Vivian used all the energy she had left to choke out, “My stomach hurts…”
“Your stomach? Why does your stomach hurt? Was it the piece of paper?” Completely clueless, Finnick desperately looked around for the possible cause of her sudden illness, checking the paper to see if there had been any hidden tricks on it.
But there was nothing.
“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Just as Finnick was starting to panic, a small figure swung open the door and ran inside.
“You…” Finnick stared at Larry in disbelief.
What did he just call her? Why is he here?
He couldn’t get a single word out of his mouth, holding his breath as he watched to see how Vivian would react.
“I’m okay.” She instantly reverted back to normal, regaining her composure as if nothing had happened.
Finnick’s brain short-circuited.
Didn’t she say that her stomach hurts? Why is she completely fine all of a sudden?
“Larry.” Vivian narrowed her eyes at her son, waiting for him to explain the situation to her.
The little boy kept his eyes on the floor, too scared to meet her gaze. “Um…”
She lifted his chin with one hand, making him look right at her as she asked, “What’s going on here? Why did you kidnap yourself?”
Larry’s mouth fell open in surprise. “How did you know, Mommy?”
“You tried to change your handwriting on purpose, but every time you write the letter ‘S’, you add an extra curve in it.”
Vivian had recognized his handwriting as soon as she saw the piece of crumpled paper and instantly got the idea to pretend to be sick to lure him out.
Larry listened to his mommy intently, getting frustrated at himself for not remembering to change his writing habits.
Awkwardly scratching his head, he braced himself for Vivian’s scolding as he internally swore to improve his handwriting so that no one else would ever be able to recognize his habits.
Vivian was entirely clueless as to how Larry could have come up with the plan to get himself kidnapped, but asking him now wouldn’t help matters. She would make sure to settle this at home.
But Finnick, standing off at one side as he observed Vivian and Larry’s interactions, seemed to have a sudden revelation as he grabbed ahold of Larry’s arm.
“What did you just call her?” he demanded. The little boy’s face looked eerily similar to him, further fueling his suspicions.
If this child is really my own son…
“I called her ‘Mommy’,” Larry replied, tilting his head to one side in confusion.
Behind them, Vivian lifted a hand to massage one side of her temples.
She had been so focused on pretending to be sick to draw Larry out of hiding that she’d completely forgotten that Finnick was here with her.
This was the worst possible scenario to be stuck in, but there was no way she could get herself out of it now.
“Um… little pumpkin…” Vivian was about to say something when Finnick abruptly hugged the boy into his arms.
Finnick had actually noted how alike he and Larry looked since the first time he met him, but he was too busy wooing Vivian to think too much about it back then. Besides, there was no way that he could have a child.
But now, after hearing Larry call Vivian “Mommy”, he was absolutely positive that Larry was his son.
Excitement and guilt crashed down upon him like a tsunami.
So, the baby that Vivian was pregnant with was really mine. Why didn’t I believe her?
Something was wrong. He had to investigate the incident from several years ago much more thoroughly.
Larry was a bit taken aback by how carefully Finnick held him. The foreign feeling of being loved and protected by a father for the first time in his life felt wonderful to the little boy, and he burst out in tears.
“Daddy, why did you only re-appear after so long? Why did you get into a fight with Mommy?” Larry was still young and had no idea of what had happened before he was born, but even he could tell that there were cracks in his parents’ relationship.
Otherwise, there was no way that they wouldn’t get back together.