A/N: Just a forewarning, there is a brief sex scene photo. So, if you are reading this at work or around impressionable eyes, I advise you to wait till you get home or somewhere where fragile eyes can’t see.
Two and a half years has passed, but it wasn’t all cherry and roses during that time. First, we had to deal with Jamie and Riddle’s condition. It took two weeks for Riddle to wake from a medically induced coma. During that time I spent my day between staring into the NICU and being with Riddle.
Jamie at first had minor complications. He could barely breath when they finally got him out of Riddle. He survived though, and about four days after his birth I was able to hold him. Jamie was so pink and vibrant, his noises made me laugh. He instantly wrapped me around his fingers.
By the time Riddle woke, she and Jamie were out of danger. Riddle had been in and out of conscious for days, but she did finally “wake-up.” I was in the room feeding Jamie when gasp alerted me. “He’s alive?”
“Alive and perfect.” I whispered back, “How are you doing, mommy?”
“I hurt. I was so scared. I couldn’t scream in pain, my body was convulsing and. . .” she started to cry.
I walked up to her and wiped her tears, “It’s okay, Riddler. You’re healthy, Jamie’s healthy. It’s all I ask for.”
“How did you find me?”
“Brewster went crazy. That dog saved your life.”
Riddle smiled, “I knew there was a reason I loved that dog. How’s my boy?”
I showed her and he smiled down. “Would you like to hold him?” Riddle nodded and lifted her arms to take him from me. “Alright J, here’s your mommy.”
For almost a year Riddle and I were concerned that Jamie would have problems. He didn’t. Every doctor’s appointment he checked out fine. They don’t know what caused Riddle’s issues, but she and Jamie were both healthy. The doctors did strongly encourage Riddle not to get pregnant any time soon.
Both Riddle and I agreed to not get pregnant. We were content with our two little ones. Cait loved being a big sister, and doted on her little brother. She did try and share her toys whenever she could, even when those toys weren’t exactly safe for him.
As Cait and Jamie grew, two and a half years past. Our family was perfect. . . Well almost perfect.
“OUT! NOW!” I heard ma scream from the kitchen. “Go on, get out.”
I walked in to find Brewster being scolded. “What did he do this time?”
“Tried to get my sandwich off the counter. The heathen!” She glared at him. Brewster and ma had an awkward relationship. Ever since we brought Jamie home, ma’s showed some love to him. Brewster though tried his best to get back at her for how she hated him. Some days we could find the two playing out back, happy as can be – well, as much as ma could be happy with a dog. Other times, I’ve spotted Brewster trying to take a chance at getting free food from her when she isn’t looking.
“Come on Brew, lets go find dad.” I called him. As we walked I patted his head, “Why do you do that to her? You know she’ll only keep hating you?” He just looked at me like he knew and didn’t care. It was a game to him. “You’re as ornery as your Master. Now go get him to give you lunch.” I opened the door to the security room and he ran straight into dad’s lap.
Just as I diffused one situation, I had another one. “DADDY!” Cait was screaming from her room. She had just turned five a week ago. “DADDY!!!”
I ran upstairs to find her looking all kinds of upset and Jamie sucking on one of her ken dolls. “He stole my doll! And look, he’s sobbering all over it!”
“Nuh-uh. My dowwy.” Jamie said, sticking the doll’s head back in his mouth.
“Jamie, give Caitlin’s dolly back.” He shook his head at me. I walked over and picked up my two and a half year old, taking the doll out of his mouth and handing it back to Cait. She had gotten the dolls and dollhouse for her birthday. We told her that she didn’t have to share them if she didn’t want – she didn’t. “Come on kiddo, off to play in your own room.”
“Dowwwy!” he screamed and tried to get out of my arms. “I want dowwy!”
“No dolly. That’s sister’s dolly. You have your own toys.”
“Sister has her toys. You have yours.” I sat Jamie down on the floor of his room and he started to go for the door. I picked him up and placed him back in the middle of the floor. “Jamie, play with your toys. Look!” I picked up this teddy bear that my dad said had been in the family since my Great-grandfather bought it in Egypt. “I’m a King. Look at me. . . Hardy har har.” I said in a funny voice.
