Bird Day Battalion

Have you read the Dom and Kate Christmas flashback?


The following is a short holiday scene featuring Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson, and is set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. It is G-rated and fluffy.

birddaycover (Free!)   valentinescover ($.99!)

Originally published in A World of Joy by Grey Mouse Publishing.

aworldofjoy

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Knees

by Genevieve Dewey

Dominic Valentini dropped his Steelers bag next to the front door inside his parents’ house. He sucked in a deep breath, coughed a bit at the overwhelming scent of Christmas potpourri, then locked the door behind him. If he was lucky, he’d be able to catch a few hours of sleep on the couch before anyone woke up and wondered what he was doing in Nebraska instead of Pennsylvania.

After all, big shot pro-football players fly their parents over to see them; they don’t slink home with their tail between their legs… even if they were legs with blown-out knees. One season as a fourth round draft pick and he was already on injured reserve. That was demoralizing on its own, but Dom suspected being on reserve was a mere courtesy on his way to ‘released from contract’.

He grimaced, thinking about how he was going to break the news to his parents:

Hey, Mom, Dad, won’t be getting you that fancy mansion I promised. I’m soon-to-be unemployed and I filed for divorce. Merry Christmas!

Dom wrinkled his nose as he stretched out on the couch. He cupped the back of his head and crossed his ankles.

Nah, better to lead with worse news.

The loss of a football career was nothing compared to the fact that Dominic would be the first person in his branch of the Valentini family to ever get a divorce. To a Valentini, the ‘D’ word was way worse than unemployment, back taxes, and a proctology exam combined.

“Yay, go me,” Dom whispered at the ceiling.

He never should have married Isabel. She deserved better than a husband who was still hung up on his childhood crush. Even more ridiculous was the knowledge he and said unrequited love, Katelyn Anderson, had never been more than friends. Who left their wife for a friend and neighbor they had never actually been in a romantic relationship with? Especially one who seemed determinedly oblivious to his feelings?

Tap, tap, tap.

Dom crooked his head to look out the living room window. He could see movement, but the rainbow lights reflecting from the Christmas tree made it hard to distinguish what had made the noise. He looked around the room for a security bat then stopped and chuckled. What would be the point? This was Small Town, America. More than half this town never locked their doors, yet still left the living room drapes open so everyone could see their tree.

He got up from the couch and winced as his knees briefly buckled. He yanked the door open dramatically, expecting to shoo off some bored kids.

Except it was Katelyn Anderson, frozen mid-knock.

“Hey,” she whispered, her breath caressing her face in the frigid air.

She smiled and rubbed her hands together. “Can I come in?”

When he continued to gape at her, she poked him on the chest, and nudged her head towards the house.

“Uh, what are—I mean, yeah,” Dom replied and tugged her inside. “What are you doing here?”

“Saw you pull up and wondered why no one knew you were coming home for the holidays. Or is this a Christmas present for your folks? I mean, of course, it must be, no one in their right mind takes a flight in the middle of the night unless they want to surprise someone or there’s an emergency. Wait,” Katelyn paused.

Her eyebrows contracted and she suddenly grabbed his arms, “There’s not an emergency is there?”

He couldn’t help but grin; he’d missed her tendency to babble.

Her worried frown deepened.

“Naw,” Dom finally said and shrugged. “You were right the first time.”

“Was I?” Kate asked in a concerned tone.

When he didn’t answer, she tilted her head and narrowed her eyes.

He sighed and walked back over to the couch. Knowing someone your entire life had its drawbacks; they tended to know when you were lying.

“Not that I mind visits from pretty women at three in the morning, but I could ask you the same question; what were you doing spying on the neighborhood in the middle of the night at your mother’s house?” Dom deflected.

“You haven’t heard?” Kate asked, her eyes suddenly alight with enthusiasm. “I bought the house from my parents after they retired! I’m moving back.”

“Huh. There’s a lot of that going around,” he mumbled, enjoying the flush that excitement brought to her cheeks.

