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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Ian's Heart - 23. Chapter 23 - Adam

“I’m nervous, Babe,” I said to Ian.

“It’s going to be fine, I can feel it in my bones.”

Ian took my hand giving it a squeeze before I took a seat next to Mr. Thames. Ian sat directly behind me with the rest of the family. We sat in the courtroom waiting, Mr. Thames had presented all the evidence to the judge. He was an old, tired man, he seemed short behind the bench, silver hair, what was left of it. His facial features remind me of Mr. Burns on ‘The Simpsons,’ grumpy to boot, which is what had me so nervous. The judge had called a recess to review the facts and we’d just been called back in. My leg was anxiously bouncing under the table. I hope the judge can’t see that.

Mr. Thames leaned in and quietly said, “Mr. Price, I don’t think you have anything to worry about, at the very least you will get awarded temporary custody. But I have a feeling we might get lucky with this judge.”

“All rise,” a uniformed courtroom officer announced.

Everyone stood, the judge entered the courtroom holding some files. Once he was seated at the bench, we were told to sit. The judge flicked through his files writing notes for a couple of minutes. I just wanted to yell out and make him hurry up, I didn’t know if I was going to explode or pass out from the anticipation of his ruling.

“Mr. Price,” the judge said. Mr. Thames stood and tapped me on the elbow to follow suit, and answer the judge.

“Yes, your Honor,” I said with a quivering in my voice, the nervousness I feel right now is like nothing I’ve ever felt before.

“I have looked over the evidence presented along with the statements from hospital staff, family, and the maternal Grandparents. I have looked through the security tapes from the hospital as well as the medical records for Mrs. Anna Price. I see all the necessary steps have been taken to locate the mother of young Miss Riley Abigail Price,” the judge looked at me over his glasses.

“Yes, your Honor,” I answered, even though it wasn’t really a question.

“I don’t see any reason to prolong this situation. Typically you would be awarded temporary custody until Mrs. Price can be located or the deadlines lapsed. From what I have read, even if Mrs. Price does return she won’t be fit to be a parent. I do sincerely hope when Mrs. Price is located she can get the care and help she needs.”

The judge paused and flicked through some papers, “You reside in Kentucky, is that correct,” he didn’t let me answer before continuing, “I’m sure you are anxious to get home,” The judge looked down at his paperwork again.

“I don’t need to give you a lecture on parenting, you are already here fighting to keep your daughter, that tells me what I need to know. You have suitable secure employment, a highly decorated officer of the law, and in a permanent, stable relationship. I see behind you, you have more than enough support, including the Maternal Grandparents. Therefore, I am awarding you sole and full custody of Riley Abigail Price. I’m also ordering the dissolution of the marriage between Mr. Adam Spencer Price and Mrs. Anna Price.”

I think the judge said a few other things after that, but I didn’t hear anything, my entire body was numb with excitement, my ears ringing. It’s over, no real drama, we don’t have to wait. I honestly can’t believe it, my marriage is over too. I looked at Mr. Thames to see if it was all real, the man was grinning from ear-to-ear, I couldn’t help myself I threw my body at him and hugged the stuffing out of the man.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I let go of my lawyer turning around to Ian and Pat and hugged them both too. The three of us melted together in a family hug with our eyes full of tears.

“Congratulations, Dad,” Pat mumbled, as he wept, the poor boy had been more worried than Ian, and I put together that Anna would be able to take her away from us. It was understandable for many reasons. I released Ian and took Paddy in my arms.

“You okay, Bud,” I whispered. Pat nodded and buried his head in my shoulder, Ian rubbed Pat’s back and leaned over to give me a quick kiss, all the while grinning, even though his eyes still held tears. Once Pat pulled himself together, we left the courtroom, outside there were hugs all around. I could see both pain and happiness in the eyes of Mr. & Mrs. Wright as they congratulated the three of us. I almost felt horrible for celebrating this as a victory, because for them it is bittersweet. It’s easy for us to be annoyed at Anna and happy for our situation, but for her parents, it must feel like they had lost their daughter.

