Liv's daughter comes to visit
"Hello, Elle, how are you?" Monica said squatting down to be eye level with her. Elle smiled and Monica's heart melted. She was such a beautiful child.
Bert was puzzled, "You've met her before?"
"Yes, I have." Monica answered without offering any more information.
She stood back up and they just looked at each other for few moments.
"Can we come in?" Bert asked softly.
Monica put her right hand out, "Come on Elle, I bet you'd like to watch cartoons?"
Elle placed her hand in Monica's trustingly and followed her into the apartment. Jamia looked up clearly confused. "Jamia this is Elle. She's Liv's daughter."
Jamia tried to hide her shock but it wasn't easy. "Oh my" she said unable to think of anything else to say.
"I need to talk to Bert a minute. Can she sit with you and watch TV?" Monica walked towards the sofa. Elle was clutching her hand and seemed reluctant to let it go. "You help Jamia pick out something to watch, OK?" She spoke gently to Elle, who let go of her hand and settled herself on the sofa by Jamia.
Jamia smiled at her, "What do you want to watch?"
Elle giggled, "Dora" She had a sweet baby voice.
"What's that?" Jamia looked at Monica for help.
"Dora The Explorer" Monica said, "Try Public Television, if that's not on I bet they will have something she likes."
Jamia started to flip through the channels. Monica waited until a cartoon came on the pleased Elle then moved closer to Bert. "What's going on, Bert?" she whispered.
"Monica I honestly don't know. Liv called yesterday and said she needed me. I got the first flight I could get this morning. The guys are pissed at me for leaving but she practically begged me to come. I just got here a few hours ago. I met her at a mall not far from here. When I got there she had Elle with her. Liv said she needs to talk to me and that she needs me to help her with something."
"What?" Monica's gaze moved back to Elle's face. Kelly had been right she looked like the Way boys when they were little.
"Dunno yet. Liv said the woman who usually watches Elle for her was busy today and couldn't. She told me she needs to talk to me alone." He started at his feet, "It was her idea to have you watch her."
Monica shook her head in disbelief, "Liv wants me to baby sit?"
"Look, I understand if you don't want to. It was fucking stupid of me to bring her here. You've had way to much shit going on in your life to deal with this."
Monica put her hand out and touched his arm, "Bert, it's alright." She spoke so quietly he had to lean over to hear her, "I want to get to know her." She said looking at the little girl who was now engrossed in a cartoon.
"Are you sure? Monica, really, if you don't want to I can just take her back with me." He looked so confused, "I just didn't know what to do."
"See what Liv wants. Elle can stay here with me. Try to find out what's going on."
Bert still was unsure it was the right thing to do but nodded "Yeah, OK." He turned for the door but stopped, "Are you gonna tell Gerard?"
Monica sighed, "Can't think that far ahead right now. He's in London on tour without Ray or his brother. I don't really want to tell him anything else that could upset him."
"Holy shit, where's Mikey?" Bert didn't know Mikey had stayed with Alicia.
"He and Alicia got married and are on their honeymoon" Monica said as the easiest way to explain.
"Mikey got married and isn't touring with them? Oh fuck. You probably shouldn't tell him." Bert muttered.
"I'll decide later after you find out what Liv's up to, OK?" Monica gave him a slight smile.
Bert turned and walked to the door, "I'll be back to get her as soon as I can."
"She'll be fine here." Monica reassured him. After he was gone she took a seat on the chair next to the sofa.
"Monica what's going on?" Jamia said in a whisper.
"I have no idea. Liv called and told Bert she had to see him. He flew here from California. I guess she told Bert that the woman who usually watched Elle couldn't today." Monica sighed, "Liv said she wanted me to watch her."
"Why the hell would she want you to watch her? What is that woman up to?" She looked over at Elle to make sure she wasn't listening.
Monica shook her head, "I have no idea."
Elle looked away from the TV and saw Monica. She smiled, "Cookie?"
Monica laughed, "Oh Lord, look at that smile."
Jamia had to smile, "She's precious."
Monica stood "Come on Elle, lets go to the kitchen and get you a cookie."
Elle scooted off the sofa and waited for Monica.
"She's not afraid of strangers is she?" Jamia said watching her.
"I would imagine she gets left in either day care or with a baby sitter a lot." Monica guessed. She took Elle's hand and led her to the kitchen. "Sit at the table and I'll get you a cookie and some milk"
"I'm Elle" Her voice was so sweet
"And I'm Monica" She realized she hadn't told her. The little girl was smart.
"Mommyca" She repeated
Monica was momentarily taken back by the way Elle pronounced her name. She regained her composure, "Do you want some milk with your cookie?"
"Yes, peas." She said. Monica smiled at the way she said please.
Moving to the cabinet she took out two cookies then poured a small mug of milk. Elle was watching her closely it was obvious she was wondering about Monica's hand.
When she sat the cookies down then brought over the milk she explained, "My hand it broken."
Elle frowned, "My hand's not."
"Nope, your hand isn't broken." She took a seat at the table and watched as Elle picked up the first cookie and dipped it in the mug of milk. As she ate it gave Monica a chance to really look closely at her.
The child seemed to be well taken care of. Her clothes were worn but clean. Her hair was back in a ponytail. She smiled at Monica then dipped the cookie in the milk again.
"Good cookies?" Monica said
Elle smiled with cookie in her mouth and Monica tried not to laugh.
"Good" she said.
After she had finished the other cookie they both went back into the living room. Jamia still looked very confused, "I just don't understand why"
"Me either" Monica answered. Neither wanted to say too much in front of the little girl. Monica sat down on the sofa by Jamia who had sat up to make room. Another cartoon was on and Elle giggled when she looked at the TV. Monica made room so that she could sit down by her. Instead Elle climbed up in her lap and leaned back. Monica put her arms around her. They watched the cartoon together but soon Elle got sleepy. She snuggled back in Monica's arms and soon her eyes got heavy. She fell asleep within minutes. Monica glanced over at Jamia. "She's so sweet."
Jamia was concerned for her friend, "Something is so wrong." Jamia said lowering her voice.
Monica didn't know what to say. She was holding Gerard's child in her arms and she knew it would be impossible for her not to fall in love with his little girl. Her head was trying to warn her but her heart wasn't listening.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Just a quick note to thank those of you who are still battling FicWad to read this. It means a lot to me. I put a lot of time and effort into this story and the last few weeks have been very disheartening. If at all possible, PLEASE leave a review so I know you are still out there. Thanks so much!!