Chapter 8

Warnings: A Spanish bad-word or two. Or an English one. Or both.

Walking through the myriad of pathways, he wound his way back through the buildings until he found the tall oak he had stood under when he and Hector had fought. Refusing to acknowledge the sudden thudding of his heart in his chest, he cut around towards the front of the building.

And suddenly he was stopped in his tracks.

She was there, in front of her apartment, and so was her daughter, but they weren’t alone. Carlos’ steps slowed until he had stopped altogether and watched as a tall, leanly muscled man with his wavy blonde hair pulled back at the nape of his neck lean in and embrace Christiana. From where Carlos stood, he couldn’t hear what was being said, but it didn’t matter. He could deduce it for himself when he saw the man kiss her head tenderly before pulling away. Then he was stooping to hug Lilah –kissing her on the cheek – before stepping back.

Carlos faltered. He felt as if a vast, aching trench was being opened in his chest. He hesitated only briefly before turning away to disappear behind the building the way he’d come.

—————–

Carlos didn’t leave his apartment at all the entire weekend. He suffered in silence in the heat of the indoors, turning fans on in the windows to entice a cool breeze; taking to splashing his face with cold water from the tap and letting his skin air-dry. The air was stagnant, humid, and unmoving.

And all the while the memory of her scorched him endlessly. Stuck right into the walls of the room she’d sat in. Lingered in the curtains.

He avoided that room, too. At least for the first day. He didn’t want to go back to the awkward shyness between them, or the disappointment that she didn’t seem as happy to see him as he was her. He didn’t want to be reminded of the fact that despite the years between when he’d first met her until now…his attraction to her was even stronger.

Because even while he had been talking politely with her, trying to keep the conversation moving – inside, his mind had been lusting after her, recalling images and fantasies he hadn’t dreamt of in years, which were hardly appropriate for polite conversation.

Irritated that he couldn’t force her from his mind, he reluctantly sprawled on the couch and turned on the television – a habit he rarely ever did unless completely inundated with boredom like he was now – and tried to let the mindless shows blot Christiana from his mind.

Flipping idly, he found a station with a local news broadcast and he settled himself a little more firmly into the cushion of the couch, ignoring the idea that he was sitting where she had been. It was as if the memory wouldn’t let him rest; it kept jabbing him in the hip whenever he got too comfortable. He was seriously considering just moving to the other side, sliding away from her, and he put his hand down onto the cushion to do just that.

“Ow,” he said softly, pulling his hand away from the cushion quickly. He looked down and saw a piece of thin plastic sticking out from between the cushion and the side of the couch. “…The hell?”

He reached down and pulled the plastic piece out of the couch and soon realized it was attached to a lanyard, with an employee identification card within the plastic sleeve. And staring back at him was a picture of Christiana, smiling proudly as an employee at Fairview Hospital.

Carlos slumped back, holding the card up to look at her. A strange sadness crept in on him as he thought again about how disappointing their reunion had gone. He remembered what he’d said to Hector the afternoon they’d fought at his home…the last time he’d seen his brother before the accident:

“She could be married and have five or six kids by now! She could be a drug addled whore for all you know, just like Lupe!” Hector had said, pounding his fist down on the table.

 

The bite of his brother’s words had stung. The truth of them stung even harder. Carlos had pushed back from the table, the sound of the chair’s legs scraping loudly against the wood, echoing in his memory.

 

“Fuck! Why can’t you understand me? Huh? I need closure, Hector. If she’s married, or has kids, or is addicted to heroin, then at least I can know and be finished with this!”

Staring at the ID card hanging from his hand, he smiled ruefully back at her image. Alone, with no one here to know otherwise, he’d admit that he’d never intended on getting over her. Not even once. When he’d made plans to come down here on his vacation, he had every intention of trying to find her, and if she were still single, he’d seduce her as he once had, and bring her back with him and never let go.

But it changed everything now that she had a child. It meant that there were more complications that he would just get in the way of. She might have a boyfriend. In fact, he was sure of it, since she’d jumped up so quickly when her phone had rang. As if she were late for a date.

And who was he to stand in front of the life she’d chosen? He certainly couldn’t come between her and Lilah, that much he knew, but to come between her and a boyfriend…to convince her to just pack up her things and move with him…there was nothing in that deal that benefited her. She’d be getting an old, washed up cop with angry scars and an even angrier, bitter soul to go along with them. He was worth nothing to her.

