Darien stood in his backyard staring at the horizon, it had been a few days sense his parents had hit him with the harsh truth about his biological mother and he still didn't know what he was going to do. He was angry at his parents for keeping this form him for so long and a part of him wanted to see Elaine just because he knew it would bother them, but he knew that wasn't the right way to handle this situation. He and Jasmine had talked one on one for over an hour in during therapy and while he was still angry she had helped him understand that hurting his parents wouldn't do anyone any good. Still, Darien knew it would take a lot of time to heal this damage, and he really didn't know what to do about everything.

His Dad had been right about Elaine, she had petitioned a social worker to speak to Darien about her and possibly set up a meeting of some kind between the two of them. Darien was not sure how he felt about this or what he wanted to do. Everything was happening so fast he felt like he'd been throw onto one of those spinning rides at the fair and it had started before he'd gotten the chance to buckle his seat belt. Now he was stuck being spun from one corner to the next.

As he starred out at the sky he wondered, what was Elaine really like? Did he want to see her? How could he even look at her after what she'd done? Mother or no mother she was still a criminal and if what his Dad had told him was true Darien wanted to stay as far away from her as possible, but still he couldn't help wondering was there more to her then what he'd been told? Darien threw his head back and sighed, "Why does it have to be so hard?"

He jumped when a familiar voice answered him, "Because that's life."

Darien turned to see his Dad standing just inside the doorway, his arms were crossed in front of his chest and he was leaning against the door jam. Darien couldn't help smirking a little as Scott continued, "Growing up means having to face a lot of things and none of them are ever easy. Our situation is certainly unique, but everyone has to deal with things and make difficult choices whether they want to or not."

Darien looked around, "Where's the music?"

Scott raised an eyebrow, "what?"

Darien turned to him smirking, "Well in television shows and movies this is always the scene when they start playing that same music you know the sort of low melodic stuff that reminds you of green acres?"

Scott burst out laughing, "Darien, there are times when you remind me so much of myself when I was a kid that it actually scares me."

Darien shrugged as they headed inside, tomorrow was going to be a very long day.


Darien did not sleep well that night and the next morning he couldn't help feeling anxious and angry as they drove to their next therapy session. Jasmine had said she wanted to some more one on one with Darien before bringing his parents back into it. Darien was actually a little relieved felt like he'd talked about this situation with his mom and a thousand times in the last few days and he honestly felt like he needed another person's perspective on it.

Darien knew there was no way he could possibly talk about this with any of his friends. He was pretty sure that most of them would react the same way he had to finding out the truth about his mother. Some might even take it worse than he did, and the last thing he needed was for this information to end up spreading through the school like a wild fire, which he knew it would if he told anyone.

What's more Darien couldn't see any of his friends really understanding his situation they all lived in nice homes and came from nice families and he didn't think anyone could really understand what it was like being connected to someone who had done such awful things. Still, he could be wrong, after all while most people knew the truth about his mom and Dad's past no one knew about Elaine and it was possible there were other people he knew, or even some he didn't who had gone through things like this.

Darien put his head back and sighed heavily as his Dad pulled into the parking lot, he didn't say much as they checked in and sat in the waiting room. Finally Jasmine called him in and Darien walked in feeling like he had a million thoughts buzzing through his head and no idea where to start with any of them.

Darien sat down as Jasmine finished placing some paperwork in her file cabinet, as she turned she asked, "So is there anything you would like to get off your chest right off the bat?"

Darien nodded, "Hell yes, but I don't even know where to start. It feels like my brain keeps spinning around and won't stop long enough for me to get my bearings if that makes any sense."

Jasmine smiled, "It does make sense. You've had a lot thrown at you in the last few days and it's natural that you would be confuse that's why I'm here."

Darien tried to organize his thoughts, "I don't really know how I feel about all of this I'm angry that my mom and dad kept the truth from me for so long and frustrated that I now have all these new issues to deal with, but I don't know how I feel about her. Do I want to see her or not? I don't know."

Jasmine said, "Well this isn't a decision you make overnight it's something you have to take time and consider it could be months before you know which way you want to go."

Darien instantly asked something that had been worrying him for a while, "But what happens if she contacts me? What happens if she writes me a letter or comes to see me at school one day? I don't know how I'd handle all of that. I don't think I could take just having her thrown at me again. Dad and Henry both said that contacting me without permission would be a violation of her parole, but who's to say she wouldn't do it anyways? Maybe she'd think she could get away with it? Or maybe she'd be so desperate to see me she just wouldn't care."

Jasmine nodded, "It's certainly possible Elaine might do that. The question is how would you react?"

Darien sat up, "Huh?"

Jasmine gave a small smile, "Darien you can not control anything that anyone else does. Not Elaine not your parents not anyone, but you can control how you react to others and how you let their actions affect you. So you have to ask yourself what do you want?"

Darien ran a hand through his hair, "that's just the problem. Like I told you I don't know."

Jasmine said, "o.k. well obviously your confused, but do you have any solid feelings towards Elaine right now anything at all?"

Darien bit his lip, "Mostly I'm angry, angry my parents didn't tell me sooner, angry I have to deal with this, and especially angry for what she did. Why should I want to see her after what she did to Dad?"

"well she is your mother." Jasmine pointed out.

Darien snorted, "No she's not, she gave birth to me, but she's not my mother. Mom is, she's the one who was there when I needed to talk to someone about stuff I didn't want to talk to Dad about. She's the one who taught me how to swim and took care of me when I had the chicken pox. She's my mother and nothing anyone says or does will change that."

Jasmine raised an eyebrow, "It sounds like you've already made up your mind about all of this."

Darien opened his mouth and closed it again, Jasmine must have somehow sensed how he'd felt, but realized he needed to admit it to himself so instead of just giving him an answer, which is what he had been expecting, she guided him towards realizing he already knew the answer. Darien scowled at her, "How'd you know?"

Jasmine shrugged, "I didn't, but I knew that if I pointed a few things out you might realize the truth yourself and so you have."

Darien took a deep breath and said, "I don't want to see her, but I'm worried about her trying to see me."

Jasmine nodded, "I won't lie to you and say that is not a possibility because unfortunately it is. Even if your parents got a court order forbidding Elaine from contacting you she could still violate the order and come to see you anyways."

Darien bit his lip, "And I think that's what's really bothering me. What am I supposed to do if I see her? Should I just walk away? Should I talk to her and hope my saying 'leave me alone' will be enough? Should I tell anyone if she tries to get in touch with me?"

Jasmine said, "Yes, you should tell someone if she contacts you in any way, you have to remember Darien Elaine is a dangerous person and she could come after you. She might even try to kidnap you."

Darien paled as his stomach churned. Jasmine sighed and grabbed his hand, "I don't mean to scare you, but I think it's important that you know the truth and do everything you can to prepare yourself for any possible encounter."

Darien nodded, "So what should I do?"

Jasmine smirked, "Darien, remember the only reason Elaine was able to assault your father was because she convinced him no one would believe him. You know it isn't true. You are twice her size and she is a convicted felon if she comes after you fight back. Yell scream kick punch, I know your parents probably taught you not to hit a woman…."

"Actually" Darien interrupted, "My parents taught me that abusing women or using violence to solve a conflict is not right, but if I'm ever in a situation where I am in serious danger than it is o.k. to use brute force to try and get out of it. Even if I am up against a woman. Actually now that I think about it Dad's experience is probably why he told me that."

Jasmine smiled and nodded, "Well they were right. If you see Elaine try to walk away and report it if that doesn't work do what you can to fight her off and call for help. I won't tell you something of that nature isn't going to happen because I would be lying if I did, but it might not end up being as bad as you're imagining. Remember we usually think up the worst case scenarios when thinking of an upcoming conflict. In many cases people often blow things massively out of proportion. I'm not saying you should just go along and not think about Elaine at all, but if you let your fear of her rule your life than she wins."

Darien nodded, "I understand thanks doc."

Jasmine stood, "It's why I get paid so much."

Darien chuckled as she went to get his parents. The session ended up going much better than their first. Darien was still angry, but he felt like he was getting to the point where he understood why his parents hadn't said anything sooner and it made him less angry to think about it. Jasmine said it was a good step towards acceptance and with a little more time and support they would work their problems out.

As soon as therapy was over Darien decided to tell his parents about the decision he'd made, "I don't want to see Elaine."

Scott grabbed his shoulder, "Are you sure? I don't want you to pick the decision you think your mother and I want you to make or not see her because you're afraid we'll get upset or feel disappointed. This is your choice and yours alone."

Darien nodded, "I know, and I'm choosing not to see her."

Scott said, "all right, I've got some papers you can sign and that should be all."

Shelby came up and wrapped and arm around both of them. Darien knew it was corny and a little embarrassing to do this in public, but he really didn't care. He wrapped his arms around both of his parents and the three of them just stood there for a while comforting each other.

