"Trrr—aaaaay—voooooor!" The two-year-old giggled, sprawled across his lap. Her sandy blonde hair was tied back in pigtails and she looked up to the older man with big, blue eyes and the goofiest—the most beautiful smile he'd ever seen. One of innocence and trust. And above all, love. Tracey Townley was, perhaps, the only child(person) to gaze upon him without an inch of fear. That itself spoke in volumes. He never gave much thought into having kids of his own, but, hey, why the fuck not? If Michael, of all people, finds himself capable of raising a litter of pups, why can't Trevor?
"That's 'Uncle T' to you, babydoll," he said gruffly, but the smirk in his voice was clearly present. He reached a hand out to ruffle her hair and she laughed loudly, playfully swatting his hand away.
"Uncle T," she said, punctuating each word to assure him that she understood. "Uncle…T." The toddler stuck out her tongue and the thief was quick to return the gesture.
"Hey! Don'tcha know it ain't polite to go waggin' your tongue around at people, kid? What the hell have your parents been teaching you? You keep that mouth shut, you hear me? Especially to boys. At least for another sixteen years or so. After that, have fun." He snorted, a sly grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. "But you have to be careful, Trace," he said, his tone taking a very serious turn. His eyes softened with a look of genuine concern. That's the trouble with children, isn't it? No matter where they are or who they're with or even how old they are, a part of you will always worry.
Tracey was completely oblivious to what he meant, of course, but still listened. If possible, her smile grew wider and she threw her tiny arms around his torso, burying her small face into his broad chest. Several stray giggles escaped the girl.
"Silly," she said.
Trevor went utterly still, peering downwards with the slightest of hesitancy. Slowly but surely, he cradled the child within his embrace, holding her close to his heart. He closed his eyes and, for the first time in days, felt himself relax. Trevor exhaled deeply. "You got that right, sweets. Uncle T is a very silly man." Even he had to agree.
But Uncle T loves you, babydoll, he thought. It was true. Fuck, he was growing as soft as Michael, but goddamn it — he loves this little girl.
Uncle T will always be there.
That was a promise.
Uncle T will always protect you.
And if ANYBODY fucks with you, babydoll…
Mentally, he chuckled.
Uncle T will handle it.