Saturday, September 19, 2015


Jon rubbed his eyes and leaned back on the door and looked at his two oldest.  They had argued for four solid days, family tradition, we always go to Saint Barths.  Then they come up five hours before they were to leave, and want to change everything and go to the cabin?

“You want to go to the cabin, all that moaning and groaning about tradition and we always go to Saint Barths,” He shook his head, “You now want to change all of our plans?”  He walked past them and headed to his office.  He didn’t want to wake up Lexie, they would go into there to hear their explanation.

“We talked, while we were loading the dishwasher, and we decided it was time to start a new tradition.”  Jesse said “We, overheard how momma Lexie wanted to go to the cabin, and we decided that since you’re going on tour, and Steph is heading to college, this would give us more time as a family with no fans bugging us.”

Now that was something Jon hadn’t thought about, they would have more time together and the fans would think they were in Saint Barths.  “Why didn’t you think of this before?”

“Well, Since Saturday, Lexie’s been different, sort of sad and after her meeting with Thomas, it’s been even worse.”  Stephanie told her father.  “Didn’t you notice it?”

Jon thought back to every night, since the party, Lexie was in bed, asleep, before he got to bed.  Yeah he noticed.

“Romey and Jakey agreed that the cabin, this year, would be best.”  Jesse told his father.  “We called Uncle Matt and he changed and canceled what needed to be canceled, He’ll be here in the morning to make sure we have a van to take all of us.”

Jon was surprised his brother hadn’t called to see if he had lost his mind. 

“Okay, we’ll go to the cabin, but no moaning and bitching.”  Jon told the two.

“Agreed.”  They both said getting up.

“Okay, get some sleep.”  Jon told them as they left the office and headed to bed.

As he crawled back in the bed, Lexie turned over and put her head on his shoulder.

“What’s up?” Lexie yawned and rubbed his stomach.

“Our four older kids had a family meeting.”  Jon told her as he took her hand in his and held it over his heart.

“Is this a good thing?” Lexie tried to sit up. Jon pulled her closer and sat up a little.

“Whenever I think I have them figured out, they do something like this.”  Jon told her.

“Johnny you’re scaring me, what’s going on.”  Lexie said looking up at him.

“Well, we aren’t going to Saint Barts.  They decided that we need to start some new traditions.”  He let her go this time, when she tried to pull away from him.

“What do you mean, we aren’t going to Saint Barts.” She sat up and took a deep breath to calm her nerves.  Looking at the clock they only had a few hours before they were due to be up and loaded and now they want to go somewhere else?

“I think they heard us talking after dinner.”  Jon told her sitting all the way up beside her.

Lexie thought back to what she had said about going to the cabin. “Where are we going now?”

“They voted and we’re going to the cabin.”  Jon told her.

“They now want to go to the cabin? What will happen to the reservations on the house at Saint Barth?  I’m shocked after all their complaining that there isn’t anything to do at the cabin that they still want to go there.”  She liked that they would be going to the cabin, but what were they up too.

“We’ll get a refund, they said it was time to make new traditions, I’m shocked Matt hasn’t called to see what was up.” Jon watched his wife worry her bottom lip.

“They called Matt at almost midnight?  Jon as much as I love that we’re going to the cabin, it just seems a bit fishy.” Lexie wiped the sleep out of her eyes.  “Just fishy.”

“Let’s give them the benefit of a doubt, it might just mean they want this to be a new tradition for us.” Jon said to his wife, but he had to agree something was fishy.  That boy, just because Jesse wouldn’t try anything with Sally but he wouldn’t put it past Mark and Stephie.  “Let’s get some rest, in case Matty is pissed enough to make us drive it and not get us a driver.”

Lexie scooted back down in the bed and cuddled to Jon. Taking a deep breath she tried to will herself to sleep, but her brain just wouldn’t shut down.

“Want me to sing to you?”  Jon nuzzled her neck and began to hum a love song to her.

Sighing she let his voice calm her down.  She sent up a silent prayer that this trip wasn’t doomed from the start.

