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For disclaimers see chapter one...
For disclaimers, see chapter one…
“Emily, please open the damn door!”
Emily could hear the urgency in Danny's words, but she didn't didn't even know if she was more happy or angry over hearing the other woman's voice at that point. Because Danny had left her the way she had done. Left her there alone, without any understanding whatsoever of what had happened and why she'd had to go away like that. And then Danny had simply been gone for more than three weeks. Without giving Emily even as much as a sign that, or if, she was even alive. And then, she simply shows up in the middle of the night. Just like that.
“What do you want, Danny? Just go away and leave me alone!” Emily shouted, not even sure about her own words, or if she really meant them. “You come here now, wanting me to open the damn door when, just a few weeks ago you left me all by myself like that! Just waiting there for you to come back to me, for hours, like an idiot. Not knowing what the hell I should do?”
The more she talked, the more angry Emily became. She was fighting with her own conflicting emotions. Hard. Desperately. Part of her just wanted to open the door, hold Danny close and just forget everything that had happened. Everything the other woman had done to her. Forget what she had said. Forget the last horrible weeks full of nothing but worry and longing. Forget about everything.
But the other side of her, the side of her that was quickly gaining ground, felt cheated to say the least. No, actually Emily felt betrayed. Diminished. As if she wasn't worth a damn thing. That she was nothing more than a warm body to hold whenever you felt like it. Someone to use when you wanted to get laid. Emily had thought that the days of her feeling like that were long gone, but right then, those feelings came back to her again. With full force.
“Do you think you can just come and go as you want, Danny? Huh? Do you? And if you think I'm going to sleep with you, you are wrong!”
Emily was shaking now, not from fear, but from anger. She was so pissed off, she almost didn't know what to do with herself. And feeling the weight of the baseball bat in her hands, she really just wanted to hit something. Or someone.
“I don't want to fuck you, for God's sake! Emily, just open the fucking door, I don't have time for this shit! ” Danny shouted back from the other side of the front door.
That did it for Emily. She took the few steps towards the door quickly, unlocked it and swung it open.
“Who the fuck do you think you are, huh, talking to me like that?”
Emily was so angry, she didn't even manage to notice the look on the other woman's face. The look of concern. And the worry. The panic in her blue eyes.
Danny looked at Emily, who was just standing there, with almost no clothes on, just screaming at her. Why the hell couldn't she just understand? Did she really think this was just a fun trip for her? That she was actually simply there to get to fuck? If that's all she wanted, she sure as hell didn't have to drive for hundreds of miles, stalk some woman, no matter how beautiful, for weeks on end, while freezing her damn ass off.
Danny was just about to lose it by then, and Emily just kept going on and on about what a useless piece of shit Danny was.
God, she really didn't have time for this. They didn't have time for this.
She rapidly stepped inside the house, threw the baseball bat the blonde was holding in her hands onto the floor before closing the door behind her with her foot. She knew that there was no use standing there, arguing, with Emily when she was like that. In that state of mind. That would most certainly be the death of them both. Of them all. So, she simply grabbed the blonde woman around the waist and slung her over her shoulder. Emily was fighting back, but by then, with the motivation Danny felt, she really was no match for her.
Danny walked up the stairs, taking two steps at a time, expecting no less than to, once again, be slapped in the face as she finally put the struggling blonde down onto the wooden floor of the master bedroom. She didn't care though, because being slapped in the face was nothing compared to being shot. She of all people knew that.
“Put some clothes on, Emily, and go and pack a bag with whatever you need. Just the most important things, please, because we really need to leave. I'll go and get Max”, she added as she tried hard not to look at the sexy, half-naked body in front of her. This wasn't the time to get distracted. At least not any more than she already was.
Danny saw the questioning look on Emily's face. Emily didn't understand why she would have to do such a thing, which really wasn't that strange, but time was running away. Fast.
The anger seemed to have gone away, but she didn't move a muscle.
“Emily, listen to me, OK...They are coming... here…”
“ They , Emily... Marino's men!”, Danny almost shouted by then. She was starting to panic for real now. She needed Emily to help her, because there was no way she could carry both a five year old boy and his damn mother out and to her car.
But the words, the mentioning of them , seemed to have done the trick. Finally, Emily did as she had been ordered to do. She still hadn't said anything, but Danny saw on Emily's face that she had realized the gravity of the situation they were now in. So, she left her there in the bedroom, confident that the blonde would do as she had been told and went to get Max.
The door to his room was already halfway open so Danny just went inside. She opened the backpack that was lying on the floor by his bed and packed some clothes and things she found into it. She also brought some stuffed animals and the Patriot's cap she knew he would be devastated to be left without. She then took the still sleeping boy, with the blue blanket still covering his pyjama clad body, into her arms and went out into the hallway. Max opened his eyes for a few moments, smiling tiredly when he saw who was there, but he didn't say anything. He put his arms around Danny's neck and just let her take him with her. No protests, nothing.
Danny couldn't help smiling faintly and kissed his forehead before making her way back into Emily's bedroom.
“Are you ready to go?” she asked. “We need to hurry, they could be here any minute”.
She tried not to look at Emily. The disappointed look on her face made her feel so guilty she couldn't stand it. This was all her fault. It was her fault they had to be taken out from their own home in the middle of the night to go God knows where. Away from their family. From work. From school.
Emily didn't protest, though, but simply followed Danny out of the house and into her car. Danny made sure that Max was properly secured with the seat belt in the back seat, but that was all she allowed them to do before she drove away from the house. She drove as fast as she dared to do down the gravel road leading away from the house and onto the main road, all the time just waiting, expecting, the black BMW to turn up behind every single turn. But it didn't.
They reached the main road without any incidents. At first Danny intended to drive back south, towards New York again, but at the last moment she changed her mind and turned left onto the road, heading north.
Danny had just turned left onto the main road and was starting to speed the car up, driving away, when she saw the front lights of an approaching car in the rear view mirror. She had to force herself not to just step on it right then and drive away as fast as she could. But she knew that, by doing that ,she would just draw attention to them and that was the last thing she wanted. Because Danny just knew that it was them . But the problem was that driving away as fast as she could was exactly what every single brain cell in her body told her to do right then. To get the three of them away from there. But she didn't want them to react in any way to seeing a car act like that, so she had to intentionally, desperately force herself not to do as her brain told her to do. But it was hard. Danny hadn't actually seen which car it was but she simply knew anyway. Her intuition told her so. There were no such things as coincidences.
“Emily, get down…” she instructed the other woman, really not knowing why she was whispering, as she kept checking the rearview mirror. It wasn't as if they could hear her.
She pressed slightly on the back of the blonde's head, making her bend forward. Danny was glad Emily did so without any protests, she didn't have the strength to fight any more right then.
Danny's heart was beating like crazy as she watched the other car come closer and closer to them, all the time ready to speed up, should the car continue after them.
But it didn't. It slowed down, making the distance between them longer and longer by the second, before finally turning left. Left onto the small road leading up to Emily's house.
Danny took a deep breath, not having been aware of even having held it in the first place. She felt as if she was about to throw up. She was shaking and started to sweat, despite the still cold temperature in the car. Fuck, that was close…. It had been a matter of what… ten seconds maybe… Jesus Christ…
She motioned with a shaking hand for Emily to sit back up as she quickly drove away. They still weren't safe. Not by any means. They would soon find out that the house was empty and Danny sure as hell didn't want to stick around to see what their next move would be.
Danny stopped once in the first small town they drove through to withdraw some money at an ATM; enough money to last them at least a few months. Because she had no idea what they were going to do, where they were going to go or even for how long they would have to stay away. And she needed cash. She couldn't risk the possibility of them being found just by being stupid enough to use a credit card somewhere. Marino had many people on his payroll, not only cops, and it would be easy for him to find them if they left as much as a ghost of a trace somehow. She also removed the sim cards from both her own and Emily's cell phones and destroyed them before throwing them away, out of the car window. That move alone earned her another disappointed look from Emily, but she had no choice. Keeping them was way too risky and Danny needed to make sure to try to think of everything possible that might lead him to them.
Apart from that one stop, she just drove. Hours passed by as did the towns and communities they drove through. They left Massachussetts, continued through New Hampshire and didn't stop for a break until they reached Maine. The whole time they had been driving in silence. Danny had no idea what to talk about and Emily didn't say a single word to her either.
Danny had looked over at the other woman from time to time, but hardly ever got as much as a glance back. And the few times that she did, the look in the blonde's eyes only made Danny turn hers away. She couldn't stand it. She knew that, for once, she was doing the right thing by taking Emily and Max away, but when Emily looked at her that way, as if Danny had ruined her life, that knowledge was hardly comforting in Danny's mind.
The sun had long since risen when they finally stopped at a diner slash gas station. The car needed refueling and they all needed to get something to eat. Max had just woken up and was grumpy as hell from the car ride and the lack of food. But not even he was even close to being as grumpy as his mother. Danny couldn't help smiling by then as she once again dared looking over at the blonde. She looked like shit, but in a good way. Messy hair, red cheeks and a pissed off as fuck look in her eyes.
