Craving Vera(3)

By: Nicole Jacquelyn


“Of course,” Amy said in surprise. “Vera was my best friend.”

I hadn’t even opened my mouth to reply when Farrah chimed in.

“Well, tell us,” she said, getting more comfortable in her seat. “But leave out the juicy details. I don’t wanna hear that shit.”

“By the time she told me the story, it had been over thirty years since it’d happened, and it’s been about that since I’ve heard it,” Amy warned, wrapping her hands around the steaming cup of tea she’d brought with her to the table. “So, I might not get the details right.”

“Any details would be cool,” Callie said, glancing at Farrah. “I’d love to hear that story, even if you get some details wrong.” She grinned. “Jesus, do you remember how she’d grab that old shotgun whenever anything was happening outside?”

I snorted, remembering the way Vera had watched suspiciously from her spot just beyond the clubhouse door, her shotgun notched in a groove Slider had carved for that purpose so her arms wouldn’t get tired. She’d been slender, bordering on skinny, but had a backbone of steel.

“Hell, she’d grab it if anything was going on inside,” Farrah replied, shaking her head. “Like she’d actually shoot it when there was any chance of one of ours getting hit by the buckshot it was loaded with.”

“Don’t pretend you haven’t done the same thing,” Lily teased her mom. “I’ve seen you.”

“Baby girl, when you’re smaller than most people in the room, you use any tools at your disposal,” Farrah said simply. “Our men know I’m not gonna shoot them, but no one else does. Just have to bring out the crazy eyes.” She widened her eyes and rolled them around a little, making everyone snicker.

“Ladybug,” Casper said, coming up behind her, “If you think we don’t expect you to shoot, you’re wrong. We just assume your aim is shit.”

“Eavesdropping, Cody?” she asked, tilting her head back to look at him. “Shame, shame.”

“Not my fault you didn’t hear me comin’ over all the cacklin’ hens.”

Farrah opened her mouth to reply, but Callie spoke first.

“I can still kick your ass,” she told her brother.

“Try it.”

“You really wanna deal with me?” Grease asked, only half joking as he squeezed Casper’s shoulder. He grinned darkly as he scooted around the table to where Callie was sitting and practically picked her up so he could sit in her seat and pull her onto his lap.

“Wait, why are you guys bugging us?” Rose asked, frowning. “We’re visiting.”

“Can’t visit with your dad?” Grease shot back.

“Can’t talk about dudes with my dad,” Rose replied just as fast.

“Is that what we were doing?” Lily asked, laughing.

“Amy was going to tell us about how Slider and Vera met,” Farrah told Casper quietly, leaning her head against his stomach as he softly ran his fingers over the hair at the nape of her neck.

“Don’t think I’ve ever heard that story,” Casper replied, just as quietly.

“Party’s movin’ over here?” Tommy asked, making Rose groan as the men slowly made their way to our table.

“I just spent all damn day with you,” Rose complained as Will ruffled her hair on his way to Molly. “Seriously, go away.”

“How you doin’, ma?” Leo asked as he set a fresh drink down in front of me. “Need anythin’?”

“I’m good,” I replied, smiling. “Thank you.”

“Yep.” He kissed the top of my head and moved to Lily, setting a drink in front of her too.

“You trying to liquor me up?” she asked.

“Please, God,” Leo murmured back.

“Gross,” Trix bitched. “Knock it off.”

“Nope.”

“Christ,” my man muttered as he reached the table. “Grown ass adults and they’re still bickering like they’re five and ten year olds.” He grabbed a chair and spun it around to sit in it backward, setting it right next to mine. When he sat down, his hand automatically went to my thigh, giving it a squeeze.

Couples paired up and the chairs around the table multiplied until they surrounded it like rings on a planet.

“Wait,” Trix said suddenly, pulling away from Cam as she stood. “I need to pee and I don’t want to miss anything.”

“Me too,” Molly said, raising her hand in the air like she was trying to get the teacher’s attention. It was swaying a little side to side as Will started snickering.