Because of Avalyn

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Chapter 7 - Confessions

🐇Aaron🐇

I quietly closed the door to my room before I dared to take a breath. Carter kissed me. Why did he kiss me now?

Carefully, I slip into bed, my sweet little Avalyn is like a little magnet snuggling up to me as soon as I’m comfortable.

🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇

I couldn’t sleep a wink. The sun is rising and I should be getting up for my jog but I don’t have the mental or physical energy to do anything today. Unfortunately for me, work is a necessity so I get up and shower before I head down for breakfast.

Carter is awake. I can tell because there is fresh coffee in the pot and a full mug on the counter.

“Uh, how is Avalyn doing today?” He asks when he enters the kitchen behind me.

“She slept through the night so that’s a good sign”.

“Aaron, I’m really sorry about last night. I shouldn’t have kissed you”.

“No, you shouldn’t have but it was nice… like at the club.” I smile.

He looks stunned.

“I uh…” he rubs his neck nervously, “how did you know?” He asks, sounding more confident than he currently looks.

“Lena was over and I was with her at RoseBud. She saw your picture in the living room and asked if that was you”.

“Oh. Are you mad we didn’t go to the bathroom and have sex that night?” He asks me, looking a bit anxious.

“No, I’m relieved you had the sense to deny me… I have something I need to talk to you about but I’m feeling a little off so can we sit down after Ava goes to sleep tonight?”

“Absolutely”.

I awkwardly glanced at him before running upstairs. I still kind of wish he’d lead me away and fucked me but that’s only the part of me that still believes I deserve to be used and thrown away.

Sitting on my bed I wait a little longer to see if Avalyn wakes up on her own. I’d hate to wake her but she is going to need to see me before I leave.

“Avalyn, sweetie, wake up.” I rub her back and push her hair out of her face.

I lie back and give her a kiss on her cheek and forehead. She stirs a little and then slowly opens her eyes.

“Daddy?”

“How are you feeling, sweetheart?”

“I don’t feel good.” she sadly tells me.

“That’s what I thought. You don’t have to go to school today. Carter said he would stay with you and you can do something fun today if you want.” I smile and lift her up so we can cuddle a bit before I have to get going.

“Ok, thanks Daddy”.

I grab the things I’ll need and then Avalyn before going back downstairs.

“You will be a good girl for Carter, right?” I asked in a warning tone as I handed her off to him.

“I will Daddy. I love you.” she says with tears in her eyes.

“I love you, Avalyn, more than anything else in the world.” I give her another kiss and we rest our foreheads on one another’s for a moment before I really have to go.

“Thanks again!” I yell out the door.

💰Carter💰

“Alright Ava, what would you like to eat?”

“I’m not hungry.” she says as the tears that had welled up in her pretty eyes fell down her cute little face.

This wrecks me. This sweet little girl is so sad and all I want is to make her smile. I know! I’ll put on Brave for her. I carried her to the living room and set her down on the couch.

“Mr. Carter?”

“Yes, Ava?”

“Can we make a bed on the floor?” she asks.

“I think that can be arranged.” Grabbing all the extra blankets from the closet and one of her Brave ones I head back down and start laying them out. When I’m done with that I go back for pillows.

Ava smiles weakly but it’s a smile and I’ll take it. As soon as the bed is made she gets comfortable and I put on Brave. We’re about 20 minutes in and it starts skipping. This would be the day we’re having.

She is heartbroken all over again. I call a car and make her some scrambled eggs and toast. She picks at it, hardly eating anything. It really just breaks my heart.

The guard calls to let me know the car is here so we get our shoes and coats on and head to the store.

“Why are we here?” she asks while we’re walking into the mall.

“We have to replace your movie and I thought maybe we could get two copies, just in case”.

She smiles, “Mr. Carter, can you carry me?”

“Sure. Piggy back?” I ask her and she nods. I crouch down and she hops onto my back. “Is there anything else you’d like?”

“No. I want to go home”.

“Anything you want. Today is all about you.” We walk through the mall and Ava sees a mannequin wearing some very comfortable looking pajamas.

“Can I get those for Daddy?”

I smile and chuckle at her. She’s hanging over my shoulder trying to look me in the eyes. The pajamas she saw will hug his hips beautifully and possibly highlight some uh… other things.

We detoured into the shop and it’s a very expensive store. The ones she picked out are wonderfully soft but they are dry clean only which is ridiculous. We find some other ones that are equally as soft and just as pricey but machine washable. I want his gift from her to be practical.

“Your daughter is so well behaved.” The associate comments.

“He’s not my Daddy.” Ava says, “but he likes my Daddy!”

The associate laughs, “So he might be your Daddy one day then”.

Ava giggles happily and we leave the store once the bow has been tied around the box. I adore this little over-sharer. A big part of me cannot wait to see him in these. There is a real chance I might become the over-sharer when that happens.

We picked up McDonald’s on our way home and when we got home popped in a brand new copy of Brave and got settled on the blanket bed we made before we left.

Ava eats her nuggets and happily watches her movie. When it’s over she wants to watch it again. I don’t know if I can sit through it again but I said we’d do whatever she wanted so I started it over anyway.

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“Daddy!”

I am startled awake when Ava yells.

“Where is Carter?” I hear him ask.

