A VampWolf Wedding – Chapter 10: “We need to have a talk”

Brad sat in the motorcoach, debating over the ideas that had been handed to him the day before from his parents. Considering the ideas at hand, it could result in a couple different routes for their wedding to take.

He was set focused his phone and the ideas in mind when he hears the door open, instantly catching his attention as normally people would knock. However, he immediately relaxes in seeing both his siblings.

“We need to have a talk,” Dawn says right away, catching Brad’s attention once again.

“That doesn’t sound good,” he replies as he sets his phone down. If his sister was using a serious tone with her brother in toe, it meant full attention.

“What is this that I hear about dad trying to change the day and time of the wedding?” Brad was caught off-guard by the question, not expecting either his siblings to hear about the details as being discussed. Besides, he hadn’t even brought it up to Juliette yet.

“How did you find out?” Dawn crosses her arms, unable to withstand questions like this as they were beside the point.

“Mom may have mentioned it in passing, but that doesn’t matter Brad. I thought we were done with allowing our parents to control our love life. I thought you and dad were past the point of him trying to control what happens with Juliette. Didn’t you guys have a truce? But yet, here we are, and supposedly he’s trying to change the plans.” Brad shook his head, knowing he and his mom needed to talk about where discussions went, and how they were presented. It was clear that Kay hadn’t done a good job in presenting the information for whatever reason.

“Dad isn’t trying to control or manipu-”

“It sounds like it based on changing your wedding pla-”

“He hasn’t changed anything, Dawn!” It was now Dawn’s turn to looked shocked as it was rare that her brother raised his voice with her. “I asked him and mom to come by and explain some warewolf traditions. Juliette and I are planning a traditional wedding that combines a bit of both – like the fact that she’s got a white dress, to match with the red roses. One of the traditions includes hosting the wedding at midnight and under a full moon. That’d involve delaying the wedding for a week, and obviously a time change. I haven’t agreed to it, but I told both mom and dad that I’d discuss it over with Juliette, depending on the direction we’re going to take.”

“Oh. Well, it seems Mom forgot to include that part.” Brad rolls his eyes, having figured that. “It’s just I don’t want you guys ruining what you’re planning or not doing things as you wish because you want to please mom, dad and her brother Danny.  This is your wedding, and your guys’ day. I just don’t want to see compromise because of everybody else.” Brad shakes his head, understanding.

“Like I said – it’s up to Juliette and I to decide.”

“Did Dad also mention the spiritual part of the midnight moon ceremony and how it means whether you’re blessed or not?” Brian interrupts the pair, and Brad looks over, shaking his head yes. It was why he had thought about avoiding all together.

“Mom and dad fully explained how all three traditions work fully without hesitation,” Brad assures his brother. “I’m aware of how that ceremony is supposed to go.” Dawn felt her stomach turn at the immediate thought, remembering the stories told to her as a child about vampires. It was why she wasn’t sure about Brad’s relationship at first, either.

“Folklore says that vampires and werewolves don’t mi-” Dawn starts.

“So I guess my daughter is just a figment of imagination and the love isn’t real?” Dawn shakes her head no.

“If that part of folklore is failure, then dare try the hands of other pieces of folklore and blessings? What if the blessings are just figment of everything?” Brad thinks it over, having considered that thought while discussing the wedding ideas with his parents.

“Hence why I was going to avoid that, but rather go with the other two pieces possibly, and something that she has to offer from vampire tradition.” The siblings shake their head, feeling very open to accepting.

“You do realize there’s going to be questions about the fact that not many people are going to be invited to the wedding, right?” Brad shakes his head yes, having already considered dumping tradition totally so he could invite every friend he knew. However, a thought process quickly deemed that out of the question.

“I’d rather have this more personal and proper than satisfying for others to come. Joey and Paul both know, so they’ll be there. Dale knows so he’ll be there for both myself and Juliette as he’s partly why we got together. Danny, Yolanda, Edward, Bella, you guys, our parents, Melody, and a couple other close friends – that’s all we need. I’m fine with that as the rest of them don’t need to be there to make the day what it is supposed to be for me.”  The siblings both smile in response, building in their own excitement as they knew the day continued to near closer.

“So, have you decided on a best man as I’m guessing Yolanda is her maid of honor?” Brian questions, as Brad looks over curious for a subtle hint. In truth, he was tossing back the idea of either Joey or Paul as they’d both been by his side pretty close throughout all the events.

“First I want to plan the ceremony, and then get to planning the other little pieces.”

“Well, if you need any help, don’t hesitate to ask,” Dawn reminds him and Brad shakes his head yes, accepting.

“We should be fine, but thanks for asking,” he replies as he watches the siblings leave together.

He picks up his phone, continuing to muse over the ideas while also wondering whether Juliette would have any interesting traditions of her own when they met to discuss things.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 52: Christmas

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With Brad putting the idea together to get everybody up at the Daniels household, the rest of the pieces were easily brought together.

 

As the clock struck 1pm EST on Christmas Day, there stood the Keselowski family at the entrance of the household.

 

“Come on in guys…” Juliette welcomes them in as she opens the door. She watches as Kay leads the group inside, before closing the door behind them. “This is my brother Danny, and my best friend Yolanda. She lives here with us.”

 

“This is my mom Kay,” Brad starts the introductions. “My father Bob, and then my siblings Brian and Dawn.”

 

Everybody then exchanged greetings without any issues to the relief of both Juliette and Brad. They then gave each other another quick glance before continuing to lead the family through as they sat around together in the family room. for the occasion, the pair had brought the incubator out of the bedsroom so that way everybody could easily see Melody.

 

“She’s so small….” Kay comments as she looks in through the clear glass at the baby. She then looks over at Brad. “Is there any further updates?”

 

“Nothing else right now,” he offers. “She may be able to get out earlier than expected, but we’re not 100% sure yet.”

 

“I see she’s got some wolf genes already,” Brian comments as he takes a glance in. “She’s a cutie. Gonna break some boy’s hearts.”

 

“That’s if your brother allows her to date,” Juliette jokes as Brian laughs. “He’s officially told me that as she can’t date till she’s 25.”

 

“That’s what I said about Dawn, but look what happened,” Bob then chimes in, catching the group by surprise. They were worried as to what the first comments he would share based on how things were between him and Juliette, and how things finished off at Thanksgiving.

 

“Guess I’ll have to remember to keep a short leech,” Brad offers with a wink.

 

“Oh, we brought you some presents…” Kay reveals as she sets the bag of presents by the tree.

 

“Why don’t we start opening them, then?” Juliette offers. “We have some for you as well.”

 

“Did you get that for Melody for Christmas?” Brian then asks, noticing the blue truck by the tree. Brad shakes his head yes. “That looks amazing.”

 

“She’s got her first racecar and she can’t even crawl – that doesn’t surprise me,” Kay comments with a glance over at Bob, who shakes his head in response. “She’s going to get a lot of use out of that.”

 

“….as long as I can keep my heart calm on the topic,” Juliette says quietly. She was used to the racing world and had no issues with it. However, the topic of her daughter racing had yet to find a comforting spot.

 

“Oh dear, all mothers are like that. You’ll learn to grow with it, if she becomes a racer like her father.”

 

“She has a lot of her father’s genes already so it wouldn’t surprise me,” Danny offers from his perspective.

 

The group then begins to hand out gifts and unwrap them, each bringing forth positive responses. Kay liked the necklace and earrings that Brad and Juliette got her, while Juliette was impressed with the baby outfits that Brian had picked out for Melody.  Despite all the worries that they had prior to the Christmas get-together, everything was going smoother than any of them could’ve dreamed of.

 

“There’s one last present…” Brad states as he picks it up from underneath the tree. “It’s for Juliette…” Brad then takes it over to Juliette, handing it over. By the size of the small box, Danny glances between the pair with a daring gaze at Brad. Had he gone against what was stated?

 

“It says it’s from Bob,” Juliette reveals as she looks on confused. She then unwraps the small box, thinking all along that Kay had gotten her something and said it was from Bob. That, or Brad’s prediction about everything negative going away in a glimpse with the Christmas spirit for his dad.

 

“Don’t worry – it won’t bite,” Bob assures her as he notices the nerves on her face. She then gives him a small smile before revealing the gray box. She slowly opens the box to reveal a folded up piece of paper inside with some writing on it. “Go ahead. You don’t have to read it aloud, but you can if you want.” She then shakes her head as she unfolds the letter, taking it in to read.

 

Juliette,

 

Since the fallout at Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking about what you said. My comments towards vampires were based on history and wars, and the arguments that I had been through the years. There wasn’t a time that I was able to meet a sweet creature that was willing to be nice and polite. That was why all along I kept thinking that you and your family were planning something to hurt Brad. Through that, though, I wasn’t able to see the love that you share for each other.

 

Your comments at Thanksgiving about your parents’ death struck me and allowed me to think more deeply. I thought about the relationship that you had with Brad. I thought about how you had come close over the years. I even thought about your own feelings towards your parents. In the end, I came to a realization.

 

I want to apologize for how I have acted towards you thus far, and I want to apologize for everything that was said. I should’ve given you a chance, rather than judging immediately. I’m sorry. I hope that we can mend things moving forward and build a good relationship.

 

-Bob Keselowski

 

“Wow….” Juliette comments once she is done reading the letter. She then looks over at Bob and gives him a smile. “Out of all the gifts that I’ve gotten today, this one means the most. It means a lot to have your approval and understanding. I accept your apology and look forward to getting to know you better.” She then stands up and walks over, offering a hug to Bob, before returning back to her seat.

 

“Christmas miracles do come true after all…” Dawn whispers to Brad, who can only smile at the interaction between the pair.

 

Knowing the ring that lay packed away, he couldn’t help but admit that everything was falling in place. They had each other and their daughter. They also had a loving family surrounding them on both sides.

 

Now it was just about making it official.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 49: Holiday Planning

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Since revealing the details surrounding the baby, it seemed that his mom and sister were in a need to call every two or three days, wanting an update. Each time, Brad kept it simple as there wasn’t much to say about how Melody was doing. She was the same, all vitals good from the doctor, and growing slowly; same timeline for her to escape the incubator. It seemed dreadful to repeat the same thing over and over, but what else was he supposed to say? It wasn’t like a miracle was going to happen over night.

 

Though with his sister Dawn, sometimes their conversation lengthened with other things being discussed, from life to her budding romance, to the race team. While he was spending time with Melody, Dawn was doing the work that he needed to do at the shop quietly, without letting anyone notice. She then e-mail him anything that he needed to look over and he’d reply back, or fax it over his signature. A lot of times, their phone discussions surrounded things that couldn’t be described through e-mail.

 

“So, what are your Christmas pla-” Dawn asks.

 

“Do you have to bring that up?” Brad cuts her off, not wanting to discuss the holidays much. He was looking forward to Christmas just as much as anyone, but wasn’t too keen on family discussions surrounding the subject.

 

“Uh oh. What’s wrong Scrooge? Wait let me guess. You can’t find the perfect gift for Juliette, right?” Brad rolls his eyes. He didn’t need any help in gift shopping as he already done his homework and gotten Juliette her gift.

 

“Do you not remember how Thanksgiving went?” Dawn let out a sigh, remembering the fight at the dinner table. It wasn’t the most proudest moment for the family.

 

“Listen, I know that was difficult but they had to finally let it out at each other, Brad. Perhaps given some thought, it’ll give Dad some perspective. So with that said, I’m guessing that you’re not coming, right?” Brad wasn’t quite sure if he was resting at that point quite yet. He had some other thoughts in his mind regarding the holidays.

 

“You know that I can’t miss Christmas with the family. When have I ever missed a Christmas?” Dawn couldn’t help but smile, letting out an inner cheer. Despite everything, she wanted to see her brother over the holidays.

 

“But Juliette isn’t coming….right?” Brad let out a sigh as he glanced out over the forest from the porch. There were so many ways that he could answer this question, whether right or wrong. He hadn’t necessarily brought up the discussion with Juliette yet.

 

“I don’t know, honestly. We haven’t discussed it yet. I don’t think she’d be too welcome considering what happened.” Dawn couldn’t help but agree, and wished that she could convince her father otherwise.

 

“I understand. But, you know Dad better than anybody. He gets into the Christmas spirit with decorating and buying gifts, and nothing ever gets him down. If there was time that Juliette and Dad could co-exist together, it’d be Christmas. Plus, it wouldn’t be the same without everyone there.” Brad understood what his sister was saying, and knew that she was right. The whole family had to be there to make Christmas right as Christmas with Juliette wouldn’t feel complete. However, he also knew how she felt about his dad, and how she felt about her brother.

 

“It’d be wrong to take her away from her brother and Yolanda, though. They’ve been together, just the three of them, since they were 14. Can you imagine forcing them to spend a Christmas apart for our own benefit?” Dawn knew the simple solution, but shook it off immediately. It was enough to convince her father to allow one vampire in the house, let alone three.

 

“I’m sure they’d be okay with her having dinner wit-”

 

“What if we do Christmas at Danny’s house?” Brad didn’t know what came over him when eh made the suggestion. However, it made sense. His dad was always in a better mood at Christmas time so it’d make spending time with vampires either. It could also give his family a chance to get to know her family before a possible proposal – or after, depending on timing.

 

“Brad, you can’t be serious….” Brad wished it was that simple to convince himself otherwise right now. However when he got his mind stuck on something, it normally didn’t change.

 

“Listen, everybody wants to see Melody so that’d give you all the chance to do that. You’d also get to understand how things have been going from our perspective in trying to raise the child. Plus, perhaps it’d help give Dad some more perspective on Juliette in meeting some of her family in the process. It’s a solution to all the problems, with an extra gift on the side.” Dawn wanted to argue against Brad’s idea immediately. He had to be crazy, right? However, perhaps he was on to something with the suggestion. She did want to get a chance to see the baby herself, after all.

 

“I like it, I really do Brad. I just wish you the best of luck convincing your father. Do you think that you can do that?” Brad let out a sigh. He was normally pretty good at convincing his father about things, however wasn’t sure how’d this go. He couldn’t convince his father to like his girlfriend. How would convince his father to go along with this idea?

 

“I’m going to give it my best shot. That’s all I can do, Dawn. Hopefully it’s enough to convince him.”

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapter 43: Thanksgiving

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“Are you sure that you want to do this?” Brad questions as they stand on the porch at the house.

 

“They’re your parents and if you think that they should know, then we should tell them,” Juliette answers as Brad glances back towards the door.

 

Since their last discussion, the pair had discussed things a couple more times, while thinking it over. They thought about possibly using one of the pregnancy pillows, but settled on the fact that they should simply tell the truth and see what happened. They knew that it could go over really badly, but they had their hopes.

 

Knocking on the door, the pair were met by a familiar smiling face as they both took turns hugging Kay before entering the Keselowski household. They each hugged the siblings, before simply offering a wave to Brad’s dad.

 

“Come on Dad…” Brad encouraged his father on some resistance, hoping that perhaps his mind was beginning to change about Juliette.

 

“I told you what I thought when you first brought her into my house and that’s not changing,” Bob states before turning his eyes on Juliette. “No vampire is welcome in this household. She shouldn’t be here for Thanksgiving.”

 

“This isn’t just your household Bob and I’ve welcomed her here for dinner with Brad,” Kay states before heading back to the kitchen. She knew that she’d have to catch either Juliette or Brad by themselves later, though, as she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Juliette’s stomach. Wasn’t she pregnant?

 

“Not all vampires are like legends say and out to hurt all of us,” Dawn comments before walking over and handing him a stack of books. “You should read this series.”

 

“Twilight?” Juliette and Bob both question at the same time as Dawn shakes her head, before looking at Juliette confused.

 

“Well, it’s just that it’s a corny love story and not really a guy’s tale,” Juliette shares as Dawn rolls her eyes. “But, that story does tell the truth. If you have any questions, I can get you in contact with Edward, Bella and Jacob.” Brad smiles as he wraps his arms around Juliette. The mere mention of those names had him thinking of Christmas gifts already as it was Edward who had offered the biggest and most helpful support.

 

“Beyond a simple story, they are the nicest people that you’d meet,” Brad adds, giving Juliette a gentle squeeze. In saying those words, he couldn’t believe it as he remembered all the apprehension that he had in meeting Edward in the first place.

The gesture wasn’t meant with much accepting, as the books ended up stuck on the book shelf and everybody in the house knew that the shelf was met for looks, not reading when it came to their father.

 

Rather than focus on that, though, all attention was paid to catching up, as well as the dinner ahead. Brad and Juliette had decided that they’d tell the truth at dinner as hopefully everybody would remain at the table wanting to enjoy the feast despite their comments.

 

“So as we start dinner, Juliette and I wanted to discuss something,” Brad started it off, catching the attention of his family. He was honestly surprised that this was going to be the first pregnancy discussion of the day, unless the ladies had done discussing of their own in the kitchen earlier. “It deals with her pregnancy.”

 

“I noticed that you’re looking a little slim,” Kay comments, having forgotten to ask about it sooner in the day.

 

“It’s because I’m no longer pregnant,” Juliette states, causing their attention to grow with a mix of shock and fear. “Now, don’t worry – the baby is alright. She just came sooner than expected.” She then glances over at Brad, not knowing how he wanted to go about saying this.

 

“With the nature of the pregnancy, some things obviously aren’t going to go as planned,” Brad continued. “This was the case with the birth. Back at the end of September, she experienced some odd pains and such so we got in contact with our doctor. It turned out that she was having contractions and the baby was due. I’m proud to announce that Melody Daniels-Keselowski was born on September 24 at 6:50 pm.”

 

“Due to fear of complications and not knowing whether she’d live, we were afraid to tell you so we kept it secret. She’s been kept in an incubator at my parent’s household where my brother and best friend live, everybody keeping a close eye on her. She’s slowly getting stronger and developing as she needs to, with everything on point for her to be released from the incubator in February, when she was actually due.”

 

“You should’ve told us soo-” Kay starts, tears filling her eyes. She couldn’t believe that she was a grandma to a little girl.

 

“I know we should’ve, and I apologize ma’am,” Juliette cuts her off, feeling guilt in having kept the secret. “We just felt that it’d be best with the unease and awkwardness of the situation as she can’t leave the household till she is fully grown. We didn’t know how you’d react and didn’t want you to worry more than you should.”

 

“I brought some photos if you want to see,” Brad offers, slipping some photos on to the table. The photos are immediately picked up by the individuals around the table as they stare at the little bundle of joy. “For us, we’re thankful that we had the opportunity to bring this new life into the world and watch her grow despite the issues and odds. I also apologize for keeping it a secret, but felt it was the right thing to do at the time.”

 

“You’re already being protective of your little girl – that’s so cute,” Dawn comments as she slides the photos back to Brad. “She’s adorable. Congratulations. I can’t wait to meet her. When will she get to return home?” Juliette knew that it was possible for Brad’s family to go to the house, but didn’t want to suggest that. She knew that she’d need Danny’s permission first, and wasn’t sure how Brad felt about the idea. It was enough to convince him to say something.

 

“She was due the beginning of February so that’s when the doctor thinks she could leave the incubator,” Juliette states, though knew it could be sooner based on Melissa’s prediction. “It’s just a matter of wait and see.”

 

“Well please do let me know when she does come home as I’d want to see her.”

 

“You know that you can’t hide that from your Momma,” Kay adds as Brad simply shakes his head yes.

 

“I don’t want to sound too gushy for a boy, but I’d also want to see her,” Brian offers as Brad wraps an arm around his brother.

 

“It’s okay Brian – we know that you’re the sweet one,” Brad states as Brian rolls his eyes.

 

“Mr. Keselowski, I’d also love for you to come meet her as well,” Juliette offers, surprising everyone around the table. Some were surprised by the show of respect, while others were simply surprised by the offer. However, she felt it was the right thing to do as she was still interested in making some sort of peace, and felt this was a good first step.

 

“I thought you knew what I thought of you,” Bob comments, eyes focused down on his plate. “I thought it was made clear that you weren’t welcome here or part of discussion.” Brad rolls his eyes as he knew better than that with his father. He had his stubborn streak, but there were ways to get past that.

 

“Your eyes lit up when you caught a glimpse of the baby photos,” Brad says, catching his father’s attention. “You may not totally agree with Juliette and whom she is, but you can’t deny how much I love that girl. You also can’t deny the happiness in your eyes when you saw our daughter.”

 

“I can deny that you love that girl because trust me, she’s going to hurt you in the end – it’s always the case with vampir-”

 

“Werewolves have also hurt vampires as well,” Juliette cuts him off, catching his attention. “You don’t need to remind me of that.”

 

“Jason was just trying to get rid of you as he shou-” He starts, a smirk forming on his face.

 

“My parents were killed by werewolves. They did nothing wrong. They were simply leading their own lives, eating their food, doing as they do. They were caught off-guard and had no chance to defend themselves. I was only a baby when it happened. I know what is possible and trust me, it took a lot to trust Brad for that reason. However, I took a chance and I’m glad that I did. You could at least give me a small chance as I’d appreciate that.” She then wipes her hands off, setting her fork down on the table. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to call Yolanda and Danny to check on my daughter.” Juliette then stands up and heads out of the room without saying another word.

 

“Look what you’ve done!” Kay lets out as she shakes her head with eyes on Bob. “Couldn’t you at least give the woman a chance?”

 

“I told you what I thoug-” Bob starts.

 

“Well it’s time that you pull your ass out of the old times and get with the new ages.” Brad then finishes off his final couple of bites before standing up slowly.

 

“I’m going to check on her…” Brad says before leaving the table.

 

He then walks outside to the porch, watching as she stands there talking on the phone. He slowly slips up behind her, slipping a coat over her shoulders.

 

“We can go if you want to go,” Brad tells her as she then quickly turns back around to face him.

 

“They’re your parents,” she starts. “This is your family, Brad. They may not like me, but they’re your family. You may not agree with what they’re saying and I may not agree with what they’re saying. However, it’s Thanksgiving and that’s meant to be spent with family and friends. Go back in there and enjoy the rest of your dinner. I’ll see you later tonight. Tell your siblings and your mom that I’m sorry, but I need some time.” Brad felt his eyes grow wet in hearing her comments. It was almost like goodbye, without the actual words.

 

“Juliette….”

 

“This isn’t goodbye. We’ll see each other tonight and hug and comfort and spend time together, like we always do.” She then pulls him close, kissing his lips. “I love you Bradley and there’s nothing that will change that. I just need this time to collect myself with my emotions, okay?” He slowly shakes his head yes, before kissing her lips back in return.

 

“I love you, and thank you for dealing with my crazy family.” He then watches as she heads off in a flash, while he takes a deep breath before returning back inside.

He hated this feeling. He hated watching her head off. He hated spending the rest of Thanksgiving with his family without her. He knew that he had to find a way to bring everybody together for Christmas, because he wasn’t going to let himself feel this way again.

 

 

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapters 21 Thru 25

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Chapter 21: Kansas

Following a great week with the fam-jam, the pair were excited for a fun weekend. If everything went according to plan, they’d be hanging out victory lane by Saturday night.

“Can I see that?” Brad asks as they watch truck qualifying on pit road. Juliette had been holding the race scanner, checking out the live leaderboard throughout the session so far. However, now entering the second round of qualifying, Brad was getting curious.

“They’re both quick enough – especially Tyler,” she comments as she hands it over while Brad glances over the times. He knew that they were probably quick enough as he knew the trucks that they had underneath them. However, that didn’t mean anything.

“They have to pull out just in the right spot in line if they want a good run.” She understood that, having seen how the draft had played an effect so far in qualifying.

“As long as they start near the front, that’s the main thing.” Brad shakes his head in agreement as he watches the group finally pull off pit road.

“Here we go….”

They both watched as the field come up to speed, eyes focused on the pair of blue trucks. Standing on top of the hauler, he watched as Tyler went through turns one and two, getting a little loose and making contact with the wall. He then watched as Tyler slid down the track, just in the perfect spot to collect his teammate Austin.

Looking at the damage to both trucks, he knew that meant one thing – back-up trucks for both, and money out of the pocket quickly.

“Just my luck!” He lets out as he climbs down the steps of the hauler. Juliette could only shake her head in disappointment as she followed him down and towards the garage.

“Both are okay,” she comments. “They told their crew chiefs.” Brad was glad to hear that news, but that didn’t ease the significance of what happened.

“He just had to catch his own teammate out of all people. Out of the 22 possible trucks, why does he catch his own teammate?” Juliette shrugs her shoulders, not sure what to say. What could you honestly say in this situation?

“That’s just sometimes how it goes. But you have two great young drivers and two great teams. They’ll prepare the back-up trucks and I bet both will be up in the top-10 before the race is over tonight.” He looks back at her with a small smile. That was nice to hear, even if it didn’t ease the sting of what happened that much.

“I have no doubt. But it still sucks.” She then chuckles as she pulls him close.

“Oh I know. The joys of being a truck owner, huh?” He then rolls his eyes as he heads off to check on the teams.

After both teams assured him that things were under control and Tyler apologized big time for what happened – even if the truck had just jumped sideways on him, Brad changed his focus. He still had to focus on qualifying for himself as Cup qualifying directly followed truck qualifying. Based on the speed that they had in practice, along with Team Penske’s great work of the qualifying system to date, Brad was confident that they’d have a good run.

“Good luck,” Juliette says before giving him a quick kiss. He then heads off, set to get ready to go.

“Gosh, I can’t believe how close you two have gotten already,” Juliette hears and smiles as she recognizes the voice. She watches as Joey’s wife Brittany walks over with her own smile on her face. “It’s like you guys have been together for years based on the chemistry.” Juliette chuckles as it somewhat felt like that.

“We’ve been together since last year, Brittany. That’s enough time to get to know each other well.”

“I know, but it just seems like you’re even closer than expected. You know exactly how to comfort him and the conversations between you both seem to come with ease.” Juliette knew that was the case, as well. It came based on the comfort from all the years that they were together before.

“Well, we worked together when he was at JRM. It helps when you have a friendship to start.” It felt odd discussing things with Brittany as the pair hadn’t quite grown close yet, despite crossing paths with each other every other day at the shop. Perhaps she’d be someone that would make a good friend.

“So, have you thought about your future with him yet?” Juliette glances over, even feeling stranger about the conversation now. No doubt she had thought about the future – hence the baby planning. Did that mean she was willing to divulge on that right now?

“Everybody is always thinking of their future when they’re dating. If you don’t see a future, why would you still be with that person? So yeah, I’ve gotten it some thought.” She watches as the intrigue just continues to grow for Brittany.

“And?” Juliette knew that she wasn’t going to get rid of Brittany without some sort of explanation, but she didn’t feel like saying much either.

“And I don’t want to talk about it, okay? That’s between Brad and I.” She watched an immediate look of disgust form on Brittany’s face.

“That’s fine. I understand. Just make sure you talk to Brad about it, at least.” Juliette had to chuckle to herself. That’s what the past few months had all been about.

“No worries – I got this under control.”

The pair then watched the rest of qualifying together, keep conversation to a minimum, and ended the session happy. Joey scored the pole while Brad ended up a nice respectable third on the afternoon. It wasn’t what he totally wanted, but it was a good starting spot nonetheless.

Brittany headed off instantly to congratulate Joey, while Juliette made her way over to brad. She waited for him to finish debriefing with Paul about how the session went, before walking over and wrapping her arms around him.

“Nice job,” she comments, before kissing his cheek.

“Could’ve had a pole,” he says as he spins around to face her.

“Could’ve, but you still have a nice solid third place starting spot. You’re just saving that extra bit of speed for when it counts tomorrow night.” He smiles as he leans in and kisses her lips.

“I like the way you think, or perhaps you’re just thinking that because you want to celebrate with me.” She then chuckles as she thinks about it.

“Well, a night in victory lane with the champ would be a lot of fun. For some reason, victory lane is the best place to end a night.” He then laughs as he pulls her close.

“No, the best place to end a night is in your arms.” She feels her heart melt a little as they head off to grab some dinner before the truck race.

“Oh, for the record, Brittany is all commendable about our relationship so far and saying that she admires the chemistry that we have. She also asked me if I’ve thought about our future.” Brad then looks over at Juliette, curiously. With all the time that he spent with Joey, he hoped that Juliette and Brittany would become good friends.

“What’d you tell her?”

“I’d rather not talk about it with her but I have given it some thought. It’s just odd to discuss with someone else.” Brad shakes his head, understanding, as he keeps Juliette held close.

“That’s a fine answer. But if you want, you can tell her. It wouldn’t bother me. Besides, I think you would be good friends with each other.”

 

Chapter 22: Charlotte

Brad walks back to the garage, catching the eyes of his crew chief after the all-star race.

No doubt the race hadn’t played out as he would’ve hoped. They had a strong enough car to win, but he knew they had to be first off pit road with the way the clean air worked. So he sped a little and well, he was caught. Restarting the 10 lap segment from the back didn’t produce the most positive results that they had hoped for.

“Was that really necessary?” Paul questions as Brad shrugs his shoulders. “Sure, let’s throw all chance out the window because we can’t be first off pit road.”

“Clean air was the name of the game all night,” Brad rebuttles. “We saw that all night, Paul. Denny got off first and what happened? He drove away from the field and won the race.” Paul rolls his eyes. In a way, he knew his driver was telling the truth. However, that didn’t mean he was going to let him go with purposely getting a penalty.

“Denny had the quickest car throughout the night on the speed charts. It’s not a surprise.” Paul then takes a deep breath. “I just think throwing it away like that isn’t right, okay? Let’s say you come off second. What if Denny would’ve spun the tires? You could’ve got in front and done the same, I suppose. What if you came off third and the top two made contact? You can’t just simply throw these races for the win, Brad. That’s all.” Brad shook his head, understanding. That was fine if this was a normal race. However, this wasn’t a normal race.

“On a normal race night, I would agree with you and taken the safe route. However, tonight is different. Tonight is about one thing – victory lane. Nobody remembers who finishes second. All that matters is victory lane and a million bucks. With these rules, I have to beat him to that line or don’t win the race. I’ll take the penalty and strike out, but that was the race.” Paul puts his hands up, still not in agreement but not willing to argue further. After all, this was just some non-points night. Why argue about something like this when they should be focusing on the coca Cola 600?

“I understand your reasoning and accept it. I’m sure the team understands, as well. It just caught me off-guard and isn’t something that we normally do.”

“I get it – but I told my reasoning, as well. Once a year type of deal.”

“So, there’s no chance that you’re pulling the same stunt next week?” Brad shrugs his shoulders with a grin.

“We’re locked in the Chase already. We have nothing to lose.” Paul then gives him a stern look as Brad smiles. “I’m kidding. Trust me – this is something that I’d only do tonight. Besides, you’re going to give me a quick enough car that’s going to win the pole and dominate, right?” Paul laughs with an eye roll.

“If you think you’re leading all 400 laps next week then you got to be on something. That’s mission impossible.” Brad arches his eyes a little.

“Nothing is impossible. I believe in you.” Paul laughs as he walks away.

“I’ll give you the best car that I can give you and we’ll go from there. Don’t you have a vampire to take care of?”

“She can take care of herself, Paul. She’s a big girl.” Paul then spins around to glance at Brad.

“She’d still like some cuddles. Besides, shouldn’t you be hallowing at the moon tonight?” Brad glances up at the sky looking around before turning his eyes back to Paul.

“It’s a new moon tonight – not a full moon. That was the beginning of the month. We go for full moons, not new moons.” Paul shrugs his shoulders.

“New moon, full moon – what’s the difference?” Brad then gives him a look as Paul laughs. “I know the difference, don’t worry. I remember my science class. Now go run off and see Juliette, Romeo.” Brad simply flips him the bird as he heads off.

Brad then goes and meets up with Juliette, who was hanging by the 22 hauler, having a discussion with Brittany. She had decided to follow Brad’s advice on giving Joey’s wife a chance, and was finding some luck so far. The pair had been able to find some things in common. Juliette, though, still wasn’t comfortable in talking about babies with her. That was a topic that if she needed to talk to someone, she’d save for Yolanda or possibly Kelley. She had gotten close with Dale’s sister while doing his PR.

“No matter what anybody says, I’m proud of you for taking the chance tonight and doing what you thought you needed to do to win,” she tells him as she walks over, giving him a hug and kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” he tells her with a smile. “And I knew there was a reason I loved you.”

 

Chapter 23: Discussions

“It’s about time that you came to see us!” Yolanda lets out as she gives Juliette a big hug. Juliette just laughs as she sits down on the couch.

“Let’s just say that the NASCAR life is busy when you’re officially dating a driver,” she comments as Yolanda flops down by herself.

“I heard about their crazy schedules. And ugh, I was pulling so badly for Brad to win on Sunday night. He had a quick car…” Juliette looks over with a small smile. It was nice to hear that her best friend was starting to finally find some interest in NASCAR.

“He says he had a quick enough car to finish second with Truex winning. But oh well, that’s how it goes some nights, right? But wait – you watching NASCAR? Are you becoming a fan?” Yolanda shakes her head no with a smile.

“I still think they’re just a bunch of crazy people going around in circles. I’ve only tuned into a couple of a races so I can keep up on how Bradley is doing.” Juliette gives her friend raised eyebrows.

“It’s Brad…”

“I know. I’m calling him Bradley. He seemed to be annoyed by it when I was there, and there’s nothing like annoying a future hubby of a best friend.” Juliette just rolls her eyes as she relaxes on the couch.

“You need to come out to a race. Once you go to a race and see it live, you’ll have a whole new respect. I think you should at least come once.” Juliette then looks over at her, feeling a new bit of intrigue. “That, or get Brad give you a ride in a two-seater.”

“Oh hell no. I could not survive that!” Juliette laughs.

“That’s what I told Dale when he offered when I was doing his PR. Turns out, it was a great experience, I survived and it gave me a new respect for what they go through.” Yolanda continues to shake her head.

“There’s no way in hell I am doing that girl. You can stick to the fast cars and I’ll stick to the way I know things.” Yolanda then gets comfy before looking over. “Now, forget the cars. Tell me more about this Brittany chick.” Juliette smiles. She had spent a couple days hanging out with Joey’s wife and had to admit that she was pretty cool.

“What else is there to say? She’s married to Joey, she’s got a great personality and she makes a great shopping partner. We did some serious awesome shopping together. Oh, and she’s great for talking about racing things and living life as a WAG so….that’s it.”

“A WAG?”

“Wife and Girlfriend. It’s the short form for us to hang with the drivers.” Yolanda shakes her head, understanding.

“So I thought you weren’t going to get close with her?” Juliette chuckles, remembering that discussion.

