Two years have passed since the happiest day of my life. I had written a couple more Delta Nine books and was a huge success. Dad had started up a huge and very successful security firm. He hired out body guards for his high paying clients. He even surprised me when he hired a new head of security for my family. He was “boss,” but we had someone else in charge of our personal security.
Casey and Rose moved to Brooklyn when dad offered the job. Casey was at the house every day. He worked along side of dad inside the security office. I couldn’t believe that he took the job. Casey loved being a cop, and thought he had his dream job. That was until he came working for dad. He loved his new job more than being a cop.
As for my family and I, we were living a happy life in Brooklyn Heights. Riddle was a huge star and after her gig on Web of Lies was up, she went from TV to movies. Right now though she was taking a break from acting. She was five months pregnant and just content on making special appearances here and there, but happy to be a stay at home mom while she waited to give birth to our son.
Yes, we discovered we were going to have a boy. When she told me that she was pregnant for the second time, I was thrilled. I couldn’t be more happy than to hear that I was going to be a father for the second time.
Cait, being almost three, didn’t quite grasp the idea that she was going to be a “big sister.” She noticed her mommy’s tummy was growing, but she just couldn’t figure out why. We tried telling her that her baby brother was growing in there. She’d replied, “And he gonna stay in dere. No comin’ out!”
“But don’t you want to see your baby brother?” I asked her.
“No. I baby. He stay in!”
“You are my baby, yes. But he needs to come out someday. How bout this, we’ll keep him in there until you’re happy with it. How does that sound?”
She thought about it and agreed. Cait was just too adorable. She had no idea she had about four months until it was coming no matter if she liked it or not.
I loved being with my Caitlin. She was like my little drug, and I hated having to leave the house to work. I currently worked for a newspaper. After moving here I refused to work for any type of entertainment magazine. I wanted to keep a more low profile to protect my family. So, I applied for a job at the city’s main newspaper company with the promise of using a pen name and that they would hire a model to take a picture to use. I had my own column about the government and international politics. Dad was an inspiration, and I often used his rants in my column about international treaties and the new laws. It was great.
However, recently, dad had been really quiet and secluding himself. Ma often came around asking if I’d seen him. Same with Casey. We were all worried that he was getting to the age that maybe his mind was teetering off a bit. He wasn’t that old, not even sixty! But his recent ramblings around the house and his disappearances worried all of us.
I got really worried when Charlie came home from scouts one day. He looked pissed in his uniform. “Where the hell is he?” Charlie yelled at me.
“Parker! Where is that asshole!”
“Language, Charlie.” I chastise. Charlie hardly swore, though and I was quite surprise that he called dad an asshole. He really loved my dad, or at least I thought he did. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. Why don’t you ask Case?”
“Cause I saw you first. Duh.”
“Why are you looking for him anyway?”
“He missed my scouts meeting! He’s the Assistant Scout Leader, he’s not supposed to miss any meetings!”
Not good. Dad never missed a meeting with Charlie during the summer. I knew something was up now, and I really hope it wasn’t his health or his mentality. I hoped that whatever was up with him, could be fixed. “Alright, I’ll go find him. Don’t worry, kid. I promise he won’t miss anymore.”
“Good, otherwise I may have to do something.” Charlie cracked is knuckles. “That’s a warning Isa.”
“Good to know,” I kept in my laugh, but it left me as I headed towards the security room. My brother always tried to act like the tough kid on the block. I walked in to find Casey busy talking to another of our hired men. “Hey, Case, you seen dad?”
“Went out.” He said over his shoulder, not even looking over to me. “Said he’d be back by shift change.”
“Thanks.” I grabbed my phone and dialed dad’s number. It went straight to voice. Go figure. “Dad, pick up. You forgot Charlie’s scouts meeting. He’s pissed. Call me back, or better yet, come home. Thanks.”
The next day was my day off and I was having fun with Cait. I was dancing with her to music. She loved standing on my toes and dancing to the Disney songs on Pandora. Dad walked in, and looked a bit nervous. “Kal, could I talk to you?”
“Hi gwampa!” Cait exclaimed and waved.
“Hey sweetie,” dad waved back and looked at me, “Please.”
“Yeah, no problem. Caitlin, sweetie, why don’t you go play with your toys while I talk with grandpa.” She nodded and ran off. Both dad and I laughed at her little feet running to her toys. “Okay, pops, what’s up?”
