Saturday, 16 December 2017

The porgs! I need more of them! (No Last Jedi spoilers, I promise).

Payback was this morning, when I woke Lochlan out of a sound sleep.

Let's go see Star Wars. 


Oh, come on. If we don't someone will tell us what happens and it will be spoiled. 

Yeah. You're right. 

So off we went for a sub-eleven in the morning show. Who eats popcorn at eleven in the morning? We do, that's who. I didn't even have coffee today. I'll just have two tomorrow.

Glad we didn't wait and have the plot spoiled, now that I'm on the other side. I would have spent the whole film waiting for the spoiler-parts and instead got ambushed with how good it was, how well it fit in to the timeline and how glorious one particular shot was that took my breath away.

But now it's done and it feels like Christmas is upon us, because there's always a Star Wars movie in the holiday somewhere.

It's playing now and it's worth the trip in spades. I couldn't say that about the last four Star Wars movies so take note.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Bitchy McSnorkynose (I didn't make it up, that's what he said when he didn't know I was coming down the steps behind him since I'M UP NOW, LOCHLAN.)

Burn me alive
Set me on fire
And watch me die
Burn me alive
Watch me ressurect
Right before your eyes
Lochlan managed to sleep for twenty-odd hours and he was up at the crack of some miserable hour raring to go.

Want to go out for breakfast, Peanut? I want to sleep. I feel terrible, as I think Matt brought his cold to the point. I snorgle a response from under water and Lochlan laughs. Jesus, he's so fucking loud and chipper I may have to sleep elsewhere just so I can get some rest.

Later. Eight. Or ten.

But...eggs Benedict.

I hate you.

No you don't.

Bring them to me here.

Do I look like your servant?

You brought me breakfast in bed last time.

That was last time. I'd prefer not to be apart for a while.

What's a while?

The rest of my time off.

Why is this?

So you don't get ambushed by the others.

Ah, you talked to Matt?

In a way, yes.

Did you talk with your fists again?

No? Why would I do that?

It's how you and Caleb talk to each other.

That's different. We're heathens.

What is Matt?

Some outsider who hurt Sam.

Is this where you finally admit you love Sam?

If I do will you come to breakfast with me, Bridgie?


Hey, I can carry you to the truck and you can eat in your jammies.

Jesus. Should I call you 'Daddy' while I'm at it?

Fuck. I hope when I come back at ten you're less cranky.

Promise. (he said TEN! GOODNIGHT!)

Thank fuck.

Great. Now I'm wide awake. Yes to pajamas in restaurants and yes to extra hash browns, please.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Two truths and a man.

(Inwardly I felt as panicked as he looked. Outwardly though, I was ice.)

Matt's here. He seems to be a hallmark of the seasons changing these days, as he and Sam refuse to commit but can't be apart. This is maddening and heartbreaking and yet it's exactly what happens when there are complications in a relationship.

Complications like...bees.

You've been with Sam for almost a year now. Matt lobs it gently toward the water as we walk. It's a flat sentence and so it skips once, twice...three times before sinking below the surface.

He's keeping track.

I wait for him to drown me in the surf, taking me out of whatever imaginary competition or obstacle he thinks I am but he walks on, picking carefully over the rounded wet rocks that force us to consider each step we make with an undeserved concentration.

(It's a metaphor. Roll with it.)

I don't respond. I wait. I'm a good listener when you need me to be.

What is he to you? What are you to him?

Comfort. Faith. He's a constant. He's a lighthouse.

You've got ten guys who could fulfill that role. Why'd you have to touch Sam?

It's a broken question from a broken man.

He touched me first. 


You weren't there for him.

I was working.

You don't put work first in this life. Maybe Sam and I have seen that and we know it. Maybe you're just learning it now.

What does the future look like, Bridge?

If only I knew.

He stares at me. Why do they all stare at me? How do I do this if you're in the way?

I'm not in the way.

Yeah, you are.

Then I'll move over.

What if I want you to leave and not just make room?

Sam made his wishes known over and over and you ignored them. The one thing I'm not going to let you do is hurt him. We just finished fixing him. 

Oh, is that what you think you've done? 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Got what I wanted. Thanks Santa! (I mean Schuyler).

