Chapter 28: Invincible.
The sounds of footsteps came closer and closer to the woman waiting in the cold. The woman looked at the dark night, where the soft light from the hangars behind the walking figure was just enough to show her silhouette. She walked slowly in her direction, slowly, cautious… afraid that the view was another ghost, another of those illusions that after 8 years still haunted her in daytime and in her nightmares. But this time she was real, absolutely corporeal. Both women stopped at the edge of the landing lights of the Veritech, now between them. For a second they recognized each other all over again, like the first time, when more than a decade ago they welcomed each other in their first apartment together. They were intrinsically the same, they both had longer hair, they both kept after 8 years the same sophistically and respectful aura around them. They were both strong and silent…
But their eyes… they eyes were different. Almost 10 years apart, a lifetime for both of them… for all of them. The scars were visible in them. Brown met green, and they were hard, icy, skeptic… demanding explanations, saying aloud “You left me when I needed you the most”. But the greens one were calmed and sad, so sad.
Both women had a silent conversation just looking at each other, because, after all, they were soul sisters, a bond stronger than blood. The green eyes explained, not even blinking, her sad story, her reasons… the fact that her leaving was for her best, their best. Brown eyes broke finally, understanding what was obvious. Filling with tears, she said what she was holding for so many years and she wanted to deny to herself, “I missed you”. Green eyes smiled slowly, understanding and asking forgiveness and the woman, owner of those eyes, stepped closer into the light, marking clearly for the second woman that she was real, for sure.
The brown-eyed woman couldn’t stop a gasp when the other was in front of her. She couldn’t breath for a second; emotionally drowning for the sudden change in her life. Her sister was there, in front of her, healthy… alive and waiting for her to make the next move.
“I hate you,” said Claudia breaking into sobs, her tears falling freely from her eyes.
“I know,” said Lisa softly, accepting the fact that she hurt her, so much.
“I hate you… I hate… you,” said Claudia finally closing the distance between them and hugging her very much afraid that she would disappear again. Lisa hugged her back, feeling her own warm tears coming down in a silence cry.
“I’m so sorry…,” said Lisa holding her best friend tightly against her “…but…but…”
“…But you had to do it… I know, I figured that out a long time ago”, said Claudia, finally looking at her, cleaning her face with her sleeve and feeling like a silly girl, “It’s ok… I always know you were coming back again,” said the woman, with the security of someone who really has faith in something.
“You knew,” said Lisa chucking a little, cleaning her own face.
“Yes, I knew… you aren’t able to stay out from the drama scene for too long,” said Claudia and they laughed, freeing themselves in that little action, of mostly of her sorrows
Miriya saluted her first, and when the tears in her eyes couldn’t let her see anymore, she almost broke Lisa in a huge bear hug. It was obvious that the Zentraedi woman still had her warrior’s manners in her. Max put her in his arms slowly and Lisa rested her head in his chest, feeling the tender warm of that young man for her. He just murmured a sweet, “I’m glad you are back home,” in a parental tone that Lisa recognized now, in herself.
Kim and Vanessa ran as fast as their legs could take them and gave her a group hug that almost pushed Lisa on the ground, while Sammie rested on the floor, because she fainted from of the impression.
Everybody cried… everybody except Roy, who was frozen to his spot, looking at her. Maybe he was the one who had changed the most physically. Older than the rest, he still had his good looks, but his playboy charm changed dramatically into a respectful and elegant frame. He didn’t smile; he didn’t move a muscle. Rick looked at him a little worried, until Lisa finally freed herself a little of all the affection around her and looked at Roy. Another silent conversation took place between them, but he didn’t say much; he was a simple man, and with just a sigh, he relieved himself of years of painful recrimination.
Lisa bit her lip and ran to him and he held her firm against her. Still strong and tall, her feet didn’t touch the ground while she cried, holding herself to his neck. Somehow she was always able to open up with him, no matter how many years passed.
Sammie woke up and cried like a lost baby holding her mother. Lisa kissed her hair and cleaning her eyes with a tissue in a maternal gesture. Sammie was always going to be the big baby. Lisa was just glad that some things never ever change.
“Talking about babies,” said Roy who join the group, putting his arms around his wife, “who’s the boy next to Rick?”