She raised her eyebrows and pressed her lips together. Then she walked over to the couch, sat next to him, and rested her head against his shoulder.

“Spill,” she coaxed.

Just rip the bandaid off, Valentini, so she can be disappointed in you, too…

“I’m getting a divorce,” he replied, trying to sound cheerful about it.

She took a deep breath then patted his leg.

“I’m sorry…” she said with a long sigh. “I’ve been a terrible friend, so focused on my Thesis and school… I’ve barely kept in touch. I didn’t even know you were having marital problems.”

“We weren’t really,” he answered honestly.

It was the truth. He and Isabel got along great, but it was a hollow sort of rapport. He had never felt so empty in his life than when he was living his perfect life with her. There was no reason for it, except his heart seemed stubbornly addicted to the girl-next-door with wild curly hair and an unnatural fondness for libraries.

“I don’t think you came home just because of that,” Kate prodded. “Does this have to do with the game last month? You looked pretty hurt when they took you off the field. Are your knees starting to feel better? I thought for sure you’d play in the last game but…”

“Nope, that’s the joy of being injured reserve on top of special teams.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means… there’s a very good chance I’ll be released from contract.”

“Oh, Dom… I’m so sorry. To have it end over a stupid torn ACL,” Katelyn replied.

Her tone was certainly more genuine than her expression of sympathy regarding his divorce.

She rubbed his knee.

His brain jammed and his heart clutched. The rest of him tried desperately to remember she had friend-zoned him ages ago.

“I didn’t realize you watched my games, or knew what an ACL is—”

Katelyn pulled away, raised her hand, and smacked him on the forehead.

“Ok, a), I’m an anthropologist; if I don’t know human anatomy, I need a new career. And, b), I watch and record every single game of yours including the pre-season clips and the highlights on ESPN. That’s what people do when they’re proud of their loved ones.”

She looked genuinely astonished and affronted that he could doubt her devotion.

Loved ones? How am I supposed to kill these feelings when she said stuff like that?

“All I want for Christmas is my two front knees,” he sang, in an effort to cover his sudden confusion.

“As opposed to your two back knees?” she countered sarcastically with an eye roll. “It’d be more like your middle knees, anyway. And please don’t try to sing again. You seriously stink at it.”

“Ok, a),” Dom mimicked her, “Why you gotta be such a know it all? And b), you seriously stink at football, yet you insist we play in the back yard every major holiday.”

She scooted on the couch until she was fully facing him.

“That’s for your sake!”

“My sake? You think I enjoy playing with amateurs who sulk when they lose?”

“Maybe if the winner didn’t enjoy rubbing it in…” she said with a glare.

She crossed her arms and pursed her lips, eyes so narrowed her lashes joined at the edges.

He chuckled. It was hard to take Kate seriously when she got upset. She looked like a freshly toweled kitten, more prone to eliciting a desire for kisses than ire.

He loved getting her riled up.

“I guess playing with amateurs is something I’ll have to get used to now,” he conceded with a rueful smile.

Her face cleared. She tilted her head again and clicked her teeth in a sympathetic manner.

“Forget professional football. You have a degree in Physical Education, and a great family, and my huge family by extension. Not to mention, selfishly, I’d be glad if you chose to move back here. I’ve missed you… crazy lots.”

Kate’s voice broke a bit at the end and Dom’s heart started galloping in response. He’d no idea she felt that way, even as just a friend. In truth, it was his fault they’d lost touch in the last few years. She thought it was her myopic tendency for studying, but he had made a concerted effort to create distance out of self-preservation.

“I’ve missed you too, Skate,” he confessed.

“Ugh, that dumb nickname…” she responded.

She pushed her unruly hair behind her ears and rolled her eyes. Then she slapped him on his thigh in an impatient manner.

“Pittsburg and Isabel didn’t deserve you anyway. If you move back here, you could consider it a public service. You’ll be raising the Good Men per capita of Nebraska. It’s our slogan and all.”

