Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 11 – Boston

Just landed.

Lucas looked at the text on his phone. He was already at the airport, but he wasn’t alone. He hadn’t been able to convince his mom to let him pick Glory up on his own, so she and his sister, Becky, were there with him.

“Seriously, mom, I promise to bring her right over to the house once I’ve dropped her stuff off at my place,” he had pleaded.

“It’s always nice to have a welcoming committee to meet you at the airport,” Lucas’ mom, Joan, had said. “Besides, how do I know that you guys won’t get to your condo and fall into bed and we won’t get to meet her before the party?”

“You know I wouldn’t do that, mom,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m not some horny teenager. On the other hand, I get the feeling that Glory is a little fragile. I don’t want you guys to scare her away!”

But Joan wouldn’t be deterred, so the three of them were there at the airport waiting for Glory.

 

My mom and sister are here with me. Can’t wait to see you!

 

At least he could warn her before she was in the thick of things.

 

Yikes! Family already? Thanks for the warning, movie-boy.

 

Lucas laughed out loud at her continued use of that nickname. I guess I’ve been called worse, he thought.

“What’s so funny?” Joan asked.

“Nothing. Just a text from Glory. She likes to call me movie-boy. Not sure yet if I like that,” he said.

Joan raised an eyebrow at Lucas. “Movie-boy? That’s a new one. She doesn’t call you Cap?”

“Once in a while, but it’s usually just Lucas or movie-boy,” he answered.

“I’ll have to remember that,” Becky said with a laugh.

“You won’t get away with it. Like I said, I’m not even sure if I like her calling me that,” Lucas said emphatically. Just then, he saw Glory coming towards them, waving, and he went up to meet her.

He greeted her with a kiss and said, “Sorry,” before his mom and sister joined them.

“No problem. It’s what I’m here for after all,” she said, quietly, and turned towards Joan to be introduced.

Lucas took the handle of Glory’s wheeled suitcase with one hand and kept the other hand on her back as Joan and Becky talked to her.

“It’s a pleasure to meet both of you,” Glory said with sincere smile. “Lucas talks a lot about his family and I’ve been looking forward to meeting all of you. I mean, the rest of you.” She turned to Lucas. “Will Greg and Kayla be at the party? I didn’t think to ask.”

“Greg’s flying in tomorrow afternoon and Kayla a little later,” Lucas said. “Come on. Let’s get to the car before we have to deal with any fans.” He was still very sensitive of Glory’s sensibilities when it came to his public persona.

At least Joan and Becky had come in their own car, so Lucas was able to drive Glory back to his condo in his car without company.

“How was your flight?” he asked, once they were in the car on their way to his place.

“It was really quick. We were barely in the air and it felt like we were coming down again,” she said. “The only flights I’ve ever taken have been cross country flights to Calgary or Vancouver, so this seemed really short.”

“I’m glad. Means you’ll come more often, I hope,” he said with a smile.

“Definitely. Is this your place?” Glory asked, as they pulled up outside an industrial-looking building.

“Yup. It’s much nicer on the inside,” he said, opening his door and going around to get her luggage out of the trunk.

He was right. Inside, the building was completely renovated, and his loft, which was on the second floor, was beautifully decorated with painted brick walls and tasteful furniture. It was obviously a bachelor pad from the sparse décor, but it suited him well.

“Come on. Let me show you where I put your painting.” He was very excited to have her here! They came around the corner and there it was! He had it spotlighted on a wall by itself. The effect was breathtaking! Glory walked up to it with reverence.

“Wow! This looks so good here!” She reached up to touch the canvas.

“I told you it would look great here. You just wait until you see our dancing picture up in my house in LA,” Lucas said, standing back to enjoy Glory’s reaction.

He came up behind her and put his arms around her. “I promised my mom that we’d be over there for dinner tonight. I hope that’s okay.” She tilted her head to one side so that he could kiss her neck through her hair.

