My Nephew's Dad the Rockstar (Book 3 Steel Wolf Collection)

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Chapter 2

My already high stress level soars because on the bottom of the letter they had written child protective services would be conversing with me by the end of day. Not only have I lost my sister I could potentially be losing my nephew. Emma never put anything in writing stating I should get custody if something was ever to happen to her.

Stupid stupid me. I knew better than to not get something in writing. Hell one of my degrees is in social work. I have no excuses as to why I didn’t press her for the agreement. Other than I didn’t think anything would happen to her, which not only makes me stupid, but also naive. The only positive is since I have no clue who his father is nor any idea where to even begin to look for him they will more than likely leave him in my care.

The only reason I had even reported her as missing was because I needed her to sign off on medical records and the registration for him to start first grade. Thankfully due to her being missing I was award temporary custody and was able to sign all the necessary paperwork.

But now since enough time has lapsed with no trail as to her whereabouts they have declared her deceased. My hope is they will award me custody based on the fact he is already living with me, I currently have temporary custody, my degrees, and dad is an unknown. Yet, with my luck I’m not celebrating till all the paper work is signed.

When the police came knocking on the door I had sent Hunter to Tina’s house. I didn’t want him to be around with all of this happening. Especially since I never told him I had reported his mom as missing.

The kind officers explained to me how all of this works and offered their condolences. Since there was no body to identify I had nothing more to do where my sister was concerned. But I still wanted to do something in remembrance of her and give myself and Hunter an opportunity to say goodbye.

They gave me the official letter and left, but not before they asked me if I knew how to get in contact with my mother. I explained I’ve only spoken to Pam a handful times since I left after high school. One time to invite her to dinner, another when Emma found out she was pregnant and when Hunter was born. We tried contacting her a time or two after, but she either didn’t respond or didn’t seem receptive to us so I stop trying. I offered them the last known address and phone number I had for her. They thanked me and left.

Now I sit here staring at this letter and death certificate pondering how to break the news to Hunter. I had already called off and my boss wasn’t too happy about the short notice. He didn’t give a single fuck for my reasoning. Just told me of his displeasure and how this would be going in my file. He also told me he wanted to meet with me before my next scheduled shift started.

Tina had agreed to keep Hunter till my meeting with the social worker was over or they requested his presence. Not having a clue as to when child protective services was going to grace my doorstep I opened up my long outdated computer and checked my emails.

I had been applying for a new job since I graduated not wanting to spend the rest of my life bartending at a strip club. Also since my employment wasn’t exactly the best to put on my application when applying for custody. I already had the awkward conversation once about my employment when I received temporary custody of Hunter. The lady had looked down her nose at me in disgust and made her distain for my employment well known.

So far none of my applications have bitten. At this point I was applying for almost anything and everything not caring if the job was in line with my interests. I was desperate to get out of my current employment. An email caught my attention from one of my previous professors I had reached out to last week seeing is she knew of any places seeking someone with my credentials.

Professor Jacobs had been a huge positive influence on my life. Whenever I would see she was teaching one of the classes I was taking I would always sign up for hers. A lot of the students didn’t like her class because she was tough and had high expectations. We had a friendly relationship, which started the day she called me into her office over an exam I failed. I had explained to her my situation and how I had been up all night with a colicky baby. She had taken pity on me and allowed me to retake the test, which I got an A on.

She even allowed me to sit in back with Hunter whenever I couldn’t get a babysitter. There was also a time or two she would watch him in her office if I was really in a bind. If not for her I never would have graduated. We still keep in touch and have met for lunch a time or two.

I’m sure she was behind the mysterious gifts that showed up on my door step every Christmas for Hunter and myself. To this day I could never prove they came from her. Professor Jacobs never married or had children and I think Hunter earned himself a special place in her heart. She stepped into the role of grandma when my mom wanted next to nothing to do with Hunter.

