My husband and I have been hearing lots of clanking and shifting noises coming from our kitchen.
The hubs is hoping on a kitchen ghost so we don’t have to deal with pesky vermin.
….I’d rather take on a giant rat than face my teetering belief in the supernatural.
"Yeah, I know," Shelby said, feeling guilty. "I’m sorry about that. School has gotten pretty crazy." She paused, "How are you doing, Reed?"
Reed chuckled on the other end, “I’m peachy.”
Shelby hesitated, “Are you? Dean says you haven’t been picking up for him lately.”
Reed’s voice dropped slightly, “Yeah, well maybe I’ve been busy, too." There was a long pause on the other end, "So you just called to check in? Brother Dean alerted the authorities on me, and here you are to keep me in line? Thanks, Andover, but I don’t need your watchful eye.”
"I just wanted to see how you were doing," Shelby said. "I haven’t talked to you in awhile, and when he texted me that I got worried. I miss you, Jensen."
“And whose fault is that?" Reed snapped.
"I can’t apologize for going away to school, Reed," Shelby responded, automatically. It wasn’t the first time they’ve had this disagreement. "This is what was best for me. I needed to get away from Riverview. You know that."
“Sure. Riverview, and me," Reed grumbled. "Yeah, well I am fucking fine, okay? You can report back to Dean that I am surviving and thriving. Maybe you guys could find that out if you ever came home to see me. Not all of Riverview sucks, okay? I’m out.”
He hung up before Shelby could get in another word. She frowned, feeling guilty. He was right. She hadn’t been home enough, and she could tell by his voice that neither had Dean.
She sighed, “Hey, honey. I’m going home this weekend.”
Brett sighed, not even trying to hide his frustration, “Yes, he’s around. And he’s fine, Shelby. No need to get all mothery.”
"All I did was ask if he was there," Shelby frowned, her anger easily boiling up to the top. It frequently did that when Reed and Brett were concerned, these days. "If he answered his phone from time to time, maybe I wouldn’t have to bug you. Now put your fucking boyfriend on the phone before I drive over there and kick your ass."
“Fine,” Brett snapped. She heard him moving around, grumbling beneath his breath as he went.
Finally, Reed’s voice came on the line. He sounded half asleep, “Yeah?”
“Shelby!" Reed responded, perking up. "What’s up, Andover? Long time no… anything!”
Shelby quickly dialed Reed’s number as Chase returned to his show. She wandered away to give him space. The phone rang and rang, finally going to voicemail: “’Reed can’t come to the phone right now. I’m keeping him very busy’…’Dude, give me back my phone.’ … BEEP!”
Shelby sighed, “Jensen, it’s me. Dean’s been trying to get a hold of you. Where are you?” She paused, “I’m calling Brett.”
She hung up, going to dial Brett’s number. She hated calling Brett, as the two of them hadn’t gotten along very well since their disagreement over Reed’s addiction so long ago. But she didn’t care. This was necessary.
Finally, after three rings, “Yeah?”
"Hi, Brett. It’s Shelby. Is Reed around?"
After dinner, Shelby put away the leftovers while Chase cleaned out their bowls. Then, he settled down to watch Law & Order: SVU. Shelby milled around, not really wanting to join him. This show bored her, but she didn’t know what else to do. She needed to study, probably, but she was feeling very uninspired.
Soon, as if providing her a reason to procrastinate, Shelby’s phone dinged. “Who’s that?” Chase asked as Shelby dug it from her pocket.
Shelby rolled her eyes at her boyfriend, “Let’s find out together, shall we?” She glanced at the phone, “Oh, it’s Dean.”
"What’s he up to?" Chase asked, not turning from the television.
Shelby chewed on her lip with a frown, “It’s about Reed. He hasn’t been able to get a hold of him for a few days.”
"Uh oh," Chase said, turning now to look at his girlfriend. "You think everything is okay?"
"He’s probably on another bender," Shelby huffed, shaking her head. "I’m going to try to call him."
"Oh, the water’s boiling," Shelby said, pulling her arms away from Chase’s neck.
Chase pouted, “Aw, but I’m not ready to stop cuddling.”
"Do you want to eat or not, Mr. Sandford?"
For a moment, Chase hesitated, “Thirty more seconds.”
Shelby smiled, wrapping her arms back around him and kissing him deeply. His hands tightened around her waist, and it didn’t take long for them both to get into it. Finally, Shelby pulled away, drawing a sound of disapproval from Chase. She laughed, “Whoa, tiger. I need to finish cooking.”
"Fine," Chase said, finally releasing her. He leaned back on the counter, watching her as she went to add the noodles to the boiling water. "You are so beautiful."
With another laugh, Chase slipped his arms around Shelby’s waist and pulled her close. She let out an involuntary giggle and wrapped her arms around his neck. “You could never hit me,” Chase responded. “I’m too cute.”
"Sometimes," Shelby laughed. "Although sometimes I think you’re trying to make me crazy."
Chase nodded, “I need to get you locked up in an asylum as soon as possible so I can gallivant around a single man.”
"Do you gallivant?"
"I might gallivant."
Shelby shook her head and laughed before pulling his lips to her. He hummed lightly at their kiss. “How did I get so lucky to end up with you?” Shelby purred softly as they pulled away.
"Not enough gallivanting when I was younger, probably."
"Okay," Chase began. "Perhaps I wasn’t being… entirely serious." He paused, "But there is always a chance that this time it could work out. And I’m not trying to be an ass.”
Shelby sighed, “I suppose, although that might be even worse.”
"So definitely not a Skip fan, then?"
"Oh sure," Shelby responded sarcastically. "I’m about to start up a fan club. Did you hear him?" She shook her head and laughed, "And you thought I was unambitious when we met.”
Chase chuckled, “Maybe he’ll get his act together. Maybe he’ll be super successful!” He wiggled his eyebrows.
"I feel like you’re just trying to get me to hit you, now."
"So, how do you like our friend’s new boyfriend?" Chase said, and Shelby could hear the smile in his voice.
She turned to face him, as there was little else she could do to prepare dinner until the noodles were ready, “Oh, he was lovely.” She frowned, “It’s just going to be like all of the others, isn’t it? In a couple of weeks, she’ll be a wreck.”
"You never know," Chase said, shrugging. "Maybe this one will actually be the one."
Shelby rose an eyebrow, “Don’t make jokes.”
Chase laughed, “What do you mean?”
"You’re just being an ass," Shelby said, rolling her eyes. "You know damn well that they aren’t going to work out, and I’m going to be the one picking up the pieces."
Shelby headed into the kitchen once Anne and Skip left to get dinner started. “How’s mac and cheese sound?” She called into the living room. She wasn’t a great cook — she had never needed to be living with her mom — but she did her best. She wanted to get better at it.
"Sounds delicious," Chase replied as he wandered into the kitchen after her. He smiled at her as she got the ingredients out. "Ooh, are you going to add extra cheese like you did last time?"
Shelby smiled, “Yep!” She began slicing off some thin pieces of cheese as the water boiled on the stove.
"Awesome," Chase said. "That was so good last time. You’re such an awesome cook."
"Yeah, right," Shelby laughed. "I know how to cook this and ramen."
"Yeah, but you make the best ramen."