Halo Ch. 01byMygypsy©
Hallo to all who follow my stories. I have been asked numerous times to put a note on which story goes where in the series I have written.
It all started with Stolen. Then Ren: Shades of Grey overlaps from Chapter 6 of Stolen; this is Ren's side of the story as it unfolds. It also overlaps into the next story inline: Shattered Dreams starts where Stolen finishes as Ren puts Sky/Janey on the bus home. Brad & 'Tanaya takes up the story a year later.
I did say I would add a final chapter to Ren: Shades of Grey but once again the Characters have had a mind of their own and the chapters just keep rolling so I am doing Halo. This takes up not long after Brad & 'Tanaya finishes. (the title comes from the song sung by Beyonce. My youngest daughter remarked 'it's a wonder you don't use this song as inspiration for your story Mum').
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Janey tucked the blanket around her son securely before turning and leaving the room. It was just after dark and Nicky had fallen asleep after a long day playing on the sand at the beach.
At eleven months old her son was a live wire who kept her busy just keeping up with him. The trip to the beach had been an attempt to divert him from what had been upsetting him, missing the weekend visits to his natural father. He had been upset on and off for the last two weeks as it was nearly three weeks since he had seen his father; it was worse of a Saturday when he would sit and cry when the afternoon soccer game was watched by his Grandfather.
Janey walked into the lounge room and sat beside Adam on the lounge; he came to visit on Thursday when he had two days off but had to go back to work Saturday afternoon.
"Marina, would you mind keeping an eye on Nicky now he's gone to sleep so I can take Janey for a walk along the beach in the moonlight?" Adam asked Janey's mother with a charming smile.
Marina glanced at Janey but her daughter didn't react so she nodded slightly, "Yes, I'll keep a watch on Nicky."
Adam got to his feet and held a hand out to help Janey to her feet; she went to follow him towards the door but hesitated.
"I'd best go to the toilet before we go," Janey said and hurried towards the bathroom. When she returned a few minutes later she walked over to where Adam waited by the door.
"You kids don't stay out too late. We were planning an early night," Jim called after them.
"Okay Dad," Janey called back over her shoulder before shutting the door behind her.
Janey followed Adam to his car and got into the passenger seat while he got behind the wheel. She put her seat belt on and glanced across at him as he started the car; Adam glanced across at her and smiled as he turned the car towards the coastal road.
"Mum and Dad do know why we go for a drive each time you're here," Janey said dryly.
"But each time I get put in one of the boy's rooms." Adam said with a frown, "And where do they think you sleep when you visit me in Brisbane?"
Janey smiled at Adam's annoyance and reached out one hand to pat his thigh.
"So where are we going tonight?" Janey asked softly.
"The beach," Adam said as he turned onto the main road.
Janey smothered a sigh of irritation. Adam annoyed her in the fact he seemed to have no imagination when it came to the relationship between them.
The headlights of the car illuminated a well-travelled road towards one of the more private beaches and Janey wasn't surprised to realise Adam was there. The more private the spot the better he liked it; she had realised some months back that he didn't like the chance they might be discovered or interrupted by someone else.
When Adam parked the car and turned the engine off Janey waited to see what he was going to do; to her surprise he reached over the back and retrieved a blanket from the backseat before getting out of the car.
Janey got out her side and locked the door before falling into step along side of him; he caught her hand and held it as they walked along the path that led to the beach. As the local shrubbery became thicker Janey began to feel uneasy; the thin sliver of the moon cast eerie shadows and her steps began to falter.
"Can we go somewhere else?" Janey asked suddenly as she attempted to stop.
"It's just past these bushes," Adam said keeping a firm hold on her hand as he continued forward.
Janey found herself forced to either follow him or risk being dragged along by his momentum. She tensed as she forced herself to keep going and then she stood at the edge of a small clearing.
Adam released Janey's hand unaware of her discomfort and quickly spread the blanket on the thick grass; he turned to her and held his hand out.
Janey stepped into his embrace glad of the comfort; she could feel his hands stroking her back and turned her face to his for his kiss. His lips were soft and moist against hers and she opened her mouth trying to encourage him. She wanted him to chase away the cold tendrils of fear that had spread across her skin.
Adam broke off the kiss reluctantly and raised his head to look down at Janey; she buried her face against the crook of his neck as she kissed the skin there.
