Her kiss lit him on fire, making him aware of how much he desired her. The doctor had told him to be creative, but to keep the weight off his broken leg. Deacon decided that experimentation was fun.
Kacy drove him to work the next day. The playhouse was freshly painted both inside and out. The outer doors had all new locks as did those inside. The windows had been carefully pried open and slid up like a dream. The college students had already begun putting up the set and were planning to start painting, waiting for Deacon’s approval. Proud of their work, they stood by looking expectant. They had done a hell of a job and Deacon was impressed. He suspected that the construction crew had done a little of it for them, but it was really coming together well. It looked as good as he had hoped it would.
The rest of the theater had been completely cleaned out. All the old furniture was hauled out and replaced by new, more comfortable chairs. Deacon was pleased with how much they’d accomplished in such a short time.
“We didn’t want to disappoint you,” Mac said. “We wanted you to be proud of us.”
“I’m impressed! You guys rock! I feel next to useless, you don’t even need me.”
“Nonsense! You have to show the kids how to paint, not one of them seems to have a single clue how.”
Deacon knew Mac was exaggerating, but it felt good to be needed just the same. Yawning, he slumped into a nearby chair and propped his foot on the one next to him. Blinking, he tried to focus on the set, picturing exactly how he wanted it to look.
“Sleep well?” Mac winked at him.
“Not at all, really. Would you?”
Mac grinned, glancing at Kacy who spoke animatedly with the college students volunteering for lighting crew.
“No, can’t say I would. So, when you two getting married?” Mac asked quietly.
Deacon glanced up to see if he was kidding, but the older man looked completely serious. “Hadn’t thought about it, Mac.”
“You’ve asked her, though, right?”
Embarrassed, Deacon looked away, unable to meet his accusing gaze.
“You haven’t?” his whisper got a little too loud.
“Mac, with all that’s happened, I just hadn’t thought….”
“I hear ya. I can’t say I’d have thought about it either, under the circumstances. Don’t put it off, buddy. A lady like that, you don’t want to lose.” He moved away, leaving Deacon with his thoughts.
Deacon had toyed with the idea of proposing to Kacy. He just wasn’t sure if it would be too soon after Pete’s death to be considered appropriate. Then he realized he didn’t care what anyone thought. He wanted Kacy for his very own.
Feeling his eyes on her, she turned, stopping in mid-sentence. Puzzlement wreathed her face and she waved the kids away, walking over to him. “Did you need me, then?” That funny cadence with her questions made him smile.
“Kind of, it’s been about an hour since I last got a kiss. I think I’m going all weak in the knees.”
Grinning happily, she complied, kissing him soundly on the tip of his nose. “That better now?” She started to rise, but he held her hand gently, pulling her back to sit beside him. “Something wrong? Does your leg hurt?”
“No, nothing’s wrong. I’m just going to sit here and supervise.”
She gave him a funny look, but went back to work. He thought about what Mac had said. Why hadn’t he proposed? He’d considered it, but something held him back. Was it the feeling of wondering if this was another rebound fling? He didn’t think so, but never having had a good, secure relationship with a woman, he didn’t know. Maybe it was the idea that whatever he did, Pete had done first. Perhaps that was what held him back, fear of being once again in Pete’s shadow. He didn’t want his proposal to be anticlimactic.
“Hey, Mr. D!”
It was one of the college kids. They called him Mr. D and Dino Mr. S. Deacon focused on the group with a little difficulty. He was taking pain pills instead of having shots, now that he was out of the hospital, and they sometimes made him a little groggy.
“We need your mediation,” one of the girls said. “Andy says the flat goes here,” she had the others hold the flat in place. “But I say it goes this way, cheating the angle up a little to stage right. Which of us is stupid?”
Deacon laughed, rubbing his face to wake himself up a little. “Well, Missy, I’d hate to say either of you was stupid, but you happen to be right. It’s one of those angles I smoothed out for Kacy so it wouldn’t be so hard to light.”
“Told you!” She flounced off, likely to be insufferable the rest of the day.
Andy sidled over and squatted in front of Deacon’s chair. He had a pained look on his face as he stared at Missy’s ass in her low riding, tight blue jeans. She had a tattoo of a feather just above the line of her jeans.
“You had to tell her she’s right,” he shook his head in mock despair. “She’s gonna rub that in a really long time, you know that.”
©2021 Dellani Oakes