I open the picture again and zoom in. I'm trying to think back to when this picture was taking and where it's been taken from. I am holding hands with Ric in the picture, and he is carrying Allyn, and Alaric is walking in front of us. The twins aren't wearing hats, so you can see them clearly and can definitely tell we are their parents.
The picture isn't what has me so pissed and spooked. It's the text attached to it.
'Perfect little family. Who should go first? Mommy? or the brats?'
How could someone figure out that they are our kids? We don't go in public together. If we do, we make sure it's a private place. Ric always arrives separately. How could someone threaten my kids? I've been getting weird texts for the past month, but it hasn't ever been threatening like this. I'm stunned. I know as soon as I show Ric, he is going to freak out, and he has every right to. He's been freaking out about the anonymous texts that I've been getting. We've both changed our phone numbers and got new phones, but that hasn't stopped anything.
I keep looking at the picture, and my eyes widen, and I sit up straight. This picture was taken when we were looking at a house for us to buy. This was a week ago. There wasn't anyone at the house with us, so we took the twin's hats off. Shit! Someone followed me. Or did they follow Ric? He was at the studio and met us there.
I get out of bed and go to the kitchen to get breakfast started. The twins should be up shortly. Ric had to leave a little early today to record a new song. He hasn't been working as much because we are packing to move into the house we bought when it's ready.
Ric and I got back together on the twins' birthday, and we decided for him to move in with us until we purchase a new house together. It's been two months since then. We've been looking at houses for the past few weeks to find the perfect one for us. We've also decided to stay in New York. We figured that no matter where we move, people will know us and will know that the twins are ours. We are trying to keep them away from the media just for the time being. He has told his family that the twins are his. His dad was a little standoffish when we met them. He demanded a DNA test, but Ric already had the results and showed him. He calmed down after that. Ric's relationship with his parents and family are strained because they just use him for money. He gives them some because they are his parents, but he doesn't let them take advantage of him, which they try to all the time. His mother subtly called me a gold digger, and I trapped him by getting pregnant on purpose, but Ric informed her that I made more money than he did, and he made a joke about him knocking me up to keep me around. She didn't find the joke funny but didn't say anything about either subject after that. I suspect Ric talked to her later about it, and she apologized to me for what she said.
Ric and I's relationship has been working really well so far. We don't just assume the things we hear about each other anymore. We sit down and talk things through. We both learned from the past. We both know that with us being in the spotlight (him more than me), people will make shit up just to get their 15 minutes of fame. We agreed to talk things through so we can make it work. I have fallen completely back in love with him. Well, to be honest, I never stopped loving him, but now it's even better. The time we had apart gave us space to mature and grow within ourselves, and now we are both better for each other and our children.
My phone rings, and it brings me out of my daydream. I look at my phone and see that it's Damien. He never calls me this early unless it's an emergency.
"Hey Ryn," He sounds wary.
"what's going on?"
He sighs. This can't be good. "I'm sorry to call this early, but it's about Ric."
I freeze. My heart drops. "What is it? Is he ok?" I try not to panic.
"He's fine. He's meeting with lawyers right now but asked me to call you because he can't step away right now. Can you come to the studio? I can keep the twins with me for a bit."
"uhm. Yeah, let me get ready. We can be there soon." my voice cracks a bit. Why would he meet with his lawyers? He didn't mention anything like this to us.
"Ok, see you then." He ends the call before I can respond.
I go to my room and get ready quickly. I get the kids up and feed them in the car on the way there. This must be really important.
I take the kids into Damien's office and give him the rest of their breakfast and give them kisses. He tells me that they are in the conference room.
I walk in the room, and Ric stands up, but he looks stressed out, and the lawyers look grim. He kisses me. "What's going on?" I ask.
"Sit down, please, and I'll explain everything." His voice is quiet.
I sit down next to him, and he grabs my hand and looks at me. He squeezes my hand gently and takes a deep breath.
"Rebecca has filed a paternity suit and is asking for child support payments from me."
My world stops. I feel like I'm going to be sick. I breathe out. "What?"
One lawyer slides a picture of a little boy to me, and I take the picture, and my face pales. The little boy looks just like Ric and Alaric.
"H-h-how, how old is he?" My voice is quiet. Only Ric can hear me.
He gulps. "He will be three in June."
I count backward, and my heart stops again. "So that night? You did have sex with her." It's a statement, not a question.
"No, I didn't. I don't know how this happened. The doctor said that the drugs wouldn't have let my body react. We have the medical statement from the doctor."
My eyes glisten. I try not to let my tears fall. "Ric, he looks just like you. He looks like Alaric."
"I know, I know. I don't know this is possible. My lawyers are trying to fight this so that I don't have to take the test. I know this kid isn't mine."
I glare at him. "How could you say that? Look at him!" I shout. "When you first saw Alaric, you said you didn't need a test because he looks just like you. This little boy is our son's twin! He looks more like him, and you than Allyn does!"
"Baby, calm down, please." He whispers. The lawyers are just staring at me. They don't say anything. They don't need to by the look on their faces. I know they agree with me.
"Do the test. If you say he isn't yours, you need to prove it." I state.