“That’s perfect,” she said. “Like I said, it’s what I’m here for.”

“No, you’re here to help me celebrate my birthday, so I’ll make sure that we have lots of alone time between the partying,” he said, huskily.

She turned in his arms and put her arms up and around his neck. “What time is dinner, then?” she asked, and pressed her lips to his.

“We’ve got a couple of hours,” he whispered as Glory moved from his lips down his neck.

“Then we have no time to waste,” she said, grabbing both of his hands. “I’d lead you to the bedroom, but I don’t know where it is…”

Lucas laughed. “Can I give you the tour first?”

Glory kissed him deeply and ran her hand down his back to cup his firm ass and pull him against her. Then she moved his hand up to her breast. Lucas pulled away and rested his eyes on his hand where it cupped her breast.

“No tour then,” he said, kissing her again and backing her towards the door to his bedroom.

They lay together afterwards, breathing deeply, trying to regain their composure. Glory ran her hand over his chest, tracing the tattoos there.

“I like this one. I picked up one of his books after that first weekend we were together. It’s pretty empowering!” she said, tracing the Eckhart Tolle quote he had tattooed high on his chest.

“I’m glad. I love Eckhart Tolle! Keeps me grounded,” he said, holding her gently. “You don’t have any tattoos?”

Glory shrugged. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve even done up some drawings, but nothing’s inspired me enough to make it permanent,” she said. “Maybe you’ll inspire me.”

Lucas chuckled. “Maybe. We can look into getting matching ink at some point,” he said.

“Nah…nothing matching. We’re not the Bobbsey Twins after all. Maybe something complementary,” Glory said.

“Well, not this weekend. I think we’ll be too busy,” he said, stroking her hair and back.

“So what’s the agenda for this weekend like?” Glory asked.

“Tonight, dinner. Tomorrow, picking up Greg and Kayla, so pretty much the whole day at mom’s. Then Saturday is the party. Sunday, I made sure that we have nothing so we can spend the day together and maybe I can show you some of Boston. Monday, we’ll probably have to split between us and family, then Tuesday, back to the airport. Are you working this weekend? Let me know and I’ll make sure you’ve got some time for that, too,” he finished.

“Whew, I’m getting tired just hearing all of that! No, I took it all as vacation. There weren’t any deadlines they needed me for, so I’m all yours while I’m here. I’d love to see some of Boston with you,” Glory said, still running her fingers over Lucas’ chest and through the wispy hair there.

Lucas covered her hand with his to stop her. “Ticklish,” he said, quietly.

“Good to know,” Glory said, teasingly. Then they fell quiet and she realized that she loved the fact that they could be quiet with each other like this. Lucas had let her hand go, so she moved it up to touch the quote on his collarbone that inspired her so much. She had never thought about stillness and how great an impact it could have on her life until she’d met him.

She felt Lucas sigh in contentment as he tightened his arms around her and settled in to relax together for a few minutes.

When Lucas finally looked at the clock, he realized they’d been lying there for almost half an hour. He squeezed Glory in tight, then stretched his arms up over his head, yawning and trying to wake up.

“I guess quiet time is over,” Glory said, sadly, stretching, too.

“I’m afraid so. Dinner’s in an hour and it’s a half hour drive to get to my mom’s. Do you want a shower?” he asked, putting one arm back around her and looking down to see her face.

She gave him an impatient look. “If we have a shower, we’ll never make dinner. You know that!” she said, smiling.

Lucas laughed. “I know. Can’t blame me for trying!”

Glory sat up and looked back at Lucas still reclining on the bed. She shook her head. “I’m starting to regret becoming your girlfriend, you know. When I was just your lover, there’d be no reason for us to get up and go anywhere.”

“I regret nothing,” Lucas said, sitting up. “If you weren’t my girlfriend, you wouldn’t even be here right now.” He kissed her quickly and rolled out of bed. “We’ll have plenty of time for this, don’t worry.” He looked back at her and winked.

Dinner wasn’t anything special. It was just Joan, and Becky and her family: husband, Troy and their 3 kids. As soon as Lucas walked into the house, he was surrounded by his niece and nephews, pulling him in to play with them. Glory was introduced to Troy and she chatted with him and Becky for a minute before Stella, Lucas’ niece, came over the pull her into the group playing on the floor.

When Glory joined him on the floor, Lucas gave her a shrug and an apologetic look as Stella started to give her Littlest Pet Shop toys to play with and organize. Glory actually loved spending time with little kids. They were open and fun to be around. She got so caught up in the game that she was playing with Stella, that she was surprised when Joan called them all in to dinner.

“Looks like you’re Stella’s new favourite,” Becky said to Glory as they sat down to dinner. “Lucas usually likes playing the boys’ games.”

“I do not!” Lucas countered. “I always play Little Pet Shoppe with Stella, don’t I, sweetie?”

“You bring superheroes into the pet shop,” Stella said, with a little pout. “That’s not the right way to play.”

“Yeah, Lucas. That’s not the right way to play,” Glory said, playfully pushing Lucas’ arm.

“Don’t gang up on me, or I’m going to regret bringing you down!” he said, holding his arm.

“I can’t see that happening,” she said, turning to accept a bowl of potatoes from Becky.

“So, how did you two meet?” Joan asked, handing the salad to Troy to serve the 2 boys.

“I thought you said you’d told them all about me…?” Glory said quietly to Lucas.

“I guess they want to hear it from you,” he said, equally quietly. “She got us seats at the best Margarita Pizza place in Toronto,” Lucas added to his mother.

“This place had a table for 8 available and there were only 3 of us. Kayla was behind us, so I asked her how many people were in her group, and when she said 3, I asked if they’d like to join us. I had no idea who they were!” Glory said. “Then my sister and my cousin started squealing over Greg…they’ve both been watching him forever on ‘One Life to Live’.”

“Did you recognize Greg, too?” Becky asked.

“I did, once they told me who he was, but I’m not into soap operas. But I am into action movies, especially Captain Hunter! When Kayla said she was with her two brothers and one turned out to be Greg Wolfe, I knew exactly who the other one was!” Glory answered. “I vowed that I wasn’t going to get all silly like my sister and cousin were getting, which is why I couldn’t even look at him! Every time I did, I got all weak at the knees.”

“It was a little off-putting,” Lucas said. “I’d say something to her and she’d be talking to someone over my left shoulder or she wouldn’t even look up from her plate to answer.”

Glory looked at Lucas, not sure how much she should tell his family about their first night together, but he just smiled up at her. She remembered him saying in an interview once that he was quite open with his family about his relationships.

“So the way that he decided to solve that little problem was to catch me on his way back from the washroom and kiss me,” Glory said.

“Lucas!” Joan admonished her son.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he said, defensively.

Glory laughed. “Shocked the hell out of me, but if Lucas Wolfe decides he wants to kiss you, you don’t say no.” She looked up at Lucas, hoping she hadn’t gone too far. But he was smiling.

“It was a good kiss,” he said to laughter all around, “and she started looking at me after that.”

“Then, at the end of the night, he pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to come up to their hotel room to play some cards. Greg and Kayla had early flights and Lucas was going to stay up with them until they had to leave,” Glory continued. “My spidey-sense kicked in big time at that point…you hear all kinds of shit about Hollywood types and the weird and kinky stuff they’re into, and my mom drilled safety into me from the time I was a little girl, so I said thank you, but no. But he did take my cell number before I left.”

“Glad I did,” Lucas said, taking Glory’s hand on the table and bringing it to his lips for a kiss.

Joan smiled to see the loving look that Glory shared with her son. It was always nice when her kids found someone to love.

“He sent me a text saying that if I changed my mind, to let him know,” Glory said and paused. Then she sighed and continued. “I’ve never been a risk-taker, which is why I said no in the first place. But as I was driving my sister and cousin home that night, I kept thinking that I might be making a huge mistake, passing up the chance of a lifetime to get to spend time with your son and to get to know him. I had watched countless interviews with him and about him and he always seemed like a decent guy, not too out there. Just a little football obsessed and media shy.” This description made Becky nod and Lucas laugh.

“Just a little football obsessed,” Lucas agreed, still laughing.

“So I texted him back,” she finished. She had been eating, so she turned her focus to her plate.

After a few minutes during which Glory hadn’t been aware that everyone had been waiting for her to continue, Joan said, “And then what happened?”

Glory looked up in surprise. She looked at Lucas and he gave her a little shrug.

“Well, he met me at the elevators and took me up to their rooms. He asked if I knew how to play Euchre, which I do, and we played cards and talked and drank away a couple of hours. I’d been the DD that night, so I was completely sober when I got there, but that didn’t last long!” Glory said with a little laugh.

“It was a Friday night and she’d been up since 6 am, so when she started to fade, I told her to go and lay down for a bit and I’d send her home in a cab when she woke up,” Lucas continued.

“But he had me lay down on his bed, so he ended up joining me once Greg and Kayla left,” Glory clarified.

“It was king-sized bed, and you didn’t get under the covers, so no danger there of anything happening!” Lucas said, defensively.

“True,” Glory agreed. “But you did help me through the nightmare that night and even a king-sized bed didn’t keep us apart once the sun was up.” Okay, there, she’d done it. She’d admitted to having sex with Lucas in front of his family!

Lucas smiled at her bravery. “I changed my flight from that afternoon to Monday so that we could spend the weekend together.” He was still looking into her eyes. He knew they must look like a couple of love-sick teenagers, but he didn’t care.

“But that was, when, back before the holidays, wasn’t it?” Joan asked.

“Yeah, I didn’t want to push him; I figured he must have half a dozen lovely ladies that he was seeing since there were not even any rumours of him hooking up with anyone exclusively. So when he could come to Toronto…or so I thought…he’d stop in and we’d spend the weekend together. Then, last month, he admitted that he was coming to Toronto specifically to see me and that he wasn’t seeing anyone else, so we decided to become exclusive,” Glory finished and looked up at Lucas for confirmation that she was finished with this tale!

“That’s so sweet! And you’ve gotten Lucas painting,” Joan said. “He’s been showing me some of his work and he’s really good. Not as good as you are, my dear. That piece that he has hanging in his condo is breathtaking. And he showed me the print of the Matt Hunter piece that you did and I love that, too.”

“The lighting really enhances the colours,” Glory said a little shyly. “I love that piece. I didn’t know you’d taken one of the prints,” she said to Lucas, then turned back to Joan. “Those prints and Lucas’ autographs raised over $4,000 for the Humane Society a couple of months ago.”

“He told us about that!” Becky said. “What a great idea! Was that your idea, Glory?”

“I think we came up with it together. Lucas wanted to do something to help raise money and I thought that autographed prints of that painting would be a big seller, and I was right. The whole show was a huge success. I sold a few paintings as well as the prints and my co-worker, who is a photographer, took a gorgeous picture of me and Lucas together dancing. Did you show your mom?” Glory asked, turning to Lucas.

Lucas pulled out his phone and scrolled through a few pictures before settling on one, which he passed to his mom.

“Oh, that’s breathtaking! Is there any way I could get a copy of that?” Joan said, passing the phone to Becky and Troy.

“I can definitely get in touch with Miguel and get him to print and mount a copy for you. Just let me know how big you want it,” Glory said.

“He also did up one where Glory’s face is in shadow that he’s going to use in his shows,” Lucas said, scanning back to that picture on his phone and showing it to his mom.

“That one is beautiful, too, but I love the way the two of you are looking at each other in the other one,” Joan said, passing the phone back to Lucas.

“I know. Glory just didn’t want her face up at all of Miguel’s shows,” Lucas said.

