Just Remember...No Funny Business
Jude and Tom were in Tom’s bedroom later that night.
“You’ve been quiet since you talked to D, everything alright?” Tom asked as they changed for bed.
“I think so, I’m just thinking.” Jude answered, walking out of the bathroom in her nightgown. They got into bed, Jude’s back against his chest with Tom’s arms wrapped around her. Jude rested her arms on his.
“About what?” he asked and Jude told him about her conversation with Darius.
“You’re letting Darius handle it, but I couldn’t even think about doing something?”
Jude rolled over to face him and sincerely said, “D would send the police or one of his goons; you would send you and you would get hurt and I won’t let that happen.”
She then sat up slowly and put one knee on each side of him. Putting a hand on his cheek, she kissed him.
“I love you.” Jude told him as he caressed the small of her back “and nothing can happen to you.”
Tom smiled at her and said, “The same goes for you, but don’t try to distract me.”
Jude smiled at him, “I would never do that.”
She leaned down and kissed him again, this time deepening it.
“Mmhmm.” He mumbled into the kiss and sat up. Jude giggled as he laid her onto the bed and pulled Tom with her. His hand traveled up under her nightgown and rested on her hip. His other hand moved upward, leaving a fire trail on her skin, and pulled up her nightgown and slid it over her head. Jude used her leg to slide off his boxers. Tom’s hands traveled up and down her body and he teased her skin by trailing kisses from the base of her neck to the sensitive skin around her breast. She arched her back and leaned into him and said, “Kiss me.”
He did what he was told and then some. He then pulled her on top of him and slid his hands up her body once more, cupping her breasts and caressing them. He heard her moan softly and she pulled herself down to him and kissed him on the mouth and then ran her hands up and into his hair. He slid his hands down her back, resting them on her hips and she lowered herself onto him slowly and then grinded on him. They both cried out and Tom put his hand on the small of her back and laid her down on the bed. Jude lightly took his earlobe between her teeth, then lightly sucking on his neck. A moan escaped Tom’s lips and they moved in sync until both their bodies burned with pleasure.
Jude awoke to the sun poking through the blinds. She moved a little in an attempt to get up and she felt Tom’s arms tighten around her.
“Don’t move.” He said in voice still husky from sleep. Jude smiled and laid her head on his chest. She kissed his shoulder and hugged him closer to her as he rubbed small circles on her back. Tom lightly kissed her temple; she looked up at him, taking his mouth with hers. After a few minutes Jude said, “I have to take a shower.”
“Can I supervise?”
“No.” she told him as she rolled out of bed, not bothering to pull the sheet with her.
“Damn.” He responded, watching her stand up.
“If you go with me nothing will get done and we will be late.” She told him and he realized that she was right and when she was finished he went in.
When they were both done and dressed Jude sat down on the bed and asked Tom, who was towel drying his hair, “What’s your sister like?”
“Well, she is two years older than me, kinda high maintenance, can be one of the nicest people you meet, and she is a choreographer.” He said, “She has a six year old girl named Joselle.”
“Cool.” Jude said as she lay back on the bed.
Tom ran his hands through his hair and asked, “Are you ready to go?”
“Yep.” Jude said standing up.
They picked up their bags and got in the car, ready to drive the hours that it would take to get to Montreal. When they arrived, Jude saw a woman about her height, probably in her late forties, with dark hair shouting to someone in French as she is walking out the door. She saw Tom and Jude walking up and shouted excitedly and runs to Tom and hugs him.
“Mom, this is Jude.” He tells her when she pulled back, “Jude, this is my mom Dominique.”
“Hi.” Jude smiled and held out her hand, Tom’s mom ignored her hand and pulled her into a hug.
“Nice to meet you.” She told Jude and turned to Tom and said something in French. Jude laughed and his mom winked at her and walked toward the house.
“You don’t speak French.” Tom said to her.
“I know, but I know enough to know that I like her already.” She answered and they followed her to the house. The three walked through the entryway and down the long hallway.
“I am not delusional enough to think that you two don’t sleep in the same bed, so you will stay here.” Dominique started, “Just no funny business.”
Jude, who was walking behind Tom, leaned up and whispered to him, “Yeah, did you hear that, no funny business.”
Tom looked over at her, “Because I’m the one you have to worry about.”
“Exactly.” Jude said, as they stopped in front of their room.
“I’ll let you get settled.” Dominique told them, “When you are ready, meet us out back.”
