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ninekaronas

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Home for the Holidays

“House hunting, huh?” Zach said to the anxious woman next to him. They were lounging on the couch, enjoying a rare afternoon alone. Kendall’s mind had wandered back to the place it never really left these days ... a new house. “I can think of a better way to spend the day with my wife,” he continued as he buried his face in her neck, trailing little kisses along her collarbone. “Yeah, I know,” Kendall said while tilting her head to give him better access. “Me too. But we never have trouble making time for that, Zach. But finding the right house could take a long time. And we won’t find it until we start looking. Right?” she said, lifting his head and forcing him to pay attention to what she was saying. She was determined not to let him distract her.

He gifted her with an exaggerated sigh and a crooked smile before sitting up and pulling her up with him. “Okay. You win. Where do we start?” “I thought you’d never ask,” she said excitedly as she reached under the couch and brought out her laptop. “I’ve been doing some research on what’s available. Let me show you what I’ve found. Oh, shoot,” she mumbled as she once again reached under the couch. Zach had to grab her legs to keep her from falling as she reached further back, all the while muttering under her breath.

“Whew!” she said after she finally righted herself. “Don’t know how that got so far back there.” She held up a large brown envelope and handed it to Zach. He leaned over and looked under the couch, then back to Kendall. He said nothing, just arched an eyebrow and took the envelope. “That,” she said as she tried to tame her suddenly wild hair, “is just some specs on properties I thought we might want to look at. If you see anything you like, I’ll pull them up and we can take a virtual tour. If we like that, we make an appointment with the realtor. Then you whip out your checkbook and write a big fat check. Easy as that.”

“Easy. Right.” Zach said. He shook his head and pulled Kendall’s hands from her hair. “You’re beautiful. Stop fussing.” She smiled and gave him a quick kiss. “You’re blind,” she laughed. “And you’re stalling. Now take a look and tell me if you see anything you like.” “I see plenty I like ... oh, you mean the envelope? Okay, let’s see what you’ve got in mind for our dream home, Mrs. Slater.”

————————————-

“Why now, Kendall?” Zach asked. “What’s your hurry? Are you trying to run away from bad memories?” The Slaters had spent nearly two hours going over specs and taking virtual tours. They had narrowed their search to a few places that they wanted to take a closer look at. Fortunately, they were able to set some appointments right away. Funny how much cooperation you can get when you’re looking at eight-figure price tags. They were on their way to the first house when Zach began to question Kendall’s sudden obsession with moving.

“Bad memories? God no, Zach. There’s no room for bad memories. There are too many happy ones blocking them out. Like the first time you rubbed my feet. Remember that?” she said, admiring his profile. “Sure I do,” he replied. “It was the most intimate I’d ever been with my wife, up to that point.” He turned and winked at her. “And then there was the time you filled the whole house with flowers when I thought I would lose Spike.” She absentmindedly rubbed her stomach before continuing. “It’s where you promised to tell me I was beautiful, no matter how big I got.” “And you were,” he interrupted, reaching over to take her hand. “It’s where you put me to bed and held me, even though we couldn’t make love.” “Yep. I was a saint,” he chuckled.

“And Zach,” she continued, “that apartment is where you told me you loved me for the very first time. At least when I was conscious. You were there for me last Thanksgiving when everybody else turned their back on me. You rescued me.” She pulled his hand to her lips and kissed it. Then placed their joined hands over her heart. “They were all wrong, Kendall. You deserved better. Better from them. Better than me,” he said emphatically. “They were the ones who claimed to love you, and look how they treated you. All of them.”

“Let it go, Zach. I have. My so-called friends and family told me they loved me, but didn’t show it. You showed me real love, but never told me. I guess that kind of set a pattern, didn't it? Besides, we’re only reliving happy times on this trip down memory lane. Okay?” “Agreed,” he said. “What else?” “Oh, I’ve got a good one,” she exclaimed. “The condo is where you kissed me for the first time. How could I forget that?” Zach shook his head and tried to look wounded. “Kendall, Kendall, Kendall. You did forget. That wasn’t our first kiss. Our first kiss was in front of the cameras at your mom’s New Beginnings party. I can’t believe you don’t remember,” he said with mock exasperation.

“I didn’t forget,” Kendall defended. “That kiss just didn’t count. You only did it to save Greenlee and irritate my mother. I’m talking about a real kiss.” He shook his head. “First of all, I didn’t do anything to protect Greenlee. That was your mission in life, never mine. I was just looking for any excuse to get my hands on you. I knew then that you wanted me. You wanted me bad,” he teased. “Maybe I did,” she laughed. “Or maybe I just thought I did.” “And now?” he prodded. “Now I know what I was missing,” she said with a smile. “And I definitely want it. Lots of it. Every day. For the rest of my life.” She watched as his eyes narrowed and she licked her lips in anticipation.

Luckily, they were at the first house on their list. Zach pulled into the driveway and then pulled Kendall into his arms. “Well, it wouldn’t be the first time today, but it would be the first time in the car. How about it? Right here, right now?” he said into her ear. “Hmmmmmmm,” she purred. “Do we dare?” Kendall laughed when Zach gunned the engine. “Well, I guess you’re motor’s all revved up, huh? It’s a good thing you remembered to put it in park,” she said as she opened the car door. “Tease,” he groaned before joining her.

————————————-

One hour and three houses later, the Slater’s were back on the road. To Zach’s surprise, Kendall hadn’t spent much time in any of the houses they had seen. She said she just didn’t get the right vibe yet. “I’ll know it when I walk through the door,” she’d said when they left the last one. “It’s not about floorplans or square footage. We’re not looking for just a house. We’re looking for our home. The place where we’ll raise a family. The place where you and I will remain until we’re old and gray and full of sleep. It’s gotta feel right, or it’s all wrong.” He smiled at the memory as he waited for the light to turn green.

“What are you grinning at?” Kendall asked. “I’m just thinking about a beautiful woman I know and how she seems to remember everything I say. I didn’t know you paid such close attention,” he said. “Oh yeah, Zach. I’m listening. I’m always listening. And I never forget. You’ll do well to remember that,” she laughed. “I’ll remember.” He ran his finger down the side of her face before returning his attention to the road.

“Okay, last one. Do you have a good feeling about it?” he asked. “You know, I think I do,” she said, sounding surprised. “It’s a beautiful street, don’t you think?” “Uh huh,” he answered without taking his eyes off her. “I can see us living in this neighborhood, taking long walks down these sidewalks. Can’t you?” “Uh huh.” He still didn’t take his eyes off her. Something was different. She was reacting differently to this house. She seemed to already be at home here. He thought this just might be the one, so he tore his eyes from his wife’s face and looked around.

It was beautiful. Kendall was right about that. The landscaping was flawless, full of bright fall colors and lush green grass. The house was not what he expected. The pictures didn’t do it justice. The huge white structure looked like something you’d expect to see in the Deep South, not Pennsylvania. Wide wrap-around porches. Balconies on every floor supported by towering white columns. Huge shade trees that begged for a swing. It had all the amenities you’d expect: pool, guest cottage, carriage house, etc. But the feel was much warmer, much more welcoming than the other homes they had seen. He realized he was staring when he heard Kendall clear her throat. He turned to see her watching him with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. “You too?” she said wistfully and she took his hand and followed him inside.

