|For The Love Of My Father
Author: TheDreamyOne PM
[Coauthored by Ardeth Saunders] Two precious gifts are given. Two precious gifts are taken away. [DonovanLoralei FarronKara Fic]Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Drama - Chapters: 12 - Words: 53,827 - Reviews: 56 - Updated: 08-21-03 - Published: 07-27-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1447360
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
NORMALCY IS GOOD
After spending a couple of hours in the hospital emergency room while Doctor Berger gave the twins a thorough examination, Farron was beyond thrilled to be home with his family. Brittany and Bryce were given a clean bill of health and Farron thought he could finally relax. He and Kara were worried about Loralei, who had been kept in the hospital overnight, but they had been assured that it was only for observation.
Hearing a loud sigh, he propped himself up on his elbow in their large master bed. The lights had been dimmed and Kara had been so quiet that he thought she had fallen asleep. He reached over and touched her cheek softly, receiving a loving smile from her as a reward. Brittany and Bryce were lying between them, sleeping soundly. He and Kara had started to put them down for the night in their crib, but somehow couldn't bear to leave them. So, they lifted them back out of the crib and brought them into their bed. Kara rested her hand on Brittany's back, offering her comfort when she appeared to become agitated in her sleep. Farron lifted her hand from the baby up to his lips and kissed it tenderly.
"I know you're exhausted, querida. Please sleep," he urged softly.
"I can't seem to drift off…I'm afraid I'll wake up to the reality that the nightmare is still going on," she admitted, lifting up onto her elbow.
"I promise you, it's over." He gazed into her eyes for the longest time; she seemed so lost. "Talk to me."
Kara relaxed back down onto the mattress. She had decided earlier she would never let Farron know that she had witnessed him stealing that car that night, or that his whole transformation into Mateo Luis had shaken her down to her foundation. She didn't want to burden him with any more guilt or misery. He…they…had experienced enough in the past few days to last several lifetimes. But as much as she didn't want to bring the subject up, she was afraid that he would somehow find out she had seen him. She didn't want that between them; it was too close to a lie and she had discovered enough of those lately. If Loralei inadvertently mentioned the car theft, then he would know she had been holding something back from him. "I…we…saw you when you left the house…the car you stole."
"No, no. I don't think you do," she said quickly, cutting him off before he could begin defending his actions. That wasn't what it was about; she was not judging him. "It wasn't the car, Farron. It was…the hair, your demeanor, the way you turned yourself off and…"
"Became someone else?"
"Yes," she whispered. "It threw me…and it frightened me."
He lowered his eyes for a moment before answering her. "It was the only way I could handle it," he explained in hushed tones so as not to wake the twins. "I could never willingly leave you, I'm not strong enough. Mateo is…ruthless."
"But, you are Mateo," she whispered. It surprised her the way he spoke about Mateo as though he were a separate person, although she thought she understood where his mindset was.
"Sadly, yes." He eased back down onto the mattress and rested his head on the pillow. "And I realized, while I was trying to be what I once was, that I can no longer be that man. Too much has changed in my life to allow it."
Kara slid her hand into his and their fingers entwined. "I'm not saying this to upset you, but I don't want anything lingering between us. You frightened me tonight."
"No…" he whispered a protest. It broke his heart to know his wife was afraid of him.
She squeezed his hand lightly. "No, darling, not in the sense that you are thinking. I was not frightened for my safety or that of the children's. It was that you seemed able to distance yourself so completely from all that we are to each other."
Farron nodded and repositioned himself so that he was able to be closer to his wife and yet not disturb their sleeping twins. He brushed his lips to hers tenderly. "It may have appeared that way, but it was not. No matter how hard I tried to keep my emotions in check, you and the children were always in my heart."
"I…love you, my darling Farron. I thought I was never going to hold you in my arms again," she admitted, feeling the rush of tears sting her eyes.
"I'm so sorry, but if it meant getting our angels back, my life was forfeit."
