As the girls got Toby washed up, Jon ,Richie Trina and Kendall couldn’t help but watch Toby eat virtually everything the girls put in front of him.
Pasta, cookies, pie, ice cream were washed down with several glasses of milk.
During dinner, they found out that Toby was indeed eleven years old and ran from child protective services after his foster parents had a penchant for not only hitting each other, but him as well.
Jon sat next to the boy. The two shared between them the last pieces of apple pie and milk. Between a fork full of apple filling, Jon asked him.
“So after you ran from them a couple of weeks ago, you’ve been living at the beach?”
Toby nodded as he took another huge swig of milk. He nodded.
“Uh-huh. Decided to look for treasure. I figure that if I can find something to give my real mom and dad, then maybe they’ll take me back home. ” He told Jon as he wiped his milk mustache off with his shirt sleeve. Trina gave him a napkin.
The little boy grabbed the napkin. He replied. “Thanks Trina.”
Jon and Trina looked at each other. They had a feeling that Toby may be staying with them longer than a day.
“Jon, this is a huge house. Is it really all yours?” Toby asked.
Jon smiled. “Yeah. It’s all mine.”
Toby stretched his neck as he looked around the kitchen.
“You must be rich. My old house wasn't this big.”
The girls chuckled. Jon patted him on the back. “I guess you can say that I’m lucky.”
“Will you throw some my way?” Toby joked.
“Sure I will buddy.” Jon told him.
Full from eating Jon out of house and home, Toby began to yawn. He was now freshly showered and dressed in an old pair of Jon’s sweatpants and a t-shirt that practically fell off of him.
Jon looked at his watch. It was close to midnight.
“Buddy. Gotta get you to bed. It’s late.”
Peering through sleepy eyes, Toby replied. “Getting tired.”
Richie began to get up from the table. He started to exit the kitchen. “I bet. Because I am too.” He replied to the boy.
Kendall got up and followed Richie.
“I’ll see you out.” Kendall said.
“Night Rich.” Trina waved.
Richie waved to all of them as he exited. “Goodnight everyone.”
The two walked to the door. Kendall had noticed Richie’s silence since they had found Toby earlier.
“I had a great time today.” Kendall told him.
Richie stood in front of the door. He turned and smiled warmly at her. He replied. “Me too.”
“You’ve been quiet since we found Toby.” Kendall told him as she wrapped her arms around his waist.
“Just taking it all in. He’s a good kid.”
“He is. It was great that Jon put him up.” Kendall said.
“Definitely. Jonny’s good like that.”
“So are you.” Kendall told him.
“I’m trying Ken… I’m trying. Lunch tomorrow?” Richie asked her.
“Sure. It’s a date.” Kendall replied.
“A date huh? We’re dating now?” Richie joked.
“I don’t know Sambora, you tell me.” Kendall winked.
He bent down and kissed her cheek.
“See you tomorrow. For our lunch ‘date.’ He said.
“Goodnight.” She said as she let him out the door. She wrapped her arms around herself as she walked towards the kitchen. She missed him already. The way he felt. The smell of him, his strength in the way he held her. Her body was aching.
When she had made it into the kitchen, she noticed that Trina was by herself cleaning up the kitchen.
Trina turned toward her. She smiled warmly at her best friend. She noticed and remembered Kendall’s body language from when they were children. Kendall used to hold herself a lot as a child. It was her way of wanting protection or reassurance of some kind.
Trina walked over to her. She hugged her as tight as she could. Tears flowed down Kendall’s face. Trina wiped them away as quickly as they fell.
“Jon went to bed?” Kendall asked
Trina nodded. “No. He’ll be back. He’s getting Toby settled and was going to jump into the shower. Miss him already?”
Kendall pulled away from her. “Look at me Trin, I’m a mess. We got so close over the last few weeks, and things were soooo perfect...”
“But?” Trina asked.
“But I don’t know. Just when we’re at this point, there seems to be a wall coming up. I’m feeling as if I’m crashing head first into it. ”
Trina put her arm around her friend.
“Oh no. Maybe this is all too fast for him. He just broke up with Ally. He’s crazy about you. And the whole drama with Jon and his voice. Not to mention the upcoming tryout he’s got for his own work. I really think he’s got a lot on his mind.” Trina reassured her.
Kendall wiped her face. She looked suspicious.
“I know he was wondering about me.”
“With Toby you mean?” Trina asked as she went to the fridge. She grabbed a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a couple of glasses. She placed them down on the counter and began to pour the wine into glasses.
“I don’t think so.” Trina continued.
“No?” Kendall asked.
Trina passed her friend a glass took a sip out of hers.
“Nope. It's Jon’s talking. It scared the shit out of him. I could tell. It concerned everyone tonight including me. Look how Juanita reacted."
“I have a feeling he’ll be okay tomorrow. I noticed the hoarseness in his voice was gone after awhile.” Kendall said
“True. I don’t think I was as upset with him for talking as much as whether or not he can sing because of what he could be doing to his voice.” Trina said.
