Gaston & Antoinette

Chapter One

Gaston high fived his fellow fire fighters and wished them luck as he left the fire station. He just came off his 24 hour shift and would now get two days off. Gaston was one of the few men living their childhood dream. All he ever wanted to be growing up was a fire fighter and he fought for it. He was close friends with all the men he worked with and they had a blast between saving people. He was happy to be going home and crawling into his own bed tonight though. There had been a lot of fires on his shift so he hadn’t gotten much sleep at the station. Not that he cared. He was glad to have been the one to pull that toddler out of his bedroom where his parents couldn’t reach him.

It was indescribable how it felt to give those sobbing parents their child. To see that little boy hug his parents. That he was the one to save that small childs life and give him a future. Gaston didn’t even bother to wash the grime off of him. All he did was strip and relax into bed. He almost instantly fell into a deep, much needed slumber. He was startled awake by loud banging on his front door around ten in the afternoon the next day. Gaston wasn’t shocked it was so far into the morning. Normally when he came off his shift he slept until around 1 or 2pm. Gaston pulled on pants and answered his door. He was shocked to see a woman that he hadn’t seen in eight years. “woah, Antoinette. Not that it’s bad but what are you doing here?”

“Well, I guess it’s a good sign you remember me”

“Of course I do. I know all men say they never do this on one night stands but I really didn’t. In fact, you are the only woman I’ve had a one night stand with”

“well, my sons waiting in the car and I dont want to leave him there too long so I’m going to cut to the chase and I really hope I dont make you angry”

“well come in, please. Why can’t he come?”

“I just…I need to talk to you first.”

“well, please speak” He said as he sat down. Antoinette was having trouble not staring. His body was even more sculpted than that passionate night they shared eight years ago. He was even more of a dream than then. He asked again since her mind seemed to drift “what do you need to tell me? What are you doing here?” Antoinette took a deep breath “well, you got me pregnant that night but I knew you had dreams. You were working on being a fire fighter and I didn’t want to hinder you. I decided to raise our son on my own and never tell you about him but…but I got laid off and I tried so hard, I struggled for him but we don’t have a home, my cars getting repossessed as soon as they find me and” Antoinette started softly crying as she spoke “I looked you up and saw you still lived here and….you are all we have. My family still doesn’t speak to me and I don’t want my baby in a homeless shelter. Could you please just take us in until I can take care of us again. I’m sure you’re angry, you have every right to be I know. Just please”

Gaston was angry, beyond it. He was absolutely livid but he couldn’t yell at a crying woman “How…what made you feel you could decide for me what was best? I could have helped you and known my son and still became a fire fighter Antoinette. I am angry, that wasn’t right nore was it fair. Does he know about me? Does she think I’m just some dead beat who doesn’t love him?”

“No, he’s never asked and I never said anything. He…I’m sorry…please don’t send us away”

“You know good and well I wont. I have a condition though. I want to know my son and I want him to know me. It doesn’t have to be right this moment but I want us to sit down with him and tell him I’m his father and you better tell him I didnt know because I sure as hell would have been there if you wouldn’t have robbed me of the chance. You have taken eight years I could have known him away from me. I honestly need to calm down before we have that conversation with him. For now please get that kid out the car. It’s hot out there”

Antoinette dried her face as she walked to her car. Dane waited patiently for his mother and smiled when she opened the back door. “Come on baby boy there’s someone I want you to meet.” She said with a warm smile.

“Okay.” He unbuckled and got out, taking his mother’s hand.

Antoinette felt a huge sense of guilt for keeping Dane from his father. She knew he didn’t understand how hard it had been. When her parents had found out the first thing out of her mother’s mouth was take care of it. There had been no support, no love. She had been abandoned and in her fear and sadness she had not wanted the same kind of rejection from her son’s father.

Gaston swallowed nervously at the sight of the little boy who looked just like him except for his eyes. They were his mother’s beautiful blues. “Hey buddy, I’m Gaston.” He said, actually sounding scared. He ran into burning buildings every day, was scared of nothing, but one little boy shook him to the core.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Dane. Are we going to live with you?”

“Yeah, you’ll be staying with me for a little while buddy.”

“Are you going to make my mom cry?”

Gaston was taken back by this question. “Why would you think I’d do that?”

“Because everyone else makes her cry.”

Antoinette placed her hands on his shoulders and turned him to face her. “It’s okay baby.” She said softly.

“I promise to do everything I can not to make your mom cry.” Gaston replied.

“good, Thank you for letting us stay. Could I have a drink?”

“Of course you can. Follow me and we’ll see what I have. I may need to go to the store. I pretty much only drink water and beer.”

“beer smells bad”

“I wont drink it in front of you then”

“Thanks” Gaston smiled. He loved that his son was talking to him so freely even though he didn’t know him. He wondered if it was because of his mother struggling and maybe he was used to having to stay with strangers. It wasn’t so much anger as it was hurt that Antoinette kept this kid from him. He would have loved to be a father. He would have been there for her and Dane if she would have just let him. Gaston had never forgotten Antoinette or that evening they spent together. They met eachother at a bar and spent all night talking. They talked and talked until they ended up in his bedroom.

He really adored the woman he got to know that evening and was actually sad to wake the next morning to a note and an empty apartment. He still had the note. He had put it in a box in his closet that day and just never threw it out. He wasn’t going to let Antoinette leave with Dane until he was sure they ahd a nice place to stay and she agreed to atleast let him see their son. He wondered if Antoinette was still the girl he had gotten to know eight years ago. “all I’ve got is water for now but we can go to the store to stock up on things you like.”

“awesome” Dane said and Antoinette smiled. Dane downed his water then asked “when are we going?”

“Let me get dressed and we can go now.”

“Is that cool mom?”

“Of course it is. Thank you Gaston”

“It’s no problem atall”

Antoinette waited with her son as Gaston pulled on his clothes. When he came back out she looked so sad. She put on a smile for their little boy and they headed out to his car. Dane sat in the back humming to himself and Antoinette stared out the passenger window. “So Dane, do you like fire trucks?” Gaston asked.

“They’re alright I guess.” Dane answered.

“Just okay?”

“I love trains more, I want build them.”

“That’s pretty cool. I have a friend who drives a train. If it’s okay with your mom, I could take you to meet him. I bet he’d give you a ride.”

“Really?” Dane’s eyes lit up as they pulled into the store parking lot. “Mom could I go?”

“Of course you can.” She answered. She could never say no to him when he was this happy. They got out and Gaston grabbed a cart. Dane walked ahead of them in the store, never getting out of sight of his mother.

“So, are you still into pretzels and cheese dip?” Gaston asked.

“Is that even a real question?” She shot back and he laughed. “How is the whole firefighter thing going?”

“Good, I think I enjoy being the hero.” She giggled and Dane smiled at them as he brought them a jug of chocolate milk.

“Well you did pretend you were my boyfriend at the bar when those idiots wouldn’t leave me alone. You were trying to save people even then.”

