"Well...she hasn't called me." Archie could tell Jules wasn't so please having Halie around, as if she'd be his burden yet.
"Jet lag, I suppose." Archie didn't know what else to say about the sister they kind of shared. He supposed he wasn't a very good brother, but really Halie was only Jules' sister, not his. Except he was Jules' brother.
Archie then mentioned he'd moved in with Molly.
Jules asked a dozen or so questions about her. How long had he known her? Did he really fancy her? What brought all this on?
"I dunno. It just feels like home, you know." Archie felt pleasantly happy saying this to Jules. He even smiled. "Her sister went off to California. Guess, she'll make it big, doing something fun." He only knew this from Molly. He hadn't seen her since she went to bed with Madds. Of course, the Danish boy was still in the guestroom, but it hardly mattered.
Molly was really quite happy. They'd even gone to a musical festival for the day. They'd seen his Dad and Halie's Mum. They'd spent the day and were glad to come home to clean sheets and a real bathroom.
Actually, they were maybe too much alike. Too, Old fashioned for Rufus and Liz, but it didn't really seem to bother, Archie nor Molly.
Yes, it was good to have tea in bed and read when they felt like it.
Jules felt sick, maybe it was just sadness. It felt as if he was reliving the old days with his mum. He was the last to know what she might do. Halie was no different. She hadn't even called to let him know she was here. Didn't she want to see him?
"Well, of course, I do." She was quite perturbed to find him at the place she was staying so early in the morning. She looked a little hung over. He supposed, she was a little out of it from the flight and the baby.
Of course, he didn't want to have a thing to do with Gage, nor his family. He'd came to see her and he'd brought scones and muffins.
Gage's mother thanked him and poured him a cup of coffee while he waited. She spoke of the black berries in the back yard she'd picked a few weeks ago. She'd made jam. She offered him a jar to take home.
She said she was happy to have Halie here with them, and how her ex-husband was helping Halie get into some college classes.
It was true, Halie was with a high school boy. He was about two years younger than her. He winced at the thought that she'd chosen someone like that, yet he had to remember, he was glad she hadn't gone off with a teacher, as he'd recalled the old story from his mother's early ventures into adulthood. But, he wouldn't mention it to Halie.
Naturally, she shoved the baby right in his lap, and the practically toddler wailed.
It seemed the only one who could settle him was Gage.
"Sorry, about that." Gage apologized, taking the baby. He motioned for his mother to come upstairs with him, so Jules could be alone with Halie.
"So.. you, think..this was right smart of you? Taking up with that boy, and his kind, is that it?" He glared at her.
"See." She tensed as she pushed her thick hair back. "This ..is why..I..I don't want to see you, if this is all we have to talk about." She swelled a frown, as if she had nothing else to say to him.
"You, could have called. I would have had room for you, you know. Alec, too." Jules pressed.
She winced hard.
"God's sake..you're me, baby sister. I want to take care of you!" Jules told her.
"I don't want you, too." She said she didn't need anything from him. "I'm fine."
"Really?" He highly doubted it.
"I won't deny, I did want to get away from Mum. She's..she's..you know, Mum." She didn't speak ill of her, but Jules got the feeling Liz might be back to her old habits. After all, she was with Rufus, his father. "And then..well, Gage's girlfriend had some..some online thing, going on with Dusty." She sounded almost to cross to breathe about it. "I dunno, if it was the right thing to do, Jules." She bit back tears, "But you..see the way..Alec is with Gage..I just couldn't ..I couldn't forbid it, I wouldn't want to keep them from each other."
"Do you even love him?" Jules stared her down as if he hated to see her miserable.
"Oh, God..I'm afraid I do...I really..really tried..so hard..you know.to hate him so, .and well, I guess I wasn't as crazy as I thought I was, with Dustin." She tried to explain. "I know I'm boy crazy." She sighed. "I've always been that way. Hormonal, you know." She pulled a long lock of hair behind her ear as she bit her bottom lip. "And I get it, from mum. I know..I do. And..and I know there is so much more to life than someone giving you a rush, feeling drunk on love...I really think Gage has grown up. So much. Its just, I don't know if I have. Even after having a baby and all."
She looked at Jules, who pulled himself closer to her there at the kitchen table. He put his arms around her her shoulder and he leaned his forehead against hers.
"Promise me, if there's anything you need, you come to me."
"Promise." She smiled.
He kissed her forehead.
"I want us to at least find the time, to get together. Have dinner. See each other." He told her.
"All right." She nodded as if it was a true promise.