"It was a brave and valiant thing you did, Farron. But…" She was interrupted when he kissed her soundly.
"And if you ever try something so reckless as what you and Loralei did tonight…I'll…"
A slight smile touched Kara's lips. "You'll…what? Spank me?"
"Maybe," he answered, chuckling softly.
Kara laughed and touched her forehead to his. "As long as you make it worth my while."
"When haven't I," he asked playfully.
"Never, that I can recall," she answered truthfully. "But…there's always a first time for everything. Let's see how you measure up next time."
Farron lifted a brow as he studied his wife for a moment. "A challenge then? Are you sure you'll be up to it?"
"The question is not if I will be," she teased.
"Oh you'll pay for that, love."
Kara giggled, feeling as though things were right between them again. "I look forward to it," she assured him, glancing down at the twins. "And when you come for payment…I'll be ready."
"Such innuendos from my sweet wife." He grinned and kissed her again. "I'll have you begging."
"I have no doubt," she replied as she closed her eyes.
Farron watched her as she finally drifted off to sleep. She looked at peace and for that he was thankful. He was grateful for many things that night. Before he drifted off to sleep, he offered a silent prayer of thanks for the safe return of his children, and for the love of his family.
* * *
Farron waited patiently as the passengers from Flight 394 filed past him. It was his hope to speak to one particular airline employee. Two days after Bryce and Brittany had been brought home, he and Kara had received two telegrams. One was from her brother John who was currently in Europe on business. He apologized profusely for not being there for them when they needed family. He also assured them he was cutting his business short and would be back in Chicago as soon as he could. Telling his niece and nephew that he loved them wasn't enough; he needed to hold them in his arms. Farron smiled a little. Kara's brother John was as much in love with the twins as his own family. Family. It was something he grew to appreciate more each day.
The other telegram came from an unlikely source. Carrie Thompson, the Flight Attendant he and Kara had met on their trip back from Florida. Her thoughtfulness had touched them both immensely. It was then that he approached his brother about her. Ever leery, Donovan had done a complete and thorough background check on her. Distrust had not motivated Farron, but he did have a plan.
He looked away briefly when he heard commotion from behind him. When he turned back to resume his search, he found himself eye to eye with Sienna Morgan.
"So, Farron…" she purred. "So, you've sought me out, have you? Changed your mind," she asked, running a hand seductively down his chest. "Tired of that frigid little wifey of yours, I suppose."
Farron fought off the urge to strike her down physically. Instead, he thought he might have a little fun with her. He stepped forward and lowered his head until his lips were very close to her ear. In a husky whisper, one his wife so endearingly called his bedroom voice, he said, "You would like that, wouldn't you?"
Sienna's breath caught in her throat and a soft moan escaped her. The man was stunningly gorgeous. She had to have him.
"Would you like me to touch you…everywhere? I could slip you into the men's room and take you right here in the airport. Would you do as I say…can you be a good naughty girl?"
"I could be anything you wanted," Sienna assured him breathily. "I'll make your dreams come true."
Farron laughed, loud and boisterous. "I hate to disappoint you…well, actually, it's my pleasure to disappoint you…but I've come to see…" he trailed off as he brushed past her, causing her to stumble and catch herself before she fell to the floor. "Carrie," he announced, stepping toward the friendly Flight Attendant.
"You'll pay for that," Sienna screamed at him.
Farron looked over his shoulder briefly. "I've paid for my sins…have you?"
Carrie frowned as she watched Sienna hurry off, obviously upset and humiliated. "Mister Donovan," she questioned.
"Hello, Carrie," he acknowledge, smiling warmly. "Do you have a moment? There's something I'd like to discuss with you."
"Of course," she answered hesitantly. "This gate won't have another flight for two hours, so it should be private enough," she said, pointing to a nearby section of seats. "What can I do for you?"
