Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Video to make you Smile

Today is Thursday so Karla is on deck with her next installment of Fun and Games.  And since Thursday is normally the day I bombard you guys with videos I saw this cute one and thought it was appropriate.  How I see Owen and Lucky, two of our characters from Fun and Games, when they were babies.  If this doesn't make you smile today, just go back to your cave because you are truly facing a crappy day.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fun and Games...Another Bomb!


“Where the fuck are they?” Truman demanded while pacing, even as he tossed his phone on the couch next to Grace in fit of anger.  They had been in the family room of the Simonson house for twenty minutes, waiting for Harper and Owen to join them after dropping Lucky off.  So far, they were a no- show and each attempt at calling was a one-way ticket to voice mail.  

Grace was sitting on the couch slumped forward, thumbing her phone.  Truman’s anger-a potent mix of frustration and helplessness-was starting to penetrate the cone of silence she had erected since their arrival.  She didn’t get it.  What was up with all the freaking drama?  Why not just tell them to mind their own business.  Okay, yeah, they probably wouldn’t stop worrying about Harper, but at least it wouldn’t be leading them on a wild goose chase.

Not to mention Owen.  He knew how much Grace cared about Harper.  Why couldn’t he at least send a text message?  Even if it only said cease and desist, at least they would know she was okay.  Instead, Truman was wearing a rut the size of Lake Geneva in his mother’s Chinese silk rug, and Grace was clutching her phone like it were a life line. 


“Last summer we spent a lot of time at Lake Geneva,” Harper’s words were low and slow.  Severing her connection to Owen, she fisted her hands in her lap, avoiding eye contact with either boy she continued.  “We were up there for the annual-“

“Wait a second,” Lucky said leaning forward and hooking his arm over the front seat closest to his brother.  “I thought you were going to tell us what happened at the party?”

Smacking his brother on the back of the head, Owen snapped, “Shut up Lucky.  Harper is telling us what happened last summer.  How she knows Haas isn’t gay.”

Lucky sent his own snarl back at his brother, “Dude, I know what I saw, Haas is totally gay.  That kid, the one that came rushing to his rescue, not only was he half naked, but they were close.  Know what I mean?”

Leaning in, Owens anger clear in the bulge of his eyes and the vein that ran across his forehead, reminding Lucky of the Incredible Hulk reruns the twins used to watch as boys.   “Shut up.  We’re going to let Harper tell this her way.  Got me?”

“Fine,” he replied, before rolling back to take up his original position behind his brother.  Mainly to move out of the way of Owen’s flying punches.

Owen turned back to Harper, a gentle smile reappearing on his face, an obvious move to put her at ease.  “Dumbass will not interrupt anymore.  Promise.”

“Don’t forget to cross your heart,” was tossed out from the peanut gallery in the backseat in such a snarly way, Harper couldn’t help but laugh.

“Okay stop,” she begged, holding up one hand.  “You two are too much.”  Looking back at Lucky, “Cross your heart?  Really?  Now you sound just like my brother.”

Folding his arms across his chest, Lucky bounced against the back seat once and barked, “I am nothing like your brother.”

Seeing an opportunity to put off the discussion, Harper twisted so she was facing the backseat and said softly, “Oh I don’t know.  You two have more in common than you think.”  The smile that stole across her face made it clear she was complimenting Owen’s older brother-or at least she thought she was.

Lucky looked at Harper and pursing his lips, a clear sign he was up to something, tossed back, “You mean your bitchy ex-best-friend Grace?  Because I can tell you, I am so over that.  Any girl who would rather be with loser douche-man, I want no part of that.  Besides, who does she think she is?  You guys are supposed to be best friends, and she doesn’t tell you about her acceptance to­–where was it–Oxnard?  Who needs a friend like that?”

Harper, in true best friend/you-don’t-mess-with-my-brother mode leaned back as if Lucky had struck her.  Owen was no help.  Instead of rushing to her rescue, he eyed his brother before turning her way to see how she would respond.  Later, Harper would realize that she was being set up, but at that moment, she just wanted to lash out.  

“First off, don’t ever call my brother douche-man again.  You don’t have that right.  He doesn’t lie, and he would never intentionally hurt anyone.  Besides, Truman is one of the best men I know.”  As she said those words, her eyes lanced from Lucky to Owen and back again.  “He has always been there for me.  Always.”

