Home > The Storm (The Storm #3.5)(15)

The Storm (The Storm #3.5)(15)
Author: Samantha Towle

I prepare myself for Bob to reject my offer. I know I’m asking for a lot. I’m asking for him to leave his home, his city. And Bob is a proud man. I’m just hoping that, with age, he’s gotten realistic.

He glances away. For a few long seconds, he looks out the window at New York moving past us. Then, his eyes come back to me. “A change of scenery might be just what Storm and I both need.”

A smile pushes up my lips, and I sit back in my seat. “We’ve just got to convince Tiffany now.”

Bob huffs out a short laugh. “I don’t think Tiffany is going to be the one we’ll have to convince.”

That, I have to agree on.

Storm might not be Jonny, but from what I saw earlier, he has his father’s stubbornness. And one thing with Jonny was, once he’d set his mind on something, there was no changing it.

I just hope I can get Storm to my way of thinking.

If I’ve learned anything from my kids, it’s that, if I want to get them to do something, I have to make them think it was their idea in the first place.

I just need to figure out how to do that with Storm.

When we get to Bob’s house, I head straight upstairs to call Tru. Dave and I are staying at Bob’s tonight, at his insistence, rather than checking in at a hotel.

Lyn and Bob never moved, so this is the house Jonny grew up in. I remember Jonny offering to buy them a bigger place after the money started rolling in when our band hit the big time, but they turned him down.

Even now, Bob is a wealthy man from what Jonny left them, but he doesn’t mirror his riches with how he lives.

I guess the money is something Bob will need to take into consideration, now that Jonny has an heir. I’ll talk with him about that later.

Right now, I just want to talk to my wife and kids.

As I step into Jonny’s old room, a hundred memories wash over me.

The room hasn’t changed. It’s still a shrine to Jonny’s memory.

The posters of naked chicks and bands are on the walls. Jonny’s old music sheets and his first ever guitar, his Fender Stratocaster, are propped up on a guitar stand. A mini guitar amp and guitar pedal are sitting on the floor next to it.

Even after all these years, I can still smell my youth in here with the lingering cigarette smoke and stench of grungy teenage boys who didn’t realize that showering regularly would be a good start to getting girls.

It brings a sad smile to my lips.

I drop my bag on the floor and sit on the edge of the bed.

I stare over at a framed picture on the desk of Jonny, Tom, Denny, and me. It was taken right before we did our official first gig as The Mighty Storm. I remember shitting myself that night. Jonny was calm as fuck, like he just knew he was born to be up onstage.

Sucking in a breath, I shut my eyes.

“Why did you have to fucking die?” I breathe the words out. Opening my eyes, I focus in on him in the picture. “You should be here, Jon. You should be here with your kid.”

Rubbing my eyes dry, I get my cell from my pocket and FaceTime Tru’s cell. I need to see my family’s beautiful faces as well as hear their voices right now.

“Hey, baby,” she answers.

The sight of Tru’s face and the sound of her soothing voice ease me.

“How are you doing?”

“I’m better now,” I tell her with a smile.

She smiles back, lighting up her face. “How did it go with Storm?”

I let out a breath, my fingers rubbing my forehead. “Not great. He didn’t want to talk to us. He stormed off to his bedroom. Tiffany suggested we go back later for dinner after she’s had time to talk to him.”

“Makes sense. He’s thirteen and going through a lot right now. His emotions have got to be all over the place.”

“Yeah, I just…”

“Patience, Jake. I know you don’t have much of it, but you’re gonna need it in spades with this kid.”

“I’m trying.” I give a weak smile that I know she totally doesn’t buy.

“How’s Bob doing?”

“He’s holding up. I spoke to him about him and Storm moving in with us. He agrees it’s the right thing. Just need to speak to Tiffany and Storm about it now.”

“What’s Storm like?”

“Exactly like Jonny.” As I say the words, the emotions I’ve been holding in all day come out, my eyes filling with tears.

I don’t have to pretend in front of Tru. She’s the only one I can ever be myself with.

“It was like I went back in time, and I was thirteen years old with Jonny standing in front of me.”

“Oh, honey,” she whispers, touching her fingers to the screen.

I press my fingertips against hers on the small screen of my cell.

“It was just a shock, seeing him, you know?” I move my hand from the screen and dry my eyes on my sleeve.

“I know, baby. So…you’re going back tonight for dinner?”

“Yeah. Hopefully, we can spend some time with Storm and talk to Tiffany about where we go from here.”

“Is that Dad?”

I hear JJ’s voice in the background.

Tru’s head turns slightly. “Yeah. You wanna talk to him?”

The next thing I see is JJ’s face.

“Hey, Dad. Guess what?” His brown eyes are all bright, and he has this huge smile on his face.

My heart feels lighter seeing him. He looks so much like Tru. Belle does, too. Only Billy has my black hair and blue eyes.

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