Widow, Chapter 1 & 2
This is the introduction of the Widower & the Widow. Chapters 1-3 happen a few days prior to Chapter 50 of Good Girl, with Chapter 4 of Widow being Chapter 50 of Good Girl. I hope this sets up the time frame. Good Girl flawlessly slides into Widow, with Malcolm Mason & Clover Webster as Narrators.
I just finished chapter 27, have outlined the rest of the scenes, and foresee Widow’s release the final week of August (depending on the muse, and all outside forces beyond my control)
Here is the introduction to the Widower & the Widow. Enjoy!
“I won’t be home very early tonight, Kieren. Sorry about that,” I exhaustedly mumble to my second oldest son as I gaze around our breakfast table. My eyes light on the empty seat and pain lances deep within my chest.
I’m failing them… my family.
“It’s alright, Dad,” Kieren shrugs off all the responsibilities I put on his shoulders. Since my wife killed herself, Kieren and Devon have been my wife and support system. The pressure combined with the painful memories is why there is an empty seat at our table- my son Devon is spiraling down to beyond rock bottom, and it’s all my fault.
“I have a shit load of paperwork and reports to file. I’d rather be here for you kids, but I have to clear some of this away so that I have some free time once school’s out.” I lamely offer my excuse.
“It’s fine,” Kieren stresses as he begins clearing away the breakfast he made me and his siblings. I stare at my son thinking to myself, NO! No, it is not alright. But I refuse to be like my father. But I am, aren’t I? My father would bring women home to take care of us. I’ve never done that. But my father left me to take care of my baby sister, Isis. Just as I’m doing to Kieren, making him take care of house and home… Weston and Raven.
When Kieren graduated high school, Devon was already at the police academy and I had to work to put a roof over our heads. My son threw away his own happiness to take care of ours. Kieren has a full ride to State on a football scholarship, but he threw it away to be a grease monkey so he could be close to home. It’s why I never let Kieren get away with shit. Most parents would have kissed Kieren’s ass, but not me. I rode Kieren hard, all the while thinking Devon was perfectly fine.
I’m a fucking failure.
“Don’t,” Kieren barks at me as he stacks the cereal bowls. “Get your book bags,” he says to Weston and Raven. “Your lunches are on the kitchen island. Meet me in the truck in five minutes.”
I stare at my hands, waiting for Kieren to light in to me. I deserve it. I sigh, wishing our lives had turned out differently… especially for my eldest sons. Kieren should taking finals for his freshman year at college, worrying about getting piss-roaring drunk and how many chicks he could bag at this weekend’s frat party. Instead, he’s playing happy homemaker, raising my kids, cooking my meals, paying my bills, and working a minimum waged job.
… but then again, Devon should be getting into the car with me to ride to the station, where we would protect and serve our community. But Devon’s marinating at rehab in Arizona.
Failure. Fucking. Failure.
My father was a ruthless, cold bastard that failed Isis. Camille failed us all. I failed us all. Devon failed Kieren, leaving him to take care of Weston and Raven. What a legacy I’ve created.
“Knock it the fuck off,” Kieren hisses, and he never raises his voice at me. Kieren will scoff or make fun of me. But usually he’s gentle, understanding and giving. I raise my eyes to the boy that looks like my father and his mother.
All of my kids are a mix of my family. Devon is the spitting image of his mother, but with my coloring: on the small side, light blue eyes and dark curls. Kieren is built like my father and me, HUGE. But he has his mother’s blond hair. Raven is all Isis. If my sister weren’t still breathing, I’d swear my only daughter was her reincarnation. I’ve never seen anyone as heart-stoppingly beautiful as the women in my family. But it doesn’t make me proud, it terrifies the hell out of me. Weston will look just like Devon when he grows up, but his hair is a shade or two lighter.
“I’m so fucking sorry,” I mumble to the reason I still breathe. Only five people mean anything to me, and I’ve failed them all. I’ve longingly stared at my service pistol, wanting to taste its barrel. But I can’t do to them what Camille did to us all. That dumb cunt even used my service pistol to end her pathetic existence. Every day I get to carry a reminder of how much I’ve ruined my family.
“I said,” Kieren bites out, “to knock it the fuck off. I’m sick of this attitude you walk around with. We were doing good until Devon’s… fuck up. He’s going to be twenty-one. Devon’s a man, and he wouldn’t be in rehab if he took responsibility for his own actions. You walking around blaming yourself is bullshit,” Kieren hisses.
