Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chapter 95

Jon went into Robbie’s suite and Stephen brought out wine, Jack and Coke and beer.  They sat in the living room next to the open door to the balcony, Robbie came out of the bedroom with a file folder.  He handed Jon the folder.

“Lexie had me print these out for her.  She’s really mad and upset, she’s sort of stuck between a rock and a hard pace.  Thomas is a stickler about his clients.”  Robbie told Jon as he sat watching Jon flip through the photos.

Jon was listening to Robbie, but the photos were the proof that he had a problem with his daughter.  Granted, he wasn’t there much for her growing up, and they had been lax on the rules about drinking. But drugs, drugs were always a no no.

“No bad press, he wants them to live a life that isn’t splashed all over the media.” Robbie said as he watched the information sink in.

“I take it the Paps today weren’t the right thing for Thomas?”  Jon said as he as he poured a glass of coke with a shot of Jack.

“Let’s just say, he wasn’t pleased.”  Robbie sipped his wine.

“Is he going to drop Lexie?”  Jon asked, almost afraid of what he was going to tell him.

“I don’t know, he wasn’t happy with the press outside his office or the photos showing up in his mail.” Robbie told him.  “Lexie knows that Thomas could let her go.”

“Wait a second, she knew this before dinner?  She didn’t seem upset or anything, until we were heading back to the room.”  Jon sat the glass down hard on the table.  “Whatever you do Robbie, don’t let him drop her.  I’ll handle my daughter and clear this up.” 

“I’ll do my best, but there aren’t any guarantees.” Robbie told him.

Jon headed back to theie room, he wasn’t sure what he would find when he got there.  Using his keycard he let himself him.  He found Lexie sitting at the desk working on her laptop, her iPad playing a video of the Trio.  Her suitcases were open to be packed, she was still in the dress she wore to the dinner.

“So, you know about Thomas?”  Was all she asked.

“Yes, and I have the pictures that Robbie printed.”  Jon went over and leaned on the desk.  “I gave her so many chances, and this is how she repays us.”

“Jon, she’s got three weeks, then she graduates.  She’s an adult, she knows what she’s doing and she’s using Dorothea and Graham, just as she’s using us.”  She leaned back in the chair.  “I know I’m just her mother on paper, which she constantly lets me know.  She doesn’t want me as her mother, and Dorothea lets her do whatever she wants.”

Jon was upset, how had this gotten so out of hand?

“We’ll sit down with her when we get home.”  Jon said, but when Lexie looked up at him he knew what was coming.

“You talk to her, you’re her father.  Maybe you should get Dorothea there to back you up.”  Lexie said as she got up and closed up her laptop and packed it away.  “After all she’s her mother.”  Walking over and putting her briefcase next to her carry on. “I’m going to shower and get ready for bed.  Call Dorothea and set up your talk with Steph.” She went to pass him and he reached out to pull her close.  “Jon, I know I have never said this to you, but, I’m not in the mood.”  She had placed a shaking hand on his chest.

Jon dropped his arms to his side and let her go on past.  He could see the hurt in her eyes, and heard how her voice shook.  He knew she was scared, her whole career was on the line.  All because of his spoiled daughter.  Pulling out his phone he went out on the balcony and dialed the number that was going to be a long call.

“Dot, we have to talk.”  He said as he sat on the lounge and wished he had a cigarette.
The boys were at sports practice and Desie and Lexie were in with the Trio, Hellen would be back in a few weeks.  Lexie enjoyed this time with Desie, they would take the Trio out the back and for a walk to the park. 

Lexie was quieter ever since she and Jon got back, of this Desie and Matt have had a lot of questions.  Pushing the babies in the swings, Desie couldn’t take it much longer.

“Okay, want to tell me why all of a sudden you’re so quiet?”  Desie pushed Cullen in the swing, his giggles filled the air.  “You’re normally all excited after you and Jonny come back from a trip, is this about Steph and the pot?”

Lexie gave a tired laugh.