————————————-

“It’s perfect,” Kendall gushed. “You’re perfect,” Zach returned as he kissed her yet again. Her excitement was contagious and he was finding her even more irresistible than usual. They were standing on the balcony off the master bedroom suite. The realtor had snuck out a while ago, leaving the Slaters to wander through their new home alone. She knew as soon as the couple walked in the front door that this was their home. They looked so perfect there, as if they had been there all along. Zach and Kendall felt the same way. They bought the house on the spot and Kendall immediately began to plan the rest of their lives.

“Oh Zach,” she said for the hundredth time. “I can’t believe we found it. Now do you see? I was never running from anything. Especially not you. I was running to something. And this is it. Our future. Our destiny. Our happily ever after. I can’t wait to make new memories here with you and Spike.” She turned in his arms and rested against him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer. “Tell me about them,” he said, surprising even himself.

“Well, we’ll be here in time for Spike’s first Christmas ... and our first Christmas together for that matter. And before we know it, I’ll be waiting on the front porch for Spike to get home from his first day of school, probably crying like a baby.” “Who’s crying? You or Spike?” he asked. She elbowed him. “Me! You know no son of yours will ever be a crybaby.” “Nope. No crying. That honor is reserved for my wife. Now what else?” he said.

“We’ll bring all of our babies home to the beautiful nursery that we’ll put right next to our room. That way we can be close for all those midnight feedings, and still have a little privacy from the older kids. You know, for when we wanna fool around.” “That many babies, huh? How will we ever have time to fool around?” he asked. “Well, if we don’t find a way, we won’t have all the babies,” she said as if instructing a child. “You do know where babies come from, don’t you, Zach?” she asked innocently.

He turned her back around in his arms so he could see her face. “No, I seem to have forgotten. Tell me how it goes again.” She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him, giggling when she felt her feet leave the floor. “How about if I show you instead?” she said. He lowered her back to the ground and led her back inside. “Okay, Mrs. Slater. Which room do we want to christen first?”


TBC


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teresaplatt

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Reply with quote  #2 
WOW, I AM SO MELTING, THAT WAS SO GOOD, OH WHY CAN'T THE DUMB WRITERS COME UP WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS.  [SIGH]
Granny

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Melting - no not this time.  I'm crying like a baby!  9K you are beautiful!  I love it!  Please tell us there are at least a hundred more chapters of your wonderful work!  Granny


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Ande

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Love it!!!! WOW you hit it out of the park every time. 


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tkaddicted

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What a start.  I can hardly wait for the next chapter.  I so look forward to your stories.


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Ann

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Reply with quote  #6 

Brilliant as usual.


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Reply with quote  #7 

9K, how do you keep doing that?!   Thanks. I am looking forward to the next installment.

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ninekaronas

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks for the feedback everybody. You ladies are so much fun to write for!

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 2


"Okay, what are we looking at here?" Kendall looked up from the endless rows of boxes to see Zach standing in the doorway of their new family room. He slung his coat over one of the paper-covered leather couches and started rolling up his sleeves. "Well, I'm looking at my beautiful husband," she began as she started toward him. "And you are looking at your very tired, bedraggled wife. I must look a fright," she said, suddenly self-conscious.

Zach met Kendall in the middle of the room and kissed her. "No. Beautiful as always," he said. Nice shoes," he added as he took in her bare feet. "Yeah, I know," she laughed. "Very un-Kendall. There's just something about this house that makes me feel like humming and going barefoot and baking cookies ... or something. I don't really get it, but I like it. It feels like I'm trapped in Gone With The Wind." She looked up at Zach and he saw the joy in her eyes. The contentment. "I like it too, Miss Scarlett," he said. He gave her another quick kiss and then turned to face the thankless job of unpacking.

-------------------------

"Tell me again why we didn't pay somebody to do this," he said after spending several hours unloading boxes and moving stuff all over the huge house. "Because they don't do that," Kendall said as she joined him on the stairs. "The movers just bring the boxes in, they don't unpack them." She handed Zach an ice-cold beer and he looked at her with nothing short of worship. He took a long sip and smiled. "You're too good to me." "Yeah, I know. Anyway, we don't want strangers going through our stuff, do we?" she asked as she held her hair off her neck in an attempt to cool off. "Kendall, I don't care who goes through my stuff, as long as they put it where it belongs when they're done."

She laughed and started to rise, but he pulled her back down. "Where are you going? You call that a break? Sit back down, slave driver!" he said as he finished off her beer. "I'm tired, Zach. And I'm sweaty and I'm hungry. I just want to eat, take a shower and go to bed. I don't want to look at another box tonight." "Honey, I'm on your side," he said, throwing up his hands in surrender. "Are we sleeping here or at the condo? Kendall? What is it? What did I say?" Kendall looked like she wanted to cry. And then she did. He held her while she cursed herself and cried on his shoulder.

"Oh God, Zach. I did this all wrong. We can't go back to the condo. All of our stuff is here now. And Bianca is already moving into our old place. Why didn't I set up our bedroom here first? All of this other stuff could have waited," she wailed. Zach tried not to laugh at the distraught female in his arms. It took him a minute, but he was finally able to speak to her in a casual voice. "Why not just sleep on the floor? It will be fun. Like we're camping," he said. Kendall was not convinced.

"I don't camp, Zach. I said I felt like Scarlett O'Hara, not Huck Finn," she whined. "Oh just admit it, I screwed up. Now we'll both have to pay the price for it ... with our backs." He did laugh then. He couldn't stop himself. And Kendall did not appreciate it. Her look was enough to make him forget what he found funny in the first place. "Okay, how about if we just stay at the casino tonight?" he suggested. Bad idea. "Zach Slater," she said emphatically, "we are not going to spend our first night in our new home at a hotel. It's bad luck." She looked so dejected, but he didn't dare laugh again.

"Kendall," he soothed, "you're making too much of this. You're just tired. Here's what we'll do," he said as he pulled out his wallet and handed her some cash. "You go pick us up something for dinner and I'll stay here and set us up a little campsite. Tomorrow we will set up the bedroom, I promise. Okay?" She looked at him and sighed. "Under one condition," she said. "Name it." "Let me grab a quick shower before I go. I can't go out in public like this." He stepped closer to her and took a deep breath. "Yeah, you're right. But make it quick. I'm starving," he said. She gasped, but then saw the twinkle in his eye. "You're gonna pay for that," she said over her shoulder as she ran up the stairs.

-------------------------

"Now see, this isn't so bad," Zach said as he settled himself on the floor beside Kendall in front of their makeshift camp. He had showered and changed while Kendall was gone for food and she thought he looked scrumptious. She wanted to devour him. He was so sweet to her, and so patient, even willing to sleep on the floor just so their first night in their new home wouldn't be ruined. She was the luckiest woman in the world, no doubt about it.

"What are you thinking?" Zach asked, startling her out of her trance. "Oh, just how lucky I am and how beautiful you are," she said smoothly. He tilted his head and smiled at her. "No, really. What were you thinking?" he asked again. She reached out and ran the back of her hand down the side of his face, but said nothing. Then she shook her head slightly and ripped into her dinner.

"I've been thinking about Thanksgiving, actually. It's practically here and Christmas will be right on its heels," Kendall said between bites. "What do you have in mind?" Zach asked, dreading the answer. "Honestly? I can't decide," she replied sheepishly. "Part of me wants to do the whole family thing. You know, go traditional." She looked at him to gauge his reaction. "But?" he prodded. "But another part of me wants to keep it private. Just you, me and Spike. We can start our own tradition. What do you think?" she asked. "I want whatever you want. But promise me one thing," he added. "Anything," she replied immediately. "If you do decide to go traditional, please don't make me sit next to Lavery."