“He’s my son,” I wince when my voice dips down to a whine.
“And he’s my brother,” Kieren counters. “We were supposed to take care of each other, but Devon is a selfish asshole… and that ain’t got a thing to do with you, Dad. Isis, Devon, and I are grown. Rae’s gonna be sixteen and West is closing in on fifteen. All ya gotta do is blink and they will already be out of high school. It’s time for you to move on and get a life.”
“I’m working on it,” I say with a secret smile, and Kieren laughs like a man. That satisfied rumble that only a real man can make. I’ve been waiting for Devon to join our ranks- Augustus and me- but Kieren’s beat him to it.
“I’ll have Rae text Princess to occupy Clover so you can get your loot.” Kieren heartily chuckles. “I’ll see you at lunch. And I don’t give a shit how much work you have to do, be home by seven thirty or I’m sending out a posse. We’re having spaghetti.”
“Alright, I’ll be home by seven. See ya,” I say while clasping my son’s shoulder. I grab my belt on the way by, hooking it into place. I never leave the house without pulling on my Chief Mason persona.
“Be a good girl,” I murmur against my baby girl’s velvety soft forehead.
“I will, Daddy. Not too much is going on at school,” Raven sweetly says, but I trust her as much as I trust Devon. Zilch. An angelic smile from Raven… yeah… lest she forgets who raised Isis. I know all of my daughter’s tricks before she even thinks of them.
“Um-hmm…” I murmur while smiling against Raven’s forehead. I don’t even have to ask, Weston automatically gives me a hug from behind before charging out to Kieren’s truck. Weston is a good boy, I don’t have to remind him to behave. But… I thought Devon was, too. I wasn’t completely blind. I’ve always known Devon’s issues, I just thought he had them in hand. So far so good with Weston and Raven. Rae can be a little bitch and Weston can be devious, but no issues are cropping up from our shared nightmare.
Heart still stinging over the fact that my first born isn’t with me while we ride to work, I hum a tune while I get into my town-issued SUV. But I drive in the opposite direction of the Court House. I have some treats to pick up. I said I’d never be like my dad, and I meant it. My father was a wholly male. Chief John Mason was a fair man, but he was unemotional. He liked to call me a pansy-assed girl because I’m so emotional. But the man did all that he could do to keep us alive, teach us to be good human beings, and be self-reliant. Dad worked hard, and he found harder women to take care of Isis and me. I swore I’d never do that.
… But as I park down the street from Clover Webster’s home, I wonder if I’m doing just that. Not in a million years would I call Clover a whore, like the women Dad brought home to us. But stalking a women seems wrong. But fuck if it isn’t the highlight of my day.
Clover is a good woman. It doesn’t get any more right than when your kids get pissed enough to hook their parents up. The seven kids think it’s a good idea, and I tend to agree. Plus, the woman can cook.
I rub my belly as a smile stretches across my face as I ghost down the street towards my prize. A bouncy ponytail catches my eye, causing me to growl. “Girl,” I hiss. “Gitcha skinny ass right back here!” I run headlong towards the bane of my sons’ existences, and if all goes well, my future stepdaughter, and undoubtedly, my future daughter-in-law.
Willow jogs up to me, box of baked good clutched to her chest. “Seth said Clover was guarding the front window. So I had him distract her while I grabbed the goodies,” the tiny thing breathlessly gasps out. “Here’s your cut.”
I take my two dozen sour cream donuts and scowl the girl down. “Where’s the cherry Danish?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Willow poorly lies.
“Girl, don’t make me spank your ass. I can smell the cream cheese icing…” I sniff the air. “Is that chocolate I smell?”
“Here’s your Danish,” Willow says as she flops a box on top of my donuts. Willow flashes me a brilliant grin, and then takes off at breakneck speeds towards the ancient piece of shit Ford Explorer that she bought from Robin. I momentarily get distracted by the fact that Robin would rip off a relative and that Willow can run like a gazelle.
“Hey, that’s Clover’s seven deadly sins chocolate cake, isn’t it?” I run towards Willow’s car as it idles at the curb.
Willow spills into the driver’s seat, and yells out the window, “Clover was mine first. I’ll always get dibs on her food.”
“You’ll get a fat ass,” I caustically warn, but all Willow does is laugh at me as she drives away with the cake I’d requested my reluctant woman to make. The loneliness suffocates me as Willow drives away.
I am alone, and I’ve fucked it all up.
I am the Widower.
