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The Talon House

What's the difference between me and you?

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What's The Difference Between Me And You?

Chapter 12 - by Nick

Nick sat up out of his sleep and looked around his room, trying to figure out where he was. When he got out of his bed, Taylor sat up and asked him what was wrong.

"I had a nightmare," Nick said, trying not to cry, but failing miserably.

"What was it about," Taylor asked, crawling out of the bed while Nick looked for the light switch. When he couldn't find it, he started to cry.

"I can't turn on the light," he cried, embarrassed for being such a big baby in front of Taylor.

"It's ok, Nick," Taylor said as he made his way toward the door. "I'll help you."

Nick was doing everything he could to stop crying, but instead, he only cried harder and louder. Finally, Taylor found the light switch and turned it on. Right when he did, Jim opened the door.

"What's wrong, honey," Jim asked as he led Nick to the bed to sit down.

"I had a bad dream," Nick cried. "I woke up and I didn't know where I was and I couldn't turn on the light."

"Come here, sweetheart," Jim said as he lifted Nick up into his lap and rocked him. Nick looked over at Taylor, who was watching with a sad look on his face. He felt so humiliated, but he had no control over his crying. Finally, Taylor walked back over to the bed and grabbed Nicks pooh bear.

"Here, Nick," Taylor said as he handed Nick the doll. Taylor sat down next to Jim on the bed and rubbed Nicks back and in a sweet voice, he said, "It was just a dream. You're safe now."

Nick looked at his friend and smiled while he cuddled his bear.

"I'm sorry I cried, Taylor," Nick said as he held on to his dad with his free hand.

"You don't have to be sorry," Taylor said smiling. "Sometimes I have bad dreams and get scared too."

Nick snuggled up against Jim's chest and smiled at Taylor. Nick wondered to himself about what Taylor did when he had a bad dream that made him cry. He was about to ask when he felt Jim trying to put him down.

"No, daddy," he said, starting to cry again. "I want you to hold me."

"Baby I'm tired," Jim said. "Just a little bit longer. I'm sure Taylor wants to go back to sleep, too."

Nick laid his head down on his dads shoulder and closed his eyes while Jim rocked him. He knew that Taylor was probably thinking that he was the world's biggest sissy, but he didn't care. He felt safe in his dads' arms, and he didn't want to leave them yet. He heard Taylor and Jim talking about something, but he wasn't paying attention anymore. Then he thought he heard Lori come in the room and ask if everything was ok, but he never opened his eyes to be sure.

The next time Nick opened his eyes, it was talking downstairs that woke him up. He looked over and saw Taylor sleeping on his stomach, holding his Scooby Doo. Nick moved over and snuggled up next to him, putting his arm around Taylor's back when he did. Taylor lifted his head and looked around. When he looked Nick's way, he smiled and turned over so that he was facing him.

"Did you sleep better," he asked, stretching. Nick nodded and smiled, still embarrassed about what happened during the night.

"Do you hate me now," Nick asked, afraid that Taylor wouldn't want to be his friend anymore.

"No," Taylor answered, sounding almost shocked that Nick would even ask. "I get scared sometimes too when I have a bad dream. I sleep with my mom and dad when I do."

"You don't think I'm a baby," Nick asked, starting to feel better. Taylor smiled and shook his head, then he grabbed both of Nick's hands in his and lifted them up to his face. Nick scooted closer, and Taylor lifted Nick's hands up and out then around his neck and put his arms around Nick. Then they hugged.

"Do you feel better," Taylor asked while they were still hugging.

"Yeah," Nick said, his head spinning. "I feel really good now that you gave me a hug."

Taylor didn't say anything. Instead, he squeezed harder and rubbed Nicks back with both of his hands. Finally, they let go and Nick rolled out of the bed. He walked to the bathroom and Taylor followed him. When they opened the door to walk to the bathroom, they could hear Jim and Lori talking about James downstairs.

When they got downstairs they could hear Jim and Lori talking to each other about sex, and they smiled at each other and hid in the hallway to listen more. Nick couldn't believe the things he heard them talking about, and he started to feel like he was hearing too much, so he grabbed Taylor's hand and they walked around and came into the kitchen through the other entrance, so Jim and Lori could see them coming.

"Hey, you guys are up," Jim said as they walked into the kitchen.

