They kept so busy children were hardly a thought, until Patsy had Erica.
Their Goddaughter lit up there eyes, and the thoughts of having children entered their minds.
The check up before they began to try was disheartening ,and the second and third opinions the same.
Dominique, even with an operation couldn't carry even close to term. When the thought of a another woman carrying their child came to mind, Patsy offered immediately.
Several long months and five try's later, Patsy called them to stop by for a barbeque.
It had finally taken, she was pregnant with their child!
Let the shopping begin!. They bought out the stores it seemed, before they even took a break! After the same had to be done in New Orleans.
Life couldn't be finer the two mothers. First they hired a third decorator for the shop. Then took full advantage of the time, getting the nursery in order. Doing so while dreaming of what close friends the children would be.
Hal and Stefan spent time together also. Thinking of teaching his son Tball..then straight to the pros! Big dreams for what it turned out was going to be a girl!
One with Dominique’s good looks and the desire to be a surgeon like her Dad!
Next off the Stefan and Dominique went to New Orleans to get the apartment ready.
Dominique had already called and picked out the colors, wallpaper and carpets on line.
Only the final say so before workers would be invading the Apartment. Art had a lot of Family business to handle so of course, there was Peaches to the rescue.
Peach was thrilled to have some time with Dominique. They always got along since their first meeting.
Being a Nanny down through the years, she never had lived on her own and she rather liked it! Although she already piped up saying "no one else could possibly take care of this baby but her!"
Dom laughed saying " sweetie I will do that as my mother did for me! You will be the only sitter we use, but I will stay at home to have the pleasures of all the 'firsts'"hat happen in the first couple years!"
"I will take you up on help that first month or so,as I know nothing and you know it all!"
The room had been done in mint green, with tiny roses of pink on the wall paper which continued on the the carpet. The closet was two tiered, one for mom to reach and one for the baby to grow to reach! There were faeries peeking out from behind every nook possible, to guard her and make her feel safe.
Safety, safety, safety...everywhere in the Apartment things had to be redone for the child’s safety!
It seemed the time flew! She had been gone 2 months and had to get home she was missing her baby grow inside Patsy and Stefan needed to get back to his practice. Patsy was getting large, and as happy as a clam about it.
Patsy needed to go to the Dr. in the morning and was thrilled her best friend and baby mommie would be there to meet her
Out of no where the truck threw her car off the road,and into the ditch. "My God this hurts" preceded screams, that couldn't be heard over the sound of the car exploding into flames.. The truck was far gone by then. The hit and run, probably by drunk driver, killed Patsy and the unborn child without ever looking back.
A closed casket and sitting close a tiny girl that didn't understand this at all. Why would God need her Mommie, she needed her and this just wasn't fair. Hal was in no shape to care for Erica at the moment so being dutiful God parents they took her home.
Dominique and Stefan were holding it together for Patsy and Hal, their Goddaughter came first. Right now they had to be there for Erica.
They had suffered a double loss that day, that of a best friend, and their child.
Baby Selene had a memorial and a stone made to put up in the chapel on the Drakes property in New Orleans.
That had to be put off until they could get Hal situated, and Erica back with him. No matter how they tried, they couldn't get through to Hal.
Hal had locked himself if his house and wouldn't answer the phone.
Stefan and Dominique tried their best to get Hal to snap out of his deep depression, and realize he was needed desperately by Erica.
Thankfully they believed Hal did seem to come out of the depression for a while and they came to believe life was returning to normal.
Having Erica in the house again seemed to be grounding Hal. Dominique took Erica to a therapist once a week, but unfortunately it seemed him get on the offensive when they spoke of this, therefore they stopped even mentioning it.
They hired someone to clean, cook, and be there when Hal was not able to be..Stefan knew Erica needed at least one constant in her life, but didn't want her only to have a nanny to rely on, as he had. Peaches was the best nanny in the world but never completely took the place of having parents.
Unfortunately, their assumption of change had just been an illusion. At the practice, Stefan caught Hal writing prescriptions to non existent patients, as well as outright stealing some medications.
Hal hadn't even tried to hide this behavior. Was this a cry for help? the Drakes thought so. During the same week they discovered, he had been using cocaine and drinking himself into oblivion each night.
Fearing Hal would lose his medical license, or they would end up with a malpractice suit ,Stefan talked him into taking a paid sabbatical.
The practice was booming therefore He had to hire two new doctor's to cover the practice.
Just for a while Stefan kept telling himself, just for awhile...
Working together with Hal was so perfect, as they had the perfect chemistry in the operating room.He and Hal had been friends since Medical school,and in his heart Stefan couldn't believe Hal wouldn't snap out of this.
He seemed to be doing better, even going to weekly Alcohol Anonymous meeting. It never entered their mind that the at A.A. meetings he actually would find connections, rather than the help he desperately needed.
Hal continued to hang onto Erica as a lifeline.
When they discovered, he he been taking money from each of them, without the other knowing, they both refused to give him any more cash.
Instead They paid the bills themselves to keep a roof over their head, while Hal learned to cope with life a without Patsy.
Yes it was a form of enabling,but they had to keep Erica with a roof over her head.
Hal knew he could legally keep Erica away from them, and had threatened that in the once in the past when they spoke of a therapist.
He had not only been using savings from Erica’s college fund but selling Patsy's jewelry and collectibles as well
That was what Erica had noticed missing, Her Snow Globes. When she had questioned daddy where they where they were he-angrily screamed it was non of her business then had thrown one of her prized globes the room smashing it.
Erica told them of this sobbing, she was scared of his reaction she had never seen her Daddy (or anyone) act like that.
Then the arrests started. The first offense had been for driving under the influence. This happened while he had left Erica home, asleep,and alone. Child protective services were called late Friday night. They Weren’t able to get her home with them until Tuesday afternoon due to the Labor Day weekend.
They found themselves between a rock and a hard place.
This angered Dominique more than anything else. Poor Erica was losing both parents due to drunk drivers! They wanted to take a more legal stand in Erica’s life. At the same time they new Hal needed help,and once he realized that he would get help so he could be in her life.
Hal had come so close to losing her to the foster care system. The time between his arrest and getting Erica back from Social Services, had been harder on Erica than any of them realized.
Dominique began working from home. She also started planning her appointments around Erica’s school schedule.
Hals personality had completely changed due to the drugs and drinking. His habit had become more important than his daughter.
Through going to many Al Anon meetings, they realized nothing could be done for Hal until he wanted to help himself. They needed to be there for Erica .but never thought of keeping her permanently away from her Father. They only wanted stability for their God daughter .
Hal began spending less time with his daughter every month though...
They realized they were enabling him, but, what could they do?
Figuring out a more permanent solution to the problem would hopefully not put them all into a court battle. Also to be able to not have Child Protective Services back into the situation. Being there had terrified her once, they couldn't allow that to happen again! Dominique had been a part of the foster care service for over ten year's when her mother died, somehow she would definitely keep Erica from slipping into that nightmare!