Right as I was about to click on the email there was a knocking on my door. I close the laptop and set the computer off to the side with plans to read the email after they left.

Heading toward the door I pause for a second to check my appearance. I was wearing worn jeans and a t-shirt. My auburn hair was pulled back into a bun at the base of my neck. This was a good as it was going to get. Taking a deep breath, I open the door.

A different lady from the one before stands at the door typing away on her phone. She raises her kind brown eyes and offers me a smile. “Ms. Kelly I presume,” she asked in a friendly voice.

“Yes ma’am,” I tell her in a shaky voice.

She waves me off. “Please call me Kim. I’m with child protective services,” she says showing me her identification. “May I come in please,” she asks eyeing the hallway with uncertainty.

“Of course,” I say stepping to the side and inviting her in. “You can call me Kinsley.” She smiles and nods her head in answer. I lead her into the family and she sits on the couch. “May I get you a glass of water,” I ask her.

“Yes Kinsley that would be wonderful thank you,” she tells me.

I leave her alone in the family room and head into the kitchen where I shove my head into the freezer for a minute to try and calm myself. After I can breathe a little easier I get her some water and one for myself.

When I head back in she is looking through the few pictures I have scattered around the space trying to give it more of a homely feel.

“Is this Hunter,” she asks pointing to a picture of the two of us at the park.

I smile nodding my head, “yes we took the picture over the summer.”

“You both appear very happy.” Her brows furor. “I only saw a few picture of whom I’m assuming to be Emma.”

“Yes, she wasn’t around all the time and when she was she was not a fan of the camera.” I answer honestly with a hitch in my voice.

“Oh dear me. Sometimes I forget myself. Allow me to first offer my condolences for your sister.”

I slink onto the couch, “thank you,” I say brushing back tears. Crying in front of her will not help my case in getting custody of my nephew.

Her eyes soften over my reaction. “If you need to cry don’t let my presence stop you. I promise in no way am I going to judge for you in being upset of the loss of a loved one. I’m simply here to decide on wither or not you are capable of being a guardian to Hunter.”

I smile my thanks and she sits on the other side of the couch. She pulls out some paperwork and we go through all the basic information. For example my full name, age and employment. She raises her brow when I mention where I’m working to which I quickly inform her of how I’m seeking new employment since graduating.

She was thrilled with my choice in degrees and even went on to say she would be more than happy to put in a good word for me if I applied at the agency. We discussed my future plans and my relationship with Hunter.

I danced around the truth when she asked about Emma because I didn’t want child services to have a record of how absent Emma was from Hunter’s life. She asked me questions about Hunter and my walls started to crumble down talking about my nephew. I had explained how he was at a friend’s in the building so we could have out conversation without him overhearing since I haven’t had a chance to break the news to him about Emma.

Kim asked me about our living environment and I happily shared the low crime rate within the building even though the appearance would have you believe otherwise. I also told her how everyone is always willing to step in and help each other. Kim seemed pleased with my answers.

I gave her a tour of the apartment. The tour didn’t last long due to the small size. Throughout all of this she would continuously jot down notes in her file. With each note she wrote I became more and more nervous.

Then she asked, “can I speak to Hunter please?” I was dreading this, but all of this is part of the process.

I sigh. “Can I please have a moment with him to explain what is going on? I haven’t had a chance to yet.” I bite my lip while I wait for her response.

“Of course Kinsley. I completely understand.” She resumes her seat on the couch.

“I’ll go get him. Just give me a minute,” I tell her heading to the door.

“No worries dear. This will give me a few moments to start typing my notes.” She pulls out her computer.

Not wanting her to wait longer than necessary I sprint down the hall to Tina’s apartment. I knock on the door and she answers. “Ready for Hunter?”

“Yeah. Child protective services are here and she wishes to speak to him.” I pause for a moment. “Tina I hate to ask for another favor but…”

“But you’re going to anyways,” she finishes for me. “How can I help?”

