Alabaster smiled at her nephew’s antics. Chris was almost two now, her brother’s pride and joy, and was clearly a Grey Fox. The tot’s impish temperaments were a mirror image of Ricky's - like her Anna was a mirror image of the man that she loved. To be painfully truthful, though, he couldn’t stand them.
Alabaster sighed and held her three month old daughter close, almost fearful of awakening the girl. Chris had rapidly run all three of them ragged, and Ricky and his wife were not due in for another two hours. She needed help, most desperately, but her pride stood in the way.
She had never been one to ask for help, especially when the closest help was Reese. He told her that he couldn’t love her because of the rape, which still hurt too much. Alabaster was thankful to be alive and was even more thankful that she had Anna.
A small smile flitted across her face because it was always like this -- just her, Anna, and Chris-- and that was nice. The children were well behaved (unless Chris was trying something new), but tonight was different. Alabaster was tired, Anna had been fussy and Chris was demanding attention the entire evening.
“C’mere Chris,” She began as she leaned back on the couch. The tot looked up at her with his bright green eyes. He smiled and babbled something along the lines of if he could cuddle. She nodded and patted the spot next to her.
Reese’s eyes were green—almost the same shade as Chris. Maybe that was the reason why she loved cuddling with Chris so much--as a reminder of what she could have had if her rapist hadn’t impregnated her. Chris nudged his small body up underneath her free arm and he started to babble some more.
She grinned faintly. “I’m fine. Just thinkin’ is all”
The tot nodded once, as if to accept this answer. He sat there, and contentedly sucked on his thumb. Alabaster leaned over, and planted a kiss on his head. There was a knock on the door and Chris looked up at her babbling some more.
“Go on, answer the door.” She said, and Chris was off, jumping off the couch and ran across the room. Alabaster eased herself up, careful not to jolt her Anna. She was not about to let the little girl be woken up. As she was walking across the room, she heard Chris babbling something to whoever was at the door that sounded like “Auntie tired, wanna play?”
Alabaster stifled a groan as she came around the corner and knelt down next to Chris.
“That’s not nice, kiddo, to be asking people that. Even those who come to the door, okay?” She asked, and Chris nodded once then pointed to the man at the door, babbling once again.
Alabaster looked up and for a moment, and then froze. It was Reese. He smiled and in that moment, she forgot about everything else as he offered her a hand.
“Need some help up?”
“Yeah, thanks.” She said, accepting it.
Reese’s eyes flittered down to Anna for the first time of seeing her. And Alabaster, in that moment wasn’t sure of how to react. His green eyes looked back up at her and he smiled.
“I heard that you might need some help with these two little ones. So I’m here—what do you need done?”
Chris took that moment to show back up with a toy car and he offered it up to Reese with a very plain command.
Reese chuckled and accepted the toy car and led Chris back into the living room. Finally allowing Alabaster the time to put Anna in her crib. In that moment, looking back into the living room, she saw Reese in another light.
She had taken the right step, coming back to her cousin’s home on vacation. Reese was taking a step back towards her. She wasn’t going to back down now. Not with the man that she loved helping her out. She smiled and entered the living room and started to play with the boys. Later, when Chris had finally been exhausted, the couple talked for a long time and without warning, Reese took her hand and kissed it. He then looked up at her, with a question in his eyes.
Yes, Alabaster realized as she nodded to Reese, she did have several reasons to be thankful; it was just a matter of finding them.
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