Realistic/Modern The Visitor

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,901
"She's dead?"

For a moment he wasn't sure how to respond. But... He just nodded. He didn't shed tears. Maybe it was something he saw coming.

"You're a sick bitch if you'd ever want to put a kid through that." He whispered, "I'm guessing you don't have children, do you?" He looked at the table, "When you do, it's hard to make decisions, and in those cases where someone else's child is at risk, or something happens to them, or you even hear bad about them... Part of you can't help but feel sorry." He shut his eyes. "Part of you wants to help them. You see, there's a certain struggle and dedication behind parenting that not many people talk about." He explained. "When you see someone else's kid jump down from a short ledge, or when you see them trip and hit the ground, part of you panics and you want to run over and help them. We get comfort in knowing that you're able to, should it ever be needed."

"This time, with my Alice, it wasn't like that." He said, "She was out playing with her friends, only down the street. She'd always been safe because there was always at least one parent watching them play together. It was also a quiet neighborhood. You know how it is - we had a neighborhood watch and everything. It was meant to be safe, but..." He shook his head a little. "She wasn't."

There was a long silence from him.

"They think it was when she was walking back to the house that she got snatched." He said, "Just like that, up and gone. How do you deal with that sort of news?" He asked, "I knew there was nothing I could do, and I knew that by the end of that night, if she wasn't dead she was probably wishing that she was. It killed me to think of her like that, and that's when Jacob came to me." He gulped, "He told me exactly that, that she was already gone and there was no hope for her - but he knew who was responsible." He nodded, "He knew the people who could have helped her but didn't."

"My wife was... In bed. She had been all day. She didn't... She didn't work with me." He gulped, "She didn't even speak to me. She gave up while there was still a chance." He said, "And I was left to be taken as well." He said. "He told me how The Visitor hand-picks his targets. He doesn't choose them at random." He said, "Don't you understand that it's not the kids he wants?" He whispered, "He wants to cause the most suffering possible. Why do you think he hasn't targeted orphans or children that no one cares about? Because no one suffers." He gulped. "And now that you've got me here? He's got me right where he wants me. He wants me to suffer, so he released my daughter. Do you see the game he's playing with all of us?" He asked.

"It doesn't matter if you melt me down in acid or lock me up on an island and throw away the key. My daughter doesn't deserve to see me behind bars." He whispered, "The Visitor doesn't just... Give up. He chooses who lives and who dies. He chooses who he takes and who he follows." He said, "And you? You're no doubt a thorn in his side, just like any other person trying to find who he is." He said, "He's probably picked you already, and he's going to follow you, wherever you are, wherever you go - He'll wait as many years as it takes. He'll wait for your children to grow up, wait for them to hit five, six, seven... And then he'll strike when you least expect it. Then you'll know just how truly hard it is to be a parent who can't do anything to help their children when they're in trouble, even though you know that they're crying for you, begging for you to come and save them."

He went quiet for a second again. "And when that happens... You'll think of me." He frowned. "You'll think of what we've spoken about today."

He gulped, "What if I told you The Visitor contacted my wife and I?" He asked, quietly.

--

"Native Americans are awesome." George nodded, "We could make weapons. Like bows and spears, like they did." He said, "If I ever made my own clothes, I'd wanna' have a coat that had the wolf's head as a hood. Those are cool." He smiled, "Or the one with the bear's head, instead, but I don't know about that. I'm still little so that might be a little too heavy for me." He said.

--

"I'd like that." Amy smiled.

Had she ever really met anyone that was good with things like Adam was? Not really. Her family were smart in... different ways. Adam seemed to be smart in multiple, including very handy and fun-sounding ones.

"I've never built anything like that before, though, so... You gotta' help me. I don't know if I wanna' use a drill or anything like that, but, I'll help." She nodded. "And... Well, I've got a big model of the, um... The Eiffel Tower, I got it at Christmas. We could... Maybe do that together, too?" She asked. "Me and Tommy tried to do it before but we couldn't figure it out. But you're good at building things so you might find it easier."

--

"He's a good boy." Tommy said, patting Roscoe on the head as he happily munched on his ham. "I bet he can be really fast. I played fetch with him before we actually bought him. He was pretty quick at that, and... He's healthy. Thin." He nodded. "We can walk him later on, maybe." He smiled, "He was training to be a guide dog, you know? So he knows a lot of tricks and he's really obedient. He won't run away from your side unless you let him." He said, "He's good around other dogs and apparently he loves kids, so, I can't wait for Amy and George to meet him. "And Ford's going to be fast, too." He looked at the little pup. "I think that breed is really quick, actually, because they're basically wolf dogs. A form of them, anyway." She said.

He put an arm around Riley's shoulders. Back together at last. This was the way he wanted to be for a while, in all honesty. He could stay like this forever. "What did you get up to while I was gone?" He asked.

Other than worry about whether or not he was going to die, of course.

Was there anything else other than sit by the TV and worry? There was some nice talking, but, as far as things went... That was about it.

--

"Well, Lace..." She sighed, "Someone tried to burn my restaurant down. I was looking at $20,000 of damage, if it wasn't for some guy that offered to help. He did it all for free. Wouldn't let me pay him. I made him and his nephew dinner." She said, "He's... Really nice. So at the minute I've got another reason to try and stick it out as long as I can in this town. I've got you, obviously. I wouldn't want to leave if you were still here, I just..." She shook her head.

She couldn't mention the move to Portland. Not yet. Just in case.

But it was happening very soon.

"I'm just generally not very happy anymore, Lacey." She whispered. "I've got people trying to destroy every aspect of my life, it feels. I still need to talk to Amy about what happened but she hasn't opened up to me at all. I can't blame her." She said, "I just feel very powerless, and now Tommy... After what happened to him he hasn't been the same. I'm just wondering how much longer my kids can take all of this before something really bad happens to them. Something on a more permanent level." She gulped. "I hate this town. I used to love it, but now..." She shook her head. "Now it's all gone to shit."

--

She took the drink from him, reluctantly, but she appreciated it and whispered a thank you. She wanted to ask about her mom and dad, but, right now, she was just going to do her best t enjoy the story that was being read to her. She shut her eyes but she didn't sleep. She just laid there, curling up as much as she could. She didn't feel safe, but, she was gradually changing in that respect. This man wasn't here to hurt her - at least she hoped not.

Soon enough, the door opened again. She opened her eyes and went stiff as a board. It was a doctor that came in, though. He went straight to Scruggs and leaned over.

"Mr. Scruggs," He said, "When you've got a minute, we've got a report on Alice's condition. We thought it would be a good idea to make you aware so that you know what sort of things to expect while you're with her." He said. "I'll be outside." He smiled, softly, and he left again.
 
Being called a bitch? Not appreciated. Bridget was prepared to dig her heels in and remind Mr. Perth that the position his daughter woud be put in was entirely in his hands. That his living wife at the time knew what was to come, the backlash she would receive just being his wife, and thought taking her own life was the easier option.

But...he talked. That was what was important. Bridget listened. “No, she doesn’t. She doesn’t deserve anything that happened to her. What you can do is make this easier, softer, for her.” She held out a folder and pushed it forward. “This states you died at the massacre. You were protecting your men in blue. She will be given a medal along with every family member that lost brothers, sisters, wives and husbands that night and grow up knowing her father was a hero. Who tried. A fund will be set aside to pay for her school to give her a chance. I’m not locking you behind bars. THose were your choices. Your actions. You will still go to prison for life, just the public knows a different story. What you put my brother through....I’d want your name dragged through the mud. But this isn’t about what I want, or how you feel things should go down. This is about your daughter and helping her recover.”

Did Perth notice Bridget tense at the kids? Her kids? He probably did, her hand went to her stomach as he talked about it. Something Prescott would see.

“But this only works if you tell us everything you know. Starting with if the Visitor did contact you.”

Pat pushed no boundaries besides just reading. And read he did. He read stories about dragons, and villagers trying to cross bridges that trolls inhabited. He read stories of fairies pulling mischievous pranks and more. All he wanted was to give Alice some peace of mind, that she was not alone.

He watched the girl stiffen up and look frightened. Taking a whistle necklace out of his pocket he handed it to her. “Blow hard if you see anything or need help. Ok?”

Even if she blew it and he ran in here to nothing but an odd looking shadow, he’d come. Just so she knew she could rely on that. He placed the book down and followed the doctor out just outside the door so she was still in visual contact. He was almost assasinated in a hospital, his brother got shot in one.

He wasn’t taking any chances.

“Ok, rip it off like a bandaid. What do we have here?”

Someone tried burning her restaurant?! Fuck. FUCK.

“Move to Portland.”

God that was forward. And inappropriate. “Kate...I know it’s not my place, but move to Portland. Get out of here. It’s a bigger city, Cocoa and Jones will do well. Bain Capital is an investment firm that mostly focuses on tech but I can pull strings, I can get you an investment loan and good real estate in the city. Build it from the ground up. Just get out of here. It’s not safe. Amy’s not going to heal here. Zoe’s everywhere. She’s at the school. She’s at your house. She’s at the playground, the supermarket, the movies. She’s everywhere I turn to look and it’s gotta be the same for her...along with what that bastard did. Amy won’t be able to talk about it as long as she’s bombarded with memories of it every day. And with what happened to Riley and Tommy...”

She took her pseudo sister’s hand. “Please, just get out of here. I’ll beg and go on my knees if I have to but you need this too. I’m leaving with Max once this is all wrapped up. You can stay with us there until we figure out living. Please, just promise me you’ll think about it.”

I mean yes she had to ask Max first if they could stay at his house and she would. She could be very convincing if she needed to be.

“And don’t think I ignored the first part. You had a strong man come in and fix everything for you? Was he a lumberjack too because that’s just the gold mine for you.” There was just something about rugged tall strong men.

“Just watched tv with Marshall,” Riley shrugged. That was pretty much it. She didn’t want to tell Tommy how she felt on the verge of just ripping and falling apart at the seams just with him gone for a few hours. She hugged him tight as his arm was around her.

The brave Viking slayer Riley would suggest they test Roscoe out. Take him for a walk to Ficher’s home and nail that bastard for challlenging them? This Riley today?

Wanted nothing to do with it...she wasn’t going to bring it up and sit this one out. Sit all of them out.

