Do I Dare

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How do I?

Kyle sat in the living room watching an episode of Supernatural when his doorbell went off. He frowned putting the box of Chinese down on the coffee table as he got up. Who would possibly be at his house past 6? Kyle wished it was Olivia but had given her a key so there would never be a need for her to ring the bell.

Kyle opened the door still chewing on his orange chicken when he froze seeing a woman with short black hair in a navy blue suit. His eyes blinked a few times as they traveled down beside her to the little girl holding onto the woman’s hand while she sucked her middle and ring fingers on the other hand. It took Kyle a moment to even register that the woman was even speaking to him, let alone actually hear her words.

“You’re Mr.Kyle Brooks, correct?” The woman asked.

Kyle blinked then nodded; finished chewing the food in his mouth he swallowed then cleared his throat, “would you like to come in miss...?” Kyle paused waiting for the answer.

The woman held a straight face for a moment before smiling at the teenage boy. “Of course. There are a few things we need to go over before I can officially leave Blake in your care. And it’s Miss. Aviry.” She walked passed him as he stepped aside.

Kyle almost had a heart attack when he heard the words “leave Blake in your care” escape the woman’s mouth. Any other person would have passed out from shock, but Kyle was not in shock; he was in disbelief. He knew there was no way Blake’s mother had sent her to him after everything she put him through. Kyle was at a complete loss. He silently let the woman to the kitchen where he motioned for her to sit at the table.

Miss. Aviry looked around observing the interior that she could see before sitting. She then opened a file before pulling Blake onto her lap. “Being that you are eighteen, you are considered a legal adult; because of this, you are the only one who has direct custody of Blake Brooks despite her grandmother on her mother’s side begging to keep her, we must follow the order of the law. You never signed away your parental rights, which means you are legal responsible for her welfare.” She used one hand to flip through the papers sliding a few in front of Kyle.

“Wh-” Kyle could hardly speak. What the hell was going on that Blake was being brought to him even though her mother had been adamant about him staying away.

“There is something in this envelope from her mother that I suggest you read. It was to be given to you in the event of her untimely passing which unfor-”

“Woah woah, wait.” Kyle held up his hand to Miss. Aviry wanting her to stop talking. “What the fuck do you mean her untimely passing? What the hell is going on?” Kyle began to feel a knot building in his throat. He understood what it meant, but Kyle,having only been eighteen for a few months, was not ready for the idea of being a single father.

Miss. Aviry hesitated a moment before she spoke again, “Miss Veronica died unexpectedly in a car accident involving a drink driver.” She opened her mouth to continue only to have Kyle stop her.

“W-what do you mean? I mean, Blake needs her mother, that’s who took care of her. She’s gonna need her, she can’t be-” Kyle’s voice cracked so he stopped himself from continuing. It wasn’t that he loved Veronica, but he knew Blake did and that meant everything to him.

Miss. Aviry frowned some as she accepted that the reality of it was harder for Kyle to handle than she first thought. “Please Mr. Brooks, you need to sign these.” She urged Kyle, pushing the papers towards him a bit more.

Kyle sat in disbelief. His arms hung down at the sides of the chair, his head turned down to the floor, and his eyes watering to the point silent tears fell without him even realizing it. Kyle didn’t have anything he needed to take care of Blake; no clothes, blath stuff, food, toys, no anything. How was he supposed to get through this. He was told to stay away and yet now he would have to be her sole parent.

Kyle took the pen in his hand and slowly signed the papers where a yellow mark from a highlighter indicated. “I don’t have anything for her. I-I have nothing here. I don’t understand why she’s even been brought to me. Her mother wanted me out of her life, not her main caretaker.” Kyle looked up and over at Miss. Aviry then glanced at Blake who was all smiles.

Miss. Aviry took an envelope out of her manila folder then sat it in front of him before taking the papers he signed putting them back in the folder. “I think you would be rather shocked to know that miss. Veronica felt very different than she’d lead you to believe. My advice? Read the letter then go shopping for your daughter.” She stood then carried Blake to Kyle.

Blake reached her arms out for him immediately which caught Kyle off guard, but he quickly took her from miss. Aviry before he showed her back to the door. “I um- I don’t know what to say here...” Kyle said softly, Blake gripping his shirt tightly as they spoke.

“Be a good father Mr. Brooks. Veronica knew you were capable or Blake wouldn’t be here.” Ms. Aviry said as her final words before walking from the house and to her car.