“I need a favor.”
“Ooookay?” I asked wearily. I really hoped he didn’t need money or some legal help. I really hoped he didn’t screw up or something. And, I really hoped he didn’t need me for a kidney or part of a liver.
“Uh, can I, uh, get a dog?”
“A dog?” I asked incredulous. My dad wanted a dog? I wasn’t a huge animal person, and I didn’t even think dad was. Could this be why he was acting so odd lately?
“Why would you want a dog?”
“Yeah, there’s this dog I found at the shelter named Brewster. He’s a great dog, loads of fun to play with.”
“You went to a shelter?” I asked.
“Yeah, about a month ago. I was looking into getting a guard dog for a client. Then I found Brewster. I took to him immediately and have been spending every spare moment I can to be with him.” I nodded when he paused for him to go on. “The thing is, either I need to adopt him or they’re gonna put him down tomorrow.”
The pain on dad’s face was unbearable. He really cared for this dog. However, I had a three year old and another on the way, how would the dog react around them? Riddle would have a field day if the dog even tried to get close to Cait. “I don’t know, dad. We have Cait and the baby to think about.”
“He’ll love them. I promise,” dad instantly defended the dog.
“Let me talk to Riddle, and see.You’re also gonna have to ask ma. She may not want a dog. You ever think of that?”
Parker’s lip twitched as he held in what I think was a sob of some sort. His face looked painfully sadden. I’ve never seen dad looked pained about this. He looked back towards the kitchen, knowing ma was in there cleaning. “She said no.”
“Then why are you asking me?” I sighed. Really, if ma was saying no, then why would he come to me?
“Your a client.” His grin had me. “If I got a dog for work purposes, then she couldn’t say no. If he was to be a guard dog for one of my clients, then there would be no need in getting her permission.”
My dad, the manipulative bastard. Of course now I see why he came to me. If I got the dog, then he could be here with dad. “I’d still have to talk to Riddle.”
“Please,” he begged. “Kaliq, just come with me and see him for yourself. I swear, he’ll be a good boy, and the best damn guard dog. Just give him a chance. Me a chance.”
I rubbed my neck and thought about it. Dad was really begging me for this. I’ve never seen him like this. It was as if I held all his chips in my hands. Was I really ready to do this and pray that Riddle would be understandable? She’d kill me if the dog wasn’t something she wanted, and in her state I could see a whole lot of nights downstairs on the couch. Was it worth it though? One look in dad’s eye said yes, screamed yes. I sighed and finally agreed. “Okay, fine. Lets go down and take a look at him. But I’m not promising anything, okay.”
Dad jumped up and down like a kid. I had to chuckle at the sight. I’ve never seen him excited or happy. He thanked me profusely and told me I wouldn’t ever regret my decision. I honestly don’t think he heard my hesitation. He was just thrilled that I said yes.
We headed down to the shelter, and dad was instantly greeted at the door. “Mr. Rain, did you forget something? We just saw you here about an hour ago.”
“No, everything’s fine, Emily. I came to adopt Brewster.” He boasted. He really was excited.
“Well, that’s good to hear that you finally made that decision. Is this your son?”
“Yup, he finally caved to me having a dog,” he chuckled, “And to think it’s normally the kids begging the parent for a dog.”
After the little laugh the two shared, she walked us down the rows of dog kennels until she found Brewster’s. She handed dad the leash, “You know he only comes to you.”
Dad took the leash and called for Brewster, he immediately jumped into my dad’s arms and licked his face. “Down boy,” dad ordered through a giggle. It was then I noticed how fucking huge this dog was. It wasn’t a dog, but more like a freaking horse!
“Holy fuck you didn’t tell me you’d be getting a horse!” I blurted out. No way would Riddle allow this. “Dad. Dad, you can’t be serious? This is a horse!”
Dad snapped his head to me, “He’s not a horse, he’s a Great Dane, and a great one at that. Aren’t you buddy, yes you are.” I lost dad as he talked puppy to the horse.
“Dad, there’s no way Riddle will allow a dog of that size around Cait and the baby.”
“He’ll be fine. Won’t you boy, yes you will. You’ll be perfect, huh?” I rolled my eyes at dad’s puppy talk. The dog was soaking in every word he said, licking his face and panting. He knew he had dad wrapped around his giant paws.
