Chapter 18

PawPaw Henri had been busy while Keagan and Chay were taking their Baby Care 101 class.  He made sure his "granddaughter-in-law" would be sent to a funeral home in New Orleans.  She would have a memorial service befitting a member of the Family, and then be entombed in the Lafayette cemetery in the crypt beside his own beloved split apart.  As the mother of his great grandson, she was family.  He did change one thing after talking more with Keagan.  Franky's name on her grave marker would be Franky Lafayette Guibert.  She had been taken from her birth parents due to them preferring a life of drugs and crime rather than being parents to her, so she had no fondness for the last name she had borne in life.

"PawPaw, isn't that a little bit illegal?" Keagan asked as he sat in a chair in the hotel room, holding a little boy with a name bigger than he was at the moment.  Keagan wanted to honor two people he had never met, but who he felt had been a part of how he came to be so happy with his life.  He also discovered from PawPaw that last names were very important in the Family, so the little one had a few of those as well.  This meant that Keagan was holding Calvin George Lafayette Guibert Anthony.  Papa Chay had already shortened that to the first two initials, but it always seemed to come out as one name, Ceegee, instead of separate letters.  It was a powerful name according to PawPaw Henri, but the old man had also been surprised to learn that the little boy needed a powerful name.

Apparently, Keagan had done it again.  He opened his mouth and said something that he meant with everything in him, and the universe took him at his word.  When Keagan had said he claimed little Ceegee with all his heart and soul, he had not only made it official to the Family, but somehow the baby had the same gift that Keagan himself had.  When the tiny boy had grabbed one of Henri's fingers in his chubby little hand, Henri had gotten the same boost that he had the first time Keagan had touched him.

"I don't know all that science, me no, but I got the strong feeling they did the blood test on this baby now, I bet you cash money he show as Keagan's for sure son, and nobody else but his Mama," Henri whispered in awe.  "I declare my Sunshine, for somebody can't use the power, you sure got the knack for making it did what you want."

"I hope that's exactly what it did," Keagan said firmly.  "The monster that hurt Franky doesn't deserve this little angel."

He did deserve what he got that afternoon, though.  Somehow word had gotten back to the children's home that Franky had died.  Three other young girls came forward and told similar stories of what they had been forced to do in order to 'keep their place' in the group homes they were in at the facility.  The director was arrested by nightfall and there had been evidence in his office and his home that made no witness testimony needed.  There was no way he could deny the images that were found which showed his face clearly.  It would be a very long time before he saw freedom again, assuming he survived his prison sentence at his age, weight, and health, not to mention the charges of which he was sure to be convicted.  The stereotype of the child molester not living long in prison has some basis in fact, after all.

Pawpaw had taken them shopping for the baby as soon as the little one was released from the hospital to the care of his daddy.  He had adamantly refused to let them pay for anything they got.  Chay and Keegan both felt horrible that PawPaw had spent so much on the little one to get him formula, diapers, clothes, and a car seat.  Then the old man took them to the toy store.

"PawPaw, Ceegee isn't even a week old yet," Keegan protested as all sorts of toys that made tons of noise were bought.  "He won't use some of these things until he's nearly two years old."

"My Calvin and me, we never have the bebe, so I don't had the grandbaby neither.  Claude, me and Calvin both think of him like the grandbabe, but because of his no name no good sire, we don't get to spoil him like we want.  Then I get you, and I get my Claude back, but you both grown and don't need the PawPaw so much.  This my great grandbabe and you name him for my Calvin, so don't you dare told me I can't spoil this bebe."

"Yes sir, PawPaw," Keegan agreed quickly.  "But PawPaw, I promise I do need you.  I might have had Grandma when I was little, but Grandpa had already died before I was born, so you are the only grandfather I have ever known.  And you do spoil me and Claude.  You're paying for college for both of us."

"Education ain't spoiling, Sunshine," PawPaw corrected.  "Now I could spoil you with the new furniture for you home, but I don't want to hurt no feelings."

"What's this about feelings and furniture?" Chay asked as he walked up to them holding the biggest teddy bear Keegan had ever seen.  "Look, it's got a purple, green, and gold bow tie," he pointed out unnecessarily.  "Baby Ceegee needs a teddy bear."

"He doesn't need one that is bigger than the car we have to drive several hours in tomorrow," Keegan laughed.  At the disappointed look on Chay's face, he turned to PawPaw for back up, but found the old man holding up little baby Ceegee showing him the giant bear. 

"Look here what you Papa get for you, mon petit ange," PawPaw was saying.  "You got the bear like this, you don't never had the bad dream."

"You two have to share the back seat with it and the car seat tomorrow," Keegan pointed out as he smiled in surrender.

Bright and early the next morning, the new parents, their baby, and PawPaw Henri started the drive back home.  They quickly discovered that Baby Ceegee found car rides very boring, and he slept nearly the whole ride.  None of the males in the car were sufficiently experienced enough with babies to think that letting him sleep all day would be a bad thing.  Luckily for them, Grammy and Jiddu, otherwise known as Ma and Farhan, immediately laid claim to their grandson and said he would spend the night with them so that Keagan and Chay could have some alone time.  It was a testament to how tired Chay was that he didn't even catch that his mother would be staying the night with Farhan.

Cassius and Claude were on hand to meet their nephew, as was Aunt Dixie, and several others from the close Families.  When Keagan introduced the baby with his full name, everyone was shocked that not only did Aunt Dixie and Cassius break down in silent tears, but Belle wept as well.  Claude whispered to his brother about breaking the Lafayette heir, since he had never seen her cry except at the funeral for Calvin. 

