Last chapter everyone, enjoy.
Ch. 48 Ghosts
"What exactly is the point of walking around the hospital hallways?" Clare asks.
"To get you some exercise," Eli replies.
"But I'm in a hospital gown and I have to take my IV pole and my legs work just fine." Clare contends.
"They want to be sure everything works, you still have nerve damage and besides you've been lying in a hospital bed for the last 24 hours it's probably good for you to walk around." Eli replies.
"Couldn't they just release me and let me walk around Adam's yard or the park or something with all of you?" She asks.
"No you're under observation until tomorrow," Eli responds.
"Fine well I've walked one whole corridor can we go back to the room now?" Clare requests.
"Do you want to go back because you're tired or because you're nervous?" Eli questions.
"I don't want to be walking around the hospital hallways." Clare replies.
"The Terror Twins are in juvie Clare, both of them. They can't hurt you anymore; they will never get near you again. I will keep you safe, we all will." Eli told her.
"Eli I want to go back to the room now." She insists in a stern voice.
"Alright come on then." Eli sighs.
"It's not that I don't feel safe with you Eli, I do." She says after a minute of tense silence.
"I know Clare, I'm not mad I know it's not your fault it's the PTSD. I know they're in your head and we can't keep them out of your head." Eli tells her kissing her hand that he is holding.
"I keep hoping it'll all just vanish when they've been sentenced but it's not going to is it? The fear, the anxiousness, the visions of them in my head and places we spent time." She laments to him.
"It's not likely Blue Eyes, I wish it would too, all just be magically better for you but the only thing that's going to make it better is time. You know it doesn't matter how long it takes I'll be at your side the whole way and so will Adam and everyone else." Eli assures her.
"I know, I love you Eli." She says.
"I love you too." He replies.
They make it back to the room and everyone else is there waiting for them, they were talking but fall silent as soon as Eli opens the door.
"You don't have to stop talking about them on my account," Clare says coming in.
"No we were just discussing what to have for lunch, you're parents called they're on their way and offered to bring us lunch." Bianca comments.
"The consensus seems to be pizza, is that okay with you?" K.C. asked.
"That's fine," Clare shrugged she wasn't all that hungry.
Eli helped Clare back into the bed and covered her legs with the blanket. Adam uses the room phone to call someone, presumably one of her parents, to tell them they wanted pizza. It was nearly an hour later that her parents and Jake came in with 10 pizza boxes.
"Where's Darcy?" Clare inquired.
"She'll be by later, she's out with Peter." Jake said.
Clare smiled to herself; she had seen the spark of romance reigniting with Darcy and Peter since Darcy first returned.
"I still can't believe you're running for senate Dad and that Glen's going to be your campaign manager." Clare remarked as Eli handed her a plate with a slice of pizza.
"We already have campaign donations and several backers and volunteers." Glen said.
"There's a shocking number of stalking cases, reported and otherwise. Since announcing the campaign I've been contacted by a few dozen people with stalking stories. We've got a lot of support." Her dad said.
Clare ate slowly, she wasn't very hungry but she ate enough to appease Eli and her mom. The room sort of split into smaller groups each talking amongst themselves. Clare sat on her bed with Eli and Adam on either side of her; they were the only silent ones in the room. Darcy came in with Peter, they were holding hands and smiling and it made Clare smile.
"How do you feel?" Peter asked.
"I feel fine other than the pain in my back but it's not as bad as it was before. I have nerve damage and the doctor said the bruise would have to heal before they could do much else. You two look very happy." Clare commented.
"I'm going to be staying here; I've been offered a job with the peace corp. as a local coordinator." Darcy told her.
"She's moving in with me," Peter added.
"That's great I'm happy for you guys. It'll be nice to have my big sister 20 minutes away instead of thousands of miles." Clare smiled.
Peter and Darcy each kissed her cheek and walked into the room a bit to talk to the parents and Jake, apparently they hadn't yet shared this news with them. She sat silently on her bed with Adam and Eli, picking up bits and pieces of everyone else's conversations until Audra and Omar came in.
"We heard from the lawyer, the judge is holding a bench trial and Reese and Fitz are still refusing to give testimony so he'll hear testimony from Clare and the rest of you and then make his ruling and sentencing." Omar told them.
"Will I be alone with the judge?" Clare asked.
