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16 June 2010 @ 08:19 pm
The Follow Through (Chapter Seven) - Sequel to 'The Unexpected'  

Chapter Seven

When Ryan and Summer walked back into the Cohen house, they both smelled chinese and glanced at eachother before making a bee-line for the living room, were the food was being dished out to the people seated on the couch, in chairs, and on the floor.

"Sweet and Sour chicken?" Summer asked as soon as they entered the room.

"Right here," Sandy said, holding up the container.

Ryan grabbed it first and stepped away from Summer. "Thanks," he said.

"Give me!" Summer ordered, holding out her hand.

Ryan pretended to consider, then shook his head and stepped back again. "Nah, I think I'll keep it."

"Ryan!" Summer said, stomping her foot and taking a step closer to him. "Give me the chicken or you'll regret it."

"Am I suppose to be scared?" Ryan asked, stepping back again and grinning.

"I have a mean right hook, Chino," Summer reminded him.

"Because I taught you how to box!" Ryan replied, laughing outright. "So I know how to counter your mean right hook."

"You gave her another way to hurt people?" Seth asked. "Are you crazy?"

"Watch it, Cohen," Summer said warningly, though she was smiling too. "And Chino, give me the chicken."

"Split it? 50/50?" Ryan offered.

Summer pretended to consider, then nodded. As she came within range, she snatched the container from his hand and darted to the other side of the couch. "Or not."

"Ryan," Kirsten said, holding up another container. "We expected this."

Ryan laughed and took the container smiling smugly at Summer. "Thanks," he said.

"Why didn't you give that one to me?" Summer asked, pretending to be hurt.

"Then we wouldn't have gotten the free show," Hailey said around a forkful of rice. "You two bickering over Sweet and Sour Chicken is hilarious."

"It's old news, they did that all junior and senior years," Seth said. "I remember once that ended up them knocking the container over and it all landing in Ryan's lap..."

"You had to bring that one up," Ryan said as everyone laughed.

As everyone calmed back down, Summer turned to Kirsten. "How's everything at the Newport Group?" she asked, trying to make conversation.

"Good," Kirsten said, smiling at the girl.

"Although Ryan still hasn't officially accepted the job I'm offering him," Caleb pointed out.

Ryan and Summer exchanged glances. "I want to talk to you about that soon," Ryan finally said cryptically.

"Why not now?" Caleb said. "Kiki and I are here, and I'm sure the rest of this group would eventually find out whatever it is we discuss."

Ryan glanced over at Summer again, then sat up straighter. "I'm ready to accept the job on one condition."

"Yes?" Caleb asked.

"The land that was going to be for the Lerner house," Ryan said. "I want it to build my own house on when I'm ready. I know Newport Group owns the land and can't find anyone else who wants to build their home on it, and I want it."

Caleb narrowed his eyes slightly, his gaze shifting to Summer then to Kirsten, and finally back to Ryan. "Deal. As long as you use one of our contractors."

"Of course," Ryan agreed. "And once you put it all in writing I'll accept the job," he added, smiling as everyone else tried not to laugh.

"You don't trust me?" Caleb asked.

"I distinctly remember you telling me to never make a deal unless it is in writing," Ryan said. "Remember that?"

Caleb smiled. "Good to see one of my grandsons listens when I talk. I'm sure Sandford can draw up the deal soon and we can get it signed."

Sandy shook his head in amusement and heaved a sigh. "I'll draw it up tomorrow," he said.

"Good, it's settled then," Caleb said, sitting back with a feeling of triumph.

Ryan glanced over at Summer again, and saw her barely contained happiness, so he leaned over. "Told you I could pull it off."

"You better give me an answer soon about the question you stalled on, Chino," Summer replied, smiling and leaning against him.