"Ryan?" she asked, looking confused. "Why would Ryan be there?" Now it was his turn to be confused. He was speechless for a moment. "Uh ... well, I just assumed. Since he's Spike's father ..." Zach stammered. "We're not talking about a birthday party, Zach. We're talking about a family holiday. You and I are Spike's family. Just because Ryan is Spike's father too, it doesn't mean I'm gonna surround myself with Laverys at every holiday for the rest of my life. No, Ryan can just find somewhere else to go," she said as if he'd lost his mind. She looked up to find Zach grinning at her.

"Ah, Kendall. You make me so proud," he said. He thought she was the most beautiful women he'd ever seen. And the longer he knew her, the more beautiful she became. He wondered how he ever made it without her. He was the luckiest man in the world. "Marrying you is the smartest thing I've ever done."

"Oh really," she said coyly. "All that from just a little Ryan-bashing. What happens if I tell you that I wish we never had to deal with Ryan again? I wish he was out of our lives forever!" He stood up and pulled her to her feet. "That's good. Keep going," he said as he began to nuzzle her neck. "Hmmmmm ... okay. What else?" she thought aloud. "He's bossy and manipulative and he thinks he knows everything." "That's true. C'mon. More." She was finding it hard to concentrate on anything but Zach's mouth.

"Oh, and he's a barbarian who spits when he talks and is constantly licking his lips. Have you ever noticed?" she asked. Zach just raised his head and looked at her. "Stupid question, I guess," she said. "I've got it! What about the whisper-shouting thing? How annoying is that?" "Very," Zach said as he went back to work on Kendall's neck. "And why is he always pointing to himself?" "I couldn't tell you," Zach said lazily. "Besides," Kendall continued, "I don't know what I ever saw in him. I thought he was so handsome, until I met you. Now he just doesn't do anything for me anymore."

"That's it," Zach said. He literally swept Kendall off her feet and headed for the stairs. "No wait, Zach. There's no bed up there. We can't go upstairs tonight." He could practically hear the music in his head as he pulled her tighter to him. "Frankly, Kendall, I don't give a da-" His words were interrupted by her kiss.

-------------------------

"Zach, you never stop amazing me," Kendall said as she sat up in bed the next morning. Zach had surprised her by setting up their bed while she was getting dinner. He never said a word about it, even when he was carrying her up the stairs last night. But it wouldn't have mattered to her then. She would have followed him anywhere just to be near him. But the bed had come in very handy. Twice last night and once this morning. She looked at him dreamily and sighed.

"And I hope I never do," he said, amused by the look on her face. She was acting like a new bride. It made him feel invincible. He leaned over and kissed her. It was intended to be a quick, chaste kiss, but it didn't work out that way. Kendall's response fueled his own. He pulled away before things went too far.

"Okay, my insatiable wife, what do you have planned for us today?" he asked cheerily. "Well, I thought it was obvious," she pouted. "But it looks like you'd rather empty more boxes." He gave her another quick kiss to get rid of her frown and then got out of bed. "There's much to be done, Kendall. We can't play in bed all day." "I know," she relented. "Spike's coming home today and his room isn't ready." "There you go, Spike's room it is. But first, how about we christen that shower?" Kendall jumped out of bed and raced him to the bathroom.

TBC

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Granny

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Aww!  9K, you always end your chapters with me wanting more!  You are such a tease!  LOL

 

Excellent writing.  I want more!  More!  Please! 

 

Granny 


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tkaddicted

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ITA with Granny.  More, more, more.  I should be working, but I noticed a new chapter and couldn't resist!


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melian22

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9K you know that I love this story! Cant wait for an update

 

 

 

Mel


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teresaplatt

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Thanks 9k, three words, HOT,SEXY, HOT. oh why can't these writers come up with stuff like this. [sigh]p.s i like that the slaters, make fun of all the things that ryass does the we the fans make fun of also.LOL
Ann

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As usual...I can't wait for the next chapter.

Very, very good.


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Ann
Abigail

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9K ~ I really love your fan fics.  They are really well written, humorous, romantic and always leave me wanting more.  So, looking forward to the next chapter!  (Soon...hint hint...)


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ninekaronas

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Well, Abby (and Mel and Ann and Granny and everybody else), I did take the hint ... just very slowly. Still not a lot happening yet, but I'm getting there. I just can't get past the house honeymoon!

 

 

Home for the Holidays

 

Chapter 3

"Oh, Kendall. It's lovely. It really is," Erica said as she continued to take in the grand house. "It's the last house I would have chosen for you, and yet you look so perfect here. You have already made it a home." The two women ended their tour on the second-floor balcony, overlooking the gardens beyond. Although it was November, the temperature was mild and the sun was shining brightly.

"Thanks, Mom," Kendall said softly, surprised at how much she wanted her mother's approval. "I'm glad you like it. And I know just what you mean about it not being my style. I would have said the same thing a month ago. But it felt right the minute Zach and I walked through the door. We are gonna build a great life together here. I can feel it." Erica smiled. She sincerely hoped her daughter was right, but she had her doubts. She still struggled to accept Zach Slater as the love of Kendall's life. But she was trying. For Kendall's sake, she was trying.

"So what about decorating for the holidays? With a house this size, it will be quite a project," Erica said. "Do you want the number of my designer? He's expensive, but fabulous. Your husband can afford it. That's the least I can say about him after seeing this place." She paused, not sure if she wanted to finish her thought out loud. "You know how I feel about Zach, Kendall. But I can see that he truly loves you. There's nothing he won't do to make you happy. I have to give him credit for that much." She cleared her throat and looked away, clearly uncomfortable. Kendall walked over to her mother and gave her a hug. Then she showed her appreciation by changing the subject.

"I hadn't really thought about decorating. With the condo, all I needed was a wreath for the door and a Christmas tree. I'm guessing that won't get it done this year. Will you help me, Mom?". Erica's face lit up and the diva reemerged. "Oh yes, Kendall. I'd love to. Let's go back downstairs and start making plans."

-------------------------

"And, finally, I think we should put a huge wreath over here above the fireplace. Nothing too fussy, just simple and elegant with burgundy and gold accents." Kendall was exhausted. Her mother had taken the liberty of calling her designer, Francois, who took the liberty of coming right over. He had spent the last hour showing the women how he could turn the house into a holiday vision.

"No, that's where my Detroit Red Wings 2002 Stanley Cup Champs lithograph is gonna go." The group turned to see Zach standing in the doorway holding Spike. Erica and Francois gasped in horror at the idea of a sports picture ruining their glamourous decor. Kendall just laughed. She was so glad to see her husband. He could hang anything he wanted above the fireplace. Anything except a hockey picture, she amended to herself. Surely he wasn't serious. She looked into his eyes and saw him laughing at her. He knew she couldn't tell, and he wasn't about to let her off the hook.

She hurried over to him and gave him and Spike a quick kiss. "Get rid of them," she said into Zach's ear as she hugged him. He gave her a wicked grin and then turned to his guests. "I need to take my son upstairs. He won't admit it, but I know he's ready for a nap." Kendall gave him a pleading look, but he ignored it. He gave her another kiss and then headed for the stairs. "Coward," he heard Kendall say under her breath for his ears only. The sound of his laughter echoed through the room.

"Anyway," Erica said in her most condescending tone, "back to what we were discussing before we were so rudely interrupted." She turned to Francois and waited for him to continue. "Well, that is all I would suggest for the inside. But the outside of the house is something else altogether." The two divas continued to discuss swag lengths, bulb counts and bow colors, but Kendall was no longer paying any attention. She didn't care anymore. She just wanted them gone.

