(Authors Note: to understand the meaning of the title of this chapter, listen to Creed's "With Arms Wide Open". The lead singer wrote it for his son. You can download it off Napster or write to me for the lyrics.)
Her knee length floral print dress flowed in the breeze of the outdoor club. Brian swayed her, spun her, and cascaded her around the dance floor. The Caribbean music set the mood and the two swayed to the beat. Both could dance and both enjoyed it.
Taylor had cashed in a favor with the old lady in the apartment next to hers and she was watching Tommy for the night. The day had been full of emotions. Brian spent the rest of the day with her class, signing autographs and telling stories. He told them of the many places he had traveled and inspired at least a dozen kids to become singers. She had agreed to meet him that night at the place they were at now. She hurriedly got dressed as Tommy ran around the house, hyper from too much candy. She had kissed his sticky cheek, dropped him off with old Mrs. Thorton, and here she was.
Brian and Taylor danced late into the night, enjoying each otherís company and talking about their lives. Taylor didn't tell him about Tommy. She would wait for the right moment. It was a very big thing to dump on someone all at once that they had a three year old son.
She thought he never looked better than he did that night in the moonlight. His dirty blonde hair was tousled and still wet from his shower. The silk shirt he wore accented his tan and nice body. His smile lit up the night. She didn't know that he was thinking the same thing, that he was falling in love with her all over again...
Brian walked her to her door like a true gentleman, much to her dismay. She knew he wanted to come in, and she knew she wanted him to come in, but that would cause an unavoidable run in with Tommy, something she was not ready for.
"I had a really good time tonight." he murmured, nuzzling her neck and shooting chills up and down her spine.
"I did too..." she closed her eyes, allowing his gentle caresses to comfort her.
He kissed her, gentle at first, but then steamier and more passionate. They were getting really into it. He had one hand on the door.
Shit Taylor froze. Tommy was standing there, looking tiny and adorable in his footsie pajamas. Mrs. Thorton was standing beside him.
Brian looked at him, then back at her. "You have a kid?" his voice was pained, it hurt him too much to look at her. If she had a kid, then she had a husband, a family...
Taylor knew what he was thinking. "Take a close look at him, Brian." she said softly.
Brian turned around and examined the child in front of him. Tommy looked like a baby picture of himself. Brian's eyes grew wide. Tommy nervously sucked his thumb. "Jesus..."
He turned to Taylor. "He's mine?" he gulped nervously.
"Yea." Taylor tried to read his eyes, see what he was thinking. She was scared he would leave again after he found out...
Brian's eyes filled with tears. "I have a son?"
Taylor nodded. Brian squatted down to Tommy's level and looked him in the eye.
"Hey little guy, whatís your name?" he tried to control his emotions.
Tommy said nothing, suddenly shy of this stranger in front of him.
"His name is Thomas Kyndal Littrell. We call him Tommy." Taylor put in, placing a hand on Tommy's shoulder. "It's okay baby, you can talk to him.Ē she reassured Tommy.
Brian's voice cracked. "You gave him my last name?"
Brian started to cry.
"Booboo?" Tommy asked, quietly.
"What did you say?" Brian asked his son.
"You have booboo? Cause I cry when I have booboo."
Brian smiled through his tears. "No, I don't have a booboo."
Tommy brightened. "Okay. Wanna listen to my tape?"
"Ok we play Long you love me first!"
Brian shot Taylor a confused look.
"I wanted you to be with him in some sense. He listens to your tape every night."
It comforted Brian to know that he had been in Tommyís life in some way. When they got inside, Brian sang Tommy ďAs Long as you love meĒ and the little boy sat unbelievably still and listened to his father sing. Brian ran his hand through Tommy's blonde curls, the same color his had been as a baby.
"Uh huh." Tommy muffled, sucking his thumb.
"Can I tell you a secret?"
His blue eyes brightened. "Yea!"
Brian took a big breath. "I'm your daddy."
Tommy stared at him.
Brian gulped nervously. Maybe this wasn't the right thing to do...
Tommy broke out in a wide grin, like Brian's. "I have a daddy?"
Brian nodded and the little boy jumped into his arms. "Yea! I have a daddy now. My friend Dylan has a daddy. His daddy teach him how to play basketball. Will you teach me how play basketball since you my daddy now?"
Brian grinned. "You're in luck."
"Daddy look at my booboo." Brian felt his eyes grow misty again when he called him daddy. It felt so good. Tommy lifted his shirt and revealed a small scrape on his side. "I fell off my bike. I cried then but I'm a big boy I don't cry now."
"You wanna see my booboo, Tommy?" Brian asked. Tommy nodded. Brian lifted up his shirt and revealed the long scar across his chest.
Tommy stared at it. "Thatís a big booboo. Did you fall off your bike?"
"No. There was something wrong with my heart and they had to look at it to fix it."
"Did you cry?"
"It better now?"
He nodded again.
Taylor stood in the doorway, trying not to cry. She had no idea Brian would want Tommy to know that he was his father. They had bonded so easily and quickly. She hoped with all her heart that Brian wouldn't run. It would be traumatizing for Tommy to find and loose his father so quickly. Brian was singing to him and soon they both were asleep, out like a light. They looked adorable and Taylor ran to get her camera and took a picture. She covered them both with a blanket and kissed them each on the forehead. Turning off the light, she tiptoed out the room and shut the door. Suddenly, an unfamiliar ringing came through the house.
She traced the sound to the kitchen counter, where Brian had left his wallet and cell phone. She debated whether or not to answer it, but decided to since she didn't want the boys to wake up.
Silence, then a click.
Shrugging, she hung up the phone, just as it began to ring again.
"Hello?" her voice held a hint of agitation.
"Um.. is this Brian's cell phone?" a somewhat surprised sounding male voice asked.
"Yes it is."
"Uhh can I talk to him?"
"He's asleep, do you want me to take a message?"
"No thatís okay.... hey who is this?"
"This is Taylor, I'm a friend of Brian's."
"Okay. Later." He hung up and Taylor went to bed.
Nick Carter stared at the phone. Brian's "friend" had answered the phone and Brian was "asleep". Brian had actually gotten play? Since his divorce to Leighanne, Brian had stayed pretty much to himself. Nick thought he was too young to settle down and was glad but surprised that Brian was playing the field. The only thing was that for the life of him he couldn't think of any actresses, dancers, or models named Taylor. Nick hoped she wasn't a hooker.