I took a step forward to try and talk to dad, and that’s when the dog went nuts. He barked like crazy and took a defensive stand between dad and me. I backed up out of fear. This dog was pissed. “You can’t sneak up on him, Kaliq.” dad explained, “He’s very skittish and protective.”
I tried taking another step to talk to dad, and tell him it wasn’t a good idea. The dog barked and growled some more. “Easy boy, he’s not going to hurt you,” dad said in a soothing voice. The dog stopped barking but he didn’t take his eyes off of me. He hated me. It was then, staring at the dog’s eye I noticed the scratches.
“What happen to him?” I asked with some concern. This dog was probably dangerous and had been in dog fights. This dog really needed to be put down if that was the case. Why would dad want a creature like this?
“His last owner beat him and tortured him,” dad grounded out. “He can barely see through his eye, his leg is all fucked up and he lost most of his tail. But he’s still a great dog and he’d be a great guard dog up at the house.”
“How?” I asked in shock, “How’s he going to guard anything if he can barely see out of. . .” Shit, there goes my mouth again.
“Out of what?” dad came after me fast, like really fast. Pissed wouldn’t be how I’d describe his face in that moment. I couldn’t believe I just had said that, seriously! How fucked up am I? “You think because he can’t see out of one eye, he’s worthless? That he can’t protect you or the kids? That he should just be put down?” The rage in his face, damn, I really can’t believe I said that.
“Dad, you know I don’t mean anything by it.” Shit, shit, shit! Why the hell did I open my big mouth! “I wasn’t thinking.” Dad’s glare was heavy and I could feel my whole body tremble. Why do I open my mouth! “I’m sorry. I honestly wasn’t thinking.”
Dad shook his head and bent back down to pet Brewster, “No one ever means anything by it, but it still fucking hurts to be judged. Doesn’t it, boy?” The dog licked his eye patch and I knew that this dog was more than just a friend to dad. From the looks each other gave I could tell they both needed each other.
He looked back up at me and I withered a bit. “No one sees the pain he’s in. No one knows what it’s like for this dog. Except for me. Kaliq, you may not mean what you said, and you may not see me as a one-eyed man, but it fucking hurts when people judge. I can help him, and he can help me. Do you think its easy walking around scaring kids, being judged by men and women? This dog knows my pain, and I know his. So I am begging you, help me get him.” He continued to cry in the dog’s neck. Brewster leaned into him, but kept his gaze right at me. It was as if he knew I made dad cry, and he wanted to hurt me just the same. I didn’t blame him for wanting a piece of me. I felt like a total asshat.
“Okay, fine. We’ll get the dog. But you get to explain to Riddle why we aren’t coming home with a small little puppy.” I am so dead. Dead, dead, dead!
Dad smiled up at me, “Really? You mean it?”
“Yeah, why not. No one else will want him, and for some reason he loves you.” I cracked a smile. “Must be a pirate thing.” Dad gave me the finger, but laughed and I knew we’d be alright.
We paid for the dog, got a ton of dog food and bought a huge ass bed for Brewster before heading home. Brewster climbed in the back and settled down extremely well.
On the drive home I glanced at dad, who hadn’t taken his gaze off Brewster. “Dad, I really am sorry. You know that right?” I shrugged, “Guess I’m so use to you, that I just forget sometimes. Forgive me?”
Dad squeezed my shoulder, “Already have, sorry if I overreacted back there. Just didn’t expect to hear someone say that to me. Especially you.”
“No, you didn’t. You were right. I know I have a big mouth that gets me into trouble. I’m just surprised you didn’t punch me or something.” I laughed. “I’d deserve it.”
“I wouldn’t hit you, kiddo. Not my style.” He smiled. We both laughed at that. No his style included bullets and we both knew that.
“Well anyway, thanks for not doing that.” I looked back for a second in my rearview mirror to see Brewster snoring, “You’re right though. He’s not a worthless dog, because some asshole wanted to hurt him instead of love him. Neither of you deserved what was handed to you, and if you hadn’t found Brewster, he’d be put down because no one would have seen what you see in him. You two are a perfect match, one eye, one missing limb. a fucked up knee cap. The list can go on.” I joked.
