Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chapter 20

Colleen plastered on her best smile.  She wasn’t expecting a warm welcome because Jon had already warned her. But she really wasn’t ready for the look she got from the woman opening the door, somewhere between a snake eyeing a juicy mouse and a spider, trapping a bug in its web.

“Hello, Mrs. Bongiovi, I’m Colleen.”  Colleen was raised to show respect, but the look this women gave her. 

Jon pulled the door the rest of the way open. “Come on in Colleen, hey girls, the boys are in the den playing video games.”  Jon said with a smile. He reached for Colleen hand and eased her past his mother.

They walked into the family room, where the rest of the family was and sat on the sofa, Colleen started to relax.  He introduced her to Matt and Desie, then to, Tony and his wife.  They chatted for a while till Mr. Bongiovi came to tell them that the pasta was about ready.

“This must be the young lady we’ve heard so much about.”  Mr. Bongiovi said, always the gentleman he reached for her hand and kissed her knuckles.

“Dad, this is Colleen O’Sullivan, Jake’s English teacher.  Colleen this is my father.”  Jon introduced the two. 

Jon was mindful of his mother standing watch.

“Mom, this is Colleen, Jakes Teacher.”  He said as his mother went over to the two of them, on the sofa.

Looking down at Colleen, she attempted to smile at Colleen but it was one of the smiles, which never reached the eyes.  Mrs. Bongiovi came across, to Colleen, as a shark or a spider. Either of the two could be lethal   “Colleen, where did you two meet? Jonny hasn’t spoken much about where you two met.”  Carol Bongiovi had moved and sat in the only arm chair in the circle, as a queen on her throne.

“I met Colleen in the bar her family owns, in the Hamptons.”  Jon started to talk, but his mother cut in on him.

“I asked Colleen, not you Jon.”  Mrs. Bongiovi admonished her son, giving him a stink eye.

“As Jon told you, he came into my brother’s bar, I was tending,” Colleen told her.  “My brother’s wife was in labor so I took over that night.” Colleen looked over at Jon and smiled, like the two of them were sharing a secret.  “He stuck around till closing and offered to help clean up, if I would go out for breakfast with him.” 

“Where were the boys Jon?  You told your father and me, you were going down to close out the house.”  Mrs. Bongiovi asked

He hadn’t felt like this in a long time, the way his mother was talking. He felt like he was fifteen again and sneaking into the house after being in a bar till three in the morning.

“We were at Max and Dave’s house.”  Jake said as he came through the living room.  “Hey Miss O.” Jake said as he walked through, on the way to the kitchen.

“Hey Mr. J.”  Colleen smiled at Jake.  The girls must’ve told him, she let the girls call her Miss O.

“I brought Colleen to the house, since the restaurants were closed.” Jon told his mom, giving Colleen had a squeeze.

“He makes a pretty good omelet.” Colleen squeezed it back.  “We talked about family and ate till the sun came up, and I went home.”  Which is exactly what happened, even if by the look, his mother didn’t believe for one second.

His mother started to say something, when the front door opened and Stephanie and Jesse came in.

“Sorry we’re late, Jesse had to pack to head back to college.”  Stephanie went to her grandmother and gave her a hug.  Jesse, sheepishly, walked in.

“Miss O’Sullivan, you are really in for a treat, Grand pop makes the best sauce.”  Stephanie said as she sat on the other sofa. 

Jesse joined her on the sofa, between the stink eye from his dad and the one his grandmother was giving pops, it was like a stink eye war going on. 

They were saved by Mr. Bongiovi coming in to tell them, lunch was ready.

They moved into the dining room, where Mrs. Bongiovi watched Jon and Colleen.  Colleen got the feeling, she was being tested. Was she good enough to be in the same room with Jon?  She hadn’t felt like this since she was in high school.

The rest of the family made Colleen and the girls feel like part of the family, with jokes and the stories being told, that made Colleen laugh.  Every once in a while, she caught Mrs. Bongiovi eye and it was like she was still being stared at by a snake.

