Chapter One : Aftershocks.
Addison drained the dregs of red wine into her glass and took a large swig before leaning back into the deck chair and closing her eyes. She tried not to think about it but she couldn't escape it; Violet was back.
She opened her eyes and looked at the tempestuous ocean casting its white fury onto the beach, she felt foolish and beaten – she should have known better than to believe she could be happy.
"Addison?" Sam's voice penetrated her thoughts. He had been watching her for the last twenty minutes, he had watched her pour her first glass of wine, he had watched her run her fingers through her hair and he had watched her stare into the night.
"Sam," she turned around to see him standing on his balcony. "How long have you been there?"
"Long enough to know you've just drank your last bottle of red wine and long enough to know that you need another." He smiled and disappeared inside.
Addison laughed, she loved the way Sam understood her, he got her and he didn't judge her.
A few minutes later Sam appeared in her garden holding a bottle of wine and a blanket.
"It's getting a bit chilly out here." He said placing the open bottle of wine on the table next to Addison and giving her the blanket. He settled down on the chair next to her.
They sat in silence for a few minutes both looking into the distance and sipping their wine.
"You want to talk about it?" Sam said, still staring into the darkness.
Addison took a deep breath "Violet is back."
"Oh" was all Sam could manage.
"She turned up at Pete's house and…" Addison swallowed hard "she stood there and she looked..........she looked different, she looked better and I was standing there holding her child and……and I felt like a fraud, I felt like a fraud and a bad person and a….." Addison's voice began to break as her she tried hard not to cry.
"Hey," comforted Sam as he moved over onto Addison's chair, he sat beside her and wrapped his arms around her "you're not a bad person."
Addison let him embrace her and she felt herself collapse into his arms, she put her head on his shoulder and started to sob. He held her closely and comforted her. He knew they shouldn't be this close, that their bodies shouldn't be touching, but in that moment she was his friend and he wanted to offer her the comfort and support that she needed. Addison inhaled deeply as she felt the soft flesh of Sam's neck against her cheek; she loved the way he smelt. She felt a shiver run down her back, she exhaled and sat up. She had to let out a silent groan as she sat up and their bodies parted, it felt so good to hold her: just to feel her next to him.
"I should…" said Addison pointing at the house, she had to remove herself from this situation, she thought of Naomi and she felt to the need to escape.
"Yeah, I should too," replied Sam getting up and turning towards his house "will you be ok?"
Addison nodded unconvincingly, she just wanted to get inside and fall apart, she wanted to go to bed and shut it all out.
The next morning Addison was woken by knocking at the front door. She rubbed her eyes and looked over at her alarm clock, 9:45, she hadn't slept so late in a long time. The knocking continued. Whoever was at the door wasn't going to go away, she slipped out of bed and padded downstairs to the door.
"Pete." she was shocked to see Pete standing in the doorway with Lucas propped on his hip. She stood staring at them.
"Well, are you going to let us in?" Pete cut through her thoughts.
"Yeah, sorry, come in…I….." she moved back to let them through and shut the door behind them.
Pete walked into the living room and set Lucas down on the rug to play before moving over to the sofa and sitting down. Addison sat at the other end of the sofa.
"You just ran off last night" Pete didn't really know where to start, he'd hardly had time to come to terms with Violet's reappearance himself.
"I know, I'm sorry, just Violet turning up like that, it threw me. I felt like an intruder Pete, stood there holding her baby, playing house with her family." Addison tried to explain herself to Pete but the truth was she hadn't even explained it to herself yet. All she knew was that she had felt the need to escape, to run away.
"It threw me too Addison but you can't just run away, you can't just leave me, leave Lucas." Pete's tone wasn't nasty but it indicated he expected more from her, that he was upset about what she had done.
"I'm sorry" she meant it, she loved Lucas and she cared about Pete, she hadn't meant to abandon them.
Pete moved closer to her and took her hand in his. "I need you, we need you."
Addison let out a breath that she hadn't realised she was holding. He needed her. She thought that she and Pete were over, that after last night Pete would go back to Violet and forget about her. She wanted to believe that he needed her, that she meant something to Pete and Lucas but she knew that Violet changed everything. She knew that Pete was still in love with Violet and that there was a chance they could get back together.
Addison sighed, she needed Pete too, she needed him to make her feel sane, to make her happy and to make her forget.
"Did you speak with Violet?" she wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer but she knew she had to ask.
"We talked but we didn't talk," explained Pete "she held Lucas and we made plans to meet today."
"Well that's good" Addison did her best to sound positive and convincing.
"She's going into the practice today to catch up with her patients so we've arranged lunch." Pete explained.