"Fuck. Shit. Damn it." I heard as I walked into the house Tig and I had bought just before we got married. Somewhere in the near distance, Tig was frustrated with something. I twisted my lips, wondering what could possibly be the problem. He wasn't even supposed to be home just yet, so the fact that he was here was itself odd.
I took off my shoes and walked into the house, following the sounds of cursing. Ultimately, I found my Old Man standing just outside the back door, in a pair of shorts and a battered old shirt, sucking on his thumb like he'd just hit it. On the ground next to him was a hammer and his hands and face had a light dusting of sawdust on them. He was surrounded by, if my nose was correct, freshly cut lumber in various lengths.
"Blue, what are you doing?" I asked and he turned to me, startled. I could see the wheels turning in his head. For a man whose life involved trying to come up with solutions and let's face it -lies - to cover problems, he wasn't so great at it with me. A fact for which I was grateful, I thought as I stared at him in question.
"Uh..." He said and I crossed my arms, still waiting for a proper response. He shook his hand, apparently still feeling the sting of a hit he must have taken to it and walked toward me. His face showed the I'm-going-to-try-to-get-away-with-this look that he would give me when he thought I wasn't down with whatever he had planned.
"I'm glad you asked, doll. I wanted to surprise you, but this will work, too." He said, resting his hands on my hips, pulling me close, and leaning in to kiss me. As always, his kiss was all consuming. Blue didn't love me by half measures, but rather gave his full focus and feeling to his displays of affection. I hummed in my throat; knowing he was doing this to get his way wasn't going to change the fact that I was going to cave. I couldn't when he kissed me. I'm a sucker.
"Blue," I murmured against his lips and he pulled back slightly. I raised an eyebrow and he looked down to the lumber spread all over.
"I want a dog." He said and I pulled back more. Really? That's what this was all about?
"You want a dog." I reiterated, still not sure why he'd think this would be a problem.
"Yep. I'm going to build its house with this lumber," he said with a kick to the nearest piece. I shook my head at him. I'm not an idiot.
"There's no way any dog of yours ends up staying in a doghouse outside. It'll be on the furniture and sleeping in our bed before the first night is over." I said, giving him crap because I could. I mean, I realize that my history would suggest otherwise, but I've grown to like having roots and connections. Hell, the other Old Ladies and I had become close friends as time had passed. Having a dog wasn't going to cause the cut-and-run response it would have before I met Blue.
"Baby doll, I promise." He said and he worked to use those lovely orbs to get my consent. Utterly ridiculous, but I was still just as much of a sap for those eyes as I was when I met him. I sighed, pretending to mull it over. Blue regularly said that I knew how to work a man, and that I could him as well, but that he always knew when I was doing it. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to test that theory.
"I don't know, Blue. I'm going to be the one picking up after the dog when you're out on a run for the club." I said, infusing my words with doubt.
"I know, doll. But having a dog around when I'm not here will be good for your protection." He said, a twinkle glistening in his eyes. I couldn't tell if he was on to me yet.
"Blue," I said. "You know I've been sparring with Mia. I don't need a dog around to protect me when I know how to do that and when you've shown me how to shoot." I said, pulling my arms up to my chest in a pretend pout. I had to pull out all the stops if he was going to agree to what I'd been hinting at for the last six months.
"What if you went with me to help pick him up?" He asked and I knew I had him. He wouldn't refer to the dog he wanted by a particular pronoun unless he already had the animal stored away somewhere. I wonder if one of the guys was holding on to it; perhaps Chibs?
"Him?" I asked and I saw his eyes widen on the realization that he'd tipped his hand. "You already got a dog, didn't you?" He shifted on his feet and looked anywhere but my eyes. I knew it. This would be perfect for my purposes. I did my best to look hurt, going so far as to let my eyes glass over, before I responded. "But, I thought we talked about these things." I whispered.
"Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no." Blue cried, trying to stave off my tears. "It's not like that, doll. I swear, I didn't do it on purpose. He needed a home and we have one. I didn't go behind your back." I pushed my head into his neck, hiding the smile that threatened to break over his panic. I sniffed for good measure and felt him sigh against me. "I swear, Carmen. I wouldn't just sign up for something like this without talking to you if there'd been another way." I nodded, still keeping my head down.
"How about this, doll? You know that cruise you've been mentioning? Why don't we go? I can get Chibs to watch the dog while we're away. It'll be the best of both worlds. We'll have Roscoe and we'll have a break away from Charming for a bit, just the two of us." And, there it was. I had him by the balls, now. He'd named the dog, so he was all in. I murmured against his chest.
"Are you sure? 'Cause it sounded like you didn't want to go to Alaska." My voice was muffled against his chest and he squeezed me tight.
"Well, I'd rather go somewhere where you're in a string bikini all day, but if you want Alaska, that's where we'll go." Success, I thought.
I pulled back and smiled at Blue. "Okay," I said and he looked at me closely.
"Okay, we can keep Roscoe?" He asked and I nodded, my smile overtaking my face. I must have gone too far into triumph, though, because Blue narrowed his eyes at me.
"Are you fucking kidding me, Carmen?" He asked and I pulled away from him with a laugh.
"You always know when I'm working you, eh?" I asked with a smirk and he made to move after me but I dodged him.
"Come here, you little minx." He muttered as I kept jogging toward the door.
"Come get me," I dared as I tossed my top at him and ran for the bedroom.