Esha Napoleon: Thank you! Debwood-1999: Cooper is definitely in a corner and I wish that I could say there's an easy way to get him out of it. But Vermi and I obviously don't believe in easy and combine that with Cooper's natural self destructive tendencies and you've got a recipe that spells out a major major part of our next story. EternalxInsanity: Yeah I know, I'm a big meanie *shrugs innocently* I like to think I'm nice in real life so maybe the meanness here is me getting it out of my system. NeroAnne: More is here…*hands off chapter and a cookie*
So, it's the final chapter…thank you to everyone who stuck through this with us and we hope you'll enjoy the sequel. It's going to be called Hurricane and the first chapter will be posted on Sunday : )
"Daddy! Daddy Daddy Daddy come watch me!" Scarlett giggled while pulling James by the tips of his fingers (since that was the highest she could reach) upstairs and towards her and Thorn's bedroom so she could show him a new move she'd picked up in her hip-hop dance class. Amber took ballet since she was the more sophisticated so she did turn her nose up at Thorn and Scarlett's much more pop-inspired moveset. Mindy knew a little bit of everything since she danced around onstage like it was nobody's business, but hadn't done it in a while considering she put her entire life on hold essentially without officially making an announcement to the world. She just didn't care enough.
"I'm coming, I'm coming…" he glanced across the room and saw Amber leaning against a counter with Tiffany and Chelsea while Tryg was running around the backyard with Connor playing infidels. "I'm guessing your sister's waiting in your room then…?"
"YES" Thorn gave him a curt nod with pouted lips on top of the stairs, "You and Mommy have been gone so you did not see what song we're doing at the recital!" Her little arms were folded across her chest and Mindy's iPod was in her hand.
"I know" James frowned once he reached the top of the stairs and swept her off her feet to give her a big kiss on the cheek, "and I'm sorry, sweetheart…Mommy and I have been going through a lot these past few months and-"
"Save it" Scarlett waved him off before jogging into her room and bouncing for Thorn to load Mindy's iPod into the dock of the iHome.
"Now you sit HERE…" Thorn dragged James over to the bed and sat him down firmly, giggling as he leaned forwards and gave her another big kiss, "And you watch our dance!"
"I'll be watching you for the rest of the day, I promise" he nodded and nuzzled the side of her face, "you ladies worked very hard and unfortunately Mommy was very sick and I had to get her better-"
"It is a figment of the past" Scarlett sighed with a roll of her eyes, "You are spending precious moments of our childhood complaining when you should be WATCHING!" The brat stamped her foot and sighed at him, "Daddy I love you, but you are just SO silly sometimes!"
"I am…" he smirked while staring at his twin daughters getting into position right in front of him, "aren't I?"
"Shhhhh!" Thorn hissed and flipped her long blonde hair behind her to begin on cue with Scarlett.
Mindy curled her lips in and sat at James's desk with Elizabeth drinking from a bottle in her lap. She didn't tell him she was in here, but figured he wouldn't be angry if he found out. Usually she never entered this room without him because it was his office and she didn't want to mess anything up while he was gone, but for some reason today she was just kind of drawn to it.
"Let's see…" she sighed and drew a big heart on a pad of sticky notes with a Sharpie marker and stuck it on his computer screen before pulling open the first drawer on his desk and finding a pile of pictures which happened to catch her eye. Furrowing her brow and pouting her full lips she pulled the large pile out and placed it on the desk in front of her.
Elizabeth held her bottle with one hand and reached out to swipe all the pictures off the desk with one hand when Mindy shook her head and pressed her lips to the side of Elizabeth's head.
"Silly baby…" she sighed and snuggled into Elizabeth's blonde head as close as she could get herself.
Leaning back in the chair she pulled the stack into her lap next to Elizabeth and began to gingerly sift through them all. They were from various periods of time, some really older-looking photos of James, Mark, and Annabelle as kids followed by more recent ones. A picture of Elizabeth was close to the top and Mindy smiled gently, but since the pictures were in no apparent order a beautiful portrait of Annabelle wasn't far underneath it. She lay reclined propped on her elbow in a charcoal dress, her rich chocolate hair flowing off her to the left behind her hand propping her head and bright blue eyes with smoky makeup looking into the camera. Not a flaw was traceable across her fair skin and her naturally red full lips pouted. She was so unbelievably beautiful and slender and gentle-looking…and staring at the picture of Elizabeth next to her Mindy's eyes water and she double-took between the portrait of her sister-in-law and her daughter. Her eyes welled so much she had to squeeze them shut to get the tears away but that didn't help.
