Because of Avalyn

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Chapter 5 - Our First Days

🐇Aaron🐇

Avalyn and I settled in pretty fast. It was easy since Carter was gone. We were able to get acquainted with the house and the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is amazing. It’s a very large gated community but as one would expect the people are quite snobby.

I shouldn’t say that, not all of them are snobby. I met a lovely woman on my morning jog and she showed me a trail that she likes. Penelope lives up the street in a house even bigger than Carter’s. I learned Penelope is a very successful divorce attorney. That gives me chills because divorce attorney’s are scary, but outside of work she’s really sweet so maybe she’s not a ruthless monster?

Most of the people give me the dirtiest looks when I leave in the mornings because my car does not fit in at all. Thankfully Carter has an open spot in the garage that I can use to hide it from view. Even the gatekeeper gives me dirty looks, that’s what Ava and I call the security guard.

“Ava, are you ready to go?”

“I’m comin’ Daddy!” she yells from her room.

Today Ava is going to practice boxing with uncle Mac. We arrived and Ava went to change. Then I saw him, Mac’s ten year old nephew Kurt. He’s a bully so I’m worried when Mac wants them to practice with each other.

Kurt was teasing her saying shit like girls can’t box and boys are better than girls. Typical bully bullshit. My favourite thing in the world was when Ava walked up to him and punched him. Then she knocked the jerk off his feet and with a nod of approval from Mac, continued to teach him a lesson. She made that big bully cry and I have never been so proud.

At least I know all her boxing and self defence lessons with Mac have been worth the time. I’m so proud of her and I’m grateful she has a fighting chance if someone ever tries to take her. When Kurt finally picks his sorry butt up off the floor he runs and hides in the locker room. Mac follows him and Ava comes back over to me.

“Daddy, did you see?” she asks excitedly.

“I did. You did great but I never want to see you go after anyone like that outside of the ring, ok?”

“Or if someone tries to take me, right Daddy?” she questions me cautiously.

“Yes. Only if you are in the ring or someone tries to take you. You’re a very smart and brave little girl. You should apologize to Kurt for making him cry”.

“Ok Daddy”.

She walks over to Mac and Kurt when they come out of the locker room. I chuckle when she loudly says she’s sorry and then runs off to go get changed. Rob comes over with a big grin on his face.

“Aaron, you’ve raised one hell of a little firecracker. I hope to God she never needs to use her skills. She’s fierce and compassionate and she is so damn lucky to have you”.

I smile, “thanks. That means a lot coming from you. Your own daughter is very much the same”.

He gently squeezes my shoulder before he heads off to do paperwork. His daughter is trying to get into ultimate fighting. Rob wanted her to do anything else but she fell in love with fighting so she’s been training really hard for a shot at it.

The end of my shift fast approaches and I honestly cannot wait to get Ava home. I already know what she will want to do. She’ll want to have dinner, go have a bath and then she’ll want to make a bed on the floor because Carter’s couch is very uncomfortable and watch Brave until she falls asleep.

🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇

When I open my eyes I notice I’m not alone. Avalyn made her way to my bed last night, I bet she had a bad dream and couldn’t wake me. That happens sometimes but she just crawls up and cuddles with me until she falls asleep again.

Have I mentioned I hate weekdays? They are always such long days and I’m tired. It’s about ten after five but I can’t go for my run this morning because I don’t have anyone to watch Ava. The neighbour across the street likes Ava so she offered to watch her Monday, Wednesday and Friday until I get back. She said she’s awake anyway. She just asked me to keep some eggs and bread out for her so she can have breakfast. I told her to help herself to anything in the fridge. She hasn’t.

I offered to pay her but she refused saying she just wants a cup of coffee and some eggs and toast. Fine by me, Avalyn usually just sleeps until I’m home but not always. Lena used to watch her for me. I hope our distance doesn’t stop them from having a relationship. Avalyn needs all the female role models she can get.

After my treadmill run I shower quickly and take Ava to the preschool that’s in the area. Unfortunately they weren’t able to push her admission through because they found out too late. Then they gave me attitude because I don’t look like I can afford to send her here. I mean, they aren’t wrong but Carter said he’d write them a cheque for their activities department, and Ava’s fees.

I argued, of course, but it was over the phone so he told me he was going over there as soon as he got home so I could suck it up and deal with it before he hung up on me. I have no idea how I will ever be able to repay him for all he has done but I’ll figure it out… somehow.

With the whole day in front of us we decided we will go swimming when we get home. We haven’t used the pool yet so we will hopefully have a ton of fun.

“Daddy can we call auntie Lena to come swim?” Avalyn asks.

“Sure. She probably has to work but we can ask”.

We call her when we get home and she’s actually not busy. Her boss is on a business trip and wanted her to stay behind so she’s just checking messages and emails throughout the day.

