Alex attempted to give Marina a reassuring half smile as she began explaining to Mollie what had transpired with Ben. He knew the teenager thought of the Grey kids as extended family, and Marina felt the same way. Since Kelly lost a valiant fight against cervical cancer when the twins were toddlers, Marina had become a surrogate mom to them, just as Jared was a surrogate uncle to her kids.
Marina explained to Mollie everything she knew and answered the girl’s thoughtful questions. Alex nodded reassuringly when it was appropriate.
“You okay, kiddo?” Marina asked.
Alex glanced at the clock. “So, am I taking you to school?”
Mollie looked expectantly at Marina.
“Or you can hang out with Alex for the day,” Marina conceded.
“Yes!” Mollie jumped up. “I’m taking a shower,” she called over her shoulder and disappeared into the bathroom.
Marina glanced around the apartment. “I think you could use an interior decorator,” she commented on the bare walls and ovrstuffed bookshelves.
“Why you want to loan me yours?”
“Maybe,” she grinned. “You know I do miss living here. I love this building.”
“For the rent control?”
“That and the people. Jared, Will, Adam… I’m glad you moved back here, now Mollie will get to experience it.”
Alex raised an eyebrow. “That sounds like you plan on letting Mollie spend time here.”
Marina nodded slowly. “She adores you, there’s no denying that and I know you love her. I heard you two in here this morning and I thought about what was going on with Ben… I love Ben and Riley and Jake like they were my own kids. A family is made up of people who love each other, that’s the only thing that matters.”
“I truly appreciate that,” Alex murmured.
“I am trying to not be angry with you for leaving when Danny died,” she whispered, staring into her coffee mug.
Marina sighed. “You sure you don’t mind keeping her all day?”
He smiled. “The only thing I have going is lunch with Will to discuss some things about the show and Mollie can totally join us. There is nothing I would rather do than spend the day with my beautiful niece.”
“I’m not sure which she was more excited about, skipping school or sending the day with you.”
“I’d like to think it was me.”