"How can you do this to me,"
"Do what to you?"
'If he decides to deny, I swear, I will kill him! She thought, angry. Her face was bright red, breathing heavily, and her hand formed into a fist. She didn't know what will happen next but decided not to wait for an answer. Without hesitation, she ran to the front of his desk, nearly climbing on top of it, grabbed Maxwell by the collar with her left hand, and punched him with her right.
Fran backed away with her hands covering her mouth frightened at the scene before her. Sure she had never seen CC this angry, but to see her physically act out especially to the one person she thought CC had feelings for, was more of a surprise than her outburst.
"Ms. Babcock, what the hell is wrong with you?! Mistah Sheffield?" She ran to him, pulling his hand away from his eye to see the damage.
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR BLOODY MIND?!"
"Nanny Fine, I have my rights, this good for nothing pig, deserved it, and I'll tell you why. You know what, why don't you tell her yourself Maxwell! Tell them how you used the both of us, how you used Niles and myself."
Maxwell was still confused and angry, he stood up about to speak up, until Niles, who was still in shock spoke up.
"Grace. Ms. Gracie, sir." He said, trying to come back to reality. He then took a few steps to give Fran the letter, knowing the coward in front of him wouldn't tell her.
Maxwell now realized what they were talking about, he was pale, ghostly white, slowly sitting back down to his chair. With a look of regret, fear, shock and sadness.
CC and Niles both glared at Maxwell while they were waiting for Fran to finish reading the letter.
Fran, only able to read half the letter, stepped away from Maxwell, her eyes were full of tears, a blink away from falling down her cheeks.
"Mistah Sheffield?" she asked in a whisper, waiting for an explanation.
"The children, they're still in the house. I don't want them to—,"
CC cut him off. "To what? To know? To know that their father is a sick twisted man who stole a child from us? Or is it, to know the truth about their sister? What is it Maxwell?"
"I-I…" He stuttered.
Fran began to read the rest of the letter, hoping she can find a good reason for his actions.
Niles let CC speak, she was better at it when she was angry, and he couldn't find the right words to use against his boss, his old friend. One of the people in his life he can trust. It all changed, right there and then.
The children were all in the living room watching cartoon. Maggie turned down the volume, hearing the grown-ups scream in the office. They all looked at each other, and decided to investigate, something they all learned from the nanny. They decided to listen through the closed door, to eavesdrop, another thing they picked up from Fran.
"Are they fighting?" Asked Maggie in a whisper,
"Sounds like it," Said Brighton, also in a whisper, afraid they might get caught.
"Shh." Said Gracie. Leaning against the door, trying to listen.
'So when were you going to tell us? When the little one was old enough to Marry? Or never at all? Hm?"
Little one? They all thought. Maggie and Brighton both turned to Gracie once they realized who CC was talking about.
"they're talking about Gracie?" Maggie asked, both Brighton and Gracie shrugged.
"I was grieving CC! I lost my wife, the love of my life! She was ill, there was never a right time. They lost their mother, and the truth can…it'll hurt them. You don't know how many times I've tried to tell you two, to tell them the truth…but I couldn't do it alone…I couldn't do it without her."
"So you just…what, decided on your own that it was best to keep it a secret? Decided it was best for everyone's well-being? Who gave you the right to play God?! You gave you two the right to own someone that way?!"
"You don't even know the child's name for bloody sake! Why would you even care? I didn't tell you she was yours or Niles because you two hate each other! It was neve—"
He stopped when he heard Maggie and Brighton scream Gracie's name.
"No…" he said, as he began to run after Gracie. The other adults soon followed. "Grace! Sweetheart! Please wait! Let me explain!"
"Is it true?" She stopped in front of the stairs, in tears waiting for his answer,
Maggie and Brighton were in between Grace and Maxwell, Maxwell who was a few feet from the couch, was slowly getting closer to Gracie, then stopped when she was stepping back. Maggie holding Brighton's hand, both in tears. CC Niles and Fran behind Maxwell, waiting his response. They all were.
"Sara…she was not well, even before she had cancer. After the fourth and last miscarriage, she…she couldn't take it anymore. She had a mental breakdown. All she wanted was another child, perfect family of five. She cried her heart out when the doctor told her she couldn't have anymore children."
"We weren't enough?" Maggie asked almost in a whisper, afraid of the answer.
Maxwell turned his head towards his oldest. "Oh of course you were! She loved the both of you! She…she just…when we first found out about the first pregnancy, she was excited, once she found out she was pregnant, she couldn't wait to have our third child. But when we lost him…or her, it was too early to tell, she wanted to try again. We wanted to try again. We decided we wanted to try again and wouldn't give up until we did. We fell in love before we even had a third on the way."
"So, you decided to steal me away from them?" Grace asked, almost shouting at him, now angry
"No, we…CC…had her…she was in a car accident. She had eggs frozen, and we thought…we thought she wasn't going to make it, the doctor said it was a slim chance at her state. We thought we were helping."