After Kyle watched her pull away he closed the door then turned to look at Blake who eerily looked like him more than he thought she would. The pictures Veronica had sent him didn’t do her justice. Kyle picked up the envelope as he walked passed the table making his way up to his room where he sat Blake on the bed then closed the door.

Kyle stood there just staring at Blake who began sucking on her fingers again which automatically made Kyle smile. He was happy to have her, just not with the circumstances that brought her to him. Kyle went and sat next to Blake on the bed then opened the letter just as she began to crawl on top of him. Kyle crossed his legs Indian style then pulled her gently into his lap.

He carefully opened the envelope then unfolded the single page note Veronica had left for him in case anything were to ever happen to her.

Kyle Brook, I am sorry this is how it goes from here on. I hope you never have to read this, but if you are then I most likely am no longer around. I know I have made things difficult for you over the past three years when it came to Blake, but I need you to understand something: it was never because of the things I said. I never thought you’d be a bad influence on her or be a bad father. The truth is, I knew you’d be the exact opposite to the point of jeopardizing your bright future and I didn’t want that for you.

You are a bright kid Kyle, a smart guy who will someday do something great and I didn’t want to be the reason you lost that. I didn’t want you to look at Blake and I and blame us for screwing things up for you so I pushed you away. I know you’ll be good to her, and believe it or not she adores you. I tell her about you everyday. I made sure to show her your pictures and the videos of you playing lacrosse that they put up online. I wanted her to know that you were a good person and did love her. I never blamed you for not being around. I always told her it was mommy’s choice and not your fault despite knowing she couldn’t really understand me at firs.

She loves you Kyle, and I know you love her. Be the amazing parent I know you were always capable of. Support her in everything, make her laugh, give her love, chase away all the boys and when the time comes, tell her about me. Tell her I loved her more than anything else in this world and how much I will miss her.

Raise her well Kyle.

Kyle crumpled up the letter then threw it across the room. Tears welled in his eyes as he tried to hold back his anger. He understood why she did it, but that wasn’t her choice to make; it was his. She took it away from him and never let him be the father he wanted to be for her; now she sat in his lap with him but without a mother.

“Dada” Blake said putting her hands on either side of his face, her went fingers spreading her saliva over his cheek. No be sad.” She said with a completely soft and innocent voice that only made him want to cry even more.

Kyle could help but squeeze his eyes shut for a short moment to prevent tears running down his face from the sound of hearing her address him. “Daddy’s hurt Blake. But I will be better for you, okay?” He sniffled then smiled which brought one to Blake. She followed by giving him a small kiss on the cheek which only made Kyle want to curl into a corner and cry the happiest tears of his life.

Kyle paced his room with her in his arms for ten minutes brainstorming how he would be able to go shopping for her. Without having a car seat, Kyle knew he couldn’t just take her with him but he also didn’t have a babysitter for her to stay home with. Frankly, even if he did there was no way Kyle would have left her. He finally had Blake back in his life and all he wanted to do was spend every moment he could with her in an attempt to make up for all the time he lost.

Kyle thought he was about to lose it. It had been an hour and still he hadn’t figured out how to safely transport her to the store with him and he knew she was getting hungry since she was cranky and restless. His hair was now a mess from him running his hands through it so much. Just when Kyle thought he had no way of figuring it out, the door bell rang. Kyle kept Blake in his arms as he went to answer it only to find Olivia waiting on the other side as he swung the door open.

Olivia’s mouth dropped open upon seeing his so disheveled and with a baby in his arms. “I- I can come back if-” she motioned to her right pointing out a crib, car seat, and a few toys that had been brought by while he was up stairs with Blake.

Kyle quick shook his head, “no it’s fine. Just come in,” he said standing to the side to allow her to pass.

Blake was leaning her head on Kyle’s shoulder while sucking her fingers. Her deep dirty blonde hair and blue eyes reminded her of Kyle immediately which caused her to let out a small gasp; Kyle shushing her quickly then reached out and picked cup the car seat with his free hand, kicking the door shut carefully behind him once back inside.

Kyle placed the car seat on the floor then looked over at Olivia whose mouth was still wide open. “You keep it open like that and I’ll stick something in it.” He raised an eyebrow and smirked at her before walking past her to the living room.

Kyle set Blake on the couch then gave her a kiss on the cheek, “can you sit here for me so I can grab the stuff from outside?” He bopped Blake on the nose which caused her to laugh while also nodding.

