Ames looked up from the tiny face to the nurse standing beside them. “What’s that?”
“Liberty. It’s what the mother said she wanted to name her if she was keeping her.”
Ames didn’t really care for the twisted look at the word ‘mother’ on the woman’s face. But, they kept their lips clamped shut. Connor didn’t have any such qualms apparently. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he demanded. “You practically put air quotes around mother. Even though she signed off on her rights, she still gave birth to this baby. She’s still her mother.”
“She’s nothing more than another addict.”
It was the wrong thing to say to Connor. “Yeah? And so is my brother. At least that’s how people seem to think of him even though he’s been clean for more than four years now. He has a good job, is married and raising the daughter that was born when he was in prison, and he didn’t know about, as well as their son. But, that’s not enough for some people.”
Ames put a hand on Connor’s arm. “That’s enough,” they said gently. Ames knew this was something Connor got worked up about, but they didn’t always know how to reel him back in. He seemed to have wound down, though.
“I’ve brought in plenty of those ‘just another addicts’ to this very hospital,” Ames told the woman. “That doesn’t give either of us any more right to judge them. You don’t know what brought them to that point. And I think they deserve more sympathy than disdain. After all, it’s not like you can snap your fingers and end an addiction. And the youngest victims of that addiction, like that baby right there, suffer from that attitude, too. At least her mother is giving her a chance at a better life, and one for herself too since she voluntarily signed herself into rehab. So, kindly take your bad attitude and leave us alone with our daughter.”
Connor put his arm around Ames’ shoulders and led them back over to where the infant slept on. “Cassidy Liberty Riley,” Connor said. “Has a ring to it, doesn’t it?”
Ames smiled and leaned into him, twining their fingers together. “It’s perfect.”
Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was “liberty” brought to us by Capt Jill. While this wasn’t the first thing that popped into my head upon reading the prompt(that was actually “give me liberty or give me death”. Seriously. I’m an odd one, I know), it was there. Probably because after writing Saturday’s combined SOCS/Just Jot It, I was thinking about how Connor and Ames would start their family since Ames has no desire to ever be pregnant. This obviously won’t show up in the actual story(it will take place probably a year or so after that ends), but we may see it at some point later in the series(I have several of Connor’s cousins–he has a lot of them–lined up for their own stories).