Young Again Ch. 02byKarennaC©
"You're having a kid. You're old enough to be its grandfather, for crying out loud!"
"Gillian, I've given you a lot to get used to. Why don't I let you go, and you can think about it. Meanwhile, I just walked in the door from work and I want to change into something more comfortable."
"You're marrying a woman fifteen years younger than you, and having a baby with her, and you think I'm going to get used to it?"
"I think it would be nice if you did, but it doesn't really matter. I don't need your permission, Gillian. I love you; give me a call later when you calm down."
"I'm not going to calm down!"
"That's up to you. I am. Talk to you soon." He hung up before his daughter could argue any more.
* * *
Jerome didn't hear from any of his children until the following week. Then they all called him the same day. "What are you thinking? When's the wedding? Why haven't we met her?" Jerome would have sworn that Gillian had given her siblings a script.
After a flurry of phone calls, he finally agreed to bring Brenna to Gillian's for dinner Friday night. When he picked her up that night, she was nervous. "I don't know what they're going to think of me," she said. She put her hand on her belly, which now had just the slightest swell. "I've never dated anyone with kids before. Let alone someone with kids almost as old as me. They might hate me."
"It's going to be fine," Jerome promised her. "Don't worry." He put his hand on her thigh. "Just think about what you're going to get from me when it's over."
"Mmm, that does make it better."
When they got to Gillian's, Jerome's other children were already there. His son Emery opened the door. "Dad, good to see you." He smiled at Brenna. "You must be Brenna. Dad seems pretty happy about you, so I'm glad to meet you."
"Thank you." Brenna shook his hand. "Jerome's told me about you and your sisters. It's nice to meet you, too."
Emery led them inside. His sisters were sitting at the kitchen table, deep in conversation. Quinn, the youngest, spotted Jerome and Brenna first. "They're here!" She ran over and threw her arms around Jerome. "Good to see you, Daddy! And Brenna, right? You're so pretty!"
Leave it to Quinn. She could make anyone comfortable. Brenna smiled and said, "Thank you. You're pretty too."
"I'm Quinn, by the way, in case Dad didn't tell you. And that's my big sis Gillian pouting at the table."
"I'm not pouting." Gillian stood up and came over to them. "When are you due, Brenna?"
"Gillian, that's rude," Jerome said. "What happened to hello, how are you?"
"Everyone's said hello, and how she is is pregnant."
"I'm sorry if that offends you," Brenna said.
"It does. My father's too old to cope with another baby. What did you do, decide to trap him?"
"Gillian, stop it," Emery said. "Brenna, don't mind her."
"I don't mind, but I think I'd better leave," Brenna said. Jerome could tell from her voice that she was close to tears. "Thank you for the invitation, Gillian. Sorry I won't be staying." She left.
Jerome faced his daughter, struggling to control his fury. "You had no right to talk to her like that, Gillian Lynn," he said, managing somehow to keep his voice level. "Until you learn some respect, I'd prefer not to be here either. Emery, Quinn, thank you for making Brenna feel welcome. I'm leaving now."
"You're choosing her over your own children?" Gillian demanded.
"I'm choosing her over a disrespectful, spoiled brat," Jerome snapped. He walked out, slamming the door behind him.