Chapter Seven I finally get a chance to see what Faith does in Miami. There hasn't been many times where I've been this excited before.
Faith officially moved to Cleveland less than two months ago. The rest of her stuff showed up about three days after she did and now my, or our, house is packed. Even though I don't want to find a new house and move we might have to do just that. There's not enough closet space or room in the bathroom and suddenly Tyler has more toys than will fit in his room.
It was only three and a half weeks before Faith was on a plane to Miami for two days. I wanted to go but two new slayers had arrived and they weren't handling the transition well. That meant Tyler and I had to stay behind but the plan was for us to go with every time we could.
That's why yesterday we got on a plane and flew to Miami for four days. We decided to treat it like a mini vacation since I'd never been there before and I couldn't remember the last time I'd taken that much time off. Faith took that to mean we should go all out so we took a private plane there. She said it would be easier since we wouldn't have any idea how Tyler would react to flying and that way we could relax without other annoying passengers.
We landed just before noon yesterday and went straight to Faith's place. That's when I discovered when she said "place" she actually meant a waterfront house in Key Biscayne. It's way bigger than the house in Cleveland and not only does it have an amazing view but there's a pool, too. Faith has a freaking pool! The whole place is so spacious and I nearly cried when she showed me Tyler's room. She had every detail absolutely perfect, right down to the teddy bear the size of a toddler sitting in the corner.
After a quick lunch, Faith left for the center solo because she had a meeting so Tyler and I got to have a relaxing afternoon poolside. It was a perfect sunny day and I made sure to take a lot of pictures of my little boy in his floppy hat playing with his new toys. Both of us had a great time and I couldn't remember the last time I felt so relaxed. Then Faith came home and made the rest of the day even better.
The day ended with dinner and once Tyler fell asleep, we made love for hours. We fell asleep in each other's arms after and there was a big smile on my face when I closed my eyes.
That smile was not there when I wake up alone in bed but I can't be too mad at her. There's the most beautiful rose on the nightstand and a robe for me is draped over a chair in the corner. I get up and put on the robe and by the time I walk out of the room I can smell breakfast and I hear Faith playing with Tyler.
"You are the smartest little boy, you know that?" I see them playing with blocks on the floor and have to smile. They look so happy together. "You're gonna be a genius."
"That's what I like to think," I say as I walk toward them.
Faith looks up and smiles. "About time you wake up. I just got done making breakfast and it won't be long before we gotta motor."
I hop up on a stool along the counter where my breakfast is and look at my perfectly made eggs, bacon, toast and pancakes. Since Faith moved in with me we've both tried to learn how to cook and she's taken to it more than me.
"Looks pretty good, huh?" Faith comments as she sits Ty down in his highchair and sits next to me. "I'm getting better."
"Yes, you are," I say as I start to eat. "You could've woke me up."
"Nah, you looked too peaceful." She smiles as she eats some bacon. "I was able to get up without waking you and showered before Ty woke up. I gave him a bottle and got him dressed then started on breakfast." She smiles as she looks at Tyler, who's trying to reach for the food. "He really likes some of the toys here. Maybe we can take some with us."
"Because of you the house is stuffed with them." I laugh a little. "There's always gonna be a new toy, you know that, right?"
"And he should always have the best," Faith responds, a little grin plastered on her face. "Come on, we need to eat and get going."
I get to play tourist after we leave the house as Faith points out different buildings and parks as she drives us to the center. It's a good hour drive each way but she claims it's a small price to pay for doing what she loves and having an awesome house. On the drive I also discovered Faith is way too modest and I have a feeling there's a lot she hasn't told me. That much is obvious as soon as we get to the parking lot of her center.
For starter's she always calls it "the center" and never told me the name so imagine my surprise when we pulled into the parking lot of the Lehane Community Center. When I looked to her for any response I could've sworn she was blushing. I wonder who told her to name the place after herself because it's easy to see it wouldn't have been her first choice.
The outside of the place is incredible. There's basically something for people of all ages to do. There's a massive jungle gym, basketball courts and an open area for any number of activities. A few teenagers are playing basketball and they wave to Faith when we get out.
"So everyone knows you, huh?" I ask as I get Tyler out of his car seat. I smirk at her as she walks around the jeep with Ty's diaper bag.
She shakes her head at me. "I'm gonna get this from you all day, aren't I?"
"Probably," I respond. "Are you sure we don't need a stroller?"
Faith nods her head. "There's plenty for him to do in there. If you get tired of holding him, I can do it."
The smile she's giving me is so cute but I don't have time to comment on it now. Faith's busy leading me through the front doors of the center and my mouth drops once we go inside. She really put a lot of money into the place. It looks so open and welcoming. The walls are brightly painted and there are pictures of the kids and activities that were held along the halls. Right by the front desk there's a picture of the groundbreaking: Faith in a hardhat and smiling as she holds the ceremonial shovel.
"That was a big day for a lot of people in the area," a woman behind the front desk says when she notices what I'm looking at, "and then everything was built before you had time to blink."
"B, this is Cass," Faith says quickly and guides me and Ty over to the front desk. "Cass, this is my girlfriend, Buffy, and this little guy is Tyler."
"He is so cute!" she exclaims. "So this is the little family that took you away from here."
I raise an eyebrow because the way this woman is looking at Faith makes me think she tried to go after her at one time. When I turn to Faith she all but confirms it with the look she has and I'm sure she knows what I'm thinking.
"Uh, I'm gonna show them around," Faith says nervously. "Is Johnny here?"
Cass nods. "Came in about a half hour ago."
"Thanks." Faith smiles and turns to me. "Come on, I'll show you my office."
There are so many things I can say at the idea of my Faith, bad-ass slayer Faith, having an office but I stop myself and follow her down a hall and then another until we reach a door that has her name on it. She smiles at me again as she unlocks it and then we walk into a surprisingly simple office.
"Here it is," Faith says as she puts an arm around me. "I used to have more supplies for projects and proposals but Johnny moved some of them to his office."
I nod and smile as she kisses the side of my head. Her office is so warm and inviting with a large window behind her desk. There's a couple paintings on the walls and a chair in each far corner. When I walk around with Tyler I see there's a picture on her desk next to a closed laptop. It's of Ty and me when we were playing outside a few weeks ago. I knew she took the picture but she never showed it to me.
"It was a good shot, wasn't it?" Faith asks as she stands beside me. "I thought it'd be cool to actually have a picture of family to look at when I'm here. Before, it was just internet porn when I got bored."
"Faith!" I swat at her shoulder playfully and she leans in to kiss my cheek. "Do not say that word around him. We want his first word to be non-sweary, remember?"
Faith takes Tyler from me and throws him up in the air, catching him a moment later and making him laugh. "Porn is not a swear word and I think it'd be funny if that's the one he blurts out."
"It so wouldn't."
"What's going on in here?" a man asks as he walks into Faith's office.
"Hey, Johnny," Faith says and I can tell he's a good friend. She looks genuinely happy to see him.
He walks toward us, smiling as Faith continues to make Ty laugh and giggle. "So who are these two then?"
"This is Buffy," Faith says as she places a hand on my back, "and this is Tyler. B, this is Johnny. He runs the show when I'm gone . . . and sometimes when I'm here, too."
I shake his hand once he reaches us and look him over a little. He's tall with dark hair, brown eyes and a perfect smile. My mind instantly goes to that he could be an ex and I can't help but meddle a little until I get an answer that will stop the jealousy that's threatening to form. "So how long have you worked here?"
"Since the beginning," he says with a smile as he looks from Faith and Tyler to me. "My wife is Faith's accountant. We met when I showed up at the office to take Angela to lunch and they were ending a meeting."
