He'd signed Lacie up for counseling and it seemed to be going okay. She was still mad at him. But, he'd rather her be mad at him for getting her help, than just ignoring the problem. More than he already had, he thought guiltily.
He was starting to feel like he was permanently benched.
Natalee had called him crying, devastated that her Mom had just told her that she was engaged to stupid Anoki. Well, she hadn't called Anoki stupid, that was Jason's adjective. His daughter had sobbed, begging him to get back together with her Mom. No way in the world Cheri would take him back, especially if she was engaged to that hulking giant.
He had a son he couldn't see. His lawyer had found out that Jason had visited the boy when Brenda had sent a note thanking him for seeing the kid that was "like his son." The attorney had bumped up her monthly stipend and told Jason in very clear terms that he needed to stay away.
Grimacing, he pushed even harder, hoping to exhaust himself.
Jason grunted. He was doing that a lot lately.
"Just finishing up this chapter on Mixologists," Liz said distractedly. She only had 5 more chapters and she'd been done with the Master Mixologist for Dummies book.
He didn't want to be bitter.
Maybe he needed to make a counseling session for himself...
Liz glanced around the room proudly. "You know he's going to love the new gaming system I got him way more than cake!"
Moudy shook his head. "I still can't believe you bought the ExoEdge!" he said with surprise.
"Hey! You knew when you married me that I loved gizmos and gadgets! And my son deserves the best gaming system!"
And that seemed to be working for her!
"What'd you get me?!" he asked eagerly.
"You have to wait!" Liz could hardly contain her excitement.
"Hmmm... what to wish for?" Jackson mused aloud.
"You can't say it out loud or it won't come true!" Macy laughed.
Jackson closed his eyes and made his wish, then blew out the candles.
Jason elbowed Lacie. "Now say 3 nice things," he told his daughter. Her therapist believed that for every rude thing Lacie said, she should say three nice things to help her re-train her thought processes.
Lacie rolled her eyes, a stubborn look glinting momentarily. "You have pretty green eyes, I like your hair, and nice shirt," she said quickly before turning on her father. "There? Happy?"
Jason sighed. Little did she know he was worlds away from happy. "Better," he told her, satisfied.
Liz held out the box and then started to put it back behind her back. "You're probably not going to like it. I should probably just send it back to the store."
"No way! I want it!" Jackson laughed, playfully reaching for the box.
"HOLY COW MOM! The ExoEdge?! SERIOUSLY?" he shouted, darting into her arms and squeezing her tight a second before pulling back and staring at his new gaming system.
"This is totally bitching!" Ken said, grabbing the remote Jackson tossed him. "Your mom is totally cool!"
Jackson grinned smugly. "Yeah, I know!"