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