To:kari77 From:jule1122 Title: The Good Kind of Crazy Gift Request:Pairing/character/theme/focus: Gus, JR Other specifications: I'd really like to read a sibling fic, and or how these two reflect about growing up in their crazy family Rating: PG Summary: Gus and JR always thought their family was crazy. Sometimes they were right. Notes: Huge thanks to my beta fun_demented. Any remaining mistakes are mine. Happy Holiday Kari! I hope you enjoy your gift.
JR knows her family is different because her moms explain it to her over and over again before she starts school. She doesn’t realize that some people think different is bad until halfway through grade one.
Melanie comes to pick her up from Dana’s birthday party, and while she is talking to Dana’s mom, Lizzie asks who she is.
“That’s my mom,” JR tells her.
“I thought your mom was the blonde lady who brought cupcakes for Halloween?” Lizzie scrunches up her nose, staring at Melanie.
“That’s my other mom.”
“Oh,” Lizzie nods. “Which one is your real mom, and which one is married to your dad?
Now JR is confused. “They’re both my real mom, and Uncle Ben is married to Daddy.”
“My Uncle Josh married some guy named Alex, but Mommy wouldn’t let us go to the wedding. I cried because I wanted to be the flower girl, and Uncle Josh cried too.”
“That’s not fair. It would be fun to throw flowers.” JR would be really mad if she couldn’t be a flower girl.
“I know, but Mommy said just cause it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s real. She says Uncle Josh can’t come over anymore, and we have to pray for him real hard. But she won’t tell me why.”
JR doesn’t say anything, but her stomach is starting to hurt, and she wants to leave before something bad happens.
“Jenny, I’m gonna pray for your moms, but I won’t tell Mommy about them. OK?”
Lizzie looks a little scared too, like she knows something bad could happen so JR squeezes her hand, then runs over to Melanie and tells her she is ready to leave. She doesn’t want to be there when Lizzie’s mommy picks her up.
Just before bed, JR sneaks into Gus’s room. He’s playing on the computer so she sits on his bed until he notices her.
“What do you want, pest?” he finally asks.
“Do you think we need to pray for Mom and Mommy?” she asks quietly.
“I guess you can if you want,” Gus shrugs. They aren’t very religious, and Gus only thinks about praying at the holidays or if someone gets sick.
“Lizzie said she was going to pray for them because that’s what her mommy would say, but I don’t know understand.”
“She’s probably a bigot, and that means we don’t have to listen to her.” Gus sounds just like Melanie and that makes him feel important. “Don’t tell the moms about her or they’ll just get all weird and protective.”
“OK, thanks.” JR skips off to her room, feeling much better. If Gus isn’t worried, then neither is she.
When Gus is eight, he figures out the easiest way to get something he wants is to tell his mom he wants to live with his dad.
When he wants a computer for his bedroom, his moms tell him no. He’s so mad because they are always busy working or paying bills or something else boring, and he never gets a turn on the computer. They aren’t even listening to him so he yells real loud.
“Dad would buy me one. I want to go live with him.”
They send him to his room, but a week later he gets a new computer. So he says it again when he wants to spend the night at Bobby’s house even though he hasn’t cleaned his room, and it works then too.
Gus doesn’t want to live with his dad, and he knows his moms wouldn’t let him, but he can’t help himself. Sometimes when he hears his moms fighting about it at night, he promises himself he’ll never to say it again. But the next time he really wants something, it just pops out of his mouth.
One night, they’re supposed to go to his favorite restaurant, the one with the cool game room, but his mom gets home late and says they can’t go.
“No, no, no!” Gus shouts. “You promised we could go. It’s not fair.”
“I’m sorry, Gus, but there’s not enough time. Maybe we can go this weekend,” Lindsay tries to reason with him.
“That’s not fair. You said tonight. We have to go.”
“That’s enough. Go play, and I’ll call you when dinner is ready.”
“NO! I hate it here. I miss Pittsburgh, and I’m going back there to live with my dad. I’m not staying here with you mean people!” Gus storms to his room and waits, but no one follows him.
Gus sits on his bed for a long time, waiting for someone to come and tell him it’s time to go. Finally he gets bored and starts playing with his action figures.
Melanie comes in and sits on his bed. “We have to talk.”
“Are we leaving now?”
