Strong arms came up to steady her shoulders.
“Hold On Miss Lexie.” The man said, as he righted her back on her feet. Cold Strawberries and cream wet his shirt, when she ran into his chest.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” She backed away from him. She had never seen him before today. “Why are you following me?” She asked, then glanced over his shoulder looking for a security guard.
“You knew I was following you?” He asked stunned. He had never been caught before.
“The men’s store, the book store and the toy store, but that isn’t answering my question. Why are you following me?” Lexie asked again. Taking a step backwards to distance herself from the stranger. Half her Venti drink was smeared on his dark shirt.
The man cringed.
“Mr. Bon Jovi has hired private security for you and the kids. He contacted us that you five were shopping today.” He told her. “My name is Vito Manillie. We have three of us watching the family.”
John Francis Bongiovi you are a dead man! She thought.
“Well Vito, I wish I had known and Mr. Bon Jovi will get an ear full at lunch today. I’m sorry about your shirt.” She handed him the napkins she had grabbed.
“It’s okay, I’ve had worse tossed at me.” He laughed it off, as he wiped the cold creamy drink off his shirt. “Can I ask what gave me away? I don’t want to fail again.”
“I’m a mystery writer and you reflected in my cell when I checked to see if the kids were in trouble.” She tossed her half empty cup, the taste for cold strawberries and cream gone from her cravings. “Once I knew you were there I started looking for you in the stores.”
“Mr. B isn’t going to be happy I was so spotted.” Vito said.
Mr. B is going to get a piece of my mind when I see him at lunch. She smiled at him. They were soon joined by the kids and their security agents. Well the kids didn’t see them, but Lexie did. Vito tried to blend in with the other shoppers.
“All done?” She looked down to the kids with multiple bags.
“Yeah and I have some left over.” Romeo said.
“That’s great, Romeo.” She looked at the four bags he held. She smiled when she saw they had one to the pet store.
“I’m tapped out.” Jesse told her.
“Me too.” Stephanie said smiling, she knew her dad would offer more money to shop for Lexie.
“What about you Jakey?” She looked into Mini Jon’s blue eyes.
“I’m okay.” He smiled up at her.
“He’s tight with his money, wouldn’t even loan me a dollar.” Stephanie laughed.
“Well, let’s go meet your dad and have Pizza.” She widened her eyes when she said Pizza and Romeo giggled.
They left and headed down into Rumson. She kept checking in the rearview mirror, sure enough Vito was in a black sedan following her.
Parking the car they met Jon out front of Umberto’s.
“You guys go on in, I need to talk to your dad. Get me ice water with lemon.” She smiled at the kids as they trooped into the pizza parlor.
“Did you have fun shopping?” Jon asked as they walked out of the entrance of Umberto’s and down away from where they wouldn’t be interrupted.
“Didn’t you get a report from Vito?” Lexie asked sarcastically.
Jon should have gotten a warning when she sent the kids on in to the restaurant. The bite in her voice, he bowed his head a little.
“You know about Vito?” Jon asked her quietly. “I guess I should have told you about Vito and the men. I just wanted to keep you and the kids safe.” He looked up at her sheepishly. “You know how my fans are, I bet there are pictures of the kids and you shopping already on Twitter and Facebook.”
“It ruined my whole shopping experience. I only picked up two things I needed. I haven’t got the kids anything, or your parents.” She whispered to him.
Jon knew he was in deep shit when she whispered at him. She never yelled when she was mad, but boy could she whisper.
“I spotted him in the first store, I didn’t know who he was. Then I started seeing him in every store I went to, the book store, the toy store, everywhere. Then in the food court I ran smack into him and spilt my strawberries and cream all over his shirt. Then and only then did I find out you hired someone to follow me around.” She stood there toe to toe, hands on hips, the only thing missing was her tapping toe to her boots.
“I know, I should have told you about Vito and the boys. The kids know they are being watched. The older two not as much as the younger two.” Jon took her hands, which he was lucky she would allow. “I love you so much and out little duet, that I don’t want anyone or anything to hurt you three.” He leaned forward and kissed her nose.
She knew she should really be pissed at him, but he was only trying to protect her.
“Next time, tell me I have a hired shadow.” She told him.
“Can we go eat now?” He asked as he put his arms around her hips.
“I guess so, is there anything else you haven’t told me about?” She asked him as she took his hand and they headed into Umberto’s.
Jon ducked his head a little, should I tell her about the adoption? He decided until the paper was in his hands he wouldn’t say anything.
Lunch was so fun, loads off laughs and jokes. When it got time to leave Jon call the owner over to introduce Lexie and let him not only were they married but going to have a baby or two. Much back slapping and stories till Stephanie reminded her dad about shopping. Jon paid the bill and they walked out to the cars. Lexie waved them off then headed her car toward the shops along the downtown area of Red Bank. Pulling into the deck she parked and looked for Vito to join her,
“I thought you would head back to the house.” Vito told Lexie as they headed down the stairs to the sidewalk.
