Generation 4, Chapter 20, Finale Pt 2 of 2

Isaiah’s POV

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As I drove home, I was as high as I could possibly be. I had just made up with, as well as made love to, my one and only and I was completely floored by the fact that he was mine again. All mine. I was so damn lucky and even just the sight of his car driving a couple hundred feet in front of me caused my lips to curl into different variations of smirks and smiles as I replayed what had happened between Oliver and I in my office at the bar. James was right, I was being completely stupid and leaving Oliver wouldn’t do anyone any good, not me or our boys or the rest of our family, and making up with Oliver made me the happiest I had ever been.. He even wanted more children and he was the first one to bring it up.. How much luckier could I get when the one that was always so concerned about the choices we made was the first one to bring up the subject of having more children? I was almost excited enough to call Cybal right now at ten thirty at night to tell her the good news, but of course, I knew it wasn’t the right time to do such a thing and I held that thought on the back burner of my mind as I drove behind Oliver.

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A street light we came up on turned yellow right after Oliver had drove through it and I caught the red, slowly coming to a stop and I watched as his car pulled off into the distance until I couldn’t see his break lights any longer. I sat there for a good minute, waiting for the car that had triggered the light to make their move and they ended up turning right, something that slightly annoyed me since the light technically didn’t have to change for a bullshit turn like that and I could still be right behind Oliver, but I sat at the red light anyhow as I waited for no one else this late at night. With my window open, the only sounds of the night that I could hear were the chirping of crickets and the waves splashing against the shore in the patch of water to my right and it was all so soothing, something that only enhanced how relaxed I felt after such a perfect night. When the light finally turned green, I gently pressed on the gas and kept going towards our house, excited to get home and I didn’t doubt that I might even catch Oliver getting out of his car and going inside as I pulled into our driveway so I could catch him and kiss him at the front door as we made our way inside the house together.. I couldn’t wait to be in his arms again.

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As I pulled up to our driveway, I noticed Oliver’s car already parked, but I saw a figure that had blonde hair instead of the brunette that I adored.. I grew worried, pulling slowly into the driveway and when I saw a strange man about ten years older than me standing in shock from my headlights, raising his hand to block the blinding lights from his eyes, I then noticed a shine coming from his hand.. It was a knife and it was soaked in blood.. But, wait, what? What’s going on?! My eyes then caught sight of Oliver on the ground just outside of our front door, blood on the ground and all over his white button-up and I swear I could feel my heart stop and my entire world suddenly went silent.

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Before I could even think about what to do, my foot was already on the gas peddle all the way to the floor and my car skid at first, trying hard to get traction and when it did, the man ran, but he was no match against a speeding car. He got about twenty feet down the driveway before my Mercedes slammed into him, the back of his head and his spine hitting the hood of my car first with a loud crash and he tumbled over my windshield as well as the roof and I could hear his body hit the ground before my car then slammed into the garage.  

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I was dazed for only about ten seconds from my airbag deploying, but I quickly pushed it out of my way and popped it to get it out of my line of sight and my eyes opened wide when I saw blood smeared all over the cracked windshield, but it didn’t phase me in the slightest as I had more important things to worry about.

“Ol-Oliver,” I said with strain as I pushed my door open hard and crawled out, my knees hurting momentarily when I had landed on them, but I quickly stumbled to my feet and ran around my car to go to where he was, jumping over the man that I assumed I had killed.. At least I hoped the fucker was dead.

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I almost fell when I saw him, stumbling more as I ran as quick as I could and tears had already formed in my eyes before I reached him, my hands shaking as I touched his face. 

“Oh my God.. Oliver? ..B-Baby?” My voice trembled as I looked at him and the tears in my eyes made it almost impossible to see. A few seconds went by where I had no idea what the hell to even do, but when I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, I calmed myself for him even despite seeing his white shirt thickening in blood with every second that I wasted.

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I knew an ambulance wouldn’t get here in time, but thank goodness he was still breathing and I turned him over carefully so I could I scoop him up in my arms, my one arm under his back and the other under the bend of his knees and with all the strength I could muster, I picked him up and brought him to his Nissan. I put him into the passengers seat and I shut the door, running as fast as I could to the drivers side and I backed out of the driveway faster than my tears could fall from my eyes.

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As I drove to the hospital at about eighty miles per hour on a street that you aren’t supposed to exceed roughly forty, I didn’t give a flying fuck as I could barely even keep my eyes on the road since I was looking over at Oliver almost every second that I drove. I still made sure to get there as safely as I possibly could to avoid any other grievances along the way, and I knew driving this fast wouldn’t help in avoiding any of that, but I couldn’t risk losing him and if driving this fast to get him help meant he’d be okay, then by all that is holy, I’d drive even faster if I knew absolutely nothing was in my way.

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A large gasp suddenly came from Oliver and it scared the hell out of me, looking over at him and I watched as he clenched his abdomen while letting out a pain-filled groan. He then suddenly started waving his unoccupied hand in front of him and I thought that maybe he still thought the man that had stabbed him was in front of him and I reached over to get him to stop.

Hey! Hey! Oliver! It’s okay, it’s okay!” I tried to calm him and he looked over, surprised to see me.

“Wha- I-Isaiah?” He questioned through his pain and his panting and I couldn’t help but smile as tears still filled my eyes.

“Yeah, baby, it’s me, it’s me! I’m right here,” I comforted.

“Wh-what.. What happe-? Ahhh, f-fuck!” He struggled to ask through his pain as he clenched his abdomen more and just as he was about to look down, I reached to catch his chin and I hold his head up.

“No no no, don’t look, just- Just stay awake, okay? You’re going to be fine, you hear me?”

“Wh-where.. Who..” I assumed he wanted to know about his assailant and I continued to look frantically between him and the road.

“Shut up, Oliver. Don’t talk, okay? Just.. Just don’t talk,” I instructed, but when I felt the weight of his head increase in my hand, I knew he was slipping out of consciousness again.

“Hey, Oliver! Stay awake, dammit!” I yelled, but he had slipped into it, anyways, “Fuck!” I yelled angrily, letting go of his chin as I continued to drive as fast as I could.

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To make matters worse, or possibly better, I wasn’t sure, I pulled out my phone. I called nine-one-one and told them my situation before I got to the hospital and even through the panic that was coursing through me, I somehow managed to tell them everything that happened.. How I had pulled into the driveway and saw Oliver bleeding on the ground, how I had run over the one who had stabbed him, and now, how I was driving him to the hospital. Luckily, by the time I ended the call, a few minutes later I was pulling up to the hospital and a gurney was being wheeled out, putting my hand sternly to Oliver’s chest to hold him against his seat as I slammed on the breaks.

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“Where you the one that called about the stabbing?” A nurse quickly asked me as I got out of the car and made my way to the passengers side.

Yes! Yes, I am!” I replied, opening the door and I picked up Oliver myself, not wanting the small nurses to even bother trying to do it themselves and they cared for his head and his limbs as I placed him on the gurney. I shut the passengers door as they wheeled him into the hospital and I followed close behind them.

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“What’s his name?” One of them asked as I followed close behind.

“Oliver! His name’s Oliver!” 

“Oliver? Can you hear me?” The nurse asked, but his eyelids remained shut and I could see the color leaving his normally rosy cheeks, “Prep O.R. four quickly and page Dr. Avery,” the nurse told another nurse that we approached and they ran ahead of us to do as she had said.

“You’ll be okay, Oliver!” I said in a panic as I continued to follow them, but once they reached a certain set of doors, one of the nurses continued wheeling him on while the other stopped me.

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“Please, sir! I know this is hard, but you can’t go any further,” she explained and I instantly grew enraged.

“That’s my fucking husband! Let me go with him right now!” I yelled, but she pressed harder against my chest to stop me and I watched as Oliver was wheeled off down a random hallway and then take a quick turn into a room.

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“Sir! Sir! Please.. I know you’re immediate family, but you have to stay here! He’s in good hands now, trust me,” she expressed and I stood on the tips of my toes to see him one last time before he disappeared into the room the nurse took him to.

“You people better take care of him!” I almost threatened and she nodded strongly.

“We will! But you need to stay here!” She continued and although I wanted to argue to no world’s end, my heart sank and I gave up, letting her do her damned job.

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I pulled myself away from her and she ran to where Oliver had been brought through the doors that I wasn’t allowed, seeing a bench next to where I was and I sat down heavily onto it. I brought my hands in front of my face, trying to hold my hands steady as my legs bounced restlessly from my adrenaline refusing to go away. Why.. Why the hell did something like this have to happen? It’s as if every time we were close to being perfect or even currently perfect in general, something had to go wrong and I don’t know how much more of this I could take. When would this end? When could we finally live out our lives without something like this happening? 

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“Doctor Avery to O.R. Four. Doctor Avery, O.R. Four.” I heard announced over the intercom.

A minute later, I heard running down a hallway and looked towards the doors that I wasn’t allowed to pass, a doctor then coming around a corner and he ran to where they had brought Oliver. I assumed it was Dr. Avery, the one nurse had paged, and I felt the slightest bit of hope calm my heart. He better be a damn good doctor.

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Roughly ten agonizingly quiet minutes later as my hands continued to shake and my legs couldn’t stop bouncing, I looked left to see another gurney being wheeled in by a paramedic accompanied by two police officers and when I looked to the person lying down it in, I recognized the mans clothes instantly.

“You gotta be fucking kidding me,” I said softly, rage lifting me from my seat and I ran at the gurney, unsure of what I was going to do exactly to the man that stabbed Oliver, but by God was I going to do as much as I fucking could.

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Sadly, right before I reached him, the two officers noticed and stopped me and held me back using all of their strength.

“Hey! Calm down!” One of the officers demanded, but I didn’t give a shit about what he wanted.

“You son of a bitch!” I yelled as he was wheeled passed me, “Doesn’t feel good to get impaled by things, now does it!? My husband doesn’t like it, either, you piece of shit! I hope you fucking suffer!” I continued to yell, unsure if he could even hear me, but I didn’t care as I watched as the man was wheeled into a different room through the doors I couldn’t go passed.

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“Get the fuck off me!” I jerked violently and the officers seemed surprised by the strength I had put behind getting out of their grip.

“Please, try to calm down.. Are you Isaiah? The one that called nine-one-one for the stabbed victim?” He asked and I was in awe by how stupid he was.

“Wow, what gave it away?” I asked sarcastically and the officer didn’t seem to like my tone, “And stop fucking saying that! His name’s Oliver, you fucking prick. I don’t need to be reminded every goddamn minute that he’s been stabbed, all right?!”

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“If you don’t calm down, sir, I’m going to have to restrain you,” he warned and I laughed.

“Calm down? You can’t be serious.. The man that just attacked my husband for whatever-the-fuck reason was just wheeled passed me to an emergency room.. An emergency room adjacent to the one Oliver’s in in the hope’s of saving his pathetic ass! Why didn’t you just let the fucker die in my fucking driveway!?” I yelled.

“Sir, if it means that I have to take you down to the station in order for you to calm down, then I will,” he threatened, but his threat hit deep when I quickly realized that if I don’t try to settle myself, and fast, I won’t be here for Oliver when he needs me the most.

I let out a heavy sigh, “Fine. I’m calm, see?” I demonstrated sarcastically and he scowled at me, though luckily he didn’t act on his threat.

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The officers stood with me for a moment as I took a seat in a chair that was close, my leg bouncing uncontrollably again, my hands still shaking, my heart dancing wildly, and then like a train hitting me, tears suddenly engulfed my eyes and I broke. I removed my glasses and tucked them away as I sat there hunched over and sobbing quietly into my lap, consumed with worrying about Oliver and I was completely overwhelmed by everything that had just transpired and I couldn’t hold back how helpless I felt.. All I could think about was the night we just had together and how beautiful it had been.. How no more than twenty minutes ago, I was having a drink with him like old times, how he was telling me how much he wanted another child, how he was in my arms giving me everything he is, and it was just.. Too perfect.. Even without him here now, I could still feel the warmth from his fingertips on my cheek, I could still smell the cologne he dabs on his wrists and his neck, I could even still taste him on my lips. It was all still so fresh in my mind that it was still hard to believe I was even here.. No more than twenty minutes ago, I was the furthest away from the risk of losing him that I could possibly be.. It’s just as amazing as it is terrifying how quickly things can change.

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I wasn’t sure how long I had been sitting here, I wasn’t sure when exactly the two officers had walked away from me, I hadn’t even cared enough to notice when my tears had stopped, either.. All that I knew was that I was numb and cold and I felt so alone and helpless as I sat there staring down at my knees that were soaked in tears. I reached up to wipe my cheeks and my eyes dry from crying and when I put my glasses back on, I then caught sight of my vest and jacket.. I touched the fabric then looked to the tips of my fingers, seeing Oliver’s blood stained on both of them and I was mortified at how I hadn’t noticed it sooner. I quickly stood to my feet, desperate to find a bathroom and when I found one, I stepped in, locked the door behind me and went straight to a sink.

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I scrubbed my vest and my jacket as hard as I could, watching the dried blood being re-hydrated as it mixed with the water and swirled down the drain, the color slowly going from a deep red to a light pink, then finally to clear. When I had done my best to get it off, there was still a slight hue of a dark pink that stained the fabrics and I turned the faucet off, sighing heavily to myself when I realized the effort I put into getting the blood out proved to be pointless.. All that it really did was give me something to let my frustration out on and I had even scrubbed to hard that I was causing the fabric to fray.. I decided then that tossing them out in the trash was my best option at this point, not wanting anything in my possession that had Oliver’s blood on it, anyhow.. After washing my hands clean of any remaining blood, I leaned against the counter as I continued to try and calm myself down, but it was so difficult to do alone..

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Will the owner of a red Nissan please move your car from the emergency zone? Owner of a red Nissan, please move your car out of the emergency zone immediately. Thank you.”

I heard over the intercom and I knew that they were talking about Oliver’s car. After taking a long, long moment to try and compose myself, I looked back into the mirror and I gave myself a final once-over to make sure I was rid of everything the color crimson before going out into the hallway. I sighed heavily, drying my eyes as best as I could before leaving the bathroom and I unlocked the door and stepped out, making my way to the emergency entrance so I could move the car as requested.

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The automatic doors opened and I stepped out into the night, a gentle breeze kissing my skin as I approached Oliver’s car and I slowly came to a stop when I caught site of the small droplets of blood on the ground.. However, before I let more tears fill my eyes, I quickly went around to the drivers side to get in and I refused to look at the seat next to me that I knew was soaked in blood as I pulled his car into a parking spot not too far off from the entrance. There was so much blood that stained the seat that I could even smell it and it made me sick all over again, quickly getting out of the car and slamming the door behind me in frustration. I wished as hard as I could that I’d soon be able to find the strength to pull myself together and be strong for Oliver, but honestly, the only thing in the entire world that could truly break me was if anything bad happened to him, and since something had, it was so, so hard to find that strength I so desperately needed.

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When I made my way back into the hospital, I checked the clock on the wall and it read a little after midnight, knowing now it had been over an hour since I had brought Oliver here and there was still no word from a nurse or a doctor or anyone at all. I continued down a long hallway and eventually, I came across a large window to a room that had tiny beds spread throughout it and I stopped to take a look. A few of the beds were occupied by newborns and I focused on one that was closest to the window, a baby girl that was sleeping peacefully and I felt the edge of my lips curling into a faint smirk at the sight of her. I loved our boys, but I’ve always adored the thought of having a little girl with Oliver and I could already see us spoiling the hell out of her. Oliver seemed like the type to enjoy gender-neutral colors given the nursery he had painted and furnished for me at our old condo, but I adored the thought of giving her a pink or purple room filled with stuffed animals and a doll house and wall art that reminded her of being a princess every time she were to wake up in the mornings. She didn’t even exist yet and I already wanted to give her the world.

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“Cute, huh?” I heard a feminine voice and I looked over, seeing a young blonde woman standing a few feet away from me looking at the newborns like I was.

“Yeah,” I agreed, looking back to the little girl in front of me.

“Do you have any?” She asked.

“Yeah.. Three boys,” I replied.

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“How exciting. What are their ages?” She asked next and I looked over to her again, seeing her do the same with a smile on her lips and our eyes met.

“Six, three, and almost two,” I answered and she made a face as if she were already smitten.

“Aww, they’re all so young. Must be a handful, right?” She joked and I smirked.

“Sometimes, yeah, but they’re all pretty good for the most part, especially my youngest. He’s an angel,” I replied and I actually enjoyed making small talk with the stranger.. It got my mind off of stressing about Oliver.

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“I’m Anastasia, but everyone calls me Ana,” she introduced herself and I looked back over to her.

“I’m Isaiah.. It’s nice meeting you,” I replied and she agreed with a nod, “Do you have any children?” I asked in return.

“No, not yet. My sister was pregnant, but she left before I ever got to meet my niece or nephew,” she answered.

“You don’t talk to her or see her?”

“Nah.. Haven’t for over six years.”

My expression grew remorseful as well as my tone, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied.

“It’s all right. We were never really close or even got along, but it still would’ve been nice to know the child,” she pointed out and I felt sorry for her, but in an attempt to change the subject, I brought up something else.

“Tonight, my husband and I talked about having another one soon,” I said and she looked back over to me, another smile running across her lips.

“That’s so sweet. Do you want a girl this time, since you already have three boys?” She asked and I nodded.

“Yeah.. Our boys are amazing and I wouldn’t mind having another, but, a girl would be a nice change,” I replied and she nodded with her sweet smile.

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“Where is your husband? Is he here with you?” She asked and my lips dropped the smirk I held, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-”

“It’s all right.. He’s in surgery,” I answered, looking back to the newborn and away from the stranger.

“Oh.. May I ask what happened..?” She wondered and it took me a moment to answer her.

“He, uh.. He was stabbed.. Right outside our front door,” I answered and I head her gasp softly.

“Oh my God.. Where was he, uhm.. Where was the puncture?” She asked next while carefully choosing her words, genuinely interested and I looked at my own abdomen.

“Around here,” I pointed and she observed where I had gestured.

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“Well, from what I’ve learned and have seen, it could’ve punctured his stomach or his intestines, which actually can be an easy fix if the organs were only grazed.. But, there’s also a chance that no organs were hit, either,” she advised and I looked over to her, “Probably not very reassuring, but that spot on the lower abdomen is actually a popular spot for something like a knife to penetrate from a mugger or whoever it was that did that.. I’ve witnessed a lot of people living from being hit there, though,” she continued, knowing she was trying her best to cheer me up and a slight hope filled my heart.

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“Really?” I asked and she nodded, “Do you work here?” I asked.

“Oh, uh, no. I’m attending college about twenty minutes from here. I’m trying to become a nurse, though,” she replied.

Thank you for telling me that.. You’ve been more informative in the past minute than anyone else has been in the past hour I’ve been here,” I replied and she smiled sweetly, knowing she was happy that she could help in any way.

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“So,” I began, “What brings you here so late? Do you attend a nursing program here or something?” I wondered and she lost her smile.

“No, uh.. I got a call about an hour ago.. My dad was hit by a car,” she answered and I found it rather oddly coincidental.

“Wow, I’m.. I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied, but she shook her head with an amused smirk.

“Don’t be.. I hope he doesn’t make it through,” she said bluntly and I was surprised to hear that come from her mouth. She seemed so sweet at first, but hearing her say something so cruel caught me off guard.

She noticed my reaction, “I.. I’m sorry.. That probably sounded awful..”

“A little, yeah..” I agreed, “If I ever heard one of my sons say that about me or my husband, I’d be heart broken,” I continued and she looked away from me.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come off like that.. You have someone in here dear to you that you want to live and here I am hoping that my father dies from his injuries,” she said with slight shame in herself, “Well, he’s not exactly father-of-the-year, he never was, so.. I could care less, honestly.. I know it’s harsh, but.. So was he,” she continued and her words still surprised me, but I decided to not delve any deeper into her reasoning unless she were to continue it, herself.

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But, to my surprise, she did, “I feel like I need to explain myself so you don’t think I’m some heartless witch,” she added and I shrugged.

“Well, it is none of my business, but I can understand where you’re coming from, I suppose. I mean, I don’t wish mine dead, but.. I haven’t spoken to my parents in a very long time and it’s because they don’t want to know me, so I don’t want to know them. They’re workaholics and don’t have time to even remember me. I don’t even think they know I’m married and have three children,” I tried to make her feel less guilty by explaining my own situation with my parents and she seemed rather bothered by my words.

“I’m sorry, that’s just awful.. I guess our situations are kind of similar, though, what with having crappy parents,” she said with a light chuckle, “My mom died about ten years ago and I was the closest with her out of everyone in my family. When she was gone, my dad went a little crazy.. All he cared about was our schooling and he pushed us all really hard to get good grades so we could have good lives and all that, but I don’t think it ever worked.. It was all for nothing, anyways..”

“What do you mean? You seem like you’re doing pretty good for yourself,” I added.

“Well, my dad favored my brother and my sister way more than me.. He wasn’t impressed with my career choice like he was with my brother that wanted to be a lawyer and my sister who didn’t even care to pick anything. I don’t even know why she went to college.. My sister could shit on a pedestal and my dad would think it’s gold,” she exaggerated and I cracked a slight smile at her joke, “My brother was an asshole and him and my sister always picked on me. My brother was convinced that everyone was beneath him and that everyone he met had to kiss his feet or he hated them,” she said with a slight annoyance to her tone.

Was..? What happened to him?”

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“I think his bullying caught back up to him because he wound up dead.. Got two of his stupid friends killed, too.. They still don’t know who was responsible, but I’d probably want to shake their hand if I ever met them,” she answered and it seemed that she was sweet to strangers, but when it came to talking about her family, there was an obvious hatred there that was hard to ignore. Oddly enough, too, that sounded rather similar to what had happened to Thomas, the boy who hated Oliver and attempted to beat me to death.. Remembering that time gave me slight chills.

“What about your sister?” I asked, almost needing to know so I could put this suspicion to rest.

“Well, as you know, she left, but she was worse than my brother.. Disgustingly manipulative and completely obsessive.. I felt sorry for anyone that got involved with her.”

“It’s a was for her, too? ..Did she just leave, or did she pass on?”

“Who knows.. She got knocked up and probably ran away with the guy that did it, or she could be dead, too, for all I know.. It was around the same time my brother died. My dad completely lost it after she left and he was even convinced that some guy killed her.. Wouldn’t surprise me, either, with the type of person she was.. I guess my siblings got my father’s unhealthy obsessive behavior and look what happened to them.. Thank God I take after my mom,” she added and I could feel my hands beginning to shake again. This couldn’t be happening.. What were the chances?

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I grew a little nervous as I looked at her, “Do you mind if I ask their names?” I wondered and she looked to me.

“Thomas and Jody,” she answered and my eyes widened, “Why? Did you know them?” She asked, though she soon took notice of the look in my eyes, “What’s wrong..?”

“Why is it so hard for our families to stay out of each other’s lives?” I asked rhetorically and she grew confused.

“I.. I don’t understand,” she said innocently.

“Your brother and his friends tried to kill me. Your sister tried to ruin my husband’s life, and tonight, your father tried to kill him. I was the one that ran your father over with a car trying to save my husband,” I admitted and her eyes widened from shock.

“Wh.. What-”

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“Miss Zepeda?” A man’s voice caught our attention and we both looked to see a detective standing with the same doctor I had seen running to the emergency room earlier, but that detective.. I remembered her instantly.

May we speak with you for a moment?” The detective added towards the young blonde and we looked at one another with both of us still holding shock in our expressions and her eyes remained locked on mine, no doubt still wanting to talk to me about what I had just said, but she walked over towards them, instead.

I then looked to the detective, “What are you doing here?” I asked with a sense of frustration, knowing she was told to stay away from Oliver and our family, yet here she was.

“I’ll speak with you in a moment, Mr. Yamato,” she expressed in a parental tone and I held my tongue.

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The doctor began, “Your father has experienced a lot of damage to his head and his spine. His skull was cracked and his brain hemorrhaged, and by the time we got in to take a look, I’m afraid there’s nothing we could do for him,” the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but, we lost him,” he continued with remorse and I watched the side of the young woman’s face, searching for any sign as to how she felt about the news, but she didn’t show any inkling of grief in the slightest.. She was telling the truth.. She really didn’t care what happened to him..

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“What about Oliver? Is he all right?” I asked the doctor and he looked to me.

“He’s still in surgery, which I need to get back to. We’ll know more soon, I just wanted to come to Miss Zepeda and let her know about her father personally,” he replied and I nodded as my gaze then met the floor, disappointed that there was no word about Oliver yet, “I’m sorry for your loss, Miss Zepeda, but.. If you’ll please excuse me,” he continued politely, stepping away from the group of us to quickly go back to Oliver.

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After the young blonde didn’t say anything in return, standing there rather lifeless, she looked over and her eyes met mine again, but before either of us could say anything to one another, the detective caught my attention.

“Mr. Yamato, I’m going to need you to come with me,” she requested and I nodded, knowing she was going to ask that and I briefly looked at the ground before looking back up to the blonde woman again. As I began to follow the detective into a common area, the blonde woman stopped me by grabbing my arm gently and I waited for the detective to continue walking so she wouldn’t hear her words.

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Ana looked up at me with a smirk on her lips, “Looks like I got what I wished for, and I have you to thank for that.. I hope your husband pulls through,” she expressed quietly and I still didn’t know how to respond to her.. She was so sweet, but her words held such coldness that I didn’t understand.. Is this what Jody was like? Was she manipulating, yet sweet? Did she look like her? Was she even anything like Jody..? She then let my hand go and I ignored her words, continuing on to follow the detective as I still tried my hardest to fathom the encounter I had just had.. I hit that young woman’s father with my car and killed him for what he had done to Oliver and she was grateful..

She was grateful.

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I sat in an empty lounge with the detective I had met with six years ago, the silence heavy in the air around us and I could honestly say that I had never thought I’d see her again, but when it came to something with Oliver and that dreaded family we just couldn’t seem to get away from, I don’t know why I was surprised in the end.

“I bet you didn’t expect to see me for a while, huh?” She wondered with a small smirk.

“You can bet that I didn’t expect to see you ever again, actually,” I replied and she didn’t contest my words.

“Fair enough.. However, I need to hear your side of the story, so.. What happened?” She asked.

“How did you even know Oliver was here?” I asked in return and she smirked again.

“I’ve been following anything that involves the Dubois name for quite a while now, even before we first met years ago, so it was only a matter of time before I found out. But, please, feel free to answer my question whenever you’re ready,” she replied and I decided to tell her what I had witnessed and done for myself so I could get this over with..

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“I had just spoke to Oliver at my bar and we drove home separately, but together, in a way.. He drove ahead of me and I caught a red light, causing me to be behind him about a minute or so.. When I finally caught up and pulled into our driveway, I saw a blonde man about ten years older than myself holding a bloody knife and when I looked around the driveway more, I noticed Oliver lying on the ground and-” I stopped for a moment, but continued shortly after composing myself, “He was lying in the driveway covered in blood and I put two and two together.. Instead of getting out of my car to check on my husband and potentially getting attacked, myself, I floored it and hit the man that was holding the knife with my car.. After that, I got out of my car and went straight to Oliver.. I knew an ambulance wouldn’t get there in the time I could get him here myself, so I picked him up, put him into his car and I drove as fast as I possibly could to get him here.. I called nine-one-one on the way and told them everything that had happened,” I hesitated yet again for a entirely too long of a moment, but I couldn’t help it, “It was honestly the single most terrifying moment of my life, but.. I didn’t want him to hurt me and I didn’t want him to hurt Oliver anymore than he already had, so.. I hit him,” I explained and the detective nodded.

“I see.. Sounds like self defense to me,” she added and I nodded.

“Yes, exactly.”

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“It makes me wonder, though, why this man even came after Oliver in the first place. What were the reasons behind it?” She asked herself.

“It’s because he was crazy,” the voice of the young blonde came back out of nowhere and I looked to my right, seeing her approaching us, “Can I say something? ..Please?”

“Mr. Yamato?” She detective then asked me and I nodded.

“It’s okay,” I told the detective, seeing her nod and she waved Ana to come over to us.

“All right.. What do you have to say?” She asked the young woman and she stepped closer to our table, taking an empty seat and joining us.

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“As I was telling Isaiah when we were talking by the nursery, when my mother died ten years ago, I noticed a change in my father and my siblings.. Everything unraveled after her death.. My dad became obsessed with our educations and making sure we went to good colleges, my brother developed this god-complex, and my sister grew manipulative and cruel.. When my brother died six years ago, my dad was at a complete loss, and then when my sister disappeared after our brother’s death, my dad got worse and there wasn’t any shred of the father I knew in him anymore.. My father went nuts after they were all gone and he became obsessed with the thought that this one man was responsible for it all.. As crazy as it sounds, he even eventually convinced himself that that man was responsible for my mother’s death, too, but it’s impossible because she had cancer.. He got worse and worse as the years went on, but he never did anything that worried me too much, until now.. He just.. He wasn’t right in the head, neither were my brother or sister, and sadly, I just learned that Isaiah’s husband has dealt with them, too.. I don’t even want to begin to imagine what they all have put him through.. None of them were good people, but, I’m glad that none of them are around anymore to where they can cause more harm to him or anyone else,” she added.

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She then looked to me, “I never knew the name of the one he was constantly mumbling about, but now I know.. Honestly, I thought they were all empty words with no backbone. Had I ever known that he would’ve acted out on his stupid ramblings, I would’ve done something about it.. Had I ever known that he would take his anger out on someone who was innocent, I would’ve reported him as soon as I could.. I truly would have,” she said with a serious tone and expression and I wanted to believe her, but with this families reputation, even after already talking to her for a while, I still didn’t trust her completely.. With what this family has done to Oliver and I, it was almost impossible for me to get passed.

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“So.. Now what? Is that all you needed, my side of the story?” I asked, my gaze now towards the detective.

“Well, it was obviously self defense, and with this young woman’s testimony, you’re free to go. I still need to talk to Oliver whenever he gets out of surgery and is awake enough to tell me what happened, but for now, there’s nothing more I need,” she continued, “I wish you the best, Mr. Yamato, and my condolences, Miss Zepeda. I wish we didn’t have to meet under such circumstances and hopefully we’ll never have to do it again.. Get some rest, you two, it’s been a long night,” she added and we watched her stand from her seat, leaving the lounge area and leaving Ana and I alone together.

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“I’m truly sorry for what my father did.. Since he’s not here to apologize, I-”

“Don’t,” I added, stopping her from talking, “He would never have been apologetic for this, so you taking the responsibility of something that was never intended in the first place is just.. Pointless..” I added, though her expression still remained serious as well as apologetic.

“Either way, no matter how you feel, I do hope your husband pulls through and I truly am sorry for everything my family has done.. I wish you and your family the best of luck,” she added, my eyes looking over to her and I watched as she stood from her seat and walked off down a hallway that led towards the entrance.

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I didn’t feel right saying ‘thank you’ or ‘I accept your apology’, I didn’t feel right saying anything to her at all other than ‘go away’ and I’m glad she had done it without me telling her to do so. She seemed genuine, she seemed nice and a really lovely girl, but I still could never get passed the thought of how Oliver had described Jody to me.. Even by how Anastasia acted, I still refused to ever believe her words. I followed Oliver’s warnings completely as well as all of his opinions of that ‘Zepeda’ name and I wasn’t about to let myself fall under any manipulative words she could’ve potentially spoken. In my mind, no matter how many times Anastasia could say she was sorry for her family’s actions or felt bad for what had happened to us due to her many relatives mental instabilities, I wasn’t going to give her even a slight taste of my gratitude. None of them deserved it.. Not a single damn member of that family.

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I sat there by myself for a long while, staring at the table top and when I looked up and read the clock on the wall, it read a little after two in the morning. My body was growing tired, but my mind was still intensely active and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep even if I tried.. Maybe some coffee would wake me up a little.. I looked around the common area, finding a coffee machine and I stood from the chair sluggishly, making my way over to it and I made a cup for myself with plenty of sugar-packets already opened and ready to be poured into my finished cup. As it brewed, I starred at the steamy stream of coffee going into the cup, spacing out and losing myself in thought and I couldn’t help but wonder if I should contact anyone.. I was Oliver’s spouse, it was my responsibility to tell our family what had happened to him and I knew I should call Katalina and James as well as call Cybal, too, but I wasn’t sure if I should call them before he got out of surgery or if I should call them afterward so I could begin each call with ‘he’s doing okay, but he’s in the hospital’.. I didn’t know what to do.

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When my coffee was done, I added in the many sugar packets I had on the ready and stirred it lazily before stepping away and bringing my cup with me. I tried to take a sip too early and wound up burning the very tip of my tongue, so I set it down on a table to let it cool off and I took out my phone, going through my contacts and when I came to James’ name first, I called him. I came to the conclusion that even if I didn’t want to tell anyone yet about what happened to Oliver, I still needed someone to talk to about it.. I couldn’t stand being the only one knowing anymore and I needed help in getting through this.

James answered after roughly four rings, “Hey, I didn’t expect to get a call from you this late. What’s up? Everything okay?” He asked, always enjoying his welcoming and loving attitude. Hearing a familiar voice helped bring my spirits up a lot, too.

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“You don’t sound tired at all and it’s after two in the morning,” I pointed out.

“Ah, well.. I work about three to four days at a time. I’m in an on-call room, just got up from a nap,” he answered and it made sense now, “So, what’s going on? Did you end up working late, too? I thought you usually close the bar at nine on the weekdays?” He guessed and he wasn’t wrong, though of course, that wasn’t the case.

“Yeah, I usually do, but, uh..” I tried to tell him, but it was difficult to even think about let alone tell him the whole story. It was completely different talking to the detective about what happened, but telling Oliver’s best friend was ten times harder.

“Isaiah? What’s wrong? Is one of the boys sick or something, keeping you up? Making them drink flat soda, like ginger ale, helps calm the stomach a lot and keeps them from throwing up too much.. Saltine crackers help a lot, too,” he continued, giving advice that wasn’t needed, though I couldn’t blame him for already rambling.. Him being a pediatrician helped a lot and I called him quite often whenever one of the boys was sick.

“No, the boys are fine, they’re sleeping over at Cybal’s.. Oliver and I talked tonight,” I replied.

“Oh, that’s great! How’d it go? You two finally back to normal or do I have to come over again?” He joked and I wanted to laugh, but it was difficult to find humor at the moment.

“No, no, uh.. Things went well, really well, actually, but.. That’s not exactly why I’m calling you,” I continued and I could tell that very instant that James knew it was something bad by the silence that lingered between us.

“..Is it Oliver? Where is he? What happened?” He asked and I could tell that there was a slight panic to his voice, knowing now that something far worse had happened..

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After trying my hardest to fight back tears while telling James everything that had happened, I finally got it all out without too much of a struggle and I could tell James was completely blindsided.

“Jesus, Isaiah.. You haven’t heard anything yet, too? What the hell is taking them so damn long to give you a update?” He asked with annoyance in his tone.

“I-I don’t know.. A little over an hour ago, the doctor came out to tell the girl about her dad dying and when I asked about Oliver, all he said was that he was still in surgery, then he went back to it and that’s the last thing I’ve heard.. I don’t know what to do. I’m starting to get more worried the longer it takes.. Shouldn’t he be in recovery by now?” I asked.

“Well, without knowing the extent of his injuries, I can’t answer that.. But, you should go up to someone and demand answers, it’s the only way to get any information out of these people. They’re updating their charts constantly, they just don’t update the family until there is a stable enough answer to give them. They know exactly what’s going on, you just have to keep asking to find out. Be completely annoying if you have to,” he replied.

“All right, I will-”

“And I’m coming down there,” he added.

“No, James, you don’t have to.. You’re at work and-”

“With all due respect, man, save it. Can’t talk me out of this. I’m leaving now and I should be there within the hour. I’ll start calling the hospital and see if I can get any information out of them, but you should do the same so you know what the hell’s going on. I’ll call you if I’m able to get any answers before you, too.”

