The second part is ready, hope you enjoy it. 🙂 If you want to read the previous one you could to it here.
It was still strange for Jesse to wake up every morning to the same person, it has been years since he experienced something like that, well it was back when Zeke was born and for a while he and Jill were still together. And now that woman was Nadine, his wife. Even years into his marriage it still sounded weird to him, even as a thought.
She was still asleep, his wife, snoring softly beside him. She deserved rest, it had been a big night for her. Jesse used his friendship with Nina Caliente to get her a gig at the park. A Nadine Hoves live performance! The kids did’t care much for it though, they stayed home watched some crappy movie but he went and listened to the whole thing. Nadine could really play well, and had a sweet voice, sweeter than her snoring. And to play out in the open (thankfully the rain had stopped by then), that was always her dream. Jesse hoped they would like it enough to make it a regular, at least give her a summer performance but that was all up to Nadine.
But she was so happy last night, and Jesse loved that, he loved making her happy. I do love her. He said to himself, like he had done many times before, but still he wasn’t sure… Somehow for all his years that emotion remained a mystery. Of course he had loved his brother, he loved his kids. But that magic they spoke about in songs or movies, probably even in books, (if Freddie were alive he would ask him about it, Jesse himself was never a reader) Jesse never found it. And he had been with a lot of different women but none ever woke anything so profound in him.
Eventually he concluded it was all a lie. He cared for Nadine, she could make him laugh, she had that dark sense of humor that came from just experiencing too much, and she had born him two children, more then any other woman, which meant she had the capacity too put up with his crap. He appreciated that. That is why he married her, he was old, he was retired, it was time. He got out of the covers slowly, careful not to wake his wife up, but she barely stired and just continued snoring.
The kids were out and Jill was sleeping herself so he set out to call Nina and thank her for arranging everything. He did owe her one. “Did it work?” Nina asked on the other end. “It put me in a fine advantage, thank you.” “Any time old man, any time.” She hung up and he thought, now that is a woman who understands. He only told Nina this, in order to get her on board, but the reason he put this all together for Nadine was well… As strangely is it was for Jesse, feeling guilty. That weekend he had been a bit too flirty with Maddison Van Watson at Ramon Ayres party and this town was a gossiping one… If that ever got out… Well he would need some extra points.
Jesse hated retirement, the rest of the day he was just idling about, he watched TV, even tried one of Zeke’s video games and didn’t quite find any enjoyment. He went upstairs when he heard Jill playing.
“Not bad.” He said leaning at the door frame. Jill smiled, but he noticed it hardly reached her eyes. “What’s bothering you?” He asked walking inside and closing the door. There was another good side of Nadine, she didn’t mind him living with his ex, even if she was a lesbian again. Jill lowered her guitar and looked at him with those brown eyes of her, his son had those same eyes he thought. “I had a talk with Vanessa yesterday…” “A sex talk? Well it was about time, she is what, fourteen?” Jill looked him coldly and then flashed her shiny engagement ring in his face. “This talk.” “Oh… You didn’t tell her earlier?” “No.” She replied exhaling loudly. “I was so excited about it at first… I mean Nala Caliente… She is famous as well as gorgeous…But now… Telling everyone just makes it to real…” Jesse walked up to her and gave her a hug. “I know, I know…” And he was telling the truth, if anyone knew anything about reluctance for marriage it was Jesse Hoves. “I ran into things with Phaena too fast.” Jill continued talking. “And I’m afraid I’ll do it again, and it’s not just me anymore… I have kids…” The power of motherhood… Jesse thought to himself, she was once a hotshot fighter pilot chic and she gave it all up because she had kids, for what? For a crappy job cooking at the diner… And now she would give up, a little aging, but still hot chic for them? He had ran out of advice. “You know best.” He said neutrally as they pulled apart from their hug and she nodded. He left her standing there engrossed in her thoughts and went to look for his wife.
He found Nadine in the kitchen and went up to her. “Morning sleepyhead. Well rested?” “Oh yes. Thanks for letting me sleep in.” “Oh you deserved it my little Chopin.” Nadine smiled blushing lightly. She wasn’t very little, in any way but Jesse knew she loved to hear it. “You never did thank me properly… For last night… And the kids are in school…” Nadine giggled catching his drift…
The rain didn’t stop that whole day and the kids came home complaining loudly which was a clear sign for Jesse and Nadine to get out of bed. “I think I’m gonna learn to make falafel.” She said out of nowhere as she pulled her tunic over her head. “Do you think the consignment store has the recipe?” He just shrugged. She was handling retirement way better then him, she always found new hobbies to pursue. He spent the rest of the day moping around, he and Nadine had lunch (leftover pancakes) with Laquita and Vanessa , Irene had a friend over. As usual Laquita dominated the conversation with questions about politics. He never noticed she was interested in those kinda things but now she seemed determined to know all there was to know about it.
“And you won Ms. Balistrieri’s reward certifcate for your charisma skill? Right dad? How did you do it. You know all politicians must be charismatic… I wish I was more like you.” Laquita sighed. “You certainly talk enough to be a politician.” Jesse said with a smile. “And you could be better then me, if you wanted to.” He smiled at her. And she smiled back. “Now, another topic… What’s with all that makeup?” He frowned. “We are going out tonight.” Laquita replied instantly. “Where?” She rolled her eyes at him. “Do you have to know everything?” “I am your father.” He said calmly. “And it’s a school night.” “We won’t stay long.” Was all that Laquita said dropping her plate in the sink. Vanessa hastily followed, her mouth still full of food. He sighed. She was a politician already it seamed. He was thinking weather or not to persist on this matter when his phone ring. It was his other daughter. “Dad could you please pick me up?” Krystal asked. “Where are you?” He asked checking his watch. It was well past her working hours. “I am at school. I wouldn’t bother you but it’s awful out there and I don’t even have an umbrella…”
She was right. He could barely drive through the storm and it took him a while to get to the school even though it wasn’t very far away. He was worried Krystal would be mad but she wasn’t, Lucky would maybe have a thing or two to say but not Krys. She was sitting outside, covered by the roof reading a book. He had to knock loudly on the window to get her to notice him. She grabbed her belongings and ran to the car. “Thanks dad.” She said seriously as she buckled her seat belt. Always responsible that one. “You know I wouldn’t bother you but I couldn’t walk through this…” “Don’t mention it pumpkin. I wasn’t doing anything worth mentioning anyway.” It was the truth ever since he left the force his life was a constant monotony but that was Krystal she never asked anyone for anything. She was so like her mother, with those green eyes and black hair always tied so neatly, sometimes he would really miss Elena… “Why didn’t you wait inside?” He asked. “The cleaning ladies threw me out…” She sighed. “They said it was well past last call.” He frowned. “Still… It’s a freaking storm out there… And what were you doing there this late anyway?” “Well for one thing, I never noticed the time, I was grading papers… And it took a while.” “Look pumpkin, I know you are an elementary teacher this year, and being your first year and all it ain’t easy, but you can’t overwork yourself…” He sometimes wished Krystal was more like Laquita, she was young, she should be having fun, chasing boys but she did nothing but work, at the school or around the house. “I had to grade those papers dad. And my teacher’s aide… Well he is new too, newer than me, and I didn’t want to overburden him either…” He sighed disapprovingly. “It’s true dad, but he is a nice fellow, Benji.” “Benji Gradle?” He asked in surprise. He knew him alright, he was his niece Mya’s husband. An entitled son of a rock star. Krystal nodded but then she noticed his expression and added: “It’s late dad. We are both tired. Can’t we drop this?” He did as she told him. He always listened to Krystal. His little voice of reason.
The next morning he found out he should have been more strict with the girls. Vanessa was driven home in a police car. At least it wasn’t my daughter… He thought but still it easily could have been. He found this out from Zeke and Irene, the two troublemakers were still asleep when he got up. “And may I ask for details?” He turned to his son and to his little daughter. “Irene can you let me talk to Zeke please?” “I’m eating!” she protested her mouth full. He wished Nadine would have told him about Irene earlier, she was an unruly child. “Please Irene.” he said and she gave him the meanest look and left to the living room taking her sandwich with her. Jesse should have stopped her. Krystal would go berserk if she knew someone was eating in the living room but he really wanted to hear what Zeke had to say. When she finally closed the door behind her Zeke placed his coffee mug on the table, he seamed conflicted between betraying his sisters or his father but he decide to speak. “It seams Vanessa snuck in to the Public Pool with some boy from her class, Walter I think. The police thought they were going to skinny dip so they brought them in, Nessa swears that is not true that they were just hanging out. ” He finished the tale and picked up his mug again. “And Lucky?” Jesse asked. “She was not with them, she came home earlier.” He was relieved. Jill’s daughter, Jill’s problem… He thanked his son and went upstairs to wake the girls up. They were gonna be late for school.
When they were out he looked for Jill. He did want to now how she was handling this situation. If she punished Vanessa enough than probably Laquita would avoid getting into similar situations, not that she ever would, she was a good girl, but still it didn’t hurt to be warned.