Jude set her bag down to the left of the doorway and surveyed the room. There was a big bed with an oak frame centered along the wall to the left of the door and a matching nightstand next to the bed. The down comforter and burgundy quilt accented the ivory walls. There were heavy drapes on the windows, to the right of the bed, that had the ability to block out every bit of light and opposite the bed there was a door that Jude assumed was a closet.
Tom walked up behind her and put his arms around her waist, whispering in her ear, “You know this is going to be the last time there is peace and quiet for the next two days.”
Jude leaned into him and smiled. He kissed her neck, right behind her left ear. They stood there for a few moments more before walking to the backyard. Almost immediately upon walking out the back door, a woman about Jude’s height with dark hair and almond shaped, brown eyes ran towards them.
“Tommy!” she called to him excitedly and threw her arms around him, causing him to stumble back a little. He hugged her and she said, “I missed you.”
“I missed you too, K.” He told her when she pulled back. She smiled and turned to Jude and said “Hi, I’m Karma, Tom’s sister.”
Jude smiled, “Happy Birthday. I’m Jude.”
“So, you’re Jude.” Karma said, “You’re as pretty as he said you were.”
“Thanks.” Jude said and glanced at Tommy, who blushed slightly. Oh my God, that is adorable.
“C’mon guys, everyone’s out here.” Karma told them and they followed her around to the side of the house. They rounded the corner and Tom said, “Looks like everyone is here.”
“Yep, the whole clan is here.” Karma answered, ticking them off on her fingers “Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.”
“Wow.” Jude said upon seeing the large group of about thirty people, “I have never seen so many people at a birthday party before.”
Tom took her hand and gently squeezed it. Jude smiled at him and just as he was about to say something a little girl with dark hair and brown eyes ran up to him, “Uncle Tommy! You’re back!”
“Josie, how’s my girl doing?” he asked as he picked her up. She wrapped her arms around his neck and said, “Good.”
“Yeah?” Tom responded and the girl nodded. She peeked at Jude and then whispered to Tom. Tom nodded and she looked at Jude and waved.
“Hi.” Joselle said to Jude “Who are you.”
Jude smiled and said, “Hi, I’m Jude. What’s your name?”
“Joselle Maria Dominique Dutois.” She said proudly “I’m named after Grandma Dom cause I’m special.”
Jude smiled “You must be very special to be named after your grandma.”
“Are you?” Joselle asked.
“No.” Jude said “But I am kinda named after my great-aunt Judith, but my name is Jude.”
“Oh, what’s your grandma’s name?”
“Like the stuff you put on potatoes?”
Jude nodded and the little girl giggled. They approached one of the many tables that were set up and Tom set Joselle down. She turned to Jude and said, “I like you, will you sit by me?”
“Sure.” Jude answered and Tom said, “Hey can I sit by you too?”
“Duh Uncle Tommy, you always sit by me.” She said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world and ran off towards the treat table.
“She’s cute.” Jude said as she sat down next to Tom “And she adores you.”
“Yeah she is. I’m the only thing close to a father figure in her life.”
Jude smiled at him, “Well, you must be doing something right. She seems like a good kid.”
“Thanks, it’s mostly Karma though.” He answered as Joselle ran back over to them and showed off her big cookie. Jude laughed as Joselle grabbed Tom’s hand and pulled him with her. He smiled at Jude as if to say I’ll be right back. Joselle turned and beckoned for Jude to come with too. Jude followed and fell into step with them. They were stopped by a few of Tom’s cousins and Joselle ran off to play with the other kids.
“Damn Tommy Q, you hit the jackpot with this one.” One of them said, looking her up and down.
“Jude this is my cousin Daniel, the obnoxious one in the family.”
Jude smiled at him and Daniel jokingly told her, “If you ever get tired of Tom here, come find me.”
Jude laughed and said, “Sorry Dan, I already got my backup.”
She winked at Tom as Daniel asked her, “Oh really, what’s his name so I can beat him up later.”
“Mason.” Tom smiled and Jude shrugged, “Sorry.”
Joselle ran up to them, almost bouncing out of excitement, “It’s time to sing Happy Birthday!”
Everyone gathered around the table where the cake was and sang Happy Birthday. When they were finished Joselle looked up at Karma and said, “Make a wish Momma.”
Karma closed here eyes and then blew out the twenty-six candles. All the little ones cheered and then the cake was cut and passed out. Everyone mingled and talked for a while longer and Jude stood back and watched the interaction of the family members. Everyone was genuinely happy and getting along. Jude silently wished that her family got along this well. Once everyone packed up and went home, Jude helped Karma pick up the plates and other items that didn’t make their way to the garbage.
