Hailey thought was convinced that the heat was going to suffocate her. She was lying down on the cool tiled floor in Dexter's kitchen in nothing but a bikini and a white silk skirt and she still felt like she was burning up. It was 3 weeks into the Bay Harbor Butcher manhunt and everyone in Miami was on edge because of it. Or maybe it was the fact that the worst heat wave in years was now sweeping the area. Dexter came into the apartment with bags of groceries, "Hailey?" He called out.
"In the kitchen." She replied. Dexter walked over and saw her spread out of the floor, raising one eyebrow.
"I talked to the landlord and he said that the air-conditioning would be fixed by tonight." Dexter told her, "I also picked you up that ice-cream that you wanted." She sat up slowly and stretched out her hand for the tub, which he passed to her with a spoon from the cupboard.
"Thank you." She said between bites of the Rocky Road, "Want some?"
"I should probably be getting to work."
"C'mon Dexter, sit on the floor with me and eat some ice-cream." She dragged him down with her and handed him the spoon. He obliged and dug in, "It's not like they're gonna catch the Bay Harbor Butcher before you get back to the office." She winked, "Besides if they do, you don't really want to be there anyways." He didn't look amused by her comments.
"What are you going to do today?"
"I thought I might look for a job." She responded, "I've been mooching off of you for long enough. I should bring in my own income."
"Hailey you don't need to do that." Dexter took another spoonful of ice cream and fed it to her, "Besides do you really think that that's such a good idea… in your condition?"
"In my condition?" She scoffed, "Dexter I'm pregnant, I don't have lupus." He rolled his eyes, "Besides it'll just be a part time job, something to fill my time with, like waitressing or something."
"Whatever you want to do." He shrugged. A phone rang and Dexter immediately reached for his pocket, but it wasn't his for once, it was Hailey's. She looked confused for a moment, staring at the caller ID before picking up.
"Hello?" She greeted. Dexter watched her face carefully, her eyes widened a little and her jaw slackened, "Yeah… yeah it has been a long time. I— well no, it's not that I didn't want to call you I just— Oh so she told you already, well then why do you still want to— No I'm not busy today. Yeah, I know where it is. Umm okay, I guess I can ask him, are you sure? Yeah, I'll see you then. Okay, bye Grandma." She looked at Dexter in shock as she hung up the phone.
"Yeah, Gale, my mom's mom." She cleared her throat, "She wants to have lunch with me. To talk to me about my recent life choices I guess. She asked to meet you too."
"Yeah, Rita told her."
"And she's not mad?"
"She didn't seem mad." Hailey responded hesitantly, "Grandma's always been hard to read. Her and mom didn't really get along well but we always did."
"Well maybe she just wants to catch up." Dexter suggested, "You are her granddaughter after all."
"You clearly have never met Gale Bennett." Hailey laughed, "So we're meeting at noon at the Italian place on the marina, Fratelli's, I think it's called. Can you make it?"
"I'll try my best."
"Good, cause I don't really want to do this on my own." She admitted, "Uh, I know we were supposed to go out to dinner tonight but why don't we just stay in instead, as long as the air-conditioning is back up and running that is."
"So what's happening in the investigation anyways?" She asked; Dexter was less than eager to divulge very much information about the case.
"They know that I only kill 'bad guys'." He said, "Thankfully that's about it. This super cop isn't close to giving up yet though."
"Maybe you'll get lucky and they'll uncover a willing imposter again, like in the Ice Truck Killer case. Hopefully this one will be more convincing than that creepy taxidermy guy."
"Maybe." Dexter sighed, "Unlikely though." He looked at Hailey and thought for a moment, "I've been going to some of those NA meetings without you." He confessed, "I got myself a sponsor and everything."
"Really why?" She asked, "I thought you said that the narcotics guy dropped any charges against me for using."
"He did, it's been helping me. I'm always so in my head and it's gotten me to open up about my own addiction."
"Dexter you kill people." She reminded him, "That's a little bit more hazardous than a heroine addiction." She sighed and thought for a minutes, "But I guess if it helps… who's your sponsor anyways?"