“Marshall got weird though and asked me what I liked about you.” She teased.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,903
"I don't know about you, but the girl I saw walk out of those bushes was not a girl that had the ability to recover." He said. "Did you see all of it? The blood? The cuts and the bruises? The empty look in her eyes? Don't forget I was a cop for a long time before this. A long time. I dealt with kids that had been through abuse of all sorts - and then ten years later I'd arrest those same kids for drug-related crimes, for antisocial crimes, for anything like that. And the man behind this has put her through more than what any other abuser would put her through, and you know it. He's calm. He knows no one's going to find him, so he made it long and painful, you could see that much just by looking at her. Most others would have their way and put a bullet in the back of her head, make it quick - no, not this guy." He gulped.

"I'm not saying I want my daughter dead. No. I don't want that." He said, "But don't you dare sit here and tell me that 'recovering' is something she's ever going to be able to do. Don't you dare. Don't try and comfort me with these... Empty promises of heroism and all of that bullshit. You think I want to be known as a hero? I don't. You can tell Alice whatever you want but I don't want to hear a word of it. Tell her I died fighting the man that took her, tell her I got lost looking for her in the woods and never came back. Make me out to be a hero all you like, but I don't need my nose smeared in the shit I took. I know, what I did was wrong, but what would you do?" He asked. "Picture it, you've got a little kid, they come home one day from school, the usual sort of thing. They hug you, tell you all about their day, hold you close, and eventually, they ask to go outside and play. You say 'sure, honey, go ahead' - and they trust you. 'Mom said it's okay so that means I'll be fine'." He said.

"And then you later learn that that moment you told them to go and play was potentially the last time you were ever going to see them. The last 'I love you' you'd ever say to them, the last time you ever felt the warmth of their hug, the last time you'd ever hear about their school stories." He shook his head, and some tears rolled down his cheeks. "You'd blame anyone but yourself, wouldn't you? You'd never want to believe that what happened to your child was your fault. You'd blame anyone, even if they had nothing to do with it. That's what Jacob did. And that's how he convinced everyone to join him - that's how he brainwashed us all." He said.

"I know I'm not a fucking hero, and I know in reality I deserve to be strapped to an electric chair and have 2,000 volts sent through my body. And I know that as humble and professional as you're being, you'd love to see that. You'd sit there and watch me burn, then you'd go back to my daughter and tell her the hero act. You'd get a medal for your work, for a big fat cover-up, but I'd rather that than having her know what I did." He said, "I know what I did was wrong, so you don't need to emphasize that any more."

He gulped, "The only thing The Visitor told me was that my daughter was going to die believing that we didn't love her." He said, "She was going to go through everything knowing that we never wanted her back, that we weren't looking for her. She was going to die knowing that the people she loved most simply didn't care enough to come for her. That's what we were told by him." He whispered, "I told you, he just wants to make us suffer."

"I'm sorry." He whispered.

He slammed his head down on the table just about as hard as he could. It was on the edge of the table, too - then he did it again, and again. Blood was drawn. Blood splattered. Whatever he was doing wouldn't end well if he was left to do that.

Tom, however, was lost in thought. She put her hand on her stomach. It couldn't mean anything, surely...

--

"You see, Lacey, that's just where the problem lands. 'Once this is all wrapped up.'" She shook her head, "It's not ever going to be 'all wrapped up', is it? You're probably as scared as I am with that sort of thing. How can we say that when we know that this will keep going on and on? If we try and get involved too much, it's going to get us killed. It'll get Tommy and Riley killed. They're playing a dangerous game here, and... I don't want either of them to be part of it. I can't make decisions for Riley, but I can't let Tommy go through that again. They both deserve to be normal kids, living normal lives... Not whatever this is. It's the same for us. For the parents. We've been through enough, so we may as well just turn over a fresh page and all leave while we've got the chance."

"The market values for homes have gone down a lot around here, but I've thought about it. 75% of what the house is actually worth. I can get that, at the very least, and that's pushing it." She said, "But the pool in the backyard sweetens the deal. I suppose anyone who buys it is gonna' be some rich asshole who wants to wait for the killings to stop so he can sell it for double of what he bought it for. But 75% of the value is better than nothing at all, isn't it?" She said.

She relaxed again.

"Yes, he is a bit of a lumberjack." She said, and that was all, realy, with the smallest of grins falling onto her face. "He even lives out in the woods, real survivor-like. He fixed wobbly tables in the restaurant, repaired the oven, fixed the dishwasher, came back to our house and repaired the kitchen sink... He's really something, I have to say." She said, "He's been through a lot so he's a little... Quirky. But he's sweet." She smiled, sipping at her tea. "He's a kind man. The sort of kind that a lot of people would take advantage of - but he won't let me refused his help. If I say no I get the feeling he'll go and fix a sink behind my back." She laughed once.

--

"Oh, you're back to calling him Marshall now?" He poked her, "It's cool and weird. I'm used to Max, and you're used to... Both. Depending on how you feel, I think." He rested his head against hers. "He's got all weird with you about me, though? That's sweet. I do remember you saying something on vacation, each night before bed, we should tell each other something we like about each other." He said. "Remember? I remember." He said, "So, what did you tell him? You told him about how strong and capable I am, right? How I'm the bravest man in town and how I took on a grizzly bear with my bare hands?" He said. "I'm sure it was something along those lines, right?" He joked.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,904
In The Hospital

With Pat outside with the doctor, he quickly opened up a book he had. It had a printed sheet on there. Lots of text.

"I must pre-warn you that what I'm about to tell you isn't going to come pleasantly. In my 25 years of doctoring I've not seen a case this severe." He said, "Alice has sustained injuries to most of her body. Her face is one of the only places that really escaped that, aside from a little bit of bruising here and there. Our nurses and doctors, after inspection, have determined that she'd experienced severe abuse, both physical and sexual." He gulped briefly and continued, "She has three broken ribs but luckily no damage to the lungs. Just serious bruising. We were worried internal bleeding was a risk at first, but she did escape that. We haven't been able to get a urine sample yet but she's taken some damage to the kidneys, that much is clear from the bruising in that area. We need to keep an eye on both her kidneys and her liver - the places she's been hit are the sort of places you get hit if your aggressor wants you to stay down." He turned the page. "In terms of the sexual side of the abuse, we... Judging by the injuries, I'd say that foreign objects were used in the abuse. The damage is very serious, Mr. Scruggs - We do have some reconstructive surgery planned for her, but at the moment, the injuries could result in infertility in later life. That's not a definite, but with a case like this there is definitely that risk." He said.

"Due to muscle and tissue damage, any and all toilet habits are going to be... Abnormal, and also very painful. We don't know if the normality will ever readjust, but, we're positive that the pain is only temporary. We're going to refer her to a physiotherapist after the reconstructive surgery so that she can strengthen the muscles again, at least as much as possible. Right now, due to the cuts and injuries in those areas, we've put her on strong antibiotics to prevent infection while she heals. She's also on fairly strong painkillers, but only a low dosage, for now. If you're going to be keeping an eye on her for the time being, make sure she doesn't drink too much in one go, and make sure all food she has is eaten slowly, otherwise sickness might follow."

He paused and held the notepad at his side, "We've called a child psychiatrist from a hospital a few towns over, someone who specializes in this. Our first pick was Dr. Fischer but obviously, some allegations around him have formed so we figured it would be best to look elsewhere." He said, then looked through the window to the room. "I can't guarantee what sort of mental recovery she's going to make, Mr. Scruggs. In the worst case scenario, she'll be given a prescription of antidepressants to deal with any anxiety she may get."

He gently rubbed his chin, "I know you're not a family member or anything, but, I can appreciate this news is probably hard to take, seeing as it's regarding someone so young." He said, "I'm happy to give you some time alone, if you need it. We're trying to contact any family the girl has left, but so far we've not had much luck. You're welcome to stay here, if you like."
 
Kyle would probably faint at the idea of his baby sister in a workshop around saw blades and other dangerous tools when she would tell her brother that Adam built one of Mom’s tables at the restaurant from scratch, he let her help sand it down and stain the wood, just a fancy wood term for painting. Letting her wear these big goggles and gloves....most people would be fixated on the fact that she was around very very dangerous tools.

But that was going to happen.

Adam nodded. “I can take a look at it and see what I can do.”

“Uncle Adam killed a bear and has that head thing, one for a wolf too. We can try them on next time you come over.” Scott mused.

Yes, Scott was silently planning running away in the woods right when his uncle planned to move them to Portland. It woud all work itself out. And if they needed an adult, Scott looked up at Ethan who was lying beside them too. “Would you live in the woods with us too, Ethan? Wolf pack?”

Kate was right but....”I gotta hold out hope this has an ending and it ends soon. Whoever’s doing this can’t just...keep existing. And if I run now....” she sipped her tea. “My kids, both of them were threatened. Running to Portland now we might all be ok, but if the Visitor showed up again and got this one,” She patted her stomach. “I feel that’s what he wants, he wants us to run and get complacent...strike again. This won’t end until he’s dead. But if you need to go sooner...then go. You need to do what’s best for your family, and I’ll support it no matter what. You need me to negotiate with your potential buyers so you get more than 75%? Say the word and I’ll get it done.”

Lacey noticed the smile and grinned herself. In all her years of knowing Kate she hadn’t really noticed her smile about anyone. Kate wasn’t a prude and she was beautiful, she had been on dates. Yes, but she never gave a smile like that. “He lives out in the woods and is good with his hands?” Her brow raised in a playful way as she sipped her tea again. “You need that you know. Someone’s that’s going to help you despite what you say. I’ve known you since you came here and you’re the type to be armless and still not accept help.”

Riley laughed, her face going deep deep red. She switched from Max and Marshall to the extend that she didn’t realize it. Max came out when her guard was completely lowered while Marshall came out when she remembered that he was her mentor, and someone she needed to hold some respect to.

She playfully lightly punched his shoulder. “That’s exactly what I did. You wrestled a bare and rode it to get Roscoe. No, I told him about that,” She poked his cheek where his smile on his lips was just a little higher than the other. “The way you smile. I talked about that. What you’re doing now. This side is higher than the other. Shows that cocky confidence I love about you.”

Fucking bastard. This was still his daughter. To talk about her like she would just kill herself. It was wrong, but it was still too late.

Bridget slapped Perth hard across the face, the sound echoed and it rung. “That is your fucking daughter! She’s still fucking alive. She’s fighting one of the hardest battles of her life and you’re talking about her as if she’s better off fucking dead. That she’ll harm herself. She NEEDS people to believe in her right now. She needs support. Not people who resigned to her fate. You stupid fuck.”

