Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chapter 53

Jon and all the kids gathered close to her. Lexie looked from one face to the other, she picked up her suitcase and walked over and put it on the cart with all their luggage.

Alright Lexie” Stephanie went over and gave her a hug.

Jon looked at Lexie and then at Stephanie, he had a puzzled look on his face.

Dad,” Jesse went over and put his hand on her suitcase.

It was like a light bulb went off over his head. He walked over and pulled Lexie in his arms and gave her a toe curling kiss.

I wanted to tell you back at the cabin but you didn't want to hear my answer.” She whispered when they broke apart.

Jon felt a tap on his hip. He looked down at Romeo looking up at him.

What you need Roe,” Jon bent down to Romeos level, “Lexie is gonna live with us now.”

Does that mean Snowball can stay in my room?” Romeo looked promising to Lexie and his dad.

Roe, you mean you aren't happy Lexie is coming to live with us?” Jon leaned closer to ask.

Yeah Daddy, I'm happy,” Romeo looked up at his daddy, “If I don't ask now Jakey will ask.”

Lexie tried hard not to snicker at his response.

Why don't we let Snow decided where she wants to sleep, is that okay boys.” Lexie said as she looked between Jake and Romeo. They both nodded and that one hurdle was accomplished,

They let the doorman lug the luggage cart across the street and into the lobby and into the elevator for them. Jon tipped the doorman and rode up with the kids and Lexie. The door opened into the hallway Jon handed her the key.

I need to get you a key made.” He told her when he handed her his key.

Lexie took the key to open the door when it opened.

Bought time you all got back, hey Lexie good to see you with the crew.” Richie moved back so they could enter the townhouse. The kids gave him a hug and Lexie gave him a hug too. Jon gave that little show of affection his famous stink eye.

What are you doing here Dean?” Jon pulled Lexie close.

Laid down some tracks and was heading to Mom's for dinner with her and Ava.” He noticed the way Jon held Lexie close. He looked at Stephanie and nodded his head toward Jon then Lexie.

Stephanie smiled and nodded her head, at her uncle Mookie's questioned nod.

Richie smiled and went and clamped his hand to Jon's back.

Bout time there Frank” Richie whispered into Jon's ear.

I'll give you time to get settled, call me when your ready to work,” He headed out the door.

Jon smiled as he watched Richie leave.

Ok, lets get settled and get some dinner.” Jon said as he took Lexie's hand and headed toward the stairs to the bedrooms. “Don't take long.”


In the next few weeks the kids got settled Lexie got her own key and getting things ready for school.

Hey Lexie can you take me school shopping?” Stephanie came into the kitchen where Lexie was working on dinner.

I thought your Grandmother Bongiovi was taking you and Jesse?” Lexie asked her as she tore the last bit of lettuce into the salad bowl.

She is, but you have better taste in clothes than she does.” Stephanie said as she sat on the counter. “Anyway my Grandmother asked me to ask you to come, I told her you had a busy schedule with the book you are working on.”

Steph,” Lexie wasn't sure she was ready to meet Jon mom. “I'll take to your Dad first, okay?”

What do you want to ask me about?” Jon came in and snitched a cherry tomato out of the bowl.

Lexie smacked his hand and laughed.

Daddy, Grandmother wants me to ask Lexie to join us when we go shopping.” Stephanie rushed to tell him, “She wants to meet Lexie, and I told her about Lexie schedule.”

Well Lex, you have to meet her one day, why not shopping?” He said as he grabbed a plate of steaks to take out and grill.

Jon, you really think this want be a 'grill the new girlfriend day' I don't know if I'm ready for meet the momma time alone.” She placed the bowl on the counter and started on the potatos.

You'll have Stephanie and Jesse with you, they'll protect you.” He headed out on the patio and opened the grill he started before his run.

Lexie came out with the wrapped potatoes to put on the grill to cook.

Why don't you go with us?” Lexie asked him.

Because I'll have the little dudes with my Dad shopping for the boys” He added the steaks and closed to lid. “I bet my mom set this up so dad could grill me.”

Then why don't you go with your mom and I'll go with your dad.” they went and sat in chairs by the grill.

Why don't we all go together, I'll call for a driver and a limo to take us all shopping.” He patted her hand that set on his thigh.

I knew I loved for some reason.” She laughed, “You won't serve me up to your mom.”

Yep, I'll be your Superman.” He leaned over and gave her a kiss.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chapter 52

Jon held her hand as the headed down the drive to the street below the gate.

Are they still watching from the kitchen window?” Lexie asked as they stopped at the end of the drive.

Yep, but they're good kids.” He took her other hand in his.

There isn't anything to see is there?” Lexie started to get worried.

No there isn't I want to ask you something and I didn't need an audience.” He got quiet for a second. “This past week has been so, damn I am write a love song but I can't tell you how this week as made me feel.”

I feel the same way, and I write books for a living.” she gave his hand a squeeze of encouragement.

I, don't want you to go home, I want you,” he paused a second “and my kids want you to move in with us, I want to wake up beside you every morning, and sleep with you in my arms every night.”Jon pulled her close in his arms.

The kids? They want me to move in?” she fell into his arms, “Even Stephanie?”

Jon chuckled a little.

Yes even Steph wants you to move in.” He gave her a little kiss.

A car driving by honked the horn and they jumped apart laughing.

I don't know what to say,” She took a breath.

Don't answer me now, think about it, you can answer me when we get back to the city.” He was afraid she was gonna say no.

You don't want to know now?” She asked, puzzled that she had to wait to say yes.

I don't want to rush you, this is an important step, think about it first.” he told her.

Okay, I'll think about it.” she smiled as he took her hand and they walked back up the drive to the house.
She already knew her answer, but if he wanted to wait then she would wait. As they walked into the house she was met by Stephanie.

I'll help you pack, Lexie.” Stephanie headed up the stairs and Lexie followed her. “If you and Dad are left alone we will not leave before dark.” Stephanie laughed so Lexie took it as a joke. This was a big change in a week.

Jon watched to two women in his life go up stairs laughing. Jesse watched his dad watching his sister and his girlfriend,

Do you think she'll say yes?” Jesse asked his dad.

