A/N: I know I've been terrible with the updating lately. It's been a reallly busy month. But I finally got this chapter done.
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Charlie was standing leaning against a wall drinking a beer at the fundraiser. He was seriously unhappy.
"God, I hate shit like this," a guy walked over. Charlie nodded at him.
"Yeah," he nodded. "I went to crap like this with my ex girlfriend all the time." The guy nodded. "Less frequent with this one. You have a kid at the school?"
"Oh, no," the shook his head, "I teach here. You?"
"Nah," Charlie shook his head, "I mean, not really, I live with his mom." The guy frowned. "What?"
"You're Charlie Conway aren't you?" He said.
"Yeah," Charlie nodded and then it dawned on him. "Which makes you,"
"Joe Thurston," Joe said and extended his hand. Charlie frowned at him and didn't take it. "Look, obviously, um, she told you."
"Yeah, she did," Charlie said. "My mom and I were on our own for a while, so I know guys like you." Joe stared at him. "Julie's amazing, and I'll wait as long as she needs me to. But if I hear that you even took a breath that made her feel uncomfortable, I'll kill you."
"I think there's some confusion here," Joe said. "Really, I mean, it was just a kiss."
"I know," Charlie said. "It was just a kiss, and she and I were going through a tough time. But now we're not."
"Got it," Joe nodded.
"Who is that man that Charlie's speaking so intensely with?" Bombay asked Julie who rolled her eyes glancing over and seeing them.
"That would be Tyler's teacher," she said. "He's being a baby again." She stirred her drink.
"Why does he seem to hate Tyler's teacher?" Bombay asked. She looked at him.
"Don't act like he didn't tell you," she mumbled. He laughed.
"He did," he said. "And I told him he was being a baby, by the way." She smiled. "You know he has trouble with gray area. He always has."
"But we're not in a gray area!" She said. "That's what's so annoying. I'm with him." She sighed. "I'm glad you're here, he listens to you."
"I try," Bombay said. "Those mothers are terrifying, I see why you let them bully you into asking me to do this." She laughed.
"Julie!" Dawn said excitedly and walked over. Julie smiled seeing Scooter behind her. "It's so good to see you. I have to go call Scott's mother."
"No you don't," Scooter said. "Hi, Mr. Bombay." He nodded at Gordon, who nodded back. "Jules, you look good," he kissed her on the cheek.
"You too," she said softly, "um, Coach, this is Dawn, Scooter's wife, Dawn this is Gordon Bombay, he used to coach me and Charlie when we were kids."
"It's so nice to meet you," Dawn said, she started chewing her thumb nail and then looked at Scott. "What if she gets sick?"
"She's not going to get sick," Scooter sighed. Julie looked oddly at him. "It's the first time we've left Cammie."
"Got it," Julie said. "You know what you need?" Dawn looked at her. "Vodka, come on," she pulled her away by the arm.
"We appreciate you doing this," Scooter said after an awkward minute. Bombay nodded. "It means a lot, I mean, for Tyler,"
"I know what you're doing," Bombay said. "I warned you six years ago about what would happen if you tried to do this."
"I don't," Scooter said.
"Sending Tyler to the fancy private school," Bombay said, "involving your wife in his day to day activities. If you make a single move to take him away from her, you will lose everything. And I can afford to work for free."
"And I told you then," he said simply, "I don't want to take Tyler away from Julie, but I'm also not going to stay out of my son's life."
Julie walked over to Charlie and Joe.
"Good, you two met," she said. Joe nodded at her. "Charlie, can I have a word?" He sighed and they walked away. "What are you doing?"
"We were just talking," he said simply. "I hear he's a really great guy to talk to." She closed her eyes.
"Please don't embarrass me tonight," she said. "I know your don't want to be here, I get it, I don't particularly want to be here either, but you promised me that you'd do this." He looked at her and she kissed him softly. "Please don't make something out of nothing. There isn't anything between me and Joe, he's a nice guy, but in six months, when Tyler's out of his class I'll never see him again."
"Do you promise me that?" He said. She nodded. "I don't trust him, Jules, that's all."
"But do you trust me?" She asked.
"Of course I trust you," he sighed. "Come on, we have to listen to Coach talk for a while." She laughed as they walked in companionably with Charlie's arm swung around her shoulders.
Later that night, Julie and Charlie wandered into the apartment. She sighed and undid her hair, shaking it out. He looked at her. The way she was moving took his breath away. He walked over and kissed her neck, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind.
"Charlie," she mumbled.
"You're stunning," he whispered. "God, I love you." She closed her eyes and whimpered and he turned her around. They kissed and he lifted her up on the counter.
"Let's go to bed," she whispered.
"What's wrong with right here?" He whispered, "Ty's gone for the night, no reason not to." He ran his hands up her thighs. She whimpered. "I love you."
"Charlie wait," she mumbled. He shook his head and she giggled. They made love on the kitchen counter and then lay on the floor after. "I'm going back to school," she whispered. He looked at her.
"Really?" He said. She nodded. "Community college?" He asked.