"No most of us will be in the room as well as court reporter and the lawyers. Possibly Reese and Fitz's family although that doesn't seem likely." Audra told her.
"But the Terror Twins won't be there will they?" Clare inquired her voice picking up an anxious tone.
"No they've declined testimony without being able to see you which of course can't happen. They'll be given the opportunity to testify after the judge has heard all the other testimony and you won't have to be there." Omar said.
Clare breathed a sigh of relief and took Eli's hand.
"Okay, you're dressed, we have your meds and instructions from the doctor, Adam has your bag packed, your parents signed you out and Owen and Drew went to get the car. I think we're ready to leave the hospital Blue Eyes." Eli smiled opening the washroom door and they stepped out to her hospital room again.
Adam had her bag all packed and sitting on her bed, an orderly had a wheelchair ready for her and she sat down in it. The orderly wheeled her out with Adam and Eli walking behind. Drew and Owen had the car pulled up to the doors, the others had gone on ahead to the Torres house including her family, Alli, Jenna, Peter, Dave and Wes. She left the wheelchair and got in the middle of the backseat of Owen's SUV, Adam and Eli got in on either side of her and Owen started driving.
"So you want to try and go to your house first?" Eli asked.
"Not really," she shook her head.
"At least try, get as far as you can we'll be with you." He encouraged.
He watched as she tensed, her whole body got stiff; it was like he'd just asked her to commit a murder. Her eyes were full of apprehension, fear and doubt. He took her hand and squeezed it gently, Adam did the same with the other and she exhaled slowly.
"Fine go to my house, I'll try." She sighed.
Eli kissed her cheek to let her know he was proud and Owen drove to her house. He parked in the driveway and they all opened their doors. When Clare didn't move her seat, Eli unbuckled her seat belt and pulled her hand to get out, she came albeit somewhat reluctantly. She took his hand and Adam's, Eli used his other hand to get her house keys from her purse and unlocked the door. She took a deep breath and went in, they walked through the entry and she looked over to her living room, specifically to the kitchen table, her eyes squinted just slightly and became sort of glazed and looked as though she was concentrating, like watching a movie in her head or something. Her body became very tense her grip on his and Adam's hands became increasingly tighter. A tear came from the corner of her eye and she turned toward Eli, squeezing her eyes shut tight.
"You're safe Clare, we have you." Eli assured her using his free hand to rub her back.
"They aren't there Clare, whatever you're seeing it isn't there." Adam told her.
"No wait Clare what are you seeing?" Drew asked coming up behind them and putting his hand on her shoulder.
"Reese and I are at the table." She said.
"Clare open your eyes they aren't there." Drew urged.
She opened her eyes slowly and turned her head a bit; she looked at the table and relaxed just the tiniest bit.
"Let's go upstairs," Adam suggested.
She took a deep breath and turned to the stairs tensing again. Her breathing began to speed up and she gripped their hands even tighter.
"They aren't there Clare, you're safe." Adam told her.
"I know," she nodded quickly her voice sounded tiny and very apprehensive.
She went up the stairs quickly, pulling him and Adam with her and Drew and Owen followed. She got to the top of the stairs and walked into her room as fast as she could. It was like she was forcing herself to go in, like if she slowed down she'd lose resolve. She gasped when she got in her room she suddenly stopped and completely froze. She began shaking and her breathing became more erratic.
"They aren't here Clare; it's all in your mind." Owen told her.
"They are here though, they're like ghosts they're here. The memories are here all of them, they were in my room and I let them in. They're here because I let them in!" She cried letting go of Adam's hand she turned and clung to Eli, he wrapped his arms around her. "I won't to go now." She choked out in a whisper.
"Okay we'll go to Adam's now, you did really well Clare." Eli said.
Clare walked very quickly to the front door, grabbing Adam's hand again. She headed straight for Owen's SUV and Eli gave her keys to Drew to lock the door. They all got in and drove to Adam's house to join the others.
She laid awake watching Eli sleep, she just couldn't get tired. Everyone told her how proud they were that she'd gone into her house again. She on the other hand didn't feel like it was really an accomplishment. K.C. had asked if she'd be ready to go back to school on Monday and she said she'd try but she didn't know if she could make it a whole day. Everyone had stayed until after ten, Drew, Owen, Bianca, K.C., Adam and of course Eli were asleep in the basement with her now, it was a little after 2 and they'd all been asleep for roughly 2 hours yet Clare couldn't get tired. Her mind wouldn't stop; she was thinking about a million things and yet couldn't focus on a single one.
