Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chapter 36

It took two days to get the cabin all set. Lexie came down the day they were leaving with a few things for the kids. Romeo was is second heaven, he played with Snowball until they loaded up. She brought three books for Stephanie, they were from her Teen series, which really surprised Steph.

“There isn't much to do up there, the wifi is iffy at best.” She handed her the bag. “I thought you might like these.”

“Thanks, “ She took the bag.

“I should have added a cook book for your dad.” She whispered.

“Hey, I make a mean omelet and Grilled Cheese.” Jon laughed as he loaded the last case into the SUV.

“Don't forget reservations and take out orders.” Jesse added.

“Don't forget, no body delivers up there.” She reminded Jon.

“O Kay lets load up, We have a nice drive ahead of us.” Jon wrangled the younger two into the back seat, taking notices of any lumps in Romeo's jacket. “Romey, where Snow?”

“Her's in her carrier.” Romeo said

“Romey, Snow doesn't have a carrier.” Lexie looked at Jon.

“Romeo, Where is Snowball?” Jon used his daddy voice.

“Hers in her Carrier Daddy.” Romeo looked at Jon not backing down.

Jon started to unpack the back of the suv checking each suitcase until they were all out on the street.

Jake unzipped his jacket and the little white head peeked out.

“See Daddy, Jakey is hers carrier.” Romeo and Jake started to laugh.

Jon was not to happy to repack the SUV.

“Romey, why didn't you just say that Jake had Snowball in his Jacket?” Lexie asked Romeo as she took her small dog out of Jake's jacket.

“Because Lexie, you and Daddy would be mad at me if I snucked Snow in my jacket.” He told her.

Damn, he's right Jon thought as he placed the last suitcase back in the SUV he came around to where Lexie stood holding the little puff of fur.

“I'll call you when we get there,” he told her. “One week.” he whispered.

“Only if Stephanie calls me and asked me to come.” She whispered back and gave him a little kiss on the lips.

“O kay, lets hit the road.” he said as he backed up and got into the SUV.

Lexie stepped back and waved.

“Bye bye Lexie, Bye Bye Snowball.” Romeo called over the roar of V8.

“Bye Romey.” Lexie called back to him.

She stood there as the Escalade was swallowed by the traffic. Walking back to her apartment she felt sad. She would stand by her decision to wait until Stephanie could be won over.

After about a million bottles of pop on the wall and twenty stops for bathroom and snack break he finally got to the gate. Reaching for the remote he opened the gate and garage door, it felt like coming home.

Getting four kids settled and rummaging in the cupboard for dinner, he came up with soup for dinner. Mentally making a grocery list he went up to unpack in his room.

Checking on each of the kids he found Jesse reading on his Kindle and Jake with Romeo playing with hot wheels and Lego from the toy box he had to bring, the last room he got to was Stephanie. Tapping on the half closed door he waited for her to tell him to enter.

“Hey, did you get unpacked.” he leaned on the door jam. She was stretched out on the bed, her laptop on her left.

“Yeah, wifi sucks here.” She grumbled.

“Yeah, it's spotty at best.” He agreed.

“I looked in the bag, she gave me some great books.” Steph tossed him the bag. “Mom bought them for me but I left then.”

Jon caught the bag and looked in and pulled out one. “Murder at the Fashion Show” he looked at the second one “Death at the Prom” he had to chuckled.

“You love this style books.” he opened it up and read the inscription.

Stephanie, I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed writing them. Lexie

“You cracked any of these covers yet?” He asked as he sat on the edge of the bed, handing her the book.

Stephanie took the book and thumbed the book open. She stopped at the inscription.

“She wrote this book.” She looked at her dad. “She wrote all of these?”

“That's what she does, she's a writer. You know those books that your mom and I like, she wrote them too. In fact,” He picked up her laptop and stuck in a driver and pulled up what he downloaded for her to read. “You might like to read this.” he got up off the bed and headed to the door. “Dinner in an hour, we got soup.”

“Grocery shopping in the morning?” She laughed.

“Oh yeah. I haven't hit the freezer yet, I know we left some stuff in it.” He laughed as he headed back down to the kitchen.