“All right.. Are you going to tell Katalina?” I asked and he sighed.

“No, I don’t think so, not yet. The baby is so close to it’s due date that she doesn’t need any stress like this, it would only cause harm to her or the baby and worrying about Oliver is plenty enough on my plate already.. She’s gunna hate the hell out of us for keeping it from her, but, I’ll handle it, okay? You just worry about Oliver and getting answers,” he encouraged.

“Okay.. I’ll see you soon,” I replied and we said our goodbye’s. 

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The first thing I did was go to the reception desk by the entrance, completely forgetting my coffee that was probably cool enough to drink by now, but the adrenaline that had returned and coursed through my veins again was enough to keep my body awake for at least a few more hours. I stood there at the desk arguing with the receptionist for at least half an hour, seeing now what James was talking about by how she was trying her hardest to avoid the subject and she told me over and over again that there was no news about Oliver yet and that I should have a seat and wait, but I was done with waiting.. I had been waiting for close to three hours now and I was sick of it. During our arguing, the phone rang a few different times and I could tell it was James calling like he said he would, but even as I stood there, she was telling him the exact same things she was telling me. No matter how hard I pressed, there was no getting through to these people and I was right back where I started.. Not knowing a goddamn thing.

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I sat in the lobby alone, the time getting close to three in the morning and when the doors came flying open, I looked to see James rushing in. I stood to greet him and the moment he saw me, he rushed to my side and gave me a warm hug, something that I didn’t even know I needed until I had wrapped my arms around him, as well, and didn’t let go for a long moment.

“It’s okay, Isaiah. I’m not leaving until we hear about Oliver, I promise,” he said as we hugged and we then let go of one another, sitting back down and he sat next to me.

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“So, they’re still not telling you anything?” He asked and I nodded, “Damn.. Have you told Cybal yet?”

“No, I was going to call her tomorrow sometime.. I don’t want to tell her now because if I did, I feel like she’d rush to down here to be with me and she’d bring the boys with and I don’t want them to be here.. Not yet,” I replied and he nodded in understanding. 

“Well, I agree that right now isn’t the best time to call, but you really do need to call her first thing in the morning. Your boys should know their dad’s in the hospital. I know you don’t want them here, hospitals can be pretty scary for kids, but having the boys here might even help his recovery.. And yours.”

“You’re right, I’ll do it in the morning, but I don’t even want to think about it right now.. They are going to be scared and I honestly don’t think I have it in me to calm them down when I can’t even do that for myself,” I answered and I felt his hand on my shoulder, attempting to give comfort.

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“I know it’s hard, man, but Oliver is a strong guy when he needs to be. After everything you two have been through and especially after finally making up and getting things back to normal, I doubt he’d let himself give up. The kids could be that extra push he needs, too, and so are you. I’m not saying Oliver doesn’t have a chance, but you’d be amazed at how many times I’ve seen people who are in bad shape come back during their recovery because their loved ones talk to them while they’re unconscious or whatever the case. It’s kind of like a miracle, in a way. Nothing medicine can even come close to,” he added and I looked over to him, seeing a smirk on his lips.

“Thank you for coming, James. I don’t know how much longer I could’ve gone without anyone with me..”

“It’s okay. This is a pretty huge deal to keep to yourself, I’m surprised you lasted as long as you did, but I’m glad you called. Sometimes it’s hard to carry the weight of something like this all by yourself and it’s a lot easier to keep yourself from going crazy if that weight is distributed,” he answered and I nodded in agreement. 

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James and I sat there for roughly twenty minutes together, not saying much at all and I knew James wasn’t talking on purpose because it was a little obvious that I didn’t want to talk, but just his presence and knowing I wasn’t alone helped keep me the calmest I’ve been ever since the night took a cruel turn. Every time the emergency doors opened down the hallway, both of our heads jerked quickly towards them, but every time I didn’t see doctor Avery, I let out a heavy sigh and went back to staring at the floor. 

“Why is it taking so goddamn long? I feel like we’ve been sitting here for hours,” I said under my breath in annoyance and James looked over to me.

“It’s gunna be all right, Isaiah. Sometimes when they take a long time like this, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. They’re probably making sure everything is okay before they close him up, or they could be all done, but waiting for him to wake up so they can see if he remembers who he is and how he got here.. You never know. Just because it’s taking a long time doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad,” he encouraged, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly as I thought about his words and they made me feel better, but only a little.

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“Mr. Yamato?” I heard my name being called and I looked immediately to my right, seeing doctor Avery standing outside of the doors that I wasn’t allowed passed and he looked around a little before finally making eye contact with me down the hallway. I was frozen where I sat, completely stuck and even though this entire time I’ve been dying to know what’s happened to my love, now that it was time to find out, I wasn’t ready.. What if he isn’t doing well? ..What if he’s gone..? I never got a chance to speak to him again and now I never will..

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“Isaiah.. Isaiah?” James caught my lack of attention, seeing him standing in front of me with a worried yet comforting smirk on his lips, “Come on, you can do this.. Let’s go see if he’s all right,” he encouraged and I nodded, slowly standing to my feet and I could feel every inch of my insides rattling with nerves and fright and worry and everything in between.. James patted my shoulder, trying to loosen me up a little and to get me to not worry so much, but this was something that couldn’t be helped.. The way the doctor looked at me made things worse because he didn’t have a smile, nor did he have a frown, his expression was, well.. Expressionless.. It made everything that much more nerve-wrecking and terrifying. I wasn’t ready for this, I wasn’t ready for any of this and all I wanted was for Oliver to be okay and for this nightmare to be over with. 

____________________________________

Eight Months Later . . .

____________________________________

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“You guys excited for the beach?” I asked, Luca running and jumping around his room in excitement as I fastened Niko’s waterproof diaper. 

“Yeah! Yeah! Let’s goooo!” Luca exclaimed and I chuckled.

“All right, we’ll leave in just a minute. I still need to grab a few things and make coffee, little man,” I replied and he groaned.

“Hurrryyyyy,” he whined as I slipped on Niko’s swim suit onesie and fastened it.

“The ocean’s not going anywhere, Luca. Be patient, okay? Just a little longer,” I answered and he sat down on the ground next to his building block table with a impatient frown on his face.

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Once I was done dressing Niko, I held his hands so he wouldn’t lose his balance as he stood there. He knew how to walk now, but he was still trying to get the hang of it.

Why don’t you go pick out a toy to bring with?” I asked him and his eyes lit up with excitement, watching him race over to the toy box and he began picking something out. Nikolai started talking, finally, a few months ago and his first word was ‘boo’, though I think he means ‘blue’, because whenever he says it, he always points to the walls in his room or the color of some of his toys. It didn’t take long for him to start trying to say other colors and things, then he started saying ‘da’ and ‘pa’ for Oliver and I.. He now knows a pretty good mixture of words and although he’s still not as talkative as Luca and he still struggles with pronunciation, he’s getting better at it every day.

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When Nikolai found what he wanted, which where a few different things, he brought them over to me and made a pile in front of me and I couldn’t help but find it amusing as well as completely adorable. 

No, no, just pick one or twoYou don’t want to bring a lot and then lose any, right?” I asked and he stared at his choices for a while, trying to decide which were the best ones.

Niko never spent nearly as much time in the water as his brothers did, he more so enjoyed lying on the towels with me under the beach umbrella, so I always let him bring a toy or a stuffed animal that he adored in order to make sure he was happy. He wasn’t afraid of the water by any means, I think he just really enjoyed being outside and relaxing with his toys under the shade. Besides walking and talking, another thing we’ve been able to accomplish, like we had to do for August and Luca, was to get Nikolai to ease off of the pacifier.. He still refuses to sleep without it, but at least he doesn’t cry for it like he used to every second he was awake. 

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Once Niko had picked out his favorites, he handed them to me and I took them, “These two? Are you sure?” I asked and he nodded, “All right. Let’s go to the kitchen and pack snacks, then we can go to the beach,” I added, putting the toy and the stuffed animal into the beach bag.

“Yay! Let’s go, let’s go!” Luca replied and he stood immediately and was already running out of their bedroom and down the hallway.

“Luca, stop!” I called out sternly and I heard his footsteps come to a halt in the hallway, picking up Nikolai in my arms as well as the bag and leaving their bedroom.

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I came out of their room to see Luca standing in the hallway with an expression that showed guilt, “What have I always told you?”

“..No running around or on the stairs,” he replied.

“And?”

“Always hold the railing when walking down,” he continued and I nodded.

“Good. Stop running and go slowly,” I instructed and he walked instead of ran towards the stairs, doing as I said and taking each step carefully. Luca always had so much energy and we always had to be on alert with him more than we needed to be with Niko and August. It was a little stressful at times, especially when his energy put him in situations where he could get hurt.

That boy is going to give me a heart attack one day, I just know it..

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After coming downstairs and into the kitchen, August, Luca and Nikolai ate breakfast as I made coffee and packed the beach bag with snacks, water and beach towels, as well as a bottle for Nikolai and I looked over at August as I made coffee, too, before we left.

“Ready to go, big guy?” I asked and he nodded as he finished his cereal.

“Yup,” he replied, hopping off of his stool and going to the dishwasher with his empty bowl.

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“I’m all done, can we go now?” Luca expressed with more impatience and he bounced in his high chair to show his eagerness. 

“When Niko is done eating, we’ll go. Be patient, Luca, I’m not going to tell you again,” I disciplined and he frowned again, unhappy with how long this was taking, but I wasn’t about to rush everyone when Luca seemed to be the only one who wanted to get to the beach as if his life depended on it. 

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When Niko was done eating and the bag was all packed, the boys and I walked out the back door passed our pool and I watched as August and Luca went ahead of Niko and I. We owned our own little part of the beach down the hill behind the house and we all loved going down there on Sundays when no one had work or school.

“Be careful, you two. Help Luca down the hill, Augie, I don’t want either of you tumbling down and getting hurt,” I instructed towards August and he took Luca’s hand, guiding him down the hill and I held Nikolai close so I had a good grip on him.

“Are you excited to go in the water today?” I asked Niko, watching him smile and he shook his head.

“No!” He replied, though I knew he didn’t mean it.

No?! I don’t believe yooouuuu,” I dragged out, then quickly gave him raspberries on his cheek and neck and he laughed when I had called his bluff.

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When we got to the beach and before letting the boys play, I set down Niko and laid out the beach towels under the shade of the umbrella. After getting everything situated, I put plenty of sunscreen on all of the boy’s skin and once I was done with Luca, he ran off towards the ocean to play. August tended to himself as I then rubbed the sunscreen on Nikolai’s tiny arms and legs and there were some spots where he’d smile and wiggle while giggling from me tickling him on accident.. Which, in turn, made me unbelievably happy, so I then began to do it on purpose just to make him laugh more and how he laughed and kicked his legs made me smile from ear to ear.

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“You ready to play in the water, little bug? Let’s go play,” I tell Niko after he was fully sun-protected, taking him into my arms before standing up. I walked over to August, seeing him playing in the sand with his toys, shovel and pale and I couldn’t help but smile.

“What are you going to make, big guy?” I asked, stopping by him for a moment as I continued to hold Nikolai.

“I wanna build a sand castle.. Maybe even dig out a moat or something all the way to the water so alligators can swim in and protect it,” he replied as he continued playing and I chuckled softly, knowing there weren’t any alligators in the ocean, but I wasn’t about to ruin his fun.

“Elaborate, I like it. I want to see it, so be sure to show me when you’re all done, okay?” I asked and he nodded.

“All right,” he replied, still focused on his building and I continued on towards the shoreline to play with Niko.

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When we reached the shore, I held up Niko before lowering him down into the water, “You ready?” I asked with excitement and he was already kicking his feet in anticipation while starring down at the ocean. The moment I brought him down lower and the lukewarm water touched his toes, he started laughing as he continued to kick his legs and throw around his arms and it brought me pure happiness every second that he enjoyed himself.. I wished Oliver was here to see this, it melts his heart just as easily as it does mine whenever we hear the laughter of any of our boys.

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Whoooaaa! Papa, come look! Come see!” Luca suddenly exclaimed and I looked over to see him waving for me to come over to him as fast as I could.

“What’d you find, little man?” I asked, pulling up Niko from the water and I held him.

“Come looooook!” He continued and I made my way over to him with Nikolai.

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“Look, look!” He said with excitement when we reached him and I smiled as I looked down, seeing a big blue starfish under the shallow water.

“Oh, wow.. It’s really neat looking, isn’t it?” I asked and Luca smiled wide with an enthusiastic laugh.

“Can I touch it?” He wondered, already reaching for it, but I stopped him before he could.

“No, no, don’t touch it. Some are poisonous, that’s why you need to watch where you’re stepping in the water, too,” I replied and Luca seemed upset that he couldn’t touch it, but continued to enjoy watching it move at a snail-like pace, anyways.

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The moment that Nikolai caught sight of the starfish and began reaching for it, as well as humming soft sounds to signal that he wanted it, that’s when I stood back up and took him away from it because he wouldn’t give up unless I distracted him with something else. He was in the ‘I want everything’ phase and didn’t like hearing ‘no’, but I wasn’t about to let my youngest touch a potentially poisonous sea creature without knowing if it was safe or not.

“No, you can’t touch it either, cuddle bug. Sorry,” I expressed as I carried him away, yet he seemed adamant about having it and his soft ‘wanting’ hums turned more into gentle whining and I watched as his eyes teared up, “Aw, come on, don’t look at me like that. It breaks my heart,” I cooed sweetly, trying to cheer him up from this difficult phase he was in by kissing his forehead softly.

“Let’s go get your duck, okay? Will that make you happy?” I asked, walking back towards where we had laid out our blankets and I set him down, looking through the bag I had brought with us as his eyes still held tears.

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When I found it and pulled it out, his watery eyes lit up, “Ah! Here we are,” I said happily and he began reaching for it immediately, chuckling softly as I handed it to him and his mood seemed to change instantly the moment he hugged it. I then pulled out the other toy he had chosen to bring with and set it next to him, knowing that he was done with the water for now and I could relax with him under the shade. He then adjusted his stuffed animal duck so he could use it as a pillow and he laid down as he played with the toy I had given him, bouncing it up and down on the ground to make it ‘walk’ and he was finally content without the need to touch the starfish lingering on his mind. 

“Are you happy now, bug?” I asked and he smiled for his response as he played with his toy, “Good.”

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As I sat there with my youngest, I looked out towards the calm ocean behind August and the sound of the waves and the seagulls that occasionally flew overhead made me relaxed and tranquil, though I couldn’t keep my mind from going to dark places and dark memories that I knew I’d always have to carry with me. I was weak when anything at all threatened my love and my life and I was weak to the memories of that terrifying night eight months ago. I’ll never forget it, no matter how much I try.

I knew it was idiotic to admit, but I missed Oliver.. I missed him so much every second I was without him every since that night and I wished that he was here with us.. It just isn’t the same without him.. It never would’ve been, either, had we all lost him.

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Suddenly, my view went black as I felt hands cupping gently over my glasses and a warm, enticing breath touched my ear.

“Guess who,” the voice behind me whispered and I felt chills up my spine, a smile slowly spreading across my lips.

“The sexiest brunette in the world?” I wondered and I heard him chuckle behind me.

“Mmm, guess again,” he encouraged.

“Hmm.. The sexiest brunette in the world that I’m lucky enough to spend the rest of my life with?” I guessed again and I heard him sigh. 

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“That’s cheating,” he expressed, removing his hands from over my eyes and I chuckled as he draped himself over me.

“What? How is that cheating?” I asked with a grin as I reached up to run my fingers through his hair.

“Because, I wanted you to guess more and I couldn’t say no to that one,” he added.

“I’m glad it’s true, though,” I implied, turning my head towards him and he lifted his forehead from my shoulder to do the same.

“Me, too,” he answered and he leaned in to kiss me. Without him, I truly believed that I never would’ve been able to find such bliss like this ever again.

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Before I could get any time with him, our boys demanded his attention first and I could feel Niko crawling into my lap to get to Oliver as he kissed me.

“Dah! Dah-dah!” He expressed and Oliver and I couldn’t help but smile during our kiss and we pulled away from one another to acknowledge Nikolai.

“Hey, Niko,” Oliver said as he picked up Niko from my lap and held him up, “Are you having fun at the beach?” He asked, though Niko didn’t respond and instead, he pointed towards August.

“You wanna go by Augie?” Oliver asked and Niko nodded, “Okay, let’s go see what he’s up to,” he answered, but I caught his attention before he left my side.

“Come back to me,” I expressed and he smiled warmly.

“I will,” he replied, leaning in to kiss me once more before standing up and taking Nikolai with him. 

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As Oliver spent time with August and Niko, helping him build the sand castle that August had been working on since we had gotten here, I simply sat and watched the photographic scene I had before me. My husband, my children, my life, everything was perfect and just how I wanted it to turn out. If I had any more than I did now, I would truly be the most spoiled man in the world.. I might even already be.

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Luca then noticed that Oliver had made it down to the beach and he ran over to him, “Daddy, come here! Come here!” I heard him exclaim as he tapped on Oliver’s side and Luca then took his hand, pulling him away from the sand castle and towards the starfish that he had found that no doubt had barely moved from where Luca had spotted it. My lips curled into a smile as I watched Oliver be the center of attention, August and Niko watching as Luca dragged him off.

“Daaaad! Come back! I need help with the moat!” August called out.

“I’ll be right back, Augie! Luca wants to show me something,” he replied and I watched him and Luca investigate the blue sea star with a smile on my lips.. This family couldn’t function without Oliver, it’d never be the same without him, and if the world were truly against him like he tended to believe with what he’s been through in his past, he wouldn’t be here today, but.. Thank goodness he was wrong.

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After watching them for a while, Oliver bringing Luca back to the sand castle and all four of them helping in building it, I couldn’t imagine a better scene than the one I had in front of me. The night at the hospital eight months ago was the scariest moment of my life and I wasn’t prepared for the worst, but the second the doctor told me that he was in recovery, I felt my world coming back to life and I thanked whatever or whoever was giving him this second chance. I’ve been with him through everything, the thick and thin, the best and the absolute worst, but it was all for a reason and that reason was right there in front of me.

