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Chapter 4: Rememberance
"There you two are," Sam murmured as he walked through the sliding glass doors to the terrace where Gracey and I sat on the cushioned outdoor couch together, reading a children's story on my iPad. I looked up at him and smiled widely, glad that he had come home early from ENCOM like he had promised.
Gracey had come home with us on Friday, three days ago, and now was a part of our family. She was adjusting well as were Sam and I to the fact that we had someone else living with us. She was fun and I had already learned so many new things from her already.
I stayed home with her today, not just to work on my college course work but also because she was nervous about going to daycare or staying with Lora for the day. Sam had suggested that we both take a day off and spend time with her but I had opted against that since he hadn't been in on Thursday or Friday either.
"Here we are," Gracey echoed as she hopped off of my lap and walked fluidly over to where Sam stood leaning against the glass. He bent down and picked her up in one easy motion. "Mom and I have been reading stories," she told him with a happy smile. "About unicorns, fairy princesses, and grumpy dragons."
Sam chuckled and glanced over at me. "Oh, really?"
I nodded my head and set the iPad on the glass table. It was very strange to be called something other than Quorra. I didn't mind that she calls me Quorra even though now, by law, I was her mother, but Sam said that it would be best if she did that. Gracey was more than thrilled. She was excited to have parents again.
"Yes, really," she quipped as she turned to look at me. Her electric green eyes sparkled in the evening sunlight and the sunlight bounced off of her skin.
"Well, I made reservations for dinner tonight. Can you go get ready for me?" he asked as he set her down on her feet once more. She nodded and hurried off into the apartment as I stood up. He met me halfway and wrapped his arms around me, linking his hands at the lower spot on my back. "How was your day?" he asked me after placing a swift kiss to my lips.
"It was interesting," I murmured as I placed my hands on his shoulders. "Although I didn't do much of my school work. I may start to fall behind if I don't watch it," I commented with a small laugh.
He rolled his eyes at me. "Says the girl who's ahead by at least a month," he taunted before pressing another kiss to my lips again.
"I missed you today," I added as I stared up at him with large and playfully sad eyes. "But she's a lot of fun. I think she is still getting used to us though," she went on as she looked over my shoulder inside of our apartment. "But for the most part, this whole parenting things is a bit easier than i expected."
"It'll take some time, sure," he agreed as he brushed a few strands of hair out of my face. "You took a little bit of time to get used to me…and everything," he said with a sly grin. "And...that's probably because she's different and that she's five, not one," he went on with a grin.
"I know," i murmured with a soft smile. "But still...I just don't want her to be afraid of us…me," I told him finally as I dropped my gaze from him to the blue colored tie falling from his neck. "I want her to be comfortable."
"I'm pretty sure she is, darling, comfortable that is," he soothed as his hands started to encircle my waist. "Who doesn't love you?" he asked me with a soft smile. I opened my mouth to speak and he sighed dramatically. "It was a rhetorical question. Don't answer it," he told me as he gave me a quick squeeze. "Did you talk to her?" he asked me.
I sighed. "Yes, but…it didn't change anything. We should invite Lora and Alan to dinner sometime this week so she can get to know them better. She only met Lora once," I told him as I met his gaze again. "I understand how she feels. And Daycare is out of the question for now, I think. I don't believe that is the best idea for her," I said to him.
"I thought of that today as well," Sam muttered. "And okay, we can have them over for dinner on Wednesday. Alan and I need to sort through some things anyways," he went on with a shrug.
"I'm ready," Gracey quipped from behind us as I heard light footsteps approaching. "Can you tie the bow, please?" Gracey asked as she tugged on my elbow.
She had put on a long sleeved polka-dotted dress that was navy blue with white polka- dots. The dress ended at her knees and she was wearing white sandals. "Sure," I murmured as Sam unwound his arms from around me and I bent down to tie the dress in the back. "Sam, where are we going?" I asked him as I finished the bow and then stood again.
"An Italian restaurant," he said as he started to walk inside. "You're fine in what you're wearing. It's just a dressy formal," he told me as he turned and glanced at my outfit again. I was currently wearing a light red flutter sleeve dress.
I followed him inside after Gracey and walked into our bedroom to grab my purse. I brushed through my hair quickly before walking out of the room to find Gracey and Sam waiting by the door. Marvin was resting in his small dog bed in the open area and he lifted his head briefly to acknowledge all of us.
Sam grabbed Gracey's lightweight jacket from the closet and handed it to her as I grabbed my black sweater. Gracey led us out of the door and hurried down the hall towards the elevator. Sam twined his hand with mine as we followed her down the hallway.
