So, here it is. My David Story.

A little background...

I participated in an interactive fan fiction on a friend's site, and my character ended up with David. I spent so much time immersing myself in his music and stories about him (which are hard to find, by the way) that he took over my thoughts for quite some time. I couldn't get him out of my head. He's still in there, rattling doors and opening drawers and such, but he's behaving himself. Mostly.

This story came out as an outlet for me to try to get through my little obsession. I told some of the girls from the other fan fic exercise, and they thought it was hysterical that I got so wrapped up, that I couldn't think of anything but him.

They convinced me to "go public" with the story, so here it is.

I hope you enjoy it. It starts here.

~ Hath

Chapter 101: Home Again

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I arrived home to Boston and work to find that one of my last official duties here is going to be firing somebody. Wonderful. Apparently while “Hath” was out playing with her friends, "New Hath" was not playing nice, and made some REALLY bad decisions that I've now spent oh, 6 hours on the phone trying to smooth over.

They want me to extend my end-date now. NO WAY! I told them I'm getting married in May, and already have another job lined up, and there's no way I can do that. Sheesh. Just what I need. I've got a rock sitting in between the LJs now. Grrr. They're starting to make noises about withholding money they owe me and stuff like that. Christ, now I need a lawyer. Can you believe this shit?

Yeah, they now offered to give me a promo if I stay. I of course told them no. They offered more money. I said, and I quote, "do you know who I'm marrying?" Petty, small, and snobby, I know, but they were pissing me off. I swear, I'm gonna be in bed next to Sam on bed rest soon. I can't get out of there soon enough! I vented all this on the board, and Sam the sweetie jumped right in to offer her help.

I knew that they were just spouting off – that they’d never dare try anything like that. Not only is it illegal, it'd be in the papers so fast, it'd make their heads spin. I had no qualms about THAT getting into the papers. They really pushed at me to stay, and I think that empty threat was their last resort. They don't know that when push comes to shove, I push right back. I told them if we were firing Ethan, they had had better select someone else to step up because they have two weeks. We'll see who they drag up now. They're not happy with me right now, but the feeling is mutual.

The morning passed in its usual flurry of meetings that I now had to take a more active role in again because of Ethan. Jesus, what a pain in the ass.

In the afternoon, we got a message from Lucy that put my petty problems in perspective:

Didn't know if you girls had heard...but they are charging Richie with child endangerment. They say if he's found guilty a jail sentence is likely. This is killing him, you all know how much he loves Ava. I'm really worried about him. He's putting up his brave face as usual, but I don't know...I'm worried this will push him over the edge.

I'm not including Sam in this PM b/c of her condition. Richie doesn't want to get her involved...but I would almost feel better if Sam was representing him, I mean of course provided she improves and gets off bed rest, but until then...don't say anything to her. ya think Mama G could sequester her like they do jury's tv, no papers, no I know she can't keep all that from her, but if you could ask her to maybe, keep an eye out so that if she does find out...she doesn't find out by hearing it on the news.

I replied right back to her that David and I would fly out on the 6th and go to court with them on the 7th. I mean, it went without saying, but I wanted to say it. We offered to stay at a hotel, but Lucy, being who she is, said hell no. So, we’re staying at casa de Sambora.

I reminded Lucy that Sam is pretty savvy, and she'll find out about this sooner or later, and she'd take the news better if it's offered to her rather hidden from her. I also called my mom, and got Richie and Lucy an extra rosary. She asked if I was calling because of what was on the news. I smiled. She paid more attention to the entertainment news now, and already knew what was going on. She said she was praying for strength for them, to be able to handle whatever happens.

I called David to tell him we knew what was going on, and he said he already knew, and would keep an eye on Richie; they all would. None of them want to see him hurting any more than he already was.

I hope it all works out.

* * * * *

David pulled Richie aside one afternoon. “You got a minute, man?” he asked.

“Sure, Davey,” Richie answered. “What’s up?”

David sighed and paced a little. “Hath and I were talking, and we want to be there for you guys whatever this episode unleashes on your lives.”