I'm praying Jesse, I'm praying.” Jon turned to speak to his oldest son.

So am I dad, so am I.” Jesse turned to go back into the kitchen.

Lexie pulled her rolling bag out of the closet.

Steph, I guess you know what your dad asked me.” She pulled the drawer open from the chest she shared with Jon,

Yeah, if you'll move in with us.” She went into the bathroom and brought her makeup bag out and handed it to her.

I have to ask,” She turned and took the bag from the girl and took her hand to stop her from going back to the bathroom, “Do you really want me to move in?”

They stood staring at each other. Stephanie looked her dead in the eye and spoke.

Yes I want you to move in.” She reached out and touched her arm. “I know you might not trust me much, but I really want you to move in with us,”

Lexie reached out and placed her hand on Stephanie's.

Okay, I'll do it,” Stephanie started to get excited but Lexie emphasized her voice
Do not tell your dad, for some reason, he wanted me to wait to tell him when we got back to the city.”

Okay, but I think he was afraid you would say no.” Stephanie giggled “Can I tell Jesse? I'll tell him not to tell Daddy.”

Lexie giggled herself, “Sure, can't see for the life of me why he doesn't want to know now.”

Well, would you want to drive home, knowing the woman you just spent two weeks with, won't move in. Lexie would you really want to do that?”

Oh, I see your point.”

They finished packing and took the case down to the hallway by the backdoor.

I'll get Snows stuff packed up. Jesse did you call and tell someone goodbye?” Lexie said as she came into the kitchen where the men waited for them.

I packed it Lexie,” Jesse told her, “I called last night and we said goodbye.”

Are you two keeping touch?” She fixed up her travel cup.

Yes, we are.” Jesse ducked his head hiding his warm cheeks.

I think that's great. Did you guys call for the food pick up?” She sipped her coffee and leaned on the counter,

They just left, we got a card to call them if we come back.” Jon said as he pulled her into the circle of his arms.

Can we come back daddy?” Jakey asked, as he looked up at his father.

Sure we can buddy,” Jon looked down in his deep blue eyes. “I'm sure we can.”

For Christmas?” Jake looked up at his dad beseechingly.

Okay buddy I'll ask uncle Huge if its booked.” Jon ruffled Jake's head. “let's load up and hit the road, so we don't get home in the dark.”

The younger Jovi's rushed to Lexie's car with their suitcases, followed by Snowball.

Lexie got her car loaded and waited on Jon to lead the way toward home, she loved thinking of Jon's place as hers.

The sun was setting as they pulled into the garage. Jon was glad that he kept the two slots assigned to his penthouse. It took over an hours to get the luggage ready to go across the street.

Jon was doing everything not to hear Lexie's answer to his question. The doorman saw them heading pulling luggage and met them on the corner with the cart. Jon watched as all but Lexie's was put on to the cart.

Well I guess its time for the answer to my question Lex.” Jon walked around the cart and took her hand.

The kids all looked up at Lexie, even the doorman waited on her.

Well,” Lexie started to answer.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chapter 51

Jon rolled over and looked at the woman in bed beside him. Today they would be leaving and heading back to the city. He hadn't talked to Lexie about moving in with him. Sure she'd only be two blocks away, but that was two blocks too many. The kids seemed to think she was something special, even Stephanie has jumped on the Lexie band wagon. She filled the empty spot in his heart.

Lexie knew Jon was watching her, she was just laying there listening to the change in his breathing. She wasn't happy with the thought of going back to the city. Going back meant she wouldn't see Jon every day. She knew how she felt for him, being here with him she loved him more than the first time she saw him standing in the kitchen.

The door slowly opened and Snowball came in and hopped on the bed. Walking up from the foot of the bed and walked up to Jon and put her cold nose on his.

I think she wants you to take her out this morning.” Lexie giggled.

Snow girl there are four other people that can take you out you know” Jon groaned as he finally gave in and sat up. “Okay girl, let me get some shorts on, and I'll take you out, so your momma can sleep more.” He sat the squirming dog on the floor.

Thanks Daddy for taking the littlest one out.” Lexie snuggled under the covers.

Jon walked out of the room with a big smile on his face.

As Jon walked downstairs he heard Jesse and Steph talking in the kitchen.

You ready to go back to school?” Jesse asked his sister. “Senior year, rulers of the school.”

Yeah, I guess.” She reached for the coffee to make her father a pot of coffee.

Why do you say that?” Jesse loaded the canned stuff into the box to go to the food bank. “You'll be back with your friends and whats his name, Conner”

Yes that's his name. I'm a senior, things are gonna be harder and well, its kinda scary.
Steph sat at the counter and waited on the pot to finish. “You think Lexie is gonna move in when we get back?”

I don't know, I hope so.” Jesse shut the fridge door and went to join his sister at the counter. “Do you want her to move in?”

You know at first I didn't trust her, but after this last week, she's okay.” Steph picked up a napkin off the bar and started to fold it. “I want daddy to be happy and I really do.”

Then you won't be upset if she moves in?” Jesse asked.

She stood there for a second and Jon held his breath on the steps. Snowball began to whimper.

Nope, I wouldn't be upset if she moves in.” Stephanie said as tossed a swan that she made out of the napkin onto the counter.

Jon still standing on the stairs smiled and sat Snowball down and let her run into the kitchen ahead of him.

Hey, someone put her harness on so I can take her for a walk” Jon followed her into the kitchen and headed to get him a mug of coffee. “You two ready to head home?”

Jesse was taking care of Snowball and scrunched up his shoulders. Stephanie smiled and handed him a cup of coffee.

Yeah I'm ready, are you?” she asked her dad.

To be honest with you, I'm not.” He said as he sipped his coffee.

Dad, why don't you ask Lexie to move in with us?” Jesse asked as he handed his dad the leash.

Yeah dad, why don't you?” Stephanie asked.

Jon about choked on a sip of hot coffee.

You,” Cough “Want me,” Cough “To ask Lexie to move it” Jon gasped

Yeah, we talked about it and well” Jesse started.

We want you to be happy. The way this past week has gone, well, we see the two together and it's great.” Stephanie told him. “I know I wasn't happy with this at the first, but I can see how happy you are with her in your life.”

