So originally this was supposed to be a shorter story that was pretty much towards the point but a sudden creative burst made this a whole lot more complicated soooo this should be a long one. This goes along with the Savior/Mommy Dearest/Hurricane/Taken timeline of events
A loud thump from downstairs woke seven year old Amber Lawson up from her sleep. She sat straight up in her bed, clutching her blankets tightly as she tried to will her heartbeat to slow back down. It was nearly three in the morning. Nobody should have been moving at this time of night. Not downstairs anyway. James and Mindy were the only ones that would have been up and they rarely ever left their room during the night. She swallowed nervously and listened close. At first she didn't hear anything else. Maybe she had imagined it. She started to lay back down when she heard another noise, this one sounding more like a crash. Glass breaking perhaps? Only one way to find out. She threw the covers off her body and got out of bed, slowly making her out of her room, down the hall and then down the stairs. The whole house was completely dark. She could barely even see her hands, which were stretched out in front of her in an attempt to keep herself from running into anything. Halfway down the stairs she almost slipped but managed to grab on to the railing and catch herself before she fell. She took a moment to pause and listen even though she didn't hear anything now. Slowly she crept the rest of the way down the stairs, venturing into the dark kitchen. Whoever had been down here hadn't turned on the lights so she did it herself. The floor was littered with broken glass; someone had knocked over a vase that had been sitting on the counter. She went to step around it so she could sweep it up when she spotted the back door standing wide open.
Her hear literally skipped a beat inside her chest. Someone was in the house. Immediately she grabbed the biggest shard of glass that she saw and held it out like it was a knife. Not the smartest of ideas for her hand really but she didn't have much of a choice. It was the closest weapon she had. She opened her mouth to scream for someone to come downstairs but shut it at the last second. That wasn't a good idea. Whoever was in there was probably a lot closer than her mother or James were. If she screamed they could get her before anyone else did. She had to keep quiet.
Biting down on her lower lip, she slowly began trying to creep out of the room so she could go back upstairs. The floor seemed to creak horribly loud with every single step she took. Her heart was pounding impossibly loud in her chest and the sound of her own breathing sounded magnified to the max. She went back down the hallway and headed to the stairs. She had her foot up ready to take the first step when a large hand grabbed her shoulder. In a panic, she screamed at the top of her lungs, whirling around and slashing the glass down into the man's leg. "MOMMY!"
James and Mindy laid snuggled together on their bed, Mindy's head resting on his chest while Aiden and Vanessa slept on top of them. Vanessa had just been able to come home from the hospital a few days before and she was ridiculously tiny still, just like all their kids had been when they were born. She had been born premature, just like the others. Aiden was already getting big though; it was probably too early to truly tell but it was the belief that he was going to get as big as James. James himself was trying his best to stay asleep, though it wasn't going so well. He knew that he was going to have to get up earlier than usual because he not only had Valentine's Day stuff to do but he had to start getting things ready for Chelsea's birthday party. He had a laundry list of things to do and he NEEDED to sleep but of course he couldn't. His eyes came open and he stared down at his wife and two youngest children (so far anyway) and smiled. Mindy and Vanessa were fast asleep but Aiden's eyes were wide open and when he saw James open his eyes he smiled and began to coo.
"What are YOU doing up?" James asked softly, rubbing noses with the infant. "Huh? YOU are supposed to be asleep."
Aiden just cooed and put his hand on James's mouth, laughing as James nommed his fingers.
Amber's scream scared the ever living fuck out of James. Before Mindy even had her eyes open James was laying Aiden in her arms and ripping on some boxers before rushing out the room. He stubbed his toe in the doorway and nearly toppled over because he was going so fast but he caught himself on the wall and kept going. "AMBER!"
Daddy…it had been awhile since he had heard THAT one. He had been working on repairing his relationship with her since it had gotten so strained but he hadn't thought they were reaching the point where he was daddy again…she was probably just scared. He propelled himself down the dark staircase, hitting the lights to find a freaked out Amber holding a piece of broken glass in her hand and Cooper collapsed down in front of her on the floor, bleeding like crazy out of his leg. "What the hell happened?" he asked incredulously.
"She attacked me!" Cooper said, clutching his bleeding leg tightly and shaking his head at Amber. "Fucking comes at me with glass-"
"You came at ME!" Amber countered, her voice spiking as she stomped her foot. "I thought you were someone who broke into our HOUSE!"
"Pumpkin sweetheart come here…" Kneeling down James took the glass out of her hand and examined the cuts on her that came from holding it. "Tell me exactly what happened."