“Yup, just a couple of old roughed up kids. Aren’t we Brewster,” he started in on the puppy talk again and I had to chuckle. Who’d a thought that the cool, brave Delta Nine could lose his cool just by talking to a dog?
At home it was ma who first cornered us as we pulled up. “No! Nuh-uh! Take it back.”
Dad and I looked at each other. “Babe, Kaliq think it would be wise for us to have a guard dog. Don’t you, kid?”
The fucker. Of course I knew he’d put this all on me. I nodded and kept my gaze off of ma. She knew when I lied to her, and there was no way I was gonna try, and bullshit my way through this. I was gonna keep my mouth tightly shut.
“Kaliq.” Ma crossed her arms, “is this true?”
I didn’t have the heart to look her in the eye when I answered her, “Yes.”
“Bullshit! If there was one thing you didn’t get from your father was the ability to lie.” Before dad could defend himself, ma looked at him more crossed. “I said no dog.”
Dad’s face started to go pale as he thought of a way to save Brewster. He’d be heartbroken if we took him back. They told us as we were signing the papers that we couldn’t have come in a more perfect time. They were planning to anesthetizing him that night instead of the next day. The dog backed behind dad and was just as scared, not like the strong defending thing I saw in the kennel. “Ma, I said we needed a dog, and this is the dog I want.”
Dad looked at me and I swore I saw him cry, ma on the other hand didn’t believe me. “Kaliq, this is between your father and me. Get inside.”
I gave my dad an apologetic look before walking towards the front of the house. I would have called the dog, but I doubt the beast would have came at my command. He was right against dad, afraid of ma and what would happen. As I walked through the doors I could hear my parents argue.
Inside I found Riddle playing with Cait. Caitlin took one look at me and then back at mommy, she instantly ran to me screaming “daddy!”
I picked her up and tossed her in the air. “How’s my princess doing? Huh? You being good girl for mommy and grandma while I was away?”
“She has. She said you were getting her a doggy? Now, why would she think that?”
Cait, my little spy overheard dad and I. This was not good, and not exactly how I wanted to tell Riddle. However from the sounds of it dad was getting his own earful and I doubt we’d be keeping Brewster. “Dad wanted a dog, and I said we’d take a look at him.” I blushed. The we I was referring too was her and me, and I hadn’t even discuss it with her. “He needed an answer right away, so I went with him. Now, before you get mad, just let me say that if you had seen dad, you would have given him anything. He really loves this dog, Riddler.”
She crossed her arms, “And did we get a dog?”
“Doggy!” Cait said looking out the window behind my shoulder and pointing. She really was excited by the prospect of getting a dog.
I gulped as I looked at Riddle, who didn’t seem as excited. She was going to be even more pissed when she sees the size of the animal I just brought home. “Yes. Well, kinda. Ma’s out there, not too thrilled and we may be losing the dog.” I shook my head. “Dad’s going to be so devastated. Just seeing him with this dog melted my heart, Riddle. If he loses this animal, it will tear him apart.”
“What’s so special about this animal?”
“He’s not perfect. He’s blind in one eye, has a limp, and missing a tail. Ring any bells?”
Riddle uncrossed her arms and gave me a week smile, “How big is he? Will he be okay around the kids?”
I rubbed my neck. That, I didn’t have an answer to. “I don’t know, Riddle. He’s big, like real big. He’s a Great Dane and I have no idea how he’s going to react to the kids.”
“A Great Dane?” She gave me a very stern look. “Are you out of your mind, Kaliq!?!”
“I know.” I groaned. “It’s also dad, Riddle. He’s bonded with this animal, like they have this connection. I don’t know what ma’s problem is, but he will be devastated if we don’t keep him. Riddle, please, give this a try. Dad’s never asked anything from any of us. He’s put his life on the line for us. He’s saved. . .” I motioned to Cait. We never discussed it around her. “We owe him something. Just give this dog a chance, please?”
Riddle looked at Cait. She and I both knew how close we came to losing our daughter. With a sigh, Riddle agreed we owed dad. She and I both walked outside where dad was crying while petting Brewster. Ma had gone somewhere. “Dad, you can keep the dog.” I told him with a smile.
His face was so heartbreaking as he shook it. “No. Hana said we have to take him back. She’s calling animal control to come take Brewster. I’m just saying goodbye.”
