Generation 2, Chapter 15

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I’ve known for a while now that Jason and I weren’t going to work out.. When it would all come down onto us, who knew, but I for one didn’t except it so soon. We’ve only been together for 4 years and already things are rocky, but I should’ve known better than to think he had the potential of changing. I knew deep, deep down that he’d always be the same guy, unable to stick with one person and I wasn’t even sure if he was capable of love. Gareth and Gibson bring me so much joy and happiness, but deep down I still wish they never happened, at least not with Jason..

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It was a goal of mine the whole time in college before I knew Jason to avoid him, never hearing anything good about him and knowing that he got around the most out of anyone I knew. Why couldn’t I have just resisted that one night by the bonfire? If I didn’t have that liquid courage coursing through me I would’ve been smart enough to say no, to tell him to get away from me and that there was no chance in hell.. Yet, I didn’t. The way he acted that night when we were in his room, he was gentle but fun, rough yet loving; he was a whole different person in bed. I knew why now that every girl wanted to be with him, the way he treated a girl when he was with them in bed made you 100% convinced that he had feelings for you, that you meant something to him, that he cared; a true Romancer.. But, you learned the awful truth only after everything had played out according to his needs. 

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I couldn’t believe the day had finally come, the day we were done with. Here I thought that I was the last one he’d ever be with, it made me feel amazing that he had chosen me out of every other girl out there, but it all meant nothing now. I sat in the park after I had gotten off work, not ready to go home yet though I knew I would have to since I had a few things waiting for me to pick up still. It’s been about two weeks since I had asked Anya and Julia for advice and since then, Jason and I have been a complete mess. I can’t bare to look at him and he can’t stand me not talking to him.. We had already worked out the hard details of when each of us would get the boy’s, but there was nothing else that needed to be discussed, so I refuse to talk to him anymore. Jason is officially dead to me.

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Breaking the news to Lucy made her upset, she cares for me a lot and I know that she considers me a motherly figure, but I won’t abandon her. I’ve talked to her about everything and have told her she’s still welcome to come to my new place with the twins if she ever wants to; I’ve grown fond of Lucy and if she still wants to see me and spend time with me, Jason is going to have to respect that and let her. Gareth and Gibson don’t really understand why I’m not going to be living with Jason and them anymore, and they don’t understand why  they need to be separated from at least one of us at a time, but they’ll grow to figure it and hopefully they’ll accept it soon.

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I finally raised myself from the park fountain slowly, looking around and still not wanting to go home, but Jason had to go to work soon and I needed to pick up the last of my things and the boys; we agreed that I would get them weekdays and he gets them on the weekends, and seeing how it was only Monday, I’ll take the boys with me to my new apartment in the city tonight. I’ve been on the edge of tears all day and it was nearly impossible to keep from crying at work when my friends at the lab wouldn’t stop asking what’s wrong, but somehow I managed. My pocket buzzed and I pulled out my cell phone, seeing Jason calling me and I hit the ignore button, walking out of the park then to make my way back to the house.

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The entire drive home I couldn’t get the sadness I felt out of the pit of my stomach, it had been there for a while now though and I knew it still wouldn’t be gone for an even longer while no matter how much I tried to ignore it. I was stupid to believe that we’d stay together forever, I was stupid to think that he loved me even the slightest bit, and I was stupid to let it go on this long and acting like he was a saint when deep down I knew he wasn’t faithful from the beginning. A car honking behind me snapped me back into reality and I saw that the light was green for me to go and I did, continuing to drive to the house and I could feel my insides beginning to tense up from nerves. All I wanted to do was pick up my stuff and the twins and leave, but I knew Jason wasn’t going to make it that easy for me.

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I took a deep breath and got out of the car, walking to the front door and looking in through the large windows to see if anyone was in the foyer and I noticed Lucy sitting on the couch reading a book. I stood there for a moment, watching her and almost savoring seeing her so calm, yet I knew she was doing reading in the foyer because she was waiting for me. I continued to the door and walked into the house, watching Lucy perk up instantly and she dropped her book on the couch to come over to me.

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Are you going now? I wish you didn’t have to leave, I liked having you around,” Lucy said softly and I couldn’t help but smile; she was such a sweet girl. 

“I don’t have to leave, I just need to. We’ve been over this, your Dad and I, just.. Want to be friends,” I repeated; we’ve been over this so many times within the past few weeks.

But, if you just want to be friends then why not just stay for my brothers?” She questioned for the hundredth time.

“Lucy..” I began, but I was cut off by a deeper voice.

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Luce.. Go to your room, please,” Jason told Lucy and she looked to him as he made his way downstairs to join us.

Dad, can I go with Gareth and Gibson to Faline’s? Pleeassee?” Lucy asked excitedly and my expression went surprised, not knowing she was going to put him on the spot like this and I looked to Jason as he reached the bottom of the stairs and walked over to join us.

No.. Don’t you think Faline wants to get settled into her new place? The boys are a handful as it is, I don’t think she-” He stopped when I cut him off.

“Sure, I don’t mind, I could use an extra pair of hands to help me unpack, huh, Lucy?” I asked her with a smile and she nodded happily towards me, looking back up to Jason then.

“See? She doesn’t care.. I wanna go, can I?” She asked again and I watched as Jason looked to me with a displeased expression. I wasn’t trying to make him angry, but I had to admit, it felt good seeing that annoyed look in his eyes after everything he’s done to me. Lucy obviously wanted to be with me more than him right now, and I knew that made him upset. I gave him a soft smirk, waiting for his answer with Lucy and I could see in his face that he wanted to say no again.

“Fine.. Go pack a bag while I help Faline with her things,” Jason replied and I was surprised by his answer. I watched Lucy excitedly run past Jason and upstairs to go to her room, though I was unhappy that it had led to him helping me with my stuff; I almost wanted to call Lucy back just to stay in the room with us so things didn’t get heated or out of hand. 

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Nothing good ever came to us when we were alone; ever since the night I had talk to his sisters about him, him and I have been cruel to one another and our fighting seemed to never stop. Once I had finally gotten him to confess everything, though I still felt he left some things out, my hatred almost instantly outweighed what I had thought was love and he’s seen how angry I can be. But, one thing that always bothered me and kept me wondering was when he was going to show me his true side.. I knew he was still keeping something from me, yet, despite how much I wanted to know what it was, I was scared at the same time. I was scared of him. Never have I seen him treat me like how he’d treated all of the girls before me in college, it was as if he’d done a 180 and nothing mattered between us anymore.. I knew now he was trying to hurt me, trying to bring me down like he had done to all of the others; I was curious on when that time would finally come.. But, the look in his eyes now told me I was about to experience a piece of it..

I looked to the last of my things near the door and Jason began to walk towards me, but I walked towards my things, not wanting to look at him anymore already and before I could begin bringing my stuff outside, Jason turned me forcefully to face him and I removed my arm from his grip, “Don’t touch me, you never get to touch me again. Are we clear?” I warned, but he barely backed down.

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He drew closer to me and I cowered slightly, taking a step away from him but my back hit the window. I could feel the heat of rage coming off of him and his face was inches from mine now. I averted my eyes from his and shut them, beginning to grow a little frightened by how successful his intimidation technique was. “Let me make something clear to YOU.. The moment we decided to end this and you decided to leave, you gave up the authority you held in this house. You will not pin Lucy against me, she will never be in the middle of this, and your word will never, ever, come first before mine when it comes to her. If I say no, then what’s the answer?” He asked me, though I thought it was rhetorical, so I didn’t respond. “What’s the answer?” I jumped gently in fear from his raised voice and harsher tone.

“No,” I replied in a whisper, trying my best to make sure he knew that I understood him so he would back off a little.

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I opened my eyes slowly and he was still standing his ground closer to me than I would like. “I’m glad we understand one another,” Jason said softly, “I’ll take this stuff to your car.. You get the boys ready,” he continued, reaching up to touch my face and I winced as he cupped my cheek into his palm. I watched him smirk out of the corner of my eye, leaning in then and kissing my cheek. My skin crawled and the only thing I could do was shut my eyes again to make this less painful, less uncomfortable. Was he trying to prove that I was powerless when it came to him? I couldn’t do anything, wouldn’t do anything, and he knew it. God, I hate this man. Even at the end of everything, my final few minutes of being in this house for the last time, he made sure that I knew who was in control, who had always been, and who would always remain in control; he had drained me completely. Even through all of this emotional pain and torment he had put me through, I could tell that this was him only making things worse, but with a smile on his face this time now that I was aware of everything he had been hiding. Now that I knew, there was nothing to hide and there was nothing to go back on; I could tell he enjoyed making me feeling like this now.. As if he hasn’t punished me enough already when I’ve done nothing wrong..

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Jason’s hand slipped away from my face and he finally backed off, stepping over to my belongings and grabbing it all for me to take to my car. When the front door shut behind him, I couldn’t hold back anymore, feeling a few tears escape my eyes and I covered my mouth to hush my crying. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I was relieved that I could breathe now without Jason in my face, trying my hardest to get my crying out as quick as possible so neither Jason nor the kids knew I wasn’t happy.

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After calming down the best that I could, I quickly went upstairs and to the boy’s room, wanting to hurry and leave faster. I saw the two playing in their pen, a forced smile running across my lips when Gibson looked over to me, “You guys ready to go to Mommy’s place?” I wondered.

“Yeah, I guess so..” Gibson replied, but nothing came from Gareth.

“Gareth, you ready?” I asked him, but he still didn’t reply; he hasn’t talked to me much since we told them everything that was going on.

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I walked over to the playpen and picked up Gibson, fixing his shirt a little and brushing down his hair in back in a soft manner, “I know this is tough and my place is going to be a little smaller and hard to get used to, but it’ll be fun. I’m on the very highest floor and you can see the city lights, it’s very pretty,” I told them both, yet Gareth still didn’t bother to acknowledge me within the room. Gibson was the same as Gareth at first, scared and unsure, but he came around quicker than I thought and he seemed excited about living here and also in the city at times.

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I heard the door open behind me and I knew it was Jason, not bothering to turn around and acknowledge him and I continued to pay attention to Gibson. “Car’s all ready, how are my little men doing?” Jason wondered, but I couldn’t tell if he was talking to me or asking them, so I didn’t say anything.

“I don’t wanna go,” Gareth said softly, sighing to myself and watching Jason walk over to him and lift him into his arms.

“Sure you do, it’ll be fine, big guy,” Jason comforted. Normally I would find all of this comforting, too, but now I just find it more heartbreaking that this man in front of me has many faces; though I am glad that none of the kids have ever seen the bad face that I know.

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“I wanna stay here,” Gareth continued and we both could tell he was about to start one of his notorious fits, but Jason tried to stop it before it started.

Remember what I told you a few weeks ago? That you need to watch out for Gibson?” Jason began quietly and I averted my eyes as they talked, holding Gibson closer and gathering a few things around the room for them. I couldn’t look at them, I couldn’t get over the fact that Jason was such a conniving, disgusting person, and yet I had children with him that he treated like precious gifts. It was weird and heartbreaking at the same time to watch him with either of the boys, but, if there was anything left to Jason that I could find comfort in, it was that I knew he was an good father; that’s all I can really ask for now, I guess..

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After Jason’s pep talk to Gareth, we left their room and walked towards the stairs, the hairs on the back of my neck standing, I could feel Jason looking at me and I hated it. I looked to the front door and saw Lucy by it, standing there and waiting for us. “All ready to go?” I asked, seeing her look to us and smile. 

Yup, all ready!” She replied happily, “I already put my bag in the car, are we going now?” She wondered and I nodded.

“Yeah, we’re going now. Did you remember everything? You still have school tomorrow, did you bring your school stuff, clothes, toothbrush?” I asked.

Yes, I have everything,” she answered and I nodded again. I would’ve taken a moment to bask in the house, try to remember more of the good than the bad, but there wasn’t much that I’d miss about this place. I decided against standing there for a moment and looking at everything, the bad memories outweighed the good and I didn’t want to bask in something I wasn’t going to miss.

