Daddy's Little Surprise

Chapter 22

Andy's eyelids drifted open that next morning around ten. He was lying on his right side, facing the side Juliet slept on, except this morning she was gone. He didn't worry about it, but as he laid there trying to fully wake up, he wondered why Evangeline hadn't woken him like he expected she would.
Thinking this made him get up, not even hesitating to empty his bladder he hurried out of the bedroom and into the hall to hear Juliet speaking to someone downstairs. He marched down the steps without looking in the guest bedroom to see if Evangeline was still in bed asleep, that hadn't crossed his mind yet, although it would have been a great place to look first. The living room was silent without activity, so he wandered towards the kitchen while ruffling his bed hair. He felt tangles and grease, telling him that he needed a shower today.
When he entered the kitchen, he froze in shock. Disbelief overwhelming him immediately.
Was this a dream, they were getting along? It was bound to happen eventually but Andy didn't believe it would happen this soon. Juliet and Evangeline were making a mess together by cooking breakfast.
Evangeline stood on a step stool in front of a bowl of pancake mix and speaking of pancake mix because that's exactly what was on the front of her pajamas, her little hands and one of her cheeks. She lifted her head and spotted Andy staring at her with widened blue eyes, a smile coming across her face jubilantly.
"Hi daddy!" she exclaimed and this caused Juliet to turn from the oven to look at her boyfriend.
"Good morning!"
"What did you do to my daughter?" Andy asked, stepping forward slowly as he overlooked Evangeline.
"She's making breakfast, love."
"Her mother is going to murder me once she sees her pajamas."
"I'll wash them later, don't worry." Juliet said then turned back towards the oven where she flipped the pancake over.
Andy's concentration was no longer on Juliet's voice, instead he opened one of the cabinet drawers and grabbed a washcloth and soaked it with warm water then he approached Evangeline and began wiping away the pancake mix gently just so he didn't turn her cheek red from the fabric.
"That tickles, daddy!" Evangeline exclaimed, giggling as Andy kept wiping her cheek. He smiled then laid the washcloth down onto the island's counter.
"Let's wash your hands, okay?"
"Okay." Evangeline replied then Andy lifted her up from the step stool and sat her down on her feet, he placed the step stool in front of the sink and watched her climb on top of it. He turned on the faucet for her then squeezed some Dawn dishwashing liquid onto her hands and watched her rub her little hands together.
"Are you hungry?" Juliet asked after a moment of silence, she looked at Andy to see he was rubbing his eyelids to get rid of the sand.
"Yeah, but I need a cigarette." he mumbled, she shook her head side to side with a smile and returned to her cooking.
"Can mommy eat breakfast with us?" she asked, looking up at Andy.
"She may be still asleep baby, you want her to get some sleep, right?" Evangeline nodded in response, he smiled then kissed the top of her head. "you'll see her this afternoon sweetie, I promise."
"I miss mommy."
"I know you do and I'm sure she misses you too, but I promise she will come get you sometime this afternoon and you can give her hugs and kisses and never let her go." Andy told her and this caused a smile to come across her face, but Juliet felt kind of upset to hear this coming from Evangeline. Maybe because she didn't want to hear it but it was reality. Juliet wasn't Evangeline's biological mother nor stepmother, she was Evangeline's father's girlfriend that Evangeline saw when she stayed the night with her father. They were friends when she was here but when Evangeline was with her mother or with her father alone, Juliet wasn't going through her mind. She had to accept that for now.
"Pancakes are done!" Juliet announced cheerfully.
Andy helped Evangeline dry her hands before she jumped off the step stool and hurried to the kitchen table, she pulled one of the chairs out from under the table by using all of her strength then she hurled herself up onto the seat and sat down patiently for her plate.
"If you fix her plate, I'll get her something to drink?" Andy said to Juliet and she nodded in agreement. He found her sippycup and unscrewed the lid without struggling, he opened the refrigerator door and saw orange juice, apple juice and milk. Although he wasn't sure which one Evangeline wanted but since she would have syrup covering her pancakes and he loved drinking milk when he ate pancakes, he chose milk for her. Besides, milk was good for you and he wanted his daughter to be healthy. Especially while she was under his watch. Andy was getting a hang of this father thing, it may have took awhile and it may take a lot longer before he's excellent at it but so far he thought he was doing pretty good at it. He tightened the lid before handing Evangeline her sippycup, she took it instantly and tilt it up to swallow the liquid.
"Looks like someone was thirsty." Juliet said then placed a plate of pancake and bacon in front of her, Andy sat down beside her and began cutting her pancake.
"Thank you daddy."
Andy smiled jubilantly, he would never grow tired of being called daddy.
"You're welcome, sweetheart. Be sure to chew it."
"I know, daddy." she exclaimed with laughter than lifted her fork and dug in.
Now that Andy knew his daughter was eating, he sat down and joined her and Juliet but he had to drown his in maple syrup before eating it.
"What are our plans today, babe?" Juliet asked suddenly.
"I'm not sure yet, I don't know when Ariel is planning to come get her so we might stay home today and keep her occupied before she does show up."
"Don't you want to take her out and do things together before we go on tour?" Juliet interrogated, simultaneously pulling her bacon part with her thumb and index finger.
"Honestly?" Andy asked after chewing. "no I don't, because I can do things with her at home in private and have just as much fun. Can't we, Evangeline?
"Yeah!" she exclaimed excitedly in response and Andy chuckled.
"I was just making sure, sounds perfect to have a day at home. I'm sure we have games to play, don't we?"
"I think they're in the attic, but before we do anything. I need a shower." Andy said and unexpectedly Evangeline began giggling. He looked at her curiously and saw she was hiding her face with her hands.
"What's so funny?" Juliet giggled.
"I think me getting a shower is funny," he replied then he shook his head with a smile. "you're silly, Evangeline."