Sam buckled Gracey up in her car seat as I got into the passenger side. "It's not that hard, I don't know why you have such trouble," Gracey stated with a high pitched laugh.
Sam grunted as I heard him fumble with something. "I need to get the hang of the damn strap," he muttered under his breath.
"Sam," I scolded softly as I looked through the mirror at him. "The parenting books said that cursing leads to destructive behavior at their age," I reminded him as he finally buckled the seatbelt and got into the driver's seat.
Sam chuckled. "I think Gracey is far from destructive, right Gracey?" he asked as he looked behind him at her.
"Damn right," she said with enthusiasm. Sam made a face and I glared over at him as I crossed my arms over my chest. "I was kidding," Gracey murmured as she twirled her feet around one another. "Was that a bad joke?" she asked as her eyes widened slightly.
"If you're trying to get me in trouble, then no, it wasn't a bad joke," Sam said with a soft grin in my direction. He chuckled under his breath as he started the car, the new Mercedes Benz SUV, which we had purchased about a week ago. "Lighten up, Quorra. She's a bright kid as well as perceptive," he said, trying to reassure me.
I sighed and nodded. "I'm going to have to remember that the parenting guides won't necessarily work for you," I said as I looked through the mirror at her. She was twirling her hair in the backseat and looking out the window absentmindedly.
"I don't mean to be difficult if I am," she piped up softly as her eyes met mine through the mirror.
I shook my head. "You're not difficult at all."
"Do you want to watch something, Gracey? The restaurant is about an hour away maybe even worse if this traffic keeps up," Sam said as he glanced over at me briefly.
"Princess and the Frog!" she cheered almost immediately.
I searched for the movie on the entertainment system and then started the movie. "So…" Sam started as he turned the volume up a bit higher to the entertainment system. "Ed told me that he talked to you a few days ago," he started as his hands gripped the steering wheel a little tighter.
I glanced over at him. "And?" I asked as I felt apprehension start to rise within me. "What did he tell you?" I asked him carefully.
"What did he say to you?" he shot back in the lightest of tones, as if we were talking about the weather or something. "He came across…very strange today, like he had some kind of control over me."
I shook my head barely. "He was sort of rambling when he talked to me. Although…" I trailed off as I tapped my fingers on the window indecisively.
"What?" he asked me intently as he started to press his foot on the gas a little more.
He barely had his eyes on the road now as he surveyed my facial expressions. I sighed in frustration. "Fine. I got a bad vibe from him when he spoke to me, okay?" I said as I clasped my hands together tightly.
"But what did he say?" Sam repeated as he turned onto the large interstate. "Or what did you say to him?" he pressed in a quiet tone.
"He talked about your father but…he was so mean towards him. I don't really understand that part," I started as I looked out the window. "And…I slipped up, Sam. I don't know, I got mad, I guess," I breathed as I ran my fingers through my hair. "I told him that he shouldn't talk bad about someone that he never knew. I told him that your father saved my life," I said finally as my shoulders slumped. "So stupid..."
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Sam asked me softly.
"I didn't want you to be mad. I was mad at myself for doing something so stupid! I was acting so…"
"Human?" Sam asked me as he raised one of his eyebrows. I nodded briefly at him. "I'm not mad at you, more disappointed in you maybe," he said as he slowed to a stop at a red light. "I value your safety, you know that. You also know that I really don't trust him when it comes to you," he added. "And there's nothing wrong with acting human," he teased as he winked at me.
I groaned. "I don't make mistakes, Sam Flynn, not like that," I murmured.
"It's okay, Mom," Gracey commented in her trilling childlike voice. "No one's perfect," she said to me.
Sam's throaty chuckle made me smile slightly. "But still…I'll keep an eye on things and let Alan know. He called you interesting…I'm not quite sure what that means," he said in a worried tone.
"Mom is interesting though," Gracey cheered happily
"She is..." Sam mumbled as he glanced over at me. "And I think he knows that."
"You've always had those feelings about him," I said as I placed my hand on his shoulder. "We'll talk about it later, Sam," I murmured as I glanced behind me and then back at him. He nodded briefly and focused his attention back on the road.
"Oh, so you don't want me to know what you're talking about." Gracey murmured to the two of us boldly. "Is something the matter?" she asked in a quieter voice.
"Nothing's wrong," Sam lied easily as I shrunk in my seat deliberately.
"Okay…" Gracey trailed off as she began to watch her movie again.
Sam pulled into the restaurant parking lot and pulled up to the front. A man in a uniform opened my door and ushered me out while Sam got Gracey out of her car seat in the back. Sam walked up to me with Gracey in his arms, briefly giving the man money and instructions for parking the car in ballet.
