Thorne Ch. 11

bykalamazoo707©

Barb's mouth went dry. Gene had just asked a question that she hadn't thought about whether it was by choice or not. Did she miss them?

"I- I guess a little," she finally said.

The little voice inside of her head whispered," how hard was that?"

Barb ignored the voice and concentrated on what Gene was saying.

"That's a start," he remarked. "Start there and move forward. No one is expecting a big production of it. All you have to say is I'm sorry and I miss you."

Barb, however; remained unconvinced. Nothing was that easy- especially for her.

"Shut up," she muttered before the voice had a chance to speak.

"Sis?" Gene called, "is someone there?"

"No... I was just muttering. Look, I've got to go; I have a phone call coming through."

She switched to the incoming call surprised that it was Joseph.

"I read through the documents and I don't find anything wrong with them. In fact, the terms are extremely generous."

"How do I know that you're not lying?" Barb asked knowing that she was taking a chance that she was offending him.

"You called me," Joseph replied curtly. "If you had any questions about my integrity, why did you call me?"

"I didn't know anyone else," Barb replied and then tried to back pedal on her question, "and you have to admit that it's a reasonable question."

"It would have been a reasonable question if you had asked me about my relationship with your mate before sending me the papers," Joseph retorted. "Is there anything else?"

"No and I'm sorry if I offended you- how much do I owe you?"

"Nothing," Joseph replied. "Consider it family helping family."

"So there are no loopholes for him to slip through?"

"There are no loopholes," Joseph replied. "As I said, the terms are very generous."

Barb thanked Joseph for his time and hung up. She jumped when the baby moved. It was something that still startled her and she found the feeling less than pleasant. She frowned when she thought about how Louise must be acting about her pregnancy and felt a stab of anger.

"Why do you do that?" the voice asked. "She isn't responsible for how you feel about or react to things. You are. Why does it even anger you that she's happy with her life? Why are you so concerned with what she and the others have? You got what you wanted didn't you? Look at it- you're even having a child that you won't be responsible for. What more do you want?"

"I don't know," Barb muttered more to herself than the voice.

****

Gene hung up; lay awake for several minutes before he decided to get up. The phone call with Barb had taken less than thirty minutes, but it had left him concerned. It was time that he found out exactly what was going on between his siblings. He knew that someone would still be up. That was the one thing that he hadn't understood- how did an entire family live on a night schedule? Even the children with the exception of Juliette's three lived on a night schedule. The next question was who he was going to call. Finally after much debate, he decided to call Kevyn. He wanted to make sure that she was serious about the use of her condo.

Patrick answered on the first ring.

"Gene? Is everything alright?"

"I'm good," Gene replied quietly. He had never taken Patrick up on his offer to call if he needed to talk. "I wanted to talk to Kevyn, but while I have you on the phone- I never thanked you for helping me-you didn't have to do that."

"We're family aren't we?" Patrick asked. "And like most families, we had our differences and issues although I daresay that our issues are well-different. The important thing is that you're doing well- have you given any more thought to moving out here?"

"That's part of what I wanted to talk to Kevyn about- is she around?"

"She's in her office studying- I'll go get her. Gene- if you decide to move out here, you're welcome to stay here with us if Kev's condo is too small or you just want to be around people. We have plenty of room."

Gene was momentarily stymied. He hadn't realized that until Patrick made that offer, he wasn't sure if all had really been forgiven. If Patrick was making the offer, then Kevyn had truly forgiven him. It was then that he understood his reluctance to move; he was waiting for proof of that forgiveness.

"Thanks," he said recovering. "You have no idea of how much I appreciate that."

"No thanks are needed," Patrick replied. "Hold on, I'll go get Kevyn for you."

A few minutes later, Kevyn was on the phone.

"Hey Gene! What's up?"

"A couple of things, but I'll start with the easiest thing first. Is the offer of your condo still open?"

"Sure-are you coming?" Kevyn asked excitedly.

"I think so," Gene replied. "I just wanted to make sure that I had a place to stay."

"Of course you do and I know that Patrick told you that you could stay with us too so when are you coming?"

"Is two weeks too soon? I have to give notice and close up the house..."

"Two weeks is fine," Kevyn replied. "Do you need help with anything?"

"No, I'm good," Gene replied.

He wasn't going to take anything other than his clothes and personal items. There was a part of him that was hedging his bets and it was that part that he was listening to. If things were as they seemed, then he would make more permanent plans.

"I'm glad that you're coming," Kevyn said, "and the others will be happy as well, but why did you change your mind?"

"That's the other thing that I wanted to talk to you about," Gene replied. "Part of the decision involves Dana. We're talking, but she may never trust me enough to give me another chance. That makes moving to Florida not a good idea. The other reason is Barb. I talked to her not long ago-Kev what's going on over there? I ask you about Barb and you really don't say anything other than as far as you know she's doing fine. I talked to her a little while ago and she wanted to know what you said about her."

"What did she say?" Kevyn asked.

"Nothing, that's the problem," Gene said, "And neither are you. Now I want to know what's going on and don't pass the buck by telling me to ask Barb."

Gene could tell that Kevyn was thinking about how to respond and waited. As he waited for her response, his mind swirled with what could possibly be wrong that no one was talking.

"Gene," Kevyn finally said. "I know that you're feeling out of the loop and I'm sorry about that. But..."

"But what?" Gene interrupted his temper flaring.

"It isn't something easily explained. I have a suggestion and if you don't like it, I'll tell you what you want to know now. My suggestion is that we wait until you get here..."

"Tell me what's going on," Gene insisted.

Kevyn took a deep breath and began at the beginning leaving out anything pertaining to vampires, hunters and wolves. When she was finished, Gene was silent for several seconds.

"Damn," he muttered. "I knew that she believed that we were abused, but she really did all of that?"

"She did," Kevyn confirmed. "If you don't believe me call her and ask her. I doubt that she'll lie to you. The thing is that we've tried to show her how much we want her to be a part of this family, but she keeps slapping us in the face and we're tired of it. She acts as if we're in some kind of competition about who has the most money or that we've wronged her somehow."

"So you haven't written her off?" Gene asked.

"Of course not!" Kevyn exclaimed. "We just placed the ball in her court. No one is asking for a big formal apology-in fact we're not asking for an apology at all. All we want is to get along as mom and dad would have wanted us to. We don't even have to talk about the past if she doesn't want to."

"Does she know this?" Gene asked.

"How can she know if she won't talk to us?" Kevyn asked. "Even when we were together for a family gathering she barely spoke to us and when she did, it was accusations about how she was mistreated. But here's the thing that really gets me," Kevyn continued. "Of all of us, Lou is probably the most forgiving but it's her that Barb really seems to hate. I don't understand it."

"Well," Gene said. "From her perspective she's had to work for everything. I know this because she told me. If it makes you feel any better, I'm now on that list of people who's had good fortune fall into their lap. She ran down the list of which you were on the top followed by Lou."

"We've had to work," Kevyn retorted. "Lou more than the rest of us. She took care of mom and worked at a full time job. In effect, she put her life on hold. In my opinion, she deserves every good thing that comes her way. Barb is just going to have to get over it and decide whether she wants to be a part of this family or not."

"I agree with you," Gene said, "I'm just telling you what she sees. What about this man of hers?"

"Thorne? What about him?"

"Is he really going to let her go after she has the baby?"

"I don't want to say too much about their relationship-if you want to call it that," Kevyn replied. "Any questions that you have about that need to go to Barb."

"I knew that you would say that," Gene said dryly. "She says that they don't love each other."

"That-that much is true," Kevyn conceded albeit reluctantly. "Do you want us to send the jet for you?"

"Nah-that's okay," Gene said, "but a pick up at the airport would be great."

"We can do that- just let me know when you're coming."

They talked for a few more minutes about Leon, Nadine, Hans, Juliette and the kids before hanging up. Gene looked at the phone for several minutes after he hung up. Kevyn hadn't told him everything. He could tell by the tone of her voice. He could have pushed it, but decided not to only because Kevyn was right- they could talk about things when he arrived.