“Yeah, it seemed a little creepy to me to have strangers maybe having my picture up on their walls,” she said and shuddered.

Lucas smiled and said, “You get used to it.”

“I don’t know how, babe,” Glory said, shaking her head and continuing to eat.

The talk turned to the upcoming play that Becky’s senior class was putting on; she was a drama teacher at the local high school; and went on through dessert and coffee. Then Joan shooed them all out to the living room so she could clean up. Glory offered to help, but Joan said, “Next time. Right now, you go and relax.”

“Lucas, will you have time to drop in this trip? The kids always love to have you come in to brainstorm with them,” Becky asked.

“That sounds like fun, maybe Tuesday, after Glory leaves? Unless you want to come and hang around a bunch of high school drama students, too.” Lucas turned to Glory to see what her response would be.

Glory wasn’t ready to commit to anything beyond what was already planned so she said, “Can we play it by ear? See how much of Boston we get to see on Sunday and then see?”

“Of course,” Becky and Lucas said together, then laughed.

“What are you guys, twins?” Glory asked, laughing with them.

“No, not quite,” Becky said. “Just think alike sometimes.”

Glory cuddled up next to Lucas with her legs draped over his and let the conversations swirl around her. She had been up early to catch her flight and the stress of meeting and visiting with the Wolfe clan had taken its toll as well. Occasionally, a question would be directed at her and she’d answer, but for the most part, she was able to drift on the ebb and flow of the conversations the others were having.

Finally, Lucas kissed her forehead and said, “Are you tired, babe? It’s getting late.”

“Yeah, I’m done. But don’t rush on my account. I’m enjoying listening to you guys talk,” she answered.

“You’re very sweet, but our conversation can’t be that interesting,” Joan said. “Tomorrow’s a busy day. You guys should go home and get some sleep. Are you going to pick up Greg before you come over?”

“Yeah! He’s bringing Cooper! We’ll probably be here by 2,” Lucas answered, excited to see his dog.

“That’s right. I guess I’ll have to put Lily in the utility room until Cooper gets settled in. She gets too upset around his rambunctiousness,” Joan said, petting Lily, her little Chihuahua, who was snoozing in her lap.

“Sorry, mom. I can keep Cooper outside, if that will help,” Lucas offered.

“That’s okay. Let Cooper get settled in before the party on Saturday,” Joan said. “Lily should be okay by then.”

“Anything you need me to pick up?” Lucas said, disentangling himself from Glory so that he could get up and offer her his hand.

“Don’t be silly, darling. It’s your birthday. It’s enough you’re helping out tomorrow afternoon,” Joan said and got up to hug her son and Glory before they headed for the door. Becky followed them to the door; Troy had taken the kids up to put them to bed and hadn’t come back down yet, so Becky said good-bye for him as well.

“Good choice,” Becky whispered in her brother’s ear when she hugged him.

“I know,” Lucas whispered back.

 

Friday was very busy. Joan called a couple of times giving Lucas some things to pick-up before he went to get Greg. Lucas was very cheerful! He had been missing Cooper and had been so pleased when Greg had offered to bring him when he came.

“Do you miss me this much when I’m not here?” Glory asked.

“More…but then again, you lick different areas of my anatomy than Cooper does,” he answered, pulling her in for a kiss.

“I can lick your face, if you want,” she offered, helpfully.

“Maybe later,” he said with a laugh. “Come on, we’ve got a couple of stops to make before we go to the airport.”

An hour later, they had parked and were waiting impatiently for Greg to arrive at Logan. Lucas was anxious to see his dog and his brother in that order.

“Are you even going to give Greg a hug when you see him or is that on me?” Glory teased him.

“Come on. Greg knows I love him. Wait until you meet Cooper. He’s adorable!” Lucas said, craning his neck to see over the crowds coming out of the luggage pick-up area. “There he is!” he said, finally, spotting Greg with his suitcase and dog carrier in hand.

