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Old 03/15/11, 02:38 PM   #1
TaJaDoru
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Default Broken Promises


This is Rated "R" for mild sexual scenes that may not be appropriate for Children and intense Violence.

A/N: All the characters, places, names, and things in this fic are all mine, and nobody touches them at all.


"That Bastard!" Corrie Jones yelled.

"Calm down, Cor," I said. My hands were folded in my lap, and the tears were still silently running down my face. I still couldn't beleive that this happened to me, even though he said that he loved me.

I was a reporter for Charming Times, Thunder Hills premeire magazine. I'd been working there since I was eighteen, and I was happy. I find that my personal life, at times, relates to the stories that I uncover, like this last one that I did. This time, though....my life is the story.

Oh, sorry....my names Natalie Rose, and this is a broken promise.

I've dedicated my life to finding the story. I uncovered a hell of a lot of shit in school, and throughout my adult life as well. Thunder Hills has a lot of stories that need to be uncovered. Thefts, Murders, rapes, crooked cops, anything, I find it. I didn't know that my biggest story would be right under my nose, though.

My life wasn't the best growing up. My mom was murdered when I was five, and my dad wasn't the best. He liked to hit me and my sister. HE hit Melinda hard enough one night that when she hit the floor, she didn't get back up. I watched as he let her die without a trace of remorse, and I called the cops on him. I didn't let her death be for nothing. He swore that he'd get me, but I was placed with a nice foster family that treated me like I deserved.

Thats a different story, though.

After 23 years of perfection, I met hte one guy that I thought was perfect: Adam Blackwell. He was twenty-six, brown hair that didn't follow the natural hair rules, the most amazing and peircing blue eyes, and a great looking body. He was perfect in every single way possible.

I didn't know that the slimy bastard was keeping a dark secret, though.

"Adam?" I asked one morning as I watched him get ready for work.

"What is it, babe?" he asked, sitting on the bed and pulling his shoes on.

"What's this?" I asked, holding up a business card. It was a silver card with a lipstick impression on the back. It had a number but no name.

"It's a business card, thats all, baby. An associate of mine signs her cards like that," he said. He stood up and walked over to me, and he put his arms around her. "I"ll be late getting home. I'm supposed to be sealing the Silvermane deal tonight. I'll be home by eleven, though." He kissed me and he put his hand on my cheek. "I love you and I'll see you tonight."

"Alright. I love you too," I said.

I was fucking dumb enough to beleive him.

After a while, I started getting more and more curious, and I knew that I couldn't dig while he was home. I knew that he liked the newest club in Thunder Hills, Stonems. He was a regular from what I was able to find out.

I followed him in Corries car, knowing that he dind't know what kind it was. I knew that he would be at the club, and I went inside and secluded myself before he could spot me. I watched him as he got a bit too comfy with a girl, and I growled. He put his hands on her waist, and he held her closely as they danced to some slow songs. I watched in horror as he kissed her, their tongues looking like they were playing hockey with each others tonsils.

Her hands tried to go lower on his body, and she stopped at his belt line, a dark look on her face....one that was mirrored on his. I watched as they walked out of the club, and I was in shock.

"The fuck!?" I growled.

Sitting at that table, I was stunned. I didn't know what to do, think, or say. I wasn't moving. I didn't realize, until a few minutes later, that someone was standing next to my table. I looked up, and I saw that I was staring at a man of about 22, silver eyes, and a great smile.

"Umm...hi...umm...I was wondering if you'd like to join me?" he asked. "Oh...sorry. I'm James."

He held his hand out, and I took it, shaking.

"Natalie, and I'd love to," I said. I gathered my things, my purse and coat and went with him, sitting down and starting to talk with him.

As we talked about everything from love to work to what our childhoods were like, I realized that this guy was a hell of a lot better then Adam ever hoped to be. That was when I made a split desicion. I got up and I pulled his chair back, staddling his lap. I put my hands on his face, and I kissed him.

I felt the result of the kiss at once, moaning a bit into it. Adam can cheat on me, but I can't get back at the bastard by doing something that I want? I don't think so. I thought. I felt James' hands on my waist, and a small moan escaped my lips.

