By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the Author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 7 - The Not So Blind Date
After the dessert, everyone started to leave and Leonora and Mrs. Mitchell approached us, "Why don't you ladies join us for dinner tomorrow night. We'll eat about six. Wear jeans or whatever you're comfortable in. We'll have my stud nephews barbecue us some chicken or something they can't mess up too badly."
Trevor had heard her, "Yeh, sure Aunt Louisa, blame it on us, since everyone knows you can't even boil water without burning it."
After everyone had departed I looked at Spring, "I think we were just invited to Trent's 16th birthday party tomorrow."
Spring scowled, "What makes you think that?"
"Trevor talked the entire way to school today. He told me that Trent was going to be sixteen tomorrow and that he already has a truck, so they will be able to drive to the shows by themselves."
Spring questioned, "Shouldn't we get him a gift or something?"
I shook my head no, "Technically, we don't know it's his birthday and I have no idea what he would like. I think it would be better if we just acted as if we were unaware."
"I'm going to go check the stable one more time and I have some tests that I need to score before tomorrow. The rest of this week is already scheduled with staffings."
I sat on the fence and watched as the horses exercised in the paddock, thinking about all that had happened in the last several days. General Beauregard came over rubbed his neck against me to tell me he needed a treat.
I climbed down off the fence and the horses started to follow me to the stable. Crackerjack was the last one to come in. I think he was expecting Spring to come take care of him.
I worked on my tests that I had to do and went to get ready for bed. I was lying there wondering what this blind date was going to look like. He'll probably turn out to be a jerk.
When the alarm sounded the next morning I was about to give up on the idea of owning a stable. Getting up at five thirty everyday is for the birds. I went to the stable and Spring was already there. We had the routine worked out so that we could accomplish everything in minimum time.
We took our showers and had a quick breakfast since I had a staffing before school starts. Author's note: For those of you have never been involved with a staffing, it means that a group of teachers and professionals meet with the parents of a student who is experiencing difficulties in school. They try to develop a plan to provide the child better services.
About lunchtime I decided the world was going crazy. It's a conspiracy. By five o'clock, I knew the world was out to get me. I called Spring and told her that I would meet her at Nixon spread and that I would probably be a little late.
When I arrived at Fairacres there was a big banner at the gate announcing Trent is 16 today. As I pulled into the drive in front of the house, there must have been twenty vehicles parked in the driveway.
As I climbed out of the truck, Trevor came to greet me. "It's about time Miss Autumn. You are going to be out of place dressed like that."
When we got to the party area, Howie and Michael were manning the grill while Robert Nixon the third was manning the bar and George was helping Leonora and Mrs. Mitchell in the kitchen with something.
Trent was announcing, "Yep, I got my learner's permit and the next thing I took the tests and passed my driving test and got my license and it only took an hour."
I looked at Trent. "Heck it took me two tries to pass the driving test."
Trent came and put his arm around me, "Ma'am, that's because you weren't reared on a farm. Heck, Trevor is ready to go into Formula 1 racing and he isn't even fourteen yet. He's been driving since he was ten."
Leonora announced that dinner was being served. Trent and his friends went through the serving line first and the rest of us followed. They had set up circular tables for six so that Trent, Cyndi and four of his friends were in the center of the eating area. I sat down at a table at the back and Trevor came and joined me as did Howie and Michael. We were joined by Leonora and Mrs. Mitchell.
I looked around the table and thought to myself. This is a strange arrangement. Thank goodness for Mrs. Mitchell. She had us all laughing. In fact so much so, that Trent yelled, "Miss Autumn, do you suppose you could keep your table under control?"
When the party was breaking up I watched as the young people were taking care of the clean up. Mr. Nixon the second was making sure that everything was being done properly. I went to Leonora, "I really need to go home. Thanks for inviting me, but I have some things that I need to do to get ready for tomorrow."
