Standing outside the building so tall, she couldn’t tilt her head back far enough to see the top, her stomach lurched.
“It may seem ominous from out here, but I promise you, nothing bad will happen to you here.” Vincent reached out and took her small hand in his own.
Sparrow looked at his hand. The way her small hand almost disappeared in it made her raise a brow as she tried to remember the last time someone with such a large hand held onto hers.
A lot had been lost to her in such a small amount of time. She had lost her father, not that she had ever truly felt as though she had him, she had lost her mother, and her home, and she imagined living on the other side of the city meant she was also losing her school and whatever routine she had left in her life.
Taking in a deep breath, she let him lead her inside.
The heavy glass doors slid open when Vincent held a little black circle on his key chain up to in. Inside, a smiling man nodded at them. “Hello Mr. King.”
“Hello Joseph, how are things?”
“Well sir, very well.” He responded. His gaze dropped and he looked down at the Sparrow. “And who is this beauty?”
Extending her hand, she shook his and gave him the best smile she could muster under the circumstances. “Sparrow Wilde, sir.”
Smiling down at her, he looked at Vincent. “How polite.”
Vincent and Joseph spoke to one another for a few moments before Vincent ushered her away and into a large elevator that’s walls were made up of mirrors. She tried not to stare at the reflection of herself, afraid that if she saw herself standing there next to this man she barely knew holding a small suitcase will all she owned inside, she would break down and cry.
The elevator moved quickly, and before she knew it they were on the floor labeled PH.
The elevators opened up into a small siting area. There were leather chairs on both sides and then three steps leading down into the apartment. There was no door, she noted. The elevator door were the front doors to this man’s apartment, she realized.
“Your bedroom is down the hall to the right there. There is a full bath there, it will be just yours and Harrison and I will use the bathroom upstairs.” Taking her small suitcase from her hands, he walked down the hall.
Sparrow didn’t follow him, she just stood at the top of the steps looking around.
A little boy with dirty blonde hair and steel-blue eyes popped out from behind the sofa in the centre of the room. He stared right at her for several moments before disappearing behind the couch again. She didn’t move, just waiting.
“Who are you?” The voice came from behind the couch.
Leaning slightly forward as she tried to see over the couch from where she stood, she pursed her lips for a moment. “Um, my name is Sparrow.”
“Sparrow?” There was a thud from behind the couch before he snarled. “What kind of name is Sparrow?”
“When my mother was very young, her parents put her away for a little while. She would spend hours and hours sitting in the window of her room. A sparrow made its nest on the ledge of her window, and it would often sit there and stare at her through the glass. Sometimes it would sit there all day. My mother told me that it could feel the sadness in her heart and didn’t want to hurt her feelings by flying away when it knew she couldn’t. After that she had a bit of an obsession with sparrows so when I was born Sparrow seemed like the perfect name to her.”
He popped up again and looked at her. “You talk a lot.”
Pursing her lips, she lifted her shoulders. “Not usually.”
Tilting his head slightly, he looked at her. “Just now?”
“I guess.” Vincent came down the hall then and smiled at her. “I see you have met my son Harrison. Harrison, this is Sparrow. She is going to be staying with us for a while. Be sure to show her the ropes.” Resting his hands on her shoulder, he pointed to the open kitchen area off the living room to her left. “Help yourself to absolutely anything you like, I am just going to head up to my office and make a call. I will be back in a few minute.”
She watched him walk up the open stairs that went up over the kitchen cupboards. Standing there, she looked at Harrison until he walked over and stood and the bottom of the stairs looking up at her. “How come you’re staying with us?”
“My father left because he didn’t want to be a part of our family anymore, and my mother left because she didn’t want to be her anymore.” She took a step away from him.
Her words shocked him. “Both of your parents just left?”
Reaching out, Harrison wrapped his small hand around her own and led her down the steps and towards the kitchen. Walking around the bar height island that separated the kitchen from the living room, he helped her up onto a stool before going to the fridge and pulling out a carton of chocolate milk. Grabbing two glasses from under the island, he sat down next to them and filled the glasses. “You know,” He said finally. “We could be your family… if you want.”
She didn’t say anything. Lifting her glass she chugged her chocolate milk to ease the tightness that was growing inside her throat.
Harrison reached over and pushed her hair back behind her ear. “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you. My dad is a good man, and he is teaching me how to be a good man.” Smiling, he refilled their glasses and sat back down next to her.
A comfortable silence filled the space between them as she looked around the massive apartment she still hadn’t seen completely. She could easily say this apartment was larger than the townhouse she lived in with her parents.
We’ll take care of you. The words repeated in her head over and over again, slowing her heart and calming the butterflies in her stomach.