Fine, yes, I started it. Ben came down the hill for breakfast and almost instantly I was tired of his bullshit. He doesn't seem to care about anything outwardly so he made what had to be the ninth noncommittal diplomatically correct response in about fifteen minutes and I stood up and threw a hard-boiled egg at his head.
Overhand. Leftie, to boot.
And I was taught to throw with both arms so I nailed him right between the eyes.
No one had time to react when he stood up and nailed me right back with a piece of toast with jam, thrown tactically like a ninja star. It hit me in the chin and then stuck fast to the front of my Raised by Wolves shirt.
I love this shirt. I unstuck the toast and threw it back but missed and he laughed and said I suck at this game and I told him I throw words better than food and he told me to go for it, leaning in, a fierce expression on his face that I haven't seen in forever but it means he's alive in there somewhere.
Come home and I'll let you have it.
My epic lecture on what a absolutely horrible dickhead you've been to me for the past six months.
So I should consider this a formal notice of the demise of Ben and Bridget?
Is that what you want?
Good because that's not what this is.
I thought you and the human torch there were all cozy now and doing great.
We are and you love that.
Only if I'm involved, Bee.
Then come back, you fucking loser because it's getting cold on your side of the bed and because there can't be just two musketeers. It just sounds weird.
That's up to the owner of this house.
I'll deal with him.
The hell you will. Lochlan sits up. We'll all go together.
So we head over and Caleb opens the door. He looks tired too. He greets the boys and then asks me how the pain is (delicious), if I need anything (have it right here) and if I was pleased that Ben came over for a meal (I was, I am). Then he started some more coffee and asked if this was a formal visit.
I want Ben to come back, to live at the house again, I told him and I watched Lochlan bite his lip from my peripheral vision.
I was thinking it was time for that. I think he's learned his lesson and what won't be tolerated when it comes to you.
Which isn't for you to decide. You don't get to dictate behavior.
I do get to dictate who lives in my house with my minor child present if they prove to be untrustworthy.
Ben looks at the floor but I continue to hold Caleb's gaze.
I trust him.
Except when you argue, you mean.
We have a lot of things to work on but we can't work on them apart.
Ben, are you prepared to try a lot harder? You've made Bridget very unhappy.
Ben is still looking at the floor. Both. I want to make both of them happy.
Caleb rolls his eyes but lets the remark go without commenting as he stares at my hopeful face.
Please, Diabhal. I want to be happy for Christmas.
(Because. LAY. IT. ON. THICK. GIRL.)
I have a weakness for giving you everything you've ever wanted and you know that, Neamhchiontach. So if you want Benjamin home then so be it. But Ben, if you step out of line even in the slightest, not even Batman will be able to save you from me.
I'll be there. Lochlan speaks up.
We all know your track record for keeping Bridget safe. Why do you think we live here like this? So we can check each other because we've all failed miserably at the one thing we're sworn to do.
And then he continued with his speech but I was too busy grinning at everything. At Ben. And then back at Loch but he was busy being irate at Caleb for dredging up things we can't ever seem to forget. I watched them watch each other for a while but then I remembered my manners and thanked Caleb for giving up on the childish ban and he said it had less to do with Ben and more with taking things away from Lochlan, like the hundred percent share he's enjoyed now for weeks, and that he hopes it hurts like fuck.
I had to correct him. Ben coming back doesn't take anything away from Loch any more than having a second child takes love away from the first. They all looked so surprised, I'm thinking they finally understand me.