Keegan was stressed about little Ceegee not staying home with him his first night in New Orleans.  He didn't think he would sleep at all, and neither did Chay.  Like most new parents, they were wrong though.  Having been up so much with the baby the night before, and then stressed out during the day with making final arrangements to have Franky brought to New Orleans, Chay and Keegan curled up in the big bed in the master bedroom, shared one kiss before they both fell asleep and had the best sleep of their entire lives, cuddled up to each other.

Claude was late for work the following morning and had a hickey on his neck.  "Well, somebody had fun last night," Keagan teased his big brother. 

"Someone else didn't," Claude fussed as he made a spectacle of checking all of Keagan's visible skin for similar markings.

"Best sleep I think I ever had," Keagan grinned.

"Sleep?  SLEEP??" Claude exclaimed.  As he turned to walk into the kitchen to get his apron, he muttered, "One of these days I got to have a long talk with that boy."

A few days later, a familiar woman walked into the bake shop.  She was smiling, but somehow it wasn't a happy smile.  "I was told by my brother that this is the best bake shop in the world."

"How is Macon?" Keagan asked softly.

"He… umm… late last night," Marie told him.  She wiped tears from her face but then she grabbed Keagan and hugged him.  "I wouldn't have known if I hadn't met you.  I wouldn't have had the few short days to reconnect with him if it weren't for you.  Thank you so much.  He told me you two didn't have a very nice past.  I'm sorry about that."

"He didn't give any details, did he?" Keagan asked.

"He wouldn't," she answered.  "Said that it would hurt you, and it would make me leave him to die alone like he deserved."

"For what it's worth, I don't think he deserved to die alone," Keagan told her.

"You won't give any details either, will you?"

"I would rather not," Keagan said, shaking his head.  "For my sake and his."

"You're talking about Macon, aren't you?" 

Keagan turned to see Claude standing behind him.  "Bro, this is Marie, she was Macon's sister."

"Was?"  At the two nods, he said, "You have my sympathy, ma'am.  I was in a fraternity with your brother for two years.  While he was certainly no saint, I do know some things that I think might be nice for you to know as you remember him."

"Sit and talk, bro.  I'll cover the counter for a while and if I need help, I can call Ma downstairs." Keagan told him. 

Before she left, Marie walked up and hugged Keegan again.  "My oldest nephew is going to start at your university next fall.  I will make sure he knows to look you up.  He takes after his Uncle Macon, but I think he has a lot more in common with you."

"I look forward to meeting him," Keegan smiled.

Sure enough, not quite a year later, Marie showed up at the bakery with her older sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, Keith.  The eighteen-year-old would be a business major at the university, but wanted to learn cooking while he was in New Orleans as well.  He got a job in the kitchen on the Dixie Magic, which he kept the entire four years that he was in college, and then shifted to working in the business office of the boat, soon becoming the operational manager for the boat, scheduling everything from the shows that would be appearing on the stage to the private parties that rented the various facilities on board.  He also found his split apart in Ricky Babineaux, the nephew and heir of the tailor.

Ceegee grew up amazingly not spoiled despite all the best efforts of his PawPaw Henri, Grammy and Jiddu, and his Gigi Dixie.  Once he got old enough, his favorite thing in life became tattling on his parents and his naughty Uncles Cassie and Claude to his grandparents and great-grandparents.  He certainly learned his way around a kitchen at an early age, but his greatest lifelong fascination was learning to be a river captain like his Uncle Sandy who kept him supplied with sailor outfits.  Unlike so many of his family, young Calvin turned out to be straight and developed a huge crush all through high school on Belle and Candy's daughter, Isabel.  They married in 2007, and had a son named Henri Dixon Anthony in 2010.  The baby was named in memory of Calvin's PawPaw and Gigi, neither of whom had lived to see their Ceegee get married.

Ma and Farhan had gotten married though, and are still going strong to this day, babysitting their great grandchildren whenever they get the chance.  Keegan and Chay only ever had Calvin, but Claude and Cassius adopted three children, two girls and a boy, all of whom considered the Assad's their grandparents, as well as Cassius' parents.  The first girl was adopted as a baby and was born with the gifts, so she was named Marie and became Cassius' heir.  Marie has yet to find her split apart, but her siblings both married.  Daniel and his wife have one daughter, and Kimmie and her husband have twin daughters.

Belle and Candy opted to do in vitro fertilization and used Claude's sperm with Candy's egg.  Surprising everyone except Keegan, they got twins, Isabelle and her brother, Isaac, who was born with the gifts and will someday lead the Lafayette family.  Isaac seemed to inherit one other thing from his great great uncle, as he too found his split apart in a boy named Sean.  Miko and Sandy adopted two children, a girl and a boy, but their son was killed while serving in the Army in the Middle East.  The last contact the family had from him before he died was a picture of the village where Farhan had been born in Syria.  He wrote that a man who identified himself as a childhood friend of Farhan's had sent greetings to Farhan and wanted Farhan to know that his sons had been named Farhan and Nadir, but this time Farhan was the elder brother.  Sandy and Miko's daughter became a writer and wrote one of the most successful plays ever put on in the theater of the Dixie Magic.  She lives in New York City now and the family is all quite proud of her.  As for Keegan and Chay, they officially, legally got married in September of 2015, on the 30th anniversary of the day that a scared, young man had walked into a little pastry shop needing a newspaper and a coffee, and instead found lagniappe, that little something extra.