Sebastian’s Story – Part 26 – The Envelope

Image Credit: Leyne @ Morguefile.com.

Fiona had not sat with her feet up for the longest time, or at least it felt like it. It was the first time that she could relax. Sebastian was playing with his new best friend, Finn, and Lucas… She thought to herself, Lucas was doing whatever it was that Lucas did in this big house. Why did he need this big house anyway? She thought of all the ways that he could have acquired this mansion. Many of the conclusions she came up with were ridiculous, like robbing a bank, being a drug dealer, or human trafficking. She really wanted and needed some answers, but for now, she was enjoying wearing her favorite kind of shoes and resting her tired legs on the ottoman of the most comfortable chair she had ever sat in.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. As she let the air out into the room, she opened her eyes and was startled. There before her, standing over her, was Lucas. Smiling. Friendly. Without a care in the world about the situation or anything really. She found him quite annoying at times.

She sat up and rubbed her eyes, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t asleep. Is this your chair?” She thought he wanted to sit there. After she spoke the words, she felt stupid for spewing them from her mouth, shaking her head at herself.

“No, not at all. It’s nice to see that you were relaxing, but I wanted to take a minute to speak to you since Sebastian and Finn are busy. Are you good with that?”

She sat up in a more proper position, bringing her feet down from the padded leather ottoman. “Sure, I hope I…we…are not imposing.”

Lucas was very kind. He tried to stop her when he realized that she was feeling like a burden. “Not at all. No. You are very welcome here. That’s what I needed to talk to you about.”

He piqued her interest because he was being forthwith but cryptic at the same time. “Alright. I’m listening.” Her face was perplexed.

“This is going to be hard to hear, but it’s a good thing that I need to tell you.” He sat next to her in the adjacent chair with a matching ottoman. “Davina knew there would come a time when Cole and his minions would find her. The Marshalls should have given you all new identities in the protection, but they failed. In the event of her death, I am supposed to give this to you.”

He handed her a large manila envelope with a clasp on it. The front read, “Momma” in Davina’s handwriting. Fiona’s face when ghostly white and blank. She could not speak. She got a huge knot in her throat as soon as Lucas began talking about her baby…her daughter…her Davina. Lucas could tell she was in shock by the way she slowly grabbed the envelope and lost the color on her face.

“Sebastian is playing, and Finn is keeping him entertained. Take all the time you need to read and take in what is in the envelope. I will be in my office, down the hall that way, when you are ready.” He pointed to the room on the right next to the living room with the double doors and put a handkerchief beside her on the table. “You will probably need this.”

Fiona tried to smile. She couldn’t. He recognized her pain. He lingered for a minute until she got the strength to wave him on politely. He didn’t take offense. She watched him walk out of the room and close his doors to the office behind him. She sat there looking at the envelope wondering what could be inside. She was having a hard time bringing herself to open it. All she could do is stare at it. Blankly… she gawked at the writing on the front. She picked it up and smelled it. It smelled like Davina’s perfume. It had her scent on it. It was from Davina, she thought. It wasn’t that she did not believe Lucas. It was lingering and surreal.

She had tears rolling down her cheeks. She opened the envelope slowly and carefully. She did not want it to rip or get damaged. She felt like it was all she had left of Davina at that moment. She succeeded in her efforts to keep it pristine, and it was probably the most careful she had ever been with an envelope. She didn’t lick the sticky part, Fiona mused. It made her smile a bit. Davina could not stand licking envelopes. The tape served its purpose well along with the clasp anyhow. She was still scared to look inside. She tapped on the outside of the off-white paper cover for what seemed like an hour, but it was just a few minutes.

She spoke out into the empty room where she had earlier found peace, “Okay. I can do this. You can do this, Fiona.” It was a pep talk that turned her cheeks red because she feared someone would hear her talking to herself in the third person. “Just look in the damn envelope already!”

She pulled the paperwork from the envelope, setting the envelope on the table beside the hankie that Lucas had left her. She sat the contents on her lap and looked forward. She couldn’t look down at them just yet. After a deep breath, she looked down as she exhaled to see a letter on the front page of the packet.

Dear Momma,

I hate to be cliché, but if you are reading this, then I am no longer breathing. I have no idea how to explain Lucas just yet, but he is a Godsend to mine and Sebastian’s lives. I can imagine you are a bit miffed at the secret, but I was trying to protect you. I got myself tied into things that I could not escape in the early years of Cole and I’s relationship, and I put your life and my baby boy’s life in danger. I have many things to show you and tell you in this packet, so brace yourself.

The most important thing to know is that this house is in your new name. Lucas secured new identities for all three of us, but I did not make it obviously. I promise that once you get through all the information that your worry will deplete. You can finally be happy, Momma. Even without me, Sebastian will make your light shine like I did growing up with you. I love you. I’m sorry that my life choices made you suffer.

Tell Sebastian that I love him more than he could ever imagine and that he was my reason for breathing. Also tell him that I said, “Secrets Saves Lives.”

Your Daughter,

Davina


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. This part of the story is from this week’s Flash Fiction from Fandango (#FFFC).

Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 25 – The Hunt

The winter snow had come in full force this season, and Indiana was gaining much more snowfall than usual. The collection of snow and ice from the storms made it hard to journey on the highways, but thankfully Lucas had gotten them safe before the roads had gotten too bad. Fiona sat in her room and could not help but worry about Sharon, since she assumed he had been tracking them for a while. It was nearly seven o’clock, and she was beginning to smell the aroma of food seeping through the crack in the bottom of her door. The savory smells made her tummy growl out into the big room. She had showered and then dressed in clothes that she imagined Davina had chosen for her before her departure. They were trendy but comfortable. Davina knew her mother hated being uncomfortable when it came to fashion. Fiona was laid back and never flashy. It was part of the reason she could hardly stand Megan’s wardrobe and the personality that went with the threads. She shook off the thought of Megan as she heard a tapping at the sturdy door of her room.

“Yes, who is it?” Fiona asked.

“It’s Finn. Can I come in?” He spoke quietly.

“Of course! Come in, Finn.” She opened the door and waved him in past the entryway. “What’s up? You okay?”

“Oh…yeah. I’m good. I just wanted to see if you wanted me to escort you down to dinner. This is a big house.” Finn fumbled with the collar on his shirt. “I have no idea how they knew my size, but I have a whole closet full of clothes.”

“Same here. I think Davina set this all up.” She walked over and opened her wardrobe of hand-picked clothes. “See?”

“It’s insane. How in the world did she know I would be here too? Sebastian’s room is amazing. Do you want to go check it out?” Finn had that wholesome smile on his face that he wore on his face when he was not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had no idea of the paradox that was unfolding around the friendly waitress and babysitter known as Sharon an hour away from their paradise. It wasn’t an island wonderland, but the house was its own mini-vacation compared to where they had been staying in the country.

“Sure. Lead the way. I am right behind you.” She felt hopeful for the first time in a while.

Finn escorted her to Sebastian’s room, and he knocked out of courtesy like he did at Fiona’s door.

“Hey kiddo! Are you ready for some chow?” Finn talked into the big, heavy door.

Sebastian came running to the door. They could hear his little feet pitter-patter as he ran towards it. “Mr. Finn! Is that you?”

“It’s me! Can I come in? I have a surprise out here for you.” Finn looked back at Fiona smiling with delight.

“I need help with the door. It’s too heavy.” Sebastian was grunting trying to pull the door open. The struggle could be heard in his voice.

“I got you, little man!” Finn turned the knob and pushed carefully on the door. He had to make sure not to knock the kid out with the heavy piece of wood with brass handles.

“GAMMY! Come see my room! Momma made it special for me! Are you my surprise?” Sebastian tackled Fiona’s leg with so much enthusiasm that he nearly knocked her over.

Finn laughed with them and exited the room to allow Fiona to explore the room with her grandson.

Sebastian led her over to his bookcase. Davina had stocked it with his favorite fables and stories that they would always read together. She put a great deal of thought into the layout of his room. It looked like the little nook that the two of them occupied on Davina’s days off. Fiona felt tears well up in her eyes. Sebastian noticed.

“Gammy, don’t cry. Mommy is all around me and you. She’s an angel.” He walked over and hugged her leg tightly, which made her eyes really begin to streak her cheeks with salty wetness.

Finn knocked on the door again, and the embrace Sebastian had on Gammy’s leg was broken. The knock was urgent.

“Finn, come in!” Sebastian belted out loudly to him.

“I have to go. Jericho was just spotted downtown in front of Boo’s. My source told me that Sharon came in for an unscheduled shift due to someone calling in. The Marshalls are going to meet me there. Save me some dinner?” Finn was disconcerted.

Sebastian nodded his head and said, “I got you, Mr. Finn. Go save Ms. Sharon, please!” He was a bit frantic in his own way.

Fiona followed Finn out into the hallway in front of Sebastian’s room. “Do you think he will hurt her?”

Finn put his head down, “My informant said that Flannery has been watching the café since we pulled away. He was right behind us. We barely got away from him.”

The Devilles used Jericho Flannery like a tracking dog, and Fiona’s concern for Sharon was not far off. He almost had to know about Sharon because he knew about the safety deposit box key and the other various aspects of Davina’s life. He was decisive and precise when he executed his contracts. No one could claim he was not good at his job. This man was trained to hunt, and the horns of the hunt echoed across the snow this night. His instruction in the armed forces was quite extensive. He was formulated for the front lines in the Marines. It was the only thing he was good at after graduating with low grades after high school. The military gave him a purpose. He loved to kill. He loved the chase. He loved the challenge of acquiring his targets. This life of crime was perfect for who he believed he was always destined to be…a psychopath. He was your worst nightmare if he was tracking you because Jericho was not leaving any stone unturned when looking for he meant to acquire you. He did not give up, and he always got his mark.
He sat outside across the street from the café when it was about time for Sharon’s shift at Boo’s. There was a jolly Santa that had his collection bell ringing as he paced the city street in front of Verve and Boo’s. Jericho hated Christmas. It reminded him of the past and a family that never wanted him. It made him think about how the best present he had received on Christmas was a pack of condoms from “Dear Ole Dad” …that’s what the card said inside the box. Other Christmas rituals in his dysfunctional family included getting knocked in the head by his mother for taking a cookie from the counter that she had just made, and cigarette burns from his pops as punishment for that same act. He had a harsh upbringing, and it showed daily in every move he made. He was truly a miserable human being, and he didn’t care to be considered so or to be seen as the murderer and criminal that he was. His truth was that he care less if he woke up the next day, let alone deal with Christmas and happy times with a family that never mattered to him.

