“If it’s too hot, you can toss it off,” he said. “Did you have a good day, Jeanne?”
“I did,” she replied. “I mean, it was a little rough, with Deacon and everything, but we managed okay.”
“How was it rough?”
“Well, Deacon was being really nasty all day. That’s why Rob came over,” she said. “They live in the same part of town, and he could have chased Rob if they ran into each other while walking home.”
“He can’t do that every day,” Phillip said. “One day he’s going to have to confront Deacon and get him to back off.”
“That’s not something Rob does,” Jeanne sighed. “He’s… kinda shy.”
“I saw that,” Phillip smiled. “Good night, sweetie. I love you.”
“Love you too, Phillip,” Jeanne said. She reached up and kissed him on the cheek; he returned with one on hers. “Good night.”
In contrast to Jeanne’s room, Gene’s was clearly the territory of a young boy. Posters of hockey players adorned the walls, and a pair of hockey sticks leaned against the corner where the dresser met the wall under the window. On the other wall, next to the door, short bookshelves lined the room, each filled with paperbacks of all shapes and sizes. It was a considerable personal library, and Gene had probably read every book on the shelf at least a dozen times. The bed itself had a simple gold-striped black comforter atop it, and Gene was already in it; a small blue nightlight was on underneath the window. The thin blue blanket Phillip had brought down for him was folded neatly on the floor at the foot of the bed. “It’s way too hot for another blanket,” Gene said, frowning. “Jeanne has, like, ice water for blood.”

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