Declaimer: I do not own the twilight saga
Did lovers really fall in love to stay
And stand beside each other, come what may
Was a promise really something people kept
Not just something they would say
Did families really bow their heads to pray
Did daddies really never go away
Woah oh, grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days
Grandpa, everything is changing fast
We call it progress, but I just don't know
And grandpa, Let's wander back into the past
And paint me the picture of long ago
~Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days) by The Judds
Dad and I pulled into our drive and a few of the horses hung their heads over the fence in greeting. I smiled as Thunder nodded his head, making him stand out from the others. I saw a smaller horse running around and bucking behind the other horses and I assumed it was the baby. The yard was still the same, the barn was still the same, everything on the outside of the house. When Dad parked the truck near the house, I saw a silhouette of a person in the window.
"Dad, I thought you said Tony wouldn't be here." I sighed as we climbed out of the truck.
"I said he wouldn't be staying here at night. He'll be going to the Keeper's this evening." He explained simply.
"That's not what you said."
"Well, that's what is going to happen. But it's no big deal. He actually said he wanted to see you before he went to the Keeper's." He walked confidently to the front door, stuck his key in and pushed it open. "Hey, Tone. Jasper's home."
"Hey, Jasper." Tony smiled shyly towards me. "I'm glad your back home.."
"I'm glad, too." I smiled back but scanned him up and down for some sign of the old, pissed off him.
There wasn't much evidence that he was still that kid. His eyes were clear and his smile was legitimate. In his hands was a little brownish hamster with it's head and front feet sticking out of Tony's lightly clenched fist. It was nibbling on some kind of treat, and in Tony's other hand was more of the treats. Once the hamster was finished with the current treat, Tony would offer it another then smile at the face it made when it nibbled on it. He wasn't dressed any differently than I remembered, his hair was cut short, and it looked like he filled out and lost that round baby face.
"Well, boys," Dad smiled and took my bags towards my room. "Catch up with each other."
"So," Tony said awkwardly. I sat on the couch, and he sat next to me. He put the chubby hamster on his lap, then rubbed it's little head. "Jim let me get these hamsters. This is Copper. I have another one, his name is Gold, but I don't know where he went to."
"Wait," I paused and scanned the floor. The house was a little messy, and I saw a few spots where a hamster could hide. "You don't know where he is?"
"He's not loose!" Tony laughed. "He's in a hamster ball!"
"Oh," I sighed in relief. "Good, because-"
I went to continue about how I was not going to search for a rodent on my visit home, but was interrupted by Dad calling angrily out to Tony.
"Uh-oh." Tony sighed and stood from the couch. "I think I'm in trouble. I'll be right back."
I nodded and he left with the hamster. Once he was gone, I scanned the house and could faintly hear Dad scolding Tony over the messiness of the room.
"You shouldn't be talking, Dad." I chuckled to myself, stood and left the living room. The kitchen wasn't much cleaner. Dishes were stacked in the sink. They were sitting on each other neatly; plates on the bottom, bowls on them, silverware in the bowls and dishes around them. But they were still dirty. The floor needed to be mopped and the table needed wiped down. The counter had clutter scattered on it. A pile of mail here, school papers there, receipt and other miscellaneous papers between. It looked like someone tries to keep it organized, but they were sucking at it. I peaked in the refrigerator and then the freezer. Mixing bowls and pots were filled with left-overs and covered with plastic wrap. The freezer was stuffed full with frozen meat and TV dinners.
"Checking out what's on the menu?" Dad laughed. I turned around to see both him and Tony came into the room. Tony held two plastic balls now, the hamsters both in them. It was obvious that he just got scolded from the look on his face. He sat the balls down and slumped into a chair at the table. Dad glanced at him, gave him a smile and ruffled his hair, making him perk up a bit.
"It's bachelor food, right Jim?" He smiled.
"That's right." Dad said with a nod. "We're not exactly gourmet chefs."