He tossed a cigarette out of the window at the end of his reminiscing. He shook his head and snickered under his breath.

He repeated the card’s text under his breath in a sarcastic tone, “Dear Ole Dad…”

His eyes rolled and then came alert as he saw Davina’s friend pulling in the alley to park in the back of the restaurant. He thought to himself that the street was too busy to take a shot from his pistol that was hiding in his dash. He supposed he did not aim to kill her yet anyway. He needed information. He needed to know where his prey went. He wanted to collect his prize from his contract. He had a long time to wait before her shift was over, but he didn’t mind making her skin crawl while he stared her down inside while shoving food in his mouth. I could eat something, he deliberated. He couldn’t remember when he ate last.

He shut off the ignition of his van, and he gathered his weapon from the glove box. His trench coat had a special pocket for his weapon on the inside…custom made, and he placed it there before stepping out into the street.

The wind was gusty and smacked him in the face a few times before he got across the street to the door of the café. As he opened it, the bell chimed to let the staff know someone entered. Sharon was just coming onto the floor, and she greeted him with her usual, friendly smile.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 24 – Lucas’s Demesne

Sebastian was like a tiny little Spartan because he was ready for any battle that came at him. He was having the worst time of his life, and he stood so tall and so very strong. Most adults would crumble with everything that had been happening in his young life. He had the heart and strength of a lion. He was like a veteran that had seen all the crimson bloodshed on the battlefield that was able to move on from what he saw unaffected. His mother would be proud of how he was handling all the loss and changes due to her death.

When Gammy and Finn pulled up to Sharon’s house, he was playing outside with Jenna. It startled Fiona a little bit that he was not inside of the home playing with all the Flannery chaos uprooting in their lives. Sharon was busy shoveling the little bit of snow from her walkway leading up to the porch. The pavement still had a shiny, frosty appearance to it where the shovel had scraped by. Fiona avoided it as she walked up to talk to her, as she feared she would slip.

Sharon was surprised to see Fiona so soon after Sebastian left with her, “Hey Miss Fiona! Everything okay?”

“I’m afraid not, Sharon. We are going to have to end the visit sooner than expected…” Fiona felt bad because Sharon and Jenna both had disappointing expressions across their faces. “Is Sebastian’s backpack inside?”

Sharon set her shovel down and head up to her door from the icy steps on her fence-framed porch. “C’mon in Miss Fiona! We will get that bag and get you on your way!”

Sharon was always so pleasant and courteous to Fiona and everyone she encountered. She gave a holler to the kids to follow the grown-ups into the house, and they obeyed peacefully.

“Thanks, Sharon. I’m sorry that we could not let him stay longer. I don’t want to put you in the same danger that we are in, and it’s possible with all the drama going on surrounding Davina’s death. Cole wants Sebastian.”

Fiona saw Sebastian’s backpack sitting by the door when she walked in. She picked it up and was able to certify all his belonging were already packed up. It looked to her like he dropped the bag and went to play, without any hesitation. She kept talking as she inspected the contents of the bag.

“I put some gingerbread cookies in there for him before we left the café, and there’s a few other snacks in there. I know how he likes his goodies!” Sharon said watching Fiona’s meticulous inspection of the bag.

“I appreciate you, Sharon…everything you do for us. You have become a close friend, rather than just part of the wait staff at the café. I am so sad to say that we may not see you for a bit. We are leaving, and I have no idea when we will be back. The last thing I need is Cole grabbing my sweet boy. He’s all I have left.” Fiona trailed off while ending her sentence and directed her attention to Sebastian to change the subject. Sharon realized the shift in Fiona’s mood.

“I appreciate you and that sweet little man too! Jenna will miss him, but your safety is the top priority. I will keep my eye out for you, Fiona. I love you guys!” Sharon developed a small tear in her watery eyes.

“We love you too! We’ll miss you! We will try to see you soon, okay?” Fiona leaned in to hug her easygoing friend. “You stay safe too.” The gratitude exuded from Fiona’s expression and interaction with Sharon.

As they ended their friendly embrace, Sebastian was running around the house with Jenna like a chicken with his head cut off. It was a bit of a madhouse, but the chaos didn’t faze Sharon as she got hit in the face with the ball they were playing with. Fiona stopped Sebastian as he got close to her when he was running about.

“Hey, kiddo! We got to get on the road. Are you ready for an adventure?” Her words were emphasized in an exciting way to prevent him from being worried.

“Yay! I like adventures, Gammy!” Sebastian put his backpack on and started jiggling the door handle to go outside.

“Wait a minute! Give Miss Sharon and Jenna some love before we go, silly boy!” She giggled at his excitement and brought the first smile for a while on her face.

Sebastian giggled too, whipped around to Miss Sharon, and he grabbed a big hug around her neck. Jenna awaited the end of their hug and immediately followed suit. She practically jumped on Sebastian.

“Bye Bastian…I’ll see you,” Jenna said to her blonde hair, blue-eyed best friend.

“Bye Jenna and Miss Sharon…thank you for letting me play.” He turned to Gammy and motioned for her to pick him up. “See you.”

Fiona picked up the little boy that felt like he put on ten pounds overnight, and she walked out the door to meet Finn at the unmarked cruiser. Sebastian wiggled out of her arms and ran towards Lucas.

“Lucas! We’re going on an adventure! Can you come too?” Sebastian tugged at his pant leg happily.

“Of course! I am going to lead the way! Are you good with that?” Lucas smiled down at him, lifted him up, and their eyes came together.

“Yes! That sounds good, Luke!” He fluttered over to the passenger door facing Sharon’s house and waited for Finn to open it up for him to climb inside. “Let’s go!”

Fiona buckled him into his booster seat in the car and proceeded to join him in the car, except this time she sat up front with Finn.

“Gammy needs to sit up here and watch the road for Mr. Finn, okay baby?” She looked back at him through the safety glass that separated the front from the back seat.

“Mhm. It’s okay Gammy. I got snacks. Can I eat them?” Sebastian was always so passive and easygoing. It was good he was so unaffected…for now anyway.

“Of course! Miss Sharon put some cookies and other treats in there for you on our trip.” Fiona nodded in agreement as she pointed out the perks in his bag.

Lucas pulled away, and Finn followed behind him. It was going to be about an hour’s drive to Lucas’s secret spot to hide them. Finn kept looking back in his rear-view mirror to make sure they were not being followed and to check on Sebastian in the back seat. Each time Finn looked back, Sebastian made a funny face at him to make him smile. It worked. Finn could not resist interacting with Davina’s baby boy. He felt like the long, lost uncle. He was growing so fond of Sebastian because he was so clever and resilient for such a young lad.

He looked over to Fiona, who seemed lost in thought while gazing out the window, and he looked back to the road. “You know, I think he’s a good guy. Lucas.”

Fiona came back to reality to Finn’s voice speaking, “Huh, yeah…he seems good.”

“I know you were having a hard time at first, but we had a good talk in front of the café. He loved Davina immensely. He’s hurting too.” Finn tried to win some points for the new guy. Typical guy move.

He was obviously Team Lucas, Fiona thought. She scratched her head that was smothered by a winter beanie. Her locks of hair flowed out the bottom of the beanie in loose curls. “I suppose…I just do not understand, for the life of me, why Davina would keep him as a secret from me. What else did I not know?”

She thought of all the opportunities that Davina would have had to tell her about this new love when they were telling stories between the two of them sitting at their kitchen table or while bundled up in a blanket watching movies on her day off. It would have sparked her interest, and she would have loved hearing that her daughter was in love with Lucas. The relationship with Cole had haunted her after they ran for their lives, and Fiona felt like Davina should have trusted her enough to speak of this man. This…guy… who apparently loved her sweet, dead Davina.

“It sounds like she finally found the real thing. Maybe she wanted to make sure that her divorce would go through first. I don’t know, Fi. You should talk to him. He knows a lot, and he was probably a ranking top 5 person in her life.” Finn had that caring tone in the way he talked to her about Lucas. He knew she was struggling to feel included. He couldn’t blame her for feeling left out in the cold.

“You’re probably right. I think I am just frustrated that my and Sebastian’s lives just keep getting harder behind lies and secrets. All she had to do is talk to me, for God’s sake. I should not have found out like this.” She looked back at Sebastian snacking on the cookies, smiles, and, with a whiffle that she exhausted out of her mouth, “I’ll talk to Lucas. Thank you, Finn.”

Finn gave a nod and continued driving towards their adventure behind Lucas’s black SUV, a Chevy Suburban. “Everything is going to be okay…it has to, Fiona.”

“One can hope…I just want to get wherever the hell we are going.” Fiona looked back out the cold window and held a healing crystal in her hand. She had gathered it from her purse before they left. It was Davina’s. Aventurine…to heal the mind, body, and spirit against erratic behavior. Davina had carved a wing on the surface of the stone for more protection. She said it linked her to her guardian angel. Fiona didn’t argue about it, maybe it did help her heal. Regardless, both Fiona and Davina had that erratic behavior. She wondered; would Sebastian have our temperament? She grasped the crystal tight, and she tried to relax. The reality of the situation told her that it was inevitable that they would never be able to go back to their quiet country home. They had to start over again.

Just then, Finn noticed that the SUV turned into a small drive up the way from where he was driving behind Lucas. They followed him into what would be understood as his demesne. There was a huge and beautiful yard surrounded by a gated area that led up to a big house, and there was a fountain that sat before the front veranda that held the entry to the home in a circle, paved drive.

