Diesel Chronicles Ch. 20byGwen©
The next day, Sue calls with good news.
"I talked to my friend at the LA office and after a lengthy conversation, she’s got something for you. She wants to meet with you when you’re ready.”
"Thank you, Sue. Thanks for everything."
"Don't mention it. You are a very special person to me, and I want to make sure that you're taken care of. Not that Vin won't do a good job, but at least I can help a little."
I write down the manager’s name and number and promise to call her in the next few days. The doctor comes by for one last check-up and says that I can go home that day, but to take it easy for a week or so.
A few hours later, Vin drives me home. He wasn't kidding. My new truck is exactly like the other one, same color and everything. It's nice to be back home. Melkor jumps in my lap when I sit on the couch, purring when I pet him. Vin takes our bags to the bedroom and joins me on the couch.
"Are you hungry? I can fix something to eat."
"Not right now. I just want to sit here and enjoy being home."
"Home," he says, pulling me into his lap. "That sounds good. Am I hurting you?"
Lowering his lips to mine, he gives me a long, slow kiss.
"So, now that I've asked and you've accepted, when do you want to get married?" he asks.
“I don’t know. You decide.”
"Two weeks from Friday."
"That fast?" I ask.
"The sooner the better."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely. What kind of ceremony would you like?"
"Something small and intimate, just us and a few friends."
"Cozumel. On the beach at sunset."
"Been giving this some thought, then?"
"I decided while we were there a few weeks ago that's where I wanted to get married."
"Did you have somebody special picked out?"
"Yeah, but he just didn't know it yet."
"Oh, I think he did. He was just too scared to press the issue. Think you can get everything done in two weeks?"
"I'll make the arrangements with the hotel and you do whatever it is you need to do. Dress, flowers, whatever. Do you want the cottage again or stay at the hotel?"
"Cottage. I think I'll be able to pull everything together by then. Who do you want to invite?"
"I was thinking about inviting Mike and his girlfriend, Karen. What about you?"
"Jennifer and her boyfriend, Matt."
"Well, that's settled. We'll fly down on Friday morning, two weeks from now, have the ceremony at sunset, and play the rest of the weekend. We need to come back Sunday because I’ve got some appointments that week.”
"What about my apartment? My lease is up in two months."
"We'll leave everything here that you don't need and come back for it later, after we buy a new house."
"A new house? When did you decide to buy a new house?"
"I've been thinking about a lot of things. I knew that if we got married we'd have to buy another one. The one I have right now is fine for me, but I want to start things off right. When we get back to LA in a few weeks, we'll start looking. Now that we know when and where the wedding is, I need to call Mike and you need to call Jennifer. I'll have Tony fly Mike, Karen and myself down on Thursday, and we can all leave Friday morning.”
"When are you planning to go back?
"I'll go back next week sometime. I've got some things to take care of before you get there."
“I think I'll call Jennifer and then I'm going to lie down for a little while."
"Ok, I'll let you get some rest."
Picking up the phone in the bedroom, I call Jennifer and give her the good news. She is thrilled.
"How are you doing?"
"Physically and mentally drained. Vin is like a whirlwind. Once he makes his mind up about something, he won't stop until it's finished. We made all the decision about the wedding in less than five minutes."
"Sounds like you two knew what you wanted to begin with."
"Yeah, we did. Now we need to go shopping. I figured we'd do it next week after Vin leaves."
"Oh, we're going to have a blast on that shopping trip."
"You know it. Hey, do you think Matt would mind taking pictures?"
"I’ll ask him, but I don't think he'll mind."
"Cool. Let me know what he says. I'm going to take a nap now so I'll call you tomorrow. And Jennifer, thanks for everything."
"You're welcome. Talk to you soon."
I hang up the phone and fall asleep in no time. A few hours later, I wake up and find Vin in the kitchen.
"Mmmm, something smells good," I say, wrapping my arms around his waist.
"Spaghetti sauce." he replies. "My secret recipe. How are you feeling?"
"A little better. What have you been doing while I was asleep?"
"I got a little bit of work done, then decided to make us dinner. I'm surprised to find real food here."
"Me too. Oh, I'll bet my mom went grocery shopping and left them while we were still at the hospital. Speaking of, I need to tell my parents our plans. How about we go out to the ranch this weekend and tell them?"
“Sounds good to me.”
“I’ll give Mom a call later. Thank you for everything you've done, for everything you're doing."
"Don't thank me. It's my job to take care of you."
"Just the same, thank you," I say, reaching up to kiss him. "Where did you learn to cook?"
"One of the hazards of being a bachelor. If I wanted to eat, I had to cook."
"I figured you ate out all the time."
"No, when I'm at home, I cook. Looks like it's almost ready."
We make our plates and sit down to eat.
"My compliments to the chef. This is wonderful."
After dinner, Vin parks me on the couch while he cleans the kitchen and starts the dishwasher. He joins me and Melkor when he's finished. The phone rings and Vin answers.
"It's for you. It's a little girl."
"Must be my niece, Mandy."
"Aunt Gwen? How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine sweetie."
"Can we come over and see you now that you're home?"
"Yeah, I'd like that."
"Cool. Let me tell mom."
Kay gets on the phone.
"She's been asking about you since the accident and I told her that we'd come see you when you got home. Is that ok?"
"Sure. I'm actually feeling a little better now."
"Ok, we'll see you in a little bit."
Hanging up the phone, I tell Vin, "Well, you're in for it now. Kay is on her way over with my niece."
"Are you sure you're up to it?"
"Yeah. And since I'll be leaving in a few weeks, I won't see her for awhile."
"They can come visit."
