I'm sorry, I have no excuses. I decided to edit parts of this fic before updating any new chapters, so here is the edited version of Ch.1
Reviews are always welcome.
The Martinez family was getting ready for dinner in a chaotic manner. The children, Ana and Dylan were in the middle of their game of tag and proceeded to run through the kitchen while screaming and squealing. Their Abuela, a rather stern woman, was leaning against the kitchen counter. But, instead of scolding the children, she called out in her not so frail accented voice, "Be careful, you'll hurt yourselves."
Watching her grandchildren running around never failed to bring a smile to her face. Sadly, there seemed to be a shortages of smiled running around. She didn't like to point fingers but if she did, it would be her youngest son's fault. James Martinez was a mystery to them all. They didn't know what he did for a living other than the fact that he was in the Army for three years and then decided to join the SAS. After that he did some vigorous training and disappeared for three months for what she assumed was the recruitment process for the SAS. After his return, he had a sense of pride in his eyes and carried himself differently, more leader-like. She remembered when he walked up to her somewhat nervously on his day back.
"Mama," He paused, leaning down to give her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"James," She mocked, smiling up at him in an encouraging manner. She knew what he was going to say - she didn't have three kids being oblivious to the world.
"I joined the SAS." He stated. He never was one for formalities or beating around the bush. But, some things were just meant to be said.
"I know, mi hija."
There was a pause
"Wait... How?" James stared at her. He thought he did a good job of hiding it from his family knowing that they'd disapprove.
"I'm not stupid, James. I've raised three sneaky kids and have life experience to rival yours." She patted his cheek and walked away, leaving him to think.
She wasn't naive to believe that her son had had a model career in the army. Bad things had to have happened - Murphy's Law wasn't it? There was the time she also remembered that ate at her. It pulled her apart knowing that she couldn't do anything to help.
James walked in through the front door with a clang, dropping his duffel bag on the floor. He stalked in towards the kitchen and man-handled the fridge just to get a beer. Rummaging through the drawer, he found the bottle opener and popped the bottle open. That was how he found him that evening - leaning with his back against the kitchen counter with a bottle in his hand.
She sighed disapprovingly and moved to clean up the mess he had left.
"Some people," She muttered while slowly bending down to pick up a spoon. Damn spoon! Why did it have to be so far down? Straightening up, she triumphantly held up the spoon like it was a trophy and smiled, glancing at her son. He watched her with a frown.
"You shouldn't be cleaning after me, Mama." He said, embarrassed at the mess he made but refused to apologize.
"Then who will James?" She replied, looking at him with warm eyes that seemed to know all. That look was all that it took for James to lose control. A lone tear slipped from his red eyed. Then another. Soon it was an all out waterfall.
"Oh Jamy," She murmured and swept him into a hug like only a mother can give. He buried his face in the comforting scent of his Mama and continued to sob.
He never said what was wrong for it was irrelevant.
Her thoughts were interrupted with a call from the dining room.
"Dinner's ready, everyone come to the table!" Maria, James' elder sister, bellowed.
Abuela walked through the kitchen to the dining room to find everyone already there, waiting for her. She could feel their gazes on her as she took her seat at the head of the table across from her eldest son, Carlos. Looking around, she saw that they were already eating. She served herself and also began to eat.
"Mama," Dylan began, his mouth still full, "Why does Uncle James never play with us anymore?"
Everyone froze and turned to look at James. He just kept his eyes low and kept eating his food as if he hadn't spoken.
"Well, Dylan," Maria said, "Uncle James is going through a bad time. He's been like this for six months hasn't he? Well, six months ago, something bad happened. You know that he's in the SAS, right? Bad things happen in the army. He needs to let go of what happened and move on for the good of the family." She seemed to be talking to James instead of her son. "He needs to be a part of the family again and stop keeping things from us. It will only hurt him." This time, James looked up and let the pain he has been feeling these past few months show through the mask he built.
"The reason I keep secrets is because I don't want anything to happen to you." He spoke in a voice filled with ice. "There are some things I can't tell you. Like what my job entails and what happened six months ago." He stopped talking and went back to eating. Silence filled the room once again. The aura he gave off told them not to mess with them. There was only one thought they were all thinking, what made him like this? He used to be gentle and kind. He used to help others when they needed it. He used to love children but now he flinched away from them like they were the plague.
Their thoughts were interrupted when the doorbell rang indicating the arrival of a visitor. Abuela sighed and looked at the kids. "Dylan, Ana, what have I told you about having friends over during dinner?"
The two eight-year olds looked at each other and replied at the same time, "We didn't ask anyone to come over."
Carlos, the ever-so lazy one groaned, got up, and made his way over to the door. They heard the door open and muffled voices converse for a few moments. Then they heard to sets of footsteps approach the dining room. Carlos walked in first and addressed James, "There is a teenager who says he knows you."
James looked up at the exact moment the second pair of footsteps reached the room. The rest of the room stared at the teenager who looked no more than fifteen years old. His blond hair fell over his serious eyes. Eyes that looked exactly like James's Eyes - serious and cold.
James stared at the kid in shock. What, how could he be alive? He saw the building go up in flames himself. There was no way someone, let alone a kid, could survive an explosion like that. "Cub?" He whispered.
The kid smiled a lopsided grin and replied, "Hey Wolf, long time no see."