Richie nodded. “Thanks man; that means a lot.”

David bobbed his head. “We want to postpone the wedding until we know what’s going on.”

Richie just stared at him. “Are you fucking kidding me? No. No way.”

“But --”

“Shut it and listen.” Now Richie started pacing. “It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment. Really, I do. But you are not postponing the best thing that ever happened to you because of me.” He held his hand up when David would have interrupted. “I’m not done. I would feel terrible, worse than I do now, if my stupid-ass moment caused problems in any more lives.” Richie turned away, a sheen of moisture in his eyes.

David stepped forward, and clapped his friend gently on the shoulder. “We just want to be supportive of you, man, that’s all.”

“I know, and I appreciate that, but dammit, you can’t disrupt your lives because of this.” Richie turned to look at David, the two sharing an unspoken question between them. Richie sighed, and his shoulders slumped. “If I have to miss the wedding because of --” he couldn’t make himself say ‘jail’, “then I’m going to be apologizing to Hath for the rest of my life, but that’s what I’ll have to do.”

“Damn, Rich,” David said in commiseration.

“No shit,” Richie said. “Do we understand each other about the wedding?” David nodded. “Good,” Richie said. “Because I’d have to shave you bald if you did that, and Hath would kill me.”

* * * * *

Later that night, my brother called me. “Hath? It’s John.”

“I know,” I answered. “I do have caller ID you know. Plus, I recognize your voice. And thanks for calling me ‘Hath’”

“Ha, ha. Look, Rich just called me.”

“Yeah, I kinda figured that he’d be calling you from time to time. What’s wrong?” I started pacing circles around the living room. I didn’t know what he knew.

“He said you and David wanted to postpone the wedding? What the hell?” my brother was getting agitated.

“We just wanted to be able to show support for him, and what’s it to you?”

John sighed. “Nothing, sis, but hell, do you know what that looks like? That looks like you have no faith that he won’t go to jail.”

All the blood drained from my face, and I sat down hard on the couch. “Jesus,” I said. “I didn’t think of it that way.”

“Yeah, well, you’re not a guy.” John laughed. “Anyway, he wanted to hear what I have been working on, and Jesus, Hath, he said I was good.”

I just laughed right back at him. “I’ve been telling you that for years!”

“Yeah, but you suck at music. You couldn’t carry a tune if I gave it to you in a bucket. He knows what he’s doing. He’s one of my idols. This is a big deal,” he said.

“It sure is. Don’t fuck it up,” I said, humor in my voice.

He was dead serious when he answered. “I won’t. I swear it.”

“I know you won’t,” I answered. “Love you bro.”

“You too, sis. I gotta go practice more. Bye.”

I got on the boards to see what was going on, and I gave an apology to Lucy, which she graciously accepted.


Lucy, David told me he and Richie talked. Well Richie talked, David listened.

Please don't be too upset with us about wanting to change the wedding. We honestly just wanted to show our support, but in light of Richie's comments to David, well, we're leaving it as is. NO way do I want Richie shaving David bald

Also, my brother called me; he said Richie called him earlier to touch base about playing. Brother dearest said that Richie sounded glad to have a distraction. So, sorry again if I got you guys pissed off.

Still love me?

The next morning, Dad and Ang took off for their respective homes. Dad was itching to get back home among his things, and Ang needed to make some hard decisions about what she wanted to do with her life. She was completely taken by Nathan and didn’t know what to do with that. She was still coming back for the weddings and the babies’ births, but she needed to get some things done at home.

Chatper 100: Arizona (and Vegas)

It was finally, FINALLY, the week the girls were meeting up in Arizona and Las Vegas. Hath was so happy to be going; she missed David something awful. She was also starting to not be able to wear her normal clothes anymore; she had to go shopping for maternity togs. Ang went with her, to help her pick out fun things. David had left her a credit card to use, and Hath still felt guilty about using his money for her things, and spent a lot of time scouring the clearance racks for good deals.