Stephanie started to read what her dad uploaded onto the laptop. Jesse stood in the doorway watching his sister.

“What ya reading?” Jesse asked

Stephanie jumped.

“Damn it Jess, you scared the shit out of me.” Stephanie swore at her brother. “If you must know I'm reading about dads new fling,.”

“Don't let Dad or the runts hear you cuss or you'll be paying for that little out burst.” He came into the room and pulled the desk chair over. “I don't think Lexie is a fling, she just might be in for the long haul.”

“Only if I want her to be.” She said with a fake smile.

“Steph, give her a chance. She makes dad happy. Hell he's going into her chat room.” Jesse laughed

“Didn't you want mom and dad back together?” She asked as she read over the bio. “Wow, she started writing when she was Jakey's age. Published at sixteen.”

“Yeah, at one point I did was them back together, then I remember the fights and the slamming out of the house, the Uncles that came and went while daddy was on tour. Mom wasn't a saint by any means.” He picked up one of the books she had stacked on the floor,

“I remember all that, but I also remember the good times, when daddy wasn't on the road and we did things, like spend the summer at The Hamptons. or St. Barts. “ She highlighted a line, “Look at this, when asked who she used as the character reference she said a certain New Jersey rocker, she was talking about daddy. You think he knew her from the road?” She sat the laptop to the side and looked at her brother,

“Nope, they met here. He thought she was the cook.” Jesse picked out another book and placed the other one back. “Can I borrow this one. I just finished my reading list for school. I guess will be going back to good old Poly Prep.”

“Yes, thank God I only have one more year. Then I can move out and go to college.” She flopped back on the bed and looked at the ceiling.

“Better get your grades up or it's be junior college instead of a university.” Jesse laughed as he got up and headed for the door. “City College is where you'll end up if you don't.” He dodged the pillow she threw at him.

“Hey kids soups on. Dinners on the table.” Jon called from the bottom of the steps.

He was rewarded by the pounding of feet and they younger two came clomping down the steps. Jesse and Stephanie followed a little behind.

The table had been set with bowls of steaming tomato soup and a stack of slightly burnt grilled cheese sandwiches waited to be passed out. Milk for the younger Bongiovi's and pop for the older two. Jon had found the last of the wine he and Lexie had shared that last night they had stayed there still on the bar.

“What's there to do around here?” Jesse asked as he finished his sandwich.

“We got movies, and Wii, there are books and television.” He told them.

“No clubs or places that kids hang out?” Stephanie asked

“We hardly left the cabin, there was a lot of snow and Romeo isn't the club kinda kid.” Jon chuckled.

“Can Jess and I maybe go out?” Steph used her little girls voice.

“Maybe tomorrow night, don't like you guys out late in a strange place.” Jon said.

“Please Daddy, we'll be careful.” She tried again.

“Steph, I said not tonight. It's really dark and you don't know the area.” Jon was getting upset the more she pushed.

“It's not fair, you haul us up here and there is nothing to do, you think this is gonna make me want to like your girlfriend, ain't gonna happen.” She yelled as she slammed out of the room, knocking over her chair and knocking her plate and glass off the table.

Jon started to jump up and go after her, but he just sat there shocked.

“oooh Stephie is gonna be in trouble.” Romeo whispered.

Jakey seemed to curl into himself. It was like he wanted the floor to open and swallow him up.

Jon was handing out stink eyes as he looked around the table.

“I'll go talk to her dad.” Jesse started to get up.

“No Jess, this is my problem.” he got up from the table. “Can you three clean up this mess.”

“Sure daddy.” Romeo pushed back from the table and went around.

Jake just got up, not saying a word and began to pick up the plate.

Jon walked up the steps, dreading what was about to happen.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chapter 35

It didn't take Lexie long to grab her jacket and the leash, by the time she had her spare key, Snow met her at the door.

“It's just Jon, Snow, not Romeo.” She told the little dog as she clipped the leash onto her collar.

They made it down the steps and headed down the block toward Jon's place. He was waiting on the corner.

“Damn that was the shortest two weeks.” he laughed.

