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Whoo! 'Nother chapter! Not much to say here this time except for sorry for my crappy editing skills in one of the pictures below xD You'll know it when you see it :p Besides that, hope y'all enjoy!

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It was an unfamiliar concept to Dylan, being able to open up so much to anyone other than her brother, to be able to smile and for once let go of her worries and genuinely enjoy herself.
And yet she found herself doing all of those things during that night. It took a long time--the majority of dinner--to get her to even crack a smile. Ali was thrilled to see her enjoying herself for once. It was strange. The only other time he'd seen her like this was when she had been so intoxicated that she was unable to remember it the next day, but this time she didn't have a drop of alcohol in her system, and the smile on her face was genuine, not alcohol enduced.
She even let him hold her hand once, although he had felt her tense up when he had done so and nearly pull away. She trying, he realized. She was trying not to be afraid, she was trying to enjoy herself. She was trying to embrace her feelings rather than run away from him. And even if this night didn't go well, even if they weren't right for each other, Ali would be thankful for that, at least.
It wasn't until dessert came around that Dylan looked up at him with wide brown eyes. "Ali, can I tell you something?" she asked. Her tone was so soft that he was genuinely caught off guard. By this point, they had been there for a few hours, and almost everyone else at the Bistro had come and gone, leaving only two tables full--Ali and Dylan's and Taylor and Malachi's.
"Of course." He gave her hand a gentle squeeze, but released it when he felt her nearly pull away again.
Dylan looked at him. For a second he saw her expression harden again, the way it had when they had first met, but then she closed her eyes and seemed to remind herself that it was okay, there was no need to put up that way again, and it softened. "I'm sorry." She sounded so confident in her apology, even though Ali didn't have the faintest clue what she was apologizing for.
"Huh?"
"For running away and being afraid and refusing to accept the fact that..." She looked away. "I liked you--like you. Really like you."
Once again he placed his hand ontop of her's, and smiled in success when she didn't pull away. "It's okay."
"No it's not. I was just... So scared... I didn't think I could ever date a cop."
Ali gave her a small, sympathetic smile. He was sure he knew where she was going with this. "Hits close to home?"
She nodded. "Yeah."
"Wanna share?"
"Not tonight, but maybe soon."
Ali smiled and leaned across the table, his lips gently brushing against her's. He was thrilled to find that she didn't push him away or take off, but instead just sat there, a tiny ghost of a smile creeping across her features. "Whenever you want to share, I promise I'll be there to listen."
***

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There were many dates after that, but she didn't share the story of her past on the first one, nor the second, or even the third. They had been officially together for many months before Dylan finally let it all out. The two had been sitting on her couch, watching a movie and snuggling. As the end credits rolled, Ali looked over at her to see her gaze glued on her hands. By this point in time, he had become fairly used to seeing this quiet, sad, broken side of her, even though it came out infrequently.
"I was three when my dad died..."
Even though there was no warning that she was going to tell the story, Ali didn't interupt. He'd been waiting a long time for her to finally open up to him so completely. He sat silently and wrapped his arm tighter around her as she continued.

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"I can barely remember him. All I know is what my mom told me about him before we lost her too. I was always "daddy's little girl", according to my mother. He spoiled me rotten and when I woke up screaming in the night, I would always call for him before my mom. Not that I didn't love my mom, she was amazing, I just... my dad was always the one that could comfort me best, I guess.
I was three when my mom found out she was pregnant again. This time with a boy. She was an FBI agent, my dad was a detective. They were partners. And even though she was pregnant, my mom wasn't one to sit behind a desk while my dad got to go out and catch the killers all on his own. So, despite the captain's protests, she went with my dad to apprehend a killer.
Maybe if she hadn't, things would have been so, so different. I could have had both of them here.
But the suspect... The suspect shot at my mom. Both her and Malachi could have been killed in that instant, but my dad jumped in front of her. He took the bullet instead. He died for them.

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I wasn't old enough to understand what happened. I remember toddling over to the door when I heard their car pull up in the driveway, wait for my parents to walk in the door and scoop me up into a hug or give me a pat on the head and a smile the way they always did. Instead my mom came in alone. And there was no hug. She just cried. She looked at me and she just broke down into tears.
It's funny, how I want so badly to forget that moment, to forget how I saw my mom at her weakest in that moment, and yet I can remember it so clearly.

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I kept crying for 'Daddy' that night. I have a blurry memory of my mom coming to get me in the early hours of the morning. She pulled me out of the crib and sat down in the chair in my room and whispered to me, how 'daddy was in a better place now.' And how we'd be okay, just the two of us and my new baby brother. I don't even know if that really happened, or if my brain just made it up as a memory of my mother, strong as I always knew her, in the time that she was so weak. She cried so much then. I'd never seen her like that, except for during that time.
It was so scary, even at three.

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We visited my dad's grave so often. At that point, I think all that I understood was that he wasn't coming home. That something terrible had happened, and now I couldn't see him again. And that my mom was so broken. I never wanted that to happen to me. Everytime I reflected on those memories as I grew older, I promised myself I would never love anyone that could get torn away from me so suddenly, so painfully.
That's why I was so scared of falling in love with you.
" Dylan paused then, and looked at him. He gently ran his hand along her cheek and gave her a smile.
"But you fell in love with me."
A sad smile was the response he got. "I did."
"And I promise I'll never leave you." It was a promise he wasn't sure he could keep, but he had to say it. And he would do anything in his power to make it true. He would spend his entire life wrapped in bubble wrap if it would make her happy.
She didn't reply to that, although he felt her pull herself closer to him and lean her head on his shoulder. "There's more, if you want to hear it."
"Only if you want to tell it."
She took a deep breath and, much to Ali's surprise, she continued on.

