Title: Picnic at the Point [BE8]
Description: Nate Weathersby
Roxy Bennett - August 12, 2011 05:57 AM (GMT)
August 15th 2011 – Early Afternoon
When the auction to raise money for the NICU rolled around Roxy only thought it was natural to bid in it. She was pregnant after all and, god forbid, if anything should happen she was more than willing to donate money to make sure the program had all the necessary equipment to help those poor little babies that started out on the wrong foot. Plus it wasn’t as if money was an issue for her and Kaden and seeing as how she wasn’t the kind of woman to go out shopping and blow their hard earned cash on material things, might as well put towards a good cause. And a good cause it was, she decided as now she was busy cooking up a nice picnic lunch for her date. Rox
hadn’t really been nervous about it till this morning. Kaden didn’t really mind her going out with someone else, if he did he didn’t say anything, but it was strange to think about having a date with some guy who not only she didn’t know but wasn’t the love of her life. She would just have give her husband some special attention when he got home to prove the outing really meant nothing more to her than possibly meeting a new friend.
Thoughts were pushed aside as she packed the basket and loaded it into her car, faithful family pet following at her heels and drooling at the smell of chicken. Shoeing his curious nose out of her backseat and shutting the door, Rox rolled her eyes and patted the dog’s head. “C’mon you freakin’ horse, let’s go,”
she spoke, slowly climbing the steps back inside where she fed Riot and slipper her shoes on with newfound difficulty. Who knew putting shoes on could be so hard with a baby on the way? It wasn’t like she was that big for twenty two weeks, in fact it probably wouldn’t hurt her to gain a few more pounds, but she couldn’t imagine the bump getting any bigger than it was already. It seemed quite impossible at this point but she was taking it day by day and only really making it on the sweet compliments Kaden offered her before he left for work and when he returned.
Which was exactly where the man was now, where he always was, busy working at the bank; his second home. Time passed by and finally Rox decided she better leave before she was late to her ‘blind date.’ She was meeting Nate at the point and he was bringing dessert that much she was definitely looking forward to (because eating it seemed was all she really like to do anymore). Grabbing the leftover banana from breakfast that morning, she hauled herself into the car she fear was getting too small for her growing belly and left home for William’s Point. She had told him she’d meet him at four for an early dinner and was a little disappointed to find she was already a few minutes late which churned her nerves a little more. Maybe it was just the baby kicking, but in typical Roxy fashion, she began over thinking the situation. What if he showed up and she wasn’t here so he just left?
With a deep sigh, she grabbed the basket from the back seat and headed out to find the declared date spot. It was really a perfect day, not too hot and not too cold, grass was green and the sky was blue and silently she decided if she had to spend the afternoon alone, she would just eat her packed picnic lunch alone by the waterside and be just fine. Luckily it didn’t seem to be the case as she noticed a rather handsome man she only assumed to be her date for the evening. “Nate?”
she questioned, approaching as quietly as heavy footsteps would let her. “Hi, I’m Roxy. Roxy Bennett,”
she introduced, holding out her free hand to shake before lowering the basket to the ground which had grown a little heavy. Or perhaps she was just getting tired already. “Hope you’re hungry,”
she voiced with a wide southern grin and bright blue eyes, one hand taking up its rightful place atop her baby bump.
Nate Weathersby - August 22, 2011 11:09 PM (GMT)
As a father, when he'd heard about the date auction to benefit Evergreen's NICU, it had been the only logical thing to do to sign up. Nate was new to town and didn't have much money, so signing up as a date was the next best thing to actually donating money himself – plus Eleanor seemed to think he was handsome, so maybe he could bring in a little extra for the hospital. Preparing for his 'blind date' was easy, aside from the part where he had to convince Eleanor he wasn't going to think the other woman was prettier than her. He'd spoken to his buyer and they had arranged for a late lunch/early dinner situation today, at William's Point. His date, Roxy, was a good cook so he'd agreed to let her bring dinner, on the condition that he was allowed to make a dessert. Nate had been taking care of people too long, he wasn't about to sign up for this date and sit passively while she did all the work. Not when she'd paid money for a date with him! Which, frankly, he still thought was weird... but anything for the babies, right?
