"Dezzy?" Adam Jones said into the phone. Her father's voice on the end of the line was warming. Deserae hadn't seen her family in two months. She'd accompanied her best friend, Lilly Minnington, on a business trip to the Minnington's beach house. Deserae's parents, Ashley and Adam Jones, had assured her to have fun, and that they would find a babysitter for her two little sisters.

"Hi, Dad. I miss you so much." Adam and Deserae were very close. Since Xander had been taken from her, Deserae and her father kindled a bond that neither ever knew was there. "I miss all of you."

"We miss you too, Dez." He responded, glancing at his wife, Ashley, who stood nearby.

"How is everything?" Deserae asked conversationally.

"Everything's….." Adam paused, unsure of how to continue, "everything's fine." There was silence on Deserae's end of the line. She suddenly broke it with a cautious tone.

"What's wrong, Dad?" Adam noticed the immediate concern flooding into his daughter's tone, and loosened his necktie.

"Nothing. Nothing's wrong. Don't worry." He said and immediately regretted his guilty tenor.

"Dad?" She prompted.

"Oh. It's nothing. Really. You'll just have to see when you get home tomorrow. Your mother wants to talk to you." He said, nervously grinning as he handed the phone to his wife, and flopped onto the bed. "I love you, Dezzy." Adam called loudly, as Ashley picked up the phone.

Deserae smiled at her father's sense of humor began to organize the things in her duffel bag that she'd taken on the trip with her, as Ashley's motherly voice filled her ear.

"Hi, Deserae."

"Hey, Mom." Deserae answered immediately abandoning her organization task.

"Are you all ready to come home tomorrow?" Her mom asked, excited about Deserae's return.

"Yep. Although, it will be sad to say goodbye to the summer, the beach house, the ocean, and the, of course, the beach boys." Deserae laughed.

"Very funny, Dez. I'm sure Malcolm will be so pleased to know you've been scoping out the surfer dudes." Ashley remarked sarcastically, as she traced the sewing on the comforter.

"Me? Scoping? No, no, no Mother, you've got it all wrong." Deserae insisted playfully. Ashley half-heartedly laughed at her daughter as she took note of her husband; oblivious to their conversation, nervously running his hands through his hair.

Just then Helena and Lacey entered the room.

"Are you talking to Dizzy?" Lacey asked while excitedly jumping up and down on the bed, while Helena watched with a smirk. Deserae smiled upon hearing her youngest little sister's voice.

"Yes. Dez, here's Lacey. We'll talk to you tomorrow, kiddo." Ashley finished as she passed the cordless to a flushed Lacey.

"Hi, Dizzy." Lacey greeted as she fell into a sitting position on the bed. The six-year-old was unaware of her parent's pleading gaze. They silently hoped that neither Helena nor Lacey gave away the "surprise." Deserae was known to get a little…dramatic about those things.

"Hi Lacey. How are you?" Deserae said into the mouthpiece. She could easily picture her pig-tailed little sister's bright face and smile.

"Fine. Guess what?" Lacey said in a sing-song voice.

"What?" Deserae asked already worn down with Lacey's endless bubbliness.

"When you left, Mommy and Daddy got a really nice baby-sitter for us." Ashley smacked her forehead in disappointment, while Adam's head shot up and he worriedly looked on at the unmindful Lacey.

"Yea? Do you like her?" Deserae asked humoring Lacey.

"Not 'her.' Him. And his name is Joey. And he's funny and nice, and makes waffles for us, and rides a big loud bike, and listens to loud music that angry people are screaming in, and wears a shiny jacket."

"Oh, really?" Deserae asked unsure as to what the sensation was that jangled her mood.

"Yea, and he's living in the guest room too." Now Helena was on the phone. Apparently she'd jerked it away from Lacey, whom you could her the crying from in the background.. Helena was 9 years old and she was very sassy. Adam and Ashley looked to each other with escalating apprehension.

"He's living there? In the guest room?" Deserae persisted. Thirsting for more information concerning this alleged 'baby-sitter.' She was already feeling the loathe ripple through her.

