Some Good Reasons 2
"There you are!" Dani came gliding across the porch in a jean skirt and sweater set and hugged her.
Kelly had dressed up that day too, but having a child on her hip wasn't really the accessory that was being shown on the runways in Milan, very unlike Dani's cute little ensemble.
Dani smiled and moved her sunglasses from her eyes up into her hair at the crown of her head. "We were all wondering when you and the perfect Fatone kids would get here."
"Perfect?" Kelly rolled her eyes, "I really don't want to ruin their reputation, but the first time they draw in crayon on your walls you'll learn."
"Whatever," Dani pulled Brianna from her arms, "Where's the little one and the other big one?"
"Joe's got Trey and his little shadow," Kelly said watching him finding a seat near his parents at the picnic table. "He's carrying him around like a football lately and it seems like Colton can't get enough of him either. We got up this morning and Joe went to get Trey out of bed then wanted to hold him while the kids opened their presents, but I finally took him away."
"That's so cute," Dani said with a smile. "Chris is like that with the dogs. I swear he's mental when it comes to them. And what about Miss Brianna? How has your Christmas been?"
Brianna's eyes opened wide, "I gots a Bawbie hous from Sana."
"She's getting spoiled," Kelly sighed and wondered if putting Brianna in a dress for the picnic was the best thing. She'd already been cranky about wearing it in the first place and now was pulling up the hem of it. "But it's so hard to resist buying her things now that she can actually play with them."
"Come on over and hang with us." Dani motioned to the group of girls on the porch, "Colleen mentioned that you and she and Lance and Joe were going to New York together?"
"Yeah," Kelly said, "Joe got us tickets to RENT."
"You guys are so lucky. I wish Chris would take us to something other than golf tournaments and video game parties," Dani said.
"He's still on that kick?"
"I shouldn't complain," Dani said, "It's a lot better than before. He seems to understand a lot more about what pisses me off and I've totally come to terms with a lot of things about Chris that still kind of bug me."
"You two aren't have troubles again are you?"
"No," she said, "They're tweaking his medication--" She looked down at the ground for a moment. "It really helps when they get it set right, but when they're working on the doses--"
"He's ok isn't he?" Kelly asked.
"Oh yeah," Dani said with a smile, "It's just hard on him, more frustrating than anything I think and when he gets frustrated things get worse so it's like--it just pisses me off that he has to deal with this." Her eyes teared up.
"Oh Dani, don't cry," Kelly said, "I'm sure that things will get better for the two of you."
"They've gotten better," Dani said, "I just wish he wouldn't have to deal with all this. It hurts me to see him so frustrated about this. He's got everything in the world at his feet and has overcome a lot of crazy things in his life and then he still has this hanging over him."
"That just shows how strong he is," Kelly said, "I know I would have curled up in a ball a million years ago if I had to deal with something like that."
"But you've got the kids. That's not the easiest thing I'm sure."
"No," she said, "But there are times where I find myself wishing for another life. Especially when I had the kids and they had the flu--THAT was a nightmare."
"Yeah," Dani said, "You're happy right?"
Kelly took a deep breath. "Happy enough."
"Good," Dani said, "We should go see the other girls. Meredith is looking like she's about to pop that baby out any moment now and is still insisting on going to the studio to work on her next album and of course that has Justin running around in circles."
"She's still working on the album?" Kelly asked.
"Yeah," Dani explained, "She wants to tour as soon as the baby is off breast feeding."
"She likes singing THAT much?" Kelly rubbed her forehead, "She's gonna be exhausted if she does that."
Meredith sat in a rocking chair at the edge of the wooden deck next to the railing and conviently near where Justin was sitting with the guys just off the porch in the grass. Somehow some cards had been pulled out and the boys were looking as if they were teaching Colton a game of cards. Every so often Justin would look back and check on her and she'd make a face at him.
"Come here Brianna," Meredith said the moment she saw the little girl. Dani let Brianna down and Meredith gave her a hug.
Kelly watched Brianna looking at Meredith's stomach.
Kelly went and knelt by her friend. "Brianna, Meredith is gonna have a baby soon."
Brianna's eyes widened. "Baby?"
"Yep," Meredith said, "Justin's gonna be a Daddy just like your daddy."
Brianna patted Meredith's stomach, "Diddy?"
Kelly smiled as Meredith picked up the little girl and set her in her lap.
"Mere, you don't have to hold her. I'm sure that--"
"I need all the practice I can get." Meredith spoke with worry in her voice, "I can't believe that something so simply is so complicated. I mean you figure that a woman my age with my career could manage a baby or the idea of a baby, but I can't figure it out, ya know?"
"How do you do it?" Farzana spoke up from her seat next to Meredith.
"It's really not that hard." Kelly found an open chair and watched Brianna with close eyes. She didn't want Brianna to get fussy and mess with Meredith, "I mean I sort of fell into it and now that we've got the third one, it's like second nature."
"I'm glad I don't have kids," Farzana said and looked over at JC across the lawn, "I mean being married is hard enough as it is."
All the girls shrieked about Farzana's ring as she held out her hand.
"Justin I'm fine," she called and rolled her eyes.
Kelly stared at Farzana's ring, "When did this happen?"
"A few weekends ago, before Jace got sick and before we went up to Canada to see my parents."
Kelly's eyes went wide, "You're back on good terms with them?"
"Yeah," she shrugged, "My father wanted the best for me and he finally realizes that JC and my career or what I need right now. I know that I'll eventually need to go back to that small family circle, but for now Josh and I are what each other needs."
"I'm so happy for you, but pissed at the same time," Colleen said, "I thought I'd get to see you and JC actually get married."
"We're gonna do the big wedding on the one year aniversary. It'll keep things out of the press and let me work on more performances this year while I plan the wedding."
"You guys all need vacations," Kelly said with a laugh, "You're all too damned into your jobs."
"Like you aren't into your kids?" Dani asked.
Kelly paused for a moment. Of course talking about her kids was the only thing people could bring up. Outside of the group that was the only thing she had. On the one hand it really was good because she'd worked all through high school and through junior college, "At least I live in one place for a few months before I go flying off to visit people." It was the only good thing she could think of about not having a job to jump up and run off to.
"No offense," Colleen said, "I know that raising kids is tough and all, but don't you want to be out of Orlando?"
Kelly bit her tongue to keep her real comments to herself and leaned back in her chair. "I love Orlando or I wouldn't be here. My kids are here and parents are here and Joe's parents are here--It doesn't make sense to be anywhere else."
"Are you going to be that happy when the kids are grown?" Colleen asked.
"Why are you asking me this?" Kelly finally blurted out.
"I didn't mean to offend you," Colleen said, "I just can't imagine being in one spot for so long...I'm not judging. I'm just curious."
"I like the way I live," Kelly said with a shrug even though she knew that wasn't true. She'd been thinking for awhile about getting work after the kids were all old enough to be in school and knew that she'd have to start planning now if she was really going to be more than a housewife in the future.
When he found his wife moving away from the crowd of people on the porch towards the dock Joey put Trey into his carrier and tapped Justin on the shoulder as he flipped cards into a pile with Colton.
"I'm gonna talk to Kel, keep an eye on Trey for me?"
"Sure," Justin said and pulled the carrier over towards where he was playing. "Does Trey play spades?"
"Jesus Justin, don't teach them that crap," Joey said.
"I'm not," Justin said, "we're playing Match It."
"Good," Joey said. He leaned and kissed Colton's head and messed up his hair, "Beat the pants off of him kid."
Joey moved away from the group and strolled down towards the water watching Kelly's shoulders drop a little. He hoped that she was having a good time, but it seemed that she was acting more tired than normal.
When he got to where she was he carefully stepped onto the dock. He was about to surprise her from behind when she turned towards him, "You squeak Joe."
"Yeah," she said, "You made the boards squeak."
Joey faked a hurt expression, "Are you calling me fat?"
"That's fat with a P. H," she laughed and came towards him and hugged him.
"You smell good honey," he said hugging her and rubbing her back.
"That's a strange--"
"You smell like sunshine," He continued, "I missed that."
"You were in California and Miami Joe and I know it wasn't raining there."
"Why are you being so sarcastic right now," he said, "I was trying to compliment you and you're not taking it very well."
Kelly moved away from him and stood looking at the water for a minute before she turned back. He didn't like her expression when she spoke to him, "Are you happy Joey?"
"What brought that on?" He was worried that she would bring this up all of a sudden. They'd had a great morning with the kids and had been having fun with the rest of the group so he didn't understand why she sounded so upset all of a sudden.
"I'm just checking in with you," she said, "This isn't an interrogation." She sighed, "I know that the set up for the last week hasn't been the best--at least for me--and I just wondered what your take on it was."
"Ok," he said. He took a deep breath. "I wasn't that happy about it, but what am I gonna do Kelly? I had to travel." He reached for her hand and held onto it rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand. "Are you happy Kelly? I think that's what we're really talking about."
"Of course," Kelly said and blinked a few times, "I just--I was just talking with the girls and they were asking me if I was happy and I know that it's not perfect, but I love you and our kids and I know that's how things should be." She shrugged, "I mean if you think about it there are a million housewives that sit home with the kids while their husbands go on business trips and that's what I do too."
"I'll try to schedule things better so I can be home more," he offered. He knew something was wrong, but he could see the signs that it wasn't going to help things if he tried to pull the information out of her.
"I know you will honey," she said, "You're doing the best you can and I know that. I'm just short of sleep this week because of Trey's teething and then with Brianna running varound like the tazmanian devil it's just got out of hand."
"What about Colton?"
"Colton has been quiet lately," she said, "He's there and he plays well and really is a joy, but he's definitely quiet and he misses you a lot."
"Why don't I take him with me around town the next few days? I've got a few meetings that I have to go to and I need to spend some time over at the compound working on Luis's projects." He smiled at the thought of him spending time with his son. There was definitely a connection with Brianna and he'd tried to make enough time to see Trey too, but maybe because Colton was so independent that he didn't really even think about giving him special consideration, "Just me and him and I'll hang out with him."
"That'd be good. I may pawn Brianna off on your mother for an afternoon and get some cleaning done. The house is a mess."
"It looked fine to me."
"I need to do spring cleaning," she said.
"It's not spring though," he argued playfully.
"Ok then I've got OCD and I feel the need to clean," she said.
"Ok Ok," he said with a smile, "I love you."
"I love you too."