Halo Ch. 10byMygypsy©
For those readers unfamiliar with Australian terms, a work party is a group of people who get together to complete a task. For example, friends and family might form a work party to set up an engagement party for a couple.
Ren opened the front door and stepped inside so 'Tanaya could follow him in. He heard her close the door behind them and he led the way up the hallway. Brad, Janey, Nicky and possibly Brent and Matty should be in the kitchen eating.
Ren stopped at the door of 'Tanaya and Brad's room when he heard movement within. He looked inside then grinned at 'Tanaya over his shoulder as he jerked his head towards the room.
'Tanaya poked Ren in the ribs making him move so she could walk into the room.
"Trust you to knock yourself around while I'm away," 'Tanaya said softly.
" 'Tanaya!" Brad whirled around, a large grin spreading across his face. He held out his good arm and 'Tanaya rushed into his embrace. He folded his arm around her and kissed her hungrily.
Ren smiled at the sight of them locked in each other's arms, totally unaware of all else. "I think I'll go find Janey," he said but neither of them heard him as he turned away.
Brad reluctantly stopped kissing 'Tanaya when she pulled back from him. Her hands were skimming over his shoulders as she ran her eyes over his injured arm.
"How bad is it? What exactly did you do?" 'Tanaya's eyes showed her worry as she looked into his face.
" On the way to work Hank had to swerve to avoid a car that came around a blind corner on the wrong side of the road. We went off the road and side swiped a tree, my window shattered and the door was shredded up pretty bad. A piece of metal ripped into my forearm. There's a lot of muscle damage but no arteries, major blood vessels or tendons were damaged. The metal actually cut the bone as well. There'll be a lot of physio but I'll recover," Brad said calmly.
'Tanaya went pale at his words and swayed slightly but Brad still had his good arm around her and pulled her hard against his body.
"But Janey only said you'd been cut by glass!" 'Tanaya said, her eyes wide with distress.
"Brent and I told her what to say. Brent said you'd panic if you knew how bad it actually was," Brad said gently.
"You bastards!" 'Tanaya punched him in his uninjured shoulder then ran her hand anxiously over the spot, "nowhere else was injured?"
"Just my arm," Brad reassured her before adding softly, "and my heart with you being away,"
"Oh Brad," 'Tanaya sighed softly and glanced at his arm. "Does it hurt?"
"It aches like the devil when the pain killers wear off but that'll pass after a week or more," Brad said levelly. He lowered his head to sniff her hair and frowned when he couldn't smell her regular shampoo. "Smells like you been showering with Ren."
"Ha, you only wish so you could watch," 'Tanaya nearly laughed as she lifted her head to kiss him softly on his lips.
"Damn but I've missed you," Brad said thickly when their lips parted.
"I've missed you too," 'Tanaya whispered.
"Marry me," Brad said. The words came from nowhere but as they left his lips Brad realised that this was exactly what he wanted.
"What?" 'Tanaya said shock colouring her voice.
"Let's get married. These past few days apart have shown me exactly how much I love you. Marry me," Brad urged.
"What about Janey and Nicky?" 'Tanaya asked cautiously.
"I love you, not her. And as for Nicky, Janey will be willing to work things out with us," Brad said confidently. "So will you marry me Shantanaya Redwolf?"
'Tanaya stared at Brad for a few moments before a happy grin slowly spread across her face.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" 'Tanaya shouted happily.
* * * * *
Ren leant against the door jam as he watched Janey lifting Nicky into the high chair and placing his plate of food in front of him. He smiled to himself as he heard the boys' cry of delight then Janey's gasp; obviously Nicky had not been able to wait and had grabbed for his food before Janey had let go of it.
"So is everyone's food ready or just Nicky's," Ren asked with a grin. He only had eyes for Janey as she turned around to face him, surprise showing on her face. He was dimly aware of Brent and Matty stepping into view and speaking to him and he nodded at them without really listening to them.
"Gabriel," Janey said on a breathy sigh.
"Dar! Dar! Dar!" Nicky screamed and banged his spoon on the side of his plate. The plate tipped over spilling food onto the highchair tray and onto Janey as well.
"Where's 'Tanaya," Janey asked as it registered she wasn't in the doorway or behind Ren.
"She couldn't make it past the bedroom when she heard Brad moving around in there," Ren said with a grin. As he took in the array of emotions that were flickering deep in Janey's eyes he realised just how much he had missed her the few days he had been away.