As for blaming others....she’d blame herself first. Tom noticed her hand went to her stomach again as Perth talked about that section. He was right, Bridget did want to see him burn. Did want to make this guy suffer, but it wouldn’t help his daughter if that was the case. So she listened and her sympathy for this bastard shrunk less and less.

He was then slamming his head. She walked over and lifted it up holding him firm against the chair, her hands getting bloody from the open gashes there. “Did the Visitor call? How did he communicate with you? Did Jacob discuss a contingency plan in the event he was ever killed or captured. Don’t you fucking go into self pity mode right now. You pull whatever fucking strength you have and talk you coward. Don’t you fucking lump me with you. In your position I’d fight. I’d fucking fight until my dying breath. Now you need to get over your fucking self and do the same.”

Pat looked down at the charts trying to absorb everything but it was as if something switched off in his brain. People who go through abuse, have been pushed to the brink choose to shut down and die, or shut down and continue. It was very similar to what Max described what Tommy had done to survive.

“She’s O Negative like me.” He said. His eyes vacant and flat pointing at the chart. That was the rarest blood type but it was capable with everyone...except if you had it. Then you were fucked if there wasn’t enough O Negative in the reserves. Given what this hospital had been through....he figured that was the case.

“Take whatever blood donation you need for her from me, check the organs too. We could be a match and I’ll sign whatever documentation today for any transfers she needs. I want nothing to slow down any care she can get. You got that?”
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,906
Kyle would no doubt be upset to know that his precious and innocent little sister was going to be sat in some workshop surrounded by tools that probably weren't even secured or safely set up. That wasn't something he was going to appreciate - if she came home happy, then so be it. He wouldn't be happy, but, he'd have to appreciate it. He'd appreciate anyone who was able to make his sister happy - but it didn't mean he'd be happy with how it was done. He wasn't the one who ran his sister's life but he was one of her only caregivers, really, so... It wasn't easy. It was going to take a while before he was able to just let someone else into Amy's life freely. It would take time for any of his younger siblings - Tommy and Amy especially.

But he'd just have to brave it, wouldn't he?

George looked over at Ethan, too.

"I'd come chill with you guys, sure, just as long as you could get your hands on a nice wooden cabin that was plenty warm and everything. If you managed that, I'd be happy to." He chuckled. "You'd miss the home life eventually, guys, trust me. No place like home." He said, "Eventually you'd miss the internet, you'd miss being able to go down the street and get ice cream. You'd miss most of the lives you have." He said, but then he smiled. "Your lives are just fine, you two. Don't worry too much about going off and living on your own. That's something you do when you're older." He reached over and ruffled the hair on their heads.

--

"No, Lacey." She held up a hand, "I don't need anyone to do... Anything, okay?" She softly sighed. "It's not about the money. It's never about the money." She said, "It never has been and it never will be. I'd even take 50% if I had to. I just..." She shut her eyes and turned her head towards the wall. "I'm sorry. This has been stressful." She said, "I don't... I appreciate the offer to help, but I don't need help in that department. I need help with everything else. I need help with Tommy and... Just..." She rubbed her face. "That's just it." She said, "I need help with my family. Mainly Tommy now, only because of everything he's been through." She said, "I can't keep an eye on him forever, and now that Kyle's about to graduate, it won't be long before he wants to go back to his and Brooke's place. He'll want to start working and making money. He doesn't want to live with me forever. He was talking about moving out as soon as he was thirteen." She laughed, sadly.

"I don't know, Lace. I've got a lot things to sort out here, while I've still got the chance. And with you with a baby on the way, you need to take it easy, too. You let me worry about me, and if I need anything, I'll let you know, okay?" She said. "It won't be easy. None of this will, but... I need to get things tied up here. Just please don't stay here any longer than you need to. Please. Give your daughter a chance to be a normal kid, and make sure you get out of here before the other one's born. I wouldn't want to see anything happen to you.

--

"Oh, so that's what you said about me?" Tommy nudged her, too, promptly getting a bark from Roscoe seeing as Tommy's girlfriend was getting more attention that he was. They could expect him to be clingy for a while, at least, seeing as he'd just been taken away from his family. He nudged Tommy's waist with his snout, and he was happy enough with a pat on the head. Tommy looked at Riley and smiled, "Well, you're not wrong, I guess. If I've got that smile now..." He thought for a moment. "Wait, I really do that? No one ever mentioned that before." He laughed, then he pecked her on the lips. "The thing I love most is when you do that thing where you pull the hood down, or the hat." He said.

"Wait, hold on!" He chirped, and he dashed back inside and came back just a minute later, his favorite sweater in hand. He held it out to her. It was all fixed. The sleeve was barely damaged anymore. It basically looked brand new - and it smelt like Tommy's cologne and deodorant, too.

"My mom fixed it." He smiled, handing it to her. "See?"

--

"There's nothing left to fight for, you stupid whore." He whispered, the blood running down his face. "Fight for what? To let my daughter see me behind bulletproof glass? To be able to hug her once a month and have guards wonder why?" He snarled, "Don't fuck with me. Don't be so stupid. Don't try and fill me with false hope. Don't you dare. You're only here for revenge, aren't you? You're only here because your good for nothing brother ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time." He snarled, and his hand that was cuffed to the table stretched out and grasped her wrist, pinning it to the table. His hand and arm was cut to pieces by the cuffs with him doing that.

"Jacob didn't have any other plans. Don't you see?" His voice became desperate, "He wasn't doing it for us. He was doing it for him." He said, "That little girl of his was so beautiful, so innocent, and she deserved a father so much better than him, I tell you." He whispered. "He only made that raid. He hid when it got too dangerous, and he fed all of us with empty promises, empty words, they always tasted the same." He gulped.

"There was a song... Called Light In The Hallway." He said, "I used to sing it to my daughter when she had nightmares. I used to sing it low and lullaby-like." He whispered, still gripping her arm nice and tight.

"Close your eyes, lay your head down
Now it's time to sleep
May you find great adventure
As you lie and dream
If you're scared of the darkness
I will calm your fear
There's a light in the hallway
So you know I'm here
So count your blessings every day
It makes the monsters go away
And everything will be okay
You are not alone
You are right at home
Goodnight, goodnight."

His voice was flat, mainly.

He looked her dead in the eye, his own eyes cold and empty.

"Make the monsters go away for me." He whispered, and in one quick movement, he reached down and snatched the gun from her belt.

There was a slam from behind the one-way glass. Prescott saw it and immediately made a run for the door.

"Make them go away." He lifted the gun and pointed it at her, but in the last second, just as Tom opened the door, he put the gun against the side of his head and pulled the trigger without hesitation.

Blood, brain, skull - it covered everything. The table, the wall, the floor, and Bridget herself, too.

The gun hit the floor.

--

"We just need to do some more tests on her." He said, "We'll let you know if she needs anything. Right now, she's okay. She just needs to recover for a while - make sure she gets plenty of fluids and she'll be alright, just call us if anything else happens, alright?" He gently patted him on the shoulder. "I'm sure she'll appreciate the company. She needs comforting before the psychiatrist gets to us. She didn't talk to any of us so we do need her relaxed just a little bit." He said. "If you need anything, someone will be around. We did take blood samples and we're just waiting on the results. We'll know soon enough if there's anything going wrong inside her, so, try and get her to relax. Maybe even sleep for a while."
 
Bridget realized she made the mistake of getting too close when he snatched her wrist. They tell you, no matter what the prisoner or suspect is doing...stay back. She was tricked, fooled and it was too late. Her mind raced to this morning as she paced back and forth in the bathroom staring at a positive sign just repeating SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT.

She was doing it now.

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT

The federal agent struggled against his restraint trying to pull free. She reached for her gun as he was reciting his poem only for him to grab it.

Make the monsters go away...

“DONTSHOOTIMPREGNANT!” She yelled.

Bang.

Her face was splattered in his brains, blood and bone fragments. The taste of it filled her mouth. Perth laid limp, the gun dropped and it was the second time today that Bridget keeled over and started puking.

This was something George would never understand, maybe not until he was older and explained the gravity of the situation of what Scott had been through.

“I thought ice cream was just a thing you did with uncles and outside family.” He said confused. “I only have the internet at school or the library.”

Scott’s father didn’t give his son the basic necessities. All his nice clothes came from his uncle, who no doubt would buy him more if he had known. The sugary treats and abundance of food came from him too. Honestly? Scott was used to going the weekend without eating really anything and bare minimum for school days.

They could live in a cabin, a nice log one they could build themselves. “As long as my tent can go in the cabin....a cabin would be nice too.” He mused.

“Oh I’m sorry buddy,” Riley leaned down and kissed Roscoe on the snout and scratched behind his ears. He was a good boy.

Riley nodded. “Yup. Your right brow arches just a little higher too. Just a natural cocky swag. But when I see that I know you’re you... you’re really happy.” Only for her to do the exact thing that he teased her for. Pulling her cap down blushing bright red. “Don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t do that at all.”

Suuuuure you don’t.

But there it was, his hoodie. Riley grabbed it, not realizing her eyes were watered. It was just a sweatshirt. She understood that....but the fact that it could come back, undamaged and unscathed from the Jimmy Pecks situation meant more than anything.

It meant she could too. That the both of them would be ok.

She threw her arms around him and toppled the both of them to the ground as she kissed him for this. Both Ford and Roscoe probably had a slight moment of panic watching Tommy essentially be tackled to the ground from love and swarmed with affection. “I love you so much, thank you for this.”
 
Patrick nodded but he looked at the tests. “I was just here recovering about a week ago from snake venom and injuries. All my organ records and blood tests should be there. Just...look at the file for me ok?”

One less step it if led to that. He turned and looked at that little kid. She had been through hell and back more than anyone could actually relate to. She NEEDED someone to be strong for her. No matter what sort of hell her father put him through....

She didn’t need to know about it. Whatever she needed to recover, he was going to make it happen...or do his very best at it.

He did grab the doctor gently by the arm before he walked off. “What happens if they don’t find any family for her....don’t bullshit best case, give it straight. What have you seen happen to kids after they get patched up and they have no one?”
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,909
Don't shoot I'm pregnant.

Oh, shit.

Tom heard those words and immediately reached for his gun, but the only thing he saw from where he stood was a lot of blood right after the frightening sound of a gunshot. Oh no. The moment he saw the blood he flopped to the ground with a cry and blacked out - other men rushed in and ran to Bridget and the man that had just shot himself with Bridget's weapon. It wasn't a good way to go. It wasn't going to look good on Bridget's evaluation, either, because the whole interaction was a fucking mess, basically.

