"Hm?" Drew groggily answers his phone at 5 in the morning. The caller ID says it's the orphanage, but they never call him.
"Can you come help us, Drew?" Betty's worried voice rings through the phone.
"Where's May?" Gosh. Drew doesn't need to be at the orphanage for another 6 hours. They shouldn't be bothering him at this time.
"She's sick. Tyler is trying to keep her in bed, but she won't stay. Please help, Drew."
He sighs since he knows he'll have to go. It's summer, so the kids don't have school, and they can't run this orphanage by themselves. He wonders how they did it before whenever May couldn't. Maybe the owner would come by or the kids just somehow managed? Groaning, Drew says, "I'll be there soon."
When he walks into the orphanage, Betty quickly grabs his hand to drag him to May's room where her door is open. He notices that May doesn't own much besides a bed, desk, and small closet. There is a framed picture on her table, but he doesn't get a chance to look at it since May tries to get out of bed again.
"You need to rest, May!" Tyler worriedly tells her.
"You all need to eat! I'll rest when Drew comes later!" she tries to convince the teen.
"Drew's right here!" Betty calls into the room, which makes both people look towards her and the green haired man.
Drew sees that May is very red and sweaty, like she has a fever. Sighing, he says, "I'll take care of things. Just get better so I can sleep in tomorrow."
"Uh. Okay." May nods, and she's glad her face is already hot from the fever so he can't see her blush. He gives her an awkward nod back before heading out with Betty who helps him with preparing breakfast. May convinces Tyler to go help with the other kids, which he agrees to when she stays put in bed and falls asleep.
After a few hours, Tyler and Betty are helping with the other children, so Drew decides to check on May with a soup he made. Her door is still open so that people can enter it freely, and he sees her fast asleep. He smiles at the line of drool dripping down the side of her mouth.
Setting the bowl on the desk, Drew finally gets a look at the picture. It's old, but he can tell that the little girl in it is May. She basically looks the same, but without the baby fat...and Drew notices she looks very happy. He chuckles to himself as he recalls asking Solidad a few months ago how someone can look less reckless, but here he is saying how May looks less happy than the photo.
He assumes that the other people in the picture must be her family. They look happy, so she must not have been voluntarily dropped off at the orphanage, right? Else that little boy, who Drew assumes is her brother, would be here too.
"Drew?" the voice of the once sleeping woman gets his attention and he looks at her with his usual smirk.
"I brought you soup."
She slowly sits up as she rubs her eyes before taking the bowl from Drew, but when Drew notices her shaky hands, he doesn't let go of the bowl. She gives him a curious look. "You can't hold this, so eat it on the desk." He then places the bowl back on the desk.
Rolling her eyes, May stands up, but staggers from her lightheadedness. Fortunately, Drew catches her and holds her before she can fall. She gratefully looks up into his concerned green eyes as she gives him a weak smile. "Thanks, Drew."
He breathes out a sigh of relief before helping her to the desk where she enjoys the soup. "Now I don't owe you." He chuckles as he sits on her bed.
"What do you mean?"
"You cooked for me before, so this is me cooking for you. We're even."
She shrugs as she is too weak to argue. "Well, you'll be cooking lunch and dinner for me too, so I guess I'll owe you 2 meals."
Drew chuckles at her. He's glad she's talking now. She looks a lot better than when he first arrived. "I'm a businessman, so I charge interest."
"How about I just take off a day of service for you?"
This suggestion makes him frown. Months ago, Drew would've loved the opportunity of getting out of working at the orphanage, but he doesn't like missing any time here. "Nah. Food for food, May." His smirk returns, but she's too focused on eating to pay attention to his facial expressions.
Soon, she finishes eating and turns on the chair to face him. "Thanks, Drew." He smiles back at her, which makes her heart skip a beat again. She really hopes her face is red from the fever. Looking away, May says, "Betty told me you'll be leaving in a few months...and the court contacted me too about your shortened service."
Now Drew looks down at his hands. This is what he wanted. He wanted to hurry up and finish this punishment, but it hasn't felt like a punishment anymore. Sighing, he asks, "Do I have to leave?"
May quickly looks over at him with a shocked expression. She thought he was itching to get out of here, especially after his first few days at the orphanage. "Um. No, but don't you want to get back to Hayden Corporation?"
He shrugs. "I can do both. I'm not taking over for at least another 10 years."