"I...mm...take it that there is more....where that came from?" James asked, his voice little more then a whisper as we seperated from the kiss.

"Yes," I breathed, kissing him again.

We decided that we would finish that after we left, and I wiggled the keys to my car. He stood up, and he took my hand and helped me out of the Club. We both had a naughty glint in our eyes, and we knew that this night would end on a climax for us both.

I kept my hand on his thigh, inching closer every few seconds towards the one thing that I wanted. I could tell that I was getting to him, because as he drove, he moaned a bit every time I moved my hand.

We pulled into a two story house a few minutes later, and I got out of the car, amazed at the house. I realized that we were on the south side of Thunder Hills, and I was ready for this. Adam had been neglecting me for too long, and i was ready.We walked inside, and I don't think that we made it all of ten feet past the door because i jumped him and kissed him again, my hands wandering on him.

I vaugely remember him picking me up, his hands on my ass as he walked into the bedroom, but that was the last thing until the next morning. I woke up and looked around, James' hand still on my stomach. I thought about it, and I realized that I had slept with him, just to get even with Adam.

"What the hell?" I asked myself. I got up, holding the blanket to my chest as I went into the bathroom, planning on a shower. As the water hit my back, I started thinking.

Did I really have to do that? Just because Adam was fucking another girl, does that mean that it's alright for me to fuck some random dude that I met at a club? I realized that this had been going on for a while now with Adam, and I was going to get to the bottom of it.

"What are you doing, Natty? Sleeping with him? THat doesn't make it right, babe," I said, drying my hair. I walked back into the bedroom, thankful that my clothes were in a pile on the floor by the door. I got dressed as quickly and quietly as I could, and I snuck out.

I heard my phone ring, the familiar tone of "I Swear" playing, knowing that Adam had to be wondering where the hell I was since I didn't go home.

"I swear....I need to change that ringtone now. Bad Romance is more like it for us," I growled. Ignorning the call, I got in my Camaro, speeding down to Corries, having texted her saying that I was on my way.

When I got there, she pulled me in her house, looking me in the eyes. "What the hell are you playing at? Not answering the Cell, not returning any texts, didn't bother telling me what the hell you were doing, plus still being in the clothes that you wore to lunch yesterday? What's going on, Nat?" she asked.

"I'm sorry, Cor...I was out last night, and I didn't want to be disturbed while I thought. Plus, I'm a bit on the depressed side," I whispered. I watched as he eyes fell from my face, and I closed my eyes, sighing as I sat back against the couch, putting my head in my heads.

"You're lying to me," Corrie said, looking at me. "Look...I'm your best friend, Natty. Tell me whats's going on."

"FINE! I was trailing Adam last night, and he and some skank started getting a bit too friendly for me, such as groping and grabbing each other. I sat stunned, and I saw a dude walk up to the table, and I looked up. I saw a cute guy, and after a few drinks, I kissed him. I ended up sleeping with him, but if Adam "Mr. Fucking Perfect" Blackwell can cheat, why the fuck can't I?" I growled.

"Just because the good-for-nothing slimeball douche chunks can cheat, it doesn't make it right for you to do it, either," Corrie said, looking at me.

"I did it because I felt good," I said, my eyes blazing. "I wanted it and so did James."

Corrie had been getting ready to speak, but she closed her mouth and licked her lips a bit. "Did....did you say James?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said. "Why?"

"Umm...silver eyes, brown hair?" Corrie asked me.

"Yes," I said.

"It's my brother," Corrie said.

"Oh....shit.....that's awkward...." I muttered.

Corrie nodded, spinning her drink around. "Yeah...look....umm...go home. I'll cover this time," she said. "Go home, get some sleep, and we'll talk later."

"Alright," I whispered.

I walked out and got back in the car, not bothering to text Adam and tell him that I was on the way. I drove back, and I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. I pulled into the house, and I got out. I put Corrie on speaker, and I walked in, not talking any chances. I'm glad now that I did....

