NICK: New(s) York, Baby
Laney and Donovan got married in an over-the-top Cinderella meets Christmas wedding. Even for a marriage (non)believer like me, the wedding was beautiful and the bride and groom were deliriously happy. We all had stupid grins on our faces the entire day, no different from the bride and groom.
Aunt Babs pulled out every trick in the magic hat to make her daughter’s day unforgettable. The groom also made sure that the bride would have a wedding rivaling any royal wedding. My cousin looked stunning, the groom was his usual debonair self, and my little niece and nephew looked adorable.
Because we are the Reids, we all met up again this morning for a late breakfast with the entire clan.
“Where did all this food come from? Who cooked at this hour after going to bed at four in the morning?” I asked.
What crazy person prepared such a feast? It was almost as nice as Gram and Grandfather’s wedding breakfast. I hoped it didn’t fall upon Emily.
Aunt Barbara answered, “We thought we’d continue Jake and Emily’s tradition and have the rest of us celebrate the wedding the morning after. The caterers came and fixed us a nice brunch.”
“Are we late?” A gaggle of Taylors walked in. Their entire family was still here and I felt like we were having another wedding reception.
“No Jamie,” Aunt Babs answered. “You’re here just in time.”
“Has anybody heard from the bride and groom? Have they left for their honeymoon yet?” Scott Taylor sat next to Uncle Henry and they both had silly grins on their faces. It was carry-over happiness from yesterday.
Doug and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. “I doubt they even went to bed last night.” I whispered to Doug.
Doug agreed. “The way those two have been all over each other since the moment they got together, I highly doubt we will be seeing them for weeks to come.”
“Hey,” I told Doug “I’m taking Bee to New York after this mayhem is over. Bee tells me that Laney’s friend Ruby will be in New York at around the same time. Any chance you want to come and make it a foursome?”
“Dude, you’re not trying to set me up with her are you? Just because you’re all happy and settled now does not mean I want to be happy and settled.”
I laughed at my cousin. “Bee and I…I don’t know what Bee and I are, but I enjoy her company and I’d like to go to New York with her. That’s about as complicated or as simple as it gets between us. Since Ruby will be there, I thought it might be fun to have another person, whether guy or girl. Think about it. We leave in a few days.”
“Speaking of…” Doug tilted his head toward the doors. “There she is.”
Bee and I made eye contact and gave each other a slight nod and a smile, but that was all. She sat with the Taylor women and I stayed with Doug.
“Nick!” My imp of a niece called out and put up her hands so I could pick her up. As soon as she was secure in my arms, I stood up abruptly and threw her in the air. I caught the look of horror in her eyes and I expected her to wail in fear, but instead, this little monster commanded, “MORE!” Not wanting to miss the action, James waddled over to us and Doug picked him up and performed the same circus act. Both kids couldn’t get enough. I had no desire to have kids of my own, but these two were easy to love.
Jake walked over with JR and I found this to be the perfect time to ask him about lodging in New York. “I’m headed to New York in a few days. I just wanted to make sure our apartment in Soho is empty?”
“MORE!” Ellie insisted when I stopped to talk to her dad. I had no choice but to carry on this conversation while making sure I didn’t drop Jake’s middle child.
“I believe it is. When are you leaving? I was thinking about taking Emily and the kids over there for the remainder of vacation. Maybe we can all go at the same time.”
My silence gave Jake a reason to pause. Did I want to tell my brother who I was going to New York with and have to answer all the probing questions? If possible, I wanted to keep all details secret from the family so they wouldn’t make a big deal out of this situation.
“I was thinking about leaving in a couple of days?” I already had the tickets and I knew exactly when we were leaving, but I didn’t want to have to explain to my brother that I was not leaving alone.
Jake gave me a funny look but let me be. Smart man!
With the imp still in tow, I casually made my way over to Bee, greeted all the ladies, and sat between Bee and Becky.
“Hi Ellie.” Becky did her best to greet the beautiful brat sitting on my lap who wondering what to make of the newborn laying in Becky’s arm. “You looked beautiful yesterday at your Auntie Laney and Uncle Donovan’s wedding.”
“No Ne Ne. My Unca!” She let Becky know.
“She has a serious crush on my nephew, doesn’t she?”
“I guess. Hey,” I leaned in and whispered, “Jake says the apartment in Soho is empty. You mind staying there?”
Bee answered without hesitation, “I would love to spend time with you anywhere, as long as there are no Reids and Taylors involved. I’m tired of both families.”
“You can say that again!” I leaned in even closer and kissed her stealthily on the lips. I didn’t think anyone caught that but even if they did, I didn’t give a shit.
“What the hell are they doing here?” Bee turned my cheek over to Donovan and Laney who were at their own after-the-wedding-brunch to which they were not invited.
“Why the hell are you here?” was on everyone’s minds and tongues.
Ellie and James ran over to the happy couple and each picked up his and her favored child before telling us why they were spending part of their honeymoon with us.
“Is everything all right?” Uncle Henry asked.
“Everything is perfect, Daddy. We stopped by because we have some news.”
“We’re waiting…” That shout-out earned me an elbow from Bee.
“Well…” Laney started. “I’m a little embarrassed, but also thrilled to tell you that…” She stopped and fidgeted, gave James a kiss on the head, and moved even closer to her husband.
“Today, Laney! Your Gram and I can die at any moment.” That earned Grandfather an elbow from Gram.
This time Donovan spoke. “We were originally going to ride our Ducatis up the coast and fly to South Africa to go surfing for our honeymoon.” That sounded cool. “But, we are forced to change our plans because…” Shit. This was going to take all morning. Now, Donovan was deferring to his wife.
“We’re having a baby. I’m pregnant.” Laney was barely audible but we all heard what she uttered.
“Did I hear that correctly?” Bee nudged me for an answer.
“What the hell is it with my family members not using birth control?” I nudged her back.
Once the shock wore off, everyone got up at once and ran to the happy couple like a sea of linebackers chasing the quarterback. While the revelry continued, Bee and I made plans for our time away from the family. I convinced Doug to join us and Bee called Ruby to confirm she’d be in New York.
“All is set. Ruby will be there. I told her about Doug and she was all for meeting him. What do we do about accommodations, now?”
“Doug will most likely stay in the apartment with us. Do you mind?” Maybe this was a bad idea. I’d forgotten Doug wouldn’t have a place to stay and if Jake was going to be in New York, Bee and I couldn’t stay at his place.
“Will the three of us be roommates?”
“You and I will be roommates. Doug can take the other bedroom.”
“Then it’s all good.”
Our plans were set. In two days, Bee and I would enjoy the Big Apple without the prying eyes of any Reid or Taylor, except for Doug.
“Nick.” Jake called. “Good news!” What now? “Donovan and Laney are headed to Amsterdam before going to the Maldives on Grandfather’s plane, and they’re willing to drop us off in New York.” Great! Now there was no chance Jake and his family would be on the same flight with us if they were flying on Grandfather’s plane. “And I’ve secured a seat on the plane for you and a friend.” Jake snickered and walked away.