Everybody turned around to see into the direction Roy was looking. Next to the Veritech was Rick, watching the scene with a smile in his face, a smile that none of them saw in 8 years, but next to him, in the other side there was a small figure, a boy apparently, considering that the face was almost covered in a big, old, dirty baseball hat and the clothes where baggy enough to be 2 sizes bigger that what this little person really needed. When little Sarah saw all the eyes placed on her, she stepped back up a little and, by instinct, hid behind Rick.
Lisa cleared her throw, thinking how to explain Sarah to all of them. Roy looked at the “boy” with interest, but it was Miriya who react first, slapping the back of Roy’s head hard.
”It’s a girl, you morrown,” said Miriya.
“Moron”, correct Max instantly, also trying to see with more detail this new person.
Everybody kept looking at Sarah trying to see where was the “girl” in her, but from a distance, it was difficult to tell. But no matter what, she listened everything and saw all the reactions around the appearance of her mother. She felt absolutely out of the picture, an outsider, ever since that morning, when she found out a new side of her mother that she didn’t know, and that discovery made her feel completely alone. She technically was far away from been alone, now she even had a father, but since the beginning of that day, her world changed upside down to the point she felt sick. She wanted to cry, she wanted to scream, but didn’t have the energy to do so… and now, watching all the strangers hugging her mother like she was somehow part of them, make her felt nostalgic of her own group: her aunt Jo and Peter. She missed terrible the warm of her small house, of her bed, of her life.
Sarah looked at the tall figure in front of her, who was offering unknown escape, and felt a range of anger over her. Everything was his fault, everything… all these changes, all this madness. He was the one responsible of it. She felt in her mouth the metallic taste of the blood because she bit herself, but she didn’t care. She hated him, she despised him.
“…She is indeed a girl, and she is my girl… my daughter, Sarah,” her mother’s words interrupted her dark thoughts and she looked at her direction again. The expression in Lisa’s eyes was pure pride for her and for a second, mother and daughter looked into each other souls, calming their fears.
“Come,” said Lisa extending her hand for her. Sarah watched her mother’s hand and then looked up to her face, feeling shy, like the objective of one of Peter’s experiments. Everybody was staring at her and she did the only thing she could, walked slowly to take that hand.
As Sarah came into the light, everybody looked at her closely and gasped when her little face was clear. It was obvious that she was a girl. Roy knelt in front of her, to look at her closely with awe in his eyes. When he was at her height, he took her hat and remove it. Sarah’s long brown hair came down in slow motion, waved by the cold wind around. Sarah’s eyes were glued to his man and a little afraid, she just held her mother’s hand stronger. Roy’s eyes grow wide at the side of this little girl, so much alike her mother she was almost a clone, except for her eyes.
“Oh My God, she is exactly like Lisa,” murmured Claudia, gasping and kneeling next to Roy to watch at her closely. Sarah looked at her blinking in surprise when Claudia put her hand of her cheek tenderly.
“She is Rick’s daughter,” said Roy in amazement, looking up to see Rick still away from them, but he nodded at a distance, assuring Roy that his intuition was, once again, right on target.
“Now I understand,” said Miriya looking at Lisa with reassurance “You were pregnant when you left us”.
Lisa nodded affirmative but added, “It’s true, but I didn’t know it back then. I found out a couple of months later.”
Everybody was in absolutely shock. They looked at Sarah with new eyes, strange eyes. Sarah looked each one of them one by one, feeling that somehow she needed to learn this faces. Claudia touched her cheek softly once again and suddenly held her in her arms in a hug.
“Welcome home sweetie,” murmured Claudia with a breaking voice. Sarah didn’t know what to do, she was extremely nervous for all this, and shivering, Claudia noticed.
“My… this is not the best place to stay right now, you are both probably freezing here… let’s go to a warmer place where we can talk” she said holding the other hand of Sarah in her own. Sarah looked up to her mother and she smiled back, trying to comfort her and the little girl nod.
Everybody walked around Lisa and Sarah, and Rick watched how they got away with a smile and a shocked expression on their faces. Max walked next to Miriya, who was next to Claudia, and they were both looking at Sarah. Vanessa and Kim had Sammie between them, helping her walk, and they were literally glued to Lisa. Roy walked behind them, his arms up in the air, holding his head in a boyish way, acting like a bodyguard. Rick smiled to himself, still too confused about his own feeling about all this.
