A/N Okay! You convinced me! Here is the sequel of the story that was only supposed to be a little 5 chapter lark. I still don't know how on God's green earth it ended up being my longest story, but here is the next part of it. I guess if you gotta have an addiction, writing is a good one to have.
I still have no rights to nothing but a whole bunch of student loans that anyone is more than welcome to have, a no account ex-husband that wouldn't pay child support if his life depended on it, 4 kids that make life worth living, a special needs dog named Spencer that is rapidly eating more than my teen son, and 40+years of shoulda, woulda, couldas. Dedication remains the same.
You ever heard the saying, "If it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all, gloom, despair, agony on me?" No? Huh…well that figures. It's getting harder and harder to find any decent Hee Haw fans around anymore. But I'm getting away from the meat of the matter, and that is that things have been a little rough around here lately.
Touring with the band is on hold for the time being. Turns out that me getting married and having a family didn't go over so well with the younger generation of fans, and while my older crew was supportive and enthusiastic about us getting back out there, the money just wasn't there. We were currently working in the studio trying to put together a new album and playing small clubs for enough to pay the rental bills on our gear. That wasn't too bad though, the worst was that Bella's company had gone bankrupt and she had gotten laid off and then the absolute worst had happened, we had lost the health insurance on the kids. The money that Ed had made for the kids had gone fast. We had done what we thought was the smart thing and paid off the house, cut corners every which way we could with everything, but Bella was having a hard time finding a job in the current economy, and even if she did, insurers were not going to want to cover Charlie with pre-existing conditions without a fuss. Em tried to drop out of college and that sparked WW3 in the house. There was no way in hell I was going to allow that, and I think it was the closest me and my oldest son have ever come to exchanging punches. Yeah, I said it, my oldest son. We managed to get that done before everything went to hell.
We did agree he could move home and maybe work part time, but there was no way in hell he was quitting college. I was still thinking about going myself. Other than music and acting and things of that caliber, I really had no marketable skills and no resume to speak of. Wanna feel worthless? Watch everyone around you getting up to leave for work or to look for work while you are in your pj's and your major contribution to the family has been to baby sit all day long.
Mr. Mom, that's me at the moment. Bella is out looking for work, Em is at school and then work, Carlisle is at the hospital working a double and Ed? Ed is off somewhere with Rose and Marcus again. They did that whole porn thing and it really worked out well for them. Marcus apparently is a fairly popular guy with certain demographics and they made so much money that they bought another house down in L.A. so they could live in comfort when he went down there to shoot.
Ed says he could still hook me up. Oh…hold on a sec.
"How is that possible? We paid all of that when he was last in there."
"I don't think so. Well, you need to send me a copy of the bill and I will try to contact the insurance to see why they didn't cover it."
Dammit! Just what we needed, that was the hospital billing folk calling to tell me about yet another bill that the insurance didn't cover for Charlie before we got cut off. This one is a whopper for 18 thousand dollars. That makes a total of over 39thousand we know about so far. Our bank account is getting scary looking. I don't think mine has ever been as low as it is now, and all the people I've contacted about acting gigs have either not returned my calls or the projects have fallen through.
None of us have health insurance now that Bella's Cobra coverage ran out and her unemployment is a joke that barely keeps the electric on and gas in the cars. We are beginning to feel poor, and that is terrifying. I won't let that happen to my family, no matter what, Bella and my kids deserve better than that.
Lucky for us the girls are out of diapers, but Charlie is still in pull ups and he goes through glasses like they are free. The last pair he destroyed by throwing them out the car window because he got mad at his mom. I don't know where he gets his temper but I am hoping it's not his mom, because I am fixing to probably get on the wrong side of her in a major way.
"Hey, Ed, does that offer still stand?"
I knew they were struggling and we had been worried for a while about how they were hanging on. Bella had been over to the house a week ago when Jasper had been at the studio with his band, and she was in tears, scared to death and upset that she couldn't find a job that would give her enough money to pay their bills and provide insurance for the kids.
"It's all my fault! If I had been better prepared I could have invested the money better and we would be prepared to deal with this, not struggling to keep afloat!"
"Bella, no one can prepare for having 3 kids, one of them Special needs at your age, with a guy who has no marketable skills other than being cute and talented."
"He has skills! Don't trash talk him Carlisle, he just has to find the right position."
"Oh I'm not trashing him; I'm just saying that he's a little more difficult to place than your typical husband. Has he been going to any auditions?"
"He has, but he hasn't gotten any call backs and the new agent doesn't seem to really be doing much for him. He has even signed up to be an extra."
"Have you looked into getting the kids on state insurance?"
"We still have too much in the way of assets. Right now, if anyone gets sick we would have to either pay cash, put it on the credit cards of which I have closed and cut up except for one, or we would have to use the emergency department if you weren't around."
"Well, you know I will take care of you all as best I can, so at least you don't have to worry there. Have you talked to the family?"
"Oh hell no! We will do this on our own. Em is actually going to start getting some help with his tuition from the Law Enforcement memorial association, even though Jasper adopted him , they know that he is still Charlie's biological son and thus lost a father in the line of duty, so he will get some help with his tuition. If he gets a part time job and moves home, he will be fine. I am looking at jobs in other fields, and I know Jasper is looking at pretty much anything, but we are one major illness from crashing and burning."
"Bella, don't stress. Have faith in that boy. He is very resourceful and I have a feeling that he is working harder on his music and his career than he has ever worked in his life. He will make something happen, don't you worry."
