She frowned when it wasn't quite full.
She couldn't run a load in good conscious if it wasn't full!
Rio winced, fingering the boat. "Nothing," he answered at the same time Jason said "Sea Monsters!"
"Oh," she said without interest, "So, Rio, I was thinking..."
Rio sighed again as he stood up. It was never any good when Rachel started thinking...
"I wanna go!" Jason said eagerly. He'd seen the commercials for it and it looked so cool!
Rio shot Jason a dirty look.
Taking the hint, Jason announced, "Actually, I think it was Sharks...on Land that I wanted to see! Duh!"
Rio crossed his arms. "What do you care? You're too young to go anyways!"
Jason rolled his eyes at Rio. "If my mom invited me to go see a kick ass movie, I would go!" he declared smugly.
Rio just shrugged nonchalantly. If Jason's mom had asked him to go see a movie, he would have gone, too. "Whatever. Did you still want to play sea monsters?"
Jason shook his head with disgust. "No way, you weren't even playing!"
When he finished, he quickly saved it and closed the program, releasing a heavy sigh as he flopped back in his chair. It's not like she would ever see it...
"...and bring Darryl," he said.
"Hi! Rachel said I could find you back here!" Alan called from the back steps.
Haley's paintbrush slipped on the canvas as she jerked in surprise. She whirled around to find Jason cringing.
"No! It's okay!" Haley reassured him. "Nothing I can't fix!"
"It looks really good!" he told her, frowning when he saw the yellow squiggly line. "I can't believe I messed it up!" he said ruefully.
Charles laughed lightly as she explored his family room. All he needed was the family to go with it...
"Oh! Look! I bought a new logic toy for Junior to play with while we talk!" he said, pointing to the block set by the couch.
Maritza smiled and slid her arm around him. "I am! I'm sorry I've been such a pain! I just... I'm scared of losing you." She thought of Darryl and was surprised when she didn't feel the sharp jolt of pain that she normally felt when she thought of him. She frowned.
Alan laughed. "Nah, Dad said that he'd done the same thing when he was my age. Mom just smacked his shoulder and told him to quit encouraging me!"
Haley laughed again. "It sounds like your parents were a lot like mine!"
Alan grinned. He loved making Haley laugh."You know, you have a real pretty laugh," he told her with a wicked smile.
"Hey! I'm Alan, your mom's friend!" he told Jason. "How old are you? 15? 20?"
Jason snickered. "No! I'm only 10!"
Alan smiled. "Ah. I've got a son about your age!" he told him. "Now, what's this about you being hungry?" he asked.
Haley snapped out of it and turned towards her son. "What?"
Jason shot her a look of annoyance. "Mr. Alan was offering to take us out to the diner! Can we go?"
"Yes!" Jason said, giving a fist pump.
Maritza hesitated a moment, but nodded.
He let out a shuddery breath. "You know what this means, right?"
"What?" she asked, feeling unsure and sensitive.
She swallowed heavily, scared to make the commitment. But, she nodded again.
Haley shook her head. "No, Jason likes the arcade games here. We'll walk home when he's done. It's not far."
With the reminder that their little chaperone was busy playing video games, Alan took a step closer. "I had a really nice time," he said huskily.
Haley smiled. "I did, too. Thanks for inviting us." He might not make her heart race like Johnny did, but she was certainly interested. He'd told her over dinner that he'd had an amicable divorce and that they were trying to keep things cordial for his son, Dante.
"Sure, no problem. Maybe time next we can do something alone," he said hopefully. "I'd love to take you out on a date, if you're interested..." he trailed off, waiting for her response.
Haley took a deep breath. Here goes nothing... "I think I'd like that," she told him with a shy smile.