Blu saw the flash from behind his eyelids, he opened his eyes to find his amused husband holding his phone poised ready to take another photo. Then he realized his entire body felt like it was on fire and his chest was heavy. He had one arm around Jonathan who must have crept into bed with them in the middle of the night. Kahn was on his other side with his head on the pillow, nose tucked under Blu’s ear slobbering away sleeping. And, the damn cat on his chest glaring at him while she purred like a train.
Lifting his eyebrow he opened his mouth to hear his gravelly morning voice protest. “Blondie, a little help here, yeah?”
Kyle chuckled, “But they’re so cute. Just a few more pictures.” He proceeded to snap enough pictures to fill half a photo album most likely. After completing his photoshoot, Kyle nudged the dog off the bed and shooed the cat away. “Better?” He whispered to keep from waking their sleeping son.
“Thank you. But if you post any of that shit on social media there will be retribution.”
His husband smirked while thumbing at his phone, tongue peeking out his lips to the side adorably as it did when he was concentrating. “There now let's get this munchkin up and wake the boys. I want to do something fun with the kids. There are no plans for today, so let's make the most of a free Saturday.” Blu’s phone dinged from the side table.
“I will make you pay, Blondie.” Blu climbed out of bed gently while Kyle lifted Jonathan to take him back to his bed so he woke up there. “But until then, what did you want to do?”
Kyle scratched his head thinking, “We could take the boys to do some laser tag?”
“Sounds like what we all need.” Blu grinned. “When we finish I wanna hit the post office and mail that damn cat with Bella’s care package.”
“Scarlett loves you,” Kyle chuckled. “Besides, you don’t want Bella kicked out of the dorms.” Smirking at Blu, Kyle added. “Don’t even consider it, I can see the wheels turning in your head. Just because it’s a co-ed dorm doesn’t mean you need to sabotage her first year of college.”
“I would never sabotage her education,” Blu said sounding completely offended.
Kyle placed his hand over Blu’s heart, “Babe, I didn’t say you would sabotage her education. But, I can foresee you doing anything in your power to get her out of the dorm.”
He pulled away from Kyle roughly opening a drawer to get some clean underwear to take to the bathroom then slamming it shut.
“Yeah, well. I found that nice place not too far from the school. She could stay there with two female roommates just as nicely and probably more safely,” he shouted through from the bathroom.
Kyle chuckled to himself, this has been a heated topic since Blu had taken their daughter to college. He was adamant that Bella wasn’t staying in a co-ed dorm, even though the rules state freshmen must accept dorm accommodations for the entirety of the year. After a few phone calls between Blu, Kyle, and a California realtor the men had purchased a four-bedroom townhome near Berkley. It was agreed upon, once Bella had finished her freshman year, they would tell her about the housing accommodations and she could pick her roommates as long as they were female per Blu’s protests.
A knock on the master bedroom door drew Kyle’s attention. He opened the door, and there stood Jonathan holding two different outfits. “What can I do for you buddy? Your dad is in the shower.” He said as he motioned the boy inside the bedroom.
He stepped into the room cautiously, carefully watching Kyle. “I… um… do you think Pop will mind if I wear… what should I wear? I’ve never been to um… the thing,” the kid made a shooting motion with his finger and thumb, “before.”
Kyle sat on the edge of the bed patting the spot next to him for Jonathan to take a seat. “Well, either of the outfits you picked out are great choices. We both want to do something fun as a family, we just want you to enjoy yourself and bond with your brothers.” Kyle started like he was gonna put his hand on the boy's shoulder, but quickly pulled his hand back when Jonathan’s apprehension grew by the expression on his face. “I understand everything about our family is new to you. So, how about you try to relax and we take things at a pace you’re comfortable with?” He saw the boy’s shoulders relax a tiny bit.
“Thank you,” the young boy said quickly removing himself from the room with his clothes. Jonathan was still a little wary and uncomfortable around the family especially Kyle. He wasn’t sure the man wanted him around because he was Blu’s biological son. He knew that the man had been very kind to him and was trying, but Jonathan was still leery that it might be an act. Even if the man had given him no reason to think so.
Cody pulled on his baseball jersey, seeing Jonathan’s reflection in their bedroom mirror. “Everything okay Jonathan?”
The boy froze in place looking wide-eyed at his new older brother. “Um, yeah.” He looked around the room anxiously, anywhere but at Cody, his hands wringing his clothes into a twisted mess.
Turning to face his little brother, Cody motioned for him to sit on his bed so they were both facing one another. “I know everything here is new to you, we all went through the same feelings. Mine was a good bit different though when I became a part of this family I didn’t think that I would live to get as old as I am. Dad and Pop, took care of me when I was sick with a disease called Leukemia.” Cody wiped his hands on his shorts, “There were days I felt like giving up because of the treatments. There were days, where I slept in the bathroom and one of our dads stayed by my side the entire time, even cleaning up my puke.” He cringed and chuckled, “I know gross, but Dad said it was fine.” Cody shrugged his shoulders, “I guess what I’m trying to say is you can trust Dad and Pop. Plus you have four older brothers if you include Brody, and Bella isn’t half bad for being a girl.”
Jonathan laughed silently, his small frame jerked from keeping the sound in. “I’m sorry, I’ll try harder.” He smiled at Cody making an effort or showing he was making an effort. He thought all his older siblings were cool, but he didn’t think they’d want him hanging around because he was a lot younger than them. Plus, they didn’t know him and he couldn’t understand why they would want him hanging around.
“You’re pretty cool Jonathan,” Cody put his fist out for a bump. “Wait until you meet Uncle Kaleb, he makes the best cheesecake. You do like cheesecake, right? I just can’t picture having a brother that doesn’t, I would, however, welcome it so I had one less brother to fight over it with.” He laughed at the squabbles that have happened over who got the last piece of cheesecake.
“Where is he?” Kasey could be heard screaming from the downstairs. “I heard I have a new cousin. Does he cry like the others?” The young boy clomped up the stairs, “Are you in here?” a door banged against the wall, “Oooh gross,” the door slammed shut and Kasey’s head poked around the corner, “Okay this room is safe,” he threw his thumb over his shoulder, “does Uncle Blu know that Levi and Brody are in the laundry room?”
Blu’s headpopped out of his bedroom door like a bloodhound on a hunt, “Oh, for god sakes they better not be!” Heavy footsteps could be heard going down the stairs.
Kasey snickered, “He’s so stupid, he is way to easy.” Turning his attention to the newest addition to the family, “I’m Kasey, wanna learn how to make bunches of money when I’m not around?”
Levi walked past Kasey flicking his ear, pulling Brody behind him who gave the younger kid a tap on the back of the head. “Don’t teach Jonathan how to extort the parentals. Let him find his own form of blackmail. He’ll figure it out on his own.” Levi grouched flopping down on Jonathan’s bed dragging Brody with him.
“Well, what’s your excuse?” Kasey shot back, “You never have money. Do you need a loan? I learned percentages with Poppy, we can work a nice repayment arrangement.” He rubbed his ear and the back of his head the entire snarky retort.
Levi flipped Kasey the middle finger. “You get that one for free ya little con artist?” Kasey just laughed at his cousin. “So,” Levi began, “how are we doing this today? Us against the old men, or are we breaking up into teams pitting pop and dad against each other?” he put his arm around Brody and pulled him into his side then they both relaxed leaning on the headboard.
“Oh, keep them together.” Kasey urged the group, “I can show my newest cousin how to make bank.” He rubbed his hands together.
Davis approached a detective at the scene of a murder-suicide. “I’m Davis Hanson,” flashing his official identification and badge, “Coroner’s office.”
The detective eyed Davis, “It’s not a pretty scene,” the man closed his eyes taking a deep breath, “appears to have been quite a violent death. At least the bastard didn’t kill his son after his wife.”
Davis pulled his stretcher which held a body bag and an official-looking wrap to conceal the remains, glancing at a smaller kid who had a bruised cheek sitting off to the side of the yard, with a female police officer.
“Son, what’s your name?” The female officer asked softly in a motherly tone.
The boy sniffled and wiped his eyes, “Shawn.”
“Do you know what happened today Shawn?” the officer asked as she sat on the lawn beside the child.
“They were fighting,” Shawn said sadly, “he said Momma spent his beer money.”
“How’d you get the bruise on your cheek?” She asked the child as Davis watched the boy.
“He wouldn’t stop punching Momma,” Shawn sobbed, “I tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t.” The boy buried his head in his hands. “Momma said to run, there were two loud bangs.” Guilt was written on his face, “I went back after the bangs, but I couldn’t help her…” his voice tapers into sobs.
Davis watched on in horror, torn between going to the boy and performing his required duties. Luckily for him, he didn’t get to make that decision. The captain from the precinct had arrived and called him to follow into the house. Knowing the man well, Davis knew he was going to start throwing out demands and asking questions he wouldn’t yet be able to answer. As he passed by his friend Lieutenant O’Brien he muttered, “Get that poor boy to the hospital so they can do tests and treat his injuries. He doesn’t need to see any more than he has.” He didn’t want anyone else to hear him but knew he could trust O’Brien, he would trust the man with his kids so he also knew that the man would do his best to honor the request.
“I’ll do my best D,” O’Brien stated, as the crime scene investigators were busy lugging out bags of evidence. The horror of the gruesome scene was on full display to the first responders, blood splatter patterns were all over the place along with brain matter. Davis was thankful they were required to wear disposable overalls and booties.
It took two and a half hours for Davis to finish up and get the Captain off his back. He released the scene back to the detectives and made his way back to his office in the hospital. He stashed all his equipment and documents. Then he went into the pathology room to ensure the bodies matched his records before stowing them in the cooler for future examination. Just as Davis’ fingers touched the zipper of the first body bag he heard the door open.
“Yo, D, you in here?” Lieutenant Murphy O’Brien called out coming further into the room holding his uniform hat in both hands.
“Back here, Murph.” Davis let go of changing course to meet Murphy as he entered the room.
“I just wanted to let you know, the kid…” Murphy clicked his fingers, “Shawn, is still in the emergency department waiting on x-rays to come back. Looks like his asshole father has been beating him a lot.” The man solemnly shook his head, “when they removed the boy’s shirt, the poor kid was covered in bruises.” Davis watched as his hands clutched into fists at his side. “If his dad wasn’t already dead, I would kill the man.”
Davis muttered profanities to himself, he nodded curtly to his friend. “Child services here yet?”
“Not in person,” Murphy shrugged his shoulders, “they are short-staffed tonight. Hicks is over at Mercy-Hope Hospital dealing with another issue.” The man knew how badly staffed the government departments were as of late due to budget shortfalls.
“God damn it, so who’s sitting with the kid?” Davis asked angrily grabbing his phone off the bench dialing Kaleb.
“I was, but Captain Dicks wants me back at the station to file my reports. Sorry, D.” Murphy uttered his apologies, not knowing what else he could say without backlash from his pigheaded supervisor.
He clapped his friend on the shoulder steering them both out of the room. “Hang on babe,” he said into his phone before turning back to the lieutenant.
“It’s not your fault, nor would I ever accuse you of not doing your best, Murph. Your boss is a dick, always has been, always will be. It’s why they don’t call him Captain Ricks; am I right?” he held his hand out to shake the man’s hand a show of respect.
“Okay, if there is anything I can do to help give me a shout,” O’Brien said looking over his shoulder. “I gotta shake a leg before the Dick blows at me again.” He chuckled making a hasty departure.
While Davis made his way to the emergency room he spoke with Kaleb. “Honey, I need you to send James down here to the hospital, or Lily.” He blew out a frustrated breath, he didn’t mean to be short with his husband but sometimes the system clipped his last nerve with the world.
“Got it,” Kaleb said worriedly, “are you okay? You’re not hurt right?” Anxiety evident in his tone.
Davis stepped into the elevator when the doors opened, almost punching the floor number with his fist. “No baby, I’m not hurt. There’s a poor kid down here… look I can’t talk about it right now. Just know I love you, and our babies.” He grimaced at the thought of losing them. “So damn much.” His voice strangled trying to talk around the anger that had created a ball of tension in his throat.
“Kayden get off the kitchen counter, you’re not allowed to play Superman. Sorry… Kassidy quit egging him on.” Kaleb said in a fluster, “I love you too. I’ll… well somebody will be there. Oh for god sake, Kole quit throwing eggs at your sister. I gotta go…” he said as the phone disconnected.
Davis chuckled, more often than not their phone calls got cut short due to saving their kids from themselves or each other. They are very much spirited like Kaleb and as frustrating as that could be somedays he loved every minute of the chaos. The elevator dinged, Davis exited going directly to the nurse's station to find out which bed the young boy was in.
“Hi Di, there was a young boy brought in with a police officer earlier…” he asked the head nurse when entering behind the nurse's station.
“Oh ya,” the nurse offered a smile, “poor kids in bed thirteen.”
“I’m gonna,” he said pointing to the room. She got it if he said the words he was going into the room it didn’t give her plausible deniability.
Di smiled and moved her hand holding her coffee cup up to shield her face as if to say ‘I didn’t see anything,’ she stood up, “would you look at that I need to step in the break room and fill up my cup.”
Shawn opened his eyes when Davis stepped inside the room. “Who’re you? I don’t want no more needles.”
“No, no more needles. I’m Davis Hanson, I work here at the hospital.” He pulled out a deck of cards from his pocket he’d snatched from his drawer on the way out of his office. “I thought I’d keep you company.”
“Why?” Shawn eyed Davis skeptically. “I’m not a baby, I can take care of myself.”
“Who said that? I was bored and needed to fill in some time. I can go?” Davis made as if he was going to leave the room.
“No!” Shawn said practically jumping from the bed, causing himself to grimace. “Don’t leave, I don’t want you toleave.”
Davis turned back around holding out the cards, then taking a seat in a chair next to the bed. He rubbed his eyes and yawned casually. “Okay, what games do you know?”
“War?” Shawn said, “Or… go fish?” He tried to find a comfortable position because his ribs hurt from where his father kicked him while defending his mom.
“War’s good. I like war.” Davis said watching the young kid struggle to shuffle the cards. He was going to offer to help but the kid seemed to want to be independent.
“Momma taught me how to play,” Shawn said in a devoid tone, “he didn’t allow us to have friends over.”
“Oh, well that must not have been much fun.” He said taking in the information. Davis was going to let the kid talk. The more he talked the more information he’d be able to give to the doctors and child services. “Did you know,” he said pointing to the kid’s chest, “I hurt my ribs once. I was being silly, my older brother dared me to jump off the roof into the pool.”
“No way!” Shawn said in disbelief, “You didn’t drown or nothin’?”
Chuckling, Davis answered, “Nope, didn’t drown, but… I belly-flopped into that bad boy and did it ever hurt. I thought I was never going to breathe properly again,” he leaned forward whispering, “hurt my balls pretty badly too.”
Shawn laughed covering his crotch, “I’m glad he didn’t kick me there.”
That comment took the small smile off Davis’ face. “Hmm, he shouldn’t have kicked you at all.” It was said quietly as a passing comment, he was trying so hard not to have the kid think he was dragging information out of him. If he took it slow he may be able to steer the conversation later. “You gonna deal, or flap your gums. I’m not getting any younger over here you know.”
“Ya, you do look pretty old,” Shawn chuckled as he split the deck of cards, declaring war on Davis. As he played his first card he stated, “So are you close to retiring? Old guys like cards.”
“Watch it there, Sonny Jim, I have connections to maybe a needle or two.” He laughed.
“You wouldn’t dare… Would you?” Shawn wasn’t sure what to think, he thought Davis seemed nice, but even when his father acted nice there was always a reason he set the man off on a tirade.
Davis grimaced, mentally kicking himself for the comment. “Nah, of course, I wouldn’t. But I might steal your pudding.”
“That’s okay,” Shawn pushed the little container in Davis’ direction, “I’m not hungry. You can have it.”
A nurse opened the curtain, “Dr. Hanson, your mom, and a Mr. Jessup are out here insisting to see you. Said it’s a family emergency.”
“Oh,” he made a playful horror face at Shawn, “that sounds terrible. Do you think I should find out what they want?”
Shawn shrugged his shoulders, “I always listen to Momma,” he said in a sad tone.
