A/N: *nervously says* Hi...err bet you never thought I'd NEVER update this story. Well I hope this will be a good beginning to more updates for this and my other stories. Hope you enjoy and Happy Reading
I listened to Learn to be Lonely by Minnie Driver
The Ones You Love Chapter 15
Her hazel eyes flicked back from the woman in the odd-out-of-season trench coat and her brother's ashen white face. She looked down as her wife placed her hand on her knee squeezing it gently.
"This is not your battle." Rachel whispered.
"That woman has the audacity to show her face here...and with our children present." Quinn hissed back.
The plain brown haired woman glanced over at the awkward moment between her wife's blond haired twin and his mistress who she hoped was former.
"True; but for once it's not our place. They need to be able to do figure this out by themselves."
Quinn nodded and begrudgingly settled back into her seat taking a sleeping Aubrey from her wife so Rachel could eat. She did however keep an eye on her brother.
His hazel eyes gazed sadly at her deep topaz ones, began to swimming with tears.
"Why?" Mercedes rasped after eons of awkward staring.
Anthony didn't have an answer, with a deep mournful moan he began his monologue.
"I don't know where to begin," he sighed. "I came to see you the next day after it happened. You had just gotten out of surgery...I couldn't even bare to look at you I'm so very sorry about everything."
He sighed, "Nothing could excuse my actions, Mercedes. I know our relationship had its ups and downs and I left you when you needed me most."
Spotting Sam at the end of the hall foyer, Anthony tried to hide his bitterness, "I should have stayed especially after we got back together. I should have proven to you that I am deserving of your love. I panicked and I failed, I couldn't be what you wanted me to be. I will not ask for another chance because I don't want you to give me one. You already have that in your life. I just wanted give you a face to face apology and explanation of my actions. I love you still probably always will." He bent brushing his lips against her wet cheek. "Goodbye, Mercedes."
Mercedes sniffed, "Goodbye, Anthony. She watched as he turned and walked down the hall without a look back. She closed the door feeling a sob in her throat. Hastily wiping her cheeks but the tears kept coming.
She couldn't return to the family gathering like this she thought to herself. Glad the hall that lead to Sam's bedroom was just off the foyer. Mercedes escaped to the room not knowing Sam was in her wake.
"Hold it, baby bro," Quinn whispered grabbing his wrist. She waited until the master bedroom door closed. "Mercedes doesn't need to see your face at this moment."
"I mean she just got officially dumped after the man that was supposed to love her through everything left her on death's door. Let me talk to her...give me fifteen minutes. K?"
Hesitantly Sam nodded, "Only fifteen minutes, Quinn." He watched his sister walk over and put her hand on the door.
Quinn opened the master bedroom door. She spotted Mercedes sitting on a alcove window seat crying silently. She walked over to join her and sat quietly waiting for her best friend to speak.
Mercedes sniffed as she watched Anthony cross the street in front of the apartment building and get in his car. "I deserved it." She whispered watching him drive away. "I'm not supposed to be happy. Not supposed to be loved, cherished, adored like a normal woman." Mercedes let her tears run down her face and neck she had given up on wiping them away.
"You don't know how lucky you are Quinn to have found your soulmate." She glanced at the blonde. "Maybe I should have pretended to be gay for you." She grimaced trying to smile.
"Don't tempt me Mercedes." Quinn chuckled. She place a hand over hers.
Mercedes gave a faint smile then stared out the window. "Do you ever wish that you were never born? What would the world be like?" Mercedes felt Quinn squeeze her hand. "Sometimes I do. I think about my kids if they were born into a family that wasn't as messed up as this. A husband and wife that loved each other so hard they wouldn't dare think of straying."
She swallowed hard, "I think about it a lot now."
"Suicide is not the answer, Mercedes." Quinn whispered.
"It's the only thing I have left. I would miss my children, you, Rachel, Noah, hell even Santana. I just can't help to think how much better off they would be."
