About: Jonathan/Kitty, Sarah/Noah, Nora/Kevin/Scotty, Justin, William
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 and part 28
“What do you mean, that you will take the job?” Jonathan asks Kitty. “I thought we already talked about that. There is no reason for you to do so.”
“I’m sorry, but I disagree.” Kitty is calm and reasonable, something that should alarm Jonathan, but Jonathan is too mad to listen to her right now.
“I told you....”
“Yes, you told me. But last time I checked, I am still a grown woman, who is capable to make her own choices. I went into that talk to speak to Warren in particular, with the idea to tell them I wasn’t going to do it. But ... I met Warren and he’s my perfect nemesis, Jonathan.
He is a good debater and I think I am too. I want to pit my capacities against his. He awoke my competitive nature. This is not about marriage or money, this is about what I love to do. Jonathan, I fight for a living and trust me, if I don’t fight, I get cranky and you don’t want that, do you?” she tries to end with a joke.
Jonathan however still looks angry and Kitty remains quiet. The oldest trick in the book, make him talk, but Jonathan knows the trick. He turns away and goes to bed without saying another word to Kitty. He just leaves her standing there. She rolls her eyes to show her frustration, but then she follows him to bed.
Sarah puts on her dress and Noah slowly helps her with the zipper. His hand softly caressing her back makes her shiver and she turns in his arms to kiss him passionately.
“I can’t go on like this.” She nearly cries. “I want to stay with you tonight and I know I can’t. I know I have a husband to return to....”
“Sarah....” In Noah’s voice is a matching desire for her, but she covers his lips with her fingers.
“Don’t say it. If you will ask me to stay, I will and I cannot do that. If you’re asking me to leave, than I cannot do that either. But I must. I just have to go.”
She holds back her tears until she’s behind the wheel of her car. There she cries her tears, until there’s no one left. She straightens her face with a dab of make-up, knowing that by the time she gets home, her eyes will be considerably less red. Not that Joe would really notice if she had been crying. Most of the time he doesn’t even notice her existence.
A quick look at his watch tells him it’s 10 o’clock at night. Kevin picks up the phone.
“Kevin,” Nora’s breathless voice on the phone says. “..have you seen, heard, spoken to Justin?”
“Yes, at around 5. You were there.”
“No, I mean, afterwards. After you left. These last three hours?”
“He is not here, he didn’t leave a message, he is not at any of the places we know, he hasn’t called his sponsor, but his car is still here. Looks like he left on foot.”
“He probably took the bus, mom.”
“But where to?” Nora asks.
“How should I know? He didn’t say anything to me.”
“Kevin, if you hear from him,....?”
Lying next to him on the bed, Scotty looks at him, a question in his eyes.
“Justin is gone. We don’t know where.”
“Are you going to look him?”
“Where? If he’s gone for his booze or his drugs, he could be anywhere.” Kevin sighs.
“Are you scared he might be...?” Scotty doesn’t finish his question. Kevin shrugs.
“I don’t know if I’m ‘scared’. I am worried about it, but at the same time, if he has vanished then there is little I can do. I haven’t got a clue as to where he is.” Kevin bites his lip and Scotty understand that Kevin is more worried than he is letting on.
“C’me here.” He whispers and he takes Kevin into his arms. His study-book falls to the ground, but Scotty doesn’t notice. Especially not when Kevin admits:
“I am scared, Scotty, scared that one day, there will this one phone-call that they found him somewhere... Dead.” And Scotty holds Kevin even tighter.
Justin just walks and walks. The rhythm of the endless marches is in his head. It is actually very easy. All you do is put one foot in front of the other. Over and over and over again. It is rather mindless at first. But he thinks of Fawn and her death and the half burned out place that was left behind. (One foot in front of the other.)
He thinks about his dad’s harsh words about Fawn. Words he wasn’t supposed to have heard. He knows. But he still hears them. Cold and impersonal. Yes, those were the words to describe it.
“Face it, Nora, the girl was just a pathetic loser."
“William, she is dead. Leave it.” (One foot in front of the other.)
“Justin is better off without her. She would only have kept him in the miserable state he’s in.”
“Justin is trying to pick up the pieces of his life.” (One foot in front of the other.)
“Yes, and he is doing a poor job of it. Sometimes I think we make it too easy for him to simply just hang around and do nothing all day.”
“He goes to his meetings. He’s been affected very deeply by this war you encouraged him to get involved in...” (One foot in front of the other.)
“So, now it’s my fault that Justin is a junk with a suicidal maniac for a girl-friend?”
“She didn’t kill herself, it was a terrible accident.” Nora argues. (One foot in front of the other.)
He could never understand how Kevin could hate their dad. Sure, he can remember the door-slamming arguments between the two, followed by the silent war where neither had spoken to the other and it had ruined the relationship so thoroughly that Kevin had eventually moved out. (One foot in front of the other.)
But now Justin feels a hatred for his father too. One that he has never felt before. There had been tension between Justin and William before, especially when Justin was doing drugs, their fights had been frequent, but Justin considers this one more damaging. Justin is broken-hearted over Fawn’s death and he thought William had been reasonably shaken up as well. (One foot in front of the other.)
Hearing his dad’s cold words in the kitchen had hurt on a level he had never experienced before. He had always looked at his father, with the idea that his father was tough, but honest, now that imagine is smashed. He has seen a side to his father he does not appreciate. (One foot in front of the other.)
And he feels he has nowhere to go with these feelings. He wants to scream or break something just to get rid of this building frustration. He is tired in his head. He is tired of the sleepless nights and of the setbacks in his life. Sometimes he just wants to end it all, but he knows he never will. (One foot in front of the other.)
And now he is getting physically tired as well. He no longer has the stamina he had in the army. He for the first time starts to look around. He has a little idea of what he has to do, of where he needs to go. Now if only he can find a bus-stop, because he knows he will not be able to walk all the way. (One foot in front of the other.)
William checks his messages. Another one from Holly. Cute! He asked her specifically not to do that. If Nora would find out, there would be hell to pay. Especially after what happened in Ojai 20 years ago. When he had had a fling with a local girl and Nora had walked in on them, while they were having sex. In the kids’ tree-house, no less!
Although he had never been serious about the girl, it had hurt Nora. And she never wanted to go to ranch in Ojai again. She would have preferred it, if William had burnt it down.... The problem is that, way back then she made sure that William understood that she would forgive him that time. That time only. And it had taken nearly 5 years for Nora to trust him again.
If she finds out about Holly, William is rather sure Nora will leave him. And he doesn’t want that. He loves her too much to let her go. Regardless of anything, Nora is the woman he wants to grow old with, and he’s aware that he is playing with fire now. But his time with Holly is uncomplicated.
With Nora he feels the concern for Justin’s health, the annoyance that Kevin is gay, the fact that Tommy still hasn’t got Julia pregnant, that whether he likes to admit it or not, Sarah would be better to run Ojai Foods than Tommy. And now also Kitty getting married without telling anyone.
With Holly it is champagne and caviar and kissing by candlelight, listening to music and enjoying her soft body. There is only pleasure. He doesn’t have to explain anything to her, she never really talks to him. He cannot even remember the last time he took a bath together with Nora, yet Holly had pampered him with it last weekend.
But if Nora ever finds out, ... Man, there will be hell to pay. Nora will ruin him. He is sure of that. So, tomorrow, when he sees Holly, he must once again tell her to back off a bit. Take it slow. He enjoys her company, but if he had to chose, his choice would be Nora and not Holly.
END OF PART 29