"Aunt Doris, what are you doing here? Is Aunt Rose with you?" I asked as we all walked into the kitchen. My question was answered by my being smothered in Aunt Rose's… ummm… chest once again.
"Rose insisted, and I agreed, that we come out and help with straightening up your Grampa Olly's home," Aunt Doris answered. "But Carol and her boys are doing such a good job we're hardly needed, except to help with lunch, which you and your Bubbe missed by the way. Rose, let the boy go so he can sit and eat. Mrs. Levin, these are brand new dishes that have never been used by anyone before, so I believe they will be safe for you to use."
"You know kashrut?" Bubbe questioned as she took the plate.
"A bit," Aunt Doris smiled. "Enough to know that you aren't supposed to eat from the same dishes as Goyim."
"Mrs. Levin, Doris here is the only Lutheran graduate of Temple Ben-Judah shule," Aunt Rose supplied proudly.
"This is a story I'd like to hear," Bubbe said with a smile as she and I sat at the dining table and were served up a bowl of what looked like dough balls in broth. "Matzo ball soup yet?" Bubbe asked as she bent over the bowl to take a deep breath. "And made with goose schmaltz, even. You're sure you're Lutheran?"
"Actually, Episcopalian now," Aunt Doris smiled. "I do hope you aren't too disappointed in the soup. Rose and I found the recipe online this morning, so this is our first time making it. It took us a while to find the rendered goose fat. That's why lunch was a little late today," she added with a slight blush.
"Tzeitel, wait till you taste. It's almost as good as yours, and yours is only second in the world to your mother's, may she rest in peace," Zeyde gushed.
"I'm sure it will be fine, dear," Bubbe told her and picked up her spoon. She looked over at me and gestured to my spoon. "Eat up, bubelah, you need your strength after such a morning."
"What happened to my baby boy?" Aunt Rose demanded as she hugged me again.
"I got a little too emotional, Aunt Rose," I said with a blush.
"With all you've been through the last month, I can certainly see why," Aunt Rose told me as she kissed my forehead. "Now you eat up, you hear. No rugelach ("a bite-size cookie made with cream-cheese dough rolled around a filling of nuts, poppy seed paste, chocolate, or jam") for you unless you empty that bowl, young man."
"Rugelach? You make matzo ball soup and rugelach, all for my Izzy? It had to be for him because you don't even know I'm coming," Bubbe asked.
"Well, technically it was for David," Aunt Doris admitted. "We heard what a terrible day he had yesterday, and we wanted him to feel some of the comforts of home today. Just our way of showing our love for a wonderful young man who took care of our Elijah even while he himself was finding out what a piece of trash he'd been dating."
"Itzahk, you've adopted these girls, yes? Anybody that makes matzo ball soup and rugelach just to make my David feel better and makes it this good their first time, they must be the daughters I've always wanted, instead of the son I wish I'd never had."
"About Shimon, my love," Zeyde started nervously. "You mean it when you say you wish we'd never had him?"
"No son of mine could do what he's done," Bubbe said firmly. "I wish I knew where we went wrong with that boy. He had a wonderful loving wife and when she died, rest her soul, he became a different man that I don't even recognize anymore."
"Well, I might have maybe told Hiram when I spoke to him today that I want to disown and disinherit Shimon," Zeyde confessed.
"Itzahk Benjamin Levin, you call that man right back this instant!" Bubbe yelled.
"But Tzeitel, you just said…."
"You tell Hiram we don't disown Shimon until he signs custody of David over to us," Bubbe growled. "I won't have that shiksa ("(Yiddish) VERY derogatory term for a woman") he married when his wife isn't even cold in her grave, may she rest in peace, raising my David to be a schlub ("(Yiddish) a stupid, unattractive, clumsy person ") like she's turned him into. You tell him I'll pay for David if I have to, but I want it done by the end of the day."
"This is why I married her," Zeyde said proudly. "Tzeitel, I told Hiram the same thing when I spoke to him. He assured me that we would have sole custody of David by noon tomorrow at the latest. Hiram said he would present our deal to that woman to make sure that they go for it."
"See there? I always knew I married a smart man," Bubbe smiled.