“We aren’t going anywhere. Come sit down.”
Gus is about to start complaining, but before he can say anything, his mom gives him this look, and he sits.
“Gus, do you want to go live your father? Tell me the truth.”
Gus just shakes his head.
Melanie sighs. “That’s what I thought. Well, young man, we have a problem. Part of this is your mom’s and my fault for giving in to you, but that’s not going to happen anymore. Do you understand?”
Gus doesn’t really understands, but he nods anyway.
“From now on, you will not use living with your father as a bargaining tool. It hurts your mom’s feelings and mine too. We try very hard to make a nice home for you and your sister. It’s not perfect, but it’s not supposed to be. You have to live with the bad parts as well as the good. If you try to use your father as a get out of jail card, you’ll be grounded for a week. Got it?”
“I’m going to jail?” Gus is starting to get really scared.
Melanie laughs and hugs him. “No, but you’ll be in big trouble if you keep making Lindsay cry. You and I are going to make a deal. If someday, you decide you actually want to live with you father, you come tell me, and I will make it happen. But you have to be sure. Until then, no more threats. Find a better way to argue your point.”
“I promise,” Gus whispers because thinking about making his mom cry makes him want to cry. He holds on to Melanie tightly. “I love you, Mom,” he adds.
“I love you too. Now go apologize to your mom before dinner, and you’d better eat all your vegetables.”
Melanie shoes him out the door, and he runs out to find his mom. He can’t help wishing he’d asked for a new skateboard before he got busted.
Maple always sleeps on JR’s bed. Her moms say it’s because when JR was three and decided she was too old for naps, they would convince her to rest on her bed with Maple, and the sound of Maple purring would put her to sleep. JR doesn’t remember when they got Maple, but she’s heard the story about how Maple showed up at their house one day and followed them in like she’d always lived there so many times it feels like a memory.
JR tells Maple all her secrets, even the ones she can’t tell Gus. And Maple is never too busy to play with her. When JR is ten, Maple dies one week before she flies to Pittsburgh to spend the summer with her Dad and Uncle Ben.
When she gets off the plane, she flings herself at her father, crying about how much she misses Maple. Michael drives to the nearest pet store and promises to buy her a new kitten or a puppy or even a pony if she’ll just stop crying.
JR takes one look at the kittens and starts crying harder because Maple was a stray and that means she didn’t have anyone to love her when she was kitten. By the time Michael realizes this is a really bad idea and gets her back in the car, he’s crying a little too.
When they stop at the diner, Debbie smothers JR with too-tight hugs and noisy kisses. Michael tells her about the pet store so she smacks him on the side of the head and tells him to be “a little more fucking sensitive.” Then she tells JR she has a ceramic cat that looks just like Maple, and JR can keep it in her room.
Michael rolls his eyes, and wonders loudly where he would have learned sensitivity. JR pushes her milkshake away and asks if they can go home.
Dinner is quiet except for Michael’s forced cheer. Ben convinces him to leave JR alone for a while, and she watches TV while they clean the kitchen. They join her for a few episodes of a Disney show that makes both of them cringe, but at least JR is smiling.
Ben decides it’s a good time to introduce her to Madeleine L’Engle and reads her the first two chapters of “A Wrinkle in Time” before bed. Then he tells her about his first pet, and talks a little bit about Maple. She tears up but doesn’t cry, and he kisses her goodnight, feeling a little hopeful.
JR calls to him just before he turns out the light. “Uncle Ben, can I ask you something?”
“Sure, honey.” He sits on the side of the bed and braces himself for questions about what cats do in heaven.
“Would it be okay if I called you Dad?”
Ben doesn’t answer right away because it feels like his whole chest has cracked open, and nothing in his life has prepared him for this. “I would love that, JR. As long as it’s alright with your dad.” Ben struggles to keep his voice from shaking.
“Yes, yes, yes!” Michael runs in from the hallway where he was listening to Ben read to JR. “It is very alright with me.”
They all hug, and Ben and Michael know it is going to be a wonderful summer.
When Gus is older, he realizes that he learned most of what he knows about love the summer he is eleven. Normally, JR spends all of July and August in Pittsburgh, and Gus goes for two weeks in August. The first week his dad takes him on vacation, usually to New York, at first because Justin lives there and can only come back to Pittsburgh with them for a week, and later because it becomes a tradition.