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When we all walked out to the car, I got Gibson ready in his car seat as Jason talked to Lucy, but I couldn’t hear them too clearly; I only assumed he was telling her the basics, like get to bed on time, be sure to brush your teeth, watch out for your brothers.. I never imagined a goodbye like this would be so easy, it was almost as if I was going on vacation with the kids and I’d be back soon, but only the kids would be coming back in the end and I was refreshingly okay with never seeing Jason again though I knew I had to sometimes.. All I wanted now was a calm life, maybe get a raise at my work or even promoted, meet someone who actually cares about me, get married.. But, who knows.

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Gareth seemed to warm up to my new place, then again it could just be Lucy making him feel better about being here. Gibson loved the condo, loved the view, love the new scenery; he was excited about all of it. Gareth pouted the whole way here, saying he wanted to go back home, saying that he wanted to see Jason, but Lucy was a huge help in convincing him to give this place a chance; the boys loved Lucy so much, I was thankful that she had wanted to come with or I don’t think I could’ve calmed down Gareth myself, not in the condition I was in.

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I made dinner for Lucy and I as she played with the boys in the living room, I was finally able to calm down a little after everything that had happened today and I was glad that the hard part was over with. I made a stew that my mother used to make for me whenever I was feeling down in the dumps, the smell filling the condo and it helped me realized how much I needed this. I couldn’t straighten things out with Jason, I couldn’t let him get away with everything that he’s done to me, and I couldn’t be with him or near him anymore now knowing he could care less about me. This new place is just the thing I needed, it saved me from letting myself rot away in that house and I had to admit that I was a lot happier now than I’ve been in years. 

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When dinner was almost ready, I got the kid’s attention, “Alright, boys, time for bed. Lucy, could you grab Gareth for me?” I requested as I walked away from the stove to let the stew simmer. I picked up Gibson and watched as Lucy got Gareth for me like I had asked.

Wow, you guys are getting so heavy!” Lucy said with a gentle laugh, struggling only a little as she lifted Gareth up and into her arms.

“Yeah, they sure are,” I said with both a smile and a sigh, knowing that they were growing up quickly but I wished they would stay this small and sweet forever. They already looked so much like Jason, inheriting almost everything from him and the only thing that remotely resembled me was Gibson’s green eyes. I wished they had gotten a little more from me now, watching them grow up and resemble Jason more and more was going to be tough to get over.

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I changed both of them out of their clothes and Lucy put Gareth to bed for me while I said goodnight to Gibson, “I home you sleep well, my little prince,” I said softly, watching his eyelids getting heavier as I rubbed the top of his hand with my thumb. 

Goodnight, Gareth,” Lucy said softly, yet it didn’t sound like it was going well.

“I don’t wanna go to bed!” He said angrily and I sighed to myself, part of me already knew that he was going to make this difficult for me.

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I stepped away from Gibson’s crib when he had laid down to shut his eyes and I walked over to Lucy by Gareth’s crib, “What’s wrong, sweetie?” I asked him, “You know that it’s your bedtime, you need to sleep,” I tried to convince, yet he still had a fussing expression. 

“This room is stupid! It’s small! I wanna be in my other room!” He demanded.

It’ll be okay, you’ll get used to it.. You’re going to be in your old room this weekend,” Lucy tried to comfort him as well.

“I don’t care! I wanna go home! I want Daddy!” He yelled louder now and started to rattle his crib.

“Gareth, that’s enough.. You heard Lucy, you’ll be home with Daddy this weekend, only a few more days here, that’s all..” I added, but it was no use.

“I hate it here! I want Daddy!” He continued, repeating over and over that he wanted Jason and I had had enough.. I knew he wasn’t going to stop and the best thing I could do right now if just ignore his behavior and hope he wears himself out.

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I put my hand on Lucy’s shoulder and led her out of the boy’s room, both of us continuing to hear Gareth screaming and rattling his crib as hard as he could. I shut the light off and wished him goodnight even though he couldn’t hear me over his own screaming, but I shut the door anyhow and led Lucy downstairs.

He’s not always going to be like this, is he?” She wondered.

“No, he’ll get used to it soon enough.. It’ll take time, but he’ll adjust,” I replied with a smirk and Lucy nodded, both of us continuing on our way to the kitchen so we could eat dinner together.

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We sat at the table together and as much as I wanted to avoid talking about Jason with her, she couldn’t help but bring it up, “So, do you and Dad just.. Like.. Not love each other or something? I feel like all of this came out of nowhere still,” she began and I sighed, but covered up my frustration as I blew at the stew to cool it down.

“Lucy.. We’ve been over this, we just want to be friends. We want each other to be happy,” I replied softly.

But you’re not happy together? Why not? I thought you and Dad loved each other.. I mean, that’s why people have kids together, right?”

I hated this conversation, I couldn’t admit to her that Gareth and Gibson were mistakes from a drunk one night stand back in our college days, but I couldn’t not answer her either.. “Your Dad and I do love each other, just not in that way, I suppose.. More as friends.”

Then why’d you both have Gareth and Gibson together?”

“Can we talk about something else, please? We’ve been over this, Lucy, I don’t want to have to repeat myself for the millionth time,” I replied, slightly frustrated now and I noticed her expression turn somewhat sad, “I’m sorry, I know this is a lot to take in and it’s hard to understand.. It’s just a little tough for me to discuss it,” I continued with a slight smirk, watching her nod in understanding.

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There was a silence at the table now, but it wasn’t awkward and it didn’t last long, though the next thing that Lucy thought of to talk about threw me off a little, “Did you know my mom?” She asked and I stopped chewing for a brief second.

“Um.. I’ve only met her a handful of times, I don’t know nearly as much as your Father does.. Why do you ask?”

No reason.. I remember her a little, but she died when I was super young, you know. The only thing I really remember is that she drank a lot, she had a lot of friends, and she didn’t like my Dad too much,” she replied and I was surprised a little.

“What do you mean?” I wondered and I watched her shrug.

I don’t know, she was just never happy when he was around. They fought all the time, I knew they didn’t love each other.. Not to be mean, but I was happier around you than my mom, I knew you cared for my Dad. But, now, since you don’t love him like that either, he’s changed a lot. I just want him to love someone and be happy,” she answered and I didn’t quite know what to say. She’s been with Jason her whole life and she’s witnessed his losses, I just never imagined she’d understand him so well. 

“Well, he loves you. He loves Gareth and Gibson, too.. Even though I’m gone and we don’t love one another like that, just know that he’ll never stop loving you guys,” I reply and I watch her smirk and nod in agreement.

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After our meal, Lucy grabbed the bowls before I could and she went to the sink, washing them for me, “Luce, you don’t have to do that.. Let me,” I said.

It’s okay, it’s not like I’ve never done it before, but I’ve never done it here. I don’t mind helping you,” she replied and continued washing them and I smiled.

“Well, thank you for all of your help today.. With the dishes, the boys, helping me with my things. It’s a lot of help,” I answered, appreciating everything she’s done with me today.

You’re welcome,” she replied, finishing up the dishes as I put away the leftovers of the stew, “Can I watch TV before bed?” She asked next and I looked to her.

“Yeah, of course. Let’s go watch something,” I replied and she smiled, running excitedly over to the television.

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We watched Kid Zone for a while, talking and laughing back and forth as we watched one of Lucy’s favorite shows that had came on. The longer we were at my place, the more comfortable I felt and I could tell I was slowly starting to forget about Jason. All I wanted to do was start new, forget him and move on. But, I soon realized the more I purposely tried to forget him instead of just letting it happen on it’s own, bad thoughts ran through my mind again and I thought about earlier when he had pinned me against the wall and threatened me. My bottom lip quivered a little at the threat of getting emotional, but I took a few deep breathes and focused on the show with Lucy once again. 

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I heard a buzzing noise, then a ringtone I didn’t recognize coming from the couch. I was surprised when Lucy stood to her feet and pulled put a cell phone from her pocket, “Where did you get that?” I asked, worried she may have found it and kept it or even stole it, but then again, I couldn’t see her doing something like that.

Dad bought it for me last week, it’s him calling, too,” she replied and I raised a brow, not thinking once that he’d ever get her a phone, especially at her young age. “Hey, Dad,” she answered, and although I wanted to give her privacy with Jason, I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation and guessing what he was saying to her judging by her replies. “I’m good, just watching TV with Faline,” there was a short silence, “Yeah, did you wanna talk to her?” She asked next and I froze up, hoping that he didn’t, “Oh, okay,” she replied, not handing me the phone and I let out a sigh of relief. 

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She walked over to the hallway and continued, “They were okay when they first got here and I played with them. Gareth got really fussy when being put to bed, though. He didn’t seem tired and he wanted you..”

“No, he’s asleep now I think, I haven’t heard him upstairs..”

“Yeah, it’s two stories, Faline’s room and the boys’ room is upstairs. There’s even a jacuzzi outside on the balcony, it’s awesome! I wish I brought my bathing suit!” She continued and I smiled, enjoying her enthusiasm in being here, though a little irritated that it seemed like Jason wanted to know what the place was like; if he wanted to know, he can come here himself and see, or he can mind his own business.

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Well, my show is on and I was going to watch it and then go to bed..”

No, that’s okay, I’ll take the bus home tomorrow..”

I know, Dad, I won’t..”

Okay.. I love you, too, goodnight,” she finished on the phone and hung up, walking back over to me and sitting on the couch again to finish her show before bed.

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When Lucy’s show was over, I turned the TV off and she wined a little, “Oh stop, you knew it was bed time,” I said with a motherly smirk. I stood up and she joined me, “So, you can sleep here on the couch, I have plenty of pillows and blankets, or you can sleep in my room in the bed with me, doesn’t matter,” I gave her some options and she thought for a moment.

I’ll just sleep with you, if that’s okay,” she replied.

“Of course.. My room is the opposite of the boys’ and there’s a bathroom in my room, too, you can get ready in there or there’s a bathroom by the front door,” I gave her more options and she nodded, going to her bag and going upstairs to change and get ready for bed.

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I soon followed behind Lucy after shutting all the lights off downstairs and she was ready and in bed in a flash. I enjoyed seeing her wear the pajamas I had gotten her for her birthday last year, smiling as I watched her tuck herself in, “All set?”

Yeah,” she replied with a smile and I changed out of my work clothes finally and joined her in my bed, climbing under the covers with her and turning the light off.

“Goodnight, Luce..” I said softly, but she turned towards me and forced a smile.

I want my Dad to be happy, but I want you to be happy, too.. I’m sorry I didn’t say that earlier, but I guess I get it now,” she replied and I smiled warmly.

“It’s okay, Luce, I know. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be truly happy in no time at all.. Goodnight,” I answered, seeing her smile and nod.

Night.”

Generation 2, Chapter 14 Pt2

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I drove away from Bennu’s place, punching the dashboard, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” I yelled at myself every time my fist hit the hard plastic. I drove around the city aimlessly, berating myself, “Well, great going, genius.. Now the woman you love hates you and never wants you to touch her again. How the fuck do you fix this? How do you keep the boys? How do you have Bennu the way you want her? You can’t go over there and visit with Bahiti without thinking about what Bennu’s wearing or what her lips might taste like that day. You can’t hold her anymore, you can’t kiss her anymore, not to mention you can’t have the best sex of your life anymore.. Arruugghh! Stupid!” I yelled at myself, punching the dashboard once again and my knuckles started to turn red.

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I couldn’t go home, I didn’t want to go back to work, and there was no way I could go back to Bennu’s.. I wound up driving to the only other place I could think of that could help me calm down after all that has happened. I pulled up to the cemetery and the gate was locked, but I managed to hop onto the stone wall that only came up to my shoulders, then jumping over the gate behind it and I got in without a problem.

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I walked through the cemetery quickly and no one else was around, not even the keeper of the land and I was here alone. I walked to my parents graves and looked to my father’s for a few seconds, narrowing my eyes angrily, but I then looked to my mother’s headstone and my expression grew less irritated the more I looked at it. I took a few deep breathes in, letting each of them out slowly but my nerves didn’t calm nearly as much as I needed them to. 

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Mom, I don’t know what to do anymore.. There’s been too many times where something I loved has been threatened to be taken away from me, some of the most important ones I have lost, too.. I can’t lose anything else, I won’t.. I’ve known and loved this woman for so long, I found out we have a daughter together; she’s so, so beautiful.. I wish you could see her. She looks a lot like me, so smart, too.. You’d absolutely adore her, I know it. God I wish you could meet her,” I said softly, sighing and dropping my view to the grown in pink flowers, then back up to her headstone.