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Oliver’s recovery took a few months, but once he was back to normal, everything changed for the better and our days together after that were never taken for grated, nor did we ever spend more than an entire day without talking to one another after a stupid fight we might get into.. Then again, we hardly ever fought after that day, anyhow. We focused more on our family and each other and we still upheld to what he had talked about at my bar eight months ago. Cybal was five months pregnant with our fourth child and Oliver and I couldn’t be more excited to have another addition to our family. Oliver didn’t want to let such a potentially devastating bump in the road keep us from continuing our life together after his recovery and neither did I, so we did just that, and we continued to live out our lives.. So many people have tried to ruin such a good thing, but nothing could come between us, just like I always knew nothing could the moment I realized I was in love with him.

It was so hard to picture life without him, but, I was overwhelmingly joyous that I didn’t have to.

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End of Generation 4.

 


 

Thank you to everyone that lurks, reads, likes and comments on this story! You’re continued, unconditionally amazing support for this legacy makes me so happy and I really love you all. Thank you for sticking with me this far and I hope you’ll stick around for many more generations to come!

Generation 4, Chapter 14, Pt 2/2

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“What are you still doing here?” I asked as I approached the vending machine, watching as she smiled.

“I actually thought that you might want to talk to me after all, so I stayed.”

“And why would I want to do that?” I questioned.

“Curiosity, perhaps?”

“..I’m just here to get a bottle of water,” I replied simply.

“Well, then of course, be my guest,” she answered, moving only slightly out of my way and I got my water like I had wanted. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she kept her smile as she stared at me, watching my every move and I looked to her when she wouldn’t stop.

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“Is there something you want to say to me?” I asked, seeing her expression remain the same, beginning to somewhat creep me out a little.

“Have you thought about what I had told you?”

“About going off the record?” I asked and she nodded, “No, not really.. I was a little preoccupied with Isaiah being hurt and in the hospital,” I replied with a little attitude and I stepped away from the vending machine, walking back over to Isaiah’s room and I could hear the detective following me.

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“Do you need something?” I asked in slight irritation, stopping before I went back into Isaiah’s room and turning to look at the detective.

“How’s he doing?” She asked about Isaiah and I thought it was a stupid question.

“Really? You just saw him yourself about half an hour ago..”

“I meant your Uncle,” she corrected herself and I hesitated a moment.

“He’s fine.. Still an asshole, but you knew that already,” I answered and the detective humored me with a chuckle.

“The knee still giving him trouble?” She asked next, keeping her innocent looking grin, but I knew what she was trying to do.. Her eyes did a bad job at hiding it.

“Look, I get it.. It’s obvious you read the file, you know what happened, and it’s obvious that you know all about my family and you’re still looking for my Dad, but I don’t know where he is.. I haven’t known for fifteen years, just like everyone else. That’s what this is about, right? Well, I don’t know. Now, please, just leave me alone and let me worry about one thing at a time.. My first priority being the man in this room,” I finished and turned around, grabbing the handle to the door, but I stopped when I heard the detective’s next words.

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“I have reason to believe that he’s in town. Pretty close by, actually,” she spoke and I let the handle of the door go, looking back at her over my shoulder.

“What makes you think that?” I asked.

“Well, someone called nine-one-one for Isaiah at approximately ten at night, meaning that the person that called would’ve had to of called right after everything took place last night..”

“So, the one that called is the one that saved Isaiah.. And, what..? You think it was my dad? That’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time..”

“It seems to make sense, actually. A father trying to make up for leaving his family behind, his son behind? Trying to think of something for years, anything he could do, without coming straight to you to do it? Like I said before, the kills were vengeful, not the work of a hero, but a father who wanted to protect what his son loved, to make up for everything he did wrong.. Maybe even trying to make right of it all by helping the best way he thinks he can?” She continued, my core beginning to crumble, but I still didn’t want to believe it.

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“You’re insane..”

“Am I? Or does it make complete sense?”

“I have no idea.. I have no clue what the hell he’s thinking.. Where he is or what he does.. Or if he’s even alive.. Why the hell are you telling me all of this, anyways?”

“Well, I was hoping I could take you down to the station and show you something. We have a recording of the phone call made to the emergency line and there’s no one else that can confirm nor deny that it was your father, but you can. Your Uncle is completely out of the question and would never agree to such a thing. If we asked Katalina, I can almost guarantee she’d either turn down the offer herself, or call her dad, which would then tell her not to, anyways.. We don’t have a number to call for Camilla and we think that she would consult your Uncle, as well.. So, you’re the only one left that can say yes or no,” she explained and everything she had just said made me angry. She knew about my cousin and my little sister and no doubt that they were both my Uncle’s daughters just by the reasons she had given, but it had also made me angry for a different reason.

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I approached her more, speaking softly so only she could hear, “I know what you’re getting at, you want me to help you, but you’re asking me to help identify my dad’s voice so that you can open the case again and put out a search party so you can find him. You’re asking me to be a rat.. That, or eventually, I’ll end up becoming bait for my father so that you can catch him, isn’t that right?” I asked.

“Those are your words, not mine.”

“But it’s exactly what would happen if I recognized the voice and it’s exactly what you would ask of me.. You honestly thought that I’d help you catch my dad? What, do you think that I resent him for what he did? That I’d want justice for what he did to me, to my sister, to my mom? You don’t know anything about me or my family. Murderer or not, I’m not going to help you bring my dad in just so he can rot in jail. He’s not a bad person, he’s just made bad decisions,” I finished and she seemed a little disappointed by how this didn’t go as she planned, “Now.. I’m going to take an example from my Uncle.. Leave me the fuck alone, you goddamn pig,” I ended angrily, turning back around and finally entering Isaiah’s room like I had been wanting to do since I had gotten my water from the vending machine.

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I stepped over towards Isaiah, still sleeping soundly in bed and my anger from talking to the detective slowly went away the longer I looked at him. I sat down in the chair next to the bed, uncapping my water and taking a quick sip before placing it down on the floor next to me, taking a slow, deep breath and letting it out heavily. Although I had no desire to say another word to the detective, I couldn’t help but think about what she had said to me. Could my dad really be in town, or was she just blowing smoke? There’s no way, it just couldn’t be possible.. He isn’t that stupid to put himself at such risk even being in the same state as me, let alone the same town.. She had to be lying.

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All that they had to go off of when assuming it was my dad was the way they found the body of Thomas and the fact that Isaiah was involved, which then involved me.. Instead of just hitting him once in the head and being done with it, Thomas must’ve got a much worse punishment than I imagined for them to label the kill as ‘vengeful’.. But, it being my dad? No chance in hell. Thomas was an asshole, only meat heads with no brains would follow around someone like him while the rest of us that had our wits knew to try our best to stay out of his way, to avoid getting bullied, to avoid provoking him, because once you did, you’d never get passed the rest of your college days without him hassling you. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone from the college that hated Thomas as much as me took him and his idiot friends out.. Either way, whoever it was, I was in their debt. 

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I continued to look at Isaiah, reaching up to take his hand within my own and now that I had a moment to think, I had remembered that he had lied to the detective about knowing what who saved him looked like.. I completely forgot to ask him about it after the detective had left, but, I guess it didn’t matter that much now.. He hadn’t brought it up after the detective had left, either, so it must not’ve been something he felt that I needed to know. Maybe, eventually, I’ll get around to asking him about it.

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None of this mattered anymore. All I wanted to do was move forward, help him recover, get rid of Jody and- Wait.. Shit.. I had completely forgotten about the police needing to question her about everything that happened. I needed to get to her before they did, but I didn’t want to leave Isaiah. I promised him I’d never leave like that again, out of the blue, without letting him know where I was going or if he could reach me, but this was important. I couldn’t let her tell the police where she was, I couldn’t risk her telling them about her and I when I had already lied to the detective about our relationship, or lack of one, and I couldn’t let her get caught.. She couldn’t get away with this that easily.. Even if they found out she was a part of this and went to jail, she’d still be able to come back, she’d still be able to haunt Isaiah and I, Jody and I’s child, my entire life in general, and I couldn’t stand for that. I quickly stood up, looking around the room and trying to find a pen and paper, but there wasn’t anything that I could write with. I then noticed the call button, deciding that telling a nurse where I was going would be my best option and I pressed the button.

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Within a few seconds, a nurse had come in, one that I had recognized from always checking on Isaiah and I knew she would be perfect to leave a message with, “Everything okay?” She wondered and I smiled quickly.

“Uh, yeah.. Is that detective still out there?” I asked in a hurry.

“No, she left. Do you want me to call her and-”

No, no.. Just curious.. Uh, listen.. I really need to leave and deal with something, but can you do me a huge, huge favor?” I asked and she smiled.

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“Of course.”

“Could you check on him maybe every half hour, or every hour? He’ll worry if he wakes up and I’m not here,” I requested and she nodded with a smile, “And, uh, when he wakes up, just tell him that I went to my Uncle’s to get my things, but I’ll be back a little later, okay?” I asked next and she nodded again with a smile.

“Sure, I can tell him. I actually just finished my rounds, so I could just sit in here with him,” she replied and I was so thankful.

“Thank you, thank you so much,” I replied, looking to Isaiah and I bent down to kiss the side of his face as quickly yet as softly as I could, then pulling away and I went to the door in a rush, “Thanks again!” I told the nurse before shutting the door behind me and I made my way towards the elevators so I could leave the hospital.

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When I had gotten outside, I looked around for a cab, usually seeing some parked outside waiting for fairs, but when I was looking around, I noticed a car parked in the lot not too far from me, seeing Detective Winchester sitting within it and I quickly looked away, acting as if I hadn’t noticed her, but I knew she noticed me.

“You gotta be kidding me..” I voiced softly to myself, slowing down my pace and acting as if I wasn’t in a hurry. 

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Instead of taking a cab, I noticed the underground train station off in the distance, knowing that that was my best shot of losing her and making absolute sure that I wasn’t followed. I walked over towards the stairs, going down quickly and I hopped on a train that was going the same direction I needed to. I got off the train after riding it for about twenty minutes, getting off at a stop I knew was near where I had parked Jody’s car, which I then took the rest of the way to my Uncle’s cabin.

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It was around six in the evening by the time I had reached the cabin and I pulled into the driveway, but I noticed my parking spot for Jody’s car was taken by my Uncle.. He must’ve came over to find out about what the detective wanted from me, but he could’ve just called me, so why was he here? After I parked and approached the cabin, I couldn’t help but let my anger return, knowing that Jody was just beyond the door and I didn’t know what I was going to do.. But, one thing I did know was that I wasn’t going to keep up this lie any longer, I wasn’t going to act like I didn’t know what she had done, what she wanted to do, whatever else she had planned for Isaiah if she knew that her plan for him failed.. I was done with it. 

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I walked into the cabin and noticed my Uncle sitting at the small dining table and Jody was within the kitchen, “Hey, you’re back,” she said happily, “Your Uncle dropped by, he said this is his cabin, so to thank him for letting us stay here, I asked him if he wanted to stay for dinner,” she continued, but her expression then went a little confused, “Where are the groceries?” She asked. She seemed a little too upbeat for what had happened, but she must not know, they must’ve not called her yet and told her the news.. I made it in time.. Perfect.

“Have a cigarette outside,” I demanded of my Uncle and he nodded, reading my eyes and he didn’t need to be told twice.

“Will do, nephew,” he replied, watching him stand to his feet and he stepped out the back door and left Jody and I alone.

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“..What’s the matter?” She wondered, her expression growing worried.

“Where’s your phone?” I asked and she pointed towards her phone.

“Uh, over there on the counter. It was dead so I’m charging it.. Did you try calling me?” She wondered and without answering her, I walked straight up to it and I took it apart, tossing the battery down the sink and turning the garbage disposal on, then throwing the rest of her phone in after, “Hey! What the hell is your problem!?” She yelled angrily.

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I shut the switch off when her phone was surely destroyed and I grabbed her shoulders, slamming her against the fridge and she let out a cry in slight pain and tried to struggle out of my grip, “You’re hurting me, Oliver!”

“I know,” I replied harshly and for the first time, I saw her face turning into a genuine worry, maybe even fear, “So, you knew this whole time.. You knew all along that I was still seeing him, didn’t you?” I assumed, watching her face then lose some of that fear and she grew angry like I was.

“Of course. You just don’t get it, do you? I don’t like sharing you, Oliver, I never did, but.. Now that it’s obviously been taken care of, you don’t have to go behind my back anymore.. And, I forgive you, so we can put all of this behind us now,” she replied and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.. This was it, she had finally taken the last step off the deep end.

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But, to her surprise, I smirked slightly, “I’m glad that the police still haven’t called you, it would’ve taken all of the fun out of telling you myself,” I said softly, still holding her tighter than she liked and her expression went worried yet again.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“Your little plan with your brother? Using him to get rid of Isaiah? ..Well, it backfired, to say the least,” I answered, my smirk growing into a smile and her eyes widened, “He’s dead. You got him killed,” I continued and she was speechless for a quick moment.

“N-No..”

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Oh yeah, dead as fucking roadkill.. And the best part is that I’m not even exaggerating.. Someone really took their time and made sure that that fucker was dead,” I continued, watching her eyes water as she refused to break eye contact with me.

“You’re lying!” She yelled, trying to jerk her shoulders out of my grip, but she still couldn’t get away from me.

“This is probably where I’d say that I wish I was, but no.. I’m not. Isaiah’s going to be fine. You didn’t accomplish anything, except, well.. Getting your brother killed. I guess there is a plus side to all of this,” I taunted, “You did all of this to yourself.. And you can think about that for however long you have left,” I continued.

“What do you m-” She was about to ask, but she looked towards the back door when my uncle came back inside, assuming he had finished his cigarette.

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“Sounds like a pretty heated argument,” my uncle mentioned, shutting the door behind him.

“Do you have any handcuffs?” I asked him, seeing his eyes turn intrigued and he chuckled softly.

“Zip ties work best,” he replied, “I’ll get some.”

“Wha.. What the hell is this?!” Jody asked frantically, finally breaking out of my grip, quickly going over towards my uncle and she gripped his arm, him looking back at her questionably in slight anger and surprise, “Please, you need to help me! He’s going to do something terrible to me, I know it!” She begged and my uncle looked at me.

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“My God, is that true, Oliver? Were you really going to do something terrible to this poor girl?” He mocked and I smirked, watching as he gripped her wrist and twisted her around in a split second, holding her with his right arm and a hand over her mouth. Jody struggled a moment, trying to speak through his hand but her words were muffled.

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My Uncle then forced her to look at me, him looking at me, as well, “Look at him.. You see how he’s looking at you? I think he’s bored of trying to keep you happy,” he tauntingly whispered into her ear, “You better hope you never go into labor, because after that baby’s born, I don’t think you’ll even be around long enough to name it,” he told her, knowing full well that it was impossible to avoid, knowing that her remaining days of torment were going to come to an end very, very soon. I watched as my uncle then dragged her into the bedroom, hearing her attempting to yell behind the hand over her mouth, her legs kicking and struggling, but he managed to keep a strong hold of her.

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I stood within the kitchen, taking a moment to myself and taking a few deep breaths. So this was it.. It was finally happening.. I still didn’t know the whole plan yet, but things were finally in motion and this marked the beginning to her end. No more looking over my shoulder and being afraid of who might be there, no more worrying about leaving Isaiah in the dark or lying, no more problems.. 

“Heeeelp!” Jody screamed from the bedroom, hearing her struggling and knowing that my uncle was most likely securing her to the bed, “Someone help meee!”

“You’re out in the middle of nowhere, sweetheart.. Scream all you want,” I heard my uncle say, but Jody still continued.

“Heelp meee!”

“Jesus Christ,” my uncle then said with frustration and I heard a drawer open and shut loudly, then hearing nothing from Jody and I grew worried.. Did he kill her? He can’t kill her when she’s still carrying my child! Is he mad?! 

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I quickly went to the bedroom, seeing my uncle walking out and I looked passed him towards Jody, “What did you do!?”

Relax, I just got some chloroform and it knocked her out,” he replied and I grew less worried, but then slightly confused.

“Wait.. You have chloroform..?” I asked and he laughed softly.

“Don’t let it concern you too much,” he advised and walked passed me towards the kitchen, deciding I didn’t really want to know any more on why he had it, anyways..

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So, I take it your done with trying to put up with this any longer. I was getting curious, too.. Did she ever change, like you were hoping?” He asked and I turned to face him, seeing a grin on his lips and I knew all he wanted to hear from me was ‘you were right all along’.

“No.. Just the opposite, actually,” I reluctantly admitted.

“What’d she do that made you change your mind so suddenly?” He wondered and I hesitated a moment.

“She went after something precious to me..” I said softly, turning my attention away from him.

“Well, that’s definitely one way to get on a Dubois’ shit list..” He replied and I didn’t disagree with him, “So.. You wanna tell me why a detective called me today?” He more demanded than asked and I swallowed hard.

“Not really..”

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“Don’t give me that bullshit, if it involves me or my family, it’s my business, too, especially if fucking cops are calling me,” he pointed out and I guess he was right, he was the only one that could help me with this and telling him every detail of what was going on helped both of us. I leaned back against the sofa and I began telling him everything that had happened from when I got home earlier today up until I had arrived here at the cabin.. I told him about Isaiah, about what had happened to him, what happened to Thomas and his friends and how Jody was behind it, what happened with the detective, and why I came back to the cabin.. Everything.

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My uncle had just finished his fifth cigarette by the time I was done explaining it all, “So, that’s what was precious to you,” he said with a rather uncomfortable scowl on his face.

“Yeah.. I didn’t tell you before because I knew you’d be against it..”

“Well, yeah.. I mean, who the hell doesn’t like good pussy?”

“I’m not saying that.. I like both, it’s just.. I prefer him, that’s all.. I love him..”

