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.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chapter 47

Lexie stretched and moved Jon's arm, they had made love and the second go around Jon had fallen asleep and was snoring gently beside her, Glancing at the clock she was wide awake and it was almost 2am. Slipping as quietly as she could off the bed she headed to the bathroom.

Lex” the sleep rumpled voice called from under the covers. “Come back to bed”

I will in a minute” She waited until she was sure he was back to sleep. Pulling on her pajamas she left the room The night light laminated the hallway and stairs. Quietly going downstairs she fired up her laptop and settled in the sofa to work on edits. Yawning she had gone over two chapters when she decided a cup of hot chocolate would be needed. Uncurling her legs she set the laptop on the coffee table and went into the kitchen. Waiting on the milk to heat she looked out the kitchen window as a car turning into the drive.

Well well well little girl I think you just broke curfew.

Jon had met Mark at the door, they walked into the family room with Mark.

So you two are going to a lake party.” Jon motioned Mark to sit down,

Yes sir, a group of the local kids go down once a week. We cook out and have a bonfire, we have some tubes.” Mark sat looking at Jon, you could see the wheels in his head turning,

I'll go check on Steph.” Lexie went upstairs level the testosterone laden room.

She went up and knocked on the door.

Steph, Marks downstairs with your dad.” She opened the door when Steph said come in, “I'd get down there as soon as possible.” She laughed.

I'm just about ready.” She stood looking in the mirror, she had her bathing suit topped with bootie shorts and a mans shirt.

You might want to take a jacket, it might get cold.” She sat down on the end of the bed.

Mark said they would light a bonfire.” She grabbed her bag and started out the door but turned and grabbed her soul sweat jacket as an after thought.

I think I hear Steph.” Jon said.

In the noise of them leaving Jon told Mark “Have her home by midnight.”

Lexie looked at the clock it was now after two. It was a good thing Jon was asleep. Making her hot chocolate she went into the family room and started reviewing what she had done.

The door opened and Stephanie came in and started upstairs.

You have fun?” Lexie asked her as she went up the first stair.

Oh my God, you scared the shit out of me.” She spun around. “Why are you up?”

Re writes and your dad snoring.” She laughed. “You didn't answer did you have fun?”

Stephanie moved over to the sofa, Lexie could smell a subtle under scents of tobacco and beer along with wood smoke from the bonfire.

I guess, we cooked hot dogs and had marshmallows, tubed and just sat around the campfire. Mark was the hit of the party because he brought me.” she sat down in one of the club chairs by the sofa and curled her feet under her.

Hit of the party hum.” Lexie sipped her hot chocolate.

Yeah, they like that Jon Bon Jovi's daughter was at the party. Want to know when they can come party with the rock stars daughter.” Steph played with the strings on the hem of her shorts.

So you made some friends.” She put her cup down,

I guess.” Steph looked up. “Are you gonna tell daddy I broke curfew?”

Lexie chuckled a little

Broke, honey you shattered the curfew.” She finished her cocoa and got up to take the cup to the sink and rinsed it out,

okay I know Daddy said midnight, but we were having so much fun and well I didn't check my phone until it was around one thirty, we left as soon as I saw the time. We really did.” she added when she saw Lexie roll her eyes.

It's not my place to tell your dad,” She came back in to the family room and sat down. “I'm not here to be your mother, I just want us to be friends. But I want an honest answer, why did you rush to get me up here, after what went on before you all left.”

It was really quiet, you could hear the creaks and cracks of the house settling.

Steph, if you can't be honest with me, I don't like being bull shitted. Before you all left I was person non gratis.” Lexie looked her dead in the eye. When she didn't say anything Lexie started leaving the room. “I wont tell you dad about this, I'll stay the week, but I think if we can't be honest with each other, I'll head home Sunday.” She left the girl sitting there with a lot to think on.

Quietly she slipped back in the bed, Jon rolled over and pulled her back in his arms. Giving her a sloppy sleep laden kiss, he moaned. “I'm so glad you're here” as he drifted back to sleep. Lexie sighed and counted the ceiling fans reps willing her mind to shut down. It was hard to get out of her mind that Stephanie just sat there and didn't answer the question. She had only five days to give her a reason to stay. She fell asleep finally as the sun crested the mountain.