"I know, but I'm used to seeing them all the time. It's going to be a big adjustment for me, but I'll be ok. I'll have something better to occupy my time," I say, giving him a kiss.
About that time, the doorbell rings and I get up to answer it.
"Aunt Gwen!" Mandy says, wrapping herself around me.
"Hey Mandy," I say, hugging her back.
"We were running errands when she got the idea to call. That's why it didn't take long to get here," my sister explains.
Mandy walks into the apartment looking for Melkor, and when she sees him, he's sitting in Vin's lap. Her eyes are huge.
"Aunt Gwen, you know who he looks like? That guy on the racing movie you always watch."
I blush and Vin starts laughing.
Walking over to the couch, I sit down and pull her into my lap. "Can you keep a secret?"
She shakes her head.
"That's exactly who his is."
She looks at me like I'm crazy. "No it's not."
Looking at Vin, "Can you help me out here?"
"No, I think you're doing a bang-up job with this."
Mandy's eyes widen when she recognizes his voice. "It is him! Aunt Gwen, what's he doing here?"
"He came to take care of me after the accident."
"How do you know someone from the movie?"
"We met while we were on a trip. Remember when I went somewhere for my birthday and I brought you the shirt with the alligators on it? That's when we met."
"Vin, meet my niece, Mandy. Mandy, this is Vin."
"Hi Mandy. Your Aunt Gwen has told me so much about you."
"I didn't know she had a boyfriend. Wait until everyone at school hears this! They're not going to believe it."
Kay is doing everything she can to hold in her laughter.
"Mandy, why don't you take Melkor into my room and play."
"Ok," she says, scooping the kitten up out of Vin's lap.
"How are you really doing?" Kay asks.
"I'm still a little sore."
"Don't ever scare me like that again, you hear me?"
"Well, if it happens again, you're going to have to fly to LA to see me in the hospital."
Looking at Vin, he nods his head. "We're getting married in a couple of weeks and I'm moving to LA."
"We're flying to Cozumel in a couple of weeks and getting married."
"When did this happen?"
Vin finally speaks up. "Actually, I wanted to ask her while we were there a few weeks ago, but I wasn't sure how she'd take it. I mean, everything was happening so fast that I didn't want to scare her. So I asked her while she was in the hospital."
"Yeah, while I was drugged up and didn't know what I was agreeing to," I say, laughing.
"Have you told mom and dad yet?"
"No, I figured we'd go to the ranch this weekend and tell them."
"That's good. They're going to be thrilled that you're finally getting married. Pissed that you're moving, but you know them, as long as we're happy, they don’t have to worry about us."
"Don't say anything to them yet. And I want to be the one to tell Munchkin, if it's ok with you. But I have to wait until after we see mom and dad because I don't want her to slip up."
"No problem. Just tell me when and she's yours. Well, I guess we'd better be going. Mandy?"
"Yes?" she says, coming from the bedroom.
"We need to go. Tell Aunt Gwen and Vin goodbye."
"Bye Aunt Gwen," she says, giving me a hug. Turning to look at Vin, she says, "Oh man. This is going to be so cool telling everyone about you."
Vin starts laughing. "It was nice to meet you."
"Bye" she says, bouncing out the door.
"I'll call you in a few days," I tell Kay.
"Congratulations you two. Talk to you later." and she closes the door behind her.
Sitting down on the couch with Vin, I comment, "That child has more energy than she knows what to do with."
"She's a sweet kid."
"She's going to think it's so cool to get on a plane to come visit." Stretching a little, I say, "I think I'm going to take a bath."
"Too bad your tub isn't as big as the one in Cozumel."
"Yeah, that was nice."
"Go take your bath. I'll lock up."
Leaning over to kiss him, I say, "What would I do without you?"
"I hope we never have to find out. Go take your bath." he says.
Heading into the bathroom, I turn on the water and let the tub fill up. I carefully undress and slide into the water, being careful with my arm and propping it up on the side of the tub. The cuts are healing and they should be fine in a couple of weeks. A few minutes later, Vin comes into the bathroom.
"Need any help?"
"No, just sit here with me."
He sits on the floor of the bathroom with his back against the tub.
"Gwen, I need to know something and I want you to tell me the truth."
"Are you going to be ok leaving everyone when you move? I mean, you're whole family is here and they have been the center of your world for so long. I don't want you to do this just because I want to. You have to want this too."
"Vin, look at me."
He turns his body so that he's facing me.
"They are my family, yes. And yes, it's going to be hard to leave. But now we're going to be a family, and that's where I belong. With you, no matter where it is." I lean forward to kiss him and end up sloshing water out of the tub and onto him. We both start laughing. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do that."
"It's just water," he says, taking his shirt off.
"Oh man, you shouldn't have done that." I tell him.
"Whenever you do that, the room suddenly gets hot, and then I forget to breathe."
"Well, what happens when I do this?" he says, standing up and scooping me out of the bathtub and carries me to the bed.
"It gets the bed all wet."
Laughing, he asks, "Is that all?"
"What do you think?" I reply, pulling him down to me.
"Are you sure you want to do this? Are you too sore?"
He quickly gets rid of his remaining clothes and comes to me. Our loving is slow and gentle because he doesn't want to cause any additional pain. Sometime later, he's holding me in his arms and Melkor jumps up on the bed.
"I think he's ready for bed and you're in his spot."
"Too bad, he'll just have to find a new place to sleep."
Melkor jumps down off of the bed and heads back into the living room.
"Oh man, he's going to start casting spells and killing things now that you've pissed him off."
Vin starts to laugh. "You're something else, Gwen. I love you."
"I love you too,” I say, then fall asleep in his arms.