Finn stopped his police car behind the truck, and Lucas stepped out and walked toward them waving for them to get out of the car. Fiona got out first, and she opened the back door for Sebastian. He popped out of the back seat very ecstatic and ran to Lucas.

“We’re home! Can I go to my room?” Sebastian asked Gammy while sitting in Lucas’s arms.

Fiona was put off again with shock from the question. “Can you…huh?”

Lucas noticed the defeat in Fiona’s lips as they curled up at him a bit. “Sorry, Mrs. Ridings. This all must be a lot to take in.”

She couldn’t help but snap at him, “Ya think? Didn’t you ever wonder about her family? She had me. Her family. This is too much!” She walked towards Finn, white with disbelief.

“Let’s get inside, and then I will tell you everything you want to know. Some of it will make you smile, and other things will not. Regardless, you are safe here. We are all safe here.” He motioned for Fiona to go first up to the door. “Ladies first.”

Fiona smirked at him. “Gee, thanks…” The sarcasm bit Lucas right at his throat.

Sebastian went quiet, and Finn joined him in silence. The tension between Fiona and Lucas was off the charts, and they did not want any part of it.

Finn followed behind Sebastian, “Show me around, kiddo!”

“You got it, Mr. Finn! I’ll show you how to get to your room!” Sebastian ran up the curved set of stairs on the left side of the foyer. Finn followed, and Fiona sat on the bottom stair with the grief consuming her.

“Mrs. Ridings…Fiona…come with me, and I will show you to your room too. Everything will make sense after you have a shower and some food in your stomach.” Lucas tried to show that he cared for her…even with only knowing her for a short time.

When they started walking up the right side of the curved stairs that went to the second level of the mansion, the chimes in the grandfather clock started to ring. She thought to herself, wow, it is midnight again. Fiona was exhausted. The clock reminded her of the bells that were ringing in town, but they were more peaceful and melodic.

As they reached the top of the stairs, Lucas stopped at the first door they came to on the right side. He opened the door and motioned an invite for her to walk inside. There were roses budding in a vase next to the large California King bed. The room was gorgeous, and it seemed to have all her favorites inside of it. It reminded her of her home back in Roland. Davina had to have done this for me, she thought, no one else would have known me like this. She smiled at Lucas, and he smiled back as he backed out of her bedroom suite.

He spoke softly and said, “Dinner is at 7. You will find everything you need in the wardrobe and bathroom.”

Fiona gave a kind nod to him and sat on her bed.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 23 – Acceptance

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­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:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 22 – Aurora Mitchell

Davina’s shock was setting into her body. She couldn’t say anything else. He was done listening to anything that she had to say now anyway. She was thankful when he exited the room and left her alone. He was no longer the good man that she had known throughout high school. That boy would have never laid a single finger on her…let alone wallop her across the face the way that he did. Davina took a deep breath of relief as she heard the door slam close. He was gone for the moment. She began thinking again about the necklace and its familiarity. She was walking into Sebastian’s room when she abruptly stopped in her footsteps.

She remembered where she had seen it. She slowly took the necklace from her own pocket and examined it closely. “Oh my God…” She said in the night air of her house. Her heart raced like it was about to schism inside of her chest.

She looked closer at the charm that rested on the gold chain, and it was a hummingbird, her favorite. Finn had gotten this for her birthday, and it had the earrings to match. This was Georgia Marlow’s necklace, she thought. How did Cole get it? Why was it in his pocket? The answers to those questions made her light-headed. She just kept thinking about the things he said, and she could not shake the threat he threw out into the air about people messing with their family. I don’t know what to do, her mind was screaming inside of her head. Perhaps this was Cole’s way of flaunting that he was an awful entity in her life and that she did not want to mess with him. She realized this was his way of showing his teeth to her, like a rabid dog, and laying all the cards on the table in an intense card game. It was a game that she was done playing, and she had no desire to play it with a rabid dog either.

All she could think about was talking to Finn, but Cole would be watching her closely now. She was so stressed that she felt a crease forming on her forehead, and it triggered the pressure in the wound on her face. It still hurt like hell. There would be no forgiving him for any of this…Davina knew that for sure. She would have to be careful not to piss him off. She could only imagine it would get more critical for her, but that wasn’t the thing that scared her the most. Her mind began racing with the necklace in her hand. The shock was really setting in and causing a panic attack. She thought, what would happen when Sebastian angered him? Would he hit Sebastian? Would he kill me? Her mind was moving fast, and it was chaotic inside of her psyche. It was heralding her to understand how crucial her situation was. She needed to save her son and herself.

Cole having Georgia’s necklace could only mean one thing. He was connected to her death. He basically had told her that she was killed for messing with the family. All she could think of was Finn and the twins. I will never be able to look Finn in the eyes again, she thought, and that thought led to other thoughts about Cole and her situation with him. The necklace missing from Georgia’s neck is why the police thought that she was carjacked on her way to town. It was a gorgeous necklace with an emerald-breasted hummingbird drinking from a pink diamond. Finn had paid a good bit of money for it, and the necklace and earrings were not anywhere to be found after she perished.

Davina and Cole had been in this relationship that went on for years now, and she thought she knew everything about him. She would have never predicted the abuse of that night or any of the others. The beatings escalated after that night, and they always came when he was drinking. He was getting more sinister and more violent, and Davina’s bruises got bigger and more serious. The mistreatment got so profound that he had to start taking her to the emergency room to get treated and give bogus excuses about how she was injured.

The excuses worked for her until meeting the nurse named Aurora Mitchell. She saw through the nonsense that Davina told for reasonings to her injuries. Davina reflected for a minute while in the waiting room of the emergency department to be seen. She had been choked out by Cole with a garter belt…her garter belt…from their wedding. Her neck was covered in welts, and it was so black and blue that it looked like she had tried to hang herself from the highest tree. The injuries were too many and too often, and Aurora knew how to be discreet and find out the information that she needed to treat Davina’s wound accordingly.

The people were moving around the room in a flurry as names were being called to be examined in the back of the waiting room…behind those big electric doors. There was a kind of cohesion in the madness of the people though. “Davina Deville!” The nurse called out her name to be seen by the doctor.

Davina stood up, and she went through the door of the emergency room. She was limping and holding a scarf tight around her neck to hide the bruising from being choked. The nurse had empathetic eyes. The dark-haired nurse tried to get a wheelchair for Davina, but she wanted to walk of her own free will.

The nurse, Aurora, motioned her hand to the left, parking the chair, and directed Davina, “Right this way, Mrs. Deville. We will be going to Exam Room 5.”

Davina put her head down as she walked by the nurse’s station in the center of the room to her assessment space. “Thank you, Miss. I had a terrible fall while I was handling laundry today.”

Aurora knew it was more than that, and asked, “Do you need help? Like legal help?” She sat down beside Davina in the chair. “This is the 5th time I have seen you in a month.”

“I’m very clumsy since my pregnancy…I’m not in any trouble. I swear.” Davina tripped over her words and spoke to the nurse very fast. “We need to do X-Rays, right?”

“Yes, but I want to talk to you for a little while if that’s okay? You’re safe here…in this room with me. Can you tell me what really happened so I can treat you properly?” Nurse Aurora saw tears form in the corner of Davina’s eyes. “It’s okay. I’ve got you. I promise what you say will never leave this room without your permission.”

“It will put you in danger if I tell you what happened. Can we just go to get the X-rays?” Davina pleaded with the nice nurse to let it go, but she knew she had already said too much.

She begins looking Davina over, and she continues talking, “Do you have anyone that you want to call to sit with you while you get treatment? That neck of yours is in bad shape, and I think “the fall” has caused a splintered fracture in your shin bone. Plus, your ribs have contusions. We are going to have to admit you.”

“No, he will see anyone that comes in, and I will get in more trouble. You can stay with me though. I trust you.” Davina reached out for Aurora to hold her hand. Aurora gladly holds her hand to calm her. She could have used a big hug, but she was too sore.

After the first time, his violence got out of hand and more often. She was cheating death each time he got done beating her. He had broken her arm, ribs, and wrist, along with giving her a handful of concussions throughout the past year, and Aurora had seen every single one of those injuries. She had a thick medical record of “falls”, and the kind nurse that always treated Davina had a hard time not reporting them.

Davina lived by putting on a brave face and pretending it never happened most times. She was the prototype of an abused woman…something she never thought she would ever think would happen to her. The abuse elevated like a plane taking flight into the sky. It escalated and escalated, and her medical visits got closer and closer together. Each attack was more brutal than the one before it. After every incident, the thought of getting away and fleeing the plethora of harm that she was enduring did cross her mind, but she couldn’t leave. Instead, she began wearing oversized shades and long-sleeved shirts and blouses to hide the bumps and bruises. Cole would cut off her casts and take the walking canes that were to help her recover from his assaults. He did everything in his power to keep his little secret that he was a vicious piece of shit. It was like wearing a mask every time she left the house.

“Davina, do take off those dreadful sunglasses and join us at the table,” Megan exclaimed, “Why must you always wear those in the house? We are not in Hollywood for Pete’s sake.”

“I’m sorry. The eye doctor dilated my pupils, and the light hurts. Would it be okay to just keep them on? My eyes are very sensitive right now.” She looked over to Cole as she lied to her mother-in-law, and he smiled at how good she lied. He lounged back cockily in his seat. It made her sick to her stomach.

“Oh, that must be horrible for you, Davina dear. Whatever makes you feel comfortable then… I suppose.” Megan was sarcastic, of course. She busy-bodied away from the couple into the kitchen as she finished patronizing Davina. “Cole, come help me in the kitchen. You can grab the sweet potato pie. Plus, I need you to grab the fine dinnerware. Chop! Chop!” She clapped her hands together to make him move faster.

He got up from his chair, smirking back at Davina as he exited the room. He enjoyed her torture like it was some kind of Hedonistic feeling to see her writhe with discomfort around him and his family. Chills ran down her spines so hard that it felt like frost on her back, and she was happy to see him depart her view. She had completely withdrawn from the relationship after the countless times that he had hit her in the past year. Part of her life consisted of hiding the abuse from the ones that loved her the most, and the other part of her life was being a mom to Sebastian. The latter being the most important.