Ariel applied Maybelline mascara to her top lashes around two something. She was missing her little girl badly and decided now was the time to pick her up, she even forgot to text Andy to let him know that she would be there soon. She was a small amount of clingy towards her daughter but that was normal since Evangeline spent nine months inside of her and two years by her side almost 24/7, now that Andy and preschool was in the picture, Ariel felt kind of empty. Maybe because she was alone when Evangeline was gone. Ariel flicked off the bathroom light and walked into her bedroom where she grabbed her purse from her bed, then approached the nightstand to grab her cell phone when it unexpectedly began ringing. She didn't hesitate to answer once she saw it was her mother calling, she knew if she missed one call her parents would jump on a plane immediately.

"Hey mom." Ariel greeted with a smile upon her face.
"Hey honey, what are you up to today?"
"Nothing really, but I am about to go get Evangeline from her father's." Ariel replied while she walked into the living room.
"Did she stay with him last night?"
"She did, mom. Andy wanted to spend time with her before he left for tour and since I had a job interview, I agreed to let her stay the night."
"I bet she loved that," Veronica giggled then she became serious. "are you going to talk to him about child's support?"
Ariel sighed softly and opened the refrigerator door to grab a drink to take on the road.
"Should I do that, honestly mom? I didn't tell him about Evangeline for three years, then I take him to court for child's support. Doesn't that make me sound like a money craving bitch?"
"No it does not!" Veronica spat. "and if he sees it that way he needs a good slap in the face! You are a single, unemployed mother that clearly needs financial support in order to raise that little girl. Child's support goes towards clothing, food, bills, college, whatever she needs and wants and what you need to raise her. You can also work out days when he can have her. It's very beneficial to everyone and if he's a responsible father, he won't bicker with you about it."
"Should I talk to him today about it or wait?" Ariel asked, she felt her heart pound slightly.
"The sooner the better Ariel," Veronica told her truthfully. "I'm going to let you go so you can pick Evangeline up, good luck and be careful driving. Those Californians are insane!"
Ariel laughed. "Bye mom, love you and dad."
Veronica was right about child's support and Ariel hoped that Andy would agree too, she didn't want to cause problems when she's just doing what's best for Evangeline and since Ariel started a new life here in California she was unfortunately struggling with everything. Her mind was cluttered with everything at once that when she made her way to her Chevy, she didn't see the jogger heading towards her in a rapid motion. Before the jogger could come to a halt, he passed her by an inch. She stopped instantly and expected him to keep running like a jerk but instead he came back with a concerned expression and man, was he attractive. He was tall and muscular, his eyes and hair were dark and his jawline and upper lip was covered in short dark hair that was shockingly attractive.
"Are you alright?" he asked and she nodded before finding her voice.
"I'm fine, I didn't see you."
He chuckled. "Neither did I," he replied then flashed his phone. "changing a song. I'm Troy, by the way."
"That's alright, no harm was done. I'm Ariel."
"Ariel, as in Ariel from The Little Mermaid? You do have red hair." he pointed out playfully and she laughed.
"Exactly from The Little Mermaid," she smiled. "I really have to go though Troy, it was nice meeting you."
"Oh, I understand. It was nice meeting you too, bye Ariel."
She smiled as she approached her vehicle and climbed inside, watching Troy run down the street. He was cute but Ariel wouldn't get her hopes up seeing him again, what were the chances? She started the ignition and started to concentrate on Evangeline again.

Ariel walked up the steps of Andy's front porch and approached the door, inhaling and exhaling a deep breath to calm her nerves. On the way here she decided to mention child's support to him today, her mother was right about it all and she should bring it up as soon as possible so they can get this together. She used her thumb to push in the door bell and she heard the bell ringing inside, she just had to calm down, Andy will understand hopefully.

The door pulled inward moments later and Andy appeared, a smile upon his face.
"Hey, I didn't know you were coming." Andy said and stepped to the side, pulling the door in wider so she could come inside. She returned the same smile and stepped inside the house.
"I know, I forgot to call and I didn't realize it until I pulled into the driveway."
Andy chuckled. "No worries. How are you doing, how was the interview?"
"I'm good and I think it went alright, I'm just waiting for a call back."
"You better get the job or I'll have to do my magic," Andy laughed. "Evangeline is in the living room with Juliet, want anything to drink?"
"No I'm good, thank you though." Ariel replied then wandered off towards the living room with Andy following behind her.
Evangeline was sitting on the floor with Juliet in front of the coffee table, Juliet had finished painting Evangeline's nails bright pink and they both sat there waiting for their nails to dry but when Evangeline saw Ariel, she no longer cared if they were dry or not.
"Mommy!" she exclaimed then jumped up and ran towards her with her arms held out.
Ariel didn't hesitate to pick her up and give her tight squeeze and a big kiss on the cheek.
"Did you have fun?" Ariel asked her and Evangeline just nodded in response as she buried her face into Ariel's hair.
"She missed you, that's for sure." Andy told her.
"Aw, did you miss me?"
Again, Evangeline just nodded and hugged Ariel tighter.
"Did she behave?" Ariel asked Andy, he stood beside her with his arms crossed.
"Of course!" he exclaimed with a smile. "she's always good."
Evangeline finally pulled away to look at Ariel and she was smiling big, it was very obvious that she missed Ariel.
"Juliet colored my nails, mommy."
"Did she?" she interrogated. "let me see."
Evangeline held up her hand and her smile only grew bigger.
"They are very pretty, pink is a very girly color and it looks beautiful on you. I'm going to put you down now, okay?" Ariel said then lowered Evangeline to her feet, then she turned her attention towards Andy. "can we talk for a moment?"
He didn't look concerned but he looked very suspicious but he didn't interrogate it, instead he nodded and motioned towards the kitchen.
"Watch her for a minute, babe. Will you?"
"Of course." Juliet replied and watched Andy walk off to the kitchen with Ariel, she was very suspicious of why Ariel wanted to talk to Andy alone and even though she wanted to find out what was going on, she did agree to keep Evangeline entertained.
"What's wrong?" Andy asked once they sat down at the kitchen table, he looked at her and she looked back.
"Nothing's wrong, everything is fine. But I wanted to talk to you about child's support."
Andy hesitated at first to speak but when he did, he didn't say much.
"It's nothing bad, honestly. But I'm struggling Andy, I don't have a job yet. I'm in a new place, Evangeline is in a new school, I have bills to pay and groceries to buy and clothes to buy for her and toys. I can't afford it, I don't know when I will find a job and until I do I'm pretty much broke. I know I said I wouldn't take you to court over child's support but now I'm thinking it's probably best for Evangeline because I can't raise her on my own with my own money, I'm not after your money for myself but I need it for her Andy. And also with child's support we can work out visitation rights."
Andy nodded in agreement and Ariel felt a small amount of relief conquer her body.
"Ariel, I'll be happy to pay child's support if it keeps you and my daughter off of the streets. I don't care what you do with the money, if you go out and buy a shit load of clothes for yourself, I don't care. I know you're not like that, you're a good mother and I agree with you. I think child's support will benefit us all actually, giving you some money every month won't hurt me. What do we need to do?"
"I don't know yet but I believe we can work everything out without going to court, we just have to decide on what works for the both of us."
"Sounds good, we'll work it out. I won't bitch."
"Thank you," Ariel said then exhaled loudly. "I was worried that you'll try to change my mind about it."
Andy laughed. "I'm not like that Ariel, you should know that by now."
"I should but I was still worried," she said then she stood. "I should get going now."
Andy stood up with her.
"I know I haven't known Evangeline long but I love her with everything that I got, I will do anything for her and for you. Please, please don't think that I won't without complaining."
Ariel smiled then she nodded. "I won't Andy. I'm sorry that I thought you wouldn't agree."
"Don't be, I understand."
Andy helped Ariel gather Evangeline's bag and her things then helped her out to the vehicle where he buckled her into her seat belt securely.
"I'll see you soon Evangeline, be good to your mommy." Andy told her then kissed her forehead. He pulled himself out of the backseat then shut the door.
"When do you want us on tour?" Ariel asked with a giggle.
"Call me when you're ready, dad wants me to give you his number before we go so if you need anything you can call him."
Ariel smiled. "How sweet. I'll see you in a few weeks then."
"In a few weeks." Andy told her then watched her get into the front seat.
He stood on the porch and watched her drive down the street, disappearing in just a minute.

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