By Enola Jones

Written for the Jumper Bay mailing list challenge: "He hated babysitting."

He hated babysitting. He hated little kids' smeary fingers, curiosity about the wrong things, and how they were all born so stupid, so active, and so loud. He preferred to avoid children like the Plague.

But there were two huge exceptions. One was his niece -- and the other was in his arms right now.

He was walking in his quarters, holding the baby boy and singing softly to him as large eyes watched him over the neck of the bottle he was quietly draining.

This wasn't just any child. This was Torren. This was the one he had helped into the world under circumstances that had threatened to drive them all mad.

He brushed a kiss along the boy's forehead, and the large eyes blinked in response.

He hated babysitting. But watching Torren wasn't babysitting.

Because Torren was family.


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