I never thought of caring for another person, but Sorina's a lot like me, and I wasn't given a real chance. I want more for her. She's still young, and she could make a real life for herself. Get an education and make herself happy.
"Then it seems like the obvious thing to do. You're not going anywhere and neither am I. What's the point in waiting?" he says, leaning in to kiss my lips.
"She has nowhere to stay here," I argue.
Oh, he's going to make my head spin.
"Teresa, Shannon, and I can convert a room. I can have furniture dropped off by noon. Trust me."
"Are you sure?" I search his face for some ulterior motive, but the only thing I see is determination.
"Yes, Lily. You love her, even if you can't say it yet. You love me, and I you. We can't have kids, but we can raise Sorina. She'll never want for anything again. She'll be safe here, and loved. Between my family and your team, she'll damn near drown in it."
"Okay. I love you," he says, pulling me into his arms.
We lie down, holding each other. "I love you, too."
"Oh, by the way. My father called Shannon this morning."
"Yeah? How's the vacation going for them?"
"Turns out they haven't went yet. Carmen decided she wanted to wait."
"Ah, that means I should put on my happy face around them."
He chuckles. "I may not care for them, but, they're family. Plus, They're the only grandparents Sorina is going to have. Unless you'd like to find your parents."
My face hardens, turning into a statuesque picture of rage. "I really hope you meant that as a joke," I say through gritted teeth.
"Not at all. I think you need to find them and get closure, Lily."
"They sold me. End of story. If that isn't closure, I don't know what it is."
"Bullshit, I— "
"Blake, don't. Let it go. I don't want to remember them or find them, or have anything to do with them. I know you want to fix every shitty thing about my life, but please, let this go."
He leans down and kisses me gently. "I'm sorry, I want to help you."
"You have. More than you'll ever know."
Sorina's room is almost complete. The only thing it’ll need is a new paint job. The walls are white, for now. Blake wants to let her decide on the color, which seems only fair. The girl's had little in the way of decision making for the several years. I know how that is all too well. Spending years having everyone else tell you what to do, who to be. It's nice to decide things on your own after a life like that. Even the simplest choice feels like a great feat.
"Lily, Mr. Mason, lunch ready," Teresa yells from the kitchen.
I've been standing in the doorway as Blake and Dresden try to assemble Sorina's daybed. They've been at it for over forty-five minutes and still don't have any of it actually put together.
"Guys, go eat. You can finish this when you come back," I say trying to hide my amusement.
They both glare at me, but stand anyway, leaving their tools on the floor. Thank God Hayato put together the desk and Vlad took care of the dressers. We've got to head over to the halfway house soon and I've still got a phone call to make.
"You coming, hon," Blake says, stopping in front of me as Dresden heads for the kitchen.