He smiled down at her as he stood back up from kneeling then went back out to the front of the house to gather what was there. Kyle didn’t know how but being with Blake felt easy, natural; something he was so sure wouldn’t be the case earlier. After all, Kyle hadn’t seen Blake in a while and honestly didn’t really have a clue how to parent a baby with someone let alone on his own. He still had school, and he didn’t want to give up graduating because he wanted to be a good example for Blake to look up to; someone she could always rely on. He had a lot to figure out.

Olivia looked over at Kyle as he walked back in the door with the crib pieces in hand, then stared intensely as he brought the other stuff in and sat it in the kitchen to the side up against a wall. “Kyle what is going on right now?” Olivia motioned at all the baby stuff.

Kyle just sighed and shook his head, “it’s a complicated story that I don’t even know all the details to Olivia; believe me, I wish I did.” He ran a hand through his hair as Blake came running into the kitchen as fast as her little legs would take her with her arms out at Kyle.

Kyle smiled then scooped her up into his arms again, once more Blake’s head reasted against his shoulder, “Dada I hungry” Blake pouted.

Olivia raised her eyebrows, “Dada?” She questioned her eyes flicking to Kyle’s.

Kyle nodded then turned towards the kitchen counter grabbing a banana for Blake. “I said it was complicated. It’s not like you didn’t know I had a daughter.” Kyle said as he bit the top of the banana to help peel it open before he handed it to Blake who happily accepted it.

Olivia blinked rapidly a few time before staring at Blake as she spoke. “No, I know that. I just didn’t know you get to see her. You said her mom didn’t want you around.” Olivia walked to the bar top and sat slowly in one of the chairs.

Kyle wiped a bit of banana from the side of Blake's mouth with his thumb, "she didn't. But... She died and I guess she wanted me to be the one to raise her and I never signed away my rights as her father so..." He turned the sink faucet on to rinse his fingers off the banana residue. "I need to go shopping for some stuff for her tonight; you wanna come? I get it if you don't, it's not like you agreed to date an eighteen-year-old who had a baby at home." Kyle sighed.

Olivia bit her lip before speaking, "maybe not, but I did agree to date you and I knew you had a daughter. I don't mind it Kyle. I used to babysit my brother's son when he was little so I'm used to babies." Olivia stated confidently with a smile across her lips.

Kyle nodded,"alright. Let's go put her carseat in." Kyle walked to the counter and grabbed his wallet stuffing it into his back pocket.

"We are not taking that damn lexus of yours." Olivia crossed her arms, "baby on board." She said firmly.

Kyle shook his head and chuckled, "obviously. I'm not an idiot. She is my daughter and I don't want her in my lexus anyway. Not as safe." He stated as he grabbed a pair of keys off the key rack.

Olivia followed behind him carrying the car seat as they made their way down the hall and into the garage. "So what are we taking?" She asked looking over the multitude of vehicles.

Kyle clicked the unlock button on the keys which caused the lights of a jade metallic green Mercedes G 550. "Just leave it next to the car; I'll put the seat in and set it up." Kyle said motioning towards the back passenger side door while going to the back of the driver side and opening that door. "Blake can you sit here and finish the banana while I get your seat ready?" He asked as he set Blake on the back seat.

Blake nodded continuing to much on her banana. She might only be three, but Kyle was amazing at how smart she was. She seemed to be able to understand more than he expected and her ability to talk was above other three-year-old's. Kyle finished fastening the car seat in safely then popped Blake into it making sure she was tightly secured before he got in the drivers seat next to Olivia who had gotten in and was waiting for him.

"Does your family only buy the most expensive cars possible?" Olivia jokingly says looking over at him. "A Lexus and now a Mercedes; I also saw three other vehicles in there which I can only assume to also be top of the line in some brand."

Kyle chuckled and shook his head, "my parents make great money, they buy what they want and I get to do the same. No reason for me to complain about it," he shrugged, "not to mention being my girl means you get all the luxuries that I do because I would give you anything you asked for." Kyle turned the key starting the engine. There was one thing he knew for certain, he loved Olivia and knew that he would do anything to make sure she knew that.

Olivia put her seatbelt on, her cheeks blushing a bright watermelon red. She knew inside that she would soon be the girl that she believed he wanted; tattooless and more normal. It had been a few days since she and her brothers met with Santiago and he had since contacted her about when she would be able to get her procedure. She wanted to graduate with Kyle and leave her brothers business. Olivia didn't care if she had anything to do with Alexsander ever again, though she would always make sure to stay in contact with Markus.

Olivia pursed her lips thinking hard about whether or not she should ask the question that was burning on the tip of her tongue. "Hey Kyle," She said, "what happened with her mom? Why exactly did she keep you away from Blake?" Olivia kept quiet after she asked, the car remaining silent for a while as they pulled from the garage.

