Appearing in the story:
A few days after their initial encounter at the park Jesse asked Phoibe out again. She was all he could think about during that time, it had been a long time he felt that way, and a longer time still since a girl that young had been interested in him. It made him feel strong, it made him feel alive, it made him feel young again and he loved every minute of it.
They went to the local diner for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, he wanted to take her to a nice restaurant and a fancy vegetarian dinner but an ex of his worked at the only fancy restaurant in town and although things between them were over a long time ago he didn’t want that particular ex to see him with this particular woman.
It was as pleasant that day as it was the last time they saw each other and Jesse said so to his date. Phoibe gave him a big smile, her blue eyes sparkling. “It’s been pleasant for me too Jesse. It seems you are not as bad as they say.” “And who’s they?” Jesse asked smiling himself as he picked up a mug and took a sip of his coffee.”Well everyone. You are pretty famous, notorious even I would say, especially among women.” Phoibe added picking her own mug up to take a sip. “Is that so?” Jesse asked. His heart was beating faster, he knew which of his indiscretions Phoibe was talking about of course but he didn’t want them brought up, not on their first real date. And how do you even bring up the fact that you knocked up someones step mother twenty years ago? “I have changed you know.” He added before Phoibe could reply and she just nodded. “We all have a past.” She said slowly. She was not smiling anymore. “It’s not something we could change, but we can change who we are. I believe you have changed. You don’t ruin marriages anymore, or abandon children.” “I don’t.” He said shortly wishing to change the subject. “You seem to know a lot about me. It would be only fair if I was to learn more about you, don’t you think.”
“What do you want to know?” She asked pushing her empty plate away and placing her elbows on the table. “Everything.” He answered leaning over the table himself. “I grew up without a father, he left shortly after I was born, or we left him, I never learned the details, my mother never speaks of him and my brother claims he doesn’t remember either. We were on the road a lot, moving from place to place until we finally settled here, around the time I was supposed to start school. And when I say we I mean my older brother and me, my mother was at that time still trying to make a career as a musician so she was traveling a lot. My brother Pegasus practically raised me, not Phaena. I moved out of my mother’s house shortly after Jill and Phaena got divorced. I have my own place now, for the past few years I have a roommate, my brother’s fiancee. I play the bass, I’m in a band called Smoke. You already know where I work so I won’t bore you with that. I am also an amateur chess player. Is that enough?” “It is.” Jesse confirmed. “Just one more question, you don’t mind dating older men?” She laughed. “Not ones this handsome, or interesting.”
He walked her home afterwards and then walked to his house wishing his body was at least ten years younger. Phoibe was an amazing girl, or so it seemed. He could not wait to see her again. Their next date would have to be something more romantic, and should end differently, with more than just a sweat kiss goodbye…
His thoughts were interrupted as he walked inside the house greeted by his youngest daughter Irene. “Do you have anything against salad?” She asked without as much as hello. “I’m sorry?” “For dinner, is salad ok?” “Sure, I guess, where is Krys?” “In the garden, the tomatoes need weeding.” She replied brief as ever and turned to go to the kitchen.
Still they didn’t once make him lieutenant of the SVPD for nothing, and he didn’t fail to notice the hickey on her neck. Did Irene have a boyfriend he wondered? Was she old enough for things like this? His thoughts whirled back to his dead wife. If Nadine was here he would tell her to talk to Irene. Now he would have to go and find Krystal.
He found her in the garden just as Irene said he would. It was already getting dark, and cold but Krystal was in her underwear, leaning over the tomato plant. “Pumpkin, aren’t you a bit cold?” He asked her as he approached. He wasn’t the one to advocate modesty but his daughter’s lack of it was sometimes really disturbing.”Hi dad. I’m fine.” She answered only briefly stopping with the work at hand. She was Elena, trough and trough Jesse thought as he looked at her. “Look… Krys, can we talk?” “We are talking dad. I just have to finish this before dinner, I still have some papers to grade before I go to bed.” Her voice was serious and calm, as if she was talking to one of her students and not her father. But that was how Krystal was and Jesse wasn’t insulted, he only wanted to get this conversation over with as promptly as possible.
“Do you know Irene has a boyfriend?” He asked cutting to the point. “Yes, it’s that boy she always hangs out, he was coming here since they were ten, the ones who’s brother is that fireman, the one who was hurt in that fire a while back.” Jesse had no idea what, and who she was talking about but he just nodded. Krystal was on top of it, he shouldn’t have doubted it. “So you talked to her? About precautions and other stuff?” Krystal stopped her work and suddenly tensed straightening her back. “They talk about those things at school. I think Irene is well aware of all…precautions.” She concluded and Jesse nodded again. “Very well, sorry if I disturbed you. I’m going in and so should you. It is getting rather cold.”
Jesse concluded the evening with some meditation, he figured clearing his mind before bed was the best thing he could do. He dreaded thinking about the fact his youngest daughter had a boyfriend, especially in the light of him trying to seduce a woman that was also old enough to be his daughter