Tag Archive | Francesca Xaviers

Glitter – Chapter 21 – Crossroads

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Lee slumped against the door as the girl walked towards him.

“You weren’t supposed to be here” she scowled at him stopping several feet away.

Shrugging he pushed himself from the door. “Can we talk. Please.” The entreaty in his tone was surprising to both of them.

“Don’t you think you’ve said enough” she asked glancing behind her.

“I’m not going to hurt you” he shoved his hands in his pockets. “I only wanted to understand why?”

“You know why” she crossed her arms her nostrils flaring.

“I’ll get help” he promised stepping towards her.

Taking several steps backwards “you’ve said that before. You never change.”

“This time I will” he cried hands reaching out to her. “Please I don’t want to lose you too.”

“What do you mean, lose me too” she asked her resolution slipping.

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Stopping he snapped his mouth shut. “Fuck” he slammed his fist into a nearby wall. Turning he walked down to the water. He needed to get away. To think. Maybe he really did need help. He heard her call his name but he kept on going. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her anymore than he already had.

Fawn watched him go. She took a tentative step to follow then stopped. What good would it do? They’d been down this road before. She’d always when after him. He always promised to get help and never did. It was time to end the cycle. It was in his ball park now to decide what he wanted.

Walking into the silent boathouse she let her hand run along the wall. They’d had so many good times here. All marred with the idea that it could have been better if he only had the money he’d been cheated out of. Shaking her head she never understood his obsession. It wasn’t like he was living paycheck to paycheck. He had everything he needed and more.

Wiping at a tear on her cheek she went to the bedroom to get her things. Things would have been better if he hadn’t been here at all. Moving to the closet she took the few items she’d left there out laying them on the bed. The empty space her things left behind made her sick inside. The door behind her opened. Without looking she barked “go away.”

***

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“Thought you might need some help” a girls voice said behind her.

“Francesca” she cried running to give her a hug “I’m sorry.”

“Hey” Francesca rubbed Fawn’s back “it’s going to be okay.”

Fawn leaned into her crying little “am I doing the right thing?”

“Of course you are” she soothed patting her back. “If you don’t leave he’ll continue this behavior.”

“I know” she lifted red rimmed eyes “but is it really so bad? I mean he’s not abusive or anything. Maybe I’m making too much of this.”

Lifting the girls chin up Francesca shook her head. “He left you on the side of the road. No one does that.”

“He was upset” she tried to cover for him “and I told him to leave me there.”

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“What if something had happened to you” she asked.

“Nothing did.”

“Thankfully” Francesca sighed sitting on the side of the bed. “What do you want to do?”

Looking around the room Fawn shook her head. “I don’t know. I thought I did but I don’t.”

“Sweetie” she patted the bedspread beside her “let me ask you one thing. How does he make you feel?”

Sitting beside her Fawn shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Of course you do” she prompted.

“Insignificant” she mumbled “like I don’t matter. Like the only thing he cares about is money.”

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“Do you see that changing if you stay” she asked.

Tears rolled down her cheeks “no” her voice was small and sad.

“Then it’s time for a change” Francesca said “it doesn’t have to forever. If he changes you can come back.”

“I know it’s just….” sniffing a little “I don’t want to hurt him.”

“Sometimes that’s the only way people realize they have to change” she said “sometimes it has to hurt.”

“I know” she mumbled. Standing up she asked “did you bring any boxes?”

“They’re in the truck” Francesca said “I’ll go get them.”

Walking outside she noticed Peter was down by the water’s edge talking to Lee. She hoped he was talking some sense into the guy.

***

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Peter didn’t know what to say. He thought Lee was being an idiot for being here when he said he wouldn’t be. With effort he restrained himself from saying so. “How are you holding up” he asked instead.

“I messed up” he said.

“You did” he nodded without offering sympathy.

“What do I do” he asked looking up at the other man.

“Get help like you’ve promised a hundred times before” he suggested “talk to someone.”

“She doesn’t want to hear about it….”

“Not her you idiot” Peter cut him off. “A professional. Fawn doesn’t want to hear about your hang ups about money anymore.”

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“I’m not crazy” was his first knee jerk reaction.

