I came around from the safety of sleep. The smell of freshly brewed coffee, and amazing food filled the house. I felt someone sitting on the end of the couch by my feet. “Good morning sleepy head.” Steve’s voice greeted me. “Am I dreaming?” He laughed, and put on a seductive voice, “Depends, am I naked?” I laughed, opening my eyes. “Nope, and plus you’re too much like a brother to me.” He laughed again, “Oh trust me plenty of women do dream of me naked. Come on I’m hot.” I shook my head, “Someone is walking on high today.” He smiled at me. “Well you’re always naked in my dreams babe.” Peter called from the kitchen. Steve let his head fall back, as a burst of laughter poured out of him. I stretched looking around, “Where’s Alice?” I noticed her purse was gone. “She wanted to make some early morning gym class. Some girl, or guy or both have her attention. She waits at the back, and loves watching them stretch.” That was Alice; anything for a nice view of anyone’s ass.
“So we’ve cleaned the entire house. It wasn’t that dirty but,” Peter cut in, leaning the door way of the kitchen, “We put away your laundry. Oh and by the way cute panties and bras.” I turned red, like a maraschino cherry. “We changed the bedding in your room. So everything is washed, and now in the dryer.” Steve continued. “Girl I’m just saying, you’ve got some cute outfits to show off.” I’d lost the baby weight quickly. Thanks to breastfeeding, and pumping. “So I was thinking, well both of us came up with the idea. Shopping, and maybe get some lunch out?” Steve smiled eagerly. “Alright deal.” I smiled. “Come on people let’s eat.” Peter stood there holding the coffee mug with both hands, and raised an eyebrow at us. I groaned as Steve pulled me to my feet, “He’s channeling Martha Stewart.” I laughed as I entered the kitchen. “You’re just jealous because she and I connect on a deep emotional level.” I looked at him, “Jesus all you need is an apron, and a vagina.” Peter laughed, “Oh no, I can’t cover up my abs. I worked hard for these.” Steve shook his head, “He’s losing it. Every holiday season, he goes loopy. God come Christmas, he’ll be using the whole family to reenact the birth of Jesus.” I lost it at that image, and burst out laughing. Peter gave an audible, humph.
We sat down quietly to my kitchen table which was filled with food. There was such an assortment; I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted. “Sorry I went a little overboard. I’m used to making big breakfasts on the weekends for the family. Look at this way, you’ll have left over’s for the week.” I smiled, “Thank you, it’s appreciated.” I smiled, patting Peter’s hand. I picked up a piece of toast with strawberry jam on it. “You know that’s fresh, made by yours truly.” I looked at Steve, “He’s not channeling Martha, he is Martha.” We all started laughing. I took a bite of the toast, and closed my eyes savoring the sweetness. “Please don’t orgasm at the table.” Peter smirked, and I burst out laughing almost choking on the bread. “That’s the Esme I remember.” Steve said, and then continued eating. “So grocery shopping is on us. Sweetie no saying you’ll pass. You need to eat.” Peter looked at me, once again holding his mug. The reluctance that shared my mind, and body dug her heels into the ground, crossing her arms. She shook her head, and glared. Steve looked at me sipping his orange juice. My face must have been like some crazy movie scene where multiple images fly past our eyes. He set down his glass, “Hun where’s the Adivan?” I came back around, “Medicine cabinet.” He stood up kissing the top of my head, and left the two of us alone.
I quietly pushed my chair back standing up, and grabbed my plate. I walked over to the sink. “Mmm the things I’d do to you right now. You look amazing, and smell delicious.” I could feel him nuzzle his nose against my neck, His hand slid from my hip, around to my front slowly, gently sliding up my skirt. Clatter of dishes brought me back to reality. “Oh dear you’re blushing, and panting harder than a dog during the summer time heat.” Peter stood beside me smirking. “Shut up. I was just thinking.” Peter laughed, “So that’s what you call it.” I scowled at him. “Oh please baby girl, I read all the smut. I know the look. Don’t worry, it’s between us.” Steve walked in handing me the pill. I popped in my mouth, and left the two of them standing there.
I headed upstairs to take a shower. Hanging on the wall of the staircase was picture of Scott, and I in college. My mind wandered, “This is The Battle. We all unite as a school. Esme for once in your life, why can’t you be happy for me?” Charles asked. I was furious with him, “Because you ruined my happiness. Geez you got me on my back then disappeared. I then find you with your tongue down my cousin’s throat. That’s ok, you’re an asshole, and she’s a whore.” He grabbed my arm, “Listen I feel things with her, I didn’t feel with you, and I’m sorry.” I growled, “What a blowjob behind the bleachers?” He bared his teeth at me, “I’ve apologized. I love you as a friend.” I looked at him hand, “Past tense Charles. Guess the pregnancy scare was enough to push you away.” That stung just like I’d wanted it to. “Esme,” I yanked my arm away and took off. “Hope the team wins because they deserve it. I hope they win the game. I hope you screw yourself, and don’t make a win.”
