Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chapter 4.36

After a weekend of not being at work, Logan went in early to catch up on the truck and alarm that had fallen behind on the maintenance. When he walked into the building, the first thing he was greeted with was an apparently broken sink. It was spraying water everywhere and looked like it had been doing so for a long time. A growl of frustration escaped his lips before he wiped out his wrench and started to work on it. Logan had become quite handy since he had started working in the Fire department, since mechanics were a high priority. Though there would always be something else to learn, he had already figured out or studied everything he would need to know on that subject. With the sink finally repaired, he set to mopping up the mess of water on the floor, it would be too hazardous to leave there, not to mention rude.

Working on the alarm and engine came after cleaning the kitchen up. Logan enjoyed the quiet around him but after a while he realized that no one else was there, not even up in the beds. He was the only one that had come in to work that day at all. That made him wonder a little bit, but he wasn't in a position to say anything about it so he didn't.
David had spent another boring day at school, spending every minute antsy to get home. When he did, he was greeted by Emma, she had not gotten her daily brush from Logan that day so she turned to her little master. Both Logan and David had won her heart completely, she considered both of them her best friends. David gave her what she wanted, combing out all the small tangles in her long hair. She couldn't resist licking his cheek every chance she got to show her appreciation. When David finished and he put the brush away, Emma ran to get her rope so they could play tug-o-war.
Brian and Adelaide both spent the day doing whatever came up. Brian cleaned up the house, and did some laundry. When everything was done to his satisfaction he sat at the computer to see if there were any jobs available for him to do. There wasn't, this was going to be another day he would be left with no mystery to solve. Brian had decided not to retire since he had done a little research into what his pension would be. It wasn't a great number so he figured he would just keep going with the weekly stipend he was currently getting and solve cases as they came along.

Adelaide had gotten up and set to weeding and tending her growing garden. Many of the seeds that she had planted a while back had sprouted into garlic plants. She had quite a large garden going now, and it took up most of her mornings. After her shower and breakfast she sat down to relax and watch the television for a bit while Brian was on the computer.

Come the evening after his shift, Logan was invited to and attended a party that Lauren was hosting. He was more than happy to go and drove there right after he changed into his swimming gear. When he arrived he looked around, there were many people, and everyone from his work was there. He looked for Lauren, and found her in the kitchen. 'Wow.' He thought.'I didn't realize she was so... hot... the work uniform really covers a lot.'

"Hey Lauren, nice party. Looks like you got a great turnout." He tried hard to not look at her curvy body and seemingly soft breasts. He may be interested in someone else, but he was still a guy after all. "Do you think anyone will actually swim?"

"Probably not, it's dark and cold, but I wanted to give them the option. I'm glad you came." Lauren said. She resisted her own urges of running her hand over his obviously smooth chest and abs. She sighed. "Hey, that is my brother Douglas. Why don't you two go mingle while I make some hot dogs?"

Logan nodded, "Sure, yeah go ahead." He couldn't help but glance at her backside as she turned away from him - 'Nice.' Slightly dazed, he turned to the guy she had gestured toward. His gaze was met with a hard glare from an older, and well built man. He felt a brief moment of fear when he looked at this gentleman, thinking he was about to get a verbal lashing in front of all these people for checking out his sister, or maybe more than verbal.
"You must be Logan. I've heard about you, a lot actually." Douglas said. His voice was very stern, Logan noted, but it didn't seem intentional. Lauren dropped the knife she was using, with a quick glance to the two men, she picked it up and went back to work.

"I'm sure not all of it's true, only the good stuff." Logan smiled, trying to lighten this tense moment. He failed.

Douglas wasn't humored. He looked at Lauren's back then returned his gaze to Logan. "I'm Douglas. Enjoying the party?"

"Of course." Logan lied. Actually, at this point he found himself very uncomfortable and wanting to leave. He was mentally chastising himself for looking at his best friend in the manner that he had. Also he was thinking that her brother had witnessed it, and now figured something was up between the two of them. The last thing he needed was an over protective family member breathing down his neck. "I was just about to go though. I've gotta feed my dog." 'Did I really just give that crappy excuse?' Logan thought.

The corner of Douglas's mouth twitch before he said, "That's funny. Okay. Thanks for coming, I'm sure Lauren appreciates it. Be sure to tell her you're leaving."