The problems that had seemed insurmountable suddenly became meaningless as his heart expanded at the sight of her. He recognised the uncertainty in her eyes and mentally kicked himself for the things he had said to her before leaving.
"Well at least Nicky is happy to see me," Ren said lightly as he walked into the room and scooped Nicky up out of the highchair.
Nicky was talking excitedly, there was a jumble of sounds and words coming from him and every so often clearly recognisable words could be heard.
"Your words have improved so much even in the few days I been away. Nicky is so clever isn't he Mummy," Ren directed his question at Janey. She smiled fondly at her son as he chatted to Ren and opened and closed his little fists in front of Ren's face.
Janey glanced at Ren's face and looked away quickly when he smiled brightly at her. Confusion crowded her mind; he had said their relationship was over but here he was speaking and acting as if things were still the same.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" The sound of 'Tanaya shouting happily could be heard clearly.
"Naynay!" Nicky yelled as if she had been calling him. He wriggled to be put on the floor and when Ren obliged he took off for the door at a run calling "Naynay!"
Janey laughed softly and shook her head, "I'm telling Brad it's your fault Nicky is interrupting whatever they're doing," Janey said even though she was sure that whatever they were doing wouldn't be x-rated.
"'Tanaya probably yelled so someone would save her," Ren laughed as he slipped his arms around Janey. He felt her tense in his arms but pressed a kiss to the side of her neck anyway.
"You broke off with me, remember?" Janey turned to face him and pushed herself away from him.
"We can work things out. I'm sure we can. We WILL talk, will listen and I remember to stay calm," Ren said apologetically.
Janey turned away and began to clean up the spilled food she had been going to feed Nicky.
"Are you guys fighting?" Matty asked quietly.
"They had better not be," Brad said from the doorway.
Janey glanced towards him. He stood in the doorway with his good arm around 'Tanaya who held Nicky as he cuddled into her. Clearly he had missed her being in the house over the weekend.
"Listen up people," Brad said then glanced down at 'Tanaya.
"Brad has asked me to marry him, I said yes," 'Tanaya announced happily.
"Congratulations!" Ren said and went over to shake Brad's uninjured hand even though it was the left hand.
"Yeah, congratulations," Matty said as he shook Brad's hand next.
"I hope both of you will be very happy," Brent said.
'Tanaya smiled at him and nodded slightly, "Thank you. That means a lot coming from you."
"I just want to see you happy," Brent said before walking past them.
There was silence as they all listened to him walk up the hallway and out the front door.
"You're okay with it?" 'Tanaya directed her comment to Janey.
Janey smiled and walked over to Brad and 'Tanaya, she stood on tip-toe to kiss 'Tanaya on the cheek and then kiss Brad on the cheek.
"I am happy for both of you. And it's about time Brad pulled his finger out," Janey said with a laugh.
"Thank you," 'Tanaya said and impulsively hugged Janey, Nicky caught in the centre.
Nicky chuckled with delight and kissed both of them rather sloppily on the cheek.
"See, even Nicky approves," Janey said as she stepped back self-consciously.
"Should someone go after Brent?" Matty asked worriedly.
"Give him some time to himself," Ren said quietly.
"This calls for a celebration," Janey announced.
"Tomorrow night," Brad said as he met her eyes. Janey nodded her understanding and turned back towards the high chair.
"It looks like Nicky got creative with his food," 'Tanaya said.
"He was being bad," Janey shrugged and finished cleaning up the mess putting the plate and food on the sink.
"There enough food for everyone?" 'Tanaya wanted to know as she settled Nicky into his highchair.
"Yeah, and it should still be hot. If everyone wants to go wash up I can put everything on the table," Janey said.
"I got the wash basin first," Ren said and headed for the bathroom.
Janey gave Nicky a fresh helping of food then set about putting the cooked food on the table and hurriedly setting out plates and cutlery. She left a place setting on the bench for Brent if he should turn up. By the time she was finished the others were returning from washing up and began to take their places at the table.
"I'm starving," Ren said as he helped himself to a big serving of the meaty casserole.
"Starbin!" Nicky parroted loudly.
Janey lowered her head to hide her smile as Brad cleared his throat noisily.
"Haven't you been feeding this boy?" 'Tanaya asked with wide-eyes for Nicky's benefit.
"Starbin!" Nicky echoed.
"Not since he had fruit a couple of hours ago," Janey said trying not to laugh.
"Star-bin!" Nicky called demandingly.
Janey patiently helped Nicky get a spoonful of food and move it to his mouth. He laughed and opened his mouth wide as he grabbed the food.