Jamie smacked it, “No bear, I want doll.”
“Kaliq!” I heard Riddle shout. “Kaliq can you come here for a second!”
“You wanna go see mommy?” I asked Jamie. He shook his head no. “Are you gonna be a good boy and stay in your room and not bug sister?” He shook his head no. “Are you going to go back in sister’s room and play with her dolls?” He nodded yes. I sighed and gave up. The boy wanted what he wants. “Coming, Riddler!” I called out.
I found her in the bathroom shaking. She pointed to the little stick on the counter. Crap. We were so careful too. “Please tell me its not. . .”
Fuck me. I picked up the stick and looked at it, before putting it back. “Well, what do you want to do?”
Riddle shot me a look with so much hate I backed away. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked that. “What do you mean what do I want to do!” Yup, should not have asked that question. “It’s a pregnancy test, Kaliq!”
“I know, but do you want to go through with it?” Shut up, Kaliq. I know I am opening my mouth up, but it just came out. Riddle’s eyes were thin and her lips pursed, like I just asked her if she’s seen the devil. “Okay, wrong question to ask.”
“YOU THINK! This is a pregnancy, and we are having another baby, Kaliq. God, are you that heartless? I’m going to keep it. I kept Cait, I kept Jamie, and this one, dammit, I am keeping this one too.”
I shook my head, “Okay. So, what the hell do you want me to say, Riddler? That I’m happy, excited? To tell you everything is going to be okay, because we’re bringing in another life? I was the one that found you with Jamie. I’m sorry if I’m more worried that you’ll die this time.”
“I’m just as worried, Kaliq, but maybe you should be a little more sympathetic. Tell me things like it’s going to be okay.”
I embraced her in my arms, kissed the top of her head, and held her, “Everything is going to be okay.”
“Don’t lie,” she cried.
I sighed, “I’m not. I want to believe it, okay. We’ll get through this. We’ll be more careful. I’ll be with you throughout the pregnancy, and when you get to eight months I won’t even leave your side.”
She gave me half a smile, “Great, just what I want, and overbearing husband.”
“Better than one that isn’t here,” I said before kissing her. “I love you, Riddler, and I promise you, we will get through this.”
Another pregnancy. Riddle and I weren’t completely ready for this. We both feared the worse and we were at the doctors within days of taking the pregnancy test. They confirmed it was positive, and gave us a high-risk doctor.
At the fourth month mark, we went for a check-up and got a huge surprise. “Two heartbeats,” the doctor announced. “Congrats mom and dad, you’re having twins.”
Both Riddle’s and my eyes widen. Twins! I about fainted in the room. A nurse handed me a chair and I put my head between my legs. We both knew this was a possibility. Riddle, herself, was a twin. But now we have double the concern of Riddle going through complications.
As time went on I became the concerned husband when it came to Riddle’s pregnancy. Anything she needed I got her. I took time off from my writing to be with her. As the weeks went on Riddle was growing tired of me. “Please, Kaliq. I’m fine. Go. Away!”
“You sure?” I asked as I fluffed her pillow under her. The doctor suggested bed rest for the last couple of months of her pregnancy. “I can get you anything you want. Food, I can get dad to bring up a television. I’ll go grab Coke’s new book he sent.”
“I just want to take a nap, and for you to GET. THE. HELL. OUT!”
“Okay. Okay. I’m gone. You have my cell right? I’ll be downstairs if you need anything, just call me, okay.”
“PARKER!!!” She screamed.
Dad came running in, “Yeah?”
“Get me your gun.”
He laughed and I took a few steps back. “Okay, I’m gone. No need for violence.”
Riddle looked over at dad with pleading eyes. “Come on Kaliq. Leave her be.” He grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the room. In the hall he patted me on the shoulder, “Best not to piss off a pregnant woman. Brewster’s in there. She’ll be okay. She just needs rest and not an overprotective husband lurking around.”
I rolled my eyes, “You’re the one that’s overprotective. Does she know about the nanny-cam you set up in there?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” dad joked. I gave him a knowing look and he smiled, “What a guy can’t be concerned for his daughter-in-law?”