Scott called Henry and he agreed to witness the signing on Monday. The weekend passed quickly, Darien had soccer practice on Saturday and used it as a way to vent his feelings. When he got home that night he was worn out and feeling like he had a weight lifted off his chest. Signing the paper on Monday morning was much easier than Darien had thought. It was a simple afidavid, because he was 16 he was considered old enough to make up his own mind about the situation and so all he had to do was sign on the line after speaking privately with Henry and assuring Henry that he hadn't been coerced or threatened into making a decision he disagreed with.

Darien felt an immense relief as he signed the papers, he knew this wasn't the end of things not by a long short, but somehow making it official made him feel a little better as though a part of this whole crazy situation were being put to rest.

The next few days passed quickly for Darien and as he began getting back into his regular routine and spending more time with his friends he felt like things were finally beginning to settle. Then of course everything changed one late afternoon.

Darien had soccer practice after school every Thursday it had been two weeks since he'd signed the papers and to everyone's shock they hadn't seen or heard from Elaine. Darien wasn't stupid enough to let his guard down completely, but he felt like it was a good sign and a step in the right direction.

Darien was just packing his things up to go in and shower when everything changed a voice called form behind him, "You're good."

Darien didn't recognize the woman, but he was used to girls and teachers at school talking to him about how he played. He said, "Thanks" As he finished zipping up his bag and stood.

The woman continued, "You've got an incredible athletic ability just like your father."

Darien blinked, not a lot of people knew about his dad playing football. Scott had loved it and continued playing once he got into college, but he hadn't been good enough to go pro and most people didn't know much about his career. Darien stiffened and turned around, the sun was starting to set, but even in the dimming light he recognized the woman standing in front of him. His parents had shown him photos, she had dark hair and paled skin, Darien felt his stomach drop as he thought, I look like her.

He stepped back, "You."

She smiled and tried to take a step towards him, but he said, "stop right there"

Darien was incredibly shocked when Elaine stopped moving, she held her hands up in mock surrender and said in a falsely reassuring voice, "Darien, you have nothing to fear from me you are my son and I would never heart you."

Darien's face darkened, "Just like you'd never hurt my Dad?"

Elaine shook her head, "You don't understand Darien, you've only heard Scotty's side of the story. You see Darien your father was a very attractive young man and no matter what he said in court he was just as happy with our relationship as I was. It wasn't until later when he was afraid to admit the truth to everyone that he claimed rape."

Darien shook his head, "that's not true."

Elaine shook her head sadly as though disappointed Darien would not consider her version of 'the truth' and continued, "He was not a victim and neither was I. You were conceived in love."

Darien felt sick, "Look I'm warning you leave me and my family alone or I'll report you."

Elaine smiled again, "But I am you're family I'm your mother."

Darien stiffened, "No you're not, my mother is the woman who spent hours helping me with my math homework. My mother is the one who's come to all my soccer games and practices, who drove me to everyone and has pictures of me all over the fridge and everywhere else in the house. My mother is Shelby Barringer and she's all the mother I've got!"

He was shouting, but he didn't care. A part of Darien hoped someone would hear this and come see what was going on. Where the hell had the coach and other players disappeared to? Darien figured Elaine must've waited until everyone started walking back in before talking to him.

Elaine looked angry she stepped forward and grabbed Darien's right arm hard, "Listen to me you are my son and I want to get to know you."

Darien jerked, "well I don't want to know you. Now let go!"

Elaine pulled back, "Listen to me you need to listen"

Without thinking it through Darien shouted, "NO!" then he slammed his left arm forward and felt it connect with Elaine's nose which broke with a sickening crack. Elaine screamed a Darien pulled back and ran inside the school.

Darien ran straight for the locker room where his coach was standing, "Whoa Barringer where's the fire!"

Darien gasped, "Sir, I need you to call the police Elaine was just here."

Darien's coach and teachers had all been told about the situation in case something happened. Without needing further explanation the coach turned and headed upstairs to the office to phone the police and Scott and Shelby. Darien had been planning on riding home with his friend Alex who'd just gotten his drivers' license so they weren't coming to pick him up before hand. As they waited for the police Darien couldn't help but wonder if Elaine had known this somehow or if she'd simply gotten lucky and happened to show up today.

Darien sat down in the closest chair he could find and took some deep breaths, he knew it was the shock of what had happened more than the strain of running from the soccer field to the locker room on the other side of the school that had worn him out. Darien's coach, Thomas Prince, a tall man with wild red hair, sat down next to him a put a hand on his shoulder, "Want to talk about it?"

