May 25, 2017

Raven: Week Thirty-Five, Day Six

Raven slept, pressed against Daryl's side.  Overnight all those months ago, he had essentially moved in with her.  He took his protective role seriously.

Although it was annoying to have him around all the time, listening to his inane chatter, and watching his ridiculous news talk shows, there were definitely indisputable benefits.  He kept the place clean, he took care of the wailing brat, and he wanted to pay for everything for her. 

She could easily ignore his blathering in exchange for those perks.
In the middle of the night, she rolled out of bed, throwing her hand up to cover her mouth, racing for the bathroom.
Even though it was vile throwing up the acidic bile.  It was well worth it.  The next phase of her plan was about to be put into motion.
Rinsing her mouth with water, she padded back into her room and laid down in bed beside her boyfriend.
 Without waking, Daryl rolled over in his sleep and wrapped his arms around her.  Raven smiled.  He couldn't stand to be without her.

She fell back to sleep.

Daryl kissed Raven's cheek and rolled out of bed.  He liked to be able to let his girl sleep in.  It was his way of pampering her and showing his love.
He headed upstairs before Onyx could wake up his mama.  "Good morning, bud," he said, lifting him up.
Onyx might not be his son by blood, but he was determined to be this boy's father of the heart.  He was working up his nerve to ask Raven to marry him. Sometimes there was something intimidating about her...
He was just going to have to man up and reach for what he wanted.

And he wanted Raven as a family.

Slipping back downstairs, Daryl got in the shower.
A glance out the window showed the gloomy fog enclosing the town like a shroud.  Ooo... that was a good one, he thought, trying to memorize it.  His fingers itched to run to his computer and jot down the note, but he knew he would get too distracted.

And this was an important morning...
Daryl practically skipped down the stairs, already humming under his breath.
He rooted through the refrigerator, grabbing a few ingredients that were necessary.  
He'd been going to the grocery store and had started a few recipes.  Otherwise all his girl would eat was salad.  Blech!   There should be nothing green in their food!
Watching the clock anxiously, he pulled the waffles from the oven before they were burned. 
Success!  He grabbed a plate.


 "Rise and shine, babe," Daryl said, heading into the room with the freshly baked waffles.  Raven rustled underneath the covers, groaning when she realized it was time to wake up.
He watched as she pushed the covers off, baring her body to his gaze.  He felt his mouth water.  He wanted her all the time...

He saw the corner of her mouth kick up in a knowing grin.  Sometimes it felt like she could read his very thoughts!

"Morning," she drawled, standing up. 

"Made you breakfast in bed," Daryl said, placing her plate of waffles on the bedside table.   
"Mmmm... looks good enough to eat," she teased, bending over as she picked up her plate and casting a seductive look over her shoulder.  "Doesn't it?"

Daryl groaned at the pretty picture she presented.  Dang, she pushed all his buttons!  Unfortunately, he knew there wasn't time to do anything about it.  And based on the grin on her face, she knew it.

"You like torturing me, don't you?" he asked heavily. 

"Mmmmmhmmmm," she agreed, sauntering out the door.

Adjusting his shorts, he followed her down the stairs.


"You sure you're okay watching the hoodlum?" she asked, toying with her waffles.
Daryl chuckled at her pet name for Onyx.  "Yeah. I already told you I'm fine watching Onyx.  You go kick ass with your interview!"

Raven blew a kiss.  "Great. Love you!" she beamed, jumping up from the table.  She still had to get ready.  "Thanks for cooking!" she called over her shoulder.


 Ms. Prince had said she would send a car for her.

Raven sneered when she saw the p.o.s. that sat idling in front of her house.  She should've sent a limo, she thought with irritation. 


Daryl finished the dishes, then checked his watch.  Onyx should be sleeping for another hour or so.  So, he finally had some time to do a little writing!
He powered up his laptop and started a new word file.  The gloomy fog... no... the fog shrouded... no... his fingers fingers hovered over the keys, typing and then backspacing as he tried to remember the exact wording he'd used earlier in the morning.  Dammit. He knew he should've written it down.