After dinner she helped clear the table, and it was just her and Mr. Bongiovi in the kitchen. He was packing up leftovers in containers, Colleen was washing dishes.

“Colleen, you said your family had a bar in the Hamptons?”  Mr. B asked.

Colleen placed the last dish into the sink of hot water, which he had just emptied.

“Yes sir, it’s right on the shore, O’Sullivans.” She added the clean plate to the drying rack. “My brother runs it now, since my dad retired and moved south.”

“Culan O’Sullivan wouldn’t happen to be your father, would he?”  Mr. Bongiovi leaned on the counter.  “He was a retired police officer.”

“Yep, that’s my dad, you know my dad?”  Colleen asked turning to look at Mr. Bongiovi.

“You know her father? Why didn’t you tell me?”  Mrs. Bongiovi asked. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Chapter 19

Romeo looked at the papers and pictures in his lap.  There were forms, some of it looked like what they were learning in science class. His actual birth certificate, and what looked like a legal paper.  He looked over at his father, with a confused look on his face.

Jon, just at that moment, thought he might have pushed too much on Romeo, taking the first paper off the stack to look it over.

“This is a copy of the DNA results.  This row is your DNA, this one over here is mine and this one is your moms.” He folded the paper so they matched.  “It says ninety nine point nine to infinity, you are a Bongiovi.”

“But I don’t look like you, not like Steph, Jess and Jakey do.” Romeo looked unsure.

“Well that’s where the photos come into play.”  He took the photographs, shuffling them till he found the two, he was looking for.

“This is your two times great grandfather Sharkey.  I only met him once, when I was younger than you.  You look a lot like him.”  Jon handed him the old picture.  Then he handed Romeo another picture. “That is your great grandfather Sharkey.”

Romeo looked at both men in the photos, he looked like them.  He handed them back to his father and smiled.

“Genetics, we’re studying it in school.”  Romeo smiled really big.

Jon reached out and ruffled Romeo’s hair, well that went better than I thought it would.  He was still going to call Richie.

There was a knock on the door, Jake came to tell them the car was there.

They got to Mr. and Mrs. Bongiovi’s about thirty minutes before Colleen and the girls got there. 

Jon had reminded his mother, to be on her best behavior.  The look she gave him, would have sent anyone else to their knees.

As she stepped out of the car, Colleen looked at the modest home. You could still put two of her homes inside it, and have room left over.  She had reminded the girls to be on their best behavior. 

Jon heard the knock on the door, and went to open it. He was about to open it when his mother beat him to it.  She gave him another of her stink eyes.  The guys told him, his stink eye was famous. Where his mother’s stink eye, was lethal.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Chapter 18

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  May 2018 bring you everything you need and want.


Jon looked at his youngest son; his heart breaking.  To think that Ro had been holding that in for so long, he wanted to scream at Dorothea, for doing this to Romeo.

It wasn’t like he hadn’t heard the whispers.  “Romeo looks nothing like Jon.  Romeo, looks more like Richie than Jon.”  He knew Dorothea had affairs, the dojo instructor, the guy she ran into at the bookstore; one of the ‘friends’ she had at school. Richie, he didn’t know about, that’s one more black mark in the brotherhood, code of ethics. Seems that there was going to be a call to the west coast. 

“Come to the office so we can talk, ok Ro?”  Jon pushed away from the table.  He never knew when those files were going to ever see the light of day. Looked like today was going to be the day.

Romeo followed his dad. He would finally have the answers, which bothered him for years.  He heard it in school, you don’t look like your brother.  Then his mother’s rants, it just made him think about it more and more, was he not a Bongiovi?  Could he really be a Sambora?

Jon held the door open, and allowed Ro to come in. He sat in what he called the stink eye seat.  Jon went to the file cabinet, and brought out the file, he hoped would never see the light of day.  It wasn’t very thick, only having three or four pieces of paper in it. 