At the second shop they went to, Ang found a gorgeous flowy top that was black, shot through with gold thread. Hath looked at the price tag and gawped – for that price, it better be REAL gold threads! She told Ang to put to put it back on the rack. Ang grabbed her phone and pressed a button. A few minutes later, she started to talk.

“I know you’re busy, but please talk to your wife-to-be. She won’t buy anything that’s not in the clearance bin.” She thrust the phone at her friend. “Someone wants to talk to you.”

“You bitch!” Hath said, then took the phone. “Look,” she said to David. “I don’t need anything fancy, it’s not like I’m going to be wearing this stuff for more than one season,” she said. “I don’t feel right spending $150 for a blouse!”

“Baby,” David said, speaking softly, “I just want you to be happy. If you’re happy with the castoffs, go for it. If you see something you like, though, or something you think I might like,” his deep chuckle made Hath’s toes curl, “then go for that, too. Please, whatever you want.”

“Oh, baby, all I want is to come and see you,” she said.

“Just a few more days, and you’ll be here. Can you do me a favor?”

“Anything, baby, you know that.”

David chuckled sexily. “Pick out something sexy and filmy to wear the night you get in.” His laugh turned dirty. “Buy me a present, baby.” Hath blushed right there in the middle of the store while he continued. “Something with lots of little buttons or snaps, so it takes me a while to get to your skin. I want to tease you while I undress you slowly.”

“David!” she hissed, and Ang looked at her. She rolled her eyes and leaned in to the speaker.

“I don’t know what yer sayin’, D,” Ang laughed, “but she’s redder than red.”

He laughed again. “And I have to stop this,” he said, “before one of the others comes in and sees just how hard I am thinking about you.”

Hath groaned, “You’re killing me.”

“So,” David countered, “kill me back. Get something that will make my hair straight.”

Hath laughed. “That sounds like a dare to me,” she said.

“Whatever it takes, baby,” David replied.

“Game on.”

“Sweet hell, I can’t wait. See you soon Sexy Mama,” he said. “I love you.”

“Love you too,” Hath replied. “And I can’t wait either, Sweet Papa. Bye.”

Hath hung up and handed Ang back her phone. “C’mon,” she said. “We have to find the lingerie section.”

“Hot damn,” Ang said, making Hath laugh. After that phone call, Hath didn’t have any problem using David’s credit card for her purchases.

A few days later, Hath was talking to Sam about becoming a mother. This was a first for both of them, and they were comparing notes. “I have to tell you,” Sam said, “I was kinda concerned about what kind of mom I was going to be. I didn't really have a good example. I mean...not that my mom wasn't a great mom...I just didn't have a lot of time with her.” Hath could practically see her friend smiling on the other end of the phone. “But, your mom has been a great example. We actually sat down and talked, REALLY talked, Monday night. I told her about my mom. It all started with a simple, innocent question from Pauline. She asked me why my mom couldn't come and take care of me and Lyndsay.” Now, Hath could hear Sam’s voice thicken with emotion. She continued, “I told her about my mom. She was just great. Thank you for sending her here.”

Hath had tears in her own eyes. This is what she had hoped would happen. She was so glad it finally did. “Aw, Sam, you're welcome. I'm glad she could be there for you. Didja make her cry? I'll bet you did. I'll also guarantee she's said a rosary for your mom every day since -- she already says one for you.”

Sam laughed. “No, I didn’t make her cry,” she said, “but really? A rosary?”

Hath nodded, though Sam couldn’t see her, and said, “Ever since you all came into my life, Mom’s added you to her rosary. She laughs that it takes her a whole hour to do it now.” They both laughed. “But seriously,” Hath said, “she considers all of you her kids now, even the guys. She prays for all of you every day. Extra ones for Richie and Lucy, and for you and me because of the babies, but you all get your turn, and now your Mom will too.”

“But why?” Sam wanted to know.

“She loves you because I love you,” Hath said. “That you’re important to me is enough for her to make you important to her. She’s always been like that.”

Sam was quiet for a minute. “You know, Hath, you’re pretty lucky, to have a mom like that.”