She was sitting on the threshold of the open door with her head in her hands, waiting for the two design mavens to wind down. They were deep in discussion about whether or not the house would need to be repainted a different shade of white to go with their color scheme when Kendall felt herself being hauled to her feet. Zach's arms came around her as he pulled her up against his chest. He smiled to himself as he felt her relax against him.

"Uh, Mom?" Zach began. "I'm all for a little holiday cheer. But don't you think you're going a little overboard?" Erica had the nerve to look appalled. "Why no, Zach. I don't. Living in a house like this is a huge responsibility. You have to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak, whether you want to or not." She gave Francois a see-what-I-have-to-deal-with look before turning back to Zach and Kendall. "Well, see, that's where you're wrong. We don't have to keep up with anybody. And I don't even know the Joneses," Zach said. "You forget that I grew up in a house this size. I know how things are done." Kendall felt him tense when Erica opened her mouth to reply.

"Look Mom, that's enough for today," Kendall said calmly. Francois's mouth fell open and Erica became indignant. "Kendall, do you know who you're talking to? Francois is the most sought after decorator in town. You think you can just dismiss him and have him come back whenever you're ready? Don't be so naive. You're embarrassing me," she said with a glance at the slighted designer.

"Mother," Kendall began, but stopped when she felt Zach's grip on her tighten. "Let me," he said quietly. "Erica," he said in a louder voice. "Whether you realize it or not, pretentious little pillow fluffers like this are a dime a dozen. They're always stomping off the job in a snit, and there is always another one to take their place. We won't be repainting the house to go with your color pallet, we won't be glazing the columns so the lights will glow softer, and we won't be turning our home into Rockefeller Plaza." "Now go home, both of you. That's enough for one day."

Francois started a tirade in French and Erica tried to placate him. "Kendall, are you just going to stand there and let your husband speak to me this way?" But Kendall wasn't paying any attention to her mother. She was caught up in the conversation that Zach and Francois were now having ... in French! Her own French was a little rusty, but she thought Zach was saying something about a 30 foot snowman for the front yard. The look on Francois's face told her she was right. Her giggles turned into laughter when the man did just as Zach predicted: he stomped off the job in a snit. Only this time, Erica stomped after him. The Slaters stood on their porch and listened to Erica's attempts to calm the Frenchman down, telling him there was no hope for this house, but he was welcome to come and transform hers.

"See, I told you," Zach said as he turned to his wife. "They're all the same." He was acting so casual. Kendall wanted to punch him. "Zach! You speak French? How come I didn't know that?" He shrugged. "I guess it never came up before, mon cheri," he said with a wink. "Amazing," she said, shaking her head. "How do you say amazing in French?" she asked. "Je t'aime," he said without missing a beat. "Liar," she laughed as he led her inside. "But I love you, too."


TBC

 


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     I can see  the  happiness of the house now. Thanks 9K. Next chapter soon, please.

Lorene

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Have I told you lately that I love you?

Keep writing like this and I will love you forever!


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I love your stories NineK even though I don't post it a lot.  Thanks for giving me something good to read.  It sure beats what I'm watching on AMC lately, unfortunately the spoilers don't look much better for love and romance.


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9K, you are amazing!  Great story (Chapter) and great humor!  Your writing is so believable.  Too bad the writers for AMC don't have someone with your imagination writing the story line for Zach.  You always have Zach as the guy in the white hat! 

 

Your thoughts put smiles on my face.  Laughter in my heart.  AND PEACE all around.  Why do the writers have to always lean toward depression and hate to tell their stories?

 

9K, thanks for lifting us up!      Granny


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Home for the Holidays

Chapter 4


"Can I come in?" Kendall said as she knocked on the open door. Erica looked up from her desk and smiled before remembering that she was upset with her daughter. Her smile quickly faded and was replaced with self-righteous indignation. "Of course," she said, gracious but smug. "I assume you are here to apologize to me for the way you and that man treated me yesterday." Kendall sat in the chair opposite Erica's desk and took a deep breath. She knew what she'd find when she got here, it was just a matter of finding the energy to deal it.

"As a matter of fact, I did come to apologize to you, Mom," Kendall said at last. "I am truly sorry that you left our house so angry. But please stop referring to my husband as that man. His name is Zach. Remember? Zach? The man who kept you from crawling into a bottle in Las Vegas. The man who kept you out of prison after you nearly killed him. The man who makes your daughter happier than she's ever been."

"Well, Kendall," Erica said sarcastically, "if that's an apology, it's the worst one I've ever heard. And I would ask you to please not make excuses for that ma ... Zach. He was rude and boorish. It's completely unacceptable." "He was just doing me a favor," Kendall said. "I was tired of trimming the proverbial tree and just wanted some peace and quiet. He gave it to me. That's all. You said yourself, there's nothing he won't do for me."

"Yes, well. That may be. But insulting your mother shouldn't be one of those things. But I'll forgive you, just this once." Erica smiled stiffly and held up her hands. "Now can we please talk about something else?" she said with a toss of her head. Kendall readily agreed. "Actually, I came to discuss Thanksgiving. I think Zach and I are going to bow out of the annual Kane Family Smackdown and just spend a quiet day at home with Spike. Would that be okay with you?"

Erica jumped to her feet and placed both hands on the desk. "No, it is most certainly not okay with me, Kendall. You can't be serious! Don't tell me," she smirked, "this is all Zach's idea, right? He's trying to pull you away from us, sweetheart. Away from your own family. Can't you see that?" "You're being ridiculous, Mother," Kendall said, rolling her eyes. "Zach is not trying to keep me from my family. And no, this is not his idea. In fact, I haven't even told him yet. He will support me in whatever I choose. That's what marriage is all about. You, of all people, should know that."

"Don't lecture me about marriage, Kendall. You have no idea what it takes to make a marriage work." "And you do?" Kendall replied incredulously. "I guess practice doesn't always make perfect," she added under her breath. Erica glared at her daughter for a moment, then came around the desk to sit in the chair beside her. She placed her hand on Kendall's arm. "Let's not argue anymore. Can't we just have a normal conversation? Calm and rational?" Kendall covered Erica's hand with her own and smiled. "You're right. I don't want to argue either."

"Now about Thanksgiving," Erica began. "Don't you think you should be there, for Ryan's sake at least?" Kendall's mouth fell open, but she recovered quickly. She had an odd sense of deja vu. "Ryan? Why would Ryan be there? He's not family. Not really." Erica gasped. "Well of course he's family, Kendall. He's Spike's father." "So Jeff Martin will be invited? And if Michael Cambias wasn't worm food, he'd be invited?" Kendall snapped. Erica gave her a pointed looked before continuing. "I won't even dignify that with a response. We're talking about Ryan. You really don't want him there for your son's first Thanksgiving?"

"Honestly, Mom? I think he will just make everyone uncomfortable," Kendall said. "Everyone. You mean Zach?" Erica replied softly. "Yes, Zach. And Jack, too. He and Ryan aren't exactly the best of friends. Besides, he'll probably want to spend the day with Annie and Emma. Are you planning to invite them, too? What about Jonathan and Erin?" she asked. Erica sat quietly, lost in thought. "Well, why not. The more the merrier. I hadn't realized that Ryan and Annie had gotten so close," she added absentmindedly as she stood and slowly returned to her desk.