"Yea. Daddy says we have to go to bed now. Goodnight Deserae." Helena hung up but Deserae still clutched the receiver with a shaking hand. 'So that's what they were hiding from me.' She thought, feeling betrayed. She slowly put the phone in it's cradle, and glanced thoughtlessly at the Ramada Inn. tablet that lay beside the phone.

"What's up, Dez?" Lilly asked plopping on the stiff hotel bed beside her best friend. She'd just finished packing the clothes and toiletry she'd put to use during their first night stay at the hotel. Lilly's parents, Brooke and Michael were in a separate room next the girls'.

"My parents hired a live in baby-sitter." Deserae stated, dumbfounded.

"So what's the big deal? I thought that was the plan all along?" Lilly commented.

"Well, the plan was that they would find a babysitter. Not a live-in, that is staying in Xander's old room, and just happens to be a boy. And his name is Joey, and his mode of transportation happens to be a motorcycle, and he makes waffles for Helena and Lacey."

"Wow, I never knew you parents could be so cool." Lilly said, a little dense to the disposition that Deserae felt she was in.

"Cool? What's so cool about this? There's some Hell's Angel living in my house. Who knows what kind of contagious diseases he could be carrying." Deserae shuddered in disgust at her own statement

"I still don't see what the big deal is. I mean, yea, he's staying in Xander's room. But it had to be put to use again sometime, right?" Lilly said tentatively, at first. "And besides…if he's hot, well, then you are one very lucky girl." She said through a grin, only to be accosted with a famous Deserae glare of death.

"Hello? I have a boyfriend, Lil." Lilly's grunt of disapproval was ignored. "Besides what if he's not hot? Or worse, what if he's hideous? Then I most defiantly would not want to be wakin' up to that every morning." Lilly laughed and threw a pillow at Deserae, initiating a pillow fight. It lasted until Lilly suggested that they sneak out to the beach, to watch the green tide.

"I can't believe we're leaving, tomorrow." Deserae stated rhetorically as she and Lilly sat on the beach, a dry distance away from the advancing tide.

"I can't believe that we have to go to school on Monday." Lilly grumbled resentfully. Lilly was not one to be bound up in a bunch of classes all day.

"I mean," Deserae went on, as usual, ignoring Lilly's off-topic remarks. "It feels like we've only been here for a day, opposed to two months. It's so awesome here, I just don't want to go home and face the inevitable."

"Don't tell me your still stressing over this Hell's Angel crap." Lilly asked incredulously, looking toward her best friend. Lilly was the only one that would not put up with Deserae's daily drama. She always addressed whatever problem Deserae was facing with a very logical standpoint, violently jerking her dreamy friend from her soap-opera fantasies. Deserae released an aggravated noise as she fell back onto the fine white sand.

"I know it's probably no big deal, I mean it will probably make things better. Considering that I won't be making bargains with my parents about the nights I want to stay at a friend's, or my curfew on nights that I have to watch my sisters. But I just don't want this guy waltzing into our house, our family, and taking my brother's room, not to mention his place in my parent's and sister's lives…and I don't know, I guess I just wasn't ready for change."

"Well, if things ever get too weird for you to handle with Hell's Angel living there you know we'll always welcome you at my house." Lilly was looking seriously at Deserae.

"Thanks, Lil." Deserae reached over and pulled Lilly into an awkward hug.

The Minnington's Ford Expedition pulled into Deserae's driveway the next day.

"Thank you so much, Michael and Brooke. I had an awesome time." Deserae said from her back passenger seat, as she gazed wearily at the Harley leaning on it's stand in front of her house.

"Your most welcome, Dez. We hope to see you around again soon." Mr. Minnington commented from the driver's seat.

"Hey," Deserae looked at Lilly. "Call me okay?" Lilly smiled assuringly, and hugged her best friend. "I'll see you around."

"Bye, Lil." Deserae stepped out of the Expedition, grabbed her bags from the trunk and waved off the Minnington's. She turned away from the street, and began to walk up the cement pathway to her front door. Deserae paused in front of the door to gather herself.