Jack came home with a bad headache. At least he'd managed to make the move to the new place. Perhaps he'd done too much or just wasn't used to the great outdoors. Maybe it was the heat. The humidity or just allergies. But the truth was he felt like shit. And there Kelsey and Grady were waiting for him.
"Are you sure you're up to this. You know, taking care of Grady?" There was the daycare that Jack's dad had set up. She didn't have too, but she'd insisted. Grady had slept late that morning.
"It was great. Really." She smiled.
"No it wasn't." Jack squinted hard.
Grady could get pushy when he wanted to. He had a temper. He knew how he used Kim. He could be a monster when he wanted to be.
"He's a lot like you, actually." Kelsey teased.
"Huh." How was that possible? He just yawned and went off to the bathroom to shower. Thats what he needed. Something to wake him up. A shower. Instead, the beads of warmth made him want to slumber. He took a few Tylenol. Jack had to admit now, he might be coming down with something. Maybe it was a good thing Kelsey was here. He would go to bed. He actually had his own room now. Imagine that. How long had he been sleeping on Grady's couch?
He came back in his sweats and fit tank. There was hamburger steak waiting for him. It was just weird to see food on the table that he hadn't cooked. He hadn't expected it.
"Am I missing something?" He winced.
"No, I've been hungry for it. My grandmother used to make it. Steak and mashed potatoes." Kelsey told him it was good comfort food to come home too.
Jack looked around. Hard to believe this was home. They were plugged into central heating and air. Thanks to his Dad. And to think he'd wanted to run from him, all this time. He guessed. It was no time to ponder. He dug in and it was satisfying. Brown gravy all over everything. Even made the green beans worth eating.
"That was really good." Jack nodded wishing he could say thank you, but it was just so hard for him to say. "You're a good cook."
"You must really be a bad one, if you're saying that about my food." She took his plate then to get it rinsed and in the dishwasher. Really, the kitchen was so neat. Nothing out of place.
"Yeah, I'm a really bad cook." He confessed, but it still felt as if metal was lodged behind his eyeballs and he was still wanting sleep. "Look, I don't mean to be mean. And, and if you don't mind, I need to turn in. I might be coming down with something. You gonna be all right with him?" They did have dish network to keep them company. "I promise I'll make it up to you. Somehow." Hopefully, by then she'd want to go home. He guessed. "I have this killer headache." Just the same Grady had to get up in his lap and wallow a few kisses on him. He hugged him tight, and Jack was overwhelmed with tears. How could someone that young want him so much? Of course, Grady stomped on his crouch then as if to give him a kick of reality. Either Grady thought he was the best or was doing his damnedest to kill him slowly.
Jack didn't say anymore, but went off to be alone, thinking this could all end quickly if family services wanted to move Grady somewhere else. It didn't seem to be a sure thing. And maybe if it did happen... Well, he sank into his pillow and tried not to care. Only he did. He really did. Naturally, his sinuses stuffed up and he bet he didn't get any sleep at all.
Jack woke up to pitch black. Almost. He thought he felt something sticking in his back. A watermelon was the first thing that came to mind. A cool hard watermelon. Then shades of blue and green flickered in his face on the room. He turned to see Kelsey was sleeping next to him.
Jack bit his bottom lip. He got up to check on Grady. At least the headache was gone. What was he supposed to do? He must have been in a deep sleep. Because he didn't know when she came in.
He wanted to tell her how he didn't like sleeping.... with anyone. No one. But he was too tired to wake her up. Thankfully, the storm hadn't woke Grady, who was laying on his back as if he were still nursing a bottle even if he hadn't had one in a very long time. At least Kim had weaned him before she left. Jack watched him, wondering if Grady dreamed of her. Jack shivered then. He felt so cold. He got back in bed. Pulled most of the covers that Kelsey had taken from him. He needed to be all by him self. He'd talk to her about that tomorrow.