“...Forever...” I felt lips brushing against my temple before I opened my eyes. Gideon and I were in the same position that we slept in last night.
“Good morning, little fairy,” Gideon said before pressing a kiss to my forehead.
“Good morning,” I mumbled, rubbing my eyes. I sat up and slipped on my shoes, my eyes landing on Nico who was wide awake.
“Nico, how do you feel?” I asked him, my voice sounding like a croak.
“I feel great, Kieran got me board games and DVDs, he’s going to watch them with me,” he chirped.
“Did you eat breakfast?” I asked Gideon.
“Not yet, but I’ll get us something to eat, you wait here,” he replied, standing up and stretching.
“It’s okay, I’ll get you something to eat, let me just use the bathroom first.” I jogged inside the bathroom and hastily got rid of the last remnants of sleep from my eyes. After washing my face with a cold water and rubbing some toothpaste on my teeth with my finger, I exited the bathroom.
“You stay here.” I gestured to Gideon to stay in the room while I went to get breakfast. “Kieran, would you like anything from the cafeteria?” I asked Kieran, who was placing a house on the Monopoly board.
“Little mushroom, you see that basket on the chair?” Kieran asked me.
My eyes immediately landed on the chair where there was indeed a basket, but I had no idea what was in it.
“Yes, what about it?” I queried.
“There is plenty of food for all of us in there, and Helga will be coming by around 1:00 pm to bring us lunch,” he told me, rolling a pair of dice in his hand.
Quickly walking to the basket, I opened it up to see what exactly had Helga sent for us. The basket was full to the brim with various assortments of breakfast food. I was surprised and a little confused when I saw waffles and pancakes in the mix as well, wondering how had Helga managed to do that.
Taking a paper plate, I filled it up with one of everything from the basket, then took the plate to Gideon and placed it on the couch in front of him. Then I took another plate and begun filling it up for Kieran.
“You haven’t eaten yet, right?” I questioned Kieran, who was watching Nico roll the dice.
“No, I came straight here as soon as I woke up,” he answered, watching Nico moving his piece a few steps forward.
“Here you go.” I handed him the plate.
“Helga also made porridge for Nico...along with other things, he can eat a little bit of that,” Kieran stated, taking the fake money from Nico and putting it in the box.
“Nico, would you like to have some porridge?” Nico was engrossed in the game, resulting in him answering me after a few seconds.
“Sure Alice,” Nico responded offhandedly.
Shaking my head at my brother’s intense concentration I put a little bit of porridge in a bowl and placed it next to the Monopoly board.
“I want you to finish all of it, okay?” I turned to Gideon, who had finished half of his breakfast. “Will your father visit today?”
Gideon nodded. “Yeah, he might come.” He frowned when he looked at me. “Why aren’t you eating?”
“Oh I’ll just eat an apple, I’m not very hungry,” I answered with a shrug.
The frown on Gideon’s face deepened after my answer. Shaking his head, he stood up and went straight for the basket. Taking a paper plate, he quickly filled it up with waffles, pancakes, Nutella, and maple syrup. Without a word, Gideon took my hand and led me to the couch where he made me sit before sitting down beside me.
“What am I going to do with you, little one. You are going to keep me on my toes for the next few months,” Gideon muttered before cutting up the pancakes with a knife and fork, then dipping the pancakes in maple syrup before raising the fork to my mouth.
“What do you mean I would keep you on your toes for the next few months?” I questioned before opening my mouth, allowing Gideon to slip the fork in my mouth. The delicious pancake slowly melted in my mouth, making me forget what I was talking to Gideon about; my stomach growled letting me how an apple wouldn’t have been enough.
Gideon quickly finished feeding me the pancakes. I tried to take the fork and plate from him but he said he liked feeding me, which made me uncomfortable as Nico and Kieran were in the room with us. After the pancakes, Gideon proceeded to dip the waffles in Nutella and begun feeding it to me.
“I must thank Helga for the food, it’s delicious,” I muttered, chewing on a waffle.
“I know how awful hospital food can be, so I had her prepare the basket,” Kieran replied.
“Her food is delicious, but not as delicious as yours,” Gideon stated, sincerity shining in his eyes as he fed me another bite. His compliment only made me blush, which Gideon found amusing as he chuckled.
Bloody sweet husband!
