One Week Later:
“You bought a house?”
Christopher walked across the kitchen towards the table where his son was sitting. Lincoln sat opposite him.
“Yeah Dad, we bought a house. That’s not a problem is it?”
“Well no.” He pulled the chair out and sat down. “Of course its not, but you never mentioned a word about it.”
“I wasn’t aware that I needed your permission to buy myself a house.” Stuart glanced over at Lincoln and winked, it didn’t take him more than a second to realize that he was purposely trying to wind his father up. “But had I known that I needed my Daddy there to sign the papers, I would have told you, oh wait, I didn’t.”
“You’re hilarious son.”
“Thanks. So are you coming over to see it today?”
Christopher lifted his coffee cup to his mouth. “Perhaps.” he finished his coffee and stood up from the table, placing his cup into the sink. “Please before you do anything else, say goodbye to your Grandmother, the last time you were here, you never did.”
“You left without saying goodbye to the grandmother?” Lincoln laughed. “Are you crazy?”
“Yeah I did do that, not on purpose.” He replied.
“No nothing you do is on purpose.” Christopher said. “Please see her before you go.”
“I heard you.” He leant across the table, resting his head on his arms. “Gees he treats me like I’m still 15.”
“And you speak like I’m not in the room.”
Stuart sat up again and glanced over his shoulder, grinning at his father.
“What time does your flight leave?”
“What are you trying to get rid of us or something?”
“No not at all, why would I do that? So when does it leave?”
“6:30pm. And yeah I think you’re trying to get rid of us.”
“So we should take Lore down to see Elizabeth, come back here, take your Dad up to the house, and then head to the airport.” Lincoln said.
Stuart nodded back at him. “Sounds like a plan, lets roll.”
Paul pushed open the door and walked inside, he saw LJ sitting on the floor with who he assumed was Liam, but when he got closer, he saw that the baby was a lot smaller and had dark hair and skin. Not the blond haired baby he was used to seeing LJ with. “Right, so what happened to your kid? You bring the wrong one back.”
LJ glanced up at him. “You’re funny. Liam is upstairs.”
“So you’re watching Caleb, does that mean that Sara isn’t here?”
“Sara isn’t here.”
“What about Michael, Gretchen even?” He wanted to know.
“I think Gretch is outside, Chris showed up earlier.”
Paul nodded, a smirk on his face. “Didn’t take her long did it.”
“Yeah I’d rather not think about it if its all the same.”
Paul walked around to the sofa and sat down. “So, you’re probably sick to death of people asking, but how’s it going with Nika?”
LJ looked up at him and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. She was here the other night, but its still weird.”
“So you’re not back together then?”
LJ shook his head. “No but who knows, I wasn’t the one who wanted to break up.”
“Yeah well I guess we’ve all got problems.”
LJ watched him as he stood up and moved into the other room, wondering what he meant.
Stuart rolled his eyes and leant back against the sofa. Elizabeth had mentioned something about a gift for Lorelei so she had disappeared up the hallway almost 20 minutes ago.
“You know I told her that Lore was too little for a pony.”
Lincoln turned to look at him and raised an eyebrow. “You’re not serious.”
“It was just a joke.” Stuart replied. “There’s not enough room back there for a pony.”
“Is she planning on being much longer, because at this rate, we’re not gonna catch our flight in time.” Lincoln pointed out.
“Yeah, I should go and check on her.”
He stood up and moved down the hallway, eventually finding his grandmother in the guest bedroom, she was shifting, attempting to anyway, several cartons.
“Grandma what the hell are you doing? You should have asked us to help you.”
She waved him of. “Please, I’m quite capable of handling this myself.”
“Sure you are, you’re only 80.”
She spun around to look at him, “Excuse me, what was that?”
Stuart grinned back at her. “I said nothing, you must be hearing things.” He moved across the room towards her. “What are you trying to find anyway?”
“Oh it was nothing important, I already have Lorelei’s gift, but the other thing can wait.”
“Well that’s great.” Stuart replied. “Grandma, if you don’t mind, we’re going to have to leave soon. Flight back to Chicago and all that.”
She threw her hands up in the air. “Of course it is, now I remember where I put it.”
He frustratingly followed her back to her room, where she pulled open a drawer of her dresser, and produced a small drawstring bag.
“What is that?”
“This is something that belonged to your grandfather.” She explained. “If I remember correctly, it was passed onto him by his mother.”
“Ok sure, that doesn’t really tell me what it is.” he pointed out. She handed him the bag, and he opened it. “Uh ok.” Finally realizing what she was doing, he glanced back up at her and rolled his eyes. “He told you didn’t he?”
“Yes he did, but it wasn’t intentional. I might be able to forgive you for not telling me.”
“Grandma, you really don’t have to give this to me.”
“Yes I do.”
“But it sounds important, coming from a long line of people I’m pretty sure I never met.” he laughed. “Besides, I’m not sure it means as much to me as it did to them.”
“It will. And regardless, I want you to have it, for him.”
He closed the bag again and slipped it into his pocket. He then stepped forward and embraced her.
Half an hour later, they were finally ready to leave, Stuart had managed to pry Lorelei away from Elizabeth and Lincoln had strapped her into the car seat.
Elizabeth stood up and motioned to Lincoln who did the same, and he shook his head with a smile when she hugged him.
“Thank you.” She whispered to him.
“I haven’t seen my grandson this happy in a very long time. Not even when he was with… She was going to say Chloe, but she still felt bad for him, that he lost her the way he did. “And I know that that is thanks to you. I’m glad that he met you Lincoln, and I’m glad to have as well.”
“You know, its gonna be nice to get back home.” Lincoln said.
“Yeah why’s that, Dallas wasn’t so bad.”
“No, it wasn’t.” he replied. Settling back in his seat he reached over, taking Stuart’s hand in his. “Just gonna be nice is all.”
“Yeah, well I hope so.” Stuart smiled at him.
“Right, I still remember, something about a surprise, I am actually going to find out what it is when we get home right?” Lincoln asked him.
Stuart nodded back at him. “Yeah, you definitely will.”