The elevator doors opened, and there she stood her eyes wild and searching. “Mark, I’m sorry it’s my entire fault…” she tried to touch my face. I grabbed her hand and turned my eyes away from her gaze afraid of what it would do to me. “Look Lana, Just go I’m already ten minutes late for work,” I tried to make my stare cold. Who did she think that she was after all that she had done to me what made her think a weak apology would put her back in my arms. I didn’t notice the trench coat that she wore, until she untied it. Her sun kissed skin was always so irresistible in the past. I loved her because she had impulse and because she made love to me like no other woman had but all that was irrelevant now. I stepped close to her and closed her coat for her I hit the first floor button on the elevator to send her back down alone, but not before I had the last word. “Goodbye Lana and you might want to put some clothes on these elevators all have cameras,” I watched the doors shut and gave her a sarcastic waved goodbye. I sure as hell didn’t feel like going to work now not after seeing Lana, and not after remembering what she had done. Catching her in bed with my twin brother wasn’t exactly the surprise I wanted after a long day of work. To me he was no better, even though I knew how seductive she could be. From that day on I thought that maybe it was me and my long hours at work. Then I found out it was her desire for my money and not my love. I entered the office and for the thirteenth time week Mr. Arnold my uptight boss jumped down my throat. “What time is it Peterson,” he gazed at his watch. “I’m sorry sir,” I kept on to my cubicle. “Sorry is that all you have to say this is the third meeting you missed this week and you’re just sorry,” I watched the veins pop out of his forehead and knew it was serious. “Do you know how many meetings you’ve missed this week alone Peterson,” he looked like he was waiting for me to answer. I just stood there and looked down at my Italian leather loafers. “Because you are one of my best salesman I will give you another chance, but you’d better be ready to show me you appreciate my lenience,” He looked at me sternly. “Yes sir you got it…thank you sir,” I felt a sucker. After work I headed to the grocery store to pick up my favorite after work meal, a Hungry Man TV dinner. I popped it into the microwave and undid my tie; I was prepared for a night of quiet time just me and the game. There was a knock on my door and I prayed it wasn’t Lana. I abruptly opened the door, only to find no one was there. I was about to shut the door back when I heard a soft cooing noise. I looked down near my feet and saw a baby carrier. My heart almost stopped when I saw the two little eyes staring back. There was a yellow stick note on the side of the carrier I pulled it off and read: I’m sorry it had to be this way, but you have to start taking care of your responsibilities. I use to think we had something Paul. I’ve been with him this long now it’s you turn to be a father to Donovan Madonna. **** my brother, first he slept with my fiancé and now I had his estranged kid on my door step I had to find him and fast. I reached his apartment about seven-thirty and just as I had suspected he had jumped ship. He moved every other week, because he was always in trouble with the police. I cursed him under my breath and stared down at the baby. He was kind of cute and because he belongs to my brother he looked like me. “Come on little guy lets get you out of this cold,” I covered him up with my jacket. My first thought was to take him to the cops, but they’d only take him to some orphanage and though I hated my brother I would never take it out on such and innocent baby. One thing my mother had taught me was family is family even when they screw up. Truth be told I had never even held a baby, and I was a bachelor what was I going to do with a baby. There was only one person I knew who could help me and I had to get to her fast. Stephanie came to the door in her pajamas rubbing sleep from her eyes. “**** it mark do you know what time it is,” she swore. “It’s only eight thirty Step,” I smiled. “My thoughts exactly. Stephanie and I best friends we had been since college and though she had a man I still came around from time to time. “Where’s Marlon,” I asked of her husband. “Where else, out shooting pool like every Friday night.” She said her brown eyes sad. Stephanie was black and Asian, with long ebony hair and pretty brown eyes. If she hadn’t been married I may have made her mine first. “Um who’s baby,” she looked at me quizzically. “Paul’s” I answered frustrated. “Okay why do you have him,” she asked confused. “My conniving *** brother gave the mother my address, she abandon the baby.” Stephanie gasped,” Oh my god are you serious,” god knew How much I wished I wasn’t. “Dead, and that’s why I’m here,” I smiled weakly. “Hell no Marlon will have my head I can’t keep a baby.” She got up and paced the room. “Please…I don’t know what to do with him, you know I don’t know anything about kids,” I pleaded. “And though I don’t have any and just because I’m a woman I do,” she asked the commotion upset the baby and he began to cry to the top of his lungs. “no, no don’t cry,” Stephanie picked him up into her arms and rocked him slowly.” To my amazement he stopped crying. “Have you fed this baby?” she continued to rock him. “ Feed him what?” I asked dumbfound. For some reason I thought all kids were breastfed. “Formula, duh” she said. Formula, what the hell was that and where the hell did you get it a science lab. “Just let me put some clothes on and well head to the store.” She handed the baby to me who started to cry again. She never had to dress as far as I was concerned I was enjoying the view, but I’d never tell her. I let Stephanie drag me through the store for baby items before I knew it I was out of over six hundred bucks. On the car ride back home Stephanie turned to me and said, “Look I got your back on this one, but you can’t ever mention it to Marlon. I’ll come over and help you out, but if Marlon finds out I had nothing to do with it…understood,” she pointed a long manicured nail at me. I agreed, I’d do anything to spend more time with her to me it was a dream come true. The days turned to weeks and I was never at work much. I had become a father to Donovan and he had become my son. Stephanie and I had grown closer and her farther away from Marlon. We spent so much time with Donovan and with each other I felt like I finally had a family. I loved when people in public commented on how we were a nice couple and how cute our baby was; it made me feel like a real man. I tried not to miss a lot of work, because I wasn’t on Mr. Arnold’s good side, but as a father now if anything happened to Donovan I knew where I’d stand. I sat at my desk Tuesday morning and red through the sales reports. All in all I was doing well for a Jr. Salesman I’d make senior soon. I looked up only to spot Stephanie coming through the door with Donovan in his stroller. She was so beautiful with him I felt like she would be a wonderful mother when the time came. I stood up and met them halfway, “hey what are you too doing here,” I smiled. “Well I lost my key to your apartment can you lend me yours,” she held out her small hand. I wanted to say to her so much how she could have anything she wanted from me but I just kept my mouth shut. Mr. Arnold walked by with a seriously annoyed look on his face. “What’s this Peterson company in the office……and you don’t introduce me to your beautiful wife.” He smiled. I was so relieved I thought I would die from holding my breath. “Oh um,” I paused should I lie. Them Stephanie spoke up. “I’m Stephanie and this is Donovan,” she glanced my way and I mouthed thank you. “Oh this yours Peterson,” Arnold cooed at the baby who cooed back. “Yes sir that’s my boy.” I gloated. “Well as a proud father I I say keep up the good work. And now I see why you’ve been so distant lately…carry on” he walked away. Stephanie and I both laughed and for a brief moment I stared into her eyes and she didn’t look away. “Well I’ll see you tonight, Marlon’s out of town so if your need me to I’ll crash at your place,” she suggested. My whole heart jumped for joy did she say crash at my place. It was six when I got off, and the traffic was heavy, I pushed my Ford Explorer to the limit on the freeway doing ninety miles an hour just to make it home. “I entered my one bedroom condo just in time to smell the aroma of chicken Alfred. Stephanie stood at the stove and peeked into a small pot, I was floored. “What’s this,” I pointed to the set table. “Well, Donovan is asleep……for a change and I thought I’d cook us dinner.” She smiled. “I never have any one to cook for so, why not you,” she clasped her hands in front of her like a school girl. This was serious I was used to my hungry man dinners, in fact I had one in the fridge with my name in it. After dinner, I sat on the couch to watch my favorite show ‘The Simpson’s’. To my surprise Stephanie sat down next to me. I had almost forgotten it was her favorite show too. We laughed together, so hard we accidentally bumped heads. “Ouch,” she smiled. “Yeah ouch you have a hard head girl,” I laughed. Stephanie cold cocked me in the jaw with a pillow and I wrestled her to the floor. I found myself locked into her gaze, only this time our lips met in a passionate kiss. Just as I cupped her face in my hands for another kiss a violent knock came to the door. It was so loud it awoke Donovan and Stephanie arose from my grip to get him. I slung open the door only to find Lana standing her hands inside her pockets. She was about to enter uninvited when Stephanie came out with Donovan. “Hi,” Stephanie greeted her. Lana looked from me to Donovan and then at