Friday, 27 May 2016

ROCK 37

Take Me Home ...


I smugly watch Forrest storm out of the room in a temper.  The more anx going on between Granite and Forrest the better it is for meI am quietly praying that it will continue until their relationship is so broken it is totally unrepairable.  They are acting like they don't even like each other right now ... this is definitely not how I expected them to be when they finally got together again. 

I can not help but notice that Forrest glances back at Granite and they exchange a look, that I can not read and do not like, before he storms out through the door leaving it swinging violently behind him.


Granite has a far away look in his eyes as he sits there just staring at the swinging door for ages after Forrest has gone through it and left.

      "Baby, where is your head at?"  I ask him quietly and nervously, thinking he might even be wanting and waiting for Forrest to come back into the room, or maybe regretting the bad atmosphere between them.
       "Right now ... it's at home with you."  he mumbles as he turns to smiles at meI frown at him  "Stinky and Shelly ..." he winks as he smirks at me
       "You are never going to forget those damn lobsters are you."  he rolls his eyes as he laughs at me  "Why the hell would you even be thinking about them now?"  I frown at him again thinking he is just making up any old bullshit to avoid telling me what he is really thinking.
      "Not them in particular ... they were a clue to where my head is at ... he looks at Dad awkwardly as I just continue to frown at him  "I'll tell you later."  he smiles at me.
      "No, I want to know ... " he cuts me off
      "Baby please ... "  he flashes me an irritated look before he laughs at me.  "Do I really need to spell it out to you!?  What happened after the lobsters?  What did they do to me?"  he smirks at me again
      "Oh  ..."  I laugh remembering after eating them, they seemed to turn him into a nymphomaniac
      "Exactly!!  I'm not sure Dad wants to hear me talking about our sex life!!  Just wait until we are alone!!"   



Me and Dad exchange a look.  Dad rolls his eyes which makes me laughGranite lies down and closes his eyes as he chuckles to himself.

     "I can safely leave you in here with Granite and Slate tonight, can't I?"  Dad raises his eyebrows at me.
     "Of course you can!!"  I laugh at him as he continues to silently question me by the expression on his face.  "Seriously Dad .. like I can get very far with your guard dogs outside, besides I don't think Gran is up to doing a runner right now and I definitely wouldn't leave him here alone with that green freak!!  He is enough to drive anyone to drink and Gran will be pissed up before you know it!"  I smirk at Dad and I hear Granite chuckle.
     "Yeah well you just make sure you behave!!  I'm sticking my neck out here, so you two can have your privacy. " he laughs and so does Granite.   "Granny, make sure Macey boy doesn't do anything stupid, he's in enough trouble already!!"
     "Don't worry he won't"  he mumbles

As soon as Dad leaves the room Granite pats the bed.

     "Get your sexy but over here, I need a hug."  he mumbles as he continues to lie there with his eyes closed.  "We should make the most of this privacy while it lasts, I'm not sure that Mango will be so easy to get rid of if he catches us sharing a bed!!"  he starts to chuckle again. 

I quietly laugh to myself as I haul myself up onto the bed next to him.  I really can not work out where his head is at, the drastic change in his attitude towards me is almost frightening me.  I'm scared it is just temporary and once Forrest calms down and gets his claws into Granite, he will change again and I will be left out in the cold.



      "Sexy but?!  Are you sure it is me you are talking to!!"  
      "Well I don't see anyone else in the room do you?"  he laughs at me
      "Whatever meds you are on ... I want some!  They must be responsible for making you into this new and improved man."
       "Trust me, the anti rejection meds won't do you any good!!"  he laughs  "Besides you don't need improving right now, you are perfectly okay as you are."
       "Okay ... so where are you hiding the real Granite ... the one that doesn't like me very much."
      "It is the social climbing materialistic tantrum throwing bitch that I don't like, not you.  As long as you keep him packed away, you are okay.  You wouldn't be my best friend if I didn't like you."  he mumbles  
       "Don't worry he is long gone, but I can't promise I will never have another tantrum, I am a drama queen remember."  he laughs at me
       "I love the Mace I have been seeing since we decided to work on us, and especially how you have been since I rejoined the land of the living ... calm sensible and grown up."  he starts to chuckle  "And here was me thinking you would be a right nightmare, the childish one causing all the drama and trouble, but its not you, it's him!!"


    Granite rolls over and cuddles up to me, he lies his head on my shoulder and closes his eyesI know he is not feeling too well, and am expect him to fall straight back off to sleep, so I stay quiet and close my eyes.  I really want to quiz him over why he mentioned the lobsters, but I leave it and lie waiting for the sound of his breathing to change, as he falls off to sleep.  After a few minutes I'm surprised when he starts talking.

       "Why do they call you Macey boy?"  he mumbles quietly  "It riled me up when I heard Gravel doing it, but I notice Dad does too."
        "Macey is a girls name, I think they knew before I did that I was gay, I guess that is how it started, they all call it me.  Dad is really funny, he has pet names for everyone, like you have always been Granny to everyone."  I laugh a little  "He also calls me soft lad, because he says I am soft in the head sometimes and say stupid things, he calls them brain farts "  he laughs quietly  "Like earlier when I suggested we live in my house."      
        "What are you going to do with your house?"  he mumbles quietly
       "Sell it ... it is not like I am ever going to live in it again!!  Dad is right, I am probably a faded man if I set foot in Apple Hill!!   I have been thinking and the money from the house can help pay for Jasmines keep, while I'm inside."
       "Don't be so bloody stupid!!"  he starts to laugh  "I don't need paying to look after your daughter!!"  he seems to find it very amusing and continues to laugh.
       "She is already nagging me for an expensive mobile phone and tablet, she will drive you crazy, she never stops, because Tami spoilt her.  Children don't come cheap and I have wasted a lot of money over the last few years ... it's time I paid you back."


         "Shut up!!  Like I am not used to you constantly nagging for expensive things, and I was the idiot who gave you the money to waste - I didn't have to."  he really starts laughing  "Look, you sell the house and put the money in a trust fund for when Jasmine gets older, you won't have to worry about her future then.  As for how expensive she is going to be, let me worry about that!!  She is my Niece remember and I'm quite excited about having a child running around the place, it is what I've always wanted so she can be as expensive as she wants to be.  I will probably spoil her and it's not like I can't afford it. "  this makes me laugh.
         "Well don't tell her that whatever you do!!"  I laugh at him  "She's already told me I owe her five birthday and Christmas presents and she's given me a list a mile long of what she wants.  However, she says I can forget the list if I get her a horse.  She's a right little madam!!  You are going to have to watch her, she will run rings around you if you let her!!"  this has Granite really laughing
         "She is definitely your daughter then!!"  he carries on laughing   
         "Its not just Jasmine though is it ... Tarragon's baby  ..."
         "Don't worry about it, seriously, I don't care how much they cost, finally I am getting children to look after and the family that I always wanted.  You know money is not a problem and I am a recovering tight ass, thanks to the way you have been spending it."  this makes me laugh especially as he is chuckling at himself.  "Money is the very least of our worries right now, don't you think!!"
         "Yeah ... I guess."  I mumble
         "So what is your main worry at the moment?"
         "Now is not the time ... aren't you feeling ill, you need to sleep, then we will talk about it."

        

         "No, come on, I want to know!!" he mumbles  "Yeah I do feel like shit, but lying here talking to you is not going to hurt me!!  They are discharging you tomorrow, when you are not here, and I'm lonely, I'll have plenty of time to sleep."  
         "Okay ... It's Jasmine, she is my main worry at the moment, I am stressing so much it is keeping me awake at night.I hesitate nervously, hoping I am not about to cause an argument.  "I really need to talk to you about something, and I don't know how you are going to take itWhat I am about to say ... I am not saying because I'm trying to trick or force you into chosing between me and him, and it is not a way to get and keep my claws into you either like he thinks ..."
         "Go on."  he mumbles and I can here that suspicious tone in his voice  
         "I haven't even began to think about how Tarragon's baby is going to figure in all this, but ... I want Jasmine kept as far away from here and Apple Hill as possibleI'm really scared they might come after her!"  he opens his eyes and frowns at me.  "I have upset a hell of a lot of people by grassing ... as you know, grassing is one thing they won't tolerate, and if they and their familes can't get at me, she will be their target ... it is really worrying me, Dad and Shale too."
        "Oh Hell!!  You know I have not even given that a thought yet.  That is what the Brownie mob would do!!"  he mumbles as he sits up and his eyes widen  "You don't think Slate is in any danger do you?"
        "Gran I really don't know, but I would say there is a possibility!!"
         "Oh Shit!!"


      
         "You know yourself what the mob is like, they were educated by my family ... any revenge is better than none at all, and the best revenge is to hurt someone you really care about because that causes a lot more pain and suffering than any knife or bullet can."
         "Oh berry I have heard Fudge saying that so many times!!"
         "Exactly ... so I think you know, anything could be coming!!  I am more scared for Jasmine than I am myself, because I don't expect they will take this lying down, especially not Gravel or my Sister.  Really I am worried about all of us, anyone I care about is possibly in danger, and you know what happens to grassers, but I had no choice, I had to do it."
         "I know, you even grassed yourself up for drug running didn't you, you idiot!"  he laughs at me as he runs his hand down my face.  "I was a little surprised when they told me you had grassed up your own sister."
         "Yeah well, it was not easy for me to do!!  I am like you are with Gravel, I love her because she is my sister but really detest the person that she is!!  At the end of the day, my sister is a typical cold calous murdering Brownie, Fudge would have been proud of her.  Gravel and Tarragon were a team, they both needed to be taken out, with them and their mob on the streets, we would never have been safe, you especially, he was always going to finish you off one day!!  I had to stop that from happening!!  Telling the police everything was the only way to make sure they remained behind bars forever!!  I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't!!"
         "You did it to protect ... me?"  he raises his eyebrows


         "Mostly you, but Jasmine too.  There was always the chance of Tarragon dragging her into that life, she had high hopes that Jas would turn out to be a typical Brownie, seeing as I was such a disappointment and our family has virtually been wiped out!!  It is not just that ... if only you knew, all the innocent lives they have taken, including family, some of them were just for fun!!  The ones you know about don't even scratch the surface, and the devastation they cause, they needed to be stopped.  I have watched it my whole life, and even though I have never liked watching anyone faded, especially needlessly, I never really got it, because I never saw the other side."  he frowns at me  "The grief and what it does to their families, I had to feel it to understand it.  The first time was my Mother ... it has been totally heartbreaking watching everyone around me falling to pieces over Tami and Cinnamon."
         "Yeah I bet it has!"  he mumbles quietly  "Did you and Tarragon get on?"
         "So so, when it suited her.  We didn't fight like you and Gravel, but we didn't get on like how your other brothers do either.  They are really close, to me too, they have been more family to me than my own ever has."  he smiles at me  "Like Gravel, she too has a twisted view of family loyalty ... she couldn't wait to dump my ass after Mom faded, and she knew exactly what Gravel was doing to me while she stood back and let him.  She suspected Gravel of murdering Mom, but she did nothing, she even slept with the berry hole!!  I can quite imagine she also played her part in fading Tami, Aniseed and Basil.  She has never liked Tami very much, she was too squeaky clean for her liking, and hated that Aniseed and Basil tried to interfere with the running of the mob all the time, she is an evil power crazy bitch!!"


         "Did she turn out to be just like your old man?"
         "Hell yeah, she is Fudge's evil clone!!  Tarragon and Gravel came from the same mould, they are both selfish, jealous, cold, twisted, evil, vindictive, murdering, lying Berry Holes!!  If you ask me they were made for each other ... picture my parents, that's Tarragon and Gravel!!"  
          "Hell, your Mother, she used to scare the shit out of me!!"  he laughs quietly  
          "Me too - she only had to look angrily at me and I used to piss myself, because I knew what was coming, she used to batter me harder than Fudge did!!"  he smiles at me sympathetically.  "Neither of them should have had or deserved children and my sister is just like them!!  I am actually very surprised Tarragon didn't dump Jasmine like she dumped me, but instead she had the nerve to drag her around, with Gravel, showing her and educating her on the ways of criminal life, which Tarragon knew damn well I never wanted Jasmine to see!!  I guess she thought with me and Tami out of the way, she could take Jasmine and mould her into a typical Brownie thug!!  Jasmine is a lot like me, and it has traumatised her, just like it did me when I was a child!!" 


  
        "Don't worry, she is in a safer place now, she never has to see that life again!!"  he gently wipes the tears off my face, I hadn't realised I was getting so upset and actually crying.   "I promise you, I won't let anyone near Jasmine to hurt her, or you either!!  One thing that I can do is handle myself and them."  

I laugh, remembering how many times as a child, I have watched him in action, fighting as well as the rest of them.  I also think about the knife he held at my throat the first time I tried to crawl into his bed in the middle of the night.  One thing I remember about him, he was different, he always finished his fights with his fists, not knives and guns like the rest of them.  Granite never faded anyone that I saw, he never used the weopans he carried, he always used to leave them in a mess on the floor after beating them senseless, whereas everyone else finished their fights by extinguishing life.

          "I know that is why I would much rather she be with you.  You have lived the life, you know what to look for and how to handle it, you are the best prepared to protect her from them.   T, Silt, Thyme, Coal, they wouldn't have a clue, even I can deal with it a lot better than they could."  this makes him chuckle   "Gran ... Please don't think I'm saying this for any other reason than I am terrified for my daughters safety, but ... I want you to take her home, to Cherry Hill.   I won't feel comfortable with her being in Sugar Valley, so close to Apple Hill ... and you seriously need to think about moving Slate there too for exactly the same reason, just in case."  he smiles at me


   

     "I know you probably already have other plans for when I am inside.  You love him, and I'm not stupid, I know in the end when I am locked up and out of the way, you are going to go straight back to him and not leave Sugar Valley ..."  

He goes to say something but I put my hand over his mouth to stop him.

     "Please just listen without interrupting, I need to say this!!"  he rolls his eyes  "You know I love you and trust you more than anyone to look after my daughter, and all I want when this is over is to go home with you, and for us to be the family that you have always wanted, you, me, Jasmine, Slate and the baby ... but I have to quit fooling myself.  I know my fantasy is never going to become a reality and I have to start dealing with the fact that when I get sent down that will be the end of us."  he tries to move my hand away from his mouth, but I don't let him  "I could quite easily play the game that he thinks I am playing, and leave her with you, so that she gets emotionally attached to you just so that I can keep a hold on you, but I can't do it!!  I have to think about Jasmine's safety, even if it means I have to give up and lose you completely."  he frowns at me and his face twists up   "If you don't leave this town or go back to him, then I can't leave Jasmine with you, especially not here with him and so close to where she is in danger.


  

        "Besides the safety aspect, he seems to be very anti children and especially Jasmine.  He already hates her and won't tolerate her because she is my daughter.  I don't want him anywhere near Jasmine!!  I'll be damned if I leave her here having to grow up unhappily with him being spiteful and abusing her on the sly because she is an inconvenience or because of me."  he frowns at me  "Before you even accuse me of being a drama queen - I'm not!!  He has already been caught a few times being really nasty to her when he thought nobody was listening.  Silt and Dad had a serious bust up with him only the other day because of it, and none of your new brothers are liking him very much because of his attitude towards Jasmine!!  Even Atlas has had to lay into him to make him stop."  