“Why doesn’t she want you to have a dog?” Riddle asked. “Its our house, and he looks friendly enough.” Riddle got to her knee, which was no easy task. “Come here, boy. Come here.”
Brewster came and hesitated when he saw Riddle’s condition. She held her hand out to him and he finally licked it. She returned his lick by giving the dog a big hug, he responded with a lick to the face. Brewster was winning the heart of Riddle, and I just couldn’t believe it. Yet, one step towards my wife and the dog went into defense mode against me, and growled. “It’s okay, boy. He’s okay.” Riddle cooed before standing up. “I can see why you love this dog, but why doesn’t Hana?”
“She’s afraid of dogs,” dad cried. “She told me to get rid of it. Like Brewster was a plague or something. She wouldn’t even give him a chance, or even look at him. I’ve never felt so torn than I feel at this moment, and I have no idea what the fuck I am going to do.”
“Where is she?” Riddle asked.
Parker pointed to the upper part of the house, “In the apartment calling animal control.”
“Give me five minutes, boys. If animal control comes, stop them Kaliq.” Riddle headed towards the house and she had determination in his eyes. I hoped she could change my ma’s mind, though I doubted it. Ma was just as stubborn as Riddle. It would take a miracle at this rate.
“Do you think she can do it?” dad asked. He was petting Brewster. I could tell he had no hope in ever seeing the dog again.
“I don’t know, dad. What if ma says no, what are you going to do?”
Dad shrugged, “Find him a home.” He looked at me expectantly, “Do you think Casey would want a dog?”
I laughed. Dad was very desperate. Rose was pregnant herself and I doubt she’d be as accepting as Riddle. I was surprised that Riddle was as accepting as she was. Casey on the other hand would love a dog. He’s even talked about getting one himself at times. “I don’t know, dad. Rose is pregnant and she may not like the idea of a dog that size around her baby.”
Dad nodded. He didn’t look back up as he continued to pet Brewster. The dog looked just as bad as dad. They were both so sad looking, and I felt horrible. A car stopped up at the gate and a man in uniform came up, “Excuse me, Animal Control. We were called to come pick up an unwanted animal.”
Dad’s head snapped up and I swore I saw the fear mimic in Brewster’s face that was in dad’s. Dad held Brewster tighter. I headed over towards the gate, “Sorry. There’s been a mistake. No unwanted animals.” I said to the man. “Sorry if we wasted your time. My ma thought she saw a snake, and it ended up being a rubber one my daughter left out from her toy chest.”
“It says a dog on my clipboard.” He motioned his head towards the dog, “You sure it’s not that animal I am supposed to take.”
“I’m sure.” I said in a very forced voice. I was sure and there was no way in hell I would let this man take Brewster. I don’t know why I felt so strongly for an animal that hated me, I just knew I couldn’t break my dad’s heart. “You can leave.”
Not a moment later ma came down and stopped the man from leaving. “Good, glad you made it. We need you to remove that dog.”
“Ma, Brewster is not leaving.” I told her. “Riddle and I want a dog, and we want that dog. If you don’t want to be around him, then don’t. This is my house and I am taking this dog in to meet my daughter.”
Ma pursed her lips into a very thin line. She was not happy about this, but I was done. I walked past her and called for Brewster. He didn’t come. I called him again and patted my leg. Brewster looked to dad and then back at me. Dad gave him a slight push of encouragement. Brewster ran towards me and followed me into the house.
Cait was on him right away, screaming “doggy!” Brewster for all his bravery, started to immediately backup at the sight of my excited three year old. She ran right at him and he just got scared. I started to laugh immediately and patted him on the head, “It’s okay, she doesn’t bite. . . much.” Brewster looked at me like he was suddenly afraid.
I picked up Cait just as she reached us, “Angelcake!”
Cait pointed at Brewster, “Doggy! I want doggy.”
“I know, pumpkinhead, but he’s a little skittish right now. We have to be very careful around him, okay? Can we do that?” Cait nodded very enthusiastically. “No hitting or pulling his hair, okay. Give him loves, and only loves okay?”
I let Cait go and she gave Brewster loves, and he returned the love. I knew then that this dog was going to be okay.
I just didn’t know if dad would be. I found dad the next morning sleeping on the couch with Brewster cuddled up against the floor next to him. I shook dad’s leg to wake him. He woke with a yawn and looked up at me. “Morning,” I said to him.