“What?” she said as Danny kept looking at her.
Despite their situation, Danny couldn't help feeling the way she did, the way she always did, when she looked at Emily. As if she had hundreds of butterflies flying around in her stomach and chest. God, she was beautiful.
“Nothing”, she lied, still smiling.
This still was the wrong time to get the blonde into a discussion. So, Danny figured food would be a good thing to start with. An ice-breaker. At least she hoped so. She was hungry and tired as hell too, since she had been driving for more than ten hours straight, so it couldn't be a bad thing. Hopefully.
Eating something seemed to have been a good idea, even if they all had had cheeseburgers for breakfast. Max was in a much better mood at least, seemingly excited about this new adventure the were all out on. It was hardly wise to let a five year old know that they were really doing, so Emily had tried to explain all of their strange behavior away by saying they were going on an adventure. Which was in many ways true. It wasn't a very fun one, though. Not for Danny, and certainly not for Emily, who was still in the same bad mood as before, despite the food and the two cups of disgusting coffee. She still hadn't given Danny hardly as much as a look, except for a few times when she probably had felt that she had to so that Max wouldn't react and find their behavior even more strange than it already was.
When they were done, Danny finished her own second cup of coffee, almost having gotten used to the taste by then, and went to pay for their food.
The rather young, redhaired woman behind the counter smiled towards Danny as she approached her.
“Hi, there”, she said as she gave Danny a big smile.
The woman seemed nice enough, maybe a little bit too nice, so Danny decided to use that to her own advantage . They needed somewhere to stay after all and that sleepy, small town which they had now ended up in seemed like a good enough place to start. It hardly drew any unnecessary attention to itself, that's for sure, despite the fact that the sea wasn't far away.
“Is there a motel or something around here somewhere?” Danny asked, putting on her nicest, most inviting smile.
The redhead smiled even wider as she blushed slightly.
Danny almost wanted to just shake her head at herself. God, she felt like a fraud.
“Well there is one a few miles up the road, but I wouldn't recommend it”, the woman explained. “At least not when you have a kid”.
She smiled again as she gestured towards the table where Emily and Max were still sitting,
“But, old Mrs. Miller has a small house which she occasionally rents out to tourists or summer visitors. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't mind letting you stay there for a while, even though it isn't Summer. No one lives there anyway and I think she will love to be able to help you. She is a really nice lady”.
The woman winked and smiled yet another wide smile, so Danny politely smiled back. She was nice, actually, and rather pretty, but Danny was in no mood for any flirting. Not then, and the woman wasn't really her type either. Only one woman was. And Danny had messed that up by being the idiot that she was. But, maybe, just maybe, she had made the right decision for once, coming here to this small, seaside town she had already forgotten the name of.
Even if she'd had no idea where the hell they would end up when they left.
‘Sure why not', Danny thought.
Maybe this was a step in the right direction.
“Thank you”, she said, taking the redhead's hand “How do I contact her?”.
Emily saw Danny come out from the diner. She looked pleased, actually, but looking at her face just made Emily even more angry. She had seen the dark haired woman flirting with the irritating redhead the whole time they were there. At least it had seemed so to Emily. What she couldn't understand, though, was why that annoyed her so damn much. They weren't together anymore, if they ever had been, so Danny could do whatever she wanted, right? Well, that was what Emily tried to convince her mind of, at least. And her heart. She wasn't doing a very good job, though.
And another thing that irritated her, but on a whole different and higher level, was the photo she held in her hand.
She had just simply searched the glove compartment of Danny's car, looking for a tissue or something to wipe away some ketchup from Max's chin. Really, she hadn't intended to snoop, but what she had found surely didn't make regret that she had.
It was a photo of Max. At pre-school. And it definitely wasn't one she had taken or one she even recognized. So, why did Danny have it in her possession? And why had she hid it?
Emily shoved the photo in Danny's face as she approached her on her way towards the driver's side of the car..
“What the hell is this?” she asked.
The smug, pleased look instantly disappeared from Danny's face. Emily took hold of the other woman's arm as she turned around and tried to walk away from her. She looked at her sternly, demanding an answer. Emily sure as hell wouldn't let the dark haired woman get away with something like this. She was tired of all her damn secrets.
“What does it look like?”
Danny was pissed as well now. Of all the shit that could happen… So, now when she had figured out a way to solve one fucking problem, another one gets shoved in her face.
“Don't try to be a smartass with me, Danny! Where did you get this?”