Farron smiled again, hoping to put her at ease. It was easy to tell how nervous she was talking with him. "I wanted to thank you, on behalf of my wife and myself, for your thoughtfulness. It was very sweet of you to think of us."
Carrie returned his smile. "I was very upset when I heard about what happened with the twins. I know I only spent a few hours with you and your family, but I became very enamored with the babies. They are very beautiful."
"Thank you. What I wanted to discuss with you…well…would you be willing to come and work for us? We had a rather bad experience with the last person we hired to help with the house…"
"Before you say no, please hear me out. I realize that taking care of a house and helping to watch over children is not the most glamorous job in the world…"
Carrie laughed. "It's not like this job is very glamorous," she explained. "I'm nothing more than a waitress in a traveling restaurant."
Farron's laughter joined hers. "You have a unique way of looking at things. Consider coming to work for us. I promise you that we can make it worth your while."
Carrie blinked. The last thing she expected when she awakened that morning was to get a job offer out of the blue, and from a former passenger no less. "Why me?"
"Carrie, I watched you with the twins during that flight. You were very good to me and my family when you didn't have to be so accommodating," he stated simply. "I want my children to be around as much love this world can offer. I believe you will give them nothing less."
Carrie blushed. "You've not mentioned your wife's wishes, sir."
"First, my name is Farron, not sir. Second, Kara was thrilled with the idea; however, if it's convenient for you, perhaps you could come for dinner tonight? We can discuss it further then."
* * *
A week passed and it seemed as if all was well and…normal. None of them thought they would be together like they were again. When Loralei and Donovan were invited to Farron and Kara's for a leisurely cookout, they were hard pressed to turn them down. They hadn't seen much of them since the babies came home. Basically, Loralei and Donovan gave them their space and some room to mend whatever fences had been broken. They were graced with a warm and sunny day as they packed up the kids and crossed their backyard. From a distance, they could hear the excited giggles and screams of the twins. At the sound of that, Rachel immediately wanted to see her 'Bitt and Bice.' It had apparently been a long week for them all. Donovan and Loralei had barely gotten properly into the yard when she demanded to be let down. As soon as Loralei set her down on her feet, she made a beeline toward her little cousins. Tristan, not wanting to be outdone, did his own demanding. With a smile, Donovan set the boy down on his feet and he quickly joined his sister.
Donovan approached his brother, nodding toward the pretty brunette standing with Kara and the twins. Carrie. Her name is Carrie. Why the hell do I have such trouble with names? She still seemed quite thrown by the fact that he and Farron were identical twins. "What the hell are you cooking," Donovan asked his twin.
Farron smiled at his brother. "I'm sorry, Frank. Italian food on a grill might be a bit… messy. Maybe the next time you come over, I'll cook Italian."
Donovan put his hand on Farron's shoulder and squeezed it. "Is everything going okay?"
Farron knew his brother had been worried about him and his immediate family. The fallout of the 'Mateo' incident had been surprisingly indifferent. Of course, it wasn't that way within the family, but with his friends and co-workers, they shrugged it off as if it were nothing. It was bizarre, and perhaps a bit corny, but he actually felt like he was part of a community. He had gained so many acceptances from those outside the shady realm of life. It was something he hadn't expected. "It is," he said with a slight nod. "The first few days at home were a little hairy. I don't think I slept a wink. I was truly afraid that if I closed my eyes, someone would step in and take my children away again."
"I don't say this often enough, Farron, but I'm proud of you," Donovan told him.
A slight frown creased Farron's brow and then quickly disappeared. As much as he appreciated his brother's support, he truly thought his pride was unfounded. The stunt he had pulled had been foolhardy and made a frightening situation worse, throwing both their wives into a dangerous game that could have ended all their lives. He was less than proud of that moment in his life.