“That and waiting on the axe to fall with my editor.”  Lexie gently pushed Livie and Maddy who joined their brother in a bought of giggles.  “In one weekend, Stephanie made more press than I did with the release that my first book is being made into a movie.”  Lexie looked around the park for hidden paps.

“You got the movie deal, that’s fantastic.”  Desie knew Lexie had been approached to do the movie and that Jon may have landed the main character part.

“Yeah, if I don’t get dropped because of Stephanie and her pot parties.”  She took a deep breath and nodded her head toward the cluster of trees.  They started to get the Trio back into their stroller. Getting out of the park and back to the townhouse was not easy.  They were stopped on the street and first Livie started to cry, then Maddy.  Lexie was near tears by the time they got back.  Getting the girls calmed down and cleaned up, then put and Cullen down for a nap.

Jon and Dorothea were due to speak with Stephanie after school, and they wanted Lexie to be a part of this discussion.  Lexie knew the meeting was not going to be a calm parent child talk, and to have mother and stepmother involved was going to be like a powder keg going off.  Lexie wasn’t looking forward to this, she hadn’t heard anything from Thomas yet and that was about to killing her.

Stephanie knew something was up, Lexie seemed to be quiet and when she had gone into help with the Trio, she had given her one word answers.  Sure she was tired from her first time being gone for two weeks, but she had just seemed cold.  When she had gone to talk to Jesse, he didn’t know what was up, he was busy studying for finals.

“Steph, can you come into the office with me?”  Jon asked his daughter.

“Sure Daddy, I was wondering when we were going to talk about my graduation party.”  Stephanie said as she followed her dad in the office.  Looking around she saw not only Lexie but her mom too.  She rushed over to her mother and gave her a big hug.  “Momma, why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

Dorothea looked from Jon to their daughter, this was going to be bad.

“Your dad called me yesterday and I cleared my day to come over.”  Dorothea told her.  Called being the operable word, if she hadn’t shown up, he’d have some uncle come pick her up.  Better in the car than in the trunk.

“Did you have a good weekend at your mom’s two weeks ago?”  Jon asked his daughter.

“Yeah, I told you, we went shopping and Graham cooked burgers and brats on the grill and some of his kid’s friends came to the party.”  Stephanie told him, didn’t I tell him all this before? 

“You should’ve taken some pictures, then I could see it, you must want some of them to come to your graduation party.”  Jon said as he toyed with the folder on his desk.

“Sure, some of them we’re great.”  Stephanie said not sure what was going on.  Why was he messing with that folder, and why wasn’t Lexie saying anything.  “Is Grandpop going to make the sauce?”

“I don’t think so.”  Jon told her.  “You really should have taken some pictures.”  He looked from Dorothea to Lexie.

“Yeah Steph, I like that pink top, you always look great in pink, with your hair pulled back.  Really shows off the earring I bought you for Christmas.”  Lexie told her.

That should have been a warning, she had bought the shirt when she was with her mom and Lexie was already gone.  The shirt was at the dry cleaners because she got sauce on it when she ate some of Graham’s ribs.  The second warning should have been how quiet Lexie was talking, whenever she got mad she didn’t yell, like her dad, or shrill like her mom.

“Thanks, if we aren’t gonna have Grandpa’s sauce, maybe Graham can do his ribs?” Stephanie kept on, ignoring the warning signs.

“There won’t be a big party this year.”  Jon said, tapping his fingers on the folder.

“Are we going to St. Bart’s?”  Stephanie asked, the whole family at the beach or like a few years ago, on the private boat.

“Not this time.”  Dorothea told her.

It was then that all this started to sink in.  No party, no trip to St. Bart’s and Lexie got up from the desk beside her father and walked around to where she sat. 

“Your father and I were ambushed as we headed to the elevator this past weekend. Do you have any idea why we were ambushed?” Lexie asked in nearly a whisper.  Lexie had made a point of bending near to Stephanie seat, so no one else could hear the talking outside, where she was sure her oldest sons were listening.