"You'll know soon enough," Ryan replied, returning the smile and kissing the top of her head.

~~~~

"That was sheer brilliance, you know," Hailey said as she watched Ryan wash the utensils later. "Manipulating him like that."

"Yeah, I think I've been spending a little too much time with him," Ryan replied, shrugging. "But it got me what I wanted, and no one is getting hurt in the process..."

"So you easily have him beat," Hailey agreed, laughing. "So, what was all the whispering with Summer about?"

"Nothing," Ryan said quickly.

"When someone answers that fast, it's a sure sign they're lying through their teeth," Hailey pointed out.

"I'm not, there wasn't really any particular topic, just... a little commentary..." Ryan said, trying to evade the question by focusing on washing the utensils.

"Uh-huh," Hailey said sceptically as she took the utensils he'd washed and put them into the dishwasher. "And I never locked you and Seth in the pool house."

Ryan shot her a 'look', and shrugged. "It's really not anything juciy, Hailey."

"Come on, share with Auntie Hailey," she urged. "I promise not to tell!"

"I showed Summer the lot when she and I went out before dinner," Ryan said. "We were just talking about how I told her I could get Caleb to agree to let me have it."

"And why did you show her the lot?" Hailey pressed.

"I just did," Ryan evaded, handing her the last fork and moving over to the counter to put the left over food that had, courtesy of Seth, been left on the counter.

"Because you want your house to be her house?" Hailey guessed. "And I'm betting she wants the same."

"It's really not any of your business, Hailey," Ryan said.

"What isn't?" Kirsten asked as she walked into the kitchen, her arms full of empty takeout containers.

"Ry admitted that he showed Summer the land he wanted dad to give him," Hailey said. "And I think he did it cause he wants his house to be her house and she wants the same."

"It may not be her business but it's obvious," Kirsten said, smiling slightly as Ryan sighed and rolled his eyes. "And frankly, I would be very happy if she's right."

"It's not your business either, mom," Ryan replied with amusement, not even realizing that he had slipped back into calling her mom.

But Kirsten and Hailey both noticed, exchanging smiles behind Ryan's back. "I'm your mom, that makes it my business," Kirsten countered.

"And I'm your favorite aunt," Hailey added.

"You're my only aunt," Ryan replied, turning towards them and raising an eyebrow.

"No, technically Marissa's your aunt too," Hailey pointed out.

"If she's my aunt, she's Seth's aunt, and then it just get creepy," Ryan said.

"He has a point there," Hailey agreed. "Way too creepy."

"What is?" Marissa asked as she, Seth, and Summer entered the kitchen.

"And the kitchen once again becomes the central meeting place in this house," Ryan quipped, smiling as Summer walked over and slid her arms around his waist.

"If there was a tv and beds in here, no one would ever go anywhere else," Summer agreed.

"What's way too creepy?" Marissa repeated.

"That if Hailey's going to refer to you as Ryan's aunt, that means you must be Seth's too," Kirsten supplied.

"Definitely not a thought I want to be thinking," Marissa agreed, making everyone laugh as Sandy, Caleb, and Jimmy rounded out the group.

"So, Bro, what were you and Summer whispering about during dinner?" Seth asked.

"Like I told Mom and Hailey, it's none of your business," Ryan said. "Or yours, Dad, or anyone's but mine and Summer's."

"He was just gloating that he was right that he could get Mr. Nichols to agree to give him the land," Summer said.

"I still wanna know why he took you to see the land," Hailey said.

Summer glanced up at Ryan to see his reaction, and saw a mix of frustration and amusement in his eyes, so she decided to tell a white lie. "He wanted my opinion on what kinda house would look better there. You know, soon to be graduated designer here?"

"Yeah, and it had nothing to do with..."

"Hailey, if you tell your little theory, you will cease to be my favorite Aunt," Ryan threatened, though he was smiling.

"You have to have a favorite Aunt, and if Marissa doesn't count..."

"Fine, Katelin's my favorite aunt," Ryan said with a smirk.

Everyone laughed again, and Summer hugged Ryan tightly. This was how it should always be, she thought.

To Be Continied...
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on June 17th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
This is a great chapter. I really like the comedy at the end. It shows what a great family they are.
alluxeraalluxera on June 17th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
I'm on vacation right now and I enjoy your daily updates very much. Every morning I check for a new chapter, I really enjoy your story. Thank you very much!