“I know, my chat tonight paid the price for me being in a down mood.” she handed him the leash and they walked along,

“I know, Sam told me.” He pulled her close, “Jesse, my oldest son, told me he was okay with his dad having a girl friend.”

“One down two to go,” Lexie sighed “One's gonna be harder than the other, I don't see her coming around in two weeks.”

“I don't know, my mom always said Steph was just me only she wore a skirt.” they made it down to the coffee shop on the corner. “care for a cup?”

“Can you stay out this late?” She asked as he picked up Snowball and put her in his jacket

“Rich is watching the kids, I got time.” He opened the door, and usher her into the shop. He was lucky they had a table near the back. He helped her to the table and deposited Snow into her lap and went to the clerk and ordered two coffees, one black one light and sweet. As he waited he thought back to the cabin, how good things were. He had been happy there. He could be happy again, once he figured out how he could get Steph on board. Taking the two coffees back to the table he slipped in beside her.

“I've been thinking, what have you got coming up?” He sipped his coffee.

Lexie took a sip of her coffee and thought about what she did have coming up,

“Nothing that I could think of, without my calender that is. My re-writes are done, I just have chat that I know of. Why.” She sipped her coffee.

Jon reached over and took her free hand and laced his fingers with hers.

“I want to go back to the cabin, just us and the kids. See where this goes.” he sipped his coffee.

Lexie sipped her coffee and thought.

“I don't know Jon, it just might make things worse instead of better. Give her a chance to know me better first.”

He knew she was right but he still wanted that happy place again.

“Listen, take the kids up, spend some one on one time with them. If they agree, after a week, then we'll come up.” She said softly at his pouty face.

“O Kay” He gave her his little boy smile.

After coffee he walked her to her door and a sweet kiss before heading back to his place. He let himself into the apartment, the lights down stairs were dimmed. Dropping the keys in the bowl on the table he toed off his boots. Padding into the kitchen and took a slice out of the box in the fridge he headed back into the family room. Dropping down on the sofa he started to reach for the remote when he noticed he wasn't alone.

“Can't sleep princes?” Jon kept the lights low so they could talk.

“Where did you go?” She asked. “I came down to talk to you, Uncle Mookie said you went for a walk.”

“I did go out for a walk. I met up with Lexie,we had coffee.” He wasn't going to lie to his kids anymore, they had been lied to too much in the past.

“I thought you said two weeks.” She huffed.

“I talked it over with Jess, I was going to talk to you tomorrow.” he finished off the slice and got up “I'm going to get a bottle of water,you want one?”

“Yeah,” She curled her feet under her, He went to the kitchen, grabbed two bottles and went back in and sat down opposite her.

“I was scrapping the bottom when you mom married Graham, I took romey and headed to place Uncle Hugh got for me. I met this woman,” He sipped his water. “I thought she was the cook. By the end of those three weeks I was alive again. The music was back.”

“So you had sex and poof the music was back.” Stephanie sarcastically spoke to her father.

“No there wasn't any sex till the last night, she made me laugh. She knew when I needed quiet and when I needed to talk.” He got a far away sound in his voice. “Romeo would go to bed and we would sit there, her writing, me on the guitar. She would bounce ideas off me and when I needed a word, she helped me find it.”

“You said Mom used to help you find the words for a song” She asked. “That you wrote all the songs for her.”

“I did. But it just wasn't enough anymore. I wasn't there for her when she needed me the most. He was, oh I knew about him before you all did. She let me know what a failure I was in her eyes. I let her go, it was what she wanted, the least I could do. I let her go.”

“Do you regret letting her go?” she asked quietly.

“In the beginning, I did.” He was honest with her. “But, it was only because you kids weren't with me. That was what I hated the most.”

“We hated it too Daddy, but we kids didn't get a vote.” She sat up and leaned forward. “Are we going to get a vote on this one?”

“To a point, give her a chance Steph. That's all we, I ask.” he sat the bottle down on the table “She wants whats best for you kids. I wanted us all to go up to the cabin, but she said no, we'll go up but she won't come until you want her to come.”

“Even if I don't want her to come, she won't come with us?” Stephanie finish her water and played with the bottle.

