Ryan and Ben are in St. Louis with Cassie, who welcomes them with open arms. Is this the sweet respite they need or the calm before the storm? See what's happening in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's happening with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
In Pieces #84 (20.2)
They sat out on the patio and talked for a while, giving Ben and Cassie a chance to get to know one another. Ryan was very happy that his two favorite people in the world could finally meet. Afterward, they carried in their luggage and took it to the room they’d once shared. Cassie had made a few changes in the room in the short time Ryan had been gone, but they were good ones. She’d taken out the two single beds and replaced them with a full-sized bed with matching furniture. Ryan was just as surprised as Ben.
“This looks great,” he kept saying, and Cassie beamed.
“I was hoping you would like it,” she said with a knowing glance between the two. It wasn’t hard for Ryan to follow her logic, that the two of them would be more comfortable in one big bed than crowded into the ones they’d shared as kids. Not to mention they would be able to make new memories.
Cassie ordered pizza for dinner, and they spent the evening quite happily, eating pizza and drinking a few bottles of beer from a local craft brewery. Ben had never tasted that particular brand and pronounced it quite delicious. Cassie brought out a couple of photo albums, and they took a trip down Memory Lane. Ben appreciated the photos that were taken after he’d gone, of Ryan and Dad and Cassie. Ryan was grateful that none of the photos that predated that time included Liza. He suspected Dad had gotten rid of those a long time ago. Only pleasant memories here.
By the time they went to bed, they were exhausted from a strenuous day and fell asleep in the new bed, wrapped around one another. But they made up for lost time the next morning by making love then taking a long shower together.
“Did you have anything you wanted to do while you’re home?” Cassie asked. She’d made omelets for breakfast, filled with cheese and ham and bacon and a touch of spice, along with hash browns and biscuits. They ate in the family room, which was just the way Ben remembered it, comfortable and familiar. A photograph of Cassie and Dad and Ryan held a place of honor on the wall.
Ben and Ryan exchanged glances.
“We really hadn’t thought about it,” Ryan admitted.
“Just being here is wonderful,” Ben added. They sat side by side on the soft brown sectional, Cassie seated on the adjoining piece.
“Having you here is wonderful,” Cassie said with a smile. “I have some ideas, if you don’t mind…”
“Of course we don’t mind.” Ryan grinned. “Lead on, MacDuff.”
“The weather is supposed to be gorgeous,” Cassie said. “And I can just hear Forest Park calling to us. Can you hear it?”
Ben cocked his head, as if listening. “I do,” he said. “It says it’s waiting for us to have some fun.”
Ryan loved how easily Ben fit in with Cassie, the three of them like old friends already. The night before, in bed, Ben had confessed to feeling jealous of Cassie at first but now he realized he had no reason to and he thought she was great. “Which part is calling us?” he asked, wondering just what she had in mind, although he had a good idea. They’d spent a lot of time in Forest Park, where the World’s Fair had been held in 1904. Only one of the original buildings remained, and that one was his most favorite of all.
“The Art Museum, of course.” Cassie winked, as Ryan cheered internally. Just what he’d hoped for.
“Then maybe some lunch in the park, by the lake. Then, if you guys are up to it, we can check out the Science Center?”
“Sounds wonderful!” Ben and Ryan both exclaimed, then laughed.
to be continued
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