"Seems like you guys are doing pretty well without a woman." I smiled and closed the refrigerator.
"We are!" Tony said strongly, but his smile grew. "We don't need any women around here. Oh, and I found Gold. He was in the hallway."
"I'm glad." I chuckled and sat across from him at the table. Dad joined us.
"So, tell us about the army, Jazz." He said.
"Yeah, I want to hear about it!" Tony added on and leaned forward towards me.
"Well, it's not exactly glamorous,"
We pulled into the Keeper's driveway. Tony was jabbering in the back of the truck, his backpack now replacing Dad's saddle. He seemed to be in a good mood, but I was waiting for the explosion.
Mrs. Keeper was kneeling on a towel in front of the flowerbed, tending to the weeds. Her husband was with a little toe-headed boy in the front yard. The kid had a baseball mitt on his hand and it looked like Mr. Keeper was teaching him how to catch a baseball. I asked about the boy, and Tony scoffed.
"That's Hunter. Their new son." He said with a roll of his eyes.
"Tony, watch yourself." Dad warned him, then turned to me. "He's the newest addition to the Keeper family. He's only five years old."
"Little shit." Tony huffed. I glanced at him in the rear-view mirror. The old him was back.
"Jasper, why don't jump out say hello while I have a quick talk with Tony, here." Dad said calmly, but I could tell from the quick death glare he gave Tony after he put the truck in park. I nodded, not wanting to stay around for the explosion. Once I got out of the truck, Dad turned to look at Tony, the Keeper's walked over to greet me, and Hunter stayed glued to Mr. Keeper.
"Oh, Jasper!" Mrs. Keeper smiled and threw her arms around my neck. "It's great to see you!"
"We've missed you, bud." Mr. Keeper smiled and stuck his hand out to me once his wife released me. I shook it and returned his smile.
"It's nice to be back." I nodded.
"You still have that nice firm handshake. The army must be teaching you well." He said with a chuckled, but his arm around my shoulders and gave them a squeeze.
"So, Dad said you have a new addition." I said. They smiled and Mr. Keeper picked the little boy up.
"Yup. Hunter is our newest little guy. Hunter, can you say hello?"
"Hello." He said in a soft voice. He had the typical American boy look with that blond hair, blue eyes and soft voice.
"Mom, Dad!" Tony called. The Keeper's must not have heard him, because Mr. Keeper gave me another one-armed hug after setting Hunter down. I could see over his shoulder Tony standing in the driveway, the familiar scowl covering his face. His fists clenched and unclenched. Dad came over and put his hand on his shoulder. Tony relaxed some, but was still visible tense. Dad walked over to us with him, still holding Tony's shoulder. He greeted the Keeper's, and Tony kept his mouth clamped shut, refusing to say hello, and pouted.
It was going to be a long visit.
"Georgia's my sister." Hunter told me for the seventh time. The Keeper's had dinner ready for us when we arrived, and after Dad and Mr. Keeper went out in the garage to talk about cars and Mrs. Keeper went upstairs to gather clothes and towels for Hunter to take a bath before going to bed. Tony and I were helping ourselves to seconds in the kitchen.
Tony was still angry at the Keeper's, and I could hear him whispering to Dad all throughout dinner about how the Keeper's replaced him, how they didn't greet him, and how he wanted to go home. Dad was keeping his patience better than I expected. He was actually pretty good with Tony and keeping him calm.
"Yes, she is." I responded to the little boy. He was going from me to Tony, telling us different things that we already knew. Whenever he wanted our attention, he would pull on our jeans.
"And you're her husband."
"No, I'm her boyfriend. We're not married." I corrected him again. He shrugged, turned to Tony and grabbed a fistful of his pants.
"And you're my brother." Hunter smiled, and turned to me again. "I have a big brother."
"I'm not your brother," Tony hissed and shot him a look that would make the toughest man in the world flinch. "So leave me the hell alone!"
