LIE

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Chapter 52

"I get a feeling that I never, never had before." I sang to Alexandria the next morning in her room. "And I got to tell you right now, I believe, I really do believe that, something's got a hold on me."

We took each others hands and danced around the room. Alexandria laughed as we spun around. I just kept singing to her.

"Whee!" Alexandria squealed.

Mom walked in. "Alright you two."

I stopped singing and spinning. I chuckled, dizzy. Alexandria laughed and fell backwards.

"Come on, let's get going." Mom said. I pulled Alexandria up.

"Let's go!" I said all hyped up.

Mom is well enough to go back to work and since Ms. Bitch is at school now, no one can watch Alexandria. Mom enrolled her in daycare. I stayed home for the morning to see her off.

Alexandria skipped as I held her hand and walked to the building. Other kids were coming in with their parents. Alexandria was excited.

Mom and I walked her to her class. When we got there a small brunette greeted us.

"Hi Dr. Benson. I'm Olivia Oh. I'll be Alexandria's teacher."

She then looked down at Alexandria and smiled. "Hi Alexandria. It's nice to meet you."

Alexandria leaned into my legs. "Hi..." She said lowly. She tightened her grip on my hand.

"Are you her brother?" Olivia asked me.

I nodded.

"Okay. You can go in with her and help her get settled. She can use cubby number 27. Your mother and I will stay out here and talk." She said.

I nodded again. I held Alexandria's hands as she walked in front of me on top of my shoes.

"Did you go to daycare, Luc? What's it like?" Alexandria asked.

"Uhhh." I pondered. "No. Not really. All I know is you draw. All the time."

The only daycare I went to was a crackhouse. It wasn't all bad. There was this one guy, he was always jumpy, but nice. He went out of his way to play with me and tell me to have a good day. It was from him I learned how to throw a knife.

There were parents in the room by the cubbies, helping their child or children put their stuff away. I took Alexandria to her cubby and helped her take off her pink dog backpack.

I swear, some of the women look like they just stepped out of a L'Oréal commercial.

When Alexandria's stuff was in the cubby I kneeled in front of her and started whispering.

"Okay, serious talk." I started.

"Serious!" Alexandria repeated.

"Now some of the other kids might be mean, but some you can make friends with. Just find your crowd and don't try to impress the wrong people." I said.

Alexandria nodded. I kind of wonder what her crowd is.

"Don't let nobody punk you. If that happens what?" I said.

"Punch them in the throat." Alexandria answered.

"Good girl." I praised. She smiled brightly.

Mom came in and came over to us. She kneeled and hugged Alexandria.

"Have a good day, baby. Be good." She said.

She let her go quickly and stood. She was probably afraid she'd hug her too long and want to take her with her.

"Give me a hug." I told Alexandria kindly. She put her arms around my neck and hugged me tightly.

"I put an extra chocolate bar in your lunchbox." I whispered to her.

I heard Alexandria make a small "ooh" noise. I chuckled and let her go.

I stood up, "see you later."

Mom and I turned and began to walk out.

"Huh? Huh?" I heard Alexandria whimper.

I snuck a peek at her. Her face was turning red. I tugged on Mom's sleeve.

Alexandria started screaming. Mom whipped around. Now she looks like she's about to cry.

Olivia rushed over to Alexandria, stopping her from running to us. Everyone else was staring at her.

"It's okay Alexandria! They'll be back later." Olivia tried to mend the situation.

Apparently Alexandria didn't understand that we were leaving her.

"Maybe it's too soon. I'll just take her back home." Mom stepped forward.

I grabbed her arm and stopped her, "no, nope!" She looked back at me. "She'll be fine. You're fine! This is your first time out the house since the incident. You've come this far."

Mom sighed. "You're right."

Olivia soothed Alexandria. Once she stopped crying we left.

"Okay. Now I go to school. Are you okay?" I asked when we got in the car.

Mom nodded.

"Do I need to go with you into the office?" Mom asked when she parked in front of the school.

"No." I said.

Mom opened the door and stepped out, "I'll go in with you."

We walked into the office. I signed my information on the sign-in sheet. Mom stood behind me.

"Okay. I'm good." I said after leaving the office. Mom stood close to my side.

Mom nodded but didn't move.

"Luc!" Indra's voice called excitedly.

I turned. He was running down the hallway. He slid to a stop beside me.