“Well, can I at least watch the feed?”
“No, because it will drive you crazy. Look, Kal, she’s on twenty-four hour surveillance in this house. Give her some breathing room. Everything will be fine, okay?”
I nodded. I didn’t like that dad set up hidden cameras around the house, but it was for Riddle’s safety. I headed down a little upset that no one would let me care for my wife like I wanted. Maybe it was a good thing, but I still hated leaving Riddle alone now that we were getting into the third and final trimester of her pregnancy.
I sat down at my desk and tried to get busy with my latest article for the magazine I worked for. It just wasn’t coming to me, though. I don’t know how long I was working, but eventually I heard the door open. Cait was home from school. “Daddy?”
“Daddy,” she said from behind me with a sob in her voice. I turned to look at her and she had red puffy eyes. This wasn’t good.
“Baby, what is it?” I said holding my arms out. She ran right into them and she started to cry. “Cait, tell me what’s wrong.”
“Someone said you and mommy were dead and. . . and. . . and. . .” She continued to cry hard.
“I’m right here.” I held on to her. Why would anyone say that to her? And who? “Who told you that, baby?”
“Some guy. He looked like grandpa, but with two eyes.” Jesus! Why would anyone say that to her? Why! Just why! “He wanted me to come with him, daddy, saying that you were dead and he needed to protect me. I ran to the bus and cried all the way home.”
No words! Panic set in immediately. You hear about it, but really. Its something parents say to teach kids not to go with strangers, but for someone to really do this. . . no words. “Cait, listen to me. If anything ever happens to me or mommy, grandpa and grandma would always be here. Especially Grandma and Grandpa Moss. They will ALWAYS be around for you, always! Got that?”
She nodded and wiped her tears.
“Now, lets go talk to grandpa about this stranger.” And get him to do some extra security. I put her down on the floor and we walked to the security room and stepped in. “Dad, Cait wants to tell you a story.”
Dad turned in his chair and smiled at Cait, “Princess!” He held his hands out, and when he notice her puffy eyes, his mood soften. “What’s wrong sweet-pea?”
“Someone told me mommy and daddy were dead.”
Dad looked at me and looked back at her. His face turned into all different emotions. “Did you know this man?”
Cait shook her head.
“Did you get a good look at him?”
“He looked like you, but with his two eyes. Oh and two arms.”
Dad rolled his eyes. “So someone blonde, basic looking, and old?”
“Not blonde. He was wearing a hat. I could see daddy’s hair color under it.”
Dad took the description and started to type it up in his database he has on the computer. I sent Cait upstairs with the direct order to go and bug her mom for me. She ran upstairs, and I knew she just wanted to make sure her mom is still alive. “So, what are we thinking, dad?”
“I dunno. Could be a random perverted sicko. Could be. . .” He looked at me hard, “Could be because of what happen five years ago.” My stomach turned and I about fell to my knees. I wanted to puke right there. Dad quickly reassured me it was an idea, “I’m not saying it is, Kal. I’m just saying it could be a possibility.”
“You think they found us?” My voice was shaking.
“I’m not sure. Kaliq, don’t worry about it right now. Tomorrow I’ll send her out with protection. If it is something that we have to be concerned with, we will deal with it then. Just don’t worry right now. She’s home, and she’s a smart cookie.”
I tried to do what dad said, really I did. Okay, maybe not. But I tried. I played with Cait the entire day. I helped her with her spelling homework, played with her toys with her. We even talked about how smart she was for running away. I’m so proud of her for doing that. Thank goodness she has more sense than most five year olds.
It was the next day that I truly was going crazy. I sent Cait off to the bus with extra kisses and watched as she got on. While she was at school I couldn’t keep calm. I kept checking in with dad. Call me overprotective, but I already lost her once I am not losing her again!
Dad ended up locking me out of the security room after I barged in within the first hour since she left for the tenth time. “Kaliq stop! Not another fucking foot in this room. You’ve been driving me crazy all fucking morning, and I’m behind as it is. I haven’t heard anything in the last five minutes, so get out! NOW!”
