The Andretti Legacy
Chapter 108 Early one morning, the door bell rings. Andrew figures that Quade would answer it. When the doorbell rings for the fourth time, Andrew hops up grumbling under his breath, and heads for the door. Andrew unlocks the door, still in his underwear, and steps out onto the front porch.
"I'm sorry to wake you, Mr. Andretti." A woman, holding a baby, apologizes with a sweet voice.
"Uh...I'm not an Andretti..." Andrew blinks his eyes and then yawns feeling quite tired, and a little confused.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" The woman looks at the houses on either side of them. "I must have the wrong address." She fumbles with a piece of paper in her hand.
"No, no...you have the right house, I'm just not him. Hold on, let me wake him up." Andrew turns around and opens the door. "Come on in." He looks over his shoulder at her, and she follows him inside.
Andrew crosses the house, and bangs on Quade's bedroom door.
"Get up, man. There's someone here for you." He shouts through the door. "He should be out in a minute." Andrew tells her as he crosses back over to her, and goes into his own room and shuts the door.
Quade slowly rises out of bed. He yawns, stretches, and rubs his eyes before rising to his feet. He joins the woman holding the toddler in the entry way. He looks her over, and the toddler, too. "I'm sorry to bother you all this early, Mr. Andretti." She replies, feeling a bit uneasy. She's never been comfortable around the opposite sex, especially one's she found rather attractive. Quade just stares back at her, too tired to speak. "My name is Quinn Laurel. I'm with the Twinbrook Social Services. I regret to be the bearer of bad news, but we received this little boy yesterday." The woman looks down at the little boy. "It appears that you are his last remaining relative."
"Do what?" Quade interrupts her quickly, suddenly wide awake.
"According to his birth certificate and medical records, this is your son, Mr. Andretti." She replies quietly.
"...no, that's not possible." Quade laughs. "I've never...erm...no, it's just not possible." Quade says softly, feeling particularly embarrassed to be bringing this subject up with a stranger.
"I'm sorry, this is probably a shock to you. But, he is, in fact, your son." She tells him. "He was sent with a sealed envelope, that is for you to read, and only you, it says." She tells him and pulls the envelope and hands it to him.
"I don't know anything about children...I mean...I've...look, I can't take this kid." Quade's mind is in turmoil.
"Mr. Andretti, this is your son. You must come to City Hall to fill out paperwork. If you don't think you can give him proper care and a loving home, you can sign him over to the Adoption Bureau." She looks at him, suddenly feeling very sad for the little boy. "You have one week to prepare your home for your son. You will also need to come by City Hall during this week and fill out the appropriate paperwork, regardless of your decision. I brought him with me, and that letter, so that you could meet him."
"...this is crazy." Quade sighs heavily, and opens the envelope.
He begins reading, and as he's reading, he hears Qadesh's voice in the back of his mind reading the words to him.
"If you're reading this, then I have passed on. I promised I would explain everything to you, and I am sorry that I'm unable to do so in person. You were rushed back to your country as soon as you were found within the tomb. I wasn't able to follow due to my own convictions. My real name is not Qadesh, and it is not worth anything to you. The boy before you now is your son; a gift forced upon us from a corrupt Egyptian Goddess, Qadesh. She was evil...a true curse on me. You should know by now that your family is something...different. Someone has a great plan for your line, and it was imperative that we carried on these important genes, be it by a supernatural force or a natural one. I am no one of importance, I was infected with Qadesh. It is her line that the outsider wants, not mine. But, she needed a carrier, a host...and being an orphan, living off the streets with no one to answer to, she cursed me. Her history and purpose is a bit of a mystery. Some say she is the goddess of nature and beauty; I don't think anyone really knows. I know this all sounds crazy and absurd, but with ancestors like your's...this should be nothing out of the ordinary. I tried to get us out of the tomb before Qadesh took over. But, we were not fast enough. She infected you, too, with such a force, that you were left unconscious and in a coma. She took what she needed, and left you there. You were no longer important to her. The only one who matters now is that baby. It is part of her, and part of you. Please...take him, care for him. He is your own. I named him Rodney as I felt the name sounded like someone who would come from your country. I'm sorry, Quade. I truly am very sorry."
