Jeff had not seen his father talking to Judy. When he approached to introduce Steve, Herbert made no mention of it.
Herbert found Steve rather likeable, a happy young man, nothing like Jeff.
When Jeff and Steve went their way, Herbert had a strange sense that Jeff was using Steve to annoy him. He tried to shake the thought, tried to erase himself from the situation, but the idea lodged as bullet in his gut.
It was that feeling why he hadn’t mentioned his meeting of Steve’s mother.
He would keep this to himself.
He thought of avoiding Judy but he’d liked her. Liked her more than anyone he’d met since his wife had died.
Although he was to spend time with his son, Jeff made it impossible. Hence, while Steve and Jeff had their romance, Herbert and Judy had their own.
Herbert wanted to warn Judy not to let her son and by transmission, Jeff, know that they were friendly. He didn’t have to. She mentioned she wanted to keep their friendship secret, so the boys wouldn’t think they were spying or sharing information.
Her statement was blessed, Herbert could keep his fears private.