“Huh,” he managed to say around the growing lump in his throat. “And here I thought it was ‘The Good Life’.”

“Same difference,” she said with a cheeky grin and a quick shrug.

He looked down at her hand still resting on his knee. She snatched her hand back with a quick, soft huff, like an unformed laugh. He looked back up. Her cheeks had flooded red but she didn’t drop his gaze.

He deliberately turned his head and studied the Christmas tree; cheerful yet lonely with just a few presents underneath. There was something different in her eyes, and paired with her affectionate words, it gave him the stirrings of hope. Hope was something he hadn’t allowed himself in years. And if he was being honest, he hadn’t made it clear since they were teenagers that he wanted to be more than friends. Now that he thought about it, maybe moving back to Nebraska wouldn’t be about hitting bottom. Maybe it could be about new beginnings.

He looked back at her and grinned, not one of his we’ve-known-each-other-for-years friendly grins, but one of his how-you-doin’ grins. It always made the ones who were interested flustered, and the ones who weren’t, at least snort in good humor. He had never actually tried it on Kate.

Her flush deepened and she sprang up from the couch. She rubbed her hands on her legs and laughed slightly. Then she looked around the room in an absentminded manner.

Huh… how about that, he thought.

“I better get back next door before we get the local tongues wagging,” Kate said breathlessly. “You coming over for Christmas dinner?”

His grin got wider and he nodded.

Her brows contracted briefly. “Why are you smiling at me like that?”

He just shrugged, saying nothing. He was enjoying her discomfort. She looked not just flustered, but confused, and confused was something he could work with.

Yeah, there just might be reason to hope, after all…

He walked her to the door and indulged himself with an extra-long hug. Then he relaxed on the couch again and let his mind mull over Katelyn’s tell-tale flush. Maybe she didn’t think of him as boyfriend material yet, but there was definite potential to change her mind.

“So you’re moving back home, huh?”

Dominic rolled over so quickly he fell off the couch.

“Fmpblllltsh!” The carpet muffled his curse; a good thing since his father didn’t tolerate cursing in his home.

“Haaaah,” Dom finished his moan of pain as he rolled over. “Hey, Dad. What, uh, what makes you say that?”

“Well, that’s what the little Anderson girl was saying.”

“Yeah, Dad, she hasn’t been ‘little’ in quite some time,” Dom countered.

“Ok, youngest of the gaggle. Whatever,” Vincent Valentini waved a dismissive hand. “Guess if there’s gonna be all this yakkin’, might as well start the day.”

He walked towards the kitchen, flipped the light on, and started brewing coffee. Dom limped after him.

“Hey, son, what a nice surprise. Good to see you,” Dom muttered under his breath.

As soon as he sat at the kitchen table, he said a little louder, “I haven’t actually decided to move back. Exactly how much did you hear?”

“Enough to offer my congratulations.”

“Con—what?”

“I’m glad you finally saw the light. Would have preferred it to be before the wedding, but, hey, better late than never, eh?”

Vincent turned around and popped Dom on the shoulder.

“So… you’re ok with it?” Dom wondered.

“I’m ok wit’ it,” Vincent said gruffly.

He handed Dom a coffee mug.

“I was thinking you and Mom were going to freak out about the divorce…”

“Oh, your nonna’s gonna freak, sure, but me and your mother? Nah. You know what’s disappointin’, son? Watching you let your dreams slip away.”

“What do you mean? I was playing for the Steelers! Most college players don’t even make it to the Draft. I didn’t choose to have a knee injury—”

“Don’t be dense,” Vincent interrupted. “I don’t care about that. I’m talking about that girl who just left. The one you’re never able to keep your eyes off of. I don’t understand why you’re content to moon after her like a martyr instead of just puttin’ a ring on it already.”

“Put a ring…” Dom paused, pinching his nose.

He took a deep breath, reminding himself his father was from a very different generation.

“Dad, Kate and I are friends. Even if I were to—”

“No, here’s what you do,” Vincent interrupted again. “You take this week to start laying the ground work with her and then you get your affairs in order, and move back home. It’s not defeat if it’s something you want anyway.”