Quade folds the letter slowly, and places it back in the envelope. He looks up at the Social Worker with the oddest expression of shock and confusion. He looks down at the baby boy, and his heart melts as the boy stares back at him with wide, frightened eyes.
"I'll take him." Quade replies softly.
A few days later, Quade leaves City Hall with Rodney in his arms, still in confusion, but accepting his responsibilities. He knew being an Andretti that strange things were destined to happen, but he always figured they'd happen to his son or his father or whoever, just not him. As he rounds the corner, he nearly runs into Quinn, the Social Worker.
"I'm sorry." He replies politely as the both stop in front of each other. "I wasn't looking where I was going." A smile forms on their faces.
"I wasn't either." She giggles a little bit.
"I'm so glad you decided to take him, Mr. Andretti." She lets out a quiet sigh of relief. "He is an amazing little boy. He's very, very smart." She looks down at Rodney with a motherly expression. "...take care of him, okay?" She looks back up at Quade. "I fostered him a few weeks before I introduced you to him and up until this morning. I hate to see him go, but I trust that he's in good hands." Her voice cracks, but she keeps herself together.
"I'm still a little...well, I'm kind of shocked by all of this...but, he will definitely be taken care of." Quade tries to reassure her.
"...listen, if you need anything...anything at all...don't hesitate to call." She pulls a small business card from he purse, and digs for a pen to write with. She scribbles on the back and hands it to him. "My office number is on the front...and, I...I put my cell phone on the back." She looks up at Quade with a part of her hoping he'd call. Not only because he needed help with Rodney, but because she is attracted to him. 'Just my luck, he's already taken...' She grumbles in her head, and closes her eyes and looks away. 'Don't fall too hard, girl. There's no one to catch you.' She tells herself, and then walks around him. "See you around, Mr. Andretti." She tells him and starts up the stairs. A few weeks pass, and Andrew, Quade, and Rodney adjust to each other and the get household running smoothly. Quade had let Andrew read the letter from Qadesh...or, whatever her name really was, and together they decide to not worry with it. The past is just that - the past. They'd raise the baby and make sure his life was as perfect as they could possibly make it.
One evening, Andrew rushes into the living room while Quade is watching the evening news.
"She's going to be here any minute!" Andrew frantically looks around the house. "Come on, Quade! Turn the TV off...help me pick things up!"
"Oh no...that's her." Andrew looks through the living room window as a taxi pulls up outside. A few minutes later, the doorbell rings and Andrew rushes over and opens the front door. Quade watches from the living room as a girl walks in and jumps into Andrew's arms.
"I had such a long flight from France! I am so happy to see you!" She laughs as they hug each other. Quade turns off the TV, and picks up Rodney before crossing the room to them. They're so wrapped up in each other at the moment, that Quade decides to greet her later on. He passes by quietly, and heads out the front door to take Rodney to the river.
Quade brings Rodney down to the riverwalk frequently. Rodney just loves to walk around in the breeze and watch the water flow by. It also gives Quade a lot of time to think; not about anything in particular, but about...well, gives him time to think about everything. His life, his family, his friends, his job.
Tonight, he unwillingly has focused on himself. The look in Andrew's face when Jessie came through the door really bothered Quade. He felt almost jealous; their hug made him feel lonely. He sighs heavily, as Rodney comes walking towards him with a goofy look on his face.
"What do you think, little man?" Quade looks down at his son. "...what should we do? Online dating services? Newspaper ads? ...stay lonely our whole lives." Quade leans back on the bench and sighs heavily again.
As soon as the two of them can hear someone jogging closer to them, Rodney's head jerks in that direction. A huge smile forms on his face as Quade watches the boy closely.
"Kin! Kin!" Rodney starts trotting off towards the person, and Quade jumps up quickly to catch his son.
As soon as he gets close enough to pick Rodney up, a woman reaches down and picks him up first. "Kin!" Rodney giggles.
"Rodney! I've missed you so much!" She smiles, and Quade realizes it's Quinn. She squeezes Rodney and he hugs her back as tightly as he can.
