And Dad Makes Three

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34

AINSLEY POV

A few days into our trip I have a flare up with my MS. I haven’t told Finn about it because I don’t want him to treat me like an invalid. I have tried my best not to let my autoimmune disease control my life. Unfortunately, today my back is giving me a bit of trouble, making it hard for me to get up and walk around. I’m sitting on the edge of the bed as Finn comes out of the shower. I can’t help but admire his body wrapped in a towel.

“Ainsley, baby, are you okay?” Finn asks, kneeling at my feet. I put on a fake smile and nod.

“Just moving a little slow this morning. Walking around the parks has worn me out a bit,” I say, just not sharing the part about my back. The tingling is something I can ignore usually.

“There is more to it, I can tell. You look less enthusiastic about today since we got here. What’s going on?” He shifts to sit next to me on the bed. I scrunch my nose and sigh.

“Remember, my fainting when we first met?”

“I do. You said it was a flare up but never mentioned what it was. I didn’t want to push you into explaining while I tried to get to know you.”

“Well, I have Multiple Sclerosis. They diagnosed me with it just after having Callum. Sometimes when I get stressed out, or don’t watch my diet I can get flare-ups.”

“And today you are having a flare up?” he fills in and I nod.

“Yes, I’m having some strong tingling around my spine, along my shoulders. It makes it hard for me to stand or walk for long periods of time.”

“Then you stay here and rest. I’ll take Callum to the park and we can come back at lunchtime and see how you are feeling.” Finn presses a kiss to my temple. I sigh. I hate feeling like this.

“I need to call my doctor to report the flare up too. Sometimes I have to go on a steroid to stop the flare up.”

“You do that then. Callum and I will come back at lunchtime. Just call down to the main desk and speak with Bentley, and he will handle everything,” Finn explains as he gets up to dress for the day.

“Thanks Finn.” I pull out my phone and give my doctor a call, explaining what was happening.

“Normally I would want you to get an MRI, but since you told me you are in Florida, I can fill a prescription for Prednisone. Where should I send it?” Dr. Normald asks and I look up at Finn.

“We are staying in Orlando. If you can send it to a pharmacy here, I’ll go get it,” I reply and he nods.

“Okay, I’ll send it along.”

“Thank you, doctor.” I hang up and settle back in the bed, finally getting some relief from my back.

“I hope I feel better for Callum’s birthday in two days. I don’t want to miss out,” I remark as Finn hands me the remote.

“You won’t miss his birthday. Take today and we’ll get your medication picked up and brought here. You’ll be back to moving around and having fun with us in no time. I’m going to take Callum to Animal Kingdom today. We’ve got the tour for their safari,” Finn explains with a smile.

“Mommy!” Callum shouts, running into the bedroom. I catch him just in time as he jumps onto the bed.

“Mommy’s back is hurting today, buddy. Can you and Finn have a good time looking at all the animals for me?” I ask Callum. This will be the first time the two of them are by themselves. I have to trust Finn with Callum if I want this relationship to work and I do trust Finn. He’s done nothing to betray my trust. He whisked us away from our home while the paparazzi tried to invade our lives, he’s been protecting me since day one. It is nice to have someone to share the burdens of life and raise Callum with.

“Okay Mommy! I love Finn.” Callum isn’t phased at all about spending time alone with Finn, which makes me feel even better about him being alone.

“At lunchtime you can tell me all about your morning.” I kiss Callum on the cheek and he giggles.

“Come on, bud, let’s get you dressed.” Finn swings Callum into his arms and walks back to the room Callum slept in. I settle against the pillows and put on a movie. Ten minutes later Finn and Callum come in, both dressed for a day in the parks.

“I am having a tray of food brought up to you. They will bring it in so you don’t have to get up.” Finn places a kiss on my lips.

“Thanks Finn. I can walk, though,” I tell him with a laugh.

“I know. I just want you to rest up. We have big plans for Callum’s birthday, and I don’t want you to miss out,” he answers with a sheepish grin on his face. I laugh louder and shake my head.

“Okay, I’ll take it easy, I promise.” Finn kisses me again and Callum gives me a hug before they head out for the day.

About an hour after Finn and Callum left, my phone rang. I answered without looking at the number, assuming it was Finn. No one calls me ever.

“Hi darling!” my mother’s voice comes through on the other end. I freeze.

“Hi mother.” What the hell does she want?

“Merry Christmas!”

“Mother, that was over a week ago,” I replied, unsure of what to say to her.

“Well, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to call you. I just got back from my honeymoon!” I raise an eyebrow.

“Honeymoon?”

“Oh yes! I married Daryl. He is a millionaire in the wine business. We are living in Napa Valley.”

“Congratulations.”

“Thank you dear! You and your child should fly out to see me and meet your newest step father.” From her words, I can tell she doesn’t know about Finn, and I want to keep it that way. I honestly don’t want her in my life with her toxicity. When I had Callum she kind of washed her hands of me. I am happy to keep it that way.

“Well, I’ll try to save up the money to come see you. Maybe you can actually meet your grandson,” I remark, unable to resist her jab at my “child”.

“You don’t have to take that tone with me. You kept him.” She hung up, and I groaned.

The rest of the morning went by with no issues. The friendly people working at the hotel brought me my medicine halfway through the morning. Finn and Callum came back at lunch and I find I am feeling much better. I think I just needed a calm morning.

“I want to come with you two this afternoon. I am feeling better and don’t want to miss out,” I tell them when they come back in for lunch.

“Are you sure?” Finn asks, giving me a skeptical look.

“I know what my body can handle. I just needed a break.” I take a bite of my sandwich.

“Wonderful, we’d love to have you come with us this afternoon. We had a blast this morning, just us guys,” Finn tells me, smiling at Callum who is busy eating his chicken nuggets.

“After he goes to bed, I want to tell you about an interesting phone call I had.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, my mother called.” Finn raises an eyebrow with a concerned look on his face.

“Nothing bad I promise.” He nods and goes back to eating. Throughout the rest of lunch, Callum tells me all about his morning and all the animals he saw.

“My favorite was the lion. They are the best!”

“Wow, did he roar?”

“No. They were asleep.” I chuckle at how sad he sounds.

“They aren’t very active in the middle of the day,” I reply and he nods, picking up a French fry.

“Tell me about the other animals you saw,” I prompt, wanting him to tell me more. Callum launches into a list of all the animals he saw while we finish lunch. I share a smile with Finn. I love knowing Callum was safe with Finn and he had a good time.

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