Surprisingly, things were looking up. Ian could assure his folks now about his move back home and how the pub was enterprising these days. No, he was not there day and night, and they didn't live above it, either. They had a nice little row house, and it was truly a family life with Jama.
They had help with the pub. Although, Jama liked to open every morning, a little before noon, just to check the books. There was live music on the weekend which drummed up business with the young and even the old. Mostly, local talent and now they had their tried and true recipes of pub food along with some new favorites too. Like lettuce wrapped sandwiches and skinny crisps.
So, he'd gone back to University. Nothing drastic. An online class or two. Actually, it was basically graphic arts to help with their own advertising. Perhaps those gigs were a dime of dozen, but Ian was learning, the more he knew of the web world.... the more it helped in their business too. He just couldn't explain it to his folks. Maybe there was no need too.
Ian was not going to worry, but he could see Jama was upset.
"Dad's like that. He can't help it." Ian explained after they got off their chat with his Dad and his wife. "He always thinks I can do better and why does everything have to be better, all the time?" He gave her a congenial squeeze to assure her they were on track. Things were great at the Black Cat. It was a packed house especially on the weekend nights and they weren't doing too shabby with the lunch crowd, either. "What's the matter now?" She'd been rather subdued, lately.
He knew she was at her best when she could laugh, possibly a bit loud, but he did love her smile.
"Its nothing. Its not-" She hugged herself and went to make a brew for them in their cozy little kitchen.
"Don't start this. I want to know what you're so..I dunno....its not you, OK?" Ian's eyes lit. "Tell me."
She fumed a bit getting the cups ready for the tea. She even found some biscuits left over from the holidays that were barely worth serving. She sighed and tossed them in the trash. Instead, she went to get some of his favorites his step-mum sent from America. Possibly, more candy than cookie.
"Well..." She was slow to tell him, but he waited. "Marco's back."
"Yeah." Ian had actually seen him around in the village, but he didn't think it worth mentioning. He guessed he should have mentioned it now.
"He's seeing Marnie." She was straight lipped and sour about it. The kettle sang and she cut the heat and poured hot water over the tea leaves in the glass teapot.
"Your cousin?" He winced.
"Dusty isn't taking it well, at all. He's moved out. He moved in with Halie." She made it sound as if it were the worst thing possible.
"Sounds like we're all living in a bit sin, is it?" Ian couldn't help but joke. "Just when did you get so high and mighty, Jama?"
"Its not that." She snapped with a small scowl.
"Babe, you couldn't possibly be jealous." Ian winced slightly trying to reason with her. "You, never really loved him anyway, now did you?"
Now she was really flustered. He'd have to see to the tea. She crossed her arms and practically flung herself on the couch.
"Yes..I do hate him. I just do..and..he can be so nice ..so he can get what he wants, but he can turn on you..so fast..and I'd hate to see Marnie in that kind of mess. She doesn't need that kind of shite in her life."
"Right." He brought her tea. He put it on the coffee table and then went to sit on the couch with her. He put her feet in his lap. "I suppose we'll have to invite them to dinner. Find out how serious it all is."
She rolled her eyes at that.
"But you know you want too." His smile was sly as if he knew her better than herself.
"No, I don't." She was ever so sullen.
"Oh, but you do." He smirked.
She sighed and reached for a cookie. Yes, he knew why his step-mom sent them. She knew Jama would like them.