“I know,” Hath answered wryly. “She reminds me of that every time I see her.”

The girls shared a laugh and made their goodbyes. Sam told Hath to have a good time in Arizona and Las Vegas, and to give Jon a hug for her.

The whole flight to Arizona, Hath was white-knuckled on the armrest. Because of the LJs, she couldn’t take her customary Valium, so this was extra nerve-wracking. Once she landed, though, her fright and panic were forgotten. David was there waiting for her. He had his hair tucked up under one of Richie’s hats and dark sunglasses, and was holding a sign that read “Sexy Momma”.

David’s breath caught when he saw her. She looked beautiful in a light flowery dress and low-heeled sandals. Her hair was up in a high ponytail, and her face lit up like Christmas when she caught sight of him. He smiled back. How could he not? Hath ran the last few steps to his waiting arms. “David!” she exclaimed.

“I can’t believe you’re finally here!” David said, spinning Hath around and kissing her soundly. “God, I missed you.”

“I missed you more,” Hath said, smiling so wide her cheeks hurt.

Arms wrapped around each other, they went to get Hath’s bags and went out to the waiting car. David raised the privacy panel and pounced. “Did you bring me a present?” He kissed Hath’s neck, nibbling and sucking his way down to her collarbone.

Hath laughed. “I sure did, baby,” she said. “It’s packed back there in my bag with all my lingerie. When do you have to go to sound check?”

David sat back, looked at his watch, and smiled. “Not until three. That gives us a little more than four hours.”

Hath made a disappointed face. “Well, if that’s all the time we have, I guess it’ll have to do. C’mere,” she said, grabbing for David. “We should get started.” She drew him to her and kissed him deeply, making him groan. He sat back, pulling Hath with him, and she shifted to sit on his lap, feeling his arousal. She slid back to his knees so she could reach the buckle on his belt, and began unfastening it.

“What are you doing?” he rasped.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Hath asked. “I just finished telling you my lingerie was all packed,” she said, evilly. “What do you suppose that means I have on under my dress?”

David growled and raised his hips so Hath could slide his pants down. She hitched her skirt to her waist, and sunk onto his hard length, making him groan loudly. Hath chuckled and shushed him. “Jesus, Hath,” David hissed, as she held onto his shoulders and rode him hard. He snaked a hand under her belly and between their bodies to massage her clit. He could feel it swell under his touch, and captured her mouth with his, thrusting his tongue into her mouth in time with her thrusts on him. His finger moved faster on her flesh, and Hath’s breath started coming faster. David smiled around their kiss, and moved even faster, making Hath’s grip on his shoulders harder.

She screamed into his mouth, and clamped down on his dick. David growled low in the back of his throat, and pumped into her, his vein pulsing in time with her clenching muscles.

Hath sat on his lap for a while, kissing and hugging her fiancé. She couldn’t believe that in little more than a month, she’d be married to this wonderful man. And a few months after that, she’d bear his children. Those thoughts made her warm inside, and she snuggled in closer to David.

“At the risk of regretting it forever,” David started, “I should tell you the driver has circled past the hotel three times already.”

Hath gasped and started to laugh. “Oh my God, what must he think of us?” She put her hands to her cheeks to find them flaming.

David chuckled. “He thinks I’m the luckiest sonofabitch on the planet,” David said. “I saw him checking out your legs when you climbed into the car.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Hath said, not believing him. Reluctantly, she climbed off of David, and reached into her purse for the wet naps she had put in there specifically for this reason. She gave David a couple and used a couple herself, then stowed them in a plastic baggie back in her purse.

David laughed. “Always prepared, huh?”

Hath shrugged. “May as well be,” she said. They straightened their clothes as best they could, though the tell-tale wrinkles at Hath’s waist would surely give away what they’d been doing in the backseat. Nothing to be done about it now, she thought, and she didn’t regret for a moment their lovemaking. She cuddled into David’s side, and he lowered the panel. Hath caught a glimpse of a smile on the driver’s face and blushed.