"What?" Hunter dropped his hand and looked up at Tony with big eyes.
"Leave me the hell alone," He repeated in the same low hiss. "Or I swear to God, you'll be sorry!"
"You said a bad word to me." Hunter's eyes filled with tears and his bottom lip quivered before he ran out of the room. If he had red hair and freckles, he could have passed for a young Tony.
"Hey, Tony," I said firmly, catching his attention before he started sulking again. "That was unnecessary. He's just a little kid."
"Well, someones got to set him strait." He mumbled and stuffed a forkful of pasta in his mouth. "I'm not his brother, and the Keeper's sure as hell aren't correcting him."
"You mean your Mom and Dad?" I questioned, hoping he just misspoke.
"No! I mean the Keeper's. You saw how they treat me. And they replaced me with that little idiot! Guess what room they gave him? Mine!"
"Just calm down-"
"I hate them." He sighed and pushed his food around, keeping his head ducked. I could tell he was starting to cry. I sighed. I didn't want to spend my vacation, my visit home taking care of the brat, so I just turned back to my food. But within seconds Dad was in the kitchen with his hands on Tony's shoulders.
"Get up. Now. We have to have a little talk." He demanded though his clenched jaw. Tony huffed, stood up and followed him into the living room, where Dad started lecturing him. "Who do you think you are? Talking to a little boy like that? All he wants is someone to call his big brother, and you curse at him?"
"He told you? Damn snitch!"
"Shut up and listen to me, Tony, and you better listen well because I'm not going to repeat this again!" Dad's voice was low, but still powerful and threatening. I turned slightly in my chair to see that he had Tony against a wall. He wasn't holding him there, but had his finger pointed in his face. "Do you think you're a bad ass now because you cussed at a little kid? Do you think you're a man now because you can scare a five year old? Are you thinking that you have control now because of that act of pure immaturity? Your wrong, Tony! Dead wrong!"
"I'm not his brother, though!" Tony tried to stand tall, but he seemed to shrink with every word Dad threw at him. He started to cry.
"You're seriously upset because he called you his brother? Tony, Jasper lost both of his brothers. He would be elated to have them around to call him their brother. And you have the nerve to complain? A little boy looks up to you and you threaten him? That's pathetic, Tony. Just pathetic." Dad sighed. "And I know that's not you. You're not that pathetic person. I don't know what's going on with this tough guy act, but you better lose it. You make people think you're a brat by acting that way. Is that what you want?"
"No." He whimpered.
"Then you better change that attitude now. And stop that crying, or I'll give you something to cry about!" With a final wag of his finger, he took a few steps away from Tony, but he stayed against the wall. "I think you own someone an apology, don't you?"
They went their separate ways, and as Tony passed Dad, he reached out and ruffled his hair, forcing Tony to crack a smile. It seemed to be the sign that their was no bad blood between them from whatever argument they had. Dad came into the kitchen with a sigh and sat next to me.
"What's with him? It sounds like you've had the speech rehearsed." I teased in an attempt to lighten the mood. He sighed.
"We've bumped head quiet a few times over him acting so rudely." He leaned forwards towards me a lowered his voice. "Did you know he use to talk to the Keeper's like that all the time? He would call them horrible thing and threaten them."
"Really? And they couldn't stop it?"
"I don't know if they couldn't or didn't know how or what. But you would be surprised at everything they let him get away with when he was here."
"I really shouldn't be talking bad about them in their own house. I'll tell you when we get home." He promised with a nod. "You'll be shocked. He even treated Georgia like something he stepped in when no one was visiting."
I tried to imagine what could be more shocking than what I already knew about his behavior. All I could think about was what he could have done to
Georgia, and how I would have to kick his ass if it was a real problem.
Great, I'm home for less that twenty-four hours and the drama starts again.
Sorry it took so long to update, and sorry if this kind of sucks. I was awkward to write :/ Review!