I send her the address and call the gatekeeper to let him know her license plate number so he will let her in. Then I leave the garage door open for her so she can change in my room and then come downstairs.

“Daddy!” Ava screams.

“Are you ok?” I yell back from my room.

She walks across the hall, “need help!”

I almost laugh seeing her standing across from me, her head stuck in the neck hole.

“Here let’s just pull it down.” I chuckle under my breath.

“Don’t laugh.” she glares at me, which of course makes me want to laugh more.

I tickle her, pick her up and toss her over my shoulder. She squeals and laughs all the way down to the pool. There is a big mural that covers the back wall and the wall to the side that directly lines the pool. The water looks like it’s supposed to be the pond in the mural. The longer wall has a big tree and a field of very beautiful flowers and the other wall is where the sun is over more flowers.

It even goes into the water. It looks like it’s very expensive. There is a big round hot tub next to it and then there is a set of gripped stairs that lead into the water. Ava is so excited by all the colours.

The basement opens up to the huge backyard and the pool room has one wall that’s basically all windows. It actually looks like they open up and you can walk right outside. This house has to be multiple millions of dollars.

I get Avalyn’s water wings on her and she runs right in. The water is perfect but what did I expect? It’s an indoor pool. It feels like an extension of my body, velvety smooth.

“Auntie Lena!” Ava yells excitedly when Lena comes through the doors.

“Hi sweet girl. How are you?”

“Good.” she smiles, “How are you?”

“I’m much better now that I’m here with my favourite people”.

We play in the pool for a couple of hours before we get out and go upstairs to make dinner. Lena takes Ava to the living room and it’s only about ten minutes before Avalyn crashes.

“Aaron?” Lena asks as she rounds the corner, “Is this Carter?” She holds up a picture.

“Yeah, why?”

She smirks, “did you know this is the mystery man from the club”

“No… Seriously?”

“Yup and you should absolutely bed him… oooor are you the bottom?” she asks.

“Lena”.

“Aaron. You deserve to have fun and you don’t even need to tell him you know”.

We finished making dinner together, talking and laughing. Avalyn wakes up not long after we finished eating. I feed her and send her back to bed. Lena goes and tucks her in and reads her a story. She thanks me for a fun day and she heads home even though I told her she could stay.

🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇

“Daddy, wake uuuup.” Ava jumps on the bed startling me.

I look over at the clock and groan into my pillows.

“Avalyn it’s five-thirty in the morning, we don’t have to be awake for another two hours.” She giggles and snuggles up against my side and closes her eyes.

I love this crazy wild child. The alarm goes off and it’s time to start the day. Because Avalyn didn’t bathe the night before I gave her a quick bath and got her ready for preschool. Carter sent me a text after I went to bed and told me the funds were transferred and that they would push it through today but she could still go.

I head to work at the call center but things are off, everyone seems like they are stumbling blindly through a dark tunnel.

“Why is everyone out here?” I ask.

“There is some big announcement and we were told to wait in the lobby.” My coworker informed me.

I don’t like this one bit. The last time they did this they were closing one of the offices and some of those workers were coming here and some of our people were getting fired.

They made us wait twenty minutes. This made everyone anxious and angry but I’m positive we should have saved the anger.

“Thanks for waiting. I wanted to inform you personally that in three weeks we are moving our operations overseas. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, good luck in your future endeavours. Thank you.” The office manager who gave the announcement looks just as angry as everyone else. I’m assuming they didn’t get promoted and are going to be unemployed along with us.

I am truly not in the right mind space right now. I thought things were finally turning around but now I’m losing my main source of income.

I need a fucking break.

🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇

After the world’s longest shift I go sit in my car for half an hour and try not to cry. I have to go pick up Ava from Lena and Mac.

“Hey, are you alright.” Lena asks when I get out of the car.

“I don’t know. It seems like I can never catch a fucking break. How can I take care of Avalyn if I am constantly at my breaking point?”

“It’s ok. You have us and we will do what we can. Have you told Carter yet?”

“No. I fought him so hard to let me pay him and now I’m losing my main source of income. He’s going to regret his decision”.

“I don’t think so. I saw the way he was dancing with and touching you at the club. He wants you and he wants all of you. I believe with everything that I am that he wants a life with you”.

“We have to go. Thank you for picking her up.” I give a curt nod and go inside to get Ava.

We drive home and Avalyn tells me about her day. It wasn’t the best. My sweet little angel is already on the radar of a bully. I make sure she knows that she needs to talk to a teacher or another adult that she trusts before she fights back. But if this bully ever touches her she’s allowed to defend herself. I make that very clear.

Not long after that she falls asleep. Rush hour traffic is even worse than normal. We’re going to be eating a very late dinner. The garage door opens and It looks like Carter is home early. Carter turns and smiles at me when I walk into the kitchen.