His own daughter, who was bouncing around the living room singing some kind of teen-bop karaoke with Eleanor, had been born perfectly healthy, something he'd always been thankful for. But he knew of a lot of families who had been far less fortunate, and premature babies didn't always get better once their bodies healed. They were prone to being smaller in stature and weaker than other children their age, with developmental delays. Their immune systems didn't always work the way they should. Their underdeveloped hearts and lungs needed lots of extra help. There were so many things that could go wrong, it was a miracle some of them survived at all. He grimaced as he took a raspberry-lime cheesecake out of the refrigerator, checking to see if it had set properly overnight. Cutting off a segment of that and putting it in plastic, he put the rest back in the overfull fridge for his family. And just in case she didn't like cheesecake, he'd made his personal favorite: homemade apple pie. Putting the cake carrier and pie tin in a large lunchbox, Nate kissed his girls goodbye and got in the car to meet his date.
He was on time when he got to William's point at just a minute before four, but his date wasn't there yet. It didn't bother him. He looked around while he waited, walking a little toward the water so he could get an idea what the fishing was like. His new wife seemed to like to fish, and so did his daughter. Maybe he could surprise them with a fishing trip before Tamsin started fourth grade. Every time he thought of how big she was getting he had to mentally shake himself. She was already almost ten, and he still remembered changing her diapers and the day she took her first steps. Sometimes he missed that little baby, but then he looked at her and thought how she looked more like her mother every day. Danae would have been so proud of her.
Nate was shaken out of his thoughts by a voice behind him, and turned around to find a smiling blonde woman holding a picnic basket. She held out her hand to shake and he shook it, smiling back, then bent down and picked up the picnic basket for her. “Roxy? Yeah, hi, I'm Nate. Let me get that for you,” he said, hefting it up and onto one arm. She was adorable. And pregnant, which took him back to thoughts of babies once again. He was married, so he figured thinking in terms of 'adorable' wasn't wrong. The sight of her still made him want to get back home to Eleanor. That counted for something, right? “I'm starving. I just hope you like desserts, 'cause I made two. Apple pie and a raspberry-lime cheesecake. And you're welcome to take home the leftovers, I don't think I can fit another crumb in my fridge at home. Should we sit?”
Roxy Bennett - August 23, 2011 02:54 AM (GMT)
Roxy only smiled a little wider when the man shook her hand and then offered to carry the basket. Wow he was polite, and she was genuinely thankful for that. At least now she could stop worrying over spending the afternoon with some asshole who really didn’t give a shit about anything. “Aw, thank you,” she said softly as he lifted it up onto his arm. Now, she was perfectly capable of doing things herself, she was only pregnant, not dying or anything and though she didn’t want to be babies or treated in that way, it was always nice that someone else cared. Plus she was warned to not be lifting heavy objects, not that she ever really listened to what anyone told her anyway. With a sigh, she lightly rubbed at her belly feeling a little flutter of movement. She still hadn’t gotten used to that feeling; knowing the baby was in there growing and moving around. They weren’t the strong yet and Rox had yet to feel extremely uncomfortable, though she figured that time was coming soon enough. Still she enjoyed the little kicks and was already in the habit of talking to her stomach and even caught her husband doing it too.
Laughing, she took a step to follow him and nodded to the basket. “Well good, there’s lots of food in there. Chicken and potatoes and a nice green salad. Some fresh fruit too and sweet iced tea. Hope its good enough,” she voiced with a little bit of a worried tone. She liked to cook and all and thought she was a pretty good cook, at least Kaden usually thought so. But not everyone had the same tastes and what if he really didn’t care for the picnic she’s packed? Lunch would be ruined, the whole date probably would be. And why did she care in the first place? Well she always cared, cared what people thought; about her and about themselves, and it was just her own thing to get into a place in her head where she started overanalyzing the entire situation which almost always caused her more stress and grief than it was work. It really wouldn’t be so back if she had some way to relax, but she could just go out for a run like she used to, or have a few drinks to unwind, and the only thing that was any comfort to her lately was her husband. She hated to be clingy but these hormones had her all out of whack and normally she just wanted to curl up on the couch with her man and her dog and fall asleep while watching a movie and eating ice cream.
Today she wasn’t going to do that though. Rox told herself all day she wasn’t going to think about this too much and she was just going to enjoy being outside in the sunshine and having some good food while talking with some guy she didn’t even know. “I love dessert!” she informed the man with a grin than widened at the mention of pie and cheesecake. She hadn’t really craved anything weird throughout this pregnancy but sweets had always been her weakness and her mouth was watering already. Raising a brow at the offer of leftovers, she wondered first why he wouldn’t take them home to his own family but apparently they had a refrigerator full already. “I’d love leftovers. My husband would too if there’s even any left by the time he gets home from work,” she mused with a knowing look directed towards her stomach. Plus it meant she wouldn’t have to cook tomorrow either. “And sitting sounds amazing.” With a shy smile and bashful looked, Rox lowered herself right onto the grass by a tree nearby with a grunt, shifting slightly to try and get comfortable before stretched her arms behind her and leaning back on her palms with a sigh. “So what do you do Nate?” she asked as a classic conversation starter eyeing the containers he brought and wondering if it would be horribly rude to start with the dessert first.