"I don't know yet," she said. "I don't know what I want to study, I just know I can't keep living the way I was." He nodded. "I love you," she said.
"I love you too," he said.
"And I do want to marry you," she whispered, "but my life's not ready for that," he pushed her hair off of her face. "Our life is," she said, "but mine's not, do you get the difference?"
"Yeah," he said and kissed her. "I get the difference." He stood up and picked her up and carried her to bed. "So," he said as they cuddled, "school's almost out, are we going on a family vacation?" She laughed. "Are we?"
"I don't know," she shrugged, "we never really could before." Charlie looked at her, "well, last summer we drove to Maine to see my parents and stayed in a motel one night and I told Tyler it was a vacation, does that count?"
"You had a car last summer?" He asked. She laughed.
"Yes," she nodded. "I sold it right after that trip actually." She laughed. "Where do you think we should go."
"Grand Canyon," he said. She smiled. "We could drive. It would be fun."
"I agree," she nodded. "Grand Canyon it is."
"Road trip, road trip," Tyler chanted as Julie packed his bag.
"Tyler," she said. "Please calm down." Tyler grinned at her and she laughed. "Besides, you still have a week of school," she said.
"But it's not like a real week," Tyler said. "Mr. Thurston said that we don't even have to do homework."
"Isn't that good for Mr. Thurston," she mumbled. "Do you want your blanket?"
"Mom," he said seriously, "I'm almost in second grade, I do not need my blanket."
"Alright then," Julie laughed. "Hey," she said and pat her hand on the bed, "I need you to sit down. We've gotta talk about something." He sat down and looked concerned. "So, I just wanted to talk to you about some changes that are going to happen around here." Tyler's eyes got big.
"You and Charlie are getting married while we're on vacation," he said.
"No," she shook her head. "Tyler, when Charlie and I decide to get married I promise you that except for me and Charlie, you will be the first to know," he nodded. "I'm going to go to school next year." Tyler scrunched his face.
"Why?" He said.
"Because," she smiled, "I've always wanted to, but when I had you, I couldn't," Tyler's eyes got big like he was about to cry. "No, I didn't mean it like that. I didn't want to, anymore, because I wanted to take care of you," she pushed his hair off of his face. "But now, you're such a big boy, and you're in school all day, and we have Charlie, and Daddy's around," Tyler nodded, "I think it's time for me to go back." Tyler hugged her.
"I promise that I'll help you with your homework," he said. She laughed.
"Thanks honey," she kissed him, "OK, bedtime."
"Julie has made a major shift in her life," Sean said holding his drink up. Julie laughed and looked at Connie who shrugged. "She decided to finally give up this whole 'waitress' thing!"
"I am proud of you Julie," Connie said. They'd decided to have a girls night and Sean had been horrified when he wasn't invited along. "Now we just need to push you and Charlie down the aisle."
"No!" Julie said, "I'm not ready for that." Connie shook her head. "Besides, you just want us to so that you can guilt Guy into finally putting a ring on your finger."
"When do I get to meet Guy?" Sean asked, frowning. Julie rolled her eyes.
"Soon, I hope," Connie shrugged. "He's been travelling a lot for work." Julie nodded and then glanced at the bar again. "Cat, what on earth do you keep looking at?"
"I think I know that guy," she stood up and walked over and smiled, seeing Joe. "Hi," she said.
"Ms. Gaffney," he smiled, she looked at him. "Sorry, Julie. Shouldn't you be in bed? I understand you have a very big day tomorrow."
"Ah yes, Tyler has shared out summer plans then," she laughed. "I'm just having a drink with some friends to celebrate my new state of unemployment." He cocked his head to the side. "I quite my job and I'm going back to school."
"That's amazing," he said, "congratulations." She smiled.
"Look, I just wanted to come over and thank you," she said, "Tyler had an amazing year, and I think that you were a really big part of that. So thanks."
"Tyler's a really bright kid," he said, "and a pleasure to teach, but I think that really amazing year you're talking about had a lot to do with his mother getting her life together." She laughed.
"It didn't hurt, I guess," she said.
"Hey," Connie and Sean pushed through the crowd, "um, what the hell was, um hello," Connie said.
"Oh," Julie said, "Joe Thurston, these are my friends, Connie Moreau and Sean Harrington," they waved, "guys this is Joe, Tyler's teacher."
"Oh," Sean said, "nice meeting you."
"Nice meeting you too," he said. Connie smiled at him. "Julie, I guess I'll see you around school."
"I guess so," she nodded and hugged him as he walked away. Sean and Connie looked at her. "What? He was really nice to Tyler, OK?"
"And like that's not the number way into the single mom panties," Connie crossed her arms. "You totally like him! No wonder Charlie's so tweaked!"
"Plus, now that the school year's over, he's not Tyler's teacher anymore," Sean nodded, "so you are fair game missy." Connie nodded.
"You're both crazy," she shook her head, "and drunk." Her two friends shrugged. "We're going home now." She picked up her bag and marched outside.
Please review! I'm so sorry I've been so sucky lately!