Granite starts to struggle trying to free his mouth from my hand again, but I am now holding his face quite tightly.    

         "Just let me finish!!"  I snap at him quite loudly   "I can already see you are getting excited by the idea of looking after her, but I don't want you to get too carried away with it, when it is more likely that you will not be ... I have spoken to Shale, and he is going to take her if you decide to stay in Sugar Valley or with him ..."
          "Stop!!"  he almost yells as he finally forces my hand away from his mouth, quite roughly.   He stays silent, just stares down at me almost in silent disbelief while he searches my eyes.  I can't even guess what he might be thinking. 


   
 
       "Who are you?  Suddenly I feel like I don't know you at all!!"  he frowns at me  "My Mace wouldn't throw in the towel so easily, he would be kicking up a fight, throwing tantrums and playing games to make that fantasy that he wants become a reality ... I thought you loved me ... you almost sound like you have one foot out the door already and are planning to leave me."  his frown deepens  "Is this why you are being so calm and sensible suddenly, because you are now being the real you and the Mace I have been living with, was not just part of an act but a total act, even down to how much you really love me  ... that Mace would fade for me, this Mace seems to be able to walk away so easily."
        "No, I do love you, so much I am distracted by it.  I am still that Mace, loving you was never an act."
        "So explain, because you sound like you have given up on us and are not even going to fight."
        "It is not that either, I would rather fade than lose you, but the situation has changed and there are too many obstacles in our way now for me to ever dream that I will be lucky enough to get the life that I want with you."
         "What obstacles?"  he is starting to look annoyed strangely  
         "Him, you loving him and not me, prison, Slate, Jasmine, my disability .. you won't want me now!!  It was always going to be game over for me anyway, as soon as you found out he was still here waiting for you!!  I can't make you love me so I am defeated!!"  he rolls his eyes and shakes his head


          "It was easy when it was just us, hidden away in Cherry and you did not know the truth about him waiting here for you.   I could fight and play games to try and make you love me and keep a hold on you because it didn't affect anyone else, and I was only responsible for myself.  I still want exactly the same things so much it physically hurts, but it is not just us any more is it, you have Slate and I have Jasmine and we both have decisions and changes to make to do what is right by them.  It doesn't matter how much I love you, she is my little girl and she has to be my priority.  I wouldn't cope if anything ever happened to her, especially if I lost her, you really don't know what these last five years have been like for me having to leave her behind, I've cried every day when you have not been around, it hurts so much!  So I have to protect her no matter what it costs me, I have to put her first and do what is best for her ... she is not safe here and as much as I want to fight to keep you, I am not playing games that could put her in danger of being got at by the mob or abused by him!!"
       "Oh ... I get it!!"  he laughs as relief washes over his face, which surprises me a little.  "This is the over protective Daddy talking that I have been warned about."  he starts to chuckle as I frown at him  "Shale and Dad have both told me, you idolize her and verge on neurotic where your Daughter is concerned."  he grins at me for a moment   "For a second it sounded like I was losing you!!  I understand that you have to put her safety first and you are saying all this because you are convinced I am going to go crawling back to him aren't you!!"  I nod solemly "Well don't worry, I'm not!!  I said I'd look after you and I meant it, you are far from defeated so don't stress about it, we will work it out!!"  I frown at him not quite understanding what he is saying  "Where is Jasmine anyway?"
       "With Elderberry, she is staying with her until I am released from the hospital."  he frowns at me  "We had to get her away from Forrest, and I feel more comfortable with her having constant police protection.  When she is not here in Dads company, she is with Shale or El."


