A/N: Part Two everyone Read/Review/Comment. Much love, Lunarlover
She awakens with a start, stretching the tank top out to cool herself down, beads of sweat trickling down the back of her neck as she assesses her surroundings, pushing against the body lying twisted in the blankets beneath her. Feeling her mouth going dry, Lenny covers her scream with her hand, her gaze glued to the black and blue splotches dimly recognizable in the shadows bouncing off of Luke's face from the lightening outside. It's aliens, on a very familiar T-shirt that's still clutched inside of her fist. Luke stirs in his sleep, mumbling something incoherent, and for a moment the fear that she's somehow drugged him and raped him in his sleep crosses her mind, and she glances around at the cabinets, checking to be sure that they're all closed and locked up tight before reaching for Mr. Bobble and sliding silently and carefully off of him and out of bed, removing the stifling jacket and tying it around her waist. Walking sleepily towards the window she lets one hand rest against the rain-spattered glass, watching the storm with an almost unearthly focus, remembering the feel of the rain pounding hard into her body that night, freezing cold and unmerciful as she'd ran like her very life depended on it, scared to death that she might have just killed a man.
Her cell phone rings from the bedside table, making Luke groan and roll over to escape the noise, another snore filling the room. 'Adam' the little black letters spell out as another ring pierces the quiet. Flipping the device open and declining the call with a frown, Lenny stares unseeingly at the phone in her grasp, glancing up only as the door eases open, Dr. Lopez smiling kindly at her in the semi-darkness.
"Hi, do you need something for pain or anxiety again?" she whispers, frowning slightly at the girl's empty expression.
"My mother left me a note saying that she and my brother and sister were out at supper. Do you have any idea where she went after they got back?" Hesitation flickers across the older woman's face, followed by something like fear. Lenny's heart fills with dread: Did something happen to Morgan, or worse?
"She hasn't returned to your room since I last saw her. I've been in three times since then, but she could've been here while I was out doing my other rounds." Frowning at her attempt to soften the blow, Lenny moves swiftly past a bewildered Dr. Lopez down the hall to Morgan's room, her thoughts hazy and jumbled. Deciding that there's absolutely no possible way that her mother would come to see Morgan unless Robert has gone home to get some sleep, she opens the door quietly to avoid startling her, only to be shocked into a horrorstruck silence at what she finds: Robert and her mother not slitting each other's throat, but instead sharing what seems to be an almost companionable silence!
"Thank you for bringing Mr. Bobble to Lenny." says her mother softly, sincere thanks in her eyes as they meet his. Robert nods his own gaze emotionally blank.
"I figured that she'd remember him." his shrug is noncommittal as he nods again, his gaze studying her face until she turns a bright crimson, uncertainty swallowing her gaze. She turns away, lacing her fingers through Morgan's as Robert glances at Sunny smiling up at him from his knee, a look of shock on his face when she stares back, sucking greedily on her fist. They sit in silence for a few minutes, she absorbed in Morgan's face, he absorbed in Lenny's sister, holding Sunny's pudgy little baby hands between his own and bouncing her up and down on his knee, bringing a smile of absolute delight to her face.
"There is something that I want from you in return, Susan. Something that only you can give me, if that's how you want to play the game." He smiles a little as she meets his gaze, twisting a portion of the blanket in her hands, waiting.
"I'm not having sex with you." Susan replies flatly, smiling a little at his arrogant attitude. Robert blanches at her candor, recovering quickly to laugh aloud.
"Not that! Damn." Scowling as he continues to laugh like having sex with her mother would be the most ridiculous thing in the world she opens the door a little further, opening her mouth to defend her mother from his prideful remarks when his laughter stops cold upon seeing Susan's withering stare, daring him to continue.
"What do you want? I don't sell drugs, don't buy alcohol, and don't have sex with people that I don't particularly like what could I possibly have that you could have any interest in? I'm curious really." Rubbing Morgan's hands between her own Susan and her daughters watch him hesitate for a few seconds, turning something over in his mind.
"Your baby." he answers, not batting an eyelash at her shocked expression as it eyes him suspiciously. Lenny can see the urge to say something catty flickering in her mother's hardened gaze for a few seconds, and apparently, so can Robert; he gives her the tiniest little shrug as if what he just said is no big deal. Her own mind swims with questions as she hugs the bear in her arms to her chest, the old Jolly Rancher brushing her lips. Deciding that her mother has completely shut down for whatever reason in front of this infuriating man who is no doubt trying to play some horrible joke on her by making her relive what Lenny remembers as one of the worst days of her mother's life, she lets the door swing completely open, watching their faces turn towards the noise as it hits the cement wall.
Unsure of what to make of the scene in front of her or what to think of Robert's request, she lets her gaze drift to her mother, who for the most part aside from being a mute, seems to be remarkably calm. "Mom?" again she glances at Robert, wanting to be sure that he doesn't try to come near her. The first real smile that Marylin has seen in months from her mother to her graces Susan's lips, warm and inviting "What's going on?" trying to keep the mix of anger and anxiety from her voice as she voices the question, Lenny watches them both carefully for signs that their seemingly innocuous conversation had been more than that, placing herself conspicuously between them and returning her attention to her mother, a frown pulling at her lips. "What's going on?" she repeats, a little louder this time.
"It's nothing for you to worry about right now," Robert cuts in to their surprise, glancing at Susan instead of receiving her oldest child's glare "Your mother and I were just talking about the possibility of her bringing your sister to visit more often since you seem less than eager to get Morgan back." Robert answers coolly, his well-aimed arrows hitting their target. Susan and Sunny glance from one to the other as Lenny snatches Sunny from her comfortable position, the child's wail of unhappiness quickly echoing in the room.
"It's your fault that Morgan is even in here. If you'd listened to him that night, then none of this would've happened!" spits Lenny, a feeling of triumph coursing through her veins when he hesitates. She jumps back when he takes a step towards her, clutching Sunny in one arm and Mr. Bobble in the other.
"If you hadn't broken the engagement and married him the way that you were supposed to then he would be fine now! You are a selfish, prideful, arrogant little brat, Marylin. Do you really think that you had no part in this?" Refusing to cry in front of him despite the way that his words burn her, she turns her attention to her mother, years of anger at him for his attitude towards her pouring out of her mouth.
"Do you think that you had no part in making my mom the way that she is now? Do you think that you can just waltz right back into our lives and act as if nothing ever happened? Do you think that it's been easy for her to be here under your thumb, constantly afraid of what you might do if she tells you no? She might have forgiven you for that but I never will!"
"Stop this now, both of you. We all have a part in this so we might as well own up to it and move forward, and Marylin, Robert is an adult, so you have no business screaming at him that way." The sternness in her mother's voice combined with the intensity of her gaze leads her to offer a reluctant, very forced apology through her teeth, not trusting herself to speak nicely to Robert if she were to open her mouth again. All of the compassion that she'd felt for him months ago on that night as she'd seen and heard Morgan behave so callously towards him seems to have evaporated, swallowed by this bitter anger, this knowledge that he's mostly the one to blame for Morgan turning into this uncontrollable mass of hatred and sadness. Taking the crying child from her daughter's lap, Susan places Sunny back into Robert's arms, the stern set of her lips enough to make Lenny cringe. "You want Sunny to come visit at the hospital?"
"I realize that it's a lot to ask," Susan only nods, taking a sip from the carton of apple juice in her backpack before offering Sunny her sippy cup, which she then offers to Robert, who glances at Lenny and her mother, asking for permission with his eyes, which from what they can tell are a tad bit ringed with red upon closer inspection. Susan nods while Lenny turns away, feeling the slightest bit betrayed by her younger sister. How can she confuse him with Morgan? Morgan is caring and selfless when it comes to her, and there is no possible way that they could be anything alike in that sense. Still, his eyes tell that which his mouth cannot at the moment; they swirl with guilt and an agony so deep and impenetrable that Lenny turns away, unable to bear the sight lest it remind her of another person with an identical gaze, and of the fact that Robert is suffering the most out of everyone in the room besides Morgan of course.
Where she's lost a fiancé and a best friend, Sunny has lost a godfather, her mother has lost a piece of her heart…but Robert has lost a child, and even Lenny knows that that's not something a person can ever truly recover from. You can heal yes, but you always wonder "what if they hadn't died?" There's always this physical ache inside for the possibilities that can never be explored, an ache for an achingly familiar touch, or whispered promises that never got the chance to be fulfilled, and then there's the memory of all the scathing words and actions that can never be taken back. There are Celebrations of Life, but if you're a parent who's lost a child, then why would you feel like celebrating? Her mother stares at him, fiddling uncomfortably with the blanket again and running a quivering hand self-consciously through her hair, barely glancing at his pained expression.
Her mother's compassion never failing to stun her, Marylin watches with breath held as Susan takes a second carton of juice from her backpack, holding it out to Robert with a trembling hand, pulling away when his fingers brush hers in taking it. The room is eerily quiet as he takes a sip or two, catching Sunny's cup before it hits the floor and placing it neatly beside the food tray where an unappetizing lump of meat smothered in gravy sits half-finished on the plate. "Morgan talked about how much he loved a child's laughter, particularly Sunny's. If I can keep her once a week until he wakes up, then he might wake up sooner."
"What's your experience in taking care of younger children? Unlike a five and six year old, they don't understand how to behave and demand things on their schedule. Sunny is a very picky child, as I'm sure you've noticed."
"Mom what are you doing? You can't seriously be considering this!" Lenny yells, standing from her place on the bed and staring at Robert as if he is a slug inching his way across the top of her best shoes.
"I can and I am now go sit outside if you can't control yourself. Stop acting like a spoiled child; otherwise keep your comments and opinions to yourself." Resisting the very real urge to slap her, Lenny simply scowls at her mother, marching off to sit in an empty chair on the other side of the room. Why can't she see that I'm only trying to protect her? Dealing this closely with Robert will only bring back bad memories.
"I've noticed," Robert answers smoothly. "But children aren't that hard to figure out: they eat and sleep, and play so what's left?"
"Entertaining them, first-aid if they get hurt, allergies, healthy food instead of chips and soda all the time or food loaded with sugar…you can't possibly have forgotten all of this from when Morgan was little." A hint of a teasing smile curves Susan's lips upwards.
"Morgan showed up on my doorstep when he was five years old with nothing but an overnight bag and Mr. Bobble. I didn't exactly spend my free time taking child-care classes at the YMCA. If he was hungry he ate, if he was tired he slept, and if he wanted to he had toys to play with. He got what he needed and then some." A hint of anger and defensiveness colors Robert's tone as he narrows his eyes at Lenny's mother.
"Whether or not you love your son isn't the point that I'm trying to make here," Susan hisses dangerously, her defenses snapping into place like a rubber band. "I'm saying that Sunny and Morgan are two different children with different needs, likes, and dislikes, a different medical history…Sunny isn't just a plant that you can feed, water, and stick into the sunlight to make it grow; she's a person who needs tender love and care constantly, not just when it's convenient for you." They glare at each other as Robert rises from the bed, getting up close and personal with Susan, who leans away as Lenny rises from the chair, anger forgotten.
"So you don't think that I can give her "tender love and care", is that it? You don't think that I can be as loving and as tenderhearted as you are? You think that I'm some kind of cold heartless monster who actually enjoys seeing this mess? Knowing that there must've been something that I could've done to help my son before it came to this? Or how about hearing that I made him into this bitterly angry, tremendously angry person who doesn't find any pleasure whatsoever in living from his own mouth, and who won't even say 'I love you, Dad' anymore? Instead it's '"I hate you." "You ruined my life." "It's all your fault." and "Fuck you." Do you know what it's like as a parent…to hear those things whenever your son calls you at four o'clock in the morning, drunk out of his fucking mind because he's in the mood to scream at someone? I can't even defend myself, because then he'll start crying and telling me how sorry he is for "ruining my life" and saying that he "doesn't want to be here anymore" and how he "can't take much more of this" Sometimes I hear him cry as he cuts himself, and then he cries because he feels badly for "disappointing Mom and Lenny and everyone else who thought I could stop" How angry that I am at him for not stopping. Once he cried for three solid hours over the phone afterwards. I'd rather have him screaming at me instead of throwing up from a combination of alcohol and crying for so long about how he hates living."
"I didn't know I'm sorry," Susan breathes a shaky sigh, staring at him as Lenny stands behind her, her mind reeling. "Morgan doesn't usually share all that with me." Robert nods in understanding.
"Only because he doesn't want you to be disappointed in him and to abandon him the way that he feels everyone else has. He doesn't want you to feel responsible for where he is now, or for you to feel responsible if he dies because of what he does. Everyone makes him out to be this evil person who isn't capable of love or compassion, something that Charles' mother said to him at his arraignment, which she was within her right to do, but it's not true, and we both know that. I wanted to throw the Bible at her when she said that too. She didn't know him the way that we do." They can only nod in response, too overcome to speak. While Lenny bites her lip in an effort to keep herself from crying, Susan watches Robert's steady gaze dart across her face, waiting for an answer. "I just want my son back, Susie." he tells her gently, sincerity in his eyes.
"You do realize that I don't trust you, right? You haven't exactly given me much reason to." Robert nods, smiling a little.
