Chapter 34

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With less than a week to go before Evelyn's eighteenth birthday, things at the Jensen house had become quite chaotic. At least as far as their standards were concerned. Becca had decided Evelyn's fist official birthday as an official member of the family officially entering womanhood could be nothing less than perfect. As far as Becca was concerned that meant anything even remotely close to store bought was strictly forbidden.

"From the heart and through the hands, that's the only way to give to someone you love," Becca would say as she busily puttered along from one project to the next. Handmade paper decorations and cards, handmade nick knacks that would follow Evelyn to college and remind her of home. Baking supplies covered the counter tops and filled the refrigerator, set and ready for Becca's fully planned out day of baking prior to the party.

"Really, I don't want anything big," Evelyn protested when Becca came through the door with yet another armload of supplies from yet another early morning shopping trip.

"Oh, you hush. It's not going to be big at all, just a few people gathered is all."

"If a houseful of friends and relatives counts as just a few people that is," Lenny remarked, not bothering to look up from the book he had spent the week reading.

Becca ignored the jest. "Oh, I forgot the heavy cream," she exclaimed as she emptied the bags onto the kitchen table. "I'll have to make another trip."

"For hating anything store bought your mother seems to spend an awful lot of time shopping," Lenny joked, winking at Evelyn over his coffee.

"Oh, I know!" Evelyn agreed. "I feel like I haven't seen her all week! And to think soon I'll be off on my own and she won't be able to see me at all! What if I end up moving to China or something?"

Lenny chuckled, earning a warning look from Becca. "Stop encouraging her!" she scolded before turning back to Evelyn. "And you won't be going anywhere until you apply for some colleges! Something you should have done last summer, young lady," Becca chided.

Evelyn groaned and dropped her head to the table. "I told you I'm taking a semester off. I promise I'll apply for all the colleges you want this summer. Let me focus on graduation this year first, I don't have a clue what I want to study yet."

"Well you can take some courses at the community college until then," Becca said, her look telling Evelyn the decision had already been made.

"She'll be just fine," Lenny said. "Lots of kids take time off and do just fine."

"Oh I have faith in Evelyn, I just want to be sure she's thinking about her future, that's all."

"I promise I'm that I'm very much thinking about my future," Evelyn piped in.

"I'm sure you are, dear. Have you and Brandon been intimate yet?"

Lenny choked on his coffee at the same moment Evelyn dropped her spoon to the floor. She looked wide eyed at Becca, shocked at just how casually the question came out. "What?"

"Oh, you heard me," Becca said. "Have you and Brandon been intimate yet? I know you're about to be eighteen and an adult but we still have rules in this house and I still expect you to follow them. Now I know you really like this boy and-"

"I'd prefer this conversation didn't happen in front of me," Lenny interrupted, standing.

"I'd prefer this conversation didn't happen at all," Evelyn said, mortified.

"Oh, you two. It's a simple question and I don't see any shame in it as long as-"

"Brandon's a good boy, honey. I trust him," Lenny interrupted. He had taken even more of a shine to Brandon after hearing about the incident with Puck and Evelyn's decision, crediting him as being a big part of Evelyn's reasoning. The thought of Evelyn slowly losing her powers and becoming normal put an even bigger smile on Lenny face and helped to further brighten his mood.

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