Traditions Ch. 05byhoneyblood©
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!
Sorry about the late post, the world got in the way of my passion and my lovely characters. I was having alittle trouble trying to write this part of the story. I ended up having to cut this chapter in half. You'll get the other half as chapter six. For one thing, I couldn't let you guys wait any longer. That's just to much torture. It's the season of giving afterall. Plus I was having a little trouble writing the upcoming fight scene Declan is suppose to have. Tehehe. Hopefully since half of that chapter is already written it shouldn't take me too long. A week or two at the most. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy!
Declan, Aidan, and Jimmy were packing up all of their equipment when Mrs. Fuller slowly walked out onto her small patio.
"Oh, look how good my lawn is. Looks just like spring time." The elderly woman shook her head as she wrapped her shawl closer around her shoulders. "You boys have got a gift."
Declan and Aidan walked up. "We're jus' try ta make sure you're getting your money's worth, Mrs. Fuller." Aidan said.
"Well, you boys certainly did wonders on my yard." Looking around, Mrs. Fuller admired the boys work. They had shoveled out all the snow in her drive way and on her cross walk, and removed any dead plants that were dirtying the otherwise perfect white snow. Her lawn didn't exactly look like spring time, but in this weather, it was close enough. She handed both boys there checks. "I can't thank you enough."
"Well ya could start by head'in back inside." Declan said as he led her towards her front door. "It's still pretty cold out here. I wouldn't want our favorite customer to get the flu."
"Oh you boys are so nice." A small blush rose in her wrinkled cheeks and she brushed back a few strands of grey hair. "It's amazing that none of you have a little lady yet."
"Oh many have tried!" Jimmy yelled while packing more stuff into the truck.
"And failed." Aidan finished.
Declan merely shrugged at his cousin's comments. Mrs. Fuller didn't fail to notice.
"Oh, it seems that our Declan here doesn't agree with you two." She gave him a knowing smile. "Has someone special caught your eye? Hmm."
"It's chilly out here. You should really head back inside now." Declan continued to usher Mrs. Fuller to the door.
"Are you getting her anything special for Valentine's Day?" She continued to press. "Get her jewelry. Women always love jewelry."
"I'll keep dat in mind." He said quickly. Looking over his shoulder, he could see both of his cousins were giving him funny looks.
"My husband always got me jewelry. But the best gift my late husband gave me was a hand carved burette that I used to pull back my hair whenever I cooked him his favorite meals."
Damn it. If the old lady would move faster.
"Mrs. Fuller, you really should head back inside." He urged her.
"Oh all right," Mrs. Fuller slowly began to shuffle her way through the door. "But only because you keep insisting on it. I don't know why you young folks keep treating me like I'm fragile."
Declan gave her a small reassuring smile. "We just want ta make sure our favorite customer stays around ta keep paying us."
She only laughed at his joke. "You young boys have a good day."
"Good day Mrs. Fuller." Declan didn't wait for her to shut the door. He stepped off the patio and quickly headed towards his car. Aidan looked at him with a confused face and was about to say something when Declan fixed him with a stern look.
"Not a damn word."
Once everything was packed and ready to go, everyone jumped into the front of the truck and buckled themselves in. Just as Declan was putting the keys into the ignition, Mrs. Fuller opened the front door and leaned out.
"Don't forget what I said. Women love jewelry." She gave a small wave before heading back inside.
Declan didn't waste any time backing out of her driveway and heading onto the road. He didn't fail to notice that both of his cousins were giving him strange looks. They had both been there when Mrs. Fuller all but accused him of being in a relationship, and they were probably waiting for him to give some sort of explanation. Well...he didn't have one. He didn't have to explain himself to either of them. His relationship with Cheyanne was his business. It didn't concern them.
The silence in the truck was causing tension to build amongst the three boys. In an attempt to make the car ride less uncomfortable, Declan turned on the radio. For a few moments, the music worked on calming his nerves; that is until he realized the song that was playing was a popular love ballad that they had been playing since the beginning of February.
Damn lovey dovey holiday.
After about five minutes, Aidan leaned over and shut off the radio.
"Ok, what the hell is go'in on?"
"What are ya talk'in about?" Declan countered.
Aidan scoffed. "Don't play dumb wit me mate." He turned in his seat to look at his cousin more directly. "What was Mrs. Fuller go'in on about back thar?"
Declan merely shook his head. "No'ting."
