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22 March 2011 @ 12:38 pm
the last summer ;; chapter two  
Title: The Last Summer
Summary: It was the summer of 1981, the last summer when things would be the same. And who would have known that it would all end with a stain.
Authors: eatenalive and disith
Disclaimer: Obviously we don't know them but this is how it happened in our heads. DWI.
A/N: Also, we're both very busy women and cannot update every week although we'd love to! Reviewing is not required but greatly appreciated!



CHAPTER TWO




Diana must have spent a good thirty minutes laughing about the young guy that worked at the cleaners. Michael. Michael. He was a sweet kid. Adorable.

Handsome.

She hummed along with The Commodores on the radio and nodded her head to the music. Turning into the gated community, she gave a long, exaggerated sigh. Part of her hoped Arne would be home and the other…

Well...

It wasn't as if she had the opportunity to see him as much as she used to when they were first married. And ever since she had brought up the idea of having children, he seemed to disappear even more. Five years they were married and he was still ignoring the “b” word.

It would have been different if she didn't want any children, but motherhood was something she had always been looking forward to. She couldn't wait for it. And when she tried to include Leona (Arne's daughter from another marriage), it sort of backfired on her. Leona wasn't really fond of California and she wasn't as close to her father as it would seem. Diana had talked things over with Arne though and Leona would be spending a few weeks during the summer holiday with them.

Even if he didn’t seem so excited about it.

"Hi, Mrs. Næss," the guard at the gate, Kenneth, greeted her. She said her soft hello and headed through, subconsciously turning her radio down.

Much to her surprise, and to be honest, dismay, she saw Arne's signature telltale sign of him being home. His shiny black Rolls Royce was the sight greeting her when she pulled up to the drive.

Heels clacking on the marble floors signaled her entrance but she got no response. She dropped her keys on the matching counter in the front hall and listened for the sound of Arne probably talking with some businessmen. He was known for it and it was his greatest gift. When she heard no noise, she traveled on towards the winding staircase.

She slipped out of her heels and carried them upstairs with her, finding her husband actually lying in bed. Asleep.

What were the odds?

She walked right by his sleeping form into the hallway that connected the bedroom to the bathroom. She sat down in front of the vanity and gave an exasperated sigh. As she wiped her make-up away from her face and pulled off her jewelry her thoughts trailed back to the young man in the cleaners.

She wondered how old he was and who had taught him his manners. He was just so damned cute. Diana was smiling, not even realizing it, rubbing the back of her neck. Pulling her hair back into a ponytail, she looked in the mirror and surprised herself with the goofy grin on her face that awaited her.

It was the first one she'd had in a while.

She turned to the right and looked at her sleeping husband. Even with her noisemaking, he hadn't flinched. Once upon a time she'd pull up and he would be racing down the stairs to meet her. It was fine that he didn't. It was a part of life. Long gone were those days of what felt like would be a never-ending honeymoon. She had learned that all too soon with her first marriage.

Diana looked at her husband again and then back to the mirror.

Go back and pick up the dress and he won't even notice. But what if he wakes up and you've missed having a conversation with him again?

She looked back at Arne's sleeping form.

"Fine then," she muttered softly and stood up to change into a pair of jeans.

...


Michael kicked his legs from left to right, dancing and singing along with James Brown.

"Baby! Baby! Baby!
Baby! Baby! Baby!
I got the feelin'!"

He imitated James Brown, sliding his feet from left to right, clapping to the beat. He gave a skip and a hop and started again, putting his fingers through the loophole of his jeans.

This was the best part about being alone in the shop late at night. Hardly anyone ever came in and when they did they were so drunk they'd either cheer him on or join in. He grabbed a broom from the back and held on to it like it was a past lover he hadn't danced with in years. He dipped it and slowly pulled it back up, cradling the back of it and laughed.

“This is for all the girls in the back,” he said in his sexiest voice possible.