Sensing Harper losing some of her steam, Lucky shrugged.  And just like that, twin red flags raised up her cheeks putting Lucky back in the role of matador as Harper charged forward.  

“And don’t you ever use bitchy and Grace in the same sentence again, do you understand me?”  Pointing a finger at Lucky, she continued, “You would be beyond Lucky if my friend ever deemed you worthy enough.  As for the acceptance letter, it’s Oxford, not Oxnard.  What freaking rock do you live under?”  Looking to Owen, she mowed on, “You’re right.  He is a dumbass.”  Swiveling her head so Lucky was once again in her sights, “I am sure if she didn’t tell me, she had a good reason.  Grace is the nicest, kindest person I know, and she would never intentionally hurt me.  Hell, she didn’t even tell me she had a thing for Truman at first because she was afraid it would affect our friendship.”  Harper’s voice went soft, shadowing out on the last sentence, as she realized what she was saying.

Looking down, she swallowed.  Then swallowed again, emotion ricocheting inside of her so fast she was sure she would splinter into a million pieces at any moment.  Raising her head and looking at Lucky, twin puddles of misery shooting accusing daggers, “Unfair, Lucas Riley.  Unfair.”

Wanting to ease her pain, Owen snagged her hand once again, lacing their fingers together tightly.   Once he had her attention he confided, “Yeah, he really is a dumbass.  But his heart is in the right place.”

Lucky preened in the back seat, batting his eyelashes at Harper.   

On a laugh that was choked with unshed tears, she turned around in the front seat and decided, “I am sure Grace and Tru are getting worried.  Maybe we should head back to the house.  I only want to tell this story once.  Okay?”

The twins agreed.  Before putting the car in gear, Owen looked at his brother in the rear view mirror and asked, “Just out of curiosity, who was the kid you saw come to Haas’ rescue.”

“Your friend, Mickelson.  Ben Mickelson.”

Owen felt Harper’s body grow rigid, even though two feet separated them, as he responded, “Sorry Luck, but you got that one wrong.  Ben isn’t his lover.  He’s his son.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

2nd Port...St. Maarten

What was really cool about our second day in port was we arrived in St. Maarten on the Dutch (Netherlands) side and took a bus to St. Martin (yes it really is a different spelling for the French side.) in France.  We visited two separate countries via one bus ride.  It was pretty cool.

I enjoyed the bus ride, it made me think of what I expect the French countryside would look like if we were to ever visit France.

Our excursion for this stop was called the Sea and See tour.  It was a boat that was part submersible submarine and part pontoon boat.  The water was gorgeous, and we there was this soft wind blowing that just made your bones almost liquefy.

Okay, enough, just check out the pictures.

This is on the bus ride to the tour.  This was the French side of the island.
 This was a picture from the boat tour we were taking.  We were on our way to a reef about 2 miles off the beach.
This is another shot of the water.  It was so beautiful here.  The water looked like silk and the air was so balmy and fragrant.  So lovely.
I took this pic from the submarine part of the boat.  How cool that we got this close to the turtles.  We also saw a sting-ray.  I was so blow away by it I missed getting the picture.


Here is a shot of the ship were on.  Yes, you can see our room from this picture.

Overall this stop was pretty terrific.  It wasn't my favorite by a long shot, but I did enjoy the time I got to spend on the island.


Friday, March 25, 2011

First Stop...St. Thomas

One of the first ports we stopped at during our vacation was St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  To say it was spectacular to watch the glide into port is an understatement.  The Captain and I were up at first light because we had been to sea for two days and while I enjoyed being on the boat-there were plenty of things to keep us busy-I refer you to yesterday's post where you can see the Captain mastering the barrel roll on the flow rider, we were both pretty excited to see land.

So without further ado let me share some memories.

This is the view we had as we arrived.  We got to watch the sun come up over the island.  I get all fluttery inside when I remember how we stood on the bow of the boat and watched that orange glow rise.  It was so romantic and made even more special by the fact that the evening before we had celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.

In the morning as everyone was rushing to be the first ones off the boat we decided to take our time.  We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then a stroll on the deck so we could take these pictures of us finally making it into port.  The first one was the view of the bay. 

Pretty spectacular.  When we win the PowerBall jackpot tonight we may have to go back there and purchase a winter home.  Don't worry, you're all invited to come visit.

Next, this is the picture of the baby boats we encountered in the harbor.  So small. 