“Did you study for your algebra exam,” I ask Seth for the tenth time. He’s ignored me while texting Willow. I love that they are as thick as thieves… but the little shits are up to something.
I hate how my son doesn’t give me the time a day. I’d ask other moms of teenagers if this is par for the course, but I’m not friends with any. I have no idea if it’s normal or not for your children to act like you were put upon this earth just to feed, clothe, and shelter their entitled asses. They do not see me as a living, breathing person that has feelings that can, and always do, get hurt.
“Uh-huh…” Seth mumbles while his fingers flash lighting quick on his cell phone. I’m not even sure Seth heard me until he replies, “I’ll ace it… I always do.” He rolls his eyes at me like I’ve lost my ever loving mind. My son is obsessed with math and science, so he can’t figure out why I’d worry that he wouldn’t study for algebra. “Why do you keep looking out the window?”
“I’m not,” I poorly deny, and fight my natural instinct to guiltily look away from the front window. My box of baked goods is still there. Two dozen sour cream donuts, a cherry Danish, a layered chocolate cake, and four dozen sugar cookies. My not-so secret admirer sent me two sets of demands last night. I hugely yawn as I think about how late I had to stay up to accommodate the requests. Sometimes… at all times… I wish I had some help.
“Sure you’re not,” Seth grumbles. “Twin,” he shouts. “Kieren will be here any minute. Gitcha ass down here.”
“Don’t be vulgar,” I chastise, and receive another disrespectful eye roll. I try my best to teach my kids not to be heathens, but it’s an uphill battle. My parents are pot-headed tree-huggers that are a foot away from a retirement home if they don’t behave, and Willow swears like a pissed off drunken pirate. Is it too much to ask for them to act civilized?
“Ass,” Seth baits me… Yes, it is most definitely too much to ask. Seth needs a father to kick his ass for the disrespect. The boy is bigger than me now, and he really doesn’t care if he upsets me or not. I’m just the person who gives him whatever he wants.
I’m invisible. Just as Sam wanted it. I can almost feel my dead husband gloating from Hell.
“Heathen,” I grumble, giving a dramatic eye roll of my own. “I can take you to school. It’s on my way to work,” I helpfully offer, wanting a few minutes where my kids can’t get away from me, where they’re forced to talk to me. I’ve yet to figure out why my kids are hanging around the Masons. Hell, why is Violet being polite? It makes my brain hurt just thinking about it.
“I’m ready,” Violet happily says, bouncing into the room. Happy is not in my daughter’s vocabulary. Something is up. My self-conscious need for perfection has led Violet to act like a stick is firmly shoved up her ass. A stick she inherited from me.
“It’s just easier, Mom. Ren is already taking Rae and Wes to school. We were on the way,” Seth logically supplies as he grabs for his messenger bag.
Feeling lonely, I’ll try anything for a few extra minutes of my children’s time. “I…”
“You have enough to do, don’t worry about us getting to school,” Violet sweetly says, and my suspicions rise. I narrow my eyes, but something out of the corner of my eye catches my attention, or lack of something. My secret admirer managed to take the huge box of baked goods off of my porch without me noticing. How the hell does he do it?
“Fuck,” I hiss in awe, receiving identical looks of disbelief from Seth and Violet. I never swear out loud, but I swear worse than Willow inside my mind. “Um… nothing. Have a great day at school today,” I brightly say.
“Yeah,” Seth mutters, knowing I’m full of shit. “Later,” is his goodbye, and Violet mumbles the same. It hurts my heart that my children won’t touch me out of affection… ever. I haven’t had a hug in years, just as Sam wanted it.
I watch my children engage the Masons, hugging and giggling as they pile into Kieren’s beat up pickup truck. My twins act like kids around their friends, animatedly chatting and smiling. That hurts more than the lack of hugs. Do my kids think I’m that terrible that they can’t be themselves around me?
I grab my keys and make my way to my parents’ house to begin my daily routine. Wake and feed the kids, call the Spook House and make sure Willow is still breathing, check in on my parents for the same reason and make sure they won’t harm themselves while I’m at work, then I work a ten hour day, only to come home and take care of all the things people have a mate for. I am not a singular person with emotions and needs. I was placed on this earth for the sole reason to take care of my children and parents. I am male and female. I am husband and wife. I am mother and father. I am daughter, sister, and parent. I am a walking banker, maid, chef, handyman, servant, nurse, therapist, and teacher… and I am agonizingly alone.
I am the Widow.
M&M of Restraint
& Playroom series
~Happy Wicked Reading~