Logan nodded slowly, then approached Lauren. "I've got to get home now, thanks for inviting me sorry I can't stay."

She gave him a friendly hug, wishing it was more. Logan returned it but tried not to touch her bare skin, which was impossible. She was as soft as she looked and she smelled very sweet.

When he got in the truck, Logan let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding and drove home. He wasn't sure why he was so nervous about her brother, aside from the fact that the man looked like he could break Logan, but he was. He arrived at home to find the house empty. David was at a friends house and their parents had found better things to do.

To help get his mind steady again, Logan called Velina. Hearing her voice settled him instantly and he thought of nothing but her, his feelings of guilt were erased. There was no way he'd ever act on fleeting thoughts, he'd never betray Velina like that.
About the same time Logan had arrived at the party, Brian and Adelaide went to attend a new movie playing at the town theater. The two of them had been very bored at the house, especially after David had called to ask if he could go to his friend Laquita's house after school. Brian and Adelaide had not been out on a date in quite a while, and though this really didn't feel like one it was nice for them to spend time alone with one another. After the movie they went to the diner to have dinner before picking up David from Laquita's house, and going home.

The next day passed quickly, everyone busy doing their own things. Logan had his work to keep him occupied and David had school. Again, David went to his friend's house after classes to spend the evening. After work, Logan decided to call Velina and ask her to a movie.
"I'd love to. Give me 20 minutes to gussy up and I'll meet you there, is that okay?" Was Velina's response.

"Wonderful, see you there."

Twenty minutes was perfect, that gave Logan enough time to stop by the store and pick up some flowers for her. Velina was facing the movie theater when he pulled up and got out of the truck. He stepped in front of her "Have you been waiting long? I'm sorry."

She shook her head, "No, I just got here."

Logan smiled and pulled out the flowers to give to her. She seemed genuinely surprised and delighted by them. "They smell wonderful, and so pretty. Thank you." She wore a huge smile, just for him.

The two of them watched the movie they had come to see, an action flick. During the film Logan and Velina held hands and shared a bucket of popcorn. There hands were still clasped together when they left the building.

"Wanna go to the park? We'll swing a little bit. I bet you haven't done that in a while, felt the breeze on your cheeks, let your hair blow out behind you?" Logan offered.

Velina giggled, "No, it has been a long time. That sounds great, let's go."

They only used the swings for a few minutes, but it was long enough to find the youthful feeling they remembered. Logan looked at Velina when they stopped. She was so beautiful to him, a perfect vision. The scene filling his eyes was enhanced by the butterflies flitting around her, they topped it off nicely. It was at that moment he realized he was in deep with that woman, very deep, and sinking further every minute.

Velina stood up then. "I have to get home, I'm getting tired and I have work in the morning."

"Ah, I didn't mean to keep you so late, my apologies." Logan said, "One minute." He pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. He spoke briefly and quietly, then hung up and pulled Velina into a hug. He nearly told her that he loved her right then, but refrained. Logan figured he would show her before he spoke the words. It was that moment they shared their first kiss. Her lips were so soft and warm against his and felt so right that he never wanted it to end, but it did.

Logan held Velina close and looked in her eyes. Velina trembled slightly beneath his embrace as she stared back at him. Normally she was a woman full of words to say, she had to be in her line of work, but at this time there was nothing, no words to fill the blissful silence.

"I had a wonderful time Logan, thank you for calling me. I really look forward to our next date." She finally said.

Logan smiled and kissed her lightly again, "I called you a car, they just pulled up. Have a great night, and I'll see you again soon." He told her. He walked her to the car and stood back to watch it pull away. The elated feeling that the evening given him lasted all night. It even filled his head with wonderful dreams while he slept. The next morning however, was not so pleasant.
During Logan's morning routine, something went awry. As he flushed the toilet, it exploded in his face. Logan knew right away that this was no ordinary plumbing problem. His bathroom had been rigged. He also had a pretty good idea who had laid the trap, though he didn't plan to do anything about it. Logan mumbled under his breath and felt a bit thankful that he hadn't showered yet. He got in right away.