While the brothers continued talking and arguing good-naturedly over the proper way to barbeque spare ribs, Loralei, Kara, and Carrie seated themselves on a blanket spread out on the grass. Brittany and Bryce were in that phase where they were almost crawling but not. They kept their mother in view and would look for their father when they heard his voice. Rachel and Tristan soon grew tired of their cousins and set about arguing over a baby toy. Loralei was sitting closest to Brittany and she reached out and caressed the silky thatch of hair atop her head. As much as her children, both babies had a lot of hair. They also enjoyed the hell out of being cuddled. Loralei lifted up Brittany, cradling her in her arms.
"Did you ever think two goofy men like our husbands could make such beautiful babies," Loralei asked with a smile.
Kara smiled at Loralei and then noticed that Tristan was none too happy about the attention his mother was bestowing upon his cousin. He had completely forgotten his argument with his sister. "It's all in the genes," Kara said with a snicker.
Loralei snorted. "Ha. I'll say. Thank God for that." The two sisters in-law shared a bit of naughty, raucous laughter at that, making Carrie's face turn a bright shade of red. Loralei stopped heehawing after a moment and focused her eyes on the girl's face. "I'm sorry, Carrie, you have to ignore me sometimes. I can get a little…perverted at times."
When the laughter carried over toward the men, Donovan turned and looked at his wife, sister in-law, and Carrie. He turned back around and tapped his brother's arm. "Do you have any idea what they're talking about?" Their laughter carried, of course, but not their voices. Frankly, it was driving him a little batshit.
Farron smiled a little and shook his head. "No, I don't have any idea." It was a white lie; one he could easily live with. He had overheard Kara and Alex whispering at the hospital; they were already planning a baby shower. He had asked Kara later after they were alone and, although she threatened his manhood if he spilled the beans to his brother, she had told him the happy news.
Donovan studied his brother's face. Somehow he felt he was telling him a little fib. "I'm sure you don't," he accused lightly. "The look on your face tells me otherwise, brother."
Farron turned away and went back to his spare ribs. "Frank, I'm telling the truth. I kid you not."
"Look me in the eye and say that," he challenged.
With tongs in hand, he turned toward his brother. "I have no idea," he said. He was looking him straight in the eye, but it wasn't easy. "Would you let me get back to my cooking? If I don't eat soon, I might pass out and die."
Kara left the babies in the loving care of their aunt and Carrie before joining Farron at the grill. She came up behind him and slid her arms around his waist, pressing her cheek between his shoulder blades as she hugged him soundly.
He turned within her embrace after setting aside his cooking utensils. Looking down into her clear blue eyes, he found her completely irresistible. He had often wondered what it was about her that had allowed her into his heart and turned his world upside down. It had all started with her eyes, he realized. From the first moment he had met her, he had thought her eyes were amazingly beautiful. The more he had gotten to know her, the more he realized her eyes reflected her emotions. As much as she might try, she could not hide her feelings from him.
He kissed her forehead before pulling her close and resting his chin atop her head. It had been the faraway look in her eyes that had kept him from making love to her since they had returned home with Brittany and Bryce. She was still reconciling Mateo versus Farron, even though she promised him she was more than okay with it. He knew better; it was all in her eyes. That distant look was now gone, and he felt his heart was going to burst from knowing his wife was truly back in his life.
Kara sighed as her hands slid down his back to rest at his hips. She missed him more than she could explain. She knew Farron was aware of her unease around him and she hated herself for that. She planned to make it up to him later when they were alone. He had not been aware of her presence that morning while he was diapering a freshly bathed Bryce. She stood quietly in the doorway as he talked to his son, telling him how proud he was of his babies to have been so brave during their ordeal. Bryce cooed contentedly while his daddy further explained that he had never thought he would be a daddy, or that he would ever love one woman as thoroughly as daddy loved mommy.
It was then that Kara shook off her funk. Farron was still Farron. He had always had Mateo inside him; she had just never had the opportunity to see that side of him. She hoped she never did again, but she could not go on worrying that he would surface. Farron loved her and, no matter what might arise, she knew that love would always be there.
