want,” Jacqueline agreed.
“It all hinges on how we handle my father,” JR cautioned.
“I’ll leave that up to you.”
“Thanks a bunch.”
“Well he does like you a whole lot more than he likes me,” Jacqueline stated.
“I wonder how manipulative I can be,” JR mused.
“Sounds like you’re off to a great start,” Jacqueline said as she clinked her wine glass against JR’s. The girls took a sip and had a little chuckle. The wheels were turning in both heads.
Life as we know it was returning to normal, at least for Kinney Bros. Inc., it was. As for the rest of the world, chaos and mayhem still reigned free. But in our corner of the universe, all was well.
“Schmidt!” Brian called out as he strode into Kinnetik. Brian was bored, he had terrorized Part Deux for a few days but found that it was running perfectly as usual. Since he wasn’t having any fun, Brian decided to head the other way into the Pitts to see what mischief could be had.
“Hi Brian,” Ted pleasantly replied as he followed Brian into his office. Brian arched his brow. “Any more news about the one who shall not be named?”
“Latest report is that he took a brief side trip to New Orleans then flew back to Europe. According to Shane, he tried making a nuisance of himself in London but was given the boot. He’s hiding somewhere in Greece where I hope he has a run in with a donkey,” Brian sneered.
“Nevermind. Anyway, I hope that’s the last we hear of…you know who. Anything I should be made aware of,” Brian asked as if he didn’t already know. Ted continually marveled at how Brian knew what was going on in each branch and with each contract.
“Not really, it’s kind of quiet.”
“Quiet! Quiet is meant for libraries not an advertising agency,” Brian growled.
“Did I say quiet? No, no, I meant each campaign is on schedule. It’s all good. We’re good. I mean Kinnetik’s good,” Teddy babbled on. “The boys took the week off,” Ted stated trying to shift the conversation onto safer ground.
“Yes, I’m well aware. They’re currently bunking in at the B&B. And eating me out of house and home.”
“Well, they are growing boys. And they do work hard.”
“Agreed,” Brian said softly.
“What is it, Bri? You know you can tell me anything.”
“Nothing really. We’re just waiting for all the permits, the dotting of “I’s” and crossing of “T’s”so that Kinney Bros. can officially own the properties surrounding Babylon then we can start construction.”
“You don’t sound happy.”
“I guess I was gearing up for a fight but it never came. Now I don’t know what to do with this pent up energy.”
“When was the last time you visited one of the other branches and I don’t mean Part Deux? You know Scott has everything under control.” Ted gave Brian a poignant look.
“Yeah, yeah, I was there for three days and felt useless.”
“Never useless, Brian, but Part Deux has a different way of working. They are quiet and subtle; they’re not flashy. They’re like Isles, specializing in small home grown accounts. They leave the big over the top accounts for us or N’rgy or Perspectives,” Ted said wisely. “You haven’t been to North for a while. Why don’t you go there?”
“No, leave that to the boys and Mel. Hmm.”
“School will be over soon, why don’t we send the boys to North and have them take Bree. She can take a tour of Waldon Industries.”
“That’s an excellent idea. She is getting to be that age but you should run it by Cynthia,” Ted advised.
“When you’re right, you’re right,” Brian said as he stood up from his desk. “Thanks, Ted,” Brian said with a smile.
“Uh, sure, anytime,” Ted stammered, unsure on how to respond to the compliment. “I’ll just get back to my office,” said Ted as he swiftly left Brian’s office.
“You do that,” Brian said with a smirk as he too left his office to speak with Cynthia.
Gus and Ray were sunning themselves in the yard of the B&B. The early June sun was warm and humidity low. The heatwave that made grilling extra special for Brian was long gone. The boys decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and their time off.
“We should go shopping.”
“Yes, as in food shopping. You remember what that is.”
“You make a list, get into your car, drive to the nearest grocery store and buy the stuff on your list,” Ray helpfully reminded his partner.
“Is that a hint?”
“No, more like a strong suggestion. We’ve been here for days, eating like pigs at your dad’s house and now they’re running low.”
“I hear ya. And it’s not like in the city where I can just use a shopping app on my phone. Ain’t no one gonna deliver out here.”