Unable to sleep, he went to his laptop and began writing his letter of resignation. When that was done, he did a search of the AA meetings in the area where Kevyn's condo was. He had decided that he was going to stay there whether he wanted to or not. Once he was working, he would assume the rent and would be totally self-sufficient. The last thing he did was to write an email to Dana telling her that he was moving and that he hoped that they would continue to talk. He reread the email, saved it and then logged off. Thinking of nothing else that he could do; he went back to bed.

*****

Thorne sat in his office tapping his fingers on his desk. He replayed the conversation with his mother in his head. He noticed that not once did she apologize for her behavior even though he said that he didn't want or need one. She apologized that she had been caught which told him one thing- she wasn't sorry that she had done it. She was embarrassed that he knew about it, but she wasn't sorry. The thing that had surprised him then and it did now was that his father knew about the affairs. Somehow that knowledge changed his view of his father. What kind of male would allow his mate to fuck around and not do anything about it? He would have killed both of them. "One who appearances meant everything," he answered.

He couldn't help but imagine how his father must have felt when he found out. He found himself getting angry at the thought but the image of his father was forever changed. While he had once considered him a hard man, he now thought of him as weak. Another flash of understanding hit him. His father was the way he was because of his mate. For whatever reason, he couldn't control her so he became hard, cruel and overbearing with them. Ironically, instead of getting angry at his mother, he became angry at his father. After all, she only did what she was allowed to do. That understanding in no way diminished what she did, but he understood the dynamics of his parent's relationship a little better.

The next thing that he thought about was his mother and Barb meeting. He wasn't fooled- he knew exactly why his mother wanted to meet Barb. He could almost hear the sparks as they flew when they met. That the two women wouldn't like each other he had no doubt, but his mother had made a reasonable request. The question was would he grant it? If he did, he would have to be sure to inform both women that they needed to be on their best behavior and that the evening wasn't about them.

The next topic on his list of things to think about was Noel. They would get together for one last time before he and Felix took off. Thorne felt guilty that Noel had taken the brunt of his mother's hatred when it hadn't shouldn't have been directed at him. He still believed that Noel would benefit from talking to someone and planned to bring it up again before he left for parts unknown. The one thing that he hoped would happen was that their mother would at least apologize to Noel. Would it happen? He doubted it, but one could hope. Then there was the issue of Noel's memory. Maybe Noel was right. Maybe he wasn't supposed to remember what happened yet but what about the reuniting of the families? What would happen if the families reunited and the Sinclaires were really the traitors?

"They aren't," Thorne muttered. "It was someone else."

He turned his thoughts from the riddle of who betrayed them to the woman who was his mate. She would always be kept safe, but other than that his obligation to her was over. He thought about her request to sleep with other people and wondered if that was how it happened with his parents or had his father caught her as he had. The difference was that he didn't really care what Barb did once she had the baby. He wasn't concerned with how it looked to the Sinclaires-they had their own issues. Thinking about Barb reminded him that he needed to go check on her and he wanted to talk to the baby. He found her in the kitchen making something to eat. He looked around wondering where Adrianna and Cheung were.

"They're outside," Barb said answering his question before he asked. "I needed some alone time."

Thorne sat down at the table and waited for her to finish what she was doing before he spoke.

"We have some things to discuss," he said a moment later. "I already know that you've decided to maintain your parental rights and I have no problem with that."

"But?" Barb asked.

"There are no buts," Thorne replied. "I'm just making sure that we're on the same page. Do you have any questions regarding our agreement?"

"I just can't show up whenever the mood strikes- is that what you mean?" Barb asked testily.

Thorne bit back a sharp reply and nodded. "Did you have the papers looked at?"

"I did and according to my attorney they're fine- not that it's any of my business; but where have you been?"

"I'm going to answer your question only because it pertains to you and my child," Thorne replied. "I've been seeing a therapist."

