Look After You

"I'm an angel (bored like hell) and you're a devil (meaning well). Bare your fangs and burn my wings; I hear bullets singin'."

‘Tis the Season

Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.

And Happy Hanukkah and Kwanza as well! I hope you all are having a very safe, happy, and pleasurable day! ^_^

You, my fellow, trusthworthy readers, should feel very special because the Holiday pictures I am about to share with you contain sneak peeks !

(: That’s right! Precious Mira had her baby and Shayda is still goin’ strong! But who is the man she’s with and where did the two bebes come from?

I guess you’ll just have to still around and find out, huh? ;o

Don’t worry, it won’t be long until I get the next chapter out! I already have all of the pictures saved to my flash and the idea I have in mind just needs to be written down, but just so you know: Mira gives birth in this chapter and there will more talk about this Holden guy.

Again, Merry Christmas and don’t forget :

Chapter VII

[Beau’s P.o.V.]

“You’re only running from yourself, darling and if you ask me-” Vaguely, I remember Tatum counting the six or seven empty glasses sitting in front of me before gently taking the highball from my hand, “You’re competing in quite a deadly race.”

“What does she know?” I muttered while staggering towards the living room, “That is also the same woman who told me that if I kept playing my ‘dangerous little game’ I would end up dead.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Chapter VI

[Mira’s P.o.V]

Unlike Willow, I didn’t mind having Lotus around. Maybe it was because I related to her; maybe it was because I was only a guest in this beautiful house and I didn’t consider Lotus to be an intruder; or maybe it was because of the fact that she constantly obsessed over my expanding waistline. Whatever the case may be, I absolutely adored Lotus and I really did enjoy her company.  Read the rest of this entry »

Chapter V

Nearly two months had past since Shayda and Holden’s liaison. As a result, Winnie moved in with Winona while Shayda-

Well- Only God knew where Shayda was.

Since she didn’t have a cell phone, there was no way for me to check in on her and make sure that she was alright or better yet: find out where she was.

There was apart of me that resented my father for the way he ‘threw’ Shayda away. I knew that he was hurting, but to throw the woman he loved out of the house with nothing but a towel? How could he do that?

To make matters worse, it was almost as if Shayda never existed in my father’s life.

Less than two weeks after she disappeared he began bringing home stray women.

Of course, I didn’t approve of his behavior, but what could I do? I didn’t have the heart to put him out and I was afraid that if I tried to talk to him, I would say the wrong thing.

Since he was usually good about getting most his concubines out of my house before sunrise, I just decided to leave him alone. Notice how I said he was good at getting rid of  most of them.

There was one woman who became a frequent ‘guest’ in my house and it drove me mad.

Why?

It was quite simple, actually. She made my dad happy and though it may sound selfish,  the only person I wanted him to be happy with was Shayda.

I also wasn’t too crazy about the fact that this lady hardly ever left.

When I would come home in the wee hours morning I would find her sitting at the kitchen table indulging on a sweet treat that was brewed by my expresso machine.

In the morning, I would find the strange woman standing in front of the expresso machine fixing herself something to drink.

Her name was Lotus Everglow and she was addicted to chai with cinnamon swirl-

Chai with cinnamon swirl made on MY expresso machine.

According to Dad, Lotus was the best thing that had ever happened to him. When he was with her, he didn’t think about what Shayda had done to him; as a matter of fact, he once said that when Lotus was around he didn’t think about Shayda at all.

But of course I didn’t believe this. At least, I didn’t believe it until I saw the ring on her finger while she was enjoying her morning fix.

———-Note from the Author———-

I would just like to take this time to thank my Greek Love (who is really Polish), Olga, for letting me use her lovely Lotus! I would say more but- GAH! I have no words! Thank you so much, love! ♥

Chapter IV

While Willow respected the fact that I did not want to talk about why Anjel was no longer apart of my life, Shayda did not; she constantly pried and attempted to give me advice about how it wasn’t good to keep my emotions bottled up. 

What emotions? I didn’t have any emotions bottled up. I simply didn’t want to talk about Anjel because recalling the events of the accident pained me more than words will ever be able to express.

Of course, as usual, people were quite good at using my words against me. Shayda told my dad that I didn’t like her. She also went on to tell him that I found her to be a huge bother.

Neither one of her assumptions were true, though. Shayda was the sweetest person I’d ever met and I didn’t think she was a nuisance at all. I just wanted her to respect my my decision to remain silent.