"That wasn't no'ting, Dec."
"Yeah," Jimmy joined in. "It was weird how she was go'in on about jewelry and girls and stuff. Why was she telling you all that, Dec?"
He didn't answer.
Aidan intently stared at his cousin before something finally clicked.
"I 'tink our cousin might be hiding some'ting from us Jimmy." He gave a cheesy smiled. "Some'ting important."
A little too excitedly, Jimmy jumped up from his seat to look at his cousin over his brother's shoulder. "Hiding what?"
When Declan visibly tensed in his seat, Aidan knew his suspicions were correct.
"Declan's got himself a girlfriend."
"What!" Jimmy practically yelled in Aidan's ear. "You've got to be kidding me. Declan wit a girlfriend?" He laughed. "I can hear wedding bells already."
"Shut up." Declan scolded.
"Come on mate, who is she?" Aidan asked.
By this time they had already pulled up into their trailer plot. As quickly as he could, Declan shut off the engine and snatched the keys out of the ignition. Kicking open his door, he ignored his cousin's pestering questions, and instead headed towards his caravan. His cousins always seemed to know just what to say to piss him the fuck off. Any other time he would be able to deal with it. But right now he didn't have the time or the patience. He had to go pick up Cheyanne soon, and he wanted to take a shower and changed before seeing her.
Walking up to his home, key in hand, Declan went to unlock the door. Unfortunately, he was so pissed off that he fumbled his keys while putting in the lock and dropped them. He tried to recover them quickly but by the time he grabbed them and unlocked the door his cousins were right behind him.
"What's the big deal, Dec?" Aidan asked him. "She's just a girl, not some big government secret."
"Yeah, Dec," Jimmy chimed in. "Your act'ing as if some'ting is wrong wit her."
At that last comment, Declan snapped around and looked down at both of them. "Tha's none of your business."
Aidan almost felt the need to jump back. He didn't know what had gotten into his cousin. "Stop being so defensive, will ya. What is it about this girl that's got you on edge that you can't even tell us who she..." Aiden lost all train of thought. He and Declan were so close growing up that they might as well have been brothers. Aidan knew Declan's personality and mannerisms. He could be a proud bastard when he wanted to be. If Declan was dating somebody, he'd definitely be the one to gloat about it. He'd be talking about how great she is, how smoking hot and clean she is, and how she was the perfect Traveling girl. But he wasn't saying any of those things. He wouldn't even say her name.
"Who is she, Dec?" Aidan asked in a forced whisper.
Declan could tell his cousin wasn't in a playing mood anymore. Which means he must have connected the dots somehow.
"Who is she, Declan?" He asked again. Taking a moment to think back on the last couple of months, Aidan tried to think of anyone that Declan could have been involved with. As far as he knew, there wasn't anyone Declan had hooked up with since that night at the disco.
Oh. Fucking. Shit.
"Are you wit that girl from the club?"
Aidan didn't fail to notice when Declan went stiff.
"What girl from the disco?" Jimmy asked.
Declan and Aidan had completely forgotten that he was there. They were too busy having their own personal stare down to notice.
"Go home, Jimmy, tell ma I'll be there in a few."
"Ahh," Jimmy whined. "Why can't I stay?"
"Because me and Declan have something...important...to talk about." Aidan fixed his little brother with a hard glare that Jimmy knew meant business.
With one last grunt, Jimmy turned and headed to their house, dragging his feet all the way there. As soon as he was out of ear shot, Aidan turned and looked at his cousin and sighed. The two of them had been through so much together. Both had been there when their houses had been torn down and they had been forced to move. They shared so much together, and told each other everything. At least, he thought they shared everything.
Declan could tell by the look on Aidan's face that he was more than pissed off. His facial expression spoke volumes. He didn't just feel angry, he felt betrayed.
Stepping aside, he swept his arm out in welcome. "Come on. There's some stuff I got to talk to you about."
"Damn right you do." With that Aidan walked up the steps and into Declan's small home.
Looking around, Aidan had to admit that his cousin picked out a nice place for himself. At the moment, the two of them were standing in the kitchenette area. It was fully stocked, with a fridge, dishwasher, small stove and oven, and a sink. Off to one side of the caravan, a master bedroom was separated from the rest of the area by small bathroom. On the opposite side there was a small sitting area with a table. Overall the trailer was one of the best Aidan has seen, with a little bit of space for someone to move around comfortably in.