It was already being watched by the higher-ups. At least the higher-ups of this office - the FBI themselves... They weren't going to be patching in and watching this. With a bit of luck, the Director wouldn't get to see this, because the discharge would get written up immediately - she'd essentially be blamed for the suspect's death.

Tom woke up again in tears, and he dragged himself along the floor only to see the man's limp body hanging over the back of the chair. Bridget was alive, if not in shock.

"Bridget," He sobbed, weakly, and he scrambled over to her and took her into his arms. He held her close in the same way a father would hold their child - protectively, lovingly; he just wanted her to feel safe. If he had more than two arms, you could bet that he would have used all of them to shield her from... Just about everything. But he'd have to make-do with two arms, wouldn't he?

He didn't know what to say. He just hugged her, and at one point he rubbed her stomach, too.

He kissed the side of her head. He'd never let her go. He'd never let her get hurt. Never.

Another voice spoke from the doorway.

"Just what in the name of the holy mother's shit was that?"

Someone was angry.

--

"Tents are cool." George said, "You can get ice cream on your own, I suppose. But with family it's nice, too." He smiled, "Maybe all three of us could get ice cream. Would Adam let us do that?" He looked at Ethan.

"Maybe." Ethan smiled, "You should ask him. I'm sure he won't mind. Just as long as it's okay with your mom."

"My mom won't care." George shrugged, "We could all go to The Frozen Cone and get ice cream there." He said. He rolled over onto his side and looked at Scott. "How come you only wanna' sleep in your tent, anyways?" He asked. "I mean, the tent's awesome, but, don't you ever sleep in your bed, too?" He asked.

--

Roscoe immediately did that playful bark where his front went down low but his ass went up in the air. He looked at Tommy and Riley and wagged his tail, barked a couple more playful barks, then scooted up and started licking at either of their cheeks as the two of them kissed. He settled after a moment, though, because the happy vibes from the two of them were really easy to see, and the dog picked up on that quite well.

Ford stood there yapping away, too.

"I couldn't leave you without it." He smirked, gently stroking her cheek. "I even put my cologne and my deodorant on it so that you could be reminded of me again. It doesn't smell like the flowery laundry detergent my mom uses now, so, it's all good." He grinned, then he kissed her again. "That's just what we do, Riles. We don't let stuff get us down. We fix the old and we create the new. Simple as that." He said.

"We'll use the rocks people throw to build our dreams. Build our castles." He smiled.

It was probably another song reference, but... It was certainly appropriate, wasn't it?

Ford get yapping away.

"Hey, shut up." Tommy turned and looked at him, and he did say that playfully. The dog looked at him like 'what', with a head tilt, too. He still wagged his tail, though.

--

He sighed, "If we don't find any family, she'll be taken in by social services, I'm afraid." He said. "That's not for us to decide. We have to follow our policies. We don't have any influence over that." He said, "It's why I'm hoping for us to find some family. She's been through enough already and she needs some stability." He said. "But if they decide that she needs to be thrown between foster homes, there's nothing I'll be able to do for her. There'll be nothing any of us can do. As soon as we've treated and discharged her, she's not our responsibility. That's the sad part of this job. We get cases like this once in a blue moon, but they never get any easier." He frowned.

"I've not seen it much in the past, but, I've had a few kids end up back in here after going off with other families. Either that, or I've never seen them again. It's simple, really. A lot of them do end up with grandparents, surprisingly enough. But... For those who don't, it can be a long road." He frowned. "I'm sorry I can't offer you more than that, Mr. Scruggs. I wish you the best. I'll be back once I've got results from her blood tests." He nodded.
 
No, it wouldn’t look good for Bridget at all. But that was the least of her worries. At this point of time anyways. There wasn’t much left in her stomach after seeing Mrs. Perth hanging from a rope dangling down lifeless. What was left was spit and dry heaving until a few guardsmen picked her up and helped her in a chair. It didn’t register a towel was given to her until she heard,” “Mam, you all right?”

She looked at the open crater of a wound on Officer Perth just lying dead in a chair, her gun just laying in a puddle of his blood. She saw the towel on her lap and just nodded taking it to wipe her face. She didn’t register much of anything besides the ringing of the gun until she felt Tom hold her closely pulling her close to him.

“I found out this morning...”her voice a little vacant. “I only peed on one test....it could be false....I found out this morning....”

And her baby almost got shot. Oh god...

She kissed Tom lightly before turning to see who was screaming at them.

Lacey pulled Kate into a hug. “Whatever you need me for I’ll be here. I promise. You got Max and me looking out for him too.”

Get out before the baby was born? That was the plan. She was actually going to talk to Max about end of August....getting Riley to Portland so she could start a school year uninterrupted. If she could do it sooner than that she would.

“But let’s get back to this lumberjack, because we tried finding you one in Canada and they didn’t have any. Name, looks. Details.”

Scott tensed as they were lying down. He didn’t say anything for a good moment and for about thirty seconds the little boy felt frozen in place wanting more than anything to scream and cry for help but left for hours unable to do so. Most times he’d piss himself in the middle of the night because he was incapable of getting up to go to the bathroom.

“I don’t like beds.”

And that’s all he had to say about that.

Baby Todd was chewing on the chain that linked the leash to the collar, his paws on it. Those three would have to be careful, foxes were notorious escape artists and it looks like the baby had already figured out something, just how to do it was a whole set of problems.

Getting up, Scott didn’t want to talk about it or explore it further. “Let’s go ask Uncle Adam.” Was all he said basically racing away from Ethan, George and Todd before more questions could be asked. He got there seeing Amy and Adam just sitting in silence enjoying the peace of it. “George and I were wondering if we could get anything at the frozen cone?”

Adam stood up. “Sure, let’s load everyone in the car. Amy, do you know what your mother and brothers like? We should get you two back as well, give the family a treat.”

Building castles. That was a beautiful sentiment. Riley just laid on top of him letting both Roscoe and Ford sniff around them as the pups were trying to figure out what was going on.

“Yeah,” she grinned. “That’s just what we do.” She kissed him again. “We can get through anything just the two of us.”

She sat up, put the hoodie on and sniffed it before she rolled and flopped by his side. Both of them just looking up into the sky. Ford was licking Tommy’s face, getting his tongue nice and fresh in the boy’s ears. Riley was rubbing Roscoe on the head encouraging him to lie down with them.

“I’m glad you’er Back to you. Ryan and I tag teamed yesterday trying to figure out what would help you best. He’s not as intimidating as I thought he was going to be.”

Fucking hell.

Alright, that was what he was going to do. Look up frikken lawyers while the kid slept so he could keep her out of the system. You don’t go through something like this and then all of a sudden get discarded into the system. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right.

“Thanks Doc,” was all Pat could muster. He walked back to the hospital room with her and didn’t give a word to how bad her condition really was. Instead he just smiled picked up the book. “Alright, where were we? Legend of unicorns right? I just started that one.”

And he began to read.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,911
l"OhJesusChrist." Tom spluttered, still hugging her tight. "I don't care what the case is, as long as you're okay." He hugged her close to him still. "Baby or not, as long as I've got you, I'm alright. Everything will be fine." He nodded, reassuring himself just as much as he was trying to reassure her, too. He didn't want to let her go. Never. He didn't know how he felt about being a father, either, but... He wanted that. At the same time, he didn't. But... It sounded amazing, that was for sure. It was terrifying and amazing at the same time. He let out a tiny laugh.

"If you are, that would be the best thing." He said, "It really, really would." He laughed again, some tears rolling down his cheeks. "I mean it, Bridge. I mean it. It doesn't matter what happens, we'd figure it out." He nodded into her shoulder.

He didn't want to let her go.

But when that man came in shouting and screaming, he wasn't so sure how he felt.

He felt a little numb at first.

"Goddammit, Scruggs." The man walked up and looked at the body lying limp in the chair, "Here's our only key to the rest of the men who got away with Jacob's stunt, and he's sat here with a fucking bullet in his head. With your service weapon." He said, and he snatched the gun up off the floor, "Jesus Christ. This is evidence. You're not having this back for... I wouldn't say a few months. I do hope you realize that." He said.

Tom stood up.

"I'll have your ass for this, Scruggs. You just killed the biggest lead we had."

"Okay, look, we're going to go." Tom said, gently leading Bridget past the one-way window.

"You're not going anywhere just yet," He firmly grabbed Tom's arm, and out of plain reflexes, Tom just gave him a shove to the chest.

And he topped back. Right through the window.

Time froze as the window shattered and he just fell back into a pile of glass. He was cut to pieces.

He yelled out,"I'll have your fucking asses for this, I swear to god!" He screamed.

It was self-defense, in Tom's defense.

"Let's go." He whispered.

--

"His name's Adam. He's tall, dark-haired, and built like an ox." Kate laughed and bit her nails for a second. "I have to admit, he's quite the looker. Very firm and solid muscle, very capable. He may not be the smartest of men but he's smart in his own way. I'm not looking for businessmen or anything, he's... Oh, that's not even the best part. He let George stay over his house with his little nephew, who's only a little older than George, and today he took him and Amy out. I'm really worried about how Amy's being around him, though, that's all." She said. "After what she went through, I just hope that she's been good for him. I hope she's not been letting herself suffer over anything." She said. "Only thing I'm worried about is her not saying if she needs the bathroom. Only thing, after what she went through." She said, "I'm sure it's fine. He's a kind man. It'll be okay."

She just needed to reassure herself. Her little girl was fine. Adam had taken good care of her. She was alright.

--

George didn't really know what to think of that. Who didn't like beds? Beds were awesome. Either way, he gave chase to him and got there on time to hear the questions about the rest of his family. Ice cream seemed to be a go-ahead.

"Tommy likes... I think he likes the oreo one." Amy said, "And Kyle likes... Fudge. He likes the hot fudge ice cream."

--

"Ryan's never been intimidating. Can't believe you've ever thought that." He chuckled. "I'm glad you and Ryan tag-teamed me, though. You guys really cheered me up." He said, "I'll have to return the favor some time." He smirked, "Hopefully I won't, though, because hopefully, we won't ever be in a spot where I have to do that." He said. "But you get what I mean. We'll figure something out. I'll find some way to make it up to you, like... We can be all adorable and share an ice cream, or something. One day soon." He nodded. "But until then, I think we're okay here, right?" He said. He hugged Ford to his free side to get the tongue out of his ears.

