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Chapter 3 : Lazy sunny afternoons and ponds for fishies
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A/N: Okay. So it might be a little slow at the moment, but truly, life is slow. It'll pick up. It's gneral fun times and sunshine right now. Better to start off on a good note than a bad one. So. Please read and review! Next chapter coming soon! Like tonight or tomorrow! I do so enjoy the reviews, whether good, bad or indifferent! Alright, gang! Enjoy!
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Danica sighed as she saw Trinity sitting by the edge of a pond. Trinity had her knees tucked up under her chin as her hair fell around her face in soft blonde waves. She was staring at the water miserably. Danica felt a little quirk as a half smile tugged at her lips. She shook her head and sighed as she took off her hat and placed on Trinity's head, sighing heavily as sat beside her younget sister.
Trinity tensed for a moment before relaxing once more, her eyes never leaving the water. Trinity was much turning out to be much like Danica. Dani sat in silence by her sister, just watching the water as the others caught up. Jim and Amanda knew to keep their distance. Dani was thankful for that. They might act like they like to push each others buttons, but at the end of the day it was all fun and games. When it was something that was important to anyone of the four, though, they all seemed to understand when to back off and leave it be. For Trinity, the move had been the hardest on her, and she was very passionate about her desire to move back 'home'.
Dani and Trinity sat in silence while everyone else chatted and got ready for the plunge. It was after James and Fred had jumped into the water, that Trinity finally looked over to Danica out the corner of her red rimmed eyes. Danica leaned back onto her forearms as she stretched her bruised and healing legs out infront of her, watching Fred come out of the water and walk towards Rose with an evil grin. James was going straight for Lily with a twin expression. Both girls squealed as the guys picked each of them up and tossed them in the water. Jim was splashing Amanda with water while Amanda was trying to lay out to soak up the sun, rather than swim. It was after Rose and Lily surfaced, spluttering and laughing that Trinity finally spoke.
"I just want to go back home." Trinity whispered softly.
Danica arched a brow, still watching the lot drunk and splash one another.
"I'm going to be eight teen two months. I'll be old enough to leave home if I want." Trinity stated as a small flash of anger glittered in her hazel eyes. Whenever Trinity was sad, her eyes seemed to look more green, and when she was mad, the blue stood out.
"True." Danica nodded. "But where would you go?" Danica finally turned a questioning gaze to her sister.
Trinity's eyes flashed angrily once more as her head tilted, speaking her stubborn streak. The gears were turning in her head and before she could speak, Danica added with a small shrug as she looked back to the group playing in the water, "You've got one more year of school, right?"
Trinity didn't answer. Danica could feel her little sister's eyes burning a hole in her.
"Yeah. So?" Trinity asked a bit defiantly.
"So... you're in the top of your class, and this year is the big year for college hunting. Keep your marks up, your nose clean and apply to all the colleges you can back in the states. Look into and apply for all the grants you can, while you're at it, and you'll have most of it paid for, including possible living expenses if you don't want to or can't get into a dorm." Danica looked back over at her sister.
Trinity blinked before frowning.
"But in August Jimbo and Manda are going off to college. Jimbo got accepted the University of Wyoming, and Manda's going to Washington State University." Trinity whined. "I'll be the only left here! I'll have no one! And I'll get letters, and pictures and emails and phone calls.... It'll be torture! I'll fall off my rocker, Dans! I will! I'll go completely nutter butters!"
Danica smirked, despite her sisters obvious displeasure. Trinity did have a flair for the drama that Danica lacked.
"I know, sweetpea, but you're not alone. You've got Dad and Gina." Danica nodded.
"That's not the same." Trinity grumbled as she scowled down at the grass, resting her chin back on her knees.
"Trin... don't scowl. You're face'll get stuck like that, you know?" Danica frowned a little.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just like if you pout and stick out your lower lip, a chicken'll come and roost there and poop on it, right?" Trinity sighed as she scowled a little more.
Danica couldn't help herself. She smiled and laughed as she shook her head. Standing up, she looked down at Trinity.
"It's hot out. And you need to cool off." Danica smiled down at her younger sister. The girl only weighed around one hundred and fifteen pounds soaking wet. Danica bent down and scooped Trinity up with a little difficulty. Before Trinity could really struggle enough to loosen Danica's grip, Danica already had her near the edge of the water.
"JIMBO! I'VE GOT A SOUR PUSS THAT NEEDS TO COOL OFF!" Danica hollered at their step brother.
"OH HOHOHO, REALLY? WELL, WE'LL HAVE TO FIX THAT!" Jimbo yelled back, stopping a splash war he had gotten into with Rose and Lily.
As Jim came over towards Danica and Trinity, Trinity tried to escape from Danica, nearly knocking Dani off balance.
"Oh no! I don't think so, little Trin! You're not getting out of this! Woah! Trin! You'll knock us both down and I don't feel like being your landing pad!" Dani laughed.
"No! No! Dani! JIM!! NOOO!!!" Trinity scquealed as she was passed from Dani to Jim.
Jim grinned at Trinity.
"So! Heard you need a cool down. Here we go!" Jim laughed as he waded out into the pond. With a smirk, he tossed Trinity up into the, dropping her into the water.
Trinity surfaced, spluttering and fuming as Danica, Jim, Amanda, Fred, Lily and Rose all laughed. The smiles and laughter were contagious and in a few moments, Trinity was smiling and attacking Jim.
"Ooh! Jimbo! You're so going to pay for that!" Trinity laughed as she lunged at a retreating Jim, splashing behind him towards Trinity.
Danica laughed as she slipped off her boots and socks, shaking her head. James came over and looked down at her once her feet were bare, smirking.
"You, Miss Lindle, are the only one who hasn't enjoyed the water yet." He flashed her one of his infamous playful, easy-going, devilish smirk.
Danica looked up at him from her spot on the ground, arching a brow.
He bent over a little, the sun glistening off the droplets of water that covered his body.
"And we need to fix that." He gave her another charm filled grin.
Danica cocked her head to the left as she eyed him for a moment, before standing up swiftly before he could do anything. She side stepped around him and walked confidently into the water until it reached her waist. Once out far enough, she jumped up slightly before diving into the water. The comfortable cool water enveloped her as she slowly released her breath through her nose before surfacing again further out into the pond. She was out far enough where her feet couldn't touch the bottom. As she surfaced, she turned herself and came up on her back, facing a disapointed James.
When she opened her eyes, she smiled playfully at James.
"Oh. I'm sorry, did I steal your thunder and spoil your fun?" She smiled sweetly at him, batting her eyelashes, feigning innocence.
Fred laughed as he came up beside James.
James gave Danica a playful pout as he nodded.
"Aye, you did, Miss Danica Lindle, you did."
She laughed and shook her head as she rolled her eyes a little.
"Next time I'll try not do that. -Try- not to." She smirked at him, nodding sagely as she tread water.
Before he could respond to her, Fred looked at James and said low enough for only him to hear, "Looks like you're going to have to try harder, mate." With that, Fred attacked James playfully, tackeling him into the water before he could speak.
Mrs. Smith's grandson never showed that afternoon, but no one seemed to notice. Amanda was too busy trying to be coy with Fred. She'd stretch out on a towel under the sun in such a way to catch his eye, then pretend not to notice him, creating girl small talk with Rose instead. Fred's distracted state cost him once or twice with a good dunk or two from either James or Jimbo. Albus had tried once or twice to approach Trinity, but could never seem to pluck up enough courage to ever get around to it until Lily and Trinity got into a splash fight.
Trinity had been laughing and squealing as she was trying to get away from a winning Lily. Her head was turned and her eyes were closed when she bumped into Albus's right shoulder. Lily celebrated her victory as Trinity surrendered laughingling and admited defeat, as she turned her face towards whatever or whoever she had bumped into, opening her eyes. When her eyes locked with Albus', she quickly looked away with a shy smile and laugh, murmuring, "Heh... mmh... ha... sorry about that.... You're... you're okay, right? I... I didn't hurt you?"
Albus shook his head with a big grin on his face.
"Nah. I'm alright. Near solid as stone as you found out." He stated just as easily as James would've to any girl he fancied. Albus blinked, not able to believe he, himself had spoken so easily to the cute and sweet Trinity.
Trinity chuckled, looking down into the water unable to do anything else. The moment was then swiftly ruined by a grinning Jimbo.
"Hey! Ya two finished with the mushy gushy eyes and macho talk, or what? Amanda brought snacks! If you're hungry, you two better hurry up. Oh, and Albus... don't get too cozy with my little sister!" Jim added the last bit with a laugh, trying to sound like a protective older brother, but knowing full well how Trinity would react.
As he suspected and right on cue, Trinity's cheeks were instantly stained bright red as she blushed, trying to hide behind her wet hair, murmuring, "Jimbo..."
Danica sighed with a lopsided grin, shooting Jim a pointed look, shaking her head. She, herself had been aloof and coy with James. Though with her it was unintentional. James had singled her out to try and dunk, and engage in a splash war or two, but she never seemed to single him out, instead she had gotten the others involved once or twice as well.
Lily had openly given Jim the 'I like you' green light as she flirted and horsed around with him, and he had taken the bait. For a first meeting, everyone seemed to hit it off and got along rather well. Both families seemed to be happy meeting someone their ages and unrelated to break up the monotiny of Summer Holiday out in the country away from other people their ages. As the afternoon wore on later, the group had come out of the water to dry off under the sun, munching on three different chips Amanda had brought along, carrying them under the towels she had had earlier.
"So that's why the towels were making an odd sound." Jimbo had looked at Amanda as she had grabbed the Sour Cream and Onion chips, opening them up.
Amanda just rolled her eyes and smiled as she sighed, "Brothers... they can be so clueless at times."
At that, Rose had chuckled and shook her head, adding, "And cousins of the male persuasion."
With that, all the boys seemd to focus on the two, glaring at them for a moment or two.
"Oh yes, and sisters and female cousins can be so full of themselves." Albus playfully glared at Rose, who stuck her tongue out at him.
"Real mature, Rosie-kins." Fred laughed as he bent over and ruffled her hair.
"Hey! Fred!" She glared up at him as she swatted his hands away from her head, before attempting to smooth out her unruly curls.
Fred laughed, as he reached for another bag of chips. Amanda watched him through her lashes with a lazy smile on her lips. Fred could feel Amanda's eyes on him while munched on a few chips. When he looked over at her, she just arched a brow before taking another chip from the bag.
While everyone chatted away, Danica stretched with a sigh before slowly slipping away. James was smiling and laughing with everyone, eating chips, when he noticed Danica quietly walking away. His eyes were on her back as he excused himself from the conversation, walking in the same direction as Danica.
Danica enjoyed the feel of grass and rocks under her bare feet as she made her way towards a tree with lowhanging branches. Subconciously, she plucked a long piece of grass bringing the bottom half to her lips to chew on it. It was something she had done since she was a kid and watched a few too many cowboys in old movies do it, and a few too many Hee-Haw dvd's as a teen. Fresh grass wasn't as good as orchard grass hay, but it was a habit of hers. With her boots in one hand, and her footie socks in the other, she dropped them at the base of the tree before crawling up into the branches.
Once finding a good thick, sturdy branch close to another sturdy branch, she stretched herself out, leaning her back against the trunk of the tree, closing her eyes as she enjoyed the soft orange glow of the late afternoon sun. James watched her curiously as he walked up under the treed. He rested his left shoulder against the tree trunk, staring out over the pond at the slowly sinking sun for a moment or two before looking up towards her out the corner of his eye without craning his neck to look directly at her.
"What a day." He sighed with a smirk.
Danica arched a brow, not bothering to open her eyes.
"Mmh... yes... what a day." Dani smirked.
"What time do you figure it is?"
"If I had to wager a guess, I'd say around four thirty, maybe five. But, don't quote me on it. Why? Does Cinderfella turn into a pumpkin at a certain time?" She chuckled softly as she slightly readjusted herself causing the branches under and around her to tremble slightly.
"Why, not a pumpkin, my lovely little dove, but a frog, rather." James grinned as he looked back out over the pond.
Dani dropped her head forward a little as she laughed, "Ah... right. Of course. But don't expect me to kiss you to turn you back. I've vowed never to kiss frogs wishin' for a prince. I'd rather kiss a mule for a cowboy anyday over frog princes."
James frowned a little, "I wouldn't like being a frog, and if you were the only cure..."
Danica laughed a little more, shaking her head, "I'd think twice, but I suppose I'd have to kiss you. But only to pay ya back for rescuing me from my bike."
"I'll take that. Remind me to find a crone that will turn me into a frog." James smirked his trademark lopsided grin.
"Mmh... I think not. That would probably be a painful transformation." Danica opened her eyes and looked down at him.
"Then I'd need another kiss to help ease the pain." James nodded matter-of-factly.
"Oh hohoho, is that so?"
"Aye, it 'tis." James tilted his head back to smile up to her.
"Mmh... So I'd owe you two kisses. One to turn you to a prince, and another to ease the pain of the transformation." Danica tapped her chin in thought.
"Oh, not twice. No. You'd owe me three kisses." James chuckled.
"Three, you say? How do you figure exactly?" She looked down at him curiously.
"Oh, because there's the first transformation, then there's the cure kiss, then there's a third kiss for the transformation back." James smiled brightly up at her as she nodded very sagely.
"But wouldn't the cure kiss and the first transformation kiss count as one in the same?" Danica looked down at him curiously, a puckish grin flirting with her mouth.
"Nope. Because the pain would be too great, as you were so clever enough to point out a moment ago." James smiled and nodded, trying to look very serious at the same time.
Danica couldn't help herself. For a cocky man, he certainly had a very animated personality and expressions. She started laughing, before losing her balance. She teetered tottered on the branch for a moment, trying to steady herself, but she didn't seem to be quick enough. Before she knew what was happening, she was falling. Thankfully she hadn't crawled too terriably far up the tree. If she had to guess, she was probably five and half feet above the ground. Before she hit the ground, James was under her, trying to catch her, but successfully failing at it, and successfully helping to break her fall.
She toppled down onto him with an 'Oomph' and then a good laugh.
"You foolish boy! You could've gotten us both hurt. You're never supposed to catch the girl when she's falling out of a tree. That's how people get serious injuries." Danica smiled at him as she crawled off of him.
"Hehehe, sorry. I suppose I'm just a little too chivilrous that I would risk life and limb to try and break a ladies fall from a tree." He bowed his head in humble apology.
Danica just shook her head and closed her eyes for a moment before opening them up. She looked into his as she crawled off of him.
"Mmh... yes, well, whoever said I was a lady?" With that, Dani stood.
"C'mon. It's getting to be around dinner time, and I wouldn't want you or your cousins to get into trouble for behing home late for dinner." She held a hand for him.
He just stared at it for a moment before taking the offered helping hand. After pulling James to his feet, the pair walked back to the group, clearing their throats before announcing it was time to go. The group collectively grumbled as they drug their heels when it came to gathering stuff up. Once back to the Lindle-Cook house, they all parted ways with plans to meet again soon sometime in the next day or two.
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A/N: Chapter Playlist:
Luke Bryan - We Rode in Trucks
Eric Church - Guys Like Me
Trace Adkins - Honky Tonk Dadonkadonk
Lady Antebellum - Love This Pain
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