Nick gave his dad a hug and a kiss good morning, then he started to walk to the table to sit with Taylor, but Jim stopped him.

"Come here, buddy," Jim said as he took Nicks hand and led him to the family room. "We need to have a talk about something."

Jim sat down in his recliner and lifted Nick up into his lap.

"How did you sleep last night," Jim asked as he held Nicks head against his chest.

"Good," Nick answered. "I didn't have any more bad dreams."

"That makes me feel better, sweetie," Jim said. "I'm worried about you. I think maybe tonight you should sleep with me, since you have to go to school tomorrow. I want you to get your rest, son."

"Ok, dad," Nick said smiling. Nick wasn't going to argue with his father about it at all. If it were up to him, Nick would've chosen to sleep in Jim's bed every night.

"Do you remember what we talked about the other night in my room?" Jim asked.

"Yes sir," Nick answered.

"Well, I don't want you to forget it," Jim said. "Your cousin's going to be here today and he's a member of this family. Do you understand?"

Nick nodded as he looked up at his dad.

"We want him to feel welcome here," Jim continued. "He's going to miss his mom and dad a lot, and we need to make sure that he knows that we love him. That means we all have to be nice to him, ok?"

"I will, daddy," Nick said. "Is he going to cry?"

Jim laughed and said, "He might, son. If he does, you need to let me know so I can help him."

"Yes sir," Nick said. "Can I hug him if he cries?"

"If he wants you to, you can," Jim said. "He might want to be alone, too. If he says he wants to be alone, I want you to listen."

"I promise I will," Nick said. "Are you going to cook breakfast today?"

"What are you two hungry for," Jim asked as he put Nick in a playful headlock.

"Pancakes," Nick said. "Pancakes and grits, please."

They got up and walked back to the kitchen, where Lori was sitting at the table with Taylor. They looked like they were laughing about something, and Nick saw an opening to pounce on Jim.

"Look, their laughing, dad," Nick said. "They must be looking at you."

Jim opened his hand and used it to grab the top of Nicks head and pull it back so Nick was looking up at him, then he smiled and said, "Either that, or they got a whiff of your bad a** breath, boy." Lori and Taylor laughed while Nick and his dad traded cut downs while Jim and Lori cooked breakfast. Finally, it was done and they all sat down and ate. During breakfast, the phone rang, so Jim got up and answered it. He talked for a minute or two, and then he handed the phone to Taylor. When he hung up, he had a disappointed look on his face.

"My dad says I have to go home this morning so I can go to church," he said sadly.

"Why," Nick asked, feeling as sad as Taylor sounded. "I wanted to spend more time with you."

"What time do you have to go home, buddy," Jim asked.

"Church is at 11," Taylor answered. "I wish I didn't have to go."

"Well, it sounds like it's important to your parents," Jim said. "I think it's a nice thing to do."

"You do," Taylor asked.

"Sure, Taylor," Jim said in a positive tone. "Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't be going ourselves."

"You're invited if you want to come, Mr. James," Taylor said smiling.

"How sweet of you, honey," Lori said.

"You're invited too, Miss Lori," Taylor said, sounding excited. "It starts at 11 if you guys all want to come."

Nick wasn't sure what to think about this. He had been to church with his papu, who was actually a deacon at his church in California. But usually their Sunday mornings were spent at home, sleeping in or working in the yard until the football games started, if it was football season.

"You know what, Taylor?" Jim said. "We'll go. Thank you for inviting us. That was really nice of you."

Nick looked at Taylor, who was smiling shyly at Jim and blushing.

"Will you come too, Miss Lori," Taylor asked.

"Sure I will, honey," she said.

Taylor called his dad back and told him that he invited everyone to go. His smile got bigger while he was on the phone, and Nick could tell that he was happy that they were going. It made Nick feel good to see Taylor's face change from sad to happy so fast, so he decided to be happy about going to church.

After breakfast, Taylor rode his bike home. Lori went home to get ready and Jim and Nick took a shower together in Jim's bathroom. Nick stood there and took the pain of the scrubbing Jim was giving him, and he closed his eyes while Jim washed his hair for him. When they got out, Jim dried himself off first, and then he dried Nick off. Nick waited on his dad's bed while he got dressed, then Jim wrapped Nick back up in the towel and carried him to his room. Jim picked out a nice outfit for Nick to wear, and then he dressed him in it. Finally, he brushed Nick's hair, and they went back into Jim's room so that he could fix his own hair. Nick watched while his dad ran his fingers through his hair, putting in the styling wax. Then Jim ran his fingers through his brown hair, pulling it forward and spiking it in the front.

