Sins of The Father
Ice Cream Sprinkles and Blanket Forks
"So he'll have to get used to not only me, but a brand new social worker," he says. "That's just great. Let's all traumatize him even more."
"He is very resilient little boy. He'll bounce back."
"A goddamn rubber ball can't bounce back THAT fucking fast, Anastasia. He's only five for fuck sakes."
"There's no other way we can handle it, Christian. What choice does he have?"
"Oh, Anastasia, my son will always have choices and he will always have what he needs."
I frown not having a clue as to what that means, but the way he is looking at me when he says it makes me feel very uneasy.
My cotton mouth creeps back in again when I try to speak. Where is a glass of water when I need it? I go and grab a bottle from the bar and drink it.
I narrow my eyes at him when he smirks at me.
"He'll be fine without me, Christian," I tell him. I can see he doesn't believe me. "His new social worker will take very good care of him."
"This social worker, she'll check out Escala, am I right?"
"You're right. She'll want to do a safety check on your place. Just to make sure Christian will have all the basic necessities."
"Like what? What all will she be looking for?"
"At least one working bathroom and a working kitchen, a safe, clean place for him to sleep, things like that."
"She will be judging me by how my home is kept. Is what you're telling me?"
"Partly, because it has to be a suitable place for a child. But Christian, you have nothing to worry about. My God, have you seen your place? You can have it looking half as nice and Gail could be on vacation for a month and it would still be above grade."
He smiles, relieved that part of things is already taken care of.
"I need to move the playroom," he says it more to himself than to me, but as soon as it out of his mouth he looks for my reaction.
"Move it where?"
"To the apartment I have a few floors down. I think that would be the best solution."
"I wish I could tell you that alternative lifestyles aren't frowned upon in these cases, but same sex marriage are still struggling to adopt."
"Is that what I'm doing, adopting him?"
"No, not at all. He is your son, Christian. Your flesh and blood. It's just that the system can be judgmental in these types of cases, so you need to play it safe."
He raises an eyebrow at my choice with words.
"I mean in the playroom," I clarify. "Moving it and all. Oh, you know what I mean."
"Absolutely. No need in touring through the red room of pain with a woman who has the power to suggest taking your kid away," he says as he texts to someone on his phone. "Done."
"Done? Just like that?"
"Yes, just like that. Nothing is more important than what I am doing for my son right now."
"What about Elena?"
"What about her? She is a friend and a business associate. That has nothing to do with my son."
"Does she still have free rein over Escala?"
"She has never had free rein, Anastasia. She was and she is still announced at every visit."
"So she does still visit?"
"On occasion. Is this the social worker in you talking or the ex-fiancé who still has a problem with who I chose to be friends with?"
"I am only here as your son's social worker and its my opinion as such that he shouldn't be exposed to that woman. How do you know for sure she won't try anything with him?"
"Aw, for fuck sakes, he is a child. You cannot be serious."
"You were a child."
"I was 15 fucking years old and I looked 25. What I did with Elena was consensual. What does it take for you to see that? She is no danger to kids or to anyone."
I nod, letting it go for now. I can see it's a touchy subject for him still. Not that I have a leg to stand on where she is concerned anyway.
"When are you leaving for Seattle," I change the subject. "I need to prepare him for the move."
"I was thinking of staying here for a few more days. Maybe spending some time with him here where he feels safe. I want to give him time to get used to me. I think you can help us both with that. I confess, I have no idea what I'm doing here."
"I think that's a great idea and you are doing very well so far. I can bring him around later if you'd like."
"I would. Can we do it this afternoon. Maybe we can go out for some ice cream."
"Sounds good. He will love that."
"I'll see you then," he says, escorting me to the elevator. "And, Ana, thank you."
"For helping my son. I hate to imagine where he would be right now if you hadn't been the one they called."
"You don't have to thank me for doing my job."