"I miss your touch," she whispered.
Farron pulled back slightly and locked eyes with her. He cupped the back of her neck with one hand as he dipped his head to brush his lips to hers. "I was waiting…"
"I know," she acknowledged, her eyes focusing on his lips. She licked hers in anticipation. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be," he insisted as his mouth covered hers hungrily.
"Hey, hey, hey," Donovan called from his seat at the table where he bounced a giggling Tristan on his knee. "That's not the cooking you're supposed to be doing, brother!"
Farron grinned at Kara as he slowly broke from the kiss. "I beg to differ, dear brother."
Kara returned his grin. "We'll finish this later," she assured him as she caressed his cheek.
"Count on it, love."
After eating so much that she thought she might vomit, Loralei once again collapsed to the blanket. Carrie insisted on cleaning up while Uncle Farron and Aunt Kara entertained the children. Loralei had no idea what the hell they were doing, but she thought Farron was telling them a story. Tristan and Rachel's eyes were as large as saucers. Whatever he was saying had fascinated them beyond reach. At the same time, he had one of his twins settled against him while Kara had the other. Loralei turned away from the sight and buried her face into her arms. It wasn't long before Donovan joined her. She turned to her side and gazed up at him. He moved in behind her and enveloped her body with his. The weather was a bit warm for this, but right at the moment, she didn't care. He kissed her temple gently.
"Did you get enough to eat," he asked with a smile.
"Goddamn, what do you think? I won't eat for the rest of my life." She moved to cover his hands with hers. "I've never seen them so happy. It's almost as if the twins had been born again."
He chuckled, the sound drifting down into her ear. "I see what you mean," he told her. "Maybe we should have another baby." He said the words with a smile on his face and waited for her to pummel him. She was in a good position to do it.
Instead of beating his ass, she sighed. "Frank, do you recall that night…oh about two months ago…when you insisted on a bit of kitchen action?"
"How could I ever forget that," he asked.
She smiled at his recollection. "Hmm, me either. It seems that our little tryst produced some unexpected results."
Donovan, unsure of what he had heard pulled away just the slightest. "What?"
"You heard me," she said.
"Ha ha, Loralei. Very funny. Come on, let's have it."
"Oh, we will," she said distractedly. "In about seven months."
Completely confused now, he shuffled her body just the slightest so that he could look at her. "Loralei? Where's the punch line? Better still, where's your fist?"
"I think I owe you some payback for locking me up in your car like a naughty Cocker Spaniel," she told him with a teasing glint in her eyes. "I don't want to hit you with my fist, but I thought I could hit you with some news instead."
"Are you kidding? I can never tell with you."
She kissed his lips gently. "Bullshit. You can too."
Throughout the rest of their get together, Loralei wouldn't confirm or deny her words. Each time Donovan asked about it, she'd give him a vague answer or a smart-ass wisecrack. By the time it was dark, Rachel and Tristan were ready to give in and go to bed. Donovan took hold of Tristan while Loralei carried Rachel. They said their goodbyes and made their way back toward home.
"Loralei," Donovan began.
She held her finger up to her lips. "Shh. You'll wake up the kids."
Once they were inside the house, they carried the children upstairs and put them to bed. By the time Tristan was down and Donovan back in his bedroom, Loralei was already in the shower. She came out several minutes later with wet hair and had slipped on an oversized tee shirt. He watched curiously as she sat on her side of the bed and began working the tangles out of her hair. He stood with his hands on his hips and gazed down at her thoughtfully.
"Loralei, were you serious or are you fucking with my head?"
She combed her hair back away from her face and fixed her eyes on him. The poor man was utterly perplexed. It was time to let the poor bastard off the hook. "I was and am very serious and as it turns out, very pregnant." She noticed the stunned look on his face. "Shocking, isn't it?"
"Goddamn it, Loralei," he said and then kneeled in front of her. He inserted his body between her thighs. "Another baby?"