Quinn shook her head fiercely, "No, we wouldn't be better off. Everything feels weighted on you right now. You have anxiety and mild depression, you might even have post-pardon depression since you never got to grieve properly." Quinn took both Mercedes hands in hers. "At least don't make any decisions without talking to a professional first. Your children will need to know you tried."
Mercedes gave her a reassured smile and squeezed her hands. "I will."
The door opened and Sam appeared, "Are you okay, Mercedes?"
Mercedes wiped her face, "Yeah let me just fix my face." She hoped off the seat and went to the bathroom.
Quinn walked over to her brother, "Be extremely gentle, Sam. Her state is very...very fragile. She won't be able to take anything else so I suggest you get rid of trench coat." She pushed him out the door closing it behind him.
It was cryptic yes but Sam knew if Mercedes was to find out about Tina there would be no reconcile. He gestured to Tina to meet him in the foyer.
"I didn't expect an audience but we can can put on a show." Tina teased when they met.
"You need to go." Sam said firmly. "I'm done with this cat and mouse. I love her, Tina. Even with you I pictured her." He watched she smile fade.
"I have a family and can never do this again to them. They come first."
"You always did cum first," Tina smirked. "You loved everything I let you do to me 'cause your wife wouldn't. Trust she will never let you do what you want."
"True, maybe because she's not a man's play thing." Sam shot back. "This is over Tina. Period."
"It was you?" Came Mercedes voice. Tears brimmed her eyes as she looked between them. Her mournful orbs set on Sam, "Her? My business partner of all women?"
Sam rushed to her but halted when she put up her hand.
"You were never gonna tell me?" She looked up at his guilt ridden face.
He shook his head sighing heavily.
Mercedes stepped around him and open the apartment door. Tina walked through without a glance from the small party.
"I'll buy you out, Cohen-Chang." Mercedes said quietly, "Unless you want to buy me out."
"I'll send a check in the morning." Tina replied. She glanced at Sam, "He's not even a good lay. I can teach you what he lik-"
Mercedes slammed the door. Closing her eyes she rested her head against it. "How could I be so blind." She spoke so softly the twins could barely hear her. "I can see no way around this."
"Mercedes, you promised in the bedroom." Quinn whispered back.
Mercedes nodded, "I know, don't worry Quinn. I keep my promises." She turned to rejoin her children and company.
Mercedes sat on the couch once the company was gone. The family sat watching ABC's Wednesday Night Comedy lineup. She had asked Brianna to bring her hair kit. Mercedes sectioned the hair, giving one side to her daughter and taking the other; they started at the ends to detangle the tight kinky coils.
She could feel Sam's eyes on her ever so often. Her eyes closed ignoring him, Mercedes French braided her daughter's two sections; the braids ended mid-back. She tied them off with a daisy barrette twisting the frays into a single coil. Mercedes tied a scarf down then took her daughter's hand so she could put her to bed. The pair's oldest boys could feel the tension between their parents wondering what could have happened since the doorbell rang earlier. They went to bed soon after.
Mercedes retired to the guest room. After taking a long hot shower she returned to the guest room to find Sam sitting on her bed. The two stared at each other for a long minute then Mercedes went about her nightly routine ignoring him.
Sam cleared his throat. "I was wrong in not telling you about her. I was wrong in perusing her, too. I wish there was something I could do to make things right between us, but there's nothing. I want you to know Mercedes that I will still be here for you."
"You got your wish Sam. I'm no longer working so I can go on bed rest like you always wanted." Mercedes said bitterly.
"I never meant for this to happen Mercedes." He replied quietly.
"I know you didn't, but it did happen. What's done is done, now if you please I'm tired." Mercedes undid her bed and got in. Snuggling under the covers, "Please turn off the overhead when you leave."
Sam chewed on his bottom lip as he stood to walk to the door. He turned off the light, "I can't even imagine what my selfishness has done to you. I can never say I'm sorry enough." Sam closed the door behind him.