Danny saw the angry look on Emily's face, a look that was now more and more starting to turn into a worried, almost panicked one. She knew that she had no other choice than to explain. Everything. Danny took a deep breath as she started telling Emily what had happened, everything from the time the photograph of Max was left outside her door, to the exact minute she dragged Emily and Max away from their home, all the time wondering how the hell she would get away with this mess she had caused this time.
And just like Danny had expected, she got more shit thrown in her face when she was finally done.
“Why the hell didn't you tell me, Danny?” Emily almost shouted, hardly even caring about other people seeing them fight. “Why?”
Danny pulled her arm away from Emily's tight grip. She had been holding on to it the whole time Danny was talking, so that she couldn't get away from her again.
Why hadn't Danny told her? Told Emily that the mob had left a photograph of her son on her fucking doorstep? Because of her? Of her past with them? It was pretty damn obvious why she hadn't said anything, right?
“Because I didn't want you to be worried, for God's sake! That's why!”
Danny saw Emily's arm twitch, and for a few moments she yet again expected to be slapped in the face for speaking her mind as she had been once before, but the arm stayed down this time as well. Instead, the blonde just snorted at her.
“Yeah? And how did that work out for you? What do you think I've been doing these past few weeks, huh? Worrying, that's what I've been doing. Constantly...I've been worried sick, wondering if you were even alive… You think you are so damn smart, huh, don't you Danny, but really you seem pretty damn stupid to me”.
And with those words, the conversation, or well the monologue, was over. Emily just got into the car, sat down in the passenger's seat and didn't say another word during the whole time as Danny refuelled the car, went to pay for the gas, and then drove away, trying her best to follow the instructions Mrs. Miller had told her over the phone on how they would get to her house.
Danny had a hard time concentrating and actually got lost twice, despite the fact that it was a small town, because all she could think of was what Emily had said and, most of all, the fact that Danny knew that she had actually been right. Max was Emily's son after all and Danny had to admit to herself that it would have been better if she had just told Emily about the photo. Because the truth was, she herself would have wanted to know about it if it had been her own son and would have been pissed to say the least at someone for keeping things like that from her as well. But at the time, when the photo had been placed outside her front door, she hadn't been able to think straight. She had panicked at first when she saw it and when she realized she might risk the lives of another woman and child, and then after that, the demon had taken over. And Danny knew that the demon didn't always make the right decisions. Not when it came to things like that. Things like feelings. Feelings other than hatred.
And hatred was not what Danny was feeling now. Not even close. She felt guilty. Inadequate. And, just as Emily had said, Danny was and did feel incredibly stupid.
As it turned out, Mrs. Miller actually didn't mind letting them rent her small guest house, just like the woman at the diner had said. Just the opposite. She seemed happy to be getting some new house guests. She was a really nice old lady; small, almost frail looking, probably in her eighties, Danny figured. But, talking to her, soon made you realize things aren't always what they seem. Quite the opposite. She was strong minded to say the least. Danny found that out a couple of times when the old woman put her on the spot as they discussed some thing or another. She didn't stand a chance in hell with her.
Seeing Danny embarrassed at least drew out a few smiles out of Emily, so sure, Danny could take it. She could embarrass herself. No sweat. What wouldn't she do for her, really? Crawl through mud… go through hell...well, anything…
Despite the fact that Emily and Mrs. Miller seemed to get along just great from the very start, Danny liked her. She was more than nice. And she didn't ask too many questions. They didn't even have to give up their last names. The lady simply seemed to accept and respect the fact that they wanted to be pretty much left alone, and also let Danny pay two month's worth of rent in advance. Cash.
So, so far, so good. The only remaining problem for Danny was Emily. She had no idea how to solve that problem. So she did what she always did, and what she herself always thought she did best; she left Emily and Max alone in the small, one story house, while she went to get some things they needed. Groceries...things like that… And Danny felt as if she needed to be by herself for a while, to think, and just seeing her damn face seemed to piss the blonde off, so Danny figured that being apart for a few hours would be good for both of them. They needed to work out a way to be able to get along well enough to not kill each other while having to live together in such a small space for God only knew how long. So, leaving Emily to herself for a while might be a good way to start.
It was already evening when Danny returned to their new, hopefully temporary “home”. She had bought whatever she figured they could need and that alone had taken a few hours, but even when she was finished with the shopping, she didn't want to go back. She didn't want to face Emily, or at least not her disappointed look. Danny would never get used to that. So, she had spent a few hours at a bar. Drinking whiskey. Not a very smart move, she realized when she returned to the house and Emily figured out what she had been doing, but it had seemed like a good enough idea at the time. At least Danny had been able to almost forget about her problems for a little while.
