Chapter 11

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Grayson

I stood outside her job and waited for her to come out. She immediately smiled when she saw me. That was a good sign. I opened her door and she scooted in. "So, how was the rest of your day?" I asked just to have something to say. "Well, it was definitely less eventful than the beginning of my day. No revelations about my past during work." She told me. I laughed along with her. "I guess that's good then, because I want to be the only one turning your world upside down." "Yeah, me too."

I drove her to the street where I always parked. The one kind of hidden around the corner from her apartment. "Do you have a couple minutes?" I asked. "Not really. My Foster Mom has to leave for work. So, I need to take care of the girls. I'm sorry. I really wish I could sit here and talk with you all night." "Yeah, me too. But it's okay. We will have plenty of time. And don't forget to call If you want to talk, and definitely if you need me to take care of Hank for you."  That put a big smile on her face. "I will. I haven't actually had to see him since that night. I got a lock on my door and me and the girls have been going to the room early so we don't have to run into him." "Oh good, that makes me feel better. I am just staying in a R.V. at that spot that overlooks the ocean, about 5 minutes away." "That is so cool. You can drive your house around." "It really is. I needed it when I was looking for you. I didn't want to go from one hotel to the next. It was the perfect solution."

"Well, I really have to go. Thank you for the ride Grayson. And for everything else today. And especially for finding me." She looked down and away as she said it. "Hey, Amber, I would have traveled the whole world looking for you. It was really no problem at all. I'm just glad I found you." She looked in my eyes and nodded. "I like that name, Amber. It feels right." "Oh, man, I slipped again. Force of habit. You sure you don't mind?" "Yeah, we can just tell people it's a pet name. You know, like we have gotten nauseatingly cute all of a sudden." She told me. "Perfect."

I missed her already when she left the car. It was hard to lose the connection I felt when she was nearby. It was like a security blanket. I didn't have it for the last 3 years, and now that I did, I never wanted to be away from her. I drove to my place. I knew she would call if anything went wrong. I just had to trust that. I did school work and then took care of some business. I couldn't wait until tomorrow. I called my Dad and updated him. I decided to bring my little photo album tomorrow. She needed to see what her parents looked like. And maybe the pictures would help her memory. At around  ten, my cell rang. I picked it up immediately, hoping there wasn't anything wrong. "Hi Grayson. I, um, just wanted to tell you goodnight." Her voice was so beautiful to me. I smiled immediately. "I hope you have a good night Amber. Sleep well." And then she was gone.

The next day, I drove to her apartment and hoped to catch her before she left. When she came out with the girls, she spotted me in the Jeep. "I have to walk them to preschool. You don't have car seats. So, can you meet me there?" She pointed to the building that I had suspected was their school. I drove there and waited for her to get them settled in.  I waited by her door, so I could open it for her. "You don't have to do that Grayson. You are such a gentleman. Thank you. And thanks for the ride." "I don't mind at all. It really beats stalking you. So tomorrow, can I just pick you up here?" "That would be perfect."

Today she was wearing a red shirt and no hoodie. Her hair was curled again. "You look really nice today. I brought you something to look at. It's a little photo album." "Oh my God! Are you serious? Are my parents in there?" She asked. "Yep!" I watched as her face brightened. Her colors were vibrant with excitement. I handed it to her. She took it reverently without touching my hand. She held it up to her chest and closed her eyes. When I looked over, I noticed they were filled with tears. I didn't mean to make her cry. "I'm sorry, is it too soon?" I asked concerned. "No!" She held the album tighter to her chest like she was afraid I would take it away. "Sorry, I'm just so happy. All I've wanted for the last three years was to know something about my parents. This goes way beyond my hopes. I can't thank you enough."

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