“Then she won't come. Her idea was for me to take you guys up for one week and then if you wanted her, and only if you wanted her, she would come up for the next of the week.” He leaned forward and gave her the look. “I know none of my kids wouldn't give her a chance, that is before they got to know her.”

Stephanie thought about what her father was saying.

“I heard what Jesse and you were talking about earlier,” he laughed a little at the look on her face, “If you didn't want me to hear, you should have kept your voice down.”

Daddy, she started on me the first night we were there, you dress like a slut,” She jumped up off the sofa and paced. “What did she expect, daughter of a rock and roll singer, that is must be a druggy too.”

“So you decided to act the part?” He calmly said. “Steph, you know I always told you, people would always think the worse of you, don't give the ammo to hurt you even worse.”

“I know daddy, I just had it. But the good thing as now we, all four us, are where we want to be.” She came over and curled up next to Jon on the sofa. “We wanted to be with you.”

“I want you to be with me too. I want you to give Lexie a chance, Lexie and me.” he put his arm around Stephie and gave her a nudge.

“O kay daddy, I'll give her a chance.” She nudged him back.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chapter 34

True to his words he was going to give her the two weeks, even if it killed him. As he and Romeo headed back to the penthouse. Romeo was dragging his feet, he wasn't stepping so lively himself.

“Are you hungry Romey?” Jon stopped at the corner so he could catch up.

“Lexie had some cookies, but I'm still hungry.” He looked up at Jon. “I only got one, cause I was a bad boy.”

“I'll make you a sandwich when we get home.” They crossed the street, one block to go. Jon looked down at the little man. It was going to be hard on him not seeing Snowball, and it was going to be hard on him knowing she was just two blocks away and not in his bed.

They had been home a few minutes before Richie and the kids walked in. Jon was in the living room with his laptop open and his glasses on. Romeo was standing in the corner.

“Daddy did you find him?” Stephanie said as she put the pizza box on the bar.

“Yep sure did.” He finished typing and lowered the site. “Thanks for the pizza bones, honey”

“Pizza bones?” Stephanie wrinkled her nose.

“Silly daddy, pizza got no bones.” Jakey spoke quietly and ran upstairs.

Jon was stunned at Jake speaking he missed Jesse asking him a question.

“Does she call left over pizza, pizza bones?” Jesse repeated what he said as he draped himself over the sofa, giving his dad a look after looking at his sister.

“She has a name and its Lexie, or Miss Madison.” Jon set up straighter. Richie went over and placed his hand on Jon's back and calmed him down. “And yes she called the left over pizza the bones.”

“Are you going to see her again?” Stephanie asked. Perching on the bar stool at the bar.

“We, or rather she, thinks you three need time to get over the experience you have been through, before you can accept that we will be dating.” Jon stood up and went over and headed into the kitchen.

Steph and Jesse looked at Richie.

“She makes him happy.” Richie told then. “While you were with you mom, he met her when he took Romeo to the Adirondacks. Three weeks later, he's back to his old self, he smiles again.” Richie followed Jon into the kitchen.

“I told you, he had a girlfriend.” Jesse said.

“Lexie is a nice lady, we made snow people and had a snowball fight and roasted marshmallows in the fireplace.” Romeo said from his corner. “Snowball is her puppy and she loves me and daddy. I can't see her for two whole weeks because of you and Stephie.”

“Hey, we didn't do anything to her,” Stephanie looked over at Jesse.

“Well, we really didn't welcome her with opened arms, you could have been a little more friendlier.” Jesse told her.

“Well you weren't smiling very much yourself.” She rolled her eyes.

Jon and Richie stood in the kitchen listening to the kids talking.

“Eavesdropping is not a good daddy quality.” Richie whispered.

“If you don't break the daddy rules sometimes with four kids you never learn anything” Jon whispered back.

“I heard him talking to her last night, he did sound like he really was back to his old self. Maybe we should give her a chance.” Jesse shrugged.

“We gave Graham a chance and look where that got us, you have a jail record.” Steph got up and walked over to the sofa,

“Well, I wouldn't have that record if you haven't tried get to Grahams momma and dressed like a slut,” Jesse spat out at her.

