For a limited time I am going to post The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2), chapter by chapter every Saturday. If you haven’t read Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1), grab a free copy in any digital format at these retailers:
The V-Day Aversion
by Genevieve Dewey
Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Dewey. All Rights Reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
“So, she’s joking, right?”
Dominic Valentini tossed the remote down on the couch in disgust. He got up to grab some more beers from the kitchen while he waited for an answer from Kyle and Andrew. They didn’t say anything even after he handed them the beers, so he deliberately shook a beer and opened it right under Kyle’s nose.
“Hey! Jackass,” Kyle said caustically, wiping his front.
“This is serious. Why d’you think I invited you jerks over in the first place?” Dominic retorted.
Andrew looked over and shared a look with Kyle.
“Because Katelyn stood you up again and we wanted to duck our girlfriends and-or wives for a few hours?” Andrew answered disingenuously.
“Kyle,” Dominic said slowly. “This is your sister I’m talking about. Your twin sister. Surely you should know the answer to this question.”
“Sister… so, you have a twin sister…” Andrew began in his Darth Vader voice.
“Obi Wan was wise to hide her from me,” Kyle and Andrew finished in unison.
Dom sighed in irritation. He had obviously waited a few too many beers in to start this conversation.
“Oooh, fancy pants words,” Kyle interrupted. “You’ve been hanging out with Katie too much, dude.”
Dom pinched the bridge of his nose and continued.
“Katelyn claims that she doesn’t want to go out for Valentine’s Day. I only brought it up once, and ever since, she refuses to even allow me to finish my freaking sentence. I either get the ‘commercial exploitation’ speech or she changes the subject. This is the first I have heard of this date aversion. I knew she disliked Valentine’s, but I had no idea she took it to this extent. I mean, when we were little—”
“Hey, speaking of, remember that time when Katie had that huge crush on what’s his name – we used to call him Booger?” Andrew interrupted.
“Humphrey,” Kyle said.
“Who in their right freakin’ mind names a kid Humphrey?”
“Mnnnn,” Kyle said. “Damn shame.”
Kyle and Andrew took a second and shook their heads in mutual disgust. Dominic clapped his hands to get their attention. He was starting to get that panicky feeling in his gut. He only had a couple days left to figure this out, and it was seriously pissing him off how un-seriously these two were taking this subject.
“Gentlemen, can we please focus here?”
“I was focusing. I’m agreeing with you,” Andrew said, leaning back on the couch and crossing his legs on the coffee table. “Katie made this really huge papier-mâché heart and gave it to Booger right in front of the whole class. Embarrassed the hell out of him. She obviously hasn’t always hated it.”
“I can’t believe you didn’t know she doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all anymore,” Kyle answered in such a perfectly bored voice that Dominic realized he was serious.
Worse, he realized his problem was more serious than he had initially thought.
“Why on earth would I know that?” Dom asked. “There’s a difference between expressing a dislike for a holiday and being a complete scrooge about it.”
“Wrong holiday,” Kyle interjected, now with the bored cop face to match his tone.
Dom glared at him and continued, “We’ve never dated before. Since friends don’t get each other candy and flowers, I had no idea that a general disdain for a holiday meant I’m not allowed to take my woman out on a date or get her a gift.”
“Just so you know, she’s fine with all the holidays that have some sort of historical or religious context to them,” Kyle answered patiently, looking cross-ways between amused and unconcerned. “That way she can bore us all to death with a lecture on the true roots of the holiday. Like last Easter—”
“Forget why, Kyle, and answer the original question,” Dominic interrupted.
What was it with these Andersons and their constant love of deflection? he thought.
He took a deep breath and continued, “Is she really serious that I can’t take her out anywhere, and absolutely under no circumstances, should even think about getting her a gift, especially not jewelry?”
“It’s a trap!” Andrew said in his Admiral Akbar voice. He leaned forward and started laughing.
Kyle laughed too, and grabbed the bowl of peanuts.
