Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Brothers Everhart Ch. 25 Halcyon Days and Nights Part I


When we left Pres Everhart he had just married Sofia Giallelis and considered it the happiest day of his 32 years. With their young son Dion safe in the arms of his paternal grandparents they were to leave immediately for their honeymoon on Twikkii Island.


As they were on their way to the island Pres finally began to describe the little house they were renting. He'd been keeping it as a surprise. Sofia had only know they were going to an island.
"The cottage is not right on the water, but Seawater Beach is directly across the street and we can see the ocean easily from the house. It only takes two minutes to walk over," Pres explained.

"I can't wait!" Sofia said in her whisper-soft voice.

"There are two bedrooms with two bathrooms, one of each on both floors."

Pres used to see that particular house when he was in college and he and three frat brothers went to Twikkii on spring break to terrorize the community. Money was usually a problem for the guys once they got to the island. In Pres's case because, even though his parents were rich and had paid the plane fare for all four young men to the tropical island, they did not believe they should have to pay for anything else. Besides, the rowdy and randy college boys wanted to be closer to the night-time action. So they would go in one one room for the four of them at an economy type hotel room right on the strip and split the costs and walk to the nearby boardwalk to swim. They'd eat cereal and peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. This gave them more money to blow on girls when they wanted to look like big shots or wanted to go to a halfway decent restaurant for supper, or both.

But Pres had always thought; someday I'd like to rent that little house. When I'm through with school and have a good job, then I'll probably get married. The thought had scared him, yet intrigued him.

"It has a big front porch and a play yard in back although we won't need that this time," he went on.

Sofia was so excited by the time they were on the island and taking a taxi to the little house that she was practically bouncing in her seat.

The minute she saw the cottage she flat out loved it and was sure she'd never been in such a darling house. Pres was right; they could see the ocean from the front porch where they sat for a moment and soaked in the view.


The kitchen, dining area and living room were in one, not particularly large, room but because it was open concept it looked bigger. Besides it was quite large enough for a vacation home for two.

The ground floor bedroom was small with two twin beds and it was obviously intended for children.

"This would be perfect to rent again someday and bring Dion with us," Sofia said.

"True," Pres agreed and then added, "And maybe even a baby brother or sister?"

Sofia's eyes cut to his and she giggled,


There was also a three-piece bathroom next to the bedroom; very "island" decor.

The master bedroom upstairs was quite spacious with one door leading to the deck in back and on door opening to the deck in front. In fact, the three decks (front, back and side) were actually one deck that surrounded the cottage on three sides. The second bathroom was an en suite.

 Left: Front and side deck; Right: back deck overlooking the yard

They changed clothes and went to the mineral springs to have massages; had supper at the canteen there and it was dark when they checked out the mineral springs.


She called home while they were having their meal at the canteen to check on Dion. Pres's mother, Rhonda, was more than willing to go into great detail on how his day had been. Sofia wanted badly to talk to him but he sounded as though he was doing so well with his new grandparents that she didn't want to upset the balance and make him start crying for her.

"Promise me, though, if he asks for me and gets upset that you'll call me," she begged Rhonda, "but he seems to be doing really well for you."

"Oh, honey, he is the sweetest little boy, he's doing great. But I'll be sure to call you if there's a problem. And your sister, Thalia, is supposed to come by tomorrow to watch him while I go to get my hair done, so that will make him happy."

"I'm sorry to be such a baby about it," Sofia apologized, "But I've never been away from him since he was born."

"Now, don't you even fret about that. I know exactly how you feel. My four big strapping boys were little boys once, too, believe it or not. And when I was away from them I worried every minute, even though they were usually staying with MY mama. Now you and Pres just have a wonderful time and don't worry about a thing."

Sofia thanked her lucky stars that Rhonda had turned out to be one of the most loving women she'd ever met, right along with her own mother, and she told Pres that.

"She's just like you," he grinned, taking her hand, "You both are angels masquerading on this earth as mortal beings."

Sofia laughed,

"You are the sweetest man, even though you are delusional."

"Baby, a man can be nice, he can be good, he can be hot, he can be honorable, he can be sexy and he can even be lovable. But it's a horrible thing to be told he's "sweet". It's not really a compliment," he smiled.

She laughed and he brought her hand, palm side up, to his mouth and placed a kiss there.

It was dark by the time they walked home. The air was warm and the breeze was light and they could smell the salt air when they went up to cuddle on the side deck. They could easily see the ocean from there but it was a bit more private than the front deck.