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“I love her, she’s the one I want, the one I want to be with, but Faline.. The boys.. Faline’s smart, if I left her, she’d know I’d been lying.. She’ll see in my face that there’s someone else even though I just denied it to her over and under. She’ll find out about Bahiti and I’ll never see her or the boys again,” I stopped, crossing my arms and looking over my shoulder towards the city, “I need to know what to do.. I need help, Ma. How do I keep the boys and have Bennu the way I want her so badly?” I questioned, my attention coming back to her headstone, “How do I get what I want without losing everything all at once?”

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I stepped closer to her grave and knelt down, holding my arm with my other hand, unable to hold back my tears and I felt one fall down my cheek. “Mom, please.. Anything. Show me anything, tell me what to do,” I begged, waiting there and keeping silent for what seemed like minutes as I wept there like a child. I felt so pathetic, only during desperate times did I ever ask so much from my deceased mother, especially knowing that after this long of feeling nothing from her, I knew she still wouldn’t help now. But, hell, I tried anyways..

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I crawled towards her headstone and turned around, leaning my back against it and looking up at the huge black sky full of blinking stars. “I wish you were still here.. It’d be so much easier if you were just still here,” I said softly. I stared up at the stars for I don’t know how long, watching each one individually for a few moments before switching to the next. The night was cool and each gentle breeze made me calmer by the minute, feeling a presence around me that was slightly comforting, but I was less eased by it than I thought I should be. It didn’t feel like my mother. A sudden force of weight fell over me and I felt uncomfortable, a gentle shiver down my spine and I didn’t feel alone anymore.

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I tilted my head down, away from the stars and my eyes searched the cemetery, taking a moment to adjust to the extra darkness the trees cast over the land. My eyes soon met the cement bench about 100 feet away from me, seeing a figure sitting upon it and I sat up slowly, “Hello?” I called out softly, not seeing the figure react to me as their head tilted up to look at the stars. I sat up more, climbing slowly to my feet and I dusted the back of my pants off, beginning to take a few hesitant steps towards the bench not too far from my parents graves. I looked back towards my mother, then around the cemetery once more to check if anyone else was there besides the stranger and I and we were all alone, my heartbeat accellerating quickly as I grew closer and I recognized the back of the man’s head, my body beginning to shake.

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I reached the bench and looked to the side of the man’s head, “This.. Can’t be happening,” I said softly, looking to the side of my father’s face and seeing his spiced-brown hair was now older and streaked gray, “You’re dead,” I continued. He didn’t look over at me when it was obvious I was standing near him, but he spoke instead.

“Not who you expected, I’m guessing..” He voiced quietly, his tone deeper and more intimidating than I remember. I didn’t respond, simply walking past him and standing on the edge of the tiny hill before us, “Probably the last person you wanted to see,” he continued. 

“Lucky guess,” I eventually replied, hearing a hummed chuckle come from him behind me.

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“What’s wrong? Not excited to see me?”

“Fuck you,” I spat quickly back at him.

“Still the little prick you always were, I see,” he replied and my spine tingled, I could feel him looking at me. I didn’t respond, I had nothing to say to him; he’s not who I wanted and asked to talk to. “Not even going to stick up for yourself.. That’s new. You were such a strong child, but I see you’ve only grown into a weak man. You’ve gone downhill, Jason. You never hesitated to throw my words back in my face, what’s so different now?” He wondered, cringing at him saying my name and it felt so weird to hear his voice again; how was this happening? Was I imagining this, or was he some sort of ghost like Archor was?

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“I know I asked for help, but not this, this is far from it.. I get someone like you to hover over me rather than someone who actually cared about me, someone like-”

“What, your mother? Sorry kiddo, she couldn’t make it this time, she doesn’t like watching her sons life crumble before her eyes,” he replied.

“But you do?” I asked quickly in return, turning my head and looking over his way, but still refusing to look directly at him; I couldn’t.

“No, I didn’t say that. I’m here because I can handle things better than she and you can. You’d both just end up crying on each others shoulders all night, she out of grief from what you’ve become and you out of happiness because you get to see Mommy again,” he answered and anger built up inside me. “So, four children, huh? Just like your old man,” He changed the subject.

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“I’m nothing like you.”

He ignored me, “Three of them are yours, only 2 are from the same mother, and one that isn’t yours at all, interesting life you’ve been making for yourself,” he began again and I let out a deep breath of annoyance, hating him even bringing the subject up. “First one, dead.. Faline’s a catch; small, frail, cute.. A good mother, yet the only reason you don’t like her is because she knows how promiscuous you can be and she has every right to think that. How many woman have you been with since you moved in with Faline?” He wondered, my hands beginning to shake with anger, “A dozen, I could imagine. Oh, and you’re last princess of the ball is a stripper whom you’ve just so happen to impregnate when you sleep with her at her place of work where it isn’t even allowed.. How low are you trying to go? How many more lives are you going to ruin, including your own? You can’t have everything you want, Jason..”

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“Don’t ever talk about them like you know them. You don’t know shit about them or me,” I warned.

“Is that so?” He asked bluntly. 

“I’ve had my doubts about every one of them. I doubted Lana ever since Lucy was born, I doubted Faline was going to last this long with me aleady, and I doubted that I’d ever get to see Bennu again. But, I’m trying to keep them all close to me for my children’s sake. I love them all and I’d do anything for them to make them happy, which is more than I can say for you.. I’m sure you’ve had your doubts about Mom. Never looked around the corner? Wished you’d never met her? Everyone makes mistakes..”

“Yeah, and you’ve made a lot so far now..” He replied and I clenched my teeth, “But, I can admit to that, I can admit I never wanted a family, but I gave your mother what she wanted regardless. And I was never unfaithful, I never so much as looked at another woman in that way.”

“Well, aren’t you just a saint. Killing your wife and attempting to kill your children as well is far less ungrateful,” I replied sarcastically, “I’d rather be unfaithful than kill someone, and on top of that being someone I cared about.”

“You’ve done both, so that still makes you half the man I am,” he replied and I heard him stand to his feet, still feeling his eyes on me and I thought about his words for a moment.

“What are you talking about? I’ve never killed anyone,” I answered sternly. 

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“Lana.. Did you really think she fell off herself? She was such a party girl, her attire was her everything, you think she’d really fall and slip in her heels? She was no stranger to a drunken stagger.. She needed help over that edge.”

I faced him instantly, “What the fuck are you saying? That I went there and pushed her off myself? Are you fucking insane?” I yelled and it only made me more angry when he smirked to my question.

“Funny you should mention that.. It’s all genetics, boy. You don’t know what you’re doing when you’re doing it, it just.. Happens. Like it’s something that’s meant to be. You’ve never felt it before? Blacked out and couldn’t explain it?”

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“Shut up, just leave me the hell alone! I wanted Mom because I hate you, I fucking hate you more than anything, so why would I believe a goddamn thing you’d ever say to me? Why are you here and she’s not!” I continued to yell at him.

“I’ve already told you..” He warned, “And you must’ve felt this anger before with something.. If I were to guess, you felt it before coming here, and you felt it before going over to Lana’s so late at night, breaking into her home and giving her that little extra help that she needed to be ridden from your life so you could keep Lucy,” he continued and I put my hands into my hair, pulling at the roots slightly from the built up anger.

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I walked away from him, unable to look at his face anymore and I stopped about ten feet away when he spoke again, “I didn’t want to do it, Jason..”

“Do what? Ruin my life?”

“Well, yeah, I guess if that’s how you see it. I never wanted you to have a life, anyways, any of us. Sometimes I wish I never met your mother,” he answered and I looked over my shoulder slightly. “I didn’t want you to become me, I couldn’t let you carry on the burden, so I.. I guess I torched everything, every trace, but I failed. Your great grandmother told me to be happy and to live my life with your mother, even despite everything that we both knew. I tried to get rid of it all and correct the mistakes I made, but it was too late, anyways.”

“And what did you two know?” I asked sarcastically, not bothering to give him sympathy.

“That we’re all out of our minds,” he replied and I scoffed, not believing a word he said, “You think it’s a joke, but it’s the only reason why I’d try and stop all of this. I couldn’t let anything continue, for your sake. Us men, our gene, it’s dangerous, we’re toxic and I needed to stop it all.. But th-that dammed dog ruined everything,” he finished and my eyes widened slowly.

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I turned around to face him, “Archor.. You did kill him, didn’t you? You’re mad at him for coming back and saving your children from death that you were going to be the cause of?” I asked angrily. 

“You don’t understand.”

“Then make me!” I yelled, “You owe me that much you son of a bitch,” I answered with more rage than I could muster.

“The pain.. All the pain that you’re feeling, you’ve caused and are going to cause would never happen. Jason.. Our family is hexed, we hurt the things we care about in the end of everything, no matter how hard we try not to,” he continued and I still couldn’t believe a word he said. How can he say such things? Making up excuses, blaming it on a curse when he killed my mother?

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I took the first chance I got and swung at him, missing the first few times and I never even grazed him, “How can you blame it on such bullshit! You killed my mother, your wife! How could you?” I yelled as I swung, still unable to strike him and he pulled back perfectly just out of my reach.

“Knock it off, you child! I tried to take responsibility and tried to stop the pain in this family, but I failed, accept it and deal with it for yourself now! You’re mother meant more to me than anything and I’d kill for her, but that hole was dug too deep already. I grew selfish for my own needs and I forgot what was important, and that was to not carry on this burden. I gave her everything she wanted despite what did and needed to do.. But I realized what I did only caused more pain, or would if I didn’t put a stop to it, but I failed! Now it’s on you! Think for yourself instead of running to Mommy every damn time, you coward, and figure out what to do about it because I sure as hell can’t do anything about it now!” He yelled back and grabbed the front of my suit, throwing me to the ground without so much as a struggle on his part.

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I turned as I was thrown, landing on my bottom and I looked up to the one thing that scared me more than anything; I felt as if I was 8 years old again having a fight in the house with my father. “You were always such a Momma’s boy. You hated me even before you could walk. Mommy isn’t here to help you, so what the hell are you going to do about it? Are you going to get rid of Faline to be with your mistress and the girl like you did to Lana to keep Lucy? Or are you going to be able to just be friends with your stripper whore and stay with Faline? Might as well make the best out of what you have already and don’t do anything stupid, or those boys are going to grow up hating you like you hated me,” he warned and I couldn’t breath; how did he know everything so clearly? The terrible things I had contemplated within my own mind and never spoke allowed? Despite me not believing a word he said, why did it sound so just and set in stone? Where there any other options besides the two he gave me?

“Wha…” I hesitated, succumbing to the fact that Dad showed up instead of Mom and it was the best option I had now, “W-What do I do?” I asked pleadingly, unable to take my eyes away from his hateful gaze.

“You’ve never asked me for advice..” He replied and I watched as he looked away from me briefly, but I couldn’t read his expression well; it almost looked as if he was appreciative, but I had never seen that before so I couldn’t be sure. He looked back to me and I held my breath again, “Think for yourself, be a fucking man and deal with it. Take care of what’s yours how you see fit. That’s all I’ve got, Jason,” he replied, lessening his cold stare and his expression went blank for a few moments.

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“B-But.. What do I do?” I asked, looking down at my lap, “What does that all mean? How can-” I continued, yet stopping when I looked back up and not seeing my father in front of me anymore, gone without so much as a sound. “D-Dad..?” I questioned and looked around frantically, twisting around on the ground and searching the cemetery, but I was alone again. “Dad!” I called out and looked around once more, but still nothing.

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I stood to my feet weakly, using the tree close to me for help and my head began to spin, dizzy after what I had just imagined and I wiped the back of my hand over my forehead; I was on fire. I couldn’t handle anything now. My mind was overflowing with things to worry about, ponder, contemplate, consider.. Too much. I staggered my way back towards the cemetery gate, not looking back at my parent’s graves once and I collided into the fence, catching my footing. I gathered myself for a moment, catching my breath and trying to calm my headache. I stood on the rocks next to me and jumped over the fence, going back to my car, getting in and sitting there for a few minutes, eyes shut and panting mouth open as I tried to comprehend everything I had just seen and heard. After about ten minutes of just sitting there, I pulled out my phone and noticed it was off; I remembered turning it off before I got to Bennu’s place. I turned it back on and checked the time, a little passed 11:45 pm and I started the car, deciding to go home after all of this.