Lucas went forward to take Cooper from his brother and give him a hug. After that, Lucas’ attention was all for Cooper.

“Hi Greg,” Glory said with an indulgent smile at her boyfriend. “Nice to see you again.” She gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“You, too, Glory. I was glad to hear that you were coming down for this. How are Holly and Diana doin’?” he asked.

“They’re doing well and both send their love. That night is the highlight of their lives so far, you know that, don’t you?” Glory said. “If you’re ever back in Toronto, we should try to get together again. That night was a lot of fun.”

“I just remember getting my ass kicked by you and Lucas at Euchre…not spectacular! But it was very cool having fans recognize me and not him,” Greg said, watching his brother playing with his dog through the carrier’s bars. “You know where you’re going to stand now that Cooper is here, don’t you?”

Glory raised an eyebrow at Lucas. “Is that the way it is, movie-boy?” she said to Lucas poking him with her toe.

Lucas stood up and said, “You fulfill different rolls in my life, but you’ll always be first, babe.” He kissed her and picked up the carrier to head for the car. “Although, if you keep calling me movie-boy…” he finished with a raised eyebrow.

Glory laughed and looped her arm through Greg’s to follow Lucas to the car.

Once they got to the house, Lucas let Cooper loose and he tore through the house like a hurricane, reacquainting himself with every one and every interesting scent in the house. When he finally settled down a little bit, Glory got down on the floor to pet him and get to know him.

“Be nice to her, Cooper. She’s special,” Lucas said, rubbing his dog behind the ears. Glory was sitting with her back against the couch and Cooper laid his head across her lap while she stroked his soft fur, almost becoming mesmerized by the rhythmic action.

“Looks like he likes you,” Lucas said. Glory smiled up at him. She loved dogs and Cooper was a sweetheart, friendly and gentle. As she sat there, Stella decided to come and take advantage of Cooper’s stillness to lay her head on his back to read her book.

“Cooper’s soft,” Stella said as she turned pages a little too quickly to be actually reading.

“Yes, he is, isn’t he, Stella?” Glory said, reaching up to stroke Stella’s hair.

“If you guys are alright to look after the kids, I can go and get Kayla,” Becky said, an hour or so later, coming onto this peaceful tableau.

“No problem, sis. We’re good here,” Lucas said. He was reading through one of the many sports magazines there seemed to be scattered all over the house. “Where are the boys?”

“They’re in their room. They should be okay there for now…unless you hear screaming,” Becky said, smiling at her brother. “Looks like Cooper approves of your choice of girlfriend.”

“He doesn’t get a say in the matter, but I’m glad you guys like each other,” he said to Glory.

“He’s adorable, Lucas,” Glory said, looking back at him with a smile. “I love dogs.”

Joan came in then from the party store with decorations that needed to go up. Lucas got up to help and Cooper lifted his head to see where his master was going. When Glory didn’t move, though, he laid his head back down on her lap and closed his eyes.

“You are tired, aren’t you, boy?” Glory said, softly to the dog, whose only response was a snort.

Stella came around Cooper to get Glory to read to her. When Lucas looked back in a few minutes later, he smiled to see Glory’s head bowed over Stella’s book as she read her favourite story to her. Stella was curled up between the couch and Cooper’s body, with Glory’s arm around her. It was such a homey tableau, Lucas got a lump in his throat just looking at them. He knew the time wasn’t yet, but he really hoped that he could talk Glory around on the kid issue. She’d be so good as a mom.

He shook his head to clear it. Stop it! he thought. You’ve done this before and ruined everything. Just let this happen organically.

His mom was calling him from the other room, so he left this lovely view behind.

When Lucas looked back in a half an hour later, all 3 kids were gathered around Glory and she had a pile of books next to her, reading through each one. Cooper had been dislodged and lay beside Glory on the floor while the kids ranged around and on top of her.

“How did you do that?” Lucas asked, when he saw all of the kids sitting so quietly, listening to stories.

