Happy Independence Day!
5th of July
A 6 Days Holiday Coda – follows on the heels of 6 Days to Get Lucky
“What are you doing?” FatBoy’s breath behind my ear sent chills up my spine.
“Watching.” I replied quietly, trying not to betray the arrival of my man as I leaned against the portico entrance at the back of Frisson. We stood in deep shadow, sheltered by the building. The rest of the parking lot was pitch black except for the glow of a few scattered votive candles, feebly fighting back the night.
“Is that Blake?” FatBoy rested his chin on my shoulder, settling a hand on my hip, one long finger discretely pointing to a lean figure looming over a handful of kitchen staff and most of the bus boys, twenty feet away.
“Yep, thus the “watching”. I think he bought out Joe’s Fireworks stand and brought it all back for the staff to play with.”
FatBoy gave a low whistle and I resisted the urge to snuggle back into him when he pressed his lips against my neck.
“You’re back early. How was the picnic, and your Gran?” FatBoy was about eight hours ahead of schedule, not that I was complaining. As I spoke, I kept my eyes fixed on the mayhem unfolding before me while FatBoy slipped his finger under the waistband of my jeans finding skin.
He slowly rubbed a circle, his voice a low rumble that sent heat rushing through me. “Her fried chicken is always worth the drive, but the fireworks were ahead of schedule so I didn’t need to stay late.”
“She was spitting nails over something my father said in court last week—so she lit him up and smacked him down before we finished our pie. I snuck out while he was in the den sulking.”
One finger became two, became three.
“Speaking of which… I brought you a piece.”
I barely noticed what he was saying until FatBoy snaked the other hand around, offering me a foil covered plate.
“Is it Cherry? I love cherry.”
He gave a quiet laugh.”No, pecan. I keep forgetting you’re an alien transplant to the South… we harvest the nuts from our trees—it’s tradition.”
“Nuts are good…” I tried not to sound disappointed. “…But cherry is very patriotic.”
“Pie is very patriotic. Apple pie is very American. Pecan pie is very traditional. So don’t look a gift pie in the mouth, Nicky, or it might disappear…”
I was about to launch into a dissertation on the merits of stone fruit pies over ever other type, when a loud whoosh erupted.
“Oh fuck!” It was Juan stumbling backwards, dragging a busboy in each hand as he went.
“Back! Back!” Blake was on his feet, laughing as everyone scrambled out of range of the lit Roman candle, spinning wildly on its side across the parking lot.
Juan and Carlos chased after it, kicking it between them, away from the line of parked cars, in a parody of soccer. They danced around it until the firework sputtered and died.
“He’s already caught his pants on fire twice.” I nodded toward Juan as he came jogging up, victorious. I offered him the fire extinguisher and he waved it away, giggling.
“Hey Davis. Happy 4th!”
FatBoy abruptly stepped clear of me. “It’s the 5th, actually—3:00 am to be precise, and time for all the little firebugs to go to bed.”
Juan paused, looking back at what was left of the fireworks, then he turned to me with a salute, ignoring FatBoy—he knew which one of us to keep happy. “Aye! Aye! Captain!”
He sprinted away yelling. “Last call! Light ‘em if you got ‘em.” In the mad scramble that ensued, I handed FatBoy the extinguisher. “You’re gonna need this.”
I tried hard not to smirk at the blue eyes widening in alarm. “Wait! Where are you going?”
“Home, to do my patriotic duty…” I lifted the pie plate to show him. “Figure you have half an hour before I get to the last bite…that is if you plan on getting any.”
I strolled away, laughing.
Behind me FatBoy was already stepping into the parking lot, shouting orders over Blake’s protests.
As I drove away I gave FatBoy fifteen minutes, tops, before he was at my door—barely enough time to stop for whipped cream.
It was going to be a very happy 5th of July.
by LE Franks