Jon was quiet for a little bit. Do I trust her and ask Lexie to move in with us?” he thought.

Jon took the leash from Jesse, “Go make sure your brothers have packed an their bags by the backdoor.” Jon felt the tug on the leash.

I better go help him, you know how do those three are when they get together.” she started to follow Jesse.

Why don't you come with me and Snow here,” He noticed her hesitate, “Just for a little bit.”

She nodded and followed him out. They walked along in companion silence. Jon was the one to break the silence.

What do you think about me asking Lexie it move in?” He stopped when Snowball stopped to sniff.

Stephanie was quiet at first.

Dad,I know you don't trust me, and I haven't given you much to trust, but I want you to ask Lexie it move in with us.” She looked everywhere but at him.

Well, you didn't make it easy to trust you. What with the hoodlum here and what you did at your Moms In-laws. Kinda makes it hard. That and the fact you won't look me in the eye when you say you want Lexie to move in.”

Stephanie dropped her head.

I'm gonna ask her before we leave.” Jon told her as Snowball began to walk again.
I'm gonna put you and Romeo in the car with her, and I take the double J's with me.”

You want me to work on her to get her to say Yes?” Stephanie reached for the next baggie and picked up after Snow.

Well not work on her per say, I'm gonna ask her to think about it until we get back to the city.” Jon followed behind Snowball as she headed back toward the cabin. He stopped and turned to Stephanie. “What do you think about moving back to Redbank?”

Stephanie almost ran into his back, he had stopped so fast.

Move back home? What do I think?” She thought about home, “We'd still go to Polly Prep?”

Sure, Senior year and all, Jesse with Lacrosse and football. The second set are just getting the feel. I can arrange it, so, what do you think about moving back to the big house?” He watched her mull over the idea.

Well, Dad, I think it would be great.” She said with a smile that lit up her whole face.

I'll talk it over with Double J's in the way back to the city. Call Uncle Ob to get it open and aired out.” They headed back to the house only to find Lexie in the kitchen cooking breakfast and drinking a mug of coffee.

I'm cooking up a batch of messy eggs and the rest of the bacon, so someone set the table and Feed the beast so I can finish packing.” She called out at the sound of the front door closing.

Jon let Snow off the leash and watched Stephanie go grab the plates to set the table.
Jesse and the younger boys were in the family room straightening up, so he grabbed the bread and started to make toast.

You Mind taking Ro and Steph back with you, Lex?” Jon popped toast up perfect on one side burnt on the other. “This thing hates me.” he grumbled.

Lexie looked at the poor toast and rolled her eyes. “Sure if they want too, my car isn't as smooth a ride as the Escalade you have.”

Daddy, I want to ride with Lexie and snowball.” Jake asked

Jon looked dumbfounded, that would ruin his plans but he couldn't think of a reason so say no.

Sure buddy if you want too.” he said as he popped more bread into the toaster.

I'm ridding with Snowball and Lexie.” Jake ran into the family room to tell Jesse and Romeo.

Stephanie looked at her dad, who just shrugged his shoulders.

Okay lets eat.” Lexie called out as she carried a platter of eggs and bacon into the dining room.

They were just about done Lexie was thinking about packing and heading back to her lonely apartment.

Hey Lexie, dad wanted you to see something he found when we took Snow out for her morning walk.” Stephanie thought she would help her dad out.

Jon looked up puzzle then caught on to what she was doing.

Yeah, I never noticed it before.” IF it sounded as lame to his ear its amazing she agreed to take a walk with him.

Okay, then I have to get back an pack, the suitcase just don't pack it self.” Lexie picked up her empty plate and headed to the kitchen, picking up Romeo, Jake and Jesse's empty plates.

We'll wash the dishes while you two take a walk.” Jesse told her as he got up an took the plates from her.

Yeah, I'll even start your packing for you.” Stephanie told her.

I guess we're going for a walk.” Lexie laughed and looked down at Jon.

Jon smiled up at her, “I guess we are.”

Jon wiped his mouth and got up and reached for her hand. Laughing they headed for the front door.

Jesse and Stephanie headed to the kitchen window and watched them head down the walk an into the street.

Think she'll say yes or will she make him wait till we get back?” Jesse asked as he filled the sink with water and suds.

I hope it's right away, he's taking about moving back to the River house.” Stephanie told him as she cleaned to leftovers into the trash and handed him the dish.

We're going back to Jersey? What about school and football?” He asked her.

We take the train into school or he”ll takes us. We'll still be at Polly Prep.” Stephanie finished cleaning the plates and took a sponge to wipe off the table and got out the sweeper to finish cleaning.

Seniors can drive, you can take us.” Jesse told her as he washed and rinsed the plates, glasses and silverware. “I just to thinking, what if Lexie doesn't want to move to the River house? Here we are planning on making it to school and she might say no.”

Stephanie stood in the doorway stunned. “I never thought of that. What woman wants to move into a house the ex wife decorated?”

Lets just hope dad thinks of that before he brings it up.” Jesse let the water out of the sink and turned to look at his sister. “Hope he's thinking with his head not with other part of his anatomy.”

Yeah me too.” Stephanie picked up the towel and started to dry the dishes.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rut Row

Dear Readers,

I bet your wondering where more Snowball is, well I was in the hospital after being so sick for three weeks. Now I am in rehab to get my strength back. 

Good news I have my laptop and will have a chapter up soon.

Alice Faye

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chapter 50

Stephanie sat there for a while, her mom had all but said she was acting like a child and to grow up. Her dad had a new woman in his life and momma isn't going to leave her husband. The boys like Graham and they think this Lexie walked on water. Dad said I should talk to Lexie could help me, she had said that her dad had walked out on her and her mom. Neither her mom or her dad walked out on each other, they just fell out of love and well her mom had cheated on her dad. But daddy was no angel on tour, he had all but said so. Her dad still had her phone so calling Mark was out of the question. She doubted she would hear from him again.

Getting up she wondered around the house, her dad and Lexie took the boys to the mall to spend their hush money and Jesse was out on the pouch chatting on his cell. She went onto the kitchen and found Snowball curled up on her towel by the door.

Hey Snow, you want to go for a walk?” She spoke to the ball of fur, who perked up at the sound of a walk. Putting on the dog harness she snapped on the leash as headed out the front door.

