“Are you insane?” Sara demanded, as she was forced to jump out of the way.
“Yes!” Kasey snapped, gesturing with the hot casserole pan for her best friend, who she loved more than anything, to get the hell out of the way before she was forced to take matters into her own hands and slap her silly until she moved.
“Told you so,” Mikey said with a shrug as she continued to roll her baseball between her hands as she kept an eye on the front door.
“Shouldn’t she be in bed?” Sara asked, gesturing towards Mikey who was still sitting on the kitchen floor where she’d been since she came home from school five hours ago.
“Probably,” she agreed, placing the casserole on the kitchen island so that she could rush back to the stove and add the dumpling batter to the pot of beef stew.
“Why are you making so much food?” Sara asked, pulling her phone out to check her email while Kasey rushed back to the double ovens and pulled out the mile high apple pie that she’d decided to make to help pass the time.
She set the apple pie down between the meatloaf and the mashed potatoes and grumbled, “I have no freaking idea.”
“She’s nervous,” the little traitor rolling the ball between her hands said.
“I can see that,” Sara murmured as she put her phone away.
“Don’t,” Kasey said in a preemptive strike, because she was honestly too damn nervous and tired to come up with anything better.
She hadn’t slept well in two weeks, not since she woke up to find Reese, along with one of the shirts that she’d rightfully claimed as her own, gone. Since then, she’d worked hard returning to the way things had been before she’d decided to single-handedly remove her kitchen sink. She got up in the morning, telling herself that she didn’t miss sleeping in his arms, took a shower, got ready, made too much food for breakfast, dragged Mikey to school before returning home and keeping herself busy.
It had actually been a pretty productive two weeks. She’d managed to clean the house from top to bottom, went through all of Mikey’s old clothes, rearranged the kitchen half a dozen times until she had everything the way that she wanted it, played with a few recipes to add to her website, completed ten cooking requests, gave five cooking lessons, catered two baby showers, a bridal shower and an office luncheon, gave her website a makeover, finished her latest cookbook, and when all that was said and done, she’d managed to binge on The Game of Thrones.
That is, when she wasn’t looking at her phone to see if Reese had texted her or called her, because apparently, she was that pathetic now. She couldn’t fall asleep anymore unless she was wearing one of his shirts and even then, she didn’t sleep well. Most nights she stayed awake, working until she was too tired to do anything more than to curl up on her couch and stare at the television.
She missed him.
The phone calls, texts, and nightly FaceTimes helped, but they didn’t make up for the fact that he wasn’t here. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d been able to come back last week like he’d promised, but he’d been forced to stay to take training that he’d missed while he’d been on paid leave.
She’d been disappointed, but she’d understood. He had a life that he needed to get back to and so did she. She had Mikey, her website, Sara, the PTA, and the hundreds of things that had kept her busy before she’d met Reese, but none of those things kept her from missing Reese.
And the sex.
God, had she missed the sex, she thought, biting back a groan as she checked to make sure that they had plenty of French vanilla ice cream to go along with the pies that she’d made. It was either that or check the clock for the hundredth time.
“He’s not coming,” Mikey said with a heavy sigh.
“He’s coming,” she said, deciding that she should make some coffee cake for breakfast tomorrow.
“But, what if he doesn’t?” Mikey asked, shifting so that she was facing the kitchen instead of the front door.
“Then he doesn’t show,” she said with a shrug and a smile even though the idea of Reese not coming made her sick to her stomach, but she couldn’t let Mikey know that.
As she grabbed a pound of butter out the fridge and placed it on the kitchen island she couldn’t help but wonder if she should have kept her relationship with Reese, whatever it was, from Mikey until she had an idea of where this was going. She’d never actually given it much thought before him, because she’d honestly never expected to find herself in this situation.
“Sweetheart, if he doesn’t come-”
“He’s not coming?” Mikey cried, cutting her off before she could finish her thought.
“That’s not what I-”
But, before she could finish, Mikey was up and running and she was left standing there, shaking her head and at least thankful that Reese had the foresight to put a lock on the attic ladder so that Mikey couldn’t lock herself away in the attic anymore. Which begged the question, where was she planning on hiding now?
“No, I’m not coming down!”
“Yeah, you will if you don’t want me to come up there and drag you down!” the woman that he’d missed yelled up at the little girl that was currently perched on the roof that needed to be replaced before it started leaking.
That was something that was going to have to wait, he decided as he dragged himself out of his truck and headed towards the pissed off woman that he couldn’t wait to pull into his arms. But, that was going to have to wait until after he got Mikey off the roof before she gave him a fucking heart attack.
“You’re afraid of heights!” Mikey reminded her mother, who was still glaring at the ladder that he was going to have to put out of Mikey’s reach after this.
“Which means that if I have to go up there to get you that you will definitely regret it!” Kasey yelled, moving to grab hold of the ladder to go after her daughter, but he was honestly too fucking tired to play any games tonight.
“You’re in the way,” he said, moving her out of the way so that he could climb up the ladder and grab the little girl that he was going to throttle if she kept scaring them like this.
“Reese?” Mikey said, sounding unsure as she got her first glimpse of him in his uniform. When she saw the expression on his face, her expression changed to panic as she muttered, “Uh oh,” and quickly shifted so that she was sliding back down the roof that he’d better not catch her on again, onto the ladder and-
“Stay off the roof,” he said evenly as he wrapped his arm around her and carried her down the rest of the way.
Before she could argue, he was setting her down on her feet and giving her a look that had her shooting him a sheepish smile before turning around, racing back inside, and hopefully getting ready for bed so that he could call it a fucking night.
“You’re late,” the small woman that he’d missed informed him with a sniffle as she marched past him and went inside, leaving him standing there, smiling, because she was a brutal little thing.
Returning to his truck, he grabbed his bag filled with brand new shirts for the devious woman to steal and went inside, walking past Sara, who shot him a wink, Mikey who was now racing to get ready for bed most likely so that Kasey, who was pulling something out of the oven, didn’t throttle her, and headed towards her bedroom.
As soon as he was inside, he tossed his bag aside, stripped down to his boxers, fell face first onto the bed, determined to catch up on all the sleep he’d lost over the past two weeks before he tried to figure out what he was going to do about this situation, because there was no way in hell that he was going to survive spending another night without her.
“Move over,” she said, not really caring that she was whining, because she was too damn tired to
“No!” the cranky ten-year-old that clearly didn’t understand what it meant to give birth without an epidural said, because if she did, she would move her little butt over so that Kasey could lay down before she dropped dead from exhaustion.
“I will spank you!” Kasey snapped, which earned a snort of amusement from the little bed hog.
“Mikey,” she warned.
“What’s wrong with your bed?” the little bully demanded.
“There’s a large cop sprawled out across it,” she said, giving Mikey another nudge only to have the small child sprawl out across the bed even more, effectively blocking her.
“So? Push him over,” Mikey grumbled.
“He weighs a ton,” she muttered pathetically as she considered crashing on the couch, but she was too tired to wrestle with all the crap that Mikey had left on it.