<>-<>-<>

“Oh, my God, Mom, I think you have killed us,” I said to Mrs. Wright, “I’ve never eaten so much in all my life. That was delicious, thank you.”

Mrs. Wright grinned, “You’re welcome Dear,” she looked around the table, “anyone for some apple crumble and ice cream.”

Mrs. Wright was answered with a bunch of grumbles from the family and how we had all overeaten, quickly followed by “Maybe just a little,” from nearly the entire table. Ian’s Mom chuckled all the way into the kitchen. I quickly gathered some dirty plates and empty dishes following. I rinsed them off, and she loaded the dishwasher.

“Mom, can I talk to you for a minute?” I asked as I closed the kitchen door.

“Of course, is everything okay?” She asked with concern.

“Yes and no,” I answered sheepishly.

“How can I help?”

“I’m not sure how to say this, so I’m just going to go ahead, I’m sorry if it comes off a little cold. It is not my intention, so please take that into consideration,” I looked Mrs. Wright in the eyes because I want her to know that I’m sincere and it’s not meant as a slight.

“Go ahead, I’ll wait until you’re finished,” she’s such a good woman, “why don’t you sit at the breakfast table and I’ll make us coffee, and we can talk while we wait for the apple crumble to heat up.”

“Thanks,” I answered moving to sit at the table.

I ran my fingers over the grain of the wood on the table, trying to gather my thoughts and how I want to say what I’m feeling. It would be horrible if it came out wrong, I would never want to hurt this woman for anything. Mrs. Wright sat opposite me and slid a mug over.

I smiled, “Thank you.”

“Okay, tell me what’s eating at you,” she said blowing the heat away from the top of her coffee before taking a sip.

“I want to you to know, that I know how hard this is for you. I can’t help but be happy that I have Riley with Ian and me, we get to raise her. I assure you that we’ll do the best we can for our daughter. Even though we’ve been celebrating all day, I understand this is hard for you and Mr. Wright. Anna is your daughter, I can see your sadness about losing her, but I can feel your guilt for the happiness you have for Ian and me.” I wiped my hand down over my face, struggling to articulate what I want to convey. “I don’t really know what I’m trying to say.”

“Adam…” Mrs. Wright said sympathetically, reaching and putting her hand over mine.

“I want you to know that I get it, I understand this isn’t exactly a happy thing for you two. You’re Anna’s parents, you’d have expected her to raise Riley. I know you are pleased for Ian and me, but I understand that you are angry about the situation as it is. You and Mr. Wright are the most caring, loving, and kindest people I’ve ever met. After everything Anna has said, or what shenanigans she’s pulled, you are still there for her. I just hope Ian and I will be the same way when it comes to our kids.”

“Thank you,” Mrs. Wright said in almost a whisper.

“Huh?” I said surprised.

“Thank you, it has been hard. You are right, we are over the moon for you and Ian, this is the best thing for Riley. At the same time, I am sad, I feel I have lost my daughter, I’m angry that she’s ill,” she pushed her coffee out of the way and then took my hand in both of hers. “The way you controlled yourself over everything thrown at you since you’ve gotten here has shown us the type of man you are. You always put Riley first, you didn’t throw a tantrum or cause a scene when you couldn’t get in to see Riley, you were always respectful. I know you did that for our benefit. But still, you barely left that glass window so you could be with her and you waited for things to sort themselves out. You’re a good man Adam, I have no doubt about that, and here you are again putting someone else’s feelings above your own. My Ian is a fortunate man to have found you, I have no doubt about that.”

“Thank you, Mom,” I said feeling my neck and face heat up with a blush.

“Why don’t we get the dessert rolled out, Riley, will be awake soon, you should eat something before she wakes,” Mrs. Wright said ignoring my embarrassment.

“What can I do to help?”

<>-<>-<>

I rolled over in bed and put my arm over… nothing, Ian wasn’t in bed with me. The curtains were open in our room, and it let me know that it was still early hours of the morning by the black nothingness outside. I checked for Riley, but she wasn’t there, my stomach lurched as panic overwhelmed me. I quickly put my on PJ bottoms, then flew through the house in a panic. What I found made my heart flutter, and stomach flip-flopped with love, as it always does when it comes to Ian.