Frustrated, he slumped forward, resting his forehead on his knuckles.  Usually the words came so easily to him, practically flowing form his fingertips.  But, lately... the words just didn't seem to come. 
Sighing, he spun in his chair and reached for a novel from the bookcase he'd set up in the office.  Sometimes when he couldn't write himself, it cheered him up to visit some of the worlds of his favorite books. 

He especially loved reading about wolves and werewolves.  Really, anything paranormal.  In fact, he was trying to write a book about the politics of a werewolf clan here in Midnight Hollow.

He heard Onyx wailing.  His time was up.  With a sigh, he dropped his book on the desk and left the room, headed up the stairs.
"Hey little man," he crooned, tossing the boy up in the air and catching him.  "You ready to play?"


"DARYL?" Raven called as she stepped inside.

"Yeah, just finishing up dinner!" he called out from the kitchen.

"I NEED TO TALK TO YOU!" she yelled.  "COME HERE!"
Daryl flipped the hand towel over his shoulder, heading into the entry hall.  "What's up, babe? How was your..." he stopped, trailing off mid-sentence.
She was wearing her old maternity dress.  His gaze flew to meets hers.  "Are you...?" he asked, his heart pounding in his chest, an odd mixture of fear and anticipation.

Raven nodded slightly, shifting nervously.
"Oh babe," he groaned, sprinting across the hall and pulling her into his arms.  "Oh my plumbbob. We're gonna have a baby?" he asked.

Raven nodded again. "Yeah.  Are you mad at me?"
"Mad at you, babe? No!" he told her gently, stroking her face.  "Accidents happen, right?"

Raven barely managed to keep from rolling her eyes.  This pregnancy was definitely not an accident.  She could almost smell his happiness and knew he felt like he'd finally gotten her where he wanted her.  As if!  She actually had him right where she wanted him!
Nervously, he reached into his pants pocket.  "Babe... there's something I've been wanting to ask you," he said with a shaky voice.  He cleared his throat.  "Er, especially now that we're going to have a baby... and not just that.... you know how much I love you, right?"

Raven widened her eyes.  "What is it, Daryl?" she pressed. 

"Hold on a sec," he drawled, dropping to a knee.
Raven gasped, making him smile. 

With a flourish, he held out the ring.  "Marry me, Raven.  Be my wife."
"Yes! I thought you'd never ask!" she cooed, quickly holding her hand out for him to slip the ring on.
"I'm going to make you the happiest woman in the world," he promised her. 
Then reaching down and rubbing his hand on the slight bump on her belly.  "And the best daddy in the world," he added, "to Onyx and this baby."

Raven grinned.  "Oh, I know," she told him.

***

They settled in front of the TV, Daryl flipping to a local news station.

"...And next up, the Black-Wolff Widow's disappearance out of Sunset Valley...  "

Raven gripped Daryl's thigh, her nails digging into his skin.

Distracted, he reached for her hand.  "Ow! Damn, babe! That hurts!"
"...nobody's mad at you. You're not in any trouble.  We love you and want you to come home..."

Raven felt a black rage sweep over her.  How. Dare. He?!   The edges of her vision started to fade.
"Holy shit, babe! What'd you do that for?" Daryl asked, jumping up.  He'd just heard Raven growl angrily before grabbing the vase sitting on the table and hurling it at the television.  He didn't even know what the newscaster was talking about since he'd been busy trying to pull her nails from his leg.

Raven blinked, staring at the broken TV screen and the shattered vase on the floor.  She'd gone through all of this to start over and now this...   She rubbed her temples as a headache pounded.   She was going to have to fix this...

Intermission: Back in Sunset Valley

The Black-Wolff home had been rocked by the huge meteorite that fell from the sky. 

Initially, the press just couldn't seem to get enough of the tragedy. The paparazzi had camped out on their doorstep, peppering for them for comments any time one of them stepped outside.

"No comment!" Jason called, grabbing the pizza quickly and ducking back inside.
"You'd think they'd find a new story and move on," he said sourly, dropping the pizza on the blackened counter-top while Moudy obsessively scrubbed at the char marks on the floor.

