46 - Jen/ Kate/ Alex

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When Jen walked in both her parents were behind the counter. Her mother looked up and smiled. Her father called out, "Jenny-girl! You're here."

She hugged them both and her mother said, "What's this about someone new?"

"We've been growing closer for a long time, but now that I'm no longer married. We've admitted that we love each other," she rambled.

The shop rang and her father looked up and said, "Alex, I'll be right with you. My Jenny has some news."

"Dad," Jen said, "Alex is with me."

"What?" Rick paused and said, "You and..."

"Yes," she smiled.

"Oh my! You said we'd like him. Never did I imagine..." Alice said shocked.

Rick said, "You and my daughter?"

"Yes," Alex said meekly.

"Can you convince her to come home where she belongs?" Rick asked Alex.

"I think in time she may decide that for herself, but I can guarantee she'll be back to visit more," he said relieved.

"I should be upset since it's obvious that she's staying with you?" Rick said.

"Dad. I'm not in high school. I'm thirty-one years old and I'm divorced," Jen protested. "Can we get coffee?"

Rick looked at Alex and said, "You're still paying for your food."

"Of course," Alex laughed.

Jen was so happy to not have to lie to her parents any longer and they already loved Alex. She smiled at him and touched his arm while they were waiting on their coffee because she could. When Alex went for his wallet, her father said, "I didn't mean this morning."

"Thanks, Daddy," Jen said before they turned to leave.

The house was taking shape, she walked around envisioning furnishings. She would work around the few items that Alex already owned. She was walking through when Peter stopped by. He had been on a run and saw Alex's truck.

"What you're out together in daylight?" he commented.

"I'm a divorced woman. I can be seen with anyone I choose. We just told my parents.

"Really so no more secrets?" Peter said, "I'm happy for you both. I'd love to stay, but I need to get home to get ready to take Nick to soccer practice. The house looks great!"

That afternoon Alex took her to meet his mother and Hank. He said that he was purposely trying to avoid Kate. The house she noticed was built with the same craftsmanship as Alex's houses. It was her turn to be nervous, but she didn't feel the dread she felt when meeting Sterling's parents.

Alex introduced her and his mother, Paula, had a friendly smile. "Come in. Alex how long have you been hiding her from us?" she asked.

"We met in March, but we were just friends for a long time. Things changed and here we are," Alex explained rather vaguely.

"How did you meet?" his mother asked.

"Jen's the designer that I've been working with."

"You mean Avery's friend? The one that Kate keeps mentioning," his mother asked.

"Yes, but Kate got worked up before we even had a relationship," Alex explained.

Hank said, "Avery's friend. Don't you live in New York?"

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