"Think of this as a sort of apology." Catching Lenny's eye, he gives her a slight nod of his head, reminding her of the apology still recorded on her phone that she hasn't shown her mother yet. Should I even show it to her? Would it make a difference? Kissing Mr. Bobble's furry head in a moment of childlike innocence she tunes out the rest of their conversation, settling herself back in the chair she'd vacated minutes before and focusing her attention on Morgan, gently pressing her ear to his chest and listening to the steady beating of his heart thrumming against her eardrum. She drifts in and out of their conversation, her name spoken in a whisper, periodically interspersed with her brother's and sister's. They decide not to tell Luke, and that her mother will come once a week with her and her sister to read to Morgan, listen to music with Morgan, and just do as much as possible in the hope that somehow, some way, he'll know that we're here waiting for him.
That means that I can't tell Luke either, Lenny tells herself softly, afraid to even think the words too loudly, hating them immensely as she strokes Morgan's cheek, watching the slow rise and fall of his chest. How would he feel knowing that I kept something like this from him? You already know exactly how he'd feel, Miss Marylin Marie, a traitorous voice whispers, sounding suspiciously like her great-grandmother in its rich southern accent. The memory of her flashback that led to her and Luke's first kiss returns vividly to the forefront of Lenny's mind, reminding her all too easily of the fear that she'd experienced upon seeing Morgan so violently unhinged towards his father, the ominous threat that he'd made against him the night of Adam's accident echoing inside of her head: "I'll kill you first." It makes a visible shiver travel up and down her spine to hear the words so clearly inside of her mind, and she draws away for a second or two to gather herself together again, glancing downwards towards her bloodstained cast, flexing her fingers carefully open before closing them again like a bear trap, whimpering quietly at the little spurt of pain that travels quickly from her hand to her wrist. Morgan wouldn't do that to me.
Susan and Robert glance quickly towards her, their eyebrows knitted together with concern. "Lenny, is everything okay over there?" her mother asks gently, always one of the first ones to get angry with her, and the first one to show concern if something was hurting her, at least physically anyway. What are you trying to prove, Mom? she hisses irritably inside of the safety of her own head, angered by her mother's seemingly endless unhappiness with her, but even more so by the fact that as soon as someone like Robert and Morgan comes along that every time she gets physically hurt that her mother has to be right there to ask stupid questions almost as if she's trying to prove that she's a good mom to this insignificant man who probably cares little about her mothering skills as long as they get him what he wants, which is probably to force Morgan away from her in the same way that he did the first time around.
"Yeah, fine." Nodding without meeting their eyes, grumbling inwardly again as they resume their clipped conversation in even quieter voices, Lenny frowns. How can I keep him from finding out about this little arrangement when every part of me wants so desperately to go back and wake him up? There's been few secrets between the two of them throughout the almost two decades of their existence, and she feels like a traitor for not running in there right this second and demanding that Luke get out of bed and come see this freak show for himself. Almost everywhere that one twin went when they were younger, the other followed close behind; from the quiet rooms of their first house as infants to the playgrounds and classrooms in preschool and grade school, to the high school cafeteria, and now to the local community college where they take the same classes. When she wanted to know about sex, instead of going to her mother or to Morgan or to a teacher at school, Lenny went to her brother. Granted it had been awkward at first, very awkward, but they hadn't kept secrets ever, so why start with sex?
Luke didn't sugarcoat anything either the way that most guys do, or even tell her that all guys are jerks the way that most brothers do if their sister starts talking about sex, nor did he try to pretend that she was some block of stone without those desires; instead, he'd started their first talk about sex with one simple question: "Are. You. Thinking. About. Having. Sex?" She laughs a little now about the way that red had crept its way up his neck the night that she asked how to put on a condom. The uncomfortable blush had spread slowly, starting out as a baby pink, moving through flamingo pink, to the absolute reddest red that she's seen since. She jumps out of her skin as a hand curves around her shoulder, brushing her hair aside, whipping around to glare at her mother, slapping her fingers away.
"Don't sneak up on me like that! You know how I hate that." she admonishes her sternly, the words coming from somewhere deep inside and tasting strangely familiar on her lips. A confused look passes over Susan Summers' tired features as she returns her hand to her side.
"Robert wants to talk to you about what the doctors have said."
"Why doesn't he come over here then? I wouldn't smart off if he'd stop irritating me." Her mother shrugs under the pressure of her hard gaze, still trying to figure out why Lenny had reacted that way to her.
"He says it's safer over there." Susan answers dryly, wringing her hands at her sides.
"Mom, as angry as I am at you right now I'm not going to bite your head off, unlike someone in this room, so you can stop acting all flustered, okay?"
"Okay.", she answers, letting her hands lie still again, sounding miles away. Leaning her weight against the edge of the bed with her hands and ignoring the strain that it places on her bones, she notes the slight wrinkle in the skin of his face, the graying hairline, and the weariness in his countenance in general, silently marveling at how exhausted that Robert looks. Getting old does that to you I suppose, but then again you aren't supposed to look like that at twenty-two, are you? For a brief moment she stares at the scars on Morgan's exposed shoulder, the newest one done as an intricate heart pierced by a large sword, a wounded dove cooing a death cry beside it. Inscribed inside of one of the arteries in Morgan's precise, elegant handwriting, winding all the way through the work is the following poem:
"The day is coming
I can feel it in my bones,
Though weary they may be,
When the dawn will shine
Like the brightest sun.
I have no desire inside of
My heavy heart to remain
Where its rays of warmth
Do not penetrate the dead.
People groan and sigh in sadness,
Making complaining into an art
Although they take no action against it;
Instead, they blame whatever they can.
I am one of those I am afraid,
Constantly looking in the mirror
And not liking the ugly truth there,
And yet I am too drunk to care much
About the hypocrisy in my own heart
Even as the knowledge of my mortality
Visits me in the night,
My constant companion in the midst
Of this misery,
Gripping my heart inside of my chest
And wrenching it hard,
Waking me from my nightmares
With an awful jolt.
Suddenly I cannot breathe.
That human fear of death
Is putting everything else into a haze.
Death is impending, some say,
But this slow death is dragging on.
Peace flees it seems,
Is there hope left for anyone?
Or do we all need to embrace death
With open arms?
We're all here now,
But tomorrow a thousand may die.
Children may steal to survive,
A baby might be murdered,
A horror so unthinkable that
Even the fearless solider trembles.
Screams fill the night.
They are mine,
Tearing themselves from my
Throat like the shrill first
Cry of an infant.
Is anyone listening?
Does no one hear me?
Or do they just not care
That I'm dying inside,
A slow, agonizing death?
Do I have to die for you
To understand the depth
Of my despair?
The bite of loneliness inside?
It feels as if I've been preparing
To die for forever,
And yet a chill races
Down my spine
At the very thought
Of completing that drawn out process
Because I do not know what lies
Beyond this tiresome body.