"How about we sit down on the blanket?" Adam asked softly.
Janey kept her face turned into his body, not looking past him into the darkness beyond. Her nod was nearly lost against his shoulder but Adam, already sure of her compliance was lifting her into his arms as he sat down, pulling her onto his lap as he settled himself comfortably.
This time when Adam kissed her, his lips were firmer and his hands began to roam her body. One hand reached between them to cup a breast while the other rested in the small of her back making her arch into his body more fully.
As Adam turned his attention to the sensitive skin on her neck Janey tilted her head back to give him better access; she glimpsed the shadows beyond his shoulder and shifted uncomfortably.
Janey tensed as Adam eased her down onto her back and moved to lay half on top of her, one thigh over her legs as he pulled at the bottom of her shirt. She couldn't help glancing to one side and seeing the shadows that lurked there.
"Adam, do we have to be here?" Janey asked as he managed to get his hand beneath the material and work his fingers up over her ribs.
"It's a nice private spot, " Adam mumbled before turning his attention back to her lips.
Janey kept her eyes open as he kissed her, only half her attention on what was happening between them as she kept glancing at the darkness and shadows that seemed to move and dance on their own.
"Relax," Adam urged trying to get Janey to stop being so tense.
Janey turned her face away from his kisses and pushed against his shoulders slightly.
"Let's find some other place Adam," Janey urged. When Adam didn't stop his advances immediately Janey began to push against his shoulders more forcefully. "Not here Adam!" Janey protested.
Adam rolled away from Janey with a frustrated groan; already he was fully aroused and stopping meant moving to another place.
"What is wrong with you?" Adam demanded annoyed.
"I don't feel comfortable here," Janey said faintly intimidated by his annoyance. Adam very rarely got angry with her or allowed his annoyance to show while he was with her and she wasn't used to dealing with him in those moods.
Adam got to his feet abruptly and reached down to take a corner of the blanket in his hand; he looked at Janey when she didn't immediately jump to her feet and frowned with annoyance.
"Well let's go find some place you like," Adam muttered.
Janey got to her feet hurriedly and turned away from Adam as he picked the blanket up, shook it and folded it roughly.
"Come on," Adam said impatiently and strode off back the way they had come.
Janey hurried to follow him in the dark, glancing around nervously at the bushes as she made her way through them. Fear sent icy finger up her spine as she imagined she could hear movement in the bushes that wasn't being made by her or Adam.
Adam was unlocking the car as Janey finally made it to the end of the path and she hurried to the passenger door quickly. She got in the car when he unlocked the door and glanced across at him uneasily as she fastened her seat belt.
"Any preference as to where we go?" Adam asked as he forced himself to be calm.
"How about that little clearing over by the lookout? It's a nice quiet spot, no-one has ever disturbed us there," Janey said hesitantly.
Adam gave a barely audible grunt as he turned the key and the engine came to life.
There was no conversation as he drove the fifteen minutes to the spot Janey had mentioned; he hadn't even parked the car when Janey's mobile phone started beeping.
Janey pulled the phone out of her pocket and looked at the screen. She frowned and answered it as she recognised her parent's home phone number.
"Hallo, hi Mum." Janey said and listened for nearly a minute. She sighed heavily before answering," Okay Mum, we'll start heading back now, bye."
Janey pressed the call end button and glanced across at Adam, "Nicky has woken up and he won't settle down for Mum or Dad. He just keeps calling for me," Janey explained. She didn't tell Adam that her mother had said that Nicky had also been crying for his father.
Adam said nothing as he turned the car around and headed back towards Janey's parent's house. He was annoyed over his plans for the night being thwarted but knew there was no way around it.
When Adam slowed the car to park in front of her parents house Janey was quick to undo her seatbelt and hurry inside to check to see if by some chance her mother had managed to settle Nicky down.
Janey could hear her son crying as soon as she opened the front door and she hurried to her room where she found her mother pacing the room holding Nicky up against her shoulder. Nicky turned his hot and sweaty tear stained face towards his mother and let out a trembling sigh at the sight of her.
"Daddaddaddad," Nicky murmured mournfully.
"Oh Nicky," Janey sighed as she reached out and lifted her son into her arms. He clung to her tightly as if he feared she would be spirited away from him and burrowed against her neck.