She placed her hand on his cheek. "Well, it won't certainly be a puppy, even if you locked me up like a Cocker Spaniel," she said with a smile. Her smile faded a little. "You're okay with this, right?"
"What do you think," he asked softly. "Of course I'm okay with it. I'm more than okay. I'm ecstatic. You know how I feel about having babies with you. When…how…did you find out?"
"At the ER last week. I hadn't quite felt like myself in a few weeks and I asked them to check. I remember your telling me about that vision you had when you were in the hospital. As soon as I received the news, I couldn't get that out of my mind. It might sound stupid or even crazy, but I think she may be coming back to us, giving me…us… a second chance."
"I love you."
Although she felt tears trickling down her cheeks [hormones be damned], she smiled. "Will you still love me when I'm as big as a house?"
"Always," he whispered, taking her hand off his cheek and placing a gentle kiss on her palm. "Until I draw my last breath."
* * *
After she and Carrie put the twins down for the night, Kara hooked the portable baby monitor to her wrist and made her way to the master bedroom. She was surprised that Farron was nowhere in sight. Worried, she went in search of him and found him in the room where they kept their odds and ends stored. He was kneeling before a trunk, slowly piling its contents beside him.
Farron looked up at her when she approached. "This is the remainder of my life as Mateo Luis," he explained quietly. "It is time to say goodbye to him…forever."
Kara kneeled beside him and took his hand gently into hers. "He'll always be a part of you, Farron. We both know that…and it's okay."
"Thank you, Shel," he whispered and kissed her lightly. "Thank you for your acceptance above all else. You'll never know how much that means to me." He pulled his hand from hers and touched her cheek softly before returning to his task. "I want to do this…I need to close that chapter of my life."
Kara nodded. "I understand, baby."
She lifted a pile of clothing into her arms as she stood. He took the remainder of clothing, papers, and assorted paraphernalia and led her down to the backyard and the large brick bar-b-q where he had cooked for his family just hours prior. After removing the grill, he started a fire quite a bit larger than the one needed for cooking.
Still completely paranoid after their ordeal, they had set the alarm on the house on their way out even though Carrie was more than capable of watching over the twins. They just could not feel safe enough. He reached down and took the baby monitor from Kara's wrist and turned the volume up as high as it would go. He wanted to make sure they would hear the slightest cry if their angels needed them.
He set the monitor on the nearby table and turned back to his task. One by one, he and Kara placed the items from his former life on the fire and watched in fascination as they burned and faded away to nothing. He searched his memories for one thing he might miss from that life and found that there was nothing he wanted to hold on to. His arms encircled his wife's waist as he pulled her to him. What he wanted to hold onto he had in his arms at that very moment.
Kara wasn't sure how much time passed as they watched the fire dance and listened to the crackle of the wood as the flames consumed everything until there was nothing but ashes. She turned to Farron and immediately melted into his embrace when his lips found hers.
He sank to his knees, bringing her down with him. His need was too great for patience or practicality; his only thought was to be buried deep inside her. He removed his shirt and spread it on the ground behind her. Within moments, they had shed their clothing, and, as he prepared to enter her without any ceremony whatsoever, he heard an impassioned whisper, "I love you, my beautiful Farron." A sensual moan escaped him as he sheathed himself fully within her and felt her fingers tangle into his hair. He smiled against the soft flesh of her neck. He knew, as well as she did, that this was only a precursor for a night filled with passion and lovemaking. He had not forgotten the challenge she had issued the night they had returned with the twins, but emotions ruled the first round. Playtime would come later. "And I love you, Shel," he replied softly as they began the timeless dance of lovers, baring their souls as well as their bodies. Together they soared to heights unattainable by mere mortals. Together they were as one.
Thanks to everyone for all your support! We truly enjoyed writing this tale and y'all have been wonderful to journey along with us. – Marie & Shel