Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)(11)


by Melanie Harlow

Get hard against her ass.

Thump.

Sighing, I stood up and headed down the hall, where a nightlight kept the stairs well lit. They creaked as I went down, and the house felt a little chilly, the wood floors cool under my bare feet. We’d had a warm September, but soon I’d have to turn the heat on at night.

I went to the kitchen, where all the lights were on and Scotty was opening and closing cupboards. I figured he was looking for his cereal bowl, since the box of Fruity Pebbles was already out on the counter.

“Hey, buddy,” I said.

“Do you want some cereal?” He meant that he wanted cereal. Pronouns still gave him trouble, and although his language and communication skills had improved a ton with therapy, he often repeated questions he’d heard asked before. Almost like he had scripts he recalled in certain situations when he couldn’t find the right words to ask the question or make the statement he wanted.

“It’s not time yet.”

He ignored me and went on looking for his bowl, the dinosaur one he likes to use at breakfast. It was probably in the dishwasher, but I didn’t want to tell him that. When he’d finished looking in all the cupboards he could reach, he stood still and fidgeted, facing away from me. “Let’s have breakfast right now.”

“Hey.” I went over and hugged him from behind, hoping to head off his frustration. “It’s only four in the morning, so we’re not having breakfast yet, OK? We’ll find the bowl at breakfast time. Come back upstairs with me.”

“But I woke up, and after I have breakfast and get dressed, I can play on the iPad before church.” He pointed at the fridge.

I laughed a little. Pinned to the fridge with a Detroit Tigers magnet was the Sunday chart with a symbol for each thing Scotty would do today. Once each thing was done, he’d move the little symbol, which was Velcro-ed to the chart, over to the column that said Done. If he got through three things on the chart without hassle, he got fifteen minutes of free iPad time. “That is the order of things, you’re right. But look at the time. That order needs to start around seven in order for Dad to be sane. Let’s go back upstairs now.”

He let me lead him up the stairs, and I could almost taste the victory of a couple more hours of sleep, but he fussed when I tried to go back into his room, glancing down the hall like he might try to make a run for it.

“It’s not time to wake up yet, Scotty,” I said firmly.

“But you’re dressed.” He pointed to my clothes—the wrinkled, unbuttoned white shirt and rumpled black pants I’d fallen asleep in.

“Not really, bud. This is what I wore to the wedding last night.”

“You slept in your clothes?” A hint of a smile.

“I guess I did.”

“I want my iPad.”

I sighed, exhaustion weighing down my bones. “How about if I lie down with you in your bed?” In my head I could hear my mother telling me this sent a confusing message. Either you want him to follow the rules on his own or you don’t. She was probably right, but sometimes I just needed to buy myself a little more rest. Scotty loved to be close to me, and usually fell asleep right away if I lay next to him.

He considered it while he twirled a hand in his hair. “OK. Yes.”

We both climbed into his double bed, me on my right side and Scotty on his left. Immediately he reached over and started to play with my earlobe, almost like it was a security blanket. He’s done it ever since he was a baby, and his therapist says it probably calms him, quiets his mind so he can relax. But sometimes he even does it during the day while he’s playing—he’ll just run over to me while I’m working at the table or folding laundry or cooking dinner and rub it for a few seconds, and then take off again. Those times make me laugh, which he loves, so maybe he’s doing it for me as much as for himself. But in my heart I think it’s his way of telling me he loves me and feels safe and happy. Those moments are gold to me.

Within minutes, he was asleep, his little palm resting on my cheek.

I watched him for a moment, listening to him breathe, adoring his peaceful expression. He was such a loving, sensitive soul. I wanted to shelter him forever, and yet I wanted others to know and experience his sweetness too. But it took time and patience—who would give it to him? Who would look past the quirks and grow to love the person beneath? I knew I couldn’t follow him around for the next ten years, forcing kids to be more understanding and grown-ups to be less ignorant, teachers to be more tolerant and doctors to be less dismissive. Eventually I’d have to let go a little. Eventually.

I took his hand from my face, kissed it and held it between us, closing my eyes.

• • •

Scotty woke up for good about two hours later, and I left him in his bedroom playing with his dinosaurs while I went to shower. I hadn’t gotten nearly enough sleep to feel rested, but I was in a good mood, partly because of the sweet quiet time I’d had with him this morning, and partly because of the memories of Jillian from the night before.

Stepping beneath the spray, I couldn’t help smiling as I washed my hair and soaped up. First chance I got, I was going to read through our texts again. Just thinking about them made my cock start to swell. Groaning, I looked at the open bathroom door, wishing I had five minutes to lock it and jerk off before getting dressed. It would feel so good. But it never failed—every time I attempted that while Scotty was awake, he would come knocking. His timing was uncanny.

Gritting my teeth, I concentrated on other things—today’s schedule, a client meeting I had tomorrow, the loads of laundry I had to get done, the dry cleaning that needed to be taken in. At this point, I was an expert in reclaiming control of my body like that. And sometime today I was going to look at the schedule for the coming week and weekend. I’d promised Jillian a date, but I needed to make sure I could get Sarah, the usual sitter, to watch Scotty. My sister was good in a pinch and only lived forty minutes away, and I did want my son to be close to my family—it was the only one he had—but I also wanted to keep my sanity. Scotty was dealing with enough frustration at school; placing additional stress on him at home wouldn’t be good for him, and Monica stressed him out.

Hell, Monica stressed me out.

After drying off, I dressed in dark jeans and a clean white t-shirt, then went to get Scotty, so I could get him cleaned up before we went down for breakfast.