And she had bought some takeout chinese food with her as well, in case anyone was hungry. So, why the hell was Emily still angry? Jesus.
Danny just left the takeout food and the groceries in the small kitchen, for Emily to take care of. She wasn't hungry any more anyway, tired of always doing the wrong thing, no matter how hard she tried to do her best. She didn't say anything more to Emily, since they would probably just start fighting again and she was sick of it. The shower was a more appealing option right then, so that's where she went.
An hour later Danny carefully knocked on the door to the bedroom Emily would be sleeping in. The shower had done her good. She was feeling a little bit better and not as hung over as she had expected to feel. And probably would have deserved to feel as well.
She wasn't doing a very good job of getting Emily to think any higher of her than she had been doing lately, that's for sure, by behaving the way she had. Running off again. Staying away. Rather the other way around, digging a deeper and deeper hole for herself the more she kept her stupid behavior up. So, Danny had decided that, starting the day after, she would get her act straight. She would make Emily at least stand being around her stupid ass again, no matter how long it took or what she would have to do to accomplish it.
Max had gotten the other small bedroom, and was already asleep when Danny had stopped to check on him, which left Danny sleeping on the couch. That wasn't really something they had decided together or even talked about, but considering where their so called relationship had ended up, Danny was fairly certain that that was where Emily wanted her.
She opened the door slightly, peeking inside. Emily was already lying in bed, but the lights were still on.
“I'm just going to grab a pillow, ok, then I'll leave you alone”, Danny said as she entered the small bedroom. Emily was lying on her side in the narrow bed, watching her as she walked towards the linen cabinet in the far end of the room.
“Danny, how did you know Marino's men were coming for me? For us? How could you possibly have known that they were coming exactly when they did?” Emily asked to her back as Danny were about to leave the room, pillow and blanket in her arms.
It was, or at least had been, strange to Emily and she had been thinking about it every waking moment in the car since Danny came to her house to get her and Max and every second this afternoon when Danny was away. She had an idea, though, but she wanted to get the other woman to confirm it.
Danny didn't answer, she just tried to turn her eyes away. Because she knew that Emily could and would see right through her. She wouldn't be able to lie to her. She just wanted to get away. Not far away, but away from the room. From Emily's searching green eyes. She knew that Emily was on to her, she wasn't stupid. The question was, would she be pissed at Danny over what was the true answer to her question or what?
“Danny, look at me…have you been watching me? Watching us?”
“Emily, please...please don't ask me this...”
Emily couldn't help smiling now. At the look on the other woman's face as she turned around, facing her. At the pleading look in her clear blue eyes. At how uncomfortable she seemed to have been put on the spot like that.
And Emily was also starting to feel bad about how she had been treating the dark haired woman. Really bad. She had been worried, once again, the whole afternoon and early night until Danny finally returned to them, worried that she had left them once more.
And this time, if she would have left, it would have been Emily's fault. Sure, she had had good reasons to act the way she did, but what Danny had done had been because she cared. Cared about them. And if she was being honest with herself, Danny had probably, or most certainly, saved the lives of both herself and her son. And sha also felt bad for not even having asked Danny how she was feeling, or if the gun shot wounds had healed.
“Danny”, Emily repeated. “Baby, come here”.
She reached out her hand towards the other woman as she lifted up the thin blanket that was covering her half-naked body.
“And take those clothes off…”
She watched Danny for a few moments, as she just kept standing there at the other end of the room, looking at her, seemingly not knowing what she should do. Looking as if she was wondering if maybe Emily didn't really mean what she was saying.
Then, after a while, a smile slowly started spreading across her beautiful lips. A sexy, seductive smile. A smile Emily recognized very well. One she could never forget.
Danny took a step forward, towards the bed as she stripped herself of her clothes. She spread Emily's legs with her own and lay down on top of her, sighing blissfully when Emily put her arms around her neck.
They just kissed for a long time, both of them just enjoying the closeness of the other, reconnecting. Emily couldn't even imagine feeling any more secure and taken care of than she did at that moment, despite the situation they were in, and she felt bad that she had even been thinking that Danny would just simply use her for sex.
But, as Danny slowly started kissing and licking her way down Emily's body, making all of her feel the way only Danny could make her feel, the blonde had to admit to herself that right then, as she grabbed Danny's head when she felt her warm mouth right where she needed it the most, she wouldn't have minded the least if that actually had been the case.
To be continued in chapter thirteen...
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