Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chapter 21

Mid afternoon, Tori bent over to pick up a towel one of the kids had tossed aside, when Richie walked by. The sharp sting caused by his hand had her quickly straightening. “Hey! What’d you do that for?”

The only response she got was his low chuckles as he continued on towards his bandmates standing near the pool. Sapphire eyes narrowed and she glanced around until she saw her nephew. “Jess, come here for a minute.”

After a whispered conference, Jesse gathered Colton, Pete, Aaron and Billy and disappeared into the house. When they returned, Dorothea noticed what they were carrying and stopped them.

“What are you doing with those?”

“Aunt Tori wants them to nail Uncle Richie.” Jesse grinned. “She said it’s payback.”

“Oh?” Curious, Dorothea followed the boys over to where Tori and Karin stood. “What’s up?”

Tori explained what Richie had done and reached for the water balloon Jesse held out to her. The ice cold water filling it almost froze her hands. Her grin could easily be described as evil as she hefted the balloon and narrowed her gaze on her husband. “Perfect.”

Dorothea and Karin glanced at their own husbands, exchanged a look and reached for a balloon.

Tori went first. Taking aim, she pulled her arm back and let it fly. The missile hit its target right between the shoulder blades and burst, sending freezing water over his shoulders and down his back.

“What the F.....!”

Jon and David bent over with their laughter...for all of about a minute before they found themselves in the same boat.

Straightening, the three men tried not to shiver as they turned in the direction the balloons had come from, only to see their wives, grinning broadly, high fiving each other.

“What was that for?” Richie demanded.

“Payback.” Tori replied rubbing her posterior where his hand had connected, pointing a warning finger at him when he grinned unrepentantly.    

“What did we do?” David whined.

“Call it preventative medicine.” Karin explained. “A reminder that you’re home now, not on stage, and you need to mind your manners.”

Dorothea nodded. “Gotta bring you guys back down to earth every once in a while.”

“Hmpf!” Jon snorted and motioned his friends closer. A murmured plan was devised and, as one, they turned and started towards their wives.

The women promptly ran in search of bucket, bowls, hoses...whatever they could find that would hold or spurt water.

The teenagers watched in awe as their parents’ joke turned into a free for all water fight. They waited a few minutes, then joined in. Their first targets were the parents not already involved – and Tony - who then returned fire.

Tori’s parents, Joan and the senior Bongiovi’s just sat back and watched. Joan sighed in mock exasperation. “Kids.”

Later that night, Tori walked into the living room of the guest house after checking the kids to find Richie sitting in an arm chair wearing his reading glasses and chuckling at a book he held in his hands. 

Hearing his wife approach, he glanced up. “They asleep?”

They’d been a little worried about how Lauren would handle the fireworks since she’d never experienced them before, but instead of screaming and crying, she laughed and clapped her hands. Michael had just shaken his head. “Figures. Just like her mother. Never reacts the way you’d expect.” The Bongiovi’s had just smiled – it was exactly what they expected from one of the clan.

“Peanut is. Sweetpea’s still talking to herself.” She closed her eyes and sighed. “Why don’t they make sedatives for children?”

“Come here. I have something for you.” He reached out for her hand.

“Wouldn’t we be more comfortable in the bedroom for that?”

Richie choked, amusement shining in his dark eyes. “Hussy! I’m not talking about that. I have a bedtime story for you. Come here and let me read it to you.”

Letting him pull her onto his lap, Tori curled against him, leaning her head on his shoulder, one fingertip tracing the cleft in his chin. “You look so sexy in those glasses.”

“Hush now and listen.” He kissed away her pout, cleared his throat and began to read.

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep

The windows are dark in the town child,
The whales huddle down in the deep
I’ll read you one very last book if you swear
You’ll go the fuck to sleep.

The eagles who soar through the sky are at rest
And the creatures who crawl, run and creep.
I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying.
Lie the fuck down, my darling and sleep.

The wind whispers soft through the grass hon
The field mice, they make not a peep.
It’s been thirty-eight minutes already
Jesus Christ, what the fuck! Go to sleep.

All the kids from daycare are in dreamland.
The froggie has made his last leap.
Hell no, you can't go to the bathroom.
You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep.

The owls fly forth from the treetops
Through the air they sour and they sweep.
A hot crimson rage fills my heart love
For real, shut the fuck up and sleep.

The cubs and the lions are snoring,
Wrapped in a big snuggly heap.
How come you can do all this other great shit
But you can't lie the fuck down and sleep?
The seeds slumber beneath the earth now
And the crops that the farmers will reap.
No more questions, this interview’s over
I’ve got two words for you kid...fucking sleep.
The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle
The sparrow has silenced her cheep.
Fuck your stuffed bear, I’m not getting you shit
Close your eyes. Cut the crap. Sleep.
 The flowers doze low in the meadows
And high on the mountains so steep.
My life is a failure, I’m a shitty ass parent
Stop fucking with me please and sleep.

The giant Pandolins of Madagasgar are snoozing
As I lie her and openly weep.
Sure, fine, whatever, I’ll bring you some milk
Who the fuck cares? You’re not going to sleep!

This room is all I can remember
The furniture, crappy and cheap.
You win, you escape, you run down the hall
As I nod the fuck off to sleep.

Bleary and dazed I awaken
To find your eyes shut, so I keep
My fingers crossed tight
As I tiptoe away and pray
That you’re fucking asleep.

We’re finally watching our movie
The popcorn’s in the microwave *beep*
Oh shit! God Damnit! You’ve got to be kidding!
Come on! Go the fuck back to sleep!

By the time he finished they both were wiping tears of laughter from their cheeks.

“Oh my God! Where did you find that?”

“This guy...Adam Mansbach... wrote it on his Facebook page about his toddler who wouldn’t sleep and it went viral. Now he’s published it. Isn’t it great?”

“It’s hilarious! And very true.” Tori chuckled and snuggled closer. “She’s got to sleep sometime.....right?”

“She will. Your mother – and Carol – said that you and your brothers went in spurts and it never lasted more than a week at a time.”

“Gee thanks. That’s soooooo encouraging.”

He pressed a kiss to her forehead and rubbed her back. “Look at it this way. She can’t get out of her crib, so she can’t get into any trouble, and she’s not screaming. So just let her lie there awake if she wants, but you get some sleep.

She knew what he said made sense, but she felt horribly guilty going to sleep while her child was awake.  But the baby needed her to rest and wasn’t taking no for an answer.

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