He looks like he wants to say no. "Fine, fine. I will. But this isn't because I'm admitting to sleeping with her because I absolutely did not. This is to prove that she is manipulating us.'' He looks at his lawyers when he says this.
They nod their heads. One lawyer speaks up. "She already has a doctor waiting and just needs to know when to take her son."
"No," I say. "We need to have a doctor that she doesn't know. If she is trying to get money from him for child support, then it needs to be a doctor that she couldn't have possibly paid off to fake the tests."
The only female lawyer smiles at me. "That's exactly what I was trying to say to everyone, but they shut me down.''
I glare at the other two male lawyers. They look nervous.
I turn towards Ric and lean to his ear. "Did they try to get you to go to her doctor or get you just to pay the child support right away?"
He furrows his brows and nods his head.
I lean back. "I thought so."
I turn to the male lawyers. "So, are you working for her directly? Is she paying you to get him to agree with everything, or is it someone else?" My tone is serious.
One lawyer gulps. The woman lawyer's eyes widen.
"This is ridiculous!" The head lawyer shouts out.
"If it were, you wouldn't be getting so defensive." I point out.
Ric looks like he is going to blow his top. "Tell me now." His voice is dangerous.
I grab my phone from my pocket and start to record.
No one says anything, but I can tell they are nervous and starting to sweat a bit.
Ric bangs his hand on the table. "Well?"
The head lawyer doesn't say anything, but the other lawyer starts talking. "She told us she would give us a major payout of the child support she would get from you if we convinced you just start payments right away. And also to get you to go to her specific doctor for the testing. Miss Stevens here doesn't know any of this. She only came to us two."
Ric looks deadly. "You two are fired. Not only will I be going to your boss, but ill be going to the board as well. You just fucked up your lives for her."
He turns to Miss Stevens. "You will be my only lawyer from now on. I hope you don't throw your life away like these to idiots."
"No, I won't, Mr. Hayes. Thank you," she says calmly, but I can see the smile about to form. She should be happy. Ric pays his lawyers well.
"Get out." He says harshly. They both jump up and practically run out of the room.
He turns back to Miss Stevens. "Your show Miss."
She smiles and nods. "Well, I agree with Ms. Saunders about using a different doctor that is unknown to Ms. Mcknight. I will also tell her lawyer that you won't be making any payments to her until paternity is established. I have also drafted an NDA so she won't slander your name while we wait for the results. I've also requested for the child's medical records and birth certificate to know if she even has precedent to petition for paternity."
"What does that mean?" Ric asks. I was just thinking the same thing.
"In layman's terms, I'd like to know when he was conceived, his birthday, if someone else has signed the birth certificate, anything that can prove that this is all a sham to get money from you. I've read the case file that you have on her, and she does seem very manipulative."
"You did all this on your own, without those other two knowing?" Ric asks.
"yes. They weren't taking this case seriously. Well, now we all know why. They just wanted you to pay up, and they also weren't taking your case against her seriously as well. I'm glad that they are gone because now I will pushing forward to bring charges against her."
Ric lets out a breath. "Good. Every time I asked them about the case, they just said there wasn't enough evidence to charge her."
"Well, that's all bullshit. Excuse my language. She should have been charged after drugging you." She says with shock in her voice. I just nod my head.
"What's the child's name?'' I ask out of nowhere. I feel like I need to know. Ric furrows his brows. He never thought to ask the question.
She looks through some papers and clears her throat. "His full name is Alaric Christopher Hayes...Jr."
I feel Ric stiffen. "She named him after me?" He is completely shocked.
"It appears so." She says grimly.
"Can we do the test today? I just want to get this over with."
"Well, the petition for his records and birth certificate aren't back yet. I'd recommend waiting until we get those back. You might not need to take the test."
He shakes his head. "No, I want to take the test. I want to prove 100 percent that he isn't my son. I don't want her to pull anything by saying that I didn't want the test because I know he is mine. I need to do this."
"Ok, sir. I can arrange everything. Do you have a doctor in mind?''
He nods his head and gives her the information. She starts making phone calls, and I just sit there trying to wrap my head around everything. I feel him squeeze my hand.
"I need to check on the twins. They are with Damien." I stand up but start to feel dizzy. I try to grab onto the table, but Ric stands up quickly and grabs me.
"Baby, are you ok?" He looks worried.
"I just felt dizzy. Give me a minute." I stand there and try to get my barrings. I feel a little nauseous. After a minute or two, I feel better.
"ok, I'm fine. I'll be back."
"Are you sure? I can go with you. You look pale." He is distraught now.
"Yeah, I'm good. I didn't eat this morning."
"ok." He kisses me, and I walk out the door.
I check on the twins, and they are playing with each other while Damien is working. He asked if I was ok because I still look pale. I assured him that I am fine.
I walk back into the room, and the lawyer is gone, and Ric is waiting for me.
"The doctor will see me right now to do the test, and the wicked witch will be there a little bit after I leave. Do you want to go?"
I'm about to protest, but he interrupts, "I think you should and let him take a look at you. You are still really pale."
"Ok, ok. I'll go. but I'm fine." I try to assure him.
"Please just let him make sure you're ok." He practically begs me.
"Alright. Only because you asked so nicely." We both laugh.