“Doorbell.” Nora says and Justin slides off his chair in the kitchen to go to the front-door.
“Scotty!” He says, immediately taking over one of the two bags Scotty is carrying.
“Thanks.” Scotty replies and follows Justin to the kitchen.
“Hi honey.” Is Nora’s sweet reply.
“Hi, Mrs Walker, Kevin asked if I could drop these off.. Is Julia here?”
“Yes, upstairs, changing Lizzie.” Nora replies, watching Scotty unpack one of the bags.
“I hope this is enough?” he says, showing a bowl filled with crab-salad, for the party Nora will have tonight with a few of her neighbors.
“That looks and smells delicious, Scotty.” Justin compliments. “Guess it would be smart for me to drop in on the party tonight.”
“No!” Nora replies. “That salad is to impress the neighbors with Kevin’s boyfriend.” And when she sees the dubious looks on Justin’s and Scotty’s faces, she continues: “Well, what’s the point of Kevin finally having boyfriend, if I can’t brag about it.”
At that moment Julia comes in, holding Lizzie on her arm.
“Scotty. I thought I heard your voice… Did you…?”
“Right here.” Scotty holds up the other bag. “The cookies you ordered.” Nora frowns, she is used to baking cakes and cookies for Julia and Sarah in case they are needed in school and she’s not entirely sure if she’s happy with Scotty replacing her.
“Nora, don’t frown like that. I just tasted them the other day at Paige’s party and I loved them, so I asked Scotty to make them for my class as well. And he wanted to do that.” She gives Scotty a thankful smile.
“I even made some extra for you.” He says showing her a small bag inside in the bigger bag. Julia’s smile becomes even bigger.
She tries to take one, but with one hand and a squirming Lizzie it’s impossible. Scotty opens the bag and gives her one. She takes a large bite and while trying to keep the rest away from Lizzie's little hands, Julia makes an approving sound, giving a cookie to Justin and Nora as well. Scotty signals that he’s not interested.
“Just delicious, Scotty. Really, I want you to marry me.” She jokes. To Nora’s and Justin’s amusement Scotty blushes a bit, but they all agree that the cookies are terrific.
“I somehow think that Kevin would object to that… as would Tommy.” Scotty grins.
“I think Kevin would not object to your marrying me, but he would if you would marry Justin.” Julia replies with a wink at Justin, who starts to cough.
“No offence, Scotty, but after Lena I don’t intend to ‘share’ with my brothers anymore.” As he drops Lena’s name he realizes his mistake. Julia’s stops chewing for a second. She sees the painful look on Justin’s face, the annoyance in Nora’s eyes and the silent ‘oops’ on Scotty’s lips.
“That is a good idea.” She compliments Justin with a large smile. Crises averted, Nora hits with her hand on the table.
“I almost forgot. Don’t leave yet, Scotty. There is something I need to give you.” She exits the kitchen quickly, leaving Julia, Justin and Scotty to stare at each other.
“Mom.” Is all Justin says, with a shrug, as if that explains everything.
Nora comes back in with her bag, looking through it and then with a triumphant yell she takes out a small, gift-wrapped box. Justin and Julia look with interest.
“This is for you.” Nora says as she hands it over to Scotty. “How could I almost forget it again?... It is actually from Kevin, he asked me to have one made.”
“Is that what I think it is?” Julia asks and she quickly whispers something in Nora’s ear. Nora nods.
Curious Scotty takes off the gift-paper and now Justin recognizes the gift as well, although Scotty has not opened the box yet. Justin puts his hand on the hand with which Scotty is holding the gift and seriously says:
“Scotty, enjoy this moment. THIS is the closest you’ll ever get to a wedding-ring from Kevin.” Nora and Julia both laugh and, slightly worried, Scotty opens the box and finds…. a key…
He looks up at Nora, not understanding, and Nora explains:
“Kevin has asked me for a copy of the key to this house. From now on you are a part of this family like Julia, Robert and Rebecca. You can come and go as you please. You will always be welcome here…. And I sincerely hope that Justin is wrong, about Kevin’s commitment to you. Because whereas Hank simply made a copy of Kevin’s key without permission from either of us and Jason had a copy of Robert’s key, this is the first time Kevin has officially asked me my permission.”
“Oh, no! William would rather get shot than give a boyfriend of Kevin’s the key to this house… But to William’s defense, the same rules applied to Sarah, Kitty, Tommy and Justin.” Nora replies. Julia nodded.
“I didn’t get a key until Tommy and I were engaged.”
“Neither did Joe.” Justin remembers. “Guess mom didn’t want to wait that long to give you a key.”
“Justin!...” Nora warns and more seriously she replies to Scotty: “I really hope that Justin is wrong.”
“Me too.” Julia adds. Justin bows his head and when he looks up again he says with sincerity:
“I hope I’m wrong too.” Scotty looks from one to the other.
“Thank you all, for you encouraging words…… But forgive me for not holding my breath… and it’s alright. I can wait. I’m in no particular hurry either.” He smiles.
Back in his Ranchero his fingers slides over the key. He cannot believe it. He doesn’t even a key to his parents’ house anymore. He looks at Nora’s house, the house where Kevin grew up and had known good and bad times. William may have been rather rigid in his dealings with Kevin, but his behavior had caused to this to be a ‘first time’ for Kevin. Scotty was grateful for this. He calls Kevin at work.
“Hi…. Your mother just gave me the key to her house…. Yes… she did…” and with all the tenderness he has he says: “…. Thank you…”