"You taking him in and caring for him the way you have isn't part of your job. Why did you do it? It would have probably been easier for you to just make sure he was in a good foster home, drop my name as a possible relative with Mrs. Kinkaid and be done with it."
"I couldn't do that. He was much too fragile. I couldn't risk him going into foster care."
"Why not? It would have been much easier for you. You wouldn't have to deal with me now."
"I couldn't do that because I knew he was yours. He looked so much like how I imagined you used to look and he was going through the same type of pain. I had to help him."
"You did it for me?"
"It doesn't matter why I did it. Its done."
"He seems close to you. In the lab, he trusted you. He's comfortable with you."
"I just remind him of his mom."
"I think its more to it than that. I think the truly cares for you. I hate that gaining me means he has to he has to lose you."
"Gaining you is more important. And don't forget, your family comes with you. They'll fill voids he doesn't even realize are missing."
"Very true. He will never be short on love from them. "
"Or you, Christian."
"I don't know about that Ana. I don't know if I can love him or anyone the way they need me to, clearly," he says nodding toward me with his head.
"That is a different kind of love and you already have it for him. You've had it since the moment you saw him. You just have to allow yourself to feel it. I have every confidence in you."
"Since you became a daddy," I tell him and he flashes a smile at me. "Anyway, I'll see you later."
"Christian," I call to him when I enter his room. Still in his fort, he lifts the flap of the blanket he's using as a door and pokes his head out. "Can I come in?"
He nods his head yes and I crawl in after him.
"Wow," I say looking around at the space. He's done a lot with it since I left. He's added blankets and pillows for padding and he's using a flashlight to read a book. "You like to read?"
He nods his head and I pick up the book. I want to do cartwheels at him liking to read.
"And you can read this all by yourself," I ask him and he nods again showing me a smile so wide, I can't help but smile back at.
"You seen my daddy," he asks me, his little eyes wide with curiosity.
"I sure did and guess what."
"He wants to take you out for get ice cream later after you've had your dinner," I say with overexcitement. "What do you think about that?"
"Will he be nice to me?"
"Yes, Christian. He will be nice to you. He's your real live daddy and he will never do anything to hurt you."
"Just like Hunt's daddy?"
"Exactly like that."
"And guess what else."
"What," he says excited.
"Your daddy lives in a city called Seattle. Have you ever heard of it before?"
He nods his head.
"Mommy said she used to live there with Daddy. She said daddy was nicest and she wanted to take us back to live there with him but she never did."
"I'm sorry she never got a chance to take you back there. But you know what. Your daddy came all the way here on a plane and he wants to take you back so that you can live with him, just like your mommy wanted you to."
"Can I say goodbye to mommy?"
"Of course, you can," I tell him. "We'll make it a very special goodbye."
"Come on, lets wash up so we can have our dinner. Nora said you helped her make it."
He nods his head.
Nora made cheeseburgers. It's the first time that I've been here and she's made something so simple. I know it's because she wanted to make it easy for Christian to help her.
He wouldn't put the "icky" meat in the pan but he did "decorate" the buns, putting the mayo, ketchup and tomatoes on.
I grew up on burgers and I fancy myself and expert on them, but I do believe, these are the best damn burgers I ever ate and the decoration makes them all the more special.
Christian sits excited and barley keeping himself in check from jumping up and down as Giles drives us to the little ice cream parlor next to Christian's building. I love how every little thing excites him. I wonder if Leila ever took him for ice cream but I don't want to bring her up right now.
He actually holds his dad's hand and allows him to take him over to choose what flavor of ice cream he wants.
I can't help but smile at the interaction between the two. Dad is just as excited as his son while both meticulously look over all the flavors. You'd swear they were in some serious negations at a board meeting.
Little hands point to the flavor he wants while looking up at his dad for permission to have it. With a nod of his head, the ice cream is in his son's hands. I can't help but laugh as they move over to the toppings and both pile everything in site on to their tiny cone.
They walk over to me with ice cream so heavy with toppings, I can't even figure out how they are still sitting in the cones.