"Hello, Dr. Benson." He greeted Mom first.

"Good morning." She said. Good. She actually spoke to him.

Indra was oddly jumpy. Kind of out of character. I think.

"What's going on?" I asked him. "Do you have to go to the bathroom?"

"No- Am găsit o pisică! Este adorabil, dar are nevoie de ajutor. Vei ajuta?"

Both Mom and I jerked. Indra smacked himself.

"What was that?" Mom asked him.

"Sorry. I got too excited." Indra said lowly.

"Luc, I found another cat. He needs help. Will you help me help him?" He asked.

"Another cat? Indra, how does your landlord feel about this?" Mom asked.

"He doesn't know." Indra answered.

"How?" We asked.

Then I realized the answer is probably vampire related. I changed the subject.

"Since you're here, Indra and I wanted to ask you and Brian to dinner." I said and leaned against him.

"Dinner?" Mom asked. We nodded.

"So we can all be friends again." I grinned brightly.

"Okay...I'll have to talk to Brian. He has a hectic schedule right now." Mom said. "I'll see you later." She kissed my forehead and left.

Indra waved.

"Now what's up with this cat?" I asked.

"Oh, oh!" He was still pretty jumpy.

"I found him this morning. Someone beat him up and left him in the trash can. I found him and I took him to the vet a few hours ago. They called me a few minutes ago and told me I could come get him and take him home!"

He grinned and walked around me.

"Wait, you're going right now? In the middle of the day?" I asked.

Indra turned to me when he got to the door, "iad, da!"

I slowly turned around and went to class. I got a text from Indra. It was completely in Romanian. Google translate told me it roughly meant that he'd come get me from home and we'd look after the cat.

Who'd wanna beat up a cat? I don't understand people.

I texted Mom, telling her that I'd go over to Indra's to help out with the cat. She didn't respond.

When I high-tailed it to Indra's he was sitting on his sofa. I laughed at the sight. Like insane laughing.

There was a black cat, probably a baby, wrapped in a blanket, in Indra's arms, and Indra feeding the cat with a bottle.

I laughed mostly because it was cute. The other cats were surrounding Indra and the baby; just sitting and watching.

"Aw." I cooed once I stopped laughing.

Indra looked at me, smiling a little. I went over for a closer look. I sat down.

The cat had bandages wrapped around the top of his head. He licked the nipple of the bottle quickly. Like Indra couldn't feed him fast enough.

"Why do you want kids when you have all these cats?" I chuckled.

Indra's eyes flicked up, he looked perturbed.

"Cats don't have a bad reaction to me like dogs." He said. "That's why the dog bit Alexandria; he was scared of me."

I distinctly remember a dog barking and growling at us at the pool. That's why? Because it's afraid of Indra?

Oh well. I don't like dogs, so we'll be fine.

"So what'd the vet say?" I asked.

"He has to wear a cast on his front legs for a week. Can't get him too riled up, he'll rupture his stitches." Indra spoke lowly and pointed to the top of the cat's head.

"Poor guy. He should be running around and playing. Not all wrapped up." I said. Indra nodded in agreement.

"Thanks for coming." He said.

"No problem." I rested my head on his shoulder and watched the cat. The cat stopped licking. Guess he's full. Indra holding that bottle is an aesthetic.

The cat looked at Indra, kind of curiously. Curious icy blue eyes.

"Curious George." I said.

"Big ugly no." Indra chuckled.

I laughed. The cat moved his legs through the blanket.

Burke and Callie jumped up onto the couch. Burke laid on my stomach. I rubbed his head, "what do you think of all this, Burke?"

Burke just rubbed his head against my palm.

"What do you think you'll name him?" I asked Indra.

"Alec." Indra said. I glanced at him. "I always thought it was a pretty name." He said. I hunched my shoulders.

Bored, kind of, I booped Indra's nose.

"Yup. You're bored." He said.

"You know me so well." I responded.

Indra stood up. I stood up too.

"Here." He held the baby out to me. "Hold him."

Indra just put Alec in my arms. I tried to make him comfortable as I looked at Indra, petrified.

"Ok Google, what do you do when your boyfriend hands you a baby?" I thought. "Ok Google, what does it mean when your boyfriend hands you a baby?"

Alec started meowing. I can see why he's unhappy; I was holding him away from my body and I wasn't his Daddy.

