Timeline: March 30, 2008
Johns announced at breakfast that he was going to run into Concord for a few things and while he is there he was going to pick up some beds for the new people.
“I am going to walk over to Rey’s and see if she needs anything or wants to road trip, those that want to go meet me at the Hub at 10:30,” he told anyone who would listen.
John walked to Rey’s and told her what he was doing.
“Do you have room for a passenger?” she asked. “There’s a couple of things I’d like to get.”
“Well, thats sort of why I came over, no one at the house seemed to want to got and I need someone to make sure I don’t fall asleep at the wheel. I have to stop at Daniel’s to see if he wants anything, I’ll meet you at the hub about 10:30 okay?”
John went to Daniel’s and agreed to pick up a bottle of Glenmorrangie if he could find it. “Well lets load up, who gets shotgun?” John said when he got to his vehicle.
“I do!” Rey said, jumping into the seat.
John pretended to survey the non-existant crowd and then said, “I choose Rey.” And then in his best conductor voice he said “ALL ABOARD, next stop Concord”
A few miles down the road, John turned to Rey and said, “So Rey I want to pick up some beds for the new house guests, what all did you want so I can plan our itinerary better.”
“Well, I need to get candles and candlesticks,” Rey said, ticking the items off on her fingers. “a new set of sheets for my bed, and I need to stop in at a shop called Three Kisses. It’s just around the corner from the mattress warehouse store.”
“It may be a little late to ask but do you have a valid drivers license?” John asked.
“Yeah, I do,” Rey said. “Don’t have a lot of experience driving, though.”
“Would you like to drive to Concord? I was thinking about driving a U-haul home with the beds in the back and then coming back for my jeep but if you would feel comfortable drivin then I wouldn’t have to drive back for my Jeep. You could drive it home and I could take the U-Haul to the nearest rental and drop it off.”
“If you trust me with your car, sure,” Rey said.
“Rey, I’d trust you with my life and the lives of those I care about, as much as I like my Jeep. If I had to, I could replace it.” John pulled over and went around to the passenger side and opened the door and got in, watching Ray run around the other side, it reminded John of the old Chinese Fire Drills they used to do.
“So how are things going bewteen you and Grey?” He asked once they were moving again.
“Good,” Rey replied, shooting him an amused glance, “Mr. Matchmaker. Grey told me why you’d asked him to give me the quilt. Thank you very much for it, by the way. I love it.”
“Yenta John it does have a ring to it but actually, Grey was helping me out with something but I didn’t think he would take any payment for it so I thought if I gave him the quilt I could thank him for it and help you break the ice with him at the same time. It also help settle a bill with a family that doesn’t have much cash money, I got a lot of metiphorical milage out of that quilt, glad you like though thats always an added bonus.”
“Where did you learn to drive a manual anyway? Most people don’t learn anymore.” John asked couriously.
“My parents made sure I learned,” Rey said, keeping her eyes on the road. “We had a little shitbox of a car that they let me drive when I was sent to do the groceries and stuff. That was my car, while my parents drove the Lexus and the Mercedes.”
“I am sure there were kids that envied your shit. ” John said hiding a grin. “My dad made me learn too, of course we didn’t thave a Lexus or a Mercedes. We didn’t have an automatic either, I was taught to drive the tracktor first.”
“You mean they had tractors in the Dark Ages?” she teased. “I had a 15 year old Geo Metro that was rusting through in half a dozen places. It was an extremely lucky day for me if it even started. I ended up getting pretty good at Macguyvering to get it to work.”
“Okay you got me I’ll come clean. The first thing I learned to drive was actually dinosaurs like Fred Flintstone. I even had a car like Fred’s as a kid. Great fun. “
“Oh cool!” Rey shifted gears, and continued driving down the freeway.
“So do you want to shop some and then eat or eat and then shop? It should be about 11:30 when we get there.”
“I don’t mind if we shop first,” Rey said. “I had a really big breakfast and won’t be hungry for a while.”
“Well then let’s go get the sheets and candles and candle holders and some incense if you want it. I thought I would pick up some tea and a tea maker too. And when we get done window shopping we can try Don Giovanno’s to eat unless you are in the mood for something else. Then you can take me to a U-haul place and go to the three kisses? and I will go to the mattress place. Sound like a plan?”
“Sounds good to me, and Italian’s fine,” Rey replied.
They went from store to store in Concord and John worked some plastic magic. It was a buying frenzie; they got incense, Daniel’s bottle of Glenmorrangie, a big jar of pickles, some specialty tea from a store call Teavanna, a stone tea pot, a tea maker, and candles, lord the candles big candles, little tea candles, Big candle holders, multiple candle holders, sets of candle holders. John offered to buy’s Rey’s candles if she would help him pick up sheets sets and comforts and make sure everything went well together. Charging on they purchased six sets of: 1500 Cotton sheets, six comforters,10 pillows, pillow cases to match the sheets, then John said to Rey “Time to pay for the candles. Which is better Rey; silk sheets or satin sheets?”
“Well, satin sheets are nice, if you’re just looking for pretty. Silk’s better. You don’t slide around on them, water doesn’t leave huge ugly splotches when it dries, it warms to your body faster and just feels nicer against the skin.” Rey flushed slightly. “Why?”
John got one of those big shit-eating grins on his face, the one where your friend knows he’s got you and is now going to lower the boom. Then he takes a deep breath and swallows what he was going to say, and looks her right in the eyes, “Because I know that, some of our friends are more sensitive and they will like the feel of them against their skin better then the cotton sheets. Would you like to pick up a set for Grey and you?
Rey smiled. “I bought a set a couple of months ago, but another set just isn’t in my budget right now.”
“Rey if you want another set just say the word, when we first moved here, we set up an account with $50,000 in it for emergencies and stuff. No body as touched it as far as I know and its got a lot of interest built up, believe me the budget can handle a set of silk sheets if you want it. That’s what is paying for most of this stuff and the beds.”
“If you’re sure. I just don’t want to take advantage of you guys,” Rey said.
“I think I’ve been hanging around Ramiel to long, all I can think of saying is,” John looked at Rey with soulful eyes, “but Rey what if I want you to take advantage of me.” He holds his composure for about a second and a half and then bursts out laughing.
Rey stared at John for a moment, then started laughing with him. “You definitely have been hanging around him too much.”
And so with laughter ringing in their ears and most of the shopping done they went to lunch at Don Giovanni’s.
After they were seated, John said, “Well it all looks good but I think I want the Vitello Rubarto, get whatever you want my treat since I picked the restaurant.”
Rey looked over the menu for a long time, finally deciding on Fettucini alla Boscaiola and a Caesar salad. “If I wasn’t driving, I’d have a glass of wine,” Rey said, “but I’ll stick with pop.”
“You don’t have to drive for an hour or so, if you want one get one.”
“I’d rather not, just to be safe,” Rey said. “Like I said, I don’t have a lot of experience driving.”
After they were well into the meal, John asked, “So what kind of item does three kisses sell anyway?” Quite by accident catching Rey right when she had started to take a drink.
She finished swallowing and set her glass down. “It’s an… adult store. Carries lingerie and stuff.”
John’s eyes opened a little wider in surprise, then it looked like he was absorbing the idea, then he said, “Do you want some company or would you feel better going in alone?”
“Why are you surprised, John? Didn’t think I had it in me to buy naughty clothing and toys?” Rey teased, glad she was able to keep herself from blushing.
“I thought it was some sort of chocolate store, you know like Hersey’s Kisses. I don’t know why I am surprised, I guess it just took me off guard i guess.” John gave a shy grin. “Its sort of like catching your younger sister kissing one of your friends, nothing wrong with it, it just sort of catches you by surprise.” Then a serious look crept onto his face as he said, “But you didn’t answer my question. Do you want my company or do you want to go in alone.”
“I’m okay to go in alone. None of this stuff is going to be a shock to me. After all, I’ve talked to Lyla a lot about this stuff.” Rey chuckled. “The name of the shop is a play on words, so to speak. You know how when you write a letter and you sign it hugs and kisses, X’s and O’s? Well, XXX is three kisses.”
John grinned alittle, “I wasn’t thinking of the stuff in the shop bothering you Rey. I was thinking more like the people in the shop bothering you.”
“I can take care of myself, John,” Rey said with a smile. “But thanks for the concern. Their website describes them as female-friendly, so I don’t think I’m going to have much of a problem. If I do, well, that’s why I carry pepper spray in my purse.”
“Have you been trained how to use that?” was the only response.
“Yes. I would never carry anything I didn’t know how to use,” Rey said. “One of the few truly useful things my parents taught me.”
John nodded and signed for the waiter to bring the check, “You can drop me off at the U-haul place then and we can meet back up at the mattress place.”
Rey dropped John off and went to the There Kisses. She emerged about an hour later with a large bag.
She drove to the mattress store and was directed to the loading dock when she asked for Doctor Beckett. The staff seemed really eager to be helpful. Rey found the Doc on the dock just as he was sliding the door shut on what seemed like a U-haul full of beds and mattresses. The sales person standing near John looked like she would be wagging her tail if she had one and Rey caught the tail end of her spell “… Thank you so much Doctor Beckett, please keep me in mind if you have any other bedding needs.” John gave her a grin and a look that was pure Ramiel the woman blushed a little but didn’t say anything more. “Perhaps you should give me your card just in case I need to talk to you about bedding.” John said keeping a straight face.
John looked up and saw Rey standing there, “Well I think I made her sales quota for the month, and maybe next month too. I have one more thing to buy and then we can get the hell out of Dodge. What do you know about digital camera’s?”
“You are *definitely* spending too much time around Ramiel. Anyway, digital cameras. I don’t know much aboutthem,” Rey said. “I do remember reading, though, that you should get one that’s at least 3.2 megapixel, if you want to have regular photograph quality prints.”
John ended up with and 5.2 Megapixel Camera with a 12 X optical zoom and a gig of memory and enough batteries to sink a small boat, then they went home. “Well, thanks for spending time with me Rey and thanks for driving the Jeep home. Hope you and Grey have fun trying out your purchases. If you want to sort through the bags now and get your stuff you can or I can drop it off later your choice.”
“I’ll take the Three Kisses bag with me now,” Rey said, “but the rest of the stuff will be too heavy for me to carry. You can drop them by the cabin, or leave them at Ramiel’s place, and I’ll get them home.”
Ok hope you enjoy your purchases, I’ll swing by when I drop the wagon off and give you the rest of your stuff.
John walked over to the Stable and got the wagon he asked them to have ready for him. He knew it was going to take several trips so he thought he better get started because he was burning daylight. He opened up the van and started loading queen sized mattresses into the wagon. For anyone watching it was an amazing feat of strength and dexterity, for one man especially one of John’s build. The first four matteresses fit in the wagon and he loaded the head and foot boards. Then took half of the days plunder and put it on the wagon seat and drove the wagon up to the house. John set the brake and hitched the horse then went in to see if anyone was home and could help him unload.