"BITCH!" Adam yelled, slapping me across the face. He brought his knee up, driving it into my stomach. I fell gasping to the ground, and I flew back as he kicked me again. "You think that it's fucking fine for you to fuck some other dude?! You're mine, bitch, and that trap of yours is all mine, not some hotshot punk that you pick up!"

Fighting the pain in my stomach, I stood shakily. I spat the blood out that was in my mouth from the slap, and I growled.

"I slept with him because you broke my heart, you bastard!" I yelled. "You left with Ms. Blonde Bimbo at the club after letting her run her hands down the front of your jeans in the middle of the fucking floor!"

As Adam started towards me again, I felt my heart racing. I was going to die...BOOM I heard. I saw Adam fall to the floor, a bullet hole in his shoulder. I hit the ground, my entire body shaking as I puked. I couldn't take it....he'd never hit me before....ever....

As I shook, I felt strong, and shockingly familiar arms around me. I felt him, and I knew that I was safe with him.

"James..." I whispered, even my voice shaking.

"I've got you, Natty," he whispered, picking me up.

I may have passed out in the car, but when I woke up I was lying in a bed in the back of a house, a house that wasn't mine. I looked around, and I saw him...

"Welcome back," Jame whispered, the fear in his eyes evident that he'd been worrying about me.

"What....what did I do, James? Did I do something wrong?" I whispered, fresh hot tears streaking down my face.

"You didn't do anything wrong, Natty," he whispered, moving from his chair to sit beside me and hold me again. That's what I needed....someone holding me that wouldn't hurt me.

I heard Corrie walk in, and I realized then where I was. I felt Corries arms around me from the back, and I leaned into her more then James, but I knew that it was because of him that I was alive.

"Natalie," Corrie whispered. "Because of your gut, you're still alive, baby. James is right, though....you did nothing wrong."

I started shaking again, and James kissed my forehead, and I flinched. He put his hand on my cheek, and I leaned into it. As he brushed his thumb across the cheek, I felt the tears falling again. I couldn't speak because it was hard for me to breathe, and I shuddered, knowing that I shouldn't be flinching from him.

"I"m sorry," I whispered, my voice sounding weak to me.

"It's alright, Natty," he whispered.

All that I could do was nod. I could hear him singing, and I felt myself relax in his arms. The last coherant thought that I had was that he was a damn good singer. I fell asleep a few minutes later, my entire body shutting down. I felt safe and secure with James there, and I knew that he wasn't going to hurt me.

I wish then that I knew what Adam was planning on doing....I was being hunted now.

I had a handprint on my face from his slap, as well as a bruise on my stomach from where the fucking bastard kicked me. I went and looked, and I growled. My stomach was a purple color, and I hit my knees. I whined a bit in pain, and I wiped my eyes.

"Nat?" James asked, peeking his head around the door to the bathroom. he knelt beside me, and he put his hand on the handprint. "I want to kill him for that."

"I know, James...I know that you do," I whispered. "James, I..."

"I know, Natalie," he whispered. "Come with me."

I let him help me up, and we walked ouside. I looked around, and I gasped. What I saw was amazing: trees lined all over, beech, oak, ash, cherry....a small lake about a half mile down from where I was standing on the back porch of the house, and I smiled.

I started down to the lake, and I walked about three inches in, just enough to litterally get my feet wet. I felt completely at ease and peace....I should have know that it wouldn't last.

Corrie walked out, and i knew that something was wrong. I went and tan to her, and she fell into my arms, a blood stain on her yellow shirt.

"Corrie! Corrie, no! JAMES!" I yelled. Corrie slipped out of my arms, her head landing in the lake as she floated away, a trail of bloody water following behind her. I hit my knees, and I started shaking again.

James ran down, his gun in hand. Looking at Corrie, he fired two shots, the bullets whizzing right past me. A half inch eiher way, and the bullets would have taken my ears off, that's how close they were. I heard a rustling in the trees behind me, and i turned to look, and i saw two bodies with bullet holes in their foreheads fall.

The last thing that I saw was the sky as I hit my back and passed out. I heard a scuffle, but I didn't think anything about it since I was as good as dead. I fully passed out a few seconds later, and I knew that I was dead.

When I woke up, I realized that I'd been restrained, and I had a ball gag in my mouth. Whoever this was, they were kinky, and I wasn't in the mood. I pulled against the restraints in the chair, and I growled.

"Don't bother struggling, Natalie," a sickling sweet female voice said. "Not like it'll do you any good, anyway, bitch."

"Now, now, Madison.....that's enough," Adams voice growled. "Well....this is a shocker. I aim for the asshole cop, and I get my girlfriend. Nice to see you again, Natalie. I'd expect an answer, but you're a bit tied up at the moment."

He laughed at his own lame joke, and I growled. I hated feeling helpless, and I felt like I did as a kid when Dad used to beat me...I hate this...I really did.

"You hould have known not to fuck with me, Rose. It's not going to do you any good in the long run, and I don't think that it did right now, either," Adam growled, taking the gag out of my mouth. "You're all mine, babe, and you're going to be begging for death when Madison and I get done with you."

As the sick bastard leaned in as if he was going to kiss me, I spat in his face. "Fuck you, asshole. I hate you, and I should have seen through you the first day, but I was so blinded by my lust that I didn't!" I yelled.

As he wiped the spit from his face, he raised his hand. "Ungrateful bitch!" he yelled, about an inch from my face.

I braced for the slap that would break my neck, but it didn't come. A blast of light into the small room stopped him, catching his attention.

ADAM AND MADISON BLACKWELL, WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED. IT'S TIME THAT YOU ALL GIVE UP IN THERE. YOU KNOW THAT YOU WON'T SURVIVE, ADAM. JUST GIVE UP! I heard James' voice yell into a megaphone.

"Son of a bitch!" Adam growled.

"JAMES!" I screamed, hoping that he'd hear me. "I'm in here!"

I heard the door get kicked in, and I screamed. Three rounds were fired, and two bodies slumped to the floor. I looked over at Adam and Madison, and I could see the wound in her head, as well as the one in Adams. He had a second wound in his shoulder, and i was happy that he was dead.

One of the guys that kicked in the door walked over and knelt beside me. He took off his helmet, and I was so releived. He undid the restraints on my arms and legs, and I fell into James' arms.

"Natty, you're alright," he whispered. "You're safe. It's over, baby."

"James," I whispered. I knew that I was safe now that I had him back, and i didn't plan on doing anything but being held by him. I couldn't see, but that was because of the tears in my eyes.

"Shhh...." he whispered.

A few minutes, or hours, later, I felt like I was floating. I could tell that I was hooked up to some monitors and an IV, but that was becausethe IV was in the back of my hand and itching. I opened my eyes, and I looked around, seeing the room that i was in. Sunflowers, daisies, and the most beautiful Red Roses that I'd ever seen were waiting for me when I looked. I felt the first smile on my face that I'd had in a long time, and i looked over at the one person that I wanted to see.

"Welcome back, beautiful," James whispered. He put his hand on my leg, and even through the blankets I felt goosebumps on my skin. "We got him."

"I know, James...I know," I whispered. "Is Corrie--?"

"Yeah," James said, his eyes dropping to the floor.

I knew that she was dead when I dropped her at the lake, but I wanted to be sure. I felt my chest tighten up, and I started crying. I had lost my best friend, the one person that I loved like a sister through everything.

"Natty," James whipsered.

"It's all my fault," I whipsered. "If i Hadn't been so stupid...this wouldn't have happened..."

"It is not," James said. "Stop blaming yourself, Natalie. Please. It's not your fault, baby."

I nodded, and I sighed a bit. I knew that I'd have to do something that would hurt more then me, but I knew that it was the right choice. I didn't want to do this, but I didn't see any other option.

"James...knowing Adam, he'll have people that are going to be tracking me," I whispered. My own voice sounded distant to me. "I have to leave..."

"I'm coming with you," James said almost automatically.

"No," I said. "James, don't....I can't lose you at all. It's too dangerous."

"I can protect you, fight for you," James said.

"No, James!" I yelled. "I can't lose you. I don't want you getting hurt because of me."

"Alright, Natalie," he whispered. "I just wish that you'd let me."

"I know, but I don't want to lose anyone else that I love," I said.