Jon sang until she went back to sleep.  He couldn’t wait to get Steph to college, Jesse to Football camp, Jacky and Romey to math camp, it would be just the babies and them for a week, and he was taking her someplace special.

That morning found them all in the alleyway behind the townhouse, waiting to load into the largest van Matt could find at midnight.  Matt and Jon were putting in the car seats.

“Damn it Matt is this the biggest you could find?”  Jon pinched his finger for the second time.

“Fuck Johnny, it was midnight when Jesse called me, I was lucky to get this. The other option was a tour bus and I didn’t think it would make it half way there.”  Matt told him as he snapped the last seat in.  He watched Jon struggle with his seat.

Lexie and Hellen were in the back loading suitcases and strollers and getting frustrated. There were suitcases under each seat, she finally had the stroller in and was shutting the door when Jesse came out with the cooler.

“Unless you’re planning on sitting on it, there is no room.” Lexie told him and she and Hellen leaned on the backdoor of the van in order to close it.

“It’ll fit between me and Steph.  I got juice and fruit, and some sodas for the trip.”  He went to put it in the third row seat. 

When they finally loaded and Jon got in the driver’s seat, he looked back at the sleeping Triplets and then back at Hellen sitting with Jakey and Romey.  He knew his two oldest were in the back, turning and looking over at Lexie, who was tapping away on her iPad he noticed a slight smile.

Halfway there they had to stop, the Trio needed a diaper change and they decided to make it a lunch break.  He took Cullen into the men’s room with a diaper and a poop bag in his pocket. After a frantic search they noticed no used diaper baggies, so they had a small roll of doggie poop bags in Lexie’s purse.

After a good lunch with no one the wiser that the family of ten in the back corner were the Bongiovi family, made it even more fun. All too soon, lunch break was over, the kids and Hellen were loaded and Jon pulled the van into a gas station.

By the time they pulled into the gated community of the cabin, it felt like coming home to Lexie.  This was the first time they would be here with the Trio, there wasn’t even cribs, and they would have to go shopping fast.

They were unloading the van, which took less time than packing it.  Lexie was heading upstairs with a diaper bag and one of the bags she packed for the girls.  Standing in the hall upstairs she stopped.  Romey and Jakey had taken one room, Steph and Jesse a room each, she went into the room closest to the master and three cribs were already set up.  Tears came to her eyes, they had thought about their younger brother and sisters.

That’s where Jon found her.

“Hey, you okay Lex?”  He came in with two bags and two diaper bags. She was sitting on the twin bed that had been put in to make room for the cribs.

“They thought about their sisters and brother, I was going to tell you we needed to get cribs, I walked in here and I was just so shocked.”  She wiped the tears from her cheeks.

He came and sat down beside her and pulled her into his arms.

“You’ve seemed so sad lately Lex, is it Thomas?”  He asked as he held her close.

“That and other things, it’s like I’m waiting on the other shoe to drop.”  Lexie told him.

Before he could ask her about her hidden meaning, but Hellen came in with Olivia who was getting grumpy.  They would have to talk about it later.  By the time they were finally alone, they were in the van heading to the grocery store.

“If we split the list we can get it done and back to the cabin in time to make dinner.” Lexie told him as she tapped on her phone.

“That’s good, wonder if Sally knows Jesse is here?” he teased her and was rewarded with a chuckle. This was a chance to get her to talk about what had her so upset earlier.

“If he called her, seeing as how they were burning up the phones last night.”  Lexie rolled her eyes at him.

“Can I ask you something?”  Jon got really serious as they pulled into the parking lot. Stopping the van and turning toward her, he reached out and took her hand. 

“Sure.”  Lexie knew it was going to come up at some time.  Should she tell him what Stephanie said, but them she would have to admit she eavesdropped on Steph and Sarah talking by the pool?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chapter 101 and still going!