“I wasn’t. However, I spoke to Brad and he said it’d be good to get to know a fellow girl in the garage so I had someone to talk to and relate to. Besides, he and Joey are always working together so it just makes sense. Now if I need someone to talk to, I can talk to her or Amy or Kelley.” Yolanda thinks it over, thinking that’s a good idea. However, she still had her own thoughts.

“But what about being a vampire?” Juliette shrugs her shoulders. When she was living her normal life, she didn’t think about it. It occurred in thought process as she got ready in the morning and relaxed at night, but other than that – she didn’t bother to think about it.

“It goes along with how I’ve always lived my life – not a thought when hanging out with her or anyone. It’s just a thought when getting ready in morning.” Yolanda was still in the thinking process.

“So, do you talk to any humans about being a vampire?” Juliette lets out a sigh, having excepted this type of questioning sooner than later.

“Nobody knows that I am vampire except for Brad, his family and Dale. Beyond that, the rest think I’m just a human like them. It’s also going to stay that way if I want to continue my normal existence. If I need to talk to anybody, I either talk to Brad or I go see Dale. It’s still awkward either way, though, as I have to explain a lot of things. So for most deals, I either talk to you, Danny or Edward.” Yolanda sits back, understanding. It was interesting to learn more details about how Juliette easily spent her life without anybody else knowing. “Anymore questions?”

“No – that covers it. Unless you want to talk about getting pregnant or his parents.” Juliette smiles at the thought as she pulls out her Ipad, bringing up some photos.

“We have an off-weekend coming up. It falls right along with the time that I can get pregnant with this diet requirement. We have decided to take some time away to ourselves and have decided to go here…” Yolanda looks over the photos as a smile forms on her face.

“Awww that’s adorable. This place looks awesome and perfect.” She then hands the Ipad back over. “Who made the decision?”

“I told Brad about the schedule. He told me about the idea since he said it’d be nice to be intimate like that away from everybody and in a space where we can truly be ourselves I then did some research and chose this place.” A big smile forms on Yolanda’s face.

“Awww that’s so sweet that he’d think of taking you away for a weekend. That sounds great. It almost sounds like…..” A bigger smile then forms on Yolanda’s face as she sits up. “Has he asked about your perfect ring selection?” Juliette rolls her eyes and shakes her head no.

“This is just for the case of intimacy and getting pregnant the right way and having the baby together. It has nothing to do with engagement or talk of that nature. We haven’t even been together a year yet.” The comment couldn’t erase the smile and suspicion on Yolanda’s face.

“Juliette, he’s also accepting the need to plan a family together and go through a pregnancy. That shows commitment. Plus, sure you haven’t been together a year – but you’re meant to be together and spent six months a couple years ago together.” Juliette shakes her head. She knew her besty had to be reaching for straws.

“You’re probably dreaming right now. Please come back down to earth.”

Yolanda let the thought go in conversation but was left on the thought.

What if Brad was ready to propose?

 

Chapter 24: Discussions Part 2

Yolanda walks into the kitchen as she hops up on the counter, watching Danny put together a couple of the packages to put away.

“How can you package it so easily and not rip a package open and drink it?” She questions as he looks back at her, not noticing that she had joined him.

“I make sure to drink my fair share before beginning the process,” he answers as he gets the blood packets filled before organizing them in the fridge. He then turns back to Yolanda, crossing his arms. “What’s on your mind?” Yolanda shrugs her shoulders.

“There’s noth-”

“There’s something on your mind, Yolanda.” She shakes her head no.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He then shakes his head as he walks over to her.

“The last time you hopped up on to the counter like that was to try and convince me that Brad and Juliette were the right fit for each other. I have to admit now that you were right, but that’s beside the point. Why are you up there once again?” She shrugs her shoulders.

“What if I wanted to watch the master at work at his craft?” Danny laughs as he walks away.

“The time before that when you hopped up there was to tell me that Juliette had gone to live with civilization, in which I disagreed with because I thought it was nuts.” Yolanda smiles as she remembers the conversation.

“I was also right about that as look at how things have turned out for her.” Danny lets out a sigh and shakes his head in agreement as he turns back to face her.

“So what is it this time?” Yolanda thinks back to her conversation with Juliette a week ago as a smile forms on her face.

“Has Brad come to talk to you?” Danny shakes his head no, a little confused and worried now.

“Why would he come to talk to me?” Yolanda thinks it over, debating whether to say something.

“She’s getting set to get pregnant later this mon-”

“I know that. I have discussed that with Juliette and expressed my thoughts. I still don’t think it’s a good idea, but hey, it’s her life and as long as she’s happy I support her. Brad doesn’t mean my permission, nor does he need to have that conversation.” Yolanda shakes her head, wishing that he would’ve let her finish.

“They’re going away during his off-weekend to, well, get funky and make it happen. They’ve picked out a special spot to go away and do it. He told her to pick out the spot and everything, and to make sure that it was nice and private. She found a vampire retreat.” Danny shrugs his shoulders, still not seeing the point of the discussion.

“It sounds sweet and romantic. Again, why would he come to see me?” The smile on Yolanda’s face widens as she thinks about the possibility, again.

“He wanted to do it somewhere private and special. Anytime someone is set to go away to a place like that it normally means that they’re set to propose. I wondered if he came to talk to you about that.” Danny’s jaw drops in shock as he realizes what she was emphasizing.

“Is this what you and Juliette talked about?” Yolanda shakes her head yes.

“She told me about the details. I asked if she thought he may also propose, but she completely brushed off the idea. But, why would he offer her clues?” Danny leans back against the counter as he thinks it over. He was fine with them being together. However, starting a family and becoming engaged? Weren’t they taking things too quickly?

“So if this is the case, you thought that maybe he came to see me to talk to me about it, ask permission and get ring ideas?” Yolanda shakes her head yes. “Well, he hasn’t done any of that. So to answer your question, they’re just going to make baby – nothing else. For once, you’re wrong chicka.” Yolanda lets out a sigh, having hoped for other results.

“What if I am right, though?” Danny’s eyes quickly cut to hers.

“If you’re anywhere near right, that damn boy better make sure that he talks to me first. He better know that you need to go through the proper steps, even if you’re not the same species.” He then leaves the room quickly as Yolanda hops off the counter with a sigh.

Perhaps she should’ve kept her comments to herself after the conversation.

 

Chapter 25: Planning

“So you’re planning to do all this during the off-weekend and end up with a puppy at the end of it?” Dawn questions as she stands with Brad.

The pair were on top of his trailer in the infield, watching the ARCA race. The pair had an added interest with the fact that Brian was running it.

Brad had just got done telling his sister the details of the trip that he was planning with Juliette for the off-weekend, in hopes of having a child of their own by the end of the year. There was a question whether that child would born in a matter of a couple months, or nine months, but the plan was for her to get pregnant later that month.

Considering his sister had become a little more supportive in hearing how much they cared about each other and plans for a little niece or nephew, he figured that sharing the details would cause no harm that afternoon at Pocono.

“That’s the plan,” he states as he glances over at her. “What do you think?” Dawn could only let out a sigh as she reviewed the plans over. She still couldn’t understand why her brother had gone off to get with a vampire.

“It sounds lovely and romantic and sweet. But, are you sure that you’re going to be fine going to a vampire’s retreat? I mean, there are vampires there and we know what vampires thi-”

“Some vampires, remember.” He then takes a deep breath, not having expected this reaction. Why did everyone always question that? “Trust me, it’s fine. She’s already talked to the guy that runs the place and he knows that I’m a werewolf. He said that was fine and he’d offer us our own personal space so we wouldn’t be interrupted or worry about that.” Dawn wanted to accept the explanation, however she had always been taught to be careful around vampires and their actions. It was one of the lessons instilled in her by her father, and why her brother’s actions continued to surprise her.

“But are you sure that you can trust him?” Brad shakes his head yes.

“Edward took Bella there when she was a human, and they ran into no problems. That’s a bigger sin against the vampire code. You don’t need to worry about me, sis.” Dawn lets out a sigh, hoping that he was speaking the truth as she wanted to relax her guard.

“Well, I do hope that you both have fun as you seem to care about each other a lot and I hope it works out for you. Besides, a miniature you would be kind of cute to see running around.” Brad chuckles as he thinks it over, knowing that led to the next question that he wanted to ask her for when the puppy was born.
“Speaking of which, there’s something that I want to discus-”

“Oh great, here it comes. You’re going away somewhere private so you’re thinking of proposing to Juliette, right?” Brad looks at her surprised as that wasn’t even on the radar of the discussion in mind. In honesty, he hadn’t even given that a thought as the pair hadn’t been together that long. Perhaps if this was off-season time then maybe, but not at this point in their relationship.

“No…no….no. That’s not what I’m thinking. I can save that for a separate day and time.” Dawn then relaxes, knowing that if he was thinking of proposing to Juliette she didn’t want to be around when Brad told his father.

“So what did you want to ask?” He smiles.

“Considering that you can’t wait to meet a miniature me, will you help babysit the puppy? He or she can’t be seen for the first two weeks so we’re going to have balance things. Juliette wants to be there and take super care of it, but when she can’t….”

“Do you even need to ask that, Brad? Of course I’ll help you! Just make sure that he doesn’t bite.” Brad laughs as he focuses back on the race.

“I still remember when you were younger. I ended up babysitting you and you had a big bite and ouch, it hurt majorly. I remember crying to mommy that I wanted to make you run far, far away. It’d be payback if the puppy bit you.” She then gives him a smack.

“That’s not nice!” He then laughs as he looks over at her.

“Being bit by my sister isn’t nice, either.” She then crosses her arms.

“I didn’t know better.” A smirk forms on Brad’s face.

“The puppy won’t know better, either.” He then watches as the field goes by, seeing that Brian was doing solid right now. “By the way, thanks for being understanding. I’m glad that you’re starting to like Juliette.” Dawn looks over and a small smile forms. It was hard to deny that fact any longer.

“I didn’t say that I was liking your girlfriend yet. I actually just like the fact that you’re having a kid.”

“You’ll learn to really like Juliette. You just need to spend some time together. You should go shopping together. You could help design the nursery!” Dawn shrugs her shoulders as she focuses back on the race. Perhaps that wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapters 16 Thru 20

themysteriouspuppies

Chapter 16: A Decision

“You came close….” Juliette says as they head back to the motorcoach, both going inside.

“Close is good…” Brad comments as he closes the door behind her, having his mind focused on a different topic already. He had wanted to talk to Juliette about it for the past couple of days.

“Second is a great start as you’re near the front and you get one of those four premium pit stalls. Now it’s about turning that into a win.” He then grabs her hand and swings her close to him.

“And do you believe I can do that?” She shakes her head yes with a smile.

“I’ve already believed in you, Brad. I believed in you from the moment that Dale hired you at JRM, even when you put that car up on the wall at Richmond and people started doubting you. I even stood by your side after Denny chewed your ass out at Charlotte, even though others said you were a punk.” She then wraps her arms around him and kisses her lips. “I’ve always believed in you since day one, as I’ve always been your special girl.”

“Then how I let you slip out of my arms then is a question beyond me. I’m not making that mistake again.” He then picks her up and carries her to the back of the motorcoach, sitting her down on the bed beside him. He knew even with the decision that he was about to tell her that they couldn’t go forth with it yet due to the three month window. However, he wanted this to be personal. “I did some thinking about what you told me. I even talked to Joey – that was a bad idea. He was too interested with the fact of what the baby would look like and what soun-”

“What are you trying to tell me, Brad?” A smile forms on his face as he looks into her eyes.

“I know there are risks involved, but every pregnancy has risks for both the baby and the mother. I know that ours are a little different, and perhaps heightened. However, I’m not going to hold you back from your dreams because we’ve overcome everything else to get to here. I say we go forward and have a chi….well, puppy as you like to call it.” She then looks at her him, eyes wide in surprise as her jaw drops. Of all the things that Brad could say, she wasn’t expecting him to say that.