Her seclusion became a mask to protect the ones that she loved. The problem with a mask is that sometimes you forget how to take it off. Anyone who loved Davina had become a target and their lives were in danger if they intervened in Cole’s business within his relationship. He warned her constantly that the ones she loved could easily disappear. So, to save them from her monstrosity of a partner, Davina had become accustomed to hiding herself from others, and no one really knew that there was a problem in the relationship because of her seclusion. Everyone thought it was a choice by her to stay away and be antisocial. They did not realize that it was because her marriage and life was a huge malfunction altogether, but her friends should have known…

“Davina, are you mad at me or something?” Brooke had asked her over a telephone call a few weeks after the attacks started.

“No, why would I be?” Davina answered, but she was defensive. “You’ve done nothing to me…”

“Well, I never see you anymore, and Finn and I were wanting to know if you and Cole and little man would want to come over for dinner this weekend. Finn is off for Thanksgiving break at school, and we thought it would be nice to gather over at Georgia’s house for a nice dinner like we all used to.” Brooke plead her case, but Davina was still very standoffish.

“No, Cole has me helping Megan with a few things. I will have to talk to him, but I am pretty sure we are going to be working. He mentioned his mother having a large gathering, and I was expected to be there.” Davina was glad that this time she would not have to hide bruises and cuts and bumps. She had been on her best behavior.

“The invitation stands indefinitely. I would love to see you. Maybe you could slip away while you guys are over across the street. Finn is really having a hard time since losing Georgia.”

She took the hummingbird of the necklace she was forced to wear in her fingertips, running her fingers along the stones, “Maybe another time, okay?” Davina hung up the phone on her best friend. All the lying and deception were beginning to drain Davina’s spirit.

It had been two years since Cole started beating the life out of Davina, and the only person who had an inkling of an idea was the ER nurse who treated her each time she came in. Her own mother, Fiona, did not know anything about the abuse, but she would soon.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, E.M.’s Random Word Prompt, MLMM’s Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 21 – The Necklace

Cole’s pocket was deep in his cargo pants, and Davina reached in and felt around. Her soul was starting to immolate as she demeaned herself by digging in this man’s pocket and doing as he told her to…like she was a child. He was her master, and this was not what she signed up for when she signed that marriage license. Still, she kept her hand in his pocket and dug for the supposed treasure awaiting her. At the very bottom of his front, she felt a chain and grabbed it with her fingers. She cupped it in her hand as she pulled it out. She didn’t want to open her hand. She felt like he was bribing her after treating her so badly, and she honestly did not want anything he had to offer her anymore…including his love.

“Open your hand and look…go ahead.” He was excited and joking around like a jester, and she wasn’t feeling this little game he was playing with her.

She was flippant in her actions towards him, and her face was so serious as she looked up to him and rolled her eyes. Davina opened her hand and saw a gold necklace, probably over 14 karats, with a charm on it. The charm was familiar to her, and she was sure she had seen it somewhere before. Her mind was racing trying to figure out who this beautiful necklace belonged to.

“What’s this for, Cole? I’ve seen this somewhere before.” Davina allowed her eyes to cast a glare in his direction, and she probed at him with her questions about the pocket trinket. She knew that him having this necklace in his pocket was not something that he did in his good graces. “Where did you get this?”

“Oh…you know? Flannery deals with some people for us, and he thought you would like it.” His sneer was eerie and made Davina sick to her stomach. “I just wanted you to have a reminder of what happens to people who do bad things to our family. You know…just in case you were thinking of calling someone.”

Davina remembered Flannery, and she always thought he was just a layabout since she had never seen him go to an actual job of any kind. He always had just hung around the Deville house waiting for Megan, Corbin, or Cole to beckon him somewhere. He made her skin crawl. He was the villain in her story of life, and that was a chapter in her book that she had a bad feeling about.

Davina was still searching deep inside her brain to remember where she had seen the necklace before, but his threat had sidetracked her. She did not even recognize her husband right now. He had never been violent with her before, and the guy she knew most of her teen years would have never hit her or threatened her like tonight.
“I’m not going to call anyone, Cole…I do need to get my eye checked out though. I have a terrible migraine, and I’m dizzy.” Davina held her hand to her eye to try to relieve some pressure. The room was spinning a bit. She thought to herself…concussion probably.

“Take an aspirin and go to bed…you are so overdramatic.” Cole threw his hand up in the air and made Davina flinch backward away from his hand. “Oh, gimme a break…now you are going to jump every single time I move? Grow up, Davina!” He grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey off the table.

“So, this is who we are now?” Davina questioned her husband. “This is who you are…hmm?” She showed him that his haughty ways did not scare her and kept talking back to him.

She had obviously not learned her lesson on talking at him a certain way and in a certain tone, but she was true to herself. She was never one to back down to mean girls or bad people. It drove Fiona absolutely insane when Davina was growing up. The calls from the principal were common, and the teachers had gotten used to breaking up fights between her and those that would try to pick on her for being small.

He got into her face with his, “Are you sure you want to talk to me like that? Don’t push me, Davina. You’ll start ending up like your friends.”

This time she backed down and backed up away from her bully, and she was terrified of him. He followed her with steps forward matching her steps back. His face was different. His eyes were darker. She did not know this man…this dangerous man. He looked down at the necklace in her hand and laughed. “Ask around…you’ll find out whose neck that came off of.”

He continued his evil laugh as he turned his back, grabbed a beer from the refrigerator,  and walked away from her into the garage. The door slammed behind him, and Davina jumped once more. Unfortunately, it would not be the last time.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 20 – Lucas Adams

When Finn pulled into the parking lot on the backside alley of Boo’s Crossroad Café, he turned the engine off and took a deep sigh of relief. He looked back through the security glass slider to Fiona, and she was looking at Sebastian with the weight of the world resting in the lines of her face as they sat there in the dark alley. He hated to see her feeling so heavy, and she had been like a mom to him growing up. He adored her, and Sebastian was growing on him as well. Fiona noticed Finn feeling her pain, and she gave him a sad, hopeless fake smile. She hoped her sweet grandson would not remember this phase in his life, but she also knew that was wishful thinking as she looked at their situation and the loss of Davina. Sebastian had fallen asleep during the drive on the dark road that led into town in the seat of Finn’s black police cruiser with Fiona next to him.

“We should go inside and call Jenson. He can send a team out there, but I am sure Flannery is gone by now. Did he get the key?” Finn talked to Fiona through the barrier that separated the front from the back in the police car.

“Can you grab Sebastian and carry him in? I need to see if Sharon is inside. She’ll help us.” Fiona tried to pull on the door handle to open the back door. “Oh, you’ll have to let me out.”

Finn exited the front of the car and opened Fiona’s door, and Sebastian lifted his head up from the lap of his Gammy with tired eyes, “Gammy, don’t leave me.” He gripped on tight to her leg.

“We’re all going to go inside, okay? Let’s see if we can find Sharon and use the telephone.”

Sebastian scooted to Fiona’s side of the car and reached up for Finn to pick him up. He had become particularly fond of the cool detective that played games with him and spent time with them since his momma had passed away. It had been a short time, but Sebastian knew that Finn would not let anything bad happen to him or his Gammy. As Finn picked him up, they smiled at each other, and Sebastian laid his head upon the strong shoulder of his protector.

“Thank you, Finn. He has really taken a liking to you in this short time.” Fiona brushed Sebastian’s bangs out of his eyes and kissed him on the forehead before all three of them walked in the back door at Boo’s.

“He’s a great kid. Davina would be proud of him. He’s a strong little guy, and my new best friend.” Finn patted his back as he finished putting praise on his new friend.

Sebastian lifted his head to look at Finn and kissed him on the cheek, smiled, and he said, “Thank you, Mister Finn…besides Klaus, you are my favorite.”

As they came into the dining room of the café, Sharon was standing by one of the booths taking care of a customer. She noticed Fiona and Sebastian and tossed a greeting with a hand wave and a smile.

“I’ll be right with you three. Just sit wherever you want.” She finished writing the customer’s order, put her focus on the man she didn’t know with her favorite people, and walked the order up to the grill window to give it to the cook.

They looked around for where they wanted to sit, and Finn motioned to a booth in the back of the restaurant. They did not want to draw too much attention to themselves, especially with a guy like Flannery seeking them out. They also did not want to put anyone else in danger. Since Sharon had never seen Finn before, she was eyeballing him a little bit as she walked up to the booth where they all sat down after coming in from the back alley. She had not heard about Davina’s passing yet, and Fiona knew she was going to be devastated by the unwelcome news. This loss would break their friend’s heart, and she was dreading the task of telling her. Finn figured they were safe sitting there at the café…that was his hope anyway. There was the possibility that the hitman knew of all the places they could or would go to in times of trouble, but he wasn’t sure if he knew of this spot. His mind was naturally drawn to dwell in the negative aspects of life and living, and those terrible things in the back of his mind were lingering as Sharon approached the table with glasses of ice water for the grownups and ice cream for Sebastian. It was vanilla with sprinkles, and he was ecstatic.

“Thank you, Sharon. Can I play with Jenna?” He shoved a big bite of the sweetness into his mouth and smiled big at the server that he loved so much.

“If it’s okay with momma and Miss Fiona, I am all for it!” Sharon said in the same happiness that Sebastian had about his ice cream. “Where is she anyway? Your mommy?”

Sebastian put down his spoon and pouted, and Finn and Fiona just looked at each other with pure dismay because they were going to have to break her heart with their news. She was not going to take it well, and the look on her face had already gone from a smile to a frown.

“Oh no…what’s wrong, Miss Fiona? Where’s Davina?” Tears welled up into her eyes as she saw Sebastian lose all interest in his vanilla ice cream.

“Mommy is in heaven with Auntie Brooke…she’s never coming home.” Sebastian blurted out to Sharon.

She looked at Fiona for confirmation that Davina was dead, and Fiona could only nod to her in affirmation. Even though she had never met Finn, she looked to him for an answer as well.