Pres pulled her onto his lap and as they whispered to each other Sofia was sure she had never been so happy before except for the day Dion was born.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Brothers Everhart Ch. 24 A Surprise and Some Changes

Early one morning Perry announced he wouldn't be going into the office that day. A client and friend had made a special request to talk with him there at Perry's house in Bluewater Village rather than at the Pleasantview office,

"Why doesn't he want to go to your office?" Lalique asked as she kissed the older twins goodbye and watched them dash out the front door to the school bus.

"I don't know exactly; I expect he'll explain when he gets here this afternoon."

His vague reply meant Perry was not at liberty to tell her;client confidentiality.

"Oh," she smiled.

Most of her morning and part of the afternoon was spent upstairs in the play area with Brett and Noelle. Instead of taking them down to the kitchen at lunchtime, she had brought up small crackers and cheese sticks, a few cucumber slices, some Cuties tangerine sections and their favorite Juicy Juice. She set up their little snack tables. The tables snugged up around them as they sat on the floor, keeping errant crumbs at a minimum. Not eating in the kitchen made it seem like an indoor picnic to the two of them and they liked that. Then she tucked them in for their naps. She'd recently showed them how to go down the stairs one step at a time on their butts so she didn't have to put up the baby-gates. She came downstairs to grab a quick half a tuna sandwich. Planning to ask Perry if he'd already eaten or would like a late lunch she crossed the foyer. And there in her living room was the man she now knew to be the sperm donor for Alain and Desiree. What was he doing here? Had he found out about the twins?

"Oh, hi, honey," Perry smiled, "I was just going to call you in. Court, I want you to meet my beautiful wife, Lalique. Court is not only a long time client of mine, but a good friend and frequent golf partner."

The doctor gave no indication that he knew who Lalique was as he offered his hand and turned a friendly smile on her,

"Hi, nice to meet you, Mrs. Everhart. My wife and I think the world of Perry."

Lalique gave him her best gracious lady smile, actually she'd learned it from her cultured and elegant mother, Olivia DeHavilland Flynn. When in doubt, dear, smile and nod; commit to nothing.

Since Court seemed unfazed Lalique assumed that he just had never taken the option of finding out the names of any children that he might have fathered via sperm donation back in the day.

It became really odd when the twins came home from school. They were always quick to make friends with people and soon engaged him in conversation. Lalique invited him to supper then fled to the kitchen to prepare the meal and get her mind to calm down. Her distraction soon led to a fire which started on the stove. She freaked and even before the usually quick-acting, cool headed Perry could get in there Court had doused the fire. It turned out he was also a volunteer firefighter.

Dinner was finally served. Dr. Lomax had told them about his wife, Elle, and their four year old son, Jody. He and Perry traded good-natured jibes regarding golf. Always quick to pick up on unspoken tension especially in regard to Lalique, Perry quietly studied her once or twice during the meal but, although she was being the solicitous hostess, easily engaging in conversation with Dr. Lomax, she never quite met Perry's eyes. Thanking them for supper, Court left shortly thereafter.

Court Lomax's wife Elle and son Jody

When they were in bed that night and he had her in his arms Perry asked quietly,

"Would you like to tell me now what upset you about Court Lomax?"

Lalique's breath caught in her throat a moment and Perry pressed his lips to her forehead,

"You can tell me anything, honey. Just don't keep me in the dark."

Relaxing she began to tell him everything from the time a few months ago when she had petitioned to get the name of the sperm donor.

"Do you think he'd try to get partial custody?" she asked anxiously.

"He was the sperm donor, he can ask for information, but it's not like you listed him by name on the birth certificates. He really has no legal rights in regard to them. Besides, I've known him for a few years now; he's a decent guy. Don't volunteer the information, though. If he wants it he can go through channels just as you did."

Lalique sighed,

"They definitely do have some of his features, I saw that when I looked him up on line; but today it was more apparent."

He squeezed her and she snuggled against his shoulder. Then he said,

"As long as you are unburdening, have you done any more thinking about talking to John regarding me adopting Brett and Noelle?"

Lalique sounded regretful,

"I haven't wanted to think about it."

"As I told you, I can talk to him alone, if you'd like," Perry suggested.

"That would seem so cold of me, Perry. I feel I need to tell him personally."

"Can I be with you?"

She smiled up at him,

"I think I'll need the moral support."

"You've got it, gorgeous. Just remember he has no rights actually except for the agreement you signed to allow him visiting privileges."

"I know. But he's a proud man--and an honorable one. I want to be fair.

A frown flickered across Perry' face then was gone as he shrugged,

"He's not all that honorable if he was willing to cheat on his wife as well as mess up your life."

