Halo Ch. 04byMygypsy©
Janey watched as Adam got Nicky out of his child seat and lifted him to his shoulders; Nicky squealed with excitement and Janey had to laugh along with her son.
"Come on, let's go line up for a train ride." Adam said as he fell into step beside Janey.
Janey glanced around uneasily; she had never been here before and wanted to be sure of exactly where the car was parked before she moved too far.
Her parents or siblings understood that she had trouble in public and they supported her efforts to get out and about. They took the time to go places with her and had seemingly endless patience when she needed to get her bearings or scrape up the courage to face crowds.
They knew she was capable of watching for trouble by herself and let her take her time to ensure her own safety. They also understood that now she not only herself to worry about but Nicky as well.
Adam noticed Janey glance around nervously. He moved closer to reach out and squeeze her hand gently. He looked around to see if there was anything that might upset her.
"I'm right here with you, you'll be okay." Adam said softly.
'What has Adam seen?' Janey wondered nervously, 'someone or something he doesn't like?'
When they reached the place where other families were lining up for tickets to ride on the miniature train Adam eased Nicky off his shoulders and held the boy in his arms as Nicky wriggled and pointed at the train excitedly.
"Twain! Twain!" Nicky exclaimed and turned wide eyes on his mother.
"We going on the train are we Nicky?" Janey asked nervously as she glanced around at the strangers nearby.
Adam didn't miss how Janey looked around nervously and glanced around himself to make sure all was clear.
"I'm right here Darlin'," Adam said softly and Janey shot him a nervous smile.
Had he seen something she had missed?
The press of the people seemed to intensify and then Adam was buying tickets and they were climbing onto the train. Janey sat in a corner and looked around apprehensively; she caught Adam looking around as well and her tension increased.
The morning passed in a blur of nervous activities for Janey. She was aware of Nicky having fun and Adam by her side but soon her head ached with the strain of being ever vigilant.
At lunchtime Adam bought the makings for sandwiches and the three of them returned to the cabin. After eating Nicky fell asleep and after placing him in the cot Adam and Janey lay down for a rest. Just laying on the bed in Adam's arms was soothing and Janey fell asleep not long after her son.
"Hey Sweetheart, time to wake up," Adam coaxed softly.
Janey frowned as she forced her eyes open; after three sessions of sex over night she was tired from lack of sleep.
"What?" Janey asked disgruntled.
"We have to get up so we can check out and I can get to the airport in time to book in for my flight," Adam told her softly before leaning close to kiss her lightly on the lips.
Still half asleep Janey sighed softly and kissed him back, opening her mouth to his seeking tongue and moaning softly as he deepened the kiss hungrily.
"Damn catching the plane!" Adam said tightly as he rolled away from her.
Janey lay on her back staring up at the ceiling breathing harshly. Her body had come to life quickly and she felt the strong stirrings of desire.
"We'd better get up," Adam said as he swung his legs over the side of the bed and got to his feet, he paused to look down at Janey for a few moments and was smiling when she glanced his way.
"What?" Janey asked curiously.
"Maybe we'll have some good luck after this little break away," Adam said hopefully.
It took a moment for Janey to realise he was talking about their attempts to fall pregnant with a playmate for Nicky; she looked away as a tide of red rose hotly up her neck and into her cheeks. She heard Adam laugh softly as he headed for the shower and she sat up and looked around the room to see what she had yet to pack so they could leave.
She really needed to have a serious talk with Adam; she knew she should have talked with him about how she felt immediately but it never seemed like the right time.
Like now, she knew she should tell him she'd recently begun to have her doubts that now was the right time for another child, but with him about to leave for a week or two the timing was wrong.
Half an hour later Janey sat in the car with Nicky while Adam went into the office to hand in the keys for the cabin; she kept a wary eye out for any movement nearby even though the day was peaceful and not many people seemed to be out and about at that time.
When Adam returned to the car he climbed into the driver's seat and started the car; with a quick glance around he pulled away from the office and headed for the road towards the airport.
It was only a short drive and it didn't take long before he was parking the car in the car park of the airport and turning the engine off.
Adam hesitated as he turned in the seat and looked at Janey; she was watching the activity at the airport building out the window. He frowned worriedly; he knew she wanted to show Nicky the plane but he himself didn't feel up to babysitting her through the nerves she would have with the numerous people present.
