Northern Sunshine

Chapter 7


Jennifer got settled in her room. While she put her things away she noticed little touches that Justin had been there. Even if it meant uprooting her family she was happy to be closer to her son. She loved both her children dearly.

Molly, curious as ever, went to find Dee. She had never gotten to know her cousin. Molly was looking forward to getting to know Dee now. She had a feeling Dee would be a lot of fun. Molly knocked on Dee's open bedroom door and she peeked her head in cautiously.

"Hi Molly," Dee smiled.


"Well, come on in and stay a while."

Molly came in and sat on the bed. She instantly noticed all the lotion, lip gloss, perfume and all things girly.

"Wow, you sure got a lot of neat stuff."

"Courtesy of the Body Shop. You can use anything you like, Justin has," Dee said with a wink.

Molly giggled uncontrollably, "Justin?"

Dee laughed too. "He's been known to get in touch with his fem side."

"We smelled apricots all the way to Pittsburgh."

Dee winced, "Guess it didn't air out. Does Brian know?"

Molly giggled. "No, Justin didn't tell him. He keeps denying he smells anythen. I think it's driven Brian crazy.

Dee snorted, "I'll bet."

"I like Brian; he's nice. I think he really loves Justin a lot."

"Ya know, I think you might be right."

"I'm so glad I'm here. It was getten unbearable at home and I missed Justin."

"I'm glad you're here too, Molly. We'll all have a real good time."


The next morning Brian was the first to wake up. He looked down and saw that Justin was asleep on his chest; he'd definitely worn the boy out last night. Brian smiled and rolled his eyes when he noticed a puddle of drool on his pec. He never thought he'd care about one person as much as he did about Justin. Brian lightly ran his hand through Justin's sleep tussled locks. Justin sighed and twitched his nose in his sleep, which caused Brian to smile. Justin's sleepy blue eyes fluttered open.

"Mm, mornen."

"Sleeping beauty has awakened," Brian teased.

Justin smiled sleepily then inwardly cringed when he saw the puddle on Brian's chest. "Sorry about that." He took a corner of the sheet and wiped Brian off looking contrite.

"It's ok; just don't make a habit of making a lagoon on my chest."

Justin groaned as he stretched. "Uhh, I'm so sore. How many times did we um…"

"Five by my count."

Justin flopped down against Brian. "Ohh, I don't know how I'm going to walk today."

"Very carefully."

Justin gave Brian a pouty look. Brian couldn't resist capturing Justin's protruding bottom lip within his own hungry mouth. He tugged on Justin's hand. "Come on; let's take a shower."

Justin tried to inch away from Brian. "Unh uh, no way am I letten you near my ass."

Brian held out his hand arching a brow in amusement. "I promise to behave myself, besides we'll be late for breakfast at Dee's."

Justin placed his smaller hand within Brian's and let himself be tugged under the shower spray. True to his word Brian relatively behaved himself; of course, there was still some splash and tickle that went on.


Brian and Justin were fashionably late but not so much that they would catch hell for it. Dee was in the kitchen serving up one of her specialties, chocolate pancakes. Justin leaned down and kissed his mother's cheek.

"Mornen, Mom, Mollusk" He playfully tussled his sisters hair much to her annoyance.

"Mornen, sweetheart."

Brian grabbed himself a cup of coffee then joined the Taylor clan. There was only one chair left and Justin was eyeing it warily. He really didn't want to sit, the chair was hard and would be punishing on his tender rump. Justin inched toward the kitchen in hopes of taking over the cooking.

"Dee, why don't you go sit down? I can finish up in here."

"That's all right; I've got everything under control here. Eat up. I know you must be starving."

Justin took his plate reluctantly to the table. Brian hid his smirk behind the rim of his mug. He decided to come to Justin's rescue and pulled the startled teen onto his lap. His lap was much more comfortable than any hard, wood chair. This way Justin would be comfortable and not rouse suspicion if Dee took the other chair.

