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25 June 2010 @ 12:00 am
The Follow Through (Chapter Twelve) - Sequel To 'The Unexpected'  
The Follow Through - Chapter Twelve

"Trey seems like a nice young man," Caleb said later that day as he walked into the office he had insisted on giving Ryan almost two years ago.

Ryan raised an eyebrow. "Who are you and what did you do with Caleb Nichols?" he asked as he stood and walked over to the mini fridge to grab a bottle of water.

"He does," Caleb insistred. "Polite. And he jumped in to help when Jimmy Cooper was causing more trouble."

"What if I said he did that because he thinks Hailey's hot?" Ryan replied, trying not to laugh as all blood drained from Caleb's face. "I'm joking, Grandpa."

"You never have really gotten the hang of telling jokes," Caleb replied, shaking his head. "The point is..."

"The point is, he's from the same place I was 6 years ago," Ryan said. "Except he's two and a half years removed from it because he was in jail."

"Well, he seems to have cleaned up his act..."

"I repeat, who are you and what have you done with Caleb Nichols?" Ryan said. "All I did was get dragged along in the commision of a crime. Trey both comitted that crime and others. I got called 'The Boy' and treated like crap, and you think Trey is great."

"Maybe I'm... mellowing," Caleb said, glaring as Ryan choked on a gulp of water as he started to laugh. "It's not amusing."

"Yeah, it is," Ryan said, leaning on the desk for support as he kept coughing.

"Is everything okay?" Kirsten said as she led Trey in.

"Fine," Ryan said, stilling coughing. "How'd the meeting with Ed go?" he asked hopefully.

"Fine, he said working on your house will be like a probationary period. I do good work, he'll hire me full time," Trey replied. "Are you sure your okay, Ry?"

"Fine," Ryan repeated, the cough settling down into just laughter. "I just haven't laughed that hard in a while."

"What's so funny?" Kirsten asked.

"Grandpa thinks he's mellowing," Ryan replied, which caused Kirsten to burst out laughing too.

"I was serious, Kiki!" Caleb protested.

"Dad, you were trying to kill Jimmy this morning," Kirsten said.

"He did deserve it," Ryan said, finally getting his laughter under control. "And I made the same threat last night when Hailey told us what happened."

"Yeah, right after we talked about you turning into a nice happy family man," Trey said, snorting.

"You didn't ask her to marry you because she's pregnant, did you?" Caleb asked suspiciously.

"Do I look stupid?" Ryan said. "After the whole, scare with Gabs..." Ryan groaned as he realized what he just said.

"What scare? Who's 'Gabs'?" Caleb asked.

"Gabs as in Theresa's Gaby?" Trey asked.

"There was a brief time where I though my friend Theresa's daughter might be mine," Ryan told Caleb. "She's not though, she turned out to be Theresa's husband's..."

"You slept with a married woman?" Kirsten asked.

"Wouldn't be the first time," Trey said, smirking.

"Trey!" Ryan said, groaning again as his face turned beet red. "Shut up." He sat down and looked at Kirsten and Caleb, who looked less than happy with him. "They were estranged, the only reason they were even still married was because Eddie had taken off and Theresa couldn't find him to get a divorce."

"When was this?" Kirsten asked.

"Right after high school graduation," Ryan said. "You know what my state of mind was like then, Mom. Theresa's been my best friend since I was 8, I always leaned on her, and then... I needed someone to tell me I wasn't a total loser unworthy of love. Theresa always made me feel better when I felt that low." He sighed. "How did we even get on the topic of this?"

"I asked if Summer was pregnant," Caleb said. "Is she?"

"No!" Ryan said, half laughing. "Summer is not pregnant. We haven't even really discussed kids... at least not seriously..."

"You've nonseriously discussed it, though?"

"In high school we joked that she wanted a blonde haired blue eyed kid that looked just like me, and I wanted a dark haired dark eyed kid just like her. That's it," Ryan said. "Why are we even having this discussion? How did we go from Trey impressing Ed to discussing potential children me and Summer may or may not have someday?"

"I think through the topic of you guys both wanting to kill that Jimmy guy," Trey said, enjoying the sight of his little brother both embarassed but happy.

"Thanks Trey, that was a big help," Ryan said, laying his head on his desk as his shoulders shook with surpressed laughter.

"Anytime, little brother," Trey said.

"I'm still concerned about this child you thought you'd fathered," Caleb said.

"Gaby isn't mine," Ryan repeated, lifting his head. "It's not a big deal."

"What if she had been yours? What would you have done?" Caleb asked.

"You're giving me the third degree?" Ryan asked. "Caleb, you justy instantly decided to trust my ex-con brother that you only met this morning, and you're giving me the third degree after knowing me 8 years?"

"You haven't called me Caleb in years," Caleb said, a little hurt.

"You haven't driven me this insane in years!" Ryan countered, laughing. "I thought maybe it would get your attention."

"Wouldn't you rather he just forgot he was talking to you and wandered off?" Trey asked quietly, making Ryan laugh again.

"I do not wander off, young man," Caleb said, glaring.