"Daddaddaddad," he whimpered fretfully.
Janey sat down on her bed and closed her eyes for a few moments as the futility of the situation ate at her; she was trying to protect her son but all she was doing was causing him to be unhappy.
"I know, I know," Janey murmured softly as she rocked him back and forth. After a few minutes he allowed her to turn him so that she could cradle him in her arms, his head resting against her breasts as she rocked him gently. Nicky whimpered several times and kicked briefly but soon he was sound asleep; Janey continued to hold him for a while before tucking him back into his bed.
With Nicky asleep and in bed Janey made her way to the lounge room and sat down tiredly.
"Nicky asleep?" Adam asked as she settled next to him.
"Yes," Janey said as she leant into his side as he put an arm around her.
"James and Lydia will be here for the weekend," Marina said as she came into the room and sat down.
Janey glanced her way but made no comment as she turned her attention back to the tv; she could feel the tension in Adam's body and knew he was suffering from having their night's excursion interrupted.
"How about we go for a walk?" Janey asked Adam softly then groaned as she heard the faint sounds of Nicky crying in her room once more.
"Why don't you go put Nicky to sleep," Adam said softly with a quick kiss on her cheek.
Janey grimaced and hurried to her feet and headed for her room; Nicky was sitting up in his cot crying and rubbing his eyes miserably.
"Hey, what's wrong with Mummy's little man?" Janey asked softly as she picked him up and moved to her bed, she lay down with him cuddled against her and stroked the hair back off his face soothingly.
Half an hour later Marina checked to see if Janey had managed to get Nicky to sleep once again and found both Janey and Nicky fast asleep; she pulled the bed covers over the two of them and left the room quietly.
The next morning Adam left just after he had breakfast with Janey and Nicky so that he could stop by his flat to pick up his good suit and drop it off at the dry cleaners on his way to work.
* * * * *
Brad was on the roof cleaning leaves out of the guttering when he heard his mobile phone ringing. He glanced at the ladder the other end of the roof then looked at Ren who was raking up the rubbish from the guttering that had fallen to the ground when Brad removed it.
"Could you get my phone for me?" Brad called down to his friend.
Ren glanced around, realised 'Tanaya was inside and walked over to where their phones sat on the outdoor table in the shade.
"Number unavailable," Ren called to Brad.
"Answer it would you!" Brad yelled back.
"Hallo, Brad Stanton's phone, Gabe speaking," Ren said. He had found people in the town responded better if he used his Christian name.
"Oh, ummm, is ah, is Brad there?" a hesitant voice asked on the other end.
"Yeah, I'll pass the phone to him. Who will I say is calling?" Ren asked as he headed towards the tank stand near where Brad was working on the roof.
"Janey and Nicky," Janey said on the other end of the phone.
"Well hallo there Janey," Ren said with a smile as he glanced up at Brad who moved to the roof near the tank stand eagerly. "This is Gabriel Renford, Ren. I'll just hand the phone up to Brad. He's on the roof cleaning out the guttering. Bye for now."
Ren quickly climbed onto the tank stand and passed the phone up to Brad who reached down for it eagerly.
"Hi Janey, it's good to hear from you. How's Nicky?" Brad asked hurriedly.
"Oh ah, Nicky's fine. He misses you terribly but," Janey said softly. " Was that just Ren?"
"Yeah, it was Ren. I miss Nicky badly too, are you going to let me see him some time soon?" Brad asked trying to keep his voice calm.
"Yes, Nicky needs to see you. Can you promise 'Tanaya won't do anything to him or do anything that could cause him harm?" Janey asked with an edge to her voice.
"Janey I promise you that I will be with Nicky all the time and anyone, anyone I think might be a danger to him won't be allowed near him," Brad said earnestly.
Ren watched as Brad waited with baited breath for a response from Janey; he could tell by the worried look on his face that she wasn't talking.
"Janey?" Brad questioned softly.
"I'd feel more comfortable if I was there with Nicky," Janey said after a few minutes pause.
"You're welcome to be here but it is 'Tanaya's home as well as mine and I must ask that you are polite to her and accord her the respect she is due in her own home," Brad said levelly.
"As long as you promise there are no drugs or anything around where Nicky will be," Janey said firmly.
"I know you don't believe me but 'Tanaya is not the person she was in the past. She is not in that situation anymore. I guarantee there are no drugs in the house," Brad said levelly.
"Will this afternoon be okay?" Janey asked refusing to comment on what Brad had said.
"I'll be finished what I'm doing in about ten minutes. Anytime after that is fine. If you like you can come over before lunch and we can do a picnic in the park with Nicky, he'd love that," Brad coaxed gently.
"Will ... uh... will Ren be there this afternoon?" Janey asked after a moment's awkwardness.
"Yes, is there a problem with that?" Brad asked softly.
"No, no there's no problem. I'd like to see him," Janey admitted.
"So will you come over for lunch?" Brad asked hopefully.
"Ummm," Janey sounded indecisive as she thought for several seconds, "okay, I'll um be there in about ...ummm, an hour?"
"That'll be perfect," Brad said with a huge grin as he glanced down at Ren. He noticed that 'Tanaya had come out of the house and was walking towards Ren while she shaded her eyes and looked up at him on the roof.
"I'll see you in about an hour," Brad said and then hung up. He looked down at the two people on the ground for few seconds.
"She's coming visiting?" Ren asked with a smile.
"Yes!" Brad said triumphantly.
"Who's coming to visit?" 'Tanaya asked curiously.
"Janey's bringing Nicky over to see me!" Brad said happily.
'Tanaya smiled happily up at him for a moment then frowned, "I guess I can go over to Brent and Matty's place for the afternoon."
"It'll be okay, you can stay here." Brad said gently.
"I don't want to cause problems," 'Tanaya denied.
"There won't be any problem," Ren said evenly.
"Let's get this job finished so I can go in and clean up before Nicky gets here," Brad said and turned his attention back to the leaf filled gutter.
Half an hour later the job was finished and the yard cleaned to Brad's satisfaction. Both men went into the house to shower and change out of their grubby work clothes.
* * * * *
Janey paced the veranda of her parent's home anxiously; she was waiting for her brother to return from town so he could help her take Nicky to visit Brad. She didn't want to go there by herself as she didn't feel capable of facing having to see 'Tanaya again after what she had learnt about the woman.
She glanced at her watch impatiently before heading inside to check if Nicky had woken from his nap yet. She had told Brad she'd be there after about an hour and now it was nearly an hour and a half from when she had rang him. Nicky was asleep and James was busy in town.
Janey walked to the lounge room where her mother was doing the ironing and stood watching her silently for nearly a minute before she spoke.
"I think I'm going to try to head over to Lennox by myself. I should be back just after dark," Janey forced herself to say calmly.
Marina paused what she was doing and looked at her daughter. "You sure you'll be okay by yourself?" she asked Janey.
"I won't know if I can do it if I don't try," Janey said uneasily.
"Okay, well I'll just turn this iron off and give you a hand getting things to the car," Marina said as she turned the iron off.
Janey and Marina loaded the nappy bag and an over night bag for Nicky into the car before Janey woke Nicky from his nap and carried him out to the car.
"Are you going to leave him overnight with B-r-a-d?" Marina asked as she spelt the name out so she wouldn't upset Nicky.
"I don't know. it depends on how Nicky is. We should be home just after dark. I'll let you know if I change my plans," Janey said as she walked around to the driver's door.
Marina looked towards the west and frowned at the clouds on the horizon. "We'll probably get a thunder storm tonight," she warned her daughter knowing how Janey hated storms.
"I'll keep an eye on the clouds," Janey reassured her mother.
"I'll see you tonight then," Marina said and watched as Janey started her car and drove away.
By the time Janey had driven to the town where Brad lived she was very nervous as she turned onto the street the house was in. She parked the car in the usual spot in the shade of a large tree and sighed as she turned the engine off.
She took a deep breath and glanced at Nicky who was looking around excitedly.
"Daddad," Nicky said and began to pull at his seat harness.
Janey got out of the car and opened the back door to reach in and free Nicky; he climbed out of his seat and into her arms, excited. She heard the front door of the house open and glanced towards the front of the house; Brad was standing just outside the front door looking towards her anxiously.
Janey grabbed Nicky's nappy bag as well as her purse before shutting the car door and heading towards the gate into the front yard. Nicky wriggled to get down and Janey paused to set him on his feet. She held one hand and matched her steps to his wobbling steps as he toddled along the path.