"Blake's mother, she wanted me to graduate and live a successful life. Apparently, she didn't think I could do that and take care of my daughter. She didn't want me to give up everything for her, which pisses me off because it wasn't her choice to make." Kyle responded after three minutes of total silence.

Olivia nodded understanding why he'd be upset, but she also could understand Blake's mothers point of view. "You know she was just trying to help and do what was best for you right?" She said glancing over at Kyle.

Kyle let out a hefty sigh, "I know that, but it still wasn't her choice to make. my life- my future is my choice. What I do or don't do is up to me. I wanted to be a father to Blake and she made a choice to keep me from her thinking it was better for me. I can't stand that shit." he said roughly.

Oliva kept quiet after that about the subject. it was more than obvious it hit a nerve and she was interested in seeing what would happen if she hit one too many. Olivia never saw Kyle as a violent type, but she didn't want to give him the opportunity to prove her wrong. The rest of the ride was quiet aside from the sound of Blake munching on her banana. Once they pulled into the parking lot Olivia let out a laugh. Kyle's face contorted in confusion not understanding what was so funny.

"what?" Kyle asked parking.

Olivia shook her head, "You would shop here," she snickered.

Kyle looked at her even more confused. "what's wrong with shopping here?" he asked.

Olivia snorted as she unbuckled her seatbelt and got out of the jeep, "It's an expensive place to shop Kyle, let alone for kid stuff she's going to grow out of in a minute." Olivia explained.

Kyle went over and opened the door to Blake smiling holding her hands up to him wiggling her fingers. Kyle could only laugh seeing them covered in banana mush. He had no way to wipes yet so he just took off his sweater and used it to clean her hands best he could then threw it in the back seat. He unbuckled Blake from her car seat then pulled her up into his arms. Olivia was taken back some by how well he handled her; being a parent was hard but Kyle seemed to take to it so naturally.

"In we go." Kyle says, shutting the door then locks them.

The first thing they picked out in the baby/toddler section was a stroller. Kyle put Blake down and told her to pick her favorite. With a smile on her face, she went right to an indigo blue colored seat stroller with a rose gold frame.

"This!" Blake yelled in excitement.

Kyle could only laugh. She was apparently very decisive and had no need to look around at any of the others ones. "You sure?" he asked her raising an eyebrow. Blake simply nodded repeatedly in response.

Olivia let out a gasp as she got closer, "No, no way Kyle. This is over a thousand dollars." turning her head back to look at him with wide eyes Kyle just giggle.

"You still haven't accepted that my family is rich, have you?"

"Okay, but that much for just a stroller? Kyle that is crazy."

"Blake is going to get what she wants today, and tomorrow, and for the rest of her life if I can help it. She's daddy's little girl. I missed out on a lot Olivia, I want to make up for that."

Olivia nodded.

Kyle found one of the workers nearby and showed them a card which had them quickly scurry off only to bring back a manager with them.

"Mr. Brooks, It is a pleasure to have you here as always." the manager says swiftly holding out his hand.

Kyle shakes the mans hand, "anything I say she gets today gets a sticker." he motioned to Blake.

"Of course." the manager says.

"Starting with that stroller." Kyle informed putting his hands in his pockets.

The rest of the shopping trip went smoothly. If Blake was sure she wanted it, Kyle told the manager to put a sticker on it. An associate would follow behind and mark it down on a paper on a clipboard. The woman holding the clipboard would then hand the list to another associate once they finished shopping and the items would be picked up from their location and collected for him. Kyle wanted to get things that Blake actually liked instead of picking things for her that she might not.

Olivia was shocked at the entire situation. Having such treatment must mean that his family shopped here often and spent tons of money here. She knew Kyle's family had money, but she never imagined this was the extent it went to. While shopping, she saw a beautiful black sequenced dress that was tight at the top, had a thin silver band just at the waist area, and had crystal encrusted black tool that sat atop black fabric which caused it to flow beautifully.

"Get it." Kyle said standing behind her causing her to jump.

"I can't afford this dress, It's three grand Kyle." She glared at him over her shoulder. "I just think it's beautiful so I was admiring it." Olivia's face turning back to the dress as her hands ran across the sequences on the top half.

Kyle gestured to the woman with the clipboard and the manager, "start a secondary list. Get her anything she even looks at."

"Kyle, no. I don't have room for everything I'd look at back at my house."

"Then you can put it at mine." Kyle let a smirk cross his face, he wanted Olivia, and he wanted her tonight.

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