I also got this picture of all of the visitors that flock to the island during the winter and vacation on their boats.  What a way to live, right?  The harbor to the east was dotted with these bobbing sail boats.
We had an excursion planned.  Well, not really an excursion.  We scheduled a speed boat ride for around 11:00 am.  Since we had plenty of time until our ride, the Captain decided to get his Kid on and hit the flow rider.  With everyone debarking, he had it all to himself.  

Yes he is a natural.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, tried to get me to take a chance on it.  Maybe if there had been money involved, but nope, I didn't do it.  Laying in the sun and reading was the most exercise I was planning on getting on this vacation.

And finally here is the view of the island as we departed that night.  We were wind burned, exhausted and excited to see what lay ahead for us.

 Go ahead, tell me how great it looked.  I am whimpering as I sit here getting this post ready, because I am so ready to be back there.


There was another cruise ship in with us.  Her is a picture of that boat as we left.

I want to go back.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flowrider on the Cruise

It's Thursday and that means Karla is doing her F&G over at her blog.  Check it out here.

In the meantime, check out the Captain as he masters the barrel roll on the Flow rider.  Pretty awesome huh?

video

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

F&G...Guess who came back for Grace


Pie?  Did he just say pie?  Of course he did.  He was male after all, and if they weren’t thinking with one part of their anatomy, they were thinking with their stomachs.

Guys!

Grace didn’t want pie.  She wanted to know what the hell happened at that party just as badly as Truman and Owen did, and it irked her that Lucky could think pie would take her mind off of that.  But she wasn’t really part of the family-she was only Harper’s best friend- so why should they feel compelled to take her with them?  

Shaking her head, she turned for the booth where she and Harper had been sitting and repeated, “Let me get my purse.”  

Doris, their waitress, beat her to it.  She retrieved Grace’s bag and carried it over.  Smiling, she hung the strap on Grace’s shoulder and said, “Don’t worry about getting the check, on the house tonight.”

With a small, sad smile, Grace said, “Thanks.”

“I guess that means no pie?” Lucky piped in, his attempt at humor falling flat.  

“Sorry kid, not tonight,” said a masculine voice from the doorway.  Grace and Lucky turned in tandem to face Truman, who had stopped on the threshold.

“I thought you were on your way to get some answers?” Lucky demanded even as his face rearranged itself into a grimace.

“We are.”  Truman only had eyes for Grace.  “But I realized before I even turned the corner, you should be there, too.  And Harper agreed.  So we came back.”

“You came back?  For me?”  Grace’s voice dipped a little as she tried to control the emotion clogging her throat.

Walking toward Grace with a purposefulness that telegraphed it to every patron in the diner-all four of them-Truman smiled and made a cross over his heart.  “I will always come back for you.  Cross my heart.”

Doris let out a heartfelt sigh and a soft, “Oh, wasn’t that sweet.” 

Lucky made a gagging sound even as he wheezed, “Oh please!”

Tru wasn’t screwing this up again.  Yes, Harper was his sister.  She had to come first.  But Grace was important to him too, and she was important to Harper.  It didn’t seem right for her to be excluded.

Holding out a hand for Grace, Truman looked over at Lucky, “Owen and Harper are going to give you a ride home. “  Turning back to Grace, he smiled and said, “I was hoping we could drive over to the house together.  I really need to talk to you.  Explain.  I don’t want any secrets between us.”

“Okay.”  Feeling suddenly shy, Grace hooked her purse strap over her head so it hung across her body before rooting through it for her keys.
 
Lucky was at the door to the diner when Grace looked up and called, “Lucky?”

With one hand on the push bar, he glanced over his shoulder, “Yeah?”

Not wanting to hurt his feelings, she asked, “Maybe we can do that pie some other time?”

Looking from Grace to Truman and back again, Lucky replied, “Count on it.” Before pushing the door open and going out into the night.

Truman leaned in close to Grace as he snagged her hand.  Intertwining their fingers he asked, “You want me to drive?”

Smiling because it was a safe topic and she was relieved, Grace answered, “Sure.”
 
“Now, let’s just hope I can fit into your car,” Truman added.

Lucky made his way towards Truman’s ride with a bite in his stride.  Truman-to-the-rescue.  Again.  It was starting to get old.  On a weary sigh, Lucky remembered the look on her face when Truman came back.  It didn’t really matter what he wanted, it was clear that Grace wanted Truman.  She had it pretty bad for the college freshman.  Lucky wasn’t giving up the fight, at least not yet anyway.  But he knew he wouldn’t get anywhere as long as old Tru was in town.  He just had to bide his time until the older boy went back to school.
 