Lochlan came home early this morning. I swear he would have outrun the plane had he been able, and when I made it to arrivals he was in a flat run toward me before I saw him, almost knocking me over when he reached me. His carry-on meant we didn't need to wait around and we were off. I handed him his truck keys, grateful he wasn't too tired to drive, and he offered breakfast if I hadn't had it already. I had, and he ate on the plane so we settled for drive-through coffee which I promptly forgot about and it's still out there in the truck because I don't get coffee on the go, I can barely handle it at home where I'm not moving.

He looked tired but had a productive trip and then shortly before lunch he went to see Schuyler for a rundown and Schuyler gave him the rest of the year off (!) and a health Christmas bonus too (!!), for going on such short notice and fixing everything.

Lochlan was fixated on the bonus but I was ecstatic at the thought that he now has almost three full weeks to not think about anything, not do anything and just enjoy Christmas with Ben and I, as Ben is going to work less, though still some and really besides Lochlan coming home that's the best news of today.

Well, that and I remembered what a latte was finally so I didn't order one by mistake and then go aw fuck! 

(They're half milk and I don't have milk unless it involves Lucky Charms.)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

He doesn't want anyone to think he's a big softy. I don't honestly give a shit.

(I'll write about him if I want to write about him.)

Daniel and I split a bottle of wine while Schuyler and Benjamin made pizza for us and then after a few spontaneous carols Ben said we were heading out. That surprised me as I brought my pajamas with me and my phone charger but I didn't protest. He said we were going to take a walk so I could sober up. We hugged the boys and left them with most of the pizza for leftovers (a total surprise since Ben is a bottomless pit) and off we went, hand and hand into the night, heading out their front door and up the road, the long way around in the fog.

He put my hand in his pocket with his hand still around mine for warmth. He walked slow, so I could keep up. I was warm, flush with the glow of too much Shiraz and not enough food but this wasn't a dinner about food, it was about company and it was nice to have a normal dinner party and it was nice to leave it on a good note.

I don't get to see you so much these days.

You don't surface much. 

Sorry, Bee. Big projects. That's why Loch-

He's not even home. 

I know. I took a break so you wouldn't be alone. 

I'm glad. I squeeze his hand and he squeezes back.

Lochlan's back tomorrow?

Yeah. Hopefully. Unless there are problems. 

Naw, he'll be back. 


That's why I didn't let you stay next door. I wanted you to myself for a night. 

All you have to do is as-

I can't ask Lochlan to give up more than he has, Bee. 

Ben, you don't have to-

It's tough. You know? I gave you back and I wasn't ready. 

I'm right here. 

Stick around okay?

I'm not going anywhere, Ben. 

We don't talk to each other enough. We don't tell each other I miss you. We should. 

I woke up this morning half-crushed by his arms holding me against him. His skin wasn't cool as usual. Instead it was broiling. He didn't sleep like a vampire, he slept like a Jacob, he didn't disappear in the night or in the morning and it was like the first days when we were trying to sort out being together when I thought it was forever and he thought he was a bookmark. I still refuse to see it like that because every time he's around we fall a little deeper, we find our way back.

Don't disappear when he comes home. My plea is sleepy but clear in the dawn. Don't leave again. 

I won't, Bumblebee. I'll be here.

I mean all the time. 

When am I supposed to work then?

You were supposed to stop. 

I didn't stop, did I?

No, you didn't. Instead you vanished into thin air, which is a pretty incredible feat considering how big you are. 

And you're still drunk. How do you remember these conversations so well?

I have to concentrate so hard so I can hear you so they just stick in my brain like toffee. 

Sounds delicious. 

No, it's very noisy and I don't like it but it's the way I am.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Plus none.

There he goes, swinging from nice back to not, from acquiescing back to making the rules, from being sweet and kind to making sure I've earned all of these bruises as punishment for whatever it is that he maintains I've done.

Which is nothing but tease him slightly and it was more than enough to send him into a tailspin of dark misery that he saw fit to share and I needed to run from and didn't because we have a trauma-bond.

Hell, yes we do.

Caleb keeps vetoing every single thing I suggest, after he asked me for a Christmas list. Every single thing I offer he counters with something outlandish, expensive or inappropriate. Finally he throws up his hands and asks me to stop, that he'll find something and that I'll like it.

Just because.

Then why did you ask me? This is so stupid, I think I've decided it's the hill I'm going to die on today.

Because I thought maybe you might be reasonable. 

My suggestions are reasonable for what you-

Oh, please finish. For what I am to you? Think hard before you answer, Neamhchiontach, for I like to reward you not for what I am to you but for what you are to me. 