Snow and I are going for a walk.” She told her brother.

Be careful and don't get lost.” He laughed.

You'd all be happy if I would.” She fake laughed.

Naugh I'd miss ya if you didn't come back.” He watched her walk off down the drive “Listen Sally I'll call ya back, going for a walk with Stephie.”

Okay Jess, I have to take my brother to band practice, call me when you can.” Sally said as they hung up.

He pocketed his cell and headed the way she and the dog went. He caught up- with her.

Hey Sis can I join ya?” He asked as he matched her step by step.

If you don't have anything better to do. I'm gonna be around the house a lot until we go home.” she stopped to let Snowball sniff. “You and the little bros seem to like Lexie, why?”

Jesse thought about what she asked. “She makes dad happy, I haven't seen him this happy in a long time.” He walked without talking for a second. “She isn't after him for his money, she's not a groupie, if anything he's her groupie.” He chuckled a little. “Steph, she's good for him, just watch them together. She doesn't take shit off him, she calls him Francis when he calls her babe.”

That got a chuckle out of Stephanie, they had to stop again while Snowball had to do her business. Jesse took the baggie and did the scoop business. They walked a little further then turned back.

Did anything I said help?” He asked as they approached the the gate.

Yeah it did, and I'll watch them and see if what you said was true.” She told him as they stepped aside so the Escalade pulled in the drive. “I hope the bros spent their money on something they wanted.”

You know dad won't let them spend it on candy so no candy to hype then up. I hope Lexie got him to let up on the bro's” Jesse tossed the baggie in the trash as Snowball danced in excitement on her leash.

The boys were the first two out of the car, both carrying shopping bags.

Hey what did you two get?” Jesse asked.

I got a new Mario Brothers game and some army men and a book” Romeo said as he bent down to get loving from Snowball.

Jake not to be outdone by his little brother bent down to get his share of Snowball loving. “I bought me a Madden football game and a football so we can play later and a book.”

Steph watched her dad and Lexie get out of the car. They were smiling and laughing. Her dad walked around the front of the car and took Lexie hand as they headed to where to boys played with Snowball.

Seems these two got a lot for ten dollars dad.” Jesse teased his dad.

Yeah it's amazing how much ten dollars could stretch when you go shopping with Lexie.” He gave Lexie a nudge.

You should have gone with us.” Lexie laughed.

Yeah I was talking to Sally and Steph didn't pay me anything.” Jesse laughed.

Well you can thank Lexie, she thought you might like this.” Jon said as Lexie pulled two bags out behind Jon's back. “She didn't want you two shafted.”

Jesse took him bag and gave Lexie a hug, and headed back into the house.

Stephanie walked up and took the remaining bag.

Thanks Lexie, you didn't have to.”

No I didn't have to, I wanted to. It's something that I use every day, it's a personal Journal.” Lexie told her.

I'm a little old for a diary.” Stephanie told her as she turned the book over in her hand. Steph opened the book and turned to the front page Lexie had written a message inside.

Steph, my grandmother gave me a journal when I graduated from high school she wrote in the front of the book. May this book be the holder of your secrets and your desires that you don't want anyone to know.
Your friend I hope Lexie

It has no lock on it like a diary, this one you can put pictures and ticket stubs all the things you want to keep.” Lexie told her as they walked in to the house. “I've had to replace mine several times over the years. I put in my first rejection letter in mine, so I never forget the company who turned me down and when I win writing awards I make sure to thank them for making me do better.”

You received a rejection letter? I can't believe it.” Stephanie told her.

When we get back I'll have you come down and see the letter in my journal.” Lexie put her arm around Stephanie as they went in.

Jon stood outside and watched his two favorite women head into the house arm in arm. He looked up at the sky and thanked God that for right now all was quiet in the Bongiovi house. He slowly walked into the house.

The next few days things seemed to go really smooth Saturday came, Lexie got up before everyone and pulled on her robe and slipped downstairs and called her Editor.

Hey Max, did the covers for my next book come in, did they take me suggestion on the cover design.” Lexie walked into the kitchen and started a pot of her coffee , she knew Jon would be up soon to make his sludge.

Good morning to you Lexie, do you know what time it is?” Max sat up and wiped the sleep out of his eyes.

Yeah it's the time I get up every day now, I do have a dog that needs to go outside now and them.” She sat down at the bar and waited on Max to answer her.

Yes I have the covers and I will fax them to you, with a release form.” Max told her. He crawled out of bed and headed to his at home office. You did things like this for his best author. “How are things going for you and the rock star?”

Really good, the boys like me, its been a tough road with Steph, I think we're going to be fine.” She said pouring her a cup of coffee and going in to the office and turning on the fax and watching for the machine fire up to print.

So you going to marry the man?” He fed the paper into his machine.

He hasn't asked, and I don't know, unless the whole family agrees then I, well I don't know. Anyway we haven't gotten that close so don't look for any announcements.”

Okay first one is sent, second one on the way.” He told her, “I won't jump until you give me the word.”

Good I would hate to open that kettle of fish. Okay they just got here, I love the one in silhouette, you can't really tell it's him, but the one in profile and shadowed you really can tell.” Lexie laid the two cover sheets on the table.

Lexie, I'm putting your coffee in the hot pot, Oh I'm sorry I didn't know you were on the phone.” Stephanie said from the doorway into the office.

That's okay Steph, it's just Max, my editor.” Lexie motioned her into the room. “Steph come look at these and tell me which one you like.” She showed her the two pages.

Oh, are these for your new book? Is that Daddy?” Steph turned the Silhouette toward Lexie. “Oh I know this one is.” She turned held up the other one.

Yeah, I thought I would use his picture since he was who my character is based on.” She took the release form off the fax. “Not the rock star persona but the rocker life style.”

I didn't think you were a fan, this blows that theory out of the water.” She started to turn around an walked out .

I never said I wasn't a fan, I'm just not a fanatic, I didn't chase after him and I have only been to one concert.” She followed her into the kitchen.

She stopped short and turned around to face Lexie.

You've only been to one concert?” Her eyes were big and round.

Jon walked down the stairs and followed Lexie and Steph voice, stopping short when he heard she had only been to one of his concerts.