“Whatever, say what you’d like. It’s not like I’m the one doing it with a guy, so I don’t give a shit,” he worded in a tone that I didn’t quite appreciate, but at least he wasn’t outraged or threw a huge fit about it.. He was actually taking this a lot better than I thought he would.

“Thank you..”

“For what?”

“I don’t know.. Being understanding, I guess.. And of course, helping me with all of this.. I owe you..”

Pah, you don’t owe me anything, kid. I’m the one who owes your dad. I’m in this until you don’t need me anymore, so don’t worry about it,” he encouraged and I nodded softly.

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“And you’re sure that that detective bitch didn’t follow you?”

“I’m sure.. I told you, if I took a cab, she would’ve followed me, but I took the underground train, she has no way of knowing when or where I got off.. I didn’t see her anywhere before I got into Jody’s car and I was constantly checking my rear view mirror,” I replied and he nodded.

“Well, that’s a great thing. It was smart of you not to take that bait, too.. Could’ve done a lot more damage to this family than we needed,” he somewhat complimented and I was happy that I made the right decision, “Still, though.. Might give them a lawsuit anyways just to keep away from us that much more. She still talked to you after I deliberately told her not to.”

“I don’t want to.. I’m so done with all of this.. I can’t wait for all of this to be over and I can just live a normal fucking life,” I stressed and he nodded.

“All right, if that’s what you want,” he understood, “But, if you see her anywhere from now on, and I mean anywhere, knowing she’s watching you, you tell me and I’m bringing her down whether you want to or not.”

“Agreed..”

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For a long moment, silence engulfed the room, both of us surely having a lot on our minds now and possibly being too much to even begin where to start talking to one another, but I thought the silence was almost needed. I thought about what the detective had said earlier, the way Isaiah looked at me before he lied to her about what the person that saved him looked like, everything, really. At the time, the detective’s words were completely unfathomable, there was no doubt in my mind that my dad wasn’t responsible for saving Isaiah, but now that I had a long moment to think about it, as well as hearing my own words coming from my own mouth with explaining to my uncle what had happened, it made more and more sense.. It made me want to ask my uncle whether or not my dad would even try to do something like that, but I didn’t even know where to begin to ask him..

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“You look like you want to ask me something,” my uncle spoke and I looked up to him, surprised that he had literally read my mind.

“No..” I replied, but then I had second thoughts, “Well.. Yeah, I kind of do..”

“What?”

“You don’t think.. I mean, do you think that my dad could’ve been the one that saved him? You obviously knew him better than anyone else..”

“You want an honest answer?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“Then, yeah.. I do think he could’ve done that, but, that still isn’t saying it was or wasn’t for sure, so don’t go pissing your pants with joy or anything,” he replied, but I couldn’t help but feel a little happy, anyhow, knowing my uncle had the same suspicion,”And I didn’t know him as well as you think, not his good side, at least.. That’s all on you, boy. So, really.. I should be the one asking you if you think it was him,” he continued and I thought for a long moment. With everything that I had just thought, myself, and even with the help of my own gut feeling, I smirked softly as I looked to him..

“Yeah.. I think I do, too,” I replied, seeing him smirk as well and he nodded confidently towards my answer.

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“What do you want to do now?” He asked.

“We wait,” I replied, “Wait until she goes into labor..”

“Then what?”

“I get my baby.. And then, honestly.. I really don’t care what happens next,” I said with a shrug, watching him nod.

“Well, won’t be much longer.”

“Yeah, hopefully.. Do you mind waiting here? You don’t have to stay where you’re staying anymore now that she knows about you,” I pointed out.

“Sure, I’ll keep an eye on her. You going back to the hospital?”

“Yeah.. I’ll be back in a few days, but call me if her water breaks before then..”

“Will do,” he replied and I took out Jody’s keys from my pocket, but my uncle stopped me, “Hey,” he caught my attention, “Gimme those.. Take my car, it’s safer,” he instructed and I nodded, tossing him Jody’s keys as he tossed me his own and I left, making the two hour trip back home to be with Isaiah. These long, grueling trips back and forth were taking their toll on me, already exhausted by just today’s events alone, but it still wasn’t over yet and I needed to power through it.

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I got back to the hospital a little before nine at night, making it just in time to see Isaiah before visiting hours were over and I made my way inside and back to Isaiah’s room. I hoped if he was awake, he wasn’t mad that I had left and wasn’t there for him.. I hoped the nurse that I had given the message to told him where I was going and that I’d be back, too.. I’d hate for him to second guess being with me since I kept disappearing on him, especially after everything we talked about together throughout today. My biggest fear was losing him.. I couldn’t lose him after going through so much for him, to make sure that nothing stood between us. I’ve been fighting too hard for this all to be just a waste of time.

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I stepped into his room and didn’t see the nurse keeping him company, but instead, I saw Isaiah standing by the window and he turned to see who had come into his room. He smiled when he saw me and I was happy that he wasn’t mad that I had left.

“Hey, there you are. The nurse told me you left and I didn’t think you were going to make it back in time,” he began and I smiled in return as I walked over to him.

“Of course I’d make it, I wouldn’t miss having more time with you,” I replied, “I’m happy to see you walking around already,” I continued and he scoffed.

“I got broken ribs, Oliver, not broken legs,” he teased and I chuckled softly.

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“What did you go to your Uncle’s for?”

“Just to get a few things.. And to bring him something to eat because I told him I would when I left earlier,” I made up and he nodded in understanding, “Sorry, I should’ve brought you something, too.. The food here is awful,” I said with remorse.

“Oh, it’s all right, don’t worry about it. I had some, uh.. Soup broth? I don’t know, at least I think it was,” he answered and I chuckled.

“Well, I’ll bring you breakfast tomorrow first thing in the morning,” I offered, seeing his expression turn appreciative.

“So, you went to get a few things? ..Does that mean you’re coming home?” He asked hopefully and I kept my smile.

“Yeah.. I’m going to stay in town while you’re here and until you can come home. Then I’ll probably go back to my uncle’s to get the rest of my clothes and stuff.. Maybe go back a couple times to make sure he’ll be okay without me.. I should be home for good within a week or so,” I replied and he seemed unconditionally happy by the news.

“Good, good.. I’m glad that I have something to look forward to when I get out of here,” he replied warmly.

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I watched as he then looked back out the window, seemingly a little troubled and I grew concerned, “What’s the matter?”

“Well, Jody’s due soon, isn’t she? What’s happening with all of that? If you haven’t been in contact with her for a while, what’s going to happen after the baby’s born? You’re going to need to talk to her about it eventually, right?” He wondered, looking back to me with worry in his eyes.

“I, uh.. I’m not sure.. I don’t really want to talk about her, anyways..” I suggested, seeing his expression go somewhat reluctant.

“Sorry,” he said with remorse, and even though I didn’t want him to apologize, I didn’t tell him not to.. I simply kept silent, “Well, either way, I think we should talk about the guest bedroom,” he suggested and I raised a brow in curiosity.

“What about it?”

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“Well.. Why not turn it into a nursery? I mean.. If you end up having custody or not, there’s nothing keeping us from making it into one, anyways, right?” He asked somewhat hopefully, assuming he was talking about a future with us, but I still couldn’t be entirely sure.

“Uhm.. Yeah.. Maybe..”

“I’m sorry, I keep feeling like I’m saying the wrong thing,” he replied with more remorse.

“No, it’s not that.. I just.. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, you know? What if I never get custody? What if I never get a chance to bring my kid home? There’s no point in changing that room into a nursery if I can’t..” I replied, even though I very well knew that I was going to get my child one way or another, I was just trying to avoid talking about this..

“Well.. What about us? Even if you can’t bring your kid home that you have with Jody, can’t we change that room into that anyways for whenever we want to do that?” He questioned and I looked to him.

“I thought you were just high on your pain killers when you had first brought that up,” I pointed out and he chuckled softly.

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“Yeah.. I remember what I said and I’m sorry about that. I guess I just thought we were at a certain point in our lives, you know?” He replied and his tone held a certain longing in it and now I felt horrible.. I wanted this to go well, being with him while he was at the hospital, but I didn’t want to talk about things like this.. Not now, at least.. I didn’t want to talk about anything depressing and I didn’t want to talk about something I wasn’t ready for, noticing right away that I was making him upset and it already seemed to be turning into something negative when our future was meant to only be positive together, so why did I have a feeling this was going to turn into a fight?

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“Stop saying you’re sorry, I’m the one that isn’t ready.. At least I don’t think I am.. It’s just.. Kids, you know? I haven’t even had the chance to get time with mine yet and you want to talk about more already..” I expressed, though once those words came out of my mouth, they sounded so challenging and I regretted them, “I-I mean, I want kids with you, but I’m just.. I-”

“Oliver, it’s okay,” he replied, “I’m the one that’s rushing you. I remember when I was a little loopy that I told you I was jealous. Well, that’s true, but maybe it’s just making me cloud my judgement and I don’t mean to pressure you. I just thought it might be something a little uplifting to talk about, that’s all,” he continued and I sighed softly. I saw this conversation about more children as a fear, whereas he saw it as a dream, something to be excited about..

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I looked up to his eyes, “I want a life with you, I want everything with you, it’s just.. I need to get passed this before I can look forward, you know? I don’t mean to put it off and I don’t want you to think I’m not serious about you, but I can only handle one thing at a time.. I want you to get better, I want all of this custody bullshit out of the way, and I just want our lives to calm down a bit before something like that.. I’m.. I don’t know.. A little overwhelmed and nervous..”

“I know you are, and so am I. I’ve never had a kid before, either, Oliver, so we’re in the same boat. Even if you bring your kid home from Jody, get shared custody or whatever, I’ll be just as lost as you are as far as raising a child, so I don’t want you to think you’re alone when saying you have no experience, because I don’t, either. But, we can do it together and what better way to get ready for something like that than to talk about it? That’s all I’m saying,” he answered with a warm smirk on his lips and I eventually felt a little less pressure from his words. He was never one to show nervousness, but him admitting to it made it the tiniest bit better for me, too. However, it was still something I wasn’t ready to talk about and I wished we could just drop the subject.. At least until I can take him home and we can talk about this under our own roof, not under the hospital’s.

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“Look, Oliver.. I love you more than anything and this isn’t just some passing thought I had out of the blue. I think that I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready for something like that and I’ve been thinking about this for a while now.. But, I can’t help but feel like every time I say that I love you, or say that I’m serious about you or tell you that I want a future with you, I don’t think you believe me.. Why is that? I want to talk about kids with you, so how much more obvious can I be that I’m serious about you?” He asked and I grew a little frustrated, stepping away from him and I needed to pace or do something to wrap my head around all of this and why the hell we were even talking about it when I thought I made myself clear that I wasn’t ready for it to happen, let alone even discuss it.

I talked as I paced, “I do believe you, I really do.. I.. I mean, you don’t have to prove it.. I know you do and I feel the exact same.. It’s just.. Kids? We’re not even married, we don’t know what’s happening with my baby with Jody, we don’t have the space for more than one, you have your job and I have school almost every day after the summer is over.. No, I’ll be starting my residency and that’s going to take up more time than my schooling.. Things are just so hectic already and we don’t have the time.. There’s a lot of things to think about first, it’s just.. Not smart..” I admitted and there was a silence within the room that lasted longer than I would’ve liked, eventually coming to a stop in the middle of the room and trying not to look at him, knowing that he wouldn’t be pleased by my words.

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“Then marry me,” he suggested and I shut my eyes in frustration.. Was that the only part that he heard with everything I had said?

“That’s now the second time today that you’ve said that..” I said under my breath, looking back to him and knowing he had heard me.

“And that’s the second time you haven’t wanted to agree to it,” he countered and I couldn’t help but feel like he was just pummeling me with choices and important decisions that I wasn’t ready for.

“I didn’t say yes or no..”

“But not saying yes is a pretty big no to me,” he continued to rebuttal. I felt pressured when we were talking about kids, but now with marriage on top of it, my shoulders felt heavy and I knew he didn’t know what I was already dealing with with Jody, but without telling him, he’d never be able to understand just how pressured I really did feel with trying to deal with so many things all at once. My cup of leniency was filling up fast and it was only a matter of time before it couldn’t hold any more.

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“Well, I guess I have my answer,” Isaiah began eventually when I hadn’t responded and I hated what this was turning into, “It’s passed visiting hours, you should probably go,” he suggested and my heart fall into the pit of my stomach as I watched him step over carefully to his bed and sit on the edge of it, his back towards me. I knew he was upset with me, really upset, but I didn’t know how to fix this. However, I tried to attempt at making things better between us, anyways, even if I had no idea what to say or where to begin.

“Isaiah-”

“It’s okay, really. It was stupid of me to bring up when I was at the peak of my pain killers and it was stupid to bring up now. I should’ve known I’d get the same answer.. I just thought that since you had said earlier that you liked the sound of husband, I didn’t think it would be such a huge deal, but, clearly I was wrong. I’ll just talk to you tomorrow morning,” he replied and my brows furrowed in worry, but I noticed that he didn’t look at me, making it a point to look away from me more so that he couldn’t even see me in his peripherals. He was trying his hardest to avoid me and it was my fault that he felt like this..

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“..Isaiah, I didn’t mean to upset you, I really want to do that, but-”

“It’s fine, Oliver. We’ll just talk about whenever you’re ready, like we always do,” he continued, still not looking at me and I knew he didn’t mean his statement to point against me, but it sure as hell felt like it was. Why did he say that as if I was being selfish? Was it really this selfish of me to not want to talk about a certain subject yet? I stared at the back of his head for a long moment, wishing he would face me, but when he refused to do so, I simply stepped away from his bed and made my way towards the door without kissing him goodnight or even saying ‘goodbye’.. I didn’t feel like anymore words needed to be spoken, because the more I felt like I wanted to explain myself, the less he’d want to talk about it and I’d most likely just upset him more.

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When I reached the door to his room, ready to walk out, I gripped the handle, yet I stopped myself from leaving. I didn’t want to end the night like this, everything would be so awkward and half-assed the next few days until one of us apologized, but I was so confused on which one of us should be the one to take that step in mending whatever the hell was happening right now. I wasn’t ready for something so solid, something so.. Permanent.. I also needed to understand that children with Isaiah wasn’t going to be even remotely close to having a child with Jody.. I don’t know what I was so worried about, but just from not saying yes to his now second proposal, I made him second guess being with me and that was the last thing that I wanted. I wanted to tell him exactly how I felt and I wanted so desperately for him to understand and to stop pressuring me, but how could I say that in a way that wouldn’t make him more upset?

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“No.. I want to talk about this now, I want to get it out of the way,” I expressed towards the door, pulling my hand from gripping the handle and I walked back over towards the bed passed the curtain so he could see me, watching as turned his head to look over at me, “I don’t have a clue on where to even begin raising a child, I don’t have any idea how to be a good husband and I’m still learning on how to be a good boyfriend, which I think I’m always doing a terrible job no matter how many times you tell me you love me or how happy you are. I don’t ever know what I’m doing right, or wrong, and whenever I think I’m doing things at least a little right, they end up being wrong or just completely stupid and honestly, I don’t even know what to do anymore. Having this baby with Jody is making me crazy, seeing you in the hospital is making me scared and worried and now this entire conversation about marriage and kids is making me terrified.. Completely terrified. I’m scared that I won’t be a good dad, that I won’t be a good husband or even a decent person in generalso how can I even think at this point in my life that I’m ready for what you’re asking? For more than what I can barely handle already?” I asked and I could tell in his expression that he was a little angry, but I couldn’t tell if it was anger towards me, or himself.

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“Look, Isaiah.. I’m just trying to figure out what you want from me.. What the hell do you want me to say? I’ve already told you that I’m not ready, but you continue to pressure me into these things and I really don’t like it. I can’t handle it.. I don’t want to be proposed to, twice, in a damn hospital.. I don’t want to talk about Jody.. I don’t want to talk about kids.. I don’t want to talk about the future, not now, at least, especially when it isn’t definite, and I don’t want to talk about changing the guest bedroom into a nursery.. Not yet. Okay?” I asked, trying to make sure he understood and by the look in his eyes, I could tell I had officially hurt him..

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“Wow.. You make me sound so manipulative.. Is that really the kind of person you think I am?” He asked softly as he stared at me and I felt bad for how I portrayed my words, “What do I want from you..? I’m not using you, Oliver, I’m in love with you, there’s a pretty big difference. Forgive me if I want to talk about a future with you that I’m looking forward to, but by the sound of it, it seems that I’m the only one in this relationship that is.. I remember telling you that you having a baby with Jody made me a little jealous and it kind of made me want to take the next step with you so there wasn’t any need for me to be jealous anymore.. That was selfish of me and I apologize, but you know what? I’m scared, too. You’re not the only one that hasn’t been a father before, I don’t have any idea what to do in that department, either, and I’m a little nervous about being married, too, but I know that being married to anyone else wouldn’t make me the happiest I could be.. I’d only be the happiest with you.. But, there’s one thing I don’t understand,” he stopped briefly and my heart was racing.. Why did I feel like this was only going to get worse?

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“What did you mean by how this ‘isn’t definite’? ..Do you not plan on being with me for as long as I want to be with you? Is that why you won’t marry me?” He asked with sadness in his eyes and even if I didn’t intend this, I could tell I had already broken his heart.

“N-No.. It’s not that..”

“Oliver, if there’s any doubt in your mind about us, then I want to know exactly what it is so I can put all of those doubts in their place and so that you can forget about them.. If you’re not serious about this, then what’s the point of going any further?” He wondered and I was beginning to think he was trying to imply the one thing that I didn’t want to happen..

“No! I am serious about this, I’m serious about you, it’s just everything else is what I’m not sure about.. Why can’t you understand that I want all of these things with you, just not right now? Why do we have to discuss it right now? I’m not ready, I told you that..” I stressed.

“Do you think that things won’t work out between us? It sounds like you’re already preparing for it to go bad.. Hell, you won’t even humor me about any of this stuff.. I guess I’m just wondering why you won’t even talk about it with me, but it seems like you’re not even sure about our future together, so I guess I get it now..”