Hell. Yes. 

Too bad you can't buy your way out of this. 

It is. 

Well...too bad! 

Oh, I see we're just going to slip into some childish frustration now. 

Best I've got. 


Okay, I'm leaving. 

Why leave when we can fight our way through dinner?

I already have dinner plans. 


Danny and Sky. We're making pizza. I'd offer to bring you along but they specifically said threesome. I say this just to watch his ears  light up and burn. They said nothing of the kind.

(It's implied, though.)

Does Ben know you're going? (Lochlan is away. Yesterday's sweetness was a going-away party. Not for more than a few days but I am well-supervised for his absence and I miss him enough to cry already.)

Yes, of course. Now I'm just annoyed.

Maybe I'll send them some instructions and they can talk you into something nice for Christmas. They appreciate the finer things. 

Good luck with that. 

Good luck with your dinner. I'll watch for your return. 

Don't bother. I'm staying for a sleepover. 

The face he made was enough of a Christmas gift for the next fifty years of my life. I grinned back.

Adios, Diablo. 

Don't throw Spanish in on top of everything else, he whispers.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Absent frosted Jesus.

I made it through the year and I did not even collapse
Gotta say thank God for that
I'm torn between what keeps me whole and what tears me in half
I'll fall apart or stay intact

With tired eyes I stumble back to bed
I need to realize my sorry life's not hanging by a thread
At least not yet
Lochlan started a fire and came back to bed early this morning, then left once again, returning with cane-sugared doughnuts and very good coffee spiked with Irish cream. I woke up then, when my body sensed the sweetness level rising in the room exponentially.

We ate our breakfast while watching The Legend of Frosty the Snowman on his iPad, and when it was over he asked if I wanted to get up and go to church or stay in bed maybe through lunch, that we could probably find another Christmas movie to keep us busy or if not maybe something else to do besides. I grin with my sticky face back at him. We should probably stay in and finish off these sheets, I'm thinking, because there's sugar everywhere.

He nods. I'll let Sam know we won't be in church.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A commune (you know, like Alcatraz or the Hanoi Hilton).

Bridget this is work that has to be done. It's as much for your privacy as it is to maintain our investment in this property. You saw the assessment. We're sitting on a goldmine here and it's only going to increase in value-

I have a question. 

He looks startled but recovers quickly. Go ahead. 

What if I wanted to leave? Could I?

What do you mean? 

It's an easy question. 

Jesus. People we don't even know come here and put these ridiculous ideas in your head as if you're a prisoner here-

Am I? 

He turns and looks at me for a long time and then takes both my hands in his own as he sits against the back of the island. We're at eye level when he does this.

Bridget. It's safer for you if you stay with us. We'll look after you. I've explained this over and over again. I've showed you what happens when you go out on your own. This is just the way it works. 

So what you're saying is no. That I can't leave. 

You're not a prisoner here-

What would you call it? 

A brotherhood. 

I thought we called it a Collective. 

Only in front of you, Neamhchiontach. 

Good to know.

Friday, 8 December 2017

(Already reimbursed and everything.)

The round table (core group) meeting got a little heated last night and I may have pulled rank, deferring the whole renovation plan until the spring or possibly later, (however long I can stall. Like forever is perfectly fine with me.) much to the unchecked relief of virtually everyone except Dalton, who once again wandered into the room in his pajamas and asked what was going on.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

We can simply get a contractor instead. 

Not for this. 

I stared out the window while they debated. My own reflection stares back from the dark, surrounded by lights. Ransom was an error. Based on name alone they shouldn't have hired him, but he came well-recommended and was brought in from out of province, which was why he was always here. He had nowhere else to go, in town just for this project. They should have let me hire someone based on interviews instead of just forging ahead. They don't know men the way I know men, and he walked in with a keen overreaching awareness that I picked up on instantly and then revealed his hero complex way too soon. I am a liability, I don't need any others and he scared me with his interest right off the bat.

It wasn't until I pointed that out that they scuttled the plans. Apparently wanting to leave the bones of the house alone wasn't a good enough reason, but being afraid is.

Maybe we can paint, I offer to the groans and exasperated expressions around me. Lochlan snorts and gets up. Yeah. Maybe we can paint. 

But later in the dark when he leads me upstairs he asked me what went wrong. He wasn't there, all he has to go on are everyone else's deductions on why Ransom isn't coming back.

