Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now!

Chapter 6




Bree sat on the Thinking Rock and stared into the stream.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for the summer.  She liked the idea of going to Canada with Gus and Ray.  It would be like she was an adult, wheeling and dealing in business.  She chuckled to herself.

Beau raised his head and gave a small woof when he heard her.

“It’s okay, Beau.  I’m just thinking about something good.”

“Woof,” Beau replied as he laid his head back down.  His lady was okay so he didn’t have to worry.

Bree turned her thoughts to soccer camp next.  She was kind of interested in being a CIT and earning a bit of money for her skills.  It would be nice to have that recognition, and boss some kids around.  She chuckled.  She didn’t really want to boss people around. But it would be nice to have some authority at the camp.

The big question was how she could do both - business and soccer.

She didn’t think she wanted to go to soccer camp like she always did.  She wanted something more challenging, but there were limited spaces for CIT’s.  She wasn’t sure she would get one.  Also, what weeks would she want to go there?   She knew Gus would be somewhat flexible about when they went to Canada, but she might not have any choice about when they would take her at camp.

“Why do choices have to be so hard, Beau?”

Beau raised his head and gave her another woof.

“You don’t have any more answers than I do, so I guess we might as well go home,” Bree said as she slid off the rock and gave Beau a pat.

They headed down the path to the conjoined cottages.




“Hi, Daddy,” Bree said as she entered the sun porch.

Justin was staring at a blank canvas looking for inspiration.  He did not answer.

“Daddy,” Bree said a little louder.


Bree sighed.  When her Daddy was in one of these moods there was no talking to him.  He just needed to be alone and work through whatever was going on in his head.  He would be no help with her decisions.

Bree glanced at the Morrison side of the cottages wondering if Patrick might be home, but he was most likely playing in a baseball game.  He was hoping to get a baseball scholarship for college, and if he wasn’t playing, he would be practicing.

Glancing up, Bree decided her Dada was the one most likely to help her at the moment.  She trudged up the circular stairs.

“Come in, Squirt,” Brian said before she even reached the door of her father’s office.  “I’ve been expecting you.”

Bree frowned as she entered the office and took a seat across the desk from her father.  “How did you know?” she asked.

“I’ve lived with you for a lot of years.  I know you pretty well.”

“You’ve lived with me my whole life, and I’ve lived with you.  So how come I don’t know you as well as you know me?”

Brian snorted and then smiled at his precocious daughter.  “I have a few years of experience on you.”

“Yeah, and I lost a couple of years learning to walk and talk and … reason.”

“That many years?” Brian said with a grin.  “When do you think you started the reasoning part?”

“Right away.”


“I had a lot of things to figure out.”

“And have you figured them out?” Brian asked with his tongue in cheek.

“I wish.”

That caused Brian to pause.  He stared at his daughter for a moment, then asked, “What are you having trouble with?”

“Everything,” Bree said with a sigh.


“Every time I think I have stuff figured out something new comes along, and it gets harder to work it out.”

“I think that’s called growing up,” Brian advised.

“Easy for you to say.”

“What would you like me to say?”

“I’d like you to fix it for me,” Bree said in all seriousness.

“You know I would do that if you really needed help, don’t you?” Brian asked.  He waited until Bree nodded.  “But most of what you’re wrestling with is up to you to work out.”

“I don’t like it!”

Brian chuckled.  “Nobody likes to make difficult decisions or have to choose between important things.  The trouble is we have to do it anyway.”

“I know,” Bree admitted.  “But I still don’t like it.”

“So, what exactly are you trying to figure out?”

“How I can be a CIT and also go to Canada and enjoy my summer and…”

“Whoa!” Brian commanded.  “No wonder you’re having trouble. Some of those things could be exactly the same.”

“What?” Bree asked “What do you mean?”  She stared at her father trying to understand.

“Wouldn’t you have fun being a CIT?  Won’t you enjoy yourself when you are conducting business in Canada?  Unless you don’t really want to be involved in business.”  Brian held his breath waiting to hear what Bree would say about this.

