About: Nora, William/Holly, Kevin/Scotty.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, 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, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44 and part 45
Nora slowly lifts her head, she breaths shallowly, she carefully opens her eyes, fearing that she’s dead and will see.... whatever is out there. Instead she can look in the rear-view mirror and see that she has a cut over her eye-brow. She doesn’t know how it got there, but it’s there.
She stumbles out of her car. Her legs still trembling. Looking behind her she sees the skid-marks on the road. Her car spun around, right between two large rocks, and lost enough momentum to stop two meters away from a precipice. Not a very deep one, but still deep enough to kill her.
If her car had slipped a bit further, she would have made a big tumble, but she’s on the edge. Still safe. Still alive... She runs her trembling hands through her hair, aware of how close she came to losing her life. She never believed much in guardian-angels, but she’s seriously starting to doubt.
She looks around. She could have hit a tree, one of the two rocks, the car could have plunged into the deep. But none of that had happened. Her legs are no longer holding her up and she sinks down to the ground, her back against the door of her car. She presses her lips together, trying not to cry, but the tears come anyway.
First little sobs, but soon enough she cries like she hasn’t cried in years. Her arms wrapped around her knees, she rocks back and forth, feeling the hard car-door against her back every time and it’s holding her up.
Finally, after what seems an eternity she calms down to a point where there’s only an occasional sniff. Her head hurts and she feels lost. She looks at her hands. Now what? Go back to William and blow his head off? She’s sure that there’s still a shot-gun or two at the ranch.
Go back to their house, wait for him to get home and confront him there? Where she has enough dishware to throw at his head? Should she move to their guest-room? At this point she cannot stand the idea of him touching her ever again, so the thought of sleeping with him in the same bed ... after he’s been with her... She shivers.
What is she to do? Where can she go? She doesn’t want to burden her children with this right now. She is too unsure about her own feelings, but she cannot handle the idea to go home either. He is still there in Ojai and she will be alone in a big house that holds too many memories of happy days...
She cannot talk to Saul. Saul will kill William. Suddenly she notices that she’s playing with a thin silver bracelet, that she’s had for years. A gift for her eighteenth birthday, given to her by one of her best friends... She dusts off her pants and gets in her car. She closes her eyes and makes a quick prayer for her car to still be able to drive.
She turns the key and holds her breath. It seems an eternity to her, but then the motor kicks in and she hears the familiar humming. She starts to cry again, this time with relief. Still shaking from the shock she puts her car in reverse and returns to the road. And she knows what to do and where to go and she can drive there... Slowly, this time!
“William, here you go again. I am not selling.” Holly says. Though she lazily strokes William’s chest, she’s very aware of what he’s asking and how he’s not listening to her. She told him many times that the winery is not for sale.
“Holly, I’ve heard that it’s hard for you to keep the company afloat...”
“Yes, it is. I’m not denying that, but I’m not giving it up. It used to be David’s. It’s his legacy to me and our daughter.” Holly replies. With her head on William’s shoulder, she cannot see that William frowns. He cannot stand to hear David’s name. David still has a strong hold on Holly, even though his death was a few months ago.
It bothers William, because it means that Holly is not letting go of her desire to hold on to what used to be David’s. And that is what he needs her to do to sell the company. Besides, he’s getting tired of Holly. What had been appealing about Holly, the carefree moments of just being together and have fun, is losing its shine.
She’s becoming more demanding and wants to be more involved in his life and for him to be involved in her life. And that was not what William wanted. This affair is nice, but Nora is the only woman he truly loves and he doesn’t want to lose her. He knows he’s already walking on a very thin line here.
And he knows he’s lucky with every day that passes without Nora knowing about it. If she finds out about Holly, it might get ugly. She had warned him the last time, that she would divorce him if he ever cheated on her again. And he knows that she will do just that. And that there will be hell to pay, because, gentle as she is, Nora is no push-over.
He sighs. Maybe he should just quit and forget about the winery all together. The pressure is getting to him and he’s been feeling tired lately. His fingers run through Holly’s hair, but he wishes he was with Nora now. He begins to understand that he seriously needs to reconsider his choices.
“Well, if you’re sure....” William says. “I just want to help you. Be there for you. Wouldn’t you and your daughter be better off with the extra money?” Holly sighs, she likes these tender moments, but she’s not the kind of person who can mix business and pleasure in the form or discussing selling her winery right after sex.
She turns away from William and slips out to bed.
“Where are you going?” William asks.
“Home.” She replies after a quick look over her shoulder.
“I’m sorry William, but I don’t like this. Every time it’s the same old thing. We have sex and then you start to talk about the winery. As if it’s more important than I am....?”
“Of course not. How can you think that?”
“For one: you never shut up about it.” Holly is really annoyed now.
“Listen. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. Please come back in bed.” William tries to talk her back into his bed.
“It won’t happen again?” Holly asks. William shakes his head. “.. it’s boring, you know.”
“I promise.” William says with a smile.
“I’m going over to dad to tell him about you.” Kevin says out loud. Spooned up against Kevin, Kevin’s sudden words, takes Scotty away from nearly falling asleep.
“What? ... Why?”
“I’m done with the pretending that you’re not there.”
“Aren’t you worried about what your dad will do?”
“There isn’t anything he can do. We’re together, whether he likes it or not. Right now, the only ones who don’t know are Kitty and dad. And their opinions don’t matter to me.”
“Then why tell him?”
“What?” It's Kevin's turn to be surprised.
“I don’t care if he knows or not. He’s irrelevant to me.” Scotty explains softly, while putting a little kiss on the back of Kevin’s neck. “I’m glad your mom, sister and brothers know. They are the ones who truly matter to you, who also support us.
Telling your dad will bring nothing but trouble. Will it change something for us if he does know? Not really, we’ll still be together. We’ll still love each other. Your father can only bring damage and pain. I know it’s inevitable. We can’t hide it forever. But why not enjoy the peace while we can?”
“But... Wouldn’t you rather be honest and open about it?” Kevin wonders, pressing closer to Scotty, when Scotty’s hand caresses his belly.
“Yes. I would. And when you didn’t want anyone to know, ... at first, I thought it was because you’re were ashamed of being with me.
But having watched more closely what is going on in your family, I think that you were right from the start. And I now see that you suggested this option, to not talk about it, to protect me and our relationship. I’m glad we had this time to watch our love grow and get stronger. I’m not sure I would have been able to handle your father earlier on.
Your father has a tendency to destroy everything, that is not the way he wants it to be. Whether it’s you and me. Tommy and Julia. Justin and Fawn. Kitty and Jonathan. Maybe to a certain extent even Sarah and Joe.”
“He does feel that Joe is a loser for being a stay-at-home dad. And he keeps reminding Joe of this.”
“See? Why bring all this trouble on yourself? Why now? Let it rest.” Scotty whispers as nibbles at Kevin’s ear, but then he laughs, because Kevin’s takes his hand and moves it lower than his belly, making it very clear to Scotty, what he really wants.
“You’re right. I’m just sick and tired about worrying about my father...Maybe I should think it over... Later.” And he turns in Scotty’s arms to kiss his lips.
“Nora! Honey!” The smoky sound is so well-known, it feels like a warm blanket on a cold day. Nora looks at her friend. She wants to say ‘hi’, but the words don’t come. All that she does is give one sob and without losing a beat there are arms around her. “Come in, hun, you need a cup of strong tea....”
END OF PART 46
SNEAK PEAK FOR PART 47
"..., but this little space is mine. In here, I rule. One would assume they’d spread the news amongst themselves, but no...."