Jesse came down and noticed his brothers were up and in the kitchen alone. Romeo was putting Snowballs food in her bowl and Jake was getting the cereal boxes out and there was a stack of paper bowls on the table.

Morning Jess, you want captain crunch or special k?” He sat the boxes down next to the stack of paper bowls.

Special K” Jesse told him as he got out the fruit bowl and the jug of milk.

Jon came down and looked around the family room, Lexie laptop was flashing and evidence she had been down at some time after they had made love twice. He noticed when he woke up she was dressed in her pajamas and hard to wake up. He gave up and moved to the bathroom to take care of his morning erection.

Any cereal left?” Jon joined the boys at the bar.

Lexie still asleep?” Jesse asked.

Yeah, she must have come down last night and worked on her book. She's sort of like me coming off the road when she is working on a deadline.” He grabbed the Special K and added some berries.

I saw her laptop was still on.” Jesse added more cereal to soak up the left over milk in his bowl.

Steph must have had fun, she's still in bed.” Jesse mentioned around a spoon of cereal.

You know I sort of liked that Mark guy. He's not like the guys she dated at Polly.” Jon tossed out for comment.

You can't be serious dad, he's a user.” Jesse got up and tossed the used bowl in the trash and wiped off where he was sitting with a damp paper towel. “He and Sally used to date, I sort of asked her about him,”

So Sally knows about Mark? She seems to be a good judge of character. She tell you anything I should know?” Jon got up and started a pot of coffee sludge.

I tried to tell Steph, but she said he wasn't like that to her.” Jesse leaned on the counter.

So I better not invite Sally and Mark to dinner together.” Jon made a mental list of things he wanted to take to Lexie about.

I don't know if she would show up if she knew he was invited, and I sure as hel,” he caught himself “Heck wouldn't now tell her or him. He's so slick he might show up.”

Jesse looked up as Stephanie came into the kitchen.

Morning Princess, it's catch as catch can for breakfast, Lexie's still asleep. She must have gotten up last night and tried to finish her edits.” Jon told her as he got up and made a cup of coffee.

She is?” She accepted a kiss on the top of her head from her father

Yeah, I don't know what time she came back upstairs. She has to turn her edits to her editor by Sunday. I know she wants to have next week time to relax.” He told her as she joined them at the table.

Stephanie didn't say anything. She finished her cereal and headed upstairs.

Lexie could smell coffee as she came down the stairs. Just then she passed Stephanie on the steps they looked at each other. Not saying anything she walked on past to the kitchen.

Morning, or is it afternoon.” She yawned and went over and pour a cup. Just as the cup touched her lips Jon stopped her.

I wouldn't if I were you.”

Lexie looked from the cup to Jon then sniffed,

Oh my God,” She drew the cup away from her nose. “Who drinks this it's high octane?”

Sorry Lex, that would be me. We'll pick up another coffee maker for some low test for you.” Jon pulled her into his arms taking the cup out of her hand.

I need coffee now.” She took it back added water to it sniffed again an sipped. Making a face she shuddered. “If that doesn't wake me up nothing will.”

What time did you head back to bed?” Jon asked.

Jesse came down dressed and grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge

Listen you two, I think I'm going to take Jake and Romey back to the park. That way they won't be little hellions tonight at dinner.” Jesse held his hand out for keys.

In the bowl by the door.” Jon told him.

Jon held her in his arms while the brothers left.

I don't like to see you this sleepy.” Jon told her as he rubbed her back.

It's just a few more chapters and then faxing it to my editor. I'm going to work on it today so I can cook dinner tonight.” She mumbled into his shoulder.

I can fire up the grill throw some steaks on and Steph can throw together a salad and Jesse can foil the potatoes to go on the grill. You work and get it done so you can rest.” He told her as she sipped his watered down high test coffee.

Stephanie came down and walked into the kitchen she stopped when she saw Lexie and her dad.

Listen Steph honey can you toss a salad today for dinner tonight so Lex can do her edits? She needs to get them done so she can relax, she hardly slept last night.” He asked his daughter.

I can do the salad Jon, It isn't hard to throw a salad together.” Lex moved out of Jon's arms. Looking at Steph she sighed. “I can do it after the edits if I get on them now.” She fixed another cup of watered down sludge. She moved past Stephanie and went into the family room shut down her laptop and taking up to the bedroom and closed the door.