“Dad, I don’t even have a job lined up…”

Vincent clapped Dominic on the shoulder and chuckled.

“Son, the world’s full of signs if you’re just open to them. This is a sign it’s time to move back home and go for it with her, I’m telling you.”

Dom opened his mouth, but his reply was cut short by the sound of his mother’s voice.

“Vinnie? Who are you talking to?” Ramona shouted from down the hall. “Turn the oven on, would ya? I have to get started on the casserole I told Bridgette we’d bring for Christmas dinner.”

Vincent and Dominic shared a grimace and got to work. Valentini-Anderson joint holiday dinners were a tradition of chaos, overeating, bickering and insanity—insanity because they all kept doing it year after year despite the first three components. Everyone by this point knew never to stand in the way of Ramona Valentini and Bridgette Anderson’s deeply competitive friendship.

Dom managed to make it through his mother’s fussing and nagging in the morning, and the crazy Christmas dinner next door, all on zero hours of sleep. Feeling punchy and mellow, Dominic ducked the rest of the guests and waited by Kate’s back door for her to try sneaking out as she did every year.

“Going somewhere?” he asked, grinning at her guilty flush.

“Just to my office to take advantage of no one being there and fight through this stupor. I swear our mothers always feed us like they’re going to eat us later.”

“Yeah, nothing says ‘tis the season’ like gluttony,” he agreed.

He grabbed a football from a box in the mud room, tossed it up briefly, then tucked it under his arm. He stepped so close she had to tilt her head up to keep his gaze.

“Wanna help me burn off those calories instead?” he asked with a suggestive tone.

She flushed and blinked. Then her eyes dropped to the football and she laughed.

“Dom, honestly… you’re such a flirt. A girl might accidentally take you seriously,” she replied with a finger waggle.

Dropping her satchel, she snatched the ball out of his arms, and walked out the door.

He shook his head at her back. It was looking like getting out of the friend zone was going to be harder than getting into the end zone.

She stopped abruptly and pivoted back around. “Are you sure? Are your knees up to it?”

“If not, you can always nurse me back to health…” he bantered.

She snorted and rolled her eyes before heading out into the yard.

As soon as he shut the door, his phone buzzed. He fished it out and saw a text from his old high school coach:

Hey Dom, heard from Mrs. D you were back in town. Can you come over later? Have a job opp. next fall here at the school I wanted to float by you. Before you say no, just hear me out, OK? Dave

Dom raised his eyes to look out across the yard at Kate, squinting from the glare of the snow reflecting the sun.

The world’s full of signs… he heard his father’s voice whisper.

It would take him time to sell his place, but if he played it right, he could be here for the start of the school year. Then he could begin his campaign to win the Girl Next Door’s heart.

“Ready for the sweet taste of defeat, Valentini?” Kate asked. She had an adorable and not at all intimidating sneer on her face.

He shook his head with a chuckle. “My first order of business when I move back will be teaching you how to talk smack properly.”

Her face lit up. “So you’re coming back for sure?”

“For sure,” he answered softly.

“Eee!” she squealed, tackling him.

He deliberately let their bodies hit the ground, hugging her tight and enjoying the feel of her pressed against him.

“Best Christmas ever!” Katelyn continued breathlessly.

Snow speckled on her hair like tinsel in the bright sunshine. Her cheeks had a rosy glow against her porcelain skin.

He smiled and tucked her hair behind her ears.

Sweet taste of defeat, indeed.

“Merry Christmas, Skate,” Dominic said. “You realize, of course, even without my two front knees, I’m going to kick your—”

He broke off as her delighted laughter filled the yard.

No, the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ is yet to come, babe. I promise, he thought with a grin.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

~~You can read a flashback to teenage Dom & Kate here on my website: Spin The Bottle. (Rated PG)~~

Where to get The Bird Day Battalion, a #free Top 50 short romance:


FREE!!!

