"Morgan?" Kat burst through his open office door almost before he could finish hanging up the phone that morning. "We really need your help."
All Daniel could think of was that Lynette was in trouble and had asked for him. He had driven by her house more times than he could count in the last three weeks, looking for some sign of her, trying to screw up his courage to ring the doorbell and ask if they could talk about Kat. He wanted his daughter to know who he was and become more than just her teacher and advisor.
He wanted a small piece of Lynette's life again, even though she was married. Was that so wrong? They had a shared past. In a sense, in the entirely Biblical sense, she was his wife from the moment they had first had sex in the field house on a pile of wrestling mats. Yes, she had pushed him out of her life and married someone else, but Kat's existence bound them together. Didn't he have any rights?
But he kept thinking of those miserable days when he haunted her dormitory and then her mother's house, begging just to talk to Lynette. He relived his anger and hurt, guilt and sense of betrayal. With so many years behind him, he could look back and honestly assess the situation. With their irresponsible actions, they had betrayed each other. Yes, she had forced him to go away, wronging him irreparably, denying him his rights as Kat's father. But in all honesty, Daniel knew he had wronged her by giving up so easily.
He refused to give up now where Kat was concerned. He vowed a dozen times already he would be there for Kat whenever she needed him, whatever she needed. Whatever Kat needed right now, he would do it for her, get it for her, no matter what. And he would be patient, giving Lynette time and space to get used to his being in their lives now, so they could work together to tell Kat the truth.
"What's wrong?" He shot to his feet, reaching out a hand to Kat.
"It's Bekka. You know that book she was so excited about? The one that guy she met in Florida wants to publish? It's all a scam. He's a major crook and he's trying to extort money from her grandparents and I know she needs to lean on somebody and she won't cry but I bet she wants to and... can you talk to her?"
"Sure." Daniel almost dropped back down into his creaky chair again. He felt blindsided.
Kat didn't need him, but Bekka did. Yet Bekka never seemed to need anybody. Whenever she asked for advice, it was mostly to check out what she'd already prayed about and decided for herself.
"Great. I knew you'd help." She started backing through the door, then paused. Daniel wondered if she was about to finally reveal what had been a shadow at the back of her eyes since she got back from Christmas. "It's... it's really nice to..." Kat shrugged, and Daniel could have sworn she blushed a little. "It's great to be able to... depend on... well, if we could pick our own fathers, all three of us decided we'd pick you. If you were old enough to be somebody's father," she added, hastily, and vanished through the door.
Daniel stared at the empty door for at least five minutes, his mouth hanging open. Then he laughed. He turned and propped his elbows on his desktop and hid his face in his hands and laughed until the tears came.