“Do we need to knock?” Willow asks me.
“Baby, it’s your house.” I shake my head.
“Baby, my house is on Riverside with you.” She smiles, and I knock on the green door. Ah, Willow’s bright teal green front door. Jana opens the door and blushes on cue. I smile, “Hello, Jana.”
“Hi, come in, my goodness, this is your guys’ house. Please come inside, Ryan is in the kitchen.” I walk right past her. I hear Willow asking Jana about her summer internship.
I walk to the kitchen. Ryan is standing with his crutch, working at the kitchen counter. It still makes me rage with so much anger every time I see that damn crutch. I know I hate it no more than him. Hopefully, he won’t need it much longer. He has worked hard to recover from this ordeal. He’s a hell of a good young man, I’m proud of him, and I love him. I hope after tonight I can call him my son. I already consider him my son, but after tonight, I hope it will be legal. Whatever he wants, I’ll give him. I plan to give and leave everything I have to him in the end anyway, if he’s my son legally or not.
“Hey, I’m making the burgers, beer is in the fridge.” I walk over and inspect his burger-making skills.
He raises his brows, at least I think he does; his dark hair is so long he looks like a hippie. “Do they pass the test, Adrian?” he smirks.
We both look to the door when Willow yells, “Oh, my God! Come on everybody, Caroline’s water broke. We need to get to the hospital. I can’t believe I’m going to be a Nana.” She looks at her phone in her hand. “It’s after four in the afternoon. There’s a good possibility she won’t have her until after midnight, but I’ll be a Nana by tomorrow.”
“Baby, I’ll run home and get the car and your purse. Do you need anything else from the house?” I ask. We walked over for dinner.
“Yes, the presents for Caroline and Anna.” She can hardly contain herself. The happiness and joy in her green eyes make me a very happy man. I’m blessed, I fucking know I’m blessed, and I pray like hell we have many more days where I get to witness her glowing with love.
“Oh, we have a present for you two to take, for the baby; baby Anna,” Jana says.
Willow beams her light towards her, “That’s great, grab it and a change of clothes, and let’s get going.”
Jana blushes bright red. I’m not sure she excepted to go to the hospital and wait for hours to meet her boyfriend’s once-stepfather’s girlfriend’s granddaughter. Jesus, that’s a mouthful of words.
“We’ll stay here, call us and let us know how everything goes.” Ryan wipes his hands and goes to Jana.
Willow is Willow. A confused look contorts her face. “What are you talking about? You’re family, and family goes and fills up the waiting room. Aiden, go run home, please, and we’ll meet for you out front.”
She goes over and takes over the kitchen, cleaning up the dinner they were preparing to make.
“Willow, I know we are family, but this a special occasion and…” Ryan says, and green eyes swing to me.
“Please, ask him now, Aiden, and then scold him for holding us all up.”
I shake my head, now is not the time. I was planning on discussing it after dinner, maybe after a few beers. “I will later, Willow.” I smile, letting her down easy. “Ryan, get your ass ready, I’ll be back in fifteen minutes to pick all of you up.”
“What do you need to ask, do you need us out of the house?” Ryan asks.
Willow shakes her head at Ryan, “Aiden, please now. I’m going to run home. I have the energy to spare. I’ll pick everyone up in twenty minutes.”
“Wait for a minute, Willow, what do you need from me? What’s the deal with this dinner? What do you guys need to ask?”
I walk over to him, look at him man to man. “I want to adopt you, Ryan. I’ve let you down in the past, but never again, son. I want you to take my last name.”