"Eli," she whispered putting her hand on his cheek and he opened his eyes and looked at her. "I can't sleep come with me." She requested.
He blinked his eyes, looked very tired and slightly confused, yawned and nodded his head. She stood up and he stood with her, they had to step over K.C. and then tip toed to the stairs and up them quietly opening the door to the living room and quietly closing it again. Then tiptoeing up the second set of stairs they went into Adam's room, closing the door they sat on the bed, leaning against the headboard, Eli put his arm around her and she leaned on him.
"What's wrong Blue Eyes?" Eli yawned.
"My mind won't turn off. I'm worried about going back to school; I'm worried about never going home again. I'm seriously considering asking Audra if I can just move in." She told him.
"You'll be able to go home eventually Clare and Audra already said you could stay here until you're ready. My parents said I could stay too and Adam and Drew live here so they aren't going anywhere. I'm pretty sure Owen is staying too; his parents seem fine with him staying. So is Bianca and K.C. stays a few nights a week. We'll all be with you at school, the ghosts and the memories will still be there but so will we." Eli assured her.
"I know," she nodded taking his hand and interlacing their fingers. "I let them in Eli, I let them do so much and now it haunts me and it won't stop." She bemoaned.
"You did it to survive Clare you can't feel guilty about that." He told her.
"I'm not just talking about the cabin, I let them in to my house, I kept my window open so they could come and go. I let them sleep in my bed, touch me, kiss me…" she was cut off when Eli silenced her with a kiss.
"Because they threatened to hurt me and Adam and to rape Jenna and Alli, they threatened to hurt all of us and you it was survival instinct Clare. You did what you had to survive, that's all, whatever you submitted to Clare it was to survive. I know I got angry when you first told me that you'd been submitting to them, I felt like you'd been cheating on me. I felt betrayed and I couldn't see it from your side, I couldn't see how they were manipulating you and I didn't even try. I'm sorry for that Clare, I wish I had been there for you and I hadn't blown a gasket." Eli apologized.
"No you were right to be angry, I did cheat on you." She said.
"No Clare it wasn't really cheating, you were doing it to survive. Do you hear me? You can't feel guilty for surviving." Eli asserted.
Clare nodded, turning to look at Eli; he was only just visible in the moonlight coming in through Adam's window. She could still see the bright green of his eyes and she focused on that.
"I love you Eli, more than anything I love you Eli. Thinking about you in that cabin is what made me want to survive." She told him.
"I love you too Clare." He said.
She put her lips to his and kissed him with fervor, passion and an intense wanting. He kissed her back meeting the passion and slipping his tongue in her mouth to deepen the kiss. Her back started to ache and she laid back on the bed but pulled his shoulders so he would come with her. He leaned over her spreading her legs and his hand wandered up her pajama top, finding her breast he gently squeezed and her breathing hitched.
"Make love to me Eli," she whispered breaking from the kiss.
"Are you sure? What about your back? What about down there I thought you still hurt a little?" He asked.
"I'm sure, just be gentle if I lay on my back on the mattress I should be fine." She insisted.
"We don't have a…" Eli started and then stopped, "stay right here." He said getting off the bed and quietly leaving the room.
When he was gone she began unbuttoning her pajama top hissing in pain a little as the movement of her shoulder blades ground at her bruised flesh. She got her pajama top off then took off the shorts and her panties. Eli returned holding something between his fingers.
"It's a good thing Adam's older brother is Drew, found a box of condoms in his nightstand drawer. I'm sure he won't mind." Eli said after he'd closed the bedroom door again. He came over to her, looking her over and moaned in pleasure. "You look so very sexy all naked in the moonlight." He said and she giggled.
"We'll have to be very quiet Audra and Omar are just across the hall." Clare whispered.
She saw Eli smile; he took off his boxers and pajama bottoms and go back on the bed spreading her legs and getting between them. Tearing the condom wrapper with his teeth he put it on and got ready to thrust in.
"Kiss me," she requested, "it's going to hurt when you go in so to speak, kiss me so I don't make too much noise."
