The men have moved the other table and Grayson brought out a deck of cards. The ladies have returned after helping Cyann with some clean up. The little girls are playing in Brenna's room and Brooklyn is asleep in her parent's room.
As soon as the ladies re-enter the room, Marlin sees Parker sitting on one of the sofas by himself, so she sits next to him and strikes up a conversation. Craig and Grayson notice, but don't say anything. The other ladies select other seats in the room. Ember sits at the table hoping to join in the card game.
Parker: Yes, I play. When I was off duty and couldn't get off base, it was a free thing to do. Unless, we started gambling. But when you're bored, you really learn how to play well.
Marlin: What other fun things do you like to do? I like to do fun things, but I don't seem to get out often. But I would with the right friends.
Craig: What are we going to play?
Grayson: I would say Spades, but let's just keep it simple and play Crazy Eights. I've seen some cutthroat action with Spades and people can't walk away. Especially if you're playing partners.
Craig: Okay. Crazy Eights it is.
Parker: I'm usually up for things with a little rush. Skydiving. Bungee jumping. It depends.
Marlin: Those things do sound like they give people a rush. I haven't done either, but you never know. The right person could encourage me to be more daring.
Parker: That's a good thing. You should be open to new things.
The doorbell has rung again and Grayson and Cyann both head for it. Cyann keeps taking the opportunity to double check on food and supplies in the kitchen.
Into the living room walks a tall beautiful woman. She is obviously new to being in the house since she still has her purse in hand. The other ladies just trust putting their purses in the closet on the way in.
Chambray: Hey, Everyone.
Syren: Hi! I'm Syren.
Avery: Hi. I'm Avery.
Chambray: I'm Chambray.
Craig, Parker and Marlin all say hello and give their names. Ember gets up from her seat and walks over. She recognizes Chambray.
Ember: I know who you are. Chambray Andrews! It is such a pleasure to meet you. I'm Ember Winters.
Chambray: Hey. It's so cool you recognize me. You must be the lady starting the modeling business Chase told me about. He said Grayson wanted me to meet you.
Chambray (with a slight frown): He's my man. We're not married yet.
Ember: Oh. I'm...well, it's nice of him to have asked you to come.
Chambray: So why don't we sit down and talk about what you're trying to do.
Ember sits down in the chair she was in and Chambray sits across from her. The doorbell has rung again and in walks Henna, Ember's other sister.
Syren: Hi, Henna. We have been waiting for you with baited breath.
Henne (rolls her eyes at Syren): Whatever. (speaks to everyone) I'm looking forward to mixing and mingling with you all. Syren, would you mind getting me up to speed?
Syren points to and names everyone Henna doesn't know. Everyone greets Henna as they are introduced.
Henna: It's nice to meet everyone. I'll just have a seat then.
Syren: I know, right. That's because she has issues.
Avery: Why would you say your own sister has issues?
Syren (laughing): Because she does have issues. She's the oldest, then Ember, then me. She says we're all pretty, but our parents gave her the most gorgeous genes first and then us what was left over. She likes to say it's a good thing our parents are good looking, otherwise, with all that they put into her beauty, there would have been nothing left to give to us.
Avery: Oh. (chuckling) Well, she is very pretty.
Syren: Please keep that to yourself.
Cyann: I have to agree. You have no idea, Avery. No idea.
Henna takes a seat next to Parker because there's an empty seat and she thinks Marlin and Parker are a couple.
Ember: Henna believes she's a star in her own right. I couldn't deal with her ego. Besides, they need to be a little taller.
Craig: Well maybe for something that doesn't require height.
Ember: Yes, I'll pass. It's better not to work with family sometimes.
Henna: Parker, you work out a lot don't you?
Parker: I try to keep myself in shape. I've gotten used to staying fit.
Henna: How long have you two been together? Does he make you stay in shape too?
Parker: Not to be rude, but we are not together. We just met.
