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From This Day Forward – Chapter Eleven

Welcome to From This Day Forward, book ten in the Operation Quickline series. It’s Sid and Lisa’s big day – their wedding. But in the weeks leading up to the event, something strange is going on. The only thing scarier will be their honeymoon. You can read the first episode here and see all the episodes that have run here.

That house in Beverly Hills had never looked so good as I pulled up in my truck. Sid and I had gone from the airport to the garage in the San Fernando Valley to get our own cars and put them back in the garage. Sid had just barely beaten me there and had the garage door open. Stella’s rental car was gone, however, and that was fine with me. We’d told Nick the day before that we’d be home that Thursday, but didn’t know when.

I checked my watch. Nick wouldn’t be home for another hour or so. Sid and I brought our luggage upstairs to our room to find a note from Stella that she had something she was looking into but would be back at the house by dinnertime. Downstairs, Conchetta pulled together a nice chicken salad for our lunch and said that she’d have dinner ready at the usual time.

Motley was ecstatic and a little whiny. Long John Silver glared at Sid as if she had felt deprived by the lack of his lap those few weeks. Fritz was outside and probably wouldn’t come in until dinnertime. I went to unpack, and Blueberry opened one eye from where she was curled up on the dresser, then went back to sleep.

I had just gone downstairs when I heard the shout from outside the front and a minute later, Nick bounded into the house and into my arms. Laughing, Sid came out of the office and got tackled next.

I do not know how Sid found the energy to play the organ at Holy Thursday mass that night, but he did. Although, when we weren’t at church doing the Good Friday and the Easter Vigil services, we pretty much laid around the house, writing thank-you notes for the wedding presents, sorting out packages from Europe, and telling Nick and Stella a little about what we’d been doing and had seen.

Sy showed up Friday afternoon. Stella got him from the airport and the two went off on several errands. Stella wasn’t saying what, though. Sid and I were too tired to care. Easter Sunday, the O’Malleys came to celebrate. My parents called from Tahoe, too. Presents were distributed and Sid and I had to talk a little about the Travel Club and how nice it had been.

It was fairly late when the O’Malleys left and Sy and Stella decided to spend the night at a hotel before flying out to New York the next morning. Finally, we had the house to ourselves. As Sid and I tucked Nick into bed that night, I told him the plan Sid and I had come up with on the plane home.

“You’re off school this week, so your dad and I want to take advantage of that and have a little family honeymoon,” I said.

“Cool,” said Nick.

“Yeah,” said Sid. “As Lisa and I traveled these past few weeks, we discovered that we needed to spend some time together figuring out who we were as a legally married couple. Now that we three are legally a family, we want to spend some time with you to figure that out as well.”

So, we did. We went skiing, biking along the beach, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, playing board games. We went out to Pasadena to celebrate Ellen’s eighth birthday on April first, but other than that, it was just the three of us. Which got me into trouble Thursday night.

Nick got an invite to go to the movies with Josh the next afternoon and I said absolutely not. Sid pulled me away into the office before Nick and I could start yelling at each other.

“Why not?” Sid asked.

“You know why not. This week is important for us.”

“I know.” Sid glared at me. “But did you have to unilaterally say no? You couldn’t have at least asked me?”

“I thought we’d agreed, just us.”

“Yes, we did, but that doesn’t mean you had to go and make the decision all by yourself. We could have conferenced on it.”

“We didn’t need to.”

“Maybe we did!” Sid’s eyes flashed. “I thought the idea of this family thing was that we work as a unit.”

“But this isn’t the sort of thing that Nick gets to make a choice on. It was something we decided because it’s important.”

“It’s one afternoon, and the issue is that we discuss these things, not just make decisions.”

“But I thought we had discussed this.” I blinked back tears. “I didn’t think there were going to be exceptions.”

Sid rolled his eyes. “Okay. You’re right about that part, but it would have been nice to be consulted.”

“I’m sorry. I should have.” I sighed. “It’s just that this time is the most important thing in the world to me right now.” I looked at him. “Sid, I wouldn’t have believed that my commitment to you and to Nick could have gotten any stronger, but it has.”

“Yeah.” Sid looked thoughtful. “It has for me, too. Which is why you said no, and why I wanted to be consulted.”

“And I guess that’s what being married really is. At least, for us.” I leaned my backside on my desk.

Sid took a deep breath. “And it’s going to take time for us to figure it out.”

“And when we do, it will change.” I looked at him. “But that’s the commitment, right?”

“Right.” He gathered me into his arms and leaned his forehead against mine. “So this is going to be our life now.”

“Yeah. I’m really looking forward to it.” I smiled, then kissed him softly. “Let’s go get Nick.”

Topic of the Day: What Else???, cont.

That family honeymoon we did was so great. Yeah, we were doing a lot of fun things, but it wasn’t about what we were doing, but being together that was so important. I remember Mom and Dad getting into a fight that Thursday night. Funny thing is, I don’t remember what it was about. We talked a lot about being a family that week, and what that meant, and how it might be something different for us, as opposed to other families. It wasn’t just the side business, although that did make things really different. It was also who we were as people.

And now, it’s yours and my turn to do the same, to build our little family, then figure it out again when and if a kid comes, then figure it out again as the kid grows up and moves away. I’m so excited and I can’t wait.

With all my love, Nick.

Thank you for reading. For more information about the Operation Quickline series, click here.

Please check out the Fiction page for the latest on all my novels. Or look me up at your favorite independent bookstore. Mine is Vroman’s, in Pasadena, California.

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