I felt something thick on my hand. What the? I raised Alec and looked under him, then looked at Indra.

"Did you put a diaper on him?"

"Yes." Indra started. "It's not like he can use a litter box like the others right now."

"Oh, right." I said lowly.

My phone rang.

I held Alec to Indra. He just stared at him, entranced.

"Indra! Take him!" I snapped. My phone continued to ring.

"Oh." He jumped and took Alec.

I took out my phone and answered it.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Hi Luc. Brian and I just got several surgeries dropped on us. We won't be able to pick up Alexandria. Can you ask Indra if he'll take you to get her?" Mom asked.

I looked at Indra knowing he could hear every word. He nodded.

"He'll take us." I said.

"Tell him I said thanks." She said before hanging up.

I put my phone in my pocket.

"I think we should go now. It's almost four and it's a little way away." I said.

"Yes." Indra said.

He turned and walked to the door. I followed him.

"We're taking Alec?" I asked.

"Yes." Indra said again.

I held him in my lap the car. "Road trip" with Indra.

"I don't even know if they'll release Alexandria into my custody." I pondered suspiciously.

Indra stayed quiet for most of the ride.

"Do we go to the office?" Indra asked when we walked into the school building.

"I don't know." I was just going to her classroom.

Indra held Alec. He pulled the blanket over his face. I looked at him, very slightly judging.

"What? There are germs." He said.

"And yet you want kids." I stated.

The door to Alexandria's classroom was open. Indra and I walked in cautiously.

Alexandria was sitting at a table with two other girls and a boy. Having a guy friend was one of my wishes for her. Guy friends are the best for a girl; they're no drama about everything.

"Alexandria." I called quietly. She looked up and smiled. She got up and ran over to me, quickly hugging me.

"Hello again." I said.

"Are you taking me home?" She asked.

"Yes..." I said slowly.

"We can't go yet!" Alexandria said. She grabbed my hand and pulled me to her table.

"Look look. These are my friends!" She announced happily.

I chuckled and waved nervously. More small humans. The kids waved back at me.

"Okay Alexandria, go get your stuff." I said, patting her on the back.

She ran off to her cubby.

"Are you here for a child?" I heard Olivia's voice.

I turned around. Olivia was at Indra's side. He was staring at her intently, clearly confused.

"He's with me." I went over to them.

Olivia nodded, "nice to see you again. Will you be picking up Alexandria as well?"

"Um, I don't..." I stammered.

Indra leaned close, "both your parents are surgeons."

"Yes." I answered quickly.

"Alright. You'll have to go to the office and add your name and information to the list." Olivia said.

Alexandria came over and grabbed my hand.

"You ready?" I asked. She nodded happily.

"We should go to the office together. I have to sign off on it." Olivia said.

She glanced at Indra and smiled a bit. "Are you coming with him?"

I scowled and tilted my head.

"I have to." Indra answered.

I grabbed his hand and pulled him and Alexandria into the hallway.

"Future husband," I started loudly. "Do you mind picking Alexandria up with me every now and again?"

Indra looked at me, confused again. We started walking when Olivia joined us.

"Will you? Future husband?" I asked smiling big.

"If you asked me to..." Indra answered slowly.

"Why are you so confused my darling?" Total melodrama moment.

"You don't normally use terms of endearment for me..." Indra pointed out.

"Of course I do!"

"No..." He said.

"Be quiet and walk to the office, boo." I said.

Indra shut up and looked ahead.

Alexandria started talking.

"Indra! I haven't seen you in forever! Where did you go?" She asked. I rolled my eye.

"Back home. Just needed a little isolation." He answered.

"What's isolation?" She asked.

"Just being alone." He said.

"Where's home? Did you move to North Carolina?" Olivia caught up to us and stood on Indra's right side.

I growled on the inside.

"Romania." Indra answered.

"Really?" Olivia asked all excited. "My friend just moved here from Romania! She's been a little anxious, but she'll be happy to hear there's another Romanian here."

Ugh.

"That's nice." Indra said. He turned to me smiling, "another Romanian."

"Sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of my eye rolling." I said bitterly. Indra looked at me curiously.

We sat in the office waiting patiently for Olive to bring us the information sheet.

"When she asked if I was here for a child I thought she was asking if I was adopting someone." Indra said suddenly.