In a sense, I got that wish because after I began to show, she stopped talking to me completely. I no longer got a, ‘Good morning morning’ or a, ‘How are you feeling today?’ No, after I began to show all I got from Shayda were glares aimed at my expanding abdomen.

“I think she wants a baby,” I announced to Dad one evening.

I was having a dinner date with him, Willow, Winnie, and Winona, so I didn’t have to worry about Shayda overhearing the conversation.

“Who?” Winnie inquired.

I’ll admit, that was a strange way to pick up a conversation.

“Shayda. I think she wants a baby.”

My older sisters turned their gaze to Dad who merely wiped his mouth with one of the cloth napkins resting on the table.

“Well?” Winona pressed.

“She probably does,” Dad replied calmly as he turned his attention to me. “How did you come to that conclusion?”

“She constantly glares at my stomach.”

“She’s- Well- She’s been through a lot, Mira. She was once a mother herself and-“

WAS?

“More than likely she’s ready to give motherhood a try again, but I really don’t want anymore kids; not right now – not after what happened.”

“W-w-what happened?”

“Um-“ Dad pulled his wallet out of his pocket to leave a tip for the waitress. “It’s a long story, really. I’ll tell you a little later. Why don’t we head home, huh?”

I looked down at my plate. I still had quite a bit of food left and I wanted all of it. “Can I get a to-go box?”

***

“J-j-just a minute!” Shayda stammered, “I wasn’t expecting you all to be back so soon.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you weren’t,” Dad growled as he grabbed the doorknob.

Poor Winnie looked as if she might faint and I who was I to blame her?

There was a chance that her boyfriend had just slept with her future mother-in-law.

When the five of us arrived home from the restaurant, we found Holden’s car parked in the driveway. It seemed like an innocent arrangement until we came in the house and noticed a trail of crumpled up clothing (starting with Shayda’s bra) that led from the living room to the bathroom.

“I can explain!” Shayda sobbed once Dad threw the door back.

Dad didn’t seem interested in an explanation, though. He simply stormed into the bathroom and grabbed Shayda by her wrist. His burning scarlet eyes narrowed as she glared at Holden, “If you knew what was best for you-“

Holden didn’t need Dad to finish that statement. He bolted out of the house without even looking at Winnie or trying to find his shirt.

“Beau-“ Shayda whimpered.

“Shut up,” Dad snarled as he began to drag her out of her out of the bathroom.

“Beau, please! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

“‘Sorry?’” Dad scoffed as he continued to make his way to the front door. “You really think ‘sorry’ will fix this?”

“Beau, please!” Shayda wailed. She was trying with all of her might to break away from the grasp that dad had on wrist, but she was getting nowhere; and nowhere fast.

Dad ignored Shayda’s pleas and yanked the front door open.

With one swift motion, the towel covering Shayda’s bare body was ripped from her clutches and her body hit the stone path with a sickening ‘thud.’

Chapter III, Part ii

You gave me wings and made me fly.

You touched my hand – I could touch the sky.

I lost my faith, you gave it back to me.

You said no star was out of reach.

You stood by me and I stood tall.

I had your love; I had it all.

I’m grateful for each day you gave me.

Maybe I don’t know that much, but I know this much is true: I was blessed because I was loved by you.

You were my strength when I was weak.

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak.

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see.

You saw the best there was in me.

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach.

You gave me faith ’cause you believed.

I’m everything I am because you loved me.

“Why?” That was a question I asked myself a lot.

As the weeks progressed, the question had gone simply from being, “Why?” to “Why did Anjel have to go?” to “Why didn’t I die instead?” Tonight, I back to square one with just plain ol’ “Why?”

“Because you’re going to have a baby that you need to take care of, that’s ‘why,'” I told myself firmly.

“You mean-“ Up until that point, I was completely unware that someone else was in the room. Dad and Shayda were upstairs and as far as I knew, no one else lived there. “I’m going to be an aunt?!”

“W-w-who are you?!” I cried once I scrambled to my feet.

“Fret not, little one,” the woman said with a soft smile, “I’m your big sister.”

“B-b-big sister?” I stammered. “I have an older sister?”

The woman nodded,  “On your father’s side, of course. In fact, you have three. We’re triplets.”

I shook my head softly trying to process that bit of information. “I-I-I had no idea.”