Grunting Peter ran a hand through his hair. “If you want my opinion you are.” That got Lee climbing to his feet, anger flashing in his eyes.

“You’re letting a beautiful girl slip through your fingers because of your obsession. If that isn’t crazy I don’t know what is.”

Sagging like wilted lettuce he whined “you don’t understand….”

“And I don’t want to” Peter cut him off. “Look I think you’re a nice guy but if you continue the way you are you’re going to lose the best thing you have going for you.” Pausing he walked a few steps away “get help.”

Lee stared out across the water. The idea he needed help running through his mind again. He didn’t know anymore.

***

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Edelle leaned into Castel as they watched Minions with the boys. “Not exactly the romantic evening you envisioned is it” she whispered in his ear.

Smiling he shook his head. “No it’s..” pausing he searched for the right words.

“It’s alright to say you’re bored” she chided him. “Most guys I’ve dated since having Avery haven’t even gotten this far.”

“I wasn’t going to say boring” he protested despite his lips quivering.

“Liar” she giggled as his fingers tried to tickle her sides.

“Mama shhh” Avery put a finger to his lips which was instantly mimicked by Neel.

“I guess you were told” Castel chuckled earning himself a shush from Neel.

“So were you” she whispered taking his hand. “Next time I promise I’ll get a babysitter.”

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“No this is fine” he protested “I’m enjoying it.”

She gave him a long considering look. “I’m not sure if I should believe you. It’s nice of you to say so though.”

He could see the uncertainty in her eyes. Probably because most men run in the opposite direction with they find out the woman they’re interested in is pregnant or has kids. He’d done it himself in the past. Maybe this was a sign he was ready to settle down. Ready to stop running from the past and what might have been beens. There was no point holding on to the anger he had surrounding a lot of his memories. Blair had made the right decision. He all but forced her into it. He had acted like an ass.

“What was that look for” Edelle asked lifting a hand to soothe his frown from his forehead.

“Mama” Avery complained “shhhh.”

“Sorry baby” she whispered to her son. Turning to Castel she took his hand and led him into the other room where they could talk.

Looking at his feet instead of into her eyes “I’m sorry” he murmured.

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“For what” she asked motioning for him to sit. When he was situated she sat in his lap wrapping her arms around his neck. “Something’s bothering you. I can see it in your eyes.” She didn’t add that the frown marks were a dead give away as she let her fingers trace the lines. “You were thinking of her again, weren’t you?”

Meeting her gaze he nodded. “It’s been over for years and I still can’t forgive myself for the things I did to her.”

She could hear the regret in his voice. Leaning her head on his shoulder “you were a lot younger then” she tried to console him.

Grunting he shook his head “that’s no excuse. It took me years to even admit I was at fault. It was because I didn’t know myself back then. I thought I could pretend to be what she wanted and pretend to be what my parents expected me to be. In the process I turned into something I didn’t want to be.”

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Brushing his hair back “I like who you turned out to be. You save my son’ life.”

Shrugging a little he tried to brush her thanks away. “Well he had the really hot mom.”

Slapping his shoulder she protested “you didn’t even meet me until afterwards.” Cupping his face she forced him to look at her. “Stop running from who you are” leaning in close brushing her lips across his “because who you are is pretty damn good.”

His arms tightened around her. He couldn’t find the words to express what she meant to him. He could feel the shackles of the past falling away from his mind and soul. He wasn’t perfect nor ever would b but maybe he wasn’t as bad as he believed he was.

***

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A knock at the door prevented him from saying anything. The look they shared as Edelle moved to see who was at the door was enough. “That’s probably Neel’s parents” she said walking away.

“Prisha, Ajay come in” her voice was warm and welcoming.

“Thank you so much for watching our son” Prisha said coming inside “sorry it was so last minute.”

“Don’t worry about it” she waved the woman’s words of thanks away. “Avery loved having someone to play with.”

“Neel can be a handful” Ajay said “I hope he behaved himself.”

“About as well as any three-year old can” she laughed. “Believe me Neel wasn’t the one causing trouble. That’s my son’s middle name.”

Prisha waved at Castel who was leaning against the wall. “Were you two on a date” she inquired.

Shrugging he said “one of the hazards of dating a single mom.”

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“We’re sorry” Ajay repeated “if we had known we would have asked someone else to babysit.”

“Don’t worry about it” Castel encouraged “it was enlightening.”

Walking over to him Edelle kissed his cheek. “That’s one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said about helping me babysit. Most of the time the guy makes up an excuse to leave as soon as possible.” She leaned her head back to smile up at him.

“Well” he chuckled “I need help getting up to date on kids movies. I don’t know what’s out there anymore.”

“Why” she asked curious “I thought you were bored.”

“I wasn’t bored” he protested.

“Uh huh” she giggled kissing his cheek. “Nice try.” turning to Prisha she said “the boys are watching Minions. They’ve been awfully quiet so either they’re up to something or they’re asleep.”

“That’s never a good sign with kids” Ajay chuckled following the other’s into the living room.

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“Aw look at them” Prisha cooed fining both boys cuddled together on the floor asleep.

“I’ll get him” Ajay said bending to scope his son into his arms. “Hopefully he stays like this the rest of the night.”

Following him to the door Prisha turned saying “thanks again for watching him for us. Next time it’s on us.”

“Avery enjoyed it” she assured the older woman waving as they left.

“But we’ll accept your offer the next time we want a night out just the two of us” Castel said “we’ll let you know when.”

“Good night” Prisha said as they closed the door behind them.

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Turning Edelle asked “will there be a next time?”

“Of course there will be” he leaned down pressing his lips to hers.

“Good” she sighed breathing deeply. “It’s been a long time since I’ve met anyone willing to give me a chance once they find out I have a kid.”

“As far as I’m concerned Avery’s an added bonus” he hugged her tight. “After all it’s not everyday I get mistaken for Aquaman.”

Chapter 20 – Learning to Cope /

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Glitter – Chapter 14 – Rare Expressions

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“Why do you insist on driving this direction when you know it’ll upset you” Fawn asked.

Driving past the huge house built like an ancient castle Lee growled. The sound came from deep inside him. “Why should they get to flaunt their wealth when we live in a shack” he complained.

“We don’t live a in a shack” she corrected “it’s a very nice houseboat situated on a tropical island most people would die to visit lead alone live on.”

Glaring at her in silence he eventually said “don’t you think we’re entitled to some of that money?” He waved a hand towards the ostentatious house.

Fawn stared out her window. The simple answer was no she didn’t. That response she knew wasn’t the one Lee wanted to hear. Reaching across the center console she took his hand. “I think you need to let it go. Your mother didn’t feel she was being cheated so why should you?”

His cheeks turned red as he absorbed her words. “Your taking their side” the words seemed to explode from him.

“I’m not taking anyone’s side” she reached from the door handle. “Stop the car.”

“What” he shouted staring at her.

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“Stop. The. Car” she said each word in a firm clipped tone.

“What for” he blinked at her as if he was trying to translate what she was saying into a language he could understand.

“I’m getting out” she opened the door. They weren’t going very fast. She doubted she’d get hurt if she decided to jump out. She hated to ruin her outfit though. It was new.

“No you’re not” he reached across the seat attempting to shut the door. The car swerved.

“Watch out” Fawn cried as they narrowly missed the trees on the side of the road.

Slamming on the brakes Lee threw the car into park. “Fawn don’t do this” he pleaded.

The door opened an slammed shut a moment later. Shaking she leaned against the side of the car. “You need help she cried when he joined her.

“Me” he growled “I’m not the one trying to jump out of a moving car.”

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“No you’re the one obsessed about what you think is yours.” She pushed away from the car “I’m tired of hearing about how unfair you think it is.”

“It is unfair” he insisted.

“Have you ever stopped to think how it makes your mom feel?” She could see by his surprised expression it never entered his mind. “She’s the one who never go to live with her dad because of her psycho mother. Maybe she doesn’t want his money because it hurts too much.”

“I don’t see what that has to do with this” he said. “Why wouldn’t she want what’s hers?”

“You are so thick headed sometimes” she threw her hands in the air. “To her Eddie Bennett isn’t her father. She was raised by Casey. Her grandfather. That’s her dad.”

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“Biologically….”

“Stop. Just stop” she cried “Lee I hate it when you get like this. You need help.” She turned and started walking.

“Where are you going” he demanded.

“I’m going home” she called back to him.

“I’m drive you home” he said “just get in the car.”

“I’m not going there” she turned to look at him. “I’ll come get my things later when your at work. I love you but I can’t deal with this obsession of yours anymore.”

***

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“Slow down” Francesca yelled lifting her head rubbing the top where it had bumped into the glove compartment.

“Sorry” he chuckled “the road’s bumpy.”

“It’s more like the guy driving” she swatted is shoulder.

“Did you find them” Peter asked flashing her his pearly whites in a devil may care smile.

“Nope” she shook her head putting her feet up on the dashboard.

“You shouldn’t do that” he said taking a sharp left turn.

“What” she frowned at him “put my feet on the dash? Why?”

“If we got into an accident” he explained “I wouldn’t want you getting hurt.”

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“I’m wearing a seat belt” she pointed out as if that would save her.

“You know what they say….”

Rolling her eyes “myth busters proved you won’t die just because your feet are on the dash in an accident. You’ll get mangled pretty good and probably lose your feet but not die.”

Giving her a sideways glance Peter said “how do you know these things?”

Shrugging unconcerned she said “I like knowing stuff. I’m a random font of information.”

“What time do you have to be at work” he asked dropping the subject.

“Five” she leaned back closing her eyes. “I’m taking a group out to do some night fishing.”

“Sounds like fun” he teased.

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Glaring at him “then you take them out. I can think of a hundred other things I’d rather be doing then taking three overweight old guys out on a boat to fish.”

“Put like that I can see why it doesn’t appeal to you” he chuckled a little. “Hey who’s that?”

Sitting up Francesca frowned “that looks like Lee’s girlfriend Fawn.”

“What is she doing out here alone” he slowed the truck down stopping behind the walking girl.

Francesca hopped out. “Fawn” she called the girl’s name.

Fawn looked up tears streaking her face “oh it’s you.”

“You sound relieved” Francesca teased “come on let us give you ride.”

Nodding she got into the truck while Francesca scooted to the middle next to Peter. “Thanks” she murmured taking the tissue Francesca handed her to dry her eyes.

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“Where to milady” Peter asked waggling his eyebrows at her.

“To Macy’s” she said firmly “I can’t handle seeing Lee at the moment.”

Peter and Francesca exchanged glances. Peter lived close enough to know when things weren’t going well between the two. Neither one of them had much control with their tempers flared. Stopping in front of Macy’s house Peter turned to Fawn. “If you need anything don’t hesitate to ask” he offered.

“I might need help getting my things when Lee is at work” she sniffed.

“Do you want us to talk to Lee for you” Francesca offered ignoring Peter’s shaking head.

“That’s awfully nice of you to offer” Fawn sighed “but no. Lee has to make a few decisions. I can’t make him change.”

“Alright” Francesca gave her a hug “let me know if you want to talk. I’m always available.”

“I’ll do that” Fawn mumbled moving towards the house she shared with Macy. She seldom stayed here anymore, at least not since she got engaged to Lee. That was beginning to feel like a terrible decision on the whole.

***

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“It’s about time you got here” Keli grumbled as a boy joined her on the bench.

“Hey it’s not my fault you got roped into babysitting your bratty little brother” Dante scowled down at her. “I can leave. I get enough to crabby moody people at home.”

“It’s just we had plans” she pouted glaring across the playground at her brother.

“Did you tell your dad you had plans” Dante asked sitting back.

“Eew” she scrunched up her nose “why would I do that?”

“It might make things easier” he suggested.

“Like he cares” she crossed her arms. “All he cares about is the next skirt he can bag.”

“Is he still seeing your neighbor” he asked.

“Who else” she rolled her eyes “they were going on a date tonight which is why our plans went to shit.”

“She could be nice….”

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“Like your step mom” she asked rolling her eyes.

“She is nice. I just wish I had a say in whether or not they got married” he mumbled “it’s like he brought home a complete stranger to replace mom.”

“I suppose Erika would be a step up from Helena” she giggled. “That woman was the epitome of the blonde bimbo. Tristan and I made short work of her. She left screaming.”

