Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chapter 71-Without a Trace

I have been on auto pilot for the last month.  Marcus was still missing and I felt empty and incomplete without him.  His car had been found abandoned on the bridge.  The cops wanted to rule it a possible suicide, insinuating that he jumped.  I refused to believe that.  There was no way he would take his own life, not when he had so much to live for.  Reluctantly they left it as an open missing person case.  His entire family came out when he first went missing but I spent most of the time locked away in our room.  I didn’t want to face them, I couldn’t face them knowing that his disappearance was most likely my fault.  After they left I tried to do all the things I should do as a mother willing myself to be strong for Dax and Dunham.  I was all they had.  They needed their father just as much as I needed my husband and until he returned to us they needed me.  At night however, alone in the darkness the grief would swallow me.  I would cry muffling my heart wrenching sobs so the boys wouldn’t hear me falling apart.  I would cry out for him begging him to come back to me.  Some nights it felt like my prayers were answered and he would be there holding me, willing me to be ok.

Those would be the nights I could sleep peacefully.  Carter and my OB were concerned for my health and that of the babies.  They couldn’t even bother telling me not to stress, both knew it was pointless.  All they could do was monitor me and hope for the best.  Each day that went by made it harder to hold on to the hope of him being found alive and well.  The fact Aric and Bynni had been unsuccessful in picking up any sense of him only added to the hopelessness that was consuming me.  As the time went on, it dawned on me that Mulo’s intrusion into my thoughts had stopped.

 Either it was a major coincidence or whatever bond he had with me was weakening.  I knew he was jealous, but he wouldn’t seriously do something to Marcus would he?  I felt as if I needed to confront him but part of me didn’t really want to know.  I wanted to, needed to hold on to the hope that Marcus was just missing and would still be found alive.  I knew he was getting sicker so I was unsure of how much time he had.  The tears burned in my eyes as thoughts of him alone and in pain somewhere flooded my mind.  The babies started kicking bringing me out of that dark place.  They needed to know their father, and if he took that from them I would never forgive him.  Grabbing my keys I decided I wasn’t going to hide from him.  It was time to start taking command of my life.  He and Marisol were not going to keep dictating things to me.  I knew that one or both of them had something to do with this.
I stood outside his door.  I knew he knew I was coming.  He always did.
“Come in, it’s open.”
I walked in to be met with the sight of him feeding on a half dressed woman.  He gave me a smug look while he continued to take his time.  I wanted to look away, I tried but he held my gaze.  The woman let out a soft moan as he released her while giving me a satisfied smirk. 
“Go upstairs and rest.  You’ll need your energy.”  He spoke to her but continued to look at me.  She turned and nipped at his lip before looking over her shoulder at me.  Without a word she sauntered past me heading upstairs as she was told.
“Amari, what a pleasant surprise.  I thought you would be off enjoying your second honeymoon or something.”  He tried to sound nonchalant but I picked up on the undertone of humor in his voice.  I clenched my hands into fists at my side.  He knew I was coming and was also fully aware Marcus was missing.  He was deliberately trying to get a reaction out of me.  I took a couple of deep breaths to steady myself before following him out to his balcony.
“You know why I’m here.  Quit pretending that you don’t!”  I wasn’t going to play this game.  All I needed was to find out what he did with Marcus and leave.
“Why would you think I know where your human is?”
I watched as he sipped on his drink.  His eyes glowing as he stared back at me.  I was tired.  I didn’t want this as my life any longer.  I left home after my sister’s death looking for a new life, something better.  I have had to deal with nothing but heartache and despair.  The man that stood before me wasn’t the same one I loved as a teen.  No the man that stood before me couldn’t even be called a man yet somewhere deep in my soul a part of me betrayed me.  A part of me wanted to remain connected to him and I couldn’t explain why.  I shook my head to clear it of those thoughts.
“I know you.  I know you think you have some claim to me.  So just tell me, what did you do to him?” 
He drained his drink in one gulp.  “Why is it we are always talking about your human?  Can’t you visit me just to see how I am doing?”
“He’s not my human…he’s my husband.” I said through clenched teeth.  “And why should I be concerned with how you are doing, when you don’t extend me the same courtesy?”
Mulo started walking towards me and although I tried to stand my ground I took an involuntary step backwards.  I flinched as he reached out for me but I had no where to go.  The babies were going crazy as he rubbed his hand on my stomach.
“They sense your distress.  It’s not good for them.”
“Well give them back their father.”
His hand continued to swirl around, as it did they began to calm.
“I cannot.”
I looked at him unable to keep the tears from falling.
“You can’t or you won’t?”
“You have it made up in your mind that I had something to do with your hum…husband’s disappearance.  I understand blaming me is better than believing he just ran off.”
“No!” I yelled trying to shove him away from me.  “He loves me, he loves us and he wouldn’t leave.  Not willingly.” I narrowed my eyes and glared at him.
“So you think I would force him?”
“Don’t act like that’s just a novel idea.  Do we need to revisit Jesse?  You got rid of him twice.”
The anger that flashed in his eyes shook me.  His fangs descended and the true nature of the beast within him rose to the surface.  I swallowed the urge to scream, I was scared but I wouldn’t let him intimidate me.
“Tread lightly dear.  You keep making these false statements about me and I might start to get offended.  Is your ego so fragile that you can’t admit a man would leave you?  Twice.” 
I got angry then.  He was trying to make me be the problem, but I knew he had something to do with Jesse leaving.  I couldn’t prove it, but I knew. 
“Let’s not talk about egos!” I hissed “You were jealous then when you thought I might be falling in love with Jesse.  The fact that I AM in love with Marcus is eating-you-alive!”

A growl escaped from his throat that was low and deadly.  I pushed aside the fear that was threatening to overcome me.  I pulled strength from the love Marcus and I shared.  I thought about what we had to overcome, how he believed in me, stood by me. 
“There is only one man I will allow you to love and it isn’t your weak human!”
“You have no control over that!  You think just because you take him away I will stop loving him.  You think that will bring me back into your arms…your bed?  It’s not going to happen.  Now tell me where he is!”
“I have more control than you think.”  There was something in his words that caused me alarm.  He pinned me in an intense stare, his eyes glowing brightly.  A smile spread across his lips revealing his still lengthened fangs.  My head started to ache, I was frozen.  I wanted to get away but I was lodged between him and the glass.  His hands held my wrists tightly.
“You’re not a man.” I said fighting through the pain.  My heart was racing the babies were in a frenzy yet I kept going.  “You are a cold heartless bastard.  It makes my skin crawl to think I loved you.  That I let you touch me, that I wanted you to touch me.  What I share with Marcus you can’t take away.  Whether he’s with me or not, you could never measure up to him.  You will never have my heart or my body again.”
With each word I spoke I saw the anger rising up in him.  His hands tightened on my wrists and I bit my lip to keep from crying out from the pain.  The most menacing grin spread across his face.
“You’re wrong on both counts.”  He leaned down as if he were going to kiss me instead he leaned close to my ear.  “I don’t want to hurt them but you leave me no choice.”
Before I could respond, I felt his fangs pierce my skin.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 71-Without a Trace"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chapter 70-Mr. and Mrs. Smith-The Redo

The thoughts kept coming and I was working hard to try and ignore them, but it would make my head hurt.  He hadn’t attacked me again like he did that day, but he also wasn’t content to just let me live my life.  We had finalized on the house and the decorator I had hired to redo this one, just switched over to that one.  It was great because we stayed here, while the work was being done.  Keeping busy helped me control my thoughts. 

The boys wanted to continue sharing a room and picked out the d├ęcor themselves.  Marcus did give his opinions occasionally but left most decisions up to me. 

The only one he really gave input on was the nursery.  He missed out on decorating the one for the boys and didn’t want to miss out this time.  Carter and Jonas helped on moving day even though there wasn’t a lot.  The furniture all stayed since it came with the house, plus we didn’t want anything except the stuff we bought.  Moving day was bittersweet.  We had created some happy memories at that house.  It’s the home we brought the boys to when they were born.  It’s where he proposed to me twice.  It was our first home as husband and wife. 

The hormones didn’t help my emotional state so I was a crying mess of a woman when the last box was loaded onto the truck.
 “This place looks great Amari.”  Carter commented as I gave him and Jonas the tour.
“Yeah Carter, your place could really use a woman’s touch.” Jonas joked winking at me. 
“Well I’m happy to give you the name and number of the person I used.”
We finished the tour outside at the pool.  “When I’m not as big as a house, we plan on having a pool party.”
“You look great.”
“Thanks Jonas.  You don’t have to lie I’m going to feed you guys anyway.”  I laughed.  Marcus was already getting the burgers and hot dogs ready on the grill while the boys played on their new swing set.  Carter and Jonas grabbed beers from the cooler before sitting down to chat with Marcus.
“You miss me.  Moving isn’t going to change that.”  The words wrapped around me like a soft embrace.  I closed my eyes and tried to ignore the tingling sensations that were working their way up my spine.
“Are you ok?”  It was Jonas that was by my side when I opened my eyes.
“Yes, I’m just tired.  It’s hard work carrying around this much weight.”  I tried to make light of the situation, but I was anything but alright.  I thought about going to see him.  To go demand he stops interfering but that’s what he wanted.  He wanted me to come to him because he knows I have a hard time staying strong around him.  With the way he’s been invading my thoughts, I fear it would be damn near impossible not to end up in his bed should I go to his house.  I instead grit my teeth and wait for it to pass. 
“If you keep having these episodes, I’m going to put you on bed rest myself.” Marcus said coming to my side.
“I’m fine honey, I promise.”  I gave him a soft peck on the lips along with a weak smile.  We all enjoyed the rest of the afternoon and much to our surprise Wilma had her puppies.

