May I have this Dance Chapters 20-21

Chapter Twenty

Brooke

After Chase left, Brooke grabbed the bag that held all of their changes of clothes in it and walked into the house. She went into the bathroom and changed out of her swimming suit into a pair of capris and a short-sleeved cotton top. She hadn’t been sure if Chase was staying after the pontoon ride, so she had chosen something that looked nice on her. Her hair had grown long enough for a ponytail, so she pulled it up off her neck.

Brinley was in the kitchen with her mom and Michelle. Brooke handed the bag to Brinley.

“Here’s your clothes, Miss. Go ahead and change.”

            “Why can’t I stay in my swimming suit?”

            “Because it has to be washed. You can put on clean clothes. We won’t be going back out on the lake.”

            It was raining hard, but there was a roof over the back deck, so her dad had the grill going. Michelle’s husband was standing out there with him, beer in hand.

“Where’s Devon?” Brooke asked.

            “He took the boys upstairs to play video games.”

            The attic had been useless when her parents bought the house. They had remodeled and turned it into a game room/playroom for the grandkids.

            “I guess he can change when he gets down here.”

            “I don’t know why you make such a big deal about it,” Michelle said. She was still wearing her swimsuit, although she wore a tank top and shorts over it.

            Her mom was mixing up a potato salad. Brooke recalled that Irene had made potato salad at the going away party for Baylee. She also remembered that Irene had upset her when she said she hoped Chase had not misplaced his trust in Brooke.

            “So, Chase is hotter in person than I thought,” Michelle said.

            Brooke blushed. “I think you embarrassed him today.”

            “Not to mention, you upset Todd,” Violet said.

            “I’m sorry. I think it’s the teenage crush. Every girl in school had a crush on him. I wasn’t immune to his good looks.” Michelle sighed. “I guess I’m not immune to them now.”

            “Michelle!”

            “Relax. I’m not going to try to snatch him away. Believe me when I say Todd is enough of a man for me. Even after ten years, he still makes my heart go crazy.”

            “Of course he does. I still feel that way about your dad when he catches my eye.” Violet added, “But even as an old married woman I have to admit that Chase is a fine specimen of male muscle.”

            “Mom!” Brooke was laughing now.

            “How do you stand it, when he gives you the full effect of his smile?” Michelle asked.

            “I admit, he makes my heart go crazy.” She used her sister’s words, which made them all laugh.

            “Seriously, he couldn’t take his eyes off from you today. I never thought he would be interested in anyone again. Lisa hurt him pretty bad.”

            “I’m not discussing Lisa with you,” Brooke said in a firm voice.

            “But he has told you about her?” Michelle persisted.

            “Yes, he has. All of it.”

            The slider opened, and Todd carried in a platter of hamburgers. “These are for the boys.”

            Michelle’s boys did not eat steak, and Devon preferred hamburgers if given a choice.

            “I’ll go tell them the food is ready,” Brooke offered. “I need to find Brinley, anyway.”

            Brinley was upstairs with the boys. She was playing with a horse ranch that had been Brooke’s and Michelle’s.

            “Are you kids ready to eat?”

            Her nephews dropped the remotes and scampered down the steps. Brinley and Devon walked over to Brooke.

            “I think Josh and Maddie had fun today, don’t you?” Brooke asked.

            “I think Josh liked it,” Devon said. “He’s a good swimmer.”

            “Are you going to marry Chase? Then I could be Maddie’s sister.” Brinley’s voice was loud with excitement.

            “Oh, you think you would like that?” Brooke patted Brinley’s head and smiled. “You should have seen how much your Aunt Michelle and I fought growing up. Sisters aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”

            “Still—” Brinley started.

            “Let’s go eat.”

Chapter Twenty-One

Chase

School started back up on Tuesday. Maddie was willing to have Chase braid her hair, so there was no reason to meet at Brooke’s in the mornings before school. Maddie begged to be dropped off there, and according to Brooke, so did Brinley. Even Josh grumbled about having to ride the bus again.

            “We’re not going to impose on our friendship with Brooke,” Chase insisted.

            His mom had made a lasagna on Monday and left it for Chase to bake. They ate lasagna on Tuesday, and leftover lasagna on Wednesday.