"Bubbe?" I asked quietly as I sat beside her still eating my yummy soup.
"What's a shiksa?" I asked. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, Zeyde grabbed Grampa Olly by the arms and started dancing around the room with while singing loudly.
"Hava nagila, hava nagila, hava nagila ve-nismeḥa ("Jewish folk song of thanksgiving and celebration")!"
"Izzy, not that I mind of course, but could you tell me what we're dancing for?" Grampa Olly asked with a laugh.
"For the first time in our married life, she taught the swear word not me," Zeyde answered with a laugh of his own. Everyone laughed as Zeyde continued to celebrate, and even Bubbe giggled a little at him after she blushed and sputtered for a moment.
"So that's a bad word?" Robin asked David and Benji quietly a little later when the four of us were sitting on the dock, dangling our feet in the cool water of the lake. "That word that Bubbe said about your mom?"
"She's not my mom," David said quickly. "My mother died, and then Papa married 'the woman' that everyone in the family tried to warn him about. Nobody liked her and she has wanted to get rid of me since day one. She would leave brochures and pamphlets about boarding schools all over the house. It was only Zeyde and Bubbe that managed to make him keep me around."
"Well, it sounds like they will keep you around even more now," I told David as I leaned over and bumped his shoulder with mine, as we were sitting next to each other with our boyfriends on the other side of each of us.
"Yeah, and my Mama and Papa are totally ok with us," Benji spoke up from the other side. "They just told me to make sure not to do anything in front of the little pisser he shouldn't see."
"Like we would ever do that anyway," David scoffed. "We spend 90% of our time together trying to hide from and get away from him anyway."
"Wait, who's this you're talking about?" Robin asked curiously.
"Benji's little brother," David answered. "He's not such a bad kid, really. It's just he's too little to do much with that's any fun. Not that kind of fun, I mean. We would never, ever…."
"Relax, we know that, doofus," I shoulder bumped David again. "So just how old is the kid?"
"And why do you call him Little Pisser?" Robin added.
"It's his name," Benji shrugged. "Well, technically his name is Zondal Eitan, but Zondal means little son and Eitan means strongly flowing."
"Yeah apparently as soon as he was born he peed all over the doctors in the delivery room, so Feter Isaac, that is Uncle Isaac, named him appropriately," David explained with a laugh. "Oh and he's seven now. The same age as Tania."
"Don't ever tell him I said it, but he's the best little brother in the whole world and I love him almost as much as I do Davey," Benji told us. "He can be a pain at times, but he's just too cute to stay mad at for more than like five minutes."
"So this one time when we like twelve, we convinced Benji's parents that the two of us together would be just fine babysitting Zondy," David started.
"Little Pisser wanted to play hide and seek," Benji continued the story. "David was it, so I went and hid and so did Zondy. David finds me in like two minutes flat."
"Your shoes were sticking out at the bottom of the curtains, you schmendrick," David laughed. "Before you ask, a schmendrick is an idiot, but usually a cute one." He leaned over and kissed Benji on the cheek then.
"I'm a schmendrick?" Benji retorted. "If I'm a schmendrick, you're a schmuck ("(Yiddish) a foolish or contemptible person"). All those sleepovers with each other, I take forever changing my clothes in front of you, I insist that we can share a bed when there's two beds in my room, and you still start dating that farshtunken chazer ("(Yiddish) stinking pig ") instead of me."
I looked over to Robin to motion that maybe we should leave the other two alone for a bit, and I saw he was already getting up quietly. "Guys, stay here and talk as long as you need to. We're going to go for a walk, ok?" I'm not sure if they heard me or not, though. Robin reached out and held my hand as we walked back up the hill toward the house. "I hope they work things out. I think being in love with your best friend is the best feeling in the whole world."
"It totally is," Robin agreed with a smile and then gave me a kiss on the cheek.
"Awww, my boys are so adorable." We both turned to see Daia standing nearby with her cell phone in her hand. "That picture is so going on the wall in the living room," she grinned. "So are you boys ready to get back to working the fair with us tomorrow?"
"Yes ma'am," we both agreed eagerly.
"I feel guilty for not being there to help more, to pay you guys back for all you've done for me," I told her honestly.
