Lost Love Ė A Family Moment by BillieK26
"Daddy," Evan whispered from his place by his parentsí bed.
"Hey, Buddy. Whatís wrong?" John was instantly concerned because his four year-old son wasnít normally one to scare easy and from the tears on Evanís cheek, John could tell that he was. John sat up on the side of the bed and Evan leaned into his lap looking up at his dadís face. John couldnít believe how much Evan looked like him; the facial features were the same as when he was Evanís age. The curly hair, grey eyes and darker complexion kept Evan from being an exact replica.
"Thereís a monster under my bed, I think?"
John glanced over his shoulder, as he saw Evangeline shift under the covers. She opened her eyes and he leaned over to stroke her hair and kiss her forehead before turning back to Evan.
"Did you see it?" John thought maybe a nightmare. If he wasnít mistaken, the kids had watched some kidís flick about monsters the night before. John made a mental note to not let Evan watch that type of movie before bed again.
"Uh huh," Evan said nodding.
"Is your nightlight on?" John asked stroking the little boyís head where it lay against his leg. Evanís naturally curly hair wrapped around John fingers
"No sir, we got rid of it, Ďcause Iím a big boy, remember?" John had to smile at that. Evan had insisted a month prior on his birthday that he was too big to still have a night light. Obviously, Evan was probably rethinking that decision.
"Thatís right. I forgot. Thatís too bad, because light usually scares monsters away. Letís go see if we can get that monster out of there," John said, picking Evan up and settling him on his hip. He looked down at Evangeline and whispered, "Iíll be back; save my place."
"Always," she said back.
In the middle of the dark room, sat an airplane shaped bed with the covers tousled around. Evan normally had a wonderful time "flying" onto the bed, but not tonight. Tonight, he clung to his father and John absolutely treasured the moment. His son trusted him to make everything right in his world. Would John always be able to do that? No, but for now he could make it all better.
"Daddy, heís under there," Evan said pointing toward the bed. He then stuck two fingers in his mouth and rested his head against his fatherís shoulder.
John rubbed Evanís back and held him for a minute. Evan had been more and more like his mother lately. He wanted to be independent and do everything for himself. John got frustrated with that on occasion. Just that morning Evan had been putting on his shoes, on the wrong foot no less; but he didnít want his father or anyone else to help him, not even his beloved older sister, Dani. It had taken John five minutes just to get the boy to accept that he put his shoes on the wrong foot. So, he enjoyed the moments when his son was still a little boy.
"I bet heís gone," John said in a reassuring voice. Evan lifted his head and looked directly in his fatherís eyes. "He probably ran out of here as soon as you came to get me."
"You think so?" Evan asked; his grey eyes big and questioning.
"Yeah, why donít we look?"
Evan started wiggling to get down. When his feet hit the floor, he slid down on his knees. Evan looked up at his dad and reached out a hand.
"Come on, Daddy."
John took his sonís hand and joined him on the floor. As John leaned against Evanís bed, he smiled as his little boy eagerly tossed the bed skirt away and looked under the bed. What he saw must have made him happy, because his little face had lit up when he looked back at John. John felt his own smile expand.
"Itís gone, Daddy." Evan looked back under the bed as if he might have missed seeing the monster.
"See, that monster must have been more scared than you."
Evan pulled his head from under the bed and climbed into his fatherís lap leaning into his dadís chest. John found himself stroking Evanís head and back. He could hear Evan sucking his fingers and pulled his hand away from his mouth. Evan leaned back against his chest and looked up at his father with a smile. John, looking down into Evanís face, returned the smile.
"Hey, you think youíre ready to go back to bed now?" John whispered.
"What if it comes back?"
"I donít think it will, but you think your nightlight might help tonight. Monsters are afraid of light."
John rose from the floor lifting Evan as he moved. He retrieved the nightlight from Evanís bedside table and plugged it in beside the bed. Evan looked at John and smiled before wrapping his arm around Johnís neck.
"Thank you, Daddy."
"Youíre welcome Evan. Thatís my job Ė to take care of you and Dani and Mommy and I wouldnít have it any other way."
"I know, because you love us."
"I sure do," John said looking over his shoulder where his daughter & wife stood in the door. "Evan, look whoís here."
John tilted his head toward the door and Evan followed his gaze.
"Mommy," Evan exclaimed. He reached around John for Evangeline.
John pulled him back and asked, "What is this? You get me up to slay monsters and then you just abandon me when your mom shows up?" John proceeded to tickle the boy, who continued to reach for his mother.
"Thatís your job, sweetheart," Evangeline said with a smirk taking her son. John hoped the look he gave her fully expressed his disgust with her comment. He was sure it lost some of the bite, because of the growing smile on his face. She did however kiss him softly to make up for it.
Dani was standing in the open doorway smiling at her family. At nine, she was so opinionated and stubborn, but she was still Johnís little girl. He could remember the day heíd found out about her and the anger heíd felt at being kept out of her early life. John was so glad to have been able to share the rest of it. He felt honored to have her for a daughter. She was stubborn like her mother, but she was so much like him, too. She didnít talk much, but she felt deep. John saw himself in her and was humbled.
"Hey, munchkin. Why are you standing back there?" John asked Dani. He saw the mischief in her eyes, before she took a running leap and landed in his arms. John fell back on Evanís bed pretending hurt. "Oh, munchkin, you are too big for that. Youíre going to hurt me."
John went on so that Evangeline just rolled her eyes, while both children giggled at their fatherís antics.
"Daddy, youíre so silly."
"You need to learn some respect young lady, telling your old man that heís silly."
"I respect you, Dad. Youíre the best dad in the whole world," Dani replied seriously, then she continued with a grin, "But youíre still silly."
"That he is," Evangeline interjected. She moved to the bed and placed a hand on her daughterís head, while she still held Evan, who was resting his head on his motherís shoulder. John could tell he was tired, but now he was fighting sleep since the whole family was awake. He knew his son and Evan didnít want to miss anything.
Dani climbed into her fatherís lap to make room on the bed for her mom. When Evangeline sat down next to her husband, he slid his hand into her hair and rested his forehead against hers, before kissing her. The kiss ended and John glanced down into Daniís smiling face.
"Whatís the smile for?" he asked her.
"I just love this family."
John smiled at that and rose with Dani in his arms. He reached out a hand to Evangeline and pulled her up beside him. She put Evan in his bed, kissing his forehead and running a hand over his head, before stepping back. John bent to kiss Evanís forehead as well and the little boy reached out for a hug from his sister, which ended up in giggles from both of them. John stood ending the siblings good night ritual. He took Evangelineís hand and the two repeated the good night kisses and hugs in Daniís room. When the two left Daniís room, John lifted Evangeline in his arms and headed to their room.
"Whatís this about?"
"Well, Iíve carried every other member of my family tonight, so I figured I might as well be 3 for 3."
The soft chuckles that left her throat completely turned John on. How he could be so in love with his wife, he didnít understand. It just was. With that love came wanting. So much wanting that he couldnít ever see wanting anyone else. John knew he was a one woman man and Evangeline was that woman for him. John had lived without her for four years and he didnít ever plan on living through that again.
John laid her in the middle of the bed and leaned over her resting on his elbows. She looked up at him with love in her eyes. Even after five and a half years, John couldnít believe that he and Evangeline were married and had two wonderful children.
"Hey, whereíd you go?" Evangeline asked, stroking Johnís cheek and running her hand through his hair and down his neck to rest on his shoulder.
"I was just thinking how much I love you and happy I am with you and the kids. I never thought Iíd have this; that I deserved it."
"I know. I remember. After I left you, I felt the same way and then you gave me another chance. You have no idea how much that meant to me and how much I really love you."
"Yeah, I do, because thatís exactly how I feel."
"Yeah," he replied. She leaned up and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. He lowered the two of them and when he pulled away, he pressed kisses along her jaw line and down her collarbone. She moaned and he returned to her lips for a deeper kiss. As they consummated their love, they both thanked God that theyíd been given a second chance. Not many came along and theyíd truly been blessed.
Later, John lay looking at Evangelineís face where she lay on his chest. He pressed a chaste kiss to her forehead and made a silent promise. Iím never letting anything happen to you or the kids. You mean everything to me. With that thought, John fell into a dreamless sleep and held on to what was important in his world.