A tie-in from A Different Road story!

A Happy Man

Nowadays, Horatio Caine was one happy man.

Horatio Caine hadn't ever thought that he would have a family. Before he had met his wife, he and Kyle were a family but he didn't believe that there was a woman out there who would love him, love his son as her own and be able to cope with being the wife of a cop. Then there was his experience with Julia Albery. She had given him a beautiful son, that he would be forever grateful to her, even if by the time he was going to be connected to her forever, biologically at the very least, he wouldn't trust her as far as he could throw her. Meeting his wife, in the surprising way he had, had changed his entire view on life and love. After all the couple had been through—things that were enough to make most women up and leave for the sake of her own sanity, no matter how much she loved him—Aimee were still here. And a year ago this week, they had welcomed another Caine into the family.

Faith Roslind.

Their little girl might have been the spitting image of himself, except for her auburn hair but she had her mom's personality, full of affection, spunk and humor. Having a whole family to come to was something Horatio didn't realize he had missed. But it made almost everything from the day dissolve away. Faith Caine wasn't quite walking on her own yet and sometimes she wasn't confident in standing and walking on her own, even with encouragement but that melted away every day when she heard daddy come home. Even if she fell on the way to get to her daddy, she got up and kept going.

"That's my girl!" He said scooping her up. "Daddy missed you guys so much today."

Today was much longer than usual. Usually getting home "late" at the most, meant 6:00. Right when his family was in the middle of or finishing dinner. That was also a time when Faith required a bath. The baby was learning to the art of feeding herself so she was often in quite a state, with food everywhere, even in her auburn hair. At least most of dinner got where it was supposed to. Even though she insisted that her husband must be tired and need a break, Aimee always lost the opportunity to give either of the kids a bath before bed. Both six-year-old Kyle and his sister enjoyed that quality time with dad after all day. Faith loved her bathes as it was, add daddy and she was the happiest kid on the block. Horatio couldn't see not being such hands-on parent with his kids, that was what forged a bond and created memories.

His best friend and co-worker Eric Delko thought the same way. He and his wife Calleigh Duquesne the crime lab's ballistics expert a.k.a. "bullet girl" were parents to six-month-old twins Adam and Emily. Aimee Caine knew what it was like to be run off her feet raising two children effectively alone most hours, with a husband working the unpredictable hours of the crime lab. But she could imagine that it was ten times harder with two infants verus a one-year-old and a seven year-old. At the very least, Kyle was at school most of the day. Aimee didn't know how Calleigh coped with life with twins. Gratefully both had been born healthy at thirty-seven weeks gestation. The doctor had suggested a c-section simply because of the multiple babies but Calleigh had insisted more that she wanted to try a vaginal delivery first. And she succeeded in giving birth to the two babies—be it almost an hour apart—without medical intervention. The birth took place in the operating room, a standard precaution with a twin delivery but the twins were perfectly healthy weighing over six pounds each. They were discharged with their mom three days after they were born.

For Aimee, leaving her husband was never a thought. Yes, you divorce if you're truly unhappy in your relationship, but the hell she was going to leave Horatio and split up their newly joined family because some people were trying to create a situation just to drive them apart. It wasn't hard for her not to blame Horatio for what they had gone through. Contrary to what some others said to her, Horatio had not bought this on their family. All the man had been trying to do was live his life as a loving husband to his wife and doting father to their children. To her knowledge, that wasn't yet recognized as a crime, misdemeanour or felony—in any state or country. Faith's first birthday was emotional for mommy and daddy. Where time had gone, they didn't know.

"You and H ever think 'bout havin' a third?" Calleigh asked Aimee when Horatio's wife bought Faith over for a playdate. The blonde knew her boss had wanted more children. She figured it was easier to pack up her one-year-old and head to the Delko home than it would be for Calleigh pack up two babies. Plus Faith loved to ride in the car, listen to the radio and babble along.

"We do. Not yet, though. Maybe another eight months we'll go into deeper discussion," Aimee smiled. The two wanted to wait till Faith was closer to being out of diapers before Aimee got pregnant again.

Interrupting the conversation, Faith climbed into Calleigh's lap and placed a wet kiss on her face. Calleigh hugged the girl back. "You're so sweet. I love you, too."

Kyle Caine was a proud big brother. When his mom picked him up from school he liked to show her off to all his friends, their parents, the teachers and whoever else was around. In the past day mom and dad had also noticed that Faith would walk with her big brother holding only one of her hands; everyone else, her parents included, still had to hold her two hands. All her brother had to do on the other hand was reach out his palm and say "c'mon, sissy." The siblings' closeness was sweet to witness. Kyle was even showing his baby sister how he built roads and whole towns in the sandbox. Faith loved to drive her brother's toy trucks and tractors in the sand. Along with the words "mama," "dada" and "yummy" in her vocabulary she also said "Ky"-for her brother Kyle. It was a rainy day in Miami so there would no sandbox for the kids today. It looked like an afternoon with Cars 2 in the dvd player.

Horatio sighed heavily. It was almost seven p.m. and he still wasn't close to getting home to his family. A suspected double-murderer was refusing to confess and the team were scrambling to find enough to arrest and hold him in custody. It looked like his wife would be putting the children to bed solo tonight. It was after nine p.m. when Horatio pulled into the driveway. Thanks to Eric, they had finally found a piece of evidence that would hold their suspect in custody for seventy-two hours, at least, till they were find out more. Aimee was waiting up for Horatio in the living room when he arrived home. He found her curled up on the couch in her pyjamas. reading Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks.

"You keep reading those kind of books, we're gonna have to try some that stuff," He said with a smile as he kissed her.

"Long day, huh?" She asked him. She wasn't going to ask him why, not that he could tell her. And she wasn't going to tell that Faith had asked for "dada" a million times when Aimee was getting her ready for bed, either. She knew that, that would pull at his heartstrings. "Are you hungry?"

All Horatio wanted now was a hot shower—a quick one, and to curl up next to his wife. He shook his head. The two were only in bed a few minutes when Faith woke up, calling for her daddy. Despite his exhaustion, Horatio smiled. His fingers had been crossed he'd get to see his little girl before the morning.

"Hi ya, princess," Aimee heard through the baby monitor.

Horatio picked the baby up from her crib and kissed her.

"Did you miss daddy? He missed you."

He changed Faith's wet diaper and sat down in the rocker with her. Faith leaned into her father and cuddled into his chest, rubbing her eyes. Horatio smiled, Faith was going to go right back to sleep. She just wanted a cuddle with the dad she missed all day first.

"That didn't take long," his wife said sleepily when Horatio crawled back into bed twenty minutes later. Aimee snuggled into his wife's bare chest with her eyes still closed. He replied by kissing the top of her head.

"Nah," he said, "she just wanted to snuggle with me. I think she missed me."

"I can relate to both," Aimee said, wrapping her arms around her husand's body tighter and smiling up at him.

Horatio's reply was only to smile back and kiss her deeply.

He was a happy man for sure.