They're old enough now that they probably have zero interest in Disney World, but fortunately they don't seem to hold the fact that we never made it against me. In fact, they go out of their way to help. Alec is away at college now, so I don't see him all that often. Still, he checks up every weekend to see how my writing is going, and he's read a few of the novels, sharing them with his girlfriend, Anna, who loves romance and thinks I am the shit.
Ben is 17 and still lives with me, and the kid is a hero. He does all the yard work — mowing, weeding my enormous rose garden, raking, etc. — as well as all the house work, apart from laundry. He mops, cleans the bathroom, dusts, takes out the trash and vacuums every weekend to give me time to write. He takes care of our pet bunny, Wubbit, makes grocery shopping lists and goes shopping with me to make it speedier. He does the dishes on the week nights when I cook and does the cooking (and often the dishes as well) on the nights when I'm writing.
Yes, chicks, he rocks.
The other night as I was working on Untamed he turned to me and said, "You know, I think romance novel characters must have the most interesting 'how I met your mother' stories" Then he pretended to be Morgan MacKinnon and started talking about the day he and Amalie met, as if he were talking to their children. In a matter of seconds I was laughing my butt off. It sounded like such a fun idea that I found myself wanting to spend an entire blog sharing the stories of "How I Met Your Mother."
So here we go.... (((SPOILERS — if you haven't read the books parts of them may be ruined for you... You have been warned....)
Alec Kenleigh: "My brother had just betrayed me and had me beaten to within an inch of my life. He sent overseas with false papers as a convict. I must say I can't remember the first moment your mother and I met because I was out of my mind with fever. But your mother took pity upon me — and bought my false indenture, thinking at least to let me die with dignity. But when I came to myself again a fortnight later, I'm afraid I treated her rather poorly, thinking her to blame in some fashion for my ordeal."
Cassie: "As I recall, you threatened to break my neck."
Young Nicholas, wide-eyed: "But, father, you say a man must never harm a woman."
Alec (clearing throat): "Aye, well, that was not my finest moment."
Jamie Blakewell: "I was visting Ireland, hoping to persuade and old friend to joing me in pressing Parliament to declare war on France in the Americas. We were out hunting one afternoon and rode into a clearing where a group of Irishmen and women had gathered for funeral. In the middle of it all stood your mother, the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen."
"And did you love him at first sight, Mama?"
Bríghid (looking intensely at her sewing): "Well, he was an Englishman, wasn't he? I was afraid of him."
Children (laughing): "You were afraid of father?"
Uncle Ruaidhrí (guffaws): "Aye, and what else could she be? Your father's friend took her prisoner and gave her to your father to be his—”
Jamie interjects: "Skullery maid!"
Bríghid (giving Ruaidhrí a dark look): "Aye, his skullery maid."
Jamie (glaring at Ruaidhrí): "I tried to help your mother escape, but then your Uncle Ruaidhrí ran me through the chest with his sword, didn't you, my brother-by-marriage?"
Children stare at their uncle, mouths wide.
Ruaidhrí (going red in the face): "How was I to know?"
Ride the Fire
Nicholas: "I was in the sixth year of my self-imposed exile in the wilderness, when two French soldiers attacked me. I found myself in dire need and alone. Then I heard a gunshot and followed it until I came across the cabin where your mother was living alone. I persuaded her to help me."
Bethie: "Was it your charm that won over, love — or was it the pistol you pointed at my head?"
Belle and Little Nicholas gape at their father and gasp.
Nicholas (frowning): "I'd never have pulled the trigger."
Bethie (smiling): "Though I thought him at first a filthy oaf, your father proved his affection by seeing me and my new baby girl—
Belle smiles: "Me!"
Bethie: "Aye, you—safely to Fort Pitt. And all I had to do to tame his wild nature was to bind him till he'd learnt his manners."
Belle and Little Nicholas break into giggles.
Nicholas (looks meaningfully at Bethie and raises a single, dark eyebrow): "If my manners fail me, will you promise to tie me up again?"
Iain: "Och, I was out on a scout wi' your uncles and the men, when we heard the sounds of gunfire. We rushed in, and what did I see but a sweet and innocent lass fightin' for her life against fifteen—
Iain (ignoring her): "—or twenty ferocious French and Abenaki warriors."
Iain Cameron (sitting, wide-eyed): "What did you do, da'?"
Uncle Morgan: "Why, naturally, your father fought them off and saved her."
Uncle Connor: "And got himself flayed for it."
Iain Cameron: "Is that how you got the scars on your back, da'?"
Iain: "Aye, but your mother was well worth the sufferin'."
Iain Cameron: "And she loved you from that day on!"
Captain Joseph gives a snort. He and Connor start to laugh. Then he, Connor and Morgan leave the room, guffawing all the way.
Iain Cameron: "Why are they laughin', da'?
Iain (glaring after his brothers and shouting after them): "Because they're stinkin' louts wi' no more sense than God gave a turnip!"
Annie (smiling and setting aside her stitching): "Come, Iain Cameron. Enough stories. It's time for bed. But, aye, your father is a dashie man and brave, and I loved him from that day on."