“Ambushed, how would I know this, I was at a photoshoot for Uncle Kenny.” Stephanie looked up at Lexie, who seemed to get closer to her and madder.

“Seems you had a special party at your mothers while your dad was left to care for the Trio with Hellen.  My Editor, Thomas, is a stickler for his writers being clean.  Not showing up on TMZ or E news, that are not high on his list of clean venues of news.”  Lexie reached over and took the folder from Jon.  “You might not have taken pictures of the party, but someone else did, it only took me a few clicks to find these.”  She tossed the folder to Stephanie.

Stephanie didn’t have to open the folder to know what was inside.

“Thomas is trying to decide whether keep me and do my movie, or fire me.  If Thomas fires me, no one, and I mean no one will hire me and the movie is a thing of the past.  All because of your addiction to pot and not following the rules of this family.”

Stephanie looked at her mother and then back to Lexie, she knew she was up shit creek with no paddle.

“I told you that there would be no party, you promised me no more drugs.” Jon said as he looked over at Dorothea.

“I have to agree with your father and stepmother.”  Dorothea told her.  She could see the hurt in her daughter’s eyes, but she had to back Jon on this issue.  

“Do you understand that you might have cost Lexie her editor and publisher?  After all she has done for you, this is how you repay her?”  Jon asked his daughter. 

Lexie couldn’t stand it anymore, Stephanie just sat there.

“What do you have to say for yourself?”  Lexie asked her.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chapter 94

Lexie’s heart stopped, how the hell do they find this shit out? This will kill Jon she thought.

“You don’t know that it’s true.” Lexie told him. 

Jon didn’t say a word, but the vein on his neck throbbed. 

The rest of the ride to her floor was done in silence.  The long walk down the hallway felt like a death march, as they went to the doorway at the end.  Slipping her card in the lock, Lexie opened the door for her husband, who walked passed and tossed his hat and glasses in the arm chair in the corner.

Jon was afraid to speak, holding in his temper in was the top priority right now.  He just stood in the middle of the room. 

“Jon, honey, breathe!  You haven’t taken a breath since we got off the elevator.”  Lexie told him when she reached him and began to rub his back.  “I’ll look on my iPad and see if what that idiot asked his true.”   When he finally took a breath, she headed into the bedroom of the suite.

When she came back in, he was at the bar and rummaging through the mini bar. 

“There’s wine in the cooler.”  She told him heading for the sofa.

“I need something stronger.”  He surfaced with a bottle of Coke and a bottle of Jack Daniels.  Grabbing the two bottles he joined her on the sofa.  Popping the can of soda, he poured about a fourth of a glass full and tops it with the whiskey.

Lexie looked on Stephanie’s Tumbler account, then she just googled her name and came up empty.  She then checked on emails that might have been sent to her private account her editor set up so her fans could send her mail, nothing unusual was on there.  Then she went to Photobucket and took a chance that she might find something on there and hit pay dirt.

“Why don’t you call Matty and check on the kids?  I’ll keep looking on here.”  She told Jon, who was pouring his second drink.

“We have to get ready for your dinner, and he should already be with Steph at her fashion show.”  Jon said as he checked his watch.  “I’ll call when we get back.”  He placed the bottle and the glass on the table, and headed to the bedroom.

Lexie sent several pictures to Robbie to print off for her.  As she closed off the site, she checked her email once more. All of a sudden she got a Skype request, it was Jesse.

“Hey Mom, how’s it going?”  Jesse asked as he sat damp from his shower he took after helping his aunt with the trio.

“Conference is great, your dad being here made it special.”  Lexie told him.  “How was the game?”

“We won, of course.”  Jesse laughed.  “The reason I Skyped you, there was paps at the game.”

“About your sister’s weekend with your mom?”  Lexie asked him, afraid of what he was going to say.

“You got it, Uncle Matt got me out of there.”  Jesse told her.  “How do you know?”