I was surprised when Trent came and thanked me for coming. Trevor even walked me to my truck, "Miss Autumn, I can hardly wait to meet this blind date of yours this weekend. You are going to enter the contest aren't you? We need to kick everyone's butts again. Just think how impressed your blind date would be if you and General Beauregard can duplicate your efforts of last weekend."
I looked at Trevor, "What if we don't like the guy? What are we going to do with him?"
Trevor started to laugh, "We'll just tell General Beauregard to kick him where it will hurt most."
I shook my head, "Trevor, you're absolutely evil."
He shrugged his shoulders, "Yep."
I went to our small spread and changed clothes and went to check on the horses. I made sure that they had everything they needed and was sitting working at the dining room table when Spring came in. "Autumn, how come I got stuck with those people tonight and your table was having all of the fun?"
I looked up from what I was working on, "Spring, I have no clue as to what was happening tonight. I sat down and Trevor joined me and then the others joined me. It was as if they were throwing up smoke screens to keep the uninformed, uninformed."
"I got the same impression when the two older Nixon men joined me and we were joined by George, Aunt Georgia and Dr. Butler . I'm totally baffled by what is happening."
I nodded, "We've been caught in the middle of a web and it's as if it is closing in on us. These people are trying to take over our lives. Now I have work to do and we have two long days ahead of us because we have parent/teacher conferences."
Wednesday and Thursday were a blur. I never even got a chance to eat dinner either night until I got home. Fortunately Spring was able to go home and take care of the horses. I was literally dragging by the time I got home on Thursday night.
I fixed a sandwich and was getting ready to go to bed. The phone started to ring and I thought to myself, 'Why doesn't Spring answer the phone?'
I finally answered, "This is Autumn Summers, how can I help you."
"Autumn, this is Howie Willingham. Austin and Derek called and said they would be arriving about three o'clock tomorrow with the mystery guest. Why don't you and Spring plan to have dinner with us ? That way we can plan how we want the competition to go on Saturday."
I looked at the phone, "Mr. Willingham, I'm not planning to be in any competition this weekend. I have too much work to do and my brother is bringing someone for me to meet, remember?"
"Well I just got a list of competitors and you and General Beauregard are listed at the 18th competitor, Trevor is 19th and Arabian Prince and I are listed as the 20th competitor. I may have to find a substitute rider since I pulled a muscle in my back from working so hard."
I started to laugh, "Yeah, you're just afraid that we will make you look bad. Not to worry, Mr. Willingham, I probably won the first and only gold cup of my life last week. We'll be there for dinner tomorrow. What time would you like us. I'm thinking that Spring is free. If she's not, I`ll have her call you."
"Why don't you plan to come as soon as you can, after you get home from school and get comfortable?"
I had just hung up when Spring came in and announced, "I went to the Pizza Parlor with the other teachers to unwind after the conferences. The only parents that showed were those of the children who are having problems."
I looked at Spring, "Lady, I know how you feel. We've been invited out to dinner at the Willingham spread tomorrow. How come you didn't tell me that you had entered me in the competition on Saturday? You know I don't enjoy it."
Spring looked confused, "Autumn, calm down. Trevor said that you and he had agreed to do the show. You owe me twenty bucks for the entry fee."
I thought to myself, `Wait until I get my hands on Trevor!'
When I finally got home Friday, Spring was waiting for me, "Austin called, and they are at the Willingham house with the mystery guest. He warned me that we were to make sure that the extra bedroom was clean."
I had this funny feeling, "Spring, did Austin say who would be staying with us?"
Spring shook her head, "No, he didn't say."
We arrived at the Willingham place at the same time Trent and Trevor did. We were met at the door by a handsome dude, "Good Evening, Mademoiselles and Monsieurs, I'm Napoleon Bonaparte and I'm the butler."
We were laughing but Trevor answered, "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mein Herr. Just call me Adolf Hitler and this is my friend Joseph Stalin. Let me introduce the two ladies. He pointed to me, "The young lady on my right is Marie Antoinette. He turned to Spring, "This young lady on the left Lady Godiva."
The stranger was laughing, "I think I just met my match." He stuck out his hand, "Hi, I'm Duke, AKA Douglas Christiansen."
