Snippet from Second Chances by B.D. Storey - Available NOW on KindleUnlimited!
I was only a few minutes late when I rang the doorbell at Josie’s. I chuckled as “I'LL GET IT” yelled from the inside. A few seconds later, the front door flew open, and Kaylin was looking up through the screen. She turned back, slammed the door in my face, and ran back into the house yelling “MOMMY IT’S MR. JACOBBBBB!”
I could only stand there and laugh. I could hear more muffled yelling before the door opened again and Josie ushered me in, her face a picture of exasperation.
“You want a six-year-old, low mileage, high attitude?” she asked. “I can make you a good deal.”
I simply laughed and kissed her.
“Can I think about your offer? Maybe over cheap pizza and watery soda?”
“You drive a hard bargain. I accept. Give us a few minutes,” she replied. I nodded as she turned back down the hallway.
‘Kaylin, get your socks and shoes on so we can go.”
“BUT I WANT MY RED PANDA SOCKS!” came wailing from the back bedroom before Josie was halfway down the hall, causing her to pause for a moment before striding into what must have been her daughters’ room.
“GET YOUR SOCKS ON NOW OR NO PUTT-PUTT!”
I started chuckling.
“You sure you’re ready for this?” I turned at the question to see Flora standing at the dining room entrance wiping her hand on a dish towel.
I shrugged. “Hi, Flora. It’s just putt-putt. I think I can handle it.”
“Is that what you think this is?” she asked, smiling at me, her eyes twinkling. I was a bit confused.
“I thought that’s what we were doing tonight?”
She laughed and stepped closer, putting her hand on my arm. “Promise me something?” she asked softly.
I arched a curious brow. “Sure.”
“Please don’t hurt her.”
I understood that she wasn’t talking about putt-putt. I put my hand on hers.
“I would never want to hurt either of them.” She smiled and patted my arm before heading back to the kitchen just as the girls were finally coming down the hall.
“Hi, Mr. Jacob!” exclaimed Kaylin. “Look!” I laughed as she pulled up the legs of her pants to show me red socks with what appeared to be white pandas. I looked up at Josie, and she rolled her eyes.
“Slight change of plans. Bethy’s now staying the night—,” she said.
“Wohooo,” chimed in Kaylin, interrupting Josie. “We’re gonna have popcorn and watch movies and stay up all night!”
“As I was saying,” Josie added, steering the bouncing Kaylin towards the door. “Pam is going to drop Bethy off with us at putt-putt, so I’ll drive my car and you can follow. We’ll never get the four of us in your truck. “
“Sure, works for me.”
Fifteen minutes later, we pulled up to Jake’s Game Shack, where we hooked up with Bethy and her mom. I stood back and marveled at the well-oiled machine of two moms transferring a kid from one sphere of control to another. I’ve had night maneuvers with highly trained soldiers fail to move as efficiently as these two moms. Sleeping bag, suitcase, favorite stuffed animals, car booster seat, and commands to be good, brush teeth, and a few other logistical marvels.
Josie finally caught her breath and did the introductions. “Pam, this is Jacob. Jacob, Pam, Bethy’s mom,” she said.
Pam’s smile was warm and her eyes held a twinkle of amusement.
“Pleasure to finally meet you,” she replied. “Her dad dropped her off the other night at Gordo’s with another friend of ours. She hasn’t stopped talking about the ball pit.”
Both young girls broke out in “GIRLS RULE, BOYS DROOL!”
Josie blushed, and Pam laughed.
“Mr. Jacob is dating my mommy and me,” piped up Kaylin. “Mommy said I don’t have to kiss him. I just have to play games and skee-ball and she would do the kissing. I still don’t want a baby brother. They’re gross.”
Josie’s face turned even redder, and Pam was obviously trying her hardest not to laugh but little ‘eeps’ were leaking out. I decided this was a conversation that I, as a male, had no business being part of, and opted for escape.
“Come on, girls, let's go get our putters and leave your mommies to finish getting Bethy’s stuff in the car.” I hustled the two girls away with them chanting “girls rule” over and over.
When we got to the counter, the girls quickly educated me on the pros and cons of buying the all-access pass versus paying for a round of minigolf. The acne-plagued young man behind the counter wisely kept quiet and let the two girls do all his work.
“If we get the pass then we can play lots of golf and do the games inside, and we get free sodas!” exclaimed Kaylin, bouncing up and down with excitement.
