Cody nodded, blushing. “I’ll do my best, sir.”
“Jesus, don’t call me sir! I’m Kai’s age, man!” He popped Cody’s shoulder and was impressed with the younger man didn’t falter or lose his balance. “You did good,” he told his sister in Spanish. “Don’t you dare make me an uncle until you’re at least twenty. Got it?”
Kai smirked, his eyes twinkling. He replied in perfect Spanish. “Um, Ed, maybe now’s a good time to tell you that Cody and I are fluent. Our Mom’s half Puerto Rican.”
“You couldn’t mention this small detail five minutes ago?” He continued in Spanish.
“Didn’t seem like a problem.”
“Gonna have to officially kick your ass one of these days, Kai,” Eduardo switched to English with a laugh.
“What brings you down here? I thought you lived in Daytona,” Kai asked, completely changing the subject.
“Staying with Mari while our folks are out of town for their anniversary. They’re on a cruise.”
“And wouldn’t take me!” Marianna protested.
“Baby, it’s their thirtieth anniversary. They don’t want a kid along. They gonna be getting busy….” He playfully thrust his hips.
“Eddie!” She swatted him again with the broom.
“Would you for fk sake quit that?”
She hit him again. “Not if you talk like that.”
“God, I’m supposed to be the parent! Stop. Seriously.” Ed took the broom away.
They worked quickly, getting the shutters up. They gathered whatever equipment might be worth stealing, locking it in the room with the noodles and other pool stuff.
Ed allowed Cody to kiss Marianna goodbye—on the cheek for about four seconds. But it was better than nothing.
“We’ll see you Friday,” he said. “Me and my girl will go along.”
“Oh, I was gonna take them,” Kai said.
“Then we triple date. Me and Kali are going, too.”
“Eduardo Constance! You’re too much! Talk to him, Javier!” Marianna fussed.
“Baby girl, you’re lucky I don’t lock you in a chastity belt,” Javier told her. “I got seven younger sisters,” he explained to Kai and Cody. “Some guy even blinks in their direction, I’m all over him like flies on shit.”
“I promise to behave!” Cody held up his hand. “I’m a nice guy!”
“Even nice guys got balls,” Javier replied, hitching up his pants. “Remember that.”
The three of them left. Cody groaned.
“Those guys are gonna kill me.”
“Get over it, Cody. They’re no worse than we are. Worried about her virtue.”
“God, is this how those other guys feel?”
“Only until they get out of striking distance. So, you’re still taking her out, right?”
“Of course. She’s awesome!”
Kai punched him. “Good man. How fast can you run a mile?”
It took Cody a moment to realize his brother was teasing him. “Dammit, Kai! That’s not even funny!”
“I think it’s funny as hell, cause it’s not me. Let’s see what’s going on inside.”
The children were already gone. Only the office staff and the teachers were there.
“I told them we’d call them with information,” Paisley told Kai. “Not sure when that will be, exactly.”
“Not to worry. You did great. Thank you.” Kai held her close, kissing her. “That’s a wrap, folks. Like Paisley said, we’ll call when we know something. Thad told me there were some major repairs to the lines, so it could be a day or two before this is resolved. Meanwhile, enjoy the extra time off, with pay.” Brad had told him to reassure everyone.
They closed up and headed out. Cody drove his mother’s car home, and they went to the house to check on her. She was asleep when they arrived. Brad was watching the news.
“It was a bad storm,” he told them, muting the TV. “A band of tornadoes laid waste across the state. Started on the west coast and kept coming. Each storm band spawned another. We’re lucky to have power. Kai, you and Paisley need to check her place, and make sure it’s got power. If not, get her things. She can stay here until this is resolved.”
“Thanks, Brad.” Paisley gave him a kiss on the cheek. “When we get back, I’ll fix dinner. I know Nina won’t feel like it, and it will give me a chance to do something to thank you.”
“I was gonna order pizza….”
“Would you rather have pizza or homemade lasagna with all the fixings?”
“Put that way, lasagna!”
When they got to apartment, they found that power was out all over the complex. A call to the power company told them that it would be at least 24 hours before power was restored. Kai cleared out her freezer and refrigerator while Paisley packed. They were loading up the Jeep when his phone rang.
“Crap, this is what I was afraid of. It’s Thad. Yeah?”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes