Because of Avalyn

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Chapter 6 - Failure


I should really tell Carter about the call center but I’m not sure how to now. He’s obviously upset with me and I’m afraid that if I tell him he will ask us to move and I’ll be back where I started.

After all, I insisted I pay rent because I don’t want his charity… anymore than I’ve already taken it.

Avalyn gets ready for preschool. She brushes her teeth, grabs her Brave backpack and waits by the door while I pack her lunch and her snacks.

“Ready?” I ask her.

“Can Mr. Carter come with us Daddy?” she asks sweetly.

“I’m afraid not, sweetheart but maybe he can play with you after school.

She pouts and goes and gets into the car. When I get in the piece of shit won’t start. Of course this is happening today. I don’t want to speak with him but now I need to.

Taking a deep breath I get out of the car and go inside. Anxiety is suffocating me all the way to his door. Holding my breath I knock on his door.

He answers and the sour expression on his face is wiped away and replaced by concern.


“I was going to leave but I-I ca-can’t.” I say desperately trying to hold back the tears that want to break free.

“Oh, Aaron.” He reaches out and grabs my shoulder, “what do you need?”

“Could you give us a ri-ride?” I ask.

“No. I have a phone meeting in half an hour but take my keys. The car is yours as long as you need it”.

I want to argue but he stops me and reminds me that I literally do not have the time. After thanking him I took his keys from the hook and got Avalyn switched over to Carter’s car and we took off.

Just like I worried about on my way to work, I ended up being late. I panic trying to figure out what to tell my boss when suddenly I think ′who the hell cares, they’ve already fired everyone’. It’s exhausting working for a place that doesn’t care about you.

If I had to guess I’d say a quarter of my coworkers didn’t show up. I don’t blame them, if I didn’t need to milk this job for all the money left in it I would have stayed home too.

My thoughts don’t remain on work for long. I find myself daydreaming about Carter and how amazing it felt when his hands were all over me but soon my thoughts turned dark. Jason’s dark empty eyes burrowing into my soul, dark.

Fear hits me like lightning and I feel like I’m going to throw up. After running to the bathroom I dry heave a few times but don’t actually get sick. I hate this. He has dominated my life on and off since we met.

At first he made me feel loved and accepted. But it didn’t take long for him to get emotionally abusive. He would belittle me, plant negative thoughts about myself in my head. He would guilt me when I wanted to go home or spend time with Chance and soon I had no friends but him and his friends.

Jay would also guilt me into pleasuring him. And it would take forever. I’d feel sick, my jaw would hurt and then when he finally finished he’d forced me to swallow. It was disgusting, and to this day I can’t stomach it. It’s because of that, that no other man has been swallowed.

That’s not even the worst of what he did but I feel as bad as I did when I was with him and when I got Avalyn I promised myself I’d never let him or anyone else make me feel like that again… but of course I am here doing it to myself.

I let out a long slow breath, center myself and then continue with my day attempting to ignore all thoughts that aren’t work related.

Unfortunately, once work is done I am flooded with the memories of all the disgusting things I did after Jason. I had many one night stands. I’m disgusted with myself because when Carter came to me in the club I immediately went back to my old ways. Asking him if he wanted to go to the bathroom. I’m horrified and disgusted by my behaviour.

Back then I’d meet a guy and we’d just chill at his house but sometimes we met out at local coffee shops and would hook up anywhere. I had no standards. If a guy wanted to fuck me, I let him. I didn’t go to clubs until I met Lena and by then I’d stopped slutting around town and I’d moved.

My history isn’t good. Scott never even knew how I coped with my lack of self-esteem. I was afraid to tell my brother in case he found me to be too disgusting to be around Ava.

A knock at the window scares the hell out of me. It’s my boss. I slowly press the button to roll down the window.

“Are you alright?” She looks concerned.

I smile, “I’m fine. Thanks”.

She nods and then walks to her car. I check the time and start to panic. I am late picking up Avalyn. My phone rings and it’s the preschool. Shit.


“Hello, Mr. Marcam?”

“Yes hi. I am sorry I’m late. I got held up after work. I’m on my way now but it will still be about forty minutes and that’s if there is light traffic”.

“Oh that’s fine, Carter is here to pick her up already. We called the house first. We just have to make sure it’s ok that we let her go with him”.

“Oh. Yes, of course, please add him to the list of people that can pick her up”.

“Alright, he has been added. Have a great day Mr. Marcam”.

I really need to get over this. I can’t allow this to haunt me again. Avalyn needs me. I hate that that brief time with Carter has brought back a life I thought I’d finally left in my past. There is one difference though. Carter pushed me to my own release and that has happened very few times in my life. I can count on one hand the number of times and not use every finger.

Now to the gym. This is going to be a long fucking night.


“Sounds wonderful Mr. Stanton. I will have my team get started right away.

I have just completed a call with a client when my phone rings. It’s from Avalyn’s school informing me that nobody is there to pick her up. I am immediately worried about Aaron but after what happened yesterday I choose not to call him and instead I walk straight to the school.

They called him when I arrived and I could tell something was bothering him. I don’t like that he’s hurting. I hope it wasn’t because of my behaviour yesterday.

“Mr. Carter!” Avalyn says excitedly when she sees me.

“Hello, sweet girl, how are you doing?” I ask as sweetly as a man like me can.

“I’m ok but where is Daddy?” She’s as concerned as I am.

“There was traffic so I came to get you, I hope that’s alright”.