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I got home and noticed a car in the driveway but I couldn’t tell who it belonged to, not helping my nerves settle at all as I starred at the mysterious vehicle and touched the hood for a few seconds; the car was still warm, whoever was here just got here before me. I walked into a dark house, looking around the foyer and standing there for a moment, hearing voices coming from the living room and I stepped slowly towards it, keeping each of my steps silent.

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The voices grew a little louder and I recognized the tones, peaking my head around the corner to confirm who I was thinking and I saw Anya and Julia in the living room with Faline; that must be Simon’s car or maybe Julia’s boyfriends, if she had one. I let out a quiet sigh, my heart had been racing at the thought of another man I didn’t know being in the house with Faline, with the twins, with Lucy, but I was relieved when it was only my sisters. Wait, what were they doing here anyway? 

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I heard Faline let out a large sigh as she sat on the couch and my sisters joined her, “Thanks for coming, I’m sorry it’s so late, but it’s my only free time I have after work when Jason isn’t here and after the boys and Lucy are sleeping,” Faline said softly and I could tell in her expression that she wasn’t happy.

It’s not a problem, really, it’s good that you called,” Anya replied.

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So, wha’d the little shit do now?” Julia asked and my brows furrowed at her insult, I already knew they were talking about me, or were going to. I could even tell by how Julia worded the question that they’ve talked about me before in the passed and it made me a little uneasy.

“Well, so much has happened since we’ve last gotten together, I don’t know where to start,” Faline replied. Was I going to sit here the whole time and listen to everything they said, or should I leave and go upstairs, shower, and go to bed and let them talk? The curiosity I had was beginning to be too much to bare, so I brought my head back out of their view and leaned against the bookshelf, deciding to listen and I’d retreat if they simply threatened to walk this way; I wanted.. No, needed to hear what she was going to say.

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Hmm.. Has he fired his secretary yet?” Anya wondered, starting things off for Faline.

“No, she’s still there.. After all this time and losing count on how many occasions I’ve asked him to and he still won’t do it.”

Have you told him she’s an idiot and can’t do math? Has the risk of losing his business even if she screws up any of the important paperwork?” Julia wondered.

“Yeah, I’ve told him that he could lose so much money because of her mistakes, but he still has someone checking her work, or he does it himself.. It’s such a waste of time to need to check it for her, she should just be able to do it and do it correctly. She’s just this ditsy bitch who can’t stand to even look at me and I know that she likes him.. He claims he doesn’t see it, though. But, I feel like they’ve..” Faline answered, hesitating.

Have you ever caught him?” Anya wondered and my heart raced a little.

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“No.. But it still doesn’t mean that nothing’s going on, or that something hasn’t happened already.. The way she looks, the things she wears at the office around him, it drives me insane.. But, I’m sure he doesn’t mind eyeing her all damn night,” Faline replied with a slightly angered tone. “I’m sorry, I know how hard this must me to talk about him with me, seeing as he’s your guys’ baby brother and all..”

We’re all adults here, and we want to help you and Jason, we just need to know what’s wrong,” Anya cooed sweetly.

Yeah, just skip the gross details,” Julia added and I can imagine the discomfort in her expression when she said that.

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“We had a fight the other day, a pretty big one.. It was about his secretary and I accused him of sleeping with her because what other reason was there for him to keep her? Even when I didn’t know anything set in stone.. He blew up, completely flew off the handle and yelled at me like crazy,” Faline began and I could already hear the mixed emotions coming out in her tone, “He was furious and I didn’t know what to say to him after that because he was right with everything he said. I had no proof, and..” She stopped, pausing for a moment, no doubt all three of us waiting eagerly for her to continue. “Well.. We haven’t, um..”

How long has it been?” Anya cut her off with a question, knowing that Faline was struggling with her words.

“Maybe about.. Four, five months? I don’t know..” Faline replied and I did the math in my head, trying to remember when really was the last time we had sex and I couldn’t remember either. “I guess it all kind of started when he hired his secretary.. That’s why I couldn’t take it anymore and I brought it up to see if he would deny it and he did.. But it just makes too much sense to me in my head. If it’s not her, though, I honestly think it could be someone else..”

Did he act like this in college?” Julia wondered and I sighed to myself, knowing the answer before Faline could say it.

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“Yeah, he was the big man on campus. Everyone knew him, especially the girls.. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen girls at a party crying over him because he had ‘moved on to the next’, sometimes during the party, too, he’d move on. Happened with a few of my friends, too.. A lot of friendships crumbled because of him, and I watched more happen than anyone else.. But, I was the last one I guess, the cherry on top of his college cake,” Faline replied. My blood was boiling and I couldn’t believe she would tell my own sisters the things I did in college when I had changed so much since then, and Faline knew it. I especially didn’t want my sisters to know that, to know I was such a glutton for different women and even I had no idea how many women I’ve slept with; the number probably extends into the hundreds, though.

Ew, it’s so weird to know that Jason was That Guy..” Julia replied.

Stop..” Anya spoke towards Julia. “Faline, do you really think he’d be able to do something like this with all of what he already has on the table?” Anya wondered, and from what it sounded like, she was defending me.

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You said yourself you have no proof, and I’m not trying to make you sound wrong, but who are you to assume such things when he graduated 4 years ago? Who says he isn’t passed it?” Anya continued and I couldn’t describe my appreciation for her.

“He said he spent the night at the office last night after our fight, but he didn’t,” Faline replied, listening to the dead silence in the room and my heartbeat quickened even more. “I followed him, that’s why I called you to babysit last night, Anya.. He was at the bar until about midnight, then he suddenly came out, went straight to his car and sped off. I followed him to an apartment building, the one on the northeast edge of the city.. He was there until I got too tired to wait anymore, so I came home before I fell asleep in the car,” Faline finished and there was another silence within the room and I felt sick to my stomach. She.. She spied on me, she knew where Bennu lived, but not who she was.

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Faline.. I know with what you said, it seems like a lot of what you’re worrying about, but spying on him? You must’ve had this distrust with him for a while for you to call Anya when you know she works at the hospital and is on call all the time,” Julia replied and I listened intently as my body quaked with fear, “You have children to look after. Anya has her job to worry about, who are you to put your children on someone else with a more important job than you just to spy on my little brother?” Julia finished and I was warmed by her defense.

“I knew this wasn’t a good idea..” Faline said softly.

Julia.. Stop,” Anya demanded, “We’re not here to judge anyone, we’re here to help. She caught him going to someone else’s place, he stayed there, I think she might be right, as much as I hate to admit it,” Anya continued and I peaked in, seeing Faline looking at no one while Anya and Julia shared an electric stare. 

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So.. He’s seeing someone else let’s say, what are you going to do?” Julia asked, taking my attention away from them again and only listening as I leaned against the bookshelf again.

“You know… I’m sorry Julia, that I’m saying this.. That it may seem like I’m calling your brother a unfaithful asshole,” Faline said with anger in her tone, “But I don’t want to lose him, Gareth and Gibson are too young for us to separate, but I know that he’s not being honest with me. I know him, maybe more than you. But, to answer your question, I don’t know what I want to do. What would you do if the father of your children has been cheating on you, and you don’t even know for how long?” Faline spat back at Julia and I clenched my hands into fists, wanting to bust into there and defend my sister, yet I couldn’t, let alone had no idea how to defend myself at this point when she’s caught me red handed.

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I’d leave him, or make him tell the truth. He denied it, you TRIED already, and he denied it. Why not believe him? Oh man, it’s a coincidence that he stopped touching you when he hired his secretary, but seeing as how you seem to never be there, how the hell can you say that he’s sleeping with her if you’ve never even witnessed it?” Julia spat back and I could’t help it, I had to peak in again and see them. Julia stood to her feet sternly, “Maybe you just need to gain a little more self confidence before accusing someone of something they said they didn’t do.. It isn’t healthy, especially if you’re still thinking about it and following him now after he told you no,” Julia replied and I couldn’t describe the newly earned respect I had for Julia, even if she was wrong to defend me. I watched then as Julia looked to Anya, “Enjoy dealing with this, I’m done,” she finished, walking passed them and towards me and I panicked a little.

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I heard Anya saying something to Faline but I was too preoccupied by Julia making her way towards me.. Shit. What do I do? She’s walking over here too fast for me to hide. Fuck.. I thought fast and did the first thing that came to mind, seeing Julia come out of the living room and I pulled her quickly, covering her mouth and holding her against me as she struggled briefly, “Stop! Stop.. It’s me, it’s Jason,” I said in a whisper and she stopped struggling so I let her go. She turned to face me with an angered expression and grabbed my hand, pulling me away from the living room and into the foyer, then out the front door.

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Julia let me go and turned to face me, “What the fuck is wrong with you, huh? So you’re a cheating, lying, sex addict now? How long were you listening? You know that she knows, right?” Julia began and I sighed harshly.

“I was there from the beginning, I heard everything. I got here a little after you two did,” I replied, still unable to calm my nerves.

So it’s true, yeah? You’re seeing someone else behind her back? Who’s apartment is that that you went to?”

“No ones,” I said bluntly.

Don’t you ever bullshit me.. Do I know her? Do any of us do? Is it your secretary’s place?” She asked, 

“No.. It’s not her place, and no one knows her. Now drop it.”

No, I’m not going to drop it because I’m in this. I’ve been in this with Anya and Hitomi and Faline for a while now,” she began and I shut my eyes in defeat, hating that Hitomi knew as well, “I don’t know what it is that you think you’re doing, but Faline’s on to you, you’re not hiding this well at all.. And you shouldn’t be hiding anything in the first place. Why don’t you get over your college days and grow the fuck up? You have kids to worry about, Jason, they’re just toddlers.. They need you around more than ever at this age, you can’t just act like they don’t exist and run off to have fun with some bimbo who shouldn’t mean anything to you! Grow up already, okay?” She replied angrily and I didn’t know what to say to her, my blood was still boiling and it bothered me that she sounded a lot like Dad when talking to me.

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“You don’t get it.. I know my children need me and I would never put anyone else before them.. I’m taking care of my kids, all of them, all four,” I replied and I watched as Julia gave me an intimidating expression.

Whoa, whoa, wait.. Four, did you say? Last time I checked it was only three,” she paused, nodding her head when she eventually figured it out, “I get it. The one in the apartment is another baby momma, huh?” She asked and I hung my head, unable to look at her anymore. “Jesus, Jason.. Do you even know what the word protection means?” She asked harshly.

“Ew.. Julia, you’re the last person I need to have this talk with..” I replied, trying to avoid this topic with my sister and she sighed, looking down at my suit for a few moments.

Girl? Boy? How old?”

“She’s a little younger than the twins, only by a few months,” I admit.

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How long have you been seeing this woman?”

“I knew her all throughout college.. After I graduated we lost contact, but she actually found me yesterday and told me everything and showed me our little girl. She invited me to stay so I could meet her in the morning, so I did and I fell in love the moment I met her. I should’ve known better than to sleep somewhere else besides home, but I couldn’t leave.. I didn’t know when the next chance I was going to have to get to meet her,” I continued. Suddenly, earlier today popped back into my head and I remembered when Faline had asked me where I was last night, and I lied.. She didn’t call me out on it, she even let me pleasure her knowing full well I was lying. Why didn’t she tell me then that she didn’t believe me? Why didn’t she tell me that she spied on me?

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Are you ever going to tell Faline? Or are you just going to let her follow you around, spying on you and finding out that way?” 

I didn’t know what to say to Julia.. I couldn’t keep this up forever and have Faline find out the hard way, I’d come home to an empty house. Yet, what the hell would I say to her if I confessed? I thought I loved her in the beginning, but all we did was grow apart and stop trying; she’d always be important to me as the mother of my boys, but I just couldn’t deal with this anymore. “I’ll figure it out..”

Do you even want to be with her anymore? Try to fix this?” She wondered.

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“No.. I mean, I want to be on okay terms with her, but I don’t want to be with her,” I replied and Julia sighed, looking down to the ground and nodding in understanding.

You wanna be with the other mother, or just someone that’s not Faline?” She asked in return.