You are what is familiar,
Safe and secure.
Despite the rift between us
I find comfort in knowing
That you are not far.
In my heart is your blurry picture.
In my head are the well-worn memories,
And I see so much of you inside everyone
Around me, that I do not ever really
I see your eyes every morning
Staring at me over the rim of
A coffee cup while they read
Then again as they silently
Scold me for staying out too late again.
Yet again as they watch me struggle,
Pity written all over his face.
Helplessness has filled me to the brim
But the words I desperately need
To speak I cannot say.
Would anyone believe me?
And so I will sew my lips closed.
Letting the scars say what they will.
Does anyone care how I feel?"
A haunting cold steals over her as she finishes reading, gently touching the shape of each letter with her fingertips, not daring to breathe for fear that the other people will be able to hear it rattling in her lungs and through her teeth. Robert draws Mr. Bobble away from her, bringing her mind back to reality as Lenny grabs hold of his foot, tugging with all of her strength. She'll be damned if he takes that one last tangible piece of Morgan's innocence away. I'll show you exactly what I want to do with this pole. You took him from Morgan, but you you'll have to steal him from me.
"Let go, Marylin." Robert orders crisply, tugging back with an equal amount of force so that she nearly loses her footing.
"No! Not until you give me Morgan back!" Punctuating her demand with a sharp yank, she catches the sight of an extremely irritated looking Luke, and an alarmed and slightly ticked off looking new nurse behind him.
"WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. GOING. ON. IN. HERE? IT'S LIKE. A. DAMN. CIRCUS. EXCEPT. THERE'S. NOT. ANY. ANIMALS?" His deadly gaze freezes everything, the exhaustion in his frame and in his face making it colder and more intense as he sweeps into the room, grabbing Mr. Bobble's leg and using Robert's moment of looking at him with an "Are you crazy?" look to wrench the bear from his grasp, wordlessly placing him back into his sister's arms. Smiling her thanks up at him, Lenny reaches into her pocket to hand him change for the vending machine, watching him leave before turning her gaze back towards Robert.
"What did the doctor say?" A thousand possibilities run smoothly through Lenny's mind, the dramatic moment as worn out as Mr. Bobble.
"All that you need to know," he answers coolly, something like blame in his eyes as they pass over her with minimal interest "Is that they think that he'll wake up. It's a fifty-fifty shot."
"He's either going to live or die. Which is it?"
"I don't know. But I was going to take that piece of candy off for you before you went all crazy on me. Now I don't think I will."
"How childish of you, and FYI: Crazy is an offensive term in our house, Robert." Lenny answers dryly, placing Mr. Bobble in her chair and then settling him in her lap, smiling again at Luke as he returns, chomping murderously on a Twix bar before standing behind her chair, flicking his gaze towards their mother and Robert and Sunny on the other side.
"What. Are. You. Doing. With. My. Mother?" he asks pointedly, focusing his attention on Robert who shrugs.
"Chilling." Lenny recognizes the rebellious glint in his eye from the many times she's seen Morgan with it over the years.
Luke shakes his head, moving away from her to stand between them, wrapping his fingers around her elbow and staring hard at the man who's showed her little else except cruelty. "You. And. My. Mother. Don't. Just. "Chill;" She. Doesn't. Need. You. And. Two. Out. Of. Three. Of. Her. Kids. Don't. Want. You. Here, So. Why. Don't. You. March. Your. Ass. Out. The. Door, And. Give. Us. Some. Alone. Time. With. Morgan?"
"Morgan is my son, Luke. I'm not going to just disappear as much as you'd like me to." A smirk tugs restlessly at the corners of his lips. Luke leans outrageously into his face, spitting the words at him, voice oozing a razor thin calm.
"I. Want. You. To. Understand…All. The. Hell…That. You. Put. Our. Mother. Through, That's. What. Pisses. Me. Off. About. You. And. Your. Son. With. My. Sister: You. Don't. Get. It. , And. If. You. Hit. Me. In. Front. Of. Them. I. Swear. To. God…I'll. Knock. Every. Last. Tooth. From. Your. Head, 'Cause. I'm. Sick. And. Tired. Of. Having. To. Deal. With. First. A. Sister. Who. Cries. Herself. To. Sleep. Almost. Every. Night…Because. Of. That. Boy! I'm. Sick. Of. The. "I'm. So. Sad, Lenny. Left. Me, Oh. My. God. I Wanna. Die. I'm. So. Sorry" Routine! Tell him to "Get. Fuck. Over. It!", And, I'm. Sick. Of. Having. Half. A. Mom. Because. Of. You, And. That. Man. Riiiiiiiight. There, Constantly. Stealing. Her. From. Us: WE. NEED. A. MOTHER. TOO!" The force of his loaded words is so great that Robert actually stumbles back a bit, catching himself on the arm of the chair that he'd left beside Morgan's bed. Lenny watches their mother adjust the sleeping Sunny against her shoulder, turning away from the anger raging in her son's words, knowing without him saying it that his hateful words, their anger, should be directed instead at her. Susan leans her weight heavily against the window, her gaze on the skittish looking nurse bent over Morgan's body, searching for someone to deny Luke's accusations, anyone to defend her from their vicious onslaught. She finds no one as the nurse begins feeding something into one of the tubes connected to him, hurriedly scribbling his vitals down from the machines before she rushes out. In her eyes as they gaze longingly at his face Lenny reads the love that she and her brother have missed out on since Morgan came back. She wonders for the billionth time what's so different about Morgan that she constantly gravitates towards him rather than to her and Luke, her own children.
"Would it be better if we were Robert's children?" she mouths quietly to her once she turns to gauge Marylin's reaction to her brother's words. As always, Susan turns away, her skin coloring with shame. Then, with everyone watching except for Luke, his gaze still trained on Robert, she walks out. Having not moved even though this means that her mother is going to find somewhere to hide, Lenny waits for him to notice their mother's absence, curling up on her side in the chair and watching drops of a clear liquid start to travel from one of the medical bags through one of Morgan's tubes and into his bloodstream, counting them as they fall. Luke turns right as she gets to three, turning around in a complete circle before realizing that Susan Summers has disappeared.
His facial expression goes from enraged to completely blank in a matter of a minute, his shoulders sagging with shame where moments ago the muscles were tensed and strong. The Hulk routine crumbles as he looks to his remaining sister for help, and for the first time Lenny shakes her head at him. She doesn't want to go find their mother and listen to her remorse for neglecting them in favor of Morgan, listen to her try to explain why she traded them in to care for a young man who might be beyond saving, why she clearly loves him more than them…etc. Luke shakes his head back at her, the disappointment that she's grown so used to seeing in her mother's eyes filling those of the person that she loves most in this world, cutting into her with deadly accuracy and precision. He leaves her without a word, wandering off down the hall, back to her room, the echo of the door closing gently behind him sounding like a gunshot inside of her head, confirmation of the horrible person that she's slowly allowed herself to become. Robert moves discreetly about the room, it seems content to let Lenny dwell on thoughts of her selfishness.