David was downstairs in the dining room, innocently playing with his alien doll. He had set that trap for his brother earlier in the morning, when Logan was still snoring. He had to use Logan's bathroom when he woke because Adelaide was in the one they shared together.
Logan came down and had breakfast, when he was on his way back up the stairs, he ran into Brian.

"Heya dad. How's the morning going?" He inquired.

"Great, how about yours?"

"Good good. Actually I have a question for you. If you were going to take a girl overseas, where would you take her?" Logan asked.
Brian smiled at his son. "That depends. If you want beauty and serenity, I'd vote Shang Simla. Maybe you're looking for romance. I'd say Champs Les Sims for that. If you want adventure and treasure I'd go to Al Simhara in Egypt though. So, you have to ask what you're looking to do with this girl first. When you find that out, you'll know where to go."

"Ah... okay." Logan said thoughtfully.

Brian put his hand on Logan's shoulder and said, "Let me know what you decide, I'll get your tickets." Then he walked into the kitchen, leaving no room for Logan to argue.

Logan stood there another minute contemplating what his dad had told him. 'Do they really break down in that manner?' He wondered. 'Is this possible trip going to set the terms of our relationship? Hell, I don't even know if she'll go with me.'
After his own breakfast was done, David stood in the dining room and talked to himself. There happened to be no one better to talk to at that time. He was pretty heavy into the conversation when Emma came in behind him and barked a few times. Brought back to reality, David figured he'd call his friend Laquita, it was Saturday and he was pretty sure she wasn't busy. Unfortunately he was wrong, and she didn't answer the call. David shrugged and went upstairs to play.
Brian had gone up to shower after eating, and then out to check the mail. They always had a gift of some kind waiting in the mail box for them. Today it was a gift certificate for Logan to honor his work in the Fire Department. When Brian stepped into the foyer he pulled out his cellphone.

He called the local pool and booked a reservation for just a few hours from then to have a Birthday party for David. David had just come down the stairs when he overheard his dad say 'No, just one cake, thank you.' Then he hung up.
"Who was that daddy?" David asked.

"Oh no one, just the pool owner. I was calling to ask if we could host a party there." He smiled at his boy, who had a huge grin on his own face.

"Awesome! Woohoo! A pool party!" He shouted, throwing his hands in the air.

Brian laughed and accepted a hug from David. He was glad to see his son so happy about it. When David walked away Brian stood and thought about the party. His boy was growing up, the youngest son was reaching his teens now. Time had flown by so quickly.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chapter 4.35

Sunday morning was a quiet one. David woke very early and had already had a submarine adventure in his bathtub before his parents had gotten up. He attempted to stay in his room and play with his toys, but that got boring fast. David got dressed up as a prince instead, and paraded around the house waving to the imaginary populous, of his invisible kingdom. In addition to chess, this was also one of his favorite games to play. It possibly even topped chess. He loved acting in every way, whether it be dinosaur stomping, posing as a prince or king, or space jumping in an astronaut suit. Every once in a while, his family would join in and pretend right along with him. Their imaginations weren't quite as vivid as his though, and they couldn't hold up the show quite as long. Very often Adelaide was the one playing, the two of them loved making funny faces at each other, and joking about anything.
Logan was up early as well, though he hadn't gotten showered and dressed, he had gone straight down to the basement to workout. Unfortunately Emma had followed him, so he didn't get that done. Emma demanded too much of his attention. She wanted her brushing, and petting time. Logan also decided to teach her to play dead. Emma nearly had a doggy heart attack when he fell to the floor and stopped breathing. She sniffed him carefully while he lay there. Then he surprised her a bit when he popped his head up and said "Play dead!". This trick looked like it would be a little difficult for her to learn, or take the most amount of time so far. They did practice for about an hour before Logan finally did have to shower and get ready for work.
Brian and Adelaide had seen in the paper that there would be a SimFest held at the small park today, and decided to go. They hadn't been to one before and thought it would be a fun thing to do, since both kids were busy. The two of them got ready and were walking out the door when Logan said goodbye on the porch, then ran across the street.

Luckily for Logan, his coworker Lauren didn't work that day, so he wouldn't have to be confronted with the issues of telling her that he was unavailable. He wasn't really looking forward to that conversation, but wasn't sure why. It shouldn't be too hard.

