Me, you and him
- 👁 489
- ⭐ 7.6
- 💬 10
Joshua and Erick couldn't have asked for a better life. Married for five years, they had finally been granted custody of their three adopted children - which had not been an easy feat to achieve - and had spent four years as a family in "perfect" harmony. However, the couple became aware that the biological father, Luke, had been released after serving years of his sentence and was willing to regain custody of his three children.
As Murphy's Law says, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, at the worst possible moment," and in that moment, Joshua Nolan was sure that the law was really true. Some would say it was just bad luck, others that it was a mere coincidence, but he knew that it was indeed Murphy's Law. What happened? Well, everything was supposed to go smoothly, but then his youngest son insisted on opening a bag of flour and getting himself covered in white powder, as well as the entire kitchen floor, making it look like someone was making cake batter on the wooden floor.
And if that wasn't bad enough, his two older sons started fighting over a chocolate bar. Yelling throughout the house, eleven-year-old Benjamin was still in his pajamas as he stretched as far as he could to keep Ravi, his six-year-old middle child, from grabbing the chocolate bar. Joshua was about to have a heart attack when his husband appeared. With a towel wrapped around his waist and another on his head, it was quite a comical scene.
"Why all the shouting?" Erick was always the one to bring order to the house. Benjamin and Ravi stopped yelling in the same second.
"Ben took my chocolate bar," Ravi was the first to try to defend himself.
"Liar, the bar was mine!" Benjamin also defended himself.
"Neither of you will eat chocolate at this hour. It's seven in the morning. Why are you still in your pajamas? Where's your uniform?"
"Cough cough...I'm sick," Benjamin pretended to cough.
"And I'm the Queen of England...go get dressed, now!"
"No one goes to school on the first day of school," Benjamin retorted. His friends were still on vacation, so if he went to school, he would be alone.
"Your brother is going and so are you," he took the chocolate bar from him and made him go to his room, while Ravi, who was already dressed, sat on the couch to wait for his older brother.
Joshua laughed. Erick turned his neck to look at him and was almost startled by what was happening in the kitchen. He opened his mouth to say something, but Nolan was quicker to respond.
"Noah opened a package of flour because someone didn't put the flour where I asked. " Joshua gave a cynical smile to his husband, who scratched his neck and gave an embarrassed smile. "The kids will be late to catch the bus, can you take them to school, please? I have to take care of this mess here."
"Yes, I'll take them."
Erick turned to go to the room, but before Joshua called him:
"Don't look too much, as it belongs to someone!"
"I envy the owner of it."
They both laughed. They couldn't deny that they were still in love with each other like two teenage lovers. Their relationship was incredibly compatible, indeed soul mates for each other.
"Oh, what am I going to do with you, mess maker?" Joshua smiled at the three-year-old baby who took a little more flour in his hand and threw it up like snow. "Rain!" said the child, his cute voice while getting more flour on his face.
In the afternoon, that house was peaceful. With the two older children at school and the youngest sleeping, Erick and Joshua finally had time for themselves—after cleaning up the entire kitchen—and of course they took advantage of that time to watch series. It was the hobby they liked the most since they were dating, they loved watching series no matter what the content was, whether it was Supernatural, Brooklyn 99, or even The Umbrella Academy, any series they watched together. Of course, they couldn't do it often, Erick was a model, did some work from time to time, and Joshua was a writer and owner of a famous publishing house, so both didn't go out much, but since they adopted the children four years ago, moments like this in peace were almost rare.
And indeed, a rarity, because the doorbell rang, making the couple who were hugged on the couch, sigh. Who would be the person bothering them at ten in the morning?
"Rock, paper, scissors to see who answers?" Erick suggested.
"No way, last time it was me who answered, it's your turn." Joshua said quickly. Erick looked at him with false indignation in his eyes, but accepted, at least next time this happened he could use the same excuse.
He reluctantly got up from the couch and walked to the door, opening it.
"Oh, Miss Ortega, what a pleasure to see you." Erick greeted the woman in front of him. Aisha Ortega was the social worker who helped with the children's adaptation in the adoption process, sometimes making some unexpected visits to see how things were going, but that was in the beginning, after a few years, she had already stopped. "Come on in, please."
The woman was invited in and did not refuse. Joshua, as an automatic reaction, straightened up on the couch and also greeted her with a happy expression, the woman was an incredible person.
"The children are at school, but Noah is sleeping. Do you want to see him?"
"Ah, I would love to see that beautiful baby again, but I didn't come for the children, actually, I need to talk to you." Ortega's speech was very serious. She always exuded a calm and very gentle aura, so that tone of voice was a bit scary.
