I punched the wall with a growl as Hadley slammed the door in my face, ignoring the crunch my knuckles made as they hit the bricks. I came to apologise and the little shit threw it back in my face. The little prick needed to learn some fucking respect. I stood my ground outside, waiting for him to open the door again, looking around as I heard sirens. Did he call the cops? I felt a little relieved as I saw an ambulance roll in instead of a police car and sort of hid out of view as Hadley opened the door to let the paramedics in.
I watched as they took Maxxie out on a gurney, his hair matted with blood. I waited til Hadley had shut the front door again before sweet talking my way onto the ambulance. I figure apologising to Maxxie is as good as apologising to Hadley.
"Hey" I smiled and Maxxie glanced up at me. "Sorry about what happened" I said and he shrugged a little, wincing. "I never meant for him to find out"
"Find out what?"
"Neither did I, funnily enough"
"So is he leaving you or...?"
Maxxie sighed. "No, but he doesn't trust me anymore. I think he only gave me another chance because of the kids"
"Thought you hated kids"
"I don't hate these ones. And I love Hadley”
"What're their names?"
"Danny and Lily" he said and I smiled. "Lily's like Beau. I probably never would've agreed to adopt them in the first place if they weren't at least vaguely well behaved"
"What about the other one?"
"He's a bit of an oddball. He likes Hadley more than me, but he's alright"
I arched an eyebrow. "Oddball? You didn't pick the kid with special needs, did you?"
"He's not that bad" he said a little defensively.
"Well how's he an oddball?"
"He's just very quiet. And he stares a lot. Lily said he has anger issues, but I've not seen them yet"
"I dunno, man, sounds pretty special needsy to me. What if he’s got autism or something?”
"Why would it matter?"
"Special needs kids take more work. At least with normal kids you can sit them in front of the TV for hours"
"He sits on the Xbox instead"
"Is he good at shooting games?"
"Don't ever get him a gun. It's always the quiet ones that turn out to be the psycho killers that shoot their entire family while they're asleep" I said and he rolled his eyes. "What? It's true"
"My kid does not have special needs" he said defensively and I shrugged.
"He's an oddball, not a psycho"
"He's not going to be one either. Don't make me punch you, Cay"
Maxxie did his best to chill out and I just sort of sat there, not really knowing what to say. I got the feeling Maxxie was too busy being in pain to answer anyway. We got to the hospital eventually and they pumped Maxxie full of pain meds. I sat down next to his bed, trying not to remember all the times me and him had been in hospital for some reason or another.
"So, I'm an uncle again, huh? How come no one told me?" I said after a while. It was the best thing I could come up with.
He chuckled. "I did tell you, silly"
"Did you? I know you told me you were planning on adopting, but I swear no one told me you actually got them"
"When I told you we were planning on it, I already filled out the adoption papers. We had them like a month before he caught you and me"
"S'what I was doing when you came in"
"Does Ava know she's an aunt?"
"I dunno. I left it up to Hadley to tell you guys, really"
"What about your mom?"
"We've barely spoken since me and Hadley got married" he shrugged. "I told my granddad, but that's about it"
"What did he have to say about it?"
"He was happy I'd finally settled down into some kind of family life"
I smiled at that. I liked the old man. Maxxie shifted over in the bed, patting the empty space next to him. I sort of sat on the bed before lying down. Maxxie snuggled up to me, resting his head on my chest and I put an arm round him, snuggling back. I’d missed him.