Lexie crawled into bed and pulled the covers over her head, she had so much to think about.  The hug this morning seemed to feel like a start to a new relationship with Stephanie, but after overhearing her talking to Sarah, well she just wasn't so sure anymore. 
Jon made sure the alarms were set, checked on all the kids and made sure they were all tucked in.  He was about to leave Stephanie's room when he noticed that she was still awake.
“Still excited about graduating on Monday?”  Jon asked.  “Or are you waiting to sneak out once I go to bed?”
“Can it be both?”  Stephanie asked with a laugh, sitting up in the bed.
“After Monday maybe but now I rather it be the first, just to be honest with you.”  Jon told as he turned back and went to sit on the foot of her bed.  “I was proud of you tonight.”
“Because I didn’t smoke weed?”  Stephanie asked him.  She had been tempted, and if he hadn’t caught her, before she could escape to meet Sarah, she would be stoned by now.
“Because you acted like an adult tonight.  Several of your friends had to be poured into a taxi, but you, I saw you switching to juice.”  Jon reached for her hand and looked at the Poly Prep senior ring on her right hand.  “Just know that I’m really proud of you.”
Stephanie dipped her head to hide the tears filling her eyes.
“Did you know Lexie got the boys to go down and see Mom?”  She had to change the subject, or she would be a ball of tears.
“She did, so she’s not a Disney Evil Stepmother after all?" Jon grinned. "And she wants us all to be happy! And if the boys are involved with Dotty, it makes you happy.”  Secretly, Jon was shocked that Lexie got the boys to go down to visit Dotty and Graham.
“Yeah, she told me that. I guess I always knew it, but, all my friends have their mom. This is such an important time when a girl just needs her mom.”  She looked up at her dad and the tears started to flow.  “Mommy has been with me since I was a baby, I’ve just known Lexie for a little over a year.  You met Lexie in January, married her in the fall and had babies the next year. That’s a lot to take in, ya know?”
“But that’s the way life happens Steph. I wasn’t planning to marry again, but there was just something about Lexie.”  Jon told her as he reached up and wiped the tears off her cheek.
“What made her so special?”  Stephanie wasn’t sure she wanted all the details, but she always wondered what Lexie had that he lost with mommy.
“When I came down the stairs that first morning at the cabin and saw her fixing breakfast, I just knew she was special.” Jon thought back to that first day in the cabin. “She shared her food with me and Romey, would you believe, she tossed a loaf of bread at me and told me to make toast.” He chuckled a little at the memory.
“She didn’t know who you were and that you can’t make toast?”  Stephanie was shocked, he never told them about his first meeting with Lexie. She could see the love in his face, and she remembered how cute they were this morning. She missed seeing that with her mom and dad toward the end.  They just grew apart and her mom was so in love with Graham, and they had their cute moments too.
“She knew who I was, but I didn’t know who she was.  Boy, did I get a shock walking into the grocery store and seeing that photo of her on the display.  I was shocked, I have read all of her books and they were sitting by my bed, and I never hooked it up in my mind that it was her.” Jon told her.
They both sat there digesting what the other said. 
“So you going to meet Sarah tonight?”  Jon asked her.
“Nope, not tonight, I can see her tomorrow before they leave.”  Stephanie said getting out of bed, fully dressed and reached for her pajamas.
Jon got up and headed for the door.
“Night baby girl, See you in the morning.  You riding back with me or Lexie?”  He stopped at the door and waited till he heard her get back into bed.
“I think I’ll ride back with Lexie and Hellen to help with the Trips.”  She said reaching for the lamp and turned it off.
“Okay, see you in the morning.”  He left and finally made it to the master bedroom.
As he slipped into the room, the light on his side of the bed was on, but he knew Lexie was sound asleep.  She had been busy, once the trio had been put to bed, making sure the food stayed full, the bar was manned at all times.  Dotty had sat her ass down and acted like Lady of the Manor, which had pissed him off.  He had actually read her the riot act and told her to get and start helping.  He got ready for bed and climbed in and spooned to her back, sighing he kissed her on her shoulder and closed his eyes, willing himself to sleep.
