“Daniel Jackson?” Alan questioned his youngest son as he loaded the dishwasher. “You mean little Danny? You’ve spoken to him?”
Charlie felt a pang of guilt for not telling his father sooner but things had been so hectic that it had completely slipped his mind until now. “Yeah, well, his wife, actually.”
Alan straightened up, closing the dishwasher door. “His wife? Danny’s married?” He leaned back against the counter. “She look you up or what?” He wanted to know.
“Not exactly.” Charlie hedged as he moved to the refrigerator and pulled a beer out for himself. He didn’t drink much but he figured he was going to need it after this conversation was over. Twisting off the cap, he placed the bottle to his lips and took a long drink.
“What’s that suppose to mean, not exactly?” Alan eyed his youngest, waiting for it to be explained.
Charlie sighed and ran his free hand through his curly hair. “Samantha Carter...Daniel’s wife...has been to see me several times over the past four years.” He took another sip of his liquid courage. “She works for a highly top secret government program and she was sent to try and...recruit me, for lack of a better phrase. I didn’t even know who she was at first but...she was very persistent and insisted that I get to know her better before I made any decisions. We went out for coffee and started talking and she mentioned Daniel several times. It took me a little while to put two and two together but I finally asked her and...” He shrugged.
Alan raised his eyebrows. “That’s some story.” He wasn’t sure he believed Charlie. Out of his two sons, Charlie was usually the most honest but since he started to work with his brother...some of Don’s habits had rubbed off on the younger man, unbeknownst to him. “So little Danny’s married.” He smiled. “Have you spoke to him or just his wife?”
Clearing his throat, Charlie finished his beer and tossed the bottle into the recycling bin. “I’ve spoken to Daniel several times; over the phone and...” He paused then continued. “And face to face.”
“You’ve seen him?!” Alan crossed his arms over his chest. “And you didn’t think I’d be interested in knowing how my foster son was doing?”
Charlie fought the urge to roll his eyes. His father could be so dramatic sometimes. “Of course you’d be interested. I just forgot. Things haven’t exactly been calm around here lately. It just slipped my mind until Sam showed up at my office last week.”
Alan shook his head. “So how’s he doing? Last I heard he was an archaeologist but he disappeared shortly after claiming that the pyramids were landing platforms for alien spaceships.” He chuckled. “That boy sure did have an imagination despite his brilliance.”
“He’s doing fine, Dad.” Charlie debated about how much he should tell his father then concluded he had the right to know everything that wasn’t classified. “He’s actually an Air Force consultant. That’s where he met his wife. Sam’s a Lieutenant Colonel with the Air Force.”
“Wow, I would say it’s surprising but I guess geniuses are in high demand.” Alan gave Charlie a fond smile. “So...you know where he lives?”
Charlie nodded, his curls bobbing. “Colorado Springs. He actually invited you and Don to come along on my next visit.”
Alan perked up a bit. “Really? When?” He was anxious to see Daniel for himself.
“Next week is JC’s birthday and their having a huge party for him.” Charlie said with a smile. He always smiled when he thought about his Godson.
“Wait. JC? Who’s JC?” Alan was confused.
Charlie felt another pang of guilt. He should have told his father as soon as he found out about Daniel. “JC is...Jack Charles Jackson, Daniel and Sam’s son. My Godson.”
Alan was shocked silent. “Son.” His voice had taken on a hoarse edge. “He has a child? How old?”
“He’s turning four next Saturday. We all agreed...well...they agreed that it was time for him to meet his extended family and...Grandfather.” Charlie smiled, slightly. “Daniel doesn’t have any family, as you very well know. And Sam’s family...her mother was killed in a car accident when she was a teenager and her father died recently. He was a semi-retired General with the Air Force. He caught a...parasite...overseas and...” He shrugged again. “There wasn’t anything that could be done. She has a brother too but I don’t think they’re close. He’s not too supportive of the military. So we’re all either of them have as family except for their friends and colleagues.”
“This is all...” Alan shook his head. “Well, I always wanted grandkids and since neither you or Don are in any hurry to stop playing Cops and Robbers...” He smiled. “I believe next Saturday is a wonderful day to take a little trip. I hear Colorado is nice this time of year.”
Charlie nodded. “Now all I have to do is talk Don into going.” He frowned. That was easier said then done. Don was a workaholic just like him. It was one thing the brothers had in common. And something neither of them knew they had in common with their foster brother.
Alan moved over to Charlie and patted him on the shoulder. “If anyone can do it, it’s you. You have a way with your brother.” And with that said, he left the kitchen. He needed to call Millie and cancel their plans for next weekend. He had a wayward son to see and a daughter-in-law and grandson to meet. He felt a rush of giddiness as he climbed the stairs to his bedroom.
Once his father had left the kitchen, Charlie relaxed. “That was easier than I thought it would be.” Pulling out his cellphone, he dialed the familiar Colorado Springs number and waited for someone to pick up. “Sam? It’s Charlie, I have great news. Dad’s coming with me on Saturday. Yeah, I’m sure. No, I haven’t spoken to him yet but I’m sure I can get him to come too. What? I don’t really know how but I’ll manage. Yeah, I’ll let you go, I just wanted to tell you the good news. Be safe. Very funny, Sam. Goodbye.
” He hung up and left the kitchen heading for the garage to work on his math.