“Of course your didn’t. You were so little when your mom fled with you that you probably don’t remember the few times that we did come to visit you.”

“I’m afraid I don’t,” I admitted.

The woman nodded again, “It’s quite alright. What counts is that your back now and that you’re safe.” Her face twisted suddenly and she began to gently trace the bruise on my face with her slender index finger. “Then again, I may have spoken too soon. What happened?”

“I ran into a tree?” I laughed weakly.

“You don’t honestly expect me to believe that, do you?”

“It was worth a try,” I whispered.

“Did a man do that to you?”

“Anjel would never-” What was the point in me getting all worked up? She didn’t know who Anjel was and she would never get the chance to meet him. All I wanted to know was why that had been everyone’s first assumption. First Dad asked me if a man did this, then all of his friends when he invited them over to show them that I was indeed alive, and now my sister. “No,” I finally continued with a small sigh. “This was done by a ill-tempered blonde-haired blue-eyed woman.”

She laughed softly, “It sounds like you’re describing my mother during her PMS-ing days.” Suddenly her labent blue eyes widened, “Wait! Bianca did that to you?!”

Unbelievable. “You know my mom?”

The woman bobbed her head slowly, “Yes. Our mothers were close friends until my mother got pregnant with me and my sisters. There’s a long story behind that but let’s not get into that right now. I- Uh- I- We need to talk. Just let me go slip into something a little more comfortable.”

“Aren’t you going to ask Shayda and Dad if it’s okay for you to stay? I don’t want to get you in trouble?”

“Sweetie, this is my house.”

I must have looked like a lost puppy as I looked around the exotic, yet nicely furnished living room.

Your house?” This lady may have been older than me, but it couldn’t have been by much. “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m an exotic dancer.”

“Exotic dancer? What is- Oh. OH!” Well that was a conversation killer. I didn’t even know what to say from there. I mean, she was certainly pretty enough for the job but I didn’t feel comfortable asking her how she liked having money thrown at her and sliding down poles for a living.

“Relax. I’m kidding,” she giggled, “Seriously. I’m a waitress and my boyfriend is a mixologist who makes a pretty good penny from moonlighting every now and then.”

“Boyfriend?” He must live here too.

“Yes, ma’am. His name is Griffin Jones and I’ve been dating him for about three years. That reminds me, I never told you my name- I mean, unless you remember it?”

“Sorry.”

“It’s okay. I’m Willowby Prattle, but everyone just calls me Willow. Ocassionally I get called Will or Willie, but that can get kind of confusing when Uncle Will is around.”

“Uncle Will?”

“He’s a good friend of Dad and Shayda’s. Well, more so a good friend of Dad’s and a former fling of Shayda’s. Once again, long story. Here, let me go change. I’ll be back shortly.”

***

For the first time since Anjel’s death, I felt secure. With my head resting on Shayda’s lap and her hand resting on my shoulder, I felt like nothing could harm me. Dad was still upstairs fast alseep, but for the most part, I felt safe.

I told Willow and Shayda everything there was to know about starting my quest for Dad; everything except for the most important factor.

“If you don’t mind me asking-“ Willow asked, shattering the silence in the room, “What happened to the father of your child? Why aren’t you still with him? Does he know about this baby?”

I could feel every muscle in my body tighten, “I-”

It had been a long day that the bookstore. Not only did I have to be the clerk, but I also had to be the waitress over at the cafe. I was absolutely exhausted and in no condition to drive home.

Anjel would have been more than happy to give me a ride home, but there was one problem, I wasn’t too keen about riding on his motorcylce; in fact, I didn’t even like the fact that Anjel rode on his motorcycle.  The irony in all of this? I was the one who bought him the motorcycle.

So what did I do? In spite of pleas from my co-workers and threats from my boss, I decided to drive home anyway.

Anjel was heading home from a friend’s house, so he was coming from the North. The bookstore was located on the other side of town, so I was heading from the East. When we met up at the intersection that would take us southbound, I was so out of it, that I didn’t notice the light turn red. As a result, I sped right through the light.

Everything- Everything happened so fast. I didn’t have time to slam on my brakes or to jerk the wheel to avoid from colliding with my love.

“Mira?” Willow called out. Her voice allowed me to drift back into reality.

I closed my eyes in an attempt to push the memories of the accident to the back of my mind. “I would prefer not to talk about it.”