Jon looked at Stephanie, “Steph, I forgot to ask, how was the party last night?” He fixed another cup of coffee.

It was okay, we cooked hot dogs and Marshmallows, swam some.” She repeated what she told Lexie earlier, leaving out the make out session with Mark the real reason they were so late coming back. “The kids were cool, they wanted to know when I was going to have a party.”

Jon listened to Steph with half a ear, he was worried about Lexie, the chill he felt when she jumped on the idea of Steph helping with dinner,

Party hum, well not this week. Lexie needs some quiet when she's working.” Jon sipped his coffee “We can do it next week before we leave.”

next week if you're still talking to me. You're gonna be pissed when Lexie leaves Sunday if I don't confess. Why did I have to let Mark talk me into the idea what Lexie would distract you. Because he's sex on two legs, that's why. I either tell tell Lexie or have you hate me.

Daddy I'll make the salad for Lexie, I don't mind.” She got up and filled his cup with the remaining coffee.

That's great Princess, she needs to get this done. Can you make Lexie a pot of coffee, but half as strong as mine. I think there's one of those hot pots around to put it in. I can take it up to her.” Jon got up and looked in the cabinet and pulled out a white coffee holder.

Sure, maybe add some of those cookies she seemed to like yesterday.” She added sweetly.

Thanks princess.” He kissed the top of her head. “I'm go check on what Uncle Mookie is up to in the studio and then check on Lexie. If you get it ready let me know, so I can take it up.”

Sure thing daddy.” Steph rinsed out the pot let it drain.

Jon carried the tray up and eased the door open to the bedroom, the sun was streaming into the room. He found her sitting on the window seat, glasses perched on the end of her nose and fingers tapping away on the keyboard.

Ready for a coffee break?” He asked softly so he didn't scare her.

Oh the Gods have answered my prayers.” She sat the laptop onto the table she pulled over.

So that was that whispered voice I heard in my ear.” He sat the tray on the dresser and poured her a cup and brought it to her. “I didn't want to distract you.”

Oh Jon this isn't your high octane you drink.” She let the smell of the coffee letting it seep into her before taking a sip.

Steph made it” he told her as he sat down on the other end of the window seat.

She didn't say anything at first, hoping Jon didn't notice.
Listen Jon, I was thinking I might have to head back early.” She said over the brim of her coffee cup.

Jon was handing her a cookie and stopped short.

Why, your editor putting the screws on.” Jon really didn't want her to go back. He was going to approach her into moving in when they got back to the real world.

Jumping on an excuse rather than tell him his daughter was playing in the deep end of the pool with no floaties. There was one thing she hated was liars and being used and Stephanie Rose Bongiovi was doing both.

Yeah, he wants me to cut my vacation short and come into the city. He's talking about a talk show run with this new book, and you know the talk about making one of my books into a movie, this just might give it the boost it needs. The new Jim Patterson is going that way.” She hated not telling him the truth. But unless little miss Bongiovi can clean she had no other option.

That wasn't too much of a stress on the truth. He had wanting her to do a talk show with this new one. So she wasn't exactly lying to him.

When do you think you'll be heading back?” Jon really hated the thought of her leaving her.

Well if I don't hear anything by Saturday night I'll head back Sunday.” That was the deadline she had given Stephanie and by God she would stick to it.

I'll let you get back to work, I got to go get the grill ready.” He leaned over and gave her a kiss.

I'll be down in a few minutes to make the salad.” She put her glasses back on and picked up her laptop.

Steph has the salad done when I came up with the coffee.” He told her.

Sighing she gave up this one fight.

She finished the last edit and shipped it off to her editor and carried the tray back down. Stephanie was sitting there at the table talking on her phone. Lexie made a loud enough to let Stephanie know someone was around.

Either I tell her why or she's leaving on Sunday.” She told the person on the phone.

So tell her, you wanted your dad happy.” Mark liked the fact that he was with Bon Jovi's daughter, Sally never brought him this much notoriety

She was still up when I got in. She says she won't tell daddy, but if I don't tell her why I asked her to come up she's going to leave and I will have two people mad at me.” She sounded like she really cared.

