A/N: Hey guys! Welcome back! So glad you're all enjoying the story, I appreciate the love and support! I love ya right back!
Here's another chapter!
"I've learned love is like a brick, you can
build a house or sink a dead body"
"Judas", Lady Gaga
Grant's face is paper white as he rushes in to see his daughter. When his eyes take in her bandages and the fear in her and John's expressions, he goes quiet.
Jupiter reaches out for him and he comes closer, accepting her embrace. "H-how could this have happened?" he asks against her shoulder. "One second you were with me and the next, that bastard-that bastard. . ." His voice trails off and Jupiter squeezes him tighter.
"Shh-it's okay Dad, I'm here, I'm fine."
He pulls back to stare into her eyes with disbelief. "You are absolutely not fine, Jupiter. None of this is fine. That monster assaulted you."
Jupiter can't face the outrage reflected in his gaze so she looks away.
"Look," John speaks up from beside her. "We all had a long, fear-filled night, especially Jupiter. It's been wild."
"What is the force doing to stop him? How can you be so calm about this John?" Grant interrupts.
John shakes his head. "Believe me, you don't know just how angry I am. But I don't need Jupiter seeing me like this. I have to stay composed for her."
Grant nods, understanding. Then, he touches Jupiter's arm. "Your mother is worried about you."
Jupiter freezes. "What? I thought you didn't speak to her."
Grant shakes his head. "I don't, well, not really. I hadn't spoken to her in years until tonight. I called her because I wanted to ask her a favor."
Jupiter glances at John warily. His face is a mix of guilt and worry.
"What kind of favor?" she asks.
Grant doesn't meet her gaze. He doesn't say a word.
"Dad, what kind of favor?" she repeats, more insistently.
"Your father wanted you to get out of town for a few weeks. We think it'll be safer if you go back to California to visit your mom," John supplies.
"We?" Jupiter asks, unable to believe what she's hearing.
"Yes, your father and I think it's a good idea."
Jupiter shakes her head vehemently. "I won't even consider it. I'm not going there; mom and I don't get along as well as you think we do."
Both John and Grant turn pleading eyes on her.
"Jupiter, it's the only way I can keep you safe. You'll find your place there, even if it's only temporary," John tells her.
"My place is with you," she insists, feeling her vision get blurry because of the tears. "Always."
"Jupiter, please don't be difficult. We only want what's best for you," Grant explains. "It's the only thing we could think of."
She turns back to John. "And you agreed to this without even considering my feelings?"
He shakes his head. "This wasn't an easy decision for me."
"For you! It's not easy for you?" she asks skeptically. "You think this is a cakewalk for me?"
He doesn't respond, instead his gaze lingers on her bandages and with a pained expression, he turns away.
"Dad," she asks, frustrated, touching her father's hand. "When am I supposed to leave? Did you book the plane ticket already?"
Her dad gives a solemn nod. "You leave tomorrow afternoon, about a couple of hours after you're discharged from here."
She glares at John who is still turned away from her. "Then I guess, it's settled. Off to Mom I go. If I'm lucky, the trip just might kill me."
It's freezing when Jupiter gets out of the airport. She has to pull her parka further around her body to stay warm. She contemplates running back inside and waiting for her mother to arrive, when the familiar exterior of Venus' car comes into view.
She braces herself and banishes the memory of the last time she saw her mother away just as it threatens to resurface. Hopping into the passenger's seat, she breathes on her fingers to heat them up before turning to face the woman who was one of the reasons she wanted to leave in the first place.
Her mother's hair is mostly gray now like her eyes, and her face is aged and tired, but the smile she gives Jupiter is so warm and loving it's as if the years of chaos and hatred and torment never happened. Jupiter can't help it, she smiles back.
"I've missed you," Venus whispers. "And you finally grew out your hair."
Jupiter laughs. "It's been a long time. A lot has changed."
Her mother's grin grows wider. "It has." Then, she sighs. "I've missed your smile too. I never thought I'd see you happy again."
Jupiter can't speak, the lump in her throat is too big. Instead she turns her eyes to the road and sits back as the car pulls away from the curb. Yeah, she wants to say, I never thought I'd see me happy again either.
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