Glory shrugged. “What?” she asked.

“Get them all to sit quietly like that,” Lucas said. “The boys are usually impossible to get to sit still.”

“I told them that Cooper was tired and if they wanted to stay here with him, they’d have to have story time,” she said. “They wanted to stay, right guys?”

“Cooper’s weally soft,” Miles said, still struggling with his ‘r’s’.

Lucas winked at Glory before moving on to the next task. Becky came in with Kayla and was equally impressed by Glory’s feat of getting the kids to sit quietly. Kayla came in to get hugs from each of the kids and to greet Glory.

“Hi again, Glory. Nice to see you and Lucas are still together,” she said. “He talks about you all the time…it’s a little annoying, actually.” Kayla had caught sight of her brother passing by the doorway and had added that last part for his benefit.

Lucas came into the room and gave his sister a big hug. “No more annoying than listening to you moon over some of your boyfriends,” he said.

“I don’t ‘moon’,” Kayla said, with a pretty pout, but laughed when Lucas pulled out of their hug and stuck his tongue out at her.

“You still okay here?” Lucas asked Glory. “I’m sure the kids could go and play if you want to help decorate. It’s a real help to not have the kids and Cooper underfoot for this, though.”

“We’re good here, right guys?” Glory looked around to get agreement from her little wards and rested her hand on Cooper’s head. “If they don’t mind me rereading all of my childhood favourite books to them, I don’t mind doing it. Go and enjoy, movie-boy.”

“Movie-boy!” Miles rolled onto his back laughing, which made his brother and sister do the same.

“If that catches on, you will pay!” Lucas held up his finger and admonished Glory as he went to answer a call from his brother on the patio.

“Hey, don’t get me in trouble, you guys!” Glory said to the kids, especially holding Miles with her gimlet eye. “If your uncle dumps me because of you guys, I’m going to be really angry!”

Miles looked a little contrite and handed her ‘Oh, the places you’ll go’ to read for the 5th time. He knew it was one of her favourites.

It was late when Joan ordered pizza for all of her helpers. As she made her way into the kitchen to eat, Glory could see all of the work that they’d been doing. There were banners up and patio lanterns on the patio. There were lots of little ‘35’ decorations all over the house: from platters to bowls, to picture holders holding pictures of Lucas at various ages.

Glory moved around the rec room looking at the pictures. He was pretty geeky looking as a kid, but by his early teens, had developed his smouldering good looks. Lucas came up behind her as she was looking at a shot of him in a full suit with his girlfriend at the time on their way to the senior dance.

“Pretty girl.” Glory said, quietly, leaning back against him. He had his hands on her hips looking over her shoulder at the picture she was holding.

“Yes, she is. Too bad she turned out to be a lesbian.” he said. “That was our only date. She came out about 2 months after that. She asked me to the dance to cover because she wasn’t ready to tell her parents yet. She’ll probably be here tomorrow. Her name is Meghan.”

Glory put the picture down and turned to give Lucas a kiss. “Well, you don’t need to worry about that with me,” she said. “I am 100% into boys.”

“Glad to hear it…not that there’s anything wrong with being gay,” he said, kissing her again.

“I know a lot of gay men who would do you in a heartbeat,” Glory said, letting Lucas lead her towards the kitchen and pizza.

“Yeah, I know. Greg’s buddies are always flirting with me. But I am 100% into girls,” he said as they came into the kitchen.

“Too bad,” Greg said, overhearing Lucas’ comment. “I know at least 10 guys who would love to go out with you.”

“Tell them to cool their jets, bro. Just because I haven’t had a girlfriend in a while doesn’t mean I’m playing for the other team.” Lucas pulled a chair out for Glory and sat next to her.

Greg inclined his head at Glory and said, “Obviously,” before passing Glory and Lucas paper plates.

Dinner was a laugh! Joan didn’t manage to get her whole family together as often as she would like to, but when she did, it was a great time. They joked and laughed and teased each other mercilessly.  Beer was flowing freely and the volume got louder as the evening progressed.

When Glory sat down, she had noticed that the all of the beer around the table was either Bud or Bud Light. She really didn’t like American beer, so she was going to get herself a Coke and then maybe get Lucas to take her to get a different beer before the party tomorrow, but Lucas was way ahead of her. He put a Rickard’s Red down in front of her when he came back from getting them both drinks.

She looked up at him with such appreciation and adoration in her eyes. He’d gone with Greg that afternoon on a beer run and made sure to get Glory something other than Bud.

“You are the best! I didn’t think Rickard’s was sold in the US,” Glory said, taking a sip and savouring the rich flavour.

“It wasn’t easy to find, but it is imported, not made here, so it should be what you get back in Toronto,” Lucas said. “I know you’re not a fan of our beer.”

Glory leaned over to give him a quick kiss and he reached forward to grab a couple of pieces of pizza for them.

With all of the work done for the next day, they all lingered at the table. Once everyone had had their fill of pizza, the boxes were cleared away and cards came out. There were too many people for Euchre, so they played Hearts and then Glory taught them a game that her family played called Golf. There weren’t a lot of games that you could play with this many people.

The Wolfes were all very competitive and there was a lot of good natured ribbing around the table. Lucas was the most competitive, though, so it seemed to be the mission of everyone else playing to bring him down. He didn’t lose often, but when he did, there were high-fives around for the person who beat him.

Glory loved playing cards, and she liked to win, but she wasn’t anywhere near as competitive as Lucas. But even when he lost, he seemed to take it in his stride. He’d make excuses and make like he was pouting for a minute before jumping right into the next game.

It was after 11 when people started peeling off to go to bed. Becky and Troy were first. With 3 little ones, they would be up early the next day. Joan still had lots of prep to do before her guests arrived the next day, so she went next. Greg and Kayla were still on LA time, so they seemed set to party into the night, but Lucas could see that Glory was starting to fade.

“We’re not going back to your place tonight, are we?” Glory said to Lucas.

“We could take a cab, but no, I figured we could stay here and head home in the morning to shower and change,” he answered her, taking a sip of his beer. “It’s not like you need pajamas.” He gave her a wink.

“True,” Glory said. “Does this mean I get to see your childhood room? I hope you at least have a double bed!”

“There’s a queen in there. I still end up spending the night here quite often, with and without girlfriends,” he answered with a little smile.

Glory leaned her head on his shoulder. “Can I go up? I’m done,” she asked him.

Lucas put his head back and drained his beer, and putting the empty bottle down on the table, said, “Let’s both go up. Tomorrow’s going to be a big day.”

He turned to his brother and sister and said, “Goodnight, guys. See you tomorrow.”

“Wimp,” Greg teased his brother. Lucas cocked his eyebrow at him as he followed Glory towards the stairs.

Up in Lucas’ room, Glory went around to look at a few of the momentos that were still up on the walls and on the shelves. Lucas had pulled his shirt off and was working on his pants when Glory finally came around to where he was sitting on the bed and started to undress as well.

“What’s the rule about making love in your mom’s house?” Glory asked. “I don’t want to make you break any rules.”

“I don’t think there are rules. Maybe don’t make enough noise to wake the kids up, but you’re usually pretty quiet,” Lucas said, wrapping her in his arms.

“Still…we’ll have time at your place tomorrow. Let’s sleep. I’m pretty beat.” Glory was never comfortable having sex with family around.

“Shy? No worries. I’m pretty drunk, so I’m not sure how much good I’d be to you anyway,” Lucas admitted.

Since they didn’t have any toiletries with them, they both just stripped off and got into bed. Lucas held her close and closed his eyes, breathing deeply of her scent and starting to drift off to sleep.

“Today was fun. I love you, babe,” he heard Glory say, softly.

“I love you, too, Glory. My best birthday present is you being here.” he mumbled.

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