Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah
Chapter 5

        "She what?!"
        "Yeah, that was pretty much the universal reaction when we found out too."
        "ButÖwhy?  I mean, I thought Nicky and Sheryl were happy together?"  AJ asked, pacing around the kitchen.
        "We all thought that, AJ, but we were wrong," Brian said, sighing.  He gazed into the coffee cup on the counter in front of him, then sipped it slowly.  He held his hands around it, keeping them warm.  He bowed his head as AJ stopped pacing and leaned on the counter across from him.
        "And you, whatís eating you?  You look like little Brian would if Mommy didnít buy him the teddy bear he wanted for Christmas," AJ said sarcastically.
        Brian looked up and felt a wave of tiredness wash over him, the strength leaving him to fight against him.  "Truthfully?  Sarah and I havenít been together for nearly a year and its driving me insane.  We barely see each other anymore, Iím always coming in the door as sheís going out and the only time we actually are in the same room for more than five minutes together its when weíre both dead tired and trying to sleep.  I can barely hold her anymore, its like weíre perfect strangers."
        "Wow, a year?  Man, and I thought that leaving Andrea for this week was going to be hard.  One year?  How on earth did you survive?"  AJ asked, clearly amazed.
        Brian shook his head and looked down at his cup again.  "I donít know, actually, but I know everytime I wanted to do something with her, she was too tired and falling asleep on her feet, or vice versa.  We tried to be together a lot, but it just doesnít work.  Today, we were both in the mood, but people kept interrupting and she didnít want us to get caught, so she left the subject, if youíll pardon the expression, hanging in the air.  We need each other, AJ, but we just canít."
        AJ started pacing again and Brian studied his coffee, watching as it swirled around slowly until it finally stopped.  He sipped it again as AJ stopped pacing and stood in front of him again.
        "Bri, you want a night alone with Sarah, right?"  He asked.
        Brian nodded wearily.  He glanced at the clock and sighed, it was only eight-thirty and he was already exhausted.
        "And in order to do that, youíd either need everyone in the house to clear out, or for you and Sarah to get a room somewhere, right?"
        Brian nodded again, wondering what he was trying to get at.  "AJ, if youíre saying that Sarah and I go to a hotel and spend the night, youíre wrong, we canít do that.  First of all, that would be like tossing Katie and Brian in my momís face and running.  Second of all, Sarah will refuse me taking her anywhere for more than a few hours, she hates being away from the kids more than necessary.  Third of all, its impossible, we canít, we just simply canít."
        AJ shook his head.  "Brian, you need some time alone with Sarah before your relationship ends like Nick and Sherylís did.  You both have to keep your sanity, otherwise, whatís the purpose of living?"  He asked hypothetically.
        Brian looked at his friend curiously, pondering the thought.  "AJ, since when did you get so smart?"  Brian asked him finally.
        AJ smiled his mischievous smile and pulled out a stool from beneath the counter.  "Since I married Andrea, she made me think harder than Iíve ever had to, and let me tell you, it actually comes in handy a lot," he said.  "Now, Iím staying at the Sheraton downtown, but Iíd be willing to give it up for one night when Jackie cooks and I get to have a real meal for the first time since I visited my mom in Orlando during the summer.  Iíll stay here over night and watch Katie and Brian while you and Sarah go have a night out.  Iíll explain things to Jackie, she wonít mind."
        Brian started shaking his head.  "Oh, no, donít talk to my mom about this.  I may talk to her about a lot of things, but one of them isnít my sex life.  I donít mind you staying here, and I thank you for the hotel room, but donít tell my mom any of this."
        AJ held up his hands.  "Ok, ok, calm down, I wonít.  Now, Iím sure Nicky wouldnít mind helping me out if I need it, Maggie and Brian get along pretty good and will probably occupy themselves all night."
        "Iím not worried about Maggie, Brian, or Katie.  I know theyíre in good hands with you, Iíve seen you with them before.  What Iím concerned about is getting Sarah out of the house.  Thatís not going to be any easy task," Brian said, interrupting AJ.
        AJ nodded.  "Ok, then we need a plan, a plan to get Sarah out of the houseÖ."

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