"All I ask, Kendall, is that you think about it a little longer. Please," she said finally. Kendall stood up to go before answering. "All right, Mom. I won't make a decision about it right now. But don't turn this into a Zach/Ryan thing. I've made my choice. Can you accept it?" she asked, pausing in the doorway. "Yes, of course. Haven't I already told you I'd honor your choice, Kendall? This is about having my family with me for the holidays. Nothing more."

She waited for Kendall to leave before she picked up the phone. "Yes, this is Erica Kane. I need to add a few names to our guest list for Thanksgiving."

-------------------------

"What do you think, Zach?" Kendall asked. They sat in front of a roaring fire enjoying a glass of wine and each other's company. Kendall had told Zach about her conversation with Erica and was waiting to hear his opinion. "I mean, can you believe the nerve of my mother?" she continued. She looked over at Zach, who said nothing. His silence spoke volumes.

"Oh my God! You agree with her?" she said loudly. He just stared at her, not really knowing what to say. "Zach? Answer me," Kendall demanded. She wasn't angry, just surprised. "Explain it to me," she added in a softer voice. "Kendall, I will do whatever you decide. But I think you should reconsider spending the day with your family. I'm afraid you'll be sorry if we don't, and I don't want you to have any regrets." He waited for her to argue with him, but she didn't. So he continued.

"We have the rest of our lives to be alone together. Anytime you want. Nothing makes me happier, you know that. But I'm a little rusty on this family stuff. I need the practice. And our son needs to learn about family traditions ... even if it's from Erica. We owe him that much, don't we?" He put his arm around Kendall's shoulders and pulled her closer. "Besides, we don't know how many more holidays Jackson will be around. Didn't you notice that your mom brought two dates to her New Beginnings party last week? And I'm not counting Donny Osmond," he said with a smile. He got what he wanted. She laughed.

"That's better," he said as he kissed her softly. "You worry too much, Kendall. It will all work out okay. I promise. Now I don't want to talk about your mother anymore." He took her glass and placed it next to his on the floor beside him. Then he stretched out on his side and pulled her down in front of him. He stared down into her face, her skin glowing in the firelight, and once again he thought about how beautiful she was. He couldn't wait to spend the next 60 years looking into that face.

She looked up at him with such intensity, such depth of emotion ... he was lost in it. "Zach," she said. His eyes moved to her mouth. "Now, about that alone time" he said as he gathered her in his arms and leaned down to kiss her. She met him halfway. They took turns helping each other out of the confines of their clothing. Oddly enough, the more they took off, the warmer they became.

Kendall's last coherent thought was that she would gladly spend Thanksgiving with Babe and JR, as long as Zach was with her. Then she didn't want to think at all.

TBC



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OH 9K thanks for these stories, i love them, zach slater is the BEST DAMN HUSBAND on all of daytime. JMO, and iam sticking to it.LOL
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Thanks, 9K. I really enjoy your stories. I like that Zach is willing to learn about family traditions and share them with Kendall's family. I still think that Zach and Kendall should host this year's dinner at the Casino ( Wasn't the Kane-Montgomery family banned from the Valley Inn after last year? ) and that plastic spoons should be the only utensils allowed.

Lorene

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Thanks, 9K.  It's always nice to find another chapter when I'm ready for a break.  You make my day when there's a new one.  As always, this story is great.


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Thank you, 9K!  These Zachless days are getting to be too much for me, so your lovely story is a real boost to my spirits. 

 

And, as always, it's just so darn much fun to read.  You've painted Erica Kane so perfectly as the huffy, hair tossing, annoying little diva she is...I love it!  And Zach?  Well, he's just perfect, period.  Looking forward to the next chapter.


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Oh, yes!  Too dreamy!  Thanks 9K!  This is the best way to catch up on this message board.    Granny


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9K, just wanted to say Thanks, too!  These are great pick-me-ups, especially after the Zach-less days of November "sweeps"!

 

________________________________

 

--TaurusGal


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Thanks everybody! (As promised, searose ...)

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 5


Zach awoke to the sound of a smoke detector alarming, followed by the sound of a smoke detector crashing to the ground. "Kendall?" he yelled as he jumped out of bed and hurried downstairs. He followed the sound of his wife's loud cursing to the kitchen. He stood in the doorway with his mouth hanging open as he took in the scene.

His beautiful, delicate, fragile little wife was swearing like a sailor as she swept up what was left of the smoke detector. The oven door was standing wide open and there was black smoke billowing from the sink. He looked past Kendall to see a glimpse of a beautifully set table for two in the dining room.

He calmly walked over to the sink and doused water on the charred remains of what was probably supposed to be their lunch. Kendall turned at the sound and looked like she wanted to burst into tears. Zach just wanted to laugh. Kendall's face was streaked with black soot and her hair was falling out of a loose ponytail. She was dressed for a cocktail party, except for the "kiss the cook" apron she was wearing.

Before he could say anything, she threw herself into his arms. He knew she was crying, and he desperately wanted to make her feel better, but he had no idea what was going on. "Kendall... sweetheart ...," he said into her ear as he held her close. He could feel her body shaking and decided he'd seen enough. He didn't know what was wrong, but he was damn well gonna fix it.

He stepped back from her so he could see her face, and was shocked by what he saw. There were tears running down her face, but she wasn't crying. She was laughing. He found himself laughing, too, even though he was still confused. "Uh, want to tell me what's going on down here?" he said as soon as he could get Kendall's attention. "What do you mean?" she giggled. "Isn't it obvious?" Zach shook his head yes, but said, "Not to me."

She pulled away from him and went to close the oven door. When she turned around, it was to find Zach standing right behind her. "First things first," he said as he pulled her back into his arms and kissed her soundly, then let her go. "What was that for?" she asked, trying to regain her balance. Zach just tapped the front of her apron and walked into the dining room to investigate. He'd been right. The table was set for two, and very elegantly.

He turned back to see Kendall watching him. "Are you going to clue me in?" he asked. She took off the apron and motioned for him to follow her. She settled herself on the couch and waited for him to join her. "I don't really know why I'm laughing," she said. "I should be upset. All of my plans went up in smoke ... literally!" Zach reached up and wiped his thumb across her cheek. "So I noticed," he said dryly. "What plans?"

"It was supposed to be a surprise. Since we decided to spend Thanksgiving with my dysfunctional family, I wanted to have a special day for just the two of us. Since Sunday is Spike's day with Ryan, I thought this would be the perfect day. Then you ended up working late at the casino last night, which played right into my hands. I could get everything ready while you slept the morning away. All I had to do was re-heat the food I ordered, and I couldn't even do that."

She was beginning to feel embarrassed, which made her want to cry. Until she looked up into her husband's face. He was smiling at her so warmly, she forgot all about being embarrassed. He stood up quickly and pulled her to her feet. "Change of plans," he said as he swept her off her feet and carried her up the stairs. "What do you mean, Zach? Where are we going?" she asked. "Well, you're covered in soot and I'm covered in casino. We could both use a shower. I just thought we'd save time if we did it together."

-------------------------

"You know," Kendall said as she leaned over and took Zach's free hand, "Thanksgiving is a very special holiday for us." "It is?" Zach responded between bites. "How so?" She couldn't believe he didn't remember. She wanted to punch him. Instead, she let go of his hand and turned her attention back to her plate, never noticing the smile on Zach's face.

The Slaters had enjoyed a rather long and adventurous shower together before returning to the scene of the crime. They had opted for something much more casual, both in menu and attire. Zach had even offered to cook. So there they were, in the formal dining room, eating omelettes off of very expensive plates and drinking orange juice out of very expensive glasses. They were both dressed in jeans and sweaters. In Zach's mind, it was perfect. She was perfect.

"Kendall?" he said to the top of his wife's head. "I asked you a question." "Nevermind," she said a little sadly. "I'm sorry about lunch, Zach." "It's okay," he said sincerely. "I didn't marry you for your cooking." She looked up at him. "Do you ever wonder why you did marry me?" she asked softly. "Nope. Never. I only wonder what took me so long. I should have never let you leave Las Vegas without me."

Before she could answer, he asked her to please get them some more juice. When she returned, she found a small gift-wrapped box sitting beside her plate. She looked up to see Zach smiling at her. "For me?" she asked. "Uh huh." "I love presents," she said excitedly. "I know you do. Go ahead. Open it." She tore into the package and held up the gold bangle bracelet she found inside. "Oh Zach!" she said in an awed voice. "It's beautiful." "You're beautiful," he said. "Now read it." She met his gaze for a moment before tilting the bracelet to read the inscription: Still falling. No end. No limit. No fear. "I was going to give it to you Thursday, but today seems more fitting," he said.

This time she did cry. She burst into tears as she ran around the table and sat on Zach's lap. "You do remember," she wailed. He laughed softly as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "Of course I remember, Kendall. It was one of the most important days of my life. How could I forget?" She wiped at the tears on her face and pulled him to her for a kiss while he ran his hand up and down her back. "I love it, Zach," she said when she broke the kiss. "And I love you." She kissed him again before trying to stand. But he wouldn't let her up. He wasn't through holding her.

They sat there for long minutes, each lost in their own thoughts of that same day last year. Each so glad they had made it this far. "Say it, Zach. I want to hear it again," she said after a while. He gifted her with another warm smile before repeating the words that had been etched on her heart long before he had them etched on a bracelet. "I love you, Kendall. I've fallen in love with you. And I want to keep falling. No end, no limit, and no fear," he said in a soft, deep voice.

She rested her forehead against his and drank him in while his words poured over her, body and soul. They each sat there in quiet stillness, neither of them wanting to break the spell. They just wanted to drown in each other's scent, each other's taste, each other's touch.

-------------------------

"I went to the Valley Inn last Thanksgiving thinking I had it all under control," Kendall said as she ran her hands through Zach's hair. He was laying on the couch with his head in her lap. "I was helping Greenlee. Me, Kendall Slater, doing something totally selfless. Even if nobody believes it now," she finished warily. "Nobody but me," he added. "Right. Nobody but you," she clarified, then continued.

"You and I were slowly finding our way to each other. Ryan was back from the dead. I thought everything was okay. But it all blew up in my face. Well, here I am again, Zach. I think everything is okay. I think my life is in control. But what if I'm wrong? What if I go and it all blows up again? I'm afraid, Zach. I don't think I could survive that again."

Zach looked up at her. "The difference this year, Kendall, is me. I won't let anything happen to you." He sat up on the couch and turned to face her. "I wasn't sure of my place last year. I knew I loved you, but you didn't know it. And I didn't think you'd want to know. And I surely didn't think you'd want me fighting your battles for you." He paused a minute, taking Kendall's hands in his. "But I was wrong. I should have jumped to your defense and told everybody in that room - the people who were supposed to love and support you no matter what - what hypocrites and liars they were. They were wrong, Kendall. Not you. And I was wrong for not telling them. But it won't happen again. You can count on that ... on me," he said, his voice breaking on the last word.

Kendall was touched by how deeply he felt about it. She hadn't realized he carried so much regret about his reaction to Greenlee's revelation. She was again struck by just how lucky she was to have this wonderful man in her corner and in her life. "Zach, you were my hero last Thanksgiving. You rescued me more than once, or at least you would have, if I'd only cooperated. You stood by me and supported me, but you never judged me. And you gave me the greatest gift I've ever been given - your love."

"You say that now," Zach said with a slight smile. "But you sure didn't want to hear it then." She shook her head at him. "You're wrong. I wanted to hear it more than anything. I was just too afraid to believe it, Zach. I felt so cold, so dead inside, that I couldn't trust anything that made me feel warm and alive. I couldn't allow myself to hope for anything good. But you said those words to me, and I heard them. Those words saved my life." She looked at him expectantly. He knew just what she wanted.

So he repeated those words from what seemed a lifetime ago: "I see you for who you are. And what you did for Greenlee didn't baffle me. It didn't make me angry, because I understood it. Because when you give, you give 100%. When you give your heart, you give all of it or nothing at all, and I've never met anyone like that before in my life, and I don't know when it happened. I can't pinpoint this kind of stuff. I don't know what day it was, or what dress you were wearing, but it happened, and I need to tell you. I love you. I've fallen in love with you. And I want to keep falling -- no end, no limit, and no fear. I may not be what you need. I may not even be what you want. I've hurt people I care about. I can't change. I am who I am. And I love the only way I know how. But this had to be said -- I love you. And I want you in my life, always. I thought you should know that there's someone out there who believes in you and who loves you. Didn't start out that way, but here we are. And this is as real as it gets."

Kendall rested her head on Zach's shoulder while he recited the most beautiful words anybody had ever spoken to her. She didn't even realize that she was mouthing the words as he said them. She felt Zach's hands in her hair and felt his chest rising and falling as he spoke. She never wanted the moment to end.

-------------------------

"So, how was our first Thanksgiving Anniversary?" Zach asked between bites of chocolate chip pecan pie. He and Kendall were both eating out of the pie pan as they sat at the kitchen table. "It was everything I dreamed of, except for the smell of smoke in my hair," Kendall said. She gave Zach a look that said he was eating more than just his half. He cocked one eyebrow, lowered his voice and said, "Hurry up so we can head upstairs for dessert." "I thought this was dessert," she said innocently. "No, Kendall, this is just pie. I've got something much sweeter in mind."

She froze for a second and let her mind wander through the possibilities. Then she grabbed his fork and the pie pan and shoved them both into the refrigerator, hearing him laughing behind her. She was licking pie from her fingers when she looked up to find him watching her very intently. She continued her ministrations, torturing him in the process. He walked over to her, pulled her fingers from her lips and brought them to his. Then he proceeded to lick the crumbs from around Kendall's mouth.

Kendall grew frustrated when he wouldn't give her the kiss he knew she wanted. He laughed. She could feel his breath as he said, his mouth inches from hers, "Happy anniversary, Mrs Slater." She pulled his mouth down to hers and got the kiss she wanted ... the kiss she'd been waiting for all her life.

TBC



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A great big hug and a huge THANK YOU 9 K!!!!!!!  This was really sweet of you

I love it.  STILL FALLING

If only what we see on the screen was this good. 

 


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WOW, have I told you lately that I love you???

This story is soooo good.


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Thank you, 9K. Why can't TIIC give us stories like this?

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Thank You 9K !!! A Real Thanksgiving Holiday Gift. After a Zach-less week it was great to remember the characters the way we would like them on the show. If only.....


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Thank you 9K.  Excellent!  If only the writers of AMC would follow your lead.  It isn't a hard stretch to mature Kendall into the person you see.  Well done.  Thanks again.  Granny 


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9K...thank you for another great chapter!  You have no idea how much I enjoy your "vision" of the way the Zach and Kendall story really should be written vs. the way the AMC writers have chosen to do it.  Can't wait for your next holiday gift to us!