“Are you serious?” He shakes his head yes. “Absolutely 100% serious?”

“Yes. I thought about it and if you’re willing to take the chance, than I am as well. If anything happens, we’ll deal with it as we go – just like we have so far.” She then wraps her arms around him and kisses his lips.

“Then I say we go out and celebrate!” He then laughs as he stands up, slipping his sponsor shirt and jeans off that he was wearing.

“Oh no, that’s not happening. Remember – you have a foot eating regime that you have to stick to.” He then slips into a pair of comfortable shorts and a light t-shirt. “I’m going to going to cook you something real tasty and healthy tonight as a treat.” She then looks on, slightly worried and even more shocked than before.

“Wait….you cook? Am I sure this is going to be safe to eat?” He then gives her a playful shove.

“I will have you know that I have cooked for myself since moving into the house.” She then crosses her arms, shaking her head.

“That’s impossible, especially from the man that could never cook. What happened?”

“My appetite made me realize that I needed to learn to cook some decent meals. I may have bought a couple cook books, and perhaps asked Danica for some tips.” She then laughs while shaking her head in disbelief.

“This is going to be a treat.” He then heads to the kitchen as she follows, hoping up on the counter. “I want a front row seat.” He then picks her up and takes her over to the small table, sitting her there.

“Then you can sit there. I can’t have you getting in the way while I make you dinner.” He then goes back to counter as she shakes her head, sliding back to kick her legs up.

“Begin the show, Chef Keselowski.”

 

Chapter 17: Frustration

Brad walks into the trailer and just shakes his head in disbelief. So much for having a good night at Bristol.

“Hey,” Juliette says as she walks in the trailer up behind him, wrapping her arms around him. “Shit happens. It can’t always be your day.” She then kisses his cheek.

“But it’d help if NASCAR made sure the track was dry before we went racing,” he let off as he walked up into the lounge, going inside. He then sat down on the couch, shaking his head. “Or threw the caution when weather hit the area once again. Anyway, why start the race when you’re only going to get 20 laps in?” Juliette lets out a sigh as she enters, closing the door behind her. She expected this frustration from Brad. He was very vocal with his opinion, and this was no exception.

“You don’t know for sure if the track was wet or loss. You may have just gotten loose off of the corner. Perhaps with the car being tight in the middle, you came off a little sideways and didn’t catch it. It happens to the best drivers. Beyond that, the weather hadn’t really hit yet, either. It had just started to barely sprinkle. Oh, and they started the race because you don’t know. You could’ve possibly gotten more laps in if perhaps the storm took a different course than originally projected. It’s the chance that you take.” He then looks over at her, surprised by her explanation. She seemed to cover everything, nicely. It made it hard to continue to be as angry and frustrated.

“It still doesn’t solve the fact that we have two torn racecars, now does it?” She lets out a sigh and shakes her head no, as she cuddles up closer to him.

“Joey understands that you didn’t mean to, and has already accepted your apology. He understands that this shit happens. The beauty of the Chase is that you’re both locked in and you don’t have to worry about this affecting you moving forward, right?” He shakes his head, knowing that she’s right. However, that didn’t solve the then and now.

“The guys still have to fix a piece of shit, though.” She lets out a sigh, knowing that’s true as she pulls out her phone. She sends a quick text back to a friend, before exiting her messaging window and flipping to another screen. “What are you doing?” She then looks over, curiously at him. “I’m looking for a distraction so I don’t think about it.” She then smiles, knowing the distraction was perfect.

“I’m glancing at the calendar. With your decision and the fact that I already started eating like I should, about mid-June is when I should be able to get pregnant. Based on my woman cycles, I have a range of date pin-pointed.” He then looks at her, surprised.

“So you’ve planned a ‘get pregnant’ date already for us?” She shakes her head yes as he rolls his eyes. “Lovely….”

“With a woman’s cycle, there’s a peak set of days that the chances are higher than others. I want to maximize on that for the best chance possible so that’s why I was counting days. Besides, if we don’t maximize it, then we have wait till the next open door of opportunity in July.” He then looks over at her, now not only surprised, but also intrigued.

“Okay, explain this to me….”

“A girl has her period. She then goes through a quiet phase. Then when her eggs are all set to go and be fertilized by a man, that’s when it’s best to try. Then that chance ends and she has her period again. The cycle continues to repeat itself.” He then glances at the calendar, looking over her marked dates.

“So we have to try in this set period to maximize the chances if we really want to do this come June. So no matter what I have going on between Michigan and Sonoma, that’s our period to try.” She shakes her head yes as she changes the calendar view.

“Look it on the bright side – that’s an off-weekend right there.” She then looks at him with a grin on her face. “We got lots of time, Brad.” He then pulls out his own phone, loading up a travel app that he has.

“So I say we take a romantic vacation for two to someplace special. Let’s go to a place that we can be ourselves without your make-up or hiding my fur and truly make this special.” She liked the idea as it felt right to do that. She knew that it’d be the best way as it’d allow them to truly have that intimidate feeling together. There was only one problem.

“And where do you expect to find the availability for that much privacy to allow that to happen?” He then looks over her and shrugs his shoulders.

“I haven’t gotten to planning it out as you have with your calendar there. Give me a couple days to do some research.” He then kicks his feet up as he glances through some possible destinations. “Besides, we have hours to kill thanks to the rain. Might as well make use of it planning a vacation.” She smiles, certainly agreeing. If it was possible to make that dream happen, she was willing to go for it.

“You do that, while I continue to search up some recipes and ideas to keep my eating habits in high gear. I got to find some healthy snack ideas…”

 

Chapter 18: Happiness

After the frustration last weekend at Bristol, Juliette was quite relieved this weekend. Things had gone much better with a solid finish at Richmond.

She was a little frustrated with the rain, but was glad that NASCAR played it smart this weekend and chose to postpone the event early in the day. The announcement, though, gave the pair the whole evening and night to hang out with each other with no interruptions. They both felt relieved with that as they had planning to do before June.

“What do you think of this place?” She breaks the silence during a commercial as she hands him the iPad. “Yolanda suggested it to me. Even though she still isn’t comfortable with the pregnancy idea, she was all in awe when she heard about us planning for a weekend together. So she gave me a list of places that she normally checks out with boyfriends and has the much needed privacy.”

Brad looks over the photos, seeing that it was a small town in South America. It was in the tropics so it’d be nice and warm. There was a great spot to go swimming, as well as places to relax. The rooms were also nice and spacious. It met the expectations of a relaxing weekend.

“So there’s no one to spy around here?” He questions, still concerned about that. He knew that he had be careful as if spotted by a human, it could get quite interesting.

“That is a Vampire Retreat that you’re looking at,” she answers. “The small island is owned by one of the most richest vampires – Jim Shank. Anyways, he knew that we all needed a place so he created this. Vampires can be in the sun, so he has everything worked out so that way we’re always in the shade – whether in the water or relaxing on the beach. It’s highly recommended.” Brad looks over, pleased with her description. It sounded like the perfect place based on that explanation.

“Okay that sounds great, but I’m not a vampire.” She shakes her head, understanding. She knew that there would be comments to be expected considering the uniqueness of their relationship.

“I know, and that’s fine. The Vampire Retreat allows vampires to bring all sorts of guests – whether vampire, or another type. Edward has taken Bella there and that was before she was a vampire. Nobody judges there as everybody is looking for the same thing – relaxation and no comments to be expressed.” She then reaches over and rubs his arm. “It’d be the perfect spot, Brad. You’d have nothing to be worried about.” He smiles as he hands her back the Ipad. It seemed like she was right about that. He just hoped that her thoughts were on the money.

“It looks great and sound like the perfect spot. I’d be open to going if you were fine with that.” She then slides through a couple pages, smile forming on her place. She was glad to have that straightened out.

“I’ll work on arrangements and let you know what happens.” She then checks a message before going back to her searching. “I’m just glad that this is working out. We’re set to have a baby, the eating plan is working better than I thought and now we have our spot. Could life get any better?” They both knew the answer to that question as that ranged back to discussions with family.

Danny and Yolanda didn’t want her to get pregnant, while his dad and sister still didn’t want her to be part of the family. They hadn’t even suggested to his parents yet that they were going to have a baby of their own. She was scared of the reaction, and Brad hoped they warmed up to her more first.

“So, I was wondering when you’re going to tell your parents that we’re having a kid,” Juliette states, catching Brad off-guard. She didn’t mean to spit it out, but it was on her mind once again.

“I thought about waiting till after you got pregnant, but I was thinking that maybe we could tell them sooner,” he tells her as she glances over, equally surprised. “I thought that perhaps we could let them know our plans. Maybe if they hear how serious we are about being together and having a family of our own, they’ll warm up more to the idea.” Juliette felt her stomach flip flop at that comment. She wanted to be as hopeful as Brad was, but didn’t feel any positive feelings after how the previous meetings had gone.

“I know your mom will be happy as mothers are always happy about grandbabies, and for some reason, she took to liking me right away.” Brad smiles and shakes his head yes, remembering that first meeting.

“She always told me that she’d be happy, as long as the person made me happy. I guess she could tell that you did that.” She shakes her head, understanding.

“I’m glad. If you want to tell your parents, you can go ahead and tell them. I won’t stand in your way. Maybe you’re right – maybe they’ll begin to understand us being together. It’d make family get together much easier.” Brad shakes his head in agreement. It was hard having this agreement with his family as he was close with them.

“That’d be great, if that could happen. I just hope that as they get to know you, they’ll grow to love you as much as I do.” He then relaxes back, focusing on the show as it comes back from commercial.

 

Chapter 19: Talladega

“I have only one question to ask – why would no one work with me?” Brad asks after changing out of his firesuit following the week.

“Because they knew you had a fast car, you’re a good plate racer and you could beat them,” she comments as he looks over at her.

“Wouldn’t that give them reason to work with me to get to the front with me?” She shrugs her shoulders as she kicks her feet up.

“That’d be a good reason. However, it didn’t seem like anybody wanted to work together – besides the Hendrick cars, a little. Everybody had their own agenda deal going.” He then sits down beside her after getting changed.

“I bet you’re happy with the result, huh?” She looks over with a sly smile and shakes her head yes. “It’s alright. I have no problems with you being happy about Dale winning. He’s a good guy and deserved the win. All congrats to him.”

“I can’t help but be happy when he wins. He’s a good friend. He’ll always be a good friend. Heck, that whole team will always be a friend. I worked with those guys doing their PR for a couple of years and got to know them.” She then lets out a sigh, thinking back to those days. It sucked that she didn’t talk to some of them still. There were some that forgave her after she just got up and left, but there were others that couldn’t find reason to. Even with something going on, they told her that she should’ve told them and they could’ve helped. There were some that still had their thoughts about Jason and her, but it wasn’t like she could tell them the truth there, either.

“Do you miss doing Dale’s PR?” She looks over and shrugs her shoulders.

“There’s times that I do miss it. It was a fun job and I liked handling everything that went with it. However, there’s other times where I’m glad that it’s done with. There was a lot of pressure and crap to deal with, and now I don’t have to deal with that.” She then pulls him closer to her. “Besides, it gives me more time to spend with you.” She then kisses his lips, keeping him held close to her. “If I could, I’d strip you out those jeans right now.”

“What’s stopping you?” She then glances around the trailer before landing her eyes back on him.

“We’ve got no condoms here, and I don’t think I want to leave a mess where the guys hang out.” He then laughs as he knows she has a point.

“Well, why don’t we bust out of this place and head home as soon as possible?” She then stands up and heads for the door. She opens it slightly, before looking back at him.

“Coming?” He then laughs as he gets up off the couch and follows.

“I can tell that you’re excited already for next month.” She then smiles as they walk out together.

“If I could get pregnant this month, I would. I can’t tell you how excited I am to actually truly feel you without any barriers, and match that with getting pregnant. Is it wrong to be this excited?” Brad chuckles and shakes his head no.

“It’ll be here before you know it. Patience, my dear. Remember to fall all advice given.” She then looks over at him in surprise.

“I’m just surprised how on board you are about this and assuring you are despite your thoughts originally.” He then lets out a sigh, remembering that. He was still not totally confident in her getting pregnant, but felt that it wasn’t fair to hold her back either. Besides, it’d be cute to have a baby together.

“I’m growing more about the idea, and want to be there to support you.” She smiles as she was glad to hear that.

The pair then boarded the helicopter a couple hours later, set to fly back to North Carolina. She smiled as she quickly checked her text messages, seeing a couple responses from some of the guys on the 88 team after she sent them a congratulations message. She then puts her phone away as she lays her head on Brad’s shoulder.

“So, have you spoke to Dale since Chicago?” She asks, referring to last year’s incident that ultimately resulted in Jason’s death.

“Of course,” he answers. “Do I think I could go that lon-”

“I meant about you being a wolf and I being a vampire. I was just wondering if you guys actually talked about. I know you discussed things with Paul and Joey, but I was wondering how much he was in the loop.” Brad shrugs his shoulders.

“He’s made a couple cracks and had a couple questions since then, but he hasn’t really discussed it.” He then pats her leg. “Are you worried or something?” She shakes her head no.

“I was just curious – that’s all.” In her mind, it was nice to know who Brad kept closest with. If there was something that she wanted to discuss more his side with someone, she knew that Joey and Paul were good options. Between those two, she’d more than likely head to Paul since she knew him better.

 

Chapter 20: His Family

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Juliette asks as they reach the door to the house. Brad shakes his head yes as he wraps his arms around her.

“They can say what they want, but I’ll love you no matter what,” he tells her before kissing her head. “They need to know how serious we are about being together. Besides, a little puppy always melts everyone’s heart, right?” She then chuckles as he knocks on the door.

“That depends, Mr. Keselowski. Will our puppy come with the right dose of puppy eyes?” He then glances over at her.

“If he or she takes after daddy, I would say so because you fall for everything that I say.” She then rolls her eyes as they watch the door open, a smile forming on both faces as Kay stands there. If anybody should open the door, the best sight would be his mom.

“Hey!” She lets out, pulling Brad into a hug. “So glad you could both make it for dinner. Come on in…” Brad and Juliette both enter the house together, slipping off their coats and shoes.

“It’s nice to see you as well Kay,” Juliette says as she gives Kay a hug. She could only hope that they could be sweet and loving following the baby discussion.

“I have to say – you’re looking better than ever. New skin tone or something?” Juliette chuckles and shakes her head no. She was still using the same skin cover-up (didn’t want to show off vampire sparkles) as always.

“Been sticking to a good healthy diet to stay in shape.”

“Well, it’s working dear. It’s also nice to hear that you’re keeping Brad looking good.” Juliette smiles as she glances over at Brad, as he is already mingling with the siblings.

“Don’t worry – I care about him and will do whatever it takes to take care of him.” The smile in return on Kay’s face was definitely a welcome sight.

“And that’s why I like you, despite the reasons that Bob may have.” Juliette smiles as she watches her future mother-in-law head off. The happier she could have everybody before the news dropped, the better.

“So what brings you both up to Michigan?” Bob questions as Juliette takes a seat in the living room, joining the rest of the family.

“We thought we’d stop in and say hi after I got done a media appearance for…Ford,” Brad answers, partially lying. He didn’t want to reveal that they had come purposely to the house. “I always like seeing you guys.”

“And you tagged along with him today?” Dawn asks and Juliette shakes her head yes.

“I wasn’t busy and thought he could use the company,” Juliette answers, keeping her eyes locked on Dawn. It always seemed as though Brad’s sister was judging her with each passing second.

“Well I am sure Brad can take care of himself.”

“I can, but it’s also nice to have great company,” Brad replies with a smile. If only he could convince his sister that Juliette was the perfect fit.

“So are the boys ready for this weekend?” Bob asks, changing the topic. He figured it’d be best to avoid anything that revolved around Juliette. After all, Brad would smarten up one day and realize that dating a vampire wasn’t the right thing to do.

“We should have a quick Ford this weekend – possibly a race winner. Tyler and Austin are beyond stoked for this weekend. They’ve been itching to get to the track since Martinsville.”

“Hopefully one of them can win the race.” Brad smiles and shakes his head in agreement.

“I think Tyler has a good chance based on how he ran at Atlanta. Austin – a good solid top-10 finish would be great.”

“I’m sure it’ll be a great weekend,” Juliette adds as she rubs Brad’s leg. She was just waiting for him to drop the bombshell of the evening.

“Are you coming this weekend, Brian?” Brad wonders and Brian shakes his head no.

“I’m busy at the shop getting the car ready,” Brian answers, having been focused lately on the land speed record and an ARCA car they were building.

“Has Jen had any luck finding sponsorship?” Juliette wonders, having heard about the search that she was doing.

“Not yet.”

“Let her know that if she needs a hand, she can get a hold of me. I’ve got experience in public relations and saw how Hendrick does their sponsor proposals so I could help her put something together.” Juliette figured the comment was worth good brownie points. She had just gotten on Brian’s good side, so it’d add some bonus insurance. Perhaps if she showed some merit to help the family, they’d lighten up on her a little.

“Thank you. I’ll let her know.”

The group went on to discuss a couple other topics, before enjoying a nice meal together. As they finished up eating, Brad knew that they had reached the perfect time to say something. As he caught the eyes of each family member, he could only hope that their reaction wasn’t too wild.

“So, Juliette and I have something to tell you,” he starts as he glances around the room, putting an arm around Juliette. “We’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and talking, and planning. We both want to have a child of our own. After doing some research and finding out the risks involved, we have decided that we’re going to try for a baby.” Another glance around the room revealed a couple surprised faces, jaws dropping to the floor, along with perhaps a glance of anger and perhaps a glance of happiness.

“Are you sure that it’s a good idea?” Brian is the first to speak and Brad shakes his head yes.

“There’s some risks with the fact that I’m a werewolf and she’s a vampire, but they’re not too serious. There’s about a 25% chance that things will not go right and turn terrible for Juliette, but every pregnancy has a risk no matter what so we’re going to chance it. For us, it’s worth the risk because we’re excited to have a child of our own.” Brian glances between them, shaking his head in surprise.

“Okay, I had just gotten used to the idea of you dating a vampire, but now you’re going to combine a vampire with a werewolf? Brad, are you su-”

“It’ll be an animal blood sucking creature. It may have some fur in transformation, possibly with some sparkles. Who doesn’t love sparkly fur? If it has her skin, we’ll just take the approach necessary. I know what you’re trying to say, but we feel confident.” A small smile crept on Brian’s face as he looked between them. His brother’s certainty gave him confidence that things would work out.

“Well, good luck and I hope I have a little nephew or niece to say hi to by the end of the year.” Juliette smiles at his comment. She was expecting happiness out of Kay, but not the rest of the group. However, to hear that Brian was convinced gave her more happiness out of the deal than expected.

“Thank you and I can’t wait for you to meet him or her,” Juliette comments as she glances at Brad with a smile. One down, three to go.

“Thanks Brian,” Brad says before looking between his parents. “Mom? Dad? Dawn?”

“First you bring a vampire in this house and now you want to have a vampire-werewolf baby?” Bob questions as Brad shakes his head yes. “Do you realize the issue of combining two creatures together? Do you realize that you’re not even married? You just started dating this girl! You don’t even know her that well, Brad.” Brad takes a deep breath, having expected this reaction from his father. It was the same type of reaction he received when Bob met Juliette for the first time.

“The combining of two creatures isn’t an issue like you’re trying to make it out to be. You should meet Bella and Edward. They made a human-vampire baby together. There are other forms of combinations going on out there, Dad, and they’re working. Love knows no bounds – age or creature – and you should understand tha-”

“Oh, so I should go let the dog hump the cat?” Juliette felt a crack of laughter escape her lips as Brad let out a sigh.

“No, I don’t mean that. It’s just….please grow to understand. Humans will love any human that they want, no matter age. That also includes the fact that they’ll love anyone they want, no matter physical differences. We’re both aware of what you’re saying, but we’ve moved past that. It’s the 21st century! Long gone are the rules of the past!”

“I also know that we’re not married and it may seem like we’re rushing this,” Juliette adds. “But we’re not. Many couples are having babies before they’re married now. Marriage is just a way of the government and country recognizing your love together. Marriage is just an official way of saying that you share everything. We’ll get married one day when we have the time to plan the wedding and do it like we want. However, for now, we both first want a bab-”

“You just want to trap my son, isn’t that it?” Bob interrupts her as she looks at him surprised and shakes her head no.

“The only way that I was going to have a baby was if Brad was okay with the idea as well. I told him that we both have to agree to it and do it right if we want to do it together. This isn’t a form of trapping him or trying to make him do something that he wants to do. We both want to do this, equally. That’s why he wanted to tell you about it tonight.”

“And well you think we may not have been together that long, we were together for a while I drove for Dale,” Brad reveals, catching everyone’s attention. “We realized then how much we loved each other, but screwed it up. Now that we’ve found each other again, we want to do things right and have the life together that we’ve dreamed of. That starts with having a baby of our own together.”

“Bob, I know you haven’t liked me from day one and I understand why,” Juliette continues. “I just hope that you’ll grow to like me one day and understand that I truly love your son, and want to be with him for the right reasons.”

“Good luck with that,” Bob comments before leaving the table.

“Well I can assure you that I’m excited and can’t wait to meet my grandpuppy,” Kay comments, bringing a smile to Brad and Juliette’s faces. “You have to let us know when you know what you’re having and when. I can’t wait to buy little outfits and take care of him.”

“I knew you’d be happy mom,” Brad replies as his mind swirls with ideas already. He had some thoughts for when the puppy was born and who could help them keep it hidden for the time period allotted. “Dawn?”

“I don’t know….” She admits as she keeps her eyes focused on them. “I’m just not sure about this, yet.”

“That’s fine,” Juliette states. “Take your time. I know you’re the overprotective sister and don’t want your brother getting hurt. Take your time and let us know when you’re ready to accept it all.”

“I still get to meet the baby though right when it’s born, right?” Juliette smiles and shakes her head yes. The warrant to hold the baby immediately upon birth gave Juliette hope that Dawn was slowly coming around.

The Mysterious Puppies – Chapters 11 Thru 15

themysteriouspuppies

Chapter 11: Easter Plans

Following an interesting day of meetings at Team Penske discussing how their weekend had gone at Martinsville – it was a great discussion with a runner-up finish, Brad had returned home, set to relax for the rest of the night.

As he was getting comfy on the couch, set to watch a couple of TV shows before Juliette returned from her day out doing some shopping, he heard his phone ring. He glanced at the caller ID, smiling as he answered the call.

“Hey Dawn!” He answers his sister’s phone call.

“Hey Brad,” she replies. “Nice job at Martinsville. I thought you were going to get by him.” Brad smiles as he certainly came close to getting by Denny.

“It was close. I could’ve wrecked, but that wouldn’t been nice.”

“Race everyone like you want to be raced.” Brad shakes her head at the comment, remembering that was a rule that his dad had instilled early.

“That’s right. So why the phone call?” Each time she phoned, she had a reason. It was just finding that reason.

“Are you coming for Easter dinner?” Each Easter Sunday, the entire Keselowski family got together for dinner at their parents. There was no getting out of that, no matter the reason. His mother didn’t accept excuses.