He should have felt silly but he couldn't help himself. When that music played, it coursed through his veins.

Kicking his leg from left to right, he sang along with James Brown about The Feeling.

"Baby! Baby! Baby!"

He dipped down and spun, turning around to greet a very entertained Diane Ross. Michael dropped the broom and covered his forehead in embarrassment for the second time tonight, only to immediately bend down and pick up the broom, realizing he'd dropped it. And even in the brief moment of seeing her, he noticed that she was even more beautiful with her hair pulled back and no make-up on.

Diana began to clap and Michael walked back to the counter, trying to save face.

"It gets a little lonely in here. I have to figure out a way to entertain myself."

"Oh no, I completely understand!" She walked over to towards the counter and Michael realized for the first time in her thirty second return that she was wearing a pair of tight blue jeans. He swallowed the lump in his throat and tried not to look at the jeans or the thin white t-shirt she wore either.

He decided altogether to ignore the fact that he was dancing while at work and this woman that he couldn't get out of his thoughts was back in front of him again.

"Your dress is ready. Wine stain was removed with ease." He figured if he did this, then maybe she wouldn't talk much but for some reason she didn't seem like the type of woman to want to keep her mouth shut.

Completely ignoring his business talk, she put a hand on her hip and bobbed her head from left to right. "So, can you teach me to do that kick?" She imitated him but failed and Michael watched her in awkward silence for a moment before he frowned and shook his head.

"No, you gotta' bring it in the air and then kick. Like this," and he proceeded to kick in the air with ease.

Diana slapped her knee and bit her bottom lip. The song had changed to a song by the JBs and Diana was trying to dance with the beat. After five tries and being shown in slow motion by Michael, she had finally learned it.

Slightly panting and extremely pleased, Diana leaned against the counter while Michael walked back around to get her dress.

"So, you're a great dancer and a great singer and you work here?"

Michael knew this was coming.

"It's my father's shop. We have them littered all over California now. I do dance and sing, just not professionally. I do it for my mother's restaurant. It's so much more fun when you're doing it at free will. No deadlines, no contracts, and no one to bother you when you do."

"So, what's the name of this restaurant?" Diana asked, her interest getting piqued.

"Brandon's." He handed her the dress hanging on a special, thick, lacy hanger that he only used for special customers. It was wrapped carefully in plastic. She reached in her purse to pull out her wallet and Michael walked to the register.

Part of him wanted to tell her to not bother with paying but that was just stupid. Besides, Joseph would annihilate him.

When she paid, Diana tilted her head to the side and smirked. "So when do you sing at the restaurant, Michael?"

Michael shrugged, "Friday and Saturday nights. It's when the place is packed."

"Ah," Diana nodded and smiled. "Thank you for that dancing lesson." She imitated Michael and took his hand and kissed the top of it. This made them both laugh, Michael's a bit more nervous than Diana's but she didn't seem to take much notice to it.

"Come back again!" Michael called as Diana waved and turned to walk away. It was usually so automatic and robotic with other customers but he genuinely meant it with her. He hoped she would be spilling wine on all her clothes from now on.

He shook his head, smiling and propped his chin in his elbow. The smile disappeared, however, when he looked down at the counter.

She left her wallet.

She left her wallet!




Diana held the dress close to her as she stepped in the bedroom again. Arne was no longer lying in bed and the shower was running. She laid the dress down on the bed and crept into the bathroom. He was singing again, some folk song in a language she hadn’t quite learned and probably never would to be honest. Whatever he was singing, he was obviously destroying it with his exceptional skill at being tone deaf.

She pulled the glass door and laughed, “I don’t know what you’re singing but it sounds terrible.”

He turned, startled, in her direction and frowned, “Diana! I’m trying to shower here!”

“So I see…” she said teasingly, sticking her tongue out of the corner of her mouth.

His frown slowly disappeared and in its place came a smirk.

“Five seconds of this shower and I’m all yours …or should I say you’re all mine?”