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The Bird Day Battalion is a short, sweet and sexy little Thanksgiving story.

Meet Katelyn Anderson, a play by the rules, temporarily out of work archaeologist desperate to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for her family. Enter Dominic Valentini, her oldest friend and former neighbor, a take chances, take control, think outside the box kind of man. She needs his help. He just needs her.
This is a quick read (fluffy with a wee bit of spice) served up free on a platter of gratitude to my readers for all your kind support. It’s the usual blend of family shenanigans, love, and romance in a small uncomplicated dose.
If you enjoy Bird Day, there’s more Dom & Kate romance in The V-Day Aversion!
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CUSTOMER REVIEWS:

“Loved it! Very cute, very short, but great book! No holes, just want more.”

– Apple customer review

“I just loved these two.  Sweet & hilariously hot.”

– Barnes & Noble customer review

“This is a slow tease, flirty, fun romance. It’s light, quick and funny…Touching short read that is sweet and realistic. Thoroughly enjoyable, very steamy.”

– Goodreads Review

“I absolutely loved this. It’s a classic boy next door book. It’s funny, light hearted, and with a hint of erotica. A definite keeper!”

– Amazon customer review

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Bird Day is FREE at all major eBook retailers!

Apple (iPad/iPhone) * B&N (Nook) * Amazon (Kindle)

Smashwords (iBooks/Nook/Kindle/Phone/PDF)

Kobo * Sony * Diesel * Goodreads * fReado

Help an Indie out; leave a review!

Your time and opinion are valued immensely. THANK YOU!

FREE from Grey Mouse Publishing and #asmsg authors: A WORLD OF JOY


A World of Joy is a free holiday anthology from Grey Mouse Publishing.

In A World of Romance, you got a spicy James & Kiki short, but this time it’s a sweet and totally G-rated Dom & Kate short! My story is called “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Knees” and features Dom & Kate on the Christmas BEFORE they got together in The Bird Day Battalion.

Grab your FREE copy today!

aworldofjoy

Did you know there are free Dom & Kate flashbacks and a sneak peek at the Dom&Kate novel The Good Life, right here on the website? Check them out!

Dom and Kate fans! Read a never-before-seen Christmas short! #asmsg Dec


My short holiday story is called “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Knees” and features Dom & Kate on the Christmas BEFORE they got together in The Bird Day Battalion. It’s smooshy and totally G-rated (sorry, lol)!

Grab your FREE copy today at Smashwords!

aworldofjoy

(Edited to fix the fact that apparently the link wasn’t working! It is now!)

The Good Life Playlist while I write for my Nebraska boos (Ironically, no Lady Gaga)


You’ve seen my Downey Trilogy Playlists on YouTube, well it’s only fair I share my Dom & Kate writing songs.

The Good Life Playlist:

 

Shenanigans, and love scenes, and flashbacks, oh my!


DowneyTrilogybanner

I put up this poster on Facebook the other day to mixed reviews. What do you think? Some think it is too soft for the series, and they have a point. I was thinking that at the heart of the series (no pun intended) is love and family, so that was the theme I was going with. I’d really love more opinions before I go to the expense of making posters to give to fans. Thanks!

On a related note, have you read all of the supplemental scenes? If not, here are the links that can always be found on this website. I hope you are busy reading Third Time’s The Charm; I cannot wait to hear your opinions!

Downey Series Missing Scenes:

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTime   .    birddaycover   valentinescover

NEW BEGINNINGS (A young Tommy Gates Flashback)

This short scene features a young Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson (from Bird Day Battalion & V-Day Aversion) and is set shortly before the flashback scene in the first chapter of First, I Love You in which Mickey finds Mary & Tommy.

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HER PRINCE (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This scene features a nineteen year old Mary Gates, freshly arrived in New York, talking with her new best friend Claire (Anderson) Underwood about the mysterious new man she started seeing, Michael…something or another.

