Here is the next chapter! :) I hope you like it, I haven't been feeling so great recently so it's the best my sick and tired brain could come up with!
It was the annual 4th July barbecue and firework night, each year a different member of the lab took turns to host it and this year it fell to Danny and Lindsay. The whole team were gathered in their back garden with their children and partners.
A small group consisting of Mac, Christine, Hawkes, Camille, Sid and Adam were sat around a patio table chatting while Danny and Flack sorted out the barbecue. Lindsay and Jo were in the kitchen sorting out drinks and Ellie and Lucy had gone into Lucy's giant play house in the garden where they could be heard giggling. Joshua sat on his own on the small bench near the bottom of the garden, watching as everyone chatted, he wanted to join in with Lucy and Ellie but they had told him it was strictly girls only and when he had told his Dad about it, he'd told him he didn't want to hang around with stinky girls anyway and asked him to help with the barbecue but the red coals looked far to hot and scary so Joshua had declined the offer.
Getting up from the bench Joshua wandered across the garden and went inside the house where his Mum and Jo were putting the drinks on to two trays.
"Everything okay, Josh?" Lindsay asked as she put straws in a couple of drinks.
Joshua nodded "I'm just bored"
"Bored? How can you be bored, we're having a party!" Jo exclaimed. "Why don't you come and help me hand out the drinks?"
"No thank you" Joshua replied solemnly.
"You feeling okay?" Lindsay asked as she reached forward and placed her hand on Joshua's forehead.
Joshua nodded "I'm okay"
"I think I know something that might cheer you up" Lindsay replied as she took Joshua's hand in hers.
"Come, follow me" Lindsay smiled as she led Joshua through the house into the sitting room where a tall curly-haired woman was sat on the couch.
"Auntie Stella!" Joshua exclaimed as he let go of Lindsay's hand and ran over into Stella's arms. "Mum said you couldn't make it?"
"Hey Joshua" Stella smiled as she embraced the six-year-old. "I asked your Mum to keep it a secret"
"Does everyone else know your here? Does Lucy know your here?"
"Not yet" Stella replied "I was going to come out with some cake in a minute and surprise everyone"
"I thought you'd like the surprise a little early though, Josh" Lindsay added.
"I do! It's the best surmise ever!" Joshua grinned.
"Good, well you stay here with Auntie Stella while me and your Auntie Jo hand out some drinks and then together we can surprise everyone, sound good?" Lindsay suggested.
Joshua nodded "I like that plan!"
"See you in a minute then" Lindsay replied before disappearing back into the kitchen.
"So how are you, Josh?" Stella asked.
"I'm good! How long are you here for?"
Stella laughed "I'm staying for just under a week"
"Where are you staying? Here?"
"Yes, I'm staying in your spare room"
"Oh So I'll get to see you every day that you're here! We can do stuff together to can't we? Like go to the zoo!" Joshua told her excitedly.
"And I can show you my school and Lucy's school"
"I'm sure you showed me your school last time I visited"
"Oh" Joshua frowned "But I can show you again, right?"
Stella let out another laugh "Of course you can if you want to"
"I do... I want to show you everything!"
"You know I lived here not so long ago?"
Joshua nodded "But you've also not lived here for long too so you might have forgot what things are like"
"That's very true" Stella smiled "You will have to show me everything again then so I can remember"
"I will, we could go to the statue of lib'ty but Daddy doesn't like that, he said it's always busy and full of lots of people"
"That's okay, I'm sure there are lots of other things we could see"
"Did you know Lucy was once the statue of lib'ty at school in a play?"
"Yes, I remember your Mum sending me a picture of her in her costume"
Joshua giggled "She didn't like it very much, she said it made her arm hurt"
"Have you done any plays at school yet?"
Joshua shook his head "I think we get to do one next year, will you come see it if we do?"
"I'll try but my job is so busy that it's difficult to get time off"
"Your job is like Uncle Mac's, isn't it?"
Stella nodded "Exactly the same"
"Uncle Mac came to see Lucy's play"
"It's easier for Mac to do that because he lives here in New York" Stella explained "If I want time off I have to book a couple of days as I need to fly here from New Orleans and then fly home again"
"Oh" Joshua replied
"But if I can get the time off then I definitely will, okay?" Stella told him honestly. "But you don't even know if you are doing a play or not yet" she smiled as she bopped his nose with her finger.
Joshua giggled before replying "I think we will be"
"Think we will be what?" Lindsay asked as she came back into the room with a tray in her hand that held a red, white and blue decorated cake on.
"Do a play next year at school!" Joshua replied.
"Oh... yes, I think so but I don't think it'll be until March time" Lindsay told him before turning to Stella "Are you ready?"
Stella nodded as she stood up "As I'll ever be, didn't think I'd be nervous about seeing everyone again, it's only been a year but my stomach has little butterflies"
"You'll be okay" Joshua told her reassuringly as he stood up and took her hand. "We can go out together."
And they did, where they were greeted but the shocked and surprised faces of the rest of the group.