"I'll just take my bags and head into the airport and you can head for home now," Adam said firmly.
"I want to let Nicky see the plane," Janey protested softly as she stared at the building.
"I don't want you stressing out when you have to drive home Sweetheart. It's best if we say goodbye here and I let you leave; I have enough on my mind without worrying that you'll get home safely." Adam told her firmly.
Janey turned her face towards him and Adam smiled at her charmingly.
"So are you going to tell me exactly why you have to go to Sydney? Other than it's just some work problem?" Janey asked evenly. She had tried to talk to Adam the previous night about why he had to go to Sydney but all he would say was the visit was to straighten out about a problem at work.
"It's nothing to worry about," Adam said soothingly.
Janey looked away from him; the way he avoided giving her a direct answer made her inclined to believe there was some kind of problem that involved him.
Was he working on another case like the one she had been involved in when he had met her?
Janey got out of the car and moved around to the driver's side while Adam got his luggage from the boot; he walked up to stand beside her and put the bags down before turning and taking her in his arms.
"I'll miss you while I'm away," Adam said before kissing her.
His lips were firm as they moved over hers and she felt his tongue push against her teeth as he sought. Janey opened her mouth and Adam thrust his tongue into her mouth almost aggressively as he kissed her thoroughly.
Janey was gasping for breath when he finally raised his head; she opened her eyes dazedly and looked up into his face.
"Love you," Adam said before turning to wave at Nicky through the window; inside the car Nicky waved excitedly and kicked his legs.
"I..." Janey said faintly.
"Yeah?" Adam encouraged when she remained silent for a few moments.
"I love you too," Janey said and looked away hurriedly before glancing at him nervously.
Adam leaned close and kissed her gently on the lips before picking up his bags and heading for the building; he stopped and turned when he reached the doors to look back at Janey. She had the car door open but was watching him as she stood there; he waved then turned and walked into the building.
* * * * *
Janey patted Nicky's back as she paced the room with him; he lay against her shoulder with his face turned in towards her neck. Every now and then he would give a slight whimper as he rubbed at his eyes with his clenched fist.
"How is he?" Marina asked quietly as she peeked into the room.
"Still refusing to go to sleep. His gums are bothering him again," Janey said as she paused in her pacing.
Nicky fidgeted against her shoulder and whimpered fretfully making Janey begin moving once again.
"Want to lay down with him for a while? You look like you could do with some sleep as well," Marina said softly.
Nicky had been fretful and had woken several times through the previous night disturbing Janey; with two nights of little sleep there were dark marks beginning to show under her eyes.
"I might just hold him until I'm ready to head over to Brad's for his Birthday party," Janey said quietly.
"You could let me hold him so you can have a bit of a break, maybe a cup of tea or coffee before you head off," Marina said quietly.
"A cold drink actually sounds good," Janey said with a relieved glance at her mother.
"Well let's take Master grumble out to the kitchen so you can have that drink," Marina said.
Janey followed her mother into the kitchen and thankfully let her take Nicky; Nicky whimpered unhappily for a moment before settling against his Grandmother's shoulder.
"You'll feel much better once that nasty tooth comes through," Marina said gently. Nicky snuggled into his Grandmothers arms and stuck his thumb in his mouth.
Janey got herself a can of coke and drank deeply; she almost groaned as she thought of the evening ahead. Nicky was bound to be unsettled because of teething and with the drive back home she would certainly be exhausted.
"You've packed enough changes for Nicky? Just in case?" Marina asked.
"Yeah, nearly enough for three days. If he starts dribbling again he'll need them." Janey said as she looked at her son.
"You packed the present for his father?" Jim asked as he walked into the kitchen.
"Yes Dad, and his name is Brad." Janey said with a frown.
Jim reframed from making any further remark as his daughter regarded him in annoyance.
"I was thinking that for Nicky's first birthday, I could have a party here and invite Brad and his friends." Janey said turning away from her father.
"I don't know why you insist on letting that criminal have anything to do with Nicky," Jim said tightly.
"Because Dad, Brad happens to be a very decent man and Nicky deserves to know his father," Janey said as she put her now empty soda can in the bin.