“Stop twisting my words.. Maybe I didn’t want to humor you because I wasn’t ready, I’m not committed to any of that stuff yet, so I didn’t want to give you false hope.. Isn’t that better than lying to you?” I asked, but I noticed his expression had turned more angered after my response.. Shit.. Now what did I say wrong?

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“Is that why you keep avoiding the subject of marrying me? You’re not committed? You keep telling me that you want all of that stuff with me, I just can’t wrap my head around why you won’t talk about it with me, then.. Would you just regret everything if you had said ‘yes’ to me?” He asked and I didn’t know how to answer him.. I would regret it if I said yes to him now, just because I wasn’t ready, but I’d be more than happy to say yes when I was ready, however, I felt that even if I explained myself to a point where he’d understood completely on why I wasn’t, there’s no doubt he’d get more upset than he already was.. And, if I said I wouldn’t regret it now, I’d be lying to him and myself.. Either way, that question is setting me up for disaster.

“Why are we even fighting over this? I just want you to get better so we can go home and-”

“At least have the decency to answer the question. I asked if you would regret it, Oliver.. So, would you?” He cut me off and he refused to let the subject go. I guess there was no more avoiding it.

“..Only because I’m not ready at this exact moment in time.. Yeah, I would,” I told the truth, seeing him stare at me for a long moment before looking somewhere else.

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“Okay,” he replied simply and I didn’t now how to understand his answer.

“..Okay, what?” I asked.

“Just.. Okay..” He answered again and I was so confused.

“Isaiah, I don’t know what that means.. One minute I think we’re fine, the next I think you want to leave me, now I’m just-”

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“It just means okay and that I get it! Take it however you want,” he expressed with frustration and I knew he’d get upset by my answer, but I didn’t expect him to get this angry, “Do me a favor, though,” he requested and I stepped up closer to the foot of his bed.

“Yeah, anything,” I replied.

“Go home.. I don’t want you to come back to the hospital for the remainder of my time here. I think you need to take some time to yourself, just to think about everything, and I mean everything.. And I think we should just be alone for a little while. I need some time to think, too, so..” He implied and I couldn’t tell if he was only telling me to go home or if he was telling me we should take a break.. A real break.

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“A-Are you..”

“No, I’m not doing that.. I just think we need some time to ourselves to think about everything that we want and don’t want, then on Monday, when I can come home, we’ll talk about it all then.. Is that all right with you?” He wondered, looking up at me and I could see how serious he was. I didn’t want to do anything like that.. I knew I wanted to be with him, there was nothing more for me to think about, but what if by Monday he came to the conclusion that he didn’t want to waste his time on me anymore? What if by Monday, I told him ‘yes’ and he would tell me ‘no’..? But, I didn’t think I had much of a choice, I just had to leave it up fate at this point and hope that he’d still want me after the weekend when he was able to come home.

“Yeah.. That’s fine,” I eventually agreed, wanting so badly to make him happy and if this was what he wanted, then I’ll do it.

“All right, I’ll see you Monday, then..” He answered, my heart tingling in my chest and already the nerves about not seeing him over a short weekend made me nervous and scared, especially when he had given us both such a hard decision to make.. Never had I thought we’d be asking ourselves ‘do I truly want to be with this person?’ without coming straight out and saying ‘yes’ immediately, but if I did that, he might think I’m still not taking this seriously, even when I have been this whole time. I wanted to show him that I was listening, that I cared about him needing time, but once I thought about that, I realized he hadn’t done the same for me, the very two things I wanted him to do the entire time I was explaining myself.. He wasn’t listening, he didn’t understand that I needed time, all that he heard were the terrible things I’ve said and it seemed as if he completely blocked out all the good. 

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I stepped around the foot of his bed to where he was sitting, putting my hands gently to the either side of his face and I pulled his head up quickly so I could kiss him without him denying me. I felt his hands reach up, grabbing my wrists to remove my hands from his face, but I fought back and refused to let him go. I was angry with him, I was mad that he wanted time to think this over when he wasn’t willing to do the same for me when I had asked for it, but it still wasn’t enough for me to abandon him and if things got worse between us, I wanted this last chance to feel him and for him to feel me, to see how much passion and love I had for him with just one simple kiss. I eventually felt his grip on my wrists lessen, feeling him push gently back into my lips and as soon as I felt he wanted more, I pulled away, looking at him for a moment before pulling myself away from him completely and I walked out of his room without another word.

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As I made my way out of the hospital, all I could do was hope that he’d eventually see things from my angle. He was a very understanding person, but why did he refuse to let this go? I wasn’t opposed to having a conversation about what was going to happen later on, much later on, in the future between us, but now was just not the time. I understood that he was jealous, I truly did, because I have something so important to him with someone the complete opposite of him and it must drive him crazy sometimes.. He wants what someone else has with me and maybe he just can’t stand that I share something as serious as a child with someone else, so he wants a baby, too.. Maybe that’s why he insists that I take some time to myself and think it over, because I had said ‘no’ to something he so desperately wants with me. Maybe he doesn’t want time to himself to think if he still wants to be with me, but he wants me to have time to myself to rethink my answer.. He told me to go home, maybe that has something to do with it, too.. I could just be looking too much into it, but then again, was it really that bad of a thing to do that when it came to fixing my relationship?

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I checked the front of the hospital when I walked out, not seeing the detective in a car waiting for me like last time and I was glad that I could drive home calm instead of being paranoid and needing to take the train. I hopped in my uncle’s car and went home, going upstairs above the coffee shop to our place and I stood in the hallway for a moment, looking around and not liking how silent it was. I tried to imagine things differently as I stood there, already beginning to somewhat like the idea of coming home to a noisy place with Isaiah chasing around kids with messy mouths from eating and struggling to get them cleaned and dressed..

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I smirked softly for a brief moment, picturing a tot crawling down the stairs backwards in diapers and as I glanced over towards the living room, it was easy to picture a movie night, all cozy on the couch with forts made out of pillows and blankets with popcorn scattered about, no doubt some pieces stepped on and spread out on the floor from someone tipping the bowl over. But, still, I couldn’t decide if I was ready for something that hectic.. Or should it really be thought of instead as something to be enjoyed and looked forward to? Embraced, even, like Isaiah did?

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I went upstairs and before I stepped into our bedroom, I stopped and looked down the hallway towards the guest bedroom, deciding to take another look at it, just for the sake of humoring Isaiah like he had wanted me to. I walked down the hallway and opened the door, flipping on the lights and the last time I remember being in here was when we had first moved in and thrown some furniture in here to make it an actual room, though it could definitely use some improving.. There was no wall art, an empty dresser, lamps with light bulbs that had only been turned on less than a handful of times, a clean and untouched bed.. It was so boring.. Except for one thing..

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I stepped towards the dresser, seeing a picture of Isaiah and I sitting on top of it and I examined it a little further, remembering that he had taken this picture of us after all of our stuff was unpacked and we were officially moved in together.. I had no idea he had taken the time to get it printed and framed.. He looks so happy. I smiled as I looked at it, remembering the day vividly and my cheeks even grew warm as I remembered that our first time together was just minutes after this picture had been taken.. This one single photo held so many memories, I even somewhat felt like he had planted it here for me to find whenever we’d have this argument about children, like he was almost expecting it to happen.. Damn him.. Even when he’s not around to put his persuasion into words, he still finds ways of being persuasive, I’ll give him that..

 

Next Chapter |

Generation 4, Chapter 14, Pt 1/2

Attention: Long chapter, lots of stuff to absorb.
Also, a special guest star, Gerard McClaren, from LateKnightSimmer’s apocalypse/rainbowcy. Thanks again for letting me use the doctor from your story to be the doctor in this chapter!

Enjoy <3

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I was happy when I woke up today because I had planned on visiting Isaiah again when I went out to get more supplies for Jody and I. I haven’t gone home as much as I had told Isaiah I would, today being only my third visit in almost five weeks all together and I felt bad about not upholding to what I had told him, but I was surprised to learn that he didn’t seem to mind as much as I thought he would. It was lonely without him and I hated being around Jody more than him, but the past two visits we’ve had were unforgettable and I even kind of liked that we were away from one another, making it seem like we were in our dating days all over again before we moved in together and despite us both hating the separation, it seemed that both of us found a little excitement in it, as well. The first time I had gone out to visit Isaiah, as well as stock the cabin with food and other stuff for Jody and I when we had first arrived here, when I had come back from seeing him, I could tell that Jody was suspicious of me already, which ultimately made me decide that trying to visit Isaiah every few days like I had wanted to would be completely out of the question and I’ve resulted in spending a lot more time with her than him just to make her become less suspicious, but I couldn’t quite tell if it was working or not..

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Most of the days, we would just watch television or go on walks through the woods on the large property together, treating it like a camping trip and bonfires seemed to be a favorite for hers when it was late at night before we’d go to bed. We’ve learned little about one another, probably because I was never really willing to share anything with her whenever she asked and the only things I’d usually talk about was how I liked to swim and how I usually always stayed up late at night, either studying or doing nothing at all.. It helped explain to her why I stayed up later than she did and why I usually always slept on the couch without coming out and saying that I hated the thought of sharing a bed with her. Throughout the days together, I just acted as if we roommates and nothing more, mostly keeping to myself and trying to occupy myself without her, but she liked to do the opposite.. Making breakfast almost every morning, wanting to have normal, breakfast conversations, bullshit back and forth about whatever we were watching on the television like a happy couple, just everyday normal things.. She treated this situation like she was six years old and playing ‘house’ with her Barbies, trying to be perfect and I was more like Stretch Armstrong than Ken, getting pulled every which way though not ever enough to a breaking point. But, there was nothing normal about this, and I found it difficult at times to act like everything was completely fine.. I was starting to get worn out and I didn’t know how much longer I could stretch before I just couldn’t take it anymore.

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Today, Jody seemed different, however, more chipper than usual, as if she had won a prize or as if she had accomplished something she never thought she’d be able to. She constantly had a smile on her face, continuously talking to the baby under her breath even though I was in the room with her as she did mundane things that no one should find pleasure in doing, but she did. 

“How are you this morning?” I asked, curious as to why she was in such a good mood.

“I don’t know how to describe it exactly.. It’s as if you and I are the only ones left on Earth and we have it all to ourselves. It’s all ours and nothing is going to stop the three of us anymore. We can just be together, you know?” She expressed happily and I grew a little confused.

“What do you mean ‘anymore’?” I asked and she looked at me as she smiled and shook her head.

“Nothing..” She replied, “Are you going to the store today?” She changed the subject.

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“Uh, yeah..”

“While you’re out, can you get something special for dinner? Maybe steak or lamb?” She questioned and I didn’t see a problem with it.

“Sure, I could do that.. What’s the occasion?” I asked, seeing her smile more.

“Us, silly. The baby will be here any day now, who knows when we’ll get time alone again like this once they’re born,” she explained, “Besides, we’re only going to be here for a few more days, right? It would be stupid of us to be here when my water breaks, we’re too far away from a hospital.. So, I guess this is somewhat a ‘last supper’ kind of thing,” she implied and I grew a little nervous, knowing that she knew nothing about my intention of keeping her here, but how would I get her to stay now that she assumes we’re leaving?

“Oh, uhm.. Yeah.. Good idea,” I replied, deciding to agree to it just to make her happy.

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After breakfast, I went into the bathroom to take a shower, but before I did, I pulled my phone out of my pocket, comfortable enough to check it without Jody trying to snoop on me and I checked to see if Isaiah had said anything to me. I had sent him a text when I had woken up around eight, letting him know that I was planning on coming home today and usually he would’ve texted me back by now, seeing as it was almost eleven, but still nothing.. I wondered if he was still sleeping and I wanted to call him, but I didn’t want to wake him up just in case he was. I decided to wait a little longer, assuming he was still sleeping and I had a good feeling that by the time I’d be done with my shower, he’d have texted me back.

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However, after my shower, I checked my phone eagerly now that it was closer to eleven thirty, but still nothing. I didn’t want to worry, I’d feel stupid if I did, but if he didn’t text me by noon, I’d have to call him just to calm my nerves, as well as just to let him know that I was on my way home.. If I waited passed noon, that only meant less time together and there wasn’t much of a point in driving all the way out there if I didn’t at least get an hour with him.

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I left the bathroom and sat within the living room, watching television with Jody and after about five minutes on the couch, Jody touched my leg forcefully.

Hey, are you okay? You’re leg is going crazy,” she said with a soft smile and I didn’t even know that I had a restless leg. It must’ve been annoying her..

“Oh.. Yeah, I’m fine.. I didn’t even notice I was doing it.. Sorry,” I replied.

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“It’s okay. You seem like you’re waiting for something, or waiting to do something..?” She implied, but I shook my head.

“No, I-I’m not,” I replied, my nerves getting to me and I couldn’t help but constantly want to glance at my phone since I always kept my sound off as well as the vibrate so Jody would never think I was talking to anyone, but I left it in my pocket as I struggled through the urge.

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I watched television with Jody for a while longer, constantly glancing down at her hand that she had left on my leg and after about fifteen more minutes of sitting there, still anxious and ready to jump out of my skin, I needed to get out of here.

“You know what? I’m just going to go to the store now.. Get it out of the way,” I brought up, springing up quickly from the couch and walking towards the door.

“Oh, okay. Drive safe,” she replied and I didn’t even bother acknowledging her before grabbing her car keys and walking out the door.

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The moment I got outside, I pulled my phone from my pocket and it was a few minutes before noon, but still, Isaiah hadn’t said anything back to me and as I climbed into Jody’s car and started it, I decided to try calling him and I didn’t care about waking him up any longer. As I pulled out of the driveway and down the road, I noticed that his phone didn’t even ring and it went straight to his voicemail.

Hey, you’ve reached Isaiah’s cell. If this is a supplier, please call the bar, it’s much easier to reach me there during business hours. If this is a friend, then just leave a message and I’ll call you back when I get a chance. Thanks.” -beep-

“Hey, it’s me.. Are you still sleeping? What’s going on? I’m on my way home and wanted to give you a heads up, but you’re not answering your phone.. Uhm.. I’ll try again when I’m half way there, but just call me back, okay? I love you.”

I left a message, but that still didn’t calm my nerves like I had thought it would.

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Half way home, I tried calling him again like I said I would, but still no answer and I drove even faster the rest of the way home, arriving at my normal spot that I parked Jody’s car at and taking a cab the rest of the way like I had been. I got to the condo around one-forty thanks to my quick driving and I ran upstairs to the second floor, unlocking the door and stepping inside.

“Isaiah?” I called out, listening for a moment, but the condo was silent.

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I quickly searched the first floor of our place and ran upstairs next, checking the bedroom and hoping to see him either still sleeping or getting ready for work, but the bed was empty and untouched. He wasn’t home. He didn’t normally ever open the bar before three and he never had anything to do beforehand besides sleep in and get dressed for work, so where was he? And why wasn’t he answering his phone?

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I remembered that I had Gavin’s number, Isaiah’s bar manager, just in case of situations like these and I pulled my phone out of my pocket, calling him quickly. I paced around the room and after about three rings, he answered.

Hello?”

“Gavin? It’s Oliver.”

“Ahh, shit..” He let out with a sigh and I grew more uneasy than I already was.

“What is it? Do you know where Isaiah is?”

“He told me not to call you.”

“Well, I’m the one calling you. Now tell me what’s going on,” I demanded.

“Look.. He’s going to kill me for talking you, he told me not to so he didn’t worry you..”

“I was already worried before I called you, so tell me this second just what the hell’s going on or I’ll tell him you deliberately did call me,” I threatened and he sighed again.

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“Okay, just don’t let him fire me, all right? I really like working there and if he found out-“

“Gavin..” I warned him.

“Okay, okay! I’ll just tell you everything he told me, which wasn’t much.. Apparently there was some kind of scuffle between him and a few random guys, he got jumped in the parking lot of the bar last night after everyone had gone home.. He’s at the hospital right now and he was forced by the police to close the bar for a few days.. That’s all that I know, Oliver,” he replied and I couldn’t even describe how fast my heart was beating, “Oliver..? You okay?” He questioned, but I hung up on him immediately and raced out of the bedroom and down the stairs to leave the condo and make my way to the hospital.

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The hospital was only a few blocks away and I didn’t even think to get a cab, I very well could’ve left our front door wide open and completely forgot to close it, too, but I couldn’t focus on anything else right now. As I ran, barely missing people from knocking them over, I couldn’t contain everything that was detonating in my mind. This was no damn coincidence. Who did I know that hated someone as good as Isaiah? Jody. Who the hell wanted him out of the damn picture? Jody. Who had connections to Thomas, the only guy who absolutely loved to see me suffer and what better way to do it by hurting the one closest to me? Jody. Everything pointed to her. Everything. I couldn’t go a day without her piercing my mind in some way, either living in fear with her, or living in fear of her next move, but this has gone too far. Way, way too far. She must’ve known I lied about leaving Isaiah for her, she must’ve known it the whole time.. I knew I couldn’t trust her having her phone, so why the hell did I give it to her and think she wouldn’t use it to stay in connection with her brother? Why the hell did I trust her? I’m such an idiot.. This is all my fault. 

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I reached the hospital’s automatic doors and they couldn’t open quick enough, squeezing through the second it was wide enough for me to and I panted harshly as I reached the front desk.

I took a moment to catch my breath, unable to speak even if I wanted to and the woman behind the counter stared at me until I could talk, “I..Isaiah.. Yamato,” I struggled to speak, “What room?”

“Uhm.. Let me check, hold on,” she replied wearily, glancing at me questionably as she typed on her computer and I still tried to catch my breath after running about six blocks.. Okay, maybe the hospital wasn’t that close, but I had made it here quicker than any cab could.

“He’s in room two-fourteen, second floor. But, you should know tha-” I didn’t let her finish, going straight for the elevator, “Hey!” She called out, but I pressed the ‘up’ button what seemed like eighty times and I stepped in once the doors opened.

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Once the doors opened on the second floor, I quickly stepped out and ran down the hall.

