Boy, am I glad it’s Friday!!!
Here’s this weeks Sneak Peek with the Ferranti family…
WHY MUMMY NEEDS WINE
The Dower House. It’s the night before, the night before, All Hallows Eve and it has been a looooong weekend in the Ferranti household…
Dressed in their cosy clothes, ancient jeans and T-shirt for him and yoga pants and one of her husband’s sweatshirts for her, a shattered Nico and Bronte are lounging on the sofa in the family room. The lights are out. The room lit by flickering beeswax candles and a glow from the log burner. Nico’s stroking the arch of Bronte’s bare foot. He took a sip from a glass of Chianti, closed his eyes and rested his weary head on the back of the sofa.
Enjoying a sip, the first of many, of a sparkling Prosecco, his wife sighed. “Hmm, that feels so good,” Bronte wiggled her toes. “That was one helluva day.”
“Si,” he said, his deep voice rumbling in his chest. “I am ashamed to say I found it hard to find the love for my children today.”
“Nightmare,” she agreed. Quiet and peace reigned, for about five seconds. Her foot nudged his six pack. “Who was it that decided that Elsa and Spiderman are suitable characters for a Halloween party? Who? Back in what Sophia told me were ‘the olden days’ we were witches and ghosts and ghouls – it was all about scaring the bejeesus out of ourselves—AND we made our own costumes. Did you SEE how entire families got into the spirit of the thing at the party? Every single one of the Henderson family were dressed as Power Rangers – even the baby! WTH is wrong with these people. We were the only mummy and daddy who hadn’t made an effort. I could have cried at the bitter disappointment on Luca’s little face when he saw everyone. And then there were the boring Ferrantis…”
Nico opened one eye to study her face. “Do not ask me to do it, cara mia. I will never dress up as a Power Ranger. Mr. Henderson’s outfit left nothing to the imagination.”
Bronte’s snort of hilarity made his mouth twitch. “That’s the trouble with tight lycra,” she said. “He should have worn underpants.”
“Or rearranged his junk,” Nico muttered. “And the way Rosie and Janine couldn’t stop ogling him, like a pair of cackling harpies…”
Bronte laughed. “I didn’t know where to look. What was he thinking?”
“That he enjoyed it,” Nico growled. “It clearly aroused him.”
“And in front of all those children too.”
“The children were so high on sugar and excitement they were non the wiser, thank goodness. I thought the evil clowns were a nice touch,” he said, referring to part of the entertainment.
“Ugh. They were horrible. I’ve never been fond of clowns.”
“They did not scare Sophia.”
Bronte nodded. “Not a lot scares Sophia. Certainly these days I don’t appear to put the fear of God into her.”
“She is growing up fast.”
“Too fast,” she nodded. “She wanted me to carve a picture of Elsa on her pumpkin. Who the hell does she think I am, Damien Hirst? Then she had the cheek to ask, ‘why can’t we grow a pumpkin patch in our garden – it’s not as if we don’t have enough room.’ I told her that I have more than enough to do, thank you very much. Then Rosie and I spent four hours screeching at them to be careful and that knives are sharp while they carved their supermarket pumpkins. Never mind the mess, my heart was in my throat the whole time.”
“You are the best mama,” he told her and dropped a kiss on her big toe.
“I am not. I do my best, that’s all any of us can do.” She sipped her wine, settled back and frowned. “I blame the internet. Have you seen some of those Instagram Halloween pics? The kids see all that stuff and expect me to be able to do it, too. I can make cakes, but don’t ask me to make a spider’s web. Luca told me to my face he’s bitterly disappointed at my lack of imagination.”
“We should dress up and surprise them for Halloween,” Nico muttered, thinking out loud.
Bronte nudged his six pack again, this time harder. “Should we indeed? We have forty eight hours to come up with a plan. What do you suggest?”
Nico placed his glass on the coffee table and grabbed his Smartphone. “I am thinking we should have a theme.”
“The boys are Spidermen and the girls are Elsas. How are you going to combine those tropes intoa theme?”
Nico scrolled through the internet. “Our children have no imagination. We will amaze them.”
Bronte shifted to lift her bottle from the cooler and refill her glass.
She sat back and closed her eyes. “Good luck with that. You’ll need a miracle to pull something out of the bag in forty eight hours.”
“I have a team,” he said.
He plucked the glass out of her hand, placed it on the table, and then lay on top of her.
Bronte, watching him from beneath her lashes, ran her fingers through his hair, her nails gently scraping his scalp.
He closed his eyes and almost purred with the pleasure of it.
When her legs wrapped around his waist, he settled into the cradle of her pelvis and went rock hard.
His hands busy beneath her sweatshirt, her breath hitched as he found warm and willing flesh. He looked down at the face of the woman he adored. The mother of his children. The keeper of his heart, a heart that seemed to expand in his chest.
His mouth whispered over hers. “Ti amo, Bronte.”
The way her teeth caught his bottom lip and gently tugged made him groan deep in his throat. “Love you, too.”
Their kiss, like their lovemaking, was slow and easy and lovely.
And Nico Ferranti knew he was a lucky man.
Forty eight hours later…
“I don’t understand why we can’t get ready for trick or treat at our house,” a belligerent Spiderman (aka Luca Ferranti) said to Batgirl (aka Auntie Rosie.)
