Brows furrowing, Richard scrubbed his face with his hands. For hours he’d been working on his reports, and he was sick of it. Piles of printed pages littered his desk, all of them requiring his personal attention. Most of the time his secretary could handle things, but some of the legalities in his front-business could only be sorted by the man-in-charge himself. It was for this reason that Richard distanced himself from his public business as much as possible. Dangerous as it was, hunting was so much easier.
“Daddy?” A hesitant voice came from the doorway.
Grateful for the reprieve, Richard set down his pen and swiveled his chair around. His son Regan was hovering uncertainly in the doorway.
“What’s going on, soldier?”
“Nothin’,” Regan answered. He toddled inside, wrapping his arms around his father’s leg and rubbing his face against his knee. “I was colo’ing, but then I missed you.”
Cracking a smile, Richard said, “No one else in the house?”
“No,” Regan sighed. “Espy and Soley took the big kids on a twip, and Ewic can’t play with me. His daddy nevew lets him play.”
That was certainly true, Richard thought. He’d counseled Evan more than once against being too strict on his boy.
“Sounds like you had a rough day,” Richard said.
The boy just hugged his father’s knee tighter. Threading his fingers through his son’s blond hair, Richard considered the situation. It was obvious his son needed some attention, but he couldn’t afford to abandon his forms right now.
Sighing again, Regan pulled away. “Guess I’ll go colo’.”
“Hey, soldier,” Richard said. “How’d you like to plop on the floor and color in here while I get this work done?”
Regan lit up. “Okay!” He pattered off toward the door.
“You need help with your crayons?”
“I can do it!” the boy called back.
Leaning back in his chair, Richard crossed his arms and waited. Sure enough, within a few minutes he could hear the sound of his son’s feet as he shuffled down the hall, mixed with what sounded suspiciously like crayons hitting hardwood. Smiling to himself and shaking his head, Richard headed out into the hallway.
His son had a hand-full of coloring books clutched against his chest, his gallon metal can of crayons clasped by the edge in his free hand. The uneven hold on the can had allowed several of the crayons to spill onto the floor, and when he stooped to pick them up more fell out.
“Need some help, buddy?” asked Richard with not a trace of wryness.
With a shy grin, Regan nodded. “I can do it, but you can get the ones that fell out if you want.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Straightening, Regan headed for his father’s office while Richard went behind him picking up the wayward crayons. Finally both St. James men ended up back in the office with all their materials in place. Regan spread three of his coloring books on the floor around him, set the can of crayons right next to him, and then flopped on his stomach on the floor.
Richard watched his son for a minute, before turning back to work. Right as he picked up his pen, he heard his son’s voice.
“Can I dwaw you a picshoh?”
“I’d like nothing better.”