Derek watched the clock on the back door. He couldn’t stop, even after Mrs. Hatch warned him to pay attention and not at the clock.
Derek’s head spun around. Uh oh.
“Do you want lunch detention?”
Derek shook his head. “No.”
“Then I suggest you start working with Olivia and Brandt before you get detention and a call to your mother.”
He nodded and quietly spoke to his friends after. “This sucks.”
Olivia laughed. “If you stop from looking at the clock, maybe the day would go by faster.”
“I know. Mom said that to me this morning. It’s not fair! Why couldn’t I go with her?” he pouted and stared at the stupid volcano thing they were making. “This is so dumb. School is dumb.”
Brandt snickered. “Yeah, and it’s boring.”
“You two are hopeless. Come on, this thing will erupt and make a mess. That should be fun, right?” Olivia smacked Derek when she noticed he was staring at the clock again. “Stop that and help! You don’t want your daddy mad at you for getting detention today, do you?”
She was right. “No.”
“Then stop looking at the stupid clock and start helping Brandt and I.”
Derek huffed. “Fine, but stop hitting me, Olivia.”
Derek kept his promise to Olivia, and soon the final bell rang. He was the first one out of the classroom, and ran to the front entrance of the school. He scanned the entire crowd of parents, and then he spotted him.
He dropped everything and ran. “DADDY!”
Dad held him in his arms, and they hugged for ages and ages, because Derek never wanted to let go of his Daddy. Not ever!
“Daddy!” Bailee’s screams came from behind, and Daddy put Derek down, and caught his little sister.
“My God, you two have grown so much!” Daddy said after he and Bailee hugged forever. “Look at my two little munchkins.”
“We’ve missed you,” Bailee said. “Are you okay now?”
“Better than ever! You two ready to go home so we can celebrate?” He glanced over to Derek. “Derek, where’s your backpack?”
Derek scanned the crowd and pointed in the direction, but had no clue to where he tossed the bag. “Um, I tossed it.”
Dad laughed. “Well, we better go find it so we can go home. I’m sure you have homework, right?”
Derek groaned. “I hate homework.”
“I’ve heard. Come on, bud.”
Eli played with Dakota while his two oldest did their homework at the table. He offered to help, but Derek didn’t want anyone to help him, and Bailee had said she just needed to edit and revise her work. How does a seven year old even know what that is, let alone do it on homework? She definitely got her smarts from her mother.
“Stop that Derek!” Bailee yelled.
“Stop that Derek. You sound like a baby,” Derek teased.
“Derek,” Eli warned. Of course, there was the bickering that Sam warned him about. He met Sam’s eyes. “This is what you were talking about?”
“Told you,” Sam laughed. “I think you and Anthony have competition based on the stories Eliza’s told me.”
Eli laughed. Man, if that was true, Derek and Bailee would cause him to grey quicker than he already was. Fuck, but when did he get so damn old? At forty-one, he never expected to start seeing some grey. Let alone, just be getting out of prison. Again. He spent a little over four years in SM this time, and it was definitely four years too many.
“So, your P.O. cleared you, right? To stay here? None of that shit we had to do when we first started dating,” Sam asked. Eli had met with his new parole officer, Mr. Raften before picking up his kids. It was mandatory as per his release this morning. Though Sam drove him, he met with his P.O. privately to discuss his parole.
“He said that as long as I check in with him every morning at least by phone for the next year or so, then I can live here. I still have to go in twice a week for a piss test and to check in with him in person. But, yeah, my parole is set so that I can live at home.”
Sam grinned at him. “Good, cause I’d hate to have to kick you out every night like I used to. That was hell.”
Eli laughed. “It sure made our dating life interesting. Man, some of those nights were like a fucking cock block.”
“Fuging,” Dakota repeated just as Derek shouted, “You owe money in the swear jar, Dad!”
Eli’s cheeks warmed, and he met Sam’s little glare. “Oops. Sorry. Guess I’m going to have to start filtering my words again.” He turned his daughter around in his lap. “Okay, Dakota, we don’t say those words. That’s a bad word.”
“Okay,” Dakota bounced and kissed him.
“Good girl.” Again he met Sam’s gaze. She wasn’t too thrilled he was teaching his toddler swear words. “I’ll work on it. I’m not used to having a filter.”
“Well, you have a three-year old that likes to copy words, and a seven-year old, and an eleven-year old that are both impressionable, Eli.”
He tilted his head. “And why do we have a swear jar?”
“Because Dad and Uncle Anthony have yet to learn the same lesson.”
Eli laughed. “That’s awesome. I’ll behave, I promise. No more swearing in front of the little ones.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it.”
That night, Eli read Dakota to bed, tucked Bailee and Derek in, and was now exhausted. He sat next to Sam on the sofa, and rubbed her leg. “I am done. How have you done this for four years?”
“A lot of sweat and tears.” She moved to cuddle against him and nuzzled his neck. Eli listened to her actually breathing him in. “I missed your smell.”
“I missed yours too. I miss everything about you.” He kissed the top of her head, and slowly moved down her face and lifted her chin up so he could kiss her like he had done that morning when he had been released from prison, only this time he didn’t rush the kiss.
His hands followed her body, and he eventually pulled her over, onto his lap. He came to the conclusion pretty damn fast that they both had too many clothes on.
“We need less clothes. Get naked.”
Sam laughed. “Let’s go to the bedroom, and I’ll give you more than a kiss.”
Eli’s throat went dry, and his jeans got too tight. He agreed with her and followed her to the bedroom, turning off the lights as he did. As the bedroom door closed behind him, he locked it. One look over to Sam, stripping, and Eli couldn’t strip fast enough. He wanted her. He desperately wanted her. Tonight, he was going to fulfill all his darkest and deepest fantasies he’s been dreaming about for the last four years. Tonight he was going to have Sam in his arms, and there was nothing to stop him. No prison. Not one thing.
Happy One Year Anniversary, Second Chances!