Chapter III, Part i

As far as I was concerned, I didn’t have a father. My parents divorced when I was only two and my father never bothered to keep in touch with me. When I was four-years-old, my mother remarried a man by the name of Romeo Rake ; two years later she gave birth to my little sisters Lena and Hagar the Horrible ( who everyone knows as Renae). I didn’t have a problem with Romeo, in fact, I actually grew to be quite fond him. He may have not been my biological father, but he treated me as if I were his own. In fact, he gave me more love and affection than my own mother.

“You look just like that monster.” That’s what my mom would always tell me; and being 12-years-old, those words had a tremendous affect on me.

Since I was unable to decifer that my mother was referring to the personality of my sperm donor, I began VERY self-conscious of my appearance – so I guess it’s no suprise that by the time I was a freshman in high school I found myself wearing ass loads of makeup and unnaturally tight clothes in a desperate attempt to conceal my ugliness’ 

Of course, I only added to my dilemma, because on top of being referred to as a monster-look-alike by my mother, everyone at my school thought I was a whore. Girls, who had never spoken to me a day in their life, wrote malicious things about me on the bathroom walls and as odd as it may seem, boys stayed the hell away from me. Yes, my freshman year of high school was hell on Earth and the worst thing about it was the fact that I had no one to turn – I didn’t have any friends, my mother was a bitch, my sisters were way too younger to understand what I was going through, and Romeo was busy trying to keep my mother happy (which was not an easy task). 

Unfortunately for me, inspite of the fact that I stopped wearing excessive amounts of makeup and ridiculously tight clothing, things only got worst as I got older. The rumors became more believable which made them more detrimental to my reputation. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and I dropped out during the middle of my junior year.

“The only way you’re staying here is if you get a job, because if you think I’m just going to let you sit around on your lazy ass all day while Romeo and I are working, you’re wrong, Mira!” My mom didn’t even care that I dropped out. She didn’t even ask me, ‘Why?’ or ‘What happened?’ All she cared about was me getting a job and not sit around on my ‘lazy ass.’ “You know what, better yet, you can watch out for the twins while they are home; THAT will be your job.”

“W-w-will I get paid?” I should have known better than to ask that question. I should have KNOWN!

My answer was a harsh slap across the face which left my cheek red for days.

When I was 18, I decided to get my GED. I had come to the conclusion that I needed a job – a job that brought in an income, a job that I enjoyed – because I couldn’t stand babysitting the twins anymore. I didn’t mind Lena, but that Renae, she was the devil. I swear, Mom told her to give me a hard time just for the hell of it. Much to my surprise, I passed my GED and ended up in a community college less than four months later. It was there that my life would change forever.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I murmured pressing the ‘coin return’ button, “Really? REALLY?!”

“It ate your quarter?” a gentle voice inquired.

“More like it ate my dollar AND my quarter. Jesus, I hate technology,” I murmured slamming my fist against the glass.

“What were you going to buy?”

“Just a bag of M&M’s to carry me over until after I can find something real to eat,” I muttered.

The boy chuckled deeply, “Did you try that vending machine?”

“That was my only dollar,” I murmured resting my head agains the glass.

“I’ll buy it for you.”

I lifted my head from the glass and turned to the face the stranger, “W-“ He had the most amazing pair of eyes I’d ever seen, “W-what?”

The boy reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet, “You said M&M’s, right?”

“Y-y-yeah.” I watched silently as he fed the machine. Seconds later, I was holding a bag of M&M’s.

“There ya go.”

“T-t-thank you!”

“No problem. Is today your first day?”

I nodded sheepishly, “How did you know?”

He pointed at the broken vending machine, “Everyone knows that machine eats money. In fact-“ The boy took a step closer to the machine and traced his fingers along the fine writing on the glass.

“How on Earth is anyone supposed to see that?!” I screeched. In a black permanent marker, the word ‘Broken’ was written across the glass of the vending machine. “They should have wrote that on a piece of tape and placed it on there!”

“I agree with you, believe me,” the boy chuckled. “Um-“ he ran his fingers through his dark tresses, which was obviously a nervous habit, “I’m Mikhailanjelo, and you would be?”

“I uh- I uh-” I didn’t forget what my name was, but to have someone ask me – to have someone care, it was new to me, “I-I’m M-m-mirabella.”

Eight years later, not only did I have several degrees under my belt, I also had a very loving and affectionate fiance who was willing to do anything and everything to make me happy but as one could suspect, my happiness didn’t last very long.