"You should be hers…" she croaked while looking at her daughter and how much she resembled James, "you were supposed to be Sissy's baby…" she sniffled at her daughter and nodded, "Grandma did horrible things to her and then she got sick, but you shoulda been Aunt Annabelle's…" she shook her head at the picture and started to cry, "She was so pretty what the fucking FUCK why is she gone, huh?" she sniffled at her daughter and shook her head, "SHE should be sitting in this chair holding you in her lap! She was so nice and I was so fucking mean to her…I was so mean and saided bad things and I saided bad things about her to Daddy and I was WRONG, Lizzie Bear, I was WRONG! Daddy saided he wanted to keep trying for you with your pretty beautiful Aunt, and if she did not get sick you woulda been hers and your Daddy woulda loved you just the same…you are so much like him you do not know it yet" she sniffled and shook her head, trying not to cry and wipe her eyes, "Thank god you look like Daddy and not like me. Your Daddy is so beautiful and good to us…" she nodded while continuing to look through the pictures.
Normally pictures frightened her so she refused to have them displayed, but she was just fine with photo albums or, like in this case, photo piles. She had one single picture of herself from her childhood since no one took any of her, and she kept it hidden because she did not want anyone to know about it. She was sixteen with long ugly brown hair leaning away from a tree with a small, fake smile on her chubby face. She hated it so she hid it from everyone including her own children. Elizabeth slapped a hand to a black and white picture of a six or seven year old closeup of James. Mindy's hand slapped over her mouth and she either broke out into laughter or even more tears, it could have easily passed for a cross of both.
"Look at that, Lizzie Bear…" she giggled and sniffled before keeping her lips glued to Elizabeth's head guiltily, "don't you have a silly Daddy?"
"Da da da da da!" Elizabeth said at her and Mindy giggled again before nodding and kissing her hair.
"I know you love Daddy, Lizzie Bear" she nodded and kissed her daughter's hair, "Look how handsome he is…" she kissed her forehead and lifted the picture to draw comparisons, "you get it from him, you do" she nodded and kissed her temple.
"Da da da da!" Elizabeth babbled again happily and Mindy nodded with a big kiss to her cheek, "That's right, Lizzie Bear! That IS Daddy!"
Mindy continued to flip through them and saw a picture of Mark and Kane as little kids, which immediately made her flip it over and try not to look at it. She liked not to be reminded of why she sucked as a human being. She instead found the baby pictures of Cooper and Connor before giggling.
"Your brother Cooper had orange hair like my ex-brother-in-law's" Mindy sighed with a shake of the head; "Glen never had orange hair though…" she shook her head nonchalantly and shrugged, "I think their Mommy had red hair, but Glen gotted brown hair like his Daddy. That was sign number one that Paul was a no-good mother fucker. Your grandma on my side that you never should have had had blonde hair, which is why you are blonde. All of my relatives and babies have blonde hair including my Trisha, but I have icky brown hair from hell. It is not even pretty brown like Daddy's or Aunt Annabelle's" she sighed and shook her head, "just plain shit so I always dye it to make sure nobody has to see it. I was not blessed with Daddy's good looks so I had to have lots of surgery to make myself presentable" she sighed and spun her daughter around to face her, "Did it work, Lizzie Bear? Because I don't think so"
"Mum" Elizabeth said to her and Mindy completely overlooked it. She hadn't addressed herself as 'Mommy' in a while now deliberately. Postpartum was kicking her ass in the worst way and eventually she was going to snap. That on top of paranoid schizophrenia wasn't helping her one bit. As it was she'd become more withdrawn and took to herself more often than not. She spent a great deal of time with Elizabeth alone, but at the same time just didn't even know what to do with her she felt so inadequate. She felt like she was leading someone else's life and it made her insane. This wasn't supposed to be her; this was never supposed to be her. James by every right shouldn't have been hers he deserved someone who he'd known all his life, not her sickly crazy ass.
As it was she'd torn his life enough. She pulled him from Mark, royally freaked out Annabelle, caused Julie to think she was a raving lunatic (and she was, no denying that), and Cooper was now estranged from the family because she did something stupid to try and help James.
