Icy Blue: Special Edition commences! Told myself I was going to go back and rewrite this before I finished it, so here I go! This chapter is almost entirely new, no joke. I took out most of what I'd written and just started from scratch. The gist remains the same, for all you who've read it before. But it's not as bad. [Hopefully it's not bad at all] LOL. If you haven't read this before, thank god. And thank you! :D Enjoy.
In the dark, there was only a small patch of moonlight. Through an open window, it streaked across the floor, gliding up the side of the bed. From that small glimmer of light, Scout could see Chris' face. His lips parted, his expression frozen in concentration. She loved watching him, touching his mouth as he moved. When her husband was suspended above her, he was breathtaking. Scout smiled at him, burying her fingers in his shaggy hair. His eyes closed for a moment and he let out a guttural moan.
"Shhhh." She whispered, holding in a giggle. Ducking his head, Chris grinned, kissing her lightly on the lips. Then, with a deliberately abrupt curl of his spin, he brought her body to the brink of ecstasy. Scout gasped, her laughter gone as he took command of her senses. The sex had been slow and gentle, enjoyable on fronts. But only Chris could shift the tide in a single movement. Her breath came crashing out of her lungs, blood rushing to her cheeks in a frenzied wave of sensation. Now he was the one grinning, panting down at her in the moonlight.
"You're mean." She whined softly, her hands abandoning his hair to tug on his neck. His laugh was quiet, but it vibrated through his chest.
"I know." The teasing grin slowly slipped away from his concentrated face, his mouth hanging open as he sped up, arms flexing on either side of her head. Each stroke of him brought her higher and Scout shook under him, biting her bottom lip to hold in the moans. Her body climbed the familiar road to climax, her legs coiling until her knees were up to Chris' ribs. And he read the signs like a master, knowing all too well how to drive her over the edge. She grabbed handfuls of the pillows above her head, hanging on as he thrust harder. This was a perfected dance between them. They chased mutual climax together, eyes open, breaths heavy, and bodies trembling.
And when Scout felt Chris' breath slam from his lungs, she arched her back and followed him over the edge. His mouth fell to her neck and he groaned in short, stuttered exhales, hiding the sound in her skin as she bit her lips, eyes shut tight. It was a battle to not cry out. A sweet, aching battle. But they road the high together, twitching and gasping for air until the burn of pleasure subsided.
Then Chris rested, dropping to his elbows so he could wrap his arms around his wife's head. Kissing his shoulder, she traced lines over his bare spine, smiling at his exhausted pants.
They were always this good.
"Love you." Chris whispered, his mouth leaving lazy kisses over her neck. Scout whispered the words back in his ear and they slowly drifted away, the cool night air lifting the heat from their bodies.
A shrill ring pierced the room and they nearly knocked heads as they jumped, startled.
"Dear god." Scout murmured. Clutching her heart as Chris groaned, slipping from her body to reach for the phone. He sighed and plucked the handset from the cradle.
"Hello?" He grunted, his irritation slurred by his exhaustion. How long had they dozed? Scout retrieved her underwear from inside the sheets, sliding them up her legs as Chris messed his hair. Sitting up beside him, she let her eyes wander. His butt was naked and exposed, the sheet falling just below the firm cheeks. It was enough to tempt her again. "How did you get this number?" He suddenly growled. Her thoughts of round two with her husband vanished at the tone of his voice. Frowning at the back of his head, she fidgeted with her t-shirt. "You've got some nerve callin' us here."
"Who is it?" She hissed, leaning down to kiss his shoulder. Chris shook his head.
"I don't care. Last I heard from ya, my jaw was achin' and your sister was gettin' tossed on the street." Scout shot forward over his body, grabbing at the phone. Rolling over, he dodged her, sitting upright to hold her off.
"Give me the phone! Chris!" She hissed, tears mysteriously forming in the corners of her eyes. Her family. It had to be one of her brothers. But Chris hated them. Ever since the day they'd thrown her out like a stranger, he'd loathed them.
"Why?" He grunted, holding the phone to his shoulder as she tried to reach it. The tears filled the bottom of her eyes and started to fall from the corners. Her heart ached, pleading to hear the sound of their voices. She'd missed them terribly.
"Please, it's my family." Sitting back on her heels, she fought off the crying voice that teetered on the back of her throat. Chris softened and ground his back teeth. Despite his hatred for her brothers, Chris loved her. Loved her too much to make her cry. With a grunt and a stiff arm, he held out the phone, bolting from the bed the moment it was in her hand. He was pretty angry. Stomping around their bedroom, he found his boxers on the floor and shoved them up his legs to huff out of the room. She didn't want him to go, but she wasn't going to stop him. Listening to the frantic drumming of her heart, Scout sat down on the bed, hesitantly raising the phone to her ear.
