Author’s Note: I apologize for the long wait for this chapter. It’s just I never seem to have a free moment anymore O_O Thank god for a new month starting… *Christmas get here soon*
Enjoy the chapter!
Warning: Sexual content.
Oh and on a side note, for anyone who was wondering, poor Angel (Ryder’s dog) passed away a while ago.
Ryder’s Point of View
The drive from Bridgeport to Starlight shores was pure torture. The roads were terrible and listening to my dad go on and on about things I missed; it hurt like crazy… I still can’t believe I haven’t seen my boys in almost two years. No one will understand what I’ve been through, but it’s never going to matter. I have a record no matter where I go and it’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life.
We got to my dad’s house around 9:00. I just froze as he walked up the snow filled path.
“Come on Ryder, hurry up.” My dad grumbled.
I gulped, “N-no you go ahead; I think I’ll just wait out here.”
I can’t believe I was afraid to face my own family. I just feel so… ashamed.
My dad chuckled, “Boy if you don’t move your butt I’m going to lock you out here in the snow. It’s supposed to drop below freezing tonight, so it’s your choice son.”
“I’m okay with being frozen.” I remarked.
“Maybe I didn’t make myself clear… GET INSIDE NOW.”
Frowning I replied, “Yes dad…”
My father went inside the house, and I waited just a little bit longer to gather my composure.
I mentally slapped myself. Come on Ryder, stop acting like some punk.
After I stopped wallowing in self-pity, I took in a deep breath and walked up the steep hill. I opened the front door and stopped in my tracks when I saw my dad bringing out my eldest son. Tag gripped my father’s hand tight and just stared at me like some creep.
“Look Tag,” my dad gestured, “It’s daddy. You remember daddy right?”
Remember me? I never thought for one second my kids would forget about me. Oh god, what if they don’t remember me!?
I looked at his puzzled little face. He just continued to stare at me, unknowing of what to actually do in this situation. My god, my baby is scared of me! Look at his face; he doesn’t even know how to react to me.
“Tag?” I questioned, “You remember me, right? It’s dad, buddy.”
He looked up at my dad and then back at me again. My dad tried to release his hand, but he started to cry and looped it back into my dad’s firm grasp.
“There’s no need to be scared, kiddo.” he smiled down at Tag, “He’s not going to bite.”
Just as the tension between me and my three-year-old grew, my little brother came strutting over with Patrick draped on his shoulder.
“Where do you want me to put him!?” Ryan screeched, “He weighs like 100 pounds! I want to get back to my video game dad! I had a score of 45-6 on black ops 2! My clan is SO not blaming me if we lose this match.”
My dad sighed, “Just put him on the couch for right now. I’ll put him in his bed in a second.”
Ryan rushed over to the couch with Patrick, put him down and then darted up the steps. Well, it’s nice to see you too Ryan…
Since my dad obviously couldn’t leave Patrick on the couch, he went and got him to go put him in bed.
Which meant I was left with Tag.
“I’ll be right back, just… say hi to your son.” my dad muttered out quickly.
So, that’s exactly what I did. I braced myself and then scooped my son off the floor. Just as I expected, it didn’t go over well with him. I tried to hug him, but he pushed and whined at me.
“Come on Tag, it’s just daddy. I promise I won’t hurt you.”
Tag pushed away, “No!” he screeched, “Gampa! GAMPA!”
He scrambled out of my arms and ran into the kitchen – hiding behind the half wall.
I was about to go over to Tag, when all of a sudden my sister and her girlfriend… or err wife? Who knows? But anyways, they both came out of, what I’m guessing, was the basement door.
Sammy glared at me; “Ryder.” was all she said.
That’s all she needed to say though, because HOLY CRAP it sent shivers down my spine.
