Booker waited until the others settled down. Then, he moved toward an empty chair.
“Don’t you want to give Brice his present?” Erika left the room ahead of him. He leaped at the chance to see his son. When Booker entered the nursery, the girls looked up from their electronic games.
“Kay-Kay.” Erika pointed to the littlest one. “Keisha. This is Booker, Brice’s daddy.”
“Hello,” Keisha said.
“That’s a pretty teddy,” Kay-Kay complimented. Then she looked at him and Brice. Her childish voice alerted. “They have the same color.”
Booker set the teddy bear in the rocking chair, and Erika covered her mouth with her hand. Her eyes widened.
“Brice and his daddy have on the same color blue shirts.”
Laughing, Booker commented, “Would you look at that.”
“Kay-Kay’s right.” Erika sighed. “Here. Booker brought you a present.”
Screams of joy bounded off the walls.
“What do you tell him?”
“Thank you, Mr. Booker.”
“Good girls.” Erika shoved the folded rollaway bed out of his path. “Take your bags to your parents.”
Booker chuckled. “I know where your mind was.”
He caught her hand. “I have something for you, too.”
“Mine first.” Erika disappeared.
Now at the crib, Booker felt a surge of paternal devotion.
“For you.” She reappeared…happier.
Booker held the gift. The rush he felt whenever in Erika’s company attacked him. He tore off the colorful paper. In his hand was a picture of him and Brice. He rubbed the surface of the glass. The inscription on the frame was the clincher. “To My Dad.”
“I love,” he modified her question. To reinforce his point, Booker moved in close to Erika. Her lips parted, slightly. As he leaned down, her eyes held a hungry look he intended to satisfy. His kiss was passionate. “Thank you. Yours is in the truck.”
“What is it?” Erika’s voice was throaty.
“Well…” Booker had to put space between them in order to breathe. He traced the writing on the frame. “You said you’d never had boiled crawfish this time of year.”
“I did.” Erika clapped her hands. “You brought me some?”
“I brought the makings to give you a crawfish boil, if you’d like.”
“Would I like?” She threw her arms around his neck. As quickly, she hopped back. “The uniqueness of your gift is so…so romantic, Booker. I like that you didn’t go for glitz.”
“Because, like yours, it’s from my heart, Erika.” Booker stroked her cheek. “Romantic, huh?”
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