She named the child Dion Prescott Everhart, having put Pres down as the father on the birth certificate. She wanted her son to take his father's surname even if Pres knew nothing of his existence. The baby was named after Sofia's late father, Dionysios Giallelis, and of course Pres. Eventually she would tell him about his son, but she wasn't sure how or when.
Dana was turning out to be invaluable when it came to maintaining her home and especially with caring for Dion. He seemed to be a natural with the infant and is affection was apparent.
"I thought you were going to let Pres know about Dion. When did you plan to do that, doll?" Dana brought up one day as they had supper together.
"I want to make sure that he's gone forward with his life. You know, married that girl and then he won't feel like he should offer to...well...offer to be with me or marry me."
"Or help you financially?" Dana said cynically, "Which is what he should do in any case."
"He can do what he wants, I just don't want him to feel obligated in any other way."
"He never married her, you know. In fact, I checked and she doesn't work as a nanny anymore, as far as I can tell she left town."
Sofia immediately asked,
"How did you find that out?"
"Jerri told me when she brought in that piece of crap Chevy of hers for a tuneup."
"How long ago was that?" Sofia gave him a stern look.
"Couple months ago," now it was Dana's turn to feel cornered, "I know I should have mentioned it, but that was right around the time you had Dion and things were kind of crazy here."
Sofia dropped the subject. After supper they played video games and the tension that had built up during the meal dissipated. As a rule Sofia and Dana were very comfortable with each other.
That evening Sofia went shopping for more baby clothes. Once she was at Goth's Apparel she decided she decided to pick up some new outfits for herself too, now that she had her figure back. On her way out she was unaware that she was seen by Pres. He followed her discreetly for a ways, he certainly knew how to shadow someone, of course. It wouldn't have mattered; Sofia was oblivious; just strolling along and humming. To his mind she'd never had any sense of self-preservation and it looked as thought that wasn't going to change. He didn't tail her all the way home; it wasn't necessary. He already knew where her house was, and had for some time.
He'd not seen Sofia since their last night together at her mobile home a little over a year ago. She looked more beautiful than ever to Pres and very unattainable. He had found out early on that Dana lived with her and he assumed it was a romantic liaison.
Pres did not believe there was any hope for a relationship with her, but he just didn't seem to be able to get interested in any other woman. He hadn't put much effort forth to "get out there and meet someone" as his brother Parker kept insisting he do. The truth was he felt if he couldn't have Sofia he didn't want anyone. A ticket to nowhere.
Sofia had grouped her salon customers together into two long days, Thursday and Friday, and one short one on Saturday. Baby Dion was with Sofia then all day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Thursday and Friday she worked until 8 pm and Dion went to daycare from 8 am to 5 pm then Dana picked the baby up when he got off work at 5 pm and took care of him until Sofia got home. On Saturday he watched him all day until she finished work at 4 pm. Sometimes her sister Thalia would come for an evening on Thursday or Friday to spell Dana while he took time for himself or did the grocery shopping. Sundays were a free day and, in mild weather, Dana usually took Sofia and the baby to the park, or they stayed home and grilled hamburgers and the baby played in the playpen on the patio.
Things were getting stressful for Dana. Once the baby moved from a cradle in Sofia's room to a crib in his own little room Dana had moved downstairs. He slept on the sofa rather than a cot in the nursery.
One Friday night he was working on the desktop in the upstairs hall when Sofia put Dion to bed and then opted for a long bubble bath to unwind. Dana could hear her in the tub not far from where he was working as she splashed and made sighing sounds. His imagination was all too active as he gritted his teeth and tried to concentrate on the online advanced mechanics class he was taking.
When Sofia finished her bath she moved to her bedroom and put on pajamas. it had been a long day and it was late, but her stomach was telling her to eat something light. Dana had made lasagna and said he'd nuke her a polate but she didn't want that much, just a bowl of cereal. Dana joined her because he wanted to discuss something with her; something he'd been meaning to talk to her about for some time.
"Oh, sweetie," Sofia said, "if it's something serious can it wait until morning? I'm so darned tired my butt is dragging behind me. As soon as I finish my Cheerios I'm going upstairs to bed."
Dana's face fell, but then he smiled at her,
"Sure, doll, tomorrow at breakfast."
Sofia turned and headed up the spiral staircase and Dana's eyes were drawn to her full, curvy butt which, in his opinion, was not dragging behind at all, but bounced nice and perky.
He dragged his hand over his eyes and down his face as he muttered to himself.
But when morning came Sofia was up extra early and in a hurry. She scarcely touched the poached eggs he'd made her.
"I'm going to be late! I'l be back at the usual time. Then we can talk, Dana, I promise."
All that day Dana imagined how it would be when he confessed his love and asked Sofia to marry him. Way down deep he knew it would never happen that way. He hoped she'd be touched and thrilled and then say she loved him; that he'd made her forget all about the jerk detective. Actually, he'd always liked Pres but now that he stood between Sofia and him, Dana thought of him as competition. He loved her son, Dion, and he would tell her that he wanted to adopt him. That he would always take care of both of them. He caught himself daydreaming of holding her in his arms at last.
Of course, Dana was right; that was not how it came down. The reality was that he ended up sitting on the sofa and she was on the adjacent chair.
Gathering up his courage he told Sofia he couldn't go on this way. She dropped her eyes, twisting her hands feeling ashamed,
"I know it's not fair with only the sofa to sleep on and no privacy. You've been more than kind to stay here helping me."
Dana shook his head,
"No, that's not it. I'm glad I could be here for you. But I can't keep staying here as a friend when I'm in love with you, Sofia."
Down deep she had known he was falling for her, but she had pushed it out of mind because she couldn't deal with it.
"Doll, I want to marry you and take care of you and Dion, adopt him. You know I love him, too."
Tears filled Sofia's eyes,
"Oh, Dana, I can't marry you, sweetie. You're a beautiful man and you deserve happines. I love you, but, I'm not in love with you. I wish that I could be, but I guess I'm just empty inside; at least when it comes to men. And Dion takes all of my energy, all of my interest."
"It's him, isn't it? You're not empty inside--you're bursting with love for him. Maybe you would get over him if you told him about the baby. Make Pres decide one way or another. Otherwise you're always going to be waiting."
"I don't know if I can do that yet."
Dana looked defeated,
"Then I need to leave--find a place of my own. But I don't want to leave you in the lurch with Dion. I'll only stay a couple more days but you need to figure out how you'll handle his care when you work late once I'm gone."
"Dana..." Sofia began in a soft voice and he looked at her intently for a moment, but then she trailed off.
He stood up and said in a wooden voice,
"It's late but I'm going for a walk. I'll be back in twenty minutes and I'll be tired."
She knew he meant that the conversation was over and that he hoped she'd be in bed when he came home so he could make up the sofa and go to sleep.
"Okay," she said, "I'm going to bed now anyway."
As Sofia headed upstairs it was on her conscience that she'd hurt him deeply and she hated it. She didn't sleep well that night at all.
Next blog update: The Brothers Everhart - Pres Ch. 16 Sofia On Her Own