"You know, we've never actually swam at my house yet, can you believe that? I thought that'd be the first thing we did together." He smiled, "We should do it before it gets cold again. It'd be nice. If Jack and Elena ever visit, Jack could join, too." He said.
 
“Yes he very well could be intimidating! What if he went ‘Sorry Riley, you’re no good. Goodbye.’ I’d just mumble ‘sorryforwastingtommy’stime’ and duck my head in shame. He’s your brother. He knows what’s best for you better than anyone else.”

LIttle did she realize that Ryan feared that Riley would do the same thing to him. Time and time again he just took it. Both parties were surprised with the latter.

“You just want to see me in a two piece bathing suit.” Riley teased. This might have been the longest time that Riley wasn’t chomping at the bit to solve a case, or even pressuring Tommy that maybe seeing Fischer now and cutting him loose was a good thing.

Right now....she wanted absolutely nothing to do with solving cases.

Adam....

“Are you talking about Adam Delp?” She asked. Nephew? Oh shit...she was. Lace leaned back in her seat rubbing her chin in thought trying to figure out the best thing to do about this new problem....was it a problem? Kate was describing Adam to be a good man. “You said no more secrets...right?”

Breathe Lacey....Kate’s biggest concern was helping Tommy.

“Kate...Adam’s not just quirky he’s....ok. He personally did nothing wrong. Max thought he was a suspect for the visitor case when he found Adam buying unusual things at a hunting shop and getting surgical vet items polished and sharpened. Always paid in cash to not have a paper trail. But what was really going on was he was unwittingly buying the supplies for the murders and giving them to his brother, Cameron. Cameron was working directly with the Visitor. I don’t know what happened with that family besides Max’s interactions but you need to keep Amy, George and Tommy away from Cameron.”

Cameron was dead Lace, but then again you barely had time from finding Max and trying to find your daughter to know that. Kate would though, Kate would know that Cameron was out of the picture since Adam was raising Scott now on his own.

She rubbbed the bridge of her nose. “I’m not saying Adam’s a bad guy or trying to scare you. I actually met him. He’s....he’s interesting. He’s the reason we found Max to begin with. Guy has more guns and weapons than a small town. It’s like WIlly Wonka’s factory of destructive stuff.” She then gave a tiny smile. “I got to play with his smoke grenades. And I’m not saying this to scare you or freak you out...but....but you should know.”

Speaking of Adam. He was folding up the blanket and getting ready for all of them to go. There was a public restroom provided by the town for the park. He nudged Scott looking at all three kids. “Alright, bathroom. For everyone. Since I have to go, and I’m watching all of you. You lot are coming with me to the stalls. That includes you Amy. Buddy system for the kids. Ethan’s going to watch the fox, right Ethan?”

It was a nice weird combination. He sort of just volunteered Ethan now to things but the kid kept following him around. Father’s taking little girls into the men’s bathroom wasn’t unusual, especially when they were too little to go on their own. It was the same for mothers bringing their sons to the girl’s bathroom. Something George must have been all too familiar with.

But what was important here? Amy wasn’t going to go to the bathroom alone or be scared. Or if she was scared she had her brother to immediately lean on. Adam calling it as a mandatory thing before they went helped too so she wouldn’t be alone.

“What if we don’t have to go, Uncle Adam?”

“You haven’t peed all morning, Scott. You are going to the bathroom.”

The boy frowned for a second but then just nodded. “Ok.”

It should be noted that nothing happened to Scott in public bathrooms...but his father used to work for the boogieman....he was more than and painfully aware what happened in those bathrooms. His father used to practice so he could do that too. That would happen in his bed....where he couldn't move or scream.

Beds were the worst.

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
BANG
SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
BANG
SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
BANG

Repeat.

Bridget stared at the corpse as Tom was telling her it would all be ok. "But he'll come for it...." Was all she could muster as Perth's deranged talk rang on repeat. The Visitor called him, the visitor marked her as a thorn in his side. Her vacant gaze went down to her hands as she looked down, taking his hand placing it on her stomach. Maybe it would be better if they weren't pregnant.

A false positive.

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
BANG

Repeat.

The officer that came in and screamed at her barely registered. It all felt slowmotion like she was dunked under a tank. He screamed that he'd confiscate her gun, someone would pay. She just looked up at him and went. "Talk to me when you survive multiple death attempts and threatened by a serial killer. Otherwise shut the fuck up."

Not smart, Bridge, and it would probably come to bite her in the ass. Tom pulled her to her feet, the glass shattered and he pulled her away before it got worse. By the time they got into the car where no one was around but them, she broke down in sobs, burrying herself in his chest.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,913
"Lacey, Cameron's dead." She was quick to point that one out, definitely, because why wouldn't she be? Cameron wasn't a problem anymore. She saw the news, she'd heard what Scott and Adam would speak about. She heard it in the restaurant. "I know it's probably going to be hard for you to trust him - part of me can't blame you. But he's a nice man, and he's not like his brother. I know he has a lot of guns and traps and god knows what, but..." She sighed. "There's a long story behind that. He hasn't had an easy life." She explained.

It was very true. In some respects, Adam had had a bit of a dogshit life. In most respects, actually - he'd been given a bad hand and as far as she was concerned he deserved something better than that. She didn't know if she was going to be able to do that for him, but so far... She at least owed him a bit of kindness. She'd made him and his nephew dinner, and that really didn't feel like she'd done enough. She felt like she could be doing so much more than that, but... She supposed that that was just the way things were going to go from now. She'd have to do those little things just to try and make Adam's life a little brighter.

"I'm not scared of him." She said, "Trust me. He's quirky. It's not anything else. He's not like his brother - he's a polar opposite in most senses, actually. He's completely harmless - I imagine he can get very protective, though." She said. "I wouldn't worry. I just..." She thought, "His little nephew is a real sweetheart, but he seems very... Nervous, I guess. He was when he first met me." She said, "And with Cameron being his father, I do wonder what that little guy's been through. What he's been witness to, y'know?" She asked.

She eventually just took a deep breath and looked at Lacey. No need to dwell on the negative things. Things would be okay. Scott would be fine. Adam would be fine. Everyone would be fine.

Lacey was funny, though.

"You're crazy. You've probably got your own bunker of guns hidden away somewhere, haven't you?" She smirked.

--

Ah, finally that dreaded moment that Amy was too scared to ask about herself. After a long day and not using the bathroom since before she left home, yes, the need was there. But she wasn't going to say a word to Adam - she liked Adam, but that didn't mean she had the nerve to mention that. It wasn't going to end in an accident, and he probably would have been able to figure it out once they got to the ice cream place when she was sat there at the table, all jittery and on the verge of tears.

But luckily he brought it up before it could end in tears.

See, Adam? You're a natural at all of this.

George was going to take advantage of the chance, too. He obviously wasn't too worried. Being the youngest kid in the family, he'd been into public restrooms with his mom, older brothers, and close family friends where the situation warranted it. Max, for example, had been a chaperone for that a couple of times on vacation, and that was fine.

Amy looked at Scott. She felt it. He didn't want to, either, for whatever reason. She didn't want to, but she still clutched Adam's hand - wanting to and needing to are two very different things, obviously, and this was one of those 'need' cases. She felt Scott's anxiety, though.

George, however, was fine.

"Okay, let's go." He nodded, and he was enthusiastic enough and basically running ahead, no fear at all. Hopefully that was enough motivation for Scott and Amy - on the upside, at least Scott and George, in theory, could go together. That was a buddy system and a half, and if anything happened there was two of them. There was always going to be the chance for one of them to run and get help.

But nothing was going to happen.

All was fine. Amy may have trembled just a little bit, and maybe for a while she did struggle to breathe properly, but before too long all was relieved and the kids were happy again. Everything was okay. Everything was fine.

It was all good. Maybe Amy was nervous at first, but it was a good trust thing for her and Adam. She trusted him a lot more now. You tend to get that feeling when someone keeps watch while you pee.

--

At least they were able to get out of there. Interestingly enough, no one actually stopped them. Even though Prescott did as much as pushing a man through the window (accidentally, of course), the guys didn't chase after them. They ran and got into the car, and before long she was hugging close to him and holding on like there was no tomrorow. Tom felt terrible for her. He felt terrible about a lot of things - and the things that man had said had rattled them both. What if The Visitor did exactly that? What if he followed them around and attacked their kid when they least expected it? Would they have to live their life in fear for the rest of their years? Would they have to move away and get the kid somewhere safe?

It was a horrible thought and not one he wanted to dwell on, but in reality he had no choice. He had to push through it. He had the person he loved sobbing into his chest and he just couldn't bring himself to give up. If he didn't have her, yes, he'd give up before the going even got tough. He'd give one big 'fuck this' and just make a run for the hills. He'd hide out and wait to die a lonely death. But now now. If she really was pregnant, then that was part of his life, too. It aws down to him to help protect them.

He'd never had a kid before.

"He won't come for it. He won't come for any of us. I won't let him, honey, I promise." He rocked her from side to side, "Look, after- after this is done, we'll go somewhere nice. We can go to California, or somewhere warmer than here. Somewhere far away. We can just take time off. A few months to settle in and be who we want to be - just get ready for... For family life, if that really is the case with you, okay?" He said. "I've got your back. I promise. You and the little one, if it really is a thing." He took in a shaky deep breath.

"Holy shit, I can't believe this is happening." He whispered, putting his head on her shoulder. "Nothing that happened in there was your fault. He was dead long before he pulled the trigger. I hope you understand that." He sniffled. "I'm just glad you're okay." He said.
 
Amy could easily figure out something was not right with Scott. Adam wasn't sure himself, but he attributed Scott's behavior to him being a boyscout and being a leader. Scott took in a deep breath and stepped into the men's bathroom first. he kicked each stall and examined each corner. Ethan saw the visible exhale when it looked like the bathroom was empty.

Still holding Amy's hand Adam ruffled Scott's hair.

Amy could feel safe. The room was scanned, checked and watched and she could go to the bathroom in peace without ever having to bring up why she was paranoid and needed it. One of the best things a kid could feel was that they were watched without that grownup pointing out that they needed to be watched. A silent quid pro quo.

The gang then left and went to the frozen cone to get icecream for the folks at home.
--
Kate got a text as she was talking to Lacey that Adam was with the kids ready to take them home. Amy was safe, and she had gone to the bathroom with no hiccups.

