Halie tried her best to be in a good mood about meeting... you know who at the airport. Her mother insisted that she go. After all, Gage came all this way to see Alec. Halie needed to be there with Alec.
Of course, Josie was all gloomy. Thus Halie's stomach was topsy-turvy. She hadn't seen Gage since...
Oh..maybe she'd pass out or something. She didn't want Dustin to see her reaction when she saw Gage for the first time since the last time she'd seen him..when she loved him and thought everything he touched was golden.
Now she didn't know how to feel. Hate. Anger. Hostility.
"What is wrong with you, anyway?" She demanded Josie to take some time and really talk with her. "Are you mental?" She winced.
"I'm sorry..I've been so..awful." Josie looked as if she was on the brink of tears. She'd only came all this way for support. Even Molly and her twin Lucy and Archie showed up too.
"Sorry, we weren't all here when you arrived. I really hate traveling so long with Alec." As it was Alec was drooling all over Halie and taking in everything the big world had to offer. Her arm was wet, and she could hardly feel her hands after holding him so long.
Finally, Gage arrived..but not with Macy.
It was actually a relief. Halie did not want to meet Gage's girlfriend in person.
But naturally, she plopped Alec in Gage's arms without saying a word.
And Alec just looked up at him and put a wad of Gage's hair in his mouth.
"Hey, little man." Gage just smiled as if kids did that to him all the time, but then Dustin said something to him and Gage handed him over and put his thick hair in a man bun and went back to holding the baby.
And there was Henry. Who took to Josie right away like he had a secret to share.
Again, Halie felt left out.
Gage talked about the weather with Dustin. Told him how hot and muggy it was back home. "Probably a chance of a tornado, somewhere." He sounded like he was happy to be here. And darn if there wasn't a whimper out of Alec.
She plodded along with Gage and Dustin, Halie looked back at Henry and Josie, wondering if they were even coming.
Obviously, he knew.
Josie guessed Vada told Henry everything. Even if he kept talking about the flight and how amazing the trip was.
"And not once did I get sick, or anything else."
But he took her hand before she could actually turn from him, to see where Halie and the others were going.
He kissed her as if this was really what he'd came for.
And for the first time she felt as if she was truly glad to be here. She'd felt lost without him. She kissed him back as if she needed to make this up to him. It was best not to think.
"What the hell?" Halie marched right up to them, forcing them apart.
"I dunno, we thought we just might go on to Paris." Henry grinned.
Josie bit her bottom lip with a smile.
"Just kidding." He then promised. Finally they caught up with the others.
Well, Cooper was going to make an effort. Even if it were just the four of them. No Carly.
He'd never cooked out before, but Rita's grill was top of the line. How could any of it go wrong?
But he hadn't a clue what he was doing. Actually, he hadn't for sometime. He kind of liked it, that way. Rita knew what to do. So she could tell him what to do. And he was really fine with it... because... after all..she was looking out for his best interest.
And she was...
It made him smile when he thought of her. He couldn't look back. After all, life was good. He had Bella and a real family.
Well, one on the way. Still, they hadn't said anything to Jen. They hadn't even told her they got married. With Carly up and leaving, they hadn't gotten around to telling anyone.
God knows, if his own father knew, he might have a heart failure. Of course, he never accept Bella. According to him, that could be anybody's kid. So Cooper hadn't been back with any troubles. It was best just to find his own way. Besides, his family were farmers and they thought he'd sold out.
A real man would live on the land. No matter what.
Cooper supposed he would never be the son he was expected to be. But now, here he was about to grill a T-bone.
"I think the heats too high." An unfamiliar voice said from behind him.
Cooper hadn't caught the commotion inside. He was trying to figure out how to do the chore at hand. After all, Rita had the meat seasoned. All he had to do was to put it on the grill and...
"You, might scorch it." His hands looked able, and his hair was cropped short. He looked like the perfect all American solider. "Hey, I'm Roy." He smiled and offered Cooper a handshake. Roy was Rita's oldest son who was here with his little brother.
"Well..I just didn't know what you were doing for the 4th." Gavin thought he might look like an idiot now, as he stood on Maggie's doorstep. She had company and it was getting dark. He supposed he'd interrupted something, but Sophie was still up.
"Oh." She didn't say 'you should have called.' At least, she let him in. Sophie, on her waist. Honestly, he thought the little girl was too big to hold.
Maggie introduced him to Rhys. Soon enough, he found out they had a history. They'd gone on a missionary trip or two together.
Gavin had never been put in this sort of position before. Competing for someone's affection. He couldn't help to think that Rhys was better looking than him. Rhys always knew what to say, and her parents obviously loved Rhys. They'd invited him to the 4th.
"But I need to get back to St. Joe's." He smiled with a shrug. Gavin could see he hadn't ruffled his feathers.
"So, come to the cookout, if you want." Maggie didn't seem to care, one way or another.
"Sure." Gavin sighed, but he couldn't let either them know that he was happy that Rhys was leaving.