"No I don't... a little heat never hurt anyone.. .and I'm from the south sweetheart, we like things spicy... my Nana used to use every spice in the book... she passed away when I was 8... taught me everything I know to do with the kitchen... and my Papa taught me everything else, they raised me when my mom couldn't."
"They say we aren't real family because we're adopted. Why do you think we hate it when we come to this? It's just..." Calli sighed placing on the gloves and mixed together more. She glanced to some of the extra seasonings and added an extra dash of pepper.
"You don't mind spice, right?" She smiled.
Kane was bear her and couldn’t help but let out a chuckle, “Need some help with the grill darlin’?” He asked looking to her. He didn’t want anyone upsetting her, even her cousins...he didn’t care who they were, no one crossed her...not when he was around at least. “They always act like that?” He asked her when the boy left.
"If I don't then both your mom and grandma will kill me," he kissed her forehead. "I'll see you for the fireworks then."
Calli nodded and started to the grill. She happily helped season and start, there were some looks but it wasn't bad until a traditional redneck cousin came up for a burger. "I thought you'd make Chinese."
"I thought you'd marry your sister already," she shot back.
"Should I ask why you need to be watched in a bar?" Kane asked looking to her for an answer. Her father chuckled, he seemed to like Kane. "Karaoke sounds perfect... even if you are off key... I like the way you sing." He said shrugging. Anyone with eyes could see that Kane liked her and liked her a lot.
"You singing and me off-key..." She grinned at him. "Dad could you ask them to let us into a bar? Promise not to drink or play games with strangers. Just karaoke and food, promise."
"Good, because I will be there with y'all to make sure nothing funny goes on. Especially with you, missy..." He narrowed his eyes at her.
"Yes, sir, she nodded.
Kane modded, “Is like that sweetheart, singing together, getting some greasy onion rings and burgers and just having fun.” He said seriously. He looked to the man and shook his head yes, “Yes sir, Kane Brown...nice to finally meet you.” He said smiling. He realized her dad had noticed them being close and making plans.
"How about karaoke tomorrow? They have it every Friday at the bar. We just talk to them and get big x's on our hands. I'll even sing one song with you," Calli half-smiled. They would love him but her was another story.
It would be for him, anyway. She just wanted to play pool.
"You must be Kane," an average, balding man said. "I'm Charlie, her dad, mostly Adam has not stopped talking about you."
He nodded, “I know and there precautions but your right they don’t always work.” He said and kissed her cheek gently, “Thabk you again, and help with burgers would be great...and your all mine? Promise...just us?” He loved this girl but he dare not say it...he was so scared if he said it that she would shut him out.
"That's why I was placed in the system. And...why i have been so cautious. I don't want to do the same thing- protection sometimes fails," Calli admitted softly. "Um, want to help with burgers? And tomorrow I'm all yours, promise."
She kissed his cheek softly. Hopefully she didn't ruin too many things for them.
“I think your name is beautiful...not like mine, I’m named after a wrestler... and I will never know my dad because he left before I was born.” He said sighing and hugged her. “Mom had me at 16 and she ran because he was older...he didn’t want the responsibility but left a 16 year old pregnant...I don’t know who thinks like that.”
Calli grinned to him after seeing them talk. She approached when they finished and the grin turned to a smile. "I'm sorry for snapping at you. I do appreciate the concern but i don't want people around all the time-especially when stressed out. So, that was me making up for it. You're lucky that she worked hard to keep you."
Her eyes rested on the small crowd. "Sometimes I wish to know my birth mom and why she called me Callista. Such an awful name."
Kane looked to her, “You really think you can help me darlin’?” Kane was quiet as Cali talked to his mother...she wasn’t a great mom but he knew she was trying. An hour and a lot of tears later his mother agreed to go to the picnic and to start listening to her son...he was almost an adult now...kind of?
"It's not gonna happen Kane. I'll do it, okay?" Calli placed a hand on his shoulder before walking to his house where she remained for an hour. Some thing must have worked between the picture and the talk because Tabitha came out after many tears.
Calli hung back feeling some pride before nodding to Adam to let them talk a bit
Kane modded, “Yeah we will show my mom...might just end up getting me kicked out of the house though, she doesn’t make the best choices when it comes to me...living in my truck has become the norm.” He said shrugging and looked to Calli, hopeful she was over her mood and would really talk to him again, he missed her.
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