“You ask me, it’s really about the fact our birthday is right after and she’s gotten tired of getting stale pink candy and heart shaped gifts. Yes, she’s serious.”
He mirrored Andrew’s previously relaxed pose on the couch and smiled grimly, the rest of his face inscrutably blank.
“Alright, then, game plan,” Dom stopped, let out a long breath, and scooted to the edge of his chair.
He clapped his hands together.
“How about, she and I just celebrate at home and I get her something nice, but make it practical—”
“Err, err, err,” Andrew started making warning buzzer sounds.
Dom picked up the remote and threw it at him without breaking eye-contact with Kyle. Kyle’s cop face slipped a little and his lip twitched like he was struggling not to laugh.
“I get her something that I know she wants like a book or something to soften her up,” Dom continued. “But then I can still surprise her with—”
“You can’t get a woman a book for Valentine’s Day. Even I know that,” Andrew interrupted again. “Kellie and I always—”
“Yeah, I don’t think he needs advice from a guy who hasn’t seen his own balls in at least a year,” Kyle interjected. “And it’s bad enough I got him asking me how to romance one sister, I don’t need to know about what you and my other sister do to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
Kyle got up and started arranging the beer cans for another round of beer bowling.
“This is not like you, Dom. Since when do you need to consult us on what to get a woman? If Katie doesn’t want to go out, what’s the big deal? Money saved.”
“It’s different with her! I mean, this is Katelyn! You know how long I’ve wanted to be in her—”
Kyle held up a hand and shuddered. “My sister, dude.”
“Life. The point is, this is our first ever Valentine’s Day together and I want it perfect.”
“Am I allowed to speak? That is, if you two morons would like some advice from the only married person in the room?” Andrew asked in such a perfect imitation of his wife Kellie’s lofty, bossy tone that both Kyle and Dominic laughed.
“Shoot,” Dom said.
“You always gotta keep them guessing, so things don’t get stale—”
“They just got together three months ago,” Kyle interrupted with the patented Anderson eye-roll.
“Sheddit,” Andrew replied then turned back to Dominic. “She says she doesn’t want something, fine. I don’t believe it, but fine. Get her something she can’t give back, something more symbolic. Like a trip or something.”
“And the fact your wife’s a travel salesman has nothing to do with this, right?” Dom interjected.
“Salesperson. And she owns an event planning company. But no, I’m not talking about anything fancy. I’m talking about a night at a hotel or something. I was going to say earlier that’s what Kellie and I do every year. I surprise her with a new restaurant and a night at a hotel.”
Kyle looked surprised then shook his head. “If she doesn’t want to celebrate the day then it won’t matter what he gets her. She’ll be pissed anyway. This ‘I hate V-Day’ thing has stuck around a lot longer than any of Katelyn’s other soapboxes she stumps the hell out of.”
“‘A man and woman should show appreciation for their mate all year long, every day’,” Dominic said in a falsetto voice.
Andrew curled his upper lip in disgust and Kyle started laughing again.
“Yeah, I’ve been listening to the whole diatribe a lot longer than you have, Valentini.”
“‘And it’s totally sexist’,” Dom continued in his faux-Katelyn voice. “‘Why is it always the focus on the woman? Jewelry, chocolate, teddy bears, why nothing for the man?’ she says.”
“Uhhh, because “Ladies, time for the annual blow job” wouldn’t pass the censors?” Andrew said.
“You only get it once a year? Shit, don’t answer that,” Kyle said in disgust and shuddered again.
He clapped Dom on the shoulder.
“It’s either ‘Do, or do not. There is no try’. You’re going to have to go all in and change her mind about it, or accept you’ve got the only woman on the face of the planet that doesn’t want a date on Valentine’s.”
“But… come on, Kyle, how am I supposed to know if the no gift part is something she’s serious about, or just something she’s saying, but totally doesn’t mean? Because in three short months I’ve learned ‘oh, I can’t possibly decide on dessert’ means ‘you order dessert and I’ll eat half’. Maybe she just really means get a gift, but not a particularly Valentiney-type gift.”