“I couldn’t stand by and let them harass you like that” Dane had already started wlaking ahead to get other things. Gaston and Atoinette just kept chatting while Dane put things in the cart. He loved seeing his mother so happy. She would fake happiness for him alot but he knew she wasn’t really. Now that they were staying with Gaston she seemed truly happy as they talked. He hoped Gaston would stay in there lives and keep making his mom happy after they moved out. Dane already liked Gaston too. He wasn’t sure what it was but he already felt close to him. Antoinette hadn’t been paying attention to what Dane was putting in the cart and both started laughing when they noticed how full it was.

“alright, I think that’s good” Gaston said. “you sure he can have all that?” Antoinette asked and Gaston smiled ‘well, I’d imagine you two are going to stay with me a long time. I don’t have very much in my apartment so I need a lot for the two of you. Do you have everything you want? Please be honest and get what you’d like.”

“well, I do like bagels in the morning”

“lets grab some bgaels then.” Antoinette got some then grabbed some blueberry jam to spread on them. After checking out and walking to the car Antoinette started to help load the groceries in but Gaston urged her and Dan to get in because he coudl handle it. She fought it only briefly then climbed in with Dane. He started talking excitedly about the train which filled Gastons heart with joy. He was glad he had something to thrill his son so much. He would also take him to the fire station on his next shift if Antoinette would allow it. He felt Dane would enjoy the firestation dog, his buddies and seeing a firetruck up close.

It would mean staying for twenty four hours but Gaston really hoped Antoinette would let him go. When the groceries were loaded Gaston got into the drivers seat and drove them home. Gaston only let them carry one bag each. “Gaston” Antoinette said and he laughed again “it’s easy for me to carry all this. You did see me without a shirt right?”

She blushed and nodded then headed into the house. Once everything was inside they started putting groceries away. Antoinette put things in the pantry with Gaston as Dane put the cold items away. Being this close to him filled her head with images of the night they had spent together. “That goes on the top shelf.” Gaston said as he picked up the jar she had just sat down and put it where it belonged. She swallowed at his closeness and would have kissed him if her guilt wasn’t still eating at her.

“Sorry, I was in my own little world.” She replied.

“It’s okay, it just makes it easier to find.” He cleared his throat and moved back. “So what are Dane’s favorite foods?”

“Favorite?”

He chuckled and leaned back against the shelves. “Come on, everyone has a favorite snack.”

“Cheese Its, hence the reason he snuck two boxes into the cart.”

“Don’t worry about it. I like them myself so it’s okay.”

“Now I know where he gets it from.” She looked sad again and ducked her head. He grabbed her chin and tipped it back up so she had to look at him.

“Please don’t make that face, it’s heartbreaking. I’m not mad anymore, I promise.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you and now I’m going to have to find the right time to tell Dane. I’m terrified of disappointing him.”

“He’s eight, there isn’t much for him to get disappointed over. Besides, there’s no rush. You two are welcome here for as long as you need a place to stay.”

“thank you”

“You don’t need to thank me for helping with my son…besides, to be honest it’s nice to see you again. It really is” He gave a genuine smile as her skin grew redder. He would love to kiss those warm cheeks but instead went outside with his cellphone to call his friend. Gaston looked inside to make sure Dane was still watching cartoons. “Hey Ricky, You’ll never believe this but I have a son. I had a one night stand with a woman I met at a bar and turns out I got her pregnant. I’ve just met him today but he doesn’t know I’m his father yet. Apparently he loves trains so I was hoping he could have a ride on yours somtime. I’d be really grateful”

“Of course! That’s wonderful! Does the momma still look good”

“Rick, she’s special ok. To me she has always been the one that got away. I never forgot her after that one night stand. We talked so much before and I still adore everything about her. I’m going to do my best not to let her or my son slip away again”

“Gotcha, just teasing anyway. I can take him out tomorrow if you can be here around ten am.”

“Ten it is, thank you so much”

“It’s not a problem. Good luck with those two”

“Bye” Gaston walked back in and said “Ricks taking you on his train tomorrow” Dane very visibly excited and jumped off the couch. He ran to Gaston and hugged him ‘thank you. I’ve never been near a real train! This is amazing!” Gaston hugged him back “You’re welcome”

“Oh, I have another question for you.”

‘What is it?”

“Could I get your bar stools and a blanket tonight so I can make a fort in the living room? I love sleeping in forts. I used to make them in my bedroom before mom lost her job. I’ll clean it up in the morning”

“Of course you can. I’ll help you build it.”

“You’re really cool. Nobody else has ever let me in their house.”

“well I guess they were boring.”

“yeah”

Antoinette smiled at how happy her son was. He had not been this way for awhile. She hated moving him around. The people they knew never let them stay for long, especially since she didn’t have a job. “I’m going to get started on dinner while you boys hang out.” She said and they both smiled the same, silly smile.

“Do you like video games?” Dane asked.

“I sure do. I have a DS if you want to play it.”

“Really? I have an XBOX 360 in mom’s car. Would you play some games with me?”

“Only an hour boys.” Antoinette said as she defrosted drumsticks.

Gaston lowered his voice. “Don’t worry, I bet I can get us another hour after dinner.” Dane smiled and grabbed his hand, pulling him outside to Antoinette’s car. Gaston popped the trunk and lifted their bags out of the trunk. Dane got the box that had the XBOX and games in it and followed Gaston back inside. Gaston helped him hook it up to the TV and they started up Sacred 2

Antoinette loved listening to them play as she cooked. It felt so right being here and listening to the two of them. She wanted to go ahead and tell Dane that Gaston was his father but she decided to let it wait until after the train tomorrow. There wasn’t any telling how he’d react. She especially didn’t know since having a dad wasn’t even something Dane ever mentioned. He never asked or said anything negative about only having her so she had no clue how he’d react when he learned Gaston was his dad. Dane was a pretty even tempered kid so she didn’t think he’d get angry. She honestly hoped he would be excited. Gaston was already showing he could be a good father to him.

When dinner was nearly ready Antoinette started looking for plates. Once she located them she set the table then served the meal she prepared. “come on boys!” She called. Dane frowned then turned the system off. Gaston grabbed his hand “what did I tell you buddy? I’ll get her to let us have one more hour after dinner” Dane smiled “I hope so. You’re good at that game. It’s a lot more fun playing with you.”

“It’s fun playing with you too. Lets go eat” They walked into the kitchen and sat down “I’m glad you were able to find everything” Gaston said with a smile. Antoinette answered “Yeah, I already knew where your cups were and silverwear is in almost the same place in every house.” Gaston took his first bite and actually sighed “I hope you’ll cook a lot while you’re here” He said after he swallowed. “I’ll atleast make dinner every night. I need to borrow some gas money to job hunt tomorrow while you two are gone. Would you be comfortable going with Gaston alone Dane?”

“Of course, he’s awesome” Gaston smiled happily then said ‘I’ll give you some money after dinner. Lets just enjoy your delicious food for now”

When they finished eating dinner, Gaston helped Antoinette wash the dishes. “I’m going to get the game started Gaston.” Dane said. Antoinette opened her mouth to tell him no and Gaston pressed a finger to her lips.

