Eighty-Eight…

Eighty-Eight: Pride

Pain consumed her. Not the physical kind.

Kat was a prisoner, trapped in a purgatory of misery. Hunter had moved on. Hunter had a new love. Meanwhile Kat was stuck in a hell; a hell of heartbreak and borderline insanity.

Her mother visited that Saturday evening. She held Justin as Kat wallowed in despair upon the floor.

Squealing, Tristan rocked and rode his toy boat.

“Kat, I need to talk to you about something.”

“About what?” Kat’s voice was low, disinterested.

Suddenly Justin shrieked. Aubrey headed for the baby swing.

She gently placed the baby inside, then pressed a button.

It swung to and fro but Justin was having none of it.

“What did you want to talk about?” Normally her son’s screams would set her on edge. Not anymore. Kat didn’t give a shit about anything. She was zombified, if there ever were such a thing.

Aubrey approached her daughter.

The pacifier dropped from Tristan’s mouth. “Mommy-daddy-mommy-daddy,” he said going back and forth.

Mommy and Daddy are no longer together, Tristan. Don’t you realize that by now? It’s been over a month.

“It’s about you and Hunter,” Aubrey began.

Meh. Fuck Hunter. I don’t want to hear this.

“I blame myself for your problems with Hunter,” she quietly said. “I’m so sorry. I feel so… guilty I can’t stand it.”

Ears perked up, Kat couldn’t believe what she heard. She stood and tried to fetch Tristan. He refused to move.

He folded his arms, sticking out his bottom lip in protest.

“Well you can’t stay on it forever, you little turd,” Kat said. She plucked him from the ride-on toy.

Tristan whined as she carried him to the nursery.

“I’ll be right back, Mom. Then we can talk.”

She glanced back at her mother, wondering what their imminent conversation would entail.

Kat’s curiosity nagged her, while Tristan tugged a handful of her hair. Ouch.

Moments later they sat in the living area. Both boys slept in their room.

“I never should’ve said those things to you when you were pregnant,” Aubrey said.

“I had no right to imply you’d be a bad mother… or say you’d never be able to cope with having twins. You took my words to heart. I think you have the potential to be a terrific mother, but because of me, you were afraid to try.”

Speechless, Kat continued listening.

“I was jealous of your and Hunter’s relationship, and the guilt hit me in the face because of how I’d hurt him years ago. I took it out on you.” She shook her head. “Kat, I’m so sorry.”

“I—don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything.” she said. “I wanted to talk to you about this a long time ago, but I could never do it. I was afraid it was too late.”

“Mom, it is too late. Hunter’s gone and moved on.” Just saying those words split her heart in two.

“I know it’s too late. I’m just hoping it’s not too late for you to forgive me.” She choked up.

I think… I forgive you. I’m not sure, there’s so much shit going on right now. My head’s spinning.

And it’s not really your fault that Hunter’s a dickhead.

Really. It’s not.

It was only natural what happened next. A warm maternal embrace.

Blood really is thicker than water.

Hunter came over the next day.

She’d no idea what he wanted. He simply showed up unexpectedly.

“Asshole,” she said out of the corner of her mouth.

“What?”

“Nothing. What do you want, Hunter?”

“I have something for you. It’s outside.”

Kat gaped at something hanging from his thumb.

Yep. A key chain. Her mind didn’t initially register the letters ‘BMW’.

BMW?

“This is it,” he said.

“How do you like it? It’s nice, isn’t it?”

“Nice? It’s… amazing. Thank you so much. I never expected this at all.” Shock. Numbness. Two emotions that seemed to be her best friends of late.

Even the interior was beyond inviting. She could live in the damn thing, it was so nice.

“I was able to pay off the twins’ medical bills, so I thought I’d buy you a decent car.”

“Wow. Thank you again. I love it.”

“You’re welcome.” Hunter was suddenly very close to her.

Cold hands touched her; strong arms eased around her. Kat stiffened.

“I have to go. But I’d like to talk to you later, okay?” He pecked her on the back of the head.

But what about your precious girlfriend? The one who looks like a vampire Barbie doll?

Hunter called a cab and left.

That night someone rapped at the door. Bewildered, Kat went to answer it.

A tall, dark figure lurked on the other side. Trepidation trickled into Kat’s conscience.

She opened the door.

“Hi! What are you doing here?” She drew in a quick breath.

It was he. The elusive Percival; Percy for short.

Mademoiselle Katerina, I must ask you something. But I shouldn’t be so rude as to not greet you properly.”

She nodded, but had no idea what he meant.

He grabbed her, kissed her on the cheek. She blushed.

He quickly kissed her on the other cheek.

Kat’s blush deepened, along with her mortification. Yet twinges of excitement coursed through her.

“Now… do you know where your brother Jakub is? Jakub Haas?”

“What? How do you know my brother?”

“He was the one I was after that night; the night I nearly killed you with my stallion,” he explained. “Jakub has my sister’s son, Xander. I’m here to find him, and to take him back to France where he belongs.”

Okaaaay. This might take a while to register in my already troubled brain, Kat mused.

“How did you know Jakub was my brother? Who told you?”

“My sister Brigitte told me about Jakub’s family, the Haases. I added everything up after meeting you. It was quite obvious you were Jakub’s sister. I even knew of Hunter Logan, and found out he owned this house.”

“So you want me to give away my brother’s location.”

He nodded. “You’re the only one I can trust. I honestly believe that.”

She considered him.

I don’t really like Jakub much, but what if I help Percy and it turns out Xander’s mother isn’t any better than Ash? What if Jakub finds out I betrayed him, and comes to kill me? Hence that dream I had a while ago?

And why should I help Percy? What’s in it for me?

…and why does Percy have to look so yummy standing there?

She swept such naughty thoughts from her mind.

“Have you checked the Shadowvale Inn? I think he was staying there.”

“Yes, I heard he’d been living there. Unfortunately the clerk said he moved out a few days ago.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know where else he could be,” Kat said shaking her head. Then she remembered that Jakub had been spending a lot of time with Ashton.

“With your help, I still think we could find him,” he hinted.

“I’ll do anything for you, if you just help me.”

Ooooh, that smile could melt steel. Kat found her heart reacting to that smile, beating in a frenzy.

“I’ll help you as long as you promise not to kill Jakub, and as long as you never tell anyone who helped you. I don’t want Jakub pissed at me.”

Percy smiled. Kat could no longer control herself…

She threw her arms around Percy and kissed him on the lips.

How’s this for a greeting?

At first he pulled back, appearing shocked. “Mademoiselle…”

Desire flashed in his golden eyes. Then Percy returned her kiss with delicious vengeance.

Indeed, it was the best French kiss she’d ever had. Dizzying, intoxicating.

Maybe blood wasn’t that much thicker than water after all.

And soon she’d learn even more shocking information about her brother.

*

BMW convertible was created by Fresh Prince: http://www.freshprincecreations.com/2010bmwm6convertiblets3.htm

Thanks for reading!

I’m going to take next Thursday off from this story, but after that it’ll resume as normal. 🙂 Chapter 89 will be posted on January 13, 2012.