Deirdre and Fred both shuddered. “Thanks for the compliment—I think. Only one woman gets in my pants, but better left unsaid.” He kissed his wife’s hand. “What about Wendy?” he asked gently. “When will her body be released?”
“Soon,” Vanessa said. “Do you still want to claim it?”
“Yes,” Deirdre said.
“We’ll all pitch in, give her a lovely send-off,” Teague said. “And I’ll hook you up with the best in the business, at a discount.”
“Yeah. We take care of friends and family. Y’all are both now. You’ve been officially adopted by the McTeague and McMurtry clans.”
Eoin brightened. “From County Donegal, to the north?”
“The very one,” Teague grinned. “Don’t tell me.”
“I’ve got a McTeague or two in my family tree.”
“No kidding? But none here in the US?”
“Not a one. Why?”
“Because, I’ve got some cousins who would love to meet you.”
“They’re gorgeous,” Jasper added. “You will not be disappointed.”
“How would they feel about dating a drag queen?” Eoin asked.
“Probably wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Aaron said. “They’re pretty hard to shock, too.”
The extra company left soon after, though Aaron stuck around. He was under orders to stay close for the next couple of days. No one minded. They had a large house and everyone enjoyed Aaron’s company.
Since Fred was home, Eoin decided to go to work. Friday night was the busiest of the week, and he not only head lined, he hosted. He was going to drive himself, but Aaron insisted upon taking him.
“I don’t want you to leave the family,” Eoin said as he shaved.
Aaron stood in the doorway, talking. “They’ll be covered. Jasper and Nadeya are coming over. They’re leaving Baby Ray with Teague’s wife. They’ll be here any minute, and they’re bringing dinner, so you can’t use that as an excuse. You’re getting an escort whether you want it or not.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“Maybe, if you were in fighting trim. But they beat the shit out of you once, what makes you think they won’t do it again? And you’re still bruised. I’m going with you, that’s final.”
Bridling somewhat at the ultimatum, Eoin sighed. “Fine. You can come in and watch, if you like.”
“Thank you. I intended to. Glad we understand one another.” He patted Eoin on the shoulder and went to change.
True to their word, Nadeya and Jasper arrived with a huge meal, sent by Teague’s uncle.
“I’m good with guns, I don’t cook,” Nadeya said as she set things out. “You need a compound infiltrated, I’m your girl. Sniper in the church tower, I got ya covered. Whipping up an amazing meal for ten people, not my game.”
Deirdre laughed. “I love cooking for crowds, but not when I’m limping. I can shoot, and I mostly hit what I aim at, but I’m not the infiltrating sniper type. I think it’s cool that you are.”
“I think it’s cool that having a house full of drop-ins, doesn’t bother you.”
“You’re bringing food, I don’t care at all.” She paused, trying to find words to voice her fears. “You think something might happen tonight. To us, or to Eoin.”
“Not all of them stayed in jail. They’re rich and connected, and managed to pull the right strings. Word has filtered down, somehow, that there are people taking a stand, speaking up. We’ve got friends watching everyone, so please don’t worry.”
“Just saved the big guns for our besties,” Jasper said, snagging a carrot off the relish platter.
Nadeya whisked it away with one hand, twisting his fingers with the other. “Behave.”
“Ow….honey, ow. It’s just a carrot,” Jasper said, wincing when she let go.
“You need to teach me that,” Deirdre said. “It would come in handy at Thanksgiving.”
“Happy to.” She set the tray down and spent the next few minutes showing the move to Deirdre. “Works like a charm. You can do it with one or two hands—two is easier. Add a little more pressure and twist to it, you can break fingers like kindling.”
“Good to know. I hope I won’t have to use it.”
The meal was finally ready, and they all sat down to eat the best barbecue they’d ever had in their lives. There was chicken, ribs and pulled pork. All the sides they could imagine, including a huge mixed salad. There was plenty left over for another meal, after they had all eaten. The men cleaned up while Nadeya and Deirdre settled in the living room.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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