Batgirl is dressed to match Batman (aka Uncle Alexander who’s dressed in black rubber and posing in the mirror and showing off his guns, much to the hilarity of his niece.)
“Beeeeeecause,” Batgirl said, as she tugged the final piece of his costume over his head, “The Dower House is the last stop on our trip to gather goodies, and your mummy has organised surprise treats for everyone.”
“I hope there are toffee apples,” Sophia said through stiff lips as Auntie Janine told her to keep still as she perfected drawing cat whiskers on her face.
Batgirl turned to grin at her niece. “You look totally awesome, baby cat girl. Much better than boring old Elsa.”
“Elsa’s not boring,” Cat girl cried, then spun to the mirror to check out her outfit. Her emerald eyes popped. “Wow! I look just like black cat.” She turned to check out her fake fur leggings and top. She shook her booty to twitch her ‘tail’.
Auntie Janine handed Cat girl sheepskin mittens, which matched her sheepskin ankle boots. Then she popped a black hair band with cat ears on her blonde head.
Captain America (aka Tonio Ferranti) posed in the mirror with his uncle. “I love the skeletons climbing up wall of the house. They’re awesome.”
“It took a full crew and a cherry picker from Ludlow Hall’s maintenance department two hours to fix them to the barn wall,” Batman said. “With Batgirl directing proceedings and distracting them.”
Batgirl batted her lashes at him. “Aw, they were such good sports.”
“They were drooling over your legs,” he said severely.
Since her role for the evening was baby-sitting duty for Boo and Mila, Janine grabbed her cell phone and opened the camera. “Okay everyone, gather together. That’s it— and say cheeeeeeese!” Once she’d taken a few pics, she opened the main door and had to laugh at their antics as they trooped out to a people carrier with blacked out windows, usually used by Ludlow Hall to pick up guests from the airport. She waved them away, shut the door and studied the detritus they’d left behind.
“Okay. A quick tidy, and then a glass of wine.”
Two hours later…..
“If you eat another chocolate you’ll be sick, Luca,” Batgirl told Spiderman.
“Well, if you just wait, you’ll be home in a couple of minutes.”
On their way through the town of Old Ludlow, the people carrier had collected Super girl (aka Sophia’s best friend, Emily.) Now, as the car purred up the driveway of The Dower House, Super girl’s jaw dropped. “Oh, my. Look at the house!”
The house was lit up by up lights set in the grounds. Ivy climbed over the walls and around the chimney pots, and it looked as if a jungle had sprung up around the ground floor and front door.
The car stopped and everyone piled out, the children lugging goodie bags laden with candy.
Cat girl’s eyes went wide as she studied her home. “What’s happened?”
The door flew open and there stood a very fat bellied Baloo (aka, papa) and a sexy Shere Khan (aka mama) holding an incredibly life like baby monkey (aka baby Eva).
Baloo was giving his back a thorough rub on the door frame. “Welcome, welcome one and all to my jungle home.”
Mouths open, eyes wide, the guests wandered into a world of make believe to the sound of the music from The Jungle Book.
Batgirl, Wonder woman and Cat girl couldn’t stop laughing at the way Baloo scratched his huge belly and waddled into the family room. The Jungle Book movie played on the huge flat screen on the wall, while Shere Khan explained to a confused looking Captain America what apple bobbing meant.
Baloo kissed four exhausted children goodnight (Wonder woman was having a sleep over), and made his way downstairs to his remaining guests.
“Well, all the hard work payed off,” Batgirl said to Baloo. “When he saw you, Luca laughed so hard I thought he was going to throw up. I dunno what I was expecting, but I was certain you’d dress up as a super-hero.”
Baloo grabbed Shere Khan and smacked a hot kiss on her mouth. “We wanted them to go to bed laughing and happy.”
“Yup. Job done,” Shere Khan said as she rubbed Baloo’s belly. “Luca’s gotta a big imagination. At the moment he has a thing about the dark and the creature lurking under his bed. His feet must be tucked in nice and tight beneath the duvet. And Sophia and Emily put on a brave face, but they’re easily spooked too.”
Baloo lounged on the love seat, accepted a beer from Batgirl, and checked out a very relaxed and chilled-out Batman.
“What on earth is that at your crotch?” he asked the caped crusader.
Batman grinned. “A cod piece.”
Baloo blinked. “It looks out of proportion to me.”
“He’s gotta a big, hot, love muscle,” Batgirl said, and received a scorching kiss from Batman as a reward.
“Puleeeeeeze,” Shere Khan begged. “Too much information, that’s my brother you’re talking about.”
“Aw, feeling a little bit intimidated, Baloo?” Batman jeered.
Baloo wiggled his brows. “You have fathered one child, whereas I have fathered three. I am most potent. I am Italian!”
Shere Khan rolled her eyes. “Gawd, dial down all the testosterone, someone pass me the wine!”
I hope everyone had a fun Halloween. In the UK, we’re gearing up for Bonfire night on Sunday (although some people have been lighting fireworks for days).
I’m slowly getting back into writing life, thank goodness, and trying to decipher all my written notes on a variety of projects.
#sneakpeek #LudlowHallRomance #TheFerrantiFamily #funstuff #bites