Nate Weathersby - August 25, 2011 05:29 PM (GMT)
“No problem,” Nate replied, walking with his date until she stopped by a tree. Thinking this was as good a picnic spot as any, he put the basket and desserts down on the grass. Roxy being pregnant, it made him think of Danae. How annoyed she used to get with him, because he wouldn't let her do anything when she was pregnant that he couldn't do for her. He remembered rushing over to her once to help her pick up, of all things, a manilla folder and as soon as she had it in her hands she'd commenced to smacking him with it. But it wasn't all bad, because as he recalled, that had led to Nate chasing her around the house until they wound up in their bedroom... still, the principle stood. He could be annoyingly overprotective, so he was really trying here not to be rude. Was it even possible to be so polite it was actually rude? He wasn't sure. “What you packed sounds great to me, I'm not picky, and I love picnic food.” Nate smiled, stretching his back a bit before he sat down on the grass. He'd taken a tumble off a ladder at work a little while ago and it still got sore if he sat for too long. “Baby kicking?” he asked, noticing how she rubbed her belly. Of course, all pregnant women touched their bellies, and most of the time didn't even know they were doing it, but she seemed to be touching a specific spot. Danae had done that.
He started to unpack the basket as she sat down, spreading a little blanket that had been tucked inside so the food wouldn't sit directly on the grass, and nodded when she said she'd love the leftovers. And her husband, if she didn't eat them all. Nate laughed. “Well, you're welcome to whatever's left, I packed the whole pie, but if you need more cheesecake I'm not too far away. And I still have three quarters of it left.” The girls wouldn't mind if he gave away another few slices, he was sure. With all the stuff they had in the house it wasn't like there wasn't anything good to eat... plus Nate knew if they really begged, he'd make another. Maybe he should have brought the whole thing and just made a second when he got home? Oh well, too late now. When she asked what he did, he smiled, finishing putting out the food by setting the desserts next to the chicken and salad. “I do construction, I'm a carpenter. What I do specifically is called framing; I put up the frame of the building, kind of like the skeleton. What about you?” Part of him wondered how she'd take him being a laborer, as she seemed pretty classy. Then again, Nate often expected people to look down on him for working construction, and they usually didn't, at least not obviously. What the people who did look down on him didn't know was he had an engineering degree to back up his carpentry. He'd expected his wife to be disappointed, but as it turned out she had a thing for blue collar boys. And Nate had suddenly never been happier to be a blue collar boy.
Roxy was looking at the containers with the desserts in them kind of longingly, and Nate couldn't help but laugh. He picked up the cheesecake container and held it out to her. “Do you want the first slice? Nobody's around, who's gonna know if we start with dessert?” Plus, the cheesecake was kind of a new recipe for him, and though the chicken was making his mouth water, he wanted to see how his raspberry-lime experiment had turned out. His daughter had said the batter was “scrum-diddly-umptious”, so he hoped the cake had turned out just as well. “Let me know what you think. I've done raspberry cheesecake before, but never raspberry-lime, so you've got to tell me if it's awful. You're my guinea pig,” he said, and grinned.
Roxy Bennett - August 25, 2011 08:50 PM (GMT)
Sitting on the ground might not have been the most comfortable thing in the world but Roxy was really enjoying being out in the fresh. She’d always been the outdoors type and it reminded her a little of home out here in the grass with the river running nearby. Something about the whole atmosphere was very relaxing and with a content smile, she chucked at Nate’s comment about the food. Most guys weren’t picky and would eat anything whether it be a gourmet meal or some ballpark hot dog. She liked to cook though and was used to having dinner on the table and it being nice and tasty and something other people would appreciate. “Well good, there should be plenty there for the both of us and hopefully it tastes ok,” she said, shoulders sinking a little as she leaned her weight into her arm. Touching her stomach lightly with her other hand, that subtle loving look in her eyes, she blushed slightly at his question and nodded. “Yeah. I just started feeling it pretty recently, not quite used to it yet.” Biting her bottom lip, she once more touched the spot between her belly button and her left hip bone, feeling that strange wave of movement against her fingertips. “Wanna feel?” Roxy asked, lifting blue eyes to gaze over at him.
