Tear In My Heart

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Bloody Noses and Ice Cream (Bonus)

Noah’s POV

I awoke to gentle movements on my bare back as my husband softly whispered, “Baby? Time to wake up.”

I groaned as I childishly hurried my head under my pillow. He chuckled before he pressed a soft kiss in between my shoulder blades.

“Noah,” he dragged out in a singsong voice. I didn’t respond. I could practically hear him pout. “Baby, you need to get up before you waste the day.”

“You sound like my Nona,” I said, my voice scratchy from sleep and muffled by the soft pillow.

“And I will strangle you like she would if you don’t get your lazy butt up,” he said, giving my butt one good smack as he spoke.

“One more hour,” I begged.

He chuckled. “Noah, this would be your third time asking for another hour, and I’ve given them, but now I have to put my foot down.” He placed a kiss on my neck. “Come on, babe. The food’s getting cold and I made all your favorites.”

I instantly sat up, fully awake, causing the heavenly aromas of the food Madison had prepared to fill my nose. “Why didn’t you start off with that?”

Madison smiled before he kissed me, his cleanly shaved face feeling soft against mine. “When did you clean up?” I asked as I ran my hand against his cheek.

“After I dropped the kids off at school,” he said as he ran a thumb over my stubbled cheek. “I think you should follow suit.”

I rolled my eyes as he smiled. We took turns dropping off the kids every week and this was his week, and since we both worked from home we got to spend together, even if we were working. “Did you get them there on time today?”

Madison groaned. “Noah, it was one time!”

“Three.”

“Okay, maybe three, but that’s beside the point. And yes I did get them there on time.” I raised an eyebrow at him. He sighed. “Okay, maybe two minutes late.”

I laughed as I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him down onto the bed with me, causing him to let out a surprised squeal as he crashed down next to me. I laughed louder, causing him to laugh as well as I straddled his waist. “Well, I appreciate it nonetheless.”

“You better. I’ve been working on this for nearly three hours.”

“And I bet it’s amazing.”

“Yeah it is,” he muttered as I brought my lips to his again. He grinned as he gripped the back of my head and deepened the kiss.

After a few moments I pulled away with a drunk smile on my face. “I love waking up like this.”

“I know you do, so next week you better spoil me or I’m filing for a divorce,” he said as he smacked my butt.

“You wouldn’t dare,” I said as I climbed off of him.

“Try me, Noah,” he dared, causing me to playfully roll my eyes as I walked out of our room, dragging Madison along with me. Once we walked past the kid’s rooms and we entered the kitchen, I saw the amazing spread Madison had prepared. He hadn’t lied, he really did have all of my favorites: pastas, salads, and some assorted meats.

I smiled. “Thank you, my prince.”

“Anything for you, my king.”

As we started preparing our plates, the kitchen clock revealed that it was nearly twelve. I really had overslept.

We enjoyed our breakfast-lunch together on the couch since the kitchen table had all of the possible surrogate profiles we could choose from. We’d narrowed it down to eight suitable women but nothing was final. We’d run the idea by the kids and Addison was super excited about the idea of being an older brother to even more kids while Azzy was hoping she got a sister to play dolls with. It was really heartwarming to have the kids’ approval.

Once we were done, we brushed our teeth and showered together, of course sharing a few kisses here and there before we dried off, got dressed, and made our way to our shared office so that we could work side by side like we had been since I was a freshman in college.

“So what’s on the agenda for today?” I asked as I opened up my writing program and Madison logged onto his computer.

“Nothing much,” he said as he put on his adorable glasses. “Today I have a client who gave me a beta version of their system and now I have to try to hack into it and patch it up.”

“Sounds fun,” I said.

“Hacking, yes. Fixing, no.”

I chuckled as I opened my most recent story and let it load. We worked in a comfortable silence until the house phone rang. Madison answered it. “Hello...he what?...” as he listened he shook his head and took off his glasses.

“Madison, what’s-”

“I don’t understand why he’d do it unprovoked...I know, but I know my son…” he let out a defeated sigh. “Alright, alright. We’ll be there soon so we can talk this out...ok, bye.”

He cursed as he hung up the phone. “Addison got in a fight so bad they’re talking about suspension.”

“What?” I asked, disbelief evident in my voice. “Addison has never-”

“Gotten physical? I know. It’s crazy, but we have to head down there.”

I sighed and shut my computer before we headed to our room, got redressed, and headed out.

Addi’s school was super close, so we were there within ten minutes and we were directed to the principal’s office where Addison was sitting with a pout on his face. He was a bit red above his right eyebrow and his knuckles were red with irritation.

“Addi, are you okay?” I asked as I hurried over and gave him a once over, completely ignoring the principal.

“Yeah, dad. I’m okay,” he said, though he wouldn’t meet my eyes.

“Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you,” I said, causing him to slowly drag his attention to me. He looked ashamed. “Why did you fight with another kid? You know that’s not okay, Addison.”

“I know dad, but I couldn’t let him get away with saying mean things about you.”

“What mean things, Addison? No words justify violence, especially not when it’s about us. We can handle it,” Madison interjected.

“That’s what I called you in to talk about,” Principal Warren finally spoke. “Please, sit.” We sat on either side of Addison who was looking down at his red knuckles.

