Chris wasn't sure why he hadn't thought of it sooner. He just hadn't gotten around to telling anyone in his family about Chloe. It wasn't like it was a secret. Exactly. He didn't think. Not until his mother showed up.
"Why would you hide this from us?" She look disappointed, but it was a look he got often. Really, it was more of her usual self. Naturally, she had one of his sisters along for the ride too. Thank God, she hadn't brought his father along. As it was, they didn't really speak. Not in a long time. Well, they could, but it just wasn't in the genes perhaps. While his sisters chatted nonstop. So much to talk about. Chris seldom got in a word.
"I just thought-" He looked around at the mess of clothes in the livingroom that they were in the process of folding. The dinner dishes were left on the table even though they'd eaten a little while ago. So much for Max being the neat freak. "This-' he couldn't tell them it was a bad time. They just wanted to see the baby. "Well, come in."
He was frazzled as it was, and he knew this would be more of a headache than anything, but he'd do his best and smile and listen and go on with things as he always had.
"Chloe's in here," he said he walked them into the nursery. He just wasn't sure what to say next. Max was off in the kitchen trying to get supper put away and the dishes ready for the dishwasher. He was scrubbing on a pot.
"Oh, isn't she pretty, how on earth, did you do it?" His mother wanted to know.
He looked around and wish Max was here to say something, but he wasn't.
"Well," he nursed his bottom lip for a bit and stammered around for the words to come. "She was at the church, actually. And-and it just seemed the right thing to do." He let out a small sigh then, hoping that it was sufficient of an explanation.
"But you didn't tell me? Why didn't you tell?" She smiled as if she was happy to hold her.
"I'm sorry, just everything just ugh, I've been busy." He was sure if he'd gone to her first she would have talked him out of it. Maybe that was why. Well, there was the Max factor to consider as well.
"You could have called," his sister shot a look at him that he was in trouble.
"I know, and I'm sorry I didn't." He looked up and there was Max in the doorway.
"Well, it might have been my fault," Max said with an open hand ready for a shake. "I'm Max."
"Max?" His mother looked at him.
"Yeah, Max actually found Chloe," Chris said very quietly, "And, and we've decided we're going to raise her."
"You can do that?" His mother looked at Chris then.
"Yeah, I think so." Chris nodded rather casual. He noticed his sister Carol was giving Max the look over.
"Max is the pastor over at Serenity. He's a nurse, too." Chris told her.
"A nurse?" Carol seemed impressed. "Mom, you always wanted one of us to meet someone in the medical field?"
"Well, I suppose that's-that's nice to have somebody around like that with a baby." She cuddled Chloe. She kept watching the baby.
"Mom, I don't think I would have ever thought about doing something like this if it weren't for Max." Chris then told her, but he wasn't sure she was listening.
"Look, I'm going to go through the kids clothes, and I'll bring you the good stuff, OK?" Carol smiled. "Its really great to meet you, Max." She gave Max a hug and then she hugged Chris. "Really, I'm so proud, Chris. I really am."