CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVEN
“Oh the curse,” Heather said.
Nash rewarded her with a laugh.
“And the problem is?” Heather asked.
“I…” Nash sighed. “If things go well, and Nadia and I get married, or whatever, my mother is going to want money from me and… that’s not really it.”
“What is really it?” Heather asked.
“I… uh…” Nash rubbed his head in such a way that his hair stood up on end. “I kinda want to stay a kid. I mean, Sandy’s became my mom like a minute ago and Rachel Ann’s still little and Noelle and…”
“You’ve always been a man in a boy’s suit,” Heather said.
“Right, but…” Nash said.
“You don’t want to give up what you have for some fantasy,” Heather said.
“Why would you have to give up being a kid?” Heather asked.
Nash looked at Heather as if he’d never thought of it.
“Sandy’s not going to push you,” Heather said. “Your father either. I can’t imagine Nadia cares. She’s so busy with her businesses and career, why would she mind? And anyway, most kids in functional families never really leave the nest. Look at Jake and Val. Sam’s right here with them.”
“I don’t know any functional families,” Nash said.
“Isn’t that what your father and Sandy have built?” Heather asked. “I mean, Sandy’s living at her father’s house while she heals.”
Nash looked at Heather for a long moment. He sighed.
“What if it doesn’t work?” Nash asked. “What if she hates me or I can’t stand her or…?”
“What if it doesn’t work?” Heather asked with a shrug. “I thought I’d found my prince charming when I met Mack’s father. Turns out he was a jerk. If I hadn’t met him and gotten pregnant, Blane and I wouldn’t have moved into together. Everything that happened after that — having Mack and Wynn, Blane’s treatments and now health, becoming a Goddess, our old home, adopting Tink, Tanesha living with us, Tres and Nelson joining our family — none of that would have happened. But you’re right.”
“About what?” Nash asked.
“I would have stayed safe,” Heather said.
Nash threw himself at Heather, and she held him tight. After a minute, he jumped up and ran out of the room.
“You are so welcome,” Heather said with a laugh.
“Talking to yourself?” Tres Sierra asked at the doorway.
“Nash,” Heather said.
“I just saw him go,” Tres said. “Everything okay?”
“It will be,” Heather said. “What is going on upstairs?”
“You mean our man-meeting?” Tres asked.
“Hockey,” Tres said. “We’ve decided that Jake’s boys are old enough for him to return to hockey.”
“What does Jake say?” Heather asked.
“He’s fishing,” Tres said. “Mike says that if we decide to reform the team, Jake will go along with it.”
“Does Jake go along with anything?” Heather asked.
“Hey, can you help me put this laundry away?” Heather asked.
“Anything,” Tres said with a grin.
Heather smiled at him. He picked up the basket of folded towels and they left the apartment.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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