Lizzie turned and saw Anna standing in her studio door. "Whats up Anna-Banana?"
"Can you ask Ben and T.J. to back off of Alex?"
"What have they done this time?" She sighed, covered her painting and dumped her paint brushes in the sink.
"They dressed up as mad scientists and started carrying around fake organs." They both laughed.
"I will bring it up. So you really like Alex?" The two headed back downstairs.
"Yeah." She sighed. "Mom, you remember when all of us were younger and we asked how you and dad got married?"
"Yes." She knew where this was heading.
"And you said-"
"I'll tell you when you're older."
"Well, it is summer vacation. The bros are in grad school, I'm graduating this year, and we are all in the same place."
They walked in to see the boys laughing and fist bumping, until they saw Lizzie.
"Awe, come on Ann. You got mom!" Ben collapsed on the sofa.
"Its okay mom, we won't do it any more." T.J. gave Anna a hug. "He's a keeper sis. He's gone through every test."
"Thats not actually why I'm here." Lizzie nodded at Anna. "Its time you guys knew."
"Knew what?" Ben sat up.
Lizzie rubbed her face.
"Knew what, mom?" T.J. released Anna.
"Well for one, Jane." She leaned against a counter.
"Cousin Janie?" Anna and T.J. sat next to Ben.
"She's not your cousin. Shes your half sister." She reached for a chair and pulled it so she was facing them. "Ask me your questions, I'll tell you no lies."
They all spoke at once.
"Listen to your mother and speak at one time." They all stopped at Will's firm voice.
Even now, with graying hair, Lizzie's hear stopped every time she saw him.
"Hey." Lizzie smiled up at him.
"Hi." He leaned over the chair and kissed her. All the kids groaned. "Knock it off." Will laughed.
"Now, we need to tell you about how we met. About Janie. About a lot of things." Lizzie sighed and they two began their story.
They reached the end and waited for some reaction from their children.
Ben spoke up first. "Are you sure he's still in prison?"
"No." Lizzie sighed. "But he can't hurt any of us.
"So all this," T.J. laughed lightly, "started because you two hated each other?"
"Yes." They both said.
"Dad, has Alex..." Anna shifted. "He said he had lunch with the three of you. What did you guys-"
"Bro code." The boys answered.
On Lizzie and Will's 21st wedding anniversary, Anna married Alex. Six months later, the twins married on the exact same day to their best friends.
For each wedding, Will and Lizzie stood up for their toast and ended them the same way.
"To favors between friends."
And only the family knew what they meant.