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Posted: Apr 12 2008, 09:58 PM
Member No.: 8
Joined: 27-November 07
When she was gone, he sank down into his chair, and dropped his head into his hands. He hadn’t expected the strong reaction he’d had to seeing her again after so many years…hadn’t expected the longing and regret. He’d been so sure that that chapter of his life had been closed a long time ago. But seeing her again had brought it all rushing back. And then he’d kissed her…
He knew he shouldn’t have done it…he should have kept his distance. But when he’d seen her, he’d felt the long forgotten embers spark and ignite deep in his soul, and he’d just had to touch her…taste her…
And for just a moment, Bronte had responded. It was as though the years had never happened, and they were right back where they’d started – young and desperately in love! But the intervening years had happened. He couldn’t ignore that fact.
The fact was that he had left her. It didn’t matter that he’d had no choice at the time. He’d left her, and she had moved on. And so had he. He couldn’t forget that. If this was going to work, he was going to have to forget what he’d had with Bronte in the past. There was no going back.
Slowly he sat up and turned off his computer. He filed away the papers on his desk, and then stood up and headed for his office door, turning off the lights on the way. The outer office was already in semi-darkness, seeing as he’d let his assistant go home for the night.
He was just heading downstairs to lock up, when the front door opened and in walked another piece of his past. Like Bronte, she was tall and dark. But while Bronte exuded an earthy, warm sensuality, this woman was all cool, refined elegance. He’d never seen her with a hair out of place, or a wrinkle in her clothes.
“What are you doing here, Tori?” he asked warily.
“You know I hate it when you call me that,” the woman sniffed. “My name is Victoria.”
He watched her for a moment, eyebrow cocked, arms crossed, leaning against the wall. “You used to like it when I called you that,” he said softly, suggestively. He knew he shouldn’t bait her, but he was already feeling on edge.
“Yes, well I used to like a lot of things!” she snapped. “Thankfully, I’ve grown up since then!”
“And yet, you haven’t answered my question…What are you doing here – Tori?”
Casting him a furious glance, she lifted her chin. “I refuse to get into an argument with you Bastien. I haven’t the time. I’ve just been called in on a very important case, which means I’m going to have to spend a lot of time in Sim City. You’re going to have to take Christian for a while – at least until the trial is over. It could be a couple of months.”
“And what does Christian have to say about this? Does he want to leave Riverblossom Hills? Leave all of his friends?”
“He doesn’t have a choice. I won’t be able to be there very much, and I can’t take him to the city with me. It would be easier if you took him.”
“He’s old enough to spend some time on his own, Tori…”
“He’s only seventeen,” she interrupted him.
“I know that,” Bastien said. “But your mother’s there and I’m sure she can look after him when you’re in the city. I mean, he’s just starting his senior year in school. I’m sure he doesn’t want to be pulled away from all of his friends, and have to start all over again in a new town…”
“Bastien, I’ve got no choice. I can’t be there for him, and my mother can’t handle him right now…he needs a parent. He…he’s had some trouble...”
“What kind of trouble,” Bastien asked, instantly coming to attention.
Victoria closed her eyes for a moment, as though gathering herself. When she finally met his gaze again, he could see the worry in her eyes. “Towards the end of last school year, he started to get into trouble…nothing serious at first…just skipping school a few times, missing his curfew. Teenage things. But then his grades started slipping – a lot! You know he’s always had mostly A’s and a few B’s, but by the time school ended, he was barely getting by with C’s and D’s! And over the summer, he started sneaking out at night and getting into fights. The police even brought him home a couple of times. I can’t leave him in Riverblossom Hills under those circumstances, and I’m afraid to bring him to the city where the opportunities for trouble are so much greater...”
She took a step towards him, pleading. “He won’t talk to me, Bastien. I can’t reach him, and I don’t know what’s wrong. For once in your life, do the right thing and be a father!”
Bastien replied through gritted teeth, “That’s all I’ve ever wanted, Victoria! I wasn’t the one who walked out, remember?”
“No…you didn’t walk out. But that’s only because you were never in our marriage to begin with!”
They stood, facing each other, hands clenched, spines rigid, hurt and anger roiling between them in waves. Bastien closed his eyes, fighting for control, and finally took a step back.
“Let’s not fight,” he said finally. “This is not about us. We need to think about Christian – about what’s best for him.”
Victoria closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I know,” she said quietly, sounding closer to defeat than he had ever heard her before. “Please, Bastien…I don’t know what else to do. He needs something I can’t give him. He needs…he needs his father…”
Without thinking, Bastien reached out to comfort her, but when she stiffened, he dropped his hand. “Of course I’ll take him,” he said softly. “Why don’t I drive out Saturday and pick him up…would that work for you?”
“Yes…thank you,” she answered quietly. “That would be fine.”
“What about Roman and Saracen?” he asked after a moment.
“Mother is going to come to the city with me. She’ll be able to care for the children when I can’t. There still young enough that she can handle them, and they’re excited about living in the city for a while.”
Bastien nodded in acknowledgement, and they stood there for a moment. But there was nothing else to say, so she turned and started for the door. Before walking out, she stopped and looked back at him, unshed tears in her eyes, looking softer and more vulnerable than he had ever seen her before.
“He’s my first born son,” she whispered.
“I know,” he replied, understanding what she couldn’t put into words. “I’ll take good care of him.” She watched him for a moment, and then nodded slightly. Turning away, she walked out the door, leaving him alone.
I want to die peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather...
Not screaming in fear, like his passengers.
~ Anonymous ~
Posted: Apr 13 2008, 04:40 PM
Where you at, Hon?
Member No.: 3
Joined: 18-November 07
A 17 year old troublemaker... ... You've got your work cut out for you Bastien, but I think victoria is right. He needs his father.