On Thursday he cooked spaghetti.

            “Are we getting pizza tomorrow night?” Maddie asked.

            “Yes, like we do every Friday,” Chase answered.

            “Can we take it to Brinley’s house and eat it with them?”

            Chase wondered why he hadn’t thought of it himself. He’d talked to Brooke every night this week, and they agreed that they wouldn’t have a chance to get together. He’d been trying to come up with an excuse to see her, even if it meant the kids would go with them.

            “Josh?” Chase looked at his son to see what his thoughts were.

            The shrug, of course. But Josh didn’t look unhappy with the thought. “I guess, if you want to go. Devon’s all right.”

            Chase called Brooke after he put Maddie to bed.

            “Maddie asked if we were having pizza tomorrow night.”

            “It’s Friday, of course you are,” she said. He loved to hear her laugh.

            “She asked if we can bring our pizza to your house.”

            “Oh. Well, what did Josh say?” Of course she’d be concerned with Josh. She was just that way, caring like that.

            “He said it’d be all right,” Chase said. He didn’t add what Josh had said about Devon. Josh so rarely complimented anyone that he didn’t want to break Josh’s trust.

            “I’ll ask Devon. I know Brinley will say yes.”

            “Why don’t you do that, and let me know tomorrow?”

            “Right, I will be seeing you at the office. Unless Darrick sends you out on a job.”

            “He might, or an emergency might come up.”

            That is what happened. An emergency came up that he and Dustin had to take care of, a resident central air system that’d quit working. It took all morning to get it straightened out. He got back in the office before Brooke left, though.

            “Devon said it’d be all right if you come over. I’m sure we can find something on Netflix that we can all watch.”

            Chase picked up pizza. There were cans of pop left from Sunday. Devon had searched Netflix and found a Disney movie that was animated, but not a princess movie. “I think Josh would like this one,” he said.

            Josh approved the movie, so they all crowded into the living room and ate pizza in front of the TV. Josh and Devon sat on the floor, even though the chair was empty. Brinley and Maddie sat on the couch, with their respective parent beside them to watch out for spills. Brinley managed to miss the coffee table with her can of pop and it tipped over and spilled onto the hardwood floor.

            It gave Chase a chance to see how Brooke would react.

            She jumped up and righted the can. “You have to be more careful, Brin.” It wasn’t yelling, but she raised her voice slightly and sounded frustrated.

Chase watched as she reached for the napkins that she had earlier set on the coffee table, and stopped the spill from spreading.

“I’d better get something more absorbent,” she said. She went to the kitchen and came back with a dish towel and wiped up the floor.
            “You didn’t yell,” Chase said when she was seated on the couch again.

“I did,” she answered.

“You raised your voice. That’s not yelling.”

“She yells sometimes,” Devon said from his spot on the floor.

Brooke’s face turned red. “Doesn’t every mom yell once in a while?” She turned it into a joke, and Chase grinned.

“And every dad,” Josh spoke up.

“Guilty,” Chase admitted.

“Mom’s pretty cool about things,” Devon said. “She’s been a lot nicer since you started dating her.”

“Now I’m going to yell,” Brooke said, too embarrassed to look at Chase. “You shouldn’t tell my secrets, Devon.”

“I didn’t know it was a secret,” he said seriously.

“Dad’s been a lot nicer, too,” Josh said.

“That’s no secret,” Chase said. He reached over the girls’ heads and laid a hand on Brooke’s shoulder. “I’m happy, so of course I’m nicer.”

She blushed, but smiled at the words.

There was no cup of coffee after the movie, like Chase had been hoping for. Maddie fell asleep before the movie was over. Chase lifted her in his arms to carry her to the pickup. At the door, he leaned down and kissed Brooke. It was frustrating that they hadn’t had any real kisses for a couple of weeks.

Come back next Saturday for Chapters 22 of May I have this Dance.

Published by Carol Underhill

Author of Christian romance. Mom to 3 adult children and a spoiled Lab. Household includes several rescued cats. Loves flavored coffees and quiet mornings. Likes finding new authors on Kindle and binge reading all their books.

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