Ch. 13

The driver of the other honked his horn before stopping just short of Evangeline’s car. Evangeline snapped back into defensive driver mode and pulled off to the side of the street. Her heart was racing. She took in a few deep breaths before looking back and checking on Tris.

“Are you okay?” Evangeline looked into her son’s eyes which were wide open. He had a deer in the headlights look. All he could do was to nod his head. “I’m so sorry, sweetie. I should have been paying better attention to the road.” She was startled as she heard someone knock on her driver’s side window. She could only see his midsection, so she rolled her window down enough for him to hear her. Before she could speak he interjected.

“I’m so sorry. Are you alright?”

She was shocked to see that the man who was outsider her window was no other than Cristian Vega. “Yes, Cris we’re fine.”

Cris’ face went from worried to almost unfeeling. If he had known who he had almost run into then he wouldn’t have stopped. After hearing Evangeline’s response, Cristian turned and started walking away.

Evangeline was confused. “I’ll be right back, Tris.” He nodded his head as she got out of the car. “Cristian, wait.”

Even though he could hear her calling his name, he didn’t stop. He had practically made it back to his car before he felt her hand on his shoulder. He spun around violently and knocked her hand off him.

“Look, there was no damage and no one was injured so let’s just leave it at that.” He stared blankly at her.

“I don’t think you’re okay. You ran through a stop sign and almost hit me. Maybe you shouldn’t be driving.”

“Just mind your own business. I didn’t hit you so there’s no problem.” Before any other words could be exchanged Cris rushed to his car and sped off. Evangeline stood for a moment wondering what was wrong before returning to her own vehicle.

When she reached the car, she looked through the driver’s side passenger window and saw Tris sleeping. She knew that she was supposed to meet John later, but she figured he would want to know what happened. She hopped into her car and as she turned the key to the ignition her cell phone rang. She ignored the call and headed to the station.

When she got to the station Tris was still sleeping, she gently lifted him from the car and carried him inside. She greeted a few officers before running into Natalie.

“Oh, hey Evangeline. How are you doing today?”

“I’m doing fine. Do you know if John is in his office?”

“Yeah, I just left him there. He’s got a lot of work to do though so…”

Evangeline cut her off before she could finish her sentence, “Thank you.” She walked down the hallway until she came to John’s door. She took a deep breath and thought about what she would tell John. He worried enough about her already and now she was going to give him another reason. She knocked on his door and then entered.

John looked up from his computer screen and was pleasantly surprised, “Hey, honey, what are you two doing here. I thought you weren’t coming by until later.” He stood from his desk and greeted her with a kiss and a smile. He gently rubbed Tristen’s back, “I guess he had a pretty eventful day today.” John was smiling from ear to ear. He was feeling quite overwhelmed today, but seeing Evangeline and Tris made him forget about all of that. “Come here, buddy.” He took Tris and gently laid him down on the sofa in his office. He took off his jacket and draped it over his son. When he turned back toward Evangeline, he was her sitting at a chair in front of his desk. John could tell something was wrong. He walked to his desk and leaned back against it with his arms folded across his chest “What’s wrong?”

“Where should I start?” Evangeline suddenly felt her self become overwhelmed with emotion. She couldn’t tell if it was because the pregnancy or what happened earlier. Right now, all she could think about was how she had endangered her life and her children’s lives. How could she have been so careless? If she was paying attention to the road none of this ever would have happened. She tried wipe a tear away that slid down her cheek before John noticed.

“Why are you so upset?” John leaned forward and pulled her to him. She buried her head in shoulder and began to sob quietly. “Shh, shh, it’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s okay.” He ran his hand through her hair and tried to calm her down.

“I’m so sorry. I should have been more careful. John, I’m so sorry.” She whispered this softly into his ear.

He pulled away from their embrace and looked directly into Evangeline’s eyes. He used one hand to wipe away the tears. “What are you sorry about? What happened?”

“I had a run in with Cristian Vega today...”

(At the Palace bar)

“Bartender! Give me a vodka on the rocks. You know what, make that a double.”

“Sure thing, sir. Here you go.”

Cris downed the drink immediately. “Another.” Cris stared coldly at the bartender as he poured him another drink. Right now he had a terrible headache. This was beginning to become a pattern. Whenever he ran into John or Evangeline, he felt a fire burning inside of him. He was envious of their life. They now had everything that he had always dreamed of. He would have it now if it wasn’t for John McBain. He never believed that it was Tico’s doing that had him on that ship for all those years. Even if it was Tico’s fault, Cris still hated John for getting him and Natalie involved in the first place.

Cris had changed since he had returned to Llanview. It was to be expected, somewhat. He was kept below the surface on a ship. He barely saw sunlight and when he did it always involved some sort of torture. His sadistic captures only intensified his hate for John. He wanted to make John feel every ounce of pain that he ever felt, and this was starting to be a problem.

