Jake was as good as his word. He’d put two unopened beers in his front pants pockets and carried two glasses of wine in his left hand, one between thumb and index finger and the other tucked between pinky and ring, along with a third glass in his right hand. He handed Sean the wine from his right hand, Ashley got the one from between pinky and ring fingers and he collected a quick smooch from Bilhah as he handed her the remaining glass. “I’m not sure which of those glasses was your honey,” he told his wife, “but the wine ought’a sterilize the germs; right Ash?” he added over his left shoulder.
“Sure thing, hop-sing,” his sister-in-law said. “No problem, señor.”
“What about mine?” Sean asked from the love seat in front of the bay window.
“Oh. I spit in yours. Don’t you worry,” Jake said, hawking up a big loogie, swallowing it and smiling at his brother-in-law. Jake took the beers out of his pants and gave one to Payton as he stepped back over to his recliner. “Ahhh,” he breathed, popping the leg rest up in front of him. “That’s more like.”
Sean closed his eyes, took a deep breath and exhaled. “Where were we?” Amber asked once everyone was again seated.
“Asset disbursement,” Payton said matter of factly.
Jacob turned his head to his brother and declared, “Nice. You sound like a damn lawyer.”
Payton brought his right hand to his mouth, blew on his nails and polished them on his shirt. “Thanks. I been practicing.”
“Could we. Please. Get back. To. Our conversation?” Amber declared staccato voce.
“Fire away, oh goddess of Gaelic,” Bilhah declared.
“Thank. You. Bilhah,” Amber said.
“You’re. welcome. Fart. Face,” Bilhah responded.
Jake coughed. “Bilhah? Please? For me?”
“The house?” Amber asked. “What’s the plan for the house?”
Payton lifted and dropped his right shoulder in a semi-shrug. “I don’t know that we have a ‘plan.’ We won’t be able to move forward until the will’s read. Obviously we’re gonna have a lot of stuff to take care of. All the crap in here. The furniture. Who gets what. Splitting things equal sounds easy but we’ll have to take things one step at a time. And we’ll have to try and get along, too,” he added looking from Amber to Bilhah and then back to his little sister.
“Well I’m not the one who starts things,” Amber declared.
“Oh, Lord no!” Bilhah agreed. “Who would ever suspect Hakuna Tuatha over here of stirring a pot? Little miss, little miss can’t be wrong? Go spin that one,” Bil declared.
“Fine,” Bilhah continued, crossing her arms under her breasts. “I will be good.” And after a short pause, “If she is.”
Amber opened her mouth and rocked forward in her seat. Sean, put his hand on her shoulder and gently but firmly pulled her back. “What were you saying, Payton?” he asked.
“I was saying that we really can’t do anything until our tees are crossed and our eyes dotted but we can start looking into selling the house. We’re gonna have to look at all the stuff in here too and decide what we want to do with it.”
“Burn it?” Bilhah asked. “No offense, guys.”
“No, you’re right. We all asked Mom and Dad and then Mom to please weed the garden but it never happened. Now we’re stuck with a house full of crap with some treasure mixed in. It’s gonna take work to figure things out.”
“’Treasure?’” Amber declared. “Like what? John’s suit? Come on.”
“Well hang on,” Joni said. “I asked John to start going through the spare room? The ‘treasure room’ as I like to call it? And he found something in there that was mighty interesting, didn’t you sweetie?”
John swiveled his head toward his wife and said, “I did?”