I'm back with a new story! I just finished the Round and Round series, but I'm really excited about this new story! I hope you enjoy it:)
Disclaimer: I don't own Big Time Rush
"Okay, your diaper is changed, you got your bath, the dishes are clean, and I did the laundry." Christina Harper says, straightening the sleeves on her niece's pink onesie. Mackenzie Elizabeth Diamond was born 10 months ago, on March 15th, 2015. She has her dad's hazel eyes and her mama's everything. Jenna died while giving birth to Mackenzie. Truthfully, Christina, or Chris for short, doesn't even understand what went wrong. One minute, the doctors were getting little Mackenzie cleaned up. The next minute, they're desperately trying to revive her mom. They tried so hard, but Jenna still didn't make it. Chris remembers James coming out of the delivery room and just as everyone thought he was about to announce that both mother and baby were healthy, he collapsed in a fit of tears, sobbing that Jenna had passed away. Since then, he has been raising Mackenzie as a single father.
"Alright, your daddy should be home soon." She says, kissing Kenzie's cheek. Instead of calling her Mackenzie, they just shorten her name to Kenzie.
The little girl puts her first on her mouth, getting it wet with her baby drool. Chris laughs and grabs her tiny hand, shaking it gently. "Why do you keep doing that?"
Minutes pass, and Chris fears that something happened to James. But her worries are alleviated when the door finally opens. James walks into the small apartment, obviously exhausted from working at the supermarket all day. After his band, Big Time Rush, broke up, the guys moved back to Minnesota. They tried to keep in touch, but the phone calls and visits became less frequent until they finally drifted apart. Luckily, Chris moved to Grand Marais with them, so James wouldn't have to be totally alone in raising Mackenzie. The poor guy is only twenty two years old and Chris will be thirty in a few months, so she can give him the support and guidance that he needs. Besides, she didn't really want to stay in the town where she lost her sister.
"How was work?" She asks him, smiling when Kenzie babbles.
"The same." James sighs, taking Mackenzie into his arms. He hugs his baby girl closely, smiling at her.
"Dada." She coos. When James kisses her cheek, she smiles. As her daddy, James knows how to get a smile out of her. That beautiful baby girl is what motivates him to stay strong, even when he just wants to break down. Without his daughter, James doesn't know what he would do. He's not living the lifestyle of the rich and famous like he wanted. He's living in a small town in Minnesota, in a ragged out apartment complex, and working at a supermarket. That's definitely not the kind of life that he wanted. He was going to be a rich and famous pop star, but he's not. After Jenna died, his dream completely fell through. He was too heartbroken and he just couldn't do it anymore.
"Were you good for Auntie Chrissie?" He asks her. "I see you're all dressed for bed."
Kanzie sucks on her thumb and lays her head on James's shoulder, indicating how tired she is.
"Okay, let's put you to bed." He whispers, giving Chris a smile before taking Kenzie to their shared bedroom. Since their apartment only has two bedrooms, Kenzie can't have her own room. James wants to make sure that he's nearby, in case she wakes up in the middle of the night.
"You're a tired little girl, aren't you?" He says as he gently lowers her into the crib, pulling her purple Care Bear blanket over her small body. He touches her head of reddish brown hair, leaning over to kiss her forehead. "Sleep tight, princess."
He walks to his own bed, collapsing onto the soft mattress. He grabs a picture off the bedside table and his eyes fill with tears. Jenna Elizabeth Diamond...His sweet, beautiful Jenna. She never even got to meet her daughter, who is a spitting image of her. Kenzie is growing up without a mom. The thought truly kills James.
He sniffles as he rolls onto his side, facing the wall and holding the picture against his chest. He lets the tears fall and it seems like forever before Chris finally comes in to check on him. He feels her hand on his back, trying to provide some comfort to him. He's pretty sure that nothing could possibly comfort him.
"Hon, you need to get ready for bed." Chris whispers, stroking his hair. "I think you're getting tired."
"I miss her." James whispers.
"I know." Chris says softly, looking at him with sympathy. "I miss her too."
James's body shakes with the sobs that he's trying to hold in. He wishes that Jenna could have stayed, so they could have been a family. James could have been a singer, she could have been a school counselor, and they could have raised their daughter together. James never wanted to be a singe father. He loves his daughter, but he doesn't know if he could raise her without Chris's help.
"Get ready for bed, James." Chris says, putting the picture back in its place. She helps James off the bed and leads him out of the bedroom. They walk through the kitchen and to the bathroom. "I'll get some nightclothes for you."
She kisses his cheek and affectionately rubs his back before leaving him to brush his teeth. About a minute later, she returns with some grey sweatpants and his old hockey jersey. She pulls the toilet seat down, setting the clothes on top, and quietly closes the door.
