Jules didn't know what to expect when his dad and his mom and Halie's Dad showed up. It was a houseful, and they didn't stay at Willow's parents even if he knew his mother expected them too. Instead, they got situated as Ian's parents. After all, they were sort of family.
Thankfully, it wasn't long until Halie called him. Luckily, it all fell in place in the end and Halie was ever so quiet. About everything. As if she'd done it all on her own.
"You, wanted Mum and your Dad to come, didn't you?" Jules finally figured it all out. He soon forgot about the mysterious boy. Everyone seemed too. They were all worried about Halie, and he could tell by that timid smile of hers that she was delighted.
All the while Rufus stayed out of the way by chatting up Willow and taking to the kitchen with Ian step-mom. Ever so often he'd hear laughter and wonder what he was missing while Halie was the center of attention.
But Jules had seen the way his mother was with Rufus. They were together. It was true. Just the way Rufus put his arm around her and kissed the side of her face as if he'd never ever leave.
"Mum is in love with Rufus." Jules said later when he had Halie all to himself. "You, can't change that. He's not going away so easily."
Halie still wasn't saying much, but she looked all sad now. He couldn't imagine why. He supposed it was Rufus.
They sat on the couch. He watched her hug a big denim pillow for comfort.
"I never liked your Dad much, you know." Jules stared at her. "You, are my sister, he wouldn't let me see you." It was true, he'd just never said what bothered him so much. "And..and he left me with her. To fend for myself. I hated him for that." He didn't mean to be so sour. "It was like I didn't really matter. But you, Halie, we love you. And you, can't keep doing this shit. All right?"
She only nodded as a wisp of her hair came undone from her ponytail. He moved closer so did she. He hugged her then.
"If only you'd heard Mum. Heard her cry, you, would have never gone off with that Gage." He told her.
"I'm sorry." She said into his flannel shirt. Her tears dampen his shoulder. He supposed she would never tell him just what she did with Gage.