Eli brought his lips to hers and kissed her deeply and with fervor then he thrust in. She caught a gasp in her throat, her back arched and she brought more passion to the kiss. He slid in slowly and she whimpered into the kiss, when he was all the way in he stopped letting her adjust. The pain wasn't as bad as she thought it would be, she continued kissing Eli and he began pulling out. She whimpered a little, shutting her eyes tight to keep away the tears. He began thrusting slowly, continuing to kiss her and after several minutes the pain diminished not entirely going away but now the pleasure overtook it. She moved her hips, gyrating in rhythm with him, silently requesting he go faster and he did.
His thrusting steadily became more rapid and she broke from the kiss to moan, biting her lip to control her volume. Eli moved from kissing her lips to her neck and then her breast. Her insides clenched and she felt herself nearing ecstasy, she gripped his shoulders, arching her back, her eyes fluttering, her breathing nothing but moans and erratic panting. Her body stiffened and clenched then relaxed, then tensed again. She trembled uncontrollably and bit her lip harder to keep from screaming out in rapture as she released.
Eli was breathing hard against her breast and moaning on them, she felt him grow a little inside of her and his body tensed, he began quivering and then collapsed onto her and she knew he'd climaxed. He lay on her breast a minute, breathing hard and continuing to tremble. She too was breathing hard; they were both sweating and trembling slightly. He pulled out of her and laid next to her, she made a shuddering gasp when he pulled away. He pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her head.
"I love you Clare." Eli said when he was almost breathing normally again.
"I love you too." She smiled.
"I better get rid of this condom in the bottom of a trash can so Audra won't find it. Then we should get dressed again and back down to the basement and let's not tell Adam we had sex on his bed." Eli commented.
Clare giggled a little, standing up and looking around the dark room for her PJ's as Eli took off the condom. He walked quietly to the door to dispose of the condom and she, finding her pajama top began putting it on.
"You made it through a whole day at school yesterday and you weren't this nervous." Adam said as they got out of Owen's SUV and began walking into the court house.
It was the first day of the trail and Clare was going to give testimony. Everyone was expected to be there today, except of course for the Terror Twins.
"I don't like retelling what happened and I'm worried that their lawyer is going to make it worse and the judge won't believe me." Clare said.
"That won't happen," Eli assured her.
They went into the courthouse finding the rest of their group gathered in the hallway.
"You look nervous," Alli said coming over to hug her.
"I am." Clare nodded.
"It'll be fine; by the way I signed the four of us girls up for krav maga classes. They don't start for a few months should give you time to heal but then if anyone tries anything at all with us we can kick their asses. Not that the SSS isn't great but we should be able to defend ourselves." Bianca informed her.
"Good idea," Clare smiled.
"We're starting in a few minutes we should head in to the court room now." The lawyer said.
She took his hand and he saw her holding Eli's as well, they went in the room and sat down on the benches, the whole lot of them took up both sides. The first hour was taken up by the lawyers opening arguments. Clare's lawyer told the judge Reese and Fitz tormented, tricked, stalked, kidnapped, tortured and raped Clare. That she was an innocent victim and was now permanently scarred by their actions and had suffered horribly at their hands. Well he used more words than that and went into more detail but that was the gist of it. The Terror Twins lawyer on the hand argued that Clare had willingly submitted to everything. Again he used more words than that but that was the gist. She spent the whole time the Terror Twins lawyer was talking with her head buried on Eli's shoulder and gripping his and Adam's hands.
When they were done Clare was called to the stand to testify. Her lawyer asked her to tell her whole story in her words from the beginning. It took over four hours, lots of crying not just from Clare but her family and occasionally a member of the SSS. More than once the judge had allowed Eli to go up and hold her when she was crying too hard to speak or himself to go up and calm her down when she was to be on the verge of a panic attack. When she finished her entire account the judge broke for lunch and told them to take Clare home, she could be cross examined tomorrow, she'd been through enough for the day.
"Come on let's get you back to my house," Adam said standing up and putting his arm around her.
"You did great, we're proud of you." Eli said putting his arm around her as well.
She nodded but didn't respond, they went back to Owen's SUV and he drove them home. Most of the rest group followed some stayed near the court house, mostly the adults, Jake and Darcy.
"We can order pizza for lunch or…" Drew started but she shook her head.
"I'm not hungry, just tired. Can I lie down in your bed Adam?" She asked.
