Chapter Seven: Memories

"I thought I'd get down 'ere and visit with th' girls a bit," Cutter said with a grin after kissing Mama hello. He shook R.J. and Tiny's hands and clapped Hugo on the back.

"Daddy!" Baby squealed, throwing herself into her father's arms.

"My baby girl!" He kissed both her cheeks. "Do I git a proper hug now, Daisy-darlin'?"

Daisy smiled and hugged the fat old man tightly. "Sure, Cutter."

After the family moved to the living room, Baby told her father what had happened with Otis. Cutter frowned, his eyes glinting with irritation.

"Didn't y' tell th' bastard not t' fuck with the girls, Eve?" he asked Mama angrily.

Her eyes narrowed. "O' course I did, Johnny! But yew know Otis, 'e's . . ."

"I don't give a flying monkey fuck what Otis wants," Cutter roared, "this ain't Otis' fuckin' house, is it?"

Mama shook her head. "No, sweetums, but . . ."

"But nothin'! I'm gonna have t' lay down the law to th' flour-colored bastard, aren't I?"

R.J. watched in amusement as his sister and Daisy began to giggle. His gaze dropped to the latter's ample bosom, trembling provocatively as she laughed, and the desire to take her to his bed then and there was overwhelming. She had filled out since he had had her last.

It was when she had just turned fifteen, three months before she was sent away. Daisy had initiated that one, as she had wanted the first time. When she was thirteen and he four years older, she had come up to him with a proposition. She didn't want her virginity to be taken by some random boy, she wanted it done by someone she knew and trusted. Someone who wouldn't laugh at her if she made a mistake or if she cried. Rufus readily accepted the offer.

That night, they met in the meadow behind Mama's house and he kissed her underneath the stars. R.J had had plenty of other women, willing and not, but none ever received the care and attention Daisy did. She never regretted giving her virginity to him. And after that, if she had drunk too much or smoked too much marijuana, once in a while he could coax her into doing it again. He loved that he could have her and other women and Daisy didn't care. They had a friends with privileges thing going on and R.J. enjoyed it.

And he saw no reason why that shouldn't continue.

Tiny was also watching the scene before him . . . Cutter yelling and gesturing wildly with Mama growing more and more agitated and the girls dancing around and giggling . . . but he was trying not to look at Daisy.

He knew that it was more than likely that Daisy would quickly resume the same relationships with each person in his family she had had before being sent away. This included the physical one with Rufus. The relationship that broke his heart, but he didn't blame her for. How could he? It was obvious to him that anyone would prefer the handsome R.J. to a deformed freak. Daisy couldn't help but choose his brother. That was a given.

It didn't make it any less painful.

Tiny fell in love with the young Daisy when she was eight years old. He had just finished reading a trilogy of books about a character named Emily Starr, written by L.M. Montgomery, that had been in a victim's belongings. In the second book, Emily was the love interest of a deformed older man called Dean Priest. Tiny fantasized himself in the role of Dean and Daisy as Emily. R.J. became Theodore Kent, whom Emily loved. And he imagined Baby as Emily's friend, the crazy Ilse Burnley.

It was all he had to do, really . . . make up imaginary roles for people, usually characterizing them with imagined people from books or his own mind. It was from his book collection that Otis found his nicknames for the family, after all. And Daisy was so like Emily . . . quiet, imaginative, dignified, and loved to write in a journal. Like the red leather one he gave her for her twelfth birthday. She had it filled up in four months. Granted, Daisy was a bloodthirsty and violent child as well, but Tiny liked that too. She could identify with his family.

Like the time she walked into his cellar bedroom while he was attempting to rape a girl. The girl had escaped and was running up the stairs when Daisy caught her and dragged her back down by her hair. She helped him tie the girl to his bed, all the while chattering about something that had happened that day and asking whether or not she could search through his collection of female victim's clothing for something to go to town in. Helped him and carried on as if everything were normal. In his opinion, Daisy was the perfect woman.

"I'm goin' up there right now an' teachin' that whelp a lesson!" Cutter shouted, making everyone except Tiny jump in shock. The clown stalked over to the stairs and made his way up, followed by a protesting Mama.

Daisy and Baby collapsed onto the couch, giggling madly.

"Daddy's gonna kick his ass!" Baby laughed.

"I actually feel sorry for Otis," Daisy whispered.

"'Member when Daddy went up t' th' school when we got kicked out?" Baby asked, twirling a blonde curl around her finger.

Daisy's eyes lit up and she nodded. "Yep. Almost busted th' principal's head in! How could I forget it?"

"You two're impossible," Rufus commented, crossing his arms. He gave Daisy a smirk. "So, where're you sleepin' tonight?"

"Baby's gonna play with 'er present tonight, so I was hopin' t' stay with Tiny," Daisy answered sweetly. "I'm so tired!"

R.J. scowled. Tiny, who had been watching the conversation, stared incredulously. He was sure she would have gone with his brother. But it wasn't as if this would be the first time she slept in the same bed with him. When they were teenagers, Baby usually had a man in her bed, so Daisy rarely slept there. Rufus would have expected sex . . . and Daisy did sleep with him several times . . . but most often he too already had an unwilling bedmate. Since Mama's "clients" usually waited downstairs, the couch was a definite no. That left Tiny's bed.

She would slide underneath the covers with him after changing into one of his shirts, kiss him on the nose, and snuggle close with her back to his stomach. His arm would snake around her shoulders and pull the covers up over them. They would sleep for hours that way. She told him once that she felt safest in that bed, like nothing could touch her there except his protective arms.

Tiny smiled. He couldn't help the triumphant glance he gave to R.J.

A/N: I don't own Emily of New Moon, L.M. Montgomery does.