Author's Note: The neighborhood near Nicky and Allyn. Their house with the third floor addition is front and center. The house immediately next to them on their left (On the right of the photo) belongs to Lori Ferguson's sister, Grace, and her husband, Devon. The big taupe house next to Grace is the Hammond house, Lonnie and Jenny and their girls live there. The little green frame house is new and has just been bought by Glenn Caswell, Gareth's mother. The red and cream house across from Glenn houses the Matthew Picasa family. He's an undercover cop but his story is not mentioned in the blog and his wife and he only show up peripherally at community lots. The house next to him, beige and boxy (and across the street from Jenny) is the Julian Cooke home. That's Julian, Bobbi Jo (formerly Brandi Broke) and their now teenage son, Christopher. Bobbi Jo's adult daughter, Elle, is married to Corky Lomax and runs the Art Studio in Bluewater Village. Bobbi Jo is one of Jenny's few remaining friends. It's just one big happy family in Pleasantview. Or, if not happy, certainly busy.
On the same floor was a sumptuous bathroom which, if they eventually made a guest room up there, could be the guest bath. Right now, however; they used it after they exercised, although Allyn also availed herself of it when she wanted to feel pampered.
During supper one Friday night Nicky suggested to Allyn that they have an old-fashioned "date" on Saturday.
"We don't want to lose our sense of fun and romance," he said. Before he was married Nicky had been quite the ladies man and that wasn't just single ladies. He'd had opportunity to observe that many marriages grew stale if left to chance. After waiting a long time to find the right woman he didn't want their marriage to become another statistic. Besides, he had always craved excitement and romance, it was just his nature. If he wanted a successful marriage Nicky reasoned he needed to find those things in his marriage and not outside. It had taken him a long time to realize what was important in life and he was taking no chances.
Allyn, of course, was all for it, but asked,
"But, what will we do? Where will we go?"
"Just let me surprise you, baby. Just dress up in your sexiest dress and we'll head over to the other side of the county. By the way, this salmon you made tonight is fantastic," he grinned, "You're getting so good at this I guess I won't have to send you to cooking school after all.
"You bet your boots I'm good," Allyn shot back, "I'm the best thing that ever happened to you, boy."
Nicky's eyes softened,
"That you are. And tomorrow I hope will be just a little bit of thanks."
The next afternoon they headed out in Nicky's red sports car. Allyn had on a shocking-blue slinky dress, spike heels and her hair was full and shiny. She usually wore the front part braided back.
"Isn't it kind of early to go out to dinner?" she asked as they took off.
"Ah, but we're not going to dinner--not yet."
She didn't ask anything else, but waited quietly as he drove; her face serene. Two of the many things Nicky loved about Allyn were her emotional equilibrium and her gift for silence. She was never moody and did not push or nag him at all and she didn't indulge in a lot of the useless chatter that, in his opinion, many females adored. Nicky was rather macho in some good ways, but sometimes it verged on being atavistic. Gillian teased him often, calling him "Captain Cavey, our Neanderthal brother". She claimed it was his only recourse after a childhood surrounded by sisters until Harvey came along.
After about 30 minutes they pulled up in front of the Deh-Javu Modern Art Museum where they enjoyed expanding their cultural horizons. They also spied Larry Max trying to make time with a woman who was playing chess on the terrace.
"He must be getting good," Nicky laughed, "she seems interested. Or, at least, she hasn't slapped him yet."
After spending about ninety minutes checking out the artwork and having a drink on the terrace they went to the "Midnight Flows" nightclub where they had a delicious dinner, berry nectar drinks, and enjoyed dancing to the piped in music. Nicky dipped Allyn back at one point and grabbed a kiss.
"They should get a live band in here," he said after a while, "Although I suppose it would interfere with the karoake machine. In fact, let's give that a shot while it's not too crowded."
They had fun singing a couple duets before leaving for home.
All in all it was a wonderful evening and one they hoped to repeat before long. Maybe they should make having a "date" something they did every other week or at least every month, Allyn suggested. They never noticed Jenny Hammond lurking in a corner of the club. She was not dressed for clubbing, wearing only cut off jeans and a halter top and sneakers. They did not see the strange expression on her face at seeing Nicky with Allyn. Jenny stayed in a dark corner until they left, and then she walked out; her face that of a sleepwalker.
The next day they went swimming in the morning and spent the afternoon doing household chores and gardening. Someone kept kicking over their trash can that whole day and Nicky was exasperated when he had to put it upright again and clean up the mess for the fifth time in 12 hours. Darn kids. Strange though, because he was virtually sure that the boy next door, Angelo Severino, who seemed a good kid, was off with his parents to the mountains for a few days. And his older brothers had already left for University. Still, it could be any of the kids in the neighborhood he supposed, but surely not the Hammond sisters from around the corner, Loni Faye and Liara. Funny about that, their father Lonnie, who was a fishing buddy of his, had been as much of a player as Nicky had. He was a great guy and easy to talk to, but he had definitely been wild. And their mother, Jenny, was a real firecracker, no two ways about that. Yet their daughters were just as sweet and courteous as could be, at least as far as Nicky had been able to determine.
When it grew dark Allyn went into the kitchen to make some mini piggies-in-a-blanket snacks to eat while watching a little TV. Meanwhile Nick watched and waited at the downstairs bathroom window to catch the little delinquent who was causing the problem.
And then it got really weird. As he watched in astonishment Jenny Hammond came down the street, muttering to herself. Then she giggled and kicked over the trash can. Just like that. She ran off before Nicky could get to the sidewalk. He could hardly believe his eyes. What, exactly, was her problem? He had no idea, but he intended to find out--one way or another.
Next blog update: Ch. 1 Nicky and Allyn Pt. 2