Darien shook his head, "I'll wait until the cops get here I don't want to say it more than once."

Coach Prince sighed, "I'm sorry, I shoulda stayed out there with you."

Darien shook his head, "she woulda just found another way, besides I was only a few feet behind you when she showed up and there's no way you coulda known, you had to look out for everyone not just me and the rest of the team was inside. It's not like it's the first time I've walked in from practice alone."

Before Coach Prince could answer several sirens came blaring from outside of the school, Coach Prince as two police officers walked into the room. One was a woman about average height with blonde hair and green eyes who looked a little like Shelby, the other was a tall man with black hair and brown eyes. The man spoke first, "I'm officer Jeffries and this is my partner office O'Brien can you tell us what happened?"

Darien sighed, "I was packing my bag up after practice when this woman came up to me, at first I thought she was just a fan, but then she started talking about my Dad and when I turned and saw her I knew who she was. I told her to go away, but she kept talking about how she was my mother and she wanted me to hear her side of the story and stuff like that. I kept telling her to leave, but she wouldn't finally she grabbed my arm. I tried to pull away, but she just gripped it harder. I punched her in the face and broke her nose then I ran for it."

Officer Jeffries nodded while Officer O'Brien took notes. Officer Jeffries asked, "Can you show me where she grabbed you? We need to see if there's any bruising or other injuries."

Darien rolled held his right arm out so they could see it, he was still in his short sleeved jersey so there was no reason to roll his shirt up, "She grabbed me right here half way between my wrist and elbow."

Officer Jeffries gently took Darien's arm and looked closely, "Looks like there's a little bruising starting."

Darien looked down surprised, he hadn't realized she'd been holding him tight enough to bruise. Officer O'Brien took a few pictures and said, "We've got police canvassing the neighborhood if she's still around we'll find her."

Darien tried to give her a grateful smile, but was fairly certain he just looked sick. Just as the police finished with the photos his parents came running in. Darien actually had to fight the urge to laugh, his Mom was wearing her sweat pants and T-shirt from the gym and only one shoe while his Dad had his suit jacket on backwards and his hair was sticking up like he'd been running his hands through it for a while.

They both ran up to him shouting his name and pulling him into a hug Darien held them and said, "I'm alright she didn't hurt me, I'm alright."

Scott looked at him, "Darien even talking to you without permission or another person present was a violation of Elaine's parole she's going back to jail once the police find her. I swear."

Shelby said, "And if she does manage to get out I'll hunt her down and tear her to pieces myself."

Scott grinned, "I'll hold her down for you."

Darien just sat there, he felt like he needed some time to compile what had happened. Officer Jeffries spoke up causing Darien to jerk, he had forgotten they were there, "Mr. and Mrs. Barringer we have Ms. Mason in custody you'll need to come to the station to file a formal report, but first I think we should take your son to the hospital. His injury isn't serious, but it's better to be safe than sorry and we should have a medical professional document it."

Scott and Shelby both nodded, Officer O'Brien escorted them out to the squad car and drove to the hospital the doctor on call looked Darien over and said there weren't any broken blood vessels or anything serious. He gave Darien some aspirin for the pain and told him to come back if he found it hard to move his arm or if the pain got worse. The police station was fairly quick, they had Darien write his statement out and sign it. Apparently Elaine was trying to deny she'd seen him, but that didn't work so well because she had no plausible explanation for her nose. As Officer O'Brien drove them back to school to get Scott and Shelby's cars Scott asked, 'You really broke her nose?"

Darien grinned cheekily at him, "Yes."

Scott ruffled his hair, "That's my boy."

Shelby smirked, "you did the right thing Darien and we're both proud of you."

Darien leaned back in the car and relaxed. Elaine was charged with parole violation and assault of a minor she was sent back to jail with an extra two years for assault. Scott filed a restraining order against her and when Elaine was next released she'd be fitted with a tracking bracelet to make sure she didn't go near Darien. Jasmine and his parents helped Darien deal with what had happened and he slowly adjusted to the new changes in his life. Darien continued to play soccer and hang out with his friends he wasn't going to let Elaine win by keeping him from doing what he loved. It had been a hard crazy experience, and Darien was glad to let it go. Elaine had never been and would never be a part of his life and no matter what she did he would never let her be and somehow he knew that everything was going to be o.k.

The end

A/n so what did you think? One person said I should have Darien meet Elaine and one said no so I had him meet her against his will to please everyone.