We Can't Run From Fate

Jack had never given much thought to the mark on his wrist, the one that told him he had a soulmate out in the world. He was always more the one night stand than soulmate kinda guy. One thing he never expected though was to find his match in Alex Gaskarth, a twenty something single dad just trying to give the best life he can to his daughter.

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15. Chapter 14

On the morning of the court appearance Alex was a nervous wreck. Jack had offered to take Grace to preschool because Alex was in no condition to drive. When Jack got back Alex was sat on the bed, he appeared to have stopped halfway through getting dressed.  

“‘Lex? Are you okay?”

Alex’s breathing just hitched as he tried to speak.

“Shit Alex, calm down, okay?”

Jack sank down beside his boyfriend and rubbed his back, trying to think of something to comfort him.

“Just breathe okay?”

It took a few moments but Alex’s shallow breaths started to even out.

“Feeling a bit better?” Jack asked.

Alex nodded.

“Thanks,” he said, his voice still a bit shaky.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Jack asked, rubbing Alex’s back just glad he could breathe again.

“I don’t… I don’t know if I can do this,” he said.

“It’s going to be okay, nothing bad is going to happen. I promised you, remember?”

“I wish I could believe that,” Alex mumbled.

Jack wrapped his arm tightly around Alex’s waist, holding him tight to his side.

“It won’t and I’ll tell you why, you’re an amazing father and they’d be fucking crazy not see that. You’ve brought up a beautiful little girl all on your own and hell you’ve taught me how to be a better person.”

Alex smiled and put his head on Jack’s shoulder.

“Thank you.”

“We better get moving though, being ten minutes late isn’t really an option today.”

Alex nodded and picked up his shirt off the chair to continue getting dressed. Jack kissed his boyfriend temple as he walked past to the bathroom.

 

As Jack got ready, doing his hair and brushing his teeth he could hear Alex quietly singing in their bedroom. Jack opened the door slightly as to hear him better. Since he’d pretty much moved in with Alex he’d learnt the boy could sing and often didn’t even realise he was doing it.

“Jack I can see you, you now,” Alex said.

He hadn’t realised he was pressed up against the door watching Alex as he sang.

“Sorry, you’re really good,” he said.

Alex blushed and tucked away from the door so Jack couldn’t see.

“Hey, come back here.”

Jack went through to the bedroom, his shirt still undone and toothpaste on his chin. He wrapped his arm around Alex’s waist and placed a kiss on his neck.

“Stop hiding, you’re really good” Jack said.

“I’m not,” Alex mumbled.

“You’re great. I’d love to hear you sing more,” Jack said.

“Maybe another time,” Alex replied.

Jack started kissing up Alex’s neck, until Alex suddenly pulled away.

“Shit Jack, we’re going to be late!”

“No we’re not we’re going to be fine,” Jack reassured him.

“It’s already ten to! We’ve got to be there by quarter past.”

“Shit.”

Alex started panicking again and couldn’t manage to tie his tie with shaking hands. Jack saw him struggling and took over, tying it for the boy before placing a kiss on his forehead.

“We’ll be fine, look we’re ready,” Jack said, straightening his own tie.

Alex sighed and took Jack’s hand, giving him a small smile. He still felt like he could throw up through nerves but he was ever thankful for having Jack by his side, there was no way he would be able to go through it alone.


 

They did in fact arrive in time, even if they had to run up the stairs to the courtroom. Mr and Mrs Taylor were waiting for them outside, all dressed up and looking as miserable as ever. They didn’t even say hello as the boys approached, though Alex’s grip on Jack’s hand got a little tighter.

“If you’d like to go through, the case is about to start.”

All of them were lead through into courtroom, family court matters were never public so it would only be them and the Taylor’s attorney. Alex hadn’t wanted one, it was his job to defend his daughter and plus it wasn’t like he could afford it and he wasn’t about to let Jack pay. He was always already covering most of the rent.  

They were all lead to their seats in front of the judge, the Taylor’s sat next to their fancy attorney why only Jack was sat by Alex’s side.

Alex wasn’t really pay attention as the case was introduced, he was too busy trying to force himself not to throw up. He didn’t think it would be the best impression if his breakfast made a reappearance.

“What is the accusation?” the Judge asked.

Their Judge was a older lady with greying hair that had a similarity to Judge Judy.

“Mr and Mrs Taylor are accusing Mr Alexander Gaskarth of keeping their granddaughter, a Miss Grace Gaskarth aged 4 and 10 months, from them on an unsound reason.”

Jack muttered a quiet “Bullshit.” under the breath and Alex gave a weak smile.

“Mr Gaskarth, what do you have to say in your defence?” the Judge asked.

Alex took a deep breath and stood up, Jack gave him a reassuring smile and squeezed his hand.    

“I had not seen the Taylor family since the day my daughter was born, they have never tried to contact me or show any kind of interest in Grace until now. I asked for their help on more than one occasion when money was short but they ignored my pleas. I don’t want my daughter to have anything to do with a family they have cared so little about her that they’ve been willing to let her go hungry when it suited them.”

Alex finished and sat back in his seat and felt Jack put a reassuring arm around his shoulders. He’d got over the words so many times in his head that he’d felt more like an actor but it was over, he’d played his part and now it was up to the Judge.

“Taylors’ do you have anything to add to your accusation?” the Judge asked.

Jack was about to sigh with relief when Mrs Taylor stood up, he bit his lip and held Alex’s hand a little tighter.

“Alexander is lying, we’ve been trying to get in contact for a long time but he has been hiding from us. Trying to keep the only thing left of our daughter Megan away from her family. Not only that but he lives in a horrible, unclean apartment and treats his daughter no better an animal!”

Jack’s mouth fell open, how could anyone say such things? He had to stop himself from going over there and screaming at the woman.

“Mr Gaskarth, is this true?” the Judge asked.

“Of… Of course not,” Alex replied, his voice shaking.

The Judge sighed and looked at both families in turn, the Taylor’s smiling to themselves and the boy obviously trying not to burst into tears in a court of law.

“I can’t leave such serious accusations unchecked. I will appoint a social services visit to the home of Grace Gaskarth and we will return after.”

The Judge banged her hammer and Jack felt Alex all but collapsed into his side.

“Okay, let’s get you out of here.”

Jack took Alex’s arm and lead him out of the courtroom, careful to stay as far away from the Taylor’s as possible. He knew if he saw their swung faces he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from punching them.

 

Alex was silent all the way to car, it wasn’t until he got into the passenger seat and closed the door that he broke down.

“I… I’m going to lose her,” he sobbed, covering his face with his hands.

“No you’re not. You’re an amazing dad Alex, they wouldn’t ever think of taking her away. Once they see how badly they were lying they’ll throw them out of that courtroom with a tail between their legs,” Jack said, putting his arm around Alex to try and comfort him.

“You think so?” he sniffed.

“You’re the best dad in the world, they’d be blind not to see that. They’re lying because they know they’d never win honestly, you’re better than this ‘Lex.”

Alex lent his head against Jack’s chest and felt him kiss the top of his head.

“It’s all going to be okay. Now how about we go pick Grace up from school and go get some ice cream?” Jack asked.

Alex nodded and sat up, looking at Jack with his tired, bloodshot eyes Jack just wished he take all that pain away.

“Nothing bad is going to happen. I promised.”

“I believe you.”

Jack smiled and leant forward to place a sweet kiss on Alex’s lips. He was going to make everything okay if it killed him, because Alex deserved that.

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