Chapter 6

That night the two girls emerged from Chloe room about three hours later, after crafting a plan which was almost perfect. They made their way into the study where Stacie sat typing up what looked like a very frustrating letter. She looked up as they entered and raised an eyebrow, Chloe knew never to interrupt her when she was working.

"Hi mum, sorry to interrupt but we thought that you'd want to know as soon as. We had a thought that, as you and dad were going to be away for a while, that Josh could come stay with us." Stacie's eyebrow rose even further, "but then we thought, why drag him all way from Massachusetts when we could simply come with you!" by now Stacie looked like she was trying to hold back laughter.

"And this was so important that you had to interrupt me while working, why?"

"well now you don't have to be stuck with dad for the entire time, well only 'till Monday, 'cause we cant come down 'till Morgan's left." Chloe looked at her like she was insane, while Stacie studied her back with an identical expression. This was making the least bit of sense but she decided to go along with it to humor her daughter.

"Okay then, but I'll still be, as you put it, 'Stuck' with your father for three days. How do you know he'll still be alive when you get there?" She was surprised to see that neither girl looked the least bit fazed.

"I guess that's a risk we're willing to take"

X x x x x x

Stacie and Chloe sat in the car outside JFK Airport listening to some very bad country music on a local radio station. Hunter and Moira were currently saying goodbye to Morgan in the waiting room as she waited to board her flight back to Ireland. Stacie had already been to New York with Hunter, to meet Wicca's own Board of Directors and they had returned to Stacie's house in the suburbs to pick the girls up and give Morgan a lift to the airport. The trip itself had been fairly uneventful.

During the day the Suits had fawned over Hunter like he was a medical miracle, and he had regaled the group with various anecdotes about his time on the Island. And when they were alone the two former lovers never exchanged more than polite conversation. They atmosphere in the town house in uptown Manhattan was never tense or thick with sexual frustration, more a common understanding that nothing was going to happen while they were both so new to being in each others company again.

But the nights were amazing. Stacie had sat out on the Balcony looking over at the New York skyline with a bottle of red wine, and Hunter would eventually join her with his own bottle of scotch and they would sit and talk drunkenly until there was nothing left to do but to look at each other. Those were the moments that she loved, were the whole world would disappear as she looked into those almost too-blue eyes, and she could sink back into a place were she was 19 again and they were still together and a family. For hours they would do that, until the pink in the sky would tell them that the day was coming, that they had to revert back into their current selves and resume their positions in society. Her as the perfect role-model, mother and business woman and he as they lost-and-found prodigal father and all round hero.

xxxx

Chloe was tapping on the back of the drivers seat trying to get her mothers attention and pull her out of what seemed to be a very pleasant day-dream.

"Moommmmm?" she drawled out when Stacie finally turned around to show her child some attention. Stacie groaned, whenever she uses that tone, it was a sign that her bank balance was about to take a beating.

"Yeessssss?" she replied in an equally annoying way.

"Can Nathan come over to the apartment this week please?" Okay so not the question Stacie was expecting, but shocking nonetheless. Nathan had never stayed with them at the house - or anywhere else for that matter- Chloe had always gone to his place. Stacie suddenly felt a bit hot under the collar.

"Erm… well I don't know. I mean with your father here it might be a bit crowded" She took a sip of her coffee to try and look neutral.

"Well not really, Me and Nathan can share my room, Moira can have the guest room and You and Dad can have your room" Stacie nearly sprayed her coffee over the wind shield of the car as Chloe looked on amused. The thought of sharing a room with Hunter had crossed her mind more than a few times over the last few days, but the idea that her daughter - her 19-year-old daughter - had been thinking along the same lines was more than a little disturbing.

"Er … I don't think so. Your dad can sleep on the couch, and Nathan can sleep in the guest room," she raised a hand as Chloe tried to complain, "Chloe, you invited Moira as your guest first, you are not kicking her out so you can have your boyfriend over" Chloe sat back in her seat and huffed "Fine!"

After fine minutes in an awkward silence between the mother and daughter Moira and Hunter returned to the car, and slid into their respective seats, unaware of the tension between the two. Smiling at them she revved up the engine and steered out of the car park towards the centre of the city. They rode in a partially comfortable silence, asking only polite questions when they felt they had remained quite for too long. Chloe however sat in a sulk while looking out of the window at the passing buildings. They stopped of at a café in Manhattan to grab a quick lunch on the way to the house. They sat at a cubicle opposite the counter and looked at the menus in silence. Occasionally Stacie would see Chloe and Moira exchange covert glances, almost as if they were communicating silently, which within their world was not out of the question. But she sensed nothing between them. A waitress in her mid-twenties came over and took their orders. They ordered their sandwiches and drinks, handing back their menus.

"So……" Hunter tapped the table top distractedly and looked around at the three girls.

"Yeah…" Stacie answered back.

"This is awkward. Why are none of us speaking?" Moira said bluntly. She had the same knack as Hunter for pointing something out that no one else in the room wanted to acknowledge. They all looked at each other before blurting out some lame excuse to their individual silence.

"I've been tired I guess. You know , 'All Work And No Play'." Stacie Murmured.

