"You, neglected to tell your son..you're with me." Easy sighed as he went to get Clare another beer from the cooler.
They were out on the back porch of the old house she bought. Not that far from the boarding house.
Actually, it might have been his idea. He'd showed it to her. Told her, he'd buy it if he had the funds, like she did. And he would help.
Easy was honest about that. He did like to flip houses. He just didn't tell her he was looking for a way to be actually on his own. But then again, would he actually be on his own? No way could he get used to being under his real Dad's thumb.
"He doesn't need to know, everything." She looked at him as if she liked secrets as well as he did.
"You're right." He nodded. He drank on his lime beer.
He'd stuck around with his dad and his family for a cookout. Actually, he liked watching Twinkles and Ram Rod together. Young Love. Perhaps.
But Twinkles had confided in him. After all, Easy wanted to know how Twinkles got that strange neighbor kid from coming around. And she didn't hold back.
Now, a part of him felt he was a much better parent than either Rowdy or Ting. But he swore he'd never tell just what she did at the river that night in early Spring. So he guessed he'd stick around for a girl named Bree. After all, he was her cousin or uncle or something. And he did love his family, even if he couldn't exactly tell his dad.
But there was a grownup like Clare around, and that changed everything.
"So do you miss all the fireworks?' Jama asked Gage, who was in her kitchen, having some late night cookies and milk. Of course, she asked Ian this question, around this time of year..during the 4th of July.
Gage was holding his son, who was rather content.
Honestly, it was amazing. Alec could be fussing with anyone else, but drop him in Gage's lap and all was quiet.
"Not really." Gage told her about the new curfew in the small suburb he lived in. "No fireworks after 10 p.m. because of all the soldiers with PTS." He told her usually the local neighborhood sounded like a war zone. The air was toxic, too.
He looked at her, with an almost silly smile.
"What?" She winced.
"I dunno, something about you reminds me of this rocker chick I saw in concert, a long time ago...actually." He sighed as if he really hoped she didn't think he was flirting. "Tay Jardine, ever heard of her?"
"Yeah." Gage did make Jama smile.
For the life of her, she didn't know why Halie hated him with such a passion. If only she could enjoy the fact that Gage was here, but she knew Halie was just being Halie. She might never learn to appreciate Gage.
"Just what did Frankie, do to you?" Alo couldn't get close to Vada, lately. Even to watch the fireworks.
"What do you mean?" Vada looked at Alo, as if this was not the night for romance.
"I dunno..you tell me." Alo wanted to be there for Vada, but there seemed to be more invisible walls building around her. He knew it had something to do with her past.
"It'll be fine." She promised and he hugged her more.
"I wish that was true, but it won't be until you decide to tell me..everything." His voice was soft as he nestled up to her ear.
"Then you'll know how bad..I really am." She choked.
He pushed back the strand of hair caught in her eyelash.
"I really thought HE..my Dad..was dead." She put it bluntly. "I've wanted him to be dead..all this time."
Taylor guessed his timing was never good, but he had nowhere else to go. His family certainly didn't want to see him. Perhaps he was more trouble like Essie than he ever meant to be. He'd always been the quiet sort.
He was suppose to be driving a truck by now. Yeah, his grandmother paid for the school and everything. And then, he couldn't cut it. It was such a lonely life as a truckdriver. Besides, he didn't like studying the laws, nor doing the hard work of pulling heavy tarps over a truckload of whatever.
Why in the world did he ever say he wanted to be a truckdriver?
Now to find out Essie was married. That made him a little blue. As usual no one ever told him anything. He bet his grandmother didn't even know.
He was thinking of calling her. He forgot while he was at the cookout. There was this girl he wanted so badly to meet, but she looked busy with her brother and he guessed her boyfriend, too.
And then Essie started having contractions so they went to the hospital. Four hours later they got to go home. Taylor got the guestroom.
He bet the bed had never been slept on. It was the nicest bed he'd ever seen. Big too. Yeah, he was going to have to find a way to stick around at Essie and Scott's house.