"No, you see who I was married to? I was lucky I got to hide my revolver in the house with Foster. Even if I did have a gun collection it wouldn't be nearly as cool as his. Smoke bombs! And he had night vision goggles, crossbows. It was fucking amazing."

It was good to hear that Cameron was dead. He would be the real problem in any equation. Adam had unknowingly helped his brother commit atrocities. It wasn't that far out of the realm of expectation that this could happen again. "Wait so if the brother's dead that means he's taking in the nephew. Oh, he's probably like this giant bear coming off like a lost lamb. He's never been a father before."

She playfully nudged Kate. "I bet you could teach him a thing or two."

Yes she meant the clean AND dirty version of that.

Just as she said that, because it was safe to assume Kate had texted her that they were at Marshall's house with the address there was a big banging knock at the door. Max would probably open it to see a man with a carton box of icecreams in to go cups , his arms dangling with bags and bags of pets supplies. Easilly something a normal person would take three trips back and forth from their car, adam was lugging all in one go, three kids behind him and Ethan with their new pet.
--
Bridget's body was violently shaking as she cradled in and let Tom hold her. She didn't believe him. Her brother was gunned down and riddled with bullets. Her other brother had evaded death more times in the past week or so that wasn't natural and they themselves had dodged it. This all came from the visitor.

All of it orchestrated. He picked Jacob's daughter to brutally rape outwardly at the end to trigger a chaotic man. He WANTED the town to collapse and he got what he wanted. That led to anarchy, some lord of the flies bullshit where they had to raid the forest to save Pat.

So it wasn't out of the realm of possiblity that he would flag them down and kill their baby once he got a little older.

Instead of voicing this, she just nodded and held him tightly. She gave him a smile even though everything was shaking. "Th-this fast fo-fowards our pl-plans to marry." She stammered. "M-maybe this weekend...just....just the two of us...we dr-drive somewhere and just do it."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,915
Amy definitely did appreciate it. No one said a word but it seemed Scott had his own panic about it. It did make her curious and she only thought back to how she used to do similar. She still did in some respects. She didn't need to check today because she was with a strong guy and two kids that she trusted. She didn't need to worry.

But those times where Tommy had to take her to the bathroom... she felt safe but at the same time never felt in such danger. Especially if there were other people in there. There were times she felt safe with him but then here were times she wanted to cry her eyes out.

She felt safe with Kate, going into the women's restroom. And those few times where she'd gone with Lacey during the vacation.

It wasn't an easy scenario by any means. Scott had certainly sparked her curiosity, though. Could she ask him about it? If he felt even half as bad as she did... she'd probably upset him.

She didn't know. She'd find the strength.

--

Kate wad definitely relieved to hear the good news from Adam. Amy was fine. All of them were fine. She let out a sigh of relief right there and then. Her daughter wasn't going to come in crying and she wouldn't have stressed Adam out at all either. Good news. Always good news. The kids had had a nice day by the sounds of it.

"You don't need guns anyway." Kate said. "You're a tough bitch. You're the sort of woman who could take a knife to a gunfight and still win that. You don't need any military bunker." She said.

"Though I would like Adam to show me around his bunker. It sounds pretty hot, I won't even deny that. There's something real special about men that could take out a small army, y'know?" She laughed and covered her mouth for a moment.

Had she developed feelings for Adam?

He'd already offered to try and help Tommy, he'd taken Amy out for the day without drama, and he let George stay over despite barely having a clue what he was doing.

Too fucking right she was catching feelings.

"Trust me, he's exactly like that. He looks like this big grizzly bear but deep down he's not sure what he's doing. He's like a puppy. He's soft and sweet but strong too. And you bet I can teach him a few things." She winked and then laughed.

And then the doorbell rang.

She pointed at Lacey. "Don't you say a thing." She grinned.

She ran and answered the door.

"Oh my." She said. She grabbed a couple of the bags and hugged him, pecking his cheek. "You're insane. What's all of this?" She asked with a laugh.

"Adam got a load of puppy stuff for us!" Amy chirped, happily.

"Oh, Adam. You shouldn't have." She said. "Me and Tommy had a great day by the way. Thank you." She smiled. "These guys look like they've had fun." She looked down at George who was hugging her legs.

"We did." George said, happily.

"Good."

She looked at Adam again, "Adam this must have cost you a fortune. Do you want some money towards it?" She asked.

--

"You know what, fuck it. Life's too short." Tom said. "Bridget, I don't care if you4e pregnant or not. Fly away with me for a few days. A week. Whatever. Go somewhere with me and just marry me, for Christ's sake." He held her face.

"Don't make me beg. But I'm not complete without you. You make me feel a way I've never feel and I don't need a baby in the picture to know that I need you for the rest of my life." He said.

"Say the word and I'll book the tickets right now. We can leave tomorrow and take the chance while it's there." He said.

Finally the shock of what he'd just asked hit him.

He went quiet, waiting.
 
"Don't book anything."

And right then and there Tom probably felt his heart shatter to a million pieces. Don't book anything could only mean one definite horrible conclusion, she was refusing-

Bridget kissed his lips passionately pressing his back further into the seat of the car. "Let's just give Pat the dogs, drive to Logan Airport and get on the first available plane, whatever it is. Tonight." She kissed him again. "Whatever it is, wherever we end up...it's with you and that's all I care about. We'll run to a City Hall or any place that will get us to elope and just do it. I love you. Let's do this."
--
"No one NEEDS a military bunker, but we all want one. Oh, if I could get my hands on some katana blades, I would be lethal. But that's besides the point. You know what's just as great as checking out his bunker? Having sex in it. You can borrow my Laura Croft costume."

If Max had one of those, she would fuck him until he was sore the next morning in one of those. It would feel like James Bond or something like that. Ok, yes, now she wanted to grab Max and whisk him off in a room after all that fun time.

The sly grin only grew when Kate asked her to not say anything. Lace made the silent zipped lip motion but you bet your ass she got up and watched against the door frame as Kate went straight to the door. Oh my! She kissed his cheek. And did that giant of a man blush?

Yes, yes he did. That gruff expressionless look she had seen that night seemed nonexistent as Adam looked baffled and smiled a little at the kiss. It was like a puppy, a big scary half wolf breed puppy. "I wasn't sure what Todd would need." Was all he managed to say.

Adam placed the box down of sundays. "We got one for Kyle too, if he's here. I assumed your son was with his girl so I just got two of the same for him, he can just eat two if I got it wrong and uh...I...we got you one too." He immediately shook his head. "You gave me food recipes. That's enough."

He paused.

"Unless you want to show me how to cook one of those recipes tonight? That would be helpful."

Lace gave Kate that look, I'm sure it WILL be helpful.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,917
Yes. For just a minute he was convinced that he just got hardcore rejected. The big moment of 'you're bringing nothing but trouble to my life and I want you gone'. It was a horrible moment for him and he was about ready to give a feeble agreement and let her run free, after all he had only put her in danger, and she would be better off if he-

The voice in his head was shut up as soon as she kissed him. That was just it, wasn't it? She kissed him like there was nobody watching. She showed him love and adopted the 'fuck it' attitude right alongside him. It was a good feeling.

Don't book a thing. Let's just jump on a plane and see where we go. Be it Moscow or Morocco, he was down for it. She wanted to marry him as soon as tomorrow.

What a feeling that was.

"I can't live this life without you." He said l, "Let's just say fuck it. I'll put a ring on your finger in the middle of a bomb field if I have to. But the idea of this life being anything that doesn't involve you makes my heart ache more than it ever has before."

He held her hand, "One thing. We get the next available flight but we gave to agree that we won't let it be anywhere like Syria or something like that. We can't let it be a warzone. Okay?" He laughed.

"Tomorrow we might be sipping lattes in Venice, Bridge." He kissed her on the lips.

He was excited.

--

"Adam, you're too sweet." She said with a chuckle. "You didn't have to buy all that. We only needed a collar and a bed, I think." She said. She reached into a bag and pulled out the brush. Expensive and fancy looking. She looked at him. "Really?" She grinned.

"I picked that, mommy." Amy said, proudly.

"It's very nice, sweetie." She gently stroked the top of her head. "Adam. I feel so bad." She laughed again and put the brush back in the bag. "And you bought ice cream for everyone? What more could someone want than a man who brings ice cream home, right?" She gently nudged him.

She looked at Lacey when he mentioned recipes and gave her a playful 'don't say a word you bitch' look. These guys really were just like sisters, weren't they?

"I can definitely teach you some recipes. I'll show you some magic." She said. "How about we make everyone one-tray steak fajitahs tonight? I'll show you the way. It's really easy and you and Scott will love them." She said, basically dragging him through to the kitchen.

"You've met Lacey, right?" She smiled, "I think we're going to have a full house tonight. But that's okay." She said. "I'm pretty sure you'll be a natural in the kitchen once you get the hang of it. You can try out those recipes I left at your house once you feel brave enough, too." She smiled.

"Lacey, Adam. You guys can meet formally. He even brought home ice cream - if you could get Tommy and Riley in here I'm sure they'll be pleased." She said.
 
To Tom's credit, their life had been a horrible rollercoaster of unfortunate events. He didn't know that Bridget had been through bad boyfriends and horrible situations in the past, for all he knew, he was the one causing all the grief in her life. Because of him she was marked by a serial killer and their unborn child was marked. Any sane person would be thinking those thoughts. That was not what he got. He got a wave of unconditional love, desire and need.

Because she did need him. The need she had for this man matched the basic need of air in the lungs. Terrified of the future, the two of them bracing into the unknown where cruelty and pain was foreboding, one thing was for certain.

"I need you to live," she said and there was no truer statement than that. She kissed him and kissed him again. "I don't need a ring, just you." Only for her to let out a sad laugh, body still trembling from Perth. "We're leaving a warzone...I'm not entering another one. Anywhere around the world, baby."

Sipping lattes in Venise, what a fun thought.
"Tasting wines in Paris." She kissed.
"Dancing in Madrid." And another.
"Bar hopping Dublin." And another.
"Sipping tea in England." And another.

It went on for some time.
--
Adam was out of his element. His cheeks betraying his position. "Uhh...there's treats to help with his teeth. Healthy gums. A coat when he gets cold."

It was very obvious who ran the show during their little adventure. When Adam promised to try and help Amy out of her dark corner...he put 150% into it. His cheeks only reddened as she mentioned the icecream. Lacey was trying really hard not to give Kate more looks because there was nothing more cute than seeing a giant of a man go bashful.