But first, he wasn’t going home.  They could make all the plans they wanted.  Opening the back door to the car, he decided he was getting an invitation to the party, too.  Grace wasn’t the only one who deserved to learn the truth of what happened that night.  After all, wasn’t he the one facing police charges? 

Truman’s word turned out to be self-prophetic.  He took a hit to the head as he tried to fold his 6’3” frame into her toy car.  Frenchy, one.  Truman, zero.  His knees didn’t fit properly under the dash, no matter how far back he pushed the seat, and he was forced to sit with his head at an angle.  Good news, Grace finally relaxed.  All of his grunting, groaning and bitching about his predicament had her howling in the passenger seat. 
 
Once they were both settled, he turned and met her gaze.  “I didn’t know this was going to happen when I came home for Christmas.  Me and you, I mean.”

“Okay.”

“My plan when I left school was to avoid you at all costs.  I spent the entire first semester trying to get you out of my head after you dropped that bomb at the lake.”

Grace winced at the memory.

“It freaked me out a little.  I had started to have feelings for you and suddenly you were telling me you felt the same way.”  Stopping, Truman scrubbed his hands up and down his face, cracked his knuckles and scratched the back of his neck before continuing.  “But I was getting ready to go to college and…  I just didn’t think it was a good idea.”  Earnestly, he faced Grace again, “And let’s face it.  I don’t have a great track record with girls.” 
  
She knew that to be true but had never thought about it too much.

“So I didn’t say anything back.  I went to school and dived right into the dating scene.”  Truman was embarrassed to be putting it out there like that, but knew he had to be honest.  “When I came back and saw you that night on your porch something changed.  I don’t know where this is going to lead, or even how long it will last.  I just want a chance to see where it will go.  Starting now.”

Grace’s gaze locked onto his, and her heart took one giant leap.  But instead of jumping at the chance, she took hold of his hand , and with the vision of her Oxford acceptance letter dancing in her head said, “Let’s go get Harps taken care of, then we can go back to my house.  I have something that I want to show you.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

When your vacation seems so far in the past...

We have been back from our lovely cruise for over a week and I am already back into the swings of things at work-hard.  It was like I didn't even have a holiday.  Or at least that was how I felt Friday night.  I worked until 10:30 pm.  

No, I am not crazy, but there is a lot of work we are doing behind the scenes.  And working behind the scenes is kind of my domain in the office.  So, that being said, when you work behind the scenes, especially to make changes you have to do it when everyone is away.  Hence the working til 10:30 Friday night.  

And it didn't end there either.  I worked a good chunk of the evening Saturday and all day Sunday.  Are you guys feeling my pain yet?  (Actually I am greasing the wheels here because I owe somebody something of the written type that I have not completed yet.  Sorry Karla.)

But then yesterday afternoon the hubs decided we should try to recreate this drink that I tried for the very first time while on vacation.  It tastes like a summer day on the beach with a light breeze in a cup.  Seriously, it was that good.  You all probably know this one...a Mojito.  All I can say is Yowza...baby!  Where you been all of my life?

During our cruise we stopped in Puerto Rico and took a tour of the Bacardi Rum Factory there.  The best part of the tour was the free drinks they offered at the end.  You walk around for two hours listening politely so you can spend another two hours drinking their rum for free.  Sounded like a good deal to us.  This was a great time to try some drinks I  had never tried before.  Hello Mojito.

I was so impressed that this became my cocktail of choice.  Let's just say, Me and Mo, we became very close.

So yesterday with a bag of limes, a whole lot of mint, club soda, rum and sugar we mixed up some awesomness in a pitcher.  To say we nailed it was an understatement.  I believe I can now make a Mojito better than...okay, well better than I could before I had ever heard the word Mojito.  But that is not the point.  Yesterday afternoon for a small span of time, we were transported to the Caribbean while sitting on our back deck.  It took no more than us closing our eyes and enjoying our Mojitos's

Hey!  You relax your way...were gonna do it this way.  I wonder how these will translate on the boat this summer?  I am going to have to find a way to make large quantities and transport them.  Yes, they were that good.  So tell me friends, what is your cocktail of choice? 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Hungry: Natural Born Charmer

This months Book Hungry Club pick was mine.  So to say I love this book would be putting it mildly.  Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my all time favorite reads.  I have read this book so many time I can practically recite it word for word.