Hey Steph, thanks for the Coffee.” She said as she came down the stairs.

Oh Shit that's Lexie, I hope she didn't hear me.” She told Mark.

Blow her off she's replaceable to your dad.” Mark told her.

Steph, can you bring out the steaks, Sally will be here in a little bit want to get them started.” He came in from the patio and caught some of the conversation. He saw Lexie standing in the doorways to the family room looking shocked,

oh hell can this get any worse Stephanie hung up on Mark.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chapter 46

Jon stood there and looked at Lexie standing there.

“Surprise” Lexie smiled. “Stephanie called me and invited me up.” She told him. Jesse was taking her suitcase into his fathers room.

Jon looked between Stephanie's, look daddy what I did, shit eating grin to Lexie's we got to talk smile that wasn't quiet making her eyes sparkle.

Oh shit what am I in for now

“Lex, “ he walked over and gave her a kiss.

“Jon,” She giggled this was so strange with his kids standing there watching.

Jesse made a quick exit to store her suitcase and then to his room. Stephanie giggled and disappeared into her room when she got a text signal on her phone.

“Well that cleared the room.” Jon laughed. He walked Lexie into the bedroom they would be sharing.

“I wanted to call you and let you know I was coming, but Stephanie wanted to surprise you.” She tossed her bag on the bench at the end of the bed.

“I'm glad you and Snow are here.” Jon flopped down on the bed and watched her unpack. “Is that all you bought?” He asked watching her hang up clothes and pull out drawers and loaded them.

“Jon there is a washer and a dryer.” She tossed pajamas at him.

“What are these?” He laughed holding.

“What I am going to be wearing to bed with the kids a few feet away.” She told him, standing there with her hand on her hip giving him the eye.

“Ah Lex” Jon gave her his little boy pout,

“Ah Jon.” She rolled her eyes at him.

“My boys know if the door is closed they knock.” He told her tossing the Pj's back to her.

“For right now Jon, I will ware the pajamas.” She tossed them back on the other pillow. “I'm going to check on Snow and put her stuff out.” She kicked off her shoes and headed back down to the kitchen, grabbing her laptop bag as she went.

“You're editor know where you are?” Jon followed her out the bedroom and then went over to open the door to Romeo and Jake's room. Light fell across the bed showing Snowball curled between the boys. He would have to take the bunk beds a part so Snow could sleep with both boys. She couldn't climb up to where Jake was sleeping.

Lexie looked over his shoulder and smiled.

“She missed her buddy.” She whispered as he pulled the door to, but left it cracked if she needed to get out,

“Yes, my editor knows where I am. I have a deadline.” She told him as she followed him down to the kitchen.

Jon took out two goblets and a bottle of wine.

“Who's been cooking since you got here?” She looked in the fridge. She had brought up some of the stuff from her fridge and added it to the stuff he already had.

“Well, cereal and fruit for breakfast and Salad and sandwiches and soup.” he told her.

“So, I need to go shopping tomorrow for real food.” She took the glass of wine he offered.

“You are not here to feed us.” he drew her out to the family room. “Your editor will have my ass.”

They sat cuddled on the sofa. The lights were low and the wine was relaxing her. Then a door opened upstairs and a kid came downstairs. Jon felt Lexie move but he pulled her back.

“Don't mind me” Jesse went into the kitchen to raid the fridge.

“Lexie is not here to cook for us.” Jon said out loud.

“Jon.” Lexie smacked his thigh.

“Ouch Lex” Jon rubbed his injured thigh.

Jesse laughed an came out of the kitchen eating an apple and had a sandwich in his hand.

“Dad, we're used to eating your food now, good healthy food would kill us.” he dodged the pillow his dad threw and headed back to his bedroom.

“You have some great kids Jon, be proud of them.” She said settling back into his embrace.

“Yeah I do.” Jon sipped his wine.

They sat like that for a while and just enjoyed being in the same room. Jon sighed and nuzzled her neck. He was happy that she was here but somewhere in the back of his mind a little voice said talk to her.

Stephanie sat in the window seat talking to Mark.

“Lexie got here a little while ago,” She told Mark.

“Your dad and Lexie are an item hum. A happy daddy is a occupied daddy” Mark laughed.