“I’m afraid so…” he said as he exited the booth seat so Sharon could sit for a minute. She looked as if she would collapse.

Sharon navigated her weak legs to sit down next to Fiona. She was shaking. Sebastian could not look up at her because he knew she was sad and upset from the words he spoke. He felt bad for making her upset.

“Was it the guy? The one who had been coming in here on her shifts?” Sharon questioned. She then looked at Finn, who was standing in front of the booth now, and asked, “Who are you anyway? I have never seen you with them before.”

“I’m sorry…I am Finn Marlow. I am the detective that had been helping them get away from Davina’s ex-husband and his family.” He sat down next to Sebastian on the bench across from Sharon. “What guy are we talking about though? Can you give a description of him?”

She heard a ding at the window where the cook placed an order that was ready for the customer that Sharon was servicing when they all barreled in the back door. She rushed over and grabbed it from the heated window, delivered it to the table with a bottle of ketchup and hot sauce, and went back to her seat with the family. Sharon began explaining what the man looked like and how often he frequented the café to see Davina. She described the man as tall with blonde hair. She said he dressed like he was “made of money,” and sometimes Davina would be happy to see him. Fiona and Finn both had no idea who she would have been describing. Cole had red hair like his mother, and Flannery had a darker color of brown on his head.

“Most of the time, she seemed as if she was happy to see him. He was someone from her past,” Sharon remembered, “but she never told me much about him…not even his name. She only said he was from the older days of her life.”

Fiona looked at Finn, and they were both perplexed trying to figure out who this mystery man could be. Finn probed for more answers.

“Have you seen him in here lately, like within the past 24-48 hours, when Davina was not here?”

Sharon shook her head from side-to-side to indicate that she had not seen him since Davina’s last shift. “I’m afraid not…I’m sorry. If I do, I will give him Miss Fiona’s number at the house.”

Fiona responded, “We won’t be at the house…we actually need to use the landline here for a moment if that’s okay?”

“Of course! Anything for you and Sebastian, Miss Fiona. It’s right over here.” Finn followed Sharon to the back where the back office was located. She shut the door behind herself as she walked out. Finn locked the door behind her.

As Sharon arrived back at the booth in the back corner of the restaurant, Fiona noticed she had grabbed a piece of the chocolate pie – her favorite – on a small saucer and placed it in front of Fiona. “Here ya go…it’s on the house. Chocolate pie makes everything better, or so I hope it could. How are you doing with all of this?” She looked into Fiona’s tired and worried eyes. “Would it help if I watched Sebastian for a few days?”

Sebastian popped his head up from the table where he had been laying it since he was still tired. It was late, and he was sleepy still. “Can I Gammy?”

Fiona bit her lip in hesitation, “Let’s see what Mr. Finn says when he comes back to the table, and then we can decide. Okay baby?” Sebastian nodded back to her in agreement.

“He’s always welcome. I am here for you all. You know that right?” Sharon tapped on the table with her order book. “You want some breakfast? It’s nearly morning now. I am off in an hour.”

“Sure, Sharon. We could all use some food energy…I am exhausted. Sebastian can have his little pancakes he loves with some scrambled eggs, and I will have the 2x2x2 over-medium with sourdough toast. Give Finn the same with wheat toast and sunny side up eggs.”

Sharon writes everything down, and says, “You got it! It’ll be right up!” She rushes away from the table and hangs up her order slip for the cook again.

As she is preparing the condiments and silverware for the table, the front doorbell jingles. Sharon looked over to welcome the new guest, and it was him. The blonde guy. The one that Sharon was just speaking about. He was there. Sharon motioned with her neck, pointing her head towards him, and she flashed big eyes that this was the man Davina had been meeting with to Fiona.

Fiona looked at him curiously and watched him sit down in the front of the restaurant by the window. He unbuckled his fancy coat, took it off, and laid it across the bench of the adjacent table. He noticed Fiona staring at him, and he looked back at her, noticing Sebastian with his head lying on the table. Fiona thought that the man recognized Sebastian. She was right because he walked towards her and introduced himself, “Hello, I am Lucas Adams. You must be Fiona, Davina’s mother.” He outstretched his hand to shake Fiona’s shaking hand. She hesitated to put her hand out to him, but she finally did to be polite.

Sebastian popped up his head when he heard the man’s voice, “Luke! I missed you!” He plowed out of the booth and grabbed Lucas’s leg, hugging it tightly. “Where have you been?” He was almost flying around the room from seeing Lucas. You would have thought the boy had grown wings.

“Hey buddy…I had to go back to Arkansas for a few days to do some paperwork. Is Mommy here too?”

Sebastian got sad again. “You better sit down, Lucas…” Fiona sympathized with the expression that Luke developed on his face.

“Oh no…he found her, didn’t he?” Lucas was showing signs of shock in his expression. He had a shudder in his body as he thought about what he knew about Cole and his family.

 Lucas acted like he knew the story, but Fiona did not want to give too much information. This was her first time knowing that a Lucas Adams existed, and she did not know who to trust anymore. She played dumb.

“Who? Who found her?” Fiona asked the mysterious man.

“Cole…the monster found her. I just know it. Is she okay?” Luke’s breathing was distressed, and he was in pain thinking about what could have happened to Davina. “Please…is she okay?”

“No…let’s talk about it over here, okay?” Fiona leads the man back over to his table across the room to tell him the horrific news of her daughter’s body being found in the Wabash River. He found it hard to keep his cool after finding out that the love of his life was dead.

He sat silent, and he tried to figure out why they would have her killed in such a brutal manner. His heart was broken along with Sharon who stood over the table shedding her own tears. Fiona was too split on the situation to feel empathy for Lucas.

“Now that you know that, can you tell me how you know my daughter? And, how do you know my grandson?” She was abrupt with him, but he was a mere stranger to her. Davina had never mentioned any Lucas or anyone else, and Sebastian had kept him a secret also.

“I’m…her boyfriend. Dead? Davina’s dead?” He falls back like he had been defeated in a boxing match in the booth that housed his ornate coat with the shiny buttons. “We were so close to being free of that asshole. I was working with the Marshalls in both states to get her divorce papers taken care of and get new identities for all of you. The truth is that she was the love of my life, Ms. Ridings.”

With the illegal doings of the Deville family, Davina and Fiona were both witnesses against them. The relocation to Indiana was supposed to keep them safe, but they never got their new identities. They strived to coast under the radar…or so Fiona thought. It seemed as if Davina had been doing a lot behind her back, and it made her furious. Fiona was in as much shock as he was. How did Davina hide this from her, especially with everything she had given up her life’s work to finally relocate and get far away from the Deville family? The thought of Lucas Adams and Davina sneaking around behind her back annoyed Fiona to the highest degree. Whatever they had been doing and hiding had a price, and that was the life of her daughter. Fiona felt like he was the reason for Davina’s body being a floater in the Wabash. Her face was flushed red with anger, and Finn noticed her just as soon as he came out of the office from contacting the police about Flannery’s invasion out at the farm. He rushed over, and he got between Fiona and the man that he had only seen a few times throughout the years. He figured he would partake in giving Lucas more information with Fiona, but he was a bit of a mess after hearing the news. Fiona was too mad to notice.

“Lucas, what are you doing here?” Finn looked puzzled seeing this blast from the past. “Is this because of you? What did you do?”

Fiona walked away, glaring back at the sharp-dressed man that was one of the biggest secrets that her daughter ever had. Oh, Davina…what did you do?

Fiona sat across from Sebastian as Sharon brought the food to the table, still angry and confused, and she looked into his eyes and felt better. “I love you, Sebastian…Gammy loves you so much. Eat up, and then you can go with Sharon back to her house. My decision is made.”

Sebastian smiled at Fiona with all the love possible in the world and started eating his breakfast. The morning came, and the night was gone. None of them were free from the constraints of the Deville’s wickedness.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, Sunday Whirl Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 18 – The First Punch

Davina was folding clothes and watching her usual tv sitcoms when the breaking news came across her television about Megan’s arrest. She was folding her turquoise cashmere sweater while sitting on her couch while producing a stack of folded clothes on the oak coffee table. She had her favorite sweater up to her face, snuggling her nose against its soft texture until the story came on. When the words left the news anchor’s mouth, she dropped the sweater onto the table and ran into the kitchen to grab the phone. She thought I need to call Brooke.

She dialed the phone, but there was a busy tone ringing back into her ears. As she hung up the phone, she was thinking that Brooke had probably gone to celebrate after hearing the news that her mom was in trouble. It was a silly thought, but it made her giggle a bit under her breath. She found it a bit funny herself that Megan got caught up, and a little humor now and then was good when it came to the Deville family.

With the afterthought of her amusement still making a smile on her face, Cole walked through the front door of their 3-story home, and the smile faded to a terrified grimace. He was a mess. He had blood on his hands, and his clothes were covered in even more blood and dirt. His hair looked like he had been through a cyclone, and he was crying.

“Cole! Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Davina ran to him with a towel from the laundry because she thought the blood on him belonged to him.

“It’s not mine, Davina…” He pushed her away. “I got into some trouble. I’m alright. Can you open the safe and put this in there?” He handed her a revolver.

“I’m not touching that thing, Cole. Jesus Christ, Cole! What did you do?” She backed away from Cole and his gun nervously.

“Take the gun, Davina! Do what I say! You are my wife, and I told you to open the safe and put this in there. Remember who the hell you are married to, Davina!” Cole shoved the gun into her hands. “And Davina, I would wipe it off if I were you…” he said as he threw her beloved cashmere sweater at her face and the bloody gun.

Davina stood there with her arms shaking and her legs feeling like wet noodles. She had never seen him so angry before, but she was never one to back down to a bully.

She speaks out saying, “I won’t. I will not do it…You should do it yourself!” She wiped the gun down to remove her prints and set it wrapped up in her sweater on the coffee table.