"Dexter…" She groaned, "No, don't do this."
"She's into you." Hailey explained slowly, devouring another scoop of the Rocky Road, "Duh."
"No she's not…" Dexter argued.
"Yes, she is."
"She's just trying to help me."
"You are so blind." Hailey laughed, "I'm not saying you should stop seeing her or anything I just think you should be aware."
"You're not jealous?" He asked.
"Do you like her like that?" Her eyes shot up dangerously.
"Then… I have nothing to be jealous of. Unless you think that I do." She tilted her head to the side and scrutinized his expression, "Should I be worried?"
"Of course not. While this manhunt is still in progress I just want to get my dark passenger under control, that's all."
"Well at least Doakes has given it a rest. I guess it's good for people to think you're a heroine addict sometimes." She giggled, "Besides I'm way hotter than Lila aren't I? I mean at least my skin is distinguishable against snow." She leaned in and kissed him, her lips still tasted like chocolate and vanilla, "You'd be a fool to mess this up Dexter."
"Which is why I won't." He smirked and pressed butterfly kissed down her collarbone, laying her down on the tile as he lips moved to her stomach.
"Mmmm… it's too hot for this." She complained and pushed him off of her, "You might give me a heat stroke." He chuckled and stood up, putting the carton of ice cream in the freezer before it began to melt.
She changed into a blue coral dress that rippled in the wind as she walked, her hair let loose as she walked down the street towards the restaurant. She glanced down at the time on her cellphone, it was exactly twelve and she could see Gale waiting for her at one of the tables looking out at the sea. Her grandmother had always been one for punctuality. She quickened her pace and looked around for Dexter's car, but didn't see it yet. Gale stood as she hurried through the restaurant and over to her table.
"Hailey!" She exclaimed with exaggerated enthusiasm.
"Grandma!" Hailey returned a hugged her a little stiffly.
"Sit down, we have a lot to catch up on." Gale said and indicated to the seat across from her. Hailey obliged and bit her bottom lip a little nervously, "So tell me everything that happened, straight from the beginning. I don't want you leaving anything out."
"What are you talking about?"
"I want you to tell me exactly how you and your mother's relationship got severed like this so that I can fix it. All I want is for us to be a family again."
"I thought mom already told you what happened." Hailey picked up the glass of water and took a small sip.
"She told me that she recently found out that you moved in with her ex boyfriend and that she suspects that your relationship was going on while they were still involved." Gale said flatly, "Was it?"
"Hailey." Gale gave her a disappointed look, "Why would you do something like this?"
"Because I love him." She mumbled, "Because he's the only one that really understands me."
"I know it seems like that now, but darling you are still very young. You have your whole life in front of you and you're a beautiful girl, more beautiful than even your mother was at your age, you'll have tons of opportunities to fall in love." She took Hailey's hand in her own and rubbed her palm with her thumb, "But family is forever."
"Why are you being so nice? You're never this nice." Hailey commented suspiciously, "And why would you insist that I invite Dexter if you want me to break up with him."
"Because I don't think you will." Gale stated, "Your mother didn't listen to me when I advised her against Paul and it ruined our relationship."
"You were right about Paul though."
"Yes, I was." Gale smiled, "And that's why I want to meet Dexter."
"To warn me like you did mom?"
"To figure out if I need to warn you." Gale clarified, "To be honest, he doesn't exactly have my highest of opinions right now, considering what he's done…"
"I've done it too."
"He's an adult, he's supposed to know better. This isn't American Beauty for gods sake." She laughed humorlessly, "But I've always thought you as a clear headed girl Hailey, you've always made relatively logical decisions, so I thought I'd give this whole situation the benefit of the doubt. I also want to sit down and talk with both of you so that we can collectively figure out how to proceed."
"How to proceed?"
"There's nothing worst for a mother than being shut out of her daughter's life. I should know." Gale said, "I want us to work out what the best course of action is to get you two back on speaking terms."
"That's a nice thought and all, grandma, but to be honest with you I really don't think it's going to be that simple." Hailey replied.
