Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimer. Please don't hurt me for what you're about to read. I was watching reruns of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and, well, you'll see later on. Send comments, questions, compliments, and otters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author's Notes: Second in the Getting what you want, getting what you need series. (2/9)
This story is a sequel to: I love an idiot
It all started with an envelope. An envelope that seemed innocent enough tucked within bills and junk mail. It was addressed to Benton Fraser, RCMP. Official, from the looks of it, and from an unfamiliar address in Shannon, Texas. It shouldn't have been anything, really, but in the end, it was the end of everything.
"Call me when you get there, okay?"
"Of course, Ray."
Mentally he was thinking bad things about the Dragon Lady, Canada, and the need for law enforcement that sent Fraser to Toronto for two weeks and forced him to stay in Chicago. "I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you, too. I'll only be gone for a short while, Ray. I will return."
"I know. I just wish she'd given you a little more warning."
Ten days into that leave, the envelope was delivered. He told Ben about it when he called that night, and received permission to open it. After reading it, he was in shock, and unsure what to do.
"Ray? What does it say?"
He couldn't read the letter over the phone, not without checking it out first and making sure that it was true. He didn't want it to be true. It couldn't be true.
"What is it?"
"Oh, um, it's just a, it's a request for money, Benny. Don't worry about it."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. I'll take care of it." He veered to another subject. "So how's Toronto? Been overrun by Americans?"
He could hear the smile in Fraser's response. "Not the American I would like to be here."
"Me too, Benny. Me too. Just four more days. Um, listen. I won't be here to talk to you tomorrow, okay?"
"Certainly, Ray. The Escobar stakeout?"
Ray took the unknowingly offered escape. "Yeah. Huey's out sick. I'll call you Thursday, though, if that's okay with you."
"That's fine. Tell Detective Huey that I hope he feels better."
"Sure. I gotta go, Fraser. Bye."
He hung up before Ben could reply.
Dear Mr. Fraser,
My name is Doris Fayson. Six years ago, I rented a room to a young lady. She was scared, and she was alone. Over time we became friends, and I grew to care for her. She died two weeks ago. In her things I found your name and instructions on contacting you in case something happened to her.
I am now following her last instructions, and informing you of your responsibilities. You will need to come down here and take care of something. Your daughter, sir.
"Mr. Vecchio, this is Sarah."
He looked at her, hoping to see something of her mother. Something that would make it easy for him to hate this little girl that held his whole life in her hands, but standing in front of him was a perfectly ordinary, lovely little girl. Six years old, with long wavy dark hair, and dark sad eyes.
"Are you my daddy?"
He'd always been a sucker for kids, and instantly he was in love again. No one could compete with Fraser for his heart, but this sweet angel had just claimed a piece of him for herself.
It had been a hectic two weeks when Fraser returned to the news that he had a daughter. To avoid thinking of himself, Ray had focused on what needed to be done.
He didn't know how bringing Sarah into their lives would change them. Would he be allowed to be part of a relationship when Fraser's focus had to be his daughter and what was best for her?
He finished folding the laundry as Ben came into the bedroom, exhausted from putting Sarah to bed for her first night in Chicago. "Maybe I should just go home tonight."
Shrugging, he replied. "I don't know. It would be easier for her. For you too."
"She likes you, Ray. You don't have to leave. I wish you wouldn't."
"Are you sure?"
The kiss was gentle and unhurried. It didn't go further; it couldn't tonight, but it Ray felt reassured that things would work out.
The playground was nice and clean and the day was beautiful. Sunny, but not too hot to play outside. Sarah was swinging, and pleading with her father to push her harder so she could go higher and touch the sky.
Delighted laughter from both of them made him look up. A thread of worry bit through his heart at seeing the two of them together, needing nothing from him to be a family, but when Sarah spotted him from her perch, she called him over, insisting that, "Daddy can push us both!"
Adjusting to being a full time parent was exhausting, terrifying, and wonderful. As he watched father and daughter get to know each other, he fell in love with both of them all over again.
End Priorities by silvina: email@example.com
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