She marched right over to me; he face was completely emotionless. I don’t think I’ve ever been so afraid of my big sister. Oh god, please don’t let her kill me…
“Heh…” I laughed nervously, “You’re awfully close there Sammy…”
She glared at me once more, “You’ve done a lot of crap Ryder. You’ve had all of us worried for YEARS! I feel so many emotions right now I don’t know which one to react too.”
“Well you sure had me fooled Sammy… The only thing I’m reading off you is: Must hurt Ryder.”
She didn’t respond to my comment. She only stood there for a few seconds before lunging herself at me!
“OH GOD PLEASE DON’T KILL ME!” I yelled out all at once.
To my surprise, she didn’t hurt me. No, in fact she was… hugging ME! What the heck?! But after everything I did, and put her through??? Why would she hug me?
She cried into my jacket, “I mi-missed you so much. I was so afraid for you Ryder! I just can’t believe you’re here, in dad’s house… alive.”
Well it wasn’t what I expected of her, but hey… I wasn’t about to argue with her why she wasn’t clobbering me. Instead I lifted her up and wrapped my arms tightly around her.
“Well, it’d be creepy if I was dead in dad’s house. I’d probably stink up the place and-“
She punched me slightly; laughing, “Would you just shut up?”
I chuckled, “I love you Sammy. It’s so good to see you.”
She squeezed me; sniffling, “It’s good to see you too…”
Ky stared over at us, “Ryder, it’s really nice to know that you’re alright. I really don’t want to cut this short at all, but our girls have school tomorrow and Sam has a doctor’s appointment for our 3rd kiddo.”
I pulled her back, “You’re pregnant?! And wait… how did I not even notice those two girls on the couch?”
Ky shook her head, “Probably because they’re sneaky little chicks. Ain’t that right girls?”
They both looked over at their mother. The blonde haired girl just giggled and the dark haired one rolled her eyes.
Sam shook her head, “Sorry, I forgot to introduce you. The giggly little blonde is Christy and the quiet one next to her is Ren – they’re six.”
I smiled, “They’re beautiful.” I looked over at Ky, “Honest. And congrats to the both of you on your new baby. Guess that makes me an uncle, eh? Well, again…”
After I was acquainted with Ky and Sammy’s girls, they each gave me one last hug and kiss before leaving.
Once they were gone, I was left alone in the living-room… with my son. He just stood in the kitchen staring at me; not wanting to get any closer than he already was. To be honest, even though I was happy to see my sister and her family… I still felt like utter crap. My own son didn’t even want me to touch him. He just stared at me with fear in his eyes, like I was some kind of monster.
I sighed at Tag, “Why… do you hate me?”
As I was looking at Tag, my father came back from upstairs. Of course he had heard what I just said… Now I’m going to have to hear a lecture.
He sighed, “Tag doesn’t hate you Ryder. He’s not exactly afraid, but in shock. You were just stripped out of his life unexpectedly and then all of a sudden, you reappear. He’s only three, so he’s just trying to understand what’s going on.”
I lowered my head, “Do you think Patrick is going to act the same way?”
My dad shook his head, “Honestly? I have no idea how he will react. Remember he not only lost you, but he lost his mom too. In a young kids mind, there is no sense of time. So when you and Kara left… it was very traumatizing on both of them.”
I nearly cried. Why is my dad telling me this?! So I’ll feel even more like crap???
I held up my hand, “Please dad, don’t say anything else. I don’t want to know any more about this, alright?!”
He placed a hand on my shoulder, “Everything is just going to get better from here on. You’re away from that evil man, you’re out of prison, and you have MORE than enough time to make up for lost time with your boys. Just stop beating yourself up and appreciate what you have at the moment, okay?”
I was about to answer my dad, when Tag ran over and lifted his arms up to my father.
“I’m going to go lay him down now too. Just… get out of your coat and go sit on the couch until the police officer gets here. I’m sure you already know why he’s coming.” He stated.
I sighed, nodding. Of course I did; how could I forget?