Brian called out, "Dee, get over here and join us."

"All right, just keep your pants on."

Molly giggled around a mouth full of pancake while Justin blushed. Dee turned off the stove and grabbed up her own plate. She settled into the last chair. Brian rubbed Justin's stomach softly. None of this escaped Jennifer. Her son looked so happy with Brian.

Brian spoke up suddenly, "I think the best thing is to get you both settled as quickly as possible. I can take you over to the school so you can enroll Molly."

Molly made a face of displeasure.

"Aw Molly, you'll like it; think of it as an exciten new adventure," Justin said smiling.

Brian rested his chin on Justin's shoulder and murmured into his ear, "Don't you have a shift at the diner?"

"Yeah, I better get goen; don't want Debbie to tear me a new one."

"When we're done at the school we'll swing by the diner. You should probably tell Deb what's up; let her know she'll have more help."

"All right." Justin got up to stand but Brian pulled him in for a tender kiss. Justin pulled back and hazarded a glance at his mother. His cheeks were rosy red.

"Later," Justin whispered.

"Later," Brian murmured.

Jennifer, Molly and Dee watched with rapt attention.

Dee cleared her throat. "Well, I should get going too. I'll stop by a hardware store and have keys made for ya'll; you too, Brian, since you've become a regular fixture here."

Brian arched a brow and slipped his tongue into his cheek. "Are you ladies ready to go?" he addressed the Taylor women.


Justin arrived at the diner with a few minutes to spare.


Justin was instantly crushed within Deb's strong arms.

"Deb, need to breathe," Justin choked out.

Deb lightly smacked him upside the head with her dish towel. "I was so worried about you. How's your mother?"

"She's doen well. Brian and I drove down to Georgia to see her and my sister. Mom's pretty banged up but she'll heal." There was a small smile on his face as he dropped the next piece of news. "Mom and Molly came back with us; they're stayen with Dee temporarily."

Deb put a hand on her hip. "I suppose that means you're staying at the loft?"

Justin dropped his gaze to the floor looking rather guilty. "Uh yes, ma'am."

Deb smirked. "Better get your butt in gear. The food won't deliver itself."

Justin beamed a smile at her before he raced around the counter and tied on his apron.

"Um Deb, my mother needs a job…."

"Say no more, Sunshine. When is she coming by?"

"Later this afternoon, when she gets Molly's school all situated."

"That's fine; she sound's like a lovely woman. I can't wait to meet her."

Justin smiled and nodded then rushed off to take table five's order.


Brian sat out in the Jeep while Jennifer and Molly went into the middle school. He used the time to call Cynthia to see how things were holding up without him. After he dropped the Taylor's off at the diner he'd go into the office. He was dressed semi- casual, but fuck it. He didn't have any meetings; he could get some work done in his office.

Molly and Jennifer exited the building and got into the Jeep.

"How'd it go?"

"I start tomorrow," Molly said unenthused.

"They'll take her provided we can get the transcripts from her old school."

"That shouldn't be a problem," Brian said. "Don't you like school, Molly?"

"It's all right, I suppose."

"Justin loves school," Brian commented.

"Justin's weird."

"Molly!" Jennifer admonished.

Brian couldn't help but laugh. "That he is, Molly. Next stop the Liberty Diner. I'm sure Justin's already informed Deb about your need of a job. She'll probably put you right to work."

Jennifer looked startled. "So soon, but I've never worked in a diner before."

"Neither did Justin but he picked it right up. She won't give you anything you can't handle."

When Brian turned down Liberty Ave. the two women were shocked into silence. He heard Molly utter a "wow" and Jennifer an "oh my." He figured that Molly was dazzled by all the rainbow flags and poor Jennifer was going into culture shock. Brian pulled up in front of the diner.

"Here we are, the Liberty Diner. I'd love to come in and hang out but I really should go into the office."