I'm not being like Morgan and Emma, she tells him silently, hoping for some reason that he'll do something to assuage her sudden feelings of remorse as she recalls the sight of her mother dazedly walking out like she'd been slapped in the face, a dog with its tail between its legs. Ruthlessly squashing the disturbing image like a cockroach, she goes back to counting the drops, squirming in an attempt to get comfortable as the tension starts to become unbearable, at least for her. She listens to the sound of Robert removing his overcoat, folding it neatly and placing it over the back of the chair before he settles back into it, turning it towards the TV. Glancing at him out of the corner of her eye she watches him flick the TV on with the remote beside the food tray, surfing aimlessly through the channels until he finds George Lopez: Morgan's favorite TV show. He plays with the volume for a few minutes, finally turning it three-quarters of the way up until the sound is disorienting, one of Angie Lopez's many "The Reason why you're so bitter towards your mom" lectures to George filling her ears. I'm not bitter towards her, just angry at her.
"Wake up!" She screams the words as loud as she can in her mind, flirting with the idea of hurtling her body on top of Morgan's and shaking his shoulders until his neck snaps. That doesn't work in real life of course, but she needs someone to tell her that she's right in not going to check on her mother, someone to help her feel good about saying the words that she'd needed to hear, but he remains in his blissful slumber, dead to the world. Throwing the remote down in disgust, Robert watches the batteries roll out onto the floor with a blank expression on his face, turning the TV off and scrubbing a hand over his face, a deep breath passing from between his teeth as he closes his eyes, leaning helplessly against the back of the chair, waiting for sleep to claim him.
She wanders listlessly down the hall, intent on getting a scone to stave off her early-morning hunger, the persistent ring of her cell phone from inside the jacket startling her out of an almost peaceful silence. Adam again, why is he bothering me this early in the morning? Declining the call again as another shrill ring causes a few glances to be cast her way, Marylin slides into an empty chair at an equally empty table after ordering a plate of wild berry scones. A silly reflex, she realizes after they're delivered still steaming and obviously fresh out of the oven; she remembers ordering box after box of the sweetly delicious cakes when Luke was going through his speech therapy and he'd literally tried every cupcake combination in their local bakery, demanding something new of their mother who would've torn the stars out of the sky at this point if he'd only go to therapy without a fight. She and her mother had started a painstaking three week search for something that could tempt her feisty and very picky eater of a brother enough to encourage him to lay his armor down and attend his sessions. It was no easy task.
For those twenty-one days Luke scorned cookies, doughnuts, ethnic sweets, ice cream cake…nothing that they brought home tasted right or he didn't like the texture of it in his mouth, "It. Didn't. Have. Icing. On. It", he'd told her once after he tasted a peanut butter cookie with cinnamon sugar on top, spitting it back out onto the plate and banging his fists on the table until Susan brought him something that did have the stuff on it. She smiles now at the memory of his settling contentedly down with the first box of scones in his lap, inspecting the first one almost meticulously, sniffing it, checking its texture with his fingertips, licking it with his tongue before he'd broken it in half to see inside, ignoring the cake completely and going straight for the sweet cream inside the way that Morgan suckles a bottle of alcohol. She enjoys a somewhat scalding bite, relishing the mind-bogglingly amazing taste although as with everything else good that's happened in these past hours the taste of it is ruined in a way by the guilt…the memories that are now bittersweet because of it. Nibbling feverishly on another scone after swallowing the first almost whole, she throws the rest away in a nearby trash can, plate and all on her way out.
"I'm a terrible mother, Luke. No wonder Lenny is so angry with me. I really hate myself sometimes." The fragile, clipped tone pulls her towards the door to her room, stopping her cold in her tracks where they'd been moving away from it, back to the safe haven of Morgan's room. She listens for a moment or two, straining her ears for a cry, a whimper, any noise that might pull her inside, but there's nothing there except silence.
"You're. Not. A. Terrible. Mother, Mom," Luke answers gently, trying to soothe away the painful festering of the wound that their words have reopened. "You're. The. Best. Mom. In. The. World."
"Then why does Marylin hate me? And why do you pretend that you're not angry with me too?" A sigh follows her accusations, heavy and weary. Hearing that her own mother thinks that she hates her…maybe even that Lenny no longer loves her hurts like Hell for her, striking way too many damn nerves.
"…You won't feel the same way about me ever again, so don't pretend." She wants to reassure him that she does love him, wants it so desperately that her fingers touch the doorknob, twisting it roughly, only to find it locked tight. She curses quietly, kicking it in a fit of anger, only to have him kick back, the wood shivering with the force that he uses.
"She. Doesn't. Hate. You; I. Don't. Hate. You; Mother. No. One. Hates. You." Luke replies, a tad of his anger showing although she's unable to tell who it's directed at.
"Well you both have a hell of a way of showing it," Susan answers morosely, anger creeping through her voice as she rises from the bed, her footsteps echoing around the room as she paces around the bed, the footsteps starting out slow and gaining speed as her discontent grows more apparent. The footsteps stop suddenly, her voice coming back sad and broken, the anger twisting it, making it more desperate. "Why couldn't you just tell me how you felt before? Why did I find out like that, Luke? Answer me!" Outside, Lenny flinches away from the harsh, demanding sound of their mother's anger tinged with the sadness that she's never been able to ignore for very long, feeling guilty for leaving Luke to deal with it on his own. If she were to go in now though, all Hell would break lose, and despite their mother's obvious pain she'd defend her feelings, making it all worse.
"I. Don't. Know." Luke answers simply, but Susan will have none of it, Sunny's cries rising above the sounds of their exchange.
"You do know, you just choose not to tell me. You know how you feel, so why didn't you feel like you could tell me?"
"We. Didn't. Want. To. Hurt. You."
"That's the most…irritating excuse that I've ever heard. I'm not a child, Luke; I'm an adult. I just wish that you had told me how you were feeling instead of letting it boil over like that." Her voice has gone from smolderingly angry back to its saddened coo, lost and far away.
"We. Don't. Know. How. To. Talk. To. You; Lenny. Doesn't. Know. How. To. Talk. To. You. Anymore." Luke's voice is desperate, begging for her to understand, but Lenny knows even before she responds that he's only succeeding in upsetting her further.
"Talk to me? I'm a human being, not a creature from the Black Lagoon. You make it sound as if I'm a lunatic who can't handle reality. I'm your mother. You're supposed to come to me with problems and let me help you, not spare me the trouble. I want to help you!"
"You. Do. Help. Us, Mother."