I tapped my fingers on the counter, giving them both a wry look. “But it’s more expensive than just buying one round and paying for the games and soda.”
“But we get free sodas,” said both girls together.
Josie was laughing as she came up to my side.
“Give it up, Jacob. Something to quickly learn about six-year-olds: Adult logic doesn't work. Best to pick your battles,” she told me with an air of wisdom.
I bowed to her superior knowledge and bought passes for everyone. The young man merely smiled and handed each of us one of those orange, self-sticking wrist bands to identify our status. He helped the girls pick out putters, which entailed a five-minute selection process on the ball color. Both girls wanted pink. Josie put a stop to it by handing them one green and one yellow ball and telling them both it was those or no putt-putt. They sulked and took the balls.
Luckily, it was a slow night. The girls wasted no time getting about a hole ahead of us. Josie seemed to be okay with it as long as she could keep an eye on them. Plus, it gave us a chance to talk.
“So, did you get in trouble with your mom this morning?”
She knocked her ball down past the clown and laughed. “My mom found it quite funny that she had to lecture me about making out with my dates on the couch. She thought she was done doing that after high school.”
I glanced over at her to find she was blushing. Damn, she was even beautiful when she blushed. I looked up to see where the girls were and saw them laughing two holes in front of us.
A putter poked me in the ass, and I scowled at its wielder.
“Hey, watch where you put that thing!”
“That’s my line,” she retorted, dancing back out of range of my putter. We were two swipes into a putter duel when the speakers squealed.
“Putters are for putting, not slaying dragons, wayward rogues, or dates who steal your fries. Please use them responsibly.”
We both laughed, red faced, and moved onto the next hole, returning our putters to their designated use.
By the time we reached the last hole, Josie and I were tied. She berated me when she caught me missing putts on purpose so she could win, and warned me to play for real or suffer the consequences. She may have been grinning when she said it, but the glint in her eyes told me she was serious.
The girls finished their round and were now bouncing impatiently at the arcade entrance.
The last hole was your standard steep ramp up to a large putting circle, nothing fancy. It was designed to be an easy putt to collect the balls and prevent folks from playing another round for free, assuming they didn’t skip the last hole and start back at the first hole.
Just as Josie was hitting her putt, I sneezed, causing her putter to jerk, smacking the carpet before it hit the ball. Her ball trickled about halfway up the ramp before rolling back down to stop at her feet.
She stared at me intently, her eyes little laser beams.
“Oh, sniff, I’m so sorry, Josie. Must have been a bug.” I made a show of wiping at my nose as if trying to dislodge something. She glared at me, not buying my excuse. She putted again, rolling her ball up the ramp and bouncing around the back before it settled within a foot of the hole. She would have an easy three. I waited for her putter to impact my skull.
Instead, she did the scariest thing possible. She looked me right in the eye and smiled. As I stepped up to the putting line, she kissed me lightly on the cheek.
“Good luck,” she told me, oozing sweetness and innocence.
As I lined up my putt, she moved behind me, snuggling up close to my right shoulder. Not close enough to mess with my swing but close enough I could feel her breath on my neck. I laughed to myself. Surely, she knew breathing on my neck, while pleasant, was something I could tune out.
I made a couple of practice swings before setting up like I was putting for real, just to see what she would do. She didn’t take the bait. I lined up for my shot and let my concentration drop to my putt. Just as my putter was moving forward, she struck. A light, breathy whisper caressed my ear.
“I’m not wearing panties.”
My putter slammed forward and impacted cleanly with the golf ball. The angle of the ramp provided the perfect launch platform, and we both watched as my ball cleared the back of the putting green as well as the six-foot fence on the backside of the property. The ball continued on a graceful arc into the woods. We heard several thocks as it rebounded off the tree trunks, like a pinball hitting bumpers.
As I watched, dumbfounded, Josie sashayed up the putting ramp to her ball. She calmly lined up her putt and sank it. She sashayed back to me and kissed me on the nose.
“Girls rule,” she said quietly. She strutted over to the two girls who were dancing and cheering for her. She gave them high-fives and opened up the door to the arcade. She paused and threw a glance back over her shoulder at me. She licked her lips slowly, winked, and followed the girls inside. Muttering to myself, I followed in defeat, hoping no one paid too close attention to my now-uncomfortable-fitting jeans.
Want to read more about Josie and Jacob, and see if his jeans fit right ever again? Check out Second Chances on KindleUnlimited today!