He set Gracey down once the man drove off with our car and she took both of our hands before we walked inside. "I've never been here before," she murmured as she looked around in wonder once we had stopped in front of the desk.
I smiled as Sam told the lady behind the counter our reservations. She led us back to a mostly empty section of the restaurant and seated us at a booth. Gracey crawled in before me while Sam sat on the other side. "Will she need a booster seat?" the lady asked before departing.
"A what?" I asked.
"Yes, please," Sam said over me as he glanced at me in amusement. She disappeared as Gracey started talking.
"When will my tutor start coming again?" she asked. "I haven't learned anything new in about a week," she murmured as she picked up the crayons with her kids menu and started coloring in a picture.
Gracey had a tutor just for her since her learning had accelerated since the transfusion. She read at a high school level and wrote like an eighth grader. She was way above her learning level so Dr. Reid had found someone that can teach her that is somewhat aware of the changes that she went through.
Sam cleared his throat. "Probably next week, Dr. Reid wanted to assure that you were settled first before you picked back up with your learning. Anyways, we're probably going to enroll you into a private school soon," he answered.
"What? Why? I don't want to go to school," she said in a horrified tone.
Sam and I stared at each other, not expecting this type of response from her at all. "It would be a small school, Gracey, a school for educationally gifted children sort of like yourself," he told her. "You need to interact with children your own age even though you are smarter than them," Sam said with a heaving sigh.
Her shoulders slumped. "They won't like me," she mumbled as she hid her face from out view.
"Why wouldn't they like you?" I asked her.
"Because I'm different," she breathed.
I sighed and pulled her into my arms a bit awkwardly since the table was in my way. "And what's wrong with being different? I thought this world embraced diversity in children," I said with a small smile. She looked at me with wide eyes and didn't answer. "There's nothing wrong with being different. I've been different my entire existance and look where I am," I murmured as I motioned my hand towards Sam.
"But what if they don't like me?" she asked me quietly.
"They will," Sam assured her lightly. "They just have to get to know you first."
I glanced over Sam's shoulder as I saw a young couple sit in the booth next to ours. "I think you'd like school. I like school," I told her with a grin. "You can show off how smart you are," I said with a laugh.
She smiled up at me and hugged me briefly before moving out of my lap to sit on her side again. "I'm cold," she stated as she started to look for her jacket.
"I have it," Sam said as he handed it to her and she threw it on.
We placed our orders when the waitress came back with our drinks and we waited, talking amongst ourselves while Gracey munched on this strangely shaped garlic bread.
"Would you like some wine?" Sam asked me as he looked through the bar menu. "They have your favorite white wine here," he told me with a smile.
I shook my head but then frowned as I noticed the man at the other table moving his gaze from me to Gracey. He looked familiar somehow but I had no idea where I had seen him before. "Mmm…no…" I mumbled as I caught his eyes. He looked away immediately, looking at a picture frame on the wall instead. "Someone has to drive home," I reminded him as I glanced at Gracey.
Sam chuckled. "And you were so worried about being a mom. I think you have it down, sweetheart," he told me with a laugh as he closed the menu and set it aside.
I nodded absentmindedly at him as I kept my trained eyes on the man that sat behind him. "I know that man…" I breathed. "But I don't know where…" I trailed off as I racked my brain for an answer. "Gosh, my memory is getting worse, I swear," I mumbled in agitation.
Sam frowned at me and turned his head slightly to see who I was looking at. "I've never seen him before, maybe you're just imagining things," he pondered as he glanced over at Gracey finishing her drawing.
"I'm not imagining things, Sam Flynn," I muttered as I glanced at him once before returning my eyes back on the man. Why couldn't I recognize him? Maybe it was the top hat?
His eyes met mine again and he smiled. The smile seemed to transform his face.
That was when I remembered him.
I was pulled into a memory that I had tried so hard to block out.
I was back in our old apartment and I heard the sickening noise of that first earsplitting gunshot. I heard myself scream and as I stood in the doorway, waiting for Marvin to run out, I saw him.
Standing there, smiling, past the glass sliding doors to our terrace.
I was thrown back out of my memory and gasped, pulling my eyes from his. I felt my hands bang against the table and I abruptly stood. "We're leaving. Now." I stated in a choked tone.
"Quorra?" Sam asked in a strange tone. "We haven't even eaten yet, are you sure-"
"I said now, Sam Flynn," I said in a tone that had no room for questioning. My head spun and swam as I felt all of these emotions swarming through my body.
Confusion. Hatred. Agony. Fear. Uneasy. Disgusted. Bitter. Distrust.
I needed to get out of here.