He checked the time. Almost seven. She should be home now, on a Sunday evening. And this lanyard was clearly something of importance. He’d have to give it back to her. She might not even know it was missing.

And in the process he’d indulge just one more chance to see her. It was his own form of Hell, anyway.

Walking through the myriad of pathways, he wound his way back through the buildings until he found the tall oak he had stood under when he and Hector had fought. Refusing to acknowledge the sudden thudding of his heart in his chest, he cut around towards the front of the building.

And suddenly he was stopped in his tracks.

She was there, in front of her apartment, and so was her daughter, but they weren’t alone. Carlos’ steps slowed until he had stopped altogether and watched as a tall, leanly muscled man with his wavy blonde hair pulled back at the nape of his neck lean in and embrace Christiana. From where Carlos stood, he couldn’t hear what was being said, but it didn’t matter. He could deduce it for himself when he saw the man kiss her head tenderly before pulling away. Then he was stooping to hug Lilah –kissing her on the cheek – before stepping back.

Carlos faltered. He felt as if a vast, aching trench was being opened in his chest. He hesitated only briefly before turning away to disappear behind the building the way he’d come.

*****

“Thanks, Colton, for driving her up here,” Christiana said as she hugged her brother-in-law. He dropped a kiss affectionately on top of her head.

“No problem,” he said, pulling away. He bent down and opened his arms for Lilah to hug him. “We had a fun ride, didn’t we, kiddo?”

“Yep!” Lilah grinned enthusiastically. She obliged him when he asked for a kiss, and then he was up, unfolding to his full height. He smiled gently at them. “I’ll see you in a week?”

Christiana nodded enthusiastically as he backed away. She raised her hand to wave to him. “Safe trip,” she called after him.

“Bye!” Lilah waved, bouncing. She bounded forward in a large leap and spun around. “Look Mommy! I jumped far!”

“Yes, you did,” Christiana answered her. She beckoned with her hand. “Let’s get you ready for a bath…” She was cut off.

“Oh, it’s the man!” Lilah exclaimed.

Before Christiana could even clearly ask whom her daughter meant, Lilah and took off running down between the buildings. Christiana’s hand reached out to catch her but she missed.

“Lilah!” Christiana said sharply. Lilah ignored her. “Lilah, come back here!”

Carlos, whom Christiana had no idea had been near, had heard her shout and turned around to see Lilah skidding to a stop in the grass in front of him, smiling up at him triumphantly. He murmured a soft ‘hello,’ to her as she pushed her hair back from her face.

Delilah Elena,” Christiana said coming to a stop in front of her disobedient daughter. Her hands on her hips, she frowned down at her. Lilah’s smile faltered as she encountered her mother’s expression.

Christiana’s voice was stern. “Lilah, when I say ‘come back here’, I need you to listen to me!”

Lilah’s lower lip pushed out slightly, looking back at Carlos for help. Carlos wavered, uncomfortable.

Christiana bent down and turned Lilah back towards her gently. She kept her voice serious. “It’s not safe for you to run away from me like that, Lilah, do you understand? You can’t just take off like that. You could get hurt.”

Lilah had trained her eyes on the ground. She nodded solemnly.

With the gentle press of her fingers, Christiana tipped Lilah’s chin up so that she could make eye contact. “Do you understand why I yelled?” she asked. Lilah’s chin wobbled a little as she nodded her head in her mother’s hand. “And do you have anything to say?” Christiana prompted.

“I’m sorry,” came Lilah’s soft reply.

“Thank you,” Christiana murmured, passing her hand over the top of Lilah’s head. She smiled slightly at Carlos as she stood again. “My turn to apologize,” she said to him, holding Lilah in front of her. “She gets a little over-excited.”

He smiled gently, shaking his head. “No need to apologize.” He gestured towards the front of the building. “You looked busy, so I was going to come back another time. I have something of yours.”

He reached into his pocket and brought out her hospital lanyard with her employee badge. She gasped, letting him drop the plastic sleeve into her waiting palm. “Oh my gosh, I’ve been looking for this all weekend! You have seriously just saved my butt!”

She smiled up at him so radiantly, it made his heart catch. He mumbled a little belatedly. “You’re welcome.”

Her eyes were warm. “Are you hungry? I can make you something,” she asked. He held his palm out towards her, shaking his head slightly. “Oh, no, I’m not…”

“Please,” she said, a little breathlessly. “It’s the least I can do. Plus then we can…talk.”

Everything within him screamed that this was a horrible idea. Retreat…retreat…sound the alarm…

But within two minutes he found himself being led up the staircase into her apartment, with a bouncing and chattering Lilah between them, and a curling black cloud above his head because he’d somehow managed to say ‘yes’ to her.

“Mommy, I want to have dinner, too!” Lilah crowed as they reached the landing. Christiana chuckled and ruffled her daughter’s hair.

“Silly goose, you just ate. It’s almost time for bed anyway…” she said, trailing off as her eyes lit upon  the car-seat leaning hopefully at the end of the couch. Carlos stood to the side of the hallway, feeling so awkward his nerves were chaffing. He heard her give a soft, muffled cry of frustration.

“Oh no, I needed to give that to him!” she lamented almost absently, as if she’d forgotten anyone else was there. She stamped her foot – in anger, he assumed – and she muttered something under her breath about forgetting everything.

Seeing her berate herself as she was…the way her lips tilted downward in a disappointed pout…it made a tremor of awareness traveled down his spine. He remembered that pout. It was clear as a picture in his mind. He wanted to do the same thing he’d done that night: tug on her lower lip with his teeth, kiss the pout away, and feel the softness of her lips melting against his.

What the hell? He wasn’t here to continue with his ridiculous fantasies…he was here to get her out of his mind, as clearly as he was out of hers. He assumed when she said “him”, she meant the boyfriend that had just dropped off Lilah. Pompous, tall bastard that he doubtlessly was.

So then what in god’s name was he – Carlos – even doing here?

He was simply indulging his last wish to be around her, that’s what, and then he’d divorce himself of her presence entirely. This was his one last act of selfishness…but damned if he was going to let her win by making him daydream about her naked form writhing beneath him, or conjure the memory of the sound of her breathless moans…

Dammit. With impatience – and more difficulty than he’d like to admit – he stamped down the crazed desire running through him. He scowled out the window, ignoring Lilah’s idle chatter.

Christiana turned to him, her eyes wide and beseeching, and he had to blink to wake up from the bitter turn of his thoughts. She was asking him something.

“Is that okay? I’ll be really, really fast, I promise! I just have to run down to the docks with this –” She gestured to the car-seat in her hand by lifting it. “– before the ferry takes off.”

Carlos looked down at the car-seat hanging in her hands and then at Lilah, then back to Christiana. “You want me to watch her for you?” he guessed, irritated at himself for not having listened before.

Christiana bit her lip. “Do you mind?”

Carlos’ thoughts were suddenly entertaining themselves with images of those lips again. He barely registered that she was awaiting his answer. “Of course I don’t mind,” he heard himself say.

Apparently she had the ability to make him agree to anything she wanted. Somewhere in the back of his mind he stowed away that small nugget of fact for later evaluation.

He nearly kicked himself for the hasty reply as she quickly took him up on it. Her hand landed on his forearm and gave a grateful squeeze as she promised again that she’d be right back, and that she’d owe him a much bigger dinner for it, and then she was down the stairs and out the door.

Now, he was facing a five year old little girl whom he barely knew, acting as babysitter. Great.

The notion put him almost immediately into an even fouler mood. He twitched his arm, trying to rid the imprinted feeling of her touch.

“…and my room has ‘em all over the walls, Mr. Carlos!” Lilah was speed-talking again, and he had missed what she was describing.

“What?” he asked crossly.

“Butterflies! My mommy made my room full of butterflies. Wanna see?” She smiled up at him.

“Your room? No, let’s stay down here and wait for your mom,” he said. “Do you like TV?” He reached for the remote, hoping he’d be able to work it correctly.

Lilah shrugged. “It’s okay. But the butterflies are better! Come on!” She tugged on his left arm and the sensation jolted into his bad shoulder. He jerked his hand back.

“I don’t want to see your room, Lilah.” He was sure the words snapped out of him much too harshly than he’d intended.