As she turns to walk away, he blasts her in the face with his fist. Thankfully she was agile enough to break her fall with the clutter that was resting on the coffee table from doing laundry. The shot from his clenched fist had knocked her back about two feet from the dissonance between his hand and her face. This was the first time he had ever put his hands on me, she thought, I will never forget this… She becomes hysterical, and as she begins to scream out in pain, she hears Sebastian crying in his bedroom. The ruckus must have woken him. Her thoughts wandered to her sweet little boy, and she was thinking, Shh baby boy…Mommy’s okay. Instead, she stood there waiting for Cole to release another punch from his fist. She was so scared of the trepidation building inside of herself and worrying that Cole would go after Sebastian next.

“Please Cole…stop!” She holds out a hand to keep him from charging at her face again. “Let me get cleaned up and get Sebastian. I’m sorry. I am so deeply sorry. Just please…” She pleads to him. He laughs at her.

“Shut up! I recommend you shut your mouth, and go get your kid, Davina…I’m going to take a shower, and you shouldn’t look like that when I get out.” The words “your kid” stung in her ears as much as the punch to the face. He motioned his hand around all the blood that was on her face from him striking her. “Clean you up and get this house clean. You make me sick.”

As he walked away, Davina hugged her knees into her chest and rocked there for a minute. “This is not my life”, she cried out. He was not one that was usually violent or mean, and this behavior was not something normal in the relationship. They were high school sweethearts. There had been tension before, but she didn’t understand why he would hit her after so many years of good times. He had never shown any signs of being abusive. In Davina’s eyes, he was still the same boy she had met in the back yard of her house while swinging on the tire swing that was hanging from the big maple tree. Before now, it had been easy to love him, and this incident made her wonder how long she should stay.

She scuffled to Sebastian’s room and peeked in the crack of the door. He had stopped crying and was playing with the toys in his crib. She backed away from the door and went to the spare bathroom down the hall from his room since Cole was in the master bathroom. When she got to the mirror, she could not look at her reflection right away. She could already feel the swelling in her cheek, and it was throbbing with pain.

After standing there at the sink for a short while with her hands cupping the water to splash onto her face, she tried to build up the courage to lift her head and look at herself. It was so hard for her. She was anxious and scared, and she thought that these things only happened in soap operas. She could not believe that this was happening in her marriage. What am I going to do? What am I going to tell my friends and my momma? What if he does this to our baby? I need to get away.

All these questions and thoughts filled her head as she stood there in pain, emotionally and physically. The sink was running chilly water, and the noise of the sink running was calming her, but those bothersome thoughts engulfed her essence. She could not stop crying. She needed to get her face washed, but she could not imagine what she looked like at this moment. Finally, she lifted her eyes to the mirror. She saw the reflection of a female she did not recognize in the embellished mirror that was resting above the sink, and she crumbled inside when she saw what he had done to her. The contusion on her face had formed a big ball on her cheek that was purple and red. It was bleeding and seeping fluid. This was the first time she had ever felt hopeless. She knew, at that point, that it would not be the last time. His behavior would ossify to a continuous level of fury and brutality throughout the rest of their marriage, she just had no idea those things would now be themes of their remaining connection.

She grabbed a washcloth from the cabinet beside the sink and soaked it in water, as she brought it up to her face, Cole knocked on the bathroom door. She could tell he was using the knuckle of his finger to tap lightly on the door, and she could hear his breath on the other side of the crack of the entrance to the lavatory.

“Davina, I didn’t mean to hit you. I’ve had a really bad day, and your stubbornness infuriates me sometimes…Please open the door!” His body was up against it…hovering…breathing…listening to his abused wife cry behind the splatters of water coming from the sink. “C’mon baby…don’t cry.”

“I still need a minute, Cole. Can I have a few more minutes, please?” She patted her swollen cheek with the cold towel. The blood had started to congeal atop her busted skin. It burned to the touch. Each time she put the cold, wet towel up to her face, her cheek felt like it pounded into the linen of the cloth. Nothing stopped the pain, and it didn’t help that her hands would not stop trembling to take care of her wounds.

“I’ve got something for you, Davina. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I did that.” Cole was leaning against the door. She could hear his body rubbing against it.

Davina closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “I’ll be right out, okay? I am trying to pull myself together.”

Cole pressed away from the door and started pacing outside it in the hallway of their home, “Sometimes you just make me so angry. I don’t like being talked to like that.”

Davina thought to herself that he was still being very selfish and mean by saying those things, “Yeah, I know. I didn’t mean to make you upset. I just did not want any part of what you got yourself into. Plausible deniability…” She tried to rationalize her actions of pissing him off to make him back away from the door.

He could tell that she was not coming out right away. “I’ll give you some time, but I have something for you when you come out, okay?”

She said to herself that he was such a narcissist. How did I get here? I cannot believe that this is now my life. The gas lighting was not working on Davina. She could see through the blinders that he was trying to instill upon her. She wanted to call her mother or Brooke. She was sure that he would not allow that…not looking like she had just been in a boxing match with Jean Claude van Damme.

She turned out the light before she opened the door, and Cole was waiting outside the door when she opened it. Great, she thought, he wants to go another round…I bet that is what he has waiting for me…

She tried to step around his as he leaned against the wall of the hallway, but he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close to him. As he did, she gasped out in fear. “Cole, I just want to sit down for a minute. Please let go.” She tried to wiggle out of his grasp, but he held her tighter.

“C’mon baby, let me apologize to you. I told you I have a present for you. Reach in my pocket, the front, over here.” He motioned his neck to the right-hand side of his body. “Go ahead. It’s for you.”

Davina felt her eyes roll a little bit from being annoyed by him not letting go of her and making her dig in his pocket like a little schoolgirl. She hoped he didn’t see her expression, and against her own wishes, she put her hand in his pocket.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, Sunday Whirl Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 16 – Jericho Flannery

Davina married Cole right out of high school, and they went to college together after graduation. Fiona was not supportive at first. Her feelings were mostly due to the bad opinion she had started to develop for Megan. She figured he was just like his mother, and she later figured out that she had judged them both properly. She wished Davina would have waited until after college to get married because they were so young, and she wanted them to live life before marriage, but Megan and Corbin insisted that it would be a good thing for Davina to have a stable man in her life. Stable man…even though he was just a boy with a crazy family. Fiona didn’t understand why they thought they had a right to tell her what her daughter needed anyway.

‘Fiona, dear, Davina and Cole have been spending some quality time together, and I was wondering if you would be okay if we got her a few things to celebrate the relationship.’ Megan was audacious at times, and this was one of those times.

Fiona felt awkward about them wanting to gift Davina merely for having a relationship with their son. ‘Umm. I’m not sure that’s necessary. All of our kids are friends with one another…I don’t see why we should do all of that.’

Megan appeared to be frustrated by her answer, but she had to keep up her persona by making it seem like it was not a big deal. ‘Sure. That’s fine. Another time then…’

Fiona couldn’t help but roll her eyes at the dramatic undertone of the reply. ‘There are plenty of opportunities for us to spoil the kids with gifts…birthdays, Christmas…you know?’ Fiona probed at Megan to relate to what she was saying. ‘I hope you aren’t upset.’

‘Of course not…birthdays and Christmas will be fine dear…nothing to be upset about. I just love her like one of my own, and one day she’ll be mine too.’ Megan flashed a sarcastic grin towards Fiona.

Megan boldly threw out of her lips such an assumptive statement, and Fiona did not care for the tone of that declaration about her daughter. Needless to say, the ladies both split the hairs in the room when they said goodbye. Fiona headed back to her house brooding on the words that Megan had spewed from her lips. That woman!… she thought, how dare she put claims on my Davina. Mine…not hers. Davina was sitting on the couch in the living room when she got back in the door from her visit next door, and she could tell her mother was completely pissed off.

‘What’s wrong, Momma? Are you alright?’ Davina got up from the couch and met her mother in the kitchen where Fiona had stormed off to.

‘That mongrel of a woman…she drives me absolutely certifiably crazy!’ Fiona was slamming around the cabinets looking for her tea as she spoke. ‘How do you not notice that she is particularly strange? I don’t like her…one damn bit.’

Davina pretended to understand, ‘Megan is a different kind of person. I like her though…I assume that is who you are speaking about?’

Fiona just glared over to Davina as she put her water kettle on to boil on the stove. She grabbed a cup and threw a Celestial Seasonings Chamomile tea into the cup with the string dangling off to the side by the handle of the cup. ‘You know…I am not a mean person, but that is one woman that pushes all my buttons. Nine out of ten times we encounter each other, she drives me insane. It’s not customary for parents to play matchmaker with other people’s children! It’s absolutely asinine.’

Fiona tapped on the counter while she was waiting for her kettle to start whistling, and Davina came over and placed her hand on her mother’s shoulder. ‘I’m sorry, Momma…I know she is not like the people we are used to. I don’t know what happened, but I am here for you if you want to talk about it.’ The conversation was ungainly for Davina since she enjoyed Megan’s company when she would visit Cole next door.

‘No, it’s okay. Just go be a kid, and don’t let anyone try to make you grown before you are ready. Enjoy life as you are now…you will have to grow up faster than you would ever realize or think of.’ Fiona hears her kettle screaming as she finishes her preaching about youth. She pours the steamy water into her teacup, looks up, and smiles at her beautiful daughter. ‘I’m okay. Go be great.’

‘Now you are the one being weird…’ Davina giggles as she walks out of the room to finish the show she was watching on VHS.

Through the years, it became apparent to both the Marlow and Ridings family that the Devilles had some absurd ways about the manner they lived and the people they personified. It was like a contradiction in terms of who they were and who they portrayed themselves to be to outsiders. They had tons of money, but they lived very discreetly. You had to be close to them to realize how rich they really were. There were a lot of people in and out of their house, and some of them seemed seedy and shady. Corbin spent much of his time away from home, and Megan did not have to work to get the things she and the children needed.

Fiona remembered a time she had asked Megan about her career, and she recalled thinking that it must have been nice not to work so hard to live. It was after the first meeting at Fiona’s truck, and Megan had come over to ask about a school trip right after the kids were enrolled for the year at Maumelle Charter High School. The school was arranging for the children to go to the capital and see downtown Little Rock.

