So uh, well, um it's been quite a long time eh folks? I could come up with a million excuses but that would be stupid and pointless. Bottom line is life took over. I lost track of what mattered to me-this. I'm back on the updating track and the weekly updates SHOULD be back for the most part.
She doesn't say a word to me. At least she changed the firm grip she had on my ear to my arm. She says softly to King James as he opens the door, "I really am quite sorry about all of this James."
He ruffles my hair. "It's alright, Red. At least we found them in time."
"Yes. At least." She shoots me the motherly, 'You are so dead when we get home,' look. "We'll see you at Emma's birthday ball in a few weeks correct?"
He nods. "Right you are." King James quickly hugs Ma and then nods to me. "You two get on home. You'll be fine out there, Red?"
"Mm-hm, I've got my hood. Though, now, thanks to this one, I can't go out for my run till later." She chuckles to ease the tension between the two of us. "Goodbye, James."
He waves and closes the door behind us.
We don't say a word on the quarter hour walk home. I don't want to say anything, to be honest. So instead, I let my mind wander. Almost immediately, I regret my decision because the block I'd put up from that night comes down and I am torn back to that night…
The wind howls outside. I hear 'nother howl outside from da woof. Quinn, Mama called it. I stick my thumb in my mouth and hold Teddy tightly in fear as ligtnin' lights up da window. Mama whispers my name. "Nicky," she takes my hand, "you have to run, baby. Can you do that for Mama? Can you run?" I pull my thumb from my mouth and nod.
"Yes ma'am. I can run weally fast. Am I runnin' from dat woof, Mama? Quinn?"
She squeezes my hand. "Yeah, you're running from the wolf baby. That's real good, Nicky. Just keep running from the wolf. Don't let it catch you okay?" I nod. "Go to the next village through the forest." Mama presses a piece of paper into my tiny hands. "Give this to the first person you find. They'll take you to a friend. You remember Mama's friend Red don't you?" I shake my head. I don't 'member no one named Red. She kisses my forehead. "That's alright, baby. Red is gonna be your new mama, okay Nicky?"
"Why? You're my mama, Mama. I don't wanna have a new mama. I want you!" I protest. I don't wanna lose Mama. No. I won't lose Mama.
She puts her hands on my face. "Nick, baby, you need to go. It's coming. I can't let you get hurt. Mama loves you, Nicky. Daddy loves you, too." There's noises outside. A howl. A shout from Da'y. Another howl. The door is blown open by the storm. Da'y comes in; there's red stuff all over him. "Bae!" Mama screams. She covers her mouth and tears come down her cheeks.
"Samantha, get Nicolas out now!" Da'y coughs and falls to the ground.
"Baelfire, I'm not leaving you!" Mama screams. Da woof walks into our house. Mama looks at me, tears on her cheeks. "Nicky. Go. Okay?"
"Go!" She turns me and pushes me to da back door. I start running and I don't look back.
I snap back to reality, shuddering at the memory of the night I lost Samantha and Baelfire, my birth parents. I quickly put the block back up, shutting it out once again.
Ma an' I are almost home now. She pulls at her hood strings as the moon rises. It's wolfstime and she wants so badly to go out and run, but she can't. She has to deal with me. But I mean, honestly, how was I supposed to know that "Ruth" was actually Princess Emma?! Ma's goddaughter! Of all people, it had to be her. It most definitely wasn't my fault she lied to me. I'm impressed with the gal; that I'll admit. She has spunk. I like that. She's strong-headed. 'S rare you meet a gal like that nowadays. Plus, it wasn't my fault she needed savin' from Ian. I was just mindin' my own business, headin' towards Marius' family shop to help him close up before we went riding in the woods. Marius is my best mate, been pals since we were kids. To be exact, he was there the night Da' found me.
I run. Mama said run. So I am runnin'. I hear da woof howl behind me and look 'round from somethin' ta hide in. There's a twee to da left and I 'member a river somewhere farther up. Da'y always said: 'if a woof is chasin' ya, hide in da river. It kills your scent.'