He was pushing his way in. He asked me if I was being held here. He could see the marks on me. 

Maybe there shouldn't be marks on you. I wouldn't have acted different if I in his shoes. This looks insane from the outside, Peanut. It only makes sense to the Collective. No one we bring in to do the work is going to behave different. 

Then we need to present it differently. You and I will book the work and the brother-in-law will deal with the deals, because there's no reason to have PJ and Duncan and Ben at the table. We'll just go over options with them privately. 

So we goofed. 

Yeah, we goofed. 

No harm, no foul, Bridge. 

But his words were the same as Ransom's and they make me think, as Lochlan pulls me down into his lap, forcing my arms around his neck and my head tightly into the space between his shoulder and his jaw as his hands slide around my hips in the dark.

Am I being kept here? Is everything okay? If it doesn't look right the outside world, does that make it wrong?

It isn't wrong, Bridgie. Lochlan reads my mind as he loosens my deathgrip from around his shoulders, pushing me away and down on my back before coming back in close so that he can hold me in his arms. It isn't wrong.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The rescuer.

I was up early (Lochlan had to go out early to work and I couldn't sleep after he left) so I went over to August's to see if he was up and making espresso (he was). I figured I could beat the crowds, if you know what I mean.

I was wrong.

On the way back, blowing down the heat of my cup, I ran smack into Ransom, who was exiting his car. I didn't know he would have to be onsite every day or I would have already vetoed this, but they can't get the changes sorted out so until they do, my kitchen seems to be their office.

We haven't been formally introduced. He extends a hand as his own name rolls off his tongue as if he's used to impressing women. That surprised me slightly but I don't acknowledge it. Instead I tell him my first name and shake his hand briefly.

So you are the owner of this beautiful property. They talk about you constantly. I'm actually having a little bit of a hard time sorting out the dynamics in this house. 

Such as? 

Your husband is Caleb? I was under the impression that he lives there. He indicates the Boathouse.

I was under the impression that you're here to oversee the new designs and coordinate with the contractor. Not ask questions about my personal life. 

I just wasn't sure who was officially in charge of this property.

That would be me. 

But Caleb is responsible for payment. 

That's correct. 

Have I upset you? Look, I didn't mean to, I was present for some of the conversations about the property and it went from confusing to impossible to tell who lives here and who does not. So I'm there trying to take direction from six different people and none of them actually live here. I need you to sign off. 

They live all here. Well, across the five different buildings.

How many families? 

Just one.

Bridget, I don't know what I've walked into here-

A design job? A big renovation? If you don't want the work or it's a conflict of personal morals or something you can be excused-

-Are you okay? Are they..keeping you here? Do you need help, is what I'm asking?

She's fine. Oh, there's Schuyler. My perpetual guardian angel. Always close at hand.

Ransom is staring at Schuyler. Is Caleb in charge or isn't he? 

He's financing this, so yes, he is your boss.

Bridget, go inside. Oh, there Caleb is now. I think the question period is finished for now. 

Ransom turns to look at Caleb and his face breaks into a goofy smile. Hey, no harm, no foul. What did I do? Get too close to her? I'm just trying to find the chain of command here. 

I told you on the first day who you would be dealing with. Bridget is not on that list. 

She's the property owner-

Then we'll make sure she signs off on all of it. I'm a lawyer, I understand you need to cover yourself.

That was the last I heard, as I came back inside, followed by Schuyler, who left Caleb to deal with Ransom.

I take a sip from my cup but my espresso is cold. I make a face and Schuyler matches it as I put the cup in the microwave for a minute. 


Avoid him. 

I've actually been trying to! I didn't expect him to be here at eight-fifteen in the morning.

True. He won't be here much longer if he keeps up this curiosity. 

I'd be beside myself trying to figure this out if I were anyone coming in. They can't help it. It's extremely unusual. 

Schuyler stares at me so long I begin to squirm. Finally he speaks and it took so long it startles me. You're right, Bridget. I'll give him a cursory explanation and see if it resolves his interest. But you stay away. Might want a little break from Caleb too. Ransom only asked you if you were okay because you're covered in bruises. 

I'm fine. Just clumsy. 

Jesus, it's me you're talking to, Honey. Don't sugarcoat it, I don't have a sweet tooth. 


For girls. 

Oh, liar once more. I grin as he calls me a brat and shoos me out just as Caleb and Ransom come in to start work. Don't have to tell me twice. I'm gone.