A week before my wedding day, I found myself moving back in with Mom, Romeo, Lena and Hagar. All I had to remember my relationship with Anjel was the ring on my finger and the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I honestly didn’t want to move back home, but I didn’t have any choice. I didn’t have enough money to make it on my own.

“I knew you and that boy weren’t going to last,” Mom spat.

There was no point in telling her why I was alone, so I merely nodded.

“You were stupid for thinking he loved you.”

“Yup,” I muttered fighting back my tears, “I certainly was.”

My stay at home was short lived. I refused to let Mom and Renae continue to talk down to me and due to standing up for myself, Mom kicked me out with nothing but the clothes on my back, bruises on my face, and a little piece of paper in my hands.

On that tiny scrap of paper was an address – a faulty address that led to nothing but a pile of rubble. Thanks to this setup, it felt like I had been walking for eons. There were blisters forming on my bare feet from the heat of the gravel and I had a terrible stitch in my side, but I refused to give up; I didn’t care if I had to walk across ever inch of Bridgeport and knock on the door of every single residency.

Just one more house- I told myself. Just try one more house. I looked around at the vast land surrounding me. First, you have to find another house.

Finally, my journey brought me to a dainty little community in the heart of Bridgeport. By now, the moon was shining brightly in the night sky and the pain in my side was unbearable. My feet were raw and it was by divine intervention that I was even able to stand. 

With the little strength I had left, I hobbled over to the nearest house and rung the doorbell.

When I noticed a female figure approaching the door, I could feel my heart sink. 

“Maybe I should just give up,” I muttered dropping my head.

The sound of the door opening caused me to lift my eyes slightly.

“C-can I help you?”

I let out a shaky sigh and grabbed my side, “I- You-“ There was no hope left for me in this world. “You wouldn’t happen to know where I could find a Beau Merrick, would you?”

Without saying a word, the woman placed her finger under my chin and lifted it slowly. From the look in her eyes when she saw my battered face, you would have thought that she was looking at the beaten and swollen face of her own child.

“Shayda, who’s at the d-“ When the man in the distance saw me standing in the entry way, he became rigid.

For me, it was almost like staring into a mirror. With the exception of my nose and the off color of my hair, I was a spitting image of him.

“Mira-Mira,” he whispered rushing to the door. From the moment he pulled me into his arms, I had a feeling that everything I had been told about my father was a lie. He wasn’t a monster, not at all. The only monster in this situation was my mother and I had a gut-wrenching feeling that she was the reason he didn’t keep in touch.

Chapter II

[Shayda’s P.o.V.]

~Flashback~

MOM! MOM! MOM!”

“I’m in the kitchen.”

MOOOOOOM!”

“I’m in the kitchen!”

MOOOOOOMMMMY!”

I’M IN THE KITCHEN!”

I could hear the sound of ten little footsteps pounding against the linoleum floors.

“Mom!” Drako gasped, “You gotta- You gotta come outside! NOW!”

“Why?”

PLEASE!” Harlequin pleaded, “It’s important!”

“Can’t you get your dad?”

“He just got home less than an hour ago and we don’t want to wake him up. Besides, you’re more sympathetic than him when it comes to these things,” Bellamy replied as she began to play with a random strand of her ginger hair.

“Ah, so this is strictly a ‘mommy job,'” I laughed placing down the dish rag, “Alright. What’s up?”

Draco and Harlequin rushed into the kitchen and grabbed me by my wrists. The next thing I knew, I was being ‘carried’ outside by five anxious eight-year-olds.

“Look!” Bellamy squealed.

“Are those what I think they are?” I gawked.

“It depends, Mom,” Shiki replied, “What do you THINK they are? I mean, as far as we’re concerned, they can be whatever YOU WANT them to be.”

I looked down at my son and frowned, “You know what-“ Sometimes, I just didn’t understand why that boy was so ornery. He gets it from Beau, Shayda. He gets it from Beau.

Merlot elbowed Shiki harshly between his rib cage, “Ignore him, Mom. It’s too early for him.”

“Yeah, I know,” I mumbled as my eyes wandered back to the baby raccoons who were happily scampering about in our front yard.

“Can we keep them, Mom? Can we?” Harlequin begged, “Oh, please! PLEASE!”

