Erin Livesy-Walsh had been in the world for two weeks and during that time Aaron had not let her out of his sight. He was determind to experience the first moments of her life. He had stupidly missed out with Freddie and he wished he hadn't, he regretted it so much. So he made sure he done everything for, feed her, put her to sleep, changed her nappies and bathed her. There wasn't a single thing he wasn't going to do or any time he wasn't going to. He barely allowed Jackson or anyone else to get a look in.
"Godd news." Jackson announced as he entered the Kitchen as Smithy Cottage after receiving an important phone call. "That was Mia just on the phone. She's interested in buying Dale Head off of us."
Aaron scoffed. "Bit of a down grade from Home Farm."
Jackson rolled his eyes. "She wants to rent it out to people." He explained. "As soon as contracts are signed we can go ahead with buying one of those houses we were looking at."
"Finally!" Aaron commented. They'd been living back at Smithy Cottage since the fire for nearly a year now. He was glad to be finally moving out. Smithy Cottage wasn't big enough for four adults and three kids. It had once seemed huge when it was just him and Paddy plodding around.
"Knew you would be happy about that." Jackson grinned. "Where's Erin?"
"Asleep, don't disturb her." Aaron told him. He didn't want Erin's routine to be mucked up.
"Fine." Jackson sighed. "Fancy going down the pub tonight? Could do with a break from parenthood. My mum can look after the kids tonight."
"No, you're alright. Don't feel up to it tonight." Aaron answered.
"You sure? Drinks on me?" Jackson tried to push.
Aaron shook his head. He wanted to stay at home with Erin and Freddie.
A week later Aaron was due to start back at work. But he didn't want to. He had gotten comfortable staying at home all day watching over Freddie and taking care of Erin. The thought of returning to work didn't appeal to him. He had to thought. As it was still the summer holidays for Freddie, Aaron took both of his children over to Hazels to be cared for during his time at the garage.
"Make sure you feed her every four hours." Aaron told Hazel. "And she likes the bunny, it's her favourite."
Hazel laughed. "It may have been some twenty-six years ago when I had a baby but I do still remember a few things."
"Yeah I know Hazel. I just . . ." Aaron mumbled as he handed her a bag full of Erin's things.
"She's in a safe hands, they both are." Hazel told him smiling at Freddie who was routing through his toy box in Hazel's living room.
Aaron sent a smile towards Hazel. He couldn't stop himself from fretting. It pained him to go to work. But cain needed him back. "You behave yourself." Aaron said to Freddie who continued looking for a toy before turning to Erin. She was asleep in her buggy. He leant over and kissed her gently on the forehead.
"Now go!" Hazel said pushing him out her door. "And don't even think about popping over on your break. I want some time with my grandchildren."
His mind hadn't been focused on the work Cain had presented him with. He kept staring off into space wondering if Hazel was doing things properly, if she got Erin off to sleep without any problems or she couldn't get the milk the right temperature. Cain had caught him for the fourth time that morning standing still. Aaron was staring at the car's engine but not actually doing anything. He didn't even look like he was trying to work out what was wrong with the car, he was staring straight through it.
"Aaron!" Cain shouted across the forecourt, snapping Aaron out of his day dream. "I know it's your first day back for a while now but that doesn't mean you can stand around doing nothing. I pay you to work!"
Aaron didn't even seem to be listening, he dropped his tools and began to take his overalls off. What the hell was he doing?
"Aaron!" Cain yelled after him as the young mechanic marched down the forecourt ignoring his uncles calls.
It wasn't long later that Hazel got a knock at her door and Aaron walking straight through. He didn't say a word as he collected Erin's things together and took hold of Freddie's hand. Not even a 'hello' Hazel's way.
"Aaron? Aren't you supposed to be at work? Hazel said as she strolled through from the kitchen, tea towel in hand as she watched Aaron.
"Taken the afternoon off." Aaron told her. "Missed these two." He smiled as he ruffled Freddie's hair.
"I can still look after these two. You should take a break, you look as though you need one. I was going to take them to the park later." Hazel said to him. She didn't want her day cut short with her grandchildren and Aaron really did look as though he could do with a break. She's barely seen Erin since her birth.
"Nah, you're alright." Aaron said before he began to push Erin's buddy towards the door. "Come on Freddie. Say goodbye to Nana Hazel."
"But I wanted to go to the park with Nana Hazel!" Hazel could hear Freddie Whine as the front door closed behind them.