“One more hour, it’s not even bedtime yet.” He ran his fingers over her cheek and into her hair. “Please, I promise not to bend the rules to much.”

She swallowed and felt her heart do a flip. He gave her that smile and it made her weak in the knees. “One more hour.” She whispered and he went into the living room to play with Dane while she finished drying the plates. It really wasn’t fair how much power he had over her. She took a deep breath and went into the living room to watch them play. An hour later Dane was yawning so Gaston switched the XBOX off and grabbed the barstools. He grabbed a bunch of blankets out of the hall closet and helped Dane build a fort.

Chapter Two

“This is so cool.” Dane said as he crawled inside. “Thank you Gaston.”

“You’re welcome buddy.” He turned to Antoinette. “Would you like me to show you to your room?”

“Sure.” She stood and followed him down the hall. He opened the door right across from his bedroom.

“You’ll be able to hear Dane and if you need anything feel free to wake me up.” He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and pulled some money out and handed it to her.

“This to much.”

“You’ll probably want to eat lunch while you search.”

“Thank you for helping us.”

“I would never allow my son and his mother to live on the streets. You are always welcome here.”

Antoinette hugged Gaston tightly “I’m so sorry for not telling you. We need to talk about why when we can be alone for a bit. Dane was invited to a sleep over three days from now. Can we talk then?” Gaston thought “yeah I’ll be off. I work twenty four hours then am off for two days. It goes in a constant cycle like that”

“Do you like working like that?”

“I love it. The fire station is like another home with beds and everything. It’s very comfortable there when I’m not needed. Somtimes we’re not called out atall. In fact, I was kind of hoping next time I work that I could take Dane in with me if he wanted to go. He’ll be safe there and I’m sure he’ll have fun. I love that boy and I would never let anything happen to him if you’ll trust me. If we’re called out I’ll tell him to stay in the truck. He seems like a good boy, he’d listen wouldn’t he?”

“Yes, he’s such a little blessing. He gives me very little trouble. He’s an A B student too. You’ll be proud once you see him in school. I’ll start sending you his report cards. Maybe I can get an apartment in this building.”

“I hope so too. So that was a yes he could go?”

“If he wants.”

“Thank you. I’ll make sure he’s taken care of.”

“I know you will. I regret so much not telling you”

“Stop with that. I’m sure when we talk you’ll have a good explanation. I’m just glad to get to know him now. Don’t stress about having a job. You two are not an inconvienience in the slightest.” Gaston very nearly kissed her but his mind kicked in and he stopped himself “goodnight”

“Night”

Antoinette stood there for a moment trying to slow her thundering heart. She wanted to go to him, to throw away all reason and fall into the warmth of his arms. She finally made herself lay down. She remembered his touch and kisses even though it had been so long. She curled up and pulled the covers over her, taking a deep breath to calm herself. She didn’t even know if he wanted her. It was frustrating and frightening not knowing, but she knew it had to wait until they told Dane the truth.

Gaston set his alarm then pulled his clothes off and flopped down on his bed. He was very excited about spending more time with his son. He was also nervous about the talk he and Antoinette had to have. He wanted her to stay with him always. She had completely captivated him. He wanted to love her like she deserved, to give her and Dane a warm home. He closed his eyes and her beautiful face was there. He remembered how happy she had been the night they met and how nervous they both were. He had not expected to meet someone like her at a bar. He had fallen madly in love with her. He took her smile with him as he drifted off.

His alarm woke him the next day and he quickly shut it off. He pulled on some clothes and tapped on Antoinette’s door to wake her. Antoinette sat up and yawned, remembering to pull a pair of shorts on before she answered the door. Gaston smiled at how adorable she looked. “Good morning beautiful.” He said with a smile.

“I probably look like a crazy person, but thank you.”

“Why don’t you jump in the shower while I rouse the munchkin and cook some breakfast.”

“alright, thank you” Gaston walked over to the fort and saw that Dane was already awake. “Wow, how long have you been up?”

“I dont know but I had to pee and then I couldnt go back to sleep because I was so excited about seeing and being on a real train” Gaston chuckled “well get changed then start folding your blankets. I’ll put the stools back where they belong so don’t worry about that.” Dane crawled out “Ok” He ran over to his bag and grabbed what he would wear that day before heading into Gastons room to change. Gaston happily went into the kitchen and began making French Toast. He started to softly sing as he waited for his son and Antoinette. ┬áHe stopped when he heard the excited footsteps of his son returning.

One was already done so he went ahead and gave Dane his. Gaston made two for each of them then sat down to eat with Dane so they wouldn’t be late. Just as Gaston took his first bite Antoinette came out. He made some for her too incase she wanted any. “do you want some” He asked and she smiled “I love French Toast. Sure” Antoinette sat down and puled the plate with the two pieces towards her. Dane and Gaston scarfed down their breakfast then got up “I’m going to grab my spare key for you Antoinette. Don’t rush leaving and come back whenever you want” Gaston walked away, not waiting for a reply. He opened his night stand and retreaved the key. He handed it to her “this is yours as long as you’re here. Could I have your number incase I need to call you?”

“Yeah, Dane can put it in your cellphone for you”

“alright, good luck”

“Thanks” Dane and Gaston put their shoes on then left. Antoinette finished her food then washed the dishes. When they were clean she put the stools back where they belonged then set the folded blankets in the closet they came from. She decided to do a bit more cleaning that needed done before she left. In the car Dane typed in his mothers number. “thank you for being so nice to us. Since mommy lost her job nobodies been really nice to us. We’ve never had a family besides ourselves either. Moms family is mean to her and doesnt talk to us much. When mom had a boyfriend he wasn’t even nice. He hated me because I annoyed him. ”

“You are far from annoying. He was an idiot. I’m sorry you two have been treated so badly. You deserve a lot more. You never have to worry about living with a mean person again because my home is always open to the two of you. How was he mean to you?”

“He’d just yell at me alot when mom wasn’t around. I guess he was too busy yelling at my mom when she was home. I was happy when she kicked him out even though it was because he punched her. She told him to leave and he never came back. After that mom didn’t get any more boyfriends. She told me we were better off on our own.” Dane sat silent for a few minuets and asked “did you know my dad? Mom just said you were a friend and I’ve been wondering about my dad since they had everybodies dads come to school. I can’t ask my mom. I’m scared she’ll get sad and feel like she’s not a good enough mom if I ask about my dad. She’s been a wonderful mom and didn’t even know her ex boyfriend would yell at me. I know she would have left sooner if she knew because we always leave places if people yell at me. If you don’t know that’s ok. I want to know but if I don’t I guess I don’t. I won’t hurt my mom by asking”

The question made him nervous. “That’s somthing we do need to talk about with your mom. We can talk to her tonight if she’s not too tired from job hunting. You wont make her feel like a bad mom Dane. I promise you wont.”