“So, Tom tells me you’re a choreographer.” Jude said to her
“Yeah, I just got back from a raqs sharqi class in India.”
“That is so cool, must have been fun.”
“Yeah, it was a blast.” Karma smiled and picked up a plate and stacked it on top of the others in her hands. When they were done cleaning up, Karma turned to Jude and said, “This may be none of my business or anything, but…I just wanted to let you know that Tom is very special to us, and not just because he is my brother.”
Jude nodded and Karma continued, “So, if you hurt him I’m going to have to hunt you down.”
“Good to know.” Jude said knowing full and well that Karma was only half joking about what she said. The two then walked towards the house.
“So, what did Joselle ask you earlier?” Jude asked as her and Tom got into bed later that night.
“She asked if you were the special friend that Grandma Dom told her about.”
Jude smiled and said, “So, I’m special hunh?”
“You’re very special Jude.” Tom said in a joking tone.
“Shut up.” Jude laughed and swung her hand back and hit him in the chest.
Tom laughed and put his arm around her waist, pulling her closer. “You are special to me Jude, you know that.” He whispered in her ear.
“I know, you tell me all the time.” Tom kissed the back of her head.
After a few minutes of silence Tom’s hand slid down and rested on her thigh.
“Hey, you heard what Dom said, no funny business.”
“There’s nothing funny about it.” He told her with mock seriousness. She took his hand in hers and repositioned herself so he faced him. She kissed him, “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” He said and he kissed her once more.
The next morning Jude awoke in the bed alone. She looked around and got out of bed and changed into the clothes she took out of her bag. She then wondered into the kitchen to see Dominique and Tommy making breakfast side by side.
“Good morning sunshine.” Tom said as she walked in.
“Morning.” She smiled at him as he handed her a mug of coffee.
“Fresh brewed yesterday.” He told her jokingly.
“Just the way I like it.” She responded in the same tone, taking a sip.
Dominique watched them out of the corner of her eye and smiled to herself.
“Jude, dear, would you get Jenny and Joselle, breakfast is almost done.”
“Sure.” Jude turned and walked down the hallway, into the living room, wondering who Jenny was when Joselle came bouncing in from the other side.
“Hi.” She said as she came in.
“Hey Joselle, could you tell Jenny that breakfast is ready?”
“Mom, breakfast is done.” She called over her shoulder and they heard, “Ok, be right there.”
“You are never going to guess what I found.” Karma said, carrying a box into the kitchen and placing it on the counter.
“I don’t think I want to know.” Tom answered looking at the box suspiciously as Karma sat down at the table.
Ignoring him, she continued, “Home videos.”
Tom shook his head with a small smile.
“Oh, come on Tom, it will be fun.” Karma said smiling at him “Please.”
“Yeah Tommy, please.” Joselle chimed in.
“Ok, fine.” He said and they got up from the table and walked into the living room.
Karma put in one of the videos and pushed play. They watched a series of dance tapes and at home concerts that Tom and Karma had put on when they were younger, a few of them on vacation, and a few of them when they got older. When they were nearing the end of the tapes Joselle announced that she needed to use the bathroom. Dominique went to get something out of the kitchen and Karma was about to follow when Jude asked, “Why do they call you Karma?”
“Because, Karma’s a bitch.” Tom answered
“Actually, it’s called the Karma Sutra for a reason.” She said and turned and walked away Jude laughed and Tom sat there silent, not knowing how to respond to that comment.
Jude looked at Tom a few minutes later and smiled, “You know my favorite is when she was trying to teach you to salsa.”
He smiled, “Shut up, I was like thirteen.”
“Yeah.” Jude laughed.
“Yeah.” Tom put his arm around her shoulders. Just then, Karma called for Tom, asking for help with whatever task she was doing. He went to go help her and Joselle suddenly appeared and put in the last tape in the player. It showed a younger Tommy, about eighteen or nineteen, walking into a garage where a band was practicing. His anger was evident, written all over his face.
“Hey Man, what’s wrong?” Rylie asked.
Tom shook his head and punched the wall. Rylie, Brien, Adrian, and Blayke stared at him as he turned around and picked up his guitar and plugged it into the amp, mumbling under his breath; the only thing that could be made out being damn fucking bastard.
Jude looked over at Joselle, “Hey, I think we should turn this off.”
Jude got up and had her finger on the stop button. Joselle said, “No, just wait for a second.”