Diana unbuttoned the top of her jeans and focused on getting undressed, “Well why can’t I just join you now? You know how long it’s been since I last saw you.”

Her hands dropped sadly to her sides when she felt Arne’s wet hand press against her stomach to stop her. “No, no, no, beautiful, if I get you on that bed, I’ll have you there all night.”

Diana rolled her eyes.

Sure he would. She didn’t contest it and she simply buttoned her jeans back up and headed back towards the bedroom.

“Remember when we didn’t need a television in here?” She picked the remote up from the bedside table and turned on the television. The shower turned off and Arne, who was no longer singing but now whistling, walked into the bedroom, wrapped in only a towel. His hair was slicked back and he stopped whistling and smiled at Diana. It was one of those sultry sneaky smiles that she’d always loved.

“Tell me how much you missed me,” he said, sitting on the bed next to her and leaning in to kiss along the side of her neck. She feigned her annoyance but still tilted her head to the side to give him better access.

He left a trail of wet kisses along her neck and just as she turned to meet his lips the telephone rang.

“Don’t answer it,” Arne commanded in a whisper but Diana had already picked up the receiver and was saying hello.



Michael stood awkwardly next to the guard, his bicycle parked and Diana’s wallet in his hand. He could see the large house behind the gates, the letters “R” and “N” beautifully written on each gate door.

“Alright, Mr. Jackson, you can go in.” The guard gave Michael and his bicycle a threatening once over but Michael couldn’t be bothered with judging glances. He was about to visit Miss Ross and her luxurious home. He wondered what her bedroom looked like, wondering what he would look like in it.

He zoomed on his bike up the drive, passing the Maserati and the obnoxiously big Rolls Royce and parked his bike next to the stairs. He slowly walked up them and looked around at the lavish greenery. If the outside looked this crazy, there was no telling what the inside of the house looked like.

Why were his hands starting to shake?

“Get it together, Michael,” he softly cheered himself on. “You only have thirty minutes left to do this. Get. It. Together.”

A trembling finger pressed the doorbell button and he waited, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet. It seemed like hours before the door was finally opened.

And that instant slap into reality hit him before he could even hit himself.

Standing before him, in nothing but a towel and a scowl was a tall, lean white man.

“Um,” Michael began, stuck between the thought of strangling this man or just running away.

“Um?”

“Di – Miss Ross, left her wallet and I was just returning it.”

He looked over his shoulder and saw Diana’s messy hair bobbing closer and closer in his direction. “Hi, Michael!”

Michael tried not to smile but he couldn’t help it. He’d completely forgotten about the man standing between them.

“You forgot your wallet at the store and I wanted to return it to you!” He reached over the man’s shoulder and Diana took the wallet with a chuckle. “I can’t even believe I forgot it!”

“Arne, honey, hang on a second.” She sidestepped him and took Michael’s hand. “You’re a lifesaver! I didn’t even know it was missing!”

Michael laughed nervously.

Arne? Honey? He could feel his heart breaking now. How did he not notice the huge rock on her finger before? This wasn’t awkward at all. Nope, not at all.

“Pardon my manners, Michael, this is my husband. Arne Næss.”

Arne gave Michael a stiff nod and Michael failed at hiding his disappointment at the announcement of husband. If this was her husband, then he didn’t stand a chance.

He held out his hand for Arne to shake and winced at the grip Arne had on him.

I see., Michael thought, realizing that he would hate this man for the rest of his life.

“I do hope you’ll be coming back to do business with us,” Michael turned his attention back to Diana and smiled. “Nice meeting you,” he said rather dryly to Arne and turned to go.

“Hope to see you again!” Diana said happily and Michael didn’t even bother turning around. He looked at the Rolls Royce and then to his bicycle. Rather pathetically, he trudged over and climbed on it, slowly pedaling down the drive and through the gates.

Life couldn’t get any worse than this.
 
 
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