“Did your dad like her” he asked imagining how his dad would feel if he and his brother did that to their new step mom.

“Hell no” shaking her head she said “he liked the way she made his dick feel. He didn’t love her. He was out the next night looking for a replacement.”

Wow….just …. Wow” shaking his head.

“What” she demanded “I thought you like it when I say it like it is.”

“Yeah but…” he looked away mumbling “that was really crude.”

“I meant it as a compliment” Keli said “it’s one of the few things I learned from Helena.” Reaching across she rubbed her hand across his package. “I could give you a demonstration…”

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Jumping to his feet Dante shook her hand off him. “I huh….not here….” he glanced nervously around the almost empty park.

“No one will know” she moved up close to him.

“What about your little brother” he said feeling like his brain was turning to mush while other parts were coming to life.

“It’s nothing he hasn’t seen before” she said.

“Ugh that’s just gross” he said all desire draining from him like being tossed into a pool of cold water.

“I was joking” she laughed “Tristen doesn’t know anything. Dad’s always somewhat discreet when he’s around.”

Walking away from her “that’s not something to joke about” reproof think in his words.

“You’re right I’m sorry” she followed after him “please don’t be mad at me.”

“I’m not mad” he lied “more grossed out.”

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“What’s up with them” Maura asked watching the two teenagers.

“Who knows” Tristen shrugged “it’s my sister. She’s probably being gross.”

“I have a sister her age” Maura nodded knowingly “she’s cool though.”

“I wish I had a cool sister” Tristen said “I’m jealous.”

“Don’t be” Maura shrugged “Olivia can be gross too.”

“How can she be gross and cool at the same time” he asked.

“It’s gross when she’s kissing on girls” Maura said scrunching up her face.

“My sister kisses boys and that’s gross” he said.

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“Olivia says kissing girls is better than boys” Maura added “I don’t know what makes it different though. I’ve never kissed anyone except my dad and he doesn’t count.”

“You want to try it” Tristen asked.

“You mean like now” she asked looking around.

“No” he shook his head “when we’re older.”

“Oh” she smiled relieved “I’d rather wait too.”

Nodding he pointed “want to swing?”

“Last one there is a rotten egg” Maura challenged.

“No fair” he cried chasing after her.

***

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“Have you had a chance to talk to Raven yet” Hazel asked sitting beside her husband on the couch.

Absently Traz lifted his eyes from the magazine he was reading. “Talk? About what?”

Sitting up Hazel glared at him. “Don’t tell me you forgot about what we discussed.”

Blinking he looked away from her “I uh…”

“You did forget” she accused shaking her head.

“Not exactly” he said slowly meeting her eyes “I just don’t know where to begin.”

“How about in the same place you would if you caught him kissing a girl” she suggested.

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“But it wasn’t a girl he was kissing” he objected. “Don’t you think it’d be less awkward if you talked to him?”

“Less awkward for whom? You? Him” she asked raising an eyebrow at him.

“Yes to all of it” he said “I don’t know what to say to him.”

Hazel silently contemplated what he said before asking “are you embarrassed that your son is into guys?”

“What” he cried shocked “no of course not. Love is love regardless of sex.”

“Then what’s your problem” she demanded watching him closely.

Squirming beneath her gaze he said “it’s different. I don’t know why but it is. I can’t relate to him wanting to be with a guy when I’ve never even considered it.”

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“Is that all” she laughed “honey it’s no different. He likes boys. He has the same urges and desires you do except for it’s girls.”

“I guess it’s me who is making more of this then I should” he admitted.

“Yeah just a little” she agreed “I just want to make sure he knows we’re here for him and that he’s using protection.”

“We did have the sex talk with him…”

“I know” she gazed into her husband’s eyes “but I also remember the way we were when we were his age. I’m not ready to be a grandma yet.”

“Raven has a good head on his shoulders” Traz objected “I’m sure he’s doing the responsible thing.”

Raising an eyebrow she said “uh huh I’m sure my parents thought the same thing. It won’t hurt to remind him of a few things especially since he likes boys. He may not even be thinking they could get pregnant.”

Chapter 13 – Unique / Chapter 15 – Paint a Picture