"Nothing in life is simple." Gale answered, "Ah. This must be him now." Hailey turned around and saw Dexter coming towards them, a smile was plastered on his face but his eyes told her that he was upset. She wondered if something had happened at work. Both her and Gale stood up to greet him. Hailey planted a small kiss on his cheek, while Gale put out her hand to shake his, "You must be Dexter."
"And you must be Gale, nice to meet you."
"I wish the feeling was mutual." Gale responded with a frown creasing her features.
"Grandma..." Hailey scorned.
"Hailey, I did not bring you both here to exchange pleasantries."
"If you don't mind me asking, why did you bring us both here?" Dexter asked as he pulled out a chair for Hailey to sit, before sitting down himself.
"To assess the problem Dexter." She responded coolly.
"And what problem's that?"
"Our relationship." Hailey cut in bitterly, "So tell me Grandma, have you collected all the necessary facts to begin coming up with a strategy?"
"Don't sound so accusatory Hailey." Gale shot back, "You were the one that caused our family to break apart, I'm just trying to put the pieces back together." Dexter grit his teeth and waved the waiter down.
"Can I get a glass of beer? Whatever's on tap is fine." He ordered.
"I'll just have some ginger ale, thanks." Hailey said. Gale shot her a suspicious look. Ever since she was 16 Hailey had gotten away with ordering alcohol at restaurants, and she had taken advantage.
"I'll just stick with the water thank you." Gale said, "Not drinking today Hailey?" Hailey just shook her head without saying anything, "What are you pregnant or something?" Gale laughed at her own joke but Hailey's eyes widened in horror and Dexter stiffened considerably. Gale almost spilt her glass of water over the table, "No. Please tell me you didn't."
"Not on purpose." Hailey hissed and put her head in her hands.
"It was a shock at first but we've come to terms with it." Dexter said, rubbing Hailey's back soothingly.
"Please don't tell my mom, at least not yet." Hailey begged, "Please Grandma, you have to promise that you won't."
"Do you think I'm crazy?" Gale scoffed, "Rita would have a fit." Hailey let out a deep breath, "Well, this complicates things a bit."
"What were you going to do? Just give us a pitch about why we should break it off and I should move home and beg for forgiveness?" Hailey asked.
"Something like that." Gale clucked her tongue and smiled tightly, "Well, let's not talk about the past anymore, what's done is done. We have to look forward towards the future." Hailey and Dexter both looked at each other with raised eyebrows and Gale just smiled wider, "Is it a boy or a girl?"
Dexter and Hailey stared at each other blankly as they ate their pizza on the couch, some television show blaring in the background. They did this sometimes, just looked at each other even though they had nothing to say. Both wrapped up in their own, separate thoughts. Dexter looked solemn, trapped up in his own problems. She put a hand on his arm lightly and smiled reassuringly. His mood didn't lighten though. In fact it seemed to darken just at the sight of her.
"What's wrong?" She asked. He didn't respond for a while, just kept his eyebrows furrowed.
"Lila wants me to go find the man that killed my mother. He got out of jail a while back and lives near by now." Dexter told her, his fists tightly clenched, "Harry always told me not to make things personal but—"
"But he's the man who killed your mother." Hailey finished for him, "How could you not want to make him pay for that."
"He made me this way." Dexter hissed furiously.
"Dexter…" She moved forward and pressed a kiss to his lips, "This is you now and nothing you do to this guy will change that." She shrugged, "If it makes you feel any better, I like you this way."
"It doesn't." He deadpanned.
"Well then let's pack a bag, take another road trip. 'Cause you know, the last one turned out so well…" She put a hand over her stomach and giggled. The corner of Dexter's lips turned up in a small smirk but it disappeared just as quickly. He sighed.
"I was thinking that this was something that I should do alone." He told her. She tried to remain composed at his harsh words but was unable to hide the hurt from her eyes; "It's not that I don't want you there with me…"
"Yes it is Dexter." She replied breathlessly, "It is that you don't want me there with you."
"This is something very private." He continued slowly, "A dark side of me that I don't want you to see." She just stared at him as if she couldn't even comprehend the words coming out of his mouth.