We welcomed two new members into the Smith household, Bam-Bam and Pebbles.  They were the cutest little things.  Carter and Jonas fell in love and once they got a few weeks older, they wanted to take Pebbles.  Aric and Nina were interested in getting a dog so when I called them, they agreed to take Bam-Bam.  That night while we were getting ready for bed Marcus brought up my headaches again.
“Amari, it was him again today wasn’t it?”
“I’m fine really.  Besides it’s me that should be worrying.  You’re getting sick again.  I can tell.  You won’t be able to put it off much longer.”
“I’m just not sleeping well because my beautifully pregnant wife tosses and turns most of the night and it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep.”  I saw the twinkle in his eye as he pulled me into a hug.
“Well if you can tell your babies to stop throwing parties in the middle of the night, then maybe I wouldn’t toss and turn.”
“Oh you hear that guys?”  He said talking to my stomach.  “Mommy says you are keeping her up at night.  You wouldn’t do such a thing now would you?”  I just laughed as he put his hear to my belly as if really getting a response.
“They said they have no idea what you are talking about.  They are sweet little angels.  They take after me.”  I couldn’t help but to laugh. 
“Oh well in that case, I know I’m in trouble.”
“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?” he said acting as if I had hurt his feelings.  Before I could respond he gave me a loving kiss.
“Seriously Amari.  The headaches, the tension that shows on your face.  He can’t continue to do this to you!”  He was concerned and angry.  Angry that Mulo would do this but more importantly that he was helpless at stopping it.
“It’s getting better.  They aren’t as intense.”
“I should be able to help you. To do something.” He sounded tormented and the look on his face showed the pain he felt.
“You can’t.  The only way he could truly hurt me would be to harm you.  If you go to him, then…” I couldn’t finish that thought.  Mulo could hurt him and very likely would if given the chance.  “They are getting better.” I laid my head on his chest listening to the soothing rhythm of his heartbeat.
 “You are right to talk him out of coming to me.  It wouldn’t end well.”
“I want to start making fresh memories here.”  I blurted out trying to ignore the shiver that ran down my spine.
“Really?”  He said kissing my neck while walking me back towards the bed.
“Yes.  I want us to re new our vows.”  He stopped kissing me and when he looked at me, there was such happiness in his eyes.  “I was thinking about it today.  This house, the way we are getting close again, I think it’s only fitting.  I want to do this.  I want to renew my commitment to you, to us.  After all, we will have an eternity together.”
“Quit fooling yourself!”
 I waited for him to speak let me know how he felt about that idea.  My answer came in the form of a kiss so full of love and passion it took my breath away.
“I didn’t think it was possible for me to love you anymore, but you continue to amaze me.”  I felt a dull throbbing starting in my head, but I was intent on not letting him ruin this for me.
“I also think we need to properly break in our new bed.” I said with a wink.  Marcus scooped me up in his arms and that was exactly what we did.  We planned for the ceremony to be a small gathering in our backyard in two weeks.  Bynni and Ceula were still in France but sent their love and well wishes.  Ceula sounded so happy when I spoke to her.  It brought tears to my eyes knowing she was a mother, but had no idea.  I was a grandmother to a beautiful little girl.  Bynni took one picture when she was born before her new parents took her away.  I should have been there for her, but Bynni along with Trey and TK were by her side.  Aric and Nina were going to be with me along with Carter and Jonas.  As I stood looking at myself in the mirror, I was more nervous today than I was the day I married him.  I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was excited to be making this commitment to him. 
“You look beautiful mom.”  Nina said as she finished fixing my hair.
“Thank you Nina.”
When I walked outside I expected to see Marcus waiting for me, but he wasn’t.
“He just went in for a moment, said he forgot something.”  Aric spoke after noticing my look of confusion on my face.   After about 10 minutes I started to get worried, it’s not that I really believed he would leave me standing at the alter, but I sensed something was wrong.
“I’ll go find him.”  Aric always knew what I needed.  As a mother I don’t know how I got so lucky.  All of my kids were amazing and my life would be nothing without them regardless of the reasons under which they came into existence.  A small smile touched my lips as I watched Aric walk away toward the house.

“Marcus?” I called out for him as I entered the house.  There was no reply but I felt his thoughts coming from the hall bathroom.

He stepped out of the bathroom, tiny beads of sweat shone on his forehead.
“Tomorrow then?”
“When will you tell her?”
“Ok, well let’s get you married, or re married.  She’s starting to think you left her at the alter.”
“Not a chance.”  Nothing more needed to be said as we headed downstairs to begin the ceremony.

When they walked outside I could tell there was something going on with them, but I was just happy he hadn’t left me.  Marcus walked over and took my hand.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.” He said kissing me on the cheek.
“You can make it up to me later.” I said winking at him.  He gave me a warm smile and then the ceremony started.  I wanted to go first because between my hormones and my nervousness, I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to speak if he went first.
“Marcus, today I offer myself to you. 
I offer you a commitment to be truthful, and faithful.
From this day forward I will be your wife, your lover,
and your friend.  I will be the person you laugh with,
cry with, and I promise to love you fully and as
unconditionally as you have always loved me.
I haven’t made it easy to love me, but you do and
for that I will always be grateful.
I love you Marcus and I thank you for taking me as your
wife and for showing me what true love really is.”
We were both crying by the time I finished.  Looking into his gorgeous emerald green eyes, I never felt happier.  He wiped the tears from his eyes then gave me a warm smile before he spoke his vows.

“Amari, the day I took you as my wife was one of the
happiest days of my life.  Today I am just has happy and honored
to renew that commitment of love to you.  I to promise to be
truthful, and faithful to you.  I will always be by your side, and whatever
life may throw at us I know we can face
it as long as we are together.  There is no other woman
more perfect for me than you and I will cherish each
and every day I get to spend as your husband.”
We shared the first kiss of the rest of our lives while those in attendance clapped for us.

It was an absolutely perfect day not only did I renew my commitment to the man I loved, but our boys reached the next stage of their life.  I was thankful that he didn’t try and ruin it by invading my thoughts or causing me pain.  I let out a contented sigh as I lay snuggled in Marcus’ arms that night.
“It’s time.” He whispered into my hair.
“Time for what?”
“Tomorrow I will go see Aric.”  I didn’t need him to explain any further.  I knew exactly what he meant.  He was getting tired again and I had wanted to believe it was because I was keeping him up.  I closed my eyes and tried in vain to keep the tears from spilling.
“Are you sure this is what you want?”
“Are you having second thoughts about spending forever with me?”
“Then yes, this is what I want.”  I knew it must be getting bad for him if he was doing this now instead of after the birth.  He wanted to be there when I went into labor.  There was a chance he would be able to still make it depending on how smooth his transition went.  We spent the rest of the night holding each other until we drifted off to sleep.  In the morning, we told the boys what was going on and being the great kids that they were, they promised their dad they would take care of me until he returned.

That of course was after they quit talking about how much cooler Aric was now knowing he was a vampire.  I feared he and Bynni were going to be bombarded with questions when this was all over. The house felt empty after he left.  The boys tried to keep me occupied showing me how to play their gaming system or begging to learn to drive.  I was in no condition to get into the car with new drivers but I told them I would make some calls and get them into driver’s ed.  Marcus had been gone for only a few hours but it seemed much longer.  I missed him and was happy to see Aric’s number on my caller id.
“Hey sweetie.  How is it going?  Is Marcus ok?”
“He’s not here, that’s why I was calling.”
“What do you mean not there?”  Panic set in.  Where would he have gone?  It only was a 30 minute drive to Aric’s house even traffic couldn’t have delayed him that much.  “He left around 10 this morning.  He should be there!”
“Mom, it’s ok.  I’ll find him.”  Aric tried to calm me down but I was already in full panic mode.  What if he was in a car accident, no surely the cops would have notified me.  My thoughts were racing at where he could be.  Why hadn’t he called me to let me know he wasn’t going straight to Aric’s. 

He wouldn’t have changed his mind at the last moment would he?  Even if he did why wouldn’t he just come home and tell me?  I would be sad but I would accept it, I promised him I would accept any decision he made. Yesterday was possibly the most wonderful day of my life and today was the worst.  

House picture spam
 Family Room
Dining room




Girls room
Boys room
Hall bathroom
Master bedroom and bathroom


Workout room (in basement)
Laundry room
Amari's art corner
Marcus's office

Continue Reading: "Chapter 70-Mr. and Mrs. Smith-The Redo"