“Ok, if you’re sure”

Antoinette did her makeup and hair then just looked at herself in the mirror for a moment. She smiled at her reflection then left, making sure to lock the front door. She went around to convenience stores and filled out applications. She didn’t really care where she worked, as long as she was able to get a place for her and Dane and pay Gaston back for his kindness. She wasn’t even planning on a custody agreement between them. He was such a good father already so she wanted him to feel free to spend as much time with Dane as possible.

Dane stared in wide eyed amazement at the train. Gaston smiled and patted him on the back. “This is so awesome.” He finally said.

“Yes she is.” A man about Gaston’s age came walking up. “What’s your name little man?”

“Dane sir, is this your train?”

“Yes it is and Gaston here tells me that you love them.” Dane nodded excitedly. “Well would you like a tour and a ride?”

“Yes, can Gaston come too?”

Rick chuckled. “Of course he can.”

“Thanks for this Rick, it means a lot.”

“No problem man.”

Gaston couldn’t wipe the painfully large smile off his face as Dane walked around excitedly, looking everywhere and asking Rick questions. When the tour was complete Rick said “you ready to come up front with me while I drive the train?” Dane actually gasped and spoke in a disbeliving tone as he exclaimed “I can really do that?!” Gaston and Rick both guffawed while Danes excited face didn’t falter “yes you can. Come on. You just can’t touch anything unless I say it’s ok. You’re a good listener right?”

“I’m the best listener” His voice almost soft at his astonishment he was going to get to be in the front of the train. Gaston and Dane followed Ricardo to the front where Rick sat down and pointed to the only other chair. “want to sit in my lap Dane?”

“Sure” Gaston sat and Dane leapt into Gastons lap. It wasn’t long before Rick had the train moving which only seemed to increase Danes happiness. The little boy looked as if he may just burst from all the excitement in him. Rick rode them around for as long as he could without getting in trouble with his boss. He just took a small route for deliveries that would loop back around to where he picked them up. When Rick started stopping the train Gaston worried Dane may get sad but he stayed thrilled. When it came to a full stop Dane jumped out of Gastons lap and hugged Rick. “Thank you” Dane let go and hugged Gaston “thank you too for asking him. You both are so epic”

“I wish I could drive you around more but my boss would get angry at me” Rick said and Dane smiled “its no problem. I’m glad I got to go atall.”

“It was nice meeting you Dane.

“Nice meeting you too”

“What would you like for lunch?” Gaston asked as they loaded into his car.

“Hamburgers please.”

Antoinette stopped for lunch at a sandwich bistro. She ordered the chicken pesto and took a seat at one of the tables to wait. She wondered how Dane and Gaston were doing and hoped her son was having fun. Her sandwich was brought out to her and she ate it slowly. She hoped she would get a call from at least one of the places she had applied at. “You okay?” She jumped at the male voice and turned to look at the man sitting at the table next to hers.

“Uh yes, just thinking about important things.”

“Like what?”

“Work, I’m looking for a job.”

“What kind of job?”

“Any job that doesn’t require me to get naked.”

He laughed and reached into his pocket and handed her a business card. “I’m looking for a new secretary. The one I have is retiring. She still has another week so call in and make an appointment with her.”

“Thank you.” He smiled and got up, waving at the waitress and leaving. The waitress came over and Antoinette gave her a warm smile.

“Be careful with him, he’s a huge flirt. He eats here every day and man does he lay it on thick. He’s not a bad guy or anything, just flirtatious.”

“Thanks for the warning. I think I can handle it if I get the job. Just ignore him right?”

“Yeah, Layla and I have to do it all the time. Just smile politely and don’t buy into it.”

“Thanks, I’ll make sure to not let him get to me” Antoinettes last boss was the same way so she knew he wouldn’t bother her. Men like that flirt with everyone so she didn’t get upset or think anything. She finished her sandwich then dialed the number. She was actually able to get an appointment for tomorrow which was perfect since Gaston would be taking Dane to work with him. Sine she had an interview and already applied so many places she decided to go back to the apartment and wait for the boys to get home. She would apply more if the interview didn’t go well.When she arrived at Gastons apartment she went over to his desktop, hoping it wasn’t password locked. To her relief it wasn’t so she went to the website of his apartment complex to see if they had any two bedroom available.

Chapter Three

They actually had quite a few so she wasn’t worried about vacancy when she could afford to live on her own. She would get one as close to Gastons as possible so Dane could go see his father whenever he felt like it. Antoinette then sat down, trying to get lost in TV but all she could do was think of Gaston. He was so handsome and kind, indisputably a wonderful father just from the little she had seen. She had lied to him for eight years though by not telling him about Dane. It was depressing wanting to be with him but knowing he probably wouldn’t go for it.

She wished she hadn’t made the mistake of just running off the next morning but she didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment if the night before had been his mind being clouded by booze. She didn’t want such a wonderful man to tell her that he had only had so much fun with her and made such passionate love to her because of drinking and that he regretted their night. She left so she could just preserve the perfect night in her mind forever and always have something positive to think on when things got hard. She always had her one perfect evening.

Dane talked non stop about the train as They headed home. Gaston hoped to give his son more days like this. He wanted the boy to always be happy. He was happy to see that Antoinette was home when he pulled into the parking lot and he and Dane got out. They walked in and she smiled at them. Gaston actually felt the air leave his lungs at how gorgeous she was. “Did you boys have fun?” She asked.

“I wish you could see the train mom, it was so cool. Rick took us on a ride and showed me how everything worked. You have to come next time.”

“I’ll try sweetie.”

“Is it okay if me and Gaston play video games?”

“After dinner okay?”

“Okay mom. Can I get some chocolate milk?”

Antoinette nodded and Dane disappeared happily into the kitchen. “Be careful getting a cup.” Gaston said as he sat down next to Antoinette. “So how did the job hunt go?”

“Good, I have an interview tomorrow.”

“That works out just fine. Dane will have a blast at the firehouse. I think we should let him know who I am before I take him to work with me tomorrow.”

“After dinner, before video games. I’m worried he’ll hate me or something.”

“I don’t think he could ever hate you. It’ll be fine, I promise.” He didn’t want to tell her about the conversation he had had with their son. He wanted Dane to tell his mother how he felt on his own.

When Dane came back with his drink Gaston asked “want to learn how to play some card games buddy? I want to take you to work with me tomorrow and the men will want to play cards with you”

“That’s awesome!”

“I’m glad you think so since firetrucks are just ok.” Dane laughed ┬áthen sat on the floor by the coffee table. “You going to play too mom?”

“Of course” Gaston went into his bedroom to get his playing cards. He made sure to teach Dane every card game the men liked to play so he could just enjoy himself once he was at the station. It was a little past seven by the time Antoinette realized the passing of time. “wow, I better make somthing that’s easy and quick.” She got up and Gaston kept playing with Dane. “this is so much fun”

“This is mostly what we do when we’re waiting on a call”

“Sounds fun. When do we have to go?’

“well I’m taking on for Eliot so I’ll have to be at the station by seven am. Right after video games we need to go straight to sleep so we aren’t tired. You can take a nap in the fire house if you need to.”

“Will I get a tour”

“Of course, I’ll show you around everywhere” Dane just sat there looking at Gaston for a moment. He wondered if his dad was as cool and fun as Gaston. He hoped his father would be if he ever met him. Antoinette decided on bacon, grilled cheese sandwhiches since they woudln’t take long and were one of Danes favorite things to eat. She preapred them as quickly as possible since she heard Gaston tell Dane how early they would need to be heading out. Once Gaston and Dane were called in the plates were cleared quickly. Antoinette set the dirty dishes in the sink “I’ll do them tomorrow. Lets go talk for now”

‘talk? About what?” Dane asked “lets go sit first ok”

“Ok mom” They walked into Gastons living room, both Gaston and Antoinettes hearts pounding against their rib cages. Antoinette cleared her throat “I’ll start. Dane, do you like Gaston?”

“Yeah, he’s awesome”

“well, I met him eight years ago. We did a grown up thing together and I got pregnant. I…I didn’t know when I left that I was pregnant but I didn’t tell Gaston that I was when i found out. It was stupid and not fair of me to do that to you or him. Gastons your dad honey..I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you until now. He didn’t know so don’t be upset with him for not being there. Only be mad at me. i deserve for you to be mad at me. I made a really bad choice that I’m sorry for now”

“So, Gaston is my dad?”

“Yes, he is one hundred and ten percent your father.”

“That’s awesome, does that mean I can come over here as much as I want?”

They were both surprised at his reaction, but thankful that he wasn’t angry. “Yes absolutely, you can spend as much time with him as you want.” He hugged them both and Antoinette took a deep, calming breath. She kissed her son’s cheek, happy that he was happy.

“Okay buddy, game time. One hour and then bed. We have an early morning.”

“Okay dad, you pick the game this time.”

Gaston chose Portal 2. He had heard about it from his buddies and thought it seemed interesting. Dane was surprisingly good at it, making him look like an amateur. He had never seen someone so good with puzzles. An hour later Gaston helped him build another fort. Once he and Antoinette got their alone time he was going to ask her to move into his room so Dane could have the guest room. He would even let him decorate it the way he wanted.

Dane took a bath then settled down for bed. Gaston could tell he was excited and hoped he slept well. Antoinette pulled out the clothes she would be wearing for her interview and hung them on the bedroom door. “Do you need anything before I call it a night?” Gaston asked and leaned against the door frame.

“No, I’m all set. I’m really glad he took everything so well.”

“I have something to tell you. He talked to me before we got to the train. He’s really wanted a dad and he really wants you to be happy.”

“He’s always been such a sweet kid. You should see that boy when I’m sick. I’m not allowed to do anything he can do for me. If he wanted a dad why didn’t he ask me?”

“he was afraid if he asked about his dad you would feel like you weren’t a good enough mother. He didn’t want to hurt your feelings and he thought he would if he asked” Antoinette smiled “you see what I mean? I don’t know what i did right with that boy but he is so thoughtful and sweet. I don’t know why he’d feel him wondering about his dad would hurt me but it says a lot about him that he cared about it hurting me. I’m kind of glad I lost my job now so that I’d bring him here. I was so scared about coming but I would face anything to keep Dane out of a homeless shelter.”

“I’m definitely glad you did but wish you would have came here first so you wouldn’t have had to deal with so much pain. Thank you for coming here instead of taking him to a homeless shelter. I will always be there for the two of you. Even if you decide you dont want me around anymore I will still be there. You wont push me away or run away a second time. I can’t let you…the two of you are important to me” Gaston sighed. They needed to have this conversation later after she explained why she ran off the morning after they spent the night together. He told her goodnight and went to his room before he kept going and said more than he should say before Dane was at his sleepover.

Antoinette just stood there. The words he said felt heavy, like they meant more than what they meant at face value.Once Antoinette could move she settled into bed and fell asleep. She hoped her son would wake her to say bye in the morning but wouldn’t be shocked if he didn’t since he now had his father and was so excited about going to work with him. Most mornings when he was going in at an early time he felt groggy but this morning he jumped right out of bed and went to wake Dane. Eliot wouldn’t be able to leave until Gaston got there so he didn’t like to be late.

Dane was very easy to wake up. He immidietly sat up and went for his clothes. Gaston smiled “we have plenty of time. I just wanted to get you started on getting ready”

“Ok dad” Dane said just for the sake of saying dad. Gastons smile grew wider and he went to get dressed. When Gaston came out Dane said “Thats not what firefighters wear” Gaston laughed “my gear is at work. We quickly throw it on when the alarm goes off and we’re heading out. Go say bye to your mother while I pour us some cereal”

“Ok dad” Dane said cheerfully

Dane jumped onto his mom’s bed, waking her and making her laugh. He gave her a big kiss and said, “Just wanted to tell you bye mom. I love you.”

“I love you too baby boy. Have fun.”

She watched him leave and then went back to sleep, sighing happily. She would have them something delicious made when they came home. She knew Gaston would be tired and Dane would have run himself ragged. Gaston and Dane ate quickly then headed out. Dane could barely contain his excitement. When they made it to the firehouse and got out fo the car they were greeted by the stations St. Bernard. Dane hugged the big fuzzy dog who gave him a slobbery kiss. He lifted Dane onto his shoulders and carried him inside.

“Well who might this be?” The chief asked as Gaston lowered Dane onto his hip. The other firefighters came to see what was going on.

“This gentlemen is my son Dane.”

“Son? Really?”

“Yeah this is my little boy. His mother is Antoinette.”

“Wait, the Antoinette? One night stand, love at first sight, beautiful Antoinette?”

“One and the same. Her and this amazing little guy are living with me. I brought Dane to work to show him where his daddy works.”

well welcome, come in so we can show you everything” The chief said cheerfully with a friendly smile. Dane was excited about what the chief said. His dad loved his mom. It made him even more excited than he previously was. Dane hoped his mother still loved Gaston too so that they would always stay together. Dane didn’t want to leave his dads apartment. They took Dane on a long tour, making sure he saw and had time to ask questions about everything. Eliot even stayed out of shock. Gaston had brought up Antoinette so many times, especially when he first started. It was amazing to them all she was back and they had a kid together all this time.

They all had questions but didn’t want to ask infront of Dane. The last place they took Dane was where they kept the clothes they threw on before getting on their firetruck. The chief walked over to Danes clothes “these are your daddies” He took the helmet and set it on Danes head. It was too big on him so didn’t lay very straight. Gaston chuckled and took a few pictures on his cellphone. He sent them to Antoinette and made sure to add it was his number since she didn’t have his yet.

Since the tour of the station was done they showed Dane the trucks. “wow, they’re bigger up close. I guess they are better than ok” Danes words making the men smile. Eliot finally said “I’m going to get going guys. I expect details later Gaston” Gaston nodded and they all waved him off. When Dane had his fill of the truck they went back in. “are we going to play cards?” Dane asked enthusiasticly. “want to play cards men?”

“Of course” “yeah” Filled the air at nearly the same time. When Antoinette was ready to get up she checked her phone seeing the pictures of Dane. She smiled and put her favorite as her phones lock screen. She never kept one for long since every picture she had of her son she loved. Antoinette went into the kitchen and made herself a bagel before hopping in the shower. She lingered in the shower. Just taking her time to relax and enjoy the hot water as she thought of how much better things were going. Now that she was here everything seemed to have a bright future. She had been getting so beaten down by life always kicking her in the butt that she was grateful to the universe for finally cutting her some slack.

She got out, pulling on her clothes then doing her hair and makeup. She grabbed her keys and headed out to the address on Sean’s card. It was a law firm. She headed inside, turning her phone to vibrate. She found her way to his secretary who was a sweet looking older woman. She introduced herself and was shown into Sean’s office. He was on the phone and smiled at her when she walked in. He pointed to the chair across from him and she took a seat. He finished talking and hung up.

“I’m so glad you came.” He said, giving her his most charming smile.

“Well I need a job and you need a secretary so here I am.” She replied and he laughed.

“I like your attitude, it’s always good to have a sense of humor. So have you ever done any secreterial work before?”

“Yeah just out of high school. It wasn’t for very long, but I learned the ins and outs of appointment making. I work well with people, I’m easy to talk to. I’m sure the other lawyers will get along with me just fine. There is one thing though, I have an eight year old son.”

“Don’t worry Maggie out there worked here when I was a boy and my father ran this place. She has three kids and my father always let her leave if she was needed. So if he has an appointment or school function then just make sure I have my schedule and warn me ahead of time.”

“I can do that. I’m very reliable.”

“Good. If you want the job, you can start the day after Maggie leaves. She moving to Hawaii. I’m going to miss that sweet old lady.”

“I’ll do my best to make you proud. I know I could never fill her shoes, but I will work hard for you.”

“I look forward to it Antoinette.” Her lips twitched and she stood, shaking his hand. He held her hand longer than was needed and she pretended like she didn’t notice.

“what time do you expect me to arrive?”

“It’s nine to five”

“perfect” She left and could feel him staring as she walked away. It wouldn’t bother her as long as he didn’t get handsy at any point. Her last boss always flirted but was respectful enough not to touch the girls at work who obviously didn’t want it. When Antoinette made it back to the apartment she opened up the fridge and the pantry to see what all they had to plan a nice breakfast when Dane and Gaston returned in the morning. Since Gaston said he worked twenty four hour shifts that meant they would leave the station and come home around seven am tomorrow.

She was going to have a huge breakfast prepared. They had all the ingredients she needed to make somthing nice and filling for the both of them. She turned her phone back on and texted Gaston back “I got the job!” she sent. Gaston checked his text and was glad he could talk to her alone soon. He couldn’t believe how quickly she obtained a job. Gaston responded “That’s amazing. When do you start?”

“In seven days” It was Gastons turn but he was looking at his phone “stop staring at your phone dad and take your turn” Dane said and the other men laughed. Gaston put his cell back in his pocket and took his turn “your mother got the job” Dane frowned “already? I dont want us to move out. You said you loved my mom. You’re going to get her to stay with you right? Please, I like living with you” Gaston tussled his sons hair “I’m going to try my absolute best to get your mom to stay with me but if she doesn’t want to I dont want you upset with her ok? I’ll see you and her as much as I can and I’ll never give up on her being with me.”

“Good, so try really hard.”

“I will, extra hard.”

The alarm bell went off and everyone jumped up. “I’ll watch him Gaston, just go be the hero.” The Chief said and Gaston ran to get dressed. The Chief picked Dane up and stood so he could see everyone getting dressed. Gaston couldn’t help but chuckle at the look of amazement on his son’s face. He ran over and gave Dane a kiss on his forehead before jumping on the truck and waving goodbye.

Antoinette paced around the apartment, feeling anxious. She wondered if Gaston had been called out and if he was safe. She knew Dane would be safe at the fire station, Gaston would leave him with someone reliable. She finally sat down and switched on the TV, looking for anything to distract her. She stopped on the news when she saw a fire blazing. A large canning facility had caught fire. She could see the firemen in the background and wondered if one of them was Gaston. She felt her stomach knot with worry.

Gaston pried the door of the canning facility open and headed inside. There was so much smoke, but he managed to find his way through. Even over the blazing inferno he could hear people screaming, workers who had been trapped by the fire. The sprinkler system had not kicked on. He ran up a flight of stairs to the office and burst through the door. Huddled in the corner were four people. “Come on, follow me and stick close.” He ordered. They got to their feet and he took the hand of one of them. They held on to each other as he lead them through the smoke and heat. Two of his fellow firefighters met him half way while the others stayed outside with the hoses.

“The manager said there were others inside besides these four, we have to go back in.” Francesca said.

“Then lets go.”

The cheif had taken Dane into the TV room and found the channel they were broadcasting the fire on. Danes eyes were wide and glued to the tv. The chief smiled “You proud of your dad?”

“Yeah, I never thought much about firefighters before but wow. I can’t believe my dad does this. It’s amazing. I’m glad my dads so cool” The chief chuckled. He couldn’t believe how much this boy looked like Gaston. It was hard to believe he was eight with how tall he was but Gaston was tall too. At 6’3 Gaston was the tallest man he had ever met. The chief wouldn’t be shocked if Dane turned out to be just as tall with where he was at now in height. Gaston and Francesca got everybody out but one they couldn’t find and nobody knew where they were when the fire started.

As they searched a piece of debris fell and hit Gaston in the back. Francesca sucked in air “you ok?!” she yelled “Yeah!” he answered. it had smacked him hard enough to leave a bruise but it wasn’t too painful. That was far from the first time debri hit him. They finally found the woman in what they believed was a break room. She had a bleeding head wound and was unconsious so Gaston cleared debris off of her then lifted her into his arms “Lets go!” Gaston yelled to Francesca and they walked out the building. The second Gaston was outside he ran for the ambulance who quickly took the woman away.

One of the news reporters caught on her camera Gaston running out with the woman so both Antoinette and Dane saw it. Dane gasped “My dads a real hero” The cheif smiled “yes he is. Hes my best firefighter which is saying somthing since he’s one of the youngest here. He’s better than any of these men ever were because he honestly cares about these people. We all care but not like him. Your dad has a big heart and I’m glad you and your mother are finally with him.”

“Me too, I hope mom stays. I don’t want to move again.”

Antoinette watched until the camera was taken off the fire. She wanted to call Gaston and make sure he wasn’t hurt, but she knew he probably had it off or had left it at the firehouse. She got up and went into the kitchen, making herself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner since it was just her. When she was finished eating she washed her plate and grabbed a pillow and blanket off of her bed. She knew it would be hard to fall asleep tonight so she decided to camp out on the couch.

Gaston was greeted by a very excited Dane when the firetruck came to a stop inside the station. He lifted his son up and gave him a hug. “You were so cool dad, I hope I can grow up to be as cool as you.”

“I be you’ll be cooler. Stay with the chief while I shower then we can go get dinner.”

“Okay.”

He pulled his gear off and hung it back up then went into the showers. He scrubbed himself clean then dried and pulled on the change of clean clothes he kept in his locker. His back hurt where he had been hit, but he shrugged it off. Dane was waiting in the chief’s office and jumped up as soon as Gaston walked in. “How about we go buy pizza for everyone here.” Dane said, making the chief laugh.

“That sounds like a good idea. We can get a bunch of different ones.” He lifted Dane onto his shoulders and they headed outside to his car, both of them smiling happily.

They bought the pizza then returned to the station. The other firefighters came out and helped carry the pizzas in. They all sat and talked late into the evening. Gaston smiled when he looked over and saw Dane slouched against the table sleeping. “Let me take him to a bunk” Gaston whispered as he lifted his son slowly. Gaston walked as easily as possible to where the bunk beds were and laid Dane down. Gaston made sure Dane was tucked in then kissed his head “I love you so much son.” Gaston stood there a moment. He felt overjoyed his son thought so much of him. His Antoinette returned bringing a son with her. He got the love of his life back and a wonderful little boy.

Gaston walked back out. He was barely in the room when the cheif asked “so what happened? How’d you find Antoinette?”

“she found me” he said as he sat down. “She showed up at my door because she’s been laid off for who knows how long. She’s been struggling to get by and staying with others. Her next stop was a homeless shelter if I would have turned away. Apparently she was scared to come back to me. She thought I’d be angry that she neglected to tell me about her getting pregnant during that one night stand. I was at first but that was quickly resolved by how happy I was to have her back and learn that I had a child with her. Danes got a sleepover tomorrow night and she’s agreed to talk to me about why she left that morning with only a note and no number. I didn’t even get a goodbye as you all know besides what the note said.”

“we’re just glad she’s back. Your son is the spitting image of you”

“Yeah, I noticed that right away. he’s got his mothers beautiful blue eyes though”

“do you think she’s staying?”

“She was talking about moving into an aprtment in my complex so we can be close but I’m going to try and convince her to live with me and us be in a serious relationship.”

“well you got one foot in the door. The kid adores you”

“Yeah, I meant what I told him. If she doesn’t want to settle down with me I’ll try for her and do everything I can to win her over. If she tries to run I’ll hunt her this time. I wont lose her again. I love her so much but you all know that”

“Yeah, It’s wild she showed up at your door after eight years. Good thing you got her pregnant or you may have never seen her again” Gaston laughed at the chief and wondered if maybe fate was doing him a favor. The universe knew she’d run so it enabled them to concieve easily so she’d have a reason to come back.

Antoinette stared at the TV, watching Finding Nemo. It was one of Dane’s favorites. She sighed and grabbed her phone, calling Gaston. “Hey, is something wrong?” He asked, sounding tired.

“I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

“Yeah, but it’s okay.” She could hear the springs of the bed creak as he sat up. “What’s wrong?”

“I saw you on the news today and it scared me. I guess I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

He laughed softly. “I’m a firefighter, it’s a dangerous job. I won’t lie to you though, I did get hit by a piece of debris. I’m okay I promise.” He yawned. “Let’s talk more tomorrow. Try to get some sleep.”

“Okay, thank you for talking to me.”

“I love talking to you Antoinette, you should know that.” He gave a little sigh. “Goodnight beautiful.”

“Goodnight Gaston.” They hung up and Antoinette went back to watching Finding Nemo until her eye lids grew heavy and she drifted off. Gaston woke to the alarm on his phone. He stretched then got up and woke Dane.

“Time to get up buddy.” He said as he shook his son.

“Okay.” Dane sat up and wiped the drool off his face before stretching and hopping out of bed. “I can’t wait to tell mom how much fun I had. Can I thank everyone?”

“How about we see if your mom will help you make a cake or cookies for them. I bet these guys and girl would like that.”

“Okay dad, let’s go home and ask her.”

Antoinette wasn’t able to sleep through the night. She kept waking up about every hour so just decided to start on breakfast at about six thirty am. She started preparing the batter for pancakes. Antoinette found tiny hersheys kisses in Gastons pantry yesterday so she poured a little into the batter, making sure it was stirred in well so they were evenly dispersed. When the batter was ready and she began to make the pancakes she decided to multi task and start the grits, eggs and sausage links. Dane and Gaston got back to the complex around seven fourteen am. The smell of Antoinettes breakfast hit their nose as they walked through the door. “Yay! moms made breakfast! Dane yelled. They came into the kitchen where Antoinette was smiling “welcome back” Dane ran over and hugged his mom “It was so much fun mom. I want to go again!”

Chapter Four

“You can go as much as Gaston wants to take you”

“Thanks for making such a big breakfast I’m starving”

“Well sit down and enjoy it then” Gaston was unable to resist walking over and hugging Antoinette too. “Thanks for such a nice breakfast. I normally would have skipped eating and gone straight to bed”

“I figured as much so i wanted to make you somthing” He let her go despite not wanting to then sat down. When Danes mouth wasn’t stuffed with food he was telling his mom about the fire station and everything there. After breakfast Dane asked “can I go sleep in the guest room a little more? I don’t want to be tired when we go see my friends. You’re taking me after lunch right mom?”

“Yep, when should I pick you up?”

“I’ll call you. Lucas mom says she’ll take us to Chuck E Cheese tomorrow if we’re good tonight.”

“sounds fun. Do you need anything?”

“Nope, she said they would pay for it” Dane ran off and into the guest bedroom. Gaston laughed “I’m sorry, I let him stay up until he passed out last night” Antoinette smiled at Gaston “It’s summer and he was somwhere exciting. I don’t mind. I know when I send him to his sleep over he’ll do the same thing” Gaston smiled back “Let me help you clean up”

“thanks” They began to wash and clean everything. Once everything was done Gaston said “he forgot to tell you he wants to bake a cake or cookies for the firefighters. I can take it next time I or we go in. He’s welcome anytime. The chief doesn’t mind if we bring people as long as they don’t cause trouble”

“alright, I believe I saw what I’d need to bake a cake with him” To help Gaston wait to talk to Antoinette he suggested they watch TV. “aren’t you tired?”

“I’m alright”

“You sure”

“Yes, lets watch TV” They went in and sat down. Not even an hour later Gaston fell asleep. Antoinette lightly laughed. She thought he looked adorable. Antoinette just sighed and got lost admiring him until her son came out and giggled at his father which woke him up “guess you were tired too huh?” Dane said as Gaston rubbed his eyes. “I thought you were tired” Antoinette added. “what time is it?” He asked and Antoinette looked at her watch “nearly ten am.”

“you two and your ten am. That’s when you came to my door” Antoinette giggled “I wasn’t even aware of what time it was when we came to your door. I had been so nervous.” Dane joined them on the couch and changed it to Boomerang. He loved the older cartoons. They stayed on the couch together until eleven thity when they started getting ready for the day. They let Dane shower first since he was just in and out. He hated showers so would only stay in long enough to get clean. Once he was out Gaston got in after Antoinette insisted. He hurried, not wanting to leave her without hot water. She giggled when eh came out “I don’t need a shower this morning. You didn’t have to rush. I remember you like long showers”

“I’m fine, just get in. I’m going to take us to Burger King when you’re out so you dont have to worry about cooking”

“awesome, thanks” Antoinette followed suit and quickly showered. They headed out the door as Dane talked about the cool toys Burger king currently had. When they were done eating and arrived at Lucas house Dane asked “would you come in real quick Gaston so my friends can meet my dad?” It tugged at Gaston and Antoinettes hearts “I’d love to buddy” They got out and Dane took his dads hand. His friends were amazed by how big Danes father was. Luca said “woah! No wonder you’re so tall.” Gaston managed to hold back his laugh and talked to the boys briefly before leaving to get back to Antoinette. “sorry that took so long.”