“I am starving,” Kieran stated as he opened the basket and took out a few plates with spoons, knives and forks, passing one of each to all of us.
Helga had left five minutes ago, leaving a basket containing lunch. Mr. Maslow and Brenton had showed up half an hour ago and now all of us were having lunch together.
Dr. Hallaway had checked up on Nico and told us he was healing nicely which had me sighing in relief. God was finally having mercy on me, I just hoped nothing bad happened to him now.
The unexpected sound of knocking on the door had all of us turning to see who had arrived. I frowned as I saw a woman standing next to the door holding a small bouquet of various flowers and a box which was wrapped in a cute wrapping paper.
She was about 5′4 with glossy brown hair that were curled to perfection. I wasn’t sure if they were natural or styled, but they were perfect. She had big blue eyes, that were sparkling with innocence. Her cheeks had splotches of pink that one got when spending too much time out in the cold. Her lips were small but they were not thin, just perfect. She was so cute and an uncanny innocence surrounded her, like the one you saw in children not grown people. She was wearing a maroon trench coat with paired with the cutest black ankle boots I had ever seen.
“Jenny! What a pleasant surprise,” Kieran exclaimed before placing his plate on the table and walking over to her. He enveloped her small frame in a hug, crushing her to him like a lover did.
“I—I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” she said. Her voice was soft and sweet, dripping with innocence.
I glanced to my right to Mr. Maslow frowning as he gazed at Kieran and Jenny, disapproval evident in his eyes. Why was Mr. Maslow acting like that? Did he not like Jenny? I thought she was perfect.
“Nonsense, you can never interrupt, come have lunch with us,” Kieran stated, taking her hand and leading her to the only empty chair in the room, pretty much the same way Gideon did to me.
“Hello Nico, how do you feel?” Jenny asked with a smile on her face.
“I feel great, Jenny, would you like to play Snakes and Ladders with us?” Nico had a huge smile on his face. He clearly knew who Jenny was and by the smile on his face, he really liked her.
“No thank you, I got you a present and flowers,” she said, handing Nico the wrapped box and placed three flowers next to the Snakes and Ladders board.
“Thank you, Jenny, I love it!” Nico stated, looking at the package with excitement.
“You haven’t even seen what I got you.” Jenny chuckled.
“I know whatever you got me would be perfect, you always know what to get me,” Nico responded.
Now I was getting suspicious of the girl. Just who was she and how did she know what to buy Nico? Curiosity nearly killing me, I decided to find out who she was.
“Who is Jenny?” I asked Gideon.
“She is Kieran’s girlfriend,” he replied.
Oh, no wonder Kieran was so overjoyed to see her; and Nico knew who she was. She must be a regular visitor at Kieran’s loft. An involuntary smile tugged at the corner of my lips as I looked at Kieran and Jenny; they looked perfect together.
“This is for you,” Jenny said, handing Kieran a big red rose.
“Thanks, strawberry.” He kissed her cheeks, causing the blush to deepen.
Jenny turned to face Brenton and Mr. Maslow who were sitting silently observing the new girl. After a few seconds of hesitation, she shuffled forward and held out three white lily flowers.
“These are for you, Mr. Maslow,” Jenny said. I could tell she felt intimidated by Brenton and Mr. Maslow, but she showed no fear.
Mr. Maslow took the flower without a word; inspecting the white petals like one would a strange specimen. Irritation and disapproval flashed in Mr. Maslow’s eyes but he didn’t say a word. Jenny, however, noticed that he did not like the small gift she had given him. She pressed her lips together before handing Brenton a couple of bluebells.
“These are for you, I hope you like them,” she said to Brenton who eyed the flowers pretty much like his father did.
What was wrong with these men? Why were they being so ungrateful? They should smile and thank her for being considerate enough to bring gifts—no matter how big or small—for everyone.
I could tell Jenny was trying her best not to let the reaction of Kieran’s brother and father affect her. I suddenly felt sorry for the poor girl who was trying her best to be nice but was receiving cold shoulders in return.
Taking a deep breath, Jenny came and stopped in front of Gideon. She held out three yellow daffodils which Gideon immediately took with a smile on his face.
“I hope you like them, Kieran told me you like daffodils,” Jenny said. I was surprised at her words. She knew the kind of flowers that Gideon liked, I didn’t even know that! I mentally slapped myself.
Stupid, stupid Alice. So selfish and inconsiderate!
“Thank you, Jenny, I love them, they are beautiful; but you really shouldn’t have,” Gideon said, giving her side hug.
“It was no trouble at all. This is a tough time for you all, with Nico’s surgery and all...you people must be so worried, so I bought flowers to cheer everyone up,” she responded.
It was official, this girl was perfect. Was there anything wrong with this girl?! Did she have an evil bone in her body?! I had no clue people could be so kind. Gideon and his family were kind, but this girl was in a completely different league.
Jenny faced me and a smile crept on her beautiful face. “Hello, you must be Alice. Kieran and Nico have told me so much about you, it’s like I already know you; hi, I’m Jenny.” She held out her hand for me to shake.
“Nice to meet you, Jenny, and I’m sorry to say no one told me about you,” I replied shaking her hand.
“Oh it doesn’t matter, you had so many important things going on in your life. I’m glad that Nico is all right now, when Kieran told me the news I knew I had come and visit him, he is one of my favorite kids.” She told me.
“Oh, these are for you.” She held out a few daisies in different colors. “I had no idea what kind of flowers you liked so I got you daisies, they are my third favorite flowers. Oh, and I got you these earrings. When I saw them I just knew I had to buy them for you.” I took the flowers and earrings from her with a smile on my face. This girl was so sweet it was impossible not to like her.
“Thank you so much, Jenny, I love them, the earrings are very cute,” I told her. The earrings were more like studs with a big turquoise rose in the center with a pearl attached to it with a few small crystals finishing the look.
“Okay, enough giving present, strawberry, come and sit down, have lunch with us,” Kieran said to Jenny.
“Oh wow, Alice look, Jenny got me a X31000!” Nico nearly shouted, holding up a big, colorful water gun, looking at it like one would their dream car.
“I presume you wanted this?!” I smiled at him, liking Jenny even more.
“Yes! It’s the coolest water gun in the world.” I could tell Nico wanted to try out his new toy right this very moment.
“I’m glad you like it, Nico,” Jenny said.
“I love it, thank you again. Come, eat with us,” Nico stated.
“Actually, I can’t, I have to be at the store in two hours, maybe some other time,” Jenny replied.
Kieran’s face hardened and he strode over to Jenny. I glanced at Gideon only to see him looking at the couple with amusement. Kieran led Jenny back to the empty chair and sat her down.
“I’ll drop you off, but you are going to have lunch with us and no arguments,” Kieran stated, quickly putting food in the plate for his girlfriend.
“Kieran, you are not going to drop me off, I’ll take the bus,” Jenny argued.
“Like hell you will! I won’t have you suffering in buses and trains while I’m here to take you anywhere you want to go, I won’t allow it!”
Seeing Kieran acting like this made me wonder if he had an identical twin. For as long as I had known Kieran I had never seen him like this, so bossy and dominating. To me, he was laid back and a little goofy, but not this.
Jenny’s eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to argue but one look from Kieran had her shutting up. She took the plate filled with food from Kieran and begun eating.
“Is he always like this with her?” I whispered to Gideon.
Gideon chuckled. “You haven’t seen anything yet. He is three love sessions away from impregnating her, not kidding.” Gideon added after seeing my shocked expression.
“I thought Kieran was laid back and jolly.” I continued to whisper.
“He is laid back but not when it comes to the people he loves. He is going to laugh and joke around, but if any one of us does something which he thinks is stupid, then he would be treating us exactly like he was talking to Jenny,” Gideon informed me.
“Even me?” I queried.
“Especially you and Jenny and Brenton’s possible girlfriend. He loves Jenny and he loves you like a sister, so he would do anything to protect you. Just like he will not allow Jenny to ride a bus, he wouldn’t allow you either...neither of us will,” he answered.
I wanted to take a few minutes to digest this new piece of information but Mr. Maslow cleared his throat, gaining our attention.
“I just want to let you all know that I am hosting a family dinner next Saturday and all of you are invited, including you Jenny.” Mr. Maslow eyed Jenny who tried not to squirm under his gaze.
“We’ll be there dad.” Kieran and Gideon said in unison.
After lunch Mr. Maslow and Brenton took their leave, leaving us with Nico. Since Mr. Maslow had told us about the upcoming dinner, my mind begun swimming with various scenarios as to how this dinner was going to be.
I just hoped it was not a disaster.