"Well I obviously don't do it enough if you feel like you only have "half a mom" because of my helping Morgan. I won't do it anymore if it makes everyone so unhappy. I'll ask him to move back in with Robert if that's what you want."
"Morgan. Is. Staying. With. You, Mother. I'm. Not. Letting. You. Kick. Him. Out." Luke answers with authority.
"But you and Lenny are angry at me for letting him take up so much of my time. Time that I could spend with you instead I might add. I can't pretend that I never heard what I did this morning." she answers softly.
"Morgan. Needs. You, Mother."
"I can't ignore how you feel, Luke. Especially Lenny; I can't ignore you two for one." Susan moans sorrowfully.
"We're. Not. Asking. That: Just. That. You. Find. A. Balance. Between. The. Four. Of. Us. You. Don't. Have. To. Kick. Morgan. Out. To. Find. One." Sweet Luke, always knowing what to say, Lenny thinks, leaning herself against the wall beside the door, closing her eyes. It's too bad that I don't have that same insight.
"Do you think that I don't love you?" The question is soft, pleading, demanding an answer. When he doesn't answer right away Susan begins to panic, some kind of reassurance babbling out of her mouth. Pushing away from the wall with one hand Lenny moves to walk away, anything to escape that string of endless, empty comfort. More than comforting her, it irritates her, makes her want to scream: "No!" more than any other time that her mother's spoken during her conversation with Luke. She stalks away from the sound of her pleading, slightly hysterical voice, pushing it down deep inside. "I do love you! More than you know, Luke. I love you." A hiss comes out from her teeth, disgusted by the words.
They sound true, but they're not meant for her. Instead, they are meant for the "good" children, the ones who haven't totally disappointed her. An ache so deep and gut-wrenchingly painful that she feels her heart clench inside of her chest almost makes her tumble to the floor, a need to hear something encouraging and meant only for her fills Marylin at that moment. Without thinking, she reaches for her phone still in Morgan's jacket pocket, dialing a number so familiar to her that she'd undoubtedly be able to dial it in her sleep and still get it exactly right. His ringtone, slow violin music hums in the room four doors down from hers, and she prays that Robert will let it play itself out, or better that he'll answer it. His voice is just as comforting, even though it's only a recording of the real thing. She beats down the unexplainable wave of panic that sweeps over her at hearing his voice so close in her ear, glues her feet to the floor beneath her, refusing to hang up, even as she trembles from head to toe.
She needs to hear him speak, even if his answering machine message is characteristically blunt and somewhat rude. "Hey, this is Morgan Chase. I'm obviously not answering my phone right now so leave me a message and I'll get back to you when I feel like it, if I feel like it. If you're the kind of person who leaves long messages, hang up now because I will not listen to them. If you are pissed off at me for something and I don't answer then I obviously don't care to listen to you bitch, in which case, hang up. If your name is 'Jeanette', hang up because you are cluttering my inbox with messages that I'll never listen to. If it's anyone else feel free to leave me a message, I'll get back to you eventually. Love you, Lenny. Later people." A cascade of emotion tumbles out of her as his voice stops talking, the familiar beep taking its place, and she stills, trying to think of something to say, but what would be discernible in the face of the sobbing mess that she was quickly becoming? She misses him, everything about him; his voice, his scent, his laughter…no matter what they've been through she still feels as if no one will ever replace him.
Vicenza follows an incensed Seina in front of her as Seina mumbles about Luke being "on the list", whatever that means.
"Why in the hell do you keep following me, Creature? It's creepy as fuck," Seina demands irritably, whipping around to face him.
"I'm in love with you," Vince answers simply.
"Go fall in a hole. I have no interest in people who hurt my friends," Seina hisses.
"I thought he was your "sweet-faced lover." What kind of "lover" is he, Sweet Seina?" he replies in a teasing voice.
"He warms my bed faster than you ever could, pervert."
"That's not a fair assessment. I'm quite certain that I could have you begging for me in half the time if you'd let me prove it." A devilish smile stretches across his face.
"Go fuck a cactus. Really big ass cacti with long needles and leave me alone until Luke pays me. Until then you have no value to me. Go comfort your girlfriend."
"I want you. She doesn't want me anyway."
"If you want anything done you have to do it yourself," Seina grumbles, slowly approaching the girl speaking wearily into the phone.
"I know that you hate it when I call you crying like this, Darling One," Lenny sniffles, glancing up at the approaching girl and turning halfway away in an attempt at privacy. "I just-I just need to hear your voice so badly that it's slowly killing me inside and-what the fuck?" Something close to a snarl rips its way out of her throat as the phone; her phone is stolen out of her grasping fingers and snapped shut right before her eyes. Seina watches her face carefully, Vince right behind her, watching her anxiously as Seina hands the phone off to him.
"You don't need to call him. It's not like he can hear you anyway."
"I really wish that you would keep your nose out of other people's business, especially mine. You're like a parasite," Lenny growls, crossing her arms over her chest to glare angrily down at this little ball of an annoying as fuck individual, sizing her up for a fight; she thinks she can just come into her space and just do whatever? No way.
"Marylin Marie, there's no reason to throw a hissy fit. We just worry is all," Vince answers gently, trying not to let his feelings for the beautiful woman that she glares at so maliciously show.
"Do you have to bring her into your worrying too? I don't need your help. All I need is for everyone to stop hovering over me and doing things for my own good as this young lady constantly feels the need to do; guess what, Seina:" Bending down to her level so that the differences in their heights won't be missed, she smiles at her with pursed lips. Seina stares blankly at her. "I love Morgan, deal with it." At first she thinks that Seina may hit her judging from the sudden fire that leaps into her gaze, but then she just drops Lenny's phone, smashing it with her foot.
"Now you can't call him and tell him. What a real shame. Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, a real shame indeed." She shakes her head in mock sorrow.
"Seina, May. I. See. You. For. A. Moment? You. Can. Leave. Your. Golden. Retriever. Outside." Luke's voice, calm and reasonable again, touches both women, their heads automatically moving towards it while Vicenza scowls at the interruption. Lenny gets to him first, wrapping her arms around her brother's waist, smiling a self-satisfied smile as he returns the gesture, doing for her what she's done for him so many times before when Morgan first rejoined them five years ago. Mine, she tells Seina silently, resting her head against his arm while Seina rolls her eyes. Drawing away slightly as he slips something into Morgan's jacket pocket, Marylin gazes up at him, one hand in the small space to see what he's placed there. It's smooth and cool, his phone.
