TITLE: The Orphan On The Doorstep

SUMMARY: Honey opens the door and meets Ben. His mother has abandoned him in hopes that he would find a good home. Honey and Max agree that if they can't find Ben's mother; than they would adopt him.

RATING: T

CATEGORY: Family/ Friendship/ Hurt/Comfort/ Drama/ Tragedy/ Angst/ Spiritual

CHAPTER ONE

MEETING BEN

Honey opened the flat's door to go down to her hair dressing salon when suddenly she stopped short. "Why hello there. What is your name?" She smiled gently down at the four year old boy who was standing in front of her.

"Ben." The young boy said before busting into tears.

Honey knelt down quickly and gathered the boy into her arms. "There, there nothing to be sad about. You are quiet safe."

"I want my mommy." Ben wept into Honey's shoulder.

"Where is she?" Honey asked looking around and seeing no one in the hall way.

"She's left." Ben hiccupped.

"Left. What do you mean?" Honey was pretty sure what the situation was but she couldn't wrap her mind around it quite yet.

Ben pulled away from the warmth and safety of Honey's shoulder. He pulled a note from his overalls front pocket. "Mommy put this note here for safe keeping. She told me to give it to someone who is nice."

Honey took the note and stood back up. "Want to come in and have something to eat?"

Ben nodded. He held a hand out for Honey to take it.

Honey took the outstretched hand and walked the little boy into the flat and shut the door behind them. "Here we go sweetie." She stopped in front of her chair at the table.

Ben sat down, and watched as Honey sat down in the chair next to his. He didn't want to remind her about something to eat because he knew whatever was in the letter his mommy wrote was important. He watched her face closely as she read the note.

Too whom ever this may Concern:

Please look after my son. His name is Benjamin Israel Samuel Wentworth. I'm no longer able to care for him properly. I don't want him in an orphanage or a work house. I am leaving him in front of your door step hoping that you will be able to take him in to your family; or you know of a family who would love to adopt him.

Honey looked up and saw Ben looking at her very closely. "Well, Ben looks like you will be here for a while." She smiled softly. "I have four children of my own. Hub who is sixteen; Fat who is fourteen; Violet who is six; and Zack who is two."

Ben nodded his head solemnly. "When where my mommy come for me?"

"I don't know sweetie. But you are safe here." Honey said softly.

"Where are your kids?" Ben asked next looking around the empty flat expect for him and the nice lady.

"Hub, Fat and Violet are at school; where my husband is the vice- principal and teacher there. And Zack is over at his grandmother's house for a little visit. He will be back in a few hours. The kids and Max will be home this evening." Honey smiled softly at Ben.

Honey was just finishing up making Ben his lunch when there was a knock on the door.

"Come in." Honey said.

The door opened and Grace walked in with Zack in her arms. "Hone--" She stopped short when she saw Ben staring wide eyed from the table. "And who do we have here?" She smiled kindly at the boys.

"Grace meet Ben. Ben meet my sister in law Grace Bailey and my little son Zack." Honey said with a smile as she picked up the plate with Ben's lunch on it and carried it to Ben's place at the table. "He will be staying with us for a while."

"Oh where are your parents Ben?" Grace asked as she walked farther into the room and shut the door behind her. She switched Zack to her other hip bouncing him up and down.

"My father is dead, and my mommy left. She may never come back." Ben said with tears in his eyes as he looked down at his plate.

Honey bent down and pulled Ben gently to her. "Of course your mommy will come back Ben. It will just be a little time."

Grace didn't know what to say so she just held Zack closer to her and watch Honey comfort the four year old boy.

"Thank you Mrs. Sut -- I mean Honey." Ben sniffed and kissed Honey's cheek before pulling away from her embrace.

"Want to eat still?" Honey said looking sideways at the plate with the cheese and ham sandwich which was lying there.

"Yes ma'am. Thank you ma'am." Ben smiled at Honey before turning his attention onto his lunch.

Honey stood up and laid a gentle hand on top of Ben's blond hair. She ran her hand down it gently before walking over to the counter and picked up the note that she laid there after reading it. She turned to Grace and held out her arms to take Zack from her sister in law while handing the note to Grace. "Read it Grace. It explains everything."

Grace handed Zack to his mother and took the note and read it.

Grace looked up with tears in her eyes. "Oh Honey." She whispered. She looked over at Ben who was eating his lunch with such care. "Poor Ben." She said softly so that Ben wouldn't hear.

"Max will understand my keeping Ben with us. Hopefully his mother will come to her senses soon and come back here looking for her son. I want Ben to be where his mother left him. So when she does come looking he will be here." Honey said hugging Zack closer to her.

(IN THE SMALL PARLOR)

"So Ben do you like Honey?" Grace asked with a smile at the boy who was sitting on her lap.

Ben nodded his head. "Very much so. I like you too Grace."

"You can call me Aunt Grace if you would like to." Grace squeezed Ben's shoulder slightly.

"Thank you G- Aunt Grace." Ben smiled up at Grace and kissed her cheek.

Honey smiled softly from her spot leaning against the door frame. She didn't feel right to interrupt Ben's time with Grace and she didn't see any cause to it. So she just watched Grace talk to the little boy.

The flat's door opened and Max walked in flowed by Violet, Fat and Hub.

Honey turned around and put a finger to her lips and hushed them.

Max walked over to parlor door to hug his wife but stopped short at the site of Grace holding a strange little boy. "Who's that?" He asked softly.

"Join me at the kitchen table and I'll tell you." Honey said turning around.

The kids looked at their mother with confusion on their faces.

"Everyone sit down and try to keep your voice down. I don't want Ben to be frightened."

Everyone took their seats and Honey handed the note to Max to read first.

Max took the note and started to read softly for Violet's benefit.

Max looked up shocked. "Abandon!"

Honey nodded. "Looks like that. I'm hopping Ben's mother will come to her senses soon and come back for Ben."

Max read her eyes correctly. "If that does happen Ben should stay here with us because this is where his mother will come to first."

Honey nodded. "So do you agree?"

Max nodded.

"So do we mom." Hub spoke for his brother and sister. He knew without looking that they agree that this IS the best course of action.

"How old is Ben?" Violet asked.

"He's four." Honey smiled over at her daughter.

"Two years younger than me and two years older than Zack." Violet said doing the math.

"Very good Violet." Fat grinned over at his sister who was sitting to the right of him. He turned back seriously at his mother. "I think it's a good idea to keep Ben with us mom. I always wanted another brother."

"Me too." Hub and Violet said together.

"Thank you, kids." Max said with a smile looking around the table at his step children. He turned back to his wife. "Well now it's time that I meet my new son." He said all ready decaling Benjamin as his son.

"I knew you would feel this way." Honey said standing up and moving over to Max and leaned down and hugged him, and kissed his cheek.

Max kissed her cheek back before letting her go, and watching her stand up. "Zack still taking his nap?"

Honey nodded.

Everyone else got up from the table, and made their way to the parlor to meet the newest member of their family.

END OF THE FIRST CHAPTER