"Hello?" There was a wheeze of an exhale.
"Hey Scout." Drew. His voice was weak and sad, but it was him. She'd forgotten their voices and the sound of her older brother on the telephone broke her heart. It was like hearing an old song, the warmth of his voice wrapping around her. She had missed them so much.
"Drew." She breathed, wiping her tears furiously. "Ya called." The cracking in her tone got worse as she spoke, her chest stuttering with muted sobs. This was a gift and a torture.
"I'm sorry. I wanted to call sooner but…" Drew sighed and she heard his pain. The day she'd left, he had looked at her through a screen door and apologized. She'd begged and he'd flinched, retreating with agony in his eyes. Drew was the kind one, the loving brother who wanted everyone happy. The years they'd been apart had probably hurt him too. But not as much as it had hurt her.
"I've missed ya, Drew." Scout whimpered softly, hugging her knees to her chest. What she wanted to say was that she loved him. She wanted to hug him, squeeze him in her arms until she couldn't breathe. How had she taken them for granted all those years ago? They meant the world to her now. As she started to unravel, Chris walked back into the bedroom. Seeing her curled up in the bed, his furious expression vanished and he was by her side in seconds, crawling over the bed to wrap his arms around her waist. Her husband, her rock. Pulling her back into his chest, he was her shelter, absorbing the stifled cries that wracked her body.
"I've missed ya too, S." Her brother sounded equally pained, his strong bass cracking ever so slightly over the line. The tears on her cheeks burned, dripping to her neck and t-shirt. Chris swiped a few away, planting soft kisses into her temple. Closing her eyes, she leant into him. God, this was hard.
"S, something happened." Drew's hesitation stung her chest like a punch. Sadness turned to fear in an instant. Sitting up, Scout's heart plunged into her stomach.
"What?" She whispered. Chris raised his head, frowning. "What happened? Is Donnie ok, is Vin—" She flurried into a panic, air refusing to fill her lungs. The tears tripled, blinding her as she considered the worst scenarios.
"Hey hey. Everyone's fine." Drew cooed. Gulping a breath, relief sagged her back into Chris' arms. "But there was this shooting, nearby. It's been all over the papers…really weird story…it was a fuckin' massacre—"
"What shooting? What happened?" She cut him off before her heart exploded in anticipation. Why would Drew be calling about a shooting? Chris squinted, tilting his head to look at her.
"Shooting?" He whispered. Scout held his hand, curling her fingers around his longs ones.
"The Darleys are dead." Drew cut in, his words short and stiff. Then there was nothing. Just silence. Scout felt her throat close and she slapped a hand over her mouth.
"Oh my god." She whispered. Baldy. She hadn't thought about him in a long time, happy to forget her encounter with the Southie drug lord. He'd been her undoing.
"Mommy?" Jolting her from shock, a small shadow moved into the room. Hands curled into little fists, her son rubbed his eyes, yawning as he traipsed into view. Mark. Her baby boy. Chris released Scout in a fluid motion, jumping from the bed to scoop Mark up before he'd gotten far.
"Mommy's on the phone." Chris whispered, pressing a finger to his lips. The little boy nodded in understanding, wrapping his arms around Chris' neck. Turning from the room, Chris carried Mark back to his bedroom. Scout's heart sank as she looked into her son's blue eyes before he vanished into the hall.
"Scout?" Drew asked. She remembered the phone in her hand.
"I want you to come back." He got right to the point. "The Darleys are gone. We own Southie. No more truces or anything. Vin's got everything running smoothly and I…" Drew stumbled on the last word, hesitating before he continued. "…we miss you."
Scout wanted to be happy. Truly, she did. But she felt betrayed. Her own family had cast her out, forced her from town. All because she'd been rebellious, unwilling to tame her fiery temper. She'd been hard on her controlling brothers and ultimately Vincent had had enough. He'd broken all ties with her, forgetting his role of brother in favor of his role as boss. Her family had abandoned her, betrayed her. It seemed just at the time but now, with a child of her own, she knew they'd broken a vow.
Family loves unconditionally. Always.
Her family had left her alone.
"That's not fair." She murmured.
"I know it's not—"
"Vin chucked me out like garbage." She could see Drew flinching. Good. It was the truth and she wasn't going to forget it easily.
"Scout, I'm so sorry." Her tears started again, but her anger held her voice steady.
"Six years, Drew. I've waited six years." Her chest felt like it was bleeding, pain radiating from her heart down deep.
