Her world stopped. The piece of bread she was swallowing got stuck in her throat, and she started coughing for a second until it was clear. "Oh my god." She said, looking out behind where her mother was sitting – to see him. Standing there. "What…" She shoved the chair back from the table, painfully jumping to her feet. "..what the hell are you doing here?" Her voice was quiet. But accusatory.
Her heart pounded. She stepped away from the table, so fast that she about tripped over the chair, catching herself on Amber's chair before she fell.
She could hear her dad. "Wow. You've sure got some nerve." Angry. God.
She had to move quickly. "Dad, I'll handle this. I've…" She wasn't looking at her dad but was making her way to where Seth was standing.
"I just need to talk to you, Sarah." Hearing his voice made her angry. But not as angry as her brother was.
Another voice and yet another chair scooting out. "Sarah, don't go near that guy, do you hear me?"
"Adam!" She shouted, turning around, seeing every man in her family standing to their feet. Holding up her hands to tell them to stop, she just said, "I'm just going to talk to my husband." When her dad didn't stop, Sarah just yelled, "I don't need your help!"
"Like hell you don't!" Her dad said, but he stopped. "Look what that son of a bitch did to you…"
From behind her, Seth yelled, "Hey! You better watch who you're calling…"
God. This was going to escalate so quickly. She couldn't let that happen. She needed to talk to Seth – she had to – he was her husband. She wasn't going to be nice about it – but it had to be done sometime. And him driving here – there had to be something wrong. She had to talk to him.
"I'm just going to talk to him." Sarah said, turning around and pointing towards the driveway was, away from the patio. "Go wait for me…" She commanded through clenched teeth. Then she turned back around as Seth's form walked out of the garden. Turning back to her brothers and dad, she just said, "I am a grown woman. I am going to talk to my husband." When Adam still tried to lunge past her, she just put her hand up on his chest and pushed bac. "I will call you if I need you, ok?" And she looked right in his eyes, trying to reassure him that she would be fine. "I need to do this."
"After what he…" Adam was not buying it.
Then she put on her toughest face – the one she used to tell him never to threaten someone that was bullying her again. And she said, "After what he did, I deserve to be the one to confront him." And she stood her ground. Feet planted. Head held high. Not taking shit from anyone.
Because he didn't know the worst thing that came from Seth's beating her. He didn't know. He wouldn't understand how much of this she had to do on her own. To send her dad or brothers out to do what she needed to do – no. This was her fight. Her fight after losing her child. This was…
And Adam nodded. And said, "If you call, I'll be there in two seconds."
"I will." She said solemnly.
And then Adam said, "Go. I'll take care of Dad and Cros."
Sending one glance over at the playground, she asked, "Can you…"
"I'll have Kristina watch them." God, they could read each other so well.
And for the first time in a long time, she trusted her kids to someone other than herself. And, without another word, she turned and walked out of the patio, ignoring the calls from her dad who was arguing with Adam. Ignoring the questions Adam was getting from Crosby about what the hell was going on right now.
She was just trying to wrap her mind around what was happening. Seth was here? Was she ready to see Seth? What the hell would make him come here? He knew how much her parents hated him. What would have possessed him to drive here? Was something wrong? Was he going to hurt her again? Coming to apologize? Going to try and do something to make her go back with him?
She didn't even know how she would think about anything that he would say? After what happened, she didn't know how she was supposed to respond to him? How she felt she could respond to…
A hand wrapped around her back, and she started to scream, but her mouth was suddenly overtaken as he ferociously kissed her, hungry lips covering hers. Almost immediately, she put her hands against his chest and tried to push away, but his other hand that wasn't holding her back to him held her head in place so she couldn't push away until he let her go, a few seconds later.
As he let go of her back, she pushed all the way away from him, taking steps backwards as she wiped her mouth and said, "What the hell do you think you're doing!?"
"Sarah… I've…" He stepped towards her, but she took another step back.
"One word." She said, trying to calm her breathing while she again wiped her mouth with her sleeve. "One word from me and those bloodhounds back there will be right here ready to tear you limb to limb." A comforting thought. For a second.
Holding up his hands and taking a step back, he just said, "I didn't come to fight, Sarah. I came to tell you how much I miss you…"
God. He couldn't be serious. "Miss me?" Her mouth fell open as pain surrounded her. "You do what you did to me, and…" Tears came to her eyes as she remembered. ".. and the first thing you say is that you miss me?"