“So we can go out tomorrow night and I don't have to have my brother as a sitter.” She laughed,

“Your brother and Sally hitting it off?” Mark seemed to be interested in her brothers love life.

“They're just friends,”She leaned over and got her water bottle and took a long sip. “So are we on for tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I'll come by and pick you up, there's a bunch of us going up to the lake for a party.” He told her as he texted to his friend that they would be there.

“Party sounds just what I need.” She told him where they were staying and what time she would be ready.

The call was short but she was party bound tomorrow night,

Lexie pulled the bacon out of the pan and started another pan. Her laptop was sitting on the bar and between typing and flipping bacon she had the radio on. She stood there taping away on the laptop and her feet moving to the beat. She sniffed the air and went to check on the breakfast bread pudding in the over.

Looking up she saw Romeo and Jake following Snowball down the stairs.

“Wondered if you all were going to sleep all day.” She put down Snowballs food bowl and watched the boys climbing up at the breakfast bar. “Are you two hungry?”

“We always have fruit and cereal.” Jake told her as he watched her flip the bacon.

“Lexie makes us good breakfast Jakey.” Romeo told him. “She makes me messy eggs when I want them.”

“Well Romey, how about bacon and breakfast pudding this morning?” She asked as she pulled the pan of fragrant bread pudding out of the over.

“Silly Lexie, we can't have pudding for breakfast.” Jake laughed.

Jesse and Jon met at the top of the stairs and stopped at the sound of Jake laughing.

“I smelled bacon,” Jesse told his dad. “I thought you said she wasn't going to cook.”

“She can do what ever she wants, Jake is laughing.” Jon said as he high five his son,

“Daddy,” Jake called out “Lexie's got pudding for breakfast.” He pointed to his plate with Bacon and bread pudding.

“That's great Buddy, did you thank Lexie.” Jon got a cup of coffee and watched his three sons digging into breakfast.

“Thanks Lexie.” Jake smiled up at Lexie. He reached for another strip of bacon,

“You're welcome Jake.”She fixed Jon a plate and turned back to her laptop and tapped away. “You want to go get Stephanie up to eat or will she fix her own breakfast?”

“I'll go get her.” Jesse said as he snagged a couple slices of bacon and ran up the steps.

Without knocking he stuck his head in her room

“Hey Steph, Lexie's got breakfast ready get your butt out of bed.” Jesse laughed as Stephanie lifted her hand and gave him the bird. “She cooked bacon and this bread thing.” She still gave him the bird again. “okay I'll save you some bacon.” He laughed as he went downstairs. “Steph said she'd be down later.” He grabbed more bacon and put it on his plate.

“Listen I've got to finish this and then hit the store for dinner.” Lexie looked up from her computer.

“You can make a list and we'll do the shopping. That way you can work and I won't get death threats from your editor.” Jon took a big bite of bread pudding and moaned

“But I wanted to meet Sally” She told him never taking her eyes off the screen.

“I can invite her to dinner, if you want.” Jesse followed his father euphoria and closed his eyes savoring the sweet bread pudding.

Lexie looked up from the screen at Jesse.

“You would, that would be great. I'll make a list.” She dropped down her novel and started to make a grocery list.

The house was quiet when Stephanie came down. She went into the kitchen and she noticed how clean it was. She opened the fridge and pulled out juice and saw a plate wrapped with her name on it. Pulling it and unwrapping it she was hit with the smell of bacon and something sweet. Popping the plate into the microwave. Grabbing the juice she poured a glass and sat down waiting on the microwave.

Mark: morning blue eyes you ready for tonight?

Steph: ready and excited

Mark: No curfew?

Steph: he'll be too happy and distracted to care.

Mark: Good, later blue eyes

Steph: later

She closed off the message when the microwave beeped. She got the plate and sat down to eat.

“Augh” Lexie said as she came into the kitchen with the empty glass and plate. “I hate doing edits”

Stephanie jumped, she had thought the house was empty.

“Sorry,” Lexie said when Stephanie jumped.

“I thought everyone was gone.” She finished what was on the plate.

“Gone to get groceries.” She washed off the plate and glass then joined Stephanie at the breakfast bar.

“We've only been here three days what happened to the groceries daddy bought.” She popped the last bite of bacon in her mouth.

“I thought you guys might have had enough of salad and soup.” She took Stephanie’s plate to the sink.