"Did something happen? Is it about the adoption papers?" Joshua immediately asked, they had done everything right and under the law to get custody of the children, so he was very nervous when he heard that.
"No, the papers are correct, you don't need to worry about that." The woman reassured him. "But do you remember when I explained the whole situation with the biological family?"
"Yes, the mothers were different and, in fact, they are half-brothers because of their father." Erick recalled. "But the mother of Ravi and Benjamin left the country and Noah's mother died during childbirth."
"Exactly, but I didn't talk about the father."
"What about the father?"
"Well, it's a delicate matter, he had abandoned Ravi and Benjamin when they were very young and before Noah was even born, he was arrested for drug trafficking." The conversation was going in a strange direction that was making Erick and Joshua worried. "Recently we learned that he was released, it's been about five months, and this week he came looking for them."
"Wait... are you saying that the biological father is after our children?"
"Yes, apparently he wants to regain custody of them."
"That's impossible, they can't give our children to this man."
"The law is on your side, Mr. Nolan. Since they were adopted fairly and legally, it would be impossible for him to see the children, let alone get custody of them." The woman continued to explain. "However, apparently he has a document that shows that both Benjamin and Ravi were not up for adoption."
"I don't understand." Joshua sighed, his hand was cold and he was starting to shake. Luckily, Erick was by his side to calm him down.
"I'll try to explain to you, sir. In many children's shelters, some of them are not available for adoption. This comes from when the father or mother is serving sentences in prisons and after being released, they would have the opportunity to regain custody of them. When the two older ones went to the shelter, the father wanted custody of them, but he had not been able to because he did not have a stable job or a decent place to live."
"And he gave up?"
"Yes, he only visited the children once a month, then never showed up again, and suddenly Noah arrived and analyzing the data, we discovered that he was the brothers' brother."
"So if he gave up on regaining custody, there's nothing else that refers the children to him, right?" Erick asked.
"That's what I thought too, but it turns out that the case of regaining custody was never closed. This case remained open until today. Your older children were available for adoption when Noah was put up for adoption, because they were siblings, they thought Benjamin and Ravi were too."
Aisha sighed heavily.
"Luke, the biological father, can indeed go to court to regain custody of Benjamin and Ravi."
With that news, Joshua almost had a heart attack, but he breathed deeply and let two tears escape from the corner of his eyes. Erick wasn't much different, although on the outside he still had his neutral aura, inside he was trembling.
"What can we do to prevent him from getting custody?"
"Can I be honest with you?" Aisha asked, and the couple nodded. "He won't have any advantage in getting custody of them, but he may have visitation rights."
"No, I won't allow my children to be near that criminal!" Joshua stood up from the couch, furious, and walked to his youngest son's room.
"Sorry for my husband, but I know you understand what he's feeling."
"I understand and really sorry that I can't do anything. But you can rest assured that no one will take your children away from you." Aisha smiled at Erick. "I better go, I wanted to warn you about what might happen."
"Thank you very much, Miss Ortega." Erick escorted her to the door and said goodbye to her with a small bow.
The blond sighed and walked to his son's room. He found his husband with Noah, still asleep, in his arms, hugging him as if he might disappear at any moment.
At that moment, he couldn't hold back anymore and tears were rolling down his face, but he didn't make any sound because he didn't want his buddy to wake up.
Erick hugged him from behind.
"They are my children, I can't let anyone steal them from me," Joshua said softly, while gently rocking Noah and kissing his forehead, which was resting on his chest.
"Calm down, my love, they won't take our children away from us," Erick tried to calm him down. In that situation, it was good to have someone who wouldn't freak out as much, and the blond played that role.
"How can you be sure? What if he manages to see my children? What if the judge thinks he's fit to have custody of them? I can't, Erick, I can't lose any of them."
"Trust me, we won't let him get close to them," Erick gave a kiss to his husband's lips and then to the forehead of little Noah.
He couldn't lose his children and he wouldn't let that happen.
The week after that fateful day was quiet. Joshua and Erick tried their best not to appear worried, as they didn't want to concern their children, but it didn't work out well. Their eldest son was very observant, and after almost four years together, he knew how to decipher his parents' feelings. He was very smart for an eleven-year-old child.
However, their parents ended up being too occupied with work issues. Erick had a photo shoot for a clothing company, and Joshua was having problems with his publishing company. To make matters worse, Ravi caught a cold.
"Dad, my nose is itchy," Ravi said, rubbing his small nose with his chubby hands. Joshua picked up the child and gently rocked him. He was very worried about the buddy's health because he had never caught such a strong cold before.
He took him to his room, which he shared with Benjamin, and placed him delicately on his Spider-Man bed. He covered him with a thick quilt so he wouldn
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