"Well, we'd love to have you visit." The warm voice makes him finally meet her gaze again and he finds himself trapped in those beautiful sapphire blue eyes. He's never freely felt welcomed anywhere. At other people's houses, he was just invited because he's rich. At his parents' mansion, he's just there as the heir. At Hayden Corporation, he's there as the future chairman. But here, at the orphanage, he's Drew.
Fortunately, Drew quickly looks away before his blush gets too dark. He stands up to allow May to lay back in bed before wishing her well and grabbing the bowl. Before he leaves the room, May says, "Thanks again, Drew."
"Thank you, May." he quietly whispers as he closes the door, which she doesn't hear.
Two Weeks Later
May is feeling a lot better, so to celebrate the end of the school year and her recovery, she throws a little dance party for the kids. With an old speaker and her phone, May plays music in the dining area. They had moved the tables earlier as well as set up some Christmas lights, which makes the dining area dimly lit.
After a few songs play, no one has really stepped onto the dance floor. People are just sticking to themselves by the snacks and drinks, so May frowns. Drew chuckles at the defeated woman. "What's wrong? This is a cool party." He didn't have to stay, but he wanted to check out the little party. Plus, Betty had practically begged him to stay for it.
"No one's dancing." pouts the brunette. "Whenever Ms. Lovely would do it, people would dance."
"Okay." Drew smiles as he stands up to offer her a warm smile. "Let's start it off them." He extends a hand to the blushing woman who is very grateful for the dimly lit dining area. She takes his hand as they both head to the dance floor to dance to the fast paced song.
"I didn't know you can dance." May snickers at the man.
"Same to you, May." he smirks back as he grabs her hand to playfully twirl her.
"Whoa. Drew Hayden can be a gentleman on the dance floor?" she mocks the man who flicks his hair.
"Drew Hayden can do a lot of things." he then winks at her as Betty runs up to dance with them. Soon, most of the children are on the dancefloor jumping around and having lots of fun.
When a slow song plays, Drew manages to find May who he dances with. Blushing profusely, she asks, "Why are you dancing with me?"
He shrugs as he holds her waist. "You're my height, and not a minor."
May can't help but giggle, but she wraps her arms around his neck to look into those emerald green eyes she's grown to adore. Drew has really proven he's not a bad guy while he's been here. She likes this less arrogant version of him better, and the kids like him too, even Tyler who is skeptical of everyone.
A flash gets their attention as they look over to see Betty grinning mischievously with a camera. "Got ya!" She exclaims before rushing off.
Drew groans but keeps his arms around May. He's surprised that she doesn't stir either. "She likes Tyler." May whispers into his ear, which makes him chuckle. Betty does talk a lot about the stoic teen.
"Does he like her back?"
"I don't know. I never know what he's thinking. He may just see her as a little sister since we're all like a big family here." shrugs the brunette.
"Am I family?" Drew asks her. Even though he has a family of his own, he's never fully felt like he was in a family. He was just the heir to the family company and fortune. But since he kept fucking up, he was sent here with the threat of losing the fortune. Anyway, a lot of rich kids grow up with limited parental supervision.
"Yeah. They consider you family. Well, at least Betty and some of the younger kids. The teenage boys, not so much." May giggles but stops as she gets lost in his emerald green eyes again. She also doesn't consider Drew family. Maybe a friend; however, not family.
Fortunately, the song changing to a fast one separates the adults before their heads could've inched any closer. Neither one had realized how close they had gotten. May quickly excuses herself to get some water while Drew heads back to a table as his face is flushed. He hopes it's from the heat of dancing.
"You like May!" Betty teases once she sits beside him.
He smirks at her. "You like Tyler." And when her jaw drops as she nervously looks around, Drew chuckles. He ruffles her hair before saying, "I like all of you guys, including May."
A few weeks later, Drew has now been at the orphanage for 4 months. He's grown to enjoy the children's company, and he's also realized that not many people stop by the orphanage, like Betty had said. They had a work group come by to feed them once last week, but that was about it.
Betty comes into the backyard to call for May who leaves with her while Drew is in charge. Taking Benny, Drew sits at the table that is outside. Tyler, who was already sitting there, looks up from his book. "I heard you're leaving soon." he nonchalantly says to the man.