Trent shook his hand, "I'm Trent, AKA Trenton Nixon. These lovely ladies are Miss Spring Winters and Miss Autumn Summers. The nut over there is my brother, Trevor Nixon."
Duke motioned for us to come in, "Everyone else in back on the deck imbibing their drinks."
As we walked out onto the deck. Howie stood, "I see you met my nephew, Douglas. You already know everyone else. What can I get you good looking people to drink?"
Spring and I opted for a glass of wine.
As we were sitting on the deck, Trevor looked around. "Now let me get the relationships here straight in my head. Dad is our birth Dad and now Mr. Willingham is going to be our step Dad. So does that mean that Duke is going to be our cousin like Derek? Does that mean that Autumn and Austin are also going to be our cousins? What about Miss Spring?"
Spring spoke before anyone else could, "I can't afford to be related to all of you. That would cost too much money to buy you all gifts at Christmas time. Besides when Adrian and I get married we may be moving to wherever his next assignment sends him."
As we were eating Spring, asked, "Austin, who's going to be spending the night at our house?"
Derek answered, "We thought Duke might like to spend the night at your house, so he could get to know Autumn a little better."
Trevor jumped up, "I object, Your honor. Trent, we need to go set up a roving patrol to make sure there is no illegal traffic moving in the hallways."
Mr. Nixon was laughing, "Son, that was totally inappropriate in the presence of the two ladies."
Trent stood, "Thanks for dinner. Sorry to eat and run, but I have a date. See everyone at the competition tomorrow."
I looked at Mr. Willingham, "Who's going to be riding Arabian Prince for you tomorrow?"
"Doug has agreed to ride him."
Duke nodded, "You need to know that I am a novice at this stuff so I'll probably have faults at every jump. I've haven't even seen Arabian Prince yet."
Trevor looked at Spring and me, "Ladies, I'm beginning to smell a rat."
Austin and Derek started to collect the dishes. Austin looked at Spring, "Come keep us company while Trevor escorts Autumn and Duke to look at the horses."
Trevor deferred, "I think I'll stay and make sure the Dads don't get into any trouble."
Doug and I went to the stables and I found out that he had grown up on a horse farm in Virginia. His Mother, who was Howie's sister, had married a gentleman from the horse country in Virginia. He had gone to school at Harvard and was now working on his doctorate at Georgia Tech. He got tired of the long cold winters in the north and decided to come south.
As we were walking back to the house, Duke stopped, "Autumn, I'm not really going to be staying at your house. Uncle Howie doesn't think it would be appropriate for me to stay there with two beautiful single ladies."
"I would like to take you to dinner after the competition tomorrow if Trevor will permit it."
When we got to the assembled people, Doug asked, "Trevor, would it be all right with you if I took Ms. Autumn to dinner after the competition tomorrow?"
Trevor got this funny look on his face. I could tell he wanted to make a smart comment, but he looked at his Dad and decided not to. "I'll tell you after the competition tomorrow. It depends how bad you make us look. Who`s going to take me home? I need to get rested before tomorrow."
I suddenly realized how tired I was, "Mr. Willingham, thanks for the meal. I really need to get home. I've had a very busy week."
Doug nodded, "Autumn, I'll take you and Trevor home. That way he can rest in peace that I behaved like a southern gentlemen."
We went to get in Doug's car and he even opened the door for me. Trevor hopped in the back. Trevor had all sorts of questions that he asked Doug.
When we arrived at the house, Trevor and Doug both got out and Trevor opened my door and Doug walked me to the door. He kissed me on the cheek, "Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow."
I was to find out the next day that Trevor and Doug spent quite a bit of time visiting after they left me.
Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might wish to visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Editor's Notes: Well, this time there was no one yelling at anyone, which makes things a lot more pleasant. I wonder if Autumn will get together with Doug. What kind of a horseman is Doug?
Did I mention that I like this story? Well just in case I haven't mentioned it, I like this story a lot.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher