Burton looks on as Nick is feeding Anne her dinner. Since she had began to walk Anne issn't interested in sitting at the table for more than just a few minutes. So Nick has her on his lap reading her a story about bears; one with a light, one with a stick, and one with a rope, (it was Nick's favourite when he was young), while surreptitiously placing food into her mouth. Watching Nick as a Dad has been a revelation to Burton. Anne has brought out a softer side to Nick, he smiles a lot more. There is even a silly side, Burton reminds himself as Nick uses his fingers to walk across Anne's belly, as the bears climb over the giant bear. Anne is soon in a fit of giggles and Nick scoops her up in his arms and gives her a hug. Anne pulls back and puts her tiny hands on each side of her Dad's face and gives him a kiss. She pulls back again and looks intently into his eyes:
"Again Daddy, again."
"After a kiss like that how can I say no."
Anne grins at him and snuggled down into the crook of his arm. Burton leaves to start on the dishes. This is his favourite time of the week, when Nick and Anne come for Sunday dinner. Lulu use to join them but as Anne got older Nick felt that this time belonged to him as he didn't get opportunities to be alone with his daughter during the week. It was usually past Anne's bed time when he finished work. Burton scowled inwardly at the thought of Nick's work at LSP. It had been 18 months since they had left Fallin & Fallin and Nick had taken the position as director of LSP. Burton had assumed it was a temporary measure but Nick wasn't looking anywhere else and in fact, had turned down some very good offers. Not that Nick had told him, but he had heard about them. Nick had a brilliant mind, which was wasted at LSP. He could be earning so much more anywhere he wanted to go. Nick wouldn't listen to him of course and whenever he brought it up it developed into an argument.
When Burton went back in to the living room Anne was asleep in her stroller and Nick was just closing his phone. Burton could tell it hadn't been good news as Nick blew out his cheeks and ran his hand down the back of his head.
"What is it Son?"
"That was Emily from LSP, she has the flu and will not be in tomorrow. It is decimating the office she is the sixth one to call this weekend. I am going to have to go into the office after dropping off Anne so I can look through the cases and see which ones I can delay and share out the rest between the few of us that are still healthy. It has come at a bad time as I also received word this morning that an 'abused mother and children's' shelter is having to close tomorrow so we have to find places for them as quickly as possible"
Burton saw Nick's distress at his predicament and took a deep breath
"I could come in and help out if you think you could use me" Burton gives a nervous laugh. "I have plenty of time on my hands"
Nick looks up, his surprise written all over his face. Nick is unsure about having his Dad work for him but desperate times call for desperate measures.
"Sure Dad that would be great"