Stephanie took the last hit off the joint and handed it to Marco to finish it. She reached into her bag and pulled out her bottle of Patchouli, she had learned early that it covered the smell of pot. She pulled out her lip gloss that had a strong strawberry taste, applied it in a thick layer and licked her lips. Her friends at the local school she went to in Redbank had taught her well. Thinking back they were the reason she ended up at Polly Prep, Hell that was like out of the frying pan and into the fire. She thought, as she headed back into the arena. It was dangerous, but the thrill of sneaking around behind her father’s back, and Lexie wouldn’t say anything, she was still worried about the trio.
Lexie was standing at the craft table with a bottle of water and her cell watching her babies sitting in bonce chairs and watching a Disney movie. The nanny was sitting on the floor with them, switching camera’s to make sure she wasn’t asleep. Out of the corner of her eye she watched Stephanie walk into the green room.
“Hey Lexie, how are the trio doing?” Stephanie asked as she grabbed a bottle of water.
“Watching a movie. Did you have a nice visit?” Lexie watched Stephanie take a sip of water.
Nearly choking on her sip of water, Stephanie looked up at her.
“Jesse told me you went out to visit some friends you have on the crew.” Lexie said as she smiled and then put her phone in her small cross body handbag Stephanie told her she needed to bring.
“Yeah, we grew up around a lot of these guys, it’s like a family, ya know?” She put the cap on her water.
“That’s great. When do were go down to our seats?” Lexie asked, sort of letting the subject die. She could see she shocked Stephanie. She would let her stew a little.
“Oh we don’t have seats, didn’t dad show you where we stand?” Stephanie went over and leaned on the back of Jesse seat.
“He did, just never stood for a concert.” Lexie told Stephanie. “Better make a pit stop then before we had down.” Lexie gave her the excuse to leave, just wishing she could hear what went on while she left the room. Wonder is I left my phone on to do a video if it would still record, Lexie thought as she reached into her bag and took out her phone and sent it to record a video and sat it where the kids couldn’t see it. She headed to the bathroom.
Stephanie waited until till Lexie was out of the room. She reached over and smacked Jesse in the back of the head.
“What the hell was that for?” Jesse jumped out of the chair and turned on his sister. Then it hit him, he took a deep breath, patchouli. Getting an evil smile on his face he laughed. “You get caught doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing?”
“I don’t know.” Stephanie said flopping down in his chair.
“You reek of Patchouli, Lexie wasn’t born yesterday, and she went to college. You think she doesn’t know you were,” he remembered where he was and knew if Romeo heard what he said he would tattle to his dad. “You know what I mean?”
“I don’t know if she will or not. Maybe she didn’t see anything.” She held up crossed fingers.
Lexie made sure she flushed the toilet and made a production about washing her hands and coming out of the bathroom. She smiled at the kids and headed over to the craft table and picked up a cookie, just as Jon came in the door followed by the band and Matt. Lexie snatched up her phone and ended the recording.
“Hey our magic weapon is here.” Richie said as he wrapped his arms around Lexie and spun her in the air.
“Hey Mook, I have told you a hundred times, get your hands off my wife.” Jon yelled over Lexie’s giggles.
Richie put her down and David got his in, picking her up and spinning her around too.
“Lemma, not you too, get your own woman.” Jon yelled again.
He gave Hugh and Tico the stink eye, they held up their hands and backed up.
David let her drop to her feet and Jon grabbed her hand and pulled her close. Lexie slipped her phone into her back pocket, before she dropped it. She really didn’t want to say anything until she knew what she was up against.
They spent time in the green room until Matt said it was time for Lexie and Stephanie to head down to the area they would stand in.
They were walking down to the backstage area, just before they got to the pit area where the press stood, Stephanie took her hand and stopped her.
“We’ll be with you in a minute Uncle Matt.” Stephanie told her uncle. She turned to Lexie, “Are you going to tell daddy what you saw?”
Lexie thought on the answer, they had gotten closer since the wedding and the hospital stay, should she blow it now?
“You tell me, should I? I heard what he said about your graduation party.” Lexie sent the question back at her.
