The boys took their time heading down to the guest cottage. Jesse was wondering how he was going to talk to her. Her new family had him arrested for saving the sister, who in essence threw him under the bus. He looked back at his younger brothers, he needed to set a good example for them, and in one more year it would be just them and the trio left at home.
“Tell me again why we’re going to see our mother, the one who signed away all her rights to us?” Jake asked as he lengthened his stride to catch up with his big brother.
“Because momma Lexie asked us to, Duh.” Romeo said as he picked up a stick and tossed it off the path.
“That’s true Romey, but we can’t hide all weekend and not deal with her at some time.” Jesse told him as they neared the cottage. Graham was outside tossing a football to his son.
“Hey guys, want to join us?” Graham asked. To tell the truth he was shocked that they were there. Thea had come back for her morning visit in tears, her oldest son had turned around and went back upstairs when he heard her voice. Granted he had every right to not trust him or his family, after his mother had him arrested for assault.
“Sure.” Jesse called back.
That’s where Dorothea found them, when she and Sarah had come out with a pitcher of lemonade. She had sent Sarah back for more glasses.
“Hey you guys ready for some lemonade?” Dorothea asked as they came over to the table and grabbed a glass. They all sat down in the shade of the patio.
“How’s school been this year?” Dorothea asked, School was a safe subject.
“Good.” Jesse said. As he sipped his lemonade.
“Okay,” said Romeo. Not really looking up at his mom. He felt like he was, in some way, hurting his momma Lexie. She’s been the one taking care of them and here they were drinking lemonade with the woman who had taken money to give them up.
“Same as always.” Jakey said. He looked at the knot in the wood table they were sitting at. He wanted to be anywhere but sitting at the table with these people.
“Thea said you might be going to Notre Dame.” Graham asked his oldest step son.
“Yeah, Dad and I went up and talked to the coach, I got a good chance for being a walk on in my freshman year.” Jesse said.
“That’s hot man, freshman and walk on, you don’t hear much of that these days.” Jr. told him. “I’m impressed, I got accepted at NYU and at Rutgers, not sure where I’ll be going yet. Depends on scholarships and all.”
“I’ll still have one year left at Polly, but I’m already taking some college classes. It was Momma Lexie’s idea, I thought I was just gonna cruise senior year, all I need is senior math and PE to gradate, but she told me about a program that will help me get some of the required classes out of the way.” Jesse liked talking the Jr., don’t get it wrong having Stephanie as an older sister brought girls into his life, but an older brother might not be a bad idea.
Time flew by and soon the three boys had to head back to the main house to dress for the party. Jr and Jesse made plans to talk later, as they were heading back Jakey stopped Jesse.
“Don’t you feel a little disloyal to Momma Lexie, spending time with Jr? His grandmother had you arrested and locked up or did you forget?” Jakey stopped in the middle of the drive and put his hands on his hips.
“I’m not disloyal to Momma Lexie, she’s the one who told us to go visit mom and her family. I’m just doing what she asked.” Jesse told his brother. “It kind of felt good talking to an older brother.”
“It’s not all what it’s cracked up to be.” Jacky mumbled under his breath.
They made it back and rushed to get dressed for pictures. Uncles Lemma and Mookie arrived along with David Bergman who was set up in the main living room for photographs. He was going to take them all night at the party.
Lexie and Hellen brought down the trio for some photos. That was when Dorothea and her family came in.
She watched Jon and his new family be set up for pictures. It was hard to see him so happy, playing with Cullen and making faces at Livie and Maddie. Graham came up behind her and put his arms around her and pulled her back to him.
“Breath Thea, remember I love you.” Graham whispered in her ear.
She took a deep breath, not knowing she had been holding it since she walked into the living room. She did love Graham, he was nothing like Jon, and he was a nine to five kind of guy. He was home with her and the kids every night and every weekend. They had movie night at an actual theater, and while going out to eat, they weren’t harassed by fans.
Soon it was Dorothea’s time for photos with Stephanie and her family and even a few with the boys.
Then the party began.
Sarah cornered Stephanie later and asked her where they could go to smoke. Stephanie remembered her father’s warning and told Sarah about her father and the no drug rules.
“But we can meet up before I head off to Hamilton.” Stephanie told her step sister.
“Man this is lame, it’s a little pot.” Sarah said as they sat on the rim of the pool looking out on the river.
“Just a little pot got me grounded. I graduate Monday, I have my family vacation and then I am off to college, away from Daddy and Lexie’s rules.” Stephanie told her.
“Well, I’m glad I got the cool mom.” Sarah told her getting up.
“Yeah she’s pretty cool.” Stephanie sighed and got up and followed her step sister back to the party.
Lexie moved out of the dark doorway to the house, she had been checking on the babies and heard the conversation as she came to join the party. Sad as it sounded, being the enabler for her step daughter would make her the cool mom? Not gonna happen, she would just have to be the un cool mom.