Lia and I started talking business, and worked out the details of a daily menu with some things left open so I could create whatever seemed appropriate for her store that day and keep new and different things coming in all the time.
“I can have my legal department do the contract so you don’t have to pay to get it done,” Jett offered.
“Thanks,” Lia answered. “I’d appreciate that.”
“Have fun at the wedding,” Lia said to me as Jett and I got ready to leave.
I nodded. “I’m looking forward to your wedding, too.”
Jett looked at Lia, and then at Zeke. “Is that happening soon?” he asked.
“Next month,” I informed him. “We just got an invitation today.”
Because I knew Jett, I could see that he was troubled, but he said, “We’ll definitely be there.”
We had left the building and were waiting to cross the street before he commented. “I think she’s marrying the wrong guy,” he said gruffly. “Zeke is crazy about her.”
“Did he tell you that?” I asked with surprise.
“Hell, no. He didn’t tell me. But it’s pretty damn obvious to me. He looks at Lia like I look at you.”
My heart skipped a beat. Jett just came out and said things sometimes that touched me pretty profoundly.
It was one of so many reasons why I loved him so damn much.
“This might sound weird to both of you, but what in the hell happened to our family?” Jett asked his two sisters, Dani and Harper, as all four of us sat together in the living room of the vacation home Jett had rented in Rocky Springs, Colorado.
I’d really wanted to back away so Jett could have a heart-to-heart with his sisters alone, but he’d asked me to stay, so I remained silent, sitting next to him on the couch.
Jett needed to have this conversation with all his family. Unfortunately, neither of his brothers had shown up yet, so he’d decided to talk to his sisters first.
We’d been in Rocky Springs for a couple of days, and I couldn’t ask for nicer people to hang out with than the Colters and Jett’s sisters. Everybody had been so welcoming, and Harper and Dani had included me in everything they were doing.
The more I conversed on a grown-up level with people, the more comfortable I became. I was realizing I wasn’t at all anti-social. In fact, I was just the opposite. I’d just never had much opportunity to learn adult social skills.
“It’s not weird,” Dani told Jett. “Harper and I have been trying to figure it out, too. It’s like our family dissolved because Mom and Dad weren’t there anymore to keep us together. But we were all so close. I don’t know how we drifted apart.”
“It actually makes more sense for you two,” Jett mused. “You and Harper weren’t physically together, and didn’t see us in Seattle very much. But Carter, Mason, and I were in the same city, working the same damn business. And we didn’t stay close. We pretty much only see each other at business meetings. It’s like we were so obsessed with building on our momentum with Lawson Technologies that we forgot to be family. And none of us really had a personal life because we were working all the time.”
“I think all of us handled Mom and Dad’s deaths differently,” Harper said thoughtfully. “Instead of pulling together to deal with it, we all tried to cover up our pain with distractions or obsessions.”
“I want it to be different,” Jett informed them sadly. “But I’m not sure how to fix it.”
“I think we all want our family back again,” Dani told Jett in a gentle tone. “It’s not that we don’t all love each other. I think we just need to move on and learn how to be a family without Mom and Dad. They’ve been gone for a long time.”
“I still miss them,” Harper said with a sigh. “But I know that the last thing both of them would have wanted is for their kids to stop being a family because they’re gone. If anything, they’d want us to pull together.”
Dani nodded, her eyes bright with tears. “I miss them, too. I’m sure I always will. But I miss my brothers, too.”
I tried to fight back my own tears as I watched Jett, Harper, and Dani talk about how they could mend the breach that had happened in their family.