Hey! No running!” A disgruntled nurse called out and I lessened my run to a gentle jog, finally reaching room two-fourteen and I touched the door, but took one more moment to catch my breath before I walked in.

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I didn’t know what to say to him, I didn’t even know what kind of condition he was in or if he was even awake.. I decided that before I walked in, I wanted to know the details on paper so I could prep myself for whatever I was about to walk in on, looking around until I had spotted a doctor and I stepped up to the first one I saw.

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“Are you Isaiah Yamato’s doctor?” I wondered, seeing the man look to me and he smiled.

“Why yes, I’m Dr. McClaren. You must be his husband, Oliver, yes?” He assumed and I was a little thrown off by him saying such a thing, but for formalities sake, I might not have been able to see him if I wasn’t his spouse or immediate family.. Isaiah saying that meant he knew I’d come eventually, and since he was talking, he must be in at least decent condition, right?

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“Uh.. Yeah, I am.. Is he okay? What happened?”

“Well, he has a lot of bruising, mostly to this face and torso. Two of the ribs on his right side are broken and we had to give him a few stitches on the inside of his cheek from cutting it on his teeth. He’s on a lot of pain medication, so he might be a little out of it when you talk to him.. He shouldn’t be in much pain anymore, though, as long as he keeps taking the pain killers, which he will definitely want to do. I want to keep him for the next few days, keep an eye on him, but he should be able to come home after the weekend, probably by Monday,” he replied and only a slight bit of relief hung in the sigh I had let out.

“So, I can go see him?” I asked and he nodded.

“Of course.. That is, if he wants to see you. I don’t know how you found out he was here, he told us specifically not to contact you unless he got worse, but I think it’s good that you’re here. He’s been a little, well.. Irritable? I thought being on the pain killers would make him rather happy and transcendent, but apparently not.. Does he not particularly like hospitals? Do they make him nervous?”

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“Uhm, well.. He, thankfully, hasn’t needed to be admitted into a hospital for anything serious like this, so I never really talked about it with him.. I don’t think so, though.”

“I see. Either way, hopefully you can bring his spirits up, it really boosts the healing process,” he replied with a warm smile and I nodded.

“All right, I’ll try my best.. Thanks,” I answered, watching as he then continued what he was doing and I turned back to face Isaiah’s door.

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I walked to his door and opened it, stepping in slowly and there was a curtain up, blocking me from seeing him at first.

“Go away.. I told you people a million times, I don’t need any more of that stuff you call food here,” I heard him express in irritation and it was nice to hear his voice, even if he sounded annoyed. I slowly shut the door behind me, hoping that he’d be happy to see me, but I knew he’d be mad that I was here since he had been trying to hide it from me. I was a little angry, myself, knowing he didn’t want me to come here and see him like this and for making me so worried, but I didn’t hold it against him since I had done the same thing to him whenever I got beat up at school and I’d avoid him until I didn’t have a black eye anymore.. I suppose we did it for each other, not wanting to hurt one another by having to see us go through any sort of pain.

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“..It’s me,” I voiced softly, the room falling silent for a long moment, but, the silence eventually bothered me and I felt that I needed to say something else, “Are you okay?” I asked, not hearing him respond for a few long seconds, but eventually I heard him speak up again.

“What are you doing here?” He asked.

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“I told you yesterday that I was probably coming home today, but when I couldn’t get a hold of you, I came out anyway to see what was going on.. I called Gavin and made him tell me, so don’t be mad at him,” I replied, hearing him sigh heavily.

“My phone must be dead in my pants pocket,” he explained himself, “Well, you’re here now, so come out from behind the curtain,” he instructed and although I was nervous to, not wanting to see him in this condition, I did as he said and I stepped around the curtain towards his bed.

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Initially, I was in shock when seeing his face all bruised, my heart sinking into my stomach with guilt knowing that this was all my fault and Isaiah seemed to be embarrassed by how he looked, averting his eyes to his lap as he struggled to sit up within the bed.

told Gavin not to say anything.. Just because I hate seeing you like that,” he said softly.

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“Like what? Worried? Hating myself because this happened to you because of me? None of this was your fault.. It’s all mine. And I hate seeing you like this, too, but hiding it from me was useless and it only made me worry more in the end,” I stressed and he looked back up to me, his expression a little angered.

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“And I’m sorry about that, but this isn’t your fault, either! And that’s exactly why I didn’t want to say anything to you, because you’d blame yourself, you always do. The actions of other people never falls on your back, you really need to realize that,” he argued and it was painful for me to look at him, let alone be criticized and I dropped my gaze from him. I heard him sigh heavily once again, “I didn’t mean to yell at you.. I’m sorry,” he spoke with remorse.

“It’s okay..”

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Come over here, I missed you,” he instructed and I wanted to smile, but I still couldn’t as I looked to him, walking over to him and I sat down next to him on his bed.

“I’ve missed you, too.. And you never answered me before.. Are you okay? Are you in a lot of pain?” I asked with concern.

“I’m fine, really. Nothing I can’t handle. You always worry too much,” he said with a smirk, bringing his hand up to my face and caressing my cheek.

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I brought my hand up to grab his, pulling it to my lips and I kissed his palm warmly for a long moment before holding his hand against my cheek again, “How can I not worry? Look at you.. Can I even touch you, or will I just hurt you?” I wondered.

Isaiah smiled softly, “You can touch me whenever you want, no matter what condition I’m in,” he confirmed and I smirked briefly, “I’m actually really glad you’re here now, I already feel a million times better,” he said, as if he was finally thankful that Gavin had told me where he was despite him specifically telling him not to and I was happy that Gavin was able to give me the answers I was looking for so I could be here, too.

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I then felt his hand leave my cheek, bringing his other hand to the back of my head and pulling my lips into his for a long moment. Every single time I left him to go back to my uncle’s, it almost seemed like an impossible task and I’d start missing him even if I was still in his arms. I wished I didn’t have to keep myself from him, I wanted all of this to be over so I could be with him like I wanted to be so badly, but it wasn’t that easy.. Nothing in my life was easy anymore, but the only one that managed to put back the pieces in the right place in this puzzling life of mine was Isaiah.

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He pulled away from me slowly as smiled as he looked to me, “Can I ask you something?” He wondered and I nodded.

“Of course.. Anything.”

“Now that I’m the one hurt, are you going to come home and take care of me?” He implied flirtatiously with a grin and I couldn’t help but chuckle softly, knowing he was trying to cheer me up.. That, or just trying to help me get rid of the worry that was tattooed on my face.

“Even in pain, you still try to find the pleasure in it, huh?” I replied with a smile.

“You know it,” he answered, pulling me back into his lips for a brief moment before pulling away.

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“Oh, and, uhm.. By the way.. Husband..? Really?” I questioned and he let out an embarrassed laugh, glancing down at his lap.

“Sorry.. I didn’t think they’d let you see me if I didn’t say that to them, whenever you’d eventually find out I was here,” he replied, looking back up to me with a smirk.

“It’s all right.. I kind of liked not denying it when they asked.. It had a nice ring to it,” I implied and I could tell by the face he made that he was smitten by my words.

“Well, maybe we’ll actually make that happen one day,” he answered and now I was the one looking away bashfully.

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But, that conversation was for another time and there were still a few things I wanted answers to, Isaiah seeming to notice when my expression went worried, yet again, “What the hell happened to you?” I asked, Isaiah seeming to be trying to avoid the subject, his view going to his lap again.

“I, uh.. I don’t know..”

“What don’t you know? You were jumped.. And your bar is being closed off by the police? What’s that all about?”

“Well, yeah, I was jumped, but I don’t want you to overreact if I tell you who it was,” he replied and my expression grew questionable.

“Why would I overreact..? Just tell me, I want to know what happened to you..”

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“Fine..” He finally caved, hesitating a moment before continuing, “It was Thomas, Jody’s brother, and a few of his friends,” he finally admitted and I knew it had to have been him all along, but I couldn’t even prepare myself for the rage I felt when I heard Isaiah actually confirm it. Anger fueled me when I realized that Jody really was behind all of this.. She must’ve been talking to Thomas on her cell phone without me noticing, knowing now that she probably had Thomas spying on us since she couldn’t do it herself since she was with me. 

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Isaiah continued, “I was outside throwing out trash behind the bar and he showed up with two of his friends.. He threatened me, told me lies about you, saying that you’ve been with Jody this whole time, then he told me to dump you so that Jody could have you.. But, when I refused, they did this. Or, well.. Just Thomas did,” he implied, talking about his injuries and I only grew angrier the more he talked.

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“That bitch..” I said quietly, “That fucking bitch!” I then yelled angry, pulling away from Isaiah and standing from the bed to go to the door.

“Oliver, where are you going? Hey!” Isaiah tried to stop me and I heard him let out a groan in pain from exerting so much air from his lungs against his broken ribs, causing me to stop before I left and I looked back at him to make sure he was okay, but I couldn’t ignore this, I wouldn’t let myself.

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“I’m going to kill Thomas, that’s where I’m fucking going!” I yelled angrily, going for the door again, but he continued to try and stop me.

“Oliver, stop!” He said with more demand and I decided to listen, looking back at him again, “You can’t. As much as I like you wanting to avenge me or whatever this is, you just can’t.”

“And why the hell not!? Look at what he did to you! I’ll never forgive him! It’s fucking bullshit and I’m going to kill both of them! I’m going to his place right now and I’m going to-”

“He’s already dead, Oliver!” Isaiah said and I stopped my train of thought, looking to Isaiah with widened eyes and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. 

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“What..?”

“He’s dead. I never finished my story about what happened.. That’s why the police are closing off my bar, because it’s a crime scene. I knew you would overreact, I didn’t want to tell you beca-”

“Overreact? If anything, wanting to just kill him is under reacting! Look at you! Bruised like crazy, broken fucking ribs?! Even if he is dead I want to rip his fucking lungs out so he can’t even breath when he’s in hell!” I yelled, none of my words making sense anymore.

“Calm down, all right? Come back over here and sit down,” he asked of me, grinding my teeth together in anger and I didn’t even know where to begin to try and calm down, “Please?” He encouraged, but I couldn’t do it.

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“No.. I can’t stand for this. I won’t. It’s all because of Jody.. Because she can’t get over me, so she sends her brother to do this? To threaten what she thinks is between us? The one thing I care about? She still can’t get it through her fucked up head that there is no us, there never was to begin with! She’s gone way too far and I won’t let her get away with this,” I spoke with determination, but he wasn’t having any of it, continuing to try and calm me down.

“Oliver, will you please come over here? ..Please,” he nearly begged and I sighed in aggravation, but before I could walk over to him, a nurse came in with concern in her eyes.

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“Is everything okay in here?” She questioned and I couldn’t even answer her, I was too angry to acknowledge anyone else and I turned away from her.

“Yeah, we’re fine, thank you,” Isaiah replied to her with urgency.

“Okay..” I heard her answer, hearing her then slowly stepping back out of the room and the door eventually shut to give us privacy once again.

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“You need to calm down or else they’ll make you leave and I don’t want you to go yet. I don’t want you to do anything stupid, either, because you’re so angry. Come over here and lie down with me,” he instructed and I sighed heavily, unable to stop grinding my teeth in anger, “Come on, I know you want to,” he continued, seeing him smirk and he was careful with himself as he scooted over to make room for me.

“You’re not the one that should be so worried about me, it should be the other way around,” I answered.

“Would you just get over here already? Stop being so damn stubborn and comfort the one you say you care about so much,” he taunted, and of course, I caved in to him.

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I stepped over to the side of his bed again and sat down, facing away from him and not lying down like he had asked, my leg beginning to bounce restlessly again, “I can’t lay down. I’m way too pissed,” I replied and I heard him sigh in defeat.

“Fine, I’ll let you calm down a little on your own, then,” he replied and we sat in silence for a few long minutes. And, after those few long minutes, only able to calm down a small amount, he spoke again, “If you’re okay with it, can I ask you something again?” He wondered.

“Sure..”

“Well, Thomas had told me something.. I didn’t believe him and I don’t want to now, but, I mostly just want to ask because I’d rather hear it from you than him,” he began and although I was still completely enraged, I couldn’t help but grow a little nervous on top of it by how he had worded himself.

“..Okay.”

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Isaiah hesitated a moment, probably working up the courage to ask me whatever it was he wanted to know, “Are you.. Are you seeing Jody behind my back?” He wondered and my heart began beating a little faster.

“Seeing her? As in.. What?” I asked in return, still unable to face him.

“You know, seeing her.. Romantically?” He questioned and I finally faced him with wide, surprised eyes.

“No! God, no! I don’t look at her like that at all! I never even got a chance to be able to before she took advantage of me. That’s one thing you can be damn sure about.. Why the hell would you ask that, especially after my mini freak out? I could never even fathom something like that after what she’s done to me, to you,” I replied, seeing him nod and he looked back down at his lap.

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“I don’t know why I asked that, I’m sorry. I didn’t let Thomas get to me last night, I don’t know why I’m letting him now,” he said as if he was disappointed with himself.

“It’s okay.. Is there anything else?” I asked.

“Just one more thing,” he replied, “Are you really going to your Uncle’s place?” He questioned next, looking back up to me.

“Yes, I really am,” I replied without hesitating. It felt really good to finally be able to tell him the truth about something, the way he worded his questions made it easy for me to be able to avoid lying, but I hated that he felt like he had to ask the questions he did..

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“I don’t love anyone else but you. You’re the only one I ever want to be with and I couldn’t even imagine being happy with anyone else,” I spoke the absolute truth and I watched him smirk.

“I won’t ever question that again,” he replied.

“Good,” I answered, leaning in to kiss his lips again and just from a simple kiss, I felt a lot better and he helped my anger decrease immensely. The longer we remained lip-locked, softly massaging our lips together, the more I could feel the exhales from his nostrils getting heavier and more stifled and I wondered if he was having a hard time breathing or if he was just getting excited. But, that question was answered when I felt the hand he had on my leg venture up and he gripped the inside of my thigh, causing my entire body to tense up.

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I pulled away from the kiss, looking at him suspiciously, “What are you doing?”

“Nothin’..” He replied innocently and I chuckled softly.

“How could you possibly be horny right now?”

“How could you not? It’s been a little over a week since I last saw you and I want to spend time with you. Just trying to make the best of this situation, I guess. You should get rid of some of that stress and pent up anger, too,” he replied, feeling his hand massaging the inside of my thigh softly, but I reached down to relocate it so it couldn’t venture up any higher.

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“Well, you’re going to have to wait until you’re released, because hospitals do not get me in the mood,” I answered and he pouted slightly.

“Oh, come on.. Just lock the door and take your pants off. You’re going to have to get on top and do all the work, though, because I’m hurt and can’t move and you need to take care of me,” he teased and I laughed, then leaned in closer towards him.

“I’ll take care of you plenty when we get home,” I teased back and I noticed a spark of excitement in his eyes before I leaned in more and kissed him again.

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However, before we could fully enjoy one another’s lips once more, we heard the door to his room open, “All right, Mr. Yamato, the nurse said that-” A woman’s voice spoke and she stopped her words as we pulled away from one another, Oh.. Sorry, gentleman. I didn’t mean to interrupt the healing process,” she implied and I grew a little embarrassed, though Isaiah just seemed angry that she had barged in on our time together.

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“What the hell do you want?” Isaiah spoke with aggravation.

“Well, the nurse said that you were awake finally, so I thought we’d get your statement now. You know, just get it over with and get the paper work out of the way so you can rest and just focus on recovering,” the woman replied and I stood from the bed, looking to the woman questionably since I had thought it was either a nurse or a doctor, but she sounded more like a cop.

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The woman looked to me with a smirk when I had faced her, “Oliver Dubois, is it?”

“Yeah..? And?” I questioned shortly, not liking that she knew my name already.

“Well, how lucky of me to be able to run into you here so I don’t have to go tracking you down,” she replied and I furrowed my brow towards her in confusion.

“What do you mean? What do you need me for?”

“All in good time, Mr. Dubois,” she answered, then put her attention towards Isaiah.

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Can I call you Isaiah? Drop the formalities?” She questioned and he sighed.

“Sure, why not. Let’s just get this over with,” he answered.

“Well, I’m Detective Amelia Winchester. Would you like Oliver to wait outside while we chat, or would you like him present?” She asked and Isaiah looked up to me.

“He can stay,” he answered and I smirked towards him.

“All right, well.. Pull up a chair, Oliver, or sit behind that curtain, whatever you want to do,” the detective instructed and I stepped away from the side of the bed, going over towards the examination table and sitting on top of it. 

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The detective grabbed a chair from behind the curtain, pulling it around and towards Isaiah’s bed and she took a seat comfortably, her back towards me and I liked that Isaiah wanted me to stay.. He hadn’t told me everything that had happened in detail and I had to admit that I really wanted to find out.

“Don’t get angry again, all right?” Isaiah said with a grin towards me and I rolled my eyes with a smirk on my lips.

“Oh, you already told him what had happened?” The detective wondered.

“Just the gist of things.”

“All right, well.. Whenever you want to begin, I’m ready,” Detective Winchester instructed, “Just start at the beginning, right after you closed the bar,” she gave Isaiah a place to start and I watched as Isaiah took a moment to himself to remember everything that had happened.

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“Well.. Thomas and his friends had showed up before closing time, even. I didn’t know who they were at the time and my bar has a rather strict dress code, so their attire alone wouldn’t get them inside. It was obvious that they had been drinking before they had shown up, too.. They gave my coat check a hard time and I stepped in because her telling them to leave wasn’t good enough. I asked them to leave at least three times. They refused, but eventually they left when I wouldn’t let them in.”

“So, you’re saying that people within the bar could even testify that they were a problem from the start?”

“That’s right.”

“Okay, continue, please.”

“Around closing time, my manager, Gavin, had just finished his shift and left. I locked the front doors behind him and the last thing I had to do was take out the trash. I went out back and dropped everything in the dumpster, stood outside for a moment before heading home.. Before I got a chance to go back inside, Thomas and his two friends, I don’t know their names, found me in back by the loading dock. They must’ve been waiting for me or something.. The two of his friends didn’t say much, Thomas did most of the talking. I assumed they were there just for backup,” he began and I got a little angered again hearing Isaiah talk about Thomas, but I tried not to show it.

