Ten months later Troy Donovan navigated his way down the main street of this tiny town in the middle of no where Oregon. Even as he pulled into a parking spot near the café downtown he wondered if he was doing the right thing. Over the past few months he had been communicating more and more with his son. Mostly through emails and with one or two very short phone calls, today he was making an unannounced visit. Hopefully he would be able to talk to Zane before his very scary new wife intervened. Not that he had actually been invited to the wedding, not that he earned the right to be invited either.
His arm still ached at the thought of Jo Lupo. Or was it Jo Donovan now? His ex-wife was very fond of their daughter-in-law. So Troy knew better then to rock the boat and voice any ill opinion of the woman. Honestly the only things he knew about her was she was Special Forces and she was fiercely loyal. That loyalty was probably something his son needed the most.
Opening the door to Café Diem, Troy took a look an appraising look around. It looked like any other small town diner.
"Welcome!" A beaming man called from behind the counter. "I'm Vincent. You must be new in town. What can I get you?"
"Actually I'm looking for someone." Troy started.
"Well I know everyone in town. Who are you looking for?" Vincent asked excitedly.
Troy swallowed hard no going back now. "I was looking for either Zane Donovan or Jo Lupo."
"Well I haven't seen Zane for lunch yet but Jo Donovan is having lunch with the Sheriff. Right over there." Vincent pointed into the back corner; suddenly his expression had turned more cautious then cordial. "I didn't catch your name."
"Sorry, I'm Dr. Tr..." He started
"Troy? What are you doing here?" An apparently very pregnant Jo was walking towards him. Zane had neglected to mention the pregnancy in his emails. Thankfully her voice held curiosity and not anger.
Troy flashed her a smile trying to hide his flinch. "I came to see Zane and of you of course. So is my son around?"
Jo smiled broadly noticing Vincent's rapped attention focused on them. "Zane's at work. Why don't we go somewhere more private and talk." She motioned towards the door and Troy followed her out.
"Small towns" she explained. "They love gossip and anyone new to town is juicy. Always best to discuss private matters away from prying eyes."
"Congratulations by the way." He waved a hand at her prominent belly. "When are you due?"
"Twins, boys, due in about 5 weeks. Although Allison seems to think the boys will come any day now." Her face lit up as she rubbed her stomach. Only a few yards down the street she turned into the Sheriff's Office.
"I'm actually supposed to be on bed rest since twins tend to come early. However I was getting a little cabin fever so I was joining Sheriff Carter for lunch. Zane is probably going to go ballistic when he finds out." Walking past the front counter Jo pulled out a chair behind one of the desks and sat down. She motioned for him to sit in the chair opposite her. "He's slightly over protective." She smiled warmly at Troy.
This was such a personality change from when she had twisted his arm and threatened him to not hurt Zane or Claudia again. He should definitely give her the benefit of the doubt. Zane, Claudia, Helen and Joshua all loved her. Hell she had been the one to help bridge the gap between him and Zane. The tingle in his arm was the only thing holding him back.
They spent a couple minutes making small talk. Troy asked about her family and her work here. Unsurprisingly most of her work was classified but she told him the basics. Their conversation was interrupted by Zane and a tall man in a tan uniform walked in.
"Dad, what are you doing here?" Zane asked coming to stop just short of where his dad was sitting. Unlike Jo there was annoyance behind his curiosity.
"Sheriff Jack Carter. Welcome to Eureka." The Sheriff smiled brightly and extended his hand.
Troy took it "Dr. Troy Donovan, pleasure to meet you."
Zane had crossed to Jo and was silently talking to her while helping her out of the chair. "Carter can you please take Jo home?" Zane kissed Jo's lips and then leaned in and kissed her belly.
"No problem. Come on Jo. I'm sure you could use a nap." Carter held out a hand to her.
Jo huffed. "I cannot wait until these two are born so you two can coddle them and not me. Oh and we are going back to Café Diem for ice cream first."
"Two scoops?" Carter asked.
"You bet your ass I'm getting two scoops maybe even three." She turned back to Zane and his father. "Troy it was good to see you again. Zane, see you at home later."
Zane nodded as Carter and Jo left the room. He stared at the door for a few seconds after they left. Slowly he turned to his dad. "Why are you here?" This time there was no hint of the annoyance in his voice just frustration.
"I took a job as head of the Archeology department at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I'm taking up teaching giving up the thrill of the hunt." Troy explained.
Zane gave him a small smile. "If that's what makes you happy. I guess it would be nice to have you closer, for the sake of the boys."
"Congratulations by the way."
"I'm sorry I didn't mention the pregnancy. This whole relationship between us is really new." Zane ran a hand through his hair, looking slightly uncomfrotable.
"It's fine son. We are taking baby steps between us and your life is still going full force." Troy really was happy for his son but it reminded him of how much his previous obsessions had cost him. "Boys huh? Do you have names picked out yet?"
Zane laughed "Yeah, one is going to be Carter Joseph after Sheriff Carter and Jo's dad and the other is going to be Henry Douglas after a couple other friends of ours. Jo wanted to honor some of the important people in our lives. When every we have girls I'm sure we'll have one named after Grandma Emma or her mom Rose or even Allison, Grace or Zoë. "
"Jo seems like a great girl."
"She is amazing much better then I deserve for sure. Tough on the exterior but a big softy on the inside." Zane's face lit up when he talked about her.
Troy laughed "a little scary too. My arm still hurts from time to time."
"She can be very scary when she wants." Zane agreed.
Father and son talked for a few hours. More then they had talked in many many years. Around five, Zane's phone rang. It was Jo.
"Hey sweetheart… Yes he's still here… How are you? And the boys are kicking too much are they… No I will be home soon… Call Vincent let him know what you want and I will pick it up. . Love you too." Zane clicked off phone and put it back in the pocket of his suit jacket.
"The boys tend to play soccer with Jo's internal organs and only seem to calm down when I talk to them." Zane explained. "Are you staying in town or heading back tonight?"
"I'm heading home now. I'm glad we had our talk today." Troy stood.
"I'll call you when the boys are born so you can come visit." Zane extended a hand to his father.
Troy felt a tear form in his eye. "I would like that very much. Give Jo my best." The two men headed out to the street.
"I will. Don't be a stranger dad." Zane turned to leave.
"Hey Zane," Troy called out. "I love you son."
Zane smiled. "Thanks dad. I'll call soon. The boys should be here any day."
Stepping off the curb and getting into his car, Troy was happy that Zane hadn't just thrown him out of town. Today was a start. Troy had missed so much of Zane's life and now with the birth of his grandsons he was being given another chance. Another chance to have a family, this time he wasn't going to waste it.
A/N Thank you all for reading another one of my stories, hope you enjoyed this one. Knowing that people enjoy these and reading your reviews make it worth the work that goes into them. Originally I wanted Jo and Zane to have twin girls but then I thought the boys would bring them around full circle to the Fathers and Sons theme.