"Well I wasn't exactly planning to tag alone while you went in to talk to him, I mean I just thought we would get a motel or something and I could—"
"I said no, Hailey." Dexter cut her off. She shot off the couch and spun around to face him again.
"Is Lila coming with you?" She demanded.
"What? No…" Dexter said.
"You're— you're lying." She sounded almost heartbroken at the words, "And you're not even trying to hide the fact that you're lying from me."
"She was the one who suggested the idea, naturally she wants to come along. It doesn't mean anything."
"Yes it does, because if it didn't mean anything then you would have told me about it upfront like you always do." She shot back. Hailey ran her hands through her hair and turned away from him. Trying to remedy the situation, he stood up and reached out for her, but she slapped his hands away, "Don't."
"I'm sorry I lied to you, I just didn't want you to get the wrong idea."
"Well now I definitely have the wrong idea Dexter." She spat back, "You're going off to confront the man who chopped your mother up into little pieces right in front of you, making both you and your brother a serial killer, and you want to bring with you this NA chick that you've known for like a week instead of me." He opened his mouth to speak but she held up her hand to stop him, "Me the girl who's given everything up to be with you."
"I am done with you trying to make me feel guilty over what happened with Rita." He snapped, exasperated, "Every chance you get you remind me that I ruined your life!"
"Oh do I Dexter?" She laughed bitterly, "I think what I really say is 'I love you Dexter and I'm so fucking sorry that I caused you all this trouble'." She pretended to think, "And how many times have you told me that you love me… uh let's see? Twice. Once when I told you you knocked me up, and once when you found out that your brother hadn't actually killed me after all."
"Not proclaiming my undying love for you doesn't make it less true." He said lowly. She stopped and bit her bottom lip, feeling guilt wash over her over her last comment. She sighed.
"I'm sorry, you're right. I didn't mean that. I know you care in your own way." She rubbed her hands over her eyes, "But seriously Dexter? Think about it, you and Lila in a hotel room alone, while you're emotionally vulnerable."
"You think she's going to take advantage of me?"
"I wasn't going to put it like that." She rolled her eyes, "But that's the gist, yeah. I mean, what else would she want from you?"
"To support me as my sponsor." Dexter answered.
"Your sponsor of what? You're not even a dug addict! This is all so ridiculous Dexter. Why are you doing this to me?"
"I'm not trying to do anything to you."
"Yes you are, you're deliberately trying to hurt me."
"Frankly Hailey, this has nothing to do with you!" He shouted, "This is about me facing my demons, this isn't one of the latest installments in your self-centered dramas. For once this isn't about you getting pregnant, or getting kidnapped, or fucking overdosing." Dexter didn't realize what he had said until he saw the look on her face.
"You said you believed me but you don't." She whispered, "You don't believe that I didn't try to kill myself, that someone stuck that needle into my arm and almost killed me."
"I don't know what I believe Hailey."
"You think I'm lying to you?"
"I think that you believe that someone did that, but you were probably already in a bad state of mind." Dexter said. Hailey stared at him silently for a long time. She had never thought that he resented her for anything before, but now she saw it. Now she saw the hidden anger in his eyes, she had consumed his life – the normalcy that he had worked so hard to maintain his entire life. She opened her mouth to apologize, but she couldn't. She evaded his hands when he reached out to touch her and all but ran into their bedroom, slamming the door shut behind her.
"Mmmm…" Hailey moaned loudly as Dexter sucked her nipple into his mouth, "I thought you were supposed to be at work early today." She said softly. Dexter looked at the clock on the bedside table, 7:04.
"I've got time." He muttered as he flipped her over onto her stomach in one deft move. She groaned unhappily, not pleased to be woken up so early, even for such fun activities. His hands massaged her back soothingly before moving down to her hips. Rubbing himself against her impatiently. She rolled her eyes and suddenly turned around making Dexter lose his gripping.