"I can't escape blame for hurting her, either. She's a nice woman and always treated me so well when I would go over to their house with Yvette. Anyway, they were going to a marriage counselor and he was trying to reconcile with her. She knows about Brett and Noelle."

"I've heard through the grapevine that they are living together again and that he has made up with his grown children as well."

Lalique started to sit up and look at him incredulously, but Perry smiled and pulled her back to his shoulder.

"What do you mean you heard 'through the grapevine'?" she asked.

"When you're a lawyer in a small town you hear a lot of things. Especially when you drop your ADA position and switch from criminal law to family law like I did. Do you want me to call him and invite him to my office?"

"Maybe that would be less traumatic if he takes it badly. But warn him that I will be there too. Oh, Perry, I feel so much better to have made a decision."


She reached across his chest and clung to his shoulder possessively. Within moments she drifted off to sleep. Perry stayed awake awhile pondering the best way to handle the call to John and the subsequent meeting.

It was during this time that Perry and Lalique decided they wanted the kitchen opened up for more of an open concept look. The existing kitchen was large but it was galley style and felt claustrophobic. So they had a contractor come in and take down the wall between the dining room and the kitchen and put in a large island to regain some of the storage and counter space they were losing.

Two views of the original kitchen with the wall against the dining room in place. The one on the left shows the door to the foyer and stairs; the one on the right shows the door leading into the dining room:

After the kitchen and dining room were made into one space with the large island in between:

Matters had moved along swiftly for Pres and Sofia, he'd recently moved in with her, preparing to sell his new but small house, and they were engaged to be married. Rhonda was captivated by her newest grandson and was anxious to get to know his mother better.  She found Sofia to be sweet-natured and intelligent but it was her obvious love for Pres won his mother's heart. A small wedding would be held at the house Sofia was currently renting. Philip and Rhonda had planned on returning to Hilton Head, but now they wanted to stay for the nuptials, of course. Pres was going to bring Sofia and Dion to meet them.

It was also decided that Philip and Rhonda would stay at Pres and Sofia's house the night of their wedding so they could care for little Dion while the couple went on their honeymoon. Almost every day Philip and Rhonda went over to Sofia's house in Pleasantview to visit with Dion and get him used to them.

After Pres and Sofia returned the senior couple would return to their beautiful home on Hilton Head. They had finally decided--for sure--to move and would put their house up for sale and come back to look for houses in the tri-county area as soon as it was feasible.

Saturday mornings Perry usually took extra time outdoors with the older twins, either in the yard or at the park. Alain and Desiree ate a light breakfast of juice because Perry always took them afterwards to Sam's Snappy Service for cheeseburgers or coney islands. They had already claimed the island as their favorite place for casual eating.

In bad weather, or if Perry couldn't be with them, they liked to use the indoor pool. They'd both taken swimming lessons since they were four years old.

Once Rhonda and Philip left for Pres and Sofia's home, work began on converting Alain and Desiree's bedroom and Arlene's old room into "the girls' bedroom" and "the boys bedroom". Arlene's room had served as a guest room for the few months that the elder Everharts had stayed with Perry and Lalique. No changes had been made at that time. The room was adjacent to Alain and Desiree's bedroom with a Jack and Jill bathroom in between.

The room that belonged to Arlene Jankowski, the children's one-time nanny and that Philip and Rhonda used:

The "boys' room" was slightly revised from the room that Alain and Desiree had shared since they were toddlers. A 'big boy' bed was installed and Desiree's twin was stored up in the attic for when Brett outgrew his little bed. They kept the colors and furnishings the same in this room.

The one door from the girls' room to the Jack and Jill bathroom was removed and the room was now closed off so it was only available from the boys' room.

Arlene's old room was now the "girls' bedroom" and Noelle went with Desiree and had also graduated to a "big girl bed". The changes in their room were much more extensive as far as decor.

The girls' new bathroom was reclaimed space from the play alcove in the other bedroom. There was still a corner where the toddlers played in the boys' room.

Play alcove before it was converted to a bathroom on left and on the right, Brett and Noelle playing with their toys in the corner of the boys' room after the alcove was gone.

 The brand new bathroom for the girls:

Life began to get back to normal for Perry and Lalique; as normal as it could be expected considering the future meeting with John Lassiter looming ahead on the horizon.

The wedding of Pres and Sofia went well, until a minor fracas at the end that caused a major headache for youngest brother Parker. But Rhonda and Phil were happily ensconced in the cozy house now with Dion while the newlyweds went off on their island honeymoon...

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