“I didn't ask you to play Incredible Hulk on her. Geese she's an old lady.” Stephanie got in his face.

“So I was to let the old bag smack you with that metal cane of hers. Sometimes I think you do all these to get momma and daddy's attention.” He got up and stood toe to toe.

“I think Kidd you better go out there before they draw blood.” Richie whispered.

“Damn, they always were hot headed.” Jon headed back in, “Hey you two enough.”

“She started it.” Jesse backed up.

“I started it? Oh blame me for everything.” Stephanie stormed off and ran up the stairs.

Jesse started to go up but Jon stopped him.

“Jess, lets talk,” Jon walked over and sat on the sofa. “Romey, come here, times out is over you can go up and unpack your suitcase.”

“Okay Daddy, can I call Lexie and see if Snowball can spend the night tomorrow night?” He ran over to the sofa.

“Now Romey, it hasn't even been two hours much less than two weeks,” He ruffled his hair. “We'll call her tomorrow and maybe set a play day up.”

“Yeah, you're the best daddy,” Romeo hugged him and ran up the stairs.

“He really loves that rag mop, doesn't he?” Jesse asked.

“Yeah he does, two weeks are gonna feel like two months for him.” Jon sighed

“For you too Dad,” Jesse watched his father.

“You could say that, but I can see where she's coming from.” He picked up his laptop and brought the site up again.

“You and a laptop are not two things I'm used to seeing. Hey that's the laptop I use when I'm here.” he moved over to where Jon was tapping away. “You're in a chat room? Oh my God dad welcome to the twenty first century,” He laughed

Jon Chuckled and noticed that the chat was over. “Damn” He mumbled. Sam was still there.

Kidd: Hey Sam, I missed chat.

Sam: It was short, she just didn't sound into it, ya know.

Kidd: Yeah I know what you mean.

Jesse watched him chatting with this Sam person.

“Dad, she know who you are?”

Jon looked at Jesse over the rims of his glasses.

“I don't think so, this is just my second time in here.”

Jesse looked over at the screen, watched his dad tap away at the keys.

Sam:Hey Kidd I added your name to the free book list. Lexie send out a free copy of her new book, we get advance copies of her book. Can't wait to read it.

Kidd: I can't wait either, heard it's gonna be great.

Sam: Well time to go, got school in the morning. L8ter

Jon looked at the acronym and made a face

“Dad she told you later.” Jesse chuckled.

Kidd: L8ter

Jon started to log out when SBM came in.

SBM: Hey Kidd, wondered if you were gonna make it in

Kidd: You know hows its been, Kids
SBM: LOL I copy, got a little pup here misses her buddy

“Lexie?” Jesse asked

“Yeah.” Jon answered

Jesse took the laptop from Jon

Kidd: <3 p="">

Jon looked at the symbol and the three

“Dad, it's a heart.” Jesse laughed

“I get that” He turned his head to the side and nodded his head.

“Listen Dad, I'm okay with you and Lexie dating. I don't need two weeks.”

Jon looked over at Jesse.

“Thanks. But she wants the two weeks and I'll try to give it to her.”

Jesse handed him the laptop back and got up.

“I'm headed to my room, I'll keep an eye out on the kids if you want to take a little stroll tonight. Uncle Mookie is here, if you know what I mean.”

Jon watched his oldest Son head upstairs. Looking back on the screen she was waiting. Richie walked in heading to the kitchen, his guitar in his hand.

“I'm gonna grab a slice and hit the studio and work out that rift,” He stopped at the stunned look on Jon's face, “You Okay there Kidd?”

“Yeah, my 15 year old Son just gave me permission to date Lexie.”

'Well, that's a good thing isn't it?” Richie questioned. “Then what are you doing sitting here, go to her Man.”

Jon nodded his head and picked up the laptop.

Kidd: Meet me at the corner and bring the dog.

SBM: Okay

Jon grabbed his key's out of the bowl on the table and log off the computer.

“I won't be long.”

He grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.

Shaking his head Richie chuckled.

“That's my boy”