He entered his bedroom and collapse on the bed face first. He couldn't do anything else except cry. Letting out a loud sob he was thankful the pillow muffled it. Sam didn't know how long he cried but he was starting to get a headache. His head snapped up at a knock and the overhead light coming on. Sam sat up facing the door to his surprise Mercedes came in.
"We need to talk." Mercedes said closing the door behind her.
"Yes," Sam wiped his eyes. "W-what about?"
Mercedes made her way to his bed sitting to prop up her back at the foot board. Sam straighten to sit up and handed her a memory foam pillow. Mercedes took it gratefully placing it at the small of her back.
"Kincaid said our problem is that we don't communicate." Mercedes began after a long silence. She played with her fingernails. She chanced a glance before closing her eyes and bowing her head. "I told Quinn I wanted to commit suicide today."
She opened them to find Sam staring at her with his mouth slightly ajar. Mercedes waited for him to say something.
Sam quietly gestured her to continue. He dare not say a word in great fear of losing her, now in more ways than one.
Mercedes grimaced she had her speech all planned out. It allotted for Sam to go off on one of his rants. But here he was telling her to keep going without a butting retort.
"I...erm...I guess with Anthony breaking up with me again I just feel unlovable. I mean I've only been with two men in my life and neither of them want anything to do with me."
Mercedes cast her eyes downward scraping off nail polish as went on. "I feel so alone, Sam." A single tear ran down her face she didn't jump when his callous thumb wiped it away.
"I don't know why I'm even here..." Another tear fell and she felt him do the same. She shuttered trying to hold her emotions inside.
"Can I hold you, Cede?" Sam asked blinking back his own tears. He saw her nod then pulled her to in between his long legs. He brought a throw blanket and wrapped her in a secure cocoon. Sam felt her begin to sob into his shirt. He held her even closer to his chest. His index and middle finger gently rubbed the temple that was exposed, Sam slowly rocked his ex-wife.
Sam said nothing for a solid ten minutes just letting his ex cry in his arms. Truth was he didn't know what to say. His heart had fallen into his stomach when she had said that word. Bile had succumbed his mouth it and her revelation had made it hard to swallow.
He had thought his life was over when Tina had shown up at his door, but the look. The look of utter betrayal, loathing, and self-loathing on Mercedes face was enough to send himself over the edge.
Nathan was right so was Simon the damage he had done by not talking about his feelings and not acknowledging Mercedes' was unforgivable. He could never forgive himself for doing this to her. He closed his eyes and continued to rock automatically.
Neither of the two knew when they fell asleep.
Her already large doe eyes grew wider at the scene in her father's bedroom.
Brianna closed the master bedroom door quietly behind her. Unicorn Stompeez slippers popped up with every tiptoe step. She made her way over to the side of bed starring at the slumbering couple who were still snuggled in each other's arms.
The Evans' youngest child made her way onto the bed. She watched as the couple stirred but did not wake. Her large amber colored doe-eyes marveling at the scene before her. Brianna moved slowly up next to father and mother, then laid down.
Sam stirred waking. He opened his eyes to the feeling of her in his arms. A smile twitched at the ends of his lips gazing at Mercedes sleeping form. But it faded as quickly as it came when he remember her confession from last night. Movement on his side made him jerk waking Mercedes.
Brianna smile greeted her groggy parents. "Mornin," she smiled her eyes alight with joy at her parents together in the same bed. "Are you-"
"No." Mercedes and Sam said together sitting up fast they bumped their foreheads. "Shi...oot" they continued simultaneously rubbing their sore heads.
The couple's little girl giggled as she wiggled in her seat. "But you're..."
"Nothing has happened, Brianna." Mercedes said sternly. She glanced at Sam for help.
"Mommy's right." Sam confirmed getting the subtle hint. "Mommy just didn't feel well. Migraine. You know how I rub Nathan's head when he gets headaches; the same is true with Mommy."
Mercedes reached out and stroked her daughter's cheek with her right knuckle. "You know Daddy and I love you and will always love you, Bree-Bree. Even if we aren't together."
