the Fates Allow
Grant Rashton spends a lonely and painful Christmas reflecting on his
The Lyon's Den characters belong to their creators. No copyright
infringement intended. No profit is being made.
Notes: This story was inspired by a fan fic challenge given to me by
VJ. The foundation for the challenge is Judy Garland's version of the
song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I don't know
if my words can give justice to the wonderful imagery and emotion
envisioned by VJ, but I thank her for allowing me to lend my
interpretation to her scenario.
Tracy Diane Miller
the Fates Allow
the house had been filled with a child's laughter. Now, it was a
shell of emptiness.
magnificent Christmas tree that sparkled so proudly in the past with
lights, ornaments, and tinsel was no more; the customary overflow of
presents nestled comfortably at its base was conspicuously absent.
single and emaciated wreath, looking more as if it were in mourning
rather than celebrating the love, joy, and hope of the occasion,
adorned the front door.
living room curtains were drawn.
the angry roar of the flames emanating from the marble fireplace
represented the sole light in the room.
by the fireplace, Grant Rashton stared almost hypnotically into the
near empty glass of brandy he held in his hand before desperately
gulping down the liquid allowing it to burn his insides with its own
form of vengeance. As expected, the liquor offered no answers.
Instead, the brandy was false comfort during this particularly low
moment in his life.
the mantle piece stood a contradiction, a battle between hope and
unfulfilled promise versus the proof of unmitigated failure.
faces. Not a manufactured happiness to lie to an unsuspecting camera.
A long time ago, they had been happy.
sterling silver picture frame housed an informal portrait of Grant,
Samantha, and Ryan Rashton. The picture was taken eight years ago.
The then four-year old Ryan, with his expressive mud green eyes and
dark hair, was the miniature mirror image of daddy. Raven-haired
beauty Samantha, her shoulder length dark mane sporting a
had perfectly chiseled features seemingly befitting her blue blood
it wasn't the picture that held a perverse fascination for him.
Rather, it was the object that lay next to the frame. Placing his
glass on the mantle, he picked up the item. He read the words aloud,
almost as if he expected them to vanish from his mere utterance.
"Samantha Rashton, Petitioner versus Grant Rashton, Respondent.
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage."
hour ago, a process server had arrived at Grant's door. "Grant
Rashton, you've been served. Happy Holiday." The unnamed man
said, his words the cruelest of ironies, as he handed the shocked
lawyer the divorce papers before quickly disappearing into the night.
It was Christmas Eve, after all. This particular service was the last
of his appointed duties for the evening and he was eager to get home
to his family.
the man inside the house, he had no family with to share this special
closed the door and walked slowly towards the living room as if he
were in a trance, his eyes fixed on the legal document. Weeks ago,
when Samantha moved out of the house, she had insisted that they
needed this time apart to think and reassess their relationship. He
had not tried to dissuade her then feeling that they could, somehow,
work through their problems and save their marriage if not for
themselves; then for Ryan's sake. Never once had she implied that she
was going to sue him for divorce. Regardless of how they felt about
each other, they had agreed that their son always came first. How
could she believe that it would be in Ryan's best interests to be the
product of a broken marriage, to be shuffled from two different homes
as if he were a yo-yo? Even when he and Samantha fought, they were
very careful that Ryan would never witness their shouting matches.
Around their son, they exhibited a polite veneer. Samantha called in
a cool indifference. She felt that Ryan could sense the tension and
that would be just as bad for the boy as if they had verbally
attacked each other. But Grant had expected, for Ryan's sake, that
they could make amends during Christmas. They should at least spend
the holiday together as a family.
always wanted Christmas to be an extra special time for his son.
Growing up in Georgia, he had never forgotten what a lonely and
painful time Christmas had always been for him. The unwanted orphan
spent most of his formative years in a succession of foster homes,
never really fitting in, never really feeling as if he belonged
anywhere. That feeling, that memory had been branded into his soul
accompanied by so many emotional and physical scars carried from his
youth and kept carefully hidden from public scrutiny.
the spirited daughter of one of the partners in Lyon, Lacrosse, and
Levine had married the young, rising associate, many of the firm's
rumormongers felt that the union was a merely a marriage of
convenience. The tenacious attorney had already impressed the top
brass by generating the new business of a string of wealthy
seemed the destined heir apparent especially after capturing
Samantha's eye. The Rashtons had been married a year before Ryan was
born. Those early years were the happiest in the marriage. Grant
finally had the family that he had always wanted and a career on the
fast track. However, a punishing work schedule that had enabled him
to surpass the firm's already stringent weekly billable hours and an
indiscretion with a temporary secretary had jeopardized the marriage.
Samantha had been more willing to forgive his workaholic ethic (for
the good of the firm, after all), than the infidelity. He had
insisted the woman meant nothing to him and promised his wife that it
would never happen again.
it was a promise that Grant had been unable to keep. It seemed as if
his appetite for success was as insatiable as his appetite for other
women. But if Samantha had been able to look the other way and keep
the marriage intact (for Ryan's sake), that all changed when she
discovered her husband's ongoing affair with Ariel Saxon. Maybe
Samantha sensed that there was something about Grant's attraction to
Ariel that was unlike the others. Maybe she believed that Grant
viewed Ariel as more of an equal than merely a warm body to fulfill
his physical needs. Maybe, for once, it was Mrs. Grant Rashton
like the "other woman" in her husband's life.
fire continued crackling defiantly showing no signs of weakening.
Grant picked up his empty glass and walked slowly towards the bar.
Absent-mindedly, he turned on the radio. As he poured his drink, the
strains of Judy Garland's "Have yourself a Merry Little
Christmas" filtered the air:
the years, we all will be together.
the Fates allow...."
smiled wryly. People had talked about miracles, but Grant had never
been big on miracles. Fate had never been particularly kind to him.
Fate had taken his parents away from him. If a miracle could have
saved them, such a miracle had deserted him. The only belief that he
had subscribed to was hard work and sheer determination. It was his
hard work and determination that had enabled the orphan to leave
behind the pain and loss of his Georgia roots and to carve a success
in a city that was known for its political machinations and unhealthy
was with the same hard work and determination that Grant vowed to
fight for his son. He would not let Ryan believe that his father
the Fates allow.
wasn't about to allow the Fates to shape his future. In his mind, he
brewed a plan to cheat Fate. This would be the last Christmas that he
would ever spend alone.