The Final Play Excerpt

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Game Day Follies

Morgan and the Reed family enjoy game day at the Titans stadium.

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          Morgan ran her hand over her belly, trying to get the baby to calm down. She always moved around in there like she was doing the samba on Seth’s game days. The Titans were on fire this season but the family still dressed in their game day attire to ensure a victory today. The boys were all wearing their Blake jerseys and she had on her lucky maternity T-shirt, Baby Quarterback On Board.

          “Oh!” She groaned when a Titans player fumbled the ball and reached for the nachos she was sharing with Jake. She was excited that Seth was getting closer to achieving his goal.  He was determined to take his team to a fourth Super Bowl. She’d never met a man more determined and driven. But what was more important to him these days was preparing for their little girl’s arrival.

          The Blake men had been plotting and planning since they announced they were expecting a baby girl. Teri-Lyn said to give them some time to come to their senses but she was skeptical. When Seth wasn’t on the Internet ordering new decorative items for the baby’s nursery, he was asking Sam questions about electrified fences and attack dogs.

          “More nachos for the mommy-to-be.” Robert set the tray down in front of her and gave Jake his own.

          “Thanks big brother.” She smiled and dove into the snack but kept her eyes glued to the field.

          “Slow down. There’s more where that came from.”

          “I’m a stress eater and I blame your niece. She has her father’s fattening off-season eating habits.” Morgan quipped.

          “She’s fine.”

          “So did things calm down at chez Reed?”

           “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

           “Oh, so you’ve stopped your systematic campaign to aggravate your daughter? She told me you want to visit her at school next week.”

           “Oh that.” He smirked. “I relented but Izzy and Tate are going to drop in on her for me.”

          “She’s going to see that setup coming a mile away.”

          “Probably, but she won’t turn them away either. One visit from Tate and every girl in her dorm will be her new best friend.”

          The sound of a whistle from the field quieted the box. A time out had been called by the other team.

          “You are diabolical.” Morgan shook her head. “I thought Izzy and I had illustrated perfectly for you how all that overbearing stuff only fuels a fire for rebellion?”

          “I’d say it worked. Look how well you two turned out. You’re successful women married to good men and have families.” He countered.

          “That was partly because we were kind of tame anyway. I hate to toot my own boring horn but I didn’t want to do anything too foolish, I just wanted you to trust me to make my own decisions.”

          “I did trust you, it was the rest of the world I was worried about.”

          The game resumed. She smiled when the camera panned on Seth’s face. She knew that look in his eyes. The other team didn’t stand a chance.

          “Well, no worries with that one. She’s a wonderful young lady who has her head on straight. She’s going to do great in college.”

          “She’s growing up so fast.”

          “Well, she has family down there to look out for her.” She raised her hands up and cheered in celebration, almost knocking her nachos over. The Titans had just intercepted the ball.

           “That’s one perk of her attending school in Texas. But I don’t know about Bo’s brother, Wyatt. I don’t like the looks of him. He’s always smiling at my baby. Did he flunk out yet?” He sipped on his beer.

          Morgan gave him an incredulous look. “Wyatt’s a good kid and he’s smart, so I wouldn’t put any money on him flunking out. Besides, after he was cornered and threatened, I think he got the point.”

           “Good.  Why couldn’t she stay Gabby’s age?” Robert motioned to the little girl who was sitting on her mom’s lap. “Before the eye rolling and screaming that daddy was out to ruin her life.”

           “That is a nice age.” She wrinkled her nose.

           “I remember you at that age.”

            “You do?”

             “That was right about the time you figured out you had us wrapped around your finger. Like my niece is going to do with Seth.” He laughed.

            “Are you kidding me? It’s already happening and she hasn’t even popped out yet.” She stood up and cheered with the rest of the family as the clock ran out. The Titans won the game.

            Morgan gave the boys celebratory high fives and ushered them over to the private bathroom to go one more time before they left the stadium.

           “How’s my granddaughter?” Sydney put her arm around her.

           “Happy that her dad won the game. She’s doing a victory dance.”

           “She’s going to be all over the place. She knows she needs a lot of energy to keep up with her brothers.” Sydney laughed. “I bought some more things for the nursery.  I found the cutest wallpaper and curtains with pink and white butterflies and a changing table.”

           “Why don’t you and Dad come over next weekend and stay the night? We can have dinner and decorate.”

          “It’s a date.  By the way, I met a lovely woman the other day at a museum fundraiser. Her name was Deirdre. Isn’t that a nice name? You don’t hear that name too much anymore.”

             Morgan grimaced. The nachos she ate were working their way down her digestive tract. The boys exited the bathroom with their hands outstretched to show they’d washed them good. “Now go put on your coats and make sure your toys are in your back packs.”

             “OK.” Sydney continued. “Deirdre is off the table.”

             “No, it’s a nice name. I think I ate too much.” Morgan groaned. “I forgot to tell you. Seth’s been tasked with naming the baby. I thought it would be nice for him to concentrate on something other than beefing up security.”

             “That’s quite a responsibility.  I wonder what name he’s going to choose?”  Sydney tapped her chin with her finger.

             “Naming Jake was a breeze, he’s a junior.  When we found out we were expecting twins, the names Connor and Colby just came to mind.  And as I predicted, perfect names for outlaw twins.  He’ll come up with something special, I just know it.  As long as it’s not the name of an ex-girlfriend, I’ll be thrilled.”

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