"I don't tink I ever toll d'ya how much I liked yar place." Aidan mentioned.
"Oh," Declan nodded his head and closed the front door. "Uh thanks."
"It's a bit big though don't ya tink?"
"Probably." He smiled a bit. "My dad actually said da same ting a while back. He thought I bought it because I'd finally found a woman to settle down wit."
"So he knows?"
Declan's small smile dissolved away. "No, he doesn't. No one does."
Aidan's frustration only peaked further. "Dec...What da hell are ya doing here, mate? Tell me because I'm at a loss. I mean," he paused a moment to run his fingers through his hair, "you were always da on ta say dat it would be a mistake to get involved wit country folks. You use to say that all they ever want ta do is hurt us, an dat they'll never respect us."
"I know what I fucking said."
"Then what are ya doing wit dis girl?"
"Honestly...I haven't got a clue." He shook his head. "Things are just different wit her. She's different."
Aidan was thoroughly confused now. "What do ya mean?"
What did he mean 'what do ya mean'? How else could he possibly explain it? Aidan knew he wasn't exactly the sentimental, emotional type. He barely even understood his own feelings for Cheyanne. So how the hell was he supposed to explain his feelings to his cousin?
Declan stepped over and leaned back on the counter next to his cousin. "None of the traveling girls 'round here have been able to peak my interest lately. I walk outside, and I see dem all, and they all just look da same ta me. But Cheyanne, she's not like da others. And I like dat. I like the way she dresses, and the way she walks. I like the way she talks. The way she talks back..."
"Wait," Aidan had to interrupt. "Ya let her talk back ta ya?"
Declan shook his head and waved off his cousin. "No, not like dat. It's not like she's questioning mi manhood or any'ting like dat. It's more like she's challenging me; making me wonder what kinda man I want ta be."
He turned to his cousin. "I guess in a way, she's making me feel more like a man. And I really like being dat man for her. I know it probably doesn't make sense ta ya but...no woman has ever made me feel that way, and I like dat she does."
Aidan looked at the foreign emotion covering his cousin's face. Now this was something he'd never thought would happen in a million years. Not to Declan, anyway. After all these years, his cousin had finally fallen for a girl. Hard. And for a country girl no less.
"Ya love her?"
Declan's head snapped up. "What! No. No...I don't know."
"Well judging by da way ya go on about her, it sound to me like ya already know da answer." Aidan wiggled his eyebrows and gave Declan a knowing smirk.
"Well if I did," Declan jokingly shoved Aidan on the shoulder before passing him to get to his room, "I certainly wouldn't tell you."
"Aww," Aidan pretended to make a pouty face. "Come on mate. Why not?"
Declan stripped off his jacket. "Cause you'd tell." He spoke over his shoulder. "And I don'a want ya to ruin mi reputation as an ass kicker."
That comment caused Aidan to let out a snort. "What reputation?"
Declan raised his eyebrow at his cousin. The look was clearly meant as a warning, thought it didn't really phase Aidan. He just kept giving Declan a cheesy grin. Noticing the time flashing in neon colors in his microwave, Declan cursed under his breath.
"Great. Now I'm late picking up Cheyanne." He quickly pulled off his shirt. "If'n she's late getting ta work, I'm blaming you."
"Ya drive her ta work?" Aidan was curious about that.
Declan gave Aidan a quick nod before walking into the bathroom and turning on the shower. "Almost every day, if I can."
A light bulb went off in Aidan's head. "So dat's where ya've been running off ta in da afternoons."
Declan was rummaging through his drawers looking for clean clothes when he replied. "I didn't t'ink you'd notice."
Aidan shrugged. "I just always thought ya were still practicing at da gym or some'ting. Yar mom is the one dat's been taking notice."
That caused Declan to pause in his movements. Standing up slowly from the pile of clothes he'd collected on the floor, he cautiously walked back into the main area.
Aidan nodded. "Ya can't blame her for noticing t'ings like dat. She's yar mom. It's her job ta worry about ya."
A small aching feeling began to form in the pit of Declan's stomach. He hadn't meant to worry his mother. He honestly didn't even think his absence would bother anybody. Apparently he was wrong.
"She just wants ta know where ya've been." Aidan said. "Ya have got ta tell them soon. If yar serious about dis girl, then it shouldn't have taken dis long for ya tell tell dem."
