Wednesday, 2 March 2011

CHAPTER 2.8: We are family

After Audra had downed the serum her brothers followed suit, apart from the youngest Casper.

It was strange to see her brothers and take in their true eye colour for the first time.

For days after Audra had spent hours admiring herself in the mirror. 
Running her fingers over her smooth, healthy complexion and trying to spot each fleck of colour in her own golden brown eyes.

After the families transformation some important decisions were made. 
Caleb, who was reassured by his families acceptance of his relationship with Callum, decided to take the next step and asked his boyfriend to move in with him.

Callum immediately accepted and the pair moved to an apartment down town.

Casper had excelled in his job at the Llama stadium and had been promoted to minor leaguer. 
It meant that he would be expected to move around a lot with the team. 

He wanted Elena and Delta to go with him.

"But Delta has just started school, I don't like the idea of her having to move around all the time."  Elena said.

"I'll turn down the offer then."  Casper stated, barely concealing his disappointment.
"She could always stay here, that way she can stay in school and the two of you can be together."  Audra offered.

Casper and Elena looked at each other.  "Only if Delta agrees."  Casper concluded.

Delta was a smart girl, she heard what the grown ups were saying and she could see how much her Dad wanted this job. 

She didn't want to be parted from him or her Mom but she also didn't want to leave her Aunt and Grandpa behind. 

When her Dad asked her what she thought she said, "Go be a superstar Dad."

Casper hugged his little girl close to him, it was the hardest choice he'd ever had to make. 
His job was all he had wanted since he was a little kid but when Delta had come along she had stolen his heart. 

To hear her words of encouragement made his decision that little bit easier to make.

Casper's heart wasn't the only one to have been stolen by a little girl, Tate was smitten with Eliza. 

While Audra worked at the ER he would take care of Eliza, teaching her how to talk and walk.  She fast became the light of his life.
Seeing the two of them together melted Audra's heart in a way she never thought possible.  
When Patrick died she had truly believed that her heart would remain forever closed, but having Eliza had opened it back up. 

She was filled with so much love for her little girl that she couldn't imagine how she had ever thought that love and commitment were such terrible things.

That morning she found Tate as usual in the garden that he had so lovingly created for her. 

Watching his steady hands at work as he carefully tended the plants she recalled the day he had proposed to her at this very spot. 

She had been so afraid of that little box and its contents she had yelled out "No!" before he could even ask the question.
Seeing Audra as she watched him work, Tate decided it was time for a break. 

He didn't see Audra that often as her job meant long hours, so each moment he had with her he cherished. 

He took her face in his hands and stared at her beautiful face.  Although she had changed immeasurably since the anti virus she was still the girl he had fallen in love with all those years earlier in high school.

She said nothing, but the look in her eye told Tate that she had something important to say to him. 

He took a deep breath, he had always suspected that this day would come but he was sad to have it upon him so soon. 

Tate knew what she was about to say, he knew she was about to tell him they were over.

But instead she dropped to one knee and produced a familiar looking box.  He recognised it immediately, it was the engagement ring he had bought her years before. 

He thought he had hidden it well at the bottom of his sock drawer, but obviously his hiding places were sorely lacking.

"Tate." She started, "You offered me this ring once, and i was too afraid of what it meant.  But if you still want me to, it would make me so happy to wear it now."
The ring sparkled under the glare of the summer sun as Tate looked down into the face of the woman he loved.

"I'm supposed to be the one on the floor!"  he exclaimed.

"Just say that you'll marry me.  Please?"  Audra asked.
"There's nothing i want more."  He replied and he pulled her up into a passionate embrace.

Audra wanted a small wedding with just close friends and family attending. 
She thought it was fitting that they held the ceremony in the garden where they had both proposed to each other.

When the wedding day arrived she was nervous, her stomach filled with a million butterflies. 

Jonny regarded his only daughter in the mirror as she readied herself, she was so headstrong and fearless.  The determination with which she had pursued finding the cure was truly inspirational to him.

"I'm so proud of you Sweetheart."  He told her, "I know without a doubt that i made the right choice when i left you in charge of the family."

"Thanks Dad."  She replied, but her shoulders sagged and her mood seemed to shift.

"What is it?  Cold feet?" Jonny asked jokingly.

Audra shook her head, "No, well maybe, but not how you think." 
She sighed frustrated at her inability to explain her feelings.
"I'm not sure i can go through with the wedding."  She blurted out, "I'm a fraud, Tate deserves so much better than me."

Jonny took Audra's hand and guided her to the edge of the bed, sitting down next to her he said, "Why would say such a thing, you know Tate loves you. Don't you?"

Audra nodded through her tears, "I know he does, that's not the problem. I've not been entirely honest with him."  She sniffed.

"We all have secrets Audra."  Jonny confided, "I didn't tell Leila everything.  There were things i'd done that i wasn't proud of, and i couldn't bring myself to share them with her.  I didn't want her to think less of me and realise that i wasn't good enough."

"You don't understand."  Audra continued, "Eliza, she's not Tate's.  She's Patrick's."

Audra pulled herself up from the bed and wiped away her tears, "I have to tell him."  She decided.

"Don't."  Jonny stated,  his expression as serious as Audra had ever seen, "All it will do is ease your conscience and break his heart.  he loves that girl and that is what it means to be a father."

"Come on sis' everyone's waiting for you."  Casper called, popping his head around the bedroom door.  Jonny offered his arm and Audra took it cautiously, unsure she could go through with it.

As she faced Tate surrounded by their family and friends, she felt no fear of making the commitment to love him for the rest of her life. 

That part she knew she would already do. 

But could she allow him to believe a lie?

She looked down at Eliza who sat happily at their feet.  She loved Tate possibly more than Audra did, how could she break the hearts of her little girl and the man she loved?

As the sun began to set in the distance, Tate recited his vows, promising to love and honour Audra 'til death do us part. 

Audra took a deep breath as it came to her vows.  She exhaled fully allowing all the thoughts of Patrick and the worry over her deceit to escape with her breath. 

Taking Tate's hand she recited her oath to love and cherish him 'til death do us part. 
As a beautiful sunset filled the sky behind them they sealed their marriage with a kiss, and Audra felt all her doubts fade away.
The day after the wedding it was time for Casper and Elena to set out on the road. 

Audra watched as the pair hugged Delta and promised to write and call as much as possible.  Delta was so brave, she didn't want her parents to see how hurt she really was, she held her tears in until they had climbed into the cab.

Audra hugged her niece tightly.  "It's not forever."  She promised her.

The rest of the family rallied round to help raise Delta's spirits.  Tate built a playground in the garden.

Eliza followed her everywhere until Delta had to relent and play peek-a-boo.
 Jonny taught her how to pitch a baseball. 

"That's it Delta."  he encouraged, "You'll be knocking them out the park just like your old man in no time!"

Delta loved spending time with her Grandpa, who had become the official babysitter of the Traytor household.

He would often tell her stories of when he first moved to Bridgeport, he had been in a band!
Delta loved to be regaled with his tales of gigs and recording studios, but sometimes his eyes would mist when he revealed that he had never achieved his dream of being a rock star.

But to Delta Jonny was the biggest star she could imagine.

After a long week of night shifts Audra had woke early intent on taking Delta to town for some pampering at the spa. 

But as she brushed her teeth an overwhelming wave of nausea seized her and she rushed to the toilet.  She knew this feeling all too well and didn't need to consult her medical journals, she knew she was pregnant.
Tate had been just as excited as when she had announced that she was having Eliza, and Delta was fascinated by her Aunt's bump asking to feel it at every opportunity.
Before long it was time for both Eliza and Delta's birthday.  Audra threw a small garden party for them both.

She had called Casper and Elena weeks before to let them know about the party but they had still not arrived. 

She dialled Casper's cell again, but it went straight to voicemail.
Tate suggested they push the girls on the swing set to distract Delta from dwelling on her parents absence, but as the sun began to set they had no choice but to bring out the cakes.
Eliza was up first, she developed the couch potato trait.
Delta knew she couldn't put it off any longer so she stepped up to her cake and firmly blew out the candles.
She closed her eyes tightly and wished as hard as she could that her parents would make it to the party before bed time. 

As she turned into a teeanager she developed the clumsy trait.
Delta waited and waited for her parents to arrive, but as the sun receded and made way for the moon there was still no sign of them.

The party guests were beginning to tire, and soon made their excuses and left.
Delta slipped away as Tate and Audra cleared away the dishes. 

She looked out to the distance beyond the sea of Bridgeports shore and tried to imagine where her Mom and Dad were. 

She was certain that it must be somewhere important afterall they wouldn't miss her birthday for anything less, would they?
"There you are." Audra called, "What are you doing out here on your own?"

"Did they call?"  Delta asked, choking back her tears.

"I'm sure they'll be here soon."  Audra replied, dodging the question. 
"Come inside.  Eliza has convinced Tate and Grandpa to watch Grease for the hundreth time."  She laughed, trying to lighten the mood.

But Delta promptly burst into tears.

"They've forgotton me haven't they?"  She sobbed.

"No sweetheart, of course they haven't."  Audra soothed, yet inside she was seething. 

When she got hold of Casper he was going to be very sorry he had let Delta down like this.  She hugged the girl to her and gently lead her into the house.

As the family settled down to watch Grease, Audra excused herself. 

She dialled Caspers cell again and this time he answered.  "Where the hell are you?"  She asked through gritted teeth.

"Sis!"  Casper exclaimed, he sounded drunk. 

"Casper please tell me you are on your way here."  She demanded.

"Oh sis you should have seen it!"  He continued as if she had not spoken, "I was picked to start and i scored, we won the championship!  I'll be up in the major league in no time."

"Well that's all very nice Casper, but your little girl has just celebrated becoming a teenager without her parents."  She lectured, "Casper?  Cass?" 

She could hear a celebration raging in the background, but Casper had gone.  Audra clicked the phone off angrily, how could he be so thoughtless? 

The anger boiled in her and she could feel the hotness reach her cheeks.  She entered the bathroom to splash water on her face but as she turned on the tap a searing pain shot through her stomach.

Eliza's rendition of Summer Lovin' was cut short as Tate rushed Audra to the hospital, where she gave birth to a son named Finlay.

Finlay was born a absent minded virtuoso!


Enirac said...

Finlay, that's an unusual day.
Oo you made me nervous when Audra was having doubts about Patrick. That was scary but no secret stays a secret for long :/
How horrible of Cass and Casper! Poor thing, growing up like that.
Next please :D

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I thought Casper and Elena died in a car accident on the way to the party or something. Anyways, great chapter as usual. I wonder if Audra'll ever let Tate know that Eliza isn't his...

Anonymous said...

@ Anon ~ Thanks so much for all your comments, it means a lot to hear what people think :)