        "I'm sorry, if I had been awake I could have warned you.  I knew he would not take too well to Jasmine, he dislikes children, he always has done.  He would not even have anything to do with his Sisters two kids when they were born.  He's not downright victictive, its all mouth, he might say nasty things but I doubt he would physically hurt her, but I totally understand why you would want her kept away from him!!"  he smiles at me  "Knowing how he is around children, I'm still struggling to take in the fact that he was the one who virtually brought Slate up for the first five years of his life!!"
        "Probably because he was your child and a substitute for you."  I mumble  "I'm sorry Gran, I am not trying to be awkward, but he has created this situation.  I don't even like him being in the same room as she is!!  I am not even sure me and Jas should be living in the same house as he is, and if he doesn't leave her alone, then I am going to have to find somewhere else for me, Jas and Dad to live.  I can see this blowing up and you being forced to chose between us sooner rather than later.  I know you say you are staying with me until I am sent down, but if he carries on, I will have no other choice but to leave!!"  he pulls a face at me  "He is constantly sniping at her, he calls her a brat to her face and he can't even keep his dirty looks of disgust to himself, she only has to walk into the room and he is on her back!!  She has been through enough, she has been badly affected by everything that has happened, especially losing her Mother, she does not need him on top of it all!!"
         "I'll warn him, and if he doesn't cut his crap, then WE will have to find somewhere else to live!!  I can not abide anyone miss treating children and you are not leaving me!!  I can already see he is playing games to split us up, but he can play all the games he wants to, he will not force me to leave you.   Dad is right, he is a complication that we really don't need right now!!"  

I just stare at him a little surprised by him saying that, wandering what he and Dad have been talking about, and yet again I am wondering where his head is at.  I half expected that this conversation would be the end of us, I thought he would take the opportunity to walk away from me ... but he seems to be doing exactly the opposite, which is now really confusing me.

  

         "You really are being the over protective Dad aren't you."  he chuckles as he strokes my face.  "I guess this is something I have to learn!!  You are going to have to teach me how to be a Dad to Slate, because I have had no experience and don't have the slightest clue where to start!!  You know I can be very childish myself at times, I think he is going to be the sensible grown up one and I'm worried that I am going to be a disappointment to him!!"
        "You'll be fine!!  He is actually very happy that you have turned out to be his biological father and not Gravel, and you two are a lot a like, it's obvious he's your kid!!"  I laugh at him  "You don't need to worry, you are already showing signs that you will be a great Dad!!"  he frowns at me  "You don't realise, you have already stepped up for him like a Dad should, giving him your kidney without a thought, the way you made sure he gets custody of his babies and protected him from Gravel, the house you are giving him to take his worries away ..."  I smile at him for a moment  "As for me being the over protective Dad ...  it's a case of having to be ..."  I hesitate not knowing if I should be saying this at all.  "Its bad enough him picking on her, but  .... there have already been serious death threats ... and wreaths delivered. "
         "Please tell me you are joking!!"  he chokes as I shake my head.
         "I only wish I was!!"
         "When?"  he frowns at me
         "Over a week ago."  


        
        "I was talking to Dad about the Brownie wreaths earlier ... he never said anything .." 
         "No, he'll probably be angry with me for telling you, he thinks you have enough to deal with right now and wanted to wait until you are a bit stronger.  As long as we are in here we are safe with all his guard dogs out in the corridor."
         "Who?"         
         "We don't have a clue.  I am scared that I have missed or forgotten someone, because there could still be someone out there from the mob, otherwise why would they send the damn wreaths to us."
        "Wreaths?"  he frowns at me  "How many have you had sent?"
         "Only the one to me ... but there was two ... the other one had your name on it."  he frowns at me in confusion.  "This is why I am scared for Jasmine and why I suggested you move Slate to Cherry with Jasmine.  If they can't get at us, they will go for our children!!"  he chokes.
         "This is why Forrest said they don't think it is over yet, isn't it?!"  he frown as I nod at him  "I don't get it ... why me ... this has to be Gravel!!"
         "We don't understand why you either!!  It can't be Gravel because he has no way of contacting the outside world, nobody can get near him only a selected few hospital staff and there are special force police with him at all times."  he pulls a face  "Now that you have resurfaced, we thought it might have something to do with the past.  You can guess the obvious reason, but there are no Brownies left now to want revenge for you getting Fudge and his brothers locked up, other than TarragonWe can only think it is her, unless you upset someone else back then?"
         "Not as far as I know."  he frowns at me "Where is Tarragan?"


         "Apple Hill prison, so I guess she does have the opportunity to contact someone on the outside to do her dirty work for her ... but who?"
         "Berry knows ... I guess I am now going to have to watch my back again!!  GREAT!!  I thought that life was over for me - a sign I am back in this damn town!!"  he snaps.
         "Gran ... you do understand why and what I am saying about me wanting you to take Jasmine to Cherry Hill don't you."      
          "Yes of course I understand.  She needs to be protected and removed well away from the danger, and so does Slate!!"  he smiles at me  

He just stares at me for a moment saying nothing, while he searches my eyes.  He closes his eyes and starts to rub his head like he does when he is stressing and trying to think.

        "Gran?"
         "You know, going home might not be such a good idea!!  Gravel knows where we live, so if he does, Tarragon is bound to know.  I think we might need to move ...  I could move to Orange Falls to be by Dad and Shale, me and Jasmine are okay in the coded worlds, but Slate, he is visibly mixed ... and Bay if he decides to go with him, berry Tarragons baby could turn out any colour ... but she might not even let us have the baby if she has it in for us ... this is going to be nightmare ... Berry Shores ...."
         "Wow!!  Slow down, you are panic rambling"  I laugh at him  "You need to speak to Dad and Shale, they know what is best to do!!  The police are trying to get to the bottom of the wreath thing ... Dad has pulled his own force in to deal with everything because Apple and Sugar force are useless!!  We just have to wait, besides Gravel is being shipped out to Berry Shores prison."  he rolls his eyes  "Gran ..."  I frown at him  "I'm confused ... does this mean that you would consider not going back to him and going home to keep Jasmine and Slate safe?!" 
        "Yes!!"  he smiles at me  "Oh sod it, I may as well tell you!!"  he laughs  "Look, I was not going to say anything to you about this just yet ... but ... even before we had this conversation ... in my mind, me going home alone, after you get sent down is much more of a possibility than me staying here with him.  I need to leave him in the past where he belongs!!"  I stare at him a little wide eyed.  "I've had quite a talk with Dad, he has helped me to rationalise and see a lot of things that I was niave about and blinded to.  Dad is also encouraging me to go home, to get me away from the control freak and to give Slate, his babies and Jasmine a better life.  He is scared I will ruin my life and lose everything I've worked so hard for if I stay here and let Forrest take control of me again.  He is worried that this town and Forrest will drag me down and drive me back into my old life and addictionsI can actually already see his point quite clearly too, helped by Forrest's behaviour so far, reminding me of all the wrong things about our life together!"  he smiles at me


        "Are you just saying this to make me feel better?!"
        "No!!  Honestly, you ask Dad, we have already talked about me going home after your trial, even about T coming to live with me to keep me grounded and help me with Jasmine, because he is going back to Cherry when this is all over."  he smiles at me  "Haven't I always told you it is not possible for me to walk back into my old life now, it is twenty years too late to get that life back ... well nothing has changed just because he is here waiting for me and quite frankly at this moment in time I don't want it back!!  Me coming back here and seeing him was what I needed, it has helped me to see everything clearlyI have learned to be me instead of the person that he controlled me into being ... and I actually quite like myself right now!!  I have changed way too much over the last twenty years to ever go back to a relationship and life that I am now only just seeing was never any good for me in the first place.  There are to many wrong things that would make me unhappy, especially now you have taken me to a much better place!!"  he looks at me sheepishly  "I have moved on to a better place without even realising itI was being stupid and stupborn, clinging onto him and a fantasy that wasn't even real, so much so, I couldn't see you ... I can see that now!!  When we decided to work on us, I took down the wall and I had started to let you in and let him go.  These last few months of our relationship being better than good, have put the final nail in the coffin of mine and his relationship and the police operation, knowing you was destined for prison, made me realise that I was scared of losing you!!  I don't want to give up our life, our home, our friends, my job, Cherry, our relationship and especially not you!!"  he laughs at me as I just lie there with my eyes and mouth now wide open in shock.  "We were getting somewhere before all this crap happened, and I am quite happy with us, the direction that our life and relationship is going in, hell, even with all our problems since the day you walked into my life, I've been the happiest and most settled than I've ever been!!  So nothing is going to change, our future plans remain the same and as soon as I get out of here, I am going to get that divorce sorted out!!  Forget him, he is wrong for me, I left him twenty years ago, and if I did love him back then ... I don't love him any more!!  There, and now I have said it!!"  
        "I seriously don't believe I'm awake right now and hearing you say this!!  This is for real isn't it?!"  I pinch myself and then him to make sure we are both real.   He just laughs at me as he pinches me back.