“Of course you can’t!” I laughed nervously, “Harlequin, they’re raccoons! Raccoons are known for having rabies; and even if I didn’t think they might carry that fatal disease, they’re only babies! I’m sure that they’re still pretty dependent on their mother right now!”

“Or they WERE dependent on their mother,” Shiki muttered as he pointed his rounded finger to the edge of our driveway.

Reluctantly, I allowed my gaze to travel to where his noble finger was pointed.

“Oh dear god,” I croaked.

At the foot of our driveway was the bloodied and mangled carcass of a full-grown raccoon.

“I-I-I need to move that,” I managed to whisper.

“Nah, I would make DAD move it,” Drako piped up, “After all, he’s the one who killed it.”

***

Since Beau, was, indeed, at fault for the death of the mother raccoon (he accidentally hit her on his way home from work), the kids and I decided to take the babies in under our wings (after a trip to the vet to make sure that they did not have rabies) until they were able to survive on their own. Since we would be taking care of them for approximately five to six months, I thought it would be nice if each of the kids got to name one.

 Arkhimedes was the name that Merlot picked out for his ‘coon, which sparked a bit of a controversy.

“Dude, can you even spell that?” Shiki gawked.

“Sure I can! Arkhimedes!”

“I’m pretty sure ‘Archimedes’ is spelled with a ‘C’ not a ‘K,'” Harlequin correctly in a gentle fashion.

Merlot frowned slightly and lowered his head, “Oh…”

“Ha! See!” Shiki sneered.

“Shut up, Shiki, I didn’t say that to make fun of him, I was just telling him! So if Merlot wants his raccoon to be named ‘Archimedes’ with a ‘K,’ his name name shall be ‘Archimedes,’ but with a ‘K.'” Harlequin looked over at Merlot and flashed him a tender smile.

Merlot smiled softly as he looked over at his sister, “Thanks, Harlequin.”

“No problem, Lo.”

“What are you going to name yours?” Merlot inquired.

Harlequin looked down at the raccoon that was sitting in her lap. BANDIT!” she squealed in delight after a moment of deliberation.

“Oh how origi-“

“Finish that statement, little brother, and I promise you, you will be in a world of pain,” Harlequin warned.

I had to give it to Shiki; at least he knew when to shut his mouth.

“And since you’re such a hypocrite, why don’t YOU tell us what you’re going to name YOURS.”

“Rocco.”

“And unfortunately,” Harlequin huffed, “There is absolutely nothing I can say about that.”

“Exactly.”

Harlequin rolled her eyes and looked over at Drako who was cuddling his newfound love, “Awwww!”

“Dare we ask what you want to name it?” Shiki muttered.

“I’m naming her Otter.”

Merlot, Harlequin, Shiki, Bellamy, and I looked at each other then over at Drako, “Otter?” Even I had to join in with this inquiry.

“Baby,” I whispered, “You do realize that she’s a RACCOON.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s short for PB&J Otter!”

“Peanut Butter and Jelly Otter?” Harlequin mused lifting her eyebrow, “Oh, dude, come on! You’ve gotta be kidding!”

Drako shook his head firmly, “Nope!”

“Aren’t you allergic to peanut butter?” Bellamy chimed in.

“So?” Drako puffed.

“Juuuuuuuust asking!”

“Seriously though! Be reasonably, Drako!” Shiki yelped. His voice then dropped, “If that is even humanly possible.”

Drako jerked his head up. His scarlet eyes were glowing with rage. “What was that?”

“Drako, love, count to ten,” I cooed, “Shiki, leave him alone!” 

“I didn’t do anything!” Shiki groaned.

“Just go upstairs, please!”

“Fine!” Carefully, Shiki placed Rocco back in the box and stormed out of the room.

Sometimes I oftened wondered where I went wrong as a mother when I came to Shiki. He seemed to get some sort of sick pleasure out of picking on his siblings, but especially Drako. What made it so bad was that Drako had an extremely short temper and was quick to hit, kick, punch, or push. When they were toddlers, Drako was a biter and Shiki was always the person he bit. Now, I was starting to see why.

 “A-a-a-re you okay, Drako?” Bellamy hated to see Drako upset almost as much as I did.

“I’m fine,” Drako mumbled.

“Don’t let Shiki get to you,” Harlequin said putting Bandit on her shoulder, “I think PB&J Otter is a nice name, it’s just strange,” Harlequin giggled, “But I like it.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem, bud!”

We all turned our gaze to Bellamy who was still eyeing Drako oddly.