Here is the book description:

NATURAL BORN CHARMER
Chicago Stars Series Book #7

It wasn't every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard's larger-than-life world. She was definitely a girl beaver because her beaver head was missing, revealing sweaty, dark hair pulled into a scraggly ponytail. He'd been praying for a little distraction from his own depressing company, so he threw open the door and stepped out onto the shoulder of the Colorado road ... The unforgettable love story of a golden boy who might be losing his luster and a spirited woman who's learned never to depend on anyone but herself. 

Okay so it's way more of a read than what they lead you to believe here, but if I were to tell you all about it, well, where would the fun be in that.  Suffice it to say, Dean and Blue aren't the only charming characters in this book.  We get to meet Deans parents who are a pretty good story all by themselves, plus Dean's little sister Riley, who forces this family to become one for the very first time.  There is also a wicked witch in this cast who turns out to be pretty unforgettable herself.

If you have never read any of SEP's book, this is a good place to start.  If you have read her before...well there really isn't too much left for me to say.  Okay-there is.  GO and READ THIS BOOK!

And like always, for one lucky reader you can get a chance to win your very own copy of this book.  All you have to do is be a follower of this blog and leave a message.  If one of my BHC sister's don't own their own copy and want to be in the drawing, make sure you say so in the comments.  See how easy it is to win a great book here.  

So tell me, have your read it? 




Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Luck of the Green

Tomorrow is March 17 and for you non-Irish peeps out there, we will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day aka La Fheile Padraig.  

Now I could go on and be the good Catholic girl I was raised to be and tell you why we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, especially in Ireland.  But the translation loses something I think.  Instead I will tell you that in America it is considered a day of feast.  If you ask any of the folks who claim Irish decent the purpose of celebrating St. Patrick's Day, they will surely tell you it is like Fat Tuesday.  A day to eat, drink and be merry.

But St. Patrick was more than a party boy-okay he wasn't a party boy at all.  But it sure is fun to think that he was.  Hello!  He was catholic.  Don't tell me he didn't drink.  It's like a law or something.

He was actually a priest who traveled back to Ireland after his escape from captivity there and using the shamrock, taught of the Trinity to the Irish people.  Now the trinity of which I speak is not the one you may know from the Food Network which includes celery, bell peppers and onions.  Nope, I am referring to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As you can see I included a pic where they have made the water in the water-ways green.  Hey we do that in our pool for St. Patrick's day too.  Of course ours isn't man made, it is more Algae made.  Hmm, I wander if there is a St. Algae or just St. Al for short.  I am looking that up right now.  

Don't you love how you come to my blog and get a lesson some days?  Okay, tomorrow is Book Hungry Club day and we are reviewing this months read so you know what that means.  Karla has her posting of Fun and Games up over at her blog today.  Check it out.

Have a great day and don't forget to wear green tomorrow.  Even if your not Irish, a little luck never hurt anyone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

F&G Owen and Lucky plus Truman makes Three


“It was you,”  Truman said, surprised it hadn’t clicked before while the puzzle pieces fitted themselves together in his mind.  “You were the one who whaled on Haas.”

Lucky shared a quick glance with Owen before nodding once to confirm.

Truman’s lips pursed as he processed this new information before cutting a path past the two boys, and dropping to a downed tree trunk, the bark rough against his jean clad legs.  Leaning forward, an elbow resting on each knee, he took a breath.  “That was pretty stupid.  What you did.  Shit!  I don’t know if I should say thank you or kick your ass.”

“You’re welcome,” Lucky muttered sarcastically as he crossed his arms over his chest defensively.

Eyeing Lucky with the same annoyed expression one would give to gum on the bottom of their shoe, Truman asked, “You were going to tell us what happened at Haas’ house this morning?”

Looking around, “Not here.  Let’s go back to our house and we can talk there,” Lucky responded.

“No way.  Mom’s home with the kids,” Owen piped in, determined to keep their mother in the dark as long as he could.  She was going to freak out when she learned what her oldest son had done to the teacher.
“I know a place.  We can get coffee and maybe a piece of pie,”  Truman offered, rubbing the back of his neck.  This weekend was not shaping up to be what he had hoped.  Holding up his hand, he gestured. “Keys.”

“Pie?” Lucky perked up.  For being so lean, he ate like a linebacker.