Well damn. Cheyanne had been urging him to do the same thing for the past few weeks. Now his cousin was riding his ass about it.
"I will. Trust me. I'm just waiting for da right moment is all."
Aidan stared at him for a good moment before shrugging. "Ok."
"Good." Declan turned back and headed towards the small bathroom. The water would be warm by now.
"Now if'n ya don'a mind, I need ta be getting ready." He turned back and stared at his cousin, who had yet to move from his spot in the kitchen. "Ya plan on seeing me naked?"
Aidan raised his hands in defense and took two steps back.
"Dat's what I thought." Declan said. "Now unless ya intend ta be washing behind mi balls, I suggest ya get out of mi house."
Aidan laughed but relented. "Fine. Fine. I'll just be outside waiting for ya."
That caught Declan's attention. "What do ya mean?"
Aidan was by the front door when he answered. "Well I thought I'd got wit ya to pick up Cheyanne."
The hell he was.
"Oh no. Ya are not going wit me."
"Dec, come on. She's got to meet da family sometime. Might as well start wit me." And with that Aidan walked out if the trailer without waiting for Declan's reply.
Declan couldn't do anything else but grunt and return to his hot shower. As much as he hated it, his cousin had made a good point. Cheyanne had been wanting to meet his family. Better it was Aidan then someone else.
Cheyanne was just putting on her shoes when her phone got a text.
Hey dove. I'm outside.
She typed back. Ok, be down in a sec.
Grabbing her purse she quickly scanned her room to make she sure hadn't forgotten anything. Satisfied, she stepped out of her dorm and walked down the hall towards the stairs. She was a few flights own when her phone buzzed again.
Be prepared. I got a friend wit me.
Cheyanne stopped mid step. A friend? What kind of friend? Declan had never bothered to introduce her to anybody before. Now here he is showing up with someone just out of the blue. That was just so unlike him. There must be something special about this person.
Cheyanne silently scolded herself. Why the heck was she complaining? Hadn't she been urging him to introduce her to some of his people? Why was she acting all paranoid?
Because you're afraid of making a fool of yourself, she inwardly thought. His family was very traditional, and she feared she wouldn't be able to meet his family's expectations. Normally things like that wouldn't matter to her. For the better part of her life, she didn't care what people thought about her. But this was different. Declan was special to her, and she didn't want to ruin her chances with him.
Finally reaching the bottom level, Cheyanne took a deep breath before pushing open the exit door and walking outside.
The winter air was frigid, and she still hadn't quite gotten use to the temperature change. She wrapped her jacket covered arms around her, hoping to conserve some warm. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the light, but once she did, she quickly noticed Declan parked in his normal spot. And he wasn't alone.
The guy standing next to Declan was definitely tall, but not as tall as him. Even though he was mostly covered by his jacket, she could tell he was well built. The two men together was an intimidating sight. Cheyanne slowed down a bit as she walked closer to them.
When she was close enough, Declan smiled down at her and leaned in to place a kiss on her cheek.
"Hey there, dove."
"Hey you." She smiled pleasantly back up at him, all the while still aware of the man standing just a few feet off to the side.
Declan gave her a quick once over. "Ya look nice."
"Thanks." She said softly.
The conversation pretty much died after that. Each person was hyper aware of the other as they stood together in a stiff circle. Cheyanne was clearly a little hesitant around Aidan, and Declan was at a loss as to what to do about it. Aidan, the only relaxed person in the group, observed the young couple.
God, the thought. There both clueless. Their definitely perfect for each
Removing his hand from his pocket, Aidan extended it towards Cheyanne.
"Hi, I'm Aidan. Declan's good looking cousin."
The joke invoked a small laugh from Cheyanne. Now that she was standing in front of them, upon closer inspection, she could see a few similarities between the two men. They both seemed to have the same build. Both had the same broad shoulders, and they both shared the same forehead.
Cheyanne gave Aidan's hand a good shake before letting go. "It' nice to meet you. I'm Chey-"
"Oh, I know who ya are." He switched his gaze over to Declan. "Yar the girl Dec has been sneaking 'round wit."
Declan visibly tensed. "Aidan." He warned.
Aidan ignored him. "Ya must be pretty special." He continued. "Declan usually doesn't waste his time on most girls. He's more of a grab and go type a guy."
"What? I'm just making sure yar girl here knows what she's getting herself into."
Cheyanne decided to play along. "Any jilted lovers I should be worried about?"