Chapter   Seven

Two months later....

"I'm sorry I couldn't be there, Lynn," AJ said on the phone.

"I know, AJ," Lynn said. "But you're kinda busy right now. Besides, I think recording new album is more important than you being with me on my birthday."

"But's it's you're nineteenth birthday," AJ said. "It's your last year as a teenager."

"You know I haven't been a teenager since Tyler was born, before that even. Like when I got pregnant."

"I know. How's Tyler doing anyway?"

"He's doing really good. But I think you spoiled him 'cause it's kinda hard to get him to sleep, especially since you used to sing him to sleep."

"I'll record something on a tape and you can play it for him. How's school going?"

"It's going okay. Emily and I worked out a pretty good schedule. She has a couple morning classes and I stay with Tyler. I have a couple afternoon classes and she stays with Tyler. I make sure I'm home before Emily goes to work, spend a couple hours with Tyler, then put him to bed. The rest of the night, I study."

"Do you have any days off?"

"Mondays and Fridays," Lynn told him.

"Okay, good," said AJ. "How about this coming weekend, you and Tyler come down to Florida and visit me? I haven't seen you in a month and I miss you."

"I miss you, too, but you sure it won't be too much trouble? I mean, I know you and the guys work day and night recording the album. I don't want us to get in the way."

"You won't be in the way. You can even come to the recording sessions."

"What about your mom?"

"Mom's cool with it. She can't wait to meet you and Tyler. She even volunteered to babysit if we want to go to a movie or something."

"You have it all worked out, don't you?" Lynn smiled.

"Yes, so you can't say no," AJ told her.

"Okay," Lynn agreed. "I'll book the plane flight and call you back to tell you the times."

"I could do that for you...." AJ started.

"No way. You are not paying for this. Please, AJ. I don't want you to feel like you have to pay my way."

"I don't feel like that, baby. This is my birthday present to you."

Lynn thought for a minute. "Okay, fine."

"Great," AJ said, excitedly. "I'll call you back when all the arrangements have been made."

"Alright then. I'll talk to you later."

"You sure will. Later."

"Bye." They both hung up.

Lynn walked over to the couch and sat down. Tyler was playing happily in his playpen. Two more days and I get to see AJ, Lynn thought, smiling. She sat there, thinking of all the things they could do while in Florida. They could take Tyler to Disney World. Lynn laughed. It might be a bit too soon for him, but Lynn had always wanted to go to Disney World. She started watching MTV when she heard the doorbell. I wonder who that could be, Lynn thought. She looked at Tyler, made sure he was all right, then walked down the hall to the door. Lynn opened the door and got the shock of her life.

"Dwayne? What are you doing here?" she asked the person standing on her doorstep.

"I came here to see you," he said. "And my son."


"I have a right to see my son, don't I?"

"Why didn't you call me first?"

"I wasn't sure you would talk to me. Can I come in?"

Lynn looked behind him. "Where's you're girlfriend? I thought you would've brought her with you?"

"We broke up. Last month. So can I?"

Lynn looked at the house AJ stayed in and wished he was there right at this moment. Then she stepped aside. "Sure."

Dwayne walked in and waited for her to close the door. They stood in the hallway for a few seconds in silence before Dwayne spoke up.

"Where is he?" he asked.

"He's in the living room. And his name is Tyler."

"Tyler. I like it."

"Glad you do." Lynn turned and led the way to the living room.

When they got there, Dwayne walked up to the playpen and stood there looking at Tyler for a few minutes. Then he looked at Lynn.

"He's cute," he said. "Just like his dad."

"I see you're still just as arrogant as you were the last time I saw you. Would you like to hold him?"


Lynn walked over to the playpen and picked Tyler up. Carefully she handed him over to Dwayne. He walked over to the couch and sat down.

"He's small. I feel like he's gonna slip out of my arms."

"You just have to get used to holding him," Lynn told him. "So, why are you here?"

"I told you," Dwayne said. "I came here to see you and Tyler. How have you been?"

"I've been just great," Lynn said sarcastically. "Going to school full-time and taking care of Tyler by myself has been a blast."

"Hey, I'd have been there to help you if you would've let me."

"And mess up your relationship with what's-her-name? I don't think so. Besides, you told me you weren't ready to be dad...."

"Well, I am now," Dwayne interrupted her. "Believe it or not, ever since we broke up, I still thought about you. I haven't stopped caring about you."

"You expect me to believe that? After what you did to me?"

Dwayne got up and carefully put Tyler back in his playpen. "I know what I did was totally out of line...."

" 'Out of line'? You call what you did 'out of line'? You cheated on me, Dwayne. While I was pregnant. That showed me how irresponsible you really are. You don't care about me and don't even pretend that you do."

"That's not true. I do care about you. Thersa broke up with me because she knew I still wanted you. She wouldn't have it. Please, just give me a chance to prove it to you."

"I can't believe you came here...."

"Lynn," Dwayne said. He sat down and took her hands in his. "One more chance. That's all I'm asking. One more chance to be a family. Just you, me, and Tyler. What do you say?"

Before Lynn could answer, the phone rang. Lynn took her hands from Dwayne and answered it. "Hello?"

"Everything's set, Lynn," AJ said. "I called up our managers and asked if the private jet could be used and they said it will be fueled and ready by 7:30am. I thought it would be good to get an early start since Tyler wakes up around 5:00am anyway."

"Okay, that's fine," Lynn said. Dwayne was looking at her curiously.

"Cool. When you get here, I could give you and Tyler a tour of Orlando. I thought we could take Tyler to Disney World."

"I was thinking the same thing. What time do you think I'll get there?"

"Around 7:30pm, Eastern time. Maybe 8:00pm," AJ told her.

"That long?" Lynn said, surprised. "Wow, that's a long time."

"You're crossing three time zones, baby. It's actually just a nine hour flight. If you think about it, when you're leaving Seattle, it'll be 10:30am out here in Florida."

"Well, then I guess I'll see you Friday night."

"Is everything all right, Lynn. You sound upset."

"No, I'm fine. I don't want to talk about it right now. I'll call you back later. Okay?"

"You better. You'll be contacted to confirm reservations later on this afternoon."

"Okay. I'll talk to you later."

"Later." Lynn and AJ hung up.

"Who was that?" Dwayne asked.

"That was a friend of mine," Lynn told him. "I'm going to visit him this weekend in Florida. Me and Tyler."

"I'm only going to be here through the weekend. I have school. I'm missing classes as it is," he told her.

"It's not my fault, Dwayne. You should've called before you came here. Me and AJ have been planning this for weeks." Actually, we haven't, but Dwayne doesn't need to know that, Lynn thought.

"Well, cancel them."

"You've got to be kidding me. I'm not cancelling my plans. I've got to give Tyler is bottle." Lynn headed toward the kitchen with Dwayne following.

"Are you with this guy?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"You know what I mean."

Lynn turned around and faced him after she put Tyler's bottle in the microwave to warm up the milk. "If you really want to know, yes, I am. For the past two months."

"Who is he?"

"I'm drawing the line there." The microwave stopped and Lynn got the bottle out, tested the milk, then walked back to the living room. "You don't need to know who he is."

"Fine. I'll find out sooner or later. You know I will."

Lynn held Tyler to her as she fed him. "There's nothing you can do about him, Dwayne. Besides, it'll be public knowledge soon enough. He's too well-known to have our relationship kept secret for long."

Dwayne was about to say something when they heard the door open. Emily came walking into the living room talking.

"Hey, Lynn. I just got off the phone with Brian and he said...." She stopped short when she saw Dwayne. "Well, looked who decided to show his face. What are you doing here, Dwayne?"

"I came to see Lynn and Tyler," he said. "How have you been, Emily?"

"Fine. I have a boyfriend and a famous one at that. So does Lynn." She turned to Lynn. "Brian said AJ asked if you'd visit him in Florida this weekend and asked me if I would, too. He said they have it all set up. The private jet takes off early Friday morning."

"Private jet?" Dwayne looked at Lynn. "What private jet?"

"Lynn didn't tell you?" Emily said. "She's going out with a guy from one of the most popular singing groups in this world. We were in New York last month for the MTV Video Music Awards, mingling with the country's most popular celebrities. We were in the background in pictures of the event. We're part of the group's girlfriend rumors."

"Em, I really don't think Dwayne should have any info on my love life," Lynn said. "Let him find out with the rest of the world."

"Okay." Emily shut her mouth on the subject and refused to give Dwayne anymore details, no matter how much he tried to get her to tell him.

As it got closer to Lynn's first class of the day, Dwayne left, saying he'd be by the next day to see Tyler. Lynn told Emily what had happened before she showed up. Emily watched Tyler while Lynn got ready for her class. Lynn thought about what Dwayne said. This is going to be a long day, she thought. And a long tomorrow. Lynn said goodbye to Emily and gave her sleeping son a kiss, then headed off to class.

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