I make my decision. Da river. I hold Teddy tight and run to da river. It's my only chance. I take a deep breath and jump into the icy water. I bob up and down. Up and down. I hear da woof walk past da river. He stops and sniffs 'round; he keeps walking. Quietly, I climb outta da river. I hear da woof howl and run off. I'm safe. But Mama and Da'y…they're gone. I wipe my nose and sniffle as I keep walkin', searchin' for dat villiage Mama told me ta go ta. But I freeze, cuz there's voices.
"Graham, mate! Start up that fire now. I want ta get warm."
"Will ya hush up Maxwell? The woods ain't safe tonight. The wolves are out."
"Then why the hell'd you bring us out here Graham?"
"Two reasons. First, Red got a message from Belle, Rumplestiltskin's girl, saying that I needed to be in the woods tonight. Second, young Marius wanted to go on a camping trip. So we're camping."
Red. Da men must know Mama's friend. I hold Teddy to my chest and step forward slowly. "'Cuse me sirs?" I ask quietly, "Can ya help me?"
A man with a beard kneels down. "Hey there, son, what's wrong?"
I wipe my eyes as tears come ta my eyes. "A woof…a woof came an'…" I hiccup, "an' took my mama and Da'y. Mama gave me dis note," I hold up da letter, "an' said to find her friend Red. D'ya know her? Cuz ya said her name…sir."
The man looks at his friend and the boy. "Red's my wife, son. I'm Graham. This," he points to da man and then boy, "is Maxwell and his son, Marius. We'll keep ya safe." He holds out a hand for me to shake, but instead, I throw my arms around his neck.
"Thank you sir," I whisper.
He slowly wraps his arms around me. "It's okay, son. You're safe now." He sets me down and speaks to da boy. "Marius, why don't ya take—" he pauses, "What's your name son?"
"Nicholas," I tell him.
"Right. Marius, take Nicholas to the ten. Help him dry off. Then you two can get to know each other," Graham says.
Finally, Ma and I arrive home. She opens the door silently, and I walk in. "Ma, I—"
"Don't start, Nicholas," she says, rubbing her forehead. "I already have a horrid headache form the moon and now I have you to deal with. You just be glad your father and Seth are at your grandmother's, or I'd have an even worse headache and I'd be absolutely furious."
"But, Ma—" I try again. But my breath is once again wasted. She's mad. And when she's mad… Well, I'm screwed.
"How could you be so careless?! Taking Emmy out like that? I thought I raised you better than that Nicholas! You know the dangers of wolfstime. Did you notice she wasn't wearing her hood?" She answers for me, "No. I don't think you cared did you. Did you think about the fact that if the moon would have risen, you would have most likely died?! Not one bit did you?" Ma stops yelling, breathing heavily. I don't answer. "Did you?" she demands angrily.
I swallow. "No, ma'am," I say strongly. "But I didn't know it was Emma, Ma. She got caught up with Ian. You know that obsession Ian has with his apples. I had to help her out Ma! She tells me she has to visit her aunt o'er by where we live. And all I's done was offer some help. She tells me her name's Ruth! I says she looks like your goddaughter, Princess Emma. An' the next thing I know, the royal guards are after us!" It's the truth. But Ma doesn't buy it. "If I would've known she was Emma, trust me, I'd have gotten her back to the castle right away! I would ne'er have risked both mine an' Emma's lives if I'd have known! I swear."
Ma's face softens. She pulls me to her chest. "I'm just glad you're alright Nick. I'm sorry I yelled." I wrap my arms around her tightly. I may be sixteen, but I love my Ma more than anyone in the world. Besides Marius, and Dad, she's my best friend.
" 'S alrigh' Ma. Not your fault. You're just worried's all." I hear her sniff and know she's crying now.
She places a kiss on my cheek. "You're a good kid, Nicholas. Never forget that, or how much your father, brother, and I love you."
"I love you, too, Ma," I say. She pulls away and looks at me with wet eyes.
Ma laughs, "Look at me, I'm a wreck. It's late Nick, why don't you head to bed?" she suggests.