“Do you mind if I break to news to Hunter here? I don’t want to try telling him in the hall, but I also don’t want him walking into the apartment and seeing the women there without knowing what is going on.”

She smiles sympathetically at me and pats my hand. “Of course. Just let me get my monsters into the kitchen first so the two of you can have some privacy.”
“Thanks Tina you really are the best,” I say following behind her.

“Us young mom’s need to stick together,” she says over her shoulder.

We enter the family room to discover her two girls and Hunter coloring on the floor. Hunter’s entire face lights up when he sees me and he takes off running towards me embracing me in a hug.

“I missed you,” he whispers in my ear.

“Miss you too buddy,” I tell him squeezing him tighter to me. I guide him over to the couch while Tina ushers her children into the kitchen with promises of ice cream.

Hunter sits down next to me and stares at me in confusion. Usually when I show up to collect him we say our goodbyes and leave. I’ve never sat him down for a conversation before.

Steadying my trembling hands, I begin one of the hardest conversations in my life. “Hunter do you remember when we talked about angels?” He nods his head. “And you asked me how does one get to become an angel?”

“Yes. You said only when someone is no longer needed on earth they get to go be an angel, but once an angel they can never return to earth,” he sites my words back to me from when we had the conversation.

“That’s right. Hunter,” I lower my voice. Tears spring to my eyes. “Baby your mom went to go be an angel.”

He studies me and tilts his head to the side. Hunter than shows me though his words how he is wiser than his age. “Why are you sad? That’s wonderful she got selected to be an angel. She no longer is sick and in pain. Instead she gets to have wings and can fly.” He bites his lip for a minute and glances down at his feet then slowly rises his eyes to mine. “Do you think she is watching over us?”

I smile through my tears over his words. “I know she is.”

He smiles nods his head. “Can we go home now?”

I ruffle his hair. “Yes we can. But first I need you to understand something. There is a lady at the apartment who is going to ask you some answers. I need you to answer her as honestly as you can.”

“Okay mommy.” He jumps off the couch and drags me towards the door. “Can we watch cartoons once she leaves?”

“Of course we can,” I tell him waving goodbye to Tina. She mouths me good luck while I’m pulled through the door.

Hunter and I walk down the hall toward the apartment. He opens the door and barrels into the family room. He stands there studying the women for a moment. She smiles at him.

“I like you,” he tells her. “You have a nice smile.” He then plops down on the couch next to her. “My name is Hunter. What’s yours?”

“Kim. My name is Kim,” she tells him.

He then holds out his hand to shake hers. “Nice to meet you Kim. Mommy said you had some questions for me.”

She glances at me and raises her brow. I shrug my shoulder’s unable to explain my nephew’s behavior.

Kim launches into her questions. She asks him about our life together and who takes care of him when he’s sick. She also asked him who stays with him while I’m at work and he happily told her about Tina and Mr. Tim. Kim questions him on school to which he told her he loves math, but dislikes reading and how I still force him to read nightly.

“Are you going to take me away from mommy,” he outright asks her.

“My goal is to make sure where you end up living is a safe environment,” she explains.

“You didn’t answer my question. Are you taking me away from mommy?” He re questions her.

Her head falls back from her laughter. She then lowers her voice. “Between you and me I’m going to make the recommendation you should remain where you are. But the final decision is up to the judge.” She tells him sternly.

Hunter shrugs his shoulders. “No big deal. I can be very persuasive. There was this one-time Mommy did not want to go out for ice cream, but I managed to persuaded her to go,” he tells Kim all proud of himself. He puts his hand over his mouth trying to prevent me from hearing him, but instead of whispering he talks loudly. “Between you and me if I can persuade mommy to go for ice cream I can persuade anyone for anything.”

“Kim did you need him for anything else,” I ask interrupting him.

“Nope. I’ve seen more than enough to feel comfortable with my recommendation to the court,” she tells me putting her things away.

