“Val’s here,” Jacob said as Mike passed through the door. Mike stopped walking.
“She said she didn’t want me to have all the fun. Tomorrow’s the step-whore’s prenuptial meeting.” Jacob put his hand on Mike’s back. “Cereal?”
Mike nodded. They went through the darkened house to the original kitchen. Even though Jacob had installed small kitchens in the apartments, everyone used the main kitchen. Jacob pulled cereal boxes from the cabinet and retrieved the Royal Crest milk from the refrigerator. Mike ate a bowl of Cap’n Crunch before saying anything else.
“Trevor came to the hospital,” Mike said. “He made a huge-ass fuss. I guess he saw something on the news and put two and two together. He rushed into Katy’s room, saying this proved that Jill was an unfit mother. I guess he was all but foaming at the mouth. That crazy fucker tried to take Katy from the hospital. He said he was going to kill Jill for putting his daughter in harm’s way.”
Mike poured another bowl of cereal.
“Katy took one look at her father and started screaming in horror. I …” Mike shook his head and poured milk on his cereal. “Did Val mention me? I mean, do you think I should call her?”
“You and Val have a complicated relationship. If you want to call her, I know she’d like to see you.”
“Then why didn’t she tell me she was coming?”
“A very good question to ask Valerie. If it helps, she didn’t call, email or text me either.” Jacob shrugged.
“I drove this bachelor party tonight. Stupid fuckers. They picked up hookers for blow jobs all around. While his wasted friends cheered him on, the groom screwed some girl in the alley behind Vinyl,” Mike said. “All I could think was why does this jerk deserve to be married?”
“You and Val will work it out eventually,” Jacob said.
“God, I hope so,” Mike said.
“You were telling me about Trevor?”
“How did you know he would show?”
“I just figured it would happen. Who was there?”
Jacob had asked his midnight hockey team to keep an eye on Katy in case Trevor showed up. Mike set up a schedule so someone was there at all times.
“What?” Jacob asked.
“Colin beat the crap out of Trevor when Trevor was in high school.”
Jacob raised his eyebrows. “What?”
“Colin’s little sister is about four years older than Trevor and Jill. Trevor started really hassling Erin. I mean, Colin’s what six-four, six-five? Erin’s not even five feet. She’s tiny — smaller than Jill, even. Colin was home on leave before he went into Special Forces. He went to pick up Erin at school and saw Trevor pawing at Erin. Colin isn’t known for his restraint, especially when it comes to his sisters.
“So Trevor’s there ranting and raving about how he’s going to take Katy, minus the hospital bill, of course. Colin took one look at Trevor and laughed. You know all those Hargreaveses are fucking nuts. I guess he tossed Trevor onto the sidewalk,” Mike laughed. “Trevor was so freaked he scrambled away.”
“He told Colin that he was going to find Jill,” Mike said. “I had just dropped the assholes off at the bride-to-be’s house when Colin called. I found Trevor trying to get into Jill’s apartment.”
“What did you do?”
“I called the cops. But then I couldn’t find Jill and … I guess I went a little nuts.” Pointing his spoon at Jacob, Mike said, “You should be glad I’m not Colin.”
“So noted. I do have a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu.”
“Well, big whoop-de-fucking-do. They teach everybody that in the military. Colin’s like an expert in every martial art.” Mike shrugged. “Sorry, man.”
“It’s not a problem,” Jacob said.
“Why’d you bring her here?” Mike asked.
“She didn’t want to go home. She said it would be too hard to be around Katy’s things. She was freaked enough about money, so I didn’t want to check us into the Adam’s Mark. Plus, Scooter and Sarah are here.”
“She saw Scooter?” Mike asked.
“The dogs were really what she needed.” Jacob nodded. “She played with them for a while and then took a shower. She’s exhausted. What a horrible day.”
Jacob looked up from his cereal when Mike didn’t respond. Mike’s face was completely blank. Jacob turned to see what Mike was looking at.
Val’s dark hair hung in waves over the spaghetti straps of her silk shorty. She beckoned Mike with her hand. Like a man in a trance, Mike stood up from the table and walked to Valerie. Jacob was just closing the door when Valerie giggled and squealed.
Guess Valerie and Mike are “on” again.
After cleaning up their cereal, Jacob went back upstairs to his apartment. Jill stirred when he came in but fell right back to sleep. Sarah had taken his side of the bed. Rather than fight the dog, he went to the table to work. He needed to clear his day so he could be available for Jill.
One last glance at Jill and he set to work.
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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