Brianna nodded slowly. Her eyes saddening looked between the two. Quietly she got off the bed and exited the room without another word.
"She's telling the boys you know." Sam sighed laying back into bed. He noticed Mercedes hadn't moved from in between his legs.
Mercedes nodded staring at the closed door. She closed her eyes sighing deeply, "I'm so tired." Mercedes said absent-mindly.
"I think we should talk about last night, Cede." Sam whispered, "I mean, I need to talk." He saw her glance his way before adverting her eyes nodding.
Sam inhaled deeply, "What you told me last night about your thoughts, Mercedes, well...it scared me. Still scares me." He placed firm hand on top both of hers stopping her from fidgeting with her nail polish. "I want you to see Dr. Kincaid."
Mercedes looked up at him, "I am seeing her once every two weeks."
"Yes, but I think the sessions should be closer together, you need a professional to talk you through these thoughts...plus- and-" he paused staring into her large doe eyes. "And I want to be there for you...for support."
Mercedes searched his eyes seeing only sincerity and sadness in them. "Okay, Sam, I'd like that."
Sam let out a huge sigh, "Good, I'll call Dr. Kincaid," he leaned his head forward placing his forehead against hers. "This will only be about your confession. Nothing in your alone sessions need to be discussed."
"Alright," Mercedes whispered her agreement watching him close his eyes.
"For our kids' sake and..." His voice caught. "And I...I can't bare it if I lost all of you."
Mercedes brushed her lips lightly a crossed his. Sam's eyes moved rapidly behind his closed lid he dare not open them not wanting their innocent touch be ruined.
"Thank you for listening, Sam. It means more than you know."
Opening his eyes, Sam pulled her back against him as he laid back down. He said nothing, Mercedes letting him hold her meant more than another exchange of words. His embrace tighten reassuringly as he heard her sigh burning her face in his face in his chest.
What happened next shocked both of them. Mercedes wrapped her arms around his waist squeezing him back. Then they both fell back to a more peaceful slumber.
Dr. Kincaid looked between the two she'd never in her life though she'd see back in her office. They sat on opposite ends of the couch looking back at her ever so often staring at the other when the other wasn't looking. Dr. Kincaid wrote it all down.
"These thoughts Mercedes when did you first start having them"?
Mercedes gazed out into the Zen garden, "When I was in the hospital. It was overwhelming what had happened...all of which could have been avoided if I wasn't here in the first place."
The doctor saw Sam shift uncomfortably in his seat. "And the first time you discussed these thoughts was a few days ago with your ex-sister-in-law." Mercedes nodded and Kincaid wrote notes down.
"When you think about it do you have detailed plans?"
Mercedes glanced at Sam before turning her gaze back to the garden. "If I'm on the highway how easy it would be to run into the concrete dividers. No one would know and think is an accident. I would be with my babies and I would be happy."
The doctor stared at the woman and was silent for a few minutes, "What about your living children?"
A mournful smile touched her lips as her gazed went back to the garden, "I will watch over them...but sometimes they would have been in the car with me. But I snap out of it. I stop those thoughts because I couldn't bare it if I took my children with me, on a problem that is solely mine." She placed her hand palm up on the middle couch cushion.
Kincaid was shock when Sam took it immediately. "I am going to prescribe some amitriptyline to help with depression." She picked up a prescription pad. "Have you ever thought of getting away like in a vacation?"
"Vacation?" Mercedes gave her a quizzical look.
"Yes, just to get away from the familiar."
Mercedes glanced at Sam, "No, I've never really thought about getting away from my family."
"Don't think about it as getting away from your family. You have been through the ringer, Ms. Jones. From the breakup to other things coming to light, a break from reality would suit you well." She tried a different approach with the skeptic look on Mercedes' face. "Think of it as recharging or getting ready for a new chapter. A new addition." Kincaid gestured to her baby bump.
Mercedes placed a hand on her five month belly. She felt Sam squeeze her hand draw her attention to him.
"Cede, I can take care of the kids; you don't have to worry about them."