"How does it look, sweetie," Jim asked as he walked away from the mirror.

"It looks cute, daddy," Nick said. "I like it when you fix your hair like that."

Jim smiled and picked up the phone to call Lori. When he hung up, he scooped Nick back up and they went downstairs, and out to the garage.

Jim pushed the button on the wall and the garage door opened up. Lori was waiting on the other side of it, and Nick thought she looked beautiful. Jim carried Nick with him to the car, and he leaned in and gave Lori a kiss. Nick decided that Lori looked so pretty that he wanted to kiss her to, so he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you, cutie," Lori said as she kissed him back.

"You look pretty Miss Lori," Nick said shyly.

"Well, I think you look very handsome today," she said. "And so does your daddy."

Nick smiled and hid his face in Jim's chest. Finally, Jim kissed him on the cheek and put him down, so he crawled into the back seat. Lori knew where the church was, and they got there just as Taylor and his parents showed up.

Charles and Jim shook hands, and Jim introduced Lori to him. Then Charles introduced Jim and Cindy, and Cindy and Lori introduced themselves to each other. Before they went inside, Jim handed Nick five dollars. Nick knew it was for the offering plate. Whenever he went to church with his papu, they had the offering plate, and Jim always gave Nick money to put in it. During the service, the pastor asked all of the visitors to stand, and Jim, Nick, and Lori had to stand up. Nick felt embarrassed, but Jim didn't seem bothered at all by it.

After church, Jim invited Charles and Cindy over for lunch. Nick was so excited when they said they would come, and he decided to clean his room before they got there, just in case they happened to look at it.

Jim went with Nick upstairs to make sure that he changed out of his nice clothes.

"Just take your clothes off and lay them on the bed, son," Jim said. "I'll be right back."

Jim carried the laundry basket downstairs while Nick stripped down to his underwear. Jim came back with the empty laundry basket and hung Nick's clothes up, and then he picked out another outfit for him to put on. After he finished dressing Nick, he went to his room and changed. They finished straightening out Nick's room, then they went back downstairs to clean up. After they were done, Jim and Nick sat together on the recliner and talked.

"Son," Jim said. "I wanted to ask you about something while we have some time. How do you feel about Lori?"

"I think she's pretty," Nick said.

"But do you like her," Jim asked.

"Yes sir," Nick answered. "She's different from your other girlfriends."

"How?" Jim asked.

"She just is," Nick said. "She likes to talk to me and she's really sweet."

"Do you think that daddy's spending too much time with her," Jim asked. "I want you to let me know if you do."

"I don't," Nick said. "But I only like it when she spends the night if Taylor spends the night."

Jim started laughing, and he hugged Nick.

"I love you, Nick," Jim said.

"I love you too, daddy," Nick said. "Do you love Lori?"

"Yes, son," Jim said.

"Does she love you," Nick asked.

"Yes she does," Jim said. "She loves you too, sweetie."

"She does," Nick asked.

"Yes she does," Jim said. "She loves you a lot."

"I love her too, daddy," Nick said. "Not as much as I love you, though."

Nick reached up with his head, gave his dad a kiss on the lips, and smiled.

"Baby, I could never love anyone like I love you," Jim said. "I don't want you to forget that, either."

"I won't daddy," Nick said.

"Good," Jim said as he put the recliner back. "Did you like going to church today?"

Nick lay up against Jim's chest and smiled up at him.

"Yes I did," Nick answered.

"Do you want to go again next week," Jim asked.

"Ok," Nick said.

They rested together on the recliner for a little while longer, then the doorbell rang, and Nick hopped up out of his dads lap and ran to the door. He opened it and found Lori on the other side, holding a dish. She came in and put it in the kitchen, then her and Jim started working in the kitchen on food. Finally, Taylor and his parents showed up. Jim and Lori greeted them at the door and soon they were inside, and Jim was showing them the house. They walked out to the back yard and Charles helped Jim get the grill started. While they were in the back yard, Lori and Cindy were in the family room talking about the curtains and the furniture. Nick and Taylor got on their bikes and rode around the neighborhood, then they came back. When they got back, everyone was sitting on the patio drinking beers.