Well that's gonna change.” He said as he walked in to the kitchen and gave her a kiss.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chapter 49

They walked into the kitchen, Lexie unhooked the leash and let Snow run to find the boys.

“Here we go.” She whispered to Jon.

Stephanie was in the family room on her phone, she stopped short to see who she was talking too. If it was anyone but Mark it wouldn't work. They were in luck she had it on speaker phone.

“I don't like this Mark, I don't like being so secretive with my dad.” she was chewing on her nail a sure sign all this was getting to her.

“Pull on your big girl panties little girl, you were all go for last night, now you regret meeting and getting to be friends with Gail and Tiffany? I don't know Steph, you're not the girl I thought you were.” Mark admonished her.

“Look Mark, I am a big girl and my dad isn't the only one that goes commando at times.” She nearly yelled at the phone. “Yes I loved meeting Gail and Tiffany, it'll be nice to have friends, if we come up here again.”

Jon about swallowed his tongue where he heard his little girl, his baby girl, his princess telling a boy she goes commando It was all Lex could do to keep him from busting in there. She pulled him back into the mudroom.

“Count to ten.” She told him.

“Ten won't cut it Lex, I doubt a hundred will work this time.” He took a deep breath, eyes a stormy dark blue and the vain over his right eye was throbbing. He was running his fingers through his hair in a nervous fashion.

“Stop that,” she grabber his hands and stopped them.

“Sorry Lex, shes going to make me bald before she goes to college. How did Dorothea handle it all.” He looked up at the ceiling.

She didn't at the end, that's why you have the kids now she thought but would never tell him that.

“Just follow my lead. Jon quit the kids will see.” She said loudly and drug him toward the family room. Finally he got the idea and started to chase her laughing. “Keep it down, the neighbor told us if we're loud he'd call the cops.” She threw opened the door open to the family room and stopped short.

Jon was expecting her to stop so quickly and he had to grab her before they fell on the sofa. “Gotcha”

Lexie giggled as he tumbled her on the sofa. “Oh Steph, I so sorry, we didn't know you were in here.” She giggled more.

Jon was trying to get his breath from taking the blunt of the fall, She was straddling his hips. He cocked his head and saw the shocked look on Stephanie’s face.

“Did Lex tell you we just met the neighbors?” Jon said and was awarded with her version of the stink eye.

What part of follow my lead did he not get.

“Yeah he was complaining about the loud music and the beer cans tossed in his trash can.” She got off Jon so he could sit up. “We told him there must be some mistake.”

“Yeah. I told him you wouldn't have a party, not after promising me you wouldn't.” Jon said.

“Oh Shit” Marks voice could be heard from Stephanie phone.

“I trusted you Stephanie, you wouldn't do anything behind my back like say hold a party and breaking curfew.” He leveled his stare at her.

“You said you wouldn't tell” Stephanie said turning on Lexie.

“She didn't, you need to make sure no one can hear you when you talk on the phone.” Jon went over and took her phone out of her hand. “I don't think you'll be welcome here any more Mark.” Jon said to her phone before hanging up on Mark. He put her phone in his pocket. “You and I are going to sit down and talk, I was going to wait until you let Lex walk out of here on Saturday, but it has to stop now.”

“But daddy,” She started to talk.

“No lies Steph, I figured it all out in the last few days, a trashcan full of beer cans this morning” He noticed Lexie quietly leave them alone. “You thought I would be so wrapped up in Lexie that you could do what ever you wanted, I think Mark had a large part in all this. Am I right?” He could tell he was hitting the mark because she looked sick. “I can't believe you would sink this low. What's got into you lately. You got your brother arrested, then you turn on someone who could be a good friend to you and I have never seen you sink so low on treating people as pawns. I am totally disappointed in you.” he sat down on the sofa across from her. “Steph, I want Lexie in my life, I'm going to ask her to move in and now I don't think she will because of you. Why are you doing this?”

“I told you daddy I want you and momma back.” Steph told him.

“That ain't gonna happen Steph, after what happened when I was last in Philly, I wouldn't take your mom back, so you can just get that out of your head little girl.” He leaned forward as he spoke. “You are not going to be happy, but this isn't about you or your brothers. It's about me and Lexie, about what we want.” He watched her starting to get upset. “Getting mad won't make what you did any less appalling. I don't know why you thought you could do this.” He shook his head. Getting up he headed to the door. “Consider yourself grounded and I want you to apologize to Lexie by this evening.”

Stephanie stopped her foot and folded her arms over her body until he was out the door them she broke down in tears.

Jon leaned on the closed door and listened to her cry. It was the hardest thing to do, stand there and not give comfort.
Lexie came up and wrapped her arms around him an just held him.

“I don't know what to do with her.” he groaned. “She wasn't like this before the split.”

“Maybe you need to talk to a professional, you always said a child didn't come with a manual.” she said softly. “Listen, I'm going to take the boys to the mall, get them out of the line of fire. Jake seems to be more happy since the first time I met him, this might just set him back.”

“You said you weren't good with kids, but you're doing pretty good.” he allowed her to lead him away from the den, and the crying Stephanie.

“I good with characters and looking into them.” She told him. “She's hurting and she lashed out the only what she knew how to to do it. She's not horrible she's just a teenager.” She got him to sit down on the sofa. “ I did the same thing when I was her age, I wanted my parents to get back together and I did everything in my power to achieve my goal. I forgot all the quiet arguments when I went to bed. The bad thing was the slamming of the door when they forgot to argue quietly. I came home from school and my dad moved out, no note for me and I didn't see him again until I published my first book. It took me a long time to see how happy my mom was with her new husband. I was just like Stephanie, and before you ask, I did tell her how it was and what I felt. Don't think it was any help.”

“I just don't know what to do, I am so stumped.” He shook his head. “I was so worried about Jake that I never saw Stephanie had a problem. I should have seen it when Jesse went save her but, she has manipulated people, she manipulated us to her own gain.”

“She's a teenager who is hurting.” She defended Stephanie.

“Thank you, for saying that, what I did was wrong and I let Mark talk me into doing it.” Stephanie softly spoke as she came onto the room. “I was mad that Daddy had found someone who made him happy, the way momma did, but they weren't together.”

