So the Twins went home the day after we got the letter from Ben’s mother. I say we because when I finally got to read the letter, it was addressed to both Ben and myself. That was a surprise to both of us. I know Ben told her about us dating, but I’m still a little leery of her and Ben’s father. I really want to like her, but Ben’s father is putting up a huge wall that I’m struggling to get over. I really don’t like him as a person.
I was brooding about the letter in to my coffee on Sunday morning when Miles came in to the kitchen. The man was clearly moping about something and on the fifth sigh he made as he was getting coffee, I finally shook out of my brood and asked him what was going on.
“Ah, this would be your on-again off-again boyfriend who kicked you out because he thought you were cheating on him?”
“That’s the one.”
“…and were you?”
“NO!” Miles shouted.
“What were you doing with the time that he says you were gone?”
Miles shuffled his feet, blushing as he looked down. He mumbled something and I couldn’t hear him so I asked him to say it again.
“I was taking dance lessons.”
That brought me up short and I couldn’t say anything for a minute. “Dance… lessons?”
“Why?” I asked.
Miles sighed. “I was going to take Denver out to dinner at The Watch. They have dancing there and he likes to dance.”
“I don’t know how.”
I was confused by this because Miles was always the first one on the dance floor. Then it dawned on me.
“You can’t do a traditional dance, can you?”
Miles brooded in to his coffee. “No. I can’t waltz or any of the things Denver can do with his eyes closed. So I was taking dance lessons to please him.”
I smacked the back of his head as I walked by to get a refill on my coffee.
“So why haven’t you told him, you goose?”
“He’s not taking my calls. At all. He refuses to talk to me when I go into The Bookstore. Mary Anne has to take my order for books or ring me out.”
I sighed. Grown men could be so damn childish.
“The Bookstore is opened today, isn’t it?”
“I need to pick up some things for Ben.”
“Oh. I’m not going for you. He won’t talk to me.”
I patted his hand. “It’ll be okay.”
Miles looked at me, eyes narrowing. “What are you planning on doing?”
I blinked at him and tried my best to pull off an innocent look. “Getting Ben’s order. What else would I be doing?”
“I dunno, but whatever it is that you’re thinking about doing: don’t do it.”
I didn’t answer Miles as he walked out of the kitchen with his coffee. It was better that he didn’t know anyway. That way Denver couldn’t use it against him. I followed Miles out of the kitchen and walked up to the master bedroom. Now that Ben was back at work, he was already out of the house to catch up on paperwork. I could shower and get out of the house now in less than an hour. If he’s here, it’s more like two before I get out the door. He can be very persuasive.
It was twenty minutes before I could find a parking spot outside of The Bookstore and get inside. I was greeted by Mary Anne at the counter and made loud noises over her belly. She’s expecting in January.
“Ooh my gosh you’re so ready for the little one, aren’t you?” I exclaimed.
Mary Anne laughed. “That’s one way of putting it, Marlowe. I’m so ready to have him so I can pee normally again.”
“I bet. Poor thing. You haven’t sat down all day, have you?” I said as I came around the counter and steered her towards a chair.
“You know Denver, he saw you coming and took off to the stockroom to avoid you. He thinks you’re here to talk to him about Miles.”
“Oh I’m here to talk about Miles, but not to him. If I tell you what’s going on, you’ll hit him for me.” I grinned.
“Oh really now? What’d Miles do now?” Mary Anne said, leaning forward.
“You know he was planning on proposing to Denver? It seems that the whole thing last month has to him pretty shaken. Mark losing Max so soon and all.” No one needed to know what I’d seen when I picked up the spoon Miles used in his coffee. Especially Miles.
“No!” Mary Anne exclaimed. “So he really was working all those hours?”
I nodded and leaned closer. “and he was taking dancing lessons. Poor thing can’t slow dance, but he sure can club dance.”
Mary Ann laughed. “Ain’t that the truth. The man is wonderful with those hips of his.”
