"What the heck are you doing?"
She looked up, seeming to be startled, but she didn't run.
"Are you twelve years old are something? What's the idea?" Nicky asked again.
"I...I guess I knocked it over by mistake with my foot," she stammered, "I was jogging and..."
"You were not jogging, I saw you. You deliberately walked up to it and kicked it over."
"But that can't be," she protested, "Why would I do that?"
She seemed sincere, but he knew what he'd seen.
"I don't know, I was hoping you could enlighten me."
It was strange how she abruptly changed the subject, her voice not defensive at all. As though the previous conversation and had never happened.
"So I heard you got married."
Nicky was still angry and he was in no mood to discuss his private life with someone he'd once dated who now was vandalizing his property.
"Yes, I did. So?" He didn't add "what's it to you?" but it surely was obvious he was thinking it.
"Nothing, it's just that I can't believe you of all people are ready to settle down," she said and then suddenly she was sarcastic, "She must be quite a girl."
"Look who's talking," Nicky came back, "You used to get around but good yourself. Since I like Lonnie, I hope for his sake you've changed. And, yes, she is quite a girl. In fact, she is quite a woman. Now if you're done amusing yourself with our household debris and asking nosy questions, maybe you could take a hike."
She looked like he'd slapped her. Really, was she obtuse? Did she not recognize that her actions spoke louder than her words?
"I tell you I did no such thing. At least, I didn't do it on purpose. It was an accident, okay?"
She was so lying and he accused,
"Yeah, like it was an accident ten times yesterday!"
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Okay fine. I don't know what game you're playing but, fine, just jog somewhere else from now on."
With that she became incensed,
"You can't tell me where to jog! I'm on public property on this sidewalk!"
She was loud and Nicky didn't want Allyn bothered about this. He would tell her later. Besides, although he didn't usually worry what other people thought, he did not want to have his neighbors gawking.
"Would you lower your voice?" he said through gritted teeth. The next thing he knew she'd launched herself at him and it was on.
Eventually she landed on her rear end and Nicky dusted off his hands. He didn't believe in manhandling women--but this had been self-defense.
"Lady you need a keeper. You come around here again causing trouble and I'm calling your old man or maybe even the cops, got it?"
She stood up and for the first time Nicky noticed her gaze was a little unfocused. Maybe she drinks, or even is addicted to something worse, the thought. Jeez.
Jenny just walked off in an unsteady gait toward the direction of her house around the corner. She never even answered him. The whole thing gave him the creeps.
Shaking it off he went back in the house, wondering if Allyn had heard. He had to warn her if she ran into a redhead who looked irritable to stay away from her. But Allyn had been upstairs on the third floor enjoying her luxe bathroom and did not know a thing about the fracas.
The next day Nicky spent some quality time with the new member of their family; Trina, a beautiful chocolate lab. He was working on training her, but also made sure they took time to play as well. Later in the day Allyn's friend, Barbara Bel Geddes, stopped by and stayed for dinner. She was always fun to talk to and she was dating Nicky's old friend, David Lassiter. Nicky recalled now that he hadn't been in touch with David in some time and he made a mental note to contact him.
"Is he on Facebook?" he asked Barbara, "because I don't have his cell number any more; he's probably changed it anyway."
"Oh, yes, he's on Facebook from time to time but definitely not every day, so let me give you his number, it will be faster and surer," she replied.
Allyn went on to bed after Barbara left, but Nicky was out in the greenhouse still talking to his cucumber plants; cajoling them into a thriving state. When he finally got up to the bedroom there was Trina contentedly snoozing on the bed next to Allyn. He hated to scold her, she just looked so sweet. On the other hand, he in no way wanted to sleep on the couch and she was not a small dog; she took up a lot of room. So he whispered to her enthusiastically, patting his thighs,
"C'mon, Trina, wake up girl!"
She stirred and then gazed at him with her big brown eyes.
"Let's go for a walk," he gestured and headed down the stairs and out of the house with Trina following him happily.
The next day they managed to perfect her little trick of sitting up and Nicky was well-pleased. Trina, who, like all dogs, lived to please her master, was pleased, too. She loved her life with Nicky and Allyn and hoped nothing would ever change.
But, of course, things would change since Allyn had finally been able to get pregnant. The couple looked forward to the birth of their baby. Still Allyn loved Trina and even though Nicky was the one who trained her it was Allyn who gave her baths and made sure the food bowl was never empty. She knew she had to make sure that they didn't slight Trina when the baby arrived.
Meanwhile, her sewing ability was growing by leaps and bounds and she hoped to make lots of clothes for her new baby. After a late night dinner of her home-made spaghetti--she was always hungry now--she went into labor. Nicky was over the moon because they had two children now; fraternal twins that they named Connor Ewan and Lorna Claire in keeping with Nicky's Scottish heritage. Nicky had wanted to use Doone as Lorna's middle name, like the Scottish heroine, but Allyn talked him out of it. He hoped they'd have three or four children and so he told Allyn she'd been very economical and clever having two at once. She answered that twins didn't run in her family so he could take all the credit for that. It looked as thought the babies might both be blonde eventually, but Connor had sapphire blue eyes like his parents and Lorna had emerald green, just like her grandmother, Madeleine.
After the new babies were bathed, fed, cuddled and put to bed, Allyn took time to reassure Trina she was still loved as an important part of the family.
Next blog update: Shep Ferguson Ch. 12 Scotti Lynn, Janice and Jessamyn