-This idea was swimming around in my head while watching my SOA season one dvd's. Because season two has just started I'm going to say this takes place just a bit in the future. Perhaps a few months after season two. Someone reminded me that this was fanfiction, and really we can change things up how ever we need to. They were absoloutely right!

This first chapter is just an introduction to my OC...and her arrival in Charming. Please le me know what you think and if I should keep going. :D


Chapter 1

-

'This is going to be the longest summer of my life.'

That was the thought that rang through my mind as I rode in the passenger seat of a blue Ford Escape. We were currently on the hwy, making our way from the San Jose airport toward the town of Charming California.

'Fucking Charming California. Who the hell names a town Charming anyway?' I grumbled in my head. Nerves were running rampant and I was going on about 4 hours sleep and 2 cups of crappy coffee. Needless to say I was feeling less than charitable.

An unfamiliar country tune played low in the background filling in the strained silence that hung between me and the man sitting in the drivers seat. I glanced at him from the corner of my eye watching as he drove, the only sign of his discomfort being in the way he clutched the steering wheel.

I would never call Richard Murray a bad man, but nothing would deter my opinion of him as a bad Father. Believe me, I didn't form this opinion because Daddy wouldn't buy me the car I wanted, or didn't send me for a summer of backpacking across Europe. Oh no, this was what I felt about the man who walked out on my Mom and I when I was barely six years old. If that wasn't cliché' enough, he left us for another woman, one he was apparently still married to after all these years.

So here we sit in uncomfortable silence, two people bound by a last name and a bit of DNA but who were for all intensive purposes strangers.

There was a clearing of the throat, "Roxanne...I can't tell you how pleased I am your going to be working with me this summer, we will finally have the time to catch up with each other."

I mentally rolled my eyes at his attempt at conversation, but knew under the circumstances it was best to play nice. The objective for this summer was simply to do my law internship and get back to school in the fall. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.

Giving a bland noncommittal smile I replied, "Sure..." Then thought to add, "I appreciate you letting me do this on such short notice, I was really in a bind."

He expression showed his surprise at my words of gratitude, "Well..you're perfectly welcome. As I told your Mother, I'm more than happy to be able to help you out."

My gratefulness was sincere, at least concerning this. While I had serious misgivings about voluntarily interacting with a man I have resented most of my life, the last minute offer of an internship in his law firm was saving my ass.

Going into my 3rd and final year of law school at UNC in my home state of North Carolina, all was going smoothly until hit with the proverbial monkey wrench.

It seemed as if the new criminal law professor for next semester had decided it would be fun to change things up a bit. Exciting right? Not so much when we were told that he strongly recommended an internship in some capacity either with a private practice criminal law firm, or a district attorneys office to complete his course. To bad for me I had a cushy civil law internship all lined up and ready to go for the coming summer. Needless to say, this left me scrambling to find an office willing to take on a law student at the last minute.

A week later had me pulling my hair out, sitting at my Mom's kitchen table whining in her ear about the unfairness of it all. After listening to me go on and on for a good half hour, Elena Kozlova held up her hand in the universal sign to stop and gave me one of those Mom looks that told me to just shut up and listen.

Then she simply said, "I have an idea, but your not going to like it." And with those words, it snowballed from there.

Though a cheating scumbag who emotionally abandoned his wife and child, my Father was a scumbag who paid his child support and pitched in a good amount for my college education. We never talked about it much, but I knew my Mom still spoke to him occasionally. Presumably about me since every so often through the years he would turn up at one of my milestone events. Mom half heartedly tried to get me to visit him a few times through the years, but much to my relief never pushed the issue. The childhood resentment just ran to deep.

One forty minute phone call later, Mom hung up with a message from my Father to tell me that he would be 'thrilled to help me out, and looked forward to seeing me this summer."

As much as I hated to accept his help in this, I knew it was time to put on my big girl panties and do what I had to do. Something that my strong willed Mother had taught me well over the years.

That brings me back to the here and now. All the way on the other side of the country, making nice with a man I barely recognized but called himself my Father.

'It doesn't matter Roxy, this summer will fly by and then your on your way back to North Carolina.'

The next 30 some odd miles had an abundance of silence with a polite question or answer thrown in here and there. Eventually along the road we came upon a sign that proclaimed, "Welcome to Charming, population 14,679 Our Name Says It All." I turned my head to stare at the rustic sign as we quickly breezed past.

