True to his word, Kyle called the travel agency his company used and talked to the owner personally. Angie was a divorced woman about Web’s age.
“I’ll take care of everything. We want kid friendly, Dad friendly.”
“Yeah. Can you find something like that?”
“You’d be surprised what I can do. There will be plenty to keep the kids busy so you can relax.”
“How soon do you want to leave?”
“I need a few days to make arrangements and pack. So no sooner than Monday. Call me at home or on the cell. I’m officially on vacation.”
“Will do, Kyle! Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything.”
“You’ve always taken good care of me, Angie. Bye.”
Carmelita was surprised to see him walk in the house so early. He explained the situation quickly, hitting the major points in an off-hand manner.
“You want me to stay with Randy when you take the girls?”
“I’m gonna call off ballet tonight,” Kyle decided. “I got some movies and I’m going to order out pizza.”
“I got dinner started already.” She sounded offended, frowning.
“We’ll eat it tomorrow night. I didn’t think to tell you. It was a last minute idea.”
“It’s not a problem. It’s spaghetti. It’ll keep.”
“Thanks for understanding, Carmelita.” He hugged the tall, dark skinned woman.
“It’s okay, baby. Lita will take good care of you and those kiddies. Don’t you worry.”
“Marry me, Lita. Then I don’t have to go back into the scary world of dating.”
She kissed his cheek, nearly choking him in the process. “You ain’t man enough for Lita. You got to put some weight on. Besides, you’re four years younger than me, still a baby.”
“Feed me. I’ll grow.”
“I know dating is terrifying. After Jed and me got divorced, I thought my life was over. He was a bastard in a whole lot of ways, but damn that man could sing….”
She broke off her sentence when Mindy, Kyle’s five year old daughter bounced in.
“Daddy!” She rushed at him, blonde curls flying around her.
Kyle picked her up, swinging her in a circle. “Mindy Sue!” He tickled her, setting her on her feet with a thump.
“But you have a meeting!”
“Nope. Daddy canceled the nasty, boring meeting to spend time with his favorite five year old daughter.”
“I’m your only five year old daughter, Daddy.” She gave him a patient look as if she knew he was completely crazy and she was humoring him.
“Therefore my favorite. Carmelita, can a couple of hungry people get milk and cookies in this joint?” He lifted his daughter to the tall stool by the bar.
“They most certainly can. Chocolate chip or chocolate chip?”
“I think we’ll take the chocolate chip with a side order of chocolate chip. Does that sound good to you, Melinda?”
“What’s a side order?”
“It means more cookies.”
The three of them ate cookies dunked in milk, laughing and joking until his older daughter, Cindy, got home from high school. She was a freshman and hating it. Squinting, she tried to focus on her father.