 
        "Yes it is definitely for real"  he laughs at me  "I was already planning to speak to Slate on the quiet about how he would feel about relocating to Cherry, because me and Dad think it is better for him and for me, leaving this town and Forrest in the past ... now you have told me this about the threats and wreaths ... I am going to have to make it happen whether Slate likes it or not!!  We can't stay here, I will have to take both Slate and Jasmine home to Cherry Hill.
          "Really?!  Do you mean it?!"
          "Yes!!  Hell Mace ... Slate is my kid ... can you believe it!!"  I laugh at the expression on his face  "You know the only reason I hate being gay is because I can not have kids of my own ... well by some miracle, I have got one!!  I haven't even got to know him yet but I love that boy already just because of what he is ... my kid."  he grins at me and I can' help but laugh at him, he has that over excited look on his face that he gets on Christmas morning when he is opening presents or just before he is about to go off and do something ridiculously childish.  "I have already missed too much of his life, thanks to Gravel and Forrest which I am never going to forgive either of them for!!  I don't want to miss another second and I'll be damned if I lose him now!!  I don't care what I have got to do to keep Slate and Jasmine safe!!"
          "You are a funny one Granite Rock!!"  I laugh as I stroke his face  "If I had known you got this excited about children and was so hell bent on having a family, I would have brought Jasmine with me or got us adopting some."  I laugh at him
          "You like kids right ... Dad said you and Tami were trying for more kids." he frowns at me.  "How many?"
          "Yeah, we was aiming for four, but she had a problem in that department, poly cystic ovaries.  If Jasmine was a one off, we was going to adopt."  I smile at him 
          "So when you come out of prison, we can adopt some more?"
          "Yes if that's what you want ... "  I laugh at him      
           "Adopting children is something that I could never have here with him, because as you can already see, he is very anti children.  We had hundreds of arguments over it ... I always used to resent him for it, because he would not even entertain the idea of children, not even to make me happy or give me a reason to clean up my act, which I would have done, I would have done anything given the opportunity!!  He reacts to children like you react to spiders.
          "No wander he kicked up such a fuss over you taking Jasmine!!  I thought it was just because he thought I was playing games and trying to keep my claws into you."  I laugh
          "I would imagine it was partly that, but I think mostly because he knows, not only that I would jump at the chance of having Jasmine, but that it would also drive a wedge between us and create an obstacle to prevent us from getting back together.  Tarragons baby is just going to tilt him right over the edge!!"  he laughs for a moment   "With you I can finally get the family that I always wanted!!"  he continues to grin at me   "See this is just one example of where you make me happy and are right for me, whereas, he is wrong for me and makes me unhappyAnd it's not just this, I can think of plenty more examples ... "  he grins at me before he starts to kiss me like a mad man.



         "What the hell has gotten into you?"  I laugh at him when he comes up for air
         "You!!  Finally, I can see you!!  

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Song - Take me Home - Jess Glynne

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