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The Tiniest Master of Subterfuge

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Andrew held this small, shrivelled thing in his arms carefully, carried it like it was made of glass.

Glass that cried and needed to eat and be changed.

And boy did this baby cry his tiny heart out. Andrew didn’t have the proper training required to understand what it was a child needed—the crying never seemed to give it away. And Jasmine explaining how to give a baby their formula had gone straight over the confused Andrew’s head.

He and Jasmine had named the baby boy Jack. He had concerns about what he could make of this tiny being, what he could raise him to be.

His thoughts gave way to other issues, rearing up as he gazed at his rosy-cheeked creation.

He couldn’t be a parent.

He didn’t know what it took to keep this child alive. To keep him breathing.

Not to mention the costs of caring for—

In that moment, Jack gurgled and wrapped his chubby little hand around Andrew’s pinky finger, his other hand shoved in his mouth.

Andrew realised that he had been alleviated almost immediately of his concerns when he watched his would-be son perform this simple, pointless, yet endearing series of infantile actions.

Andrew felt those blue eyes scan him and study, he heard that that devious little coo Jack made while tugging on his father’s finger—Andrew knew his angle.

It seemed that his son—barely a few days old—was a master of subterfuge.

He would not fall to his son’s underhanded clutches.

Despite himself, Andrew leaned his head down to place his forehead against Jack’s and sigh—he may have even smiled a bit.

He ran his thumb along the peach-fuzz layer of hair on Jack’s head, listening to his son gurgle with weak attempts at communicating.

Losing the battle, Andrew admitted defeat in one single look—softening and growing docile in his posture

Then he finally lowered down into his green-grey lounge chair.

The two of them were framed in blue light from the sprawling cityscape. Schools of fish making that light flicker.

Andrew looked down at the child. He caught the little one yawning and bringing his portly little body into a tight little ball to lie against his father’s grey, double-breasted business suit.

Andrew was filled with a sense of cautious contentment—realising he was holding something that may have mattered more to him than Rapture as a whole.

He held its tiny figure in his arms, slowing down his own thoughts so as to not wake his slumbering legacy.

A beautiful example of life sleeping soundly in his arms.

A precious creation that he couldn’t believe was his own.

A perfect creation, he daresay.