Amber shot Cooper a glare before taking a deep breath to explain, oblivious to her mother and Taylor coming down the stairs to see what the fuck was going on. "I heard thumps down here and then a crash. I thought Thorn and Scarlett broke something so I came down here and turned on the light and there was glass everywhere and the back door was OPEN!"
"WHAT?" James gave Cooper a look that promised all kinds of death while Taylor walked around them and ran into the kitchen to shut and lock the door back up.
"I thought someone got in," Amber said, continuing on with her story while Mindy ventured closer to Cooper, her head cocked to the side as she stared at the blood coming out of him. She had both Aiden and Vanessa in her arms and James pulled her back a bit so she wouldn't get blood on the babies. "So I grabbed the glass and was coming up to get you guys…then Cooper touched me and I cut him."
"Stabbed me is more like it," Cooper muttered. "Fucking christ what the fuck did you think-ow!" He looked up at Mindy, who had just kicked him.
"Don't blame my baby!" she growled, handing Aiden to Taylor as she came back. "You gave us all heart attacks you ASS!"
"What the fuck did you even think you were doing anyway?" James asked angrily. He ripped Cooper's hand away from the wound so he could examine it himself. It looked nasty that was for sure though it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. She hadn't actually stabbed him. She had just given him a nice big gash that was going to need stitches. "You fucking come in and leave the door open?"
"I thought I closed-"
"THINKING you closed it is NOT good enough!" James snarled, making Mindy, Amber and Taylor jump a little. "It's the middle of the NIGHT and you leave the door OPEN?" He shook his head in disgust. He could smell the booze on Cooper and it pissed him off. "If you can't go out and drink without doing something idiotic then you either need to not do it or not come home. I really don't care which."
Cooper wanted to say something in his own defense but there was nothing he could offer that anyone was going to listen to. He had fucked up. So he wisely chose to keep his mouth shut and let Taylor pull him up to his feet so she could take him to the hospital. James took Amber into the bathroom and cleaned up her hand so he could get a better look at her cuts. None of them were going to need stitches. They were all pretty superficial so he just cleaned them up and gave her some band-aids before putting her back to bed. Then he returned back to bed with Mindy, who was able to go right back to sleep. Not him though. He managed to doze for about an hour and then was wide awake. Fuck. This was going to be a long LONG day.
At five in the morning James decided to just finally get up and start getting ready. The entire house had been cleaned yesterday so he snuck out as quietly as he could, driving to the store and picking up several bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolate for Mindy and the girls since it was Valentine's Day. Then he had to pick up Chelsea's birthday cake, which had been specially made. It was a four tier fondant princess castle that had pink sparkle sugar towers, a happy birthday banner with her name on it and sugar grass, flowers and vines decorating it. She was Princess of course she got a cake like this on her birthday. The entire theme of her party was this kind of stuff.
When he got the cakes back home the sun was just starting to rise and everyone that was there was still asleep. Cooper and Taylor were still gone but he didn't particularly care about that at the moment. He just put the cake in a safe place and snuck into each room, leaving the flowers and boxes of candy with the stuffed animals he had bought about a week ago. Then it was back downstairs to start chugging cups of coffee. He absolutely hated the stuff but he had no other choice in the matter. With the complete lack of sleep he was going to be downing it like crazy the whole day just to be functional. The assault on his taste buds would be worth it though.
He looked through the fridge, mulling over breakfast ideas before pulling out a package of bacon and getting out the griddle. Pancakes and bacon were always a safe choice and he had plenty of blueberries and chocolate chips to put in them to give them some variety.
Scarlett woke up first that morning and was thrilled to find the surprise James had left for all of them. She smelled the flowers and looked through the box of candy, which was just huge. She popped a piece in her mouth before taking it and her teddy bear downstairs, where she found James in the midst of making them all breakfast. "Daddy!"
"Angel!" He swooped her up into his arms and gave her a big kiss on the cheek. "Did you like your surprise?"
"Yes!" She set her bear and candy down on the counter so she could hug his neck. "Thank you."
He smiled as she gave him a big kiss on the cheek. "Anything for my girls." He saw that she was looking at the breakfast he was making and grinned. "Want to help me?"
"Of course." He gave her a big kiss on the cheek and snagged a chair for her to stand on. "Here's what you have to do…"
A trail of soft kisses going all along her face and neck was what woke Mindy up. "Mmmm Jamie…" Shaking her head she tried to bury her face into her pillow. "Too early. Sleep now."
"Nooo no sleep." James kissed her harder and nuzzled her neck. "Open your eyes Baby Doll. I've got a surprise for you."
She did open her eyes for that and was rewarded with seeing a tray filled with a large stack of pancakes, some bacon, a bouquet of white orchids, a teddy bear with "I love you" written on the heart it was holding and a box of chocolates. "Jamie!"
"Happy Valentine's Day Baby Doll." He gave her a kiss on the lips, which she immediately deepened. They kept kissing for a minute before he reluctantly broke it so he could turn her attention back to her food. "Eat sweetheart. It'll get cold."
"Not if we're quick," she replied, kissing him once again. He tried to make another objection but her hand slipping down his pants to grab a hold of his cock made him moan and thrust up into her hand. Maybe breakfast could wait just a tad bit longer. Not like it would go cold right away.
"Hooooly shit," Cooper said under his breath as he carefully sat down in one of the lawn chairs outside. He had gotten seven stitches in his leg and was put on crutches because the doctor had been afraid of him ripping the stitches out by walking. It sucked really but there was nothing he could really do. "Jesus Dad went nuts with this shit."
"I helped!" Mindy said immediately. She was wearing a pink ball gown with a tiara on top of her head in the spirit of the princess theme this party had going on. Everything in the house had turned pink. Pink tablecloths, pink plastic wear, pink balloons and all kinds of castle things laying around because princesses lived in castles-Chelsea never let them forget THAT fact. "Jamie does not know how to decorate so I helped lots I did."
"So you blew up a cotton candy factory in here?" Cooper asked with raised eyebrows.
"FUCK you Bub!" She smacked him on the chest as hard as she could. "You are dumb you almost let some asshole into the house to kill us all."
"Mooom for Christ's sakes I'm SORRY, alright? I didn't mean to keep the door open I swear."
"Wouldn't have done you much good if someone came in and slitted our throats and killed us to death."
"Well they didn't so let's rejoice," he said as he gingerly rubbed his sore leg. He glanced over at Taylor, who was chatting with Natalya and Kelly because they had been close enough to stop by for this thing. Connor sat at their feet playing with Snoopy. Amber, Thorn, Scarlett and Elizabeth were all sitting on the floor playing with their teddy bears. Natalya was holding Vanessa even though Kelly was like begging for a turn with her and Mindy had Aiden sitting on her lap, dressed in a little prince's outfit.
"Hey guys, look who I have…" James's voice cut off any other conversation that Mindy and Cooper could have. He came in holding Chelsea's hand, had Stickers tucked under her arm like always. She was dressed in a pink dress with poofy sleeves and ruffles on the bottom, pink shoes and a tiara similar to the one Mindy was rocking.
"Chelsea!" Squealing Kelly left Nattie alone finally and came over to see the birthday girl. "You look so PRETTY sweetheart!"
"It's MY birthday," Chelsea informed her, laughing happily as James picked her up and kissed her cheek. "I'm Princess." She pointed to herself with her thumb and nodded assertively.
"Yes you are," James agreed. He gave her cheek a quick nom to make her squeal. "What does the Princess want to do first? Do you want to open your presents, eat your cake and ice cream or play some games?"
"Cake!" Of course. For the other girls the decision between cake and presents would have torn them more but not Chelsea. She knew what she wanted and wasn't shy about getting it.
"Okay Princess we'll have cake." Of course James immediately agreed to it. He was whipped to all the kids, but Chelsea really had him wrapped around her little fingers. It wasn't hard to figure out why though. Out of all the kids, she was the one that really was the most like her mother. That was a pretty clear fact in Cooper's eyes. And of course, since James was completely insane about Mindy, he was nuts about Chelsea.
Mindy got up with Aiden to stand by James and Taylor grabbed the camera as they lit the candles and hit the lights so they could start singing 'happy birthday' to Chelsea. Cooper moved his lips along to the song but didn't really sing. He just scooted back in his chair, realizing how left out he was with everyone else. Nobody really wanted him there. He was living there because Mindy didn't want him on the streets because last time that ended up with him on drugs. She had been distant though, too busy being all over James to give a shit about him anymore. James hated him and didn't want him there. He hated him since the moment he found out he raped Mindy. The kids all hated him too. Amber, Thorn and Scarlett knew what he did while Chelsea and the others were being conditioned to hate him without even being told why. Connor loved him for sure but lately all he did was attach himself to Taylor because she was nicer to him. And Taylor barely even looked at him even more. He had pushed her away to the point where she wanted nothing to do with him.
Chelsea blew out her candles with some help from James and Mindy and Taylor snapped about a dozen pictures while everyone else clapped. James happened to look up to see Cooper sitting there looking miserable and he sure as hell wasn't offering any kind of reassurance-not any good kind anyway. Instead he snacked an arm around Mindy's waist and pulled her in for an obnoxious kiss just to prove a point. Cooper looked away immediately and waited for them to start cutting the cake before getting up and slipping away. They weren't going to miss him. He clearly didn't belong there and he didn't feel like sitting there and acting like he did. No point in that whatsoever.