“I'll get this.” Stephanie jumped up and took her dish to the sink. It just seemed too personal for Lexie to clean up after her.

“Is there anything you want special for dinner or someone you might like to ask? Jesse is going to ask Sally over for dinner and I thought you might like to ask someone.” Lexie poured so tea in her glass and watched Stephanie.

“I'm sort of going out tonight.” She stumbled over telling Lexie, seeing how she was only there as a distraction.

“Oh well, that's good. Does your father know?” She casually asked

“Not yet, I just got asked out about an hour ago.” She tried to brush off the feelings that she was feeling.

Okay Lex she's not going to open up to you. She's hiding something and you know and she knows it. You're going to have to step back and be around to pick up the pieces.

Just then the garage door open and the Escalade pulled in. Snowball met them at the back door.

“Lex, The grocery store wants to thank you for buying them out today” Jesse laughed as he hauled in three bags, followed by Jake with two, Romeo with two and Jon with the remaining four,

“Sally said dinner would be an honor and she looks forward to coming tomorrow night. It's okay we set it up for then, she had to work tonight.” Jon said as they began to unload the bags.

“That's great, we'll all be here.” Lexie said giving Stephanie the opening to tell her dad she had a date tonight.

“Yeah that's great, Daddy I was going to tell you, I have a date tonight.” Stephanie said as she emptied one of the bags.

“With Mark?” Jesse asked giving her a version of the famous Bongiovi stink eye.

“Yes with Mark and his friends, they're having a party down at the lake and he invited me.” She carried a jug of milk to the fridge, bumping into Jesse on the way.

“Good, I can meet the boy, let him know when you're due home.” Jon said as he folded the eccobag to go back in the SUV.

“Daddy, he isn't a boy, he goes to college.” She rolled her eyes.

Jesse whipped his head so fast Lexie thought she heard the joints snap.

“Okay, but I still want to meet this paragon of Apple I phones.” Jon laughed and looked at Lexie waiting on her to join his laughter. When she didn't he gave her a questioning look.

Soon the groceries were up, the boys were playing the Wii and Jesse and Stephanie were up stairs Jon watched Lexie tapping on the ever present laptop.

“Lex, you got a minute.” He sipped his coffee

“Sure Jon, whats on your mind.” She dropped her screen, she know that minute was gonna be a long one.

“Has Steph told you anything about this Mark guy?” He watched her face for any hint that he had something to worry about.

“No Jon, she hasn't said much about him. Just that he called an asked her to this party.” She went over to the fridge and pulled out her mug of tea and joined him at the bar.

“I've always let Dottie handle the kids and the dates, but I'm out here in a limb, I've never had to be the Dad.” He looked down in his coffee cup as if looking for all the answers to the problems in the world.

“Jon, I've never been a mom so I don't know what to tell you. But I do know your gonna fall as many times as you rise.” She touched his arm.

“In other words, I'm gonna learn from my mistakes.” he looked up at her and placed his hand over hers.

“Yep.” She leaned over the bar and gave him a little kiss.

Jesse and Stephanie stopped dead in their tracks seeing their dad and Lexie kissing in the kitchen

“You done a good thing Steph, I'm proud of you.” Jesse patted her on the back.

“Yeah, I done good” But there wasn't any passion in her voice. Seeing her dad kissing any one but there mom was gonna take a lot of getting use too. Like Mark said a happy dad was a distracted dad.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chapter 45 Surprise

Stephanie stopped short at the sound of Lexie's voice.

“Hi Lexie, I wanted to call you and tell you I'm sorry for the way I acted.” She repeated what she told the machine.

“Stephanie, It's okay I understand.” She did understand, but she would let her explain why she was sorry.

“Things were so messed up and I took it out on you, and I shouldn't have. Daddy and I talked today.” She started to say, but Lexie stopped her.

“Stephanie, did your dad pressure you into calling me?” She hoped she was wrong in her thinking.

“No, no Lexie, he didn't pressure me into calling, I wanted to call you.” She was shocked to think she had thought her dad could make her call. “We talked about him and momma and as much as I wanted them back together, it isn't gonna happen.” She said truthfully.

