Devastation Ė Chapter 8

Two days later, John found himself in the car with his fiancéís mother. Amelia was a beautiful woman. He could see by looking at her what Evangeline would look like when she was her age. They had talked many times on the phone and when sheíd walked up to him in the airport with a hug, heíd been surprised. Sheíd been on the Internet looking for articles on him so sheíd know what he looked like. Heíd had to laugh.

They got home before Evangeline and John put Ameliaís things in the guest room. When John had shown her around, sheíd frowned when heíd indicated their room. Amelia wasnít completely supportive of the fact that they were living and sleeping together before the wedding, but she kept any comments to herself. She was settling into her room when Evangeline got home.

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When she walked into the kitchen, she noticed John on the phone making reservations for dinner. She smiled as she walked to him for a kiss. He kissed her and finished making the reservation. He had an odd look in his eye. He didnít smile at her which was normally not a good sign. She waited until he was off the phone, before asking him about it.

"Whatís wrong?"

"Why do you ask?"

"There you go answering a question with a question again. I ask because I know you. Whatís wrong?" she asked again with concern on her face.

"Nothingís wrong," he said with a sigh, "but something is up. I did something that youíre going to be angry about, but I believe it was necessary."

"What did you do?" she asked warily.

"I invited your mother to come a visit for a few days."

"You what? How could you do that? Iíve told you time and time again that Iím not ready to talk to her."

"I know. I also know that youíre never going to be ready. Youíre just going to have to do it."

"I canít believe this. I canít believe this."

"Well, believe it. Sheís upstairs in the guest room."

"What? Sheís already here. Oh my God. What were you thinking?"

"I was thinking that I love you. I was thinking that you need to do this for you. I was thinking about your mom. She needs this just as bad as you do."

"You donít get to decide what I need."

He sighed, "Van, weíre getting married. We have to do whatís best for each other even if we donít like it sometimes. Do you think I wanted to go behind your back and have Amelia come here? I hate keeping things from you, but it had to be done."

"You know what, I canít talk to her or you right now," she said as she turned around and walked back toward the door sheíd just come through.

"Van, where are you going? When will you be back?"

"John, I donít know. To take a page out of your book, I donít want to say something Iíll regret. Iíll call you."

He sighed as he watched her leave. He closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths. Heíd expected her to be angry. She would get over it, she had too, he kept telling himself.

"I guess that didnít go as well as youíd hoped," Amelia said from the doorway.

He smiled at that, "No, it didnít."

"Iím sorry to be causing all this trouble."

"Itís not your fault. I should have told her that I was doing this."

"She wouldnít have agreed."

"Thatís probably true, but she does need to be in on these types of decisions. Iím sorry you had to hear that."

"I didnít expect any less. Sheís not happy with me right now. I donít know that she ever has been. Robert molded her into Ďhisí daughter from the time she was born. I let him, because I felt like I owed that to him after he took care of me. I didnít know how to show her that I loved her. Her conception was my worst memory, but she is my greatest delight. Even though we donít have a good relationship."

"Sheíll come around. Iíll talk to her when she gets home."

"No John, Iíll talk to her. Itís time for me to tell her everything."

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A few hours later, Evangeline ended up at Angel Square on a secluded bench. How could John do that? How could he force my hand like that? He is not the boss of me. He does love me. I know that, but he canít get all heavy handed and force me to talk to her. I hate not being in control. What am I going to do? Sheís at the house. I have to go home at some point.

She decided to take a walk after running through all the scenarios in her head. She ran into Viki. They hugged and Viki asked her, "Whatís wrong?"

"John invited my mother here."

"Thatís not a good thing?" Viki asked.

"My mother and I donít have a close relationship. We never have. John wants us to talk so I can get over being angry at her for not telling me the truth all these years."

"I take it you arenít ready to do that."

"No, Iím not. I donít want her story yet. Iím not ready to deal with that on top of just getting used to being a Lord."

"Evangeline, I can understand that you arenít ready to talk to her, but will you ever really be ready. As hard as it is for you to hear, I think John is right. As a mother, I know what itís like to have your child angry with you and they wonít let you explain. Even angry, you owe it to her to at least listen."

"Viki, I donít want to hear this right now."

"I know," Viki said with a smile, "but you need to and what kind of sister would I be if I didnít say it?"

"Thanks, I guess."

"Itíll be okay."

"I know."

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When Evangeline let herself into the dark house, she took a deep breath. She knew that John would have waited up. He was just like that. She made her way into the den where she heard the TV on. He was sitting on the sofa with a beer in his hand. He looked at her as she moved to sit beside him.

"Are you okay?" he asked cautiously.

"Iím fine. How about you?"

"I was worried, but Iím better now," he said as he stroked his hand through her hair.

"Iím sorry that I worried you. I just needed some time. Iím sorry I yelled at you too. I know you were only thinking of me. I just want you to tell me when you do things like this, so I can prepare myself and so I can have a say in what happens in my life," she said as she moved closer and nestled into him.

"Iím sorry for not letting you handle it. I should have. I could just see this taking a lot longer than it had too. I could also see it being a lot more painful for you, the waiting. I want you to be okay, even if that means you get mad at me, but I wonít make a decision like that again. Next time Iíll just bug you until you give in," he said with a chuckle as he kissed her temple.

