The room smelled faintly of dirty cloth diapers and spit up, but he’d gone nose-blind to the odor weeks ago. As he stared up at the varnished ceiling beams, Jacks listened to the baby sleep. For two days, he’d been trying to do the math to figure out exactly how many weeks old she was. He was disgusted that he didn’t know his own child’s age. The day before, he finally picked a number – sixteen weeks – but no, as he stared at the damn ceiling, that didn’t seem right. She was already rolling over, trying to sit up. Did babies her age sit up, he wondered. Would she be crawling soon? He scratched at his beard and added a month. Twenty weeks. That sounded right, too.
“Fuck,” he whispered into the room.
A gust of snow slammed against the window, and he sprang up on an elbow, expecting to see Lily stir herself awake, but she stayed asleep, dreaming whatever dreams babies had. He flopped back down onto the lumpy pillow and rolled onto his side so he could see the edge of her hotel-standard crib. He’d been thinking about her mother a lot. Ana would know how old her damn kid was, even if she was a bitch the entire time he knew her. Moms were good with that kind of stuff. He cursed again and punched the pillow into a more comfortable shape.
His eyes had finally closed from exhaustion when something in the hall broke, and bodies began slamming into the walls. At first Jacks thought he had immediately slipped into a nightmare, so he rubbed his face, hoping the noises would fade away. But when the dog began to wildly bark, and Lily woke up screaming shortly after, he realized whatever was happening in the hall was real. He launched out of the bed and across his room, and pressed his ear to the cold door. His heart thudded in his chest, but not for his safety, for Lily’s. She was too young to survive without him, and after losing Win, Jacks was acutely aware of how important his role as a father truly was…
– © Trish Marie Dawson, Find Me Series, book 4 – Coming Soon