"Still a bit swamped about the whole New Charter thing I guess." Hunter hung his head and Moira attention turned to Chloe. "Well how 'bout you"

"Me? Nothing, Just tired I guess." With a glance in her mothers direction, Chloe had already deduced that their earlier conversation was not something that she was willing to go over again. Seeming to be satisfied with their answers Moira simply sat back and looked out into the busy city, watching the pedestrians as they went along with their daily routine; Smartly dressed Men and Woman making business calls on the way into the office oblivious to the world; young women clinging to their designer shopping bags while clutching their Starbuck's coffee, Hoping it will sustain them until they reached the next shop and their feet would have a rest from the ridiculously high designer heels; The odd Mother trying to control the herd of children that seemed to surround her, while looking around for the nearest place to feed the hungry tykes.

It made Stacie remember when she had been like that. At one stage or another she had been one of them, always having a purpose, a goal she had yet to reach, whether it was a Business target, the last pair of Manolo Blaniks in Bloomingdales or making sure that both her children were given the exact amount of attention by both of their parents, that they deserved.

All that time she had prayed to the goddess herself for a day where she would have no worries and could snuggle up with an amazing guy and just be. However now that she two very grown children, who didn't need to depend on her, and a business that practically ran itself, she felt almost unwanted. For the first time in her life she wished she could go back fifteen years and be that woman with no time again. She thought back to a conversation that her and Sky had, a few Months ago,

Stacie trailed into her Living room in her London apartment and slouched down onto the sofa, lifting her feet onto the coffee table, where they rested next to her best friend's. She passed another glass of wine to the other woman and drank from her own, savouring the taste in her mouth before swallowing.

"So she just up and left?" Sky asked disbelievingly for the fourth time that night. Stacie sighed and nodded again, "No 'Hi Mom I'm going to Europe for the summer, see in three months', or 'Mom can I take your car to France if I promise I wont Wreck it'?" More nodding from Stacie.

"Nothing, Just a note, a missing SUV and a phone call from Josh saying that he was glad that Chloe was starting to stand on her own two feet. She just left without a word for her dear old Mum"

"Goddess" Sky exclaimed. She had got the call that Chloe was gone a few hours previous and had driven down as soon as she could. She was planning to pay a visit to her old friend anyway, but for a slightly different reason. One that she doubted would be welcome under the current circumstances.

"Yup, that's my daughter. God I can't believe that she would do this! She has school in September and god knows how she's going to find a place to live if she's on a beach in the Greek Islands." She took another sip of wine, hoping that it would dull the ache in her heart. She wasn't going to lie, the fact that her daughter did not think it relevant to tell her mother where she was going or how long for, had truly stung her . She had always thought they were closer than that.

" She could have at least rung you herself" Sky said, not being able to find the words to console her friend at this point.

"You know , its not that she didn't tell me. Since when has she told me about all of her escapades? I'm happy that she's finding her own way. It's about time, I had a son and a high paying job by the time I was her age." they shared a chuckle. It was a running joke between them that she was not too young of a mother or career-woman, it was the fact that everyone else was simply too old. " I think its more that , when Chloe was here I had something to do, something I was responsible for. Now she's gone I don't have to think about anyone or anything. It's all about me know." She drained her glass and set it down on the coffee table, before turning her body to face Sky.

"And why is that a bad thing?" Sky asked with raised eyebrows.

"It's not I guess. But it hasn't been just me for nearly Twenty-four years. Its kind of weird, like I don't know what to do now I'm alone. There's nothing for me anymore."

"Whoa !! Back up ! You've got loads. Don't you go saying that."

"Oh I don't mean it like that. I mean that a few months ago I would have given anything to be single and responsibility free again…."

"..But now you have it , you don't really want that anymore." Sky finished for her.

"Yeah that's about it. I need a new project, something to keep my mind off it. Something I know and can improve on." she had a million plans when she was younger, about what she wanted to do, but know they all seemed tedious and unworthy.

"Well how about designing again? You made some good money doing that when you were younger." Sky reminisced. Stacie had built a studio in her old Manhattan apartment, where has would sit and make clothes for hours. It was never a career path but a simple hobby that had attracted more than a few famous friends. Before long she had made a lot of money from designing clothes for Rich socialites whom wanted to wear something more Unique, rather than wear the expected designer labels. By the time she was 20 it had become a fully-fledged business but she soon got pregnant with her second child and the dream ended there. The Money was always good but she knew from past experience that she needed to focus 100 percent on the child she was carrying.

"Yeah I could, that was fun. But it wasn't about Money, it was about doing something that came naturally to me." like magic she thought, Magic was always a part of her something that flowed through her veins, to her very core. She had always had trouble accepting her true potential as a witch, but sometimes it just came to her, and the result was always amazingly beautiful or bone-shockingly terrible.

"Sometimes the most natural thing in the world is the hardest thing also" Stacie knew that they were not just talking about career choices now, but the whole situation that surrounded her. Her magic was, to her, More brilliant than everything- bar her Children- but to others it was terrifying and sometimes dangerous .

Stacie was snapped back to reality when a plate was placed by the young waitress in front of her. She picked up her fork and ate in silence, listening to the chatter between the other three, mingled with hustle of the city in the background. It made Stacie more relaxed than she had been in a long time. Maybe she should take Sky's advice and start again. Looking up at Hunter who was engrossed in a debate with his two children, she smiled, She knew exactly where she going to start.


AN// Yay Longest chapter yet :)

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Nixxii x x