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CHAPTER SEVEN

 

Sara placed Caleb’s bottle down onto the coffee table and walked over to the front door, someone had been ringing the bell for a few minutes now, and they were obviously losing their patience.

She reached out and grabbed the handle, pulling the door open. “Hello.” Standing on the front step was a man who was about 25 years old, he was wearing a baseball cap and he had his sunglasses placed on top of the cap.

“You must be Sara.”

“And you are?”

“Sorry, names Chris, Stuart told you I was coming over, right?”

“Of course he did, the bike.” She replied. She held the door open for him to come inside.

“So they’re in Dallas till next week right.”

“Week after.” She told him. “They’ve gone to see his father.”

Chris nodded and followed Sara through the living room and kitchen and out the back door.

“Are you going to be able to have it finished by the time they get home?” She wondered.

“I think Stu has done some of the work already and yeah, should only take a few days.” He explained.

She opened the garage door and pointed to the crates and where part of the bike was assembled on the far right side.

“Sweet, he’s done more than I thought.” Chris said.

“Ok, well seeing as I know nothing about this, can’t say anything else, but if you need anything at all, just let me know.”

“Thanks.”

She watched him for a few minutes and then headed back inside.

“Who was that?”

Sara was surprised to see Gretchen sitting at the table. “What are you doing here?”

“Ah yes, my favorite greeting, thanks.”

“You know what I mean.” She replied. “What’s going on?”

“Well I was at home enjoying the peace and quiet until Serena came home, and then LJ and Nika showed up.”

“Right, I’m sorry, but you like the peace and quiet?” Sara laughed.

“What, I do sometimes, and besides when Nika and Serena get together, they never shut the hell up.” She answered. “So Linc’s gone to meet the father in law.”

“Nice change of subject, and yes, they left this morning, they should be in Dallas by now.”

“Why is Chris here?” Gretchen wanted to know.

Sara turned to look at her. “How do you know Chris?”

“He’s a mechanic, he fixed my car a few weeks ago.”

“So in all of Cedar Rapids, Stuart finds Chris.”

“Well actually he told me that he needed some guy, so I suggested Chris.”

“Right, of course you did.”

“So why is he here?”

Sara shrugged her shoulders. “I have no idea.”

“You do realize that I could just go out there and ask him.”

Sara walked over to the table and pulled the chair out. “Something about Stuart and a custom motorbike he bought, and I told Michael that it was a stupid idea, that Lincoln will get himself killed.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t even act surprised over it. I guess that’s guys for you.”

“Thank you for the support, I appreciate it.” Sara shot back.

Gretchen shrugged her shoulders. “What were you expecting?”

