Sarah pegged her last points, sat back and smirked. “There. Skunked you that time, Curtis.”
She watched his face crumble. She’d come to discover in the last week he’d been living with her that he wasn’t a very good loser. He was, however, very good company. She’d missed having someone around all the time. He was a decent man.
“Almost time for Wheel of Fortune. We should get in the living room,” he reminded her. “Have you heard from the kids about the party?”
“Last I knew they were still trying to find a place.” Sarah brushed off her dress and went into the living room. She sat next to Curtis on the couch. “They’ll find something.”
She had noticed that Amaya had been spending a lot more time with Curtis’ grandson. They’d been seen around town together and someone even said he’d been working at her store. The man was down on his luck, but Sarah didn’t want to see her granddaughter hurt because she got attached.
The front door burst open and a cold wind followed, then Amaya came in with grocery bags filled with presents.
“Amaya Green, what in Heaven’s name are you doing?”
“Hi Nana. I’m here to do a little decorating.” Amaya bent over and kissed her on the cheek. “I found a place for the party.”
“You did?” Curtis sat up straighter and clapped his hands together. “Where?”
Sarah shook her head. She didn’t hear her granddaughter correctly. There was no way she said she was having the party here at this house.
“It’s perfect. Your friends know how to get here. It’s comfortable and if we move the furniture out of the way it will be the perfect spot for dancing. Tristan even found a DJ.”
Sarah let out a long, slow breath. “Here.”
“Yes. Here. We’ll help get things ready. I’ve already spoken with Kaila Lang about contacting everyone. She has all your numbers since she’s the coordinator of the program. She thinks this is a great idea as well.”
“She would. Where is Tristan by the way? I heard you two were joined at the hip these days,” Sarah inquired.
Just then there was a bang at the door, like someone kicked it. Amaya smiled, turning to answer the door. She set her bags down and opened the door. A large tree pushed through the door and Tristan followed.
“Merry Christmas. The guy over at Staples Farm gave us two trees at a discounted rate because of the fire. We put one up at Amaya’s and the other is for you.” He wrestled the tree into the living room and set it up in the front bay window.
“I can’t get down my decorations from the attic. You know that, Amaya. It will be the saddest tree on the block,” Sarah said dejected. “Take it away.”
Curtis put his hand over hers. “They’ll help. It won’t be that bad.”
Sarah patted his hand. “Maybe you’re right. I’m not lifting a finger you two. This is all your fault. If we had it in a restaurant then I wouldn’t have to cook, clean or decorate.”
Amaya let out a snort. “Look who’s being demanding. We’ll do it all. It’ll be good for him,” she said motioning toward Tristan who was still playing with the tree.
Curtis walked over to Tristan and leaned into him. “You doin’ okay there son?”
“No really. I can loan you some money to get you by.”
“Seriously, Pops. I’m fine. Amaya has been helping me with the insurance, the police, wrangling you.”
Curtis smiled. “She’s a good girl.”
He shrugged again.
“Bet she’d be a good kisser.”
Tristan narrowed his eyes. “Back off.”
“Just trying to help.” Curtis laughed, putting his hands up in surrender.
“How about you give me the five bucks you offered and go back over there with your new girlfriend?”
“I was going to give you more than a fiver…I have a $20 in my sock.”
“I can’t reach it, but it’s there for emergencies.”
Satisfied with the tree, then men went back to the couch. Curtis resumed his seat by Sarah and Tristan moved behind Amaya who was sorting through decorations she’d brought over from her store.
“Did they find out how the fire started?”
“Not yet. And I have faith they will find what started the fire,” Tristan said. “I don’t even like going over there. Everything in town is so bright. The lights are twinkling and then there’s the clubhouse. Dark, dank ashes. I’ve got an excavator coming tomorrow. That will help.”
“Here?” Sarah interrupted. “We can’t have the party here,” she said, like the conversation had just started.
“Why not, Nana?” Amaya asked her brow furrowed.
She sighed. “I won’t be able to leave early if the party is dull.” Tristan, Curtis and Amaya couldn’t contain their laughter. And Curtis noticed tears from the laughing trailing down Tristan’s cheeks.