Rick Hunter didn’t know what to expect of the future anymore, his own lonely, quiet and sad life suddenly change with an unexpected daughter, a missing wife, hope, love, tears and laughs. He sighed, lost in his thought, while he close the Veritech securely. He looked at the group walking away and smiled again, beginning to walk in their direction slowly, giving them their space, knowing for sure, at lease for now, that his friends, his surrogate family, was now complete.
“So this is Max, his wife is Miriya and she is a Zentraedi, like Michael,” Lisa explained to Sarah a little too excited about it. Sarah looked from one person to another sitting around her, like she was in a tennis match “… they were main characters in one of the most romantic love stories ever… when we were on the space fortress, after she tried to kill him several times, they end up getting married after one date and…”
“YOU WERE IN SPACE?!” said Sarah looking at her mother with huge eyes. Roy chuckled from his place, against the wall. Lisa turned bright red.
“Well, yes I was…we all were,” explained Lisa, realizing that her daughter didn’t have a clue about it.
“Honey, I think you need to explain everything to her, from the beginning,” said Claudia bringing the rest of them coffees, teas and a cup of hot chocolate that she placed in front of Sarah and the girl smiled at her widely.
“The VERY beginning I must say,” Roy added from her point and the men chuckled, including Rick.
“Funny, that’s a very long story,” said Lisa taking her tea and warming herself with it.
“I want to know,” said Sarah seriously looking at her mother. Lisa noticed the determination in her daughter’s face and nodded.
“But aren’t you tired?” asked Vanessa worried for her.
“Nah, I’m fine is not like I’m going to school tomorrow anyway” answered Sarah giving Rick a dirty look. Roy laughed and murmured to him “You are so screw up”, and this time was Rick who gave the same dirty look to Roy.
“But I want to know about Sarah too,” said Sammie complaining about listening to the story she knew so well once again.
“She is the new one here, first she need to feel safe with us,” answered Kim rolling her eyes to Sammie.
“Hey! You have a baby,” said Lisa suddenly remembering everything Rick said to her.
Vanessa turned red and nodded smiling happily.
“I named her after you,” said Vanessa adjusting her glasses.
“I know, and I thank you for that, I bet she is a beautiful baby,” said Lisa holding Vanessa’s hand in her own.
“Claudia have her own baby too,” expressed Sammie, all jumpy.
“Eh? Ohh… Sean, but he is not a baby anymore, he turned 9 two weeks ago,” explained Claudia waving her hand.
“I wanted to meet to him” said Lisa too exciting and completely forgetting the original curse of the conversation.
“He is sleeping upstairs” answered Roy smirking to Lisa, “but you will, tomorrow… and then you will regret asking it in the first place”.
“If he looks like you, I can imagine know why,” teased Lisa like in the old days.
They all laughed and kept chatting about nothing for hours, giving just some of the answers Sarah wanted to know and making her dizzy with all the chit-chat around her.
After a very quick review about their lives, Sarah began to feel positively sleepy. Claudia noticed, and brought a cover for her, knowing that the girl wouldn’t probably leave her mother’s side for the night. Lisa took her in her arms and Sarah felt asleep.
When Sarah was soundly asleep, Rick come to sit next to Lisa finally. Somehow Sarah didn’t want him around and made that clear to him. So he had just stayed out of the picture, not wanting to bother the girl even more.
He sat next to Lisa and she smiled softly at him, shyly. Rick put his arm around her and watched Sarah sleep for the first time. She indeed looked like an angel, like everybody commented softly, not wanting to wake up the girl. An angel, one who clearly didn’t like him at all.
“I guess is time for us to go home,” Rick suggested looking at Lisa who was now extremely tired. She looked him in the eyes, tense with the idea, not knowing exactly why. Claudia, who was observing it, offered her home for the night, considering that Sarah was already sleep.
“Lisa you can sleep in the guest room with Sarah… Rick you can stay in the couch, right?” said the woman trying to put some sense in Rick’s head. He at first didn’t want to be away from Lisa, but after looking at Claudia’s and Roy’s eyes, had to agree, like it or not.
The arrangement gave Lisa some space, a very much needed space. After saying goodnight to everyone, making sure that they were all coming back the next day, Lisa took Sarah and went to bed.