There they were, relief washed over me, my gorgeous man sitting in his Dad’s recliner, an empty bottle sitting on the coffee table. Ian had his eyes closed, rubbing our daughter’s back while she lay on a spit cloth over his shoulder. He was smoothly rocking back and forth humming a song softly to her. I hastily tiptoed back to the room so as not to disrupt them, I grabbed my phone and quietly got as close as I could to take a photo. Once the flash went off, Ian opened his eyes, the smile on his face was nothing less than wondering.

“No more photo’s Dad,” Paddy half whispered and spoke at the same time. He rolled over and went back to gently snoring on the couch. It will be interesting to see if Pat remembers this in the morning.

“She’s asleep and ready to lay back down,” Ian said quietly as I approached, he lifted Riley up to me, I carried her back to the room.

After changing her diaper and putting Riley in her bassinet, I stood and watched her sleep, how could I not, I am utterly mesmerized by her. Ian’s arms wrapped around me from behind, I lifted my arm and pulled him beside me, his body melting into mine as we watched our daughter sleep. The soft sleepy expression on her face, content, with a full belly, I suppose.

“Let’s get some sleep, we have to take Pat to the airport in the morning,” Ian said kissing my cheek. We got back into bed and slid into each other’s arms, and that’s how we fell asleep.

<>-<>-<>

“See you soon, baby sister, I can’t wait to show you off,” Pat tickled the side of his sleeping sister’s face.

“Uncle Bill will be there to pick you up at the other end. He’ll take you home to get some clean clothes and your school stuff and take you to Liam and Will’s, okay?”

“You’re so cute, just ignore the helicopter Dads they mean well and they love you,” Pat said in his baby coo voice.

“Pat!” Ian said curtly.

“I heard you Dad, Uncle John is picking me up and I’m staying with the coaches,” Pat smirked as he fussed over his sister.

Ian huffed, “No, that’s not…”

“Ow!” I exclaimed, “What was that for?”

“Stop laughing, don’t encourage him, he’s a brat,” Ian shuffled anxiously, “I don’t like the idea of Pat flying by himself.”

“Paddy, hold your sister for a minute,” I handed the baby carrier over to Paddy and pulled Ian away, “Babe, take a deep breath, calm down.”

Ian breathed in and then out, looking at me with his big soulful eyes.

“Look at our son,” I pointed to Pat, “He’s about five-eleven, hundred and fifty pounds, built like a boxer, he sure as hell can throw a punch from what I’ve seen, and he’s done self-defense training. The flight attendant will come and get him in a minute, they will put him on the plane, then at the other end, a flight attendant will give him directly to Bill. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for something to go wrong does it?”

Ian gazed affectionately at Pat, “No, I suppose not.”

“Bill will make sure he’s safe, and Pat will ring when he lands, then when he’s with his friends. He’ll be fine. So do you think you could lay off him a little? Once he’s gone, you can have any kind of meltdown you like, I will still love you,” I said chuckling.

“Fine, I’ll try,” Ian answered with annoyance.

I kissed his forehead, and we made our way back to Pat, who was now standing with a male flight attendant. I took Riley back from him and gave Pat a quick hug, then Ian squeezed the stuffing out him. The amused flight attendant waited patiently. Once Pat was gone, I put my arm around Ian’s shoulders, holding him to my side while we walked to the car. Driving back to Ian’s parent's place, I glanced over to my surly passenger, his arms crossed, chewing on his lip, forehead creased, and his leg bouncing anxiously. I quietly chuckled, putting my hand on his leg to stop it from moving, it was putting me on edge.

“Babe,” I said to get his attention.

“Huh?” Ian looked at me with his eyebrow cocked.

“He’s going to be fine, I promise. Pat had to go back home, he’s missed too many days of school, and his exams are coming up. We see the doctor tomorrow and if Riley gets’s medical clearance you can go ahead and organize our flights home,” I told him.

“How can you be so calm about this?” Ian asked.