I turned and looked at him, speaking quietly. "This is a daycare."

"We didn't have daycare when I grew." Indra said lowly.

"Oh..." I said. "So where did you get the adoption idea from?"

"Because there were children without parents and the lady asked if I was here for a child."

I slowly turned to the front. There were two secretaries at two desks typing on a keyboard.

Olivia came out from a hallway with a packet in her hand.

"Just put your name and phone number on this line." Olivia said.

I put, "Luc Benson via Indra Alehanson," then my number and his.

"Great. Will we be seeing you two tomorrow?" Olivia asked as we stood up.

"Too soon to tell." I answered.

"Come on." I said to Alexandria.

"Bye." Indra and Alexandria said politely as we walked out the door.

I put Alexandria in the middle seat amd strapped her in. When I sat down beside Indra he handed me Alec.

"So Alexandria, how was your first day? What did you do?" I asked happily as I looked back at her.

"Fun! First they made me tell about myself! I told them Mommy and Daddy are doctors. I like spending time with my brother. And cats!" She said.

"Then we starting drawing ourselves! Olivia says she'll put them on the wall!" Alexandria said all excited.

"Can we go see the cats?" She asked.

I looked at Indra.

"Yes." He said.

"Yay!" Alexandria cheered.

She leaned forward. "Why are you carrying that blanket?"

I looked down at Alec. Oh.

"Baby kitten." I answered.

"Can I see?" She asked.

I held Alec up.

"Oh. He's cute. Why does he wear that bandage?" She questioned.

"He had an accident." I replied.

Alexandria looked puzzled. "What kind of accident?"

"His mother dropped him on head." Indra jumped in.

"Mommy told me Luc dropped me on my head once. I didn't have bandages." Indra looked at me after she said that. Kids say the darndest things.

"Well Alec wasn't so lucky." Indra said.

I nodded at Alexandria, confirming what he said.

"Ahh!" Alexandria screamed with delight as she chased the cats around the condo. Indra and I sat on the couch with Alec.

"Be careful. Don't trip. Or hurt one of the cats." I called.

Alexandria responded by laughing.

Cleo jumped onto Indra's lap, laying down beside Alec.

"She's gotten bigger. It's fascinating how fast they grow." I said.

Indra nodded quietly.

"How come you're being so quiet?" I asked quietly. Indra turned and looked at me. Something about the look was a bit suggestive.

"What?" I asked, slowly piecing it together. "You just wanted more time alone with me, didn't you?"

Indra nodded.

"Well, it's not like I can just leave her at home alone." I reminded him.

"Can't children suffice on their own?" He asked.

"She's not Matilda." I said.

"Who?"

I laughed and playfully pat his cheek. "Don't worry about it." I gave him a quick peck on the lips.

"Hey Luc?" I jumped at Alexandria's voice. We turned to look at her. She had her head tilted and held Callie in her arms. Questions incoming. "Did you already throw your knife?"

"No." I whispered quickly. Freaking children! I am never confiding in her again.

"Throw your knife?" Indra questioned.

I looked at him, "nothing." I got up.

"She's just tired. The baby's tired, and she needs sleep!" I announced.

"No I'm not!" Alexandria said. I picked her up and she dropped Callie.

I grabbed our bags.

"Yes!" I turned to Indra. He looked at me confused. "Will you take us home please?"

Indra sighed quietly.

After Indra dropped us off at home Alexandria started asked more questions. "Luc? Why are you being nice to Indra now? I thought he upset you?"

"He did. But we talked everything out and we realized we still love each other, so we're giving it another shot." I explained as I helped her take off her shoes.

We started to head into the kitchen to get snacks.

"Love? Like Mommy and Daddy?" Alexandria asked.

"In a way." I answered.

"Oh." She said. Then she got quiet.

"Luc?" She called finally.

"Yes?"

"Is Indra dumb?"

Any other day I probably would've snickered, but today I'm in wise older brother mode.

"No. That's not a nice thing to say. Why do you ask that?" I said.

I grabbed her by the hands and raised her up to sit on the counter.

"Because he speaks weird." Alexandria stated.

"Well, yeah," I started. I opened the refrigerator and looked for something she could eat, "Indra's from another country. English isn't his first language like ours is, so he struggles with some things."

"Oh. Where is he from?" She asked.