Everything was so surreal, so unbelievable. She looked up to the ceiling, feeling on a emotional rollercoaster. Her life after 8 years changed dramatically. Everything she worked for so hard had now vanished in the most peculiar way. Lisa looked next to her, where Sarah was now in what was probably Sean pajamas, holding herself to the pillow. Her poor daughter was in even more of a mess than her right now. Lisa moved her hair away from her face and looked at her, so tiny.
Lisa wondered what was going to happened now, to all of them. She sighed and looked at the closed door. She wondered about Rick, what he expected this to be. She loved him dearly, but the past 8 years didn’t pass in vain. She wondered about him, what he thinking and what he wanted. It was so strange, she knew him, loved him but somehow he was a stranger now, especially for Sarah. She tried to understand her own reaction to his suggestion to leave, to be alone with him. Lisa couldn’t suppress a shiver and she put the covers all over her head.
She was indeed his wife, but what did he expect from her? To jump in his bed just like that? No way, she answered herself. He would give her some time, right? And what about Sarah? All this probably caused her so much confusion that she would need therapy for years now. Where they would live? Would Sarah attend school? And what about her job? Thinking about it objectively, she deserved to be court martial for her absences…
But there was one single thought behind all that, one that chilled her with fear: Jake.
Nobody asked her about Jake, probably because Sarah was also there, but she didn’t forget even if she tried; she couldn’t. He was out there, somewhere, hunting them, everyday, all the time. Lisa closed her eyes, catching her breath again. No, she wasn’t going to let him win and destroyed them.
“I will not let him,” murmured a soft voice coming from the doorframe. She recognized it immediately and not even blink in surprise.
“How do you know?” asked her into the dark after a few seconds, pondering her question in her head.
“Because I do,” said the voice again, firm, but softly enough not to wake Sarah. Lisa chuckled a little.
“You are still as arrogant and cocky as the first day I met you,” murmured Lisa supporting her head with her hand, elbow on the bed.
“Some things never change I guess… someone told me once, that I have a ‘hero complex,” he smirked from the door.
“I guess,” said Lisa looking at him as handsome as always, just with the moonlight coming from the window.
They stood quiet for a few minutes, just listening each other breathing, somehow that little action making them feel safe.
“You don’t need to be afraid of me, you know that,” he said from his place.
“I know,” answered Lisa looking down, feeling completely expose to her husband.
“I guess 8 years made me grow up more than I gave myself credit for. I wouldn’t lie; yes, I wanted you here with me, 24/7, all by myself now that I have you, but it’s not realistic. You have your things and I have my own, and we have some common ground that we need to find out how to handle,” he said looking at Sarah sleeping next to her mother.
“I have so much in my mind Lisa, I feel so much, but one thing is I am extremely happy. No, happy can’t even described what I feel right now. I feel complete now with you here, with me. With us. But I’m not stupid; it doesn’t matter if Roy said that, and I know you are smiling under the covers,” said Rick raising an eyebrow in the dark noticing how she was indeed, doing that “I’m not stupid. I know what is coming among us, we all know. And we are ready to fight it, if this time you let us”.
Lisa couldn’t breath for a moment, in guilt and nodded in silence.
“We have kids, more than one and we know he can hurt them, but they make us stronger, not weaker. I do understand your reasons for what you did, but you have to understand our position about this, we are a team and we have always been one, you just don’t gave us enough credit that we can actually handle the situation. You are afraid for Sarah, I know; I don’t even know her and I’m afraid for her too. But think about Claudia and Roy, they have Sean and they want to fight for you too. Also Vanessa with Lizzy, Max and Miriya with Dana, they want to fight, because you are part of us, you just need to believe in that and trust us”, said Rick.
Lisa listen carefully and thought about it and even if she felt he didn’t understand her, she have to give him the benefit of the doubt. She owed him that, to all of them.
Rick looked at her one more time and said his last words for the night “We will get through this, together,” and he went away, closing the door behind him.
Lisa looked at the empty space where Rick was, feeling still confuse but somehow less alone. Maybe, just maybe, he was right. Closing her eyes, Lisa let the sleep took her away and rest the day that changed her life, again.
