Jesse jumped up and looked around the food court, no Jake.
“Okay, Steph you take Romeo and go look toward the toy store and I'll go to the security office and see if they have surveillance cameras.” Jesse took charge of the situation.
“Come on Romey, show me where the toy store is.” Stephanie and Romeo left the food court.
“You missing your brother?” The little old lady asked that was sitting beside them.
“Yes Ma am, did you see which way he went?” Jesse asked her
“I would check the bathroom right outside the food court first, he was crying and it would give him privacy.” She told him and before he ran off to check the bathroom she touched his arm, “He doesn't like you and your sister fighting and I saw him go in,” She smiled.
“Thanks, I kinda figured he didn't like fighting. He's not been his self since, well it's been about two years.” Jesse sunk back in the seat, he was remembering how Jake was before mom and dad split and the kids were stuck in the middle. “I better go get him, talk to him, be the brother I should have been.” He got up and headed to the bathroom.
Jake sat on the toilet, just like Romeo, he liked the last stall. What he hated was all the fighting. First his mom and dad ending in a divorce and not being a family anymore. Then Stephie and Grammy had to fight and now they can't go to see Momma and Step-daddy. Now Stephie and Jess are fighting, I hate all this fighting, If Daddy and Lexie get married then we get a Step-momma. Daddy likes Lexie too much to fight with her, for now. He heard the door open to the bathroom, only one person came in. He started to pull his feet up to hide, but almost ended up in the water. His feet hit the floor.
“I know you're in here Jakey, that lady sitting beside us saw you come in here.” He prayed they were the only two in there. Tapping each door as he walked till he got to the last stall. “I should have known, why do you and Romey like the last stall?” Jesse chuckled.
“Are you and Sissy gonna fight anymore?” Came Jake's voice from the last stall.
“Jakey, you know the answer to that, think about, it's our sister.” He laughed.
“I don't like all the fighting, every time someone fights someone leaves. We can't see Momma because she lost us to daddy and you and sissy with Grammy, now, I'm tired of losing someone I love because of fighting. It's got to stop. Don't want to lose you too.”
The door to the stall slowly opened, Jake walked out and right into Jesse arms. Jesse just held his little brother, the sensitive one.
“I don't like the fighting either Jakey, but sometimes we have to disagree.” He rubbed his back as he spoke. He had done that when their parent separated and then divorced.
“But does it have to be so loud?” Jake sniffed and looked up at his brother.
“Jake, think about this, we are talking about our sister, when has she ever disagreed quietly?” He chuckled.
Jake looked up and slowly smiled.
“You got a point there.” he stepped back. “Can we eat now, no fighting.”
“You got it little dude.” He took Jake's hand and they headed out of the bathroom.
After collecting Romeo and Stephanie they got dinner and a trip back to the toy story for Mario Brothers. On the drive back to the cabin they calmly talked about what happened.
Jon oblivious to what was going on at the mall was chatting with the chat group.
SAM: oh Kidd I just got a text.
Kidd: I knew he would be texting, I guess all is good?
SAM: All is great.
M2S: Well lets call it a night, my child needs to go for her last walk for the night.
SAM: Take care Kidd and Lexie be careful.
M2S I will Sam, have fun tomorrow night.
SAM: Will do.
Once the room had cleared out Jon was ready for little one on one.
Kidd: That's a load off my mind. Steph will be happy and Jesse just might forgive me for setting him up.
M2S: I still can't believe you set your son up. I really have to walk Snow Jon, can we talk while I take her out, before she puddles on the floor?
Kidd: Sure Lex. Hopefully I can keep a link.
They signed off and Lexie got Snow ready for her walk. She got out the door and hit the sidewalk, her phone rang.
“We just got down.” she said into her phone.
“Well that's good darlin, I was wondering if you needed an escort while Kidd's away.” Richie was walking up the street to where Jon told him Lexie lived.
“Thanks Rich, Jon's going to call while we are walking, but you're welcome to join us.” She looked up and saw his tall lanky form striding up the street. “Are you still working in the studio?”
“Yeah, I'm heading out tomorrow, Got to take my Daughter to the father daughter dance at school.” He walked beside her his hands in his pockets.
“You must miss her, all that traveling and recording?” They stopped while Snowball sniffed a stop of grass near a small park.
“Yeah, every time I see her she's grown up more.” He waited for Snowball to do her business and Lexie to bag it.
Her phone rang and he took the lead so she could talk
“Come on fluff ball” He spoke to Snowball who quickly caught up with him
“Well hello I see you got a connection.” She told spoke softly.
“Got a glass of wine and sitting out here on the deck, Snow done her business and you two heading back?” He sipped his wine and wished he had a cigarette, it was the only time he missed them.
“The three of us are heading back.” she watched the tall outline of Richie and the ball of fur waddle beside him.
Jon's feet slipped off the railing he had propped them on.
“Three of you, who joined you tonight, you didn't say you had company for your walk on line?” He tried not to sound jealous.
“Rich came and walked with us, I think he was lonely. He's heading home tomorrow.” They chatted a little bit longer.
Jon heard the garage door opening when he came in to put his glass in the sink.
“Kids are back, wonder how bad my black card got hit?” he joked,
“You gave your teenagers a black credit card with no limit, Brave man.” she laughed.
“I just hope that my princess grants you a pardon so you can join us, I'll take a big dent in the card.”
“Jon, I don't want to buy her trust, I want to earn her trust.” She stopped walking.
“I know you do, I want that too. I just miss you so much.” He ended the call with a promise to call back once the kids went to bed. The door to the garage opened and the kids stepped through. “Hey guys did you have fun at the mall?”
While the two younger Jovi's had eaten the older two talked about their disagreement and decided to not tell their dad.
“Had a great time, the mall not so bad” Stephanie said as she sat her bag on the bar.
“Look what we got daddy.” Romeo showed his dad the new game cartridge.
“Great Romey, did you get one too Jakey?” Jon asked as his middle son came in. Instead of talking he just held up a bag.
“So everybody got dinner and a treat.” Jon smiled “Romey and Jakey got a game, Stephie got her phone, so what did you get Jess?”
Jesse looked at his sister and brothers, he hadn't gotten anything for himself. He had the boys to take care of and then the argument with his sister and Jake's taking off, he hadn't had time to think of himself.
“I didn't see anything I needed.” He told his father.
“Okay, you two, upstairs and get ready for bed.” He said as they ran for the stairs, “Bath first, Jake you can use the one in my bedroom” He called as they bounded up the stairs.
“I'll go make sure they actually get in the tub.” Jesse told his father as he followed the boys up, leaving his sister with their father.
They sort of stood there in silence, Jon watching the boys go upstairs and Stephanie waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jon turned and looked at her.
“Whats up with Jess?” He pulled out a stool and sat down.
“What do you mean Dad, he said he didn't see anything he wanted.” Steph heard he phone beep for a message. Glancing at the screen it read Hi still loving the phone? It was Mark, a smile spread over her face.
“Okay, just not used to my card coming back only slightly dented.” He held out his hand for his card.
Stephanie fished out his card with the receipts, handing them to her father she headed upstairs to her room to answer her text from Mark.
Jon watched her rush upstairs to call back who ever sent the text. He got this feeling something wasn't right. He sat there a little longer trying to figure out who of his two younger boys would tell him what happened at the mall. Divide and conquer. Getting up he cleaned his wine glass and turned out the lights and went up stairs to check on the boys and go to bed, and a little late night call to Lexie. Smiling he took the stairs two at a time.