After what seemed to be a LONG time, they pulled up in front of the hotel again. Head held high, she thanked the driver for his discretion, and followed David into the hotel. She had to laugh when she saw the others standing there.

“Man, what the hell? We saw the car go by at least three times before you stopped,” Richie’s eyes were twinkling.

“Well,” Hath said, giving each of them a peck on the cheek, “I had to give him a proper hello, now, didn’t I? And that took the drive from the airport plus three trips around the block to finish, and we were still rushed.” She looked at David who was shocked. He thought she’d be all embarrassed. So did his friends. They were all surprised. “Now,” Hath continued, “if you don’t mind, I’m ready for the next round, a lazy one, and would rather not start right here in the lobby.” She winked at Jon. “Don’t worry, I’ll have him back to you in mostly one piece by the time you have to leave for sound check. Tell Sam I’ll be ready for them at four or so. Coming, David?”

David laughed and kissed his woman firmly on the mouth. “I’m sure if I’m not right now, I soon will be. Now, about that present…”

Hath laughed. “I told you, the lingerie is all packed in there, she said, indicating her bags. “Well, except for the ONE piece I have right here.” She pulled a little corner of expensive black lace from her shoulder bag. She looked around the lobby and smiled. “Hang on.” She aimed for the Ladies’ room, and disappeared.

“Jesus, David,” Tico said. “What the hell has gotten into her?”

David shrugged. “She missed me, I guess,” he said, eyes sparkling and dancing. “Seriously, though, she’s like this ALL the time. This pregnancy is the best thing to happen to my sex life since, well, meeting her in the first place.”

“SO did not want to know that, bro,” Richie said, laughing.

Hath emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, adjusting her dress. David could just see a hit of dark lace under the light fabric of her clothes. He stared at her as she approached. “Did you just --” he started.

“Yep, sure did, and damn but those little ties were annoying. So were the snaps, and the hooks. And the bell.”

“The bell?” He grabbed Hath’s hand and strode for the elevator, making her have to run to keep from being dragged. She laughed gleefully as he pulled her into the elevator. “Is there really a bell?”

“Shhhh,” she said, then shook her ass, and David heard a faint tinkling sound.

“Holy shit, Hath,” David said, his eyes darkening.

“Did I pick out a good present?” She batted her eyelashes at him coquettishly.

“Sure did,” he answered, grinning widely. “I can’t wait to unwrap it.”

David just barely made it down to the lobby in time to catch a ride with the guys to sound check. “I’m not even going to ASK you how you lost track of time,” Jon said, looking at his watch. “You had two minutes, and we were coming up to get – is that a bell?”

David had taken the tiny little bell from Hath’s lingerie and threaded it onto the necklace she had given him for Christmas.

“Yep,” David said smugly. “She told you it had a bell.”

“Jesus, she was serious? I did not need to know that,” Jon said, shaking his head.

Richie asked, “Where was it?” He was barely holding in his laughter.

“Just where you think it was,” David answered, wagging his eyebrows at his friend. “Damned thing was making so much noise; I had to take it off her.” He laughed as Jon groaned and scrubbed at his face with his hands.

“Stop it,” Jon said. “You’re putting images in my head I just don’t need to have.”

Halfway through sound check, the girls came in, passes around their necks. They sat in the front row quietly, just listening. The guys thought something was up, and saw identical goofy grins on their faces, and they were all looking at David. Staring at him, actually.

“What the hell?” Jon asked into his mic. “What’s gotten into you girls?”

Ang stood up and turned to the girls. “Ladies? Shall we?” They all giggled and stood and pointed at David.

“You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell,” they sang together, making David burst out laughing, and the others groan. David climbed down off the stage and hugged each of the girls in turn, saving an extra long hug for Hath.

“I can’t believe you told them,” he said in her ear.

“I can’t believe you’re wearing the bell,” she said back.

Las Vegas was more of an adventure than Arizona. The girls had a great time shopping up and down the strip, and they all did a fair share of gambling. They all came out ahead, in more ways than one. The show, of course, went off without a hitch.