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"Things got a bit better after Malachi was born. He was named after my father, you know. I guess having two kids to raise made my mom realize that she had to be strong for us. She stopped crying in front of me. I think she still broke down in private every once in a while, but she once again became the strong woman I knew and loved.

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When I was five and Malachi two, we realized that our old house was too small. It was only two bedrooms, and me and Malachi were getting too old to share. My mom found a nice, small, three bedroom house and we moved into it. I didn't want to go. I didn't want to leave the house that held so many memories of my dad, but I didn't have a choice. My mom assured me that it'd all be okay.

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And after a while, it was. Malachi and I were as close as we are now. I was a quiet kid--surprising, I know--and I didn't have a lot of friends. I didn't want a lot of friends, and I was content in the company of my brother and my mom. Or I liked being by myself. I didn't need anyone else in the world. I only needed my little family.

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Every once in a while, though, when I was having a bad day, I would hop on my bike and ride down to the graveyard. I would sit on my dad's grave and talk to him. I would tell him about my day and how I missed him. I was having trouble remembering him, but I still loved him and missed him. Talking to him always made me feel better. It still does.

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We got older, but we stayed close. My mom became stronger, I became happier, Malachi grew up. My mom would always share stories about the cases her and my dad had once solved. The case where the met, the one where they fell in love. Malachi was fascinated by them, but I was terrified. This was the job that took my dad away from us. I didn't want to hear about it.
But I was sure that we'd had enough sadness. That it was over now and we'd be able to be happy. Life doesn't work like that though, and disaster soon struck again.

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This memory is as clear as day. I twelve and was in school when Malachi and I were called down to the office. I can remember the principal's sympathetic stare and I knew something was wrong. I knew it. It was the same stare people always gave me when they found out my dad had died. I was so scared. Malachi was blissfully unaware, and was more terrified that he had done something wrong.

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Then the news came, and it hit us both hard. There had been an accident. A car accident. Our mom was in the hospital. Life has a twisted sense of humor, I guess. After all, the idea that my mother--one of the strongest people I ever knew, who chased serial killers for a living--could be taken down by just an out of control truck driven by a man that had had too much to drink, it seemed so ridiculous. Had it not been for the look on the principal's face, I probably would have laughed.

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The news hit us both differently. Malachi accused the principal of lying. He was only nine. I guess he couldn't understand the look on the principal's face. But I did.

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I sat there in silence and stared at the floor. My teacher drove us to the hospital, and I didn't look up until we arrived in the hospital room. Seeing my mom like that was genuinely the most terrifying thing I've ever gone through. She hardly even looked like herself. She was so bloody and pale and her hair was a mess and she could barely lift her head to look at us as we came in. Still, she managed a tiny smile.

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We stood by her side and she told us how much she loved us. She told us to be strong without her. I didn't cry. I couldn't find the tears. It all felt so unreal.
She died that night. A part of me thinks that the only reason she even held on was for me and Malachi. She had to tell us that she loved us. We needed to hear it.

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We buried her right beside my dad. There was no funeral. My aunt--my mom's sister--couldn't bear to plan it. Everyone came to grieve on their own terms.

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We moved in with our Aunt Neha after that. We didn't have any where else to go. My mom had never had a good relationship with her dad. My dad's mother had long since passed away. My dad's father is... Well, he's Jacob Fallon, a wanted criminal. Enough said. And my Aunt Cynthia, my dad's sister, already had two daughters of her own. Not to mention we weren't exactly close to her after my dad's passing.

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Aunt Neha wasn't the most responsible person in the world. Moving in with her was a huge change, for all of us. Malachi and I had to adjust to totally new surroundings, a new way of life, and Neha had to learn to take care of children. She got used to it surprisingly fast, and she did a good job. She would always read us a bedtime story, always kiss us goodnight. She loved us, but it couldn't have been easy for her to take us in. We were always a reminder of her sister.

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Malachi and I refused to be seperated from each other for even the shortest amount of time after our parents' deaths. We even slept in the same bed. I guess we were scared that we would loose each other next.

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Aunt Neha tried her best, but when the new school year started, it was understandable that she chose to send us to boarding school. I never was angry at her for that. We all knew it was the best choice. I went to a school for the arts, Malachi went to a sports academy. Our schools were right across from each other, so we saw each other often.
"
Dylan stopped suddenly there, and when Ali looked at her, he could see tears running down her face. "Hey, shh, it's okay. You don't have to go on if you don't want to."
"There's not much more to tell." She looked up at him with watery eyes and buried her face in his shoulder. She didn't want him to see her cry. She was trying to hide her face.

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But Ali would have nothing of it. He tilted her chin up so she would look at him and he kissed her gently. "Don't be scared to cry in front of me. Okay?" he said, pulling away and leaning his forehead against her's.
Through her tears, she smiled and nodded. "Okay."

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
roxmorgirl
Sep. 17th, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
AWWWWW <3
I love Ali xD I love them together!!! Yay love ;)
I'm so glad I got to hear the rest of Dylan's story! It is good to know where she's coming from. And I'm glad Ali can help her get through it <3
Great chapter :3
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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