She seems to close herself off. She stops smiling and she looks even more worried. Oh… her parents drove away and never came back. She’s probably terrified. I pick her up and give her a hug.

“You’re Daddy is fine. I promise. I just heard him talking to your teacher.” I tried to reassure her but I don’t think it worked.

When we get home we try to call Aaron but he doesn’t pick up. This unfortunately makes Ava more anxious. She’s crying and I can’t get her to calm down.

“Avalyn, I’m positive he’s fine. It’s ok.” I hold her while she has a complete meltdown.

I hope he is just stuck in traffic and cannot answer his phone.

Twenty minutes later he answers the phone.

“Da-Daddy!” Avalyn cries.

“Avalyn, honey, I’m so sorry. Daddy got stuck at work and then I got stuck in traffic. I am alright. I will be home after you fall asleep but you can sleep in my bed tonight and I will hold you all night, ok?”

He sounds remorseful. He knows the pain he has caused her by not being here. It’s obvious how hard he works for her but sometimes life just gets in the way. I wonder how many other times this has happened because Ava was absolutely out of her mind with worry.

She’s still crying while he continues to talk to her. She can’t even speak, she is so upset. I hug her close and take the phone off speaker.

“It’s me, how do I calm her down? She’s going to make herself sick”.

“Put on Brave, it comforts her. She probably won’t eat anything but you can try a happy meal or chicken fingers and spicy fries with plum sauce from Humpty’s, it’s her absolute favourite. I can pay you back when I get home”.

“Don’t worry about paying me back. I’m just worried about her.” I say.

He sighs, “thank you so much for picking her up. I wish I could come home right now but I can’t afford to leave”.

“Will your boss let you come home?” I inquire.

“Maybe.” He sounds sad.

“May I speak with him, please?”

Aaron set the phone down and I can faintly hear him calling someone over.

“Hello, this is Rob, the owner.”

“Hello. I don’t know if you can hear her but Avalyn is having a very rough time and she needs her father at home. I was hoping you could make that possible”.

“Poor Ava. Is she ok?” He sounds genuinely concerned about her.

“Aaron was unable to pick her up after school today and she’s been inconsolable since”.

“He is on his way.” He says before he hangs up. I should write him a cheque for his daughter. I believe she will go far if given the right opportunities.

I called and placed an order for all of us from Humpty’s. I’m not sure what Aaron will want but they have tons of breakfast options so I ordered a Denver omelet for Aaron and decided on the same for myself and got Ava her chicken fingers.

She finally stopped panicking about ten minutes before Aaron got home. I knew he was coming because I left the door to the garage open.

“Avalyn, your Daddy is home.” I whisper to her.

She slides out of my arms and runs to the door.

“Daddy!” she cries.

“Avalyn, I am so sorry.” he repeatedly says while giving her kisses.

The doorbell rings so I answer and it’s our food. I take it to the kitchen and get everything set out on plates and set on the table.

“Avalyn, why don’t you let Daddy go shower quickly while you and I sit and wait for him?”

She says ok and goes to sit down. I ask her what she wants to drink and she says chocolate milk. I prepare it for her and set it down as Aaron walks in, in nothing but a sleeveless hoodie and sweats.

The zip up isn’t zipped up much and he barely dried off before he came down. He’s still got water droplets in his hair and some soaked through his light grey bottoms.

I lick my lips when my mind wanders to a vision of me licking champagne off of his abs. I shake the thought away and grab us some water.

Ava sits in his lap and picks at her food the entire time we eat. Poor girl is worn out.

“Thanks for everything today. I don’t know what I would have done without your help”.

“Anytime.” I smile.

He smiles back and finishes his dinner. He takes Avalyn up to his room and comes back down. He looks exhausted.

“Did she go down ok?” I ask him curiously.

“Oh yeah she was out before we finished eating. Skin to skin still helps her the most but I wasn’t sure how comfortable you’d be with that or if it would even help. I just know it helps to reassure her that I’m here.” he says.

“I understand.” Well that explains the almost completely open zip up.

“Sometimes in the morning if she’s had a rough sleep she’ll lay on my back, her head hanging down my shoulder, hair in my face. For some reason her head is always on the shoulder of the direction I’m facing.” he chuckles.

We stand in a tense fog for a few minutes before I finally speak again.

“Are you alright? I… I owe you an apology for yesterday. I was having a rough day and I took it out on you.” He stares at me. I guess I didn’t actually say I was sorry. I clear my throat, “I am sorry for taking out my shit on you. It was uncalled for and it won’t happen again”.

“Thanks but after today you don’t owe me anything”.

“You can take the car tomorrow. I can work from home again”.

“Could you pick up Avalyn?” he asks.

“I can but is she going to be ok enough to go?”

He stops clearing his dishes, “I’m not sure. If she doesn’t go, is that going to inconvenience you?”

“No. I’d be happy to watch her tomorrow. I could just take the day off and we can do something fun”.

“She’d probably love that. She really seems to like you”.

I smile stupidly to myself, “I like her, too. She’s such a wonderful little girl. I never imagined I’d feel attached to her.” I admit.

“Yeah she does that to people. Steals their hearts and never let’s go”.

Aaron put his dishes in the dishwasher and then I did the stupidest thing I have ever done.

I kissed him.

I trapped him and when he turned around, surprised, I grabbed the front of his zip up and pulled him to me. He kissed me back for a brief moment before he pushed me away.

He was going to say something but he didn’t and he practically ran out of the room.

What is it about this man that gets my head all fogged up?

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