Just because I was out of jail and away from James… didn’t mean I felt great about my son acting like that towards me. My kids, my family… they mean the world to me. If they don’t love me, then I have nothing. I know my dad is probably right about Tag, but I still can’t help feeling the way I do. I just wish…. things could finally go normal in my life. That I could be that person I always wanted to be.
Why’d I ever even go with James in the first place? My life has been SO screwed up ever since. I don’t know if I’ll forgive myself for any of the things I’ve ever done. I mean, how can I? I’m a moron and I’ll always be one. Who knows if Kara will even want to look at me when she gets out of jail?
I threw my head on my lap and groaned.
“I hate my life.”
Knock, knock, knock…
Oh wonderful, my prison for five years is here…
The officer knocked harder, “COME ON!”
I lifted my head up and shot him a dirty look.
“Alright, hold on.” I mumbled under my breath, “Jerk…”
I opened the door for the impatient man.
“Finally…” he scoffed, “I’m freezing my butt off out here. I can’t believe I had to make a house call to YOU. Why do you get special treatment?”
I looked up and shook my head, “Won’t you come in?”
Seriously, they have to send me the man who hates the world?! Why do I have the worst luck?
He knocked the snow off his converse’ and then walked inside. He shut the door behind him and then just… dropped to his knees.
“WOAH buddy!” I chuckled, “I don’t play like that.”
He muttered, “Everyone said you’d be a-“ he cleared his throat, “Just hold still while I put this on.”
He lifted my pant leg and then snapped the lock around my leg – tightly.
“JEEZ!” I yelped, “What the heck, man?!”
He stood to his feet, “You’re lucky they only sent me here to do this. I’m considered one of the nicer ones. Trust me Ryder, no one cares about you. Everyone is just sick to their stomach that someone like you only got a freaking year and a half in prison. If it was up to us, you’d be rotting in there until you died.”
I patted him on the shoulder, “Well it isn’t up to you chipper, now please… get out. I’ve had enough pain for one night.”
He scoffed, “Like you even know what that is.”
I’m just going to hold my tongue before I beat this man’s face in with that fish tank.
I pointed to the door, “Don’t make me shove you out the freaking door…”
After that rude freaking cop left, I decided to take it upon myself to go and find my son’s room. I at least wanted to say good-night to them. I haven’t done that in so long – I used to do it every night before everything happened…
But as I made it to the top of the stairs, a certain 11-year-old boy stopped me.
“Hey, big scary dude.” he stated.
I looked next to me on both sides, and then looked at him.
“Seriously, you had to look around to see if there was someone else?” he shook his head, “You’re dumber than you look.”
What. The. Crap?!
“Whoa, what’s with the attitude?” I scoffed.
“The attitude is that you’re like some freaking killer, and you’re living in my house… with my dad. So listen, just… stay out of my way alright? I don’t need you ruining my life with anyone I know. I’m already getting picked on by idiots.” he shook his head, “I don’t let them talk that way about me, but hey… the less I associate with you, the more they’ll leave me alone. Got it?”
And I thought I was the anus…
I nodded my head, “Alright, yeah. Sorry I’m ruining your life…” I stated rolling my eyes.
He just brushed past me and went down the stairs. Well, this is just turning out to be such a lovely family reunion.
You know, I wasn’t about to let my eleven year old brother get to me. I’ve been called worst things and have been ignored by plenty… what’s one more person? Besides, the ones I really am worried about are Patrick and Tag. I’d do anything for them to accept me back as their daddy.
I walked into their dark room and managed – barely – to not trip over their toys. They just looked so… peaceful.
I leaned up against the wall and just… sighed. Everything that happens in my life just never seems to stop going. It’s like, when one thing ends… another starts up. Why can’t I be the person who goes through crap and then it FINALLY stops?!
I shoved my head back, laying it against the wall.
“I love you boys. Daddy will always love. You never have to worry about that. Good night my little guys…”
“Well,” my dad said, “This is where you will be staying. I don’t have any more open rooms in the house, so I hope this little guest house is alright for you Ryder.”