“He is sleeping, Daddy.” she laughs.

“Were you a good girl?” He asks.

I walked into the kitchen, “she was great. Oh and that box is for you”.

He glances at me, “I cannot accept this”.

“You have to because Avalyn picked them specifically for you”.

Aaron looks at Ava and back at me. I know he knows it’s expensive but he deserves it. Hesitantly, Aaron opens the box. He looks at the price tag immediately but I cut the price off when we got home because if he knew how much they were he’d probably demand I return them.

“Go try them on, Daddy.” Avalyn coaxed.

When Aaron comes back down I feel as if the wind has been knocked out of me. They conform to every hill and valley of his body.

“Thanks Ava.” He gives her a hug and then glares at me.

I guess I’m in trouble. What else is new?

Aaron makes spaghetti for dinner. The sauce he made smells really good but he didn’t have to cook. I was going to make dinner since he worked all day. Actually, he shouldn’t be home yet.

“Everything ok at the gym?”

“Yeah, Rob just wanted me to come home and be with Avalyn even though I told him she is alright.” He sighs.

“That’s thoughtful”.

“Maybe but I need the money”.

We sat down to a wonderful dinner and then Avalyn goes up to have a bath before she gets ready to go to bed.

When Aaron returns after tucking Avalyn in, he grabs a glass and the bottle of Vodka I keep on the counter. He slams back a few glasses before he feels ready to talk.

“I lost my call center job. The company fired everyone because they are moving overseas”.

“Aaron. I’m so sorry. It seems like it’s just one thing after another for you”.

He’s crying and he’s trying to hide it from me. I sit on the bench beside him.

“Aaron.” He avoids my gaze. “Aaron, forget about the job. It’s not the end of the world”.

“The job market already sucks and now two hundred more people will be fighting for the few jobs left.” He sniffles, “I wish I hadn’t dropped out of school”.

I hand him a tissue and he blows his nose. I want to tell him he doesn’t need to work again if he doesn’t want to but Aaron is independent. He isn’t going to be happy with me if I try to fix everything. Additionally, we aren’t a couple. I made a move and I scared him away.

“I know it seems hopeless right now but you’re resilient and I know you’ll be ok.” I smile but he doesn’t look at me. “You’re just doing the best you can in impossible situations. You’re pretty amazing”.

Aaron scoffs and actively avoids my gaze. I wish he’d just look at me but something is preventing him from being able to. How do I show this stubborn man that he should be proud? He feels so much like a failure he can’t accept any other truth.

💰💰💰💰💰

The next few days are similar to the last few. Aaron takes my car and I pick up Avalyn from school. Except for today. Today we are to attend our group meeting. He doesn’t want people to know so he asked that I drop him off around the block and he walked into the building from another entrance.

Did it suck he wanted to hide the truth? A bit but I deserve it.

The whole meeting he avoids looking at me. Actually he avoids looking at everyone. I, on the other hand, can’t keep my eyes off of him and Truce notices and smiles. Shit. She’s going to tell him and things are going to be more uncomfortable.

After the meeting ends Truce pulls Aaron aside. He looks worn out, she touches his arm and nods before she hugs him and leaves. He looks over at me and he looks like he desperately needs a break.

Aaron goes to the bathroom and I linger around talking to Betty until the next group starts to arrive.

“Aaron, everyone from our meeting is gone.” I whisper.

I hear him sobbing so I enter. Seeing him standing at the sink kind of broke me. This whole thing with the call center has really destroyed him. I wish there was something more I could do but he won’t accept my help.

We walk out to the car and he looks around like he’s making sure people won’t see us together. If he’d accept that I truly do want him this wouldn’t be an issue. Maybe we just need more time together. It hasn’t been long and he’s been on high alert the entire time.

“Are you going to work today?” I ask while pulling out of the parking lot.

“No. Yesterday was rough and I just want to be with Avalyn”.

“I understand. Is there anything you’d like for dinner?”

“I’ll pick up some stuff to make tacos while I’m out getting groceries. Avalyn loves getting groceries”.

Aaron stares out the window for the rest of the drive. He looks like he’s suffering but I can’t imagine what could be causing the deeper pain I see.

“Before I get groceries Avalyn has self defense lessons with Mac. Would you like to come and watch? She is pretty good”.

“I believe it. She’s a very bright little girl. I would love to see her kick some ass but I have a few things I have to do. Maybe next time?”

Aaron nods and zones out again until we arrive home. He goes to the living room and I go to my office to work.

💰💰💰💰💰

The door to the garage opens causing me to check the time. The clock says that it is seven-twelve. I get up from my desk and go help bring in the groceries. When we’ve finished Aaron asks if I can start preparing dinner while he goes to shower.

Avalyn sits in her favourite stool and colours while I start cooking the beef, cut green onions, peppers, jalapeños, grate cheese and shred lettuce.

“How is preschool?”

She snorts, “it sucks”.

I cannot lie, I’m a bit shocked by her response. She always seems to have had a good day. I want to ask more questions but she apparently does not want to dwell on whatever is making school suck. I can respect that.

Avalyn does however go on and on about how she would love a Merida princess party for her upcoming birthday but as soon as she hears Aaron she stops talking about it and just keeps colouring.

Weird… is Avalyn afraid to tell Aaron what she wants?

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