Busted Axle Road
Chapter 86

Copyright© 1993, 2001, 2010

Just sitting around talking, it soon got to be late. Mark and Jackie had a cup of coffee, and then went home. Then, it was time for Tiffany and Henry to be off to bed; it would be a school day tomorrow. The four sat around and talked for a while, and finally, Kirsten said, "I've got to get the dishes done, and the dishwasher isn't working. Gil is supposed to come out and work on it tomorrow, but I'd better get going on it."

"I'll help," Blake offered.

"Well, aren't you the nice guy?" Kirsten said as he followed her to the kitchen. "That's something Mike wouldn't do."

"Let me take a quick look at the dishwasher," Blake said. "I used to work on them."

"Nice guy," Mike commented. "What do your folks think of him?"

"They seem to like him," Jennifer said. "I mean, they know he's not my boyfriend, or anything, but they seem to hit it off pretty well."

"It'd be hard to tell he isn't your boyfriend," Mike said. "He seems to take really good care of you."

"He does," Jennifer said. "I couldn't get along without him. I just hope he can make it here. This place is awful cold and empty if you've grown up in Los Angles."

"Folks around here are going to figure he's your boyfriend," Mike said. "Maybe you'd just better accept it."

"Well, he is, sort of," Jennifer said. "I mean, if you leave sex out of it, and for me, that's not hard to do. Blake's been with me for years now, and I'm not so sure I could get as close to someone else. I mean, if he were to stay in L.A., I'm afraid I'd be as homesick for him here, as I am homesick for here when I'm in L.A."

"Well, maybe it'll work out," Mike said.

Blake stuck his head back into the room. "Found it," he said. "Where can I find a screwdriver and a crescent wrench?"

"Down in the basement," Mike said. "I'll go get it."

A couple of minutes later, they were all gathered in the kitchen, watching Blake work on the ailing dishwasher. "If Jennifer can't keep you busy when you move here," Kirsten suggested, "I'm sure her father can."

"That's kind of what I'm afraid of," Blake said as he worked at a fitting. "I don't mean working on appliances, or anything. I'm just worried that things are going to be a little dull here, after L.A."

"Things aren't really dull, here," Mike said. "There's plenty going on. Not the same sort of thing, but plenty to keep you interested. Like this party we've got coming up."

"I keep telling him that," Jennifer said. "There are no parties like that in L.A. This one is just as wild, and here, you're among friends. I'm just glad we've got a chance to come, this year."

"Have you got your costumes all worked out?" Kirsten asked.

"Blake found us some," Jennifer replied. "He talked to some wardrobe guy, and I don't know how they came up with the idea, but we're doing Roy Rogers and Dale Evans."

"It wasn't entirely my idea," Blake said. "I thought maybe Johnny Ringo, the gunfighter, black hat, no shave for three days, the whole bit, but that would have left Jenny as the schoolmarm. Anyway, this guy said that it should be Jenny that's the one that should be flashy, and somehow, we got around to that."

"Cute," Kirsten said. "Gee, I remember watching them on TV, when I was a kid."

"Yeah, me too," Mike said. "That was always kind of fun."

"All right," Blake said, crawling out from behind the unit. "Let's give it a try."

Jenny shook her head as the dishwasher started. "It doesn't sound very good," she said.

"They all sound like that," Blake said. "Goes with the brand. I'm afraid I got soaked."

"I'd loan you some clothes," Mike said. "But I know I haven't got anything that would fit a big horse like you."

"I know," Kirsten said. "Let's go soak in the hot tub, and I'll just throw those in the dryer."

Mike's gut wrenched a little, but he knew enough to say nothing.

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