Barb started to laugh but stopped when she saw the look on Thorne's face. He was, she realized serious. She didn't know what to make of his announcement so she waited for him to continue.

"I have always said that we are where we are is partly if not mostly my fault. However, I will not assume responsibility for any of the decisions that you made that also brought us together. Those are for you to deal with or not as you see fit. My reasons for seeking counsel as are follows- I allowed my mother to color my view of women such as her and you. Be that as it may, that didn't give me the right to treat you or any other woman like you and her as I did. I need to make peace with my mother just as I need to make peace with you for the sake of our son and in order for that to happen, I need help."

Barb was speechless. Like Samantha, hearing that Thorne was going to a therapist was a shocker. It also gave her pause. If he could admit and own up to his part in the mess they were in, why couldn't she? "Because I'm not entirely wrong," she thought to herself.

"No you aren't the voice whispered- but you are still responsible for the choices that you made."

"I've apologized before and I'll apologize again," Thorne said. "I am sorry for the way that I treated you. My issues with my mother had nothing to do with you and I should have made you go home with your family that night. The one thing that I am not sorry about is that a child was conceived. I admit that it wasn't under the right circumstances and it is largely because of him that I seek help."

Barb knew that she was staring, but couldn't help it. The man sitting across from her was sincere in what he was saying- he always had been, but this was different. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Thorne that she knew was just beneath the surface and that she would be wise to remember that.

"What will you tell him about me?" Barb asked curious.

"The truth," Thorne replied without hesitation. "Just as I will tell him the truth about myself."

At this, Barb did laugh. She didn't believe it.

"You're going to tell him what a cold hearted bastard you are?"

Thorne waited until she stopped laughing and tamped down his anger.

"Haven't I done everything that I said I would do?" he asked his tone cool. "Have I ever lied to you about anything?"

"No... but you didn't tell me everything either."

"True, but I will ask the same question that I asked before- would you have believed me if I told you the real reason that I wanted you? Would you have believed me if I told you what I really was? No and do you know why? It's the same reason that you ignored every warning that you were given and allowed yourself to be used not just by me, but by another man. You saw dollar signs-you sold yourself. Are you going to deny anything that I just said?"

Her silence was his answer.

"Look, we could go around and around about this until hell froze over and it wouldn't change anything," Thorne said. "What we need to be talking about is how we're going to get along for the sake of our child. We also need to begin preparing for his arrival. If I'm not mistaken, Gretchen will be here on Wednesday... what?" Thorne asked when he saw the look on Barb's face. "Did you think that I was so busy that I wasn't keeping track of your appointments?"

That was exactly what she had been thinking.

"I suppose that you'll want to be here?" She said snidely. She already knew the answer- he had been there for every single appointment no matter what else had been going on. That also meant that he would be present for the birth. "Fine," she said when he didn't react to her sarcasm.

"One more thing," Thorne said. "My mother has asked to meet you."

"Why?" Barb asked. "It isn't as if we're one big happy family."

"Agreed," Thorne replied. "I didn't give her an answer, but you will be meeting her at the reunion dinner. There's no getting around that."

"There is if I'm not there," Barb replied.

"Let me explain a few things to you..."

"What?" Barb exclaimed when Thorne explained about the alliance. "You can't be serious!"

"I am very serious," Thorne replied. We take our alliances very seriously. The fact that you are related to the Yancy's alone makes you a part of this alliance. The fact that our child is a Blackwell trumps even that. The only way for you to get out of this alliance is to sign off on your parental rights to the child and to declare yourself single. But let me explain something to you, if you decide to do this and you are in need of safety, it would be well within our rights to turn you away. Also if you decide to take part in this and you receive a call for help and ignore it; you will no longer be considered part of the alliance."

Barb was beginning to see that she wasn't as free as she thought she was. The idea of basically disappearing and reappearing at will was quickly being blown to hell. She was going to be tied to her family whether she wanted to be or not.

"May I ask a question?"

"You may ask whatever you wish," Thorne replied. "I won't and can't lie to you."

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bykalamazoo707© 26 comments/ 16185 views/ 23 favorites

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