Tattoo: Blazing Black Ace on left shoulder
DAY TWOHot-headed: Argued with Zelda about custody.
Jesse had Xander come over and do a tattoo on his shoulder of a blazing Ace of Spades in honor of his son. He struggled a little bit still with taking care of the kid, but he was really getting the hang of this whole single-dad thing!
“Today's your birthday, Ace!” Jesse said, snuggling his little son to his chest. “Red tells me everything's about to change again!”
Ace just looked up at him and cooed.
Jesse had just gone outside to hang up the damn Christmas lights when his phone started ringing. Stepping off the ladder, he answered it, “Hello?”
“Hey Jesse, it's me," Zelda said sweetly over the line.
Jesse cringed. Why was Zelda calling out of the blue? He hadn't heard from her since he walked out with Ace.
"I was wondering if I could come over and see the baby.”
Jesse hedged. He wasn't sure if he wanted her back in his life...
But... she was Ace's mom. He'd probably want to know her later in his life...
“Fine,” he said with exasperation. “I'm throwing Ace a party tonight. You can come.”
“Oh goodie!” she cooed. “This is going to be so wonderful!”
“Yeah, sure,” he said, clicking off the phone. F-ing wonderful. He glared at the lights on the ground. “Any chance you're going to jump up and put yourself on this miserable shack?” he asked with frustration. Didn't think so, he thought sourly.
An hour and much cussing later, the Christmas lights were hung.
At the birthday party, Jesse was having a good time with the gang. Then Zelda arrived.
Red pointed her finger at him as she glared at the blonde. “What's she doing here?” she asked him in a scathing voice.
Jesse shrugged. “She wanted to see Ace. I thought it was a good idea at the time.”
Red snorted and turned to talk to Ayesha.
Jesse sighed as he walked over to greet Zelda, but she was already walking to the crib and grabbing Ace. “Let's get this party going!” she announced as she took Ace over to the cake.
Jesse was floored. He'd wanted to be the one to blow the candles out with Ace! Hadn't he earned it by changing a million diapers? F-ing Zelda, he thought as he gritted his teeth.
Of course, his friends completely ignored Zelda and kept talking like she hadn't said a word. Figures, he thought. Ace's birthday party was completely ruined and it was all Zelda's fault.
“Oh God, he REEKS!” Zelda said, holding her nose and practically dropping Ace to the floor.
Jesse hurried over and grabbed Ace, feeling his diaper. He shot Zelda a glare, saying "He's right here, Zelda! He can HEAR you!”
“So? Like he'll remember it!” Zelda snapped, rolling her eyes.
Man, why had he invited her? he thought once again. “Great. Well, thanks for coming over. It was nice seeing you again," he said sarcastically, hoping she'd get the hint and leave.
Zelda hesitated. “Actually,” she glanced nervously over at his friends. “I was kind of hoping you might want to... you know... do joint custody.” She hurriedly continued on. "Ilianna says that I should request joint custody to make sure that the baby's being raised right..."
Jesse stared at Zelda as though she'd grown a second-head. “No way, Zelda. You waived your rights. He's my son. You can visit every now and then, but that's it.”
“That's not FAIR!” Zelda yelled as she stomped her foot. “Why do YOU get him?” Everyone stopped to stare.
“Look, you made your decision. You were going to give him up for adoption. I chose to keep him and raise him," Jesse said, lowering his voice and holding Ace a little bit tighter. “We've been doing just fine without you or Ilianna."
Zelda pouted as Jesse moved away to talk to the others. She didn't stick around too much longer after that. Jesse could feel everyone breath a sigh of relief when she left.
"Before I forget, here's some hand-me-downs," Red said as she handed Jesse a present. Shrugging, she added, “It's not much. Just some old toys that my daughter outgrew. Thought Ace would like 'em.”
“Thanks, Red! He'll love them!”
Soon everyone was gone and Jesse sat down to enjoy the cake. But it was quiet. Too quiet...
“Ace?” he called out with worry. All of a sudden he was worried that Zelda had nabbed the kid...
Jumping up, he ran around the room, looking for his son, his fear jacked up.
Then he heard it. A giggle.
Relief slammed into him and he almost sank to his knees. “Ace, where are you bud?”
Another giggle and Jesse turned in the direction he'd heard it. Oh man, the toy chest Red gave them! Jesse hurried over and scooped up Ace, then tickled him. “You had me worried, Ace! I thought I'd lost you!"
Before long, the babysitter Red had recommended arrived and it was time for Jesse to head to work. Man, he hated leaving the kid with someone else... especially after his scare tonight.
He did a few side jobs for Red and then took it easy the rest of the night. No use taking crazy risks. He had a kid to take care of!
When Jesse came home and saw the Christmas lights lit up, it made him feel real proud. The place wasn't so much of a shack anymore. He was making it a home for him and the kid.