Luke felt the wind rush out of him as Dallas plopped down on his lap. “Well, if sharing is caring, call me Mother Theresa, I’d could share and care all day long!” He chuckled, leaving another kiss on the sweet girl’s cheek. He was starting to see the hope in her eyes again, but it was distant. He prayed she’d find it again soon, for both of their sakes.
He watched as everyone made their way to the Jeep, December sliding through the backseat like superman, and spreading out across everyone else’s laps; the tiny pup yapping in the front seat toward Eli, who couldn’t stop chuckling as his room mate army crawled her way into the cab; the awkward exchange between Jamie and Grace…
As the kids piled in, he noticed the girl he was supposed to have gone golf carting with the other day squeeze in closer to them. “Hey there… Peyton, right?” He asked, making eye contact with the small girl, who seemed all to eager to get to the blue hole, and out of the middle seat.
Eli slid into the car, mussing Luke’s hair with a strong hand as he nodded between him and Dallas, “How’s it going, Loverboy? Haven’t seen you two around much. I was actually able to keep my lunch down.”
With a wink, he turned his attention to December. Grabbing her by the waist, he pulled her onto his lap and pulled the seatbelt tight over both of them before kissing her neck and adding, “Click it or ticket, love. It’s the law!”
Laughing, he leaned back as Jamie pressed down on the gas. Turning his head, Eli watched the grand estate of Chilton fade into the background. And oh, what a joyous sight it was.
“This…is going to be a good day,” Eli murmured, nodding to himself as he held onto December. “Would anyone like to challenge that? I haven’t punched anyone in a while…”