Quade looks on, something inside of him moves, maybe it was the butterflies in his stomach. A smile forms on his face as something tells him that this is his sign. Something about Quinn holding Rodney seemed right. "Hello, Mr. Andretti." Quinn smiles nervously as she sets Rodney back down on the ground. "I hope things have been going well for the both of you."
"Yeah, actually...I think we're finally in a routine. Everything is running smoothly...well, as smoothly as possible with a toddler in the house." Quade laughs childishly, and then feels stupid trying to chat her up.
"Well, I better keep running...it's getting pretty late, and I'm not even halfway home. See you around." She smiles back at him, and then jogs off down the boardwalk.
"Yeah...see you..." He watches her leave, kicking himself for the awkwardness.
Quade arrives to work the next morning, and is told he's being transferred to Bridgeport...indefinitely. All of his superiors knew that he has nothing keeping him in Twinbrook, such as a wife, big family, etc. So, they felt he was the best candidate. They sent him home to pack, and had him fly out the very next day. A few days in Bridgeport, and already Quade was feeling pretty lonely. Rodney could only give him so much socialization. So, one evening, he picks up the phone and hires a babysitter.
He finds himself at an underground club deep in the city. The minute he walks in, he feels terribly out of place and uneasy. This certainly was not somewhere he'd ever go by himself.
"You lost, man?" The mixologist calls from behind the bar. Quade turns to face him still mesmerized by all the flashing lights and loud music. "Take a seat, man. Let it all sink in before you get out on the floor." "You ain't been here before. I can tell." The man laughs as Quade takes a seat.
"No, sir." Quade smiles back. "Just moved here from Twinbrook."
"Twinbrook?! That po-dunk place?! Man...you look like you're from at LEAST Sunset Valley." The bartender laughs a very loud belligerent laugh.
"I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not." Quade laughs politely with the man.
"I can tell you're kinda shy...so let me get you something that'll loosen you up a bit. On the house, too." The bartender starts mixing up something for Quade to drink. The man takes the drink, sets it in front of Quade with an evil grin. He ignites the glass on fire, and pushes it closer to Quade.
"Go on. Have a sip. It's my specialty. The people 'round here beg for it." He shouts over the loud music, and heads down the bar to mix a drink for another guest.
Figuring he has nothing to lose, he raises the drink to his mouth and takes a small sip. Shocked by the amazing taste, he takes another sip, and another sip, and another sip. His sips turn into gulps, and within a few seconds, the entire glass is empty. He sets the glass back on the counter with shaking hands.
"How do you feel, man?" The bartender's voice sounds far off in the distance. "You look great, pal. Now, get out there and dance...I bet you're a pro." He can hear him laugh, and Quade can do nothing but let the drink sink in. Everything goes silent for a few minutes inside his head, and then the music and bass and the commotion of the crowd comes back. Quade smiles a big smile at the bartender, and hops off his bar stool.
He makes his way across the room to the dance floor feeling AWESOME. He doesn't particularly care that he's the only person on the floor without a partner. In fact, he's feeling pretty good dancing alone. He feels like a superstar. Within an hour or so, Quade ends up with a dancing partner, and a rather attractive one at that. The more Quade danced with her, the more he realized just how many of the other men in the room were trying to dance with her. He doesn't even know her name, or who she is, but being near her makes him feel like he's on top of the world. Every couple of minutes, another guy would try to cut in between Quade and the girl. Quade could tell that she's getting irritated.
She smiles kindly at him, and motions for him to follow her to the VIP section. She was a few feet ahead of him, so Quade was surprised when the bouncer allowed Quade to follow her in. He was even more surprised that she must be someone of importance here, how else do you get into the VIP section?!
They share some drinks, and she leads him to the dance floor again. Only this time, they dance a bit closer. The hours pass, and the bartender announces closing time. The two of them slowly stop dancing, and Quade leans forward.
"I...I don't think you ever told me your name." He looks at her, madly wanting to know everything about her.
"Mine?" She shoots him a funny look. "...I'm a nobody." She says softly. "See you around, handsome." She grins, and walks past him. She stops at the bar for a quick sip of a drink someone left on the counter, and then heads out the door.
For Rodney's birthday, Quade takes him to see a movie. The two of them enjoyed the film, but the popcorn was cold and stale.
