Fiona and Finn watched Sebastian leave with Sharon at the end of her shift, and Fiona looked back at Lucas standing behind her waving goodbye to her grandson. She still wasn’t sure how she felt about this new guy that was secretly in Davina’s introverted life. Lucas smiled at her as they heard the revelry coming from the Verve Club next door. Loud songs blared out the door of the club and sounds of dance screamed from the inside to the full street. The imagination could wander just from the sounds of the bar stools full of people, and the men flexing their chests to get the attention of the girl across the room in the club.
Finn was surveilling the area to make sure that Sebastian’s babysitter was not being followed by anyone. Sharon’s car was long gone without any stragglers. The street was busy, and a jet passed over the top of the tall, poinsettia decorated buildings downtown. It was Christmas time, and the town looked beautiful. A pedant man who looked like a decorator was pointing out the final details to be added to the building across the street from the little café, like the holly that wrapped around the street lights.
The man waved a greeting to everyone who was walking by as he completed his work of making the street beautiful. When he got close to Lucas and Fiona, he gave a friendly nod and continued working like he was hosting the celebration of the century. They enjoyed watching him work as they all stood there on the sidewalk in front of the café, Finn’s hat blew off his head. As he chased it down, Lucas felt uncomfortable around Fiona. It was a rough way to meet Davina’s mother, and he could tell that he shocked her beyond words. He also felt like his presence spoiled the mood when he showed up in the café, and it was hard for him to stand in silence on the cold sidewalk…awkward silence, at that.
“So…what now?” Lucas broke the thick air with his voice. “Where are you going to go?” He rubbed his bare hands together to warm them in the cold.
Fiona shrugged uncertainly and looked at Finn, “I really have no idea for once. We cannot go back out to the house, but I really need to grab some things that Sebastian and I will need.” She was fibbing a little bit.
“I thought you grabbed as much as you could…it’s too dangerous to go back there, Fi.” Finn pleads to Fiona to try to talk her out of going back there. “You…you and Sebastian are in danger! Flannery is not programmed to stop hunting. My guess would be that Cole intends to get Sebastian back from you and that he assigned Flannery to kill you and get his boy.”
Lucas interrupted, “I might have a perfect place for you guys to stay. It’s not here…or even in this state. It’s about 45 minutes away from here.”
“We cannot go until tomorrow. We can explore that when I pick Sebastian up tomorrow afternoon. Also, Finn and I must do something tonight and, in the morning,” She trailed back into the café to grab some coffee, leaving the men behind on the street.
“Finn, did I do something to offend her?” Lucas had a puzzled look on his face as he watched Fiona walk inside while glaring at him.
He was referring to the snubbing and the constant cold shoulder he was getting from his dead girlfriend’s mother. It gave him goosebumps along with the cold wind on this cold, winter, December night in Terre Haute. The wind bit through him, and he stuck his bare fingers into his coat pockets. It was a different kind of cold, and he wasn’t used to it. Hence the fancy big coat and the meldrop forming at the end of his nose.
“No, you just surprised her because she didn’t have any idea that you existed. Davina didn’t disclose about anyone she was seeing or otherwise. She is just in a bit of shock. Give her time. She’ll come around. It’s been a rough week for her and the kid.” Finn tried to smooth the surface of the tension from Fiona.
They were wrapping up the conversation when Fiona walked out with her steaming paper cup full of coffee. It had a safety band around the bottom to keep a person from burning their fingers by the hot beverage inside the cup. Two sugars and two creams, she tells them. She looks at Finn and Lucas chatting like they had been friends the length of their entire lives. She could hear Lucas tell him how Davina spoke of Finn often in their time together. Tears welled up in her eyes thinking of her daughter bragging about her male best friend. She was a bit intimidated by all the new things coming into her life, but her hesitation would only make life harder for her and Sebastian. She thought to herself that she could accept the help from Lucas.
Finn’s pager went off as the men were talking, and Fiona was gawking at them. As he looked at the device, Lucas noticed Fiona watching them.
“I need to go make this call. You guys can meet me at the car in the alley in the back, and I will be right there.” Finn rushed off and went back into the restaurant to use the phone.
Lucas extended his arm to Fiona, “Can I walk you back there? It’s slippery, and it’s an alley…”
She accepted his arm, wrapping her arm in his in a friendly gesture, “Thank you, Lucas. You took me by surprise. I’m sorry if I seemed rude.”
“It’s okay, Ms. Ridings…I can only imagine how stressful things are for you right now. I want to make it better for you and Sebastian. Will you let me?”
“Fiona…you can call me Fiona.” She smiled at the tall, blonde-haired man. She could imagine that Davina thought he was quite handsome. “Let’s take it a day at a time, and we’ll see how it goes.”
She accepted him in her own way. Davina would have been proud of her. The thought of her daughter smiling and interacting with this man allowed Fiona to smile as they made it to Finn’s cruiser. Lucas was not what she expected, but Davina had chosen him at the worst time in her life. That counted for something in Fiona’s book, and Sebastian seemed to adore him to the moon and back. She could picture her daughter journaling about their love in one of her hand-bound writing books. Fiona could see her daughter doodling his name on random pieces of paper while waiting on food to deliver to her customers. Fiona pictured her sweet Davina being completely happy and in love with Lucas, and it took all the bad things that had already happened to their family away at that very moment.
“Thank you, Lucas…”
“For what?” He cocked his head curiously to Fiona.
“For escorting me back here…” and then she mumbled, “and…for loving my baby girl”. She said it under her breath like a child trying to get out of trouble.
Lucas turned his head to not let her see him smile, and then he came back to her gaze, “It was my pleasure on both accounts.”
Finn interrupted the moment by rushing out the back door. “We need to get out of here, right now!” He opened the door and gave a nudge to Fiona’s arm. “Go on! We need to move fast!”
Lucas was confused and flustered by the chaos that came out with Finn from inside. “What’s going on? Do you want me to follow?”
Finn darted an emergent gaze to him, “We need to follow you! I have to get her out of here and get Sebastian from Sharon’s. After I get him, we need to follow you!”
Lucas did not waste any time, “Go get Sebastian! I will follow you, and then I will get you guys safe!” He scurried off to get into his SUV.
Fiona dashed inside the back seat, and Finn followed suit in the front seat of the cruiser. They drove away from the café as fast as they could, and they didn’t look back.
© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved
For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:
Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)