“But Steph, don't you want your mom and me to be happy, we weren't together for a long time honey. When we ended things it was what was best for the family.” He told her holding out his hand for her to come to him. When she came and sat with him in the chair he held her close.

“I'm gonna take the boys to the mall and give you two some time to talk.” She smiled at Jon and winked at Stephanie. She went upstairs to get the boys and they left.

Jon waiting until the car was out of the drive, he turned and looked at his daughter.

“Now Steph, I know you want things the way they were, but honey that isn't going to happen. I said earlier your mom and I did what was best for you kids, she wanted Graham and I wanted her to have Graham. They deserve to be happy, just like me. Do you understand this?” He reached out and touched her knee. “Can you understand we didn't we didn't do it to hurt you kids, would you really like how it was before we divorced?” He could tell she was actually listening to him. “The quiet dinners or rather you kids eating dinner with either your mom or just me? It wasn't that I didn't want to be with you kids, but I stayed out on tour and did extra shows, I would have you kids come out when I had breaks instead of coming home. We thought this was for the best.”

“How could you feel this was best for us, when you destroyed out family?” She asked him.

“Steph, your mother, your mom” He didn't want to tear into the woman that he had shared most of his life with. He pulled out his phone and called her number. “Graham, is Dot there? I'm having a little problem here. Yeah I'll hang on.”

He sat the phone down and put it on speaker.

“What Jon could be so important that you had to drag me into it?” Dorothea's voice sounded over the phone.

“Stephanie is having issues over out split.” Jon told her.

“Momma, I want you and daddy to be a family again.” Stephanie cried.

“Stephanie Rose, that is never going to happen, I love Graham and I am happy for the first time in years, you could have been a part of that, Graham loves you kids, but you destroyed that with what happened on my honeymoon. You and your brothers now live with your dad. It's time to grow up Stephie there is no way your father and I will ever get back together.”

“But Momma.” She started to try again.

“No buts Stephie, its over, Graham and I are a family now and your dad will find someone that he'll be a family with you and your brothers and his new friend.” She rang off with a promise to be available if she needed to talk.

They sat there quietly for a few minutes.

“I'm sorry daddy, I didn't mean to be a brat. I wish I could blame it on Mark, but he just vacation boy.” She played off the hurt she felt from her mothers talk.

“You know, if you needed someone to talk to, Lexie would be happy to help you.” Jon know she was putting on a front that once she was alone she would have a lot to think about.

“I know dad, and I will talk to her.” she got up and walked over and put her arms around her dads neck. “I love you daddy”

“Love you too baby girl.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

chapter 48

Jon motioned for Lexie to go out with him. He took the steaks that were waiting for the grill. Lexie carried out two glasses of wine and watched the barbecue master at work.

“Did I hear what I thought I heard?” He asked as he put the steaks on. Jesse had foiled the potatoes when he brought Jake and Romeo back from the park.

“Depends on what you heard.” She said as she sat and sipped her wine.

“My daughter is playing us. You know something I don't and you aren't telling me.” He sipped his wine and gave her a look.

“I told her I wouldn't and that I don't like being played.” She told him.

“Okay, I'll accept you promised, but being played? Can you explain that one to me without telling me what you promised not to tell.” He went over and sat at the table with her. Reaching out he took her hand.

“Jon, you have to see, you were only here two days and she calls me to come up.” She laced her fingers with his. “That kind of hate doesn't go away in two days.”

“Well we talked for two days, she knows she can't go to her mom's, that escape route has been permanently closed.” He told her. “I have to tell you, I was shocked she had you come up here so soon. I'm glad she did, I really missed you, it wasn't the same without you here.” He smiled.

“Jon, that kind of hate does not go away in two days. She has an agenda and I put my foot down I told her if she doesn't come clean I am leaving Sunday.” She waited for him to blow his gasket. She knew he was famous for his Sicilian temper.

“Sunday, no that can't happen.” he told her.

“It's up to her Jon, I will not back down.” She told him. “This has all been her show all along.”

“You think she has a little help with this?” he asked her getting up to flip the steaks.

“Oh I know she has.” She laughed as she told him.

“Jess warmed me, he said Sally told him some things. I guess I got played too, he had me snowed.” Jon dropped his head a little. “He seemed so different from the boys she dated at Polly Prep.”

“Well she has til Sunday and if she doesn't come clean I will be gone Jon. Snow and I will be back in the city when you get back.” She gave his hand a squeeze and motioned to the steaks. “You don't like well done.”

Jon jumped up for the steaks Lexie went back in and got the plates out and started setting the table,

Jesse had gone to pick up Sally, Lexie liked her right away. She seemed more excited to be having dinner with Lexie than sitting at the table with Jon Bon Jovi.

They were sitting around the patio out back, Jon had gone up to check on the boys in while Lexie and Sally talked.

“So Sally, tell me about Mark.” They were sitting in the swing with a glass of wine in their hands and talking quietly.

“We dated and I wasn't out of the city he had moved on. Everyone told me to watch him when we started dating, I wasn't listening to them. He's a user and a player.” She sipped her wine. “I told Jesse that he should watch him with his sister.”

“Oh, I think Jon and Jesse will be keeping a better eye on her.” She swung in silence a little. “So you know I am happy we got this time after all these years of talking online.”

“I am too, When Mr Jon came in with Romeo I was like star struck but not like I was to meet you.” She laughed a little “I feel like I know you like a sister.”

“I feel the same way Sally.” She reached over and gave her a hug.

Jesse walked out and smiled. “Hey you two, if Sally and I are going to go out we better leave now.”

“So you and Jess are going out? Well well.” Lexie gave then the googly eye. She always thought Jesse acted older then he was.

“Yeah, there is a band playing that I want to see and I happen to know one of the band members.” Sally

“Band hum, are they any good?” Jon asked as he came out of the house.

“Pretty good, the guitar player is pretty hot.” Sally informed him

“It's always about the guitar player.” Jon laughed and rolled his eyes.

“Why don't you two join us, we can get a table in the back.” Sally offered.

“Sounds like fun, you want to go Lex?” Jon asked

“Jon, who would watch the boys?” Lexie uncurled herself out of the swing.

