Once the kids were in bed for the night Evelyn turned to Shon “how are you holding up?”
Shrugging Shon looked around at the remnants of the decorations that Dana had worked so hard on. “It’s a lot to take in,” he turned to Evelyn “I’m so sorry you had to go through this alone.”
Wrapping her arms around him “I wasn’t exactly alone. I had the kids. They were amazing and helped a lot. Your fellow officers were helpful, always encouraging me to hang in there. Then there was my dad who spent a lot of time at your bedside to ease my fears that something terrible would happen during my absence. So you can see I had people around to help me.”
“But you must have hated me for putting you through all this and the kids. Finding out about Dana and Don,” Shon looked at her struggling to come to grips with the idea that they were his kids and he didn’t even know about them. How could Windi have done this to him? Was that why she hated him so much? They seemed like good kids. Dana put so much effort into planning and decorating his welcome home party but Don, he was so standoffish. Could he really blame the kid?
Looking at Shon with concern Evelyn hugged him saying “Shon honey, why would I hate you? It’s not like that Windi person told you she was pregnant, did she?” Shon shook his head. Evelyn reached forward and caressed his face with her finger tips “than why would I hate you? Shocked yes but hate?” Shaking her head “no I felt sorry for those kids. They were grieving a man they thought was their father only to find out their mother had lied to them all their lives. Thrust into a home with people they didn’t know because it was their biological father’s house. Coping the best way they could with the reality that their mother killed people. To know they may never get the chance to know their real father because of what their mother did.” Sighing “No I couldn’t hate you for the complications and difficulties this brought to our lives. I love those kids like they were my own and I hoped every day you’d get the chance to see them, know them and to love them. It’ll take time but your what those kids need right now.” She pulled his face to hers and brought her lips to his. She felt Shon pull her close deepening the kiss with their combined need for each other. Pulling away “better take it easy, you know what the doctor said ….” Shon leaned in and resumed kissing her before she was able to continue. With a force of will she pushed him away “remember you need to avoid any activity that accelerates your pulse.”
“I’m willing to risk it …. I haven’t been with my wife in months,” with a mischievous grin he slipped his hand up her shirt, caressing the soft skin on the small of her back. Groaning when she pulled away from his embrace. He took a step towards her when she put a finger to his lips a twinkle of amusement in her eyes.
Shaking her head she leaned past Shon’s shoulder “what’s the matter sweetie, can’t sleep?”
Shon turned to see who she was addressing when he saw Robbie coming down the stairs towards them. Nodding Robbie came over to them, taking Shon’s hand in his. Sighing Shon gently guided his son towards the couch, where Robbie snuggled into his lap. Smiling at her boys Evelyn whispered “I think he’ll fall asleep now. He must be afraid that you won’t be here when he wakes up.”
Running his fingers through his son’s fair hair Shon felt his heart constrict as he realized how much he missed. He hadn’t been there when his son went to school for the first time, riding the bus for the first time. He missed so much and even more in the lives of Dana and Don. How could he ever make it up to them?
“Your thoughts are screaming loud and clear,” Evelyn spoke softly, bending down and kissing his forehead “you don’t have to worry. Your children love you. Don and Dana will adjust. Give them time. Give yourself time. They’re going to need your trust and understanding as they adjust and you’re the best person for that job. You understand what they’re going through. The betrayal from the person who was supposed to love and protect you winds up being the one that hurts you the most.”
“I know,” Shon whispered his voice barely audible “but what if they don’t give me the chance?”
Cradling his face “I think they will given enough time.” She reached out moving Robbie from Shon’s lap to curl up on the couch. “He’ll sleep now.” Taking Shon’s hand “now mister you started something that needs finishing,” she spoke in a seductive whisper leading him by the hand towards the bedroom.
Grinning “I thought you said this was against doctor’s orders.”
“I’m willing to risk it if you are,” she said as she pulled her shirt over her head.
Pulling her close he kissed her with all the bottled up passion he had as she worked on removing his shirt. Shon pressed her against the wall mumbling “screw doctor’s orders. I’ll die happy.”
Sometime later Evelyn laid awake next to Shon, listening to him breathe beside her. Running her fingers through his dark hair, content to have him beside her again. Smiling she relaxed molding her body next to his, enjoying the feel of him next to her bare skin. She allowed her mind to drift and dwell upon how their lives had changed. Holding her husband in her arms she wondered how anyone could hate him so much that they would risk going to prison for the rest of their lives to try to kill him. Windi was either delusional or there was something else. She’d bet everything she had on the latter. She had a feeling the attack on Shon was related to the case he was working on. If that was the case then he was closing in on the man who threatened Robert and his family. If she was right, and she was sure she was, then Robert was in a lot of danger. She could only hope they had taken precautions not to be discovered. She feared that the biggest danger would be Patricia’s propensity for being stupid and going against their carefully laid out plan. If that happens, she wouldn’t be responsible for what she might do to the stupid woman.