Some strong and angry chords blared and Tom started singing, first quietly then louder.
I want to take his eyes out
Just for looking at you
Yes I do
I want to take his hands off
Just for touching you
Yes I do
And I want to rip his heart out
Just for hurting you
And I want to break his mind down
Yes I do
Jude slowly became absorbed, watching Tom’s body language and the darkness in his eyes.
And I want to make him
Regret life since the day he met you
Yes I do
And I want to make him
Take back all that he took from you
Yes I do
Jude felt someone walk into the room.
And I want to rip his heart out
Just for hurting you
And I want to break his mind down
Yes I do
“Where did you get that?” Tom asked firmly with his arms crossed across his chest. Jude looked at him and Joselle said, “In the box.”
He turned to Karma, who had just walked up behind him, “I told you to get rid of this.”
With that, Tom took the tape from Jude’s hand and walked out of the room and out the back door. Karma sighed and said, “I don’t understand what the big deal is about this tape.”
“He isn’t exactly proud of how he handled things, dear.” Dominique said as she walked in the room. “Joselle, why don’t you go play in your room for a little bit.”
She nodded and left the room.
“I know, but…” Karma started but she was interrupted by Dom “No. His decision, you respect it.”
“He probably hasn’t told you.” she said, turning to Jude.
“No, but its okay, he will when he wants to.” She answered and quietly left the room, leaving them to discuss. Jude grabbed her sweater out of her bag and then walked outside. She saw Tom sitting on a bench out a little farther in the yard. She quietly walked up to him and sat down. He glanced at her and gave her a small smile. Jude returned it and they sat in silence for quite sometime before Tom spoke.
“You’re probably wondering what that was all about.”
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
“No, it’s okay.” He said, “It’s just kind of a long story.”
Jude nodded and he continued, “It was about five or six years ago. Karma was seeing this guy; you know the kind of guy that can charm everyone.”
Jude nodded “I didn’t like him much though.” He remembered, “I said something to Mom, but she told me that I didn’t really get a say, that it was Karma’s choice. Over time this guy started to be overbearing and controlling. Karma was too close to see it for what it was. Well one night she came here with bruises on her face and wrists.”
His face became darker, “I went to his house and told him if he ever touched her like that again, it would be the last thing he ever touched.”
“Things were better for a little while after that. It started happening again, but she kept it so well hidden. I guess she was embarrassed. I found out and went over to his house to go get her, to bring her home.”
Jude could tell that he was visually remembering what happened that night, “I walked in and heard what he was saying to her, the dirty and mean things. I saw him hit her and I just snapped.”
Tom paused, looking down then at her and quietly said, “He ended up in the hospital.”
“Sounds like he deserved it.” Jude said.
“It doesn’t matter. Doing that made me no better than him.” Jude took his hand and laced her fingers with his.
“There is a difference you know, between what you did and what he did.” Tom shrugged, “What happened after that?”
“I was arrested on assault charges, spent a few nights in jail. They deemed it more of a self defense thing. I got bailed out.”
“He on the other hand, recovered and went to trial. Served his time and can’t come anywhere near anyone in this family.”
“The only good thing to happen out of that relationship was Josie. She was born five months later.”
They sat there wordlessly for a few minutes before Jude stood up and took Tom’s other hand and pulled him up with her and said, “Let’s go for a walk.”
Dominique watched them from the window walk hand in hand down to the line of trees on the edge of their property and then disappear behind them. They returned a couple hours later, Tom laughing about something Jude had said and they stopped at the bottom of the steps that led to the front door.
“Thank you.” He told her.
“Anytime.” She answered. He leaned down and kissed her before they walked in the house. Dominique was thankful Tom appeared to be in a better mood; she didn’t want him to leave angry. They stayed for a few more hours and then they loaded up the car to go home. Joselle ran up to Tom and asked, “Do you really have to go?”
“Sorry baby girl, I do.” Tom answered and she hugged him. “I’ll see you next time okay, be good.”
“Bye Jude.” Joselle hugged her, “Are you gonna come back next time?”
“If I’m invited I will definitely come back to see you.” Jude told her and the little girl smiled. Dominique and Karma said their goodbyes. Karma paused at Tom and apologized.
“You’re forgiven.” He told her sincerely and he and Jude got in the car. .
“I’ll get rid of the tape if you’d like.” Karma told him, leaning in the open window.
“It’s already done.”
Karma nodded, “What did you do with it?”
“Let’s just say that we got creative.” Tom replied and they drove off.