That year, his moms send him to Pittsburgh a week after JR leaves because they want to spend time together. Gus knows they are lying because they’ve been fighting for months, and he thinks one of his moms is sleeping on the couch. He tries to convince them to let him stay because he is afraid if he leaves they will have no reason to talk to each other, and he’ll come home to find out they’ve broken up.
For the first three weeks, he stays at Uncle Michael and Ben’s in Hunter’s old room because his dad has to work extra to get the two weeks off he spends with Gus. Everyone thinks Gus is upset because he can’t stay with his dad, and Gus lets them think that because JR is only seven and totally clueless. If he tells Michael or Ben about his moms, they might say something in front of JR. Gus is the man of his family, and he has to protect his sister.
He calls home every night when both his moms should be home. Sometimes one of them is out, and he can’t sleep those nights wondering what it will be like if his moms break up. Jeff’s parents got divorced last year, and he says his mom cries all the time, and he never sees his dad.
The weekend before they go to New York, Gus goes to stay at the loft. He can’t get a hold of either of his moms that night, and he’s cranky the next morning.
Finally, Brian can’t take it any more. “Gus, what is your problem?”
Gus just shakes his head.
“Look if this about my working, I told you I was sorry. And I know you had a good time with Michael and Ben so what’s going on?”
Gus stares at the ground, but his dad doesn’t go away; he stands there waiting for Gus to answer. Without looking up, Gus finally says, “I don’t want my moms to get divorced.”
His dad mutters something under his breath that sounds like, “Jesus, Lindsay, I thought you said you were being discreet.” Then he sits down next to Gus.
“Your moms aren’t getting divorced, Gus.”
“Then why are they fighting, and why did they send me here early?”
“The thing is,” Brian looks away then turns his attention back to Gus. “Loving someone isn’t easy. Sometimes you need a break, but it’s hard to find away to do that. Your moms just need some time to remember why they love each other.”
“What if they don’t remember?” Gus chews on his bottom lip.
“They will. Your moms have been together for a long time; they love each other and you and JR. Everything will work out.”
Gus wants to believe his dad. He sounds so sure, but his dad hasn’t heard them fighting. And what did his dad know about marriage? “Is that why you and Justin aren’t married? Because it’s too hard?”
Brian laughs. “I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that for a few more years. Marriage means different things to different people. Most people, like your moms, think marriage is a good thing, and it is important to them to be married. I grew up thinking marriage made people unhappy so I never wanted to be married. Justin understands that, and neither of us feel like we have to be married.”
“But you love each other?”
Brian clears his throat. “Yes, we do. And so do your moms. So stop worrying, okay.”
Gus nods. His dad has never lied to him before so maybe he’s right.
Later that same summer, everyone’s at Debbie’s for a barbeque. Gus isn’t paying much attention to what everyone is talking about until Emmett starts telling a funny story about a wedding he’s planning.
“And I told her that was almost as tacky as being deflowered on your prom night.”
Gus knows that’s supposed to be funny, but no one laughs. Instead everyone gets really quiet until JR asks loudly, “Why is everyone staring at Justin?”
“They’re not honey.” Debbie interrupts quickly. “They’re just waiting for me to get off my but and get dessert. Why don’t you come help me?” Debbie stands up and hustles JR into the kitchen.
Emmett leans across the table, “I’m sorry, Justin. That was insensitive.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.”
Gus thinks Justin looks sad, but before he can say anything Ben starts talking about Hunter’s new girlfriend. When Debbie brings out the dessert, Gus notices his dad goes off to smoke, and Justin doesn’t finish his cake. Gus watches them both and starts thinking about things he’s overheard when his moms forget he’s in the room.
When they get back to the loft, he asks, “Dad, did something bad happen at Justin’s prom?”
Brian throws up his hands and walks into the kitchen. “Justin, this is all you. There’s no way I’m telling this story.”
“Thanks, Brian.” Justin shoots Brian a helpless look before sitting down at the table with Gus. “Tell me what you already know.”
“Nothing really.” Gus scrunches up his forehead and thinks about it. “I know you got hurt a long time ago, and that’s why your hand doesn’t always work. And I heard people mention your prom, but that’s all.”
“Well, when I was in school, there was another boy who used to give me a hard time.”