Natalie had insisted that Cris get some counseling, which he did. The sessions seemed to be counteractive, unbeknownst to Natalie. Cris always left the sessions angrier and more frustrated than before. Natalie worried constantly so he lied. He could put on a happy face for his friends and family, but inside it was tearing him apart. He couldn’t understand how everyone dismissed John’s role in the situation. Even Carlotta and Antonio had forgiven John.

As Cris sat and thought of this, the pain had become far more severe. He clenched his fists in anger. Somehow he was going to get his revenge on John.

“Are you alright?” The bartender interrupted his thoughts.

In a fit of rage, Cris grabbed the bartender, “Just mind your own business.”

“Hey, take it easy there,” said an unfamiliar voice from behind. “I’m sorry for my friend here. He’s been having a stressful day. I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm. Here, I think this should cover his tab.” The man laid several bills on the counter as Cris released his grip.

‘Who was this guy?’ Cris thought to himself. “I’m sorry. I’d better go.” Cris got up to leave but the man grabbed him on the shoulder.

“I just bailed you out of trouble and I don’t even get a thank you.” The man smiled arrogantly.

“I didn’t ask for your help, but thanks anyway.”

“You seem pretty wound up. Is everything ok?” The man stood and ushered Cris to another table.

“I’m not the type of person who goes pouring their heart out to a stranger.”

“Then I should introduce myself. I’m Dr. Spencer Truman.”

“I’m Cristian Vega,” he said as they shook hands.

“So, now that we’re not complete strangers you can tell me what’s getting under your skin.”

“Aren’t you David Vickers brother?” When he introduced himself, Cris remembered that Adriana had told him that David’s brother Spencer was in town. Cristian sensed that he should be cautious, but he didn’t know why.

“So you know my brother then.”

“Not really. Adriana is my cousin. You know, she is Dorian’s daughter so I guess that makes her David’s future stepdaughter.”

“Yes, I’ve met her. She is a beautiful young lady.”

“Yeah.” Cris’ headache came back all of a sudden. He tried to hide the fact that something was physically wrong, but Spencer caught on really quick.

“Are you alright?”

“I’ve just got a headache, happens all the time.”

“All the time you say. That’s not healthy. Maybe you should come down to my office. I could take a look at you, and make sure nothing is wrong.”

“No thanks. I’m fine.”

“Trust me I’m a doctor. This headache could be a sign that something else is wrong. I think that you should err on the side of caution.”

Cristian wanted to disagree. Other than his headaches he was completely healthy, or so he thought; although, his headaches were becoming more and more intense. He reluctantly agreed and the two left the Palace.

Spencer smiled a sinister smile on their way out. He had a natural charm with women. They were easy to manipulate. With a little convincing, Spencer would have Cristian right where he wanted.

(John’s office)

“Hey, don’t be upset, alright. I don’t blame you. I know that you would never intentionally endanger our children’s lives. If it really happened like you said, then Cris is the one who was at fault.” John held Evangeline close to him. John was starting to worry more. Cristian’s hatred toward John was starting to turn toward Evangeline and Tris. He had talked to Natalie earlier, and she said that the counseling that he was receiving was really starting to help. No one expected him to get better over night, but it seemed like he was really getting worse everyday. John had put it off long enough. He was going to have to talk to Cris. He wanted to make it clear that he was sorry for what happened, and at the same time tell him to leave Evangeline and Tris out of this who difficult situation.

When Evangeline had finally calmed down, John decided it would be best if they had dinner now. They stopped for takeout before returning home. Tris had slept until they got home.

“Daddy, what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see you.” John smiled at him.

“Are you going to be here for the rest of the night?”

“No, I’ve got to go back to work.”

“Oh.” Tris was visibly disappointed. He knew that his daddy had an important job. He protected all the citizens of Llanview. He was almost like a super hero.

“I’m sorry, buddy. Why don’t you tell me about your day?”

John sat down on the sofa next to Tris, while he filled him in about his day. He spoke excitedly about everything. He told John all about how his art had been picked to be sold at a special auction. With all that excitement from earlier, he had totally forgotten about the near accident.

“Hey sweetie, I didn’t know you were awake.” Evangeline joined them on the sofa.

“Mommy, I told daddy about the art auction and about all the nice mommies I met today.”

“I’m sure you did.”

John let out a short sigh. This is what he loved. Coming home everyday and spending time with Evangeline and Tris. As long as he had them, he would be happy. He was sorry that he didn’t have the nine to five kind of job, but he loved his job. He wanted to keep Llanview safe. He wanted his children to grow up in a place safe place.

Before long, John, Tris, and Evangeline ate dinner. Tris asked all sorts of questions about the baby. When they finished, Evangeline cleaned the dishes while John helped Tris with his homework. John had wanted to stay longer, but he knew that he needed to get back to the station. Things seemed to be a lot more hectic when he was not around. Tris was sad when John left, so he promised that he would tuck him in when he got home tonight. He kissed Evangeline and gently rubbed her stomach as he walked out the door.