After the show, everyone went back to the hotel and up to Richie’s suite. Lucy and Hath were cuddled up with their men, and Stephanie and Ang were talking with Tico and Jon. Jon excused himself from the conversation, and went to the bathroom. When several minutes passed, with no return, they chuckled.

“Guess he misses Sam, and went to call her,” Stephanie said.

Ang laughed. “He thought he was being sneaky, ducking into the bathroom first? He has a thing or three to learn about being sneaky.”

They all laughed when they checked in on the boards before going home. Sam had sent them a PM.

I'm just curious...didn't any of you notice he just up and disappeared? He said that Hath and Lucy wouldn't notice because ya'll would be too involved with Rich and David...but I told him that Queenie and Ang would notice...we actually have a bet riding on I would appreciate ya'll telling me which of you noticed and which of you didn't....lmao

The girls let her know they all noticed, so Sam won her bet. She gets to keep her hair the way she wants, and can blonde Jon when she wants to. The fannish part of them hoped she wants to soon. To a woman, they all missed the golden hair!

Chapter 99: Hanging Out

Dad, Ang, and I went to a sports bar one night to watch the Hockey game. Dad missed big crowds when watching the game. He has a bunch of cronies that all get together – it’s like a mini Godfather scene. So picture us sitting in a bar in Jersey, where the game was Bruins vs. Devils, Dad and I in full B’s gear, cheering for Boston! Well, Ang wasn’t the traitor. She was all for Jersey. We had a hell of a time, cheering on the B’s. They played well, and Dad and I smugly accepted the nods of congratulations from the Devils fans at the end of the game; even Ang.

When we got home, I checked the board, and there was another message from Sam. Guess her and Mom are coming to terms with what will work and what won’t. “We've sorta come to an agreement,” she said. “I've done my damnedest not to go off on her and say something I'd regret...or hurt her feelings. I mean, hell, I know she's just trying to help out. And, she's figured out that I don't take orders well. Now, she doesn't tell me what I'm going to eat...she asks me...and she doesn't tell me when to go to sleep...she just guilts me into getting my” That’s progress anyway.

We girls decided to descend on Sam’s for a “pretty party”. Stephanie is going to come down for the weekend, and we’re going to have a great time. I called over to the salon that did my hair and makeup for David’s birthday surprise, and they were more than happy to arrange to bring what they needed for nail day to Sam’s house. We were giddy with anticipation.

Ang and I went over to Sam’s early the next morning. We met Patti in the driveway; she was staring up at the house. “Whoa,” she said. “This is a big place.”

Ang and I just smiled. Just wait until she saw the pictures in there. “You can be discreet, right?” I asked her. We had spoken on the phone, and I had met her when I got all gussied up for David’s birthday, but it was good to be sure.

“Absolutely,” she said. “Why?”

“Just that the owner of the house doesn’t want his address leaked all over the place,” I said, and led the way inside. In the foyer was a blow up of a photograph from the wedding. It showed the whole wedding party around Sam and Jon, and it was gorgeous, and Patti just stared.

“Fuck me,” she said. “This is Jon Bon Jovi’s house?”

“Yes,” Sam said. “And I’m his wife.” She came over, arm extended, and Patti shook her hand.

“It’s a pleasure to be here,” she said. “You look great. Are we ready?”

The doorbell rang, and it was Stephanie, perfect timing as always. We all exchanged hugs and went into the living room. We settled in with either wine or sparkling cider, depending on the status of our wombs, and just had fun. Patti was great, keeping us all laughing with stories from the chair as it were, and we had her in hysterics with some of the pranks that we’d played on each other – the normal ones that pretty much happened in public.

Toward the end of the afternoon, we were feeling a little silly and giddy and Sam and I were sitting next to each other anyway, and Stephanie commented on how we looked we were about the same size, belly wise. Sam and I stood up, well I had to crouch a little so our bellies would touch as we faced each other, and we looked at the camera and made goofy faces. Steph laughed and snapped off a few shots of us to send to the guys.