I wink at her. "Have fun out there tonight Ma. I'll see you in the morning." Ma kisses me one last time before walking to the door.
"I'm serious Nicholas, go to bed please," she says and opens the door. I turn around as the door closes. The next thing I hear is the howl of her wolf.
"And, she's off," I say to the air. I go to the door and grab her cape from outside. Ma deserves that break. She's too stressed with everything, actually come to think of it, she's been a bit off all week. More frazzled, more cranky, always beggin' Da' to bring her cer'in foods. I wonder...nah not right now they wouldn't. I shrug off the idea and start to clean up our cottage. Grabbing my bow and quiver of arrows from beside the fireplace, I walk into my bedroom and sit on my bedside.
I pull out an arrow and inspect the head. It's looking dull. I'll need to sharpen it before the hunt with Da' this weekend.
She comes into my thoughts again. Emma. It's a beautiful name. Fits her perfectly. And the way she helped the young lad with the apple. Granted, it almost cost Emma her arm. But she was brave. A lot like Samantha... I always wonder what life would've been like with Samantha and Baelfire as my parents. If only that wolf hadn't... Well, it doesn't matter anymore, they're gone now and I have a family who loves me. That's all that matters now.
There's a knocking at the door. Surprised, I stand and leave my room. "Ma? What're you doin' back? Aren't you going for a run?" I open the cabin door and am surprised at the face I see staring back at me. It's Emma. And her face is ashen white.
"Nicholas? Is Auntie Red home? I…need to talk to her."
I lead her inside gently, kicking the door closed behind me. "She's um, out for a run. What's wrong Emma? Is this about what happened in the market? I swear, I'm really sorry about it all. I was being stupid and careless and—"
She shakes her head and pulls her red cloak tighter around her. Emma shivers. "I'm…a monster." My eyes go wide. She knows…
Baelfire? Now that name sounds a tad bit familiar? Pieces begin to fall into place...
proudlesbian-the chapter is finally here!
serenityskywalker-here it is wayyy overdue
thepatchworkgirl16-here was a bit more Red. She's got a BIG chapter coming up though ;)
Debbie93-Wellll soon didn't exactly happen...
germanAkice-did you ever PM me? I'm still up for chatting anytime about the story!
schroderplayspiano-Your compliments make me smile so much. Like honestly, your praise means the world to me because I look up to your writing so freaking much. I don't know what you'll think of this chapter's POV...especially since Nick is entirely my mind's own creation, but I do hope you enjoyed it! (I am a bit rusty on writing though...it's been awhile;)
Reminder-Aw thank you very much. I am glad you enjoyed it! I love Rumbelle as well.
CocoRocks-Wow. Thank you! That means a lot. I hope you continue to follow me along the journey of Miss Emma.
RedWolfMoon1349-Thanks. I did actually mean 5 years in that bold part though.
Thank you all so much for the kind words of encouragement! And please, feel absolutely free to contact me with ANYTHING you'd like to see more of in the story. Or if you want to see things differently, things that need to be fixed, plot holes, etc. I know the skipping around of POVs and time periods of each chapter can be somewhat confusing, BUT it does actually follow a somewhat organized pattern. Anyways I hope you continue to read and follow the journey of Emma. Thank you again!
PS: All other stories I am working on currently: A Second Chance, Begin Again, Something Was Found, and Damon's Letters; are currently on a long-term hold, excluding SWF. I have a lot going on in June and am working my best to write these chapters, but running 5 completely different plot-lines is quite hard to keep straight. I actually have notebooks dedicated to EACH of the 5 stories right now. They other 3 WILL be back (as will SWF later this month). But right now I want to focus on only my OUAT fics. I really want to have several chapters of this story written out in advance. SWF is having writer's block, BUT I have an idea I'll be toying with. There's also the matter of me starting to write my own book. At age 15, that's kinda crazy. THANK GOODNESS FOR SUMMER! Anywho yeah 3 stories on hold, SWF in two weeks, this next week. (I do have a church camp next Monday to Friday so the update for the next chapter may be behind.)