Caroline despised her, and she had every reason to do so. Sure, she didn't have an incestuous relationship with James, but at the same time all she did was sit around and wait for him to come around and play with her, and spend time with her, and completely dote over her…and it was wrong. Caroline's message was that she was being entirely wrong. She skimmed through the rest of the pile and there was nothing of her in it, which was understandable concerning she refused framed pictures but she shouldn't have looked in there to begin with. That was James's desk she shouldn't have been snooping in his stuff.
She was trying to take what everyone was telling her to heart and not be around James so much, let him lead his own life instead of having her cling to him like a spider draining the life out of him. She couldn't do it though. Everyone was telling her she was wrong with her approach to her relationship with James but she couldn't help it. James was her husband that she loved more than anything else in the world and she just got eaten alive whenever she was away from him, it made her think bad things and she would cry and cry and cry and hate herself and get more weird moods and she couldn't do it. It wasn't fair to James to put up with her schizo bullshit when he was supposed to be happy. She was supposed to be making him happy, and she didn't think she was doing a good job anymore. Her children took up the mast for her it seemed and she just kind of faded into the background so people would stop going around saying she was obsessed with him and that she was creepy. She was tired of being creepy her entire life was creepy she was sick of it. As it was she stopped dressing like the gothic princess about five years ago so people would shut the fuck up, and still people thought she was weird. Sure, she was a fucking weirdo but James liked it (at least that's what she thought). She didn't like not being with him all the time anymore it made her scared and sick and lonely and all sorts of bad and the worst part was she couldn't tell James because it would make him feel bad about himself and that was not what she wanted.
"Well I think you'll feel even worse if you don't talk to me about it" James's voice caught her from the doorway and she frowned, hanging her head when he noticed she was looking at the stack of pictures scattered across his desk.
She gasped, sat upright, and turned to face the doorway before crying hysterically and extending her free arm desperately towards James, who lifted her into a huge kiss before sitting her on his lap in the chair and kissing her all over.
"I MISS you, Jamie, I love you I miss you, Jamie I'm SORRY I-"
"Baby Doll…" he frowned and shook his head at her, "why are you sorry? You did nothing"
"I have been ignoring you"
"Yes, Jamie…" her eyes narrowed and she nodded, "I am ignoring you and you know it."
His head hung dejectedly for a moment before snuggling under her neck and keeping his arms coiled tight around her body.
"I'm sorry…" his apology threw her off, "whatever I did, Baby Doll I'm-"
"People make fun of me and tell me I am creepy because I love you too much, Jamie-darling, and everyone-"
"Hey!" he caught her eye and kissed her gently on the lips, "What did I tell you about what I have to say to everyone else?" She stopped crying and panted a moment to run her fingers through his hair frantically and shrug. "Come on," he encouraged with another deep kiss, "you know the answer to this…"
"FUCK everyone else, alright?" he replied gently while giving her the biggest, wettest kiss he could deliver, "I fucking love being up your ass don't let me be alone, alright?" his face fell as he nodded, "I can't be away from you at all…"
"I cannot be away for more than a fucking second what the fuck does that say about me?" she frowned as he kissed her and then Elizabeth before cuddling with them both.
"It says" he said as an exhale and they kissed, "you're beautiful and I love you and I can't be without you for two seconds or I get antsy" he nodded and kissed her on the lips more, "and my hands start to shake, see?" he lifted his hands for her to see and she kissed them both, "I don't get any fucking better when you're not with me and you know what?" he poked her nose and shrugged, "It's OUR relationship, no one else's"
"We made Mom sick" she reminded him with a shake of the head, "Mommy could not have hated a girl you could not have brought home more than me"
James frowned and brushed her lengthy raven hair out of her face, "Baby…" he exhaled, "Mom's a…"
"I don't give a fuck" she hissed and clamped a hand in her hair, "She fucked us in so many ways look at all this shit WHAT happened to us?" She cried loudly and buried her face into his chest, "She hurt you"
"Coming from someone who was constantly raped, beaten within an inch of her life, and had her throat slit"
"We look alike" she stared at the scar on his neck that mirrored hers, "We both got slitted" she leaned up and kissed the scar on his neck, closing her eyes the moment his hand snaked around the back of her neck and they kissed,
"I love you" he tried to get an idea of what was upsetting her by glancing at the pictures and then it hit him, "Baby Doll…" he rubbed the side of her cheek and kissed her hand, "Lizzie Bear is OUR baby…you do know that, right?"
