“Thanks, no. Unfortunately, this is the only meal I can prepare without intervention. Every man needs one thing he can prepare for the woman in his life.”
“For Fred, it’s steak and potatoes,” Deirdre said. “Not fancy, but he grills a great steak. I’ll need to call him!”
“I did, already,” Corin said. “He’s pulling in an area supervisor to take over the job and he’s heading home as soon as he can get a flight.”
“Thank God,” she whispered, gasping a little.
“It’s all right, Mom,” Burl said, hugging her gently. “You’ve got us and Eoin. And Aaron. We’ll take care of you.”
“Nothing like having your husband around, though,” Vanessa said, understanding Deirdre’s reaction completely. “You’ll be fine here with the menfolk. Do you need me to help with anything?”
“I really need to pee,” Deirdre said.
“I’ve got it,” Eoin said. “I’ll help you to the bathroom. You can manage to pee on your own?” He raised a beautifully sculpted brow.
“Yes, Mum. I can pee by myself.” She touched his cheek. “You’ve got to show me how to arch your brow like that. It’s gorgeous.”
“I like the lip liner,” Vanessa said.
“Drag Queen 101 will begin after dinner. Is your handsome hubby expecting you?” he asked Vanessa as they helped Deirdre rise.
“How do you know he’s handsome?”
“Because a woman as gorgeous as you would not marry a dog.”
“There’s plenty,” Aiden said with a grin. “Invite him over.”
“Really? Is that okay?” she asked Deirdre.
“Totally okay. We’ll have plenty, even with the Vacuum Brothers at the table. Give him a call.”
“Thank you. We won’t stay long.”
Deirdre nodded and eased into the bathroom. She had crutches, but Eoin was holding them hostage, knowing she would overdue if he allowed her to have them. Once she was done, she was helped to the recliner, this time by Burl and Aiden.
Dario arrived about twenty minutes later, carrying a big, pink cardboard box—the kind bakeries used. “I couldn’t come without a contribution, so I picked up this.” He wouldn’t let them see what it was, but put it in the refrigerator. “I’m Dario Escobar, Vanessa’s husband.”
“Told you he was handsome,” Eoin said, waving. He’d washed off his makeup, but his hair was still in a sloppy bun.
“I know you! Angelique! Love the show, man. It’s amazing. You ever seen her act?” Dario asked Deirdre and Aaron.
“Once,” Aaron replied. “Simply astounding. You should be in Vegas.”
“Thank you! I like it here, though. It’s more fun being the big fish, even if the pond is tiny. Somewhere like Vegas, I’d be a tiny little fish, in a huge ocean of performers. Besides, I don’t imitate anyone, I’m me.”
“Better that way,” Dario said. “Anyone can say they’re a female impersonator, but most of them aren’t any damn good. A true drag queen, with her own image, now that is cool.”
“Thank you. Angie and I are flattered.” He did the modest half bow.
Deirdre’s phone rang as they were sitting down to eat. She told everyone to dig in and answered. It was Fred.
“I’m having trouble getting a plane. Who knew St. Paul to Daytona was such a popular flight! And don’t even start me on Orlando. Insanity.”
“Didn’t think of that. I will. How are you?”
“Sore, but fine. I miss you.” Her voice caught.
“I miss you too. I’ll be home if I have to drive to Wisconsin for a flight. Honest to God, the way it’s going, I might have to. Ah, here’s Sanford. Oh, good Lord, the flights are ridiculous! Can’t put a price on you.”
“Be sensible. I’m here with a phalanx of protectors. Don’t get a ridiculously priced flight. We can’t afford it.”
“You’re right. I’ll see what I can find. I might have to wait a day.”
“Okay. Food’s getting cold.”
“I love you. Be safe.”
“I will. I love you, too.”
She hung up, knowing he would keep saying farewell until her meal went cold. She had her mother hen moments, so did he.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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