"Anyone home?"

Gil had walked into the home that his elder son shared with Mariska and called down the hall. When he had decided to make the trip to the home, he hadn't thought about calling ahead to announce his arrival. All he did think about was that it was time for him and Mariska to have a talk. Long past time.

He thought he heard rustling coming from the kitchen so he headed in that direction. The closer he got the louder the noise seemed to be. As soon as he reached the entrance way, he saw why. He also knew this had more to do with his younger son Jeff returning then anything cooking related. Obviously he had come at the right time. Mariska needed him, or she needed someone. He would be that person right now.

"Honey, put the pots down. They didn't do anything wrong."

Startled at the sound of his voice through the clanging and banging she had created, Mariska threw the pots down immediately.

God she must look absolutely crazy right now.

"Gil, oh my goodness! You startled me! It's so good to see you!"

She immediately enveloped him tightly into a hug and held him close, longer then was surely needed. She knew his reason for coming and the hug, the length and strength of it just proved it.

"How are you doing Gil?" she asked as they pulled away from each other. "You must be on cloud nine right now."

Gil smiled only slightly, not wanting to concern himself with his own feelings. He wasn't here to discuss himself. He was here to discuss Mariska and even more importantly, JJ.

"I feel blessed is what I feel, but I'm concerned about how you are feeling." He put up his hand immediately as Mariska opened her mouth to speak. "Don't tell me that Jeff's return hasn't changed things in a major way. I know different. Matt hasn't been home in days now."

Mariska sighed, instantly giving herself away. There was no hiding it. Matt being gone, without so much as a phone call to her, well it bothered her. Was it really okay for him to disappear this way? After what they had been through with Jeff especially?

"He hasn't called you has he?" Gil asked, breaking her away from her own dreadful thoughts.

"No Gil he hasn't and it's not like him. Not that I blame him. I want to run away myself."

Gil sat quietly, nodding his head and pondering what Mariska was telling him. He understood. As much as he was thankful that Jeff was alive and well all this time, having him come back with barely any memory and stop the wedding was just too much for anyone to handle.

He knew Mariska was torn between both sons and not only that but JJ would end up being torn too.

"It's a bad situation, but if it helps you at all, makes things easier, Matt called me last night. He's fine. He's wrestling now and he does plan on coming home to you soon."

Mariska flopped her body down into the chair and sighed, covering her face with her hands as she did. She was happy that Matt was okay, overjoyed in fact but it didn't help as much as she thought it would.

"There's more that you need to know Mariska."

"What? What more is going on? Gil please! Don't tell me he's hurt in any way. My heart can't take it."

Gil went over his words before speaking again. Normally he would let his son, or sons in this case deal with their own issues but this time, Matt had gone MIA, which left Gil no other choice but to be the one to tell Mariska what was really going on.

"Matt, when he left that day, he went to see Jeff's wife."

The shock of hearing Gil's latest bombshell settled in quickly, leaving a feeling of pure burning at the bottom of her stomach. Of course Matt went to see Jeff's wife. It all made perfect sense now.

Matt was gathering all the troops he could to fight against his very own brother. He was that scared of what he thought he might lose. Little did he know he wasn't going to lose anything at all. Mariska just wished he would call home and listen while she told him that.

"What are you thinking?"

"I just wish he would call me Gil. I'm here, all alone, dealing with Jeff's return and how it makes me feel. I just wish Matt would let us face this together. I thought thats what being a part of a relationship; a marriage meant."

"Matthew is a stubborn boy. Always has been. He deals better with things on his own. Now see; little Jeffrey was always the one that felt things more and let you know. You just have to give Matt the time he needs. He will come back to you and work this out."

Mariska sighed again, louder this time then before. She had resigned herself to giving Matt all the time and space he needed, but she didn't have to sit back and like it. God truth be told, she downright hated it. But she would never be the one to admit it.

"I just miss him, and I'm confused on where any of us go from here."

Gil knew exactly what she meant. He had been wondering the same thing in the private moments he had by himself.

"Do you love Matthew?"

The astonished look on her face said all that he needed to know but she spoke anyway, and he listened.

"Yes Gil. I didn't think it was possible to love again after Jeff but I do love Matt. He's been good for me and good for JJ."

"What about Jeff? Where do you stand with him?" Gil asked, forging ahead without a seconds thought.

"I'm always going to love Jeff; Gil. He was the first person to ever make me feel alive. To make me feel anything at all. That's what makes this even harder to take right now. My love for Jeff."