I looked around in amazement. Wow, I never expected to get my own private little home.
“It’s cool dad, thanks.”
“Are you sure you’re okay with this?” He questioned.
I turned and looked at him, “Yeah dad. It’s fine, why? Are you alright?”
He sighed, “I just don’t want you thinking that… I’m excluding you or keeping you away from your kids or something.”
I nearly laughed, “Dad, I know that. Just chill out old man; don’t go breaking a hip on me now! Oh wait, I forgot- I didn’t mean-”
“Why’d you have to hit me???” I yelped, rubbing the back of my head.
“Because you’re smart!” he growled.
After I got chewed out by my dad about his hip ‘not being his fault’ and how ‘I needed to watch my mouth’, I went to my room.
I sat on the edge of my bed and… smiled. Yeah, I know…. definitely not something I do a lot of. Well, not genuinely smile anyways. I know I’ve been pretty pissed off and upset about how things went today, but… I really need to look at the bright side of all of this: I’m finally home.
As time went on, I just stopped complaining about how Tag was treating me, and forced my love on him. I didn’t care if he was afraid or ‘in shock’ of me. I was going to make sure he was my little guy again, and I don’t care how long it takes. I’m just relived that Patrick isn’t doing the same thing Tag is doing. It was actually kind of surprising, the next morning when I went in their room to get them… Patrick started squealing and reaching his arms out to me. Well, that boy is really smart… it’s no shock he remembered me.
“Tag you’re going to get used to me sooner or later.” I chuckled.
He just gave me a hard stare and slowly sat back down. I swear, one day… it’s going to be back to normal.
Besides getting up with them every morning, and trying my best to be by their sides 24/7, I would sometimes just take Tag and spend time with him by myself. At first it was just completely stupid. He would just sit in my arms and not do or say anything.
“Look Tag, do you see all the fishy’s?” I smiled, “Aren’t they cool?”
Silence. God, come on Tag… just give me a chance.
I sighed, “Tag are you ever going to acknowledge my existence or just sit there?”
He looked up at me and then rested his head on my shoulder. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad…
More and more time passed on, and the harder I tried… the more he seemed to break out of his shell. It was about freaking time too! I was about to go crazy if he ignored me one more time. I guess what really did it was when I decided to take out his favorite story and read it to him like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I tried doing it before… but for some reason this one day, it just… worked.
“Hey buddy!” I smiled, “Want daddy to read you a story?”
When he smiled my entire heart melted and I SWEAR a tear escaped out of my eye. It was like the happiest moment of my life. Well, one of them anyways…
“So is that a yes, buddy?”
He looked up at me after I said that and then moved closer. He leaned his tiny little arm against my leg and I rested my arm around him. For the first time in weeks, he actually… let me. He didn’t flinch or move out of the way. He just sat there snuggled against me as I read to him.
And then the most amazing thing happened…
“Daddy, where the bears go?”
Okay, I said I nearly cried before… this time tears just started pouring. I couldn’t help myself; I was just so overwhelmed with joy. My baby finally called me dad.
About a month later, I was laying in my bed on a cold February morning. It was probably around 6:30 Am; so I REALLY didn’t want to be bothered with anyone. I just wanted to snuggle my blankets and try to ignore that freaking itchy lock on my leg.
As I was lying in my bed, I felt a presence come in the room. My dad inched closer to my bed and then reached his arm toward me.
I muttered, “I swear to god you pull me out of this bed and I will hurt you.”
I wasn’t trying to be rude, but you get tired of after a while…
My dad shouted panicked, “Ryder, you have to get up! Something happened; you have to go see it right now!”
That sure got my attention!
I shot up, “WHAT?! What happened?!” I screeched, “Is it one of the boys?!”
My dad said nothing, he just looked all afraid.
“Oh god it is!”