Stephanie. “Oh it’s like that now, I’m gone for a little while and you get some tart pregnant.” She concluded. “Look I don’t know why you are in here with all this mess; it’s been over between us. And if you ever show back up here again I’ll have you committed……..Night,” I slammed the door in her face. Stephanie looked at me in disbelief; she knew how in love I had once been with Lana. “Did it hurt?” she asked. I looked at her confused at where she was going with her question. “What?” I asked. “Realizing that she never loved you just what you had,” she walked back to the room Donovan now asleep in her arms again. She walked away before I could answers, and yes it hurt like hell. Another knock came on my door this one lighter than the last, but I would never put anything past Lana she was probably back to gravel some more. I swung the door open to expect to slam it back, but I couldn’t. A girl about twenty one stood there with short hair and a baby face. She was cute, but had no qualities that attracted me. “May I help you,” I asked thinking that maybe she was lost. “**** right you can, are you ready to be a family now,” she said arms folded. Who the hell was she, and what family? “Excuse me,” I asked dumbfounded. “Don’t play with me Paul I don’t have time for your Bull just give me Donovan,” she demanded. “Oh you’re Donovan’s mother,” I smiled. I wanted to Jap slap her for the trouble, but then I thought about how much Donovan had change y life for the better. “Paul are you on drugs,” she looked serious. At that moment Stephanie came from the room with an awake Donovan “I think he’s sick Mark, he won’t sleep,” she said not noticing the girl. “My baby,” she shouted. The girl went for Donovan and Stephanie was a little lost. “Who is she Paul and why did she have our baby,” she looked at me hard enough to kill me. “I’m not Paul…I’m his brother.” I explained. “yeah right and I’m Beyonce,” she laughed. “it’s true,” Stephanie touched her arm. “Okay if you ain’t Paul then you don’t have a tattoo on your left arm,” she said. I lifted up my t-shirt and showed her my bare arm. “I don’t understand,” she was about as confused as I had been when I first sat Donovan. “Paul’s a twin I’m mark,” I extended my hand. “Oh my god I left my baby with a stranger, I just wanted to teach him a lesson…I’m so sorry,” she apologized. I wanted to ask why she would rather leave her baby with my brother than a stranger, but I kept quite. She started to cry and Stephanie sat down next to her to comfort. “How can I ever make it up to you,” she asked. “Well you can promise not to go leaving Donovan here on anymore door steps,” I laughed. “Oh I won’t,” she smiled back. The girl who had introduced herself as Madonna told us the whole story of how my brother had promised her the world and gotten her pregnant only to do a disappearing act. As she got ready to leave I looked at her and told her that if she ever needed anything that I was nothing like my brother/ I reassured her that I was good people and Donovan was not only my nephew but a part of me now. She promised that I could keep him anytime I wanted, and that she would bring him by often. As I shut the door behind her I thought about where Stephanie and I would end up. Stephanie must have fell asleep in my arms, because on Wednesday morning she lay on my chest sound asleep. I didn’t want to wake her so I slipped from underneath her. “Donovan!” she shouted as I was almost free. She looked at me and had obviously realized it was just us. Our day started out pretty solid; we didn’t speak a work to each other until breakfast. There was no walking Donovan in the park today, or taking Donovan to the zoo, it was just us. “I’m leaving him,” she said out of the blue. I looked at her like she was some crazy psyche patient. “I’m leaving Marlon,” she licked syrup from her lips. “Are you sure I mean you love him and….” What the hell was I saying I loved her? “No you’re wrong I don’t love him, I never loved him. I only loved his money. My friends always said he was a great catch because he had loot. I have only been in love with one person in my entire life,” she looked away from my gaze this time. Here we go I thought to myself some old boyfriend she was stuck on now I’d never get her heart. “It’s you mark don’t you get it I’m in love with you,” she stepped up from the table and into my lap. Her kiss was so passionate I couldn’t speak for thirty minutes. Me? She loved me? All I could do was thank my lucky stars, and oh yeah and my number one man…….Donovan. I was twenty nine and a half I had to start somewhere, why not where I wanted to with Stephanie. I had to say this had been a hell of a month, and all because my mother had two of me. I didn’t know if I’d ever forgive my brother for what he had done. And somehow I felt like I hated myself. It was odd how even though we looked exactly alike we didn’t have identical intentions.