BEE: Tea with a Beau
“I can’t believe you left us with the twins and followed Max and Jane to Florence!” I yelled at Laney over the phone. “You four left in the middle of the night.”
“And I thought I was the drama queen.” Everyone was laughing at Laney’s statement and our predicament. “It wasn’t so dramatic or traumatic, Auntie. Jane needed help so I thought being the good cousin that I am, I should help her.”
“Nick and I are not happy with you.”
“Those twins are adorable! They’ll make you want to procreate once you get a taste of them.”
“You can consider your wedding gift, destroyed. I will personally burn each and every present.”
“Just admit you love being with Nick. You’re welcome, Auntie. Good-bye.”
The laughter continued in the background as she hung up on me. I wouldn’t admit, but she wasn’t wrong on many counts. These twins did grow on me, and I did enjoy my time with Nick. I enjoyed watching him care for his niece and nephew. I didn’t realize he had such a paternal side to him.
“Did you chew her out?” Nick had James on his shoulder and Ellie trailing, begging for a plane ride.
“Me too, Nick. Me too!” she complained.
“It’s Uncle Nick, not Nick.”
“No! My Unca!”
“Why are you yelling at your niece?” I picked up Ellie and put her on my shoulders, instead.
“She won’t call me uncle. She’ll only call Donovan, uncle, and he’s not even her uncle.”
“My Unca!” Ellie said while slapping the top of my head in glee.
“When do these kids go to bed?” Nick moaned.
Emily came in to the playroom and giggled at the sight of us. “How about I take over and you both go enjoy yourselves?”
“Yes!” Nick didn’t hesitate handing James and Ellie over to their mother.
“More, Nick!” Ellie commanded.
“No, Brat!” Nick answered with a smile and a kiss to her nose. “Tomorrow.” Without a warning, Nick grabbed my hand and we were outside, loving the freedom. “Where to?”
“What time is it? There’s this fabulous tea I went to last time with Laney and her then boyfriend. You want to go with me?” This jerk hesitated in his answer and that pissed me off. I was here helping out his family and he couldn’t even have a meal of my choice with me. “I tell you what. You go do whatever it is that you want to do and I’m going to tea by myself.” I didn’t wait for a response. I flagged down a cab and hopped in.
“You women are all a pain!” Nick grumbled, getting in the cab with me.
We had just ordered when I heard someone call my name with the most beautiful English accent. I didn’t know one syllable could sound so good.
“Michael!” I looked up in surprise. “Fancy meeting you here.” I stood up and gave him a hug.
“It’s nice to see you again.” He didn’t have that same fun-loving, happy-go-lucky feel about him this time. He was a bit austere and down.
“You need to smile more. It’s a more handsome look than the I-got-dumped-by-a-girl-many-moons-ago look you have plastered on your face.” The woman standing next to him howled in agreement.
“I’m Ruby Bennington.” She put out her hand. “I think you and I will get along splendidly.”
“I’m Bee Taylor and this is Nick Reid.” We all said our hellos. “I assume you’re the Ruby Laney drones on about all the time?”
“I am!” She was proud. “And I assume you are somehow related to that hottie fiancé of Laney’s?”
I laughed. Nick rolled his eyes. “He’s my nephew. Laney’s in Florence right now. Have you talked to her?”
“I actually saw her briefly, yesterday, along with her hottie fiancé, her cousin Jane, and Jane’s own hottie fiancé. You breed them gorgeous over in the States.”
“Nick, here, is Jane and Jake’s youngest brother.”
“Well, hello, Nick. I’m going to have to get to know the Reid and Taylor families better. I’m liking what I see.” This Ruby Bennington was a hoot and a holler. She was checking out (my?) man, up, down and around the corner.
“There are two more Davises to check out if you’re interested. One’s over in Rome and the other you can meet when you come to Laney’s wedding.” The three of us were still standing so I suggested we all sit before Nick got a neck cramp. “You here alone?”
“We are meeting a friend and a co-worker of his,” Ruby answered. “But I don’t see why we can’t join parties if you’re willing?”
I looked to Nick and he gave his curt nod. “How’d you see Laney?”
“She stopped by the house on her way to the airport.”
“Did you see her too?” I engaged Michael in our conversation.
“No. I was out,” was all he’d give me.
“Are you and Ruby coming to the wedding?”
Michael was quick to respond, “Probably not.”
Ruby was also quick to say, “Absolutely!”
Before I could say anymore, Nick asked Michael about his “line of work,” and I was purposely excluded.
“So Bee! I’m dying to see your clothing line. Laney wore every single one of your dresses and has shown me some of your lingerie. Where can I buy the Beeautiful collection?”
“It’s sold at…”
I was cut off by a bloody damn heart stopping surprise. “BEE!”
Shit. What the hell was he doing in London? “Beau!”