"Thanks Ed, I appreciate your faith in him. I do have faith in him. He is smart and he has been doing a great job of taking care of the kids and the house so I could get out and look for a job. I have come home to a clean house and happy kids every single night. I know he's got to be about ready to climb the walls after being home with them all week. Could I impose on you guys to maybe give us a night out sometime this weekend so I could take him out and show him how much I appreciate all he's done?"
"Bella, you know we would be more than happy to take the kids for the evening. We know you guys need some time to blow off some steam and do whatever it is that you straight people do."
"Thanks Ed, we owe you one, you too Carlisle."
"Bella, you know you never have to pay me back for watching Maggie, or the others, it's always my pleasure."
"Well, thank you anyway Carlisle, and don't worry about Jasper getting upset if Mags calls you daddy again. He's okay with it, he's says as long as she knows who the real culprit is, he doesn't mind sharing."
We gave them their night out together, which actually ended up being a night in for them alone doing whatever they did. Jasper had a big smile the next day, but it hadn't lasted long, especially after they had gotten more calls about bills the insurance company hadn't paid. I figured that would be what broke him.
"Jasper, are you sure? You know if Bella finds out she will do something really depraved to both of us and I happen to know for a fact that Carlisle like my bits and pieces exactly the way they are."
"Okay, first off, she is not going to find out. You and Rose are going to help me to figure out a way to disguise the money, second, which is waay more information than I need to know about my uncles sex life, okay?"
"Well, how do you want to do this? Do you want to sign with one of the companies that were interested in you or do you want to work as a free agent and sell it yourself?"
"How are Rose and Marcus doing it? They seem to be making plenty of money."
"Well, initially he was with one of the companies, but once his name got out there, he was able to start doing his own and now, with the help of his trusty independent filmmaker and tech support person, he has his own website and he's getting to keep all the money he makes. He could use a partner, in several ways, if you get my drift."
"You mean, make movies with Marcus?"
Oh that was funny! I had to cover up the phone a minute so he didn't hear me laugh at the high pitched tone his voice got at the end.
"Yes, that is exactly what I mean. You would be able to tie into several really big audiences, and it would also help him out by letting him bank off of your popularity."
"I don't want to use my real name! My family would kill me. This is going to have to be done on the down low, and Ed, not that I'm an expert on these kind of things, but he's HUGE and well, I'm not, wouldn't that look just a little bit like a grizzly bear with a mouse? Plus, he's family and wouldn't he think it's a little weird to work with me?"
"Jasper, he's been wanting me to get you to work with him since he first saw that picture, he's a bit of an admirer of yours."
"Oh God, I did not need to know that."
"Jas, they just pulled down 950 thousand dollars. If you get involved we could double that in less than 6 months. You make one, maybe two movies, and you guys are set. All your bills caught up and you can buy insurance, pay off Em's college and even set up college funds for the girls as well as fund your tour with the band. It doesn't have to be a forever thing, just a means to an end and."
"Let me guess, you are the "Independent filmmaker and I.T. guy'? So what is your cut of it all?"
"I'm the cheapest filmmaking team you will ever find. You get all my services, for a flat 10% of the profit."
"That is cheap, too cheap. What is your angle?"
"I get to direct and watch."
"Oh God, Why does that scare me more than anything else?"
"It shouldn't. I'm a professional."
Okay, I really did have to cover up the phone a second so I didn't choke to death laughing after I said that, but he didn't need to know that I would be saving a copy of all of it for my own private use.
"I can't believe I am saying this, but I guess I am in. How soon can we get this going?"
"Well, I could get some pictures of you today and have them up by tonight to start re-building interest, and then once you get your story straight with Bella, we could either go down to L.A. and film it in Rose and Marks house there or we could film it up here, whatever works best for you."
"The pictures will show my face won't they?"
"Jasper, you have that scruffy assed beard. Look, don't worry I will make sure no one knows who you are, Just have a shower and be prepared for Rose to be with me. She will help with the posing and any grooming issues you might have."
"Rose is going to help with my what?"
"Jasper, she is great at it, she has a real eye for symmetry and she really knows how to accentuate your best features. Don't worry, she won't see you as her brother in law, she will just see you as the guy who is going to be making a porno with her husband and making her lots of money."
"Symmetry? Do I even want to know? "
"Probably not. Most straight guys are terrible with their personal grooming, and in gay porn, it's really important. You think women are mean and snarky with how they treat each other over looks and grooming? They have nothing on gay men."
"The babies nap from 2-4 so that's about the only time I can do anything, Bella will be home any time after that so we will have to make sure to be done and you guys cleared out."
"Jasper, we are just shooting a few pictures of you today it's not a big deal. Even if she walked in on it, she wouldn't really suspect anything, so don't worry. Oh, Rose is telling me that Mark is coming with, so maybe you two can chat and get a feel for each other, so to speak and see who is going to do what."
"Uh, yeah…sure. I guess. Okay, I'll talk to you later, unless of course I decide to run the fuck away."
"You won't run away, you will do fine. Don't worry. Mark says he'll be gentle."
"Ed, you are one fucked up individual. If he doesn't turn tail and run for the hills I will be amazed."
"Don't underestimate him Mark, he's got more nerve than people give him credit for and when it comes to those kids, he will do anything."
"Yeah, but Ed, this is a pretty big anything. You are expecting the boy to get naked and then get busy with me. How long are you going to let him think I like to top?"
"For as long as possible, Mark, for as long as possible."