It was getting on close to dinner time, and the LJs and I were hungry. No big surprise; since getting pregnant, visibly pregnant, I’m hungry all the time. The girls think it’s hysterical because I’m not gaining any weight except in my belly (thank God), and they tell me the kids are going to eat me out of house and home. I don’t care; I just can’t wait to meet them. The girls also think my cravings are funny.

I've been craving pistachios all weekend. Not the natural ones, either; the ones that've been dyed red. Do you know how hard those are to find?!? I found bushels of them online though and I think my fingers are permanently stained red. I brought a bunch with me this weekend, and Patti was reprimanding me for getting red all over her manicure. It was a great afternoon, and once Patti left, we sat around just having a good old fashioned girlfriend gabfest. It was just what we needed. Eventually, we took the conversation up to the bedrooms, and all crowded on Sam’s bed, making ourselves comfortable. Little by little, our conversation dropped off, and we started getting snoozy, but nobody wanted to move. We ended up falling asleep together, all cuddled up on Sam’s bed.

The next morning, Sam and I woke to find ourselves alone in the bed. Ang was an early riser, and I guess Stephanie got up to – sniff – yep, cook breakfast. We looked at each other and smiled. Breakfast was definitely one of our favorite meals, and Sam was ready for something more than oatmeal and yogurt. We followed our noses to bacon, sausage, pancakes, and French toast.

“Stephanie,” Sam said, taking a bite of a perfectly crisped slice of bacon. “I love you.” She closed her eyes and chewed slowly, not wanting to waste a single morsel. I, of course, dug right in, and put a pile of food on my plate, and drenched it liberally with dark amber maple syrup. Even Sam looked at me funny.

“What?” I said. “The kids like it sweet.”

“Yeah, sure,” Ang said. “It’s the KIDS who like it.”

I flipped her off, and we finished our breakfast and cleared the dishes. Sam took us on a tour of what was going on in the back yard, and it was going to be gorgeous when Marchie was done. Sam told us about how he came sniffing around the other day, and my mother basically accused him of having an affair with Jon. We all nearly pissed ourselves laughing, considering there were very few men who were straighter than Jon. We were wiping tears from our eyes from laughing so hard. We all needed this little respite, and were sad when Stephanie said she had to go. Once we exchanged tearful hugs and kisses, we watched her drive away.

Sam looked at me and sighed. “I guess this means your Mom’s coming back now,” she said.

“Yeah, probably,” I agreed. “Is it still that bad?”

“No,” Sam grudgingly admitted, “but I want my life back.”

I gave her a hug, and Ang hugged the two of us together. “Don’t worry, Sam,” Ang said. “Mom won’t be here forever. She’s just giving you motivation to rest. The quicker your BP comes down, the quicker she’s outta here.”

“I know,” Sam said with a smile. “Actually, sometimes it’s fun to bitch at her. She’s so damned unflappable and nice that it’s funny to try to get her color to rise.”

I just shook my head at her. I play those games with my mother, too. She’s right, they are fun. Shortly after lunch, Ang and I left for my house, and Mom left for Sam’s. We spent the afternoon just hanging around and reading. Daddy's been waiting on us (like Sam, he was glad to see Mom have somewhere else to go; after 40 years, they like their "alone time") and we're having a lazy day.

At one point, we hopped onto the board to talk to Lucy; she said she was going to the beach. The beach sounds like fun. It’s way too cold here still. I suggested to her that she and Ava bury Richie in the wand. My brother and I used to do that to my Dad. We'd dig as deep as we could reach, and have him sit in the hole, then cover him over and tamp down the sand and see if he could get out. By the time we were in middle school, he couldn’t get out anymore.

Lucy screen-laughed at us. “lmao,” she typed. “That’s a damn good idea lol. I don't know if we are actually going to like lay out on the beach though, and I think even Zan wouldn't let us bury him in his clothes (as opposed to a swim trunks lol) but its good reference for the future. Gypsy is absolutely loving it here. No snow, no wet grass and Lil' bit spoils her rotten lol. I think she has a new best friend.” We told her not to worry; Gypsy still loves her momma best.