CC was about to speak, until Niles grabbed her arm, she turned to him and he shook his head. She let the scene play out.
"And you decided never to tell me? At all? Niles did you know?" She asked, now giving her attention to him,
"No, Ms. Grace I did not." He glanced at Maxwell,
"Tell her Maxwell," CC demanded, as she took a step closer to him, Niles following, with his hand still holding her arm, hoping it'll be enough to stop her from punching him again.
"We tricked Niles into donating his…um…his… you know." Now uncomfortable. He cleared his throat, continuing hoping she knows what he meant, "We told him it was a plan b, incase something happened to him. We knew he was in a fragile state, because he had feeling for CC at the time. We took advantage of that. When he did…I…we…by the time we did what we did to have you, CC woke up from her coma. She was in a coma for two months. We didn't…we couldn't take it back because you were already…we wanted to tell them after you were born, but…we fell in love with you. When we held you, we knew you were ours."
"But I wasn't! I-I'm not yours! You're a liar!" She yelled, and then ran upstairs to her room. Maggie and Brighton stayed behind, now holding each other close.
"How can you do that dad," Maggie said, looking at Maxwell in fear.
"Sweety, I…please don't look at me that way, I'm not the villain here…n-no one is the villain here. I didn't…I didn't know what else to do…she was losing it. And I guess so was I."
"Mom was…crazy?" Brighton asked,
"No, she was just…not doing well at the time…she wasn't crazy. Trust me when I say that."
"Trust you? How can we trust you? You lied to us!" Maggie screamed.
He was about to take step forward but stopped when they both ran upstairs, possibly to Gracie's room. Fran ran to follow them, but before taking one last look at Maxwell. Niles and CC followed behind, with CC shoving Maxwell out of the way. Maxwell let himself fall on the ground hugging his knees, replaying the fearful looks his children gave him. It broke his heart.
'what have I done' he whispered to himself.
They found the kids knocking on Gracie's door when they realized it was locked.
"Gracie! It's us, please let us in,"
"Gracie, honey, it's Fran. Please, unlock the door." After a few seconds of silence, she knocked and tried the doorknob again. When there was no answer, she took a bobby pin from her hair, and used it to unlock the door. When she heard the 'click' sound she tried the doorknob again. When it opened, they all gasped when they didn't find Gracie in her room.
Maxwell heard everyone scream Gracie's name. They all came running down the stairs,
"Ms. Gracie's gone. She climbed out the window, probably used the tree by her window as a latter." Niles said.
"Where could she have gone?" Fran said, as she held back her tears, holding onto the two older siblings.
CC ran to get her coat, Niles soon followed. "Nanny Fine, stay here with the children, Niles and I will find her. She can't be far."
CC decided to take her car and drive around the neighborhood, while Niles was the lookout. When there was no luck, Niles suggested the nearby park, sky was beginning to darken, as it was almost 8 pm. They knew they had to hurry and find her before it was dark, and before someone else could find her. They were relieved when they found her sitting on a swing, crying.
"Ms. Grace." Niles said.
"I feel like I don't know who I am anymore" she said not turning around to face them.
"You're Grace Victoria Sh—," Niles stopped. He had forgotten Sara had changed her name to Babcock Brightmore.
"You don't even know either." She said, in a melancholy voice. "Ms. Babcock doesn't even know my name…"
"I-of course I do! You were named after my grandmother V.V. Sara knew she meant the world to me. I just…I pretended not to know…it made it easier to…stay away." CC said. She wasn't lying. She loved Sara like a sister, and although she didn't show much care for the children, she did love them in her own way. Especially Gracie, because she reminded her of herself when she was younger. Smart, observant and independent. Now she knew why she was different than her siblings. When Sara died she felt guilty because CC made it out alive after the crash, but Sara, who had children, didn't. It was survivor's guilt, and she hated feeling that way, even after all this time.
Gracie got up from the swing to turn to them. "Are you going to take me away from them?"
"What? No, Ms. Gracie we could never do that. No matter what, they are your brother and sister," He knew she was talking about them.
She turned to CC, waiting for what she has to say.
"We won't do that. But… we do have to talk about it, try to figure this whole mess out. And as for Maxwell, I promise I won't kill him."
"Will you home come with us please?" Niles asked, Gracie nodded, and followed them to CC's car.
When they got home, Fran ran to Grace to give her a hug, Maggie and Brighton ran to hug her as well. Fran eyed Maxwell, letting him know to stay away.
Niles and CC both looked at each other, both now taking in what has happened. One day was all it took, one letter, and one child, to change their lives forever.
Did you know... Lauren lane came out on the Fran Drescher show. Omg, And it's on YouTube.
Edit: yeah, I had to change a lot for both chapters. Now I know why I wanted to move on from this. I remember I wanted to finish the story so fast I didn't even give them time to feel. Oi vey.