Jim frowned as Janey turned to face him; he saw the faint shadows beneath her eyes and wondered whether it was Nicky teething or nightmares that kept his daughter from sleeping.
"Whether or not he is a decent man remains to be seen," Jim said gruffly. He knew Janey would avoid any questions she didn't want to answer if he started asking questions to set his mind to rest over his concerns for her.
"I already know what type of person he is," Janey said before walking over to her mother and stroking Nicky's hair back off his face.
"I'll give you a hand carrying your things to the car," Jim said as he watched Janey, Marina and Nicky.
"We already put everything except for Nicky in the car," Marina said with a smile. She knew that Jim found it hard to accept Janey's choice to involve Nicky's father in his life considering the way he had been conceived.
"I'll carry Nicky out for you then, he's getting to be such a big boy," Jim said as he reached out for his grandson.
"Daddaddaddad," Nicky mumbled unhappily.
"Yes Nicky, we're going to see Daddad," Janey said with a smile.
Janey led the way out to her car, pausing briefly in the lounge room to grab her wallet and car keys. She stood back and watched as her father buckled Nicky into his car seat securely and gave him a quick kiss on the forehead before moving and letting Marina say her goodbye to Nicky.
"We'll see you tonight," Marina said as Janey climbed behind the wheel.
"Okay, probably be somewhere between nine and ten before I get home." Janey said with a strained smile. She was exhausted already and she hadn't even started the drive to the house where Brad lived.
"Okay, we'll see you then," Marina agreed.
Janey started the car and eased out of the driveway; she glanced in the rear-view mirror half way to the main road and was relieved to see that Nicky had fallen asleep.
The drive was uneventful and Janey travelled at a leisurely speed. It seemed almost only moments before she was turning into the street where the house was and she felt a sense of relief as she saw the front fence clearly.
After parking the car she got out and moved to the rear door to get Nicky. She sighed at the sight of him asleep. Hating to wake him she lifted him from his seat as carefully as possible and eased him to her shoulder.
Trying to jostle Nicky as little as possible she headed for the front door and knocked quietly hoping those inside would hear her. She was just about to knock a second time when she heard footsteps approaching the door and the indistinct murmur of a voice; the door opened and Janey found herself facing Ren.
"Hey Blondie! I didn't hear you out here," Ren said with a wide grin.
Nicky woke with a start, looked around and began crying. Janey began patting his back and murmuring to him softly.
"Hallo there Nicky, did I wake you up?" Ren asked in a soft soothing tone as he hunched slightly so his face was on the same level as Nicky's.
Nicky turned his face away from Ren and wriggled in Janey's arms. She found it hard to hold onto the struggling child and then Ren was lifting him from her arms with ease.
"Hallo," Ren said to the startled boy. Nicky looked at Ren then looked towards his mother.
"It's alright Nicky," Janey said reassuringly.
Nicky looked at Ren cautiously, stuck his fingers in his mouth and rested his head against Ren's shoulder with a weary sigh.
"Nicky's teething and he's not feeling too good," Janey said as she followed Ren inside.
"Just sing out if you need a hand while you're here. Any one of us will be happy to help," Ren said as he walked into the lounge room.
Ren squatted near the box of building blocks and watched Nicky as the child looked at them; he clung to Ren's shoulder clearly not wanting to be put on the floor.
"Looks like I got a new best friend for the moment," Ren said as he stood up once again.
"I can hold him, it's no problem," Janey said as she approached Ren and held her hands out to her son.
Nicky went to his mother eagerly and Ren had to squash a felling of disappointment as he let the child go.
"Did you bring the dreaded nappy bag?" Ren asked with a grin. He had joked about the amount of things Janey needed to carry on an outing with Nicky.
"Yeah, it's on the back seat beside his seat," Janey said as she patted Nicky's back soothingly. She turned and watched Ren head for the door and caught sight of 'Tanaya in the kitchen doorway.
"Hallo Janey, I'm glad you could make it for Brad's birthday. It means so much to him to have Nicky here," 'Tanaya said in a friendly tone.
Janey regarded 'Tanaya for a few moments before looking down the hallway after Ren.
"I know that, and Nicky loves visiting his Daddy." Janey said evenly.
"Would you like a drink or anything?" 'Tanaya asked.
"Dwink, dwink!" Nicky piped up animatedly.