Sam's ex looked at him, "I wouldn't know the first place to go."
"Quinn and Rachel's. Quinn would be glad to have you to herself for reasons/feelings she should have let go in eighth grade," he said was a small lop-sided smile.
Mercedes chuckled, and a little light returned to her mournful eyes. "No way, I'm going there. I still have four months baby free and I plan to keep it that way."
Sam laughed. "K, how about Puck and Santana?"
"Nope." Mercedes shook her head. "Two pregnant women, Uncle Puck will have a heart attack."
"There has to be some place that's not a hotel." Sam insisted.
"Why not a hotel?" Kincaid interjected. "These people you have mentioned are your friends. What you really need is people who don't know what is all going on in your life. A clean slate so to say."
Mercedes shrugged, "A hotel could be nice." She felt Sam release her hand. "How long should I stay?"
Kincaid handed Mercedes her prescription. "Until you are ready to come home, and only you will know when that is." Kincaid's eyes flashed to Sam's.
"Reservation for Mercedes Jones." Mercedes said two days later waddling up to the marble check-in counter at a lavishly decorated local Hilton.
A pretty blonde with mischievous blue eyes smiled at her. "Yes, Ms. Jones, I have you here in our deluxe suite, California King bed and -"
"Er, no...I just had a standard room, queen-"
The blonde just smiled, "Yes you did have a standard room phone reservation at ten am yesterday morning but then at ten fifteen it was upgraded to deluxe king."
Mercedes' brown eyes narrowed muttering, "Sam Evans." She pulled out her pocket book.
"Oh no, Ms. Jones, we already have a card on file. The caller said for you to use it until you come home."
Her eyes soften, "The caller's last name, Evans?"
"Um, yes ma'am. Here is your room key."
A shy smile graced her lips, taking the room key she turned toward the elevators. "Thank you, Sam," she whispered.
"Mom's gone?!" Simon exclaimed hurrying from the guest room Mercedes used. He met his siblings in the family room.
"Damn, Dad, you ran her off?" Nathan sneered.
Sam rolled his eyes, turning down the heat on a pot of beef stew he was cooking. "She didn't leave you guys. She's just on vacation at a hotel." He came out of the kitchen to lean against the entry post.
"Vacation?" Brianna whispered softly her eyes skirted over to her father's face then hastily away. She sat alone in her mother's spot on the couch.
Walking over quickly, Sam took his daughter in his arms sitting down next to Mercedes' spot. "Simon, Nathan, please sit." Sam took in a deep breath as his sons took a seat on the couch, "Mom needed alone time...she has post-pardon depression-"
"That thing where you kill your kids?" Nathan asked.
His upper lip curled, Simon slapped the back of his head, "Only if it goes untreated, right, Dad."
"Exactly. Mommy," he gazed at his daughter who still hadn't looked at him, "is getting the help she needs with a doctor. So the doctor prescribed a vacation to work on herself."
"Is she going to be okay?" Simon asked. His disgruntled look he had given his brother replaced by apprehensive one.
The trio's father smiled reassuringly, "I believe she will...Say, how about we order out tonight? The stew has a few more hours anyway."
"Sushi," Nathan called out.
"Hoagie," Simon added in his order before disappearing with his brother to their respected rooms.
"What about you, Brian-" Sam's voice caught as Brianna wiggled off his lap. "Hey, Tinu, order anything you want." Giving her a slight smile taking her wrist.
"Can I call mommy?" She whispered.
Sam sucked in his breath, "Err...um, okay," He leaned over taking his mobile from his back pocket. "Let me just text her to see if she's able to, alright." He smiled as his daughter climbed back onto his lap.
Mercedes smiled as the video call connected with her ex-husband on her iPad. Putting on a happy face she greeted her daughter. "Hi Bree-Bree, how-" she got a good look at her daughter who's large brown eyes looked on the verge of tears. She glanced at Sam with a questioning look.
With a short shudder, Brianna asked, "When are you coming home, Mommy?"
"Soon, baby, just getting some rest before the baby gets here." Mercedes smiled reassuringly.
Brianna sighed heavily, "How long will that be?"
Biting her bottom lip Mercedes glanced at Sam, "You know Bree-Bree, I could use some company. If daddy can drive you over to stay a couple of nights."
Sam's eyes widen, "Mercedes, no, you need rest, we can skype or video message. Brianna-"
"Please, Daddy," his daughter turned to face him with a pleading look.
Sam had a hard time swallowing, her eyes were his kryptonite. He shook his head, "I'm sorry Brianna but no; Mom-"
Brianna pushed out of his arms running to the back hall that lead to her room. Both her parents heard the door slam.
Sam sighed placing his face in his hands.
"I'm sorry Sam," Mercedes whispered. "I thought it would be a good thing for her. I know how clingy she was when I was in the hospital."
"She was-is, but she needs boundaries, Mercedes." Sam raised his head to gaze at the screen. "You being at the hotel is about you and your recovery. Your complete recovery. How will that happen with Tinu shadowing you?" Sam watched her shoulders sag and Mercedes wiped a stray tear. "I make sure she video talks with you every day, okay."
"Okay…thank you, Sam," Mercedes faced him with a small smile. "And, Sam, thank you for the room upgrade and card. I'll pay you-"
"It's a gift, Mercedes," Sam said softly. "Something I can do right by you. Just a way for you to know I'm here for you."
Brianna had cried herself into a sleepy stupor. She laid on her bed ignoring her father's pleas for her to unlock her door for dinner. She stared at the table side clock one minute past midnight. Her door opened and her brothers shined a flashlight on her face. Brianna didn't even flinch. Nathan closed the door locking it then pocketing the lock-picking tools he used to open it. Simon came and set down the flashlight so that the bulb faced the ceiling casting the siblings in a faint luminescent glow. Both brothers joined her on the bed, Nathan pulling her up into a sitting position. Simon handed over a container of food.
Brianna took the food which consisted of some of Nathan's sushi and a portion of Simon's hoagie sandwich.
They sat in silence as Brianna ate her fill. Then Simon spoke.
"You can't be selfish this time Bree." He watched as his sister took a small bite of a spicy tuna roll. "Mom...you can't be with mom at least not right now."
"Why not?" She whispered looking at her brother.
"You remember dad talking about post-pardon depression?" He was glad when he saw her nod then lean into Nathan's side. "Well that's bad-really really bad. I've read online that women have committed suicide...er killed themselves."
Brianna's eyes widen full pupil in the low light. She looked frantic between her brothers. "Mommy's not going to do that is she?"
Simon and Nathan both shrugged. "Don't know," Simon continued, "but what I do know is that if it goes untreated she most likely will. That's why you can't visit her at the hotel. Mom needs that time to fix herself get better."
Nathan cleared his throat, "Mom will get better, Bree. She loves you, all of us; she won't leave without saying goodbye."
"She wouldn't leave period." Simon corrected.
"You're wrong, something about her after she came back from the door with Miss Cohen, Aunt Quinn and Dad. Something was different."
"Miss Cohen," Brianna said quietly.
"Huh," Simon asked, "what about her?"
Their observant little sister said, "She's daddy's mistress."
The boys sat in stun silence as the previous night's actions replayed in their minds. Aunt Quinn's sudden mood change when Miss Cohen had entered the room. Dads sickly expression.
"You're right, Brianna," Nathan spoke. "That bitch!"
"No arguments here," Simon swore. "How can you work with someone be their partner and sleep with their husband?"
Nathan shook his head, "I don't know but it's disgusting."
Simon sighed laying down and taking a throw blanket covered Brianna with it. "Come on get some sleep. We'll stay just so you won't have bad dreams."
"We will?" Nathan exclaimed with a mouth full of sushi Brianna didn't want. Even in the dim light he saw the seething warning look Simon was giving him. He swallowed, "Of course we will, Bree."
A/N: Hope you liked the small update. Until next time TTFN