“I wouldn’t miss it, right?”

“Is Juliette coming?” Brad knew Dawn’s reason for asking. Dawn wasn’t fond of her and obviously that was something that bugged her. It would make his sister happy, and probably his dad too, if Juliette didn’t show.

“Yes, she is. I’m going to see her family on Good Friday and then she’s joining me on Monday. I already told mom and dad.” Brad rolled his eyes as he remembered that discussion. It was met with immediate displeasure by his father and a good long debate. On the flip side, his mom was happy and looked forward to getting to know Juliette more.

“Oh.” He bit his tongue as there were a lot of things that he could say, but he would rather save those for when he saw her in person. It was time that she stopped this whole Juliette game with him.

“Anything else, Dawn?” He hears her take a deep breath, knowing what’s coming.

“Brad, are you sure that you’re doing the right thing dating her?” Brad lets out a sigh, having had this debate too many times before.

“I’m not having this discussion over the phone, Dawn.”

“She doesn’t belong at the family din-”

“Mom has always told us that our significant others can join us as they will be part of the family anyway. Mom told me its fine so she’s coming and there’s nothing more that you can say. If you want to have this discussion, then come see me on Monday.”

“I’d rather not do it during the family dinner, Brad. I’d rather get this out of the way now.” Brad shakes his head in disbelief.

“The only way that we’re getting this out of the way is you accepting my decision and moving forward.”

While the pair continued to discuss, Juliette entered the house, undetected, not wanting to disturb his phone call. She heard the conversation and just rolled her eyes. She made her way up the stairs, putting the bags of new clothes away.

She then sat at the top of the stairs, waiting for him to finish the phone call.

“Oh Brad, Brad, where is my Brad?” She questions out loud once she hears him say goodbye. He immediately jumps up off of the couch and walks out to the bottom of the stairs.

“Juliette…” He lets out. “I didn’t even realize that you were home?” She then thought things over as she kept her eyes locked on his.

“I hate to come between you and your family, but I love you so much and…” Brad then goes up the stairs a little.

“I love you too, and it’s fine. My dad and Dawn will grow to understand with time. Don’t let this bug you and affect you, Juliette. Its’ not your fault and it’s nothing for you to worry about. I’ll handle it.” She then lets out a sigh, thinking of her own perspective.

“Why the big deal? You’re a werewolf – I’m a vampire. Why the big fuss? We’ve gotten over it and deal with it, and shown that we can be together. Why do they continue to worry? Is it because of old legends and stories? Is it because of old feuds and instances? Why is it that the world can’t let that go and simply love?” Brad takes a deep breath, sitting beside her on the stairs.

“Because, they don’t understand things like we do. They don’t understand how much we love each other and how we’re able to deal with it. They don’t’ understand things have changed from what the old legends and tales say. It’s all about changing one perspective at a time, as Edward said he has done with Bella. Friendship changes some, love changes others. Over time, it’ll begin to spread and this will be a foreign thought. But, change takes time and people don’t like change. That’s why it’s hard for them to adjust.” She then lies her head on his shoulder.

“Do you think they’ll ever really like me?” Brad wraps an arm around her.

“My brother likes you and he originally didn’t. That proves that it’s possible, right?” She shakes her head yes with a sigh.

She wished that it came without the arguments and debates in between, though.

 

Chapter 12: Easter Discussion

“I can tell something is on your mind…” Edward lets out as he looks up at Juliette from the porch. She then glances over, letting no expression show on her face.

“If you gave me the answers that I wanted Edward, there would be nothing to think about,” she tells him as he lets out a sigh.

“I told you those answers will come with due time. I’m being careful with this, as I should with the risks involved. We need to find as much as we can and go from there.” She glances away from him, thinking about what Brad said. At least speaking of a possible pregnancy was better than thinking about the dinner tomorrow.

“We also have to think about what I’ll tell the world. I’m only going to be pregnant for a month – so how do you explain a kid to the world?” Edward shakes his head as he had no experience with that, however saw the importance especially if they wanted to keep their lives going as normal as possible.

“You have to get the child used to hiding their wolf side so that could take up the eight month period.” She then rolls her eyes, she hadn’t even thought about that side of it. For her, being a vampire was something that easily hid. However, hearing Edward say that, she knew that she would probably be stuck teaching – or more so, Brad – about how to keep that side hidden.

“Why can’t there be a ‘werewolf-vampire babies for dummy’ book?” Edward chuckles.

“Because you’re writing that book, dear.” She then rolls her eyes as he flashes over to her, sitting on the tree branch beside her. “Now, there’s more on your mind besides the pregnancy. There’s a reason you came up here.”

“I came up here to see my family, obviously. Isn’t that what everybody does at Easter?” Edward wasn’t sure about how Easter worked as it wasn’t a tradition normally celebrated by vampires. However, he heard about such details from Bella and had joined her for dinners with her family.

“You have other reasons, Juliette. You should talk about them.” She then lets out a sigh, wishing that she wasn’t so easily readable.

“How do you make someone like you that doesn’t like you?” Edward then looks at her, slightly confused.

“Who?” She then looks over, debating whether to address the subject with Edward. He was just a friend – someone who she had only gotten over the past months due to interest in her own life. Was this information valid for him to know?

“Brad’s dad and his sister Dawn.” Edward lets out a sigh, knowing where this was going.

“Are they still stuck on old beliefs?” Juliette knew that was the reason for Bob. However, for Dawn, that wasn’t quite the case.

“His dad – yes. His sister, though, is overprotective and doesn’t think that I am the right fit for her precious brother.” Edward chuckles, remembering his own experience with such types of comments.

“They’ll come around, just as my family and Bella’s family did with us. It took some time, including some interesting discussions with her father, but we managed to all work it out. It takes time to adjust and get used to. You have to allow that to happen, Juliette. You can’t force it.” Juliette lets out a sigh, wishing that it was easier than that. She wished that she could walk into the dinner, do or say something for them to like her and move forward.

“I just wish it’d just happen.” Edward gives her a pat on the shoulder.

“It will happen when the time is right. Keep spending time with them when they allow, keep opening up more about why you love Brad, why you’re good together and why it should work. For his dad, explain that those old beliefs are based on legends and myths that have been disproved. For Dawn, find out why she doesn’t believe you’re worthy and find a way to prove her otherwise.” She shook her head, understanding. Perhaps if she gave them more of a chance just like she did with her open-hearted discussion with his brother, perhaps it’d result in a better relationship all around.

“I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks.”

“No problem. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a child that wants her dad.” He then flashes off into the forest without a trace as she turns her eyes back towards her house.

Dealing with Brad’s family was like dealing with her own. While his family didn’t agree with her at all, her family didn’t agree with all of her decisions, especially the pregnancy. However, as she had learned, if something is meant to be and worth it, you have to fight for it.

On all fronts, she wasn’t ready to throw the white flag up – ever.

 

Chapter 13: Vampire Education

“Please tell me that you have good news….” Juliette says as she goes into the backyard.

She had come home from spending the afternoon at Team Penske, and could sense immediately that Edward was on the property. For that reason, she hit up the backyard immediately, smiling when she saw him sitting on a tree branch.

“Let me guess – Easter with the Keselowski’s failed?” He questions as he flashes over to her, standing beside her on the back porch.

“Let’s just say that I am nowhere near being in the good books of Dawn or his dad,” Juliette comments as Edward lets out a sigh.

“Did you follow the advice?” Juliette rolls her eyes, remembering that discussion with Edward.

“I did…but enough about that. You’re here for a reason. Speak!” He then laughs as he sits on the porch railing, eyes focused on Juliette.

“I spoke to my mother about vampire pregnancies, and I have some information for you. She gave me some pointers that you should recognize.” Juliette looks up at Edward, hopefulness spread across her face.

“Please tell me good news…” Edward chuckles at the thought.

“Well, she told me that you wouldn’t have to worry about said baby inside of you having issues with its werewolf counterpart and self-destructing either you or itself.” Juliette smiled at the thought. It seemed the worries were disappearing one after another. That just meant they only had to worry about the werewolf side, but only a little based on Jacob’s reasoning.

“That’s a good thing…”

“Now, when becoming pregnant, you have to balance all your energy levels. Everything has to be kept even keen to keep things right.” Juliette shook her head, understanding. That seemed to be a pointless deal. “You should have a good health regime with healthy diet and exercise, along with vitamins. That way your body is prepared to handle having a being inside of you.”

“This seems like general know-how, Edward. Get to the juicy information.” Edward chuckles at her anticipation. He could tell the excitement was growing.

“Three months before you get pregnant, you should have everything in order and on a schedule. That way your body is prepared and ready. Do not get pregnant without that.” Juliette rolls her eyes. That meant that she would have to wait till July to get pregnant, at least.

“Okay, so I’ll start that now so I can get pregnant when I convince everybody that it’s fine in July. That sound good?” Edward smiles and shakes his head yes.

“You may do that if you feel inclined, but I haven’t said that it’s a good move yet. Besides, you don’t have the father’s permission, either.” Juliette shakes her head, knowing that there would be some careful conversations with Brad to come.

“Give me something good.”

“You don’t eat blood so forget the fourth point. Pointer #5 – try to keep yourself as healthy as possible, and your surroundings. Avoid anything that could cause a probl-”

“I know how to handle things. Move along…” Edward rolls his eyes.

“You told me to get you the information. #6 – regular check-ups must be done and make sure that you have enough of the Rhesus factor in your blood.” Juliette rolls her eyes, knowing that. “Your cycle of birth will last approximately nine months, the same as a human.”

“So since the baby is half werewolf, you’re saying that I could have a puppy in the range of two months to nine months?” Edward shakes his head yes.

“That’s an unknown. A big unknown. Something that you’ll have to consider.” She shakes her head, understanding. It was a big unknown because it would result in what could be said in front of the world, since everybody would have eyes on her and Brad. “# 7 – feed a little extra before you give birth, since you’re going to need the energy. #8 – make sure that your surroundings are as cal, and stable as possible, so that way you can focus on the baby.”

“So in other words, avoid Brad’s sister?” Edward chuckles and shakes his head yes.

“That’s a start – but also don’t get yourself too excited when he’s at the track.” She then looks on in surprise.

“I do not get overexci-”

“Who starts jumping and cheering and all that?” She then lets out a sigh as she glances around.

“I can’t help it. Racing makes me excited and I worry a little more because I love him.” Edward glances at her with concerning eyes.

“As I said, calm and stable environment so watch your behavior during your pregnancy. Also, you should breastfeed as that’s a big thing in making for a healthy baby. It will also help keep the baby from wanting blood as nourishment, since I know you’ll want to stick to your normal source of food.” Juliette shakes her head in agreement, not wanting to have to feed her baby pure blood. The idea felt gross to her, as always in her life.

“That goes along with a werewolf baby, as you’re supposed to breast feed them for their first week.” Edward shakes his head, remembering that.

“So two to nine months pregnant, with a week to two months of breast feeding. Also, as the werewolf status goes, keep baby hidden for a month to let the child come into their own human element.” Juliette knew that would make things interestingly, epically if people noticed she was pregnant. She knew her and Brad had a lot to discuss.

“I got this. Anything else?”

“You know there’s more…” Edward takes a deep breath as Juliette focuses her eyes on him. “We talked about the dangers. On the werewolf side, it seems that they’re calm and won’t do any harm from the inside. However, on the vampire side, there is a risk. When Bella became pregnant, because she wasn’t a vampire, her energy went down quickly and she risked losing her life and more. If I didn’t bite her when I did and stepped in, I could’ve lost her. I spoke to my mom, along with some others, in combining a werewolf in a vampire body. They told me that placing a werewolf in your body could bring the same type of scenario – about a 33% chance. Now, with that said, if it does happen, there is no guarantee that we can help you be fine.”