“I would enjoy both those things, but that’s not exactly having fun,” Bree told him.

“What would be fun?”

“I … I don’t know.”

“Sure you do,” Brian said.  “You could do some sightseeing in Toronto.  I hear they have some interesting things to do up there.  They have a famous aquarium and there’s something called an Edgewalk at the top of the CN Tower.”

“What’s that?”

“Come look,” Brian said as he turned his computer so she could see people on the Edgewalk.

“Wow!  That looks scary.”

“You don’t have to do it if you don’t like heights.  It’s just something I found on the internet.”

“When did you start looking up things for me to do?”

“Since I could see that you are troubled about what to do this summer.”

“How did you get so smart, Dada?” Bree asked with a coy smile.

“Must have rubbed off from your father.”

Bree giggled.  “I thought I was the smart one.”

“You definitely are, but where do you think you got that from?”


“Most certainly.”

“And from you.”

Brian smiled.  He liked being included.  Brian cleared his throat.  “Let’s get back to what we were talking about.”

“I wish I knew if they would take me as a CIT at soccer camp, and when.  That would make some of the other decisions a lot easier,” Bree explained.

Just then Brian’s computer pinged telling him that an email had just come in.  Brian glanced at the screen and a small smile lifted the sides of his mouth.  “Your wish is my command, my lady,” Brian said.

“What does that mean?” Bree asked with a frown.

“I emailed the soccer camp and told them that if they wanted you as a CIT, they better make a quick decision because you had a lot of other offers for the summer.”

“Dada,” Bree began, but all she could do was smile.  “What does it say?”

“Come read for yourself.”

Bree moved closer and Brian opened the email.  They read together.

“They want me!” Bree crowed.  “And for the whole month of July.  Wow!”  She gave her father a big hug.

“You know how good you are at soccer, Squirt.  Of course they want you.”

Bree’s smile lit up her face as the hug ended then the smile slowly faded.

“What?” Brian asked.

“Is that too long for Gus to wait for me to go to Canada?  I wouldn’t be able to go until August.”

“I think Gus can work that out.  You should go talk to him.”

“Thank you, Dada.  You’re the best.”

“I certainly hope so.”

Bree started towards the door of the office. 

“Squirt, remember that you can always come here and talk to me about anything that’s bothering you.  Never forget that.”

“I know, Dada, and I really appreciate it.”

“Good girl.”

Bree had a smile on her face as she walked down the stairs.  When she got to the bottom of the steps, she looked over at her father who was slapping paint on the formerly blank canvas in front of him.  Bree’s smile broadened.  It was always good when her Daddy got inspired.  She walked toward the kitchen wondering if Gus was home and in his bedroom.  She discovered that he and Ray were out somewhere, probably on the lane since their car was still parked outside the conjoined cottages.  Bree was about to go try to find them when the phone rang.

She didn’t want her artist father to be disturbed by the sound so she quickly picked it up.


“Bree, it’s Ashley.  I was wondering if you could come over tomorrow and we could spend the day together.  My mother said she would take us for ice cream.”

Bree was holding her breath.  How could she have forgotten about her best friend?  She had promised Ashley that she would spend time with her this summer, but now it looked like there wasn’t going to be much time available.  How could she ever explain to Ashley that she was thinking of committing the whole month of July to soccer camp, and then most of August to going to Canada with her brother?

“Bree?” Ashley asked.

“Um, I need to ask my dads.  I’ll get back to you.”  Bree hung up the phone abruptly.

“Now what am I going to do?” Bree asked the wall where the phone hung.  “Why does it have to be so difficult?”




“Brian, when are you next planning to go to Pittsburgh?” John asked while Brian was making it “rain” in the greenhouse.  He was standing just to the side of the arbor entrance, adjusting the valve so that a fine mist descended onto his plants from the high glass ceiling.

“I don’t have any definite plans.  Why?”

