What Lies Beneath

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Star Light, Star Bright

“You might want to put on another sweater,” my dad commented a couple nights later.

“He said we’re just going for a walk.”

“It might get chilly as it gets later.”

“We’re going for a walk dad; we’re not going to be out all night.”

“I just don’t want you to get sick.”

“I’ll be fine. If I’m cold, I will just cuddle up to Jesse,” I winked at him.

“I’m sure you will.”

“Are you sure you will okay on your own?”

“Honey, I have been on my own before and this won’t be the last time, especially now that you have a boyfriend.”

“I know, I just feel bad, I’ve been going out a lot lately. Maybe I should stay home tonight.”

“Go and have fun,” he said, “It’s all exciting now because you guys are still getting to know each other.”

I smiled, “Tell me the story of how you and mom met again.”

“You never get tired of hearing that one,” he commented.

After my mother passed away, I had difficulties sleeping for a long time so my father would curl up on the sofa with me and tell me the story of how they met.

“Well, I was out in town putting in an order to buy some hay for the horses and well your mother just so happened to be the new sales clerk. So she took my order and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her, her smile was beautiful. That’s where you get yours from,” he paused, “Anyways, I knew if I just left without asking for her name I would regret it so before leaving I asked her for her name. She looked like she was considering whether or not to tell me but she replied and I asked if she had a break coming up. So I waited around for two hours and then I took her out for coffee. We got to know each other and seven months later, we got married. One year later she found out she was pregnant with you and we were so thrilled.”

I smiled through the mirror as I applied some lip gloss, “I’m really glad you are my dad.”

“I thank God every day that I have you Jen,” he gave me a kiss on the forehead, “Have a good night.”

It was as if he knew Jesse was at the door because seconds later the doorbell rang. I answered the door and invited him in for a moment to say hi to my father.

My father gave Jesse the keys to his truck which confused me, “What are you doing?”

Jesse smiled, “You’ll see.”

I followed Jesse out, “Why do you have my dad’s keys?”

“In case I need them.”

“For what?”

“You really don’t like surprises do you?”

“I like surprises, if they are good ones,” I countered.

“Then don’t ask me any more questions and just anticipate the plan.”

We walked in silence to my dad’s truck; the hood was off and inside lay blankets, pillows, a music player and a thermos.

I looked at Jesse, “What’s going on?”

“Well, you said you once stayed out to watch the stars and you enjoyed it, so I figured we could do that tonight.”

“How romantic.”

“I’m not finished,” he said.

“There’s more?”

He nodded as he helped me up into the back of the truck, “It wouldn’t be original if that’s all we did.”

“Go on…” I encouraged.

“If you are up to it, we’ll stay out all night so we can not only watch the stars together but we could watch the sun rise,” he finished.

I stared at Jesse trying to wonder if it was all my imagination or if the man standing in front of me actually did exist.

“You okay?”

I nodded giving him a hug, “I am better than okay.”

“For a second I wasn’t so sure.”

“I just can’t believe you would do this for me.”

“I hope you realize by now, that I would do anything for you.”

I briefly kissed him before we took a seat and rolled up the blankets, “No wonder my dad told me I should dress warmly.”

“I thought of it, so I brought lots of blankets.”

“My dad knew all about it then?”

He nodded, “I had to see if I could use his truck.”

“I’m surprised he is going to allow me to stay out all night with you.”

“I get the impression that he trusts me.”

“I got the same feeling, though I’m not sure that’s a good thing,” I joked, “We’ve only been dating a couple weeks, he barely knows you.”

“Don’t kid yourself, your dad and I have been getting to know each other very well.”

I gave him a bewildered look.

“When you’re out training, your dad and I have some pretty heated conversations.”

“About what?” I asked surprised by the information that my father never told me about.

“A lot of stuff, life lessons, he told me a few stories from his childhood, we talk about you and how you are a handful,” he joked.

“Oh really?”

He laughed, “I like your dad and I hope he likes me as much as I think he does.”

“He never told me you guys have been getting to know each other.”

“Well, I thought it would be good, I want your dad to like me and the sooner he does that the sooner he will trust that I’m in love with you.”

“I’m sure he believes that by now, after you did this…”

“Look,” he pointed, “Shooting star; make a wish.”

“I don’t need to,” I leaned into him, “I’ve got everything I need.”