“I wanna be with the other mother.. I always have since I met her, even before having our little girl. Her name’s Bennu, our little one is Bahiti,” I replied, looking up to Julia.

Whoa, exotic names.. Is she foreign or something?”

“Yeah, she’s Egyptian.”

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Ooooo, sexyyyy,” Julia said in a teasing manner and I couldn’t help but let out an embarrassed chuckle. “Hey, listen.. You don’t have to stay here tonight if you don’t want, you can always crash at my place.. Might be a little easier than seeing her and having to interact with her if you’re not ready.. Give you some time to gather your thoughts, I guess..” She offered. I was touched by her concern and worry for me, but, I needed to be here; I needed to be here for when the kids wake up, I couldn’t abandon them and leave them on Faline just because I was too much of a coward to look Faline in the eye.

“Nah, thanks though.. Not coming home the other night only made things worse.. I don’t wanna do it again and make things even more difficult for when I finally decide to talk to her about everything,” I replied.

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Alright, suit yourself.. Call me if you ever need anything,” she said with a smirk and wrapped her arms around me, hugging me goodbye and I held her in return for a few moments longer than she expected. This was so much better than being with my Dad; Julia gave me real advice, talked me through this and listened to what I had to say. I was so grateful.. “Okay, let go now,” Julia said with a chuckle and I let her go.

“S-Sorry.. But thank you, for hearing what I had to say instead of just hearing Faline’s side..” I replied with an uneasy smile.

Never a problem, lil’ bro.. I’ll see you later. Don’t worry, things will work out soon enough.. And call me when I get to meet Bahiti,” she added, smiling as she walked away backwards pointing a strict finger at me and I nodded, then watched her turn around and leave, phone against her ear as she called a cab.

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I walked back over to the front door, opening it quietly and coming back inside. I stood there a moment, debating on if I should go back towards the living room and continue eavesdropping or if I should go upstairs and go to sleep. As much as I wanted to keep listening, I couldn’t do it; I had heard enough already, and I didn’t like hearing people talk about me behind my back. I went upstairs and to my bedroom, jumping in the shower for a quick few minutes and throwing on a pair of pajama pants when I got out. 

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I walked out into the bedroom and looked around, taking in my surroundings and wondering how much it was going to change soon. Although all of the inadequate objects wouldn’t change drastically, seeing how almost everything was something of mine, I still felt it would be a little empty without Faline, despite how I felt about her and not wanting her anymore. I kept feeling sorry for her, but at the same time I hated it because I was going to be with Bennu when all of this ended. But, I still couldn’t shake the fact that it was going to be hard on the both of us, whenever the time to talk did arrive..

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The baby monitor light lit up, picking up on subtle noises coming from the twins’ room and I looked to it, waiting to hear anything and I heard Gareth start to cry. I was used to him doing it around this time of night, but as I tried to ignore it in hopes he would go back to sleep, he didn’t. His cries got louder and he began calling for Faline and myself and it wasn’t like him to be so awake and upset. I grew a little worried, walking quickly over to the door and going out to go to the boy’s room.

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I opened their door and walked in quietly, seeing Garth standing in his crib and continuing to cry. I went to him instantly and watched him wipe tears from his eyes, “Hey, bud.. What’s wrong? Did you have a nightmare?” I asked with sympathy, watching as he continued to cry and he couldn’t form words just yet. He reached up for me and I picked him up, pulling his cheek to my lips and pecking him a few times, “Calm dooowwnnn,” I continued to talk quietly, trying to get him to stop so he didn’t wake his brother.

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I felt him wrap his arms around my neck tightly and I let out a nervous chuckle, walking him around his room and bouncing him gently, shushing him in hopes to calm him down eventually. As much as a downer this was, I was going to miss it; I knew once Faline and I got around to talking things through, the first thing we’d talk about is her moving out. Things were going to end up like how things went with Lana and Lucy, I wasn’t going to see them every day, every night, ever dinner; I wasn’t going to get to hold them like this whenever they woke up from a bad dream and I wasn’t going to hear Gareth fussing through the baby monitor around this time every night anymore, either.

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I continued to hold Gareth tightly and calm him, feeling his tears on my shoulder as I walked towards the window to look outside, trying to get my mind off of the inevitable. It took Gareth about five minutes to calm down and soon he had calmed to a light sob on my shoulder, feeling his tiny fingers gripping my hair. “Hey, how you doin’, champ? What woke you up?” I questioned.

“B-Bad dream,” he answered quietly and I smirked to his cute behavior.

“It’s okay now.. What was your dream about? What made you scared?”

“I-I wasn’t scared,” he replied confidently through the slight frog still in his throat and I chuckled softly.

“Okay, you weren’t scared, tough guy.. Why were you crying then?” I reworded my first question.

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“It.. It was a monster,” he answered and I rubbed his back, hoping to sooth him even more.

“A monster, huh? Well he’s not here anymore, is he? I’ve got you and he can’t get you anymore, I won’t let him,” I said softly, feeling his grip begin to give and I could tell he was calming down slightly. “There’s no such thing as monsters, only little things inside of your head to trick you. But, you’re stronger than them, right?”

“B-But he.. He was gunna hurt me and Gibs,” he continued quietly and I grew a little more worried. I tried to think of what I could say to him to make him feel better, he needed more of a push.

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“Did I ever tell you about when you were born? Hmm?” I asked and I felt him shake his head ‘no’. “Well, Mommy was scared, just like you. It took you two 4 hours to be born. But, she made it through, she used all of her strength to make sure you guys were born and you know what? You were born first, and Gibson was born two minutes after, which makes you the older brother. You gotta be strong, too, just like Mommy was, and just like how I’m doing now for you. You gotta do that for Gibs, to be strong and protect him, keep him close and don’t ever let anything come between you two, not even the scariest of monsters. Understand?” I concluded, feeling him then nod against my shoulder and his crying had finally stopped.

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I felt Gareth burrow into my shoulder a little, getting comfortable in my arms and I continued to rub his back soothingly. I swayed back and forth, trying to get him to fall back asleep with a newly calmed mind and I soon heard his exhales getting heavier. I continued to look out the window, watching the calm waters as I felt each of Gareth’s tiny breathes against my neck and feeling his tiny, quick heartbeat against my chest. I felt relaxed and nostalgic with all of them, unable to be or stay angry at anything when they were like this in my arms. I couldn’t hold Lucy like this anymore, so I took every opportunity I could to hold them when they wanted me to; they were all growing up so fast, I wasn’t ready for it.

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I soon turned around, still swaying Gareth back and forth in my arms as he slept against my shoulder and I looked up, seeing Faline by the door and I froze for a moment, wondering how low she had been standing there. We stared at one another for a few long seconds, watching as she dropped her gaze first and even through the dark I could see her eyes beginning to water. She traced her finger under her eyelid gently, acting as if she wiped something away other than a tear and she turned around, walking out of the room and shutting the door softly behind her.

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I let out a deep sigh through my nose and walked towards Gareth’s crib and as gently as I could, I pulled him from my shoulder and laid him down. He stirred a little as he slept, getting used to where he had been placed instead of being held and luckily he stayed asleep. 

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I walked to the door and left the boy’s room just as quietly as Faline did, looking then over to my bedroom door and seeing it finish shutting from Faline. I stood there a moment and contemplated going in to talk to her or just leaving her be, but I didn’t know what to do. If I didn’t go in there and act like nothing was wrong, she’d only assume worse things, but then again, she probably knew I had seen Simon’s car from Anya being here since I was home early and I’d most likely question it. It was getting late, she had work tomorrow morning and I needed to get my sleep, but how were either of us going to get shut eye while occupying the same room and knowing what we both knew? I knew she had talked to my sisters about me, I knew she thought I was cheating on her, and I knew there was no denying it once I walked through that door. But, we had to face it eventually, and despite us both needing our sleep, I thought I was ready to handle it tonight if she wanted to.

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I went to the bedroom door and slowly turned the knob, opening the door and looking in to see the room empty and I let out a relieved sigh, even though I knew she was just in the bathroom. I walked in and shut the door, walking then over to the bathroom and I raised a gently made fist to knock, but I held it back as I heard her crying and sniffling as softly as she could to try and hide it. I sighed lightly, not knowing what to do or what to say to her to make her feel better when I’m probably the last person she wants to see or talk to right now. I wasn’t good at this kind of thing, I’d never had a girlfriend in my life and I never had to break up with anyone before; I just simply moved on and they eventually found out the hard way.. Well, I guess it was the same thing in this case, it was only harder this time because I had children with this woman and I lived with her. But, I couldn’t avoid her forever, nor did I think she could do the same to me.. I remembered my Dad’s words back at the cemetery, telling me to man-up and as much as I didn’t want to, I committed to my raised fist and knocked gently.

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“Faline? Are you okay?” I asked and it took her a few seconds to respond.

“Yeah.. I’m fine,” she replied, her voice giving out a little and I sighed yet again.

I tried the doorknob but it was locked, “Can we talk? ..Please? Can you open the door?” I asked and I listened to silence for a few seconds.

“Uhm..” She cleared her throat a little better, “I was just going to take a bath, I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” She wondered and already I knew she was trying to avoid me.

I rested my forehead against the door and sighed again, “Faline, it’s almost one in the morning, don’t you wanna get some sleep instead?”

“Why do you want to talk then?” She asked in return and I didn’t know what to say really.

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“Because I don’t like talking to a door,” I replied, starting to get a little irritated, “Can you please, just.. Just open the door.. Okay?”

“I.. I cant,” she replied and I could hear her sobbing lightly again.

“Why?” I demanded to know, getting tired of this through-the-door conversation and I was beginning to have the urge to kick it down. She didn’t answer me and I was growing inpatient with each few seconds that passed without a response, my anger building quickly and I didn’t want to go back now, I couldn’t just give up yet and I hit the door hard with my fist, “Dammit, Faline! I just.. I want to know what’s wrong and I can’t help like this.. Just open the fucking door,” I voiced angrily and I heard shuffling behind the door.

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Faline came to the door and opened it, looking up to me and my expression grew less angered. Tears still fell down her face and I watched as her eyebrows furrowed suddenly in anger and her palm cracked hard against my cheek. My head jerked right and I held onto the door frame to keep myself from stumbling over from the unexpected slap. ..Well, not totally unexpected.. “You can help me by leaving me the hell alone you lying asshole! I can’t even look at you!” She answered and grabbed the door, slamming it in my face and I put my left hand on my cheek, feeling it getting hot under my touch and I stretched my jaw a little to help lessen the pain. 

“Ow..” I said softly; it had been a while since I’ve been slapped, I almost forgot what it felt like.

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Well, this was it.. The beginning to the end of us. “Fine.. Talk to me whenever you’re ready then,” I finished, stepping back from the door slowly and starring at it for a few seconds, not hearing anything but her crying on the other side and I walked towards the bedroom door, walking out and shutting it a little harder than I would’ve liked at this time of night. I walked passed the pool table and went to the couch, sitting upon it and hanging my head, unsure of what to do or if there was even anything I could do now.. I wanted to know desperately how this was going to end, how and when she was going to finally talk to me or even if she was ever going to. Would she just leave while I was at work, making it easier for the both of us? But no, it wouldn’t be easy, it would never be easy. Explaining all of this to the boys? To Lucy? But, as much as I hated to admit it, there were more pros than cons. Sure, Faline would be gone.. But I didn’t want her. Yeah, the boys wouldn’t be something I saw daily like they’re used to, but it could still work out. Hell, it did with Lana and Lucy.. Or did it? I doubted myself, or began to. I grew away from Lana, I’m growing away from Faline; who’s to say I won’t grow away from Bennu? 

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“No..” I said to myself, “I can’t lose all of this and have doubts about who I’m doing it for,” I reassured myself, taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly, laying down upon the length of the couch and shutting my eyes, hoping that whenever Faline did end up talking to me, I’d actually be capable of letting it all go.