"Oh yes, of course, we didn't mean to disrupt your work."

"It was no trouble, really. Justin's in there working so at least you'll know someone. Molly, if you're nice to Justin maybe he'll make you an ice cream sundae."

Her eyes lit up at that notion. "Come on, mom; let's go in."

Brian waited till they got inside then headed to work. He still smelled those fucking apricots. He'd really have to have a talk with Justin about that.

Justin was leaning against a booth with his hips jutted out ever so slightly. His southern charm and other attributes always got him good tips. Justin let out a tiny squeak when he saw his mother and little sister walk in.

Justin turned slightly so his mother wouldn't see. "I'll put your order in right away, Kevin." Justin winked and smiled sweetly.

Molly was already climbing up on a stool at the counter, her head craning back and forth to take in all the funky décor.

"Brian said you'd make me an ice cream sundae. Oh, and that he'd see you later on tonight." Molly giggled, "He was still grumblen about apricots."

"Wonderful, I'll get right on your sundae. I just gotta put this order in."

Jennifer seemed to be frozen by the door. The diner was cramped but seemed to be doing a bustling business. There were men holding hands and kissing. Well, she couldn't claim she hadn't been warned by Brian. Could she really do this? She held onto her purse like it was a lifeline. Just seeing her son working and looking for all the world happy made her feel slightly better.

"Mom, come in; stay a while." Justin smiled hoping to ease the apprehension on her face. Justin started scooping vanilla ice cream into a bowl. "Debbie's right over there," Justin nodded with his head. "It's a bit busy right now with the lunch rush and all."

"I want extra cherries," Molly piped up.

Justin rolled his eyes. "How could I forget?"

"Who's this adorable little angel?" Deb said coming over.

"I don't quite know who you mean. This is my little sister, soooo not an angel. Deb, this is my mother, Jennifer Taylor."

"Sunshine's mom, I'm so glad to finally meet you."

"Sunshine," Molly giggled.

Justin growled at her as he blushed furiously. "It's a nickname that just kinda stuck."

"You've got a good kid there, Jenn. I think we'll get along just fine. You can store your purse under the counter, grab an apron and start bussing tables. When it slows down we'll work on the finer points of waitressing. I'll teach you how to deal with these unruly queens. If you give them a chance, they'll walk right over ya. Kiki is always out sick, so you'll have plenty of work."

Jennifer grabbed a tub with her head still whirling.

Emmett and Dee came in.

"Baby, you're back!" Emmett leaned over the counter and kissed Justin's cheek.

"Yeah, I made it all in one piece. Em, this is Molly, my sister."

"Hello Molly, I haven't heard nearly enough about you. I'm sure us girls are gonna have fun, fun, fun. Ohh, I love your shirt. I think I have one just like it."

Molly was wearing a pink shirt that said, "Bow to the queen." Molly liked Emmett right away.

"Jus, I need to get school supplies for school tomorrow."

"Well, I'm worken, Molly, and I got my night courses after."

"I can take her," Dee volunteered.

"Um, sure, if you want. Is that all right with you, Molly?"

Molly smiled at Dee and Em. "Yeah, that'll be awesome."

"Better let mom know so she doesn't freak out."

Dee went over to Jenn. "Aunt Jenn, is it all right if Emmett and I take Molly school shopping?"

Jennifer looked over at her daughter who was laughing at whatever a tall man was saying to her. She hesitated for a moment. "Yes, that's fine."

"Are you sure?" Dee asked a bit skeptical.

"It's fine. I'll just get you some money."

"Oh no, my treat, I did the same for Justin."

"Well thank you, Dee, that's very sweet of you."

"We'll just be a few blocks away," Dee reassured.

Jennifer watched them leave. Molly held both their hands smiling and laughing.

Justin came up behind her. "She'll be all right, Mom. Emmett and Dee are my best friends; nothen will happen to her."

"I know, sweetheart. I just worry sometimes."

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