Even the Score(11)

By: Beth Ehemann

“He’s two months old already. Doesn’t feel like a newborn to me anymore,” Michelle said, staring down at him sadly as she smoothed a few crazy hairs on his head.

“Anything that doesn’t sass back or whine about the outfit you’ve chosen for her that day feels like a newborn to me,” Kacie joked. She put her face close to him again and inhaled deeply. “Plus he still has that fresh-from-the-factory smell. If only they could bottle that scent. It’s intoxicating.”

“Uh-oh.” I laughed, slapping Brody on the shoulder. “She’s got that look in her eye, buddy. Better put an addition on this house.”

Kacie’s head snapped up, and her eyes were huge. “Oh, no way! He’s cute and all, but my uterus has a No Vacancy sign hanging from it, and it’s going to stay there for a while. I’ll just keep borrowing other people’s babies for now.”

“Well, we know that I can’t have any more.” Michelle shook her head. “Looks like it’s your turn, Andy.”

All eyes shifted to me.

My eyes widened as I stared back at them, my eyes moving from face to face quickly. “Uh . . .” I stammered, thinking of how to change the subject. “Who’s ready to eat?!”

After dinner and another hour or so in the lake, all of the kids except for Michael and Grace had passed out in Brody and Kacie’s huge basement as they watched Frozen. I went down to peek at Becca and Logan, tiptoeing over the bodies lying side by side on the floor like sardines. It really was an awesome feeling to have my kids sleeping in the same room with all of my best friends’ kids.

Kacie was sitting in the front living room with Michelle, who was nursing Michael, while Brody and Viper were in the garage playing with Brody’s new ATV. Knowing the mound of work that would be waiting for me next week if I didn’t at least peek at some of the résumés that had come in, I decided to take my chances with Viper’s warning and grab my work bag from the guest room.

I’d been through four résumés and made a few notes on them before I heard Viper bellow, “What the hell are you doing?”

I looked up just in time to see Brody slap him on the back of the head. “Shhh!”

Viper flinched and whispered, “Sorry. Forgot there are eight thousand kids here.”

“I’m not working, I’m just . . . looking.”

Viper sat down at the kitchen table with me as Brody walked to the fridge and took out three beers, sliding two to me and Viper as he cracked his own open.

“Looking, huh? Looking at what?” Viper reached over and snagged one of the résumés. “Seth Tanner,” he read aloud. “Majored in sports management at University of Wisconsin–Madison. Has three years of experience with Brilliance Sports and four years’ experience with GWA Sports Management Group. Likes long walks on the beach, karaoke, and cunnilingus.”

Brody tried to cover his mouth as he coughed but instead sprayed beer through his fingers, sprinkling some of the papers.

“Would you give me that?” I snatched the paper from Viper as Brody, still in the midst of a coughing fit, ran to the kitchen sink to wash his hands.

“Holy shit. That was hilarious,” Brody whooped. “But I don’t know if I should be proud or worried that you even know what the word cunnilingus actually means.”

“Know what it means?” Viper linked his fingers behind his head and smirked. “I invented the damn word. Right, babe?” he hollered into the living room.

“What?” Michelle called back, clueless as to what we were talking about.

“Never mind,” Viper answered. He rested his elbows on the table and looked down at my stack of papers again. “What the hell is all that, anyway? Why are you looking at résumés?”

“I’m surprised Brody didn’t fill you in.” I glanced toward the sink out of the corner of my eye. “He’s so damn proud of his idea that he brings it up every chance he gets.”

Brody sat back down at the table and sighed. “It’s because I’m a damn genius. You should be paying me for coming up with it.”

“Anyway”—I rolled my eyes and looked back at Viper—“I’m bringing another agent into the firm. It’s just growing too big for me to handle all by myself.”

Viper’s cheeks puffed out, and he squeezed his lips together as he tried to contain his laugh. “That’s what she said.”

Brody started laughing so hard that his head fell to the table and his shoulders shook.

“Holy crap. I just now realized that you two are a couple of seven-year-olds.” I sighed while also trying not to laugh.