“I’m so happy you’re all here. Peter, what was Mac like as a boy?”
“Don’t believe a word he says. He was jealous of me,” Mac said.
“Jealous? Of what? A nerdy guy who couldn’t talk to girls?”
“I didn’t waste my time talking to girls.” Mac sat back, taking a sip of wine.
“Like you were some big make-out artist or something?” Peter made a face at his brother.
“I did all right.”
“You did? At what age did you do all right with girls?” Callie asked.
Mac blushed and clammed up. Peter laughed.
“His first girlfriend was Jenny Simmons. He was fifteen,” Peter volunteered.
“What happened between you and Jenny?” Callie raised an eyebrow.
“Pete, keep quiet. You don’t know Callie, she’s like a private detective and prosecuting
attorney rolled into one. You give her a little bit of information and she’ll dig out your entire sexual history.”
“She can’t with me. It’d take a hundred years,” Peter said, laughing.
Mac laughed too. “If Callie wants to know something about you, she won’t stop until she
has it…and then some.”
“You make me sound like a bloodhound,” Callie said.
“Well, babe, sometimes the resemblance is uncanny,” Mac said, laughing.
“Looks like you’re not going to need any handkerchiefs in the bedroom tonight, Mac,” Peter snickered.
Mac got up and punched Peter playfully in the arm. Peter grabbed him in a headlock and the men started to wrestle.
“Mac! Peter! Cut it out!” Sam yelled.
Callie got busy pulling lamps and tables out of their way as the two tall men rolled around on the floor.
“Boys! Stop!” Sam yelled and got up. He pulled at Mac, then Peter. Finally they separated, breathing heavily and looking at each other. Mac was rubbing an elbow and Peter was stroking his temple. In a minute they both burst out laughing.
“After all these years, it’s still a draw,” Sam said, shaking his head.
Peter went over to Mac and gave him a bear hug.
Mac smiled at him and ruffled his hair. “Welcome home, shrimp.”
“Shrimp? He’s taller than you are, Mac,” Callie said.
“Now he is, but he wasn’t always. It took him years to catch up,” Mac said.
“These two were a handful, Callie.” Sam laughed. “I guess they still are.”
“I can handle them,” she said, smiling.
Saturday became a busy day at the lake with fishing and not catching anything, looking for bear tracks, coloring, reading and swimming with Jason and Kitty. Peter fit right in, playing with the children and helping cart food in and out of the kitchen. The children charmed him and kept him laughing, much to Callie’s delight.
Callie worried the physical affection she shared with Mac might make Peter feel left out or jealous, but he smiled when he caught them exchanging a quick kiss or loving embrace.
* * * *
“Can’t get enough, huh? Don’t you ever pass her without touching her?” Peter asked his
“If you had a woman like her, would you?” Mac piled plates together.
“Guess not. You’re lucky.” Peter picked up the salad bowl.
“Damn right.” Mac carted the plates into the kitchen.
“Didn’t know you were such a touchy-feely kind of guy, Mac. Always thought of you as…
stoic, I guess,” Peter said, popping open two beers in the kitchen and handing one to Mac.
“It’s Callie. Just can’t keep my hands off her.”
“I can see why,” Peter replied with a chuckle.
“Watch it, Pete,” Mac warned, raising his palm to his brother.
Peter put up both hands in a gesture of surrender. “Joking here…your first marriage wasn’t like that?”
“Got that right. Callie is different. Never met a woman like her.” Mac turned to look at his
brother as he took a healthy swig of his beer.
“Wish I could have her cloned,” Peter joked.
“I hope you find someone like her too, shrimp…and settle down…it’d be good for you.”
Mac put his hand on Peter’s shoulder and looked him right in the eye.
“Maybe I will. I’d like to have what you have here.” Peter nodded once at Mac then turned to leave the kitchen.
Mac took a bottle of wine and two glasses up to bed, when he and Callie retired at nine
thirty. Sam took a book into the living room. Peter was restless. The darkness of the lake was broken by the light of a full moon. A cool breeze with a hint of fresh lilacs enticed him outside, so he went for a stroll. He walked down the deck to the lake and thought how romantic to be on the lake in the moonlight with a special woman.
He turned away and went to the left of the house. Curiosity about what was behind the house sent him down a narrow path leading from the house to the water meter on the side and beyond.
Past the house he stopped to look up at the moon and spied the small deck attached to the master bedroom on the second floor. He saw a tiny table, burning candles and a wine bottle. And Mac and Callie.
They were drinking from wine glasses and undressing each other. Although he knew he
should leave, Peter was transfixed. Mac pulled his T-shirt over his head. Then he took Callie’s shirt over her head and off. He reached around and unhooked her bra, freeing her breasts. Peter couldn’t see much of Callie except for a little in silhouette because the moon was behind her and Mac was in front of her. The shadows hiding her body from his eyes relieved Peter of guilt from spying on them.
Callie unzipped Mac’s pants and pulled them down. He slid her shorts off and then her
panties. She Callie unzipped Mac’s pants and pulled them down. He slid her shorts off and then her panties. She pulled his boxers down. They stood there facing each other naked in the moonlight. Callie reached up to touch his face. Mac stepped back a little to look at Callie, then he took her in his arms and kissed her and kissed her. Peter could see Callie’s hands disappear in Mac’s hair.
Then Mac’s face moved down to Callie’s neck.
They broke to finish their wine. After the wine was gone, Callie stepped toward Mac,
running her hands up his chest. He couldn’t see Mac’s hands, but suddenly Callie was pulled in closer to Mac and they kissed again, Mac losing one hand in Callie’s flowing hair. Then Mac dropped down to his knees and put his arms around Callie, burying his face in the shadows where her breasts were. Callie threw her head back, her hair blowing slightly in the soft, warm breeze. She ran her hands over Mac’s shoulders and bent her head down to kiss the top of his head.
Mac stood up, blew out the candles and picked up Callie. He carried her through the narrow door into the bedroom. Unease about spying on the lovers ate at Peter, but the scene was so loving, gentle and sweet he had a hard time pulling himself away. Their love touched his heart.
He returned to the house.
“Tea, Pete?” Sam asked, pouring from the kettle.
Father and son sat down outside on the deck.
“Callie is perfect for Mac, don’t you think?” Sam asked.
“He was lucky to find her,” Peter said.
“And those kids…they’re fantastic!” Sam said. “Give you any ideas, Pete?”
“I’d like to have what Mac has,” Peter confided.
“Sure you don’t want to continue tomcatting around?”
“I’d settle down quickly if I found a girl like Callie.”
“Not because you want to do what your older brother’s doing, but because you want a
“He has a good life. They’re not tired of each other, they don’t fight or bicker…they love
“Their kind of devotion is a rare thing. Your mother and I were close too. I hope you find it,
Pete, I’d like to see you happily settled.”
“What are the chances of finding another Callie in a hick town like Willow Falls?”