"Nick," Jim said. "I'd like for you to please go get another chair out of the garage for me. Your grandma's coming over."

Nick got excited and ran to the garage to do as he was told. When he got back with it, he asked his dad if he could go next door to see if she needed any help. Jim said yes, so Nick and Taylor walked next door.

Linda opened the door before they ever got to it, and she smiled at him when she saw him walking up the pathway.

"Hi sweetheart," she said as Nick ran up to her for a hug.

"Hi grandma," Nick said. "I missed you this weekend."

"I missed you too, honey," Linda said. "Did you have fun at church this morning?"

"Yes ma'am," Nick said. "How come you didn't want to go?"

"I wanted to be here when grandpa got home," Linda said. "I wasn't sure if he would be home or not. Otherwise, I would have loved to have gone."

"What time is grandpa going to be here," Nick asked.

"When I talked to him this morning he said he thought he'd be home by four," she answered.

Nick was worried about his grandma. He didn't like her being alone, and he was glad that his grandfather was coming home today.

"Are you still coming to the barbeque," Nick asked. "I got an extra chair just for you."

Linda smiled and hugged him again. She grabbed her keys off the counter in the kitchen, then she locked the door and walked with Taylor and Nick between the houses to the backyard. Jim introduced her to Cindy and Charles, and soon the adults were all talking amongst themselves.

"Let's go play," Nick said, tugging on Taylor's arm to get out of his chair in the backyard and follow him inside. "It's boring out here." Taylor got up and they went inside to play in Nick's room, but before they started to walk up the stairs, the phone rang.

"Hello," Nick said when he answered.

"My little polakia!" the voice on the other end said, and Nick knew right away, who he was talking too.

"Papu!" Nick said happily. "I miss you."

"I miss you too, polakia," his papu said. "Did your daddy tell you that I'm coming in October?"

"No," Nick said, irritated with his dad for not telling him. "When in October?"

"The beginning of the month," he answered.

"Are you going to be here for a long time?" Nick asked hopefully.

"Just for a week, Nicko," his papu said. "But I'm coming again on Thanksgiving."

"You are?" Nick asked, feeling excited.

"Yes I am," he answered.

"I'm so happy, papu," Nick said. "I wish you were going to be here today."

"I wish I was too, sweetheart," he said. "Is daddy watching the game right now?"

"No he's in the backyard with our guests," Nick said.

"Oh, you have guests," he asked.

"Yep," Nick answered. "My grandma and my friend Taylor's parents and Lori are all here for a barbeque."

"What about Tom," he asked.

"He's going to be home soon," Nick said. "He had to go get my cousin James. He's going to live with us."

"Will you get your daddy for me, polakia," he asked.

"Yes papu," Nick said. "I love you."

"I love you too little polakia," his papu said.

Nick took the phone outside and handed it to Jim, who came back inside to talk to his dad. Nick followed his dad inside and sat next to him on the stairs while he talked.

"No, dad, we're fine," Jim said. Nick could hear his dad sigh while his papu was talking, and every time he did, Jim would smile down at him.

"I didn't tell him because I haven't had a chance yet, dad," Jim said. Nick gave Jim a punch in the arm when he said that, just to let him know that he was irritated with him for not telling him. Jim reached down and flicked his ear.

"No, dad," Jim said. "Look, I can't talk about it right now. I'll tell you about it when you get here. Ok?"

Nick knew that they were talking about James. He knew that his papu wanted to know why James wasn't living with his parents anymore, but that Jim wasn't going to talk about that in front of him. Nick was starting to learn that his papu knew Tom and Linda and their whole family better than he thought he did.

"I love you too, dad," Jim said. "I'll call you this week, I promise." Jim hit the button on the phone to hang it up, then he got up to go outside, and Nick followed him since Taylor stayed outside when he came inside with his dad.

"Sorry about that, everyone," Jim said as he took his chair.

"How's Nick doing," Linda asked. "It's going to be so good to finally see him."

"He's the same Nick you remember," Jim said smiling and rolling his eyes. "He still can't find his keys, and he still thinks that every glass is his."