Sam didn't argue with me. He pulled his wallet out and placed five-hundred dollars in the center of the table before standing. "Come on, Gracey," he said. He picked her up once she got out of the booth and Sam placed his hand on the middle of my back, leading us out of the restaurant quickly.
We waited for our car to be brought to us and once it pulled up, Sam opened the passenger side door for me and closed it once I got in. Sam buckled Gracey up in her seat and then got into the driver's side, pulling off almost immediately.
"Put your seatbelt on," Sam reminded me as we turned onto the busy street. I did as he asked and leaned back into the seat, feeling dizzy. "So do you want me to ask now or later?" he questioned as his eyes stayed focused on the road.
I didn't answer him so he just sighed and turned some music on. The ride home was quiet and Gracey had even fallen asleep halfway back home. "We should get her something to eat," I murmured finally as I turned to look at her.
"We have some kids' meals at home," he said shortly. "We'll be there in less than ten minutes."
I sighed and looked out the window. He was mad.
Sam parked the car next to our other car in the parking garage and got out. "I'll get her," I murmured as I opened the car door and then opened the door to the backseat. I undid the two buckles as Sam walked up onto the curb with his hands in his pockets, staring down at the ground. I picked her up and grabbed her jacket.
"Ow," she mumbled as I bumped her head on the top of the car as I pulled her out.
Her eyes fluttered open and I grimaced. "I'm sorry," I murmured as I rubbed her head and shut the door. Sam locked the car and walked alongside me as we made our way to our apartment. Sam opened the door to the apartment and I turned the lights on as we walked in. "Would you like a pizza?" I asked her.
She nodded. "Cheese please," she murmured. "I'm going to go clean up," she added as I set her down. She walked off in the direction of her room and closed the door partially. I heard the shower turn on to her bathroom.
I watched as Sam got a frozen pizza out of the freezer and placed it in the oven under low heat. He turned around to face me with an emotionless expression. "So what's going on?" he asked me.
I bit my lip and exhaled. "See, you're mad," I said to him as my lip quivered. "Please, don't be."
"What happened in there?" he reiterated as he took a few steps closer to me.
I rubbed my hands against my face. "My memory, Sam…it's blotchy…" I breathed. "That night in the old apartment…" I started as my voice started to shake. "He was right there, right there! And I couldn't remember him…" I whispered as I closed my eyes. "On the terrace, just watching," I went on as my voice quivered.
"Who is he?" Sam asked me as placed his hands on my shoulders and squeezed gently.
"That man…in the restaurant sitting behind you, he was there that night," I said in a sure tone. "That's why I thought I had seen him before."
Sam cursed under his breath and then sighed. "And you're sure? Very sure?" he asked me, hoping for something.
I barely nodded. "I'm very sure, Sam," I whispered as I turned to face him. "That was him."
Sam backed away from me and placed his fingers in his hair, pulling on the blond strands. "This isn't going to stop, is it?" he asked hoarsely. "Until they successfully yank you away from me," he stammered as he turned away from me. "Until you're gone."
"Sam," I said as I stood from the bar stool and walked up to him. He turned to look down at me and I saw the pure agony in his eyes. "Maybe I was wrong," I lied as I shook my head. "Maybe-"
"Don't lie to me, Quorra, you're really bad at it," he told me angrily. "Everywhere you go, people want to get rid of you," he breathed. "Aren't you sick of it?"
I pulled a half smile on my face. "I'm kind of used to it," I told him.
"Well, I'm not," he shot back angrily. "How much longer will this go on until they win?" he asked me roughly. "You're not leaving me. You're not leaving Gracey. You can't," he said and then his eyes widened. "Gracey…" he whispered. "Did he…?"
"Of course he saw her Sam, she was with us," I stated as I wrapped my arms around him. "And I'm not leaving anyone," I added as I ran my fingers through his hair. "You have to believe that."
"What do we do?" he asked me as he secured his arms around my waist.
I sighed and leaned my head against his chest. "Get some dinner and go to sleep," I answered softly. "Gracey is still up so for the time being, we have to act like parents. We'll talk about it tomorrow," I promised him as I stood on my toes to kiss him quickly.
He wrapped his arms tighter around me so I couldn't pull away. He kissed me deeper then, passionately for a few moments before pulling away. He ran his fingers along my cheek and kissed me once more, quickly, before letting me go entirely. "Alright."
"Everything will be alright," I tried to assure him as I placed my hand on his arm.
He gave me a detached look before walking away in what seemed to be defeat.
"You said that last time."
OMG, what? lol, so now we are starting to dive into the suspense part of it. i needed an interesting opener so I hope you liked it!
Review me and tell me what you thought, what you think will happen, or some cc, cause i know that I need some.
Till next time! (: