Playing House

By Eleine Kruez


The beautifully manicured lawn was dotted with tables, providing a scenic backdrop for the romantic reception of the wedding. The newlyweds posed with their parents near the lake's edge, the setting sun's reflection on the water serving as a finishing touch to such wondrous event.

Seated at the one of the many tables on the lawn, not too far away from where couples were dancing to the mellow love songs crooned by petite singer of the band, Detective Nicholas Taggert turned away from the approaching matriarch who was heading his way in small but determined strides.

"Nicholas Johanns Taggert!" Leticia Carlyle-Taggert exclaimed, huffing indignantly when her grandson pretended not to have noticed her approach.

"Grandmother," he said, resigned to his fate as he stood up and kissed the offered cheeks. He had hoped that pretending not to have noticed her would save him. He shouldn't have wasted the effort. Now that he was the only male grandson between the age of seventeen and forty still unmarried, he had no doubt as to what her purpose was.

"Don't you grandmother me, you little hoodlum!" she raised her hand and lightly hit him on the head. "Now that Freddy's married, I hope you'll see to your duty to help continue the family line."

With an inward sigh and a mental roll of his eyes, he nodded and responded solemnly. "Of course, grandmother. There being only four male grandchildren in a brood of twenty, it's natural that all ensuing from them will be future Taggerts to carry on our name."

"Don't get lippy with me just because you're a detective now, Nicki," she said, using his pet name from the time she changed his diapers. "Paolo did his job. You and Freddy seemed to have decided to remain bachelors forever, until he finally married sweet little Marcy. It's your turn now. I want lots of grandchildren."

"I thought we were that," he replied with a grin. "Aren't you busy enough with Paolo's children? They were four at the last Christmas count—though there's no guarantee Aleine isn't carrying another one since they seemed to have made it their mission to populate Australia single-handedly."

"Haha. Great-grandchildren then. So when I meet your dear grandfather at the other side I can regale him with stories about how I raised you all then he'd regret leaving me when Junior was just a baby."

And the lecture commences hence. Nicholas figured he'd save her the trouble of telling him all about his duty in making sure the family name lived on by recording her speeches and playing it whenever any topic veered slightly (and sometimes not even faintly) towards matrimony.

"In case you've forgotten, I'm only twenty-five, grandmother. I'm still young. Men don't marry until they're well into their late thirties. I've only been promoted recently. I want to accomplish a lot of things before I settle down."

"Freddy's younger than you are and yet he's married," she pointed out. "And it was a beautiful ceremony, too," she said, bringing her lacy handkerchief to the corner of her eye. She glared at her remaining grandson of marriageable age. "Accomplish what then? Isn't finding a suitable girl an accomplishment itself?

"I've seen the young women of this age. Faces caked with foundation they resemble clowns, bodies clothed in what in my day were called undergarments and manners utterly appalling! Looking for a nice, gently-bred woman is harder than solving cases of people who have become unhinged, Nicholas. Paolo and Freddy are lucky they found Aleine and Daria." She looked at him. "I can only pray the same for you."

"In due time, grandmother. I don't intend to die a bachelor. You don't have to be afraid I won't contribute to the world's rapidly growing population. I will. It just won't be today."


"Are you sure you've got everything with you, love?" Sinjun Blanco asked the man next to her as she sped in the highway, the wind blowing against her lightly tanned cheeks. Her color was high and she stepped on the accelerator, not knowing what else to do to express the happiness and excitement surging through her system.

Her boyfriend of six months leaned over and kissed her soundly on the lips. "I've got you babe, what more can I possibly ask for?"

She reached out and rested her arms around his shoulders and pulled him closer to her. She knew she was being reckless—more so than she was already known for—but she didn't give a damn. Throughout her life she's seen and experienced love from the people around her, and she grew up surrounded by it, but never had she craved the love of the person next to her as she did before.

Her past relationships were nothing compared to Nathan. He's The One. She thought Jack had been the one, then Felipe from Spain, and the dozen other ex-boyfriends she's had, but they were absolutely trash next to Nathan.

Nathan was her universe.

She hadn't begun living until she met him. From the sandy blond hair and deep blue eyes, freckles liberally sprinkled across his tanned skin to the god-like body and engaging personality, he was perfect. He was smart—so smart university mattered nay to him that he decided to drop out because he wasn't learning anything he doesn't know already—to the wicked sense of humor and his gift as an artist. He played the guitar like the gods made the instrument for him.

In her nearly eighteen years of existence, she has never loved anyone the way she loved Jonathan Kline. She knew she would absolutely die without him by her side.

So when he asked her to marry him, despite not knowing every single detail about him other than the few he told her and that they had only been together for six months, she agreed readily.

That they were eloping added spice to their romance. The little details about his life were insignificant. They have their whole lives ahead of them to discover each and every aspect of one another. What was important was that the bliss they shared would continue forever.

She knew Uncle Eddie, who stood as her father for the past nine years since her own parents had died on an airplane crash, would be furious and would most likely to refuse to acknowledge their coming marriage, but she didn't care. She was assured of her family's affection. Her cousins, who were more like siblings, and her aunt would make a fuss, but they would eventually forgive her for running away.

They would see. Her record notwithstanding, they would see she was right by throwing caution to the wind and eloping with Nathan.

Mrs. Sinjun Blanco Kline. I like it, she thought happily as she sped past the sign welcoming them to Nevada. She could've taken the private jet, but she thought it would be more romantic eloping on her midnight blue convertible.

As they cruised around town, deciding where to stay, she pondered the best way to divulge the little detail about her being a tad underage. Sinjun knew Nathan wouldn't mind waiting for another two months for her birthday, but she didn't know how she'd deal with the disappointment that would follow her revelation.

The cause having to move their wedding date and the awkwardness of having to make him sign the pre-nup she filched from her uncle's safe. Of course Nathan wouldn't care that he was actually older than four years and two months, not just four years, or that he would have to sign the papers. He loves her. It wouldn't matter if she was disinherited for failing to make her husband-to-be sign the papers or for marrying without her family's blessing.

They finally decided on Caesar's Palace. Sinjun decided Nathan would take care of checking in and stuff. She handed him her gold card with a smile.

He kissed her deeply then took it. "I love you, babe. Can't wait 'til we're married then we can share every second of our lives together. You want that, don't you? Spend your life next to me?"

As if reciting her wedding vows, she nodded slowly and answered solemnly, "I do."


Okay, so I had this whole idea for Sinjun's story even before I wrote Statue, only the first three parts were wiped out and I had to start from scratch that I decided to put her on hold until after I finished with Adrienne and Dylan's story. The original plot's completely different (as in Sinjun proposes marriage to a fortune hunter because she's bored and tired of being single), but I'm going with this one since I like it (whatever's the plot, you'll have to read to know) better. Hehe. Please tell me what you think. I'm actually considering writing a story about the Clarke-Blanco cousins, but that's just an idea. Right now, I'm focusing on Sinjun's. So please, tell me what you think. ::smiles::