“Let’s just say, they showed up here and ambushed us by the elevator.”  Lexie told him.

“Bet dad blew a gasket.”  Jesse chuckled. 

“Not really, but you know your dad.” Lexie though back to the ride to their floor with her husband holding his breath and the vein throbbing in his neck.

“Yeah, I do.”  Jesse got serious.

“Before I head out to get ready for the dinner, how were Jacob and Romeo’s games?”  Lexie asked her oldest son.

“Jakey won, but Romey lost his.” Jesse informed her.  “But the team is just getting started, but Romey did get on base both times at bat.”

“That’s good.”  Lexie told him as Jon came into the room dressed for dinner.  Lexie almost forgot to breath, her husband on stage made the women wet their panties, but dressed in a suit and tie he was truly edible.

“Is that Jess?”  Jon asked as he adjusted his cuff on his jacket sleeve.

“Hey Dad, Jakey and I won today.”  Jesse told him.

“That’s great son, how’s Romey dealing with his loss.”  Jon sat on the bed while Lexie left to get dressed.

“He’s okay, they were just out played, and he got on base twice.”  Jesse informed him, then got serious, “The paps showed up at my game, Uncle Matt got us out of there.”

“Damn, they know to leave you kids alone. “ That burnt him up, all these years of the kids being off limits, but now with them being on photobucket and all the other media spots, it was harder keeping them out of it all.  Now his daughter, his baby, has thrust them all into the media.

“They didn’t show up till my game dad, so Romey and Jakey weren’t exposed.”  Jesse told him.

“Tell Uncle Matt I’ll call him tonight.  Tell your sister I’ll talk to her too.”  He said as he heard Lexie come out of the bedroom. 

“I will, you two have fun.  Hey Mom looking good.” Jesse said as he saw Lexie walk into the area where his dad was.

“Thanks Jess, Jon I need to go down to Robbie’s room for a minute.”  Lexie had on a sleeveless sundress.

“Okay Lex.”  Jon said as he watched her walk out the door.  Turning back to the screen he saw his son grinning.  “I know, I got it bad.”  He laughed.

“Well, it has been almost two whole weeks.”  Jesse smirked.

“That’s true, tell Uncle Matt I’ll call him before we leave tomorrow.”  He signed off to his son’s laughter.

Lexie had already spoken to the hotel security about the photographers and made sure they were kept off the floor and out of the convention. She went down to Robbie’s room to see if they got everything loaded and off to UPS.  He was on the phone, his partner let her into the room.

“Your editor has been calling him for the past three hours.”  Stephen told her, as he fixed himself a drink.

“I didn’t have any messages, wonder why he didn’t call me.”  Lexie sat in the club chair.  She could hear Robbie saying something about the conference.  Stephen took Robbie his drink and must have told him Lexie was in the living room, because he ended the call in a hushed voice.

“Hey, I didn’t expect to see you out of your room yet.”  Robbie said as he came in dressed for dinner.

“The paps put a quick end to any romance.” Lexie told him.  “I already spoke to the hotel and security.”

“Good, we don’t need them disrupting the dinner.” Robbie said.

“I guess Thomas has heard about all this?”  Lexie finally asked.

“Yes, he said he would call and talk to you once you got home.”  Robbie said looking over the rim of his glass.

“He’s going to drop me isn’t he?”  Lexie asked.  Thomas didn’t like his writers to have any bad press, and Stephanie was making bad press.

“He’ll talk to you.” Was all Robbie would tell her?

Walking back down to the room to get Jon, Lexie had to stop and take several deep breaths.  Tears were threatening to pour down her cheeks. Thomas had been her editor and his company was publishing her books from the beginning when she was writing children’s books.  If she lost Thomas, no one would touch her books.  She would put on her brave face and wait for the axe to fall.

The dinner was good, you couldn’t tell anything was wrong.  They stayed to the very end, her table won best table and she got two awards.  The paps tried their best to ruin her night, but she and Jon slipped out and through the kitchen to the room service elevator.