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CONVERSATIONS AT 30,000 FT (A Maeve Downey & Ginny Sommers Missing Moment)

This is a quick missing moment from Second of All set aboard the flight to Dublin that both Maeve and Ginny are on. Don’t read if you don’t like spoilers!

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LETTERS FROM MICKEY DOWNEY (Letters Mickey Downey wrote to his loved ones)

These are the letters referenced in the Downey Trilogy that Mickey wrote to his loved ones over the years. In the books, the reader rarely gets to see the contents of these letters so I have begun sharing them as Wednesday blog posts. Check back as I add more.

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THE GOOD LIFE (A Dominic Valentini & Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

Right now this flashback is the prologue to the Dom & Kate novel “The Good Life” but it is possible it may not make it in. It will stay here in any case.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY  (A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman Missing Moment from First, I Love You)

A love scene shortly after James and Kiki first “hook up” as Kiki puts it. — Warning! 18+ For Sexual Material!  Published in A World of Romance Anthology

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SECOND CHANCES (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This is a flashback to when Mary tells Mickey she is pregnant with Tommy, and Mickey persuades Mary to be his mistress. — Warning: 18+ For Language and Brief Sexual Material!

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Pssst…Dom & Kate fans…


Did you know that Kyle Anderson from The Bird Day Battalion  and The V-Day Aversion is briefly mentioned at the end of First, I Love You and shows up again at the end of Second of All?

Yep! Poor, long-suffering Officer Anderson–oh alright, cheeky, laid-back Officer Anderson–has been helping his old friend and former partner Detective Tommy Gates while he was away from the Omaha Police Department.

And as you know, Kyle’s mom Bridgette mentions that Kate once went on a date with Tommy in Bird Day, which is set just a few months before Tommy heads to Chicago for the human trafficking joint task force.

What you may not know is Claire Underwood from First, I Love You–Agent Jack Underwood’s wife and Mary Gates’ best friend–is an Anderson by birth. Her brother, Tom Anderson, is Kyle and Katelyn Anderson’s father. So, if you’ve read the Tommy Flashback, when Kyle Anderson refers to his Aunt Claire she is literally his Aunt, versus the fictive use of the moniker by Tommy. Despite their instant rapport, Tommy and Kyle only rarely saw each other growing up but quickly re-connected when they discovered they would be in the same training class at the Police Academy.

Whew!

All that aside, the reason I drug you all in here is to give you a sneak peek at the next Dom & Kate short story! This is partly the same teaser I put up on Facebook a week or so ago…only with a little more meat and potatoes added, as we say here in Nebraska.

🙂

(Remember the final version will be subject to editing and proofreading and editing, etc etc, of course!)

 —–

 

“Kate?”

“Mmmn.”

“Kaaaatelyn.”

“Mmmn.”

“Yo, Skate!”

Katelyn set her pencil down on the spreadsheet she was double checking—old school style—and took a deep breath.

“Yo?” she replied and finally raised her head. What part of ‘I’m working’ was he not grasping? “Are you Rocky now, Dom? Is this another role play thing?”

Dominic grabbed the back of her chair and rolled it away from the desk.

“Hey! I can’t—I’m almost done—at least let me save my work.”

“It’ll keep.”

“No, it won’t! What if the power goes out or something? I’ll lose all the stratigraphy data I just input.”

Dom reached up and scratched his head, scrunching his eyebrows.

“Are the dead things still going to be dead? Yes. Still buried in dirt? Yes. Are we going to be dead and buried in dirt if we don’t leave now for the engagement party my mother is throwing? Yes.”

Dom grabbed her hands and yanked her out of the chair. Katelyn glared at him.

“I don’t excavate ‘dead things’. Pottery is made of clay, sometimes—”

“Let’s goooo,” Dom drawled. When she started to pull him back towards the computer he looped an arm around her middle and hitched her over his shoulder.

“Oh. Em. Gee. You did not seriously just do that!” She pummeled his butt while he laughed and carried her down the hall.

“Oh, em, gee, I can’t believe a twenty-eight year old woman just said ‘Oh. Em. Gee.’ And please, babe, I’ve known you since infancy. You’ve backed that file up in at least three places and obsessively after each entry.”

