And Dad Makes Three

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15

AINSLEY POV

Saturday comes and Callum is excited because it is the first Saturday I’ve had off. Thanks to Finn moving me in HR, I no longer need to work at the restaurant once my first paycheck comes in. I am sad to leave Harley and everyone. I told George about my promotion and he cheered for me, letting me know he would come by the office just to say hello to me. He also hoped Finn, and I were getting along well. I blushed at that statement. Finn is amazing, he’s been giving me the chance to get to know him and chose when he meets Callum. Vivianne and I have had many late night talks about Finn and how much I am enjoying our lunch dates.

“Mommy, do I have to nap?” Callum asks when I make him go to bed after lunch.

“Yes. You don’t want to be grouchy when we go to the carnival and you meet Mommy’s friend Finn.” I brush his hair out of his eyes and pat his cheek.

“Fine!” Callum huffs and lays down on the bed, squeezing his eyes shut. I laugh and sit next to him, gently running a finger between his eyes to help him settle. It takes ten minutes before he falls asleep. I knew he was tired, it just took a little time to force him to go to bed. Once I know he is asleep, I go into the bathroom and take a shower. I spend a little extra time shaving everything and washing my hair. Stepping out of the shower, I hear my doorbell. Frowning, I wrap my robe around my body and wrap up my wet hair. Going to the door, I peek through the hole and see the last person I want to see, Callum’s father, Nick. Debating with myself, I don’t open the door. I don’t have a car, it isn’t like Nick knows I am home. I don’t want to talk to the man. He made his choice all those years ago and I have no interest in him ruining my day. How the hell did he find my apartment? He hasn’t been a part of my life in years. I’ve moved since the last time we saw each other. Walking into the back of my apartment, I go about getting ready for the winter carnival using my blow dryer and curling iron. I fight my hair into submission. Soon I hear Callum wake up and call for me. Coming out of my bedroom wearing jeans and a loose fitting top, I find him sitting up rubbing his eyes.

“Have a good nap?” I ask, and he nods, his eyes going wide.

“You look pretty, Mommy. Is it time to go?”

“Not yet. Finn will come at one-thirty to get us. That means you can watch one show before he gets here,” I explain, and Callum cheers before running out to the living room. I put on Paw Patrol for him and peek out the peephole again. Nick is gone. Releasing a breath, I turn back to Callum. I need to pack the diaper bag I use with an extra set of clothes, my wallet, a hat and mittens for Callum when the sun goes down. I dig through and put in a few snacks and fill his cup with milk. I’d been saving to take Callum to the carnival all year. This way he can go on the rides and play a few games, and we might get a snack before coming home for dinner.

Knock. Knock.

I turn and peek out, making sure it isn’t Nick again. This time I see Finn standing in a wool coat of navy blue, Jeans, boots and a beanie on his head. I smile, opening the door, greeting him.

“Hi Finn.” Finn gives me a smile that makes my panties wet before saying hello.

“Hi Ainsley.” I move out of the way for him to come inside. Finn steps through, his hand brushing mine before he places a kiss on my cheek.

“Callum,” I call, catching my son’s attention. Callum looks up from his Paw Patrol show, his eyes going wide as he sees Finn.

“Callum, this is Mommy’s friend Finn,” I say motioning for him to come forward. Callum comes over and wraps an arm around my leg, peering up at him.

“Nice to meet you, Callum,” Finn says, getting down on one knee so he is at eye height with my son.

“Hi,” Callum whispers, waving. Finn smiles and I pat Callum’s head.

“Ready to go to the carnival?” I ask both of them. Finn stands and Callum nods. I grab my bag and house keys taking Callum’s hand. Finn leads the way to his SUV and we follow. I stop to lock the door. Looking around, I check for Nick. He is gone. Finn opens the back door to his car and I see he has the car seat I sent him set up behind the passenger front seat. I go to help Callum up, but he shakes his head.

“No Mommy, I want Finn.” I am taken aback. He doesn’t even know Finn, but he wants him. I shrug and let Finn place him in the car seat. Finn looks over his shoulder at me with a worried look.

“I don’t know how to do this.” I laugh and tell him.

“Take the bottom two metal hooks and put them in the buckle between his legs. Be careful not to pinch his legs when you click it.” I point to the pieces he needs to use. Finn hooks them and then the chest buckle.

“Now take the strap between his legs and pull tight. You want to make sure there isn’t too much wiggle room.” I point to the strap for him to pull. He slowly pulls until the chest buckle is against his chest in the proper spot.

“Good.” I smile at Finn and he laughs.

“That was nerve-wracking.” I laugh and hold up my hand for a high five. Finn slaps my hand gently and leans over to kiss my cheek.