Henna: Oh. My mistake. That's cool. I've been dating a trainer who is about as buff as you are. He works out a lot too. He's always trying to talk me into weight training. I keep asking him if he can't see that I'm just cut like this naturally. (smiles)
Marlin, who was a little concerned that Henna had engaged Parker in conversation, breathes a sigh of relief. She didn't need any competition.
Marlin: So you're dating a trainer, Henna? Are you serious?
Henna: No. Just dating off and on. But I do enjoy spending time with him. Right now we have a pretty hang loose relationship.
Marlin: Oh, well, you never know. It could take root and blossom.
Chase: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I'm Chase. I hope everyone is faring well this evening.
Cyann: Everyone, this is Chase. He and Chambray are together.
Chase: Yes, Chambray is my lovely lady. Speaking of lovely, I brought a well aged bottle of wine for the occasion. Grayson wanted to take it and put it on ice, but I thought you may want to see it first. It's a good year and while we have missed paring it with dinner, it goes well with dessert.
Chambray (speaking as softly and directly to Chase as she can): Darling, that is thoughtful of you, but you don't have to introduce the wine. This is a relaxed, around the way party.
Chase: Yes. Well, then, I will simply give it to our host.
Chambray: Okay. Thank you.
Grayson: Chase, I'll take the wine now. Would you like a glass?
Chase: Yes, I would very much like to enjoy a glass. I will pass on sniffing the cork. As the host, you should have that privilege. Please let me know if it suits your palate.
Grayson (trying to control his urge to laugh at Chase's very proper manner in his current atmosphere): Thank you. I will let you know.
Grayson takes the bottle to the kitchen to pop the cork and pour a glass for Chase.
The card game is starting. Ember changes her mind about playing cards and switches seats with Marlin, who does want to play. Chambray decides to join in too and Avery moves from her seat next to Syren so she can talk to Ember and Henna. Cyann has a seat next to Chase to make him feel comfortable.
Cyann: Ember was very excited to meet Chambray. So she's a supermodel?
Chase: Yes, we met in Paris, of all places. Can you imagine that? Two Americans who leave the country to meet each other. Such a strange twist of destiny. My mother is from Europe, England to be exact. But I am an American born and raised here.
Cyann: That is a funny way to meet. But it only matters that you found each other.
Chase: I was struck by her utter beauty. It took me a while to win her over. I had to become quite the hunter in order to win her heart.
Craig: Hey, every card game has a strategy. Even Old Maid.
Marlin: You two banter just like brothers. You must be close.
Craig: We're not close, but we are family and we get along.
Marlin chuckles. Chambray shakes her head, even she has picked up on the fact that Marlin is flirting with Parker.
Avery: Sounds like a plan. This will be a different experience for me. Another type of photo style to add to my own portfolio.
Ember: Good, a win-win.
Chase: Thank you, Good Sir. What do you think of it?
Grayson: It's good. I'll have some more later. I don't really want to mix it with the beer right now.
Chase: I understand. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Grayson: Do you need me to do anything, Babe?
Cyann: Not right now. After the card game is over, I think we should move the table out and just sit around and talk before we wrap up the night. Ember seems to be making some plans to help her business. So that's a plus.
Grayson: Mission accomplished.
Cyann: Thank you for getting Chase and Chambray to come.
Grayson: Happy wife, happy life.
Cyann: You got that right.
Chase: I think we should be sure to utilize proper lifting techniques. I can see that you are no stranger to lifting weights, but safety is always first.
Parker (laughing): Sure. Let's bend at the knees. This should be simple.
Chase: Very well. Good technique.
Ember: Chase is well-mannered and very well spoken. Does he present often in his position?
Chambray: I know. I'm trying to break him of being so proper all the time. I'm sure I drive him crazy at times when I talk like every day folk. He does present to the board, but that's not why he speaks like he does. He was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth and certain expectations about how to speak properly. Not just proper English. But that's a long story.
Ember: Well, I guess you can't drive him too crazy. He calls you his lovely lady. It sounds endearing.
Craig: Yup. It sure does. A man will put up with many things for the woman he loves.
Chambray: Thank you. I love him.
To be continued (and ended)...
Thank you for stopping by. ~ Jaye