At the SimFest, there was only about three performers, and none of them were very good. Brian and Adelaide stayed to watch anyway. Close to when the show was over, Brian was approached by a guy to get his autograph. He happily signed the little piece of paper, glad to see that some people still knew him by name. It felt like it had been a while since he gave his signature out. Right after he handed the paper back, the girl that had come by to see Logan the day before came up to him too.

"Hi. Mr. Fuller, I wanted to apologize for leaving so abruptly yesterday afternoon. I had to get here to audition some performers." She glanced toward the stage, "The show tonight wasn't that great unfortunately. Sorry about that. I'm Velina, the proprietor of most shows here."

"Well, nice to meet you Velina. I have to admit, I was not too impressed with the show here tonight, and it was my first one." Brian smiled at her attempting lighten his statement. 'She seems like a nice girl, she's got a nice voice too.'

"Next time will be better for you, I promise." Velina told him, "Will you please pass my apologies to Logan for not staying around to wait for him? I feel badly, but I had to get to work. Sorry I can't stay, I have to get back to business. It was lovely to meet you."

Brian assured her that he would take her message to his son and watched her walk away. 'I can see why Logan likes her.'

He and Adelaide had to go to the school that afternoon, as did Logan if he could make it, to attend a graduation of sorts for David. Brian called Logan at the fire house to find out if he could get someone to cover a few hours of his shift.
Agnes let Logan go for an hour or two so he could attend the ceremony. Brian and Adelaide met him there, along with David.

David was going through his badging ceremony. He was graduating from his after school activity of Scouting. He had breezed through it with flying colors, learning how to tie knots and starting fires with no problems. He was a perfect scout. The ceremony wasn't long and Brian, Adelaide and David went back home together. Logan had to get back to work.

At home, the family went into the backyard to hang out. David played in the sandbox and on the swing while his parents cuddled on the outdoor sofa and watched him.

Logan studied mostly, there were no fires to tend or emergencies to respond to. Out of the third story window, he saw people at the park behind the building and he knew that Velina was there. As soon as the shift bell rang he was out the door to see her.
As he had assumed, she was there. She had just been coming off of the stage after sweeping it when he stepped in front of her.

"OH! Logan, you scared me."

"I'm sorry, that wasn't my intent." He smiled at her. "I'm also sorry I haven't called. I've been a bit busy."

"It's quite alright, on both counts. I've been busy too." Velina admitted. "Great to see you though. You're in uniform, I guess you came from work?"

Logan got slightly distracted by her voice again, it was so alluring and she wasn't even trying. "Yes, I'm sorry. I didn't think of changing." He glanced at himself, wishing he had. "Well, I guess that'll probably hurt my chances when I ask you out tonight won't it?"

Velina felt color rising to her cheeks which made her glad it was night, maybe he didn't see. "No. Not at all. I'd be happy to anywhere with you, no matter what you're wearing."

Logan smiled, "Want to sit down?"

Velina nodded at him and they sat on the grass leaning back on their hands, to watch the clouds roll by and the stars shine.
After a minute of pointing out constellations, or seeing shooting stars, Velina leaned over and whispered softly in Logan's ear. "I could do this every night Mr. Fuller. Especially if it's with you." She put her head to the side and blushed again.

If Logan thought he had been distracted before, it was nothing like now. Her soft voice in his ear sent chills down his spine. Warm breath on his neck made his body temperature rise a degree or two instantly. He barely heard exactly what she said. He put his hand on her chin and gently pulled it toward him so he could see her eyes. "I'm glad the feeling is mutual Velina."

The two of them smiled at each other. Logan got to his feet and offered his hand to help her up. She accepted. "Why don't we go over to Mick's Master Karaoke and have a little fun, huh?"
They walked into the bar and Logan was shocked to find his Uncle Dylan singing at the microphone. He was quite horrible, but he sang a few songs anyway.

"That's my uncle up there, he's nuts for singing. He may be the best guitar player that I've ever heard, but he needs a lot more practice with this new found talent of his." Logan told Velina.

Both of them laughed, then Velina pulled him out to he dance floor. "C'mon, we can ignore the voice and just feel the beat."

They danced well into the night hearing a multitude of singers, most slightly drunk and totally tone deaf. Occasionally they got a good singer up there though. When Velina looked like she was ready to go home, Logan called her a limo to take her back to her place.