Drew doesn't like thinking about his departure. Sure, he'll be visiting, but it's not like he'll be here carefreely anymore. He'll have other responsibilities since he'll be returning to his life as an heir. Maybe he'll get so caught up in that lifestyle again that he doesn't come back here?
He shakes his head of the thought. This place has made him into a better person, and he's grown attached to these children. Despite not having much, they're so nice to him and very welcoming. He owes them more than to just be a temporary presence in their lives. He owes May more than that.
"Yeah. But I'll visit." Drew finally says to the boy.
Tyler shrugs. "That's what they all say."
"I'm not like other people."
Putting his book down, Tyler glares at Drew. "There was this orphan a few years ago. He and May were best friends for 10 years, and when he left, he promised to visit. We haven't seen him since." Tyler then takes a deep breath to calm his anger. "You've only been here 4 months, so don't make any broken promises to May. She's all we have, and she doesn't deserve that."
Seeing as how this is the most Tyler has ever spoken to Drew, the man can only nod. Sighing, Drew looks down at Benny on his knee. Is Drew just making a broken promise? He's done that plenty in his life with the women he's been with. He's done it with his parents whenever he said he'd change. Is he just doing it to these innocent kids and May?
The backdoor sliding open gets his attention as he sees May walking with a sobbing little girl. They sit at the same table as Drew, Benny, and Tyler where May introduces the boys to her. "And this is Natalie." May smiles at the raven haired girl who hiccups a sob.
Since Natalie arrived today, May asked Drew to stick around until bedtime because she will be focusing her attention on the new girl. Of course, Drew agreed since he doesn't do anything in his apartment anyway. He finds that he's been showing up early and staying later the longer he's at the orphanage.
Once Drew makes sure all of the kids are in their room for bedtime, he makes his way out of the orphanage. On the way, he passes by May's room where he is surprised to see the door is open. When he looks inside, May is solemnly sitting on the bed. Usually, Drew avoids these emotional looking situations, but a part of him makes him knock on the open door. This startles her as she looks over to him.
"Hey, Drew! Thanks for staying late." She gives him that fake smile he saw on the first day of their meeting. Drew gives plenty of fake smiles in his life, so he can recognize one quickly. "You can come in later tomorrow."
Sighing, the man walks into the room where he sits on her desk chair. "Nah. I don't do anything anyway."
The two sit in comfortable silence as Drew looks at the floor and May resumes looking at the photo in her hands. Eventually, she says, "I was her age when I came here." Drew's attention turns to her, but she remains sadly smiling at the photo. "It's been 15 years since I last saw them. I don't even remember their voices." the woman chokes back a sob. She's already cried enough over her family.
"It's okay to cry." his soft voice makes her now look at him. Those warm emerald eyes make her tears fall, and she quickly tries to wipe them.
"I'm so sorry." she cries. "I don't normally cry like this."
He shrugs while handing her a tissue from her box on the desk. "It's okay to cry, May."
With a sad giggle, she says, "I used to cry a lot. I would wish I had died too, you know?" She grabs another tissue from him. "It's like, how was I the only one who survived that accident? All I had was a cut on my forehead, Drew. But they all died."
He sighs while looking back at the ground. He's never seen May this broken before, so he doesn't know what to do. It pains him to see this usually strong woman like this. "It's good that you're here though." he finally manages to say because he couldn't imagine this orphanage without May. He couldn't imagine his life without her. "Without you, the kids would have no one. And you stand up for them." Drew takes a shaky breath before looking at her again, even though her gaze is still down. "So don't ever wish that you had died too, May."
When she sniffles more, Drew gets scared that he made it worse, but once her blue eyes look at him, she smiles. "I know. Thanks, Drew." she then blows her nose again as she has calmed down. "Sometimes, I just feel so lonely, you know? Even with all the children around, I know we all feel a little lonely and unwanted."
Drew sighs because she's right. He feels the same despite having both of his parents. Maybe that's why he lashes out and does reckless things all the time. Just for that slight attention from his parents, despite it being negative attention. He gives May a warm smile. "This is the one place I feel the least lonely though."
His response brings a soft smile to her face as she agrees with him. Ever since Drew came, she's been feeling less lonely. It's nice having another adult she can confide in and rely on. She usually has to be strong for the kids as wella s being that mother figure for them. But with Drew around, she's able to be more free. He soon gets up to leave, so she tells him, "Good night, Drew."