“Let me take her for you. I picked up some Thai food on my way home for you and I and a happy meal for Ava but it seems she won’t be eating with us”.

I don’t say anything. I just sit down and serve myself. I wanted to confront him about the club but now it seems so trivial. Now I am tasked with having to have an uncomfortable conversation while trying to hold it together.

“How was your day?” he asks.

“Not great.” I don’t elaborate.

“Hm. Well here drink this.” he sets a glass in front of me.

“What is it?”

“The Den Chenin Blanc. I tried it when I wasn’t doing as well as I am now while on a trip with my friend Dylan to California and I love its versatility and it’s affordability”.

“I’ve never heard of it.” I take a sip, “oh, I like this.” I say before I toss the whole glass back.

“Aaron, it’s not meant to be chugged like a frat boy doing shots.” he chuckles.

“Then get me shots.” I say and he chuckles.

We sat in silence for a few moments afterwards but it wasn’t awkward, it was just nice.

“If something is wrong you can talk to me.” he looks at me with such tenderness but I shake it off when he pours me another glass.

On the slim chance Lena is right and he was the man at the club he wants more than I’m able to give. I don’t know if I can trust her drunken vision. I should have looked. I wanted to but I also just wanted to let go for one night, live in a fantasy where I was able to enjoy what the man I was with was doing.

Dinner is delicious and I drink far more than I should have. Carter helps me to my room since my drunk ass can’t seem to remember where to go.

I wake, startled when the alarm beeps. And alerts me that the garage door has opened. How did I get to bed? Why isn’t the alarm set?

Then I hear voices, a man and woman talking in hushed tones. What the hell is going on here.

Quickly I check on Ava and she is still asleep. I sneak down the stairs and see a code was entered that I don’t recognize. Then I go to Carter’s room but before I even get a chance to knock a woman comes out and nearly crashes into me.

“Sorry.” she says in a tone that lacks sincerity.

I don’t acknowledge her and go back upstairs. I knew Lena was crazy. There is no way a man like him could be interested in a man like me and that woman proved it. She was barely wearing any clothes, just a very revealing negligee. I will definitely have to talk to Carter about this later. I don’t want Avalyn to see a parade of women dressed like that coming in and out at all hours but how do I bring it up without sounding like an asshole.

Do I even have the right to say anything?

💰Carter💰

Shit. Thanks a lot Scarlett. Now Aaron is going to think I’m with her. I don’t know what the fuck she was thinking showing up here dressed like that. The only blessing is she showed up late so Ava didn’t see her.

I tried to get Aaron’s attention to explain but he either didn’t hear me or he ignored me. I’d bet on ignoring me. I have a feeling Aaron’s feelings of inadequacy go beyond just feeling like he’s not good enough for Avalyn. There is something broken inside of him and I want to know what but it will be harder to find out what that is now.

Standing at the bottom of the stairs, I hope that he will come back but he never does. I grab him a bottle of water and some Tylenol for the morning and leave them on the dresser right inside his door.

💰💰💰💰💰

The next morning I get a call from Scarlett threatening me if I don’t give her her job back. I’m fucking furious. Thankfully I reported all her actions towards me to the human resources department. I shouldn’t have too much trouble handling this but it’s still not something you want to deal with first thing in the morning.

“Did you clean the bathrooms and your rooms?” I ask Aaron harshly.

“Uh… yes, why?” he asks.

“Janet called me saying she was done an hour and a half earlier than normal. Why would you do that?” I snap.

He looks upset, “I don’t understand why you’re so upset about it. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to clean them. Ava helps me because it teaches her responsibility and she likes helping to clean up but we won’t anymore if it’s that big of a deal”.

Aaron turns and looks as if he is about to storm off upstairs when he stops, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t have women wearing what the one from last night was wearing around Avalyn. She’s impressionable”.

I close my eyes and sigh, “She was not supposed to be here and she never will be again. She is a disgruntled former employee and she was trying to get me to give her her job back. I can promise no women will be coming in and out of here, unless it’s my friends or yours”.

Aaron goes to say something but decides against it. He goes to get Avalyn ready and I try to figure out what to make for breakfast. Avalyn comes down with Aaron but he doesn’t stay.

I watch him leave and apparently zone out while staring in his direction because Ava startles me.

“I know a secret.” she sings before swiping a piece of apple from me.

“Oh yeah?”

“You like my Daddy”.

I must look shocked because she giggles and gives me an alarmingly evil looking grin.

Should I be scared?

“What do you want for breakfast?” I ask her since I still haven’t decided.

“Waffles.” she says loudly, “they are mine and Daddy’s Favourite.” she whispers then smiles like the little angel she is.

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