“Are you sure you passed all your English classes in school; your grammar is horrendous,” Ray teased.
“I are a college graj-u-ate!” Gus retorted. Ray rolled his eyes at Gus’ silliness.
“Well, whatever you are, you’re certainly not a cheapskate or one to exploit your parent’s generosity. I say we take a quick shower, put on real clothes then check in with Justin so we can go shopping,” Ray stated with authority.
“You’re right. You’re also very smart. That’s why I love you,” Gus said as he pulled Ray close for a loving hug and kiss. Ray responded in kind.
“Let’s go before we get distracted. We have plenty of time for mushy stuff later,” Ray said with a grin.
“Right you are. Shopping first, mushy stuff later!”
The boys quickly got ready then sprinted up the lane to consult with Justin.
“Justin!” Ray called out as they entered the front door of the cottage.
“Porch,” Justin called out. “Hey guys,” Justin mumbled around the tip of his paint brush.
“I’m surprised you don’t get splinters the way you nibble on your brushes,” Gus stated.
Justin did a double take. “You sound just like your father,” Justin said with a contrite shrug of his shoulders. “Um, what can I do for you? You going somewhere?” Justin noticed that the boys weren’t in their “let’s lounge around the lane all day” clothes.
“Yes, you guys have been doing all the cooking and we’ve enjoyed practically every meal with you. We’re going to refill your refrigerators and buy a few things for the B&B,” Gus explained.
“We should check in on Rachel and Debbie. Maybe they need something too,” Ray suggested.
“That’s a good idea,” Gus said.
“No need to bother Debbie, I have her list,” said Justin. “I was planning on going shopping soon so I already asked her. I have one for John and Bobby too.”
“Great! We’ll go to Rachel now then see you later,” Gus said as Ray grabbed the lists then they headed out to Rachel’s.
“Come in guys, what can I do for you?” Rachel said as the boys came through the back door into Rachel’s kitchen. As the guys explained their plan, Rachel quickly took inventory. “I don’t need much, however, if you don’t mind me tagging along, I can help do the shopping.”
“The more the merrier,” Ray said with a smile.
“Okay troops, head em up, move em out!” Gus announced as the three headed out to Bridgeton on their quest for groceries.
“This is a nice store,” Ray commented as they strolled up and down the aisles. He had one cart while Gus manned another. Rachel had a third for her few things; the rest in her cart belonged to Debbie.
“I kind of forgotten how to shop in person since we’re so used to getting things delivered,” Gus said.
“I know what you mean,” Ray replied. “I’ll meet you in the bread aisle,” Ray said as Gus concentrated in the produce section.
“Okay,” said Gus as his phone vibrated in his pocket. “Hey, long time no see,” Gus teased.
“Yeah, like a whole four days. What are you doing?”
“Grocery shopping. What are you doing?” Gus asked as he examined a pineapple.
“Working; the latest issue of Rage came in today. Business is booming,” said JR.
“That’s good to know. I bet Uncle Mikey is happy.”
“Yeah, real happy.”
“Nothing really. Jacq and I have been discussing wedding plans.”
“Is she ready to meet you at the alter?”
“Sort of. Most girls have some ideas about what their dream wedding would look like.”
“But Jacq’s not like most girls,” Gus surmised.
“You’re right. I was kinda thinking about having it on the lane maybe near the stream,” JR said.
“Your dad may not like that idea,” Gus wisely stated.
“Yeah, I know. I wasn’t even thinking about the cabin. I like the back porch, and the yard could fit most of the guests,” JR said as her mind wandered.
“JR, earth to JR,” Gus teased as the pineapple which smelled deliciously sweet made its way into his cart. “You just bought a beautiful house with a wrap around porch and a yard that fit half of Pittsburgh. I say you have your venue, let Auntie Emm take care of the rest,” Gus suggested, very pleased with himself.
“DOH!” JR said loudly as she bopped herself on the forehead. “You’re so smart.”
“I agree, now all you have to do is set a date then call Emm.”
“Okay and thanks big brother!”
“Any time little sister.”
“Have fun shopping,” JR snickered.
“Have fun telling Jacq about your change of venue,” Gus laughed then got back to the business of grocery shopping.
Return to Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now