“Now, Addison. Tell your fathers what you told me,” he instructed, causing Addison to sigh before he looked up.

“Well,” he said, kind of soft.

“Speak up, Addison,” Madison demanded. “Sit up and look at us when you’re talking. Stop acting like you don’t know manners.” I placed a hand on Madison’s knee, silently telling him to slow down a bit. Addison was probably scared. This was his first altercation ever and I wanted to know why, but I didn’t want him to be scared.

“It’s okay, Addi. We’re not mad, okay? We just want to know what happened and make sure you’re safe, okay?”

Addison nodded and sighed. “We just got finished with lunch and we had chicken nuggets. I went outside for recess when Tommy Booger-”

“Burger-” Principal Warren corrected.

“-started talking about how his dad is the greatest and bravest because he’s a policeman and punches bad guys and arrests them and stuff. And I wasn’t trying to starting anything-”

“You weren’t trying to start anything,” I corrected.

“I wasn’t trying to start anything, promise! But I said that you two were strongest and told them the story you told me about when you guys got beat up really bad by some bad people but you were still able to put them in jail without beating them up. I said that I thinked that made you stronger than his dad.”

I couldn’t help the warm feeling that filled my chest as our son spoke so fondly about us. I didn’t even bother to correct his butchered grammar.

Suddenly he frowned. “But then he said that you guys deserved it then called you the mean f-word. He said that you guys were going to the bad place down there,” he said pointing to the ground, “and that you can’t be good dads. He said a bunch of other mean, gross things too. I didn’t understand most of it, but I knew it was bad. I told him to stop, but then he called me a mean f-word too and said some more mean stuff about you so I punched him,” he nonchalantly said with a shrug.

I had to hold back my laughter. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t support unnecessary violence, but I had to admit that it was kind of funny. I also thought it was so precious that he thought he needed to stand up for us like that.

“Addison-” Madison started but was cut off.

“He did more than punch him,” Principal Warren said. “He gave Tommy a bloody nose.”

“It wasn’t on purpose!” Addi defended. “I was aiming lower but he ducked.”

“Is Tommy okay?” Madison asked.

“Thankfully no broken bones.”

“He hit me too!” Addison cried pointing to his head. “It really hurt.”

Madison crouched so that he was eye level with Addison. “Little man, listen, okay? Thank you for trying to defend me and dad, but you can’t use violence against people just because they said something you don’t like. This could’ve been way worse. You could’ve gotten way more hurt and so could Tommy. Next time he says those things, tell a teacher, okay?”

“Okay, daddy. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry only means something if you don’t do it again,” I said as I ruffled his hair. “You’re going to apologize to Tommy.”

“I already did,” Addison said.

“Did you mean it?” Madison asked.

Addison shrugged. “A little.”

I had to keep my smile at bay.

“Okay, Principal Warren. We’ll continue this discussion at home. But what’s going to happen here?”

“We were thinking a three day suspension, but since what Tommy said was completely unacceptable and vile-”

“What else did he say?” I asked.

“Things I refuse to repeat in front of a child,” Principal Warren said. “Things he probably heard from his parents. However, since both parties involved where in he wrong, I’m issuing them both three days in separate focus rooms.” Addison frowned but stayed silent. Focus rooms were basically classes separated from the main classes where the kids who were in in-school-suspension had to do their work alone. They still got free time, naps, and snacks, but just not as much as the other kids.

I nodded.

“We will have the boys apologize in person once more and come up with an action plan for both to prevent this from happening again.”

Madison nodded. “Okay. But I don’t want our kid to have most of the fault put on him. Though his actions were wrong, the blame doesn’t rest on him, understood?”

“We will handle this as fairly as possible.”

“Good,” he said as he picked up Addison. “Because if I’m told otherwise, me and my husband will be in here under different circumstances and you don’t want that. Have a nice day,” was all he said before he walked out with me following behind him.

When we made it to the car, Madison buckle Addison in before we all got in and rode in silence.

“Are you sure you’re not mad?” Addison softly asked as he tinkered with an action figure we kept in the backseat for him.

“Yes we’re sure, Addi,” I gently said. “Though you didn’t go about it the right way at all, I’m proud of you for sticking up for what you believe in. But you better not ever get into another fight unless you’re defending yourself or I will tear your butt up like my Nona did to me, understood?”

“Yes, dad?”

“Good, because I’m not a fan of spanking, but I will if I have to. But for now, when we get home you’re going to clean up you’re room then we’re going to pick up your sister. We might still take you to the movies if you’re good, but I still have to talk to your daddy about that.”

Addison’s eyes lit up. “Okay!”

“He’s fiery just like you,” I whispered to Madison, causing him to smile.

“Unfortunately so.”

“But he has a pure heart.”

“Just like you.”

I smiled.

“Hey little man. How about we get some ice cream for that boo boo?” Madison asked, looking at him in the rear view mirror, causing Addison to smile.

“Yes!”

“But you have to promise to never do this again. We don’t reward bad behavior.”

“I promise daddy,” Addison adorably said, causing my heart to melt. “Now, off to ice cream planet!”

Oh yeah, he’s definitely Madison’s son.

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