“Your mom, well, her sickness didn’t just start in the past few years.  It just got worse.”  Jon said as, instead of going behind the desk, he sat in the other chair next to Romeo.  “When your mom told me she was going to have a baby I was excited. I knew, that baby, was going to be our last one.  The doctor, he told us about this new treatment, would make it impossible for us to have more kids.  It broke your mom’s heart.  Then she started to blame me.”  Jon thought back on those horrific months.

“But pops, why would she blame you?  It was her drugs and her sickness, I don’t understand.”  Romeo face showed his confusion.

Jon remembered the day she was diagnosed with bipolar, manic depressive disorder.  She drugged herself to hide what was going on.  Touring and the fans, really got on her nerves.  The new meds gave her this Jackal and Hyde persona. 

“She blamed me for her having to be on the hotel road trip. For having fans hide in our room.”  Jon remembered one hotel that the walls were so thin, with Richie’s in the next room, having an orgy.  They had a huge blow up and he left and went into Richie room.  Dorothea, left the next day and that was their first break up.  But they made up, and she got her Dojo. That was the first time she took a lover.  “Your mom found someone to entertain her while I was on tour.” 

“She had a lot of friends Pops.”  Romeo told him.

“She sure did.  But she wanted to have more kids.  So for a few years, there were no more friends.  I took some time off, and it wasn’t long till Jake was born.”  Jon looked to see if Romeo was understanding.  “Then we had to go out on tour.  I came home as much as I could. Your grandparents took the Steph, Jesse and Jake for a few weeks and your mom came out on tour.  I could tell, she would be on and off her meds.  Then I heard, she was going to come off this one med, so she could have another baby.   I was excited when we found out it was a boy.”

“That was me, wasn’t it?”  Romeo asked. 

Jon took out the ultra sound photo and handed it to Romeo.

“That was your very first picture.”  He remembered how heartbroken Dorothea was, that it was another boy.  She had wanted one more girl, this was another stone around Jon’s neck.

Romeo looked at the ultrasound photo.

“Is it true, you were in London when I was born?”  Romeo handed the photo back to Jon.

“That’s right I was, but the jet was on standby, and I got here just minutes before you were born.” He remembered the inflight calls and being cussed out and called every name in the book. The car ride to the hospital was one of the longest he had ever ridden.  “I was in the room, when you came screaming into the world. I cut your cord and you peed on me.”  Jon smiled at the memory.

“Oh Pops.”  Romeo laughed.

“We hadn’t even gotten you home, when your mom, decided to tell me about how she spent her alone time.”  Jon got serious, and remembering the venom she spewed, in the earshot of his mother.  She had demanded that Jon get a paternity test, which he had been thinking, after all the accusations.

“Your Nana, was very mad.  She wanted me to test to see if you were my son.”  Jon watched Romeo closely, just to see how he accepted all this. It was a lot, even for a thirteen year old to take in.

“So you didn’t think I was your son?”  Romeo asked.

Jon took the final paper out of the file.  Handing it to his son and watched.

Romeo took the paper and began to read.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Chapter 17

The call to his parents went about the way he thought it would.  Dad just as easy going as always, mom like a terrier worrying a bone.  “How well do you know her and her family, is she after your money?  Don’t you think it’s too soon?”

He bit his tongue till he thought it would fall out of his mouth, when his dad finally reigned his mom in.

He called for a car to pick Colleen and the girls up, so she didn’t get lost.  Stephanie and Jesse would meet, him and the boys, at their grandparent’s house.   He and the boys would drive over later.

As Stephanie said, they would run the gauntlet early for him, and he would meet the driver, so they could get into the gated community.  He kept thinking, that he should warn Colleen about his mother, but he didn’t want to scare her off.  It had been six months since Dorothea has passed. Most of the men in his grief group, the one he had attended for two weeks, have moved on in a matter of weeks.  He was ready.  Why else would God have sent him into that bar in the Hamptons, if it wasn’t to meet Colleen?

He and Romeo sat down that morning over breakfast, not sure what was going to happen.