She blew the hair out of her face and glared at him after he set her down by the front door. He grinned unrepentantly and handed her purse to her.

“Besides,” he continued, only slightly breathless. “Speaking of role playing… Didn’t you just say the other night you like the ‘caveman thing’?”

Katelyn flushed magenta. “Not when the caveman’s dragging me next door to his mother’s. I usually like to ignore the fact she lives next to me.”

“Well, I usually like to ignore the fact my fiancée lives a town away instead of moving in with me like she promised,” he replied as they walked across the freshly cut lawn.

“A suburb away, technically speaking,” Kate muttered.

“What’s that? Something about a Swingline stapler, Milton?” Dom asked, turning around and walking backwards. He smirked and waggled his eyebrows.

He’s damn lucky he’s so sexy, Kate thought.

“If you trip over a hose and land on your ass, don’t expect sympathy from me,” she said playfully. “Don’t worry, we all know your mommy will kiss it and make it all better.”

“Oh, burn!” Kandace shouted, leaning off the rail on Ramona’s porch. Her husband Steve chuckled and pulled her towards the door.

The smug smirk disappeared from Dom’s face and he froze mid-gait, wrinkling his nose. Katelyn grinned and smacked him on his firm rear as she walked past him. Her sense of victory was short lived, though, because not only was every member of both their families crammed into Ramona’s tiny living room—and looking quite sour about it—but judging from the mischievous gleam in Dom’s eyes as he sat down, he’d be paying her back… intimately… and soon.

“I would just like to start the festivities by getting the most important thing out of the way,” Kandace said as soon as everyone had sat down. Ramona looked affronted. It was rather sassy to upstage the hostess, Katelyn thought.

“And that is to say…” Kandace continued, pivoting in her seat to look Katelyn in the eyes. “I told you so. And you’re welcome. No really, there’s no need to name your first child after me. Just knowing I am his or her distinctly cooler Aunt will be enough payment.” She leaned back against Steve’s chest, crossed her legs on the coffee table, and smirked. Steve grimaced and checked his watch. Three-fourths of the room sent their eyes to the ceiling.

Dom nodded at her with a faux-smile and a falsetto ‘aww’. He flicked a baby carrot at her.

“Stay classy, Kandy.”

Kandace raised her middle finger.

“Quit it, you two!” Ramona and Bridgette said in unison. There was a beat of silence then both Kandace and Dom laughed.

Katelyn leaned forward in her chair and pushed Kandace’s feet off the table.

“Mrs. Valentini—Ramona—I appreciate you having us, but obviously, we’ve all known each other for many years so there’s no need for the ritualized meeting of the families prior to nuptials—”

“What she means to say, Mom, is we’re glad to be here, thanks.”

Ramona’s confused and glazed expression cleared up and she beamed adoringly at her only son.

“Wonderful!” Ramona clapped her hands together once. “I thought we could discuss how each of us can have a part in the wedding. Everyone here is delighted you two kids have finally decided to tie the knot.”

Katelyn looked around the room and ‘delighted’ wasn’t the adjective she’d use to describe the occupants. ‘Bored’ and ‘indifferent’ were more accurate descriptors with a heaping scoop of ‘smug’ from Kandace.

“Mom, actually we—” Dom began to say but Kellie interrupted.

“I’m quite certain I’ve faxed over the information on the venue to you. I’ve managed to reserve Dundee Bar and Grill for the rehearsal supper—”

“Oh, nonsense, it’s so small and such a run-down area,” Ramona said.

“Actually, no, it’s not. And it’s quite a trendy area for weddings these days,” Kellie argued.

“You know, we don’t need—” Dom began again.

“And easier for the out of town guests to see the sights of Omaha,” she continued over him.

“That may be, but it’s nowhere near where any of us live!” Ramona waved a piece of celery at Kellie.

