Friday, February 27, 2015

#93: Zoe Makes a New Friend

Alice had really enjoyed her shopping trip for items for her soon-to-arrive baby.

"Come see what I got!" she said gleefully to Regina, who was busy working on her new book.

Regina followed Alice out to the deck.

"Adorable!" Regina gushed.  "But why did you get TWO bassinets?" she asked.

"Well, I don't know if I'm having a boy or a girl," Alice answered.  "But I want to be ready in EITHER case, 'cause it feels like this baby is coming any day now!"

"Or--my baby could use one, and your baby could use the other," Alice suggested.  "Do you think we could get the guys to bring them upstairs?"

"Oh, please--we're pregnant women!" Regina said seriously.  "We can get the guys to do ANYTHING we want!"


After a brief discussion, the group decided to put one bassinet in Alice's room (because it made her happy at least to have it nearby while she was still having relatively sleepless nights),

 and the other downstairs, so that the baby could be with people during the day,

 and also so that the baby could be away from Bill's noisy woodworking during the day.


"Dude, could we talk for a minute?" Alice asked him.

Regina hurriedly left the house to tend to her garden, to give Alice and Dude some privacy.

This request took Dude by surprise.  Not that Alice had been cold to him, but she'd been so self-focused during her pregnancy that he had been walking on eggshells around her.

"Regina was thinking of making the room you sleep in into a nursery for both babies," she said, "once mine--I mean, OURS--arrives.  So maybe after I give birth, you and I could sleep in the same room?"

Dude was thrilled.  He had worried that he was about to be asked to live elsewhere.  "That would be good," he responded, trying not to sound too eager, for fear of scaring off Alice.

He added, tentatively, "I'd be happy to be sleeping with you NOW."

"Trust me, Dude," Alice groaned, "I am NOT a pleasant bed-mate at this point!"


Alice was delighted with the new bathroom that Bill, Derek, and Dude had put in.

For one thing, the household of four adults and--soon--two babies really needed another bathroom.

For another thing, Alice was happy finally to have a shower in the house, since lowering herself into and raising herself out of the wooden bathtub was difficult at this point in her pregnancy.

After her shower, she took an afternoon nap.


"Well, I guess I'm done woodworking for the day," Bill said, "if Alice is taking a nap."

"I have some good news, though," Dude told him.  "Alice said after the baby comes Alice and I can share a room.  That means there can be a nursery."


After her day of spa treatments and shopping, Zoe didn't feel like going back to Rafael's house right away.  He was away filming his Latin soap opera anyway and, since Zoe couldn't cook, instead of just having dinner delivered to Rafael's house, she decided to go to the Solar Flare Lounge to dine.

'SOMEONE should be admiring me in this dress!' she said to herself.

Zoe walked upstairs and sat down at the bar next to a woman who was sitting alone.

"Not a lot of eligible-looking guys here tonight," the woman in the red sequined top said to Zoe.

"Oh, I HAVE a boyfriend," Zoe assured the woman.  "He's just out of town on business for a couple days."

"Lucky you," the woman said.  "So, your 'boyfriend' is out of town, and you go to a bar by yourself?"

"I just came here to eat dinner.  Because I can't cook," Zoe admitted.

The woman laughed, but kindly.  "I couldn't cook, either--until I was 25."

"Do you live here in Oasis Springs?" the woman asked Zoe.

"I'm not sure, really," Zoe said (and she wasn't really sure why she was being so forthcoming with this stranger).  "I used to live here in Oasis Springs with my bandmates--when we had a band--but then the band broke up, and then I met this guy who lives in Willow Creek, and he has a really nice house, and I've been hanging out at there for a while."

"That sounds sweet!" the woman enthused.

"Do YOU live here in Oasis Springs?" Zoe asked.

"Not really," the woman replied.  "I'm here checking out the neighborhood to see if there are any jobs.  I've got a VERY short-term rental.  Which was cheaper than a hotel."

"I'm Zoe," Zoe introduced herself.  "Zoe Patel."

"Nice to meet you, Zoe," the woman said.  "I'm Lana.  Lana Moriarty."

Note from the author:  In case you don't recognize Lana, you could go back and read post #61: Derek's Dream

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#92: Nursery Talk, and Rafael's Trip

Alice--who had been sleeping fitfully in her last trimester--was already downstairs making breakfast by the time Regina and Bill arose the next morning.  (Regina and Bill were VERY early risers--so that Regina could write in peace and quiet, and Bill could catch early morning fish).