 

~~~

 

“So, I’m sorry Stuart, but I have to ask again, why didn’t you just tell me all of this?” Christopher asked his son.

“Because there was a lot going on, and I just didn’t alright. You know now, so what’s the big deal?”

“The big deal is that you’re in a serious relationship and you’re a father, it’s a big deal its not like you simply brought a new car and forgot to tell me.”

“Yeah well it is a little different Dad.”

“You were really that concerned that I wouldn’t be alright with this?” He replied.

Stuart folded his arms across his chest and stared back at his father. “Yeah, I was actually.”

“Ok, well if we’re being honest here, it wasn’t the first thing I was expecting to hear when you walked in. I was surprised to hear that you’re dating a man, but with saying that, I’m not against it Stuart, not at all, its your choice, if you’re happy.”

“Which I am, and his name is Lincoln.”

“I’m aware of that, I was simply explaining.”

“Fine, so you’re telling me that you’re perfectly alright with this?” he replied.

“Yes of course I am, so you can drop it now.”

“Drop what?” He answered. “What am I doing?”

“Stuart.” Christopher replied, raising an eyebrow at him. “Now, you’re just purposely trying to wind me up.”

“I’m not doing anything.”

“I’ve known for too long now, you’re trying to wind me up.”

Stuart started to grin and Christopher shook his head. “Yeah well what can I say, you make it easy.”

“Thank you, so how about you explain to me exactly how you became a father.” Christopher asked.

“Yeah about that, Lorelei is Lincoln’s ex’s daughter.” Stuart told him.

“And you’re raising her, why?”

“Because Lisa passed away a little more than 3 months ago.” Lincoln added.

“I’m sorry, I had no idea.” Christopher offered.

“Its ok, it wasn’t uh, unexpected, she’d been sick for awhile.”

“And the two of you took on this little girl?” He asked, and they nodded. “Well that’s very admirable of you both.”

“Thanks Dad, she is your granddaughter now, so if you’d be so kind to watch her for a little bit, there’s something I want to do.” Stuart pushed the chair back and stood up. “It won’t be for long, about 30 minutes.” He grabbed Lincoln’s hand and pulled him out of the chair.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“Just go with it.” Stuart told him. He looked over his shoulder. “Dad, we’ll be back soon.”

Christopher leant across the table and glanced into the car seat, Lorelei was fast asleep. “Well, as long as you stay that way, I think we should do alright.

 

 

“Where the hell are we going?” Lincoln wanted to know. The two of them were walking down the street, and he was clueless as to what Stuart was doing.

“We’re almost there.”

“Where?”

Stuart finally stopped and Lincoln almost knocked into him. They were standing outside of another house.

“Who lives here?”

“My grandmother.” Stuart told him.

“Your grandmother. You never mentioned a grandmother.”

“Yeah I know, sorry about that.” He pushed open the gate and walked up to the front door. “When I talked to Dad, she told him that she wanted to see me.”

“And that had to be right now, and if she’s your grandmother, wouldn’t she want to see Lorelei as well.”

“She will eventually.”

“Because she doesn’t know about her, or about me, does she?” Lincoln asked.

The door finally opened and Stuart’s grandmother stood there. “Its about time you came home.”

“I’m sorry Grandma, I’ve been pretty busy.”

She slapped him on the arm and Lincoln raised an eyebrow. “Well that’s not good enough. I haven’t seen you in almost 8 months.” She held the door open and motioned for them to come inside.

They walked into the living room and sat down. “So, you must be Lincoln. And you can just call me Elizabeth.”

Lincoln was surprised that she knew who he was, and she must have picked up on that.

“Stuart told me about you, I think he called a few weeks after he moved into the house.”

Lincoln looked over at him, again surprised because Stuart had never mentioned anything about it.

“So you know that we’re…” He started to say.

“Dating.” She replied. “Yes, he was very clear about that. So the two of you are living together.”

“Grandma.” Stuart said, shaking his head.

“I’m just making conversation.” She smiled at him.

“No, you’re doing what I do.” He replied. “Dad, didn’t think it was funny either.”

“So you’ve been back for an hour and you’re already winding your father up, its almost like you never left.”

She stood up and walked towards the hallway door, “I’ll be back in a moment.”

Lincoln again looked over at him. “So you get your insane sense of humor from her. Great.”

Stuart shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah well, that’s what mom always used to say.”

“So tell me why we’re here?”

“You’ll find out in a minute.”

Several minutes later, Elizabeth walked back into the room, she was carrying what looked like a shoebox and she handed it over to Stuart.

“What is that?” Lincoln wondered.

Stuart took the lid of and placed it on the sofa. He pulled out an envelope and held it in his hand. “When I was younger, and had no idea that my mom was sick, she left this for me.”

He opened the envelope and took a several page letter, he removed the last sheet from it and handed it over to Lincoln.

He quickly read it and then looked back up at Stuart. “Are you serious?”

“I’m serious.”

“No, are you serious?”

“My husband, worked hard his whole life.” Elizabeth told them. “And was rewarded for that hard work. When Stuart’s mother passed away everything went to him.”

“What about you?”

Elizabeth smiled at Lincoln. “I’m more than comfortable, I’m being taken care of Lincoln, this is what they both would have wanted, so this is what is happening.”

“But this, that’s just insane.”

“Yeah that was pretty much my reaction as well.” Stuart replied.

“But this is, I mean this is nearly $3 million dollars.” Lincoln said.

Stuart shrugged his shoulders.

“Actually there were some stipulations.” Elizabeth explained. “And one of those were that Stuart would receive the money when he became a father, and he was to use the money to help raise the child. She was always worried about it, even though she shouldn’t have been, she wanted them both taken care of. And its not $3 million, it would be more along the lines of $5 million now.”

“I don’t even know what to say.”

“So say nothing.” Elizabeth answered. She stood up again. “Now, would either of you boys like something to drink.”

She didn’t wait for them to answer, she left the room and headed to the kitchen. Once she was out of the room, Stuart shifted in the seat to face Lincoln.

“Ok, before you say a word, because even though you probably wouldn’t say it, I know that you’re thinking it. I did not agree to do this with you, to raise Lorelei, to get this money. Another of those stipulations was that if I was childless at 40, then I’d get the money anyway.”

“I wasn’t thinking that.” Lincoln said.

“Yeah you were, but I just wanted to make myself clear. I just don’t want you to think that, because its not why I’m doing this.”

“I know its not.”

“Ok, so now that’s out of the way. I’m going to use some of the money to set up a fund for Lorelei, school and whatever else there is.”

“Stuart, you don’t have to do that.”

“Yes I do.” He answered. “Its what this money is for. And its what she wanted. And there was something else that I wanted to do. I know that you didn’t own the company back in Chicago that you were the boss, but didn’t own….”

“No fucking way, I’m not going to let you do this Stuart.” He said, cutting him of. “I’m not going to let you.”

“Well too bad, I’m going to anyway.” He replied.

“Why would you do that?”

“Why wouldn’t I?” He responded. “And don’t worry about me, I’ve got plans as well.”

“Stuart, I seriously can’t let you do that, its too much.”

“Would you shut up about it, because I’m going to and you can’t stop me. I want to do this, because I love you and I love Lorelei, so let me.”

Lincoln didn’t say anything, he just nodded.

“Ok good, now we should get in there and stop her before she tries feeding us a 10 course meal, because trust me, she will try.”

They both stood up, but Stuart grabbed his arm to stop him, he leant forward, pressing his lips to Lincoln’s.

“You’re completely insane.” Lincoln told him.

“Yeah I know, but that’s why ya love me.”

Lincoln shook his head and returned the kiss. “I guess that it is.”