"Yeah of course, you want one of us to come with you?" Adam inquired.
"Eli," she said walking a few steps and the she stopped and turned back, "Adam can you come too?" She asked.
"Yeah sure." Adam nodded.
"We'll get lunch figured out." Owen said as the misfits began ascending the stairs.
They went up to Adam's room, Clare lay down on his bed, Eli lay down next to her and Adam sat on the end of his bed. Clare closed her eyes and fell asleep within moments; it was like everything over the last few months suddenly hit her and over took her body with exhaustion. She slept through lunch, she slept through the adults coming home, she slept through him and Eli eating lunch on the bed with her, she slept thorough his mom making dinner and them eating in the bedroom again. When it became ten at night and she was still asleep they checked to be sure she was still breathing and she was. They took turns getting ready for bed and slept in his room with her. Eli in the bed with her and Adam on the floor on an air mattress. Hearing a choked scream in the early morning hours he was startled awake, sitting up and looking at Clare.
"You're okay Clare; you're safe we have you." Eli told her.
"It's okay Clare, it's me and Eli you're safe." Adam affirmed sitting on the bed next to her.
"Sorry it was just a nightmare, didn't mean to wake you. How long have I been asleep?" She asked.
"About twelve hours." Adam said looking at the clock on his desk.
"It was giving testimony today, it exhausted me and then I dreamed about it and tomorrow's going to be even worse when I'm cross examined." She lamented placing her head on Eli's shoulder and taking Eli's hand.
"We'll all be there with you Blue Eyes, the Terror Twins won't be." Eli assured her.
"I know," she nodded but she didn't sound like she felt any better.
"You think you can get to sleep again or are you awake now?" Adam questioned.
"I slept for 12 hours I think I'm awake now." Clare said.
"Why don't we go down to the living room an watch some TV." Adam suggested.
Clare nodded and they all got up, quietly walking down to the living room.
"Isn't it true Miss Edwards that you allowed them in to your house? Into your bed?" The Terror Twins lawyer asked.
He'd been cross examining Clare for the lat twenty minutes and it took all of Eli's inner strength not to hop up and kill him. Clare was distressed, she was crying and Eli wanted to hold her. He knew he wasn't the only one either, he saw it in Adam's eyes and her mom's, Jake's, Drew's and pretty much everyone else there.
"They told me they would rape my friends, beat up Adam and Eli. I only did it to save them, to keep them safe but I hated every minute of it!" She snapped back.
"You never told you're parents, you never told your teachers or the cops?" The lawyer questioned.
"Their stalking escalated quickly before I even realized it was happening. I researched stalking cases online, I knew the statistics I knew it was unlikely that the police would believe me or the teachers would do anything and I didn't want to worry my parents. I didn't want them to know I wanted to protect them." Clare responded.
"After you knew they were stalking you, your friends tried to protect you and began compiling evidence is that right?" The lawyer asked.
"Yes," Clare nodded.
"You never filed for a restraining order; in fact no one else knew what was happening until the day before you were allegedly kidnapped." The lawyer said.
"IT WASN'T ALLEGED THEY DRUGGED ME AND TOOK ME AFTER BEATING MY FRIENDS, STABBING ONE OF THEM!" Clare screamed at the lawyer.
She was crying hard and hyperventilating, her hand went to her chest and Eli realized she was having a panic attack.
"Adam," he said looking next to him but Adam was already up and going over to her.
Adam calmed her down before she passed out and he sat down again.
"Are you alright Miss Edwards can you continue?" The judge asked.
"Yes I think so," she nodded.
For the next two hours she was cross examined, she spent the whole time in tears and Adam calmed her down from three more panic attacks. When she was finally done the judge told her to go home and rest, he shouldn't need her again until he announced sentence. This time the misfits were taken home by Bianca and K.C. came with them. Clare looked pale and nauseas not that he could blame her that lawyer had not been kind to her.
"I don't feel well, I want to lie down." Clare said as soon as they were inside.
"Take my bed Eli and I will come with you." Adam said.
"We'll come get you when the others get back." Bianca told them.
They nodded and went upstairs, just like the day before she fell asleep quickly.
"What if the judge finds them not guilty?" Clare asked as they drove to the courthouse to hear the judge's decision.
The trial had been going on for over a month, since being cross examined she hadn't been back to court but everyone else had at least once to give testimony. She'd been able to go back to school every weekday and make it through the day. The ghosts were still there and she still had to have her anti-panic attack meds and she still didn't feel safe without at least two of the SSS but it was getting easier little by little. Today was the day she'd been anticipating and dreading since the Terror Twins had been arrested.
"Not a chance after all of our testimony and evidence." Owen assured her.
He parked at the courthouse and they all got out, everyone gathered in the parking lot and walked in as a giant mob, there was a bunch of reporters outside, they must have heard the judge was pronouncing sentence. Owen and Drew went first parting the reporters so they could get through and of course Eli and Adam stayed at her sides. They went into the courtroom and sat down, the court room was very full, everyone had come to hear sentencing, Clare felt like everyone she knew even a little was there. People were talking rapidly until the judge came in and the room fell silent. Clare took Eli and Adam's hands holding them tightly, someone behind her put their hand on her shoulder, she was pretty sure it was Owen or Drew but didn't look behind her to see.
"After many hours of reviewing evidence and hearing harrowing testimony not only from Miss Edwards but her friends I am ready to give a ruling. I find Mr. Delancey and Mr. Fitzgerald guilty of harassment, assault, aggravated stalking, kidnapping and rape and I sentence each of them to the maximum sentence for each of these charges. They will each be sent to a maximum security facility for adults for the rest of their natural life without possibility of parole." The judge announced.
The courtroom erupted into loud and happy cheering. Clare wasn't sure she'd heard him right, she couldn't breathe, she couldn't believe it.
"It's done Blue Eyes they're going away forever; they can never hurt you again." Eli said kissing her softly.
She sort of collapsed in relief; releasing Adam she hugged Eli tightly crying tears of joy. She was so happy and so in shock it was many minutes before she could move. A bunch of people congratulated her but she couldn't quite distinguish voices. She did hear her parents say they would go out and talk to the press.
"I want to go home Eli, I have to try. I don't know if I can stay and even if I can you all have to stay with me. The ghosts will still be there, even though they're going to prison. The memories aren't gone, nor is the pain they cause. I don't want to go upstairs, let's just try for staying in the in the kitchen and living room for a few minutes and I'll work my way upstairs eventually. I haven't even set foot on my front stoop in over a month I don't know if that makes it better or worse." Clare said wiping away tears and taking a deep breath.
"Okay Blue Eyes, we'll take you home, all of us. First let's get you out through the reporters." Eli said.
The SSS formed a protective shield around Clare and they walked out of the courthouse and pushed through the reporters that way. They got in the car and began spreading the word by text message to go to Clare's house. Within a few minutes there was motorcade making their way to her house and they all arrived a few minutes later, over 30 people in 7 cars parked outside the Martin-Edwards home. Everyone got out of their cars and waited for Clare's lead, Glen unlocked the door and she took the male misfits hands, a deep breath and walked up the front steps.
They went inside through the entry and turned into the living room. She saw the memories, the ghosts and shut her eyes tightly. Eli and Adam squeezed her hands, she took a deep breath and opened her eyes but they were still there.
"I need people in here, SSS go in the living room." She commanded and they did.
The more people in the living room the more the ghosts faded. The memories were there still, they weren't just going to vanish but it was like the people in the living room were pushing out the ghosts. She still saw the bad memories but only in her minds eye now. She took a deep breath and walked forward, sitting on the sofa and bringing the other two misfits with her. She still felt fear, she still felt anxiety and the ghosts were still there but she felt safe and for the first time in many months she knew she was going to be okay. That she was going to make it through this and keep her sanity. There would always be ghost and scars and bad memories, there would always be guilt, sadness and fear. She was bound to have many more panic attacks and it would be a long while before she was ready to set foot in her bedroom again but suddenly she felt a sort of peace that she hadn't in a very long time.
She looked at Eli smiled and captured his lips for a loving and blissful kiss. "It's going to be okay Eli; I'm going to be okay."
So that's it for this story, thank you to everyone who read and reviewed, followed and favorited. Next I will be doing a Maya/Luke story as requested by Tomefeltonlover1991.
From the 26th to the 30th I will have family visiting, I will still update in order but may not be able to update everyday. I will do my best to get up at least a short chapter for each story but as I haven't seen my family since August obviously spending time with them takes priority.