Generation 2, Chapter 14 Pt1

Attention: Heads up, loooonngg chapter :D

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The sun woke me, peaking his nosy face into Bennu’s room and I tousled a little before my eyes slowly opened. I looked to the spot next to me and noticed it was empty, then looking around the room to take in my foreign surroundings. I took a deep breath in and never wanted to get up, basking in the scent within the room and my insides fluttered at the familiar smell of the woman I loved. The smell eventually became too familiar to my senses for me to distinguish between anything else, finally convincing myself that it was time to get up. I sat up and swung my feet off the bed, sitting on the edge for a moment and I stopped, listening carefully and I could hear the faint sound of Bahiti on the other side of the wall, assuming she was playing with her toys and a wide smile formed on my lips; I couldn’t wait to meet her and see what she was like. After a few seconds of listening to her, I stood up from the bed and walked around Bennu’s room, picking up all of my clothes off the floor, though I had failed to find my orange sweater. Hmm..

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I gave up on looking for it, going to the door and stepping out into the hallway where I could hear Bahiti a little clearer with her door shut and I smiled once more. I looked left and saw Bennu in the kitchen, coming out of her room and walking towards her and she glanced at me with a flirtatious grin.

“How did you sleep?” She wondered, continuing to prepare whatever she was making, and I guessed waffles by the ingredients I saw.

“Haven’t had that good of sleep in years,” I replied, watching as she didn’t look at me but smiled more to my answer.

“Well, good.. Would you like to stay for breakfast?” She asked, glancing over at me once again and I nodded.

“Yeah, I’d love to,” I answered, reaching the outside of the kitchen and continuing to watch her prepare the meal.

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“How did you sleep?” I asked in return.

“Wonderfully,” she replied, seeing how nostalgic and relaxed she looked as she continued to prepare the meal.

“How’s Bahiti? Is she going to be eating with us?” I wondered, a little spark of excitement tousling my stomach.

“She is very well, and no, she won’t be joining us. She already ate. She gets to play for a little while longer and then its bath time and a nap after that, whether she likes it or not,” she answered, letting out a hummed chuckle and I smiled; I’ll have to remember that if I’m going to be around here more often.

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After she had put all that she had prepared into the oven, I slipped my way into the kitchen and wrapped my arm around her neck, pulling her closer and kissing her cheek and making my way up to her ear. Bennu let out ticklish giggles and it only compelled me to continue, nibbling on her earlobe, “Jazon, stop it,” she said in between her laughter.

“You wearing anything under this?” I whispered softly, running my left hand over her waist and slipping it under the closed flap of the robe she wore, soon feeling skin under the soft material.

“Stop ittt, you can’t distract me in the mornings, I have too much to do,” she teased, turning her head to look up at me and I sighed but smiled.

“Fiiiine,” I replied, seeing her lift her head and she kissed me briefly before going to the oven and checking on the food.

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After eating breakfast together, I gathered up the plates and utensils, “Oh, Jazon.. You don’t have to do that, really,” Bennu tried to stop me but I walked towards the kitchen anyways.

“It’s not a problem, I gotta thank you for the meal somehow since you won’t let me into that robe with you,” I replied with a grin and she smiled appreciatively. As I washed the dishes for her, all I could think about was Bahiti. Was she going to like me? What if she doesn’t want anything to do with me? I missed out on a lot of things with her already, but I knew that I didn’t want to miss out on anything else. “Has she ever asked about me? Well.. I mean, about who her father is or anything?” I asked as I cleaned one of the plates.

“Yes.. Recently I had gone over to a friends house who has a a kid of her own, too, and Bahiti wondered who the man was her friend was calling ‘Dad’. She started asking if she had one, too,” she replied.

“And what did you say?”

“I said she did, he just wasn’t with us at the moment. I promised her I’d let her meet him one day. I told her this morning that you were here and she was going to meet you; she seemed excited. But, Bahiti is a very shy girl, it takes her a little to warm up to people, don’t be discouraged if she doesn’t run into your arms right away,” Bennu added, smiling warmly and I nodded, finishing up the dishes.

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Bennu came into the kitchen and I watched as she wrapped up the rest of the waffles we didn’t eat and saved them for leftovers, “Do you think she’ll ever warm up to me?” I asked.

“Of course.. With time, she’ll grow to love you, don’t worry. She’ll eventually start to ask for things and ask you to play with her, that’s when you know she likes you,” Bennu comforted and I smiled, watching her step up to me and she put her arms around me, pushing herself up to kiss me, “I know realizing you have a child might be a little overwhelming, but I know you’ll be a great father,” she added, calming my nerves more. “Ready?” She wondered.

“Yeah, I think so,” I replied, Bennu then talking my hand as she led me towards Bahiti’s room.

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Bennu walked in first while I stayed out of view for a  moment and listening to them converse. A tiny, soft voice spoke before Bennu, “Mommy, I made their bedroom different colors! I put stripes on the walls with my crayons! Come see!” Bahiti said excitedly and I smiled to myself, hearing her dainty voice for the first time filled me with such joy.

“It’s beautiful, my amisi, I’m sure they love it,” Bennu replied, “Do you remember what we talked about this morning, about you meeting Daddy?” Bennu asked and I peaked into the room without Bahiti noticing. I saw her nod to Bennu and she continued, “Well, he’s outside the room, do you still want to say hi?” Bennu asked next, but Bahiti didn’t say or do anything, “Don’t be such a shy girl, he wants to meet you, too,” Bennu continued, running her fingers through Bahiti’s bangs and brushing the strands out of her face.

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Bennu stood up straight again and came to the door, looking to me and smiling as she took my hand and led me into Bahiti’s room. The moment I was within her sight, I watched as her bright eyes widened when she looked up at me; I could tell she wasn’t ready for someone so much taller than her mother to step in and for a moment I thought she was scared of me. Our sapphire eyes stayed connected for a few moments and I soon stepped in slowly a little more, stopping in front of her and bending down closer to her level. I smiled warmly, wanting to do what Bennu had done and touch her hair or even hold her, but I didn’t want to rush things, “Hi, Bahiti, I’m glad I finally get to meet you.. You’re very beautiful, did you know that?” I asked, watching as she averted her eyes from mine briefly and I couldn’t tell if she was just being shy or if she liked the compliment. I noticed that her eyes had found something else to stare at, looking at my arms and I smirked, “I’m pretty colorful, aren’t I?” I asked with a gentle chuckle, “Do you wanna see?” I asked, holding out my arm a little more and she looked at the designs with curiosity, yet she was still a little weary to get closer for a better look.

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I don’t know what I did, if I even did anything, but Bahiti suddenly ran around me and over to Bennu and I stood turning around and my expression went discouraged as I watched her tug on Bennu’s robe. I thought it was going well even for how little we talked, she seemed very interested in me, but what did I do to scare her away? She began to whine a little when Bennu wouldn’t pick her up.

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Bennu looked down at her and sighed, “What’s wrong with you, huh?” She wondered, picking up Bahiti and she hugged Bennu close, “Don’t be such a scaredy-cat,” she said softly, “He only wants to get to know you, you want to know him, too, don’t you?” She asked and Bahiti didn’t answer, hiding her face in Bennu’s shoulder. Bennu looked to me and smirked, her expression trying to reassure me that I didn’t do anything for her to be feeling this way, yet I still didn’t like seeing her get away from me. But, no matter how long it takes, I was going to get her to open up to me eventually.

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I stepped up to Bennu and Bahiti and smiled down at her before beginning, looking back up to Bennu, “It’s okay.. I should get going anyways,” I said softly, looking down at Bahiti again, “It was great meeting you, beautiful, I’m sure I’ll see you again very soon,” I said with another smile. I looked back up to Bennu, “Wanna walk me out?” I asked, seeing her smile and nod and she walked back over to Bahiti’s dollhouse, putting her down onto the floor again.

“I’ll be right back and then you’re getting a bath.. Can you say bye to him?” Bennu wondered and I stopped from leaving the room, looking back at her. Although she still didn’t use words, she lifted her hand and danced her fingers hesitantly, waving at me for a few seconds and I smiled wide. I waved back at her and watched as Bennu kissed the top of her head and stood straight, walking over towards me and we walked out of her room to go into the living room.

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When we got into the living room, I faced Bennu and smiled, “Well, I can see it’s going to take her a little while to get used to me, but I’d love to come back soon, anytime actually.”

“Well, what are you doing tonight? I could make us dinner,” Bennu suggested and I kept my smile.

“Yeah, I can figure something out for work.. What time?”

“Hmm.. How about I have it ready around 8:00? Bahiti goes to bed around then, but you’re welcome to stop by earlier and spend time with her if you want,” she continued. 

“Yeah, I’ll definitely be here earlier than eight,” I reply with a grin, watching her smile and I reached my hand up to run it down her arm.

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Bennu slowly wrapped her arms around me and pulled me to her, connecting our lips and my hands wrapped around her as well, pulling her against me even more and deepening the kiss. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to stay all day and spend all of my time with them, but I needed to get home despite knowing I’d have to face Faline eventually. The quiet moans she hummed during our kiss only compelled me to forget about going home, wanting to disrobe her this instant and repeat everything we did last night. But, somehow I was finally able to pull from her lips and she looked at me with a gentle panting breath, her eyes telling me to stay, “I’ll see you tonight,” I said quietly, watching her nod and smile, slowly letting me go and I backed up towards the door, turning around when I reached it and walking out to go home.

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On my drive home, I started thinking of Faline and what I would say to her; she’ll probably be wondering where I was last night and why I never came home. I wondered what she would have to say to me now after having some time to think without me around. I thought about Bennu as well, unable to stand I was lying to her and I was debating on telling her about the family I had, even knowing the risk of making her upset. I couldn’t hide this from her, it would eventually turn into a huge problem and the sooner I told her, the better were my chances of keeping her. I was growing nervous as I got closer to home, but I knew Faline was at work by now and she probably dropped the twins off at Anya’s place; that’s what she usually did if I was ever unable to watch them. Anya had been helping out a lot ever since the twins were born; she fell in love with them and adores babysitting whenever she can. Her and Dwight broke up, but she found someone else at the hospital to date. A patient, actually, that had been rushed into the ER and she was his doctor during his recovery. I was happy for her and thankful that she had found someone that didn’t care if they had kids or not, he loved her and I could tell, that’s all that mattered.

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I parked the car and didn’t see Faline’s car there and the toddler seats were gone; good, she did take the boys, and Lucy was at school. I walked into the house without a care, glad that I could take a shower and have some time to myself in the house rather than just sleeping through the day. I went to sleep at a good time last night rather than around 4 or 5:00 in the morning, so I was less tired than I’d normally be during this time of the day. I walked through the foyer and up the stairs, walking towards my room to use the bathroom and clean myself up a bit.

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I showered for a long time, getting out after about 45 minutes of only reminding myself of last night over and over and I couldn’t wait to do it again. I found it so odd that this whole time I was never able to understand why I didn’t like Faline as much as I should, and that was because I loved someone else that I never had realized before until now. I walked up to the mirror and wiped my hand over it, clearing it from fog and checking myself out. I grabbed my toothbrush and filled it with toothpaste, brushing my teeth and mouth clean of everything I could still taste from being with Bennu. 

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After finishing up in the bathroom, I came out into my room and put a new set of clothes on, shutting the drawer to the dresser and taking a deep breath as I stood there, trying to calm my building nerves from thinking about what I needed to say to Bennu later. I was nervous, really nervous.. I knew she was going to be angry, but just how angry? I had always spent time with Bennu back at college, but we’ve never fought before, there was no need to, it was only normal, flirtatious yet loving conversations; there was obviously something there that she never cared to acknowledge like I wanted to every time I saw her. At this point, she seemed to finally succumb to her feelings for me once she had left the club like I’ve asked her to so many times, I guess a child needed to be her realization; though I wished she had realized it way, way sooner. 

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I knew it was early, it was almost 10:00 am but I went downstairs and grabbed a beer from the fridge; I wasn’t planning on drinking a lot, I only wanted one for now to help calm my nerves. My thoughts were beginning to give me a headache as my worry continued to grow, fearing that once I finally tell Bennu everything that was already going on, she would disappear from my life again and I couldn’t have that; especially not after knowing we have a beautiful baby girl together. This is everything that I’ve wanted with her, to be with her and have a family; but, it was so much more complicated than that now. 

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After my beer, I threw it out and pulled out my phone, calling Miss Chu to check up on how the rest of last night went without me at the bar. 

Hello..?” She answered after about five rings.

“Hey, it’s me.. How was work after I left? Did everything go okay?” I asked and I heard her yawn on the other end.