“So in other words, we’re back at square one despite all this information.” Edward slowly shakes his head yes.

“It’s a risk whatever you do. it’s up to you and Brad to decide whether you’re willing to take that risk. If you accept the risk, you know that you need the three mon-”

“Three months of regularly food eating, two to nine months of pregnancy and a week of breastfeeding while not showing the child till the end of the first month of their life. I got it, Edward.” While she understood the bounds, she knew that there was still a lot to think about.

She was determined to have the child and was set to begin the regular food eating process immediately. She knew that she could handle whatever length of pregnancy, the breastfeeding and keeping the child hidden. She would just have to carry her actions carefully around non-vampire and non-werewolves in their lives, friends and outsiders alike.

It was just convincing herself that the reward outweighed the risk, and convincing those around her of the same.

 

Chapter 14: Locked in Thoughts

With last night’s race in the books, the pair had decided to make a relaxation day out of their Sunday. As a result, the pair found themselves with their feet kicked up on the couches and tuned in for a movie marathon – with the IndyCar race slammed in the middle.

Though rather than focusing on the movie, Brad let his eyes drift over to Juliette and watched her closely. He could tell that she was lost in her thoughts, thinking about something. He knew that Edward had come over last week after she got back from their Easter trip with some news. She hadn’t shared that news, leaving it at the fact that there was nothing warranted that he needed to hear. But yet, hear she sat lost in her thoughts.

“What’s on your mind?” He questions as she snaps out of her thoughts, glancing over his way.

“What’d you say?” She asks as he pauses the movie, focusing his eyes on her.

“I asked what was on your mind. It’s obvious that you’re not paying attention to the movie.” She then lets out a sigh. It was obvious what was on her mind without the question even being asked.

“I’m just thinking about babies.” Ever since Edward told her the details, it was something that was on her mind. She wanted to share things with Brad, but nothing Edward had told her stood out. There was no certainty that the danger was erased, as all they knew now was a timeline. She had already started the three months of regularly food eating, so that way as soon as the mind was made up, she could get pregnant in June. She figured three months was enough time to make everything work. From that point, it’d be two to nine months pregnant, a week of breastfeeding and a month of keeping the child hidden. That seemed easy, right?

“So what did Edward tell you to make you go through this thought process?” She knew that she couldn’t withhold the information any longer. Brad was bound to get curious of her cut-clean eating habits, and he would just continually bug for the information anyway.

“There’s nothing that really stood out, okay? We can’t totally erase the possible dangers, but he says that there’s a really good chance that things could work out in our fav-”

“But?” Brad heard the words ‘really good chance’, meaning there could be an issue, or two.

“We don’t know for certainty so it’s still a risk. Though while that risk was 50/50, it’s not down to a 20-25% chance risk. That’s better, right?” He shakes his head yes, but still not totally comfortable. He knew he’d only be comfortable is there was no risk at all. However, dwelling on that wouldn’t get them anywhere so he decided to proceed.

“What else did he say?” She debated what to say first, figuring out the easiest possible route. She could tell that he wasn’t too pleased on the previous statement. She would defiantly need the full three month window.

“Once I am pregnant, it could last two to nine months. It just depends on how much of you and how much of me combines together.” He shakes his head, understanding. A full nine month pregnancy would be easy to explain to the world, versus the two month pregnancy.

“Can I vote longer rather than shorter?” She rolls her eyes. She wasn’t sure whether that was a good idea, as she didn’t know what to expect with the pregnancy.

“Once the baby is born, it requires a week of breastfeeding and a month of hiding.” The month of hiding brought forth the most trickiest piece to the puzzle. How do you explain a child randomly showing up? He knew that, along with pregnancy length, would present the biggest challenges, beyond the risk of life or death.

“Okay. That’ll take some explaining with friends, but okay.” She then glances over with a slight smile.

“We can handle it, Brad. We handled everything so far so why can’t we handle that? Oh, and I have to have three months of good healthy eating habits before I can get pregnant.” Brad freezes, remembering the healthy snacks that had surfaced in the kitchen, versus her normal chocolate and chips.

“So that’s why you went shopping?” She shakes her head yes as she comes over to the couch that he is lying on and cuddles up with him. “Juliette, we haven’t even deci-”

“Brad, I know. I’m not pushing you to decide right this second, nor am I deciding right this second. However, if I go forward with the eating habits, that means if we decide between now and June, I can get pregnant in June, versus having to wait from when we decide. Just because I’m starting this eating regime doesn’t mean that I have decided or am forcing you.” He looks over into her eyes and shakes his head, understanding. However, in the depths of those eyes, he could tell that she had already decided and that’s why she had started.

“Okay, that’s fair. So where do we go from here?” While he didn’t want to go talk about, he wanted to make her feel better – and at least entertaining the idea gave her some comfort.

“There’s nothing more that Edward can share to make it easier or harder. We have to decide. It’s up to us whether we have our own puppy, or whether we adopt, or whether we forgo children all together.” He then glance over at her with a smile.

“You called it a puppy.” She smiles a little.

“Because when it comes out, it’s going to look like a puppy if it takes after your side of the family, right? Hence the whole hide the child for a month.” He shakes his head, understanding. That was true.

“It still seems odd, Juliette.”

“To me, it’s a puppy. You’re my doggy, and I would be having your puppy.” He then looks at her surprised.

“Woah woah, I’m not a dog. I’m a werewolf.” She then rolls her eyes.

“That’s why comparing how people say the word toma-”

“Totally different. Dogs and werewolves are different.” She shakes her head no.

“They’re both part of the dog spiec-”

“Because of humans! Werewolves are more dominant creatures with characteristics that fit a mixture of a human and a lion. A dog, meanwhile, is a pet. Are you calling me your pet?” She then laughs a little as she pets him on the head.

“Awww, you’re my little pet that I get to take care of.” He then swats her hand away as she laughs harder.

“Next you’ll be giving me commands like sit and stay. Oh wait, you already do in the bedsroom.” She then pets his head again.

“But admit it – you love every minute of it, right?” He then smiles a little.

“Of course, but I’m not your pet.” He then wraps an arm around her, holding her close. “I’m your dear lover and protector, set to make sure all evil stays away from the sweet little vampire.” He then kisses her lips.

 

Chapter 15: Pregnancy Discussion

“So that’s everything that she had to tell me about a possible baby and what happens,” Brad finishes off explaining to Joey.

Since their conversation earlier in the week, Brad had been thinking all week about the pregnancy. He was debating whether it would be a good idea for them to go forth with, or not. He debated whether the risk was one that he wanted to chance. He debated in his mind how they would go through handling everything with their family and friends around them.

Unable to keep things in his own mind solely and not wanting to discuss with Juliette quite yet, he decided that he needed to console in someone.

It’d be perfect to discuss this with this family, but he wasn’t quite comfortable with that. His dad and Dawn hadn’t approved yet, Brian was just starting to relax about the idea and his mom would likely freak out about possibly becoming a grandma.

He thought about talking it over with Juliette’s brother Danny and Yolanda, since they’d understand the idea. However, he heard they were both in disagreement about the risk at hand. Then there was Edward, but that would seem awkward since Juliette was consoling in him for advice already.

That left Brad to speak to one of his ‘human’ friends, and those options quickly minimized. Joey and Dale were the only people that knew about the uniqueness of their situation, and he wasn’t about to go forth explaining things to a third person.

It was how he ended up in Joey’s office and explaining everything that he knew so far, figuring that it was the closest place to end up.

“So when the puppy is born, does it bark or talk?” Joey questions as Brad immediately rolls his eyes.

“Focus!” Brad yells, trying to get his teammate back on track. “I knew I should’ve gone to Dale.”

“Just answer my one question and then I’ll focus. You can’t blame me for being curious, can you?” Brad rolls his eyes, as that seemed to be the norm with telling people details.

“The puppy will keep a pure dog appearance and bark for the first month of its life – hence why you have to keep it hidden. When it comes a month old, it goes forth into werewolf state and goes into human form, taking the course of a normal baby. It will only transform under a pure full moon and when it gets to be about five or six, and then you can teach the child to not transform – like I know. You can then teach to transform at will and attack when they get to age 10.” Joey shakes his head, understanding, as he kicks back in his chair. It was still odd to think that his best friend was a werewolf at times.

“So what do you do for the first six years of its life? It’s a full moon once a month!” Brad sits back in the chair, thinking. That was obviously going to be a new challenge that he hadn’t considered yet.

“While when I was little, I stayed home with my mom while dad raced so I could transform with no issues. I guess we will have to check the moon schedule and make sure to be careful if a race falls on a night of a full moon, and make sure that we keep other friends away those nights.” He shrugs his shoulders, thinking that’d be a suitable solution. It really fit the matter of thought for the time being. He had other thoughts to combat first. “I don’t know, Joey. I haven’t even considered the child’s birth or how we’re gong to handle that first month. I’ve been more focused on the risks that are involved in Juliette being pregnant.”

“You could always find a way to stop the moonlight from hitting the kid – whether with clothes or a hat.” Brad’s eyes then dart over to Joey as Joey throws his arms up in defense. “I’m just suggesting!” Joey then takes a deep breath as he sits up in the chair. “I’m thinking about those risks and what you said so I can give you a good answer. I’m just wasting time till the answer comes to my mind.”

“If you don’t have a good answer, it’s fine. Welcome to my world! It’s why I keep thinking about it.” Joey then thinks things over. There were always tough decisions in life. He learned one thing about those tough decisions, remembering the advice from his crew chief Todd Gordon a long time ago.

“While at least you’re not avoiding the issue at hand – that’s a start. You’re thinking about it and considering it. Have you been discussing it with Juliette?” Brad shakes his head, remembering their discussions.

“I’ve been open to her, and told her how I felt. She still has said that I should keep thinking about it and consider the idea of her getting pregnant.” Joey then sits back in his seat, going through the discussion. There was a 25% chance of things going wrong. That was a considerable risk as he thought it over. He also realized everything that the pair had overcome already to just get to this point.

“Juliette and you have fought for everything that you have – whether fighting Jason, the critics of your relationship and are still arguing with your family. You’ve both overcome everything to get to where you are at this point, and know that you both can’t stand to be apart at all. A child of your own would be special, but is it worth the chance of losing what you have? I think if I was in your shoes, I would suggest to Brittany that perhaps that we should adopt if we want to raise a child of our own. That way you have the child, or children, that you dreamed of together – but without the risk.” Brad shakes his head, understanding. It seemed his teammate was on board with what he had thought originally when the idea of children came up for discussion. He just wondered if he could get Juliette to agree to the idea.

“I though about that, but can I get Juliette to agree? She told me that it’s always been a dream of hers to have her own child.” Joey shrugged his shoulders, knowing that Brad would have it tough convincing Juliette. It seemed that she was very stubborn at times.

“You know the other option, right? You’ve overcome every other obstacle that stood in your way so far. What’s stopping you this time?” Brad knew the answer without having to put much thought into it.

“The thought of losing her and what we have together.” Joey knew that was the answer.

“There was always a chance of that, Brad. There was a chance of that when you went forth with things against Jason. There was a chance of that when her family found out. There was a chance of that with the secret vampire society, or whatever Edward referred to. What pushed you forward there?” Brad glances across the table at Joey.

“I could fight those things. I can’t fight something that’ll perhaps destroy her from the inside.” Joey was frozen at the comment, but knew it was a possibility based on the risk. It also made sense as to why they were stuck at this point.

“Like I said, adoption is a good option here.” Brad knew by Joey’s comment that he didn’t want to picture the possibility of that happening with Juliette.

It was a picture that he wished he could make disappear from his mind, as well.