“This must be an Anderson woman thing,” Andrew said. “Took me a full four dates to realize ‘Men paying the tab is so antiquated’ didn’t mean Kellie wanted to go Dutch. It apparently meant I was to let her offer to pay the bill then say, ‘no, let me, please’. Because then I gave her the choice or such feminist shit. But, notice, I’m still paying the tab… which is some pretty clever female trickeration if you ask me… I’m just sayin’…” Andrew trailed off at Kyle’s dark look.
Kyle turned back toward Dominic.
“You’re both morons. I don’t understand the big deal. Just take her at her word and don’t get her a present then go whole hog on the birthday present. Problem solved,” Kyle said slowly in his passionless cop voice again.
Dominic could tell he was going to be of no further help so he played his trump a bit sooner than he wanted.
“The big deal is, I wanted to ask her to marry me and it seemed like Valentine’s would be the perfect way to do it. In my experience, chicks dig that sort of stuff.”
Kyle spit out his beer.
“Way to bury the lead, Valentini,” he said.
“I mean, you never hear women talk to each other and say things like, oh, he asked me on this random Tuesday in March,” Dominic continued. “It was so romantic.”
“Hey, man, that’s great,” Andrew said, reaching over and shaking Dom’s hand. “Welcome to the family. Or their family, whatever.”
“But I suppose, her birthday could work, also,” Dom finished as he shook Kyle’s hand too.
“I’ve changed my mind,” Kyle said, back to his ebullient self. “Since she’ll be mad either way you should definitely pop the question on Valentine’s. If anything could change her mind about the holiday, it’ll be you asking her to marry you. Unlike Kellie, Katie’s not uptight, she’s just—”
“Shows how well you know your sister!” Andrew interrupted. “I’ll have you know Kellie really knows how to let loose in the—”
“Arrgh! Stop with the speaking about my sisters and sex!” Kyle shuddered.
“I was going to say, before the baboon interrupted,” Kyle continued cheerfully, “that Katelyn sometimes needs a firm hand. She needs a take charge person in her life. It’s part of why I’m glad you two finally got together. It comforts her or something to have someone else make decisions for her, no matter what she says otherwise. When we were little I was always the one that had to try something first and tell her it was ok. But as soon as she had some structure, she was all about having fun and being wild.”
“So I should just go ahead and plan something, and ignore it if she gets mad that I surprised her on Valentine’s,” Dominic proposed. “We all know how she hates surprises.”
Kyle nodded enthusiastically, practically bouncing on his heels.
“She won’t get mad this time, I guarantee it. Just put your foot down.”
Dom narrowed his eyes. “You guaran—”
“Plan something and get her a really big ring,” Andrew interrupted. “If that doesn’t work then screw the mad right outta her.”
Kyle lost his mischievous grin and started pounding on Andrew.
“Police brutality!” Andrew half shouted, half laughed then started punching back.
Dom chuckled and flipped the channel to the Red Zone to check scores.
Come to think of it, that wasn’t a half bad plan… Dom thought to himself and moved further down the couch to avoid the flying fists and feet.
He fished his phone out and texted Katelyn:
Done at your parents? Game’s at half I can kick the guys out and you can come over.
Can’t. I’m babysitting Kandace’s kids.
He frowned and texted back:
Thought they were staying at Steve’s?
Kandace said she wants to talk. She’s staying the night. Sorry!
Dominic released a frustrated breath.
Then come over later.
It was silent for so long he set it down on the coffee table. Finally it beeped.
Don’t wait up. Love you.
Dominic stared at the read out.
Don’t wait up? What the hell kind of answer was that? At this rate, it would be Valentine’s next year before he got the woman to stand still long enough to ask her.
Andrew and Kyle had gotten bored punching each other and moved on to mocking the hair piece on the commentator’s head. Dom grunted, propped his feet on the table, and joined them.
He could put his foot down tomorrow.
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.
Read more… CHAPTER THREE.