Haley glanced over her shoulder. "Is she still sleeping?" she asked her friend.
"We can't keep doing this, Haley. I don't want to expose Junior to that kind of behavior," Maritza said in a hushed tone. "What are we going to do?"
Maritza hesitated. "I think we should ask her to leave...."
"I'm going to KILL you, Jason!" he yelled angrily.
"Who's Nadine?" was the only question that seemed to come to Haley's mind. She looked to Rio for an answer.
It was Jason who answered. "She and Rio were kissing last night after he sent me to bed. On the couch!" he said, sending a smug look to Rio.
Rio shifted uncomfortably, unable to meet Haley's gaze.
"But he's the one that had a girl over!" Jason said, pointing to Rio. Why was he getting in trouble?
"I will address that with Rio, not you. Hand over the note and apologize!"
"Jason, go get ready for school," Haley said, watching her son scurry away.
Rio hesitated a moment, then nodded. He ran up the stairs to get ready. Jason was still dead meat.
"Oh plumbbob, my head," Rachel complained as she stood up unsteadily.
Haley hesitated in the dining room. "Can we talk, Rachel?" she asked quietly.
Rachel shook her head. "Not now, I don't feel too good..."
Relentlessly, she tugged on the weeds, pulling them out with with a ruthlessness as she tried to sort through their current problems. She didn't want to lose her family...
Haley smiled and patted her arm. "My little garden produces plenty!"
Ms. Garrison smiled. "Wouldn't it be nice if we had a community garden again?"
"A community garden?" Haley asked with interest. A gem of an idea forming...
"What are you doing here?" Charles asked, peeking in the kids section.
Junior hurried to Charles' side. "Ch-awls! Ch-awls! Pick me up!" he said, tugging on Charles' pant leg.
"I was going to read the new article from SimMed, but hanging out with you and Charles will be much more fun! So? What are we doing today?" he asked brightly.
"Well, I was thinking about heading down to the Spring Fair," she suggested. "I heard there was an egg hunt today!"
Strongly tempted to go back to bed and pull the covers over her head, she forced herself to go to work. At least no one would lecture her at work...
"The only person I want to kiss is you," she told him.
"MY egg!" he said, reaching for it.
She'd barely placed the pretty purple egg in Junior's basket when he was off in the opposite direction.
Rio shrugged. "It's a free world," he told her grumpily.
He seemed genuinely confused, Haley thought. "I'm sorry that you didn't feel comfortable enough to come to any of us with your news." She squeezed his hand.
"I'm not your mother," she started to explain. "So it's not up to me to punish you."
"Is that what you think?!" she asked with surprise. "That she doesn't notice you?"
Rio scowled and leaned back on the couch, looking away from Haley. "When has she ever noticed me? She's too busy with her boyfriends."
"Tia!" he groaned. "That's so embarrassing!"
Haley patted his leg. "If you need me I'll be upstairs painting." She stood up, hesitating a moment. "You know I love you, right?"
Rio blushed and turned his head towards the tv. "I know," he said after a short pause.
And maybe the next time Mom asked him to go to the movies, he'd tell her yes...
"Llamas vs. Kangaroos."
"Kangaroos are gonna get creamed!" Jason said eagerly.
Rio nodded. "Yeah. They have a weak defense."
"Aw man! Did you see that fumble?" Jason cried out, throwing his hands up in the air. "That was ridiculous!"
Rachel took a deep breath and tried to quell her anxiety. "Of course, Mr. Keaton."