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Chapter Six

  When Isaac came in, Diana was seated on the couch; he smiled, thinking of this tradition.  Ever since he started dating, his mother stayed up and waited for him on his first date with a girl.  At first Isaac had found it slightly annoying, but he had grown to enjoying those moments.  It was a chance to let his mother know about the girl he had dated and to get some advice from someone with experience.  He was glad for the experience part right then.
    "Hey Mom," he greeted as he sat down next to her.  "Waiting up for me again?"  This was another part of the tradition.
    "Oh no, I just happened to be up," Diana said, smiling.  "So how did the date go?"
    "It was great Mom.  We went to the Olive Garden then saw a movie."  Isaac looked in his mom's face, and he could tell she was happy to see him in this state.  "I really like her, Mom..."
    "But what?" Diana asked.  She looked at him expectantly.  He wish he could hide things in his voice, but he couldn't with his mother; hell, she had known him all his life!
    "Well, ummm, I was going to give her a goodnight kiss, but she went inside before we could kiss.  I thought for a second that she was going to kiss me, but I guess I was wrong.  Is there something wrong with me?"
    Diana chuckled softly.  "No honey, there's not.  Some girls are just a little nervous about things like that.  It shows some modesty, which is a good thing!  Just take your time.  Maybe after a few more dates, something will happen.  I assume you want to date her again."  She smiled at her oldest baby, seeing that special light in his eyes.
    "Thanks Mom," Isaac replied.  He got up, kissed his mother's cheek, and went upstairs.  Closing his door and turning on the light, he jumped when he saw Tay sitting in the room.  "Why the hell are you sitting in my room in the dark Tay?"
    "Decided to scare you," Taylor said smiling.  "So how did the date go?"
    "It went well," Isaac answered as he hung up his jacket.  "Went out to dinner and a movie.  She's a great girl."
    "Do you plan on seeing her again?"
    "If she wants to see me, which I don't know if that will happen," Isaac mumbled.
    "Why do you say that?" Taylor asked.
    "Well, I tried to kiss her good night, and she just hurried into her apartment," Isaac replied.  "Am I that disgusting?"
    Taylor smiled.  "Well, I don't know whether to answer that or not!  Anyway, some girls are like old heaters.  They take awhile to warm up."
    Isaac gave his brother a confused look.  "Where the hell did you come up with that??"
    Taylor rolled his eyes.  "It doesn't matter Ike.  You get my drift."  Taylor rose and headed out of the room.  "Remember, we've got to practice tomorrow."
    "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Ike replied.  "I'll be there."

    The next afternoon Renae came in from church to a quiet house.  Anne's probably still sleeping, she thought.  She went into the kitchen and fixed herself a sandwich.  She sat down in front of the TV and flipped through, though there was nothing on.  That ended up being okay though, because Anne stepped into the room, still slightly groggy from her sleep.  "Mornin' glory," Renae greeted.  "How did you sleep?"
    "Good," Anne mumbled as she went to the fridge to get a Dr. Pepper.  She sat down next to Renae on the couch with the cold can in her hand.  "So, how was your date last night?"
    "It went well," Renae answered.  "We went to dinner and a movie and then he brought me right home.  He was the perfect gentleman, again.  It was just a nice evening."
    Anne studied her friend for a moment.  "You're glowing.  He kissed you didn't he?"
    "Do what??  No, he didn't kiss me, and no, I'm not glowing," Renae said, feeling a small heat creep to her cheeks.  No, she couldn't be glowing.  She had a good time, but it was not a major interest thing.  No, she wasn't glowing.
    "You are glowing, and that's a great sign if he didn't kiss you."
    "Well, he almost did..."Renae trailed off.
    "But you didn't let him?  Renae, why do you always do that to a guy?"  Anne just couldn't seem to get it.
    "I don't know.  I just want it to be the right moment is all."
    "Okay, that's cool."  Anne took a sip of the soda.  "So, would you go out with him again?"
    Renae looked at Anne.  "Yeah, I would Anne.  I really would."  Right then the phone rang.  Anne reached over and answered it.
    "Hello?  Yeah, she is, hold on a second," Anne handed the phone over to Renae with a smile on her face.  "This may be your chance."
    "Hello?" Renae answered.
    "Hey there."  Isaac's voice came through the receiver.  "How are you?"
    "I'm doing good.  What's up?"
    "Well, my mom wondered if you and Anne would like to come to dinner tonight."
    Renae paused for a second.  "Hold on and let me check."  Renae looked at Anne.  "Do you have to go to work tonight?"
    "No," Anne replied.  "Why?"
    "Want to eat with the Hansons?"
    "NO WAY!!!!!" Anne said.
    "You don't want to eat with the Hansons?" Renae asked.
    "NO, WAIT!" Anne screeched.  "Hold up.  I want to go, but me, eating at the Hansons, with HANSON!  Ohmigod!"
    "Shut up!" Renae hissed.  "Remember, Isaac's on the line."
    Anne slightly blushed.  "Yes, I'd like to go."
    "Sure, we'd love to Ike.  What time do we need to be there?" Renae asked.
    "Well, probably about 6:00.  Is that okay?"
    "Sure, we'll be there.  Oh!  I need directions to your house though."  Renae grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and jotted down the directions to the Hanson home.  "Okay, thanks!  I guess I'll see you in awhile."
    "Oh hey, wait Renae.  I just wanted to know, did you enjoy last night?"
    Now why would he ask me that? she thought.  "Well, yeah, of course!" she answered.
    "Okay, just wondering.  I'll see you later.  Bye."
    "Bye," Renae said and hung up the phone.  She looked at Anne who was practically bursting.  "Please, don't be a teeny.  You're 4 years older than me and you've liked them longer; this should be nothing for you."
    "We are all entitled to our moments," Anne replied sagely.  "I've got the bathroom first!"  She ran to the bathroom.