“Belles, I’m fine,” Drako sighed, “I’m not going to do anything.”

Bellamy nodded softly, “O-o-okay.” 

“Are you still stuck on the name Clarissa?” Drako asked in an attempt to lighten the mood.

“I am,” Bellamy replied with a smile. Suddenly, her radiant smile turned into a sorrowful frown, “But you guys all picked out fun names and mine sounds all-“

“Nice? Professional? Lovely? Yeah, so?”

“I don’t know,” Bellamy murmured, “Maybe I should find another name.”

“No way! I like Clarissa!” Harlequin declared, “It’s pretty and you put more thought into naming your raccoon than any of us did!”

Merlot and Drako nodded, “Agreed.”

The corners of Bellamy’s lips twisted upward into a smile, “Alright,” she crooned, “Clarissa it is.”

~~~~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ~~~~

~Present-Day~

I took a step closer to the woods and shook the bag again. Still, there was no response.

“Well, that’s odd,” I mused taking a step back.

Usually the ‘coons always came out when they heard me playing with the large bag of cat food.

“Come on, babies! Come out! I’m here to feed you!” I called out giving the bag another shake.

Once again, I was answered with resounding silence.

“This is getting scary,” I whimpered. “Ark, Bandit, Rocko, Otter, Clarissa? Where are you, my loves?”

Even after the death of my children and Philemon’s still birth, as broken as I was, I continued to care for the raccoons. Since they were now living in the woods behind our house, I didn’t get to see them as often as I would like, but it didn’t stop me from leaving a treat for them every two weeks. Usually all I had to do was rattle that bag of cat food and all five of them would come scampering over to me like old time, which always brought a smile to my face.

With Beau leaving the house at strange hours of the night and returning home the following day completely drunk off of his ass, my relationship with him was completely falling apart. Taking care of those little orphaned raccoons was the only thing that made me feel like there was something worth living for.

“Shayda?”

When I heard Will’s voice, I didn’t feel the need to turn around, “Beau isn’t home right now.”

“I’m quite aware of that,” Will replied, “He wanted me to come check on you and I’m glad that I came when I did.”

“Oh?” By now I was facing Will, “Beau sent you to check on me?”

He nodded.

“Amazing, he leaves me by myself for the most part, yet he somehow manages to show that he cares.”

Will frowned slightly, “Of course he cares, he’s just going through a hard time right now, Shayda.”

“Oh, and you don’t think I am?” I turned my back towards Will and gave the bag of cat food another shake, “Come on, little loves! I’m worried about you! It’s been six weeks since Mommy has seen her babies! I’d like to know that you guys are alive!”

“They aren’t,” Will’s voice was barely above a whisper.

“What?”

“Um- They- Shayda, it was believed that they were possibly bitten by another animal they had rabies and we had to-“

NO!”

“Shayda, please listen.”

“If you tell me that you had something to do with this William, I swear, I SWEAR-“ What was I going to do? Absolutely nothing. I couldn’t do anything but cry.

“Look, please, don’t cry. I’m sorry! I didn’t want to tell you! Beau was supposed to tell you weeks ago when they were euthanized!”

“Well he didn’t!” I growled through my tears, “He didn’t tell me anything! How the hell were you expecting him to tell me something this important when he doesn’t even talk to me, Will? This is how Beau spends most of his day, he sleeps! When he’s not sleeping, he’s out somewhere getting drunk! Hell, for all I know, he has a plethora of woman on the side and had father only god knows how many illegimate babies! Face it, Will! He doesn’t care about me!”

Will let out an exasperated sigh before turning his gaze to the night sky, “You know, you’re the reason he feels so low.”

“Oh, yeah right! Just go ahead and blame me, why don’t you?” I hissed picking up the cat bag, “Just go away, Will. Please.”

“Fine,” Will replied with a shrug, “I was just following through with Beau’s request.”

Once Will was out of sight, I began to trudge back to the house with the cat food.

I’m the reason he feels so low? What in the hell did I do? I’ve been trying to get him to open up to me but he won’t talk! How can I know what’s going on inside of his head if he won’t talk to me?!

On my way up the slope leading to the back porch, I lost my footing due to the weight of the bag. With nothing to grab on to, I fell backwards and tumbled down the hill towards the woods. Somewhere along the way, I lost my grip on the bag, but I had no clue where it went. My tumble ended when I smacked head first into a tree.