With the basket being unpacked and blanket set up, Roxy saw just how much food was there. It didn’t seem like that much when loaded into the picnic basket but once it was all spread out on the ground; she could see where she might have gone a little overboard. “Oh no, I don’t want to take anymore of your desserts,” she insisted with a smile. Plus she was more than capable of going home and baking up her own pie if she really wanted to. “Thanks for the offer though. And you take some of this food home too,” she added, reaching forward to pour two glasses of sweet iced tea, balancing them on the flattest place on the ground so they wouldn’t get knocked over. Blinking she nodded, intently listening to what this man did for a living with a grin on her face. She could tell by looking at him he must have worked with his hands, or just went to the gym a lot. He looked strong and capable and after a sip of her drink, tilted her head a little. “Wow, that sounds interesting,” she voiced, thinking how important it was for the skeleton and foundation of a house to be just right and perfect. Must have been a complicated job, she’d imagine.
And then Roxy had to laugh. “I don’t do anything,” she chuckled, shrugging slightly. It sounded horrible and she hated to think of herself as one of those wives who didn’t contribute and let her husband do all the work but it seem that was just what it came to. “I used to be a singer before I moved here to Evergreen. But I never went to college and I’m not really qualified to do anything so finding a job was hard. And then I got pregnant.” Shaking her head slightly, she just come to accept that fact the she was becoming just a house wife. “I think my husband would have a fit if I actually had a real job though. He likes to come home and have me all to himself.” After being offered the container of cheesecake, Roxy sighed a little and reached out for it. “Was it that obvious?” she asked picking up a piece and placing it on a plate. “I’d love to, thanks.” Eating dessert wasn’t going to ruin the meal, she was sure she’d still be hungry anyway. Digging around the basket for a plastic fork, she cut off a bite of the cheesecake and raised a brow at Nate. “It’s not gonna kill me is it?” she teased, hearing she was his guinea pig. Popping the bite into her mouth anyway, she chewed for a moment before closing her eyes. “This is amazing . . .” she mumbled, words muffled by a hand over her mouth as she chewed. “I love it.” Smiling she took another bite and then filled her plate up with some chicken and potatoes that she’d thrown some cajun seasoning on when she baked them. “Do you have any kids?”
Nate Weathersby - August 29, 2011 01:38 PM (GMT)
Nate smiled at her reassuringly from across the picnic basket. He hadn't been trying to embarrass her when he pointed out that she was touching her belly, but as a father it had just been something he'd noticed and remembered from when his late fiancee was pregnant. Then she asked if he wanted to feel it, and his eyes went a little wider at the offer. “If you don't mind,” he ventured cautiously, reaching across to rest just his fingertips next to her hand, just in time to feel that familiar little flutter. Smiling, Nate just nodded like it was the most natural thing in the world before quietly removing his hand. “It's amazing. Thanks.” And he looked at her for just a moment before going back to setting out the food, trying not to recognize that feeling in his gut for what it really was. He had missed feeling a baby kicking, missed the way a woman looked with a little round belly like she was smuggling a basketball instead of a baby. Crap, he thought to himself, I miss having a baby. Crap, crap, crap. That wasn't really a problem, Eleanor wanted kids after all, but there was still Tamsin to worry about. He tried not to think about any of it for the time being, taking a glass of the sweet tea when she poured it and having a sip.
“Sure, I'll take home whatever you don't want,” Nate agreed. “But you don't have to, you know. I'm sure your husband will want some.” And she didn't seem perturbed that he worked construction, either. Not at all. He smiled when she said it sounded interesting, because although it would have seemed canned coming from anyone else, he got a feeling of genuineness from Roxy, like she wouldn't bullshit him if she could help it. Then she laughed and told him she didn't do anything, and he smiled at the story. “A singer, how glamorous. Wait until my wife hears.” He grinned, raising an eyebrow, and dug a fork out of the basket for himself. “Hey, being a parent is hard work even before your kids are born. Definitely harder on mom at that point than dad, but still... just because you don't have a job that you get paid for, it doesn't mean you don't do anything.” She took the offered cheesecake container from him and he smiled, shaking his head when she asked if it was that obvious. It wasn't, really, he was just familiar with pregnancy and knew what to expect. Pregnant women often craved dairy, so it was probably that, more than the sweets, that made the cheesecake a top pick over the other foods they'd brought. Laughing when she asked if she was going to die from eating it, he waved his fork and asked, “What, you want me to try it first? Show you it's safe?” But apparently she didn't need him to, and he smiled as she brought the first bite to her mouth. A smile that got even wider when she said she loved it. Digging a fork into a different slice of cheesecake, he took a bite and sighed. It really was good. “Mmm, you're right,” he said, somewhat muffled by the bite. “I just hope nobody else discovers that and eats it all before I get home!”