Riddle wasn’t any less helpful. I eventually did tell her what happen the night before when she allowed me to come into the room. She was worried, but not as worried as I was. She trusted dad. Although, maybe she wasn’t going crazy because I didn’t tell her what dad worried about.
Riddle kicked me out of the bedroom when I started to drive her crazy, saying things like – “What if she gets kidnapped again?” “What if the security on her loses her?” “What if. . “
“KALIQ!” Riddle screamed. “If you are going to drive me crazy with these what if’s then I suggest you leave! Doc’s say I can’t be stressed. THIS ISN’T HELPING!!!”
At three I got nervous when I knew that Cait was out of school. When she arrived home I let out that long awaited breath. I gave her a hug and kiss, asked her how school was and when she shrugged and just said, “Fine.” I knew I’d live. That was until her bodyguard came into the room.
“Kal, office.” Casey pointed to me.
Yes, Casey was her bodyguard. He’s the only guy I trust with her. I walked into the office and him and Parker were looking intently on the computer. “No, back up a bit more.” I heard Casey say.
“There was a guy at the school. I got security on it. They kicked him off the property, but that was all. I saw him across the street at the park starting at the school. When I went to talk to him he scrammed. After school, the guy followed the bus, but didn’t stop. He slowed here though.” Casey kept his gaze at the computer and pointed at something, “There!”
I walked up and stared at the screen that dad and Casey were looking at. Dad used his amazing expensive spy software to zoom to the car, and into it. “Son-of-a-bitch,” dad whispered. “Sonofabitch!” This time louder.
“You know who he is?” I asked. Cait was right. Looked like dad a bit, just a little younger. Couldn’t make out the hair though.
Dad just stared hard at the computer. His face in pain. “Kaliq, I never told you what really happened that night. You asked me if I had an idea who it was.” He turned to face me, and my stomach rolled. “I lied.”
My gut wrenched. For five years he lied! To me! He lied to his own son! What the fuck!!!
“I had a real good idea who it was. There’s one person that’s tried to get to me through my family. For almost thirty years I’ve been searching for him and he’s been searching for me. Its a game, a very deadly game he’s been playing with me.
“When I went after Fournier, there was a hit man hired to kill my family.” I nodded, knowing that all along. “SIA burned my code-name years ago. The only person that uses Delta Nine, is you with the books. The only other person that knows Delta Nine is the one man I haven’t killed, and will be the last guy I ever kill.”
Dad pointed to the computer screen, “Ivar La Rouse. He’s an assassin, and a tracker. His original contract hit was to kill your mother, my parents, and any other family including my one year old son.” I gulped. So this was the guy. He was the reason my entire life was based on a lie. “Needless to say, he only accomplished part of his goal, and its been my mission since I found out about my parents to kill him and to keep everyone else I love safe.”
“So, he kidnapped Cait?”
“I believe he hired those dumb fucks I killed to kidnap her. I don’t know how he found us, or her. I’ve kept it low key around here for all of our safety.” He loaded his gun and put it in his holster. “Tomorrow, you and the rest of us won’t ever have to worry about him ever again.”
I nodded, getting the message.
The next day a very pregnant Rose came over to entertain Riddle while her son Carter kept Jamie company, (or to torture Cait’s poor toys). Rose and Riddle were due about the same time and she was going a little crazy being alone with Carter. So, today was a powwow day at my house.
Both girls kicked us out of the room within minutes of Casey and Rose arriving. “You think they’ll be okay?” Casey asked me biting his lip.
“Yea why wouldn’t they be?” I laughed nervously. “So, you ever gonna make an honest girl out of my best friend?”
“Already have,” he beamed.
I turned to face him, shock spread across my face. “What! When? How? Where the fuck was I?”
“We went to city hall soon after we found out about this new one. Sorry. It was just all of a sudden, on a whim.” He looked down at his feet, nervously. “Just don’t tell my mom, okay. She doesn’t know and I know she will kill me if she found out that we got married and didn’t invite her.”
“Wait, your mother doesn’t know?” Holy fuck he’s a dead man. “How could you not tell your folks? Or me?”
“We didn’t want to make a big deal about it. Its not like its a huge shocker or anything that we were gonna get married. We just figured we do it and get it over with.”
“Reaver and Bowen know?”
“God no. Mr. Pierce would have my head on a platter if I didn’t ask one or both of their permissions. Don’t tell anyone, or bring it up. Please.” He looked so scared. “We’ll tell them after the baby’s born.”
“Dude, you’re mom is gonna shit the fan when she finds out. Just keep me out of the demolition zone, and I’ll keep my mouth shut. No need getting on her bad side.” I shuddered. “Your mom scares me.”
“You and me both.” We cracked a grin and laughed. Casey went back to his work while I went to my own computer to write.
It was nice and quiet – maybe too quiet. I relaxed in my chair and looked at the time. Cait wouldn’t be home with her grandpa for another hour. Dad went to school this time with Cait, to see if he could flush out the assassin. I looked up to the ceiling. I could hear. . . nothing. That was odd, really odd. Jamie wasn’t ever quiet, and when Carter was around those two were noisier than a jackhammer.
I decided to go look. Sure enough Jamie and Carter were not in his room. I checked Cait’s and could hear and see two three year old boys whispering while playing with. . . Fuck me. Markers. The wall was covered in markers. “Boys.” I said in a very stern voice.
Both jumped and Jamie tried to hide the markers. “Hi daddy.”
“Jamie, what did mommy and I tell you about Cait’s markers?”
“Nothin’.” Jamie said with a smile.
“We good boys.” Carter added.
I rolled my eyes. Neither could lie to save their life. I walked over to where they were and moved them both to see the damage. Yup, markers on the walls and carpets. “You two mind telling me why the wall?”
“We didn’t do it.” Jamie and Carter both said.
I took the markers out of Jamie’s hands. “Okay boys, time-out.” I picked up an instantly screaming Jamie and walked to his room and placed him in his crib. “I’ll be back in three minutes.”
“DAAAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYY!” He screamed as I walked out. Really I hate punishing my kids, but it comes with the job. I grabbed Carter who started to scream too and walked him down to Casey.
“Look who I found drawing on Cait’s walls.” I placed Carter into Casey’s arms. “Both him and Jamie were just a tad too quiet and I found them in Cait’s room. Jamie’s in time-out.”
Casey looked sternly at Carter, “Did you write on Cait’s walls?” Carter shook his head no. “Carter Matthew Styx.”
Casey looked up to me, “Sorry, man. Guess I’m gonna have to have a big talk with my boy.”
“No worries. Its kids being kids. I’ll go up and clean up the walls while you take care of this one here.”
It was while I was cleaning the walls that I heard Cait’s voice next to me. She screamed. “WHAT THE! DADDY!”
“I got it. Relax.”
“He was in my room!”
I nodded, “And got a hold of your markers. Didn’t I tell you, you need to keep those up?” She nodded guiltily. “Okay. You know your brother likes to come in here. Next time keep things up and away from him. Is your grandpa home with you?”
“No, he saw that stranger man as he loaded me in the bus and took off.”
Shit. If dad had no backup how the hell was I gonna know if he was okay? That man better not get himself killed. I quickly finished what I could get off the wall and headed downstairs to see Casey. “Any word on dad?”
Carter and Jamie were in the office playing with their stuff dolls that dad bought them. Casey turned, “Nah man. Why?”
“Cait told me he went after that asshole.”
Casey popped up off his chair so fast I nearly had whiplash. “What! When?”
“Before she got on the bus. So maybe twenty minutes.”
“Shit! Come on. We gotta make sure he’s okay.” Casey grabbed his gun and handed me one. “Know how to shoot?”
My eyes went wide. “No.” I looked at my friend, “Why the fuck would I want to know how?”
“Besides your old man is a spy? I don’t know. To protect your family. Come on, just come with me. Your old man is gonna need some serious backup.”
We ran out of the garage and hopped in Casey’s old jeep. We searched around the school and finally spotted the car Casey saw the day before at a park. He pulled up behind it and we got out running through the park. We heard a fight going on as we ran past the bathrooms. Both Casey and I turned and headed back to the men’s room.
“You sonofabitch!” I heard dad ground out.
“I could do this all night gramps.” A man sneered.
Casey armed himself and nodded to me as he walked past me. I followed suit not know what the fuck I was doing with the gun. We walked in and the guy dad had been hunting for since he killed my grandparents had dad up against the wall. This was not good!
“I wasn’t plannin’ on killing you Nine. Not yet at least. I was going to let you suffer. Your granddaughter was gonna be good to me first. Then maybe that three year old boy. I bet he’d be fun to tor-”
I don’t know what happened. All I know is I heard gun fire, rapid gun fire, and the man was on the floor, dead. When I looked it was my hands holding the gun. My heart, I could hear outside my chest. And the rage I felt started to dissolve.
“Kaliq, put the gun down.” I head dad say. His metal hand was on my shoulder. “Come on, son, he’s dead.”
I dropped the gun and looked at dad. He had blood all over his face. “Oh god, did I. . .” Did I? Did I hurt him? Did I shoot my own father?
“I’m fine.” He answered my unasked question. He must have known what I was thinking. “You, however are not. Come on and sit and I’ll get you a water.” He helped me down to the ground and Casey ran out of the restroom. Not moments later he was back in holding a bottle of water. “Drink this.” Dad said giving it to me.
I started draining the bottle like I had been in the dessert for a year. “That’s it. Just breath, drink, and calm down.” Dad crouched in front of me and took my pulse as I tried to breath. “Just try to calm down.”
“I killed someone.” I croaked and sobbed.
Dad nodded, “And saved my life.”
“But I killed. . .”
Dad got into my face, “Listen to me, Kaliq. I know its tough to wrap around, but I want you to think about anything but that body over there. Just calm down and think of those beautiful kids, and the two you’re about to have. Just anything. Don’t think about the body or what you did. Just calm down.”
“Is that what helps you sleep at night?” I asked.
“Yes. I think about all the people I saved over the years. If I dwelled on the bodies, I would have gone crazy by now. I did go crazy once, but learned that you can’t dwell on it. So, stop thinking about it.”
“How did I manage not to shoot you?”
Dad chuckled, “I didn’t say I wasn’t hit, I said I was okay. I can take a small graze any day, a bullet to the head is only a one time thing.” Dad looked over to the body, “Rage and adrenaline are a very powerful thing. Six shots, only one grazed my side. The rest are in that man. You did a brilliant job, son.”
“I’ve never shot a gun before.”
“Like I said, rage and adrenaline are a powerful thing. Plus, you probably got some of your talent from me.” And with a smile from him, we both laughed. “Lets get you up and back to the house. I have to do some housecleaning in here. Can’t let the cops find the body.”
Dad and Casey helped me up and walked me to the car. I turned to dad just before getting in. “Dad. sorry I killed him. I know you wanted him for your own personal revenge.”
“Listen to me, you saved my life. Don’t be sorry for killing him. I’m sorry you had to do it though. Sorry that I put you through all of this. You had every right to kill that bastard. I am proud of you.” He hugged me, “Now go home, take a hot shower, and give Riddle the good news.”
“I got a body I need to dispose of. Have to call in a few people to get the job done, but we will. No one will know you killed him, I promise you that.”
I nodded and got into the car.
I decided to try to forget the last few weeks by getting heavily involved with my writing. It was bad enough that I almost lost Cait for the second time, but killing someone? Damn, I really needed to get fucked up drunk. . . Riddle would kill me though. With the twins on the way, I needed to keep calm, and stay busy. It was only a matter of time before she was due. So, keeping busy is way better than getting pissed poor drunk. Or at least I thought it would be.
That was until I stumbled on an article. I had been doing research on this murder that had dad’s name written all over it. A wealthy business tycoon, Ambrose Tough was killed during a dinner party at his house. I found out that one of the suspects was dad, which piqued my interest a bit.
Today, of all days, though, I had to stumbled across an old newspaper article.
“Business Tycoon, Ambrose Tough was found murdered today after one of his guests discovered his body. Yesterday the man threw a private party with his closest friends and relatives. Today those guests are suspects as Detective Alastair Mads began his investigation.
Among the list of suspects is Tough’s longtime girlfriend, Emily Nesaren, Tough’s business associate, Kaleb Dot and his fiance, Bec Toast, Toguh’s nephew, Nick Tough, Nick’s lover, and Tough’s business competitor, Park –“
SAY WHAT!!! What the fuck!!! Lover???
“Hey Kaliq,” the man, himself, came out from the security room. I turned and my expression must have read some kind of shock or something cause the next thing he’s coming over, “What’s wrong? What happened? Is it Cait? Riddle?”
I just sat there in stunned disbelief. No way. Uh-uh. No, can’t have happened. Nope. NOT GONNA BELIEVE IT!
I looked over at the article and back at dad. “Just some research,” I managed to croak out.
His eyebrow lifted, “Research? What kind of research?”
“Delta Nine.” I tried to swallow, but there was nothing to swallow. Nothing. At. All. “Found a case I thought would be fun to write about. Instead I think I rather forget it and go puke.”
“Oookay? What did I do this time?”
I laughed a little, “It’s not a what, but a who. Does the last name Tough mean anything to you?”
Sure enough his whole face went white. He backed up a bit looked around towards the kitchen. “No more,” he whispered. “Touch anything I’ve been on, but fucking stay away from Ambrose Tough’s case. You don’t need to know about it, got it?”
“Too late. I can’t take back what I’ve read. Did you really. . .” I couldn’t even form the words into my mouth. “Seriously, dad?”
“Did I kill him? No. Like I told Detective Mads all those years ago, I needed that man alive, dammit. He was the closest lead at the time I had on Fournier. I sure as hell didn’t kill him.”
“Wasn’t talking about Ambrose.”
Dad closed his eye, “Don’t, just don’t. Okay. For me, just stop bringing up the past like that.”
“Dad,” I whispered as we heard someone in the kitchen moving around. “Seriously, though, did you. . . I mean a guy, really?”
Dad just breathed slowly and closed his eye. I knew I was pushing, but really. I needed to know, before I go and just toss my chunks in the toilet. I felt queasy just thinking my dad had a. . .male lover. It made me just, I don’t know. My whole image of dad was slowly crashing down on me. If he denied it, then maybe I could fix that image, even though I can see right into his soul that it was true.
“Kaliq, don’t ask questions you’re not ready to hear the answer to,” dad finally said. “You don’t know the whole story, so just stop looking into it. I promise, I’ll get you some good material for another. Just promise me you won’t dig any deeper.”
With that he disappeared back into the security room.
Did I dare dig deeper though? Did I want to know what really went on? Dad looked pain beyond words thinking about that case. What didn’t I know? I looked back at the article and stared, not really reading. Did I want to read it? Did I want to know what truly happened all those years ago? Did it mattered?
I didn’t get the chance, however, because that’s when Riddle came down the stairs and around the corner looking with pain in her eyes. “I. . . think. . . its. . . .TIME!” She screamed as a contraction hit.
OH FUCK! I jumped from my chair and started to panic again. Dad came running out with a bag in hand and he shook me. “Get a hold of yourself, and drive your wife to the hospital!”
He helped Riddle to the car as I ran out to start it. I had the passenger door open while she slowly walked with dad down. “HURRY!”
“You did NOT just tell me to hurry, KaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaLLIQ!” She bent over as another contraction hit. Dad’s metal hand being squished as she held onto him. I was thankful that wasn’t my hand at that moment, though I doubted I could borrow dad’s hand when I got to the hospital.
The babies were three weeks early, but the docs had warned us long before that multiples tend to be early. How early, it was hard to say. I drove a bit too fast to the hospital, but we made it.
As Riddle was taken to OB, I was stunned to see both Rose and Casey being whisked away as well. “CASE!” I yelled and ran ahead of Riddle.
Casey turned and then looked behind me and smiled. “Guess we’re gonna celebrate three birthdays every year.”
“So, Rose is?”
“Yup. Catch ya after with a celebratory cigar?”
I grinned, “Definitely. Good luck, man.”
“You too, brotha.”
~ Anna Styx, Pear Rain, and Penny Rain ~
Author’s Note: Just want to thank StyxLady for providing me the names of Casey’s children. Thanks to Hrootbeer for naming the assassin. Also, thanks to Theusernamefound for sending me some of the photos used for Formal Affair.