Sarah opened her eyes that morning and saw her mother sleeping next to her. In a quick review of the past events, she finally sighed, remembering where she was and slowly, stood up. It was a cold and gray morning and Sarah walked to the nearest window to look outside. She didn’t saw much, just a backyard with green grass and a big wall. Looking with the corner of the eye to her sleeping mother, Sarah pressed her forehead in the cold glass, closing her eyes and stood there, trying to understand and took all this.
She was scared, she knew that much. She had so much anger and insecurity inside her, and it didn’t matter what everybody said, she didn’t feel she need a father, but at the same time she knew that her mother was happy, strangely but happy even with just 8 years old, she knew deep down that she couldn’t do anything to ruin her mother’s happiness.
But that man, ohh, that man. Sarah didn’t know what he have in him but it was like every time he was around her she just wanted to hit him hard. He was indeed an attractive young man, probably even more handsome than her friend’s fathers in her, now, old school. She remembered watching the interaction between fathers and daughters with little jealousy, but she always put those feeling behind and concentrated in what she have. But now everything was different, her father, her own father, was cute enough to blind her old female classmates and probably the complete stuff of teachers. Sarah couldn’t suppress a little grin about it for a moment, but she quickly repressed it with darker thoughts and fears.
It was obvious that this man didn’t like her. Sure, he was the first thing she saw when she came out from that robot machine, and he hugged her, but she was sure it was because her mother was there. She knew better, this man wouldn’t fool her for even a second. Sarah opened her eyes and saw her pale reflection in the window… her eyes. His eyes.
Sarah sighed, thinking that it was obvious that he was going to despise her. Everybody hated her, because she was far away from what “it was expected”. The only one, who didn’t hate her, in her own opinion, was her mother.
Deep down, Sarah felt so different that normality was an impossible goal for her, but before all this happened she never worried about it, but now, she knew better. The first thing that this man, her father, had told her was that she was awful. Sarah bit her lower lip thinking about it. How it was possible that everybody told her she was like her mother? In her opinion her mother was the most beautiful woman in the Earth and she found herself as ugly as a half eaten carrot. She never found any physical similarities with her mother and she wish they have.
But nothing of that matters before, but now, now she knew her father was probably used to the “typical” girly girl.
”Why do I even care,” murmured to herself and then looked at her mother. Luckily Lisa was still asleep. Sarah sighed and thought that maybe some food in her stomach would help her sour mood. Softly she opened the door of the bedroom and stepped outside. She looked around for a minute, in front of her there was a closed door with a huge sign outside “Danger, genius working” outside. Sarah frowned and walked around. There was another door, but this one was wide open and show inside and empty and lovely bedroom, probably the bedroom of Roy and Claudia. She looked around until her nose felt the smell of coffee, toast bread and, it smelled like, eggs? Following the smell she finally found the kitchen and slowly opened the door and looked inside.
“Good morning sweetie!” said a very happy Claudia Grant.
“Hi,” answered Sarah still sleepy.
“Come in, what do you want to eat,” asked the woman inviting her to past. Sarah entered slowly and saw Roy sitting at the table reading a newspaper and smiling at her, she smiled shyly back.
“Not a morning person I guess,” joked Roy and Sarah turned a little red.
“Not much,” answered the girl honestly and sat next to him.
“Mmm… you made eggs?” said Sarah a little ashamed to be asking food to some strangers, but Claudia grinned.
“I knew it, you are like you mother. Here, eggs, toasts, butter and marmalade… but you are too little to have a coffee addiction as your mom… yet, so here… chocolate,” she said winking at Sarah and put a lot of food in front of the girl who smiled widely for the first time.
“Thanks!” said the girl and happily began eating. Roy looked at her and winked at Claudia.
They let the girl eat and didn’t ask her anything, for what Sarah was grateful. They were in relative silence, but a comfortable one. Claudia fallowed a song on the radio while she prepared a lunch pack, while Roy read the paper but followed the rhythm of the music with his foot. Sarah looked at them and realized she liked them very much.
“Here, thanks, it was really good,” she said, taking her empty plate and mug to the sink. Claudia smiled at her.
“You have a chocolate mustache,” said Roy and Sarah immediately cleaned it. He laughed and then added, “If you want to take a shower, the bathroom is done, there are clean towels you can used and your clothes are clean already, here”.
“Thank you, I’ll be right back, I promise not to use all the hot water,” said the girl and leaved the room.