Roxy asked if he had any kids, and although he'd been determined not to be That Dad today, he nodded and grabbed his iPhone from his pocket while he was chewing. A few practiced flicks of his fingers across the screen and he'd pulled up his photo album, stopping on the most recent picture of Tamsin. It was actually also the wallpaper on his phone, a picture of her and Eleanor smiling at the camera as they painted each other's nails, but this way Roxy could see more if she wanted to. “That's my daughter, Tamsin. She's nine. And that's my wife, Eleanor – Tamsin's step-mom.” He grinned, handing the phone over so Roxy could see. “Best step-mom ever. They just adore each other, and I adore them. We're newlyweds, if that wasn't already obvious.” He rolled his eyes at himself and gestured to the phone. “There's more pictures in there, feel free to look if you want. How long have you and your husband been married? And do you know what you're having?”
Roxy Bennett - August 30, 2011 02:53 AM (GMT)
Roxy gently pressed his fingers into her belly where she was feeling the movement with a smile on her face. A lot of pregnant woman didn’t really want to be touched or asked all those stupid questions, she supposed even more so if it was their second pregnancy, but she honestly didn’t mind at all. Rox was kind of, well, proud of the fact she had a visible baby bump now and could feel the kicks and flutters inside. It was really amazing and after all the trouble she’d been through it was just a special thing she wanted to share. Everyone liked babies anyway right? But on the other hand, she didn’t want it to be awkward so with a nod and smile, agreeing with Nate when he said it was amazing, she continued on pouring tea and fixing herself up a plate, eventually distracted by conversation and, more importantly, dessert. Not perturbed in the least at his job, finding it almost a natural choice after taking a good look at him. Nate just seemed like one of those guys; the quiet hometown boy who worked hard for everything he had. There was no reason to look down on him for what he did and she had no right to being raised the way she was. She wasn’t perfect and though she lived in that big house on the hill most little girls dreamed about, she was far from some stuffy ‘better than everyone else’ bitch.
After her own little spiel about her career, or maybe rather lack thereof, she found her own brow raising at Nate’s comment in a rather curious manner. “Does your wife sing too?” she asked as he dug a fork out of the nearby basket. She hadn’t met too many people around Evergreen who really sang but she knew they must have existed somewhere. Lowering her head slightly as the man spoke; she couldn’t help but smirk a little. “Well, thank you,” she voiced sincerely. It seemed like that was just what she needed to hear because lately it felt like she really didn’t do anything but sit around the house all day or maybe run to the store. She felt lazy, honestly, and she didn’t like it but this outing was making her feel better already. “You sound like you’re talking from experience.” And it wouldn’t surprise her, he seemed like he’d be a great dad.
The cheesecake was delicious and it tasted just right in a way that settled the craving that was growing in the pit of her stomach. Just the right amount of sweet and tangy and creamy perfection had her closing her eyes with another bite. Yep, she’d definitely be taking some of this home with her to serve as her late night snack tonight. Another bite swallowed and Roxy laughed, shaking her head a little at Nate. “If it’s this good chances are, they’ve already discovered it,” she informed him like it was the worst idea in the world. “Looks like you’ll be busy baking again soon,” she chuckled, popping another bite in her mouth before setting the rest of the slice nearby and reaching for her other food. No need to spoil lunch completely with all this cheesecake. Soon enough, he was passing his phone over and Roxy set her plate down on her thighs brushing fingertips on her jean shorts to reach for it, glancing at the picture on the screen. Nate noted who it was and Roxy grinned, looking down at it once more. “Aww, she’s adorable, how old is she?” she asked flipping through the photo album at more picture of the little girl. “Well it looks like they really get along.” The was probably the most important thing, she guessed.
Snorting slightly as she passed the phone back over, seeing him roll his eyes, she nodded knowingly. She remembered the newlywed phase with her and Kaden but it wasn’t the perfect kind of time period for her like everyone else usually had. He was busy with work and she was too emotionally screwed up at the time to really let him into her life and to this day they still hadn’t had a honeymoon but she wouldn’t trade that man for the world. Kaden was her whole life now and her life had never been better. “Actually our one year anniversary is in two months,” she voiced with a proud smile, hand rubbing at her stomach light again in a subconscious action. Plate picked back up, she shook her head and sighed. “No we don’t know what it is,” she said softly, tilting her head a little. “I didn’t want to jinx it or anything so we’re just going to let it be a surprise.” Filling her mouth with food from her plate, Roxy reached for some fruit next, glancing down at what all was spread out. A drink of tea and she turned her attention back up to Nate. “Any more little ones in your future?” she asked, popping a grape in her mouth.