James looked at me, putting his hand on my cheek. He leaned in and kissed me, and I closed my eyes, leaning in and kissing him back.

"I love you, Natalie, and I hope that you'll come back someday and see me," he whispered.

"I love you, too, James, and i"ll try. I really will try. I'll come home one day, I swear," I said.

That was the last time that I saw him. I got out of the hospital two days later, and I packed and left for Los Angeles that same day. I changed my name, and I hoped that would throw off whoever was tracking me.

"Um, excuse me," I heard.

I turned and saw a woman of about thirty, black hair, silver eyes, and I smiled. "Hi," I said. "Are you--?"

"I"m Demetria," she said. "And that must make you Melinda."

"That's me," I said with a smile on my face.

Finally, it lookedl ike my life was looking up. Adam was dead, I was free and clear from that life. I had someone that loved me, even if he was a few hundred miles away back in Thunder Hills, and i had a good job. Little did I know that surprises were just getting started for me, though.
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Old 03/15/11, 02:47 PM   #2
TaJaDoru
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Default RE: Broken Promises

PART TWO: The Dreams and Nightmares

It'd been five years since I'd left James and moved to LA, changing my name from Natalie to Melinda, but that didn't matter now. I hadn't let any one else in like I had let him in, and I knew that I had to let him know that I was safe, so I did the one thing that I could think of.

James,

I want to see you. Can you meet me at the Corner of 156th and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles this Thursday? I need to see you, and I need to talk to you. There’s something that you need to know.

Love, Natty.

I sent the letter, and I knew that he'd jump at the chance to be with me again. I smiled, hoping that he would come out. I really did have something that I wanted to tell him, and I hoped that he'd be a bit surprised. I knew that I was when I found out, and I know that in his heart he can love this as much as I do.

I got off work early, and I drove out to the Daycare, and I smiled as I saw her. About five years old, blonde hair like mine, and silver eyes like James, Coraline Amanda Rose, my daughter, smiled and ran over to me.

"Mama!" she giggled, jumping up.

"Hey, Corrie," I said, smiling and kissing her cheek. "How’s Mama's girl?"

When Corrie would smile at me, I knew that she'd grow up to be just like James, something that I prayed everyday for.

"I’m good, Mama. Ms. Jackson let me play Dress-up!" she giggled. She moved around onto my neck, something that I didn't mind, and she kissed my cheek.

"Really? I bet that you looked oh-so pretty," I said. We walked out to the car, and I put her in the car seat. I kissed her forehead, and I smiled at her. "You my big girl?"

"Yeah, Mama. I am," she said. "Mama, can I ask a quessy?"

She called questions quessies, but that was because I was still teaching her. I looked at her in the mirror, and I nodded. I didn't know that her question would hit me like it did, though.

"Sure, cutie," I said. I wish that I had been prepared for it.

"Where’s Daddy?" she asked, looking at me in the cute way that she did when she would tilt her head and close her eyes a bit.

I sat in the front seat, and I felt the tears fall down my face. I wish that she had have asked where babies come from instead, because I didn't know how to answer her.

"Well, sweetie...Daddy isn't here. I told you about the things that happened to me a long time ago before you were born, and I left Daddy where I grew up. Daddy had other things that he had to do, and I didn't want him getting hurt because of me," I said. "I didn't tell him about you yet..."

I wiped my eyes, and I waited for a blowup, something along the lines of her yelling and telling me that she hated me. I wasn't expecting this.

"Oh...why didn't you let Daddy stay?" she asked.

"I told you, baby...I left before I found out that I was pregnant with you, and I realized at work today helping the people that I had to tell him about you, so I sent him an email. I asked him to meet us this week at the Cafe," I said.

She was sharp, something that I was glad that she got from him. She seemed to take a lot from James, and that was something that I hoped would carry on into her adult life. I pulled out of the parking lot at the Daycare, and I started the twelve mile drive home, thinking the entire way. When I pulled into the driveway at the house, I helped her out of the car and she kissed my cheek.

"I didn't mean to upset Mama if I did," she whispered.

"You didn't sweetie," I said. "Go put your play clothes on, and come out into the backyard with Mama."