"Now you listen here, young man," Daia scolded. "We did not take you in so we could have free labor at the faire. You are just as welcome to stay with us forever even if you never set one foot on the grounds of that faire again. You are our family, now and always, no matter what happens between you and Robin."
I couldn't help it. I launched myself at her and hugged her tightly as I cried in her arms. Daia stood there and hugged me the way I had only felt my mother do when I was very young.
"It'll be much less awkward between us if we stay together like we are now, though," Robin told me as he joined our hug. "So it's a good thing I never plan to break up with you."
"You're stuck with me, too," I whispered back.
"Well, I'm glad that's settled, then," Daia smiled and kissed us both on the foreheads. "Now, how about we head for the fairgrounds? The Levins will be staying here tonight, and your Grampa Olly is going to bring them to the faire tomorrow, so the whole clan will be there."
"We get to go to your faire?" Davey squealed excitedly as he and Benji walked up to us holding hands.
"Are you guys all settled now?" Robin asked them.
"He's a schmuck, but he's my schmuck now," Benji grinned happily. "Oh, sorry ma'am," he blurted when he saw Daia.
"I won't tell on you, cutie, as long as I get introduced," Daia assured him.
"Daia, this is Benji," I began.
"My boyfriend," Davey finished with a big grin.
"Oh, I'm so happy for you, David," Daia gushed and she grabbed them both and hugged them, kissing their foreheads just like she had ours. "And what an adorable boyfriend he is too; cute as a little doll. Those curls are just precious." Poor Benji was turning redder and redder with every word and we couldn't help giggling at his blushing.
"Hey, you guys didn't finish telling us about the hide and seek game earlier," I prompted to change the subject and rescue Benji before his body spontaneously combusted into flames from his blushing so much. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to help as now both of them were blushing and squirming.
"Oh, yeah," Benji mumbled and then continued louder. "Well, after Davey finds me, we both start looking for Little Pi… err Zondy," he corrected himself as he looked up at Daia.
"We hunt through the whole house and can't find him anywhere," Davey added. "We even check in the back yard, but boy was that a bad idea, because we find the gate at the side of the house open to the street."
"Yeah, so now we're panicking like crazy, thinking he's been abducted or something," Benji continues. "And of course THAT's when my parents come home."
"I tell Benji to stall them while I keep looking, but it's no good, I can't find the kid anywhere," Davey picks up again. "I'm starting to cry by this point, because I'm scared that Feter Isaac is going to kill me for letting his son be stolen right out from under my nose. And I'm crying because I'm starting to think about what might be happening to the little kid, you know? And this one, THIS ONE, is no good at stalling at all. He just blurts right out, 'We didn't mean to lose him.' I mean can you believe?"
"I can't lie to my parents," Benji shrugged. "They always see right through me."
"His mother just laughs at us both, and we start thinking she's hysterical or something over losing her baby boy. So now I've lost my best friend's baby brother, and driven his mother crazy. I can't imagine the trouble I'm going to be in for this," David goes on.
"Mama just walks into the kitchen and opens a bottom cabinet door beside the refrigerator where she keeps pots and pans. There the little pisser is… Umm I mean Zondal… fast asleep on the shelf," Benji tells us all. "I couldn't decide if I wanted to kill him for scaring us like that or hug him forever."
"We went for hugging him," Davey confessed. "I had never been so happy to see the little guy in his whole life."
"AWWWWWW!" Daia, Robin, and I all cooed at the sweet story.
"So how old is he?" Daia asked. We told her and she smiled. "Well, you four will have your hands full at the faire tomorrow then, watching him and Tania." She giggled as Robin, Davey, and Benji all groaned.
"Those three, you mean, Daia," I corrected. "I'm overdue for helping Baka in the costume booth."
"You're going to abandon me in my hour of need?" Robin pouted at me. "Force me to be on munchkin patrol all day?"
"Isn't that what you do every day at the faire, anyway?" I asked.
"That's beside the point," he pouted more. "How can we sneak away into the woods to where we first met and make out if we're stuck with the little princess?"
"I promise to give you boys some breaks," Daia told us.
"This is going to be so EPIC," Benji squealed excitedly. "I can't wait for tomorrow. Can we wear costumes, too?"