“Do you want some hot chocolate?”

“Maybe later,” I said, “So you said you thought about everything right?”

“Oh no!”

“What about the wolves? What if they decide to come visit us during the night?”

“I’ll protect you.”

“How do I know you won’t be sleeping?”

“How will you know that if you are sleeping?”

“I won’t but my father will when he wakes up and his daughter has been eaten by wolves.”

I could see the smirk creep up on Jesse’s face, “You’re probably right. Maybe it’s too dangerous; we better go inside in a while.”

“No, that’s okay.”

“But you said it was too dangerous, I don’t want to risk our lives.”

“I think I will take my chances,” I winked.

“That’s what I thought.”

“I’m not scared of wolves.”

“I’m sure we’ll be fine, they won’t even know we’re here. I think it’s too close to the house.”

We stayed up past midnight talking. Some time after that I fell asleep with Jesse’s arm around me and didn’t wake up until someone was shaking me.

I saw Jesse’s face above mine, “Wake up, the suns about to rise.”

I slowly sat up and leaned against the truck as we watched the sunrise. I pulled the blanket closer and cuddled close to Jesse.

Once the sun was up I kissed Jesse on the cheek, “Thank you. That was beautiful and even more so because I saw it with you.”

“You should probably get inside and get a few hours of sleep before starting to work.”

I shook my head, “No I will be okay. I’ll just go to bed early tonight. Plus I’m working with Cookster today.”

“My brother said he’s going to come check this place out today. I hope that’s alright.”

I nodded, “It’s about time. What was he up to last night?”

“I don’t know; I’m sure he enjoyed having the place to himself. Hopefully he didn’t throw a party and destroy my place. Actually, never mind, he doesn’t need to have a party to destroy it.”

“You guys seem so different; it’s hard to believe you are brothers.”

“I know, but we are alike in a lot of ways too.”

“Yeah?”

He nodded, “He acts like a tough guy when it comes to girls but he’s a softy when it comes to romance. He’ll go out of his way to do things for a girl.”

“So why is he single?”

“He was in a relationship but it just didn’t work, they were together for a while but eventually they wanted different things.”

“What did he want?”

“She was ready for marriage; he didn’t want marriage at twenty two.”

“That’s understandable.”

“He wanted to eventually marry but she was ready, she was a little weird if you ask me,” he admitted.

“Kind of like you?” I asked.

“Ha, Ha.”

“It was funny,” I said.

“A little,” he said as he climbed down from the truck.

“You can head home if you want, take a half day or something.”

“I brought a change of clothes,” he explained.

“You really did think of everything.”

“Of course.”

“Alright then, come with me. You can change and wash up in the bathroom.”

He followed me back into the house. My father was already up in the kitchen.

“Did you two have a nice night?”

I went to give him a kiss, “Yes and thank you.”

“You’re welcome but I didn’t do anything.”

Jesse gave him his keys back, “Yes you did!”

“I must say, you are pretty creative.”

“Thank you,” Jesse appreciated the compliment.

“Do you think you could give me a hand later Jesse?” my father asked, “I want to touch up a couple gates and could use an extra set of hands.”

“Yeah, of course, whenever you’re ready.”

“Okay good and maybe you would like to stay for dinner tonight?”

He thought about it, “You know I would love to but I should probably stay with my brother tonight.”

“Well he could come too.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I would like to meet him,” my father said.

“Well that would actually be perfect since he’s coming here anyways right?” I faced Jesse.

He nodded, “In that case we would love to.”

“Alright then, it’s settled. We’ll go work on the gates after lunch. I’ll let you go freshen up, help yourself to anything you need. I want you to feel at home.”

When Jesse left I looked at my father, “You really like him don’t you?”

He nodded, “He’s nice.”

“Nice is one thing but I have never seen you act this friendly to anyone before.”

“I can see the way he looks at you,” he sat down at the table, “and anyone who looks at my daughter that way is worthy of my approval and respect.”

“I’m happy daddy, really, really happy.”

“I know, now go change and brush your teeth,” he laughed.

I did as I was commanded, taking the steps two at a time reliving each moment of last night. It was so romantic the way Jesse held me and the way he kept covering me. It was a bonus that no wolves decided to pay us a visit!

By the time I went downstairs Jesse was already out working, Luca and Mary arrived and the sun was fully shining. Another day’s work was waiting to be done!

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