"Did you let him put on enough sprinkles there, Dad," I tease Christian as we watch his son happily lick his ice cream cone on the bench next to him.
He shrugs guiltily at me, handing me mine.
I shake my head at the one he's holding.
Its no better than little Christian's, with so many pink, red, and blue sprinkles on it you can barely see the vanilla ice-cream underneath.
"I hope you still like vanilla," he says of my ice cream.
"It's still my favorite," I tell him with a giggle.
"Mine too," he whispers.
He is watching me so intently, I feel self-conscious all of a sudden licking my ice cream.
"It's going to melt," I tell him of his own that he has yet to start eating.
He says nothing more as he starts to lick the part that is melting down the wafer cone.
Little Christian throws away our napkins then plants himself on the bench between me and Ana. He swings his feet a little that are just shy of touching the ground.
"I have a blanket fork," he exclaims when I ask him what he's been doing all day. Neither Ana nor I bother to correct him.
"You do," I say to him and he nods.
"It's at the big place in the room I sleep at. You wanna come see it?"
"That is a great idea," I tell him. "I would love to see where my son is staying right now."
Goddamn right I want to see it. I need to be damn sure that Barrington fucker doesn't have any red rooms of his own.
"Great," Ana says. Knowing her, knowing me, she might be surprised I've shown such restraint by not storming in the minute I got the test results in my hands. "We can all just ride over together."
We make it to the top floor of the hotel and the butler or whoever the hell he is opens the door with a nod. And here I thought Taylor acted like he had something stuck up his ass. This guy needs a fucking enema.
My goal was to only look at the damn place and see my son's blanket fort.
How he got us all inside the damn thing, I can't begin to explain.
What he calls a "blanket fork" is really a damn blanket encampment big enough for at least six people to be in.
Now if anyone would have told me as early as yesterday, I would be in a damn blanket fort, I would have labeled them certifiable.
But, yet her I am, Christian fucking Grey in a fort listening to a children's book being read by my son, quite brilliantly I might add. The world must be spinning backwards right now.
"Do you like
Green eggs and ham
I do not like them,
I do not like
Green eggs and ham.
Would you like them
Here or there?
I would not like them
Here or there.
I would not like them anywhere. Nora said she was gonna make some in the morning," he stops reading to tell us about what I'm guessing is his green eggs and ham breakfast in the morning. And that's all he wrote as he lays down and curls up into a pillow to sleep.
"Did he run out of batteries," I whisper to Ana as I look at him knocked out on a pillow next to her. I've never seen anyone fall asleep so fast.
"That's a good way of putting it," she whispers back. "I think the excitement of the day finally caught up to him."
She takes his shoes off and tosses them in a corner of the fort. Gently she lifts him up to take off his shirt, leaving on the white T-shirt underneath and his boxers.
"He'll be okay in here?"
"He'll be fine. We'll leave the flashlight on for him. And don't worry, it won't run out of batteries like he did," she laughs.
"I'd like to see him again tomorrow."
"Can you stay," she asks. "He'll want you to be here. That whole green eggs and ham thing he just told you means he expects you to be here to have some with him."
"Of course," I quickly tell her.
"I'll go get you some more pillows to sleep on," she says.
"You're not going to stay in here with us?"
"Ummmm, no. Me and sleeping on floors are like un-mixy things. I did it yesterday and my back is still not speaking to me. I'll be sleeping on his bed if he needs me."
"You don't think he'll have a nightmare, do you?"
"No, I don't think so. But if he does, you'll comfort him."
"You have a natural instinct with him, Christian. You'll know what to do if it happens," she says, leaving me alone with him.
I start to have a minor freak out. I've never been alone with him before.
"You're doing fine," I hear Ana reassuring me from outside the fort and I roll my eyes at how she knew.
This was a part 2. of the chapter I updated a few days ago. I had to divide it. Part 3 is coming up soon.
Thank you reading and reviewing.