I walked out of the bathroom, and looked at Scott’s dresser as I entered the bedroom. Boys had hurt me. I then found a man, who truly cared, and he was gone. I was flustered rummaging through drawers, and my closet trying to find clothes. “We’ll leave later on. Just relax ok.” Steve stood in the door way. I dressed with him standing there. I didn’t care if he saw me naked. He was there when Amy was born. I sat down on the bed, and looked at my rings. “You’re very quiet. What’s on your mind?” I smiled a little, “Ex-boyfriends, and dead husbands.” Steve sighed, “Which one?” I laughed, “Charles was an ex-boyfriend. Scott is my dead husband. So it leaves me with one ex.” Steve nodded, “Ah you refer to him as blowjob bleacher bastard.” I smirked, “Yep still hate that son of a bitch. Unfortunately he married my cousin. They’re always at family functions. I’m civil towards them, but it’s just hard.”
Shopping and lunch weren’t too bad. Mexican food, then we did the grocery shopping. Always eat before you shop for food. I learned that tip from my mom. She said, “You’re less likely to buy garbage if you shop on a full stomach.” So that’s how I usually did it. At lunch we had great laughs, and reminisced. “So remember on New Years when we at the skating rink.” Steve laughed. “Oh god, please don’t remind me.” Peter looked between us, “Ok I don’t know this one. Now you have to tell me.” I smiled coughing and caught my breath from laughing, “So Steve, Alice, and I were rough housing. We were the only ones on the rink, except for these three other guys. I went to shove Alice, losing balance and slid face down, full force across the ice. Well the three guys, standing on the side of the rink.” Peter covered his mouth, “Oh no.” Steve laughed, “Oh yes. It looked like a bowling ball taking out three pins. Scott and his friends got up. She knocked Scott down again.” Peter smiled, “That’s priceless.” I smiled, “That’s how we met the first time.” I smiled thinking back to the innocent times we shared. “You guys shared your first kiss on the waterfront. Right when the first firework went off.” Steve smiled at me. “So love at first sight?” Peter asked. I nodded, "Then we headed home, and I didn't see him again until the coffee shop." Peter looked me, "So you kiss this awesomely hot guy, then don't get his number." I shook my head, "Nope. I know what a fool. Luckily we met up at the coffee shop again." I went through a flip book in my memories of the life we shared together. All the first moments we shared. “Hey you ok there?” Peter looked at me. “Yeah I was just thinking about him. What else is new?” Peter and Steve held hands, and looked at one another longingly. “You guys are too perfect together.”
Once we got back to the house, we worked on putting away groceries. Steve and Peter worked quietly. The birth announcement still hung on the refrigerator. Both of them stood with me. Peter rested his chin on top of my shoulder. Steve held my waist, “Doll it’s ok to be angry. Take time to grieve. You can yell if you need to. Don’t bottle it all up though.” Peter kissed my cheek, “What if we get all these photos on the fridge in a collage? You could hang it up on the wall so nothing happens to them.” I smiled, “That would be great.” Peter clapped his hands together, “I will stop by the craft store with you Wednesday morning before you go to work?” I nodded, “Ok.” He was getting excited, “Dinner, and we can work on it together if you want. The kids would love to see you.” Steve smiled, “Abby, and Gabe have missed you.” I missed the kids, “Alright deal. Now I’m not trying to kick you out, but,” They smiled, “We need to get home anyways. Call us if you need anything.” I walked them to the door. “See you tomorrow afternoon.” Steve smiled, and Peter gave a quick wave walking down the stairs.
I locked the door, and turned around to face an empty house. A shiver slid down my spine, “Mmm a cold night, and a beautiful woman to make love to.” I smiled, “And I just happen to know a handsome gentlemen, I’ve been eying all afternoon.” He growled playfully, “Well then.” He scooped me up in his arms, and carried me up to our bedroom. Carefully he laid me down, and then hovered above me. “Oh what I want to do to you.” He leaned down, burying his face just below my jaw. He pressed his hips against mine. I could feel him growing with each movement against my body. The phone rang, “Seriously?” I yelled out. Good memories kept being ripped away when I needed them. I snatched up the phone on the third ring angrily, “What?” My dad’s slurred voice was on the other end.