“Well since my shopping was botched, I thought you might like to join me while I look for stocking stuffer’s and some stuff for the kids,” She told them as she went into the boutique Stephanie liked. They shopped for three hours and Vito carried the packages. Once back into the cars, she headed the long way back to the house.
Jon watched the kids take off into the mall, once again, the older two split the younger two. He went on his own shopping, usual disguise sunglasses and a ball cap. At home and in the City he could walk around, sure there were Pap’s everywhere, but after he signed and posed for a few pictures they normally left him alone. Shopping for Lexie he didn’t want them to catch him in one shop or the other. He had Stephanie going to Victoria Secret for him, with the pictures of what he wanted to buy her. Jesse was picking up an iPad for her, so when she was out and an idea struck her she didn’t have to grab napkins or beg for paper. He even has Romeo and Jakey picking up little things for her stocking. Stepping into the jewelers he picked up a special order, He got her a necklace like his but added the two baby rattle charms. He knew God would give them two girls, they were due at the OBGYN tomorrow. The whole family was going in, they would get the news if it was boys or girls or one of each. Coming out he was stopped.
Pap one, “Merry Christmas Jon, Been shopping for Lexie?”
Pap two. “Is it true you’re having twins?”
Jon smiled, good thing he had put the bag in his jacket pocket. He posed for pictures and signed some pictures. He knew the questions before they said them.
“I’m shopping for my family. Shouldn’t you also be shopping for your families?” He turned and walked to another shop. He walked into a toy store and began looking at games for the boys. He wished he could still buy a doll or a tea service for Stephanie, maybe he’ll pick up a doll and a teddy bear for the duet. He came out on the other side of the shop where there were no Pap’s, he quickly rushed into the next shop, looking around.
He finished his shopping, having a lot of it delivered tomorrow while they were at the doctor. He had already handed off money to his older two, but by all the bags they carried, it was money well spent. He loaded them into the car and headed to the house.
Once the car was unloaded they separated to wrap and put things under the tree. He found Lexie curled up on the sofa, sound asleep. The packages under the tree had grown and the stocking looked like they were fuller. Carlotta came in with a platter of veggies and cheese.
“Mr. Jon, she hasn’t been home long, been in here wrapping and on that phone of hers.” Carlotta placed the tray on the coffee table and smiled. “You got a good wife Mr. Jon, you got real lucky this time.”
He grinned like crazy, she wasn’t telling him something he didn’t already know.
“Mail is on your desk in the office and your parents called, bring the pasta over before the party.” She chuckled. She knew his daddy and the family sauce.
“I’ll go check it in a while.” Jon said snagging some cheese cubes and walking over to the bar and fixing him a goblet of wine.
“Go check your mail Hon.” Lexie said as she sat up and wiped the sleep out of her eyes. “Did you have fun at the mall?” She reached for some cheese and a cracker.
“The kids made a haul and I got cornered by the paps, they wanted to know about the duet, and what I picked up for your Christmas.” He sipped his wine and went and sat by her on the sofa. “Mail can wait until after dinner.”
“I got to proof my new book, thought I could use Stephanie’s help.” She snatched up more cheese.
“She’ll like that. You ready for tomorrow?” He handed her a napkin.
“As I ever will.” She took the napkin and smiled.
They were soon joined by the kids, dinner and a movie was on tap for the night.
They were put in the family waiting room while Lexie was prepped for the ultrasound.
“Are we going to be able to see the babies daddy?” Romeo asked
“We should, now you know they won’t look like babies.” Stephanie told him.
“Yeah, I read the book Lexie had.” He beamed.
“Okay Bongiovi Family we are ready,” The Nurse came and got them, “We have Lexie all set and the machine is running.”
They were told where to stand as the doctor came in.
“Well, maybe I should have brought in some popcorn for the show.” Doctor Sally said as he took his position.
“They wanted to come,” Lexie told Dr. Sally. “Stephanie is the keeper of the secret. But Jon and I decided we want to know.”
“So we change your folder.” Dr. Sally smiled at her and turned on the sound.
“Is that the babies heart beat” Romeo asked.
“That would be Lexie heart.” Dr. Sally told him.
“Oh.” Romeo sounded disappointed.
Dr. Sally slid the wand down Lexie tummy a faint heart beat got stronger.
“That’s the baby’s heart beat.” Dr. Sally told Romeo.
“Sounds like just one, I thought Lexie was gonna have two.” Jesse said cocking his head like the other three Bongiovi males.
“Let’s make this one Baby Girl Bongiovi.” The Doctor showed them that baby one was a little girl.
“Thank you for the sister, she’s all I wanted for Christmas.” Stephanie went over and hugged Lexie.
“A sister.” Jesse smiled “A little Sister.”
Jacob and Romeo didn’t say a word, but you could tell they were happy.
“Okay come out come out where ever you are Baby two.” Dr. Sally moved the wand around. “Ah there you are.” He locked in on baby number two. “And you are also a little girl.”
“Double the Christmas presents.” Stephanie giggled.
Jon puffed her chest out, two little girls, twice the love and twice the Oh My God factor. He bent down from where he stood at her head and kissed her lips.
“Well, well what have we here?” Doctor Sally asked.
The whole room got deathly quiet.