My dad was singing in the kitchen while preparing the turkey. I stood back and watched as Blaire mixed something in a bowl and smiled happily. My dad kept trying to get her to sing with him and she would just laugh as she shook her head no. Today was going to be hard on her and I liked seeing her smile.
All week I had debated on telling her I’d invited Abe. He would be here in an hour. I’d gotten a text from him when his plane landed. I couldn’t decide if surprising her was such a good idea. I wanted to make this special for her. It was our first Thanksgiving together. I knew that the fact it was her first Thanksgiving without her mother was going to overshadow it and I understood that. But if I could make this a good memory, one she would cherish, I would move heaven and earth to make that happen.
“You hiding back there ‘cause you’re afraid to get your hands dirty, boy?” my dad asked, glancing back over his shoulder and winking at me.
Blaire turned around with a spoon in one hand and a smile on her face. The apron she was wearing had frilly things around the seams and pink polka dots all over it. She was adorable.
I walked over to her and pulled her close so I could kiss those pretty lips of hers.
“We’re cooking in here. No time for that stuff,” Dean said with a chuckle.
Blaire broke the kiss and pressed her lips together. The twinkle in her eyes let me know she was trying hard not to laugh. I loved seeing her like this. Especially on a day like today. Once again, Blaire was tougher than most men I knew. She continued to blow me away with her strength over and over again.
“Can I help?” I asked, leaning down to press one more kiss to the corner of her mouth.
“Yeah, you can help me get this big ass turkey in the oven without dropping it or burning my damn hand,” Dean barked.
Blaire stepped back from me. “Help your dad,” she replied, still amused. Good. If Dean could amuse her then he was good for something.
There was a brief knock on the door and then Bethy’s voice filled the house. “I’m here!”
“It’s about time,” Blaire called back.
Bethy walked into the kitchen with Jace following her. His hands were full of grocery bags. How we could possibly need more food I wasn’t sure.
“Where do I put this?” he asked, out of breath.
“Just right there on the counter.” Blaire pointed to the only available space in the kitchen.
Jace put the bag down and let out a sigh of relief then looked at me. “I need a beer and I wanna watch some football.”
I opened the fridge, took out two beers, and handed one to him. “Come on. Let’s get out of the way.”
Jace glanced back at Bethy who was standing frozen in her spot staring at my dad. He shook his head and looked back at me. “Yeah, let’s get out of here before Bethy goes completely fangirl on your old man.”
“Good to see you again too, Jace,” Dean called out as we left the kitchen.
“You too, Dean. Please overlook my girl. She’s a bit star struck,” he replied.
I walked past the living room and the one hundred and three inch flat screen as Jace looked back at it longingly. I knew he wanted to watch a game but I needed to talk to someone about Grant.
We stepped out onto the porch and I sat down on one of the lounge chairs. “Sit. We’ll watch a game but I wanted to ask you about something first.”
Jace sat down beside me and took a drink of his beer. “You look serious.”
“Did you know about Grant and Nan?” I asked, watching him closely. Jace couldn’t lie for shit. The widening of his eyes told me he had known. I didn’t even wait for his confirmation. “You didn’t think telling me was important?” I asked.
Jace put his beer down and let out a frustrated groan. “Shit. I knew you’d be pissed when you found out. I didn’t want to be the one to tell you. Besides, you were dealing with losing Blaire and then getting her back. Then her pregnancy. Grant didn’t even know I knew. He thought he was keeping it a secret from everyone. We were just more observant than you were at the time. All you could see was Blaire. The rest of us noticed things…”
He was right. I had been fighting for my future. I had been focused on getting Blaire back and then protecting her and our baby. I hadn’t had time to notice anything or anyone else. Maybe it was best I hadn’t known. I hadn’t needed any distractions.
“You’re right. It’s best I didn’t know. I’d needed to be focused on Blaire. Not anything else then.”
Jace shook his head. “Didn’t go down well, though. Nan just leaves destruction in her wake. Grant got real tore up about it but he’s dealing with things better now. I think he’s gonna move back to Rosemary permanently for awhile. He wants distance from her.”
My little sister sure knew how to cause problems. I was getting tired of always bailing her out. I couldn’t make it better for Grant though. He should’ve known not to go into a relationship with her. She didn’t do commitments.
The phone in my pocket vibrated and I pulled it out to see a text from Abe. He was here. I prayed that bringing him here was the right thing to do. I wanted today special for Blaire. She’d had enough heartache.