“It’s up to you, it was a slip up, they handed it to me, and I didn’t think a few hits would hurt.” Stephanie said making it sound like so normal, a casual thing between friends. “If I promise not to do it again, will you keep it between just us?”
“You mean the three of us, I assume Jesse knows?” Lexie asked, knowing she had proof on her cell phone.
“Alright the three of us.” Stephanie sighed.
“If you two don’t come on you’ll have to wait to go out.” Matt walked back giving Lexie a questioning look.
“Be right there Matt, we’ll discuss this later Steph.” Lexie told her, as once again they joined Matt.
Matt left them near the side of the stage and took made his way back to walk Jon and the band.
Lexie was remembering what it looked like empty, turning she look up at the arena almost full, there were a few in the back still empty. Several flashes caught her eye, they had been recognized. She looked over at Stephanie to see how she was reacting. She just seemed to be ignoring it. Lexie was used to being friendly with her fans, this was hard.
She didn’t have long to think before the lights went out and something was pushed into her hand. Looking down she found a pair of earplugs. Quickly cringing at the decibel the screams climbed to, she knew her husband was taking the stage.
She stood mesmerized by the way he strutted around the stage and hearing the screams grow, if that was possible, when he shook his ass for them. She was so into the concert she never noticed Matt had joined them. She jumped when he touched her shoulder and motioned for her to follow him. Thinking that it was a short show she followed Matt, who walked her to the side of the stage.
She stood there for a while, from this point, she could see almost see the back of the arena. The audience was into the music and clapping, waving their arms and singing at the top of their lungs.
All of a sudden the music changed to Bed of Roses. She watched him close his eyes and sing, just like he did at their wedding reception. She was getting into the music, swaying and humming along. Lord knows, she couldn’t sing, she could hardly carry a tune in a basket. It wasn’t until he was standing in front of her, she watched him hold out his hand to her. She reached out and placed her hand in his, just like she did when they were married. Blanking out everything around them, they swayed to the music. All too soon he leaned her back and gave her a kiss and walked her off the stage back to Matt.
Matt took her hand and looked at Jon and mouthed green room, to which Jon nodded in agreement. As they walked off, he headed back to center stage and finished the song. He knew Matt would come back for Stephanie, so one song latter he gave an audible for I’ve Got the Girl.
“You know the good Lord blessed me with two more girls, we all evened up, till my new youngest son swung the balanced back to us men.” He walked to the edge of the stage and sat down. He knew she would get the hint, but she didn’t he put down the mic and motioned for her to come over. Security helped her hop up to sit beside him. Picking the mic back up he looked out at the audience, this was something he never did before. “She’ll always be my baby girl, even when she’s older.” The band started I’ve Got the Girl.
He sat there singing to Stephanie, at one point giving her the stink eye when he inhaled the scent of heavy patchouli. He would have to be the bad guy when he got back to the hotel. She had been warned. All the while singing, he did a mental check and at the end of the song sang, “I’ve got the girls.” A picture flashed of Stephanie sitting in a rocker with Livie and Maddy. It flashed just a second, but the screams were deafening.
Matt came back, just in time to help Stephanie jump down from the stage, after Jon gave her a peck on the cheek.
Lexie checked on the boys and then the trio, she headed to the bathroom to also listen to the recording. She heard all she needed to, listening to Jesse and Stephanie talking. Then she wondered if Jesse had sent her out to catch his sister.
When she came out, Stephanie had joined them. It wasn’t long till Matt came to send them back to the limo, and onto the hotel. They had the whole floor for the band members, Jon had the presidential suite. There was a center living room, with a mini kitchenette bar area, and two bedrooms. She got the kids settled and came back to the bar and got out glasses and a bottle of wine, pulling out the opener and drawing the cork, she would let it breathe till Jon got here. Going back to the fridge she got out her bottle of Pepsi. She was about to turn on the television when the door opened and Jon walked in.
“Stephanie Rose, my room now.” Jon’s voice broke the silence in the room. “I’ll need something stronger, is there jack in there?” He was so pissed at his daughter to defy his rule and smoked pot. Jon headed to his room and then came back to the door waiting on Stephanie to join him.