It only takes James about ten minutes to get ready for bed. Soon enough, he leaves the restroom. Without acknowledging his sister in law, he goes to his room. He checks on his sleeping daughter, then walks to his bed and crawls under the covers, turning the lamp off.
When James wakes up around nine thirty, Chris and Mackenzie are already awake. He smiles as he leans against the archway of the living room, watching Chris play peek a boo with Mackenzie. Every time Chris removes her hands from her face, Kenzie smiles and giggles sweetly.
"Did she have breakfast yet?" James asks her.
"Yes, she did." Chris says, pulling Kenzie onto her lap. She kisses Kenzie's cheek and lets the baby chew on a strand of her hair. She can always take a shower later. Kenzie is at the age where she loves to chew on stuff. Her fist, hair, toys, and anything that she can get her hands on. She's already got a couple of her bottom teeth and she's probably going to get a few more soon. When she started teething, the first thing James did was buy her a teething ring. Those things are suppose to soothe the pain that comes with teething. It seems to have worked for Kenzie.
"Did you sleep good?" James asks sweetly, sitting on the floor next to Chris. He grabs Kenzie and gives her a loving hug, placing kisses all over her face. He chuckles as she gives him an open mouth kiss on his cheek. For a ten month old, she's very affectionate. She loves giving hugs and kisses to people, especially her daddy. James is Kenzie's favorite person in the world. Every day, she always wants to play with her daddy.
"I've gotta start getting ready for work." James says, kissing the top of Kenzie's head.
"Go on." Chris laughs, taking Kenzie from him. James grins and jumps up, walking back to his room. He walks over to his closet and begins looking through his clothes. He's not really the same James Diamond that he use to be. He always had an obsession with his looks and girls. Well, now he just throws on some jeans and a T shirt, and he hasn't been on a single date since he lost Jenna. Dating is the least of his priorities. He's got more important things to think about. He doesn't even feel comfortable with the idea of dating after losing Jenna. She was his first real love and no one could ever replace her.
After looking through the clothes, he decides on a pair of jean, a plain white T shirt, a black and white hoodie, and a grey pull over hat. The ground in Grand Marais is currently covered in snow, so people need to wear something warm when they go out.
After changing into the clothes, brushing his teeth, and running a comb through his hair, he walks to the kitchen and grabs his car keys. Before he leaves, he walks to the living room and says goodbye to Chris and Kenzie, giving his daughter a kiss. He waves bye to them before walking out the door. They live on the second floor, so he has to use the elevator on a regular basis.
He presses the down button and patiently waits for the doors to open. He wishes that they could have found something like the Palm Woods, but this apartment complex was the best thing in Minnesota. It isn't really classy or even clean for that matter. It''s been around for several years and it's starting to get run down. James isn't complaining, though. It wouldn't be fair. He's lucky to even have something as good as this. They got one of the last apartments left, so they pretty much lucked out on this one. He should be grateful.
Their parking space is in the front, so James doesn't have to walk around to the back. He just exits the elevator, walks past a few more apartments and past the front office, and out the front door.
He gets into the Mercedes Benz convertible that his mom gave him. He wouldn't let her pay for anything else, but she insisted on letting him have her old car. She has her own cosmetics company, so she could easily buy herself a new one. Even after moving back to Minnesota. James could've have been pretty well off if he had accepted his mom's help, but he didn't want her handling his problems.
He turns the dial on his radio, turning it to his favorite pop/rock radio station.
As soon as he hears an old Big Time Rush hit, he turns the radio off. He doesn't need to be reminded of those three. He hasn't talked to them at all in the past nine months. For about a month after he lost Jenna, the guys stayed close, but it wasn't too long before they just stopped being friends. Even if they do see each other in public, they don't even acknowledge each other. James is pretty peeved off about that. He was falling apart and his friends didn't even stand by him like they promised. James is especially surprised at Kendall. Kendall Donald Knight was the one that comforted James when he collapsed into tears outside the delivery room. For the first couple of weeks, when Mackenzie started crying in the middle of the night and James was too tired, Kendall would look after her. Even if Carlos and Logan didn't stick around, James thought that Kendall would always be there for him.
But if Kendall and the others guys want to be like that, then so be it! James doesn't even care anymore. He has Mackenzie and Chris, so why does he need the three people that he has known since he was four years old?
When he arrives at the supermarket, he parks in his usual parking space and walks into the store. He walks to the employee locker room, where they keep their personal belongings and their uniform. James grabs the red apron and puts it on.
"James, could you fix the canned foods in aisle three?" His boss, Mr. Harrison, asks him. "They got out of place."
"Sure." James says before walking out of the locker room. He walks to aisle three and looks at the rows of canned goods. He starts taking cans and putting them in their correct places. Jobs like this are very tedious and exhausting. He can't say that he's a big fan of his job, but he needed to do something. He wants a good life for his daughter and he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
"Need help with that?"
He was standing on a ladder, rearranging some cans on the top shelf, when a girly voice speaks. He looks down and sees Samantha, a somewhat skimpy eighteen year old coworker. James doesn't talk to her very much, except when she's trying to throw herself at him. He tells her that he's not interested, but she never seems to get the hint. She's a pretty girl, though. Curly blonde hair, blue eyes, good figure, but her behavior sickens him. Other employees and Mr. Harrison seem to tolerate her, but she's not as innocent as people think. The other day, James saw her making out with some guy in the locker room. James thinks that he was her boyfriend. Well, he's actually her ex boyfriend. Yesterday, she announced that they had broken up. She proceeded to tell James that she is totally available.
"Sure." James says, stepping down from the ladder. Samantha gives him a flirtatious smile and climbs up the ladder, taking some cans and putting them where they belong. James rolls his eyes when he sees that she made sure to wear shorts and a really tight T shirt today. That girl is just trying to seduce James, but it isn't going to work. Even if he were interested in dating someone, Samantha isn't the kind of girl that he would want to bring into his home. He would want to date a girl that would actually be appropriate for Mackenzie to interact with.
"Jay, why did you wear that hoodie? You would look better without it." Samantha says as she steps down.
"It's twenty something degrees outside!" James exclaims.
"I'm just saying. "Samantha says, kissing his cheek before walking away. James is so relieved because Samantha takes annoying to a whole new level.
He wipes his cheek and cringes in disgust. He looks at the long rows of cans, groaning quietly. He still has a lot of work to do.
"Alright, sweetie, let's do the laundry." Chris says as she carries a basket to the laundry room. Being the cool aunt that she is, she lets Kenzie sit in the basket. The little girl loves getting rides in the laundry basket, so she loves going to the laundry room with Chris.
Chris walks into the small laundry room and puts the basket down. She removes Kenzie from the basket and takes some clothes, putting them in the washer. She turns around just as Kenzie stands up and tries to climb back into the basket. She giggles in amusement, picking the little girl up and removing her from the basket once again. Kenzie whimpers when she sees that she can't get back into the basket, but Chris is able to prevent a tantrum by giving Kenzie her favorite teddy bear to play with. Kenzie forgets about the basket and starts chewing on her bear's ear.
"I have to put some more clothes in here." She says, taking more clothes from the basket. "Your daddy needs to start putting his stuff in the basket, instead of leaving everything on the bathroom floor."
Kenzie just ignores her, still chewing on the teddy bear.
Chris shrugs and presses the button on the washing machine. She covers her mouth with her hand as she yawns. While she waits for the clothes to get washed, she picks Kenzie up and fixes some strands of her curly hair, having noticed that they were a little out of place. Jenna had the same problem. She use to have long hair, but she finally got it cut to shoulder length because it would never cooperate. If she had survived, she would have been the one fixing Kenzie's hair, getting her dressed, and playing with her. Chris has tried to be a good motherly figure, though. James always tells her that she's like a mother to Kenzie and that really makes her happy. She adores her niece and if the girl can't have her real mom, Chris is happy to step up.
"It's probably going to take at least an hour for these clothes to get washed." She says, playing with Kenzie's little fingers. "Then forty five minutes to dry. We can't stay in this laundry room for that long, can we?"
"Dada!" Kenzie exclaims.
"Do you wanna visit daddy?" Chris asks sweetly. "Okay!"
She puts the basket against the wall and leaves the room.
"Hey, have you guys seen James Diamond?" Chris asks the supermarket employees.
"Aisle three." One of the guys says. Chris fixes the hood Kenzie's green coat, flattening it. She walks towards aisle three, where she finds James rearranging some food cans. When she realizes that he doesn't see her, she clears her throat loudly. When he sees her, he smiles and walks over to them.
"What are you doing here?" He asks, grabbing Kenzie.
"It takes a long time to wash and dry clothes, so we decided to visit you while we wait." Chris tells him.
"Dada!" Kenzie says, touching James's cheek.
"That's right." James smiles, kissing her cheek.
"Oh my gosh, whose baby is that?" Samantha squeals.
"She's mine." James says awkwardly. He glares at Chris when he sees her grinning in amusement.
"She looks so much like you." Samantha says sweetly. "Where's her mommy?"
Chris's eyes widen at Samantha's question. Everyone knows not to bring Jenna up. Chris is the only person that can get away with that. Most people are afraid of upsetting James. He hasn't really moved on yet, so Chris hates when people talk about Jenna like it's no problem. They don't understand what James has gone through. They haven't spent the past ten months living with him and helping him care for his daughter. On the rare occasion that he actually cries, Chris is the one that holds him and comforts until he just can't cry anymore. But most people are aware of what happened. Even though they didn't get to see the worst of it, they have enough respect and compassion to not bring up James's situation. That's why Chris is baffled by Samantha's question. Was she not aware of what happened to James? If she did know, she wouldn't have asked such a question.
"Don't you have work to do?" She asks sharply.
"Gosh, what got your panties in a bunch? I was just asking a question." Samantha says before walking past them.
"Why don't you get back to work?" Chris says softly, taking Kenzie back into her arms.
"Yeah." James whispers as he turns to the shelves.
"Do you want us to leave?" Chris asks gently.
"Yeah." James says quietly. "I'll be home later."
"Okay, we'll see you later." Chris says, rubbing his shoulder before leaving. She holds Kenzie in her right arm while running her left hand through her brown hair. She sighs sadly as she walks through the automatic double doors. She flags down a cab, since James took their only car to work.
At four thirty, James finally gets to leave work for the day. He spent a lot of time rearranging cans of food, then the rest of his time was spent being a cashier at one of the check out aisles. Now he's tired and he just wants to go home. He always looks forward to getting out of work because he still gets enough time to spend with Kenzie and Chris. He loves his family. They are the ones that will always stand by him, even when things get a little hard. James doesn't know why his friends gave up on him, but they did. The reason doesn't matter. They weren't there for him and that's all he needs to know.
As he pulls into his parking space, he sees some kids having a snowball fight in front of the building. Even as James walks to the door, the kids don't stop and he ends up getting pelted with snowballs. He rushes into the building and lets the door close on its own. Once he is inside the elevator, he leans against the wall and closes his eyes. He would fall asleep, but the elevator beeps before he can. He steps into the hallway and turns left, walking to his apartment. He turns the doorknob and pushes the door open. He can see that Chris has cleaned up a little more, much to his relief.
"Chris, I'm home!" He calls out.
"I'm in your room!" Chris responds.
Chris is sitting on the floor with Kenzie, playing with her toy blocks. She stacks one on top of another, then Kenzie tries to imitate her. Whenever the blocks fall down, Kenzie bursts into a fit of giggles. That's one thing that James loves about his daughter. She is a very happy baby. She isn't too clingy or too whiny. She's friendly, sweet, and happy. She got those traits from her mother.
"Why don't you sit down and play with us?" Chris suggests. James sits next to her and smiles happily as he tickles Kenzie's stomach. She's a little chubby, but not too much. It's okay, though. She gives awesome hugs, so James doesn't mind that she's kinda chubby. It's actually really cute.
"Look at this, Kenzie." He says, stacking two blocks. He stacks another one on top of those two, then knocks them over. Kenzie squeals with laughter, clapping her hands and smiling cutely. She grabs one and actually tries to put it in her mouth, but James quickly grabs it. "You're not suppose to do that, baby."
"Hey, what's up with that Samantha girl?" Chris asks him.
"I don't even know." James shrugs. "She just has this really weird crush on me. But I don't think she actually likes me. She just likes how I look."
"A few years ago, you wouldn't have had a problem with that." Chris teases, ruffling his hair. James smiles sheepishly and rolls his eyes, giving her a playful shove.
"People change." He reminds her.
"On the bright side, you're a lot smarter now."
"Oh, that was rude." James laughs.
"Jay, you were a walking idiot." Chris says, touching his shoulder. "No offense."
"How can I not be offended when my sister in law just called me stupid?"
"Honey, I didn't call you stupid." Chris says gently. "I'm saying that you use to be stupid."
James chuckles, burying his face in her shoulder. He and Chris are almost like real siblings. They love each other so much, but they drive each other crazy sometimes. Chris loves to tease James about his former obsessions and James makes fun of her tendency to be too motherly. She's like Mrs. Knight. If someone gets sick, she mothers them to the point of near insanity. Whenever James got the flu, she made him stay in bed and wouldn't let him get up unless he needed to use the restroom. She wouldn't even let him get up to feed Kenzie! If he was hungry, she brought the food to him.
"You're a jerk." He says, his voice muffled by Chris's shirt.
"But you gotta love me, right?" Chris asks, resting her head on top of his.
"Of course." James sighs.
"Dada!" Kenzie babbles, holding a block out to James.
"Thanks, sweetie." James says, kissing her cheek.