Sarah found the bathroom and prepared herself for a nice shower. She step into the water and put some shampoo in her hair. Soaped herself up and down and when she was surely she was clean, she extended her hand to grabbed a tower, but for her surprised when she opened the shower curtain she found herself nose to nose with a boy.
Lisa jumped from the bed because of the scream that made the house tremble. Still asleep she ran out from the bedroom, trying to focus her eyes. Behind her, Roy and Claudia joined her in a run to the bathroom, but before they arrived they heard a hit and the scream of boy.
“GET THE HELL OUT FROM HERE YOU PERVERT!!” shout Sarah holding herself to a big towel, covering herself.
In the floor there was a boy holding his nose, which blood profusely.
“SEAN! Are you all right?” run Claudia to hold her son who was whining.
“MOM! This girl hit me, I’M BLEEDING! I’M BLEEDING!!” said the boy dramatically.
“It’s ok, don’t worry… just look up” said Roy helping his son getting up from the floor.
“What happened?!” asked Lisa coming where Sarah was angry as a tiger.
“THIS STUPID BOY ENTER THE BATHROOM AND I WAS TAKING A SHOWER! HE NOT EVEN KNOCK!!” said Sarah hysterical.
“THIS IS “MY” BATHROOM! AND YOU ARE THE STUPID ONE!” answered Sean as angry as her.
“NOBODY SAID I’M STUPID YOU…DUMBASS!” and Sarah charged against him and Sean screaming run away when he saw the angry girl ready to hit him again.
“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, DAAAAAAAAAAD HELP MEEE!” screamed the boy, but before Sarah could grab him, Lisa held her still.
“Sarah! Stop it! Calmed Down!” said the mother trying to control her daughter. She saw her and realized how very angry Sarah was.
“He saw me naked!!” said the girl, absolutely embarrassed and angry.
“Is not like you have something to hide, you know,” joked Sean hiding behind his mother and Sarah charged against him again, but Lisa held her again.
“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!!” said Sarah trying to free herself from her mother. Lisa, for her part, looked at the boy behind Claudia, amazed how genetics works. The boy was indeed a little clone of Roy, long blonde hair, probably the envy of a few girls around. He had a handsome face, and piercing blue eyes, that now were mocking Sarah. His skin was a nice mix up of the ebony skin of Claudia and Roy’s natural gold, giving the boy an enviable bronzed tone. He was an absolutely beautiful boy, of course now with his elegant nose bleeding a lot.
Lisa was concentrating so hard on looking at this little vision that she forgot for a second that she was restricting her daughter, who was kicking and pushing to the air in Sean’s direction. She come back to earth and concentrated on holding her fighting little warrior.
“You are a dead rat!” said Sarah.
“If you can catch me first, you witch!” smirked Sean and then looked for his parents
“Do you think is broke? Do I’ll need surgery Dad? I don’t want an ugly nose!”
“Let me look,” said Roy, looking at his son’s nose. “It’s fine, don’t worry… a little sore, that’s all” he said holding his laughs as much as he could. Claudia too.
“You are lucky, Stick” said Sean cleaning himself with a tissue. “If you broke it, you pay for it.”
“Who are you calling Stick??! I’ll give you something to pay… AND CRY!!” threatened Sarah, while Lisa try to hold her in place.
“Ok, the both of you stop!!” said Claudia, looking apparently angry. “Sean, apologize to Sarah for stepping in without knocking.”
“But it is MY bathroom Mom!” complained Sean.
“Apologize,” Claudia repeated, crossing her arms in front of her.
“I will not! This is not my fault, and she hit me!!” said Sean defying her, mimicking. At that moment Roy was less than useful, laughing now aloud.
“You have to understand that for us… girls, it is different. We don’t like when someone surprise us in the bathroom” explained Claudia patiently.
“Is not like she is so special…” said Sean raising an eyebrow at Sarah direction and the girl try to hit him again, but couldn’t because of Lisa. Sean laughed at her.
“Enough, you are grounded, no computer for you for 2 days,” said Claudia, Sean immediately stop laughing
“I am WHAT?” said the boy indignant.
“You heard me, no computer for 2 days,” repeated Claudia while Sean opened and closed his mouth like a fish.