“Because there is nothing to worry about,” Lie! I didn’t want Pat to go either, but what choice did we have.

“If you say so,” Ian remarked.

<>-<>-<>

We were all saying our goodbyes as the shuttle to the airport has arrived. Riley had been given medical clearance by her doctor. Ian folks and my parents said goodbye to each other. My Mom and Dad are coming back to Kentucky for a few weeks to help us get settled with Riley and look for a new place. Ian’s parents had promised they would come out and see us soon.

“Let me know if you hear from Anna if we can help we will,” I whispered into Mrs. Wright’s ear as I hugged her.

Mrs. Wright pulled back with her hands still holding my shoulders, “You’re one of the good ones.”

“Thank you,” I smiled fondly at her, “I’ll take care of your boys, and Riley.”

“I know you will, you’re one of my boys too,” she pinched my cheek like I was a kid. That woman knows how to make me blush.

“All right you bunch of freeloaders, your ride is here, and we can’t afford to keep you anymore,” Mr. Wright chuckled as he opened the front door, helping my Dad with the luggage out to the shuttle. I had Riley in a baby carrier held firmly against my chest. Ian had the baby bag for carry on.

“You ready Babe?” I asked Ian.

“Yep, I love being here with Mom and Dad, but I want to get home and to our future,” he smiled lacing his fingers with mine as we walked out to the shuttle.

The trip home was uneventful, Riley was a little bit fussy but mostly slept the whole way. Bill, John, and Pat met us at baggage claim. The fight was on between Bill and Paddy to see who could cuddle with Riley first. Neither would give an inch, so John took her laughing while the other two fought over her. Both Bill and Paddy grumbled all the way to the cars that they’d been duped. Which I must say was entertaining for the rest of us. Bill and John had both driven since my folks were with us, we wouldn’t all fit in one car and needed Ian’s car for the baby carrier.

Once we were home and the luggage brought up, Mom made everyone coffees, while Pat showed Ian and me what he, Bill, and John had done to Paddy’s room. They’d converted it, so Riley had her bassinet, changing table, and a rocking chair that Will had made for us. Paddy had painted a mural for Riley in beautiful pastel colors, with the alphabet, unicorns, and butterflies, some flowers surrounding a honey pot at the end of a rainbow, which flowed through from the window. Next, to the honeypot, Winnie the Pooh sat covered in honey with bees flying around him.

Pat had moved his bed to the other corner up against the wall, his other furniture strategically placed to give the room as much space as possible. Ian and I looked around the room dumbfounded. Paddy was grinning from ear-to-ear.

“Pat, you can’t have Riley in with you, she’ll keep you up buddy,” I told him, his smile faltered a little.

“It’s only for now, you said we were moving, I can handle it until then,” Pat said.

“I know you can, but you shouldn’t have to. You need your sleep, you’ve got school, homework, what if you want to draw?” I asked him.

“I don’t care, Dad, please let me. I’ve done all of this for her, we can share, for now, then when we move Riley can have her own room.”

“Okay, but you tell us if it gets too much,” I caved, the kid looked so happy to have his sister in the same room with him.

“I will, I promise.”

Paddy was back to grinning from ear-to-ear.

“You guys have done a fantastic job, I can’t believe you pulled this off in such a short amount of time,” Ian marveled.

“It was easy, Uncle John and Uncle Bill helped with all of the furniture, and they’ve put a tall dresser for Riley’s clothes in your room, it wouldn’t fit in here. I drew the picture on the wall and Sasha, Will, and Liam helped me paint it. I’ll do it for her new room when we move too,” Pat explained.

“Sounds good… I can’t believe you guys did all of this,” Ian was turning about taking in every part of the room.

“I’m going to put Riley down then, she’s already sleeping so we might as well put her in bed,” I said and left the room to get Riley from my Mom.

I laid Riley down in her bassinet, she didn’t even stir. Pat gave me a baby monitor and turned the one on in the bedroom then shooed me out of the room. We joined everyone in the living room.

“She’s beautiful Adam, Bill and I are up for babysitting duty anytime you need it,” Bill nodded along enthusiastically.