Kendall sipped some more of her wine. “He’s a strong one. I love how he was with Toby.”
Trina beamed. “You noticed it too? God, he’s so good with him.”
Kendall nodded. “Makes you wonder just how great of a dad he’ll be.”
Trina replied. “It’s been running in the back of my mind since he agreed to bring Toby back.”
Jon came downstairs. He noticed the two ladies deep in thought complete with wine on the countertop. He waltzed in and got a glass. He stood next to Trina. He playfully looked over at her and smiled when he noticed her drink.
“You know, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen you drink more than a bottle of beer.” He told her.
She grinned as she continued to sip her wine.
“A glass of wine or two doesn’t hurt every now and then. Toby asleep?”
“The minute his head hit the pillow.” He told her pouring himself a glass of wine.
“My cue to leave. Getting sleepy myself.” Kendall told them both as she hugged Trina.
“Goodnight honey. No worries okay?” Trina whispered to her friend. Kendall nodded.
“No worries.” Kendall told her as she went up to her room.
Trina began to yawn. Jon laughed nervously.
“You nervous about tomorrow?” She asked him.
He took a sip of a wine from his glass. He replied.
“It’s my fault. I‘m sorry.” Trina said.
“For what? Trina, you didn’t make me open my mouth. I did it because I wanted to. I wanted to talk to you and to Toby.”
“What happens if you can’t sing because of it?” Trina asked.
“I don’t know. It’s weird. There’s a part of me that’s concerned about it, and another that isn’t.”
Trina shot him a curious look. “No?”
“No. I can’t control it. So why keep dwelling on it. That’s at least what I keep trying to tell myself. But everything with Toby? I liked helping him tonight. And you being with me…The two of us helping him together.”
Trina beamed as she finished her glass.
“Awww. I’m glad. He’s a good kid.”
“He’s great. I’ll never understand how people could just hit someone who couldn’t fight back just because they could.” Jon told her.
Finishing up his drink, he began to pour himself another glass.
Trina agreed. “Me either. Kids don't ask to be here on earth, they’re brought here with love and hope. At least they should be. It’s sad to see hatred and fear coming from a child that entrusted their love into parents who could give a rat’s ass.”
“It’s as if you get it with him.” Jon said.
Trina nodded her had. “No. My parents are and were great to me. However, Kendall’s? They were the worst. ”
“She turned out okay.” Jon told her.
“Not without scars. Her ability to trust and love is something she questions about herself constantly.”Trina told him.
“I can understand that.” he told her.
“We brought Kendall into our home after her stepfather nearly beat her to death when she was 12.” Trina said.
Jon looked stunned. Trina nodded.
“She was scared to come home with us at first. She loved my parents to death. She wound up running away because she thought she couldn’t measure up to what they wanted. I thought we’d never find her. My mother must have cried every single day until Kendall was found. I did too.”
Her voice quivered a bit. Jon held her hand. She continued.
“When she and I saw Toby earlier and we watched you with him. It reminded me so much of how my family took such good care of Kendall. Especially my dad.”
Jon now understood the bond between she and Kendall. He was falling more and more for her as she continued to speak.
‘I’m in freefall. I haven’t come down since Kendall came here this morning.’ He thought as he watched and listened to her talk about the relationship she and Kendall had.
‘Is this really what it was like? If this 'is' it? Then what the fuck was I doing with Dot for so long?” He thought.
By now, she had let his hand go. She washed her glass and placed it in the dish rack. Jon quickly gulped down the remainder of his drink and gave her the glass to wash and put on the rack to dry. Underneath the rack, she pressed the power button on the dishwasher so that Juanita had clean dishes in the morning.
“Figured I’d help out Juanita for a change.” Trina said.
“Shocked won’t be the word when she sees a clean kitchen tomorrow.” Jon said.
Trina laughed. “See, it’s always the little things.”
Jon laughed “True.”
She walked over and gave him a kiss on the cheek. She said to him softly.
“Night Jonny. Thanks for everything.”
“Sure you don’t want to have a slumber party or something?” He teased.
Trina laughed. “Not tonight. I may fall asleep before my head hits the pillow.”
“Well, if you find that you can’t sleep and would like someone to help you with that, you know where to find me.” He joked as he pulled her close to him.
His lips brushed against hers loving the sweet taste of both wine and her.
As she pulled away, she closed her eyes. She was content. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.
“You’re making my head spin. I really better go up now.” She said.
“Head spinning’s good. Makes you do things that only do a body good.” He winked.
Trina made herself walk away from him.
She chuckled. “I swear Bon Jovi if you had red horns, my conscious would call you a bad influence.”
“Damn, it wouldn’t call me a horny devil? Shit..I gotta work on that.” Jon said.
Trina‘s face turned red. She raised an eyebrow. “I really have to go…Now.”
Jon nodded. “Okay. Sweet dreams baby.”
Sprinting up the stairs, she replied.