Person's thoughts are denoted with a *.
Chapter 3: Simply Irresistible
"Howíd you know what Nidia and Spike said, were you eeksdropping?" Brandon accused.
"Was I what?" their Mom leaned forward, a smile playing on her lips.
"Were you eeksdropping?"
She burst out laughing, "No honey, I was not eavesdropping." Her eyes took on a faraway look and a frown creased her lips, "No, I was elsewhereÖ."
"Uh guys," Stephanie asked timidly, walking up to the still cuddling Matt and Amy. "Have you seen Chris?"
"Canít get enough of me huh?" Chris gloated softly, only inches from her ear, as he walked up behind her.
Ignoring the goosebumps along her skin, Stephanie retorted, "Oh please, donít flatter yourself." She looked up into his clean shaven face, "Your suit is so bright it hurts my eyes." *Donít stare at his bronzed chest, keep looking up!* Stephanie thought to herself sternly. Stephanie swallowed hard, a lump forming in her throat, "Youíre such a jerk Jericho!" Stephanie shoved him in the chest and stormed off, slamming the screen door behind her.
"Iíve been called that lots of times!" Jericho yelled after her.
"Good, then it wonít be your last!" she threw back at him as she stumbled through the yard.
Matt looked in the direction Stephanie had gone then looked up at Chris. "I think you should go after her man."
"What?! What are you talking about?! If you think Iím going to go out there to comfort Princess Stephanie, then youíre sadly mistaken, IÖ"
Amy reached over and hit him lightly on the arm, "Not to comfort her you dummy, Mattís telling you to go after her to make sure she doesnít step in any of Pennyís holes." *Though if he does comfort her a bit, that wonít be a problem,* Amy thought to herself with a grin.
Chris looked a little sheepish and rubbed the back of his head, "Oh yeah, that." He half-heartedly jogged over to the door. "Stephanieís a big girl, Iím sure she can take care of herself," he grumbled as the screen door slammed behind him. "Stephanie," Jericho called out softly.
*There is no way Iím going to answer that cretin!* she thought furiously. Stephanie looked around her in the murky darkness, shivering uncontrollably, as the thought occurred to her that Amy and Mattís "backyard," was over an acre of land.
Jericho turned around, a ways from the house now, and saw everyone talking and laughing. He watched as Matt drug the huge, metal tub filled with water, onto the back porch. "Darn, heíd better wait for us!"
*I really donít want to miss bobbing for apples,* Stephanie thought, deciding to turn around and head back. As she made her way back, the bright lights of the house looked warm and inviting, and then it happened. "Aiiee!"
Jericho heard a shriek, "Stephanie!" he shouted frantically.
"Over here," she called weakly.
Jericho raced over, following the sound of her voice. Not seeing her, Chris demanded, "Hey, what is this, some kind of joke?" he demanded angrily.
"No!" she retorted from below him.
He looked down and put his hands on his hips, "Rolling around in the dirt again Steph, but whereís the guy?" he asked, his mouth splitting in a wide grin.
"Help me out of here, you moron." She reached up her hand. Reluctantly, he took it.
"So you really fell into one of Pennyís holes huh?" As if on cue, a rumbling bark startled them as a dark, bulky figure hurtled towards them.
"Ahh!" Stephanie screamed. Quickly, she cowered behind Chris, clutching his shoulders tightly.
"Calm down, itís only Penny, their Mastiff," Chris said easily. Penny sat on her haunches, happily licking Chrisís hand. "Such a big baby," Chris said with a smile.
"Only," Stephanie replied, raising an eyebrow.
"You know, it wasnít really a good idea for you to come out here, Penny doesnít know you. Itís a good thing I was here when Penny spotted you," Chris said gravely.
"So I suppose you want me to thank you now," Stephanie said haughtily, releasing his shoulders as she backed away from him.
Chris shrugged, "Whatever, but if you donít want to miss bobbing for apples, weíd better head back."
"Please continue!" the kids chorused excitedly.
"Youíre sure you want to hear more?" Dad teased, baiting them.
"More, more!" they chanted.
"Okay, but you really should be getting to bed soon," Mom said doubtfully, giving her husband a wink.
"No, no, please finish. It sounds like it might be getting romantic," Bridgett said, her blue eyes sparkling.
"If youíre sure, no falling asleep on us now," Mom said with mock sterness, waggling a finger at them.
"We promise, we promise!" they yelled, jumping up and down on their beds.
"As you wish," their Mother said with a smile.
Jericho and Stephanie started walking back to the house, with an excited Penny at their side. Thatís when Jericho looked down and noticed Stephanie limping.
"You really did get hurt didnít you?" Jericho asked, surprised. "You want some help?" he suggested casually.
"No thank you, Iím fine," Stephanie said coldly, pushing him away.
"Fine ice Princess," he growled.
A very confused Stephanie hugged her arms around herself, *Why is he being so nice all of a sudden? Iím not comfortable with it,* she thought, a puzzled frown on her face.
Suddenly, Chris grabbed her by the arm, stopping them both. "You know what, itís not fine Princess! You have no idea how beautiful you look tonight!" Without thinking, he wrapped his arms around her waist, crushing her to him. Chrisís lips descended upon hers, in a passionate kiss. She tried to push him away, to fight him, but he was impossible to resist. Stephanie wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him back furiously. Finally, Chris released her, "Was it good Princess?" he asked cockily.
"Yes," she said breathlessly, "now kiss me again!" Stephanie demanded.
"As you wish," he said with a smile, cupping his hands around her cheeks and neck.
"Wow, that was soo romantic," Bridgett said dreamily.
"That wasnít too bad," Brandon agreed.
"Okay, now itís time for you two to get some sleep," Mother said, tucking her two babies in, giving each of them a kiss on the head.
"Give us a kiss Daddy," the brother and sister chorused, reaching out for their father.
Smiling, he leaned over each bed to give each of his babies a kiss on the cheek.
"Sleep well and donít let the bed bugs bite," Mom whispered softly. She turned off the light and closed the door halfway.
In the dark of the room, Brandon whispered from across the room, "Would you turn on my night light?"
"Un uh, you can do it," Bridgett said matter-of-factly.
"Trash bottom, bag feeding ho," Brandon whispered ferociously as he scrambled out of bed.
"Mom, Dad," Bridgett screeched, "Brandon called me a trash bottom, bag feeding ho!"
"Sheís your daughter," Chris said with a smile.
Stephanie leaned her head against the wall and sighed, "See, I told you we shouldnít have told them what insults we hurled at each other."
"You, you, man-whore!" Bridgett hissed at her three-year old brother.
"Mom, Dad, Bridgett called me a man-whore!"
"Heís your son honey," Stephanie smiled sweetly, as they trudged back to the kids room.
Chris whipped open the door, "Absolutely no name calling, you both know better!" Chris bellowed.
"But you guysÖ" Brandon started to protest.
"We were younger and masked our feelings behind the insults, and we do not say those things to each other anymore, is that clear?"
"Yes Daddy," they chorused.
"Good, now be good little boys and girls and go to sleep. Remember, weíre going over to Auntie Amy and Uncle Mattís house tomorrow. You guys can play with Gwendolyn and Becca."
"Oh goody, the twins!" Bridgett clapped her hands excitedly.
Brandon frowned, "Oh man, Iíll be surrounded by girls. Will Uncle Jeffy and Aunt Nora be there?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes," Stephanie said smiling.
"Alright, Iíll get to play with Andrew and Peter!"
"Thatís right, so you two be good and go to sleep," Stephanie admonished.
"Yes Mommy." With that, Stephanie closed the door.
She sighed and buried her face in her hands, "Tomorrow is going to be such a big day, with our kids, plus the two sets of twins over at Matt and Amyís house. Shoot! We almost forgot about the baby shower for Trish and Perry."
"We?" Chris raised an eyebrow.
"Oh shut-up!" Stephanie replied, a smile tugging at her lips. "Fine, so you remember, Iím glad one of us does."
"Hon, whatís wrong? You seem a bit overemotional lately. Besides, you know Iím only giving you a hard time." Chris looked at her worriedly. "Perhaps I could help remedy the situation," Chris said with a gleam in his eye. Without warning, he scooped his wife up in his arms.
"Chris, what are you doing?" Stephanie asked, unable to hold back her laughter.
"Working on Y2J baby #3!" he cried, pushing open their bedroom door with his foot.
As he gently laid her down on the bed, Stephanie caressed his face lovingly, "Already did."
Hovering over her, he looked at her startled, "What do you mean?"
Stephanie, concentrating on unbuttoning his shirt, not bothering to look up at him, replied, "What do you think it means silly?" she giggled, a smile lighting up her face.
He planted a kiss on her forehead, "Trash bottom, bag feeding ho," he whispered softly.
"Manwhore," Stephanie said softly, as her lips met his.