"Star-bin," he mumbled around the mouthful of food.
"Now look what you've taught my boy! You want to teach a kid smart remarks get your own kid and teach it," Brad said to Ren as he forced a frown. Even he was finding it hard not to laugh at his son.
"Give me six or twelve months and I might start thinking about it," Ren said seriously.
Janey glanced his way quickly to find him watching her and she looked away hurriedly.
"Are you two going to get married as well?" Matty asked in the sudden silence.
"We haven't talked about that," Ren said quietly as he watched Janey.
"But yous are going to..." Matty began.
"Stop asking questions," 'Tanaya told him with a dark look.
Matty glanced at Janey who was eating with her attention fixed firmly on her plate and he wondered if he had said something wrong.
"Starbin!" Nicky said and banged his spoon on the highchair tray.
"Nicky is being a Gremlin Mummy thinks," Janey told him as she fed him another spoonful of food.
"Grem'in! Nicky Grem'in!" Nicky said with laughter.
"Yeap, Nicky the Gremlin," Janey said with a soft laugh.
"Daddy Grem'in! Naynay Grem'in! Dar Grem'in! Mummy Grem'in! Nicky Grem'in!" Nicky informed her happily. He yawned and then rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand.
"Someone's tired," 'Tanaya observed quietly.
"Nicky has been playing with Matty and Brent all evening," Janey said as she scrapped the last of the food into the spoon and offered it to Nicky.
Nicky turned his head away refusing to open his mouth and Janey put the spoon down. She got up and poured a drink into Nicky's sippy cup then took over to him; he grabbed it in both hands and drank thirstily.
"I'll help with the dishes," Ren said.
"Brent and I were supposed to be on dish duty," Matty told him.
"Mummy," Nicky grizzled as he put his cup aside and held both arms out to her.
Janey put her half finished food aside and lifted Nicky from the highchair. He immediately buried his face in her neck and tried to bounce in her arms.
"I'll put him in his cot," Janey said and left the room.
Ren waited a few moments after she had left the room before getting to his feet and following her. In Brad and 'Tanaya's room she was putting a nappy on Nicky who was laying on their bed cuddling a soft toy with his eyes closed.
"Hey, you okay," Ren asked softly as he walked over near her.
"Who are you planning having your child with?" Janey asked evenly.
"It's not something I'm actually planning. It's something I wouldn't mind doing. That's if we end up together," Ren said quietly.
Janey let out a soft sigh and picked Nicky up. She cuddled him close and gave him a kiss on the cheek before putting him in his cot. Nicky rolled onto his stomach, drew his knees up under him and settled himself with his nappied behind sticking up.
"He's one cute kid," Ren said softly.
"We'll talk when we both have had a shower," Janey said quietly.
"I've missed you so badly the last few days," Ren said quietly.
"It was your choice to leave on such bad terms," Janey pointed out not unkindly.
"Yes it was. And I've regretted it from the moment the words left my mouth," Ren said truthfully.
"He's asleep," Janey said and tucked a blanket over the sleeping boy.
"Let's go leave him sleep," Ren said softly as he slipped his arm around her waist to guide her from the room.
Janey moved unresistingly until they were outside the room where she halted in the hallway.
"Something wrong?" Ren asked cautiously.
"Yes. You haven't even tried to kiss me hallo," Janey said as she lifted her chin to look him in the face.
Ren smiled and moved closer, "I can soon remedy that," he said, his voice taking on a husky quality.
Janey sighed softly at the first light brush of his lips on hers and Ren lifted his head to look down at her.
"You alright? Something wrong," he asked.
"Something was finally right," Janey said tightly and reached up behind his head to pull his mouth down to hers.
Ren smiled against her lips as he kissed her and he felt her soft sigh against his lips once again. He changed the angle of his kiss and he felt Janey plaster herself against his body. Reluctantly he raised his head and watched as she slowly opened her eyes. They were clouded from their kiss and her lips were damp and softly swollen.
"We'd better go back to the kitchen before the others send out a search party," Janey said quietly.
Ren laughed softly, "I don't think Brad or 'Tanaya would do that but Matty is a bit of a worry."
Janey headed back to the kitchen. She sat down and looked at her cold tea and shook her head.
"I can put it in the microwave it you want it warm," Ren said in concern.
"I'm just not that hungry," Janey said with a shrug.
"How about a cuppa or a juice?" Ren asked eager to temp her with something.
"A big glass of cold water sound good," Janey offered.