“Why not ask Steph, Dad” Jesse asked then it hit him oh man I'm going on a double date with my dad.

Let me see if she has plans.” Jon went back on looking for his daughter but stopped half way up the stairs oh man, I'm going on a double date with my son. Jon laughed as he went on up to Stephanie’s room. Raising his hand to knock her heard her talking to Mark.

“I can either tell my dad, we were late the other night or Lexie will go home.” She griped.

So that's it, she blew curfew and Lex caught her. Okay little girl we'll play this out, until Saturday night and then I put my size twelves down.

He knocked on the door.

“Steph, you got a minute?” He called from the other side of the door.

“It's my dad, hang on,” She walked over to the door and opened it. “Sure daddy what do you want?”

“I'm thinking about going down with Lexie, Jesse and Sally to listen to the band, I need you to listen out for your brothers.” he asked as he stood in the doorway.

“Sure daddy, can Mark come over while you all are out?” She asked.

“I really don't think that would be a good idea,” Jon started, but then after what he had just heard maybe keeping them close he could watch them better. “Maybe for a while, I want him gone at eleven,”

“Okay daddy, thanks.” She ran over and hugged her dad and went back to the call. “Think you might want to come over and help me watch my brothers?”

“Sure Babe, they have to go to bed sometime.” Mark was already making plans for little miss Bongiovi.

“Bad thing is you can only stay until eleven.” she told him.

“That’s doable Blue eyes.” He smiled eleven, midnight daddy and his woman will stay out later and I can sneak out.

“See you soon.” She said.

“Give me ten and I'll be there.” He hung up and grabbed his keys and left.

Stephanie came down to see her dad off.

“Not later than eleven Steph, keep it under control no other friends.” he helped Lexie with her jacket as they were walking out the door he turned “Don't forget to watch your brothers.” He laughed.

They were out the door about five minutes when Mark pulled in the drive.

“Parental unit gone, let the party begin.” Mark said as he walked in.

“Yeah he's gone, but no party, My little brothers are still here.” She told him as she noticed he had his cell open.

“Just two other couples, you want to be friends don't you?” Mark asked her.

“Well sure, we have one more week. But, He said no other people.” She told him.

“He's gone to hear that band at Banshee I can call Sam and tell him your dads in the audience and get him up on stage to sit in a set or two, then we'll be gone by the time he gets home. No harm to foul babe.” He still had his phone in his hand.

“Okay but everybody has to be gone by eleven I mean it I am not going to get in trouble over this.” She gave him the Bon Jovi stinkeye.

“I promise Babe.” He just smiled and she melted.

They got in as guest of Jesse and Sally and were given a table in the back. Jon ordered Jess and Sally sodas and him and Lexie the house wine. The band was setting up when they got there and Jon took the time to look around the bar. There was a nice size dance floor with a stage for the band. He remembered what it was like playing the small clubs.

“Bringing back memories?” Lexie whispered in his ear.

“Yeah, long lost memories.” He whispered back.

Jesse and Sally got up and went out on the dance floor. Lexie was tapping her foot to the music and bobbing her head. Jon hid his smile behind the rim of his wine glass. He wasn't surprised when a young man asked her to dance. When she turned to look at him. Jon told her to go dance. I knew this would happen, how do I tell her I don't dance. I can shake my ass on stage and strut like Jagger, but dancing was a non Jon activity.

As they walked back to the table, they were joined by a few of the band members. They had been told that he was here. Who let the cat out of the bag, I know it wasn't Sally, had to be Mark. Strike two apple dude.

“Man it's a honor to have you here tonight Mr Bon Jovi” the young man he would later know was Sam, not the hot guitar player.

“Sally told us about the band and we thought we'd come hear a little of your set.” Jon shook the man's hand, praying that he'd take the hint that they were here to hear them not him.

“Sally's a fan of the band.” The second young man had his arm around Sally.

“Only because I've known you since we were in diapers, Greg.” Sally laughed.

By the sparkle in her eye, Jon could tell that there was a little more to the relationship between Sally and Greg. Poor Jess, he doesn't stand a chance with Sally, she's got her heart set on a guitar player.

They talked a little then the band ran up to take the stage. They were pretty good, a little rough around the edges, sort of on the lines of a Maroon 5. Sally was right on one thing, the guitar player reminded him of a your Sambora, he just didn't the sex faces yet.

Jesse had Sally out of the dance floor, he know Lex wanted to dance. He prayed they would play a slow song. That way they could just hold each other and sway.

He was lucky the next song was a slow ballad and he looked over and Lexie and held out his hand to her. “Want to sway?” He gave her a sexy smile.

They just got up and stood in the corner by the table. He knew the words and sung them softly in her ear.

Jesse looked back and noticed his dad and Lexie were dancing, well dad's style of dancing, come to think of it I never saw him and mom dance. Maybe they did at those political dinner things they went to, but I doubt it.

“Think they'd be ready to leave?” He nibbled her ear.

“I doubt it, we've only been here an hour.” She shivered from his warm wine scented breath and the sensation of his teeth on her ear.

“Think they have a bathroom that's a one seater?” He moved to her neck.

“Jon.” She shivered again.

All of a sudden the song changed and he thought he heard one of the bands songs up beat.

“We have a really great rocker here with us tonight I wonder if we can coax him on stage to join us for a set.” Sam announced

Jon groaned and looked at Lexie.

“I gotta go up there.” He groaned in her ear.

The spotlight found him as he went up on the stage.

He got pulled into playing the whole set and it was nearing midnight by the time he left the stage,

“You looked good up there” Lexie told him when he came back to the table.

“Thanks, I tried to get off the stage but Sam kept talking me into another song.” Jon downed his wine,

“I'm sorry Jon, I didn't bring them over to meet you, well I didn't want Sam to meet you just Greg.” Sally apologized.

“It's okay Sal, but I hate to be a damper on the party but I am ready to go.” He stood up and took Lexie by the hand.

“Let me go say Goodnight to Greg and we can go.” Sally told them.

As she walked off Jesse finished his drink and got up.

“Dad you know you love the spotlight.” Jesse laughed.

“But I'm on vacation Son, even the ice cream man takes a break from making ice cream when he's on vacation.” Jon said as he helped Lexie navigate around the tables that had been moved to increase the dance floor.

Sally met them at the door.

“Okay I'm ready.” She said as she walked up,

“You don't want to stay with Greg?” Lexie asked her quietly so Jesse didn't here.

“Why, I'll see him when he gets home or in the morning when he wakes up.” Sally told her.

“You two live together?” Lexie was a little shocked. She had gone out twice now with Jesse.

“Yeah, I have since he was born, he's my Brother.” She laughed “You didn't think, Oh Lexie”

The two girls laughed over the moment.

They dropped Sally off with a promise of shopping and lunch in the next few days and headed back to the cabin.

“I wonder how things were while we were gone.” Jon thought out loud.

“Know Steph, we weren't out the door long before she had company.” Jesse humphed.

“I told her she could have him over, but gone by eleven and only him, she still had to watch the boys.”
Jon informed them.

Lexie thought, the two of them alone in the house with just two young boys as chaperones not good. But she kept her mouth closed.

The house was dark when they pulled into the garage.

“Looks like all quiet on the home front.” Jon sighed.

The smell of over sprayed floral with an under tone of cigarette smoke. Lexie went into the kitchen to check the dishes, they were done stacked on the side of the drain. Even the trash was taken out. She shook her head and heard Snowballs nails on the floor and went to take her out.

“I'm going to take Snow out.” Lexie told Jon. Heading out the front door she watched Snow sniff the air and take off around the side toward the trash cans. The smell of beer hit her, this didn't smell like a few cans, and since she was there, she hadn't seen any beer in the house. Only way that would happen is if it was brought in. Lexie went over and lifted the lid. She must have really rushed to get the evidence out of the cabin, they were all in one can. She dropped the lid and shook her head, at least they were put in the recycle bin.

Once she had snowball in and the door locked she headed up stairs to bed. Jon had tried to wait up for her but he was sound asleep being on stage must have worn him out.

Lexie woke up, Jon was still snoring. She slipped out from under Jon and headed to the bathroom. She could hear Jakey and Romeo down in the kitchen when she came down.

“Hey Guys, has Snow been out yet?” She started a pot of coffee “Did you two have fun last night with your sister?”

“Yeah Lexie, we had a party.” Romeo said.

“Romey, we weren't supposed to tell Lexie or Daddy.” Jake nudged him on his shoulder.

“I forgot,” Romeo's lip quivered.

“It's okay Romey. I saw all the cans.” Lexie whispered.

“Oh.” Jake finished his cereal. “We buried them in the other can.”

“Were you two up late?” She got up to get her coffee.

“Yeah, Stephie never makes us go to bed early like daddy does, she gave us ten dollars to help her clean up. I did the dishes and didn't break any, not even one.” Jake said proudly.

“Yeah, she said she would take us to the mall today for the toy store. I wanted the candy store, but she said just the toy store.” Romeo drank the remaining milk out of his bowl.

“Maybe your dad and I can take you later this week.” She sipped her coffee and sighed,

“Where are you and I taking the Ro and Jake to?” He walked over to the coffee pot and grimes

“Candy Land at the mall.” She sipped her coffee and got up and pulled down the coffee hotpot and poured the rest of her pot in. “They came into some money recently and it's burning a hole in their pocket.”

“Let me make you some sludge.” She laughed as she got to coffee filters back out.

“I'll make it, I know what he likes.” Stephanie said. “You two have fun on your double date?” She snickered.

Lexie poured another cup and got a bowl from cereal. Okay princess firing a shot on your little make believe kingdom. “Jake, great job on the dishes” holding the bowl up and turned it to Jon to see how clean it was. “Don't you agree Jon?”

Jon looked puzzled, but by looking at Jake face and seeing his normally quiet son beaming under Lexie praise. He took the bowl from Lexie and gave it a good inspection.

“Hey Jake, great job.” he said getting himself a bowl out and looking it over. “Yeah that's a number one job.” He ruffled Jake hair as he walked by.

Romeo started to clear up his breakfast dishes and had Snows leash.
“I'll take Snow out for you after she eats Lexie.”

“You know what Ro, I want to go on a walk with your dad after he has his coffee and breakfast, we'll take her.”

“Okay, can I be scused then, Stephie will be ready for the mall when you are.” Romeo gave her a big smile.

“Okay Ro.” Stephanie yawned and fixed her a cup from Lexie's pot.

“They give you any problem last night?” Jon asked her as he ate his cereal.

“Nope, not a one.” she sipped her coffee.

Jon looked from Lexie to Stephanie, Lexie shrugged her shoulders.

Jon fixed him a travel cup of coffee as Lexie put Snow on her leash.

The made it out of the garage Jon finally asked her what was up.

“What were your instructions to your daughter about last night?” She casually asked as they headed down the drive.

He gave her a funny look.

“Does any of this have to do with the boys pocket money and the fact that Jake did the dishes?” Jon stopped in the middle of the drive.

“Yes, but we need to walk a little further. Sort of away from the windows.” She let Snows leash out a little more.

Jon followed her to the area that has the trashcans.

“She wanted to have Mark over, I told her okay, but he had to leave a eleven. You know something?” he asked as they stopped as Snow sniffed the cans.

“He smokes a lot. The floral air freshener was over powering.” She laughed.

“Oh yeah, I told her just him no one else.” Snowball did her business Jon turned his back thinking about what she said and his blood pressure went up a notch.

Lexie bagged the poop and handed Jon the baggie and pointed him to the extra trashcan. When Jon opened the lid it was full of beer cans. Jon stopped counting at twelve.

“They had a party, after I told her just Mark, son of a bitch, I bet he's the reason I ended up on stage. That's strike three for the apple ass and you get no more.” He turned around and started to storm into the house, but Lexie stopped him.

“Jon, wait a second, count to ten and take some deep breaths.” She pulled on the tail of his jacket until he stopped. “The way you're going at this he's the one you're mad at, he wasn't alone. Going in there mad and making accusations will end up causing more problems. You have to get her to give it up herself. Trick her into admitting it.”

“How do I do that? He gritted his teeth.

“Follow my lead, after all I am the literary writer in this duo.” She smiled and gave an evil laugh that cause got Jon to laugh.