“A bully?” Gus interjects.
“Yes, he called me names, harassed me. We even got into a fight once.”
“He wasn’t a bully. He was a fucking closet case.” Brian yells from the kitchen.
“What your father means, Gus,” Justin gestures for Brian to be quiet. “Is that he may have been attracted to boys, but because he was ashamed, he picked on me.”
“I know,” Justin laughs. “But that’s how he acted. The night of the prom, your father surprised me by showing up, and we danced together. This made the other boy angry, and when we left, he followed us into the garage. He hit me in the head with a baseball bat. Your father stopped him from hitting me again, but he’d already hit me hard enough to cause permanent damage.”
Gus doesn’t know what to say; he wishes he hadn’t asked. “I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, me too.” Justin smiles sadly and pats his hand. “But it was a long time ago, and I don’t think about it anymore.”
“Was it really cool dancing with my dad?” Gus wants to think about something happy.
“I don’t know. Because of the way he hit me, I can’t remember any of that.”
“Justin,” Brian’s voice is rough.
When Gus looks at his dad he can’t tell if he’s sad or angry or both.
“Brian, it’s ok.” Justin and his dad look at each other for a long time before Justin turns back to him. “Your father told me once it was ridiculously romantic.”
“It was.” Brian moves to stand behind Justin, putting his hands on his shoulder. “The music started, and I led you out onto the dance floor. We were amazing together, and your smile lit up the whole room. Everyone watched us; they couldn’t look away.”
Gus watches his father reach for Justin. They stand close together, and he thinks he hears his dad humming. They start dancing slowly, the faces close together. As they move around the room, his dad spins Justin around and makes him laugh. Gus almost claps, but he realizes they’re only looking at each other so he sneaks into the living room, turns the TV on real quiet and leaves them alone.
JR hates it when people ask who her real mother is. When she tries to explain her family doesn’t think like that, they just get impatient and demand to know who she’s related to. Sometimes she tells people she is adopted because it feels better than admitting Lindsay isn’t her mother.
Gus tells her that’s stupid, but it’s easy for him. Everyone knows Gus is going to be a lawyer from the time he starts school. He’s always bartering and arguing and looking for ways around the rules. Plus, he loves standing up for other people. JR watches him talk to Melanie about the law, both of them so intent, and knows why no one would question him if he says Melanie is his real mother the way they do when she lies and said Lindsay is her real mom. She wishes she could be tall and blonde and beautiful like Lindsay. Then people would believe her, but she looks just like Melanie.
JR decides she’ll be an artist so she and Lindsay will have something special in common just like Gus and Melanie. The only problem is JR didn’t really like art. She can’t draw, sculpting is too messy, and she even gets bored taking pictures. But for years she tells everyone she’s going to be an artist just like her mother. She loves the way her moms get the prettiest smiles on their faces every time they hear her say it.
In grade eight, her school offers a special advanced arts program. Of course, JR signs up, but all summer she’s sick just thinking about going back to school. The other kids in the class will be there because they love art, and when they see how untalented she is, they’ll laugh. Most of all, she knows her mom is going to find out the truth. She’ll never be able to fake her way through the entire school year.
She spends the summer in Pittsburgh desperately trying to develop some kind of talent, but everything she tries is a disaster. Her dads think she spends hours on the computer emailing her friends, but she’s really trying to learn how to draw or paint or something. Nothing goes right especially her very bad attempt at carving.
The week before school starts, her mom comes into her room with a box of special art supplies. JR takes one look at it and bursts into tears. “I can’t do it, Mom. I just can’t. I wanted to be like you, but no matter how hard I try, I don’t want to be an artist.”
Lindsay holds her while she cries then smoothes her hair back and kisses her forehead. “Is that what all this has been about? Did you think I wanted you to be like me? Honey, I want you to be whatever makes you happy.”
“But Gus is going to be a lawyer like Mom, and that gives them something special together. I wanted us to have something special too.” JR starts to tell her about wanting people to know she’s her real daughter, but she is afraid it will make her mom cry so she stops herself.
“Do you think you need something special with me because Melanie is your biological mom, and I’m not? JR, I love you the same as I love your brother just like Melanie loves you both too. Biology doesn’t matter.”