Nick giggled when Jim said that, and Jim told everyone the story of how his dad drank dishwater by accident one time. Nick remembered that time well, because it was his cup that his papu had grabbed. Nick had milk to drink, and he drank it down, but when Jim went to rinse it out, some milk had dried on the bottom. Jim put super hot water and dish soap in the cup, and he set it back in the sink. When big Nick happened to be walking by the sink, he somehow got the idea that the cup was his, and he picked it up and, ignoring the steaming hot water and the soap bubbles, took a giant drink out of the cup.

Everyone laughed at the story, and Nick started feeling better. He was glad that his papu had called him this weekend. The weekend before, Nick and Jim were supposed to call, but they never did. Nick was happy that his dad called and gave him their new number, and he was very happy about his papu coming to visit.

They spent the rest of the afternoon talking and eating lunch, and finally Charles and Cindy said they had to go. Nick was sad that Taylor had to leave, but he knew that it was time for them to get going. Jim thanked Taylor for inviting them to church, and Charles looked down at his son proudly. Nick could tell that Taylor was proud of himself as well, and that made him happy for Taylor.

"Are we going again next week," Nick asked his dad as they walked to Charles and Cindy's car. Taylor looked up hopefully at Jim, who smiled and said, "We'll be there."

"You to, Miss Lori," Taylor asked.

"Of course," Lori said. "It was so nice of you to invite us." Lori leaned down and gave Taylor a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and he blushed.

"Thank you Mr. James for letting me spend two nights," Taylor said looking up at Jim.

"Hey, buddy," Jim said. "You can spend the night anytime." Jim put his hand out and Taylor shook it.

"Well, the same thing goes for you Nick," Charles said. "You're free to spend the night anytime you want too."

"Thank you Mr. Charles," Nick said politely. "Thank you for coming over for lunch."

"You're welcome, Nick," Charles said. "And thank you for having us."

Everyone said goodbye, and soon Taylor and his parents were gone. Nick went with his dad, Lori and his grandma back out to the backyard and they all sat and relaxed while they waited for Tom to get back with James.

It started getting dark outside when they saw the headlights of Tom's explorer shining in his and Linda's driveway, which they could see from the backyard. Everyone got up and walked out front, and Nick felt nervous when he saw Tom open the passenger door.

"Wake up, pal," Nick could hear Tom saying as he got closer. "We're home."

Tom reached over and un-clicked James' seatbelt and put his arm around him. As he slowly climbed out and started to wake up, Nick got a better look at him. He had dark hair, just like the rest of them, but it was really short. He had an earring in his left ear, and he was skinny and short. He was a little taller than Nick was, but not much.

Jim took Tom's keys from him, walked around the explorer, and opened the back door. He picked up two suitcases, and then he looked at Tom with a confused look on his face. Tom shook his head and looked down, so Jim didn't say anything else. He closed the back door and followed Tom and James into the house.

"Hey James," Jim said, walking into the family room. "I haven't seen you in a while, buddy. You've grown."

James smiled and looked around at everyone.

"Hi Uncle Jim," James said. "It's nice to see you."

Linda walked over and gave James a long hug, and he seemed like he needed it.

"I love you, sweetheart," was all Linda said to him.

"I love you too Aunty Linda," James said, sounding like he was crying a little bit.

Nick looked up at his dad, who had the saddest face Nick had ever seem him with in his life. Nick felt Lori put her hand on his shoulder, and he looked up at her. She took his hand and they walked to the kitchen together.

"Is he going to be ok, Miss Lori," Nick asked, feeling a little scared.

"I think he's going to be fine," Lori said. "He has so many people here who love him."

"I never met him before," Nick said.

"Well why don't we go meet him together," she said.

"Ok," Nick said. He put his hand back in hers, and together they went back into the family room.

"Come here guys," Jim said as they entered the room. Nick and Lori walked over to Jim, who put his arm around Lori and kissed her, then he leaned down and kissed Nick.

"James," Jim said when Linda finally let go of the hug. "This is your cousin Nick."

Nick smiled at him and held out his hand.

"Nick, this is your cousin James," Jim continued as Nick and James shook hands.

"This is Lori," Jim said.

"It's nice to meet you James," Lori said as she gave him a small hug.

"It's nice to meet you to, ma'am," James said. Nick noticed right away that he had a southern accent like the ones he always heard on TV. It was really thick, and it didn't seem to fit him. His clothes gave him a punk look, but his accent was redneckish.

Nick and Lori sat together on the couch while Tom, Linda and Jim took James upstairs and showed him his room. When they came back downstairs, James wasn't with them.