I move to the back of the couch and ruffle Hunters hair. “Alright buddy go put your pajamas on and we can watch some cartoons before you have to go to bed.”

“Don’t you have work?” he asks glancing at the weekly schedule near the door.

“Not tonight bud I called off to spend some time with you.” He bounces off the couch and yells his happiness all the way to the room. Kim and I both watch him with smiles.

“You’re doing a wonderful job with him. Especially with Emma not being in the picture before all of this.” She tells me. My head swivels in her direction and worry clouds my eyes. “Don’t worry Kinsley your secret is safe with me. Honestly from what I’ve been able to piece together about your sister we would have been called in years ago to remove him from her care. Him being with you was and continues to be the best outcome for him.”
“Thank you,” I tell her between my tears.

“Like I told Hunter my recommendation to the court will be for you to gain full custody of Hunter.” I smile brightly. “But also like I told him the judge will have final say. Normally they won’t go against our recommendation, but it has happened. Are you sure the father is in no way in the picture and nor do you have a way to contact him?”

“I have no clue who he is. No matter how much I would press Emma for answers she would remain tight lipped about everything. When he was born she left the spot for father blank. I wouldn’t even know where to begin in searching for him.”

She nods her had up and down. “This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with a situation similar to yours. And there is no one else you might try for custody.”

I shake my head. “The only other family member is my mother Pam, but she’s never even met Hunter. I gave the police her last known address and phone number. I wasn’t even going to contact her about Emma. Pam isn’t exactly the best mother nor been a part of my sister and my life since I graduated high school. She practically pushed both myself and my sister out the door when we turned eighteen.”

“Then you really shouldn’t have any issues gaining custody. The only hiccup I can foresee is the judge may want you to post something in the paper in an attempt to locate Hunter’s father just so they can document we tried.” She heads to the door. “You two have a wonderful evening. I’ll be in touch soon with a court date. I’m going to try and get everything expedited.”

“Thank you so much,” I tell her.

Kim leaves and I close the door behind her. Once the door is closed I lean my back against it and let the stress leave my shoulders. If what she tells me is true in no time at all I will have custody of Hunter and no one will be able to take him away from me.

I push off the door remembering the email from Professor Jacobs. Hunter still hasn’t made an appearance so I pull out my laptop to see what she had written.

Dear Kinsley,

Sorry I didn’t back to you sooner. I didn’t plan the semester out as well as I thought and had all my classes turning in a paper on the same day. I finally finished going through them all. Any news on your sister? How is Hunter? How are you? Your email gave me the impression you are taking on the world on your own. We need to do lunch soon.

In answer to your inquiry something did come across my emails. Someone by the name of Skylar Haden reached out to the university asking if we had any one we could recommend for a position she was looking to fill.

I guess her and someone named Aubree Parker are starting a charity that pairs someone famous with a child at risk. She compared it to the big brother big sister program. I guess they already have a few famous individuals lined up. They just need someone with your background to help get the whole thing off the ground.

The second I saw this I thought of you and how perfect you would be for something like this. I emailed them with your credentials and experiences. They are both very interested in speaking with you. I have included their contact at the bottom of this email.

The only down side to all of this they want the charity to be stationed in Nashville. Granted we are only a few hours from the city, but you would need to move. I know you relay heavily on the help you receive from the people you live with to watch Hunter. Plus, everything that is currently happening on the Emma front.

The charity has some major backing financially and are willing to pay you a great deal of money. You would more than be able to afford child care for Hunter. Please think long a hard about this. But in my opinion you won’t get a better offer.

Talk soon,

Professor Jacobs

Everything was starting to fall into place. Glancing at the time calling Skylar now would be too late. I didn’t need long to think about accepting the job. Leaving for Nashville will also give Hunter and myself a fresh start somewhere. Tomorrow I’ll call Skylar Haden and Aubree Parker and see what they have to say.

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