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9K, what a fantastic story you are giving us. I rarely get the opportunity to read these wonderful fanfics that the ladies on this board write, but I love this one.  I wish the writers would use stories like this.  The possibilities are endless, but too bad we are left waiting for the next 2.5 second scene.  Thank you for sharing. 

 

Vickie


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Can you make a story any better--my guess is who would try.  It's just wonderful.  What a great anniversary.  You have captured it perfectly!  I can hardly wait for more.  By the way, why not send some of this story to TPTB.  It couldn't hurt, and maybe it would give us something to watch on AMC.  Thanks.


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9K iam late to this party, but as usual you are AMAZING, tiic really should take a lesson from you.I can't get enough of your stories, can't wait for the next,and the next.........THANK YOU SOOOOOOOMUCH.
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Thank you 9K!  I just finished reading all 5 chapters...what a great Sunday morning treat...Looking forward to the next chapter.  Thanks again for giving us what we should be seeing on our TV.

Roseann

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Okay 9K,  we are dieing here.  We need a fix!  Chapter 6 would do for a start!  LOL  I've got my coffee and have time to sit and read the next chapter.  Thanks in advance for being so nice to us!  We love reading your chapters.

Granny 


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What a great story, 9K!  I always have a smile on my face or a tear in my eye reading your stories.  Waiting for the next chapter!  Thank you for sharing.


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Here we go everybody. And thanks again for the kind words. They mean a lot. Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Home for the Holidays

Chapter 6

“Gobble, gobble, gobble,” Kendall said as she burrowed deeper into Zach’s side, placing kisses on his chest. She felt his hands move across her back and into her hair as he pulled her to him for a kiss. She heard him mumble something about “gobbling her up” before his lips met hers. She giggled into his mouth, which made him pull away from her with a scowl.

“Kendall, this is serious business,” he teased. “Never laugh when a man is kissing you.” “Oh, okay,” she replied with grave seriousness. “Does that apply to other men, too, or just you?” His frown deepened. “There are no other men,” he said, leaning down to resume the kiss. After rendering his wife senseless, he pulled back so he could see her face. “What men?” she said, slightly dazed. “Better,” he growled as he pulled her on top of him and kissed her again.

————————————-

“I guess we can’t put if off any longer,” Kendall said. She was once again lying next to her husband, her head on his shoulder and her hand tracing circles on his chest. “I don’t know. I’m really enjoying your stalling tactics,” he answered. “Can’t we stall just a little longer?” She looked into his face to see if he was serious. “You think you can?” she asked, smiling. He bit her shoulder. “You underestimate me, wife,” he said. “Me? Never. But is has been a strenuous morning.” He laughed, gave her a final kiss, and threw back the covers.

“You’re right, Kendall. Time to enjoy a happy family Thanksgiving,” he said as he tossed her a robe. “You shower first and I’ll get the boy.” She gave him a wary look before turning to face what promised to be a trying day. She felt his arms come around her as he pulled her close. “It will be just fine, Kendall. You’ll see. And if the feathers start to fly, The Slater Boys will be there to take care of it. Spike and I will protect you.” She smiled at that mental picture and headed for the bathroom.

————————————-

“The Valley Inn?” Zach was surprised. “Didn’t they kick us out?” he asked. He, Kendall and Spike were en route, when he suddenly realized he didn’t know where to go. “She’s Erica Kane,” Kendall said with a shrug. “She’s Erica Kane,” he repeated as he turned the car towards The Valley Inn.

“Kendall! You made it,” Erica said as she rushed at her daughter. “And just how does Spike manage to get cuter every day?” She hugged the boy who rested in Zach’s arms. “Zach,” she said with a smile. “Hi, Mom,” he answered as he bent to kiss her cheek. Kendall didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at their attempts at civility. She knew her mother would try to get along with Zach. And she knew Zach would be amused by Erica’s attempts. She vowed to stay close to Zach, just in case.

As Erica hurried off to greet other guests, The Slaters walked into the room and were met by Jackson. He gave Kendall a hug before turning to shake Zach’s hand. “Glad you both could make it,” he said. “Erica won’t admit it, but it means a lot to her to have you here.” “Two of us at least,” Zach said softly. “Well, I’ve been working on that,” Jack said quietly as he looked to see if Erica was in earshot.

“Working on what?” Kendall asked. “Working on helping your mother realize just how much this man loves you,” Jack said. He glanced at Zach, then returned his gaze to his stunned step-daughter. “I remember last Thanksgiving, Kendall, when your whole world blew up right here in this very room.” He watched as Zach reached for Kendall’s hand. “And I remember how we all treated you. It was shameful, to say the least. We were all so shocked and ... well, we were selfish. We didn’t think about or care about what you were going through. Except for him,” he said as he again looked at Zach.

Kendall looked at Zach, too, but was unable to read his face. “Him?” she repeated. “What are you trying to tell me, Jack? I know what Zach did for me that day. I’ll never forget the things he said to me.” Jack nodded. “And I’ll never forget the things he said to me, either,” he said. “Zach defended you quite vigorously and quite eloquently, Kendall. He brought the entire situation into focus for me. That’s all I’m trying to say. He showed me that day how much he cares about you. I knew then that he loved you and wanted nothing more than to protect you.”

Jack took Spike from Zach’s arms and ushered him off to see his cousin Miranda, leaving the Slaters alone in the middle of a crowded room. “I love you, Zach,” Kendall said as she stepped into his outstretched arms. “I love you, too. And I will protect you. Always.”

“Get a room, you two.” Zach looked up to see Bianca coming toward them. “Jealous?” he asked, one brow arched. “Maybe,” she replied with a smile. “But of you, not Kendall. It’s my turn.” Zach laughed as Bianca hugged her sister. Then she hugged Zach.

“Did you guys notice the extra seats around the table?” Bianca asked. Zach and Kendall turned simultaneously to look at the table, each counting the number of chairs. “Spill it, Binx,” Kendall said when she realized there were five extra place settings. She had a sinking suspicion she already knew who they were for. “Well, you know how much Mom loves Ryan, right?” Bianca began. “I knew it!” Kendall interrupted. “She invited Ryan, which means inviting Annie and Emma. And then, of course, she invited Jonathan and Erin. Am I warm?” she said angrily as she glared across the room at her mother. “White hot,” Bianca said with a sigh.

Kendall looked at Zach, and was surprised to see him completely calm. “You’re not upset?” she asked. “Nope,” he answered casually. “And I’m certainly not surprised. Neither are you.” She nodded. “You’re right. I knew she would do this.” She took a deep breath. If Zach could handle it, she could too. He watched the anger fade from her face and gave her a wink. “Slater Boys, remember?” he whispered in her ear.

“Miranda! Put that down, right now!” Bianca called across the room. She hurried over to help Jack handle his two grandchildren. Kendall rushed to retrieve Spike, leaving Zach alone. He looked at the table again. His curiosity got the best of him as he wandered over and checked out the name cards. “Damn,” he muttered as he saw that Kendall was seated between him and Ryan Lavery. He had to laugh. His mother-in-law was nothing if not persistent, except maybe predictable. He walked away, shaking his head. It was time for a drink.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he heard over his shoulder. He turned to see Josh Madden standing there with his hands fisted at his side. “I’m an invited guest, and a member of this family,” Zach said coolly. “I assume you are here for the same reason.” Josh bristled. “God no. I wouldn’t be caught dead spending Thanksgiving with you people. You’re all liars and murderers.” Zach looked around to see who Josh was talking about, then returned his attention to his brother-in-law. “Then why are you here?” he asked. “I live here!” Josh yelled angrily. “In the dining room?” Zach replied. “Go to hell, Slater,” Josh spat as the stormed off.