I grabbed chips from the pantry when I couldn't find anything in the fridge.

"Romania. Didn't you hear him earlier?" I asked.

"Mommy tells me not to listen to adult conversations."

I nodded. Guess that's a good thing.

"Hey?" Alexandria called. "When is Jason coming home?"

I handed her the chips. "Probably Thanksgiving."

"But that's a long way away!" She whined.

"Yeah." I sighed. "We can call him in between now and then."

Alexandria nodded.

"What about Daddy?"

"What about him?" I asked.

"He hasn't been home for a while." She was starting to get upset. I rubbed her shoulder.

"Sorry, Lexi." I started. "He's just a bit too busy right now."

It's been a while since Brian's been home. He'd only come home to get a change of clothes then he'd go right back out.

Alexandria's lip quivered.

"Oh please don't." I said quietly.

The tears started. "I want Daddy!"

I sighed heavily. Drastic situations call for drastic measures.

"What are we doing here?" Alexandria asked.

"No child should be away from their parent for too long!" I shouted, for whatever reason.

I charged through the hospital and found a doctor.

"Excuse me. Where's Dr. Benson? The male, Dr. Benson." I said.

The doctor slowly turned around.

Alexandria and I screamed.

"Mom?! What are you doing here?" I asked quickly.

"I work here." She said dryly.

"What did we tell you about sneaking out? And you brought her with you?!" She started fussing.

I pointed to Mom, "technically it's not sneaking; it was just us there."

"Why are you here?" She asked.

"What's going on?" Brian's voice asked.

I leaned to the side. He stood behind Mom by the desk.

I stomped loudly over to him, "you! Child! In dire need of her father!"

I held Alexandria up. "Daddy!" She squealed with her arms out.

Brian took her from me and held her close to him. Alexandria rested her head on his shoulder and held on to the collar of his lab coat.

I pointed in Brian's face, pressed my index finger on his nose.

"If I remember correctly, and I do, you didn't take off much of your paternal leave when Alexandria was born! And I know you have a lot of vacation days! You're working too damn much! So much you've forced me to bring her to the hospital just to see you!" I yelled at him accidentally. Brian stared at me for a second.

"He has a point Brian." Mom said. "You should take some time off."

"I'm the head of general!" Brian exclaimed.

"And I'm the head of cardio." Mom countered.

Newton popped up behind Brian, "and I'm sure we'll get someone to cover for you for as long as you're gone."

He pushed Brian, causing him to stagger over to Mom. She steadied him and he turned around.

"Go home." Newton ordered.

"I have patients!" Brian said.

"Interns and Residents my friend." Newton said.

"Well let me just-" Brian walked forward.

Newton held his hand out and stopped Brian, "you know I used to wrestle. Don't make me drop kick you."

Brian slowly turned around and looked at me. "Okay. You win."

Alexandria cheered. I smiled triumphantly.

"So you're coming home with us, Daddy?"

"Someone has to take you two home." Brian grinned at Alexandria and played with her hand.

"Let me see her." Mom said. Brian went over to her. She hugged Alexandria.

"Make sure she eats dinner Brian. Not junk food." She said.

"I know, honey." He said. He walked away.

"So. Dinner's becoming more and more of a possibility." I grinned at Mom.

She pointed, "bye, Luc."

"Okay." I ran after Brian. I laughed to myself. Alexandria peeked over Brian's shoulder, smiling.

When we got home I sat down beside Brian on the couch. Alexandria sat on his lap.

"So. You happy to be on vacation?" I asked.

"Of course I am. I get to see my family more often now." He answered.

I nodded and got up, heading for the stairs.

"Hey Luc." Brian called. I turned around. "Thanks for getting me to take time off." He hugged Alexandria. I nodded my head and went upstairs.

When I got into my room Indra was there. I gasped in surprise and closed the door.

I ran over to him and hugged him.

"Is everything okay?" He asked quietly. I nodded against his chest before leaning back.

"What are you doing here?" I asked quietly.

"There's something I want to tell you." He said. I pulled him by the neck and kissed him on the lips. Why? I just wanted to be all over him.

He rubbed my arm. I kissed him deeply, passionately.

I surprised myself by kissing him for so long. I pulled away and got realistic.

"What did you need to tell me?" I asked.

Indra had something to say, but didn't say it. He put his forehead on mine and smiled a little.

"It can wait."

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