“Danny, are you just going to stand there drinking cocktails and giggling at me or are you going to help?” Jackie asked as she let out an exasperated gasp.
“Do you need help darlin’?” Danny asked with a smirk on his face.
Jackie picked up her glass of wine and downed it in one large gulp. As she set down the glass, she sighed again.
“Danny, I can cook day-to-day meals pretty well most of the time. Why on earth did I agree to make a formal dinner for the four of us?”
“I dunno Jackie, why did ya?” Danny said as he let out a small giggle. “Probably because you know I’d be here and able to bail you out if somethin’ went wrong. Whatcha you planning? I can prolly get you back on track.”
Jackie listed off the menu for the night. Danny pursed his lips tightly and looked at the clock.
“We can do it Jackie, but it’ll be tough. Do ya have everything we need?” he asked as he started going through the fridge.
“Yes Danny, I have all the ingredients but I just know I’m gonna screw up the timing and presentation.”
“Jackie!” Danny shrieked with an even more pronounced southern drawl, “Ya don’t have any buttah.”
Jackie giggled at Danny’s seeming inability to say ‘butter’. “Too many years in Georgia” she thought as she laughed, “Of course I don’t.” she said as she shook her hips from side to side salaciously, “I have to keep my girlish figure.”
“Ah hell Jackie, I can’t make all this without buttah. You can get by with that soy margarine stuff ya got now, but I’ll send Kevyn to the store to pick up two pounds of butter here in a bit. But, you’ll be fine darlin’. Now you just stand back and let a kitchen bitch get it together. Ya know if I spend the entire time in the kitchen, ya just know that Kevyn and Jason will both know that I made dinner and not you.”
Jackie let out a snort. “True. Jason will just be happy to have a good meal at home. Kevyn will be in and out of here checking on you the entire time if you aren’t out in the great room with the boys.”
Danny got to work and staged the ingredients in the refrigerator along with notes on each entree. Half an hour later, the kitchen was set up with directions for Jackie to follow to bring it all together.
Jackie stood back watching Danny work his magic in the kitchen. When they had met in college, she would have never suspected that he would become a renowned chef. He was the typical hippie college kid except that he never got into drugs or alcohol. In fact, the only time that Jackie had ever seen him drink was a glass of wine or beer with a meal.
She had held a crush on him for a couple of years but was jolted out of it when she met Kevyn and Danny introduced him as his longtime partner. After graduating from college, Jackie and Danny had been roommates and had become the other’s best friend. She had watched as Danny and Kevyn had grown from dating, to ‘seriously dating’ through to their engagement and wedding. What really impressed her was his culinary skills. He was a natural in the kitchen and could whip up a full meal with almost no notice and without going to the store.
Danny and Kevyn had met in high school and kept their growing relationship a secret from their friends and family; they had grown up together and had grown into each other. They had been together since they were 17 and now at 29, they had slipped into the comforts of a long-term loving relationship that gave many people a tinge of jealousy.
Jackie hadn’t had Danny’s luck and had a long history of bad dates and failed relationships. For a while, it was so bad that Jackie wouldn’t meet a guy unless Danny was there. Danny had a knack for weeding out the bad men and after many rejections, she met Jason.
Jackie stood across the kitchen and looked at Danny and noted with a bit of envy that he had aged very well. Aside from about 20 pounds more muscle and the beginnings of a couple of laugh lines around his mouth, he looked just like he had in college. Jackie would never say it in front of him, but she ‘knew’ that his fountain of youth was found in Kevyn’s pants.
Danny was thinking similar thoughts about Jackie and how she hadn’t aged all that well. Years of bad dating and living off fast food had taken it’s toll. She had managed to work off the extra belly but as he liked to point out, gravity was not her friend. She tended to avoid Danny’s meals as they were “too fancy” for her taste.
In spite of it all, Danny and Jackie were as close to each other as they were to their husbands. For the last five years, the four of them had lived a few doors down from each other. Married on the same day in a double wedding, they had talked about moving into a house together, but realized it wasn’t the best way to start their new lives.
Danny turned from what he was doing and smiled at Jackie. “Well darlin, I should go see what Jason and Kevyn are up to out there. The football game is on but they’ve been fairly quiet and I need to send Kevyn to the store for the buttah.” Danny said as he turned and headed towards the swinging door that separated the living room from the dining room.
—– —– —– —– —–
Other writers who participate in Wednesday Briefs: