Chapter 4

Just like he anticipates Natalie is at the graveyard. Where Chris tombstone resides. He sees her sitting before it her head bowing. Keeping in the shadow, he respects her privacy before going over there. The heartbroken sobs coming from her reminds him of himself a couple years ago.

The graveyardís dark and gloomy atmosphere adds on an evil feel to the night. The wind ruffles the leaves of the tress around the cemetery. A starless night gives of an airy feel, not a cloud in sight to dent in the sky. The only thing giving some light to the dark night is the bright shining moon.

Walking over to her softly so not to startle her. Stretching his hand out to help her get up "hey" the word so quiet she had to strain to hear it "need a hand?"

She glances up when hearing his footstep, knowing immediately it was he. Looking at the outstretch hand she wasnít sure she should take it. Looking back at the marker, John and everything else, she put her hand in his realizing that he was all she really had.

Pulling her up he looks at her. Letting go of her hand, he tucks a thick strand of hair behind her ear. "Want to tell me whatís wrong?"

"You mean beside everything?"

"It canít be everything Nat, you do have youíre health and youíre family."

"Thatís true but everything else in my life sucks. Iíve mess up so bad." Her head going down and biting on her lower lip.

"Let me help you Natalie. Tell me what wrong?" he tips her chin up to face him eye to eye.

"Paul was doing something and I I got involve in it" at the anger look on his face "donít worry it wasnít stealing art again."

"Damnit Natalie I told you not to get involve in anything he does" his hands going on his hips, hardly masking his anger.

"I know I know it was stupid. Once again I do a stupid thing. Does that surprise you?" a gust of self pity goes through her system.

"Donít get all sorry on me now Natalie. Just tell me exactly what you go involve in so I can get you out of this mess"

Looking sad at his choice of words " I donít need you" she said more to herself than him.

His phone starts ringing, raising one finger up to silence her. He takes the call, facing the trees with his back to Natalie.

"HiÖyeah Iím with herÖ donít worry Iím fineÖ" lowering his voice "sheís in something deepÖ Iíll call you when I get home but it might be lateÖokay I ah canít wait to see you either" with that he hangs up.

Tuning back to face her "sorry about that. As you where saying?

Shaking her head no "forget it John forget I even said anythingÖIíll just go to Rex or something."

"Nat-"

"Just go JohnÖplease I want to be with ChristianÖalone."

Taking the hint he left the graveyard without a back ward look.

**************

He didnít know why she wouldnít trust him now. He wants to help. He knew Evangeline couldnít understand why he feels he owes her this debt for killing her husband. Everyone keeps telling him there was nothing he could have done. His head knew that but not his heart. In a weird sort of way he feels responsible for her.

Responsible because he was the cause of her life falling apart. He knew he could help her, if only she would let him. His thoughts drift to that dream he had of Caitlin. It felt so real, when she smiled it was like she was soothing him from the grave.

He just wanted to touch her, to say goodbye properly. Heís almost over her death, not that he could ever forget her. To forget her would be like forgetting an important part of himself.

All he wants is a feeling of closure. That chapter in his life will always be lacking a closure, but maybe if he saves Natalie that would somehow absolve him of the guilt he feels. He whispers the name that has given him back his life, given him a reason to live.

Evangeline.

She had given him back his will, something he thought was gone forever. Buried with his dead fiancée. Before her he just exists trying to help Natalie and doing his job. His job was the only real thing he had going for him. He was the perfect cop, he did the cases none wanted to do. Work was a good way of burying his pain and grief. Now he would rather spend his extra time with Evangeline.

Now with her everything was a new experience. Not just because she was a different ethnicity, but because of how she made him feel. When he was with her he didnít see the color of her skin, he saw her inner beauty. He saw what she would let none else see. He saw the funny, sweet, vulnerable Evangeline.

Taking out his cell, he calls her before he could stop himself.

"Williamson" her voice was sultry, pulling at his groin.

"Funny" a grin already on his face, brightening his mood considerably.

"Thought you might like that." He could hear the smirk through the phone.

"Sorry that we had to cut our evening short."

"I know, but thanks I needed to hear it"

"My mother wants to meet you," he said bluntly, not bother to pussyfooting around.

"Really?" astonishment in her voice "I wasnít even aware youíre mother knew I exist"

He frown " of course she knows you existÖwhy wouldnít she?"

He heard nothing for a minuet " I just wasnít sure because usually when a man tell his mother it something very serious"

"Arenít we serious?" he asks

Delight lace her voice "yes we areÖIím glad she wants to meet me"

"Okay" he laughs. Women! Before she didnít sound like she was happy now it was like she couldnít keep it in. "She want to invite to you ah no us to dinner with the family" finger combing his hair.

Nervousness makes his voice tremble and his hands shake. What if she says no? "You want to take me to meet youíre family?" she ask to be sure.