“Hey Ro, I wanted you to know, I invited Colleen and the two girls for lunch today.”  Jon buttered his toast, and watched his son for a reaction.

Not even a lift of an eyebrow or a sound, came from his youngest son.

“Is that okay with you Ro?  You had fun at dinner yesterday with the twins, didn’t you?”  Jon another tactic.

“Yeah I guess,” Romeo mumbled around his cereal.

“You like Miss O’Sullivan, don’t you?”  Jon prodded his son. It was like pulling teeth to get his normal hyper son to talk this morning.

“Yeah.”  Romeo mumbled.

They sat there quiet and all of a sudden Romeo spoke.

“Pops can I ask you something?? Romeo looked up at Jon.

“You can ask me anything Ro, you know that don’t you?”  Jon pushed his plate and coffee cup away.

“I guess.”  Romeo pushed his mushy cereal bowl away.

“Do you miss momma?”  Romeo looked up very seriously.

“Sure Ro, I miss her.”  Jon reached across the table toward his son.  “We were together for so very long, you know this.”  He watched the emotions cross his youngest sons face. “Is this because I’m starting to date?”

“I guess, I Stephanie and Jesse said we need to let you date, and the more I thought about it, I thought you forgot momma.”  Romeo looked up them.

“Ro, I will always miss your momma.  She was my life.  We were together for more than half of my life.”  Jon spoke from his heart.

“But pops, she left us.  She stopped taking her medication, and she let it make her different.”  Romeo told Jon.
This was the time when he was gone for a few short dates. He had noticed when he was home, that Ro had gotten quieter and was never alone with his mom.

Jon had some idea that Doro was pocketing her pills. Her idea was to tear down Jon. She would never go after her kids. It was always Jon, if he really loved her, he would stay home and be with the boys or take them with him.  He had noticed, that Romeo had changed so much.  He stayed more in his room.  He acted up at school, and both were not the Ro he had seen before Dorothea progressed in her illness.

“That was part of her illness Ro. It took over her thinking, she didn’t know what she was saying at times.”  Jon tried to explain to Romeo, what the doctor had told him, as her illness progressed.

“So, if she said something, it doesn’t mean it’s true.”  Romeo asked looking up very serious.

Jon was not expecting this question, he thought maybe she was rough with Romeo. He had such a happy inner spirit, but he knew that Romeo had changed so much in the past year.

“Ro, you know you can ask me anything.  I will always tell you the truth, no matter how hard it is.”  Jon was almost afraid of what he was going to ask.  He would talk to Jake and Jesse tomorrow at lunch to see what the hell they knew.

Romeo looked down at his mushy cereal, since his mother passed, he thought more and more about what she had screamed at him one day. Pops, was coming home late, last minute interview.  Jesse was at Notre Dame, Steph was in the city working fashion week, for uncle Mookie and Jake was at a football weekend.  So that left Romeo at home with a really pissed off mother.

“You, you called to tell her you were staying an extra day in London, she was so mad at you.” Romeo looked up and his eyes looked so like his mothers.  “I must not have done something right.  She started to yell at me, she threw her coffee cup at me and called me her worse mistake.  How long was she going to have to pay for her past sins?”  Romeo finally looked up at Jon, “I asked her what past sins, which wasn’t the right thing to say, she threw her plate at me.”

The more Romeo talked the madder he got. If Dorothea wasn’t dead, he would’ve killed her again.

“She told me she could’ve ended it all, but this was Gods punishment, that she would have to see me every day.”  Romeo had finally said the words he had been thinking those early Saturday morning words, before his mother went to the hospital.  “She said I was not your son, that Uncle Mookie was my dad, didn’t I ever notice, I don’t look like Jesse or Stephanie or even Jake?”

Jon sat there stunned.

“Are you my dad?” Ro finally asked, eyes on his dad, begging him to call his mom a liar.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Chapter 16

“I didn’t interrupt your girls night, did I?”  Jon picked up his wine glass and took a sip.  “How was the movie?”

“Half way through, they fell asleep.”  She laughed softly.  Climbing out of the bed, she pulled the door to not to wake the girls.  “Still trying to figure out where they had room for popcorn and soda, after the dinner they put away.”

“They’re kids, if the girls are anything like my three boys, they can eat all day, and still be hungry.”  He drained his glass and got up and headed to the kitchen. 

“I just hope they’re easy to get up and get to church.”  She climbed back into the bed.  “They had a blast today with your kids, it’s all they talked about on the way back.”

“Yeah, I know Jake enjoyed the girls being there, too.”  He put the glass into the sink and added water.  “Ro I’m not so sure, he’s a little shy at times.”  Jon remembers the one time Romeo wasn’t so shy, but that was before Dot got in such a bad way.

There was that silence that always happened. 

“So when are their parents picking them up?”  Jon wanted to see her tomorrow and thought about asking her to join him and his kids, at his parents, for lunch. 

“I have them till Monday after school.”  Colleen leaned back on the pillows and smiled, she was glad he called. 

“Well, my parents have a huge family lunch tomorrow. Dad’s working on some new sauces to sell, and he uses us to test it on.”  Jon laughed a little, as he left the kitchen and headed upstairs to his bedroom.  “You think you and the girls would like to come eat and be guinea pigs with the rest of us?”

“I can ask them when they get up, I can call you.” Colleen hoped they said yes. “I'll call you.” 

They hung up so she could get some sleep.

Jon was passing Jake's door when it opened.

“You asking Miss O’Sullivan to lunch tomorrow?”  He followed his dad into his room and climbed onto the side of the bed.

Jon walked into his closet to change, grabbing his sleep shorts off the floor.

“Yeah, is that okay with you?”  Jon headed to the in suite bathroom.  He wanted Jake to say ‘sure no problems Pops.’  But he knew that might be pushing it.

“She going to bring Leslie and her sister?”  Jake asked.

“Yeah, she has them all weekend.”  Jon told him, not holding his breath, but thinking that might make Jake’s decision for him.

“Yeah, I guess so.”  Jake mumbled.

Inside his head, he just jumped in the air and did a fist pump, like he did on stage.

“Does this mean you and Miss O’Sullivan and going”  Jake asked.

His inner jump just landed wrong and fell off the stage.

“I want to, if it’s okay with you and Roe.”  Jon never moved to the doorway after starting the shower to warm up.

“Steph and Jesse talked to Roe and me about you two dating. How we should let you, you know, start dating again.”  Jake inspected the toe of his shoe, not looking up to where his dad was standing.

“How do you feel about that?”  Jon wasn’t really sure he wanted to know the answer to that question. But he couldn’t take the words back now.

“I guess it’s okay, I like Miss O’Sullivan, she’s a neat teacher and she saved my as, I mean butt.”  Jake finally looked up to where his dad was standing. 

There went that stage jump again inside Jon.

“She did do that,” Jon said from the doorway.  “She’s going to ask the girls tomorrow when they get up, so I’ll know tomorrow if they’ll be coming to lunch.” 

Jake got up and headed to the bedroom door, as far as he was concerned, this talk was over with his dad.

“Okay dad, good night.”  Jake said as he left the room, closing the door.

Jon finally took a deep breath, that meant three of his kids were okay he was going to start dating.  That left Romeo, after he showered he would go and talk to him.  His inner stage jumper, held up for that final leap.  Jon smiled and hummed the whole time he showered.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chapter 15 Another Raw Chapter

Jon had to smile, he knew that Colleen, was loving every minute of the girls being there.

“I was sneaking into bars, playing with any band that would let me sit in.”  Jon remembered many nights not getting home before he went to school. Many days, just changing clothes and a swish of mouth wash, and heading to school.  If it hadn’t been for Dorothea, he would never have graduated at all.

Colleen watched Jon’s smile slip off his face.  Whatever that memory brought up, seemed to close him off. She started to say something, when the kids came back to the table, all talking over each other.  Jon seemed to snap out of his damaging memory, till it was time to head home.

They had gotten to where the cars were parked, Jon walked Colleen and the girls and waited till they got in.  Colleen rolled the window down and Jon leaned in, and promised to call her later.  He had wanted to give her a kiss, but they were being overly watched.  He watched her drive off, then turned to his car, where the kids stood watching.

“What,” He rolled his eyes, “Get in the car.”  Shaking his head as he watched them laugh and pile in.

Back at Colleen house, she went to take a bath, while the girls made popcorn and picked out a movie.  Pizza, sodas and Italian ice and they still wanted popcorn, she sighed as the water flowed around her tired body.  Thinking back over dinner with Jon’s family, she could feel then watching her. They seemed to be taking notes on how she and Jon were getting along.  She wanted them to like her and maybe trust her.  It was all she thought about on the ride home, what did they think of her?  Did they think she was right for their dad?  Getting up out of the tub, all she thought was, call Jon.  The more she dried off, the more she heard the girls talking, so calling Jon was not going to happen tonight.

By the time Jon got back to the townhouse, the kids scattered and he made it to his office, the door had barely closed when someone knocked.  Taking a deep breath, rolling his eyes, which of his kids was daring to knock on his door.

“Dad?”  Stephanie asked.

Well that answered that question. He watched the door slowly open.

“Come on in Steph.”  Jon called to his daughter.

Stephanie was followed by Jesse, they settled into the club chairs, and looked at each other.

He watched them trying to see who would talk first.

“If you two are going to just give each other the stink eye, do you mind if I fix a glass of wine?”  Jon said as he got up and went to the wine fridge. 

“Stephanie wants to tell you something.”  Jesse finally said, much to his sister’s dismay.

“Thanks Jess,” Stephanie rolled her eyes.  “Pop’s we want to tell you, we like Colleen.”  Stephanie looked over at Jesse.

“Yeah, we give our approval, you know, if you want to see, you know date or something.”  Jesse kinda looked uncomfortable.

“Date or something hum?”  Jon tried not to laugh at his oldest two.  Granted, having them approve of Colleen and him seeing each other, made things a little easier for them.  Now if he could get the other two on board.

“Yeah, we think you’re ready to go out and have a life again.  You haven’t written anything since Uncle Mookie split.  Then Mom, well you’ve been doing great for us, and the brothers. It’s time to get back in the world, you know, live a little.”  Stephanie elaborated on what Jesse had said.

Jon thought about what she was saying.  Yeah, since Richie turned his back on Bon Jovi, and broke up the brotherhood, he hadn’t written anything.  He never even finished the song he started writing since he met Colleen.  The only one, of the remaining band members, that knew he had met someone was Lema.
Later as Jon sat in his office, strumming his guitar.  The words were right on the edge of his brain.  He had the first few lyrics, he just couldn’t get the next lyrics to pull together. He toyed with his phone, damn he wanted to just hear her voice.

Somewhere during the movie, both girls fell asleep on the sleeping bags on the floor.  Colleen got up and cleaned up the popcorn and the empty cups, turning off the movie, she went into her room.  Curling up in the big bed, she set her alarm, she had to make sure the girls got to church.  She sat the phone on the little bedside table, just then the light on her phone lit up. Who would be calling this late?  Looking at the Caller ID she smiled.

“Hi Jon.”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Chapter 14 Raw unedited,please be nice.

The stands would be packed, but football at a private school, was a big thing.

Colleen dropped the girls off at the gym, then went and parked her car in the lot for the football stadium.  Some parents were already out tailgating, those were the parents of the players, and they had to get here early.  As always, some of them would be feeling no pain before halftime.

Colleen had drawn the adult concession stand.  She hated this stand, the parents that worked it, stood around and gossiped instead of working on serving the customers.

Bottles of wine were being opened to breath, hot dogs and hamburgers are on the grill.  The dads or male friends of the mothers were minding the grill, the wives or girlfriends of the fathers were supposed to be waiting on the people that came up to the concession stand.  Supposed to be, was the operable word for the day.

