Lexie looked up shocked at the tone of Jon’s voice.
“I was going to tell you when we got home, I didn’t want to ruin everyone’s vacation.” Lexie told him finally. It was like a weight lifted off her shoulders.
Stephanie looked between her dad and Lexie, as she moved to go exit the room. Just as she made it to the doorway it hit her. Did her smoking pot and getting her picture taken smoking pot cause Lexie to lose the movie offer? She stood in the doorway and waited on this to all come back on her.
“That’s what your four hour meeting came to, Thomas pulled your movie deal on your first book? Why didn’t you tell me this Lex?” Jon moved further in the room and took the chair that Stephanie left.
“Because, I let him do it Jon, I let him pull the movie.” Lexie told him, her hands in the little dryers, waiting for her nails to dry.
“How did you let him pull the movie deal?” Jon leaned forward to talk to her.
“Because I told him I wasn’t going to meet my deadline for the next book and I wanted to take some time off. He said I needed to make my deadline or it would look like the bad press that Stephanie stirred up was the reason. I told him he was crazy, that I would put the book out next summer. He said it needed to be out sooner.” Lexie told him as she checked her nails for drying.
“So you move the deadline and put one out sooner, you’re always writing, can you pull a book from your notes?” He knew about writing a song and how he and Richie had books of songs, just sitting and waiting for their moment of glory.
“I could, but my heart just isn’t in it and I was writing a kids story that I was telling the trio. I asked Thomas about putting it out instead and he went ballistic. You would have thought I asked him to cut off his balls.” She gave a tired laugh and turned off the nail dryers. “Jon I want to tell him I quit about I want a new editor. But I want to line up another one before I do that. That’s why I want to take the time off.”
Jon sat back and thought about what she just said. She seemed to have thought this all out.
“If that’s what you want to do, then if I can help in any way, you’ll let me help?” Jon reached out and pulled her onto his lap and into his arms.
“If I have any problems, I’ll be sure to let you help.” She smiled at him just before his lips descended onto her.
Stephanie breathed a sigh of relief, she hadn’t caused a problem for Lexie. Tears rolled down her cheeks, Jesse said this all might come around to bite her in the ass, and it just almost did. Pushing off the wall she headed down to the family room where the boys were playing video games. She was surprised to find Sally and Jesse down there too, playing with Jake and Romeo.
“I though you two were going to a movie?” She asked as she plopped down on the sofa by them.
“We got there, one movie was sold out and the other one we had seen already. So we came back here to watch a movie, the boys conned us into playing a foursome game.” Jesse sat close to Sarah.
“Sounds like fun,” Stephanie rolled her eyes. “I’m gonna make some popcorn, anyone want some?” She got up and headed to the kitchen.
Sally handed her controller to Jesse and went to help Stephanie in the kitchen.
“Have you heard from Mark?” Sally asked her while Stephanie put popcorn in the popper.
“Yeah, he’s coming by tomorrow, he told me he’s between ladies.” Stephanie laughed. “We’re just going to be friends. I don’t need any problems before I head to college.”
“Mark is always between ladies, even when he was dating me he was seeing someone else. Just don’t let him try anything on you.” Sally told her. She felt like an older sister to Stephanie, and wanted her to know the kind of guy Mark was.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Stephanie said as the corn began to pop. “Thanks, Daddy and Lexie were talking when I left about the movie, her editor Thomas cut the movie deal because she wants some time off. He’s not a nice man.”
“Lexie’s the only writer he has left, he’s destroyed a lot of careers.” Sally told her. “When I heard she was having problems with him, I read up on him, you’re right, he’s not a nice man.”
“Daddy will help her find a new editor, he does have connections.” Stephanie said as she put the popcorn into bowls.
“I hope he does, it would be a shame if she stopped writing.” Sally said as she picked up one of the bowls and followed Stephanie back into the family room.
Lexie and Jon had joined them in the family room, Stephanie noticed that they were a little more rumpled then when she left them. Smiling she handed them a bowl of popcorn.