"I'm sure Frodo and Baka can set you up with something nice, boys. Remember though, if you're in costume, you should be in character," Daia reminded us all.
"What does that mean?" Davey asked. Robin, his mom, and I sat down on the grass with us and coached our kosher cousins about how to speak and act in character. After a little while, both of them were pretty sure they could do it and were both excited about the day tomorrow. "Benji's right, this is going to be so awesome," Davey gushed.
"It's getting late now, boys," Daia said as she stood up. "Robin, Elijah, and I should say our goodbyes and head for the fairground so we can rest for tomorrow." We all went inside the house and gave everyone hugs before we got in Grampa Olly's truck to leave. Daia and Grampa had temporarily switched vehicles so that he would have the minivan to haul everyone to the faire the next day.
When we got to the fairground, and inside the travel trailer camper caravan thing, it finally dawned on Robin and I that we would actually be sharing the small space he had brought me to that first day we met. The spot where I had accidentally rubbed my face into the wet spot on his bed. The place where we had shared our first kiss. The place he had seen me totally naked the first time. He seemed to be just as shy as I was at that point.
"Umm, if you want to get into bed first, I can wait downstairs for you to get ready," he stammered nervously.
"Oh, umm, okay," I agreed just as haltingly. He stepped back down the few steps and I looked around, realizing that he still had a pile of clothes on the one bed. I also realized that I had nothing to wear to bed again except my undies. That was when I saw something familiar in a drawer under the bed with all Robin's clothes piled on it. Daia had brought some of my clothes for me after all. I have to say I was more than a little embarrassed that the only underwear she had brought were the silky thongs. I had been in everything I had on for two days though, so I put on a purple silk thong and got under the covers of Robin's bed. "It's ok, Robin, you can come in now," I called out quietly so as not to disturb the whole family.
"Oh!" he gasped when he came into the little room. "I… uhh… well I just figured you would use that bed."
"I was too tired to clear it all off, and didn't know where to put any of that stuff anyway," I confessed with a blush. "But if you would rather me sleep over there I will," I said as I got out of the bed, forgetting what I was wearing.
"Sweet Screaming…." he moaned as I bent over and starting to shift some of the clothes on the other bed. "I didn't want you to sleep over there, I just thought you would. I really, really want to share the bed with you tonight. I ahhh… well I can't guarantee that I won't get hard though if that's what you're sleeping in. In fact, I can pretty much promise you I will stay hard all night."
"You got hard from seeing me in this skimpy little thing?" I asked, and I probably shouldn't have, but I bent forward more and wiggled my butt in front of him.
"Ohhh man, you gotta stop that or… or I won't be able to keep my promise to Dad and Daia."
"You really think I'm that sexy?" I asked in surprise as I flopped back down onto his bed.
"No, I don't think it, I know it," Robin assured me as he came and sat down beside me. "I know you seem to have a really low opinion of yourself, but I just wish for one moment that you could see you the way I do. I know it's really cheesy, but I heard a saying once in school. You may think you are the most insignificant being in the world, but to someone somewhere, you ARE the world. That's me, Elijah. You are my world. I know we haven't known each other all that long, but I literally don't think I could handle life without you in it."
"I feel the same way, my fairy prince," I whispered as I leaned in and kissed him. "Thank you so much for believing in me, and for saving me from myself. You can call yourself a fairy for the faire, but to me you are my guardian angel. I am really looking forward to seeing you in your wings and loincloth again tomorrow, too."
"Yeah and I'll finally get to see you in the gypsy prince outfit again. MMMMM your sexy butt in those tights," he moaned closing his eyes and smiling all goofy and dreamy.
"Robin! You're going to make me…."
"As hard as you make me?" he finished for me. "I sure hope I do. Elijah, can we cuddle now? I swear I will behave myself, but I really want to feel you in my arms again like that first day we were here together."
"I'd like that a lot," I agreed and lay back on the bed. Robin got up, lifted my legs and tucked them under the covers, then lay down beside me laying one arm over my tummy and snuggling up tight against my side so I was pinned between the wall of the trailer and him. I was under the covers and he was lying on top of them beside me. Neither of us had much room at all, but I never felt more comfortable in my life.