Jordan, carefully, made her way through the crowd, shifting the sleeping toddler on her hip to the other side. She had never seen the Pogue so packed before but a lot of things probably changed in the seven years that she had been gone. Finally she reached her destination, the bar. She let out a sigh of relief when she sat down on a high back bar stool. She eyed the area behind the bar trying to catch a glimpse of her father. Someone she hadn't seen since she left. Sure, she had called him, once, to let him know she was alive and okay. But one phone call in seven years couldn't compare to actually seeing him, hearing him, hugging him. With a smile she placed a kiss on top of the child's brown hair and waited.
Little Eve could have been mistaken for her mother when she was her age. She was a splitting image of a young Jordan except for the eyes. Her eyes she got from her father, Mark Kincade. A man her mother met and later fell head over heels in love with.
Mark Kincade was actually the arresting officer the night Jordan was pulled over for drinking and driving in Louisville, Kentucky. She failed the Sobriety test, spectacularly, and he arrested her. But he saw something underneath the drunk exterior of Jordan and after letting her sleep it off, bailed her out. He took her to a corner café and bought her a coffee to help her hangover. That is where they sat for hours while she talked and he listened. He learned that she left Boston for a new start. That she had been a Medical Examiner with the Boston Coroner's Office and that had something to do with her leaving. He could never get the full story out her but never pushed. During those hours at the diner a bond had been formed between the two of them. A bond that grew.
Louisville, Kentucky wasn't where she was heading. But, then again, she had no idea where she was going once she left Boston. Getting drunk and ending up there couldn't have been a coincidence so she decided to stay. If only for a little while until she got herself together.
For the first six months, Mark helped Jordan get back on her feet. He got her a part time job as a Medical Examiner with the Louisville Coroner's Office and helped her find an apartment that she could afford on her salary. They stayed friends after that. Best friends as a matter of fact.
Jordan never did anything to make herself stick out from her colleagues. She didn't need unnecessary attention. Not yet anyways. She just did her job and nothing more or less. She was, actually, well liked around the office and had quite a few friends by the time the one year anniversary of her employment rolled around. They threw her a party and she kinda, sorta, enjoyed herself.
Now all during this time she had been seeing more and more of Mark. They would go to parties together. Work cases together. Get together to watch movies and relax. She had attended several formal Police functions with him. Their relationship was progressing into something more than friendship and both of them knew it. They knew it but neither one wanted to talk about it. Jordan didn't want to talk about in fear that she'd mess it up and Mark didn't want to talk about it because he couldn't believe that someone like Jordan would want anything to do with him. Jordan was perfect in his eyes. She was beautiful, wonderful and had a sense of humor that anyone could enjoy. But he saw himself as plain, ordinary even. He wasn't a bad looking guy. Not by a long shot. He was well built from his years with the Louisville Metro Police Department. His hair was sandy blonde and his eyes were crystal blue. But he wore glasses and spoke with a southern accent which made him feel less than attractive. At the same time it was one of the things that Jordan liked about him. She thought the silver wire rim of his glasses made his eyes sparkle. Even when it was dark. His eyes always seemed to sparkle. And his southern draw made her melt every time he spoke. No matter what he said.
Another year went by before they finally went on their first date. After that was over, everything seemed to fall into place. Six months later they were engaged. Six months after that they were married and patiently awaiting the arrival of their first child. Eve Emily Kincade was born eight months after her parents wedding. And was named for both of her grandmothers. Mark's mother had passed away from cancer when he was six and Jordan's mother had been murdered when she was ten. Jordan protested at first. Not wanting her daughter to have a name that brought her so much sadness and pain. But Mark talked her into it. He always could get her to do things with just a few words. It was his gift. A gift he used to put a smile on Jordan and Eve's face until the day that he died. A year to the very day.
Jordan blinked as she felt Eve waking up. She shook her head to clear away the foggy, painful, memories. "It's been a year." She whispered sadly. A year since she lost her husband to a bullet from a convenient store robbers gun. She took a shaky breath. Maybe coming back here wasn't a good idea after all. She had friends back in Louisville and a sense of belonging that she no longer felt here. She felt like a stranger. That was a feeling that she didn't like. Glancing down she met sleepy crystal blue eyes with her own brown ones. "Go back to sleep sweetling." She mumbled as she again glances behind the bar. There. She spotted him emerging from his office towards the back. Swallowing, she shifted Eve until she was sitting on her lap, facing the bar. Chewing on her bottom lip she finally found her voice. "Hey!" She called out, directing her voice towards the older, gray haired, man just stepping behind the bar. "What does a girl have to do to get a drink around here?" She raised an eye brow as the man turned towards her direction. A shy grin formed on her lips as he made his way over to her.
Max Cavanaugh was having a rough night. The place was packed and noisy so he spent most of the night in his office catching up on bills. After he finished with that he left the confines of his nice, quiet, office to mingle with his customers. All of which were police officers or people associated with the police department. At first he thought he was hearing things until he looked down the bar towards a woman who was directing her question about a drink towards him. At first he was going to ignore her but something was familiar about her. Once he moved in front of her he knew what it was. He was speechless. Not one word would come from his mouth. There sitting, after seven years, was his daughter. His little girl. His Jordan.
Licking her lips, Jordan leaned down to speak to Eve. "Sweetling, I would like for you to meet someone. Okay baby?" When the little girl nodded she continued. "This is your Grandpa Max. Remember Mommy and Daddy telling you about him?" The little girl nodded again and gave Max a shy smile.
The words 'Grandpa Max' echoed through his head. To Max that could only mean one thing. The little girl on his little girls lap was his granddaughter. Again he tried to say speak but nothing would come out. He should have guessed. The little girl reminded him of Jordan when she was little. Finally the shock wore off and he found his voice. "I...I have a granddaughter?" He asked quietly.
Jordan let out a throaty chuckle then nodded. "Yes, Dad. This is Eve. And she's going to be four in July." She grew silent and fiddled with the rings on her finger. She liked to wear her engagement and wedding ring. And even after his death, couldn't bring herself to remove them. She felt like she'd be betraying Mark. A man that she gave herself, body and soul, to. "I'm sorry I didn't call." She said in a whisper as her voice failed her.
Max knew this wasn't the time or the place for them to talk but he listened to her speak. "Eve?" He tried the name out on his tongue. "I like it." He smiled at the little girl and couldn't help but notice Jordan fiddling with a wedding ring. So his daughter was married? If that was so, where was her husband? Was her husband the father of the child sitting on her lap? Why did she decide to come back after seven years? He had a ton of questions running through his head but he'd wait to ask them until later. "I'll close early tonight so we can...catch up." He said quietly and moved away to give the announcement. He gave his customers another hour before closing down and in that hour stayed away from Jordan and Eve, socializing with old and new friends. When the last customer left and he turned the sign to closed, only then did he focus his attention back on his estranged daughter who was now holding a sleeping Eve. The first question out of his mouth was simple yet spoke volumes. "Why?"