And it all comes out in a rush. “It doesn’t matter to us, but people always ask. And they don’t ask Gus because he looks like you, but he acts just like Mom so they think he could belong to either of you. I wanted something like that for me too because I tell people your both my real mom, but nobody understands.”
“But do you understand, JR? Really and truly?” Her mom cradles her face and looked into her eyes.
JR nods; she’s too choked up to speak.
“Then don’t worry about ‘people.’ What holds us together isn’t DNA or our jobs. It’s love and memories, and all those wonderful things that no one else can see. You don’t have to look like me or paint like me to be my daughter. You just are. And who knows, maybe Gus will surprise us all and become a deep sea diver or a mushroom farmer.”
JR laughs and hugs her mom tightly.
When Gus is fourteen, he hates the world. No one understands him or cares about what he wants. JR is constantly bugging him and coming into his room and touching his stuff. His moms don’t let him do anything; he’s always fighting with Melanie and ignoring Lindsay.
One day, he finally has enough; he going to be grounded for making JR cry, again. He is in the middle of trying to make his moms see it isn’t his fault when he can’t do it any more. He stops yelling and calmly says, “I want to live with my dad.”
“No,” Lindsay starts to protest, her eyes tearing up.
Melanie puts a hand on her arm. “Okay,” she tells Gus. “Come on Linds, we need to talk to Brian.”
Dinner is quiet; nobody has anything to say, but just before bed, his mom comes in his room.
“Alright, Gus, this how it is going to work. You’ll go to Pittsburgh in July with JR, and then you’ll stay when she comes back. You will come home for Christmas, spring break, and summer vacation from now on. Do you understand?”
“Here’s the important part. This is happening because I promised you that if you seriously asked to live with your father, I would make it happen. Your mother and I,” Melanie presses her lips together and looks away. “We don’t want this. We love you, and we want you home with us.”
Gus hangs his head. He wants to go, but he hates seeing his mom so sad.
“I understand why you want to go. What I want you to understand is that you can always come home. Always.”
“Thanks, Mama,” Gus mumbles.
“Mama. You haven’t called me that since you were four.” Melanie smiles, but her lips tremble. “The other thing you have to understand is that this is a one time deal. You can’t bounce back and forth every time you get mad at one of you parents. So be sure about this.”
“I am.” Gus forces himself to meet her eyes.
“Okay.” Melanie stands up and hugs him hard. “I love you. Never forget that.”
She’s gone before he can tell her he loves her too.
Gus doesn’t fight with JR or his moms before he leaves for Pittsburgh. But the silence and sadness are worse than fighting so it’s a relief to go. The first few weeks are wonderful. He hangs out by the pool or in the game room while his dad goes to work, and Justin paints. They never bug him about staying up too late or doing his chores.
They go to New York in August like always, but Justin has to stay a few more weeks so they come back to Pittsburgh without him. His dad won’t let him stay at the house by himself all day so he has to help out at Kinnetik, or hang out at the diner if his grandma is working, or stay with Michael and Ben. It all kind of sucks, but his dad just walks away if he starts complaining.
His moms call every week, but he never knows what to say, and at least one of them always ends up crying. Sometimes Gus cries too after he hangs up, but he never tells anyone. The night before JR goes home, they have a big dinner at his grandma’s. When it’s time to go, JR cries and cries and begs him to come home. She promises never to go in his room or touch his computer again, but it’s too late.
At first, Gus is excited about going to an American school, but that ends up sucking too. The classes are either too easy or make no sense at all. The kids make fun of his accent and try to trick him into speaking French so they can laugh at him. After a few weeks, he stops going.
One night, Justin knocks on his door. “What are you doing?”
“Homework,” Gus barely looks up from his computer.
“It must be hard to figure out the homework assignment when you haven’t been to school in three days. Come on, Gus,” he continues when Gus looks up, startled. “Did you really think we wouldn’t find out?”
Gus shrugs. “School’s lame.”
“Probably,” Justin laughs. He sits on the edge of the bed across from Gus’s desk. “But that’s not the real problem. You have to go to school; it’s not even a topic for discussion.”
“Or what? You’ll kick me out?” Gus asks belligerently.
“Is that what you want?”
Gus shrugs again.
“No one is kicking you out, but you do need to decide what you want to do. Brian and I love having you here. We will never ask you to leave. But we also understand if you want to go back with your moms.”