"I was just getting the funds together to get this place built and Angela mentioned Johnny here had experience working at community centers and running all the services they offer." Faith grins. "I still think she just wanted to get you out of the house."
Johnny laughs. "Could be. Then again, you needed the help."
"True," Faith says and looks to me. "He's the one who showed me how to get everything set up, who to hire and what kind of services we should provide."
"I bet you could tell me a lot of Faith stories then," I say, smirking slightly.
"There's not enough time in the day."
Faith raises an eyebrow. "There will no telling of stories unless I approve of them first."
I put an arm around my girlfriend and smile. I won't lie, it's a little funny to see her slightly uncomfortable. "It's no fun if you approve them, baby."
She groans. "No fun for you maybe." She looks at Johnny and points a finger. "No telling her stuff I might have to hurt you for later."
Johnny puts his hands up in surrender but laughs. "Yes, ma'am."
"I'm gonna show these two around the rest of the center and maybe have Buffy sit in on one of the mommy and me classes. First meeting is in an hour and a half, right?"
"Right." Johnny smiles at me. "It was great to finally meet you and the little one here. Hopefully, we'll be seeing more of you."
"I hope so, too." I know I'm not gonna get any stories about Faith and what she does right now but I know I will eventually so I just go with what Faith wants. "Okay, let's go see the rest of your amazing center."
I can't begin to describe how incredible of a person Faith is after today. I didn't think I could love her any more but I do after today.
We walked through the entire building, Faith telling me what classes and activities were taking place and introducing me to the people who worked or volunteered there. Once we were through with the initial tour Tyler and I went to a mommy and me class while Faith had a meeting and it was so much fun. Ty doesn't get to be around many babies and toddlers and I can tell he enjoyed being there.
But the most amazing part? That was after we had lunch in the cafeteria. That was when I got to see how Faith helps out firsthand.
She helps out with the kids' activities, basically acting as a volunteer for whoever was teaching or even just playing with them. I watched how she interacted with the kids, how they responded to her, and fell even more in love with her. Sure, I was a little annoyed she kept how good with kids she is from me but the experience more than made up for it. She was a natural with the kids.
After our long day we picked up dinner and made our way back to the house. We ate and Tyler was exhausted so he was asleep before I could even put him down in his crib. Now it's just me and Faith.
When I walk out of Tyler's room and to the living room, I notice Faith's sitting out by the pool with a beer on the table next to her. She's changed into a tank top and shorts and is concentrating on the water in front of her. It's easy to see why she wanted us to live here.
"It's so beautiful," I say quietly when I reach her.
"Not a bad way to end a day," she responds before taking my arm and pulling me onto her lap. "What did you think?"
I give her a soft kiss. "About what?"
She smiles. "Any of it."
"I think you've done something so wonderful here," I say quietly. "Those kids love you."
"Yunno, when we figured it was the Mayor that left all this money for me I knew I had to do something good with it." Faith sighs quietly and I feel her tighten her hold on me. "He would've wanted me to be stupid with it or use it to continue to go after you and everyone else. I couldn't do that. I had to use it for something else, something better."
"So why a community center? Why not just give it away?"
"I wanted to put it into something I could do," Faith says. "I always thought if I had a place like that to go to when I was younger maybe things would've been different. I mean, some of these kids who go there . . . it's 'cause they don't have anyone. Some of 'em are in foster care, some just have crap parents who want them out of the house. Because of the center they can have someone to be there if they need it."
I place a hand on her cheek to get her to look at me. "I love you so much."
"I love you, too, Buffy," Faith nearly whispers. "I'll do anything for you and Ty."
"And we'll always be here." We kiss again and it's soft and gentle. "Let's go inside."
Faith grins as I stand up and take her hand, pulling her up as well. I think it's time for me to show her just how much she means to me.
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Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Chapter Eleven || Chapter Twelve || Chapter Thirteen || Chapter Fourteen || Epilogue
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