"Want some breakfast, Bill?" Alice asked, as she heard him come downstairs behind her and head out the door to the canal.  "Before you start your morning assault on the local fish population?"

"I'll be back in in an hour or so," he answered.  "Gotta get 'em early!"

"You hungry, Regina?" Alice asked.

"No," she replied glumly.  "I've already thrown up once this morning."

"Don't worry," Alice reassured her.  "That will pass in a few days.  Eventually the back pain is what will make you miserable.  But you DO have to eat--that whole 'eating for two' thing is serious."

"Okay, I'll have some chicken broth," Regina agreed.

"Hey, what do you want to do about a nursery?" Regina asked.

"I guess I figured I'd just put a bassinet in my room," Alice said.  "That is--in the bedroom that you and Bill kindly allow me to stay in."

"And that's of course fine, but since there will now be TWO babies, I thought it would be fun to have a nursery," Regina explained.  "So they could keep each other company.  And it would sure be great to decorate a nursery!"

"Yeah, it would," Alice agreed.  She suddenly realized that, because she and Dude were living there, her newly pregnant friend now had no available bedroom for her own soon-to-arrive child.

"I should really move out," she said.  "Especially now that I have all that money from Rafael."

"No!" Regina protested.  "That's the LAST thing I want!"

"I NEED you here, Alice," she said sincerely.  "I need you to help me through my pregnancy--since you will have already gone through yours."


Bill came back in an hour later from fishing.  "Got some great stuff, hun!" he said, putting some freshly caught fish into the fridge.

"That's great, Bill," she said.  She was reading more about Herbalism.

He got some breakfast and sat down next to her.

"I talked to Alice," Regina reported, "and she said she'd talk to Dude about sharing a room so we can build a nursery."

"Great!" Bill said.  "And she's going to be out this afternoon, right?  So Derek and I can put in the new bathroom?"

"Yup, she's going shopping for some baby things," Regina reported.


Zoe awoke in "her" bedroom.  Rafael was not there.

She woke up happy, though.

She put on one of her many new silk robes,

and went to find Rafael.

"Mi amor!" he cried, hurriedly shutting off his computer.

"I very much hope you slept well, Corazon," he smiled.  "I fear I may have tired you out quite a bit last night."

"Yes, I slept well," Zoe replied snakily.  "And I'm not tired NOW...."


Zoe made coffee,

 while Rafael made them French toast for brunch.

"I DO like how you look when you make coffee, mi amor!" Rafael enthused.  "Especially from behind!"

"Now, Corazon," Rafael cautioned Zoe, "I hope this will not upset you, but the director of the TV show in which I am the leading man telephoned me this morning.  They need to re-shoot a scene that was supposed to be finished a month ago."

 "So, what does that mean?" Zoe asked, as they sat down to eat.

"It means I will have to be away for--at most--a couple of days," Rafael explained.  "It is only ONE scene that needs to be re-shot--some 'continuity problem,' whatever that means."

Zoe was confused as to what she was supposed to do while Rafael was away.

"You should enjoy yourself while I'm gone, lovely one," he assured her.  "Swim, play piano, go to the spa, go shopping.  Have friends over for a party if you wish!"

Zoe was leaving for the day spa soon thereafter.

"Rafael, are you SURE you don't want me to stay here till the airport limo comes for you?" Zoe asked.

"It's just that--we've only just begun our relationship, and now you have to go away!" she wailed.

"I will be back home soon enough, mi amor," Rafael answered.  "And then we will resume our budding romance."

"My real worry is that other men are going to see you in that marvelous dress!" he told her.  "I am VERY jealous."

"Rafael!" she cried.  "You KNOW you have nothing to worry about!!!"

She kissed him.


After Zoe left, Rafael cleaned up from brunch,

took a shower,

and changed his clothes before leaving for the airport (because--as an internationally famous Latin soap star--he had a reputation to uphold for being dashing).

There was a knock at the door.

"Nina--Corazon!" he cried.  "You have luggage, correct?"

"Of course," she said, kissing him.  "My bag is in the limo.  But I certainly hope I won't be needing TOO many clothes for the next two days...."

"Would you like 'a quick one' before we leave for the airport?" he asked brightly.

"And by that," he added, "I mean a cocktail--of course."


Custom content credits--thanks to:

kardofe for Alice's bathrobe

Devilicious for Rafael's shirt

Harmonia for Zoe's dress

MJ95 for Zoe's shoes

lagusta for Rafael's suit

MJ95 for Nina's shoes