"Don't. Call. Him, Not. Yet, Lenny." he mouths, giving her a reassuring hug. Lenny nods, something that doesn't go unnoticed by Seina and Vicenza, but she doesn't care. She will obey Luke's wishes only because he's her brother and he looks as worn out as she feels, his eyes reflecting the inner turmoil of his thoughts. There's a sadness there that tears at her heart, eats away at her like a gluttonous tick until he leads both women inside, shutting Vicenza out and locking the door behind them. Immediately, both twins look around for their mother, finding her curled protectively around Sunny on the small couch underneath the TV, her breathing matching the child's steady rhythm. In sleep, the weariness fades from her frame, the soft lines around her eyes relaxing. Luke pulls a blanket from the back of the couch, settling it carefully over them and placing a kiss on each of their heads.
Seina follows his example, barely touching her lips to Lenny's mother's hair, or to Sunny's. Anger simmers inside of Lenny at the woman again. Is she trying to one up me? To show Luke how caring that she is while making me out to be uncaring? Of course…she already thinks that though, so what does that matter?
"Here's. The. Money, Seina. No. Murder, Alright?" He raises his eyebrows at the younger woman, waiting for her reluctant nod before handing her the stack of bills.
"I don't know if any amount of cash will ever be enough, love. He's so…incorrigible and uncouth; I want to smack him senseless already." Seina folds the bills neatly in half, sliding them into her bra.
"I'm. Sure. That. He's. Nothing. You. Can't. Handle: He's. Only. A. Man. After. All."
"An extremely infuriating, pompous, rude, perverted, icky man; I much prefer your company instead." Luke laughs quietly, the sound wrapping soothingly around Lenny as she prepares for the day, going through his backpack for her fresh change of clothes and sliding the picture of Morgan and Emma to the very bottom so that it won't get lost or damaged during the day.
"It's. Either. Him. Or. Morgan." Over my dead body, hisses Lenny, deciding that a shower will do nicely and grabbing her soaps and things as well, hoping that the nosy Seina will be gone by the time she finishes.
"That's not even slightly amusing, Luke Alexander," Seina replies in a shocked voice, scowling with acute displeasure at the thought of having to cater to someone that she considers her greatest enemy. "Morgan would die, okay? I'd beat him to death. I hope that he never wakes up."
"Seina." Luke whisper yells, glancing worriedly at their sleeping mother, and then to his sister, shaking with anger in the doorway to the bathroom, her eyes flashing dangerously.
"I hope that you fall down a flight of stairs and break your neck. You don't even know him, or what he's been through, and yet you feel justified in saying stuff like that."
"Morgan is a sadistic abuser, Marylin. It's time you realize that," Seina replies calmly, expecting the girl's anger and deciding to meet it calmly but forcefully.
"It's too bad that you don't get to make that final decision then, isn't it? I want you out of here when I get out. If you're not I'm calling security."
"Lenny," But instead of soothing away her anger as it usually does, Luke's beseeching tone has the opposite effect this time, snapping her patience. Glaring at them, she lets her unhappiness with the way that they're treating her sink in.
"Would everyone please try to stop making me talk? I'm hurt, but all everyone seems to care about is information! "Let's just keep pushing Lenny's buttons and see what happens! She's just been in a car accident and suffered a concussion; that's a great time to constantly be hovering over her like a bunch of vultures with no regard as to how she may feel about it! Oh, and don't forget that she may have just lost her best friend too, let's rub salt into that wound, shall we?" All I want is peace from everyone. I want you all to shut up and let me be for awhile, instead of constantly acting as if I have no feelings at all!" Slamming the door behind her, she ignores their pounding on it, starting the shower.
"You're. Letting. Your. Emotions. Dictate. How. You. Handle. This." Luke tells her once they're alone again.
"You're the one who gave her another phone, Luke," Seina points out, her gaze hardening. "You're letting your emotions dictate this little production as much as I am. You're too soft where she's concerned." Narrowing his eyes at her, Luke replies through clenched teeth.
"Would. You. Rather. I. Was. Bluntly. Honest. And. Ruined. My. Relationship. With. Her? I. Can't. Lose. Marylin." The sound of his mother stirring draws his attention away from her for a brief moment before it returns to her, waiting.
"Marylin needs a good wake-up call, Sweetie. Not to be coddled. You're sitting on your butt waiting for this to stop, but I promise you, Honey; it won't if you don't grow a backbone." A fierce passion shines in Seina's eyes as they search his for an inkling of understanding. "You keep encouraging her to do this by giving her constant access to Morgan whenever she wants, and it'll get worse. Much worse," Gripping his arm tightly inside of her delicate fingers for emphasis, Seina watches his shuttered expression as Luke considers her warning.
"Johnny. And. Morgan. Are. Two. Separate. People, Seina," he answers tightly, fighting her hold. "You. Can't. Compare. A. Man. With. Two. Loving, Supportive. Parents, A. Harvard. Scholarship, And. A. Formerly. Unblemished. Criminal. Record. To. The. Life. That. Morgan's. Lived." A sigh follows, leaking out of the younger girl like air from a balloon. Deciding on a different course of action to convince him, she grabs his chin, turning it to face his mother, sleeping peacefully across from them, arm curved bracingly around his younger sister, a stray lock of hair falling across her brow. She watches his profile, seeing his eyes travel over them, ensuring that all is well within their dream world, takes in the way that his form eases itself out of the tenseness that originally consumed it, slowly relaxing her hold on him until her fingers do nothing more than rest around his jaw, keeping his focus centered there on their sleeping faces.
"You can tell a lot about a person from how they sleep, wouldn't you agree, Luke?" she asks quietly, leaning her cheek against his.
"I'm. Not. Sure. That. I. Follow. You." he replies, still watching the pair before their eyes.
"I mean that Susan is submissive, easily controlled under the right conditions: This is why Morgan is able to control her without force. Despite her ignorance about his true nature, she presents him with little challenge by being willing to ignore you and your sisters in order to take care of him, whether this is a conscious or unconscious choice on her part. Marylin, however, started out strong and was harder for him to dominate because of her love for Charles instead of Morgan, so he had to wear her down first, get her to see him as a victim in the way that she does now. Once that belief was firmly in place he used her view of him to his advantage, making it stronger by getting into what we now call Self-Inflicted-Violence or SIV. He saw that it got him the kind of affection that he wants from her, so of course it's continued without him having to use physical force to keep her from leaving him. Once the engagement was broken, any control that he may have had over his true feelings was lost, causing this drama that you're seeing before you today,"
"Cut. To. The. Chase, Seina." Luke snaps irritably, pulling his face out of her grasp.
"If you don't do something, Luke: Your sister will end up exactly like your mother; hopelessly devoted to a man who for all intents and purposes, simply doesn't exist, and she'll live and die to keep him happy, constantly living in denial even if it's slowly murdering her sense of self, of sanity." That does it for Luke, who fixes her with an intense scowl, moving away a little and staring down at her.