Colleen had started opening the wine to breath, by the last games stats they sold more Pinot than the red or chardonnay. She had asked several of the women to make sure they knew to check Id’s and no matter how much they say, it’s for my mom or dad. The answer was always no. They looked like it was too much to ask of them. How dare she think their students would lie, just to drink wine?

Next time she was going to take the students concession stand, it would be half the work.  The games had started and she had barely had time to breath.  The moms were still standing there talking, like a bunch of hens, trading gossip of the week.  Then the twittering got more excite, she looked up when she heard one of the mothers say Jon’s name.  Sure enough there he was, looking like he just go up and tossed on his clothes and slammed his ever present blue ball cap on his head.

Jon was laughing at something Jesse said, about the women falling all over themselves when he came into view.  Jon scanned the concession stand for Colleen, she had told him she would be at the parents stand, and then he saw her and smiled. 

Colleen smiled at Jon, but she wasn’t going to fight to get to the counter through the gushing women.  She poured his glass of Pinot, and waited to hear what, she assumed, were his older kids wanted.   

“Hello Jon, what can I get for you?”  The buxom blonde mother asked.

Jon had to dig deep into his memory, to think of her name.  Hell after Dorothea died, and it made the news he had so many of the mothers at Polly Prep hit on him.  The names all didn’t seem important, at the time.

“Hey Mrs. Greenburg, how is Michael doing at Rutgers.”  Jesse asked the blonde.

Saved by his son, thank God, they showed up to save his sorry ass.  Now he remembered Jane Greenburg, Michael had played Lacrosse with Jesse and dated Stephanie at one time.

“Hi Jane, Pinot for me and whatever those two want.”  Jon said looking at Colleen, taking in her Polly Prep shirt and her hair up in a simple ponytail.  Compared to the other women, she was a ten in a field of fives.

“He’ll be home for homecoming, I’ll tell him you two were here.”  Jane told Jesse.

Stephanie looked at her dad and thought better of trying for a glass of wine or a beer, so they would play it safe and order two cokes.

Colleen came up with the two cokes and the wine, being a barmaid came in handy.

“Here you go, Jon” Colleen handed the cup of wine to him and held out the cokes to the kids.

Jesse and Stephanie watched their dad looking at Colleen.  They nudged each other and moved away so their dad could have a minute with Colleen.

“Did you see the look he was giving her?”  Jesse said as he popped the top off his Coke.

“About the same look she was giving him.” Stephanie laughed. 

They headed back to their seats, without waiting on their dad to join them.

“The girls are excited about going out for pizza with Jake, I think Leslie has a little crush on him.”  Colleen said as they were finally left alone, even though some of the mothers stayed in hearing range, without appearing to listen to every word they said.

“Jake was playing it cool, but I think he was excited that the girls were joining us.”  Jon said as he leaned on the counter. 

They stood there chatting a few minutes, then half time came and the stand got busy. They planned on meeting in the parking lot after Jake got changed, then they would head to the pizza parlor.

The girls were really hyped, after the game, Colleen was blitzed.  If it hadn’t been the fact that it was dinner with Jon and his kids, she would’ve been tooling her bug back home.  They got at the pizza parlor about the same time, Jon had reserved a table for them in advance.  The owner met them at the door, and then ushered then to the back private room.

The Jesse and Stephanie made her feel at ease, once the pies had arrived at the table, it got quiet.

Jon watched how Colleen got along with his kids, even Jake seemed to have fun.  It didn’t hurt, Polly Prep had won their games. Once they were done eating, Jon broke out his wallet and sent all six of the kids to the game room.  This gave Colleen and Jon some alone time.

“I don’t know how those girls did it?  Colleen asked Jon as they sipped their wine.  “They were up giggling all night, I think they were on the phone all night and then got up and cheered this game.”  Colleen took another sip of her wine.  “Were we like that growing up?”