Gently, he approached his friend.  "Come on, man, you need to eat."

"The soot just won't come out," Moudy mumbled.  "It has to come out."

Jason took the broom from Moudy's hands.  "You've got to eat," Jason told him, adding.  "Liz would want you to."
Moudy broke down, right there in what was left of the kitchen.

"How am I supposed to live without her?" he asked brokenly.

***

Time has a way of healing all wounds.
With time, the home was gutted of the remnants of the meteor blast.

Macy and Lacie had graduated.

Lacie had even married.

Life moved on, with or without them.

***

"I called this press conference to say, publically, that I just want my daughter to come home," Jason announced, reading his canned speech.
"Nobody's mad at you. You're not in any trouble.  We love you and want you to come home," he said with a shaky voice.  The night Lacie had run had created fresh wounds for the family.

The police had explained that as a young adult, they couldn't waste resources trying to locate Lacie.  It was apparent she'd run off and didn't want to be found.  They only got involved if there was some sort of crime.

Which there wasn't.

"Was Lacy's disappearance related at all to her husband's death?  Does her family still blame her?"  He glanced to his left and saw the journalist scribbling away on her notepad. 

Jason shook his head.  This was a nightmare, he thought, swiping his hand over his face.  Far worse than the sex scandal he'd faced some years ago.
"Mr. Black-Wolff! Glance this way for a picture!" the journalist pressed.  "Just one picture!"  She snapped a series of photos, nearly blinding him with the flash.
Jason turned from her and swallowed with difficulty.  "That is all," he said quietly.  "Thank you..."

He just wanted to find his little girl so they could all heal.

 ***

 "... And that will not be a problem for you?" Mrs. Landgraab asked tonelessly.   The nerve of that man to get on the news and dredge it all back up again!
"No ma'am.  That won't be a problem."

***

It was hard for Macy to stay upstairs in the attic room she'd shared with her sister.  She often felt the ghost of Lacie had stayed behind to torment her.  Perhaps the evil in her sister would always taint the room.

Her broken arm had healed, but she would always have a permanent reminder of the night her sister had run away.

Her hand grazed the scar on her forehead.
She headed downstairs.  Dad was at work and Moudy had taken Jackson to the fair with Jackson's new boyfriend - Jeremy Vasquez. 
The night of the meteor blast, they'd gone over to the Vasquez's home and it was then that the boys claimed they'd known.

At least something good had come from that awful night.
Her sister had come from the Landgraabs, hysterically ranting that nobody believed her.  Macy had been afraid to say anything.  Her sister seemed more unhinged than normal. Macy hadn't needed to see Lacie's aura to know that her sister was in a dangerous mood.  

She should have closed the door.

Instead, the next thing she knew, Lacie had whacked her in the head with the hamp, screaming that it should have been hers.  What should have been hers? she'd wondered as she laid on the kitchen floor, blood running from the gouge in her head.

It wasn't until much later that she'd realized her sister had still been fixated on that damn Prom Queen Crown.  She should've let the bitch have it years ago!  Funny what was important to a person one day could be utterly worthless the next...

***




***

 Macy glanced up from the gardening show towards the door.  Who could be dropping by at this hour? she wondered, glancing at the clock. 
She was surprised to see the handsome man in front of her.  She narrowed her eyes, taking a moment to screen his aura.  Surprisingly, he had none.

Everyone she met had an aura... why didn't he?

"Miss Black-Wolff?" he asked in a smooth, deep voice as he held his hand out in greeting.
Realizing she was staring, she abruptly reached out.  "I'm sorry. Yes. That's me."  She shook his hand, startled by the shock of awareness that she felt between them.  "Umm... and you are?" she finally asked.
The handsome stranger grinned widely, as though she'd just told a joke.  "Leo Moffet.  I was wondering if I could speak with you."
Macy had begun to feel more uncomfortable and out of place. Something about this man just didn't feel right.  "I'm sorry, I don't talk to journalists."  She started to shut the door.
The hand reached out and stopped the closing door.  "Oh, I'm not a journalist," he told her.  "Trust me. You're gonna wanna talk to me," he said, pressing in.