“I’d better see what they want then huh?” he said lifting himself from the chair. “No cheating. I’ll be back in a minute.”
“I’m not a cheater!” Shawn shot back at Davis.
He narrowed his gaze teasingly, “Alright,” he said skeptically, “I believe you.”
“Go, or I’ll talk your Momma into grounding you,” Shawn teased.
Davis gasped in mock outrage. “You wouldn’t?” he eyed the boy quickly. “You would,” he moved to leave the room throwing a glance over his shoulder, “I know you would.”
He went to the doors exiting the emergency room into the waiting room, Lily and James were hovering just outside the doors. “Thanks for coming.” He hugged Lily then shook James’ hand.
“What’s going on, Davis?” James asked in a serious tone, that left little room for half-truths.
“A lot actually,” he said with a mournful sigh.
He told Lily and James as much as he could without giving away too much about the investigation and kept his comments mostly about Shawn. He’d glossed over the details but gave them a very factual and abrupt version of what the kid had witnessed, but didn’t leave out his observations about how the kid seemed to be compartmentalizing the event. The boy seemed to be under the impression his mom might have still been alive in some moments in others it was like he knew the truth.
“I haven’t pushed him for any details, I’ve just been letting him talk when he shares any information. I was wondering James if you and mom would mind sitting with him. Child services are backed up and last I checked it’s still going to be a few hours before anyone gets here.” He was almost out of breath by the time he’d rushed through everything.
“I don’t mind helping son, but what are you planning on doing?” James asked Davis, “You know that I will support Kaleb and your decision, however, your house is pretty chaotic with the triplets.” He just hoped that Davis was keeping his thought process clear from his emotions.
Davis looked at his hand, nodding his head gently. “I know. It’s not ideal for us to take him in. I was thinking I might talk to Blu and Kyle, maybe. I don’t want this boy to be thrown around a broken system after everything he’s been through. If he comes home with me, he will know it’s temporary but also that I’ll make sure he goes to a safe place.” He looked up hopefully, he wanted James’ approval badly because he was already second-guessing himself.
“It’s not my place to tell you,” Lily broke into the conversation with a hushed tone, “I doubt Blu and Kyle will be able to take in another child.” Davis gave her a disappointed look, making her follow up as to the reasons why. “Honey,” she placed her hand on Davis’, “their house is in chaos. Blu found out he has a biological son, and Lincoln found out he is going to become a dad. They wanted to find a time to get the entire family together, but they just haven’t had the time to do so.” Lily squeezed Davis’ hand before letting out a sigh, “Jared and Mason have been talking about adopting. Kasey is pretty much demanding a brother. Maybe, he could fit in there without Shawn being subjected to so many overwhelming things happening?”
He nodded, “Yeah, maybe.”
“I’ll call them Davis, give them a run down and see how they react?” Lily glanced between James and Davis.
James nodded his head, “It makes the most sense Davis. You and Kaleb barely have a moment to relax by yourselves. Kyle and Blu have giant hearts, but I can’t picture how they could deal with two boys and a baby. Jared and Mason want to grow a family, and if Kasey has to go out and buy himself a brother he just might.” He chuckled to himself over Kasey. James squeezed Davis’ shoulder. “Lily, could you see if you can get hold of Liv too, we might be able to move this thing along with her connections. I know she’s on maternity leave but surely she’ll be able to help in some way. Also, and Davis please don’t overreact. I’m calling Teddy, get Derek or someone we trust with the family down here to make sure the only people that get in his room are hospital staff, our family, or child services. I want this kid protected from any of his family until they are vetted properly. God knows what his relatives are like from the sounds of it.”
“Okay, thanks, James. I’m gonna head back and prepare him to meet your giant ass, and the best lady I’ve ever met.” He said with a chuckle but no real mirth to it.
“Hey,” James shouted. “My ass isn’t giant, Teddy, rather likes it.”
Davis snorted, “His ass is giant too. But they are very nice butts if I do say so myself. I’ve been guilty of a glance or two.”
James shook his head, “We will hopefully have some answers, by the time you talk to the kid. Go!” He waved Davis off toward the emergency room again.
When he returned to the curtained-off space young Shawn was staring into space resting his head on the pillow, he looked up at Davis with a cocked eyebrow. “Are you in trouble?”