“The point being, it’s close to the park where Kate and Dom will have the ceremony,” Kellie gritted out while glaring at the drooping celery stalk. Kellie’s voice was beginning to get that brittle and pert tone that everyone in the Anderson family knew signaled her digging in her heels.

“Kellie, while I appreciate you—” Katelyn started to placate but Ramona plowed over her.

“I see no reason why they can’t get married at Mahoney Park. It’s much closer. No need to hassle with downtown traffic. Am I right, Bridgette? Right?” Ramona asked Kate’s mother in an equally brittle, slightly hysterical tone.

Bridgette merely puckered her lips while slathering peanut butter in an agitated manner on the poor, battered celery.

“Pick your evil, I guess. Deal with tourists or deal with the Dundee DINKs,” Kandace drawled, placing her feet back on the coffee table.

“Watch your language, Kandace Marie!” Bridgette said and pushed Kandace’s feet back off.

Kyle snorted. “It means dual-income, no kids, Mom,” he said without looking up from his phone. “And can we wrap this up please?” He was still in his Police uniform and unsubtly standing right next to the front door.

Dominic’s sister Demetria laughed softly and somehow it captured everyone’s attention. Katelyn could never figure out how she did it. It was a sort of breathy, tinkling ‘ha-ha-ha’ that resonated on a different existential plane. Like the dog-whistle of laughs. She was perched in a zen-like position on an ottoman at the edge of the dining room, forcing most of the occupants of the living room to crane their necks to look at her.

“Forgive my interruption,” Demi breathed—because she never spoke like a normal person—she imparted wisdom…breathlessly. “Has anyone enquired what Dominic and Katelyn would like to do?”

Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved

Curious about the Downeys? Just want a quick story? Have a look around! #ASMSG |


If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the site, you may not be aware of the short stories, flash fictions, and character bios I’ve put up on this site. So here’s a quick reference for where you can find these things.

 

On the Tab “More About the Downey Series” you will find:

 

  • Background on the Characters from the Downey series

 

 

On the Tab “Short Stories and More!” you will find:

 

 

 

 

HAPPY READING!!!

 

PS—Let me know what you think! I love hearing from you! 🙂

Can’t get enough of The Downeys? #ASMSG


Did you know? You can read some facts about the characters in the Downey-verse that may or may not be revealed in the books at the page to the right called:

More about The Downey Trilogy.

This week (knock wood) I hope to add a few more characters, including ones from the Bird Day Battalion who are tangentially related in that Kyle Anderson (Katelyn’s twin brother) was Tommy’s partner at the Omaha Police Department.

In addition, the wonderful ladies at the Five Star Series group at Goodreads made a whole thread about First, I Love You  which is a really huge honor to me and I didn’t even ask them to do it! There (hopefully!!) you can talk about your favorite parts of the book to give their group members an idea of what it’s about. The more people that talk about the book the better. Heck, I’d even welcome complaints. Well… gentle complaints. LOL I just would love to not be talking to myself.

I’ve also requested reviews from some lovely ladies who run lovely fiction reviewing blogs so that means over the course of the next several months I can get some reviews for First, I love You from perfect strangers, which I hope in turn means readership and reviews for Second of All. Well… assuming they don’t just lobster hate it. But nobody has hated it yet. Even the ones not related to me. Har har.

Speaking of which, THANK YOU very, very, very much to those who have taken the time to rate or review any of my books! You are all made of awesomesauce.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!

And as always,

‘I wish you enough’.

EDITED TO ADD:

Ok, so I wrote the above post and today I get a random one star (with no review attached) for First, I Love You at Apple. Absolutely no one has given it less than four stars so far, but there is a first time for everything and not everyone likes the same things. So I need to ammend the statement above to say apparently there is someone who lobster hates it. Ha! I’m cool with that.

 

Holy Cow, guys! Thank you for being awesome!


Look how well First, I Love You and Bird Day Battalion are doing so far on the Goodreads Listopia lists:

First, I Love You

Bird Day Battalion

 

You guys are made of AWESOMESAUCE!!!!