For character descriptions, click here. Teddy isn’t listed though, so I have his description in the fic)
Chicago, Illinois, 2001 — Connor had always had sharp hearing. It was one of the things he’d learned to have and to use well during his tenure in foster care.
He poked his head around the kitchen corner in search of the noise he was sure he had heard. He didn’t see any of his family members–that is, either of the two that could walk. Liam was only nine months old.
“Kel?” He moved toward the living room. Maybe she had woken up…or not. His wife still lay asleep on the couch, wrapped in the quilt that usually hung over the back.
Then he heard it. The one floorboard in the kitchen that always let out a creak no matter how lightly it was stepped on.
Out of instinct, his hand went to hover over his firearm as he went to investigate. He barely caught a little blond head disappear into the dining room.
He sighed, relieved it wasn’t an unsavory character that had somehow gotten inside without Kelly knowing. “Teddy, come here.”
Nothing for a moment. Then the three-year-old cautiously came around the corner, dragging his favorite blue blanket on the ground. He shuffled his feet as he approached Connor, gray eyes downward.
Connor knelt in front of him and asked, “Bad dreams again?”
Teddy nodded. Connor pulled his foster son into his arms, picked him up, and headed to the living room. Teddy burrowed his face into Connor’s shoulder and sniffled.
“It’s okay, kiddo,” Connor said as he eased into the rocking chair. “I still have bad dreams sometimes.”
Teddy raised his head. “Really?”
Teddy yawned. “A scary monster tried to eat me,” he said. “Did a scary monster try to eat you, Daddy?”
“Um…no…not exactly…” But someone he considered a monster did try to kill him.
Connor chewed on his lower lip. No way was he delving into that incident tonight. None of them, to be exact.
Teddy snuggled closer into his chest, sending a small surge of both guilt and protectiveness through him. Connor took the ends of the well-loved blanket and spread it over the boy.
Regardless of who Teddy was related to through blood, he was Connor and Kelly’s son now.
And we’ll do everything in our power to protect you. I promise.
He started to hum a lullaby, one his own mother had sung to him when he was an infant. True, it was from a Disney movie, but it was still a lullaby.
Within minutes, Teddy had fallen back asleep.
©H.S. Kylian 2019
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)
(Note: This takes place using a different timeline than the other Matthews Family fics because I’m playing around with shifting it)