“You did a good job,” I assure him, blushing from him kissing my cheek in front of a curious Callum.

“Ready?” I ask as we close the door to Callum’s seat. Finn nods and walks over to the driver’s seat. I climb into the passenger seat and buckle in when Callum asks me.

“Mommy, do you like Finn?”

“I do, buddy.”

“Okay.” I smile and see Finn wink at me from the corner of my eye. We make it to the carnival and Callum is bouncing out of his seat.

“Look, it is a wheel!” Callum yells, pointing at the Ferris wheel. I smile, enjoying his enthusiasm. Finn parks us in the VIP parking area I give him a confused look, but he smiles and turns the car off. I get out and show Finn how to loosen Callum’s car seat buckles.

“That is very complicated,” he comments as I set Callum down. The day is warmer than we’ve had in a while, but I know when the sun goes down it will get cold. Finn takes my hand and I take Callum’s hand. We walk past the ticket booth and I glance up at Finn again.

“I bought tickets already,” he tells me, pulling his phone out of his pocket to show me the digital barcode.

“You didn’t have to do that,” I object, and he shakes his head.

“I wanted to. I know you are still getting your finances adjusted with your new job.” Finn kisses my temple and walks us up to the main gate. He shows his phone, and they give us bands and a stack of tickets to use on the rides.

“Finn, how many did you get?” I ask, taking the stack from the worker.

“Enough for us to play all the games and ride any ride Callum wants,” he replies and I gape at him.

“Finn!”

“Don’t fight it. I want to spoil you and Callum.” He pulls me into the carnival and looks at Callum.

“What do you want to do first?” he asks Callum.

“I want to go on that,” Callum answers, pointing at the merry-go-round.

“Then we shall. Let’s go.” Finn walks us to the merry-go-round, stopping in the line after giving the right number of tickets to the ride worker. Callum bounces up and down, pointing at a black horse.

“I want to ride a black one.”

“Okay,” I say, picking him up to place him on my hip so we can watch the others ride it. Our turn comes and I place Callum on a black horse standing to one side as Finn stands on the other side. I keep my hands on his waist while Callum holds onto the gold pole in the middle of the horse. I catch Finn’s eye and he winks at me. The ride starts and Callum holds onto the gold pole as the horse goes up and down. I can tell he isn’t sure about it and I am about to take him off when Finn steps in.

“Callum, you look like a knight off to rescue a princess.” This catches Callum’s attention, and he turns to Finn.

“A what?”

“A knight. They were the good guys who fought off the bad guys a long time ago. They get to wear cool armor and hold swords.” Callum’s eyes widen and Finn pulls his phone out to show Callum a picture.

“Wow!” Callum leans forward and examines the picture. I watch as the two bond and Finn zooms in on the picture. I watch them talk as the ride goes on. The ride ends and Callum is still asking questions about knights and King Arthur. Finn does his best to answer the questions as we walk to another ride. This one is a tiny rollercoaster, perfect for little kids. Finn is too big for the cars, so Callum and I go while Finn watches and takes pictures for me.

“Mommy, I like Finn. He told me about knights.” Callum pulls on my hand as we wait in line.

“I am glad you do. Mommy likes him a lot too.” We get on the rollercoaster and every time we go past Finn, Callum gives him an enormous wave. I can see my son is falling for Finn, just like I am. We get off the rollercoaster and Callum runs off to Finn.

“Did you see us?” he asks, pulling on Finn’s hand.

“I did. You were very brave on that roller coaster,” Finn tells him as Callum takes his hand and mine standing between the two of us. I smile down at my son and up at Finn.

“Want to get a snack?” Finn asks, pointing at a funnel cake stand.

“Sure.” We walk over and I sit with Callum as we wait for Finn to bring us the funnel cake. Callum watches for Finn while sipping on his cup of milk. Finn comes back a minute later with two funnel cakes, one with plain dusting sugar and the other piled with ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I laugh at his guilty face.

“I am such a sucker for funnel cakes,” he admits with a sheepish smile. I laugh and pull apart the plain funnel cake for Callum. He takes one of the sizable pieces and shoves it into his mouth.

“Whoa, slow down, kiddo,” I tell him as he chews on the funnel cake. Finn offers me a fork and I dig into the funnel cake he bought that is loaded down with toppings. I moan softly when the ice cream and funnel cake hits my tongue. I would never pile a funnel cake with this much because my waist can’t afford for me to eat like this.

“Where to next?” I ask when we’ve finished eating, and I am working on cleaning Callum’s face.

“Want to play a game?” Finn suggests nodding to the booths.

“Callum?” I ask, pointing to the water gun game.

“Yes! I want a dinosaur!” he yells, getting up and running off. Finn takes off after him as I shoulder the bag and throw the trash away.

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