"And now ya call? Just, 'hey sis, we miss you? Why don't you come home?'" Anger flushed her face. Gritting her teeth, she held in a scream of frustration. She was dwelling, making it harder on herself. All those years, scraping money together, terrified of failure, with a baby depending on her. A shudder of pain swept through her as she remembered her swollen belly. No doctor. No home. Just her rage and fear to keep her going.
"I know it's not. But we want to make it right."
She bit back juvenile retorts. There was no taking back what they'd put her through. If she hadn't had Chris…Scout shook her head to push the thought away. She couldn't go there.
"Vin regrets everythin'. Beats himself up over it all the time." Scout pulled her knees up to her chin, letting her head fall to her knees. She could have killed Vincent the day she'd found out she was pregnant. She wasn't sure if she could ever see him again. Her anger was too deep. Too raw. "I can't say that bothers me." She murmured into the phone. Truthfully, it pleased her that he had suffered, even if it was a little.
"You should have seen 'im at Christmas…" Drew sighed, as if the memory was too much to recall. "He's just too proud to admit how much he needs ya, S."
"So now I'm just supposed to come home and we all act like nothing happened?" She hissed bitterly. Drew sighed again.
"No, we were just wantin' ta see ya. Ya don't have to move back." Scout took a long breath and let it go slowly, calming the churning in her stomach. Six years ago, she would have jumped on the first bus to Boston. Now, she was hesitating.
First, she had her own life now. A job. A home. A husband. Chris appeared, leaning in the doorway, boxers low on his hips, elbow propped above his head on the frame. Scout held out a hand for him and he crossed the room silently, pulling her into his arms once again.
Chris wouldn't want to go back. He'd gotten a decent job as a mechanic at a body shop in town. He had friends here. Good people.
"We're happy here." Scout said quietly. Pennsylvania wasn't glamorous but it was home. Chris sighed into the curve of her neck, squeezing her gently. "My son is happy here."
Drew was silent and Chris went rigid. Everything was waiting. Even Scout's heart seemed to stop.
"Ya got a kid?" Her brother finally asked. Smiling a little, Scout nodded.
"Mark." Drew chuckled and she knew he'd be grinning, maybe even tearing up. Their oldest brother Mark had been their leader, their father. When he'd died, everything had changed. And they'd all missed him, even Chris, torn at the seams by his sudden and violent death. Now, her eldest brother's memory would live on, with her son.
"That's great, Scout." Drew murmured, his goofy smile evident in his voice. She laughed softly, forgetting the anger she'd felt minutes ago. "How old is he?"
"He'll be six in two weeks."
"Wow." Drew laughed a little louder. "Wow." Chris hugged Scout and kissed what remained of her tears. He knew how much this meant to her, telling her brother about his nephew. "Scout …we'd love to see you guys."
"Yeah." Her tone was noncommittal, restrained.
"I miss ya." Drew was back a soft, sad tone. His voice was sincere, pulling on her heart.
"I miss you too." It took a lot of control to hold back more tears. But she was determined to remain steady. He didn't need to hear how weak he was making her, how close she was to running back to them. "But Chris has a say too, ya know." Her husband reacted with a low growl, his disapproval vibrating against her spine.
"He'd let ya visit. That guy loves ya."
"Don't underestimate how much he hates Vin." Scout warned. Chris grinned against her shoulder, wrapping her tighter in his arms. He hated Vincent all right. If anything had happened to her, especially during the precarious time of her pregnancy, he would have charged into Boston, ready to die. Ready to go down, but not without taking Vincent with him. Thankfully it had never come to that. "We'll have to talk about it." She added curtly.
"Sure." Drew couldn't hide his disappointment. He wanted her to commit, right then and there over the phone.
"I'll let you know." She finally whispered. "I've got your number."
Before she gave into his sad, heartbroken goodbye, she hung up. Dropping the handset on the sheets, she stared at it as Chris squeezed her a little and waited, leaning against her back. His legs were crossed under her and his arms were locked around her ribs, enveloping her in his warmth. When she could think again, she slid back, dropping her head into his neck.
"The Darleys are dead." She whispered, staring blankly in front of her. Chris' head jerked up from her shoulder.
"Somebody killed them all." Her voice was flat, monotone.
"Christ." Christ whispered the word softly, lowering his lips to her shoulder. They were still again, the words echoing in Scout's head while the room blared on in silence.
Seven years ago, she couldn't have cared less about the Darleys. To her, they were just another crime family in Southie. Another name that got tossed around on the news. Another gang to avoid on the outskirts of town. If they'd died back then, she wouldn't have cared. Business as usual.
But that was before she'd met Billy Darley.
Her heart panged mysteriously when she thought of him. His strong face, wide shoulders, piercing blue eyes. She had to close her own, shaken by the clarity. Where as she'd forgotten her brother's voices, she remembered Billy's. She remembered everything about him. His cologne, the smell of his leather jacket, the brand of cigarette he smoked. After years of ignoring those memories, they came back stronger than ever, haunting her like ghosts.
She could remember his taste. The sweet, dark taste of his mouth. Her body shuddered and Chris looked up at her.
"You okay?" Scout nodded, covering his arms with her own.
"I just can't believe it." Chris kissed her hair as she leant into his throat. Taking a long inhale, she melted. Chris smelled like soap, sheets, and her. She smiled a little, looking at their modest, matching wedding bands. She had marked him as he had marked her.
"Always figured he'd just end up in prison, rottin' like the rest of 'em." Chris sounded dismissive, grumbling over her head. Scout let the comment hang, fading away into the quiet room. She let him hate Billy. It was the least she could do. It was only fair.
Years ago, when she'd seen the faint, pink line on the pregnancy test, she'd made a decision. She'd told Chris the truth.
And he'd been crushed. She winced in his arms as she thought about his defeated face, his furious tears. He'd thrown things, screamed, and then collapsed on their motel room floor. Scout had been terrified, shaking in the bathroom as she clung to the little while stick. A little speck of life now rested in her hands. And her heart had been in Chris'.
So when he'd picked himself up off the floor, taken her into his arms, and forgiven her, she'd forgotten all about Billy Darley. Her world was all Chris.
But that hadn't dulled the pain when Mark was born. As he'd stared up at her loving, forgiving Chris with bright, stunning blue eyes, it had been obvious Billy Darley was Mark's biological father. Yet Chris had still loved him. Even through his disappointment, he'd loved Mark. Mark was his son.
And that was the end.
"So it's just over?" Chris asked, breaking the long silence between them. Scout nodded, rubbing her fingers over his hands.
"Drew said Vincent owns Southie." She murmured. Chris sighed deeply.
"He said we could come back." She nervously played with Chris' fingers, tracing the knuckles and nails.
"Go back to live?" He sounded disgusted, stiffening against her back. The last thing she wanted to do was make him angry, so she shrugged, falling silent. With one hand, Chris turned her face and stared into her grey eyes. "Go back to Boston?"
"Mark would have uncles, family." Chris scoffed and released her, flopping back on the bed. He ran his palms over his face.
"We are a family." Scout didn't answer. He was right. Half of her heart said to drop it, to forget about Boston and never think of it again. But deep down, she knew she would regret it. Boston was home. It had been for years, for both of them. Turning around on the bed, she stared down at Chris. His bare chest rose and fell with each breath, his belly filling and sinking under his ribs.
"This is a hard thing to ask, I know." Chris sighed and stared up at her. Weaving his fingers behind his head, he ground his teeth.
"We go back there and we go back to that life. Drugs. Sex. Guns." Scout turned her body and lay on top of him, brushing his hair from his forehead.
"You're wrong. We could live a good life there. Just as good as here." Chris snorted and glared at the ceiling. Her head was saying everything his face was. Her brother's didn't deserve to have them back. They should rot for pushing her away. They didn't deserve to know Mark.
"That wouldn't last long. We'd be back in the family business in no time."
"I won't let that happen." She swore, holding his face in both of her hands. But Chris turned his head away, setting his jaw. The anger he felt was rolling off in waves. Scout could tell he wanted to rip up the room, yell, or fight. Scout smoothed a hand over his cheek, gently tilting him back to plant a kiss on his chin. "Chris." He reluctantly looked at her. "I promise." His jaw didn't relax. Nothing gave. "For Mark, I promise." His gaze lightened and he sighed.
"This is a bad idea." He mumbled, lifting her off as he attempted to rise from the bed. Scout didn't let him. With her surprising strength, she shoved him back, crossing her arms over his broad chest.
"You're probably right." She whispered, staring into his eyes. Then, brushing her fingertips through the crown of his hair, she kissed his stomach. "But Boston is a part of us." He blinked and said nothing. "Nothing will ever feel like Boston." Chris' ribs rose with a large breath then fell with a hard sigh.
"Home." He breathed. Her body shivered at the word. No matter how hard they tried to fight it, how many friends they made, Boston was the only home they would ever have. Everything else was just a bittersweet attempt.
"Let's go home." She whispered, stroking his jaw. Chris closed his eyes and swallowed.