“How was your night?”
He shrugged, “Not bad. Not great. Didn’t know how comfy this couch was.”
I laughed, “It’s why I bought it. I knew going into this marriage with Riddle that I’d be spending plenty of nights on it.” And I had. Riddle and I may be in love and have had an amazing two years, but I won’t lie and say it was completely perfect. There were many nights where I found myself carrying a pillow down to the couch after an argument. “She’ll come around.”
“No she won’t,” dad shook his head. “She told me last night that I had a choice to make. Either I could sleep with her or the dog. The dog isn’t allowed in the apartment, and it was my choice to choose who I want to spend my time with. Oh and she told me if I even have him up there once, she would kill him. She hates him Kaliq, and I don’t think she’ll ever like him.”
Just then Ma walked into the room, she glared at dad, but didn’t say anything to him. She just went into the kitchen and started preparing to cook breakfast for us all. “Ma, why do you hate Brewster so much? Have you even taken a look at him? Or how much he really means to dad?”
Ma turned, “I have Kaliq. I know about the scars and the blindness. I know how great he could be for Parker. But, I also know that dogs are unpredictable dangerous creatures and I don’t like them. I was attacked by a dog just like that monster in there when I was a little older than Charlie. I don’t want a dog near me, or my kids, or my grandkids. Okay?”
“Brewster isn’t a monster,” dad said. “He’s a great dog, Hana. Why can’t you trust me on this?”
“Parker, we discussed this. I told you over a month ago when you found the stupid mutt that I didn’t want a dog. What do you do, you sneak around and lie to everyone, just to see this beast. Then, when it was finally time to say goodbye you conned your son into getting him for you. So, why would I want to trust you about this?”
“You never gave him a chance, and I thought. . .” He sighed and looked defeated. He and I both knew that ma wasn’t going to give in, and his heart wasn’t into fighting any longer. “Never mind, Hana.” He walked away and called for Brewster to follow him out to the back of the house.
I followed both of them. “Dad, what did you think she’d do if she had seen him first?”
Dad ruffled up Brewster’s head and grabbed a stick to throw and play fetch. “Honestly, I thought if she saw that Brewster was just as damaged as me, she’d maybe see part of me in him and fall in love with him.” Dad shrugged, “Guess I was wrong.”
For another two months dad slept on the couch and Brewster found a spot near him every night. Ma hated the dog. Brewster kept his distance from her, sensing her hatred. He even made himself scarce when she came to talk to dad. I’ve never seen dad so torn about two things he’s loved.
Riddle on the other hand loved Brewster, as did Cait. The bigger Riddle got the more protective Brewster became around her. Sometimes he wouldn’t even let me near her. He still didn’t like me much. I had no idea what his problem was with me, but I tried not to take it to heart. He’d loved to growl at me as I felt Riddle up.
Riddle was so gorgeous at almost nine months pregnant. The weeks were going so fast and I honestly couldn’t wait to see this little one inside her. Riddle couldn’t wait to get him out, and she told me that every time she was woken from him using her bladder as a soccer ball.
Cait finally told us that she was accepting to having a baby brother, just as long as she can keep all the toys. I laughed at her when she told me this and told her, “Don’t worry, girl. He’ll be too little to play with your big girl toys, but when you get older and he gets older he’ll want to play with your toys and you’re gonna have to share. You think you can do that?”
She shook her head no.
“But it’s not nice. Don’t you want to be nice?”
She shook her head no.
I laughed and told her that we’ll talk about it again when the time comes. I’m pretty sure that as soon as she sees her baby brother that she’ll be more accepting.
As the last few weeks dwindled, the stress around the house tightened. Ma refused to acknowledge that there was a dog in the house and if Brewster came anywhere near her, she shooed him out of the house and told him he was “bad.” Brewster hardly went around her, it was more he would be in the room when she’d appear and then he knew he was in trouble, but didn’t know why.
Dad buried himself into his work. He didn’t talk about this issues he had with ma, and ignored the questions when I ask him if he was okay. He clearly was not okay. He loved that dog and he loved ma, and up until he met Brewster I thought he loved ma more than anything. Now, I think he didn’t know who he loved more.