Graduation was another family photo op. Tuesday was Lexie's meeting with Thomas, which didn’t go so good,especially after she told him she was going on a sabbatical.  She had hinted to Jon that she was thinking about taking some time off from writing. They argued for an hour with Thomas threatening to cut her from his writing staff, she agreed to keep writing but not doing the conference appearance. He finally agreed. The whole ride to the townhouse just seemed longer than usual, she hated that he only agreed to give her a year of no publicity appearances, but she’d take it. Jon and the band were heading on tour and she would need to be there for the kids. 
Pulling into the garage she headed across the street to the townhouse.  Jon was to drop of Snow at the vet, while they were gone on vacation.  She had wanted to just go to the cabin, but she had been outvoted, and they were heading to St.  Barthes .  Since the family always went there in the summer, it was a tradition.  And to a Sicilian family traditions were important.  She and Hellen had been packing the Trio for the trip, they could buy diapers and other things that babies needed there.  But packing for seven kids was a huge job.  Lexie checked the boys to make sure underwear and swim trunks were packed along with enough clothes for the trip. She checked on Stephanie’s too, then she went to make dinner and afterwards she had to pack hers and Jon’s suitcases.  Needless to say, her emotions were wound tighter than a spring. 
The kids were hyper at dinner, Jon still noticed how quiet his wife was.  He had noticed a change in her since the graduation party.  He had tried to talk to her, see what had her so upset, but she just pushed it off as being tired. He asked the kids to clear the table and load the dishwasher.  When they left the room, he reached across the table and took her hand.
“Did Thomas give you any problems today?” Jon asked her. He could feel the tension in her hand.
“Not really, he gave me a year, I told him I was still going to be writing, just no personal appearances.” Lexie said as she took a deep breath.
“Do you need me to talk to him?”  Jon came around the table and pulled her up into his arms.  “I got contacts ya know.”  He was trying to get her to relax and laugh.
He got a chuckle, just a sad one.  “As much as he deserves it, I’ll be fine.  I’m just tired, trips with seven kids and two adults, with three of these kids under the age of one, it’s like moving your band for a week.  Wish we could hire some roadies to handle it all!”  She put her head on his shoulder and sighed.
“My roadies wouldn’t touch this bunch with a ten foot poll, but I did call Matty to come by and help get the luggage to the airport and loaded for tomorrow.”  He rubbed her back and just held her.
“Got the drops for the Trio, doctor said we give it to them an hour before we take off, Hellen and I have diaper bags packed, bottles, diapers and passies.  I think after this trip I can be a roadie.”  She stepped back and kissed him on the nose.  “I can’t lie, really wish we were going to the cabin instead.”
“We can slip off, just the two of us, like when we met.”  He placed his forehead to hers.
“We’d have to bring Romey with us.”  She laughed.
“Once we get Steph to her dorm we can take the long way back and go to the cabin.”  Jon told her. “It would give us some alone time before I head on this leg of the tour.”
“That would be nice, like a second honeymoon.”  She smiled.  Jon had a way of making everything right.
“Minus the morning sickness and the cracker crumbs in bed.”  Jon laughed.
“Yeah that was a little downer.”  Lexie agreed. 
Stephanie and Jesse were listening from the kitchen.
“Did we do the right thing by going to Saint Barth  instead of the cabin?” Jesse asked his sister.
“There isn’t as much to do there, just the community pool, Saint Barth's has the beach.” Stephanie told him.
“What about that guy you met, you seemed to enjoy him.” Jesse reminded her.
“I haven’t even heard from him since the wedding.  I hadn’t thought of Mark in a long time.  I’ll call him, its short notice, think Uncle Matty will help us?” Stephanie asked
“I’ll call Uncle Matt, you call Mark.”  Jesse told her.
They split up and headed to their rooms.  Jesse stopped in his brothers room along the way and told them what they were going to do.  After a little back and forth they agreed.  Now he had to get Uncle Matt on board.
Around Midnight Stephanie and Jesse went to talk to their dad.
“Daddy,” Stephanie whispered. Trying hard not to wake Lexie.
“Steph, I got to be up at 6! Is this important?”  Jon whispered back.
“Yeah dad it is.”  Jesse whispered back.
Jon got out of bed and grabbed his robe and followed his oldest two to the hall.
“Ok what’s up?”  He asked as he shut the bedroom door.
“Well, we voted last night after dinner, we want to go to the cabin.”  Stephanie told him.