"Where's he at," Nick asked.

"He's getting ready to take a shower," Jim said.

"In my bathroom," Nick asked.

"No," Jim said in a stern voice. "In both of you guys' bathroom."

"I didn't mean it like that, daddy," Nick said, feeling hurt by his dads tone. "I was just asking because my toys are in the tub."

"Ok," Jim said. "I got them out."

Nick sat on the couch and pouted while the adults talked. When James got out of the shower, Tom and Linda both gave him a hug and kiss, and they went home. After a while, Lori went home too.

"Son, I want you to please take a shower," Jim said. "I'll come upstairs when I hear the water stop and help you get your jammies on, ok?"

"Yes sir," Nick said.

Nick climbed the stairs, went into the bathroom, and stripped. He was about to start the water when he noticed that he didn't have a towel, so he ran back down the hall and down the stairs. When he got to the bottom, he could hear his dad talking to James, so he stopped and listened.

"I want you to know that we all want you here, James," Jim said. "You need to be around family that loves you."

"I'm sorry that I'm still crying," James sobbed. "I don't want you to think I'm being ungrateful Uncle Jim."

"Buddy, nobody thinks that about you," Jim said. "We all care about you James. You deserve to grow up in a happy home, and I'm going to make sure I give that to you."

Nick moved further down the stairs to see what was going on, and he could see James sitting next to his dad on the couch. James had tears running down his cheeks, and Jim was rubbing his back and wiping his face for him with a Kleenex.

"Daddy?" Nick said as he got to the bottom of the stairs. "I need a towel, please."

Jim got up and followed Nick up the stairs. He got Nick a towel, and then he started the shower for him. When Nick got out, he dried off and walked out to the hallway, where Jim was waiting for him. They went into Nick's room and closed the door, and Jim dried Nick off the rest of the way with the towel, then he got Nicks pajamas out and put them on for him.

"Do I still get to sleep with you tonight," Nick asked as Jim was dressing him.

"Yes you do, son," Jim said.

"Good," Nick said smiling. "I want you to hold me tonight until I fall asleep."

"Do you feel like going back downstairs," Jim asked. "That way we can keep James company for a little bit."

Nick nodded and held out his arms. Jim picked him up off his bed and carried him to his room first, so he could grab the brush, and then they went downstairs, where Jim brushed Nick's hair out. When his hair was brushed, Nick got comfortable in his dads lap. Jim cradled Nick in his arms and rocked him while James smiled and watched. Nick smiled back at him, then he closed his eyes to try to fall asleep. Nick could hear James and his dad talking at first, but eventually, he drifted off.

When Nick opened his eyes, he was in Jim's bed but Jim wasn't there. The bedroom door was open, and Nick could see the light from James' room shining into the dark hallway, so he got up and walked toward it.

"You can stay up as late as you feel like tonight," he heard Jim say as he approached James' door. "Try not to stay up to late though. We have to take you to the office tomorrow and try to get you enrolled in school, ok?"

"Ok Uncle Jim," James said. Nick peaked through the door and saw Jim sitting on the edge of James' bed. It looked to Nick like his dad was tucking James in, so he watched quietly.

"Are you hungry or thirsty," Jim asked.

"No," James said. "I'm kind of cold though." Nick giggled when James said that, because he knew that Jim wouldn't listen to anyone when they told him that he kept it too cold in the house.

"I'll get you another blanket then," Jim said. He got up to walk out to the hallway and that's when he caught Nick spying on them.

"What are you doing up," Jim asked in a stern tone. "It's past midnight, son. Go get back in bed right now."

"When are you coming to bed," Nick asked.

"In a little bit," Jim said. "Now get back in bed."

Nick walked back to his dad's room and crawled back under the covers. He heard Jim close James' door, then walk downstairs. Finally, Jim came back upstairs and walked into the room.

"Why did you wake up son," Jim asked. "You have to go to school tomorrow."

"I know daddy," Nick said. "I woke up and you were gone."

"I'm sorry, babe," Jim said. "I just wanted to make sure James was alright before I went to bed."

Jim got into the bed and Nick snuggled up under his arm, where he always liked to sleep.

"Goodnight again, baby," Jim said as he kissed Nick on the cheek.

"Goodnight daddy," Nick said. "I love you."

"I love you too sweetie," Jim said. Nick closed his eyes and soon, he was out like a light.

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