Even Maritza had her new "special friend," Dr. Wyman. Maritza refused to concede that they were dating, even though they were romantically involved and saw each other as often as their schedules allowed. She worried about the impression it would send Darryl, Jr.
Haley rocked the tiny newborn in her arms. "She's perfect, Ian." She glanced up at her brother with a sad smile. "I wish Mom and Dad were here to see it."
Ian nodded, reaching out to toy with Sally's small fingers. "Me too," he agreed quietly.
Shaking her head slightly, Haley turned and smiled at her sister-in-law Cecelie. "Do you want me to show you where the crib is?" she asked.
Cecelie sighed thankfully. "Oh that would be great! I almost brought our playpen, but Ian told me that you'd probably have something here we could use."
Haley laughed, "And more!"
"Mom got me some dress up clothes! I've been pretending to be an astronaut-prince-assassin!"
Ian chuckled. "Whoa, that sounds pretty serious!" He glanced up and saw Rio. "Oh my gosh! You're grown since I saw you last! What are they feeding you?!"
Rio nodded towards Ian. He'd tried, but he'd never quite been able to pretend that Ian was his uncle, too. Even though Ian had been nothing but nice & trying to include him whenever they did something with Jason.
Rio glanced across the room and grimaced. Great, Shaye was here.
Thankfully he was saved from having to answer any other questions when Tia Haley called out for everyone's attention.
"My own video game console? Awesome!" Rio said, surprised when he opened the box.
When she saw that she had his attention, she smiled. "My Rio!" she told him, then glanced towards Shaye. "My Daddy!"
Rio turned his gaze to Shaye and shared a smile. Then, realizing he was smiling at the man who'd abandoned him and his mom, he frowned and turned a cold shoulder.
"You're welcome, babe," he said with a smile. He happened to glance towards Rachel at that moment and saw the sour look on her face. Maybe having a shared holiday wasn't the best idea. He'd thought that they were all mature enough to share the holiday with Shaylynn.
Across the room, Clinton glared daggers at him. "Open my present, Rachel," he said, pointing to the blue and orange striped box. "For our three-month anniversary."
Rose rolled her eyes. "Why not? You brought your boyfriend."
"Yeah, but it's different! This is my house!" Rachel argued.
Rose just shrugged. "I guess."
Disgruntled, Rachel glanced back over at Shaye. Normally she would've had this conversation with Haley and Haley would've taken her side. But, she and Haley weren't speaking right now.
Grabbing Shaye's elbow, she hissed in his ear, "Can I talk to you outside, please?"
Shaye sighed and let Rachel lead him outside.
Shaye sighed. "Look, Haley said it wouldn't be a problem since you were bringing your boyfriend."
"Of course Haley would say that," she muttered darkly.
"I do not flit!" Rachel growled, crossing her arms.
"What?" she pressed him impatiently. "Spit it out!"
"I don't think our co-parenting situation is working. You're hardly ever at the drop-offs and pick-ups. I usually see Haley."
"So?" she asked nervously. "What I do on my time isn't your concern."
"Yeah, but it concerns Shaylynn and that concerns me," he said sharply. "Look, I think I should have full custody. I discussed it with Kea and we were going to file the paperwork after the start of the new year."
"Aw, Rach. Come on, you don't even want to be a Mom. You want to go out and have fun!" Shaye said, trying to convince her why Shaylynn would be better off with him.
Shaye held his hands up. "Then I guess we'll have to let the courts decide," he said sadly, awkwardly adding. "I'm really sorry." He headed inside to tell Kea it was time to go.
Rose bit her lip. "Are you sure that's not what you want?" she asked cautiously.
"Why does everyone keep asking me that?!" she ranted angrily. "Of course that's not what I want!"
"Okay. Okay! I just had to ask!" Rose said. "If he files, I'll represent you. But, he might not actually do it, so don't get yourself worked up about it."