“I know it's hard, my parents split when I was about your age.” She hadn't told anyone, it wasn't even in her bio with her editor. “My dad, well lets just say, he went to work one day and didn't come home.”

“Did you want them back together?” She asked.

“At first I did, then I remembered what it was like at home. The quiet dinners and the slamming doors. They tried to keep it from me, but I knew things had changed.” She thought back to the day she admitted that it was better that her dad had another family. “I went through a hard time until I noticed my mom was happy again.” Which she didn't admit to Stephanie that she was in college when she figured it out that her mom was happy with her new stepfather. That also finding out she had a niche for writing also helped.

She thought about what Lexie was saying. Jesse had told her their dad was happy with Lexie, but until her talk with her dad today she didn't want him happy with anyone but her mom. She thought about what Mark had said about distracting her dad. A happy dad was a distracted dad.

“Lexie, will you come up here, Daddy is so happy when he talks about you and I want him to be happy again.” There she had said it.

Lexie was shocked, they had only been up there for two days and she was calling to ask her up. Red flags were going up all over the place, she thought about saying no, but she missed Jon too much to cut her own throat. She would just have to watch and keep her eyes open.

“I guess I could come up tomorrow,” she said. She would have to pack her bag and get Snowballs stuff together.

“Could you come up today?” She asked.

Lexie saw a huge red flag but pushed it away.

“I'll try, it might be late, I have to pack and load the car.” she told her.

“Try, please, I need some girl talk around here.” She laughed.

“Okay, I'll call if I can make it up.” She made a mental list of what to pack and food for Snowball.

“Call my cell, lets surprise daddy.” She was getting excited. Her plan was working.

“I don't have your cell number Stephanie.” She grabbed a pen and paper.

“Its two one two” She started “Nine six five three thousand.”

She wrote it down and promised to call her and let her know when she was on the road. Hanging up and looked down at Snowball.

“Something is up Snow, she thinks I don't feel it, but something is up?” She loaded the number in her cell and headed to her bedroom and pulled out her bag and started to pack.

It took her about an hour to get her car loaded. She hoped it make it she didn't want to take time to get her editors jeep again, so it was the Kia or taking another hour to rent a car.
She called Stephanie and started up the road. ''Snow I still think I should call Jon and let him know I'm coming. What would you do if you were me?” She laughed as Snowball started to bark.

Stephanie was excited when Lexie called to say she and Snowball were on the road. She texted Mark to let him know she had taken his advice. She went to clean up her dads room so Lexie wouldn't come to a messy room. Then she came down to pick up all the other things the boys left out when they went to the park.

Jesse and the boys walked into the grocery store grabbing a head basket they headed to the deli to pick up sandwiches and then the chip and cookie section before picking up a couple of sodas before heading to the check out. Sally looked up as the boys ran up to the candy rack by her register.

“Hi Romeo, you here with your dad?” Sally watched the boys look up at the sound of Romeo's name,

“Nope Sally, we're going on a picnic.” Romeo said as he put his candy bar and Jake's on the counter.

Jesse came up and smiled at Sally.

“So you three are going on a picnic?” She started ringing up the order.

“Yeah, you know where a park is, I thought I'd give dad a break and take the guys.” He added a snicker bar to the order.

“Yeah, there's a great park two blocks from here. Lots of things to climb on and great area just to run in.” She took the money and handed Jesse the change.

“Take the bags out Jake I want to ask Sally something, that is if you have time.” He asked her.

“Sure, I'm due for a break.” She smiled and let her boss know she was going on break.

They walked outside and watched the boys getting into the car.

“Last night when we were chatting you started to say something about Mark.” He watched her face as he spoke. “Is there something I need to watch out for with Steph dating him?”

Sally looked down and really didn't want to answer it with out coming off jealous.

“Mark, well I've lived here all my life, I've known Mark all my life.” She shifted from one foot to the other.

“Known all your life as in you dated, or wanted to date, or” Jesse tried to draw her out.

“Well, we dated.” she shifted again. “I went away to college and well to put it mildly he couldn't wait for me to get out of town before he cheated.”

Oh Oh girl dumped, how many times has his friends talked about their sisters getting dumped. He reached out an touched her shoulder.

“Maybe it wasn't meant to be.” He told her as he touched her shoulder.