Ren got her the glass of cold water and placed it in front of her before sitting down once again.
"So you guys aren't fighting anymore?" Matty had to ask.
"We weren't fighting. It was a constructive conversation as my Mother says," Janey said with a faint smile.
"Good, 'cause I don't like it when you get all sad-eyed and Ren gets grumpy," Matty announced.
"So how long of an engagement are you having?" Janey asked as she glanced from Brad to 'Tanaya.
"We haven't discussed that yet," Brad admitted.
"The shorter the better as far as I'm concerned," Tanaya said with a smile at Brad. He smiled back and gave a slight nod.
"Church, backyard here or a park somewhere?" Brad asked.
"A registry office would be quick and cheap," 'Tanaya offered biting her bottom lip.
"You could have a party afterwards in the backyard," Ren said.
"Why have it here where Brad and 'Tanaya would have to worry about setting everything up and cleaning up afterwards?" Janey asked.
"We're not exactly flush with money. My savings got used up," Brad said quietly.
Janey was just about to ask what it had been used on when it dawned on her that he would have had to pay his own legal expenses. She glanced at Ren to find him watching her; he gave her a faint smile and nodded slightly.
"Work party before and after then," Janey said.
"Of course," Matty said giving Janey a smile when she looked his way.
"Let's get started on the dishes so we're not up until midnight doing them," Ren said to Matty.
"I'll go have my shower and get out of the way," Janey announced.
Janey headed to the bedroom she used to collect her pyjamas and when she came out of the room she was surprised to find 'Tanaya waiting for her in the hallway.
"Something you want?" Janey asked quietly.
"Would you be inter ... would you consider being my Maid of Honour?" 'Tanaya asked nervously.
"Of course, I'd be delighted to," Janey said happily.
"Thankyou," 'Tanaya gushed happily and hugged Janey impulsively. Janey hugged her and found herself patting her back.
"I don't have many close female friends but I immediately thought of you, and I was a bit worried that ... you'd only been tolerating me because of Brad and Nicky." 'Tanaya admitted almost shyly.
Janey laughed softly, "At first yes. You seemed to hate me and then I got to really know you and I found I really like the person you are. I'd be honoured to be your Maid of Honour," Janey reassured her. "At least this way I know that Nicky will be in good hands with you if Brad has to go anywhere."
"I'd better let you have your shower or you'll find Ren sneaking in while you're still in the shower," 'Tanaya laughed.
Janey smiled and headed for the bathroom.
* * * * *
Janey was stretched out on the bed on her stomach reading a magazine when Ren came into the room; she looked his way and watched as he walked around the bed to sit beside her.
"Damn but I feel heaps better after that shower," Ren said with feeling.
"Smell heaps better too," Janey said with a smile.
Ren narrowed his eyes at her playfully, "You saying I smelt?"
"Maybe," Janey giggled and dropped the magazine down beside the bed.
"Grrrrr," Ren made a throaty growl as he leant over her.
"Becoming a bit of a caveman are you?" Janey asked as she rolled onto her side so she could watch him easily.
"Ugh," Ren grunted and Janey giggled.
"We need to be serious," Ren said quietly after a few minutes.
"I know," Janey said soberly.
"When I spoke to Adam on the phone I wasn't trying to tell you who you can and can't talk to. I was just trying to get the guy to stop upsetting you," Ren said quietly.
"I knew that. I knew it in my heart and in my head. But something made me yell that at you, " Janey looked away for a moment. "Maybe it was because I knew you wouldn't react like Hawk would have. But something in me had to make sure."
"I'm nothing like Hawk!" Ren snapped tightly.
"I know that. The last time we were in this bedroom ... do you realise that was the first time I've seen you fully aroused? You were so big and so hard, you scared me, and I was scared it would hurt. But in my head I knew you are nothing like Hawk and that you won't hurt me. And later when... when you put your hand on my butt and bad memories rushed back," Janey took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a few seconds.
When she opened her eyes to look at Ren once more he was watching her with a hurt look on his face.
"The memories were there crowding in but they never ... I didn't get over come by the memories. I wasn't back there overwhelmed by the pain and fear, they were just some horrible memories," Janey said desperately trying to explain.
"You freaked out ..." Ren said tightly.
"Listen to me! I nearly freaked out. Horrible horrible memories hit me but I could handle it because you were with me. It wasn't easy but I knew you would never hurt me," Janey said as she refused to break eye contact with him.
Ren buried his face against her breasts and held her close, she could feel him shaking slightly against her and she cuddled him close.