It was close to one in the morning when Lexie finally got the younger boys up to their room. Sally and Jesse headed to the garage to Sally’s car, and that left Stephanie with her father.
“You two get things worked out?” Stephanie asked as she curled her feet under her and turned toward her dad.
“Yes, I support her with her decision to take the year off, and I’m gonna put out some feelers to get her a new editor, hell she’s been on the New York’s best sellers list for years.” Jon leaned back and popped a handful of popcorn in his mouth.
“You know, some of the writers at the conferences talked to her about leaving Thomas. He was the only editor who never showed up to the conferences, daddy the whole time she was in the hospital on bedrest, he would call her every day to make sure she was writing and not just sitting around.” Stephanie picked up the boys bowls and combined the leftover popcorn into the main bowl. “He wasn’t even there when she won her award.”
Jon listed to what his daughter said. She had gone with Lexie to the conferences several times, so she knew what was going on while they were there.
“The more I hear about Thomas, the more I hate that little shit.” Jon grabbed another hand full of popcorn.
“Yeah, on that I agree with you dad.” Stephanie told her father, “On that we agree.”
The rest of the vacation was relaxing and all too soon they were loading the van and heading home. Mark was Mark, he attempted to sway her into badness. Jon had even told her one night, “Your mother always said your Uncle Mookie was the Devil, I think he handed over his pitchfork to Mark.”
Sally and Jesse made plans for her to come into the city for a visit. She was looking at change her job and Hellen had family that needed her services. So Sally would come in and take over being the trio’s nanny. That would be perfect all the way around, the trio loved Sally and Jesse couldn’t be happier. In two weeks she would be here, to take over.
They returned home from taking Stephanie to college. She had met her roommate, Dorothea and Lexie had decorated her side of the room and they had checked out the clubs and the precollege parties and concerts. As Dorothea and Lexie talked about the boys and it was decided that Lexie would send Dorothea a copy of the schedules. It seemed like a truce was reached, and the boys would visit their mom when they wanted to.
Jon left in the morning to begin Bon Jovi’s tour, Lexie and Jon headed to Teterboro, where they met the rest of band for the flight to London.
“I’ll call you when we land and get to the hotel.” Jon murmured as they sat in the Escalade on the tarmac. Lexie was going through his flight case, making sure he had the small travel frames on the kids and one of her and him, and that his passport and id’s were in order in the travel wallet. He would be gone a month, about twenty five shows. “Your camera and batteries are all packed, take lots of pictures, I’ve never been to London.” Lexie told him as they watched the rest of the band showing up.
“I’ll take you for our anniversary, we’ll do the whole tourist trap, West End, the Tower and Piccadilly Circus. I’ll even to take you to Harrods with the Black card.” Jon laughed and Lexie joined in.
Then she sobered, this was the first time since the Trio was born, he was leaving her. She felt tears prickle behind her closed eyes.
“Hey, it will be over before you know it.” He enfolded her into his arms.
“I know, but I’ll miss you” She sniffed.
“And I’ll miss you. Just like I missed you when you went away for three weeks, just don’t trip up Sally and break her arm.” He tried to make her laugh.
“I won’t.” Lexie sniffed again.
All too soon, there was a knock on the car door. Matt was there to get Jon on the plane.
“Wheels up bro, time to fly.” Matt said as he tapped on the glass.
“Call me when you land?” Lexie asked him.
“The minute they tell me I can use my cell.” He told her with one last kiss.
They got out and walked hand in hand, as Matt followed with his go bag. One last kiss and he was up the steps to the plane. She stood there until the door closed. She walked to the car and turned as the plane moved into the cue to take off. Standing there waving like a fool as the plane lifted into the air, tears rolling down her cheeks, she waited till it was a dot in the blue sky. Getting into the car, she finally had the driver take her home. She heard her cell phone beep, letting her know she had a message. Pulling out her phone she tapped the message icon
744 hours to go and counting. XOXOX