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
“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.