Summary: A new year full of new situations start stretching the littles thin. As Trina, Elisa, Hunter and Jace look towards college, Cal finds celebrity life harder than he thought, and Anne hides a troubling new romance. Kevin and Bella try to figure out their feelings while raising their son, and Gordon tries to move on. Carmen discovers more about her mother's past as she begins a relationship with Terry Parsons, who may or may not be a chip off the old block.
Chapter 1: Where Things Stand
Bella Riley rolled over and looked at her clock. She scratched her head and walked down to the kitchen of the townhouse she was living in. Sitting at the table was Kevin Reed, he was holding and bottle feeding their son Gabriel.
"Hey," Bella said surprised. "He didn't wake me up. I was shocked."
"I figured I'd let you sleep," Kevin shrugged. "You've got a test today right?"
"You're so good to me Kev," she kissed him on the cheek. "Yes, he is," she cooed and took Gabe from him. "Your Daddy is so good to your Mommy!" Gabe laughed. "I love when he does that."
"Yeah, me too," Kevin laughed. "You want breakfast?"
"Just coffee," she shrugged. She and Kevin were living in a strange situation. They weren't a couple, but they had a baby together. They lived together but not in the same room. Gabe was the result of a hasty one night stand before Thanksgiving. Kevin handed her a cup of coffee. "Thanks."
"No problem," he said. "So, my mom's got a vote this week, and Dad started a new case, they're not going to be around much."
"That's OK," she said, "after this test I don't have much to do. I'll be here." Kevin nodded. "Are you working tonight?"
"No," he shook his head.
"OK," she said, "so we'll have a family night, just the three of us."
"Sounds good," he nodded. "I'll see you later." She nodded and kissed Gabe softly.
"Bye baby," she said, "I love you."
"Wish Mommy luck, Gabe," Kevin said. Bella laughed.
"See you later Kev," she walked out, grabbing her backpack. Kevin sighed. He'd been working hard, being the best father he could to Gabe, being there for Bella without pushing himself on her. But it was hard. Their feelings for each other were different, she loved him, but as a friend, as Gabe's father. He loved her, really loved her.
"Well buddy," Kevin sighed, "here we are," he tickled Gabe's stomach and the baby laughed. "Mommy's gonna open her eyes soon and see what's right in front of her right? She's gonna see what a good family the three of us are."
Bella closed her eyes and pressed against the door outside and cried a little. She did this almost every day. She didn't like crying in front of Kevin because he'd try to fix it and he couldn't fix this.
Anne Callins stood outside of her school, Forrester Seminary on the upper east side of Manhattan. It was her first day of senior year and her boyfriend Shawn Miller had texted her saying that he had a surprise. The problem was she and Shawn had to be careful since no one could know about their relationship. She'd told him to meet her outside of school.
"Hey baby," Shawn walked over.
"Hey," she kissed him. "So, my parents were totally suspicious that I wanted to get to school early." He laughed. "What's my surprise?"
"I haven't seen you in a while," he said and they kissed again. She smiled.
"I was in LA visiting Cal," she said. He nodded.
"Right," he whispered, "so, then, I was thinking that we could go get breakfast." She looked at him.
"Shawn, it's the first day of senior year," she said, "I don't have time to go to your apartment and give you a blowjob."
"No, Anne, I know," he laughed, "I actually meant you know, go get breakfast, like pancakes, eggs. I figured we could do it pretty regularly, Denise and I did it my senior year every day, it made the year special. I know we can't do it everyday, but I figured maybe on Fridays?" She kissed him.
"That sounds great," she said. "Let's go." She slid her arm through his. "Are you going to be at Mikey and Denise's wedding?"
"That's not for a few months," he shrugged, "and it's up to Denise. Why?"
"I was just wondering, I thought that maybe, if you were we could you know, kind of come out of the closet by then," she said. Shawn looked at her.
"I thought you wanted to wait until you graduated?" He said.
"I did," she nodded, "but um, I well, I mean, the whole reason we didn't tell anyone was so that my parents wouldn't freak out, right? But I'll be eighteen soon and I've been so good since I moved back to New York, I mean except for us I haven't put a toe out of line, right? I don't come home drunk, or even get drunk that much, and I don't fight with my mom or anything," Shawn nodded, "so I figured we could tell them about us, and it wouldn't be so bad." He kissed her.
"That's entirely up to you," he said, "they're your parents. I just don't want your dad to drop me." She laughed.
"He won't," she said and kissed him, "not when he sees how happy you make me. I love you." He smiled.
"I love you too," he said and kissed her. "Alright," he threw his arm around her shoulder, "so, how do you like your eggs."
"We're so excited," Marissa Walker said sitting on a couch with Cal Callins. "A second season is a big deal, and we're even more excited because we get to do a full twenty two episodes this time."
"And Cal," the woman interviewing them looked at him, "this whole thing was a big change for you. You had to move across the country?"
"Yeah, I grew up in New York, and my parents and my twin sister still live there, it's all really hard," he laughed, "but this whole thing has been amazing."
