Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chapter 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey what did you two get?” Jesse asked.

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

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

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

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

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

You should have gone with us.” Lexie laughed.

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

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

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

Stephanie walked up and took the remaining bag.

Thanks Lexie, you didn't have to.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She stopped short and turned around to face Lexie.

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chapter 49

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

“Here we go.” She whispered to Jon.

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

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

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

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

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

“Count to ten.” She told him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What part of follow my lead did he not get.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But daddy,” She started to talk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He sat the phone down and put it on speaker.

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

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

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

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

“But Momma.” She started to try again.

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

They sat there quietly for a few minutes.

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

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

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

“Love you too baby girl.”