“No,” he chuckled, “they are coming to meet you though. They don’t believe that I’ve met the coolest kid ever. I have a lot of nephews and one niece and three kids of my own. And they honestly don’t believe that you are so much cooler than they are.”
Shawn puffed up his chest with the praise that Davis gave him, “I can be pretty cool.” With a puzzled look on his face, he stared at Davis, “Three kids? You are old, huh?”
“Watch it, Tiny Tim. I’m not that old. I have triplets if you can believe that. They are turning three soon, and they are devil spawn. I love them to pieces.” He smiled at Shawn.
“That sounds pretty cool. I don’t really… I never had anybody but my Momma and him,” Shawn sighed. “It must be nice having lots of people to care about. The only other family I have besides Momma, and him, is my great-great-aunt Bertie. And she smells funny and uses a walker.”
Kaleb had spoken with Davis and Liv multiple times while trying to corral the triplets. It was decided that they would take temporary custody of Shawn while Jared and Mason received their emergency foster certification. The hope is that they will be able to adopt him after Liv’s co-worker can speak to Great-Great Aunt Bertie. He paced around the house picking up toys that somehow spontaneously keep reappearing throughout their house while awaiting Davis and Shawn to get home. Jared and Mason are planning to stop by in the morning along with Kyle, Blu, and the boys to announce some big news?
Kaleb looked at Kole who was streaking through the living room, “Kole Douglas Hanson, where are your clothes?”
Kole stopped in his tracks shrugged his shoulders, “Dunno, gone. Kassidy take them to wash.”
Kaleb threw his hands up in the air asking the gods where he went wrong as the elevator dinged signifying Davis and Shawn’s arrival. As the doors slid open Kaleb breathed a sigh of relief, “Thank god you guys are home. Kole had a turn to Jesus moment and his clothes went poof… gone… disappeared.”
Davis buried his head in his hands praying for the strength to… stay sane he guessed.
“Welcome to the crazy condo!” he said with fake gusto.
“It sure is big,” Shawn said looking around. “Momma will like it.”
Kaleb’s eyes opened widely darting back and forth between Davis and Shawn. He walked over to the boy kneeling in front of him, “Hi, I’m this big lugs husband, Kaleb.” He flicked his chin in Davis’ direction, not sure how to approach Shawn’s comment.
“I’m Shawn,” the boy said as his walls went back up realizing his slip up.
“Are you guys hungry?” Kaleb looked at the pair, “I have it on pretty good word hospital food is horrible.”
“Dunno,” Shawn kicked the toe of his one shoe against the heel of the other. “Davis, does he know how to cook?”
He looked at his husband proudly kneeling next to the boy, “Yep, he’s a chef. He’s a partner in a catering company and a restaurant.” Davis winked. “Trust me, he’s good.”
“Okay,” Shawn said just above a whisper. “the mystery meat at the hospital was worse than our free lunches at school. Even Davis wouldn’t eat the pudding.” He chuckled thinking back to the greenish-brown vanilla pudding.
“It was banana and lime, with vanilla. Who eats that?” he said incredulously.
“Not me,” Shawn shuddered, “I’d rather go to bed hungry.”
“Okay, nobody goes to bed hungry on my watch,” Kaleb clapped his hands as he stood up, “Two bacon double cheeseburgers and fries coming up. No soda or the devil spawn will be swinging from the chandeliers, plus it’s too close to bedtime.”
The elevator dinged and the first slew of the Waters family arrived. “Kaleb, Davis, anybody home? The troops have arrived to eat you out of house and home.” Kyle chuckled as he turned to Jonathan, “Your Uncle Kaleb loves kids, and he tends to spoil them.” Kayden chased Kassidy past the group throwing legos at the girl.
“Kayden put the blocks down,” Kaleb yelled in pursuit. “Hi guys,” he said rushing past them.
“Just go on through kids, see if you can find somewhere uncluttered to put your butts.” Blu rolled his eyes to Kyle.
“Pop, do the kids always throw stuff at one another?” Jonathan asked mortified.