"Of course," the interviewer nodded, "and you know I have to ask. You two are together on the show, obviously, I can't remember a couple people have been rooting for as much as they are for Brian and Faith, but what about real life? You've been spotted together and as I understand it, Marissa spent the summer in New York with your family, Cal?"
"We're really good friends," Marissa said.
"And we spend a lot of time together," Cal nodded. "But we're not a couple. Marissa is also really close with my sister, Anne, so that's why she came to visit this summer."
"It's true, I do love hanging out with Anne, she is much more fun than Cal," Marissa teased. They laughed. "The romance is all Faith and Brian's though, we're just friends."
"Alright that's time," a producer said. "Thanks, both of you."
"No problem," Cal said. "It was nice talking to you."
Gordon Conway cursed when he knocked over a box of stuff in his dorm room at Notre Dame. He started putting everything back into it. He stopped when he came across a snap shot and looked at it. It was a quick candid picture of him, Bella and Kevin on their graduation day. Bella was laughing and her arms around his neck. Kevin had jumped into the shot and was dumping a bottle of water on Gordon's head. He laughed and then shook his head and put the picture away. Back then everything had been simple. He had his dream girl on one side and his best friend on the other and all three of them were ready to take on the world. What the picture didn't show was that Kevin was in love with Bella. It didn't show that six month after this picture was taken Bella would be weak and betray him. It didn't show that now they were living together, raising their son and that Gordon was on his own.
"Hi," a girl bounced in.
"Um, hi," he said. "Sorry, I think you have the wrong room."
"No I have the right one," she smiled. "You're Gordon Conway, you're starting quarterback this year?" He nodded. "I'm Jada," she walked over, "I like quarterbacks." She put her arms around his neck.
"Sorry," he said and pulled her arms off of his neck. "I don't do the whole football groupie thing."
"Do you have a girlfriend?" She asked.
"Not at the moment," he said. "I'm really sorry, you're beautiful, but I'm not that kind of guy."
"OK," she said, "it's a long year." She back out with a smile.
"Weird," he shook his head. He reached for his phone, this was the kind of story Kevin would find hilarious. He stopped and realized he couldn't call Kevin.
"What do you have here?" Hunter said sliding in next to Elisa in the cafeteria. "USC," he whistled. "You're doing early admission."
"Yup," she nodded, "plus I already have an offer from the chapter president of Zeta Beta Zeta with a guaranteed pledge status, I don't even have to rush."
"Didn't your mom like build their new house?" He laughed.
"It was a renovation," she said. "And a lot of successful sisters chipped in. What about you? Yale?"
"That is the general consensus," he shrugged. "My mom said she doesn't care what I do, but it would mean a lot to my dad if I did Yale." She nodded. "You're set on USC?"
"My parents are obsessed with USC and so is Mikey," she laughed. "Plus I'd be near Cal, and I've always wanted to be a ZBZ."
"What does Eddie think?" He asked. "I thought he was counting on you following him to Michigan."
"No," she shook her head. "I mean, we've never talked about it. But he knows that I don't want to go to school in Michigan! I mean, I'm from Maine, I spent my teen years in Minnesota, I'm ready for some sunshine in my life." Hunter laughed. "God, I can't believe we're seniors."
"Yeah," he said. "Are you with the family tonight?"
"No," she shook her head. "Well, I mean, Trina," he nodded. "You know Eddie hasn't even met Gabriel yet?" She whispered.
"Well, you asked him to stay away from Bella," he shrugged. "So he's doing that." She nodded.
"Have you talked to Anne?" She asked. He shook his head. "You should."
"I've got nothing to say," he shrugged. "If she wants to waste her life being a groupie that's her bad decision to make."
"She loves you so much," she shook her head. "I know she does!"
"Yeah, well, you're kind of alone in that belief Elle," he said. "I'm going to move on." He glanced across the cafeteria and a group of freshman girls giggled as he waved to them.
"Oh God," she groaned. "You're going to be gross all year aren't you?"
"Possibly," he laughed and kissed her on the cheek. "Love you." He stood up.
"Love you too," she shook her head. But what he said had stuck with her. Did Eddie expect her to go to Michigan?"
Carmen frowned sitting in the auditorium, as Danny and some freshman girl struggled through the opening scene of Barefoot in The Park. She looked at him and sighed. Sometimes she found it really hard to believe that she'd given up her relationship with Cal just to make out with a jackass like that.
"OK," she called out. "That's enough for today." The cast nodded and headed out. She leaned back in her chair and sighed and her phone buzzed. She smiled seeing a text from Terry.
Just thinking of you, beautiful, wanted to say hi.
Well then, hi.
They weren't even dating, or anything, but he did call her and text her a lot. She thought she liked him, but she couldn't quite decide. She'd mentioned meeting him to her mother who had then gotten quiet and said she just wanted her to be happy.
What are you doing?
Just had an awful rehearsal. You?
Study hall. Missing your movie star ex?
Haha, he's just a TV star anyway. And yeah, I'm missing his talent quite a bit.
Whatever. Do you want to hang out today?
Sure, meet at the mall movie theater?
Sounds awesome. See you then.
She closed her phone and smiled. True he had said, hang out, not go out, but it was a start.