    "Do I look alright?" Isaac asked Taylor, turning to his brother.
    "Of course," Tay replied.  "Look, why is it that important to you anyway?  You've known her for a month and you just went out with her last night.  She said that she enjoyed it.  Just chill."
    "Yeah, and if she doesn't dig you, it's her loss," Zac said, entering his room.
    "You are not wearing that, are you?" Ike asked referring to Zac's Spam shirt.
    "Look, don't start telling me how to dress because some chicks are coming to dinner, okay?  If you do, I'll have to kick your butt and you know I will."
    "Okay, okay," Ike conceded.  "I'm sorry about that.  That was totally wrong of me and-" He was interrupted by the doorbell.  All three brothers looked at each other and rushed for the stairs, bumping into each other as they hit the door.  Zac managed to squeeze himself out first, then Taylor and Isaac.  It was too late though; Jessica answered the door, and there were Renae and Anne, both wearing winning smiles and introducing themselves.  Renae looked up at Isaac and his breath caught, wondering what her true reaction would be.  Her eyes shone when their gazes met.  "Hey there!" he heard her call.  The guys made their way down the stairs and introductions were made.  Then, once the group moved to the living room, it was time for another round of introductions with Walker and the other children.
    "Where's your mom?" Renae asked.
    "Oh, she's in the kitchen finishing up dinner," Zac informed.
    "I'm going to go see if she needs help," Renae replied.
    "I'll go with you," Anne said, and both girls left the room.  As soon as they were gone, the discussion started.
    "She's pretty," Avery remarked.
    "She's nice," Jes piped up.
    "She is pretty," Zoe confirmed and Mackenzie rolled his eyes, mumbling, "She's just a girl."
    "Her friend is hot!" Zac whispered to Taylor, who elbowed him.
    It was Walker's turn; Isaac looked toward his father, who just smiled.  "She seems to be a nice young lady, Isaac."  Isaac could now breath a sigh of relief...well almost.  There was still his mother.

    "Mrs. Hanson?" Renae asked as she entered the kitchen.  She saw a woman with long hair in front of the counter, putting things into serving dishes; the woman turned around, and Renae saw a beautiful woman.  It was obvious who Isaac favored.  "I'm Renae, and this is my friend and roommate, Anne."
    "Oh, it's wonderful to meet you girls!" Diana greeted.  "Please, call me Diana."
    "Yes, ma'am," Anne replied.  "Is there anything we can do to help?"
    "Oh, no, it's okay.  I've pretty much got things taken care of."
    "Are you sure?" Renae asked.  "We could set the table."
    "You know, I would really appreciate that, actually," Diana replied.  "The dishes are in that cupboard, and the silverware is in the drawer below it."  So the girls took care of setting the table as Diana carried the food out to the table, then called everyone to dinner.  The group sat down with Renae being flanked by Isaac and Avery and Anne seated in between Zac and Taylor.  Renae kept a watchful eye over her friend, who seemed to be doing fairly well.  After saying grace, everyone was instructed to "dig in" by Walker.
    "So, what are you studying Renae?" Walker asked.
    "I'm studying music therapy, sir," Renae answered.  "Music is a passion for me, and I love to help people, so it seemed like a wise choice."
    "We've heard that you have a lovely voice," Diana replied.  "Have you ever thought of singing professionally?"
    Renae smiled.  "Yes, it's crossed my mind, but it's always been one of those far away dreams for me."
    "Where are you two from?" Jessica asked.
    "Well, we're both from Oklahoma City," Anne answered.  "I was wanting to move up here, but I didn't want to be here alone, so Renae agreed to move with me.  It's been an awesome year for both of us I think."
    "Yes, it has," Renae agreed.  It's been a blessing, she thought.  She absently glanced over at Isaac and smiled at him as he smiled at her.  Out of the corner of her eye she could see Diana and Walker exchange pleased looks.

    After dessert and much discussion, it was time for the younger children to go to bed and the girls decided to go home.  Isaac walked them out, and while Anne went to the car, he and Renae lingered a bit in front of his door.
    "Thank you for inviting me and Anne.  I had an awesome time, and your family is wonderful," Renae replied, looking back at the house in what seemed a wistful way.
    "I'm glad you could come," Isaac said.  Seeing her slightly shiver, he instinctively rubbed his hands on her arms.  He looked down at her and she looked up at him, another urge to kiss her.  Instead, she wrapped her arms around him.  It took him by surprise; her embrace was warm and caring.  He wrapped his arms around her, lightly rubbing his hand on her back.  She finally pulled apart from him.
    "I'll talk to you later?" Renae asked.
    "Of course," Isaac said.  She walked off but looked back before getting in her car.  Isaac watched the two drive off then returned inside.
    "Ooooooooohhhh, I'm surprised it didn't heat up out there!" Jes teased.  Isaac playfully socked her.
    "I can see why you like her so much," Diana replied.  "She's a wonderful young lady, and she really likes you."
    Yeah, she does, Isaac thought.  And I really like her.