Jason.. It’s only a little passed 10:00, you woke me upppp,” she whined and I sighed.

“I’m sorry, but I left you in charge, I need to know that everything went okay,” I said sternly.

Yes, everything went fine.. Let now me go back to bed.”

“I need a favor,” I continued quickly, keeping her from hanging up and there was a silence over the phone.

What do you need?” She wondered, catching her attention.

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“I need to take another night off, I need you to be in charge again,” I demanded.

Jason, I can’t do your work, you know that.”

“I know, I’ll do it.. I’m not asking you to go in my office and do my work, I just need you to open, watch the place and close.. I might even come by before 10:00 pm,” I said with hesitation, planning ahead on Bennu kicking me out after I confess everything, “But just in case I don’t I need to know that you’re capable of watching the place,” I continued, hearing her sigh lightly over the other line.

Fine, but you owe me,” she teased and I scoffed.

“I don’t owe you shit, I’m your boss, do as I ask or you’re gone,” I retorted, hanging up after my words and putting the phone back into my pocket.

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I went back upstairs and into my room, not bothering to turn on the lights since the sun was still doing a great job of lighting every room I was in. I collapsed onto the bed, shutting my eyes and trying to relax and I tried to think of something better involving Bennu and how she might react to the news I was going to tell her. She was so beautiful, we had made such a gorgeous little girl and I couldn’t deny the fact that I also wanted to tell her that I loved her, but how would I do that? If I told her before my confession, she might think of it as a lie in the end, but if I told her afterward, she would think I was being desperate again, trying to keep her in my life like I constantly did back at the club when she worked there. But, what if she felt the same? If I was able to explain myself correctly, she might have more sympathy than anger, at least I hoped she would.

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I heard rustling and my eyes opened, lifting my head and the sun was less in the windows than it was two seconds ago; did I fall asleep? I checked my watch and it read 3:30 pm, I fell asleep for about 5 hours and had no idea I was going to. I looked towards the dresser where I heard the noise and saw Faline, changing out of her work clothes and into something more comfortable for around the house like she did after she got off work; yet, it was too early for her to be home still.. “You’re home early,” I voiced softly, seeing her expression change slightly, but she didn’t look at me, watching her throw on a shirt. 

“And you’re home late,” she replied blankly; I knew this was coming.

“Where are the boys? And Lucy?” I wondered, sitting up on the bed and rubbing my face, trying to wake myself up more.

“Still at Anya’s.. Lucy went over to Cara’s to do her homework.. I thought it might give us a chance to talk if I got off early, and if you were here,” she replied.

“Faline..” I began, standing to my feet and facing her, “I.. I’m sorry for the things I said, but-”

“Where were you all night?” She asked, cutting me off and my heartbeat increased slightly.

“At work.. I slept there.. I’m sorry,” I answered, taking a few steps closer to her.

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Faline faced me as she continued, “Don’t be sorry.. I’m the one who should be,” she finished.

I took a deep breath in and stepped closer, looking down at her as she stood there, seemingly ashamed of herself, “No, I was out of line.. I should be paying more attention to you, to the boys.. I get so caught up with work I forget what’s important,” I reply, walking up to her and lifting my hand, caressing her cheek, “Let me make it up to you.. Anything you want,” I retorted, seeing her look up to me and I noticed the quick glance at her looking to my lips. If I was going to keep the boys close to me without the threat of her leaving with them, I needed to do this. I could tell she was dying for me, I’ve seen this angst in her before and it was only after we wouldn’t be intimate for a long time; I understood her pent up energy and there was only one way to help her release it. 

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Honestly, I didn’t feel right with what I was about to do. Faline was in need and so was I, for her for feel release and for me to feel safe that she wouldn’t leave me and take the boys for what I’ve done. I slid my hand around her and lifted her chin with the other, taking a deep look into her eyes and regret consumed me as I thought of Bennu once more, knowing this wasn’t what I wanted, yet I knew I needed to take action to keep Faline happy and close. I leaned forward and kept my lips centimeters from hers, still unable to kiss her as I thought of something else, “Take off your clothes,” I demanded softly, watching as her eyes looked to mine and I knew her heart skipped a beat as I planted a few gentle pecks under her bottom lip along her chin.

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As I kissed her jawline and brushed her hair away from her neck to continue my way down, I felt her reach to the bottom of her shirt and she began pulling it over her head, separating my lips from her skin briefly as she removed it and I reached behind her to remove her bra. She slipped it off after the shirt and I continued my lips down, going over her clavicle and she pushed her chest against me in excitement and I knew she was on the brink of begging me for it. As I kissed her upper chest, I ran my fingers under the rim of her panties and pulled them down slowly, letting them fall to the floor and I gripped the back of her thighs, hoisting her up and she wrapped her legs around me as I brought her towards the window.

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I knelt down and gripped her thighs harder, managing to put them over my arms and her legs rested over my shoulders, her thighs hugging my cheeks and I pushed her bottom up gently, running my tongue below her belly button and eventually finding the warmth of her sex and my tongue began it’s torture. Her moans started instantly and within minutes I could feel her legs shaking against my shoulders, glancing up at her and seeing her eyes shut and mouth open in ecstasy and I continued even more. Her thighs eventually started to grip a little harder around my neck and I knew she was getting closer to the brink, only compelling me to continue harder and she whispered for me to stop repetitively at her own regret of not being able to hold out longer, but I didn’t quit. After a few more minutes, she let out moans I had never heard before that drove me mad, Faline quickly succumbing to my touch and she eventually let out gentle hums of relief. I slowly came to a stop and began kissing her lower stomach once more as she calmed and collected herself, her thighs still quaking against my shoulders and face.

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After giving her what she so desperately wanted, wiping my mouth and watching her get dressed yet again, she glanced over at me with a small grin and I smirked, “What is it?” I asked.

“Nothing,” she said softly, and although I wanted to question it more, I realized why she was happy; it was because she was convinced I still felt for her.. Good, that’s exactly the reassurance that I needed from her. I stepped closer to her as she pulled up and fastened a pair of pants she had pulled from the dresser, hugging her from behind and she laid her head against the front of my shoulder. “Did you shower already? You have work in a few hours,” she wondered as I kissed her cheek gently and let her go.

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I walked towards the bed again, “I already took a shower, I was just relaxing while I was here,” I hesitated, “I’m sorry I didn’t come back, but I figured you needed your space and time to think.. So I stayed away,” I said softly, laying back down on the bed.

I heard her over by the dresser as I looked out the window, “It’s all right.. I’m sorry for.. Well, being mean and accusing you of things just because I haven’t had you in a while.. I admit I was just getting pent up.. I know you work hard and you rarely see us, but I know why you do it..” She replied and I smirked as I lie there.

“Don’t worry, I understand,” I replied, shutting my eyes as I continued to hear her within the room.

Well, I’m going to get the boys from Anya’s place, will you be here when I get back?” She asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be here,” I replied, hearing her then exit the room. 

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After about 20 minutes, Faline returned with the boys and I went downstairs to see them, seeing Faline holding them both and I picked up my pace a little to help her. “There’s my boys!” I said warmly.

“Daddy!” They both said simultaneously, causing me to chuckle and I kissed Gibson on the forehead and took Gareth into my arms.

I tossed Gareth into the air and he giggled and flailed gently within my grasp, “How was seeing Auntie Anya and Simon?” I asked.

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“It was fun!” Gareth replied, “We watched Harry Potter with Simon and Auntie Anya made cupcakes and she let us eat the batter before she made them!” He replied excitedly and I chuckled again now that I realized his sugar rush. Anya always spoiled them rotten, they’ve never once came back from her place and said they had anything less of a great time.

“Well good, I’m glad. Daddy’s gotta get ready and go to work soon, let’s go upstairs for a little bit and play before I need to leave,” I suggested, bringing Gareth upstairs and Faline followed with Gibson.

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I played with the boys for a little while and soon put them in their playpen, needing to leave and get ready to go to Bennu’s and I wanted to be there around 7:00 like I normally would be leaving to go to work. I went over to Faline who was reading in the rocking chair and she looked up to my briefly and smiled, “Work?” She assumed, looking back down to her book.

“Yeah, I’ll uhh.. See you when I see you I guess,” I said with a faint chuckle and I watched her nod, turning around then and walking towards the door. I looked over towards the boys as I left, “Be good, I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” I said softly, watching them wave goodbye and I left the room to get ready.

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I pulled out a new suit I bought a few days ago; Faline wanted me to look more professional and this outfit said it all, I even got new dress shoes. I fastened my tie that also happened to be a gift from Lucy and adjusted the suit, buttoning one of the two buttons, then running my hands over my hair to straighten out any kinks I may have missed. I left the house and got into my car, taking the bridge into the city and the sight of the lights made me more excited and also extremely nervous to see Bennu. I remember whenever I ran away when I was little I would come to the city for peace; I loved the lights and the nightlife, the statues and strange personalities walking around town. But, everything was in the city; the place where my house burned down and I lost my parents, the cemetery, the death of Lana, my sisters, my work, and now Bennu. So many things tied me to this city, and although the bad outweighed the good, I still went to the city every day regardless for so many different reasons.

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I got to Bennu’s and went upstairs, knocking on her door and she greeted me almost instantly, shutting the door and going to her, “My God, you look beautiful,” was the first thing I said, reaching up and caressing the back of my hand down her cheek.

She smiled bashfully, bringing her hand up to lay over mine and she then stepped closer, putting her hands to either side of my face, “You look very handsome, I’m a very lucky woman,” she replied and I leaned in quickly to kiss her lips.

“Where’s Bahiti?” I wondered, feeling her arms then wrap around my neck in a relaxed manner.

“In her room, go say hi to her, she hasn’t stopped talking about you all day,” Bennu answered happily and I was overjoyed at the fact that she had already taken a liking to me despite what happened earlier this morning.

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“Go, I told her you were coming and I’m sure she’s been anxiously waiting,” Bennu continued with a smile and I pecked her on the lips once more, “I’ll start dinner.”

“Okay,” I replied warmly, watching Bennu go towards the kitchen and get out the ingredients, “What are you making?” I wondered, not recognizing anything that I’ve ever seen and she smiled.

“It’s recipes from my homeland and it’s a surprise,” she said teasingly and I chuckled, turning around and making my way towards Bahiti’s room.

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I slowly opened the door to Bahiti’s room and saw her on the ground playing with one of her toys. She looked up at me and smiled, then continued to play, “Hi, Bahiti,” I began.

“Hi,” she said quietly, jumping the toy around and making it walk along the ground.

I smiled warmly at her response, “That’s a cute toy you have there.”

“Yeah, he’s my favorite,” she replied quietly again.

“Does it have a name?” I wondered, stepping a few feet closer and she held it up, looking at it questionably.

“A name?” She asked.

“Yeah, you always need to name your favorite toy. What name do you think he’d have? ..Harry?” I joked, hearing her giggle softly and she continued to look at her doll. I remembered back to when Lucy was a toddler and I was on college summer break; I had bought her a bear and she thought of naming it all by herself, every new toy I got her was her favorite.. I still remembered that she named it May and Bahiti reminded me so much of Lucy.

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“Um.. I’ll.. I’ll name him Azizi,” she answered.

“Oh, that’s a wonderful name.. How’d you think of that?” I asked, acting over-exaggerated and excited to make her happy.

“It means pre-precious,” she replied, struggling slightly to say the word and my heart melted at how precious she was; I was in love already.

“That’s a great name! Do you know what amisi means? Your Mommy called you that earlier when I was here, ” I wondered, remembering her call Bahiti that and she continued to play with Azizi.

“It means flower. I-It’s my middle name, too,” she said with a smile, looking up at me briefly and I held my smirk; she was so smart for her age, Bennu has taught her so well and she was already growing up to be an amazing little girl. 

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“D-Do.. You wanna play?” She asked with her gentle tone and I nodded without question.

“Yes, of course.. What do you wanna do?” I asked.

“Do you know, um.. Hide and go seek?” She wondered, standing to her feet and I nodded happily.

“Yeah, I love that game.. What do you want me to count to?”

“Um.. Count to 10.. B-But slowly,” she replied excitedly and I couldn’t even describe the happiness I felt with her.

