Chapter 1

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Ezra, yet again was up for the fourth night that week. It was impossible for him to get any sleep when this month rolled around. Every year it was the same. Every long and cold month of December, was a long and cold month for his heart. From the very beginning to the very end. He'd go back to being vulnerable and weak, instead of being the happy and strong person he always tried to be. After taking a big drink of water, to ease down the insomnia pills, he finally crawled into bed, as he would be needing the sleep the following day since it was his daughter's birthday party. But the bed wasn't that welcoming bed it used to be years ago. Instead, it was just cold sheets waiting for him every night. Slowly the pills started kicking in and within minutes he was fast asleep.

Ezra was awoken the next morning, by an overly excited little girl practically screaming in his ear.

"Daddy! Daddy" The little girl cried with excitement. "It's my birthday!"

Ezra lazily rolled over and was met with his daughter's wide hazel eyes. His daughter was a pint-sized version of her mother. The only features she'd inherited from her father were his set of messy curls and ears. Everything else was all her. He sat up on his bed and rubbed his eyes.

"It is? Are you sure?" Ezra joked as he pulled his daughter close to him.

"Yes Daddy! I'm five today!" The little girl replied with glee. "Remember? My party's today."

"Oh yeah it is isn't it?" Ezra laughed. "Happy Birthday princess."

"Thanks Daddy." She smiled. "Now come on! Let's get ready!" She tugged on Ezra's arm.

"Olivia, it's still too early. It's eight in the morning." Ezra whined.

"But Daddy, I'm so excited! I'm five Daddy, five. A whole hand." She explained holding up her hand.

Ezra laughed and pulled her onto his lap.

"You're getting so big sweetie, but you're always gonna be Daddy's baby." Ezra said hugging his daughter.

Olivia hugged her dad back just as tight and gave him a soft kiss on the cheek.

"I love you Daddy."

"Love you too sweetheart." Ezra replied giving her cute nose a kiss. "Now what do you say we go out for breakfast and let the day begin?" Ezra asked, knowing he wouldn't be falling back asleep.

"Let's go Daddy!" Olivia replied before running off.

Olivia was helping Ezra blow up the balloons when the doorbell rang. She quickly dropped the balloons and ran to the door.

"Careful Livey" Ezra warned from the kitchen.

Olivia gave him a small nod before opening the door.

"Uncle Mike!" She yelled jumping into his arms.

"Hey kiddo."

He closed the door behind him and rested Olivia on his hip. Ezra came from the kitchen just as he was in.

"Hey Mike."

"Hey man."

"How's it going? Thank you so much for helping us set up for the party."

"No problem. Anything for my princess." Mike laughed. He set Olivia down who went back to the balloons.

"Are you OK?" Mike asked Ezra, noticing he was a bit distracted.

"I'm alright. You know, same as always."

"I'm sorry man."

"Don't be. It's not your fault." Ezra replied with a sigh. "So are Byron and Ella coming now or later?"

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