“I…I have never been grounded before! DAD!” asked Sean looking at his father but Roy put his hands up in surrender.
“I will not get in this, sorry,” he said, stepping outside.
“BUT DAD!” whined Sean.
“Sarah, apologized to Sean…for hitting him” said Lisa seriously, holding Sarah close, making sure she was well covered. Lisa knew how embarrassed Sarah was, but that was no excuse for her behavior.
”I-Am So-rry” said Sarah between her teeth, looking at Sean who for, a moment, forgot he was grounded and smirked at her “Now, now, why don’t you try and MEAN IT?”
“SEAN FOKKER, go to your room, now” said Claudia pointing with her finger outside the door.
Sean, listening that tone of commanding voice turned around and left looking angry at Sarah and murmuring “Damn it, and I didn’t even pee!”
“Are you all right honey,” asked Claudia to Sarah when Sean was out. Sarah calmed herself, and, still embarrassed, nodded a yes.
“I’m so sorry Claudia, is he really ok,” asked Lisa worried.
“Yes, he will survive… don’t worry,” said Claudia smiling at her.
“Can I please change?” asked Sarah with a red face. Lisa stood up and let her free, kissing her head.
“Sure, baby, change, we will wait over the kitchen” said Lisa and Sarah just looked at her feet, nodding.
The door closed leaving her finally alone. She closed the door for sure and sat on the toilet, too embarrassed to do anything else.
“And for this, I blame you too Rick Hunter!” hissed Sarah angry hitting the floor, and processed to change into some clean clothes.
“What a way to began a day!” said Lisa sitting in the kitchen, Claudia and Roy coming behind her. When they made sure Sean wasn’t around and the door was closed, they finally laughed as much as they want, Lisa looked at them.
“Oh My… that was priceless!” said Roy sitting on a chair, holding his stomach.
“I never thought I was going to live enough to see this!” added Claudia holding to Roy.
“Are you two glad that your son got punch?” asked Lisa in wonder.
“No, no, well, yeah, a little. Look, I love my son with all my heart, but we know we’ve spoiled him rotten, and we couldn’t do anything about it. He is so vain, and he thinks he is better than everybody else, which let’s face it, he is most of the time, but he don’t need to know that, and this is the first time ever that something like this happened! Sean is very, very arrogant and to be hit by a girl, well, it will teach him a humility lesson,” explained Claudia.
“Wow, Rick told me he was… well… special, but I never thought he was going to be “that” special… and he is so beautiful!” murmured Lisa making sure none of the kids was listening them.
“Yes, he is like his father,” said Roy with pride and Lisa just raised an eyebrow.
“Sarah has a bad temper, but she shouldn’t do that,” said Lisa a little ashamed.
“It’s all right, the girl have been through hell since yesterday, she kinda needed a free punch,” said Roy smirking exactly like Sean did before.
Lisa was more calmed and after a nice really strong coffee, courtesy of Claudia, when she realized Rick wasn’t around.
“He went home, he said he need to clean the place,” explained Roy.
“Where is he living?” asked Lisa.
“Across the street, not far,” said Roy.
“What happened with our old places?” asked Lisa. Roy and Claudia looked at each other and try to find the words. “What?” Lisa asked.
“Well… things have been very different around here… those houses are now of some high officers.”
“Well, you are higher officers,” Lisa pointed out.
“Yes, but… well… since Admiral Gloval retired nothing is the same” added Roy sadly.
“Who’s in charge now? Is Admiral Gloval…”
“Yes, he is fine. Old, but still good. I know that your return will bring him some joy,” said Roy, smiling a little, Lisa looked down for a second, again feeling guilty. After a while she continued.
“Then, who is in charge of the base now?”
Both Claudia and Roy looked uncomfortable with the question.
“I think there is no way to say this with anesthesia. Maistroff is in charge,” said Roy. Lisa just blinked.
“Oh shit, now I’m really screwed up,” said Lisa supporting her forehead on the table.
Lisa knew that her absence from the RDF was cause of a Court Martial, but somehow she always had the faith that, if one day she return, Admiral Gloval was going to be there for her, even though she didn’t deserve any help. Technically she committed desertion. But now with Maistroff in charge, he would want her head on a silver plate.
“Don’t worry about it Lisa, not now,” said Claudia sympathetically.