Max was too dominant for that shit. Oh no, he'd spin it right around in a second if he thought he was being played with to go bashful and make you go bright red and speechless with his flirtations. She felt hot at the collar just thinking about Max's arm around her waist and pulling her in telling her to stop playing with her food and then pick her up and go.

"Well, I wanted to make sure you had enough time with you son. So it made sense." He didn't mention taking them to the park and getting them food. He was too modest to try and get any brownie points with her.

Scott poked his head to see another dog in the yard besides the puppy from the other day. He tugged George's sleeve so he could see it too. "George. George, you were getting a dog right?" he asked. "There's a dog in the yard."

"The weapon crazy one dating Detective Marshall." Adam nodded in Lacey's direction. "Someone getting that giddy about crossbows, guns and grenades worries me when it comes from a pregnant woman."

She put her hand to her heart going to Kate. "He knows me so well. Kate didn't give the opportunity for much banter and teasing as she dragged Adam to the kitchen. She gave a salute with her one good arm and headed outside to see both kids lying on the ground. "Adam, your mom's friend, got you two icecream. Better run in there before it melts."
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,919
"The dogs will be fine with Pat, wherever he goes. They're police dogs so they'll be allowed anywhere. They're licensed." He smiled, "We can... God, let's just plane-hop. Look, if we end up in Europe, you know it would be quite cheap to travel on a train, right?" He asked. "If we landed in Italy, we could get from there to the Netherlands real easy. If we wanted to go to England, we just get a boat over there. Most flights are cheap from England to nearby countries, too. There were news reports. Some people flew to Spain for... Pocket change." He said. "We may as well make the most of it. I've been saving money for so long I've forgotten what it was like to spend it. There's... Shit, there's no need for a ring, you're right. We can just go and have a good time." He nodded, "Just to get away from all of this." He said.

"I've always wanted to visit Canterbury, you know." He said, "Not London. Canterbury. You know how amazing that place is? Let's just go station to station if we get the chance, a train across the nations. We may as well live life with the 'fuck it' approach, because... God, I said life is short, didn't I? We might not get the chance to do this for a few years, if the baby really is a thing." He said, "Though I quite like the sound of that, don't you? Us just towing a little kid around, swimming in the ocean just off a Greek island, playing in the pool."

He actually relaxed and set his head against hers.

"It'll be... Interesting. I'll struggle at first, but I know I'll love it, too." He nodded, "I won't let anything happen to you, Bridge. I may not be the most experienced man, but..." He sighed, "I'll do my best to be a good father. I think that's all I need. I need you, a kid or two - just family. Security. We'll have a grand time." He nodded.

Now he really was excited. An excitement she'd never seen in him before.

He didn't need much more than what they had. Even if they were gone for a week or two... It wasn't their fight. They'd done their part now, they didn't need to continue it. They just needed to get away for a while. That was all.

Time to chat for a while. Until it was time to leave. They'd pack a bag or two and get the fuck out of there.

Away from America. Away from the drama.

--

"You're too nice." She said, "Me and Tommy had a great time. We went for lunch, we went and adopted a dog..." She smiled, "It really helped him, I think. I know he's been down but I think today he's had the time to unwind. He really needed it." She nodded. "But we got a dog and I hope that'll lift his spirits. I just..." She shook her head. "I hope it stays that way, y'know?" She said, "Thanks for giving me the time to spend with him. It's not very often we get to do that, so, I'll make it up to you by teaching a recipe later. You should definitely go and meet Roscoe." She smiled, "He's a beautiful little thing, actually. Tommy loves him." She smiled.

George perked his head up when he heard Scott talk, though, as did Amy. They both ran out without a moment of hesitation so they could get swarmed by the love of their new pet dog. Yes, when Roscoe inevitably saw the fox, he was going to be curious. He was even going to be a bit shocked to have a wild animal just show up out of nowhere. But he'd adjust.

Tommy and Riley walked in before too long and looked at the ice cream stuff on the table, "Cool. Thanks." Tommy smiled. He went up and opened up the boxes, handing one to Riley with a spoon and the other he kept for himself, obviously.

Max walked in just as Riley and Tommy came back in. He smiled at the two of them, nodded to Adam, and he went straight to Lacey. "Come with me a sec." He said.

Yes, he dragged her out of the room and into the living room where it was quiet.

"I have eyes and ears everywhere. I do hope you're not planning on trying to get me all giddy, are you?" He asked. "Because if you are, there are going to be punishments." He said. "You know I'm not the sort of man to fall head over heels, right?" He gently poked her side. "I know you were occupying guests, but... Maybe you've got a few minutes? I need to make sure you know your place. May as well get that out of the way while the kids are busy." He winked, running his hands down her sides. "Plus, my bruises are starting to hurt that little bit less." He added.
 
One arm around her tiny little waist and Lacey was yanked out of the room. Just like she thought it would go. She gave an impish smile, "I don't know what you're talking about. Me? Make you all shy and bashful? Neeeever."

Lies and slander, if she could she'd do it it in a heart beat. She tugged at his shirt and played with one of his buttons, letting it pop off. "I don't know, you seem pretty head over heels over me. I bet I could get you to blush a little. There'd be nothing you could do about it either."

Her words said one thing but her eyes said another, she was a bad girl that needed to be put in place.
--
He was too nice. That wasn't something he heard that often. Adam took one of the chef blades and began chopping whatever vegetables Kate needed for the dish. "Good, it's what you needed too." He didn't need to elaborate further into that. Kate had been through so much, she needed a breather herself. "George and Scott were thick as thieves last night and good. They'll be hard to separate. I think Amy enjoyed herself. She was nervous a little around until I sang in the park."

He stopped cutting the carrots. "No singing. That was to help her. I'm sad she can't enjoy choir anymore. So I'm hoping we can...you can help with getting her to just enjoy the act of singing again." it wasn't his place to say what amy needed or didn't need so he corrected himself. "
--
The fox and the hound.

Todd stood on all fours, his hair raised up as he looked at the german shepherd. His teeth were bare and the fox hissed, his fur now fluffing a big length. He didn't notice that Ford made a beeline and tackled the fox down,playfully biting the leg. The two wrestled. The pup's fur colors and pattern were similar enough to a fox that Todd didn't seem to notice.

But it also told Roscoe, dog not fox, even for a split second.

Scott blinked a few times tugging at Ethan to do something if something horrible happened.
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,921
"You're going to need to work a lot harder than that." Max said, grasping her hand that fiddled with his button and holding it to the side, he eventually grabbed the other one and pinned them both against the wall. He smiled again, a sly smile, "You're never going to get me to blush. I've forgotten what being shy is, honey, so it's going to take a lot of work if you even want to get me close to it." He said.

And it was true. The last time she'd seen Max go red in face was...

Um...

Well...

Fuck it. I don't know. Maybe he never had. Not even that night she sprung him in the shower. He probably even saw that one coming, too - who could blame her. She was a woman in dire need of some affection and love, and he was a lonely man. They were a good match, in that sense. She needed the feeling of being loved, being needed. Max just needed the feeling of... Being someone. And it was just a massive plus, getting Riley out of it and also having Jack be happy with the changes.

His relationship with the kids was the last thing on his mind right now, though, as he dragged her hands down the wall. He leaned forward and kissed her, "I think I better show you where you stand. There's harsh punishments for stepping out of line, you know." He dragged her with one hand out of the room and instead lead her up to his bedroom. It's not like they could both dive in bed and just... Well. They'd make way too much noise.

But they did have a perfectly good desk, or a wardrobe to lean against.

That would work.

--

"I must admit, it was strange having lunch served to me for a change." She laughed, "But it was nice, yes. For both of us. I only really did it for Tommy - I think it gave him some time to put some thought into everything that happened, gave him the needed isolation from everything else to vent his issues in his own little way. He was given that chance, and now he was sat in the back yard eating ice cream, happy as ever. He had Roscoe sniffing around him, though - Roscoe definitely wanted a taste. He wasn't getting one just yet, hell no. He wasn't sharing any ice cream - he would have shared with Riley, but, she got her own one. Win-win.

"You actually sang for Amy? Jesus, that's adorable." She smiled, "I'm surprised, Adam. You're just full of surprises. I'm sure she loved that. She loves singing so much." She said, "She doesn't want to go to the choir anymore, sadly, but I do wish she'd keep the singing up. She could be really talented when she's older." She said, "Then again, I suppose all of this family other than me seem to have that little twang to their voice. Kyle's too shy to do any of that. He'll never sing a word publicly unless he's had a drink." She laughed, "Tommy... Tommy's good. You ever heard him sing? George, I don't know." She said. "You wait until you hear Tommy and Amy sing, they're good. Amy won't do it on her own in front of anyone, though, not yet."

"I think we can pull it off."

Yes.

We.

She looked at him for a moment, then slid him a couple of peppers, "Cut those instead, hon. You don't put carrots in fajitahs." She smirked.

--

Uh oh.

Tension.

Roscoe's ears pricked up when he saw the fox, and when the little guy decided to act all tough, that didn't go down well either. Roscoe positioned himself in a way that he was ready to pounce forward, and under his breath, he let out a subtle growl. It eventually grew a little louder, then his lips curled back and he let out a rather aggressive bark.

"Roscoe." Tommy said, "Calm down, boy."

Roscoe went passive again and acted all innocent, going to sniffle around Tommy and Riley, instead.

"They're okay, buddy." Ethan patted him on the head, "Just wait. Roscoe will show that he's the bigger dog. He won't hurt him, though. He's just showing dominance. It's what dogs do." He said. "As soon as Todd gets the message he'll be more passive and they'll get on just fine. I'll keep an eye on him, don't worry - once they've had a chance to sniff each other for a bit, they'll settle." He said.

Tommy's phone buzzed.

'Hey'

The first text message, unknown number.

'???' He sent back.

'want to hang? =)'

'who dis'

'we could have a killer time i bet =)'

Huh.

Phone away. He didn't need that.
 
Never. Max Marshall had never gone shy. When he poked and teased Riley, he just spun it on her getting her to clam up and go shy rather quickly. "Is that a challenge, Max?" She asked.

Yes, yes it was. He whisked her away to one of the rooms where she got the punishment she deserved. They would be distracted for fifteen minutes or longer.
--
Adam lifted his head up when he heard the slight banging in another room. His first thought was rodents. His second thought was ....

Oh...