Her immediate concern was Shon and how to help him, Don and Dana adjust to each other. Dana seemed to be doing alright; although Evelyn feared she was trying to hard and that might come back to bite them. She had noticed lately that the more comfortable she’s become in the house the more bossy and irrational she’d become. Don on the other hand was reacting the way she thought he would, with trepidation. Don once he figured out that he didn’t have to stop loving his dad would appreciate having Shon in his life. Evelyn’s goal was to help him get to that point.
Dawn started to lighten the sky as Evelyn eased Shon’s head from her shoulder to the pillow. He muttered in protest in his sleep as he adjusted his position. Smiling she ran her fingers across his unshaven chin. Stretching she dressed before going out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the starving hordes before they left for school. Robbie was the first to wake up. Smiling he gave his mom a hug before skipping towards Shon’s bedroom. “Honey your father needs his rest,” Evelyn called after him.
After mixing the pancake batter Evelyn when to check on her boys. She listened at the door a moment and moved with curiosity she opened the door a crack. Smiling she found her husband and son snuggled in each others arms sound asleep. Shaking her head she silently closed the door not wanting to disturb them.
A few moments later Dana and Don came downstairs yawning and blurry eyed. “Good morning sleepy heads,” Evelyn greeted them.
“Morning,” Dana mumbled sitting at the table blinking.
“What’s for breakfast? I’m starved,” Don asked sniffing the air. “Smells good.” he smiled giving Evelyn a hug.
“Chocolate chip pancakes are on the menu this morning,” Evelyn told him squeezing him tight.
“Do you need help?” Don asked.
“Could you set the table for me?” Evelyn asked knowing how much Don enjoyed helping her in the kitchen. Grabbing plates from the cabinet he asked “where’s Shon?”
“He’s resting ….” she looked up as Robbie and Shon emerged from the bedroom.
“Dad,” Dana called excitedly from the table. Hopping up from the table she ran up to him and gave him a hug.
Stunned Shon hugged her back, allowing her to take his hand as she led him to the table. Inwardly he sighed as Don stood back watching warily as Dana busied herself buttering pancakes for him again his protests. Don hesitantly joined them at the small table mumbling “morning.”
When Dana was finished catering to Shon she sat down to eat. “Thank you sweetheart but you don’t have to wait on me….”
“That’s why I’m here,” Evelyn said coming up behind Shon and giving him a quick kiss. Shon smiled in return grateful to her for lightening the mood.
Staring at them Dana mumbled “I just wanted to make sure everything was perfect.”
Winking at her “I appreciate that but you don’t have to.” Looking at Don catching his eye Shon continued “I want you both to feel comfortable coming to me with any problems or concerns you might have. I’ll do whatever I can to help. I’ll understand if you don’t feel comfortable doing that right now but I want you to know I’m here for you.” Sighing he groped for the right words wishing it wasn’t so hard. “Also you don’t have to call me dad if you don’t want to. I’m ok with that. You can call me whatever your comfortable with.” He was rewarded with a small faint smile from Don. “I know you loved your father very much and you probably don’t want to call someone else dad. Do don’t feel like you have to, ok?” Dana simply shrugged his words away but Don sat finishing his breakfast with thoughtful expression on his face.
Frowning he looked up “for what?”
“For relieving Don’s anxiety. He’s feeling bad for what he did last night. You told him what he needed to hear and it was better coming from you than me.”
“Good,” Shon smiled at her “I didn’t want them to feel pressured into accepting me or thinking I was going to replace their dad. Not matter how much I wish things were different I can’t replace who they thought their dad was. It wouldn’t be fair to them for me even to try.” Looking at Evelyn he grew anxious from the intensity of her gaze. “What? Did I say something I shouldn’t have?”
“No not at all,” she leaned over and kissed him. “I married a very wise, generous, thoughtful and loving man. I’m very lucky to have you in my life.” Pulling away sighing “I wish I could stay home with you today but someone in this house has to work.”
Standing he pulled her close “I could get used to being at home. Being pampered. I may even make you a good wife one day,” he joked.
“Speaking of which be sure to have dinner on the table when I get home from work,” Evelyn teased. Looking at him she asked “are you sure you can manage being home alone with Terrell today? He can be a handful.”
“I can manage,” he stiffened involuntarily. “I’m not an invalid. I can take care of myself and son.”
“Don’t be like that,” she chided looking down “I just don’t worry that you’ll over do it. I … I just got you back.” She uttered so low he could barely hear her. Her eyes shimmered as she looked deep into his eyes adding “I love you.”
“I love you too and I’m sorry,” Shon leaned into her devouring her lips “but I’m alright and I promise if Terrell wears me out too much today you have my permission to hire a babysitter to help. Is that a good enough compromise?”
“Perfect,” she said with a smile kissing Shon one more time before rushing out of the house to go to work.