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Give Me One Good Reason
"What? No, Cody…you can't do this! Not again!" Grace Harris exclaimed over the phone in a quiet yet forceful tone.
"Like I said, something came up. Tell him I'm sorry, I'll make it up to him next time," Cody Rhodes said on the other end.
"No, Cody-" She started to protest but the man had already hung up. She pulled the phone away from her face and glared at it, her nostrils flaring with every angry breath leaving her body. That fucking prick! She turned, looking to the living room and her heart broke. There sat her beautiful little boy Tucker, clutching his Spongebob blanket to his chest, his overnight backpack sitting next to him as his little eyes darted from the front door to the clock. She could fucking kill Cody!
"Hey baby," She said softly as she approached her son, sitting down next to him on the couch.
He looked at her with his baby blue eyes and let out a small sigh, as if he had been expecting this. "He's not coming," He whispered. Her heart squeezed. She hated Cody for this. She hated that this wasn't the first time he'd blown off his son for something better, more exciting. She hated that her son got excited about spending a couple days with his dad, packed his bag and made a list of all the things they could do together. Then he'd sit around for an hour, waiting, knowing his dad had stood him up before but hoping that this time would be different. And most of all, she hated that after he'd been waiting for a long time, the minute that phone rang, he knew who it was. His shoulders would drop and his eyes would fill with water and he just knew that it was his dad on the other end cancelling…again.
She let out a breath at his words and slowly stroked his short brown hair. "Afraid not sweetie. He's very busy but he is very sorry and promises to make it up to you," She said even though she knew he wouldn't.
He nodded, his eyes looking at his shoes. "Ok," Another thing she hated. She hated that her son acted like he understood but how could he ever understand why his father didn't have time for him?
"But, I'm here," She said with a smile, moving her head so it was in his line of sight. The corner of his mouth curved upward. "And what do you say you and I find that old camping tent and have us a campout right here?"
"Inside?" He asked as if he had never heard of such a thing.
"Inside," She confirmed. Seconds later a full-fledged smile spread across his face. Mission Make-Son-Forget-He-Has-A-Shitty-Father: Accomplished.
"Let's do it!" He exclaimed excitedly.
"But first, how about you and I go out and get some ice cream?" She asked just to make him extra happy. Sure she had ice cream in the freezer but kids loved to actually go out and get it.
"Two scoops?" He challenged, holding up two fingers.
"Two scoops and all the toppings your little heart desires," She added.
His smiled widened. "Sweet!" He said before taking off in a run to put on his shoes and coat.
She watched him leave and she leaned back in the couch. God, did she mention she could just kill Cody? For years he played the same game: Have a day or weekend planned to spend time with Tucker, keep him waiting for over an hour, call and say he wasn't coming. She shook her head and ran a hand over her face. It just wasn't fair. Tucker deserved way better.
"Mom! Come on!" Her son yelled from the stairs, obviously ready to go.
"Mmmm, you like that?" A scantily dressed woman asked Cody Rhodes as she rubbed and slithered her body all over his as they danced in the middle of nightclub with different colored lights flashing all over.
He grinned instantly as she turned to face him and began grinding on him like she was a stripper and he was her pole. Hell, she could have been a stripper, he'd only just met her and she certainly had the moves for the job. "Yeah baby, I like that a lot," He said, earning a grin from the woman.
He definitely hadn't seen his night heading in this direction. He had grabbed a bite to eat with his buddies and planned on picking up his son, Tucker, after so they could go home to his place and watch Spongebob or Barney or whatever the hell the kid was into these days. Not exactly an exciting night. But then after dinner, his friends suggested they go out to a club and pick up some girls and it had been an easy decision for Cody. Watch kiddie shows and go to bed early or go out and get laid. Definitely the latter.
When he'd called Grace to tell her he wouldn't make it, he knew from experience he had to keep it short otherwise she would chew his ass out. He could tell she was pissed at him but what else was new? She was always pissed at him. He didn't really see what she was so mad about anyway, he was sure she'd rather Tucker spend time with her than Cody anyway.
"Want to get out of here?" The woman asked in his ear, using her teeth to bite his lobe, immediately breaking his thoughts.
"What's your name again?" He asked as his hands gripped her hips, bringing her up close to him.
"Candy," She answered seductively.
Yep, he thought to himself, definitely a stripped. "Well Candy, let's say you and I head over to your hotel," He answered her earlier question with a smirk that held a promise of all the evil things he was going to do to her before their night together was over.
Grace woke up the next morning with a groan. She opened her eyes and then blinked trying to figure out where the hell she was. Then she remembered Cody cancelling last minute, her coming up with the elaborate idea of setting up a tent in the living room to more than make up for Tucker's disappointment, and then eating way too much ice cream. She crawled out of the tent quietly, thankful she'd left the front flap open just in case Tucker needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, or her, for that matter; those damn zippers always got stuck. She walked into the kitchen and sighed as she made herself a cup of coffee.
She'd been mad last night about Cody bailing on Tuck but now she was just disappointed. And in a way she felt guilty. Sometimes she wished she'd never told Cody she was pregnant at all, it would definitely have saved Tucker all the disappointment. But she knew it would have been wrong to hide a son from Cody, and that was ultimately why she'd told him.
She knew Cody was a professional wrestler and had a relatively glamorous lifestyle with lots of money and women thrown at him constantly. She just wished he'd take some time out of his schedule for his son; his son who thought the world revolved around his father. And no doubt Cody felt the same way about himself. He was so goddamn selfish. Something came up he'd said last night. Like your dick, she thought to herself bitterly. She didn't know who he thought he was fooling; definitely not her. She knew he had gone out with his buddies last night, probably picked up a girl or two. That just made things so much worse. She could never imagine picking a man over her son…ever. Her son always came first, especially if they already had plans.
She took a sip of her coffee, silently wishing that Cody could see how much he was hurting his son. Sure, Cody called while he was on the road, so it wasn't like father and son were strangers, but Josh needed to actually spend time with his dad, it was crucial time he would never be able to get back.
She looked up when she saw her son walk out of the tent, his mouth stretched in a yawn. "Good morning shrimp," She said as she pulled out all the fixings for pancakes. "You sleep good last night?"
He nodded as he sat at the kitchen table. "Last night was really fun mom, thanks,"
She smiled as he grabbed a crayon from the box that was practically permanently placed on the table, and began to draw on a sheet of paper that was next to the crayon box. "Aw, no sweat baby," She mixed up some pancake batter in silence as Tucker focused on the picture he was drawing. She looked over at the fridge that held the last picture her son had drawn last night while waiting for his dad. It was two figures that looked exactly the same but one was much taller, obviously they were meant to be Cody and Tucker. They were holding hands and smiling happily with the sun shining in the background and the grass below their feet blooming tons of flowers. She planned on giving that picture to Cody the night before but now she thought he was unworthy of such a loving gift. "Why don't you go wash up?" She asked as she started frying the first couple pancakes.
Tucker took a couple seconds to finish his drawing before jumping up and running to the bathroom to wash his hands. She set the pancakes on a plate and walked them to the table. She cleared his spot, putting the crayons back and picking up the picture. "That's you and me," Tucker said as he came back. He stood up on his chair so he could see the picture his mom was holding. She reached a hand out to wrap around his waist to keep him safe from falling. "camping inside with ice cream." He explained as he pointed things out in the picture.
"I love it, can I keep it?" She asked as she kissed his cheek.
He nodded excitedly. "I'll hang it up," He said as he walked over to the fridge. He looked up at the picture he'd drawn of himself and his dad hanging up and his smile slipped off his face as he remembered all the fun things he had wanted to do with Cody the night before. Grace frowned as she watched her son struggle with the emotion he was feeling. Moments later Tucker took off the magnet that was holding the picture he'd drawn of him and his dad. He then put the picture he had just drawn on top of last night's creation and used the magnet to secure it.
Grace gulped hard at that. She knew her son was upset, even though he wouldn't show it. But she also knew that the minute Cody started showing him some attention, the young boy would be an excited kid again and all the love he felt for his father would overshadow the fact that the man constantly blew him off. "Come on kiddo, you don't want these to get cold," She said as she steered him back toward the table while she mad more pancakes for herself.
"Hello?" Grace said into the phone over an hour later. After she and Tucker had finished breakfast, she'd cleaned up and taken a shower while he sat down stairs with a coloring book and crayons in front of him and Spongebob on the TV. She had just finished doing her hair and pulling on a pair of navy shorts and a white T-shirt when the phone had rang.
"Hey you," The masculine voice on the other end said and she could practically see his smile.
She let out a sigh as she sat down at the foot of her bed. "Hey Liam," She said in a tired voice.
"Uh-oh, I don't like that tone," He said. "What's wrong?"
"I'm going to have to cancel our date today," She said sadly. She'd been dating Liam for six months now and she really liked him and best of all he and Tuck got along really well. Because Cody was supposed to have Tucker today she had made plans with Liam to spend the whole day at the beach.
Liam let out an understanding breath. "Cody," He guessed.
She nodded even though he couldn't see her. "He no showed again last night," She explained.
"What's his excuse this time?" He asked curiously, knowing the issues she's had with Tucker's father.
"Something came up," She answered. "And as always I have to be the bad guy and tell Tuck his dad's not coming. And then I came up with this random idea of setting up a tent in the living room," She said with a laugh.
"You're a really good mom," Liam said after a moment of silence. "I know Tuck can't really see it now but when he gets older he'll remembered all the things you did for him to make up for that asshole," That asshole obviously being Cody; there was definitely no love lost between her boyfriend and her son's father.
"Oh I know he will, I just wish Cody would put in a bit more effort,"
"Well hey, it would be a shame to ruin this beautiful day. How about Tucker comes with us to the beach today?" He suggested happily.
She put a hand over her heart as a small smile reached her lips. "You really wouldn't mind my son tagging along?"
"If I minded I wouldn't have suggested it," He said honestly.
She let out a contented breath. She couldn't have asked for a better boyfriend. Not only did he and Tucker get along but they enjoyed spending time together. "You're so sweet," She whispered intimately. She remembered when she'd met Liam, she'd taken her car into his car repair shop to get her brakes fixed and he'd asked her out. She gave herself a pat on the back for immediately accepting his invitation.
"And how about you guys pack an extra set of clothes and we'll stay overnight," He suggested.
"Oh, Liam…I don't know," She said. Even though Tucker knew that Liam was her boyfriend, she didn't want to expose him to them spending the night together.
"Separate rooms of course," He added as he realized what his previous statement had sounded like.
She thought it over momentarily. "Ok…yeah, that'd be really great, Tuck will love it,"
"Great," He said smiling. "I'll pick you guys up in an hour or so, that work?"
"See you then," She said before hanging up.
A/N: Hi guys! So I haven't posted anything in months and you would not believe how much I miss it! I wanted to wait to post a story until I completely finished it so I could have more frequent updates but I haven't made any progress at all and I want to post these stories! I hope you enjoy this one, I'm really enjoying writing it. And if you're wondering what happened between Grace and Cody, I explain it all in the next chapter, so no worries. :) Let me know how you like this story, I'd love to hear your feedback. Thanks guys!