Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Brothers Everhart Ch. 23 Perry and Lalique

Author's note: this chapter and the next did not quite dovetail with things that were going on with Pres Everhart and Sofia. So in this chapter they are discussing that Pres has only just found out he has a son and is wooing Sofia. Only confusing if you remember that in their side of the story Pres and Sofia have already left for their honeymoon.


The last time we saw them Lalique and Perry had just been married in a quiet ceremony at their home. Perry's parents, Philip and Rhonda, were staying at the house caring for the four children while the bridal couple enjoyed their honeymoon on Belle Isle.


During the time they were enjoying being part of a three generational home--at least temporarily--Perry's parents began to question the advisability of keeping their estate on Hilton Head Island. It now seemed so far away from their new grandchildren and from their sons. Soaking in the indoor hot tub they discussed how much they cherished the time with Perry and Lalique, and seeing their oldest son interacting with Lalique's children. He'd always been a natural with kids and they responded to him eagerly. 

Most school day mornings Alain and Desiree had breakfast together; sometimes they helped themselves to cold cereal. Sometimes, when the adults were up early and Lalique made a big breakfast, they gobbled up eggs and bacon or pancakes. The senior Everharts had started talking to Perry and Lalique about how they were considering a move.

 "Well, if you do relocate here have you decided whether to sell the place on Hilton Head or just rent it out?" Perry asked, pausing to savor a perfect bite of light buttermilk pancakes topped with Lalique's fresh strawberry sauce. Everyone in the family said no one enjoyed good food the way Perry did.

"Oh, if we move, we'll sell it all right," Philip said, helping himself to another rasher of bacon.

"It's hard to decide," Rhonda worried, "We do so much want to be here with all of you, but we've lived in that house since Parker was in high school. We're friendly with the neighbors, close to the club and the golf course and we're right on the water.

The Hilton Head house was not the one Perry, Prince and Pres had grown up in, so Perry did not feel sentimental about it one way or the other.

"You don't have to be in a hurry, Mom," Perry assured her, "It's a big deal, so take your time. Be sure this is what you want. Have you even looked around to see what's available here? Here being Bluewater Village, but you should also check out Pleasantview. You've got two sons in both locations," he grinned, "Of course, while Parker has that small apartment in Bluewater, with him that could change at any moment."

"Well, if we really wanted to be here and couldn't find what we want, we'd just build," Philip shrugged, "Anyway, another option would be to simply keep the house on Hilton Head as a summer home and rent it out the rest of the year. Then we wouldn't need quite as large a home here."

"Phil, could we do that?" Rhonda questioned, "That would be so nice!"

"I don't see why not," Philip replied casually, "Now that I've sold the vacation home in Barbados, we'll have some extra liquid assets."

Lalique was glad her hair was pinned up or it might have been standing on end. Once her parents had given up their movie careers and moved from Hollywood, they'd mostly had to scale back their extravagant lifestyle. Still, she had been brought up living in her parents' impressive art deco home, taking lovely vacations every year, and her father, Errol, owned a Lamborghini, a yacht named The Sirocco III, plus a sloop christened Olivia. Perry's parents, however, talked as though they could afford multiple homes without batting an eyelash and that money was absolutely no object. They obviously had more money than her famous father and mother. The only other family Lalique knew in Pleasantview with more money then her father was the John Lassiter family. In addition, from what Perry had told her and the photos Rhonda had shown her, the house on Hilton Head was actually a palatial estate with a tennis court, a live-in maid, a boat slip, and an outdoor pool, and an indoor pool. 

The talk flowed around her between the Everharts and Perry and Lalique kept her mouth shut and began clearing the table. By now she had real affection for Perry's mother and father and she did hope they could live nearby, but she was worried they might not end up liking a new home as well as their old one and regret moving. Maybe if they could afford to keep both it wouldn't be a problem.

Lalique had promised Perry that, after their honeymoon, they would discuss Perry adopting all four of the children. The real problem that remained was telling John Lassiter about it, since it concerned his children Brett and Noelle. Technically, he had no claims. Lalique had not put his name on their birth certificates. All four of Lalique's children had her maiden name of Flynn as their surname. Perry wanted to be with her when she told John, just in case there was trouble. But with things so hectic Perry hadn't pressed the issue and Lalique still didn't even want to think about the subject.

The family was also anxiously awaiting any news on Pres and Sofia now that Pres had found her and discovered he had a two year old son. Pres called Perry and told him that he had just seen Dion a couple times so far; he already knew he wanted to marry Sofia and make a home for her and the boy. He asked for everyone's patience because he didn't want to push too hard and scare her off. Although she usually had a very upbeat nature she was still in the midst of toilet-training the child and her nerves were rather on edge. 

Noelle and Brett had just finished potty training, much to Lalique and Perry's relief, so they could relate to that. Rhonda, meanwhile, was itching to clap eyes on little Dion and to meet his mother, Sofia.

At one point in her life Lalique had elected not to know what the older twins' father's name was, but she had reconsidered several months ago and once she got his name she looked him up online. He was a doctor, formerly with the Oncology Unit at BlueStar Medical Center, but was now conducting cancer immunology studies at the Bluewater Research Center. He lived in Pleasantview and Lalique realized Alain and Desiree had his wide eyes and snub nose, but her black hair. Alain had green eyes like Dr. Lomax, and Desiree had the amber brown eyes of her mother.

Desiree and Alain were asking vague questions now and then about fathers and how Perry and John fit into the picture. They had always called John "Pa", he'd felt more comfortable with it since his "other" kids had always referred to him as "Daddy". But the twins were happy to call Perry "Daddy". And now the younger twins did the same. John had come by much less often than he'd originally planned when Melora agreed to try a reconciliation. Frankly they saw Lalique's parents "Grandmere and Grandad" more often. And, of course, they were very close now to Perry's folks, who simply went by "Grandma and Grandpa". Lalique knew they would probably want to know their biological father's name when they got older, so she made copies and filed the originals in her private bank deposit box and kept the copies in her "Lalique - private" file at home. Perry never touched that one file although he knew it was the only file she hadn't given him to put with the rest of their papers. It contained a couple of journals from college and her rather risque single years, some high school souvenirs of her romance with Devon Brecht, little gifts made for her by her students when she was a teacher and now the file on Desiree and Alain's biological father. The birth certificates of all four children were filed with the family papers that Perry kept track of now.

Feeling better since she now had the knowledge she needed and it was tucked away, Lalique went to her favorite place to relax: the kitchen. She'd make something Perry loved; New York strip steak, medium rare, Caprese salad with basil and balsamic vinaigrette, baked sweet potato with butter, cinnamon and nutmeg and sauteed garlic spinach. Philip and Rhonda also would be happy with that, but the twins didn't like steak and couldn't even look at spinach. For them she made goulash, that she would serve with the green beans and some applesauce. Humming to herself, she felt her worries slip away.