"Dad! ...look who it is!" Rodney whispers loudly with extreme excitement.
"Who is it?" Quade looks around at all the people, but Rodney's sight was set on a particular woman standing by the curb.
"...Dad! It's Queenie Fisher! ...oh man, Dad! The boys at school will never believe I saw her in person! I want her poster on my wall, Dad! Please, that'd make my birthday just so awesome!" Rodney tugs on his dad's sleeve. "Queenie!" Rodney shouts out and the woman turns to face them.
Quade recognizes her and mumbles sadly under his breath, '...a real nobody, huh." Rodney takes off after her before Quade can stop him. "Queenie! Queenie! Oh man!" Rodney squeals with excitement as she looks down at him. "Oh man...I love you, Queenie! When my dad buys me a poster of you for my room, will you sign it?!" "Oh...hey." She smiles awkwardly as she recognizes Quade.
"...I didn't know you were a celebrity." Quade states flatly.
"And...I didn't know you were a father." She replies with a snobbish attitude.
"Dad?! You know her!?" Rodney squeaks from below them. "Oh man...this is AWESOME!" "...look, why don't you two come back to my place. The paparazzi is going to start forming if I don't get out of here." She shakes her head, and bad attitude, and smiles kindly at Quade. "...no stinking way! Dad, please, please, please!" Rodney begs his dad to go. "Come on, Dad! Please! I am sooooo in love with her!"
"...let's go." Quade replies, as he looks back up at Queenie. "I forgive you for keeping secrets." He smiles politely.
"Good...now, come on." She smiles as a limo pulls up. The driver jumps out, opens the door for her, and they all pile in.
They arrive at her house, and a butler meets them at the gate. He opens the gate for them, and they walk through, and follow her into the house.
"Excuse the terrible furniture and decorations. I just bought the place...and, ugh...it's just horrific as it is. I need to get some remodeling crews in here. But, moving to Bridgeport has caused enough of a ruckus with the paparazzi...I don't need even more attention." She crosses her living room and pokes at the fire after turning it on.
"I find it kind of...strange...that you're just letting two regular ol' joes into your house...being a celebrity and all." Quade raises an eyebrow. She turns to face him and takes a few steps towards them.
"Is there something I should be worried about?" She stares back at him with a rather powerful expression.
"No! Of course not! ...don't worry about my dad, he has no luck with girls." Rodney shouts out. "But, we're really cool dudes."
"Rodney!" Quade jerks his attention towards his son.
"Rodney? Is that your name?" She smiles down at the boy. "There's a big pool outside...why don't you go find Bertram and ask him for something to swim in. I'm sure there's something around here you'll fit in." He grins from ear to ear and takes off running in search of the butler.
"He's a cute boy. You must be very proud of him." She smiles as she watches the boy running and leaping into the swimming pool.
"He's...everything to me. He's all I've got...I'd do anything he asked." Quade watches his son through the window, as well. "...obviously." Quade chuckles. "We're here in your house...aren't we?"
"I know you think you're a nobody." She turns to face him with a serious look on her face, catching Quade off guard. "...but, you're just as famous as me."
"What do you mean?" He asks quietly. "How do you know who I am?"
"An Andretti can't just walk out of his house and not have someone recognize him. You're family goes so far back in history...they're in the history books. And don't forget your great grandfather...or however many 'greats' he was...Ian Andretti...he was a huge influence...still is to the most influential celebrities." Quade looks out the window at his son again, to avoid eye contact. "...I knew who you were the minute you hit that dance floor...you were allowed to walk into the VIP section without question...not because of me...because of who you are. People know you...people drool over you just as they drool over me. I have no fear of you...the Andretti's are most than respectable and honest people. They're role models...and I am absolutely honored to have danced with you that night...and to have you in my living room right now."
"...why didn't you tell me who you were...?" Quade asks quietly.
"Next to you...I am nothing...but, also because you were real. The minute people recognize me...or find out that I really am Queenie Fisher...they become fake...they...change. I was...enjoying you, for you...and when I realized that you didn't know who I was...it was...exciting." She smiles a funny smile and walks closer to him.
He smiles back and she reaches forward and kisses him.
The Andretti Legacy (108)
Nov 9, 2010 by tdyannd
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