“Then what? What was Thomas saying to you? Why was he there?” The detective questioned.

“He was threatening me.. Demanding that I leave Oliver so that he could be with Thomas’ sister.”

“And that’s Jody Zepeda, correct?”

“Yes..”

“Why would Thomas be willing to do that? What does she want from Oliver?” She wondered next and Isaiah looked at me, as if asking for me to tell him what to say.

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“We have history, that’s all,” I butted in, though I made sure to keep her pregnancy hidden, “She’s just a little obsessive and I noticed it right away. I honestly wouldn’t even call her an ex-girlfriend because we never even really talked about dating, but when I called it off and didn’t want to see her anymore, she didn’t take it very well,” I continued.

The detective turned slightly to face me, “Is she still harassing you?”

“Not directly,” I lied, careful not to tell her too much about whatever I had planned for Jody up at my Uncle’s cabin, “But, I’d call sending her brother to hurt Isaiah harassment, wouldn’t you?” I asked in return.

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“Yeah, I would. Have you ever noticed her following you? At places you are that she normally wouldn’t be?”

“What do you mean, like stalking me?” I wondered and she nodded, but I wanted to make her, as well as anyone else, believe that I wasn’t involved with Jody what-so-ever, just for the sake of whatever plan my Uncle and I had for her.. In case worse came to worse, nothing that happened to Jody could ever come back to me, like my Uncle had told me, “No.. The last time I saw her was at school, we go to the same college together, but I tried my best to just avoid her completely. I’ve never noticed her doing any of that stuff,” I continued to lie.

“Okay. She still needs to be questioned, as well, we need to see if she was involved in any of this, but we’ll get to that after I’ve spoken more to both of you,” the detective replied and he faced Isaiah once more.

Shit.. If they called Jody on her cell, would she answer? Does she know that Thomas is dead? Would she actually come in for questioning and would she tell them where she was? After we were finished here, I needed to get to her before they had a chance to first.. I just hoped she was smart enough to not answer phone calls from numbers she didn’t recognize..

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“Continue, Isaiah,” she instructed and I watched as Isaiah’s view went to his lap.

“After I refused, his friends came at me first, the brunette attempting to hit me but he missed me, then the blonde came next, but I twisted his arm, hyper extending it and he couldn’t do much after that, but then Thomas managed to hit me and before I could do anything about it, the brunette was holding me from behind. It allowed Thomas an opening to take as many hits as he wanted, which is why my face is all busted up, but when he didn’t get the reaction he wanted out of me, that’s when he kicked my face, then my ribs, harder, breaking them. I fell to the ground in pain, unable to do anything and I thought-” Isaiah was forced to stop himself, hesitating a moment.

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Hearing all of this was slowly breaking my heart, I could tell that talking about this bothered him, made him uncomfortable and I couldn’t have felt more sorry for him.. None of this would’ve happened if I wasn’t with Jody.. It really is all my fault.

“You thought what?” The detective questioned.

“I thought they were going to kill me,” Isaiah finished his sentence and my view went to the floor, unable to look at him when he held such an innocent and vulnerable expression. I wouldn’t be able to live without him and I knew that as a hard fact, but I was thankful that he had come out ahead in all of this, despite his injuries.

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“Well, considering you couldn’t do much, someone came and helped you, correct?”

“Yeah,” Isaiah confirmed and I looked up, unaware that someone had helped him, but that would explain why Thomas was dead now.. Isaiah must’ve had help.

Isaiah continued, “They took out the blonde first, where he landed in front of me, then the brunette, then Thomas was last.”

“Can you describe who it was that helped you?” The detective wondered and I noticed Isaiah look over towards me, hesitating before answering.

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“No.. It was too dark,” he replied, looking towards the detective again, “My eyelids and my cheeks were swollen, my glasses knocked off of my face and broken.. Even in good lighting, I probably couldn’t tell you any details, especially without my glasses,” he answered and the detective believed Isaiah’s words, but I didn’t.. His eyes weren’t nearly as bad as he let on, and just with that one look he had given me, I knew he was lying to her.

“All right, but can you at least tell us something? Anything at all would help us greatly. Was it a man, a woman? Did they speak to you?”

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“What does it matter? They saved my life.. Besides, I don’t even really remember anything after that, I lost consciousness,” Isaiah defended.

“Because, from the scene we were called to, this didn’t look like self defense or the work of a hero, this looked vengeful. From closer investigation of the boy’s skulls, tiny pieces of wood was found in their hair and skin, even embedded in the bone.. This person used a wooden bat, most likely, if we were to guess the weapon of choice,” she explained and I could tell by the look on Isaiah’s face that they had guessed the right weapon.

Detective Winchester continued, “Whoever it was was ready for this to happen, maybe they’d been watching you for a while, waiting for the moment to help you, waiting for that moment to take his revenge out on these boys. The man already had a weapon with him,” the detective explained and I was confused by such a wild, detailed assumption.

“The man? ..His? How do you know it was a male that did this? I never said such a thing,” Isaiah noticed the detective’s intention, something I didn’t even catch, “And that’s quite the imagination you have, seeing as I don’t have anyone else in my life besides Oliver that would go to such lengths to protect me and he wasn’t even in town last night,” Isaiah put the detective in her place.

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“Well, that answers my next question, whether or not Oliver really was in town or not last night,” Detective Winchester replied, then turning back and looking at me, “Is that true, Oliver? You really weren’t in town last night?”

“That’s correct.”

“Anyone that can vouch for you on that?”

“Yeah.. My Uncle. You can call him if you’d like,” I replied, knowing my Uncle would account for me and the detective seemed skeptical.

“I think I will. Do you have anything else to add, Isaiah?” She wondered.

“No, that’s all.”

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“All right.. Do you have his number, Oliver?”

“Yeah,” I confirmed and the detective stood to her feet, walking over to me and pulling out her phone.

I recited my Uncle’s number to the detective and before she called him, I made it a point to mention something to her, “He really, really hates cops. I apologize in advance if his temper is especially short with you. He isn’t really that nice of a person,” I said with a nervous smirk and she nodded towards my apology.

“I think I can handle it, thanks,” she answered, calling my Uncle and leaving it on speaker so we all could hear the conversation. I admit, I was a little nervous about her calling my Uncle on speaker phone, but I had some confidence that it would turn out okay.

“You’re about to meet my Uncle,” I told Isaiah and the expression he held seemed nervous like I was.

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After a few rings, my Uncle answered, “Yeah? Who the hell’s this?”

“Sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. Dubois. My name is Detective Amelia Winche-”

“The fuck do you want, pig? I ain’t got shit to tell you bastards and I haven’t had anything more to say for fifteen Goddamn years.”

“Well, sir,” the detective cleared her throat, “This isn’t about that.. I was hoping to confirm something with you, all I wanted to know is- was Oliver with you last night?”

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“Of course he was, where the hell else would he be? You fuckin’ idiots, he doesn’t have anything to do with this and you’ve been hounding my family for years about nonsense that shouldn’t even be brought to light anymore! Don’t you dare bring my fucking nephew into this bullshit when he was only a child when everything happened.” 

My Uncle completely went off and I wished it wasn’t on speaker so Isaiah could hear this.. I still hadn’t told him what had happened between my parents and my Uncle, but I knew my Uncle Gareth was aware that this wasn’t about what had happened so long ago, he was just using it to get the detective to show remorse and to get off my back.

“Now, leave Oliver alone and go jump off a Goddamn cliff, or I’ll claim this as continued harassment against my family who has done nothing wrong if you don’t back the fuck off, you got it?” 

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He spoke angrily and I looked towards Isaiah who had a rather shocked expression on his face, finally able to hear the wrath of my Uncle for himself and I wanted to laugh at the detective for how shocked and rather fearful she seemed, but I refrained from doing it..

“Y-Yes, sir.. Thank you for your time, Mr. Du-”

“Don’t ever fucking call me again-” My Uncle replied and hung up instantly.

“Well.. I can’t say that you didn’t warn me,” the detective spoke with an embarrassed chuckle. I was happy that my Uncle knew exactly what was going on without even needing to give him a heads up and the only reason I was glad that it was on speaker was so my lie to Isaiah was completely believable now after hearing my Uncle vouch for me.. It made hiding everything from him a lot easier now that there was no reason for him to question me, but of course, I still felt bad in the first place about lying at all..

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“Now that that’s been confirmed, I think I have everything I need. Thank you for your time, Isaiah, I hope your recovery goes smoothly. If I have any more questions, I know where to find you,” the detective said with a genuine nature.

“Thanks,” Isaiah replied, but I wasn’t done yet.. I thought that she wanted to talk to me, but about what?

“Hey, wait.. Didn’t you want to ask me something before? Before you started to question Isaiah?” I wondered.

“Oh, well.. I don’t have the authority to talk to you anymore unless your Uncle withdraws the statement he had just made, which I don’t see happening. He considers us questioning you as harassment, no matter what it’s about, and I don’t need a lawsuit on my hands if I were to go through with those questions,” she replied, “However, if you ever wanted to talk off the record and let me ask you a few questions without you mentioning anything to your Uncle about it, feel free to give me a call,” she continued, removing a business card from her jacket pocket and handing it to me, placing it then within my pants pocket and we watched as she left.

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I looked to Isaiah and he still seemed surprised with what he had heard, “Well, that was.. Interesting.”

“To say the least,” I replied and he chuckled softly.

“I see where Kat gets her art of intimidation from, and why you walked out last Thanksgiving and needed a drink,” he answered and I laughed nervously, stepping over towards Isaiah’s bed and taking a seat next to him.

“Yeah, he’s, uh.. He’s pretty brash,” I replied, looking to him for a moment and eventually I lost whatever smile I had, seeing Isaiah notice my concern from earlier returning.

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“I’m so sorry this happened to you.. If I was home.. If I was in town when this happened-”

“Just stop,” he cut me off, “How many times do I need to remind you that this isn’t your fault?” He asked rhetorically. 

“I don’t think there’s enough times that you need to tell me that..”

“Stop thinking about it. It’s not your fault, none of this is. Promise me you’ll stop blaming yourself for this.. All this was was immaturity, something comprised solely on selfishness and none of this reflects on to you. Promise me,” he stressed and I nodded.

“All right.. I promise,” I confirmed and I watched him smile softly.

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We then heard the door open and a nurse came into our view, “Time for your pain meds again. They’re going to make you sleepy, too,” she began, walking to the other side of his bed and handing him the medication.

“I don’t want them. I don’t want to sleep, it’s three in the afternoon, anyways,” Isaiah contested, but the nurse pressured him.

“Sorry, doctors orders.. And if you don’t take these pills now, you’re going to be in a lot of pain again very soon.”

“Fine,” Isaiah expressed reluctantly, taking the pills anyways and swallowing them without any water.

“I’ll be back later to check on you again,” she said to Isaiah with a smile and she then left the room.

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“Come here.. Lie down with me, like I wanted you to earlier,” he invited, smiling softly and I smiled in return, fulfilling his wish and I positioned myself as comfortably as I could next to him, being aware enough not to wrap my arm around his torso so I didn’t touch his ribs. It felt so good to lie with him again, I missed it far too much.

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After roughly ten minutes of simply lying together, Isaiah brought something up, “I’ve been thinking about something.. If you don’t want to answer, I completely understand.”

“It’s okay, go ahead.”

“What was your Dad like?” He asked and that wasn’t the question I was expecting.. I thought he would ask about what my Uncle had said on the phone, but maybe, just for the fact that I avoided my past with Isaiah, he knew I still wasn’t quite ready to talk about what exactly happened to my family.

“..What do you mean?”

“Well.. You know about my parents. It’s all work, work, work for them. Always has been and that’s all I really ever knew, but.. I don’t know. Before he left, what was he like? Do you remember it vividly, or not much at all anymore?” He questioned and I thought for a moment.

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“He was.. Really great, actually, at least from what I can remember..” I replied.

“Really?”

“Yeah.. He was always there for me.. Camilla, too. He always got me ready for school in the morning before work because Camilla wasn’t in preschool yet and my mom would usually be busy making breakfast.. It was pretty much his job to make sure we were dressed and ready for the day before he went to his actual job. He’d take Camilla to work with him and watch her the entire time he was there if my mom didn’t want to handle her.. He was a manager of a bookstore, he pretty much owned that place when the actual owner wasn’t there, but he still pulled it off, even when watching my sister.. Sometimes I’d go to my mom’s bakery after school when I had a bad day and wanted a ride home at five.. Otherwise, most of the time, I’d walk further just to go to the bookstore where I knew my dad and Camilla were and I didn’t mind staying there until whenever the bookstore closed,” I replied.

“Wow, I never knew that..”

“Yeah.. I usually went to the bookstore because I’d want to take some of the stress off my dad, watching Camilla for him so he didn’t have to worry about her while he was at work.”

“That’s sweet of you. I knew you were a good person now, but you were a good person even when you barely hit double digits in age,” he answered, chuckling softly to myself at the thought of it.

“Well, my mom gave my dad a hard time whenever he didn’t want to bring us to work with him, so I figured helping out with my sister for him would be best for everyone,” I replied, but, little did I know then that my mom didn’t want to watch us most days at the bakery in case my Uncle wanted to drop by..

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“I knew you were a fragile person when I met you, but I had no idea just how perfect you were.. You were taking care of your dad and your sister.. And your mother, in a way, even at such a young age,” he replied and I took it as a compliment, which is how I knew he meant it.

“I’m not that fragile..” I defended and he laughed quietly.

“I know, but.. I think that’s why I love you so much,” he hesitated, looking up to him a little and he continued, “You’re so sensitive, but it’s not a bad thing. You’re compassionate, caring, you know what you want, you know what needs to be done. You’re responsible.. I think that’s why you blame yourself with everything that happens to me, because you just don’t have as much control over it as when you were a kid, like being able to take care of Camilla. If you can’t prevent it, or can’t help, like you want to, you feel guilty,” he replied and I couldn’t deny his words.

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“Yeah, maybe you’re right..” I replied, realizing he had learned so much more about me just by describing a little of my childhood, “I think this is why I love you, too.. You’re understanding.. You’re the most open minded person I’ve ever met and I can’t even fathom where I’d be without someone like you. You accept everything that comes with me, the good and the bad,” I responded.

“I love you.. So much that I can’t even put it into words, Oliver,” he expressed and I wanted to hug him as hard as I could, but I knew I couldn’t because I would cause him pain.

“I love you, too,” I replied, feeling his arm that was around me hug me closer to him and there was a short silence between us, then hearing him groan softly.. The medication must’ve started working.

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“We should get married. You should marry me,” Isaiah brought up, as if fully convinced that it was the best idea he had ever had and instantly my heart was racing. Where the hell did that come from?

“That was.. A little random,” I said with a nervous chuckle, “Was that a proposal..?”

“Nooo, that would be such a shitty proposal. I want to do it right. Make you dinner, light candles, buy something sexy to wear so you simply just can’t resist me,” he joked and I couldn’t help but laugh softly.

“I look forward to it.”

“You’re going to be such a great dad, too.. I’m jealous.. want kids with you, it’s not fair,” he said with a slight whine in his tone and I kept the smile plastered on my lips.

“I think this is the drugs talking..”

“No waaayy, I mean it. We need at least two or three.. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Or do you want more?” He asked with a somewhat groggy tone. Yeah, definitely the drugs talking.

“Okay, okay.. We’ll talk about it some other time, just get some rest,” I encouraged.

“Fiinneee.. Then tell me more.. More about your dad,” he answered, knowing just by the sound of his voice that not only did the pain pills kick in, the effects of making him tired were kicking in, too, and I knew he’d be out like a light soon.

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“All right, uhm.. You know how my favorite color is Spiceberry?”

“Yeah,” he exhaled softly, knowing he’d be asleep before I finished this story.

“This one time.. I didn’t want to go to school because I got made fun of because my backpack was that color.. It was a dark pink, for Christ’s sake,” I continued and he chuckled softly as he grew groggy and tired, but, I still continued, “He noticed I didn’t want to go to school because of it, kids used to call me princess because of the color of my backpack and I told him that.. But, he said to me- Just ignore them, they only do that because they’re jealous of it,’.. I didn’t believe that, because what boy that age would be jealous of a girls backpack?” I said with a soft chuckle.

“I like your pink backpack.. It’s adorable,” he replied quietly, on the edge of falling asleep and I smiled to his words.

“And you know what?”

“..Hmm..?”

“I did ignore those guys.. I tried my best, at least, and he was right, they eventually did stop and I managed to get through less stressful schooling. They didn’t have much else to make fun of me for and I did really well in school without the distraction of stuff like that.. I’ve had the same backpack since.. All I really have left of my dad is a handful of memories and that backpack..” I finished.

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I looked up, seeing Isaiah completely asleep and I smiled, moving a little closer against him and I held him the tightest I could without hurting him. I was so comfortable just lying with him.. Even though the situation we were in like this, I was even a little, regrettably, happy that this had happened.. Who knew when we would’ve shared what we had together if not for today, like this. Of course, I hated where we were and how hurt he was, but I felt so much closer to him.. We understood one another more than I ever could’ve hoped to, and I thought this every day of my life, but I would be completely and utterly lost without him in my life.

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I laid with Isaiah for roughly half an hour, just lying there, completely awake as he slept, holding him until I grew thirsty and I wanted to go get something to drink and I decided to get up.. I slowly sat up, carefully removing his arm from around me and I let it lie upon the bed, standing up and watching him as I made my way towards the door to make sure he didn’t wake up and as quietly as I could, I stepped out of his room and shut the door behind me. I had no intention of leaving, wanting to only grab a bottle of water or pop to re-hydrate as I stayed with him, but when I approached the vending machine, I noticed that Detective Winchester was still here within the hospital.

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It’s as if she was waiting for me, looking at me once I had shut Isaiah’s door and I slowed my pace as I walked towards the vending machine.

“Ahh, Mr. Dubois.. Have a few minutes to chat?”

 

Next Chapter, Part 2 |