Jackson had gotten a call from his mum just as he was taking a lunch break at work. He'd been working for a large company in Hotton for a couple of days now, along with other builders on a new office. He'd answered his phone as soon as he had gotten inside his van.
"Alright mum." Jackson greeted over the phone.
"Yeah I'm alright. How are you?" Hazel answered.
"I'm good, how's the kids?" Jackson asked, he knew Aaron had taken them over that morning.
"Alright, didn't get five minutes with them though."
"Ah? Why, where are they?" He questioned confused.
"Aaron came round twenty minutes ago." Hazel explained. "He took Freddie and Erin home."
Aaron was supposed to be at work.
". . . he won't let them out of his sight." Hazel continued. "He'll smother them if he's not careful."
Jackson had noticed. Aaron was constantly fussing over Erin. He barely got a look in. Whenever she cried during the night Aaron was out of bed and soothing her before Jackson could realise what the noise was. He couldn't remember the last time he had fed their daughter. Again, Aaron always saw to that. He's witnessed the younger man making a bottle up, heating it, checking it and then pouring it down the drain, too only repeat the whole thing again another five times. He'd wasted no end of milk formulae. It wasn't the first time he had done something like that either. Jackson had brushed it off to Aaron not wanting to make any mistakes. It wasn't as if he had that much experience from Freddie. He just hoped that it wouldn't get worse.
"Alright mum, I'll have a word with him later." Jackson sighed. "I've got to get back to work. I'll make sure to call you later."
"Just make sure you do then." Hazel said before hanging up.
He didn't expect to come home to find the state of the kitchen Aaron had done. It looked like every single one of Erin's baby bottles were lined up on the side. Some were empty, others had made up milk formulae in and the rest were half made. On the work top there was a mixture of powered formulae, spilt milk and puddles of water. The microwave door was open and inside was more bottles and more mess. What had Aaron been up to? The place was a mess, it had been spotless when they had both left for work. He picked up the formulae container on his way through to the lounge to find it empty. He swore it was full this morning when he'd watched Aaron preparing Erin's bottles for Hazel.
Inside the lounge, Freddie was playing on the Xbox while Aaron sat on the sofa feeding their daughter her bottle. His clothes were a mess stained with spilt milk and powder.
"Aaron what on Earth has happened in the Kitchen?" Jackson exclaimed.
"Don't worry I'll sort it." Aaron snapped, not removing his eyes from Erin.
"Now Aaron. You've wasted another full container of Formulae! It's expensive, we can't keep paying out for it." Jackson shot back at him waving the tin in his hand. "How many bottles have you made before that one?"
"I need to put Erin down." Aaron muttered as he tried to get past Jackson.
"I'll do that." Jackson insisted holding his hands out to take her.
"No! I will." Aaron snapped weaving his way past.
It should only take ten minutes to put their daughter to bed so when Aaron didn't return fifteen minutes later, Jackson set to work in clearing away the kitchen. Paddy and Rhona wouldn't want to come back from her mums tomorrow to a messy kitchen. It wasn't fair. Just as he was cleaning the bottles Aaron had made it downstairs. As soon as he saw what Jackson was doing he shoved the older man out of the way.
"I'll do that." Aaron told him harshly as he began to furiously scrub at the plastic.
Jackson didn't argue. He stepped back and let the young mechanic continue with what he was doing. But he had seen enough. Something was wrong, seriously wrong. Aaron just wasn't. . . it was unhealthy. He was scared of anybody going near Erin or her things. What parent made fifteen bottles of milk before settling with the sixteenth one? He was taking it on all by himself, no one could do that. Not even him. As Jackson looked at him now, really looked at him, he saw how bad he really looked. He was exhausted, bags underneath his eyes and he looked anxious, on edge. He was thinner as well, way thinner than he was before Erin. He needed to look after himself. Otherwise he was going to make himself ill.
"I'm just going to make a call." Jackson mumbled as slipped out of the house. It was still light out so Jackson wondered down to the bench outside the phone box and dialled his mother's number.
"Something's wrong mum." Jackson said as soon as she picked up.
A/N – So what do you think? Here it is sequel to Bring me back! Tell me what you think, I'd love to know. Thank you for all the lovely reviews in the previous fanfic, they were fantastic! I hope I can live up to expectations for this one. I have a few ideas on where to go. I never really plan out where I go with fanfics. Whatever I feel like writing or whatever idea I have at the moment I just run with it. It's silly I know, most sensible people plan ahead so they don't get stuck. But hey, worked so far right? :P Anyway! Enjoy!