Awesome-ness: OMG, Ace isn't even mentioned today! He was off being awesome at work!
Disappointed, Chase headed to the tree-house to be alone. He didn't need them anyways!
Jeremiah grinned. "Yeah, he's gone."
"Phew!" Devon said. "I thought he was going to catch up with us!"
"He's such a Dorky Downer!" Jeremiah said. "How is he your brother?"
Devon shrugged. "I dunno. I've always wondered that, too. Come on, let's go play!"
The boys spent the afternoon playing until Jeremiah realized it was time to go. He hurried to the limo that was waiting out front for him and then headed home.
Devon watched his new friend drive off. So, Jeremiah's mom married Grandma Holly's dad after she had married Grandpa Jesse. So that technically made Jeremiah Grandma's Holly really little brother! Squinting real hard, Devon tried to do the math - so that made Jeremiah his step-great-uncle? He shook his head - too complicated!
Holly smiled wanly and glanced around her friend's new home. "I'm doing better now," she said truthfully. "You must be busy caring for the little one on your own!"
Bebe smiled at her daughter, Molly, playing quietly in the corner. "I still miss him," Bebe admitted with a sigh. "I just wish I could have found him earlier in my life so that we would have had more time together!" Bebe's fiancee, Dave Ramsey, had passed away soon after their little girl was born.
Holly nodded her head, commiserating. Now that he was gone, every moment she had spent with him seemed precious...
"I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt, but have we met?" the man asked, looking directly at Holly. Holly looked in his eyes and felt a zip course through her. Wasn't she too old for hot flashes, she thought, shaken.
"Oh, Christopher, this is Holly Black, my dearest friend." Bebe performed the introductions. Turning to Holly, she added, "Christopher used to be my neighbor growing up. He's forgiven me for all my teenage pranks, I hope!"
Christopher Steel smiled kindly, his eyes remaining on Holly.
Holly searched for something to say, but found herself tongue-tied. "It's lovely to meet you," she finally managed to say. She felt herself blush with embarrassment. She felt like a silly little girl with a school-yard crush!
She was surprised to feel disappointment when he nodded and then went on his way. She couldn't possibly be interested in someone else...
Could she? she wondered.
Just then Devon raced by and Chase jumped up on the chair in the dining room, yelling about something.
Bethany grabbed at Devon's arm. "What in the world is Chase doing?" she asked in bewilderment.
Devon shrugged, "He's pretending to be king of a royal court. Weirdo," he mumbled under his breath.
Bethany cocked her head and watched Chase for a moment, then ran to her room.
Chase turned around and frowned. "I am a royal king, you may address me as 'Your Highness'!"
Bethany curtsied and said, "Your Highness, please get down from the chair."
Chase's eyebrows shot up. Bethany was playing along with him! He crossed his arms and stuck his nose in the air. "I don't wanna come down," he said as regally as he could.
Bethany rolled her eyes. "Well, if you don't come down I can't give you my present..."
Chase clambered down off the chair quickly.
"Open it and see," she said as she passed it over.
"A doll?" Chase asked with disgust.
Bethany shook her finger, "Nuh uh uh," she corrected. "Not just any doll... a magic doll! Her name is Peaches..."
"Hello Peaches," he said as he shook her hand. "You're going to be my new friend!"