He shrugged his shoulder, “Mostly when they are trying to torture their dads. Don’t worry, James will be here shortly he’s like the kid wrangler and whisperer all in one. Things will quiet down a bit then.” Blu winced as Kassidy flew by them squealing with clothes in her hand and her brother Cole yelling behind her half-dressed. “This is a madhouse.”
“Wow,” Jonathan said in amazement, “I can’t screw up half as bad as them.” He blushed when he realized he said that out loud.
Cody nudged his shoulder, “Don’t worry about it. We all pick on Uncle Kaleb, even Kassidy didn’t like him for the first year of her life, she just cried anytime he got near her.”
“And Jonathan, trust me, son, you will screw up. But it doesn’t matter, we’ll still love you, but you’ll probably be grounded.” Blu laughed.
“Hmm,” he hummed in acknowledgment, “let’s go see the rest of the circus, they’re squealing and screeching over that direction.” He pointed toward the living room.
Link flopped into a chair sitting quietly watching the triplets play and carry on. “Hey Uncle Davis, do you ever regret having kids?”
He smiled, “Nah, they keep you on your toes. It is amazing watching them learn and grow. I love it. I know it’s easy for me to say because we have James and Kaleb does a lot of the heavy lifting, but it’s still one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. Why?” he asked pretending to just be interested, not letting on he knew about the boys impending fatherhood.
Lincoln glanced up and his other uncle’s and cousin walked into the room, “I made a big mess when I was on tour over the summer.” He sighed, “I’m gonna be a dad, a single parent.” Clearing his throat he steeled his nerves glancing around his family, “the baby's mom doesn’t want anything to do with him or her, she wanted an abortion. I talked her into letting me raise it? I don’t know if it’s a boy or girl honestly, it doesn’t matter as long whatever he or she is as long as it’s healthy.”
His uncle tapped his knee, “Oh Link, I know it feels like a mess now. I promise you won’t regret it. Plus, you may be a single father, but look around you. You’re hardly alone, we’ll all help. All of us.”
“Oh for god sake,” Kaleb chuckled, “one more to the mix won’t make much difference. But you get to chase the kid to put its clothes back on, my legs feel like I run a marathon daily.” Kaleb smiled at his nephew, “I don’t claim to know everything about raising kids, Link, but this family has each other's backs and more love than any child could ever ask to receive.”
Jared glanced around the room, “It seems like this family just keeps growing. Umm… Blu who’s hiding behind you? Or do you have a new growth out of your side?”
He twisted around looking to his side, smiling, “Oh, everybody, I’d like you to meet our son, Jonathan. Jonathan hails from a girl I knew in high school, he likes dogs, his brothers, and long walks on the beach. He is incorruptible – Kasey! – and has a flair for fashion.” Blu glanced as he brought he shy boy out from behind him. “Jonathan, this is the rest of your family. They are all idiots, stick close to me and you’ll be just fine.”
Kasey tsked at Blu, “Uncle Blu, I’m gonna teach Jonathan how to make lotsa money.” He rubbed his fingers together, “but only when I’m not around. I’m saving up for a brother.”
“You,” Blu pointed at Kasey, “are a little con man. Isn’t it enough Uncle Kaleb and I have practically paid for your entire college education. You’re only seven for Christ’s sake. You can’t do me this one little favor and not corrupt your cousin?”
“Naaaah,” Kasey shrugged his shoulders, “Jonathan needs pocket cash, he might need to buy a car or something.” Looking at the quiet boy sitting on the couch Kasey went to sit by him. “Who’re you? I’m Kasey.” He said kicking his feet back and forth against the couch.
“No,” Blu says with a chuckle. “You’ve corrupted enough family members today. Let the boy settle in before he has to acclimate to your brand of crazy.”
“Fuck my life,” Kaleb muttered as he walked briskly through the room, “Kassidy, if you don’t give Kole his clothes back I will give your baby doll to the dog, saint bernards love babies,” he stopped walking, shouting, “Kole, get that baby doll away from the garbage disposal!”
I apologize that you guys have had to wait for the chapter, my new computers hard drive died so working off my laptop.
We will be working on getting more chapters out to you guys asap. With the coronavirus situation, we are going to have a lot of extra time.
I hope each of you are remaining safe across the world.
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