“My friends sent me pictures of how he handled me being gone. He's just going to use her and drop her. She's not a townie and he will play with her and drop her before you leave to go home.” she blurted it out. “I got to get back to work. I'll talk to you later, just watch your sister.”

Sally rushed back in, Jesse stood there shocked. New he regretted asking her. But she did give him some insight in Mark, that his brother senses had been right all along not to trust Mark. Shaking it off he went to the car and took the boys on their picnic.

Stephanie was acting really strange, she yelled at the boys to pick up their junk, as she had just picked up the family room. Dinner was the usual salad, canned soup and cheese sandwiches, grilled if you didn't mind scraping off the burnt edges. She kept looking out the window and as the sun set and it started to get dark, it was worse. While no one was watching she opened the driveway gate so Lexie wouldn't have to be buzzed up and the garage door was open on the second slot.

It was close to nine when her dad started to get the boys upstairs for baths and bed, Stephanie took her phone out on the front porch and called Lexie, she should have been there by now. The call started to ring and Jesse stepped out on the porch.

“You calling Mark?” he leaned back on the railing and noticed the garage door. “Hey, who left the door open on the garage?”

Stephanie closed the call.

“What if I am, whats it to you?” she sat in one of the rockers, trying to get his mind off the garage door and if he looked out over the yard he could see that they gate was open.

“I sort of talked to Sally about Mark, I think you better watch out for Mark.” He told her.

“You talked to Sally about Mark? Jesse why did you do that?” she huffed. I can't believe he went behind my back to check on Mark. He's a vacation fling, like Sally is for him.

“She would know all about Mark and well they used to date, in fact, from the non verbal message I got from our talk, he's hurt her really bad and don't want you to ever be hurt like that. Hell, I think she's still in love with him, she's going back to college in the fall, if he asked her, I doubt she would leave him behind.” he really liked Sally and seeing her hurt made him mad to the point he'd like to rearrange Mark face.

“I'm sorry that Sally and Mark broke up, but Jesse, I'm not looking for a forever kind of guy. He's just a fun guy to spend a vacation with.” She rolled her eyes at him.

“I just don't want him to hurt you Steph.” he reached over and touched her arm.

“That's good, but there's nothing to protect Jess, he's just a fling.” She told him again.

“Does he know he's just the fling?” Jesse asked as he pushed off the banister and started to go in when a car slowed down by the gate. “Did you leave the gate open for Mark to slink in?” he shook his head. “Are you sneaking out?”

“No, It's not Mark.” She got up and headed to the walkway as the car pulled in. Jesse came up behind her as the car pulled up and into the garage.

“Then who is it?” Jesse asked as her rounded the corner as the door opened. The sound he heard was sound of nails on concrete. “Snowball?”

Hearing her name Snowball barked and ran to Jesse.

“She needs to go out Jess, she's been in the car for too many hours.” Lexie told him. She looked up at Stephanie “Well we made it. It was touch an go, had to stop for gas and food.” She popped the trunk and they got her stuff and Snowballs bag. “Does your father know I'm coming yet?”

“Nope, I want him to be surprised.” Stephanie said as Jesse came back with Snowball. “I cleaned up his room so you won't have a problem.”

Lexie stopped short, she was staying in Jon's room.

“You don't mind I'm staying with your dad?” She asked Stephanie.

“I don't mind,” she smiled.

Okay kiddo if that flag was any bigger it would swamp the cabin. We'll play it your way but I ain't stupid and you're playing with the big kids now. 

She followed Stephanie into the cabin and stopped in the kitchen to put out Snowballs stuff. As Jesse came back in he put Snowball down who high tailed it upstairs to find Romeo.

“Well I guess the secrets out now.” Jesse laughed. “Hey Dad we got company.” Jesse grabbed Lexie's suitcase and carried it upstairs.

Jon was coming out of Romeo's room when he heard Jesse call out and saw Snowball running down the hall. He pushed open the door for her and heard Romeo squeal and giggle. Jake hearing his brother came out of the bathroom his hair damp and rushed past Jon into their shared bedroom laughing as Jon watched Snowball give Jake's face a bath. Hearing voices and feet on the steps he turned to see Jesse bringing up Lexie's case followed by the woman he had been missing for two whole days.

“Surprise Daddy.” Stephanie came up behind Lexie.