“I figured it would. We going back to your place?”

“yeah, unless you need to go anywhere.”

“No, your place is fine.” Gaston anxiously drove back to his apartment. It would be another stab in the heart if she didn’t want to stay with him. When he woke up that morning eight years ago he could have sworn his heart shattered when she was gone and the note only thanked him for the wonderful evening. “are you okay?” Antoinette asked, noticing how fraught he was. “I’m okay” Gaston said as he parked the car. He sighed “I want to talk to you when we get upstairs. I want to talk about more than just why you left that morning.”

“did we do anything wrong?”

“Of course not. I love having you two here. Lets just go upstairs and talk” Antoinette nervously followed Gaston up the stairs. A million horrible things he could need to talk about zoomed through her head. Her worry only got worse once they were in the apartment and he sat down on the couch. Antoinette sat beside him and just stared, waiting for what he had to say. “don’t look so scared Antoinette. I told you nothing’s wrong”

“But you look like somthing is”

“I’m just scared which is new to me because I’m never scared of anything.”

“what’re you scared of?’

“First, please tell me why after that absolutely amazing evening and night together..why did you run off the next morning without a goodbye or a number. You said bye in the note but..you just ran off. That evening was heaven to me. I had never met a woman so amazing. You had me like a moth to a flame that night and I was so sad when you had just vanished from my bed the next morning” Antoinette sighed “I’m sorry. That night was the best night of my life, it truly was. That’s why i ran from it. I’ve never had an easy life. My parents are mean and angry people who hate eachother but stay married anyway. That night with you was the only time in my life I was ever truly happy. I don’t think there was a moment that night I quit smiling, aside from when we were having sex” Gaston smiled and she continued “I just wanted somthing good to look back on. I knew I would screw us up somehow so I left while you were nothing but an amazing memory so when things got hard I could think of our night together. It was wrong of me not to face you with a real goodbye and I’m sorry for that. It doesn’t even compare to the wrong I did by not telling you of our son but when I told my parents they told me to get an abortion. I cried for hours and I didn’t want to face you and have you say the same thing”

He pulled her into a hug and she felt on the verge of tears. “I would have taken responsibility, I would have married you and helped you raise our child. I love you two very much Antoinette and spent eight years thinking only of you. I couldn’t bring myself to love anyone else.”

“I feel like such a coward.”

“Hush now, I understand and it’s okay to be afraid. I’m just glad you’re here now.” He pulled back and ran his fingers over her cheek. She was really the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. “Your parents were, well are, assholes and I’m glad you didn’t do what they said. I love our little boy. Thank you for keeping him.”

She felt tears slide down her face and wiped at them. “Stop being so sweet, you’re making me cry.”

“I’m sorry, it looks like I broke my promise.” She smiled. “There, that’s what I like to see. You have the most beautiful smile.”

“Do you really love me?”

“Of course I do. I love everything about you, your laugh, your smile, everything. I want you to stay here with me so stop looking at apartments. Move into my room and sleep with me, let me kiss you goodnight and good morning. Even if we don’t get married, I just want you to love me the way I love you.”

“You are far to sweet. I love you too, I really do.” Antoinette felt butterflies brush her insides at her own words. It felt so amazing to say them.

“Say that again.”

“I love you Gaston with all of my heart.”

He kissed her excitedly, holding her tightly to him as his tongue danced with hers. He moaned into her mouth and pushed her down on the couch, his hand slipping under her shirt to fill her soft skin. She broke the kiss and stopped him. “Wait, slow down.”

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed…”

“It’s not that, I want this, but if we get lost in the moment I’ll end up pregnant again and I’m not on birth control.” He lifted her off the couch and carried her to his room where he pressed her into the matress. He pulled her clothes off, his hands moving lovingly over her. She was still just as beautiful and perfect as that night. He even found the stretch marks on her stomach beautiful and leaned down to kiss them.

“You are so gorgeous.” He pulled his clothes off and kissed his way down her body, making her gasp and moan. He pushed her legs open and covered her with his mouth, running his tongue over and then in her, finding one of her sensitive spots. Her back arched as she orgasmed, a whimper slipping past her lips. He kissed his way back up her and pulled a drawer open on the table next to his bed and pulled out a condom. He tore the package open and rolled it on before thrusting into her. He made love to her slowly, wanting to savor every little cry and movement. They released together, both of them with tears in their eyes.

“I love you Antoinette.”

“I love you too and I’ll get on birth control as soon as I can.”

“Or we could just have another baby.” He got up and went into the bathroom, tossing the condom in the garbage and coming back to lay with her.

“After all I’ve put you through, you want more children with me?”

“Yes and marriage and a house and even a dog. Dane needs a dog.”

Antoinette smiled again “He would love a dog and I would love to marry you” Saying the last part was too much and she began to cry. Gaston held her close “sh, please don’t cry” He said as his own tears softly fell. Antoinette could feel them hit her and she kissed his chest “How can you talk when you’re crying too?” He laughed “I just want you to always smile. I’m going to do somthing nice when I propose. I don’t know what yet but I’m not going to tell you when I will or when i buy the ring. I want it all to be a surprise.”

“Ok” Antoinette lightly rubbed Gaston “I love you” His heart fluttered again as it did the two other times she had said it. They stayed in bed, wrapped in eachothers arms. Antoinette was glad he had two days off and Dane woudln’t be back until tomorrow so they could just stay there and enjoy eachother. “I’ll never leave again” Antoinette whispered. “Please don’t” Gaston said softly then added “you didn’t answer if you wanted another kid with me.”

“I love Dane so much. I would adore having another kid with you. I’m sure Dane would be excited to have a brother or sister” Gaston pulled her tighter against him. “I hope it’s as quick as last time”

“I’m sure it will be. Can’t believe I got pregnant from just once with you” Gaston kissed her head “I thank the gods you did. You may not have ever come back to me if you hadn’t. I also woudl have never had Dane and I’m already crazy about him. You’ve been such a good mother to raise a boy like that”

“I’ve tried really hard. I’ve been far from perfect but I’m glad I did whatever I did right” They continued talking as they held one another until they both drifted to sleep from being in such a relaxed state. Gaston held her tightly, subconsiously afraid to wake up and Antoinette not be there again. His front most thoughts being how lucky he was to have his family and how he’d make up for all the hard times they had to endure without him. Gaston wanted to make Antoinette forget life was ever hard for her and make sure her parents never got close enough to hurt her again.

~ The End ~

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