“This is the second time we have had to escape through room service.” Lexie said leaning on the wall of the elevator.

“Part of the rock star life, sort of old hat for me.”  Jon said as he watched her face.

“I can’t wait to get home, I miss my babies and the kids.  These two weeks were too long.”  Lexie said as she counted the floors to theirs.

“You want to tell me what’s got you down?”  Jon asked her.  She put on a good face, don’t think her fans could tell.  The table was lively all night, full of laughs and book talk.

“I’m just tired, my feet are killing me and I just can’t wait to sleep in my own bed.”  She gave a deep sigh.  Lexie pushed off the wall of the elevator as soon as the door opened.  She took Jon’s hand and the headed down the hall to their suite. 

They passed Robbie and Stephen, laughing and holding hands, heading toward the elevator.

“Plane leaves at noon, don’t be late.”  Lexie told them as they passed.

Jon looked at Robbie with a questioning tilt of the head.  Robbie didn’t miss a beat and invited Jon to come in for a drink.

“Sure why not, that okay with you Lex?”  Jon asked his wife, who had dropped his hand and walked on toward their room.

“Sure, I’ll go get comfortable, don’t be long.”  She said as she turned back with the “Bongiovi” smile on her face.

Oh shit this is bad, for me to get that smile.  Jon thought.  “Just one quick one.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chapter 93

Lexie had almost told Robbie that they were heading home in the morning. She missed her husband, and the kids…and her dog.  It was the first time since the Trio was born, that she wasn’t home.  Now she knew why Jon was so happy to get home.

“You have the Gala Dinner tomorrow night, your fans would be heartbroken if you weren’t there tomorrow.”  Robbie told her as they headed back off the conference floor after set up.  He had lied to her that his partner was coming to visit, so he wouldn’t be within hearing distance of Jon and Lexie.

“I know, I know, but I really can’t wait to get home.”  Lexie leaned on the wall of the elevator.  “I miss my kids and my husband.”  She watched Robbie roll her eyes at the whinny sound of her voice.

“You’ve made it this far, you can make it to Sunday.”  Robbie had heard this for the last two days. 

“I know, I’m sorry.”  She was glad to get into the elevator and up to the room.  She wanted to check on the trio and maybe see Jon.  “You and Stephen have plans after the meet and greet?  Maybe we can do some shopping, there are some really neat boutiques down here.”  She was happy Stephen could come for the last weekend. 

“We won’t have that much time between closing up and the dinner, and yes you have to be at the dinner.  You’re a table hostess, and people have paid big money to have dinner with you, so you have to be there.”  Robbie told her, he would be so happy when Mister Rock Star would get here.

Robbie left her in her suite and headed down to his room.  Granted he had a smaller suite paid for by Mister Rock Star and the fact that his partner was already waiting for him to get to the room, which he practically flew to his suite.

Lexie dropped her shopping bag that she had with her promo stuff into the big arm chair in the corner of her suite.  She loved being there for the people who bought her books.  Checking her watch, she had time before her nightly call from Jon.  Stripping as she went into the bath, she added some bubbles to the soaker tub.  Plugging her phone into the dock she checked her iPad, while she waited on the water to fill.

The camera loaded on a view of her sweet babies being fed by their aunt and uncle.  Cullen sat in his swing waiting for his turn.  Smiling at the signs that Desie made for her had her braking into a fit of giggles.  One baby had a countdown to Momma home, the other one said Hi Momma and Cullen’s said Bring Toys.  That made her laugh out loud, she missed those three, just as much as she missed her older children.  She was worried about Stephanie, that girl was on a fast track: graduation, first time in college, living in a dorm and then throw in her mother. She didn’t trust Dorothea as far as she could throw her.
Tapping off the iPad she got into the bath thinking about her oldest daughter.  Granted she missed Steph this trip, she was fun to be around, and she was a hard worker.  But the tension of the last two months were getting to their relationship.  She know temptation was going to be all over the place, once she goes away to college. She prayed her daughter would be smart enough to not to fall, after all her mother in law always said, Stephanie was Jon in a dress.  Her husband, even lacking a college education, had something all the guys she knew in college had, Jon had street smarts.  He sees what is needed and then he finds the people to make it happen.