“Do you think you’ll gentleman would want a baby?” Mom asked curiously.

“Well, if you can all keep a secret. Especially you, Pat, we don’t want Will to find out yet,” John said and looked at Bill.

“I won’t tell, promise,” Paddy answered.

“We are fostering Lee until we can get the adoption sorted,” Bill told everyone, Mom and Dad looked confused.

“Lee is a kid from the LGBT youth shelter here in town. Our boys are involved over there, and they fell in love with Lee, he’s fourteen, timid, comes from a horrible home. We’ve been getting to know him, and he spends a lot of time with our family. So we’ve asked him to be our family,” John was beaming.

“Congratulations!” Ian enthused, “that’s really great, I’m sure Will and Liam are going to be thrilled.”

The rest of us followed suit congratulating the two men, that is good news and great for the kid. It seems like it’s good news all around at the moment. My parents left with Bill and John, they were going to be staying with them. We hadn’t really thought through all the logistics, our place was too small for all of us, nobody would want to sleep on the pull-out from the couch, so it seemed to make the most sense. I gave Dad the keys to my car so they could get around. As we shut the door after seeing off my folks with Bill and John, we sighed in relief, then a gurgling sound came through the baby squawk box. Good timing.

Patty yelled out from the living room, “I got it, I got it, my turn. You old farts can do the middle of the night.”

Ian and I chuckled, “This is our family Babe, you, me, Pat and Riley,” I said sighing with contentment, putting my arm around Ian’s shoulders, he wrapped his arms around my waist as we moved back toward the living room. We sat on the couch and turned on the television, Ian snuggled up against me, Paddy moved quickly from the kitchen to Riley with a bottle in his hands.

Ian snuggled into my side, I stretched my neck and left a kiss on the top of his head, “Love Ya.”

“Love ya back,” Ian said then kissed my cheek, and we went back to watching the television, boring domestic bliss.

I will remember this feeling right now forever, I’ve never felt so loved – ever.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this Chapter and everyone finally getting home.

Thank you, Rick, Rob, Glenn and Cameron for all your help putting this chapter together.

Hope you all have a happy holiday, be safe, and enjoy yourselves.
Copyright © 2017 Bndmetl; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I'm so happy I'm crying a bit. This was the best chapter so far. Now we have Noah and Riley, poor liam won't know which to choose. 

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Finally, good things happening to good people. Wonderful chapter, Ian and Adam weren't the only ones with tears in their eyes

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Glad they are all home.  Paddy is going to be a great big brother.  I hope he gets some sleep at night. LOL  Thanks for another great chapter.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.

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1st of all I want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well as all of the other readers, and the people with Gay Authors. I'm glad that everyone is back home in Kentucky and that Adam's parents are there to help them until they find a home for the family to move into. I agree that Paddy is going to be such a great big brother for Reiley and because of that she'll never have to worry about being bullied or anything else. I truly believe that between Adam, Ian, Paddy, both sets of grandparents as well as numerous aunt's and uncles and assorted other family members Reiley won't want for anything at all. 

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This was the perfect Christmas present, thank you, Joh...it lifted me for a few!! :wub: Hoping that you, Hawkster, and families have a fabulous holiday, be safe and happy!! Can't wait until Liam meets Riley..:yes: I thought John and Bill were looking for a new home..uummm..Adam and Ian can buy their house..:gikkle:..just trying to keep Riley within shouting distance of all her new family! 0:) :heart:

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Love love loved it.  I like the way Ian and Adam balance each other out. When Adam is stressed Ian is calming and the opposite works too when Ian was all upset over Patrick flying Adam calmed him down even though he was freaking out himself.  I hope Paddy doesn’t regret having the baby room with him. 😂 

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I'm in love with this story and all the characters. I enjoy the tie between the two stories and getting to see all the separate family dynamics and how all the characters tie into each other. 

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They baby flew way before I would have thought it was medically advisable; especially since she was premature.  So glad that everything was handled there before returning to Kentucky.  All of these rainbows and sunshine and lollypops has to mean something else is coming....

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