Of course my family loved him, and if it wasn’t for Brewster than we may have lost Jamie. The day that my son came into our lives was the day of great panic. Riddle had gone up to our room to take a nap while I buried myself in my latest Delta Nine book. Cait decided to stay downstairs with me and play with her toys while dad worked in his office and ma did whatever she did around the house.
It was one of those eerie quiet afternoons. You could hear a pin drop. Actually, I could hear the mumblings of dad and Casey from the garage it was so damn quiet. So, when Brewster started to go crazy upstairs everyone heard it. His barks were manic and not like his normal calm alert bark. He was going crazy.
“What the hell?” dad asked coming out of the garage with Casey. I was already heading to the stairs. I looked back at him and shrugged. “Brewster! Come!” dad ordered.
Nothing. More barking, louder and more manic. “He’s gonna wake. . . OH FUCK!” I ran hard upstairs. It was then that I remembered that Brewster had followed Riddle to take her nap. “RIDDLE!”
I ran right into our room. Brewster was going crazy and I looked over to the bed and my heart nearly dropped. I saw a blood pool and Riddle just lying there. “Riddle,” I gasped and jumped on the bed. I lifted her face and she was still warm, and breathing. Her heart rate was weak and she wasn’t awake. I removed the covers and my heart nearly dropped. More blood around her legs. “Oh damn, Riddler.” I whispered.
I felt between her legs and I could feel a foot. It kicked me. . . It kicked! “DAD! MA!” I held the foot and tried to push the baby back up. I don’t know why, but my instincts told me I needed to. I kept my hand in her and held my son, praying that when everything was said and done, both would live.
Dad was upstairs faster than ma. Ma never even came upstairs. Dad took one look at me and his coloring disappeared. “Call 911.” I said with a sob as I held Riddle closer to me.
Dad was on the phone in an instant. Brewster had stopped barking when I had walked in, so there was no sound. I tried my hardest to wake Riddle while dad was on the phone with a 911 dispatch operator. It was less than five minutes when we could hear the sirens.
Dad ran out of the room and I could hear him scream for Casey to open the gate for the ambulance. It was only then that ma yelled up, “What ambulance? What’s going on?”
“Riddle’s losing the baby!” dad yelled down and I tried my damnedest to not believe it. My gut told me it was true, my heart, though, didn’t want to believe. I just couldn’t believe. She was due any day, we all knew that, but to lose the baby this soon. It was my worst nightmare coming to life.
Ma ran up the stairs and into the room. “Move!” She ran up to me and took charge. I almost forgot that ma was a nurse. She took over what I was doing, and barking orders at me while I cried, hard. I couldn’t lose Riddle, I just couldn’t. Not yet. Just not yet!
After ma took charge the paramedics arrived and with the help of ma we got Riddle in a steady enough condition to get her downstairs and into the ambulance. I hopped in with them and held Riddle’s hand all the way to the hospital.
As soon as we arrived Riddle was taken to the OR for an emergency C-section. I don’t know how long I waited, but it seemed like a millennia. Dad and ma both arrived moments after I found the waiting room.
We waited together. It was looking fairly grim, and my heart was breaking. After over two hours a surgeon came out asking for the Rain family.
“Your baby boy is up in the NICU and Mrs. Moss is in stable condition.”
I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding in for hours on end. “Thank you,” I praised. “Thank you so much doctor.”
“We’re still not out of the woods, Mr. Rain. But I am hoping that they will both pull through.”
“What did she have doctor?” Ma asked standing next to me.
“Placental abruption. Its a miracle that both baby and mother are alive. If you guys hadn’t found her when you did, one or both of them would be dead.”
“It was our dog, Brewster that alerted us.” I shook my head, “If he hadn’t been up with her. . . God, I don’t know what I would have done without that dog.”
I looked over at ma who’s eyes were huge as saucers. She had no idea that was the reason the dog was barking. “Well sounds like you guys have a very smart dog. I’ll get the nurse to take you to NICU while Riddle recovers before we move her to ICU,” the doctor said.
“Thanks doc,” dad and I both shook the man’s hand before he left.
“I had no idea,” ma gasped. “I just assumed. . .”
“That he was a terrible beast?” dad asked. “Hana, you can’t deny it now. That dog just saved our daughter-in-law and our grandson’s life today. He’s a keeper and a big part of the family.”
“Definitely part of the family,” I boasted.
“Fine. I guess you can keep him.” And that is how Brewster finally became part of the family.