"Ok," she said, jumping down and running into her room.

I collapsed into my chair in the dining room, getting a Pepsi and drinking most of it in one gulp. In my heart I knew that James would be a little upset at me for not telling him about Corrie, but I didn't want to tear him away from anything that was important to him back in Thunder Hills. It had been a long five years since losing Corrie, my best friend. I had realized that I took a lot for granted, and I hoped that someday I could make it up to her.

I went into my room upstairs, and I changed into a pair of silver shorts and a pink tank, walking downstairs and into the backyard. I sat on the lounger that I had by the pool, but seeing that the weather was turning colder, I didn't have the pool filled, but it wasn't cold enough to have jackets, so lounging in the chair with Corrie was something that I loved doing.

"Mama!" Corrie giggled, walking out to me. She was walking funny, but that was when I saw the problem: her pink shirt was on inside out and backwards, and her iCarly shoes were on the wrong feet. "Help."

I went over and picked her up, and I smiled. "Silly, girl," I said. "Come on. Let Mama help you." I got her clothes situated on her, and I smiled. "There. All better and still so pretty." She snuggled in close, and I knew that she was getting ready for a nap.

"I loves you, Mama," she said, a yawn punctuating the words. She was asleep almost instantly, and when I saw her torso moving in a steady rhythm,********I smiled.

"I love you, too, Corrie," I said. I felt my own breathing slide into a steady rhythm, and I was asleep almost as instantly.

It was what came next that changed my life again. I was running, running, always running, and I looked around, seeing nothing but the pitch-black that was surrounding me. I felt like I was on fire, and my lungs were screaming for air. I heard laughing, and I looked up, seeing a face that I hadn't seen in five years. Adam had James in one hand, Corrie in the other. He dropped them both, and I lunged for Corrie.

"I'm sorry, James," I said, not knowing if he would hear me. I screamed, grabbing Corrie out of the air as James hit the ground, and I knew from the sound that his body made on the ground that he was dead. I shielded Corrie, and I felt the scream tear through my throat as fire hit me in a thousand places.

"Mama!?!?" Corrie yelled. I could feel her shaking me, and I knew that I was still sleeping.

I gasped, sitting straight up in the lounger, my arms going around Corrie protectively. I looked around, my breathing heavy as I scanned, all of my senses on higher alert then ever before. Corrie tapped my nose, and I looked at her.

"Mama?" she whispered, scared.

"I’m alright, baby. I had a bad dream, that's all. Mama had a scary," I said. I knew that it was more then that, but I didn't want to push anything.

Adam was dead, but was that dream all that it was, or was there something hidden in it? I didn’t want to worry James or Corrie, so I did the one thing that I could. I put Corrie to bed, and I called Demetria. She didn’t answer the phone for a few minutes, but when I heard her, she sounded like she was out of breath.

“Dee? Can I talk to you?” I asked, a bit wary at what I was hearing on the other end of the line. When I heard her breathing pick up, I realized a little too late what was happening to her on the other end of the line, and I felt my face, neck, and upper torso get red with embarrassment.

“Oh, god….wait, stop….hang on…..ooh….damn, David….I said wait…..shit…..” Demetrias voice said, her voice and tone punctuated with not just ecstasy, but also with the desire that it sounded like she hadn’t had in a long time. ”Mel….hi….can I call you back in a while? Oh…..fu-….I’ll call you back….” As she hung up the phone, I found myself shaking some.

“Yuck,” I groaned, reaching into the cabinet and getting the bottle of Vodka that I kept there for occasions such as that. I realized then that it had been over five years since I met James that night in the club. I set my phone down and put the bottle back in the cabinet, and I reached for my phone again. I dialed a number that I hadn’t dialed in a long time. “James?”

When he picked up, I could hear the uncertainty in his voice. I wanted to tell him that I missed him, and I did, but I didn’t want to start anything that I couldn’t finish over the phone with him. I missed him….and I wish that I had him with me at that moment because of how scared I was.

”Natty? James’ voice, uncertainty running in his voice, said. I could tell just from his tone that he was as nervous about this as I was, and I wanted to tell him the truth.

“Yeah…it’s me,” I said, sitting at the island in the middle of the kitchen. “James…I need to see you. Now. I can’t keep this from you anymore….there’s something that you need to know.”

“Alright, Natalie. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” James said. I didn’t want him coming here. I’d lose him if that happened. I was planning on cutting that off as soon as I could.

“No. I’ll come to you. Can you meet me somewhere familiar for us both?” I asked, my voice shaking as I hoped he knew where I meant.

“The house. I’ll be there in an hour. Natalie….you’re not hiding anything on me, are you?” he asked me, and I knew that I was busted.

“Yeah…but you’re going to love her anyway,” I said. “I’ll tell you more later. I’ll see you soon.” I hung up before he had a chance to say anything, and I sighed. “Fuck….this isn’t the way that I wanted him to meet Corrie….”
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James, meanwhile, had gotten up from his bed, the woman next to him moaning as she turned and tried to pull him down. He looked at the ring on his finger, and he set it on the pillow, writing a note that said that he was sorry and that he needed to leave for something bigger then his marriage to her. It was rocky, away, the two of them always fighting and him having been in the hospital for all work-related stuff.

He packed his bag, and he started towards his car, getting in and speeding off towards Natalie and the house that his sister, Corrie, owned at one time before her death five years before, hoping to once more find Natalie and have the girl that he loves back in his life. His marriage was over, and he didn’t want to stay in it when all she did was get drunk and destroy things before she’d pass out on the bed at night. As James pulled into the driveway at Corries house, he sat on the front steps, shaking his head.
__________________________________________________ __

As I pulled out of my driveway and started out towards Thunder Hills again, Corrie was sitting in the backseat with her head on her Power Rangers pillow and curled up sleeping. I was envious of her being able to sleep no matter the situation, and I wished that I was five years old again before I remembered what happened to me then. I shook my head as I pulled into the driveway of Corrie’s house about two hours later, an hour later then when I promised James, but I knew that he’d understand. I recognized him instantly, sitting on the steps and listening to his iPod, a song playing that he was mouthing the words along to perfectly. From my distance, I could see it: watchin' you walk away and never knowin’, what could have been….

I got out of the car, Corrie in my arms as she groaned awake. “Mama? Where are we know?” she asked, rubbing the sleep from her eyes that had accumulated over the course of the drive.

“This is where Mama stayed when things would happen to her in the past, baby girl,” I said, running my hand in her hair and kissing her cheek. “This used to be my friend Corrie’s house, the same girl that you’re named after. We’re here to see an old friend of Mama’s.”

“Is it Daddy?” she asked, nuzzling against me and closing her eyes. She knew why we were there, even at two in the morning. I sighed as I ran my hand along her back, smiling a little.

“Yeah, honey…it is,” I whispered, looking over at James who had started toward us from the step, stowing his iPod back into his pocket.

“Natty,” he whispered, walking forward and putting his hand on my cheek as if he was trying to see if I was really there or if I was an illusion to him.

“James,” I whispered, leaning into his hand and pulling myself closer to him, wrapping my free arm around him and hugging him again. I clung to him for what felt like an eternity, and when I pulled back, I could see the confusion in his eyes as he looked at my…our…daughter. “James, my love….this is one of the reasons that I wanted to see you. I want you to meet Coraline Amanda Jones, or as me and all of her friends call her, Corrie. I named her after your sister.”

“Hi, Corrie,” James said, smiling at the little girl. His eyes went wide as he saw her eyes, the exact same shade of silver as his, and he looked at me. “Natty….is this--?”

I nodded, and Corrie reached out for him. He took her supported her weight, letting her wrap her arms around his neck. She smiled as she looked at him, poking at his face in silent wonder, and I held in the giggle that was threatening me.

“James…meet your daughter,” I said, smiling at James and Corrie. “Can we go in? I’ll explain in there so that we’re not standing on the street at two in the morning trying to explain about what happened to me after I left five years ago. Please?”

James nodded, and he made sure that Corrie was secure in his arms when he opened the door, leading us back into the house that housed so many memories, a few that were more painful the rest, especially after the last time that I was there because of Adam.
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