“We’ve gotten the final go-ahead from the city to start the demolition of that old factory and begin working.  I’d like you and Ray there with me for a few days,” John explained.

“Have you run out of construction workers?” Brian asked with a straight face.  John rolled his eyes.

“Babylon is an important part of the city.  People see bulldozers and think the worst.  With you and Ray there, you can answer any questions your neighbors may have.  You’re still a prominent citizen in that part of town.  They all know that you say what you mean and mean what you say.”

“When are you breaking ground?”

“Tomorrow,” said John.

“Then I’ll go with you.  Not sure about Raymond.  He and Gus need their down time,” Brian remarked as he braved the “rain” to check the moisture level in one of his potted palms.

“I’ll walk over to the B&B to ask.”

“Later,” Brian mumbled as he stuck his hand into the dirt.

“Hi guys,” John said as he entered the spacious yard of the B&B.

“Hi Uncle John,” Gus called out.  “What can we do for you?”  He and Ray were sunning themselves.

John pulled up a nearby chair to sit.  “I have a question for Ray,” John began.  Ray sat up to pay closer attention.  “We’re breaking ground on the Babylon street, I’ve asked Brian to be there with me.  And I’d like you to be there as well.  You’re a major part of Babylon now; it’s appropriate that you show interest in what goes on in that part of town.  I’ll understand if you decline the invitation.  You and Gus deserve your break, however you’d only have to be there for a day or two.  We can all go together or take separate cars.  That way you can leave whenever you wish.”

“Do you mind if I go?” Ray asked Gus.

“Of course not.  Uncle John, would you mind if I tag along?  Or would that be one too many Kinney’s,” Gus asked with a gleam in his eyes.

John laughed.  “I think I can handle another one of you Kinney’s,” John declared.“Your dad and I usually leave early but you can get there anytime.”

The next morning John and Brian pulled up to the site as Gordon and the rest of the Pittsburgh construction crew arrived.  Gus and Ray decided to take Gus’ Jeep and were not too far behind.  Hard hats were passed out.

“Hey, John-Boy, right on time,” Gordon called out as they shook hands.  “Well, lookie here, more Kinney’s,” Gordon joked as he spied Brian and Gus.  The Kinney’s in question smirked.  “And I guess the whole neighborhood is out to see what we’re doing,” Gordon said as Ted, Emmett, and Hunter walked over.  Soon more of the Pittsburgh family and several loyal Babylon patrons showed up to see the start of the revitalization of the street.

“John, if you’re ready, it’s time,” Gordon said to John as he handed John a special shovel. 

John nodded as he took the shovel and was about to dig out a small patch of dirt.  John stopped before he plunged the shovel into the ground.  “Brian,” said John as he offered the shovel to his brother.

“This is our project not just mine,” John said to Brian.

“Then we do it together,” Brian said as he held half of the handle.  John grabbed the other half then together they stuck it into the ground.  A cheer went up, then like ants on a cupcake at a picnic, dozens of Anderson Construction crew members began setting up the construction fences.

As the crowd grew, Brian, Ray, Gus, and Ted began discussing with their Babylon neighbors the plan for the area that included green spaces, a twenty-four hour market, garage, and the new apartments.  A news crew showed up and stuck mics in front of the Kinney Bros., throwing questions and wanting answers.  Then a motorcade led by motorcycle police rounded the corner.  Hizzoner the mayor showed up with smiles, ready to take his share of the credit.  In a few hours when the hoopla died down, the crowd left, and Gus and Ray drove back to the lane.

“So now what?” Brian asked John as he stared at the old factory.

“Construction fences to secure the working areas.  The old factory comes down then up goes the parking lot.  The garage won’t be higher than the apartments.  Part of it will be underground.  The upper sections will be for shoppers and Babylon patrons.  The underground will be for the tenants of the apartments, if they need a spot.  I’ll have different crews working on each project so that most of it should be completed before the new year.”

“Do we have interest in the market?” Brian asked as he looked at the plans that John had laid out on the hood of his truck.

“No worries, little bro, we have interest in it all,” John said with a reassuring pat to Brian’s back.  “It’s going to be a bit boring for the next few hours.  I won’t be insulted if you want to go hang out at Kinnetik.”

“Maybe.  But I think I’ll take a walk around Babylon first; see if anything needs fixing or upgrading.  Might as well do it all,” Brian stated.

“Good idea.  Here, take this,” John said as he handed Brian a small notepad.  “Jot down anything you see that might need fixing or replacing.  We can talk about it later.”  Brian nodded.  With notebook in hand, Brian strolled into Babylon.




In another part of town, plans of a different sort were being constructed.

“So, what do think?” JR asked Emmett.

“I think your plans sound wonderful,” he gushed.

“You don’t think they’re too simple or understated?” Jacq asked.

“Not at all.  Your wedding should reflect your personalities.  It should be comfortable not stressful.  You two ladies are more laid back.  Look at your home, see how it’s decorated.  It’s not ostentatious nor is it totally minimalist.  It’s comfortable, homey, your refuge after a long hard working day.  Your wedding doesn’t have to be complicated,” Emmett tried to explain.

“But we don’t want it to be like the barbecue,” JR stated.

“Of course not, and it won’t be.  You two have outlined a wonderful plan,” Emmett said as he held up Jacq’s wedding planning notebook.  “I might want to fancy up your book just a teensy bit,” Emmett teased with a grin. “But you all know what you want and you should stick to it.”

JR and Jacq smiled brightly as they exchanged knowing looks.  JR wrapped her arms around Emmett.

“Oh, thank you, Auntie Emm.  You always make things better,” JR gushed. 

“Thank you, sweetie.  Now we have plenty of time to work out the menu including the cake.  However, I do suggest we book your band or DJ now,” Emmett wisely suggested.  As they further discussed music, flowers, and the overall look of the yard, a stray thought came to JR.

“One thing, Auntie Emm, I don’t want to see a barbecue grill.  Uncle Brian may get ideas and I want him to be a guest.  He’s done so much for me; I don’t want him working at my wedding.  And that goes for you too.  Make sure you have plenty of minions because I want you and Drew to have fun,” JR demanded not unlike her grandmother.

“Message received, loud and clear, honey.  Plenty of minions; check!  But you must forgive me if I kibitz once in a while,” Emmett warned her.  “I have more than enough to get things started for now.  You let me know if you have any changes.  Tootles!” 

Emmett passed out kisses and then left.

“So, what do you think?” JR asked Jacq.  “You were awfully quiet.”

“I think it went well.  And you handled it very well,” Jacq commented with a smile.

“Your notes and outline helped a lot.  I don’t think all of Emm’s clients are so well organized,” JR stated.

“Like he said, if we stick to our plan then we can prevent anyone from taking over or turning our wedding into a three-ring circus,” Jacq stated.  JR agreed.

“Do you think it’s too soon to talk flowers?” JR asked.

“I don’t think it’s too soon to talk about anything,” Jacq replied with a smile as she grabbed their wedding notebook.




“This was a very productive day,” John said as he and Brian drove home.

“Yes, it was,” Brian agreed as he sat back in his seat and closed his eyes.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing really,” Brian replied.

“Doesn’t sound like nothing.  Did your list of improvements fill up the book?”

“On the contrary, it appears that Raymond is on top of it.  He and the manager have a good working relationship.  And know when and how to get things done.”

“You sound almost sad about it.  You should be grateful that Babylon is in good hands,” said John.

“I am, very grateful; it just hit me how lucky I am.  I’m very proud of Raymond.  I called his fathers earlier to let them know,” Brian said.

“If we host the 4th of July party, we should invite them,” John suggested.

“Great minds think alike, big bro.”  Brian leaned back in his seat and smiled.

“I think this calls for ice cream from the General Store,” said John.

“Great minds, big bro; great minds.”


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