"I hope to see you again soon." He told her as his fingers lightly brushed her cheek. She told him that it was very likely, then got into the waiting car. He watched until the car was out of sight, realizing then that he didn't even know where she lived.
The following morning, Logan woke at the same time as David. After their morning routines were finished the two brothers talked for a long while. It seemed to Logan that he hadn't really seen his little brother much in the last few weeks, and he rather enjoyed his company. He was lighthearted and easy to laugh with. They played a game of chess together and Logan was surprised to find that David beat him, quite easily.

"You've been holding out on my 'Chess Master David'!" He joked.

David laughed alongside Logan. "I've had some practice while you've been away at work. You're there a lot you know."

Logan thought he heard a bit of hostility inside the words his brother spoke. He tried explain himself as best he could, "I'm sorry I haven't been able to hang out as much. I'm an adult now, and trying to build a life for myself before I move out and get a place of my own."

"Yeah. I know. I'll miss you when you go you know." David admitted.

Logan got up and pulled his younger brother into a hug. "I have to go to work now. I know, bad timing, but I have to. I'll see you later, kay?"

Logan walked to work, arriving five minutes before his shift began. He saw Dave there, and was just walking past him when Lauren came around the corner, nearly running into him.

"Logan. Can I talk to you for a minute?" Lauren requested. She glanced at Dave, who walked away. Her expression changed in an instant, it went from dead serious to lightly lit by a barely showing smile. "Logan, I'd be very interested to know on a more personal level. Will you go out with me?"
"I'd love to get to know you more personally too Lauren, but not in that way. I'm already seeing someone. I hope this won't put a damper on our friendship." Logan said, nearly tripping over the sentences that he spat out so quickly.  Even though he hadn't, it was like he had recited those words about a thousand times before he spoke them to her.

Lauren looked down, internally crushed, she took a deep breath and looked back at him still holding her little smile. "Well good for you, she's a lucky woman. Of course it won't, I'll always be your friend Logan, no matter. Just a fleeting thought of mine."

"Good," Logan smiled. "I'm glad we're still cool. I've got to work on my extinguisher, it's been acting up."

Lauren watched him step away and sit at the table next to them and pull out his extinguisher. He immediately started to work on it. Her smile faltered, then vanished completely, replaced by a frown. 'Well that was embarrassing and painful. He wants to stay friends though. At least I can still see him. As painful as that might be.' Her hands started to get back to her job, but her mind was elsewhere.
Logan started messing around trying to figure out what was wrong with his extinguisher. He concentrated on it a little harder than really necessary yet he was only halfway paying attention to his work while his mind wandered. 'Well, according to appearances that went well. I know that shes not completely okay with this though. Every time we talk there will that proverbial 'elephant in the room'. He sighed. He had already fixed the problem, but didn't he kept working on his extinguisher anyway, trying to upgrade it. His work was interrupted with a fire alarm. Happy for a reason to leave the firehouse, Logan got up quickly and got in the truck.

There was another very large house fire to respond to. Logan didn't see any trapped people from the outside, so he kicked in the front door and ran through the house looking for anyone. He did find a few upstairs, unfortunately they were behind a wall of flame, and a jammed door.

Apparently the fire started in the kitchen, the cook in the house had forgotten about the roast they had put in and it caught fire while they were upstairs fooling around. Same as the last fire that he fought, Logan took a few hours to get the flames extinguished. It was days like these that made him wonder why only one fire fighter responded to an emergency at a time. He secured the house and instructed the family on fire safety, as was protocol. He would be going home and getting to bed when he was finished cleaning himself up at the firehouse.

At home Brian and David had just gotten finished playing some video games together. Brian had was just about to send his son up to bed when David stopped.

"Dad, can I ask something?"

"Sure, anything. What's on your mind?"

"It's my birthday in a few days you know. Can we have a pool party?" David was very excited about his birthday coming up and it showed.

"Are you sure it's your birthday? I thought we just had a cake for you a couple months ago!" Brian joked, "Okay, I'll think about it. We'll see what I can do."

David clapped his hands and jumped up and down. "Yay! Alright."

Laughing, Brian told him that it was time for sleep and watched him run up the stairs, skipping every other step. "Night son!" he yelled after the boy.

To be continued...