After riding a little while longer we drove through a small downtown area, shops lining the each side of the road. To me it looked like any other town, not particularly fancy but certainly nowhere near what I would call run down. Life thrived here, businesses bustled, but it was all in a small town way. Not a Wal-Mart or Starbucks in sight.

As we slowly drove down what I assumed to be the "Main Street" I observed plenty of people out and about going along their merry way. Several cars and oddly enough motorcycles were parked in front of the various businesses.

"Over there is the office." Richard had slowed to a crawl and was now pointing out one of the nicer buildings. There was a note of pride to his voice as he added, "We just had it built three years ago, I think you'll like it."

Studying the building for a moment I asked, "Murray and Rosen?"

"Rosen is my partner of course. Dan's young, but he's a hell of a lawyer."

I just nodded, surprised to hear that Richard had a law partner, that being the first time he had been mentioned.

We were reaching the end of main street when on the corner I noticed a huge gated lot with several large metal buildings. As we drove past I read a sign in front that said, "Teller-Marrow Auto". There seemed to be a lot of activity going on inside the lot, but one thing caught my notice.

I turned to Richard curiously, "You have lot of motorcycle enthusiast around here?"

"Err..yeah there is actually. You'll see them everywhere, but you get used to them." he said with a little chuckle, fidgeting a little in his seat. I narrowed my eyes and studied him as he looked straight ahead and drove.

'Wonder what made him so nervous?'

-


-

Ten minutes later just a little outside of town we pulled into a large circular driveway. I looked around as Richard stopped the car and turned off the ignition.

"Well, here we are." He said in a cheerful tone.

I'm sure my face was the picture of confusion as I looked out through SUV window at the large two story house with it's immaculately landscaped yard. I turned back to look at him and said, "Where is here exactly?"

Sighing out loud he answered reluctantly, "This is my house Roxanne."

'….......'

My jaw clenched in frustration but I managed to stay calm, "I thought we agreed that I would stay at a hotel until I could find a rental."

"Actually, Elena suggested that. However... I wondered why waste money on a hotel room when we have a perfectly good guest room here." He gestured toward the house.

He was being deliberately obtuse and we both knew it. I had promised myself to be polite no matter what, but was already feeling my patience slip. All I wanted right now was time to myself, which would include a hot shower, a quick bite to eat and a warm bed.

'I so don't feel like dealing with this shit right now.'

"I think you know why." I said as my green eyes bore into his blue. One very tense moment later Richard finally looked away staring out the drivers side window.

Then as if right before my eyes he seemed to visibly deflate, slumping down into his seat. For the first time since he had picked me up I noticed how much he had aged in the three years since I had seen him last.

Still looking away toward the house he murmured, "I just wanted a chance to welcome you here, show you my home..." Then he turned back and looked at me again and I could see him visibly swallow, "Even if it was just for one night, I wanted you to sleep under my roof again."

'Well fuck.'

I looked away from the pleading look he was giving me, mentally clutching at that well worn mantle of self righteous anger that I had wrapped myself in for so very long. How the hell was it that he had managed to turn things around and make ME feel guilty?

'He must be one fantastic lawyer.' Was my cynical thought as I sighed and ran a hand over my tired face.

Several moments of silence elapsed,"Fine......Fine Ok? One night though." I said as I held up my index finger to illustrate my point.

For the first time since he picked me up from the airport, a grin broke across Richard's face. Seeing his expression I felt compelled to add, "I mean it."

Still grinning widely he just said, "That's fine! We can get you a hotel room tomorrow if that's still what you want."

Uncomfortable with his enthusiasm, I decided to move things along, "Ok..right now I just need something to eat. I think I feel my blood sugar bottoming out..."

"Oh!" He said as my words seemed reach him. "Sure, we can get you something to eat." With that he opened his car door and quickly exited the car.

Taking that as my cue, I followed suit. I stood silently beside the SUV as I took stock of Richard's house. The two story Georgian style home stood proudly amongst the San Joaquin Valley backdrop, very pretty but a little out of place I couldn't help but think.

Following Richard to the front door each of us pulling and carrying my luggage, he ushered me into a large foyer. He called out, "Hello..anyone home?"

I heard a dog barking, or I should say yapping, mixed with the clickety clack of high heels on a wooden floor making their way toward us.

"Darling, your home!" Came the sound of a woman's high pitched voice, causing me to instantly tense up. The voice wasn't recognizable, but I knew who this was. Her. The one who my Father had left us for all those years ago.

I mentally steeled myself then looked up. Standing before me was finally the face I had wondered about but had never seen all these years. Cynthia Murray.

One word came to mind as I quietly observed the woman who was now kissing Richard on his cheek welcoming him home. Fragile.

I wanted so badly to compare her to my Mother but found that really there was none. Other than the fact that they were both attractive older women, they couldn't have been more polar opposites.

While my Mom Elena was tall, standing at around 5'9, Cynthia was tiny standing only about 5'5 in heels. Where Mom was somewhat exotic looking with her prominent cheekbones and slanted green eyes, this woman was all American china doll. Complete with blond hair, blue eyes and fragile bone structure.

"Cynthia this is my daughter Roxanne, Roxanne meet my wife Cynthia." Richard took the bull by the horns and introduced us. Then he stood back and smiled proudly, watching.

"Look at you, what a beautiful young woman you are!" exclaimed Cynthia walking toward me and grasping my hands in hers. "I have wanted to meet you for so long. Welcome to our home."

I watched her body language closely, detecting no signs of strain or subterfuge. 'Brownie points to the china doll.' I thought.

Giving her the best smile I could muster under the circumstances, one that was probably looked as strained as I felt, "Thank you, I appreciate that."

After introducing me to the family dog, a little red Pomeranian named Mitzy, yeah I know..Mitzy, I was given a quick tour of the downstairs then was lead upstairs to the guest room by Cynthia. Keeping with the theme of most of the house the guest room was decorated in pastels and florals, most definitely nothing like my personal preferences which usually ran to warm colors and bold patterns.

Honestly though, at that moment in time the room looked like heaven to me ruffles and all. The queen size bed sitting in the middle of the room was calling my name.

"I imagine you want to get cleaned up. The bathroom is stocked with fresh linens and pretty much anything else you might need..." The older blond woman said.

I nodded and then uncomfortable silence fell, during which time we just eyed one another. It must have made Cynthia nervous because I noticed that she began to wring her hands.

Finally I just said, "A shower sounds fantastic right now, I think I'll take you up on that." Hoping she would get the picture and leave me to it.

Before she could answer we turned to the sound of something hitting the door jam. Cursing under his breath was Richard who had insisted on carrying up the heaviest of my bags himself. Struggling he wrestled the larger bags through the doorway and plopped them down with a relieved sigh.

"Well there's your bags. I noticed that Marianne left some pasta on the stove for reheat, you should come down and eat." he said looking at me expectantly.

"Marianne?" I asked.

"Oh..she cooks for us and helps around the house a bit every day." Cynthia offered. "I'm not exactly the best cook, and we can't have Richard starving." This last bit was said with a nervous giggle as she patted her husband's stomach.

'A cook?' I thought raising an eyebrow.

It was official. Cynthia was so far on the other end of the spectrum from my Mom she just fell right off the grid. One thing about Elana Kovlova was that her kitchen was always filled to the brim with good home cooked food, and never in a million years would she allow someone else to take over her kitchen.

"I was just telling Cynthia that I needed a shower more than anything." I nodded toward the adjoining bathroom. "I think I should probably just take a shower and head off to bed...."

"Nonsense." Richard broke in quickly squashing my ideas of escape. "You need to eat something even if you don't feel like it. We don't want any problems with that blood sugar of yours." he added.

I silently cursed my Mom who no doubt lectured Richard relentlessly about my low blood sugar problems before I came here. Even though I am well into adulthood, Mom would never trust me to take care of myself. I half expected to find her tucked up in one of my larger heavier bags.

Sending the ruffled bed smothered in floral pillows one more longing glance, "Your right. I'll just shower and crash after I eat." I agreed deciding that it was best to pick my battles. This just wasn't worth it. Plus he was right, I would feel like hell in the morning if I went any longer without eating.

"It's settled then!" Cynthia said clapping her hands together, turning to lead the way to the stairs and down toward the kitchen.

We were halfway down the stairs when her tinker bell voice called up to me, "It's going to be so nice having another girl around Roxanne. Now I have someone around to go shopping with!"

'Yep...this is definitely going to be the longest summer of my life..'

-


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