Just Once - Page 8

His mother's surprised laugh got caught in her throat along with all her emotions, so instead of speaking, she pulled Art into her arms for a fierce hug. “Watch your language,” she chastised him without quite sounding like she meant it.

He broke the embrace just a little more slowly than his dignity required, but his grin was fully real by the time he did so. “You're seventeen, remember?” he reminded her. “That's how we talk when our mothers aren't around.”

“I'm still your mother, eyes open or shut, mister, and don't you forget it!” She tousled his hair in a way she knew he hated. “And if you talk like that around me again, I'm telling my mommy on you, got it?” Art's mother punctuated this threat with a decidedly childish sticking out of her tongue which prompted her son to laugh.

“Okay, okay!” he conceded around his laughter. “But if you're not seventeen, can you at least answer me one question from when you were seventeen, provided, of course, if--”

“Before you actually finish saying, 'If you can manage to remember that far back,'” his mother interrupted sharply. “I would remind you to consider the fact that I am the one who cooks your meals.”

“If you would be so kind,” Art corrected himself smoothly. “As to tell me how you managed to not get bored in this place when you were my age?”

“Simple,” his mother said with a soft smile. “I met a boy.”

Art made a show of considering that. “Interesting,” he said at last. “But maybe I should see if I can meet a girl instead.”

“That would be easier to explain to your grandparents,” his mother admitted.


Caleb chortled softly as Art paused in his tale. “You swore in front of Mom.”

“It seemed like the right thing to do at the time,” Art said with a shrug. “Now where was I . . . ?”


Page 8

Previous ~ Index ~ Next