Digging the keys from his pocket, Owen tossed them to Truman before looking at Lucky and demanding, “Just tell me this.  You made him cry, right?” 
 
With a small grin that showcased his dimple and a shoulder shrug Lucky responded, “Like a baby.”

Truman sighed and planted his hands on his hips, annoyance eating at him for the small amount of gratitude he was feeling toward Owen’s brother.  “Hell, I guess it’s gonna be a thank you after all.”  And didn’t that just piss him off even more.

Turning and meeting the older boys gaze, Lucky solemnly replied, “You may want to wait until you hear what I have to say.  I’m thinking ‘Thank you’ won’t be necessary.”

“What are you talking about?”  This from Owen, the self-appointed protector of all things Harper.

“Yeah, what are you talking about?” Truman seconded. 

“Pie first.  I’m hungry.”

“You’re always hungry,” Owen laughed, as he grabbed his brother in a head lock and started dragging him up the path to the car.
 
Truman followed at a slower pace wondering if Lucky was right.  Could it really be over with Grace before it even started?  Only one way to find out.  When he was done with the Juicy Fruit twins, he was going to track her down and get it straightened out.  Because one thing he knew for sure, Grace was the only one he wanted to be with now.

                                     

When the car stopped at the red light, déjà vu bombarded Owen as he spotted the pink car, reminding him of the day at the mall Lucky asked the very same question.  “Isn’t that Grace’s car?”

“Son of a…  What are they doing here?”  Truman moaned. 

“Pull over.”  Lucky ordered.

“What?  Why?” was tossed over Truman’s shoulder.

“Haas is gay.”

The statement dropped like a bomb, leaving a silence in its wake that not even the radio could penetrate.  Owen and Truman exchanged glances clearly asking, “What the fuck?”  Questions were thrown at Lucky in quick succession as both front seat occupants turned to face him in the back.

“What?”

“How do you know?”

“How much did you have to drink tonight, anyway?”

“Gay?  Where did you get that from?”

Lucky turned to look out the window, but didn’t see the Diner across the street.  Instead he was back, reliving the moment of driving away from Haas’ house when some perverse voice­­–he refused to think of it as guilt–nudged him to look out the rear view mirror.  Before he turned the corner, he saw a young man rush from the house, clothed only in boxer shorts, drop down and cradle the teacher in his arms.
 
It hadn’t been the embrace of someone worried for a friend.  No, it had screamed intimacy, not the kind between a teacher and his student.  And the young man had most definitely been a student.  Because in that last moment before Lucky turned the corner, he had a clear view of the boy’s face and recognized him as a classmate of Owen’s.
 
Shaking himself back to the present, Lucky leaned toward the front of the car and said, “This morning, after­–" What’s it called when one of you doesn’t fight back, he wondered.  “I saw someone run from the house to help him.  It wasn’t a female.”

“That’s it?” Truman demanded.  “That’s your proof?  You saw a kid run from his house and you think he’s gay?  Seriously, Owen, does your brother have a drinking problem?”

“Let him finish,” Owen defended. 

“No, it was the way he ran to his side and kind of hugged him.  Loving, almost.”  Shrugging over his inability to find the word, he added, “Trust me.  Haas is gay.”

“I don’t understand.  If he’s gay, what the hell happened between him and Harper?”  Owen asked, confused.

“That’s not all,”  Lucky continued.

“There’s more?” Truman asked drolly, even as relief settled around him like a cloak that his sister had not been sexually violated.

“The kid I saw.”

“Yeah?” Owen asked when Lucky didn’t go on.

“You know him.  In fact, he’s in your class.” Lucky winced on that.

Before Owen could interrogate Lucky any further, the front door the retro diner opened, and Harper stepped out putting her cell phone to her ear.  She stood out in stark relief against the backdrop of the overhead fixture illuminating the sidewalk in front of the entrance.

While they couldn’t see her clearly, they could read her body language, and it was screaming ‘get me out of here’.  Truman didn’t miss when she swiped her hand against her face to brush away tears.  He had seen the move one too many times to not recognize it. 
 
“Call her, Owen.  Call her right now.”  Truman instructed in a voice that brooked no argument from either boy.  “We are getting to the bottom of this–whatever this is–and it stops tonight.  Put it on speaker.”

Silently, Owen made the call and cringed when Harper’s too cheery voice came across the line, “Hey, Grace says hi.”