"About time you stopped being nice to him," Ryan said as he got up again to gather some papers. "I was getting worried about you, Grandpa, you weren't acting like yourself."


"When is Kirsten meeting us?" Marissa asked as she, Summer, and Hailey looked at fabrics.

"Any minute now," Hailey replied as she held a bolt of lace up then shooked her head and put it back. "She wanted to be at the meeting between Trey and the contractor guy, since she is in charge of all house building."

"I really hope Trey impresses the guy," Summer said. "Chino tried to pretend last night that he was indifferent about Trey, but... I know he really wants it to all work out."

"After what happened last time they saw eachother, I'm sure Ryan sees trusting Trey as similiar to walking a tightrope," Marissa said.

"You met him before last night?" Hailey asked.

"Years ago. Ryan's first Thanksgiving in Newport he drove back to Chino to do Trey a favor. And I hid in the range rover to tag along," Marissa said. "Trey was looking out for Ryan when he said he didn't want to see him again. That was obvious. He knew he was messing up Ryan's new life, so..."

"Is it just me," Hailey began, turning to lean against the counter. "Or is Trey a hottie?"

"You dumped my dad last night... admittedly very much deservingly, and you're already calling another guy hot?" Marissa asked.

"How long after Luke did you hook up with Ryan?" Summer asked.

"Point taken, but..." Marissa said. "That was different."

"How?" Hailey asked.

"I'd known Ryan longer than 2 minutes one night and a half hour of breakfast the next morning," Marissa said.

"Now she has the point," Summer said.

"All I said is that he's a hottie," Hailey said. "Am I wrong?"

"He's not Chino hot, but..." Summer said. "Clearly SOMETHING good came out of that gene pool."

Marissa laughed. "Alright, yeah, Trey's good looking, I guess."

"Right, so... would it be wrong for me to ask my fabulous niece-to-be that if Ry asks Trey to be a groomsman she puts me as the bridesmaid getting to walk down the aisle beside him?"

"I think Ryan's going to ask today," Summer said. "And if he does, and Trey says yes, then I will make those arrangements."

"Thank you," Hailey said, grinning. "Now I don't have to subtley sabotage your dress in vengence," she joked.

"Good, then I don't have to make arrangements that at the reception you'll sit with Caleb AND Jimmy," Summer replied with a grin.

"I don't want to know," Kirsten said as she walked up.

"How'd it go with Trey?" Summer asked.

"He's got a probationary job," Kirsten said. "And then he got to witness Dad in interrogation mode..."

"With who?" Hailey asked.

"Ryan," Kirsten said, shaking her head. "Trey made a comment about Ryan talking to him about being a family man now, and Dad suddenly became convinced that the reason the wedding was so soon was because Summer was pregnant..."

"I am not!" Summer said.

"That's what Ryan said, but then he let slip that he thought for a while he might be the father of..."

"Gaby," Marissa said, nodding.

"You knew about that?" Kirsten asked.

"Who do you think drove him to Chino when Theresa called that she was in labor?" Marissa replied. "He didn't want you and Sandy to be disappointed in him, at least not unless he had to deal with it. If Gaby had been his, he planned on telling you, but... the test said she wasn't, so... he asked me not to mention it."

"I think the part that really got Dad was when Ryan said that it turned out Theresa's husband was the father," Kirsten said.

"Theresa was actually married to Eddie at the time?" Summer said. "Ryan didn't mention that part when he told me about that whole mess."

"Well it got worse when Trey said that it wouldn't have been the first time Ryan slept with a married woman."

"Ooh," Hailey said, looking over at Summer. "That's not good..."

"I know about Ryan's history with women," Summer said. "I don't really know or want the details, but I know there were a lot of women before he came to Newport. I accepted that when I found out years ago. I am not phazed by it."

"You're okay with it?" Kirsten asked, surprised.

"Not okay, exactly, but it's his past, and I know the reason why he did a lot of what he did in Chino, and I understand.," Summer said.

"You're not worried that he has a history of sleeping with married women? That doesn't exactly show respect for marriage..."

"I know Ryan, and I know he would never cheat on me," Summer said confidently. "Can we change the subject now? I don't want to discuss that stuff today. This is a day for more fun and shopping."

"I'm up for lots more shopping," Julie said as she joined them. "And I have something to show you, Summer," she added, holding out a folder.

Summer took the folder, gasping as she opened it to see photos of elebrate table settings. "What is this?"

"The portfolio of the wedding planner I hired for you," Julie said.

"But I was going to plan it myself," Summer said.

"When you have to think about furnishing a house once it's built?" Julie said. "No, no, no, Summer. You need a professional. Shelley Hansen will make sure that this wedding is the biggest and best Newport has ever seen."

Summer tried to smile, but a knot started to form in her stomach as she looked at the table settings, at the number of forks and knives on either side of the plates. Ryan was going to freak.

To Be Continued...
(Anonymous) on June 25th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
Great chapter. Its good to see that Trey is fitting in so smoothly for now.
60schic60schic on June 26th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
No, Summer -- run from The Jules - now!