He found Jill in the downstairs bathroom up to her knees in water. He hesitated walking in so he spoke from the threshold. “Jill? Everything alright?” “Yup.” She replied a little too aggressively. “Just trying to fix this damn washing machine. You’ve seen how terribly Krystal struggles with it. I don’t understand why we don’t buy a new one, we certainly have the money.” Jesse sighed. “It was her mother’s. Elena bought it shortly after we moved in here.” “So it’s twenty years old? That explains a lot.” “It was top notch back in the day.” Jesse said with a shrug. He didn’t dare bring up her daughter when he saw what mood was Jill in. Besides he didn’t want to discuss serious matters with that big wrench so close to her hand. “You know the upstairs tub faucet is leaking too…” Jill continued. “Oh I’ll check that!” Jesse replied quickly, trying both to be polite and to get out of there. “Nah, I’ll do it. I have time to kill.” Jill told him. I have time to kill too… He thought, loads and loads… But he said nothing and left.
The rest of the day he spent browsing the internet. He decided to get tattooed. He had one tattoo from a long time ago, before he even came to Sunset Valley. It was time for a new one he decided. According to the forums there was one place that he could maybe get one. The Sharma Day Spa. Well there was no way I’m going there… He decided. It was an ok place, clean and all but his daughter worked here, his oldest, Rita… He hadn’t been in touch with Rita for years, he knew she was married, had kids even but he two didn’t have a relationship. He tried it once, making up for lost years but Rita didn’t buy it. At least she wasn’t with that punk any more, Mortimer Goth was nothing but trouble, he could tell even then…
He was almost ready to give up, he couldn’t deal with the possibility of being on the receiving end of Rita’s icy stare and then he saw one poster talking about a girl who did tattoo’s illegally and she lived… Right across the street!
He knew the woman, Holly was her name. She was hard not to notice, she dressed in a way he would never approve from his own daughters but for a woman with such legs… It would have been a shame not to show them. She had a daughter, Zeke’s age he thought but was not sure. He decided to pay them a visit.
She had a cool motorcycle, the woman, and he regretted not having one himself. When he explained the reason of the visit she let him in, her house was… Well weird for Jesse’s taste but he was polite enough not to comment, he made small talk about her yard. He was right about her daughter’s age, she looked a lot like her mother but that constant frown she wore, did not suit her pretty face. Teenage girls, Jesse thought, tell me about it…
The tattooing table she kept in the back porch which overlooked a nice little pond, her source of income, she told him. She was an angler but she did tattoo’s for a little side money, she now needed some to buy a new dishwasher. The process hurt more than he could remember. “It’s the white shading.” she told him later. “I had to use more needles to get it straight. But I’m sure you are gonna love it.”
After they were done she charged him only 50, since they were neighbors and all. And she even treated him with homemade warm cookies with ice cream. “Mum puts ice cream on pretty much anything.” The sulky teen whispered to him when she saw his amused look.
He hid the tattoo when he got home he wasn’t ready to share it with everyone at home. He found Zeke alone in the living room. “The girls sleeping?” He asked his son. “Umhm.” Zeke replied, he was trying to play one of his silly shooting games. “Look son, why don’t you go out with your girl? You are still dating that same girl right?” He got another “Umhm”. “Well her name maybe escapes this old mind of mine but she is older right?” “Umhm”. “Well then you should work harder to keep her son, assuming you like her.” Zeke sighed loudly dropping the controller. “Yes dad I like her.” “Well then take her out dancing. She must love dancing.” “I don’t know how to dance.” Zeke said annoyed. “Well I’ll teach you, get up.”
After the dancing lesson he went for a little run,covering his newly tattooed arm before he left, he knew it wasn’t smart, it was getting late, his arm hurt but he needed to clear his mind. When he came back he went to the room he shared with Nadine. He noticed her rubbing her neck as she was getting ready to bed. “Need some help love?” He asked from the door. “I wouldn’t mind it…” His wife said and he proceeded to massage her. “Listen Nadine… There is something I need to tell you…” He inhaled. “I’m going back to the police force.” “She turned around her eyes growing huge. “But you are retired… And you love it…” “No Nadine, you love it, I personally hate it, I feel so useless… I want to go back doing what I love, and don’t worry I’ll get into it slowly, desk work mostly… What do you think?” She was concerned, he saw it on her face. She cared for him, she probably loved him. He thought but he knew there was nothing she could say to dissuade him. “Fine.” She finally said. “But take care Jesse.” He smiled and kissed her lightly. The next morning he was on the phone with his former partner Justine. “Guess who’s coming back”.
Wow this one is even longer. 🙂 I guess I needed space to introduce Jesse’s family. Hope you could spare the time to read it. 🙂 Tomorrow it’s a new round of introductions so stay tuned.