Meekly she nodded, keeping her eyes avert when he snapped her face to his.
"She's OURS…" he repeated with a kiss to her nose, "only me and you…"
"Jamie" she sniffled when his lips met hers and they kissed once more, "stop"
"I wouldn't want her with anyone else; she wouldn't be who she is without her beautiful mother"
Mindy rolled her eyes when he couldn't take the argument and buried her face in his chest before she could, allowing her to sob loudly as he kissed her neck frantically and rubbed her back with his nose in her hair.
"Why won't you believe me?" he whimpered and barred his teeth, "You're so fucking beautiful why don't you ever fucking believe me? Huh?" his lips traveled to her neck and lingered there, "I would know better than anybody how gorgeous you really are"
She shrugged, and it just broke his head to listen to the self-loathing all the time.
"Well you know what?" he ran his fingers lovingly through her hair and shrugged, "You're my wife, I love you more than anything; and not Mom, or Mark, or even Annabelle can change that"
The way her nails dug into his skin and how she started bawling let him know he was doing his job right thus far.
"We built some life together, didn't we?" he asked as a sigh and she nodded, "I was never this happy, you know that?" he sniffled for a moment and nodded, "The only person who makes me feel like Mom was wrong about me all these years is you…you make me feel like a person who actually deserves what he has, you know?" She nodded and clutched his skin harder, "We have babies I adore and are the perfect, most amazing and wonderful Mommy for our Lizzie Bear and I look at her and see you every day and it makes me shake because sometimes when I'm with her, you're not around and I get all scared and I want you with me, and"
"Jamie we make this promise too much" she frowned and wrapped the arm that wasn't holding Elizabeth around his neck, "and although I would promise you Mommy is dead and never coming back I won't do that again because I got jinxed last time. We beated her up though and I will not let her take you away from me not ever"
"So stop LEAVING me for stupid shit" he groaned a bit while nibbling on her neck, "I don't fucking want you to be anywhere else, alright?"
"I don't WANT to be anywhere else" she reminded him while running her fingers through his hair, "You make me so happy and I love you, Jamie-darling, and sometimes people are mean about us"
"Don't let them be" he reminded her with a kiss to the head, "stop it. Listen to ME, okay?" he rubbed his nose against hers and placed a kiss on the ridge her chest made from her pushup bra. "I miss you with me" he told her with a nod, "I want you to look me in the eye and promise me right now you'll stop mindfucking yourself, alright?"
"Okay" she nodded and wrapped her arm around his neck with a big kiss, "You stop thinking about what Mommy did to you"
"We dealed with her and we beated her" her mouth opened and she waited impatiently for the kiss, "I love you, Jamie-darling, I do…"
"So come here…" he beckoned her and they kissed, "Piss her off even more in hell" he nodded and helped her legs straddle his waist, "Do you know how much I love you?"
She giggled and held Elizabeth close while hugging his neck right back and kissing up his throat and onto his lips.
"Too bad we burned the house down or I'd fuck you in her bed…"
"I'll fuck you in OUR bed" he gave her a wink and she yelped as he swung her over his shoulder and nommed Elizabeth's face while carrying them both up the stairs.
Cooper sat on the edge of the hospital bed staring at the door patiently, unable to even think because of everything that he had done, but around the bend came Mindy and Connor excitedly to take him house hunting.
"COOPY!" Connor sprang onto him and hugged him so tight Cooper almost broke when Mindy entered behind him and hugged the older brother as tightly as she could before he started whimpering again and kissed her all over.
"Let's go, bub" she hip-checked him and kissed the top of his hand, "I promised Daddy I'd be back in an hour I'm already lying to him."
Cooper could only anticipate the inevitable and sigh, "Let the obsessive calls begin."
"Hey!" she pointed a finger at him and shook her head, "We are NOT obsessive!"
'Cant be Tamed' by Miley Cyrus blasted from her little Dior handbag, making Cooper's eyebrows rise and she smiled sheepishly.
"Can I…?" she asked nervously; realizing it was James, and Cooper motioned out the door knowingly.
"Proceed…" he sat back down on the bed as Mindy left happily chattering to James about god knows what and Connor was already frowning.
"I thought we were leaving now, Coopy" he frowned and tried to lift his older brother off the bed, "Why are you not standing up?"
Cooper's eyes were on the young woman pacing with the brightest smile in the entire hospital plastered on her face while speaking on the phone, "Because we're going to be here for a while."