“I wanted to leave.”
“I know. What I also know is that as much as I hated living with my parents, once I left, all I wanted to do was go home. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t because of Debbie. She was wonderful. She barely knew me, but she opened her home to me, loved me and treated me like family. But I still wanted my family even though my dad didn’t want me. If I had a choice, I would have gone home in a minute.”
Gus doesn’t know what to say so he stares at the floor.
“What I’m trying to say,” Justin starts again. “Is that you have a choice. Your moms and JR would love to have you come home. Your dad and I won’t be hurt or upset if that is what you want. Or you can stay here. Either way, you have to start going to school again. You have lots of people who love you, and all we want is for you to be happy.”
A few of the tears that have been welling in Gus’s eyes spill over. “I want to go home.”
Justin leans forward and wraps his arms around him. “I know, Gus, I know.”
Gus has only been home from university for a week when JR bursts into his room and flings herself on his bed.
“I wish my dads were like yours,” she declares with a dramatic sigh.
Gus rolls his eyes and ignores her. She loves being spoiled by her fathers so he knows she’s not serious.
“Come on, Gus, you’ve been gone for months. Can’t you at least pretend to be interested in my life.”
“JR, I was home a few months ago. And you were the one who couldn’t wait for me to start university so I wouldn’t be hanging around and embarrassing you.”
“Whatever.” Now it is JR’s turn to roll her eyes, but she continues. “I tried to talk my dads into letting me visit for just two weeks, but they said no. Daddy tried to sound all stern, but I knew he was sad. And then Dad starting talking about how much their time with me means to them, and how before they know it I’ll be an adult, and they want to enjoy me while they can.”
“So, now I’m stuck in Pittsburgh for two months without Adam. I’ll die!”
“You know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder,” Gus can’t resist. JR is so easy to tease.
“They only thing absence does is let Adam stare at Beth Roberts in a bikini while I’m a millions miles away. He’ll forget all about me.”
“The way you whine, you’re pretty unforgettable.” Gus easily dodges the pillow she throws at him. He’s not worried about Adam. JR likes him because he’s easy going and safe. Most likely she’ll be the one to forget about him. Privately Gus thinks JR’s next boyfriend will be a girlfriend, but he’s not telling anyone that, not even JR. In their crazy family, her bisexuality might be considered odder than his heterosexuality. “I’m sure you’ll both survive.”
“That’s easy for you to say. Are you even going to Pittsburgh? Now that you’re supposedly an adult, I guess you don’t have to.”
Gus shrugs. “Justin has a big show in New York so I might go hang out with him and Dad there for a few weeks.”
“Hey, how come you don’t call Justin dad or even uncle?” JR looks like she’s never thought about this before.
“First of all, Uncle Justin sounds kind of creepy.” They both make a face. “I don’t know. A lot of times when I visited my dad, Justin was living in New York, so I didn’t even see him as much as I saw Dad. And then, I’d always called him Justin so I never thought about it, not even when I lived with them that one summer. It’s not like they’re married or anything.”
“I’m telling Grandma you said that,” JR singsongs.
Gus shudders just a little at that threat. Their grandma still head slaps anyone who says his dad and Justin aren’t married. Of course the only person who still says that is his dad, and only when he wants to make Grandma crazy.
“Justin’s just Justin. It doesn’t matter what I call him.” Gus didn’t know how to explain it any better that that.
“Now you sound like you dad. I bet he wouldn’t make me leave Adam for two whole months. He understands about true love.” JR quickly switches the subject back to herself.
“You’ve met my father, right?” Gus laughs. “He’d die laughing if you told him about your true love. Besides you’re only fifteen; it’s not like you’re going to marry him or anything.”
“I just might. Wait and see,” JR says defiantly. “We can’t all be like you with a new girlfriend every week.”
“Don’t exaggerate. Just because I don’t declare my undying love for every girl I date. . .”
“Please,” JR interrupts. “You probably don’t even believe in love.”
Gus remembers watching his dad and Justin dance around the loft all those years ago, and he thinks about how his moms are always touching each other even when they were angry. “I just think love is worth waiting for,” he tells JR. “And until then there’s no reason I can’t have some fun.”
“You’re hopeless,” JR giggles, pulling him down on the bed next to her. “But I’m glad you’re home.”