"Let's see what we have in the fridge," 'Tanaya said as she turned and headed into the kitchen.
Left with little choice but to follow her Janey went into the kitchen and watched as 'Tanaya opened the fridge and peered inside.
"Water, juice, flavoured milk," 'Tanaya listed the options.
Janey couldn't help but notice that the juice and flavoured milk were the same brands as she got for Nicky herself.
"Moolk! Moolk!" Nicky said excitedly.
"Looks like it'll be milk," Janey said with a grin at her son.
"I've noticed you give Nicky this added calcium type," 'Tanaya said as she handed Janey the bottle of flavoured milk.
Janey opened the pop-top and let Nicky take the bottle; he put the top in his mouth and drank thirstily.
"Yeah I do," Janey agreed. She chanced a swift look at 'Tanaya and found she was watching Nicky with a kind of longing deep within her eyes, as if she felt the other woman's gaze on her 'Tanaya glanced her way then turned away before either of them could say anything.
"I should have known you were in here," Ren said as he came to the doorway and looked in at them. He held the nappy bag up where Janey could see it. "Put it in on the lounge?"
"Yeah," Janey agreed as she followed him into the lounge room. "Do you want to play with the toys Nicky?"
Nicky tightened his hold on Janey and rested his head against her shoulder even though it interfered with his drinking the milk; Janey gave a tired sigh and brushed the hair back off Nicky's forehead.
"Why don't you sit down and relax? There's not much to do for the party," Ren said softly.
"Would you be able to bring in the two presents from the front passenger seat?" Janey asked giving him a tired smile.
"Your wish is my command My Lady," Ren said with a gallant bow before heading towards the front door once again.
Janey shook her head with a smile as she sat down on the lounge and settled Nicky in her arms. With any luck he would go back to sleep.
"Ren's still got quite a thing for you," 'Tanaya said quietly.
Janey flicked a quick glance at 'Tanaya but the other woman had turned away and was looking at an ornament she had picked up from on top of the television set.
"Brad, Matty and Brent should be home from work any time now. Matty and Brent are staying here for a few days. Their block of flats lost its roof." 'Tanaya said.
"They lose much to water damage?" Janey asked with concern.
"A bit of stuff but nothing they can't replace with time," 'Tanaya said and took a deep breath before asking. "Has Nicky been very miserable with teething?"
Janey looked at 'Tanaya but she could only see friendly concern on the older woman's face.
"He was very restless last night and kept waking up," Janey finally said as she looked away from 'Tanaya.
"It must be hard being an only parent when Nicky is like that," 'Tanaya said quietly.
"I manage quite well and if I need help my parents are only too happy to help," Janey said defensively.
"I don't mean anything bad, just that it must be hard knowing it's always your turn to get up in the middle of the night to him," 'Tanaya said and sat down on the front edge of the recliner chair.
Janey gave her a suspicious look before turning her attention back to Nicky who was nearly asleep.
"I don't mind. I knew what I was getting into when I decided to have him," Janey said tightly.
"Where do you want these?" Ren asked as he walked into the room with a wrapped parcel in each arm.
He had been standing just out of sight in the hallway and had heard the exchange between Janey and 'Tanaya; it was clear to him that Janey wasn't aware that 'Tanaya had meant what she had said as a compliment.
"How about on the table on the back veranda with the other presents?" 'Tanaya asked.
"Yeah, okay." Janey agreed. She looked down at Nicky and almost groaned with relief as she saw he was asleep.
"If you like you can put Nicky in his cot and we can turn the radio on softly so he has company," 'Tanaya said as she noticed Nicky was asleep.
Janey frowned for a moment then nodded. "Sounds like a good idea," She agreed.
As Janey followed 'Tanaya into the bedroom where Brad had set up a cot for Nicky Ren headed out onto the back veranda. He knew he had to give both women room to come to some sort of common ground between them. Brad or himself hovering would only slow that process.
By the time Nicky was settled in the cot and Janey was satisfied that he would stay asleep both Ren and 'Tanaya were in the kitchen checking on the baked meal they were preparing. Janey paused in the doorway and watched as Ren basted a large roast before he shut the oven and turned away from the stove.
"Now all we have to do is wait for the birthday boy to get here," 'Tanaya said with a glance at the clock.