I could feel a thick trail of blood trickling down my face and touched my head gently. There was a gash. I couldn’t tell how deep it was, but it large enough to draw, what seemed like, a river of blood. When I got the strength to turn myself over onto my back, I felt something fall on top of me.

I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t even move. I was being suffocated by the bag of cat food.

“Help…” I croaked, “Somebody, help.”

I could hear footsteps approaching in the distance.

“Help,” I repeated.

“I’m coming,” Beau laughed.

His words, they weren’t slurred together or jumbled. For the first time, in a long time, I could understand him, “B-b-beau y-you’re sober.”

“And you’re eating your words about me not caring about you. I do believe, Miss Buckley, that we are even,” Beau replied as he hopped down from the hill. “Ooh,” he whistled poking out his lip when he noticed the wound on my head, “That doesn’t look too good. How hard did you hit your head.”

I frowned while making a helpless attempt to move the bag.

“Beau,” I wheezed, “Seriously, I can’t breathe.”

His auroral scarlet eyes widened in concern and within seconds the bag was off of me.

“If only I had your strength,” I murmured taking  deep breath, “None of this would have happened.”

Beau chuckled deeply as he picked up from the ground, “It’s alright, you may be puny, but I still love you.” A devious grin formed on his face when he noticed the blood running down my face, “I think we better get inside so I can take care of that.”

I rested my head against Beau’s shirt and clung to him as he carried me to the house, “Beau?”

“Yes?”

“Why didn’t you tell me about the babies?”

Beau let out a small sigh as he shifted my weight so that he could open the back door,“I didn’t know how to tell you. I just want you to be happy and I know that they were the only things that brought you happiness.”

“That isn’t true. You bring me happiness.”

“Not lately.”

“Well, no, not when you’ve been coming home whenever you want to completely drunk,” I replied.

Beau kicked the door shut and locked it behind us before placing me in one of the kitchen chair, “I know, and for that, I’m sorry.” 

“I just want you to talk to me.”

“I know, but I can’t.”

“Why?”

Beau shook his head softly, “I want to, but I don’t know where to begin or what I say.”

“Well, sit down,” I demanded, “And we can try to figure that out.”

“In a minute,” Beau whispered as he began to examine my wound, “First, let me take care of this.”

“What do you mean? Are you going to lick me?” I asked.

“I’m debating,” he laughed. “I might be good and actually clean it up the proper way.”

“Well, I hope you decide soon, because I’m starting to feel a little lightheaded.”

Beau grimaced, “Hmm, well if that’s that case, let me go get the first aid kit. I wouldn’t want to add to it.” He quickly pulled off his over shirt and handed it to me, “Here, use this to keep the blood from getting in your face.”

He kissed my wound and licked the blood off of his lips before flashing me a smile.

I laughed softly as I took the shirt from him, “Oh, you fiend.”

 

Chapter I

“Dad, do you think that Uncle Wogan will take us somewhere to grab a bite to eat? I’m famished!”

I looked down at Harlequin who was poking her stomach and chuckled, “Actually, your Uncle Wogan was given specific rules by your mother to head straight home with us; and I do mean STRAIGHT home.” 

WHAT?!” Harlequin shrieked.“The train station is two hours away from the house, though! Oh, my, god, she’s trying to starve us!” she groaned, “We haven’t eaten any real food all day!”

“What are you talking about?” I laughed pointing my index finger towards the the corridor, “You ate lunch, did you not?”

Harlequin grimanced at the thought. “Father-“

Gently, I turned her head in the direction of the aisle. I watched as her round scarlet eyes narrowed when she noticed that her empty plate from lunch was still waiting to be collected by one of the attendants.

Finally, Harlequin turned her attention back to me, “Steamed vegetables that were originally frozen and reconstituted meat do not count as real food, Dad. I hate to break it to you.” Read the rest of this entry »

Prelude

Pizza? Check! PB&J sandwiches? Check! Oh wait, I better move this over here. Drako may have been allergic to peanut butter but that didn’t mean he wasn’t quite fond of the gooey goodness.

Deviled eggs? While Drako was allergic to peanut butter, Bellamy was allergic to eggs but unlike her brother Bellamy absolutely despised the food she susceptible to, so I had nothing to worry about. Check!

Grilled salmon? Check! Spaghetti? Check! Philly cheesesteaks? Double check! Beau was going to love me for this. Read the rest of this entry »