"I love you."

"Ditto," he said as he kissed her lovingly.

A cough from the doorway interrupted them. Amelia was standing there smiling at them.

"Hi, angel."

"Mother."

"Do you want me to stay?" John asked Van with a look of concern.

"No, Iíll be up to bed when we get through talking."

"Okay," John said and kissed her again. He got up to leave the room and as he passed Amelia, he kissed her on the cheek. She smiled at him and patted his cheek. He glanced back at Van with a smile before leaving the room.

"That is a very special man," Amelia said.

"Yes, he is," Evangeline agreed.

"You love him."

"Very much."

"Donít be angry with him. He thought he was doing the right thing."

"He was doing the right thing. Itís more his methods that I have issue with. That and the fact that I didnít feel ready to face you yet."

"Can we go ahead and talk now?"

"Yes, since youíre here, Iíd like to get it out of the way and maybe we can both move on."

"Okay," Amelia said and moved to a chair facing Evangeline, "I donít know where to start."

Evangeline gave her some time to gather her thoughts.

"I was taking a journalism class at Cross University in Philadelphia and Victor Lord was a guest speaker. He gave his lecture and it was really interesting. After the lecture, I went up to ask him about an internship. He asked me my name and said I was a go getter and he would make sure that I got an internship at the Banner Sun. I was so excited. I originally wanted to be a reporter. I was seeing Robert at the time and he was really happy for me.

"I contacted Victor a few months later and a three-month internship was arranged. I arrived in Llanview shortly after that. I had been working at the paper for a few weeks, when Victor called me into his office. I thought Iíd done something wrong, but he assured me that everything was just as it should be. Then he pushed me into the wall. I fought him and begged him to stop, but I wasnít strong enough to stop him. He forced himself on me and I wasnít strong enough to stop him," Amelia said as she began to sob.

Evangeline moved from the sofa to the floor in front of her mother to grasp her hand. Amelia held on to her hand as if it were a lifeline.

"When he finished, he said that heíd given me exactly what Iíd wanted. He could tell that I wanted him and he wouldnít disappoint me. I was so ashamed and I felt so guilty. I left that day and went to my apartment and packed my bags and went back to Philadelphia. I called the paper the next morning and told them that I had to leave the internship. I was afraid to tell anyone what had happened. A couple of months later, I found out that I was pregnant.

"Robert had been trying to talk to me since Iíd gotten back from the internship early. He found me crying in the park and made me spill what had happened. Once I told him, he said he had the solution. We would get married and he would raise the baby as his own. The only thing he made me promise was that I wouldnít tell you the truth. I didnít know what else I could do. He was my best friend and he was going to take care of me. So we did just that. I married him and got ready for you to be born.

"When you were born, I saw you and all I could see was Victor. I loved you, but I couldnít be with you. Robert took care of you and he was your father. I was so ashamed and I hated myself. That was one of the reasons that I was distant from you. After our marriage fell apart and you went with Robert, I wanted us to have a relationship, but after so many years of distance, I didnít know how to get to that point.

"This is part of the reason that I started working at the Womenís Shelter. I know what many of those women are going through. I guess I also wanted to work out some of my own problems by helping someone else. Now that you know the truth, maybe we can build from here?"

Evangeline rose on the knees and drew her mother into her arms. She said, "Mom, Iím sorry you had to live through that. Iím sorry I havenít made it any easier."

"Angel, you didnít know."

"Iím still sorry. I want us to work on our relationship."

Amelia leaned back and the most beautiful smile covered her face and filled her eyes, "I feel like Iíve been waiting my whole life to be your mother. My beautiful baby girl, I love you," she said stroking Evangelineís cheek.

Tears filled Evangelineís eyes, "I love you too. I feel like Iíve been waiting my entire life to really know you. Thank you for coming to see me. I know I havenít made it easy."

"Thank you for giving me the chance."

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John was sitting in bed reading his cop thriller. He looked up as Evangeline entered the bedroom. He noticed her tear stained cheeks.

"Are you okay?"

She didnít answer other than to shake her head. He stretched out his hand and she moved to take it. He pulled her onto his lap.

"You want to talk about it?" he asked.

Evangeline repeated the story her mother had just told her. John stroked her back and squeezed her tightly. When she finished the story, she looked up at him with eyes full of tears. He looked at her tenderly. She leaned in a kissed him. The kiss turned passionate quickly. He laid her on the bed and leaned over her. She needed him more in this moment then she ever had. He made love to her with as much love as he could express.

After they were both fulfilled, she looked at him and said, "Thank you for loving me enough to be here."

"Like I told you mother once, I donít have any choice," he said with a smile.

"Also, thank you for having her come here. Take that smug look off your face."

"Youíre welcome, but I was being a little selfish. I want you whole for me, as much as, for you."

"Itís okay for you to be selfish when you are doing what is best for me. I know that you love me. I trust you with me."

"Thank you," he said reverently. He was honored by her admission.

"Youíre welcome. I can say that one really good thing came out of this whole finding out about Victor Lord being my father mess."

"Whatís that?"

"Out of the devastation, comes a real relationship with my mother. Something Iíve always wanted, but was prepared to accept would never happen. How wonderful is that?"

He just smiled before kissing her senseless.

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