I didn’t even give my dad a chance to explain. I was too afraid for my kids to even ask what happened; all I knew was that I had to be by their side RIGHT now. Heck, I was so afraid I didn’t even bother to get dressed! I just darted outside, into the snow… with no shoes on.
“Daddy’s coming boys!” I screeched.
I darted into the house like a mad-man and looked around frantically for them. However I didn’t get that far because of something else catching my eye.
My jaw dropped, “No freaking way. How is this even possible?”
She stared at me and softly said, “Hi Ryder…”
I was so shocked I couldn’t even get a reply out! Darn my dad! He tricked me… There isn’t anything wrong with my kids.
After I gathered my composure, I was finally able to get some more words out of my mouth.
“Kara, how are you here?! I thought you were supposed to have like all these years in prison?!”
She sighed, “Your… aunt and uncle helped me. They showed favor in court with a judge they know, and I was just sentenced to live here under house arrest like you. They gave me 8 years, but… it’s better than being in prison.”
I smiled so big, “I just can’t believe you’re standing in front of me. I’ve… missed you, like a lot.”
I walked closer to her, and as I did… she started to cry.
I smiled, “Hey, I know I’m pretty scary looking… but no need to cry sweetie.”
She laughed, wiping her tears, “Ryder I’m so sorry. I was so stupid to ever say anything to you or get mad at you. I was a freaking idiot.”
I gripped her shoulders, “You had every right to be mad at me. If I would have never listened to you and Adam, we would still be in that place. I’m glad you guys pushed me to do it, because look where we are now. James is dead and so is Robert… we’re free Kara.”
She smiled at me, “I don’t know what I would do without you.”
I was about to say something oh so witty… but she didn’t give me the chance to. Nope, she just threw her arms around me and pressed her lips against mine. I’m so not complaining though!
That one kiss was all it took for us to get started; that one kiss lead to some serious making out – something I have not done in a LONG time.
I pressed her up against the wall, kissing, touching her all over.
“God, you’re so freaking hot…” I kissed her neck, “This is driving me insane.”
She sucked on my top lip, and then whispered, “Please Ryder, I don’t want to wait anymore. I’ve been thinking about this day for so long. I’m ready to be with you forever; I’m ready to be totally committed. I love you so much…”
Just as I was SERIOUSLY about to rip Kara’s clothes off, my dad came into the house. He lowered his eyes to the ground and cleared his throat so we’d stop.
“Let’s try and keep things PG around here. I have an eleven year old, a three year and a two year sleeping upstairs…” he sighed, “But by all means… use the guest house.”
I could tell my dad was just totally not comfortable talking about me having sex. I mean, if he was that’d just be creepy…
I scooped Kara up into my arms, “Thanks dad, bye!” I said rushed, running out into the snow once again.
As soon as we got inside the house, we wasted no time locking the door, closing the blinds, and stripping down to almost nothing.
I ran at Kara, gripped her tight. She grabbed my face and kissed me softly.
“Let’s not waste time fooling around…” she whispered.
I chuckled, “You don’t have to tell me twice.”
I laid Kara on her back and kissed her a couple of times before reaching over and shutting off the lights.
She looked up at me laughing, “Your dad is having a cow over this.”
I gagged, “Please don’t bring up my father when we’re about to have sex.”
She chuckled and then pulled me into another kiss, “Oh shut up.”
Oh sweet Jesus have mercy…
“Gampa where daddy?” Patrick wondered.
Noah sighed faintly, “Eh, don’t worry about it kid. Something you don’t need to know until you’re older.” Noah tried to shake the thought from his head, “Hey, how about we go watch some Blue’s clues?”
Patrick giggled, “BLUE!”
Thanks for reading guys! So yes, gradually things are just getting better for Ryder. All he has to do now is just live out his life and take it one day at a time. All he’s ever wanted was to just be with his family and be loved; which he has now. Also with Persephone when she was released she just took off. You all know she never wanted to be there in the first place. Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter I sure enjoyed writing it out.