He was angry. Angry at having let himself get into this situation. He was in her apartment – where her life was excruciatingly real, if the moment with the blonde boyfriend were any form of demonstration – and where he was entirely in the way.

He shouldn’t have come here. He would only cause havoc in their lives. Hell, he should be smart and leave the second she was back, before he caused another accident to happen. Another explosion.

Lilah put both hands on her hips and frowned at him. “You need a time-out!” she said with authority. Her words brought him up short; his lips quirked at the corners.

“I need a time-out?”

“Yes,” she said vehemently. “You’re crabby. Follow me.”

She turned on her heel and marched out to the hallway. He followed out of amusement, and nearly lost it when she pointed with conviction to the small chair stuck under the stairs. It was shaped like a bear, with paws for arms, and there was no way he could fit under there.

“That’s the time-out chair,” she explained. “You need to sit there and think about why you’re crabby. I’ll go easy and give you only two minutes this time.” This last was clearly a repeat of something her mother must have said to her at one time. It simply added to her natural charm.

A slow chuckle rumbled out of his chest. “I am crabby, aren’t I?” he mused. He laughed outright when she bobbed her head up and down. Like wiping chalk from a blackboard, she’d managed to clear his head completely of the blackened mood he’d had, leaving behind it only puffs of smoke and a vague shadow of what had been there; nothing concrete enough to make any sense.

He knelt down so that he could look her in the eye. “I am sorry, Lilah. I will try not to be crabby anymore. Will you show me your room with the butterflies now?”

He saw her eyes light up and she grinned before scrambling up the stairs ahead of him, his punishment forgotten.

Once inside her bedroom, he made sure he sounded impressed when she showcased the many butterfly appliqués across her walls. She pointed out the butterflies on her curtains, on her dresser, on her closet, on her lamp. She led him over to her bed and sat him down on the edge and traced the butterflies with her forefinger across the bedspread, all the while still chattering away non-stop.

Carlos listened to her, letting her five-year-old world of butterflies soften the cruel, hard edges of his own. It was a moment before he realized she had finally quieted and she was staring intently at his left cheek. He looked down at her.

“Where’d you get the scars from, Mr. Carlos?” she asked, her innocent curiosity getting the better of her.

“I got them from a burn,” he answered.

“You got a sunburn?”

He laughed. “No, not sunburn. This was from…” he hesitated, looking for the right way to explain it without scaring her. “From being too close to a fire,” he finished lamely.

Her eyes widened and then she scowled at him. “You shouldn’t get close to a fire, Mr. Carlos!” she scolded him.

He laughed again, delighted by her scolding. “I’ll remember that, now.”

“Will they go away?” she asked, and he shook his head. “No.”

“Do they hurt?”

He shook his head again, amused at her curiosity. “Not anymore. Now they’re numb. Here, see?” He touched the left side of his face with his fingers. All he could feel was the pressure on the cheek and a slight prickling sensation as if his fingertips had tiny nubs on them, but that was all.

Lilah reached her hand up and touched his cheek carefully with one fingertip. “It’s numb?”  she questioned. He hummed in answer, and she continued to poke softly at his skin. Then, “Oh! You have chocolate milk in your skin, too, just like me!”

He paused for a second, confused by her statement. He laughed once. “Chocolate milk in my skin? What do you mean?”

Lilah thrust her hand down next to his arm and smiled up at him enthusiastically, as if this explained everything. “Mommy says that everyone has different skins! An’ that I just have chocolaty-er milk in my skin than she does. But she says my skin’s a Poreekin chocolate milk.” She said all of this extremely fast, and Carlos had trouble understanding what she meant. He tried to repeat the words she’d said.

“‘Poreekin chocolate milk’…You mean Puerto Rican?”

“Yep! Poreekin because my daddy’s Poreekin, too!” She smiled up at him, pleased with finding the similarities in their skin colors. Oblivious to the fact that his lungs had just stopped working.

“Lilah,” he said slowly, turning so he could see her better from his good eye. “Where is your daddy? Where does he live?”

She traced a few more butterflies with her finger as she answered him. “I don’t know,” she said lightly with a brief shrug. “I don’t know him. But Mommy says he’s a magician!”

“A magician?” he asked. His lips were barely able to move.

Lilah bobbed her head up and down. “Uh huh! She said he had to leave, but he knew that she needed a little magic, so he left her me!”

She beamed proudly up at him, her eyes wide and bright…

And green.

Not the green-gray hue of her mother’s eyes…no. They were green like the soft Spanish moss on a southern Georgia oak. The exact same green as his mother’s eyes. As his brother’s. As his.

And suddenly he could see everything in her features. He hadn’t been looking for similarities before, but he saw them now…oh, he saw them now.

Her eyes, a dead give-away. Her nose. Her brow, her skin, her hair, even her mannerisms. How had he not seen them before? Because you weren’t even looking before, niggled a voice from within him. Not once did you ever think she was your daughter…

His daughter.

Realization dawned swiftly; his blood went cold. “Chingado.” The words left him on a breath. Son of a bitch.

He heard the front door open and close from below – heard Christiana moving around as she entered the apartment. She called up that she was back, and Lilah launched herself off the bed, tugging his arm happily.

And his shock quickly made room for anger. The air around him seemed to sizzle and crack as he stood. His legs strode him from the room, descended the stairs into the hall, directed him into the living room where Christiana was setting down her purse.

She turned to smile at him, but with one look at his face, her smile withered almost instantly – replaced with a look of sheer panic.

And Carlos saw red.

———————–

Thanks to deagh for the help on the Spanish!

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35 Comments

Filed under Chapter 8

35 responses to “Chapter 8

  1. kelseypinkshoe

    OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD NOOOOOOO YOU CAN’T END THE CHAPTER NOW.

    I’M DYING HERE!

    THAT WAS AMAZING.

    Seriously, Lilah is the absolute cutest. She’s just wonderful and hilarious and precious (i.e. the time-out; I died). I love hearing her explain her father in her own five-year-old logic. 🙂 And omgomgomgomgomgomgomg I have to know what happens next!

  2. Nyxie

    I’ve been suffering withdrawals from this story for weeks now, and this is where you leave it? Are you trying to kill me? Are you?

  3. whitney

    I think I just had a heart attack here! He figured it out and right as Christiana was returning too….oh my why to leave it at a climax so I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next chapter. I love reading this and the McTavish stories and try to keep up on both of them since they intertwine.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you liked it 🙂 And sorry to leave it at such a cliffhanger haha. We’ll find out what’s going to happen soon enough though.

      You’re in luck; the McTavishams are on a small break so that I can focus more clearly on Spanish Lullaby here… so there won’t be any jockeying back and forth for a little bit at least 🙂 I’ll still be posting extra stuff over there, though. Fun stuff, too. 😉

  4. I can’t believe you ended it there!!! You are a cruel, cruel woman, lol! I am DYING to hear what Carlos has to say now.

    And my gosh, Lilah just kills me! Putting Carlos in time out and talking about her Poreekin chocolate milk skin – so adorable!

    • ahhahaha thanks Carla! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      Lilah putting Carlos in time-out because of his mood has go to be just one of my favorite moments I’ve ever written. ^_^

  5. You my dear are extremely talented at raising the emotions and then leaving me with the largest cliffhanger ever. I didn’t expect things to move as fast and I didn’t expect them to go in this direction, can’t wait for the next update

    • Oh, forgot to mention. Why is he so angry? He didn’t have a way to contact her, so I’m a bit confused as to why he would be angry.

      • Thank you starrsim! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

        Carlos is angry, if only because of the way he’s had to find out. Christiana didn’t tell him…he had to piece it together. Logically, yes, he’s jumping the gun. But since when did men ever really react logically? 😉

        …Kidding. Kinda. =X

  6. Hayley

    Oh my goodness! That was an amazing chapter! I’ve mentioned before that you are a fabulous writer, but it seems like its the one comment that keeps popping up in my mind whenever I read the next chapter.
    Ahh, Carlos. He seemed to be a decently likeable character when he had first met Christiana. (I understand that he’s bitter about a lot of things) but honestly I want to go smack him. He is being such a jerk. I don’t know how things will go for him in the next chapter, but does he honestly expect to know about Lilah if he had no way of contacting her and vice versa? This is definitely a heat of the moment situation for him…but I really wish he would think about the repercussions–the possibility of losing Christiana and Lilah forever. And I would love to see him change his crappy attitude change! haha Oh, Carlos… -_-
    Also these cliffhangers are so awful! lol It’s practically unbearable! Just remember that I’m going to be taunted by this for the rest of the week (“is it out yet? is it out yet? i wonder what will happen next? is it out yet?”)

    • Thank you so much Hayley! 🙂 I am so glad that you’re enjoying it.

      And lol at your jerk comment. You’re right, he’s a being a jerk because he won’t wake up and actually communicate, haha. Stupid man.

      I’ll remember 😉 I do the same thing, but in reverse: “omg it’s not out yet…it’s not out yet! when will this editing be done? it’s not out yet!!” heh. Don’t worry. I won’t be too long 🙂

  7. Qui

    I just died! I scrolled back up praying you didn’t end it there!!

    I want so badly to say that Carlos is in love with Christiana but I’m not so sure anymore. All the signs are there though. He can’t get her out of his mind and the mere touch of her skin causes him to lose it. Sounds and looks like love but damn if that scowl at the end didn’t scare the shit out of me!

    Lilah is so cute! “Poreekin” cracked me up!!! She is an absolute doll and the way she brings Carlos out of his funk is wonderful! I just hope that now, he’ll do what he can to get to know her before he is sent back to FL.

    I think I get his anger. She was in his apartment and had the chance to tell him about Lilah but at the same time she didn’t have the chance. That’s not something you can just spring on someone you haven’t seen in years and barely know!

    I don’t want to rush you but we’re dying!!!!!! We need more!!!

    Now I shall reread 😀

    • Hey Qui!!

      Ahh man, you’re the second person to say something along those lines about it being too abrupt. Is the last line getting lost because of the picture? “And Carlos saw red.”? I can move the picture somewhere else so that line doesn’t get “eaten up” by it when your eyes are moving down the paragraph. I’d rather the line be there than the scowly-picture, you know?

      Okay…momentary panic gone.

      Carlos doesn’t believe in love, so for us to tell him flat out that he’s in love…well, he’d deny it. Vehemently deny it. And to a point, he barely knows her, even now. But you’re right; if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

      I love Lilah too, so much. Her little antics are absolutely heart-warming to him. He likes kids a lot more than he’ll admit.

      And yes, exactly, he’s angry that she didn’t tell him when she had the chance (much like the majority of my readers last chapter, heh!!) but of course he’s not listening to logic in his head right now, he’s mad he had to find out this way. He’s mad that he wasn’t even given a warning. Is it unjustified? Absolutely. But most arguments are usually preempted by something that was unjustifiable anyway, if you think about it. (Of course, they always FEEL justifiable, which really gets in the way of things, hah).

      Thanks Qui!! <333

      • Qui

        Oh no, I saw the last line first because I look at the shots after I’ve read everything.

        It’s a duck! And he is in something! Heavy like if he wants to call it that but there is something there; far more than attraction!

        Men. Leave it to men to jump the gun and not count all the cards in their hands before they scream “Cheater!”. She did ask him before she left the first time if they could meet up again and talk then before she left this time, she said talk. I do understand where he is coming from but I understand more because I am a mother. I can’t imagine having to tell someone after 5 years “Umm yeah, you left something behind last time”. lol

        God I love this!!

      • “Umm yeah, you left something behind last time.”

        LMFAO!!!!!!! Thanks for the laugh Qui!!! I needed that tonight 🙂

  8. open_the_blinds

    Dun, dun, duuunnn….

    Now, now, Carlos, we can’t be too angry, now can we? After all, she had a first name and a state. Kind of hard for her to find and inform you, yes? Good. Don’t do anything too stupid now. There’s a good boy.

  9. I’m glad that he knows the truth now, I was afraid they would dance around it for a while……..I think Carlos’ anger is maybe a little fear, because after all how can he be angry? They had a one night stand and he left and went back to his life, no last names, no way to contact each other. He’s going through so much right now and anger is really the easiest emotion to deal with. Much better than sadness and fear. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out. Lilah is simply adorable!

    • I LOVE how you say anger is the easiest emotion to deal with. You’re so right…and that’s exactly how it is for him. Fear? Most men spend a lot of their time denying they have them. Sadness? Same thing. But anger…anger is a “manly” emotion. It hearkens back to cave-men age. 😛 Haha but you have no idea…I actually did a little victory dance when I read this. Thanks for making my night 🙂

  10. Koraliene

    This chapter was as absolutely amazing as every other. Now that Carlos is upset with Christiana for not telling him about Delilah, I’m sure there will be some drama, but it gives him a reason to stay with her and realize she’s not just a fantasy from years ago–she’s a woman with flaws, just like him, and they can work.

    • “but it gives him a reason to stay with her and realize she’s not just a fantasy from years ago”
      Yes, it does, doesn’t it? Oh, how that fantasy seems to just be crashing down all around him now… 🙂

      Thanks Koraliene!!

  11. Why are you angry, Carlos?!?!

    God, I love Lilah, she is so adorable. I love how Carlos started putting things together… Except that Colton sooo is not Christiana’s boyfriend, lol!!!

    Next chapter!!!!

    • haha I’m so glad everyone else loves Lilah just as much as I do. And I really had a fun time putting the pieces together for Carlos while he was thinking them. And of course I had to throw in a little “Three’s Company” misunderstanding w/ the Colton thing. He’ll feel pretty silly when he realizes the truth of that one. 🙂

      Thanks Mela!

  12. There exists a very fine line between love and lust, and I agree with Qui ~ I’m not so sure anymore which is which. Does he love her, or is he just clinging to the memory of that night in Covena?
    Either way, I think I can grasp an understanding his emotions and exactly what he is going through.
    But, hey! Bad things happen, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so “Hakuna Matata”.
    PS: He’s in absolutely NO position to be mad at her.

  13. hah you’re right, he’s not in any position to be mad at her. But someone above pointed out that anger is one of the easiest emotions to grab on to, too. I’m sure we’ll see how he handles the conversation w/ christiana… it’s inevitable, anyway!!

    “Hakuna Matata” indeed. That is a good motto to live by.

    Thanks!

  14. whitney

    waiting on next chapter.

    • I knowww 😦 I’m sorry. It’s coming. It’s getting closer, now. I just have some more venues to build / make look appropriate. I think I’m almost done though. Then it’s just smacking the the rest of the chapter together.

  15. Blu Paws

    I’m really glad I was recommended this story. It’s story line is so interesting…a mixture of so many emotions. Beautiful writing and imagery(even without the images!)..especially the pictureless Night in Covena. 2 thumbs up! 3 if I had more to give…y’know what?, I’ll throw in 2 big toes. =)
    Although Carlos is being called a jerk by a lot of people, I still feel bad for the guy. It’s a lot easier to say to someone live your life a certain way when the life you have is debted to your best friend’s/partner’s sacrifice. And not to mention the daily reminding scars and lack of vision. I’m just going to be patient with Carlos because, honestly, this is how I’d expect a lot of people (myself included) to act. If he were to go on living the exact same way like nothing’s changed immediately after the incident, then I would be seriously concerned. He’s dealt with this for some months and there’s so much more time he needs to grieve his friend and himself. Anger is very easy, both in dealing with his helpful/overbearing brother as well as with Christiana.
    And leave it to his own flesh and blood to draw him out of his “crabby” mood. Lilah is too much. Her and Lydia would tire him out completely. ^^
    Anyway, maybe I should head on over to read the McT’s and get better acquainted with the characters while I wait for another awesome post.

    • Thank you so much for this!! I am really glad you enjoyed it. I’m also really glad you can sympathize with Carlos (I was beginning to feel I was the only one!) haha. Lilah and Lydia in the same room….oy…..that would exhaust anyone!!! ^_^ More to come soon! I promise 🙂

  16. desayuno

    Just started reading this and the McTavishams. I think I’m becoming totally addicted to your writing! I love this chapter, and can’t wait for the next one!

  17. No!!!! You ended it here!?!?! I can’t wait for the second part! I had a feeling that he would find out this way. It took him long enough though! Silly, Carlos. I knew she was his as soon as I spotted her. I hope he doesn’t rip into her too hard, I mean, give her the benefit. I can’t wait….

    • haha thank you!! It’s been wayyyy too long between chapters… I’ve been dealing with some RL issues that has impacted my writers block so bad, but the next chapter IS coming along. Shouldn’t be too long of a wait now 🙂

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