Aric sat staring at CeCe’s phone. After getting the second message I knew I had to let them know what was going on. Talking to Trey was hard. He was angry and with good reason. Accusations were thrown and I let him get it all off his chest. Once he was done Marcus convinced him that his most important job was taking care of Ashley until we brought her mother home.
The triplets rotated shifts at his house helping him out with Ashley and making sure he didn’t try and run off to do anything rash. Bynni made attempts to contact Marisol, but to no avail. The stress level at the house was high. Finley was temporarily staying with Dunham and Embry. Marcus and I barely were able to function, let alone take care of the quads. Nina would came to help out at times as did Bynni. They both offered to take them, but they were still too little to be shuffled around like that. We all tried to figure out the riddle, but no one had any idea what the next message meant.
Wedding vows and lover’s spurned.
It was here where the truth was learned.
Marcus and I had been married three times, but no truths were learned at our other weddings. One of the babies started crying and I got up to go check, Aric followed.
He walked over and turned off the baby monitor. “Have you called him?”
Mulo had been the elephant in the room that no one wanted to mention. I just shook my head. I had so far resisted the urge to fall into old patterns by going to him for help. For Aric to suggest bringing his father in only made the seriousness of what we faced an even harder reality.
“I can’t. He can’t always be my crutch.”
“Mom, anyone that is in the room with you and Marcus can feel the tension. But this is Ceula’s life at stake.”
“You think I don’t know that?” I yelled making Gabby cry. I took a deep breath and tried to calm her back down. “That’s all I’ve thought about since getting that phone call.” I said in a softer voice. “Aric, if I call him…if he is needed…then…”
“Then your marriage is over,” he said finishing my statement.
I nodded in reply. “I feel torn like I’m having to make a choice between my husband and my daughter and I hate it.”
“If he loves you Mom, really loves you, Marcus wouldn’t make it a choice. He would just accept and understand what needs to be done and put his pride aside. I’m not a fan of my father, but even I know when he is useful.”
We finished getting the babies settled in silence. I knew everything Aric said was true, but I couldn’t fault Marcus for his feelings. I’d made a bad situation worse with my actions and for that I took full responsibility. I never wanted to hurt Marcus but I had in the most stupidest of ways. Once the babies were settled we headed back downstairs.
“What are you doing here?”
I stopped moving when I heard Marcus’ voice and he didn’t sound happy. Aric looked back at me, we both had the same thought. I held my breath waiting to hear a response. Since there wasn’t instant fighting, maybe it wasn’t him.
“She’s my daughter and I’m here to help.”
“George?” I said as I reached the landing. “I told you I never wanted to see you again.”
“I know…but we need to talk,” he replied walking into the house. He looked back at Marcus and added, “Alone.”
I looked past my father towards Marcus “No. Whatever you have to say can be said in front of everyone.”
I directed him towards the living room feeling confused. He started all of this, how could he possibly help, but at this point it was only fair to explore all my options.
“Well,” he said nervously rubbing his neck, “I would ask how you’ve been but something tells me you aren’t in the mood for pleasantries.”
“You’d be right about that,” I said taking a seat on the sofa. Marcus surprised me by taking a seat next to me on the arm of the chair.
“A few months ago…Mulo came to see me. He said he was working on a way to get Marisol out of your life.”
I thought about what he’d said to me on the island when I’d asked about Marisol. He only replied he was taking care of it. I had no idea whatever he was planning would have involved my father.
“And what is this grand plan of his?” Marcus asked. “Because if he had one, he should have enacted it before Ceula was put in danger.”
“Well some things take time and no one could predict that Marisol would do this,” George countered.
The tension in the room was thick. Everyone was on edge and it meant cloudy judgment if things got off track.
“I don’t care what the plan is right now, all I want is my baby back! But we can’t get her back because Marisol is playing fucking games and leaving riddles like a child!”
“Yeah,” Aric answered showing George the phone.
“I don’t know what truth she’s talking about. She’s crazy and makes no sense!”
George thought for a moment, repeating the verse in a low murmur to himself.
“The kid’s weddings. Aric and Bynni, she was there. It’s where…”
“Where she told me how you so freely traded my life for yours.”
Guilt and shame flashed across his face. “Amari, I know now that…”
“That what George? You were wrong? Save your apologies,” I said holding up my hand to stop his talking. I didn’t want to go down that road with him. He clamped his lips shut. “I have to go.”
“I’ll come with you.”