“But he can’t slow dance to save his life.”
“Oh that’s so sad. So that’s what he was doing with the rest of his time?” Mary Anne asked as she stared off in to space.
“I called the dance studio on the way over. They confirmed he was a student there. Poor Denver just lost himself a chance with my cousin, who’s still pretty damn torn up about the whole thing.” I nodded sympathetically at her and she sighed.
“Oh, that’s so sad.” She paused at that. “Wait, what do you mean ‘lost his chance?’ Miles hasn’t met someone new, has he?”
“You know, I don’t know. He has been going out a lot lately and he comes home with a smile on his face. I think he might have.”
“Oh dear, Denver’s not going to like that at all.” Mary Anne said with a frown.
“Well it’s too bad for him. He kicked Miles out without asking him and won’t let Miles explain.” I said as I stood up. I placed enough of the story into her pretty head to have her pretty steamed at Denver for making a mess of things. “That jealousy of his is ended the best thing to happen to him.”
I walked over to the orders stack and plucked up Ben’s order, placed it on the counter while Mary Anne thought over what I said. She stood up when I tapped my fingers on the stack and rang me out.
“This could cause problems.” She said finally.
“Oh, I’m sure of it. Those two silly headed geese.” I made frustrated noises but inside I was smiling. I knew I had her.
“If Denver should find out what Miles has been doing with his time?”
“Either one hell of a bout of make up sex or a huge fight. Either way, it’ll be better for the both of them. Don’t you think?”
“Oh, I do like you Marlowe. I like your brain.”
“So you’ll help?”
“Leave it to me. That man’s stubbornness is matched only by my own. I do love my brother but honestly.”
“Honestly.” I said.
She nodded back at me. “I’ll call you tonight.”
“I look forward to hearing from you.” I said with a grin. I got a smile in return.
I waved and walked out with Ben’s order. Whatever happened from here, it’d be up to them. I’d done all I could do. I passed by The Indulgence Bakery as I walked back to my car and stopped in for a cherry torte for dessert tonight. Ben’s favorite. While I was standing there, I let it slip to Miss Maggie about the dance lessons Miles had been taking. He wasn’t the only one who knew how to manipulate the grapevine. She tossed in a mixed berry cheesecake from the previous day and gave me wink, telling me that she’d take care of it.
“You know he was going to propose? Had the ring and everything. such a shame.”
Miss Maggie made sympathetic noises but I could see the wheels in her head turning. I bid her goodbye and walked back to my car, placing my packages in the trunk. driving back to the house I smiled and sang along with the radio. As I pulled in to the driveway, Ben was just getting out of his car.
“Just where have you been?” Ben asked with a smile as he leaned down to kiss me though the window.
“Town to stir up trouble.”
“With you that can mean many things.” Ben said as he opened my door and I climbed out.
“Good things though. I stopped by The Bookstore.”
I watched Ben’s face as my words sank in to his head. He started laughing.
“Let me guess? You dropped hints to Mary Anne about what Miles was up to?”
“There and at The Indulgence Bakery.” I said as I went to the back and got my packages out.
I handed Ben his books, but kept the pastries. If I gave them to him, he’d have them inhaled before we got through the kitchen door.
“Oh, that’s clever. Miss Maggie is almost as fast a gossip as Miles.”
“For this, she’d be faster.”
“I love you mind, but aren’t you worried about this backfiring?”
“Either way they’ll have it out and we’ll be done with Moping Miles.”
Ben thought about this as we walked in to the kitchen and I put things away.
“That’s true. We’ll just have to make sure we’re around if Denver comes for Miles. That way he won’t be alone.”
“Speaking of alone… We’ve the whole house to ourselves.” I said and wiggled my eyebrows.
Ben grinned and set the stack of books aside. I took off running for the stairs, Ben following me. I was laughing when he hauled me up and tossed me over his shoulder.
I really do love that man.