Fredo's SecretBy: Sharon Hamilton
A SEAL Brotherhood Novella
Fredo was not sure how Mia would take the results of his doctor visit, but his training taught him to just be direct with it, tell her that he could not father children. They had little Ricardo, who was not his biological son, but the son of a lowlife now in prison. Fredo and some of his team buddies had rescued Mia from this evil man and his gang. So, Fredo told himself he already had a son. Ricardo would grow up thinking of Fredo as his father in every important sense of the word. But he wanted to give Mia more sons, and perhaps a daughter or two.
God had other plans.
An inner city kid growing up, Fredo had been like a lucky penny, associating with both street kids and gang members, as well as the pretty girls who played volleyball and went out for cheerleading in high school. After high school, he escaped being caught, unlike some of his friends; not for doing bad things, but for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was the custom that once a youth got into the system, they rarely escaped. Fredo was sharp and lucky enough to never get into the system in the first place.
He thought Cooper would have some solid advice on his parenting situation since he and Coop were still two of the tightest buddies on SEAL Team 3. Cooper now had two children, a boy and a girl.
The Scupper was nearly empty, but that was probably because it was barely three o’clock in the afternoon.
He found his old friend sitting at a long table, as if they were expecting their usual cadre of regulars from Kyle’s Team. Fredo hoped Coop hadn’t invited anyone today.
“How’s it hanging, Fredo?” Coop asked as they fist-bumped.
“Not complaining.” Fredo motioned to their usual waitress, and she acknowledged his need for a beer. Cooper sat behind his mineral water, chewing on ice, and making his usual noise.
“You know, Coop, I’m not sure your dentist is very happy with you. You gonna crack all your teeth.”
“Nothin’ wrong with my teeth, Fredo. My great-grandfather was a horse. We got great teeth.”
“I’m not talking about how well you are endowed. I was talking—”
“Well, that, too, if you must know. But then you seen me in the shower, so this should be no surprise. So you wanna tell me why we’re talking about my dick?”
Fredo adjusted his defense mechanism. He was going to spout off something offensive in response to Coop’s remark, as was their pattern, but he reeled himself in. Part of him was so angry, he wanted to punch something. If Cooper got in the way, it wouldn’t be good.
“Okay, well, I just came from the doctor, and he told me I’m sterile. I’m fuckin’ shootin’ blanks. No little zarapes or baby sombreros in my future, Coop. No father of the bride walking down the aisle shit for me.”
“Borrow a sperm? You mean let Mia get a sperm from someone else?”
“No, asshole, that wouldn’t be borrowing one. That would be making one a part of your family.” Cooper’s half smile and partial frown were hard to read. “Borrow a kid,” he said, nodding.
“Just how the fuck do I borrow a kid? Besides, Mia wants her own kid. She wants my kid.”
“No, she doesn’t. She wants you, and if she doesn’t, she’s hopelessly crazy.”
“I think I know my Mia.”
“Sure you do. What I’m sayin’ is you adopt. Nothing wrong with that. Hell, I’d have done that if it happened to us.”
“But I want my own.”
“You honestly think you could tell which fuckin’ sperm was yours if you looked at them under a microscope? What the hell difference does it make? That’s like saying you could never love a woman because some other man got there first. That makes no sense at all.”
Cooper did have a point. “I think, in this case, I would be able to tell mine from others. Mine would be with dented heads and wouldn’t move.”
“Dented heads, huh? What kind of a doctor showed you what your sperm looked like? That does no fuckin’ good. I’d have nightmares if they showed me that shit. Like a science fiction freak show or something.”
“I wanted him to prove it to me.”
“Oh. Well, then, that explains it. You dumb shit. You didn’t need to see that.”
Cooper nearly finished his mineral water, sucked on the lime until his cheeks caved in, and then chewed on ice. He looked at Fredo like a cow chewing hay, watching the cars go by and not keeping up with the movement. “I don’t care what mine look like.”
“Yeah, well, yours swim.”
“Apparently.” Cooper swallowed and went for the last gulp of ice. Before he could set his plastic glass down, the waitress brought him another mineral water and lime with tons of ice.