“No, no, no… I’m so dead,” repeat Lisa over and over.
Rick walked into the kitchen and saw Lisa like that.
“What happened,” he asked concerned.
“She knows which lovely general is in charge now,” answered Roy taking his newspaper again “Oh yeah…plus your daughter kicked my son’s butt this morning, literally,” he said smirking.
Rick blinked a couple of time taking it. ‘Daughter? Oh yeah, I have a daughter!’ he thought.
“She did?” he asked dumbly.
“Yeah, he came into the bathroom while she was taking a shower. She almost broke his nose. Some girl you have there, Hunter,” joked Roy folding his newspaper to keep reading.
“Oh yeah, I know it myself,” said Rick remembering the good kick ass that Sarah gave him, while Lisa kept repeating “I’m so dead,” over and over again against the table.
After some time trying to calm Lisa, which was almost an impossible mission, Sarah knock at the door and come inside, fully clothed and still embarrassed.
“Morning,” said Rick, uneasy to her.
“Hi,” answered Sarah and sat next to Lisa.
A tense silence settled in the room, no one knew what to say.
“Errr… the house is clean now, if you want to go there,” Rick offered, a little embarrassed.
“Sure, but I think we need to go shopping first. Sarah and I don’t have anything at all,” commented Lisa and Rick nodded.
“Of course, you wanted to go to the mall or a shopping center?” he asked, looking from Lisa to Sarah.
“What? Do you think that because I’m a girl I like to go shopping,” asked Sarah, unconsciously picking a fight with him.
“No, that wasn’t my intention at all… I just thought it was the best place…”
“Do me a favor, and don’t think,” answered the girl still very irritable.
“Sarah! Don’t talk to your father like that,” intervened Lisa.
Both of them kept quiet looking at each other, studying each other like a predator looking at the pray.
“As much as I love to witness this display of affection, I have to go. I have to keep an eye in those newbies in the sky,” said Roy standing up and kissing Claudia on the cheek.
“Remember, today you cook mister, so be on time,” Claudia reminded him.
“Yes Ma’am,” smirked Roy, and waved to everyone on the table.
“I guess is a good time for us to go, we been imposing too much in here,” said Lisa standing up and coming close to Claudia.
“Please, impose as much as you want,” said Claudia hugging her. “I’m just glad my best friend is finally back.”
“Me too, Claudia, me too,” said Lisa touched by her words.
“I will tell everybody that you are at Rick’s… I mean, at ‘The Hunter’s’,” Claudia winked at Lisa. Sarah gulped with the realization that she will become ‘Sarah Hunter’.
They said their goodbyes and went outside to the cold morning. Rick slowly took Lisa’s left hand in his right, and waited for her reaction. Lisa looked at their hands together and smiled at him, understanding that he needed to feel her close. Sarah followed her mother watching him closely, still mad, for everything.
Lisa was excited and nervous when they crossed the street in direction to his… their house. Rick opened the door and not even thinking about it, took Lisa in his arms. She gasped and then giggled at the sudden move and put her arms around his neck.
“Well, here we are, not a palace, but is ours. Welcome home Mrs. Hunter,” said Rick inches apart from her mouth.
Lisa, finally feeling a little more easy going around him, smiled and said the one thing Rick missed the most, and didn’t realize it until now.
“Thank you very much Mr. Hayes,” and she kissed him softly on the lips for a few seconds.
“EWWW, give me a break,” said Sarah making a face and coming inside the house before them, leaving both grown ups in a funny position, in each others arms and ready to laughed for her reaction.
To Be Continued…
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I just want to thank with all my heart to all of you who have leave me a review in this past months. I had the longest writers block ever I guess… but looks like is over. I hope you like this new chapter of Bittersweet Destiny and, as always, send you, my lovely reader, from tears of angst to tears of joy… if I did that to you, please, let me know, you know much I like to know what you boys and girls, think.
I want to thank specially Peter for beta me, to me dearest K71, to my friend Jo (Happy Birthday!), Lela-Chan and I want to welcome and thanks Misa and Reflex for the comments, I am SO happy you guys read it and like this story!
Once again, a huge thanks and a hug and a kiss to all of you, you have no idea how happy you all made me. Special thanks to my lovely “crew” in the DYRL forum. I love you all!!
I promise I’ll update often!! ^^