READ: This chapter has been rewritten. The plot will ultimately change (I've got BIG plans!) Your reviews on this chapter before it changed still mean a lot, thank you!
Cleo was sulking, Bella was shocked, and Don and Sam couldn't arrive to the scene fast enough.
"Cleo?" Sam hurried to encircle her step daughter in her arms. Then she noticed Lewis, and pointed questioningly as Bella led Don to the unconscious boy.
"We…" Cleo sniffed. "We were joking around. I don't know if I said something…" She started to blame herself.
Don sighed, helping Lewis up onto the bed and rubbing Cleo's shoulder. "Sam, call Lewis's parents and an ambulance," he stated quickly.
Sam rushed out of the room.
"Bella, you might want to hear this," he sat and faced the two girls like it was story time on the kindergarten rugs.
I noticed him slightly when he was laughing so hard at the lame joke the teacher had told the class. And especially when he fell out of his chair from craning his neck to read the problem. But he wouldn't of known the answer, anyways. Only one hand shot up, and it was mine.
It was a simple blonde haired mess of a child that had stolen her white carpet square. I didn't know where the magic swatches of fuzzy fabric originated from, who did? But he was on mine, and I was about to politely ask him to move when I noticed something in his arms.
"What's that?" My eyes grew wide.
He turned to me with those stunning blue eyes, even for a child they didn't fail to impress. The boy had a plaid pale shirt and khakis, and tennis shoes that fitted his large feet. I wondered how he could walk with them.
He seemed to eye my billowing dress and simple parted braids my favorite woman in the world - Mommy - had done up for me in a rush to the bus stop.
He shook himself out of the daze. He seemed oblivious to the way our kindergarten society seemed to work - where staring someone up and down was considered rude. Maybe I'd have to teach him what was right. A guy of mystery like that needed a friend, did he not?
He held the lego creation out to me.
"What's that?" I wondered aloud.
"I made a tower," he grinned. "And I'm Lewis."
"Cleo," I smiled. He couldn't help but stare.
Such simple conversation, a blessed memory that she chose to reveal in her mind. Like draping away the heavy red curtains and cranking up the hand turned movie projection, it played out before her eyes.
That had been the first time she'd ever met Lewis - small innocent, ignorant as children can be. A happy friendship had grown into a relationship, with a simple bump in the road, and now they'd admitted their love. Since Lewis had returned, they were inseparable, always smiling in the presence of one another. Cleo didn't want that all to go away.
Her heart had skipped a beat at the joke of proposal, but maybe she'd been too rough. What if he really was proposing? Did she feint? Obviously, there was something wrong with that scenario, seeing as Bella was in the room. Or at least, watching through the door.
"Cleo," Don stated sternly. "This is a serious matter," he fidgeted his hands. "I need you to listen. Lewis...came to talk to me about this. I assumed he would tell you, and whether he has or not, well, here it goes," he drew in a shaking breath.
Bella inched closer to better read his facial expressions. Cleo just wondered, and blamed everything bad about Lewis on herself, as usual.
"I'm very honored Lewis came to me," Don looked as if he were about to cry. "Look, Cleo," he avoided the subject. "You and Lewis are in love, correct? I know you two are happy about everything. In your relationship-"
"Dad, what is it?" Cleo's voice raised a few octaves.
"Lewis is sick, Cleo."
The tears began to flow like a waterfall of her grief. "Dad no," she cried. "What…what is it?"
"He didn't tell me much," Don was quiet, seeing his daughter in tears. He suddenly regretted all the times he'd gone out of his way to ensure Lewis wasn't spending time with Cleo. He regretted every time Lewis and her weren't together, or whenever his glare leaked signs of his disapproval. If Lewis left, Cleo would never be the same.
"Is it serious?" Bella was subtly sniffing. She hadn't known Lewis that long, but he was like a brother to her.
Don nodded, water escaping his eyes against his will.
There was a flash of light outside, but the world was blurred through foggy eyes and unclear minds. Kim led two men in uniform up the stairs, and to Cleo's room. She pointed. The men asked who wanted a ride. Only one hand shot up.
Rikki lounged in the moonpool, surrounded by a blanket of blue. Trying this new thing where she didn't lie to herself, unlocked this whole new room in her mind she was unaware was there. She was literally an adult. So why did thinking about Zane still make her heart ache like it did a young teenager. Why was he the first thing that came to mind when she thought about not lying to herself.
She asked a simple question. Do you still have feeling for that ugly son of a- Wait do I? Irrelevant. What? I take that back. He's not ugly. . .he's the most adorable sexy wonderful God of a boyfriend that- STOP. Wrong answer. He's not your boyfriend. You dumped that lowlife little cheating -
Ok Wait. Enough. Obviously the honesty thing would be harder than she thought. Well, at least she would be honest with herself about everything, and just…not address that. But the thoughts kept creeping back. Being a mermaid she could always relax, just set her mind free. But tonight she just couldn't get Zane off her mind. New Question. If he walked in right now, you wouldn't care, would you? No.
The answer seemed pretty honesty, yet, when did Rikki ever tell the truth? Maybe it was the fate of Mako that was teaching her a lesson - or maybe, it was Bella's slip up and Cleo's agony that would ultimately lead to the footsteps on the other side of the wall.
Zane came crashing down the land entrance to the Moonpool and ran around. "Rikki," he said in satisfactory.
Her face twisted into a grimace.
"What are you doing here?" She snapped.
He paced a few steps and kneeled by the entrance of the moonpool. Wasn't it ironic, money was the only thing that could keep him chasing Rikki, and by that, the only thing that gave him a remote chance of getting her back. Yet. . . Money was the same thing that had torn them apart, and on that balcony where they'd developed a liking for each other, what brought them together. What would he do without it…with no chance of ever winning her heart back again?
"I wanted to see you."
"Are you stalking me!" It was a suggestion. "You followed me after out of the blue, calling-"
"Why didn't you answer?" Hs voice was diminished.
"I didn't want to talk to you."
"If you don't care about me enough to talk, why are you here…?" He teased.
"How did you know I was here! Honestly Zane, this charade is getting old. Stop chasing me around like we're little kids! I wouldn't want to get a restraining order on you, would I?" She backed up in the pool and threatened to go under.
"Rikki, come on!" He brushed off what she'd said.
"Chasing your ex-girlfriend around? You're a pathetic little rich boy with nothing to your name except money and a history of being jackasses."
She dove under, letting his wallow in her words. Had the person who so defiantly stood up to her Dad when they first were together now just accused him of being just as bad as him? Zane swore long ago he'd never ever be the cruel demon his father was. He'd never argue over money to his wife or girlfriend.
He stopped breathing for a split second.
Wasn't that exactly why he and Rikki broke up. He was just as bad as his Dad. Zane cringed. He had chosen the importance of money and the business over what mattered the most. Up until the breaking point. Rikki was spot on, and at that, maybe might be what hurt him the most.
Thanks for suffering through me completely rearranging the chapters and ultimately the plot. Tell me what you think, and no more changes to the existing chapters, I promise!