“Alright, I’ll go over here.. I’m warning you though, I’m pretty good at this game,” I answered and she giggled. 

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I walked towards an empty corner and stared at the cream colored wall, “One… Two… Three…” I began counting, hearing her scramble around behind me and her running footsteps were a dead giveaway on where she would be without her knowing. As I continued counting slowly like she had asked, still trying to calm my anxious nerves and I hoped playing with Bahiti took forever; I didn’t want to put Bahiti to bed, eat dinner and get to the must needed confession to Bennu.. I was nervous beyond belief. I heard the toy box lid open and I heard her jump inside and shut it somewhat quietly, already knowing where she was. “Eight… Nine… Ten, ready or not, here I come,” I said softly.

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I turned around and didn’t look at the toy box, seeing it cracked open a little in my peripherals and knowing for sure now that she was in there. Yet, I walked around the room, dumbfounded and confused, “W-Where did she go? The door didn’t open, yet she’s nowhere in sight! Where did she go??” I exaggerated again playfully. I walked towards the window and checked behind her dollhouse, out the window for kicks, along the side of her crib, but nothing. I turned around again, walking slowly towards the computer table, checking under it and around it. “Wow, she’s really good at this game.. I can’t find her at all!” I continued, standing up straight and hearing a soft giggle come from within the toy box behind me.

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“Well…” I continued, “There’s only one other place she could be!” I turned around and walked towards the toy box, seeing the lid close and my smile grew wider. I put my fingers to the lid and lifted it, seeing her inside and she laughed. “There she is!” I said happily, grabbing her up and tossing her in the air as she continued to giggle uncontrollably. I loved every second of this, I loved that so soon after meeting her she was so willing to let me play with her and she even let me hold her within the short time of knowing her. I pulled her close then and kissed the top of her head, seeing her look up at me with the same eyes as myself made my insides only melt more at how adorable this little girl was. Lucy will always be my daughter, always.. Yet, Bahiti was my actual first daughter, one that’s completely mine and better yet, with the woman I adored most in this world.

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“I get to look for you now!” She said excitedly and I was happy that this was continuing.

“Alright, but I need to go through the whole place! This room is too small for me to hide!” I requested and she thought for a moment.

“Okay, but no Mommy’s room, I can’t get in!”

“Okay, not Mommy’s room.. But here, the living room and kitchen!” I replied and she nodded.

“Yeah!” She confirmed and I set her down.

“Now go in the corner and count to ten, slowly,” I repeated her words back to her and she agreed, running over to the corner and covering her eyes as she began to count.

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As she counted, I went to the door and opened it quickly but slowly, trying to stay quiet and I quickly walked down the hallway and into the living room. Bennu looked to me with a questionable expression as she continued to cook and I put my index finger over my lips, telling her to stay hushed and she smiled warmly, nodding and continuing what she was doing. I went into the living room and hid behind a chair, hearing Bahiti’s voice faintly still in her room and she had finally reached ten.

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I heard her quickened footsteps coming down the hall and she went straight to Bennu, searching the kitchen for me and I listened as she questioned her, “Did you see him? Did he come out here?” She wondered and I held back a quiet laugh.

“No, who are you talking about? I have seen no one, Bahiti,” Bennu replied and I smiled, keeping my location a secret and I then heard Bahiti’s footsteps beginning to search the living room area. I saw her then walk into the dining room, looking around the chairs and under the table.

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But, before I could move, she looked over to where I was behind the chair and smiled, “Found you, found you!” She called out triumphantly and quickly walked towards me.

I stood up and acted shocked, “Wow, you’re way better at this game than I am!” I replied, reaching down and picking her up and tickling her as she laughed more.

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We played for a while longer, but Bennu eventually put a stop to it when she came into Bahiti’s room where we had wound up again playing. We looked to her and she smiled, “Bedtime, little one,” she cooed sweetly and I looked to Bahiti who pouted and looked to me as if to say she could stay up longer.

“Okay, you heard Mommy, time for bed,” I agreed, standing to my feet and Bennu came over towards us and picked up Bahiti.

“You’ll see him again, don’t worry,” Bennu said warmly, combing Bahiti’s hair softly with a gentle smile, “Say goodnight to Daddy,” she continued, looking at me and I smiled back at her in return.

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“Night,” Bahiti said somewhat sadly.

“Goodnight, beautiful,” I replied, seeing her smirk softly and I exited the room so Bennu could put her to bed.

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As I walked into the living room, the entire room smelled wonderful and I couldn’t wait to try whatever she had made. I noticed the hot meal laid out on the table and I smirked, walking around the living room then and waiting for Bennu.

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Within about 5 short minutes, Bahiti’s door closed and I looked down the hall, seeing Bennu walking towards me and my eyes trailed down her body and back up before she reached me. She threw her arms around me and pulled me into her lips, surprising me slightly but I barely hesitated as I kissed her passionately in return.

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Bennu soon released me from the kiss and I smirked slightly, feeling her let me go slowly, “I was thinking about you all day, too,” she said quietly and I noticed the gentle lust in her eyes as she looked to me. But, before I could say anything, she pulled away and walked towards the dining table and I checked her out as she walked away from me. “I made some traditional Egyptian dishes, Falafel and Shawarma, I hope you like them. And then just Key Lime pie for something sweet,” she continued and put her hands along the back of one of the dining chairs, looking at me with her same sweet smile. I smirked and made my way towards the dining table, taking the seat at the end opposite of hers and she served us both equal portions before beginning.

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We ate dinner together and I had to admit, with something so foreign in front of me, it tasted amazing and I enjoyed every bit of it, “Bennu, this is phenomenal, thank you,” I said during the meal, seeing her look over at me and smile warmly.

“I’m very happy you like it. I adore frog legs, but I thought this might be more appetizing,” she replied. 

I raised my brow and grinned, “I’ve had frog legs, actually.. They’re very good, maybe I’ll make them for you sometime,” I answered, watching as she looked back to the meal in front of her instead of at me, loving whenever I noticed she was smitten by something I had said.

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After dinner, I washed the dishes for her once more and she put away all of the leftovers like we had done in the morning. I finished the dishes and dried my hands, turning around and seeing Bennu already looking at me with a sweet smile and my heart skipped a beat, “What is it?” I wondered.

“You’re amazing with her, it almost seems like you’ve done this a thousand times before.. She’s never warmed up to someone so quickly, but it makes me very happy,” she replied.

I stepped up closer to her, running my hands down her soft arms and resting my forehead against hers, “Maybe she’s been waiting for this, so she’s happy that it’s finally happened.. I know I am,” I answered, seeing her look to my lips and she pushed herself up and kissed me suddenly.

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Our kiss only grew deeper and I wrapped my arms around her, pulling her closer and already regretting needing to stop her. If this continued, I’d never get to say what I came here to.. I reluctantly pulled from her lips and she looked at me with desperation,  “What’s wrong?” She asked, searching my expression for an explanation.

I looked down at her and gazed into her eyes, unable to speak at the moment and I eventually calmed myself and took her hand within mine, “Come to the couch with me,” I requested and she nodded, taking my lead and we sat together in a short silence.

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“Jazon, talk to me,” she said softly, able to tell in my eyes that something was wrong and I took a deep breath in, exhaling it slowly and looking towards the ground.

“I haven’t been honest with you, but, that’s why I’m here,” I began and I looked up to her briefly, seeing her expression turned slightly worried and I looked back down to the floor. “I know this is.. Going to be hard, but.. I want you to know now that I love Bahiti more than anything, even in the short time I’ve been with her.. I love her,” I looked to Bennu who continued the same expression, “I-I love you more than anything, too.. I have ever since our first night together,” I continued, my eyes going to the floor once again. “But, I should’ve told you sooner, yesterday when you came to my office.. I.. I-I have a.. I have 3 children already, Bennu.. A little girl who’s 8 and twin boys who are 4. My girlfriend and I aren’t on the best terms, but-” I stopped, seeing her stand from the couch suddenly and I looked up, worry written all over me.

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“You.. You’re with someone? Right now?” She asked and I averted my eyes from her, “And you have.. You have children with her,” she continued and I hung my head even lower.

“Bennu, it’s not what you think, honestly.. I was so caught up in seeing you after so long, it all escaped my mind the moment I saw you! I’m sorry for not telling you, but I couldn’t.. It all happened so fast and then finding out about Bahiti!? I couldn’t tell you.. But, it’s been only 24 hours, but dammit! I’m saying it now! I didn’t want to keep this a secret from you, so I’m telling you now before it gets any worse!” I watched as she walked away from me a few steps, keeping silent so I continued, “Bennu, I don’t love her.. I love You.. I’m only with her so she doesn’t take my boys away from me.. If she knew I was seeing you or if she ever found out about Bahiti, I’d never see my sons again,” I finished. 

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“Last night..” She began to reply quietly, “Last night you could’ve said something.. And you could’ve said something this morning when I said I knew you were going to be a good father.. You should’ve told me then, seeing as you already are a father!”

“I know, I know.. But Bennu, please.. You have to know that I’ve cared for you every single time we were together. You treated me differently than the rest and I did the same to you. It’s been a long time.. I’m not trying to sound rude, but me keeping this secret for 24 hours is better than you keeping Bahiti from me for 4 years,” I answered. 

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I reached for her as I sat on the couch, grabbing the bottom of her dress gently and beginning to pull her to face me. Once she turned around, I took her hand within mine and looked up to her, “Bennu, I love you, I should’ve told you that a long time ago, but after what I’ve been through.. I can’t lose you, I can’t lose Bahiti, I won’t allow it. I want to know that girl and love her even more than I already do, will you continue to give me that chance?” I asked, pleading with my eyes and I could see the discomfort in her expression.

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I pulled at her hand and brought her closer, putting my hands around her waist and continuing to look up at her, “Please, I already had one of my children threatened to be taken away from me, don’t take Bahiti from me,” I begged.

Bennu stood there silent, looking down at me with a saddened face, “Jazon.. I can’t be with you if you’re with someone else,” she replied and I sighed heavily.

“I know.. But, I can’t not be with you, I need you now. You’re my everything, you always were.. If she ever found out about you, I’d never see them again, but I’m willing to risk it. Please, say that you won’t leave me again, not this time,” I continued, a frog forming in my throat and I watched as she averted her eyes from mine.

“Look at what I’ve done already.. Jesus, you’re still with her and we.. I made you unfaithful to her..” She said regretfully.

“You didn’t make me do anything! I chose it all! I could’ve stopped you or myself and told you everything on the spot, but I didn’t. It’s my fault, not yours. I needed you, I was desperate to be with you again. I’m sorry for making you think I was available, I should’ve told you everything last night at my office or when I came over. But I’m telling you now, does that count for nothing?”

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“I need you to go,” she answered, my heart dropping into the bottom of my stomach and she pulled away from me, turning her back to me once again. “You said yourself that she’ll take them away from you if she found out about me or Bahiti, but I will not stand here and let that happen, nor will I be kept a dirty secret while you continue to get everything that you want. I won’t keep you from Bahiti, but we are nothing now, do you understand?”

“B-Bennu-”

“No,” she cut me off, turning around to face me with angry eyes, “You need to decide, Jazon.. Bahiti is already head over heels for you, but I will not be your side woman while you continue to be with her!”

“I’d lose them, I know, she’d never let me see them again, but I cannot lose you again, not when you’re back in my life now,” I retorted, standing to my feet but she held her ground.

“Then it only makes sense for us not to be together if you have a chance at losing them! What do I do while you sit back and continue to be with her while Bahiti and I stand around waiting for you to show up at the door whenever you please, just because you already have a family! I will not be your thing on the side.. Never.. I’m sorry, Jazon, but in this case, you cannot have both of us,” she finished.

“And if I leave her?” I asked with hope.

“We’ll see if you do,” she rebutted, giving me another enraged expression and I sighed heavily, looking to the floor in defeat.

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I walked towards Bennu and put my arms around her, watching her look up to me suddenly and I pressed my lips hard against hers. She struggled for a short while, but eventually stopped and stood there, accepting it. I released her from the kiss slowly and she looked up at me with softly pained eyes, “I love you, and I won’t lose you again, believe me,” I said softly, soon releasing her and walking towards the door, grabbing the knob forcefully and opening the it, shutting it sternly behind me.

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