"My. Mother. Is. Not. Crazy, Do. You. Hear. Me? She. May. Not. Have. The. Best. Judgment. At. Times, The. Best. Parenting. Skills, Or. The. Most. Well-Behaved. Children, But. She. Genuinely. Cares. About. The. People. Around. Her, Including. Morgan: You. Can. Bring. Anyone. Else. Into. This, But. Do. Not…Bring. My. Mother. Into. This. Like. That; You. Might. Understand. How. Lenny. Feels, But. You. Don't. Know. Everything. About. What. My. Mother. Has. Been. Through. That. Makes. Her. Feel. The. Way. That. She. Does. About. Morgan, Because. It's. Sure. As. Hell. Isn't. Craziness."
"Okay, Luke," she answers, wanting to keep him calm despite his hostile remarks in order to avoid waking his mother and sister from their much needed sleep, or worse have Marylin come back out and start bitching again about her being here again. She's already beginning to feel an almost stifling sense of unwelcome, even from Luke. It's clear to her as she watches him gently slide his baby sister from their mother's slightly resistant arms, the child tucking herself into a little ball underneath his chin and latching onto his T-shirt that this is a family that sticks together, no matter what secrets they might know about each other. A stab of envy hits her hard as she stares at him while his back is turned, his focus stolen completely by his younger sister as she stirs a bit in her sleep, scratching her toenails against the bottom of her playpen, tiny hands groping about for the purple and blue puppy that he hurries to put within her reach. The beginnings of a smile tease the corners of his mouth. She yearns suddenly to go stand beside him and admire the child, to pretend for just one moment that she has a family that isn't divided by years of lies and resentment, and her feet move forward to do just that when she senses a pair of eyes silently observing her from behind.
Her eyes are the same frosty blue that she remembers from last night, following her son around the length of the room before she speaks. "Where's Lenny?"
"In. The. Shower."
"Has someone called Natilie to check on her? Have you been home at all since you got here yesterday morning?"
"No. And. Yes: I'm. Sure. That. She's. Fine, Mother; You. Should. Go. Home. And. Get. Some. Real. Sleep." He takes in her careworn appearance with concerned eyes, his lips pursing into a severely thin line. Without speaking, he holds what they've termed a "happy pill" (Ativan) out to her, pressing the little round white pill into her palm. She stares at it there for a second, closing her fingers around it like an obedient child. "For. Me," he states quietly as she moves to put it in her backpack. As if she is incapable of doing it herself he takes it from her and places it on her tongue, watching her swallow it whole before nodding his approval.
"I'm fine, Honey. Stop worrying so much," Susan chides gently, accepting the bottled water that he hands her and opening it with a flick of her wrist. Taking a meager sip she hands it back to him, pulling the thin blanket up further on her shoulders. Her gaze becomes rapidly absorbed by his hands as they cut the skin away from the pomegranate that appears in his hand with his pocketknife, the skin falling away like pencil shavings.
"Has anything happened with Morgan?" passing the fruit to her he shakes his head, grunting a response and settling in beside her, leaning his head against her thigh, closing his eyes as her fingers begin their familiar trek through his hair, soft notes from his childhood lullaby humming through her lips. "What?" she asks, stopping in the middle of the song as he makes another noise, this one sounding more guttural, the word not as clear as it was before. He keens again, air moving audibly through his teeth, deepening her frown. "Use your words, Luke," she urges him quietly, patting his head.
"Eat!" he yells, nuzzling her knee in apology as he points to the fruit in her other hand, burrowing deeper into his comfortable "pillow" and stretching his body as far out as it'll go, listening to the satisfying sound of his bones shifting and realigning correctly. As he waits for her to bite into the juicy insides, Lenny appears from out of the bathroom, a hospital towel slung over her shoulders, a pair of blue jean hip-hugger shorts and a brown and orange beaded navy blue halter top dressing her lithe form, Morgan's jacket secure around her waist, bringing out the depth in her swirling eyes as they scan the room before landing on Luke.
"Beautiful," he blurts out without thinking, a light pink dusting her cheeks as their mother glances from one to the other, shrugging her shoulders to herself. It is at this moment that there's a knock on the door.
Poking his head in, Vicenza gives them all a little smile before focusing his attention on Seina, his smile becoming positively dazzling, a hint of smugness in it as he whistles to her, causing her eyes to narrow in annoyance.
"Time to go, Beautiful." Yawning loudly his gaze roams lazily over her sulking face. "I need a nap, how about in your bed?"
"I'd rather fuck a pillow," she spits, moving to hug Luke before leaving, standing on tiptoe to hiss in his ear. "This had better be good or next time you give me double or nothing." Lenny watches them leave, her gaze departing from the couple only when her cell phone rings again from her pocket, shattering the awkward silence.
"Excuse me." she tells her brother in a slightly congested voice, avoiding their mother's anxiously pleading eyes to disappear into the bathroom again, closing the door before pressing the phone to her ear. His anxious and slightly hysterical voice shatters her eardrum before she even opens her mouth to speak.
"I know that you have Lenny, you crazy psychopath! If you've done anything to hurt her…I swear I'll hunt you down myself and make sure that you never see the light of day again. Where is Lenny?"
"Adam, it's me. I'm here at the hospital." she answers in a deadpan tone when he finally shuts up.
His relief is palpable, a deep sigh passing through his lips. "Oh Lenny, thank God. I thought that you were in a ditch somewhere. I was getting ready to file a missing person's report." She nods without saying anything, suddenly very glad that she didn't ignore his call again; Hearing his voice after so long works like a balm on her world weary mind, making her forget the chaos of the last day and a half entirely for a few precious minutes. "Are you alright? What did he do to you?" There's the muffled sound of him pulling clothes on in a hurry as he talks, but she does nothing to deter his movements, the need to see someone that's not so emotionally involved in this mess having overridden everything else for the time being. For a few moments there's only the sound of her breathing: In, out. In, out. "Lenny?" he demands softly, fear lacing itself through his voice clearly enough to pull her back to him.
"Nothing, Adam. Morgan didn't do anything," Her voice is even softer than his "Just an accident." She shakes her head as if he can see it.
"Was it an accident with a car, or with something else?" She cringes at the implications of the words strung together at the last minute, her defenses slamming themselves into place automatically.
"Morgan wouldn't do something like that to me." Despite her weak assurances and denial, Lenny can practically smell the disbelief on the other end of the line. Adam says nothing for a minute or two, silently contemplating her responses and the tone in which she's said them.
"I need to see you, Lenny. Right this very second so do not leave, do you understand me?" She nods blankly, spouting off directions to him in a disconnected voice, then giving him her room number and an alibi before hanging up, leaves the room amidst worried glances and stares, the need to do just as he told her not to filling up her thoughts and leaving little room for anything else.
A/N: Just review. Much love, Lunarlover