"I've got a better idea." She smiled wickedly, "Lie on your back." She bit her bottom lip seductively and pushed his back down on the bed. His head hit the pillow and he stared up at her with wide eyes. She licked her lips slowly and leaned down on top of him to press butterfly kissed down his chest. He groaned a little as she continued her path down to his pelvis. She laughed and stoked him a little before pulling the white sheets over her head. He let out a deep content sigh at the feeling of her tongue, her lips, the soft scraping of her teeth…
"Oh god." He gasped out, roughly putting his hand down to grasp her hair, "Hailey... fuck." He let his eyes close. Hailey popped up above the covers again, smiling. However the satisfied expression that she expected to see on his face, was absent. Dexter sat there, staring down at her, his face cold and voice of expression. She noticed suddenly and with muted horror that he was holding a knife in his hand, blood dripped from it, leaving deep red stains on the white sheets.
"Dexter…" Her eyes widened fearfully, as she felt a sticky wetness roll down her chest. She looked down to see that blood was dripping down between her breasts to her bellybutton, a stinging sensation on her cheek. He had sliced her. A blood slide lay to her left on top of the ruined covers. She opened her mouth to say something but he beat her to it.
"I couldn't let you get away with it Hailey, I just couldn't. I have a code after all." Someone grabbed her from behind pinning her arms behind her back, "And you're a murderer." He hissed. She squirmed uselessly against the bony restraints. Dexter grinned up at Hailey's attacker and she turned to see the telltale pasty white skin and black hair of Lila.
"Now first thing's first." The sickening British accent came from behind her, "Let's get rid of that little problem growing in your stomach." Lila laughed evilly and she tightened her restraints on Hailey. She tried to scream but no sound came out, blood poured from her lips as Dexter's knife lodged deeply into her stomach. She coughed on the thick coppery substance, trying to gasp desperately for air, excruciating pain ripped through her stomach and tears dripped down her cheeks—Hailey woke up with a scream. Then the sobbing started. She clutched at her stomach. Deb who had been sleeping peacefully beside her had started shaking her and asking frantic questions that Hailey, in her absolute state of panic, couldn't even make out. Her whole body was trembling uncontrollably as if she had been electrocuted. It was if she could still feel the knife being plunged into her abdomen. Terror had struck her to the core. Deb was shaking her now and Hailey tried to keep her attention solely on the girl and what she was screaming.
"Dexter! Jesus fucking Christ all might, DEXTER!" She hollered at the top of her lungs. On cue, Dexter stumbled through the door, suddenly very awake.
"What? What happened?" He asked and knelt beside the bed, looking at Hailey with wide confused eyes. His mind going a mile a minute, glancing down at her hands which were still wrapped protectively around her barely visible baby bump, "Hailey? Hailey what's wrong?" When she wouldn't answer him he looked up at Deb for help.
"I don't know what happened she just suddenly started screaming and freaking the fuck out!" Deb explained. Hailey started to calm down a little and realize that there wasn't any red stains on the sheets and that she could breathe in and out without choking on her own blood. She reached up to touch her cheek slowly, nothing.
"I had a—" She spluttered out, "Nightmare." She closed her eyes and tried to slow her heart rate just a little to no effect, "I'm sorry."
"Fucking hell, about what?" Deb demanded, "I haven't even had a nightmare that bad and my fiancé tried to fucking slice me up into little pieces for gods sake."
"Deb…" Dexter warned. He was clutched Hailey's hand tightly, and rubbed her palm with his thumb in rhythmic circles.
"I'll take the couch for the rest of the night." Deb announced and groggily got out of bed, leaving the room while mumbling something under her breath. Hailey was still staring in front of herself blankly, the images finally beginning to fade into the white wall in front of her.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Dexter asked hesitantly, their fight still fresh in his mind.
"You killed me." She whispered into the darkness, "You cut my cheek and stabbed me in the stomach." Dexter stayed silent, "You called me a murderer."
"I don't think of you as a murderer." He said, "Is this about last night…"
"I'm not going to keep apologizing for what keeps happening and neither should you." She turned to him slowly, "If you want Lila to come with you instead of me that's fine."
"No." He shook his head resolutely, "You were right, I don't know what I was thinking. I want you there but… I promised I take her too. She thinks I'm a heroine addict after all, wouldn't want me to fall of the deep end."
"I think it's too late for that." Hailey commented, "For both of us."
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