He didn't need to know. This wasn't his home or place for it. Though seeing Kate slide peppers infront of him and not a carrot he gave that same meek smile. Clearly he had no idea what he was doing. He grabbed a ziplock bag and dropped the cut pieces of carrots in and began cutting. Yes, he caught that she said 'we' and it had him a little speechless for a moment.

He cleared his throat. "I am willing to bet the voice comes from the mother, along with their modesty about it."

Back to Amy. "I was thinking of installing motion sensored lights in your daughter's room. The closet, hallways, bathroom. I can pick up what I need tomorrow for it."

Adam wasn't a man of many words or conversations. His way of showing he wanted to spend more time with Kate was working on projects for her, based on what he observed she needed....or even having her show him how to cook something. She was a nice woman, a strong one. She was dealt a bad hand but she made the most of it and it as something he admired. Maybe even more than admired.
--
The curled lips and aggressive growl sealed it all. The babe looked at Roscoe before Ford toppled him and a rivalry was born. Roscoe could beat Todd in strength and speed, but wit? No. The german shepherd was in a lifelong friendship of annoyance and pranks. Scott still looked unsure up at Ethan but it seemed that the pups were having fun. "Will this be good for todd?" he asked. "Making it easier to train him?"

Riley would have shared her icecream with Roscoe, but with oreos in it, it would have killed the dog having that chocolate. So, poor Roscoe was out of luck. She scratched his head when he came by though and tried to sniff and lick hers as well. She did notice Tommy look at his phone and slip it away.

"Everything ok?"
 

DrTrollinski

Don't let the name scare you.
Thread starter #1,923
"Did I just get my voice complimented on my voice? How very sweet." She said. "I thought I was destined to cook food for the rest of my life. You make it sound like I could be the next Dolly Parton." She smirked. She was handling the meat for the dinner tonight. Yeah, she was going to take care of the hardest part. She slid Adam a couple of red onions, too, just because they could throw that in there. She in the meantime was slicing up sirloin steaks. The business may have been slowly going to shit but they were still eating well. She still put nice food on the table.

"I hardly see myself as modest, though. More... Controlled. I can be crazy when I want to be." She smirked. She too heard noises from somewhere upstairs but she didn't mind. It wasn't her house. She coulnd't comment on it - she tried not to picture Lacey being bent backward over a desk but she knew that was likely to be what was going on up there. Not the best vision to have of someone you consider a sister, but... With how damn boring and miserable Foster was, she couldn't blame her for living her wild years a little later than usual. Max had proven himself to be a nice man, after all, so she couldn't complain. Maybe part of her was jealous that she wasn't seeing any action, but... Never say never. She'd been dry just as long as Max had before he met Lacey, so... Yeah.

She'd been on dates, but most guys went away running when they found out she had four kids - she gave up on that about two years ago. Three kids aged 10 and below? No way. They wanted their OWN kids, not someone else's.

Yes, it hurt, but that was the joy of dating as a single parent. You had to be ready for them to shut you down, or for them to promise to call you but never actually speak to you again. You'd call the number they gave you only to find out it was some little pizza place on the corner of the town they lived in. It hurt a lot. She got over it, though - at the end of the day, when she got home and had the joy of her kids running up (especially Tommy) and asking how things went, hugging her and admitting they'd waited up way later than they should have just to see her before they went to bed... That was much more worth it than spending time with someone who didn't have time for her.

Though this time, she couldn't help but feel that things would be different. She just hoped she wasn't setting herself up for heartbreak.

"Motion sensing lights? Aw, Adam." She shook her head and smiled, "I think lights for her closet that come on when the closet's open would be great. For the bathrooms, motion sensing lights would be all-around handy. Maybe for her room, something where you can clap to turn the lights on and off? I think she'd like that." She said. "I only worry about motion-sensing in the room in case it comes on and off during the night every time she rolls over in bed, y'know? At least with the clapper lights she has some control over it." She nodded.

"That's really thoughtful of you, thank you." She gently rubbed his shoulder in somewhat of an affectionate manner. "Don't trouble yourself too much, though. You already gave her the hat with the flashlight, and she loves that. If you can't get hold of the parts for all of that it's really not too much bother. I'm happy to buy some of them if it comes down to it." She said.

"Scott's welcome to stay over with George and Amy at some point, if he'd like to. It gets busy in our house but he'd have a lot of fun. I'm sure they'd end up playing video games with Tommy for most the night." She chuckled, "If that's something he ever wants to do, just wanted to let you know that he's welcome. God, both of you are welcome any time. After the restaurant..." She shook her head, "You saved my ass, basically. And it's really nice to see George spending time with another boy his age. It's good for him. He needs some encouragement to get out and see the world a bit - he likes basketball, and he plays that. But he's little, so some of the bigger kids wipe the floor with him. He tries his best." She smiled.

--

"If he's around other dogs, yes. He'll adopt their behavior a little more." Ethan patted Scott on the head. "Don't worry, dude, I'll keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't get into any trouble, okay?" He smiled. "You leave the training to me. It won't be easy purely because he's quite a lively and wild breed, but it's possible. The longer he spends around us, the more he'll adapt to home life. He'll calm down, I swear." He said. "You go eat your ice cream. Roscoe's a friendly dog by the looks of him. He was only warning Todd not to step out of line. He won't hurt him." He said. "Go on, scram." He nudged him, playfully.

When Scott inevitably joined the kids again, George was happy enough playing with Roscoe. Amy was sat peacefully eating her ice cream, not really paying anything much mind. She was just chilled. Chilled and happy. She noticed Scott and felt a knot tie in her stomach. She really wanted to ask him about it, ask him about why he had that fear, why he checked every bathroom stall even though it was obvious that all of them were empty.

She had a lot of questions. She wanted to speak. She wanted to say something. A cry for help from someone who was the same age as her (sort of) and had potentially been through the same thing and-

"Why were you scared?" She gulped, a line of sweat gently developing across her forehead. Don't panic. Don't panic. Don't panic. "At the park?" She asked. "I mean, um--.." She looked down at her near-empty ice cream glass. Well, it was plastic, but still. She was lost for words - she could only hope that Scott didn't think her as weird. George was distracted with Roscoe and Todd, for now, so she thought she'd take the chance to ask.

--

Tommy looked at Riley, however, and just smiled.

"Yeah, I'm good." He said, "Just someone texting me. Someone from school asking if I want to hang out, I think. Not a number I have saved so it's probably one of Jimmy Pecks' friends trying to mess around." He said, "Can't be anything to worry about. They could have gotten my number from like... Half the people in the school, basically, so if they just start acting stupid I'll block the number." He said.

Did he think that the killer may be contacting him?

Yes. But he didn't want to believe it. He didn't even want to think about.

He looked at his phone again and saw another text.

'Want to hang out? =)'

Attached was a picture of... The ground. Dirt. Grass. Trees. Stuff.

He shut the phone off again and shook his head, "Yeah, just someone trying to play games. Nothing to be worried about. I'd be worried if they sent pictures of the house, or something, but they haven't, so." He laughed.

He scooped up some ice cream and gently patted Riley on the nose with it, leaving a small splodge.

He just needed a distraction at this point.
 
"Dolly Parton is a classy woman," he pointed out. Kate figured out pretty quickly that Adam was a country boy through and through. "I'd say more Faith Hill, if I had to take a guess though." He liked this, just cutting vegetables and talking. Kate was a strong, capable woman. She was beautiful too. Her husband who left her was a fool. He might have had his own reasons, but the kids he left behind deserved better. She did too.

Was he that better? No. Not by a long shot. But he could provide what he could, even if it was just on a friendship level.

Did Adam date? Occassionally. Dates with other women did not go very well or very far. He wasn't a mindreader and often times he'd get lectured about how he should have picked up this trait or another. One woman ended it after the third date because Adam did not send her good morning or good night texts....it showed a lack of consideration? That was what was mentioned.

But usually it came down to the fact he was not bright. Not in the educational sense. More women leaned towards Cameron because he was college educated, he had a set career and he was charasmatic with his words. Cameron would know to buy flowers and say something sweet...as where Adam would fix a squeaky door.

Girls didn't want the squeaky doors fixed, they wanted the other forms of affection. That was at a loss to him more than raising children. And he was already drowning at that. Kate didn't seem put off by his mannerisms, calling him sweet and nice.

Nice....he liked that.

It was much better than hearing about the family abuse over and over again.

"If you wanted to be less controlled," Yes both of them could hear Lacey trying to muffle the sounds that Max could get out of her. "Ethan is a good babysitter. He helped me with the kids today. There's a good country bar with line dancing in Medway."

He coughed sliding the veggies in a bowl for her already wishing to transition to the next topic. Maybe if he was lucky she would have missed him asking her on a date and they could continue their friendship instead of getting flat out rejected. Or worse....laughed at. "No trouble at all. I know a guy. It will just take a few hours. That will give her a good night's sleep. That's important for kids. The restaurant, I'm just glad I could help."
 
"Is your dad going to be ok with a fox in the house?" Scott asked. Ethan already knew the answer to that one. No. No his father would press upon the fact that Ethan should know better. What did he think he was doing? Bringing in a rat with fur into their home? It was bad enough that Ethan was stupid enough to get himself captured. If he was any good at his job, he would have controlled the situation. Now look. The police station fallout was a complete disaster and it wasprobably going to cost his father re-election.

Now he was bringing home wild animals. If Ethan wanted to make their family look weak, unhingedand crazy he was doing a fucking FANTASTIC job at it. His mother would be ashamed of him right now.

You get the idea.

But Ethan scooted Scott along to play before that could be delved into and the six year old felt loss of words. He froze in place as Amy came forward and was asking him why he was scared. Both children stared at each other for a good long time. Amy no doubt was losing her confidence every second at what she said as Scott felt bare ass naked for getting caught. He gulped and took Amy's hand.

If Jack was here, he might have decked Scott then and there for touching his girl. "The boogieman won't come. If he does I won't let him go near us anymore."

That much pretty much said it all.
--
"You're getting pictures sent?" She asked. Her nose wrinkled. There was an itch in the back of her head saying more needed to be figured out. Track the number shut this fucker down.

But it was waved with a resounding ....

Leave it alone.

Curiosity got them chained to chairs and almost killed. The long gashes on her thighs would always be a reminder. Riley reached into Tommy's pocket and turned off the phone. She turned off hers as well and then rubbed her icecream dabbed nose against his neck so he could have that icescream spool down his shirt and down his chest.
 

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