Zach sat in the corner and watched the chaos around him. Erica has been busily working the room, oozing charm onto everyone around her, except him. But now she seemed to be upset. She was having a very animated conversation with Bianca, but he couldn’t make out any words. He looked around to find Kendall, and smiled when he did. She was standing in front of the big table, rearranging name cards. He watched her move Ryan’s card to the other side of the table. Then she searched the room for him. When their eyes met, they were both grinning. He lifted his glass to her and she blushed.

“Everyone, I have an announcement to make,” Erica called. Her voice was thin and her smile was forced. “I know we’re all starving, but it will be a few more minutes before dinner is served. We still have a few more guests yet to arrive. So, please be patient just a little while longer.” 

Zach had snuck out onto the patio with Spike. He was nibbling on some kind of hors d’oeuvres, but he was not enjoying it. “Good thing you don’t have any teeth yet,” he said to Spike. “These things are terrible.” He threw it into the bushes and took a long sip of his newly-replenished drink.

“Uh oh, here comes trouble,” he said when he saw Miranda running toward them, looking like she was about to burst into tears. “Get ready to crawl for cover,” he said as he waited for the little girl to reach them. When she did, she threw herself against Zach’s leg and started to cry. He knelt down and dried her tears. “What’s wrong, Miranda?” he said. “Tell me what happened.” She sniffled for a minute, then answered. “Mommy’s mommy is mad. She’s talking real loud and it broke.” Zach thought for a second, then figured out what she was trying to say. He picked Miranda up with his free arm and then looked around the patio. “Okay kids,” he said. “We’re going over the wall.”

“Not without me you’re not,” Kendall said behind him. The sight of Zach with his arms full of babies was sweet enough to make her forget why she came looking for him. “I was gonna come back for you when the kids were safe,” Zach assured her. He smiled, kissed her, then put her son in her arms. “Miranda here says Erica is mad and breaking things. What’s going on?”

“Mom just found out from Ryan that he isn’t coming and she didn’t take it well at all. She threw the centerpiece against the wall in typical Erica Kane fashion. And now we have been asked to leave the premises. Immediately.” Zach peeked into the dining room and saw Erica giving the restaurant manager a piece of her mind. “All this for Lavery?” he said.

“Not really,” Kendall replied. “She saw Josh earlier and begged him to stay. He told her he was going to have dinner with the Martins. Lily didn’t come because she was afraid Jonathan would be here. Myrtle said she couldn’t take the embarrassment of these family dinners. And Jack stormed out with Brooke when he found out Mom told Josh to bring Jeff here.” She paused to catch her breath. “So, you see, it’s not really about Ryan at all. It’s just about her not being able to run everybody’s life.”

“Well Myrtle was wrong,” Zach said. “I think these family dinners are too much fun to miss.” Kendall grunted, but said nothing. “So, what do we do now?” he asked. “Do you want me to fix it? Or we could move everybody to the casino.” Kendall considered it, but not for long. “No. We tried, Zach. Let’s just cut our losses and go home. Let Mom deal with the mess that she created.”

“Oh, I see what’s going on,” Zach said as he narrowed his eyes. “You planned this whole thing just so you could get me alone.” Kendall laughed. “Yep. You caught me. It was all an elaborate plot to have my handsome husband all to myself. Are you mad at me?” she asked. “Furious,” he said as he kissed her again. Then he felt Miranda’s hand on his face trying to push him and Kendall apart. “Okay, sweetheart,” Kendall said to her niece. “It’s time to find your mommy.” To Zach she said, as she took his hand and led him back inside, “Let’s find Binx and get the hell out of here.”

————————————-

“Now this is more like it,” Kendall said to her husband later on that evening. “No noise, no drama, and no Mom.” She and Zach were finishing up their Thanksgiving dinner. Kendall had The Valley Inn fix them a couple of plates to go, and Zach managed to re-heat them without burning the house down. Now they were settled in front of the fireplace in their bedroom, trying to decide about dessert.

“It has to be pumpkin pie, Kendall. It’s traditional,” Zach reasoned. “Somebody else’s tradition,” she scoffed. “We can start our own. And I say we start it with ... ice cream!” He looked at her like she’d lost her mind. “But pumpkin pie comes with whipped cream,” he argued, wiggling his eyebrows to emphasize his point. Kendall froze, then gave him a huge grin. “So does ice cream. But it also comes with chocolate syrup,” she said, licking her lips. “And cherries.”

That was all Zach needed to hear. “Sold,” he cried as he jumped up and headed for the door. “Come on,” he called over his shoulder. “I’ll get the ice cream, you get the rest.” He waited for her at the top of the stairs. When she reached him, he pulled her into his arms and held her tight. “Happy Thanksgiving, Kendall,” he said. “Happy Thanksgiving,” she replied softly. “I hope they will all be this happy,” she said just before his mouth claimed hers. “I’ll race you to the kitchen.”

TBC

 


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leela

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Reply with quote  #41 
This is getting better and better, I hope you can find some other holidays after Xmas and the New Year, I just want this story to keep on going. 
I loved how Erica has put Kendall between Zach and Ryan that's so her.  You capture the characters beautifully,  Thanks for sharing it with us.

Leela

Roseann

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Reply with quote  #42 

Great chapter, 9K...and so glad to see there are more chapters to come!

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Ande

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Reply with quote  #43 

Love it - Thanks --


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ZACH'S ALL FOLKS

Ande
searose

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Reply with quote  #44 

Thank you 9K, this was a lot of fun to read!  Hope you will take these stories through the entire holiday season, esp NYE  

Have a very happy Thanksgiving! 


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Ann

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Reply with quote  #45 

Beautiful....just beautiful.

Thank you!


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Ann
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Reply with quote  #46 

9K, thank you for another delightful read.  What I really like about this story is how relatively free of angst and conflict it is.  While certain types of fanfics need to have those elements, this one is exactly what it should be...a warm and humorous love story.  Thanks so much for letting me escape into a better world for Zach and Kendall through your chapters.  Glad to see there's more on the way!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving. 


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Reply with quote  #47 

9K--your stories are great---------Mommy's mommy---hahahahahaha--that was hilarious--a chip off the old block.

Looking forward to the next.

 

Fil


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Granny

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Reply with quote  #48 

Chapter 6 - WOW!  They just keep getting better. 

 

9K, you never disappoint.  When you wrote, "“Get a room, you two.” Zach looked up to see Bianca coming toward them." I knew it was Bianca before I saw her name.  You are so talented.  You capture all the characters' personalities.  Your writing is so vivid.  I love it!

 

I don't understand why the writers couldn't write happiness.  It would seem they would realize what they are doing isn't working and it is time to try a new approach.  The need to hire you! 

 

Thanks for the smiles you give me.  It's a great way to start my day.

 

Granny 


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Thanks, Sharon, for putting Zach and Kendall in my backyard. Thanks, Karen, for attaching this to my posts.
tkaddicted

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Reply with quote  #49 

Thanks for the new chapter, 9K.  I so look forward to the next one, and each time you give us a new one, I look forward to the next.  You're writing is great, and you seem to capture each character as they should be written.  Please send your resume to AMC Daytime, they need you.


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jgrant4218

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Reply with quote  #50 

"Home for the Holidays" is beautiful...it's my kind of story...  But having not seen the prior chapters, my only questions are:  How can I get to see the

previous chapters? and, Are you submitting them to to ABC?

 

Thanks for some enjoyable reading.

 

jg


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