Leaning her head back her thoughts went to her family.  These were the first ball games she would miss.  She prided herself on attending the boy’s games, she might not get there for the first pitch, but she made it to the second inning.  Bringing the trio out in the stroller and sitting with the other parents, like they were a normal family.  This invasion of Dorothea, just when their lives were finally on even keel put a damper on graduation, and now she was getting Stephanie come and visit.  Fully knowing that Dorothea allowed drug use in her house, made Lexie think that Stephanie was only using these trips to smoke pot.  She hadn’t said anything to Jon about her feelings, because, one she was just her step mother, and at eighteen she was legally an adult. She didn’t waste time when she told Lexie who her mother was.  After graduation, she hoped that Dorothea would slip back into the woodwork, but deep in her heart, she knew that they hadn’t heard the last of Dorothea.

Jon got to the hotel, texted Robbie and got up to the hotel room.  Changing into his ball cap and glasses, picking up his copy of her latest book he headed down to the convention floor.  Her line was really long, which made him really proud of her.  So far he had slipped under the raider and no one has recognized him, yet. He was glad no one had ever seen a picture of him in his readers, the closest he had ever been seen in really glasses what when he played the professor in Cry Wolf.

Lexie was counting down to closing her booth, then she had to get though dinner tonight and after that she could finally go home.  Glancing up from signing a book she looked down at the growing line.  Plastering a smile on her face she posed for a picture and reached out for another book.

Jon was like ten people from the table when Robbie spotted him.  He almost missed him, the glasses confused him at first, that and the fact that he hadn’t been mobbed. He noticed the time and knew they would soon be cutting off the lines.  This was the hard time for them, and Lexie didn’t like upsetting her fans.  He picked up the pre-autographed book plates and started walking to the end of the line, just as the closing warning announcement came over the PA in the convention center.

“We’re sorry, but we’re cutting off the autographs with the gentleman in the Cleveland Indians hat.”  Robbie said as he went along the line to stand behind Jon. “By the time you get up there, get her away from the table or she’ll stay down here till they turn off the lights.”  Robbie tried to whisper where only Jon would hear him.

“Got it.” Jon smiled and glanced over his shoulder.

He finally made it to the table and there she was.  She looked tired, she had lost some of her sparkle.  She didn’t even look up when he placed the book in front of her. 

“Who shall I autograph this for?”  She asked as she opened the well-worn book.  “Is this your favorite book in the series?”

“I love all your books, but this one is a particular favorite.”  Jon said with a smile.  This was the book she was writing when they met at the cabin.  “I met my wife over that book.”

Lexie looked up finally at the sound of his voice.

“Well, she must be a really lucky woman.”  She told him remembering where she was and who he was.

“She’s very lucky.”  Jon picked up the book and smiled at what she had written in the book.  “To my sexy Rock Star, all my love Lexie Bongiovi. Meet me in room 1429 presidential suite.”

“I won’t be long closing up.”  Lexie leaned over the table and grabbed his shirt and hauled him close and gave him a kiss. 

Robbie came up and cleared his throat really loud. 

“You two are causing talk, I’ll close up, and you two go get a room” Robbie laughed and watched as the two finally broke apart.

“Thanks Rob.”  Jon said as he watched Lexie join him on the other side of her table.

They headed to the elevators followed by fans and photographers.  They were lucky an empty elevator was waiting for them.  Quickly getting in he punched to floor they would be on, just as the door closed a photographer yelled out.

“Jon have you seen the pictures from last weekend when you daughter was at her mother’s.  How do you feel about her smoking pot with her step brother and sister?”