"Yeah that what Iím thinking" leaning against a tree " it wouldnít be my whole family, or anything. Its a quite dinner my mom just want to meet the person we are dating"

"Oh" cough "so Mike and Marci will be there?"

"Yeah even through she already met Marci."

"I thought it was just her boys kind of thing" confuse that she got the wrong impression.

"Well she considers Shannon her daughter soÖ"

Laughing "Okay. I havenít seen Shannon in while plus I have never been properly introduce to her boyfriend"

"Youíre not missing much"

"John!" Guilty laughter coming on her end, which starts him laughing also.

"You never answered my question?" not giving her a chance to speak he rambles on "I know we never talk about this beforeÖ about what we would do in this kind of situation so I would completely understand if-"

"John I would love to accompany you" she broke him off. Finding his nervous behavior cute.

A grin broke out, even bigger than before "truly?"

"Yeah"

**********************

Evangeline sat on her bed alone. She had half expected John to come see her, but she was glad he hadnít. Calling her meant he was thinking about her and if he was thinking about her then she is in his mind.

Iím going to meet his family! Joyful laughter surrounds the room. Why am I so happy to meet his family? Laying flat on her back, her thoughts went back to what Nora said. You got the loooove bug.

Am I in love with John? She didnít think so but she never felt this way about anyone before. What is love? Is it real? Will I know it when Iím in it? Tired of entertaining thought of love, she goes to watch TV.

After going through channels she turns it off. She didnít know why she felt so restless all of a sudden. She wasnít use to being alone at night. Usually she was with John or vice versa. It hit her how much John has become such a big part in her life.

She feels her control slipping, trying not to panic at this new revelation she picks up the phone to call Keesha. The phone rings 4 times just when she was about to hang up a voice answers.

"Hello" said a pleasant voice, which Evangeline instantly recognize.

"Hey cuz"

"Vangie?" after much squealing and fast chatter they settle into a normal conversation.

"So Vangie tell me whats new"

"Iím going to meet Johnís mother."

"Wow! Thatís big. What are you going to wear?" she inquires

"Slow down he just ask me tonight, Iím still kind of surprise about it " she tried to hide her mix feeling but with no such look.

"Do I detect trouble in paradise?" silence meets her question. "Címon Vangie donít hold out on me nowÖ tell me whats wrong?"

"I donít know. I should be happy shouldnít I? Iím about to meet my boyfriendís mother. This is a huge step." she was so confuse about John. One moment everything would be great but then Natalie would come or her name would be mention and she was left in doubt.

"Do you not want to be with him?"

"No that not it, Iím thrill Iím going to meet his momÖit just that" her words drifts off as nothing more came to mind.

"Yes?"

"I canít wrap my mind on how easily he chases after this girl"

"Girl?"

"YeahÖ remember how I told you about this girl that John feels the need to save every time."

"Yeah"

"Well itís becoming an even bigger problem now and I donít know what to do about it."

" That a tough situation but I know you really like this man Vangie"

"I do but not-" she was quick to deny.

"Donít try to deny it, I could hear it in your voice. Look how happy you are to meet his family."

"I know. Iím afraid itís deeper than I can handle."

"So what do you want to do?"

"Play it by ear I guess, I canít end itÖnot now."

"Okay I respect that but if you ever need help on making sure he is walking the straight and narrow be sure to holla"

Laughing, "Girl you are so crazy," laughing feels so good. "No, I donít think Iíll need youíre help on that. John isnít like that"

"They never are sweetie they never are" on that cryptic tone the lightness was gone. After that the conversation was strain.

"Iíll talk to you another time, I have paper work"

"Say no more. Donít be a stranger." With that she hung up.

Evangeline didnít go immediately to do her casework, she went outside to breath in the fresh air. Looking out the sky, she wonders if John is thinking of her. Warping her arms around her to ward off the chill of the night. She didnít notice the stranger that came up from behide her.

When a hand clamp on her shoulders, fear immobilize her for a moment. Getting over the shock, her leg went behind her to jab him in his crotch. With a sound he went down, clutching his in both hands. Not wanting to give him time to recover she kicks him hard in the gut. She started running like the dickens until she realizes her door was unlock and her phone was in there. I need to call John.

Knowing it was stupid but still she went back.

"E-van-line" the unknown man cough in a series.

She stops feetís away from him. How did he know her name? Against her better judgment, she walks towards him. Again he tried to say her name and again he fails. The voice sounds oddly familiar.

Scared that she might have hurt someone that meant her no harm, she creeps towards him slowly. The cautious side of her saying this could all be a trick to steal her possessions or rape her. She stops at the thought, pushing away the fear she continues.

With her foot, she nudges his coat away from his face. A hand grips her foot. Hard.

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