Even the Score(9)By: Beth Ehemann
“Mozz sticks, too?” He beamed.
“Duh.” I held my fist up to him . . . and breathed a sigh of relief when he bumped it back.
Two weeks passed, and word had gotten out that I was going to be taking on another agent. The response to the news was overwhelming, to say the least. We were getting so many e-mails sent to us every day, our server nearly crashed . . . twice. The tough part was weeding out the recent college graduates who had no experience but thought it would be cool to hang with athletes.
Because of the chaos of the work stuff and still feeling guilty about the issue with Logan even though I hadn’t missed one game since that night, I decided to sneak out of work early on Friday and take Brody up on his offer to take the kids up to the lake for the weekend. It was a quick hour-and-a-half drive from our house, and Becca and Logan were beyond excited to see their friends. While I was looking forward to hanging with my kids, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just as giddy for the stick-to-your-ribs, home-cooked meals from Sophia, Brody’s mother-in-law. That woman was a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, and luckily for Brody, she’d passed a lot of those skills down to Brody’s wife, Kacie.
We pulled into the driveway of Brody and Kacie’s house, and before I even put the car in park, the kids were scrambling to get out.
“Whoa! Whoa!” I called out, trying not to laugh. “Can you please wait to open the door until I’ve stopped the car? Trust me, the ER isn’t a fun place to spend a weekend.”
I parked the car, and our weekend at the lake officially began.
Brody and Kacie had built a huge house for their small pink army on the same property but about a hundred yards away from the Cranberry Inn, her mom’s bed-and-breakfast. And when I say they built a huge house, I mean huge house. It was a five-bedroom, five-bath farmhouse-looking monstrosity with a lake just beyond its massive backyard. The kids and I grabbed our bags from the trunk and climbed the white, wooden steps to their porch. I lifted my hand to ring the bell, but before I could push the button, Becca opened the door and sailed right past me like she owned the place.
“Becca!” I called from the porch.
Kacie laughed as she walked toward the front door, wiping her hands on a dish towel. “Oh, come on in.” She waved at me. “Family doesn’t have to ring the bell. Right, baby?” She bent down and scooped Becca up in her arms.
Becca wrapped her arms and legs around Kacie like a spider monkey. As Logan ran past them toward the back of the house, Emma—Brody and Kacie’s four-year-old—started running to her mom but froze when she saw me. “Hello. Good-bye.” She giggled as she disappeared toward the back of the house again.
“How are you, pretty girl? I’ve missed you so much,” Kacie said as she gave Becca a big squeeze.
“I lost another tooth!” Becca opened her mouth wide and pointed to the gap where her top front tooth used to be.
Kacie’s eyebrows shot up as she eagerly peeked into Becca’s mouth. “Wow! Look at that! Did you put it under your pillow for the tooth fairy?”
Becca’s face fell. “I did, but she didn’t come.”
“She didn’t?” Kacie stuck her bottom lip out and shot me a quick glare.
“Well, she did, but not till the next day. My tooth fell out on a Saturday, and Daddy said she probably doesn’t work weekends.”
“Oh, I see.” Kacie pressed her lips together, trying not to laugh. “Well, your daddy’s probably right. Even fairies need a day off here and there, huh?”
Becca nodded and wiggled to get down. As she ran off toward the sound of the other giggling kids, Kacie looked at me and shook her head.
“What?” I shrugged innocently.
“She probably doesn’t work on weekends?” she repeated sarcastically, chuckling as she came over and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“What was I supposed to tell her?” I bent down and quickly kissed her back. “That the tooth fairy had one beer too many and fell asleep watching SportsCenter? It was easier to say she had the weekend off.”
Kacie rolled her eyes playfully. “Men.”
“What about men? You talking about how amazing we are?” Brody puffed his chest out as he strutted into the room, carrying their clapping toddler, Grace, in his arms.
Cocking her hip to the side and crossing her arms over her chest, Kacie looked over at Brody. “Andy was just telling me how the tooth fairy isn’t the most reliable over at his house.”
“Actually, Becca was telling her,” I corrected her with a laugh. “She ratted me out.”