‘Fiona, are you letting Davina go on this school trip?’ Megan had asked.

‘Yeah, I saved a whole paycheck. I wanted to be sure she had enough money to get her some souvenirs and a nice lunch. I know you are new to the area, but their school trips are usually pretty fun and eventful.’ Fiona informed Megan about the trip, elaborating further about how amazing it was for the kids to see the sights in Little Rock. ‘If you are not able to pay the allowance, I can help you.’

‘Oh no, dear…I can cover it. No problem.’ Megan exclaimed while chuckling to herself.

‘What’s so funny about that?’ Fiona wondered.

‘I just have no need to take someone’s money. I’m not a charity case for Pete’s sake.’ Megan twirled her hair and flipped it behind her.

Fiona continued, ‘Well, I figured since you are new here that you have not planted your feet into a new job since moving in. After all, it’s only been a few weeks.’

Megan giggled condescendingly, ‘That’s cute…umm…I don’t have to work. My job is taking care of the kids and their interests. Corbin does all the demanding work.’

‘I see. Hmm. That must be nice. I would love to spend all my time with Davina. I couldn’t say that she would want me around all the time, but it would be cool to have that option. After nursing school, I had to go right back to work. We’re not broke, but we aren’t comfortable either.’ Fiona’s cheeks flushed with red from being embarrassed for rambling on about her finances. ‘Sorry, I shouldn’t have been so nosey about your life. I just wanted to help if you needed it.’

‘No worries, Fi. You’re good.’ Megan started heading towards the door as she finished speaking. ‘Give Davina my best…I should get back over to the house since the kids will be home soon. Mwah, darling!’ This was a prelude to more absurd behavior that Megan would display, but Fiona had already had plenty of her nonsense to last a century.

Fiona waved goodbye to the grandiose woman and closed the door behind her. She thought to herself that Megan was so strange and lucky at the same time. After the move to get away from the Devilles, she always reflected on how she should have seen how bizarre life next door was, but she always just chalked it up as Megan was just a fearless woman with nothing better to do than cause havoc in the neighborhood. The Deville name went from meaning “the new people” to meaning “absolute chaos.”

After the wedding, Megan and Fiona got closer than they were when Davina and Cole were in school, but there was always something that was off about how Cole’s mother looked at Davina. She groomed her. She had even bought Davina’s wedding band long before Cole ever proposed, and she groomed Davina more than her own daughters. She would shower Davina with gifts after she and Cole became an item. Weird gifts…like lingerie and sexy outfits. Fiona would find them hiding in Davina’s closet from time to time.

“Davina Louise Ridings, what did I just find in your closet?” Fiona held up a deep purple negligee that was nothing but lace to her Davina as she came rushing into her own bedroom.

“Mom, what are you doing going through my stuff?” Davina was embarrassed and furious that Fiona was invading her privacy. “Megan bought that for me. I’ve never worn it…ever.”

“That woman is going to be the death of me with her nonsense. You need to give these things back to her. Megan has no business buying you things like this. You are just in high school, Davina.” Fiona tossed the lingerie onto the bed and pulled out more of the same types of items from the drawer. “My goodness! How many are there?”

“She’s bought me one nearly every week since Cole and I began. I never wear them, but I thought it would be rude to not accept them. I’m not giving them back and making her upset or mad. Haven’t you seen her angry? It’s scary, Momma.” Davina almost pleaded to her mother to not have to take all of the sexy bed gear back to Cole’s mother.

“Put them in a box…I’ll get rid of them.” Fiona threw her hand up in frustration as she walked out of Davina’s light pink-walled room.

The ataraxia that Fiona felt the first week in Indiana could not begin to describe how glad she was to get away from Megan’s drivel. All the moments were coming back to her as she spent her first night knowing that her daughter would never come home. She ran the brush through her hair and removed her makeup, pausing to look in the mirror at the dark circles that surrounded her beautiful hazel eyes. Right before Fiona got ready to sleep for the night, she ran across that decorative storage box that Davina packed up all the outfits from Megan in. It was at the very top of her closet. She had labeled it “Nonsense from Megan.” Remembering the argument over the unusual offerings to Davina’s wardrobe from Megan brought tears to her eyes. It was so late, and she did not want to go to sleep. She could hear the detective snoring loudly in the guest bedroom. He was sleeping like a baby without a care in the world.

“I wish I could do that…” She spoke out into the silence of her bedroom. “Davina, I miss you, sweet girl.”

A sweet voice came back to her in the silence, “I miss Mommy too, Gammy…” Sebastian was standing there with large drops falling from his red eyes.

“Oh sweetie…you should be resting. Let Gammy tuck you back into bed.” Fiona rushed to him and wiped her eyes as she went towards the doorway in which Sebastian was standing.

Klaus was at his feet as well, wagging his tail and licking Fiona in the face as she knelt to pick up the sad little boy.

“Can I stay with you, Gammy? My bed is too big tonight, and I’m scared.” Sebastian rubbed his tired, wet eyes and pouted into the face of Fiona.

“Of course, sweetheart,” Fiona said as she walked back over to the bed and rolled the covers back on the unoccupied left side of her queen-sized bed. “Hop up here, and I will get you all cozy in the covers.” Fiona patted the bed and sat down on the end.

“Are you going to leave me too?” Sebastian asked after Fiona got him tucked in tightly in her bed.

“Never…never ever…I will never ever leave you, Sebastian.” She patted the bed to call Klaus to lay with his friend. “I will always be right here with you. However, I still need to work and make us some money. Will it be okay if you play with Jenna on those days?”

“I guess so, Gammy. I like Jenna and Miss Sharon.” Sebastian’s eyes got sleepier as he finished his statement. “Goodnight, Gammy, I love you.”

“Goodnight baby boy…Gammy loves you more than the whole universe.” Fiona said before she stood up from the bedside and went into the bathroom to change into her pajamas.

She rested both of her hands on the sink counter for a minute, dangling her head down into her chest, and took a deep, cleansing breath. She was so overwhelmed and full of sadness. The realization that Davina would never be able to see that innocent, caring boy grow up and become a better man than his father came to haunt her a bit as she undressed. As she opened the hamper to put her dirty clothes inside of it, she saw something odd inside of it. What is in there? Is that paint…, she thought to herself as she shuffled around some of the clothing in the basket.

As she dug deeper and investigated what she thought was red paint in her dirty wash bin, she saw more of the red tint on a pair of pants and a pair of socks. She realized that it was odd, so she left the hamper alone and went to get Finn from the spare room. She didn’t want to disturb any evidence because she had no idea how anything red got inside of her laundry.

“Finn, wake up!” She jiggled his shoulder to wake him from his deep sleep. “I found something…get up please! C’mon…”

Finn wrestled around and was a bit startled to wake up to Fiona standing over the top of him with a distressed look on her face. He jumped and pulled his head back to the other side of the pillow.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay? What time is it?” Finn said and seemed stunned up from being woken in an unfamiliar place.

“Follow me! I need your help!” Fiona exclaims as she rushes her and Finn out of the room, nearly tugging on his nightshirt.

As they arrive back at Fiona’s bathroom, she uses her hairbrush to lift the hamper lid. “Look in here! I don’t know where these clothes came from. At first, I thought, when I first saw it, that it was red paint on her clothes, but I think it’s blood, Finn!” She was quietly whispering but whispered hysterically if that was possible. She wanted to be sure she did not wake up Sebastian in her room.

“I’m going to have to call the local detective to bring forensics to gather these items, Fiona. I also need to check the house. That blood is fresh and not dried.” Finn’s gut filled with fear for all of them. “Better yet…Gather Sebastian…I need to get you both out of here.”

Fiona did not hesitate to get a bag together and toss Sebastian up on her shoulder. As she reached the top of the stairs of the two-storied house, she heard footsteps above her head. Finn had gone downstairs to warm up his police cruiser, so it wasn’t him trampling on the ceiling above her head. As her body filled with adrenaline from the panic, she shuffled down the stairs, with Sebastian fast asleep on her shoulder. He was out like a light, and she was glad he would not be awake to witness the chaos. She made it down the stairs without event and down to the front door. When she got there, a towering man, with lifeless eyes was staring back at her.

“Oh, shit…” That was all Fiona could say as she backed away from him.

Fiona had only ever seen Flannery a handful of times, and it was years ago. It was around the time that Davina and Cole got married. He came to the wedding. He was Corbin Deville’s best friend, Jericho Flannery. Megan had recommended that Fiona bring him as her date to the wedding. He was not her type, at all. He was unkempt, and he was too sinister-looking. You could not see the color of his eyes because they were always just so dark and miserable.

“Jericho…where’s Finn?” Fiona was still backing away slowly and holding on tightly to her grandson who was still asleep on her shoulder.

He said nothing. He just stared back into her eyes and cocked his head to the side as he saw the fear fill her face as he walked towards her.

“Finn!” She hollered out the door that was still open, not caring if she woke up Sebastian at this point. “Finn! Help!”

Flannery just laughed at her and continued pursuing her as she bumped into the couch in the middle of the living room. “Finn is a little occupied at the moment…how can I help you?” He was so evil, smiling as he spoke his sarcasm into her face as he lingered over the top of her.

“I know you. Why are you here? I’m going to set him down, okay?” Fiona said as she carefully laid Sebastian on the couch and stood in front of him.

“I don’t care what you do lady. I am here for the key, and you will give it to me.” He edged closer to her.

“What key are you talking about? The only keys I have are the ones to my truck and this house.” She crossed her arms and tried to appear brave as she stood there with the enemy. He still just looked at her with his sinister eyes and a smirk on his face.

As she finished talking, she saw a glimpse of Finn outside the door, so she continued, “I have Davina’s keys. You can check all the keys I have. Just let me grab them, alright?” She held out her hands to signal that she wasn’t going to try anything risky. “They’re right there, on the table by the door.”

Flannery looked away from her to the table she pointed out. He walked toward the keys, and she sat beside Sebastian on the couch. She knew Finn had a plan, so she sat tight and protected Sebastian. As Flannery fumbled with the keys, Finn snuck up behind him and bashed him across the back of his head with a 2×4 that was posted outside the door.

“Let’s go! He won’t be down long.” He took Sebastian from the couch briskly and grabbed Fiona’s free hand to guide her out of the house and away from the hitman.

Finn put Sebastian in the backseat of the car, and Fiona got in beside him. He shut them in the secure area, and he got in the front and drove away as fast as he could. “We need to get to the phone. Anywhere we can go to do that?”

“Boo’s…go to Boo’s…” Fiona gasped the words out of her distressed vocal cords.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 14 – Scrabble Anyone?

This will be the last part that I will be publishing on WordPress, as I am entering a crime novel contest with this manuscript. I am so appreciative of the inspiration with the word prompts and challenges. Thank you to everyone who has helped me develop this story, and I hope to be publishing this book soon through the contest or otherwise. Much love to all of my fellow creators and followers for the feedback and support as I got this story to a little under 15,000 words that may change my life forever. I appreciate you all.


Fiona began collecting the empty dishes from the oak dining table as they finished eating their dinner. Their tummies were full, and Sebastian had gotten sleepy due to such a great dinner. Even Klaus had curled up under Sebastian’s chair from the overload of table scraps that his bestie had dropped for him. He was very loyal to the blonde-hair, blue-eyed boy.

“C’mon sweetie, let’s get you to bed. You’ve had quite a long day, my love.” Gammy gathered Sebastian from the table and wiped his face with a wet cloth. “Wave goodnight to Mr. Finn and thank him for playing, and I will tuck you in really tight.”

Sebastian smiled and waved to the detective, and Finn returned a goodnight wave with a wink. “Goodnight, Sebastian! I had fun playing cars and Scrabble with you. We’ll play again soon, okay?”

“Yes, be sure to keep Momma’s secrets though. Secrets save lives. Thank you, Mr. Finn.” Sebastian looked back at Finn over his grandma’s shoulder winking back at the man sitting at the kitchen table that he felt was his friend.

When Fiona got Sebastian to his room, he started his routine of pulling back the covers and putting his favorite fluffy next to his pillow.

“Mommy say that my elephant is special. I has to keeps him safe.” Sebastian tucked his stuffed animal into the covers.

“Well, your mommy was pretty smart, so she probably knew that your stuffy would keep you safe too.” Fiona’s eyes welled with tears as she spoke about Davina. “Let’s hop in bed and close those beautiful blue eyes. Tomorrow is another day.”

With the direction from Fiona, he climbed up into his bed and waited for Fiona to pull the covers up to his chin. He wore a tumultuous grin as he hugged his elephant and as Gammy tucked him in. She patted the sides around him and did a few tickles to make it fun. “Goodnight, sweet boy. Gammy loves you.”

“I loves you more Gammy. Goodnight.” Sebastian laid there with his eyes pressed shut and as tight as he could.

Fiona looked back at him as she shut out the light and headed out the door labeled with his name. “Sweet dreams, Sebastian.” She left a crack in the door as she walked out.

She thought about how sweet he looked laying there and how much he looked like Cole. Davina had always said that Sebastian looked like a twin of his father. Cole was quite attractive, and Sebastian’s looks never allowed Davina to be forgetful of that fact. Sometimes it hurt after leaving Arkansas to see Cole looking back at her through her little boy’s eyes. Cole was not always bad to her, especially in the early years of their relationship.

When she got back downstairs, Finn was examining the Scrabble board and the letters that Sebastian had used to spell the words of the secrets. He thought there could be more clues on the little letter pieces.

Fiona questioned the detective, “So, how did that go? Playing with Sebastian?”

Finn looked up from the game pieces and scratched his forehead, “I hated to infringe on the playtime he had with Davina, but it went really well. He’s a smart boy. A really smart boy…He spelled out two different phrases, and one phrase was old, and one could be new.”

He filled Fiona in on the arrangement of the letters in their game by putting them back on the board. He did it exactly as Sebastian had done it earlier. As Fiona watched, she noticed where they were being put onto the scoring markers on the board.

“Hey, Finn! Look.” Fiona pointed at the center of the board. “The center is supposed to be a pink star, not a purple circle.”

Marlow carefully examined the circle that Fiona had pointed out. It was glued onto the board.

“I see. We can use steam to get it off of there. Do you have a tea kettle?” Finn thought out loud to Fiona.

“Sure do! Let’s go to the kitchen. Bring the board.”

They both rushed off into the kitchen with the gas stove that housed the flowered kettle. The bottom was copper like a penny. Fiona leaned back against the counter and huffed out a breath. There was stormy weather growling in the kitchen window behind her, and the sound of leaves beginning to rustle in the wind could be heard through the poor weatherstripping on the window. Fiona filled the pot with water and turned the fire on.

“Now we wait…” Finn said while watching the heat flow up the sides of the kettle.

Finn reached out to her arm and patted it softly. “Mom adored you, and I hate that we both have lost the people that mean the most to us because of that damn family…I’m just furious with them!”

“I loved your mom too. She was a great friend. I miss that friendship very much.” Fiona thought about the time she and Georgia went out on a girl’s night at that moment. Georgia had to talk her into it because Fiona did not socialize a great deal. She was much happier with a book and a cup of cocoa at the end of her day rather than a night on the town kind of girl. In that split second, it was like she was standing in the doorway of past regrets that was so long ago, but it was still very fresh in her mind. I miss my old life and my friends, she thought in this short reflection back to that time.

A whistle followed by fragrant steam came flowing out of the tea kettle spout. “I think we’re good to go, Finn.” She called to him towards the back door. He had stepped outside for a cigarette in the middle of her ponder.

Finn came in smelling of cigarette smoke like he had taken some big drags on the filter with all his stress. He thought about how Sebastian had put such emphasis on that the secrets he kept could save lives. Finn, during his smoke, had wondered if that was because of Flannery and if Sebastian’s secret was told to him by Davina to save his life. Jericho Flannery was a malevolent and seedy character who did contracts with the Deville family members, and Finn could do nothing but shudder seeing his name on the game board. At one point, he and Flannery were friends because of Cole. Davina had worked with him a few times before getting away as well. She was always scared of him and his connection to Cole.

“Great…Let’s see what we have. It can’t get too damp from the vapor. I don’t know what is in there, and any writing would be destroyed if it got too wet.” Finn got to work on the Scrabble board.

Finn’s steaming skills did not fail to impress Fiona. She watched carefully as he used the steam to peel back the corner of the new piece of paper that covered the Scrabble center. Finn carefully took tweezers and eased it from the board. The back was empty, but there was a piece of black tape holding something under the piece of paper. It looked like another tiny piece of paper wrapped in a piece of plastic.

“There’s something here. It’s super small, but I think that’s the point. We need a magnifying glass. Do you have one laying around anywhere?” Finn asked as he tweezed the plastic-coated paper from the inside of the board.

“I think I have one in my sewing kit. Let me check real quick.” Fiona exited the room to the den where her sewing basket was located.

As she scavenged through her kit, she ran into the sweater she was mending for Davina. A few weeks back, Davina had come home with the arm nearly torn out of her favorite black and tan sweater. She never would admit what had happened for such a large rip, and Fiona thought now that she should have asked more questions.

“Any luck in there?” Finn hollers aloud from the kitchen.

Fiona brought herself back to the present, and she answered back as she found it in the basket with all of her sewing tools, “Yep! We got one! Here I come.”

She handed Marlow the magnifying glass and waited. He peeled off the plastic and unfolded the tiny white piece of paper. When he examined it with the magnifying glass, it read, “Safe Deposit Box #217, Davina Ridings, First National Bank, Danville, Illinois”.

The message was spectral… like it was coming from the grave that had not even been lain yet. As he read the inscription on the paper, Fiona wondered why Davina would have a safety deposit box in Illinois, and she did not understand why it would be in her maiden name. That was dangerous. Could that be how he found her again? This is why my baby is gone, Fiona thought about the perpetuity of Davina’s death. She could not erase the sadness she felt at that moment. She felt the pain obtrude into her soul from the feeling this little piece of paper put inside of her heart. In the hindsight, she remembered hoping that Davina had found some peace that she did not have when she was alive after meeting Cole, but on the other hand, she was not used to the solitude of having a dead child. She had Sebastian to take care of and that would take up some of the desolations she was feeling after seeing Davina on the stainless-steel table. She shuddered at the thought and saw it again in her mind.

“Does this make any sense to you?” Finn Marlow questioned Fiona, and Fiona returned a shrug of uncertainty.

She had no idea why Davina would need or want a safety deposit box in Illinois, and she never even knew that she had gone out of state before without her. They had never gone to Danville together, and she did not comprehend anything about this box.

“It sounds like we need to make a trip after the funeral. Do you think Sharon would be able to watch Sebastian again? We should take care of it promptly.”

“I will get in touch with her in the morning and see what she is doing Saturday. It shouldn’t be a problem. She’s been such a good friend to Davina, and she’s great with Sebastian. Sometimes I don’t know what we would have done without her.” Fiona paced the floors a little bit thinking about all of these secrets coming out. “Why didn’t she talk to me about all of this, Finn? She shouldn’t have had to face things alone and in secret.”

“Maybe she thought that telling you would put you in more danger. In the end, she was deeply intertwined in the business. She probably did not want you to worry any more than you had to.” Finn tried to reassure her, but Fiona was beside herself. He could see her pain.

“Poor Sebastian. He should not have had to carry that burden. What was she thinking?” Fiona was a bit angry and confused, and she felt like she had been betrayed.

“It was genius how she got the messages to me though. He did very well, and he’s a strong boy…he’s just like her. He knew what to say, how to place the letters, and get the help that you guys will need to survive this.” Finn walked over to Fiona and put his hands on his shoulders. “Now, let’s just see what this box holds, but first we will need to find the key.”

Sebastian walks into the kitchen holding a gold key and hands it to Finn. It read “217”.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, and Your Daily Word Prompt. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston